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Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica


Thia Halmades
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Welcome to my first post as I semi-live blog my way through Fallout 3. The game is THE post-apocalyptic RPG of this generation, and it warranted some attention here in the PA section of 'other genres.' Hopefully, you'll find this article entertaining enough to read some of my "other work" (cough, plug, cough).

 

So I started playing FO3 this morning. Tastes like Oblivion. Has the same feel in graphical design for the Wasteland; it's gorgeous. Don't get me wrong. But it didn't come off as revolutionary; it was very much a Bethesda game from the stand point of how things feel when you move through the environments. Very stiff, very 'animated,' and lacking in a sense of tactile connection that you get in a game like Gears of War. I recognize that this isn't a tried & shooter, but it's also remarkable just how much you realize it within the first couple of fights.

 

However, if you can get past that, there is a stiff departure from the Arena Scrolls franchise and it goes directly into a very FallOut tasting sort of world. The VATS combat system is really THE way to go in battle; I'm not certain, but knowing Bethesda, I would guess that all firefights are governed by die rolls; pulling the trigger rolls the dice, which determines your accuracy. There doesn't seem to be much purpose in NOT using VATS because of this, which sort of takes away from the FPS feel of it all. But that isn't why you play Bethesda games; you play Bethesda games to become someone else. The question is, can you become someone else who isn't Broken, Buggy & Busted?

 

So maybe I should explain VATS. Like Knights of the Old Republic, VATS allows you to freeze time and target specific elements of your opponent; it becomes necessary because your accuracy seems significantly improved from the VATS perspective than it does when firing blindly. One of my complaints with Bethesda games is that the combat feels weak; that improves slightly with the advent of VATS in Fallout3, but you still notice it; that element of the engine, which really should be shining by this point, still frustrates and grates. I would love to be able to play Fallout 3 like a true shooter, more like a Deus Ex successor than a new Oblivion.

 

So I'm two hours in, and I can say this: It works. That statement is said simply, with no fanfare or applause, it's a simple, "Hmm. It works." It's almost surprise; the opening of the game tastes PRECISELY like an Arena game, except instead of escaping prison (which I've done in every game, including a variation that was done for Morrowind) you escape the Vault. There are a few key events early on that start the story, but then, like other titles in the Bethesda lineup, you're free to wander (and get into trouble) as you see fit. So let's talk about that for a moment, because it's critical to the purpose of Fallout 3. The game is about exploring the Wasteland, and giving you more options than you can reasonably fulfill. Said another way, and having looked at the Perk list and the stat system, the reviewers are correct; you cannot, at any point, max everything out. That's a good thing; it guarantees that you'll have a different core gameplay experience, even if it feels the same, or if you're personally focused on developing different skills to do different things.

 

I won't say I do or don't like it; it's far too early in the game for me to really commit to an opinion. I haven't seen the quests or gotten any of the interesting weapons, or past level 2. I'll say the opening sequence is really well handled, and that it was the most interesting start of a game in a long time. It is assuredly not Mess Effect, with its horrendous pop in and weak combat, but melee combatants like to mix it up. VATS almost seems like an "excuse" to not build a strong FPS experience, and for some people, that'll be fine, but honestly, there's no point in going gun-bunny in this game because it's Skill based -- not user-input based. Yes, you need to put the reticle on the target, but it suffers from the same lack of animation frames and herky-jerky movement as other Bethesda games, it just fixes it in a different way. I suppose this bothers me far more than anyone else who's reviewed it; I was looking forward to a sort of wild weasel FPS experience combined with the depth of Morrowind. I'd like to join factions, I'd like to have the rock solid feel of a minigun in my hands and cut loose with 200 rounds of belt fed ammo. I don't think I'll get that experience here, and that's a little dissapointing from an expectations standpoint.

 

What I will talk about, though, is morality. Two hours in, and my karma is tanked. The reason: every other game you have resources, bad guys, and fairly easy, pain free roads to survival. Those characters (Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, etc.) don't have to worry about gear, because they get gear like its candy. In FallOut3, you have to worry about everything. Do you drink the irradiated water? Do you want to pick up the really cool thing that belongs to someone else? You can, but your karma immediately drops. If the choices you're forced to make early on are any indication, then the game is going to put you through the moral wringer, expressly because there are no easy choices. There are also no "wrong" ones. You'll have to kill; that's how it goes. You'll have to find solutions to problems with limited resources. I don't know that'll last -- RPGs eventually give way to you carrying enough stuff to take down a tank, but the original premise; that it really DOES watch what you do, it knows when you steal even if an NPC isn't watching -- is VERY cool.

 

Remember that whole thing in Knights of the Old Republic, you break down one door and the guy catches you, but it's never touched on again? They fixed that. Karma becomes ephemeral, it's always following you around, and that's a great thing. It speaks poignantly to what you'll do to survive in the wastes. But, as with all first time efforts, I already dream of Fallout 4. I can't say it doesn't pay off, though -- dreaming of Resistance 2 did some wonderful things. *^_^*

 

More to come as I advance in the game.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Out of curiosity, have you played through Fallout &/or Fallout 2?

I know the designers of 3 had some concerns about alienating the fans of the series, and it led to some design changes.

 

Honestly, I really liked F1 & F2's turn based RPG format, but then again, I've never been a real big fan of FPSers.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Thanks for the info. My main problem w/ Beth games is that I simply don't have the time or the inclination to wander around endlessly. I like the freedom, but on the other hand I just can't commit that much free time to it and in the end the main quest usually is unfulfilling so I never get any closure even when i putatively "beat" the game.

 

Also, it always irritates me when I accomplish some major status coup like become the head of the mages guild, etc, and the dialog and reactions don't change -- everyone still treats you like a normal dude even if you have maxed rep / popularity with them. If you aren't going to bother to have an in-game accomplishment mean anything real then just don't include it, IMO; for me all the meaningless little badge and empty title nonsense that seems popular in video games of this generation merely further highlight that such games are just a gross waste of time that could otherwise be productive.

 

I really enjoyed the original Fall Out back in the day and have been pondering FO3 but from your description Im thinking I wont. I found Morrowind and Oblivion to be painfully boring, I don't need more of the same minus magic plus tech and guns.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Thanks for the info. My main problem w/ Beth games is that I simply don't have the time or the inclination to wander around endlessly. I like the freedom, but on the other hand I just can't commit that much free time to it and in the end the main quest usually is unfulfilling so I never get any closure even when i putatively "beat" the game.

 

Also, it always irritates me when I accomplish some major status coup like become the head of the mages guild, etc, and the dialog and reactions don't change -- everyone still treats you like a normal dude even if you have maxed rep / popularity with them. If you aren't going to bother to have an in-game accomplishment mean anything real then just don't include it, IMO; for me all the meaningless little badge and empty title nonsense that seems popular in video games of this generation merely further highlight that such games are just a gross waste of time that could otherwise be productive.

 

I really enjoyed the original Fall Out back in the day and have been pondering FO3 but from your description Im thinking I wont. I found Morrowind and Oblivion to be painfully boring, I don't need more of the same minus magic plus tech and guns.

Fallout 2 has a massive number of fan made mods available that do all kinds bugfixes, restoration of the original plot line before budget constraints forced cutbacks, and a wide assortment of general groovy add ons. Still getting good mileage out of it, and haven't even touched Fallout:Tactics yet, so I think I'll be waiting a few years till I have a computer that can deal with the requirements before I try #3.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Fallout 2 has a massive number of fan made mods available that do all kinds bugfixes' date=' restoration of the original plot line before budget constraints forced cutbacks, and a wide assortment of general groovy add ons. Still getting good mileage out of it, and haven't even touched Fallout:Tactics yet, so I think I'll be waiting a few years till I have a computer that can deal with the requirements before I try #3.[/quote']

I bought Fallout 2 cheaply a while ago but never played much of it - I did recently re-install it on my laptop to try to finish it, but had not thought about using mods.

Do you have a set of recommended mods that I should look at? What's the best site?

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

I bought Fallout 2 cheaply a while ago but never played much of it - I did recently re-install it on my laptop to try to finish it, but had not thought about using mods.

Do you have a set of recommended mods that I should look at? What's the best site?

 

No Mutants Allowed is the site that springs immediately to mind. I'll have to check which were the mods I liked & get back to ya.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

I keep meaning to purchase the Fallout Pack; 1, 2 & Tactics and dump them onto my PC. I anticipate some nostalgia and some hair pulling moments; I never got a chance to play any of them at length, so 3 is really my first properly purposed foray into the world itself. I'm now about... oh, 20 hours in. Here's what we've got so far:

 

Like most other games in this genre, it doesn't take long to figure out what you need to do to survive. There are some skills which are just "better" than others, although this speaks as much to gameplay as it does to personal choice. With the lack of any sort of magic, there are only so many skills and options for combat. Early on, I'm still finding my traditional reliance on projectile weapons is serving me very well. I have also discovered that you can point & shoot well at things from a distance, and I've scored some really gory head shots while hidden. If you can do that, you're doing great, and the game becomes "user controller skill" based for the moment. The downside continues to be the weird hybrid of FPS/Real Time. Once something is in your grill, you almost have to go to VATS, and that's been how i've handled the last few hours, in fact.

 

At range, it's all about pumping 10mm rounds from my trust pistol into whatever I'm fighting. When they get close, I switch to VATS and start making head shots until they fall down. Which begs the question, just how good do you get?

 

Really good. If you stick to your mental character concept, you can become very potent in a comparatively short time. Additionally, because there are almost always healing options near at hand, you're rarely facing a death's door situation unless you're just stingy (which I am, I am incredibly stingy). I spend most of the game around half health. Rads are a potent factor to consider, but can be dealt with.

 

To speak to something Killer Shrike said, and I completely agree, yes, you can get lost in this setting. They do a number of things very well; the Pip Boy 3000 is your "guide" to the world. It tells you where your quests are, keeps you updated, all that kind of thing. You can, because of it, go off exploring somewhere else entirely and come back to your current quest when you're good and ready. There's a powerful incentive to do this, because you can find more cool stuff to blow mutant's heads off with, and that's why you're carrying all this hard ware in the first place.

 

But.

 

Because of that, I've revised my definition of what this game really is. It isn't an RPG; an RPG, as I'd discussed with Jason at length, and agreed with him for the most part, is a small unit tactical combat simulator, especially when played on a console. Most of what you do is follow the linear plot, and fight. That's it. Player choice comes in leveling up. That isn't Fall Out, anymore than it was Oblivion. The best way I can describe the game is a Post Apocalypse Simulator. You choose how to approach life in the wastes, and with those choices come both truths and consequences. You learn how the world reacts, you learn how you feel about that. Because of the way you, the player, control the movement of the story (a love it/hate it sort of thing; why does the plot freeze because I'm not there? Who knows?) you are really entirely free to spend time becoming whomever you want to be. Sinner, Saint, or Merc.

 

I haven't really scratched the surface of what all the game has to offer; I don't have all the schematics, I haven't even begun my bobblehead collection save for one I found by accident, and I still get shredded by Super Mutant Leader Lordy Thug things with Miniguns.

 

But the game sucks you in; even with the drudgery (fast travel IS here, you CAN bounce from place to place, but you must always walk to a place the first time, even with a map flag) there's something incredibly compelling -- and much more so, if you're me -- about Oblivion with guns.

 

if they rewrote Oblivion, and put guns in it? I'd play it all over again, and probably with a lot less hate.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Having a hardcoded morality system in place has always been a feature of the system, so your actions in all the games has affected how the world interacts with your main PC. This was extra prominent in 2, with a ton of reputations that could alter your reactions and sometimes impart bonuses or penalties (Porn star, Prize fighter, Grave robber, & Child killer all come to mind)

 

The Fallout Collection is a totally Value Added option if you like Post Apoc settings and turn based Isometric RPG's. There's a whole lotta hours of gameplay in those 3 games, and the system it's built on is a pretty straight up PnP system called SPECIAL, which was created after SJG pulled their backing to have the Fallout games use GURPS... after the whole Secret Service raid thing, they got a bit gunshy about taking on controversial topics while still in company survival mode. SPECIAL is sort of a GURPS/BRP/ElderScrolls hybrid mechanically, but it works. The first 2 Fallout games can literally be played like an RPG... You can make a "face man" type and actually talk & sneak your way through the whole story if you're so inclined.... Or build the uber gunbunny... or the unarmed combat specialist, or the melee combatant... or... you get the idea.

 

It's a good timesink, and let me get my turn based iso shooter on, which has been a genre I've loved since X-Com.

Oh, and Scott Bennie did some of the design work on 1 back in the day. Not sure about 2 tho.

 

Another good source for all kinds of Fallout goodness is the Fallout Wiki, The Vault

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

I designed parts of the Hub and most of the Cathedral in the first game, wrote a lot of text that was good but never used, but was not a ey member of the team. My most memorable contribution was probably the name "Dogmeat". The people mainly responsible for that game's success were Tim Cain and Chjris Taylor.

 

I didn't work on FO2, but Chris Avellone was lead designer and did an extraordinarily good job. I haven't seen the new game yet, but I hope to track it down sometime after my WOTLK fix dies down and give it a go. I'm really glad that the legacy that our original team built is being honored and perhaps even surpassed, in the same way that Fallout did for the classic Interplay game Wasteland, our original inspiration and genesis of the line.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

I designed parts of the Hub and most of the Cathedral in the first game, wrote a lot of text that was good but never used, but was not a ey member of the team. My most memorable contribution was probably the name "Dogmeat". The people mainly responsible for that game's success were Tim Cain and Chjris Taylor.

 

I didn't work on FO2, but Chris Avellone was lead designer and did an extraordinarily good job. I haven't seen the new game yet, but I hope to track it down sometime after my WOTLK fix dies down and give it a go. I'm really glad that the legacy that our original team built is being honored and perhaps even surpassed, in the same way that Fallout did for the classic Interplay game Wasteland, our original inspiration and genesis of the line.

 

I never -- ever -- cease to be amazed at the people we have just HANGIN' AROUND.

 

Scott Bennie. Creator of Dogmeat. Which exists in FO3, by the way, and is probably one of the strongest memories of it we have. Holy CATS.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Been playing it for, well, far too long now really. I'm supposed to be writing, but have been spending pretty much every free moment in FO3. Loving it. And yes, the similarities between it and Oblivion are numerous, but this game is just so much better that I really don't care.

 

Agree with pretty much everything you said, Thia, nicely done.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

A lot of reviewers have cited that the music is repetitive; to which I'm forced to reply, the game can take you well over a hundred hours if you're taking your time, which I tend too. I let myself get sucked into it; I stop thinking about "questing" and "loots" and find myself reacting in a survivalist fashion. Can I get close enough to get the thing without getting enough rads to turn me into a minor fission reactor? How badly do I want to be able to use this here Minigun? Or at least, use it well?

 

Having scoped weapons is GREAT, but I wish there was a more HALO style, multi zoom variety. I can envison many character concepts here; whether you're going for a straight assassin, or for a hard core brawler. You get a lot of options as to how to progress. I was thinking of doing a Desperado next, and being all stealthy and sciency and skipping my repair skills, but ...

 

BUT.

 

There are some things you just plain need. You must have enough repair to not waste spare gear or change equipment moment after moment. There are also two perks that absolutely, in my opinion, MUST be taken. There's a Perk that gives +4 skill points a level (a must) and another that gives +1 skill point per book read. Again, a total must, since you can effecitvely double the number of skill books in the game if you don't read any before you take it (which I didn't).

 

Even if your character isn't skill based, those are so insanely useful that it seems criminal to NOT have them. Like most of my own first time characters, they're very Jack of All Trades. I'm "okay" in a number of fields but not GREAT in any of them. Which is a blessing, and a curse.

 

Oh, and I should mention:

 

Cherry Bomb + 10 Bottlecaps + a Lunch Box + A Sensor Module = OMG NO YOU DI'NT. (A Bottlecap Mine, which is an obscenly powerful explosive, especially with the Demolitions perk).

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

A lot of reviewers have cited that the music is repetitive; to which I'm forced to reply, the game can take you well over a hundred hours if you're taking your time, which I tend too. I let myself get sucked into it; I stop thinking about "questing" and "loots" and find myself reacting in a survivalist fashion. Can I get close enough to get the thing without getting enough rads to turn me into a minor fission reactor? How badly do I want to be able to use this here Minigun? Or at least, use it well?

 

Having scoped weapons is GREAT, but I wish there was a more HALO style, multi zoom variety. I can envison many character concepts here; whether you're going for a straight assassin, or for a hard core brawler. You get a lot of options as to how to progress. I was thinking of doing a Desperado next, and being all stealthy and sciency and skipping my repair skills, but ...

 

BUT.

 

There are some things you just plain need. You must have enough repair to not waste spare gear or change equipment moment after moment. There are also two perks that absolutely, in my opinion, MUST be taken. There's a Perk that gives +4 skill points a level (a must) and another that gives +1 skill point per book read. Again, a total must, since you can effecitvely double the number of skill books in the game if you don't read any before you take it (which I didn't).

 

Even if your character isn't skill based, those are so insanely useful that it seems criminal to NOT have them. Like most of my own first time characters, they're very Jack of All Trades. I'm "okay" in a number of fields but not GREAT in any of them. Which is a blessing, and a curse.

 

Oh, and I should mention:

 

Cherry Bomb + 10 Bottlecaps + a Lunch Box + A Sensor Module = OMG NO YOU DI'NT. (A Bottlecap Mine, which is an obscenly powerful explosive, especially with the Demolitions perk).

 

Very cool.

They've finally implemented a "build stuff out of scavenged junk" element to the game (The modder community wrote one for Fallout 2).

Woot!

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

For fun, I've started collecting schematics. I completed a quest, Stealing Independence, and in exchange received the Railway Rifle Schematics. Amazing what you can make out a crutch, a fission battery, a pressure cooker, and a steam gauge assembly. Not only does it make an AWESOME sound when it's fired (much like a train whistle) my Repair skill makes sure that it starts off in good order. I managed to build two of 'em, used one to repair the other and wound up with a weapon in pretty decent condition, which is a lot of fun to fire.

 

It's satisfying on a number of levels; it cost me no bottlecaps, the railway spikes I've been lugging around forever, and I have a weapons rating in this group (Small Arms). The more I play the game the more addictive it becomes; I love exploring the wasteland. Whereas I considered Oblivion this broken, frustrating fantasy life simulator, I LOVE exploring the Wasteland. I love wandering around, adding locations to my map (DING, gain XP) disarming (and keeping) landmines (DING, gain XP) and then watching monsters blow themselves to smithereens when I put them back down in strategic places.

 

Don't want to be followed up those steps? A couple of traditional frag mines, a bottle-cap mine and a few maniacal laughs later, and my XP counter dinged as a few bad boys blew themselves to smithereens. I've sealed off hallways against multiple opponents because they're monsters, and monsters don't try to disarm mines. One of the flat ugliest monsters I've faced, a yug-oi or somesuch, tore me (literally) in half. Second time I fought it, I got my stealth on. I snuck up, nice & quiet. Waited until he became aware of me, and dropped a Bottlecap Mine.

 

Then I backpedaled for my life, because I still wanted to see the results. I waited until he was on top of it, went to VATS, sighted him down my trusty huntin' raiful, and watched him flip bum-over-teakettle. When the smoke cleared, he was done, and that was the best 10 caps I ever spent. That's when the game shines; in moments that the player has created through the tools of the game. I had the skills, I built the mine, I'm sure I could have played tag with the mutated black bear wolverine badger thingy, but I elected to blow it to kingdom come instead.

 

My way worked REALLLLLLLL nice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Once more, I completely agree. I'm at level 20, and have been for a few days, but I refuse to finish the story because I'm just so engrossed with exploring the Wasteland. Though, unlike you I am not a huge fan of the homemade weapons (besides the Bottlecap Mine, which really is a gem that I don't use nearly often enough). My personal favorite weapon in the game is Lincoln's Repeater, which is just an old fashioned Winchester rifle. Twice as powerful as the hunting rifle, and just damn cool to watch in action.

 

Another Perk that is an absolute must have? "The Mysterious Stranger." I don't know how many times this mystery man has saved my life, but I don't know how I survived without him.

 

...oh right, I just dropped a trail of landmines everytime I went into a dungeon. Still, Mysterious Stranger is great.

 

Oh, and one perk that I'm really annoyed that I got was "Bloody Mess." I know that it's a feat from previous Fallout games, where it worked, but here it's just incredibly annoying after a while. It was funny watching Raiders and Super Mutants explode in gory clouds of blood the first couple of dozen times, but after the fortieth Raider's head, right arm, torso, and left leg ALL explode from a shot to the left arm it gets pretty tiresome. I miss the days when shooting a person in the arm meant their arm would drop off, not every single limb. Sigh.

 

And back to the music, I do hate the repetition of the songs, but I still listen solely for Three Dog's broadcasts (though by this point they're starting to get VERY repetitious). Especially for the first half of the game, when quests actually cause his dialogue to change, it's just awesome wandering the Wasteland when suddenly he starts speaking of some epic action you had taken a few days back, very cool. It's just weird that these really, really massive things I've accomplished near the end of the main story aren't even mentioned by him. Maybe it's a glitch.

 

Glad I'm not the only one enjoying the game though.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Though' date=' unlike you I am not a huge fan of the homemade weapons (besides the Bottlecap Mine, which really is a gem that I don't use nearly often enough).[/quote']

 

 

But the Railway Rifle let's you do things like this:

 

http://sweetconfusion.net/misc/ScreenShot2.bmp

 

I ran around for about two hours trying to get something to stick with a railroad spike.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Seriously.

 

Railway Rifle for the WIN. Things I'm not sure I can give up in any run through of this game: My Repair skill. The rest I can fake, but Repair is THE reason I'm successful. I can take a collection of five garbage shotties and turn them into decent weapon. I find Hunting Rifles like they're candy. I have a stack of 10 good condition 10mm pistols in a closet. It's SILLY how much stuff you wind up with, and that's the inherent failing. You get good, you kill bad guys. Bad guys drop stuff. You collect stuff. You get better. A vicious cycle.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Seriously.

 

Railway Rifle for the WIN. Things I'm not sure I can give up in any run through of this game: My Repair skill. The rest I can fake, but Repair is THE reason I'm successful. I can take a collection of five garbage shotties and turn them into decent weapon. I find Hunting Rifles like they're candy. I have a stack of 10 good condition 10mm pistols in a closet. It's SILLY how much stuff you wind up with, and that's the inherent failing. You get good, you kill bad guys. Bad guys drop stuff. You collect stuff. You get better. A vicious cycle.

 

Absolutely. The game was best at the beginning, in my opinion, when you first leave the vault and have this feeling that everything you see could be the difference between life and death. "9 10mm rounds? Better save those, never know when some Raiders could be over the next rise."

 

For literally the first hour or two I used solely a baseball bat I grabbed from my room on my way out of the vault, just so that I wouldn't have to waste ammo. Now though? I pawn off hundreds of rounds whenever I'm low on cash, I have literally well over two-thousand rounds of various types of energy cells (I rarely use laser or plasma weapons), and I hover a little under a thousand 5.56. The only ammunition I ever run low on is .40, just because I use Lincoln's Repeater so much.

 

It's a shame it becomes less of a survival game and more of a slaughter-house towards the end, but it's still fun as hell.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

There are some things you just plain need. You must have enough repair to not waste spare gear or change equipment moment after moment. There are also two perks that absolutely, in my opinion, MUST be taken. There's a Perk that gives +4 skill points a level (a must) and another that gives +1 skill point per book read. Again, a total must, since you can effecitvely double the number of skill books in the game if you don't read any before you take it (which I didn't).

 

What other Perks do you recommend?

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

It's a shame it becomes less of a survival game and more of a slaughter-house towards the end' date=' but it's still fun as hell.[/quote']

 

Out of curiosity, can you repair Lincoln's Repeater with stannert huntin' rai-fulls? That'd be DERN handy. I haven't used it because it was so beautiful and pristine I couldn't bring myself to lower its quality, but you're right, it does look PRETTY DEISEL.

 

The issue of course is that you do get better; you conserve ammo, you build a stockpile, you find hunting rifles and enough combat shotguns to piece one together and you're ready to rock and roll. There are a LOT of elements in the game that were left 'game friendly' and not 'wasteland survival' specific. For example:

 

Ammo has no weight.

 

Wait, what? This is Wasteland Survival! Ammo weighs a TON by itself! It does. It should. It doesn't. And that's wrong. It means you really can carry five BOXES of 5.56 and not notice it. Your carrying limit seems absurd against that, because you look down and see you've still got 545 10mm rounds for your SMG and think, "Yeah... I can do this." Mind you, you're firing at video-game speeds and you can consume 5.56 rounds like they're candy when you empty a clip into something, but still -- it's fun, but frustrating. With no weight to factor, there's no challenge.

 

There are things I would have considered doing differently; I'd give ammo & stim packs weight. I have close to 70 just... sittin' around. I would reduce the number of stim packs and give healing in bed a specific amount of time. I would introduce rad creep, because nothing really stays safe in the Wasteland. Throwing in mini-games, while annoying to some, can be compelling and well done. The pipe game from BioShock never got that old, and I'd like to see something similar (and scaled, in terms of challege, based on skill) for repair. They have one for lock picking and for hacking, why not have one for repair? Challenge the player.

 

Change the layout from day to night. Introduce different creatures. Make us use junk to repair weapons, instead of just another weapon (although, really, the last makes total SENSE, it shouldn't be magically doable in the field). It should require parts, or a work bench. Little things. CND drops quickly; if you had to be at a work bench, you'd be far more inclined to take two personal favorites, and far less inclined to fire off rounds willy-nilly.

 

I'm okay with a 'casual' difficulty, but I think mentally I'm in a place where 'more difficult' no longer means 'more hitpoints.' It means 'more challenging based on the game concept,' and the concept is survival.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

Out of curiosity, can you repair Lincoln's Repeater with stannert huntin' rai-fulls? That'd be DERN handy. I haven't used it because it was so beautiful and pristine I couldn't bring myself to lower its quality, but you're right, it does look PRETTY DEISEL.

 

The issue of course is that you do get better; you conserve ammo, you build a stockpile, you find hunting rifles and enough combat shotguns to piece one together and you're ready to rock and roll. There are a LOT of elements in the game that were left 'game friendly' and not 'wasteland survival' specific. For example:

 

Ammo has no weight.

 

Wait, what? This is Wasteland Survival! Ammo weighs a TON by itself! It does. It should. It doesn't. And that's wrong. It means you really can carry five BOXES of 5.56 and not notice it. Your carrying limit seems absurd against that, because you look down and see you've still got 545 10mm rounds for your SMG and think, "Yeah... I can do this." Mind you, you're firing at video-game speeds and you can consume 5.56 rounds like they're candy when you empty a clip into something, but still -- it's fun, but frustrating. With no weight to factor, there's no challenge.

 

There are things I would have considered doing differently; I'd give ammo & stim packs weight. I have close to 70 just... sittin' around. I would reduce the number of stim packs and give healing in bed a specific amount of time. I would introduce rad creep, because nothing really stays safe in the Wasteland. Throwing in mini-games, while annoying to some, can be compelling and well done. The pipe game from BioShock never got that old, and I'd like to see something similar (and scaled, in terms of challege, based on skill) for repair. They have one for lock picking and for hacking, why not have one for repair? Challenge the player.

 

Change the layout from day to night. Introduce different creatures. Make us use junk to repair weapons, instead of just another weapon (although, really, the last makes total SENSE, it shouldn't be magically doable in the field). It should require parts, or a work bench. Little things. CND drops quickly; if you had to be at a work bench, you'd be far more inclined to take two personal favorites, and far less inclined to fire off rounds willy-nilly.

 

I'm okay with a 'casual' difficulty, but I think mentally I'm in a place where 'more difficult' no longer means 'more hitpoints.' It means 'more challenging based on the game concept,' and the concept is survival.

 

Nail on the head on all points.

 

First though, yes, the Repeater is repairable using any Hunting Rifle. Makes it rather devastating against Super Mutants since it does very good damage, very accurate, and repairs using many of their drops. Again, ammo on it is the only drawback.

 

But, like you said, ammo in the game is one of the drawbacks. I'm seriously thinking about making a neutral character my next play through that has a low strength score, just so that I can't carry much with me, forcing myself to carry only two or three weapons.

 

I also think that the idea of having to use a workbench for repairs is brilliant, and it just makes absolute sense. This may be too complicated to implement, but what if you could repair using either identical weapons, OR junk, with junk being far less reliable and making the weapon more prone to jams and the like. I know, changes the mechanics of it quite a bit, but the system in Far Cry 2 is actually pretty good for that.

 

In other news though, Bethesda has announced DLC and the GECK editor. Taken from http://www.kotaku.com

The official editor for Fallout 3 is hitting PCs for free next month and both the PC and 360 are getting DLC come January, with more due in February and March, Bethesda Softworks announced today.

 

“We’ve always seen the original world of Fallout 3 as a foundation for even more content. Some created by us, and a lot more created by users,” said Todd Howard, game director for Fallout 3. “It’s fun to create your own character, but it can be equally fun to create your own adventures. We can’t wait to see what the community does with the G.E.C.K.”

 

The Garden of Eden Creation Kit will let users create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons and creatures.

 

The three downloadable content packs coming to the 360 and Games for Windows Live starting in January will add new quests, items and content:

 

• Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.

• The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.

• Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.

 

I'm so glad they're adding the Pitt. I found a note referencing it, and was very frustrated when I discovered it wasn't in the game. And I'm especially looking forward to continuing past the main story.

 

Speaking of which, who here has beaten the game, and what are your thoughts? I beat it a few days ago, and must say I was slightly disappointed. Not because it was a bad ending, but because it just didn't live up to the rest of the game.

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Re: Fallout 3: Postapocalyptica

 

What other Perks do you recommend?

 

That really depends on what you want to do; if you're going for a smooth-talking type, you'll need Lady Killer/Black Widow, Child at Heart and the Scoundrel perks. If you're going gun-bunny, you'll want Finesse, Bloody Mess (annoying, but hey, what are you going to do?) and then weapon-perk-flavor-as-necessary, such as Gun Nut (5 Small Arms/5 Repair) or Size Matters (15 Big Guns, which if you use Big Guns, is probably one of the single best perks in the game as it gives you a full dedicated level of skill points in a single shot).

 

I tend to avoid: Here & Now, Personal Training (I forget the exact name, but it's +1 SPECIAL) and other 'light weight' perks. Here & Now is particularly useless because all you've really done is gained HP & Skill Points, and lost a Perk. I'm sure there are arguments the other way, but I don't see the purpose.

 

There are more perks I'd like to see; I'd like to see improved auto-fire, that kind of thing. I listed some of my other 'to improves' on the list. Hopefully we'll get new Perks with the DLC. But those hopefully get you off in the right direction.

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