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The Divide - 4

Toci2

Who are you, that you do not know your history?

Ulysses


Last issue's results

This past week, Nukapedia got to witness the comeback of the Divide. I'm happy to say that the third issue of the Divide was the most popular so far with well over 200 comments! Anyways, back to what you're all here for:

  • Coming in third place is, surprisingly, the pro-House option defended by Denis517 with 22 votes. However, I do know of quite a few people who say that they wish they could change their votes after a few comments. Good job, Denis!
  • Coming in second place is the undecided option with 28 votes. This is the first time in Divide history that the undecided option did not take first prize.
  • Coming in first place, with a grand total of 41 out of 91 votes, is the anti-House option defended by The Ever Ruler. Fantastic work, Ever!

I am grateful to these two users for getting Nukapedia's best debate back on track! Thank you![1]

What is going to be tested in the Divide this week?

This week's poll idea was thought up by myself, Tocinoman. I did get a topic suggestion - no worries, I read all entries -, but the reason I picked this topic was to finally get one of the users I've wanted to agree to debate here! Trust me when I say it will be well worth it! The topic at hand is: what is the best location to play host to a future Fallout game? People are always talking about this. Trust me, I know we are all waiting in anticipation for an announcement on the next Fallout game (there hasn't been anything official released, despite what some of you may think). This may not get to the game developers, but it will definitely give us some answers as to what our Fallout community would like to see. If you don't want to see the game in either of these locations, don't worry. Simply think of it as a what-if situation in which the developers HAD to choose between one of the two. The issues that our debaters will address are as follows:

  1. What is your location? Where is it in relation to major factions/previous Fallout games?
  2. Using as much detail as possible, describe the benefits of having a Fallout game based in your location. Describe no less than two.
  3. How would your location affect the storyline of the game itself?

Who will be Dividing this subject?

Well, you can't have the Divide without debaters, and here they are:

  • In the Commonwealth corner, we have Scarface11235. I have been awaiting the chance to have Scarface on here. I'm excited to see how this turns out!
  • In the New York corner, we have The Ever Ruler, who was kind enough to agree to appear on the Divide for a second week in a row. Thank you, Ever!

First user's side

Here I am before all of you Nukapedians (can I call you that? Not sure...) to propose an idea, a concept, that hopefully will be more appealing than my adversary's.

Imagine, if you will, a place where technology far beyond our wildest dreams was an everyday matter; where robots with the intelligence of men wandered as slaves to the ingenious, privileged few. Imagine, if you will, an institute. A lonely beacon of dauntingly advanced technology in the sea of the ruined wastes of Massachusetts. Imagine... The Commonwealth.

To those of you who are blissfully unaware of the Commonwealth's existence, let me enlighten you; let me explain what's so special about this place.

The Commonwealth itself is nothing but a war-ravaged quagmire of violence and despair.

— Dr Zimmer, Fallout 3

This, however, is not what would make the game interesting. Indeed, a game centred around a Quagmire better make it about Glenn, or they would have lost my interest instantly. No, the interesting part is what hides in the Commonwealth. The Institute. The Institute is mentioned multiple times through the last two games, and honestly was one of the few things I find genuinely interesting and potentially fascinating with Fallout 3. In Mr. House's obituary it is mentioned as the place he attended for tertiary education, and he later went on to form RobCo. In Fallout 3, the few technologies we see leave the Institute are, honest to Spock, true artificial intelligences, robotic beings far beyond the advancement of technology earlier encountered in the Fallout Universe. Beyond the walls of the Institute, however, it is much like Fallout 3's wasteland - bleak ruins of a fallen world - the Commonwealth being just as cruel a mistress as the Capital Wastes are.

The proceedings in the Institute aren't all fine and dandy either: their androids, artificial intelligences in likeness of humans, are slowly but surely rebelling against the imposed slavery of their creators, more and more of them escaping; enough that there has formed a special branch of the local law enforcement to track them down, the Synth Retention Bureau. As far as the established Fallout games go, though, it is unexplored territory, which makes for excellent grounds for new, local factions to emerge. The only people from or in the Commonwealth that we know of are Dr Li, Dr Zimmer, Harkness and Armitage.

Then it struck me, clear as day: would this not be the ultimate locale - in the Fallout universe, at least - to truly explore an aspect of 1950's American culture that has yet to be thoroughly explored. To boldly go where no gamer has gone before(?)! Seriously, though, the Commonwealth and the current scenario laid before us has the potential to cater to multiple facets of Fallout players, still staying faithful to the lore and style of later games whilst maintaining a very detailed, fully explorable, world map that you can really engross yourself in. How is that, you say? Let me explain! Let us start with the map I'm talking about, shall we?

The games area has, obviously, got to be in the vicinity of MIT, The Institute, which basically heaps urban areas in the style of down town DC over us! The concept of scavenging through a cold, dead city is quite an appealing one, and one which a game in the Commonwealth could truly execute masterfully. If you don't like trekking in urban environs, the area is described to be as the Capital Wasteland, which in itself should sate any wanderlust you might have, and if the amount of bleak post-apocalyptic wasteland can sate your thirst, there is always the Institute, the single most technologically advanced location to be known in the United States. If even this isn't enough for you, sit tight, because if the scenery isn't for you, the story very well might be!

As for the story part, arguably the most important part in any Fallout game, the Commonwealth has an abundance of potential plot-lines that all maintain high levels of moral ambiguity - to great relief for all us old school players. How? Well, the Institute might be the most technologically advanced settlement to exist in post-War US, but it is not without its flaws or problems. The creation of artificial intelligences might be utterly beneficial to the human population in terms of productivity and safety, but is it ethically right to treat them as machinery, when they have the capacity to feel and rationalise? This my friends, is an ultimate backdrop for a more esoteric storyline entailing concepts such as those touched on in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the basis of the Blade Runner movie) and the many works of Isaac Asimov (if you don't know about Asimov, shame on you), incorporating such concepts as the three laws of robotics. Here, as inspiration, is a quote from the father of science fiction himself:

...robots were created and destroyed by their creator. Knowledge has its dangers, yes, but is the response to be a retreat from knowledge? Or is knowledge to be used as itself a barrier to the dangers it brings? With all this in mind I began, in 1940, to write robot stories of my own – but robot stories of a new variety. Never, never, was one of my robots to turn stupidly on his creator for no purpose but to demonstrate, for one more weary time, the crime and punishment of Faust.

— Isaac Asimov

The possibilities are nearby endless for a location such as this, bringing to light both the moral and ethical dilemmas of creating "sentient" beings - and of depriving them of rights - of Faust - as Asimov mentions (in layman's terms, progress without considering the moral and ethical consequences, much like that touched on in OWB) -, of the struggle between the privileged few with boundless technology at their disposal and the thousands on the outside struggling to make a meagre living in the Commonwealth, the look of Americana-culture on science fiction technology (especially such figureheads of sci-fi as Asimov), and so much more. The setting has so much potential, it would be silly to overlook it for much longer.

The chances are, at least how I see it, that Bethesda are planning something with the Commonwealth, as it has been mentioned multiple times in Fallout 3 (even having its own quest!) and even once in Fallout: New Vegas, across the country! The Commonwealth would work amazingly both from an aesthetic standpoint of the great urban environs one could create in a setting such as Boston, but also from a story standpoint, where the ethical and moral dilemmas of the Institute make for amazing moral grey-zones, all in the spirit of Fallout!

This has been Sacrphais, hopefully answering all your questions and queries.

--MadeMan2 "Say 'ello to my little friend!"

Second user's side

XD I saw Asimov on the Science channel this morning! In the show, Prophets of Science Fiction. They pegged Jules Verne as the father of science fiction... but I digress.

As you can tell it is I, the ruler of ever, back from the dead after being killed on the field in last week's Divide. Since my adversary this week, Sacrfais random#s, has chosen the Commonwealth as his prediction for Fallout 4's next location, my options are now limited to going to the bathroom and describing what I can pull out.

I say that because I honestly expect the second most alluded to location, Chicago, (to be covered/used as a plot development) by Obsidian in their next granted title, which I think, feel and hope they recieve, but only think they'll receive after Fallout 4. I feel that way because when Beth. was granted Fallout 3 and two direct sequels, I entertained the idea that they might actually build up on something from Fallout 3, which based itself on the East Coast, which is decently away from the Midwest... but again, I digress.

For the location that I feel would best deliver a compelling game in Fallout 4, is none other than the Big Apple itself, New York City.

Now, I've heard that Beth. renounced this as a possibility, but I couldn't find anything of that nature when I searched for it, so if anyone finds something on par with that possibility, I ask that they, as nicely as they can, bring it to mine and everyone else's attention for the betterment of coming to a consensus.

New York City places itself in in the heart of the East Coast, Bethesda's locale of choice when it came to picking DC as the location for Fallout 3. What does NYC have in common with DC? Well in the case of Fallout, it is located in the same Megalopolis, or continual urban sprawl from Baltimore to Boston, as DC.]

http://geography.about.com/od/geographyglossarym/g/ggmegalopolis.htm

Also, NYC carries on the theme of Fallout using iconic structures in their environment to further set the mood of a post-apocalypse. These structures in NYC include, but are not limited to; The Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Wall Street, Grand Central Station, Central Park and the Empire State Building. If you ask me, NYC is the holy grail of iconic americana structures and historic monuments, perfect for the game setting.

As for factions, this is where the debate is probably gonna explode in flames...

Now, execute me at the stake, but I think that the CW. BoS is gonna make a comback. As insanely unrealistic their doctrine might have been, their being a primary focus in the events of Fallout 3 point to Bethesda re-using them in their (hopefully) planned sequels. I suspect that they'd continue their trek North as power armored units don't fare so well in swamp conditions, according to the Yangzte Campaign and assuming the South's terrain is consistantly like Point Lookout, as well as to carry on their equally insane notion of saving masses of people from decrepid urban ruins populated by hostile entities for territory that is completely un-salvagable beyond recycling rebar and various debris. All in the name of being an entertaining stepping stone for part one of Bethesda's two direct sequels where Fallout 5 will be based around the Commonwealth.

As for their adversary in this one? The Encl- pfft A ha ha ha ha! Sorry, couldn't resist... no, I think anything from domestic wastelandic groups, Commonwealth entities, Pitt raiders, or even the ambiguous Ronto. From my gut, my money's on Ronto, and from a weird feeling in the back of my mind... the Enclave might make a resurgance, whether for real, or in sparse mentionings of them regrouping elsewhere.

Now, my crazy Pitt becomming the CW's Bos's infrastructure due to old relationships between Ashur and Lyons or another BoS member idea will be put aside in the interest of preserving my life for the foreseeable future. Does this mean that Bethesda wouldn't consider something as unlikely? No, which is the whole point of this personal rant. As far as realism goes, anything goes. In the end, it will boil down to our individual willingness to suspend our disbelief of illogical developments so that we are entertained, and power armored indivudals armed with energy weapons marching into the streets of NYC exchanging fire with another militant group of some sort still sounds pretty entertaining to me despite the fury of some of our more skeptical users.

As for the story? No clue. Maybe a skirmish over the area for some resource... the people... or just as a strategic point are my best guesses, although I wouldn't be surprised if it was a campaign by the BoS to reach the Institute for technology. As for possible DLC, Jersey (if it's not included), Niagra Falls and any number of surrounding areas.

So that's my spiel, sorry about jumping around with my addressment of the issues... again... but yeah, that was I, Tango Echo Romeo sounding off.

Conclusion

So...you've heard it, Nukapedians. With whom do you agree?

Also, let me just add that the purpose of this blog is for you, the reader, to suspend all knowledge of the topic at hand. Think of it this way: if you knew nothing of House before coming in here, what would you think after reading these debates? That's what your vote should be based on.

Remember that if you have any poll ideas or suggestions to improve this blog and/or make it more user-friendly, please feel free to leave a message on my talk page.

  1. The logo that you see at the top of the page was made by DragonBorn96.

Poll

Commonwealth or New York?

  • 56% 36 votes
  • 20% 13 votes
  • 23% 15 votes
64 people voted
Thanks!

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