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Well I finished Fallout 4s main plot and now its time to talk about the game again.
First the game has very few side quests, so whilst it took me 50 hours of normal play to finish the plot (could be done in less than 5 hours I believe), I would normally be at 70 to 90s hours for almost any other Beth game to reach this same point.
Also many quests use a white arrow system like Skyrim, only the quests fail to explain what is expected of you when you arrive at the quest location. Especially Institute ones, in one case you are told to go your quarters, so you do and the quest does not update because your supposed to talk to father only it does not mention that. That happened several times during the institute quests.
Steam forums are full of people calling these bugs, I call those posting the bugs SPECIAL Vault Dwellers lol. If you played Dark Lore Grimoire you will know the joke and should not have been overly affected by this over sight on Beths part because you will not have been following the arrows that closely to start with :)
Also I do not feel like the existing gameplay is going to be very good for repeatable gameplay because your already doing the same thing for settlement building time and time again in the same game and it is not that much fun to start with. Nearly all the missions are repeatable too and involve going somewhere and blowing the crap out of it.
Aductions being one of the few different types of missions which involves going somewhere, blowing the crap out of it, then rescuing somebody. Or recovery missions where you go someplace, blow the crap out of something and bring something back.
You get the idea that blowing the crap out of something is pretty much the main part.
Another point I would make is that the game only really seems to get going after you deal with Kelogg, so its worth playing up to that point even if you choose not to do the main plot.
Which to be honest is not a big deal because it is a pretty light weight plot and does not give you a reason to care about any of the factions. Without the additional gameplay that arrives after Kelogg, the game feels rather dead and I suspect if you follow the main plot to the end and beyond, you end up back at square 1 with the same dead feeling game. So you may have good reasons for not playing the main plot all the way to the end.
Interestingly I recognised the trick Beth used, speaking as a modder now, Stealth should work in this game because there is actually only 1 target that the mission requires you deal with most of the time and the quest arrow is directly over it. Everything between you and it is what I call "Quest candy". So try Stealth and go directly for the target, you may be surprised.
Since I strongly suspect Beths devs read this site or have tried my mods because I recognise my finger prints in Skyrim and Fallout 4, here is a little tip for Beths repeatable quest makers.
After years of experimenting, I found repeatable quests become far more interesting if you include some lore based narrative that slowly unfolds across several quests. The trick is to write it so it does not matter what order the information is revealed in.
Take Morthal from Skyrim. It has a vampire den near by, so one of my mods joked about the Hound of the morthavils on the moores at night... a Sherlock Holmes, joke. That in turn made Morthal sound more like an occult place. So another mod I made used it for various ghost and vampire quests. Another mod used it for a Werewolf and suddenly Morthal was a very dark and spooky place.
Finally I had another quest in another mod (Skyrim Fighters Guild I believe) reveal that it was Sheorgorath behind it all and he was playing a game with the town and nothing could be done to stop him. Accepting there is no cure for daedric prince jokes is part of the plot.
None of the dialog had any affect on the basic nature of the quests, they where all go and kill something (mostly), but because it was based on game lore that players already knew and because morthal was given a common theme, those repeatable quests all felt a 1000 times better than a normal repeatable quest.
I did of course follow that up with faction specific random loot generation that added to a sense of uniqueness and give players the sort of rewards they expected to get from that faction. In the case of the Skyrim Fighters Guild, which is more single shot quests, I had the player early experience per quest towards promotion and added little side rewards if he did stuff like pick up the meat causing a rat problem, so he could earn extra points for doing a better job on a quest and I kept those extra points a secret.
When I played all the mods together as they where intended to be played, eg Demon Hunters, Dark Lore Grimoire, Skyrim Fighters Guild etc, it all blended together to make something that was actually just a repeatable quest system feel very special indeed. I was actually very pleased with how it turned out.
So Beth Devs, if you read this, try that next time.
None of the major developers seem to do a good job on repeatable quests right now, they all make them overly complicated so depth and detail becomes impossible. Keeping things simple allows you to build layers of detail, eventually all those simple layers which as easy to bug fix, look very complicated in the game to the players.
You get a better result from it.
In fact as I start modding Fallout 4, I may talk about this more in my blog so interested parties can follow my experientation. I'll be seeking to combine all I know from Skyrim in Fallout 4 and its Settlements in the future. So its going to be interesting.
Back to you players, sorry for the distraction.
The game world is nice but it feels very intense, you never really get a break from the shooting and the Factions in it are all very shallow and weak.
It is not an RPG anymore, the skills have almost completely disappeared and 3 pages of stats, skills and perks are now combined in to a single page of perks, so there is a great deal missing. It is a shooter now, plain and simple.
Still it is worth £40, it is a good shooter but its not going to make RPG, lore or pc fans happy. Casual gamers will enjoy it the most but are unlikely to keep playing it for long.
The trouble with dumping expected features is people will buy it expecting those things and feel ripped off when they dont appear in the game. I have always felt if a developer intends to do that, they should call the game something else. Given what Fallout was originally, Fallout 3 should probably have been given a different name entirely.
Still it is exactly what I expected, I know the days of Beth making good RPGs and supporting the PC properly are over and I also know that because they are developing for the consoles, every time a new console comes out, their stuff is going to look dated because they cannot just port over the PC version anymore.
So I never expected more than what I got and I do not feel disappointed.
As for my thoughts on Mods... I'll say that for a blog... see my blogs page in a second or three.