How to make Fallout 3 have a good story?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Sn1p3r187, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Sn1p3r187

    Sn1p3r187 Carolinian Shaolin Monk

    Apr 7, 2014
    Throw me some ideas here. How would you redo the story of Fallout 3 to at least make it make some sense?
  2. Eshanas

    Eshanas Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jul 6, 2016
    Washington, District of Columbia: the Capital Wasteland, they call it. Before the war, it was a land of extremes: corrupt and powerful senators, who could impeach the President on a whim, sat in the pristine halls of the Capitol, surrounded by the monuments and public works of their 300 year old nation, ringed by the modern offices and mansions of the lobbyists, their corporations, and their masters. Great military installations, modernized and efficient, guarded this jewel. But heaped around it was massive overgrowth, infill, and poverty. As the population of the United States of America exploded, then stalled under the myriad of chaos and filth of the pre-war global malaise, entire neighborhoods would become abandoned, or fall under the sway of local gangs. National Guardsmen, Army-men, and even Marines could garner experience in DC, as well as many other urban coastal megalopolises and sprawls. Congressmen would hire private security and take armed caravans to and fro from their gated suburban fortresses.

    Even the great enemies of the USA - the communist Chinese - could wiggle in and nest in sight of the monuments of Jefferson and Washington and Lincoln.

    But all of that would be blasted away on October 23rd, 2077. On that day, the war flattened most of the city and burnt the rest. Massive air bursts toppled the Washington Monument into the ground, disintegrated the grand dome of the Capitol into dust. The Pentagon's parking lot was greatly expanded.

    Millions were dead within minutes.

    Not all died, of course. A few thousand - mostly the rich and powerful who brought their way in or outright cheated the supposedly random allotment - took shelter in deep, underground vaults. Many vaults were free from the social experiments of the Enclave, most were 'control' vaults, eg, as advertised. Some would decay into anarchy as few took up the vital work. Others would, invigorated by the war, preserve and prosper by a kindled flame of civic duty, love of their fellow, and yearn for the world they took advantage of and threw to the wind.

    Not all was destroyed, either. As the capital of the world's hyperpower, its very subway tunnels were designed to survive all but the most direct and impactful attacks. Every agency and every mansion held shelters, strongrooms, repositories. Some turned into crypts or catacombs as their inhabitants died - or were killed - off. Others would stand as silent testimony to the riches and power of a greedy, decadent nation. Others still would serve as homes and bastions for new communities.

    It has been a hundred years since the war. The nation would had been four hundred and a year old. Most survive from meal to meal. Others simmer in their underground hovels. And a few now burst out, to reforge the nation - or to take what they see as rightfully theirs.

    You are a resident of the Capital Wasteland, either from one such vault or community. It is a time of war, destruction, and darkness. You can bring peace, restoration, and light to this blasted, bloody land, or you can reap from it and drink your fill. The choice lies on you, wastelander.


    I would make it a more immersive FPSRPG, straight from the beginning. You can choose if you were born in a peaceful vault, a militant vault, a survivalist community. Those are also the three main factions: one vault which wants to rebuild the Capital Wasteland and make it into a stable, nice place, a new Republic. The other wants to bring it under its boot and heel, ostensibly for the same purpose but just for itself - or even just for its leaders. The third simply wishes to survive, though to do so it must side with one or the other - or take them both down, to shake off the old world and their idealistic goals.

    The Capital Wasteland wouldn't be a Hollywood version of DC. It's blasted. There's no grand dome to fight a behemoth in. There's no Pentagon to dabble with a big robot. There's no Washington Monument to climb. It's a myriad of blasted circular fields, with a myriad of tunnels, bunkers, and ruins - literal ruins, barely one or two stories high - to fight over. It's all overgrown as well, but trenches and works and felled fields can abound. At the edge, and beyond the city, there are settlements and buildings, sure, with their own minor factions and goodies, such as USMilitary remnants, Communists, counter-culture communes, cults, crazies, and coots, which you could bring into the fold or push aside or ignore. Or you could even say 'screw this' and get enough supplies for you to leave in a short storyline, hell.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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  3. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    off the top of my head

    • powerhouse faction with origins in the national guard. their main goal is to take down this crime syndicate.
    • the crime syndicate, to differentiate it from new reno, has to fly under the radar. Gizmo, the mordinos, etc were criminals in a time when it was really easy to do so. assuming my fo3 is also set in 2277 I'd imagine the local law would be much harder to avoid than it would be in 2161.
    • more prosperous vaults. vault 8 can't be the only vault city out there.
    • maybe some of the vault cities have learned about the vault expirements and despise anything with origins in the government. as a result the vault cities govern themselves as opposed to pledging loyalty with our national guard faction as other settlements have.
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  4. Millim

    Millim The Big Straight Orderite

    Oct 13, 2010
    Cut out the father/child bullshit.
    Make the PC a slave.
    First part of the game is to escape the Slave Camp.

    Make the Enclave a faction who was already in DC, they keep sending people West as a joke.

    Make Enclave a joinable faction.
  5. AlphaSlayerZX

    AlphaSlayerZX Deadpan

    Oct 12, 2016
    Just make the game be about the Pitt instead. It's much more interesting.
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  6. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    I've thought about it for a while actually. Even if you improved small things here and there, the main story could never be good in it's original form. The writers of bethesda view the world of fallout as an allegory. So the wasteland is presented as the usa, the enclave as a more sinister version of the republicans, and project purity as a charity project ( maybe helping some people but not changing much in the long run ) .

    The main antagonists of the game, the enclave, want to conquer the capital wasteland because reasons, and they must be stopped ( james even commits suicide hold them off ) because they're apparently bad, even though there is no other government in the wasteland and how the enclave making a dictatorship ( by making project purity work ) would be much worse is anyone's guess.

    That the people of the wastes must for some reason defend bethesda's capitalist perception of freedom when they are living in a nuclear wasteland by scavenging pre-war food feels so out of context it's honestly quite retarded. So much than even bethesda seems to realize this and the actual residents of the capital wasteland don't act like they care much about the brotherhood and the enclave. And because the whole game is based on this conflict it simply cannot be fixed without changing its whole plot .

    So, to begin with, the enclave should have a reason for invading the capital wasteland and the inhabitants of the wasteland should have a reason to resist this invasion, and in both cases i can't think of any. It would have to be redone completely.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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  7. mithrap

    mithrap Ring a ding-ding, baby

    May 17, 2016
    Agreed. The redeeming quality of Fallout 3, in my opinion. Just the mention of Ronto, apparently another industrial power, is enough to suggest life beyond the immediate surrounding, and create a world that feels alive and real, rather than a playfield centered around the player.

    I hear you. In the given context, the Enclave is actually the best thing that could happen to the Capital Wasteland, considering their complete lack of evil plans, their military power that would be capable of dealing with the super mutants threat and their technological abilities that would improve everyone's life, starting with the water purifier. They can do in weeks what the brotherhood failed to do for decades. Yet, we have to fight them because their general is a bit rude, and authority means evil, I guess.
    Another thing that would need complete rewrite : in the current game, super mutants have been in DC for two freaking centuries, and never, never managed to expand their territory beyond a few streets of a destroyed city. That is a big problem. Could be solved by making the game happen after the fall of a super mutant Republic, crushed by the brotherhood. People would remember the times under the rule of the super mutants, and that would have been very interesting. Because some human communities would regret these old times, for many reasons to explore. Some would imitate their old masters, by painting their bodies, basically warboys, super mutants wannabees. Concept for a gang of raiders, and a logical reason why vault 111 was so reluctant at the idea of opening its door for so long.
    Finally, if water is a problem, don't make Megaton capable of producing clean water while away from any river or lake, because it means that it has the capacity of draining pure water from the earth. Which means that, er... every shanty town can provide water to its inhabitants, as long as it rains. Which makes the water purifier utterly useless.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  8. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    Actually, you're right. If you're gonna make project purity the main quest, make the absence of water the main theme of the game. Make the brotherhood-enclave war a war over water! It's the solution to many problems of the plot and it seems obvious if you think about it. Make everyone dying of thirst, including the lone wanderer, and have settlements start wars over drops of water. There's the answer to OP's question. Wow

    ( the fact that megaton has a water purifier kinda like the one your dad is making is so stupid it blows my mind! )
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  9. mithrap

    mithrap Ring a ding-ding, baby

    May 17, 2016
    That's even worse than that... If it was "just" a purifier, one could argue that it's a bad one, and people could use a more industrial, long lasting one or something. But this is where James goes full retard, and bear with me : this is a machine that pumps water from the ground and boils it. Simple as that, since there's no river passing by Megaton. This is not some lost, precious tech, or something hard to reproduce or anything, this is the kind of technology we have known how to build for centuries. And unless Megaton knows how to remove radiation from ground water (which they don't. If they did, the entire world of Fallout 3 would simply not exist, for obvious reasons), then it means that ground water is clean. As clean as it can be, minus some dirt and the usual shit that can be treated with a little boiling.

    Which means that everyone who can build a freaking well or a pump can access free, clean water. Nobody needs James, which makes the conflict utterly devoid of sense, and the sacrifice useless. And don't even get me started on the fact that a 200 years old robot can produce gallons of water each day using local moisture and condensators, and nobody thought about using this technology on a greater scale. Fallout 3 citizen couldn't even make a campfire if their lives depended on it, no wonder why they still need to loot 200 years old food to survive. If Caesar saw that, he wouldn't even assimilate them...
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  10. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    And as I quote The Master, "I doubt even the FEV will help you."
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  11. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    Great idea for raiders BTW.

    But really don't think water should be a problem. The only reason it was in 1/2 is because those games take place in a desert. I mean... What is the fucking water cycle irradiated too?
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  12. DarthVenis

    DarthVenis First time out of the vault

    Jan 8, 2017
    You're absolutely right, one of the main game flaws is a complete abscence of rain, or anything dropping from the sky apart from alien blasters and shotgunned yao-guai:-) Besides, isn't the water from the rain much easier to clean? I mean, who knows what can irradiate the ground water, but it's unmowable. Hovewer, a rain cloud may easily come from a different region, where the water is cleaner, and so will be tha rain, if the cloud absorbed some water from that region. Actually, the nature itself is quite capable of restoring the whole ecosystem completely, to its cleanest prehistorical state within 200 years for sure. Well, maybe 300, considering how many bombs were dropped, but if anyone has watched a film "world without humans", if I remember the name correctly, they would agree.
    Thus, the whole world, the plot, the conflict, the setting and even the reason for a protagonist to actually do anything is kinda made up hastily, without thinking, on the run, oh wtf fans wil drool anyway, so why bother? The way of Bethesda, as it is...The only thing which prevents me from erasing F3 from computer once and for all, is keeping in mind that it's just a game, it's Fallout-like, and that we waited for it for soooo long...

    New Vegas seems to be MUCH more logical and athmospheric, it's a shame they weren't the ones who made Fallout 4...

    Anyway, there is nothing that can make Fallout 3 story better, as it was fucked up from the beginning, completely. Only a complete re-doing, but that would be a completely different game...Fallout 5, perhaps? I hope so...
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  13. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Nov 26, 2007
    Total conversion/ total re-write; or :( in the very least, account for the NPC inconsistencies ~like Fawkes being immune to radiation, and yet obstinate in the ending.
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  14. Charwo

    Charwo Still Mildly Glowing

    Mar 9, 2017
    I think you guys are overthinking it. What needs to be done is changing the scope of ofJame's vision: in this version of things drinking water isn't the problem, because generating enough drinking water through earth filtering makes it so. No the problem is that nuclear plants further upstream on the Potomac were hit in 2077 and melted down like Chernobyl, irradiating everything downstream. Project Purity isn't about providing drinking water, it's about using nano bonders or something to remove the radiation from the Potomac right before it hits the Anacostia, thereby saving communities downstream from realistic radiation terrors: leukemia and lymphoma in their children. To make the water they use for crops safe to grow in, and also kill off those things which are capable of absorbing radiation to supplement their diets, like feral Ghouls and mirelurks.

    Then set up very clear dichotomies within Lyon's Brotherhood between those inspired by Lyons and those reluctantly following orders and show how all the new recruits are used as disposable cannon fodder and marginalized in the Brotherhood's rank system so only the 'true born' have any influence or power. Also, make the Enclave a much grayer faction, being ostensibly more evil than Lyons but reformable to be a better alternative with enough speech checks and politics.
  15. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Iirc, that thing about changing the scope of James's vision has already been discussed (loooooooooong before I even began lurking in here, as in I dig some really old posts and found those kind of discussion). In addition to that, change the year from 200 years after the Great War to something ranging from 20-50 years after.

    And remove the BoS and replace them with remnants of the National Guard or something. Maybe even remove the Enclave (which would require scrapping or tweaking the canon about E-DE in New Vegas and Lonesome Road).
  16. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Nov 26, 2007
    Remnants of the cult of S-Mart; survivalist descendants of the retail and shipping arms of the pre-war mega-popular discount super-stores. With surviving locations each being veritable fortresses ~now, with built in greenhouses and walk-in freezers, cheap clothes, pharmaceuticals, and guns in the sporting department.

    (They had their own vaults, and the whole of the S-Mart empire left at their disposal; and have been eating jerky, powdered eggs, and MREs for centuries, with an endless supply of filtered water; and some untapped gasoline reserves.)
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  17. Mutant Screg

    Mutant Screg Totally not a mutant

    Jun 27, 2015
    I'm of the belief that Fallout 3 cannot be fixed, at least not without changing it so radically that it isn't remotely recognizable as being the same game. Too many retcons and inconsistencies throughout to fix anything just by changing up the story.
  18. RavagersPre

    RavagersPre First time out of the vault

    Nov 15, 2015
    Completely rewrite it, bring in some new original idea's instead of lazily fusing fallout 1 and 2's story together. Make it about something completely unique to fallout no enclave, no B.O.S, no super mutants etc. Maybe make it about the remnants of DC or something.
  19. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Basically, I agree with the people here. Those who hate it will never be satisfied and those of us who love it will just roll the eyes at the obsessive loathing so many people have for it. HOWEVER, if I was FORCED to re-write the game to try to make it so the fanboys didn't hate it, here's what I'd do. Note, I don't necessarily think these things make it a better game but it would be designed to attack the common criticisms of the game.

    C.T. Phipps' Fallout: Capital Wasteland

    1. The game takes place 200 years after the fall of the nuclear bombs but there's been a radioactive cloud over the region until the past 50 years. As such, the area is actually newly colonized by the majority of the inhabitants who have wandered in from the rest of the country. That's why nothing else has been built in the past couple of centuries. There's allusions to big wars going on between various city-states along the East Coast.

    2. You are still from Vault 101 but James and you are actually Vault dwellers along with the other scientists. Project: Purity was an idea to use the Vault's G.E.C.K.S to cause the entire region to bloom and rebuild the area. James' escape is based around him stealing Vault 101's GECKs and shooting the guard to do it--making him a somewhat more morally ambiguous figure.

    3. The Brotherhood of Steel is in the region but they're the MWBoS with Elder Lyons being a left-learning member of an already left-leaning branch. He's gotten himself into a war with the War Mutants because he has the belief they can conquer the region and build an Arthurian empire for the betterment of all. There's a quest where if you do an investigation, you find Elder Lyons has early-onset dementia and you can replace him with his daughter or Outcast Hardin (who will then take the MBoS chapter back to Chicago after the game).

    4. The War Mutants are a Vault-Tec creation which are not Super Mutants but still fairly close. They weren't created with FEV but experiments with cybernetics, radiation, and New Plague. If you have the right gifts and bribes, you can go visit them, though in their vault and find out they want to continue their race but Elder Lyons has been waging a war of genocide on them. They're still scumbags but they're scumbags who have been targetted by the BOS because they're monsters.

    5. Instead of the Enclave, there is the New Sons of Freedom which is an army based in Raven's Rock descended from theUnited States military like the BoS. The New Sons of Freedom are the people responsible for the fifty-year-cloud and want to protect their home from outsiders. John Henry Eden lowered it because he wants to rebuild America and actually is the person who assisted James in the past. In this version, Colonel Autumn wants to corrupt the Purifier to more make the surface unihabitable so they can continue living underground.

    This eliminates the plot hole about why James is willing to die to keep the Enclave from having it.

    6. There's five tribes of Raiders spread throughout the region and each of them has their own culture and you can approach their lands with sufficient bribes to get in, Paradise Falls being one of them. The other three are a tribe of ghouls (Roy is their leader), Evergreen Mills, Tenpenny Towers, and Talon Company. Talon Company, notably, used to work for a larger community but was driven out into the Capital Wasteland because of their greed.

    There's no people sending mercs after you for good or bad karma.

    7. Little Lamplight exists but it's a far far darker scenario as the place is inhabited by a bunch of child ghouls who were a group of survivors that mostly was killed off by the radiation. They have a peace treaty with the War Mutants and you can use them to make an arrangement to get into their Vault.

    8. We get some backstory like the fact Paradise Falls is selling its slaves up north to another faction.

    9. Deal with some of the inconsistencies. Crops grown in-universe. Megaton uses its nuclear bomb to power its water-purifier and electricity but it can still be re-armed. Make the towns a bit larger even if it not too much larger. New Vegas level if possible.

    10. Enemy placement wise, you'll encounter Brotherhood Outcasts over technology-covered areas where you'll have to kill them or sneak past them to get objectives done. You can also sometimes get past random encounters with Raiders by paying them off or intimidating them into backing off.

    11. Ending slides.

    In short, my opinion is 90% of people's problems are the fact there's re-used factions and little story justification or explanation for elements.

    The remaining 10% is 8% lack of peaceful options other than combat and 2% Little Lamplight.
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
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  20. CourierFour

    CourierFour First time out of the vault

    May 21, 2017
    How to make Fallout 3 good story-wise? Oh boy.. there's a lot that needs fixing for it to meld with a fully-developed adult mind so this can go two ways: 1) rip out Good Guy Emil's storywork and replace most of the dialogue or 2) completely overhaul Emil's storywork and still replace most of the dialogue.

    For scenario 1) here's my premise: 50 years after the bombs, the Capital Wasteland is in chaos. You come from a vault of sorts that was designed to provide assistance to the surviving populace after the radiation had mostly cleared, but ironically your vault is reaching it's peak for sustainability and therefore you need to find resources to keep your people alive and able to thrive... or not. You can help or sabotage communities in the wasteland to benefit you and/or your people. You will need to find sources of water, food and nuclear fuel, and optionally scraps of tech to provide improvements to your and the communities of your choosing's operational capabilities. Eventually you uncover a plot by the remnants of the Chinese military from before the Great War to invade the American homeland after successfully devastating the American population and any resistance, theoretically. You can rally the communities you've helped, if any, with the optional assistance of the recently emerged survivors and descendants of the US government out of the Pentagon to stop the imminent invasion of the Red Chinese. You can fully assault (with Liberty Prime) or infiltrate their emerged super carrier/super submarine ship off the coast of Maryland to destroy them and their plan... or not. You can side with the Reds and help them in their invasion of the Capital Wasteland and bring communism to the USA and glory to the Chairman! If you follow the Good Karma path and the 'murica path this will lead to the reformation of the USA in D.C. with your vault at the heart of it and you being elected President if you choose.

    Your actions will affect the status of these communities, outcome of the main storyline and your efficiency and any companions, characters and optional questlines you've involved yourself in.

    For scenario 2): 200 years after the bombs, your vault is one of the last to get the all-clear signal. Prepping to exit the vault you and your people anticipate the world restored and the new-American people awaiting your inclusion, only it isn't. The Capital is still a wasteland, and in an effort to find out what happened your vault elects a scout to uncover the mystery as to why the capital still looks like a wasteland after two centuries. You travel the wasteland from community to community where you can improve or devastate the lives of the surviving inhabitants as you study the various mutations that have occurred from the phenomena. This eventually leads you to a great facility from before the war, a general purification complex for complete and total regulation of the ecozone's environment. Unfortunately instead of benefiting the wasteland it is keeping it from recovering and actually making it worse. This was done deliberately by the mysterious cult called the Children of Atom and after confronting them they capture and hold you as a prisoner. They discover your significance as a human being of pure, uncontaminated stock and see this as blasphemous, so they torture you for information of your origin and corrupt you in their experiments using a compound (virus?) originally purposed with regulating the D.C. habitat. You can manage to escape not long after being injected with the compound, if you don't join with the Children, and try to warn your people, but it is too late. They've been taken by the Children with the information you let slip, and you can now save them by rallying the communities you've helped, if any, and optionally enlist the emergent remnants of the Enclave against the evil cult to save your people before they are corrupted/killed and restore the recovery of the Wasteland. If you save your people, by the time you are ready to head back to the Vault, you are showing visible signs of mutation, and it is said by the Overseer that you would eventually contaminate the rest of the Vault populace... so you're a hero, and you have to leave.

    Again, your actions will affect the status of these communities, outcome of the main storyline and your efficiency and any companions, characters and optional questlines you've involved yourself in.

    Hopefully i was able to write summaries better than Bethesda, and feel free to do something with these if they hold merit. If not, at least i tried..
    Last edited: May 21, 2017