No one wants to weigh in on the leaks associated with Bethesda’s apparently upcoming game?
I gave some thought whether even to open up this topic. Ultimately I went with “yes” on the theory that what it’s claimed Bethesda are doing with Fallout 76 might be something OtherSide are thinking about for Underworld Ascendant, or perhaps for some later game.
So here’s a starter post if anyone thinks this might be worth some discussion – or for more informed conversation after Bethesda’s official announcement (on June 10, 2018, I believe).
All I’ve heard about Fallout 76 is that it’s allegedly a DayZ-style online survival shooter. Which, whatever, I guess if someone finally make one that isn’t totally broken for endless years I might have some interest in that. Is there something else that’s supposedly akin to Ascendant?
I didn’t want to be too specific to begin with, in case no one wanted Bethesda’s announcement to be spoiled.
But yes, the concern is whether Fallout 76 is going to be, as one person is said to have put it, “a Rust clone” – or as Jason Schreier at Kotaku put it, an online multiplayer survival RPG.
If there’s any truth to this, then beyond the reaction of Fallout fans (or TES fans) the possible connection to UA is in the multiplayer aspect, and how that might be received. We’ve discussed that here before; Fallout 76 could be an opportunity for newer members here to comment on it.
I look forward to hearing more about what the SP mode is like in Fallout 76. Usually with a MP game, the developers (intentionally or otherwise) expect some “content” – emergent narrative if you like – to come from the players. That’s not necessarily bad; the question is whether the developers build the world itself to include or generate content for people in SP mode to enjoy.
But having said that, I watched Todd Howard’s interview by Geoff Keighley where he said Fallout 76 is always-online. No. If it’s really supposed to be fully playable in SP mode, then there’s no reason to require me to be online… right?
This is why I requested a refund – something I’ve never done with any other game ever – for backing the Elite reboot that reneged on its offline-SP mode promise, and why I not only didn’t play but objected vigorously to EA/Maxis’ Sim City reboot: if it’s really supposed to be a single-player game, then there is no valid gameplay reason to insist that I have to be always-online. There might be some other reason, and that reason might be a fair one (technical or business), but then that reason ought to be stated clearly and honestly.
I have zero objection if other folks enjoy Fallout 76. It’s just not for me from what I’ve heard so far. Plenty of other games to play.
If I could only make a game as terrible as Bethsoft Fallout.
I know the love of the old ones…but here is my experience.
Fallout 1- neat, its not DnD. This combat system is broken and exploitable. Playing a dumb guy is funny.
Fallout 2- day one buy, about 80% if not more into the game. First patch comes out destroys my savegame. Never played it again. 20 years later…still bitter about it. Also, way way too many ‘easter eggs’.
Fallout 3/NV/4 - 100’s of hours played. Any bug I’ve run into has been more on the amusing than annoying. Story is usually meh, but is that really the game? I’ve been ‘done’ with Fallout 4 for over a year, and still go into my main and screw around with my settlements, even this weekend learning a couple of new tricks to get more out of building. Its the best sandbox game ever built. With the addition of mods, it continually refreshes. Living in Boston- 4 is hilarious. Of course there is a ‘sarcasm’ option in dialog. Also the greatest single advancement in gaming- space to skip dialog- and you ‘blah blah’ and some characters actually get pissed at you for doing that. I kid of course, but it is awesome.
Story might not be the game but it is the soul of RPGs together with the characters and the setting. Otherwise you’d just be playing an RPG-flavoured strategy game or a shooter or what have you. Why do people remember Planescape: Torment or VTMB? It’s not because they had great combat mechanics or settlement-building.
Full agreement, with the minor difference that I lived outside of DC for ten years and just laaaaaughed every time I went onto the Mall in Fallout 3. I’ve probably easily spent 2000 hours happily exploring BethSoft’s game worlds (especially with mods for Skyrim).
I wouldn’t say that story is the primary entertainment target of these games – and definitely not their soul. Beyond the centrality of mostly-real-time combat, being first-person and open-world makes it tough to emphasize narrative depth in the way that party-based (Baldur’s Gate, P:T) and linear (Half-Life 2, Portal) games can. The Witcher 3 only succeeded at this because you played a named, well-defined character who could be marched through pre-written (and animated, and voiced) story beats rather than you creating your own story.
But I do think it’s fair to say that, despite these structural limitations, Bethesda’s games have had average stories that still managed some standout segments. I leave out FNV here since that was courtesy of Chris Avellone and the Obsidian gang. But Morrowind’s unique otherworldly setting deepened and supported its story. And the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion had some genuinely nice character moments.
I’d say all the BethSoft games from Morrowind on are just fun to jump into and fart around in. Not with quite as much reckless abandon as in Goat Simulator, but with much larger places to explore. It’s closer to Indiana Jones than Hamlet – but maybe that’s OK sometimes?
If story, characters and setting are not the soul of RPGs, then what is? Even in a game like Dark Souls, people remember the thrilling fights they had, but what haunts them is the context for the fights – the broken knight who failed in his quest and was driven mad, the lone wolf guarding his friend’s grave, the king who sacrificed everything in a futile attempt to delay the inevitable. Story, together with characters and setting, is what elicits a range of emotions from players and gives meaning and context to their actions.
Also, Fallout New Vegas proves that you don’t have to compromise. There is no reason why there should be all that railroading in Bethesda games or badly written dialogue or why they couldn’t have respected Fallout lore.
Just depends on what kind of RPG you’re talking about, but I didn’t find the system or the story interesting in the Bethesda Fallout games (I did mostly enjoy New Vegas until I hit a game stopping but 40 hours in - still salty about that).
Fallout 76 interests me far less as an RPG than it does as a survival shooter. I really think the genre has a ton of potential that no one has been able to fully capitalize on yet.
If Fallout can A.) not be a broken mess B.) not cause me to spend 4+ hours finding my friends on the map and C.) not waste my time by forcing me to constantly track down resources and build things, just to log on the next day and have to start over because my settlement has been destroyed…
…if it can do all of that, I’ll probably pick it up. I’m somewhat worried about A and REALLY worried about C, though. They spent enough time talking about settlement building at E3 that it sounds like this might just be Arc: Fallout Edition, which would be a real shame.
I don’t think RPGs have a single “soul.” I think RPGs are a design pattern that spans story/characters/setting (“role-playing”), AND systems-perception/exploration, AND character progression mechanics (“roll-playing”). Many games have emphasized one of those three aspects and then claimed to be the True RPG, but I think they’re the blind men trying to describe an elephant.
The RPG I want personally is one that deliberately and consciously strives for greatness in all three of those aspects. Absolutely I want the things I do in a game to have meaning! Why wouldn’t I want my hands AND my head AND my heart engaged by a game? But if the best a game can do (for whatever reason) is just one of those things, only done very well, I don’t consider that a failure, or not-an-RPG.
All the stuff I’ve seen so far leads me to believe that base-building is the central entertainment function of Fallout 76. The shooting and any cooperative features are simply mechanics to support base-building.
Certainly I could be wrong, but this is the impression I’ve gotten based on what I’ve seen so far.
Oddly, this strikes me as being very similar to their Fallout Shelter mobile game. They got such a phenomenal response to Fallout Shelter that it wouldn’t shock me if the suits commanded an attempt to cycle that interest into a version of the 1st-person Fallout game itself.
When I say that characters, story and setting are the soul of RPGs, I don’t mean to say that they are the most important part of it (though they are indispensable), but that they are the most emotionally resonant part of it. They appeal to emotions in a way that game mechanics and systems simply can’t. Obviously a game needs game mechanics, but these game mechanics alone are not what makes roleplaying happen – they merely facilitate it. Likewise, character progression is a tool to build your character, so you can choose how to interface with the world and its inhabitants – you are not not just building your character for the sake of it.