Fallout 76 Wastelander add-on released

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Hassknecht, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android A Smooth-Skin

    621
    Jun 7, 2015
    While I am sympathetic to this argument (and I've seen you make it in the past), it seems to be reliant on the assumption that what makes something an RPG is how closely it resembles traditional tabletop RPGs and their reliance on dicerolls, rather then NV's model of skill checks as being hard pass-fails or 3/NV's combat which is only partly reliant on the actual character sheet and much more so on traditional FPS aiming.

    This isn't to say that arguments wrong - after all, RPGs do literally begin with table top and that's the model that was present in most RPG video games prior to the late 2000s, and otherwise we have to actually do the arduous task of defining RPG without reliance on the table top game. Still, I think on some level the preference for the table top model is just that - a preference.
     
  2. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    I've always wondered when people makes this kind of argument. Now, if you're coming from a perspective that player's wits are what started the character's actions, and player's wits ARE player's skills, then yeah I can't deny that point of view. But to simply relegates your arguments to a matter of one's preferences, doesn't that say something to you, about trying to make RPGs where there are no dices to roll, the checks are hard-capped thresholds, and the results are, so far, *always* binary?

    Personally, I'm not entirely against hard-capped thresholds for skill checks. And tbh, I actually haven't yet experienced what it feels like to play tabletop/pen&paper role-playing games. Even then, when it comes to cRPGs, I always prefer dice rolls, because so far the games that implemented them (Fallout and Arcanum) sprinkled the process and the results with a lot of variety, where you have (albeit to a small extent) different degree of results, from success to failures and everything in-between.
    In New Vegas, you either can, or you can't. You either pass the checks, or you don't.
    But in Fallout 1&2, you can, for example, (1) successfully pick a lock with high skill, (2) or fail but you can try again, (3) you failed to pick a lock because of low skill but can still try again later by increasing your skill, (4) or somehow successfully picked that lock because of good luck, (5) or critically fail and jam the lock because of bad luck, regardless of high or low skill, in which case you can (6) use explosives like grenades, molotovs, or dynamites to forcefully open the now jammed locked door. I also vaguely remembered being able to bash open a wooden door with a sledgehammer, so perhaps that's (7)? And then there's special instances like Fallout 1.5 TC mod for Fallout 2 where you can use crowbars to forcefully open a door with high STR.

    See where I'm going with this? It's not only a matter of preference anymore. It's just the reality, that if there's something that's objectively better, even if only in a vacuum, then why would anyone NOT prefer the better one instead? The answer to that question is, indeed, a matter of preference.
     
  3. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android A Smooth-Skin

    621
    Jun 7, 2015
    I'm just not sure that I'm fully convinced that that's objectively better - or to be more specific, I'm not sure that all of those outcomes really do much to make the game more interesting. I think explosives and crowbars makes sense, as it can (in certain scenarios) value characters with high STR, and not lock (heh) everything behind lockpick - of course ultimately there should be scenarios in which lockpick is the best option and some doors can ONLY be opened with lock pick, the above should come with downsides (IE lack of stealthy entrance damage resources inside containers).

    But as to the other options... while I can see the appeal of them on one level, on another I cannot. If the ultimate aim of an RPG is to reward player choice and allow player's choices to impact the world around them... well, then why should certain outcomes be locked by you having bad luck? That's not rewarding player choice, it's just an arbitrary frustrating thing that inherently limits player choice by the roll of the die.
     
  4. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    It is objectively better at least in the context of RPGs. Obviously you wouldn't want to get different degree of results in, say, an action game or a first-person shooter, where RPG mechanics if even present wouldn't truly work on the same level as a full-fledged RPG, but most importantly dice rolls would never exist in other genres unless the devs are some kind of sadists who wants to torture their audience with RNG in an FPS. But dice rolls are inherently better for RPGs, because it's far easier to simulate a system where the results came from our character's skills, and not our own (the player's) actual skills in real life other than one's own wits obviously. And to further accommodate the design decisions pertaining to dice rolls, different degree of results would make things more interesting and obviously makes it less encouraging for players to savescum, which would be far more likely if the results are a binary hard success or fail regardless of the results of the roll.

    You might say the solution to players savescumming would be to place hard-capped threshold skill checks with binary outcomes, which is exactly what New Vegas done. But it makes for far less interesting gameplay experience where you either can or can't. Unless the devs go above and beyond to actually make it interesting by introducing different degree of options to provide different degree of results. I remembered instances where New Vegas gave you different degree of options to deal with the same thing, but unfortunately the results is still you either can or you can't.

    But you answered this it yourself, albeit indirectly. You said that, ultimately, there should be scenarios where lockpicking is the best option and some doors can *ONLY* be opened with lockpick. When it comes to such scenarios, don't you think having low skill at the time not at all dissimilar to having bad luck? What about if the lock can be brute-forced with high STR, and even be destroyed with explosives, but not only you have low lockpicking skill, you also have low STR *AND* ran out of explosives? You know what this means? It means choices and consequences, in a more genuine manner. Not only you chose a low STR char, but also didn't invest in lockpicking skill AND you used up your explosives few hours prior, means you need to be prepared for a situation where you would need those explosives to do some tasks like dealing with that one locked door, and be unable to do so. Too bad, either you live with your failures and go somewhere else (quest fail), or you go back and find some explosives to clear the task and possibly waste your time and resources. You might point out what if it's a quest which locked you completely in a situation where you can't progress whatever you do other than to reload, then that's not the fault of the system but the fault is in content and pacing design.

    When you chose to play a character who excelled at a certain set of skills, you ought to be prepared to accept there would be situations where your character can't do anything because it's the situation your character is just unprepared for. And this is what separates RPGs from the rest of the game genres. The weaknesses of your character build it as much of importance as the strength of what they're actually capable of. Some, or rather a lot of people, actually perceive their characters inability to deal with certain situations, all the while after they chose their character to excel at certain other things, as some form of punishment or that they aren't being rewarded for their choice. But the reality is they didn't actually want to play a certain character build archetype and actually look for things their character can do, and more like they just want to play however they want and do whatever they want, regardless of the system and, more importantly, regardless of how the content is designed and paced by the devs. You want to play a character with low LCK stat? Then be prepared to experience situations where not only Lady Luck not only ignores you, but also smiles upon your enemies. Even then, in Fallout you can bruteforce through your bad luck by having as high skill as possible to tilt the odds in your favor, and if you still get bad results, so what? Man up, live with your own failures and accept that certain things are just out of your (character's) reach.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  5. mef

    mef Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    490
    Dec 29, 2014
    I think that's okay. Fallout 2 had some instances like that, e.g. with enough luck, you could "hack" a terminal in San Francisco by slamming your hand on the keyboard
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  6. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    I don't remember this one.

    Where is it? I want to do it in my next FO2 playthrough. :dance:
     
  7. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Yeah, I'm curious too. As far as I know there are no immediately apparent LCK checks in either Fallout 1&2.... or was it? Could it be?? Skill checks aren't tagged, after all :crazy:
     
  8. AlphaPromethean

    AlphaPromethean Atomic Wrangler

    Mar 16, 2013
    As for the Luck check thing, I actually think the examples from 76 look fine. The reactor one maybe a bit too far, but Luck 8 to give a machine a good kick to get it working again is actually quite funny and a good utilization of the stat.