Fallout

FO76: A Case Study

fallout 6 - FO76: A Case Study

In my previous life, I was an NCO in the USAF. One of the things we are taught to do is to look at leadership failures and come up with solutions. The way it was put to me was, 'Don't go to the boss with a problem, go with a solution they can implement.'

I have been a life time fan of the Fallout series. I was one of the nerds who waited for the midnight release of Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and got the bundles that came with the guide books and other feelies. The bugs of the past were funny to me, in game when you saw something odd it was amusing, and generally did not bother me all that much.

When FO76 was announced I was pumped. And I watched more YouTube content speculating then I care to admit. And I watched the shit storm that has blown in with the release of this game.

Now, my plan was always to treat myself to this game for Christmas. I've had one hell of a year, and can't go out buying games on a whim whenever, bills to pay and other adulting to do. I have now put about 10 hours into the game. I am only level 9.

This is my first issue. It takes way too long to level up for me in this game. When I do my first play thru, I like to do it as the game designers intended. I try to not use any bugs or exploits, and I try to RP as best as I can in the game. This, as far as I can tell is not possible.

I won't rehash the many complaints about this game. I will say that the game has problems, big big ones, but it is not what I could honestly call a 'piece of shit'. Robloxs is a piece of shit game. This is something else. My first impression of the events system was that it reminded me of a stripped down version of the Defiance Ark Fall events reskinned for Fallout.
The next issue is the lack of Human NPCs. I know this will come as a shock to some people, but our brains do react to choices in video games. When you get immersed into a video game, and are not a sociopath, you do form connections with the characters. Mora Brown, Preston Garvy, and others all made the games they were in feel more alive. We joke about them now, but when you first encounter these NPCs, they helped to make the world more real. I can remember the first time I met Preston and his rag tag group of survivors, and I fell in love with FO4. The business practices of Bethesda fell by the way side, and I cared if this group of humans lived or died.

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This does not exist in FO76. The most I can say about 76 is that it has so much potential. and I come to some suggestions.

1.) Introduce NPCs with human skins for at least a few of the factions. Not all of them need it, just a few. I want to care if an event is going on. For example, the first event most of us find where the Mr. Farmhands are going nuts would be more impactful if they were marching up the road to the Responders area, and if you spent too much time screwing around they would kill some vendors or other innocent people. Maybe there is a guy selling corn and tatos for you to jump start your own farm. The radio message has a human voice, so place said human in the church bell tower with a scope so they can keep an eye on your progress, and warn you if another wave of robots or something is incoming. Perhaps the noise of the battle cause a horde of scorched to spawn and assault the town, forcing the player if solo to decided whether to head back and deal with the new threat, or to push on and hope for the best. In parties, you would have to choose whether to split the party, some going back to help while the rest push on.

2.) Allow the players to hire NPCs to manage their camps and locations. It would be nice to build a settlement, and become sort of like a gentleman farmer, looking out over your base as people farmed crops, boiled water, and patrolled the walls. You could clearly see how well you were doing in the game, just by looking at your camp, and it would give some meaning to the loot and grind cycle of the game. Maybe a new arrival gives you a quest where you need to go and get antiseptic because some creepy crawlies have infested the bedding. You could scrap all the beds and build new ones, or go out, get the chemicals and treat the beds for a little bonus xp.

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3.) Have Bethesda come clean about the misguided attempts at marketing and clearly lay out how they intend to address the concerns of the fan base. This is not to do with the game it's self, but to do with how the company is being run. I cannot imagine that nobody in that company looked at the product that we have in our hands prior to the BETA and said, 'Yeah, this is ready'. No way. I for one do not accept that this is the best product that Bethesda could have produced, from a story design or technical point of view.

So, with that said, I will continue to play this game. I will continue to deal with random disconnects and bugged out hostiles. I will keep going, because I want this game to get better, and do not think that abandoning a cause has ever done said cause good. Thanks for reading, and I hope that we can come together as a community and force Bethesda to make Fallout 76 the game it can be.

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