Well, the discussion in this thread
got me thinking again, given the changes and progress we've seen in the past >2 years (has it really been that long?), what would Morrowjosh look like? Might Morrowjosh just be a (sizable) mod for LT? If not, what does Morrowjosh NEED to have, that can simply not be modded into LT?
Some initial ideas and thoughts
Morrowind was a finite, hand crafted place. Morrowjosh will be an infinite number of vast regions, none of which can be hand crafted. Morrowind made heavy use of environmental storytelling, and required the player to become invested in the world and learn enough context to know what to do. How can that be accomplished procedurally?
Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime:
Morrowind had a main story, with a beginning and an end, and the player grew in a fluid manner to progress from weakness to strength, ignorance to wisdom. How could Morrowjosh handle players of indeterminate strength and armament dropping into the world anywhere at anytime and still provide a compelling reason to stay and get involved? There needs to be a reason more compelling to go on adventures rather than bomb the planet from orbit, mow down residents in a suit of power armor, or throw the natives onto reservations while you set up a mining operation... Yet those too should be possible.
What will already be
I think it's safe to say that LT will be a rich dynamic, "living" world that responds realistically to player and non-player actions. It already has complex procedural models that could fairly easily be adapted to be buildings, plants, artifacts, and so on. It already has (though not yet at date of writing) dynamic, responsive factions, economies, colonies, environments. LT already operates on many core mechanics that would be present in Morrowjosh, so it would need to offer that many more mechanics to be more than just an LT mod.
What will likely be
It's Q2 2018, with an optimistic release window of Q4 2018 to Q1 2019, Morrowjosh would come around 2022 at the very earliest.
Beyond the flood of mods already planned, and the tsumani of mods yet to be imagined that will come between LT 1.0 and Morrowjosh 1.0, we have to consider the developments taking place in the world at large.
As a rough guess, let's say that available computation
is an order of magnitude greater in 2022 than 2018. That AI has a track record of creating artificial faces
, artificial voices
, artificial content
, and artificial environments
that feel nearly indistinguishable from reality.
How then can such advancements be used in Morrowjosh?
Could we see multi-biome planets with semi-real simulations of the climate, ecology, geological activity, hard magic, real and detailed histories, mythologies, and cultures with varying technological levels? Could we find among some ruins, a legendary weapon that was actually used in several famous battles, passed on for generations only to be lost in an earthquake that destroyed the city whose ruins we're now exploring?
Could we encounter the boy whose people consider him a living god because his family has controlled for generations, an ancient alien artifact... That we ourselves traded to his ancestors for food and shelter after a crash landing on the same planet earlier in the game?
Could we genetically engineer a disease that turns cattle into huge mutated monsters that terrorize the countryside and watch as the local armies hopelessly try to fight them off... Only to imbue some lucky peasant with the powers of the chosen one who can defeat them... But not tell her and watch her life go crazy as people around her freak out over her new abilities?
Could we throw an asteroid at a city, only to have a local god stop it suspended over the city and turned into a temple to that god's glory?
Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can