OpenMW: The Future of The Elder Scrolls III:Morrowind
Image Source: https://en.opensuse.org/OpenMW
A few months ago, back in June, I wrote an article regarding the open source revitalization of Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall through the Unity engine, which you can find HERE.
As it turns out, there is an open source project for what I consider to be the greatest ( as far as my opinion goes, for that matter) of the elder scrolls series; The final “Hail Mary” from Bethesda from when they were on the verge of bankruptcy: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. This project: OpenMW, is one which I am much more familiar with and also happens to be quite a bit further along than Daggerfall Unity is -and- is effectively complete with regards to functionality. I just had to write about this amazing title before the summer was over but hesitated to because, while openMW is open-source, the base game :”TES III: Morrowind” is not available for free from the developer like Daggerfall is; You still have to purchase it either digital or of you have a boxed version, that works too (any and all versions/formats of Morrowind Retail are compatible with OpenMW).
Now that we have that information out in the open, whether you already have a copy of the game, plan on getting one , or are simply interested in what is next, you will want to download OpenMW HERE. One of the greatest things about open MW is, due to it being a game engine overhaul, it has been re-written so that a retail copy of Morrowind can be played on Linux and Mac as well as Windows!
What other reasons could there be in favour of OpenMW? You no longer need a bunch of graphical mods that were taxing on computer performance to expand the graphics capabilities of the game, instead they have also been re-written to behave more effectively with modern computers and display in modern resolutions with crisp, up-scaled graphics, all the while being resource minimal and accessible to older computers; It truly is a wonder in the world of Open Source game engine overhauls.
A Personal reason why I like Open MW is that it allows me to play a near-vanilla game (which is my favorite way to play), but I can also enjoy modern quality of life updates, bug fixes, up-scaled graphics that don’t ruin the original games’ atmosphere (like many mods will do). It is also worth mentioning that it has many open -source modding projects going on and one mod for it already has given the game a multiplayer feature, which I cannot comment on unfortunately.
I will always enjoy just playing Morrowind straight out of a fresh Steam install, but since the last few years, I have been opting to play through OpenMW with a few community bugfix patches and official (free) dlc as it has proven to be a much more enjoyable experience, mainly due to the engine’s superior performance on my machine.
My Go-To Video when it comes to setting up a fresh Install of Morrowind (with a few extras) is a tutorial from the Lore-Man himself, from my Daggerfall article: Zaric Zhakaron . In my opinion, this video highlights the greatest way to play Morrowind in the current year, while also maintaining the original and authentic vanilla experience. More Diehard Morrowind fans are abandoning their pretty graphics mods for a cleaner and more optimized experience every day and there is no doubt that OpenMW will be the future of this classic game.
In case you are interested in the highly recommended Patches and official DLC mentioned in the video, you can find and download them here: The Eight Official & Free DLC, Patch For Purists, and Delayed Dark Brotherhood Attack.
Again, if you are an old Morrowind player, you need to watch this video and get your copy of the game set up in Open MW, and if you are someone who has never played the game, but may be familiar with TES V: Skyrim or other Fantasy RPG games, you should very much consider (and I highly encourage) you to get your hands on a copy of the game for PC and try it out just in general. Even without the attention of modern overhauls, Morrowind really is a Gem and one of the most fantastic atmospheres and lore-filled worlds in any RPG game I have ever played. If you can get past the fact that you will need to read text instead of having voice actors speak the lines, then you will be in for a real treat!
With Projects like OpenMW, classic games like Morrowind can be kept alive and functional as technology improves, and there will always be a handful of the newer generation that will benefit from the continued rejuvenation of classic games so that they can be enjoyed for years to come. In fact, now that I am talking about it, I might just be rolling a new character in Morrowind soon…..