Let's face it, Bethesda is overdue on the next game. When they were contracted to construct three entries in the Fallout series, they brought the first in 2008: Fallout 3, a breath of fresh air that brought many new ideas into the series. Some worked, others didn't. Succeeding it in late 2010 was the fantastic New Vegas, a sprawling entry that swept many of the shortcomings of its predecessor into a gutter and upped the ante in ways I didn't think possible. Were this pattern followed, we would be waiting with bated breath as the announcement for Bethesda's fourth addition. Alas, here we are in 2014 and they have yet to even announce their 3rd game. When they do though, one can only think that it will do to New Vegas what New Vegas did to the 3rd: completely outshine it.
As hard as it is to believe, they can get better. Take The Elder Scrolls IV for example, it took the shortcomings of the third entry and created one of the best RPGs in existence. During my playthrough (which was after Skyrim came out, mind you) the only thought in my mind was "There's no way they can top this." Then, 1 1/2 years later, I started my journey into the 5th (I didn't own it until then. This is present tense keep in mind, as in, "I'm still playing it now") and was completely blown away at how much better it was (It has yet to top the shivering isles DLC though, I don't anything will be quite as good as that.). I am convinced that they will bring the same degree of unbelievable excellency to Fallout 4 (Or whatever they're going to call it.)
The List begins...
For the purpose of blowing off some steam/creating hype/putting this out there in the 5/1000 chance that an employee will see this and incorporate something, (you may breathe now) I will list some features that I feel would help make it a better game. Whether they're enemies, locations, people, mechanics, or plot elements, this list, which I will probably update at some point or another, will display them with only a slight amount of shame.
Now, without further ado, let us begin with...
Another helpful feature from Skyrim would be the simple, yet immensely informative "Clear" subtitles that were applied to dungeons you had already been to and cleared. This way, I wouldn't be visiting Minefield every 6 or 7 days completely convinced I had never been there, only to find it devoid of anything useful.
Diversify your Dungeons
Are you sick of the hordes of Oblivion Vs. Skyrim analogies yet? You are? WELL TOO EFFING BAD, YOU GET MORE YOU UNWASHED RUFFIANS! *ahem* I apologize for that, seems to happen every time my writing can be seen by the general public/vault dwellers of Nukapedia. Anyway, Oblivion's caves seemed to be tired replicas of each other, containing multiple chains of 5-7 pre-constructed segments, each with their own set of pre-selected foliage (Pronounce that as FOILage, even in your head, and I will hunt you down and kill you in your sleep. FO-lee-ij.) that were smashed together in irritatingly predictable patterns. In Skyrim, you can tell that the utmost care and effort were put into making every cave, mine, stronghold, ruin, or crypt (The latter 3 not even appearing in Oblivion) unique and interesting
I would like to see a translation of this stuck into the mysterious next Fallout, because the words "destroyed" and "dilapidated" do not have to be synonymous with "samey".
I loved how the fame/infamy, good/evil were done away with in Skyrim/New Vegas. After all, not everyone would consider rigging a nuclear (noo-KLEE-er, gentleman.) warhead that would have wiped out the town someday to explode evil. Furthermore, not everyone would consider Tenpenny's death a blessing. One of the things that surprised me the most during today's Fallout 3 session (I'm re-playing in conjunction with Skyrim) was how you LOST karma if you slipped a Bottlecap Mine under Moriarty's counter and ran when it took his legs off. After all, the general opinion of the townsfolk was that he was the "Scum of the Earth", shouldn't they have been happy about it?
This system was done away with in the following game, but it's replacement, I feel, still didn't reach its full potential. One of the things that I noticed is that if you did something which affected the standing of one of the game's many factions, it's effects were only felt within said faction. If you, in your whimsical '50s mindset, wake up and declare "Well, gee-willikers, it sure is a swell day to rip the spinal cords out of those darn-tootin' Powder Gangers!" that the NCR might take notice and think better of you, While the Legion would be a bit more apprehensive of your showing up at their doorstep with a Rock-it Launcher in hand. Or, in Layman's terms, Kill Powder Ganger = P.G. trust ↓, NCR Trust ↑, Caesar's Legion Trust ↓.
The Glorious Return of the Sphincter Monster
Bethesda has been rather faithful as far as keeping the enemies of the Interplay games alive and well (Well, alive) in its transition to first person, but one enemy that has been notably absent from them is the floater. Feel free to unleash an endless torrent of hate because of this comment: The only Fallout games I've played are the 3rd and New Vegas. That being said, I have yet to have any interaction with the creature but have to say I'm disappointed by their being MIA. I remain hopeful, however, 3 different varieties can be found in Fallout 3's concept booklet and stray code for another trio of species exists in the depths of New Vegas. Who knows, Maybe they'll actually code and model them before they get the ax in this next game.
My Eyes is Bleedin'
I'm not implying that nuclear fallout is colorful, especially when a twisted wreckage of society is the backdrop, but wasn't it nice to see plant life in Oasis? what about wild trees and shrubbery in the Mojave Wasteland? Ruin is not tautologous to "Washed out and brown" It wouldn't kill the series' atmosphere if you were to broaden the outdoor color palette a little.
Another entry into the intriguing world of cut content is the Mutant wanamingo, as seen in the Fallout 3 art book. While that specimen would work well as a boss, there are also smaller versions from Fallout 2 that could be updated/installed to serve as the successor of the Deathclaw (or they could co-exist.). We know they haven't canonically disappeared, because No-bark Noonan name drops them in one of his psychotic rambling sentences (HIS sentences, not the wayward streams of keyboard diarrhea I've been producing here!)
I'm not ashamed to admit that I wholeheartedly enjoyed the Easter eggs inserted by choosing the "Wild Wasteland" perk; in my eyes, it served as a nice diversion from the oppressive bleakness of the world around me. Of course, the unique weapons that are obtainable from it were also a welcome addition. Really there's nothing to be desired (Except maybe more events, considering the vanilla game has an astonishing 22 effects) here, I'd merely like to see it return and bring with it new hilarious diversions.
Are You Sure that was the Big Empty?
Just about the only flaw I could find with Old World Blues was its location. While venturing through the refreshingly colorful Big MT grounds, occasionally laughing at the B-movie humor, additional Wild Wasteland events, Or gratuitous depictions of "The Sound of Flushing"; I was getting irritated at the choice of location and my thoughts were lead astray: "THIS is how they're dealing with the Big Empty? The place that gave birth to the Cazadores, Nightstalkers, thousands of technological and weapon advancements, as well as dozens of individual who were lobotomized as a result of their experiments, has been reduced to a tongue-in-cheek playable B-movie?" I wouldn't have thought this way, were it not hyped up as a foreboding and ominous citadel of pain and misery in the other DLC packages. After the lead up, I expected something along the lines of Black Isle Studios' vision of it. Point is, I'd like to see them remake this vision, complete with the pre-war rogue AI, as another piece of DLC that is similarly hyped, but with a serious, bleak tone to it.
Between 1948 and 1961 SOMETHING happened that caused the timeline to schism into a world where we never overcame the '50s way of thinking, locking society in a technological halt. Unfortunately, Bethesda has yet to tell us what this something was. It is because of that reason that I feel there should be a questline dedicated to uncovering the data that was lost during these missing years; ultimately cascading into the thrilling revelation of the timebreaker. (Or completely trivial and seemingly mundane event, such as "Researcher Sherman failed to wash his hands after watching the Presidential address.")
Detonating One Nuke Won't Ignite the Sky...
But what about several hundred in unison? At the very least, it should have an effect on the weather, right?. Speaking of, does anybody else find it odd how massive areas of the world were covered with water, yet there isn't a drop of rain to be seen? The Mojave was exempt from this rule because nuclear holocaust or not, it never rains there, but DC? surely there should be acid rains or atomic thunderstorms. Nuclear winter? Please?
When the bombs fell, they did so around the world, not just the United States. Many fans of the series will probably welcome the idea of taking a look at the devastation in or around Europe. As previously mentioned, parts of the world were flooded, so you could go, Rebreather in hand, and survey the aquatic ruins that are bound to exist.
I Must Have All the Thingies!
Fallout 3 had a set of Bobbleheads that increased your skills and looked nice when displayed in your house. New Vegas had Snow globes that would net you insane amounts of caps, with the added bonus of looking nice when displayed in your house.
I don't care what they are; There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why special collectibles shouldn't appear in the next game, I take great joy in finding these things and would become very displeased if they were left out. On a semi-side note, I really hope they take the New Vegas route by making a new collectible appear in each add-on.
Let there Be Light!
The whiskey in Fallout 3, Nuka-Cola Quantum, Nuka-Cola Quartz, Nuka-Cola Victory: See the pattern? If not, then let me put it as bluntly as possible: We need more glowing items! I love walking into a dark room and seeing the characteristic shine of an irradiated beverage. I'm not saying they have to be beverages though, maybe they could make one of the defining characteristics for the next set of collectibles that they each glow a different color.
3/4s of a year later, I return with new suggestions! For starters:
Via the Fallout Bible, one can read of the 42nd vault and its accompanying experiment. Since the location of said vault was left in the dark (pun not intended.) why not make it coincide with the setting of the next Bethesda developed title? The vaults have always been my favorite locations; it's absolutely thrilling to see what they contain, how they've changed throughout the years, and most importantly, what their experiments were. Because of the atmosphere provided by both of those, I would love to delve into the dimly-lit depths of Vault 42 and see what became of its citizens. As a bonus, maybe the developers could make this vault the birthplace of No-bark Noonan and make the remaining citizens (based on the fact that they live in 40 watt lighting and the FEV could have gotten in) the mole people spoken about in his (Seemingly insane) ramblings.
Vault-Tec might have been the company selected by the U.S. Government, but that doesn't mean they were the only vault makers. Perhaps Bethesda could allow us to explore the competitor's (presumably failed) shelters.
Diversify Your Dungeons II: The Classification Edition
I've already commented on how every dungeon in Skyrim was unique and how this system should be adopted for the next Fallout title, but neglected to mention how there were multiple types of locations. In fallout [Number or Subtitle here], I'd like there to be different categories of locations: Vaults, Ruins, Settlements, Caves, Craters, etc. to help flesh out the world even further than New Vegas.
New Super Faction #3
We already know about both the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel, but what if there was a 3rd technologically advanced faction hiding behind the curtains? We already know of The Institute, so if the next game is set in Boston, they could be a suitable candidate.
Does exactly what it says on the tin; this would be an incredibly well-concealed vault with no discernible entrance on the outer mountain (if there is one), marker on the map, or any evidence it exists. In order to access it, the player would have to do a series of unmarked tasks (Think: a ridiculously convoluted quest akin to schoolyard/forum rumors on how to revive Aeris in Final fantasy VII...except this one actually does something.) that would gain entry to a seemingly mundane fissure. Through the use of another (seemingly useless) item obtained along the way, they could open the vault and gain unique items from it.
While this is an almost inevitable addition, I would like to see the development team stray from the standard formula---that being the insertion of DLC that feels like it was cut from the singleplayer campaign (The likes of which I've no problem with; the FO3 and New Vegas Add-ons were still great...Well, all but the first.)---and deliver something that sticks out as its (or their) own story(ies).
Now that that has been written, I can delve into specifically what I want to see: Assuming they're sticking with the New Vegas initiated 4-campaign-expansions-per-title:
1. An Add-on that takes place in a (mostly) flooded area that would require you to spend most of your time underwater, and with a Rebreather equipped. Item additions would include a craftable pneumatic harpoon launcher, Pre-War Diving Gear, and (in New Vegas fashion) a themed special collectible.
2. Pending; Will update when inspiration strikes.
3. Pending; Will update when inspiration strikes.
4. Pending; Will update when inspiration strikes.
This isn't a suggestion, rather a space for entries I no longer deem desirable. I have chosen to leave them here so the curious can see what they were and why they were moved down here.
Non Breaking Weapons
One of the most surprising differences between Skyrim and Oblivion for me was the fact that your weapons and armor didn't break (for clarification, I'm referring to Skyrim, even the Daedric weapons seemed to be made out of papier mache in Oblivion) While It's not too big of a problem, I would like to see Fallout 4 incorporate this system, that way, we can fire all we want at the mutated denizens of whichever area we're exploring and not have to worry about the barrel falling off our shotgun.
Reason of Removal: As both of the comments so far have pointed out, most of the equipment you wield is constructed out of harvested scrap. Obviously, if your arsenal never wears down, the buildings/cars/whatever else they put in it wouldn't have, either, not to mention that most of your money goes into paying for repairs, anyway.
With that proposal, I officially deem this list to be complete. If I think of other things, I will revise it to include them.
Comments containing constructive criticism/personal opinions/scathing, wanton rage toward my lack of writing ability are always welcome. As such, do not hesitate to post or correct an error that's bound to be in there.