Megamod feedback - I'm mortified at the sexism

Discussion in 'Fallout General Modding' started by lujo, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    Ok, people, seriously. The idea is great, the work must've been immense, so much stuff is refreshing and great, BUT...

    What is with the immense, jarring and mind-blowing sexism? Really?

    Let me describe what the megamod experience is like to somebody who, for whatever reason, pressed the "female" button during character creation:

    1) Right off the bat a musclebound fathead runs up to you and yells at you: "WTF IS A WOMAN DOING TRYING TO PLAY THIS GAME!".

    2) Then you have 5-6 dialogue options, 4 of which amount to "Sorry master, can you please take me back to the kitchen?", but pretty much whatever you do you end up conceding that you need a muclebound fathead to help you with the tutorial level. And the guide sayes it's mandatory only for female chosen ones, while the male ones can say "they don't feel like it" O.O I've maybe played the game (in any incarnation) as a guy once in over a dozen playthroughs - I'm equally bored to tears with the Temple of trials! So I'm supposed to stare at a gay porn model for the entire game if I want to skip it?

    3) At this point,

    a) if you are in fact a woman, you've uninstalled the mod, reinstalled either the vanilla or the restoration patch and enjoyed a sexism free experience of a wonderful RPG where you can actually play a woman and have an epically good time.

    b) if you are not a woman, but a guy who doesn't want to have a muclebound fathead stuck on his screen miserably failing to represent his speech/lockpick/outdorsman crafty nerdy diplomat and you've chosen to play as a woman because of this (as always), you get both stuck with a different musclebound fathed NPC playing the game for you anyway, and get progressively more inclined to go outside, find a feminst and tell her you are sorry you're a guy. Being a guy, I've never had a chance to experience what's it like to be treated like complete garbabge just because of your sex, but you could teach seminars in universities with the current Arroyo as a showcase what all the feminist fuss IS about (the fact that someone went and created it that way out of his own free will, even though he/she had all the freedom in the world to do whatever - someone went out of his way to torture/insult/drive away anyone trying to play a female).

    4) THEN, after getting saddled with a hypercompetent NPC on the grounds of being a woman (guys can apparently skip the boring tutorial all togather, according to the guide), you get the first quest from the village elder - (WHO IS A WOMAN! THE TRIBE WASN'T MENT TO BE FULL OF SEXIST IDIOTS! This sickening experience was someone's idea of IMPROVING the original experience! :shock: ). And then you have to pick a path:

    a) But you can't be a hunter - because you're a woman!
    b) You can't be a warrior - because you're a woman!
    c) The only person who doesn't sneer at the thought of you trying to play the game at all is the shaman, who'll accept you as a shaman apprentice - EVEN THOUGH HE IS A GUY!

    5) And after experiencing contempt at every turn from Arroyo, a village supposedly cut of from the 50's inspired world, you are supposed to go out and save the village. Why? There is no reason not to burn it to the ground, call the enclave with the coordinates and lead the vertibird napalm assault - you should get positive karma for that! A fluffer in new reno get better treatment and more respect than a female chosen one in the megamod Arroyo. And this outlook is endemic to Arroyo! In other places, only complete and obvious asshats treat you like that! Arroyo is the most contemptible place on the map for a female! Give yourself power armor through a save game editor, and a minigun, and go through dialogues - and tell me you didn't spontaneously massacre half the village... In new reno, mob bosses make you an elite liutenant! Enclave girls ride vertibrids! Modoc women keep Deathclaws in place of chickens! In Arroyo - women aren't supposed to play the game at all even if they're the Chosen One...

    EDIT: 7) And when you reach Cameron in the temple, who questions you on the Fallout lore (not a big fan of that solution) - he openly states that there is no reason a woman can't be the chosen one (because, doooh, it's fallout 2, being able to play a girl was a selling point of that game)! Except every shirtless well toned macho male homosexual in the village up to that point and past that point just radiates abuse and condescension - for no good reason! What in the world were all the "GO TO THE KITCHEN YOU AREN'T MENT TO PLAY THE GAME AS A GIRL!" with "STAY BACK WOMAN LET MAN HANDLE IT FOR YOU!" bullshit for then?

    And there is no upside - if you like caricaturaly muscled guys in blue pajamas prancing around your screen and thus pick a guy at the start - you get none of this mortifying bullshit. And if the bullshit wasn't there - nothing would be missing - you'd still enjoy the quests and the lore and tie ins...

    I mean, when I first herd that you could change models in the restoration patch, the first thing that came to mind was that I could finaly have a different girl running around the screen for once - but balls, 3 different guys - only the default girl. Then I try megamod - and dear god... I mean, you could call my "I play a girl because I enjoy looking at their caritures more then the male ones" outlook hypocritical - but it's bloody harmles, and I'm just a straight guy! This is ridiculous and nauseating. There's no way to show it to my girlfriend - she'd rightfully call me a freak for endorsing it.

    Please, for the love of god, change it. Just change the bloody dialogues in Arroyo. Everything else is fine... The game had plenty of sleaze as it is, but this is just mindblowing. (And before anyone starts debating that this is feminsit bullshit - it's not, girls and gay people CAN get thier kicks if they pick a male chosen one! Anyone playing a female one (pressed the wrong button, is a hetero male, doesn't need empowerment fantasies in his gaming to enjoy it) gets abuse and contempt shouted at him from frame 1).



    TL/DR - The dialogues in the changed Arroyo are some of the most mind-blowingly mortifying an unccesessary sexism I've seen in my life. It's insulting on any possible level, contradictory to the original, the RP and most of the rest of the megamod, kills the story and is accompanied by equaly insulting mechanic restrictions/mandates. Please, change it for the love of god.
     
  2. Dude101

    Dude101 Vault Fossil
    Modder

    Aug 3, 2005
    The Arroyo part of the mod was a translation from a Russian mod. I've seen some very questionable content in some mods over the years, but hey I'm just glad we have something to be offended by and enjoy. Not everyone in the world shares the same norms and values.

    The mod making reference to you playing the game breaks the immersion, so that should definitely be edited as it is not the player character being exposed to sexism but the player her/himself. I can't agree with that.

    If you wish to edit the text and release non-demeaning text patch it is easy enough. The Arroyo text starts with the prefix AC in the game\dialog folder. Editing the scripts to allow female hunters etc would require some more skill, but if you release a text patch it would provide a nice base for someone else to finish the work.

    http://falloutmods.wikia.com/wiki/MSG_File_Format
     
  3. MIB88

    MIB88 So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Modder

    Feb 22, 2005
    BLUF: I don't plan on changing anything except typos/grammar.

    Thanks for posting this lujo. Without it, I would not have played through that scene a number of times and discovered that there are a few typos and grammatical errors I need to fix in the characters' text.

    You are free to believe what you want about the level of sexism in the game/mod/Arroyo/scene. I don't plan on spending any of my time on it other than to point out:

    1. If you are going to put quotes, that makes it seem like the quote is in the dialog. Nope. Dude101 has nothing to worry about.

    2) You have a number of dialog options and choices which don't lead to the character helping you.

    3) Male characters cannot skip the tutorial. You said you got that from one of the guides, huh? I'd like to know which one. And, if I'm not mistaken, hunters and warriors are the same thing as far as Arroyo is concerned.

    The rest of your rant: I truly don't care about. Not enough to get me riled up even a little bit.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  4. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    Ty for the reply - I'm sorry I got carried away but the volume of mysoginy is both unexpected and makes the choice a player makes at character creation translate into a very different experience in a fundamentaly unfair way. For no good reason at all.

    There's a mechanical problem at the bottom of all I've said - the player is supposed to be motivated to save and help the village, and the way that's achieved is by having everybody in the village treat you relatively nicely (or with reverence). One way in which the game points "bad guys" out pretty consistently is by having them be either pro slavery, racist or sexist. The only people of real importance in the game who treat you like the current villagers do are the Mordino's - and they are complete monsters. The way it is now most male characters in Arroyo have pretty much the Mordino outlook, but only for female chosen ones.

    This breaks immersion because the village any chosen one is supposed to care about is simply not the same village for guys and for girls - and there's no reason to like those people as a girl.

    I would be the same if you had a choice between a black and a white skinned chosen one and if you picked the black guy you got "A black guy trying to pass the test!?" be the first thing you read and have the option: "Sorry, let me just get back to the cotton field, massa [cries in shame]" as a reply. Bad taste + coflict completely unsupported by the rest of the game. Why would that guy be interested in helping the village out? Even more so once you venture out in the world and you only get that kind of treatment from obvious sleebags.

    I mean, there COULD be a tribe in the fallout world which treats women that way, but that tribe wouldn't be getting any help from a female chosen one.

    Anyway, the guide is http://falloutmods.wikia.com/wiki/Megamod_Guide, it might be out of date by now.

    And thanks for the tip, I'll be working on those dialogues, because the rest is great, and I'm thankful for there being nice fan made content, but all the mysoginy is harmful to the experience, unneccessary and really breaks one of the fundamental ways the game characterises humanoids as well as builds up the default motivation for the main quest.



    And as for not having anything to worry about:

    Male: {202}{}{Greetings, Chosen One!}
    Female: {654}{}{What are you doing here, WOMAN!???}

    (notice that the questionmarks outnumber the exclamation points - the very idea that someone would try to play fallout as a woman is just stupefying...)

    Male:

    {204}{}{Ug... [moronic grin]}
    {206}{}{Hullo-o-ohh! [your mouth breaks into an idiotic smile]}
    {208}{}{Heya Klint! Whatcha doin' here?}
    {210}{}{Hi, Klint. Could you pass the Temple of Trials instead of me? I'm not in very good shape and you've got nothing to do anyway... [smile politely]}
    {212}{}{Good day, Klint. May I ask you a question?}
    {214}{}{I gotta get back to the village...}

    Female:

    {656}{}{Oh...[boggle]}
    {658}{}{I wanna pee-pee.}
    {660}{}{I dunno...I didn't mean to...[cry]}
    {662}{}{I'm lost!}
    {664}{}{Where am I?}
    {666}{}{Let me into the Temple Klint!}
    {668}{}{I'm here to pass the Trial!}
    {670}{}{I'm off to the village, Klint. You...wanna walk me?}
    {672}{}{Don't you shout at me Klint! Better tell me...}
    {674}{}{Klint, I can never go through with this... [cry] I'm wounded all over, and it hurts... Escort me through the Temple, it's dark and scary there!}
    {676}{}{There! [try to stop the blood loss] You help!}

    (See, the guy is ALWAYS there to play fallout, except he might not feel like going through the temple - the women is more likely to be lost because she turned on the computer as she is to be intent on playing fallout...)

    {700}{}{Yes, but alas, all this is only for men.}
    {708}{}{These women are always causing problems!}
    {726}{}{A woman cannot enter the Temple. Many warriors have died there, and I won't be forgiven for letting a woman die attempting the Trial.}

    {754}{}{Of course! You're sure to die there on your own. Why don't I go with you instead!}
    (woman is sure to die in there even if str 10 and tagged unarmed, but the guy gets shouted at for not being MAN ENOUGH!)

    {808}{}{With such muscles you're strong as a horse! Go to the Temple and show me what it is to be a real WOMAN!}
    (I guess this is supposed to be seduction)

    Thats just Klint. -.-

    The chief warrior can beat you up at some point and send you off to "the women to clean their wounds"... When rumors start spredding its "the women talking so much their tongues will come off and keep rattling" and so on and so forth... Whatever values you have, mr. modmaker, no women would be busting her ass to bail you out of any situation if you think they should take this kind of crap while the guys get praise for being well toned.... You're more likely to get a kick in the crotch to a cheering applause -.-



    Please, can someone point me to the file I have to edit to edit the dialogue triggers properly and not just the content, so I can add a line for a str 6+ woman to punch the moron (klint) in the face as a reply in conversation and then ask him wherever did he get that attitude, and would he speak like that in front of the village elder -.-
     
  5. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    Given how an average female is significantly physically weaker than an average male, I can understand where the mod author was coming from.

    Temple of Trials is a "physical" test after all.

    However this doesn't work well in a game where a stat of 7 is a stat of 7, supposedly unaffected by gender modifiers.

    Fallout kind of assumes that a woman with strength 7 is the same as a man of strength 7, and the player expects that.
     
  6. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    Given that he treats ANY women like that still makes him a complete dickbag. Give yourself power armor and a minigun and go through that dialogue and just look at it... Even the Mordino's give you a job if you are STR 6+.

    A character with STR 7 IS as character with STR 7. Man, woman, ghoul, mutant, robot... Doesn't matter. No suppositions, not kind of assumes - it's a core rule. Anyone bringing gender/race into it is doing it at his own risk, and it's a strong sign that that character is a (potentialy suidical) asshole.

    And yes, he is there to help any character with the physical part - ofc, but being abusive about it to just females is terrible mechanicaly. Not to mention they aren't just abusive because of that - there's a whole bunch of random mysiginy in the dialogue/floats and the whole Arroyo society seems to be macho and mysoginist to the point where it's in actual contrast to most of the bloody wasteland...

    Mechanic - a guy has no reason to tell Klint to shove off and die, a girl's response to to his greeting is "shove off and die" even before he offers help. Guy get greeted to the game with a cheer, girls get greeted with an insult. And if you do the natural thing and tell him to go die in a fire - no help for you, unless you accept that you need help because you're a woman regardless of what kind of woman your character is.

    I mean, the game offers 3 premade character one of which is a woman. Any noob who picks the woman (who is also the diplomats choice because the other 2 characters are not diplomats and she is) is gettign greeted with insults. Why was the option even there if the first line of dialogue is going to be pretty much:

    OMG A WOMAN! GTFO!

    What, the developers put it in a as a joke?

    Moderation, people - the current dialogue options has none whatsoever when it comes to this. Can I please get a pointer to where and how dialogues can be edited in a more profound way than just changing the lines?

    And TBH - just having the same dialogue for men and women with a possible seduction line for women would solve this as far as Klint goes easily.


    And !!! - If you pick a guy, Klint stay where he is and you can talk to him whenever you want! Only if you pick a woman does he run after you and you get the "OMG WOMAN" line! That's totaly insane! The guy gets talked to as the chosen one, any guy, and any woman gets run after and shouted at! Jesus... I can't edit this through dialogue only!
     
  7. Panzerkampfwagen

    Panzerkampfwagen First time out of the vault

    65
    Feb 15, 2010
    oh yeah, it's from old New Vision/New Year mod, one of my personal all-time favourite F2 mods. :P

    I can understand your point of view lujo, but in my opinion, makers of this mod (TeamX) tried to show social devolution in post-apoc remote and savage neo-tribal shitholes like Arroyo where woman are treated like in nowadays savage and remote tribes in Africa or somewhere - nothing more like a tool to reproduce.
    But yeah, it could be pretty offensive, but it's just a convention for me.
     
  8. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    Right - except it doesn't work if you're supposed to be helping those guys, which is the main quest. The only reason to do it in the original game is precisely BECAUSE Arroyo is NOT such a shithole. There's no alternative endings, but with the way things are once enclave kidnaps those guys, the sane answer is - fuck them! You don't know everyone's going to die untill you get there, and there is 0 reason to go there for a woman.

    It's sets up the game to be about getting as far as you can from Arroyo, not help those guys. In the original - that's not just any shithole tribe, it's a tribe started by the vault dweller who was an overall nice guy, and it's special and sheltered from the way mroe corrupt outside world. That's about the only thing it's special for - they're naive and not corrupted. And the way things are now it's like picking a woman means you're playing a totaly different game, except a wholly unpleasant one.

    It's one of the worst places in the wasteland now (as long as you're not a guy!). Any other repulsive place (some say Vault City, some New Reno, I guess some don't like NCR) - you can choose what you think of them and wheter you will help/harm them. With Arroyo you're supposed to see them as great! Except they're terrible!
     
  9. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I pretty much agree. The dialog parts are hilarious bad. Also I agree that players should be threatened the same, based on stats and skill and not gender, except if it might fit to the npc to be a douchebag.

    It kinda says a lot about the guy who made that mod. :>
     
  10. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    If only Sly Fox / Jordan behaved this way "because he is from another tribe" you'd have very legit reasons to suspect him as the one spreading rumors about you. He couldn't stand the thought a woman was the chosen one - he spread the rumors - he's the bad guy, would make sense.
     
  11. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
    Modder

    736
    Mar 17, 2013
    The writing is indeed incredibly bad, but I have to admit that I'm even slightly in favor of this type of generally "mysoginistic" approach, than the one the core game takes.

    This doesn't even have anything to do with the physical disparities shihonage talks about: a woman with the exact same abilities as a man should have a considerably more difficult time in the Fallout universe. The idea of a single, young female making her way through the wasteland, taking enforcement contract from mobsters and slavers along the way is just ridiculous.

    Of course I understand why they took this route: making playing as a female like a quasi-hard mode in a similar way to playing a "stupid" character would have been highly controversial. Additionally it could have taken them in directions they wouldn't want to go, such as sexual violence, which for obvious reasons plays a role in a lot of the pop culture Fallout draws from. So, instead they went with the "easy" route of just making them more or less identical and with a few ridiculous (and, I would argue, far more mysoginistic) prostitution options thrown in for "adult" laughs.
     
  12. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    Yes, except noone picks a woman for the hard mode, and it's not labeled as "hard mode". There's plenty of hardcore mysoginy outside of Arroyo which you can react to - I'm not complaining about it at all. It's actually pretty well done, as far as obvious pandering goes.

    But Klint is there to help you with the temple of trials - you're supposed to refuse him on "I wanna do the test myself grounds" not "he's spectacularly mysoginist" grounds. Having a guy run up to you and try to run you off from the intro level on the grounds of being a woman defeats the purpose of being able to choose a woman. He might as well rape you there and then to "teach you a lesson" - he could too because of his stats. Would be pretty realistic, and with the run up he's almost half-way there anyway...

    And yes, it's less realistic, but it's a necessary concession. It's a game after all, a story, and having Arroyo be as corrupt and awful (or even MORE awful) than the rest of the world simply doesn't work. It's not ment to be a game where you're forced into a position of a feminist fighting for the right to speak at all, you're supposed to be helping your village that you're fond of survive - at least as far as the main quest is concerned.
     
  13. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    @Jim: Well, this is what you expect from a post apocalyptic setting, but that doesn't make it the rule to live by. Fallout also isn't making any difference between skin colors. Everyone is equal in that regard, which I like a lot. The wasteland is harsh, yet it improved in certain areas.
     
  14. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    You're also running around in a vault jumpsuit and noone ever asks you whether you're from Vault City even if you look like almost every male IN vault city. Even in New Reno and NCR where people have had dealings with them. If they don't know about it - then you're the strangest sight they've seen in their lives, but noone ever sayes anything. They recognize you as a tribal and you look nothing like a tribal (really, for obvious mechanical reasons the player model is never found among tribals as far as I know - visually "tribal" is the least likely thing anyone'd associate with the chosen one).

    You also know how to read and write (how?) from the get go, you know how to speak as if you haven't spent your life in a sheltered canyon - there's a million of these things which are far more illogical.

    Forcing the one "realistic" thing which is actually unpleasant to the player on these grounds is wrong. Female wasn't meant to be hard mode. There's gun toting females in random encounters that can kick your ass (even tribal ones), the game makes it pretty clear it's an equal opportunity world. And if Arroyo isn't like that then Wasteland > Arroyo and there's really no reason to do the main quest.
     
  15. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
    Modder

    736
    Mar 17, 2013
    I wouldn't know, have never played the Megamod, I was just reacting to the more general points made by shihonage and Lexx.

    I wouldn't know why any issues related to skin color would become more pronounced in a post-apoc setting, I definitely don't remember seeing that in any of the relevant pop culture, which was my point to begin with. Plus, there is of course plenty of racism present in Fallout 2, only against mutants etc.

    The problem with the way they deal with misogyny isn't even primarily due to inconsistency with the pop culture, but with the universe itself: I'm to believe that Metzger, who's written as a total misogynistic asshole, is going to offer me the same jobs as a man, and additionally give me an insane (was it 1500 dollar?) discount for freeing Vic, in exchange for something he should in any reasonable interpretation be capable of taking for free?

    Again, I'm not arguing that they should have gone this route, but it just makes playing as a female character feel much less convincing than playing as a male character, which is why I never did it.
     
  16. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    But as you can see at the initial post, it isn't making people what I would call "feeling unpleasant" and I can totally understand that. It's badly written and annoying, nothing more. Also, reasons for why this is stupid and senseless in Arroyo, were given already as well.
     
  17. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
    Modder

    736
    Mar 17, 2013
    Again, I'm responding to the general point you were making. Might be better suited for the general fallout forum, but MIB88 has already said that he's not going to change it, so I think it's reasonable to have this discussion.
     
  18. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    I was refferring to the cartoonish misoginy present in the main game. I'm ok with it on "Fair and obvious pandering" grounds even though I'm not a fan of some solutions.

    It's the Pratchett: "it's hard to have the black and white fighting when they can gang up on the green" thing. But if there were any RL racism situation you could get involved with because you chose a different skin at character creation, and have it take place on the first screen of the game (while being avoidable by choosing a different skin) - it would be supreme bad taste.

    It's a reality check trade off you have to make - because if you choose the second premade character you still get narg's model. On the other hand if you pick the male for main quest relevant convinience you're stuck with him on the screen all the time and you're the exact same person. So I have choice of playing a convincing gorilla (and unconvincing anything else) and a woman in the world loaded with female mercenaries/slavers/gangsters/canibals - I always went with the woman because the world gave plenty of reason to believe a woman can get respect and kill you dead, and never any reason to believe that a character with str 4 looks like narg with a haircut.




    EDIT: And I'd change it in an instant if someone explained where I could download the tools which would let me edit dialogues in a way which would allow me to get the same behaivior from Klint for both guys and girls. And add a few pointers.
     
  19. Oppen

    Oppen FIXT n°1 fan

    Dec 26, 2011
    IMO, the wasteland is really suitable to avoid this kind of situations. Why? Because being able to survive is proof enough you are a mighty one. Even when one might not like the other because of prejudices, they wouldn't probably underrate them. Only the Enclave might be an exception, because they didn't suffer the real problems of the wasteland, they are not wastelanders, and there's no triumph intrinsic to their survival: they had tech and a shelter. Everyone else, even people who don't like people who is different to them, understands surviving takes at the very least some kind of skill, so I don't think any wastelander would assume that one is inferior because of gender or race, because they already managed to survive.
     
  20. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    And Metzger gives a fair chance to a female gang leader - kill the other guy and you can guard my stuff. You even help out. He's an irredemable horrible person (because hes a slaver and a mysoginist), but he's bloody well aware that there's women who can do tough jobs...

    The Arroyo guys (most notably Klint) actually don't believe the second part while being just as mysoginist, and to them the main quest is less important than the hunt (because of the terribly written dialogue). I could dig the lines up:

    - Are you going hunting?
    - No.
    - Pfah! Nothing is more important than the hunt!
    (a player who's playing a non-melee, non-gorilla and is on a quest of vital importance to the survival of the village stares in disbelief)
    - Women! What do they know....
    (Player goes very far away from fucktard village, time to help the fucktard village runs out, game ends - because you were supposed to care about them more than anything else)

    It's just the dialogues - as long as everybody in that village isn't insanely grateful and in awe of the person who is risking his/her ass to save them from certain extinction the story of that game makes no bloody sense.