Anything without a home!
 2
Reply  
Avatar

Forum_Pirate

Duke's Archivist
Judge

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:00 pm
Location: International waters
Souls: 22,906.50
Posts: 11906
Reputation: 387
Wiki Edits: 18
#11
Here is an overused but still relevant breakdown of how quests work in good RPGs. In this specific case, fallout NV.
Image

Fallout 4 doesn't do this. Virtually every quest is a strictly linear progression of "go to places and murder the things."

Even in some of the less interesting quests (both in Fallout NV and in like Pillars of Eternity) even if a quest does boil down to "go here and kill the things" there are complications, choices, and multiple endings. Lets use Pillars as an example:

There is a priestess who's faith in the goddess of fire and war keeps sacred torches throught the city lit, and they've gone out because a scourge of what is essentially stillbornes has shaken her faith. She's been having visions from her god about an item that will restore her faith, an all she knows about it is that it's in a cave. Your job, is to go get it. Doing so is a smiple matter of killing all the monsters in the cave, which you do (with a lot of difficulty) and take it back. Now the real choice comes in.

See, the goddess of war is more a goddess of conflict than of war specifically, something that both this quest and one of your companions have made quite clear. So after retrieving the item you have, essentially, 3 options. You can cop out with an "I don't know", You may give her the artifact and restore her faith, or you may give her the artifact but explain that by sending you to engage with the conflict instead she has failed her goddess and proved she doesn't have faith. The quest isn't asking you "do the right thing or be a psycho" or "do the right thing or be selfish" it's asking "how do you interpret conflict and trials, how do you interpret this gods teachings regarding them, do you agree with this gods teachings as you understand them, and are you willing to lie about it to make this woman feel better."

Fallout 4 doesn't do this kind of thing very often either. It doesn't ask you to think, either as your character or as yourself, to find the answers to those questions. It tells you to go shoot things. (Side note, did you know you can beat Fallout NV without killing (or allowing your companions to kill) a single sentient being?

It also doesn't seem to have any idea how motivations work. The game wants you to be a desperate parent searching for their chld, as the dialouge of the main story frequently reflects, but the actual game gives you every reason (and opportunity) to do literally everything else, so after 24 months of building up your boston shipping empire you do a story mission and are suddenly a desperate parent again. Good RPGs align the player and character motivations as much as possible. More linear RPGs have an easier time of this (they can just not let you do anything else so if you're interested in playing the game at all then both you and your character are motivated to do the story) but even open world RPGs where you can just ignore the story and not run out of things to do for a long time can do this. Fallout New Vegas does it by making almost every quest relate directly to one faction or another, all of whom stand to be helped or hurt by the main conflict so you have a reason to resolve it, and of course if it's pure self interest then you also stand to become filthy rich and get revenge by doing the main story. So when you inevitably get bored of pure exploring, basically everything you do gives you a reason to do the main story.

I can go on, but I'll do a TL:DR version instead

In summary, literally none of the things that make a good RPG are present in any great quantity in Fallout 4. The story is bad and doesn't make sense, the world design is bad and doesn't make sense (why are all 3 of the "cities" in the middle of the most dangerous parts of the boston ruins? Why have those areas not been mostly/completely cleared of significant threats? Random raider traps sure maybe, but full blown raider and supermutant strongholds? Clearing those out, if you want any trade at all, would be priority number one) the dialogue is bad, it's not actually asking interesting questions about how you and/or your character relate to the world, the quest design is strictly linear at basically all times and only offers 1 way to do most everything (murder,) the characters are almost all 1 note tropes and none of them interact with either you or eachother realistically based on their personalities and values. Probably more if I though about it.
"Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions"
- George W. Bush
Avatar

qeter

Insomniac
Sinner

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:44 pm
Souls: 50.00
Bank: 4,558.00
Posts: 1004
Reputation: 28
Wiki Edits: 5
#12
on the subject of professional analyzers such as mathewmattois, i find that they seem smart until one is very familiar with the subject matter.
similar to news stations in that regard.
Avatar

IgnusKnavery

Caffeinated
Guardian

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:00 pm
Souls: 5,308.00
Posts: 945
Reputation: 62
#13
Forum_Pirate wrote:Here is an overused but still relevant breakdown of how quests work in good RPGs. In this specific case, fallout NV.
Image

Fallout 4 doesn't do this. Virtually every quest is a strictly linear progression of "go to places and murder the things."

Even in some of the less interesting quests (both in Fallout NV and in like Pillars of Eternity) even if a quest does boil down to "go here and kill the things" there are complications, choices, and multiple endings. Lets use Pillars as an example:

There is a priestess who's faith in the goddess of fire and war keeps sacred torches throught the city lit, and they've gone out because a scourge of what is essentially stillbornes has shaken her faith. She's been having visions from her god about an item that will restore her faith, an all she knows about it is that it's in a cave. Your job, is to go get it. Doing so is a smiple matter of killing all the monsters in the cave, which you do (with a lot of difficulty) and take it back. Now the real choice comes in.

See, the goddess of war is more a goddess of conflict than of war specifically, something that both this quest and one of your companions have made quite clear. So after retrieving the item you have, essentially, 3 options. You can cop out with an "I don't know", You may give her the artifact and restore her faith, or you may give her the artifact but explain that by sending you to engage with the conflict instead she has failed her goddess and proved she doesn't have faith. The quest isn't asking you "do the right thing or be a psycho" or "do the right thing or be selfish" it's asking "how do you interpret conflict and trials, how do you interpret this gods teachings regarding them, do you agree with this gods teachings as you understand them, and are you willing to lie about it to make this woman feel better."

Fallout 4 doesn't do this kind of thing very often either. It doesn't ask you to think, either as your character or as yourself, to find the answers to those questions. It tells you to go shoot things. (Side note, did you know you can beat Fallout NV without killing (or allowing your companions to kill) a single sentient being?

It also doesn't seem to have any idea how motivations work. The game wants you to be a desperate parent searching for their chld, as the dialouge of the main story frequently reflects, but the actual game gives you every reason (and opportunity) to do literally everything else, so after 24 months of building up your boston shipping empire you do a story mission and are suddenly a desperate parent again. Good RPGs align the player and character motivations as much as possible. More linear RPGs have an easier time of this (they can just not let you do anything else so if you're interested in playing the game at all then both you and your character are motivated to do the story) but even open world RPGs where you can just ignore the story and not run out of things to do for a long time can do this. Fallout New Vegas does it by making almost every quest relate directly to one faction or another, all of whom stand to be helped or hurt by the main conflict so you have a reason to resolve it, and of course if it's pure self interest then you also stand to become filthy rich and get revenge by doing the main story. So when you inevitably get bored of pure exploring, basically everything you do gives you a reason to do the main story.

I can go on, but I'll do a TL:DR version instead

In summary, literally none of the things that make a good RPG are present in any great quantity in Fallout 4. The story is bad and doesn't make sense, the world design is bad and doesn't make sense (why are all 3 of the "cities" in the middle of the most dangerous parts of the boston ruins? Why have those areas not been mostly/completely cleared of significant threats? Random raider traps sure maybe, but full blown raider and supermutant strongholds? Clearing those out, if you want any trade at all, would be priority number one) the dialogue is bad, it's not actually asking interesting questions about how you and/or your character relate to the world, the quest design is strictly linear at basically all times and only offers 1 way to do most everything (murder,) the characters are almost all 1 note tropes and none of them interact with either you or eachother realistically based on their personalities and values. Probably more if I though about it.


After putting a lot of hours into the newer Fallout games, I'd have to agree--especially with 4. It was not memorable, it had clunky controls, the graphics seem washed out, it consisted of A to B quests with no options, and I don't even remember the ending. I'm really losing interest in open world games though. I haven't even kept playing Horizons on PS4 after the beginning area simply because of the time investment I think it will require.

I do own Fallout 2, which is killer. I might have to load that up again.
“I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

SeyroonTheMage

Casual
Convict

Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 10:16 am
Souls: 445.00
Posts: 60
Reputation: 5
Wiki Edits: 8
#14
What games design elements can potentially break games when applied in extreme excess, other than difficulty?
Avatar

Forum_Pirate

Duke's Archivist
Judge

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:00 pm
Location: International waters
Souls: 22,906.50
Posts: 11906
Reputation: 387
Wiki Edits: 18
#15
All of them.
"Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions"
- George W. Bush
Avatar

qeter

Insomniac
Sinner

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:44 pm
Souls: 50.00
Bank: 4,558.00
Posts: 1004
Reputation: 28
Wiki Edits: 5
#16
SeyroonTheMage wrote:What games design elements can potentially break games when applied in extreme excess, other than difficulty?

this may be stretching the question but the video game elements I've never seen ruin a game are the UI (bad games will tend to have bad UI but good games have at least passable ones) and music (which tends to be ignoreable, mutable, or good).
Avatar

Forum_Pirate

Duke's Archivist
Judge

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:00 pm
Location: International waters
Souls: 22,906.50
Posts: 11906
Reputation: 387
Wiki Edits: 18
#17
You've never played a bad strategy game. The UI can absolutely render those unplayable. The atrocious UI (mostly the inventory) is stil the reason I haven't played Divinity Original Sin solo (though I have in co-op.) It's not worth playing if I have to wade through that garbage for all 4 characters.

Obviously this isn't true for you, but I cannot play games with the sound muted, even specific parts of it like music. Really bad music will absolutely run an otherwise decent game or elevate a simply decent game.
"Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions"
- George W. Bush
 2