How much should the player be allowed to shape the factions ?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by naossano, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    The phrasing of the question might need to be changed. (english isn't my native language)

    I played FoNV a few years ago and i am currently replaying Fallout 2 for the Xth time.

    It occured to me that in FoNV, you are given much more powers to shape the behavior and the destiny of the factions you meet. You can make them support the legion or the NCR, you can pick their leader (often by removing the previous one), influence their overrall behavior, in ways never done before in the series. It can be satisfying on a fan-service standpoint as you get to see all kind of new opportunities, more fitting to your wishes.

    On the other hand, currently replaying Fo1 and especially Fo2. In those games, you don't really see the factions change in the way you like. Most changes happens much much later and aren't as much dwelved into. On the other hand, your own intervention is quite low key. You are mostly doing some mercenary work for a few specific events and you don't always know how these events will unfold.

    As frustrating it might be to not be able to see medium-term consequences of your action (you have bit of short-term and bit of long term) and not be able to push factions in the directions you want, i think those things make more sense in the context of Fallout 2. You aren't there to solve all the conflicts between entire cities or entire nations. You just do your part in a moment of turmoil in which all those factions already have enough inner conflict and various people pushing into a direction or another. By removing someone, destroying or stealing something, or leaking some informations, you are providing enough strenght to one group or individual to push their faction into a direction they already which to go, and undermine another group or individual by removing some of their assets. It plays out long term because there are some off-screen development that involves other characters. You can play a key role, but it isn't about you. The factions still hold their futures in their hands.

    On the other hand, it often (not always) feel like that in FoNV, it is way to easy to push a factions into the direction you want, no matter the direction, and you sometimes feel like a god wishing to shape the (local part of) the wasteland land to your image, which sometimes can be detrimental to plausibility and becomes less believable. You not only feel that you are the only one pushing things into any direction, also feel that there is little to no resistance to your pushing and that there isn't much going on off-screen. On the other hand, they managed to empower the player in ways never done before.

    Am i the only one feeling those differences ? Do you prefer being given more range in shaping the faction even if it sometime stretch believability ? Or would you rather have more subtle, but more believable involvement ?
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  2. lolpop109

    lolpop109 Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 14, 2016
    To be fair it depends on the faction and other points. For me personally Ref my own work. I like bigger faction to not realy be effect at all by the player in certain ways but memebers of that faction effected if that makes sense. A prime example would be the witcher and the war that is going on. You don't fight in any direct battle however you can still sort of shape the faction and defintly memebers of the faction witch directly going after and killing them.

    I think big change to faction arn't always well written and most game desgin kinda take this aporach. With you having kill certain faction off completely (Fallout 3) for example with no choise in doing so. (You have to kill the encalve ) and have a big battle against them. FO4 i felt was kinda shittty in sence also because you basically wipe out the other factions (Have to) and have to win a 'big battle'. For me that sort of thing comes across pretty chessy tbh. And feels very forced and set. (No real choise in fallout 4). However if games take that route I would atleast like option about the big battle and maybe the option to not fight it at all. I mean fallout 4 would have be alot better if you could chose to destory the botherhood if you chose mintuemen. It was a really cluster fucked endeing that I avoided althougher because yeah I didn't want to do that. Skyrim is another classic example is the civil war. One side (Always your side has to win). That sort of thing by desgin seems quite basic and simplist. While not wrong I just feel games could really example abit more on it. Witcher 3 I fould was also alitle guilty in the big battles where no really dies ( I can live with tha tthough because the big battle wher emore than one and actually made sence). I guess i just really hate the thought of this one big battle idea. That everything in a game movie gears towards this one big battle. NV had choise I will give it that credit but fo3 for the end battle is yeah just do this kill the enclave. I dunno i really just don't like the linear style of it. The witcher 3 uses many big battle and didn't know witch was the big battle so to speak witch was cleaver however you always felt it had to end that way witch in some ways in disappointing but how the actual game ended was great.

    So yeah in my own work I would say I am defo not having a 'big battle' or any sort and will try to have the character not have to much influence on all the factions. However some smaller factions will completely be at tthe PC mercy. But I think big factions should really be able to handel things on their own I really hate feeling like superman all the time. Bringing the PC down the a sort of reality where what they do effect how the story will turn out but can't influence everything at their own free will its a great game design
  3. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    It assuming that you actually have opportunities to shape the factions.
    If there is no way to shape the factions, there is no arguing about how you change them.
  4. lolpop109

    lolpop109 Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 14, 2016
    Yes but I think the opportunities have to be thought out. I mean you can just expected to be the leader of the group or pretty much for just doing a few repeatable go there kill this sort of quests. I mean kinda like in skyrim how you become a thane is good and bad. I mean at time its feels good but in realitly how could you be expected to be thane of al lthe settlements. With some settlements it kind afeels rushed.

    I think also what I mean is that its nice for things to happen and progress in the game with the PC actualing do anything. For an example a civil war battle in skyrim could of happened with out PC being their but other actions would of decitated what happened their. I don't always thing the PC has to be the direct of everything. Making other things apeared to have happen is better for me at least
  5. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    I think it's due to the scope and the scale of each games. Take a look at the West Coast below:
    The conflict surrounding Hoover Dam and New Vegas were roughly contained in that area, and the factions vying for power and position were kind of stuck in an indefinite state of stalemate, so any actions (especially bold ones) would rapidly changes and might even escalate the situation in a rather short time. While the 'conflict' in Fallout 2 were somewhat evenly spread across that big area, between the factions who, while they might be currently growing at the time, where positioned where they were strongest (the NCR in Shady Sands, the Vault 8's dwellers in the Vault City, the 4 Families in New Reno). Compare that to the NCR barely having enough resources to maintain their campaign in the Mojave, Mr. House stuck holding the Strip, and both of them getting spies infiltrating their ranks. Only Caesar's Legion kind of reaching their peak after recovering from their losses after the First Battle of Hoover Dam, but even then one wrong move and everything ends in a way that will not satisfy even the victors.

    Considering the indefinite state of stalemate, any factions would eager to accept an opportunity to turn the tides in their favor, and the Courier happens to be the perfect man/woman/whatever for the job, because no matter their previous background or no matter if they were a former courier, surviving a point-blank shot (or two?) to the head, and then entering the Strip like someone returning from the dead, AND being the first person to enter the mysterious Lucky 38, are more than enough to prove the Courier's capability and ability to change the situation in the Mojave.

    Compare that to the Chosen One's background as a tribal, and the best treatment these factions would provide you is hire you as a mercenary like you said. At most, only one of the Families of New Reno would treat you much better.

    I won't argue with your point of how easy it is to push the Courier's reputation with a faction, but you also have to consider that as the Courier's reputation raise with a faction, it goes down for the other. The peak of this situation is the opposing faction appearing in the map to hunt you down. This is not the case in Fallout 2.
  6. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    My point was less about getting ranks or reputation but directly changing how the faction itself works at its core, especially the smaller factions. Like one faction becoming cannibal or not, another going out or staying hidden etc... You can makes those faction change a lot their behavior, sometime quite easily, sometime too easily. Take the Enclave. With a couple of sentences, you can make them support two extremely different factions. They basically just do as you say. Compare it with Redding. Getting them to pick one of the three main faction involves providing a powerfull asset to the right people who do already support one of those factions. You provide help to someone who already did a lot of work to push for said faction. Your help is only a part of the pushing. On the other hand, you can make the enclave support the legion only because you say so. There is no work involved and nobody else already pushing into that direction.
  7. rockitten

    rockitten It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 22, 2017
    It depends on faction.

    For small and less established factions such as Powder gangs, you would have lots of room to shape it. You take over the gang and you are in control.

    For big, established factions such as NCR, Vault city or BoS, it is more likely they shaped you. NCR is more easy going, but for those very enclosed community like Vault city and BoS, they would kick you out if you failed to "cohere" with their "ideology". And once you joined, you will surely get involved with the business of others, no matter you like it or not.

    Take BoS for example, once you joined, it is almost certain they will send you to the drill "instructor" and give you a "Full metal jacket" styled "orientation". Just to shape you to the chapter, have you aptitude tested and most importantly, to teach you how to work with other brothers. If Veronica got bullied that much just because she is a bit unorthodox, your treatment will be more worse. Three times as good to be just as good will be the norm, and if you are really outstanding (really distinctive service, attractive to chicks or both), congratulations, jealousy alone will makes you aliened with half the chapter.

    In order to stay there, you are more likely ended up "more BoS than the Maxsons". And no matter how good you are, don't expect to become the elder. You are too just new to the team. In fact, most BoS members (probably everyone except Veronica) may never fully accept you as one of their own.

    In my head canon, part of "unofficial duty" of BoS is making new BoS. To prevent incest, the elder will have the final say about who you can marry. So my courier ended up marrying Veronica as BoS is not allowed to marry outsiders and you two seems like a match. The elder utilise your connections with outside (especially the Vegas and NCR) by assigning you two an "eternal assignment" as procurement specialist.

    You joined BoS for their power armor, and ended up running a farm, a brahmin ranch and an enterprise in New vegas for them..........

    That is, until NCR restart their war with BoS and you are forced to pick a side.
  8. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    I'm not sure what faction you meant who had to go out or stay hidden, but in the case of the White Glove Society, their current leader was already leaning toward returning to cannibalism AND already had his plan set in motion. That's why it seemed so easy, because it indeed does only need a little push. Factions like the Great Khans and the Boomers requires you to work for the faction for some time, gaining trusts of various important individual in the factions, and those required quite some effort in the Courier's part.

    The Enclave is but a shadow of it former selves, here. Hell, they're not even moving as THE Enclave. They are the Remnants of the Enclave. They didn't ride that Vertibird, raining hell from above and descended like angels of death while still holding on to the old Enclave value. They were merely there simply to help, based on the Courier's judgment, the faction deemed worthy to hold the Hoover Dam.

    Although, now that you mentioned it, yeah it kind of felt that the quest's conclusion somewhat rushed because it takes only a few sentences to convince them to support the NCR/Legion. There's no debate, no impacting conflict between the Remnants, Arcade, and the Courier, or even among the Remnants themselves. You support the NCR? Talk down Orion Moreno or fight him, done. Support the Legion? Arcade and Cannibal Johnson leave, no questions asked nor words spoken and that's it (even more sucks).
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
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  9. Juza The Cloud

    Juza The Cloud Nanto Goshasei

    Jun 3, 2015
    I would have liked to be able to reestablish the Commonwealth Provisional Authority. To bring the various factions to a meeting and hash out a working government. It would be made up of the various factions working together under the leadership of the Sole Survivor and a council made up of the faction heads and representitives of the major settlements. Mechanically it would be similar to talks between the Stormcloaks and Imperials in Skyrim.

    I had to play a character in typical bethsoft bi polar way to be able to finish the game and have Danse still "human" and have the MM and RR still around.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  10. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    The faction i mentioned as staying hidden or not is the BOS. It was one of the instance of the player dictating the overall behavior of the faction. About making the factions picking your side too easily, the Enclave isn't the only example. Many small factions side with the big faction you want, just because you did some unrelated jobs for them. In end up with them going to war with another faction, supporting another, just because they like you, and not because you helped the person that was more supportive of one faction or another. In some cases, it is justified, like the Khans betraying the legions if they get proofs the legion intended to betray them. But, in many cases, it isn't justified. The game tried to make sure you could put most (small) factions in any situations or sides you want, which is good on paper, but quite often seems rushed in the execution. (too many parameters to handle and a rushed work schedule, i guess. Yet, it feels less plausible at times)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  11. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    You're right, of course. But i feel this is a key point of new vegas: the courier, purely by luck (the platinum chip), becomes a small god that shapes the politics of the mojave in whichever way he or she sees fit. After all, that's what NV is about; not saving the world from a major threat ( like the master and the enclave in FO1 and 2 ) but deciding the future of the mojave.
    So i personally was intrigued by the power that the courier has, even if it did feel a little far fetched at times.
  12. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    Depends really.

    You shouldn't be able to change the core principles, nor suggest your own way, but supporting an already existing branch of the faction(Like helping get a Brotherhood Elder in power) doesn't seem too bad.