The Family is actually a neat ideas

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by Wumbology, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    People bitch about it a lot. But you know? I think it's one of the more self-aware and shit, well-written things in Fallout 3.

    It's a cult of personality. The Lone Wanderer can even directly confront Vance and tell him it's brainwashing... and Vance admits that's true. Plus, just look at Vance's character: his lispy voice, strong features, solid jawline, clean-shaveness- he's an archetypical handsome cult leader. His wife, Holly, is plainly subservient to him and, judging by dialogue between them, does nothing but reassure him. Karl, who would seem to be the rowdiest of the Family, plainly confronts he thinks it's bullshit, and Brianna seems to be the resident groupie. She even mentions how "cool" her line of the Laws are. On top of that, the Laws seem to be like typical New-Age bullshit: "Feast not on the flesh, drink only the blood-" written in some faux King James style. I really don't see any faults. In fact, Blood Ties is one of the best written quests- and ideas- in Fallout 3.

    And the basic idea of some weird Wendigo Psychosis mutation isn't really all that absurd, Van Buren had creepy mutation-induced cannibals too..

    Honestly, of all things to complain about Fallout 3- this is not one. And for all people complain about the karma, you are given the option to wipe them out, which the people of Arefu gladly accept as a player choice.

    So, check this down on "Thing NMA has drastically blown out of proportion and generally selectively interpreted into the 'Bethesda can't write' narrative"
  2. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    If you go that way, you can even argue that Moiras quest is pretty smart. Yes, she tells the player that she wants to write a book about survival, but if you try to read between the lines it is getting clear that she just wants loot. (Doesn't change the fact that the 200 years old unlooted supermarket is bullshit and Moira is god damn annoying, though.)

    /Edit: And still this vampire theme doesn't fit into Fallout at all, imo. Even the Hubologists feel more like Fallout to me and they weren't exactly the best idea either.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  3. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    In general, there are some (not thousands) good ideas in Fo3, but when that happens the execution of it rarellly follows. Like Kathy said in another thread, it seems like a shallow first draft.

    About the Family, i won't contradict you when you mention some stuff you think are good, but that quest-line also have issues.

    - The Vampire stuff, and the fact it work for your character (healing through blood) Vampire add to the list of aliens, mindless ghouls/SM, chineses, androïds, Gary etc... They might stay in the IP, in worst scenario...
    - Lucy West, who is happy to have news, no matter if the news is that her brother became a vampire and killed their parents. (HUGE POINT OF GRIEF)
    - The bridge people ask you to get rid of the Family, but they will attack you if you do it.
    - The bridge lady that think she is in the pre-war era, despite never knowing that era in the first place. From what those memories are ?
    - The bridge settlement is a disaster meant to happen at some point...
    - There are dozen of useless raiders all around. Why don't they eat them instead of sucking blood of innocents ?

    Amongs the "good point" unmentioned, they make actual use of that metro station, instead of filling it with useless feral ghouls...
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  4. Neon Child

    Neon Child First time out of the vault

    May 12, 2015
    This shit right here was the worse part to me. The Arefu people attacking you if you kill the Family could be chalked up to a glitch on your first play through and Lucy could be over looked at as an oversight by the team. Even them attacking innocents could be looked at as them attacking an easy target.

    However this lady speaking like she's from the pre-war era has no excuse and was neither quirky nor fun. Besides that her husband was kind of a douche as well, so neither of them help with giving you motivation to help the towns folk.
  5. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    It's a good idea in theory, Fallout 3 has some good ideas... the issue is the execution, Your only alternative to brokering a threaty is killing them for no reason, there is not much character to them; being an stereotypical character doesn't turn a character into a self aware deconstruction, there has to be writting to support that not just "I see a bunch of very typical stereotypes played straght, it must be self aware". At the end of the quest there is nothing to them, they are pretty Vampires in the world of Fallout, a Psychosis that makes you a canibal is realistic, there are people with mntal disorders that even make them self canibalize...
    the part where they actually heal from drinking blood and they aren't just all extremely malnourished without explanation (and their ability to teach it to you) kind of destroys any possible semblance of self awareness, deconstruction or any competent writting this quest could have. The Hubologists where goofy but they weren't magical cannibals that regenerate Blood from blood packs, they are a bunch of Cultists with access to some advanced tech, the debate there is more in terms of wether it fits or not (I think they aren't that outlandish, they are never shown to actually have magical powers and their Space odyssey always ends in the death of everyone). And of course the thing that destroys any kind of sense of urgence or even of player agency is that they lack an ending for either path of the quest, but that's a general problem with Fallout 3.
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  6. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    Uh, well probably because they don't want to catch the various STDs and creepy bugs the typical syringe-swapping rapist Raider has.

    Except they're not vampires and both the game and the characters confront that. As for the blood perk? Consider it game balance. The Family nor Arefu rewards you neither money nor weapons, so Bethesda probably decided the player needed something of usefulness. I mean, Fallout 2 has the player character get raised hitpoints for riding a Brahmin Rodeo and getting speech bonuses for shoveling bullshit. Why do you care so much about one mindless, barely-mentioned and optional perk?

    Holotapes? Old magazines? She's a joke, and not really a funny one, but it doesn't matter that much.

    That's a glitch. If you kill the family then go to Ian- going to Ian afterwards being the crucial step- then Arefu won't care.

    Except they aren't vampires and the Lone Wanderer and Vance both explicitly say they're following fictional traditions. As for the malnourishment point- who says they don't eat normal food? The Family only says they can't eat human flesh, and Karl keeps plenty of normal food. So what's telling you they're exclusively blood-drinkers?

    The Hubologists were a pop-culture reference with no thought behind them. The Family is a pretty archetypical cult by a charismatic leader. Shit, the player can tell Vance he's on a power trip. Ignore the goofy (and optional!) perk for once and just look at the quest itself and the dialogue in it.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  7. Oppen

    Oppen FIXT n°1 fan

    Dec 26, 2011
    I think the comparison to Van Buren it's the nail that missed from the coffin of the idea that is slowly reaching completion here.
    You see, the main problem with Fallout 3, aside of the wrong emphasis in visuals and sandboxing instead of writing and consequences, both as means to immersion and player freedom, is that it has a lot of neat ideas. The problem is, the execution of them is in the same state Van Buren is: a somewhat decent *draft*. You compare to a game for which only a tech demo is available, and call it your parameter? Then a draft is what you'll get as your finished game, no more, no less.
  8. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Uhmmm no, you keep insisting they are somehow deep by how stereotypical and unoriginal they are, they are not. They are just cliche, without any thought put to them, they are people in the wasteland that somehow survive from drinking blood alone and they teach you how to do it.
    THe hubolosgists had a bunch of quests related to the and the ywere evenendings, the Family has a quest where the reward is beer.
  9. Battlecross

    Battlecross Banned

    Jun 17, 2015
    Yes, the hubologists who have a glitched quest that just ends. Right. Also, they're entirely based on Scientologists and L. Ron. Hubbard and you're complaining about originality? Holy cow man.
  10. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    To be fair, being allowed to massacre Scientologists is more original than some quasi-meta vampire lair.
  11. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    The Hubologists have multiple endings for their quests, also the Hubologists are a riff on Scientology but they have more to them than that, they are still pretty goofy but they have multiple quests and you find members of their cult in a couple of cities outside San Francisco and their quests result in different endings, ( The Family are just vampires who have nothign else going on for them their quest doesn't net a different ending and the reward for them are beyond lame either beer or some caps.
  12. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    Sweet shit you don't like to read huh?

    they're not vampires. How many times I got to say this

    The Family has no reason to be outside of Meresti, half of the time talking with Vance is just spent discussing that Meresti is their only safe place because they're incredibly few in number.

    And you can survive by drinking blood. The plenty of tribes in Africa drink a combination of cow or goat blood and milk as a source of nourishment. Why are you so caught up on that one idea? Shit, it's scientifically reasonable. And there's nothing in-game to indicate they don't also eat normal food.

    The Hubologists were a joke. As a former Scientologist, let me tell you directly they lack either the subtlety or psychological nuance of real-world cults. They're a joke. To put it bluntly, you'd rather defend one of Fallout 2's stupid fucking jokes than even try thinking that one tiny element of Fallout 3 was well-done. Why?

    Man, fuck this. You're just dogmatically opposed to even remotely considering anything I'm saying. You'd rather repeat the same shit you've been saying about Fallout 3 since 2008. Why do I bother?

    hey, at that, point. Bother elaborating. You say they're cliche. Why? You say they "have no thought put into them", as if you knew the thought process behind their writing and creation. Why? Are you telepathetic? You say "they're just people in the wasteland". So are Jason Bright's followers. You say the rewards are "lame"- beer or caps. Money is lame now? Free goods are lame? What exactly is your problem?
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  13. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    They call themselves Vampires, they can hela themselves by drinking blood and they all act like Larpers. That's the main of it, there is no self awareness to them, they are played straight, without a hint of Irony and nothing much to them beyond their quest where they are just sewer Larpers. Also surviving on Blood and Milk is different to drinking blood to heal themselves, they can also teach the playerto do it.

    The main point here is that you are attributing them meta textual qualitites that the game didn't have.

    No, I am disgreeing with your assertion that the Family was well done and I am comparing it against Fallout 2's stupidest thing, at Fallout 2's worst they still were better than any Fallout 3 quest line. I don't hve to agree with you just because you call it good, I actually very much disagree on the Family being well implemented at all.
  14. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    they don't actually call themselves vampires though. Vance admits they're following fictional traditions for the purpose of given a downtrodden group of mutants a sense of purpose. That's literally the whole point. He even admits he is brainwashing them, but for the purpose of having them embrace their mutation rather than live in shame and fear.

    And, at that, what is wrong with an occasional band of LARPer weirdos? A group of cannibals pretending to be vampires is such a big issue? What about a group of Raiders pretending to be Mongols? Or an army of slaves pretending to be Romans? Or a group of cave-dwellers pretending to be ghosts? You can't selectively apply this criticism to just Fallout 3.

    I have a feeling you didn't actually pay attention. You say they're just LARPers in a cave and I'm telling you the game explains what they're doing and why- several times.

    Healing themselves with blood? Both in New Vegas and Fo3 you can heal yourself with food. Blood is a food source. So, mechanically speaking, I don't see the issue.

    Your arguments don't have weight or merit. You don't have to like it. I'm not forcing you to. But the arguments you have are factually wrong because the game does set up a reasonable purpose and identity for this group, whether you like the group or not.
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  15. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    The big issue is that there is nothing else to them, their quest is short, badly written and the rewards are pitiful. And their archetypes are played straight without a hint of Irony, they even have a Sword with a fancy name.

    BLoodpacks on heal 1 HP in New vegas and 3 (without the perk), so they are literally doing magic to turn Blood packs into Stimpaks.

    The game doesn't set up much for them, because they are also tied to one of the worst settlements in the Game, Arefu, they are canibals that believe they are Vampires and somehow survive only by drinking blood. If they had made some connection to something like Vance having connections to the Canibal town and dealing with them to get the blood, them actually suffering from some FEV reated mutation or anythign it would be different Hell the only character with anything to him is the vendor and he barely has any role in the quest nor any other quest related to him. If vance wasn't such an archetypical pretty boy leader that is good and the other characters being so one note there would be merit to it, but as it stands there is not.
  16. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    "Caesar's Legion are raiders who believe they're Romans and somehow survive in football gear against bullets". "The Brotherhood of Steel are isolationists who believe they're knights. And they don't have any seen food source." (And yes, Fallout 1's BoS.)
    Also, as I have said, and will say for the fourth time: There's nothing to indicate they don't eat normal foods. They even have food in Meresti. They're probably not just keeping it around to rot.

    Heals as much as purified water in either game. A blood pack is hydration+calories. What's the issue? That Vance gives you a perk? Shit, he just tells you to drink it right. Ever tried drinking blood? It's disgusting. He might just be telling the player to drink it without vomiting, much like Ulysses teaches how to drink Bitter Drink.

    "The Khans are played straight without a hint of irony. They even have a leader named Garl Death-Hand."

    "If Loxley wasn't such an archetypical pretty boy leader"

    Listen, again: I'm not asking for you to like them. And I will admit the rewards for the quest are frustrating and shitty. But your arguments are bogus. You've just got the NMA bias, and you have it bad.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  17. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Caesar's legions don't believe they are Romans, they follow Caesar's teaching that are based on roman history, they also have a lot of territory, big goals, their own trade routes and a lot of qusts dedicated to them. So not quite the same thing at all. Also their Laws say they should only survive from Blood and there isn't any food items in their HQ and they make a deal with Arefue in exchange for blood. Nothing says they eat normal food and if the ydid then what would be the point of the whole Vampire thing?

    Bloodpacks with their perk heal only 10 points less than a Stimpak, a military drug when before that they healed 1 point, and they teach you how to get that from it and call it Hematophage, don't see the problem here?

    The Khans are a band of raiders who are always barely scrapping by and are considered a nuissance by other communities, in all 3 games they aren't the most complex faction (except in New Vegas under their new leader) and also they are a raider faction that has ties to Vault 15 and the fit in the Fallout settings, while Vampires just don't. So no idea whay you bring them up here.

    Loxley is a boring character, true, no idea how that makes the Family any better. Are you gonna bring up Generic NPC number 20 next to prove they are complex?
  18. Wumbology

    Wumbology Actually a sentient CRT

    Mar 5, 2013
    This is clearly pointless. Whatever.
  19. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    I hated how the idea was excuted in Fallout 3. It felt too cliche and idiotic to me. Maybe this will work in Fallout 4, but I have my doubts.
  20. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Wel it's pretty pointless tryign to convince people with no real proof, I gave it to you that it was a decent idea, but the issue is with the Execution. There is very little to the Family in terms of setting connections, quest lines or characterization. They aren't even the worst part of 3, the yare kind of forgettable except for the Vampire thing, but you are the one who insists they are a good idea or a good part of Fallout when they were as shallow as any other faction in 3.