Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas ditch the Karma

Still trying to wrap my head around some of the new features of Fallout: New Vegas in particular Karma and Reputation. In Fallout 3 it was simply Karma - do bad things and you're declared Evil, do good things and be declared a Saint. It was just a bit too simplistic at times, but mostly it worked.

Fallout: NV introduces (or returns to be exact) the notion of reputation. Each settlement or grouping has its own opinion of you; help the town of Goodsprings against the Powder Gangers and you'll be well-regarded by the town and hated by the Gangers and vice versa. This is pretty darn good and allows a greater depth to play... except it also keeps the Karma level.

So help out the town of Goodsprings and then surreptitiously steal a few things from them and your Karma will go down but if you're not spotted your reputation will remain intact. However help Goodsprings and steal from the Powder Gangers and your karma will still go down - que? It seems that the game regards stealing as wrong even if you're doing so to the 'bad' guys.

Okay  I can vaguely see that, except for how the game treats the dead. Kill one of the Gangers and you can happily loot his corpse for no penalty (and possibly a karma gain as he's a baddie) but you can't touch his strongbox without a penalty because that would be stealing.

Now I could understand that being spotted stealing would lower your reputation with that party, but if a) you're not spotted or b) your reputation with them is as low as it can get why should that affect my interactions with others; can they just sense I'm 'evil'?

Sure tie the factions together in a loose web so that if I help the Powder Ganagers I lose reputation from both Goodsprings and the New California Republic and set it so that helping the NCR doesn't increase my reputation with Goodsprings (as they don't care) and decreases my rep with the Gangers, but just ditch this Karma system - it's just pointless.


Jaguar 10 said...

Totally agree with you about the weird stuff in New Vegas. Just got finished sending a rant to the Bethesda forum and got slammed by the gamers there. They must all be 16 year old pinheads because they love the game. I'm a mature gamer and I was totally disappointed with it. Big letdown after Fallout 3. I can't stand the crafting, don't understand the card game, hate the guns, hate the slow-working food, I can't steal anything or my karma goes down. And I ran into the same quest failed thing with Eddie. Not fun at all.

FlipC said...

Must admit I've returned to Fallout 3. I looked at the crafting, tried to look at the card game caravan and thought - "yeah I'll get back to that".

I think they've tried to shoehorn in too much to prove it's a whole new game and not an add-on. I don't think I'd have minding the crafting too much if they were separate quests - help this person and they show you how to use a campfire/workbench/reloading bench. The latter two just are, and the first is skippable if you don't follow whatshername at the beginning.

It just didn't feel right.