Fallout 4 EP4: First Deathclaw in Space

By Shamus
on Jun 8, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

170 comments


Link (YouTube)

It seems like everyone has a different story about how the Deathclaw encounter went wrong because the game designer expected the player to read their mind (or the script?) and know what they were supposed to do to make the scene work. Everyone has it turn kind of shitty and underwhelming in a different way. I imagine it worked best on people like me, who watched the E3 demo and knew what they were “supposed” to do. It’s an awful, contrived, muddled scene that somehow manages to be both hand-hold-y and vague.

I think Rutskarn is right, in that the next most obvious thing to shave off the experience to make it more “mainstream” is to get rid of carry weights. I’ve heard a lot of players express an interest in exactly this. They assume their goal is to pick an area clean. But you can’t carry everything at once. So you fill yourself to capacity, fast-travel to your base, store all the items, fast-travel back, and repeat. If you’re playing this way then clearly the fast-travel is just a bunch of useless loading screens and busywork.

But getting rid of carry weights would lead to a slippery slope of “streamlining”:

Player: I hate making ten trips to clean out a dungeon. They should get rid of carry weights.

Developer: Okay, carry weights are gone.

Player: But I still have to click on each and every single stupid piece of clutter, which really breaks the flow of the game. The hitboxes on items are wonky and sometimes you have to move around, hunting for the right angle to grab some knickknack. Clicking on clutter isn’t challenging or interesting. There’s no reason not to take everything, so why are you making me look at every stupid piece of garbage to pick it up? (This is especially tedious using a controller.)

Developer: Okay, we’ve added a “Loot All” button that will grab everything within arm’s reach.

Player: After just a few minutes of running around an spamming Loot All, I end up with all this useless trash. I have to scroll through a list of three hundred trash guns I’m carrying around, just to find the one interesting gun I picked up a second ago. Sorting through this inventory takes forever. There needs to be a “Sell All Trash” button on shops that just lets you unload all trash items.

Developer: Okay, we added a “Sell All” button to the shop interface, which will sell everything that isn’t equipped or part of the hotbar or tagged as favorite.

Player: Shopkeepers never have enough money for me to use the new “Sell All Trash” button. Since there’s no limit to how much stuff I can carry, it doesn’t make sense to have a limit to how much they can buy. It just forces me to fast-travel to many different shops. That’s just a bunch of dumb hiking and loading screens. No fun.

Developer: Shopkeepers now have infinite money.

Player: The economy is this game is a mess. I can vacuum up all the loot in an area, teleport to the nearest shop, and sell the whole thing in one go. But why bother? The shops never have anything I want or need. I just accumulate endless piles of useless money.

Developer: Okay, we’ve lowered the payout values for selling trash loot, and shopkeepers have more cool stuff and rare items you can save up for.

Player: If you want to get your hands on the best equipment you’ll need to spend hours running around, swiping everything that isn’t nailed down. Why is every shopkeeper in the game trying to rip me off? Why do people use pack animals in this world when you can apparently carry several warehouses worth of goods in your pocket? And why should I even bother building a base and storing stuff in it, since it’s more convenient to carry everything will you at all times?

Developer: Okay, we got rid of clutter. Fallout now works like other games. The stuff on shelves is just scenery.

Player: Ugh. There’s nothing to do but shoot stuff. It’s so monotonous.

Part of the problem is that the “Player” in the above exchange isn’t a single person, but instead represents many different people who are all pulling the game in a different direction. Some people like the treasure-hunt vibe of item collection, which other people see it as busywork. Some people enjoy the loot lottery chest at the end of a zone, while other people see sorting and selling that stuff as a chore, like taking out the garbage. Some people hate having to memorize what they need and what they don’t, and would rather the game put a clear line between “trash” and “valuables”, instead of the current gradient.

Some people really would like the game better if it was a shooter with a fixed inventory of guns, while for other people that would pretty much defeat the purpose of playing the game in the first place.

The game is actually asking a lot of you. It expects you to figure out what you need, pick and choose what sorts of things you’re willing to loot, keep track of which resources are scarce (adhesive, aluminium) and which are plentiful (steel and wood) and manage your gathering accordingly. I actually enjoy that stuff, but it does stand out as odd when the rest of the game seems to go out of its way to avoid asking you to think too hard.

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A Hundred!20202010Many comments. 170, if you're a stickler

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  1. Kelerak says:

    You know, a similar story to the “missed the cue to drop down from the roof with Power Armor” story happened to me with Fallout 3. When you go outside of GNR to fight the Super Mutant Behemoth, the quest tells you to pick up the Fat Man off of the dead BoS guy and lob mini nukes at him. I didn’t see that notification, and just assumed that I had to shoot it to death, so I fired the entirety of my minigun and a few shotgun shells to kill it.

    Now that I think about it, Bethesda is pretty bad with how it has you do the “required” sections of the game. Like, you can completely skip the Standing Stones entirely by accident in Skyrim and not know they were in the game at all.

    Then again, if Bethesda forced us to do certain actions, I’m sure each of it would be Oblivion’s tutorial over and over again.

    • Fists says:

      Compare their set ups to how it would have been handled in half life 2 and you can see how they should improve it. In the HL2 rocket sections you always notice the ammo crates as you survey the arena, they’re not on a pedestal under stage lights but they’re clearly visible, put the guy with the fatman on a platform that looks like a good defensive position, or make him the guy you talk to and have a conversation option “What is THAT!” for people that don’t know what a fatman is.

      For the power armor they should have included the dropping from heights thing in the sales pitch preston gives rather than just in a tooltip or quest marker, include an anecdote or rumor about someone jumping into battle from the fifth story so it’s sold to the player.

      • Matt Downie says:

        I’d prefer it if they didn’t try to be Half-Life 2. Fallout shouldn’t be a set-piece shooter. There should be at least three different ways to deal with a Deathclaw.

        • IFS says:

          If you were trying to provide as many options as possible, working with the old fallout skills maybe it could work like this:

          Guns: get on the vertibird turret and use it to mow down the raiders and the eventual deathclaw.

          Repair: fix up the power armor to help fight (or perhaps just intimidate) the raiders.

          Speech: talk down the raiders, maybe intimidate them or convince them you aren’t worth their time. Possibly even get them to help you when the deathclaw shows up or even try to join them (similar to how NV let you join the Powder Gangers or help Goodsprings, or how FO1 lets you join the raiders).

          The problem to me feels similar to the boss fights in Deus Ex where you have this game that promises all manner of options and then forces you through an encounter where you have very few. Compare this to the giant robo-scorpion encounter in Old World Blues and the difference is immediately visible, one gives you a bunch of ways to use all manner of skills to help while still letting you just shoot it to death if you want, while the other has a very clear expectation of what you should do and regardless of your approach the only skills that matter are shooting and punching.

          • Coming_Second says:

            In fairness to DE Human Resources: They contracted the boss fights out to another company in order to save time, and that other company blithely assumed that what they wanted was three bullet sponges. Eidos acknowledged it was a problem, and in the director’s cut alternative ways of taking down all the bosses were added (plus another one was added which was particularly enjoyable for the number of ways of tackling it).

            That pretty much the only way to resolve any problem in F4 is to go to the place and shoot all the dudes, and they even manage to get THAT wrong from time to time, is entirely on Bethesda.

        • Felblood says:

          It shouldn’t be a set-peice shooter, but if it’s going to try to act like one, it could at least do it right.

        • Jace911 says:

          I would love if when you first approach the firefight between Preston and the raiders, while walking past the grate in the street you can pass an INT/Repair check to lock it.

          Then later on when you’re in power armor fighting Gristle and the other raiders you hear several angry thumps and some growling from the locked hatch before the Deathclaw just leaves in shame.

      • Dork Angel says:

        They could have had the power armour hanging from a frame then as soon as you get in, it drops you. Would have been a pretty cool “Oh shit!” moment followed by a pretty cool “Oh wow!” moment while letting you see Power Armour lets you survive big drops.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        Every time I saw one of those big rocket boxes I groaned, because I knew another gunship or whatever was coming. Worst parts of the game for me. Maybe I’ve just soured on the whole HL2 experience, but after replaying it a little while back I found I really didn’t enjoy it as much as I had previously. Specifically the problem parts being those where you’re stuck somewhere: Getting an exposition dump but unable to skip it; turret/rocket sections; defence bits (with turrets that fall over in a stiff breeze); vehicle sections and tiresome physics puzzles…

        Anyway that’s enough off-topic ranting from me for the moment!

    • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

      It seems kind of silly that we have to do that but there’s something about the way games condition you that makes it necessary.

      It takes a while to get accustomed to what you can and cannot interact with when you switch to a new game, and we’re used to moving around so fast.

    • Calamity says:

      Skyrim is particularly bad because the soldier you leave the caves with actually says “We should probably split up” before running off with scripted dialogue like your following him.

  2. Irridium says:

    Speaking of carry weight and power armor, fun fact. So Power armor doesn’t increase your carry weight. Or strength. No, it sets your strength to 10. What this means is if you already have a strength of 10, and are wearing a piece of armor that boosts it to 11 or 12, then get into the power armor, it’ll set your strength back to 10. Even if you still have on the +1 or 2 strength outfit. It also nullifies any pocketed gear you have on. So in the later game you’re actually physically weaker and carry less (a LOT less if you have lots of pocketed gear on) if you get into power armor.

    It’s super weird and I can’t imagine why they’d do it this way.

    • Content Consumer says:

      The only thing I can think of is that it stems from the same thinking that makes you get out of the power armor to use a terminal.
      After all, even if I can personally carry one thousand tons of gear on my back, if I get in a car I’ll pop the tires. It’s not me carrying the weight at that point, it’s the car.
      Same for the power armor. Previous Fallout games had power armor be just another kind of armor. In Fo4, it’s more like a one-person armored vehicle. So my pocketed gear makes no difference.
      Of course, that leads to a discussion about where the pockets are, how pockets can make you carry a hundred more cans of pork n’ beans, where it exists on the player character, and that we can’t argue against unrealistic things in a game with magic and dragons (or rather healthbars and super mutants). So… meh.

      • Fists says:

        I think it really stems from Bethesda’s reluctance to make God-Tier equipment exclusive to one playstyle, same for the named legendaries (deliverer, overseer’s guardian etc.) there’s no extra bonus for acquiring them through the quest lines vs finding one as loot it’s just another way to achieve the same ends.

        The fact that other armors can be buffed beyond power armor rather than to parity is just the lack of proper balancing in the game.

        • guy says:

          But everyone can get power armor. Heck, I finally got around to finishing my first playthrough as BoS, and I left the last quest reward power armor on the shelf and went with a mix of the T-60 signing bonus and X-01 I’d found in an underground bunker. The power armor is a special super thing you’re supposed to pull out for special occasions no matter what you’re playing.

          • Fists says:

            Yeah, to me it seems like they hedged on making it compulsory though. My normal playthrough and the og survival mode I barely used it then in the new survival mode it is hugely resource/time intensive to take a suit to a fight, I guess finding a decent suit near a powerful target would feel rewarding when it saves your bacon.

      • Philadelphus says:

        After all, even if I can personally carry one thousand tons of gear on my back, if I get in a car I’ll pop the tires. It’s not me carrying the weight at that point, it’s the car.

        That was my thinking as well. I think the idea is that once you’re inside the armor, it’s the armor’s servomotors doing the lifting, not your muscles anymore. For a strange analogy, it’d be like if you could, naturally, run 200 miles per hour. At that point, getting into a car capable of going 80 MPG wouldn’t increase your speed to 280 MPH, it would instead limit it to 80 MPH. If that makes sense?

        I’m not saying I agree with it, just that I can see where they were coming from.

      • Loonyyy says:

        But obviously, you can’t carry 1000 pounds of gear on your back. And presumably the power armour is much better equiped to do so, it’s a pretty fair assumption that an armoured exoskelton with actuators for moving its mass would be better at shifting large loads than armour you’ve strapped to yourself which actually weighs you down, yet has a magical +x to your stat.

        It makes this really strange situation where we’re expected to believe clothing can make us stronger than a suit of power armour (Which does make characters who aren’t at the maximum strength stronger, it sets the strength to 10, so for any player with less than 8 strength, it will still be an upgrade over the clothing), but where the armour isn’t effected by our personal strength when we can be as strong as the armour makes us on our own.

        It’s a really clumsy implementation of the stat, and the most awkward part is how it sets the maximum strength of power armour to a max strength stat person, who should still be far less strong than it, or requires believing that a max strength person is actually obscenely strong, and is as strong as power armour.

  3. And now I’m going to have the Popeye theme song running through my head the rest of the day…

  4. Content Consumer says:

    Where did the Deathclaw come from? I’ve been all through the underground areas of Concord, and there’s no place it could have entered, unless we accept the theory that it was a tiny baby and entered through a manhole, growing large on the ever-present mudcrabs down there, before finally busting its way out amidst the “noise and chaos” of a relatively minor gunfight. Bethesda tends to do this sort of thing a lot, actually – adding an exit point for a vignette or something, with no apparent entry point. I’m not just talking about mammoths in small caves or deathclaws in a sewer… you occasionally find things like a group of spiders moving into a mine with no way they could have done so except through the front door. Sometimes Bethesda puts a lampshade on it and has an NPC say something like “I can’t figure out where these spiders have come from!” but drawing attention to a problem is not the same as solving it. I’d call it, not bad environmental storytelling, but perhaps incomplete environmental storytelling. For the spiders in a cave, just add a little hole to the open air somewhere (which is a problem in itself, because you never see these cave holes when walking around outside, but it’s done so often it has become easy to overlook). For the deathclaw, just add a deathclaw-sized entrance somewhere.

    While I’m at it, why not ask – if “noise and chaos” brings Deathclaws in, why isn’t Boston completely overrun? You find a spot, any spot, and just sit still for a while, you’ll hear gunfire and explosions as roving gangs of raiders, gunners, super mutants, crabs, dogs, and later on BOS soldiers all contend for the same few square kilometers of space. Makes you wonder how Diamond City and Goodneighbor ever got started in the first place when the area is so completely packed with hostile people and animals bent on suicidally slugging it out with one another, and Deathclaws being drawn in from every corner of the globe.

    I can’t complain too much, though. They wanted a good fight to really show off how the power armor works, as well as give us all a nice setpiece with the deathclaw erupting from the ground (something that never happens again, again as Bethesda is wont to do, they do love their one-trick ponies) early in the game, and it works out okay.

    Early in this case probably being the important word. Yet another thing Bethesda does a lot is polish the hell out of the early game, leaving much of the side stuff… not unfinished, necessarily, but less polished. If you take the cynical view, you’d think it was because demos and game reviewers are usually given a limited time to play the game, and almost always they’ll pick the main quest, to get as much done as possible, so polish up that early bit and make sure there aren’t a lot of bugs to bring down those scores, so more folks will buy the game.

    But that would require, as I say, a cynical outlook. Good thing I don’t have one of those.

    • Obviously the PSA’s about not flushing unwanted pet Deathclaws down the irradiated toilets haven’t penetrated the bubble you live in.

    • Axe Armor says:

      I haven’t seen another Deathclaw burst from the ground, but I have been spotting them in Boston lately, clinging to the edges of rooftops. I guess they’re waiting for me to come up through the building to the roof so they can pop out and surprise me, but I’m the sort of player who does a VATS check every few steps to scan for mines, so I’ve been spotting them while walking the streets just hanging there. I take a few shots at them, they climb up onto the roof, and then they’re stuck up there and I’m stuck down here.

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      The Mirelurks later in the episode had the same problem — Josh had explored the bottom of the lake without meeting them, so they had obviously popped into existence based on a quest flag.

      • This game is so Borderlands 2.

        “I just murdered everything in this area! I’ve been over it with a fine-toothed comb, and there’s nothing alive anywhere. Why doesn’t it say ‘CLEARED’ on my map?”

        Because there’s another mission related to the area, you haven’t done it yet, and until you do, the mobs you have to kill will stay in hammerspace, waiting for you to accept the quest.

        • GloatingSwine says:

          It is very Blands.

          Except blander. And slower. And with less interesting guns because the damage model makes almost all crafting choices wrong.

    • Incunabulum says:

      Even accepting that, the area it breaks out from leads to a single door – you can find this door in the sewer from the other side (but its chained) – that its too large to fit through and chained on the side the DC is on.

      So, someone chained that door and then stuffed a knocked out DC down the hole and put the cover over the hole. the DC was then woken up by the fight – but not the earlier fight – and broke out.

      Its all part and parcel of their design philosophy which is ‘make neat areas, who cares if they match up thematically with any other area’.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What a radical episode.

  6. Regarding Mama Murphy and her “sight”: I had a better story for her written in my head, thanks to an offhand comment about her I’d read before getting far in the game. The comment was something along the lines of “Just wait until you find out what she really is, then you’ll really want to kill her.”

    A mystery! A twist! Yeah, right. The wiki says her sight may be the real deal, and such powers hail all the way back to Fallout 1 and have been in the later games, too. I had a different idea for what was going on: She was either another Vault 111 survivor who wasn’t killed when the cryo-pods were shut down for the kidnapping of your kid, or she knew what was going on with the Institute and Vault 111 (maybe by being an associate of Kellogg, found records at Vault-Tec, found someone who was still alive in Vault 111 and chatted with them before said person died, etc.). All of her “sight” would have been based on this knowledge, and she was using you to take out Kellogg and his pals for reasons that would be revealed later, when you finally cottoned on to how she’d been manipulating you for free chems and revenge/murder.

    But no, she’s pretty much what she says on the tin, though her “sight” is just stuff you pretty much know from the fact you’re playing a video game and you’re aware of the main plot.

    • Hector says:

      I assumed the same thing you did – specifically, that Mama Murphy was the female Institute scientist who took Sean in the Vault. That would have made so much sense. Even the time might roughly match up with her age. Also, many of her “visions” would make a great deal of sense being a combination of experience and extensive knowledge of Boston and its people.

      Kind of a pity that they didn’t go anywhere with it. I’ve got nothing against psychic power in a Fallout game, but the idea of exploring this character’s past and seeing how she relates to the world and your character’s tragedy feels way more appropriate.

      • ehlijen says:

        That’s exactly what I thought, at first. But no, she’s pretty much just FO4s version of the karma dispenser from in front of Megaton. Wanna be evil or annoyed? Your pick!

        • acronix says:

          I think the game also gives you the option of being a sock-licker who instantly buys her powers without any proof or evidence (and it’s presented as the good option, too).

        • Not only that, ending her addiction one way or the other results in two irritating outcomes: Repetitive dialog. You’re condemned to her going on about how she’s being “true to her word” all the time and staying off the drugs, or you get other settlers berating you for letting her O.D.

    • James Porter says:

      Man, that would have been so cool! You could even have Mama Murphy be the lady merc from the beginning of the game, and she feels guilty about stealing a kid and what eventually happens with Shaun.

      You know, it always feels that a ton of these Bethesda stories could be easily expanded into something interesting. Gets kinda depressing after a while

      • I’m so with you on that. A lot of this game has locations you’d think would figure into some of the main plot or into companions’ quests (i.e. Piper having you go to the Boston Bugle for something, or at least having a few lines to say about the place), but they’re just there. I mean, some of that is fine (the Glowing Sea has some nifty setpieces that don’t appear to tie in to the rest of the game, and that’s fine, since someone sending you to some of those locations for a specific reason could be a stretch), but I get the feeling that there might have been more story somewhere, but it was cut and the places were just left as battle arenas for the player to explore.

  7. I was actually looking around for a Skyrim mod to increase how much money vendors have since it’s hard to sell about 100 pieces of high-end Gold jewelry when the average merchant has 1,000 gold. All I was finding were infini-gold mods, which don’t make sense; the point is to trade, not to just sell.

    In order to get rid of the junk I have, I’ve been buying arrows, ingots, and ore. I usually get almost all of my gold back, but lose a lot of high-value stuff (although not so much recently, since I’ve been picking up every single piece of equipment in order to divert some of those addition resources to upgrading them for a small increase in value) in return. The same thing happens in New Vegas, except vendors have a lot more money and ammo can be used a hell of a lot faster than arrows/bolts in Skyrim…granted, it also racks up a lot faster since high-value items are much more common and easier to get rid of…

    This is where I’d offer to write something about Bethesda economies as a whole, but I don’t think I have enough name power to get a “yes.” T__T

  8. Hector says:

    Here’s what I want in my Fallout: a donkey.

    Or a mule – I’m not picky. A horse would be great. If they want to go the extra mile and make a motorcycle I can drive around with a little trolley behind, that’d be great, too. I’d even go for a giant mutant dog that I can ride into battle against sabretoothed cyborg cats.

    I say this because it would make many of the issues Shamus brings up go away. You’re not carrying that stuff. You’re hauling out loads to place on your poor, beleaguered donkey’s back. Then you lead the donkey back to town and scrap stuff or sell it or whatever. I’m not saying I want to do this all the time, but it would be slightly more convenient, would greatly ease the pain of the loot cycle without feeling either unrealistic or silly, and create some interesting moments.

    When that bandit killed your donkey, do you reload, or do you GET VENGEANCE?! Will you name your donkey Eeyore, Ieyore, Eeeeeeeorrrrrrr, or Stupid Donkey, or DonkeyKong?

    Edit: I’d also suggest that adding some critter or thing to ride would actually help improve the game design a bit. They could add a little empty space to trim demands on hardware in spots and add some downtime between interesting areas while also making FastTravel less 100%-required-just-to-make-it-playable.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t want a donkey, I want an atomic car with room for me, my dog, a couple of companions and a boot full of loot, so I can go on a postapocalyptic road trip. Like you said, instead of fast travelling to and from the merchants to sell all your vendor trash, you’d just make the same number of trips out to your car, and then make one big trip back to civilisation once the car is full.

      • Hector says:

        I will agree if the car also has room for a donkey.

        In all seriousness, there’s a small reason why a car would be awkward, given Bethesda’s technology. I think you could get away with a motorcycle.

      • Mintskittle says:

        One of the reasons Fallout Tactics is one of my top favorites of the series is it does have vehicles (a dune buggy, Humvee, armored personnel carrier, and a tank). Though I’m not sure how viable they’d be in Bethesda’s Fallouts, what with how cluttered all the main roads tend to be. Someone really needs to get out there and shove all those wrecks off the side and clear a path.

        • guy says:

          Fallout 2 has a car.

          • ehlijen says:

            Fallout Tactics has a humvee, APC, Tank, 2 race cars and a bomb truck. Also, effectively unlimited inventory because as long as one party member is still mobile, you can travel on the world map (meaning one unlucky sod gets loaded with infinity loot while standing in the exit zone).

            What I’d like is the ability to get people from your villages to loot cleared places for you.
            “So, I killed all those raiders in that place. And I gave you some guns for protection on the way. Go and cart all the things you find into the town inventory will you?”

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        Sounds like you want a Highwayman! You know what they say, “Nothing can stop a Highwayman”!

    • Axe Armor says:

      Mr. Handy torso
      Sentry Bot arms and legs
      Hands of choice (I like vice grips and construction claws for the aesthetic, or Protectron auto lasers for actually hurting people)
      Dump truck yellow paint job
      Sentry Bot voice
      Name: D.O.N.K.E.Y.

      Carries 580 pounds of trash! Gets stuck in doorways just like a real Brahmin! Send your flabby, mouthy companions home for good and build your D.O.N.K.E.Y. today!

      Use Actuated Frames for low-cost, no perk-requirement, high damage-resistance armor. Arms can be upgraded at extra cost to Hydraulic or Voltaic Frames for extra resistance and damage without harming carry weight, or to Factory Storage Armor for that old world charm. Switch to Protectron legs for lowered speed and carrying capacity in exchange for door-traversing capability.

    • Jace911 says:

      When Automatron came out I basically turned Codsworth into a mule by loading him down with “Storage” mods.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The good answer is to allow you to rent and buy brahmin that would carry your loot for you.Like you had the car in fallout 2 for that.

    • Fallout: New Vegas had Betsy the Brahmin as an obtainable companion (I think she went in the same slot as your dog or ED-E), but she got cut from the game.

      There’s a mod that restores her to the game on the Nexus. I’ve tried to link to it multiple times here, but this site won’t let me post it for some reason. It doesn’t say the comment is awaiting moderation, it just doesn’t put it up at all.

  10. Content Consumer says:

    I quite like how rads work in Fallout 4. Like Shamus, it gives me both an in-character and out of character reason for using radaway. It’s also visually distinct – I believe that debuffs in video games should be fairly obvious.
    Take Skyrim, for example – many times I’ll get diseased with something and not notice for hours and hours until I’m walking through town and some NPC points it out to me. The disease is not immediately apparent in effect. But some mods do other things, like slowdowns or screen modifiers that immediately tell you that you’ve suffered a specific kind of debuff. Those I have an instant reason to eliminate. Disease? I wouldn’t ever even notice a -5 to skill or -10 health or whatever, even at level 1. The disease is inconsequential. A -15% movement speed, on the other hand, is very noticeable and gives you quite an incentive to fix it.
    So in Fallout 4, instead of minuses to stats ala Fallout 3 / NV, you have a very obvious detriment to gameplay. I tend to avoid radiation whenever possible, and try to fix it. Just seeing that +10 rads on the screen there when Josh was in the water made me cringe, whereas in Fallout 3 I would have said “oh, better fix that in the next couple of hours.”

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I liked how rads work in this game as well.Its one of the few positives I can say about it.

      • ehlijen says:

        While I liked FO4s rad system for the same reasons, that’s not really how radiation works. It is invisible, and you don’t notice you’re soaking in it until you get to weak to move or cough up blood, so I never minded FO3s, or even FO1 and 2s system of ‘invisible damage’.

        The problem of course is limited feedback. If a sickness makes me clumsy or weak in real life, I notice. But looking into a character through a screen, I can only see and hear, not even smell or taste.
        HUD popups are the obvious answer (and FO1 and 2 had them, once you got noticeably sick).

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sure,and hp is not how human body works.If you get shot in your pinky 100 times,you wont just keel over and die.And if you get shot in the heart,you wont just recover from that by eating some noodles.Not to mention that if you lose a significant portion of your blood that you are at deaths door,you wont function like you are a healthy person.And lets not even go into the inventory thing.

          So comparing any of these systems to their real life phenomena is silly.

          • Content Consumer says:

            True, but everyone has a different threshold of crap they can handle. Maybe threshold is the wrong word… maybe type is better.

            Person A can handle the unrealistic representation of radiation, but not weightless ammunition. Person B can handle the ammo, but not fast traveling. C likes teleporting around the map, but hates the perk that gives you waterbreathing. And so on.

            There’s plenty in this game I roll my eyes at, but radiation just happens to be one of the unrealistic things I give a pass, because it’s subjectively better than Fallout 3.

            HUD popups are the obvious answer (and FO1 and 2 had them, once you got noticeably sick).

            Yeah, but I never felt like it was that important even then. I remember several times the red [RADIATED] popup, but even then it didn’t make much of an impact on me. I can’t remember even any stat debuffs due to radiation, though they probably did happen.
            An obvious visual cue is, like you say, an obvious answer… but it might not work for everyone. I’m not sure if gameplay changes would work for everyone either – one might not even notice a -10% reduction in movement speed, for example – but it sure does it for me.

          • ehlijen says:

            I wasn’t comparing games to real life, I was comparing how different games implemented concepts differently and why I liked both for their own reasons.

            Yes, a game isn’t real life. That doesn’t mean we must abstract everything about it, nor does it mean abstracting anything is bad.

            FO1/2s radiation system still didn’t work like real radiation. But it emulated certain aspects of it that I enjoyed in a game play way. Similarly HP are abstract, but they still emulate reality as far as ‘getting hurt leads to dying’ and ‘you can tell that you’re wounded’ are concerned.

        • lurkey says:

          This reminds me how I went to the Glow in Fallout 1, took my time exploring it very thoroughly, got tons of sweet loot and XP, and then died a couple of days later from horrendous quantities of radiation that sneakily accumulated on me. Good times. :-)

    • Echo Tango says:

      “Fix in the next couple hours” or “Fix after I’ve finished the quest where I get my radiation levels maxed out”. :P

  11. GetsAngryAboutWater says:

    My only problem with how Radiation works in this game is that fact that Bethesda decided to replace the breath holding mechanic with just giving you more rads when swimming. Its the most jarring, game-y feature of the game for me, beyond Rads just diminishing the player’s maximum health.

    • Keeshhound says:

      I actually really appreciated the change; yes, it’s dumb and gamy, but having your rads directly impact your max health means that you always have a reason to want your rads to be as low as possible, which feels appropriate for the setting.

      The old system does a better job of emulating radiation sickness, but it also meant that there was really no reason to keep your rads any lower than the first threshold.

    • Axe Armor says:

      Breath holding? You mean, underwater? You still do that, although it’s easy to forget since most of the time you’re submerged is usually spent scrambling to get to the surface unless you’re sealed up in power armor. I think it takes a hundred seconds for water radiation to kill you, but if you’re managing your rads somehow you’ll start gagging and your health will deplete. Mirelurk Cake will let you breath underwater but won’t prevent it from irradiating you; the Aquaboy/girl perk will do both.

  12. Christopher says:

    The animation for putting on/taking off that power armor is so good. Some real great “slightly less advanced than Iron Man”- appeal to all those open parts folding out like a clam.

    Edit: Yeah, of course the guy commenting on the animations thinks it’s a pretty good idea to remove both every weight limit and random crap loot. I tell you what would really make these games more appealing though: A well-controlling third person option.

    • Mintskittle says:

      One of the things that FO4 does right, in my opinion, is the power armor. It really emphasizes that this isn’t just another outfit with better numbers, but an armored tank on two legs.

      • I’ve not done it myself, but I understand you can pickpocket power cores from BoS knights/paladins, and they’ll just step out of their now-unpowered armor as if this was an expected occurrence.

        Also, if they wind up in the water, armored NPCs (if they’re not hostile) will just sink to the bottom and not make any effort to extract themselves by, you know, abandoning their armor.

        • Mintskittle says:

          Yes, you can pickpocket the power cores to eject the pilots, though it seems to require a few ranks on whatever the pickpocket perk is, as I was never able to do it early game. There was a bug where if you left some power armor around your base with a core in it, the civilians would get in it to defend the town, then would refuse to leave it. Stealing the cores to force an eject was the only way to get them out. Not sure about the second. I haven’t seen that.

          • guy says:

            If you get the “VATS through walls” perk, they’re hilariously delicate. My first-ever encounter with one had me blow it apart with a single bullet to the fusion core.

            So did all my subsequent encounters. When you have Perception 10 and a sniper rifle, VATS is basically a magical death button.

        • Bloodsquirrel says:

          Oh, yes, I do that all the time. Then I put the fusion core back in and run off with their power armor. I’ve got… a collection. I’ve even done it to a couple of hostile gunner NPCs. It’s probably the most fun thing to do in the game.

  13. Dragmire says:

    Clap clap clap! Look at that deathclaw fly!

    Oh, the bugs. This makes me so hopeful for the future of this season!

  14. Wide And Nerdy says:

    My new theory is that Preston lost a bunch of his crew getting here because he just had to find a museum with colonial patriotic stuff to hideout in.

    • Axe Armor says:

      And that’s why the only people left hanging out with him are the blind fortune teller and that family everyone hates. Preston was all “We need to remember our roots! We’re for the people, etc.! I heard they have a real Revolution-era flag!”, but half way from Quincy, everybody else just said “You know, I’m really more into a baseball theme than a Revolutionary War theme anyway” and pissed off to Diamond City.

      Damn, quirky, obsessed, hopelessly naive Preston is so much more interesting than [insert qualities of real Preston here] Preston.

  15. Da Mage says:

    I feel the survival mode really helps stop the looting problem…..though it’s not for everyone obviously.

    Your carry is halved and you cannot fast travel to a merchant, so you really have to decide what is worth taking and what is not. No more looting every pipe gun and raider armguard you find. I normally only pick up weapons off enemies, and even then I have to leave the really heavy stuff (missile launchers, sledgehammers etc).

    • Axe Armor says:

      If you get Strong Back (STR 6) rank 3, you can move at normal speed while over-encumbered at the cost of AP. If you stack AP and AP recovery via AGI, Action Boy (AGI 5), Moving Target (AGI 6) rank 3, etc., you can build to just kind of always be over-encumbered. I’ve heard it’s great if you want to play Survival (one of the ranks in Strong Back eliminates the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. penalties Survival puts on over-encumbrance) but still pry up the whole Commonwealth. Incompatible with power armor, since being over-weight guzzles fusion core power.

  16. Ilseroth says:

    Mine was kind of a combo of a few of the cast for the Power Armor. I didn’t know it cancelled falling damage *and* I was like “ho snap, I need to save this” so I was super careful using the minigun ammo, and ran it straight to the gas station, where I got out of it and proceeded to horde power cores for “when I need it.”

    Like 60 hours of gameplay later I have dozens of cores, 6 suits standing in a kind of terrifying setup and since they restrict movement so much I don’t bother, despite being mostly invincible in them.

    • I never got over the idea of falling without taking damage. It just seems so unnatural after years of it being deadly.

      The armor kind of got silly for me when I realized my weapon of choice was a 10mm pistol with a legendary critical mod on it, and I was somehow able to fit my giant, armored fingers inside the trigger guard to use it.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’m one of those people who are really paranoid about using limited resources in games so as soon as I saw the rate of core drain on power armour I knew it wouldn’t be my thing. I’m aware that there are perks that mitigate that, and later on power cores become relatively easy to farm (thanks in part to the steady supply from BoS troops) but I never got over that initial dislike of the concept enough to actually invest in them.

    • Bloodsquirrel says:

      I’ve just found that the power armor isn’t all that necessary. I’d happily use it if I knew that I was going into a tough fight ahead of time, but by the time I’m up against an enemy that it would be good for I’m already in the middle of a battle, and I don’t want to go running back to base to get it. Most of my time in power armor has come from finding a suit, finishing a mission in it, and then stashing at base.

      It’s not that I’m paranoid about wasting it, it’s that I really would be wasting it since 99% of the time I’m just walking around, looting, mowing down enemies without much trouble, and pick pocketing people’s clothes and guns off of them. I’ve just found it too hard to predict when an actual appropriate situation for it is about to pop up.

      There are a also a lot of other options for dealing with a challenging opponent. I’m primarily a steal/ranged build, and a lot of stuff I can just pick off from afar. There aren’t really a lot of fights that where you *have* to stand and slug it out in a difficult match.

  17. andy says:

    You only have to get out of power armor to use a terminal if there’s a CHAIR at the terminal. Wall terminals, and desk terminals with no chair are fine. It’s only ones where you have to SIT where you can’t. Because there’s no sitting-in-power-armor animation….

    • Echo Tango says:

      Man, I would have just disabled the need for sitting at those terminals while in armor. ^^;

      • Axe Armor says:

        Rumor has it the pre-war U.S. government was working on a new model of Power Armor capable of lifting chairs and moving them out of the way, but no solid information has been uncovered.

        • ehlijen says:

          Not-bolted-to-the-floor-technology should be available within the decade, if we put our minds and the will of the nation behind it. And so long as those commies don’t start anything.

  18. Redingold says:

    So you can be a mercenary in this game?

    I don’t know why you’d bother; we all know Josh is not a mercenary.

  19. Henson says:

    And I thought it was impressive when Josh punched a dragon to death…

  20. Artur CalDazar says:

    I’d like if I could assign junk/loot its own category in the inventory that is separate from my gear, so that I can pick up to my heart’s content but once I get too much and need to sort I don’t have to sort through my gear and my loot, raising the chance of mistakenly dropping an item I am using or making me not take along my “just in case” weapons that are powerful but limited in use due to weight that could be loot.
    Although, the weight only starts to bother me when I am several playthroughs in.

    I hate the sight in this game. I get it has precedence, but it feels so much worse here. Its how the game gives you the hook to go to diamond city. Plus the character giving this visions is such a nonsense fanfic type. Killed a deathclaw with a single pistol bullet, ok, whatever.

  21. The Rocketeer says:

    Mumbles: “Oh my God, you just John Cena’d that shit!”

    YOU CAN’T SEE ME FROM THAT ALTITUDE!

  22. Gruhunchously says:

    For all the complaints we have, I do want to say that this game has the best voice acting I’ve seen in a Bethesda game. Even the PC, of both genders, sounds pretty good, which is a small miracle. And there doesn’t seem to be any instance of pointless stunt casting in this one, no big name actors flatly drawling out their lines few the two seconds of screen time they get. They really stepped their game up in that regard, presumably hiring a competent voice director this time.

    Though there’s still the problem of recognizable voices cropping up among disparate NPCs. Hello Garrus…

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      And, though I know this has been mentioned during character creation, the heads don’t look like they’re carved out of potatoes either!

      On a personal note, it’s one of the situations where I’m happy I rolled low perception scores IRL. I never ever recognize voiceactors.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        Me neither! I would never even have guessed that was the same VA as Garrus. I only tend to get the most blindingly obvious ones, like if they’re very famous or have particularly distinctive voices.

  23. Decus says:

    That whole slippery slope discussion sounds like what happened to the loot systems between Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2.

    I can sort of see bethesda heading there just more generally. It won’t be via reducing loot clutter but rather they’d probably just make it so you can instantly send items to an auto-harvest menu that converts everything into its components (plastic, wood, etc.) that have either sensible weight or no weight at all depending on gameplay mode. This just reduces the step of going back to the bench but still makes the weight of items you need in their full forms for crafting matter, especially the food items. The “auto-harvest” menu would probably even be a magical item in the elder scrolls games or a function of the pip-boy or specific companions in a fallout.

    They won’t globally increase NPC funds, but instead they’ll combine the “get better prices” skill picks with the “give NPCs more money” skill picks so you get both at once. Perhaps they’ll even do more combining–that is always a good bet with subsequent bethesda titles.

    They won’t add an “auto-loot all” button, but they might add a more basic interact button that has the character automatically walk toward the nearest interactable object. This would help players not have to think hard about both finding loot and finding things like terminals. Call it an “awesome button” if you will.

    Personally, my biggest beef with the loot system of FO4 is how it intersects with the crafting system. You’re excitedly looting all of this utter junk for its components and taking skill points so you can craft all of these really cool items but…then you just get what you could’ve crafted as a drop/loot find. Or something even better that you couldn’t craft even if you wanted to do so. What was the point of looting all of that junk and spending those skill points again?

    • guy says:

      I’ve basically never seen a loot drop remotely comparable to my crafted stuff. For me, the only thing I’ve really actually gotten excited over finding is a new weapon type or a new legendary to mod to the brim.

      What gets me is that you need adhesive for approximately everything. It seems like every weapon mod and all the good armor mods need adhesive, and meanwhile I keep on building up larger and larger stockpiles of everything else.

      • djw says:

        Duct tape is a far more exciting find than any kind of gun.

      • Incunabulum says:

        Its the easy way out for balancing. Instead of worrying about how many of this that or the other thing to put in, you just drop that stuff anywhere in whatever quantities and then you have one needed resource that you ration out to control the rate of power gain.

        Its the same thing McDonald’s does for its Monopoly game – most of the pieces are printed in the millions while one of each set is printed in the quantities to control the rate of winners.

        Its kind of bullshit – if you’re going to gate the stuff by rate of adhesive acquisition then what’s the point of bothering with the other material requirements? You may as well just have all the stuff break down into generic ‘junk’ with a random chance for ‘useful junk’ – then you just require ‘X’ amount of junk and ‘Y’ amount of useful junk. But I guess that would make it transparently obvious how simple the system is.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        The principle utility of the settlement system is farming glue.

        Just take over Greygarden, they grow all the parts there and all you need then is some purified water.

    • Jokerman says:

      What was different about Origins and 2’s loot systems?

      • IFS says:

        The main thing was they made a bunch of items automatically flagged as junk to make selling stuff easier. Honestly I thought it was an improvement, there was always the ‘sell all junk’ button but in Origins you had to manually flag stuff as junk, and there was plenty of stuff you only picked up to sell.

        • Jokerman says:

          The stuff that could only be sold, for really little money…. seemed really pointless to me, why not just give me gold?

          • ehlijen says:

            Best I’ve got is that, given magical healing is a thing the party can get, it’s the only reason players might be compelled to stop questing and go shopping once in a while, so that they’ll actually run into quest triggers in town even if they never want to stop dungeon delving. But I’m not sure how needed that really is?

            It also let’s the writers put in fetch quests for pointless things, and I can’t tell you how much I hate those. Don’t train me to treat vendor trash as vendor trash and then ask me to collect X and not sell them!

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      The discussion reminded me of playing ARPGs (of which you could probably lump FO4 with, but that’s an argument for another time).

      In Diablo 2, you’d get tons of junk loot, but you’d probably want to sell most of it and certainly look at a lot of it, just to compare to what you had or to maximise the best use of inventory space in-between trips to town. That had a very limited inventory, so you either had to make loads of trips or try and sort things as best you can.

      By the time Titan Quest & Torchlight came around (can’t remember which features are from which, or both), they decided to make this loot gathering much easier. You get more storage space, it’s easier to compare items, and the colour coding is much better. As an added bonus, you can hold a button to show the best stuff (and could define exactly what you mean by best stuff by colour grading I think). That made it much easier to just grab the best magic/unique/set items and leave the rest of the trash. Also in one of the games (or maybe both?) gold would be automatically collected when you’re near it.

      Now this made things much easier, but also made things a bit crap too. I noticed that I was just sorting through lots of trash magic/unique/set items and ignoring “normal” ones completely. Suddenly this sorting of magic+ items was getting tedious, and I began barely bothering at all. Most items were so bad compared to your existing items that they were worth their gold value and nothing more. The fun of looting became tedious, because it was so rare that you would find an actually great item that was worth upgrading for.

      However, if they were to remove most of the trash, and make most monsters drop gold and not items at all, would that make things better? Or does the main fanbase still love all that loot scavenging and want more, not less?

      The original Fallout (*drink!*) had relatively low amounts of junk, with quite a few items being useful and most other stuff easily ignored if you didn’t need it. Each subsequent game has increased the junk available, greatly so from FO3 onwards. Fallout 4 kinda gets a pass on this from me, because it found a way to make that junk useful (perhaps not the best execution, but still useful), and of course it’s still ignorable. You can almost completely ignore the crafting and the settlements, or you can do as I did, and do a lot of it early on, and then get bored with it and ignore it later. I think all it needs is a little refinement, rather than any major changes.

  24. Gruhunchously says:

    To be fair, I’m fairly sure New Vegas was also concieved by somebody saying the words ‘Wild West’ to the development team and have them jot down the first thing that came to mind.

    Cowboys
    Robot Cowboys
    Bandits
    Tribals
    Ghost Towns
    Texas Rangers
    Dirty Caravaneers
    Saloons
    Revolvers
    Dynamite
    Revenge
    Those Roman guys from Van Buren
    ect.

    • djw says:

      You forgot protectron sexbots.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      You left out the big one: a faction that’s literally Elvis impersonators.

      I thought the exact same thing during the episode- that New Vegas had its on eccentricities on or above the level of the Minutemen- but, of course, New Vegas seeded those things among more grounded, nuanced writing and factions. Fallout 4’s bizarre fixations occupy a comparative nothingburger of a setting.

    • I’d argue it’s not much of a stretch as we still have cowboy culture, and it’s practical to the setting and tech level for most people.

      There’s no practical reason to start dressing like early American colonists unless you’re out of your mind, which would’ve made for a more interesting backdrop for the Minutemen.

    • GloatingSwine says:

      You forgot “The clash between the lawless frontier and rising civilisation”. See also: The Wild Bunch, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the latter third of Red Dead Redemption.

      New Vegas was “wild west”, but it knew what that meant and used it in its core themes.

  25. Tony Kebell says:

    Well, isn’t that just fucking typical of Josh, only took hime like 3 minutes.

  26. Clearly what they need to do is to get rid of carry weight and replace it with limited slots!

    OR INVENTORY TETRIS.

    That’s it, this game needs full-on inventory simulation, where you tie all your gear together and balance it on your head like an African woman.

  27. Jace911 says:

    Team Rocket’s blasting off again!

    God, I know it’ll never happen because Bethesda can into Q&A testing, but how amazing would it be if we got a whole ‘nother season of Spoiler Warning Fallout with New Vegas level bugs?

  28. Neko says:

    Good to see Josh is still the Bug Whisperer.

  29. RTBones says:

    I’m with Shamus on this one – I like the way rads work in this game, as it means Rad Away actually has value to me. I hoard everything by default. Now I have a reason to actually carry a little Rad Away with me. As Josh showed us at the end of this episode, being without it can be a pain in this game.

    I actually had the opposite of what happened to Josh with the Deathclaw happen to me. I treated power armour as a collectible, and did not jump down into the fray. (Oddly enough, in the times I have played through this part of the game – that thought never occured to me.) I let the Deathclaw take out most of the raiders and picked off the rest from the roof. I damaged the Deathclaw from the rooftop slightly until it ran out of sight, at which point I went back through the building and out to hunt it down. At some point, I found it and it pounced on me – and I went flying through the air as Josh did. I think at the time I was trying to hide behind a car or put a mailbox/paper box between me and the Deathclaw, which it ended up on top of. I thought it was a funny bug – didnt think I would ever see the same bug happen to the Deathclaw itself.

    • Deathclaws have an ability where they can launch things into the air (kind of like the giants from Skyrim), but the way it works is, of course, INCREDIBLY wonkus.

      Basically it looked like the launch attack coincided with Josh’s crit execute command and caused some really weird behavior.

      I also like rads in Fallout 4. Yeah, it’s “nothing like how radiation works” but a health meter + crippled limbs is nothing like how INJURIES work so who cares. It’s an abstraction that works with the other abstractions in a synergistic way.

  30. mechaninja says:

    The beginning reminds me of Final Fantasy …. I wanna say 4. I played it as 2, but I think it was 4. You’re this dark knight, and you’re completely unstoppable for the first I forget how much of the game. But that’s like the intro, maybe? It’s been a loooong time, more than 20 years easy. Great cheeses, maybe 30. Guess I need to replay that. It might be you’re a dark knight for the first HALF of the game, or it might be the intro.

    Anyway, then you Spoiler, and that’s where the game felt like it started to me.

    In Final Fantasy 7, you have an early flashback scene where you’re accompanying Sephiroth, and he’s unkillable and unstoppable, and I think you actually play him for a bit, but it still feels like it was supposed to serve this same purpose. I think several of the Final Fantasy games give you this early power fantasy thing, which felt to me in part like they’re trying to give you just a taste of what the later game can be like. I guess?

    It really made no sense outside of being the E3 trailer.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      In Final Fantasy IV, there’s a short, unplayable intro in which Cecil, as a Dark Knight, fights off monsters from his airship and invades Mysidia. I think you may be thinking of that, because it totally is designed to display Cecil’s overwhelming power and Baron’s military supremacy. But by the time you actually get to play, Cecil has been relieved of his command and is traveling to Mist Village with Kain. The beginning of the game isn’t difficult, but I wouldn’t say Dark Knight Cecil has it easy, especially not to the degree that it’s a power trip. The reason Cecil renounces the dark sword and seeks redemption is because he realizes a dark knight’s power can never defeat the kind of evil represented by Golbez.

      In Final Fantasy VII, in contrast, the flashback with Sephiroth is sort of an anti-power trip. You do indeed fight random battles with Sephiroth in your battle party. And, true enough, he has ridiculous stats and endgame materia and equipment, including his unique signature weapon. The game also cheats heavily in his favor: in battle, he cannot take damage in any way, and his weapon has a 100% critical hit chance and perfect accuracy.

      But I say it’s an anti-power trip, because while the game is demonstrating his overwhelming power, they’re explicit in demonstrating it isn’t your power. You can’t alter his equipment, nor control him in battle. He is his own character, independent of the player. And, having already heavily implied as much, that sequence establishes the stakes: he’s your ultimate foe. In contrast to the feeling of a power trip, the game revels in Sephiroth’s dominance to make the player characters feel comparatively diminutive.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      There’s a bit in Lunar SSS where a wandering hermit guy saves your bacon. You realize he’s freaking incredible when your BEST guys have two attacks after many levels up, this guy STARTS with four. By the end of the game, your best attackers will have three attacks.

      It all makes sense towards the last third of the game when you revisit that guy and realize that this guy is the Legendary hero your character grew up idolizing who gave up his ultimate magic powers but is still buff as hell.

  31. Fists says:

    I can think of two appealing solutions to Fourlout’s junk/crafting problem.

    First would be to make each ‘dungeon’ more of an adventure/achievement to clear from enemies then be able task a settler or settlement with picking it clean. It’s really annoying to have settlers assigned to scavenging but bringing in stuff all compared that warehouse you just steam-rolled. Even Oblivion’s AI had features that would allow that to be implemented in real time, although it would still be a buggy mess and source of hilarity/existential horror.

    Second, not necessarily lesser, would be to ditch it all and put the time spent balancing scrap and crafting into making more interesting content, balancing combat or diplomacy, or fixing bugs rather than making a minecraft technical mod.

    A trend that I think is relevant to both of the above is that it’s assumed that every new game has to be ‘bigger’ than the last so they start with the boots they want to fill then try and find things to put in them rather than starting with a core or some building blocks and building them up then weaving it all together. Reminds me of my approach word counts in English class.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      I heavily endorse the ability to send Oblivion NPC’s into dungeons, where they will be killed by pits, spikes, drowning, and crushing traps. Or, best of all, a trap that drops you into spike filled water and then lowers the ceiling over you.

    • Generally if you want to know what’s going to be added in the next game, look at the DLC–they usually add some version of what’s coming into the DLC. The settlements in Fallout 4 are basically a fancier version of the Hearthfire DLC house-building from Skyrim.

      If they’d made it so that you could eventually turn your settlements over from an expense to an earning proposition, it could have worked–early on you loot everything, build up your settlements, get them bringing in resources and trading with each other, and then later in the game you either have resources from the work your settlements are doing or you can just BUY what you need in bulk. So you’d have this nice curve where early on your inventory is mostly full of junk you’re lugging around, but later you have space for some big expensive HEAVY weapons.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Heh, like it. 4lout. Opportunity squandered there, marketing team! – get it together…

  32. Hey Shamus you might enjoy seeing this Doom WASN’T 3D! – Digressing and Sidequesting by The Game Theorists.

    I learned something new (and really cool) about the rendered for both Wolfenstein 3D and Doom.

  33. Regarding carry weights. I’d rather have realistic carry weight or none at all. When you are lugging around 300kilos you kinda wonder why you have a limit at all.
    Don’t even get me started on the size of the items you carry around, magic pockets indeed.

    But, I do recall that Deus Ex (the original) had weight and size limitations that was realistic. And Deus Ex: Human Revolution mirrored some of that too I think?

    Doing that causes you to think more, plan ahead. And you only bring with you that which is truly necessary.

    Now Fallout 4 could easily have let say Codsworth be a mule, so you could order him to go “there” and gather all the stuff and put it in the workbench.
    Downside would be that he would be unavailable as a companion during that.
    Likewise, a settler assigned to scrap collection could be too to gather these and that and pick the area clean (so you don’t have to).
    It might look odd if a NPC walks up to a sanctuary house and scrap it, but so do the player.

    Maybe somebody will make a mod for this stuff.

    • Humanoid says:

      Yeah, it depends on how roleplaying is approached in the specific game. In New Vegas, I embraced the extremely strict weight limits of the Josh Sawyer mod, but in Skyrim, about one hour in, I gave up and used the console to set my carry weight to some arbitrarily large number. I’m finding that in the Witcher 3, the carry weight is pretty generous, but then I’m finding myself intentionally barely looting any containers for RP reasons.

      I suppose the lesson here is that a sign of a great game is one able to suppress the players natural kleptomanic pack mule urges. Loot in dungeons is completely incidental to the reason you’re in that dungeon. Contrast Skyrim where loot is the sole reason to be in the dungeon in the first place.

    • There was a great mod in Skyrim that basically let you use your horse as a repository for gear (and otherwise made the horses actually useful instead of annoying). So your personal carry weight was only an issue while you were inside a dungeon–you could take periodic trips outside, ditch everything on your horse, and go back in.

      Then when you got to town, there was actually a command to let you yank all the storage off your horse *while you were inside a store* and likewise send it back.

      Bethesda actually had almost precisely this system in DAGGERFALL of all things–you could buy a horse and cart and if you ran back to the dungeon entrance and clicked on the door, you could store your loot on your cart without ever leaving the dungeon. IIRC you could drop a teleport point there to make this process basically instantaneous. It was GREAT.

      So, yeah, bring on the horse or dune buggy or vehicle of some kind that you can fill with junk and handwave carry weight.

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        In a gamey abstracted sort of way, the horse already helps with that in Skyrim. You can fast travel when mounted no matter how weighed down you are and your horse can travel full speed at all times. It really makes you want to go ahead and get the Summon Arvak spell as soon as possible.

        As for Humanoid’s remark, your carry weight is pretty generous in Witcher 3 because in theory its actually your horse carrying it (as you’ll probably recall, you can get new saddlebags for Roach to increase your carrying capacity.)

        • Humanoid says:

          Also because crafting materials, for the most part, weigh effectively nothing. I don’t believe this is the case in Bethesda games. Personally I’d still prefer a system which ignored collecting mundane materials (really, can’t a blacksmith just roll the cost of providing leather for the grip into his crafting fee?), but failing that it’s a reasonable compromise I suppose.

          • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

            I don’t think that used to be the case. Crafting materials in Witcher 3 had some small amount of weight before one of the updates.

            I think they changed it because they realized the game is really not well set up for you to gather everything you need to craft something. You get stuff that you have no use for now but who knows if you’ll get a formula later than requires it, and then when you do get one, you need to check what is required, go to your trunk and see if its in there, if its not, then proceed. And you just have to make a point of stopping by your storage chests regularly to see if you have what you need to make a given formula.

            Its even worse for armor and weapons because when you finally do have what you need to craft a thing, you have to them go find a smith who is high enough level and also the right type of smith in order to craft the thing and who even knows if the gear is going to be underleveled by then.

            So yeah, they made crafting materials weigh nothing so you could keep everything you find and craft stuff as you get formulas hopefully.

            Fallout 4 sort of solved the same problem by making everything you dump in your workshop accessible for crafting as long as you’ve established trade routes between settlements which is always at the top of my list. First settler immediately gets set to trade route, second one gets put on Artillery. I have excess production at my first few settlements so that i don’t have to worry about getting food and water details set up first.

    • Bloodsquirrel says:

      I think the problem is there’s a fundamental conflict between the “loot as part of the core gameplay reward loop” and “make the player make decisions about what he wants to carry.” Limiting how much the player can take with him makes sense as a game mechanic, but when the rest of the game trains you to pick up everything you see it winds up feeling like a punishment. It’s like if you lost health everytime you made a headshot.

      What might solve the problem is a sharper delineation between ‘junk’ and valuable stuff.

      Thing is, I like searching for loot, but there’s so much of it in Fallout 4 that it becomes numbing after a while. The only times you ever have that “cool, look what I found!” feeling is when you get a bobble-head, magazine, or mini-nuke. Or maybe a fusion core. Most of the time it’s a mechanical exercise in grabbing the 20 stimpacks and 1000 rounds of ammo from the dozens of containers and shelves in every room.

      Having maybe 4-5 items of serious value in a Skyrim dungeon would feel about right to me. Fallout 4 has the whole ‘savaging” thing going on, which might take some more thinking to reduce down without killing the tone of it, but they could certainly reduce the incentive to grab everything you see that winds up making people hit the weight limit so often. Making the stuff you scavenge actually feel valuable might even help.

  34. Phantos says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who had a deathclaw try to go because his home planet needed him.

    A few of the funnier “something goofy happened in F4” videos I see usually have something to do with a Deathclaw glitching out. At this point, is it a bug or a feature?

  35. MichaelGC says:

    I didn’t play the game as soon as it came out – I was actually in cryostasis myself! (Alright, I was being kept chilled in a medically-induced coma; same diff.)

    So already had an idea of what was to occur in Concord – I’d read both of Shamus’ articles on the subject, for e.g. – and I didn’t get any bugs, so it all played out in the expo-approved fashion, exactly as expected; got the armour, jumped the down, shot the dudes, etc. etc.

    It was still pretty shitty and underwhelming.

  36. Grudgeal says:

    4:08 — ONE PUUUUUUUUUNCH!

    Edit: Darnit, stop stealing my jokes from the future.

  37. winawer says:

    The opening sequence, up to the part where you fight the deathclaw, was made purely for E3 demo purposes. The whole setup is so video-gamey and actively goes against any notion of worldbuilding or consistency. In the first two hours you can have a situation where a housewife, who is trained in law and has just had a baby, has achieved the following things –

    She has seen her entire world destroyed by atomic bombs, she has witnessed the murder of her husband and kidnap of her newborn baby. Having been frozen for 200(!) years, she then awakes in an alien and hostile world, but immediately acclimatises to this by doing the following things…

    – Killed a dozen raiders in cold blood. No questions asked.

    – Rescued a group of settlers who had no means of saving themselves other than waiting for a pre-war housewife, with presumably no combat training, to come to their aid.

    – Sucessfully piloted some power armour to jump off of a three story building.

    – Used a minigun to hose down a deathclaw.

    It so over the top and does absolutely nothing to introduce the player, or your character, into the world. This whole sequence is entirely in service of the action hungry player. Fallout 3, New Vegas and Skyrim all did it so much better in that they open with things that thematically fit with the larger world, introducing story themes, characters and events that will be used later on.

    Imagine if you had just exitted Vault 101/Doc Mitchell’s house only to immediately grab a nearby Fat Man to take down a Bethemoth terrorising Megaton/Goodsprings, immediately becoming the toast of the town in both cases. Or in Helgen, instead of running for your life from the dragon, you instead open a conveniently placed chest and pick up an Enhanted Fire Sword of Badassery to single-handedly slay the dragon at level 1.

    We would call it out as ridiculous, and we would be right.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Indeed. Why, on an average Skyrim playthrough, you don’t get to do that until at least level 4.

      • winawer says:

        True, you do kill a dragon early, but there are many ways in which it makes more sense. The dragon that appears in Dragon Rising is killed with the help of half a dozen Whiterun guards and you’re just one of that bunch of guys trying to kill it. At that point, you’re not special in any way, and it’s only AFTER the dragon is killed, and you absorb it’s soul, that you discover there is more to you than at first appeared.

        That’s why I think it was done better – it introduces the wider game, and it’s people and dangers, in a more natural way. As opposed to giving you the game’s best armor and weapons in order to kill the game’s most dangerous enemy creature just for the purposes of making an exciting E3 demo.

    • ehlijen says:

      ‘No combat training’ might be a bit too far. Owning guns and knowing how to shoot are fairly common things in the US in the real world, let alone a fictional US turned up to 11 and still stuck in a cold war.

      Firearms training does not equal comprehensive combat training, of course, but I don’t think it’s a complete lack thereof, either.

      Of course, that’s all speculation that could have easily been cleared up by having a case of bullets in the closet or somewhere in the opening that would trigger a ‘I guess Nate and I won’t be hitting the range for a while’ comment or something, they way we needed to learn that nuka cola is refreshing for some reason.

      But the opening was still a good case as to why making a demo and making a good opening for a game are two different things.

  38. Bloodsquirrel says:

    So I’ve been playing this game right in time for Spoiler Warning, and sweet Raptor Jesus is the dialog bad.

    -The main character’s voice acting is fundamentally broken for this kind of game. He’s often emoting on a level that makes sense, given the rough situation, but which jarringly conflicts with everything immediately around him. It doesn’t match the tone of his previous lines. It doesn’t match the hour of screwing around I just did before breathlessly and frantically demanding to know where Shaun is. It doesn’t match the NPCs’ flat responses. Conversations wind up with this screwy stop-and-go feeling where it sounds like two people who have never met are reading lines from a script that they don’t know the context of.

    -Every option that isn’t “yes” winds up feeling like it just extends the conversation without adding value to it. You can agree, or you can disagree rudely and witlessly before being told to shut up and select the “agree” button next time. Sometimes you’ll have to replay an entire dialog because you choose a branch that you weren’t supposed to, and now you have to Do It Again, Stupid.

    -The dialog has that wonderful contempt for the player’s time that RPGs are so prone to. Stop fluffing your dialog with pointless, obvious statements that tell me nothing. Stop telling the voice actors to drag out every line and fill it with pauses in a misguided attempt to be dramatic. Get to the damn point, already.

    -FFS, why does the ‘skip dialog’ button only skip 1/20 of the next segment of dialog? Why do I have to press it so many times just to skip over one bit of NPC speech? Does anyone ever say “I want to skip just this sentence, but here the rest of the paragraph”?

    -Why does the dialog interface suck so much in general? Multiple times I’ve had to repeat a dialog because it wasn’t over when I thought it was, and since I wandered to far away it ended and had to repeat. I don’t know sometimes if clicking will skip the dialog like I want or shoot somebody. Sometimes I can’t pickpocket someone because it keeps wanting to talk to them instead. I’m not sure what they were trying to accomplish by not having dialog lock you into a separate mode. The whole thing is just so hopelessly janky.

    Talking to people in this game is just plain miserable. It’s a stupid chore that gets between you and the next shootin’ & lootin’ bit.

    • guy says:

      -FFS, why does the ‘skip dialog’ button only skip 1/20 of the next segment of dialog? Why do I have to press it so many times just to skip over one bit of NPC speech? Does anyone ever say “I want to skip just this sentence, but here the rest of the paragraph”?

      All the time. Well, mostly I want to advance to reading the next block of text rather than listening to it, but I do that constantly.

  39. Darren says:

    Are you implying that a “sell all marked junk” button is a potentially unwelcome concession? I’m of the opinion every game should have that; once I’ve identified what stuff I don’t need, I don’t want to waste time carefully going through the sell list to make sure I don’t get rid of the things I want to keep. I never thought I’d encounter someone advocating for more inventory management busywork.

    I’m honestly not sure where I stand on the issue. I’ve been playing the Witcher 3’s last expansion, and that game has weight limits that are so high they rarely, if ever, matter, but sell prices that are so constricted that I never make much money from selling. The cost of getting grandmaster gear and upgrading my vineyard are far outside of what I can afford and, given my history with the game, it may prove impossible for me to experience all the high-end content because of its in-game cost.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy IX off and on, and that game has an effectively infinite inventory, yet I find that the items I find are much more important than in many other games. I actually care about not wasting rare items like ethers, phoenix pinions, or megalixers, even though Chocobo Hot ‘N Cold means I’ll have plenty of them by the end of the game.

    I guess my point is that the issue of good inventory management is harder to pin down than “streamlined versus not streamlined.”

    • Jace911 says:

      I might be weird but in five playthroughs of Fallout 4 I never sold a single item of junk–everything went into my workbench as soon as I made it to a settlement.

  40. Daimbert says:

    The problem here is not with inventory, but is instead with cash and the idea that you generate cash by looting things from enemies and then selling them to vendors to make a profit, and that you need cash to be able to get really good equipment and do other things later in the game. This means that when you’re going out into dungeons, you want to grab everything, even things that you don’t need and would never use, because you need to sell them to buy the things that you WOULD use and that don’t or may not drop. That some things aren’t all that valuable isn’t an issue because it at least generates some money for you and for most functional purposes you can ignore it until it comes time to sell it, at which point you sell it and make some money. This is even MORE of an issue if, like me, you always end up cash poor for whatever reason; I NEED to sell everything I can find in most games because I’m always short of cash and even that little bit extra might let me buy my next set of really good equipment for my party that makes the game easier.

    If your inventory is limited in terms of numbers, then you either have to decide what to keep on the basis of what you yourself — or one of your party members — want to use plus what’s most valuable to sell, or else you have to interrupt dungeons and quests regularly to go back and find a vendor and sell all of that off. It gets worse when the inventory is limited by weight, because the first part is now calculating what gives the most value per weight, because if eagle feathers sell for 1cp but you can hold 1000 of them for every 100 cp sword you can carry, you ought to keep the eagle feathers. And if vendors can only buy so much at a time due to the money they have, then when you need to sell your inventory you either need to keep more in your inventory or storage than you would if you could sell them everything — meaning that it fills up faster and so you have to deal with it being full more often than you would otherwise — or else you have to visit more vendors before you can get back to where you were. Both of these cases take you out of what are ostensibly the fun parts of the game to do repetitive and boring tasks, but that you have to do if you don’t want to risk running out of money to advance your character and so making the game harder than it should be.

    If you knew that just filling your inventory with what you yourself want or need to use and doing the dungeons would give you enough money so that you didn’t have to buy stuff — so, for example, that the dropped equipment will always give you enough to kit out your party and other incidentals will be covered by normal quest loot — then you wouldn’t have to worry about this so much. But for the most part, the worse a player you are, the more critical money is to you, and thus the more you have to obsess over this … but you’re also more likely to be a more casual player who isn’t going to have much interest in digging into all the details to maximize your money generation, because if you WERE that sort of min-maxer you’d probably have min-maxed everything else and so, for example, don’t need to buy as many healing potions and never spent money on the intermediate armour that isn’t worth the cost and instead fought at a manageable, for you, disadvantage until you could get the better armour that IS worth the money.

  41. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    FYI, I believe you can actually put something that looks like a bullseye on your spouse’s forehead. Its a “Children of the Atom” glyph, which makes no sense for a prewar character to have at character creation but you can get it. (Or maybe you can only get it at the plastic surgeon)

  42. kdansky says:

    Bethesda needs to do one simple thing:

    Think about the economy for once. They just slap stuff in, and hope it work out, and invariably it does not, with catastrophic results in all cases. It’s as if they never spent more than 5 minutes thinking about a very central mechanic in their games.

    Making looting tedious is not a good solution. In fact, any game balance idea that relies in annoying the player is a dumb solution.

    The best way to play Skyrim I found was to install infinite carry weight just so I don’t have to ever care, and basically don’t loot anything at all that isn’t clearly a high-value treasure chest. Vases? Corpses? Baskets? Cupboards? Ignore them all, only snatch ultra-high-value items from plain view, such as potions, ingredients, crafting material and magical weapons. That is why I find Spoiler Warning’s playthroughs insufferable to watch. Josh keeps looting every tiny box, and wastes like half of the time dealing with items in a bad inventory screen.

    • I want to see a game with competing currencies that aren’t readily convertible. I mentioned it before, but I’d love it if “civilized” people wanted old world money, while “wastelanders” wanted bottle caps, or something similar.

      Heck, just having robots or computers that had a shop and only accepted old world currency would be kind of neat and make the economy a little more interesting. After that, a decreasing value on things you’ve sold a ton of would be good. Maybe not during the actual bartering (i.e. you sell 10 guns, and the 5th one is worth less than the 1st one you sold) but afterwards, until the merchant “sells” them over time and doesn’t have a ready supply.

      • ehlijen says:

        Fallout Tactics had that. The Brotherhood quartermasters would only treat BoS scrip as money but accept ring pulls as worthless crap if you really wanted to be rid of it. Meanwhile most merchants out in the wastes would be the opposite and only treat ring pulls as money.

        It didn’t add much to the game, as most of what you bought or sold was gear and loot anyway, and few merchants outside the brotherhood had anything worthwhile to sell.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        Ultima VII-2: Serpent isle had each main city with it’s own currency, and a need to exchange to be able to buy things. Each currency was worth a slightly different amount too, and I think you might get charged a little for exchanging. Also a good way to sell gold bars and such. Of course, despite nominally being a good person (literally the Avatar of Virtue), you can steal a phenomenal amount of cash and items. Which leads to an interesting little bug, involving getting a guy out of jail. The guards want gold, but every time you get the amount of coin they ask for, they put the price up. You can very easily offer them thousands and they’ll turn you away. Of course when you get a single gold bar, they are willing to free the bloke. The gold bars can be exchanged for 100 gold coins each.

        The only other game I can remember with a decent exchange system was Quest for Glory 2+3, but you only need to use that once at the start of the game (to change your loot from the previous game’s currency to the new one).

    • Coming_Second says:

      Glad I’m not the only that cringes watching him pick up a bunch of stuff that’s completely useless unless he gets deep into crafting/town building (which I very much hope he doesn’t).

  43. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    It’s not the same genre, but I’m enamored with Torchlight’s approach to trash loot. You get a pet, that instantly doubles your inventory size. Even better, you can tell the pet to go sell all the trash he can carry and come back, which takes him like… 2 minutes real time or something like that. You can even tell him to buy basic stuff you might want while he’s up there, like MP potions or decrypting scrolls. This makes the concept of leaving the dungeon mid-way through completely a thing of the past.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Torchlight’s approach felt like it had progressed far enough along the path of “Modernize it by removing elements” that they had lost the point. If identify scrolls are dirt cheap and your pet can buy them without you leaving the dungeon, why bother with unidentified loot? If your pet can trivially sell trash loot, why spawn trash loot at all, why not just make it the equivalent value in gold?

      Their approach to potions was particularly bad, there were about a dozen tiers of potions, each costing more and restoring more than the last, but the cost-to-restoration scaling was so wonky that a mid-level mage could buy hundreds of level 1 mana potions for next to nothing and mash the potion key to achieve infinite mana.

      • Loonyyy says:

        I think that was more a balance issue than anything else, which it had plenty of.

        The dog going back was just doing what a lot of players end up doing to sell trash loot and get a tiny edge moneywise. Him bringing you other stuff also streamlines it, you still have to have the money, and you still have to make real decisions with high end loot, and it’s also just a really cute mechanic.

        He’s also useful in combat, so it’s a choice that impacts your play. The easy thing to do with him is just get the trash loot you’d drop, and send him back. Which makes it very similar to the process of working out the value/weight of everything and grabbing the best stuff, but since you’re getting the cash anyway, you can be way more casual with it.

        You’ve still got exactly the same impetus to buy identity scrolls as before, it’s a diceroll, will it be worth the cost, is this thing any good? You can now just restock, you still have to buy them and make the choice. It just saves you the step of lugging it back if you’re out of scrolls before buying more and using them. Basically, I like it because it’s a system that has respect for the player’s time.

        I was messing with the Rick and Morty Pocket Mortys game, and I found the ability to use the shop everywhere like that great. I’d go out into the instanced combat areas, go battling, getting badges etc, or catching new Mortys, and when I acrued money doing this, I’d go to the shop to either buy more of the pokeball equivalents, or more serum if I needed it to complete the boss. That worked well because of the balance, I never had as much money as I’d like, so I’d always be going back for more like that. I suspect that’s based on the F2P design, but it does work.

        I think more games should consider implementing systems like that. I don’t think there’s anything positive about systems which don’t respect your time.

  44. Vermander says:

    Personally, I hate the way most modern games have turned me into both a kleptomaniac and a hoarder. I feel compelled to gather up all kinds of random crap I find in chests, in barrels, and most of all in dead people’s pockets. I don’t actually enjoy this, it’s mostly a tedious chore, but it also seems somehow “wasteful” if I don’t gather up every random helmet or shiny rock I come across to sell them later or use them as crafting ingredients.

    I particularly dislike gathering ingredients for potions. Flower picking should not be an integral part of so many games.

  45. Loonyyy says:

    Fast travel already breaks the carry weight.

    You just look everything, and fast travel, it’s usually only a couple of loading screens, dump it in chests, repeat. Takes a couple of minutes if you know what you’re doing.

    My problem with carry weight is it’s a useless stat. It doesn’t inform your playstyle, it just informs a meta problem of how to carry stuff, and it’s not an interesting one.

    Sorting through loot to find the most valuable items by weight is why people complain that nearly every inventory ever is poorly designed.

    I think equip load is a much better stat, like Dark Souls, where the equipment you have on you determines your move speed etc. I think limiting how much heavy stuff a player can have equiped is far more useful, and potentially limiting what they can carry, combat wise.

    I think that’s really the key, does your system force the player to make choices about what to bring out adventuring? If I can wear all my armour, and carry 8 weapons, has what my character can carry really meaningfully influenced my play? I’ve got my hunting rifle, a pistol, an SMG, an Assault Rifle of some sort, and a pile of grenades in different flavours, maybe a shotgun even. I don’t even have to reload to finish encounters, I can just switch guns. I’m not so much managing and surviving the wasteland as I am dominating it. Yeah, carry weight may limit you a little if you’ve got the wrong build and you want Power Armour, an Incinerator, Fat Man and a Super Sledge, but it’s very rare that carry weight makes a build unviable.

    It would mean a lot more if I had to choose between secondary weapons to have space for my explosives, or even buffing items. Or if I had to make the call as to my armour strength because I want to carry a really heavy weapon. With the Dark Souls case, choosing a heavy weapon first meant I was rolling and moving slowly all the time, and later it meant that I invested extra effort into increasing my carry weight, which changed the game again for me. At a certain point, I could move quicker and dodge better, but only if I didn’t carry a secondary. For fights where I needed to move fast, I stripped off some of my armour to get the weight down. It changed how easily staggered I was and my damage resistance. Everything played together. I could ditch my shield, my armour makes me almost impossible to stagger, but it has a buff to my stamina regen that means I can swing that heavy weapon more. Carry weight effected my fighting style, my character’s poise, defense, attack, and it restricted my ability to have a backup weapon.

    I don’t think that trying to limit how simple it is to strip a place out is really helpful either. You limit the carry weight, and then you have my style of player who just takes it in lots and saves it for later(And it’s not because I’m new to this as suggested, and think the goal is to sort everything out, it’s that I feel my time is more valuable than sorting every chest individually, and I’d rather be able to continue the action at a good pace, and sort out my loot all at once back at base), or the other sort who looks at the items and tries to work out whether they’re worth their weight, before complaining about how broken the inventory system is for not helping them with this.

    And fixing the latter would involve exactly the same chain as was laid out here, you can sort by price/weight? Just drop everything below a certain point, it becomes a trivial exercise, it still hurts the economy, you’re now just dropping everything at the bottom of that list, and since most items are junk, you’ll still end up with most of the cash. Since fast travel still exists, it’s still equally easy to rip through places like that.

    I don’t think inventory management is really meaningful gameplay, especially when it doesn’t intersect with the rest of the game’s systems. It needs to effect the rest of the game. I need good reasons for needing to manage my carry weight in the combat, or the travel.

    • ehlijen says:

      In fallout 1/2 carry weight had a direct impact on your playstyle: big guns were heavy, as was their ammo. If you wanted to bring a minigun or rocket launcher to a fight, you needed to also bring a lot of pounds in ammo or you’d run out on the first fight of the dungeon. The ultimate example was the 90pd M2 in Fallout tactics that fired 5 pounds worth of bullets with every volley (but was one of the few firearms powerful enough to take on the late game robots).

      In FO3 onwards weightless ammunition meant that even though the guns stayed heavy, a heavy weapons character didn’t need a lot of STR to have at it. They just needed the perk that actually let them find enough ammo.

      Carry weight can absolutely inform play style, but only if, unlike in most Bethesda games, some options are in fact gated behind it.

    • Fast travel breaks something more for me: Urgency. I kind of get why they do it, but very few quests have a ticking clock that spending days on the road will cause a quest to fail. I wouldn’t mind if at least one quest that said you had to do something RIGHT NOW meant you had to do something RIGHT NOW.

  46. General Karthos says:

    So… I had no idea the “deathclaw” was a big deal. I figured it was just some weird-ass monster we fought while we still had the powered armor charged and the ammo we needed. It was just a “meh, I can kill anything in this armor, whatever a deathclaw is” sort of encounter. It’s only after the fact I learned you’re supposed to be afraid of a deathclaw…. I wasn’t… never have been… and never will, thanks to this encounter.

    Kinda sucks, frankly. I like having a foe I can fear.

  47. Michael says:

    You know, ironically, this is almost exactly how Elder Scrolls Online handles itemization.

    There’s no item weight, though there is an item limit. A two handed warhammer, dwemer gear, and dagger are all exactly the same size (so far as your inventory is concerned). And now, if you’re a subscriber crafting items are added to a bag of holding. So you can just keep hoovering up stuff forever.

    Merchants have unlimited gold on hand. But items rarely have a value over 10g.

    The game does have a loot area function (though this only affects corpses, not containers). Also an autoloot function, where you’ll randomly snarf up everything from a container or corpse when you interact with it.

    Amusingly they actually eventually added a loot history function, because if you were interacting with corpses or containers it was impossible to know what you’d picked up without digging through your inventory looking for new stuff.

    That said, there’s almost nothing to buy from vendors, but what’s there is way more expensive than it’s worth. Especially if you have a crafter.

    Still, it works. I mean the game’s an MMO, and not a single player game, but it does keep you moving… until your inventory clogs up.

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