Random Thoughts About Fallout 3

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by Tiny Tim, May 5, 2017.

  1. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    I'm replaying fallout 3 after chronologically replaying 1 and 2. I've played 3 many times but back then i wasn't familiar with the series and thus never paid attention to it. Also, i'm doing an evil playthrough just to make my experience a little different. So here are some random thoughts

    #Evil choices should be rewarded:

    Unless someone is mentally ill ( which is not as dramatically interesting as most depictions let on and can be boring in RPGs ) they don't want to go through the trouble of doing something "evil" without motivation. So for the choice between good and evil actions to have any meaning, the evil path must somehow be rewarding or even fascinating to the player. Most games i've played fail to realize this and those that do chicken out and never take it to its interesting extremes.
    For example in bioshock, i fondly remember the moment i chose not to drain the first little sister i encountered. It wasn't an easy choice and i felt captivated, until i quickly realized that Atlas had exaggerated about me needing all the adam i can get to survive. Half was indeed enough to survive, but with all the gifts the game was throwing at me as well as having my conscience clear, whatever ( small ) adam penalty became neglectable. So why would i want to kill little girls any more?

    Now, the choices in fallout 3 are purely good vs evil choices ( "what kind of person are you going to be" is what the game is all about ) and the morality of them is very much in-your-face like you're watching christian propaganda or a bad kids cartoon, mainly because there's no reason for someone to be evil in the F3 universe unless they actively choose to become evil. The game takes this to extremes by actively mocking its antagonists.
    Take tempenny and mr burke: they blow up an entire city for apparent reason and as if that wasn't enough for them to be shallow, they also have noticeably funny voices and are making pathetic jokes in every second sentence they utter ( e.g. "heigh ho", "i just had this suit tailored" etc ). In short, they're being ridiculed by the game for their evil choices. They might as well be holding a sign that said " look kids, i'm a bad person that needs to be punished". Every antagonist in the game is portrayed exactly like this. Even the generic raiders are no exception: instead of harsh people looking for food and supplies you get retarded harley quinns.

    So with that in mind, it shouldn't be surprising 99% of the protagonist's potential evil choices aren't making any sense, even opportunistically speaking, and that bethesda went so far as to almost completely remove them in fallout 4. What does the player get for blowing up megaton? 500 ( or 1000 ) caps and a small hotel room. Compared with 100 ( or 500 ) caps and a much better house that the player gets for disarming the bomb the difference is negligible at best without even taking conscience into consideration. It's worth it once for laughs but it becomes boring fast.
    Note that the megaton quest is often cited as having one of the most intriguing choices in the game, meaning that the rest of them are even less interesting.

    The only evil thing i have somewhat enjoyed so far is enslaving people and having fun with the mesmetron. It's probably the only feature that's unique for the evil character and you get paid for doing it.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  2. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    #Bits and pieces from an old story

    One of the interesting aspects of fallout 3- that is also one of its weaknesses- is that the real story or stories seem to have taken place in the past. Nothing important is happening to the protagonist or anyone he meets as he roams the wasteland but where the game shines are the pieces of storytelling that you find here and there. The holotapes, the terminal entries, the ghouls or skeletons of people that are descripted in game, the adventures of herbert daring dashwood, as well as locations like the the dunwich building or even stuff like the backstory of " you gotta shoot them in the head" quest never fail to attract my attention ( even when they're badly written ) in a way that sara lyons and colonel autumn can never do.

    I think that's because in fallout 3's universe time has stopped when the bombs fell. Every object in the world seems to be stuck in the past like miss havisham's mansion. So you get the feeling that the real stories have already happened before you were born.

    edit: it may also be because emil or whoever writes the game cannot write believable characters and dialogues if their lives depended on it. So the stories that are presented from a safe distance via holotapes are much more believable ( due to our imagination filling in the gaps )
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
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  3. Apollyon

    Apollyon First time out of the vault

    Apr 29, 2017
    After having played F:NV for a while, I too have picked up Fallout 3 for another spin. I've been loving it so far.

    I understand your frustrations about being evil. Personally I feel like in F:NV it's worse, though. In F:NV I couldn't manage to get my karma to drop under neutral without going out of my way to do irrationally evil things.
    In Fallout 3 atleast you're being offered money most of the time, and things like extorting people for extra cash are also common options during quests, which ties in nicely with being evil for a reason. I got to negative karma naturally, without having to act like a (complete) psychopath.
    Evilness should be rewarded more handsomely, though. Otherwise it doesn't create the moral dillemma that it should. Personally I don't think a lack of rewarding evil options is the problem, but rather that there's no real way to spend the thousands of caps you end up with.
    So far though, I've come across a lot of things where you can be evil in a rational way and be rewarded:

    SPOILERS, though:

    - Slaver questlines (have you enslaved Little Lamplight yet? >:) )
    - Android questline in Rivet City -> You get 'Wired Reflexes', which is a great perk!
    - Silver 'quest'
    - Big Town quest (extorting them for more money after you saved their sorry hides)
    - Megaton, I mean hey, it's still a 1000 caps + a luxury suite. Gotta wanna roleplay a little bit to appreciate the evil choices, imo
    - Killing Greta to get Charon's contract in Underworld
    - Murdering for Mr. Crowley

    Then there's evil choices which aren't rewarded with negative karma.
    To give you an example, in Canterbury Commons you can use a speech option to get more money for solving their 'superhero' problem. Murdering both 'superheroes' is kind of a cruel thing to do, since they're both pretty naive not very evil, but you don't get a bunch of negative karma for it (unless you choose specific dialogue options, I think) and get rewarded handsomely.
    Gotta appreciate these options too, despite the game not giving you negative karma for it.
  4. Risewild

    Risewild Half-way Through My Half-life
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    You can also help Roy Phillips with killing everyone in the Tenpenny's Tower.
    Using the FEV in the purifier can also be seen as evil I guess.
    Sending the idiot from Girdeshade to his death (only works if the player has a female character).
    Selling Bryan Wilks to the slavers.
    Destroying Moira Brown's life long dream of writing a Wasteland Survival Guide (and the player gets a perk as a reward).
    Telling General Autumn the purifier code (and what a great reward we get for that :slap:).
    I usually exploit the replicated man quest, I consider my actions there to be evil too (I basically end up with both the perk and the weapon rewards).
    Killing the peaceful aliens in Mothership Zeta...

    But yeah, rewards for it aren't that much or exist at all for many "evil" stuff. It's being evil for the sake of being evil I guess :confused:.
  5. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    ( wow, i hadn't realized you could enslave LL! That's kind of cool )
    Yes, i see what you're saying about NV. Karma in new vegas is broken as a function, for example you can kill people for no karma loss but taking their stuff from their blood stained selves would result in karma loss. But if you ignore it altogether and chose your own path, evil actions are never as shallow as the ones in F3, even if the rewards for them are not immediately given to you in-game.
    For example, in a mr house playthrough you have to completely destroy the brotherhood bunker and basically commit a small genocide and end the most iconic faction in the history of fallout. This is horrible, but compare it with the megaton incident and you'll see that unlike megaton there are real questions to be answered here. Like, is mr house right about BoS? And if he is ( which he very well might be!), is genocide the solution? And if it is ( which for me is a very disturbing thought ) should my character be the one to commit it or is no solution better than such a cruel solution?
    So, while you're not given any actual in-game reward for blowing up the BOS bunker, you never feel like there's no motivation to do it. This is the kind of stuff that makes me love NV.
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  6. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015

    Seriously, we've all discussed a lot about how fallout 4 removed skills and only has perks but i hadn't realized that this is not entirely true. In fact, there had never really been skills and perks at the same time in bethesda's fallout. Hear me out:
    Perks in fallout 3 are a lot different than the ones from new vegas. The vast majority of perks in fallout 3 are skill related. Those that aren't skill related are often % related ( like more accuracy in vats, more damage against certain targets etc). Therefore, for the most part perks=skills ( shocking, i know )

    Very few creative perks exist in fallout 3, and out of those most are not very useful.

    Granted fallout 3's level progression was much more fun, but ultimately the system is the same. The only differences i can think of in fallout 4's system is that
    1. instead of raising your gun skills by 20 points in a level you get a perk that raises your damage by 20%
    2. Your base "skill" in all weapons in fallout 4 seems to be higher

    So, skills are now officially perks and you get to raise them faster. Even special is mostly worthless in fallout 3, so i'm guessing they kept it in fallout 4 only because it's iconic.
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  7. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 29, 2015
    Just finished the main game. I had actually forgotten how incredibly bad the ending was. The whole climax actually goes from bad to worse to fucking terrible. Gods.

    ( and Apollyon, you can't really enslave Little Lamplight. Just a little girl. You got me hyped man. )
  8. Apollyon

    Apollyon First time out of the vault

    Apr 29, 2017
    Oh, I'm sorry man. I thought, since you could enslave Bryan Wilks aswell, it extended to more children in game, but apparently it's limited to very specific characters.
  9. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I agree strongly with the opening post and I feel I have enough to say about this problematic aspect of FO3 to merit necromancing.

    First of all, I don't really hate FO3 that much as it does have a better exploration experience than the Mojave Wasteland. The little things Bethesda built into this world are more interesting and diverse, like the many vaults with their own backstories, or the f-ing UFO for that matter. This is my third playthrough of FO3 this month (I had to restart the game from scratch multiple times because of mod-conflicts, but I'm still not burnt out yet). That being said, yeah, being evil kinda sucks in FO3.

    I don't get why Apollyon said it's worse in New Vegas though since in NV, you are literally offered a morality choice at the very beginning of the game - defend the town or join the raiders. I feel like Obsidian was trying to put their foot down and make some kind of statement about the rest of the game you'll be playing, that you'll be making these moral choices quite a lot. I also feel like NV has a lot more emphasis on the ambiguity of morality by the end. Even when you're siding with the good guys, you still end up being kinda a dick.

    But the thing that annoys me most about FO3 is Moira's quest, "Wasteland Survival Guide". Being evil sucks, because if you lie to her, you'll lose out on the awesome perk at the end for her survival guide. And if you help her, you're rewarded with good karma, bleh. The same could be said for a number of quests where you are rewarded with good stuff along with the infuriating good karma. Doing those quests the evil way would make you lose out on good stuff like the Lucky 8-Ball. Good luck leaving Big Town to their fate in "Big Trouble in Big Town", because you won't be receiving one of the best SPECIAL-boosting items in the game, loser! Same with "Rescue from Paradise". Leaving those kids to their fate does NOTHING. No evil karma, just the quest still trapped in your quest log, waiting for you to complete it. Buying the kids grants good karma too, and you sure as hell can't kill those kids without the help of a mod (not to mention that killing those kids make no sense). How about Arefu? If you kill either the Arefu residents or those cannibals, you lose out on another awesome perk that lets you use blood pack for extra health, not to mention selling it to them for extra caps...

    Speaking of killing people, I also don't like how lazy Bethesda was when it comes to evil choices. Most of the evil choices just involve killing people. Jeez, how boring is that? The only remotely interesting choices are in "The Power of the Atom", "The Replicated Man", and "Strictly Business". Off the top of my head, I can only remember these. The rest of the so-called "evil choices" just have you killing people. Good grief. Talk about a lack of creativity. Arefu? Kill people. Tenpenny ghouls? Kill people. Underworld contract killer quest? Kill people.

    Anyway, FO3 isn't as horrible as FO4, but good grief, it's a pain in the ass to play this thing sometimes. Can't wait 'till I replay NV after this.
  10. Risewild

    Risewild Half-way Through My Half-life
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    The "real Evil" option in the Wasteland Survival Guide is to crush Moira's Dream and get the Dream Crusher perk as a reward and negative karma. But it is still a lesser reward in my opinion.

    Now on a different note:

    If you enjoy Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. Maybe in the future you could try (if you haven't already) the "Tale of Two Wastelands" mod.

    It allows to play Fallout 3 in Fallout New Vegas (so with improved engine and all the goodies FNV added), and you can travel from one wasteland to the other using a train station.

    You can google us and we have a discord server too.
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  11. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Yeah, but Three Dog doesn't seem to report on this particular evil act, making it feel all the more boring and meaningless. On the other hand, if you lie all the way 'till the end, Three Dog will tell everyone to stay the f*** away from the book. It's almost funny enough that I don't care about the shitty rewards. Almost...
  12. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    I've never understood how that is bad karma, could be the LW is just really horny. It's not like she forces him to go. :shrug:

    Funnily enough, that's the only action in Fallout 3 that I genuinely felt bad doing.

    Not so much evil as dumb, especially on the Colonel's part. His plan of unifying people under the Enclave's flag is a hell of a lot better than Eden's genocide idea, even if it is undermined by Enclave troops experimenting on and killing wastelanders. EDIT: Yet the one person he could try and get on his side (after all, I don't think many people here really gave a shit about Liam Neeson-I mean Dad) he blows their head off instead.

    True the LW could have been a major threat but the Colonel doesn't even try to recruit them.

    At least you can kill him. I'm actually surprised Bethesda didn't make him essential.
  13. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Yeah, but like many of the so-called "evil" (*cough*edgy*cough*) actions in FO3, what would be the point of killing Three Dog? You would miss out on some really some awesome music, especially if you installed the GNR Enhanced mod, not to mention the drama show. It has little to no opportunistic and practical value, unlike the evil actions in New Vegas.

    Plus, I wouldn't even consider killing an NPC that interesting of an "evil" action anyway. You can just about kill any "good" NPC in FO3 and call it evil, like a beggar, or a Brotherhood of Steel initiate, or a wastelander, or one of the traveling merchants. It doesn't make any difference and the world of FO3 doesn't act any different in spite of whom you kill.

    Sorry, I miswrote. After killing Three Dog, the station keeps playing anyway. And I guess it does have some small impact - a woman named Margaret replaces him and says like three lines of dialogue to punish you for doing such a stupid and pointless thing. IMPACT! lol
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  14. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Here's another way Bethesda rewards the good and punishes the evil: the "Contract Killer" perk rewards no unique outfit, whereas the "good" version of the perk, "Lawbringer", grants you the Regulator Duster. Though I guess you could technically be hunted by Regulators anyway and loot off their outfit, but it just doesn't feel the same. Doesn't feel like a reward. Plus, the outfit Lawbringer rewards you with is of 100% condition.
  15. Risewild

    Risewild Half-way Through My Half-life
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Don't forget that the Lawbringer also has other rewards. You have a special bounty quest that awards you 1000 caps and a unique weapon. Contract Killer doesn't have anything like that. And the Regulators HQ also contains a "Guns and Bullets" book and a "Nuka-Cola Quantum" that you can get, while the Littlehorn & Associates doesn't have anything worth mentioning.

    So yeah, the game is definitely rewarding the "goody" side way more in this case.
  16. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Actually, the Littlehorn office does have a "Lying, Congressional Style" book. Just a little detail.

    It's still not much of an improvement when you take the aforementioned 1000 caps "bounty" into consideration though.

    But you know what? The more Bethesda punishes me, the more I rebel against the system. You don't want to give me that Wasteland Survival Guide perk for being evil towards Moira? Fine. I'll just CHEAT! Ha! How do you like that?! Sucker. I'll just add the perk using the console command.
  17. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Dumb Fallout 3 moment of the day: Player nukes an entire city, taking away dozens of innocent lives. Dad is disappointed...

    Wow. Yeah. That really sums up American parenting.
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  18. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017

    "The quest is considered to be one of the best in Fallout 3, and has been described as "game-defining.""

    Yeah, it sure is game-defining. It encapsulates everything nonsensical and stupid in Fallout 3.
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  19. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Another few moments in FO3 that punish evil actions. I know, I know, you've already read so many of such posts, but I'm nearing the end of my FO3 replay (not including the DLCs anyway), so I might as well post these for posterity.

    1. Oasis
    Burn up Harold with a flame-based weapon and you get nothing. No speech-boosting teddy bear (even if you use the command console to cheat) and no Barkskin perk. To be fair, I've never played the previous two Fallout games, so I have little sympathy for Harold, thus I didn't really think of this as that evil of an action compared to Megaton or enslaving kids.

    2. Head of State
    Side with the slavers and you only get caps. F***ing caps. Only if you side with the goody goody side do you get a dart gun schematic. Whoopty f***in' doo.

    3. Those!
    For enslaving the most f***ing annoying NPC in the game, Bryan Wilks, you get no XP reward.

    Moralfags. Moralfags never change.
  20. President_Peaches

    President_Peaches First time out of the vault

    Mar 4, 2018
    TBH that could describe every single character in Fallout 3. I've only been able to make it 4 hours into the game, and every voice actor (except Liam Dadson) sounds like they are in a radio play for children.