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Why bottlecaps as a currency?


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#1
YouDoNotKnowMyName

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Good evening everybody!

 

This is a question that was on my mind ever since I started playing FO4 (my "first" Fallout game).

 

Why are bottlecaps used as a currency in Fallout?

 

Is there any "lore" explaination for this?



#2
Ethreon

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"In New California, the relative scarcity of bottle caps made them a perfect currency for Hub merchants to adopt in the post-nuclear world. The adoption took place rapidly, as within ten years of Hub's founding in 2093,[1] caps became the standard currency of the wasteland.[2] The widespread use by Hub merchants leading to the nickname Hub bucks,[3] Hubbucks,[4] bucks[5] Hubscript,[6] or just script.[7]

 
The Hub merchants supported bottle caps because of two factors: First, the technology to manufacture them and paint their surfaces had been mostly lost in the Great War, which limited any counterfeiting efforts: The paint used, machining, and metal type all have to be very specific in order for a bottle cap to be genuine.[8] Second, there is a limited number of bottle caps, which preserves their value against inflation to some degree.[9] Finally, the Hub merchants in New California could support it as a common unit of exchange by backing it with water.[10]"
 


#3
YouDoNotKnowMyName

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Ok, that makes sense!

Thanks!

 

I just read that article you linked.

Wow, there is actually lots of lore behind the "caps".

I just asked, because in FO4, it is never really explained.

(Maybe it would have been good to make one of those "load screen tips" about it ... just for the "new players" ...)

 

Yeah with "wasteland technology", it would be hard to make any form of "currency" in a repeatable, counterfeit-proof manner.

The tools to create them wouldn't be the problem, rather a steady supply of high-quality metal (or whatever other material).

So it makes sense to use something form "before the war" that isn't too rare, but still rare enugh to make it "valuable" ...

 

The people who came across "bottling plants" or other facilities that produces / bottled stuff sure were happy to adopt that "new" currency ...


Edited by YouDoNotKnowMyName, 17 October 2020 - 11:28 PM.


#4
Ethreon

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Why are they used in F4 and 76?

Because bethesda clings to the form and not the substance. They don't really belong in either place.



#5
YouDoNotKnowMyName

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Ugh, you dare to mention the game-that-shall-not-be-named ?

 

As somebody elses says when asked what they think about the-game-that-shall-not-be-named: "I don't think about 76 ....".

 

 

Why wouldn't caps belong in FO4?

If they are used by lots of traders, they would eventually spread all across the states, right?

 

Actually, it would make sense that diffrent "regions" have ther own currencys.

But that would be hard to implement into the game (The standard "buy/sell" menu in FO4 is "hardcoded" to use caps, and you can't really change that ...).

So, that's why they only have one currency, I guess.

And the "traditional currency" that most people associate with Fallout is caps ...

 

Or something like that ....



#6
Zorkaz

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According to load screen info: Because Nuka Cola was the predominant refreshment drink and their abundance their bottlecaps soon got used as currency

 

That and well it's a trope.

 

"So, I thought, what shiny token-sized thing would you find strewn around the trash piles? Something common, but not so common as to be everywhere? Bottlecaps, of course! (That, and I liked the idea of a string of caps on a chord that jingled when people pulled them out.)"

Scott Campbell, Developer at Interplay

 

Basically they don't all have the same value and differ from region to region but it's a game and nobody wants to get down into micro-economics.



#7
niston

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Reminds me that I still have to do the mining mod.



#8
YouDoNotKnowMyName

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Reminds me that I still have to do the mining mod.

What?

What does mining have to do with bottlecaps?

Oh, maybe because I mentioned "a supply of high-quality metal" .... ?



#9
Zorkaz

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@ niston, yeah now that I think about it... ;)

Don't forget about this when you make it https://www.nexusmod...out4/mods/37501, so it's compatible with Basic Mining, which would be neat

 

@YDNNMN maybe he's planning a "forgery"



#10
YouDoNotKnowMyName

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Ok, it seems like there is some interesting stuff going on here that I don't know about .....

 

Again, this is getting off-topic ...





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