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Moldaver's overriding goal seems to have been to get Lucy's father to give her the code to activate her cold fusion device, and based on the last few episodes, she actually seems to run one of the least sociopathic factions on the surface: as the remnant of Shady Sands, they seem to have a fairly functioning society, and Moldaver's evil plan is...free electricity for everyone.

However, when invading Vault 33, she apparently waited until she had a chance to catch as many residents unawares as possible, instead of pursuing a strategy that might have been more amenable to her presumed primary goal, such as getting Hank alone and kidnapping him, or even just having soldiers ready to force the unarmed residents to turn Hank over as soon as Vault 32 was opened, suggesting that killing as many vault dwellers as possible was also one of her goals. Most of her soldiers seemed to be quite enthusiastic about this goal as well. 

Why did Moldaver try to kill the other vault dwellers? 

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    The people she infiltrated with where raiders so I suspect it was a going to be a bit of a killing spree already with out her help
    – A.Steer
    Commented Apr 13 at 7:48
  • "She actually seems to run one of the least sociopathic factions"? I don't see it. She just had some random "believers", at best. She used some actual assholes on this attack, ones she didn't care while most got captured or killed.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 15 at 18:21
  • @Mithoron - That is more a comment on how sociopathic the rest are, not that she would be considered a good person in any reasonable society. She still is a fanatic committed to achieving her ideal society (and proving her genius invention works) by any means she can, and with a high tolerance for collateral damage. It's just that most of the rest of the surface (the Ghoul being a strong example) seems to find the collateral damage to be the point.
    – Adamant
    Commented Apr 15 at 18:57

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The key to understanding Moldaver's actions lies in her choice of followers—raiders. As any player of the Fallout games knows (and as also revealed in the show), raiders are notorious for their violent tendencies, often fueled by a reliance on various mind-altering chems (drugs). They are not the type to follow a plan that doesn't involve bloodshed and chaos.

“Raiders take whatever they want, whenever they want, and their favorite pastimes are torture and murder.”— Fallout 3 loading screen

The term "raider" is wasteland slang for any individuals who survive by murder and plunder. While alternate terms exist, such as "bandit," "outlaw," or "gangster," they are not applied as universally. Raiders typically prey upon lone travelers and small towns, leaving larger groups and more populous settlements alone, though in great enough numbers they can pose a threat to entire regions.

- Raiders. Nukapedia

Moldaver, aware of her raider followers’ inherent volatility, likely calculated that a violent approach would yield better results in capturing Hank than a more restrained strategy. In her mind, the end goal of obtaining the cold fusion code justified the means of slaughtering innocent vault dwellers who stood in her way.

While her actions may seem unnecessarily cruel, in the unforgiving world of Fallout, such ruthlessness is par for the course. 

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