Let me preface this by saying: I love Fallout, regardless of any bugs, hiccups or wonkiness!
However, I have been playing it a lot over the last few weeks (5th or 6th full play through) and I’ve come up with a list of things to make the next Fallout title kick-ass!
And there should be another one, please do not stop!
1. Relationships: ok, you have the basics down, but this area can be Sooo much more. Please look to Mass Effect (or email me) for pointers on how to make these interactions more worth the investment: more than just a perk. In Mass Effect, we fall in love with characters, literally; but it’s because if the detailed interactions and rewards for doing so (steamy scenes, mutual adoration and if you have full loyalty… they won’t leave your side, ever). In Fallout (and Elder Scrolls) I don’t get the feeling of adoration for the companions that ME brings. I feel like if you upped the game here it would pay off handsomely.
2. How is it possible that I can find all the materials I need to make a new wall or structure but it’s not at all possible to clean up a street or flatten a hill. There are brooms, and shovels in game, how about making them work? In the next installment I seriously hope we are able to beautify the landscape by cleaning it up. The shear fact that after 200 years no one has bothered to try and “fix” anything (a picture on a turd is still a turd) boggles my mind (also, a lot of those “turd polishing materials would be too far decomposed to use). A quick example would be: save up X amount of caps and materials to hire people to clean up something or level an old building, etc. I mean, if I can find concrete, I can build a new sidewalk.
3. NPC stupidity: there has got to be a way to fix this. I put down beds, they stand around with their thumb in their butt. I assign them to a shop, they wander off. I put down exercise equipment and Everyone decides to want to use it at the same time. (Also, don’t put in NPC script that cannot be changed: if I don’t want the ghouls at The Slog to tend gardens, that should be no problem; but No, they will go right back to that animation as soon as I turn around) And why do the NPCs in 90% of my settlements wander to one specific spot? Please turn off that “beacon”.
4. Greenery is severely lacking. After 200 years a lot of things would be lush and green again (not just a smattering of trees and grass). In fact, after 200 years with little human interaction, most buildings would be hard to distinguish from a forest or pile of rubble (especially considering we do not use “roman” concrete). I know this is just part of the game look and feel, but a little bit more diversity (I would say realism, but that’s not what games are for) in landscapes would be great.
5. Stop letting NPCs walk away from me when I’m trying to talk to them. And stop having companions try to talk to me in the middle of a gun fight.
6. Give me more control over the aesthetics of settlement structures. There are 3 base paint colors already in game… Let me use them to paint walls. Or let me find schematics for carpet/wallpaper. I know these are Mods, but those tend to lag my game something fierce.
7. More options for changing clothing aesthetics too! If I want a pink with purple polka dot vault suit, dagnabit, I should be able to make it. This game is All about jury-rigging things to survive, and while my rainbow colored power armor may not be about survival, a hero’s sense of style should not go overlooked.
8. I like Dogmeat, but what about those of us who aren’t into canines. How about a zoo, that has been kept up by ghoul grounds keepers (they froze eggs for prosperity) and if you help them, you get your pick of animal companions.
9. I may be biased here, but I would really enjoy a rehash or revisit to Fallout 1 & 2, it’s been 20 years and I know I’d happily replay these games if we took them from turn-based strategy to the awesome real-time strategy/action-shooter/rpg we have today. Or maybe give us something in the San Francisco/San Jose area (think of all the tech story arcs you could have by basing it around Silicon Valley). (This would also tie in nicely to my zoo idea, just saying). This might also make a good Rust Devil origin story site…
10. More decorations for settlements. One of the major reasons I use Mods for the game is to allow me to really decorate each area “completely”. A desk, to me, is just something to hold a fake terminal or TV (that doesn’t do anything but show static), basically furniture that fills a spot but with no purpose , unless… I can put “personal” items on it to make it look “used” and inviting. A picture frame, holotapes, magazines, newspapers, etc. While ya, I can drop them from inventory and “attempt” to place them, it is not guaranteed to work, and most of the time it just gets “bumped” off. Books on shelves, food in the fridge, etc. To me, these would go a long way to making settlements seem more “done” and homey. In fact, look to the Red Rocket garage menu screen… I would like to build something like that, but with static items that cannot be accidentally moved by Dogmeat.
11. Please make turrets count. I have a settlement on Spectacle Island: it is a walled (4 blocks high) fortress with over 500 defense. it is a small 3×3 foundation with 3 stories, and there is only 1 entrance/exit. I go out and about doing my exploring thing, and after awhile I get the notification: Spectacle Island is under attack. Ok, fast travel to see whats what. I beat the bad guys there, pick a nice viewing location and grab the popcorn… Only to have 6 super mutants take out 60% of the defenses and make it in the base anyway. 6 guys make it past 60 or so turrets? Seriously under powered guns if you ask me. If I set up Fort Knox, it should at least have a 90% chance of deflecting the attack on it’s own. (and don’t get me started on the bad guys magical ability to teleport through walls into my base, or the spawn points in the middle of a settlement, these are just plain asinine, as I’m sure you are aware)
This list is in no particular order, but I feel like all of these would be great additions to the game. They would definitely help with immersion and may even entice some new fans. Customization often gets shot down for games now-a-days, but I find this to be a huge mistake. For a lot of us gamers it is one of the most important things. A few of these suggestions would also apply to the Elder Scrolls; hint, hint.
Anyway, that’s my 11 cents worth of advice, and I sincerely hope you take it to heart (if you’re even reading this, that is): it could be the difference between a good game and an Awesome one.
Until we learn which it will be, I have my wine…and it’ll have to do.