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Default Fallout 3 - Tenpenny Tower @ Twenty Sided

December 18th, 2008, 23:55
Shamus Young's examination of Fallout 3 turns to the Tenpenny Towers sequence - spoiler apply. Let's set the scene:
Tenpenny Tower is a high-rise building in the middle of the wasteland, and is the nicest place in the game. Everyone else in the game resents the residents of Tenpenny because they’re all “rich”.
But what does that mean? Nobody in this game produces anything. Unlike in previous Fallout games, there are no farmers who eke out a miserable existence from the scorched earth. You can travel the entire wasteland in the game and not see a single farm, or garden, or anything else. (They have some cows, but it’s not clear what the cows eat.) Everyone just meanders about all day. People go to the bar at the end of the day and spend their money on booze, but the game never explains where they get their money, where their food comes from, or what they do for a living. (Or where the booze comes from, given the shortage of stills and raw materials.)
What makes the people of Tennpenny Towers “rich”? Their nice clothes? Their clean building? In that case, it’s pretty hard to feel angry at them. The rich people aren’t benefiting from ill-gotten gains from raiding, or slaves, or from cheating others. They’re just doing well. They do just as much work as everyone else in the world. (Zero.)
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December 18th, 2008, 23:55
Yeah right the Tennpenny-thing and the ghoul-"racism" is a real mess. So is the "vampire"-family quest. The black slavers are funny. Didn't get to do any slavery-quests, so I don't know much about it. But then again: It makes no sense! (as do so many things in this game)
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December 19th, 2008, 16:44
"Nobody in this game produces anything."

Except for the farmers (there are some), the ranchers (what do the cows eat? I dunno. What did they eat in the earlier fallouts?), the hunters, the "other" hunters, the people doing the hydroponics crops in Rivet City, …
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December 19th, 2008, 23:30
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
"Nobody in this game produces anything."

Except for the farmers (there are some), the ranchers (what do the cows eat? I dunno. What did they eat in the earlier fallouts?), the hunters, the "other" hunters, the people doing the hydroponics crops in Rivet City, …
Still, given the number of people around, I would've expected to see more productive activity like this. Your examples are all parts of set pieces — quests — made for the player to solve, and aren't really connected to anything.

Megaton could've done with some fields and pastures around with perhaps somebody running a still, and I would've expected to see machine shops, tanners, and what have you. I've griped that the FO3 world doesn't feel like a "real" world, with a real economy and real people doing real things, the way FO and to a lesser extent FO2 did. This is the kind of thing I mean.

IOW, it's a fair criticism, even if it's slightly exaggerated.
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December 21st, 2008, 00:29
This lack of believability about the game world was the absolutely biggest problem I had with Oblivion. The place looked like they took a lot of inspiration from medieval Europe, but they seem to have forgotten that medieval Europe had an agrarian economy. I think even desolate Vvardenfell in Morrowind contained more farmland, mines, etc to give the impression of economic activity.

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December 21st, 2008, 00:48
Talk about splitting hairs. I like realism as much as the next guy, but the economy is not the first thing that comes to mind when I'm enjoying a crpg.


What makes the people of Tennpenny Towers “rich”? Their nice clothes? Their clean building? In that case, it’s pretty hard to feel angry at them. The rich people aren’t benefiting from ill-gotten gains from raiding, or slaves, or from cheating others. They’re just doing well. They do just as much work as everyone else in the world. (Zero.)
So your enjoyment is diminished if every single tiny detail isn't laid out for you? I have a word for you —- Imagination….. try using yours.
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December 21st, 2008, 03:30
Isn't slave trading part of the economy? Pity I wiped out all the slavers, guess I ruined the economy even more!!

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December 21st, 2008, 13:35
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So your enjoyment is diminished if every single tiny detail isn't laid out for you? I have a word for you —- Imagination….. try using yours.
Imagination needs something to latch on, though. FO3 attempts to imagine a seamless, functioning world — the attention to detail in the decor, the junk lying around, all that. I can't help asking myself "Where does the booze come from? How come there are iguana bits and fried squirrel all over when there are no iguanas or squirrels and nobody hunting them? Where do the brahmin-skin outfits come from, when there are no tanners or tailors? What do people eat? What does Megaton trade for the stuff brought in by the trade caravans?"

I'm not asking for all of these questions to be answered in detail. I am asking that the game designers paid some attention to them too — you know, putting in some fields growing sickly vegetables, some pens with brahmin (I've only seen one, and that figured in a quest), someone running a brewery or distillery, someone running something like a meth lab, producing those drugs, that sort of thing. It wouldn't have been any harder to do than the stuff they actually did put in, but it would've made a world of difference in making the thing hang together.

By the way, I heard that "use your imagination" line a lot when people criticized Oblivion for its thinness of story, like the fact that you could become the master of all guilds or the arena champion at level 1. It's a pretty lame line in my opinion — you could use it to turn Pong into a Wimbledon tournament simulator. "Just imagine the paddles are rackets and the square is a ball, and the computer moving the other paddle is Björn Borg, and there's a huge audience following you, and keep track of the score…"
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December 21st, 2008, 19:09
the booze comes from old stores and liquor cabinets, there aren't any "new" concoctions like nordmar noginfog ala gothic 3.
theres at least four brahmin pens if not way more
and at least 2 drug makers making different drugs which in my view is even better than seeing the ones making the common ones
true there are no tanners for hire but there are plenty of both butcher, doctor, etc. setups where the work could be done. the only reason to have a butcher npc would be quest related and there's so much of that gore in the game already it would be to token to have one in the game anyhow.
my guess is the hunters, canibbals are the ones producing the hides and since there presence is already fairly prolific in the game adding another village where that process occured simply was low on the priority list.
there's a hydroponics lab in rivet city producing fruits and vegetables
oh and there's an entire world outside of the capital wasteland where many of the goods could be produced that are being consumed not to mention the obvious that some of them have been collecting dust for 2 centuries. the capital wasteland "commercial product" lies in relics of the past both in technology and other more knowledge based artifacts. these are where the real trove of worth is and which is why there are a number of factions and individuals vieing for them. its not particularily often i agree with jdr but he's exactly right in that people are seriously not using there imagination. i agree that an heavily action oriented game like fallout 3 seems contrary to imagination or thought provoking, but despite some of its shallowness there are simply so many immersive qualities to it that its a shame to see how many people are missing them.
most people who are complaining about these things probably haven't put the over200 hours i've put into it in 1 1/2 playthroughs to find all of these details that are easily missed if you stick to only the main quest.
sure there are problems with this this game, but i'd agrue there are more problems with the people playing it who are coming at from all angles of biases (which i myself had and why i waited weeks to purchase it)

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and people will never be satisfied

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December 22nd, 2008, 03:42
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
By the way, I heard that "use your imagination" line a lot when people criticized Oblivion for its thinness of story, like the fact that you could become the master of all guilds or the arena champion at level 1. It's a pretty lame line in my opinion —."
No doubt that may have been the case with Oblivion, but those flaws were far more glaring there than they are in FO3. A lot of that blog was simple nitpicking by someone who was looking for excuses to criticize the game any way he could. Now that's lame imo.
Last edited by JDR13; December 22nd, 2008 at 06:47.
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December 23rd, 2008, 06:17
The whole Tenpenny Tower was about location, not that they were rich. Let's just assume they all had billions of caps saved away or they made their money with slavery…etc. That didn't bother me as much as that stupid quest did. I was doing ok with the game up until this point. Yea a lot of it is a stretch of the imagination, but if you don't get bogged down in details then it is enjoyable. Except for this stupid place.

I did the peacful get the ghouls into the building part of the quest and succeeded. What happens after that? The ghouls kill everyone and act like nothing is wrong. I ask Roy what happened to all the people and he makes some joke about the cellar or something. Then there is no option to say "HEY, WTF! Die you monster!" or something similar. You have to attack him and then lose karma if you want to avenge the people.

That really pissed me off. I went through all that trouble and the programmers couldn't be bothered to build into the game the graphics for both humans and ghouls living together? On top of that you got Three Dog on the radio chastising the ghouls and making fun of your mask. Would it of killed the programmers to put in an option of vengence in the dialog or actually having the ghouls and humans living side by side?

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Last edited by skavenhorde; December 23rd, 2008 at 06:35.
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December 23rd, 2008, 06:30
yeah, the Karma thingy in that quest worked strangely. when i used the 'speech' check to throw the snobbish people out in the wilderness, i gain 'good' karma. even though those people would probably die out in the wastelands.

while the ghouls not only move in, but they acted in a savage manner to 'dispose' all the non-ghouls. an action partially to blamed on the vault-dweller.

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December 23rd, 2008, 07:53
actually the ghouls do live with the humans for a while. there's a while that passes, not sure how much, before everything gets turned on its head. true its frustrating, but i don't find that to be a flaw—on the contray its a actually one of bethesda's more evolved quest lines in that becomes almost a witcheresque quest that really makes you think about choice and consequence and a sometimes lack of a true "good" choice in which all results are positives. many of the residents are bigots, but the ghouls you help are in a way too. i actually haven't completed this quest this playthrough and its coming up shortly for me to find another resolution besides letting them in this time, though i don't want to erradicate them either.

strange, i never got any threedog bulitens about a ghoul mask etc. though i most certainly recieved and used it.
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December 23rd, 2008, 09:00
Nonsense really. Fallout 3 is set in an area that have yet to been settled. That means that unlike Fallout 2, people live on loot and remains from the old civilization. That means that "rich" is the ones who looted the most or managed to come over the most luxury items.

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December 23rd, 2008, 09:39
Originally Posted by curious View Post
actually the ghouls do live with the humans for a while. there's a while that passes, not sure how much, before everything gets turned on its head.
I never knew that. After I completed the mission and told the ghouls to go live there, I went back to the main quest. The only time I went back to the tower was after Three Dog said something on the radio, by then everyone was dead. Ok I don't feel so ripped off now

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December 24th, 2008, 21:09
Originally Posted by Bateman View Post
The black slavers are funny. Didn't get to do any slavery-quests, so I don't know much about it. But then again: It makes no sense! (as do so many things in this game)
I'm sorry but what is so unbelievable about some slavers being black? Are we only allowed to BE slaves? I agree that it is a bit IRONIC (given US History), but its certainly credible given the dire situations and the breakdown of society. Evil deeds need no color.
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December 25th, 2008, 00:24
Haha, what a wasteland of an article.

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December 26th, 2008, 05:32
Originally Posted by elkston View Post
I'm sorry but what is so unbelievable about some slavers being black? Are we only allowed to BE slaves? I agree that it is a bit IRONIC (given US History), but its certainly credible given the dire situations and the breakdown of society. Evil deeds need no color.
I meant it that way, that it's ironic. Yet it's unbelievable and makes no sense also. Why on earth would there been drawn a distinction based on race in this scenario? And how could the majority of white people accept it then? And who decides who's a slave and who not? And why arn't there white slavers?

It's like the whole game: Funny on first glance, yet if you think about it, it's just massively screwed. Because this game is not about role-playing or a vivid game-world or a story. It's for 15y old console gamers that enjoy bursting heads, and BS not even claimed that it should be anything else. Just watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYxrEX9o6hg
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January 2nd, 2009, 00:25
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Isn't slave trading part of the economy? Pity I wiped out all the slavers, guess I ruined the economy even more!!


right on! thats how its done!

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January 3rd, 2009, 13:31
Few people realize that a huge part of the ancient Greek economy was built upon slaves.

They even had LESS rights than in ancient Rome !

A provoking thought would be whether the ancient Greek Philosophers ould've been able to shape what is now our natural sciences and so much else without having slaves.

Yet slaves can be exploited by people with greed and hunger for might and power. To an ill mind, "possessing" a slave can be a sick kind of great feeling.

There will be a time when even animals can't be "posessed", in a law's sense - but I don't think we'll ever see this with plants. We're relying too much on plants of any kind.

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