I always thought that it was a bit weak of Fallout 4's writers to simply present raiders (and other factions) as simply walking targets.
To me it feels they both missed an interesting storytelling opportunity there in more ways than one.
For a moment let's skip the idea of raiders as a joinable faction (which is sort of examined in one of the DLC's) and look at the world itself.
Sure, the wasteland is harsh. Hostile even. But that should not mean that it's inhabited by those who are instantly hostile to you and those who you can trade or otherwise interact with. That seems a little binary.
There are a few locations where you will stumble across "raiders" just hanging out. Would it not have made the world a little more interesting if rather than shoot at you directly their response was a little more like the scavenger response? "Hey Mr, what do you want?" / "Whoa, stay away or put the gun down" – such characters could even have been used to flesh out the story, background info about the area they are in etc.
I think what I'm getting at here is that being suspicious and hostile in a hostile environment does sort of make sense. But that some raiders may simply also be runaways and or outcasts and that this and a possibility to interact with them would have made the game world much richer.
Now we come to raiders as a playable faction. The player character has a couple of opportunities to make contact with raiders and also to learn about them before reaching concord.
Across the river from sanctuary is a shack with a raider murderer. (And a scavenger at a shooting range) along the way from the players bunker (across the river north of Abernathy) is a small group of raiders camping out. At Abernathy you will be told about "bad raiders" and indeed sure, some raiders could be bandits or crazies and others simply scared and lonely outcasts trying not to die. However, if we take the players motivation as "find son" then simply shooting everybody without trying to gather information doesn't make much sense. The last time the player saw the world it was pre-apocalypse. They have no idea how long they have been in cryo. Gathering information is surely an important part of finding the child? Also, a hostile environment you are just learning about? Maybe joining and travelling with an armed group might be a wise choice for a while?
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