B A C K G R O U N D
In Morrowind, when an item is enchanted, there are three options - Cast when used (puts a spell in your spell list when you have the item in your inventory), Cast on strike (for weapons, cast when the weapon strikes a target), and Constant effect (gives a permanent magical effect when the item is equipped on the character). The "Cast when used" and "Cast on strike" items would have to be recharged after using them a certain number of times, and more valuable base items (a gold ring for example) could hold more charges than cheaper items (a brass ring, for example).
In Oblivion, however, when something is enchanted, your options are simplified - enchanted pieces of clothing or armor are always "Constant effect" while enchanted weapons are always "Cast on strike". There is NO "Cast when used" functionality. (A good list of the differences between the two games is available here)
UESP's page on enchanting in Morrowind highlights some of the differences between the games, with my comments in italics:
- Enchanted items slowly recharge allowing you to use them over and over again (Not true in Oblivion).
- All enchanted items have a casting cost that is based on your Enchant skill, not your skill in the relevant spell school (Not true in Oblivion, as there is no Enchant skill - the casting cost is fixed for each item).
- A high Enchant skill will allow you to use enchanted items more times before their charge is exhausted (Not true in Oblivion, as there is no Enchant skill - the number of times you can use an enchanted item is determined by the power source (strength of soul gem or sigil stone)).
- For example, your Mysticism skill may be too low to predictably cast an Almsivi Intervention spell when you need one, but if you get an enchanted item with the spell, you can cast it without any skill in Mysticism whatsoever (Not applicable in Oblivion, as items are only Constant Effect or Cast On Strike)
- Enchanted items also never fail, and have a zero casting time, unlike spells. (In Oblivion, all spells and enchantments never fail and have zero casting time)
- Although you are limited to wearing only one Amulet, two Rings, etc. at a time, the game allows you to use any magical item that you have in your inventory, automatically equipping it for you when you use it. (In Oblivion, you can only access the enchantments of items equipped on your character)
- You can create Constant Effect items, so that merely equipping them gives you the effect, without needing to cast anything. (This is still true in Oblivion, although only armor and clothing can have a constant effect.)
T H E - P R O B L E M
So, when the original Morrowind game was converted, something had to be done with all those "Cast when used" items, since Oblivion does not support that form of enchantment. In general, anything on a weapon was converted to "Cast on strike" and anything on a piece of armor or clothing was converted to "Constant effect" - this is what created the problem that we are facing - many items have become utterly game-breaking (often, "god items")
For example, the Thief Ring, which can be found at the beginning of the game in a cave near Seyda Neen, should be worth 14 gold and give you a SPELL that does this:
- Fortify Agility 5 pts for 30 secs on Self
- Fortify Speed 5 pts for 30 secs on Self
- Fortify Personality 5 pts for 30 secs on Self
Instead, the Thief Ring is worth about 1400 gold, and gives you a CONSTANT EFFECT of:
- Fortify Agility 5 pts on Self
- Fortify Speed 5 pts on Self
- Fortify Personality 5 pts on Self
Quite a nice item to find at the very beginning of the game! And this is supposed to be a ring worth 14 gold!
P O S S I B L E - S O L U T I O N S
There are two possible solutions to this problem:
- Write and assign a script to each item that does the same thing as "Cast when used" did in Morrowind - as long as the item is in your inventory, the script adds the appropriate spell to your spell list. This has been done, I believe, with Fargoth's Ring (I am not 100% on this)
- Leave all the items "Constant effect" but adjust their attributes so that they're not game-breaking - instead of healing 20pts every second, it heals 1pt every second. This has been done with Eleidon's Ward, among others.
Obviously, Option 1 would be the most true to the original intent of morrowind, but perhaps a little more difficult to implement - although once a working script is written, it should be easy to re-create it for each item (although time consuming to attach the appropriate script to each item).
Option 2, on the other hand, may be easier, but each item still has to be edited one by one, and it would involve a lot of subjective decisions.
L I S T - O F - I T E M S
I have attached a spreadsheet to this post with all of the "Constant Effect" items in Morrowind, Tribunal, and Bloodmoon. This can be opened in Microsoft Excel or in LibreOffice (free alternative). This information was all sourced from UESP.
Hopefully this will help someone figure this out in the future. Unfortunately, writing a script for each item (option 1 above) is beyond my scripting ability.
I am also going to move all posts about constant effect items to this thread, since there was some good discussion about solutions in the Ring of Khajiit thread.