Fallout 3: A Different Kind of Treasure

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Fallout 3: A Different Kind of Treasure

Susan Arendt has finally figured out why she didn't love Fallout 3 at first: It's missing one incredibly important element.

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Feb 13, 2008
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NO PHAT LEWT?

It's true. Without that glimmer in your eye when you pick up the "Grandmaster Baking Spoon", there's not a lot really to gain apart from levels. I think Yahtzee said something about a Health Potion Keg Party as well?
 

NewClassic_v1legacy

Bringer of Words
Jul 30, 2008
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Being a major in English Lit, I often come at odds with myself wondering just why I had picked my major. Because I love writing is the obvious answer, but that doesn't explain why I'm in English. It certainly means I'll learn the technical aspect of writing better, and maybe even explore the creative and written parts to a more substantial degree. So, why did I spend so long at odds with the idea?

Analysis. I hate it. Something about slamming my face into a piece of media long enough to pull some meaning from it has never appealed to me. I'd often dismiss the discussion, always with the thought that there was something to it that I liked, that I was never able to put my finger on.

This article reminded me that there are more elements to analysis beyond seeking hidden meaning. How playfully exploring the surface and the details can be infinitely more full-filling than trawling the depths. Sometimes I miss a lot by staying light, but perhaps bogging myself down with too much. Atmosphere can create just as good a world as deep analysis.

Although, music did a lot to save the world some face.
I love those dear hearts, and gentle people...
 

Kross

World Breaker
Sep 27, 2004
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You do get somewhat of a variety of armor down the line, and the named weapons will start appearing much more frequently once you really hit the ruins. But overall, there's not really a steady selection of upgrades, and most people end up using the same stuff anyway with a bit of a variation on weapon type.

The game really could have benefited with more accessory items (hats and glasses), but most glasses don't have stats, and there's not much variety in hats with attributes.

Leveling helped a bit by giving you perks to look forward to, but that goes by way too fast, and I'm sure most people who are paying any kind of attention to side quests will hit the level cap quite a bit before the end.
 

mjaygtoo

New member
Feb 11, 2008
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While I agree with the idea that the "story loot" you find is rewarding of itself, the idea that there is no "phat lewt" in F3 is incorrect. Besides the obvious goal of collecting all the bobbleheads, there are also "uber" versions of every type of weapon in the game as well as some unique ones (like the Alien Blaster) and a unique power armor that is part of a quest to obtain.

There is uber stuff out there, it just isn't randomly generated and you have to look for it.
 

Brokkr

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Nov 25, 2008
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Very true. I was wondering what else that I was wanting with Fallout 3 and this is it. The chance of finding cool new weapons was one of the main things I liked about dungeon crawling in Oblivion. Searching for containers for ammo and caps just doesn't feel as fun to me.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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mjaygtoo said:
While I agree with the idea that the "story loot" you find is rewarding of itself, the idea that there is no "phat lewt" in F3 is incorrect. Besides the obvious goal of collecting all the bobbleheads, there are also "uber" versions of every type of weapon in the game as well as some unique ones (like the Alien Blaster) and a unique power armor that is part of a quest to obtain.

There is uber stuff out there, it just isn't randomly generated and you have to look for it.
Yes, I mentioned those, but they are very few and far between, especially given how large the game world is.
 

PedroSteckecilo

Mexican Fugitive
Feb 7, 2008
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I didn't even find the "story" loot that captivating, I kept finding myself going "is that it? Nothing else? Really?"

Especially on the quest for the Prototype Power Armor, I kept expecting there to be "something" more to it than just the armor. Alas.
 

Tiamat666

Level 80 Legendary Postlord
Dec 4, 2007
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This is something that turned me off about STALKER. Exploration is not rewarded as the only things you will find are the usual assortment of ammo, medikits and tin cans.

Sometimes you are "rewarded" by finding, er, "interesting" scenery, like a bunch of soldiers that were torn apart and mutilated by wild dogs. But I agree with the author that in a world were almost everything is a grey, radioactive wasteland there is only so much you can do to keep exploration interesting without including some special loot every once in a while.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Tiamat666 said:
This is something that turned me off about STALKER. Exploration is not rewarded as the only things you will find are the usual assortment of ammo, medikits and tin cans.

Sometimes you are "rewarded" by finding, er, "interesting" scenery, like a bunch of soldiers that were torn apart and mutilated by wild dogs. But I agree with the author that in a world were almost everything is a grey, radioactive wasteland there is only so much you can do to keep exploration interesting without including some special loot every once in a while.
I ran into a tiny grocery last night in which some clever wastelander with homicidal intent had set up a Rube Goldberg-style apparatus meant to set off a cluster of grenades. It was amusing, but there are only so many of those moments in the game.
 

Anton P. Nym

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Sep 18, 2007
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Susan Arendt said:
I ran into a tiny grocery last night in which some clever wastelander with homicidal intent had set up a Rube Goldberg-style apparatus meant to set off a cluster of grenades. It was amusing, but there are only so many of those moments in the game.
I think what kept me rapt during my sojourns into the Capital Wasteland was the story of the setting itself. Breaking into that house in Minefield and finding a child's bedroom with crutches, braces, surgical tubing... but no sports toys, and no body; and then finding the master bedroom with two adult skeletons embracing on the bed, with painkillers on the nightstand. That spoke eloquently on what this little family's last days were like.

The general's quarters with the pile of empty liquor bottles next to a bathtub occupied by a skeleton and a toaster made for a grim-but-amusing tale of its own. As did the diary of the triage nurse conscripted into the National Guard, and the diary of the family trying to reach a shelter after the attack...

Maybe that's the reason I don't get into MMOs and most RPGs; I'm not a phat lewt type, I'm a story-hound.

-- Steve

PS: also, nukes. Blowing up abandoned plutonium-fuelled Edsels never got old.
 

Russ Pitts

The Boss of You
May 1, 2006
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Anton P. Nym said:
PS: also, nukes. Blowing up abandoned plutonium-fuelled Edsels never got old.
Amen, sister. I set off a chain reaction on an abandoned, gridlocked freeway last night just to see what would happen. The results were surreal.
 

thurauh1

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Jan 5, 2009
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Fallout 3 is a post apocalyptic game set in a post apocalyptic world. Did you really expexct to find all kind of nice loot lying around. I wouldn't think it would fit the setting nor does Bethesda, the maker of the game, it seems. This game is also an rpg where the story means something. Or at least I hope it does.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Cheeze_Pavilion said:
In a way, 'item loot' wouldn't make sense in F3: like Moira says, a lot of people are trying to put the past back together the way it was, when they should really be trying to use the past as raw materials to assemble a new future. In a way, if F3 had been an 'item loot' game, it wouldn't have made as much sense. The idea in the Fallout world seems to have always been that the Vaults and the past were tombs, were dead. Real life happens out there in the wastes as people try and create a new world.
I agree. While it would've satisfied my acquisitional sweet tooth, it really wouldn't have made sense in the Fallout world, which is why (I assume) Bethesda decided to go that route. Also, unlike Oblivion, Fallout has its roots in reality, so while a medication that makes you temporarily faster or stronger makes a certain amount of sense, a gun that does the same thing doesn't. Even if Bethesda had wanted to litter the landscape with all sorts of phat lewt, there was a limit on what they could have done without utterly ripping the fabric of the game world.
 

Aardvark

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Sep 9, 2008
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It was enough for me to explore the wastes, find strange new places, meet interesting people and kill them in a spectacular goresplosion. I still miss the chunks of flesh being ripped out of the side of an enemy, with a final death groan, from the first two.

The radio towers were a nice little touch, especially the one with the family who were calling for help... 200 years ago. I just don't get how turning on a transmitter causes a radio signal to be generated from a drain a few meters away.

I won't be finished playing until I have that damn MIRV launcher.
 

Jennacide

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Dec 6, 2007
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The real treasures to find are the tidbits of story and atmosphere to pick up. Anyone that's been in the Dunwich Building, Mama Dolce's, pretty much every Vault, and Fort Constantine can atest to this. While two of the mentioned also include some very nice pieces of gear, the real joy is seeing what went on inside.
***Spoiler country, read at your own risk***
The Dunwich building has a series of audio tapes documenting a survivor trying to stay alive against a horde of ferals, and finding an artifact that is slowly turning him into a ghoul. Mama Dolce's is home to one of the Chinese Military hideouts and is polluted with ghoulified Chinese soldiers and officers. All of the Vaults have something interesting and bizarre going on, like the psychotropic gas pumped into the vents cause ghostly hallucinations, or the lone Overseer Gary given a series of cloning vats to try and cure his cancer. And Fort Constantine has the best armor in the game, as well as letting you set off a tactical nuke against China, lol.
***Okay, I'm done.***

And there is plenty left for you to do once you've beaten the game once, it's almost impossible to have seen everything in your first play, and there is stuff you can do to liven up the experience and see it from a different angle. If you played like a soldier, play next like a diplomat. If VATS made it too easy, play willingly ignoring VATS entirely. (Which is harder than you'd expect)
 

geldonyetich

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Aug 2, 2006
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Personally, I'm in it for the gameplay, not the artificial knick-knacks. That said, Fallout 3 has many of the same shortcomings as Oblivion. It was good for a run to the end of the campaign, but at that point I completely lost interest.