Fallout 3: Green World

By Shamus
on Aug 11, 2009
Filed under:
Game Reviews

<strong>Top:</strong>  The original game.  </p>
<p><strong>Bottom:</strong> the exact same location with the Green World mod installed.
Top: The original game.

Bottom: the exact same location with the Green World mod installed.

Yesterday I mentioned I’d been surfing through the Fallout 3 mod database. Mixed in with the nude mods, outlandish weapons, and endless clothing packs I found a lot of surprising things. Eventually I found myself playing and installing mods, and enjoying Fallout 3 far more than I did on my original trip through the game.

The most compelling mod I installed is clearly heretical in nature: Green world replaces the brown grass and dead trees with lush greenery. Now, the Fallout games are clearly established as taking place in a more or less lifeless world. It’s an endless wasteland of sterile dirt and rock. This breaks that. I will not defend the mod against the charge that it moves the setting of Fallout 3 even further from the originals, and in fact I admit I would probably have faulted Bethesda if they had made the game look this way by default. But I can’t let my small-minded hypocrisy stand in the way of fun. This is a drastic improvement in many ways. I could not believe how much of a difference this thing made to my enjoyment of the game.

fallout_green2.jpg

The trees introduce a bit of mystery to the horizon. It was often monotonous to march over the unbroken line of lifeless dirt. Now trees block your view in some places. Other places are open. Now when you travel it feels like you’re going somewhere.

The color variety is important as well. The 2D Fallout games had more colorful foes, pools of bright green goo, and slightly more colorful clothing and scenery. That’s been toned down with the move towards photo-realism. Worse, moving the camera to first person means that you’re now seeing all the way to the horizon, which makes the brown sort of pervasive and smothering. You can say that this is how the world of Fallout should look, and I won’t argue with you. But there is only so much brown I can look at in a session, and without the greenery the entire world is the color of dirt and ash. The splashes of green produce some desperately needed contrast to the view.

fallout_green3.jpg

But the biggest change of the mod is just to change our perception of the wasteland. Vanilla Fallout 3 presents a barren, lifeless world. No tress. Barely any grass, most of which is brown. This introduces a lot of questions as to how in the heck anything is still alive after 200 years. No vegetation means no food chain. No food chain means nothing for humans to eat. Humans should have starved about 20 years after the bombs fell, as the last of the old food stores were depleted. The idea that this world could support not just humans, but massive predators like Deathclaws, Yao Guai, Super Mutants, and Mirelurks is ridiculous.

But the wasteland presented in this mod is very different. This isn’t a world rendered uninhabitable by human civilization. This is a world that is simply forgetting human civilization. Grass and trees encroach on the borders of the city. Grass pokes up through the cracked pavement, inexorably reclaiming the land.

With this mod, the food chain is plausible. Sure, the game doesn’t show any crops being grown, but it’s easier to believe in farming that happens off-screen than it is to believe that people are still living off of 200 year old boxes of cereal.

fallout_green4.jpg

There are a few minor issues. The oasis region won’t make any sense now, since your character will make a big deal over seeing green trees even though they’re all over the wasteland now. The trees are non-solid to avoid breaking the AI pathfinding. There are a small number of places where the branches poke through walls, which looks wrong. Still, it’s amazing someone was able to make such vast changes with such minor side-effects.

The overgrown world has a kind of lonely, forlorn feel to it. It reminds me a bit of the New York we see in I am Legend. Lost and empty.

Maybe it’s not Fallout proper, but I like it better this way. Given the other betrayals to canon and continuity that were integrated into the game, this mod is a small deviation with pleasing results.

You can download Green world yourself if you want to give it a try.

Other mods I would consider essential:
* Something to make the interface less stupid on the PC.
* Fast VATS, to speed up the tedious cutscenes that play when you shoot someone. I’m not against a little slo-mo now and again for special moments, but having the game slow down every. single. time. you pull the trigger, and then having the camera linger over their corpse for several seconds, completely ruins the effect. I found myself ignoring VATS, and then turning down the difficulty (the game is much harder without VATS) which more or less reduced the game to DOOM. Which also becomes boring. Much better to play the game as intended, but with less slo-mo nonsense.
* Fellout, which gets rid of the pervasive green tint in the world. Like green world, this gives some visual variety to the lighting and color, as opposed to “all green, all the time”.
* Some variety of level un-capper. It’s no fun hitting the level cap before you’re even halfway through the game, which can easily happen if you come from the Do Every Quest school of thought. You have to be careful here, because these aren’t mods so much as “hacks”. The level 20 cap is built into all sorts of game mechanics, and breaking it can break the game in annoying ways. (The most obvious problem is that you’ll quickly master all skills and accrue a massive, game-breaking load of hitpoints.) Really, I’d be happy with retaining the power of a level 20 character, as long as it still allowed me to clock more levels. There are a lot of mods with varying approaches to this problem. Your mileage may vary.
* Some sort of body mod. Some players want nudity. Some players just want better looking people in the wasteland. Some players just want the people (raiders, mostly) to have underwear that makes some kind of sense. No matter what your preference is, there’s probably a mod that will fix things up. (But above all, I wish there was some dang variety. No mods seem to offer that, sadly.)
* Hunger, Thirst, Sleep. I discovered this yesterday when Rutskarn mentioned it in the comments. I’ve only dabbled with it so far, but I will say that this might be the most interesting mod yet. Even better than Green World. It turns this game into a genuine fight for survival. Pure water is no longer Halloween candy to be handed out to idiot NPCs for free karma. It’s a precious resource, and you will need to fight for it. Last night I came across the random event where some escaped slaves are arguing with some ghouls over who should get some fresh water. In the past I made my decision on how to handle the encounter based on what my alignment was. This time, I made the decision based on TWO AND A HALF DAYS OF WATER? I NEED THIS! This is what playing a good-aligned character should feel like: A battle of need vs. conscience. If you share your water with an NPC, you deserve those karma points, because you have made a tangible in-game sacrifice. The only thing ruining it is your ability to get rid of all radiation for free at home. (Thus allowing you to drink dirty water for free.)

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From the Archives:

  1. acronix says:

    The level cap was erased in the Broken Steel official addon, but it sucks a long way. Among other things, it has ridicolous perks, that are almost useless or game-breaking. The most game-breaking one is the “Almost Perfect” perk, which raises every stat to 9. Sum that to the fact of those vault-boy dolls, and you get to 10. In mmorpg therminology: WTF?!?!

    Of course, you can always ignore it. If there was a mod that changed the perks to something useful (there are quite a bunch, but none deletes the old ones), it could be a noteworthy expansion.

  2. Ben N. says:

    Here’s a good one for variety in NPC’s: Mart’s Mutant Mod, http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3211. It also has a lot of optional things that change the game, but the main feature is a ton of variety for NPC’s and enemies.

    Also, who called it? I called it.

  3. Inquisitor says:

    There’s some mod that allows you to modify weapons by adding things like scopes, silencers, extended clips, and autofire mechanisms. I can’t remember the exact name, it was something like “Weapon Mod Kits.” It’s pretty neat. Can be slightly game-breaking in some cases though, such as adding an autofire mechanism and extended clip to the Terrible Shotgun.

  4. Ben N. says:

    It is, in fact, called exactly that, Inquisitor!

  5. Rutskarn says:

    You know, every time you bring up the whole agriculture situation, I need to smack myself a few times to shove it into the back of my skull. Otherwise, it’s hard for me to think of anything else while playing Fallout 3.

    I mean, if we were really surviving on epically stale sugar pops that had, in the meantime, probably been eaten, digested, and shat out again by three different kinds of roaches (not that that would affect the nutritive value), we would not be in very good shape. Plus, all that stuff’s irradiated–if you’re Joe Random trying to survive in a fortified shack in the wastes, all your food’s gonna be poison. You have no way of curing yourself besides using packs of Rad-Away…and after 200 years of this crap, you’d think most of that would have dried up by now.

    Of course they can hunt, but what are the animals eating? Dead grass? Burnt husks of trees? Sugar bombs?

    Next thing you know, I’ve realized I zoned out midway through battling a raider and I am now contributing to the local ecosystem in my own special way.

  6. Hal says:

    I used to download a lot of mods for Oblivion, and there was a “basic needs” type mod for that, too. Hunger, drink, sleep, etc.

    Just make sure your mods work right. I ruined a few game saves because that hunger mod breaks after about a week of in-game time. You either stop becoming hungry/thirsty/sleepy, or you never stop. One is crippling, the other just a waste of mod.

  7. Nickless says:

    Nothing wrong with irradiated food. It’s great for milk!

  8. Magnus says:

    The depth and variety to some of the mods available really shows up Bethesda (and perhaps many mainstream game designers).

    When you play Oblivion or Fallout 3 with such mods, you begin to wonder what was going through the BS designers heads when they decided against (or didn’t even think of) such clever additions to the game.

    I can imagine a more interesting difficulty setting being based around how much you were required to eat/sleep etc. or similar factors, rather than seemingly just based around enemy hit points.

  9. mixmastermind says:

    The problem I have with FO3 is that it shouldn’t be lifeless like that. I mean, the first two looked that way because they were in southern California. No plants lived there anyway, excluding palm trees and what humans grew with sprinklers. Of course most of it would be a lifeless desert, because most of the area you explore in the first two was a lifeless desert beforehand.

  10. Rutskarn says:

    Magnus: since they’d already seen the modding community rig that up for Oblivion, they probably figured they didn’t need to waste development time on it. Not saying that was the proper response, understand.

  11. WoodenTable says:

    The Fallout world isn’t exactly lush with greenery, but it isn’t devoid of it either. Fallout 2 had trees, even though they were mostly scraggly brown things, with some greenish-grey and greenish-blue stuff thrown in. There were bushes, too.

    Most of the first 2 Fallout games took place in the American southwest. I can imagine that being lots and lots of desert and scrubland, especially with a broken climate. But Fallout 2 started on the Oregon/California border, and trees/weeds/shrubs growing out of practically everything are just a fact of life the further north you go from there (well, until you hit tundra). Personally, I was glad to see them implement that, instead of falling prey to the usual sci-fi “one world climate” strangeness.

  12. DGM says:

    “TWO AND A HALF DAYS OF WATER? I NEED THIS!”

    Hmm… Your recent loss of water service wouldn’t have colored your reaction any, would it Shamus? ;)

    BTW, what video card are you using and how well is it running F3? I need to upgrade soon.

  13. Allerun says:

    I never understood why Fallout 3 was a lifeless wasteland. Two hundred years is more than enough time for plant based life to populate the blast area again. Radiation isn’t going to keep the plants at bay for long.

  14. Groboclown says:

    For some reason, this reminds me of the Oblivion mod that added that extra touch of realism beyond just eat, sleep, and drink: the bucket. With it, you are required to “use” the bucket on a regular basis. Makes for interesting gameplay when you use it in, say, a shop.

  15. Magnus says:

    @Rutskarn:

    They seem to have spent their time making five lots of DLC instead. Which, from a business POV, makes perfect sense.

    I finished FO3 the other day, uninstalled it and put it in the “sell at next opportunity” pile, so I won’t be trying the mods. When I played through Oblivion I think I used about a dozen though, and the game still annoyed me.

    Playing Storm of Zehir now, and feel much better. Also managed to pick up Drakensang for £7, so things are looking up!

  16. chabuhi says:

    Isn’t there something in the fiction that allows for traders traveling outside the capital wastelands to bring in food from areas not so devasted? I seem to recall reading something like that on a terminal during my explorations. I never spent much time trading since the only trader who seemed to have a reasonable supply of caps was Moira in Megaton. Everyone else always seemed to have fewer than 100 caps. You could only sell like two things of any decent value before you had to move on — and that was just early game. Good luck finding someone to buy a dupe weapon worth 300+ caps. Thank Atom for fast-travel, I guess.

  17. Mike says:

    Video card – I’m running a GX275 right now. With an i7 920 and 6gb ram. Decent box, didn’t break the bank.

    I’m the kind of player that hates to fail, hates to die, hates to lose. So I play with the godcode all the time. ALL THE TIME.

    I’m currently carrying over 5000 lbs of gear. I cannot sell it all to anyone, but I hit up everyone I meet and pawn off what I can. I have over 17k caps right now.

    Cheezy? Munchkin? Yup. But I love this. :)

    The difficult part of being in godmode is that your companions are not invulnerable. I have dogmeat and Charon following me around – charon is in outcast power armor & helmet. :)

    I cleared out the outcast base because they annoyed me. If you repair all of the armor to 100% you end up with only like 3 full sets. I’m going after enclave armor asap – but my next project is to wipe the slavers in paradise off the map. Woohoo!

  18. Nelson says:

    Thanks for the posts about Fallout 3 mods. All this discussion is making me regret buying it for the Xbox instead of PC. I sure wish they’d find some way to let console players download mods too.

    The screenshots from the green world look great. One staple of post-apocalyptic fiction is how nature reclaims the earth, worming her vines and trees between the rebar and sundering concrete. Nice to see that visualized. Also it explains the branches clipping into the buildings :-P

  19. bbot says:

    Huh. I installed the green world mod briefly while messing about with Fallout 3 mods,[*] and uninstalled it after a couple of hours. It is quite pretty, but it makes sniping more difficult (and boy oh boy do I love sniping) and it made it easier for Deathclaws to sneak up on me and kill Dogmeat. The bastards.

    *: One of them added quite a few more guns, which was rather nice. Stock Fallout has: two types of assault rifle, one submachine gun, two types of energy weapon, and a couple pistols. And that’s it for small arms, in the entire DC wasteland.

    It generates the impression that there was one weapons manufacturer, who had an absolute monopoly on arms dealing throughout Washington DC, (like “Chryslus” Motors) which could have been interesting had they played it up at all. Instead, it just looks like they cut other weapons for budgetary reasons, and spent more time making horse armor.

  20. Chuk says:

    “No tress.”? Wouldn’t you need one of the haircut packs to fix that?

  21. chabuhi says:

    One of the Oblivion mods I liked was the mannequin object that allowed you to “display” your various armor sets. Granted, Fallout’s armor is slightly less exciting, visually, and your house isn’t as large (and you don’t have as many) as in Oblivion, but — well, I guess I’m a loot whore.

  22. Zetal says:

    After 200 years, you will have nicely vegetated lava flows, impact craters, etc. May not have reached the end stage of the ecological succession, but they will be green, barring further disturbances.

    Not sure how radioactive the area is supposed to be, since I’ve never played Fallout, but if you look at the area around Chernobyl, you’ll see that life found its way back. Plant life adapts quite nicely to radiation… it’s the PEOPLE who shouldn’t be there.

  23. Zanfib says:

    Enhanced Weather – Rain and Snow v2

    Works well with Fellout.

    PROJECT BEAUTY

    Better then it sounds.

    Alternate Start – Roleplayers

    Best ‘skip the intro sequence’ mod I’ve found.

    Workbench Repairs

    Lets you use you repair skill to repair items at workbenchs in exchage for caps.

  24. Factoid says:

    I don’t get the contaminated water thing in Fallout. It doesn’t make any sense. Water doesn’t become radioactive when exposed to radiation, at least not for very long. Some materials do, but not water.

    The heavy materials that contaminated the water should have settled out of it long before the events of the series. The water itself would no longer be radioactive.

    Radiation does not destroy all life, just the complex stuff. Chernobyl is a lush greenland today, though it might kill you or I to walk around there.

  25. Drew says:

    For those talking about Chernobyl:

    http://villageofjoy.com/chernobyl-today-a-creepy-story-told-in-pictures/

    That’s got to be at least as creepy as anything I’ve seen in a video game in a while, and it’s REAL.

  26. Moon Monster says:

    You know why Bethesda doesn’t do all the things done in the Mods? Because mods have the advantage of being published with no testing or quality control.

    Yeah, once in a while there’s a ‘Duh, this would’ve been easy, why didn’t you do it?’ But for every one of those, there are a hundred useless mods, and a dozen ‘nice, but shame it breaks the game utterly’ mods.

  27. Matt K says:

    @Factoid: Part of the problem is that BS just kind of shoe horned what they thought was cool into the setting. So while a lot of things would make more sense if the game was set a few years after the Great War, BS felt the need to include content from the other game (read steal) and so felt the need to set it after all the other games in the series.

    On topic: seeing as how many game crashes I had at the start of the game, and the darth of patches from BS, it’s a shame I can’t really participate in all the mod love.

  28. John says:

    Re: GreenWorld vs. Wasteland so how is anything living?

    HAve you seenn Life After People on the History channel

  29. Sigma says:

    Only problem with Greenworld is that the trees conflict a bit with the ground, but you’d have to paint every bit of ground around each tree with the grass texture so yeah.

  30. Jennifer says:

    Re: Chernobyl, most of the “impact” from that was completely overblown. Only 56 people died directly from radiation, and there were about 4K cases of thyroid cancer attributable to exposure to increased radiation, 99% of which were NOT fatal.

    I worked with a medical doctor who lived directly in the path of the worst fallout from Chernobyl–he attended a scheduled “people’s march” *outside* the day after with thousands of other people. Ill effects? Nyet.

    Radiation is a sneaky and erratic killer. If you don’t get enough of a burn to kill you right away chances are you’ll be fine.

  31. Kdansky says:

    I hate you for making me want to play Fallout 3 now, and I don’t even own it…

  32. PAK says:

    Just to offer an alternate perspective, regarding vegetation and radiated water:

    It’s absolutely true that these make no real scientific sense. Water is not activated by radiation and Pripyat is a shining example of vegetation’s resistance to radiation. But these things don’t necessarily indicate either that Bethesda didn’t perform adequate research or that they are simply doing what they think is “cool.” In fact they are remaining true to the spirit of the Fallout scenario, which was never “realistic.”

    Fallout is a satire of 1950’s cultural standards and fears. It is the realization of the nightmare held by many members of the uneducated masses living in those times. (I don’t mean to imply that the fear of nuclear catastrophe was unwarranted, simply that most of the people suffering from this fear didn’t have the scientific expertise to know how such a scenario would really play out.) I mean, no one seriously thinks that nuclear fallout would lead to giant rats and humanoid alligator-monsters, right? Perpetual desolation and contaminated water can be seen as existing in that same mold.

    Of course, that said, one should absolutely reimagine the world as they wish, including game-changing mods, if that facilitates enjoyment.

  33. Allerun says:

    So my radiation experiments with rats and alligators are all for naught?

  34. SolkaTruesilver says:

    @Allerun

    Shining pets are never a waste. Except if they are Nuclear waste.

  35. Lanthanide says:

    For anyone interested in what Chernobyl looks like, circa 2004, here’s a photo diary of a woman who rode through the area on her motorbike:
    http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html

  36. Ranneko says:

    You start talking about Fallout 3 mods the week after I finish Mothership Zeta and decide that I’m happily finished with the game.

    The only mod pack I ended up using was the Ultimate Perk Pack. Because there weren’t many perks I was interested in between levels 21 and 29.

    @acronix Almost Perfect sets all stats to 9, including ones that are at 10, only way to get 10 in all stats would require you not getting the stats bobbleheads until after you hit level 30. Meaning you miss out on the benefit for a lot of the game. If you want to complain about overpowered, then the Chinese Stealth Suit is probably one of the most in the game, the stealth field effect means that with high stealth and melee weapons you almost never need fear being detected again, even when you fail to one hit kill enemies with your sword/auto-ax, they just start looking for you in vain.

  37. Lodpop says:

    In a sort of fan-fiction-esque penchant for filling gaps in the world I always assumed that what food chain there is in the Fallout universe is based on water-based microbes that live on radiation, perhaps even carrying bits of nuclear material around in vacuoles or something. Once you have the bacteria you can support a whole ecosystem like the kind around deep-sea vents, only in Fallout the crabs are much larger. This also has the neat trick of explaining why the water is irradiated and why conventional methods of purifying it don’t work; killing the bugs would just cause them to release their fallout and irradiate the machinery. (It’s only slightly less far-fetched than it sounds. Look up Deinococcus Radiodurans.) Too bad there’s probably not much of a market for a pop science book like “The Science of Fallout 3.” :)

  38. Wonderduck says:

    While browsing the various available mods at fallout3nexus, I was given quite a dose of malware. Just so you know.

  39. Dix says:

    OT: Was the cityscape in the background of SQ Entertainment’s performance on America’s Got Talent… Procedural City?

  40. Rutskarn says:

    Wonderduck: seriously? Wow.

    How embarrassing would it be to have your system laid low by a nudie mod, anyway?

  41. sascha/hdrs says:

    Ah yes! The Green World mod is very nice indeed! If you play Fallout 3 for a while all the desolate wasteland atmosphere becomes kind of depressive. This mod helps a lot to improve that.

  42. vukodlak says:

    Wow! Looks great. How in the world is it only 4Kb?! Or did I misunderstand something?

  43. Rutskarn says:

    Vukodlak: 10 bucks says it’s procedural.

  44. Martin Annadale says:

    The green world mod does make Fallout3 look better, but it makes it look even less like fallout. A game looking like that will have some nice atmosphere, but then the disaster that wiped out civilization will need to be something other than nuclear war. Like biological or chemical weaponry or something.
    But when I play Fallout3, I pretend I’m playing a random game that is not set in the Fallout universe. Its the only way I can stomach it. On my first play-through, I made the mistake of selecting skills and attributes in the a similar way to how I would have in Fallout 1 or 2. Yeah. That was useless. Lockpicking and speech don’t carry as much weight anymore.
    Why can’t anyone make good Turn-based games anymore? Is there so few of us left that like turn-based combat?

  45. Avilan the Grey says:

    The only enviromental mod I might try is Fellout.

    Personally I like the level cap; in fact I think the setting handles the endgame poorly; FO3 is most fun when you are below level 10, before you KNOW that there is no way those freed slaves would get further than across the next hill before they get eaten by Reavers, Deathclaws, Giant scorpions… And me.

    I have now restarted the game with a “less XP” mod to compensate a bit, so I might not hit lvl 30 halfway through the game.

    I finally found a repair mod I have been needing a long time, one that lets you repair custom weapons by the parts, so you don’t have to build a whole new railway rifle to repair the one you are using… Incidently I plan to let my character’s main weapon be that one this time, just for fun!

  46. unitled says:

    @ Avilan

    Yeah, I think I got that mod as well… It also lets you use appropriate junk items to repair standard weapons and armour; for instance, leather belts and glue to repair armour, tin cans to repair weapons, and baseball bats to repair shotguns and rifles.

    It can make the game a little easier as it’s much easier to repair all your weapons, but it really makes a difference to the atmosphere; instead of rifling through a box and saying, “Bah, no ammo, let’s move on”, you stop whenever you see a pile of scrap to see if there’s anything you can scavenge.

    I like the idea of installing mods to make the game a proper survival game; adding the need to eat, sleep, drink, hunt for scrap to bodge your weapons and food to survive all sounds pretty cool.

    Oh, another Mod I recommend is the one that adds the original Fallout 1&2 music to a radio-station on your pip-boy; I was surprised at what a difference this made to the game!

  47. Avilan the Grey says:

    @Untitled:

    I had that mod before… This is a newer one that ONLY changes the repair rules for the custom weapons.

  48. unitled says:

    @ Avilan

    Ah right, my apologies!

    The problem with these BS games is that I get into a mod spiral, and just can’t stop installing them… Eventually, I have to draw a line under the mods and refuse to install more!

  49. Ravens Cry says:

    Combine Fellout and Green Mod, and FallOut 3 would becomes. . .beautiful. It almost reminds me of Riven, only not on islands. You put it wonderfully, “This is a world that is simply forgetting human civilization.” If I ever up my computer to run this, I am so downloading those mods by default. The default look, while stylistic, is rather oppressive.
    Hmmm, I wonder what it would take to make a flower mod, just some procedurally generated blossoms here and there.

  50. Wonderduck says:

    @#40 Rutskarn

    It’d be awfully embarassing. Fortunately, that’s not what happened. I was just looking at the available weapon mods (a lightsaber? Really?), hadn’t even downloaded anything, when bang.

    I just finished re-installing Windows. Darn ickware broke my antivirus program, prevented me from booting in safe mode, AND was causing random shutdowns after a couple of minutes.

  51. Avilan the Grey says:

    I have now installed Fellout (without Green mod) and I think this is perfect. A more realistic view (it is still brown, but not as dusty, since the grass roots IS logically keeping the soil in place).

    The nights are… DARK. On the other hand this means that I for the first time ever have use of the Pipboy Light! Which is cool! I have never used it before.

  52. rofltehcat says:

    Looks awesome!
    I always wondered how it could look so grey. Normally there would be plants growing everywhere even if every other being (except roaches) had been extinct, especially after 200 years.

    I also somehow missed the ‘organised anarchy’ flair from fallout 1 and 2: No matter how hard life is and how people will fight each other, they will still plant (mutated) cabbages and herd (2headed) cattle.
    In Fallout 1 and 2 there were the caravans that traveled between the bigger settlements. But in the capital wasteland there is nothing like that. Well, there are the caravans that consist of 1 guy, 1 body guard and 1 brahmin. Not even remotely the same as in the other fallouts :(
    But well, after all most settlements in fallout 3 are smaller than the ones in the other fallouts.

    Also in addition to some grass and those tall trees that mod needs ivy, moss, bushes and some smaller trees. Would be awesome imo.

  53. UtopiaV1 says:

    I tried that foliage mod last night… slowed my computer down to a crawl!

    Now I know why Bethsada choose to implement almost no trees or foliage in game, because combined with the buggy game engine it creates a processing quagmire than your cpu just can’t get out of.

    Other than that, the mod seemed alright. I had no problem with it, in keeping with the fallout universe, because the other fallout’s were only set a mere 20-80 years after the nuclear holocaust, and this is 200++ years after, so trees and plant life are bound to grow back eventually!

    Did you know there’s algae spore that can survive traveling through a sun? The immense radiation and heat would kill anything else. If fact, some people believe that’s how life came to be on Earth, that we’re all aliens of another planet (NOT in the way scientology believes, that’s different and stupid :P ). My point is, the algae could survive a nuclear war, then grow from the ashes, giving life to other plants and animals.

    At least, that’s what I think. Prove me wrong! :D

  54. Phoenix says:

    @UtopiaV1:

    I respectfully disbelieve that any life can survive a temperature between 5800 K (surface) and 15.6 million K (core)… this spore would simply become gas or even plasma…

    EDIT: Well, I guess I’m talking about carbon-based life as we know it on earth :)

  55. unitled says:

    Right, I have another must have mod to add to your collection (this is the infamous mod spiral…).

    The Street Lights mod works AMAZINGLY well with the Fellout mod’s extra dark nights; it makes most of the lights in the city ruins light up, and the odd one flicker ominously.

    Seeing something stumble into a circle of light for a minute before disappearing is very scary, and with the hunger mod, seeing the flicking light of a Nuka Cola machine in the darkness can actually be quite relieving.

    I realise it’s not the most realistic of mods… I just pretend to myself all street lights had micro-fusion cells installed before the war, and are still working today, 200 years later :D

  56. Tom says:

    You raise an excellent point that always bugged me about Fallout 3 – it presents a laughably simplistic, paper-thin veneer of an economy that simply cannot, in any possible way, work or ever have worked. The most fundamental point of both plot and immersive gameplay in post apocalyptic games is seeing how humanity has adapted to survive the cataclysm, and what interesting emergent effects it has, with the designers actually creating a consistent, plausible universe. In Fallout 3, it seems, they never bothered with underlying detail like that; the end result is rather more like superficial, cargo-cult thinking – they are vaguely aware that people will still need to eat, sleep, drink, trade and fight in a post-nuclear hell, but then seem to have done little more than say “Let there be water, food, bullets and money, that our player might do these things,” never giving any real thought to how much irradiated soil it takes to supply a small town with just enough food to barely stay alive, how much locally generated energy it takes to purify water without a power grid to rely on, how big a caravan and its guard really have to be to carry these things to a settlement in sufficient quantity, how people are somehow passing on the knowledge of how to do all this across the generation gap (ever notice how, two centuries on, there are somehow plenty of people educated to something like postgraduate level, when you’ll be lucky to even find a one-room school shack in most places?), or (and this is a big one) how currency actually comes to exist.

    Mentioning the whole two-century thing, that’s another problem that permeates the entire game, every bit of it – far too much of it looks like the apocalypse was only one or two years ago, tops. In particular, buildings are stuffed with useful gear that has somehow survived two hundred years without being looted, even though the lone player character can strip them bare just passing through once, which, since most only need to be visited once, is probably why they never bothered to build a functioning economy for the player to actually engage with in any real depth; he (or she) breezes through everywhere like some kind of heavily armed tourist, consuming without producing, on the way to his dramatic scripted death, never really engaging with any part of the post-apocalyptic society in any real depth. The wasteland survival guide mission, in its ironic attempt to turn the player from naive vault dweller into seasoned wasteland expert, highlights just how little this “expert” really needs to know about the game world. Need food? Go take some from the miraculously not completely bare supermarket just down the road. It doesn’t count as armed robbery because the people occupying the building are only raiders. Water doesn’t even get mentioned; neither does what anyone is supposed to do if the magical infinite reserves of canned meat and boxes of cereal peppering the landscape ever do, somehow, run dry. Researching the history of the wasteland’s biggest settlement yields little more than “we just decided to build it,” along with a load of petty, meaningless internal politics, nothing about how staggeringly difficult it must be for a ragtag band of weak, malnourished, irradiated war survivors to turn a derelict hulk into a viable city, no really compelling stories from the heroes who did it.

    Everything’s just so damn shallow and superficial, the capital wasteland is like a themepark. You wander up to an attraction, you ride it once, then you wander off and never give it another thought. It’s almost as if the game were designed exclusively for the attention deficit 13 year old market – “Look, crazy robots! Ugly mutants you can messily decapitate! Splodey cars! What, you don’t like how the horrible sound of silent, uncaring desolation in every direction makes you think difficult, ironic thoughts in between bouts of slaughter? No problem, here’s a puerile, obnoxious DJ to drown it all out. Bored already? Here, have a nuclear bazooka – go nuts!” – a little more to satisfy the jaded, cynical adult market that the originals appealed to would have gone a long way. And simply throwing together everything that made the originals iconic like some kind of token-effort checklist really doesn’t cut it; you can’t just say “Vaults, GECK, supermutants, robots and Harold for good measure, ergo Fallout.”

    So that this post isn’t entirely negative, I’ll mention a mod that I don’t think anyone else has yet – there’s at least one mod that calls itself a turn-based combat simulator; this, basically, adjusts the timings of VATS to better approximate the combat of the earlier games. I also added the hunger, thirst and tiredness mods, and even briefly experimented with the one that removes the levelling system and makes the game, more realistically, hit you with full difficulty from the start. Unfortunately, the realistic outcome of the fallout scenario is to get gored to death by a deathclaw five minutes after first leaving the vault, having emptied the magazine without even slowing it down – I had forgotten my own maxim, which is this: strict realism is not a desirable quality in any game that depicts a scenario in which you would instantaneously die horribly in real life.

  57. Jeff says:

    VATS + Nuke/Missiles = Slow’mo fun.
    After I got tired of the game, I just ran around blowing things up in slow motion. :P

  58. […] this week I’ve spent several hours playing Fallout 3, with the Green World mod installed (as recommended by Shamus).  The improvement is immediate and obvious.  As they say, once you go green, […]

  59. phineas says:

    You should really check out some pictures of modern day Hiroshima. For a place that had been struck with a nuclear weapon, the first thing I remember was thinking how green it looked. The city is absolutely covered with trees and greenery. Even scientists at the time speculated that the earth would not be able to support life for several centuries. Clearly, they were mistaken. So perhaps the Green World mod is actually a little truer to life.

  60. Tever says:

    So I know I’m massively late to the party on this post, but DarNified UI is the best thing ever. I always thought the vanilla UI was clunky and in the way; it really broke some of the immersion for me. Darnified makes it smaller and the menus more streamlined.

  61. […] named Green World, I read a comment that I quickly connected to. Shamus, at his blog, Twenty Sided, covered the mod and described the feeling that he felt it […]

2 Trackbacks

  1. By What have I been up to? @ Ordering Disorder on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 2:32 am

    […] this week I’ve spent several hours playing Fallout 3, with the Green World mod installed (as recommended by Shamus).  The improvement is immediate and obvious.  As they say, once you go green, […]

  2. By Motives of Modding – Fallout 3 – p2 | Llwyd on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 1:36 am

    […] named Green World, I read a comment that I quickly connected to. Shamus, at his blog, Twenty Sided, covered the mod and described the feeling that he felt it […]

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