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The Growing Population of Raiders

  • Member
    April 11

    Image result for raiders fallout 4   

      So during my current playtesting, I've gotten to kill a lot of raiders. I mean a LOT. My mind has essentially become numb to the horrible screams I hear every time I plunge my deathclaw gauntlet through a chest or fire a pistol straight through a raider's sack hood. As I started to think about this, a question hit me:

    Why are there so many raiders in the Wasteland?

    If you think about the sheer number of raider camps, gangs, and fortresses that are present in the Commonwealth alone, the number becomes pretty astounding. Now I understand, it's easy to just summarize this as something the game creators had to do so we'd have enough baddies to shoot up for it to be a video game. Got it, point taken. Regardless, the number of raiders (even without counting the fact that they respawn) compared to the number of other humans (Gunners, citizens of Diamond City, etc.) shows that raiding has become one of the most common practices in the wasteland. I feel like the best way to really answer this question, is to find the answer to another:

    Why do people choose to become a raider?

    First off, let's lay down some facts:

    1. In the wasteland, there still exists a form of currency; which means the need for caps is nearly as essential as the need for food and water

    2. The wasteland is deadly for anyone and everyone; the best way to combat this is to have plenty of weapons, friends, and protection

    3. The other jobs available SUCK

    While on the topic of jobs, lets take a look at what other post-apocalyptic careers are available besides raiding:

    -Running a caravan line; oh wait, those raiders we mentioned earlier are just going to take your stuff from you, unless you choose to pay most of what you earn over to mercenaries. Bummer

    -Scavenging salvage to trade; shoot, all the good salvage is either picked away or deep within a supermutant HQ. I hope you've got plenty of stimpaks 

    -Farming; what's that? The nuclear scorched ground doesn't want your tatos to grow well this season? Too bad that's your only form of food and caps for the year. Oh you had an excellent yield this season? Too bad you'll have giant bugs, greedy BoS members, and the infamous raiders knocking at your door to take it all away

    -Mercenary work; right, because an average Joe can be given a 10MM pistol and then be expected to survive long enough to earn a fortune protecting cargo from an angry Deathclaw

    Clearly, the jobs available give those that take them a very short life expectancy and an even lower return for their hard work. The sad thing is, no matter how hard you work there will be those damned raiders who try to come along and take it from you. Now this isn't to say that being a raider is easy; you have unruly leaders who get pissed WAY to easily, plenty of gunfights that you likely aren't prepared for, and those damned vault dwellers who always come running through your camp with a Cryolator so they can loot your leaders Steam Trunk of goodies. Even still, let's take a look at the pros here:

    -The problem of the need for caps is answered by simply taking them from the pockets of the weaklings that roam too close to your territory

    -Pipe weapons may be crude, but your gang has plenty of them for you to train with so you're never fully defensless

    -Though raiders may not be the friendliest of company, their sheer number would be invaluable in that you'll always have someone to watch your back

    -They take little skill to join, just act like a nutjob or absolute savage and you're good to go. If you've somehow maintained a good moral compass in the apocalypse wellll then this isn't the job for you

    -Most people are scared of raiders already, which makes taking from people so much easier. Just fire off your gun a few times and people will start running with you there to swoop in and take their hard earned stuff

     

    So although being a raider certaily isn't the best way of life, it's hard to deny it as one of the easier ways to make it through the wasteland. This would explain the high numbers of them: so many people just want a way to survive and joining a gang of chem addicts and psychos might just be one of the better options. Is it a cowards way out? Of course. But when there are no rules except "survival of the fittest", humans will do anything to keep themselves going

     

    I could go into more detail on this, however I'd rather leave the floor open to anyone who has additonal thoughts on these two question. Please share below!

     

  • Member
    April 11

    I think the reason raiders are so prominant in the Commonwealth and the wasteland in general is due to a long, long standing culture that has basically bred their way of life as the de facto option in some crazy Cold War-esque devolution of humanity.

    When the bombs dropped we know from holotapes and other in game lore sources that people very, very quickly resorted to guns, anarchy, and good ole fashion violance as a way to grab whatever meager rations and resources they could (which given the time period of 200 years since and we can still find stuff laying around wasn't as finite as people first thought although hold onto that thought as I will circle back in a minute). In times like this you trust your friends, neighbors, and family....or maybe even not them but at least like-minded people would and did band together. As such I think the raider gangs formed very very quickly. They just probubly looked a lot more like what we might think of as a "gang" today. Over time they develop that raider culture we see on display throughout Fallout.

    Now when the bombs drop and you grab your gang, and those guys down the street put together thier gang, and those people in the next town over get their gang together...ooo wait no they disagreed and split into three different gangs and you all want to pillage the local Wal-Mart which is itself being defended by the old Wal-Mart employees and their familys that got to the story on judgement day you find yourself in a whole quagmire of ridiculousness that will only get worse and worse and worse over time.

    With everyone pairing up and preying on each other it means that there are probubly very few groups (remember almost everyone would find their way into a group, as Madd said people need weapons, friends, and protection) willing to just hang out and farm while everyone around them runs around with guns pointing them at everyone else and pulling the triggers. I also might argue that in all likely hood there was a decent size gap between bombs dropping and someone figuring out what a tato was and how they could get it to grow in soil with a pH balance that would make a lemon blush. If you accept that premise as true....chances are almost everyone, raider, gunner, or 'settler' had "raiders" for ancestors.

    With the world gone to shit and everyone essentially trying to survive as a "raider" (the Walking Dead and similar franchises might be good examples of this in another medium) this likely meant that a lot of survivors didn't survive for all that long as they killed each other off. Remember earlier when I said I would cycle back? We are back now. For all the people that died from the bombs and the radiation I am willing to bet a lot too died in the immediate years afterwards as people grouped up and killed each other.

    So why do I think there are so many more raiders than "settlers" or whatever other name you want to use for non-raiders in the Commonwealth? Because once upon a time everyone was a raider. That is what people did to live. And it is only due to a few like minded individuals grouping up overtime, banding together for resources, and unwilling to just take, take, take and try to build rather than destroy that became the farmers, traders, and other groups that now inhabit places like Diamond City.

    My 2 cents. Great topic Madd!

     

  • Member
    April 11

    I really really like this Amornar! You touched on a point I totally overlooked: the beginning. It's weird how playing in the wasteland for so long can actually make you forget it was once America with laws and citizens; and that there was a true havoc that broke out when the bombs dropped. So in response to your point, I say it is 1000% fair to say that starting out most everyone was, in a sense, a raider. It went from people arming up with their neighbors to go get rations to take back to their bomb shelter all the way down the line to what we see in the games as the rusted up, crazed raiders that we all take so much joy in killing.

    Your information and theory is spot-on, thank you Amornar :) 

  • Member
    April 11

    Welcome! I love to contribute. Like I said before, GREAT topic. I LOVE the raider culture in Fallout 4 as evidenced from all my builds being almost all pro-raider or pro-Atom lol. Love to hear what others might think. I really like these discussion topics and would love to see like...a weekly discussion similar to this on the hub.

    Cheers!

  • Member
    April 11

    Amornar said:

    Welcome! I love to contribute. Like I said before, GREAT topic. I LOVE the raider culture in Fallout 4 as evidenced from all my builds being almost all pro-raider or pro-Atom lol. Love to hear what others might think. I really like these discussion topics and would love to see like...a weekly discussion similar to this on the hub.

    Cheers!

    Noted ;)

  • Member
    April 12

    yeah I've def thought about this...I do think the point about lawless culture oer time can explain the sheer volume of raiders. Part of me would like to think there's be more people trying to be respectable settlers, farmers, etc. But when resources are scarce...criminality is sure to ensue.

  • Member
    April 12

    So although being a raider certaily isn't the best way of life, it's hard to deny it as one of the easier ways to make it through the wasteland. This would explain the high numbers of them: so many people just want a way to survive and joining a gang of chem addicts and psychos might just be one of the better options. Is it a cowards way out? Of course. But when there are no rules except "survival of the fittest", humans will do anything to keep themselves going.

    I love it all, but that last had me smiling :D Thinking purely in terms of just why there are so many Raiders, I think psychopaths have an evolutionary advantage in the event of atomic annihilation. Can you imagine what the entrance exam and interview would be like? "So, you want to become a Raider. What qualities would you say you posses that make you suited for this role, and do you have any prior experience?"  

  • April 12

    When the bombs dropped we know from holotapes and other in game lore sources that people very, very quickly resorted to guns, anarchy, and good ole fashion violance as a way to grab whatever meager rations and resources they could (which given the time period of 200 years since and we can still find stuff laying around wasn't as finite as people first thought although hold onto that thought as I will circle back in a minute). In times like this you trust your friends, neighbors, and family....or maybe even not them but at least like-minded people would and did band together. As such I think the raider gangs formed very very quickly. They just probubly looked a lot more like what we might think of as a "gang" today. Over time they develop that raider culture we see on display throughout Fallout.

    Yeah, people definitely forget about this. The anarchy was even before the bombs dropped, as you can see from the Fallout 4 opening cinematic. And your point about scarcity is interesting. I think that in survival-of-the-fittest type of scenarios, people become so paranoid that they would kill people over the tiniest thing, like a bit of food. And that attitude continues as people have children and it gets worse and worse as actual scarcity begins to set in. And that brings me to my next point. I think people severely misjudge what raiders are. In my opinion, those raider gangs have been there for a long time. As in, somebody's grandparents were raiders, and they're continuing the job. But most people seem to assume that those gangs just decided to form up about one day before the player entered the wasteland. 

    Because once upon a time everyone was a raider. 

    That's just an awesome line. The total anarchy needs to be explored more in games I think. Raiders are not a new phenomenon. Awesome comment Amornar.

    Oh, and amazing article Madd. Super informative.

     

  • Member
    April 12

    ProbsCoolerThanYou said:

    When the bombs dropped we know from holotapes and other in game lore sources that people very, very quickly resorted to guns, anarchy, and good ole fashion violance as a way to grab whatever meager rations and resources they could (which given the time period of 200 years since and we can still find stuff laying around wasn't as finite as people first thought although hold onto that thought as I will circle back in a minute). In times like this you trust your friends, neighbors, and family....or maybe even not them but at least like-minded people would and did band together. As such I think the raider gangs formed very very quickly. They just probubly looked a lot more like what we might think of as a "gang" today. Over time they develop that raider culture we see on display throughout Fallout.

    Yeah, people definitely forget about this. The anarchy was even before the bombs dropped, as you can see from the Fallout 4 opening cinematic. And your point about scarcity is interesting. I think that in survival-of-the-fittest type of scenarios, people become so paranoid that they would kill people over the tiniest thing, like a bit of food. And that attitude continues as people have children and it gets worse and worse as actual scarcity begins to set in. And that brings me to my next point. I think people severely misjudge what raiders are. In my opinion, those raider gangs have been there for a long time. As in, somebody's grandparents were raiders, and they're continuing the job. But most people seem to assume that those gangs just decided to form up about one day before the player entered the wasteland. 

    Because once upon a time everyone was a raider. 

    That's just an awesome line. The total anarchy needs to be explored more in games I think. Raiders are not a new phenomenon. Awesome comment Amornar.

    Oh, and amazing article Madd. Super informative.

     

    Thanks! Lol I do like that line a lot now that I see it pulled out. :) Checking the replies on this article put me in such a good mood. Raiders are so awesome lol. I just really enjoy them because I find them more three dimensional than settlers who are....the helpless maidens trope of the Fallout world. Raiders are often seen as one dimensional by most people but that is just because they are presented as a mob for a player to kill in a game little different from super mutants or ghouls. I love factions and groups in games that have passion. Passion to survive in a world that wants to chew you up and spit you out in the case of raiders. You just have to look below the surface of rpg mob.

  • Member
    April 12

    The real question is - do you think Raiders were well served in the addition of Nuka World? I feel like they gave it a good try, and Gage is a decently put-together character. But to me...there seems to be something missing. Can't quite put my finger on it..but maybe it's the lack of truly sadistic dialogue and main quest options for our character. It just doesn't ring true when you turn out on the other side of the gauntlet...feels phony.