Minor factions are what make or breaks role-playing experience in any franchise, and here's why

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by The Man From Nowhere, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2017
    I don't often see this brought up but there is something crucial to role-playing which is blatantly missing from Fallout 3 & 4, and I consider it the reason they come off as generic and shallow in terms of role-playing to so many people. So I created this thread to incite discussion on it.

    There are no minor factions in Bethesda Fallout's. None.

    Children of Atom? Oasis? The Andale Cannibals? They have no impact over anything in the large scale, and you have no options to do multiple quests for each of them. The "minor factions" are just towns. This is why the ending slides for these installments are short, shallow, and vague, there's nothing really to cover besides the main groups. The only DLC that seemed to get the idea and went about it decently was Far Harbor, in which there are multiple factions interacting with one-another, and you get to decide who gets to stay and who doesn't, and after all that, bring The Institute or The BoS in to clean up.

    In Vegas, there's the Khans, the Boomers, the Fiends, Powder Gangers, separate divisions within the NCR. Oh, and don't forget the tribals who got cleaned up and run casinos on the strip. And the Van Graffs. And the Gun Runners. And the Crimson Caravan. The Brotherhood is around too. Power struggles are visible and frequent. You are involved and deciding the fate of each of these groups, and engaging in quests which improve or destroy relationships between these smaller groups and the larger groups.

    In Fallout 4 this is even more apparent than in 3. There are the three major factions and... Diamond City. The Atom Cats are a fucking shop with a few lines of dialogue and that's it. All the rest of the Wasteland besides Goodneighbor are either generic settlers or hostiles, whether they are raiders, the Gunners, or Children of Atom alike.

    Imagine if all that existed in Fallout one were Vault 13 and the Master and his followers, the rest being generic settlers or hostiles. Or if New Vegas only had Mr. House, NCR, and Legion and that's it. It'd play much more like Fallout 3 or 4 and end with just a few generic slides. It is the minor factions that are taken for granted, which in the end, make an RPG worth playing a dozen times.

    I often hear Fallout 4 compared to Mass effect in terms of the dialogue wheel and voice acting, but in Mass Effect, there are multiple groups and civilizations to interact with. Imagine if all that existed in the Mass Effect universe were Humans and Reapers and no minor and distinguishable alien species with their own inter-galactic conflicts. That's what Fallout 3 is like.

    Then once they brought in the settlement system, all these semi-interesting settlements with named characters they did create (Republic of Dave, Arefu), etc. they just started to say fuck it, so here's some raiders to kill and throw a workbench in that bitch and let the player finish it.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 6
  2. LuciusCorneliusSulla

    LuciusCorneliusSulla First time out of the vault

    Sep 23, 2018
    That's pretty eye opening. I never would have noticed it until you pointed it out despite experiencing the effects of having no real minor factions.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  3. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Fossil

    Apr 7, 2017
    The minor factions in New Vegas gave the world more flavor and even if some of them just had a minor influence on something else, they still felt like an actual faction. Most of the factions in the Bethesda Fallouts feel more like clubs than actual factions.
  4. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Good observation. I never really put the dots together on that one, but I have often wondered what Fo3 would be if its minor factions were more developed. That and setting it earlier in the timeline with all the requisite originality that would incur (no BoS, Enclave, or supermutants ffs), is what I tend to think about most in terms of fixing it.
  5. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    There are barely any faction in Fo3 either...
  6. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2017
    In Fallout 4 you can join three separate major factions. That seems like it's a big deal on the surface when they say "you can decide between these major players", but it's really not.

    The reason New Vegas can be played over and over a dozen times is because you can decide to be with the NCR once again, and still role play a completely different character with different motives and experiences with all the other minor groups.

    This time you could not blow up BoS bunker and become a member, or convince the Khans they have no legacy, or turn the Vault 19 gangers to the NCR. You could even turn Cass over to the Van Graffs this time, and incite The White Gloves to go back to cannibalism. So even within the same faction, there can be a completely different experience. You could have someone siding with these factions with completely different karma and motives.

    The only true factions with semi-fleshed out ideas and insights into the world Bethesda has brought to the series is The Railroad, The Institute, The Minutemen, and debatably the Children of Atom (because of Far Harbor). That's literally it.