Content of the article: "Something that Fallout 4’s dialogue system did right, and I hope to see in future games"
(minor spoilers for Fallout 4 sidequests and BoS Critical Path)
I am currently doing a survival pacifist run in Fallout 4 (it's progressing quite slowly, as you can probably guess) and yesterday I completed the Human Error quest. Something I had never noticed before is that if the Sole Survivor finds out about the compound by yellow-check tricking Talia Mcgovern and/or Penny Fitzgerald (or both, as my pacifist SS, "Smiley") into revealing information (or attempting to, but failing), the mayor (Jacob Ordan) will confront the player on the way out.
If the player passes an orange difficulty speech-check in that dialogue, to create a "compromise", Jacob will tell the Compound to expect the SS. In this instance, upon arrival (at least, without Honest Dan, I don't know what happens if he comes too) Manny will offer three possible nonviolent ways of entering the compound, not one, explicitly because of Orden calling ahead. One orange, one yellow, and one red.
The thing is, the (one) option you usually get is red difficulty, (fun fact: if you haven't started the Human Error quest, and you just blunder in randomly, this option lets you leave peacefully, but not speak to the Doctor). So, using the following sources, and assuming a Charisma of 6 (average Charisma for an even SPECIAL distribution, plus one very common suit or dress and hat):
Probability of getting into the compound peacefully under normal circumstances, 1 red speech check:
(7*15)-65 = 40% Pretty bad odds!
Probability of getting into the compound peacefully if you have played "Human Error" consistently as a diplomatic character, means passing an orange speech check, then a final yellow one.
A: Odds of passing Orden's orange check = (7*15)-50 = 55%
B: Odds of passing Manny's yellow check = (7*15)-35 = 80%
Fallout 4 does this a lot, where choosing specific options at specific points in the narrative can make future speech checks easier. Blind Betrayal is another example, where depending on how you spoke to Elder Maxson at the beginning of the quest, the checks to save Danse could be red, orange, yellow, or even non-checks (meaning automatic pass even at 1 charisma).
I prefer this dynamic system to the concept of a strict unchanging barrier represented by a skill check percentage. It makes the game feel more responsive to the choices made thus far, without trivialising build advantages (charismatic characters have more leeway to act like jerks and still get what they want, but everyone else has to really think before speaking).
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More about FalloutPost: "Something that Fallout 4’s dialogue system did right, and I hope to see in future games" specifically for the game Fallout. Other useful information about this game:
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- Steel Dawn is my favourite interpretation of the Brotherhood in any Fallout game
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- An Honest to God, No Bullsh*t New Vegas Review (Base Game)
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