So let’s talk raiders and others of their ilk. I’ll be both introducing a new location and overhauling an existing one here, so I guess I’ll kick off with the overhauled one as that ties directly into Eighton.
Raiders of one form or another have been a staple of the series since the start; the Khans, Vipers, Jackals, Scorpions, Fiends, etc. And in every game not made by Bethesda they’ve also been either joinable in some way, or at the very least the player can talk to them and potentially pick up quests. Catering to the evil types is a necessity Bethesda sadly ignores in their gimped version of Fallout.
Remember that lovely location in the north-western portion of the map, the three satellite towers together in a triangle shape? The generic Raider haunt? You can see it there in the above image. I’ll be livening that place up a bit momentarily, but first I’m going to focus on Springvale and its associated school, pointless Raider haunt that it currently is.
So the general deal with Springvale is thus: technically it’s a Raider haunt, and the people living there are certainly less than pleasant to outsiders, but in reality these were mostly people from Eighton who were banished for one reason or another.
For certain crimes, the legal system of Eighton hands out banishment rather than death, figuring that the Wasteland is a death sentence in any case, and probably worse than a quick death by firing squad or whatever. This is a relatively new thing introduced by the hardliners with their more militaristic ideals, and banishing is considered a fate worse than death.
Thanks to this, more and more people have been convicted of ‘crimes’ they probably didn’t commit, or that weren’t even crimes; they simply asked the wrong questions, or spoke up in front of the wrong person, or otherwise honked someone off. This has led to a situation of basically decent people being banished into the wastes, most of whom end up gravitating to Springvale (since it’s close by) and being taken in by the raiders there.
The moderate members of the 8th are generally loathe to make too much noise when it comes to the hardliners’ excesses because there’s a fragile equilibrium right now and rocking the boat would potentially give the hardliners a majority. This would be a bad thing. As a result, these ridiculous punishments for crimes that aren’t even crimes go on.
For the most part the ‘raiders’ are actually regular people banished from Eighton who’ve effectively been forced into stealing and killing in order to survive, resulting in a location that the player might well initially consider to be in need of burning to the ground, but which can actually be turned around with some effort. Additional strain is put on Eighton because these are mostly people of the Civilian Division being banished.
By helping the rather more civilised moderate parts of the Eighton faction gain power over the hardliners, the player will be able to effect changes in the location itself, but additionally will be able to help the Springvale faction by returning them to their original home.
It wouldn’t be easy of course, they’ve had to do some pretty awful things to survive out here in the Wasteland, but it’ll be an option the player can explore… assuming they don’t simply massacre the lot of them on their first meeting, thinking them nothing more than generic Raiders. I’ll talk a bit more about Springvale in a moment, but since they tie into the raider faction up north, let’s talk about them for a bit.
So heading far up north we find our nice SatCom array, and inside, a bunch of raider types. They’re nasty, they’re loud, they’re crude, they’re vicious, but they’re also non-hostile as long as you don’t attack them first. This will be the major raider faction of the wastes, a faction you will be able to build a reputation with and can help out by completing quests, something similar to NV’s Powder Gangers, only much worse.
The above image is the inside of one of the SatCom towers, so they’ve got a pretty comfy thing going here with plenty of space down below in several bunker/basement areas. However, they’re also running out of space, having just been recruiting new members to their little club of the worst dregs of human society. This being the case, our Raiders are looking for somewhere to expand into, somewhere spacious and reasonably close by.
See how close Fort Constantine is? Remember how I mentioned that place in the post on Underworld and the Wight House? Guess what we’re doing next. Yep, the raiders are looking for new opportunities for looting and pillaging, and Fort Constantine just so happens to have a shiny metro connection to the White House directly under it, or at least it does now.
Initially, your job will simply be to help the raiders move some of their number into Fort Constantine. Depending on whether you’ve met the Wight House ghouls or not yet, and whether you’ve started their Constantine-related quests, you may or may not have problems with this; robots at the fort could still be active, or the ghouls could already be there. At the start, you’re only interested in the topside buildings, so the facility keys aren’t needed just yet.
So your job as an awful person wanting to be maximum evil is to find a way into Fort Constantine so the raiders can access it after getting them into the topside buildings, assuming you haven’t started the associated ghoul quests.
This part is pretty easy because you just need to destroy the robots and find the entrance to the facility, hidden in plain sight within one of the houses there. But getting inside the facility, ah, that’s the hard part.
At this point you have two main options. Obtain the four keys from Crowley and enter via the house entrance, unlocking the four doors on your way through. This obviously requires that you obtain those four keys from their owners, and if you’re playing a sufficient nasty type to be in cahoots with raiders, chances are you’ll also be an ally to Tenpenny, potentially complicating matters.
Alternatively, the pure evil route would see you travelling to the Wight House, putting down or otherwise getting past the ghouls there, and activating the Presidential Metro System in order to travel direct to the Fort, thereby making your way into the facility via the alternate route. Of course, if you already helped the ghouls get in and now want to betray them… you can freely do that, too.
An additional option opening up once inside is making use of this enormous stockpile of nukes. You know what’s coming next, right? You let the raiders (or the ghouls if you prefer!) into the Fort, they set up shop – naturally the raiders are too thick to understand radiation and the ghouls give no craps about it – and then you rig one of the bombs to go boom, removing the entire raider presence here and severely reducing their numbers elsewhere.
This would have an actual effect on the number of raiders in the wasteland, unlike nuking Megaton which basically does nothing of value. Alternatively, if you nuke the ghouls… well, that’s just going to cause you problems when it comes to endgame time and you’ll have a harder time getting through the Metro to Adams Airforce Base, as the ghouls at the Wight House ain’t going to be pleased with you. Either way you have tangible consequences.
Going back to the raider faction itself, upon helping them expand their operations into Fort Constantine, and potentially from there all the way to the Wight House, you’ll be in pretty good standing with them, resulting in less hostile raiders on your travels. Additionally, you’ll have new quests pop up helping the raiders with other matters, again expanding their sphere of influence further into the Wasteland.
As you can see in the above image, Fort Constantine has a weapon and ammo cache inside the main building (both behind Very Hard locked doors/terminals). Securing these could improve the weapons used by raiders throughout the wastes, with patrols ambushing caravan traders and the like using their new toys (raiders also wouldn’t start out with ridiculous guns like sniper rifles and combat shotguns. Seriously, Bethesda, stop that).
Similarly, depending on how well you do in the raider-related quests and how many of them you complete, you’ll have access to uh… not a strike team as such, nothing so grandiose, but certainly a bunch of lunatics willing to join you in the final battle at Adams Airforce Base for no more reason than simply wanting to blow shit up and kill stuff.
Also, in the vanilla game one of these three SatCom towers is taken over by the Enclave. They won’t be around in my version, but I’ll still use the event itself as it’d allow for a nice situation where the player can actually help their raider settlement – assuming the player has sided with them – repel the invaders, maybe even revealing the secret of the SatCom array (the orbital weapon platform tied to it) in the process.
At that point… well, you potentially have fun options for targeting the weapon satellite towards one of the major settlements, say… Eighton? Playing as an evil or otherwise shady character in cahoots with Raiders and similar, removing a goody-two-shoes settlement like Eighton (and their stockpile of power armour and AAACs, something the raiders could never stand up to on even terms) would be in their best interests.
This would also make your battle against the main antagonists much harder, however. Again, tangible consequences for your choices. But you would also have a sizeable team of loons joining you in the final battle to balance things out a bit.
One other thing is the Fort Constantine commanding officer’s quarters, the small building at the entrance to the location with the bunker leading down into the depths of the facility and its associated nuclear silos. This would make for a nice player home, given it has a bed and storage and the like, giving a fringe benefit to players siding with the Raiders.
And finally, we need a name for our new faction. I was thinking something silly like the Dish Runners, a name coming about from a suicidally insane practice of attempting to run up the SatCom dishes and leap from one to another, probably even saying that this is like a rite of passage for the stronger leader types. If you’re too scared to attempt it, or you fall to your death, well, you can’t have been very good leader material, right?
The last thing to mention is how this new raider faction ties into the Springvale faction. Simple: the player will have the option to convince the Springvale raider faction that Eighton isn’t even worth their time, instead having them become part of the Dish Runners faction.
This will lead to an increased presence of raiders around this region, with caravans coming under additional attacks from this newly minted and aggressive group based out of Springvale. You’ll probably also get some additional loons for the assault on Adams AFB.
Again, consequences are going to be a thing, and increased raiders means decreased caravans and trade, so settlements will potentially have downgraded inventory, assuming you can even get in without being shot on sight.
You might not directly have hurt them but helping the raiders would likely give a reputation hit across the civilised locations, resulting in less high quality stock… but offset by being able to murder caravans and loot them directly. Again, this all ties into the idea of a nihilistic playstyle being fully supported and rewarded.
With that, we have an uncompromisingly evil faction of lunatics who thrive on danger and the thrill of combat and other crazy crap (dish running et al), a number of potential quests incorporating them into the wastes and tying into a couple of secondary factions – both positively and negatively – and even gain some nutters to join in on the final assault against the main antagonist faction in the event we’ve killed all the others such as Eighton.
There is one other very important location that will actually tie nicely into the Dish Runners faction, but I’ll talk about that general region of the map and its associated quests and locations next time, since it’s likely to take a full post by itself. Here’s a hint: green will be heavily involved.