ITT: We are QA working on FO4

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by Deeves, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Deeves

    Deeves Well, he went a little funny in the head . . .

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    Okay, so let's say that you were a quality tester at Bethesda, and you have just finished your playthrough. Suddenly, Your superior tells you in a hushed tone that Todd Howard himself wants you to come up to the office and give an unbiased assessment on Fallout 4 and how well it encapsulates the spirit of Fallout.

    What would you say to him? What would you demand be changed? What would be your reasoning and suggested alternatives? What would have been that critical game design choice or mechanic that would have made this game the best in the series?

    I ask because I'm going to try my hand at making a story in FO4's GECK when it releases and I want to avoid the pitfalls Bethesda seems to keep falling into. I'm going to really try and swing for an experience a traditionalist isometric RPG gamer would praise and do justice to the setting of Fallout, but first I need a crystal clear picture of what that would be before I can shoot for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  2. Ninja

    Ninja Who?

    243
    Dec 15, 2015
    There is so much fundamentally wrong with this game that I honestly think it would be a fruitless effort to explain your grievances to Toddy Boy. But since you want some things to avoid, let me tell you a few things that bothered me personally:

    -Quests that are linear but have the gall to try to fool me into thinking I have the power of choice.
    -Straight up not being able to say no to quests.
    -No restraint on the part of the developers to make loot and levels progress naturally.
    -Repetitive quests that only involve killing fodder.
    -Lack of integration of SPECIAL stats or perks into dialogue (especially Speech, where the hell did that go).
    -Not being able to make the character unique. Everyone is a family man/woman who used to be a lawyer/soldier and is on a quest to save their kid. Doesn't give much room for different personalities, especially with the voice actors chosen.
    -Plot elements added with no practical purpose just for "grey morality" or a twist (creating fully-sentient robots, FEV experimentation, or basically the entirety of the Institute).

    There's more, but other people can fill in those gaps.
     
  3. Practicat

    Practicat Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    414
    Aug 25, 2014
    Perks are by large bland percentage increases. Removal of skills system and replacing it with ranks neglects a wide range of character abilities and checks based on ability.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  4. Deeves

    Deeves Well, he went a little funny in the head . . .

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    -Not being able to make the character unique. Everyone is a family man/woman who used to be a lawyer/soldier


    Okay, I know this is going to divide some people, but when you mean unique, would you rather prefer a voiceless character unique to you, or are you more disappointed that you are forced play a bland & neutral soldier or housewife?

    Commander Shepard and Geralt don't seem like bad characters, even if they ultimately have the same personalities at the end of all outcomes?

    Basically, is a narrative driven voiced RPG character not that bad if it's a role that a player really wants to dig into, that's given a wide berth of options on missions and questlines and their actual skillset open for interpretation and allocation by the player?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  5. Ninja

    Ninja Who?

    243
    Dec 15, 2015
    All of the above. I liked New Vegas' blank-slate deal, even more than Fallout 1 and 2. But if I have to choose, I'd rather have my character be voiceless and open-ended, even if the backstory was pre-constructed.

    On the topic of Geralt and Shepard, I have to say that I like them as characters, but they are not something I want in Fallout. Mass Effect arguably isn't even really and RPG, and the Witcher has never had system like SPECIAL or dialogue based on skills, both of which are a staple of Fallout.
     
  6. Practicat

    Practicat Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    414
    Aug 25, 2014
    I draw the distinction for voicing the PC or not on whether they have a predetermined name. So for FO4, I would have preferred either full characterization and VAwith Nate and Nora, or your choiceof name and no VA.
     
  7. Spacemunkey

    Spacemunkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 4, 2015
    Don't make everything feel like it's waiting on the player to happen, the world should feel like it goes on even if I'm not there. Loot placement, if you break into a prewar army depot with it's prewar murderbots still active and doors locked there shouldn't be raider armor in the boss chest. Player agency is a must as well.
     
  8. Tom Bishop

    Tom Bishop It Wandered In From the Wastes

    117
    Dec 12, 2015
    I don't know too much about the game development process and what kind of changes can realistically be implemented at the testing stage. The only two things I'd guess could quickly be fixed would be automatically getting quests with no opportunity to decline them, and the lousy dialogue wheel not telling you what you're about to say. Elements of the game like the story, the voiced protagonist, and the excessive radiant quest design seem more on the order of scrapping the game entirely and starting development over.
     
  9. Irwin John Finster

    Irwin John Finster Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 13, 2015
    "Mods'll fix it."
     
  10. Deeves

    Deeves Well, he went a little funny in the head . . .

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    Fix it? I'm probably going to click and drag the FO4.esm into the trash. This'll be a whole new deal in New Vegas. You know, like a sequel we never got.

    "Player agency is a must as well."

    Yeah, that was a real bust with the already paltry amount of factions, it seems like nobody but random raiders care that you're taking all the premium patches of land still around in the wastes like a big old game of monopoly. The progression to settlement building was total BS too, that feature should have been only available to pad out and lengthen the late game. I have a sneaking suspicion it initially was, but they realized that the story was so threadbare they needed something to pad out the first and second acts too. So, they copy pasted the minutemen from being a late-game quest to being the second one. And that's how you get a level 2 player killing a deathclaw in power armor.

    I actually liked Paradox's Mount & Blade series and think that game's ideas could be taken a little further. In that game here are four factions in an active ground war fighting for dominance in a sandbox. Not a passive, only when the player feels like it war, but a real conflict where settlements are taken by the opposition. What you do about it is up to you.

    This could lead to a lot of play styles if the settlements system was treated like an RTS match that you are a particularly powerful and faction agnostic pawn in. For example, Preston constantly bother you about radiant quests against your will, that can never stop since you can't piss off the minutemen. Factions should keep their lips zipped until you've proven yourself (NV Faction reputations are coming back too). If you're trustworthy only then will they mention 'hey, we're going to push to take a settlement'. And they will say something like 'hey, we're going to do it at 7 pm thursday with or without you'. not 'we'll just wait there until you meet us there.'

    If you are banned from all factions and still want to do settlements? Relegate yourself to kill the leader of the raiders, and bat down and and all constant usurpers with your boom stick. Because if nobody likes you, you are a bad person, and the minutemen should not always be an open faction welcoming welcoming with open arms and consequences should be a thing.

    Back to radiant quests I feel that is the best way to put radiant quests to use are for just unmarked world events that and other minutiae that systematically happen whether you are there to see and interact with them or not. Like a Super Mutant dungeon. They all go out raiding, right? Kill, loot, return? You should be able to watch with binoculars and see them leave to raid because of a radiant quest telling them to attack a nearby settlement, and then you have a few options, go and warn the settlement (Which can be lost now), or go in and have an empty base with only a couple weak stragglers to deal with. If you happen to take too long and they come back before you leave, a new radiant quest should pop up to free any captives they took before they are cooked or worse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
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  11. ZigzagPX4

    ZigzagPX4 The Swiftness of the Ranger

    Nov 22, 2015
    So with this scenario, are we just playing "name the problems with Fallout 3 and 4" or are we making up theories of what compromises we could make if we legitimately were face to face with Todd Howard? The latter has been done countless times and is just so utterly pointless. But the former sounds interesting.
     
  12. Deeves

    Deeves Well, he went a little funny in the head . . .

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    "theories of what compromises we could make if we legitimately were face to face with Todd Howard?"

    dat one was more of what I was hoping for tbh.
     
  13. Practicat

    Practicat Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    414
    Aug 25, 2014
    I'm sure he knows how disliked he is that he isn't as open to communicating with fans as say Josh Sawyer is. His reputation has only been made worse with Fallout 4. Unless he is forthright with admitting that he and the Bethesda crew made a conscious decision to leave aside the RPG elements, and says that they will focus on bringing them back in their next game, or Bethesda decides to act upon this criticism in the DLC, nothing will change in people's perception of him, and by the announcement of TES 6, the scars of FO4's reception will not have yet healed.

    Obviously people place greater trust in action than words, so the DLC is the deciding factor.