Fallout 3 and thoughts on edition change

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I picked up a copy of Fallout 3 yesterday.

This is going to really cut into my productivity.

When I heard that the developers had changed, I was a little worried that the tone of the game wouldn’t be quite the same under the new team. The 50s-style post-apocalyptic future that wasn’t is what really appealed to me in the series. I needn’t have worried. From what I’ve seen, they’ve nailed it… and they’ve done so while converting the game to 3-D with a different perspective (and truly gorgeous graphics), a somewhat different combat system, and some subtle tweaks to the underlying game mechanics.

Then I look at D&D, and I wonder why they couldn’t have done the same thing.

The answer is pretty clear to me. There was a demand for Fallout 3. Fallout 2 has limited replay value. That doesn’t carry over into D&D. Wizards created most of the demand for 4e (think about their negativity about 3.5 over the past year or so) – as far as I can tell, most people playing 3.5 were fairly happy with it. If Wizards had made 4e a slightly shinier version of 3.5 with a couple of major changes (but, at its base, the same game), would people have given up their investment in 3.5 and switched?

Maybe. Eventually.

It almost certainly wouldn’t have been a rousing financial success for WotC, though.



3 Responses

  1. As someone who covered both 4e and Fallout 3, I think it was near impossible to please fans of the previous edition while making a solid, profitable product. (In both cases.)

    Though I saw more threats of violence against the design team of FO3 than I did of 4e… but still some in both cases.

  2. That’s undoubtedly true.

    It is, in general, near impossible to please fans.

    To be fair, though, as a fan of Fallout 2, I’m pretty pleased with Fallout 3 so far…

  3. I have to agree with the sentiment that it was damn near impossible to please the D&D fans. At ANY POINT. When AD&D 2e jumped into 3e, there was blood, and there still is to an extent. When 3.5 came out, people were screaming that Wizard's made a broken game and patched it up for more money. 4e is getting the same treatment. All of them tried to change the game to try to address problems that were communicated by many to exist. But the mere act of "changing the game" was already enough to piss off the lot of them.

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