Fallout 3: Better To Be Honest

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Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff (photo Bethblog

Busy day at the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum, let’s start with this topic, with aftrburn stating this:

[…]it’s not going to be the same game you played 10 years ago. If people are only hoping for that and nothing else, they’ll probably be disappointed.”
These statements are divisive and potentially alienating. If I were trying to bolster confidence and move a fan base these are not things I would be saying.

Community Manager Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff replied:

Well, I figure it’s better to be honest than to sugar-coat my response with a guarantee that it’s a game every Fallout fan will love. I merely stated that if a fan is expecting the exact same gameplay experience that Fallout 1 and 2 offered, they’d be disappointed. I’d venture to guess there will be plenty of Fallout fans that end up enjoying Fallout 3.[…]

ll I can say is that the devs do read the forums — so they can take any input/suggestions/ideas into consideration — that’s no different than how we’d approach any other title we’re working on. Given that the devs aren’t allowed to discuss game specifics within the forums, there’s not too much that we can deliver in terms of responding to fan input. That said, I’ve done my best to pass along feedback on gameplay.

Then the discussion continued:

grayx: what part, section, slice of fallout fans will like this new Beth’s game? 90%, 55%, 21%, 5% of total old fan base [all sequels included]?

Gstaff: Aren’t I at HQ too? Sorry, I don’t have a mathematical formula for getting a percentage.

grayx: What does it means “some fans will not like this game”? In what sense?

Gstaff: As I phrased it, if there’s a fan that wants the same gameplay experience that was delivered 10 years, they’d probably be disappointed. You’ve already seen screenshots of the game and read the previews, so I assume you realize it’s a different game (real time combat, camera perspective, and so on). If the information released already has you in an uproar…well, there’s a chance you’re not going to like it.

HeyYou: Some interaction between the devs, and the fans, could only be a good thing? One of the major complaints on the forum is a lack of information.

Gstaff: We did run a fan interview (and will probably do another one) where fans got to ask 20+ questions about the game, so I don’t think it’s fair to say we haven’t shared information with the fans.
As far as talking about specifics of Fallout 3 in the forums, the policy is what it is. We’re not getting into that at this time…sorry.

Ralod: To be fair, most of the “questions” were softball ones we already knew the answers to. And the ones that were not were not really answered, or were answered as “Not ready to answer that yet”. Not really a Fan interview[…]

Gstaff: The policy is the same as it’s been with any of our games. We’re simply getting into detailed discussions about the ins and outs of the game right now. I understand you’re anxious to have more information, but it’s just not something that’s going to be happen in the forums right now.

Ralod: Hmm, thats not quite true. I seem to remember quite a bit of interaction with Devs while Morrowind was in production.

Gstaff: I stand corrected. It’s the company policy that had been in place for several years then.

I had to edit quite a lot, so take a look for yourselves and tell me what do you think.

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9 thoughts on “Fallout 3: Better To Be Honest

  1. wouldn’t it be easier to just ban all the people bitching? it’s not like the bloggers or podcasters would give a shit. They’ve all latched onto the “anyone who criticizes fallout 3 design decisions is an irrational fanboy from NMA” mantra…

    save us all the trouble.

  2. I have to say, I feel bad for Gstaff in a way – I’ve been intentionally avoiding a lot (but not all, heh) of the Fallout 3 previews just because I don’t want to predispose myself to an opinion on the game until it’s much closer to launch. But it seems like there are a handful of people who’d rather just prove that Beth can do no right and will jump on any reason to do so. There seems to be a lot of things worth raising a stink about in Fallout 3 (from what I’ve read, the limited scope of the game is top on my list with lack of turn-based combat coming in second) but jeeze it feels like a complete no-win scenario sometimes with the lions sensing weakness and jumping on it as soon as they can.

  3. you don’t think the fundamental criticism that calling it Fallout _3_ when it’s actually a reboot/’re-imagining’ of the franchise in Deus Ex styling is fair? The no-win situation was created by BethSoft.

    this should be as awesome as the new psycho.

    oh wait.

  4. I don’t see your point, Jason Mical. If something stinks, what’s the problem with people jumping on it and saying “hey, this stinks!”

    That’s pretty much what the internet was invented for.

  5. From Meebo:

    ItsJetJaguar: at Brother None — the point of the internet is for people to say everything stinks, whether it actually does or not.

    I would add that it’s also to praise frantically everything even if it sucks 🙂

  6. Yes, JetJaguar is correct.

    However, I never like the way that fact is applied. The fact that the internet is not a place that’s full of reasonable people or reasoned arguments doesn’t mean all of the internet can be discounted by definition. That’s a kind of false transative reasoning that people love to apply to NMA, “fanboys tend to be irrational, hence NMA can be ignored.”

    It’s like people are afraid to make the mental effort to judge each argument we make for their own weight. Hell, we disagree amongst ourselves about elements of Fallout and Fallout 3, what is it that scares people about doing the same? Not discount everything or accept everything, but thanks.

    And yes, the internet is for porn

  7. BrotherNone: Absolutely if something stinks people should say it stinks. I just try not to form opinions about things until me or someone else has had more firsthand experience with them. Part of this comes from me being in PR – I know how much bullshit is on the PR side of the fence, and I’ve been burned by hype before. Black & White, Bioshock just to name a couple of video game examples. At the same time, I try to avoid the opposite ‘negative hype’ as well until people whose opinion I trust actually have the game or product in their hands and can offer opinions on it.

    Part of me really really really really wants Fallout 3 to be good, and sadly I may be wiling to overlook a lot of faults so I can enjoy it. like I did with Land of the Dead. 😦 I certainly don’t expect anyone else to do that, I just know I’ll probably end up doing it.

  8. I hate the term anti-hype or negative hype, and it is very consciously not what NMA is doing, it’s something the BethSoft forumites came up with in an attempt to discredit us.

    We’re about information first and getting a Fallout fan perspective second. Getting a Fallout fan perspective will mean – for this game – that there’s a lot to complain about. And that perspective from NMA is useful for people with the same perspective, but it’s not like we expect people with a different perspective to care.

    Avoiding PR/media wholesale is probably the best approach, true.

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