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 Which side to take (FNV)

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Which side to take (FNV)   Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:56 pm

So right now, I'm at the point where I hold the key to every faction in the game. I've obtained the chip for Mr.House, I've gotten on Caesars good side by getting it (and not attacking them Razz), I'm liked by the NCR for all the work I've done for them and I have the option to terminate Mr.House per Bennys request. On my last play through, I just went with the NCR because they seemed like the best option. But on my second run, I've realized that there isn't really a "good" side to any of these factions. Carabas has summed up each one of these:

"The Legion illustrates the principle that might makes right. They enforce peace through terror, assimilation and slavery. They treat women like cattle. Worse of all the Legion depends on Caesar and it will probably crumble into several raiding bands when he dies.

The NCR is a perfect example of a bureaucracy that over-extends. It stretches too far, it is corrupt and inefficient. It wants to take over local government but can't provide any services in exchange. It can be both reppressive and oppressive. It doesn't condone slavery but labourers are exploited by their bosses.

Yes Man sounds like a good idea at first but once you go through the questline you realize that the robots have become independent and that they won't answer to the courier. It's a very scary twist IMO.

House wants Vegas to prosper and he has no personal interest for fame or glory or even wealth. All he wants is power and being in control. I would think of him as Ozymandias (Watchmen reference if you don't know who he is). He wants to be in charge because he feels that it is gis responsibility given his unique talents for leadership and management.

House is a control freak but the idea of a balance of power keeping Vegas independent from the NCR is something that is not without a certain appeal. But House is a real dick and a manipulative, scheming one at that."

So pretty much all I'm asking is: what is the best move for the future of the Mojave?
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:10 pm

In my first game I went with Yes Man and by the end I felt like my character had opened Pandora's Box and created even more problems for the Mojave.

Another way to look at the problem would be to consider the issue with minor factions in mind.

Let's take the Great Khans for instance, as far as I can see the only option that doesn't involve them being exterminated is the House line or the Yes Man line since if you side with the NCR Colonel Moore will want them killed (you don't have to) and if you're with the Legion it becomes obvious that they will be assimilated and destroyed (Karl's journal).

If we consider the Kings and the people of Freeside the same principle applies. Caesar will only spare the Followers of the Apocalypse and the NCR will integrate the people from Freeside whether they want to or not. The only hope for independence becomes the Courier and the fact that House doesn't see any of the Freeside factions as a threat (even if you tell House about the bug Emily Ortal has asked you to plant in the Lucky 38).

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dragoniguana
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:33 am

I prefer the NCR. Honestly, they have some problems, but they're the lesser evil. The Legion is just maniacal, House is a tyrant, and giving New Vegas freedom would create total anarchy. That, and you can get the NCR to spare most factions in the game.
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Kana
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:58 am

This is one of the reasons I love NV. Each group has interesting qualities. I tend to think of the factions as representing real world political ideologies. The NCR is centralized representationalism. The Legion is totalitarianism. Mr. House is corporatism. "Yes, Man" is anarchism (or, at least, whatever form of decentralized government your character might wish to erect).

The NCR also has an obvious correlation to the US federal government in the old west, and it really adds to the western atmosphere of the game. The residents want to remain independent, and feel the NCR has no right to authority over them, but the hostilities of groups like the Legion end up forcing them to choose. If I lived in the Mojave Wasteland, I'd probably choose the NCR, but it would be a bitter pill to swallow.

I've played through the game 3 times, and Mr. House is the only faction I have yet to side with. That will be my next playthrough. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my Caesar playthrough, though. I'm about as far from being a totalitarian as you could possibly find, but I often enjoy RP more when my character has little in common with me.
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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:29 am

I think what I'm going to do is go with Mr.House. I don't know why, but I just feel like his system of governmnet is something that the Mojave needs. If I don't like what I see, I'll probably just end up killing him and siding with another faction Razz

As for what you mentioned Kana, I feel like Caesars route is the road less taken. But it seems a lot more fun than all the other factions. The only problem is that I maintain a high karma all around the game and never take the bad karma side. I don't know. I might just wander a little more and make up my mind. Thanks for your feedback guys Smile
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:50 am

The thing that makes this great is that the writing is very clever. Caesar is anything but a moron. The worst part is that if it wasn't for the atrocities the Legion is associated with it woudln't be such a bad choice.

Of course one could argue that it is because of its ruthlessness this faction is able to enforce order and make chems illegal.

I'm currently planning to side with House -which I haven't played through so far despite siding with him on several other playthroughs. What I don't like about the House line is that you feel more like a pawn than in the other lines.

The Yes Man line is in fact pure anarchy and I don't know if it's just me but I find it really creepy. It was my first and natural choice when playing the game. I was a bit disappointed because I realized by the end that my Courier wouldn't be able to secure a happy ending for the Mojave (despite having the best intentions).

Strangely enough the Legion playthrough is not that bad when you're playing it. This is rather disquieting as I have little patience for tyrants and totalitarian regimes in real life but given the context of the Mojave there is a strong case that can be made for the Legion something that Cass acknowledges when she talks about the Caravan trade in Arizona (whereas she stresses the point that NCR officials take their tolls on caravans and don't ensure their safety).

Let's not forget that Caesar was a Follower of the Apocalypse and a scholar. He turned his intelligence and knowledge towards less noble goals but he is still an idealist even if the apple has fallen far from the tree. After all what he is trying to achieve is the creation of a homogenous society and culture relying on the artificial and foreign concept of imperial Rome. It's a form of totalitarianism and the fact that Caesar discusses Hegelian dialectics doesn't make him less of a cruel sadistic megalomaniac /egomaniac. If anything he proves that someone can discuss philosophy and still crucify people because they're in the way or because they happen to endorse a different lifestyle.

Still, the Legion faction is absolutely barbaric, cruel and ruthless. Order without any shred of respect for human decency is not something that a humanist could embrace. In a postapocalyptic world it evokes a form of Darwinism, only the strongest and the fittest will survive.

As far as the NCR is concerned I dislike them. Not outright because I understand that they don't mean to harm the people of the Mojave (just assimilate them and take control of their lives). Of course those who oppose them can expect to suffer the fate of the Great Khans at Bitter Springs...

Going back to American history I tend to see the NCR as the North after the Civil War. People like the Van Graffs and McLafferty are no better than scallywags and carpetbaggers. They're in the Mojave to take advantage of the ressources and the population and all they're interested in is profit. They're backed by senators in the west who are corrupt and have been so ever since Fallout 2 (remember the dealings between the NCR and the Bishops in New Reno to force Vault City to join the NCR?) and it gets even worse when considering the military...

Colonel Moore is a despicable character bent on killing people for being different and refusing to accept NCR rule. General Lee Oliver doesn't care if he sacrifices countless NCR troopers to achieve his goals. In fact the only NCR commanders that care for the troops are Colonel Hsu and Chief Hanlon (whose reaction towards the brass is the cause of his undoing).

In that perspective that leaves House who makes a very interesting plea for his side. House views Vegas as a company that he rules so it can prosper. He sees the NCR as a pool of customers that will enrich Vegas if they don't take control. The good thing about House is that he is open about what he intends to do (but then so is Caesar). He clearly states that he has no interest in making laws about what people do in their private time -which is good. He clearly has an ego but he pretends that he doesn't want to be worshipped as a god and that is supported by his attitude. It would have been easy for him to act like the Master (from the original Fallout). However he defines himself as an autocrat. He claims to be a visionary and if anything the fact that he managed to minimize the effect of the nuking of Vegas is proof to that (he foresaw the War and managed to prevent the worst from happening to Vegas). House is detached, calculating and as such not the most warm hearted person in the Mojave. That being said he is also the one who can stand between the Great Bear and the Great Bull and not be crushed.

I'm not saying House is the perfect choice. Having Securitrons killing a guy just because he wants to get to the Strip and doesn't have enough caps is not only ruthless but clearly excessive (I'm stating the obvious here). Keeping the riff raff away is one thing, killing people in the process can't be good.

Opinions?

EDIT: I've just read Paul's post (mine took a long time to type) and I have to say that the important thing is to side with the faction that feels right for the character you're (role)playing. Besides the karma system is broken. In this game Robin Hood would be a really bad guy whereas a psycho killer would still manage a decent karma score (unless he or she was also a cannibal). I even uploaded a mod to neutralize karma which isn't so bad and doesn't have much of an impact on the game (the only thing I can think about is Cass getting annoyed at a very evil character).

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:42 pm

I really enjoyed reading your post Carabas. You and Ulysess share a very similar point of view Razz

I'm still going to consider House. The only issue I have with him is that it just seems like he's just trying to put all his effort into the Strip rather than the Mojave. He put all his efforts into preserving it through the war while the rest of the Mojave crumbled and fell apart. Maybe that's why he's so ruthless through his protection of the Strip. Only the finest/richest people (hence the passports) are allowed on the Strip, keeping a sense of control to the area. House will do anything to keep the Strip in one piece. That the only thing that bothers me about him.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:35 pm

PAULMCGREGOR wrote:
I really enjoyed reading your post Carabas. You and Ulysess share a very similar point of view Razz

Thanks. I'll tell you after playing Lonesome Road (I've been delaying for a long time now).

You're absolutely right about House and the Strip. It's a very good point. House doesn't seem to care much about Freeside and the people who had to seek refuge there after being pushed out of the Strip by his Securitrons.

House caters to the Strip leaving scraps for Freeside and the rest of the Mojave but I'm not sure that the people would fare any better under NCR rule.

If you think about Janet who works for the Crimson Caravan -standard procedure is that wages are to be paid after two weeks of work and the employer deduces the cost of food and board. In other words that situation is not so different from the situation of indentured servants. During the Young Hearts quest the Courier has to convince Alice McLafferty to release her from her contract (McLafferty accepts but tries to cheat her out of her wages).

Whether we're talking about the NCR or House it's better to be a wealthy entrepreneur like McLafferty or a brahmin baron like Heck Gunderson... Both McLafferty and Gunderson have been known to take advantage of certain situations and to bully the competition (directly or indirectly).

House probably doesn't care about it as he is certainly considering the big picture (Gunderson's business makes the meat market more competitive and McLafferty's leadership bolsters trade in the Mojave) and the NCR is simply too corrupt to do anything about enforcing fair business practices. It's all about greed.

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:44 pm

Funny, I literally just did that quest. And yes, I see what you mean.

Greed. True, that's all it all comes down to. Question though. I haven't taken the Yes Man side before, but what could a robot gain from stabbing you in the back?
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Yes Man develops his own identity and turns out to be more independent than before. Would you really trust an AI that has absolutely no moral compass and no interest in preserving human life? IMO it can't get any worse than this.

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:09 pm

That really is scary. So it's been decided. Mr.House seems like the best road in my case. I'll probably side with the Legion for kicks on another play-through and just ignore the whole karma meter.
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dragoniguana
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:07 pm

Ignoring karma is a definite way to go in New Vegas. It alters nearly nothing except a few lines of dialogue in the ending.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:37 pm

Karma Neutralized. That will do the trick. Wink

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:19 pm

Thanks for that. I'll save it for later.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:24 pm

I know I've been posting a lot in this thread but I've been playing a little and as my character was visiting Vault 21 it reminded me of something House did, i.e. fill up the lower levels of the vault with concrete after tricking the vault dwellers. Of course House could have been harsher but destroying someone's home isn't the nicest thing one can do.

I thought I'd post this here as it gives some insight in House's strategy. Clearly House cares more about his plan than he does about what can befall bystanders but that is trait he has in common with most important figures in the Mojave.

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:26 pm

Wow, that's a pretty dick move.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:45 pm

Maybe so, but let's not forget that House could have got them killed very easily if he had chosen to.

Of course if he had exterminated the inhabitants of Vault 21 he wouldn't have been able to get the services of Michael Angelo...

EDIT: Besides let's keep in mind that it was Mr House who shaped the families that occupy the Strip. Seven years before the Courier's adventures they were still tribals who lived a very different life. House gave them their new clothing, their new lifestyle and their names.

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:54 pm

I've been playing a bit more tonight and I ran into a big objection I have regarding House's tasks... I had completely forgotten about it but in order to complete the House line you have to...

Spoiler:
 

I was aiming for a likable, mostly diplomatic approach and now my guy ends up having to do something he doesn't want to.

Spoiler:
 

I'm going to complete it this time but I do remember going for the Yes Man line at that point in the past. Neutral

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:18 am

Oh yeah, I had already read that somewhere. Is there any way to somehow loop around it? I just gave the platinum chip to House, and he just sent me to go deal with the Boomers (I'm going to get them to side with House). I already have a decent reputation with them and could get them to consider it. As for the BoS thing, I have no idea what would happen.
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dragoniguana
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:12 pm

That's one reason I really like the Wild Card playthrough: YOU choose what YOU want to do with all the factions. There's no higher power telling you how you have to do it. That said, playing through NCR, I did manage to get every faction to make peace with the NCR, and not have to eradicate them.
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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:59 pm

I really would've liked to play through the Wildcard playthrough, but as mentioned, Yes Man is planning against you until the end. And the courier won't do a thing because he wouldn't suspect a thing since the robot was specifically designed to do everything you tell him.

That would make for a pretty cool continuous to the game. It'd be like Blade Runner, but the robots would have to be replicants of humans, and they'd have to start developing emotions and such.
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dragoniguana
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:42 pm

Ah, see, this is why we have imagination. My courier'd be smart enough to figure out Yes Man's plan, and work to stop him before he can do anything.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:44 pm

The Wild Card ending left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Of course you can leave everyone alone and be done with it (it's the ending that is meant to left the game open so it can be finished whether you've done quests or not and whether you've worked with certain factions or simply killed everyone in sight).

That being said the House line is really unpalatable. You have to be a real merc to find some redeeming features to this ending.

The only good thing is that the House ending doesn't force the Courier to take charge of the fate of the Mojave. After all House has been shaping the fate of Vegas since before the Great War and the only reason the Strip is still standing is because of his efforts so despite House's attitude and megalomania he must be doing something right (hopefully).

The Wild Card is more like a screw you to everyone which ends with chaos and anarchy. You've got to decide what happens to the people in the Mojave but I can't say it's a good ending. It's more like everybody loses.

Regarding the NCR, of course you can make peace but don't kid yourself, how long is it going to last? The greed will always be there. That's one perspective that gives House and edge. House may be power hungry (he is a bit of a control freak -at least in the areas that interest him) but he is not greedy. IMO it would seem as if for House money is nothing more than a means to an end which is not something that we can say about the NCR and its corrupt system of bribes and commissions.

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PAULMCGREGOR
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:19 pm

I just finished convincing the Boomers to join up with House, but now he's given me the unpleasant task of wiping out the BoS. Is there any way around it? Quote from wiki: "It was initially possible to convince House to spare the Brotherhood by passing a high speech check. This bit of dialogue was, however, disabled in the final version of the game, but can still be found within the game files." Are there any mods on the Nexus that bring the dialogue back out? If not, then I don't think I'm going to be siding with House too long.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Which side to take (FNV)   Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:47 pm

If you feel that way then go for the Yes Man line.

That being said the BoS are a bunch of zealots, if you first visit them without Veronica it will be easy to find reasons to get medieval on them.

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