If an action has no real consequense is it still a meaningful choice?
This is a question I've been pondering in regards to the Fallout series and people's individual opinion of what does and doesn't constitute and RPG. I had a rather brief talk with another user about what they consider meaningful choices in the fallout games. They specifically highlighted the option to nuke Megaton City in Fallout 3 and how it is a meaningful choice that doesn't really exist Fallout 4 according to them. To sum up their reasons why it is such a big change:
- It removes a city
- You lose all the vendors in the city
- You lose access to Moria's multi part Wasteland Surival Quest line
- Moria becomes a ghoul and wonders the area showing up in places like the Underworld.
Which would be good examples of meaningful choices and consequences save for:
- You can complete Moria's Wasteland Survival Guide first before you nuke the town.
- You get access to the Tenpenny Tower vendors which offer the same services.
- You still have access to Underworld and Rivet City as vendor locations
- Even if you are trying to offload a ton of items all you have to do is sleep or wait like 3 days for their inventories to update and restore caps. With a full inventory reset every 7 days.
What ever you lose your gain in equal amounts with Tenpenny Tower. So is that really a meaningful choice with consequences if all that really changes is which location you fast travel to? To me at least this is really no different then Costco going from selling a 6 pack of 1.5L bottles of coke to selling a 12 pack of 1.25L bottles of coke. Yea there is a slight difference in over all total amount but it is still all the same soda and still fills the cup up the same amount.
Another example they brought up in regards to Fallout 4 is with the Nuka World DLC. If you sided with the Minutemen at the end of the game and then decide to become the Over Boss the Minutemen faction doesn't become aggressive towards you. Preston will no longer talk to you and the settlements you attack will turn hostile and Minutemen will defend the settlements and attack you. Which to be fair this is a legitimate over sight as the raiders and Minutemen are polar opposites.
However this same issue appears in New Vegas with the Lonesome Road DLC. As you are given the option to nuke both an NCR and Legion town and get access to extra goodies from those nuked areas. The result is that the faction karma is suppose to be set to the absolute lowest and they will send people after you.
However if you complete the quest before confronting Benny your Legion karma will be reset once you talk to Vulpes. And/Or if you complete the quest before starting the NCR quest Things That Go Boom your karma is reset once you speak to Ambassador Crooker.
This gives you a pretty big open loop hole to max out the rewards while dealing with none of the consequences if you still want to do a Legion or NCR ending or simply do not want to have to deal with one group or both groups trying to kill you.
Now I don't know about thier opinion on this because their last reply only focused on Megaton City. But given how they were more then willing to give Interplay/Black Isle and Obsidian all the slack they could ask for on lore but gave Bethesda all the slack of a hang man's noose. So I think I can come to a fairly close conclusion to how they would have responded.
But what do you guys think?
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