Please help me understand Bethesda's decisions

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by SarcasticGoodGuy, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. SarcasticGoodGuy

    SarcasticGoodGuy *R O T T E N*

    Aug 31, 2016
    Fallout 4's last DLC came out, and it got me thinking about the game again, and I realize there's so many problems with it. I'm not going into stuff like deep, complex storytelling or tough moral choices, but rather smaller nitpicks that either a) make no sense to me b) can easily be fixed by modders, raising the question why couldn't Bethesda have done it themselves? c) are just plain insulting.

    1. Ammo types. We get it Bethesda, you're marketing the game to a larger audience- casuals. But why didn't you have ammo types? I'm sure kiddies would've loved shit like a minigun that shoots explosive bullets, or better mini nukes so their explosions could be even bigger. Some legendary effects are crap like "set an enemy on fire", is this your replacement? Magic guns?

    2. Raiders. If you want to make every raider just a target dummy with a gun fine, but geez they're so fucking bland. Every single one of them is the same. A mish-mash of leather and metal armor, pipe weapons and mohawks. The fiends and the vipers were distinguishable from each other. Make some of them baseball obsessed, or maybe make them specialize in energy weapons; the rust devils were OK, but that was a paid DLC. The only ones I can think of are the forged, but they were contained in 1 dungeon. You also had the gunners and the triggermen, but I'm disregarding both because - the triggermen appear in 3 locations (1 of which I'm pretty sure doesn't respawn them) and the gunners make no fucking sense at all.

    3. Settlement objects. Homemaker was a mod released not too long after Fallout 4's release, and now has several thousand objects (correct me if I'm wrong). Bethesda's designers must've made tons of objects to scatter around the world, yet we can only use a tiny amount of them. The settlement system already destroys immersion, so why weren't more objects added just for the sake of it?

    4. Given that "unique" settlers only have about 3 lines they cycle through (thank youuuuuuuuuuu), how hard would it have been to add more? There's a unique settler mod that adds 30 or so, so I'm guessing it's not impossible. It would make a nice change than "I hear the minutemen are coming back" or "Some new beds would sure be great".

    5. Item textures. Why do fresh carrots and mutated carrots look the same? Would it have been hard to re-use the carrot from F3/NV for the fresh carrot and your shitty new version for regular carrots? What about the items you get from the heavily guarded museum, why is this ornate 1000 year old vase the same as every other fucking vase? It's so fucking lazy it boggles my mind. Just change the colour of the vase or the pattern at the very least.

    6. Skills and traits would've ultimately been better for Bethesda. I don't see anyone buying Fallout 4, being asked to select 3 skills, getting confused and going "fuck this I'm going back to COD". The lore rapists at Bethesda love their money, so maybe instead of one perk chart that you can sell as a poster in real life, they could've made 3 (perks, skills and traits). It would probably make them more money, plus with their unpaid marketing troll MrMattyPlays talking about how great they are and recommending his >200,000 subs to buy them all it would've brought them so much more money. I'm not an expert in business, but all I'm saying is that they could've made something to pander to older fans and sell it to the younger ones also.

    7. Optimization. Why is it that mods like "better performance" are released within a week? That there are hundreds of clutter objects that the player will never see? That you can turn ~2000kb roof textures into ~400kb versions that look incredibly similar (not that you'd be looking at that many roofs anyway)? It's because Bethesda have a blind following that believe TES V is the second coming and game of the generation, and it lets them get away with creating shit games on a technical level.

    Most of these don't matter, but if modders can fix stuff within a week that Bethesda couldn't in 5 years of development time, then what does that say about Bethesda?
     
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  2. Irwin John Finster

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

    Nov 13, 2015
    "Please help me understand Bethesda's decisions."

    Ok: $$$
     
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  3. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    You remember Chris Avellone's interview in the NMA podcast?
    He was regretting the decision to make the starting conversation last too long in OWB.
    5 years later. Recognising a (somewhat glaring) error, even if the people he was talking to probably would let it slide. He did the same thing again later, iirc.
    When it comes to Bethesda to recognise some of their "features", i.e. the lack of chance to complete Fallout 4 as a Pacifist, at least for the most part. Then they say basically "Allow for pacifism isn't neccesarily one of our goals". Same goes for all of Pete Hines' brilliant PR action and the "dubtous practices" and their response to feedback.
    Bethesda makes games to make money. Other developers make money to create games.
    Basically, they're dicks
     
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  4. Crossfire

    Crossfire Banned

    491
    Jun 14, 2016
    I'm sure they think that's what they're doing. But, I'm still of the opinion that Fallout 4 will hurt them financially in the long run.
     
  5. Irwin John Finster

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

    Nov 13, 2015
    Having played Old World Blues recently, I have to say that I love the opening dialogue. I don't think it's too long at all. It's only too long if you are going to replay that scene a bunch of times in the same playthrough for some reason, but if you're playing it the first time or replaying it after a long hiatus then it is really well done and very amusing.

    It's one of my favorite Fallout moments. I think complaining that it is too long is kind of silly when you consider the alternative which is Fallout 4 style dialogue. It's like the people who complained about the karma system so bethesda just removed it entirely, or people complained about Deus Ex having a nice color filter so they removed it even though it looked great in my opinion.

    People say "oh this dialogue is too long" but don't think about what it would be like not having it. For me that DLC would not have been the same at all without that opening dialogue setting the tone.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
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  6. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    I know, but it was a bad decision design-wise. If you or me made a game and it implied around 30 minutes without previous notice. We let that slide becouse we like what's going on, but for a newcomer (or from Skyrim) it may be unappealing. It was a common complaint, and the small taint in the 96% Steam score.
    Not everybody appreciates the unskippable expositional conversations, and that's perfectly fine.
    I liked it a lot, of course, but i can see it as a design mishap, as it could have been more spread out (along the MQ, for example)
     
  7. eissa

    eissa Altáriel, Lady of Radiant Garland

    Jan 7, 2016
    bethesda marketing team are full of retard

    watching from their stream and video, its like one could notice these are basically inexperienced people.
     
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  8. Irwin John Finster

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

    Nov 13, 2015
    Which is why you design your games for your core fanbase and not for newcomers who don't even like RPGs.

    Unless your Bethesda, then you do the opposite of that and diarrhea out Fallout 4 which upsets nearly everyone that played any previous Fallout game including their own Fallout 3.

    Designing your sequel for people who didn't like your original game is like designing a pickup truck for people who don't even use or like pickup trucks. Which is exactly what Bethesda did - they designed a Fallout game for people that never liked Fallout RPGs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  9. Deeves

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

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    Well, You can give Bethesda all the money in the world and a gift of Obsidian practically making them a blueprint of success, doesn't matter. Can't fix arrogance.

    Todd Howard is a good manager. An extremely good manager. Though he is only as talented as the people under him. But all the accolades and other bullshit he's been given for bankrolling out the console industry has made him lose his goddamn mind. You can hire the most talented people in the industry and give them the most bleeding edge development tech to work with. It can't save your project if your lead becomes so much of a pretentious art snob he becomes a glaring single point of failure in your company. If the one guy in the office that makes all the decisions and can no longer be told 'no' wants to have an intro that breaks all internal setting consistency because of a dream he had, or, that he's just okaying concept art solely on style points alone because he is not familiar enough with Fallout, or, he decides to astroturf over the bedrock of the setting and put his own confused slave liberation parable that doesn't actually touch the issues of slavery with a 100 foot pole as a thin topsoil to play around on because he's not familiar enough with Fallout to work with Fallout it's a death sentence, there is nothing you can do.

    It really does boil down to what you've been hammered with in School all your life. Do the diligence. Do the research. Saving Private Ryan is a modern classic because Spielberg did the research. When Peter Jackson did Fellowship, he said "I want to film this as if we were documentary crew; I want to portray this as a lost footage tape of real events that happened on another world." Obsidian did the diligence. Bethesda just inflated the most superficial aspects that they liked until any hint of subtlety was wrung out, made up whatever they felt like when they ran out of the small pool of those, and then hoped any inconsistencies would be covered up by their scrappy indie-team-sticking-it-to-the-industry persona. To Todd the universe exists inside a 50's cartoon you would read in a pulp fiction rag, and genuinely thought we were all on the same page with that. Turns out his own his whole team and the whole fanbase wasn't. Predictably, this 'above it all' approach to doing the diligence just turned Fallout into a lame parody of it's former self, a disappointment.

    I think they knew they had a turd around late 2014. The workload was too high, Microsoft massively under delivered with Xbox One and it's mobile phone level processor, and Todd was probably knocking down doors all day making on the fly changes and telling everyone how displeased he was with how his fever dream hallucination was shaping out. But, again, the team can't say 'no', or, you know, they'll never be able to work in the industry again. So the developers got really insecure and started pitching new late addition features, essentially just 'betting on black' that'll be a big enough distraction or they may hit accidental gold. They didn't.

    Mid-2015. ZeniMax kicks down the doors of Bethesda Studios wielding a tire-iron.

    ZeniMax: "Hey bitches, so I've noticed that you haven't made a cent for me in near five years! Where's my money?"

    Todd: "Uhh, er, you know, genius can't be rushed. I think we're on to something ... revolutionary. Totally revolutionary. but we are going to need a four year extension to really get it there."

    ZeniMax: "Uh huh. Okay. Well, you can do that. But, we are going to set the marketing machine in motion for late 2015. And you will be the header for this year's E3 with an announcement trailer. If you want to delay for another few years, you can tell your rabid fans yourself.

    Todd thought to himself; 'All right, okay. It's not remotely there. But it is a Bethesda game. Bethesda is beloved. And my genius will break through all the rough edges with all of the revolutionary leaps this game will make for the genre. And ZeniMax did pay off the reviewers. It'll all be fine."

    And then the user reviews came in.

    And here I think there was a watershed moment in the studio where a civil war erupted, with the veteran RPG devs who could sympathise the older hardcore and New Vegas fan base and the newer more sycophantic devs who believed Todd's all platform utopia RPG vision was held back by the traditionalists were all wagging fingers and 'saying I told you this shit wouldn't work!"

    And then Todd told them all to shut up and remembered his station; managing and not dictating. He told group A to work on Far Harbor and told Group B to work on Nuka World and let them duke it out to (hopefully, really really I hope) get some sort of definite barometer of where the future of their games should go, and see who is getting sacked.

    Hopefully they're looking at the Steam Reviews at 89% vs 54% and they're taking that feedback above all else. Hopefully they're not taking the maximum over-arrogance drive way out and going "Well, fuck those fans. they're going to be ungrateful? Plenty of other properties in the sea. How much would buying the rights to remake Planescape: Torment as a first person shooter cost us?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  10. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Well, that's nice, but how could it have been my first Fallout? New Vegas almost shares the accesibility of Fo3.
    We sometimes do forget that, it is important to stick to your fanbase, but you do have to bother letting new people in.
    That doesn't neccesarily mean to make the game for ultra casuals, of course.
    A good practice of this is Dark Souls 3: the franchise it's at its peak of popularity and mainstream media. Some people have real problems with the first boss, but it's easier on the noobs after that, having upgrades simple and clear. Later you get the second boss. What about it? Well, of you feel brave, you can try and defeat the 15th boss before the 2nd.
    Also, some of, if not The Hardest bosses hide in secret areas, so they aren't on the way of the normal progress. This way, the veterans get their hard boss, and newbies get an eas(ier) time.
     
  11. DR_LaZer

    DR_LaZer Donacdum

    113
    Jul 7, 2016
    "Dark souls" and "easy" should not be in the same sentence without the word "is not" in between them. Seriously, the entire original game prides itself on how balls bustingly hard it is and how you will die. Making it easy in anyway for casuals to play it ruins the core enjoyment of it. Not every game should be played by everyone. Games should be crafted to appeal to one specific demographic, maybe with one or two other ones sprinkled in there. But the CORE fanbase should be kept in mind, not casual randoms who don't care that much about the game in the first place. And if you forgo the entire appeal of the original to appeal to casuals, you're doing something wrong.
     
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  12. Irwin John Finster

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

    Nov 13, 2015
    No, developers should not bother with "letting new people in." They should focus on doing what made their game special in the first place. New people can learn how to play the game like everyone else.

    When you start going down this road you end up with Fallout 4. There is no videogame in the history of videogames that has been improved by dumbing down to "let new people in."

    When you change a game to "let new people in" it becomes something entirely different from what it was, which defeats the entire purpose of making a unique game that serves a particular niche. No one is asking Euro Truck Simulator to add a Call of Duty campaign to "let new people in" that never liked Euro Truck Simulator in the first place. That's Bethesda logic. People who don't like RPGs have no business being catered to by RPG franchises.

    Master of Orion 3 was dumbed down because people complained the micromanagement made it "inaccessible" to new players. Look how that turned out - it destroyed the entire franchise. Quite literally in fact because they haven't made another one until recently. It's like saying Paradox should dumb down Crusader Kings 2 or EUIV to appeal to non-strategy fans - that would be incredibly stupid. Their niche is that they make a specific type of grand strategy game that appeals to a specific audience.

    Dragon Age 2 got rid of text-based dialogue and added a voiced protagonist and a dialogue wheel in part to "let new people in" and look how that turned out. There are countless examples. To quote Yahtzee's review, "Fallout 4 has bent over backwards for what the kids want these days (minecraft) and has cut off its own bollocks to do it."
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  13. Deeves

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

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    This is one of those things I really want to break out the lab coat and beakers for. How much difference would there have been in Fallout 4's release had there been no super-hardcore fans running wild in the streets and telling every able body they could find that Bethesda was about to bring forth the second coming of jesus after they saw 30 seconds of next gen Dogmeat?

    How many casuals buy on blind pick or name recognition alone vs social buzz around it generated from the recommendations and hype from the hardcore fan base?
     
  14. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I agree with pretty much all of what you said. But I think it is more acurate to describe Todd as a very great salesmen and to some extend a decent entertainer. He has a keen sense on what 'sells', to say it that way, and even more in how to sell it to the masses, generating hype and saying something without geting flak. This is just my speculation, but I can't help and feel that he purposfully lied on the Oblivion E3 presence, knowing fully that the finished game, will never ever be like the presentation they showed. At the very least I think he deceived people. But, if it would have been a different company, like EA games or what ever, they would have been shredded by the consumers. But, since they have a lot of good marketing, and probably some luck - Oblivion had hardly any competition during it's release and the game had SOME qualities, they avoided most of the criticism. You would never ever even see the press mentionining the difference between the finished game and the E3 presentation.

    However, I don't really think that Todd is a great mananger. People like Tim Cain or the person that was in charge over New Vegas are great managers. Just look at what they achieved in 18 months, with a buged engine, lots of constraints and limitations. A great manager, will deliver a great product, even under bad conditions, to the satisfaction of the consumer. A great salesmen will sell you a mediocre and sloppy product, while convincing you that you got a great product. And this is what you have with pretty much any Bethesda game.

    With saying that, I think that Todd and his closest work mates, like Pete and Emil, REALLY believe that they are some kind of gods in the RPG buisness. Those geniuses and great egos that turn anything into gold they touch. And why should they not? The press loved their games to death, millions of people bought it. They got praise all over the place, for Skyrim, Oblivion and Fallout 3. But none of those games have been really stellar. It's like if the Michelin GUide would suddenly start to hand out prises and cooking stars to Mc Donalds for their Burgers. Simply because (...)they sell millions of them! But we all know, that while it is not bad food, it is not really exceptional either. When you're pushing mediocricity to a very high pedestal, and constantly calling it exceptional, then it will get to the creators of the content at some point, where they actually believe it. Again, this is all my speculation, but I think this explains somewhat why we've seen Todd so ... deranged or depressed a couple of months ago. This Bethesda game, might be one of the worst RPG they have ever released so far, where even some people in the gaming press couldn't help it, but mention that is more shooter, then RPG. But it is still awesome! Of course! And many people that enjoyed Fallout 3 have mixed feelings about F4. I am not sure if the game would have been capable of standing on it's own without the legacy of the previous games. I mean content whise it doesn't even offer as much like your typical Beth game. The dialogue wheel is a mess, most of the quests are boring, the world seems rather dull and lifeless, particularly if you compare it to Skyrim and New Vegas. And New Vegas in particular, still has a strong reputation as great role playing game!

    And, above all. The Witcher 3. I just can't help it, but I believe the fact that the Witcher 3, was openly and secretly seen as the best open world game so far, must be nagging at the Bethesda developers. I mean it is the better game, hands down.
     
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  15. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016

    :aiee: That's the kind of situation that arises from a nightmare. Don't even suggest it!

    I will agree and say that he definitely knows how to play to a crowd. Compare how he handled the E3 press conference unveiling Fallout 4 and how Hiney presented this year's Bethesda conference. There is a remarkable difference between the two.

    I do have a feeling that Bethesda will not be able to ignore some of the backlash they have been facing recently when their direct competitor, The Witcher 3, has avoided much of the criticism aimed at Fallout 4 by simply being a better product that clearly has a lot of effort put into it. I do think that the only reason why Todd even acknowledges the problem with the dialogue system is that their direct competition has not faced as much criticism as them on that front (and because most of the demographic that they probably pay attention to have critiqued them on it).
     
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  16. GlutinousRice

    GlutinousRice Ne travaillez jamais

    247
    Nov 7, 2015
    Good new is, that's probably going to cost them a shitload of money. Planescape is a ADnD campaign which belong to Wizard of the Coast, which belong to Hasbro. Bethesda won't be able to buy the whole DnD license, but they might get the right to develop games, and I can't see this happening, first Hasbro is as greedy as Zenimax, and will probably want to get a huge percentage of the profit while risking no investment (the risk ruining a franchise is in itself an investment, and dangerous one, we are talking about Todd-Emil and co after all), two Bethesda and Zenimax probably don't want to depend on an other company.

    The bad new is, it's Atari who got the right to develop any DnD video game (Planescape, Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate). They haven't been doing anything noteworthy since a reaaally long time. And their new come back strategy sound awful, really. On June 22, 2014, Atari announced a new corporate strategy that would include a focus on "new audiences", specifically "LGBT, social casinos, real-money gambling, and YouTube". Thankfully they probably won't bother about making a Planescape game, since it's beyond their area of expertise and competence, and it would be like playing with buttons in a nuclear power plant where everything is written in Cyrillic, including the manuals.

    On a side note, I do hope that Bethesda make a Planescape game, with Todd as main director, and Emil as main writer, just to show to the world how horrible they are at making RPG. At this point I don't care what franchise the are going to destroy, all I want to see them drown in their own pool of shit.
     
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  17. SarcasticGoodGuy

    SarcasticGoodGuy *R O T T E N*

    Aug 31, 2016
    I'd love it if Bethesda bought the rights to make a 3rd party Witcher game. It'd be shit, that's a certainty; but seeing them being torn apart and lynched by TW fans would be worth it. They had to hire security when they got death threats after Fallout 3, I wonder what ruining TW would do to them...
     
  18. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    I see Bethesda (mainly Todd) as someone who grew up loving rpg's, but then grew out of it and started enjoying simpler more fast-paced games. They mistook that for everyone growing out of rpg's, and seeing action-oriented games selling better they simply thought they went with the times. In a way, they did. But while they could have been on the forefront of real rpg's, they instead devolved into making games like everyone, for everyone.
     
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  19. Deeves

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

    96
    Jan 21, 2016
    Or, he's been so busy marketing and managing he hasn't touched a game not made by his studio for at least a five years, and all the RPG instincts have deteriorated. But he's blind to it.

    Kanye West was excellent at promoting himself and dropping iconic albums. Now he is only good at one of those things.
     
  20. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Can you imagine how a Pen and Paper session would be with him?

    Todd, you're out of your role again ... you can't just use a nuclear bomb at the Demogorgon ...you're a bard for fucks sake. And no, viollence is not always funny ...
     
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