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Morrowind's Ancestral Tombs and the Future Games

Morrowind's Ancestral Tombs and the Future Games

  09:41:00 pm, by Damon   , 640 words  
Viewed 6390 times since 03/19/14
Categories: UESP, Rants

I guess I'm about due for a new blog post, considering my last one was... The last time I did it. I also guess I ought to do some UESP-specific postings for once, and there's something that's been nagging at me recently about a minor site practice. Well, "nagging at me" is an understatement. I hate it with a passion strong enough that AKB would be forced to ban me from IRC after I described it so explicitly.

In Morrowind, there are numerous Dunmer tombs scattered around province of Vvardenfell containing the usual crypt stuff, each one named after a random Dunmer surname. Appended to each tomb's location page is a list of known Dunmer of that surname. That's fine, it's interesting to know how prevalent the family name is within Morrowind, and it helps deepen the game's immersion to go visit a tomb to pay respect to a deity's shrine, or to raid a tomb and see if there are any special items in it, save it from being defiled, etc. The thing that irks me is that we show off the members of the family who are located in future games as well within the Morrowind artcles. Granted, they are clearly marked as being from the game (Niluva HlaaluSR, a worker at Black-Briar Meadery in Riften), but it still feels incredibly inappropriate to me.

The style for the UESP articles is that the gamespace articles are written for the game's present tense, meaning you say "Balmora IS a town..." not "Balmora WAS a town", as if the Red Year's destruction was relevant to the state of the city in the game.

Why, I wonder, should the names of NPCs you'll never see be mentioned? It's rather jarring to go from reading present-tense, which is appropriate for the article, and then reading something that belongs to the future, yet is presented as if it were present and relevant. It's not often that a gamer looks up the Hlaalu Ancestral Tomb for Morrowind-related purposes, then suddenly becomes interested in this unimportant bloke from Riften who was alive 200 years later and in a completely different game. Most users want information specifically for their own game, and that's the information that we should be providing to them, in my opinion.

It would be one thing if the information was attached to a miscellaneous section that was specifically for out-of-game notes, such as the "See Also" or something, but the information is A. within the game's article section, B. rather circumstancial and coincidental, and C. other tombs, like Nordic Barrows or Cyrodiilic tombs, don't reference any names that could also be tied to the tomb. Either the information is relevant or it's irrelevant, and the inconsistency is an issue, in my opinion, though my preference is clearly that the information be omitted.

I assert that such information is circumstancial, because with very limited exceptions, there is no clear cut case of geneology ever mentioned. In the case of a Hlaalu, you can compare it to a realword Johnson or Anderson - two names that are exceptionally common names, and others of the same name aren't necessarily related, given how common the name is.

For that particular Hlaalu tomb in Morrowind, you can be guaranteed that from a Lore perspective, there are so many people and presumably so many Hlaalus that they aren't all related and tied to that one tomb.

By the way, this isn't with just the Hlaalu Ancestral Tomb: You can go to our Ancestral Tombs article, and pick articles at random. If a surname existed in a game that isn't either Morrowind, Tribunal, or Bloodmoon, it's still mentioned as if it were just as relevant to the playthrough of Morrowind.

I guess that's the end of my little UESP rant. I'll post something fun eventually, unless I let my other projects get in the way.

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