So previously I asked what do you boys and girls thought Emil Pagliarulo meant when he gave this reply to 1Up:
1UP: You’ve mentioned that the game will have multiple endings, perhaps as many as a dozen. Without giving away any spoilers, can you explain the sorts of things that will affect which ending the player reaches? For example, will conversations affect the outcome of the game, or is it primarily larger-scale, world-shaking actions?
EP: We went back and forth with the impact of dialogue on the character, and ultimately decided we didn’t want to penalize or reward the player for carrying on a conversation. What you say and how you say it will certainly affect how NPCs react to you, and whether or not they’ll give you quests, but not the ending of the game. [That] really depends on some of the big decisions you make during the course of the game, as well as your karma. And your karma changes based on your actions.So [if] you destroy Megaton [a city built around a supposedly inert atomic bomb], your karma plummets, so that will certainly affect the ending. But there are other moments too, key moments during the game, that greatly determine which ending you get.
I got less answers than usual, here are the two most interesting ones, from readers of the blog:
Of course dialog alone doesn’t influence anything, but a combination of what you say, to whom and the resulting action combine to make the difference- its like that in any rpg with choices.
And this one:
What it means to me is that there will be some quests and options that will depend on your dialogue choices, but not the ‘main quest’ ones, which will always be available. They don’t want to lock anyone out of the main quest, in other words. Furthermore, depending on how you accomplish these subquests, presumably by doing either moral good or bad actions (thus the karma), the main quest will branch toward the different endings at specific points in the quest. It does mean there’s less choice and consequence in dialogue when it comes to the main quest, unfortunately…
Thanks for your help, I think the first quote is closer to what Emil meant, but the second is something we should watch out to see if it happens.