What made New Vegas' main questline work and Bethesda's Fallout fail?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by AMysteriousSalesman, May 27, 2019.

  1. AMysteriousSalesman

    AMysteriousSalesman First time out of the vault

    Nov 5, 2018
    I can't put my finger on it. Main questlines in Bethesda games kind of force you down a linear path where it feels more appropriate to finish the main quest first and then do the side quest stuff later while I never felt this with New Vegas. It may have to do with how there's no real urgency and the three factions only make their move when you really involve yourself in the conflict whilst Bethesda stories are a race against time (like the LOTR movies) where you have to quickly stop the bad guy from completing his evil plan of ending the world but Im not really sure.
  2. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Fossil

    Apr 7, 2017
    Because by adding urgency to the main story but encourage the player to fuck around in the world, it creates a contradiction. Not to mention, there's absolutely no penalty for messing around in the world for too long, the main quest just stops until you do something.

    The reason the main quest of New Vegas works is because at the start of the game, the three major players are at a stalemate. House can't do anything without the Platinum Chip and the NCR and the Legion are busy having minor scuffles here and there. That's why this whole thing only starts until you do anything: because you have the key for everything to finally go in motion. And it's why the player is not penalized for going around doing sidequests.

    Basically, the entire story is the factions literally waiting for one or more than one to do their move. Until then they wait.

    This is why Bethesda fails: they try to make their stories super epic, filled with urgency but then encourage the player to explore at their own pace. That's nonsensical design.
  3. 00:49

    00:49 First time out of the vault

    Oct 10, 2012
    Definitely the urgency thing Norzan mentioned.

    Also, I think the main stories in 1, 2 and NV were more about the world, not the player. Like, you're given a very distant objective that might be a bit personal, but the climax of the story always concerns the world at large, not the LW's/SS's personal motivations. I find it odd how an exploration-heavy sandbox would focus on your character's pre-established (forced) motivations instead of, I dunno, the fate of thing you've been actively exploring for the last god-knows-how-many hours?

    Fallout 4 tried going in that direction, I am lead to understand, but it has a pre-determined background & motivations and... well, Emil... so it falls flat.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  4. Millim

    Millim Half-way Through My Half-life

    Oct 13, 2010
    I think making the story a person story is one of the reasons.
    Also, I'd say structure is an important part.

    When making a Fallout game, you kind of want to structure it like a TV season. Each hour is meant to give you something new, but fit within the same themes of the game.
    Fallout 1 has a lot of world building and each faction gives you something new. One hour of F1, I'm killing scorpions in a cave, the next I'm helping out Ghouls. There is a beginning, middle and end

    What does Fallout 4 have? You save a settlement one hour and then the next hour you're helping a 100+ year old family with immortality. Both of these things either add nothing or feel so disconnected to the rest of the game that in a TV show, it would be jumping the shark.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  5. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    In new Vegas I like how the story made sense, had memorable likable characters, and how every question tied into the world in some way.

    In bethesdas fallout every minor piece of the game is disjointed and disconnected story wise and mechanically.
  6. Octavian

    Octavian It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 16, 2018
    This might be controversial, but I don't think the story was that much better, I just think they just did a better job of selling it to you along the way and making it compelling to pursue.
    The stories are relatively similar. A personal story that involves tracking down a person with an element of mystery, followed by a grander story that lets you become a part of something larger than yourself (or become that something yourself) and shape the world around you.

    The biggest difference I see between 3/4 and NV main quest wise is found outside of the main quest itself. The map structure, dialogue, and sidequests of NV does a much better job of enticing players to follow the main quest. In NV, the map nods you in the right direction. There is a road that naturally pushes players to explore in the right direction even if they're not that concerned with the quest itself, and sidequests organically push you further down that road. At every new location you meet, there is interactive and insightful dialogue concerning Benny and sometimes clues that give the player a tangible sense of progress on their hunt and a real feeling they are actually playing detective. Dialogue in places like primm and nipton introduce the player to the major players and starts letting them get invested in the second half of the main quest ahead of time, so the transition is much less jarring. Sidequests also cue the player in, with them often being related to the main conflict in some way. This means that players exploring at their own pace or roleplaying to do a certain thing will become more invested in the core of the game's story and sometimes even be able to independently progress it.

    Meanwhile in 3/4 questing is a little more isolated and the world feels more like a disconnected theme park rather than one cohesive hole. You don't feel real progress because every single place you pass through is a bubble and it feels like you're just going to the place you saw X last instead of following a path that makes sense. Its easy to get distracted and there's not enough incentive to pull you back. Sidequests actively pull you away from the main quest because they have the player do entirely unrelated things, and since they're less shitty than the main quest players will naturally gravitate towards them.

    Also players will naturally be more engaged in a story if the actual gameplay and dialogue is more palatable in general.
  7. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Fossil

    Apr 7, 2017
    It's not controversial, this is factually false. The fact New Vegas's story makes actual sense, it has context, characters have actual motivations based on their backgrounds makes the story miles better than 3 and 4. The story of those two games are plot hole ridden messes where characters do stupid shit for no reason (daddy sacrifices himself for no reason, made worse by the fact the bad guy somehow survives, even though he has no radiation protection gear). Lack any motivation, or whatever is there is so flimsy and barebones, for their plan or their plan makes no sense (like the Institute, they don't want synths to have free will but yet gives them the capacity of free will). Then there's the claim of the wasteland needing water like in Fallout 3 but the wasteland seems to have been surviving fine for 200 years, why does it need water now? And the characters in those stories are one dimensional idiots with the personality of a rock.

    Saying New Vegas's story is not that much better than just 3 is an insult to good writing. There's so much more in a story besides a compelling hook and a very basic premise.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  8. Eshanas

    Eshanas Vault Dweller

    Jul 6, 2016
    Fallout's story is tied to the theme of Fallout. Rebuilding and molding the blasted wastes into a new beast to cope. Who do you choose? Who deserves it? The Neo-Americans? The Scientific Genius who just cares for his toys? The Roman Cosplayer? No-one? You?

    Meanwhile in 3 it was based on such primal, banal things such as 'get clean water' and 'find dad'. There's no real choice to affect what'll ultimately happen on a superior level. You can destroy the BoS, but that's about it. You can't help the Enclave beyond killing off the mutated humans via a roundabout way, and the Enclave still dies by your hands. But now there's (un)clean water around, yeyyyy?
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  9. Octavian

    Octavian It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 16, 2018
    The quest is much better written, but that isn't the essence of the question. OP asked why New Vegas had a main story that worked and bethedshit didn't. I had lost engagement with the main quest in 3/4 as a result of the gameplay and execution long before I had actually gotten far enough to understand what the story was about. Personally, the writing and plot wasn't as large of a real difference maker in my engagement as the delivery.
  10. joseph prince

    joseph prince First time out of the vault

    Jun 2, 2018
    To me, the issue in 3 was I had to side with the brotherhood. When I gave Colonel August the code he killed me of the game started back over. I thought fallout 3 did get the point lookout dlc right as I decided who I helped, it was not forced by the fame. I thought the main choice in the Pitt was also good, as i decided the fate of the child and therefore their society. The main storyline in three did not allow me to be on a side and the choice of inserting the mutant killing serum into the purification system felt cheap. Fallout NV was better as my decision of who to help had a marked effect on the future of the area. I liked NV much more than 3, but 3 was much better than 4 or 76
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1