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"What if" disussion about Fallout 76, the franchise in general and Bethesda's future


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#1
ThatMrSmile

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I have a slightly crazy theory, regarding Fallout 4, Fallout 76, the franchise in general, and Bethesda's future among the stars. Though, to call it a theory would be a bit too much. It's more like just a thought, my personal perception of things, something worth being expressed, but by no means a statement. Agree, disagree, argue with me. Maybe, collectively we'll be able to construct a clearer picture. Buckle up kids, and don't forget your tinfoil hats! Also, if you don't know how discussions work, and you don't know, what the argumentation theory and dialectical methods are, please, don't bother posting insults, instead of counterarguments.
 
To me personally, Fallout 4 wasn't a very good game. Honestly, I think it's tolerable at best. It has a lot of problems, that's undeniable. I even got into modding, only because I felt, that there was so much wrong with Fallout 4. By all accounts, to me, Fallout 4 is the worst entry in the franchise. Largely, because by the time of Fallout 4's release, every bit of artistism had already been squeezed out of the franchise. When I first played it, I was like "just let it die". There is not much else to add to Fallout at this point. And it's not like there is much left to tell about post-apocalypse in general, that haven't been told already.
 
But! What if Bethesda feels the same? They are perfectly aware of all the problems Fallout 4 has, and they are perfectly aware of the state of Fallout as a franchise. They know what they WANT to do, and they sure as hell know the limits, of what they actually CAN do with Fallout. Also, Fallout wasn't their creation to begin with, so it's entirely possible, that they care about it less, than, let's say, about some other projects of their own. 
 
And, devs at Bethesda were pefectly aware of what a controversy Fallout 76 would generate. They knew, it would be rather unpopular among many players. So, what if they made Fallout 76 as an online game, just to turn it into a self-sustained money maker, flowing with the current trends, and to simply forget about it for the foreseeable future? 
 
How many times had Bethesda played with Sci-Fi themes in its games already? In many ways, Fallout 4 was more of Sci-fi game, rather then a post-apocalyptic. Hell, even TES, while being a fantasy, has a lot of sci-fi elements. During the E3 showcase, Todd said, that Starfield is their first original IP in 25 years. According to one notable letter, an abstract concept of a sci-fi RPG have existed inside Bethesda at least since 1997 (wasn't able to find the link to it, apologies). Trademark Starfield was filed in 2013, so presumably, the pre-planning on Starfield started around the time of Skyrim's release. Clearly, they have wanted to make this game for a very long time. And, since Mass Effect has commited suicide, it's good to know, that Bethesda is now actively working in this genre. Also, Fallout 4's storytelling and presentation were changed a lot, compared to previous BGS games, and it can be indicative, of what Starfield may be like. Epic, more cinematic, properly story-driven game perhaps.
 
Honestly, it's 100% ok, that Fallout 76 is an online game. If you are mad about it, well, you shouldn't be. There is something much more important on the horizon.


#2
Mavkiel

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I don't buy it. Why would they want a highly profitable franchise to die? Far more likely is that they were shocked with the success of fallout shelter, saw what EA was getting away with and decided to jump on in.

 

Alternatively, this fallout 76 could very well be an sub version of fallout 4. I recall an interview where they said they always try to put multiplayer in their test versions. (So that theory would be, they got it to work, but had to play with the engine to such an extent that it'd preclude a normal fallout release)

 

Or.. they just decided to see if they can rush out a fallout game, while putting the real talent to work on starfield. (They could be banking on the fallout name luring in suckers, much like the new star wars films.)

 

edit: All that being said, I am in complete agreement about fallout 4 being flat out terrible. To date, I don't think I bothered to finish even the main quest. The side quests tend to be fairly terrible as well.


Edited by Mavkiel, 14 June 2018 - 12:34 AM.


#3
mrmini

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4's ok. I see Fallout 76 as a new IP more than anything.



#4
ThatMrSmile

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Or.. they just decided to see if they can rush out a fallout game, while putting the real talent to work on starfield. (They could be banking on the fallout name luring in suckers, much like the new star wars films.)

 

 

That pretty much is my piont. They are aware of all the criticism, surrounding Fallout 4. They understand, that a proper sequel, they are capable of making, won't be as succesfull, as they want and/or need. And they really want to make something new. Enter Fallout 76 - the franchise lives, it's still on the market and continues to earn money (and there's a lot of money in this segment of the market), while Bethesda can work on something they really want to make.



#5
Lisnpuppy

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In another video, Todd discusses they have been kicking this idea for the Starfall(?) for many, many years.  Just because he said it is an "original" IP doesn't mean the idea is new.  But to my knowledge this is a Beth dream.



#6
genolune

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After watching Oxhorn's latest video on it: https://www.youtube....h?v=Nmt50MAH0OM  I too am cautiously optimistic.  Honestly, I would like going to dungeons with human players and building settlements with others.  Humans are smarter than AI and won't use a fatman or grenades in a narrow hallway with me present and are more accurate than Piper, Preston, Nick, etc.  Building settlements is better when you can divide the labor and have more than one person building and collecting scrap.  The question is, with the new take on the gameplay core mechanics will there be good lore and stories in the background waiting to be discovered?  I hope so.

 

EDIT:  Also, each Fallout game has had different emphasis to enjoy.  In 1 & 2, it was the overhead view and lore.  In 3 it was the new first person mode and real time combat with VATS, which I preferred to the older games.  In New Vegas, it was the freedom to choose responses and factions and the intricacies of all the quests and role playing it provided.  In Fallout 4, it was mostly the settlement building and to a lesser degree the gunplay I am not good at first person shooters so I didn't feel the improvements being that much of an improvement.  In Fallout 76, it may be the cooperative experience.  Who knows?



#7
ThatMrSmile

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In another video, Todd discusses they have been kicking this idea for the Starfall(?) for many, many years.  Just because he said it is an "original" IP doesn't mean the idea is new.  But to my knowledge this is a Beth dream.

 That's exactly what I've posted. They've been dreaming of making a Sci-fi game at least since 1997. In fact, they almost made it.

 

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#8
ArehgeeXXX

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I enjoyed 4.  Some of my best engagements in gaming have been interacting with NPCs there,  Sure there were times where I thought they missed opportunities, but for the most part it was all enjoyable.  Personally, I have always been amused by discussions about which installments of the game were rpg's & which weren't.  The Fallout series (all of them) takes meta gaming to a whole new level.  Having said that, I still love them.

 

Your point about sci-fi in fantasy worlds struck me as interesting.  IMO, you are reading too much into that because so many fantasy worlds out there seem to have the premise that here is a fantasy world built on a world that once was inhabited by advanced lifeforms.  Greyhawk, Faerun, Azeroth, John Carter of Mars, Lovecraft, Dying Earth are just a few.  I think Bethesda may have just been doing that because it is such common schtick.

 

On the other hand maybe they share your feelings that FO has run its course.  Personally, I hope that's not the case.  I would be interested in seeing Fallout in other places, but do agree eventually you find yourself at you have seen one place you have seen them all.

 

Or perhaps they are viewing this as a chance not to end the series, but to relaunch it.  Maybe to a new audience.  That is why I am upset.  Mad is too strong of a word for me.  Fallout is theirs, and they can do what they will but I hope at some point they continue to do it in a way that I am comfortable playing and give me means to opt out of anything on a multi player level.  Again, it's their property and they can handle it how they want.

 

As a matter of personal preference anything they do outside of Fallout doesn't hold my interest, nor does a game that I can't mod the crap out of.  So whether I stick around with Bethesda, we'll just have to see where they take this.  My personal opinion is if 76 works well for them it will become the norm  and sooner or later all of their big properties, because this I think is what they want to do.



#9
tomomi1922

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Why should anyone think FO franchise is about to run its course? 

I know 2.5D games, I know FPS RPG games.  I just never met FO games until FO4.  I did go back to play FO3 and NV, but the dated graphics made things laughable and harder for me to take things seriously.  So FO4 was my first game of the franchise.  And I feel there is such huge potentials into this franchise. 

- FO4 stands on its own without needing to play the previous FO games. 

- Although lacking some features of more robust FPS games (like taking covers), the FPS element is decent, with added VATS for more RPG players who can't deal with FPS, it's quite complete (FPS lovers can ignore VATS, RPG lovers can live on VATS for 90% of battles).
- There is no pretty things to look at.  But this is the very first game I learn to appreciate Post Apocalyptic genre that there are beauties in the slums. 

- The cheery 1930 retro art.  It feels like Steampunk rebirth to Atom bomb era.  I never knew I could love pinups, American propaganda, and radio so much. 
- And Settlement building, so we got FPS, RPG and The Sims all in 1 game.  I happen to love all 3. 

To me, FO4 is the beginning.  I can't wait until the next FO game where we can drive vehicles and have vehicular combat like Mad Max: both driving and fighting on top of moving vehicles.  Seriously, I don't like Mad Max that much at all.  But it is the closest representation to FO4's raiders and Children of Atoms.  Watching Mad Max is like watching FO4's universe in actions where raiders abuse the more peaceful settlements.  I am looking forward to FO5 FO6 just the same old RPG with settlement buildings, current graphics (whatever current is), with story telling to vast many regions of the US, Alaska, somewhere in Canada and Mexico, China?  China's story can be touchy, but so far FO managed to leave the politics out without any name calling and finger pointing: no hate toward Chinese as the enemies.  I think they are doing OK to include more Chinese in.  How about a FO game playing as Chinese?  I have seen and loved the 1930 American propaganda, how about Chinese propaganda and radio?

I know, not everyone is into looking at broken things all the time.  There are certain places in the US that are still intact.  Like in Walking Dead season 6 (I think) where this band of hardcore zombie killers just ran into a walled up village who managed to keep their buildings and way of life almost totally unaffected like the pre-apocalyptic era.  We don't need Institute's space age look, but we can always use a section of the game where things are somewhat pre-war like.  Residents are still well aware of the reality, but there is no reason they need to live like homeless, rolling in dirt, without shower and laundry for 2+ years.  This is what I got in my game: Pre-war Sanctuary.  Whatever faction I am in, whoever faction fighting whom, this Sole Survivor is at least powerful enough to keep her home and way of life protected.  A nice clean bed is not too much to ask, right?

Beside FO Shelter, they should totally port/remaster FO1 and FO2 onto mobile platform.  There is serious money to be made.



#10
Mavkiel

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The thing is, everything you listed, except the settlement existed since fallout 3. Sure, those have dated graphics, but it wasn't so bad back then. As for settlement mode, whats the point of having an epic city if its populated with cardboard cutouts? None of the npcs have personality. Before anyone suggests that's why they cut them out of 76, consider the interesting npc mod. It adds in slews of unique voiced npcs that are actually fun to encounter.

 

So trying to look at it objectively as to what was gained.

 

Better shooting mechanics,

pretty graphics,

more stable engine.

 

Do any of those sound critical to a rpg? Sure they can help, but it's not a deal breaker to most players. *shrugs* It just seems like they are throwing their core audience away to compete with the latest co-op loot and shoot. After typing all this out, I realized my same points on contention with fallout 4 also hold true with 76. 





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