Morrowind is not an unfamiliar province in the Elder Scrolls series. 15 years ago, in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, players saw the island of Vvardenfell for the first time. Today, in The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, fans get a chance to revisit some of the most iconic areas in the game. The developers even released a discussion on bringing Morrowind back to life. While that discussion is interesting, I wanted to go more in depth with it. Since we already compared Seyda Neen, today we’re going to look at Balmora.
These first images are taken just outside the gates of Balmora. As you can see, while there certainly are some similarities in the architecture, it’s otherwise quite different. Moving forward, it is worth noting that the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind take place well after the events of The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, but there is no significant lore event telling us why the city differs so greatly from one game to the other.
The city’s main entrance is also completely different, though I dare to say it changed for the better. Balmora in The Elder Scrolls III certainly looked quite empty and boring at a glance. In The Elder Scrolls Online, it looks much more open and welcoming. The colors are brighter, the flora is thriving, and of course, the graphics have been improved dramatically from its predecessor.
The signature bridges are truly the only thing that looks even remotely similar in both games, the similarity being that they both are located in the center of the town. Otherwise, the bridges themselves look completely different and even the pathways on either side are constructed differently.
I was so baffled by how different this town was from the original game that I searched around for something that reminded me of classic Morrowind, but the only familiar sightings were the bridges. The layout of the town is completely different and the architecture is only vaguely similar. While it is somewhat disappointing after seeing how accurately they portrayed Seyda Neen, it does make sense.
Balmora in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was a bland, boring looking city. There’s very little to it and the whole thing just looks flat. In order to modernize it, I think the developers really had to take the place back to the drawing board and the result, in my opinion, is a better-looking city.
I really want to know what you think, though. Is Balmora better the way it was? Or do you like ESO’s take on it? If you want to play The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, this is the last week to pre-order it. And if you want more information on the expansion, why not check out our full review?