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Fallout Tale of Two Wastelands, a proper look at Fallout 3 writings and designs

laclongquan

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Just currently, I am still playing Fallout Tale of Two Wastelands, the TC mod that allow playing Fallout 3 with FNV mechanics. So I am going to share my opinions of Fallout 3's writings and designs as gleaned through this mod.

Why, you ask? Because if I play F3 proper, their engine and mechanics would (ragingly) influence my opinions on F3's writings and designs. They need a cold blooded look, not red blooded.

==START==

Fallout 3's supporters generally like to point at its writings and design as greatest, GOTY material, and so on.

I say, ooookay~ You really should say " Fallout 3 has its strength, but generally can be concluded as NOT developed fully to its potential". And the term "NOT developed fully" is the key here. You can see it everywhere.

1. The Blood ties quest, where one group of mutated humans who try to suppress their cannibalistic urge down to the level of drinking blood alone, prey on a nearby community (Arefu). Nice, right? They even take a way a boy who just grow into this urge and kill his parents, and later on (may) allow this boy return and live here again.
What happen is that a simple fetch quest, go there say that. with critical info as related to the background of that quest hidden on terminal entries, no repeated anywhere.
The twist with the boy is not bad but it's single. I keep expecting the sheriff is colluded with this group but no, he seems normal.
As a story, the twist and turn just NOT developed fully.

2. The Point Lookout quest's Velvet Curtain, for another example. You discover trails of a Chinese spy pre-War, chase after her clues, blow up submarine, and finally escape the death trap. The entire quest chain involve no living being (NPC, not wild). I keep expecting the female spy jumping out any minute now, considering this game has centuries old ghoul spy, vampire-like being. But no, she's really dead.
The game keep failing my expectation by NOT developed fully their potentials.

3. Voice acting? This one keep being touted as its strength. I say, okay, good, possibly 7-8. But as a gamer of Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines and Fallout New Vegas, Fallout 3's voice acting is nothing special. This is the sneering look from the vantage point of 10/10 look down at the peasant of 7-8 points. Even if you are a fan and rate it 9/10 it's still... no where nearly good enough.

4. Liam Neeson? His is not bad but the problem is entirely F3 dev's design and placement. outside of his character Dad appear in person, which is starting game and middle game before he get killed. his most acting time is in the holodisk audio note....
Problem is, 80% of entire pack get dropped in one place with only one unit has any value. So we only need to hear one thing, and just left to dust the rest. If they get spread out they would have the chance of being heard and Liam VA get demonstrated better.

---To be continued
 
Unwanted
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Codex Year of the Donut
main FO3 plot isn't great, but it has some decent quests -- Tranquility Lane, Tenpenny Tower.
Bonus points for allowing you to not only work with slavers but capture people and sell them to the slavers.

I've never finished FO3(or FO4) because I just get bored and stop playing it eventually. Best of luck doing FNV+FO3 and not getting bored.
 

laclongquan

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Not bored. Let's get back to a few strong point of F3. Outside of writings and quests, mind, so it's off the rail

Capital Wasteland is developed as Post Apocalypse continued FOREVER. You have a big warzone with Super Mutants in the DC surrounding Capitol. The Brotherhood of Steel holding Pentagon perching on the other side of river. mercenary groups operating in the ruins. Raiders out in the countryside. And the mutated wild life is so very very much active and dangerous.

Think of Fallout 1 right after the Leutenant sending SM invading west coast towns. or Post master when the SM just spreading all over. That's the feel of of it. Good design. Thematic.

Three Dogs radio is also not bad. It's keeping the atmostphere alive. And it keep acknowledging your quest results which is nice, make me feel doing something and the world progress.

The mechanic of escorting NPC to some destination is also nicely working with lead players going through areas they might not go through. Like Escorting the slaves to Lincoln Memorial is the route I simply didnt explore. But the escorting the Dad is through an area I know like the back of my hand. of course, NPC die like flies, but that's why the mechanic "keep them essential" being there for.

Mind you, as usual, F3/FNV level up way too quickly so we dont use much time with weapons of each tier. It's very much advisable to use Slower Level Rate to do so. With FNV it's 2x rate, but with TTW it's just 1.3.
+++ Pure vanilla proper is about same rate as TTW. Problem is, we like to install heavy combat mods too much, like AWOP, inscreased spawns etc... So even 4x is about par for the course~ And 4x provide enough time for weapons of each tier.
 
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laclongquan

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Okay, the single most illustrative of F3 writing should be slavers versus slaves in two quest, the main Pitt one and the OC's Paradise Falls one.

The reason you do PF one is because you want access to that town. To that end you must enslave a few other escaping slavers and enemy of slavers. The first group is fine, I do them in my sleep. The second is a bit hard on moral, but luckily that old man taking potshot at me from afar when I tried to scavenging his town, so moral doesnt get bitten too hard.
++ The reason I dont silent kill their entire town is because the script. One die? They all turn hostile. I want to keep a few NPC alive, so this thing take a back seat for now.

The Pitt's issue is stranger. What turn out to be a straightforeward choosing of slavers or slaves in the slave revolt.... Turn out I seem to be the minority in choosing the SLAVE side, would you believe it? According to the few posts I read, most of players seem to side with Ashur and the slavers. Why? It seem those players like his reasons, his crocodile tears of hating this dirty business of making wealth based lifeblood of slaves.

Reason I chose slave side? They had to eat slop making from mutated monkeys and get killed without a care by slavers and owners. The latter is bad, sure, but the former is a killing crime by my standard, especially considering the hoity toity can drink and eat normally. SLOP, mang! 40 servings of it will kill a person (25 rad per unit). Surely anyone with any imagination would protest this dietary?

While the writing of Pitt quests are nothing special by my standard, it seem the entire thing hit gamers' psyche in some hidden corner and showcase their inhumanity in a way I entirely unexpected.
 

laclongquan

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The disconnect continue in serious area like Main Quest.

On the one hand, you have your Liam neeson jump from Rivet City to Vault 112 under a little known garage in the bumfuck of nowhere. Nothing explain, exactly, how he get from there to there. From one moment we get the simple clue that he chased after V112 and it's in a garage somewhere. The next time we know it's in bloody nook and crany of the wild open~

On the other hand, V112 does get mention in a citadel computer that we explicitly get told to get access.

BUT. But the scribe in the lab doesnt seem to know about V112. The screen doesnt show the location of V112. Which simply doesnt make sense because V112 is known to be a science facility research something, with a known famous genius scientist solo it. It's even in pretty safe country (no Super Mutant). So the BOS ignore it make no sense.

The logical step in story telling and quest design is to make a simple jump: You return from to ask Dr Li of Liam's clue from his holo note, then get directed to Citadel to ask about it. Then you drop some more Liam Neeson voice note there, and then can jump to V112 logically.

But no. Not bethesda. This step get cut out completely. You just need to scour the wasteland for that garage.

Like I said, NOT developed fully.
 

laclongquan

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Also, Bethesda writers drop the balls unexpectedly in Fallout 3, regarding romance.

NOT player's romance, but Liam Neeson's romance.

I mean, you meet Dr Li in Rivet City. Then Janice who was devotee of Li. I keep expecting her making snidely remark toward the child of potentially romantic rival or something. Or Li treating player warmly.

Same thing with Paladin Cross in Citadel, she did take Liam Neeson and player to Megaton after the wifey's death. And still remember him warmly.

Sure, it's more like gossipy material regarding your character's dad. But it should have been there to give more, I dont know, color and taste to player's character life.

but no. The dialog is sterile.

On the one hand I understand it might be a strategic decision to cut off this potentially minefield.

On the other hand, playing it safe like that meaning the game just NOT develop to its full potential.

Unlike that other game where player get played like a simple mark to do dirty work for poem. POEM!!!
 
Self-Ejected

Harry Easter

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On the one hand I understand it might be a strategic decision to cut off this potentially minefield.

Imagine to develop a game where heads explode, but a steamy love affair is too much. What a world we live in ... and now I want a post-apocalyptic game where the romance is the mainplot.
 

The Dutch Ghost

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Emil Pagliarulo
"Keep it simple, stupid."

That's Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 for you. This man is the greatest threat to the Fallout universe.

Him and his pals Todd and Pete.

Bethesda is one of the studios that makes a good case why IPs that have not been continued by their original developers or studios for some reason, should not be picked up by a different studio.
 

VonMiskov

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Emil Pagliarulo
"Keep it simple, stupid."

That's Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 for you. This man is the greatest threat to the Fallout universe.
Wow. People thinking there is still hope for Fallout franchise. :lol:

Imagine to develop a game where heads explode, but a steamy love affair is too much. What a world we live in ... and now I want a post-apocalyptic game where the romance is the mainplot.
There is a game for you S.h.e.l.t.e.r. - An Apocaliptic Tale.
https://steamcommunity.com/app/1394100
 

laclongquan

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On the one hand I understand it might be a strategic decision to cut off this potentially minefield.

Imagine to develop a game where heads explode, but a steamy love affair is too much. What a world we live in ... and now I want a post-apocalyptic game where the romance is the mainplot.

Coming from an objective gamer and audience, I do understand that disconnect. But, well, think about it from the concept of young audience.

Your boy are playing and suddenly chuckle about his character make comments about Dad's potential affair partners. Then suddenly his divorced mother go haywired and strange in the room. Thus firework commenced.

In an age with number of single mother skyhigh, this is a likely scenario. And thus a lead want to play it safe by cutting this line of development right there is... understandable. Boring, but understandable.

This should disappoint me, but since I dont have much expectation from bethesda from start, so it didnt.
 

Ol' Willy

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Capital Wasteland is developed as Post Apocalypse continued FOREVER. You have a big warzone with Super Mutants in the DC surrounding Capitol. The Brotherhood of Steel holding Pentagon perching on the other side of river. mercenary groups operating in the ruins. Raiders out in the countryside. And the mutated wild life is so very very much active and dangerous.

Think of Fallout 1 right after the Leutenant sending SM invading west coast towns. or Post master when the SM just spreading all over. That's the feel of of it. Good design. Thematic.
It's not a good design. If Master would have sent his army into the Wasteland, the war would be bloody and quick. The game almost had that - cut out feature when cities would fall to Master's army one by one. In Fagout 3, you have literal trench warfare near the Washington monument, Stalingrad in suburbs and constant war between everyone in the countryside. Post-apo society with its destroyed industrial base could not support anything resembling a long lasting war of attrition, nor has enough people for it. That's why post-apo almost always has people engaging in hit-and-run tactics, partizan warfare and such and rarely has pitched battles or frontlines.
 

laclongquan

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. Post-apo society with its destroyed industrial base could not support anything resembling a long lasting war of attrition, nor has enough people for it. That's why post-apo almost always has people engaging in hit-and-run tactics, partizan warfare and such and rarely has pitched battles or frontlines.

One condition you need to have in playing games like Fallout, from 1,2,FTBOS, 3, FNV is the absolute ignoring about the logistics and production in large scale of military supplies.

Real life logic doesnt come into it. Hell, not even ingame logic.

If you are anal about that part, the entire subgenre of PA would fall apart~
 

Ol' Willy

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One condition you need to have in playing games like Fallout, from 1,2,FTBOS, 3, FNV is the absolute ignoring about the logistics and production in large scale of military supplies.

Real life logic doesnt come into it. Hell, not even ingame logic.

If you are anal about that part, the entire subgenre of PA would fall apart~
Quite the contrary.

Fallout 1: Muties get their weapons from Mariposa base; BoS from their own bases and raids. Raiders are not very numerous and aren't heavily armed. No constant warfare around. Notice how Razors' quests requires you to clear the way to Gun Runners to obtain the way for them to rearm and launch an assault into the Boneyard.

Fallout 2: again, no constant warfare except from random raiders whom you may encounter. Enclave is well armed but lacks strength to go in and subjugate the Wasteland with the brute force, so they indulge into shady deals and their poisoning plan. NCR doesn't wage any big wars and tries to expand diplomatically. Notice how the Wright's final quest requires you to find a way into Sierra and help them to obtain high-end weapons to subjugate the city. Similarly, Salvatores use the energy weapons their get from Enclave to keep their influence.

New Vegas: now we have the major armed conflict - Legion vs NCR.

Legion doesn't have a proper industrial base so its forces are badly armed while conquered tribes provide enough recruits for the war. Legion presents highly militarized society so it can sustain losses and bring in new troops. Supplies are not a problem since Legion troops mostly live of the land or just pillage. And still, Legion prefers hit-and-run tactics, doesn't occupy cities and operates similarly to Mongol invaders of the years past.

NCR has some sort of industrial base, so it can provide weapons and equipment for its soldiers; Mojave is at the end of their supply route so logistics are the problem and this is reflected in the game fairly well. Due to the nature of the conscription in NCR morale among the troops is the problem, as well as the new recruits. NCR occupies several important landmarks where it has military camps and can control the land around, but while doing so they provide their enemy with the stationary target.

Now, Fagout 3: trench warfare between Muties and mercs in the central city, Stalingrad in other districts, legions of raiders roaming around in the countryside, Enlace launching D-Day right into the Wasteland, BoS launching Market-Garden into the Enclave mainland base... Why do they fight? Where do they get weapons and ammo? How the hell there is so much personnel involved?
 

laclongquan

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Okay, this fall into background writings, something Bethesda show its lacking in F3.

Not to save them or anything, but I can offer my guess:
+ The huge trench warfare in and around White House ruins.
+++ There is no visible goal for SM to explore around there. Human captives are a complete joke because ruins. If they want captives they can attack the communities between V87 and DC ruins. Note they completely untouch Megaton. and grandma sparkles can live on her wilhem wharf with no attack despite all SM activities around her place.
+++ So you must put forth the question: What else would they looking for? And obvious answer: weapons. Or more precise: a prewar cache. One would guess they must capture at least one, or several, to invest such huge effort in that warzone, as well as Arlington Cemetery, of which I guess the Mama Dolce's factory warehouse being a target for their exploration. MD factory should be a warehouse of prewar supply for them.
- Of course, then we must ask why Bethesda writers never mention any of this scenario. And we return to my criticism of this game: not fully developed, especially in writings and background.

This is an educated guess of mine. Because every capital have plenty of military arsenals, not just in mil barrack of defense force, but also in key place like government house and police stations. We dont even mention Pentagon, which is another hotspot outside of DC ruins. A third world nation's capital like Hanoi has 10 visible mil barracks of many types that I can see with my untrained eyes. Would shudder to think of possible number of mil barracks around superpower America's White House and DC. ESPECIALLY post apocalypse after a sudden end to the war.
=====
Note: this is entirely guess on my part. There is no mention of mil cache or store or SM capture any of that. NONE. I just extrapolate with logic. So it's not whitewashing Bethesda. Total contrary to that.
 
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laclongquan

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Okay, back to writings and the disconnect between writing and gameplay

Issue: Trouble on Homefront. aka a little revisit our little ol vault.

It's written, so it can not be changed in story placement, that this revisit happen after James died on Purity. Okay. But what's about the little tiny problems of V101 like, I dont know, it should have happened right after leaving Vault, for the noob. Speech check 40, cheap loot...
 

laclongquan

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Same type of issue

We can get in touch with the active quest at Grayditch prrrrrrretty damn fast by random encounter where npc seeking us out to inform us troubles are crawling all over gray ditch.

Nothing special about Grayditch other than a type of unique enemy: giant fire ant. These type is pretty much more dangerous than your usual giant ant. Though fire ant nectar is unique and once you harvest it here, kapoot, no more in the game. I got 16+ and I use it very goddamned carefully. Same deal with Rum Nuka, a very rare alcohol you can buy. Both are +AGI type of buff.

Okay. Other than that we also have Shalebridge, an area all about ants. No living human NPC, either. That's it. No background, no writing, no connection.

Really, they really should have something to link this area with Grayditch's ant researcher over, just to create a connection. Or something in writing way back at GD just to raise our interest into investigating Shale bridge, for fire ant nectar if not anything else.

Zip. Zero. Nada. "not fully developed" is all over here as well.

You know, we Fallout fans are very familiar with locations or people get mentioned but not developed into the game, like Sulik's village and his sister. We are very much NOT familiar with locations already in the game but just... ignored, not mentioned in anything. I know it's like real life's lost locations, but ingame it's damn annoying.
 

Ol' Willy

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+++ So you must put forth the question: What else would they looking for? And obvious answer: weapons. Or more precise: a prewar cache. One would guess they must capture at least one, or several, to invest such huge effort in that warzone, as well as Arlington Cemetery, of which I guess the Mama Dolce's factory warehouse being a target for their exploration. MD factory should be a warehouse of prewar supply for them.
- Of course, then we must ask why Bethesda writers never mention any of this scenario. And we return to my criticism of this game: not fully developed, especially in writings and background.
You're being too generous to Shittesda writers. If muties do look for the weapons, the question is - who orders them? Once again, in Fallout 1 Unity has powerful leaders: post-human Master and very intelligent Lieutenant. In Fagout 3, muties have no leadership whatsoever. It's just bands of orks that ravage the Wasteland and collect human parts into the "gore bags". How come that these beasts have the intelligence to look for the weapon caches? How do they even know about them?

Let's keep digging the grave deeper. It is established that the source of East Coast muties is Vault 87. To create a new mutie they have to capture new people and drag them all the way to the Vault 87. Given the numbers of muties in Fagout 3, where do they get so much people? Do they turn raiders into muties?

This brings us further. The main goal of muties - akin to that of Fallout 1 - should be the capture of more people for turning them into new muties. And here it is: there is no people living in the Washington ruins. They are all barren. There is no logical reason for muties to be there.
 

Falksi

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If any game is being analysed to this degree it's done something right.

I thrived on FO3 first time round, but have found all subsequent playthroughs to be drab, awful experiences. However folk need to take it for what it is, an attempt to drag some of the popamole market into "RPG" gaming. And to that end it worked and worked well. Many who play it will give it a once through, then never touch it again.

It's a disposable open world RPG adventure designed very much like a Blackpool weekend love affair. Find 'em, feel 'em, finger 'em, fuck 'em, forget 'em.
 
Unwanted
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+++ So you must put forth the question: What else would they looking for? And obvious answer: weapons. Or more precise: a prewar cache. One would guess they must capture at least one, or several, to invest such huge effort in that warzone, as well as Arlington Cemetery, of which I guess the Mama Dolce's factory warehouse being a target for their exploration. MD factory should be a warehouse of prewar supply for them.
- Of course, then we must ask why Bethesda writers never mention any of this scenario. And we return to my criticism of this game: not fully developed, especially in writings and background.
You're being too generous to Shittesda writers. If muties do look for the weapons, the question is - who orders them? Once again, in Fallout 1 Unity has powerful leaders: post-human Master and very intelligent Lieutenant. In Fagout 3, muties have no leadership whatsoever. It's just bands of orks that ravage the Wasteland and collect human parts into the "gore bags". How come that these beasts have the intelligence to look for the weapon caches? How do they even know about them?

Let's keep digging the grave deeper. It is established that the source of East Coast muties is Vault 87. To create a new mutie they have to capture new people and drag them all the way to the Vault 87. Given the numbers of muties in Fagout 3, where do they get so much people? Do they turn raiders into muties?

This brings us further. The main goal of muties - akin to that of Fallout 1 - should be the capture of more people for turning them into new muties. And here it is: there is no people living in the Washington ruins. They are all barren. There is no logical reason for muties to be there.
I don't see what's wrong with assuming they retain some memories of prior to becoming a super mutant. Weapons good, more super mutants good.
Do they turn raiders into muties?
why wouldn't they?
 

Alphons

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Orcs' dialogue
https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/AudioTemplateSuperMutant.txt

They're looking for green stuff AKA FEV.
Dialogue mentions that they even stopped catching Wastelanders to turn them into more Orcs and focus on looking for FEV.

Why are they involved in a trench warfare againt BoS in the center of D.C. looking for a pre-war supersoldier project?
That's Bethesda world building for you.
 
Unwanted
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Codex Year of the Donut
Orcs' dialogue
https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/AudioTemplateSuperMutant.txt

They're looking for green stuff AKA FEV.
Dialogue mentions that they even stopped catching Wastelanders to turn them into more Orcs and focus on looking for FEV.

Why are they involved in a trench warfare againt BoS in the center of D.C. looking for a pre-war supersoldier project?
That's Bethesda world building for you.
they need more FEV to create more supermutants? this seems logical to me
I'm really not sure why you guys are digging so hard to shit on bethesda to the point where you're making yourselves look like idiots in the process
 

Alphons

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Orcs' dialogue
https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/AudioTemplateSuperMutant.txt

They're looking for green stuff AKA FEV.
Dialogue mentions that they even stopped catching Wastelanders to turn them into more Orcs and focus on looking for FEV.

Why are they involved in a trench warfare againt BoS in the center of D.C. looking for a pre-war supersoldier project?
That's Bethesda world building for you.
they need more FEV to create more supermutants? this seems logical to me
I'm really not sure why you guys are digging so hard to shit on bethesda to the point where you're making yourselves look like idiots in the process

But if you check Vault 87 terminals, they've barely dented their supply? Why are they looking for more if the Vault experiments and creation of thousands of Orcs didn't even use half the stuff?

rusty_shackleford Whoops, checked the wikia and you're right.
 
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Unwanted
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Codex Year of the Donut
Orcs' dialogue
https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/AudioTemplateSuperMutant.txt

They're looking for green stuff AKA FEV.
Dialogue mentions that they even stopped catching Wastelanders to turn them into more Orcs and focus on looking for FEV.

Why are they involved in a trench warfare againt BoS in the center of D.C. looking for a pre-war supersoldier project?
That's Bethesda world building for you.
they need more FEV to create more supermutants? this seems logical to me
I'm really not sure why you guys are digging so hard to shit on bethesda to the point where you're making yourselves look like idiots in the process

But if you check Vault 87 terminals, they've barely dented their supply? Why are they looking for more if the Vault experiments and creation of thousands of Orcs didn't even use half the stuff?
all the test chambers state
FEV Tanks Depleted
 

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