Even though they are becoming increasingly common, expansion packs for role-playing games don’t generally offer a rewarding experience for anyone other than the most devoted fans of the original game. By the end of a role-playing game, your character has typically developed great abilities and explored vast territories in order to dispatch a nigh invincible foe in an epic confrontation. Most RPGs offer sufficient closure in this regard, so expansion packs often end up diluting the original experience by tacking on a few anticlimactic quests and offering several new absurdly powerful magic items that unbalance the gameplay. The Elder Scrolls: Tribunal avoids most of these problems by offering an experience that is both sufficiently novel and interesting and yet also integrates well into the Elder Scrolls setting.
Recently, RPG developers have become more adept at making worthwhile expansion packs. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction improved the graphics of the original game, offered new and diverse characters, and concluded the main plot of the series. Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal was even more satisfying, since it offered a lengthy plot that logically concluded that series of games. Those expansion packs were so successful because they sensibly expanded upon and resolved the plots of the original games, while previous RPG expansions had just tossed in a few extra quests that didn’t necessarily resolve the main series’ plot. Tribunal, on the other hand, makes a compromise by letting you explore its areas either before or after resolving Morrowind’s main plot. Since Tribunal’s plot ties in well with the lore revealed in the original game, it’s a design approach that works reasonably well, even though a direct continuation of Morrowind’s main plot would probably have been more satisfying.