Everything wrong with Fallout 4s writing

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by Jogre, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Boom Boom Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    I'm already being considered a turncoat for admitting Bethesda improved their writing.

    Don't remind me of my posting history. I barely knew how to use a forum when I first joined. :D
  2. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    You can put him on a display with Wasteland Workshop (I have the Season Pass, so it's a neat bonus).

    I'm actually curious at what I posted...

    Can't search that far. But the threads...

    So many familiar names. Ozrat. Montez. Popeye.

  3. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Not gonna spend money on stuff like that when a vanilla-feature should have been an intracranial lead poisoning after the second unwarranted "Let me mark it on your map".
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  4. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016

    This guy is making some real progress...
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  5. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Boom Boom Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    One of my "friends" was so dumb he didn't realize they were repeating. I'm not sure who to blame for that.
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  6. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    Your friend, no way around that one unfortunately considering how "direct" the requests are for assistance.
  7. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Wouldn't it be a relief if you could lock Preston in Vault 111's freezer pods, kinda like how you could shut the butler in the fridge in Tomb Raider.
  8. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    You know what's really wrong with that. That they refused to let you kill him so they could probably use him on a future game. That's bottom of the barrel bad writing right there.

    So much for choice and consequence.
  9. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    I mean, if there goal is the survival of humanity, and other games have shown humanity is surviving fine without them, then there entire goal means siding with them is pointless.
    Actually I read through that and stand corrected, it offers a fairly good explanation of the whole Synth Gorilla thing, that Clayton doesn't believe all science needs to be practical.
    "It's Unclear" in other words Bethesda didn't think of a reason.

    Also, surely they could make synthetic upgrades that make people smarter, stronger, or healthier, or anything without the extended lifespans. Like, for an organisation whose whole slogan is "Mankind Redefined", they certainly put zero thought in to actually redefining mankind.
    It still makes them come across as morons, and there is no logical reasons to justify it.
    Let me put it this way: They leave a giant war machine right out in the open, while fighting an enemy that's main shtick is robotics, spend lots of effort getting replacement parts for this giant war machine, and only use it once, and to dig a 10 foot hole in the ground.

    Sure it will be useful to have an unstoppable war machine while at war, but the fact that they only use it to do a job that anyone with a spade or laser can do, and then destroy the enemy immediatly afterwards makes it entirely redundant, as by the time it's activated, it does one thing, then the conflict ends. Having an indestructible war machine after the war efforts are over, do I need to explain why that's pointless?

    They wasted time making a machine which they barely use.
    So in the past the Minutemen were a deeply flawed faction, but now there not.

    As for reliance on strong leadership, the way they are portrayed in game shows that the General is more of a symbolic leader than an actual leader, given that there conflict with the Institute shows you don't have the actual power to give overriding orders since the Minutemen are a volunteer force, and Preston Garvey is calling most of the shots such as when it's time to retake the castle, or when you can attack the Institute.

    If by reliance on strong leadership you mean that they fell apart to infighting over leaders, well I mean choosing people to represent you is a controversial topic, regardless of how much power they actually have.

    So these things I'm supposedly ignoring are either part of there past, or blatantly false.
    No, but Fallout 1 and 2 are a more classic style of "Go and fight this bad guy" as opposed to choosing one of 4 factions to end the game iwth. In a faction debate, the future that said faction promises is a hugely important part of deciding who you side with, and having it brushed under the rug is bad practice.
    That still isn't a good reason. Maybe have a Minutemen speculate that the Minutemen could evolve in to a government, or Institute members debating whether in the long-run having such a deep rooted isolationist faction will be good for the bulk of humanity, or any effort put in to the long-term future the factions offer.
    I don't want to be spoonfed exposition.

    I want there to be an actual in-game debate over the long-term future each faction offers, how long each faction can last in the long-run, how likely they are to succeed in there goals. Any debate whatsoever.
    I think you misunderstand what I mean by not having any context. What I meant was more along the lines of not having additional context.

    I realise there is justification for Synths being there, but the context of the world of Fallout adds nothing to the Artificial Intelligence debate.

    To explain this, let me give an example of New Vegas. Most sane people would be against an authoritarian empire with harsh punishments like crucifixion in the real world, but conversation with Raul raises an interesting point: He's been to Legion territory pre-legion, and claims that it was a raider-infested shithole before Legion came along, now it's a safe series of routes which caravans are happy to travel down.

    While you will still probably be opposed to Legion and all its stands for, the game makes you have to question whether perhaps the lands Caesar's Legion occupies were worse off before Legion comes along. This regime you would 100% oppose IRL you now have to admit has some benefits in the context of the Fallout Universe.

    Fallout 4 adds no additional context to the Synth debate because it's in the Fallout Universe. You never say "Well IRL my stance towards AI would be X, but Fallout 4 made an interesting point so my stance is Y", Fallout 4 doesn't add any outside context to the debate. There is no real reason as to why this whole Synth thing is in a gameworld if it doesn't bother to interact with the world. It feels like the Synth debate is a seperate debate to the post apocalyptic landscape, as opposed to Fallout NV, where Legion is treated as an authoritarian regime that is very much part of the violent and lawless Fallout world.
    It's not that the game doesn't provide easily-digestible answers, it's that it doesn't make any answers at all. It doesn't try and change your view on the topic, doesn't have arguing from any sides, it literally just puts forwards the stance of each faction, and leaves it at that.

    The Institute claims they are just machines, but doesn't make any arguements which haven't already been made for that, the Brotherhood claims AI would be a threat to humanity, but doesn't make any arguements which haven't already been made for that, the Railroad claims they are people too, but doesn't make any arguements which haven't already been made. You aren't given any reason to support any faction over the other. Unless you have an already existing stance on personhood and artificial intelligence, and what makes something worthy of moral consideration, no arguement in-game is going to convince you to take a stance in this, because no arguements are made in favour of the factions.

    Bethesda didn't make a deep intricate debate, they took Artificial Intelligence debates which have already been had, copy pasted them in to the game, and didn't expand on them any further.

    ANY Debate you are having over Synths isn't the debate that Bethesda had, it's the debate that you made using your own points over an already existing debate. How many times did you use points you learned from Fallout 4 while arguing

    As for there "Is it there appearance which makes them more relatable?", that is something which I can honestly say wasn't Bethesda's intention. The reason they made them look human is because it's a reference to the quest in Fallout 3, as opposed to being a new thing invented in Fallout 4. They didn't make them human to raise an important question as to whether we find anthropomorphic things more relatable, they didn't even raise that question at all. The only reason the question is raised is as a consequence of the way they designed AIs not as an intentional part of the game.

    (BTW, not being bias here, I talked to everyone I could and tried to find new arguements as to why I should take there side in the Artificial Intelligence debate, I was really hoping that I could find new arguements challenging the stances I already had, but found no faction even trying to make a full-arguement as to why there stance is right, beyond "They are machines" or "They are people too" or "They are a threat!"(Which are stances, not arguments in themselves. I'd want to see actual arguments with premises and conclusions reaching those stances))
    They could have explored how it blurs the line between robotic or organic, they could have made it a plot point that many people think the organic side to them makes them more people, or helps humanise them more, or anything. But they don't. It's not used as a plot point, it's just part of what they are. If it's not used as a plot point, the odds are its just Bethesda being lazy, as opposed to an intentional "This is to blur the lines" type deal. If they don't explore it, it's probably not intentional.

    They could have made there personalities semi-computer like, they could have made them think more analytically. They could have done anything, but instead made them have human bodies, human personalities, and robot brains.

    Instead you've got generic human bodies with robot minds, with nothing to them beyond that they are robots underneath. The only thing that seperates them from normal humans is that thing in there heads. That's taking a new and interesting concept, and making them basically entirely human except for one detail.
    So you had a real-world debate, which has been discussed many times before, and use that as an arguement as to why Bethesda handled Synths well?

    Bethesda didn't add anything to the Artificial Intelligence debate, they purely highlighted that it exists. If you thought of the debate a new way thanks to Fallout 4, or they made new points, or made it so the context of the Synths means some people may contemplate sides of the issue they hadn't before, it would be well handled. As it stands, all they did is raise attention to an already existing debate.
    There are some FedEx quests, but nowhere near the majority that they are in in Fallout 4(Below I do the figuring out of how many are FedEx quests)
    If about 92 of 112 quests are FedEx quests, that is a serious issue(See below)
    I did a basic count of all the quests, looking for ones which are more than simple "Go here do this" or dungeon crawls. Here are all the genuine quests I found:

    From this count, I found 20 quests in the entire game which are more than just simple "Go here, do this" quests(Unlikely Valentine, Molecular Level, Claiming Independence, Out of the Fire, Blind Betrayal, Secret of Cabot House, The Mariwoski Heist, The Devil's Due, The Disappearing Act, Order Up, Kid in the Fridge, In Sheep's Clothing, Human Error, Hole in the Wall, Here there be monsters, Cambridge Polymer Labs, Building a Better Crop, Battle of Bunker Hill, Diamond City Blues, Flight of the USS Constitution)

    Out of 112 quests, 20 of them have complexities to them. I mean, on a Fallout game on this scale, if only about 17% of them have complexity to them, that's an issue.

    Out of those quests, Unlikely Valentine involves going through a vault of generic Mafia men with the whole "There's a woman behind it" cliche, with the only thing of interest being strange words that make him do you a favour, which aren't explained beyond "It's so cool to have a psychic teammate"

    Molecular Level is basically "Build a giant ass teleporter", which is hardly interesting.

    Claiming Independence only has the very basic level of choice, and should barely be on there, and is for the most part, fighting mirelurks in a special environment.

    Secret of Cabot House is a "Oooh aliens, immortal family member" type mystery, which adds nothing to the lore/universe of the game, is an anti-climatic plot twist, and has no real reason to be there.

    The Devil's Due is basically bringing a Deathclaw Egg back to it's mother or selling it, which is very much gimmicky.

    Dissapearing Act is the worstly handled murder mystery quest I have ever seen, no lie.

    Kid in the Fridge is a gimmicky "Go return this kid whose been in a fridge for 200 years to his parents" which is lorebreaking and adds nothing to the experience of the game.

    Here there be monsters is mostly a fetch quest, with a very basic evil option, and doesn't really add to the game.

    Battle of Bunker Hill is a confusing battle with a "Do what your faction expects" type choice at the end.

    And Flight of the USS Constitution is about as gimmicky as you can get. Naval robots wanting to fly there ship to the water is about as gimmicky as you can get.

    The other few I haven't mentioned here(Blind Betrayal, Mariwoski Heist, Order Up, In Sheep's Clothing, Cambridge Polymer Labs, Building a Better Crop, Diamond City Blues) Are ok I guess, but nothing to write home about.
    A small, relatively minor part of the game VS one of the very few quests with actual effort put in to it.
    I should have specified "One of the best side quests In Fallout 4". If this were in New Vegas, It wouldn't stand out as being an especially good quest.

    Also, it's a gimmick because working for robot naval officers to get there ship to fly doesn't seem like something which would have an actual impact on the world, hence it's a gimmick, an ultimately meaningless but flashy and fun side quest. If that kind of meaningless quest
    Beyond the Synths, what separates it from other settings?, What makes it unique?
    Yes there are Raider Politics going on, I realise that but that doesn't change the fact that "Raiders"(Maybe there leaders are a little different) as a group are just generic money-grabbing psychopaths instead of having raiders from fun, unique gangs like every other Fallout game(bar 3) does.
    Can you genuinely not see the difference in the way The Hub and Diamond City are written?

    Let me give you a clue:

    The Hub is literally written around the idea of wealth meaning everything. The government is a form of merchant oligarchy, there is an entire section of the town far away from anything else(The Heights) designed for the ultra-wealthy to live, while mutants, junkies and the poor are all pushed aside to Old Town(Also, the poor and rich districts have entirely distinct architectural styles from each other, with The Heights having mostly brick houses and Old Town being old warehouses) Water is treated as another commodity to be sold, it's the place where all the caravans in the Wastes start trading routes from. Even Bob's Iguana Bits shows how far people are willing to go for quick money in this town. The wealth theme is so prevalent that there is even a Robin Hood impersonator who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.

    Diamond City is designed as generically as you can get, everyone lives in the same style houses, a generic downtown and a few farms here and there. The town is designed just to be another interchangeable quest hub. None of the "interesting" things about this town are actually part of the town's very writing or it's design. Everything which makes it even vaguely interesting is merely treated as a footnote, instead of as part of the towns identity.

    Like, let me put it this way: The Class Inequality is the most interesting thing about both The Hub(Due to being a huge part of the identity of the city) and Diamond City(Due to being the only thing which remotely separates it from other wasteland communities). The Hub shows it in its very design, and everything about the way its written, Diamond City shows it through a special rich people pub and a few one off comments from upper class characters.
    You miss the point.

    I'm claiming that it has interesting potential, but does nothing with it. It highlights a class conflict, does nothing with it, highlights the Mayor is a synth, does nothing with it, ect.

    It introduces plot details that would be interesting, then goes nowhere with them. You don't see how all these factors interact with each other, or effect the town, these are just things mentioned in passing comment.

    I don't think they designed Diamond City as a fully-fleshed out location. I think they designed it as a generic town, with nothing interesting, and then added throwaway exposition on to random characters and assumed that was enough to flavour it.

    They added random expositional details to Diamond City without a single thought in to how this affects the city and assumed it added depth to it.
    Why should I need to give them the benefit of the doubt? If it was good writing, there wouldn't be doubt in the first place.

    If the good writing is assumed by you rather than shown by the writers, that's not good writing.

    If Fallout 4 had good writing, I should be able to see the depth clear as day. If Fallout 4 genuinely had good writing I shouldn't have to be justifying things like "Well they probably didn't mean this to be clever but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt" I should be saying "Wow that's good writing"

    Also, yes I make grand sweeping statements, but so far I've yet to see proof otherwise. I've yet to see a well-written character in Fallout 4. I can think of maybe one well designed quest in the entire game(Diamond City Blues)
    Background: Maybe, Depth: No.

    Fallout 1 and 2s Talking Heads each have there own way of talking, complex personalities, opinions. With Set and his insanity and use of slang to flavour his voice, to Marcus a seemingly nice, yet overly-defensive Supermutant whose personality makes sense given all the shit ways he's been treated, who still believes in the goals of the Unity to the extent where he actually believes his close friends would be better as Supermutants, and his complex love-hate relationship with the Vault Dweller, even Butch Harris with his thinly veiled attempts to make himself seem trustworthy, and Cabot with his nervous chit-chat, and somewhat admiration of you are more filled with personality than anyone in Fallout 4.

    There is a huge difference between the writing. Every character in Fallout 4 is written as an exposition machine or a one-sided one-off character, the talking heads at least in Fallout 1 and 2 are written as actual characters with personalities. Can you honestly think of a character in Fallout 4 who is anything more than a fun one off character or a mouthpiece? A character whose more than one sided in personality?

    I'd say that even the most basic of the Talking Heads in Fallout 1 and 2 have more personality than any character in Fallout 4.

    If you could give an example of a character with any personality in Fallout 4, I'd love to see it, but so far everyone feels either superficial and gimmicky or bland and one dimensional.
    So Supermutants all united in to one big consensus that they are superior and that humans must die? Every Supermutant ever except for one in Far Harbour agrees on this, and came to this agreement unilatirily

    That doesn't feel like real people fighting for real understandable reasons, that feels like a shitty justification you came up with to justify that Bethesda didn't write these things with thought put in to who they are and there reasons for fighting, Bethesda wrote them as generic orcs.

    I wouldn't mind a poor justification for Supermutants if they were a relatively small part of the game, but if every other settlement has problems with Supermutants, and they are a regular, constant part of the game, I expect to have some idea of who these people are.
    Because that's literally part of the world. The people of the Fallout universe are so glad to see there enemies being publically executed that it convinces them to buy war bonds. It's extreme warhawkisness created by people being fed US propaganda non-stop.

    The pre-war government literally was feeding people messages of extreme patriotism and loyalty, as can be seen here under "Project Brainstorm"(I know you dislike Fallout 3 and I do to, but this is a very interesting piece of lore):

    Can you honestly not see the difference between broadcasting an execution of a rebel that the soldiers are proud of, and using it as an advertisements for war bonds, and a piece of media directly questioning the government's authority and revealing government secrets(Despite, as shown in the terminal entries above, the Enclave having parts of the Pentagon dedicated to controlling and manipulating the media?)
    Except that's literally understandable since the Oil Rig is the main base of The Enclave, a shadow government with access to military grade equipment.

    Nuka Cola's explanation is "A cola company has better chemists than the US Government", which clearly isn't done to establish the existence of a secret shadow government like The Oil Rig, it's done to justify having Nuka Cola Power Armour, because Bethesda being Bethesda just has to have kewl loot.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  10. Ediros

    Ediros Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Feb 4, 2016
    Hey, @Tagaziel If you are not going to listen to me you should watch this.

    No Todds no master, it highlights majority of the problems of shitout 4.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  11. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    That video has made some circles and raised some hell hasn't it. I honestly watch anything that contains any Fallout 4 hate. Very therapeutic.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  12. Ediros

    Ediros Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Feb 4, 2016
    It is less of a hate, more of a desperate plea of a true Fallout fan. That said, he does give shitout 4 some credit where it is due.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  13. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    I can spend three hours of my life more productively than that. Perhaps by playing Fallout 4.

    I think I'll do that instead, yeah.
  14. Ediros

    Ediros Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Feb 4, 2016
    Oh, so you can write whole paragraphs of how good shitout 4 is, but you can't handle a well put critique that actually goes in depth about all aspects of shitout 4? Talk about hypocrisy. And yes, 3 hours is a lot of time, but I guess I demand too much from you. Here you go, some more links:

    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  15. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    I'm so sorry I have better things to do than watch rants about games. It was fun ten years ago.

    No, wait, it still wasn't.
  16. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Everything Wrong with FO4's writting: It was done by Bethesda.
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  17. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    Just a thought, but maybe if civil conversation was what you wanted, you shouldn't have made intentionally inflammatory remarks calling people stupid for making mistakes and threatened a user with changing his avatar and username.

    Has it occured to you that maybe you are the one who started all the uncivil conversation, and we were actually being polite to you beforehand?

    I mean, I can have civil conversations with CT Phipps and other Bethesda fans here, but Tagaziel...Jesus he reminds me of the most narcisisistic self-centred people I know.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  18. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    Actually, the One Year Later vid is less rant and more of the uploader's opinions on 4's positives and negatives. It's actually pretty balanced with said uploader admitting that he liked 4 as a game but recognises what he regards 4's problems and elaborates on why he thinks they are actual problems.

    EDIT: Also the uploader is not a Fallout fanboy (I recall him saying something like that though I can't be too sure) so there's the fresh perspective aspect (though he has some familiarity).
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  19. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    Fallout 4's companions are mostly on par with fallout 2's from what I saw. Too bad its overshadowed by its direct predecessor in this case.
  20. Idiot Wearing Sunglasses

    Idiot Wearing Sunglasses "Hey, man, when in Rome..."

    Aug 19, 2017
    I think FO2's companions were a little better. Many of FO4's are black and white stereotypes or just a port of something else (Danse is Buzz Lightyear, Strong is the Hulk, etc.). Some companions, e.g. Deacon, seemed to have a nonsensical and inconsistently-written personality too (lying to you for no reason with no context or explanation being able to be garnered), and ALL of them are oblivious to the world and vice versa. You can expose the Mayor of Diamond City as a synth in FO4 with Piper right next to you and she has nothing to say. You can discover that the Institute was kidnapping people all over and she's apparently apathetic to that too. Compare that to FO2 where if you brought Myron in while speaking to Big Jesus Mordino, he'd get irritated. FO4 is only above 3 in its companions for me (maybe 1 too, since in that the companions were very basic, although arguably that was their charm).