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View Full Version : The Dust Has Settled - Thoughts On Fallout: New Vegas



Dominic Tarason
30-01-2012, 09:59 PM
So, a year and a bit ago, Quinns wrote a review of the game for RPS. He really didn't like the game much. It was very controversial. Based on that, and general hearsay about terrible bugs, I put off buying the game until a Goaty edition was available. During the Steam sale, the game + all the DLC came up to about Ģ10, so my girlfriend bought it for me, because she's brill. I finally got round to trying it last week.

So far, I've seen *an* ending, but only scratched the surface in terms of content. I ended the game at a mere level 17, having not touched any of the faction quests or the DLC packs, and I've already jumped back into the Mojave for another try, rolling back to a save I made at Lv13, before I tried (and succeeded) in wrenching the game off the rails.

So, my first and foremost thought on the game is: This is the real Fallout 3. The story continues on directly from where Fallout 2 left off - unsurprising, given that a lot of the original writers and designers are back on board. It's drier and dustier in a lot of ways, but that's very much intentional. While Fallout 3 was a theme park dressed up as a post-apocalyptic adventure, it could easily pass for a prototype Skyrim if you replaced 'Vertibirds' with 'Dragons'. New Vegas drops you - confused, wounded and vengeful - into the middle of a complex three-way power struggle over an independent state, while a dozen or so minor factions try to carve out their niches in the chaos.

The setting in general feels so much more convincing than it's predecessor. Yes, there are huge empty spaces of nothing - rolling sand dunes punctuated with occasional giant scorpions and (if you're lucky) a bleached corpse dragged under a rock. That's because it's a desert. You're not constantly patted on the head with loot and rare encounters over every hill - you'll often find an abandoned house and discover that it's already been picked clean by someone. You can tell that people have passed through, even - empty cans lie around a campfire, and boxes indoors lay upturned. It makes finding something still unopened all that more special.

While the desert feels bleaker and more hostile, the settlements feel much larger and more convincing, though. While the number of people on the streets is limited due to the engine being fairly old and creaky, you've got multiple large farmsteads and fields surrounding each major town, providing a clear food-source, and people genuinely seem to struggle to maintain clean water supplies, wheras in Fallout 3, the only guy who seemed to care was the perpetually thirsty old guy outside of Megaton. They put a lot more thought into world-building here, and while it all adheres to B-movie logic, there's nothing as implausible as Little Lamplight.

Yes, it's a lot less vivid and cartoonish. Characters talk more, have more depth and thoughts to share on pretty much everyone and everything in the region. They're also more expendable - outside of two unique NPCs (who are immortal for actual plot reasons, which is clever), EVERYONE can die and you'll still be able to reach a proper end to the story. You can literally murder every single named NPC in Nevada and the game will keep on trucking. You can ally with or betray any faction, and generally do things to the beat of your own drum. There's a bare minimum of two solutions to almost everything (and it seldom feels like a binary good/evil decision - Karma is an invisible stat in this game, anyway) - it's this which allowed me to skip most of the story and launch straight into the endgame on a whim.

In short, it feels a lot more like an old-school RPG. It feels a lot more like Fallout. Mod-wise, all I ran for my first playthrough was a couple of fan-patches which fix things like navigation meshes and floating items, and the Project Nevada pack, which tweaks the gameplay (effortlessly and seamlessly - the entire design doc for it is basically 'this shouldn't feel like a mod') to be a little more like STALKER, making gunplay more interesting and less VATS-dependent. Oh, and a little tweak to make the DLC stuff not trigger until you wander into the appropriate area at the right level.

So, yeah - this is one of the better RPGs I've played in ages, and dragged me away from Skyrim pretty effortlessly. I've still only scratched the surface, and probably have another 30-40 hours worth of wandering and questing to do before I even start looking at content mods, too. So, now the dust has settled, what are your thoughts on New Vegas?

Wizardry
30-01-2012, 10:17 PM
In short, it feels a lot more like an old-school RPG.
Hmm. Interesting.

apricotsoup
30-01-2012, 10:18 PM
Nicely written.

I approached New vegas with a sense of foreboding after not getting on that well with fallout 3 but I found new vegas to pull me in in ways that fallout 3 completely failed.

Not going to go into more than to say I agree.

Flint
30-01-2012, 10:19 PM
So, now the dust has settled, what are your thoughts on New Vegas?
You've basically saved me the trouble of telling mine, because I agree with more or less everything in your post.

A brilliant game that should have been released as the primary Fallout continuation in the first place instead of Bethesda's F3.

Heliocentric
30-01-2012, 10:39 PM
I'm totally playing this over my fiancée's shoulder, she's passed level 30, has literally 30 or so unfinished quests and they are not letting up. Only bothered getting one DLC (old world blues) and she hasn't touched it yet after stumbling across its start early on and being warned she should try and be level 15.

She unlocked power armour at my request but she is sticking to a green summer dress and a straw hat, a machete thing and grenades/TNT and the occasional landmine. Legitimate moments of elation and horror, not horror as in fear(but the occasional surprise deathclaw did a good impression of that kind of horror), or a jump but horror at the dreadfulness of people represented by the game. Its broached mature themes, hope and sacrifice but never taking the gun out of your hand. I'm sure there are people the game wont let her kill, but whenever she felted she could right a wrong or save a victim the game has offered a chance. 2 stand out moments were a bomb on a [barely even a spoiler]metro bomb and masufabish[barely even a spoiler] Which left her wanted more choice than she seemed to have, but overall thats a good score.

The voice work seems endless and its all been good enough to hold the theme, I cannot fault its graphics except old peoples faces look like they have been gotten wet and been left folded up to dry and the utter lack of grass anywhere except these grey weeds (really now, grass as hardy, it would be everywhere but straight desert). So yeah, and considerations of game play have to wait until; i play it but I'll say this, Morrowind had these oppressive environments, Oblivion lost that you were a powerhouse, but again many places in new vegas are unwelcoming, death comes quickly and safe places are few, and without magic healing an injury is a lot more menacing. It is not a game that wants you to see it all without working for it, maybe I respect it more for that.

Dominic Tarason
30-01-2012, 10:48 PM
I'm sure there are people the game wont let her kill

Aside from children? (And that can be fixed - it makes them running around Freeside in the middle of a gang battle all that more nerve-wracking to see), the game puts a magical 'gets up after a while' tag on just one single character, and it's not who you'd think at first, either Victor. A second - Yes Man has another, more clever kind of story-based immortality.

vinraith
30-01-2012, 11:00 PM
New Vegas is pretty great, and it's definitely a better Fallout game than FO3, but I think I prefer FO3 anyway. Maybe that's because, while I liked FO1, I bounced off FO2 and never really cared that much about the world. As later games in the series have become more and more populated and quest heavy (New Vegas being the ultimate expression of this) they've lost the qualities I value most in a post-apocalyptic setting: Isolation and desperation.

FO3 with FWE is a game about survival, about scrounging and scratching out an existance in a hostile wasteland with minimal population. It's entirely about exploring, and the plot is something that's best ignored. New Vegas is so bound to its quests, its plots, and its characters that it can never convey that same sense of lonely, desperate clinging to existence. Then again, it's not trying to, and it certainly IS good at what it IS trying to do. I just personally like what FWE is trying to do more, that's all.

Drake Sigar
30-01-2012, 11:05 PM
I've been checking around RPS for opinions on this game for the past few days because the complete edition is coming up. Reading the official RPS Wot I Think initially caused me to think twice about purchasing the game. That hasty opinion was soon contested when I glanced at the comment section at Wulf's passionate 42 page essay on why the author is wrong. Plus the feedback on the forums has been generally positive s-


The story continues on directly from where Fallout 2 left off

*Orders New Vegas*

vinraith
30-01-2012, 11:12 PM
Reading the official RPS Wot I Think initially caused me to think twice about purchasing the game.


Nothing against Quinns, but that was the worst WIT they've ever published. It was riddled with factual inaccuracies, and read like something of a hatchet job. To this day I don't know what was going on there, maybe the game just rubbed him the wrong way or maybe he was just in a shit mood. Either way, if you liked the original Fallouts (and don't mind the transition to first person action from isometric turn based) you'd be remiss not to give NV a chance.

Dominic Tarason
30-01-2012, 11:14 PM
*Orders New Vegas*

To be specific, it carries on a couple generations later. The New California Republic has expanded into the largest government in America and is gradually annexing everything in it's path. Oh, and Marcus is back, still up to his neck in super-mutant problems. Dude never catches a break.


FO3 with FWE is a game about survival, about scrounging and scratching out an existance in a hostile wasteland with minimal population.

Oddly enough, I've actually found there to be a much more survivalist atmosphere in this one compared to Fallout 3, especially when you combine the game's own Hardcore mode (you need food, water and sleep) with Project Nevada, which is FWE V2.0 and similarly lowers the amount of stuff you'll find just casually laying about. The 'survival' skill is pretty useful, as being able to kill stuff, then cure it's hide to sell and roast its meat to eat and get buffs is super handy.

The pockets of civilization in Vegas are larger, but they're more spread out, too. There's a lot of wasteland between them.

And yeah, after playing through New Vegas (at least in part) to get a good feel for it, I went and re-read Quinns' review and really disagreed with pretty much everything. He even moaned that there were too many characters that talked about too many things.

vinraith
30-01-2012, 11:29 PM
Oddly enough, I've actually found there to be a much more survivalist atmosphere in this one compared to Fallout 3, especially when you combine the game's own Hardcore mode (you need food, water and sleep) with Project Nevada, which is FWE V2.0 and similarly lowers the amount of stuff you'll find just casually laying about. The 'survival' skill is pretty useful, as being able to kill stuff, then cure it's hide to sell and roast its meat to eat and get buffs is super handy.

The pockets of civilization in Vegas are larger, but they're more spread out, too. There's a lot of wasteland between them.


I've never even tried to play it without Project Nevada, to be clear. While I agree that the survival elements in PN are well done, and that the survival skill is quite useful, I still don't get the same sense of desperation and isolation I did in FO3. Maybe it's because, having played less of FNV, I've never gotten much outside the "civilized" areas (which don't seem at all spread out to me).

Nalano
30-01-2012, 11:45 PM
So, my first and foremost thought on the game is: This is the real Fallout 3.

Pretty much, yeah. But did we really need a year's hindsight to come to that conclusion?

Althea
30-01-2012, 11:56 PM
My thoughts on New Vegas:

Good for what it is, but like vinraith I preferred FO3, although likely for different reasons.

I found New Vegas to be perhaps too big and same-y. The gameplay itself was little different to what I'd done for many hours in Fallout 3 before it, and the mechanics - whilst slightly refreshed by Obsidian - felt a bit clunky. The weapon selection was way too large for my liking and I didn't feel it was as friendly to multi-purpose characters as FO3 had been (also a complaint I have of Skyrim). I also wasn't impressed by the story, but that's because I have a dislike of multi-faction narratives and I didn't feel New Vegas was particularly clear about it, especially with the Wild Cards section, which I managed to balls up.

On top of that, it inherited flaws from Oblivion and Fallout 3. Ugly characters, ugly landscapes, ugly buildings, bad lighting and so forth, and on top of that it brought its own flaws. The balance of enemies was one that really got my goat. I played on the lowest setting as I prefer to just wander, explore and so on, and I felt the balance rocketed at some points. The assassins which Caesar sent after me time and time again did my head in as they were bullet sponges, and I found the Deathclaws to be disproportionately hard compared to other enemies. Now, if I was playing on Normal or higher, fine, but I was playing on Very Easy.

I guess that New Vegas was worth the money, even for the DLC - I've spent about 100hrs in New Vegas. But it's not a game I'm likely to go back to. It didn't grab me as much as I'd hoped, and all things considered it felt like a more complex Fallout 3, but one I couldn't get into as easily.

Drake Sigar
31-01-2012, 12:11 AM
To be specific, it carries on a couple generations later. The New California Republic has expanded into the largest government in America and is gradually annexing everything in it's path. Oh, and Marcus is back, still up to his neck in super-mutant problems. Dude never catches a break.
Please tell me the PC in New Vegas is related to the Chosen one from Fallout 2, who was the grandson of the Vault 13 Dweller from Fallout 1. I eat that shit up.

Flint
31-01-2012, 12:15 AM
Please tell me the PC in New Vegas is related to the Chosen one from Fallout 2, who was the grandson of the Vault 13 Dweller from Fallout 1..
No, but one of the NPCs you can have in your party is the daughter of [notreallyaspoilerbutjustincase]Cassidy.[nrasbjic] (and in general the game has quite a number of relatives/direct references of F1/F2 people and even a couple who come straight from those games).

Dominic Tarason
31-01-2012, 12:39 AM
One thing I quite like is that the player character is hinted to have a history, but is a newcomer to the region. All you know about your own character at first is that you were hired to deliver something, got screwed over and shot in the head, but there's various (optional) dialogue bits to suggest that you've been all over America and seen a whole lot over the years. Beyond that, you get to decide for yourself what your origins are. In fact, with all the DLC, you get starting equipment packages for Merc, Trader, Tribal and Vault-born origins.

The general vagueness on that front lends itself pretty well to playing a Man With No Name type wanderer-badass.

SirKicksalot
31-01-2012, 12:47 AM
Quinns' WIT is an abomination. There's no other way to put it.

I broke the main quest. I know which is the point where I fucked up and the game doesn't know how to respond to my schizophrenic choices. However I have no save even remotely close to it. I think I'll restart the game with Sawyer's mod.

Drinking with Skeletons
31-01-2012, 01:04 AM
The balance of enemies was one that really got my goat. I played on the lowest setting as I prefer to just wander, explore and so on, and I felt the balance rocketed at some points. The assassins which Caesar sent after me time and time again did my head in as they were bullet sponges, and I found the Deathclaws to be disproportionately hard compared to other enemies. Now, if I was playing on Normal or higher, fine, but I was playing on Very Easy.



I'll agree with you on that point. Deathclaws are quite nasty compared with everything else, at every level, although there's nothing I found as annoying as those redneck guys from FO3's Point Lookout.

My big problem with balance was that it tended to be very easy to run out of ammo and some of the unique equipment was inordinately hard to repair because of compatibility differences (Old World Blues' stealth suit being a good example). You could never really tell beforehand what kinds of ammo would be available in an area (the DLCs in particular were very bad about making you jump through hoops to get even a little ammo should you not be skilled in whatever weapon type they favored), and it made it hard to properly prepare ahead of time. Also, I never really understood the armor system. There's Damage Reduction--which directly removes damage from an attack--and then...DT? AV? Something, it's been awhile, but the point is that there were two different values that never made sense to me (and I played through the game about 3 times).

Oh, and the ammo system was convoluted and I found it too difficult to keep track of what kind of ammo was in my gun at any given time (though I generally didn't have any ammo other than the basic type, since the crafting was cumbersome).

Inverselaw
31-01-2012, 02:09 AM
I was rather unimpressed with new vegas. My biggest gripe is that your character has no connection to the overall plot. It starts out as a revenge story, which is great, travelling from town to town getting a feel for the world your in. And the when you get to vegas you get your revenge and then it just falls apart.

The rest of the game is you playing king maker. You select who will win, then its a question of how many side quests you will to go through in order to make your ending more awesome.

F3 atleast did this ok, with the late game being you on a quest to finish your fathers work.

Drinking with Skeletons
31-01-2012, 02:44 AM
I was rather unimpressed with new vegas. My biggest gripe is that your character has no connection to the overall plot. It starts out as a revenge story, which is great, travelling from town to town getting a feel for the world your in. And the when you get to vegas you get your revenge and then it just falls apart.

The rest of the game is you playing king maker. You select who will win, then its a question of how many side quests you will to go through in order to make your ending more awesome.

F3 atleast did this ok, with the late game being you on a quest to finish your fathers work.

See, I thought that the dynamics of the Mojave Wasteland were far more interesting than the revenge portion. Benny had no connection to me, the murder attempt wasn't personal, so why should I care about finding the guy? I was curious to find out what was so special about that chip, and after wandering around so much I was very happy to be asked to try to shape the Mojave's future in the best way I could.

DigitalSignalX
31-01-2012, 03:24 AM
FO:3 and FO:NV were both amazing experiences. It was also the first time I've found myself considerably at odds with an RPS WIT. NV does have better characterization by far, but not *so* far that the flaws of the engine and scripting issues don't get annoying after a while. Mods go a very very long way toward making both games superb, but less so for NV as it has a bit more out of the box having learned from the failures of FO:3. NV's DLC is also worth mentioning because (even with the arguable weapons pack) every single one was a solid value that adds a great deal to he game. That wasn't true for FO:3, Oblivion, or many other AAA dlc's of the same genre.

Bobtree
31-01-2012, 06:05 AM
FO3 is the better zany wasteland tourist simulator. Unfortunately it has some awful writing, forgettable characters, and an engine ugly enough to suit its setting. The mechanics and balance are often weak but they're offset by weird craftable weapons and a good random encounter mix. The strongest aspect of all is its pacing, and the map is full of fun things to find and explore.

NV has some great writing and a strong consistent setting, but the world isn't half as much fun to explore, and the engine ugliness virtually ruins what should be a beautiful landscape (see RDR). The mechanics are better overall (faction reputations!), but you're still a world-killer by lv20 or so, the limited AI combat tactics are monotonous, and you end up with an encyclopedic list of aid items that becomes a chore to sort through. Pacing is very sub-par next to FO3: all the main quest missions on the strip so bored me with the walk-talk-fetch cycle that I put it down for two years and only recently went back to finish up the story before playing Skyrim.

FO3 wins for action, adventure, and exploration. NV is much better as a Fallout game and RPG, but weaker overall due to the underdeveloped map and pacing issues. I played both on hard (NV with hardcore), only minor modding, no DLC, and hit every map location in NV and all but 3 in FO3 in 100 hours or so each.

STALKER still takes the cake for many many reasons however, and the smooth movement and consistent look still beats the recent Fallouts by miles. The Bethsoft engine that teleports you in/out of every little area transition is really painful for tactical play and exploration, and the overall clunkiness is a huge immersion killer.

metalangel
31-01-2012, 08:35 AM
I got NV on launch. I've recently resumed playing it after becoming incredibly bored by it.

I may have done it to myself. I objected to the game trying to direct me around to Vegas the long way and so used a stealth boy to run past the Deathclaws and thus Vegas was the third location I reached.

I had no money, hardly any equipment, and was level 4 at the most. It was an interesting situation and I was determined to get into the Strip. Once I managed that I suddenly found tons of loose ends resolving themselves rather abruptly, leaving me knee-deep in money and equipment when I had been penniless moments before.

It is in and around Vegas that the creaking engine really shows. The Strip divided into tiny chunks, bustling casinos with half a dozen patrons. Go outside and all locations are huge, boring walled compounds that you wander around the outside looking for the "pedestrian gate". It reminds me in a way of Arcanum, where the level designer's vision exceeds the capability of the engine. The result is sprawling locations that are not interesting to explore. The game world itself is crying out for vehicles. All the talk of the NCR railways (and there are tracks and trains everywhere) but you never see them in use. The NCR is technologically advanced but still nobody has cars? This doesn't even fit with the fiction or indeed the dev's own thoughts on the game world. Even the inventory seems unable to cope with all the different types of ammo and casings. Every casino confiscates my weapons and I am forced to re-assign my hotkeys when I go back outside.

I'm determined to finish it but this seems almost a feeling of "getting it over with" like I started to feel in Dragon Age.

Yachmenev
31-01-2012, 08:40 AM
Fallout: New Vegas fails a bit in that many places were a bit bland and boring, and that many of places had to few things to do. There should have been many more large quest lines in the Strip for example, and Black Mountain was a bit of a letdown when you actually got up there.

But because of the quests, the writing, the setting and how the outcomes of the different quests affected the quests led to me and my friend having two completely different experiences while playing it, it still stands as my favorite open world RPG. It is, despite itīs shortcomings, a superb game.

Oh, both games fail at another thing: If the war was 200 years ago, how come everything looks like it happened yesterday? How people keep burned cars and motorcycles on their front lawns? How come no one manages to clean their rooms even the slightest? :)

Nalano
31-01-2012, 08:44 AM
The NCR is technologically advanced but still nobody has cars?

Railways predate cars by a lot. Industrial production and infrastructural construction have to tool themselves by quite a bit before one can start pumping out cars for the masses.


How people keep burned cars and motorcycles on their front lawns?

What people? Also, we're still in the desert on the frontier. NCR territory proper is reported to look a lot more civilized.

metalangel
31-01-2012, 08:47 AM
Well, yeah. Those questions were asked of the original games which were only 70 years after the war. Fallout 3's frankly ridiculous "finding unlooted prewar supplies in a shop" pushed it to an extreme.

At the same time, Fallout 3 disguised the engine's shortcomings much more effectively with the ruins of downtown DC. Out in the more open wastelands there were fewer locations, they were smaller externally, and having to hunt around to find the entrance was less jarring.

Nalano
31-01-2012, 08:50 AM
Fallout 3's frankly ridiculous "finding unlooted prewar supplies in a shop" pushed it to an extreme.

Finding edible food in a shop 200 years after the fall of civilization defies understanding. Selling scrap metal sounds perfectly fine. Think of all the medieval churches built using the stones of the Coliseum.


Fallout 3 disguised the engine's shortcomings much more effectively with the ruins of downtown DC.

Do you remember the metro?

Because I remember the metro.

Left, right, load screen. Right, left, load screen.

Yachmenev
31-01-2012, 08:55 AM
What people? Also, we're still in the desert on the frontier. NCR territory proper is reported to look a lot more civilized.

Just look at the first village you start in Fallout:NW. If you manages to actually build up a village that somehow resembles a functioning community, of course you are going to clean up a bit, arenīt you?

But when you think about it, the best example of these things is how you can find fully functioning computers standing outside the police station in Fallout 3. :)

Nalano
31-01-2012, 08:57 AM
Just look at the first village you start in Fallout:NW. If you manages to actually build up a village that somehow resembles a functioning community, of course you are going to clean up a bit, arenīt you?

They cleaned up their homes. It's a bit cluttered, but they've certainly homesteaded. There's only a couple dozen people there. You think they're going to bother themselves with demolishing every ancient trailer and shotgun house because they're abandoned? Dude, people don't do that now.

Yachmenev
31-01-2012, 09:01 AM
They cleaned up their homes. It's a bit cluttered, but they've certainly homesteaded. There's only a couple dozen people there. You think they're going to bother themselves with demolishing every ancient trailer and shotgun house because they're abandoned? Dude, people don't do that now.

No, I expect them move burned motorcycles out of the way. :)

metalangel
31-01-2012, 09:15 AM
Railways predate cars by a lot. Industrial production and infrastructural construction have to tool themselves by quite a bit before one can start pumping out cars for the masses

I'm not saying everyone should own one. I'm saying there are going to be millions of cars sitting around, which could be cannibalized to assemble thousands of working ones. The Highwayman in Fallout 2 is an example of this: according to the devs, it was unusual but not unheard of in the game world. It was one of the things they wanted to show us more of but couldn't (like the trucks used by the mutant army in the first game). The NCR is rebuilding the old world so it has industrial infrastructure and industry needs to move its products and supplies. This really is just a game engine limitation again. Fallout 2 avoided one hurdle because you never needed to see the car move.


Do you remember the metro?

Because I remember the metro

It made sense in the context of the game, didn't it? A lot more than the arbitrary walls with those stupid "pedestrian crossing" gates in NV. Walking is so irritating I might as well fast travel, and if that's the case what's the point of the world map that I am going to see once on the mandatory trip to unlock each place as a fast travel destination?

Voon
31-01-2012, 10:25 AM
Nicely written, man. I remember the first time I played NV. On Hardcore mode, right from the start. I thought I could take on those Radscorpions like in FO3 but, they have harder shells than I thought. I ended up dying in the middle of the night trying to run away from them instead.

As for the game itself, it was a breath of fresh air after spending hours looking at the ugly grey environment of the Capital Wasteland. Reminds me a lot of the earlier Fallouts, lots of green and brown. It quite fixed whatever problems Fallout 3 had, especially repairing weapons and armour. The quests and story felt more interesting than FO3, so are the dialogues. Like Obsidian haven't lost their spark when it comes to making stories and dialogues in Fallout. Didn't I mention that, aesthetically, it even feels like a Fallout game?

About those guys who wanted a STALKER game in Fallout, as much as I love STALKER, i don't really like the idea. To me, Fallout is more of an RPG, less of a survival horror. So, giving it some STALKER-styled survival gameplay felt more aggravating than challenging.

Dominic Tarason
31-01-2012, 02:02 PM
My big problem with balance was that it tended to be very easy to run out of ammo and some of the unique equipment was inordinately hard to repair because of compatibility differences

Even using the reduced ammo drops from Project Nevada, I've found myself swimming in bullets by level 17. Stores stock more and more ammo as you rise in level, too.

As for the difficulty repairing things, it's intentional. There's a perk you can get if you have repair 90 or higher that lets you cross-repair using anything from the same weapon class (so you can repair a unique laser rifle with a junk plasma rifle you picked off a corpse), but otherwise you need to rely on the understandably expensive NPCs in some locations that can do extensive repair work for you.

As for Deathclaws being nasty - well, duh. They're supposed to be pretty scary even to the Brotherhood, after all. They're the toughest, meanest creatures in the Fallout setting, and are best avoided unless you're got a really good battle-plan. It's great fun to come back to them later with a .50cal and a couple of gun-toting party members in tow and tear them apart, though.


About those guys who wanted a STALKER game in Fallout, as much as I love STALKER, i don't really like the idea. To me, Fallout is more of an RPG, less of a survival horror. So, giving it some STALKER-styled survival gameplay felt more aggravating than challenging.

You should try Project Nevada - it's one of the highest-rated NV mods for a very good reason. It just tweaks the gameplay to be a little more action-oriented, so you've now got sprint and bullet-time abilities that run off your AP bar as well as VATS (and perks/cybernetic upgrades that affect them, too), HP pools are lower in general, and weapons are more powerful. Weapon handling is a ton better as it works via a clear expanding reticule that shows your firing cone for your current stance/speed.

Oh, there's a handy off-hand grenade hotkey, too. Makes thrown weapons much more useful. Oh, and a very neat cyberware system. A couple of doctors in the game used to do cybernetics work, but now they sell cyber-modules that you can get doctors to install. You start out with two cyber slots in your head and chest, and one in each arm and leg, but you can get perks to open up more slots.

It doesn't ever feel like a mod, though. What little new stuff it adds is so seamlessly integrated, it feels like its always been there.

Althea
31-01-2012, 02:13 PM
As for the difficulty repairing things, it's intentional. There's a perk you can get if you have repair 90 or higher that lets you cross-repair using anything from the same weapon class (so you can repair a unique laser rifle with a junk plasma rifle you picked off a corpse), but otherwise you need to rely on the understandably expensive NPCs in some locations that can do extensive repair work for you.
Jury Rigging. One of the vital perks of the game.


As for Deathclaws being nasty - well, duh. They're supposed to be pretty scary even to the Brotherhood, after all. They're the toughest, meanest creatures in the Fallout setting, and are best avoided unless you're got a really good battle-plan. It's great fun to come back to them later with a .50cal and a couple of gun-toting party members in tow and tear them apart, though.
I agree they're meant to be tough and hard, but they're disproportionately so relative to most other creatures, which also goes for the Legion Assassins and a few other creatures.

Drake Sigar
31-01-2012, 03:10 PM
It's great fun to come back to them later with a .50cal and a couple of gun-toting party members in tow and tear them apart, though.
You can have more than one party member?

Althea
31-01-2012, 03:24 PM
You can have more than one party member?
Two. One human, one non-human.

Dominic Tarason
31-01-2012, 03:25 PM
Edit: Beaten to the punch

Drake Sigar
31-01-2012, 03:39 PM
Ah. For a moment I had fleeting glimpses of a rag-tag squad comprised of mutants, deathclaws, and humans, all led by a leather jacket-wearing psychopath with a high charisma score.

Well we can't have everything...

ntw
31-01-2012, 04:00 PM
Ah. For a moment I had fleeting glimpses of a rag-tag squad comprised of mutants, deathclaws, and humans, all led by a leather jacket-wearing psychopath with a high charisma score.

Well we can't have everything...

You just described the Labour party, well - except for the high charisma...

metalangel
31-01-2012, 05:05 PM
I agree they're meant to be tough and hard, but they're disproportionately so relative to most other creatures, which also goes for the Legion Assassins and a few other creatures.

Like the three monsters they added in Broken Steel (Feral Ghoul Reaver, Super Mutant Overlord, Albino Radscorpion) they just soak up ammo. It's stupid. I don't care how tough you're meant to be, especially the creatures, plasma will still melt you and bullets will still tear a whole in your flesh and shatter bones.

The original Fallout had something when it made weapons like the laser and especially the plasma rifle absolutely lethal, one-hit kill weapons in the hands of a skilled user. That's the whole point of a weapon like that, and it made sense. Then Fallout 3 gave you access (as in go and pick up) to a sniper rifle and laser pistol within five or so minutes of you leaving Vault 101. It just cheapened the whole thing, same as in Oblivion where eventually every scraggly highwayman and thief you met was wearing priceless glass/dwemer/daedric armour.

Silly Bethesda. I remember in the first Fallout when the SMG and the Wasteland Eagle were effective. I remember getting to the Hub (which felt huge) and going to the weapon dealer and seeing gleaming weapons like the combat shotgun and the sniper rifle, and the huge price tag associated with them, and thinking 'wow, it'll take me forever to afford that and I bet it's awesome'.

Heliocentric
31-01-2012, 05:39 PM
Two. One human, one non-human.

Mods say hi.

Althea
31-01-2012, 05:54 PM
Mods say hi.
Mods do not and should not factor into the comparison between two games, nor when talking about game features. I certainly don't consider them, anyway.

Stellar Duck
31-01-2012, 07:04 PM
Mods do not and should not factor into the comparison between two games, nor when talking about game features. I certainly don't consider them, anyway.

But they are relevant in this case, as someone who didn't know you could have more than one dude on you might also be interested in knowing if a mod existed to allow for even more. At least I think so.

Althea
31-01-2012, 07:17 PM
But they are relevant in this case, as someone who didn't know you could have more than one dude on you might also be interested in knowing if a mod existed to allow for even more. At least I think so.
Mentioning them is relevant as in "Oh, you can get a mod to increase the limit", but when comparing two games adding mods into the mix isn't particularly helpful to anyone.

archonsod
31-01-2012, 07:34 PM
The original Fallout had something when it made weapons like the laser and especially the plasma rifle absolutely lethal, one-hit kill weapons in the hands of a skilled user.

They were one hit kills if you shot the target in the eyes, but they had such a ridiculous modifier that farting in the face of a supermutant would likely result in a kill. 3 / NV has no eyes so the damage modifiers are slightly more sensible, but on the other hand it tracks locational damage rather than rolling on a crit table so it probably evens out (since you could always roll low on your crit table in the first two. Especially if you had low luck or Jinxed).

Without using the aim / critical system energy weapons were only one hit kills against the lighter armours. Anyone in combat armour or better could usually absorb a fair few body shots, which was a slight problem since energy weapons tended not to be available until the late game when you were facing power armour or supermutants anyway.

Drinking with Skeletons
31-01-2012, 07:37 PM
NV has some great writing and a strong consistent setting, but the world isn't half as much fun to explore, and the engine ugliness virtually ruins what should be a beautiful landscape (see RDR). The mechanics are better overall (faction reputations!), but you're still a world-killer by lv20 or so, the limited AI combat tactics are monotonous, and you end up with an encyclopedic list of aid items that becomes a chore to sort through.

First of all, Red Dead Redemption looks amazing. Had it been on PC--and therefore had access to anti-aliasing and higher resolutions--I think it would handily beat even Skyrim in terms of impressive environments. If you mean that lack of those two features is "engine ugliness" that "ruins...a beautiful landscape," then you are inordinately critical of game visuals.

Second: you are right about the balance, at least for the base game. In fact, you are nearly invincible long before you hit 20, and you can jump up the ladder very quickly due to the fact that quest XP doesn't scale or even change much over the course of the game. DLC enemies (outside of the weirdly easy Honest Hearts), however, pose a significant threat for even the highest-end character (and with the DLC, you can go up to level 50, I believe).

Nalano
31-01-2012, 07:43 PM
This really is just a game engine limitation again.

Well, yeah. But Obsidian didn't make the engine.


I agree they're meant to be tough and hard, but they're disproportionately so relative to most other creatures, which also goes for the Legion Assassins and a few other creatures.

.50 with match rounds. BOOMheadshot. God help you if you miss, tho.

archonsod
31-01-2012, 08:00 PM
Second: you are right about the balance, at least for the base game. In fact, you are nearly invincible long before you hit 20, and you can jump up the ladder very quickly due to the fact that quest XP doesn't scale or even change much over the course of the game. DLC enemies (outside of the weirdly easy Honest Hearts), however, pose a significant threat for even the highest-end character (and with the DLC, you can go up to level 50, I believe).

Without the DLC you're limited to level 30, which means in order to be capable of virtual invincibility you have to focus on at least one combat skill, which means while you may very well be capable of slaughtering anything the Wasteland throws at you, you're gimped in some other area because of it. This is actually what balance is about (and since most players tend to focus on one type of combat it also means they're highly specialised in that area - having 100 in guns works quite well, until you run out of bullets and have to resort to fisticuffs).

The DLC destroy the balance by not only upping the level cap to 50, but giving you a skill book generator, which pretty much means you can max out every skill with a little patience. Then again, it does require deliberate effort by the player.

metalangel
31-01-2012, 08:34 PM
They were one hit kills if you shot the target in the eyes, but they had such a ridiculous modifier that farting in the face of a supermutant would likely result in a kill. 3 / NV has no eyes so the damage modifiers are slightly more sensible, but on the other hand it tracks locational damage rather than rolling on a crit table so it probably evens out (since you could always roll low on your crit table in the first two. Especially if you had low luck or Jinxed).

Without using the aim / critical system energy weapons were only one hit kills against the lighter armours. Anyone in combat armour or better could usually absorb a fair few body shots, which was a slight problem since energy weapons tended not to be available until the late game when you were facing power armour or supermutants anyway.

Towards the end of Fallout 3 my character was one-shotting most enemies with plasma rifle headshots. Except those three superenemies, which just swallowed my ammo and caused tons of CND loss.

The point I'm trying to make is that even if these creatures are meant to be toughened by the wasteland and radiation and mutation, they are still living things that won't survive 25,000 degree plasma projectiles.

"That would make it all a one hit kill again!"

I don't want that, but I don't want to have to fire fifty shots into something to kill it with one of the best weapons in the game, either.

Two other things:
-if you didn't mind being a bit quicksavey, you could use those eyeshots to grab a laser rifle right at the beginning of the original... go straight to the military base, lure the nearest guard away to the road, then score yourself a critical eye hit with the 10mm
-deathclaws are worse in New Vegas, because we don't have the dart gun like in Fallout 3. The dart gun would send their legs all wobbly and they'd hobble slowly after you, leaving you free to pick them off from a distance or run away. No, I don't why nobody played darts in Nevada. I suppose all the hookers and blackjack meant there just wasn't enough time.


Well, yeah. But Obsidian didn't make the engine.

Agreed. I just wish they could be a bit more... elegant... in concealing its limitations when making their game world.

Nalano
31-01-2012, 08:40 PM
Agreed. I just wish they could be a bit more... elegant... in concealing its limitations when making their game world.

Any other game engine, is all I ask. Hell, is Rockstar selling licenses for their GTA stuff?

Althea
31-01-2012, 08:59 PM
Well, yeah. But Obsidian didn't make the engine.
Nor did Bethesda, but Bethesda did mangle it beyond repair.

Nalano
31-01-2012, 09:00 PM
Nor did Bethesda, but Bethesda did mangle it beyond repair.

Boy howdy.

Also, hey, Ms. Bushy Eyebrows is no longer bloody!

Wizardry
31-01-2012, 09:03 PM
Nor did Bethesda, but Bethesda did mangle it beyond repair.
They did. Gamebryo is only a graphics engine. Even Civilization IV, a game that's a world apart, used it.

Althea
31-01-2012, 09:05 PM
They did. Gamebryo is only a graphics engine. Even Civilization IV, a game that's a world apart, used it.
As did the cult-classic (at least in terms of gaming), Freedom Force.

I have no idea what Bethesda did to it, but I think it definitely ranks as something like Grievous Bodily Harm.

Nalano
31-01-2012, 09:09 PM
As did the cult-classic (at least in terms of gaming), Freedom Force.

I have no idea what Bethesda did to it, but I think it definitely ranks as something like Grievous Bodily Harm.

Divinity II was so much cleaner as a game - open environments and all - despite using Gamebryo. But, really, I'm talking about Bethesda's thing rather than a generalized apparatus.

Althea
31-01-2012, 09:14 PM
Divinity II was so much cleaner as a game - open environments and all - despite using Gamebryo. But, really, I'm talking about Bethesda's thing rather than a generalized apparatus.
Divinity II is what happens when a smaller-budget European developer makes a game without being dicks. Yes, it had issues, and a few moments of questionable design, but it blew a lot of AAA games from other studios out of the water. Shame so few people have played it, though, simply because it's a lower-budget Euro action RPG.

But yes, Bethesda's abomination? Even its new, non-licensed form (Creation) doesn't seem perfect. It's a lot better than their broken Gamebryo-based engine from their earlier games, but Creation is just lacking. It's 2012 and it doesn't use above 2GB of RAM, even with the LAA fix, and I believe it doesn't even properly utilise quad-core.

GENIUS.

Nalano
31-01-2012, 09:20 PM
But yes, Bethesda's abomination? Even its new, non-licensed form (Creation) doesn't seem perfect. It's a lot better than their broken Gamebryo-based engine from their earlier games, but Creation is just lacking. It's 2012 and it doesn't use above 2GB of RAM, even with the LAA fix, and I believe it doesn't even properly utilise quad-core.

GENIUS.

And I highly suspect it can't do vehicles.

Stellar Duck
31-01-2012, 09:25 PM
And I highly suspect it can't do vehicles.

Unless a horse is a vehicle. I'd love to tack on a cart though.

Nalano
31-01-2012, 09:27 PM
Unless a horse is a vehicle. I'd love to tack on a cart though.

I keep forgetting about the horses. I wonder why.

Oh, right, because they suck.

Althea
31-01-2012, 09:30 PM
Skyrim's horses are way too "light" in how they handle. It's terrible.

Stellar Duck
31-01-2012, 09:39 PM
I keep forgetting about the horses. I wonder why.

Oh, right, because they suck.

Horses have one good use: climbing mountains when I'm too lazy to exploit the geometry.

vinraith
01-02-2012, 12:20 AM
@Dominic

To pull this slightly back to topic, at least, I'm curious what settings you use within Project Nevada. I installed the latest version recently and was surprised to find the default level cap at 50 and the default experience rate at 100%, surely that's suboptimal?

Dominic Tarason
01-02-2012, 03:28 AM
The base level cap used to be 30, and each DLC pack extended it by 5, so 50 is fine. And there's just about enough quests to get you to max level if you skip a couple here and there.

Level isn't *quite* as important if you're using PN, as you're not exponentially gaining health - your HP is static and determined by endurance. I've added a couple of mods that increase the number/size of spawns around the world (including random patrols by the factions, which can clash in the field), and even at Lv22 with good gear, a band of Fiends almost killed me, even with Lily going apeshit with her 5mm death-hose.

Miker
02-02-2012, 06:25 PM
Since we're on the subject of Fallout, I'm about to start Fallout 3 and I have some questions about mods:

-- Is there a mod that simply rebalances/tweaks vanilla as opposed to an overhaul like Wanderer's Edition? I'm the kind of person who believes that a first playthrough should be the vanilla version. Or is Wanderer's Edition just that good and I should use it for a vanilla playthrough?
-- Is it worth getting mods that add more stuff to the game? I'm talking about Marts Mutants Mod, or the weapon packs. Is vanilla really that lacking in variety as the mod descriptions suggest?
-- Is there a way to strip GFWL out of the game?

Grizzly
02-02-2012, 06:34 PM
-- Is there a mod that simply rebalances/tweaks vanilla as opposed to an overhaul like Wanderer's Edition? I'm the kind of person who believes that a first playthrough should be the vanilla version. Or is Wanderer's Edition just that good and I should use it for a vanilla playthrough?

There's XFO and "Its Bubbly". But those already tweak quite a bit. if you want to play just vanilla, just install some of the bug fixing mods (NOT the unoffical Fallout 3 patch. It breaks more things then it solves, unfortunately).


-- Is there a way to strip GFWL out of the game?
Yes. Use the Fallout Mod Manager, and look under "tweaks".


-- Is it worth getting mods that add more stuff to the game? I'm talking about Marts Mutants Mod, or the weapon packs. Is vanilla really that lacking in variety as the mod descriptions suggest?

Not all that much, although Marts Mutants Mod is highly costumizable and does make quite a few nice additions to the game. If you go with Vanilla and thing it is a bit easy halfway down the line, you can use MMM to add more enemies to the game, for example.


@Dominic

To pull this slightly back to topic, at least, I'm curious what settings you use within Project Nevada. I installed the latest version recently and was surprised to find the default level cap at 50 and the default experience rate at 100%, surely that's suboptimal?

I played Vanilla on very hard, and then on hard. On hard, I still got murdered whilst I had reached level 45...
Although I did end up with a lot of skill points in the end. I became Jack - Master - Of - All - But - 4 - Trades and still had my but handed to me...

Althea
02-02-2012, 06:56 PM
-- Is there a mod that simply rebalances/tweaks vanilla as opposed to an overhaul like Wanderer's Edition? I'm the kind of person who believes that a first playthrough should be the vanilla version. Or is Wanderer's Edition just that good and I should use it for a vanilla playthrough?
Hmm... I'm not sure if the Unofficial FO3 Patch does that, but certainly give it a go.


-- Is it worth getting mods that add more stuff to the game? I'm talking about Marts Mutants Mod, or the weapon packs. Is vanilla really that lacking in variety as the mod descriptions suggest?
For your first time, no. To be honest, I find FO3's weapon selection to be fairly good. It doesn't go overboard like FO:NV does, at any rate. The problem is that a lot of the mods go against the lore or stand out, and you just don't want that. There's a mod - Wasteland Armoury, I think? - that adds a lot of lore-friendly weapons, but I find adding more weapons just muddies the waters.


-- Is there a way to strip GFWL out of the game?
Strip? No, but you can disable it. Grizzly's suggestion should work, but there's also a dedicated Games for Windows Live Disabler mod available on FO3 Nexus.

Bhazor
02-02-2012, 07:17 PM
I think what stood out most in the WIT was how... staged some of screens were. A screen shot complaining about under populated areas taken during a scripted event where all NPCs are removed for example. My favourite though was the shot of the Mojave talking about how empty and unremarkable it is whilst literally standing on the doorstep of one of the largest and interesting locations in the game. I mean I don't know if he was delibaretly doing it so he could do a "funny" review or if he was innocently taking screens offline and didn't know the context.

But read through a few of the 800 comments and you'll see the vast majority of people are complaining about those inacuraccies. Or about Quinns sucking at latin.

Yeah, Quinns got a lot of flak for that article. He deserved most of it. He phoned that review in.

On the topic of New Vegas itself I think it basically improved on everything from FO3 which was game a I could never really get into and when a game becomes a chore is when I stop playing. Though not my favourite Obsidian game (Kotor 2 4 life) it is certainly my favourite of the sandbox RPGs*. In terms of writing, both in terms of story/character and in terms of quest design, it stood head and shoulders and bra above Fallout 3.

*Haven't played Skyrim yet, waiting for the inevitable Goatee.

archonsod
02-02-2012, 09:52 PM
The point I'm trying to make is that even if these creatures are meant to be toughened by the wasteland and radiation and mutation, they are still living things that won't survive 25,000 degree plasma projectiles.

Presumably they would also utterly fail to survive WWIII, the omnipresent radiation or indeed be capable of building a device which can hurl 25,000 degree plasma with 1950s technology in the first place. There's a reason it's called science fiction.


deathclaws are worse in New Vegas, because we don't have the dart gun like in Fallout 3. The dart gun would send their legs all wobbly and they'd hobble slowly after you

Landmines. Or snipe their legs. You can one hit kill them with an anti-materiel rifle if you can get a crit on the head, usually requires decent sneak though.

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 09:53 PM
What is a sandbox RPG? Just wondering.

vinraith
02-02-2012, 09:56 PM
The base level cap used to be 30, and each DLC pack extended it by 5, so 50 is fine. And there's just about enough quests to get you to max level if you skip a couple here and there.

Level isn't *quite* as important if you're using PN, as you're not exponentially gaining health - your HP is static and determined by endurance. I've added a couple of mods that increase the number/size of spawns around the world (including random patrols by the factions, which can clash in the field), and even at Lv22 with good gear, a band of Fiends almost killed me, even with Lily going apeshit with her 5mm death-hose.

Thanks for the reply. Can I ask what mods you used to increase the spawns? I assume it works well with PN? What's the load order there? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I appreciate the assist. I'm setting up to give NV another try, and what to get the best experience I can out of it.

Casimir Effect
02-02-2012, 10:03 PM
What is a sandbox RPG? Just wondering.
Hmmm. For fun let's go with: a game in which a majority of the mechanics conform to the standard, zeitgeist definition of the genre and where there is a comparitively large amount of leeway in how a typical task is completed.

Or it's when people play D&D at the beach.

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 10:03 PM
Hmmm. For fun let's go with: a game in which a majority of the mechanics conform to the standard, zeitgeist definition of the genre and where there is a comparitively large amount of leeway in how a typical task is completed.

Or it's when people play D&D at the beach.
Are Fallout 1 and 2 sandbox RPGs then?

Casimir Effect
02-02-2012, 11:37 PM
Are Fallout 1 and 2 sandbox RPGs then?
They'd fit the definition of RPG I've given but as for the sandbox part I don't know - one of my big gaming secrets is never having played Fallout 1 or 2. So, is there a large amount of quests/tasks in the game which have two or more solutions (more the better)?

My original definition should probably include something regarding nonlinearity so:
A game in which a majority of the mechanics conform to the standard, zeitgeist definition of the genre and where there is a comparitively large amount of leeway in how a typical task is completed; tasks which should not all function to progress the main plot of the game.

Drake Sigar
02-02-2012, 11:57 PM
The only right answer was no answer.

Wizardry
03-02-2012, 12:23 AM
They'd fit the definition of RPG I've given but as for the sandbox part I don't know - one of my big gaming secrets is never having played Fallout 1 or 2. So, is there a large amount of quests/tasks in the game which have two or more solutions (more the better)?

My original definition should probably include something regarding nonlinearity so:
A game in which a majority of the mechanics conform to the standard, zeitgeist definition of the genre and where there is a comparitively large amount of leeway in how a typical task is completed; tasks which should not all function to progress the main plot of the game.
They both fit that. Fallout 2 especially has a lot of quests. Each one can be solved in multiple ways.

Casimir Effect
03-02-2012, 12:59 AM
They both fit that. Fallout 2 especially has a lot of quests. Each one can be solved in multiple ways.
Then I would term them sandbox RPGs, and on an unrelated note I do intend to play them someday but... time, y'know.
So is this where you now have a stunning rebuttal delivered with the oration of Caesar and the gusto of Churchill?


The only right answer was no answer.
That would be boring.

Vicious
03-02-2012, 01:03 AM
I just read the original F:NV WIT. It's an embarrassment.

Outright Villainy
03-02-2012, 01:04 AM
I loved New Vegas, probably my favourite RPG in years. Skyrim just doesn't seem to measure up by comparison. Sure, in Skyrim the world itself is more interesting, and taking a good stroll feels great, but it lacks the character that Obsidian brought. There were so many memorable characters, and dialogue was often the high point. In skyrim the characters bore me to tears. As well as that, it really gave you some unique solutions to nearly every quest, whereas in Skyrim you're pretty much doing the same thing, but maybe in a slightly different way.

Dominic Tarason
03-02-2012, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the reply. Can I ask what mods you used to increase the spawns? I assume it works well with PN? What's the load order there? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I appreciate the assist. I'm setting up to give NV another try, and what to get the best experience I can out of it.

Load-order, I just went with whatever seemed most logical. Project Nevada first and foremost (after patches, obviously).

The mods I'm using for spawns are Increased Wasteland Spawns (basically adds more vanilla-style spawn nodes around the map, so should be compatible with just about anything) and DFB - Random Encounters, which adds a chance every 10 minutes of play of dropping a random in an interesting random group headed your way. Makes the desert feel a it more hostile/lively.

I also used the New Vegas Configurator to increase my active cells and view distance-related a bit, as I've got a fairly beefy PC now and can handle a larger view range. I'm also running Nevada Skies to make lighting more vivid, especially at night. Vegas really looks quite striking when it's genuinely dark outside. It makes the alternate vision modes on my currrent helmet (night and thermal) all the more useful, too.

Not encountered any stability problems. I think one crash so far out in the open after 25+ hours of play.

Lilliput King
03-02-2012, 01:53 AM
None of those criticisms were exactly wrong though, were they? The game really is ludicrously sparsely populated. The environments really do suck. Visually it just beggars belief. It doesn't make it a bad game, but really guys.

Personally I think what got people was the "phoning it in" comment, which after playing it seems unfair. It's stuffed with the kind of content Obsidian does well (quests, dialogue, characters). But nothing else really works. It'd be pretty easy to just bounce off the whole thing because of that, but a reviewer/journalist/critic/whatev can't really afford to do so.

Dominic Tarason
03-02-2012, 02:46 AM
It does the core gameplay a helluva lot better than Fallout 3, though - the combat is better balanced, the weapons and enemies are more varied, the environments are larger and more convincingly designed, if not quite as artistically vivid, the party members are much more controllable and useful, etc etc. Fallout 3 is more densely packed and has a more distinctive visual style, but really, that's all it has going for it over New Vegas, unless you really need a story that continually pats you on the back and reminds you how great you are.

Bhazor
03-02-2012, 03:25 AM
None of those criticisms were exactly wrong though, were they? The game really is ludicrously sparsely populated. The environments really do suck. Visually it just beggars belief. It doesn't make it a bad game, but really guys.

No. There were a lot of mistruths in there.
Claiming that he hadn't had to drink in days of game time shows that he must have been at a super low difficulty level or had turned it off.
The complaint about an empty bar is part of a quest to find staff for the bar.
The screen shot of the empty casino was taken during a quest where the casino is cleared of NPCs
The screen shot of the tiny farm shows one of a dozen fields and neglects to mention the huge covered growing plots just out of shot.
The shot used to illustrate the empty Mojave was taken literally on the door step of one of the most interesting locations in the game. And has at least three landmarks on the horizon.
The snow globe collector doesn't have any snow globes because he collects them from you.
He dismisses the Legion entirely which is a bit... off. Given the context of your first meeting which he alludes to.
The rest of the article is a mix of complaining about graphics (Bethesda's fault) or just insulting the developers (not cool)

Then theres just his opinions that are quantifiably wrong. Like that the Subway system in Fallout 3 was a good thing. Or that the writing in FO3 was better. Those are opinions. And they are wrong.

He went in with the intention of writing a scathing funny review in the style of Yahtzee or Consolevania. He just wasn't very good at it.

My favourite part though was his first impression article before the review
"By far the most annoying and prevalent oddity is that the NPCs you encounter in towns and stationed around the wasteland have strange, hairpin senses of danger, and simply walking past them can be enough to trigger some kind of evasive AI routine. The result is that you’ll walk into a town, and four or five NPCs will abruptly start sprinting away from you in endless
circles. “WELCOME, STRANGER,” they’ll shout while rubbing themselves against burnt-out trucks and walls. Sound annoying? Now imagine you have to talk to one of them for a quest, so you end up chasing them all around town. Yeah."

Then you realise he has his gun out in every shot. Then he complains he couldn't holster his gun without going to the menu.
So he was running around town with his shotgun wondering why everyone was so nervous.

No I don't know whether it was deliberate trolling or he was in a bad mood but it's funny he did very few WiTs after that.

vinraith
03-02-2012, 03:30 AM
@Dominic

One last question then I'll stop bugging you: I grabbed the DFB random encounters mod in its "merged" form with DLC content. I've not previously played through the DLC, though, so I'm wondering if that was an error. I don't necessarily mind seeing DLC critters out of context, but am I liable to spoil the DLC for myself that way?

Dominic Tarason
03-02-2012, 03:35 AM
@Dominic

One last question then I'll stop bugging you: I grabbed the DFB random encounters mod in its "merged" form with DLC content. I've not previously played through the DLC, though, so I'm wondering if that was an error. I don't necessarily mind seeing DLC critters out of context, but am I liable to spoil the DLC for myself that way?

I think that just means that all the DLC packages for spawns in the appropriate locations are combined, rather than being four seperate files.

Juan Carlo
03-02-2012, 03:46 AM
I'm currently playing this after a playthrough of the entire Fallout series and I agree with the OP. Fallout 3 sucked. It had OK art and level design, but the writing/plot/characters were horrible so I never really felt like I had any reason to explore just because all you run into is more suck. Fallout: NV feels much more like Fallout 2 and it's way better in almost every way.

My only problem is I'm playing a hardcore game on very hard and it still feels a bit too easy, even though I'm only level 12. Especially once you get followers. It kind of makes me wish I had played with the new developer mod that makes the game harder.

Wizardry
03-02-2012, 04:32 AM
Fallout: NV feels much more like Fallout 2 and it's way better in almost every way.
Apart from being an FPS, that is.

Juan Carlo
03-02-2012, 05:15 AM
Apart from being an FPS, that is.

I said it "feels" like Fallout 2 not "plays exactly like Fallout 2." And I meant it's way better than FO3 in every way, not FO2.

Wizardry
03-02-2012, 05:40 AM
And I meant it's way better than FO3 in every way, not FO2.
Oh right. Well that wasn't too clear. I also agree with the assessment.

Grizzly
03-02-2012, 03:53 PM
Then I would term them sandbox RPGs, and on an unrelated note I do intend to play them someday but... time, y'know.

I think that Fallout in esssention IS a sandbox rpg. You are free to go anywhere you want. in fact, the storyline revolves around it. You have two main quests in fallout: The first is to find a water chip that ensures that your vault can continue operating. No one knows where it is. Go roaming! However, for the first objective, there is a time limit. For the second -- there was one, but it got patched out.

Caleb367
03-02-2012, 04:06 PM
Load-order, I just went with whatever seemed most logical. Project Nevada first and foremost (after patches, obviously).

The mods I'm using for spawns are Increased Wasteland Spawns (basically adds more vanilla-style spawn nodes around the map, so should be compatible with just about anything) and DFB - Random Encounters, which adds a chance every 10 minutes of play of dropping a random in an interesting random group headed your way. Makes the desert feel a it more hostile/lively.

I also used the New Vegas Configurator to increase my active cells and view distance-related a bit, as I've got a fairly beefy PC now and can handle a larger view range. I'm also running Nevada Skies to make lighting more vivid, especially at night. Vegas really looks quite striking when it's genuinely dark outside. It makes the alternate vision modes on my currrent helmet (night and thermal) all the more useful, too.

Not encountered any stability problems. I think one crash so far out in the open after 25+ hours of play.

Nevada Skies = AWESOME.
I have an heavily mod-laden NV too and it's a completely different experience from vanilla, lemme tell ya.
I'm a sucker for "primary needs" and crafting mods - as in, no more running for weeks at a time without a single sip of water in the damn Mojave desert. Having actually need of food and water means no more filling your backpack with three thousand minigun bullets, but thinking on what to carry in regards of what you're gonna do and where, so if I'm just traveling from Vegas to Novac, I'll just need a couple of pork'n beans and maybe a tasty gecko kebab with a couple of bottles of water-heading to scavenge a Vault needs a completely different setup. Add to that the dark nights of Nevada Skies and you'll really, really need to think about setting up camp somewhere when the sun begins to go down. Oh, did I add that I have a Corvega mod - in which fast travel is tied to finding and repairing a car? No car, no fast travel - just foot. No wonders I have more than 100 hours on NV, huh?

vinraith
03-02-2012, 04:52 PM
I think that just means that all the DLC packages for spawns in the appropriate locations are combined, rather than being four seperate files.

Right. What I meant was, will the version of the mod that includes DLC spawns spoil anything for someone that's not played the DLC? Thanks again for all the help on this.

vinraith
03-02-2012, 05:27 PM
Oh, did I add that I have a Corvega mod - in which fast travel is tied to finding and repairing a car? No car, no fast travel - just foot. No wonders I have more than 100 hours on NV, huh?

Sounds like the motorcycle sub-mod for FWE in Fallout 3, which was definitely the only way to play with fast travel. Do you have to maintain the car after it's working? Fuel it? Does this play nice with Project Nevada?

Caleb367
03-02-2012, 09:31 PM
Sounds like the motorcycle sub-mod for FWE in Fallout 3, which was definitely the only way to play with fast travel. Do you have to maintain the car after it's working? Fuel it? Does this play nice with Project Nevada?

IIRC - it's been a while since I last loaded New Vegas, you know, trying to un-remember every little pebble around the Mojave - it's quite similar to the motorcycle mod, needing fuel and repairs. Works perfectly with Project Nevada, I think it's been developed with that mod in mind.
Here it is, btw: http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=37708

vinraith
04-02-2012, 03:17 AM
IIRC - it's been a while since I last loaded New Vegas, you know, trying to un-remember every little pebble around the Mojave - it's quite similar to the motorcycle mod, needing fuel and repairs. Works perfectly with Project Nevada, I think it's been developed with that mod in mind.
Here it is, btw: http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=37708

Sounds great, thanks for the link!

Dominic Tarason
04-02-2012, 10:39 AM
Right. What I meant was, will the version of the mod that includes DLC spawns spoil anything for someone that's not played the DLC? Thanks again for all the help on this.

Nah, it just means you'll see additional encounters within each DLC episode. There's also optional Enclave encounters anywhere, Fallout 3 style, but it's disabled by default because it doesn't make too much sense.

vinraith
04-02-2012, 05:06 PM
Hmm, so the Corvega mod apparently conflicts with Nevada Skies. The Corvega devs have packed an altered Nevada Skies .esp that supposedly resolves the problem, but it appears to be a much earlier version of the mod. I'm at a bit of an impasse, here. I really liked the motorcycle-based fast travel in FO3 and would love to have something like that again, is Nevada Skies worth the trade-off?

Drake Sigar
04-02-2012, 05:53 PM
The fudge? Amazon just told me the Ultimate edition has been put back to Feburary 24th. That can't be right. It's supposed to be the 10th.

Caleb367
04-02-2012, 06:26 PM
Hmm, so the Corvega mod apparently conflicts with Nevada Skies. The Corvega devs have packed an altered Nevada Skies .esp that supposedly resolves the problem, but it appears to be a much earlier version of the mod. I'm at a bit of an impasse, here. I really liked the motorcycle-based fast travel in FO3 and would love to have something like that again, is Nevada Skies worth the trade-off?

Hm - maybe I'll make the Captain Obvious to the rescue, but: have you tried modifying the load order and putting Nevada Skies last? I have them both in my mod-list and without trouble. Also, you may want to fire up FNVEdit and making a merged patch - very useful if you have Project Nevada and other mods active at the same time.
If all should fail, I'd try reinstalling Corvega first and Nevada Skies later - the latter overwrites the former, if needs be - and make sure of the load order via Nexus Mod Manager.

Althea
04-02-2012, 06:31 PM
The fudge? Amazon just told me the Ultimate edition has been put back to Feburary 24th. That can't be right. It's supposed to be the 10th.
Hmm... Actually, sounds like a good move, it puts it between Amalur and ME3.

vinraith
04-02-2012, 06:31 PM
Hm - maybe I'll make the Captain Obvious to the rescue, but: have you tried modifying the load order and putting Nevada Skies last? I have them both in my mod-list and without trouble. Also, you may want to fire up FNVEdit and making a merged patch - very useful if you have Project Nevada and other mods active at the same time.
If all should fail, I'd try reinstalling Corvega first and Nevada Skies later - the latter overwrites the former, if needs be - and make sure of the load order via Nexus Mod Manager.

To be clear I haven't tried anything at all, as I don't want to get rolling on a game and then have things break. If putting Skies last is sufficient to resolve the issue without breaking the Corvega mod that's fine by me, but that's not how the Corvega readme reads.

I've not previously used FNVEdit, how involved is that?

Lilliput King
04-02-2012, 08:35 PM
Bhazor: Yeah but those just aren't mistruths, are they? They're things that you naturally come across as you play the game. Unless you're trying to imply Quinns staged them somehow which is a little ridiculous.

Besides, I think the review adequately gets across that weird feeling of disappointment you get from New Vegas' wasteland. You stumble from environment to unconvincing environment, generally the same environment, to be greeted with streams of text. There's no sense of spectacle. Each location is more gormless than the last. I'm not alone on this (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:yOfOXlc2_xYJ:www.richardcobbett.com/codex/journal/strip-solitaire/+richard+cobbett+new+vegas&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk).

vinraith
04-02-2012, 08:39 PM
Unless you're trying to imply Quinns staged them somehow which is a little ridiculous.


It's difficult to understand how, for example, the farm screenshot and the text that accompanied it could be anything other than deliberately misleading. Like the game, don't like the game, but don't lie about it.

Lilliput King
04-02-2012, 08:44 PM
You've played the game, you've seen the 'farms'. They'd support like two dozen people. It's ludicrous! Is it not fair to say that there's "a disconnect between the scriptwriter and the whoever designs the actual areas"? At what point does this become a lie?

vinraith
04-02-2012, 08:50 PM
You've played the game, you've seen the 'farms'. They'd support like two dozen people. It's ludicrous! Is it not fair to say that there's "a disconnect between the scriptwriter and the whoever designs the actual areas"? At what point does this become a lie?

When you show one field, claim there are three, and there are actually six and a couple of greenhouses.

If you're going to bitch about things being scaled down (despite the fact that for both technical and gameplay reasons they obviously have to be, and of course have been in every Bethesda RPG ever) at least don't misrepresent what IS there.

Lilliput King
04-02-2012, 09:04 PM
Every development house has to work within technical limitations. There's an art to disguising them, for the good of the game and the player.

As for the minutiae, well, feh. It adequately represented the absurdity of the situation. You can't seriously consider the difference between 3 and 6 of those 'farms' important when the fluff would require tens of thousands of them.

Bhazor
04-02-2012, 09:14 PM
Unless you're trying to imply Quinns staged them somehow which is a little ridiculous.

In reference to the screenshots that is exactly what I'm saying. Either staged or stolen not knowing their context. They are *very* questionable for the reasons I gave.
The rest of the review is either complaining about stuff thats later justified (the empty bar) or just insulting the devs.

As for the farm it is larger than you suggest and I'd argue that a full size field wouldn't have been very exciting from a game design perspective. As it is it is a perfectly reasonable size given the population of towns in the game (a fault of the Bethesda engine).

The way he dismisses the Legion tells me he really didn't bother looking into the lore, conversations or following quests.

vinraith
04-02-2012, 09:16 PM
Every development house has to work within technical limitations. There's an art to disguising them, for the good of the game and the player.

As for the minutiae, well, feh. It adequately represented the absurdity of the situation. You can't seriously consider the difference between 3 and 6 of those 'farms' important when the fluff would require tens of thousands of them.

Right, and the game would be so much better with tens of thousands of them, right? Gee, wouldn't it be nice if the entire game world were farms or if, better yet, the whole game world were properly to scale and it took 20 hours to walk from Goodsprings to New Vegas.

Complain about something rational or, better yet, just go play something else. My advice to Quinns would be the same, it's like "reviewing" a platformer by complaining about the fact that human beings can't actually jump that high.

Nalano
04-02-2012, 09:21 PM
Right, and the game would be so much better with tens of thousands of them, right? Gee, wouldn't it be nice if the entire game world were farms or if, better yet, the whole game world were properly to scale and it took 20 hours to walk from Goodsprings to New Vegas.

It certainly is a design limitation - either you can simulate hours of trudging through faceless desert or you can have a overland map that abstracts such travel. Storm of Zehir, anyone?

vinraith
04-02-2012, 09:28 PM
It certainly is a design limitation - either you can simulate hours of trudging through faceless desert or you can have a overland map that abstracts such travel. Storm of Zehir, anyone?

You're welcome to think that's better or worse (I think it's transparently worse, myself, but that's opinion). However, it's not like Quinns was making an argument about spatial abstraction in Bethesda games and proposing an alternative solution, he was complaining about a trope of the series as though it were something new and posting misleading screenshots about it.

Bhazor
04-02-2012, 09:38 PM
It certainly is a design limitation - either you can simulate hours of trudging through faceless desert or you can have a overland map that abstracts such travel. Storm of Zehir, anyone?

Having an abstract overworld map kind of defeats the whole point of a Bethesda engine game doesn't it? Scale is literally the only thing their engines do well. Though that was the system used in Fallout 1 and 2.

Lilliput King
04-02-2012, 09:47 PM
Right, and the game would be so much better with tens of thousands of them, right? Gee, wouldn't it be nice if the entire game world were farms or if, better yet, the whole game world were properly to scale and it took 20 hours to walk from Goodsprings to New Vegas.

What gave you the impression I was suggesting this? If you're incapable of representing something, you don't just do your best and say 'ship it' when your best isn't good enough. It pervades the game. You need to understand your limitations, from both design and technical standpoints.

So, yes, it would be a better game if the casinos actually had patrons. It would make the MAIN FUCKING PLOTLINE actually MAKE SENSE.

But I'm not campaigning for gigantic crop fields in games. Don't be so fucking facile.

vinraith
04-02-2012, 09:58 PM
Yes, let's completely redesign the way the game works so that we can accurately represent expansive spaces without actually including expansive spaces. We can't actually propose any way to do this, of course, but we can certainly get angry, write in caps, and insult anyone that likes the game.

To Quinns credit, none of that was his point (though he certainly seemed intent on personally insulting the devs). His point, pretty clearly, was to misrepresent what was in the game because he didn't like it. You can construct a giant design argument around that (I'd think you could construct a far more reasonable one than you have, honestly) but that isn't what he was doing and no convoluted defense of his review will convince anyone otherwise. He misrepresented what was in the game, repeatedly. It was a bad review, no matter what you think of the game and its design.

Bhazor
04-02-2012, 10:16 PM
What gave you the impression I was suggesting this? If you're incapable of representing something, you don't just do your best and say 'ship it' when your best isn't good enough. It pervades the game. You need to understand your limitations, from both design and technical standpoints.

If fans were defending the game for being a searingly accurate portrayl of life in a wasteland (which could be pretty cool) you might have a point. Instead the fans praise the writing, improved combat, improved quest design and open choice narrative. All of which Quinns completely ignored in his review. I mean he writes a review of New Vegas without mentioning the factions or open ended quest structure. Thats ignoring more than half the game.

As I said the low population count was a drawback of the engine, likewise the muddy textures and the majority of glitches.

Nalano
04-02-2012, 10:25 PM
You're welcome to think that's better or worse (I think it's transparently worse, myself, but that's opinion). However, it's not like Quinns was making an argument about spatial abstraction in Bethesda games and proposing an alternative solution, he was complaining about a trope of the series as though it were something new and posting misleading screenshots about it.

I wasn't arguing about what Quinns thought. I thought the consensus on that was concluded ages ago.


Having an abstract overworld map kind of defeats the whole point of a Bethesda engine game doesn't it? Scale is literally the only thing their engines do well. Though that was the system used in Fallout 1 and 2.

Well, the point was, either you use Bethesda's (horrible) engine or you use something else, but either way it's a design choice. I'm not making a value judgement.

Lilliput King
04-02-2012, 10:58 PM
Yes, let's completely redesign the way the game works so that we can accurately represent expansive spaces without actually including expansive spaces. We can't actually propose any way to do this, of course, but we can certainly get angry, write in caps, and insult anyone that likes the game.

I'm not angry, though this is a little frustrating.

To put it in terms I sincerely hope you'll understand: Bethesda were capable of handling the weaknesses of their engine, while Obsidian ignored those weaknesses and hoped for the best, which didn't turn out to be very good. This constitutes a valid criticism, no matter what you think of the review.

vinraith
04-02-2012, 11:07 PM
To put it in terms I sincerely hope you'll understand: Bethesda were capable of handling the weaknesses of their engine, while Obsidian ignored those weaknesses and hoped for the best, which didn't turn out to be very good. This constitutes a valid criticism, no matter what you think of the review.


I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Look at Arlington National Cemetary in Fallout 3, look at Balmora in Morrowind, look at any city in Oblivion, the "problem" of scaling down environments to fit them in the game engine has been present in every Bethesda game of this generation. It's an abstraction, the same way Storm of Zehir's map travel is an abstraction, there was nothing new about it in New Vegas. It's either an abstraction you can live with or one you can't. It's fine to say that it's a deal breaker for you, and it would have been fair for Quinns to say the same, but representing it as being anything other than par for the course with these games is bizarre at best and dishonest at worst. That he then went further, and misrepresented what was actually in the game itself in addition to that, makes the whole thing look like a deliberate hatchet job and little else.

Bhazor
04-02-2012, 11:26 PM
How did Bethesda deal with it? Towns were tiny and they were still underpopulated in FO3. Thats the problem with making unique dialog for every single character.

Drake Sigar
04-02-2012, 11:49 PM
Underpopulated towns/areas are a legitimate issue which certainly affect immersion, however the review you're all so passionately arguing about almost seems so focused on pointing that out to the exclusion of everything else. Dragon Age 2 had a huge stack of problems on top of the desolate city, and I'll bet it got a lot more slack.

Lilliput King
04-02-2012, 11:52 PM
It dealt with it because desolate towns were what we were led to expect. It didn't write cheques it couldn't cash. The environment sat well with the fluff.

Bhazor
05-02-2012, 12:27 AM
It was set 200 years later and it was still *that* thinly populated? Thats not even mentioning the whole raiders outnumbering citizens 10:1 bit. That goes as against the plot as much as New Vegas ever did.

No. You're cutting Bethesda slack they don't deserve, they just screwed up making their engine.

Could the crowds have been made bigger. Undoubtedly. Is it Beths fault? Probably. Does it go against the lore? Maybe. Does it ruin the game? Hell no. Yet that's exactly what Quinns seems to be saying.

Nalano
05-02-2012, 12:32 AM
It was set 200 years later and it was still *that* thinly populated? Thats not even mentioning the whole raiders outnumbering citizens 10:1 bit. That goes as against the plot as much as New Vegas ever did.

No. You're cutting Bethesda slack they don't deserve, they just screwed up making their engine.

Could the crowds have been made bigger. Undoubtedly. Is it Beths fault? Probably. Does it ruin the game or lore? Hell no.

Hold on, there! In order:

It's a freakin' desert, and far outside civilized areas. Also, raiders don't outnumber citizens 10:1. Funny enough, unlike FO3, the raiders' presence is somewhat muted. Of course, being a warzone, soldiers are quite numerous.

Sure, but you can't blame Obsidian for Bethesda's version of Gamebryo.

I thought we already came to the conclusion as to Quinns' WIT.

Bhazor
05-02-2012, 01:02 AM
Hold on, there (criminal scum)! In order:

I was talking about Fallout 3. My point being that Fallout 3 game was supposed to be 200 years after Fallout 2 and settlements still consist of a dozen people in a couple of shacks. A settlement that size in a setting as hostile as the wasteland wouldn't last a week. That goes against it's lore as much as New Vegas being half empty. Yes I do think it was a clever touch how Obsidian cut down on Raiders by having them slowly replaced by whichever factions you went against. So you'd start off fighting raiders in random encounters then move onto the better equipped faction patrols (Legion/NCR). Added a kind of organic difficulty curve.

Thats my point.

I have but somebody hasn't.

Caleb367
05-02-2012, 05:56 PM
To be clear I haven't tried anything at all, as I don't want to get rolling on a game and then have things break. If putting Skies last is sufficient to resolve the issue without breaking the Corvega mod that's fine by me, but that's not how the Corvega readme reads.

I've not previously used FNVEdit, how involved is that?

Usually you'd just need to set the load order and you're set regardless - FNVEdit's not strictly required, but it's extremely useful if you have a number of mods on. As for actually making the damn thing working, it's a breeze: you just unpack it anywhere (AFTER having set your load order), start the exe, wait a bit for it to load the mods references, then right-click anywhere and tell it to make a merged patch. Then load up the mod manager again and activate the merged patch as last in the load order - fire up New Vegas and you're set.

vinraith
05-02-2012, 06:43 PM
Usually you'd just need to set the load order and you're set regardless - FNVEdit's not strictly required, but it's extremely useful if you have a number of mods on. As for actually making the damn thing working, it's a breeze: you just unpack it anywhere (AFTER having set your load order), start the exe, wait a bit for it to load the mods references, then right-click anywhere and tell it to make a merged patch. Then load up the mod manager again and activate the merged patch as last in the load order - fire up New Vegas and you're set.

The issue, as I understand it, is that because Nevada Skies uses an .esm and Corvega uses an .esp they can't be set in the right order without first converting Skies to an .esp. The Corvega dev did that and included it, but it appears to be an old version of the mod that wouldn't be compatible with the additional DLC .esp's for Nevada Skies, and might have other issues.

Anyway, it doesn't matter. Content mods always trump graphics mods, and Nevada Skies appears to have "inventory item for mod control" syndrome which is always a deal breaker for me anyway. My solution is to dump Nevada Skies, and from there hopefully everything will work fine.

FNVEdit sounds like a great way to preserve a working mod configuration, thanks for bringing it up. I appreciate all the help, off to actually play the damn thing!