The Outer Worlds - Obsidian's Fallout New Vegas in Space

This has been a problem since Oblivion. I get around it by not having whatever I’m trying to find be the active quest. I only did Edgewater, but for example, when I had to find something along the road to get the medicine for the guy, I didn’t make it the active quest, and just went out and explored, and I ended up finding it. That was a little (not much, but a little) more satisfying than just following a waypoint. It’s what I hated most about Oblivion. I think they addressed this Skyrim, maybe, or am I mis-remembering? Wasn’t there a game that took you to the general area instead of taking you to the specific quest for a game? Maybe I’m thinking of Fallout 4.

I believe Warhammer Online would indicate quest objectives with a circle in the region in which you were supposed to investigate. But since that game is defunct you can’t check that now!

Recent Ubigames drip feed you directions - West of Smoke River, North of Cousin Wade’s house.

Nice to see them learning the lessons of Morrowind.

Not defending the writing per se, but there’s a theory about famously shitty but extremely popular (in the sense of being used a lot) European budget airline Ryanair that they deliberately spread stories about their own shittiness on the grounds that it makes customers think “Oh they must be really cheap then”. Half the time the stories don’t even pan out. They’re just creating buzz around their own crap service.

Case in point.

A friend who worked in the plane industry pointed out you’d be looking at a six-figure sum to get the coin mechanism certified to be used on the plane, so it was clearly a planted story.

(Anyway, agree it got a bit rushed towards the end, but loved how putting points into buffing the speech skills really paid off in terms of a satisfying ending - there were very few truly evil main characters in the game; it was the system to blame.)

So last night, in between watching the Clemson-LSU game, I was tooling around the Groundbreaker picking up and completing quests, and I stumbled blindly into the Parvati character development storyline. I soon abandoned the football game (LSU was clearly going to win at that point anyway) because in between killing space pirates, mutant bugs and logic-fried robots in the bowels of the ship, it became obvious as Parvati’s story slowly leaked from her in bits and pieces that this was something different.

Without spoiling anything, I will say that it was without a doubt some of the best written and most maturely handled character development writing I’ve ever seen in a video game. Kudos to Obsidian, Chris L’Etoile (who conceived the character), Kate Dollarhyde (who then wrote all of Parvati’s character development) and Ashly Burch (the voice actress) for creating such a deep character and presenting her in a such a meaningful way. I liked Parvati from the start, as she is very reminiscent of Kaylee the engineer from Firefly, but as her story unfolded my connection as a player to the character deepened to a level I don’t often see in games, or even in movies and TV for that matter. Nice job Obsidian.

Yeah, Parvati’s character quest really fleshes that character out, and she’s just fantastic.

The writing for Parvati is far better than anything in Firefly for me.

I loved the writing for her character, but she was a perfect example of how the writing in the game didn’t match the game design at all.

You take her to the Groundbreaker, and she meets someone. You maybe do a couple quests on the Groundbreaker (quests in this case meaning maybe talk to a few more people), get back to your ship, and she immediately is like “I’ve been talking and talking to this person you potentially had me meet literally five in game minutes ago.” I understand that games require some suspension of disbelief, and ability to think “More time has passed in game world than in my world,” but this game took that to the nines. Because they didn’t really seem to think about how a player may engage with the game, there was no pacing to her story, or any of the other companions.

On top of that, they wrote them all to be (depending on your actions) fawning over you and acting like you’d been through thick and thin within maybe an hour or so of unlocking them. It’s symptomatic of them writing a big game, but making a small game. The characters all act like you’ve been on some epic adventures together, and have become fast friends. Because of that, it all fell pretty flat to me, because it just was so artificial. It really felt like the writing team and the design team never communicated what they were each working on.

Extremely fair points. With Parvati, at least, the quick kinship didn’t feel artificial – by the time you get her off-world, you kinda HAVE been through some (potentially) big stuff, for her at least. Changed her life pretty drastically. The others I haven’t spent as much time on their quests yet.

You’re right about her courting of what’s-her-name being INCREDIBLY fast-paced, though. That kinda made me chuckle as well, but it didn’t break the fun for me.

And I don’t know how many times I encountered Nyoka teaching Parvati how to aim a gun in the hold of the ship, with the same dialogue each time. I get that there are only so many possible interactions, I just wish I wouldn’t see the same one so many times.

That’s not my experience playing through it right now. I mean, yes, the Parvati storyline does seem like it happens pretty fast if you view it in relation to time passed as a player playing the game, but I just write stuff like that off as time advancing between my play sessions or while I am out doing in-game quests or whatever. It’s not uncommon in games at all.

As for them fawning over you, or acting like you’d been on epic adventures…when I first encountered Parvati her comments while we wandered around town and out in the wilderness were almost always observations about my behavior and interactions with people, stuff like “You handled that pretty well.” or “You seem like you’ve done this before”, the kind of things someone getting used to my character would say. By the time we leave Emerald Vale, and have the conversation about her joining me, it actually does feel like we’ve been on some pretty epic adventures together.

Same thing so far with Ellie, Vicar Max and Felix. Initial interactions make it obvious they are unsure about my character, but as we travel around together doing stuff they make little comments that indicate they’re getting used to me (and interact with Parvati as well). Sure, it’s a little rushed, it’s a video game after all, but I haven’t yet felt like it was out of sync with what was happening, or poor game design.

Fascinating! Thanks!

I know I should be concentrating only on Horizons: Zero Dawn right now, but I can’t help keeping my Outer Worlds playthrough going.

After passing my Xbox playthrough on PC, with my persuasion character, getting quite a different outcome at Edgewater, I finished my first pass through Groundbreaker yesterday.

I really like what they’re doing here. I didn’t realize the whole game was going to continue the theme of corporations exploiting people as much as they can. I thought that was just a starting theme on Edgewater. It’s a very compelling theme since it resonates so much. With this particular character, my reputation with “the board” has been going down a lot without having actually met them. It does make me curious to continue my Xbox playthrough and see how much work they put in to work favorably towards the board.

I know I said I was done with this game, but I recently found a video of someone who speedran the whole thing in about 20 minutes and now I kind of want to try it.

Monarch is next. I finished the quests in Groundbreaker and Roseway.

I’m really enjoying making decisions in this game so far. The fact that things aren’t just good vs evil is quite liberating. It feels like I can choose whatever I want, which I haven’t felt in a game in a while.

Do individual quest choices matter to the overall factions/plot? Compared with FNV I mean.

Most assuredly, yes. TBH, it’s been too long since FNV for me to directly compare, but in general they can make very significant differences to the factions and the overall plot.

This game is like gaming comfort food. I’m not blown away by anything, but I like going back to it.