Bethesda developers and Obsidian producers have been forced to do a little damage control following the PC Gamer article, as some things were wildly misinterpreted. No Mutants Allowed has kept track. J.E. Sawyer on dialogue.
This is how it works. Each skill-based dialogue option has two different texts: one for high skill (which will result in success) and one for low skill (which will result in failure). If you do not meet the required threshold, you see the latter.
There are a few reasons for including this:There's more clarifications here, including Bethesda producer Jason Bergman noting the Area 51 thing from the article was speculation on the magazine's part.
* In the same way that a locked safe beyond your Lockpicking skill indicates, it lets the player know that there's an option here.
* Some of the NPC responses to low skill checks can be pretty entertaining.
I also do want to clarify what is meant by "no penalty for failure". All it means is that you won't wind up in a worse position than you were before selecting it. If a dude bursts in and is intent on killing you, he's still going to want to kill you if you fail the Speech check to talk him out of it.
The Area 51 thing was pure speculation on PC Gamer's part. We did not show it or confirm whether or not it's in there. PC Gamer put it in because it's Nevada, and they think that means it will be in there.Scans of the magazine have predictably made their way online. Head over to NMA to take a peak.
I'm not saying it is or isn't, just that we haven't said either way.