The thing with Democracy is it generally prevents the **** from completely hitting the fan. I feel like in a monarchy or other totalitarian or near-totalitarian state the state can be better run than in a democracy, but only if you have a good leader of course. The problem is you can also get leaders who are terrible ****s and run the country into the ground, or go about murdering those who oppose him.
Democracy generally means we at least get leaders who aren't going to go about murdering everyone... usually anyways. It also means we rarely get particularly good leaders.
Ideally I think we'd want a form of government where extremely important and major decisions are made via straight democracy (Things like whether or not to go to war) but allow individuals to essentially run the country from day to day. Also, decisions should be made at as local a level as possible. Health care, for instance, can be handled on a state or even city level.
I was one of the only people that probably used spears (actually, usually halberds) and throwing weapons in Morrowind. They were ****ty weapons, but were awesome. I hope they bring all of the weapons that were in Morrowind back, it's a bit weird that they went forward in time and suddenly everyone forgot how to use spears, halberds, throwing weapons, and crossbows.
This game has some great potential. Red Dawn is a fantastic movie so I would expect the writer to be able to create a fairly believable world for this to take place in. It seems like it's fairly reasonable. If you didn't know, North Korea invades in 2023 after the U.S. economy has collapsed and the U.S. is thrown into turmoil. They also form an alliance with other Asian countries (after taking over South Korea.) It's not like it's North Korea invades the U.S. tomorrow on a whim. It's certainly not a likely scenario, but it seems reasonable enough for suspension of disbelief to kick in.
So what is the largest object you've built/dug from scratch on survival, without cheating?
Some rough math told me my last and largest castle used somewhere in the area of 2000 blocks of stone to build. Right now I am also building an underground complex that is rather large, don't even know the size estimate on it.
I really don't see Oblivion as being dumbed down though. Fast travel was the best thing to happen to the Elder Scrolls series, however Oblivion just got fast travel a bit off. It was corrected in Fallout, where you can't fast travel anywhere until you visit there the first time, no marking major cities with fast travel. If you don't have travel you have a bunch of tedious going back and forth, which Morrowind had way too much of. Yes, it was fun to travel the wastelands the first time, but when you take the same route twenty times over it starts to get old. However, I'd like to see things like the quest marker made optional right off the bat, instead of requiring mods.
I'm currently reading Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels by Antonio Santosuosso. It's a decent overview of Medieval military history, though it lacks in the details a bit.
I'm also reading Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams. I picked it up after finishing the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series by the same author and I'm quite enjoying it. High fantasy meets cats, basically.