How should an RPG be? Freeroam for ever like Fallout 3?

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by Commiered, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. Commiered

    Commiered It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 17, 2008
    Or more focused on a central theme like Fallout 1,2 and to use a great recent example, The Witcher?

    Having just restarted a Fallout 1 game, I've been moved to ponder just how well paced it is, how it takes you through the main journey, how there are side quests for each area that reward you with good xp and don't have you aimlessly wandering the wastes. The Witcher too was like this, giving you enough to do in an area before letting you move on.

    Fallout 3 like Oblivion and Morrowind just have the quests as an afterthought, their big selling points are the '100's of hours of gameplay', of which 90% or more is just crawling around in the world, clearing things.

    Fallout you can finish in a dozen hours leisurely, F2 bout twice that, The Witcher I did in 25. I know you can do it quicker, but for me to enjoy them fully it took about this long. The added benefit as I see it is that it makes replaying the game less tedious as it doesn't take forever to get through or experience.

    I never finished ANY Beth games, and I liked Morrowind. I just got distracted after a time and played something else. Sure I could have just done the main quest, but for me that's like missing out most of the game, and so I plodded through sidequests, landscapes, until the pull of playing the game became weaker than the desire to do something else.

    Of course I'm older now, have a 2 year old son, and have not the time to play and put in countless hrs into games as I did when I was a lazy university student :wink: so for me a focused game like Fallout, Witcher scores doubly well.

    The irony as I see it is that in so much being made about the 'length' of RPG's from Beth, the nature of that length is not mentioned. The actual quest time is quite small, and quests are simple. The length is artificial, as it depends on the player keeping interest in going on and on finding interest in just wandering around.

    This type of game was done a lot better in Gothic 1 and 2 and the maligned but I thought quite good Two Worlds, you could wander around, but there was a purpose to it, if something was blocked, well you had to complete a quest or three and a new area would be opened.

    Anyway for me, the Fallout series 1,2, Witcher are my ideal types of RPG followed by the semi-freeroam of the first two Gothics. Aimlessly wandering the wastes for no purpose like Beths works I don't like.
  2. Gandar

    Gandar First time out of the vault

    Nov 17, 2008
    Games can be both free and linear.

    Mass Effect is a recent one that comes to mind. The plot is relatively linear, although you can progress through different parts in any order you want to a point. Once you get to a point you are actually free to take your starship to (almost) anywhere in the Galaxy.

    By the way, with all the side areas that you could do in mostly any order you wanted, Fallout 2 wasn't completely linear.
  3. Dionysus

    Dionysus Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 13, 2008
    I don't understand what you are talking about at all. The Witcher is a generally linear game, and FO1 and 2 are nonlinear freeroaming games. In FO1, you get booted into a huge wasteland with directions to a vault that won't help you at all in your quest to find the waterchip. I remember leaving Shady Sands without any info other than the fact that there were some towns to the south. The main quest basically consists of only three areas that you can visit at any time. Most of the game and the quests have nothing to do with the waterchip or the Master.

    In terms of the general structure, FO1&2 are much more similar to FO3 than The Witcher. The Witcher marches you through a linear series of areas and forced choice points. If anything, I'd complain that FO3 is too much like The Witcher because there's too much handholding.
  4. Elandarex

    Elandarex First time out of the vault

    Nov 9, 2008
    People need to realize that free roaming, open world games will tend to sacrifice a certain sense of cohesion and purpose that other, more linear experiences possess. It all depends on the kind of experience that's being captured, or at least trying to be captured. What many don't realize is that no one style of design is better than the other in universal terms, just like with turn based and real time combat, and programming languages. You use what is most efficient and applicable to the task at hand. When it comes to open world it helps to emphasize the sandbox nature of the style, and somehow Fallout 3 just never really seemed to capture that for me, which is a shame. I was really looking forward to how the series could be portrayed in such a fashion. The problem is, ultimately, that Bethesda basically tried to insert a very linear experience into an open world aesthetic and the two don't mesh very well. Dionysus is right, saying that the handholding really ruins the whole affair.
  5. Erny

    Erny It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 2, 2008
    Commiered is right, the pacing of Fo1 was good. You had main goal and some unclear directions, so you went through the cities gathering clues and getting involved into the city's life. Fo2 was a bit less focused on the main quest, as you had more and bigger locations, but still you went on gathering bits of info about the GECK and the vaults in every place.
    Its very non-linear in the means of doing it, even if you progress pretty much the same storyline.

    Now Fo3... main quest is just a dissapointing rushed crap which basicaly is a sequence of unimaginative 'go there's. Only few times you have to do some 'relay' quests. And Tranqulity was good (the best part of the main quest). Time-wise main quest is very short, even if you play the game for the first time w/o any walkthroughs.

    I really dont understand why Beth didnt involve many other locations and NPC or made you look for clues and seek ways. Its all layed out for you with a bunch of crappy immortal NPCs 'assisting'.

    Oddly, to have fun you have to avoid the main quest and go on free exploring. It occured to me, that instead of trying to find solutions -HOW TO DO - quests, you wander aroud trying to find WHAT TO DO (except doing main quest or Moira bs). You go though 100s of lockers in a dosens of buildings, speaking with tonn of npcs, but find very little substance :( Beth makes good world, but struggles to have a good elaborate storyline tied to it.
    Better writers and some more design effort could`v made this game much better. But no, they focused on gore, forgetting what Fallout was all about. Still Fo3 is a step forward from Obliv, which was more of a sandbox. But two steps back from Fallouts.

    Bioware makes much more linear games, leading you through the story, only some cities and key points providing you with ways to roleplay freely and do various sidequests. Not a big fun of such approach.
  6. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    A mix of railroading and free-roaming is a good idea IMO. You get freedom to do most of the things in a order you want, but the main story is present and coherent enough to game not loose focus. In games like F3 there's not enough concetration on what really the player should\can do - a short quest here, some "cool" stuff there, all of it having very little consequence on the outcome of the gameplay. Soon, you're like "ah, fuck it. None of this matters anyway and I'm tired of dungeon crawling".

    You gotta find a balance between handholding and freeroam.
  7. Corvin

    Corvin It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 17, 2008
    I think free roaming and doing the sidequests are the best bit about Fallout 3. I started with blowing up Megaton and went from there.
  8. deadsanta

    deadsanta First time out of the vault

    Sep 5, 2008
    I'm glad that OP mentioned the witcher here, not because it was a sandbox game-- it was not, at all-- but because it actually had a great deal of mature themes and moral ambiguity. By mature themes, I don't mean the vulgarity, that was rather childish, although I did enjoy the frequent references to "dwarf c*ck". I mean the fact that sexual relations were occasionally sexy, and the dialogue was even amusingly racy now and again.

    Besides the fact that sex was more than a fade to black, The Witcher also had some pretty deep branching dialogues and options to go good, bad or neutral popped up in most main and side-quests. I don't recall whether you could kill children, but there was booze, drugs, prostitutes, crime, blackmail and torture aplenty.

    It's sad that the best rpg of the last few years was a goth-inspired fantasy from Europe.

    O Interplay, where art thou?
  9. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    There were genetical experminets on children.

    Anyway, Witcher is far more mature than any Bethesda game I've seen so far.
  10. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    What has happened to the RPG market ? Very few good RPG titles have been released lately. Seems that game developers want to make more and more mainstream games. "well just keep churning out FPS games and get easy money. HAHAHAHA! "

    I hope this dry era of RPGs ends soon. i want more gameplay, not updated graphics and simplification. :(
  11. Erny

    Erny It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 2, 2008
    Every one is too busy making MMMOOs :x

    I hope that Fo3 and Witcher sales will show that massive sp RPGs are more marketable than another MMO, since everyone plays WoW anyway (or WAR maybe). Stuff like Tabula Rasa is shutting down.
  12. M-26-7

    M-26-7 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 20, 2008
    I think you make good point here. I spent a lot of time in Fallout, but it was never dungeon crawling or nonsense like that. It's kind of like how I'd rather have fifteen minutes of sex with Jessica "Fallout 1&2" Alba than 5 hours of sex with Rosie "Fallout 3" O'Donnell. I think the main problem with Beth's idea of free roaming is that they don't understand that there are some places you just want to roam around in without a lot of bullshit to get there. Fuckin subway tunnels.
  13. Gooscar

    Gooscar It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, if we're gonna compare the games to famous women...

    Fallout 1 would be Amanda Peet. Edgy, beautiful, willing to do anything, and probbably perfect in everyway.

    Fallout 2 would be Jenny McCarthy. Funny, beautiful, willing to do just about anything, but dates Jim Carrey and sometimes can't be taken seriously.

    Fallout Tactics is Brianna Banks. Determined, hot, willing to do ANYTHING that has to do with [combat], but is a porn star and somehow people won't be able to get around that fact.

    Fallout 3 is Kate Moss. Thin, pretty if you like that type, a bit picky, but at the end of the day doesn't have many redeeming features and is flat as a board.

    I'll add something more substantial to this discussion later on.
  14. the lone deathclaw

    the lone deathclaw First time out of the vault

    Nov 2, 2008
    Ah hehe this thread saved me from starting a new one. I have tried several times to make new characters and play Fallout 3 again, and just to refresh my mind i just played FO 1 and 2 a few times again in the past few days, I enjoyed wasting my days of vacation gonig from location to location and helping out. It has been awhile since FO1 for me and yes the pacing is amazing.

    I just get this bitter taste in my mouth when i start playing a new character in FO3 i feel i can just max all my skills now if i take the right feats, and I am just bored to tears wandering around in the wasteland full of monster, the main quest i'm staying away from. I would agree that the ending being so limited in FO3 is a large part of it for me. I just lack a drive to want to play it over, like now i'm going to help the slavers in this one but it does not feel like the old games. I get that what i'm saying is abstract hence why i'm having trouble stating it, it's just reminds me of Oblivion, i played through it once then did some mods and i put it on a shelf.
  15. Viliny

    Viliny Vault Senior Citizen

    Aug 19, 2008
    I don't know what to blame but i found it annoyingly difficult to get to the washington monument even when it was just there behind some buildings. Turns out i had to go there through a subway...
  16. Scowl

    Scowl First time out of the vault

    Nov 21, 2008
    Same here. I find that a lot of the issues I have with FO3 are the same ones I had with Oblivion. Yeah, there are so many locations to visit, but most of them are the same. Go to one metro station/elven ruin and you've been to them all. Towns and settlements are too small to be believable.

    At least in Oblivion you could keep playing after the main quest was over. I was looking forward to that in FO3, especially since the main quest was so stupid. I'm playing it over now, and I'm enjoying it a lot more now that I am ignoring the main quest.
  17. DOF_power

    DOF_power First time out of the vault

    Oct 29, 2008

    If every "dungeon" would have been filled with a
    boss/interesting revelation/cool item, than you guys would have been b*******, moaning and winning that it feels to much like Gears of War where the game constantly "assaults you", and that it feels weird that there's so much interesting stuff and main quest clues found in even the most abandoned places where it wouldn't make any sense.

    The Washington underground tunnels are/where pretty boring and repetitive in the 1950s/present real life BTW. So I guess realism is boring.

    And houses, bars/saloons and other buildings where pretty repetitive in F1 and 2 as well, even more so character sprites, and the yellow-brown squares of land, and every cave looked pretty much the same, or the mindless amount of fetch quest in Fallout 2.

    And let's not forget those repetitive caves/ruins/fetch quest had some stupid rats that kept you in combat mode even if they where running away; and even more your NPC buddy might have critically hit you trying to shoot them.

    Any remember that ?!

    Funny that people where once complaining about the lack of freedom and realism in the games and now that they have some they don't seem to like it and/or know what to do with it and thus get bored and/or lost.

    So the places are too small in F3, but how does the scattered-no defense-in plain sight locations in F2 make sense ?!
    How does New Reno make any sense ?!
    Why would you have all those creatures in the Oil Tanker and the stupid maze at the Enclave Base ?!

    There's a balance between reality-the gameworld approach-fun-marketability and Fallout 3/Bethesda has this done different that in the previous games/then BIS; but F3 is not more flawed that say Fallout 2, only really blind BIS-Fallout/cRPG fanboys would see it that way.

    If Fallout 3 is Rossie O'Donnell than I guess Fallout 2 would be what, fat Oprah ?!

    Because really none of the Fallout games would qualify to be a Jessica Alba or any beauty queen.
  18. Chancellor Kremlin

    Chancellor Kremlin Mildly Dipped

    Nov 17, 2008
    Can you elaborate on that? I hear and have ocasionaly read passing comments about New Reno, but I really don't understand what the big issue with that city is.

    Can you explain please?
  19. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    Well i played Fallout 2 just few hours ago and i don't remember pointless fetch quests in ruins or buildings.Only thing fetchy was the vault tec part for vault 13 to get GECK .Even that wasn't mandatory , you could just kill everyone in the vault and take it anyways. Or you could get it at the end.
    The dungeon part is just stupid. ever played the Original Fallout ? Glow was important to the story and i loved it. it had several important game world things in it. Even in Fallout 2 the "dungeons" were important and usefull to understand the game world. You could visit the military base and find out what happened to it.
    They really werent dungeons in the conventional sense.

    And the graphics, fallout 2 had some variety, but of course you probably never visited Vault City or San Francisco.
    What do you expect from a 2d game thats 10 years old ? Top notch graphics ?
    Also last time i checked Fallout 2s enclave base wasn't a "maze", sure it was a oil rig, but were you expecting there to be just a single corridor and a room ?

    Realism isn't the problem, it's the lack of internal realism inside the gameworld. You know, empty rusted fusion/electric cars exploding into radioactive mushroom clouds. Or electricity from unmaintained generators that have been sitting there for 230 years. Or friendly people while everyday life is scavenging to survive. Already in Fallout people were mainly farming for food but of course scavenging for technology.
    And you could get lost easily in earlier fallouts if you didn't pay attention to what NPC's said. And you could talk the main bad guy to kill himself in Fallout. Or join them ! Now thats freedom

    You are just mindlessly bashing earlier fallouts, and i wouldn't be supriced if you didn't complete them. Yeah New Reno was a bit proposterous first but i still love the evilness of the place. And its existance wasn't as far fetched as youd think. Humanity was coming back, slowly but surely. They would want some "fun".

    Ai was crap..again it is acknowleged by Fallout fans.

    Shees. Remember Ian with 10mm smg guys ? :lol:

  20. gregor_y

    gregor_y Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jan 19, 2007
    Bingo people just wanted fun...there should be New Reno in F3 so we can do things like be a boxer,mademan,pornstar and many more...

    I know it was pointless in F2 i mean dialogues were funny and it was funny when you walked on street and people called you by your nick name either mademan or pornstar :)

    I know everyone is saying this but IF they release CS it can be done and if they dont release it i hope atleast they will release expansion patches that will add new things...