Digital Foundry: Morrowind: Xbox One X vs OG Xbox: 16x Resolution + Massive Performance Boost

Oct 25, 2017
5,267
Arizona
What’s crazy is, due to MS’s devotion to BC going forward, everything we’re seeing with BC now will carry forward to the next gen... and even be improved. So in a way, we’re only scratching the surface of how well these games can be boosted.
 

CountAntonius

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,190
My first couple hundred or so hours of this game were on Xbox. Absolutely loved it and it's crazy to look back and see how bad it looked and how awful it ran. This level of backward compatibility for console players is a great thing. Man the music always hits me in this game.
 

Enazrat

Banned
Oct 29, 2017
1,536
User warned: engaging in console wars talk
It will certainly make up for the lack of exclusives.
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,798
I'm more likely to play something like the enhanced Oblivion, but I've never been more drawn to trying this game out again. I started it at the time, but the performance really put me off. I know there's a lot to like when you really get into it, and running at ~60 fps with minimal loading is an eye-opener. Oddly enough, I don't think I have the PC version anywhere.
 

Robin

Restless Insomniac
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,174
The backwards compatibility might be what finally compels me to finally spring for an Xbox One.
 

Mystic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,986
They really need to push out the draw distance on this and the Oblivion X enhanced versions. It looks really bad. I'll take a locked 30 if it means I can see more than 20 feet ahead of me.
 

CanUKlehead

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,474
Can't afford (or need) a new XB1X (even if my OG1 dies), but if this continues with their next gen Xbox, they're setting themselves up real nice for the next round.
 

Daschiel

Member
Oct 28, 2017
754
Loading times are amazing going by that video, guess it's time to fire it up and see where it starts to crawl... Good job on Backwards compatibility X1.
 

Xenon

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,266
Yeah it's been too long since I played on the original Xbox to remember, and on the PC I didn't have a problem since I played it later on with a more powerful system.

I wonder what it is about that particular area, and what's unoptomized.

Because if Vivec City wasn't that much of a hog, Balmora shouldn't either.

I believe it was the building designs. I only played it on the PC and remember hitting single digits everytime I step foot in that town.
 

Fafalada

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,517
Dark1x - I don't think what you observed on ground is LOD bias difference - the emulated version is simply missing detail textures on the ground alltogether (and as this was done through texture combiner/shader operation on og. XBox, I'd say it's an emulation error/bug, not intentional).
 

ghibli99

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,571
USA
Never played this, and it looks really rough, but kudos for the effort! If I ever get the urge to check it out, I'll in all likelihood do so on 1X.
 

OmegaDL50

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,387
Philadelphia, PA
Yeah that’s kinda what I figured

Thanks

I kinda wanna try it outta curiosity, but i’m not sure i’m in the mood for ES combat. Maybe if I rolled an archer it would be tolerable
What 5taquitos didn't tell you however until Oblivion and Skyrim in that combat in those games uses a collision detection system and has semblances of an action game. Morrowind does not. When you swing your weapon in Morrowind a dice roll mechanic happens behind the scenes that determines whether you hit or miss, and starting early on you will miss, and miss, and miss, until your skill builds up which increases your accuracy. In fact connected hits have a ton of hit stun associated with them, so getting to the point you can consistently hit every enemy means you'll basically stunlock them to death with a barrage of melee.

Spell casting in Morrowind is much more flexible. You can for example have a spell that does 50 points of damage on touch for 20 seconds doing 1000 damage in total for example. There is also spells of levitation being able to fly.

Exploration is much more focused on the player knowing how to pay attention and referring to specific landmarks as there is no golden trail of breadcrumbs or compass arrow that leads you to your destination. A lot of travel will involve referencing the notes in your journal and going and using in-game signage to find a specific town or dungeon. Once you discover a place it will then be visible on your map but not before than.

Morrowind puts more emphasis on it's RPG mechanics and is less of an action game that Skyrim and Fallout 4 try to be.

All in all it's a very enjoyable experience but keep in mind it's a more of a traditional RPG compared to the newer games.
 
Last edited:

Dark1x

Digital Foundry
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
3,230
Dark1x - I don't think what you observed on ground is LOD bias difference - the emulated version is simply missing detail textures on the ground alltogether (and as this was done through texture combiner/shader operation on og. XBox, I'd say it's an emulation error/bug, not intentional).
You sure they’re using detail texture layers here? It certainly could be the case, I suppose.
 

Kittenz

Member
Oct 28, 2017
562
Minneapolis
Man the menu controls and stuff have come a long way. Morrowind is hard to manage. But enjoying so far!

And that's saying something when you're praising Oblivion or Skyrim in terms of menu/inventory management.
 

Fafalada

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,517
You sure they’re using detail texture layers here? It certainly could be the case, I suppose.
Can't be 100% sure - it's been so long ago since I saw the game proper, and the artwork is pretty dark and muddy even at 4k in new captures. It was a time when it was really common to see, at least on XBox.
Looking at a close-up from your capture right now - it's either lacking detail layer(there's added noise close to camera on og XB) or it's missing an entire top-mip-map. But if it's the latter, mip-bias adjustment doesn't really explain it either as even if you pushed it out you should still get texels hit top-mipmap right next to camera. Admittedly missing a mip-level could also be explained by an emulator bug though I suppose - so it's not impossible.
 

litebrite

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
10,915
This is my only pet peeve with BC. Wish there was some way to get around this.... oh well - not a huge deal.
What? It's no different than if the system was playing the game from disc or you installed it from the disc to your harddrive, you still need the disc in the drive to play the game otherwise you could keep the game digitally and sell your physical copy.
 
Last edited:

severianb

Member
Nov 9, 2017
869
What’s crazy is, due to MS’s devotion to BC going forward, everything we’re seeing with BC now will carry forward to the next gen... and even be improved. So in a way, we’re only scratching the surface of how well these games can be boosted.
Yep. The next Xbox will probably have a 8 core/16 thread Ryzen 2 CPU..... and *almost* be able to attain a solid 60fps in Balmora. Maybe.
 

severianb

Member
Nov 9, 2017
869
Buying digital would be the only option right now.

I would be willing to send in my game disc to get a digital license transfer.
That's actually a fantastic idea.

Publishers should be all over this, as it gets rid of used resells (that they make ZERO profit from) permenantly.

I DESPISE my physical copies of games. If I could trade them in for a digital copy, I would in a heartbeat.
 

Atolm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,366
I hope they cover other games from the bunch but specifically SSX3. It's 60fps, native 4k full screen...really impressive stuff. It puts shit like the paid DMC ports to absolute shame.
 

Braaier

Banned
Oct 29, 2017
13,237
Morrowind is an awesome game. Loved playing through in on the Xbox. Would love to replay this on the x
 

TinTuba47

Member
Nov 14, 2017
1,318
What 5taquitos didn't tell you however until Oblivion and Skyrim in that combat in those games uses a collision detection system and has semblances of an action game. Morrowind does not. When you swing your weapon in Morrowind a dice roll mechanic happens behind the scenes that determines whether you hit or miss, and starting early on you will miss, and miss, and miss, until your skill builds up which increases your accuracy. In fact connected hits have a ton of hit stun associated with them, so getting to the point you can consistently hit every enemy means you'll basically stunlock them to death with a barrage of melee.

Spell casting in Morrowind is much more flexible. You can for example have a spell that does 50 points of damage on touch for 20 seconds doing 1000 damage in total for example. There is also spells of levitation being able to fly.

Exploration is much more focused on the player knowing how to pay attention and referring to specific landmarks as there is no golden trail of breadcrumbs or compass arrow that leads you to your destination. A lot of travel will involve referencing the notes in your journal and going and using in-game signage to find a specific town or dungeon. Once you discover a place it will then be visible on your map but not before than.

Morrowind puts more emphasis on it's RPG mechanics and is less of an action game that Skyrim and Fallout 4 try to be.

All in all it's a very enjoyable experience but keep in mind it's a more of a traditional RPG compared to the newer games.
I really appreciate you posting this, thanks

I have to admit I am intrigued by the ‘no breadcrumbs’ aspect. Lately I’ve been turning off HUD/Minimap/Quest markers in any game that will let me, so I love the idea of a RPG designed around not having that stuff at the forefront

Sounds like it might be worth a try out of curiosity, maybe I’ll DL it and roll a mage
 

phanboy4

Member
Oct 27, 2017
208
I's impressive that they improved it that much, but the draw distance is still kinda poor compared to PC.
 

Juturna

Member
Oct 27, 2017
598
This is really awesome. This was my uncle's favorite game and I was too young to really appreciate it when it came out. He passed away last weekend, so I'm going to play this on my X as sort of a memorial to him.