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bromega
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Mothership Zeta surprised me with how good it was

All I have ever heard about Zeta was that it was a hallway shooter. That is very true. It is primarily a hallway shooter with unengaging enemies in a surprisingly lackluster dungeon, aesthetics wise.

However, what has made this DLC shine more than any other DLC and even the base game is the NPCs and stories associated with them, as well as the recordings found in the prisoner logs. 

But to get to the short and sweet: in no other DLC besides, possibly, Dead Money, is there as much story reactivity, NPC interaction and a progressive alteration of the environment.  That is, the NPCs actually interacted with eachother in meaningful ways. You could interact with the environment via the NPCs, which had gameplay repurcussions. The NPCs had their own motivations, and weren't just simple yes-men automatons. A perfect example of this is if you go with Elliot to the Cryo-Chambers, he activates many of the static objects on his own volition, and we see the playing out of his own storyline through that section of the ship.

The way that each NPCs reactions to eachother, to you the PC and to the environment around them as you progress through the admittedly limited gameplay (go here blow this up) has made this by far the most engaging Fallout 3 story to me, period, without competition.  Notice how the NPCs go and make a home for themselves in the central hub.  I can't think of anything even remotely similar to this in Fallout before.  The way that the environment went from sterile to lived-in just doesn't happen anywhere else. 

It seems so minor, but when you notice this level of interactivity it makes a lot of the rest of the game feel very hollow.

The way that everyone has a line of dialogue or five for basically every new event, or as with Paulson, with every new advance through the Hangar Bay, is again, a concept not touched in the slightest until New Vegas where the companions were much more fleshed out and actually reacted to the world around them.  It makes going back to vanilla 3 NPCs such a stark wake-up call because they are so flat, lifeless and have zero agency of their own.

One last, but not minor thing is again, the NPCs reacted to eachother!  The fact that Togo disappeared was something everyone noticed and you could comment on. There was a social milieu in this small family they were building.  As in, these were characters cognizant of a wider social context and not just, as is typical in Fallout gamebryo dialogue settings, two people interacting in a stale microcosm where no one else exists outside of their scripted interaction and if everyone dies around them, they just respond with "hey, what can I do for you?" after the death of their entire extended family.

 

Does anyone know what i'm saying here? And if so, is there anything else like this level of interactivity and levels of development like this?  I loved the idea of being part of a small team coming together, getting to know eachother and changing the environment around them and who seemed to have a dynamic of their own independent of you.  The conversations the NPCs had with eachother were not "Rothschild, how is the development of the Advanced Recon Suit going?" level of triteness, i would always stick around to hear what these people would have to say to eachother.

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RoyBatty
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That's one of the reasons

That's one of the reasons Zeta is one of my favorite DLCs actually, of course I am in the minority here. I also like how Zeta itself is reactionary depending on how you progress through it, if you don't go into areas when they become available they become locked off. All the NPCs have reactions in those side areas too depending on if you take one of them with you or not.

I like the visual style as well, they went all out on effects. But then I am a fan of 50s and 60s campy Sci-Fi and I can see where some people just won't like it.

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I put Old World Blues for NV

I put Old World Blues for NV a bit higher, but I love Zeta myself for many of the reasons you gave. I love how every time I return to the hub, it's a bit messier. That's like the icing on the cake. Like you mention, the interactions can't be beat. I love Point Lookout for the quests, but the characters are mostly as flat as the main game. They didn't put as much into quests in Zeta, but boy they knocked it out of the park on dialogue and characterization.

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I’ve always loved Zeta. Those

I’ve always loved Zeta. Those shiny UFO interiors are damn pretty, and a  welcome change in style.

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Yeah, I like Mothership Zeta

Yeah, I like Mothership Zeta also, while overall I would not consider it the best DLC ever, I have always felt that it was a good unique DLC even with it's limitations. My secondmost favorite Fallout mod (right after TTW), the Mothership Zeta Crew, picks up where the MZ ends, allowing one to build up and lead a new faction in the Capital Wasteland, equipped with alien technologies. Unfortunately due to it's complexities the MZC mod for Fallout 3 could not be made fully compatible and functional with TTW.

Some people have an issue with UFOs and aliens being included in the Fallout setting, but hints of them - random encounters, terminal entries etc - have always been in the Fallout games, starting from the very first Fallout. I for one do think space aliens and UFOs fit in just fine with all the other 'starkly astounding' retro-scifi elements and pop cultural references that are present in the world of Fallout.

 

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I don't like Zeta for several

I don't like Zeta for several reasons:

  • The walls are too bright/shiny for me. It hurts my eyes, it's ridiculous.
  • It's not good for melee/unarmed characters. There are aliens in many parts that the PC can't reach, so no punching or smashing them.
  • While the premise of having a real samurai, a real cowboy and a real pre-war USA soldier sounds cool, it is more like a 12 year's old fantasy.
  • Aliens with inertia suppression field shields.
  • Companions too squishy, need babysitting constantly to survive.
  • Plenty of plotholes and a few ridiculous things that never get any explanation. Like the giant evil Buttercup and the aliens fascination with that toy, why Sally never grew up, why do the aliens want the PC and Somah to stop fighting to the death, but then attack until both the player and Somah are dead. How can the PC shoot the deathray, after having completed a quest to destroy that same deathray, and why would they destroy that deathray when the aliens have a second ship with a deathray too . Why does the place where the companions wait get fuller of junk each time the PC destroys a generator, why do the aliens have a trash compactor that does not compact any trash, while the trash just sits around, and many more stuff.
  • Not enough use of our character's skills.
  • Shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more.
  • Totally blew up out of proportion an easter egg.
  • Doesn't really fit in the Fallout series theme.

More of nitpicking now, but the lost opportunity of what it could have been:

  • A player's home in space.
  • Where is the lightsaber ripoff? A laser sword or something like that.
  • Expendable Alien Drone follower, Abomination follower, Alien follower (they could be like Dogmeat and the Puppies! perk, one dies, a new one is ready on the ship to be taken again).
  • Option to use the DLC companions (all or some) as real companions in the Capital Wasteland.
  • Option to thaw Raiders, Ghouls and Super Mutants to serve as followers or to sell to Paradise Falls (could have a cooldown period of a week or so, and it could be that the thawed subject would have a % of dying during the process or getting insane and attack on sight. Could depend on science and/or medicine skills).
  • A Death Ray weapon (I guess kinda like the Euclid's C-Finder with the active Archimedes II in FNV).
  • A chance to use Alien tech to upgrade the Brotherhood of Steel and/or Liberty Prime before the Project Purity's assault.
  • And many more stuff.
jlf65
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Funny thing is, much of your

Funny thing is, much of your nitpicks has been added by mods. Player home in space? Check. Light saber ripoff? Check. Zeta NPC companions... well, that take a couple mods. First you need ZESP.

https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/mods/9346/?

That re-enables Somah and Paulson (if alive after the main quest) and places them on the bridge. At that point, you can use companion mods to hire them, like SCC.

Most of your complaints come down to whether or not one likes those old 50s/60s sci-fi movies/TV shows. I love them, so I love Zeta. The one about not being geared toward melee builds... well, you have to use melee to escape, and then you can use their own weapons against them. The shock rods work pretty well, and you can actually build up the alien energy weapon proficiency at one point in the DLC. It's easier if you already have some proficiency in energy weapons, or a high level in small guns to start, but that just adds to the challenge.

To one point - Sally never aging is an homage to all those alien movies (like Close Encounters) where abductees return to Earth decades later having never aged because reasons. I think the hand-wave sciency reason is relativity.

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I don't evaluate a game or

I don't evaluate a game or DLC for that game based on mods for it though. I evaluate the game or DLC based on what it does and how it fits with the game series or with the base game. And I am sorry that I like things to fit their themes .

I love those 50's/60's movies and shows and I still don't like Zeta. So it doesn't come up to if one loves them or not. I love Fallout (my favorite cRPG series) since the first game and I also love cRPGs (my favorite game genre).

But Zeta is not much of a Fallout or RPG DLC. Neither is Operation Anchorage to be honest. Which are the two Fallout 3 DLCs that I don't really like. If I wanted to play a FPS I would play Quake or Doom, so I don't really want DLCs that focus on being more FPS than RPG .

About the not made for melee. You don't use melee at the start, you use unarmed they are different skills. Also no matter how many shock batons you have, you won't be able to kill those aliens on high platforms with them. You are forced to use ranged weapons or you won't go anywhere . And I can actually build up alien energy weapons proficiency, but what if my character refuses to use energy weapons, alien or not? RPGs should not force the player to change their character all of a sudden like that.

Again, shoot shoot shoot. Where is my RPG in it?

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Well the game is full of plot

Well the game is full of plot holes too and has lots of NPCs you can't kill with melee as well. I see your argument but it could be applied to the whole game really.

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I locked it behind wild

I locked it behind wild wasteland and am very satisfied with not having to see it if I don't want to now

Risewild
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RoyBatty wrote:

RoyBatty wrote:

 

Well the game is full of plot holes too and has lots of NPCs you can't kill with melee as well. I see your argument but it could be applied to the whole game really.

Yep, and that's why Fallout 3 is only surpassed in poor RPG quality by Fallout 4.

But at least in the main game I can distract myself by doing side quests and all the other eye candy stuff Bethesda games are good at.

Also about enemies I can't kill by melee and/or unarmed in the base game, I can at least leave them be and go on my own way. But in MZ I can't just leave because they are there shooting at me and blocking the way (and in the case of the trash elevator/whatever, the game will not continue until you have killed all the aliens, so you're stuck) .

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I'm going to have to try Zeta

I'm going to have to try Zeta again with the next ttw,then. I remember pretty much nothing more than all but holding down the fire button on almost the same enemies in a hallway for what seemed like forever... I felt the same about most of Anchorage.  So glad when they were over, which is a bad thing.  I must have somehow missed a lot of content.  

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I'm pretty sure I've seen

I'm pretty sure I've seen "pacifist" runs that include Zeta. You could simply take drugs to boost your damage resistance and run right past. If you can't get to them, then clearly they can't get to you, either. While they take pot shots, you can just ignore them while chugging stimpaks... or let your companion for the area deal with them if you're in one of the sections where Somah or one of the others accompany you.

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jlf65 wrote:

jlf65 wrote:

 

I'm pretty sure I've seen "pacifist" runs that include Zeta. You could simply take drugs to boost your damage resistance and run right past. If you can't get to them, then clearly they can't get to you, either. While they take pot shots, you can just ignore them while chugging stimpaks... or let your companion for the area deal with them if you're in one of the sections where Somah or one of the others accompany you.

In my previous post I mentioned one part that that you have to kill the enemies and you can't get close to them. If you don't kill the enemies, Sally will not climb the chute where the enemies were standing and the game will not continue, you will be locked in the trash chute forever.

I have a question for you guys, do you guys like FPS games?

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Risewild wrote:

Risewild wrote:

In my previous post I mentioned one part that that you have to kill the enemies and you can't get close to them. If you don't kill the enemies, Sally will not climb the chute where the enemies were standing and the game will not continue, you will be locked in the trash chute forever.

I have a question for you guys, do you guys like FPS games?

I've got nothing against the FPS genre really, but I usually do want something more than just a basic simple FPS experience in the games I play more than just once through - I especially appreciate significant RPG elements, meaningful character creation and customization, variety of player choices and ingame consequences, freedom to explore in an open sandbox world, good interactive dialogue trees, tactics/strategy, story arcs main and sidequest related, atmosphere/immersion and why not survival and limited optional basebuilding game mechanics thrown on top as well (if it does not hurt any of the other vital RPG elements). Vehicles might also be a cool addition.

I for one do not think that F4 is disappointing simply because frex it has a tacked on settlement building gameplay (I actually do think the settlement building option is a small bonus point, especially good for modding, not a real hindrance in and of itself), or having lots of FPS game elements, I think the real main problems in F4 are limited character creation/origins, poorly implemented dialogue system with lack of real choices and lack of various ingame consequences for the player and linear unsatisfying storylines for all of the factions with lackluster endings which are almost as bad as Mass Effect 3 endings. Fallout New Vegas IMHO had the right idea with the endings slideshows depending on what the player actually did accomplish or choose.

So, to clarify, more RPG in Fallout games is what I want, but I see no reason why it could not be experienced from a first person perspective and have good smooth shooting (and other kinds of) elements as well. Above all, a good holistic game design which combines all of it's features into one solid interesting and engaging game experience with lots of replayability value (character creation, great dialogues, lots of choices and consequences, moral dilemmas etc) and has great support for modding is what I would especially like - Not a basic buggy FPS game rushed for a christmas season release before it is even halfway ready, and no hatchet job ME3 endings ever again in any game. And no microtransactions ever, just no (IMHO the only acceptable example for mtx is in a free to play game like Warframe, done in a consumer friendly way without forcing them on the player and not being pay to win).

 

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SirDanest wrote:

SirDanest wrote:

 

I'm going to have to try Zeta again with the next ttw,then. I remember pretty much nothing more than all but holding down the fire button on almost the same enemies in a hallway for what seemed like forever... I felt the same about most of Anchorage.  So glad when they were over, which is a bad thing.  I must have somehow missed a lot of content.  

 

i mentioned this in the first line of my post, that is, the expansion mostly is a hallway shooter.  it is mostly just shooting samey aliens in the face with their silly space guns.  I for one enjoyed that aspect of the game quite a bit, because i have modded my game to have gunplay on par with Fallout 4 or other middling shooters.  So Anchorage and Zeta become quite fun to play through when the fps elements are actually good to play through.  PM me if you would like a list of such mods.

 

However, what I and a few others liked most about Zeta were the very unique, fun and lifelike NPCs who you interact with, and who interact with the environment around them, in an adaptive and progressive way.  In addition, the visual style was a much neeeded change in tone. It hit the Captain Cosmos aesthetic very well. 

I can say the same that when you have the shooter elements and controls tuned to 2018 standards, expansions that were previously chores like Anchorage (my favorite even back on the console in 2008) are legitimately fun to play through.

The funny dialogue is best highlighted when Paulson, an American rancher from the 1800s, hears Kago, a 14th century Samurai, trying to get into the room to help with the final battle. 

Sammy: Hey, it's Kago! he's trying to get in!

Paulson: Well hurry on up and let the chinaman in!

Sammy: Hey, he is not a chinaman, he is a Japanese warrior!

Paulson: Alright. Would you PLEASE let the Oriental with the Sword in

 

It doesn't get better than that

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It's okay kind of add-on,but

It's okay kind of add-on,but not my favorite.Energy weapons is good though and some outfits are neat.

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bromega wrote:

bromega wrote:

 

SirDanest wrote:

 

I'm going to have to try Zeta again with the next ttw,then. I remember pretty much nothing more than all but holding down the fire button on almost the same enemies in a hallway for what seemed like forever... I felt the same about most of Anchorage.  So glad when they were over, which is a bad thing.  I must have somehow missed a lot of content.  

 

 

i mentioned this in the first line of my post, that is, the expansion mostly is a hallway shooter.  it is mostly just shooting samey aliens in the face with their silly space guns.  I for one enjoyed that aspect of the game quite a bit, because i have modded my game to have gunplay on par with Fallout 4 or other middling shooters.  So Anchorage and Zeta become quite fun to play through when the fps elements are actually good to play through.  PM me if you would like a list of such mods.

 

However, what I and a few others liked most about Zeta were the very unique, fun and lifelike NPCs who you interact with, and who interact with the environment around them, in an adaptive and progressive way.  In addition, the visual style was a much neeeded change in tone. It hit the Captain Cosmos aesthetic very well. 

I can say the same that when you have the shooter elements and controls tuned to 2018 standards, expansions that were previously chores like Anchorage (my favorite even back on the console in 2008) are legitimately fun to play through.

The funny dialogue is best highlighted when Paulson, an American rancher from the 1800s, hears Kago, a 14th century Samurai, trying to get into the room to help with the final battle. 

Sammy: Hey, it's Kago! he's trying to get in!

Paulson: Well hurry on up and let the chinaman in!

Sammy: Hey, he is not a chinaman, he is a Japanese warrior!

Paulson: Alright. Would you PLEASE let the Oriental with the Sword in

 

It doesn't get better than that

I must have had a mod that borked it without even realizing it.  They were all silent through most of the adventure.  Definitely no reactivity on their own at least.  I'll definitely be trying it again.  

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I found a huge project for

I found a huge project for Zeta a few months ago. It basically let you take the ship and explore space, fight other ships, discover new planets. The mod had the ship models and some areas to explore and maybe some characters for a crew. The author asked for help scripting things I think, didn't get any help, and gave up I guess. Too bad, would have been fantastic if they could have finished some of it at least. I asked a friend if she would be interested in doing the scripting work for it, but, she said she wouldn't have the time.

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I think the biggest problem

I think the biggest problem of Bethesda is that, they chuck in whatever elements in other popular games (in that time) without a thoughtful plan about how can it fit into the theme, or how to execute it properly. It's like putting all popular dishes from several restaurants into a blender, fix it, and call it their new dish. It is eatable, it just taste crap.