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Fallout I've just finished "Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game", and...

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by BarãodoDesterro, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Devastator Literate

    Devastator
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    Why is sex your default analogy? :P

    I find interesting the difference in terms of pressing a button that will later set off an explosion (or convincing The Master to do it) vs. personally killing someone.

     
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  2. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Fallout 1 had that atmosphere.

    Fallout 2 already stepped too far into the "haha funny jokes in a wasteland" territory.

    Which makes sense considering Fallout 1 is the only one in the series made by the troika of Cain, Boyarsky, Anderson - who would leave Interplay and go on to make Arcanum, a game that captures the same atmosphere of melancholy, just in a different setting (high magic fantasy world entering an era of industrialization, with many places giving you an atmosphere of melancholy as the old world fades and makes room for the new, with many people being left behind).

    Fallout 1 never received a sequel.
     
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  3. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    Play Sonora :smug:
     
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  4. Sigourn Futa Lover

    Sigourn
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    That's not the combat you are describing, though, but the flavor around it. Fallout's combat is really simplistic, and ridiculously annoying at times because once you get to the end game, the only thing that can actually kill you is a critical hit from a Super Mutant. Everything else, your character simply brushes off in Power Armor.
     
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  5. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Since I've triggered so many of you by asserting that your sacred cow has a butthole that smells like cow shit, I feel obliged to go into a little bit more detail as to why FO1's combat is total crap.

    1: General simplicity of combat options. 90% of the time in any given combat, you are going to be standing still and shooting at the mook (possibly with VATS depending on your level). If you're playing a melee build you're going to be charging in and whacking them. If it's a particularly "difficult" fight you might have to use some chems and/or reserve a few AP to cheese LoS a little bit. That's pretty much the extent of your combat options. There's no status effects to inflict (other than Knockdown, which I'm not sure I would count), no interesting utility items to use that can manipulate the battlefield, and, most damningly imo, never really much doubt about what is the optimal action to take on any given turn.

    2: Itemization. Especially in FO1, there is an extremely linear item progression (e.g. with guns: pistol<shotgun<rifles<combat shotgun<sniper rifle<plasma rifle<turbo plasma rifle), and the fact that different weapons do different types of damage is, outside of EMP/electrical damage, completely irrelevant. Sure you can mix it up with a minigun or rocket launcher in there, but it's utterly unnecessary, and there's no meaningful tradeoff to doing so. The distinction between early game guns and late game guns is that the late game guns do more damage, end of story. The problem is even worse with armor and snowballs into one of the silliest armor systems I've ever seen by the late-game. I honestly don't know how anyone can defend the way armor works in FO1; it is not only non-sensical, but straight up not fun. This horse has been beaten to death, so I don't feel much need to expand on it.

    3: Lack of relative skill parity. Do not misunderstand me, I am not arguing that all skills should be of equal value (pretty ambivalent about that). If the player opts to make a character with no combat skills tagged then the player should not be surprised that they have a difficult time with combat, but the player should not be punished by a lack of meta-game knowledge (e.g. a first time player tagging thrown weapons or energy weapons over small guns at chargen), and there should be some telegraphing if a skill is of objectively lesser value than others (eg. Doctor vs. First Aid). And yes, I know that technically you can complete FO1 in a pacifist run tagging Outdoorsman, Gambling, and Barter at chargen. That's cool that it's possible, but I don't find it particularly fun to play that way, and I don't think I'm alone there.

    4: AI. It's pretty crap. It doesn't ruin the combat in of itself, but, taken in concert with the other issues listed above, it certainly contributes to the crappiness of combat.

    5: UI. In general I would say that the combat UI is the best part of FO1's UI, but it's still pretty clunky and cumbersome, especially if you want to chuck a molotov or use a chem.

    Somewhat ironically, FO2 fixed a lot of the problems listed above, but the content of the game was so vastly inferior (with the first third of the game being a particular offender) that it didn't really matter.

    Again, I think Fallout 1 is a great game, and I would easily put it in my top 10 RPGs of all time, but that's in spite of its garbage combat (and I do think calling it the RPGOAT is nuts).
     
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  6. Strange Fellow Peculiar Patron Sad Loser

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    For the record, I was thinking about Fallout Tactics when I rated that post.
     
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  7. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    I literally forgot Tactics existed. Its combat isn't the best, but it's not total crap, so I will amend my OP.
     
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  8. urmom Learned

    urmom
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    It was also one of my first RPGs aside from FF/DQ type games, so I appreciated the "simplicity" early on. Otherwise I might have been overwhelmed. FO2 was definitely a "let's put a little bit of everything in the game including the kitchen sink" type of game.
     
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  9. Gnidrologist CONDUCTOR

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    How do we keep generating these threads? There's at least one every year. Who's that autistic guy with weird spelling? Maybe glownigga infiltrator? That's why he didn't go to Glow.
     
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  10. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

    Zboj Lamignat
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    Dude, you wanted to act edgy and smart and dropped a clanger. Grin and bear it.

    Classic Fallout1-2 combat is what it is, but it works, it's smooth and can definitely be satisfying even if you already saw it more times than you want to admit. Calling it total crap is hilarious when you consider the number of crpgs where it's completely broken, controls extremely poorly or feels like a chore and which are often focused on combat in the first place, when Fallout isn't all that much.

    And while it's not high brow stuff, acting like it's the most basic shit ever is pretty disingenuous. I don't think most crpgs have something as intricate as Fallout's locational damage and crit tables running under their hood. I don't really expect most games to include things like to hit chance being influenced by lighting. You don't get many crpgs where just using your hands and legs to fight is governed by a skill that gives you multiple kinds of kicks and hits with different modifiers based on skill level. I sure as shit don't expect a typical single character crpg to still have builds I'd like to try after I played it so many times. And so on.

    And there's some really stupid crap in that post that makes it seem like you have trouble understanding the basics of that low iq game (like no status effects to inflict other than knockdown, lolwat).
     
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  11. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    It's sort of silly to debate realism here, but my point was that all of the modern world is incredibly fragile. If humanity were wiped out, houses built in 1800 would more likely be standing in 2050 than house built in 2021. By 2050, ancient Roman highways would be in better condition than American highways. And even worse than structures and infrastructure is technology. The operation of our technology is incredibly dependent on things like reliable electricity at a certain current. And the maintenance of our technology depends on incredibly robust supply chains for (1) replacement parts when they break down; (2) replacement devices when the whole device breaks down; (3) specialists capable of replacing those parts and devices. Even with essentially infinite money, infinite supplies, and infinite supply of experts, our technology fails due to maintenance problems and wear-and-tear.

    So when I say there aren't supply chains in the FO universe, I don't mean, "There is no way to transport any good any distance." Obviously there are caravans and there is trade. But what I mean is, it would be completely impossible to scavenge the parts and or even the materials to make the parts (including things like, say, rare earth metals). Even basic things like copper wiring would run out and be irreplaceable. The broken supply chains are that incredibly complex web that is necessary to keep the flimsy modern world from just falling apart. Scavenger caravans aren't going to cut it.

    The reason the post-Conquest American example is at least a little instructive is that it shows that the apocalypse in FO wouldn't be a sharp drop followed by an upward recovery -- it would be a sharp drop followed by a downward slope with additional sharp drops as it went. It's not plausible that you would be seeing more advanced technology less than two centuries after almost everybody died, almost all infrastructure was destroyed, the ecosystems were destroyed, and there was worldwide political collapse. We're not talking Europe post-WWII where there was at most a 10% population drop, where the land was still very fertile, a great deal of infrastructure was still intact, the basic social structure was intact, and there was massive outside capital to flow in. So even if we stipulate that Reno "didn't get nuked or suffer from fallout," it would collapse as lack of food, water, electricity, and political structure caused a complete social breakdown.

    Shifting from realism to theme -- though realism would apply here, too -- the Shi, the Enclave, New Reno make sense in a game set in the close aftermath of the apocalypse. They should be before FO, in other words, not after it. "Surviving remnants of the central government try to maintain power from an oil rig with the last scraps of the old-world military" is classic near-post-apocalypse story. It's not just that it's unrealistic to have them flying old-world helicopters off an oil rig 200 years after the apocalypse, it's that it doesn't even fit with the genre's themes. Same with the Shi. A submarine crew surviving the apocalypse and having access to extra vestiges of technology is thematic (e.g., On The Beach). So the Shi would largely work in a game set, say, 10 years after the apocalypse (though you wouldn't have them exceeding old-world technology). But they don't work two centuries out. At that point, their technology would be broken down; they might still have a few bits and pieces, and they could dominate their domain based on the benefits of starting out with a huge technological lead. But they wouldn't be engineering radiation-eating plants. That's not a thematically sound extension of the submarine trope. So too with New Reno. The city would be fine as a kind of grotesque Mrs. Havisham's-wedding-feast of a city -- spared nuclear fire, but collapsing due to broken supply chains, lack of government, starvation, etc. It would be thematic for such a city to be run by warlord gangsters, and to try to imitate the luxuries and vices of the past (gambling, porno, boxing, etc.) in rotting ways. But once you go two centuries out, it doesn't make any sense. The city would have totally collapsed; you might have a second-growth city in its ruins (like you had in Rome -- though I'm not sure that modern "ruins" would stay standing for as long). That would be thematic. But that's not what the game shows. The game shows silliness like intact sidewalks.

    To go back to where I started in my initial reply -- the point is that FO2 is not a "'slow', mellow, melancholy, nuclear apocalypse wasteland setting." It's probably the most cheerfully optimistic post-apocalyptic setting since Genesis 9:1-17. Everything in the world is way better than it was in the first game. In a scant couple generations, technology is restored, the radiation problem is about to be fixed, trade is reestablished, a central government is back, etc. As you say, if one projects FO3 from FO2 based on how things went from FO1 to FO2, it would look something like this:
    [​IMG]

    My bottom line position is that I don't think that's the way things would actually go and, more importantly, it's not the way post-apocalyptic stories are supposed to go. What we are supposed to see is that the old-world technology and old-world political structures continue to fall, and the question is whether the last of the old-world's virtuous strength (typically arrayed against the last of the old-world's vicious strength) can protect the green shoots of a new world for long enough for them to take hold. Then you see a second growth new world emerge, one that feels uncanny and alien (e.g., The Planet of the Apes, original or remake movies, same deal.) In FO2, we get the exact opposite: we go from seeing a vault that is breaking down to seeing a thriving Vault City; from seeing a very small number of people maintaining old-world weapons to great advantage to old-world weapons being in the hands of factions all over the place; from the Boneyard to New Reno and San Francisco. We don't see a single hint of regression anywhere except for the tribals, which everyone gets annoyed about because they make no sense in the otherwise Great Leap Forward setting of FO2.

    So, to me, FO2 should either have been set close enough in time to FO1 to just keep the same setting or, if it was going to jump forward a few generations, should have shown further collapse of stuff. (Consider Mad Max vs. The Road Warrior, or the Planet of the Apes remake trilogy). It's perfectly fine for the NCR to continue growing (it's a second-growth society). But I would absolutely not have introduced faction after faction, and locale after locale, in which the old-world technology, structures, societies, etc. are in better condition than they were in FO1.

    Anyway, wasted a bunch of time on this, no one ever persuades anyone else of anything, but there's my take. :)
     
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  12. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    In Canticle of Leibowitz, which I suspect was one of inspirations for Fallout 1 & 2, post-war society becomes increasingly stable and manages re-discover technology despite nuclear war and deliberate destruction of knowledge that followed it.
    This process takes hundreds of years in that book, but it doesn't have elements that can explain faster recovery that happens in Fallouts; Vaults for example contain tech that allow people to get some baseline surface society going and populace that supposedly train for that purpose.
     
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  13. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I raised that book because it goes exactly the opposite way: as you note, six hundred years pass before each section of the book (not 80); the technology in the third part of the book is not built upon the old technology, it is second-growth technology 1800 years after the nuclear war.

    What FO2 shows is the very same machines from before the war are still operational and making even better technology 160 years after the war. There's no comparison.

    Also, my recollection is that the book, or at least its spin-off, shows some backsliding, not a continuous upward trend.
     
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  14. shihonage Subscribe to my OnlyFans Patron

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    Bubbles In Memoria
    Fallout 1 is my favorite game not MAINLY because of the setting, combat, humor or gore. It's because of the lengths to which developers went to in order to make the world reactive and alive in major and minor ways, from multiple quest approaches and outcomes, to everyday character stat reactivity, thus weaving together a "stretchy" world, rather than one filled with hard walls at every corner. You start to forget the little details, if you don't play it long enough.

    It was an earnest attempt to make a pen-and-paper RPG with the computer as Dungeon Master, rewarding player's curiosity and cleverness. It was one of the few games which were trying to be a cohesive virtual world rather than the "abortive secondary worlds", as Tolkien would've called them if he was alive - also known as today's "open worlds" and "sandboxes".
     
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  15. Sweeper Arcane Zionist Agent

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    Is there a combatfag version of this essay?
     
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  16. Saerain Augur Patron

    Saerain
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    Not only that, but all the semicolons and quotation marks... Not sure if prose or Java.
     
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  17. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Sweeper FO1 aimed for the heart and critically hit. FO2 aimed for the groin and missed.
     
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  18. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    What's wrong with Fallout UI? I never had any problems with it, not now, not when I first played it without any SFALLs or stuff.
     
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  19. Daemongar Arcane Patron

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    The actual original demo content was Junktown, or at least a version of Junktown, not the one that showed up in the game. The town was Scrapheap and was actually a good demo. FoD_Scrapheap.png
     
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  20. grimer Novice

    grimer
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    i think the fallout combat system is fine but the lackluster encounter design and balance issues hinder the combat as a whole and by balance issues im referring specifically to:
    -targeting the eyes invalidates all other combat options because of how devastating it is (death is the best debuff)
    -ap rounds are useless (bugged in 1 but even in 2 jhp rounds are preferable because of crits bypassing armor anyway)
    -power armor = tgm (but then its supposed to be overpowered so idk maybe less electricity resistance and have some enemies use pulse weapons)
    although fallout 2 indirectly makes eye shots harder because of increasing skill point requirements and you would need like 150+ in weapon skill to hit reliably
     
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  21. Morii Savant

    Morii
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    Fuck you man, The Glow™ is PEAK FALLOUT.
     
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  22. Morii Savant

    Morii
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    And losing to Francis is peak Fallout 2.
     
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  23. laclongquan Arcane

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    Discuss realism in fallout setting is a bit too problematic, mostly because it's a never happen future imagined by people in the past (retrofuturism). So all kind of mismatched reality is a given.

    I dont mean the terrifying endurance of weapons. We all know the old guns can be thrown on the muds for years, then picking up, do a simple clean up, then fire. So it's not surprising some weapons can survive 16 decades.

    I mean the abdundance of bullets, FFS. Even if you discounted the separate ammo in Fallout's NPC, just a loaded gun's bullets, multiply with the number of loaded guns in action, then number it over the years.... It's too much. And bullets would be harder than hell to make anew, due to the limit of resource. Witness the incredible methods people in ancient used to produce salpetre and you can see how damn hard it is to overcome this lacking.

    OTOH, the transport is not that hard, even in the huge amount for industry. WE know quite a lot, after all. A flat surface, use the wooden rail on it (reusable cheap resource), then a carriage platform with some pulling force (from human to cattle) then VOILA! It will need some initial investment to build the road and the rail, but after that it's much cheaper than transport by animals.

    One important and disctintive lack in Fallout, and I suspect they intentionally removed it, is the slavery system. Not slave as in "US plantation owner use slave". But slave as in "captured slave use to build up infrastructure to the death of overlabor". Or "Khan use the captured V15 people to dug up the damn vault". Damn thing is a political minefield in a video game, after all, though novels can use it plentily.

    OF course, the devs make use of slavery in Fallout2, so this criticism not apply to the sequel.
     
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  24. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    <3sRichardSimmons I feel like your criticism of FO's combat and itemization neglects the fun factor. I agree that FO1 often lacks tactical or strategic depth, particularly compared to games with balance and encounter design. But FO1 is so much more satisfying and fun than most of those games.

    For instance, while FO's armor may not be balanced around interesting tactical choices, FO1 had the most enjoyable armor of any RPG I've ever played by a wide margin. The armor looked awesome. Getting better armor felt like a big accomplishment. And power armor meaningfully changed the way you approached combat. It's true I would never wear a leather jacket instead of power armor; but in terms of satisfying itemization, it was all so much better than the endless variety of +1 this, +5% resistance crap that you see in most RPGs. It felt thematic, visually and narratively. When my character put on that leather jacket, it reinforced the separation he now had from the clean Vault world he left behind. (And, of course, it references Mad Max.) When he got the combat armor, it marked a turning point where he was no longer a scavenger, but a fighter to be reckoned with. The power armor marked an even bigger transition. You saw that as a player, and you felt it.

    Same with the weapons. There may be a linear progression (though ammo management and greed for money sometimes caused me either not use a better weapon or sell it) and not a ton of tactical significance to which weapon you pick. But, again, normal fantasy RPG is: 1d6 sword; 1d6+1 sword; 1d6+1d4 fire damage sword; 2d4 mace that inflicts full damage on undead unlike your sword; etc., etc. etc. It's tedious and there's no joy in it. In FO, getting a new weapon was cool, and wielding it was incredibly satisfying. And the melee/ranged paths frankly felt substantially different from what was in most RPGs, since fantasy RPGs tended not to do ranged well, and games like X-Com didn't do melee well.

    Finally, as to combat itself, while it was poorly unbalanced and the body-part targeting was disappointing in that eventually you realized to always shoot at the eyes. But before you start shooting at the eyes, and even to some extent after, the mere fact that body-part targeting is in the game adds a lot of fun. You can't really separate FO1 combat from FO1's combat animations, either. It's a bit like God of War in that regard -- God of War has a well-made combat system, but a huge part of why it's fun is the "feel." FO1 also had a great feel, except in very large combats like the one in Bone Town. My only complaint is that explosives seemed underwhelming compared to the other elements.

    Could FO1's combat (and related itemization) have been better? Obviously, obviously yes. If FO1 had all its current virtues and the body-part targeting presented real choices, weapons had situational benefits, there were more tactics, etc., yeah, that would be amazing. But that doesn't change make FO1's combat and itemization bad -- they are among the greatest of all time when you take into account the sense of progression and joy.
     
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