Recently I reflected that one of the main reasons I like Fallout: New Vegas the most out of the modern Fallouts, and one of the reasons I find it the most interesting and memorable game, is that it had numerous well thought out and implemented factions.
I'd really like to see the next Fallout game double down on this aspect of the game. Have something like 6-8 factions that the player can join, with fully fleshed out main quest-lines for each faction, plus a host of side-quests. The player should have to choose between factions, where appropriate, and cannot always necessarily become the leader of the faction (again, where appropriate). The morality of the factions even the "evil" factions should have characters in them with redeeming qualities, and even the "good" factions should have horrible characters in them or do the odd questionable thing from time to time.
The quest-lines of factions should be interactive horizontally where appropriate (e.g. like how NCR and Caesar's Legion had a lot of crossover and points where you could choose sides, given they were in direct competition with one another).
Also the player should be able to either join or create a raider gang, slaver outfit (slavers seemed to be notably missing from Fallout 4?), mercenary company (also notably missing from Fallout 4, the Gunners were merely Raiders++), or militia force. Something like that would be pretty neat, I think. Particularly if coupled with the following suggestion…
If there is a settlement system then factions should be tied into that in some way (kind of like what Sim Settlements Conquest is doing with Fallout 4).
Lastly, I'd like to see some of the religious factions made more relevant in the next game. The Children of Atom didn't really do much in Fallout 4, which was a shame. It'd also be neat if there was a tribal faction you could join (maybe even as an alternate start?), or a caravan company you could join up with.
In fact, speaking of alternate starts. I would really, really prefer the next game to have a more open-ended beginning before you are thrust into the main quest, e.g. you can choose the background of your character (vault dweller, raider, tribal, doctor, caravan guard, trader, faction recruit/soldier, etc.). This would affect your starting location/gear (maybe even your skills to some degree?) but would always provide a reasonable breadcrumb quest that led you to the main quest which is shared among all types of characters (and then it's business as usual from there).
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