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Eldorado


Ask me if you have any questions about the site. The more detailed you are describing the problem, the better the chances I'll be able to help.

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  • 485 weeks
    Star Trek: Nemesis

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  • 512 weeks
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  • 536 weeks
    An idea I've had for a bit

    This is the part where I whine about my personal life and how school/work/family/ice dancing lessons are cutting into my writing time and I'm really trying to get stuff done but why does life conspire against me so?

    Read More

    21 comments · 974 views
Apr
10th
2014

An idea I've had for a bit · 3:33am Apr 10th, 2014

This is the part where I whine about my personal life and how school/work/family/ice dancing lessons are cutting into my writing time and I'm really trying to get stuff done but why does life conspire against me so?

But we've all read that blog a billion times (some of us have even left uplifting messages and/or promised emotional support!) so I won't write that blog because it's a stupid blog and there are better things for all of us to spend our time on. Instead I want to get some feedback from the few fans this story's managed to gather. I already know how the story ends and I know roughly what's going to happen along the way, but some of the specifics have changed and I'm considering changing them further.

Originally I never intended for this thing to go beyond a Teen rating. People getting shot, maybe vaporization and goo-ification when energy weapons are involved. About the goriest scene I can imagine it containing is, like, some kind of first aid thing after a character is wounded and they have to fix it the real way because my story isn't a video game and you can't heal bullet wounds by shoveling a metric fuckload of 200-year-old food down your throat. But lately I've been kind of wanting to change that a bit and throw in a couple scenes - not a whole bunch - that'd be a lot darker than that. Not mindless gun porn, mind. I'm not saying "how about I crank up the gore a few notches during the fight scenes and revel in the bloodletting?" because I think that's rather immature. I'm talking about certain actions and decisions designed to make readers stop and think for a minute about whether they want to keep rooting for a particular character, or even keep reading the story for that matter. I'm dealing with characters who are actually going to treat the DC wasteland like a tough survival environment, not a fun place to shoot bandits and mole rats. Soon enough Raven Rock's going to stop being the primary setting and important survival decisions are gonna have to get made. I want to say a few things and raise some questions about thematic stuff and character stuff, and I kind of want to really go for it on some of these scenes without constraining myself to a teen rating.

The best way I can probably describe it without giving too much away is if you had a big overly detailed kinky fetishy clop scene stuck in the middle of a legitimate romance story, but the story was being written by someone with no interest in the fetish for people with no interest in the fetish. It's supposed to be off-putting and "gross," or unsettling in some way, but it makes sense for the characters and it's more important you see it rather than have things fade to black and then pick up with a recap. Or, maybe... like, an easy and somewhat cliched example I won't be using would be forcing a character to choose between a bunch of innocent people or a loved one, where the other's going to die. And rather than take the Spider-man "all of the above" approach, I'd really go into detail about how the group chosen to die gets really good and dead. I strongly dislike how Fallout 3 essentially stuck the player in a series of moral situations where there was an easy obvious "fix everything and save everyone" route and an evil terrible "kill all the disabled cancer children and set them on fire for giggles" route, because it required zero conscious thought to arrive at the "correct" option.

Sometimes when you're trying to rescue your entire race from aliens, or rebuild America after a nuclear war, or whatever your grand goal is, you're going to be faced with scenarios where killing the disabled cancer children and setting them on fire is actually a legitimate option with a logical backing behind choosing it - they're gonna die in six months anyway, and so better to put them out of their misery now instead of wasting medicine on them when it's better put to use on other people. I want to stick people in such situations and have them make these kinds of decisions... and then follow up by showing the disabled cancer children being murdered and set on fire. I've seen video games do this sort of thing before (in fact it's one of the reasons I prefer Fallout New Vegas to Fallout 3), but even then it's usually kept sterile like choosing between poker chips we're told are actually people. There may be a billion and one logical reasons to commit the act, and the character might be able to argue it's the right call all day long, but it doesn't change the fact that the correct action in this situation is a truly, unforgivably monstrous one that's going to be weighing on the character's conscience for a long time. Illustrating the brutality of actions like that drives home the point that this isn't some magical pixy fairytale land where there's a right and proper solution to every conceivable problem and as long as we're all nice to each other it'll all work out alright for the human race. I reject that school of thought completely, and the more I think about this thing the more I really want to dive into this.

This ended up being about 400% longer than I intended, so my apologies for that. Still, I'm interested in hearing if anyone agrees with my viewpoint or has any opinions on the matter. I'm a big fan of moral discussion and philosophizing, especially as pertains to video games that let us make such big choices for ourselves, even if the consequences don't affect the real world.

Report Eldorado · 974 views · Story: Way Back Home ·
Comments ( 21 )

I don't read your story, mostly because I wasn't aware it existed, but. I still vote for the bounce to mature, since you evidently know how to use the rating to its full potential.

Look, the way I see it, unless you want to take the easy route and just say "screw it, some brief description and implied things will do", you're going to NEED to bump it up. There's nothing wrong with keeping this at the level it currently is (and nobody stopping you from doing what you want), however, with the setting of "way back home" being what it is, and the sheer brutality and inhumanity that is there (vault-tech vaults especially), unless you want to cater to a younger audience... Giving the reader (and your characters) something to really consider... something to really have to think about and rationalise themselves... something that very well, might clash incredibly harshly with their own beliefs or morals... I don't see a way you could really and truly develop the story.

I'll still read it regardless, because I actually like your writing style and your work is actually good, but this is just my opinion. Take it as you will. Whatever you do is up to you, and you shouldn't let others dissuade you from what you think is best... unless it really is for the best, like sticking your face in a vat of acid or something.

I'd say go for it.

If the goal is to make it unsettling, then do it.

If you need it for the overall plot, do it.

Maybe provide a warning in the chapter? Just for those who don't want to read such a thing? Like a "skip cutscene" thing?

~Skeeter The Lurker

Eldorado
Moderator

1996988 That's what I'm thinking. I'll probably end up going for it, I'll just leave it Teen for now until I actually get there. Plus, I'd think most people interested in a story like this probably have their mature filter disabled.


1997101 You keep changing avatars I didn't know who you were. But no, this isn't supposed to be a younger audience story. I'll most likely go through with it. Only like two or three more chapters before a good opportunity will present itself.


1997124 Nah, trigger warnings and content advisories aren't my style. It's a good suggestion, but that'd defeat the whole point - "Oh, morally-ambiguous content ahead? Good thing I can just skip it and not have to think for myself." Plus by its very nature it'll be a massively important story moment every single time; skipping it means missing out on important plot information.

I am curious how other people react to these kinds of decisions in fiction, though. I hear a lot of people bashing New Vegas because "It's too buggy" or "Fallout 3 felt more polished" or other technical things you'd say about any video game. I rarely hear people say anything about the different approaches towards moral conflicts between the two games, and I don't know if that's because people don't care about story, are skipping over it to get back to shooting people, or what exactly is going on.

1997250

Hm, yeah... It would defeat the idea behind it. Maybe a blog post a day or so AFTER the chapter arrives?

Regardless, do it. It'll be something curious to see a response to.

Also... People play a game for a story? Who does that?

~Skeeter The Lurker

While I obviously don't know what exactly you plan to do, I think idea is good. I mean, yeah, it would be dirty, violent, scary... But it's Fallout. It's supposed to be like that. And actually seeing results of the more violent choices... "End justifies the means", saying goes. Well, ones who use means should be ready to see the process, and if readers are to truly understand characters, we should see them too. And it's Fallout! The "no restrictions" game about broken people in broken world. (Can't convey my thoughts about that property right now, sorry.)

1997250

I rarely hear people say anything about the different approaches towards moral conflicts between the two games

Well... I felt no moral investment in F3. I just passed and promptly forgot it. I'm sure I didn't saw full content world was able to offer. Plots were somewhat bland and shallow. Choices offering greater good are obvious, plenty (for nearly every situation) and backfire-proof. I like happy endings, but that was just too much. And the bad ones were just... I'm lacking words to describe this.
New Vegas, on the other hand... There were several situations where there could only be "either or". Even "best" was not always "good". Some things felt unfinished, but not in sense "badly done by developers", but rather because everything you did just weren't enough and you couldn't do enough, no one could. It tore me, but in a good way. I mean, I felt bad that I couldn't give everyone everything, because there are to many of everyone and too few of everything, because some people just won't change or forgive, because world just doesn't work that way... And because of that I found it believable. I believed in those people and situations, I was able to care. And that made finding best conclusions interesting and truly good endings matter and bring sense of fulfilment. Above-mentioned "either-or" choices made me think about what to consider right, what to consider better and what to do anyway. World seemed interesting and worth exploring. I got the feeling that it was less filled then F3, but in "quality over quantity" kind of way. Maybe game was buggy, but it gave world worth remembering end empathising.

Hadn't thought I'll write so much.

Eldorado
Moderator

1998911

And it's Fallout! The "no restrictions" game about broken people in broken world

It's funny because this is always what I think the game wants to go for, considering the intro narration bangs on about the futility of humanity or whatever and all that "war never changes" stuff... it really seems to think it's a serious apocalypse story, but... it's too lighthearted. The earlier games kind of mixed it well enough, but then 3 came around and talks about how horrible it is trying to survive in this world despite the fact that once you get above level 5 there's basically nothing that can stop you except yao guai and deathclaws, and you can just run around hoarding stimpaks and water bottles and be immune to all damage. A fun game, sure, but when it tries to take itself so seriously and offer commentary on the human condition it really falls flat for me.

There were several situations where there could only be "either or". Even "best" was not always "good"

Even one of its simpler and more on-the-nose ones is great. I don't remember the details, but you have to choose between a small group of trapped survivors stuck in a vault somewhere, and the future of the NCR's farms. Save a few people to let the masses starve, or save the farms at the cost of a few lives. My complaint there is that it's presented very clinically - you push a button, and that's that. The water flows in and drowns them, I think, but you don't see any of it take place. I would have done the Wrath of Khan thing, except the people on the other side of the glass are dying by your hand, and you have to tell them the line about the needs of the many while you watch them drown. That's kind of what I'm talking about here, is scenes where a character is going to do something that heavy-hitting.

I felt bad that I couldn't give everyone everything, because there are to many of everyone and too few of everything, because some people just won't change or forgive, because world just doesn't work that way

Exactly. It's in the nature of most people to want to not be a dick and just give people whatever they want. FO3 had some stuff approaching this, but the way the game was built totally ruined it for me. An example comes to mind about when Garza is suffering from a heart condition when you're running from the Enclave through the tunnels. Li asks for five stimpaks, which is supposed to be like "wow that's a big amount of resources you're personally taking away from me," but... by that point I had like 30+ stimpaks sitting around and every time I went out scavenging I turned a net profit. Sure, Garza, have five stimpaks. Have ten! The "leave him behind so we can survive" moral was clumsily executed in that sense, because the game nullified the weight behind the resource cost. And to be fair, New Vegas does do something similar, and once you play for a few hours you're swimming in loot and have no idea what to do with half of it, but at least the game's moral choices focused more on the other people involved and didn't offer you resource taxes for the good of mankind.

World seemed interesting and worth exploring. I got the feeling that it was less filled then F3, but in "quality over quantity" kind of way

I've heard a couple people say this now, and... I disagree. FO3 felt like endless reskins of the same thing. The Nuka Cola plant looked identical to the Corvega factory, which looked identical to the MDPL-13 power station, which looked identical to Fort Constantine. I didn't have any real incentive to explore because all the interesting stuff was huddled in around DC and as you wandered out... it was just some random factories and caves. The Vaults had character, absolutely, but I think FO3 had a vastly emptier game world with a lot less intrigue than New Vegas.

I'm not really arguing with you, mind, I actually think it's rather curious that people could use the same negative things to describe opposite games.

Maybe game was buggy, but it gave world worth remembering end empathising.

Obsidian is the pros and cons of Bethesda... but concentrated into a smaller scale. There's two games now they've sequeled with exactly the same set of pros and cons compared to the original. New Vegas is one, obviously, but the other is the second Knights of the Old Republic game, from... 2003? Old game, still holds up fantastically. Most people hate it because it's got some really shitty bugs and weirdness, and the ending doesn't make any sense, but some of those problems were caused by LucasArts pushing up the release date. The rest is all Obsidian being Obsidian.

The first thing they do when they make these is reuse absolutely every last scrap of the original game resources that they can get away with. Same ship model, some light retex's to the droids, two copied planets, same weapons and armor and a lot of the same enemies. The games look every bit as similar as New Vegas does to FO3. This is what I mean about the smaller scale - they don't create entire worlds of their own, at least visually. They're much better in the writing department.

Second order of business is to craft fantastic moral choices and grey areas and basically vomit in the face of the predecessor because inevitably they've missed the point completely and given it a binary good-evil system. Knights 1 had "Be the ultimate nice Jedi!" against "Be a fucking douchebag Sith Lord because... screw the good guys, amirite?" and Fallout 3 was... Fallout 3. Compare that to New Vegas and Knights 2, which of course painted the "kill everything and acquire boundless personal power" Sith as evil, but also made a hella convincing run at how the pure-good Jedi types were every bit as problematic for the galaxy. If you can play Knights 2 and come out thinking the Jedi have the right idea, then... I honestly think we were playing different games.

Third order of business is to make sure at least one major quest is broken beyond repair and the game is virtually unplayable for awhile because you can't swing a dead cat without hitting ten billion enormous bugs that any self-respecting non-EA QA department should have caught.

Bethesda is all about awesome worlds and great exploration, with hideously buggy launches. Obsidian I think beats Bethesda in the writing department pretty much completely, at least enough to compensate for their comparative lack of creative vision when it comes to actually crafting those worlds. But they're even buggier on launch, and the first time I played New Vegas I got about half an hour in before I quit that shit and let it sit for a good three months. Picked it back up again and fell in love. It's truly a great game.

1999259

The earlier games kind of mixed it well enough

My path started with the original games, and that might have added to my dissatisfaction with 3rd.

once you get above level 5 there's basically nothing that can stop you except yao guai and deathclaws, and you can just run around hoarding stimpaks and water bottles and be immune to all damage

Con of F3 and NV for me - to pass the game you're expected to be juggernaut of destruction, game just focuses of fighting when original two gave different opportunities. And it seems that now many people thing that signature of Fallout is lot of fighting.

but I think FO3 had a vastly emptier game world

Well, 2 copies of one thing is still 2 things, that what I meant. You always stumbled upon something in F3, even if it always was something same.

Eldorado
Moderator

My path started with the original games, and that might have added to my dissatisfaction with 3rd.

I had a lot of fun with the third game until I played through it a couple times and then really started to think about it. Paying attention to the whole thing with Autumn vs Eden and how Autumn's the only faction leader in the entire game with a fuckin' clue, and just the general attitude of the game made me start to enjoy it less.

Typically I'll play through the beginning and the whole getting Dad part because I really do like it up until that point, but once Vault 112 is out of the way and the Enclave becomes the baddies, I have a hard time playing the game without feeling like I'm playing reverse-CoD and controlling some Taliban militant as he guns down Americans.

Con of F3 and NV for me - to pass the game you're expected to be juggernaut of destruction, game just focuses of fighting when original two gave different opportunities. And it seems that now many people thing that signature of Fallout is lot of fighting.

The stealth was pretty underwhelming and alternative choices were few and far between, yes. I honestly don't mind being a juggernaut of destruction, though, if they'd only set up proper challenges. The beginning of NV and 3 on real difficulty levels is always appropriately challenging, and then you just get to a point where it abruptly stops and from then on you cannot be killed unless they mobilize literally an entire army against you.

Srs, the fact that it's possible to massacre the entire Legion camp, or stand and fight your way out of Raven Rock, at any point in the game without cheats, disgusts me.

Well, 2 copies of one thing is still 2 things, that what I meant. You always stumbled upon something in F3, even if it always was something same.

I guess. I just never felt the same desire to go exploring in 3 because as soon as you got out of DC I felt like everything was just dull and grey. Plus I already had 40 stimpaks and 72,000 rounds of ammunition for all my favorite guns. Just playing the main story gave you way more resources than you ever could hope to need, and I felt like any exploration I did was further tipping the balance pointlessly in my favor.

Also it annoyed me to really up the difficulty level because then sniper rifle rounds to the face don't actually kill people. That just destroys my suspension of disbelief - limit my access to resources, don't limit the effectiveness of those resources. I'd rather have a game give me five bullets and say "now go take on a camp of four dudes" and force me to be conservative with what I've got, instead of "here's a grenade machine gun and 40,000 rounds of ammunition. It takes 20 grenades to kill one guy, though... isn't life in a post-apocalyptic resource-starved wasteland fun?"

2000230

how Autumn's the only faction leader in the entire game with a fuckin' clue

Honestly, at this point I was rapidly loosing interest in game and wanted to just finish it. So, can you elaborate?

The stealth was pretty underwhelming and alternative choices were few and far between, yes.

And many quests are effectively "go kill that guy" or "go explore enemy infested area", with less thinking than before, and even exact marking of target, negating even need of searching! I mean, sure, there were kill quests in original, but not so much and often had alternative ways of doing so.

Also it annoyed me to really up the difficulty level because then sniper rifle rounds to the face don't actually kill people.

Yeah, probably worst thing. (Err, if I understood you right here. Not 100% sure.) I mean I get it, some enemies are tough, but getting 12,7 mm rifle round to face and surviving?

I'd rather have a game give me five bullets and say "now go take on a camp of four dudes" and force me to be conservative with what I've got, instead of "here's a grenade machine gun and 40,000 rounds of ammunition. It takes 20 grenades to kill one guy, though... isn't life in a post-apocalyptic resource-starved wasteland fun?"

You know Metro 2033 and Last Light games? You'd like it's "Ranger" mode, it's exactly that: bullets kill, but you have only small number of them.

Eldorado
Moderator

2006807

Honestly, at this point I was rapidly loosing interest in game and wanted to just finish it. So, can you elaborate?

It's actually interesting you mention this, since this is a big part of why I'm even writing this story in the first place. Toward the end of the game's story, there emerge three different ideas on how to use the purifier. The Brotherhood wants to hand the water out for free to anyone who wants it, and be that same stupidly naive bunch of idiots they've been all game. Eden wants to inject the modified FEV virus into the water and then run the purifier, so that all mutated life that drinks the water will get killed off. It'd be a decent plan if it was limited to ghouls and mutated animals/insects, where they've been so far altered from their original form that they no longer resemble the original species. But no, it's harsher than that and is going to kill off most of the other humans, too, leaving the wasteland pretty much lifeless except for the Enclave. It's a rehash of the Fallout 2 endgame except in Fallout 2 it made at least some tiny fledgling amounts of sense. Here, the way Eden's going about things with the weakened Enclave he has at his disposal and the state of the DC area (which is worse off than the West Coast, remember), I have a hard time not seeing him as a comic book villain. It's that absurd.

Then there's Autumn, who openly defies Eden in the pre-climax bit where you escape Raven Rock. He takes the soldiers and runs to the purifier, which is why Eden contacts you and makes his offer - he has no other hand to play since his one trusted human operative just told him to fuck off. Autumn's plan is to aggressively occupy the major settlements in the wasteland, using clean water as a bargaining chip. Go to Megaton and say "stand down and let us take control of the town, and you have unlimited clean water. Otherwise we're going to shoot you in the face." Do the same at Rivet City. Tenpenny. Et cetera. Anywhere with a decent population center gets occupied and water gets flown in. Those settlements become beacons of civilization and the government is seen as a savior. People rally around the Enclave and in a couple years you could have the beginnings of a new national government on par with the NCR. His plan is never explained in super great detail, but the version of it I'm going to use here essentially amounts to allowing conscripts for a lower-level military service, kind of like what the Brotherhood's done, and perhaps paying them in water rations for their effort. Use them to expand and control everything and run the day-to-day. Eventually try and get to a point where the Enclave is the governing body while the country is built up by the average citizens.

Rather than try and repopulate the wastes like Eden wants, Autumn definitely seems to advocate building a nation much faster, within his own lifetime, and getting the ball rolling towards a brighter future. It will be hard, as the water's going to have to be rationed and controlled tightly and kept within the settlements, and people are going to have to work to get it. But that to me makes infinitely more sense than "let's bottle it and then just give it to people." Under Autumn, there wouldn't be any raids on water caravans - they'd get laser blasts to the face instantly. No ghouls or religious radicals re-irradiating the shit and selling it off again. They, too, would get laser blasts to the face. Seriously playing Broken Steel and watching the game try and make humor out of its situation, people fucking with the system the BoS set up and having to step in with "dontcha see what you're doing here is wrong?" just made me want to punch babies. Fuck the Brotherhood for not being able to control their shit. Autumn and Enclave for life.

And many quests are effectively "go kill that guy" or "go explore enemy infested area", with less thinking than before, and even exact marking of target, negating even need of searching! I mean, sure, there were kill quests in original, but not so much and often had alternative ways of doing so.

When I play it I actually don't notice that much, because it does a decent job of making me want to explore its world. Once you wander out of DC and start finding the same building copy-pasted 300 times, it kind of fades, but the first couple times I'd been through the game when it was still new really made me enjoy the experience too much to pay attention to the lack of quest variety. Plus there was no incentive to sneak around anyway so the shit stealth didn't bother me.

Yeah, probably worst thing. (Err, if I understood you right here. Not 100% sure.) I mean I get it, some enemies are tough, but getting 12,7 mm rifle round to face and surviving?

Yeah. On lower difficulties it's too easy to tank damage and just wander around naked while mowing people down with a machine gun. On higher difficulties the enemies will take grenades to the face. Given a choice, I'd rather tank damage than watch enemies shrug off headshots, but a perfect world is where both the enemies and player could only survive a few hits unless wearing heavy armor.

You know Metro 2033 and Last Light games? You'd like it's "Ranger" mode, it's exactly that: bullets kill, but you have only small number of them.

The first game annoyed me somewhat for a couple reasons, but I thoroughly enjoyed it up until it went off into the Dark Ones whatever. I don't want magic/mysticism/whatever in my apocalypse fic. Same with Last Light, although the child character was enjoyable. Hated the idiotic moral system where you have to play it almost completely non-lethally to get the good ending - don't give me awesome weapons and then penalize me for using them.

Plus there is absolutely no excuse for releasing a difficulty setting as paid DLC. There's loads of good things in the first Metro game and some decent sequel material in Last Light, but... the things the games do wrongly in my eyes are pretty enormous crimes. I still would say I like the games, kinda, but whenever I'm playing one of them I'm either loving everything I see or hating all it stands for and wanting it dead.

2008751 Thanks for info.

the way Eden's going about things

Well, Eden have some excuse of being century-old computer doing unintended things. Brotherhood... don't.

Then there's Autumn

Sounds like a decent plan, in both morals and execution. I think that, were there option to do so (and attention to notice it), I would've choose him. Really, main line is just so sobby and such... And this one looks like it actually could've worked and world would've benefited from it.

ghouls or religious radicals re-irradiating the shit and selling it off again

Hadn't played Broken Steel... THAT happened there? That's something...

enjoy the experience too much to pay attention to the lack of quest variety

I guess I couldn't stop comparing.

On lower difficulties it's too easy to tank damage and just wander around naked while mowing people down with a machine gun. On higher difficulties the enemies will take grenades to the face.

Guess it's problem of RPG that tries to mimic FPS.

Hated the idiotic moral system where you have to play it almost completely non-lethally to get the good ending - don't give me awesome weapons and then penalize me for using them.

Dunno, points for not killing were so few that I was able to go trough games causing death and destruction (in stealth more where I could) and still get enough. Well, in first game, in second I just couldn't kill Reds, although there weren't points for sparing them, just personal matter.

Plus there is absolutely no excuse for releasing a difficulty setting as paid DLC.

At least it's marketing thing, not gameplay one.

but whenever I'm playing one of them I'm either loving everything I see or hating all it stands for and wanting it dead

???

Eldorado
Moderator

2009176

Well, Eden have some excuse of being century-old computer doing unintended things. Brotherhood... don't.

I don't know, I don't like the idea of chalking it all up to a computer glitch. I think it works better interpreted as just a very cold and calculating course of action. It'll take generations to repopulate the wastes with Enclave people, but it could theoretically work, I suppose. It's just got an enormous life cost and the results are very long-term.

BoS though is solely because Lyons is an idiot.

Really, main line is just so sobby and such... And this one looks like it actually could've worked and world would've benefited from it.

Yep. Thank god for fanfiction!

Hadn't played Broken Steel... THAT happened there? That's something...

Yeah. Two separate side-quests involve people who intercepted shipments of water and then re-irradiated it. One is an offshoot of the Church of Atom, and another's just a ghoul snake-oil merchant making a buck off gullible idiots in Underworld. Neither one of those would have happened under Enclave jurisdiction.

Guess it's problem of RPG that tries to mimic FPS.

I actually don't think that's the problem at all. If anything, mimicking FPS games would fix the problem. More enemies and a weaker player, or scarcer resources, or both. That's how you fix it.

Dunno, points for not killing were so few that I was able to go trough games causing death and destruction (in stealth more where I could) and still get enough. Well, in first game, in second I just couldn't kill Reds, although there weren't points for sparing them, just personal matter.

I don't know what game you were playing, then. I used guns pretty sparingly, favoring stealth and evasion whenever I could, and still got the bad ending. Really took a lot out of the experience for me; a suicide ending wouldn't bother me much if not for the whole Dark Ones mysticism and "are humans worth saving?" stupidity that ran through the whole game. Get rid of that and I'd embrace the ending as solid, but when the "good ending" is them deciding to save humans because of this one dude who didn't use all the awesome improvised weapons at his disposal... no, that's just dumb.

At least it's marketing thing, not gameplay one.

If it was part of the main game I might have bothered with it, but I don't want to go download a DLC pack for a difficulty setting. I've uninstalled the game, anyway. But yeah, it does sound about like what I'd like to see out of future apocalypse style games, and an open world interpretation of that model would be pretty cool. If they really want to focus on story, then make it like Human Revolution where you can fuck around and do missions in a series of small open worlds strung together by setpiece story missions. That plus the 2033 gameplay would be best, imo.

???

I'll take back what I said about the ghosts, because some of that was actually cool. I liked the phantom train in the first game, and how it was just kind of a thing that happened. There are apparitions in this world, they don't significantly affect the story, they're just there to highlight the death going on, I can dig that. But the game starts with a compelling and interesting human story about various flawed political systems trying to assert dominance over the metro... and then ends up actually being about these weird mystic beings trying to preach peace and shit. That just doesn't work for me, and as a result I have to chuck the whole story in the "bleh" pile because it goes for a total thematic shift towards the end, and preaches a message I've heard a billion times before from every other dumbass apocalypse philosopher and don't agree with in the slightest.

So the end result is a lot like Fallout 3 for me. I love the hell out of it early on, and then once it actually tries to be about something beyond "go find this guy and explore the world along the way," the direction it's taken very nearly ruins the entire experience for me because I hate the morals they're advocating.

2009585

It'll take generations to repopulate the wastes with Enclave people

How will FEV clean land? By targeting organisms with mutations. Why there are mutations? Because land itself is poisoned. What will Enclave do? Live there. Causing mutations, causing death. That's if virus will spread. If it won't, then it's useless in first place. I see it as no-win scenario.
And I won't call it glitch. That's just working on unintended tasks. Like digging using bombs - it could be done, it would give needed result, but should it happen? Eden is military computer from military base. I don't think politic programs were given much attention while creating him.

BoS though is solely because Lyons is an idiot.

F3 BoS is too idealistic, generous and... naive. NV BoS is too strict, greedy and cynical. Still prefer NV one.

I actually don't think that's the problem at all.

No, it does exactly that: mimics. Looks like FPS, you control it as FPS (and that damages RPG part), but it behaves like RPG (enemies that fatten as player level up), which makes it frustrating for those who expected FPS (like both sides surviving ridiculous amounts of damage).

More enemies and a weaker player, or scarcer resources, or both.

Divide health of everyone and supplies drops (but not armour and damage stats) by 10 (number taken from the top of the mind). And whoever hits first wins. I think it'll be interesting. Not more enemies though - overpopulating supposingly half-dead world isn't good and gunning dozens of mooks will kill believability.

By the way. VATS? Really? I don't have even remote idea how such thing could be explained inlore.

I don't know what game you were playing, then.

Here's list of moral points. As you can see, while several of them are "sparing" points, they are in minority, and most come from exploration of the game world. I can mark my decisions, but I got no problem getting "Redemption" ending in the first run.

if not for the whole Dark Ones mysticism and "are humans worth saving?" stupidity that ran through the whole game

Yeah. In replays of 2033 I usually chose Ranger ending. "If it's hostile - you kill it".

But yeah, it does sound about like what I'd like to see out of future apocalypse style games, and an open world interpretation of that model would be pretty cool.

It is a pity that they constrained game to corridors. I mean, I can see logic behind it, plot-wise, but I prefer something more open-world-y or sandbox-y. Not exactly like DE, more like Stalker or Fallout (although it's hardly possible, I use metro every day and know how HUGE it is, plus city above). I would like to explore world of Metro 2033.

But the game starts with a compelling and interesting human story about various flawed political systems trying to assert dominance over the metro... and then ends up actually being about these weird mystic beings trying to preach peace and shit.

To be fair, game sets the fact that it's about dark ones again from the very beginning, but I can see you point. Didn't liked that move myself, but not that much. Tastes, I guess.

Eldorado
Moderator

How will FEV clean land? By targeting organisms with mutations. Why there are mutations? Because land itself is poisoned. What will Enclave do? Live there. Causing mutations, causing death. That's if virus will spread. If it won't, then it's useless in first place. I see it as no-win scenario.

Well, no, most of the radiation is coming from surface water. The purifier fixes that by turning the DC tidal basin into a reservoir of clean water free of radiation. That right there pretty much fixes the issue of future mutations taking place. The FEV responds to nonmutated humans completely harmlessly and just passes right through them. If it detects mutation, however, then it becomes fatal. That ensures that the wasteland is purified of both surface water radiation and existing mutant populations. It'll work, it's just that it's a huge gamble over whether or not the Enclave will be able to repopulate with the numbers they have, over a long enough time frame, without some other group of people coming from the west and taking them out or something.

Eden is military computer from military base. I don't think politic programs were given much attention while creating him.

The game actually specifically states that Raven Rock was intended for continuity of government, which is what the real-world counterparts are intended for. In the real world there's the Raven Rock Mountain Complex ("Site R") and another one called Mount Weather. One is intended for evacuating the President and his close staff in the event of a nuclear strike, and the other is more for Congress and government officials. What Bethesda have done is merge the two facilities together; the site's roughly where Mount Weather should be, but it's referred to as Raven Rock - I maintain this is at least a passing reference to the city of Raven Rock from the Bloodmoon expansion to Morrowind. Both facilities were built in the 1950s, which is after the point of Divergence, so it's reasonable to assume that the Fallout setting only built the one compound instead of separating it into Site R and Mount Weather.

Regardless, Eden was built specifically to oversee the operations of a facility designed for continuity of government and the preservation of officials after the war. He was never intended for military applications. It makes perfect sense (to me anyway) that his self-aware programming would start taking that job literally to the point of naming himself President.

By the way. VATS? Really? I don't have even remote idea how such thing could be explained inlore.

It's something to do with Pip-boy targeting logic. It's just a concession to the old-school days where stats and rolls were the fun, not actually aiming and using your weapons yourself. I chalk it up to video game lens and walk away. Rarely ever use it. It's an unobtrusive gameplay mechanic.

Here's list of moral points. As you can see, while several of them are "sparing" points, they are in minority, and most come from exploration of the game world. I can mark my decisions, but I got no problem getting "Redemption" ending in the first run.

Well, I'm not sure exactly what I did wrong, then. I think some of it has to do with how the game's so linear in presentation that if you go down a certain hallway to "explore" and it happens to be the one that progresses the story, you don't have any opportunity to go back and look at the things you've passed by. I remember the game grabbing me by the shoulders and dragging me kicking and screaming into the next section of the plot more than once, which is a shame.

Yeah. In replays of 2033 I usually chose Ranger ending. "If it's hostile - you kill it".

This was one of the huge things that nearly ruined Last Light for me. The beginning scene with the child running away and characters telling you to kill it. Personally in Artyom's position I would have shot it dead without a moment's hesitation, and put another couple rounds in it for good measure. Right there I knew, though, that this was a scene where the big mean general tells the heart-of-gold grunt to carry out a military order that involves killing, but this doesn't happen and we have to spend the entire rest of the story learning about how humans are bastards and we need to not murder each other anymore or else the mystic fuckheads from beyond the infinite won't come save us or something. Really, 5 minutes in and I already knew how the game was going to end and what it was going to be about. I absolutely loved the middle sections of the game when it decided to be about that character suddenly betraying you out of nowhere, and the plans of the communist regime and all of that. Those parts were fantastic and I loved every one. Then the Plot reared its ugly head again and the whole climax was just stupid.

Sigh.

It is a pity that they constrained game to corridors. I mean, I can see logic behind it, plot-wise, but I prefer something more open-world-y or sandbox-y. Not exactly like DE, more like Stalker or Fallout (although it's hardly possible, I use metro every day and know how HUGE it is, plus city above). I would like to explore world of Metro 2033.

I used the example of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. If you've not played it, then go do so because it's amazing. The game starts you off in Detroit, and there's bunches of stuff to do around there - side missions, main missions, exploration, stores to visit, people to talk to, secrets to find - even though by open world standards it's not all THAT big. Then there's a main mission that takes place in a separate inaccessible part of Detroit, and then it ships you off to China and lets you run around in another city environment for awhile with the same set of side-goals and open-world approach towards doing whatever you want. Eventually you're back on another story mission, and the pattern continues like that for a bit until the game's end. It's small open-world sections that you can explore and complete side missions in at your own pace, and then you carry on to the next.

This approach lends itself perfectly to Metro. Replace Detroit with a given metro station. Artyom dicks around there for awhile, does some stuff for his friends or whoever's around and generally gets to explore the world and the station at his leisure, and then he's told to go the next station down the line. The journey there is difficult, and that's a set-piece story mission. Then once he arrives he's once again free to do whatever he wants and generally explore the station. That model works perfectly with what the game's out to do.

But honestly I'd be down for a full open-world story, too, where the whole metro and Moscow's surface are available to explore, and you're free to go wherever you want and do whatever. It'd require a totally different game mentality than what the devs clearly have, but I like that model better than what they gave us.

To be fair, game sets the fact that it's about dark ones again from the very beginning

Well, they're just kind of dumped on you as an Unknown. I actually really liked them at the start of the first game because they were a generally foreboding, shadowy presence rather than a physical monster you have to shoot in the face a bunch of times like the mutated beasts on the surface. They're almost Lovecraftian in how they're presented early on, as a generalized threat. If the game was actually about killing them - which, if you get the ending where you blow them up, it is - then it works because they could just be another mutated race of some kind. I'm not a huge fan of radiation-mutation outside of Fallout since it was deliberately breaking all the rules of science, but I can tolerate it. It's just totally spoiled when I read somewhere that there's a "make peace" ending, and then the entire sequel decides to be about that.

2011361

Well, no, most of the radiation is coming from surface water.

Well, if only that. But, again, it leaves problem of spread: one little purifier. And if people will figure that drinking "clean" water kills them, they will stop drinking.

The game actually specifically states that Raven Rock was intended for continuity of government, which is what the real-world counterparts are intended for.

Ah. Didn't knew or forgot that.

It's something to do with Pip-boy targeting logic.

I know that, it just makes no sense ingame.

I used the example of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

I got it first time you wrote that. I don't exactly like DE as it's too static for my tastes: NOTHING will change without player's actions. Now, Fallout 3 and NV at least have some encounters or something and Stalker actually tries to simulate life. I don't think constricting player to single station will do much good - they ARE tunnels, it's not much to explore there with those constrains in mind. Bigger blocks - maybe. Plus, that approach disallows us to return, but that's depending on plot, I guess... Also, Witcher games come to mind. Somewhat similar to DE, but, again, gives some simulation of alive world. But I still prefer Stalker level of freedom.

It'd require a totally different game mentality than what the devs clearly have

Actually, no. As far as I know, big part of the team was ones who developed Stalker.

Eldorado
Moderator

Well, if only that. But, again, it leaves problem of spread: one little purifier. And if people will figure that drinking "clean" water kills them, they will stop drinking.

The entire Jefferson Memorial is the water purifier, and it serves the DC Tidal Basin. The goal of the project was to purify the entire basin. There are big gates at both entrances that control water flowing in and out, and what it essentially does is accumulate a whole bunch of water and then open the outlet gates, at which point a quarter billion gallons of water go flowing out into the river. Bottling it up and shipping it places is the best way to get it to people in the immediate DC area, since they're upstream (and Megaton is inland quite a bit), but given a few months/years of operation the purifier will start to have a significant effect on a lot of other cities all up and down the coast. Point Lookout, for instance, would probably have much cleaner water once the purifier is made operational.

I don't think constricting player to single station will do much good - they ARE tunnels, it's not much to explore there with those constrains in mind. Bigger blocks - maybe. Plus, that approach disallows us to return, but that's depending on plot, I guess...

It could be a few stations in close proximity, or some general area to explore rather than grabbing you and shoving you along 5 minutes after you arrived. The most interesting part of 2033 is that the metro stations are now cities, but we never get a chance to see what this means or how it feels to live in them. Human Revolution got the point across brilliantly in that regard, and gave great set-pieces in between open world sections.

Compared to a true open world title like Fallout, no, it's not really ideal. But Human Revolution was a bridging of a single-player narrative-driven story (that wasn't supposed to be as built around player choice as Fallout or BioWare games) and open-world exploration, and taken on those merits it stands up well. A Metro game where the player is lightly guided along some semblance of rails, but given time to breathe and look at the world some between story moments would probably be the best. In its current form it plays too much like Call of Duty or Battlefield or something where the story only really exists to justify all the action set-pieces. The story of 2033 is way better caliber than that, and the gameplay is too, so the strictly linear "you have to follow this one straight path through the station and your only 'exploration' option is to maybe go to a store before you leave for the tunnels again" presentation doesn't work so well for me.

Still fun, just, untapped potential.

Actually, no. As far as I know, big part of the team was ones who developed Stalker.

Well, then, I'm not really sure what happened to make Metro the linear shooter it ended up being, but I definitely think the story is being mishandled by that approach.

2014097

But Human Revolution was a bridging of a single-player narrative-driven story (that wasn't supposed to be as built around player choice as Fallout or BioWare games)

Can you elaborate on second part?

Well, then, I'm not really sure what happened to make Metro the linear shooter it ended up being, but I definitely think the story is being mishandled by that approach.

I'll use this line to represent this and previous paragraphs. In general, I see several reasons for that. One is that making corridor shooter is much easier. Second is that story itself (which is actually adapted from a book) is fitting: character is on a clock, he needs to get to the target as soon as possible, thus somewhat justifying corridorness. So, story got exactly right approach, as I think. Now, world would've benefitted from more open one, where you can explore as you wish. Perhaps several stations plus area above them. Some, but not much loot both above and underground, with travelling above being more dangerous - no resupplies, need for gas masks no pointers, mutants as enemies (no troffies). Underground is safer, but picked clean. Maybe enemies should be respawning, so there won't be set amounts or resources in world (like in Deus Ex).
Oh, and normal hour-long filters.

Eldorado
Moderator

2018279

Can you elaborate on second part?

Fallout places a lot of weight on the idea of player choices and how they affect the story. Putting FEV in the purifier essentially kills all mutated humans and monsters and shit. Not putting it in allows the BoS to distribute it to those same people and help them improve their lot in life. It's a big difference, and the player is super important to everything as far as deciding what happens. Hell, look at Vegas - the player alone gets to decide whether the NCR, Legion, House, or Yes Man take over Vegas and the Mojave.

Similarly, the two big BioWare franchises these days, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, are both built around player choice and how it affects the world even in future games (please don't bitch about the ME3 ending; 2.9999999999 games were released with the proper mentality, so let's not get distracted by the last five fucking minutes) and so the world appropriately alters itself in response to the player - who is always some giant hero - and what actions he takes in each scene.

Human Revolution doesn't have anything like that until the end. There's no impact of player choice, because there isn't supposed to be. I've seen people complain about this before, as if it's a god-given right to affect the game world whenever you're allowed a little freedom. But no, HR wanted to tell a story and only open up for serious player choice at the very end. Which ultimately wasn't much of a choice anyway because HR is a prequel to the original game from all those years ago, and therefore all options ultimately lead to the same result.

The TL;DR here is that complaining about HR because it didn't alter itself according to player choice totally misses the entire point of the game, if you ask me.

One is that making corridor shooter is much easier.

That's about as compelling as car companies suddenly building go-karts because they're easier to put together than sedans.

Second is that story itself (which is actually adapted from a book) is fitting: character is on a clock, he needs to get to the target as soon as possible, thus somewhat justifying corridorness

Again I'll point at HR. There's deadlines there, there's a rush to get things done before bad stuff happens. I'll point at Mass Effect, or any given Elder Scrolls game, where they go "hurry up muh gawd you don't have much time" and then let you fuck around as much as you want because it makes the game more fun that way. Plus, suspension of disbelief can get stretched pretty far in a game like that.

And it's not like the 2033 story is super exceptionally good or anything. The world itself is way more interesting.

Now, world would've benefitted from more open one, where you can explore as you wish.

Absolutely. I don't think it'll ever happen, though, and there's really nowhere else to go with the story at this point. Which is sad, really. A standard story about people living in a metro like that would have been fine. Instead they had to shoehorn in a save-the-world plot that can't be run as far without running into the absurd. After you blow up the secret military base and slaughter several hundred humans to save the metro, there's no way to ramp that up further. You're done, that's it, that's pretty much as far as you can go with it. Which is damned unfortunate.

2018341

The TL;DR here

Well, I guess it's that different stories have different magnitudes. Some are about saving the world with a big impact on everything, while some are much more subtle. It's just important to understand what kind of story you are observing, I guess. And not all results should be visible. Even 2033: while character is actually saving the Metro, which is big, other stations don't even know about dark ones and Artyom just passes trough them, so result of the story in that nothing changes in Metro, no visible impact at all (although game added D6).

Dunno about you, but I find both approaches good, just different.

Half-tempted to know what the big impact at the end of DE is, but I managed to avoid spoilers so far and will try to keep it that way.

Well, as you like Deus Ex, I like Witcher. It was done well there: decisions were really different and had different impact. In general, what is happening is just too big for Geralt to stop immediately and about two thirds of the story will have absolutely same general picture. Also, chapters have different places where events happen (with exception of chapter 3 which adds area to ones existing in chapter 2).

please don't bitch about the ME3 ending

Not one for that and got over it anyway. I just expected something more... I dunno, another. Anything more another. *Sigh*

That's about as compelling as car companies suddenly building go-karts because they're easier to put together than sedans.

Just stating the fact. And, well, given how long original Stalker was in works... plus, sometimes go-kart is thing you need. Can't really see 2033 story openworlded. Now, LL I can, somewhat, just not much.

Again I'll point at HR. There's deadlines there, there's a rush to get things done before bad stuff happens.

Don't feel it, but it may be that I just hadn't passed far enough for those events.

And it's not like the 2033 story is super exceptionally good or anything. The world itself is way more interesting.

...aaand here goes another comment like that. Huh. Well, can't really say that I think different.

there's really nowhere else to go with the story at this point.

Dunno, 2035 book is being written right now, although, apparently, it'll be reverse of 2033 - there book became game, now Glukhovsky will expand game into book, without game's constrains. I'll see where that'll go. At least we'll know which of the endings is canon (but probably the "Redemption" one).
On the other hand - Artyom isn't only one in metro. So, why not have other plot, other protagonist, other goal? Soldier, trying to strengthen his home station, opportunist in search of great treasures, archaeologist, searching for secrets of old world.

PS: can you give small grammar evaluation, based on my posts?

Late to the party, but here my comment is: It's fine as long as you don't go too far. Let's take your example: The long fetish scene can't be too long. Even if your goal is to make the audience uncomfortable and you succeed, at some point they'll just skip it or stop reading. You can put a little bit in but if you go overboard, it actually loses impact. So if you have to murder the cancer orphans, don't spend more than a coulple paragraphs (or even less-- a couple sentences about bullets and blood and sobbing cries for mercy have plenty of impact) on describing it when it happens, spend more time on describing the character's revulsion for it later.

For dark moral ambiguity, I actually liked the Bio-shock/FiM crossover Siren Song:
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/87120/siren-song

I strongly dislike how Fallout 3 essentially stuck the player in a series of moral situations where there was an easy obvious "fix everything and save everyone" route and an evil terrible "kill all the disabled cancer children and set them on fire for giggles" route, because it required zero conscious thought to arrive at the "correct" option.

I see what you mean, particularly with the ending, but there was plenty of room for shades of grey. Let's take the Android Mission. You know how I played that? I promised the old man I'd find him the android for cybernetic implants. I promised the android when I found him to take care of his hunters in return for a shiny gun. Then I told the old man where the android was and got both gun and implants. I could have left it there, but I felt bad for the android so I shot the old man in the back of the head as he left the room, to give the android a chance for a normal life without being hunted forever by this Enclave guy.

I could have just told the old man I couldn't find the android and destroyed all the evidence that let me trace him. That would have been the 'good' option. I could have just abandoned the android to a life of slavery, that would have been the 'bad' option. And yes, it turns out that if you murder the guy before he leaves the room, the game doesn't register the android as captured and he gets to keep enjoying his life. Sure, I had to kill two people but that's the way the cookie crumbles in the Capital Wasteland (and according to the game's karma-meter I think this whole exchange left me slightly ahead).

I also ran a business selling people to slavers and then busting them out again afterwards. Admittedly, I played my character as a con-artist who started enjoying good publicity so much they actually eventually started doing (some) good deeds for their own sake. "Becoming the Mask" as some people call it, though I never completely abandoned that ruthless bit or became quite the hero the radio or the karma system painted me as.

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