Is New Vegas crippled by bad writing?

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by John McDonnell, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. John McDonnell

    John McDonnell First time out of the vault

    Mar 10, 2014
    Alright, so as a way of presenting credentials, here is a quick overview of my Fallout history. FO3 was my first game, and it was one I dismissed early on because I thought it would just be another dull grey FPS with all the imagination and inventiveness of walking down a corridor that flashes red every so often. Suffice to say I was very, very wrong and ever since I have been utterly hooked on the game. This addiction meant I actively hunted down lore from FO1 and FO2 (and the other games) to learn more about the world. New Vegas, which was meant to be set in a similar region to the originals, sounded to me like the ultimate Fallout game - all the glory of the original setting with all the modernisation of FO3.

    And yet I am only on my second playthrough of New Vegas, having started it last night. The last time I played it was about three years ago. By contrast, I have lost count of my Fallout 3 plays. So I got to wondering why this was. I mean, for all its instability at launch (and by the Gods it was buggier than an ant farmer's convention held in a flea market) it should, on paper, be an objectively better game than its predecessor. The weapons are better, Hardcore mode exists, the reputation system is an excellent inclusion, the Brotherhood of Steel are toting T-51b (which looks so damn sexy); almost every aspect of Fallout 3 is included and improved upon. And yet I just don't have the urge to play it like I do Fallout 3.

    This nagging doubt started right off the bat when I began my new playthrough. I have just finished (or rather, stopped) another FO3 game so the intro to that is fresh in my mind, and I can't help but feel New Vegas' intro is just terrible. I mean, let's compare the two:

    Fallout 3: You are born. Literally, that's where we begin. Here you pick your name, race and what you'll look like as an adult. Interesting concept... but it also introduces your parents and gives a subtle hint to the events to come; an experienced FO3 player can tell you are clearly in Rivet City, not Vault 101. Brownie points here!
    Next, we skip to your infancy. Here you learn to walk and play with objects. Your limited scope of activities makes sense - you're a toddler. It also has a unique charm to it; how many other games make you an infant to pick how your stats will be distributed when you're a big boy/girl? This also has a point to it that connects to the bigger narrative; here your father recites Revelation 21:6. The game is trying to clue you in to the importance of this passage. It is one of the first interactions you have with your father, and Bethesda want you to see that "I am alpha and omega" refers to the passage itself and its importance at the end of the game.
    As an older kid you get your pip boy, you get to have a little dialog and you learn to shoot. You also get a slice of everyday life in the Vault. This is important because the end of the tutorial is going to turn that upside down. We also get a teenage section where you take your G.O.A.T. and receive your skills. Some might argue it's a little pointless, seeing as you can just reassign the results, but the section also serves as world building and character development; Bethesda want you to understand how life in the vault is.
    Your tutorial finally ends with your father escaping the vault and you going after him. You get your first live combat and free-roam experience, and after you escape you emerge into the blinding sunlight. Your vision returns and a great wasteland is laid out before you, waiting to be explored.
    That moment hooked me into the game instantly. The transition from confined, railroaded Vault to totally limitless sandbox was liberating, and likely intended to feel as such. Fallout 3's tutorial not only teaches you how to play; it sets a narrative in motion and then hits you with an amazing delivery that just screams "prepare to have fun!"

    New Vegas: You are a Courier. You got shot in the head. You're upset about it.
    I don't know what else to say really. I played through the first 3-4 hours of New Vegas again last night and this is all I have to say about the plot. I don't have any idea why I got shot, or who shot me, or who I was before I got shot. I am a "Courier", but I don't know what that means. Am I a postman? Am I a caravan guard? Is "Courier" code for something more sinister? Am I from New Vegas? Am I from the Mojave? All of these questions are left unanswered.
    We are then put through a series of "make your character" moments. These are fair enough, but the personality quiz and inkblot tests are pointless - he even says so right after! It's a time-wasting exercise because he immediately lets you change your selection. In Fallout 3 you had to protest and say you didn't like the G.O.A.T. results for the option to change them; New Vegas just assumes you didn't want it from the get-go.
    And then, because this is a Fallout game, the Doc gives you a Vault Jumpsuit and a Pip-Boy. Here, my suspension of disbelief took a big knock. Does this random doctor do that for every patient? "Here, take two of these pills every day, aspirin when needed, and don't forget to use the new Pip-Boy I gave you to monitor your progress!" This was just dumb. It was lazy, stupid writing. In FO1 and FO3 you are a Vault Dweller - of course you're going to have the jumpsuit and Pip-Boy! From what I remember of FO2 (I've not played it, so correct me if I'm wrong) you are descended from the original game's hero, and his outfit has become a sacred artefact. You take his jumpsuit (and possibly Pip-Boy) because you are the Chosen One, and Chosen Ones wear the outfit of the Chosen One. It makes sense. New Vegas? We're not a Vault Dweller. We're not related to one. We don't even know we've met one before today. We have no connection to the Vaults, yet we get the iconic Vault gear because... well, because it's a Fallout game.
    I can't talk any more on the tutorial because I got sick of it and fled south as fast as possible. I would have gone another direction but the game threw impassable mountains and/or high level monsters to force me to follow a predetermined route through the Mojave.

    So, this is my first big gripe (the second being the aforementioned railroading). New Vegas does not engage the player at the start. It is slow, boring and clunky. But what happens later? Does this narrative pay off? From what I remember, no. FO3's main plot led organically from one event to the next; when you find your Dad he naturally wants you to work with him. When you do that leads to his death and the arrival of the Enclave. There is a natural reason to oppose the Enclave; they murdered your father and now they want you dead as well. I saw no problem in the plot transition the first time through. Fallout 3 tells you your father was working on something big, and the closer you get to him the more details emerge until, when you find him, he wants you to be a part of his work. By the time the Enclave attack, the player is (hopefully) invested in Project Purity and James, and so will be compelled to protect / avenge them from the Enclave.
    In New Vegas, the plot ended when Benny took a .44 magnum round to the skull. The game never updated the narrative; it never gave me any reason to believe this story of revenge was anything more than that. Yet instead of the credits rolling a new plot leaps in from out of the shadows and now I'm suddenly meant to be invested in whatever the hell Mr House is doing? No. Sorry, Obsidian, but that is yet more dumb writing. I came to New Vegas to shoot a man in the face, and I did that. If you wanted me to give a damn about Mr House, then Mr House should have been involved in the game from the get-go.

    So... yeah. That turned into more of a rant than I planned (I guess I really wanted to blow off steam at people who actually like Fallout. :razz:), so I'm going to end on this simple question - am I right? Is this all just me, or do other people see the issues I do; the lazy writing, the railroading and the utter lack of effort with regard to connecting the player to the game's core narrative? Finally, if these problems do exist for you, are they enough of a problem to "demote" New Vegas beneath some / all of its peers?
  2. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Do you mean that New Vegas was crippled by writing, while Fo3 fortunatly avoided any writing ?

    To be fair, i admit that i felt the beginning of Fo3 very promising and organic. Sure, there was tone of cliche, but they managed to subvert some of them, like making Butch a good guy, for instance. But in the end, when you leave vault 101, everything is random. 90% of the locations are dungeon. 10% of the other locations are settlement or quests related. Some of them have connexions with each other. For instance, the ghoul in Underworld are afraid of the Brotherhood of steel, because they are close. But those connexions are pretty rare. Sometimes there are not even explained (every faction is fighting for the Capitol, that is just dirts)

    I also thing that the beginning of the game shown some promises, but once you get outside the Vault, you go from one mess to another.
    I prefer slow-paced beginning with actual pay-off after it, than the opposite.

    In New Vegas, not only, the writters goes great lenght to explain why those factions & locations exist, why they are connecter to each other, and every choice that you make open new narrative path. So, the last thing you can say is that the writting is lazy. Not appealing for you ? Maybe... Lazy ? The Game could be serve as an example of what lazy writting is NOT. Still, it doesn't prevent you from not liking it. It is not even my point.

    Also, you only need to kill Benny if you want to work for Caesar or if Benny himself try to kill you. The first half of the game is precisally yourself trying to collect clues together to find out who you are. You only know that you are a courrier, that got shot in the head by a guy in suit. By the time you dealt with him, you can learn what the courrier's job is, who is the guy in that suit, who are his accomplices, what was your mission in the beginning, and who are the faction that fight each other in that area. (Even House, that doesn't appear until you reach the Strip, has everyone talking about him during your travel)

    Then, you can choose to, follow your intended mission. You were meant to work for House, since the very first minute. You can learn what were Benny's plans and follow those (Yes Man) or give chances to other factions. Not only those are connected with Benny's quest, but by the time you get to Benny, you spend far more time learning about those factions, than learn Benny biography. The only things that you learn about Benny are related to the Mojave and its factions.

    Benny is not the main quests. Benny is the tutorial quest. He (and the seek of memory) just provide you a reason to wander outside Goodsprings, and learn about the Mojave.

    Also, the reasons that NCR/Caesar/House have more chances to recruit you are not only about the outcome of the Mojave, but also who is the highest bidder. who would you trust to make yourself powerfull and swimming in money, power and chicks. (even if you are a female player, which is actually a point agains't caesar playthrough consistency)

    Otherwise, i admit that i don't remember if there is an ingame reason for you to have a pip-boy or if the writters skipped that part.

    PS: The Enclave didn't killed your father. They didn't even killed the father of Fo3 player character. They did kill a scientist although.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
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  3. Censor

    Censor Huh?

    Jan 28, 2013
    No, it is not.
  4. Languorous_Maiar

    Languorous_Maiar A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 25, 2011
    Och no, another Fo3 Fanboy.
    Reason to oppose Enclave?
    Could anyone bring there Tagaziel text about James and his black magic 8-ball?
    Basically "I feel they are bad. I'm going to suicide because I just feel they're bad. Have fun wiping them out."
    vomiting from me...
  5. Emperor

    Emperor Simplesmente Rajuma

    Aug 4, 2013
    New Vegas start tries to give a blank state to the player, so he can create a past/personallity/etc to his character while FO3 do indeed give a blank state with certain situations it locks you at the age of 19, making that grizzly look unreal. New Vegas after Lonesome Road gave some situations to the Courier about his past, but you see only the consequence of it, leaving another blank state to those situations.

    FO3 gives a much bigger railroad than NV, you're forced to work for your father, you have to go trough Little Lamplight, you have to work for Braun,you have to help the BOS,etc Of course you can cut the story line finding Vault 112 but you are pretty much forced after that.

    In NV you can cut to Benny than you find Yes Man, there you can cut to the end by ignoring all the factions( except House which you need to kill to give Yes Man power), I think that's why the ''block monsters' are there, if you manage to get past it you can pretty much ends the game after some hours. (You can do something like this in FO1, the difference is that the super mutants have other ways to be deal with it.) The only thing forced in NV is meeting Benny and kill House if you don't want to work with him.

    About the starting gear, I think it's a shout out to the older ones and a aspect of Doc. Mitchell kindness. I would prefer finding the pipboy than receiving it, but is just me.

    The gripe with the BOS is that the whole split is basically a background information, The Outcast only have one mission and they don't oppose the ''real outcasts''. This and another specs (like the BOS being a vital component in the plot) made new players think that FO3 BOS is the real ones. In another words, they are badly showed and represented in the game.

    Mr.House is already in the story since the beginning. He was the one which hired the player, he was the one who put Victor on the player's tail but you have the choice of joining him or not.

    Just something about the Enclave. The Enclave should be never a join able faction primordially because for what reasons they want you? You are mutant and at better cases, only a temporary tool. Unless your Vault is found by the Enclave, you start already in it or it's a rogue group you should be able to join them.
  6. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 6, 2013
    I personally enjoy the lack of a defined backstory in New Vegas. The idea that my couriers can be different in their histories makes it much more fun than being a child of the vault with very little experience in the wasteland, yet magically being able to thrive in it right after leaving the vault, every. single. time.
  7. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    Oh yeah, sure, I'll read your post. I'll get right to it.

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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  8. John McDonnell

    John McDonnell First time out of the vault

    Mar 10, 2014
    I never had a problem understanding what any of the factions were doing in the Mojave, and it is nice that they aren't black and white moral forces (even Ceasar's Legion could be seen as a force for good in certain areas), but my issue was that, for me, I never saw nor felt the connection to the main plot. The Lone Wanderer gets embroiled in the big plot by his/her father. The Courier... no. Nothing stuck out other than "Oh, you're a conveniently timed arrival! I might as well make you the hero now!" Maybe it will come across better in playthrough #2, but my overriding memory of the NV main story was that it had nothing to do with me.

    I will agree there is a fair bit of railroading in Fallout 3. However, one of the things I really liked was how much of the map is untouched by the main plot and is there purely for your own exploration. I never felt forced to follow a set path by Fallout 3 in terms of general wandering, and you can quite easily skip the first half of the main quest by stumbling into the right part of the map by accident. New Vegas went out of its way to make sure you didn't do that, and that is a strike against it in my opinion. I'm fine with the main quest in both games; I just expect to be able to do my own thing without being hit over the head until I get back to where I'm 'meant' to be going.

    And that's my overriding feeling with New Vegas. With FO3 the main plot was something that would happily sit there until you got back to it. New Vegas just didn't feel that way for me. I'm replaying it now (not right this second, but "now" generally) and it honestly irks me that I am doing the exact same route through that I did the first time, because the game is clearly designed to force me down that path. I miss being able to waltz straight from Vault 101 to the Republic of Dave for no reason other than "because I can".

    Yeah, I can agree that it would get a little... odd to have every Fallout hero a Vault Dweller. The thing is, the lack of backstory in FO3 didn't feel an issue because you didn't need one - you were an ordinary kid with an extra-ordinary (by Vault standards) father. It could be read as you playing yourself. Moreover, the Vault origin explains your general ignorance at the state of the world; I find that far more palatable than "amnesia". Maybe that's just me, but whenever amnesia is required to justify something in the plot I become very, very suspicious.

    Your community's reputation as a warm, welcoming place where people can have discussions about a franchise they enjoy is well known across the internet, and clearly well founded given the helpful, insightful comment you have provided. Truly, I am moved both by your eloquence and the extent to which you were willing to analyse my concerns on a point-for-point basis and offer your own thoughts as to why they did or did not apply as appropriate.
  9. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Emperor >

    I don't think that the Enclave shouldn't be joined in Fallout 3. (need to avoid the murder of that scientist)
    The chosen one is born in the wasteland. He is a mutant. The lone wanderer is born in a vault, free of radiation. He was given the right amount of propaganda since he was born. He gathered some valuable informations about the outside world. The way Eden try to recruit him is ridiculous, but there could be many reasons to make the enclave interested in the lone wanderer.

    About things you need to do, actually killing House or meeting Benny aren't mandatory. If you work for House, you don't have to kill him. If you work for NCR, you don't have to meet Benny. So, actually you only have to leave the doctor's house and fight (or hide) at the Hoover dam at the end.

    Akratus >
    I wish i could check some user IP. Some of them conveniently show up after other stop posting.

    John McDonnel >

    Basically, it seems a matter of
    Focused RPG vs Open-world
    Personnal story vs Being a part of a bigger story

    The RPG & being part of a bigger story were there since the beginning of the franchise, but it doesn't mean it please everyone.

    About the story, as a (team of) writter you have to choose your general theme, and make stories & quests that fit to its theme. So it creates a coherent work of art, that inspires other. So you have to make choices. Those choices couldn't appeal everyone.

    But, about the Open World vs Focus RPG stuff, i think they managed to appeal both kind of fans. For the open-world fans, you could spend a lot of time visiting useless places, while the focused RPG gamers are provided enough reasons to go to these places and avoid useless locations. Personnally, as a focused RPG gamer, i am pissed right now, visiting those useless place, but i know that the next time i will play, i could avoid all this loss of time and enyoy going only in relevant places.
  10. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    Here's the thing John McDonnell, you have your conclusion "New Vegas has bad writing". Your argument is you really like Fallout 3. You then pointed out how Fallout New Vegas is different from Fallout 3. And like I'm sorry but your argument doesn't support your conclusion, like at all. You never talked about the writing in New Vegas. You made zero points. If you want to put forward an argument with a conclusion you need to do better. If you want to have an open ended argument about how Fallout 3 and New Vegas are different, then put forward that without trying to force a conclusion on it.

    Hey guess what? We know what you are doing. You are transparent. You are not the first person to have this dance. You are one of dozens who have heard about the reputation of this board and have come in to white knight Fallout 3. Everyone knows your game. Some people will be willing to engage all your points as faulty as they way be. And other won't be willing and will call you out. And you should consider yourself lucky if anyone does engage with you.

    Bottom line is you have come here with an agenda and no one cares and no one is going to capitulate to your agenda.
  11. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite

    Jul 26, 2003
    As Kilus says, and with due respect, you haven't spoken much to F3 or NV's writing, but rather the strength of their throughlines and your own personal experience with game exploration. If we want to focus solely on the writing, I'm afraid the subject of which game was better is literally not up for plausible argument. I say this not as an old-school grognard-- I rather enjoyed F3 for what it was, and readily recognize the flaws in the originals, even if I prefer them-- but as a man who owns a dictionary. Fallout 3 was a lot of things, but strongly written it was not. I have been a teacher's aid, and I have had to fail high school sophomores for the kind of writing Bethesda deemed adequate for their AAA roleplaying game. I didn't even have to fail many-- most of them knew better.

    New Vegas engages in a bit of de facto railroading at the beginning, and I don't think anyone will disagree with you that the In Media Res opening felt a bit unfocused or that it was a bad move having Doc Mitchell decide to hand you his vault suit and his invaluable, irreplaceable personal computer as parting gifts. F3's beginning, for its own flaws, was much more dynamic and self-contained and really felt like it was thrusting you out into the wasteland. That's really more design than writing, though, and from the moment Doc Mitchell opened his mouth (in fact, from the moment Benny starts speaking in the opening cutscene) New Vegas's writing was leaps and bounds ahead of 3's in characterization, believability, and depth. As to that railroading, they might keep you to the south of the map to start with but they give you plenty to explore down there, and it's not like it takes you any real time at all to get around those mountains. On top of that, once you've got a playthrough's worth of experience under your belt, you've got half a dozen viable ways to circumvent the meatwalls herding you towards Primm and skip straight to Novac, or even Vegas. My own brother decided that was where the action was and went straight there from Goodsprings on his first playthrough, which isn't by any means unprecedented amongst seasoned Fallout 3 veterans.

    As to believability, I can see how some might think The Courier's motivation was lacking compared to the Lone Wanderer's, but even if you're not out for blood (my Courier certainly wasn't) your motivation should be absolutely clear: "I am a courier. I was paid to make a delivery. I have a slip here detailing that delivery, and the fact that I am a courier. Failing to make this delivery will probably have consequences, the very least of which will be an irrecoverable impact to my professional credibility. I should probably recover the chip and finish the job, and I know where the man who took it is headed." Chasing down this macguffin leads you into the convergence of intrigues that is Vegas, where, by association and blind chance, you're caught up in things and eventually end up taking your chance to give the people of New Vegas (your de facto home) what you think is the best future for them, or to make a grab for what you think is best for you. If you feel this is a bit high-flung, deliver the chip to House like a good courier doing a job and then do what merc work you please and ignore the main quest in order to freely explore the wasteland, as you said you wanted to in the first place.

    That all lacks the instant, low-hanging emotional engagement of a father/son bond, but I personally feel it's a lot more clear-cut and believable than the beginnings and motivations set out by Fallout 3. I find that I literally can't break those down without sounding sardonic, and that's not what I want, NMA posters generally being reasonable people who enjoy discussion at length and me not wanting to give you the wrong idea about us so early in your time here. In short, the game's story doesn't gel. It automatically expects that you're going to make your father's motivations and goals your own, and all of them are ill-founded and/or inconsistent. Your enemies behave nonsensically and cartoonishly, none of the key players show any ability to think critically, and rather than bring you to a few watershed moments and give you multiple options in dealing with them (a la New Vegas), the game forces you through a largely pre-determined sequence of locations and setpieces with zero choice or variance in outcome until the very end. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but honestly, there were 90s shooters with better writing and plot design than that.

    Note, also, that it's never actually said that the Courier has amnesia. (S)he doesn't; the game's designers have outright said so and there are various places in the game's dialogues where you get a chance to reference your past. Most of it is simply left open, as the only parts of it pertinent to gameplay were minor events that they play off as unworthy of mention until Ulysses (granted, somewhat clumsily) informs you otherwise and gets you up to speed.

    Gonna have to put on my mod pants now. Akratus's reply was rude, but we don't moderate for that in small doses, just as I wouldn't have said anything if you replied in kind. Smarmy swipes at the community as a whole are a different matter. You seem intelligent and you've mostly been polite, and I'm choosing to treat you as an inexperienced contributor rather than a troll, a courtesy that has been extended you by almost every poster in this thread despite a long and weary history of fending off flyby shit disturbers. Please don't make me regret it.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  12. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    To be fair, the New Vegas writting has flaws like every writting has flaws. There is nothing 100% perfect in that world.
    You could consider some of these flaws as totally gamebreaking pr not appealing to what you think about what a good writting should be.
    And i bet you could find some people agreeing with you on many points.
    Even if not all of us will agree with you, it could be possible and even sane to talk about it.

    If think some of the examples were pretty relevant, like doctor Mitchell stuff.

    But, for other things, there are too many things that contradict it.

    The writting, considering there are many more things, that those things fit together, and that there are more path into the story, you can't say it is lazy.
    About the link between Benny & the main quests, i already talked about what you could see & do in the "looking for Benny/tutorial" section. The role of Benny also fit very well in the setting of Mojave, and the need to change and move on. Even if he is a liar, Benny himself share a lot of interesting though about the future of the Mojave. He is the guy who start the plot by treatening House power and allow you to consider that the Mojave could change. And if he had softened himself a little, he would have more chances to change the Mojave. But he couldn't change himself, so as the Mojave.

    But i agree that, depending of your actions, your RP, or choices of dialogs, it could seems off. But it doesn't mean it is not there, just not the right way for everyone.
  13. Kalasanty11

    Kalasanty11 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 18, 2013
    I see no reason to flame someone who actually comes here to have a discussion. Such attitude makes people avoid NMA, and go to e.g. Bethesda forums instead. Especially that John McDonnell does not behave like Arin Matthews did.

    I don't see NV writing as lazy. Writers actually made serious effort on explaining what and why it happens. Example you provided - Courier doesn't "get the iconic Vault gear because it's a Fallout game", but because it's a gift from Doc - vault dweller, who became town doctor because his vault had been converted into a hotel. But I understand a complaint - there is even a mod that changes Vaut suit into normal cloth. Another example - one Fallout 3 fan wrote that Sierra Madre vending machines don't make sense and there was nothing like that in previous Fallout games. He ignored in-game explanation - those machines were new technology developed in Big MT, that had never got popular before Great War outside Sierra Madre. Example of actual lazy writing - F3 gives you only one way of completing the main quest. Therefore, all characters necessary for it are essential - you can shoot them, slash them or nuke them, they will be only mildly annoyed. That's immersion breaking for me. NV - only two characters are essential, both of them robots, with in-game explanation of being "unkillable". And so on.
    Railroading - I see that as an introduction to a game. After dealing with Benny (or not, as others have explained) you can go explore as much as you want, though this game doesn't focus on exploring. As for high level monsters - there is no almost no level scaling in NV, unlike in F3. It feels unrealistic, that entire gameworld revolves around you. SM overlords conveniently showing after you reached certain level. Well, at least it's not as broken as in Oblivion. NV has more traditional attitude, met in the most (if not all) of classic games - you level up for a reason, to beat enemies that you couldn't beat earlier. It gives the sense of progression.
    "utter lack of effort with regard to connecting the player to the game's core narrative" - I kinda liked being nobody at first, but given the opportunity to turn the scales due to the hard work. I guess it's more of a personal preference though. I liked the way game focused on gameworld more than on a player. In Fallout 3 it felt like only capable person in entire wasteland was your guy. Even 3Dog acknowledged that by having like 90% of his news about your character. Damn stalker :)
    I have never felt lack of motivation. All factions promise you lot of money and/or power for following them. If you are not roleplaying "an egoist" you can simply decide which faction would be better choice for people of Mojave. A lot of reasons and possibilties of completing main quest.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  14. John McDonnell

    John McDonnell First time out of the vault

    Mar 10, 2014
    I had forgotten how much I like ThreeDog in FO3. I don't recall having a similar mechanic in New Vegas, and yeah he does get player-centric, but for me part of the fun of doing quests was discovering how GNR would report on it.

    As I say, I don't remember New Vegas doing that, so that might explain some of why I felt less connection. When ThreeDog routinely tells the world about how I murdered a bunch of murderous Ghouls near Tenpenny Tower as though it was a bad thing (I never understood that quest's Karma reward...), or cheers about how I started the Purifier, I feel a lot more connected to the setting. It feels good to go from a curiosity (a Vault Dweller wandering the wastes) to a full-blown hero (or villain) of the Capital Wasteland.

    And yes, you can obviously do the same thing in New Vegas, but all Bethesda's RPGs I've played have the same problem - the moment you walk out of Town A, everyone mysteriously forgets the fact you just killed a three hundred foot dragon and treats you like dirt again. At least when ThreeDog was telling the Wasteland about how I was rocking around in Power Armour, fighting the Enclave and dealing with troublemakers, it was a little easier to understand why everyone was happy to have me solve their problems.

    Still, I'm hoping my NV game will get me to the city itself tonight. Perhaps then I can view the story arc with fresh eyes.
  15. Kalasanty11

    Kalasanty11 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 18, 2013
    There is at least on instance of such thing in NV, though you are reffered to by Mr New Vegas as "anonymous contractor". I liked that, it's more realistic than 3Dog knowing everything you did, even when nobody was around. NV has reputation system, that IMO is better in showing people that know who you are. There are even some quests available only to those with reputation high enough. Random people are reacting at your sight with proper comments.
    As for people forgetting your deeds - I've read that in F3 (haven't tried it myself) you can slaughter half of the town, return after few days and everyone will forget about your rampage. I wonder if such thing was possible in NV. Anybody here knows?
  16. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I don't recall places that it could happen.

    Most locations are connected by a faction reputation (NCR for MacCarran, for instance) or by its own reputation (Goodsprings for instance).
    Some faction are not forgiving, which means that as soon as there is hostility between you and them, they will ever be.
    Some others can stop shooting you providing you increase your reputation again. But it could be pretty hard as every time you shoot one of them, your reputation goes down again. Personnally i am in troubles with Powder Ganger. I kept saving them agains't legion, but it was not enough for them to forgive me after i had slaughtered them in Goodspring and the prison.
    As the reputation goes down pretty quickly i think you can forget about forgivness after like ten kills.

    Some groups doesn't seems to have a reputation but if you shoot them when they're neutral (Davison/Tabitha's crew for instance), they will shoot you forever.

    Except Yes Man, i don't see anyone forgiving you easily after you've shot them.

    Fallout 3 is the exception of the franchise. It would probably considered as a gamebreaking bug if it was another dev.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  17. TheChosen1

    TheChosen1 Moving Target

    Nov 8, 2012
    Mr New Vegas may not directly talk about you, but he definitely reports the consequences of your actions, the Novac quest comes to mind.
  18. Emperor

    Emperor Simplesmente Rajuma

    Aug 4, 2013
    Mr. New Vegas talks about how you solved the situation in Primm, how a ''a monster'' emerged form Lake mead after the Boomers quest and some other quest. He indeed doesn't talk about you all the time like 3dog, he announces where some trouble might be (He mention Primm situation) and the consequences of your action at the place.

    3dog say that ''this'' is bigger than you, but he only talk about you the whole time. He praise or hate you depending what you do but this doesn't have any consequences. You can blow up Megaton, slay the ghouls at Tempenny and nobody gives two caps about it, 3dog talk a lot about you but the only radio that I remember that was on his station was the one at Megaton. Rivet City doesn't recognize you if you blow up Megaton even after 3dog talking about how you did.

    Your fame in NV may not reach everybody by the radio but by your reputation of every group. For example Caesar list how many things you did to help him or not. (Nelson,Helios One, The Omertas, etc) IRC the NCR ambassador do the same thing with the difference of being another quests. In FO3 the only 3dog and your father do this. Maybe Butch mention the Vault 101 situation but I can't remember that.

    Sometimes I think how long the NMA fame has spread across the fanbases and I'm curious how they see us. Insane people with a lot of nostalgia filter? RPGcodex of Fallout?( I still doesn't know RPGcodex fame, I only heard is like, hell there) Does new players know us?
  19. John McDonnell

    John McDonnell First time out of the vault

    Mar 10, 2014
    So I've been thinking on this again, trying to wrack my brain and work out what it was that made me give up on New Vegas much sooner than Fallout 3. As I said, on paper most everything in NV is better and I do acknowledge that, yet I wanted every FO3 DLC (Zeta was a letdown, but the rest I enjoyed) and have done multiple plays, whereas NV got one play where I save-scrubbed to get all the achievements then walked away. Never felt engaged enough with the game to ever buy a single DLC. I could blame how often the game crashed or generally screwed up in the early days, but FO3 has issues like that and I still put up with it. The narrative content is all I can come back to.

    I noticed a thread on Caesar's Legion and I tend to agree with that - the idea behind them is solid, but the execution is flawed. But that alone can't be enough.

    The only thing I can come up with is that, to me at least, New Vegas is not a post-apocalyptic survival game. Fallout 3 has factions, but they are more like confederations; individual townships allied for a common purpose. Pretty much everyone in FO3 is just trying to survive day to day, and while organised groups exist they feel small scale. Raiders aren't a single, organised group; the slavers, Talon Company, etc. have one base of operations and 1-2 outposts at most, and the good guys don't fare much better. There are no nations, just groups of individuals doing their best to get by.

    New Vegas is all about nations. The NCR and Caesar's Legion aren't trying to survive anymore - they have survived. Their struggle is purely against one another, not against the wasteland itself. They produce their own currency, they have organised and effective government that can apparently get stuff done more efficiently than most modern governments. New Vegas survives not on trade, but tourism.

    All of these things, to me, take the game away from the post-apocalypse category. Yes, it's obvious they are living in the ruins of the USA, but I can go to any major city in Europe and find evidence that it is built on the ruins of a previous nation. Fallout 3 was set in the ruins of the old world; New Vegas is simply set after it.

    I know that might sound like semantics, but exactly how an idea is spun can make a difference. Plus I am not a fan of Wild West as a setting or concept, and combined with the aforementioned issue I do sometimes get the feeling that New Vegas is less Fallout and more Red Dead Redemption.

    And I know someone going to point out that the Fallout setting can't just be isolated pockets of scavengers forever, and that the NCR was around since the beginning in one form or another and this is all a natural, obvious evolution from both the original games and what would likely actually happen in the event of an apocalypse... but it doesn't interest me. Apocalyptical settings appeal to me when society stops at the walls of the town, and the more time I sink into New Vegas the less I get that feeling. Towns fighting off raiders and slavers and super-mutants feel like they're fighting for their survival; towns fighting Caesar's Legion or the NCR feel like they're in a border dispute.

    To quote TvTropes: No Mutants Allowed defines the Unpleasable Fanbase for gamers.
  20. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    Fallout 3 was less civilised than Fallout 1. Fallout 3 is the outlier of the series not Fallout New Vegas. Fallout 1 to 2 to New Vegas is a smooth progression. I would compare that progression to Star Trek TOS to Star Trek TNG to a hypothetical Star Trek TNTNG(DS9 is a good show but is more like a spin off and Fallout 4 would be Voyager in this comparison). I mean the title of this thread is "Is New Vegas crippled by bad writing?" and how can it be bad writing that A logically leads to B which logically leads to C?

    Funny how New Vegas is almost universally loved here. It's like there are a lot of people butthurt that people might not like Fallout 3.