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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    So, technically this is the second Outer Worlds thread on the forum. But, as the last post was late 2018, we need a new thread to avoid thread necromancy. Link to Thread 1.

    Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that there's been no Outer Worlds thread has surfaced since the release of Obsidian's newest blockbuster RPG date five days ago. There is, after all, a not-inconsiderable number of fans of New Vegas, KOTOR, Tyranny, Pillars of Eternity, and so forth. Then again, my every waking moment in the past five days has been Outer Worlds, so maybe that's not too unusual.

    So! Discussions, plots, questions! This game deserves its own thread. What do you like, dislike, loathe, are ambivalent about?

    Be warned; I am a rabid New Vegas fan, and my love for New Vegas has definitely affected how I feel about Outer Worlds.

    Spoiler: Character Creation and Advancement
    Show
    I'm just going to come out and say this: I love Outer World's character creation options, and think it's one of the best I've come across. It's simple and intuitive, yet still allows for a high degree of depth, customization, and variety.

    I especially like how they've handled the skill system. You have seven major categories for skills, each with two or three subdivisions. When you put a point into a category, it will level up all the skills in that category up to a maximum of 50, at which point you need to put skill points directly into those subdivisions. This means that early game, it's easy to spread your skill points out into a good build, and it's hard to go wrong. In addition, having different bonuses associated with your level of skill--eg, unlocking selling items to vending machines at Hack 20--means that you actually have a good reason to pursue those skills besides just the incidental benefits.

    With that said, I do have some minor nitpicks and issues with the skills, but those are mostly just to taste. Namely:
    • Ranged weapons are skewed heavily in favor of Long Guns. In addition to being perhaps the most versatile category--encompassing shotguns, assault rifles, plasma carbines/rifles, and sniper rifles--Long Guns also have a higher critical hit rate and crit damage than either Heavy weapons or handguns. Pair that with the number of perks that are triggered by crtiical hits, and you start to see why Long Guns stands head-and-shoulders above other ranged weapons.
    • Engineering and Science have a weird relationship when it comes to the perks you can earn from high levels of skill. Science gives you perks towards plasma, shock, N-rays, science weapons, all those fun mad scientist tools. Engineering, on the other hand, is about your ability to repair and break down things, with perks that give bonuses when fixing weapons. I find it odd, then, that Tinkering--that is to say, the ability to spend money at a workbench to upgrade your weapons--is locked behind Science. It strikes me that that kind of weapon upgrade would, you know, fall under the skill that encompasses building better weapons. If it were me, I'd want to compress some of the perks in Engineering so you can fit in the tinkering perks under that tree, and then figure out some new Sciencey benefits for the Science tree.


    That brings us to the perks. …Hooboy, the perks. I have.. Well, I'm just gonna come out and say it, these perks suck. They're boring and lifeless, with basically no personality behind them, and with a strange sense of balance to them. For instance, you have the S-rank perks like doubling armor skill bonuses and having every shot after you kill someone being a critical… and then you have, in the same tier, things like -15% damage from splash damage or +100KG carry weight. You can put together a build, certainly, and I appreciate that there are options for both players with and without companions, but it still feels kind of lackluster.


    Spoiler: Tone and Themes
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    My goodness, but this is a bleak game. So were the original Fallouts, admittedly, but the bleakness of this game is made all the worse because of its source.
    See, the world of Fallout is an apocalypse brought about by bombs. With no one living on whom to finger the blame for the end of the world, the game is free to move on, to determine what societies grow out of the Apocalypse, and what happens when they meet.

    By comparison, the Outer Worlds is a world ruled by a series of megacorporations. And hooboy, does Obsidian not hold back anything at all when they delve into the satire of capitalism. "Capitalism is evil," they shout from the rooftops, "and if you don't believe that big-business, laissez-faire, deregulated, monopolistic commerce isn't a bad idea, wait until you see the first area of the game."

    Here, have an entire town that's under the monopolistic thumb of Spacer's Choice; the land, factory, power, supplies, and even the people are all owned by the company.
    • Everything is dilapidated, falling to pieces because it's more profitable for the corporation to let things fall apart than it is to make it a success.
    • Here, have a message from the Board telling a factory manager that yes, he's running the only profitable operation in town, and the Board has considered how to make it more profitable, and they've decided to take out a hefty insurance policy on the factory. Don't worry, this is standard corporate policy. Standard corporate policy also forbids him from even thinking about whether there might be an ulterior motive to this, and on an incidental note, they're also replacing half of the factory staff with killer robots. (And, incidentally, on another terminal in the same factory, have a secretary reporting gunfire, the robots are going haywire, they're panicked out of their mind, but are still brainwashed enough to ask that the corporation deduct their pay for being absent from their post.)
    • This is a town where suicide is considered "irreparable damage to company property," and something which means that the entire town has to pay the body price of anything that person might have created in the rest of their life.
    • This is a town where people routinely die and everyone whispers about the plague that's going through town, because the corporations have decided to reserve medicine only to the most profitable and hardest-working serfs around, as it's better for their bottom line to just let people die than it is for them to keep their people alive. Oh, and plague is viewed as a moral failing--work strengthens the spirit, the church claims, and vice versa, so if you're sick, it's entirely your own fault for not working hard enough before.
    • Here is a town where a guard whose life you just saved frets that you aren't a Spacer's Choice approved medic, and he'll have his salary docked because of it.
    • Here, have the central religion of the Board-approved towns--it's basically determinism, and the entire point is that people should stay where they're put, and be happy doing the work they've been assigned.
    • Here is a town where the central conflict revolves around whether it's better to doom an entire town full of innocent corporate slaves to slow starvation so that free deserters can survive, or whether that fledgeling town of free deserters should be forced back to their corporate drudgery so the town as a whole doesn't lose what little corporate support they receive.


    Actually, that question pops up a lot over the course of the game--what is the best way to interact with a corporation that holds nearly all of the cards? If you don't give them what they want, the best case is they cut off your food and medicine, and the worst case is they storm in with their armada of Defensive League warships. The independent station Groundbreaker does its best to keep the Board at arms length, but recognizes that if they become too unprofitable a port of call, the Board can fly in their own first-in-last-out port and put the Groundbreaker out of business. Sanjar, of Monarch Space Industries, has decided that the best way to interact with the Board is to join them, and at least have a say in how things are run. The Iconoclasts have decided to withdraw entirely, and just form their own little commune in the hills. You meet characters that are pirates, not out of necessity, but because they feel like they need, in some small way, to strike back at the Board while knowing they can never truly hurt them.

    That, I feel, is the main reason this game feels so bloody bleak. In the Fallout series, the apocalypse happened a hundred years before you were born; it's over, done with, and all you can do is live with the consequences and try to rebuild. In the Outer Worlds, though, it's an ongoing apocalypse, caused by human greed. And somehow, you feel just as powerless to stop it. It feels like fighting and winning a series of small battles, but knowing that in the end, you're going to lose the war.

    Keep in mind, I'm only about 25 hours into the game, so I'm not fully informed on the rest of the game. Still, that's 25 hours without real hope of effecting meaningful change, which is a bit of a drain on the spirits.


    Spoiler: Gameplay in general
    Show
    So, let's talk about how the game actually plays.

    I like the gunplay in this game. It's not quite to the level of visceral, quasi-orgasmic satisfaction you'd get from Doom or Borderlands, but it's still quite good. Certainly better than anything a Fallout game in the past decade has provided.

    The addition of Tactical Time Dilation is what VATS should have been. It's fluid, natural, and certainly more fun than letting the game roll dice on your behalf.

    You know what I didn't expect to find in my Totally-Not-Fallout? Is an actually decent little stealth minigame. If you really wanted to, you could Dishonored your way around the map, sticking to the long grass and only engaging as needed.

    I will admit, though, that most of the satisfaction of stealthing around is ruined because the game's detection AI is so piss-poor awful. If they're not looking directly at you and you're not within thirty-ish feet, they're never going to notice you. Even after you start shooting, it generally takes two or three shots for them to figure out, "oh hey, there's a douchebag over there with a sniper rifle, let's go get them."

    Stealth in a city is even more laughable. The NPCs have the same stealth detection problem. If they're not looking directly at you, they won't notice anything. And even if they notice, you can usually get out of jail free with a very easy speech check. I remember one time on the Groundbreaker, I saw a weapons vendor had a shelf of displayed weapons. I walked up, in broad daylight, stole everything, passed a speech check, and then sold back the weapons to the same vendor. That right there is some Grade A Bethesda-Dumb AI.

    That does bring us to an unfortunate truth of the game, which is that looting in this game is largely pointless. Most of the weapons are vendor-trash, and most of the loot to be found in containers is either six dozen carbon copies of the same five medical items, literal vendor-trash--as in, in the shop menu there's an entire tab that's just labeled "Junk," with a "sell all junk" button--and ammo that you'll never run out of. There are some rare exceptions to this rule, but at this point I've almost stopped looting entirely. I do it habitually, but don't go out of my way to find things. Kind of makes me sad, really.

    Then again, this is not, and never has been, a looter shooter. Having an adequate loot system is good enough, so long as the writing is good enough. And I'm glad to say, it's fantastic. (With some rare exceptions, Felix.) Definitely worth both the wait and the money I paid. So long as the writing is good, I can forgive a myriad of small gameplay sins, and this is exactly that.


    Definitely looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Last edited by Balmas; 2019-10-29 at 01:27 PM.
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Don't have a bunch of time right now to do a full reply (and I may wait for a merging of threads since I have a couple of extensive posts in the Fallout thread already), but there is one thing I'd like to agree with: the Stealth detection.

    This is all kinds of janky. I've had enemies notice me from a mile away and I don't understand why. I've also had a very loud firefight on the ground floor of an area, then walk up some stairs (all of this is open and outdoors with clear lines of sight) and there's a dude stood there oblivious to the fact that I just RAN up behind him. And I'm not a stealth build either - my stealth is in the 30s-40s and I'm wearing heavy armor. This guy managed to ignore me, my companions, and a couple of NPCs having an all out firefight with a mech that was jumping around with a jetpack.

    In terms of game progress, I'm currently about halfway through Monarch.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Spoiler: concerning looting
    Show
    While yes, in the early game, you're mostly looting junk, ammo, chems (although the stimpacks are useful if you are on a higher difficulty), weapons you'll either sell or break down, and weapon/armor components... later on you also start looting weapon/armor mods. Which, since once you add a mod to gear you can never get it back... is actually quite handy and, other than the odd 'unique' or 'named' piece of gear or that upgrade I was hoping for that the shop didn't have, is probably the most valuable from a player perspective.


    I cannot gush enough about the social interaction in this game. Like, seriously. It was theoretically possible to do a Pacifist Run in New Vegas... it is probably also theoretically possible to do so here, to resolve all conflicts... if not strictly diplomatically, then at least through judicious use of bribery, extortion, and other means of non-diplomatic persuasion.

    Spoiler: continuing to gush about social interaction
    Show
    And the biggest thing... your character's choices and actions have meaningful consequences. You comment about where you came from, people start talking about 'some nut talking about [where you came from]'. You walk up in Marauder armor, people act like you're a marauder and mostly respond with fear or apprehension. You show up in Company gear in a non-company location, people are gonna NOT talk to you about non-company options because they assume you work for the Company. As in dialogue options aren't going to be available in certain gear that would be available otherwise.

    If you make a decision about who to support, x or y, on a given decision. That decision is going to have long-term consequences for the rest of the game. Entire cities or regions could change faction control, which has lasting game consequences, and WILL color your interactions with interested parties later on down the line.
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    All hail great Shneekeythulhu! Ia Ia Shneeky fthagn
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    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    I downloaded the game last night when I resubscribed to gamepass. Only got maybe 20-30 min of playtime in, but what I've tried so far seems promising. I do have to echo that this is not a looter shooter, though. I also found the initial enemies a little bullet sponge-y, but that might be because I've mostly been playing Destiny 2 and Warframe of late, so I'm used to a headshot being a 1-2 shot kill. The staus effects from TTD are interesting, though.

    It might also help to be using something more impressive than the basic pistol, but like I said, I didn't play for long, and I tend to play slowly through these things.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    that might be because I've mostly been playing Destiny 2 and Warframe of late, so I'm used to a headshot being a 1-2 shot kill. The staus effects from TTD are interesting, though.

    It might also help to be using something more impressive than the basic pistol, but like I said, I didn't play for long, and I tend to play slowly through these things.
    Yeah, your main issue there is the pistol. If you want one headshot to actually kill an enemy you need a decent amount of damage--and note that's damage per SHOT you're looking for, not damage per second. IIRC the basic pistol is listed as 100DPS, but its fairly fast rate of fire and quick reload means the actual damager per *shot* is only 20--that isn't going to one-hit anything even on a stealth crit.

    Get yourself something like a hunting rifle, whose damage per shot is 66 and with generally higher crit damage, and it's totally possible to one-hit an enemy with a headshot.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    I picked it up yesterday (the very last copy at my local Gamestop) and I'm loving it so far. But I am not very deep in; just hit level 3 last night before bed. Hoping to get a little further in tonight. I'm doing my standard Fallout build, mostly pistols, science and diplomacy.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    So far I feel OW is a decent space western but I feel the writing is ... off? Am I the only one that sees the obvious direction the writers want to push the player?

    Once I've accepted that "sub average" intelligence does not mean caveman speak, I am really coming to terms with my dumb brute. A major problem imho is the quite obvious choice that the writers made when they wrote the deserters vs. spacer's choice conflict.

    In a direct comparison to New Vegas and the conflict between the Legion (evil slavers who have a point because technology doomed the planet to an apocalypse) and NRC (goody twoshoes guys who are actually more totalitarian than they'd admit), the conflict as written just falls flat. Sure, Emerald Vale has its fair share of company driven problems, but there are upsides to being securely equipped by an offworld trading corporation. It's just these qualities are hidden in speech checks and not immediately obvious. Similarily the deserters are not perfectly good. Their leader just wants revenge and uses it on the backs of the people but immediately obvious is just "deserters good, company evil".

    I don't even know Balmas' (spoilered) factoids yet but it feels like the narrator made the choice for you. And this in a game where player choice should matter is incredibly irritating to me. Compare it to another guided choice in a game made by a company who Obsidian threw incredible shade on. Skyrim's civil war. Or more specific the first choice of going with the rebel or the Imperial. It seems obvious to go with the guy that rebels against the system that wanted you killed for crossing the border. But through subtle hints it is shown that maybe imperial power is better for Skyrim than an uprising against the oppressors because it equips the empire better to resist the Thalmor. It is a similar situation but see that the narrator does not "guide" your choice more than through the prologue.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    I like the Spacer's Choice vs Deserters dilemma quite a lot, particularly given all the hidden information you can dig up about both sides, and that there's actually a THIRD option you can choose, you just have to work for it.

    Spoiler
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    You can re-route power to Edgewater...but force Reed Tobson out and install Adelaide as the new leader of the community.

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    JadedDM's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Something I was curious about and haven't tried out myself--someone earlier mentioned that NPCs react to what you are wearing. Do enemies? If I dress as a Marauder, will other Marauders leave me alone, or are they hostile no matter what?

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    Something I was curious about and haven't tried out myself--someone earlier mentioned that NPCs react to what you are wearing. Do enemies? If I dress as a Marauder, will other Marauders leave me alone, or are they hostile no matter what?
    Marauders are hostile no matter what, as far as I can tell. I wore Marauder gear for a while early in the game until I got better stuff and didn't notice any combat effects.

    I did get a really cool Reputation effect though. A guard started to angrily snap at me, and then recognized who I was. A dialogue choice later (not a Speech check, just a choice) and he agreed to stand his men down and let me handle it because I'm so reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    So far I feel OW is a decent space western but I feel the writing is ... off? Am I the only one that sees the obvious direction the writers want to push the player?

    Once I've accepted that "sub average" intelligence does not mean caveman speak, I am really coming to terms with my dumb brute. A major problem imho is the quite obvious choice that the writers made when they wrote the deserters vs. spacer's choice conflict.

    In a direct comparison to New Vegas and the conflict between the Legion (evil slavers who have a point because technology doomed the planet to an apocalypse) and NRC (goody twoshoes guys who are actually more totalitarian than they'd admit), the conflict as written just falls flat. Sure, Emerald Vale has its fair share of company driven problems, but there are upsides to being securely equipped by an offworld trading corporation. It's just these qualities are hidden in speech checks and not immediately obvious. Similarily the deserters are not perfectly good. Their leader just wants revenge and uses it on the backs of the people but immediately obvious is just "deserters good, company evil".

    I don't even know Balmas' (spoilered) factoids yet but it feels like the narrator made the choice for you. And this in a game where player choice should matter is incredibly irritating to me. Compare it to another guided choice in a game made by a company who Obsidian threw incredible shade on. Skyrim's civil war. Or more specific the first choice of going with the rebel or the Imperial. It seems obvious to go with the guy that rebels against the system that wanted you killed for crossing the border. But through subtle hints it is shown that maybe imperial power is better for Skyrim than an uprising against the oppressors because it equips the empire better to resist the Thalmor. It is a similar situation but see that the narrator does not "guide" your choice more than through the prologue.
    Spoiler: On further consideration, I'll spoiler this. Emerald Vale stuff.
    Show
    The Emerald Vale choice is more about quantity vs quality. The company is evil, but the people working for it at the lower levels are not. As such, both sides have their merits.

    The Deserters are proposing the better way of life. Live off the land, and cut ties from the corporation that is literally killing their own workers in order to get a profit.

    The Company provides security. It provides jobs for the people, homes for them to live in, and protection from the Marauders. What's more, the Deserters simply aren't equipped to take in that many people.

    So: Do you support the better way of life of the Deserters, knowing that it will harm the much larger population of the town? On one side, you're condemning the Deserters to a life of slavery by forcing them to move back. On the other side, you're effectively murdering a reasonable chunk of the town when they are forced to venture outside the walls and cannot be supported by the Deserters. But the ones who do survive will ultimately have a better life.

    I liked the choice, especially since the leader was pointed out to not be as holy as she claims. It wasn't an easy decision, and I'm still not sure I made the right one. I've really been digging the story on Monarch as well.



    On enemies being bullet spongey: Wait until you get a proper sniper rifle, that's all I can say. With the Perk that gives bonus to VATS TTD time from a kill, I can wipe out an entire Marauder camp while time is stopped. I've also killed a Mantiqueen before it could get an attack off - took about 5-6 shots. And that's without using a Plasma weapon.

    It's possible that I'm just overleveled for Monarch, but right now the combat is super easy. Even the monsters die in a couple shots and it's rare for my companions to be able to contribute.
    Last edited by Rodin; 2019-10-29 at 07:55 PM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Spoiler
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    You can re-route power to Edgewater...but force Reed Tobson out and install Adelaide as the new leader of the community.
    Spoiler
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    That is legit a fascinating third option, and now there's a part of me wants to start a new playthrough just to see how that turns out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Marauders are hostile no matter what, as far as I can tell. I wore Marauder gear for a while early in the game until I got better stuff and didn't notice any combat effects.
    I actually think that the marauders are one of the weakest elements in the Outer Worlds.
    Spoiler
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    One of the major quests in Emerale Vale sends you bounty hunting for marauders, and it's revealed that each of the major bounties you're going after used to be members of Edgewater. They're former workers who stole medicine, or deserted, or what have you. In each case, these are human people who are just trying to make the best.

    And yet, none of that carries over to how marauders act. They're nameless, faceless mooks that you mow down by the dozen. I've only found one so far who was willing to talk, and that only because she was an ascended bandit fangirl who envisioned herself as one of her serial stars, bringing commerce to the wilds. For most marauders, there's no quest, no logic, just "marauders have taken over this location and are now living there, and are psychotic nuisances." It just feels like a bit of a weak element to the game--even the always-hostile enemies in New Vegas had human elements and were able to be reasoned or bargained with.


    Spoiler: On further consideration, I'll spoiler this. Emerald Vale stuff.
    Show
    So: Do you support the better way of life of the Deserters, knowing that it will harm the much larger population of the town? On one side, you're condemning the Deserters to a life of slavery by forcing them to move back. On the other side, you're effectively murdering a reasonable chunk of the town when they are forced to venture outside the walls and cannot be supported by the Deserters. But the ones who do survive will ultimately have a better life.
    Spoiler
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    I'd argue that the situation in the Emerald Vale is less well-balanced than this makes it sound, and even siding with Reed is no guarantee that Edgewater is going to survive any more than if you support the Deserters. If you look at the areas around Edgewater, you'll see that it's been in decline for probably a lot longer than there have been deserters. All the marauders around town are living in areas that used to be part of a prosperous settlement; they're living in former community centers, in industrial sites, in these prefab housing units that bear all the hallmarks of corporate life. And now, as a result of corporate mismanagement, the people huddle in Edgewater, a shadow of their former selves, massed together in the single place that has walls, all because Spacer's Choice couldn't be arsed to take care of their people. I'd argue that Edgewater is doomed no matter what you do, and diverting power to Edgewater only slightly delays the inevitable.
    Last edited by Balmas; 2019-10-29 at 10:49 PM.
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
    Currently, we're playing through New Vegas as Gabriel de la Cruz, merchant and mercenary extraordinaire!

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    I had the exact opposite problem, I took that whole "If you skip Groundbreaker straight for Monarch, you'll get your face ripped off" as more of a challenge than a warning, and much like running straight to Vegas from Goodsprings you realize it was an ernest warning.

    I was 9-10 levels below some of the critters there and I *felt* it, just about everything at the landing pad was able to 3-tap me in heavy armor and my guns were burning ammo while doing minimal damage, after a few tries against the mantisaurian queens, I realized that was just the tip of the iceberg. What happened next was about an hour IRL of me slowly creeping around and making a mad dash through a marauder camp before I saw a MEGA Mantisaur Queen and just ran as fast as I could until I hit civilization.

    Long story short, this game is awesome
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by boj0 View Post
    I had the exact opposite problem, I took that whole "If you skip Groundbreaker straight for Monarch, you'll get your face ripped off" as more of a challenge than a warning, and much like running straight to Vegas from Goodsprings you realize it was an ernest warning.
    You're missing out on a lot of quests if you skip Groundbreaker too. I just got to the remote landing pad on Monarch and I didn't have much problem getting there, but being level 18 will do that!

    Overall, I agree with the main criticism, which is that Marauders are both not very exciting from a story point of view and pretty dull from a combat standpoint. If I find a camp with only three or four marauders in it they might as well save time and blow their own heads off, because it won't take me long to do it for them!

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    On the positive side, I just came across something I've been wanting from Fallout/Bioware style games for years.

    Spoiler: Conclusion of Monarch faction questline
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    A dialogue negotiation that doesn't rely on Speech checks! Negotiating a settlement between the Iconoclasts and MSI requires actually reading the dialogue options, deciding the best tone to take, and actually mediating between the two parties! I think there was one Persuade check in the whole thing, and it wasn't the final one.

    It's amazing what a difference meaningful dialogue choices can make. The whole negotiation was pretty tense because I wasn't relying on stat checks or reputation score or Paragon/Renegade stat checks. I could have screwed up the negotiation very easily if I pressured one of the parties too hard.

    Very, very cool. Favorite moment of the game thus far, and one I could have easily missed by just handing over the targeting array when asked.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Marauders are hostile no matter what, as far as I can tell. I wore Marauder gear for a while early in the game until I got better stuff and didn't notice any combat effects.
    There's no combat effects, but people might have a different piece of intro dialogue for you if you're wearing it.


    (And yeah, random bandits are always the worst part of any RPG, but people would complain if there wasn't a low tier introductory human enemy to ventilate)

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    A major problem imho is the quite obvious choice that the writers made when they wrote the deserters vs. spacer's choice conflict.

    In a direct comparison to New Vegas and the conflict between the Legion (evil slavers who have a point because technology doomed the planet to an apocalypse) and NRC (goody twoshoes guys who are actually more totalitarian than they'd admit), the conflict as written just falls flat. Sure, Emerald Vale has its fair share of company driven problems, but there are upsides to being securely equipped by an offworld trading corporation. It's just these qualities are hidden in speech checks and not immediately obvious. Similarily the deserters are not perfectly good. Their leader just wants revenge and uses it on the backs of the people but immediately obvious is just "deserters good, company evil".

    I don't even know Balmas' (spoilered) factoids yet but it feels like the narrator made the choice for you. And this in a game where player choice should matter is incredibly irritating to me. Compare it to another guided choice in a game made by a company who Obsidian threw incredible shade on. Skyrim's civil war. Or more specific the first choice of going with the rebel or the Imperial. It seems obvious to go with the guy that rebels against the system that wanted you killed for crossing the border. But through subtle hints it is shown that maybe imperial power is better for Skyrim than an uprising against the oppressors because it equips the empire better to resist the Thalmor. It is a similar situation but see that the narrator does not "guide" your choice more than through the prologue.
    I would very firmly disagree.

    The Legion are the Obviously Irredeemable Evil faction in New Vegas. Some people try to point out that it is relatively peaceful in Legion territory because breaking the law means getting literally crucified, but the game very heavily-handedly tells you 'if you even think of grouping with these psychos, you're wrong', even as it says 'but it is okay to be wrong if you want'. Just look at the number of Legion specific quests vs the number of NCR specific quests, the totals alone should tell you which the devs expected you to take. From your very first personal experience in Nipton on forward, there is NOTHING redeemable about the Legion. Period.

    The NCR, meanwhile, are also aggressively expanding into the area, but at least claim to have already had a toehold in the region. Yes, they aren't exactly the model of representation, and they do a lot of shady ****. So there's a big open question about how much better off the Mojave would actually BE under NCR control, because at the moment... they ain't doing so good a job. They claim to be helping the area, but you never actually see where that is the case. About their strongest argument is 'we are better than the Legion'.

    Spacer's Choice isn't that bad. It's bad, sure, but it is also the one who funded this whole thing. And, more importantly, it is the current Status Quo. Legion are the invaders, they are literally conquering their way across the western US, at least as far east as Denver. So in this perspective, Spacer's Choice is far more like the NCR than the Legion. They are already here, have already been established. I would like to say that Edgewater is probably what the Mojave would've been after a few decades of NCR occupation... with an ever shrinking population, little pockets of habitation going vacant and eventually claimed by Raiders/Marauders, and disease and starvation everywhere.

    The Deserters, on the other hand, aren't really a whole lot better. I mean, sure, the leader understands the basic concepts of fertilization and crop rotation to actually grow enough food of enough different sorts to prevent malnutrition. However... she's not all roses and sunshine either. Remember what the key ingredient in her fertilizer is? What happens when they start running low... and how easy it would be to make the sliding moral choice of 'the needs of the group over the needs of the one'. Furthermore, and I'd really like to drive this home because people seem to be dismissing it... they signed a contract, on Earth, before they ever set foot here. In exchange for transportation out to the colonies, they agreed to what is effectively an indentured servitude contract. Okay, it may be a bum deal, but nobody forced them to sign that contract, they did it of their own free will. Are you really going to give them a free pass on that just because 'lol evil corporation'? Also, there's absolutely no evidence that her results will be able to be duplicated on the macro scale. Her projected figures were based on a very small group of isolated individuals who were residing at a botanical center. Sure, she can keep her own people going, but that's about it, and that's not a whole lot of people.

    Spoiler: no really, major end-game plot spoilers
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    And really, that was just the Corporate's plan anyway, drop the population down to something that can live on their existing resources. So in the end, she's no better off than them, except she's not going to try to Cryo-sleep everyone, she's just going to let the Corporation kill everyone off from starvation.


    So no... this isn't an NCR/Legion situation. It's more of an NCR/Followers of the Apocalypse situation. And in the Independent ending, the Followers weren't able to keep up with demand. And I doubt the Deserters would either.

    Obviously, the Corporation is the mustache-twirling evil of the piece. But there's a lot more nuance to it once you start digging in. And hey, that's a good thing in my opinion. I don't want lore and background casually jammed in my face like a telemarketer's call. I want to be part detective and actually dig into the situation, and find out the real deal going on. I find that to be orders of magnitude more immersive and realistic than anything New Vegas managed.

    The situation here is far more questionable a choice than in the Mojave. In the Mojave, literally any choice is better than Legion. Just check the stats on how many people actually have the achievement for the Legion ending. But here, you have a much more balanced choice of 'lousy' vs 'lousy'. The Deserters are more into personal freedom... at least for now. The Corporation is willing to let the whole place collapse for the sake of their bottom line, but honestly the Deserters care only about themselves. Anyone who follows the Corporate line? Screw 'em. Plenty of Deserters left friends and family to go join up. So they aren't any less greedy or selfish, they're just doing it on a smaller scale.

    That's my take on it, at least. Sure, the Corporation is bad, but think for a moment... are the Deserters really any better? Really? I mean, yea, they're 'stickin' it to the MAN', but is their long-term goals any more viable? Oh wait, they don't even HAVE any long-term plans beyond 'don't starve this week'. Yea, that's gonna turn out just great for the colony, isn't it? But hey, for some people, 'tis better to rule in hell than serve in... well, let's be honest here... also hell. Which makes it a relatively balanced choice and a much more interesting decision.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    The edgewater colonists are the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original colonists (With a few elders being 1st generation natives or having come over as children). Indentured servitude in exchange for transport to a colony... at least has historical precedent. If the original colonist's grand children are still "indentured," that's crossing into full blown chattel slavery.

    That being said, I agree that simply choosing one side is a lose-lose situation. Without a new food supply, edgewater is doomed, but there's no way the outcast settlement can support all of Edgewater's population, either. Not to mention a lot of the edgewater workers are too brainwashed to integrate into the Outcast's society. The two compromise solutions are the best of a bad lot. Which you think is better depends on your opinion of Adelaide.
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    For some reason the simple task of powering up the Unreliable made me so much more happy with the game. I never saw Firefly but even if planets are just Planetvilles, having a spaceship certainly added the space in space opera.

    Plus I have very pleasant flashbacks to getting the Ebonhawk in Kotor the first time. Plus the crew cabins are adorable. I love Parvati and will cherish her with my entire being. I never crushed on a virtual companion but this time might be different. Which is weird because I don't "do" girls normally.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    That's okay, Parvati can "do" them for you.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    That's okay, Parvati can "do" them for you.
    Or rather not do, because Parvati is romantically interested but asexual.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Or rather not do, because Parvati is romantically interested but asexual.
    And the part I love about it is that they neither make a big deal about it nor make it some weird or taboo thing. It neither goes 'hey, look how progressive we are that we have lesbians in our game!', nor 'Oh, and here's the token lesbian to make sure that people don't complain about us not being diverse or something'. It's just a cute relationship that just so happens to develop between two female characters, and is treated just like any other romantic subplot. And the fact that Parvati is Ace only doubles down on that. They could've made a big deal about catering to non-binary sexual identities... and they didn't. Which, to me, makes it an even more powerful statement.

    It's like old-school Metroid (prior to Other-M). Samus could've been a chick or a dude, and it would've had zero impact on the game as a result. No one went 'ewww, you're just a girl' for the expressed purpose of being proved wrong (*cough* Horizon: Zero Dawn *cough*), no one made a big deal out of it. You probably didn't realize it until later in the franchise, since her gender wasn't revealed unless you could beat it fast enough, which very few people did. I liked that, because it spoke to a time and era in which gender truly didn't matter. You could be a chick, and a badass merc, and that wasn't even a thing to comment on anymore.
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    I'm interested - after all it's Obsidian, and Jim Sterling was raving about it, so good enough for me.

    Are there any supernatural or sufficiently-advanced-technology elements? Or is it purely guns and grit? That's one of the things that kept me lukewarm towards Fallout.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    I've not encountered anything supernatural so far, but I'm only at Monarch and going to stay there for a little while because I'm away from home and my gaming PC right now. Even the religion in the game is a science-based one, based on the idea of determinism. Mind you, most times anything supernatural popped up in Fallout it was usually part of a joke or call-out anyway--was there something specific that soured you on the whole idea?

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    There's also no sentient aliens, super-mutants, or anything like that. The universe is literally "Firefly, but with Evil Corporations instead of Evil Government". The only difference is alien wildlife, and they're really just there to give you something to shoot at.

    I recently had a Wash "You live on a spaceship dear" moment of skepticism when a character suggested an alien conspiracy. It's always possible they're right, but at the moment I'm leaning towards crazy.

    Closest thing I've seen to a supernatural element is a shared hallucination, but that happened after getting high as hell on peyote.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    The only things remotely close to 'sufficiently advanced technology' would be the !Science! weapons. A very small collection of unique weapons which have unique effects which can be quite bizarre but not particularly immersion-breaking. Mostly useful for applying unique status effects. Such as the shrink ray which, in addition to the obvious physical effect, provides a hefty debuff to melee damage and a sizable increase in damage taken. Another has a temporary (two to three second) anti-gravity area effect, which can disrupt enemy actions long enough to regroup or just burst down said enemy.

    In lore, these are unique devices, either created by some genius gone 'round the bend (such as the fellow who successfully thawed you out) or as a prototype which was rejected, or somesuch similar thing.
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    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

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    So far the only thing I was disappointed about was that I couldn't say to Adelaide "Spacer's Choice butchered every single person at the geothermal plant just to get an insurance payout. Even if your plan works and everyone abandons Edgewater to come live with you, do you really think Spacer's Choice is going to just let that slide?"


    Also, I want to know if there is any funny dialogue if you give yourself the same name as old captain of the unreliable.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    The only things remotely close to 'sufficiently advanced technology' would be the !Science! weapons. A very small collection of unique weapons which have unique effects which can be quite bizarre but not particularly immersion-breaking. Mostly useful for applying unique status effects. Such as the shrink ray which, in addition to the obvious physical effect, provides a hefty debuff to melee damage and a sizable increase in damage taken. Another has a temporary (two to three second) anti-gravity area effect, which can disrupt enemy actions long enough to regroup or just burst down said enemy.

    In lore, these are unique devices, either created by some genius gone 'round the bend (such as the fellow who successfully thawed you out) or as a prototype which was rejected, or somesuch similar thing.
    Hmph... those are better than just bullets and rockets, but I'm a little disappointed nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    There's also no sentient aliens, super-mutants, or anything like that. The universe is literally "Firefly, but with Evil Corporations instead of Evil Government".
    Firefly had some supernatural elements though - River Tam notably had some degree of paranormal or psychic ability that never got fully explored (in the show anyway, no idea about the EU), and Inara may have been a bit of an empath.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Firefly had some supernatural elements though - River Tam notably had some degree of paranormal or psychic ability that never got fully explored (in the show anyway, no idea about the EU), and Inara may have been a bit of an empath.
    I don't consider either to be really supernatural. Yes, they are things that do not exist in the real world, but neither does FTL travel or a host of other Sci-fi technologies we take for granted. Telepathy and empathy are both things that can be explained via enhanced brainpower - either naturally (Betazoids, Treecats, and other psychic aliens) or via super-science tinkering (River, Babylon 5 telepaths, etc).

    A supernatural element for me would be something like Babylon 5's prophetic dreams, or ghosts (Babylon 5 again with Day of the Dead), or even bringing outright magic into the universe (Star Wars with The Force).

    It just depends on how much technobabble you're willing to accept. When you get right down to it, telepathy is probably more believable than a handheld energy weapon that can reduce someone to a little pile of ash.

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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I'm interested - after all it's Obsidian, and Jim Sterling was raving about it, so good enough for me.

    Are there any supernatural or sufficiently-advanced-technology elements? Or is it purely guns and grit? That's one of the things that kept me lukewarm towards Fallout.
    It's a really good game, but you need to keep your expectations in check - it ain't big.

    Here's how it is: Ten mega-corporations pooled their resources bought a solar system they thought might be profitable and sent a pair of colony ships that way, the Groundbreaker and the Hope. Groundbreaker made it and set to work on colonizing the system. Hope never made it. You were on the Hope.

    You weren't anyone special, just a junior something or other. (The game lets you pick from a bunch of origins with witty descriptions, very petty bonuses, and absolutely no clout.) You've spent 70 years as an icicle when a mad scientist finds the ship, steals your pod, revives you, and then drops you on a planet in the hopes that you can collect the chemicals he needs to resurrect more colonists next time he raids the Hope. After that, it's all on you.

    Halcyon has no magic, no sentient aliens - really nothing sentient but humans (and it's arguable even with most of them). Robots exist but they are not sentient, and the AI of your ship will argue you for hours that she isn't, either. You have a special time dilation ability from being on ice for 70 years (when 10 years is considered the medically agreed on maximum), that's basically described as flight-or-flight set on overdrive due to brain damage. Weapons are standard shooter fare but come in the elemental varieties of plasma (fire), corrosive, shock, and "N-Ray" radiation, all of which have strengths and weaknesses against various types of enemies. A few weapons with unique properties exist, such as a shrink ray and a mind control ray, but these are treated as exotic "science" weapons. There are only five of them in the game, they are not exceptionally powerful unless you build your character explicitly to exploit them, and they're more fun than awesome in general.

    The game has a good deal of humor, but not really that many jokes. Most of the humor is derived from the satirical setting of hyper-capitalism taken to its logical extreme. The companies own pretty much everything, their workers are considered property, and all legal music is just jingles for the brands. The brands tend to have very specific identities, such as Spacer's Choice (a generic brand that proudly proclaims that the quality of their goods is low but then so is their prices) or Auntie Cleo's (a pharmaceuticals brand that plays the guilt-tripping matriarch trope better than anything since Mom from Futurama). The companies range from comically inept, chillingly competent, and ineffectually reasonable.

    As I said at the beginning, the game isn't big by most standards - the gameplay ranges from 15 hours main plot to 40 or 50 with a completionist's zeal. There are six companions that you can recruit to your ship, and you can take two out on missions, and only two of them require anything resembling effort to recruit. But where the game is lacking in length, it makes up for it in breadth. A good number of the problems you face have a variety of solutions and they're not simply black & white morality. My only complaint here is that there's too often an "optimal" ending if you work hard enough and everyone walks away happy. Well most everyone, anyway. This isn't always the case, but it does kick the legs out from under moral quandries once in a while.

    There is a respec system, but it only refunds perks and skills, not your character creation choices. This includes your initial attributes. Attributes don't dictate what you can and can't do (you don't need high intelligence to be a science weapon god, I mean, at all), but they do impact things (strength and melee are the most connected, because strength boosts melee damage and damage boosts are hellishly difficult to get). It means that there's plenty of incentive to try running the game again, with a different build, and the game is short enough that this isn't a complete chore.

    The gameplay is simplistic, but fun. You basically have your weapons (melee and firearms), a limited time-slow ability (works kinda like VATS from Fallout really should have in the first place), and a "medical inhaler" for healing. The medicine for the inhaler is common enough to be a negligible concern, with consumables you can equip on it to add extra buffs. Ammunition is a scary concern for maybe the first half hour but quickly becomes forgettable as you amass ammo around every corner. Durability is a large concern in the game, as your gear wears out pretty quickly and effectiveness can start to drop as early as 60%. Fortunately, you can dismantle crap gear for spare parts and the game drowns you in the stuff, so it's not big deal.

    The skill system is pretty interesting. All skills are grouped into sets of two or three. Until you have 50 points in a skill, you can put a point into the group and everything goes up by one, after which point you have to upgrade each skill individually. Every twenty points invested gives you a bonus, which can vary wildly in their value. Some of the best include the ability to pick easy locks for free, the ability to pick pockets, or the ability to dismantle and repair gear on the fly.

    Companions are a highlight of the game. They are companions in the the most lightweight way possible: they don't screw with your stealth, they make few moral demands on you (save for the big stuff - nuking a town will probably make most of 'em mad at you, but even the nicest of them has no problem robbing a town blind), they require little-to-no handholding, and they don't block you (you can walk right through them when they're between you and the door). Unless you play on Supernova difficulty, they just get up after a fight if they are defeated, and they're typically very effective if you keep them properly armed, which is quite easy to do. They'll talk with you and each other often enough to stay involved without getting too grating, and their personal quests are interesting and impactful without being a burden. Also, your companions contribute 25% of their skill points (50% with 60 points in Inspiration) to yours, so your party does help you even if you're doing all the work. If you want to go solo, there are perks that make you a powerhouse when you have no companions, or you can put skill points in Leadership and much more effective. With good gear, they can be frightfully effective.

    There are a lot of things missing from this game that are very common in most games these days. There's no deluxe edition, dlc of any kind (though they said they're open to story expansions down the road), much less micro-transactions or lootboxes. There are no romantic subplots (beyond a companion having a crush on an NPC), or even much message. I'm serious on that last bit, for all the anti-capitalist satire in the game, it's just as happy to portray the hippie as bitter and vindictive and the corporate stooge as honest and honorable, albeit destructively inept.

    Personally, I'm opposed to Epic's crap, so I bought it for the Playstation. I haven't regretted it in the slightest.
    Last edited by Calemyr; 2019-10-31 at 11:37 AM.
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    Default Re: The Outer Worlds: New Vegas, but it's Firefly and also Capitalism is Evil

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    I like how Parvati's sidequests just seem to be "deal with her lesbian romance problems."

    also I like how my decision of what to do with Macreed on Groundbreaker basically boiled down to "your crazy, and I'm not made of money!" and proceeded to kill him and all his thugs.

    My entire stay on Roseway was finding out that oh, they're just developing the best diet toothpaste ever and I'm completely free to just take their work because its not that important but hey, it can actually be used as rocket fuel instead with some modification, so why not just take the secrets, go back to the Groundbreaker and get paid with a little lying? there was no reason for me to actually help any of these people of Roseway because they're just incompetent scientists who thought it was a good idea to use dangerous predators for their research and the guy in charge just wants to get this all done for his promotion, so screw him.

    then I discovered something: when I took the robophobia flaw for the perk, then activated SAM as a party member....it turns out the phobia is in effect even near my own robot companion. I didn't know this would happen but it makes sense and its funny to me for some reason because now my own robot companion is a mixed blessing, giving me more firepower and someone to help while also making things harder for me because my phobia using SAM as a party member a personal hard mode?
    its so sensible yet I didn't think of that at first. I was even confused when there was an "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" dialogue option for SAM even before he was activated until I figured it out. I just screwed myself over out of using my robot companion and somehow its great and hilarious that they thought that through to that extent.

    I also screwed myself out of using companions in general by taking lone wolf at the beginning even though I keep acquiring companions. I am just going for a "shoot self in the foot" playstyle, aren't I?

    meanwhile ADA is a gem, I'm glad to have her.

    I acquired a science weapon aside from the shrink ray called the rearranger. gonna have to figure out what to do with this strange beatstick. I likes me my shock stick, so some weird science stick might be even better! maybe if I show said Rearranger to Phineas....

    also there was a door for another science weapon that required 60 to hack. that is the first time I've EVER seen an above 50 skill check in this game. wow, whatever is in there must be good.

    amidst all that, I acquired the stellar bay navkey and then decided to stop there. this game is so good.
    My Fan Fiction:
    To Catch A Mew
    A Kalos based pokemon fan fic. Now up to Chapter 25!



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