from what I've heard (as I've never personally played Morrowind) , it has the best story of all Elder Scrolls games , and some of the best quests
unfortunately , it has some of the worst mechanics (combat is really random and such , as far as I know)
I have played Oblivion extensively , and I absolutely adore that game . the combat is quite like Skyrim (except for magic which is somewhat different)
That's true about the flaws in Morrowind, but on the other hand those flaws is what makes Morrowind the best moddable TES game ever. And Morrowind has depth in-game and the best MQ, but the MQ in Skyrim isn't bad either.
The only thing that's random is blocking with the shield, other than that it is pretty much the same as it is in Morrowind except for casting spells. In Morrowind one need to use both hands to cast a spell in vanilla, but with mods the player can cast spells like you do in Oblivion.
No, the combat in Oblivion are not the same as it is in Skyrim in fact the combat in Oblivion and Morrowind are basically the same aside for the shield blocking and of course spellcasting, because one cannot use dual weapons in Oblivion and every time one wants to heal in a fight in Skyrim the player first need to either unequip the right hand or the left hand to cast a healing spell or use a healing potion. But there are mods that makes fighting in Skyrim similar to what combat is in Oblivion.
correct me if I'm wrong (as I said , I haven't actually played Morrowind , so this is based on videos I've seen of it) , but in Morrowind aren't the combat mechanics random , in the fact that you can spam the attack button on an enemy and it will determine whether or not you hit based on your skill , as opposed to your spacing?
in Oblivion and Skyrim , when you swing your weapon at a target , if they are in range you will always hit them . I've heard that it's not the case in Morrowind (and the videos I've seen also show this)
now I know that Skyrim and Oblivion have different combat in that each games gives different options (in how perks work , dual wielding , the different magic systems etc)
but what I meant is that in my experience , combat in these games doesn't have a different depth . you still only have two button , LMB attacks (and a long press is a power attack) , RMB is a block (or using the left hand in the case of Skyrim , where you can wield anything in your hand) , and it's all about trying to stagger or out maneuver your opponent . this doesn't make them identical , but I think combat in these games hasn't really evolved all too well (just compare footage of Vanilla Skyrim , Skyrim VR and the footage of TES Blades from E3 , they all seem to have a very similar melee combat system , and the last of these is also a mobile game...... that doesn't say much about depth and complexity , does it?)
as for spell casting , while Skyrim has the best mechanics for a pure spell caster (with the ability to wield and cast two spells at the same time) , the system in Oblivion seems to consider magic as a support tool (it doesn't take a hand slot , so you might as well equip a weapon in your hands and use it) . however , it has a better spell system than Skyrim (in my opinion) due to spellmaking (which I believe Morrowind also has)
didn't know about magic in Morrowind using two hands , but I haven't seen much about magic in that game (aside from exploits using the flight scrolls and such silliness)
these should cover what I meant , just in much more details
but again , this is just my opinion , and I'm fully aware I'm not well informed about vanilla Morrowind at all , so I'm sorry if I spread misinformation without realizing
More information about combat in Morrowind can be found on UESP.
The combat in Skyrim actually have some depth, because like you said about perks the player can improve either weapons or spell casting by picking the right perks when level up.
Neither Morrowind and Oblivion has perks and both games requires to sleep before level up, unless one are using the Oblivion XP mod.
Yep, both Morrowind and Oblivion pretty much have the same spell making with one important difference and that's the player in Morrowind only have to talk to a NPC to create a spell or two while in Oblivion one must go to the Arcane University (must be a member in the Mage's Guild) or buy a spell(s) from one of the vendors across Cyrodiil.