I mostly agree, though I do think it is a bit of a problem, for ANY open game, to try and set up a dramatic, tense, nail biting type of narrative....and then weave it into this massive tapestry of other stuff, and expect anyone to be very engaged in it. I mean I love FO 4, don't get me wrong, but I DO agree that the "quick! go find your son!" is terribly structured. But it's not unique to bethesda, and is just a problem of pretty much any open world game of a similar design. Whenever a game has some tense dramatic event happen (usually in a cutscene to control the flow), and then dumps the player into the open world again, with control, but no actual in game motivation to fucking hurry up...yeah plenty of people are just going to go faff about. And that IS a problem in the overall tone. It would be better, if the games are designed this way, to have a "main plot" , but to leave it open to the player to do it/or not at their own pace, to not make it anything at all time sensitive. Or something that would actually be way more compelling for someone who gave a shit. Or, actually apply a timer. If the game is telling you "you have to handle this now or bad things will happen." show that in the game. Have a timer, make some actual tension for the player, not the MC. Because that's where the motivation really needs to be, to make it happen in the game.The actual problem is that people like Asita are missing the point. "Faffing about," Asita puts it, is the entire point of the game. The main quest is an excuse plot, a reason you are there in the wasteland, just like stopping Aldun/Dagon/Finding your father/getting back the Platinum Chip/etc. The main quest was never going to be particularly involved or engaging because it's not why the game exists. If that's what whoever is picking up Fallout 4 is looking for go play a Final Fantasy game or a Persona game or a Tales game or any number of other video games that is a lot less open with a tight engaging plot that most of the game is built around addressing in some fashion. Anyone who actually complains about the main quest of any open world game and actually considers that to be an actual legitimate criticism are just looking for any reason to hate on the game.
Besides, aside from about an hour of freaking out, Shawn and your spouse are very very rarely so much as mentioned in the game unless you're going through the main quest itself, and that's the way it should be. The game is about the story that the player builds, and you can't do that if everyone and everything you come across is basically screaming at you GO DO THE MAIN QUEST ALREADY!!!
The first Deus Ex game...well, the reboot one, Human Revolution, did something like this, and it was great. The devs actually considered the fact, that most players, even when told by an NPC "let's go! time's wasting! lives are on the line!" they will just respond with "Yeah yeah, whatevs, nothing will happen until I trigger it." And then spend tons of time in the opening area, just being nosey. So, they actually took that into account, for the hostage situation in the opening sequence. If you take too long at Seraph Industries when the game first loads up (after your augmentation), the hostages will die, and your boss (who has been yelling at you to fucking hurry up), will chew you out even more, for just letting the people die. If more games did stuff like that, or just didn't try and put anything time sensitive in them at all, it would be an improvement overall I think.