Did Fallout 4 dumb down its RPG?

Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:16 am

To the point, no I do not feel it dumbed down the RPG elements, as I usually enforce my own RP elements when I play these games., while working in tandem with the pre-defined origin story, under the statement that who I -was- doesn't matter, so much as the person I am becoming.

And I love New Vegas. I love the Fallout series, each and every one of them has a special place in my heart, but if you gave me the choice of which wasteland I would want to spend an evening on a walk about, I'm going to say the Commonwealth over the Mojave. Walking around the Mojave was like taking a walk in my backyard. I live in and near where New Vegas takes place. I was bored, walking the endless deserts and busted highways. I couldn't get the joy of getting lost in New Vegas, as I had been in Fallout 3, where I honestly enjoyed just walking around the overworld. Fallout 4 gave that back to me, and it pulls me in, gives me back the immersion I lost in New Vegas.

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Karen anwyn Green
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:05 pm

The characters are fine, as is the plot. The dialogue will have to defend itself, though. I'm sure not going to do it. :)

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Kahli St Dennis
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:30 pm

1. The dialogue is fine, having more dialogue =/= a better rpg or having less dialogue options =/= being worse.
2. Nope, there are tons of characters with personality, some better than what we got in New Vegas
3. Plot is still there and in fact did a better job than New Vegas's where even the devs and writers question something about the plot of the game, like the lack of an option for the courier to just walk out or being forced to track down benny in order to progress through the main story. Hell, even Fallout 4's attempt at the fourth faction because you pissed off the other three is better than New Vegas as the Minutemen make more sense and have more personality than tacked on Yes-man.
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Soraya Davy
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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:22 am

Why do people feel like they must constantly compare Fallout 3/4 to Fallout New Vegas? It seems like every topic these days turns into people tearing down one to make the other look better. Why can't we just appreciate both games for what they are, instead one always having to be 'better' than the other? It's really getting rather depressing to be a Fallout fan.

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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:31 am

It simplified its mechanics and it has the sales to show for it. There is a reason why lots of companies like to go for the LCD instead of making a product for a specific group of people.

Bethesda seems to be going more towards a sandbox environment with their games. Especially with Settlements, Equipment modification, console mods, Assaultron, and Wasteland Workshop.

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Emma Louise Adams
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:52 pm

Which is good because I enjoy Sandbox open worlds.

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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:51 pm

I don't get the feeling of anything "simplified" over NV other than the dialogue wheel and that's welcome to me. If they insist on having a voiced protag, I'd rather not have to read my entire dialogue AND have to hear him say it word for word as well. Having one or the other is fine for me. Having both would be redundant and ridiculous

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Alyesha Neufeld
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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:53 am

I can understand the criticism but honestly I feel like the whole argument of "It's bad because I can't see what they're saying before hand!" is kinda overblown. I honestly started playing when the mod that expands the dialogue list to show exactly what the player is saying beforehand and right now I'm playing with default vanilla options and honestly? Both are fine and it really doesn't hurt the game in anyway.
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Sarah Knight
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:13 pm

Fallout 4 has allowed a special kind of consequences that has yet to be touched in previous games or any RPG at all really, rebuilding a society from the ground up. After rising through the ranks of the Brotherhood and defeating the greatest spectre hanging over the Commonwealth, the Sentinel has nurtured a Brotherhood/Minutemen alliance that has had profound impact on how the Commonwealth lives. The slow march of society is reclaiming the wasteland, with settlements being built to be things like farms, market towns, and scavenging workshops. Trade has connected the people of the Commonwealth in manners that weren't available before, there is a massive supply chain that means that settler in the Market Town of Sanctuary don't need to tend the crops to survive, they import food from places like Abernathy and Sunshine Tidings while they focus on tending shops that provide a greater income to the Brotherhood and Minutemen.

And its all my character that made that happen. The Brotherhood showed up and I was the critical person that brought them victory. The Minutemen were down to a small handful of people, and now they are something like a regional auxiliary force for The Sentinels plans in the 'wealth, and the Railroad and Institute have been victims of horrible genocide as the Brotherhood has enacted a purge against those it believes to be abominations of technology.

It fits in perfectly with the Falloutverse, and its something that is unique to Fallout 4, and provides something different from every other game. Sure there is the Real Time Settler mod that inspired all this, but can you really compare that to coming across The Commonwealth as a region of great strife, and through sheer girt and determination build it into a grand society that would be the envy of surrounding wasteland powers?

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Joey Bel
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:09 pm

FONV had the better main quest (FO4 was flawed, but had more emotional investment), and House and Caesar's Legion were better written leaders and factions. All four in FO4 are pretty boring, its like having four NCR's fighting for the commonwealth.

FO4 has the better written side quests/factions, companions/NPCs (outside of the main protagonists).

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Lisa Robb
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:28 pm

It's interesting how one of the endings turns the Commonwealth into a EC California in many ways. The Minutemen also start to resemble the NCR.

My complaint with the MM is their flawless morality. Their faction is presented in a strict white manner with no grey complexities. Where as the NCR is a very morally grey faction with complexities.
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:32 pm

To be fair, both Commander Shepard and Geralt of Rivia have way more character and a better story than the Sole Survivor.

The player has no real investment in the SS as this is a standalone story, and yet adding in a voiced protagonist only deepens the rift for player investment because there is indeed "some" personality, but it's utterly throwaway as they'll only ever feature here, in Fallout 4.

Fallout 4 is the story of the Commonwealth and your role in the events that transpire. You are but one character in one specific area in the post-apocalypse, and there are many more like you. The overarching theme of Fallout is one of the world after the bombs fell, and each game is a localised instance of an individual rising up to change things. The PC is both an avatar and a vehicle for the experience and that's why people feel estranged when they gave your character a personality.

Personally, I find Fallout less immersive than The Elder Scrolls, but I don't think it's to do with it's RPG aspects per se. I believe the world of Tamriel is so rich and beautifully crafted that it is the real star of that franchise, and is what keeps many players (including myself) both immersed and invested in the experience.

Fallout, on the other hand, has a ruined, retro-futuristic 1950s America theme, and in all honesty, the world itself is getting old and tired. Not to the point where people have lost interest, but certainly enough to result in a loss of genuine care for the world itself. This is part of the reason why I've maintained the stance that we need a change of scenery in Fallout. Seriously, ANY other country will do, it doesn't matter which.

Furthermore, the world of Fallout isn't even that hard to imagine. Tamriel is pure fantasy, but "ruined America" is all too easy to envisage imo.

My point being that the PC has never been a Bethesda forté, but the world in Fallout is wearing thin. Throughout TES we've had myriads of different monsters and factions and eras. Fallout has the Super Mutants, the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave, Feral Ghouls, Mirelurks, Yao Guai, Raiders, Deathclaws, Radscorpions, Bloatflies and various robots; and the worst part is, all they do is cycle the same characters/creatures/facets and just add in either "one off" factions or characters, or a comparative handful of new enemy types.

And do you know what else? The whole ignoring of New Vegas in Fallout 4 really hurts the game too. In every TES game, the world feels connected to whatever happened before and it really conveys that sense of continuation with the lore. Taking Fallout 3 as the rebirth of the franchise (and scant few references to anything that came before) they establish the fundamentals. New Vegas built upon that with more factions and made a lot of content of what happened, in the games prior to FO3, both digestible and current to the franchise. Fallout 4 distanced itself from that, added in a voiced protagonist (a character that will last for one game, and be a footnote in future games) and gave a couple of nods to FO3. There's no real world-building for the franchise between games, everything is very instanced and consequently, forgettable.

The cast doesn't change much, the stage props are falling to bits and the audience is tired of saying "He's behind you!" in morally ambiguous terms.

That's how I see it anyway.

I still enjoy the series and Fallout 4 though, and I have no regrets whatsoever over my purchase of both the game and the season pass.

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Johanna Van Drunick
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:20 pm

Nice observation Nedict. I agree 100

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Sunnii Bebiieh
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:14 pm

I honestly wouldn't even say the main quest of NV was all that great, I've played both games, I love both games but New Vegas's main quest is a drag. The quests themselves are pretty boring but the writing is ok but it's important to note that most of this writing is background fluff that has almost little to do with the main quest itself.

Most of the main quest in New Vegas was just "Hey do these side-quests in order to progress" or go somewhere. I don't feel like I'm actually working for the faction I feel like I'm being railroaded into doing side quests because that's what it is. Even a good percent of tracking down Benny is just "hey, do these side quests"

Fallout 4's factions aren't "four NCRs" they're morally ambiguous factions where you build your opinion on them. The only one I would actually compare to the NCR is the Minutemen. Whereas New Vegas was taking a faction that's been around since Fallout 1, a raider gang but larger with a tacked on faux roman taste, business man who feels straight out of Bioshock and tacked on independent choice. They're honestly not that interesting in-game wise to do jobs for but the background lore you'll learn (mostly through exposition dumps which honestly actually svcks) is alright.
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neil slattery
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:36 pm

That's because they aren't a faction so much as a mutual defense force. They don't have an agenda, good or bad, beyond making the Commonwealth a safe (from raiders, mutants, synths and whatever else makes life difficult) place for people to live in. The corruption would come later after a governing body is established.

I mean, what 'grey complexities' would you have them exhibit at this point in their development?

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Ownie Zuliana
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:42 pm

I think I agree with all of this aside from NV's main quest. I've spent so much time with that game and still cannot find a single ounce of will to push myself through it most times. I can understand the need to find the man that shot you but beyond that? I just can't find interest in helping any of the main factions really. Aside from "ok I wanna play an [censored] and do the [censored] quests" I don't have a reason to side with Caesar or vice versa the NCR, House, or the damn robot. None of their causes drive me to want to help them. But as you said, 4 has more emotional investment and I think that's more what has me enjoying the progression of the MQ more than NV

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Roisan Sweeney
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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:13 am

I don't really like how there's a default character with his own story and personality. That's not really good for the Fallout series. If Bethesda wants to make another Fallout game (or anyone for that matter) they should bring back the tagging skill ability. The tagging skill ability allows more than one way to interact with the game and it combined with the faction system from Fallout 4, should really open up lots of possibilities.

That being said, Fallout 4 is more of a Japanese RPG, while the older ones are more of a western-style. Fallout 4 hasn't necessarily dumbed down the RPG elements of the game, but more of the dialogue has been toned down to soften development.

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casey macmillan
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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:48 am

simplified rpg, no really. more so, slowly crossing over to fps action.

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Vickey Martinez
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:21 pm

Uh, that's all the fallout series has ever been. Default characters with their own story. 1, 2, tactics, 3, New Vegas and 4 start with characters with their own background and life story. 1 starts with the vault dweller being forced to find a water chip for their home, you have the choice of three character portraits and backgrounds. 2 starts with a tribal deemed the Chosen One who is the descendant of the Vault Dweller, you have a limited selection of portraits and you have a pre-made family and backstory and so on and so on. Each game, even new vegas, starts with the character having a pre-determined background, it's not TES where you're an outsider, an outcast, someone who has no clue about this new world they're thrown into and has no back-story.

Yeeeeano. It's still a complex RPG with a lot of RPG mechanics in it. The whole "It's just an action FPS" bullcrap is just plain out wrong arguments made by people who make quick judgement or refuse to acknowledge the actual rpg mechanics in it just to make it seem worse.
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Lisha Boo
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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:32 am

I don't think so. Most skills needed to get to a particular value to do things, so the change to Perks as they are now just got rid of the pointless need to increase skills until the extra abilities kicked in.

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leigh stewart
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:56 pm

Because now the shooting doesn't svck? That doesn't take away from the RPG factors of the game at all. Just means the shooting doesn't svck anymore

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Lynette Wilson
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:37 pm

Every Fallout game follows the pattern of a personal conflict to drive you into the wider wasteland that then turns into a larger conflict threatening the waste as a whole. Tracking down Shaun or going full revenge western on Benny and then getting involved in the geopolitics of the waste as a whole aren't really that different from eachother.

The only major shakeup has been the multiple choices between factions that was brought to the series in New Vegas, and was continued in Fallout 4. Its not just straight NCR or Minutemen versus Legion or Institute, there's all sorts of ways to do things.

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Jamie Lee
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Post » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:26 am

I was going to mention this but was rusty on all the specifics of the older games. There really is NO blank slate in any Fallout

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Kortknee Bell
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:18 pm

Disagree. That would be RAGE, which WAS a shooter FPS set in a PA America.

For what that game was it was damn good. Still sour they never did a sequel. The material had potential
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DAVId MArtInez
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Post » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:34 pm

Agreed with much of what you said, the FONV main questline was defintely not particular riveting (unlike FO4 main quest which was at certain points).

However, I think the FONV factions and leaders were more fleshed out. Caesar's Legions felt like a real culture, with their own idioms, phrases, distinct dress styles and ranks. And there was psychology and history of Caesar and why he founded the Legion. MM, RR, and the Institute definitely lacked that element. FONV did a better job with lore/world building with their main factions.

Also Caesar and House were ambitious, arguably villians, which FO4 also lacked. A good villian always helps move a story along. Almost a neccesity for a game w/o a well defined protagonist.

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Ross Thomas
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