In an interview with the Official Xbox Magazine, Bethesda's Todd Howard is self-critical in how they handled exploration and the joy of discovery in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion compared to Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
"With Oblivion, we're dealing with the capital province, and we wanted to get back to the more classic Arena and Daggerfall feel of a fantasy world that felt more refined and welcoming...a place that you instantly understood. But in that, we sacrificed some of what made Morrowind special; the wonder of discovery," Howard says.
Which of course begs the question about how things will look in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. ""With Skyrim, we're trying to bring some of that back and walk the line between Morrowind and Oblivion. Where it's at first familiar looking, but has its own unique culture and spin on it." Here's hoping they pull it off.