Fallout 3 EP4: What Consequences?

 By Shamus Jan 11, 2013 100 comments


Link (YouTube)

Here is a fun thing: Deadfast has been keeping a tally of the Fallout 3 drinking game. He’s got it in a nice spreadsheet with charts & graphs. It’s still a bit thin because we’re so early in the series, but I expect this to become very interesting once we’ve got a few more episodes behind us.

For new-ish viewers, when I mention Lulzy I’m talking about my LP of Lord of the Rings Online.


A Hundred!A hundred comments! Everybody wins!


  1. Tse says:

    Gotta love the smell of nuclear fallout in the morning!

  2. Stephen says:

    The nerd population of the world will be reduced to a pickled mess by the end of the season.

  3. Artur CalDazar says:

    I feel like something is missing from the videos, but I can’t place what it might be.

    But that tally is very impressive.

    • If you watched them on Viddler, they allowed for viewers to write annotations for things that went on in the episode. A lot of these really added to this season and Bioshock.

      That may be what you find missing. Either that or Mumbles.

      • Artur CalDazar says:

        Ah yes that is exactly what I am missing.

        Those always fascinated me in a strange way. I sometimes feel out of place commenting so the concept of comments in the video was just amazing to me.

    • When Viddler hosted this season, they allowed for viewers to write annotations at points in the video. A lot of people were a fan of that.

      That could be what’s missing. Either that or Mumbles.

    • When Viddler hosted this season, they allowed for viewers to write annotations at points in the video. A lot of people were a fan of that.

      That could be what’s missing. Either that or Mumbles.

      Okay, this is the third time I’ve tried posting this comment. What the hell?

      • You… succeeded?

        For a second there, I thought you were trying to make a funny by imitating a string of Viddler comments as they popped up on the progress bar.

        I think TwentySided is back on the waterlogged servers or something. It got faster for a while, but now it’s about as slow as before, apart from the comment posting functions, which are even more pokey. I know Shamus was upset at his host for denying a problem even exists. I’d almost want him to post the URL of the company running his servers so I can forbid any female relatives from dating one of their employees.

  4. TJ says:

    If we are allowed to compare the current Spolier Warning season to this one (and sorry if it’s already been made)…

    The Walking Dead has a lot of technically false choices – you have very little control over the outcome of the story. Fallout 3 lets you make a real choice nearly right off the bat – blow up Megaton or not? This has direct and lasting consequences throughout the rest of the game.

    It’s also dumb, and I don’t care. I really care about the choices I made in the Walking Dead. Which is better?

    • Zukhramm says:

      With regard to the main storyline though, isn’t blowing it up or not as much false choice as anything in The Walking Dead?

      • SlowShootinPete says:

        The main quest in most Bethesda games is more of a chain of side quests the game forces foists on you, really.

      • It depends. I think Shamus and/or Rutz consider Moira’s Wastland Survival Guide chain the REAL main quest, so after you nuke Moira you can shoot her as well, forever ending the “real” quest.

        • I-Spy says:

          You could also pass a speech check to dissuade her from finishing the book. Which, along with finishing the quest, dampens her mood considerably (even netting you a perk called “Dream Crusher”). I found it quite funny that this is what depresses her, not the fact that her home and everyone she knew have been vaporized. Hell, even becoming a ghoul, the fallout world’s second-class citizen, doesn’t faze her, I think she even mentions how advantageous her condition would be for her guide because of ghoul’s immunity from radiation. However, this doesn’t seem to affect the part of the quest where you need to contract radiation sickness.

    • MrGuy says:

      So, here’s the thing for me about blowing up Megaton. Yes, the town’s not there. But all that means is one shop (Moira) has moved, a few minor quest hooks are gone if you didn’t finish those quests first, and your house is in a different place. There’s one line of dialog different with your Dad later in the game too. And that’s about it.

      My problem isn’t that there are NO consequences, but that these aren’t a REALISTIC set of consequences. Sure, your in-game Karma takes a hit, but honestly not nearly enough to matter – I’ve easily bounced back from this to even Very Good levels of Karma by mid-game.

      What SHOULD happen is this should be similar to the Kid Killer “perk” in the original Fallout, or joining the slavers in Fallout 2. Everyone knows about it, everyone reacts differently to you. Rivet City residents should run away from you. Shops throughout the wasteland should shut the door in your face (except, of course, the shops at Tenpenny Tower). A bunch of sidequest givers shouldn’t give you quests. You blew up a friggin’ town!!! Hey, WE live in a town. We don’t want you here!

      • They are a few downsides to picking Tenpenny over Megaton.

        The aforementioned out of wayness of Tenpenny.
        No Talon mercs come after you (along with their cool loot)
        You lose the strength bobblehead if you intent to use Almost Perfect to boost your stats all to 10.

        • scowdich says:

          Talon mercs don’t come after you, but Regulators do. I don’t know how good of loot they carry, though.

          • MrGuy says:

            No. Regulators come after you if you have bad Karma, not specifically if you blew up Megaton.

            As I mentioned, blowing up Megaton is a Karma hit, but not a fatally bad one – you can EASILY get up to at least neutral (which will stop the Regulators) simply by not being evil and completing a few quests. With effort, you can rebound to good or even very good after this.

            This is kind of my point. There are very few “permanent” consequences in how you’re treated from blowing up Megaton. I’d actually like it if there were specifically Megaton survivors who’d try to track you down (regardless of Karma) after this.

            • Keeshhound says:

              There are occasional encounters with “Megaton Refugees.”

              http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Megaton_refugee

              They… well, they’re not exactly a challenge under any circumstance. Also, if you’re already going full evil, they can be mezzed and sent off to paradise falls. You know, if you wanted to become even more of a caricature than you already were.

              • Thomas says:

                I don’t really think Fallout is about making someone face serious repercussions for their evil acts. Being able to murder all the NPCs in a town when you feel like is one of the good points of the game

          • Regulators have those Dusters. They provide no armor at all. Weapons-wise they are alright.

            Talon dudes have Combat Armor which you can use to repair you own. It’s also much more valuable. There is also a small chance to find an Energy Weapon among them.

      • I don’t think you understand how crime in Fallout works. Blowing up a town is nothing compared to being suspected of killing a hooker in New Vegas.

  5. Gruhunchously says:

    13:48. Ah, these were such innocent times…

  6. Nidokoenig says:

    Regarding compartmentalisation, I think another reason Bethesda games from Oblivion onward put their cities behind loading screens is the wandering AI. It becomes much easier for important NPCs to die if dangerous wildlife can wander in, or they can wander out to it. That could also happen in Morrowind, but most wildlife near towns there was either domesticated, or easily dealt with by the many guards. Basically there’s a whole bunch of little reasons for carving these areas up.

    • Tse says:

      Doesn’t it also have to do with how heavy AI is for the processor?

      • Nidokoenig says:

        Well, NPCs with schedules wandered around quite happily in Morrowind, but yes, the general increase in complexity is probably another issue. Actually, IIRC that was why Vivec was separated into cantons rather than being open, the sheer density of people. There’s also the RAM limits for consoles, which Bethesda have had to be very careful with.

        • Yeah, I thought it was more to do with console concerns. One of the more popular mods for New Vegas “restores” the game to what it was supposed to be for PCs rather than consoles, where Freeside was one big area with no loading screens, the strip was one big area, etc.

          From what I can tell, no such open mapping was ever intended for F3, so it was built in from the get-go.

          • I still have a hard time believing that consoles couldn’t process the whole strip at once. There really isn’t all the much there and many cities in other Gamebryo games are much larger than that.

            • It could be a combination of the area and the NPCs. The restoration mod I mentioned puts a LOT of wandering NPCs “back” in the game, including a pickpocket, which is a nice touch. Maybe consoles can’t do the world and an overly large population at the same time?

              • Even says:

                Bah.. messed up my post and can’t edit. Anyway.

                http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer/q/251010100104268592

                It seems a bit of a contradiction, but it’s probably safe to say consoles were at least part to blame.

                • I wonder how much of it was the console versus how much of it was the engine and/or Obsidian’s lack of familiarity with it. Especially when you consider games like the new Hitman, which (while HIGHLY flawed) is capable of having TONS of people on screen at once).
                  Even Heavenly Sword, which came out early in the PS3′s life span, boasted an impressive ability to have 1000 AIs at once in a single, albeit large area.

                  • Perhaps the engine was at fault to a degree, but as the modder responsible for “New Vegas Uncut: Freeside Open” notes:

                    “It’s clear from even a cursory look at the game’s files that the Freeside worldspace(s) in the shipped game is nowhere near as interesting as the original plan for the area, with huge amounts of content culled, and numerous bugs and oversights meaning large parts of content that did ship and were enabled simply don’t work. The reason for the drastic downsizing of Freeside and the curbing of ambition of what would occur there is simple – technical difficulties. A fully populated Freeside will cause even mid range PCs to struggle at times, and the extra strain on the notoriously unstable Gamebryo engine increases the likelihood of crashes. Couple this with having to work on increasingly dated game console hardware, and there was no way what was planned was going to be feasible.”

                    The consoles were part of the issue, but so were older PCs, for what it’s worth.

                  • Raygereio says:

                    Bethesda’s Gamebryo engine simply wasn’t an efficient engine. Especially when it came to handling NPCs.
                    The implementation of FaceGen for example was incredibly resource demanding. So whenever a scene like a battle called for a lot of people, everyone needed to be wearing masks and helmets just so that the engine wouldn’t needed to render faces (specifically facial animations).
                    And don’t get me started on how the engine handles AI packages. Ugh.

                    Sure, if they didn’t had to worry about the consoles Freeside and The Strip wouldn’t needed to have been split up. But the system requirements would have been way higher.

                    • StashAugustine says:

                      Yeah, Heavenly Sword and Hitman both have engines designed to have lots of AI on the screen. They’re not dealing with the insane amounts of clutter detail that Gamebryo is, and I’d daresay they’re better optimized.

  7. Unnecessarily carrying around heavy energy weapons with no intent to ever learn to use them, pre-war bonnet, this episode is kind of the beginning of Spoiler Warning as we have come to know and love it.

  8. Deadfast says:

    Can I get a bit of clarification on what counts as a “In the original Fallout” drink? Does it have to be that exact phrase?

  9. Jokerman says:

    “For new-ish viewers, when I mention Lulzy I’m talking about my LP of Lord of the Rings Online.”

    Ahhh…the biscuit trail that led me to your site :D

  10. Dante says:

    So in 33 Episodes, someone will join in with the rest of us lot….

  11. MrGuy says:

    So, it’s probably way to late to be pointing this out, but the game the hacking is based on is Mastermind, not Hangman.

    I actually thought this was good as well. I felt like I was puzzling something out when trying to hack, and failure can be a real possibility.

    • I enjoyed the hacking minigame. Once you learn all the tricks to it, it is pretty fun to play.

      When I play, one of the things I love getting is a word that matches 0/X letters. It’s great because you know that every single letter is wrong, which allows you to eliminate words that are at all similar.
      That, and brackets.

      A friend linked me to a website that has a web game version of the minigame. For those who suck at the game, it’s good practice.
      http://mitchellthompson.net/demos/terminal/

      • AyeGill says:

        Agreed. I got pretty good at it, to the point where I could consistently get it on the third try. On the mid-level ones, that is: like the cast, I never saw a reason to put many points into it.

        I actually think Bethesda really nailed it with that and the lockpicking minigame in Fallout 3.

        • StashAugustine says:

          Personally, I disliked it so much I didn’t put any points into Science in New Vegas. But, I did like Pipe Dream, so my opinion is suspect. Don’t hurt me!

  12. Deadyawn says:

    Serious props to Deadfast. That is what I call dedication. I’m just waiting for the pit now, addictions, broken weapons and glitches galore. Especially that fastforward sequence.

  13. And it’s the first appearance of the Spoiler Warning fallout opening screenshots!

    I really loved seeing those along with the theme music. Shamus, who did those, and was it the effort involved that lead to their cessation? I think Bioshock got a series-long photoshop of the entryway banner, but the F3 ones were really creative.

  14. If you want a fairly comprehensive list of bugs that modders have found/fixed (and a lot of these are pretty small mesh problems, texture flicker, etc.) you could download the unofficial Fallout 3 Patch files and just read the changelog (which is too long, according to the author, to list anywhere else).

    • Raygereio says:

      Do note that the Broken Steel patchfile is outright broken and will cause crashing and the UP as a whole is outdated and not compatible with the latest official patch version.

      The FO3UP was abandoned by it’s makers, so it’s not going to see an update. There was another attempt at an unofficial patch for FO3, but that was destroyed by the e-drama the nexus is prone to.

  15. Moriarty says:

    welp. That’s episode four and we’re already above 1,5permille. I know you americans use volume instead of mass when calculating BAC so my estimates could be off by a bit but this is sorta the point where you start having blackouts.

    Playing this drinking game will propably kill you before we even reach operation anchorage.

  16. Jakale says:

    Ok, so I think I’ll just leave the drink tally stuff to the main tally sheet, unless people want me to keep it up, say, for a handy spot to double check the data without bookmarking the spreadsheet. That said, there’s something I’ve asked Deadfast about and have come to you all for final say. How precise do we want to be with our drinks with regards to the rules, primarily the quotes?

    Example: In Ep 1, Josh says “something people might notice coming from the Original two Fallout games” when talking about the level up system. This has three of the four keywords, but not all of them, and is a tad debatable in the spirit of the quote the way the rule uses it.
    Likewise, Shamus comments on the “200 year old BB gun” in Ep 1. Is it close enough to count or no?

    So, the main question is, how much wiggle room do we want to allow for quotes? Should they always use all the words in the rules, with none taken or added between them? Should it count if none of the quote is used, but they do start comparing Fallout 3 with the first two games, like in this episode around 12:56? Should we be listening for a certain intended spirit, like “in the Original Fallout, this thing was way better”, which isn’t always necessarily the case when “the Original Fallout” crops up in the episodes.

    Apologies if this seems silly, but I’ve spent a number of years learning precision measuring procedures and you can’t turn that off just because it’s an entirely different type of data acquisition. I don’t think people actually trying to play the drinking game would care (it’s hard enough to catch some of these sober. I missed four drinks when I tallied Ep1), but this is turning into science, now, so I’d like to make sure everyone can be happy with what we get.

    • Shamus says:

      I would say it’s more interesting to measure the number of comparisons to the original games than to just measure the instances of that phrase. After a while we probably start re-phrasing it, just to avoid the repetition. If we measure by the number of actual comparisons of FO3 with previous games, then we might see interesting spikes emerge around the points where the games really diverge in interesting ways.

      Likewise, “200 year old” anything, or just pointing out how long it’s been.

      • If you want a real challenge (both in tallies and in drinks, if this were added), make a rule for a drink any time anyone in SW utters the word “interesting.” It’s amazing how many times that comes up both in reference to the actual games as well as the many hypothetical improvements or variations to what was coded for play.

    • Tzeneth says:

      Give plenty of wiggle room. I think the spirit of the quote is more important than the full quote (unless it’s “Stop shooting me!”)

  17. Chamomile says:

    You can cross reference the cumulative BAC with Wikipedia’s article on BAC in order to keep track of how close the average male audience member is to death of alcohol poisoning. Currently our hypothetical audience member is well and truly drunk and shouldn’t be driving, but isn’t at any risk of any longterm damage. Assuming the current rate holds, by episode 10 he will be in danger of blackout, and by episode 20 he will be nearly guaranteed to die. Considering that the drinks per episode will most likely increase significantly as the season wears on, it is plausible that even the largest of hypothetical subjects in Wikipedia’s graph (a 240 pound male) will be unable to survive the entire 28 episode season, as by that time even this mammoth’s BAC will likely average at least 0.3%.

  18. BenD says:

    Favorite moment — Shamus, in the most genial tone of voice ever: “You’re keeping the flamer? It’s pretty heavy.”

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