Fallout 3 EP10: More of the Same!

 By Shamus Feb 3, 2013 82 comments

Thus continues our ongoing saga of self-abuse and childish griping in the face of Bethesda’s shoddy DLC. I highly recommend checking out this link before you watch the show. It will provide some much needed context on the mechanics being demonstrated. This goes double for Rutskarn, who was specifically asking about this stuff.

Pssst. That’s actually a link to the Sid the Science Kid movie which has mercilessly vexed Rutskarn during our last four shows. But don’t tell him! See, Rutskarn and I watch Josh play the game via Livestream, and at the time of this recording Livestream was showing Rutskarn the same ad again and again, every ten minutes.


Link (YouTube)

What a cavalcade of bugs. Josh tried to shoot the enemy with his rocket launcher. Then the game switched to a close-up of the foe encased in a pure black spherical shadow and being shot with small arms from behind. As far as we can see, no rocket was fired. And when we came out of VATS the view was inexplicably pointed straight down. Having the player running around with no torso, giving us combat kill-cams of unrelated rocks, and the subsequent crash were just icing on the cake. I don’t even know how to count those. Are they all the same bug? Different bugs? What is this broken piece of software and why did people have to pay money for it?

Remember a few episodes ago we talked about a particular fallout shelter in the game? Well, I managed to stumble across it later on:

fo3_shelter.jpg

If you’re the sort of guy who has always dreamed of meeting a naked double amputee as she hails a cab and then spending a romantic evening in a coffin-size nuclear bomb shelter, then tell me your next two wishes, because the first one is granted! I like how the guy who set this up brought two glasses and got a “sexy” nightie (the pink pillow-shaped thing is actually sleepwear which acts as a nightgown if you’re a female or pajamas if you’re male) for his plastic date. He may be lonely to the point of being deranged, but he’s still clearly a hopeless romantic. Sadly, it looks like the mannequin got stood up (sorry) because the wine is unopened and the sleepwear hasn’t been put to use. Alas for unrequited love. The wasteland is full of such tragedies.


202020202There are now 82 comments. Almost a hundred!


  1. Irridium says:

    Even buying this DLC was rife with bugs and problems. Hell, trying to buy any of the DLC’s were a pain, because you had to deal with GFWL.

    I remember each release had its own special problem. Usually an issue with Games For Windows Live. Ugh…

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Yes. Buying the dlcs, and installing/registering them was a downright pain.

      Especially due to the fact that I used to live in a country that, for some bass ackwards reasoning, didn’t have GFWL support as such. So I had to make a gfwl account, registered as being in the UK, and buy all the dlcs off of a disc, and mess with my computer’s regional settings, JUST TO PLAY A GAME THAT I BOUGHT.

      And, of course, now gfwl actually refuses to recognize the game registration keys (even though, e.g. arkham asylum, passes the keychecks for both steam and that starforce-or-something thing. But the gfwl check? Nope, sorry: “key is invalid”, even though IT IS REGISTERED TO MY GFWL ACCOUNT AND PASSES TWO OTHER CHECKS).

      So, yeah. Screw GFWL and screw any and all games, developers and publishers who consciously chose to use it. It is the ultimate example of DRM not letting me – a legit customer – play the game that I paid for, at multiple levels.

      • Even says:

        If you have the actual mod files downloaded anywhere, you can just move them over to the game’s own mod folder and they should work fine. That’s how I circumvented having to trouble myself with GFWL beyond playing with an offline profile. Missed the achievements, but didn’t really care for them either.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well we have to fight pirates somehow.What would you do if they tried playing your game without paying,those bastards?Do something crazy like offering free patches for legit customers?That would never work.

  2. Thomas says:

    Does anyone remember that little spoof game that people released before Bulletstorm (Couldn’t remember name of game, googled ‘kick into cactuses’, 4th hit) making fun of modern shooters, where you just run around in a trench fighting sparsely populated enemies, and it had clearly been made in a day or something?

    This DLC is an awful lot like that

  3. Indy says:

    This is a plug for the unofficial forum of TwentySidedTale, Roll For Insanity. It’s a place for the community to interact and post about whatever they want rather than feeling obliged to keep it related to Shamus’ post. It’s a little empty right now, but I have hopes that it will grow into something awesome. So come on over, roll up a character and get ready for some very subtle and mild insanity.

    • anaphysik says:

      Hrm, I really don’t like the design of the boards much :/ Doesn’t really direct you to new posts, or have text that stands out, or anything.

      (Not too much you can do about this besides changing skin/theme or messing with the css – not blaming you, just saying I don’t like it :/ )

  4. baseless research says:

    84 seconds to “stop shooting me”.

  5. Tzeneth says:

    I think the anchorage episodes alone can kill someone playing the drinking game just watching this episode and reading the tally of the last one!

    • Thomas says:

      For the people doing the doc, the formula for alcohol level including alcohol elimination is cumulative BAC-(.02/60)*timeinminutes. The liver is pretty good at eliminating a steady rate of .015 to 0.02% BAC per hour. (I did mention this last time, but I’m not sure if people read comments going backwards)

      • Andrew says:

        If you have all the information on how to calculate BAC please email me or anyone on the list of editors for the spreadsheet so that one of us can work on getting that put in and automated without going over to the rupissed.com website for the BAC levels. We should be under the share button, but if not my email is Traiden04@gmail.com

        • Viktor says:

          http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Blood-Alcohol-Content-(Widmark-Formula)

          No clue how accurate that is, but it’s what I found and it makes sense.

          • Zukhramm says:

            I remember calculating having an assignment for calculating BAC in a course about differential equations, so it seems it should be more complicated than that.

            (And what’s up with 0.06 * 100??? Just write 6!)

          • Thomas says:

            That seems to make sense, it includes the subtraction for elimination
            http://www.selfcounseling.com/help/alcohol/hourstozerobac.html
            It just uses the lower estimate .015 rather than the higher one .02

            I couldn’t work out if rupissed takes it into account or not ‘No adjustments made for liver function or variations in gastric absorption levels ‘
            I’m not sure if that means they don’t take the liver into account at all or if they don’t variate for different levels of liver function

            • Zukhramm says:

              Thinking a bit more about it, the formula will be inaccurate when drinking continuously, the inaccuracy depending on at what pace you’re drinking. A constant * time for symbolization only makes sense when you’re no longer adding more alcohol. I don’t know hoe accurate it is as an approximation, but if you want to calculate alcohol content with continuous drinking you have to solve a mixing problem (I think).

              • Thomas says:

                Looking closely rupissed is taking into account alcohol elimination. The wikipedia page gives the same formula which only takes into account elimination as far as time goes (I think it makes sense that elimination is just a * constant because the liver has an upper limit on capacity which I think is easily reached by almost any alcohol consumption)

                It’s a bit odd that all the formulas pretend alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream. I would have thought that it would be processed over time?

  6. Guvnorium says:

    Ironically, Mao was a fan of scavenging supplies from his enemies. Apparently, the U.S. in the Fallout universe decided that if the Chinese had managed to invade Alaska, they must have been on to something.

  7. Nytzschy says:

    Sadly, it looks like the mannequin got stood up (sorry) because the wine is unopened and the sleepwear hasn’t been put to use. Alas for unrequited love. The wasteland is full of such tragedies.

    War. War never changes.

  8. The_Unforgiven says:

    You guys were complaining about the barrels being rusty and dilapidated. But think about it. If they were made that way, and they’re still exactly the same 200 years later, that means that they were made masterfully. They figured out how to make things that truly last. If you make it as shitty as possible to begin with, then they can’t get any worse, because there’s no room for more shitty-ness.

  9. MrGuy says:

    When a couple of guys
    They were up to no good
    Started planting charges
    in my neighborhood.

  10. Cupcaeks says:

    Man, I forgot how lame that power fist animation is. It looks more like you’re trying to give someone the brofist than anything.

    I recall that Vertibird dropping off reinforcements when I played through, but I’ve got this sneaking suspicion that its only there to remind you that you’re playing a Fallout game.

    Speaking of Vertibirds, I could’ve sworn those things were invented by the Enclave AFTER the bombs dropped, but maybe I’m wrong. It just seems a bit odd that both the Shi and the Brotherhood of Steel would be asking you to find the plans for it when they seem to have pretty thorough knowledge of just about every other bit of pre-war tech.

    • Trithne says:

      They were. It’s just yet another bit of disregard for the fact that Fallout/2 were loaded with details about the world.

      • MrGuy says:

        And this is one piece of laziness you can’t just write off as “General Chase sacrificed accuracy when he created the simulation.”

        It’s somewhat legit to believe he can play with enemy positions, strength, your loadout, details of the mission, etc.

        But having him somehow have the foresight to include tech that wouldn’t be invented for another century? How is that possible?

        I realize nitpicking this DLC is a fractal hole with no bottom, but this is a case where even their “get out of jail free” card of “Oh, General Chase screwed that up. Not us!” doesn’t apply.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Continuity?Not in my fallout 3.

    • Alphadrop says:

      It’s been retconned that they were invented before the war but were not actually used or made until afterwards.
      Chase being high up in the ranks for no actual reason (seriously he comes across as a moron) knew of the Vertibird plans and thought they were cool enough to add to his billion dollar virtual reality fan fic.

      Maybe Chase is meant to show how crap the pre war military is but it’s hard to see if that was the intention because Autumn, Lyons and all the other post war commanders are just as stupid.

      • Cupcaeks says:

        I’ve often wondered if those characters (Chase, Autumns, Lyons, pretty much everyone you meet during the course of the campaign, really) were intended to be taken seriously or not. On one hand, if they were supposed to be a joke, that would kind of fit in with some of the more ridiculous personalities you encounter in Fallout 2. On the other hand, I haven’t really seen anything in the game that would support that level of humor being intentional. It’s really hard for me to tell the intentionally stupid writing apart from the actual stupid writing in this game.

  11. MrGuy says:

    Yeah, so also, the rank thing gets really weird here.

    You’ve been palling around with Sergeant Montgomery for the first part of the DLC. The way he refers to you seems to imply you’re a subordinant (calling you “rookie” and such). So you’re probably a Private or Corporal.

    Now we’re being asked to take over the Strike Team. The previous Strike Team commander was Colonel Patterson. COLONEL Patterson. Not only an officer, but an incredibly high ranking one.

    So, somehow, as part of the first mission in the game, we’ve been promoted. And not just promoted – we’ve been made an officer (thus commanding the guy who was on the VERY SAME MISSION and outranked us then). And not just made an officer, but a pretty high ranking one to be taking over for a colonel.

    Um….what? Is our chain of command so fragile that we replace a colonel by randomly promoting some private who did a really great job on his last assignment? Is that how this works?

    No wonder the Chinese were winning…

    • Cupcaeks says:

      I blame it on Bethesda for a lack of research. It would’ve been less glaring if you’d started off as a sergeant and been field commissioned to lieutenant. The fact that you’re being called a rookie leads me to believe that you probably aren’t even a junior NCO, so a PFC at best. One with no experience leading a team. And you’re being commissioned as a colonel. Maybe in this version of America, your paygrade is determined by the number of people you manage to kill. I wonder how many more it would’ve taken to get promoted to general?

      • qwksndmonster says:

        Or it’s, y’know, just a dumb simulation? Bethesda wasn’t really trying at this point and I think that would be their excuse. The simulation is just meant to be a test for soldiers. And maybe they were trying to reinforce that good work will be rewarded by insinuating that getting a promotion would be that easy (all you have to do is kill everyone).

        • Cupcaeks says:

          I can buy that it was just a particularly dumb simulation based on the info from Klay F., but I sure as hell hope Bethesda was at least trying. They were asking $10 dollars for this thing when it came out. At that point – no, at any point, not trying is not a valid excuse, it’s just plain freakin’ laziness.

          Like I said in the last video (albeit mistakenly under my real name instead of my fake name), I really like the idea behind this DLC, but the implementation is just awful. I want to to believe that this was due to bits of minor incompetence rather than just being a greedy cash-grab.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            Since this was the first DLC I think maybe they put most of their work into it before taking a good look at FO3 feedback. It feels as if they were worried about people wanting more plain shooty bits. Also, I think Bethesda overestimated the value of (to quote the official blurb) fighting in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe. I imagine the engine limitations played a good part in not showing any actual large scale battles but it was still a good chance to have a bit of fun, give the player some over the top stuff to play with without having to worry about balancing it against the rest of the game (though it could be argued that they weren’t worrying about that anyway, my point is more that I didn’t find the stuff that OA did particularly fun).

            • Ciennas says:

              I’da put in one mission before the final push for Jingwei, if nothing else that I suggested, showing off the scale of the battle. Put the player in a vertibird cockpit, have it take off and get shot down- dropping you off at the final start point, bypassing the mortars.

              You’d get a spectacular view, and then it would be back to the trenches.

              (Personally, the same set up could have worked, but the implementation is… lacking, I guess.)

              • Cupcaeks says:

                I had completely forgotten that “fighting in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe” was this DLC’s main selling point. Playing through it, the battle definitely did NOT seem like the centerpiece. It just seemed like something you had to slog through for meager bits of lore and some unique loot. Showing off the scale of the thing would’ve gone a long ways towards remedying that, but yeah, engine limitations and all probably made that unlikely.

                But that just brings me back to this ‘dumb simulation’ thing. Why, if showing off this battle was the main point of the DLC, would you diminish that by making the simulation purposely stupid and unrealistic? The in-universe excuse of General Chase being a loony still works for most of that stuff, but to me its looking more and more like this was just a poorly thought out idea on Bethesda’s part.

      • Klay F. says:

        You know in a weird kind of way, I could see the Pre-War American military of the Fallout universe totally giving out promotions, not based on the people in general, but based on Communists specifically you’ve killed.

        But as I said in the previous video, everything that happens in the simulation is irrelevant, because the entire thing is basically General Chase’s fever/wet dream.

        • AyeGill says:

          Yes, but that’s not really an excuse for having a plot that makes no sense. It justifies it in-universe, sure, but that’s not really the whole story. If the Bethesda writers wanted, they could’ve made the simulation not designed by a crazy dude. They didn’t, because they were too lazy to write a plot with any coherence, and then used General Chase as an excuse for their incoherent plot

          • Klay F. says:

            Thats exactly what I mean. I wasn’t trying to defend the DLC. Bethesda are such incompetent writers that they have to stick a couple of sentences in a random terminal somewhere to even remotely justify how retarded their story is.

    • Ithilanor says:

      Plus, why is a Colonel personally commanding a strike team anyways? That high-ranking of an officer shouldn’t have been on the front line of combat anyways.

  12. Spammy says:

    You laugh, but the Sid Length is the basis of the most universal measuring system. There’s not a distance that isn’t easy to compute when it’s formatted in Sid Lengths. Being able to state that Sid’s room is four Sids long is just the first step in learning the Sid System.

  13. Jace911 says:

    Mother of God, I forgot how nauseatingly bland and tasteless the dialogue in this DLC is. It’s like Bethesda threw every war movie ever into a blender and hit “mush”.

  14. Bryan says:

    “From the guys who brought you that last stuff…”

  15. Deadyawn says:

    Man, that bit at 2:05 where Josh shoots the commie in the head and he does a forward flip gets me every time. I’m not even sure why considering all the other horrible things this engine does to the laws of physics but that specific one stood out somehow.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wonder who came up with the idea of spider mines first.I remember using them waaaay back in crusader no remorse(which is a cool game by the way,and you should definitely go to GOG.com and buy it).And why dont we have those in real world yet,damn it!We need cool weaponry!

    • Ciennas says:

      We have cool weaponry. Spider mines however, are too mechanically and technologically complex as depicted. Nobody sensible would spend the budget required for all the bits and then strap it to an explosive.

      Instead we got rail guns and weaponized remote control planes, and half a suit of powered armor- the lower half.

      We don’t get jetpacks, but then if nothing else, history shows that the future is almost completely unexpected.

    • anaphysik says:

      Spider mines are just the hi-tech equivalent of bob-ombs/bombchu.

      (Unfortunately for Rule of Cool, but fortunately for human life, while “Spider mine” is a thing in military parlance, it means a quite different type of landmine: http://defense.about.com/od/technology/a/Xm7-Spider-Landmine.htm )

    • The cast brought up a good point, which is that these Spider Mines really eat up your ammo. It’s almost necessary to go back to the ammo dispenser after dealing with them.

  17. MrGuy says:

    Yeah, also, the Spider Drones (a.k.a. the walking mines)

    I’m with Josh that I thought they were a cool new enemy – interesting idea, hard to spot, the kind of thing that could really have added some difficulty to a fight – you have to stop shooting the guys shooting at you and try to stop this inbound mine…

    And then you fight them in this ONE place, on this frozen lake. In the open, which is the easiest environment to fight them in. And you never fight them again.

    I’m betting the original idea was for these to be in some of the bunkers you fight in – they’d occasionally hit you with 2 soldiers and a walking mine. Then they decided it was “too hard.” So they nerfed them back to being pointless filler mooks in one spot only.

    And these WOULD have been awfully hard in close quarters with limited room to maneuver. They would have instantly become my most feared enemy in this DLC. But it’s not like the combat mechanics are so challenging they couldn’t have used some spicing up…

  18. Ithilanor says:

    @10:50 “I’m pretty sure that’s how every Colonel gets their gear, by filling out paperwork…” – that actually makes sense from what I know of the military. Doesn’t excuse the gameplay, though.

  19. My gosh! It’s looking like 33 drinks in this episode alone! This drinking game WILL kill you!

    • Shamus says:

      For discussion among the chart-trackers, chart-followers, and theoretical drink-drinkers:

      Instead of letting the BAC climb to preposterous levels, perhaps we could add a “death toll” to the drinking game. When the BAC hits 0.5%, we assume the drinker has died and another, fresh drinker takes their seat. So the BAC level would form a sawtooth (modulo 0.5) and we’d have this new figure: “Number of people killed by the drinking game.” (Which would be the total BAC / 0.5, rounded down.)

      Thoughts? Suggestions? Objections?

      • MrGuy says:

        Love the idea.

        Related – we could calculate the “time to live” for each drinker, and so we could keep stats on things like what the quickest fatal time was, and what’s the “average” lifespan of a Spoiler Warning fan if we ever did a “proper” marathon viewing with live alcohol.

        We could even track predictive failure stats like MTBF (Mean Time Between Fatalities) to give us an idea how soon we’re likely to need the next “volunteer.”

    • MrGuy says:

      Just to put this in perspective….

      33 drinks, at 1.5 oz per shot, is 49.5 ounces.

      By comparison, a 750 ml bottle (a.k.a. a “fifth” because it’s about 1/5th of a gallon) is just over 25 ounces. This means in this episode if we’re drinking hard liquor, we polished off two fifths BY OURSELVES in less than an hour.

      Let’s say instead we were doing shots of beer instead of hard alcohol. Then the picture is considerably less fatal, but still impressive. Since a standard bottle of beer is 12 ounces, we’d have polished off 4 beers in 45 minutes, and cracked into the fifth one. Still a pretty impressive feat.

      We joked earlier about whether we’d be able to get drunk off non-alcoholic beer this season. We’re starting to get close, actually. Non-alcoholic beer isn’t alcohol-free, it’s alcohol-light. Standard beer is ~5% alcohol by volume. Non-alcoholic beer is ~0.5% alcohol by volume.

      If we were drinking full bottles of non-alcoholic beer for each drink, it would come out close to where we’re at for shots of standard beer for total alcohol – about 3.3 “standard” beers in 45 minutes. DEFINITELY enough to get drunk.

      Of course, drinking a whole bottle of non-alcoholic beer for each “drink” isn’t realistic from a fluid consumption perspective (even with a funnel). So let’s put it on equal footing, and do SHOTS of non-alcoholic beer.

      If we were doing shots of non-alcoholic beer, we’d have gotten the alcohol content of just under half a “standard” beer (somewhere around .42 beers) over 45 minutes. That’s still not enough alcohol to keep up with the rate at which the liver eliminates alcohol, which is closer to 1 beer per hour, so we’re still not quite drinking fast enough to get drunk on shots of non-alcoholic beer. But we’re getting closer….

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