Spoiler Warning Fallout 3 #5:
Glorious Chaos

  By Shamus   May 18, 2010   111 comments

I know this episode is crazy, but Josh was acting crazy, so it all sort of evens out. I kind of enjoyed seeing the game fly apart anyway.

And while I’m always cheerleading for Fallout 1, the inane chaos we see here was also present in that game. It’s actually incredibly hard to have a game react reasonably to small-scale crime, non-lethal assault, and “accidental” injury, because game designers usually only have two tools at their disposal:

1) Ignore player
2) Kill player

Anything between these two points involves having some sort of criminal justice system. In Fallout 1, if an errant shot missed a bad guy and hit an innocent bystander, it usually meant that every single person in town would immediately go hostile and try to murder you. This was bad in situations where you might hit someone off-screen, enrage the town, but not realize it. Only after you’d already saved the game would you notice the armies of farmers, town guards, quest givers, shopkeepers, and hobos, all marching in your direction. You were basically done in this town, forever. The “wait 3 days” mechanic in Fallout 3 might be a little crude and absurd, but it’s actually better than the alternative of letting the player get themselves into an unwinnable state because of a simple (or idiotic) mistake. You can propose a lot of alternative ways of doing this, but for the most part they will either:

1) Be insanely complex to implement and require the AI to be able to ascertain motives and investigate crime or:
2) Simply move the absurdity from one place to another.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to do, but it is tough.

A Hundred!11111 comments. Quick! Add another to see if this message changes!


  1. Robyrt says:

    Oblivion let players get off with a fine, or alternately an escaping-jail minigame. Unfortunately, thanks to video game inflation, the fine quickly became meaningless.

    • Jordi says:

      In Morrowind I remember that every NPC had a separate rating for how much they liked you. It would be nice if petty crime would just decrease this rating for the victim and witnesses (and possibly everyone they are likely to talk to), proportional to how much it affects them. Then, the rating needs to be made significant. For instance, through affecting shop prices and willingness to barter, talk and give out missions.

      • Telefon says:

        I don’t know whether the system was scrapped for Fallout 3 but Oblivion at least, featured individual NPC dispositions, even between NPCs. Sometimes you’d just be riding out in the wilderness and find a couple of imperial guards beating the shit out of eachother, presumably because of a stray arrow.

        • Irridium says:

          I remember seeing an NPC take some bread, then all of a sudden the entire town wanted him dead.

          It was funny, and reminded me something.

          In Cyrodiil, the laws may be stupid, arbitrary, and unnecessary, but god help you if you break them.

        • Michael says:

          There was one of these where you’d find a legionnaire poaching a deer and another one would join in the fray and attack him. I’m not sure how much of this was scripted and how much was emergent, but it was pretty reliable, right outside Bruma, so it can’t have gone through even preliminary QA without someone noticing.

  2. Josh R says:

    There are actually 5 Super Mutant Behemoths (I think) dotted around the capitol wastelands.
    One in the capitol building arena, one near a subway you come across while searching for the geck (if you follow a straight line)… And I forget where the other two are.
    This one is actually pretty easy because if you hide in the building, the invincible Brotherhood of Steel guys kill him for you.
    That and the fact there’s a fat man right there.

    I actually thought that this was one of the better set pieces in the game, and by the time I had got round to doing the main quest this far, it wasn’t too challanging. I don’t know how many people actually rushed off to find their dad, and I always assumed that this was because it doesn’t actually want you to immediately start looking for him.

    You also don’t have to do the quest for three dog at all, you find the location he gives you in time anyway.

    • Shamus says:

      The only two I knew about were the ones at GNR and Evergreen Mills.

      I can’t believe I missed three of them. I’ll have to make a point to find them all on my current playthrough.

      • Josh R says:

        Your melee playthrough? good luck with that :)
        Also – damn you for making me buy this game again!
        damn spoiler warning videos.

      • Drue says:

        there is one penned up by raiders not too far from tenpenny i think (west/northwest)? that guy is fun because you can release him on the raiders or kill them all first and then plan how to kill him before opening the big pen in which he is.

        • Factoid says:

          That’s evergreen mills, I think. I love that place because you can murder every raider in the whole place and the bartender still doesn’t go hostile and tries to bargain with you. He has a unique combat shotgun, which is one of my favorite small guns in the game.

      • H.M says:

        There’s one trapped inside the Capitol Building fighting a bunch of Talon Mercs, but I never did find the other two

      • Factoid says:

        Those are the two most obvious ones that everyone finds. Did you never explore the Capitol Building, though? There’s one in the main rotunda. It’s a hell of a fight….unless you’re like me and pull out the alien pistol and just melt him with 2 shots.

        edit: And the other two locations are at Takoma Industrial on the far east side of the map in a park. And the other is just southwest of Jury Street Metro in a super mutant camp, which you get as a sidequest during the Museum of Technology mission that you’ll be getting to in the next episode. There’s a unique assault rifle near the metro station.

        • modus0 says:

          And the one at Takoma International is ridiculously easy, as long as your Science skill is high enough to repair an artillery button.

        • Michael says:

          The one at the Jury Street Metro doesn’t technically exist in the game world normally. He gets spawned in on a trigger in the area. (Activate one of those shopping cart traps in the rail yards south of the metro station.)

      • ps238principal says:

        Follow the tracks out of Evergreen Mills. When you get to the end where a ruined station is located, open the shopping-cart cage with the teddy bear inside. It’ll summon a behemoth.

      • Avilan says:

        The point with Evergreen mills is that there are TWO of them there.
        The unarmed, weaker one in the pen, and one that is right outside the canyon:

        The main entrance to the ‘Mills have railroad tracks laid down. Follow them out, and there is a wrecked trainyard with some super mutants. Depending on what patch you have installed, you either have to find a caged teddybear, grab it, and a behemoth appears a distance away and runs towards you (it is his teddybear!) OR it is always somewhere in the area but won’t home in on the trainyard until you get there (you don’t have to touch the teddybear though).

    • Factoid says:

      I actually didn’t meet three-dog until well over halfway through my first playthrough when I heard him talking about his busted antenna on the radio inside the ruins. I always hated that I couldn’t get that station outside of DC.

      If you find Dr. Li in Rivet City before doing the GNR quest, though, it completely breaks all the Brotherhood of Steel scripting and you have to do that whole fight through the city, into the plaza and against the behemoth by yourself, and I didn’t know about the FatMan the first time through, so that fight kinda sucked even at level 10 or 11.

    • M says:

      I hit the Behemoth at GNR with a mini-nuke, and his arm clipped through the building. His body- his 25 ton body- hung off GNR studios.

  3. swimon says:

    That was hilarious ^^, Bethesda programming at it’s finest.

  4. KremlinLaptop says:

    This episode was abso-friggin-lutely hilarious. I’m not sure what it was, but it was tense with the fight and it was ridiculously amusing at the same time. Saying so far this is my favourite episode of the series.

    I’m really enjoying watching you play this game far more than I ever enjoyed playing the vanilla game myself.

  5. ps238principal says:

    One thing I hated about the limited dialogue (and Bethesda isn’t the only one guilty of this in RPGs, especially with voice acting) that had to be generic enough to cover every situation was the “can you train me to use power armor” question. They tell me at GNR to go see someone “in the lab.” On my first playthrough I wasted a half an hour trying to find “the lab” at GNR.

    • Newbie says:

      Same, but as I am completely insane, I spent 4 hours looking for it. I also went on a little stroll back outside wondering if it was in a diferent building… that was after 2 hours searching in the GNR building itself…

  6. ps238principal says:

    Oh, and if you want breakdowns of the weapons, quests, etc. (i.e. “why is this weapon worth more than this one?”), you might want to consult the Fallout 3 Wiki Vault.

  7. Arumin says:

    Is it just me or did the “yakety sax” song just fit perfectly under the whole combat with the brotherhood of steel? I had it going on in my head the whole time till Josh talked with Three dog.

    Great episode guys keep up the lunacy in the capital wasteland!

  8. Chris Arndt says:

    I love how if you accidentally shoot enough of your own marines in Halo, then you’ll consciously have to create a bloodbath, and kill every single one just to avoid these jerks trying to kill you.

    • Michael says:

      That’s kinda a Bungie tradition. In Marathon there were BOBs (Born on Boards) who were unarmed civilians. Only, after one mission there were infiltrated BOBs popping up (who would explode on contact). So a lot of players simply took to gunning down every BOB they met.

      In Marathon 2, the BOBs came back only now they were armed with pistols, and exhibited exactly the behavior you’re describing.

      Sorry for the slightly off topic history lesson.

    • Telefon says:

      I always feel terrible about killing USNC troops, they’re so spunky and committed to the fight but mister invincible mute cyborg dude couldn’t be arsed to look behind him while reversing his tank and now somebody’s daddy isn’t coming home.

      That Tank kills Ghost! Tank kills Wraith! TANK kills EVERYTHING! guy in Halo 3 was the best.

  9. Andrew B says:

    I managed to completely miss this section of the game. I didn’t even know you could go through the subways! I stumbled upon Dad by accident before I ever went to GNR and thus, as a consequence, never did so.

    Cutting out a (large) part of the main quest means that the later dialogue options make basically no sense. You can ask all manner of questions about stuff you have never hear of.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      See, that’s what I don’t get. Would it be so hard to setup a system of flags and do additional dialogue? So that if you’ve visited say GNR and Rivet City and progressed the quest as should be then you’d get the relevant dialogue choices.

      But if you just stumbled on Dad by accident it would really be finding him by accident and it would play out as such, so you wouldn’t have any of those flags set and the dialogue would flow accordingly. Yeah, it’d be extra work, extra lines, etc…

      However, it’d get all that IMMERSHUN stuff far more than everything blowing up in a mushroom cloud. Though I don’t think any amount of spit and polish could make the core of the story any less… well any less derp-arific.

      • Josh R says:

        Immersion is spoiled by different things for different people.

        I don’t mind doing something stupid if it’s fun to do and I can see my character progressing. (one of the reasons I like MMOs)
        if fallout fans are in it for the story, they aren’t going to to like it.

      • acronix says:

        If you ever messed up with the GECK, then you know why they didn´t do that. Let´s say that you don´t add dialogue lines per character, you add them to every NPC in the world with a set of conditions. One of these conditios has to be “NPC == The NPC that has to say this line”. After that, you add a set of answers for the PC, and THEN you select to which line (of the world-wide dialogue lines pool) those answer go to.

        This is not like, let´s say, Baldur´s Gate, in which each NPC dialogue was a file on its own. And it´s not like Neverwinter Nights, in which doing dialogue was easy as eating cake. The system used in the GECK is cumbersome, hard to understand, and very prone to bugs. It may be, however, more versatile (you can, for instance, add a line of dialogue to every NPC in the world, which is handy for the “I want to ask you about X”).

        Of course that, we are guessing that the guys at Bethesda are professional, so all this problems with the GECK shouldn´t be any obstacle to them…maybe?

        • KremlinLaptop says:

          Ah, I hadn’t thought of that but the tools for the job being a problem makes a whole boatload of sense. When I was typing my post I was, unsurprisingly I guess, thinking of the dialogue/quest tools that you were given with Aurora for NWN which was… yeah basically the easiest thing on the planet to work with.

          • Michael says:

            When you think about it, Fallout 3 is basically trying to shoehorn that into the dialog response system from Oblivion, which was built around keywords. IIRC in Morrowind it was actually an HTML file. Trying to do real dialog off of that… god, I don’t even want to think about it.

          • eri says:

            It still amazes me how cumbersome development tools are to work with. Making a basic interface for handling something like WRITING TEXT should not be difficult, and once you’ve defined features for your game, implementing quick shortcuts to do things like change quest variables shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. The time spent making good tools is always made up for when you have designers who can create content rather than fight with their software.

  10. Gavin says:

    Want to put in my vote for “Don’t Skip Anything”. I haven’t played Fallout — and probably won’t — but it’s fun watching you guys.

    • Factoid says:

      There’s plenty they could skip over…most of the quests are a extremely time consuming and ultimately pointless.

      There are a couple, though, that I think MUST be done for the benefit of the viewers:

      Oasis
      Little Lamplight
      Canterbury Commons

      Oh, and you should go pick up the alien pistol, just for fun. It’s a terrific trump card to have in the event of an unwinnable fight. It would have probably one-shotted all of those brotherhood guys on today’s episode. Plus you have Broken Steel and Mothership Zeta to replenish the limited ammo supplies.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        Little Lamplight. God… just god dammit. Alright, Beth, I get it you want to make kids unkillable. That’s fine, I guess, but then you go and make one of the most irritating characters in your game a kid you can’t kill!? God dammit.

        I fear the part where they go to Little Lamplight will induce so much rage in me that I’ll just turn into a big amorphous blob of hate. Blop.

      • Josh R says:

        Little lamplight is on the main quest line.
        The Arefu quest is a PITA IIRC.
        Though Andale should not be missed. It’s a pretty short one too.

        • Vipermagi says:

          I never found Arefu’s quest troublesome at all. A little boring at first, but I like the tunnelrats you have to visit.
          To each their own :)

          +1 to Andale, as well.

          • eri says:

            Remember Arefu? The place where Bethesda decided it would be a great idea to bring goth vampires into a Fallout game?

            Yeah, I’m all for skipping that.

            • acronix says:

              I disagree. They should show it. Not because it´s nice, fun, or anything, but because we must make sure Bethesda´s stupidity is shown fully.

              On the good side, at least they didn´t make them shinny.

  11. Groboclown says:

    I killed everyone I could in Rivet City, and the main quest line character still talked to me. The area-of-effect for “bad action == go bat crazy” is in the one location, unless you ruin your reputation with a group. Then, it takes doing one good action to the group to make everyone love you again.

  12. Volatar says:

    @ 7:35

    WHAT! OMG I NEVER HAVE SEEN THAT GUY BEFORE! In all my playthroughs I NEVER once picked up that power armor!

    I feel like a blind idiot.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Don’t feel too bad, while visuals in F3 are amazing it really does have the most flat colour palette ever. There seems to be no depth to it and somehow the people, corpses, etc all just blend in.

      I have a heck of a time trying to find raiders I’ve sniped from a mile away.

      • Josh R says:

        I always turn wireframe mode on (TWF) in console.
        Items and people have a much higher wireframe level then background and it becomes a lot easier to find things.

        • eri says:

          Did Bethesda ever implement an LOD system for characters? I remember one of the major problems Oblivion had was that they spent almost all their polygon budget on NPCs, so that whenever you went to a crowded location the framerate would totally tank. That doesn’t seem to happen much in Fallout 3.

          • Dodds says:

            During the Tenpenny Tower Quest you can get 2 of the shopkeepers in Tenpenny to leave. They end up wandering over to Megaton. Once this happens the entire game is slowed to a crawl every time you leave Megaton until you kill them. No idea why.

      • Telefon says:

        You can run the Fellout mod which gets rid of the murky green haze over everything. Except that just gives you a crystal clear, vivid image of just how brown every object in the world is.
        I have some 80 hours in this game and I still have to look which way the bomb in Megaton is pointing just to find my way out.

  13. evileeyore says:

    Concerning 3 Dog and his news sources…

    I always assumed that’s what all those Ham Radios scattered about the wasteland were for. Amateur Radio Enthusiasts getting on and chatting up their local events and 3 Dog just sits back and listens during music breaks. Then he scoops it like he did any kinda of investigating at all…

    • acronix says:

      My theory is better! He is Karma Entity, in charge of all those karma messages you get. This is prooved by the fact that, whenever you do a quest the evil way, you get evil points, and Three Dog then threats you like crap on the radio. If the karma meter agrees with you, then Three Dog does too. Associates…or the same being? I think the later.

      • Dodds says:

        My longest playthrough I was a Neutral Character. Usually did the good thing in quests, but robbed you blind the minute your back was turned. Every now and then I’d steal a bit too much, and end up being Evil. This ended up with the hilarious circumstance of Three Dog insulting me, and then going on to say about how I was fixing all the worlds problems.

      • Jarenth says:

        Come to think of it, I have néver seen Three Dog and the Karma Meter in the same room together. You might be on to something here.

    • eri says:

      Which explains why the player is never able to listen to any of those radios, or see any of these supposed “amateur radio enthusiasts”. Hell, is there even anyone in the wasteland who would do that? I remember seeing about a billion raiders and super mutants, but maybe five random junk salesmen. Maybe they’re following me!

      Yeah, I think “Bethesda just didn’t think of it” is a more convincing solution. You know what else that answer applies to? Their entire destruction of the Fallout canon.

      Come to think of it, why is Three Dog modeled after a contemporary radio DJ? Isn’t Fallout’s universe supposed to be based on 1950s culture?

      Man, these guys are good. It takes a special kind of incompetence to create something so flawed in such basic ways.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        Well they did have disc jockeys back then. Honestly, with his howling and general mannerisms I got a vibe of Wolfman Jack from Three-Dog, if he hadn’t been so damn high on that horse I might have actually liked him through out the game; instead now I make it my first task to repair the radio and then put a shotgun shell in Three-Dog.

        Also to be fair Wolfman Jack is more from 60’s than the 50’s.

  14. Sekundaari says:

    Awesome!

    If you didn’t see it yet, the knocking out of Paladin Vargas was actually caught on tape. When Reginald fires his first-ever mini-nuke, Vargas (to the left of the Behemoth) does a ragdoll FLIP while passing out!

    Training: I figured one would need training in simply moving in the power armor without falling to your front, back or side. Let alone running and fighting.

    Edit: I think I’ve seen the Pulowski Preservation Shelter Shamus mentioned. The shelters are great, they show how much you can tell with a few key items.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I so hate that “whole town wants you dead for that candy bar you stole”.Removing karma and adding a reputation meter to every npc that wont be affected by unseen small crimes is the easiest solution for this I can think of.

    • ps238principal says:

      There was an old EA game back in mah C64 days (I can’t remember which one, but I think some scrolls were what you were after) where if your character broke the bank at a town’s casino, the whole town would turn on you. :)

  16. guy says:

    There are two incredibly hilarious things with the original fallout and it’s superior younger brother’s way of handling crime.

    1. It’s NOT everyone in town, at least not always. The town is broken up into a number of subsections along fairly rational divides. For instance, in new reno the different families are seperate subsections, and patrons are a fifth. I’m not sure if patrons are broken up by casino, though.
    2. Each subsection begins attacking anyone who shoots at one of their members. Including other subsections that they’re reasonably friendly with. Like the guys running the casino they’re playing in.

    Now, in the original there’s a pretty crippling bug in the boneyard. The mayor is in two subsections at once, or something like that. If you attack the town in the boneyard without beginning by talking to him and getting him killed, he’ll attack you and the blades. If he dies from your attacks, the townspeople attack you even though they don’t do so if any of the defenders die.

  17. Bobknight says:

    tip: use the hunting rifle. best gun in the game.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Gotta say I love the hunting rifle. While there are merits to being a big badass stomping around the wastelands in power armour spinning up your minigun, I find it infinitely more satisfying to lurk around take shots with the hunting rifle. I think I might just be imagining my character being the post apocalyptic equivalent of Simo Häyhä that’s so appealing.

      On that note when I do go for small guns, which means using the hunting rifle as my primary weapon (though with the current mods I’m playing with ammo conservation is a big concern, so I melee a lot), I tend to always stomp my way to the Republic of Dave and get Ol’ Painless.

      • Irridium says:

        Ol’ Painless = win.

        I also like Lincoln’s Rifle. And his hat.

        • KremlinLaptop says:

          Lincoln’s rifle is damn cool, I have to admit. It’s also one of the implementations of a unique weapon that I like, repeating rifles like that aren’t all that common, but Lincoln did have a personalized Henry rifle given to him as a gift and it is in reality in a pretty secure place. So it still being around after so long? Actually sort of makes sense.

    • acronix says:

      I agree. It is even more precise than the sniper rifle.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        Also in the vanilla game you don’t have to repair your hunting rifle after every dozen or so damn shots. If in a game I’m more concerned about my gun falling apart than I am about how much ammo I have or even what I’m shooting at; this is not a good thing.

      • eri says:

        Seriously, the Sniper Rifle in Fallout 3 is totally useless. Getting headshots is pretty difficult, and for some reason the bullets you fire just disappear if the target is too far away. Kind of defeats the purpose of a long-distance weapon if it’s not actually good at long distances! But then, I guess competency is something I should not expect from Bethesda.

        • Avilan says:

          The sniper rifle is optimized for non-VATS use. Also, headshots are very easy if you remember to screw physics: For some reason the very low spread (or some other factor) has made the gun shoot too high. On long distance shots, AIM FOR THE THROAT not the head, and the brain goes BOOM! …Same with the Repeater, actually.

          • Sekundaari says:

            Maybe it’s calibrated for even longer distances. The optics would be adjusted so the bullet trajectory crosses your line of sight at relatively near 0 m (up) and X m (down). Then between 0 and a little over X/2 m the bullet would be climbing compared to your line of sight, or crosshair. I don’t know how well Fallout 3 simulates the trajectory though.

  18. 4th Dimension says:

    Don’t apologize. This is what we want. Pure insane fun. Like calmly discusing weather with an NPCwhile ON FUC#$NG FIRE!!

  19. krellen says:

    If I’d gotten into that situation, I would have dropped into VATS with the Fatman and made sure my MiniNuke landed in the middle of the group of Paladins across the way.

    Nuke them from across the room. It’s the only way to be sure.

    PS Had you been allowed to be walking around while on fire in the first two games (being on fire was just an amusing death animation,) I’m sure they would have changed dialogue options to “Aaa! Aaa! Aaa!” and “OH SHIT FIRE!”

  20. Galad says:

    Just posting to say how entertaining this episode was, even if I’ve never played fallout. The mutant behemoth, the pickpocketing and running away from the BoS guys, the talk with whatshizname blackdjguy while on F**King FIRE! There should be more videos of hilariously breaking games like this..

  21. Nathan says:

    I see nothing wrong with Fallout 1 and 2 approach to the problem of enraging a town. It seems pretty logical and rational to me. The “wait 3 days” stuff is, pardon my french, retarded. It is one of the main reasons of what killed the spirit of the previous games and why I’ll never play this game. But maybe I’m just one of those radical types.

  22. rofltehcat says:

    Too many games have ‘enrage the whole town’-mechanics. The stupid part is that in most of those games you can actually be a thief or they have a karma system and you could actually be a sneaky murderer.

    What good is being a thief when you reload every time you are catched stealing something? Imo that takes all the fun out of it because the punishment is just too big to not reload the game. Gets even worse when being a thief is too effective, like in Fallout 2: Travel to NCR, steal guard’s bozar heavy machine gun. If it doesn’t work, reload and try again. If it worked, save and steal his money. Then save and steal his ammo…
    Of course I could just play without being a cleptomaniac… but I just want to steal every item in the game every time I play it :/

    Being caught and fleeing could be part of the game. Flee out of town, change your appearance, wait a few days then get back in with the next caravan. Now that would be great!

  23. Dodds says:

    Hilarious Episode

    I was one of those that completely ignored the main quest upon leaving the vault, as such, my first encounter with Ghouls was in one of the old Power Stations up by Minefield. I was only about level 4, and there was roughly 6 Ghouls and a Glowing One, versus me with low health and running very low on ammo. I barely survived, but it was easily the most immersive experience I had in the entire game.

    Oh, and I can easily vouch for the usefulness of Comprehension. Longest played Character had read a total of 143 skill books… According to the wiki, that’s not even half of them.

    • Michael says:

      There are 13×25 skill books in the game, but two of them are mutually exclusive.

      With a complete bobblehead run, and a complete collection of skill books, you can max every skill in the game without raising a skill above 37.

      EDIT: One of them may be inaccessible entirely, come to think of it, I can’t remember.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        I… what? This is… in fallout– the first one. I mean this would… that can’t… how would you even? Why would you want… but where is the…?

        No. Just god dammit no. I mean that’s just… god damn but no.

  24. ps238principal says:

    As for the Ghouls being easy… if you have all the DLC installed, just wait until you find a Reaver.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Argh, yeah, Reavers are incredibly horrible – at sub-20 levels, even. Though the same goes for mutant overlords and – I forgot what the third bullet sponge was.

      This does remind me, most enemies in this game are difficult not by their equipment, not by their ammo types, not by their tactics, but only by how much of a bullet sponge they are. Damage is irrelevant either – see how Randy took a hit from a behemot, recovered and still beat it – and proceeded to play Tag! with BoS.

      • Michael says:

        The third bullet sponge was Albino Radscorpions. God I hate those things.

        The worst part about the Reavers is when they bug out and go invincible.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        I hate it when games make enemies difficult by forcing you to expend half your ammo stores to kill them. Not tactics, or interesting weaponry, but rather soaking up bullets like a kevlar factory.

        It’s less difficult and more frustrating a lot of the time too, you know you’re going to beat the sponge; just that it’s going to take you a lot more time to do it.

        That’s not added difficulty, that’s lazy design.

    • eri says:

      Yeah, Bethesda really are geniuses of game design. I can imagine the brainstorm session now…

      “Hm, how do we make the game balanced for level 30 players, despite the fact that the game turns into a total cakewalk around level 15 for players without the DLC?”

      *silence*

      “I know! How about we just put a 5x multiplier on all the enemy hit points, so you have to spend five times as much ammo to kill them!”

      “Emil… you’ve done it again! Let’s fire up the editor and ship this baby!”

      Sheer brilliance. These guys could not win enough Game of the Year awards.

      • Someone says:

        They did try a different approach in The Pitt and Point Lookout. I think we all remember how fun THAT ended up. Then again, what else could they possibly do at this point?

    • Someone says:

      If you mess around with some mods, you can get literally several dozens of ghouls in the same dungeon. I really like how it conveyes the feel of a zombie horde, they still go down in just few shots but there are enough of them to get to you and tear you apart before you kill them all.

      • Avilan says:

        Yeah. Plus I have added a number of mods for re-balance (Reavers are more of glass cannons, only 1/3 of their original HP, and Overlords and Swamp Folk has had their +50 automatic damage removed). Combined with Mart’s Mutant Mod I think it works very nicely.

        Basically I think their biggest problem with balancing the new top dog enemies were the decision to use the Behemoth as the yardstick (they have admitted that anything that would loose a 1 on 1 with the armed behemoth was “balanced enough”). They should have used the Deathclaw instead for that (as in as long as a deathclaw can kill a reaver / etc in 1 to 1 combat the reaver is balanced). It fits better and keeps the Deathclaws as Horrors of the wastes.

        • Someone says:

          I modded the game out with FOOK, FWE, MMM, XFO and a bunch of other balancing tweaks and its incredible how much they improve the experience. The enemies are designed to make you use different tactics. The raiders, for example, carry powerfull firearms and can easily outgun you, but they are only humans and their armor is crap so they are “glass cannons”. Super mutants are the opposite, they use melee weapons and big guns wich are easy to avoid, but they are very tough and hard to kill. The ghouls overwhelm you with numbers. The animals travel in packs. All of them require different approach, different weapons, tactics and drugs. The vanilla had the potential for that but made things too easy and fell short.

        • Dodds says:

          If the Behemoth’s their measuring stick, then Deathclaws are overpowered:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjGpsrTatQI

  25. Jabor says:

    Oh man, did Rutskarn just quote a Queen song in there?

  26. Sharnuo says:

    You hate slimfast? I hate that car advertisement that keeps playing… No one wins…

  27. Ramsus says:

    Oh man, this episode was excellent. I really loved the whole standing there on fire and being railroaded at the same time thing. It’s like the game was trying to ask you “Hey, which flaw do you think ruins the experience the most?” Also the indoor nuke was pretty funny if you consider what that would lead to in a world with real physics and non-invulnerable dilapidated buildings.

  28. Conlaen says:

    It’s fun to see how different this goes then it did in my playthrough. I actually couldn’t find GNR through the subways systems for the life of me and just got totally and utterly lost, did some other quests first, already ran into a Behemoth in the Capitol, and found my father through the people in Rivet City.

    I did end up going to GNR later, just because I wanted to really. I never did find that Mini Nuke you got there though. I ended up fighting my Behemoths without nukes. Heck I think Lyons Pride wasn’t even at the station for me, because I’d already gone to their headquarters by then.

  29. edinlex says:

    Newbie questions. I thought one of the bigger features of Fallout 3 was the “localized damage” (or whatever you call it) where you can damage or immobilizer an arm or leg, etc. I do see the messages pop up during combat, but does it really mean anything because all I can see from combat is (STEP A) mash attack button.

    • acronix says:

      Not sure if I understood, but… It means you depleted the limb “health bar”. Most of the time it is a negligible effect, not because it´s useless, but because the damage you need to deal to break one is enough to kill or almost kill the target.

      Mutilating the arms makes aiming harder (for both the NPC and the player). Mutilating a leg makes them go slower (and much slower if you somehow break both of them without killing). The head…uh…it makes the player dizzy, but there´s no noticeable effect on the NPCs. Mutilating the torso has no effect neither.

      • Sekundaari says:

        The Vault claims crippling an enemy’s torso makes him flinch in pain more often when hit.

      • Avilan says:

        Actually mutilating the head has a huge effect in NPCs aiming abilities. The spread is noticeably larger even with precision weapons like sniper rifles.

      • Vipermagi says:

        re “the damage you need to deal to break one is enough to kill or almost kill the target. ”

        This is especially noticable when trying to shoot off a puny Combat Inhibitor. I still haven’t managed it on a Protectron; their patchwork inhibitor has more health than they do I think.

    • Miral says:

      If you cripple someone’s leg then they start limping and they can’t run up to you as fast. If you cripple their arms they don’t operate their weapons as well. If you cripple their head or eyes then they have trouble finding you and tend to thrash about randomly (or just die, if it was a decapitation). You can even shoot weapons out of their hands, which can be a big help sometimes.

      • FFJosh says:

        And for some inexplicable reason, Bethesda decided to make melee weapons unable to directly target limbs in VATS. That’s why you guys don’t see me aiming at limbs very often.

        Melee weapons can actually still cripple body parts in VATS, but it’s up to the whims of whatever part your animation decides to strike in the bullet-time sequences, so it’s not all that reliable.

        Plus, it’s usually just quicker to bludgeon an enemy to death rather than focus on crippling them first.

      • ps238principal says:

        That’s the only reason to build the dart gun. It’s awesome for keeping deathclaws from jumping you.

  30. C_B says:

    I discovered something last night. After privately swearing that if the Tenpenny Tower guard told me to ‘keep my panties on’ when i wanted to be let in one more time, i was going to vaporize his freaking head with a laser rifle… well, let’s skip ahead and just say that this story ends with head vaporization.

    Anyway, it turns out that there’s only one guard who watches the gate, and if you kill him, the gate stays open forever if you use the intercom on the inside to open it. Also, the rest of the guards don’t chase you very far.

    If you don’t mind a bit of light manslaughter and a Three-Day Wait ™, it could save you a bit of hassle every time you want to return to your lavishly not-filth-encrusted suite.

  31. pneuma08 says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s possible to create a max’ed character at or even before level 20. There are about 25 skill books for every skill, so between those, Comprehension, and the bobbleheads that’s 60 points per skill…between the points start with and the points you get per level, I think that’s enough without even having to pick up all the books, or even mentioning other Perks.

    That’s one of the faults of Fallout 3’s system, IMO. In each of my playthroughs I’d max out my commonly used skills midway through, and then I’d think, now what? Plus any more books I find are useless, and skill perks are a waste of time. AND THERE ARE STILL CHALLENGES THAT FAIL 50% OF THE TIME. There’s a reason why the previous Fallouts let you build skills past 100!

    Also, on my first playthrough I went and explored the wasteland before I went into the city so I completely missed all this GNR stuff by stumbling into the place where my dad was.

  32. Fanklok says:

    Hey guys fun fact: You want beat a Behemoth to death with nothing but your BARE FISTS, just take paralyzing palm.

    Also it’s pretty damn easy to max out all your skills, take educated and that +3 points perk and max out int at level 1with all the skill books in the game you only really need to get each skill to 40 books and bobbleheads take care of the rest.

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