Moments: Becoming A Wasteland Warrior In Fallout 3

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    I was writing a very long post but I was somewhat straying from the subject (and going into already-discussed territories) so I'm just gonna limit myself by saying that I'm not sure I understand what you're implying there. Of course if you take out the Fallout elements it doesn't really look like Fallout. Or is there something else you're referring to? E.g. the lack of the traditional isometric gameplay of the series?
     
  2. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    If there's one thing Bethesda does right, it's their art design. Sure there's a stupid green filter, some ugly weapons (laser rifle) but there is a real 50's retro sci-fi imprint in the world.
     
  3. DustyTraveller

    DustyTraveller First time out of the vault

    38
    Feb 13, 2008
    But I don't remember Fallout 1/2 being that full of 50's feeling as FO3. Sure some of the tech may have been inspired by the designs used in the 50's but most of the Fo1/2 tech felt more like something from the early 70's. The surviving mainframes/computers were either some forgotten military (ie older/more durable) installation or something very durable.
     
  4. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    The problem is the level-scaling. As I recall your damage and the damage of enemies is scaled based on level, as well as the enemy types themselves and the weapons they wield. In the first Fallout if you pumped everything into Small Guns early on, you could be a crack shot at level 3-4, which honestly I don't have a problem with considering you will be deficient in everything else. The game also rewards min-maxing quite a bit and has high skill checks fairly early on, so it's clear the game was balanced for this.

    Fallout 3 meanwhile basically keeps the exact same difficulty throughout, save maybe for Deathclaws (thought they are easy to manage once you learn how). In fact, the things most affected by the leveling system in that game were probably the locks and computers.

    I will take 5 minutes with the very well-written, well-acted Doc Mitchell and tromping around Goodsprings to get some early XP and loot under my belt over 30 minutes of forced Vault 101 tutorials featuring cringe-inducing dialogue and 100% linear level design. The only "downside" of New Vegas' opening is that it doesn't have melodramatic Emotional Engagement(TM) or explosions and death everywhere.

    EDIT: Vault 101. I said Vault 101. I swear!
     
  5. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    I agree that the Vault 101 (not 13!! you should be banned because of that) sequence is pretty bad, especially on replays, but I still think it accomplishes a couple of interesting goals (though I wish they were accomplished with a better written, better paced and more easily replayable starting sequence):

    1) It does a great job at reestablishing some fundamentals of the Fallout setting for a new audience and puts the player and the player character in a similar situation, in terms of knowledge of the world (the game will forget about this immediately after the beginning sequence and suddenly your PC will know about ghouls, raiders, and all the dangers of the wastes.. or will be hilariously unaware, depending on the writer that was working on the dialogue I suppose);
    2) It showcases more or less all of the gameplay mechanics, giving you a rough idea of whether you'll want to play with this build or change it.. New Vegas arguably does this too, but split a lot of the side stuff in locations such as the school in Goodsprings, which on one hand is good because it's less heavy-handed, but on the other hand is very easy to miss;
    3) It offers you a couple of choices with later ramifications early on.. arguably extremely minor ones (they only tie with other sidequests), but they're there;
    4) It sets the tone for the rest of the game extremely well, down to the bad writing ( :P ) and ties into the main story, whereas New Vegas' tutorial is basically completely separate from the rest of the game.. I appreciate that it's easy to skip, but it also means that it will (and it has) bore a lot of players to tears;
    5) After the game is done teaching you how to play it, it basically leaves you on your own. There's some foreshadowing on the locations you might want to visit on a terminal near the end of the tutorial (which also offers some clues that maybe not everything is as it looks in Vault 101);

    That's more or less what I think Fallout 3's beginning did well, especially when taken in a broader audience context (compared to No Mutants Allowed, at least).

    New Vegas' beginning sequence, on the other hand, feels like it was designed with hardcore players and people coming from Fallout 3 in mind, and while you could argue that the second category makes up the bulk of the player base, I'm still not sure if that was the right call.
    But even keeping accessibility aside, I think the problems with New Vegas' beginning location is that it feels like.. a side quest hub. There isn't a lot of stuff that will come back later in the plot, it doesn't really do a good job at setting the tone of the game (though arguably it does a good job at immediately telling a returning player some of the most notable differences with the Capital Wasteland) and, while the tutorial portion and first quests are easy to skip, it more or less sets you on rails in terms of plot progression, since very few players will be able to overcome the challenges in I-15 without prior knowledge of the game.

    Arguably, though, if I had to make one single complaint about Goodsprings it would be that, for a starting game location, it's kind of boring.

    P.S. : I think there are a few things that New Vegas' starting sequence does better than Fallout 3, like familiarizing you with skill usage in dialogue, and teaching you how to use stealth, and I'm grateful of the fact that I'm given the chance to skip it quickly. I just think it's kind of a faux pas when you consider that it was meant to be an "AAA" title that caters to the widest audience possible (and a lot of the design makes it obvious that, while it's a deeper, and arguably better title than Fallout 3, it's still very much meant to cater to the same crowd, and not suddenly go back to the niche audience of the first two Fallouts).
     
  6. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Oh, I think it does all of that quite well. I'm not saying Bethesda are horrible designers or anything (at least with respect to presenting narrative stuff and guiding players through world design, when they put their minds to it). My point was that the entire sequence is unskippable, extremely heavy-handed, overly long, and basically only ever needs to be shown once. Even so, I think that the "flashing through time" thing starting with your birth is really just a cheap gimmick. It could have actually been a cool way to introduce some sort of interesting narrative element, like flashing back to your childhood later in the game to re-live events that shed light onto your dad's true motives (!!1) but instead they leave it at that: a gimmick.

    That is basically exactly what they meant to do. Additionally, Obsidian are confident enough in players to let them figure stuff out for themselves. What are Vaults? Who are the NCR? What are Super Mutants? It doesn't shove it in your face and make you sit through a 30 minute sequence to learn that... you pick it up by actually playing the game. Granted, you do get to "play" the intro to Fallout 3, but as I said the linearity of the sequence coupled with the fact you have to play it every single time you start a new game makes it far less effective.

    Disagreed here. Goodsprings its the quintessential First Town, right down to the different NPC archetypes, tutorial-style quests (which are handled fairly well) and attention to detail that later parts of the game will occasionally lack (you can tell they spent a good deal of time on the location compared to others). It also sets the frontier, "wild west" tone for the game quite well and gives you hooks into the narrative's important elements through gameplay and conversation: Victor the robot, the NCR, House, Vegas, etc. A few hours later it introduces the main villain (earlier than any other Fallout game).

    And? What's wrong with guided exploration within an open world? The game has to have some threats you can't immediately tackle and some places you can't immediately go, at least if you want to preserve a sense of progression in gameplay and narrative. Yes, a few players complained about the invisible walls (I never even encountered them unless I really, really tried to find them), but I think you are exaggerating how "on rails" the early section really is.

    I dunno about boring. It's thematically very different from everything in Fallout 3. I also don't like games that give you their coolest, best stuff right at the beginning. The cornerstone of RPGs is strong progression in narrative and mechanics, and you need humble origins of a sort to put the rest of the world in perspective.

    I disagree with this. I think that the majority of decisions Obsidian made to differentiate New Vegas from Fallout 3 were things that have very little to do with appealing to the mainstream. Complex crafting systems, deeper skill system with more perks and attributes that matter more, more mechanics governing weapons and armor, rich non-combat options, heavy focus on exploration and dialogue vs. Fallout 3's combat emphasis in most locations, etc. They basically changed everything they possibly could without altering the core gameplay and completely alienating the first game's audience.
     
  7. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    I'm not sure Obsidian had any consideration for appealing to fans of Fallout 3. They had to use the same (shitty) engine, which guaranteed a similar feel on a certain level. Plus, I don't think Bethesda gave them free reign to change the core mechanics of the game (such as eliminating or heavily modifying VATS), even if they wanted to.
     
  8. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    As I pointed out already, I agree with the rest you said, so I'm just going to quote the relevant bit. And yeah, I agree, but that's more a problem with how Bethesda handled storytelling in the rest of the game rather than the starting sequence.

    I'm not 100% sure if they really felt confident that the player would get it (considering the intro basically explains the factions and the conflict in detail, and goes expository in a way that no other Fallout intro has) as much as felt that it was redundant because people already played Fallout 3.

    I'd argue that the fact that pretty much every story hook except Victor is set through conversation is *not so good*. It's telling instead of showing at its worst, and in many ways it felt heavy-handed. "Is there anything interesting going on in the wasteland?" "Oh yeah! Let me talk to you about the main conflict!" Fallout 1 used dialogue to foreshadow things, but direct encounters to introduce those elements. The super mutants? You don't *hear* about a conflict, you see them in Necropolis. The wasteland? You experience it. Same for pretty much every other element. Even Fallout 3 foreshadows its main stuff a lot more subtly and without resorting to drab dialogue topics (which I still enjoyed because Obsidian generally ranges from decent to very very good with dialogue), what with the Enclave eyebots, the way Megaton and its surroundings are laid out, etc. Sometimes they did it badly (the heavy-handed "alpha and omega" bible bit in the intro) but it was all there. Now.. is the plot good? Lol, no. But that stuff was done well, whereas New Vegas just kinda.. leaves you in a town that has no immediate connection with the main conflict. Maybe that's the rhythm Obsidian wanted to give the world, though, I don't know. Admittedly, some of that stuff might have been difficult to do in Goodsprings, but that's one of the reasons I felt New Vegas' beginning could have introduced this stuff better.

    I think beef gates, high-level zones, etc. are all fine, and I think Piranha Bytes are masters of using these devices to craft worlds that are: 1) highly explorable; 2) challenging; 3) have a clear progression; 4) reward players that master the systems with stuff like early loot, shortcuts, etc.

    I don't really feel New Vegas did any of that or that setting you on the road to Primm was even *necessary*. There was a chance to visit New Vegas earlier I suppose, but the tradeoff would have been getting a lot less experience, Freeside was full of thugs that could have been reasonably challegining for a low-level player, and it would take most PCs a while to get into the Strip. Then again, I wouldn't have many problems with that beef gate if the middle section of the map was a bit more walkable. I'd point to Old World Blues as an example of guided exploration done right in this engine by the way. A lot of secrets and locations you could find at your pace, a bunch of rooms locked by force fields, etc.

    Well, boring is obviously always subjective to a degree. I don't think they needed necessarily something "majestic" or "magniloquent", I would be perfectly fine if the player feels small at the beginning, but it just seems counterproductive to me to not give them much of a reason to care about the location.

    To be honest, I felt like a lot of that is not only an expansion of Fallout 3, but also a thing Obsidian was kind of a natural fit for, given the short development cycle and the necessity to make the game distinct compared to Fallout 3. Did they always try to cater to the wide market with their decision? Obviously not. Did they try to make the game inviting enough so that people could be eased into at least trying that stuff and ignore it (J.E. Sawyer more or less stated it was a design goal for the multiple ammo variants system) if they wanted to? Yeah, that's what it looks like to me. I really wouldn't be surprised to know that, if they had the chance to design the title for a niche since the beginning, they would have gone with the balance choices present in the jsawer.esp.
     
  9. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    What a failed attempt at dramatic bullshit. "The terror of seeing a super mutant?" Really? He must have been playing with no sound because each time I encountered a Super Mutant, I thought I was about to fight Iago, the parrot, from Aladdin.

    "As I lined up a shot, I started to panic. What if I miss?"

    Yeah. That didn't happen. Not unless he sucked at the game so much that he didn't know he would put that thing down in a couple of shots of ANYthing. A few levels in, the game becomes a joke and the only moments of panic I ever got from combat was when it looked like it was about to crash and freeze the fuck out of my computer.

    Fallout 3 was an ugly, clunky piece of shit with horrible horrible gameplay and laughable writing/story. It would have been an average stand-alone game if it didn't completely rape a great RPG series and I despise it for it. And regarding the art style, it got the world of Fallout so wrong that I don't even know what to call it. It's like Fallout counterfeit made in China or some shit.
     
  10. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Its about what Bethesda has done to make it look "Fallout".

    For example, with the writing, the quests, the design etc. And I would go so far to say that almost nothing that came from Bethesda really feels "Fallout" for me. Maybe the obvious 50s references which are thrown constantly in to your face. But one could as well say that Fallout never really was even about the 50s. Just the parts behind Fallout the world which was blown up was a 50s vision of the future.

    So pretty much anything that is in F3, like the Vaults and the like are from the previous games. That is not the problem, but the question is what has Bethesda done regarding gameplay, story etc. to make it feel like "Fallout". Very little in my eyes.

    Take Vegas as example. The developers have done a lot here which feels Fallout without being obviously-vault-tech-in-your-face stuff. Like the writing and some of the really well done NPCs and the player interaction, choices and consequences etc.
     
  11. Moonrabbit

    Moonrabbit First time out of the vault

    51
    Apr 20, 2012
    I get what this guy's saying. But it seems unworthy of front page NMA.
    I was freaked out the first time I saw a super mutant... And then I gunned him down with the Chinese assault rifle sans-VATS... Ok, not so scary any more.

    Coming out of the vault being stolen from FO 1? I will echo the remark. Seriously?!
    They gave me exactly what I wanted there. I wanted to see the landscape from FO1/2 from the ground level. I was very excited when I first left 101, I had been waiting for that view for 12 years.
    Again, there was disappointment afterwards. But I have no complaints about the landscape.

    My biggest complaint about the newest fallout games really is the the abundance of technology. Robots robots robots, but no cars.
    'Guns are the most common type of weapon in the Mojave' Come again? Why is everybody wearing leather and metal armour, then?

    Also, commenting on something else someone mentioned in this thread. Fallout 1/2 didn't have the constant feel of being very retro 50's, but anything associated with the old world was. Everything about that world looked like a happy, jolly fairy tail. But it was juxtaposed against this horrible, bleak reality that was brought on by that fairy tale world.
    Kind of like the way people think of the 50's today.
    Just wanted to get that idle thought in there.
     
  12. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    Gotcha, I get what you mean now. I have the feeling that, in many ways, Bethesda genuinely tried to offer something "Fallout-y" on their own with the plot, character system, quests, etc. and just.. ultimately failed. I don't know if for lack of talent, or the difficulties of shifting from one way to develop games (Bethesda has more or less being working only on TES titles for a loooong time) or for any other reason.

    There's a lot of stuff in Fallout 3 that, in premise, could be good, but is executed atrociously. Having a plot that deals with resources in a post-apocalyptic society (good.. pity it's done in one of the possibly worst ways possible), having moral dilemmas and multiple solutions to quests (which unfortunately hold little consequences and are part of an often inanely-written world), etc.

    Then again, I've been recently (as in last two days or so) replaying Fallout 3, so I think I'll be able to gather my thoughts better later. Suffice to say, it's a lot more enjoyable now that I can focus on the good aspects and more or less go to New Vegas for the Fallout 3 I'd have liked to see. And there's also a bunch of indies and Wasteland 2 for my isometric turn-based fix :D
     
  13. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    The whole games seems screwy since it supposed be around 200 years after the bombs fell and people act like it was 25.

    With everything that is wrong with that game, that is essentially my biggest gripe with it. People Acting like it's fucking Happy Days doesn't make a whole lot of sense that world has been turned to ash and ruble and you are hanging out on it's burnt corpse a good god damn long time after it happened.

    Seriously, if that game was stated as being between 25 to 40ish years after the war it wouldn't seem (as) stupid.
     
  14. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  15. malleus

    malleus First time out of the vault

    13
    Feb 17, 2012
    This, all the way this and beyond. That was, by far, Fallout 3's finest moment. After that...good level design, shitty story, one-dimensional carachters, fscking tunnels and more tunnels and some fun moments.
     
  16. lmao

    lmao It Wandered In From the Wastes

    108
    Apr 29, 2005
    I had that problem myself. The most fun I've ever had in Fallout 3 was when I downloaded the Realistic Injuries + Primary Needs mod, along with Fook2 and FWE.

    Realistic injuries was the clincher, because you can remove almost all stimpacks found out in the game environment and it raises doctor costs substantially. You get crippled constantly and you'll have a very hard time healing until later in the game. Eventually you'll become godlike, but it happens on a much longer timeframe.

    The story itself sucks and will always suck, but I've replayed Fallout 3 a few times and those mods really make exploration enjoyable.
     
  17. Dr. Combat Shotgun

    Dr. Combat Shotgun First time out of the vault

    79
    Aug 19, 2010
    Sorry about laziness but are these real injuries&primary needs something like hardcore-mod? Also your statement about godhood doesnt sound well...
     
  18. Dukeanumberone

    Dukeanumberone It Wandered In From the Wastes

    147
    Jul 11, 2012
    sea

    I also don't like level scaling down, but think up for mid-late game is better. Per locks and computers I wouldn't have minded a multiple skill checks per device, but that requires more "actual" skills.

    In my play through FO1 I did manage uber strong pre level 10 though. Ran through rhombus and entire brotherhood with dogmeat tychco and ian, only dogmeat was killed. So while not scaled , still wasn't as big of a divergence in regards to difficulty compared to FO3 when it comes down to it.

    malleus
    I get that this is a preference issue, but every major metropolitan area in a divergent earth would have lots of subterranean tunnels in tact, and makes sense that they would be populated.

    Moonrabbit
    Yeah, i get that, I would have like to seen them scaled down(in terms of numbers) and toughened up (difficulty, tactics, DR/DT) but that can be said for most enemies/ factions in terms of FO3. I have seen a mod that lets you re-boot the ROBCO factory which in turn puts more bots in the wasteland, which seems like a plausible and "fallouty" way of explaining the numbers, because you affected the game world.