Morrowind MDA analysis v2



Hello Everyone,

This post is the follow-up to my Morrowind MDA Mechanics analysis. This analysis will be of a dynamic that can occur within the game. I cleaned up the Mechanics section of the analysis and wrote a dynamic situation that can occur within the game. If you would like to have a more in-depth understanding of the MDA, you can see my previous Morrowind MDA post HERE and/or see the link at the bottom of this post, which has a link directly to the original MDA paper.











The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind

Mechanics list

-Character System

   -Player Character (PC) System 
        -Character stat
            -Stat modifier(s)
                  -Potions
                  -Enchantments on wearable items (e.g., clothing, armor, etc...)
                  -Racial Traits
                  -Birth Signs
        -Character attributes
            -Gender
            -Race
        -Character skills (e.g., lock picking, speech craft, weapon proficiency, etc...)
            -Skill Modifier(s)
                  -Potions
                  -Enchantments on wearables
                  -Stats
                  -Attribute(s)

-Non-Player Character (NPC) System
        -Essential Character
        -Character stat
            -Stat modifier(s)
                  -Potions
                  -Enchantments on wearable items (e.g., clothing, armor, etc...)
                  -Racial Traits
                  -Birth Signs
        -Character attributes
            -Gender
            -Race
        -Character skills (e.g., lock picking, speech craft, weapon proficiency, etc...)
            -Skill Modifier(s)
                  -Potions
                  -Enchantments on wearables
                  -Stats
                  -Attribute(s)
                  -AI
                      -Pathfinding
                      -hostility
                           -Wandering enemy/creature
                           -PC social standing in the game world
                           -Individual relationship between the PC and that NPC
                           -Rival faction/Guild
                      -amiability
                           -PC social standing in the game world
                           -Individual relationship between the PC and that NPC
                           -Friendly Faction


-Magic
   -Magic types
        -Enchantments
        -Direct Magic
        -Passive Magic
        -Physical Ailments (e.g., disease)
   -Magic Modifiers
        -Magick Pool
        -Character Skills
        -Character Stats

-Weapon(s)
   -Base Stats
   -Weapon stat modifier
        -Enchantment
        -Potion buffs
        -Character Skills
        -Character Stats

-Crafting
   -Direct magic
   -Potion making
   -Enchanting

-Armor
   -Base stat
   -Armor stat modifiers
        -Enchantment(s)
        -Potions
        -Character Skill
        -Character Stats

-Persistent Environment
   -Social Standing/Fame/Infamy
            -Crime
                  -Theft
                      -Modifiers
                           -Stealth
                      -Character bounty system
                      -Committing a crime,
                  -Hostile actions against NPC’s
                  -Murder
                  -Trespassing
              -Response to Crime
                  -Bribery
                  -Hostility
                  -Jail
   -Faction(s)
            -Guilds
            -Houses
            -Races
                  -vampires
                  -Misc.
   -Economy
              -Inventory Items
                   -Buy/Sell/Currency
                             -Modifiers
                                  -Character Skills
-Mercantile
                                  -Character Stats

-Quest system
   -Main Quest
   -Side Quest(s)
       -Factions
       -Misc.

-Combat
   -Modifiers
       -Weapon(s)
       -Armor
       -Magic
       -Character Stats
       -Character Skills
       -Character Attributes








Dynamic Scene Explanation

For explaining dynamics I am going to focus on the sub-mechanic of NPC hostility under the AI high-level Mechanic and the dynamic situations that can occur as a result of a given situation. Specifically, what happens when you attempt to resell an item to a shopkeeper that was stolen from that shopkeeper. Essentially, you can attempt to sell anything to any shopkeeper in this game, regardless of whether it is stolen or not. The economy of this game differs from the later games in this IP in this regard, where in Oblivion and Skyrim any item that is stolen is visibly marked as such and can only be sold to fences in the thieves guild (except in cases in which the PC has certain skills and/or items in their possession).
For sake of explanation the scene will be in Ald'ruhn in Bivale Teneran’s clothing shop. Bivale Teneran will typically have a pair of extravagant pants of the 2nd variation in her inventory. Now, if we introduce the dynamic of the PC having stolen those pants from her inventory, lets explore what happens within the scene under these parameters. The way that Morrowind handles FormID’s is that unless it is a unique item (i.e. Azura’s Star), all other items are generic and not tagged as unique since there can be an infinite number of them in play at any given time. However, items that have been placed in an interior area in which an NPC has ownership of the interior area (i.e. homes, shops, etc…) are tagged as being owned by the corresponding NPC (this system failing actually created an amusing bug in the game in a home/shop area in Caldera, in which the residence which occupied the scamp shopkeep and other orcs, where there was a failure in the tagging system of items in the residence and you could steal the property right in front of the occupants and even sell them back to the scamp and all they would do is yell at you for stealing, but the hostility portion of the AI would not kick in and since ownership of the items was not tagged, your “crime” was not reported). Using this tagging system in the aforementioned example, if we then attempt to sell the pants we stole from Bivale Teneran back to her, she will acknowledge that that instance of the FormID extravagant_pants_02 had been tagged to her ownership by the Gamebryo engine and she recognizes this. Another fun side note, in pre-patched versions of the game if you have multiple instances of extravagant_pants_02 in your inventory when you steal these pants, the engine will jenk up and tag all instances of this item in your inventory as her property. This also applies to storage containers; in other words, if you place this item into a storage container with other copies of extravagant_pants_02 in the same container, the game would tag all those as ownership of Bivale Teneran. This has been patched out in later versions. Back to the example, after the dynamic of the PC attempting to sell Bivale Teneran back her property, she recognizes the pants as tagged to her ownership, and a number of the games other mechanics kick in. First, it sends a script to the law keeper of the town and your crime is reported; then, the game will check Bivale Teneran’s character level, skills, stats, attributes, gear and all modifiers against yours and if you are inferior to her, she will attack you. If you are a higher level, or have a high infamy level, then she will just report your crime, not allow you to purchase from her until the situation is resolved and let the city guards deal with you. If she attacks you and you manage to kill her, then the city guard will still attempt to deal with you, but in addition to your bounty for theft, a bounty of murder will also be added.
If you do not murder Bivale Teneran, after the situation has been resolved (and you no longer carry a bounty) you will have the ability to “Earn” Bivale Teneran's services again through boosting her disposition toward you. This is done through a number of other mechanics including, PC and NPC Stats, Skills, bribery, etc....


You can also click HERE to see the original MDA analysis paper

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