I really want a new Obsidian made Fallout game

Trunkage

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
trunkage said:
Yeah, you're right. I think Alpha Protocol was their best written work. I wish they wrote that well in NV> Pillars of Eternity was better written than NV but it still needs more work. hopefully the sequel is better
Sorry, but Pillars of Eternity's writing is a dumpster fire with terrible lore, and the cherry on the cake is its mechanics are one of the worst I've ever seen in an rpg. NV is clearly superior in terms of worldbuilding and communicating the lives within the Mojave.

Especially relevant when NV didn't have the time and resources.

Pillars of Eternity on the other hand has no excuse.

Give me one example ... just one example in Pillars that even comes close to a Caesar. Just one. Or a Vulpes for that matter. Or even a House. Pillars breaks the cardinal sin of show, don't tell... it also ignore's Vonnegut's law of be prepared to murder thy literary babies.

Here's some winners...

"The mighty(?) aumaua are the largest of the kith races and are commonly found in(?) or near oceans. Though not truly aquatic(?), they have an affinity for water(?) and many of their civilizations, such as Rauatai, are based on naval dominance(?). They are known for their unparalleled strength(?)."

Well there's 4 cardinal sins of prose in just as many seconds... Great writing! 10 out of 10. Who talks like this? Can you imagine someone actually giving you this description in person? Pretty justified in thinking if someone who said that verbatim was an idiot if I asked a very simple question of who the aumaua are.

A normal person would have said;

"The a(A)umaua are a seafaring collection of people, their populations clustered on the coastlines of the world. Gifted at naval transit and warfare, as well as with tremendous physical strength. Their tall, robust physiques and deep understanding of the waves allowing their nations to thrive on the open seas--from amongst their civilizations, like the Rauatai, are the premier Maritime powers in existence."

Apparently Escapist forums don't like the em dash, the greatest of all punctuation marks.

Succinct, answers the question, describes them.

Need I go on? The game is *rife* with it.

I'm not even done with the character creation screen.
Caeser? The bloke that literally should be running any other group because what he spouts is clearly not connected in any shape or form to the Legion? Its like they did even let the person who wrote his stuff talk to anyone writing from the Legion. All he spouts is pointless philosophy, which means he should be the one running NCR.

What do you actually do in NV main quest? Build up assets until you can take the opposition on a dam. You know what that sounds like? Skyrim. With an assassination plot thrown in. Minus a diplomatic mission to stop the war to deal with a great threat which takes into account your actions up to this point and changes the landscape to cater for those position. It wasn't that great in New Vegas or in Skyrim.

Why cant I take over the Strip? Or for that matter Legion and NCR lands too. I give away the chip? How in gods name is that not a choice? Wouldn't it have been awesome if you took control and all your decision up to this point would determine what type of leader you were - dictator, hands off, strong, weak, cruel or nice? How did this get past people in QA?

Also, isn't it a Western. Why cant I make a posse? Why am I forced down the looping tunnel to New Vegas which limits my exploration ability and decision dramatically? Why am I already regarded as a superhuman being or celebrity that some can recognise my name? They pass up their position just to get back at you?

I'm not saying Pillar was great. It was just better than NV. Its a low bar. Most importantly - Obsidian can't write. Their best was Alpha Protocol (which had the worst game play.) People compare them to Bethsheda and think that makes them great. No, its just a very low bar.

Also - clearly you didn't play Baulder's Gate. My take away as the worst RPG combat mechanics I've had the displeasure to deal with. Or Wasteland 2, which is pretty much stand and shoot, require no tactics whatsoever.
 

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Zykon TheLich said:
I was agreeing with you on the PoE lore point.
I know.

Sorry.

Should have been more clearer that basically I think all the gaming discussion behind Pillars' lore and writing is nonsense.

I will say that you can't separate good lore and worldbuilding from writing. You can write an epic of the existential crisis, and make astounding social commentary, in the pursuit of Mathieu just trying to summon up the money to pay for his mistress' abortion.

I wish people would actually give examples of this 'good writing' or 'good lore' of Pillars.
 

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trunkage said:
Caeser? The bloke that literally should be running any other group because what he spouts is clearly not connected in any shape or form to the Legion? Its like they did even let the person who wrote his stuff talk to anyone writing from the Legion. All he spouts is pointless philosophy, which means he should be the one running NCR.
What? Where he literally tells you about the Hegelian dialectic and actually talks you in person about the nature of power and agency where it explains his actions? Fun fact... individuals don't need to reflect all aspects of their society, or even the actions they undertake in order to achieve their objectives. Caesar subverts your opinions and expectations immediately upon meeting him. As by the dialogue of his soldiers, the rhetoric they employ, the visuals you see, and finally when you get to meet him ... in the end he's just human. He's not especially strong, or even necessarily has the fiery vigour of those that follow under him.

He was just a man with a philosophy of strength, of the nature of leadership and the human condition, and he sought to build a society that emulated his vision for the wastes even if he himself is not that ideal.

And it's better than anything that is in Pillars of Eternity.

What you're suggesting right here? It's almost as if badly written characters do that because they lack nuance and depth to their motivations and personal beliefs.

Try again.

Also... still haven't seen a counter example.

What do you actually do in NV main quest? Build up assets until you can take the opposition on a dam. You know what that sounds like? Skyrim. With an assassination plot thrown in. Minus a diplomatic mission to stop the war to deal with a great threat which takes into account your actions up to this point and changes the landscape to cater for those position. It wasn't that great in New Vegas or in Skyrim.
A game where you do stuff and change your world? Noooo... Also where the fuck did I defend Skyrim? I said NV has better writing than PoE, and PoE is dumpster fire grade and I showed an example from the first thing you'll read.

I have even more examples just from the character creation screen alone of PoE's "glorious" writing.

I've seen better prose in bad MLP fanfic.

Why cant I take over the Strip? Or for that matter Legion and NCR lands too. I give away the chip? How in gods name is that not a choice? Wouldn't it have been awesome if you took control and all your decision up to this point would determine what type of leader you were - dictator, hands off, strong, weak, cruel or nice? How did this get past people in QA?
No. Because part and parcel of good lore and good writing need not be simply escapism fuel.

Also, isn't it a Western. Why cant I make a posse? Why am I forced down the looping tunnel to New Vegas which limits my exploration ability and decision dramatically? Why am I already regarded as a superhuman being or celebrity that some can recognise my name? They pass up their position just to get back at you?
What, like your companions? Also... NV had 14 months and a skeleton crew. Still delivered infinitely better writing than PoE.

An argument you haven't actually backed up yet when saying Pillars was better written. With a button press that is factually wrong.

I'm not saying Pillar was great. It was just better than NV.
Prove it.

Also - clearly you didn't play Baulder's Gate. My take away as the worst RPG combat mechanics I've had the displeasure to deal with. Or Wasteland 2, which is pretty much stand and shoot, require no tactics whatsoever.
I have played them. And I'll take a real rpg with real character options over one with zero depth or nuance. Especially if it at least has cogent sentence structure and worldbuilding.

Sorry ... but this...

The godlike are children of the kith ("civilized" races) who have been blessed with physical aspects associated with the gods (though some do not consider it a blessing). These aspects may take many forms and often come with mystical powers. Aberrant head shapes are typical, and godlike are unable to wear protective headgear as it is near-impossible to find anything that fits. Because of their unusual nature and their inability to reproduce, godlike are often viewed with fear and wonder.
Not good writing. It's childish writing. It barely makes sense, and there is almost zero coherent connectors of thought.

Once again ... there is bad MLP fanfic prose that whoever wrote any of this garbage could learn pointers from.
 

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trunkage said:
Caeser? The bloke that literally should be running any other group because what he spouts is clearly not connected in any shape or form to the Legion? Its like they did even let the person who wrote his stuff talk to anyone writing from the Legion. All he spouts is pointless philosophy, which means he should be the one running NCR.
This is intentional. The game spends about half its' time prior to you reaching NV telling you about how nasty the Legion is, it shows you the casual callousness and brutality it will employ, personified by Vulpes, and makes you think that Caesar is this murderous bastard that will eat infants for fun. But he is not. He's actually a well educated person, who's decision to base the Legion's philosophy on violence and power struggle is not out of some bloodthirsty desire to murder, but a philosophical understanding about the necessity of violence and power in a lawless world.

You might think his philosophy pointless, but one of the strengths of the Ceasar character (and let me point out that I find him quite overrated) is that it is a subversion of expectations. But it is so because Ceasar has a coherent philosophical framework to explain how this intellectual, rather wimpy old man is the leader of the most bloodthirsty faction in the wasteland. He's also shown as just as flawed as everyone else in the game, since his design for the Legion never really accounted for what would happen once he himself was gone and the game implies that at least some of the Legion's doings are more extreme than what he intended.

trunkage said:
What do you actually do in NV main quest? Build up assets until you can take the opposition on a dam. You know what that sounds like? Skyrim. With an assassination plot thrown in. Minus a diplomatic mission to stop the war to deal with a great threat which takes into account your actions up to this point and changes the landscape to cater for those position. It wasn't that great in New Vegas or in Skyrim.
Half the main quest is actually finding out what the Platinum Chip is and who shot you in the head. The second half is about taking sides in the coming conflict, in which you are given four options as opposed to Skyrim's one. I find your comparison here pointlessly reductive, as NVs and Skyrim's main quests don't play out similarly at all. NV's second half is far more responsive to player agency then Skyrim ever was.

trunkage said:
I'm not saying Pillar was great. It was just better than NV. Its a low bar. Most importantly - Obsidian can't write. Their best was Alpha Protocol (which had the worst game play.) People compare them to Bethsheda and think that makes them great. No, its just a very low bar.
Alpha Protocol is insanely reactive to player choice, New Vegas is also pretty reactive and KotOR 2 would have been, had it not had all of a 14 month development cycle. Obsidian's writing is good compared to the gaming industry at large, which still means it falls short of more mature media like books and movies. In fact, Obsidian is one of few developers that consistently pick an overarching theme for their games and ties that into the narrative and gameplay. Alpha Protocol dealt with paranoia and mistrust in the spy game, New Vegas is a meditation on the dichotomy between inefficient democracy as opposed to efficient dictatorship, PoE deals with the implications of godhood and overwhelming power.

These aren't nobel-prize winning scripts by any measure, but it shows a writing capacity that very few other game developers can match.

trunkage said:
Also - clearly you didn't play Baulder's Gate. My take away as the worst RPG combat mechanics I've had the displeasure to deal with. Or Wasteland 2, which is pretty much stand and shoot, require no tactics whatsoever.
As I said before, Wasteland 2 is inXile, Baldur's Gate is Bioware. One should also note that BG has aged terribly, but when it was released that was the absolute cutting edge of RPG combat.
 

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Gethsemani said:
These aren't nobel-prize winning scripts by any measure, but it shows a writing capacity that very few other game developers can match.
People say this and I'm still waiting for proof. The prose in PoE pissed me off. Usually I can ignore stuff like that if the game is at least engaging. After 6 hours, I couldn't bear it. When I occasionally had to cover for English, I met 14 year olds with a better grasp of writing than what was on display.

I can't be the only one that has a problem about this, surely? This game is rife with awful writing. Even before you start the game and just goes on. It blatantly ignores any exercise of editing to merely speak at you about shit you don't need to care about, or know. Kill thy literary darlings, you egocentric, time-wasting twats.

See, I could put up with all of that. All of it... But the straw that broke the camel's back is it didn't even bother to do it coherently. And hell, I like Obsidian. But clearly when people come out with whoppers like about what their writing capacity is ... where!? This ain't a difficult concept.

'Writing's good.' Okay, PROOF PLEASE!?

Usually when I tell people how great a book is, I can pull up some pages on my tablet and show them the parts of it that gave me chills, or excited me. You know what has infinitely better dialogue? The Divinity series. Wordy as all hell, andrequires a serious degree of Faulknerization as well, but at least it delivers nuance and CHARACTER. At least its descriptions of races makes sense.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Gethsemani said:
These aren't nobel-prize winning scripts by any measure, but it shows a writing capacity that very few other game developers can match.
People say this and I'm still waiting for proof. The prose in PoE pissed me off. Usually I can ignore stuff like that if the game is at least engaging. After 6 hours, I couldn't bear it. When I occasionally had to cover for English, I met 14 year olds with a better grasp of writing than what was on display.

I can't be the only one that has a problem about this, surely? This game is rife with awful writing. Even before you start the game and just goes on. It blatantly ignores any exercise of editing to merely speak at you about shit you don't need to care about, or know. Kill thy literary darlings, you egocentric, time-wasting twats.

See, I could put up with all of that. All of it... But the straw that broke the camel's back is it didn't even bother to do it coherently. And hell, I like Obsidian. But clearly when people come out with whoppers like about what their writing capacity is ... where!? This ain't a difficult concept.

'Writing's good.' Okay, PROOF PLEASE!?
I think we need to differentiate a bit about the different kinds of writing going on. Roughly I consider writing as: Story, quests, NPCs, lore/world building and conversations. You can disagree with these specific categories or add more, it doesn't quite matter.

Obsidian are great at story, quests and NPCs, that's always been their strong suites. Their stories are thematic and tie in to the world of the game. Their quests are often similarly well grounded in the world, with engaging hooks, arcs and outcomes. Their NPCs, particularly their antagonists and companions, are well-fleshed out with intriguing backgrounds and personalities. Their conversations are so-so and their world building is rather hit or miss (they did a good job with NV and Tyranny, less so with PoE).

The thing about PoE though, is the same as it was with Wasteland 2 and the atrocious Torment for inXile: It was in desperate need of a merciless editor. Self-publishing removed the constraints of the traditional development process, and it really shows in how bloated the writing of PoEs world became. That coupled with a lack of publisher feedback about the kind of terrible writing that you've already pointed was a recipe for disaster. Instead of delivering a focused cRPG, Obsidian pushed out PoE as essentially a cRPG adaptation of someone's pen and paper campaign, complete with the kind of shoddy writing you get in hastily written splat books. Had PoE been through the same wringer that New Vegas or Tyranny had gone through, it would have been a much better game in terms of overall writing. As it was, the main story was polished but a lot of the conversations and lore were terrible.
 

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Gethsemani said:
I think we need to differentiate a bit about the different kinds of writing going on. Roughly I consider writing as: Story, quests, NPCs, lore/world building and conversations. You can disagree with these specific categories or add more, it doesn't quite matter.

Obsidian are great at story, quests and NPCs, that's always been their strong suites. Their stories are thematic and tie in to the world of the game. Their quests are often similarly well grounded in the world, with engaging hooks, arcs and outcomes. Their NPCs, particularly their antagonists and companions, are well-fleshed out with intriguing backgrounds and personalities. Their conversations are so-so and their world building is rather hit or miss (they did a good job with NV and Tyranny, less so with PoE).

The thing about PoE though, is the same as it was with Wasteland 2 and the atrocious Torment for inXile: It was in desperate need of a merciless editor. Self-publishing removed the constraints of the traditional development process, and it really shows in how bloated the writing of PoEs world became. That coupled with a lack of publisher feedback about the kind of terrible writing that you've already pointed was a recipe for disaster. Instead of delivering a focused cRPG, Obsidian pushed out PoE as essentially a cRPG adaptation of someone's pen and paper campaign, complete with the kind of shoddy writing you get in hastily written splat books. Had PoE been through the same wringer that New Vegas or Tyranny had gone through, it would have been a much better game in terms of overall writing. As it was, the main story was polished but a lot of the conversations and lore were terrible.
You know what? You're absolutely right. It is like the Lucas Effect ... but unlike Lucas, reviewers seem to make excuses for it. They chose to tell the story like this. They chose it. And they made cardinal sins in doing so, that should fucking condemn it. They made me sit through the most boring fucking dialogue that wasn't even entertainingly bad. It wasn't the cute sort of bad.

I don't mind cute bad. Like Jagged Alliance series is cute bad. Shadowrun Returns is cute bad.

But you want to know what is awful and not cute? Pages of text detailing a world by writers ill-equipped to do so.

It was obtuse. It was incoherent. It was rambling, confusing, dull, and infuriatingly bad. And then had the gall to QUIZ ME ON IT when I couldn't be arsed anymore that I just kept answering randomly so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. And I could easily forgive them for that if they recognized they did not have the talent for it. They didn't, though.

This...

The mighty aumaua are the largest of the kith races and are commonly found in or near oceans. Though not truly aquatic, they have an affinity for water and many of their civilizations, such as Rauatai, are based on naval dominance. They are known for their unparalleled strength.
...3 sentences of pain.

I hadn't even begun the game yet. A game that would subject me to mountains of writing like it for HOURS. And I get it, it might just be my personal bugbear, but when you decide to write novels of shit like it and then quiz people on those novels of shit and pretend like it's my fault for just switching off, the game becomes impenetrable. I used to like Chris Avellone, but after Pillars I really didn't envy the idea that the videogame industry was going to raise him up on a platform. This is why I like board games even more than I did before. Obsidian is best when those filters of show, don't tell are inflicted upon them. Conventional writing is not their trump card.

And I mean inflicted. Get a decent editor, arm them with a pinchbar, and fucking pry them from their keyboards if they need to.

Once again ... I've read really bad MLP fanfic that reads better than whatever insanity they wrote. If you can deliver cute, funny moments, I'll eat it up.

There needs to be something there. As you were saying about the self-publishing problem. You're right. Prior self-publishing, there was this idea of 'keeping an author grounded'. You had to make them see that there were things they were personally invested in seeing that would lead inevitably to purple prose.

PoE is 90% purple prose, but none of the necessary talent to lift up a redlight and tell them to stop.

It's just incoherent, disjointed and meandering. I shouldn't have to read 13 pages of humourless text to be able to answer 4 different questions. I will not shed a tear if that writer(s) dies of a heart attack tomorrow. It was pure egocentrism by the authors to put that in there. Completely oblivious to how it looks. Completely oblivious it is the single most reviled thing in literature. The single thing every author can agree is literary cancer.

It takes "captive audience" and transforms it from oxymoron to literal interpretation.

It's also why New Vegas is probably as tight as it is in terms of delivering characters. They only had so much money, so much time with the VAs.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
There needs to be something there. As you were saying about the self-publishing problem. You're right. Prior self-publishing, there was this idea of 'keeping an author grounded'. You had to make them see that there were things they were personally invested in seeing that would lead inevitably to purple prose.

PoE is 90% purple prose, but none of the necessary talent to lift up a redlight and tell them to stop.

It's just incoherent, disjointed and meandering. I shouldn't have to read 13 pages of humourless text to be able to answer 4 different questions. I will not shed a tear if that writer(s) dies of a heart attack tomorrow.
It isn't even purple prose. It is just poor prose, similar to what most writing looks like before the first pass of editing. You yourself pointed out in a previous post how easy it would have been to make your example flow better in terms of language and prose. PoE is shock-full of pointless lore that might be immersive to the most immersive craving players out there, but is just needlessly distracting and opaque to the rest of us. An editor to kill the babies (metaphorically, that is) and cut the fat, while revising the written text that remains would have gone a long way.

This is especially notable to me right now, as I am in the final weeks of my thesis and just receiving feedback from my mentor makes my text soooo much better. And we are not even talking many revisions, just someone with experience who can catch the poor phrasing, needlessly complex sentence structures and help make the text flow better. Obsidian should have gotten that, but instead it seems as if they got drunk on the freedom to include everything. Especially since Tyranny was a return to form in terms of sleek delivery for Obsidian.
 

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Gethsemani said:
It isn't even purple prose. It is just poor prose, similar to what most writing looks like before the first pass of editing. You yourself pointed out in a previous post how easy it would have been to make your example flow better in terms of language and prose. PoE is shock-full of pointless lore that might be immersive to the most immersive craving players out there, but is just needlessly distracting and opaque to the rest of us. An editor to kill the babies (metaphorically, that is) and cut the fat, while revising the written text that remains would have gone a long way.

This is especially notable to me right now, as I am in the final weeks of my thesis and just receiving feedback from my mentor makes my text soooo much better. And we are not even talking many revisions, just someone with experience who can catch the poor phrasing, needlessly complex sentence structures and help make the text flow better. Obsidian should have gotten that, but instead it seems as if they got drunk on the freedom to include everything. Especially since Tyranny was a return to form in terms of sleek delivery for Obsidian.
Purple prose is pretty much already bad prose. Like it's hard to make a clear cut definition on purple prose, but purple prose is already bad prose. I was just being generous in terms of the idea that even if it' not technically as god-awful as the example I gave ... it can still be purple prose. And yeah, it's why even if ypu think you're really cluey and know how to write a great 10k+ essay, you should always get into a study group. Study groups will improve your marks, even if all they do is look only at how you styled your writing. Even if they know nothing about the course you're doing.

Bad prose systems kills even decent scientific report writing styles that may lack hard word limits. And those are heavily structured already.

See, I can get the argument that in PoE if someone said the writing was serviceable for the plot.

I accept atrocious writing can still house experiences or conjure new thoughts. It's not like I pick up another person's notes of them doing a mind map of possible aspects of inquiry to tighten their report, or look at new ways to examine a problem ... or perhaps new ways to test a hypothesis, or what datasets can be transformed into meaningful, authoritative information ... and not just scream; "Oh, you're all over the place!"

But when I see reviewers call it 'great writing' ... like, no. Factually wrong. Provably, factually wrong.

It was egocentric writing. Pure egocentrism. And without the skill to even make it coherent in so, so many instances. It created literary cancer on purpose, revelled in it, and then told the reader to fucking like it.

Well, sorry ... no ... I'm not going to like it. You're a piece of shit for that quiz alone. You're not somehow more self-aware or funny by recognizing you're committing literary cancer, and then making fun of the player for trying to move on. If that's a reviewer's idea of 'great writing' they need a new job outside of arts and media. I haven't actually touched an Obsidian game made afterwards because of Pillars.

The good will I have for Obsidian is purely for their stuff beforehand. And yeah, once again ... it's a personal bugbear of mine ... but people should stop trying to pretend that a dogshit sandwich is merely a matter of taste.

It's good to hear that maybe they've pulled their head out of their arse.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
I don't have counter points. As I already stated, PoE writing was pretty bad.

You missed my point entirely. I'm not ever going to try to lift PoE up to your vision of NV. I'm bringing NV down to where I think it belongs. IMO I am not surprised by the Metracritic score NV got. I don't it deserved that much

So, all I have is more critiquing of NV. Since you seem not enjoy that in any shape or form, we can call that an impasse. If you do want to continue, let me know. I wont be defending PoE. Its not worth it.

I have played them. And I'll take a real rpg with real character options over one with zero depth or nuance. Especially if it at least has cogent sentence structure and worldbuilding.
I was critiquing your analysis of the game play. And don't get me started on NV world building - lazy does not even describe it.
 

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Gethsemani said:
trunkage said:
Caeser? The bloke that literally should be running any other group because what he spouts is clearly not connected in any shape or form to the Legion? Its like they did even let the person who wrote his stuff talk to anyone writing from the Legion. All he spouts is pointless philosophy, which means he should be the one running NCR.
This is intentional. The game spends about half its' time prior to you reaching NV telling you about how nasty the Legion is, it shows you the casual callousness and brutality it will employ, personified by Vulpes, and makes you think that Caesar is this murderous bastard that will eat infants for fun. But he is not. He's actually a well educated person, who's decision to base the Legion's philosophy on violence and power struggle is not out of some bloodthirsty desire to murder, but a philosophical understanding about the necessity of violence and power in a lawless world.

You might think his philosophy pointless, but one of the strengths of the Ceasar character (and let me point out that I find him quite overrated) is that it is a subversion of expectations. But it is so because Ceasar has a coherent philosophical framework to explain how this intellectual, rather wimpy old man is the leader of the most bloodthirsty faction in the wasteland. He's also shown as just as flawed as everyone else in the game, since his design for the Legion never really accounted for what would happen once he himself was gone and the game implies that at least some of the Legion's doings are more extreme than what he intended.
I agree he's meant to be subsersive. The problem is, what do you think other leaders that are seen as cruel by history, are like? Making sure we don't go Full Godwin, let's pick Lenin. He had an incredible ability to get people on his side. So much so that he was a dictator in his organisation for years while in exile. He seemed to nice to his friends but blew up his enemies (via Stalin.) Ghegnhis Khan did spill some fellow Mongol blood (particularly his blood-brother's tribe) by spent most of his time convincing people to change the laws that wounded him so much when he was young.

I get its a video game, and that its a troupe for the evil bad guy to go full evil. I'm used to real world, thus I cant take Caeser as subversive. (Also, by the time I reached him, I was already pretty peeved with how Obsidian developed their 10hr tutorial and just wanted to do my own thing. The game is so restrictive in some ways - it chafes. I have learnt, by listening to people talk about NV, the Witcher 3 or Divinity, that most people want to be lead by the nose to new story bits.)

Alpha Protocol is insanely reactive to player choice, New Vegas is also pretty reactive and KotOR 2 would have been, had it not had all of a 14 month development cycle. Obsidian's writing is good compared to the gaming industry at large, which still means it falls short of more mature media like books and movies. In fact, Obsidian is one of few developers that consistently pick an overarching theme for their games and ties that into the narrative and gameplay. Alpha Protocol dealt with paranoia and mistrust in the spy game, New Vegas is a meditation on the dichotomy between inefficient democracy as opposed to efficient dictatorship, PoE deals with the implications of godhood and overwhelming power.

These aren't nobel-prize winning scripts by any measure, but it shows a writing capacity that very few other game developers can match.
I had heard all the argument about NV being this great game and I couldn't see it. What pushed me through the game was the little achievement counters it gave. I challenged myself and pushed through (I heard Old World Blues great and it didn't disappoint.) I played Alpha Protocol a few years ago. It was everything that people said was great about NV. I went back and reapplied to NV, in hope to gain access to what people saw. All it did was put blaring spotlights onto NV's inadequacies.

As I said before, Wasteland 2 is inXile, Baldur's Gate is Bioware. One should also note that BG has aged terribly, but when it was released that was the absolute cutting edge of RPG combat.
I remember BG - actually played 2 before one. I replayed almost 5 years ago. I cant go back to BG 1. The main quest would only be a side one now, perhaps leading up to a major one. No development of villains and little for your party.

But BG2 eventually gets whacky and over the top in a fun way. The whole OP feel was really awesome and drowned out the poor combat mechanics.

Wasteland 2 was stated as being far superior to Fallout 3. IMO, it was not. Sometimes, I wish people would stop comparing to Fallout 3. Its a weird cultural touchstone. It also ruins games for me when they aren't much better.

Edit: quote malfunction. Also, I got it. I screwed up with Wasteland.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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trunkage said:
I don't have counter points. As I already stated, PoE writing was pretty bad.
It wasn't bad. It was literary cancer by people who don't know literature, and then revelled in literary cancer. Then they added situations which directly make fun of players who don't like to put up with literary cancer, all without realizing they are committing literary cancer.

It's like those games that are knowingly bad, and pretend it's funny to point how they know it's bad. Only Obsidian didn't seem to realize that what they were writing was literary cancer.

Pillars is the perfect example of why editors are a good thing.

You missed my point entirely. I'm not ever going to try to lift PoE up to your vision of NV. I'm bringing NV down to where I think it belongs. IMO I am not surprised by the Metracritic score NV got. I don't it deserved that much
But you've provided no proof of the critique. I directly talked about your ONE EXAMPLE and told you why you were wrong, and why it was actually pretty fucking brilliant writing and set up.

This whole schtick.

What? Where he literally tells you about the Hegelian dialectic and actually talks you in person about the nature of power and agency where it explains his actions? Fun fact... individuals don't need to reflect all aspects of their society, or even the actions they undertake in order to achieve their objectives. Caesar subverts your opinions and expectations immediately upon meeting him. As by the dialogue of his soldiers, the rhetoric they employ, the visuals you see, and finally when you get to meet him ... in the end he's just human. He's not especially strong, or even necessarily has the fiery vigour of those that follow under him.

He was just a man with a philosophy of strength, of the nature of leadership and the human condition, and he sought to build a society that emulated his vision for the wastes even if he himself is not that ideal.

And it's better than anything that is in Pillars of Eternity.

What you're suggesting right here? It's almost as if badly written characters do that because they lack nuance and depth to their motivations and personal beliefs.

Try again.

Also... still haven't seen a counter example.
What Caesar is is the perfect examination of the concept of show, don't tell.

Unlike all the ridiculous fucking wank in Pillars, in NV you hear a lot about Caesar. You see what his soldiers do. You see that barbarity. You see their ferocity. The player builds up anarrative in their head of what this man must be to deserve such fierce loyalty and to wrest control over the Wasteland.

And in the end it's just a person. A fairly lacklustre person ... but what gave him strength is his ideas. He is more honest and true, regardless of the narrative you've built up after seeing the aspects of his society and his rule, than the mythos you have constructed on him in your head. Whether you see him as a towering, vicious despot or someone with the strength to rule and create peace on the Wasteland.

Whether you go out of your way to fight him or not, suddenly you realize why other people follow him and why so many consider him a threat. Precisely because you were one of those people as you made more than evidently clear in your reply.

Show, don't tell. And by employing that we get a character that is meaningful to the player's relationship to the game and subverts all your expectations.

NV has a shitload of problems ... but poorly written? Hardly. At least in terms of the total amount of time they had to make the game. Caesar is probably one of the best written characters in a game I have seen in a long while.

And unlike Pillars, it never relied on walls of text. It was all you and carefully constructed set pieces you would run into, that would create in your mind as if this titan of political and military strength. And guess what? You were wrong. You proved as much in your reply to me about how you thought he should have been tougher, or not talked about philosophy and the human condition. Precisely because that is exactly the feeling Obsidian sought to create. This disillusionment with the grandiose narrative you had constructed about a person ... only to realize he's just a man.

It turns out that he needn't have been anything more or less than a man with an idea. With a complex, intricate idea on the nature of human agency, political power and leadership.

And simply for that idea he becomes powerful in spite of himself.

It's classic storytelling there.

He's the Wizard of Oz, in Roman-inspired getup and sensibilities. It's fucking brilliant. Classic, old school brilliant. If you can't appreciate that, fine ... but don't then pretend to have a point how Pillars was somehow 'better written' than NV. Provably, factually false.

Metacritic can eat shit. People like the The Big Bang Theory ... Whether I like it or not less people will read Kafka than they will Stephen King. I don't expect people to recognize quality writing in praxis ... Clearly, just like study groups in media, popular consensus does not good media make. And more than that NV is a game with other glaring issues that speak nothing as to the quality of some of its characters.

As much as I fucking adore My Little Pony, I'm not going to say it has better writing and direction than Scarface. Even if I have probably watched the MLP movie more times than I have Scarface.

Popular opinion is fucking nonsense, and Pillars is proof enough of that.
 

votemarvel

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PapaGreg096 said:
New Vegas is one of my favorite games of all time and yes I know its far from perfect(bugs, lack of interesting locations, walking around for minutes and barely finding anything) but my god do I love the game and it sucks that after all these years there isn't a new Obsidian Fallout game in sight. Whats crazy is that despite have less of budget/time than 3 or 4 it still craps on both of them.
The weird thing for me is most people, my friends included, all seem to think Fallout 4 is a terrible game and not a patch of the others in the series. Yet for me it is the only one that I have been able to put over 200 hours into.

Perhaps because I never got to play it at launch I really hate how New Vegas looks. I've tried countless graphics mods from the Nexus top try and improve things but it just looks terrible anyway. Dragon Age: Origins which was released before it however I think has aged very well, I can only put it down to personal preference and art style.
 

KraQ

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Despite the fact that some at Obsidian have expressed interest in making another Fallout Game, I can't help but imagine that memories of the whole "having bonuses withheld" thing might make the actual prospect working with Bethesda again doubtful, especially with their more recent success through smaller publishers.