I don't really bother to say much here because the few people I who even see these posts are people I have much more convenient methods of communication with- however, I don't want to waste their time with some inane rambling about a dumb thing that I'd imagine not many people care about or agree with me on in the first place.
That said; here it comes regardless.
In the months leading up to Fallout 4 I played both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas again to re-familiarize myself with post-apocalyptia. However, I did so under one predominant stipulation: no fast travel via the Pip-Boy map.
A few months later when Fallout 4 came out; I made myself stick to the same stipulation.
I continued to stick to that when I went back to Skyrim earlier this month: fast travel via carriages only.
To be honest; each game was made a lot more fun because of the self-imposed rule. I encountered scenarios via the Radiant AI system that I hadn't encountered before, I discovered locales, people, and things I hadn't even noticed before, and ultimately I feel my experience was more enriched by taking the time to explore these worlds on foot.
I honestly feel like the fast travel system does these games no favors.
Why am I bothering to prattle on about this?
My favorite RPG of all time is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind- a game that didn't offer fast travel in a pinch. Half of the challenge of getting around Vvardenfell was finding out where you were going first and then finding out which towns offered travel services that could get you close enough to make the hike more convenient.
By having to interact with people for services such as a scout to mark my map and a ship master to transport me to a specific fixed point (i.e only one of a few other towns); I experienced more of the world and its inhabitants than I have in any of the Bethesda games that followed after it.
Now I know I can ignore the fast travel as have been doing and just shut up about it and let everyone else use it as they see fit, but it's part of a bigger problem I'm seeing with these particular games. Little things like these strip away more of the experience slowly-but-surely until more and more things are removed for "convenience" like they were in Fallout 4. Things like the removal of individually developed skills which directly lead to the loss of possible skill checks in conversation that could alter your interactions with characters/factions/the world-at-large.
I can't help but feel like this has been the result of a "one thing leads to another" sort of snowball effect centering around excessively providing more and more unnecessary conveniences for the player in vast open world RPGs that center around exploration and interaction with their inhabitants.
Conveniences in my mind that started with fast travel.
Yes, I'm being picky about something so small, but half of the joy in a Bethesda RPG is crafting a character and defining their personalities/impact/legacies by developing their skills and using said skills to affect to world around them/you and I honestly feel that the overall experience is much more hollow when one can easily pop between point A and B without the chance of encountering something new going either way.
That disappoints me and I just felt the need to vent about it regardless if anyone bothers to pay attention or not.