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Thread: Exploration vs. main plot: how did you do it?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    Exploration vs. main plot: how did you do it?

    I'm currently 3-4 days into Fallout 3 and (after an initial feeling of déjà Oblivion) I'm enjoying the game a lot. I don't know, though, whether I should follow the main plot or wander off into the wastelands to explore and mop up side quests. I took a break from the Galaxy Radio quest in order to shoot me some fire ants, and right now I'm wandering westwards from Arefu to check out the points of interest.

    How did you play the game: did you follow the main plot, did you pretty much forget about it and go off exploring, or did you mix the two? Which did you enjoy most: freeform exploration or following the "Dude, where's my dad?" storyline?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    Mainly I mixed the two, focussing more on the exploration and side quests, rather than the main story. This was because, at the time, Broken Steel hadn't been released and I knew that once you completed the main story that was that.

    I recently played it again with Broken Steel installed and progressed quite a way through the main story fairly quickly and did the side quests as and when I came across them.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Mu
    First time I played it I started out by stepping out of the vault door, going "Ooh, shiny!", and immediately forgetting about the main quest. I wandered off to the west and accidentally skipped over the first half of the main quest by exploring the wrong place. Oops.

    After replaying a number of times, the way I approach the game now depends entirely on the character that I've made. For a character that uses energy weapons I speed through the main quest until The Enclave shows up, then switch to exploring for a good long time. For stealthy characters I work on getting negative Karma at first so I can "obtain" one of those lightweight Regulator dusters, and then start the main quest. And so on.

    I've been thinking of doing a run where I completely ignore the main quest, which is what I started to do the first time.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Enjoy the wandering while you can, cus after you solve the main plot you'll realize really fast how pointless wandering around is then.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Does the wandering reward you with lots of little side quests, or do you mostly find little points of interest without NPCs? Most of the exploration I did yesterday just led me to abandoned places (atmospheric in their own right, but not quite enough to keep me going in the long run) and Raiders settlements.

  6. #6
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Mix of both. Check it.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Thanks. I don't need all of the places I explore to hold a plethora of subquests, but I'd get somewhat frustrated if all I found was stashes and Raiders.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    Mix of both. Check it.
    Is that link busted, or is it just Chrome choking again?


    Anyway, I started off heading towards the main plot, but the world is much, much more interesting to me. I am currently level 24, and just recently finished Scientific Pursuits, did the B/W simulation, and met dear ol' dad back @ Rivet City.

  9. #9
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Drowning in my Steam Library
    It's busted.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    It looks like it got censored.

  11. #11
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Just replace the stars with a period, an s, a w, and an f, in that order. Apparently typing it out gets it filtered.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    On the topic of exploring in Fallout 3: the metro stations are giving me slight Oblivion flashbacks...

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Oh it's not just the metros.

    It's a Bethesda game. Expect copy and paste, weak writing along with the good.

  14. #14
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Having put something like 150 hours into this game across 2 sessions, I haven't seen much outright copy+paste outside of the metros, which are themselves justified by dint of being subway stations. Most of the sameyness comes from the same goddamn textures used over and over.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    I am supposed to meet dear ol' dad @ Project Purity, but I went to Roosevelt Academy, a few radar arrays (including one that allowed me to unleash a goddamn laser guided Nuclear strike from a satellite )




    Also the power station in the NW (great loot) and I just hit Raven Rock. No idea what's going on there yet, but I assume it is what these family members' audio logs with a number revealed in each has something to do with it.

  16. #16
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Once you have all five (they're out there somewhere) go to the National Guard Armory at the north edge of DC (east of Friendship Station.)

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    Once you have all five (they're out there somewhere) go to the National Guard Armory at the north edge of DC (east of Friendship Station.)
    I have 3 so far. Was just guessing as to the location where they came into play. Thanks.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Mu
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    Having put something like 150 hours into this game across 2 sessions, I haven't seen much outright copy+paste outside of the metros, which are themselves justified by dint of being subway stations. Most of the sameyness comes from the same goddamn textures used over and over.
    There's plenty of copy/paste. The store near Tenpenny Tower is almost identical to the one near Seneca Station. The shelves of goodies at raider outposts are often identical. The medical room in Taft Tunnel is identical to the Plunger Room of Doom except for the plungers. And so on.

  19. #19
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Maybe I'm too busy enjoying the game but I really have not noticed that much. I mean, come on, shelves? That's a bit nitpicky, don't you think?

    So there's a bit of reused architecture- so what? It's not noticeable unless you're actively looking for it. It's not like Oblivion where naturally-forming caves all looked alike.

  20. #20
    When it comes to the repetitive textures, I suspect that Fallout 3(Like the first Mass Effect) suffered from trying to fit the entire game onto a single disc.

    I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt by saying its due to the fallout art style, but that would be giving Bethesda too much credit.

  21. #21
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Yeah I really wish there had been more variety in the texture usage. Maybe New Vegas will be different.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    dethtoll, aren't you being needlessly defensive of the game? People are just saying that there's a fair amount of cut and paste - they're not saying that it's at the same level as Oblivion and that the game sucks festering donkey dicks for it. Noticing something != saying the game's crap because of it.

    Anyway... I've just guided the scientists to the Citadel. On the way I was shot in the head and decided to use the last stimpak to de-cripple my numb skull. I did feel a bit bad about dooming that one guy from Rivet City with the bad heart, but I'm afraid that big entry wound in my forehead needed immediate attention.

  23. #23
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Nobody's denying there's any copy and paste- the identical grocery markets are but one example, but complaining that shelves all look alike is going rather far into inanity IMO.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Well, let's face it - all those Raiders are regulars at the local post-apocalyptic IKEA. The only things left standing after a nuclear war? Cockroaches... and BILLY shelves.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    They did a good job with making the outdoors look inconsistent.

    It's the indoors - the markets, the offices, the houses, etc. etc. They've got more variations this time I'll give them that (rather than just oblivion's caves and ruins), but it's still repetitive. After 30 hours you've got a pretty good idea of what's in these places - a lot of the same props, the same desks, lockers, shelves, toolsheds. I learned to steer clear of them real fast unless I'm ingredient-hunting.

    The vaults are the same way but the difference is they're marque and therefore got some actual narrative bites to them.

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