Fallout 4 EP34: Draggin’ Fly

By Shamus
on Aug 31, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

149 comments


Link (YouTube)

Mumbles pointed out that she’s logged more hours in Fallout 4 than New Vegas. Same with me. It’s interesting because we’ve both spent the last 33 episodes crapping on Fallout 4 and comparing it unfavorably to New Vegas.

I knew I’d played more Fallout 4 than News Vegas, but I was still shocked when I looked up the numbers. (174 for New Vegas vs. 600+ for Fallout 4.) There are a few reasons for this:

  1. I never got into the New Vegas modding scene, which is small compared to the massive flood of Fallout 4 mods out there. A lot of my time with the game was spent mod-browsing.

  2. For me, New Vegas was far more unstable than Fallout 4. I know some people have reported the opposite, but that’s my experience. Fallout 4 is still buggy as hell, but most of the bugs manifest as hilarious physics, animation, or AI freak-outs rather than frustrating crashes to desktop. The instability of New Vegas probably drove me away from the game before I’d really seen everything I wanted.
  3. Back in 2013 I got an upgraded computer with 16GB of memory. This means I can now alt-tab in and out of games for free, which wasn’t possible back in 2010 when I was playing New Vegas. So these days my “hours played” numbers on Steam tend to be inflated by the time I spend writing columns and reading comments while the game is idle in the background.

But I think the biggest reason I’ve clocked so many more hours in FO4 than NV is that I play the two games very differently. When I’m playing New Vegas, I’m usually interacting with the structured content like having dialog or doing quests. In Fallout 4, I spend my time doing everything I can to avoid the structured content, because it’s awful. So I do free-form stuff like building bases, exploring aimlessly, and obsessively searching for “treasure”. And judged on those merits, Fallout 4 really does have better unstructured content.

If you’re curious, I’ve got 1,100 hours in Skyrim. (Again, greatly inflated by Alt-Tab time and also by the ridiculous amount of time I put into playing mods.) I bought Fallout 3 on disk instead of Steam, so I don’t have numbers for hours played for that one.

Of course my dream game would have New Vegas quality structured content and Fallout 4 quality unstructured content, but I’d rather have some decent QA testing more than either of those things.

Care to share your hours played for Bethesda games? I’m curious to see the results.

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  1. The Rocketeer says:

    Aaah, the Glowing Sea. When I first… wait, I’ve written about this elsewhere, gimme a sec. *rummages through garbage* Here we go:

    I was super impressed by the Glowing Sea as I explored it. It was the only place (well, to be fair, it’s an entire region comprising many places) that I felt a sense of foreboding just by being there. But I wish it had had more dungeons. There’s a ton of interesting stuff on the surface level; I think they did a stellar job integrating the tons of debris into interesting obstacles to navigate through or around, all situated very organically around the hypocenter of the Big One and the devastation it wrought. But there’s hardly anything in the way of dungeons uniquely tailored to the twisted deadzone of the Glowing Sea. Partly justified in that there just isn’t anything left standing and accessible around there to constitute a dungeon, but, well, this isn’t a game that typically bows to that sort of sense.

    My dread of the Glowing Sea was such that I never let myself find out how dangerous it actually was. From the moment I started taking rads on the perimeter of the flattened, lifeless blast radius, I popped on my radsuit and refused to take it off. As I drew deeper and deeper South, I became more and more apprehensive of what conditions were like outside my domed helmet. I was, I realize, unconsciously convinced by the atmosphere of foreboding and blight that if I unzipped my rad suit for even a second, I’d cook like an egg as fast as I could open my Pip-Boy and put it back on. That feeling of tension and vulnerability, in hindsight, was the best fun I had in the game. It was like I was suddenly playing Metro or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Once I had, at long last, scouted out the whole region and returned to the relative safety of the Commonwealth, with its relative non-threats of mere Super Mutants and power-armor raiders with missile launchers and LMG’s, I was glad to be quit of the place.

    Ages and ages later, I found myself back in the way-down-there, right around the crater, and, drawing near to the end of the game when I had run out of fucks to give, I quicksaved before running right down into the the bottom of the crater, right down into the glowing soupy muck, and popped off my hazmat suit, just to see what would happen. What I expected was to see my character flash-fry to the tune of something hilarious, 80 or 120 rads per second. You know, just deserts for blatant suicidal insanity.

    So of course, it’s like 3 or 4 rads. Maybe 6 or 7, if I could get more than waist deep in the bog. And then the spell was broken with a nigh-audible crack.

    I find I’ve also got nearly even numbers of hours for New Vegas and F4: 194 to 185 hours, respectively. But I first owned, and extensively played, New Vegas on the PS3 when it first came out, and that represents unknowable hours not counted in its favor.

    Even on Steam, though, that tally represents a number of rather complete New Vegas playthroughs, going through a great deal of the game’s structured content several times. Fallout 4 represents one character’s playthrough, forked at the end by using saves to efficiently experience all four endings. And none of the expansion content.

    There really is a huge glut of unstructured, time-sucking content in F4. Nothing compared to my 394 hours in Skyrim, though, which again doesn’t count my hours playing it extensively on PS3. And I seem to be kind of a lightweight compared to Shamus and his ilk.

    • Echo Tango says:

      What I expected was to see my character flash-fry to the tune of something hilarious, 80 or 120 rads per second. You know, just deserts for blatant suicidal insanity.

      So of course, it’s like 3 or 4 rads. Maybe 6 or 7, if I could get more than waist deep in the bog. And then the spell was broken with a nigh-audible crack.

      Yeah, I think Shamus mentioned this same problem at some point in a past episode. I don’t get why they’d make the thing so light on the rads. Maybe because they didn’t want any players getting scared away from seeing this piece of content? Oh well, there’s probably a mod to fix this. :)

      • The Rocketeer says:

        Maybe. It certainly represents a departure from Fallout 3, and New Vegas to a lesser extent, which were not shy about throwing around very powerful sources of rads, both as ‘hard’ area denial (e.g., the main door of Vault 87) to tell you, “never stand here, doofus,” and ‘soft’ area denial, to prevent lingering with or without significant rad protection. If they softened their stance, it might well be linked to the significantly different effects of rads this time around: acting as a lien on maximum HP, rather than some (rather toothless) SPECIAL penalties.

        But I’m actually not sure they did soften their stance on massive rads. After writing the above, I looked up significant rad sources per game on the Vault wiki, and found that many Fallout 4 locations’ radiation levels were listed as far stronger than my own experiences indicated. Particularly, the impact crater that I mention above, and which Josh visits during this episode, is listed as pumping upwards of 300 rads per second. If anyone can provide additional datapoints for what happens to their delicate cells when they stand naked in that spot, I’d appreciate confirmation of what the hell is supposed to be happening there.

    • Warrax the Chaos Warrior says:

      I had the same response that you did to the glowing sea; the illusion worked for me on an atmospheric level. I liked how you actually “leave” the map as you go into it too. That added to the feeling of actually going on some sort of journey to an unknown place, rather than just the usual rectangular-sandbox stuff I already knew was there, and knew that I’d get around to seeing eventually.

      I made the trip in power armor, which I never took off, so the illusion of danger was never broken for me. The fights left my armor in really bad shape though, so the fact that my limbs were showing red most of the time also helped reinforce the illusion.

      • Wide And Nerdy® says:

        Its also kind of works as a callback to FO3. We all complained about the green filter but bringing it back like this in one section of the map was probably neat for people who actually liked FO3.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      I have this feeling with a lot of Bethesda games. In oblivion there was a quest I did early on involving this town of cultists kidnapping people and sacrificing them to ancient gods in the tunnels below the town. It was pretty obviously influenced by Lovecraft and it creeped me the hell out. I rescued the prisoners, but very reluctantly. I was skulking along the hallways going just far enough to get the keys and open the prisoner cells, when I had to fight I id it as quickly and quietly as I could afraid of who or what might hear the scuffle. on the way out I paused just long enough to swipe an important looking book in the hopes that it might disrupt their machinations. It was tense and frightening and I loved every second of it. I was convinced that had I delved deeper into the tunnels I would have encountered deep ones or some similar Cthulhu-esque monstrosity.

      Of course once I got more used to the game and my naiveté about the game’s limits were gone I returned to that little town to find that all I had left in those tunnels were more cultists.

    • MrGuy says:

      when I had run out of fucks to give, I quicksaved before running right down into the the bottom of the crater, right down into the glowing soupy muck, and popped off my hazmat suit, just to see what would happen. What I expected was to see my character flash-fry to the tune of something hilarious, 80 or 120 rads per second.

      One of the very, very, very few things I think Bethesda did right with the Vault 87/Little Lamplight adventure was that the actual door to Vault 87, which supposedly took a direct hit from a bomb, is just BARELY accessible if you take all the RadX, wear a radiation suit, and basically hotkey RadAway and run down to it. It’s something like 80-100 rad/sec near the door, and it feels like it should be. You don’t have to go to the door (in fact, you’re not supposed to, and you can’t open it even if you get there).

      I think the difference here is that they decided to make “navigate through the Glowing Sea” a required element (unlike Vault 87), which means it has to play by the rules everything else plays by. And since you need to explore it, it means it has to be survivable. Not just to dash through, but to wander around looking for stuff.

      You can’t make it Vault 87-level near-unsurvivably hot without making it impossible to explore. Because the world they built has rules for rads – there are base rads modified by clothing and meds. If they made it “hey, Power Armor only!” as a zone, people would call them out for cheating. But if they let you explore it without Power Armor, there are limits to how hot it could be. If there was a special non-Power-Armor suit that made an otherwise Vault-87 level area survivable, then they’ve basically broken the rad system for everywhere else in the game – anything resistant enough to let you survive that turns every other source of rads into a mild-sunburn-at-worst.

      I do give them credit for making their world consistent – they don’t make “special rules” for the Glowing Sea for rads that don’t apply elsewhere. I just wish they’d come up a way to make it still insanely hot but survivable without Power Armor.

      I actually think my special Super Advanced Radiation Suit (hidden in a “BOS Radiation Monitoring Station” conveniently located near the entrance to the Glowing Sea) idea would have worked if it also had major penalties to movement and combat, such that you’d never wear it for general purpose use. But then they’d have to have scaled the fighting WAY back to keep it from being unfair, and then the Power Armor users would have a laughably easy time.

      It’s a hard problem.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        Having Vault 87-Door radiation over an entire region isn’t really what I’m after; that instance is a good example of hard area denial precisely because there’s no benefit for going there, and the rads are a pretty obvious tell that it’s not intended as a “playable” area. Arguably, the only thing to be gained by toughing it out all the way to the door is firsthand knowledge of why you shouldn’t have done that, and verisimilitude itself is a fine enough reward for a certain kind of player. What I’d expected from the Glowing Sea is more like what you see in various other Fallout 3 locations, and even within Vault 87 around the GECK.

        Many areas in Fallout 3 and New Vegas have a constant, widespread level of exposure somewhere between 5 and 15 rads. It’s enough to spook the player, to put the fear of Atom in them and limit their comfort with loitering and taking their time to explore, but becomes very easily manageable with any sort of rad protection, like a Radiation Suit or a dose of Rad-X.

        Within several locations, including the GECK area of Vault 87, you’ll have localized, extreme spikes of rads usually indicated by machinery, irradiated debris, barrels, or glowing pollutants and fungi. These might be rads in the dozens, or even hundreds, and are typically more than even the best available protection can safely mitigate. These present both a challenge and a choice to the player. Common sense observation of the surroundings lets you avoid significant rad exposure, but you also need to use your Geiger counter to “feel” out the explicit boundaries of the hot zones. Playing it safe and working your way through carefully is the challenge. Or, if the player feels like their rad protection is thick enough and their pile of Rad-Away high enough, they can just say a quick prayer and dash through, sacrificing their body for their time.

        What I’d expected of the Glowing Sea- and how it might have been done in a better universe- is for a coupling of these two approaches. Cast a broad, low field of radiation over the entire area, weak at the edges but steadily growing as you approach the impact crater. Even at its strongest, this broad field shouldn’t surmount a well-prepared player’s basic rad defenses, being all but fully mitigated by a rad suit or power armor. This rewards careful preparation without making the region inaccessible to more reckless, less protected players, as long as they’re prepared to move with purpose and expend Rad-X or Rad-Away somewhat regularly.

        Throughout the area, there should also be hot spots that the challenge even that level of protection, and pose that challenge to the player. Streams of rad-spiked water just barely too wide to jump completely (without a jetpack!), except at select points. Ditches, depressions, and caves with far greater rads than the ambient level. Then you have locations like the engines of the crashes airliner, the “caves” of debris and capsized buildings, or, specifically, the Decayed Reactor Site. That place should be a deathzone, challenging any player’s ability to linger with impunity. If I remember correctly, there’s nothing significant there but a leveled Deathclaw spawn and a looping meltdown alert. But the rads there don’t seem to be any greater or lesser than the surrounding region, which is a letdown. Locations like that should demand care and preparation, even from players otherwise unchallenged by the region’s hazards.

        Then we come to the Crater of Atom itself, the hypocenter of the Big One. Radiation here should follow a sort of hyperbolic curve, starting at a high but negotiable baseline rad level at the rim with a slow but steadily accelerating rate of increase, spiking quickly towards hard area denial at the very bottom. As it stands, this area is a massive letdown (or was for me; see my response to Echo Tango above). Anyone that wants to satisfy their curiosity regarding the bottom of the crater should have to throw on the best protection, rely on their Endurance and perks, juice themselves to the eyeballs, sprint through fast enough to get a glimpse of their surrounding and grab one, maybe two items if they’re quick on the draw, and sprint out back to very relative safety with just enough life left to flush their system for another trip or a wise egress from the region.

        Of course, having the area pose an actual threat to the player’s life would make it even more insultingly stoopid that people live in this crater. But that’s a lost cause.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          It occurs to me, reading over it, that what the developers might fear most is the creation of an unwinnable game state. Because reaching 1000 rads kills you (as it did in past games), finding yourself in a situation where you can’t avoid taking rads but have no rad-reducing consumables will ensure your death after a given length of time.

          In contrast to past games, the Glowing Sea comprises a large portion of the game world. It’s possible to spend hours exploring the Glowing Sea, accumulating and mitigating rads all the while. If a player is not savvy, and finds themselves near the southwest corner of the map having expended all of their rad-reducing consumables, and their autosave and most recent permanent save are far enough into the irradiated Glowing Sea, it would become impossible to escape the area alive. If the player maintains only one permanent save, this represents a Game Over.

          This is essentially a Stupid Player Tax. Does a player deserve to be trapped in an unwinnable game state if they: save the game in an irradiated area; maintain only one save slot, or whose most recent non-rad-exposed save is very old; and become trapped too far within the irradiated zone to survive egress with the resources at hand? Technically, this sort of unwinnable state was achievable in any previous Fallout game. But the vast size of the Glowing Sea makes it more likely. And I’m not familiar with Survival mode, but I know it restricts saves in a way that might exacerbate this likelihood.

          Bethesda’s permissive, all but consequence-free design philosophy likely leads them to reduce the chances of this happening as much as possible, which would necessarily include making the ambient level of radiation in the Glowing Sea a very low, token amount. That’s just my speculation, anyway.

          • Syal says:

            Would it be better, or worse, to have high radiation with power armored Brotherhood or other rad-immune groups exploring the area, offering either radaway or fast travel out of the Glowing Sea to the unprepared player?

          • Ninety-Three says:

            If a player is not savvy, and finds themselves near the southwest corner of the map having expended all of their rad-reducing consumables, and their autosave and most recent permanent save are far enough into the irradiated Glowing Sea, it would become impossible to escape the area alive. If the player maintains only one permanent save, this represents a Game Over.

            Or they could just fast travel.

            The scenario you’re describing only happens if the game hits an autosave while the player is the specific combination of “nearly radiation-dead” and “in combat”. Does the autosave even fire in combat?

            • MichaelGC says:

              Could be tricky in survival mode (actually sounds like the area already is tricky on Survival, from Da Mage’s comment down below!). And, you just know that if you did get in trouble, there’d be that one glitched-out molerat which was refusing to un-burrow but was still managing to keep you ‘in combat’…

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Does a player deserve to be trapped in an unwinnable game state if they: save the game in an irradiated area; maintain only one save slot, or whose most recent non-rad-exposed save is very old; and become trapped too far within the irradiated zone to survive egress with the resources at hand?

            Yes.

            What should be avoided are stuff where you can make a game unwinnable by accident,because you werent given the information(two identical buttons next to each other,one is plot essential,the other vaporizes your whole inventory without any indication that it did anything).But if the game tells you “this place is highly dangerous,be prepared”,its your fault for not being prepared when going there.

    • LCF says:

      “flash-fry to the tune of something hilarious, 80 or 120 rads per second”
      Remember the Glow, in F1? (Now drink!)

      “which means it has to play by the rules everything else plays by. And since you need to explore it, it means it has to be survivable. Not just to dash through, but to wander around looking for stuff”
      Why force it to be tame like the rest, and why allow players to wander aimlessly, picking every shiny rock they see? You can always see how the rad count is when you get some, and as described by the Rocketeer, you can make it gradual. Further, I think we are told by NPC that is a death zone. Also, dead trees, then no more vegetal life.
      If people can’t take all these hints, they deserve to choke on their own blood.
      Living a Power Fantasy does not mean everything is a cake walk and you can be reckless all the time. I’d even add that a post-apo setting requires at least some survival, else what’s the point?

  2. Was hoping for something to watch while I ate, and SW didn’t disappoint. ^_^

  3. CosmoAC says:

    I still don’t get the whole “I’d rather have some decent QA testing more than X” when it comes to Bethesda games. I’d actually wager that they QA test their games more than any other company does. It’s just that even a gargantuan QA dept. would be just tiny compared to the mass of players their games have.
    Another thing is that just like the QA dept., some players make it their job to find ways to break Bethesda games and then say “look how buggy this game is” on the internet.
    Sadly no other company has tried making a similar open world game , so we can’t compare and see if it’s Bethesda that sucks or if it’s a flaw that is just inherent in the genre (New Vegas kinda doesn’t count since it’s almost the same engine and it’s Obsidian, another company that’s famous for buggy games).
    Edit: A thing I’d say is that I would gladly sacrifice the object physics that they introduced to their games with Oblivion and had in every game since, because I think those are responsible for a huge chunk of the bugs. Oh, and I’d also get rid of the clutter objects (which they actually toned down a lot in FO4, compared to Skyrim).

    • Echo Tango says:

      I think the clutter objects would be fine if they were already getting rid of object physics. That’d be my pick, if they had to ditch at least one; They add some nice flavor to the locations in the game. :)

      I think they could probably just fix the object physics, because other games have non-spazzy object physics. The HL2 engine seems to do pretty well, and I think…Red Faction Guerilla handled it pretty well? I never played that one, but I watched some let’s-plays of it, and it seems less buggy than whatever the 3D Fallout games are doing.

    • Supah Ewok says:

      No.

      Witcher 3 is just as content rich as any Bethesda game and it was one of the most stable launches of 2015. Not perfect mind, but far and away better than anything Bethesda has ever done. And a year of post release support has made W3 one of the most polished games ever.

      Bethesda has no excuses. None for their bugs, none for their writing department, none for their abysmal effects and lackluster textures. We have had games released in the past two years that have put all of Bethesda’s efforts to shame. Just because they’re the only ones to do what they do at the scale of what they do doesn’t mean they aren’t complete hacks and yeah, I mean that. Bethesda’s devs, at least the ones in charge of decisions, are hacks.

      Edit: Obsidian had 18 months start to finish to make the base game of New Vegas in that shitty engine. What they managed to accomplish was a damn miracle. Also, ever since they quit being short changed on dev time, Obsidian has been putting out games generally on the upwards side of stable, for the modern games industry. They don’t really deserve to have a “reputation for buggy games” any longer.

      • CosmoAC says:

        Oh sure, it’s never Obsidian’s fault, but it’s always Bethesda’s fault.
        Face it, Obsidian only has good writers. Average to below average everything else. I can’t name a game of theirs that is good based on its gameplay, and I’ve played all of them, except the tank MMO.

        • GloatingSwine says:

          Pillars of Eternity is fun to play on its own terms. It’s a great modern interpretation of the old Infinity Engine gameplay with lots of nice modern QoL features which integrate well with character building, like the way it handles AoE spells (AoE spells have an extra bit of radius around the edge where they’ll only affect enemies, meaning you can use them more easily as your characters join battle, and that scales with your caster’s Int score).

          And the old IE gameplay is, functionally, what has actually turned out to be one of the most commonly played game styles. Quasi-RTS with a focus on single units is the basis of DOTA/LoL clones, and the Infinity Engine was just that with six goons instead of one (and, admittedly, way more abilities, but you can pause to use them if you need to).

          Obsidian are really good at integrating the writing, character building, and gameplay as well. When you’re talking to an NPC in an Obsidian game chances are you’re still playing the game because you’re still using elements of your character you made and getting variable outcomes based on your inputs.

          (Also, the tank MMO is good too, but it’s just a clone of World of Tanks with a capable PvE mode so it was p. easy to do)

      • 4th Dimension says:

        To be fair to Bethesda’s engine, while the Witcher’s main map does look just as detailed as anything Bethesda has made if not more. But a lot of the W3 clutter are things that are “baked in” into the scenery with which you can not meaningfully interact unlike in Bethesda’s games where you can take every single object that you could conceivably put in your backpack and place it whenever you want. The same goes with NPCs. On the W3 map there are like maybe 100 top named NPCs. On the other hand in Bethesda’s games EVERY SINGLE non enemy NPC has a name and in newer games list of things they do during the day. The engine needs to track ALL of it. AND it further allows you to attack basically whoever whenever at which point all of these systems (physics, AI, pathfinding) need to interact. This means Beth. Soft engine needs to track a significantly larger amount of things on each level and QA vise there is an order of magnitude greater amount of possible combinations of element interactions that need to be tested.
        By comparison in W3 the interaction with the environment is strictly limited to the places designed for it and the player interaction and people the designer wants you to fight. The only mechanic that can be random and bit hard to test I guess would be Aard and how it interacts with the physics objects.

        On the other hand none of that excuses for the Bethesda’s atrocious design of their Engine which from what I have heard is a clusterfuck of layer upon layer of systems probably added over the years with not much in terms of design.

        • GloatingSwine says:

          I think one of the lessons of Witcher 3 is that Bethesda’s insistence that every cabbage, spoon and grain of sand be an interactable physics object actually buys very little in terms of constructing a living game world, compared to Witcher 3 just having the stuff as decoration.

          • 4th Dimension says:

            There kind of is a reason for a lot of the clutter. A lot of it has to do with the difference in perspective. W3 gets away with cutting some of the detail by relying on the distance of the camera, while in Beth games the detail is right in front of the player. Also there is something to be said about making a place feel yours and lived in by cluttering it with all the items. And they are kind of stuck with that design. That design is something a good portion of the fans actually like. They want to be able to collect ashtrays and plates and then decorate their homes with them and such.

    • Syal says:

      Hey, somebody said the word “glitch” so now I have an excuse to post the Pokemon Glitch Exhibition from off the LP Archive! Remember, a game being well-coded is not the same as a game being fun.

      What does this have to do with the topic, you say? You never actually used the word “glitch”, you say?

      shut up.

      Just for that, you get another one.

  4. Coming_Second says:

    Lessee here. 213 hours in F:NV, 120 in F4.

    I did play all of the DLC for NV, fiddled around plenty with mods and encountered very few non-negotiable bugs in it. 120 hours is a pretty reasonable return for a full-priced game all things considered, but F4’s aggressive Skinner’s Box approach and abysmal dialogue and story content means it will forever leave a bad taste in my mouth when it’s brought up.

    • tmtvl says:

      363 hours Fallout: New Vegas.
      339 hours Skyrim.
      2 hours Fallout 4.

      • Wide And Nerdy® says:

        687 hours in Fallout 4
        652 hours in Fallout New Vegas
        11 hours in Fallout 3 (They must have missed something. It felt longer than that. I did the main quest and The Pit along with some side quests and some of the other DLC. But this was certainly my least time spent. I bought the ultimate edition and didn’t do all of it)
        1980 hours in Skyrim. (Plus probably another 1000 hours of mod shopping and patching, I’d say longer but I left the game running for a lot of that so some of that 1980 is probably from that)
        Morrowind 120 hours and Oblivion 84 hours (I wish it was reverse).

        FO4 and Skyrim excel at being places to just be. If only they were less buggy.

        • tmtvl says:

          Seeing people with over 1,000 hours in games kinda makes me wonder how much time they put into gaming every week. It would make sense to me that people who (like me) don’t spend more than ~15 hours per week gaming will tend to put more hours into games that are simply good without bothering with mods.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Like Shamus said,lot of it is the game running in the background when you are alt tabbed.Also,many people listen to podcasts and watch youtube while playing their zen game.

          • Andy_Panthro says:

            I find it hard to believe that so many of you have more than 100 hours in multiple games…

            For comparison:

            New Vegas: 38 hours
            Fallout 4: 97 hours
            XCOM2: 43 hours
            XCOM1: 50 hours
            Mount & Blade: Warband: 106 hours (and tons more on non-steam version)
            Dark Souls: 74 hours (not completed it, got stuck)
            Skyrim: 38 hours (not completed it, got bored)

            I’m trying to think of a game that I’ve spent more time with than any of those, but finding it hard to think of any. Most of my favourite games are adventure games (so even multiple completions wouldn’t be many hours), or shorter RPGs (like the Ultima series, although I probably have a vast amount of hours between Ultima 4 to Ultima 8 and the two Underworld games).

            I suppose I’ve played a lot of Fallout 1+2, and finishing Final Fantasy VII must have taken a long time, and I’ve finished Baldur’s gate 2 a couple of times, but I can’t think of anything I might have put 300+ hours into! All the Civilization games combined probably doesn’t bring me to that much.

        • Merkel says:

          New Vegas: 440 hours
          Fallout 4: 225 hours
          Fallout 3: 75 hours

          Interestingly enough (or perhaps not) F:NV wasn’t the one with game-breaking bugs for me, F3 was. I played it for a dozen-or-so hours, with occasional crashes or broken doors, and then it seemingly erased all of my game data. I wasn’t too broken up, I simply restarted and was able to make better, more informed decisions, and put close to 50 hours into this run of the game. Then one day I booted it up, and my original save files were there, but not my more recent ones. From that point on I was never sure whether I was getting the first or second run-through when I loaded the game. And that is the story of how I never finished Fallout 3.

          • Fists says:

            Oblivion: Clear over 1000, vanilla then Oscuro’s and Mart’s then Nehrim
            FO 3&NV, unsure, put quite a bit of time into 3 going through nooks and crannies.
            Skyrim: 120 including frostfall play. Seriously nothing in that game interested me, I kept going back to it trying to get hooked and it’s just so hollow.
            FO4: 310, no expansions, minimal mods, three or four characters, one on a modded survival mode pre-survival update and one in the updated survival mode. Main reason I went past ~120 was more about analysing the game and Bethesda’s choices than enjoying it in it’s own right.

            Morrowind is like 20-30, that game is so impenetrable with it’s combat and the early mage’s guild quests, 12-13 year old me could never find the patience. Should probably go back and do it properly.

    • Jsor says:

      68 in Skyrim, god knows for Oblivion or Morrowind since I didn’t play them on Steam, but likely similar (Morrowind may be a bit higher, Oblivion lower).

      Fallout — haven’t played any of them. The entire aesthetic where everything is destroyed and made out of scrap metal with holes in it drives me insane. Like, I can understand the turrets and stuff since rebuilding the entire chain of industry required to mine, refine, and create large sheets of metal is hard, but nobody figured out log cabins?

      I get my fill of Bethesda games really quickly compared to a lot of people. Usually for me one character is more than enough. Every once in a while I’ll play again for a bit with a ton of mods a few years later, but not for as long as the first time. I have more fun reading about them than actually playing them, Morrowind excepted.

      • MichaelGC says:

        I know what you mean. And almost nobody thinks to tidy-up a bit in 200 years. Maybe liking things nice and neat is a genetic thing which also happens to predispose one to feral ghoulism?

    • Christopher says:

      I want to do an hour count too. I’m not gonna pull out my 360 for this, so an approximate:

      Fallout New Vegas: 12 hours
      Oblivion: An hour
      Skyrim: 120 hours

    • Supah Ewok says:

      New Vegas: 436 hours and counting, with an active playthrough
      Skyrim: 124 hours
      Fallout 3: 1.3 hours, where I crashed upon leaving the vault. Inactive playthrough
      Fallout 4: Not owned, no intention of owning

      People able to put hundreds and hundreds of hours into Bethesda games are kinda alien to me. Those games are like amusement parks. I ride all the coasters once and say “welp, I’ve done all that’s worth doing here, time to move on.” There seem to be folks like Shamus who just really enjoy a few rides and will ride them over and over and over and over and over, without getting tired. I don’t understand that mentality, but I don’t knock it. Their brain works one way, mine works another, when I accepted that that’s the way things are my internet browsing became a lot more relaxing.

      Still though, if I had the chance to take those hours I put into Skyrim back… I think I would.

    • Humanoid says:

      New Vegas – 237 hours, but I used offline mode a lot back then, so maybe add 50% minimum. Only finished it once, with the NCR, but several other games where I’ve voluntarily ended it after achieving my goals. Rarely do I play a save past the point of terminating Benny with extreme prejudice.

      Skyrim – 124 hours, but similar offline mode loading. Never finished it. Most of those hours were just tooling around doing side content until I finally had enough of the game. I think the last thing I did in terms of the main plot was unlocking the Blades’ Temple.

      Fallout 4 – 26 hours. Beelined to Diamond City. Did the quests that involved me just doing stuff within the city. Once that was exhausted, I did one or two that sent me outside into the open world, which I quickly decided was not my thing: I want something more than a completely monster-filled labyrinth in my open worlds.

      My copy of FO3 isn’t on Steam, but I’d estimate 10-20 hours – similar to my FO4 experience, I got to Megaton, then only did a few sidequests before I decided the game was not for me. The last thing I recall was fast travelling to someplace – the drive-in theatre I think – and a Deathclaw had spawned there. That was the moment that broke the camel’s back.

      Oblivion. I’m guessing 5-10 hours. I absolutely despise this game, and it’s one of the three worst games I’ve had the misfortune to own. (The other two are Call to Power and Mass Effect 3)

      Morrowind. Very hard to reliably estimate since it was a long time ago. I was a pretty timid gamer back then – Chris has nothing on me – so almost my entire gameplay was done in the relatively save quadrant from Vivec to Caldera. This meant I got very little in terms of main story done, but I didn’t dislike the game. 50 hours maybe?

    • Primogenitor says:

      Fallout 3 : 102 (But that’s an underestimate because steam used to only count the time on the pre-game loading splash popup thingy)
      Fallout NV : 706 hours (including 35 in the past 2 weeks)
      Fallout 4 : 0 hours (I’ll buy it when the complete edition is on sale)
      Skyrim : 217 hours

      I do have a lot of time where I’d leave it paused and go off to do something else, but I’d guess that’s pretty constant across all of these games.

  5. Since I didn’t see the hours request when I first commented…

    Morrowind: Wasn’t on Steam when I first played it since no internet and Steam was still terrible.
    Oblivion: 138 hours.
    Skyrim: 386 hours.
    Fallout 3: 266 hours, but that was when I started launching through FOSE, which doesn’t use the Steam shortcut and requires a separate one to launch with the Steam overlay.
    Fallout 4: 279 hours.

    Fallout New Vegas? 2,148 hours. Not only is it modded, it’s modded HARD.

  6. Raygereio says:

    So with the last of FO4’s DLC now having been released: Am I the only who felt the DLC was rather underwhelming. As well as oddly fixated on the settlement building gimmick.

    Let’s go down the list:
    Automatron: A short quest that was neat, but still really short. Adds robot crafting and new stuff for settlement building.
    Wasteland Workshop: Adds new stuff for settlement building.
    Far Harbor: Hoorah! Some actual story content. It wasn’t that good, but dammit it was something resembling content for a Fallout game.
    Contraptions Workshop: Adds new stuff for settlement building.
    Vault-Tec Workshop: Adds new stuff for settlement building. Also really stupid.
    Nuka-World: A literal themepark. I honestly can’t tell if Bethesda is trolling us or not. Anyway, heavily revolves around settlement seeing as it has you raiding & conquering them. Also kind of requires you to want to become an evil raider. If you don’t, then I guess you can walk around the themepark shooting some dudes for a bit and then leave and never come back.

    I honestly feel bad for anyone who picked up the season pass. I hope those who did are really into the settlements. Because if they aren’t, then they did not get value for their money.

    • MichaelGC says:

      *raises hand*
      *nods*

      Yeah, the Sanctuary assholes sucked out all the care I might once have had for settlements, so the season ass has been mighty underwhelming. I’ll probably head over to Far Harbor at some point and see if they’ve got any comics, but your mini-review of Nuka-World is about all I’ll need to see of that.

    • MrGuy says:

      One of the major differences I’ve heard between Fallout 3 and FO:NV DLC was in the planning.

      FO3 (according to what I’d read) really wasn’t designed for any DLC – everything they built as DLC was built AFTER they’d basically finished the game, and had some “hey, maybe we could do something like this!” Broken Steel was largely a response to the crappy ending of the base game, and had some interesting ideas but didn’t really go anywhere. The Pitt took an offhand remark made by an ancillary character and turned it into an unnecessary parody of Pittsburgh. Mothership Zeta was zany but a very clear tack-on. Point Lookout was kind of fun (and had the interesting tie-in to the Dunwich Building). But not a great batting average.

      FO:NV, on the other hand, had the DLC planned along with the base story. Ulysses and at least some of Lonesome Road was originally planned to be part of the base game. Honest Hearts was crafted backstory around Joshua Graham that’s set up by the base game. Dead Money was fun and had some interesting connections to the Brotherhood and Veronica. Old World Blues was…OK, Old World Blues was crazy and not terribly well integrated with the rest of the game, but it’s also my favorite Fallout DLC ever so shut up. I’d take FO:NV’s worst DLC (IMO, Dead Money) over FO3’s best DLC (Point Lookout) any day.

      But the point with FO:NV was all the DLC was part of the story, with texture and interest that added to the overall game. FO3’s DLC read like bad fan fiction.

      From what I’ve read, FO4’s DLC is more in the Fallout 3 mold of “Well, we finished the game. Let’s throw some DLC at it. Anyone got any ideas?” Which is disappointing.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Particularly since the answer to that question this time around was: “No, not really. Er, what about some knick-knacks and shit for their shacks?”

      • Somebody says:

        I personally thought Dead Money was the best Fallout DLC, even better than Lonesome Road. And OWB was technically connected since Elijah and Christian are from there and mention it in the DM DLC.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      The Automation DLC can die in a fire as far as I’m concerned. That is the DLC that adds the Mechanist as the opponent and his stupid robots.
      This DLC is probably the reason No1 for me not finishing my play through of F4. I did not know the DLCs were on and initially I dismissed the robot raids as a THING that simply happens like Raider raids occasionally happen. But while random encounters with them were manageable in my char’s teen levels. By 20-30th level a PC with rifle focus was starting to have a REALLY REALLY difficult time taking them out. I would need to pump magazines and magazines of ammo into one of their stronger versions just to dent their HP bar, while they cheerfully stroll through my gunfire and disembowel me in couple of swipes. Add to that F4s annoying leveling enemies with you by making them even bigger bullet sponges and I was like FUCK THIS FUCK EVERYTHING WITH THIS.

    • Blunderbuss09 says:

      Words cannot describe how bitter I am about the DLC.

      Far Harbor was fucking fantastic and I love it more than the base game. But the others were either settlement bullshit or just quests. Considering that FO3 and F:NV had huge and fantastic DLC, whether they sucked or not, I was so disappointed. I know that I shouldn’t assume every AAA game will have DLC, the fact that they gave a great one and then tiny shitty ones is galling.

      Not to mention the settlement DLC both listened to modders and added stuff we should have always had, or ignored them and adde stuff no one asked for. Oh, yay, I can make cages to battle things. Meanwhile it took forever to get water pumps that could be settled in dirt that gave more than 3 units of water.

  7. James Porter says:

    Something I didn’t know about Fallout 3 until a video pointed it out, but the Enclave base at the end has a kitchen with a grate floor, and if you go under the great, its just covered with silverware. The enclave kept dropping their silverware though the grates and were too lazy to clean it up.

    Its probably the only bit of humanity you see in the Enclave in that game

    • ehlijen says:

      Yeah, I heard that too, which is why, for all my agreement with the complaints at bethesda, I don’t really agree with the claim in this episode (ie bobby pin& kitchen door) that they can’t do environmental storytelling as well or as subtly as obsidian. In fact, I’d say it’s the one area in which they can hold their own in a direct comparison.

  8. Philadelphus says:

    In rerference to Chris’s question about bomb craters, there’s a picture of ground zero from the Trinity nuclear test. While the ground is churned up in an area perhaps 40 feet across, the depth looks to be less than the height of the men standing in the crater.

    It’s possible a more powerful bomb would make a larger crater, but it’s important to keep in mind that moon-style craters come about because of something impacting the ground at high speed and releasing its energy in the ground. I think the idea with nuclear bombs is to detonate them at a height above the ground so the air-blast destroys infrastructure, rather than trying to explode them underground.

    So in conclusion, maybe? If it was a very powerful bomb (and the ones today are much more powerful than the Trinity device was) and it somehow didn’t detonate until it burrowed a little way into the ground, then it might make some sort of large crater like that.

    • One of the things said in either Fallout 3 or New Vegas was that the bombs were detonated fairly high in the air so that the infrastructure wasn’t damaged much but the people still died en masse.

      • Echo Tango says:

        Did the game mention if they were normal nukes, or neutron bombs, or even dirty bombs? ’cause if you’re trying to leave the infrastructure intact, you’d want something specifically made to kill the humans, and not also fry all the electrical gadgets / wires with an EMP.

        • From what The Vault says, they were something similar to neutron bombs. Electronics got screwed to hell, though.

          • Echo Tango says:

            Hmm…if you read the citation for that section of the page, it looks like they’re just normal (but smaller) nukes, with strategically chosen target sites (from climate models) to maximize fallout spread. i.e. Nothing like a neutron bomb at all, because it’s dirty bombs that are designed to spread fallout, and neutron bombs do most of their damage with the initial blast. I’d fix the section of the page to match the actual info in the citation…but I don’t want to deal with yet another login/account. ^^;

            • 4th Dimension says:

              If they were using bombs that need to maximize the fallout they would not have detonated them that high in the air. Another reason why the were planned to be used was because by detonating the nuke high in the air there is a LOT less material that can be irradiated. Basically irradiated matter (fallout) is limited to dust that gets sucked into the blast from the ground. This is militarily useful not only because airburst is more efficient usage of the blast but because you might need to move your ground forces through the area you destroyed previously by a nuke and you really don’t want to expose your own forces necessarily to the fallout.

              By comparison a nuke that explodes on the ground will irradiate and blow into the atmosphere ALL the ground that was in what will become it’s crater. Therefore creating much more fallout and irradiating the wider area more significantly.

              Basically in Nuklear war people are much more likely to die due the lack of food and medical attention/supplies because the society collapsed than due to the fallout and radiation.

              • Pax says:

                Inside the Glowing Sea is the Sentinel Site, a bunker full of nuclear missile silos. It’d be reasonable to assume that’s what the nuke that created the Glowing Sea was aiming for, and since it was a hardened military bunker, the nuke was probably both some sort of bunker buster and heftier on the tonnage than average.

    • Echo Tango says:

      You can see the result of an underground explosion in this video. According to this Q/A, it looks like Hiroshima didn’t have a crater. So yeah, air-burst bombs basically shove all their energy into buildings and trees (since that’s much easier to knock down than packed earth, roads, or rock), and underground bombs leave craters.

    • Wide And Nerdy® says:

      Only thing I can figure is sinkholes. The bombs might have triggered collapses that were already pending. Or the ecological changes from the war (or just 200 years passing) might have lowered the water level enough to cause collapses, I guess.

      Then again, if we’re going to allow for Fallout style radiation, maybe we should allow for Fallout style bomb craters. Its more fun.

    • andy says:

      Airburst weapons might not leave large craters, but nukes are plenty capable of digging LARGE craters. Look at the Castle Bravo test. The detonation of a 15Mt bomb left a crater 6500 feet across and 250 feet deep. The Soviets had bombs of roughly the same power, designed to dig out American missile silos.

      Hiroshima and the like didn’t leave craters because they were such relatively tiny weapons. :P

      • Da Mage says:

        It could be that the location of the Crater of Atom was actually a pre-war army base….perhaps a missle silo? As it is the first place struck at the beginning of the game, and you’d want a bunker buster if you were trying to take out a silo.

        I don’t know how nuclear weapons work, but if a nuke was used to take out a silo there, and the missile in the silo also exploded below ground……that could explain the crater as well as the devastation around the glowing sea.

      • Philadelphus says:

        That’s a good point, I guess it depends on the sizes of the bombs in the Fallout universe. I’d say it’s actually pretty plausible a large enough nuclear bomb could create a crater like that. After all, Castle Bravo was only the fifth largest real nuke ever detonated…

    • Decius says:

      I’ve been to the Trinity site. It isn’t much of a depression, and the base of the tower that held the bomb up is still there.

    • LCF says:

      The loading screens mention this place as “ground zero for the high-yield nuclear blast that devastated most of Massachusetts”.
      Thus, it was most probably an airburst, hence little to no crater, at least not this big.
      It’s more of a fantasy nuke crater than something realistic.

      • Fists says:

        Maybe the CoA did some landscaping because they read in a [comic] book that that’s what nukes do?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Wait,really?One bomb?Ooookkkkeeeeyyy….

        Lets use a handy map to see how plausible that is:
        http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

        Huh….That actually is plausible.The bigass crater as well.Well done bethesda….Wow

        • LCF says:

          Even if it’s an approximation of the kilotonnage of the bomb, it’s quite nice to have that description.
          I accept the idea of a crater being less fantasy.
          Is there a precise quote regarding the Massachusetts bomb, or did you put 100,000 kilotons as an approximation?

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I used that because that the largest nuke we made(the original tsar bomba),and I doubted that even that had enough power to devastate a whole state of thousands of square kilometers.Shake it up and cover it in fallout,sure,but not devastate as shown in this game.But I guess I was wrong.We do have the power to turn whole states into raging infernos.And if you look at all the entered options there,I used parameters that would increase the fallout but decrease the blast radius.Because modern nukes(fusion bombs)are designed to actually minimize fallout,and focus on immediate devastation.Which is…better??…I guess.

  9. IFS says:

    I don’t know how many hours I have in NV, but I’d probably put it around 200 and I recently bought the ultimate edition on Steam and started a new playthrough because there was DLC (Lonesome Road) that I hadn’t experienced yet (part of my reason for buying a new copy was because its more convenient to play than hooking up my old PS3, part of it is a bug on my PS3 that doesn’t render the game unplayable but makes certain sections really tedious).

    For how many hours I have on FO4? Zero, I don’t own FO4 and I have no intention of buying it, if this season of SW has done anything its only helped me affirm that decision. I have zero desire to play through another Bethesda Fallout, not really because I feel offended at what they’ve done to the franchise (though it does make me sad that this is what its reduced to) but because the game seems to be designed to be little more than a time sink, designed to do just enough to keep the player playing without necessarily engaging them in a truly meaningful way and I don’t have the time or interest in playing a game that seems designed to just be filler. Now I’m not saying that people are wrong for enjoying FO4, clearly a lot of them do, it just does not appeal to me.

    • If you wanna spend money, though, buy the Anniversary Edition of Titan Quest that was just released today. :D

      • IFS says:

        Never heard of it before but hey five bucks and I see one of my favorite streamers recommending it so why not.

        • Syal says:

          I’ll recommend it too, it’s a fun Diablo-style game, better than most of them. Original anyway, haven’t played the Birthday version here.

          • It’s about the same overall; I’ve seen some Satyrs fleeing with their arms thrown into the air, which is something that I don’t think was in the original version.

            That being said, if you want a challenge, TQ is good for that. You’ll get thrown at fairly hard enemies right at the start, the bosses will always be several levels higher than you, and survival is, at least where I am, less about dealing damage and more about mainlining health potions and tanking damage…

            …and I’m playing as the Archer-esque skill tree, sort of like the Amazon from Diablo 2 with a few Assassin traps thrown in.

  10. MichaelGC says:

    I’ve got 417 hours in Fallout 4 and something very similar in Skyrim – hard to tell exactly as vast numbers of Skyrim hours were on console.

    It’s taken me about 70 hours to finish the main quest in Fallout 4, although a good 10 or so of those were spent (a-long-long-way-)afk whilst I grinded “affinity” with Mayor Mungo. It’s impossible to finish the main quest without doing his companion mission, but if you just stand somewhere safe with a companion, affinity will slowly tick up. (I can’t recall if I read that on a wiki or if someone here tipped me off, but if it was the latter, then many thanks! If I’d actually had to hang out with him I don’t think I’d have made it.)

    New Vegas I’ve spent about 8-10 hours actually playing myself, but about 40-50 hours watching other people play, funnily enough. I’m not much of a role-player, which is likely the reason for the huge discrepancy. Fallout 4 & Skyrim are more DSGs* than they are RPGs.

    PS (first link NSFW) I was skeptical when it came up earlier, but I am now starting to wonder if someone watches this show, or at least, watches someone’s show.

    *Doing Stuff Games.

    • Pax says:

      I’m just curious, but in what way did you need to do MacCready’s quest to beat the game? Because it’s more than possible to beat the game without ever meeting him. Or did you just really need that giantly broken bonus to headshots in VATS?

      • MichaelGC says:

        Ah – I’m following Shamus’ lead, and so by ‘main quest’ I mean ‘collect all the magazines’. You can see my collection if you click on my ‘finish the main quest’ link, there. Woo.

        (I think there actually might be a (non-console) way to get the one MacCready’s mission allows you access to, but now I’ve got the darn thing I’ve studiously avoided looking into it so as not to massively irritate myself!)

  11. Mr Compassionate says:

    The glowing sea being as surprisingly benign as it is is simply another symptom of a larger problem, Bethesda is terrified of confronting the player with anything inconvenient or scary. Hard? Yes, they’re willing to kill you but soliciting concern, trepidation or mystery is against their nature.

    They won’t let you fail a quest even by trying to kill an important NPC. They won’t let you permanently ruin your reputation, you don’t need water, food or shelter. You always have lots of stimpacks, you never get surprised because everything is orderly and the map is a network of evenly placed dungeons containing at least one chest of loot and a unique prize. Everything is for the player’s pleasure so it’s a world that is entirely for your benefit without existing by it’s own merits. I bet somebody had to fight to even include the Glowing Sea let alone make it a real obstacle to tackle.

    • MichaelGC says:

      There’s an interesting exception in Fallout 4: you can blow Father/Shaun away at any time. It’s really the exception that proves the rule, though, as the game, the game never changes. Well, it does a little bit, but vastly less than one might suppose given the apparent centrality of the character to proceedings.

      • Pax says:

        My favorite part about blowing away Shaun is that if you do it before he even opens his mouth, you don’t learn who he is. You get kicked out, and the game proceeds without of the other factions. Even better, when you are blowing up the Institute at the end, the synth Shaun runs up claiming to be your son, and if you don’t know better, you might take it at face value, having thought you’ve finally save your real son. Except once you’re clear, synth son gives you a holotape from Father – still not revealing himself as your son – telling you the kid is a synth, and leaving you with the impression that you blew up your real son without saving them.

        • MichaelGC says:

          I didn’t know all that! I did gun him down before he’d opened his mouth, but then died trying to escape, and as I was only there for the comic book, decided not to press the issue a second time. So, it actually can change more than I was imagining, which is cool.

        • Baron Tanks says:

          Yes, it’s very satisfying. Upon my first time (and only time making it that far), it all clicked right away. Maybe it’s being versed in well-worn tropes, maybe it’s the writers being less smart as they think they are, but as soon as I encountered synth Shaun I knew exactly what was up. When Father entered the room and opened his mouth I was so fed up I just blasted him away right away. I was very happy to learn that this was actually a possibility and I just went on a murder spree, providing the catharsis from all previous stupidity. I think I managed to kill a bunch of people before being taken down.

          I then reloaded and played it all out according to the Bethesda writing team’s plan. It was all such a dull revelation. I did a bit of touring of the Institute but I never went back to the surface. That’s where I put Fallout 4 down, something like 55-60 hours put in. I tried picking it back up with a random start mod. But it just never gripped me again and I just moved on to other things

          *among which is RimWorld which is an excellent story generator and is my recommendation of the day. If you think you may like it, check out some YouTube content, it’ll reflect pretty accurately what the game is like and if it will be something for you*

  12. I disagree with Shamus’ assessment of what Bethesda would’ve done with the door in Vault 3. They wouldn’t have had audiologs detailing their attempts to break into the kitchen with bobby pins. Based on Fallout 4’s aesthetic, there would’ve been a bunch of teddy bears outside the door, all with Med-X needles stuck in their limbs, one of them in a costume like Motor-Runner, holding a box of Bobby Pins.

    Inside the kitchen would’ve been another pair of teddy bears in a compromising position, and one reading a newspaper on a toilet, because that joke never gets old.

    • All of that would actually be quite amusing, if not exactly good in world-building. :3

      • A few were funny, but I think they overdid it. I’d lay odds that over 80% of the structures in Fallout 4 have posed teddy bears in them. At least in Fallout 3, they mixed it up a little, with things like the plunger room or that tunnel in downtown DC (it may have been the one going to the Presidential Metro, or a branch thereof) where a skeleton was stuck in the ceiling and the remains of an attempt to “catch some sweet air” with a motorcycle and a pair of ramps was present.

    • Michael says:

      That weird moment when I want to disagree with everything you just said, but know you’re absolutely right. Though they’d probably have also stuck a plunger to the ceiling for good measure.

  13. Daniel England says:

    My Bethesda games playtimes:
    Morrowing: 56 minutes (I wish I could stand playing through it.)
    Oblivion: 68 hours on Steam + probably another 50 on Xbox 360 ~118 hours
    Fallout 3: I’m guessing ~50-70 hours on Xbox, but I can’t really know.
    Fallout: New Vegas: 311 hours (Woah, more than I thought.)
    Skyrim: 633 hours, though mine is likely inflated by alt-tabbing, plus it was my first real “Zen Game” (which I call a “podcast game”)
    Fallout 4: 61 hours

    Fallout 3 was my first Bethesda game, and I was just enamored with it (I was also 14 when it came out.) I remember a lot from my many many playthroughs of the game.

    Oblivion came next and I didn’t like it a ton, at first. My character was eventually infected with something called “porphyric hemophilia”. Confused I looked it up on the wiki and was blow away by the existence of Vampires in this world. I made me imagine all the things I couldn’t see about this game. I later discovered the Dark Brotherhood, and the vampire abilities made the quests trivial, but in a way that it felt like I had found a way to exploit the game. I’ve played the game many times, but tend to play a vampire assassin every time. I played that until the day Skyrim came out.

    Skyrim I really enjoyed my time with, but I don’t really have many memories from playing it initially. I remember the first dragon fight being weirdly… anti-climatic. But I didn’t like the vampire system I had so loved in the previous installment. And the Dark Brotherhood was pretty lame as well. But I really had no strong emotions attached to anything that happened in Skyrim. I thought the bait-and-switch with the Stormcloaks was inspired though, that much I will say. Originally believing that they were “The Good Guys” and then finding them to be rather racists was probably the coolest moment of the entire game… But I only happened once. I tried many different play styles in Skyrim, pure warrior, mage, thief and all kinds of mixed classes.

    Then I played Fallout: New Vegas for the first time. After I finally got it to work on my computer, I didn’t fall in love with it right away. But the addition of dialogues dependent on skills other than speech really won me over. The characters and the world all felt like they had a lot more care put into them. While my first playthrough had a bug that prevented me from going NCR, I still really enjoyed the entire story straight through to the ending. I’ve played multiple times trying out the NCR and Mr. House endings but I’ve felt unable to even attempt a Legion playthrough. If I’m spending 50+ hours on a game, I feel this need to “fix” the mojave. Whatever that means.

    Fallout 4: I really can’t imagine that I spent less time playing Fallout 3 than 4. It’s hard to say, but I remember more from my time with Fallout 3 (which was literally 7-8 years ago) than when I played 4 earlier this year. Every additional hour I spent with 4 made me enjoy it less. I only had two “half playthroughs” (never reaching the ends, or even the “twist”). Probably my best memory of the game actually came from the survival mode. I drank some sewage water because I was thirsty and didn’t want to drink any of my precious purified water (If it comes from a well, is it really purified?) and I ended up getting infected. This was a damage over time effect that required constant attention or I would (presumably) die. I could cure it, but I needed a perk to make the antibiotics, which required one more int than I had. I could as find a doctor to cure me, but I was still near the start of the game, so I didn’t know where one would be. So, I was two levels away from a cure and I was excited, I was challenged, this was an actual problem! Adversity existed in this world!

    Then my game crashed.

    No seriously, screw Fallout 4. I don’t think I’ll be picking up another Bethesda game unless I hear that the writing is actually really good. I honestly regret picking up Fallout 4, though it is nice to be able to explain why I don’t like it, I guess.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The answer is acutaly pretty simple:people enjoy schlock.I cant tell you how many times Ive watched all of the final destination series,despite knowing how schlocky it is.But movies I praise,like gattaca or memeto?I watched those only once.Mindless schlock is enjoyable to us humans,no matter how much we know its bad.

  15. lucky7 says:

    70 hours in (somewhat modded) Skyrim. 4 hours in the Enderal mod (hopefully more to come).

  16. Somniorum says:

    I’ve never much been in love with power armour, so never wore it in Fallout 4. When I heard I was going to the Glowing Sea, and that it’d supposedly be super radioactive, I shrugged and though “no problem, I’ll wear that full-body anti-rad suit I found not long ago.”

    I didn’t realise what I was going into at all. The suit was okay for the anti-radiation, but it has basically no armour value… not until I got up to it did I realise that the Glowing Sea was not a sea at all – I had expected to be going off to a body of water, maybe get to a pier and take a boat to some place or something like that – or just swim if I had to (I had the perk that negated all radiation from swimming).

    No armour, tons of strong enemies, lots of running. I was literally running for dear life through most of the Glowing Sea.

    • I did the exact opposite; my first time through I had four or five suits of Power Armor that I’d stocked up before I got the quest, so I spent some time upgrading (I think) a suit of T-51 to E- or F-level, threw some Lead Plating on it, and basically turned it into the Anti-Rad Machine…

      …just to find out I was still taking a small amount of rads even though there should have been no way in hell I was getting any. >:(

  17. Echo Tango says:

    Re: Josh’s comment about the trees

    My take on the still-dead trees, is that it’s just as out of whack as everything else in the Fallout games. Like, if you just shifted all the timelines so that everything was taking place somewhere in the range of 2-20 years after the bombs fell, everything would make much more sense. People would be scavenging for parts, raiding, and avoiding nuclear fallout, but not after 200 years. Similarly, forests could/would remain dead after the nukes dropped, but not for 200+ years. :)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The problem with dead trees is that they looked at fallout and said “This is what a place looks like when nukes explode all over it”,without realizing that the place was a desert before the war.So they turn everything into a desert,whether it makes sense or not.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      And yet as that article notes in 200 years the area around Boston could have easily returned to how it was before the arrival of the Europeans or even humans altogether.

      • Echo Tango says:

        Umm…which article? Did Josh mention one in the show? I only linked to Wikipedia, which was talking about Ukraine, and didn’t mention any specific timelines. Now I want to read this mystery article! :)

        • 4th Dimension says:

          The article about Chernobyl forests. Despite the fact that the radiation is strong enough to kill humans, or in a way precisely because of that that “dead” forest has become an impromptu park providing a safe harbor to a variety of animals that were nearly extinct in the area.

  18. Aaron says:

    game times :
    fallout 3: 246
    fallout 4: 421
    fallout new vegas: 575
    far cry primal: 28
    skyrim: 1400
    mount and blade warband: 1226

    this shows that my 2 fall back games are skyrim and mount and blade, both medieval fantasy…

    also only got 40 hours into no mans sky and felt the magic wane

  19. Hermocrates says:

    These are approximate, since I played them on the PS3 and subsequently lost all of my saves when it got the Yellow Light of Death:

    Fallout 3: ~140 hours (including all DLC)
    Fallout: New Vegas: ~140 hours (no DLC)
    Fallout 4: 0 hours (may be permanent unless it goes on a huge sale)

    Now for a few points of comparison off Steam:

    Morrowind: 81 hours (plus countless hours from the CD version)
    Oblivion: 14 hours (maybe another 30 hours from the CD version)
    Pillars of Eternity: 104 hours (planning on a second playthrough soon, now that I have both DLC)
    Kerbal Space Program: 206 hours
    Overwatch: 52 hours
    Sid Meier’s Civilization V: 94 hours

    Long story short, KSP is my all-time fallback game, and I don’t play nearly enough video games.

  20. Christopher says:

    The Glowing Sea looks so cool. The name helps, too. Invokes The Sea of Decay, in my mind.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I’m not sure what I think about the name anymore. It’s not actually a body of water, but I don’t know what else you could call it, that wouldn’t just be boring (like a description instead of a name) or sound like it’s trying too hard to be “cool”.
      – Deadlands?
      – Flaming Expanse?
      – Gleaming Wastes?
      – Luminescent Zone?
      It’s definitely a much more interesting take on the “desolate waste zone” than other Fallout games have had. Cool glowing fog, plus dead trees, plus the normal sand and destroyed humans stuff. :)

      • IFS says:

        The Glow in FO1 remains a fairly unique location. Its just this dead and mostly empty stretch of wasteland, corpses can be found here and there and the entire expanse (even in the world map as you approach it) is full of invisible radiation that will kill you very quickly if you aren’t properly equipped. If you are properly equipped though you can loot the remains of an old military base and make out like a bandit (and maybe even uncover some lore if you make it deep enough to reach the computer), plus show up the Brotherhood who sent you there expecting you to die.

    • Nessus says:

      Minus the critters and the garbage, the Glowing Sea looks an awful lot like the surface of Venus. The actual IRL surface of Venus, as photographed by the old Soviet Venara probes, not some pulp sci-fi imagining of Venus.

      Don’t think it means anything (and is in all likelihood coincidental on Bethesda’s part), but it is pretty cool.

      • That is pretty awesome. I’ve often thought if I ever ran a game where you ended up in the Plane of Fire or Hell or any sort of molten doom place, I’d use those pics to show what it looked like.

        Also, I want more probes to Venus! Come on, EXTREME ENGINEERING! Heck, it’d be a great contest for college kids. Make a probe that will survive Venusian surface conditions for as long as possible while returning reliable data.

  21. Da Mage says:

    In survival the glowing sea is terrifying….after playing it a few times now I know where the one bed is along the route, but getting to Virgil and back without a save when many things can kill you within a few hit is hard.

    Fuck bloodbugs….so many deaths to them in the glowing sea.

  22. Gnoll Queen says:

    Skyrim: 168
    Fallout New Vegas: 172
    The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind: 81 (Well when i was like 14 i finished the game at least once? So add like at least 50 hours to that it)

    Those are reasonable to me. Wat wasn’t reasonable was the fact that i have apparently spent 316 hours in dark souls and 85 Hours! in Saints row 2. Like those really really confused and surprised me.

  23. p_johnston says:

    My hours on steam are
    Morrowind 51
    Oblivion 17.3 (steam has this wrong. should be about 97)
    skyrim 556
    fallout 3 9 minutes (Again wrong. Last I checked it was closer to 80)
    new vegas 520
    fallout 4 170

    Mind you these are only steam hours. I played and very nearly perfected every game on the list, with the exception of fallout 4, on console before I got them on PC. My total play time for any given game is probably at least 200 hours greater then what steam says. For fallout 3 and oblivion it’s probably closer to 300.

    I’m also heavily into modding. I have probably spent countless hours downloading and modding the games, which might have helped with my expanded play times.

    P.S. Now that I think over how much Time I have spent playing these games I think that I’m kind of a Bethesda junkie. The highest hour count outside of a bethasda style game is the witcher three at 88.

  24. SgtRalph says:

    Fallout New Vegas: 251 hours, with some of the DLC’s and plenty of mods
    Fallout 4: 141 hours, no DLC’s or mods
    Skyrim: 555 hours, DLC’s and mods
    Oblivion and Fallout 3: Both played on my old console but definitely more than New Vegas, and less than Skyrim.

    I have to say I’m surprised my FO4 is shorter than New Vegas. I didn’t expect it to be as good as New Vegas but I figured something shlocky like FO3 or a mix of Skyrim would be more engaging of my hours. FO4’s been the first Fallout game where I’ve really enjoyed the combat without having to significantly mod it but it really feels like just a loot and shoot at times. Somehow the world feels spread thinner than Skyrim’s or FO3’s and I lose interest after picking through a raider camp or two.

  25. SoranMBane says:

    My New Vegas playtime on Steam is 503 hours, and when you add in the impossible to count time I spent playing the game on the PS3 version, it definitely gets even crazier. I can’t count how many hours I’ve played in Skyrim (because all my playtime there is split between the PS3 version and a copy of the game on someone else’s computer) or Fallout 3 (which I’ve only played on PS3), but I’m 100% sure I’ve played more of New Vegas.

    I know why that is, too; it’s because for me, the thing I like to do most in these games is the roleplaying. I love creating interesting, unique characters and playing them through all the story content, seeing what choices they’ll make, having them say things that fit the personality I’ve given them. Out of all these open world RPGs, New Vegas is the one that’s the best at that kind of experience.

  26. Garrett Carroll says:

    I’ve been playing Fallout 4 since January, when I got it in an Xbox One Bundle. Honestly, Fallout 4 is much better than New Vegas. New Vegas was indeed overly buggy and contained the same crappy combat system as FO3. The fact they took and cloned the game both in graphics and gameplay was blegh to me.

    Fallout 4, on top of the much better combat, is a lot less buggy and offers more stuff to do, though occasionally I’ll find myself wandering and doing nothing for hours on end. Such is the way of a Bethesda game.

  27. MrGuy says:

    To be slightly generous to the game about the scenery, as you go west from Boston you do get into some rolling hills in the middle of the state, and eventually into the Adirondack mountains in the western half of the state.

    The game doesn’t go nearly that far out, but the canonical location of the glowing sea is south and slightly west of Natick (Josh passed through the Natick ruins), and it’s not unreasonable to make that part of the state somewhat hilly. Mountains and cliffs are a bit of a stretch.

    • Melodious Punk says:

      One possible cause for the mountains is they took a height map of the Boston area and scaled down the lat & long without touching the height. While it does look silly to have such steep slopes, if they had scaled the height they couldn’t have had the entrance to the vault at the beginning overlook the town as you watch the nukes go off. It would also allow them to have a lower terrain view distance while avoiding a noticeable horizon.

    • I would have loved them to do some of those mountains. Sure, the Appalachians aren’t the Rockies, but they’re still lovely, and man you could do some awesome creepy locations. (I might have read too much Lovecraft as a child but driving through those mountains on those winding heavily-forested roads has always been slightly creepy to me).

  28. Alexander says:

    I’ve got something like 600 hours in New Vegas and around 200 so far in 4. I didn’t have nearly that much in 3 because I played New Vegas first, and wasn’t really digging 3 coming off of what is still my favorite 3D Fallout game. I did like The Pitt DLC, mostly because I’m from PA. I have a friend who had a similar experience with Zion National Park in Honest Hearts. He loved it because he went there many times when he was younger so the familiar setting made it stick out to him. Meanwhile I only ever did it if I desperately needed some piece of loot from the park — usually the Desert Ranger armor — because I couldn’t stand running back and forth across the canyon. I sadly don’t have a record of my playtime in Skyrim because I played it mostly on the Xbox 360 which I shared with my sister, and she accidentally deleted our saves. I lost the greatest mansion that ever blessed Falkreath’s hills to that deletion…

  29. Content Consumer says:

    That’s the only decorating motif they know, is garbage everywhere.

    Not true! It’s garbage if they’re bandits or raiders or something. It’s blood and skeletons if they’re vampires or demons. Admittedly, there’s some overlap when you get to demented bandits.

    • Ciennas says:

      And super mutants like gore bags that make the exact same sound that gore bags made in Oblivion.

      Too bad then they don’t establish more tribes. Nuka World established three raider clans with distinct visual motifs, at least for their armor. How cool would it be for that to be part of the mapping plan from the getgo?

      I’d mark all the settlements and points of interest, all encounter points, and mark them as belonging to different tribes that bounce off each other.

      They do that now, sorta. Super mutant/raider/ghoul, but I feel like they could granulate the raider faction more, and then play off that to granulate the super mutants more.

      Maybe tribe A favors explosives and likes parmesan, and tribe b favors spear fishing and danishes. They have specially earmarked gear, and that would increase the visual storytelling.

      You could tell that the Danish eaters recently attacked the Parmesians, because the base is actively having Parmesian colors and flags being swapped for Danish gear.

      That would lead to some feature creap, but it would make things look more variable.

      Instead, we really have three factions: suoer Mutant, Raider, and Gunner.

      Come to think of it, the raiders in this game communicate and have intrigues, even leadership. Doesn’t that qualify them as the de facto cultural standard, and all the settlers are this fringe group?

      Am I overthinking this?

      • MichaelGC says:

        Possibly … you’re certainly making me feel hungry …

      • Content Consumer says:

        Given Bethesda’s track record of learning and implementing ideas garnered from mods in previous games, you’d think this would already be a thing. I’d say the current bits with the raider groups being antagonistic toward one another (like the Booze vs. Food gangs rivalry) is a step in that direction, but not a very big one. NB: I have not played Nuka World.
        Now I haven’t looked at the game internally – haven’t even downloaded the CK for Fallout 4 (my one and only Fo4 mod was made using xedit) – but it just seems like a mechanically shallow addition, something that can be controlled by a pair of bools.

        Splinter groups and smaller parties sent out from the larger one(s) is well done, though. Better than anything in Skyrim, I’d say. For example, it’s interesting to follow Garvey and co. backwards along their journey, little hints garnered from holotapes and computer terminal entries that only really make sense once you’ve found them all. When first arriving in Concord and killing the bandits, you maybe think that the named bandit “Gristle” is just a boss bandit with no real reason for being other than “to be a tougher bandit.” One you kill off the raiders at the Corvega factory, you find out that Gristle was a lieutenant in the gang and was sent out specifically to kill the group and capture Mama Murphy. Same deal with the Quincy/Minutemen and Baker, I feel.

        You could make the argument that centering so much content, at least tangentially, on an individual or a group is kind of lazy. I do, at least – when it’s centered on the player character, who by definition in all of these games is a newly arrived protagonist and making the world revolve around them is irksome. Morrowind did that, but it worked there because even at the very end of the main quest you never really knew whether or not you were the Nerevarine, or just some convenient puppet placed by the Emperor, or Azura, or otherwise. In Oblivion it wasn’t too bad, because although everything revolved around you the story was written to make everything revolve around Martin. In Skyrim, you start out a demigod and stay that way until the end.

        Anyway, this whole post is basically just to say “yes I agree” and then I got sidetracked. Sorry. :)

  30. Ciennas says:

    Well, you mention mods, and I think I’ve foreseen a future possibility.

    They are trying to take complete control of those mods away from the end user.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that those of us with consoles get to play along, but while the restrictions are onerous, I’ve been complaining about the artificial limits that Bethesda’s mod support has created.

    And they’re now trying to backwards implement it to Skyrim via a texture patch to make it ‘next gen’ pretty.

    I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t like the idea of them curating the mods. Because they will inevitably try to make money off of it. Or they’ll drop support from the older titles.

    More positively, I think it’d be radical for more stuff like Fall of the Space Core. You know, mods that incorporate others intellectual property without having the companies involved getting butthurt and firing legal threats.

    • Content Consumer says:

      I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t like the idea of them curating the mods. Because they will inevitably try to make money off of it. Or they’ll drop support from the older titles.

      I worry that you’re right. Maybe not with this Skyrim Remastered or Fallout 4, though the framework is obviously in place. Maybe not even with the next Elder Scrolls game, who knows? But some day, I’m sure it will happen.

      They learned their lesson with the previous paid mods fiasco – you dump that kind of thing on people too quickly, and you get backlash. Implement it gradually and a lot fewer people will complain, or in some cases even notice.

      There’s a learning curve to boiling frogs.

    • Raygereio says:

      They are trying to take complete control of those mods away from the end user. [snip] …I’ve been complaining about the artificial limits that Bethesda’s mod support has created.

      Okay, wait? How is Bethesda trying “take control” and what sort of artificial limits are there?

      And they’re now trying to backwards implement it to Skyrim via a texture patch to make it ‘next gen’ pretty.
      I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t like the idea of them curating the mods. Because they will inevitably try to make money off of it. Or they’ll drop support from the older titles.

      I think there are a couple of fundamental misunderstandings going here.
      First of all: Skyrim Remastered isn’t going to be “texture patch”. It’s basically going to be Skyrim’s assets, updated and placed FO4’s iteration of the Creation Engine. And then some new graphical whatsits are going to be added as well new clutter in gameworld. Most importantly: It’s going to be a standalone game. If you want to continue using the original Skyrim, you can.

      I assume you’re referring to Bethesda.net there with “drop support for the older titles”. Given how bad the optics of a move like that would be, it’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future.
      But even it would happen, so what? The only people affected by it would the console players. The PC modding scene isn’t chained to Bethesda.net, it will just shrug and continue unchanged.
      As for Bethesda curating mods. Are they even doing that? There are a couple of basic rules like “no porn”. But as far as I’m aware the only actual curating is an automated tool that quickly scans the mod you’ve uploaded for offensive language, or something like that.

      Lastly: Pay for mods isn’t coming back. It’s likely is that the corporate suits looked at the Skyrim-test and figured that it was too much PR trouble for too little monetary gain.
      But even if it’s still something they want to try again, then it’s certainly not something they’re going to retry with Skyrim after what happened last time. You can breathe easy.

      • Content Consumer says:

        Okay, wait? How is Bethesda trying “take control” and what sort of artificial limits are there?

        There are no limits currently that I am aware of. People do make a big deal about the EULA(s), debating endlessly about fine points and comparisons between current one(s) and previous ones, but I think it stems more from an outgrowth of the same backlash that hit with Skyrim paid modding.
        At this point, people are still primed and wary about potential changes. That will undoubtedly die down as time goes on.

        The PC modding scene isn’t chained to Bethesda.net, it will just shrug and continue unchanged.

        You’re assuming that Bethesda (or Zenimax, I suppose would be the instigator) would not do something shady (and technologically difficult for a variety of reasons) like force the CK to only save files directly to cloud storage. You’re probably right to make that assumption, at least for the foreseeable future. Even if Bethesda did something like that, third-party programs such as xedit would undoubtedly continue to function just fine.

        Bethesda at this point has one solid black mark against them, and people – and I should really only be speaking for myself here – are ready to consider a lot of potentially negative scenarios.

        As for Bethesda curating mods. Are they even doing that? There are a couple of basic rules like “no porn”.

        No they aren’t – certainly not enough anyway, in the sense of insufficient moderation and oversight.

        Lastly: Pay for mods isn’t coming back.

        Certainly not immediately. But further down the road, I think it gets increasingly likely. Possibly for the next Elder Scrolls game, whatever that may be. Almost certainly they will introduce some variant for the one after that.

        • Pax says:

          I think the biggest thing that will prevent an online-only curated mod store from being the only way to get your Bethesda mods is the fact that the mod authors still have to be able to run them independently of such a thing for testing and development. You can’t just implement cloud storage-only saving into the CK, because any useful content would be drowned out by one room shoot-boxes and Hello World-type experiments. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

  31. Decius says:

    From Steam, which doesn’t represent the total time:
    Fallout, Fallout 2: Not installed; I think I ran the GoG versions.

    Fallout 3: GOTY Edition: 5 hours, but I played the GFWL version when it came out.
    Fallout 4: 144 hours
    Fallout Tactics: 21 minutes. This did not age well.
    Fallout: New Vegas: 182 hours
    The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind: 105 hours, but I have more time than that on non-steam versions.
    Oblivion: 66 hours, and this IS all the time I’ve played.
    Skyrim: 87 hours, counts all the time.

    Selected Other games:
    Crusader Kings II: 191 hours.
    Ass Creed III: 184 hours
    Ass Creed Iv: 105 hours
    Ass Creed unity: 21 hours
    Atom Zombie Smasher: 25 hours
    Deus EX: HR: 33 hours
    Dishonered: 24 hours
    Everquest: 305 hours (not counting pre-steam version)
    Final Fantasy IV: 119 hours (mostly trying to figure out speedrun strats)
    Final Fantasy X remaster: 95 hours (chasing 100% completion)
    The Flame in the Flood 17 hours (do a SW on it BTW)
    FTL: 159 hours
    Good Robot: 4 hours (Sorry)
    Infinifactory: 25 hours
    Jagged Alliance remakes: total 105 hours
    No Man’s Sky: 32 hours
    Rust: 384 hours
    Civ 5: 155 hours
    Civ: BE: 72 hours
    Space Pirates and Zombies: 95 hours
    Spec ops: The Line: 27 hours (100% achievements)
    This War of Mine: 30 Hours
    UFO: After[light|math|shock]: 187 hours total
    Wasteland 2: 116 hours
    Will Fight For Food: Super Actual Sellout: Game of the Hour: 48 minutes.
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown: 209 hours
    XCOM 2 137
    X-COM: UFO Defense, Terror From the Deep, Apocalypse: Unknown, not tracked by Steam.

    Therapy: Scheduled.

  32. MichaelGC says:

    The Poseidon Reservoir place can feature in four or five of the different types of radiant quest. So it’s not that it’s entirely devoid of narrative, but that various identikit narratives can be teleported in to suit the requirements of the game engine. (If that’s the right term when talking of the radiant mechanic.)

    I’m not sure if that comes to the same thing or is worse than having no story of its own. But it’s certainly not better!

    (Actually there is one small exception. There’s one quest where you might need a Poseidon-made part, so they send you to one of the Poseidon places to get it. Something, at least.)

    I think they tried to do something like the episode stuff Rutskarn was talking about in the vault where you find Nick, what with those gangsters ‘n’ stuff. I’m probably not alone in thinking that wasn’t a particularly effective example of the kind of thing… But I think that was the vague idea.

  33. MichaelGC says:

    Josh seemed to tear through those Atomites pretty effectively, there! Almost as if they were mostly empty space. The ones I had trouble with were their brethren right over on the other corner of the map, near the lighthouse. I don’t think there’s a quest or anything – I was probably there to grab a comic or a bobblenoggin – but that was the first fight in 10 or 20 levels to put any dent in my acquired feeling of OP demigodhood. They were all toting gamma guns and had bulletproof foreheads, and I don’t think I managed to clear the place out in the end – just grabbed the treasure and scarpered.

    • Pax says:

      Well, that lighthouse is off the main quest line, so enemies are allowed to scale up to your level.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Aye right – this was on my collection quest, though, so I’d been avoiding main and even side quests entirely for hours & hours. So most of the stuff I’d been encountering over that time would have levelled with me too – it’s just that these guys must be set to ‘level with the player and make sure it’s actually tough’.

        I imagine there’ll be other factors – by that time I’d become very tactically lazy, so me wandering in there assuming I’d tank anything they could throw at me whilst issuing one-click kills to all & sundry wasn’t the best way to make their acquaintance! And I’m not sure how granular the levelling is – it might be that I’d coincidentally just stepped up to a new level-band, or similar.

        Anyway, I’m certainly not complaining! It was a tough but fun fight, and it felt good to escape by the skin of my teeth (having successfully grabbed the comic!). As the previous paragraph might suggest, the combat had become a little rote and boring at that point, so it was a nice change of pace.

  34. Galad says:

    5-6 (<10 anyway) hours in Morrowind, 2-4 hours in Skyrim, and an hour at most in F3. For some reason I keep hitting some content I am not battle-ready for in these games and end up bored, and quit trying.

  35. WA says:

    Hmm. Let me check.

    Fallout New Vegas: 233 hours
    Fallout 4: 47 hours

    And that’s not even counting the hours I racked up in New Vegas on the 360 (New Vegas: the game so nice, I bought it twice).

    I guess Fallout 4’s “unstructured content” doesn’t appeal to me very much. Or maybe I just don’t feel like fooling around in a world I care nothing for.

  36. Blunderbuss09 says:

    You guys mentioned it would have been cool to see a lush biome; thing is, there’s a perfectly lore-friendly justification of how there could be one.

    You find out that the Institute is using Warick Homestead to test special seeds that can thrive in the wasteland. Except when you get there it just looks like an ordinary crappy settlement. (Pun intended). It would have been amazing to see the whole area wonderful and lush with life because not only does it have a good cover story – the area is rich with nutrients because it’s build on a sewerage plant – but could demonstrate the amazing technology that could be used to rebuild the world. Except nah, if you do the Institute quest all that happens is that they grow a super-big melon. Big whoop.

    There’s also a few interesting stories in this game. You find a random unmarked house full of radiation with holotapes that document a scientist intentionally exposing themselves to radiation to test a serum, which I think was Rad-Away. It’s kind of sad listening to this dedicated scientist sacrifice themselves and their detailed reports slowly degenerate as they’re dying. When a huge glowing one pops up in the end room you feel more like euthanizing a good person than killing another enemy.

  37. KarmaTheAlligator says:

    New Vegas: 314 hours. Plenty of mods, and plenty of playthroughs to try the different factions. I think I’ve done everything except some companion quests by now. No DLC, weirdly enough.

    Fallout 4: 5 minutes (can’t play it, it just either stays a black screen or the opening is messed up).

    Can’t say for Fallout 3, since I played the retail, non-Steam version (which had GFWL, thankfully modded out).The DLCs were rather fun.

    Skyrim: 150 hours (like Shamus said, plenty of faffing about avoiding the story). Tried to play differently every time, but every time I end up as a stealthy one-hit-kill character, because the combat is so tedious. Finished the game once. No DLC.

  38. Darren says:

    I went through a years-long period where I had very poor internet, so much of my game time with FO3 through Skyrim is unrecorded (why Steam’s offline mode doesn’t track this, I don’t know).

    I’ve definitely played more New Vegas than Fallout 4, probably around 200 hours or more. Yes, it’s much more structured, but it feels like a real place with characters I like and dynamics I find interesting. I enjoy revisiting it.

    Fallout 4 I have maybe 40 hours or so. I did the main quest and walked away. Yes, the basic mechanics are better, but the basic conflict doesn’t hold up at all. The Institute is a nonsensical entity with no motivations, so the endless conflict that drives the area feels screamingly artificial. I don’t like the base building at all and if I want to play an FPS there are far better options available. I’m also not crazy about the character creation system, as it just feels less interesting than what New Vegas or even Fallout 3 had.

    Skyrim eclipses them all, however, and I’d estimate I’ve played it for somewhere around 300+ hours. Like New Vegas, Skyrim feels like a real place. Sure, the civil war is over in a few quests if you mainline it, and there are plot holes throughout, but it generally feels like there are plausible reasons for everything that’s happening, and the game is stuffed with little details that add to this feeling (I particularly like the orc villages and giants, both of which are elements that never really get much attention but are consistent in their depiction and add to the game’s sense of place). The game systems also let me play a more unique character than I generally find in Fallout. People complain that you can do everything equally well in Skyrim, but that’s really only if you choose to do so. I like to specialize my characters, and I’ve found that different builds do feel rather different from one another, from my two-handed focused barbarian in light armor to my heavy-armor wearing paladin who had no crafting skills and relied entirely on found and purchased equipment to my pure mage, I’ve had a number of different Skyrim experiences that make returning to its mechanics as pleasant as returning to its landscapes.

  39. Pax says:

    I feel like a leper in these comments because my time playing Fallout 4 far eclipses New Vegas by a ridiculous margin. Now, before the mob starts to form, know that this is not because I dislike New Vegas in any way; in fact, I consider NV to be the true third game in the series, as it follows the “fallout” (harhar) of the war as presented through Fallouts 1 and 2.

    No, my problem is that I played and modded and made mods for Fallout 3 for about a full year or more, so by the time New Vegas rolled around, I was damn tired of that engine and gameplay. I have played NV pretty thoroughly I feel, with two complete characters and numerous others played through various percentages, but it’s so hard to go back to now.

    Fallout 4, on the other hand, I have also been playing for pretty much the whole year since it’s been released, with even more characters, storyline finished or not. The plot is dumb, sure, but I’m less interested in the plot than how the characters I make react to it (headcanon stuff, basically), and in trying out different play styles. Basically, I just like having a world to live different lives in, and Fallout 4 is the biggest, baddest versions of that in a setting I enjoy right now.

  40. Kelerak says:

    I can’t say for sure what my hours in any of those games are, as I own the physical copies, but I’m sure that Oblivion has the second highest amount of hours I’ve ever put into one game, right below Team Fortress 2. At that time, I had discovered that modding was a thing and had proceeded to do as much as possible in that regard. I could not get enough of that game.

    Fallout 3 probably has the least amount of hours that I actively put into the Bethesda games (unless you count the 20 minutes I played of Morrowind), but still was a major obsession of mine when I was able to play it. I also adored New Vegas, and am doing another playthrough now that I’m older and so I can truly appreciate the design of that game and why Bethesda design is dumb.

    Skyrim is definitely behind Oblivion in terms of how much I played when that game came out, but I’m likely not going to revisit it any time soon due to how bland the game actually is. Sure, mods do exist, but as was brought up in the episode, it doesn’t make the base game any better.

  41. My steam times are horribly inaccurate, but I can certainly do most to least played….
    1) Skyrim
    2) Oblivion. If I could find a way to mod in Skyrim’s leveling to Oblivion, I’d be playing it still. I love the Ayelid ruins more than Skyrim’s.
    3) Fallout 3. Finished main quest, did some DLC, wandered around abit.
    4) Fallout New Vegas. Wandered around a bit. Keep meaning to go back
    5)Morrowind. I think I’ve spent more time reading the guide than playing, sadly.

    If we’re going all games, I think….
    1) World of Warcraft. (I have no idea what my played time is. This is likely a good thing)
    2) Lord of the Rings Online
    3) Icewind Dale/Baldur’s Gate 2/Icewind Dale 2
    4) Neverwinter Nights

  42. Nick Powell says:

    I would love if they just handed the licence over to Obsidian again but were all “Hey, can you make sure it works this time?”, then they could just give them a load of money, wait a few years and come back and check on the result. I’m sure that would work out fine. At least I’m sure Obsidian would do something interesting with it.

  43. Phantos says:

    I’ve played a LOT of Fallout 4. Specifically, I like starting new playthroughs, although I’ve only ever completed the game once.

    That’s not really indicative of it being BETTER than other games, or New Vegas, but I do gotta give it credit for that. In spite of all of the dumb nonsense this game throws at the player, I enjoy playing it. I just picked up the Nuka World DLC too, which means I’ll be playing it even more in the future.

    I remember when I finally beat Fallout 3, I didn’t really want to go back to it. There was nothing I really wanted to see or do again. I’m glad there’s at least something bringing me back to this game, even if it’s stuff I’ve done a bunch of times before.

  44. Baron Tanks says:

    Fallout 3: don’t have the actual times (360 back in the day), but a single playthrough to the end and a bit of mucking around, lets call it 40-60

    Oblivion: a bunch of wandering, the old style levelling system made the main quest a pain in the ass coming back to it after levelling 10 hours, gave up, probably 20 in total

    Skyrim: first on 360, then years later again on pc. 53 on pc, probably one and a half times on 360, lets say 120 in total

    New Vegas: now here’s the bastard child in my collection. I never bothered on consoles because I had no interest in more at the time, also heard about it’s buggy reputation. Did get it on PC, couldn’t get into it at first attempt (~1 hour). Tried it again recently after watching some Spoiler Warning NV on the side of Spoiler Warning FO4, still couldn’t get into it. Probably because I’m at a point in my gaming habits where something has to be able to engage me in bite sized chunks, I finding it more difficult to delve deep into games if there is no immediate hook. 4 hours total.

    Fallout 4: I tried it, extensively. Couldn’t get into the wandering and exploring like I did in Skyrim. The main quest didn’t get me due to well documented issues with the writing. 44 hours and thinking of going back to it just makes me sighhhh.

    A random list of things that engaged me more:

    -AC Black Flag 71 hours
    -XCOM 2 168 hours (the only game where the majority of playtime is a direct result of mods)
    -Rocket League 81 hours
    -RimWorld 48 hours in just the last two and a half weeks, does include alttabbed time

    And my shameful all time top lister:

    Europa Universalis IV: 693 hours (and no hours listed since January. I finally got done and done completely).

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