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Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by gongos, Nov 25, 2010.
Where did you get that from?
His rather blatant anti-technology stance and policies, one would presume. And technology is rather integral to productivity.
As for the OP, one can't deny that the game tilts NCR, or rather really tilts anti-Legion, but then the game never implied or promised equally-detestable/likable factions. There is no false equivalence fallacy to be driven, nor does there need to be, to allow a good story.
The Legion is the Evil Empire, yes. But the big equivalence-tradeoff isn't the NCR vs. the Legion. The real balancing to be considered is the NCR and House, with the independence wild card. Those are the three that compete with each other on grounds of 'best' or 'worst.' The Legion serves a different role, and never needed to be as sympathetic as the NCR.
...which is a bad thing. Why put a joinable faction, and them make them as unsympatethic as possible? Hell, the Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion is about as evil as the Legion (on a smaller scale of course), yet they pulled it off because you actually interact with them. There is a certain sense of company, of, well, brotherhood permating the organization that other factions did not have, so you sympathize with them even if they are cold-blooded murderers for the most part. The Legion has nothing like this, it's filled by evil people doing horrible things while their leader invents bullshit excuses to justify his troop's barbary and his own ambitions. Nobody is relatable in the slightest (save for, surprisingly, Lanius at the very end if you talk to him), no effort is made to show them as anything but savage butchers that you could only possibly join either if you truly agree with their methods and agenda (in which case, why are you using a computer anyway? drop everything and go to Africa or something, join a militia and see how fun non-stop war is), or if you find them ''cool''. Bethesda outdoing Obsidian in an aspect of writing? This should not happen.
The Legion should have been much less ''EVIL!!'' and more ''darker shade of grey than NCR, willing to get it's hands dirty and not hiding it''. If you want generic villainy, things like Deathclaws, factions like Powder Gangers and rambling madmen like Elijah and Ulysses do nicely. Joinable factions should be a cut above that in terms of depth.
Depends, The Legion presumably has access to huge amounts of slave labour. Empires have been built from little but this in the past. Of course, said empires didn't have to compete with people who can field aircrafts and the like.
Why not? Plenty of people enjoy an 'evil' play-through for the contrast. Besides the 'side with the bad guys' appeal, which really only works when there are bad guys and not a field of equally flawed factions, if they hadn't allowed us to side with Caesar's Legion the complaint would be 'why aren't you letting us?'
The Legion being short-sighted and a demonstration of mass-insanity was rather a point of the design. There's pretty much nothing about the concept to sympathize with: it's a movement of a madman with more logical inconsistencies than integrity. Caesar can't even keep his historical analysis and comparisons straight: appealing to historical synthesis that wiped out the male-dominated empire model as the justification for his empire?
Yes, it's crazy. But such crazy things do happen: North Korea is a madhouse today, and you can see far more of this sort of mad-nation building during the Cold War (especially some South-Eastern European countries and African states). Madmen can rise to power, and madmen can create mad states.
And that's the point. Fallout isn't a world where everyone is sincerely good and well-intentioned progressive rebuilders in the post-apocalypse. It's a world in which some people are decent, and a lot more are self-serving and narrow minded to the extreme.
Why shouldn't people be able to join evil groups as well as morally justifiable groups?
That was actually a nice twist with Elijah, really. You could side with him: non-canonical to the extreme, really, but you could if you wanted to.
Said empires also lacked significant technological opportunities to take for themselves as well.
Even slavery was more productive as technology was introduced. The cotton gin is just the most famous example in the history of US slavery, but slaves were even profitable in manufacturing positions as well, and that too is something that only gets better with technology.[/i]
Well, the roman empire was build on top of slavery and lasted 1000 years.
The british empire utilized employees and lasted 200 years.
That's something to think about it, isn't?
Also, ancient civilizations did had technology. The egyptians didn't had cranes, draglines or heavy machinery and build the pyramids, medicine was more advanced during the roman empire than middle ages.
Slavery wasn't the primary labor source for the Roman Empire. They had slaves, but they weren't a primarily slave-based economy. Nor were slaves the reason for the Roman stability vis-a-vis the relative lack of any serious rivals during most of its existence.
Uhm, Rome WAS a slave based society. That's a very basic fact.
There's a difference between a slave-holding society and a slave-based society, primarily the focus/weight of the economy depending on slave-labor. The Confederacy in US history, for example, was a slave-based economy: slave labor was the basis of most of the cash-crop production that underwrote the economy, while non-slave farmers couldn't afford the capital (which slaves represented) for comparative cash-crop production.
Rome was a general agrarian economy, and most of its labor wasn't from slaves. Slaves existed and slaves did do labor, but slaves (defined as humans considered property) weren't the primary labor force for the growth and sustenance of the Republic or Empire. Slaves also weren't a key basis of military strength either, another category to claim a 'slave-based' system.
That's actually one of the bigger historical incompetences of Caesar's Legion. Rome didn't do the whole 'enslave our enemies and make them our soldiers for future conquests.'
Yes it was, that's common fact.
Is this going to be one of those 'everyone knows' deals that, hey, everyone knows to be true because everyone knows it?
Maybe there's a radical difference in what we consider slaves here. Or what makes a society slave-based, as opposed to having slavery but not being slave-based.
Rome was very much a tributary empire, but it didn't keep the occupied territories in chains and whips. It couldn't: it never had the manpower or system to do so. Ancient Egypt had a far better claim to being slavery-based given its public-works projects and drafting, but even that 'everyone knows the pyramids were built by slave labor' is undermined that in Egypt, public works labor was also an alternative payment of taxes.
I have to disagree too. When you have 25 to 30% of the entire population of the Roman empire being (actual) slaves (and about half of the population of Italy proper), it's hard to see it as anything other than a slave based-economy.
The Earth is not flat. Or is it? Maybe we should debate.
I'm not specialized in Roman history, but I'm fairly sure a lot modern writing on Rome does in fact point out it was not an economic system fueled by slave labor. The main problem was they used a 2-tier low-yield crop rotation system that did in fact require way too much labor. This was mostly a part of the latifundia, which are similar to American South plantations during the slavery era, but they weren't similarly important to the Roman economy. The main criticism historians have is that while the sheer number of slaves is significant, their economic output is the lowest per capita of the Empire by some margin, and they were never able to provide more than a partial crutch for the system.
Not my field, though.
That'd be fine if that was the intention, but the game half-heartedly tries to question who has the best vision for the future of the Mojave. It's weak.
I don't think the game ever really tries to imply the Legion is the best for the Mojave. They give the Legion goals and justifications so they seem more functional and let you join them if you want, but the real debate to me at least framed is more NCR/House/Independence. Basically whether NCR annexes the area completely or whether it maintains itself as an independent city state allied with NCR.
The people in the area obviously prefer the status quo under House or complete independence, just the debate is whether that desire to remain free is worth more than the security brought by NCR. The Legion provides a contrast to this, as they provide even more security for an even greater sacrifice for freedom, that obviously has gone too far.
I got to wondering the other day if maybe New Vegas would have been better if it would have focused on the BoS/NCR war instead, and kept the Legion as a minor faction, akin to the Powder Gangers.
Then again, I know how tired some people are of seeing the Brotherhood, so maybe I'm wrong here.
I don't believe the question is whether the Legion is "best for the Mojave," but whether the Legion is in any significant risk of imploding.
The Romans sank under their own size. The whole schtick of FONV is that the NCR is over-extended and, while the Legion will most likely wipe the entire Mojave clean of its current inhabitants, it's also a surprisingly robust empire. The game even implies this with the strength of Legion currency.
So it's not a "democracy is better than tyranny" debate but one of simple, pragmatic longevity. The world ended, the world started up again, and we're seeing the first post-apocalyptic empires and whether, given this clean slate, they're capable of self-sufficiency. And with that, it's not about the Legion's moral status - because pretty much everybody you meet in the Mojave will be brutally murdered by said invaders - but the question as to whether they're a true nation and not just America's largest raider army.
The game implies that Arizona works as a nation mobilized for total war. As such, can it exist without war?
Well, there's a difference between substance agriculture (as in: small landholders, like retired legionaries etc.), where economic surplus was mostly created by the women engaging in textile manufacture (much like it was in the middle ages still), and actual latifundae-based economic agriculture, where the revenue of the estate was actualy higher than base substenance level. It's those kinds of enterprises that actually add to the 'economy' as a whole.
There's also other sides to Roman economy, BTW. There's also mining, for instance, which were mostly slaves. Sea-borne commerce (galleys) were possible thanks to large numbers of slaves manning the galleys. Literate slaves from Greece etc. made up an importart part of the economic chain. Etc. Etc. Etc. I mean, College_Fool indicated himself that he would consider the Confedate States a slave-based society because, I quote, 'slaves produced that cash-crops that underwrote the economy'. I'd argue the same goes for the Roman Empire - especially in its golden age.
I mean, of course the output per capita of slaves is going to be lower - that's always the case. It's inherent in non-free capitalist business models. I find it telling, though, that the decline of the Roman economy in the later ages goes hand in hand with a decline in influx of slaves.
I *was* specialised in Roman and classical history, but since I didn't complete uni I guess that doesn't matter.
I agree that the Legion does need to be fleshed out better and their policies made more clear, but the inability for those people who cannot sympathize with the Legion, because they prefer a democratic and inept government, is not a problem. That is by design.
The Legion is an incredibly misunderstood faction. I hear all this stuff about them burning down Vegas and killing just about everyone and I don't know where people are getting it from. What about Caesar "enslaving a large amount of the population and peacefully lording over the rest", that doesn’t sound like killing everyone. With the Legion you break the rules you die or end up wearing a slave collar, but they don't seem to fuck with people for no reason, in my opinion that separates them from a giant raider army who kill and torture for sport. Backing up that claim is Raul; despite the Legions anti mutant prejudice the Legion treated him fairly because he followed the rules.
I'm not completely sold on the Legion and am quite aware of the Legion defects (superstition, rape, cruelty, opposition to medical science), but I think most of those faults are the result of using a conscripted tribal army. Caesar even hints that the prohibition of medical science has more to do with tribal taboos than his belief of an ideal society. Most likely the conquest of the NCR would bring in better recruits and would counter a lot of these flaws.
People don't sympathize with the Legion simply because it's retarded. It's a cartoony EVEEEL faction led by M. Bison. It's simple as that, it's RETARDED.