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Default Fallout 3 - VATS Editorial @ Duck and Cover

June 22nd, 2010, 01:02
VATS: How Bethesda Set Their Sights On The Lowest Demoninator and Hit a Bullseye is the title of editorial at Duck and Cover on the "dumbing down" of Fallout 3. You can probably guess at the content from the title but it's not without some pertinent points. An early snip:
When one saw the increasing “streamlining” under the helm of Todd Howard, coupled with an approach that showed little fidelity to RPG roots, into a more console friendly shooter style game. The message was becoming clear, the appeal would be to the gut, not the mind. Rather than appealing to the RPG crowd with a fundamentally sound RPG, they would go for a more corporate, trendy, “McRPG” style of game that would put training wheels on it’s RPGs so as not to alienate the lowest common denominator. A profitable approach I’m sure, but not the most conducive to RPG fundamentals or fidelity to Fallout and it’s RPG system, which was Fallout’s entire rasion d’etre.

As the veil slowly lifted on Fallout 3, we began to see this more Oblivion-like approach (same design team, same engine) with some familiar Oblivion concepts new to Fallout (FP perspective, mini-games, scaled down threats, large but shallow world, same reliance on marketing, gimmicks and superficial graphics or big name Hollywood voice actors, r) added in as well, mostly at the expense of Fallout’s defining and integral RPG foundation.
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June 22nd, 2010, 01:02
i want a full round based combat system for fallout!
im so full of all this realtime action crap.

i dont like bioware games
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June 22nd, 2010, 01:06
Interesting article, although the timing is a bit strange considering how long FO3 has been out.
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June 22nd, 2010, 04:25
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Interesting article, although the timing is a bit strange considering how long FO3 has been out.
I don't think the hate will ever die.
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June 22nd, 2010, 07:42
This was probably made because of Fallout: New Vegas coming out in the next few months.

What I would like is an option to automatically go into VATS when coming into combat range.
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June 22nd, 2010, 15:07
Sometimes you want a VATS combat encounter…sometimes you don't.

I like the way F3 handled it. You have the choice at the touch of a button to decide what kind of approach you want given the situation.

Not everyone's a hater
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June 22nd, 2010, 19:30
I think the article is a load of poop.

"hey, they did something different, and it still wasn't like being a soldier in real life combat, what's up with that?!"

DUH!
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June 23rd, 2010, 02:11
Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
I think the article is a load of poop.

"hey, they did something different, and it still wasn't like being a soldier in real life combat, what's up with that?!"

DUH!
Hey, by all means pick the article apart, but where did I express any notion remotely close to that?
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June 23rd, 2010, 21:22
Originally Posted by Cimmerian Nights View Post
Hey, by all means pick the article apart, but where did I express any notion remotely close to that?
That was my impression of whatever point you were trying to make, but honestly, I've read it all again, and I don't know if there was a point. This had a lot to do with my impression:
"But given the intent the original developers of Fallout had, and the RPG elements they employed to acheive that, and the foundation they built the series upon, VATS must be viewed as a the ill-conceived, gimmicky compromise it is"

Just seemed like you were very negative about VATS in particular and I think it's a fine option that was added into the game, as do most other people. Notice I said option, I certainly don't use it all the time, but it does work at the right time and situation.
Maybe I'm just a little tired of the ease with which people toss out criticism when they themselves have nothing to show. When you can program and publish the perfect example done the way you expect, please, put me on your first to buy list.
Do I think that's even possible given today's PC technology? No. I do not.
(edited for more clarity)
I do think you spent a lot of time researching Fallout 3 and VATS and coming up with the article, I just don't think you justified your conclusion. My conclusion after hundreds of hours of playtime is that is was a nice new innovation as an option.
I apologize if my original post was offensive, I was being a bit flippant.
Last edited by Greymane; June 23rd, 2010 at 21:40.
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June 24th, 2010, 14:49
Cimmerian's point was the VAT system had nothing to do with combat mechanics or RPG stats or even the makings of an interesting FPS mechanic. It was really nothing but an excuse to show more gore, and the compromises they made to make that work shows where Bethesda's priorities lied.

Overall I think Cimmerian Nights was actually pretty nice to Bethesda. Reading between the lines, the quotes he included in the article compared to what FO3 turned out to be, means Bethesda was paying lip service to the RPG community, again, while having no real interest and/or understanding what the community was even talking about.

Worse, if they actually believed what they said, they have no understanding of what Fallout was. Sadly, I think this is the case. Why else waste the money on the Fallout license? The Fallout fans aren't going to be happy with what you did to the license and the people that did like it don't remember the originals. What that tells me is Bethesda actually thinks they're creating good RPGs. I'd feel sorry for them if I wasn't concerned their market success wasn't enticing other developers & publishers into ruining other RPGs.
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June 24th, 2010, 17:51
Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
Just seemed like you were very negative about VATS in particular and I think it's a fine option that was added into the game, as do most other people.
I didn't touch on the subjective appeal it may or may not have, but how a system like this can be reconciled in the context of a RPG series that was based on a solid foundation of PnP mechanics. How it fits in with the existing S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. Whether it's inclusion was based on a RPG principles (player vs. character skill) or pandering to the LCD (it's influence being the "crash mode" of a car crashing game).
I'm not saying that some folks can't get a kick out of watching severed heads fly around. I'm questioning how they reconcile this with Fallout's RPG roots.

Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
Maybe I'm just a little tired of the ease with which people toss out criticism when they themselves have nothing to show. When you can program and publish the perfect example done the way you expect, please, put me on your first to buy list.
I don't know man, I hear an awfully lot of people who don't know the first thing about capping oil leaks or cleaning up spills being critical of BP. Are you saying they should cap a few wells before speaking? Not buying this argument.

Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
My conclusion after hundreds of hours of playtime is that is was a nice new innovation as an option.
Where's the innovation? It's a pause with slo-mo playback, as the producer cited, taken from "crash mode" of Burnout. It's purpose is to showcase funny playbacks of ultra-violence. How does this contribute to better role-playing?
The system had to be propped up and nerfed half-way through to make it playable, melee was half-baked, it shows no understanding of RPG fundamentals. It took away strategic options rather than expanding them, and in no ways was it a substitute for TB. I stand by what I said, there was no overriding design philosophy as it was made up on the fly, it's not conducive to role-playing, and it's there to appeal to the broader console market with flashy gore instead of solid gameplay. I'll say it again, ill-conceived, gimmicky compromise.
Last edited by Cimmerian Nights; June 24th, 2010 at 17:54. Reason: I'z can't proofread
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June 24th, 2010, 18:26
While I enjoyed Fallout 3 very much and even had fun with VATS, I have to say that objectively the assessment in the review is absolutely correct: it is a half-baked substitute for RPG mechanics.
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June 24th, 2010, 20:55
RPG mechanics and their 'rules' are not global truths. Innovation is adding in some new mechanics to an old system. While it may have facilitated the view of a gruesome kill, that was already there and has been even before this innovation was added. I found it useful when several enemies were rapidly converging on me to use the stop motion to pick my shots and targets.
A 21inch screen is not conducive to re-enacting real life events, many games suffer from this, and VATS was one way of slowing down critical moments without making you feel like you were constantly moving in jello.
Your focus was to find fault, and not to be fair, and you really went out of your way to prove your biased focus. RPG mechanics were involved, not every VATS shot is a guarantee, in fact often when your character was underdeveloped , NOT using VATS proved better results. Could it be further developed on, yes, most likely it could. Was it new to add into an RPG game, yes, and I call that innovative.
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