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 Fallout 3 has a really bad story

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RangerGUN

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PostSubject: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:45 pm

*Before I go further I just want to make something clear, I am not judging you for liking the story of this game. You're fine to believe that it's a great story just like it's fine for me to believe it's awful. I'm saying this so we don't have arguments. Let's try and keep this civil*

Fallout 3 came out in 2008 to a wide acclaim of awards for best role-playing, game of the year and for story. The first game of Fallout I played was New Vegas, then Fallout 3 and I did quite like it. But I was like twelve at the time. Years later I returned to the game and realised that the story wasn't as good as I remember. New Vegas though still had a great story, far better and smarter than I realised. So I continued playing, slowly the game was showing itself to not be good. What made we see the light that Fallout 3 is an absolute awful game was completing New Vegas again on PC a year ago and playing Fallout 1. I did watch H. Bomberguy's video which gave me a better understanding why Fallout 3 sucks but I think it was mainly because of playing Fallout 1.
Fallout 3 honestly has a terrible opening, not the cinematic opening but the whole creating your character and growing up from when you're born to 19. Like this is an open-world "rpg" with hundreds of hours of gameplay but we have to go through an hour long opening? Maybe this wouldn't be bad if this hour long opening was good, right? This boring opening is so poorly written with childish and cartoonish characters with generic bullies, caring dad that has no personality, a silly robot that's there for comedy, etc. The opening to Fallout 1 is simple, it gives you the task to retrieve the water chip and boom you're out into the open world. The Overseer has some personality at the start before you fully know who he is later on in the game, he cares about your safety and feels like a genuine person. The water chip is just macguffin for the real plot, the global invasion of Super Mutants lead by Richard Grey, The Master. It's a good start to get you quickly in the game. What Fallout 3 does is waste your time until James leaves the vault. Nothing about growing up affected the story, it didn't set up the story until our character was 19. Why couldn't it start here where Amata wakes you up? This is a supposed RPG where you make multiple choices and you can start again to make different choices. Why would you make an hour long opening when you already seen what happens and want to quickly get back into the Wasteland? This is a failure of basic game design. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if the opening was good.
So the first settlement you go to is Megaton, everyone knows this. This settlement requires you to not question human intelligence because how stupid it is. People in the world of Fallout know that nuclear warheads destroyed the surface and human civilisation from stories of survivors, so why the fuck would they build around a nuclear bomb? This is just silly. It looks cool on paper and it's an interesting concept but wait, Fallout takes itself seriously even when it has its own silly moments (Old World Blues) but logic and reason is always there. Why don't we take Megaton and push it somewhere else?
The karma system is a little bit flawed because there are many grey areas when making moral decisions. If you want to classify pointless murder, theft, cannibalism as evil and receive negative karma in Fallout, to me that's fine. But when you are making moral decisions like joining Caesar's Legion, which I would consider evil, it may not be the ultimate evil like killing Mr House who is one of humanity's best hope to rebuild civilisation. Caesar isn't out right evil, his stance is built upon the idea that an authoritarian empire is the best hope for the Mojave. People need to be controlled in order to be safe and rebuild civilisation. While many of his actions are absolutely evil, some of his actions have lead to good things like safer trade routes and killings of raiders.
What New Vegas did is make an evil person complex and understandable while Fallout 3 made absolute good and evil and where there aren't grey areas. The Enclave want to poison the water with FEV and kill off super mutants which would result in killing many of the humans in the Capital Wasteland. Okay but if you're using common sense, wouldn't it be better to destroy Vault 87? Where Super Mutants are coming from! They have the means to do that, Adams Air Force Base. The Enclave and President Eden, an advanced A.I, believe this is the only way to save the Wasteland. Their plan doesn't make any sense. What's even dumber is Eden can easily beaten by one sentence, "this has to end, Eden. You need to destroy yourself and this base". This had to have been a joke at Bethesda. The ultimate villain of Fallout 3 is defeated because of an internet insult, "kill yourself". The villain who ordered the Enclave to take over Project Purity and is somewhat responsible for Jame's death is defeated by a single sentence.
If you could tell The Master to kill himself and did just that, it would have been the dumbest ending to a villain ever. Only that he can't be talked down from his plan, he is so fundamental that his plan will work and he'll save humanity. The only way to even talk him down is showing him evidence that Super Mutants can't breed and thus his plan failed before it even began. He is horrified by this shocking revelation and refuses to believe it. But he ultimately accepts it. He is so horrified by the countless murders he committed and transforming them into mutants in the name of progress and healing, he kills himself by blowing up the Cathedral. Fallout 1 managed to develop a character we only see once, just like President Eden, and make us feel bad for him. This is one of the most beautiful moments in Fallout, facing against humanity's greatest threat, and it ends tragically. What Fallout 3's writer did was show he didn't know how to write a villain.
Fallout 3 is supposed to be a direct sequel to Fallout 2 as the name implies. Continuing the story left off from Fallout 2, following the same themes and ideas present in it and yet Fallout 3 failed to do any of it. Fallout New Vegas was the Fallout 3 Fallout 2 deserved, it was a true sequel and yet it was a spin-off. War never changes but ideas can. This is what was important for Fallout and its other themes as well. The Brotherhood of Steel are preservationists and isolationists, they're hoarding technology to protect them from everyone and prepare them for the future. Their philosophy is so flawed and they refused to change they were replaced by NCR which follows the ideas of the old world of democracy and capitalism. Systems that work far better than the Brotherhood's. Fallout 3 made them knights in shining armour, black and white good guys. They didn't reasonably change because they knew isolationism didn't get them anywhere, they changed because they want to be "the good guys". If you want to change character's ideas and motivation, that's fine but the writing has to be good and logical which is very lacking in this game.
Besides from the themes that Fallout 3 failed to understand, it's not even a good RPG. Most situations boil down to 'kill X or don't'. There is hardly any moral, grey decisions you get to make like Joining Caesar's Legion, NCR, Mr House or help create an independence for New Vegas, each having their flaws and goals for the region. Letting you decide what is the best goal for New Vegas and whole Mojave based on your own beliefs. What Fallout 3 has is a linear story line where you're forced to join the Brotherhood, make small decisions here and there and then decide whether you want to poison the water or not. It's a massive step down from what Fallout usually is.
What makes the Fallout games great is that it's the story of YOU. That's what makes it a great RPG, the story is about you going around helping people, murdering or making complex decisions. Why make a sequel to one of the greatest RPG's ever made when you couldn't be bothered to match the complexity of them? They either were incompetent or didn't care enough to make a good sequel.
It's such a shame this game was praised, awarded and yet a true Fallout game, New Vegas, gets overlooked by critics.

If you managed to get to the end, thank you for reading it. I made this post not to cause an argument but to voice my opinion. If you do have problem with what I said, feel free to criticise what I said.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:02 pm

*Tentatively dipping my toe into what will probably end up being a good-old-fashioned 2008-style argument*

I'm generally agreed with you on this, although I will mention that the Enclave don't want to just kill the Super Mutants. They consider everyone who isn't them a mutant also. It's a racial purity thing. "You're impure therefore you should not exist." Or at least, this was the Enclave motivation in Fallout 2.

What doesn't make sense is the actual Enclave plan and leadership in Fallout 3. It's only President Eden who wants to kill all 'mutants.' Colonel Autumn is actually against this plan and seems to just want to take over DC. Hence why Eden lets you escape Raven Rock, because you're the only free agent who can enact his plan of genocide. This is actually moronic on Eden's part as you yourself are not a radiation-free vault dweller. You were born in the wasteland and therefore one of the mutants that this water-contaminating would be lethal to.

So if Autumn's the real one calling the shots, what is the Enclave's actual goal and why is it evil? They want to take over Washington DC and turn it into a totalitarian state I guess? And securing Project Purity for themselves would allow that? Okay. But then how is that any different to what the Brotherhood of Steel is doing? They also turned up from the west, ran out all the raiders and super mutants and took control of Project Purity. The Brotherhood don't exactly seem big on democracy either so it seems like they'd just start their own totalitarian feudal state. You just side with the Brotherhood because your dad didn't like the Enclave and would rather destroy his life's work than let them guard his facility, as opposed to the Brotherhood guarding it.

Ugh, rethinking about all this mess just hurts my brain. My point was that the Enclave want genocide as an end-goal, except only Eden seems to be acting on it, whereas Autumn is pussyfooting around the issue, I guess? But then, even if we ignore this convoluted story, it's ultimately just a rehash of the Fallout 2 story.

And that's the real criticism of Fallout 3. We can nitpick stuff to death, but the central frustration with the narrative is that it just remakes Fallout and Fallout 2. In Fallout you find the water chip and defeat the Super Mutants, who want to turn all humanity into Super Mutants. In Fallout 3 you purify the water and, well the Super Mutants still want to turn all humans into Super Mutants, but I dunno they're just there I guess. In Fallout 2 you retrieve the GECK and defeat the Enclave. In Fallout 3 you retrieve the GECK and defeat the Enclave. Things get even more absurd when you note how they just retold the lost family melodrama (the one original detail in Fallout 3, mind you) in Fallout 4, except, instead of it being your Dad, now it's your Son. Gasp!

Argh, look at that. I've avoided ranting like this for years and now you've got me goin'. Send me to the AA meeting, I've relapsed damn it!

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:11 pm

@Visible Earth Thank for correcting some of the things I was wrong on. I figured I would get some things wrong because when you are doing long criticisms, you tend to get some things.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:29 pm

Caesar is the absolute evil and there is no moral ambiguity about it. It shocks me how people will defend a guy who rapes female slaves, destroys and consumes tribes, crucifies people and double crosses the factions he aligns with.

New Vegas isn't as morally ambiguous as you pretend it is.


Ironically, the only moral question in New Vegas is "do I kill Benny or not?"


It's strikingly obvious that House is totalitarian, NCR is democratic, Legion is Imperialist and Yes Man is anarchistic.


No moral person would have a strong argument for imperialism in the Fallout universe. Just as no moral person would argue for anarchy or autocracy.


Democracy is the only good ideology in these four, sure the NCR has flaws but so does 3's Brotherhood. So what exactly makes 3's BoS unacceptable but the NCR perfectly fine?


I have to mention the non-point that is 'the BoS are different to the 1 and 2 chapters'. Do they have to be a copy/paste of 1 and 2? Can't Bethesda have their own chapter of the BoS? It's ironic how you critique 3 for being a copy/paste of 1 and 2, but when something is new you immediately hate it and want Bethesda to press the reset key.


Sure Fallout 3 didn't have significant endings but it's hard to argue New Vegas has significant endings when you can't continue the game to see the consequences of those endings. At least in 3 I could see the impact of purifying the water (or using the FEV) in the Broken Steel DLC, I can't see that for myself in New Vegas if I don't wish to watch a long-winded slideshow, immediately taking me out of the experience.

In fact, one could make strong arguments for 3 having more impactful decisions than New Vegas. In 3, you could quite literally nuke an entire city and visit the ruins afterwards. There is dialogue concerning the event in the main story and a bunch of quests are lost forever, including collectibles.


I can't defend the karma system, but it proves how great of an RPG Fallout 3 is. You kill and rob innocent people and the game and it's NPCs treat you differently to an angel character who saves the needy. Sure New Vegas expanded on this with the reputation, but this isn't a point why 3 is bad, it's a point why New Vegas is good.


You critique how Eden is defeated by a line of dialogue and go on to say that the Master could not be talked down unless shown evidence, but this is acceptable as Eden was Artificial Intelligence and the master was an FEV mutant with sentience. You're saying that it should be just as easy to talk down a human or mutant with actually strong opinions as it is a robot with programming?


If not for 3, New Vegas would have never existed. Obsidian's job wad easy, to do everything 3 did but more, and it did that quite well.


I don't know why I bother repeating myself when this will just drop back to "Obsidian had less time" anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:35 pm

Fallout 3 has a lot wrong with it but one of things that didn't bother me so much is Lyon's BoS isn't a simple black and white issue, it caused a massive strain within the East Coast Chapter, Lyon's bleeding heart decision to help the Wasteland pissed off many within the chapter so much they split and formed the "Outcasts" and even within the BoS many who stayed only reluctantly following Lyons and wondering if they should have left with the Outcast.

The new recruits from the Wasteland are the ones who believe in Lyon's Brotherhood because that's all they know.

The East Coast chapter is also stretched thin a lot of the older members are stressed out due to the work put on them cause Lyons wants to save the Capital Wasteland.

This isn't the first time such a thing happened either in Fallout Tactics where 2 different ideals headbutted and lead to the one group that wanted the BoS open up to be sent out a mission to Chicago after they got out voted, when the accident happened and they got stuck in Chicago it was a sort of blessing because now they could do what they wanted and open the BoS up.

Then there's Veronica in New Vegas who also wishes the BoS would open up and stop being isolated. Lyons is just another member with different ideals who happened to make it up to Elder rank, split far from the West coast he took matters into his own hands which caused a lot of problems which is proven in Fallout 4 where the records indicate that the BoS was in disarray after the Lyons died.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:07 pm

The problem extends much further than just the game's story, and instead branches out into the fundamental design philosophy behind the entire team. The biggest problem with 3 is that they tried to emulate Fallout 2 without knowing what made the game worked. They copied the story basically word for word, except they got all of the characters and motivations wrong. They implemented VATS as a homage to targeted shots, but failed to realize that turn based combat in an FPS game feels absolutely horrible. They used the same music, the same groups, the same enemies, and so on, all without realizing that one of the charms of Fallout was it's unexpected nature and gritty feel; by copying all of this in an attempt to feel campy and welcoming, they completely destroyed what made Fallout, Fallout.  Luckily, they're sort of fixing it in the newer games, although probably not in the best way possible, as most would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:45 pm

No counterargument to my post and a downvote instead when they clearly goes against the forum rules.

Why did I expect an actual rational argument?

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:49 pm

@Corvo That wasn’t me at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:27 am

Checking my stats on my profile, I see it says I gave a negative vote? I don't recall ever doing that to anyone.  That point on you Corvo may have been me but if so that was completely by accident as I didn't even realize I had done it if I did,  If a mod is able to check if it was me and undo it please do.

Your points were valid and I have nothing against what you said.

UPDATE: Okay I see that since i still saw the 2 arrows there it meant i hadn't given a rep yet, so it wasn't me who gave the negative one.


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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:40 am

There's just one problem.
Having a weak, non-sensical story doesn't make a game bad.
Fallout 3, I feel is still leagues ahead of New Vegas in a lot of areas:
Art Design, Worldspace, Tone, etc.
I don't mind people having criticisms with games, what I mind is when people turn it into absolutes. Fallout 3 is a pretty great game, same as New Vegas. Just for different reasons. Where some people might value the main story more, I value tone more.

And it's been said and I have to reiterate, but Story is Obsidian's only good card. It's what puts food on their table. If they can't tell a good story, they're shit outta luck, not much else going for them.
So you've gotta expect that if one company has all their chips on story, it's going to be top of the class.

( Seriously though, not to be mean or anything... But this sort of 'Man, F3 is pure garbage, lemme jerk off Vegas some more' argument is more welcome over at No mutants allowed. )

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:58 pm

Damn, I wrote up a whole massive essay for this thread. But I decided not to post it (for now) as, while it was a response to some of the stuff here, it was overly long and rambling and I forgot what I was getting at halfway through. It was to do with the karma system and stuff like that, so I dunno, maybe I'll get into it later.

I'll keep tabs on this thread but a word of advice to both the original poster and the commenters in this thread. Guys, saying "Fallout 3 is bad because New Vegas did something better" or vice versa gets the discussion nowhere. Criticise each game on its own merits, without comparisons and whatabouteries, and everyone will have a far more fruitful, engaging and pleasant conversation.

For example: one thing that frustrates me with Fallout: New Vegas's story is how impersonal a lot of it feels. New Vegas (which I should probably point out is my favourite game ever) has a ton of great characters, but none of them are essential to the main quest. You can complete the whole game  and in that time you can only have met your would-be assassin Benny and then your employers House, Crocker and Moore, or Caesar. And while they're all interesting characters in their own right you have no personal feelings towards any of them. Only political. You can't join Crocker for drinks, say, or dance a victory dance with Legion soldiers, or whatever other little humanising touches like that would've made being part of these groups more emotionally engaging.

Now is it necessarily a bad thing story-wise that these are the kinds of relationships you deal in? In some ways not at all. New Vegas is thematically all about pawns and power play. Benny tries to kill you for something you happen to be carrying, not for any personal animosity. You are a courier after all. Your employment is your character name. What makes the Courier such a tragic character is this feeling that they can't connect with anyone. It's why they're always wandering. It's why I think Dead Money is Vegas's strongest moment. Here you have a story of six outsiders (Dog and God are separate people) brought together in horrible circumstances where they either try to find the humanity in one another, or try to destroy each other. And ultimately it's a stronger story on an emotional level as you actually can develop personal relationships with the characters that impact the DLC's questline. For a DLC where you ally with a mute, a ghoul and a mutant, there's a lot of humanity there.

My point is, while it makes sense that a game set in post-nuclear Las Vegas would be all about impersonal employer-employee relationships, I personally don't care for it as I'm a sucker for melodramas. I'm not saying the game should've implemented lazy romance mechanics. I just mean it would've been nice if Mr House took you on a tour of his snowglobe collection once in a while.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:25 pm

I wouldn't really call Fallout 3's story bad. It has defined characters, a beginning, a definitive ending along with a narrative that progresses the journey of the protagonist and these are needed in order to tell a story. It is hard to say whether the game's story will appeal to everyone objectively since we all have different tastes but you cannot say that it has a bad story because of what I stated above.

Does this make Fallout 3 a great RPG game? Not really. It is not terrible but it is not great since there is a limit to the characters that you can role play as since you will always be this kid who grew up in Vault 101 in search for their dad who will eventually die in the Jefferson Memorial(if you do not include the DLC Broken Steel) or destroy the Enclave Mobile Base Crawler.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:18 pm

Playing Fallout 3, I wouldn't necessary call it a really bad story. Needing much improvement yes.

The intro, tutorial portion of FO3 is interesting in its own right. But you can, aside from the GOAT exam, make interesting changes to the playing character and in game encounters. For example, when the tunnel snakes are bullying Amata, you can talk to Wally Mack and not Butch and get an interesting results or side with Butch and become evil or neutral. You can talk Butch into going I and killing the rad roaches attacking his mother.

Even out in the wasteland you can change the ending, put the FEV into the water for example.

Overall my all time favorite Fallout game in the series is Fallout followed by Fallout 2. These are more than first person shooter games, and due diligence is necessary to complete the game with a desired personal success.

FO3 is designed to allow a player to play however they like. Granted the game does have limitations. No game that I know of at this point in time has true AI nor the ability to change directions, like a good DM in DND or Pathfinder or any other role playing board game.

However, depending upon the type of play an individual wants, 1st person shooter, 3rd person shooter, good or evil or neutral character, forget the main quest I'll do side quest, forget side quest I'll do main quest... FO3 attempts to accommodate.

Obsidian which was started by members from Interplay and Black Isle that produced FO1 and 2, therefore, Fallout New Vegas would be more attuned to the older games. Chris Avellone, who wrote the Fallout bible in 2002, I believe is now with Larian studios produced "Divinity: Original Sin 2" a very good game. Also, many of the Black Isle people are working elsewhere now. Obsidian is not the Fallout New Vegas Obsidian any more.

I put the above piece to show my opinion that the original creators of the Fallout series no longer have input however, their creative works, as seen in the original FO series are found else where.

In any case I would agree that FO3 could have been better, but not a bad story.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:58 pm

@Corvo wrote:
No counterargument to my post and a downvote instead when they clearly goes against the forum rules.

Why did I expect an actual rational argument?

Okie-dokie.

@Corvo wrote:
Caesar is the absolute evil and there is no moral ambiguity about it. It shocks me how people will defend a guy who rapes female slaves, destroys and consumes tribes, crucifies people and double crosses the factions he aligns with.

Cool. So, don't take any of this as support of Cesar, but the point of the character is not that evil exists or that humanity can be dicks in these ways, but that even a monster can present justification for its action. He has clear reasons that are supported by specific examples within the world's cannon that have led him to a specific conclusion. The game does not contest that he is a monster, it asks the player to decide if he's a necessary one. The player's choice thus informs the rest of the game and the ultimate conclusion of the Mojave.

@Corvo wrote:
New Vegas isn't as morally ambiguous as you pretend it is.

I mean, this was supposed to be about how Fallout 3 was a good or bad story, but okay.

@Corvo wrote:
Ironically, the only moral question in New Vegas is "do I kill Benny or not?"

I suspect we have a different definition for moral question. Now, I admit my personal response to waking up after taking two shots to the head at point blank would be to stay the HELL away from the guy what shot me, this does ignore questions like who should be the Sherrif of Primm, or if you tell Boone who sold out his wife. How about the later arcs of the caravan quest lines? Ooh! And the entire quest line in the Ultra-Luxe!


@Corvo wrote:
It's strikingly obvious that House is totalitarian, NCR is democratic, Legion is Imperialist and Yes Man is anarchistic.

That... is not quite accurate. House is... well, sort of Fascistic, honestly. Capitalist and Totalitarian, although more upfront and honest about it than most Fascist elements, he's clearly of the opinion that he is the only person who could run the show. The player gets to decide that question for themselves.

The NCR is ostentatiously democratic, but the only side the player gets to see is the bureaucratic face. It the most obvious propaganda (Pres shows up for a photoshoot at the climax) and while it has the most 'good guys' of the factions, it's also constantly described as out manuvered, over-extended, and being bled dry. The question asked of it is less 'is this good' and more 'how long could the keep going.'

The Legion are probably the closest to Totalitarian, as Ceasar's dictates are executed without question, and everything is bent to his directives. It's also the most nakedly Fascistic, as... well, they're literally storm troopers that enslave everything, believe women are there to make babies, and feel that everything should be suborned to the will of the state. The question here is if this is necessary; which is kinda dumb, 'cuz there are a lot of settlements that got along fine without the Legion and at least 2 that were gack'd because of them.

The Yes-Man ending is an answer to the other's questions of 'I can do better.' To say it's anarchistic isn't... wrong, per se, but it does ignore the primary motivating element is the player, not the game. It's less a political stance, and more a 'figure it out yourself.'

@Corvo wrote:
No moral person would have a strong argument for imperialism in the Fallout universe. Just as no moral person would argue for anarchy or autocracy.

Hahahah, no.

So, the question of Imperialism in Fallout is interesting in that the world itself is more nakedly hostile than at any earlier point in history. Deathclaws and fire breathing geckos and fucking Cazadors and god-damned night stalkers are all new. Thus military defense for a local population is actually a pretty damn good idea, and could easily be started, then expanded ultimately leading to a military powerhouse extracting resources as payment for protection.

Autocracy would simply go by the same logic it always had, and always does; someone was a hero at one point, wound up in charge, and just stayed there. Note that House is a historically respected individual who did accomplish quite a bit. He organized the tribes, opened up the strip, and does control it with a lot of iron fists.

As to if a moral person would defend Anarchism as a moral choice... I think you may be using that word poorly. The ideal of anarchism tends towards highly limited government, and affirms individual rights as sancrosect, under the viewpoint that these things are inherently moral. Indeed, the problem tends to be one of execution, as it's notoriously impossible to implement beyond 10 people. As to if it's moral in Fallout, note that this is essentially how the companion system works; NPCs hang out with you as long as you don't piss them off enough that they have to leave. There's no formalized contract; it's just two people working together, sharing resources according to respective needs and wants.

@Corvo wrote:
Democracy is the only good ideology in these four, sure the NCR has flaws but so does 3's Brotherhood. So what exactly makes 3's BoS unacceptable but the NCR perfectly fine?

'Good ideology' is pretty... badly phrased. Good here suggests a moral element, when the whole critique of the NCR is that they're subject to more corruption than any other faction; they have Legion infiltrators, they have a major figurehead implementing false reports because he believes the fight will break them, Vegas is getting fat off soldier's finances, etc. Democracy is a very good way to ensure that respective groups within a nation have their needs met, but it lends itself to weaknesses too.

Also, the Brotherhood is explicitly not democratic. They're a constitutional dictatorship. A quest actually revolves around this point. And of course, they're kinda xenophobic technocratic survivalists at this point, so... ya know... one can trade with you without gassing you and holding you at gatling gun point.

@Corvo wrote:
I have to mention the non-point that is 'the BoS are different to the 1 and 2 chapters'. Do they have to be a copy/paste of 1 and 2? Can't Bethesda have their own chapter of the BoS? It's ironic how you critique 3 for being a copy/paste of 1 and 2, but when something is new you immediately hate it and want Bethesda to press the reset key.

No, Yes, Okay.

@Corvo wrote:
Sure Fallout 3 didn't have significant endings but it's hard to argue New Vegas has significant endings when you can't continue the game to see the consequences of those endings. At least in 3 I could see the impact of purifying the water (or using the FEV) in the Broken Steel DLC, I can't see that for myself in New Vegas if I don't wish to watch a long-winded slideshow, immediately taking me out of the experience.

This... this is just not a good argument. While you may not care for slides, other people may prefer them for the exact reason you presented. Appealing to personal preferences always runs afoul of that; it's fine if you don't care for slides, but the lack of ending slides does not make for a good game as a result. And asking for the ending to be something you can continue to play after rather runs against the point of an ending.

Also, Fallout 3 had ending slides. They were just completely disconnected with the overwhelming majority of the decisions in the game. And, unless you had the DLC, they were the end of the game.

@Corvo wrote:
In fact, one could make strong arguments for 3 having more impactful decisions than New Vegas. In 3, you could quite literally nuke an entire city and visit the ruins afterwards. There is dialogue concerning the event in the main story and a bunch of quests are lost forever, including collectibles.

Sort of. I mean, you can still complete the Wasteland Survival Guide after. And the only collectible in there can be grabbed at any point before you nuke it. You do lose the means to turn scrap metal into XP and caps. But the quests there are... uh... also doable before the big, telegraphed nuking of a city.

Materially, it's not terribly different than simply shooting up a town you enter, and debatably a lot less interesting in that it's a skill check, a hike, and a button press vs a complicated gunfight. If we're going to argue that cutting off choices is how one determines impact, then the ability to kill House, Cesar and the NCR president should count at least as much. To say nothing of the Powder Gangers and Goodwater in the beginning.

Also, this entire point is really weird given your hardline stance at the begining regarding moral elements. Impact tends to be measured at the point of connection; in this case what meant the most to the player. For me, nothing in Fallout 3 can compare to getting the speech in Nipton. That was moment the legion went from second power to monsters to put down. It changed my opinion of them, and invested me in the gameworld.

@Corvo wrote:
I can't defend the karma system, but it proves how great of an RPG Fallout 3 is. You kill and rob innocent people and the game and it's NPCs treat you differently to an angel character who saves the needy. Sure New Vegas expanded on this with the reputation, but this isn't a point why 3 is bad, it's a point why New Vegas is good.

That was defending the karma system. Also, that's a clunky reason to view either as good or bad. New Vegas's refinement of Karma was to seperate it out into descrete factional reputations while still trying to work with the karma, but moralistic systems in any game where the primary method of interaction is murder is always gonna be clunky.

I kinda like what Fallout 4 does instead; track reputations with your companions instead of externals. I miss being able to piss off particular elements; gunners sending out kill teams for me would've been awesome, but it's a good way to make it matter.

@Corvo wrote:
You critique how Eden is defeated by a line of dialogue and go on to say that the Master could not be talked down unless shown evidence, but this is acceptable as Eden was Artificial Intelligence and the master was an FEV mutant with sentience. You're saying that it should be just as easy to talk down a human or mutant with actually strong opinions as it is a robot with programming?

Well, that's false representation. He's clearly saying that he wanted the Eden debate to be as interesting and multifaceted as the Master conversation. Admittedly, Eden's chat doesn't have the benefit of being the focal point of the story... but Autumn's was.

And of course, Ceasar's wasn't. Nor was House's. Or Benny's. But they were still good.

Now, if the argument is that it's not the same because one is an AI, we're talking about the thing running the Enclave. The thing, at that point, that is prepared to kill the Enclave. This is a powerful, intelligent faction of well equipped fanatical forces. If he can't put up a good argument, it makes the entire faction farcical. It takes a moment that should leave the player questioning their beliefs and choices, or genuinely affirmed in them for having bested a legitimate challenge to them, and just falls flat.

Also, Zax. Zax was an AI who liked playing chess and taught the vault dweller things. He was legitimately smarter and verbose and had to be finessed to give up his insights.

@Corvo wrote:
If not for 3, New Vegas would have never existed. Obsidian's job wad easy, to do everything 3 did but more, and it did that quite well.

On point 1; 'Fallout 3 is a sina quon non for New Vegas' true. I don't understand how this relates to Fallout 3's story.

On point 2; It is always easier to do a thing after having seen an example. It affords points to contrast, elements that one can try to improve upon. So also true.

@Corvo wrote:
I don't know why I bother repeating myself when this will just drop back to "Obsidian had less time" anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:34 pm

@shamsham wrote:
House is... well, sort of Fascistic, honestly. Capitalist and Totalitarian, although more upfront and honest about it than most Fascist elements, he's clearly of the opinion that he is the only person who could run the show.

I think you'll find he prefers the word "Autocrat."

Enjoyed your response. Some nice points made. One point I've been considering lately regarding the NCR, and kind of in response to your points about them and Caesar etc. Is there a decent argument to be made that people in the Fallout universe would have every right to be suspicious of democracy?

(Really need to stress that I am not an anti-democrat TongueTril ) But if you were a person living in the Fallout world, and a country turned up saying, "Hi, we're the New California Republic and we want to replicate the kind of government that eventually launched nuclear weapons around the world" surely that would be a massive red flag? And yes I get that the Enclave military had basically turned America into a fascist dystopia by then but that just dodges the issue that in the Fallout universe, the democratic USA went the way of the Weimar Republic. I guess I'm just boostering your argument here about Caesar having a logic to his motives. He explicitly says that his society would not result in the destruction of the world like the NCR's could.

It's why I think the Followers of the Apocalypse are set up as an actual anarchistic alternative, because unlike the NCR they are actually trying to change the way society runs, either by changing human nature, or at least trying not to set up the same institutions that result in poverty etc. (not really arguing anything here, just voicing some thoughts I've had recently that I can't really talk about anywhere else). On that note, there's actually a sad irony in Caesar trying, like the Follower he once was, to change human nature. Maybe that's the Followers' own fatal flaw (with "The White Wash" we've seen that they too are perfectly happy to use violence if considered necessary).

Corvo's point also bothered me a little in their saying that the NCR are democratic and the Legion Imperialistic, as if these two actions are exclusive. It's like, why are the NCR even in the Mojave? They're not there for peacekeeping, even if they do call it that. They're there for Hoover Dam, and HELIOS One, and the city of Las Vegas. For imperialistic reasons, because they've already consumed their own resources.

Damn, here I am talking about New Vegas again when this is supposed to be a Fallout 3 thread. Damn okay hang on...

In defence of Fallout 3 a little, I approve of the Republic of Dave and think it has a fun bit of political satire going on. I kind of wish Megaton had been the Republic of Dave as that would have immediately introduced the player to the whackier elements of Fallout's world-building.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:13 am

@Visible Earth wrote:
Enjoyed your response.

Aww... thank you.

@Visible Earth wrote:
<Snip out interesting questions and critique of NV, cuz topics... > Damn, here I am talking about New Vegas again when this is supposed to be a Fallout 3 thread. Damn okay hang on...

In defence of Fallout 3 a little, I approve of the Republic of Dave and think it has a fun bit of political satire going on. I kind of wish Megaton had been the Republic of Dave as that would have immediately introduced the player to the whackier elements of Fallout's world-building.

Here's the thing. New Vegas has characters with motivations, to the point where we can have informed discussions about the relative virtues of their respective worldviews.

I can't really do that for Autumn. I can infer that he's essentially trying to build a power base... except that he's clearly outgunning most of the elements in his world and yet doesn't simply use Raven Rock as a staging point to build an enclave nation; they want the water purifier because its the thingie everyone's after.

Eden? Well... he's a defective machine, which makes his motivation litterally 'heeeeee's KRRRRAAAAZEEE!

Elder Lyon? Help the Wasteland. Now, that's vague enough to have all kinds of interesting contradictions that could serve as decision points, but it mechanically takes shape as 'fight super mutants' and later 'fight the enclave.' Even those could be great; give the super mutants a leader and have to kill him with a group of brotherhood at your back, or capture an enclave outpost so the brotherhood could sell improvements to their gear; little quests that shape from it.

But that would require the factions to actually interact, and they don't really do that. They fight when they see each other, but there's nothing bigger than a wandering engagement script.

And part of this is that most of the characters themselves are just so damn flat; Supermutants are either Orcs, Fawkes, or the one lone wandering mutant. What's their motivation? Why do they have groupings? Do they have names now? They all look the same; is that intentional? Does the FEV make them into something like the Garys? The game isn't interested in that, the same way that the Raiders are just NPC monsters.

Compared to the most obvious next option, New Vegas... Super Mutants being stupid, violent, and easily mislead is worked with. Tabitha is hysterical, tragic, and kind of terrifying. The nightkin addictions inform the game world. The Fiend's drug habits play into the economics of the Khans, open up options for engagement, and explain why they're so damn fucked up that killing them ups your karma. The vipers are roughly analogous to Raiders, but there's still a better impression of a coherent team.

I have to say that New Vegas has a better story because it simply has more there there; the world is richer, deeper, more interwoven and reactive.

And also, we know that House sees himself as an Autocrat. We don't know that Eden sees himself as much more than the leader of the Enclave.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:23 am

I think when it comes to character motivations and such, a lot would've been helped if the game were actually more cinematic than it was. Like, okay, Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas have very few cinematics. There's the opening cinematics, blowing up the Cathedral, seeing Hakunin in your dreams in Fallout 2, Yes Man throwing General Oliver off Hoover Dam, but there isn't much. Fallout 3 though, is a melodrama about finding your dad, seeing him sacrifice himself, and eventually avenging his death. If the game were more cinematic, like if it had cutscenes and whatnot, I think the emotional impact would've been a lot stronger. It's a tricky thing to do with the Gamebryo engine. Where most games and other visual mediums could tell you a lot through body language and other physical details, dialogue restricts everything to that (terrifying) mile-long-stare and the voice-acting. It's why almost no other Bethesda game has similar personal stories and emotions being conveyed.

I wish there was more done with Eden. The idea of a ZAX computer running the Enclave is interesting. I love the backstory of it telling the West Coast Enclave, "Hey, there's an Enclave base here and I'm President now" so they come running only for Autumn Sr. to realise that the 'President' is a robot (and there was probably no one left in the facility) It's a fun scenario to me, and it would've been nice to interact with more Enclave personnel to know what they thought of the whole situation. It would've been funny if you're about to unplug Eden (or deactivate him or whatever) and it turns out Autumn was about to do the same thing because he's fed up of the robot going on about the Enclave's original plan and not getting with the times.

I swear joining the Enclave and seeing things from their perspective would've added so much more detail to the overall game. They literally had a whole DLC where they could've fixed this issue and they didn't bother there either. I will never understand that. I would've loved to be Team Enclave!

It's interesting realising that New Vegas was in many ways a remake of Fallout 3, just with all the details explained. Mr House is an autocrat running the show. Nobody sees him, just like Eden, and while he's not quite a computer he's basically a cyborg. The Super Mutants have multiple leaders, the Fiends are raiders except the reason they're so irrational is because their drug trade with the Khans has gotten out of control, plus they're supported by the Legion. The Brotherhood of Steel went east and tried to take HELIOS One like the East Coast Brotherhood took the Pentagon but failed, plus Father Elijah is basically a psychopathic version of Elder Lyons (Lyons wants to help the Capitol Wasteland, Elijah wants to help the Mojave by wiping it completely of life). Slavers like the Legion and Coyotes actually have an infrastructure (Though I think The Pitt fixed Paradise Falls in actually giving the slavers people to sell their slaves to (I didn't play The Pitt though). Just some similarities I've noticed. Feel free to nitpick them to death TongueTril

Also, there should've been a twist where it turned out Fawkes was the leader of the Super Mutants all along. Just sayin'... (also, as a Brit, I have issues with Guy Fawkes being interpreted as a man "who was willing to fight and die for what he believed in" but I digress)

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 3 has a really bad story   Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:31 am

Yeah, I was just talking about how there could have been so much more. But they were coming out of fallout 2, which didn't have countless major factions, it took New Vegas to show how it could be done, with four main competing factions/endings.
Fallout 3 in a way was a remake, recycling many plot elements from the previous games. I know they were trying to tribute past games, but I sort of wish some things/creatures/factions had been localized rather than practically universal.
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