Experienced Points: Mod’s Playground

By Shamus
on Aug 14, 2009
Filed under:
Column

This week’s Experienced Points is a bunch of gushing about the Fallout 3 mod scene and how much it rocks.

For the curious, my current Fallout 3 play-through is as follows:

My character is a guy, focusing on stealth and small arms, and neutral disposition. TERRIBLE charisma, rubbish speech skill. Bad haircut. This is radically different from my usual characters, who usually have silver tongues, angelic hearts, and favor clean energy weapons over messy firearms. Despite my tendency to swipe the odd item here and there I’m quickly building a saintly reputation anyway. Stupid karma system. I should look for a mod for that.

I’m using the following mods. (A lot of these came from suggestions in the comments earlier this week. Thanks so much for the pointers. This game keeps getting better.)

  1. Eat / sleep / drink mod. This makes a lot of profound gameplay changes. Taking drugs dehydrates you, which means if you’re the kind of person to dash headlong into battle and stimpack your way through the pain, you WILL run out of pure water very quickly. Dirty water imparts a lot more radiation now. It’s actually dangerous! You can fight it with rad-away, but again: You have to be careful not to overdose, and I think rad-away depletes nutrients. (Makes you hungry.)
  2. No fast travel. I must say this game feels VERY different without fast travel. Specifically, you don’t even THINK about going downtown without several exceedingly good reasons. None of this “teleport to underworld, sell stuff, teleport to Tenpenny Towers, etc”. My first trip downtown at level four-ish nearly ended in death. And I don’t mean “whoops, I need to re-load the game because I got shot” death. I mean, “I’m out of water, I’m sick with radiation, I’ve been awake for 22 hours, and I can’t find the way out of this warren of ghouls and traps.” That would have been a game-killing death, since restoring from one doomed state to a previous doomed state isn’t productive. You don’t dare go to sleep when you’re low on supplies, because when you wake up you’ll be even MORE thirsty and hungry. Hunger, fatigue, and thirst eventually inflict staus ailments which will make you weaker, slower, dumber, less alert, etc. Which makes you less effective in combat, which makes you use stimpacks, etc. Pretty soon you end up in a death spiral. I got by with drinking dirty water, eating some scraps I found, and managed to just barely stagger back to Megaton to rest and replenish. Whew. After that I learned to stock up with everything I’ll need before I set foot out of the house.
  3. Minimal map use. I’m trying to learn my way around the wasteland for real. I’ve clocked over a hundred hours in the game, but between the map and fast travel I never had to go anywhere more than once. Now I’m getting an honest sense of the layout. (Paradise falls is a handy – if ominous – landmark that can be seen from “miles” away.) Megaton is remarkably hard to spot despite its size and position. I still get hopelessly lost trying to navigate around through the metro system.
  4. A mod that increases running speed. I did this just to make the “no fast travel” less painful. However, the extra speed makes it a bit too easy to play hit & run. I’d love a mod that (say) boosted your movement speed when not in combat, but returned you to normal when detected by an enemy.
  5. A mod to make nights darker. Another mod to add streetlights. Both are exceptional. It really is dangerous to go stumbling around in the dark at night, because your pip-light will make you such a target.
  6. Quasi-Level uncapper, which lets you keep leveling past 20. (Technically, you just do level 20 over and over, although it gives you a note in your PipBoy to let you know what level you “really” are.) I’m not crazy about this or any of the other level uncappers. They all have annoying side-effects. To properly fix this problem the entire level ladder would need to be re-balanced.
  7. 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.
  8. Mods for allowing similar guns and armor to cross-repair. So, all the shotgun weapons now work together, as do all the 10mm guns, etc. I’m still not crazy about the repair system. (I need to COMBINE BASEBALL BATS in order to “repair” the one I have? Really?!?) But this makes it slightly less annoying. It still doesn’t help with the Sniper Rifle, which is simply too rare and degrades too quickly to bother taking with you on extended runs. (And without fast travel, EVERY run is an extended run. I’m typically gone for three or four days at a stretch, and the sniper rifle is generally useless well before the end of day one. After that it’s just expensive and heavy.)
  9. Various cosmetic mods: Better looking NPCs, green foliage, alternate soundtrack with original Fallout music, more hairstyles, some color changes, and a dozen other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

It’s amazing how these tweaks have guided me into realistic (or at least reasonable) behavior: Sleep at night, eat a couple of meals a day, try not to get hurt, don’t get irradiated just to loot some stupid boxes, carry lots of supplies, and don’t go looking for trouble.

My abominable charisma devastated my barter prices, which meant that my character didn’t completely break the in-game economy until almost level ten. My charisma is 2 (out of 10) my barter skill is 17 (out of 100) at level 11 I have over $5,000, which is more cash than I could usefully spend. (My previous character, with CHA 7, and a barter skill of 100, ended the game with over $100,000. Kind of silly when the most expensive things you could buy are under $2,000.) Maybe there’s a mod for that.

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20205Feeling chatty? There are 45 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. mos says:

    I’ve never liked hunger mods because they make me dip into my inventory and actually eat (at least, that’s true of the ones I’ve playtested). I wish the mods would just slowly deplete my carried food and water until it got low, and then alert me. It might not be the most realistic thing ever (which seems to be what the hunger/tired/thirsty mod people aim for), but at least it isn’t annoying.

  2. Factoid says:

    When it came to spending money I actually ended the game at level 20 with about 4000 caps on hand. That’s because I pretty much never picked up anything that wasn’t something I wanted to use personally or wasn’t worth a fortune for resale.

    I found the NPCs to run out of cash too quickly and I hated having to carry around all that worthless crap just to sell it for 5 caps. Instead I usually just bought all the microfusion rounds I could find from the handful of vendors that carried them, then pickpocketed my caps back. This is usually very difficult and has a low percentage even with 100 sneak and bonuses…so I just reloaded over and over until it worked.

    Money problem “solved”. I’m sure it made the game too easy money-wise, but I wasn’t really interested in that aspect of the game.

  3. McNutcase says:

    Winding up gamebreakingly rich is a longstanding element of Fallout games. I finished Fallout 2 several times, and every time I wound up with several stacks of money because I’d hit the stack limit.

  4. Kell says:

    It’s sounds as though your modded version of the game – especially with thirst, hunger, and a pragmatic aversion to risk – makes it more like Stalker should have been.

  5. ANkh says:

    When they make a mod that adds expression to the faces so they don’t look like soul-less freaks, tell me.

  6. Steven Burnap says:

    While the hunger mod sounds good in theory, the one negative thing I remember about Ultima VII was what a pain it was to keep your whiny party fed.

  7. Rutskarn says:

    ANkh: Actually, there are face animation/improvement mods. I don’t know if they’re any good, though.

    Also, I’ve managed to keep up on food for the most part, partially because I’ve been carefully pin-pointing raider camps and stealing their food.

    Also: if the mod accounts for it, the Cannibal perk would not only be useful, it’d take on a whole new purpose…

    • Shamus says:

      Rutskarn: I did notice the author added food to random drops. It’s not a lot, but every third raider has a bag of chips or whatever. I don’t think he needed to add that. Food seems a little plentiful. Particularly once you make some “fryed” meat, it seems to solve the need for collecting food at all. You can kill a half dozen radroaches or mole rats, gather up their meat, fry it, and you’ve got three days of food right there. Their meat is low value when raw, but cooked it provides almost a whole day of food. I’ll bet just clearing out the molerats sewer would give you enough food to see you almost to the end of the game.

      The chain does seem to be: stimpacks lead to (possibly dirty) water which lead to radaway which leads to eating…

      That’s a good chain of needs, but the food one seems a little loose. I’m starting to suspect you could just get by with abusing the hell out of stimpacks and dirty water, because you can pay for both with more food.

  8. Dev Null says:

    Oh, man! You are NOT going to rattle off a whole list of cool mods which get me all excited about playing this game again, and then not tell me what the mods are called, are you?

    My only beef with mods in games is that I usually lose interest in the research stage, when you’re trying to find a relatively unbiased opinion about which ones are worth trying out. Bigger the mod community, the worse this problem gets.

  9. Fenix says:

    You should try Marts mutant mod and FOOK.
    MMM adds lots of new enemies and even some allies, also makes enemy spawns larger (ie/ groups of 15 mole rats and such).
    FOOK adds lots more guns and makes them stronger (for you and your enemies).
    Remember to get calibr and the compatibility patch (FOIP).
    Oh and archive invalidation invalidated is important (but you probably already have that one).

  10. Nick Pitino says:

    While I can understand there being technical reasons against it, I REALLY REALLY wish mods could be installed on consoles. It just depresses me to read about all of the fun I could be having if not for the fact my PC sucks the big one and has as much chance of running modern games as it does of flying to the moon.

    EDIT:

    Then again, here at my Mom’s house her computer is literaly about ten or so times more powerful than mine. I really don’t want to have to buy the damn thing TWICE, but still…

    Hmmm…

  11. General Karthos says:

    About the money comment:

    In all of those games that could be called “role-playing games” (which as you have noted before is a wide, wide variety of games whose only unifying concept is that they’re not any other kind of game), you end up managing to gather enough money to utterly destroy the in-game economy by the time you hit a high-level. At least the recent ones. I haven’t played Baldur’s Gate or Baldur’s Gate II recently, and I don’t recall breaking the economy in that game.

    But in all the other games I’ve ever played in which money served a purpose, at high levels, I have broken the system. ESPECIALLY in Bethesda games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion. But it’s a problem that has existed forever. Even Breath of Fire III and Lunar (both really good, enjoyable JRPGs) both ended up awarding way more money than you’d ever need.

    But Lunar had an interesting way of dealing with it, in that the items you really, really, really needed were hard to find in stores. Plus each character could only equip six items and hold six others. Plus your inventory pack mule could only hold 99 items in total. So no stocking up on 99 herbs, 99 magic energy restorative things, 99 antidotes, etc….

    It’s interesting how hesitant you are to restore your magical energy when all you have are three things to restore the energy and you know there’s an entire level of a dungeon to go, and probably a boss battle at the end of it.

    It’s hard to balance the cash thing, I think mostly because it’s better to give too much than to give too little, and thus make the game practically impossible without murdering shopkeepers (which is really hard to do) and stealing their stuff. And that’s in games where it’s POSSIBLE to kill shopkeepers and steal their stuff.

    I think the Lunar solution of (severely) limiting the amount you can carry and making the more useful items and stores that sell them rare is pretty good, as much as I might have railed against it from time to time.

    Now I’m curious. How would you solve the problem of getting impossibly rich at high levels?

  12. Aergoth says:

    I think that Resident Evil 4 did a good job of keeping you from breaking the game with money.

    The system worked like this. The stronger the enemies were, the more money you got. Each enemy (excepting bosses) only dropped one item. So money when you needed a healing item wasn’t a blessing. The merchant (only one of him.) Sells healing, inventory (three times) and maps (again three times) in addition to the basic weapons. You can upgrade these weapons in several different categories (firepower, reloading speed, capacity and firing speed.) These get progressively more expensive as you go. I think the most expensive weapon wound up being my machine gun, since it’s the only one I couldn’t upgrade to a better base version of.

    At the end of the game, it held 200 rounds, had slightly more kick as the pistol I started with, and could shoot five rounds a second.) The catch is that you can’t upgrade the weapons all the way at once. So if there are a dozen levels of fire power, before the first boss, you could upgrade it to three maybe. The same limit is imposed on the other stats. Some weapons (like the shotgun and the more powerful magnum weapons) have areas that can’t be upgraded, and their strong points cost even more to upgrade than the same level of a weaker weapon.

    The game tricks you with the tune-ups to an extent. The point at which your weapon begins to become less effective when you’ve tuned it up is about one merchant away from the point where you can either A) Tune it up more or B) trade it in for a bigger gun.

    You *can* sell the weapons back for a fraction of their price (usually enough to buy the replacement version and tweak it a little). So you sink the point before you reach B (the merchant) so that you don’t get killed, only to find that the money you’ve sunk into it over the time you’ve owned it has been obsoleted so that you can buy the new weapon for a fraction of the price it would cost to turn your current weapon into an equivelent (the shotgun was a really interesting upgrade. It had another four shells over what I currently had, shot slightly faster, reloaded faster had a longer range and slightly less kick.

    If you were to weigh the two, I think the riot gun (Shotgun+) was the better buy, but you could make a case for keeping the shotgun you had if you wouldn’t have the cash to upgrade the riot gun.

    Essentially the system works by keeping the player’s money spent. Guns will start to lose their usefulness as the player about to reach a merchant. The player uses the money to upgrade the guns, so they can continue without getting killed or wasting supplies. They might also need supplies so that they don’t get wasted in the next area. Upgrading the inventory is one giant money sink, since by the time you’re getting the next size up, you’re crowding for room to hold the ammunition you need to run 6 or 7 guns, while in the middle of the level, you’re counting the number of rounds till empty and hoping to dear god the next enemy isn’t some sort of super tank. But RE4 is survival horror. You’re expected to be worrying all the time.

    The worst I’ve ever had is playing Tales of Symphonia. The side quests you can perform tend to leave you with more money than is worth spending on the local stuff, or with a better weapon which means you don’t need to buy the local stuff, and actually wind up selling lesser quality potions and gear back, giving you more money in some sort of ridiculous loop.

  13. Agonofin says:

    I have one, I think it’s Welcome to the Wasteland, that greatly increases the cost of ammo, and that helps some with pushing back the money in the early game (scraping together just enough for a few more rounds. It does a lot to make the game harder in general.

    Also some to decrease dismemberment (I shot off the overseer’s head with a 10mm pistol my first playthrough and was like whaaaaat) flesh burning plasma mod that gives a mars attacks feel to critical plasma kills, and eh, lots others but I suppose those are some of the more interesting ones.

  14. Rutskarn says:

    That’s a good point, Karthos. I can’t think offhand of a single RPG in which I didn’t get game-breakingly rich, except maybe Neverwinter Nights 2 (I honestly can’t remember). Really, though, is fixing that as desirable as it sounds? Really, one of the I’ve-made-it joys of Morrowind is when you’ve got over a million drakes in the bank.

  15. Chris W says:

    Sounds like you are making it more like Nethack.

  16. Julian says:

    I remember being very short on money in Mass Effect until level 30 or something. Then EVERY. SINGLE. GETH. dropped about 8000 credits or so. I am now replaying it, doing the first storyline mission and I’ve got ten million credits.

  17. TA says:

    I gotta say, that mod arrangement sounds very interesting. Would it be possible to get a list of links to them and any sort of weird mod-management things necessary to get them to play well together?

  18. General Karthos says:

    I went through Mass Effect the first time on a semi-completionist kick. Any side quests that sounded interesting, I went along and did. Anything that didn’t sound interesting, I just kinda ignored. So I didn’t get the million credit goal the first time through (though I did the second time through) but I still broke the bank in that I had a HUGE number of credits and by the end could buy absolutely anything I wanted enough to equip my entire team with the best of their main weapon. And I mean the -entire- team, not just Shepard and the two I was taking with him.

    I think that having to scrape through with barely enough money to buy essentials (and realizing that perhaps that body armor isn’t an ABSOLUTE ESSENTIAL like you thought it was) is part of what can make a game really fun.

    At least, I say that now, because I have yet to experience a game in which I barely managed to scrape through with enough money, unless you count a couple of students in “The Sims 2” for a time until they finally got through their first semester and got enough money that they could afford a shower and a bed at the same time.

  19. Jonathan says:

    Baldur’s Gate II isn’t broken money-wise… even in TOB, I still had situations where I was watching my funds to make sure I could get what I wanted.

    Deliberately drawing the Deck of Many Things Ruin card so that I can get permanent stat boosts probably didn’t help, but still… the only time I get super $$ is a solo run.

  20. SharpeRifle says:

    Try the enhanced weather mod….I love rain and snow in my game.
    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=6170

  21. Joe says:

    I’ve been looking for a good “total survival” suite of mods, do you think you could zip these up or drop links to the specific mods you use? I’d super duper appreciate it

  22. Bizarre says:

    I had the same problem with BioShock. The first, say, half of the game was hugely tense. You never had enough ammo, and you had to scrape together the money for health and guns and stuff. It was difficult, but that’s the fun. Taking down a Big Daddy was a herculean achievement.

    Second half? Everything drops so much cash you can buy the armaments to take on pretty much anything. You have so much money you have to buy stuff to loot any more.

  23. TA says:

    Not that you needed much of any ammo, because the Wrench rapidly and easily kills everything in the early game except the Big Daddies, and once you got a couple upgrades for it they’d die handily as well.

  24. tourist.tam says:

    You should play more online FPS type of game; you only get good at them by learning the maps. You get into a spiral of learning the map before anything, but it pay off as you end up knowing what’s the closest path from point A to point B. And that’s exactly what happens with FallOut3. I can’r remember being totally lost after my first run in the metro system. ;)

    Tam

  25. SolkaTruesilver says:

    I would suggest something to limit the availability of money. First, restrain the ammo drop of most of the weapons, and allow quasi-inifinite ammo buys, but with progressive prices. And never have those prices fall down.

    Initially, I was thinking of making only the Fat Man ammo to be geometrically progressive, but maybe it would become a case of “too awesome to use”… It money becomes a need rather than luxury…

    Hmm.. will have to meditate on this…

    I guess a somewhat complex equation of inflation based on currency area concentration would also be interesting. (Shamus, where you are a programmer and you wonder about AI, I am an economist and worry about such things :-)

    Also, why the hell the Wastelands are using only ONE currency? Aren`t they supposed to be cut from each others?

  26. SolkaTruesilver says:

    Shamus: I hate your new setup to edit things in my older posts. I could not edit the last line of my post.

    So: Aren`t the towns of the Wastelands supposed to be somewhat separated from each others…?

  27. J Greely says:

    I think it was Might & Magic 6 that kept you poor with insane training costs. The most exciting random loot type you could get was “…of the Gods”, which didn’t have any bonuses, but was worth a lot of cash. Sometimes you’d be several levels behind on your training, waiting for a lucky Crap of the Gods drop.

    -j

  28. Eldiran says:

    Ahh, all this talk of mods brings back fond memories of Morrowind. I should really get to beating that game. I miss my uber-laser-magic-assassin guy who owns his own magical floating castle. It was so much more fun after I modded the game to remove the training-to-get-multipliers deal. And after I added the magical floating castle. And fixed all the ugly faces. And gave myself a sweet cape.

  29. Vegedus says:

    I don’t think it would be a bad idea to dabble in the G.E.C.K. (the modding tools) yourself if you have the time and inclination. I’ve made a couple of simple mods in Oblivion and I have almost no programming experience.

    Also, is there any specific reason you haven’t got Broken Steel? It raises the level cap by 10. Or is DLC for you essentially a form of DRM?

  30. UtopiaV1 says:

    I just wish the the hunger and thirst mod included a little animation of you eating or drinking or using meds or whatever, i always find the little message saying ‘You have eaten Mole Rat Meat’ a little immersion-breaking (but then again, very in keeping with the RPG element of it. They should have included more messages like that… heehee, “You mess with the Raider’s dead body… you sick freak. Seriously, stop messing! Stupid weird players…”)

  31. RichVR says:

    Perhaps I’ve commented here about my own “pet peeve” with Fallout 3. Maybe not. But I have posted comments elsewhere. Especially in the official F3 website.

    I love how everyone else is having so much fun with this game.

    But I’d still just like the damn game to stop crashing in the various outdoor areas when you leave Megaton.

    I have the boxed game.

    I have a computer that runs Crysis like buttah.

    I am an IT consultant that builds PCs as a sideline.

    My system is rock solid, defragged with up to date drivers and cooled to a fare thee well.

    It is not overclocked. It is not caked with dust. It’s fine (FINE I SAY) with every other game under the sun including Mass Effect.

    But when I leave the town and go in any direction I crash to the desktop. I’m not the only one.

    Some day I hope to be able to play the original Fallout 3 and then pay for some DLC and get up to date with all you other lucky folk.

    Until then I’ll occasionally run it until I crash again.

  32. Rutskarn says:

    I just bumped into a mod that removes the NPC reactions to when you use Z on something/bump into it on the floor (example: “You’re a clumsy little thing, aren’t you?” or “For God’s sake, watch where you’re going!”).

    It’s entitled I Will Touch What I Want.

  33. Avilan the Grey says:

    Here is my final mod list:

    Fellout, for base game and all expansions (except Anchorage and Mothership Zeta, of course). This has the added benefit of the pitch black nights.

    Tougher Traders, gives the traders 2 body guards, higher level and HP and the companion reset HP function (aka heals automatically after battles). This is combined with…

    Essential Traders, makes the traders essential (but not the brahmins or body guards).

    Project Beauty, replaces some female NPC’s faces with non-hideous ones (no “porn star faces”, just realistic but not too ugly ones).

    Better Custom Weapons (I think it is called), allows you to repair all custom weapons with the components of them, for example steam gauge assemblys now can be used to repair the railway gun.

    Helmet-less dragoon armor (I don’t remember the name of this one), replaces the Chinese Stealth armor with a version (very well made) that has no attached headgear. A separate helmet is included in the mod (on the shelf beside the armor) that when worn looks exactly like the original stealth suit.

    My favourite mod is Fellout, no doubt.

  34. Deoxy says:

    The problem with “economy” is that, in the vast majority of games, money is literally created by defeating enemies, but the economy still values this “free to all” stuff as though it were money. The only way to avoid breaking the economy is to have prices respond to supply and demand or have a set total of money in the game (no “generated” money or valuables).

    In a gold rush, prices for stuff gets silly really fast, because there’s lots of the supposedly valuable stuff being found, but not so much good food for all the hungry workers. If prices were fixed, the first guy to come in could easily buy everything around with his gold, then all the others would have plenty of gold and nothing to buy with it.

    So, basically, you don’t “break” the economy in games… because there just isn’t one. (A few do try to simulate a simple one… space trading games usually, and even then, there are (usually) pretty easy ways to game the system.)

    Edit: Whoa… “awaiting moderation”? First time I’ve seen that… did I do something bad? Heh.

  35. Western Infidels says:

    Does accumulating a huge pile of money really count as “breaking the in-game economy?” A high level Fallout 3 character is by the most powerful, most dangerous actor in the game-world. An individual with a nuclear arsenal. Who may very well kill every single person in a town just for the fun of it.

    Did Genghis Khan have money problems?

  36. Blackbird71 says:

    Shamus,

    I think if you revisited Oblivion with the same approach you’re using on Fallout3 (i.e., mod it until it becomes the game you want to play), you’d have a much more enjoyable experience than you’re earlier attempt.

    Personally, I just picked up the Oblivion: GOTY edition a month ago. Because of the comments I’d read about the game here and on other sites, I’d been waiting on a few events before buying: 1. having a computer powerful enough for the resource needs to be a non-issue, 2. price drop to the ~$20 range, and 3. my regular mmo slump where I get bored of whatever I’ve been playing and start looking for a change of pace. All three of these hit at once, so I figured the time was right.

    However, even before leaving the store, I knew I was never going to play the game “as is” straight out of the box. In my experience, Bethesda games had always been very moddable (in fact, the second game in the Elder Scrolls series, Daggerfall, was my first experience with really getting inside the game and changing the way it played). I knew that Oblivion would have a large source of mods available from the community. I spent the first week after buying the game researching and downloading mods and adjusting them to the point that the game would run (and run well). There’s still an occasional CTD, unfortunately that’s the nature of the game, but I have to say that the effort to get the mods working has been well worth it.

    If you’re interested at all in giving the game a second look, the UESP wiki has a page on “must have mods” that I used as a starting point: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Must_Have_Mods

    I’d also recommend the TESNexus site as a great source for mods: http://www.tesnexus.com

    You’ll definitely want to use Oblivion Mod Manager (OBMM), an indispensible tool for installing and organizing your mods and getting them to play nice with each other. I also recommend BOSS, a utility which optimizes the load order of your mods for compatibility. You’ll probably want to get the Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE), as it’s required for a lot of mods for the functionality it adds. Beyond that, it all just depends on what sort of game experience you’re looking for.

  37. RTBones says:

    Just finished Fallout 3 for the first time. Started out being a completionist, and at some point just got on with the main story. I finished with about 4000 caps, level 16.

    In general, I paid for repairs. While I did repair as the game wore on, I usually just couldnt be bothered. There were times I was repairing things to get rid of inventory and increase the cap value of the things I was going to sell, but that was about it.

    The game without fast travel would be…intriguing. I like the sound of the foliage, night, streetlights, and weather mods. Maybe my next play-through I’ll actually get walter (from the water plant in Megaton) to actually stay IN THE GAME. Once I had gotten his quest for scrap metal, I never saw him again….

  38. Perry The Cynic says:

    Well! You’re now playing the game pretty much the way I did the first time around: no fast travel, no paper maps. If I can’t remember it, I’ll just have rediscover it. I was wondering what game you originally reviewed – it sure didn’t feel like what I was playing. :)

    The sniper rifle (or scoped .44) are useful as telescopes, even when they’re near-broken. Use hunting rifles (or Lincoln’s Repeater, which is almost a cheat) for mid-range aimed shooting. Use Chinese Assault Rifles for hosing down targets. (Use 10mm pistols on rats.) This also lets you use all the ammo you find. (Drawback: the weight adds up. But, stupidly, ammo weighs nothing, not even rockets.)

    Also, I assume you know that VATS uses up weapons much faster than free-hand shooting. Use VATS only if you absolutely, positively need that shot now. Otherwise, use up ammo instead of weapon.

    And yes, if you collect what you kill and barter, you won’t have money problems. But you still need to chase down the folks who actually *have* what you want to buy. Feels right to me (you’re badass, but this is an economy of scarcity).

    Enjoy. I think I’ll collect all those mods and give Fallout 3 another run soon…
    — perry

  39. Avilan the Grey says:

    @40, Mr Cynic ;) :
    Is there really anyone focused on Small Guns that do not use them like you describe? Of course I ditch the 10mm Gun very early and use an SMG instead; that one is good for close up, too and used outside VATS it can fire single rounds to take out the pests.

    VATS do eat weapons quicker but with the exception of the Scoped Magnum and the Sniper Rifle, all weapons of the Small Guns type are growing on trees. Or on raiders… My current character is lvl 9 and has 100% repair. I seldom use a Small Gun with a condition worse than 95%.
    I am addicted to VATS and basically only fire without it in these circumstances: Sniping with scoped weapon, killing roaches, or totally mobbed (by my own fault, usually) when I have to run backwards and empty my magazine into something.

    Btw I do not fast-travel much; the big exception is Escort missions (Germantown, for example). I HATE baby-sitting.

  40. Dhatz says:

    I’f I was a fan of this sort of game, I’d first off look for mod that makes realistic degradation, because there is no way a sniper rifle could get wasted in one day.

  41. Someone says:

    Id reccomend checking out Xodaraps Fallout Overhaul (XFO).
    It fixes a variety of things, and its modular i.e. you can pick your own small fixes and trash the ones you dont care about or the ones that would conflict with other mods.

    Namely there is a barter fix mod (with my barter of 7 i would sell a carefully repaired raider armor with VAL of 150 caps for 20 and buy a nuka cola bottle for 350, although ive picked an “extreme” version over “mild” one), ammo and chem rarity fix, Karma fix and more.

    The whole thing is availible over at
    http://home.comcast.net/~xodarap777/XFO/XFO_Readme_Current.html

  42. Artillery says:

    I really enjoy the bullet time mod I have, it replaces VATS and acts far less as a “look over there as I decide how to kill” you button. I also use the sprint mod that uses AP, speed is based on agility and endurance is rate you use up AP. It also gives you the ability to tackle, but it does take up a perk slot.

    The multiple level zoom mod is of great use though, makes it much easier to snipe those far off guys. Guass Rifle is the best long range weapon in my opinion. Knockdown on headshots is great on most enemies.

    Thanks for the recommendations of fellout and green world, make the world much less bland to look at.

  43. Artillery says:

    Shamus there is a person who made a sprint mod for Fallout 3 who is willing to have an option to auto disable itself when you are inside combat. I’ll tell you if/when he releases it. Should be good fun.

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