If you search the forum for "water", you might see it hand-waved at a few times in some odd threads. It's not really a big area of interest. I'm hoping that might change in the near future...
- A resource that the human body cannot go without for more than three day (give or take).
- Hard to preserve without using a closed container.
- Difficult to completely clean, more-so in a radioactive world.
- Hard to verify as safe or unsafe.
- Routed through fragile pipe systems in an industrial/post-industrial society. Those systems would not survive a nuclear war.
- Attainable by any group which can drill a deep hole and build a structure to harvest it. In the post apoc world, this means that only the most well-off towns/cities will have it. Though it may still not be clean.
- In the wasteland, EVERYONE needs water. Even hermits.
I've been playing New Vegas in hardcore mode and it really got me thinking about the (lack of) use of water in modern games based in arid environments.
If used as money, it could provide a very interesting dynamic. Players will want to stay out of the desert sun to avoid eating away at their source of income. It's hard to motivate the player to respect the threat of the sun in the wasteland otherwise.
Regarding use of "money"
Why is "money" still being used in post-apoc games? Any form of money which does not have intrinsic value (gold, diamonds, water, etc) requires a form of trust from those that use it. The idea behind a dollar used to be that it was a IOU for gold. You could literally go and trade it in for whatever gold that dollar was worth. Over time, trust was established for the banks and we began to forget that the dollar itself was worthless without the assets to back it. In post-apoc world, that trust would be near impossible to create. The only society in the Fallout world which could create money might be the NCR - in Wasteland world, I'm not sure who could, if anyone.
Consistency of cost
In the real world, most goods cost roughly the same for a country. All bets are off when you go to a different country. Although sometimes prices differ from state to state for some goods, or even city to city. This is driven by the globalization of the modern world. Increased competition has forced consistent pricing across entire countries... Such fairness does not exist in the wasteland. The issue is that money implies some consistency; water does not.
So my question/assertion is, why did Fallout/Wasteland even bother with caps/money instead of using water? What will/should Wasteland 2 do? Why/why not?