Spoiler Warning S5E53: Let’s Play Caravan!

By Shamus
on Aug 16, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

Josh has spent the entire game hauling around a great heap of clutter and stashing unwanted items in various places. Those of you who have played the game will know that this is like refusing to take out the garbage. You are not avoiding work, only postponing it. Sooner or later, those items need to be rounded up. Sorted. Schlepped to various vendors. Sold. The resulting bottlecap bounty must then be invested in upgrades and equipment, which requires additional travel time and inventory-scrolling. Usually you do this a bit at a time as you play, but Josh has been on a non-stop bender of murder and item acquisition since he staggered out of Doc Mitchell’s house.

So this is it. This episode is the Great Inventory Reckoning. Half an hour, with several fast-forward sections. I can’t imagine what compels you people watch this show. Sitting in on this session caused acute boredom trauma to my frontal lobe.

As an added bonus, Josh has begun griefing us outside of the game, through the magic of editing. In this episode he cut huge sections of commentary, and then left in sections that we specifically said should be left out.


Link (YouTube)

I will say that the interface in this game is just shockingly, shamefully, willfully horrible. In the lineage of Morrowind » Oblivion » Fallout 3 » New Vegas, we see a clear progression taking place. At the start, the interface is clunky and awkward. It degrades rapidly from there, until it finally blossoms into a crime against usability. New Vegas has the dubious distinction of being the first game in the progression where the interface didn’t get significantly worse.

It’s been suggested that the interface problems are the result of “consolization”. While we might blame console-porting for the excessively large fonts, excessive scrolling, and wasted screen space, that doesn’t explain everything that’s wrong here. One thing console games usually have going for them is clarity. PC games do have a tendency to start looking like a spreadsheet, but consoles are generally more focused about what information is being presented and what the options are. But here the thing so terribly cluttered and counter-intuitive that a lot of your options end up being obfuscated. I’ve sunk over 100 hours into this game, and I just recently found a new page of info that I didn’t know existed.

They keep releasing new screenshots and trailers for Skyrim. (I don’t know why I bothered linking them. The official Skyrim site is an idiotic flash-based monstrosity that demands to know your country of origin (hint to the Bethesda web devs: you can actually get that info without needing to trouble the user) and birthday before it will move on to being useless. It’s a sort of, “How many things can you find wrong in this picture?” of web development.) I’d love to see just one of them show us what the interface is going to look like. I know this won’t happen, but that’s where my curiosity is focused.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!20220 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. Lanthanide says:

    I was starting to wonder if you were dead. Instead I get first post!

    The stupid Bethesda site lets you enter nonsense birthdates, like 1/1/1111.

    • Hal says:

      Hey, Oblivion was very popular with the 100-1000 y.o. demographic.

      • Rick C says:

        Skyrim’s website doesn’t mind that my birthday is 1 January 1899, so I have to give them points for not refusing to pay attention to their vampire audience.

    • Destrustor says:

      Yeah, Shamus had me worried for a while that he’d been kidnapped by poisonous internet ninjas.
      Those are the WORST.

    • Caffiene says:

      I think the website stuff is a legal thing.

      Different countries have different classification systems, and you can get in fairly serious trouble for knowingly providing material to underage viewers.

      If you assume ages, or use code to obtain location, youre liable if it gets the wrong answer. On the other hand if you ask for the information and the viewer lies, then they are responsible and youre off the hook.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        Yeah, this. Blame COPPA.

        The worst part is, on sites that originated on American servers (Thus generally abided by American law, a.k.a COPPA), the meme regarding ” < 13 == BANHAMMER" lead to the derogatory joke "What are you, 12?" Namely because the other person can't admit it if it's true, or else the blame is on them for getting banned because of it.

        I think most countries use that now though, so it's usually a mute issue.

        As for country of the user, I think it's partially on the blame of Europe (With multiple languages AND close distances between language barries), where they decide it's best to err on the side of caution – someone visiting in France may still want the Italian site, for example.

  2. Sozac says:

    Am I the only one who never has a problem with this sorta thing? Like I don’t know what Shamus means about all the interface problems in Oblivion, and Fallout 3+New Vegas. It must be a technical thing I know nothing about :(

    • Lalaland says:

      I think what he means is the difficulty in comparing items say I have an Aardvark Rifle and I want to compare it to my Zulu Launcher. I must look at the 1st rifle and then mumble the relevant stats over and over as I hunt down through the list to get to the Zulu Launcher and compare. It gets worse though say the Aardvark rifle does 10 damage per hit and my Zulu Launcher does 8 damage but has a +X% to damage modifier, which is better?

      It gets worse with food stuffs as you try and rummage around the list eating the least nutritious and bulkiest stuff first (I have an obsession with this), usually I eat all my high value 0.1 weight items and shlep low value 5 weight items around as I hadn’t noticed them. An easy fix for this is to go down the spreadsheet and columns route, it’s ugly but if I can sort by both weight and nutrition I could solve that issue very quickly. The Witcher 2 is a classic example of this, it has multiple ingredients a lot of which are functionally interchangeable but have very widely differing values. I could never work out a way of listing all these ingredients in such a way as I could be confident I hadn’t just sold my last ‘Rebus’ element. As a result I had 200-300 kg of ingredients by the games end (and I wasn’t even specialising in potions).

      Basically if your game is going to include hundreds of unique items there should be a simple interface to evaluate the relative merits of those items. Diablo did this very well and as the ‘Daddy’ of loot games I remain fascinated by how badly subsequent games have handled it.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Urghh, this is something that has largely discouraged me from alchemy in the scrolls series. I know there are some tried and true recipes, I know you can get some very decent results with it, in fact I can throw some stuff together and mix it to actually train alchemy if I need it for a stat boost. I even imagine it gets pretty easy once you get into it, I just could never spark the drive to start looking into it, all I see is a ton of ingredients with up to four abilities each and I immediately know I don’t feel like even trying to figure out how these things interact with one another, and Goddess forbid I’d want to actually make a potion with specific result, go through the list and check around if something in my hundred or so minerals, plants or chunks/secretions of living things list actually has a “restore luck” quality.

        I’m not 100% sure but I think Oblivion might have had some way of sorting this stuff once you actually started brewing? Like I said, I was immediately discouraged so I don’t really know the system very well…

        • Archaic says:

          they sort of had a organized way, the only way that i saw it was organized was through effects that certain materials had.

          such as if item A had a restore luck attribute item B would either have that attribute or something else in common with it.

          and as far as the end potion product goes you could name it fortunately because remembering everything going into potions was probably the worst part of the alchemy in oblivion for my self.

          at least that’s what i found out about the alchemy in oblivion as far as being organized goes not sure if that helps at all though.

          • Sozac says:

            I remember Oblivion alchemy being very helpful for making money early on to fund my mercantile/acrobatics training. Since all food was cheap and mixed together, I just bought or found food and made fatigue potions.
            I get the point though made with the comparing items. Its like apples and oranges. I mean it never made much of a difference with me. Even on very hard difficulty enemies are total pushovers.
            Edit: For Fallout 3 and NV I mean. Not Oblivion. Oblivion was impossible.

        • Abnaxis says:

          IIRC, you have to match ingredient effects. Once you pick your first ingredient, the game automatically pares the list down to only ingredients which will have an effect once mixed with the previous ones you chose.

          So say you have a hundred ingredients, ten of which restore fatigue. You pick a pumpkin, which restores fatigue, for your first ingredient. When you open the list for your second ingredient, it will only contain the other nine items that restore fatigue.

      • LB says:

        I accidentally sold my Aardvark Rifle. .

      • James says:

        talking about DPS and Real DPS (DPS is usually dmg x RoF and Real DPS is DMG x RoF + Bonus’s) is a pain in the ass in most games i’ve seen, Dragon Age, ME’s as well as the fallout’s, ‘cus you need a list of sometimes horrid maths you don’t want to do to play a game.

        lets do a examples

        A Sword; lets call it the Blade of Fantasmical Muguffiness;
        it has a Base Dmg of 14, and a RoF (swing speed hit rate whatever) of 3 per second, so far our DPS is a easy 42.
        Now it has a Enchantment with +3 FIRE damage per strike, Sooo lets do MORE maths
        Against Basic enemies is 42
        Against Fire Resistant/Absorbing Enemies it’s 42
        Against Fire Weak Enemies its 51
        and thats using basic idea on resistances and having the whole body as a 1.0x dmg mod. this can get insane.

        luckily for us The Vault Wikia gives us a nice look at DMG with bonus and perk boosts!

        • kanodin says:

          And this is why I just pick whichever gun/sword is most satisfying to shoot/slash. I may not be optimally built, but it’ll be cool.

          • Michael says:

            I do the same thing with armor.

            Sure, I could be running around in Power Armor and eating laser blasts. But why would I want to do that when I can run around in a trench coat?

            • Littlefinger says:

              Let me fix that for you:

              Sure, I could be running around in Power Armor and eating laser blasts. But why would I want to obscure the face I spent 5 hours creating?

              Or look like I have a tiny head on a massive body?

              • ps238principal says:

                I question the inclusion of the word “running” as well. I’d suggest “tromping,” “trudging,” or perhaps “slogging.”

              • Michael says:

                Actually, I usually play Female Default 1 or 2. I don’t spend a whole lot of time on the face generator.

                I spend most of my time looking at my hands or the back of my character, so obscuring my face doesn’t really bother me all that much.

                • James says:

                  the problem is the Fallout face modifier is awful, since i’ve played with CCP’s carbon creator there all crap, but the carbon creator is amazing. i think Bioware’s is good, well sometimes when you manage to wrangle out what you want not the best, MMO’s easily have the best, cus MMO’s are all about customization. this reminds me of something Ruts and Shamus were on about in the Fallout 3 play-through.

                  the best looking stuff will be awful, it might have 1DT and weigh 6billion kg, and the best item will be the Helmet of Doufus Retardedness.

    • Greg says:

      Don’t you find that FO:NV simply doesn’t give you enough information to make intelligent decisions?

      For example, you might be considering whether to use a magnum or a rifle. The magnum does more damage per shot but the rifle has a higher DPS. Just finding that out is a nucience in the interface because rather than displaying both numbers the game fades from one to the other in the same box, idea why, there’s plenty of space on the screen. Anyway, this tells you that against enemies with a DT below a certain value the rifle will do more damage, but above that threshold the magnum will be better (Against a high enough DT the rifle will do no damage at all, making the magnum the only option). The game doesn’t offer a lot of feedback on what the average DT of things you go up against might be so it’s hard to see when it’s worth it.

      Now suppose you decide that the magnum is for you, but then notice the rifle has an “increased critical chance” (Such as the hunting rifle). That really does’t tell you much. To what extent is the critical chance increased? Is the increase a multiplier to the existing chance, making it more useful if your luck is high, or a fixed increase, making it more useful if your luck is low? How much bonus damage does a critical hit do anyway? The interface doesn’t tell you any of these things, but knowing them would be kinda handy.

      You can pull all of this information (and more) off the wiki, but wouldn’t it be handy if the game told you?

      • decius says:

        Note: A fixed increase (for example, 10%, does MORE good paired with a higher base chance. (until you hit the point where it does nothing)

        Consider the extreme case: if you had a 90% base chance to crit, +10% reduces your chance to normal hit to zero.

        Or even in the actual scale: is the gap between 1% (meaningless) and 11% (undependable) greater than the difference between 10% (undependable) and 20% (once per reload)

        I do mind that criticals don’t do anything, except more damage. I miss the various effects that Fallout offered, like kicking the raider leader in the crotch and them punching him in the eye while he’s down for the one-round win… Why did VATS give up the two best locations to target?

  3. Mr Jack says:

    The Pip-Boy in this game was not properly modified from Fallout 3. They had all this new stuff they needed to show you, so they shoved in odd screens in wherever they could fit.

    Playing on the PC, the problem was not that it had been designed for a console, but that it had been designed for a different game.

    As usual, there are many elegant mods to fix the issue. Shame the console players will be stuck with a hacked together mess, it really detracts from the game.

    • James says:

      The Problem story and lore wise to is WTF did Doc Mitchel give you a Pip Boy!!, WTH! why not let us have a PDA instead, sure the PipBoy is a staple in Fallout games, but why not a Vault Tech PDA (with vats and everything but MORE screens) instead we are not from a Vault (that we know of). so we’d need some sort of device to tell time and be a map or we’d be a shockingly poor courier. WHY DON’T OBSIDIAN MAKE SENSE!

      for me inventory management was quiet easy, unlike josh i use the sort buttons, so i in order sort crap Weapons Apparel Aid and Misc its very useful.

      • Mr Jack says:

        Yes, the Pip-Boy made little sense in the story as well, I think something like the Readius (http://www.newvegasnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=36646) would make more sense from a story perspective, as well as offering the opportunity to design a better interface.

        • swimon says:

          The only problem I see is that it doesn’t fit the 50s scifi aesthetic (what’s it called? Atompunk is that it?). A PDA looks sleek comfortable and elegant pretty much the anathema of the visual design. That said I do agree that it makes little sense but lets be honest it made no sense in fallout 2 either .What this techno-illiterate tribe managed to keep a “sacred” pipboy in working condition for all these years? It’s like expecting my iphone to work in 2050 (or in 2013 for that matter) if I just don’t touch it. By this point “hero has a pipboy” is just a staple of the setting that you just kinda have to accept even though it makes little sense, like a bottle cap economy.

          • James says:

            if they made it more steampunk 50’s ish, then they could start a new trend of people not in vault not having PipBoys, NCR citizens and co survive without one (until the PC arrives in a trial of blood and fire) after all change isn’t always a bad thing.

          • Mr Jack says:

            I don’t actually like the aesthetics of the Readius myself, it does feel to modern. But I think just giving you a Pip-Boy is a cop-out.

            It did not bother me that much, my main objection to the Pip-Boy was that it did a terrible job at being a menu and inventory system.

      • Pete says:

        I always figured that the pipboy WAS a PDA, or its fifties equivalent, anyway…

  4. Nyctef says:

    We’ve seen a bit of the interface during the E3 demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTWpUAhPA_c

    Also, squeaky Shamus needs to be a thing now :D

    • Simon says:

      Here it is in motion

      I think it looks great, much neater than any of their previous games. The only thing they’re not showing is the journal where you have your quests/faction standings etc.

      What’s missing though, and which could easily fit in there, would be to have the items stats right in the list, like Oblivion, so you don’t have to scroll through each item to see compare them.

  5. Epsilon Naught says:

    If you watch the demonstrations of Skyrim, some of them show the inventory interface and daamn it looks good. Neat lists, elegant looking, favourites lists for weapons/magic, 3D renders of all the items (because fuck, who doesn’t want to look at a slab of salmon in glorious HD?) And then there’s the perk trees, visualized as star-signs. Which appears to be pretty, if impractical when you want to look at things on a macro scale.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Yeah, it actually looks really, really good.

      Bethesda looks like they’ve learned some lessons this time around. We’ll see, and I’m bracing for disappointment, but they’ve gone and gotten me really excited for one of their games again. Fingers crossed!

    • Wtrmute says:

      What I love about the published material on Skyrim is on their trailer, at about 1:50, the Nord warrior makes sure to cut in the direction the dragon is flying, presumably not to hurt it too much.

      I love Bethesda.

    • Shatterer says:

      While the Skyrim interface looks pretty sleek and the favourites thingy sounds promising, there’s one thing I loved about Oblivion’s system and that’s item stats.

      Being able to look at the inventory and see what you want to know (health, defence, weight, value) without having to highlight the item was really useful to me. If had too much stuff with you, you didn’t have to have highlight each item to see if you should drop it. If you wanted to sell your cheap, shitty stuff you could sort the inventory and have all the cheap stuff on top.

      • Simon says:

        What I don’t really get about the favorites thing is that they’ve had it in all their games at least since Morrowind. I’m thinking that maybe the reason they focus on it now is that they discovered that many didn’t know about it. I guess these days you have to explain things in big press announcements rather than just put it in the manual/tutorial.

  6. X2-Eliah says:

    Um, no offence, but Skyrim’s UI has been shown various times in pcg magazine and in the E3 demos..

    Here’s a quick snap if you don’t feel like, you know, actually looking for info instead of waiting for Bethesda to pour it in your mouth with a golden spoon:
    http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Skyrim-inventory.jpg

    Okay, yeah – so I’m a bit annoyed at that, Shamus. But tbh I just can’t understand why you sometimes complain about stuff that is obviously not accurate.. You want them to show the UI? They did – you just didn’t bother to look for the info.
    Heck, there are even videos of just the gui-stuff taken out from the actual presentation!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izIKymAODt4

    • Shamus says:

      “I just can’t understand why you sometimes complain about stuff that is obviously not accurate.”

      You realize I don’t do this for a living, right? I don’t spend all damn day scouring gaming news sites. I’ve seen a number of news items on Skyrim, and none of them had that info. This is a personal blog where I have conversations with friends about games, not a place of journalism.

      Is this how you talk to your friends? You get annoyed with them if they’re missing information?

      “Bob, I’m really annoyed that sometimes you have the audacity to have opinions even when you don’t know everything!”

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Mright, then I have to clarify what I meant by that sentence..

        As a reader and follower of your blog – who generally likes a lot of the amazing stuff you do – I have trouble getting over the fact that sometimes, you take it upon yourself to condescend game devs / other people, to specifically call them out and point at their massive failure, when the solution to the rant is no further than one google-search away.
        No, I don’t have a problem with opinion, nor with someone not knowing everything.. But when someone is somewhat famous for being deep into gaming, and posting opinions about it, and acts so as to teach others what should be done.. well, idk. I’m just peeved at your assumption – that you sometimes make – that you don’t have to check stuff before writing a rant on it, that’s all.

        Oh, btw – in case you are annoyed at me still over this or anything in the past – don’t bother, I’m not worth it ^^. Just that for me, when someone takes the spotlight/podium/blogarticle, he has to have some backing to the stuff he writes/speaks about – I can’t place it equally as a conversation with a friend.

        Anyway, in an effort to be a bit more productive:
        Do game devs, the big ones (not indies) actually release GUI-screenshots of their games before launch? I recall DX:HR off the bat, but that’s because they’ve been releasing practically everything about the game – but other than that, nothing comes to my mind.

      • ccesarano says:

        Is this how you talk to your friends? You get annoyed with them if they’re missing information?

        “Bob, I’m really annoyed that sometimes you have the audacity to have opinions even when you don’t know everything!”

        The unfortunate reality is that, after attending a tech college filled to the brim with geeks and visiting a local comic shop regularly, yes. This is certainly how geeks, nerds or techies generally speak with each other.

        It gets a bit frustrating after a while, but worst of all it can also be a bit contagious.

        • Lalaland says:

          This is why all the best coders in my college course have had less successful careers than those who were competent or merely good combined with strong people skills. If I’m an excellent coder but show nothing for disdain for team members and co-workers I will deliver crappy code every time.

          Why?, because nothing beyond the trivial is delivered by the individual in software development. Maybe an iOS app or two but that’s it. You need to be able to understand that while a choice might look stupid on the face of it your co-worker might have been forced into it by a customer requirement, limitations in 3rd party systems/hardware or take it as a opportunity to build a stronger relationship by working with your colleague to improve it.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I went to a geek highschool,and then to a non geek college,and the difference was in the topics people talked about,not in the way they talked about them.There was no “Bob, I’m really annoyed that sometimes you have the audacity to have opinions even when you don’t know everything!” amongst the geeks.Maybe its a country thing.

          • swimon says:

            I’ve had a similar but opposite experience (is that possible? Probably not). In that non-nerds get just as outraged for not knowing stuff but it’s about non-nerd stuff. Like saying that the sportland sports made 12 goals instead of 13 and a birdie, I mean people are people nerds aren’t really any different from the rest of humanity.

            I get how the nerd stuff has a sharper edge though. When someone gets annoyed at your ignorance on lady gaga songs (or whatever it is normal people with social skills talk about) it often comes off as just someone trying to inform you. But when a nerd tells you that your understanding of weak nuclear force is flawed (a common area of debate I’m sure) it seems more like he/she is calling you stupid.

            • ccesarano says:

              To me, the difference is being treated like an outsider vs. an inferior. I don’t know most pop music, so most people’s reactions are “Were you born in a barn? What planet have you been living on?” This doesn’t suggest inferiority, though it does make one feel bad for being outside of all this stuff.

              Unless you’re like me and snap back with “I’m sorry, I listen to REAL music”, which I often regret because then I’m the one that sounds like a jerk.

              Amongst nerd and geek types, however, the response is more along the lines of “Ha! You actually believe that? What a plebeian! How pedestrian of you!” As if you’re somehow an idiot.

              Of course, I’m guilty of this myself. I try to be aware of it, though.

      • poiumty says:

        Shamus, there’s really no excuse for not doing a simple google search. “skyrim inventory” takes you straight to a picture of it. The “I don’t do this for a living” argument only works on things that take at least slightly more time to find.

        • klasbo says:

          I was about to say just this.

          “I know this [showing of interface-ness] won’t happen”
          Yea, sure you do. I bet you also know the commo-rose won’t return to Battlefield 3…

        • acronix says:

          Bah, he made an assumption and he failed. We all do things like that all the time about more important things than the interface of a video-game.

          Also, I guess the excuse for not doing a simple google search would be that he made a quick post, not a scientific paper, so he saw no need to confirm things. Afterall, if he was indeed wrong, someone would politely point it out.

        • Shamus says:

          It’s not like “inventory demo” is a really common thing. So you’re saying I should have done a Google search for something that, in my experience, wasn’t likely to exist and which I didn’t know about. If I always did searches for that sort of thing, I’d be doing a Google search every other sentence. It’s much better to simply write what I know. Sometimes I miss something, and a friendly reader lets me know.

          Sometimes I miss something, and some sanctimonious person shows up and gets all Internet Jackass with me, and I tell them to straighten up or get lost.

          Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink.

          • poiumty says:

            So it’s much better to simply not care and flip off everyone who calls you out for it eh?

            What’s next, “haters gonna hate”? I’m not here to tell you how to write things on the internet, but getting all passive-aggressive from such a minor thing is what a 16 year old does when people taunt him on the forums.

            Right now all I see is ego-stroking. You’re taking the high-ground and being condescending, while not convincing anyone that you’re, in fact, in the right. And there’s absolutely no need for anything that you’re doing. A simple “my bad” would have ended this ages ago while making you more friends than enemies.

            But hey, whatever floats your boat.

            • Shamus says:

              Did I flip you off? I did not. You said there was “no excuse”. You were wrong and unreasonable. And you WERE telling me how to write things on the internet.

              “But hey, whatever floats your boat.”

              What was that you said about being passive-aggressive? What ego-stroking? I admitted I was wrong, but that’s not what this is about. The OP was rude. You were rude and unreasonable. I called you on it, and now you’re pushing back rather than letting it slide.

              You need to let this go, because I’m not going to give up my spontaneous, conversational approach to writing here because it fails to meet your exacting standards of journalistic integrity.

              I write this thing because I enjoy it. Not because I enjoy playing “gotcha” with THE INTERNET.

              • acronix says:

                Seeing how most denizens of The Internet act, I`d say the “gotcha!” game is the only reason they surf around. You gather more information only to prove other people how wrong they are. That`s the essence of The Internet!

                That, and cheat webpages.

                EDIT: Some day, I`ll know hot to add links without them looking as a sausage of charcaters starting with http:/ /whateverI`mlinking.page.

      • Sydney says:

        1) Condescending
        2) Wrong

        Pick one of the above.

  7. Fat Tony says:

    Call me a glutton for punishment but, I’d rather see an unedited version of this sort of thing. 0.o

  8. Kelly says:

    The first time I played New Vegas, I took the Explorer per. I did this with the intent of going to literally every location in the game and cleaning them out as best as I could given the whole faction system. I STILL didn’t quite manage to do everything after ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY HOURS of that character (who I still dig up for the DLC releases), and not just ones I willfully didn’t finish like dragging the ranger corpse or gathering eggs for Red Lucy, or There Stands the Grass which I broke through my modding, stuff I just plain didn’t see at various settlements. For example, until Josh showed it off, I had NO IDEA that you could handle Clanden in How Little We Know in any way other than murder or working with him for Nero and Big Sal (not that there’s any real incentive to choose those two idiots).

    • Entropy says:

      The incentive for picking Nero and Big Sal is if you’re working for the Legion. If you are, and you break up their schemes, Caesar is annoyed, because they were working with the Legion.

      • Kelly says:

        Well YES there’s that, which ties into the bigger issue of “why would you work for the Legion” but aside of that. Their plan is pretty fucking stupid.

    • Zombie says:

      I took Explorer in Fallout 3, only because I didnt feel like walking all over the place in Fallout 3. In New Vegas, its kind of nice to just walk around. Unless I need to go from one side of the map to the other.

  9. AlternatePFG says:

    Never had many inventory issues with the Fallout games. I do have a mod that makes the font in the UI smaller, so maybe that’s part of it? Oblivion’s UI is terrible though, almost as bad as Mass Effect 1.

    I don’t do a whole lot of exploring in New Vegas like I do in Fallout 3. Where I find exploring new areas in Fallout 3 to be fun, and the quest design to be not so much fun, it’s fun doing the quests and roleplaying in New Vegas.

    Edit: I could tell you were getting the alien blaster right away because of the location of the mountains on the map.

    Edit #2: I hate how you can’t do that quest when you kill Boxcars.

    • Jeff says:

      “I do have a mod that makes the font in the UI smaller, so maybe that’s part of it? “
      In both Oblivion and Fallout 3, it’s a huge, massive difference.
      Oblivion’s default unmodded font size results in something like 1/5th the list size that the single most popular mod (last I checked) gives you. Fallout 3’s default font size is so stupidly chosen that you get wraparound text that sometimes have nothing more than a double-digit number on the 2nd line.

      Font size is a huge part of usability.

  10. Even says:

    I can’t say I ever really had problems. I tend to explore the interface at the beginning of a new game to get familiar with it to avoid said problems in the future. If you want a really horrible interface, try playing Operation Flashpoint/Arma series (or any simulator for that matter). 95% of your interaction with the rest of the world happens through a counter-intuitive and clunky scroll menu. Some of its problems can be avoided through keymapping, but there’s just too many functions to comfortably fill the keyboard. It’s easy enough to learn, but it’s far from sophistication. I don’t even want to think about learning to use an actual simulator interface.

    The Pip-Boy is truly a bliss in comparison. I mean, it even PAUSES the game and you can take all your sweet time fiddling with it. It’s a luxury a simulator can’t have for obvious reasons. I can’t count the times I’ve wished I could do some freaking timestop spell to get a little breather and rethink my group’s plans for a moment.

  11. Kelly says:

    By the way Josh:
    Check Contreras’ computer on the 2nd floor of his shop, the talk to Lieutenant Boyd, she’ll give you one of the best guns in the game, This Machine.

    Also how could you guys possibly consider finishing this without going to say hello to your grandma? SHE wants you to visit on occasion, she worries about her pumpkin Reginald when she’s not with him to SMASH those nasty… everyone.’

    That and yada yada yada OLD WORLD BLUES.

    • Vect says:

      This Machine is useless to him save for selling. He’s got fuck-all in Guns after all.

      So at least Josh has a way to curbstomp Lanius in case he doesn’t feel like Speech-Checking him. I’m pretty sure that ShotgunPunching him to death is going to be pretty ineffective since Lanius would probably wreck him due to his armor. Might be wrong though since I always just speech checked him or sneak-critted him with an AMR.

      So now that he’s gotten all the Implants he can (unless he levels up before No Gods No Masters) why doesn’t Josh simply exterminate the Followers? Chaotic Stupidity! Gotta withhold the standard!

      • acronix says:

        On my first playthrough, I failed to kill Lanius with my anti-materiel rifle. A reload later, I suceeded by punching him in the face repeatedly.

        • Vect says:

          Well, I was just wondering about the fact that Cuftbert’s armor probably won’t help him much. Always assumed that Power Armor’s the best bet, which they made sure they can never wear.

          Of course I guess I’ve never dabbled in Melee so I’ve never tested it out. A sneak crit with the AMR gibs the bastard though.

          Then again, they might actually take the time to show off the dialogue. At least Lanius is harder to speech check than Eden.

    • Zombie says:

      Is this the same Grandma from the G.O.A.T. test that wants you to kill another vault resident, and also just happens to have a mini gun?

  12. ccesarano says:

    People complained about Mass Effect having a “consoletard interface”, which completely flummoxed me. My favorite genre of game during the SNES and PSX era was the JRPG, at which point I had to deal with a lot of inventory interfaces. Yet none of them were such trouble as the one for Mass Effect.

    The fact of the matter is a lot of these interfaces are just terrible UI. Why must I have every individual Adamantium Rounds or whatever taking up space in the inventory screen? Why do I have to scroll through that much? Final Fantasy I on the NES had one spot for the item name (say, Potion) and then gave you the quantity of it (anywhere from 1 to 99). I didn’t have to scroll through an entire menu past all 99 potions (which you NEEDED in that game) just so I could get to an antidote. This was a game released on an 8-bit console in the 80’s.

    I wish I could think of the specific games, but there are plenty of JRPG’s that separate inventory intelligently. There are others that, while you’re in the shop, allow you to open up the equipment menu and equip your characters with new weapons and armor while you are still in the shop, and then sell your old equipment.

    If you want a bad inventory system on consoles, I’d point to EarthBound. Like Mass Effect, they list each item out individually, but that’s also because they imposed pretty strict inventory size limitations (I believe each character could only carry around 16-20 items total). Even so, when you went shopping for new gear, they still had ways of showing what weapons and armor were better, worse or even, and after purchase asked if you wanted to equip it right then. It was less efficient than other RPG’s, but they still found ways to work around their own horrid system.

    It feels to me like one of the problems is focusing on a pretty interface rather than an efficient one. But this tends to be a problem with UI across all tech industries. Even so, you’d think companies like Bioware and Bethesda would have decent enough cash to hire at least one competent UI or Usability expert that could do proper focus testing.

    • Eddie says:

      Yeah, I played Mass Effect on the console and I can assure people that the interface was not dumbed down to be easier on the console, it was just a terribly terrible, painfully shitty, dumbass design.

    • Shamus says:

      That’s a really good point about the FF interfaces. (Aside from FFVIII, which actually befuddled me.) Those games are COMPLICATED, but you’re usually never more than a couple of clicks from what you want to do.

      • ccesarano says:

        Everything about Final Fantasy VIII is befuddling, including the high critical and commercial praise it got. That game is God Awful. I literally mean that. It is as if God himself sought out to make one of the worst things imaginable, and yet it was praised for…I don’t even know.

        But otherwise, yes, Final Fantasy isn’t even that great of an interface, and yet it is heads and tails above what Bioware and Bethesda have been pushing on console. It’s actually rather befuddling (and just goes to show that a lot of PC gaming die-hards don’t actually have a lot of knowledge about the console RPG scene pre-Xbox).

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          From what I’ve played of the previous FF games and FF VIII, part of what made FF VIII so great was that, despite being overly complicated, at NO POINT could you put yourself in an un-winnable situation – you know how you can create, in say, Fallout 3/New Vegas, a character that tries to put some points in speech, some in stealth, and some in melee, and be stuck in a firefight where you have to use cover and range attacks? Or maybe, perhaps, in Dragon Age II, you bring 2 mages, a tank, and a rogue to the Qunarifight, only to get constantly rushed by the Arishok and bombarded by the other mages, all because they have the high ground?

          In FFVIII, if you ever found yourself in that case, just go to the last save you had, and re-arrange your entire character build set to fit the next battle. Like the re-spec mods, only…built into the game. Made the game immensely enjoyable for me.

          • ccesarano says:

            I guess that could be seen as a good thing, but for me, there was no point in magic other than stat-boosting. The only spells I used for boss fights were barrier and shell (or barriaga or whatever the Hell they were using by that point)to boost defense, and then I just used normal attacks. The spells had boosted my stats significantly, and just using regular attacks was faster overall than using magic or the time-consuming summons.

            Which basically made the game boring and easy.

            Of course, I played up to the basketball court where you realize everyone’s been best friends forever and they just can’t remember because of their summons or some stupid crap, and basically I threw my disc out the window.

            Then I found out later from a friend about the moon-monster-laser thing and just wanted to throw up.

            God I hate that game.

            • Alexander The 1st says:

              Ah, so you got as far as I did.

              Yeah, Disc 1 was really all they needed to make a great game – then they messed it up at the end of Disc 2 with…yeah.

              During the scene when you play out the previous events, the first thought that came to my mind was “Hey, so what can I loot?”

            • Destrustor says:

              My experience with ff8 was fun but ultimately dissapointing: I think it was my first rpg ever so I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, yet I went through it fairly easily once I noticed the enemies were leveling up with us and just decided to charge ahead. The sad part was when you’re supposed to go to an oil rig or something in the middle of the ocean. Despite having found it by chance a while earlier, my brother and I spent hours fruitlessly scouring the oceans without finding it. The game was a rental from the video store and we ended up taking it back, feeling we had missed something great and having failed the game. We haven’t been able to get our hands on another copy since.
              FF8 still holds a place in my heart because I was too much of a noob to notice its flaws, having nothing to compare it with. That and the fact that it was so long ago I barely remember it.

              • Deadpool says:

                The biggest problem with FF8 (besides the RETARDED plot, even by post PSX FF standards) is the balance.

                The game REWARDS the player for avoiding combat. And gives the player the Enc None skill about 3 hours in.

                Any game that gets easier the more of it I avoid probably needed a second look on the design…

                • Alexander The 1st says:

                  To be fair, bosses had a lower and upper limit for levels, so staying level 1 the entire game wasn’t entirely optimal (Well, except for end-game, but apparently that requires you to break the game so badly that…well, that was your reward), and actually ended up scaling the game so that if you didn’t know about auto-leveling (Most people who got the game near-launch wouldn’t have necessarily known this) found it more difficult than previous FFs – but once you master it, it becomes excessively easy.

                  It’s the difference between trying to gun down Legion’s armies and just investing in sneak and explosives and just dumping live dynamite into your opponent’s pants – it’s breaking the designed mechanics, which isn’t quite the fault of the developers. Aside from not balancing that strategy, but…yeah.

                  • ccesarano says:

                    The absolute worst case of level adjustment is in Final Fantasy Tactics. All the story-based battles are at set levels, but the random encounters level up along with you. If you decide you want to start grinding some levels, you may level TOO high and the game will assume you’ve got equipment more fitting your level.

                    That’s when Chocobos go from being a lovable and potentially tasty looking bird and become the vehicle of Death’s vengeance upon an unforgiving world for forcing him to take the souls of innocents day in and day out.

                    In contrast, Final Fantasy 8 wasn’t so bad. I still remember how I felt when I first encountered the T-Rex while all Hell was breaking loose at the Garden, and discovered it was susceptible to sleep. I thought I figured out a masterful way to level up fast.

                    Boy howdy was I fooled. Never wasted that much time again.

                    Just for the sake of saying it: I once tried to play FF5 and FF8 at the same time. I figured neither is one of the better entries in the series, and when I got tired of one I could just play the other instead. I quickly abandoned FF8 because FF5 was a lot more fun.

                    Later I figured I’d try FF1, as in the hard-as-The Thing’s-orange-dork on the NES, alongside FF8. There was no way I’d get sick of FF8 and abandon it in favor of a game that could take two hours out of my life just to PREPARE to go into a MINOR dungeon!

                    I abandoned FF8 and stuck to FF1, having a lot more fun grinding for 2 hours so I could have high levels, enough potions and bad ass spells just so I could go into the cave to fight the vampire BEFORE I went and fought the Lich.

                    God damn that game was such an awesome D&D-in-electronic-form adventure.

                  • Deadpool says:

                    More diffuclt than previous FFs? Only if 7 was the first one you played…

                    For shits and giggles I leveled the boys befores to 100 before tackling the final dungeon and sleptwalked through Ultimecia without even unlocking all my powers…

                    • Alexander The 1st says:

                      I was just going off of a discussion on the GameFAQs forums at one point. I’ve not actually finished the game yet.

                      And as I said, they had upper limits as well – it’s very possible Ultimecia is intended as a level 60-80 boss fight, and level 100 is overkill for it.

                      And then abilities break it at level 1.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      It’s just one of those weird things. You could have 255 ST and MAG even at level 1 with the right Junction. Same with 9999 HP, immunity to all elements, DEF 255… Oh and Petrify enemies on every hit.

                      Your level is unrelated to your power. Your level on truly affects the ENEMY’S power.

      • Abnaxis says:

        I’m not sure if the problem with FFVIII was with the interface, but rather with the system itself. Once I learned how the actual game worked, the interface was pretty efficient for me. It just took a course in calculus to understand how the stats worked.

        And yet it’s still my favorite of the series…

        • Jakale says:

          My problem with 8 was that the monsters leveled up in segments along with you so yes you could level a bit to beat a particularly tricky guy, but if you leveled just once more, bam, you’re back to the low rung and the guy you just beat can kill you with ease again. I only found that out from looking at the guide, the game doesn’t tell in any of the many tutorials.
          The actual interface and the GF junctioning thing wasn’t such an issue, though maybe I would have felt the flaws more if I had gone farther.

          The draw system was also a time sink, though if they really wanted to keep that they probably could have added better draw skills that let you take greater guaranteed amounts, instead of random amounts, at a time, ending with a draw skill that would take all of a certain spell in one go.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            To be fair, most games seem to use a milder version of the auto-level mechanic from FF VIII. Dragon Age and Mass Effect comes to mind, for example – no matter how you level, you’ll always be about as leveled as the enemies you fight.

          • Abnaxis says:

            I’m pretty sure the characters’ Mag score has something to do with how much they draw, because a character with Mag boosted generally draws 100 spells considerably faster than one without. I don’t have stats to back that up, but the effect is pronounced enough to be noticeable.

            The thing about junctioning is, it’s really the leveling system. At every point I played the game, about half my stats came from junctioning magic. In my experience, if you start losing when the enemies auto-level, you either have your GFs set up sub-optimally (one character junctioned to three GFs that have Mag junction and none that do HP, for example), or there are spells you haven’t drawn that could help.

            This fact seems to be the off-putting point for the majority of people who don’t like the game. All the power you characters have don’t come from leveling or equipping them, but from leveling your GFs and stockpiling spells.

            Incidentally, now that I think of it, this is why it’s one of my favorite games. There are many times when I want to play a game and do something else at the same time, like eating or studying. With FFVIII, I was able to set it on autopilot while I worked, only checking in on it occasionally when I needed a break. At the same time, all the time-sink stuff like drawing magic and leveling GFs is optional, so I could jump in and play whenever I felt like it. It was like the game has a sliding scale for how much time I want to waste and how much supervision I’m willing to give it, and I very much prefer games like that.

            • Deadpool says:

              Only other problem with the Junction system is that it homogenized the characters. This was a problem in FF7 too, where the only different between characters were their limit breaks.

              As a result, my main party was a damned sausage fest…

              • Abnaxis says:

                Shouldn’t homogenized characters give you more control over which characters you bring around with you? i.e. if there’s no practical difference between the stats of Selphie and Irvine, can’t you bring Selphie and avoid “sausage fest” syndrome, without gimping your party?

                See I have the exact opposite problem with Dragon Age: there are things you simply cannot do without a rogue, so my choice are A) roll a rogue B) put up with either Zevran or Leliana, both of whom annoy the ever-loving frak out of me or C) leave 80% of the chests in the game unopened because nearly all of them are locked.

                I would much prefer proceeding without either the Chantry nut or the Latin lover, which I could do if the characters were homogenized.

                • Deadpool says:

                  No, because Selphie’s limit break will most likely end up being 3 hits of 9,999 (probably less. Although there’s a tiny chance of it being an instant win), while Irvine’s will be 50 hits of 3,000 dmg or 9 hits of 9,999…

                  I can do Quistis Blue Magic to poison someone, or Zell’s limit break and get a few dozen hits before My Final Heaven… Or Squall’s Renzokouken which is another dozen hits BEFORE maybe hitting Lion Heart…

                  Rinoa with 100 Meteors attached to her Mag (AND NOTHING ELSE) can do descent damage with her Angel Whisper, but the loss of control and low HP/DEF doesn’t make it worth it…

                • Deadpool says:

                  I rolled a Rogue… And kept Leliana… And reliazed that 95% of locked chests HAVE NOTHING GOOD IN THEM because EA doesn’t want anyone to miss out on anything…

                  • burningdragoon says:

                    95% have nothing in them, and the other 5% have a key somewhere, but I WILL NOT stand by while there are chests to unlock.

                    • Stormkitten says:

                      I installed a mod so that my fighter could bash chests open. Problem solved.

                    • I played mage and dear God was I going crazy passing by all that loot.
                      I mean, I didn’t have Zervan, and I couldn’t have Leilliana in my party because I needed Allistair so Morrigan could insult him all the time, and I needed Morrigan because she was the only likable character I had met, because she kept insulting Allistair, and I wasn’t giving up the dog for any reason.

                      Meaning it was completely impossible to unlock chests and my inner kleptomaniac was banging it’s head against a wall, and eventually I just stopped playing. But that was mainly because Morrigan was the only character I liked after several hours and jeez, the Fade sucked.

                    • Alexander The 1st says:

                      I hated doing non-rogue characters and twitching at Ostagar every time I came across a locked chest, knowing that Daveth w/couldn’t lock pick, and without paying DLC, I wouldn’t be able to get back to it and loot the place.

                      And yeah – OCD-ness/Descent Logic requires that I loot EVERYTHING – when in Dragon Age II, and I couldn’t loot something, but it was still glowing because of a glitch…*Rage*

                    • ccesarano says:

                      and I needed Morrigan because she was the only likable character I had met

                      I seriously must come from an alternate universe than so many of you guys, because Alistair and Leliana were my favorite characters. I hated Morrigan, who from this day forth I shall refer to as Bitchy McTitBitch.

                    • Shamus says:

                      I’ll give BioWare credit for making characters that appeal across the spectrum. If everyone hated A and loved B, you could conclude that A was a wasted character. The breakdown with Dragon Age might not be even, but there are enough Morrigan fans that I think she was a “good” character, even if I hated her stupid bitchy guts.

                      Having said that, I really do not understand how someone could prefer her over Alistair. I understand the guy was a bit mopey, but if given the chance between “wise-cracking mope” and “hateful she-bitch who hates joy and questions my every move”, I know I’d pick the mope every time.

                      I think the worst aspect of Morrigan is that the game never let you trade barbs with her. You could never point out how stupid and wrong she was.

                      Morrigan: You helped that orphan across the street. Clearly you are a fool of legendary proportions.

                      And then your responses are:

                      1) Sorry for sucking so bad.
                      2) I don’t always suck so bad!
                      3) Please stop saying I suck, meanie!

                      You couldn’t ever dig at her. On the rare occasions where the writers ALLOWED you to debate with her, she always got the last word. A lot of the anger directed at Morrigan should probably be directed at the writer who wouldn’t let you defend yourself.

                    • Ranneko says:

                      You were expecting to trade babes with Morrigan? Wow, you must have been expecting quite different things than I was in DA. =P

                    • Shamus says:

                      Yeah. That was “barbs”. I slipped a correction in there after I posted it. Thought I got away with it. But the internet is too fast for me.

                    • acronix says:

                      What put me off Morrigan was her evident Author Dearie position. AS Shamus pointed out, the player doesn`t get many opportunities to prove her wrong. It`s a typical case of making a character smarter by making everyone they interact with dumber.

                    • Alexander The 1st says:

                      Yeah. That was “barbs”. I slipped a correction in there after I posted it. Thought I got away with it. But the internet is too fast for me.

                      Reminds me of this.

                    • burningdragoon says:

                      There was one dialog option with Morrigan that I think was only available if you spoke to her not in camp that I think was “You are hearless shrew” or something like that. So you can totally tell her off… once.

                      Though liked Morrigan fine, so I didn’t like doing that.. much.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      Yeah, the heartless shrew line is there, but it doesn’t make you look any smarter or her any dumber…

                      My Lord Aeducan, evil playthrough dude had a romance with her, and that’s ACTUALLY kind of interesting…

                    • Ranneko says:

                      Yeah, I saw it, thought of a joke, posted, realised I hadn’t actually made sense but couldn’t delete the post, so I just fixed mine to have it make a little more sense.

                • Ranneko says:

                  Man, I played a rogue, and used Leliana and often Zevran.

                  I like rogues.

    • Syal says:

      And now I’m remembering FF2’s inventory, which separated out every potion and had quest items that never went away hogging up space.

    • burningdragoon says:

      I may be (am) a little bit (very) biased in favor of Demon’s Souls, but it’s a good recent example of a console RPG with a (mostly) pretty slick interface for the inventory. Which is good, since you can’t pause if you need to go through it.

      It does use a lot of symbols that aren’t clear what they mean until you look it up, but it tells you pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about a weapon, including how much better or worse it is than what you have equiped. It even gives attack ratings to shields and let’s you… dual-wield shields. That last bit isn’t an inteface thing but you can DUAL-WIELD shields.

      Also, the guy who holds a mostly infinite amount of stuff for you neatly organizes all equipment into separate sections so you don’t have to look through all of you daggers to find your battle axe.

      (there are plenty of less awesome things with the interface, but I wouldn’t be a good fanboy by pointing them out >.>)

      • Raygereio says:

        “you can DUAL-WIELD shields”
        You can also backstab people with your fists.[/grin]

      • Deadpool says:

        I DO hate that it had Fire Resistance as a HIDDEN STAT on shields. Which is beyond stupid… Also not a fan that there’s devision WITHIN ratings (i.e. some weapons get less bonus from their S rank than others).

        Other than that, Demon’s Souls interface did what it was meant to: Quick and easy access to items.

      • Viktor says:

        Dual shields is a legitimate combat style, at least according to a couple SCA guys I know.

    • Hal says:

      You know, while Final Fantasy (I) had the stackable potions (etc.) going for it, it is also a good example of an egregious violator of inventory etiquette.

      See, you had an inventory for consumable items like potions and tents. Then, each character had a bag for weapons and a bag for armor, each with four slots. Want to equip armor in every slot? Be prepared to never pick up a new piece. What about those armors that have on-use effects? Guess you’ll have to do without some gear somewhere.

      Granted, this was a progenitor game, so some errors can be forgiven. Later iterations of the game corrected this and put all unworn gear in the same bag as the consumables. Still . . . criminy, inventory management was a pain back then.

  13. Dwip says:

    You know, I’ve been playing Hitman games for the past few weeks (thanks, Rutskarn), where the interface actually kills you. Bethesda interfaces are wonderful in comparison.

    Morrowind’s interface was a joy. The grid inventory was annoying, but you could figure it out relatively well. You could also, and this is the joyous part, leave bits of it open. My minimap and I did well together in a world without quest markers.

    …and then Oblivion’s interface made me want to stab myself in the face repeatedly. The Fallout 3/NV interfaces have their issues, but nothing quite as bad as Oblivion. I’ve been playing that game for five solid years and I STILL get confused by what’s on what screen. Yeah, BTMod makes it better sort of, but that’s not saying much.

    All that said, go play Daggerfall some time. It’s not so much the interface, though it’s bad enough, but even the control scheme conspires to get you killed by rats. Somehow I played a ton of that game back in the day. I dunno. At one point I thought typing cryptic commands on MUDs over a 28.8 modem was pretty awesome, too. The 90s were like that.

    • Wtrmute says:

      The thing with Daggerfall is that it came in a time where 3D games were still congealing, and so the “obvious” interface elements were still being hammered out. At least in Daggerfall you can change the control scheme to be largely the same as Morrowind, with mouselook and everything. In Ultima Underworld II (a game I love dearly), you still have to have the cursor everywhere and use PgUp/PgDn to look up or down, and there’s a pretty long-ass animation if you want to open containers or look at the skills list…

      • Dwip says:

        Ah yes, a reminder of why I, despite being a huge Ultima fan, never actually did make it through the Underworlds. Part of it, anyway.

        And yeah, re: Daggerfall, I’m aware. I guess the point I was making is that if you go back far enough in Bethesda history you can find some things that are really scary. Like the Daggerfall minimap. Which to be fair wasn’t really its fault, so much as the questionable dungeon design, but y’know.

        Also, this could all be worse. What if we were talking about flight sims?

    • Abnaxis says:

      Maybe I’m unique, but I actually like the grid inventory system. If I want to compare to items, I just move them next to each other on the grid and move my pointer back and forth between them. No trying to remember numbers while scrolling through the list. The pictures also help with finding the item I want–I can tell the difference between a scroll and a sword at a glance, whereas in the blasted FO3 lists I have to scan through text multiple times before I locate them.

      Problem is, grid systems are shit for consoles–you really need a mouse for them to be effective. As a result they’ve mostly gone the way of the Dodo. It is for this reason that I will put the blame solely on consoles for my inventory woes.

      • Bubble181 says:

        I agree about the benefits of grid sytems. Of course, having 4 bits still open, but not being able to rearrange your inventory so that the 2×2 shield will fit in is annoying, but oh well.

        Running the risk of calling down the Wrath of Shamus, I really liked the inventory screen of the Witcher. Quest items separated; alchemical ingrdients seperated with an auto-sort function (by type of primary agent or by worth; and you can just rearrange them manually) A highlight-function so you could just highlight all ingredients containing, say, hydragenum; or all ingredients containing rubic, or whatever. General inventory had an auto-arrange as well; sorting everything by type (alcohol/potions/temporary upgrades/permanent upgrades/books and scrolls/jewellery/…). And vendors automatically highlighted everything they were interested in, so you didn’t try to sell weapons to a book shop or something.

        • Dwip says:

          For myself, I prefer something like Oblivion’s picture + text. You get the visual cue, but also don’t have to hunt really hard for the info. It’s just that in the unmodded Oblivion interface everything is _THIS BIG_ so it’s hard to get anything done.

          The thing about Morrowind’s grid that gave me trouble is that it’s possible to get several of the same sort of item with slightly different enchantments, say, so you’re forever going “Is this the feather fall ring or the shield ring?” The mouseover helped, but was a little more annoying than text would have been. On the other hand, the same sort of grid interface in Baldur’s Gate works pretty well for me – everything has distinct icons, and it’s pretty easy to distinguish your Short Sword of Speed from some random shortsword +1 or what have you.

          Then again, I may just be saying that because I’ve played way, way too much BG.

          Diablo 2 style grids, OTOH, just make me angry. Which I guess worked out ok in the end: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T FIT THIS SHIELD IN MY 3 REMAINING SLOTS I WILL KILL EVERYONE RAAA…oh hey, I leveled!”

  14. CalDazar says:

    He cut out comentary you guys (Shamus + Rutskarn) wanted us to hear?

    I feel cheated.

    “Hi everybody I’m shame”
    Oh, clever.

    “I tried that on my wife and it didn’t work”

    Well that needs context.

    *sold the holorifle*
    Cannot be forgiven!
    You don’t even have This Machine

  15. I feel kind of embarrassed now for having more or less 100%ed the game twice and run out of stuff to do.

    I always take the explorer perk at the level cap, then just run through as many areas as I can at a time. I’m sure I missed some stuff, but I did all the quests I could, so I’m really not sure about that.

    I even did that one quest in westside where you talk that girl out of running away with Crimson Caravan funds, and she has a different, relevant animation for every single line of her dialogue, including some never seen anywhere else in the game.

    It’s really something to behold.

  16. Rem says:

    On the note of Skyrim, I can tell that all previews have been dwarfed by the likes of Deus Ex and Rage. In comparison; Skyrim has a trailer, an expanded trailer, an E3 demo, a Comic Con demo (which they have tried to pull from YouTube, oddly enough) a Quake Con demo (which is basically the E3 demo) and an interview or two with recycled footage from these demos. Finding that one video about the interface and perk trees wasn’t as readily available as it should be.

    Rage and Deus Ex, on the other hand, have enough trailers and developer diaries out that you could probably mux something together from the footage to form the first level of both games. This sort of video documentation of the game before release is becoming very popular these days, probably to replace traditional advertisements.

    On the topic of Fallout 3/NV’s interface, I kind of like it. Of course, I’ve modded the UI to take up less space and show more content to compensate for my face being a half-metre away from the monitor, but I did like what they were going for. I’m probably just too accepting of it from the long exposure.

    • Fang says:

      Also Deus Ex:HR has a leaked build out there on the webs. Don’t know if Skyrim has one but the Deus Ex:HR leak was a good chunk. First level and a lot more.

  17. Eddie says:

    I don’t think you’re right about companions returning to their homes if left in the Lucky 38 for too long, or at least I’ve never experienced that, maybe I’m wrong. I’m pretty sure the reason Cass was at the Outpost was because she got kicked out of the party by Dead Money.

    No explanation for why Veronica went home though. Or how.

  18. Fat Tony says:

    Fanship go!
    http://cheezburger.com/View/5093839360
    Vote ALL the BURGERS!

    (After Shamus’ Kill ALL the people, Grenade ALL the pants, take ALL the items! I just had too do this)

  19. Rayen says:

    That doctor reminded me of The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. Obsidian would have won major props if instead of “do you need medical attention?” She said “What is the nature of the medical emgency?”

  20. Destrustor says:

    When he got the alien blaster, he got over-encumbered. AFTER HALF AN HOUR OF SELLING STUFF! Did he stuff texas in his pockets while we weren’t looking?

    Also, Josh, Josh. Josh. JOSH! JOSH!!!!!
    you sold the holorifle and wasted alien blaster ammo on some ghouls.

    I am deeply dissapointed in you. my heart has no love left.

  21. ehlijen says:

    Awww :( Those weren’t the Worms 2 holy hand grenades! (at least I didn’t hear any Hallelujahs…)

  22. Alexander The 1st says:

    Hey, to be fair, I very much enjoyed 3:10. It made my day. Adding some rather tasteful music, and you can’t really go wrong.

    Exactly why were you sorry about this part? :p

  23. mumakil says:

    No old world blues? Just skimmed trough the stream recording and only end game left :(. Im hoping u guys will do that later on then :D next week maybe but i guess we will find out as the week progresses.

    • Dante says:

      OWB is a great DLC, but is not a short DLC. While Dead Money can be plowed through, and Honest Hearts has a few things you can do outside of the main plot, OWB has a ridiculous amount of crap to do, even for the main quest. Doing OWB would probably add on at least another two weeks to this season, if not a month.

  24. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’m pretty sure if those aliens managed to kill Reginald pretty much every faction in the area would hail them as heroes.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im not sure when,but I think somewhere in the beginning Josh picked up the ammo for the alien blaster in some random box.

    As for the vendor at the airfield,there is a quest involving him you can do there.Its a shame that you can also make him disappear if you do it the good way,because he is a vendor.

    Also,Shamus why didnt you pick the wild wasteland ever?It carries no drawbacks,but leads to some interesting(though rare)things like the two weapons you have there,the cave of ROUSes,indiana jones in the firdge,….

    • Ringwraith says:

      Well, you get the Alien Blaster instead of the YCS/186 Guass Rifle with Wild Wasteland, so depending on what weapon you’d prefer, it can be a drawback.
      It also takes up a trait slot, which can hinder one’s min/maxing efforts.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Tbh the wild wasteland has in total, what – 10 changes across the game (or was it 20?) – and most of it is not big stuff but one different dialogue line or one joke-effect.. stuff like the skeleton in the fridge, and the aliens is the biggest you’ll ever get.. When I played it, I pretty much felt like I had wasted the perk completely in my 80+hr playthrough..

      Not to mention that 2 times, there was NOTHING FUNNY at all, and the sound played – maybe to show that on some 10×10 pixel area on my screen something was a little bit different.. The perk really should be called ‘1% more funny wasteland if you like very tiny stuff in extremely sparse quantities’.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        They shouldve made it have an in game effect as well,like with the black widow.For example,make it so that all the criticals are more common,both yours and enemies.

      • Ringwraith says:

        It’s 15 changes within the base game, and a few in Dead Money and Honest Hearts, along with a good 11 in Old World Blues, so it certainly starts racking up changes.
        It was mostly to simply separate out things which are simply out of place considering the settings, these often being the less subtle references. Like non-Wild-Wasteland-only YCS/186, which is actually a reference to the name and id code of a board on the Something Awful forums, but it’s a pretty obscure and well-hidden nod.

  26. Annikai says:

    One of the things that annoys me about the game (and I guess this comes from years of playing JRPGs before I tried western ones) is that when I’m selling items I can’t see how much weight I’m carrying. This seems like a minor gripe but I’m playing a character with pretty low strength (I can only hold about 190 of their weight unit) and I really need to have something in front of me that can help me decide if it’s a good idea to hold onto something or not.

    Also having watched you guys play I have to say that the system is a little more clunky on the consoles than it is on the computer. It seems to me that you guys have the ability to just click on what you want but not only do I have to scroll through everything if I so much as accidentally tap left while doing it it sends me to a different page. It really sucks on the map for the first few hours of game play if you aren’t expecting to use the right stick to control as opposed to the left. The left zooms and switches pages and the right moves the map around but this is a bit counter intuitive to what I’m used to because most games I play the left stick is the dominant stick. I think I would have preferred to play the game on the computer but I got the console version on sale for only $20 so I can’t complain too much.

  27. Hitch says:

    Not a whole lot to say about this episode. It would have been better with Mumbles screaming at Josh. It would have been even better if Josh had started a couple months ago selling off everything heavy and/or useless so you could move straight on to some plot-forwarding action.

    After failing to re-recruit Cass, I would have been tempted to travel to the 188 Trading Post to see if the Zombie Veronica was waiting there and whether or not she was inexplicably recruitable. (Or, you know, Josh could’ve just re-killed her.)

  28. RTBones says:

    The Pew Pew…


    …can be found inside the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters after giving at least 50 Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps to Festus. It is next to the body of Allen Marks, but not in his inventory.

  29. JPH says:

    I’ve been playing Fallout 1 again, and I feel the need to point out that while Fallout 3 and New Vegas do have bad interfaces, they aren’t nearly as bad as Fallout 1’s interface.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      While that is true,there is no reason for a game to have as bad of an interface as its 10+ years old predecessor.And no,I dont think this interface is an improvement over the original.

    • swimon says:

      That’s a fair point I think. Also I hope you enjoy the hand holding in fallout 1 ^^

    • Kelly says:

      …What’s the problem with Fallout 1’s interface? I mean F3 and NV has those excess menus for current effects and the ridiculous text size, but there’s nothing hard to understand about either, and there’s no issue at all with the old game’s interface beyond sifting through ashes when you kill someone with energy weapons or the odd instance of dropped items being stuck behind tables.

      • poiumty says:

        I feel inclined to back this up. The Fallout interface is a bit harder to learn, but its functionality is way over that of New Vegas.

      • Deadpool says:

        Oh man the ashes thing is a HUGE problem though… Really pissed me off with that Turbo Plasma Rifle and Sniper…

        Of course, then I realized I didn’t NEED to pick up any loot because I was already a God (6 criticals per turn? ABSURD!) but STILL…

        • ehlijen says:

          I believe you can avoid the ashes problem by turning the violence completely off.

          The game switches to the ‘fall over and lie spreadeagle’ default death animation for everything in that case I think.

      • JPH says:

        My main issue is with trading, in that it takes forever. If you want to exchange caps, you can either click to go up one at a time, or just give them all up. You can’t scroll up with the mouse wheel, you can’t type the number in. If you want to exchange 100 caps, you have to click the + button 100 times.

        • Kelly says:

          What? You totally can type it in. I did it just last week when I was replaying it. Of course, F1 only had 3 digits for cap trading and required that you pay companions for inventory access (both things that 2 fixed), THAT part was annoying (as were most things about F1 companions in the vanilla game).

          By the way, get the FIXIT mod for Fallout 1, it takes care of a lot of the companion bullshit by letting you change their armor and telling them to fuck off out of the doorway, and also lets you either make mutant invasions work properly or remove that stupid fucking script entirely so you can actually get proper endings for the various settlements.

          • JPH says:

            Just tested it now. Yeah, you totally can type it in. Damn it. I hate when I’m wrong.

            The reason I thought you couldn’t was because you have to click on the number, and then type. I just tried to type.

            Anyway, that’s not the only reason why I think the Fallout interface sucks. And I still think it sucks. I’m not going to install a mod, because I’m playing it for the purposes of streaming and reviewing it for my blog, and I don’t want my recollection of the game to be affected by features not included by Black Isle.

        • Deadpool says:

          You SURE you can’t type the numbers in? Maybe I’m thinking of Fallout 2, but I could have SWORN I could type numbers in…

          • acronix says:

            I too remember having to click 999 times to get the correct ammount of caps for things in the first Fallout. I think they fixed it for the second installment.

      • ehlijen says:

        I also recently replayed fallout 1 (and boy was it shorter than I remebrered :( ).

        My biggest annoyance was that every new item you pick up went to the bottom of the inventory, only reachable by clicking the scroll button repeatedly.

        It also wouldn’t tell you your carrying capacity and your current carried weight at the same time…

        And the lack of a ‘take all’ button in the loot window was unforgivable.

        Thankfully Fallout 2 fixed all those.

  30. Oxymandias says:

    Alright, so I have to know what was the whole “my wife wasn’t impressed with me watching a website because I like to look at boobs” conversation all about?

  31. Dragomok says:

    I just wanted to say that I am among a group of readers who don’t watch Spoiler Warning but read the text anyway.

  32. poiumty says:

    This could have been much mitigated with a simple bunch of keyboard control for the inventory. W and S to switch up and down between buttons, A and D to scroll left and right. Alternatively, W and S to scroll through the items, quest text and such, A and D to scroll through sections and the 3 buttons assigned to other shortcuts (Z, X, C?) or scrolled through with shift + a or d. No more clicking on everything, no more annoyance (especially since the inventory mouse sensitivity is very wonky for me and a bit of a pain to use).

  33. lazlo says:

    Anyone else get *really really* excited to see a Shamus title which included the words “Let’s Play”?

    Then I noticed it was a Spoiler Warning which, awesome as it is, was still a bit of a letdown…

    Keep up the good work, I’ll keep up my end of the deal by… reading the awesome.

  34. Vekni says:

    “Sooner or later, those items need to be rounded up. Sorted. Schlepped to various vendors. Sold. The resulting bottlecap bounty must then be invested in upgrades and equipment.”

    WRONG. Unless it’s going to change the story, I have never done this on any playthrough and it has never harmed me.

    • Viktor says:

      Depends a lot on the game. Haven’t played NV, but Oblivion, if you don’t break the economy, magic is basically unaffordable. That’s a third of the character options that are completely cut off unless you have money coming out your ears. Armor you buy is also usually better than anything you can find, and it opens up access to a lot of items that you can’t find normally(Repair hammers, rare alchemy ingredients, certain good enchanted gear). I’m doing a 0-merchant run right now, and it’s annoying in some situations.

  35. James says:

    I Think i need to note something and here is better then anywhere else.

    its about Dragon Age, more specifically one person in the series.

    In DA:O Merrill is the Keepers Second and is a bit uptight and kinda like a younger more scared version of the keeper.

    in DA2 Merrill Takes a MASSIVE change her character model is MASSIVELY different, he attitude changes dramatically plus she is younger then in DA2 and time wise its After the start of DA:O, she is suddenly a Blood Mage and is very open about wanting to explore magic. its strange looking back now.

    IMO DA2 Merrill is much much better, i think i heard during a live stream about the game with the lead designers about them firstly redesigning the Dalish, and something about redesigning Merrill imparticular. thought i’d just mention it.

    • Mormegil says:

      I liked DA2 Merrill but the redesign of the elves was one of the things I hated most about the transition from DAO to DA2. Why do they look like na’vi crossed with WOW night elves now?

      It actually breaks several sequences in DAO if they were always supposed to look like that. How did you ever successfully pretend to be a guard and sneak out of prison if you looked utterly alien? At least you could imagine a DAO elf wearing their hair over their ears or something to justify that part.

      The thing that bugged me most about the whole “oh noes, all the characters have a gay romance option” debacle was that even if you do have a problem with that sort of thing there were just so many other more worthwhile things to despise about that game.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Her model changing extensively is pretty annoying (Though somewhat explainable in that it’s been a year between DA:O and DAII), but her attitude change and specialty is explained in the second game:

      So first, the attitude change: the Eluvian intrigued her, and she really wanted to use it to find her missing members of the clan – though it should be noted that, in the elven origin, Tamlen is dead by the time she searches for him. Her pursuit in this had her interested in the history behind the Eluvian, as the Keeper’s First. Thing is, the Keeper knows that it has some connection to the darkspawn as explained by Duncan, and she forbids the use of the mirror given the current situation of it. Tensions build for a year until Merril is forced to leave to continue the research.

      As for the Blood Mage skills: She took up the blood mage specialty AFTER DA:O, when the mirror needed to be cleansed but the Keeper refused to help Merril because of the Darkspawn connection.

  36. Dante says:

    I decided to take Wild Wasteland without knowing what the hell it did, and the first time I had a WW encounter was the robo dogs playing poker in OWB. I was confused as hell when the Vault Boy head showed up, and had to look up what had just happened for anything to make sense (except for the reference, I got the reference).

    • The thing about wild wasteland is it’ll either show up and you won’t see anything, or you’ll see something really obvious and then it shows up like an obnoxious laugh track.

      Every WW enconter could have seriously been part of the main game and I would not have noticed a major difference.

  37. ProudCynic says:

    Wow. That was the first SW in a while where I ended up switching to a different tab and just half-listened to it like a podcast while I read something interesting.

    Um, any chance that NV’ll get put on the back burner while we go to a game that’s a little less… brown? For just like one week? Maybe Deus Ex, in celebration of its revival next week?

    • ps238principal says:

      Was the second Deus Ex game any good? I bought them as a package on Steam, and while I dug the first one, the second one just kind of bored me after a few hours and I stopped.

      • Mike says:

        The second game was terrible. The plot didn’t really go anywhere, the RPG elements that made the first one so great were largely left out and the ammo system was made stupid (for no good in-game reason)

        Theoretically they’re going closer to their roots with the third game, though it remains to be seen how good it’ll turn out.

        Could’ve been worse though: at least they didn’t add too many chest-high walls (or a scanning minigame).

      • Deus Ex 2 is paradoxically a terrible Deus Ex game, but a pretty decent game in it’s own right. It includes a lot of great ideas – factions, multiple endings, interesting recurring characters etc, open ended gameplay. Unfortunately, none of the ideas are executed particularly well, and the game itself is hamstrung by a bunch of really dumb console porting decisions, as well as honestly pretty terrible writing.

        There’s a lot of stuff in the game I like, and that I’d like to see in other games, it just messes so much else up, specifically stuff that the first game got right, that I can’t deny it’s earned it’s reputation, and I’m glad DE3 is looking more at the first game than the second.

        • Raygereio says:

          it’s earned it’s reputation

          I disagree with that: On it’s own it’s an average game that would have quickly passed from our collective memory like all other average games.
          It’s only crime was being a sequel that wasn’t anywhere near the quality of the orignal and consequently crushing the hopes of the fans of that original. The actual game however isn’t anywhere near the awfulness of the truly bad games that are out there.

  38. Grampy_Bone says:

    Now that I think about it I can’t recall a single RPG with a worse interface than Oblivion/Fallout3/New Vegas. So many nested subscreens and no keyboard shortcuts. For shame.

    Oh well, I’ll take an overly complicated interface over a Fable 3 “Dog” interface any day,

  39. Halceon says:

    Nooooooooo! You didn’t guess “The soft cushions”!

  40. Kdansky says:

    The horrible pip-boy is one of my primary reasons for not having spent more than very few hours with either Fallout 3 game. It’s baffling that Morrowind had the best interface of the lot (I fully agree with that statement).

    Read Scott Meyer’s The Keyhole Problem, if you want to see a lot of mistakes pointed out.

  41. Thor says:

    What? I’ve been playing FNV for about 300 hours and I didn’t know there were aliens. I’m going to have to go and get that gun.

    Edit: No, I mean 300 hours! How could this be? It makes me wonder what else I am missing. Can we do an episode or two of “Josh knows stuff other Fallout players don’t,” before the endgame?

  42. Thor says:

    I really hate to comment after I have just commented, but I agree with the above saying Old World Blues may be worth a showing. I know you guys are probably sick to death of commenting on the game, but Old World Blues is probably the finest out of all the DLC for F3 and FNV.

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