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Obsidian making Fallout: New Vegas


Gorth

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I read your whole post, cronicler. I guess my biggest problem is that I don't have any strong feelings regarding VATS. No, I'm not one of those people who says, "if you don't like one of the core game mechanics, just don't use it!" I didn't use VATS very often, but my reasoning wasn't that that it broke the game so much as the frustration of watching the scenes play out in slow motion. I'm just too impatient for that. The gore was over the top, but it was funny at first and then mostly irrelevent thereafter. I mean, yeah, I shook my head at the excessive gore and thought "wow, that was over-done," but I never really dwelt on it.

 

My gut instinct is that VATS will have some improvements, but I think it's a thornier issue than just whipping it into a star player.

 

First of all, it really depends on how easy it is to deal with the program itself. In other words, will the programers get mired in trying to work through knotty problems with VATS? How much time do they have? It's not like it's a long development cycle.

 

Another question is, are all these problems centered on VATS? Yes, change the crit. That's good. ...But invisible barriers and pathing and all sorts of issues folks cite for VATS are actually problems altogether. Maybe folks notice them more with VATS. I dunno. I was frustrated by the pathing and the weird sorts of line of sight issues just by playing the game. It's a good thing that the enemy AI killed themselves by shooting an invisible barrier, because I caused myself some grief in the exact same way until I learned not to trust certain features on the ground, sans VATS.

 

Something else that Obsidian has to consider is how exactly many people hated VATS and for what reason. Don't get me wrong. You should advocate changes you'd like to see. That's your job as a consumer. Complain away, I say with all sincerity. However, from their standpoint, they need to figure out how big of a deal some of these things are and how to fix them. The gore thing is probably not a huge problem for a lot of folks and some folks might even like the excessive gore, but it's possibly also be an easy thing to fix if they so choose. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be happier with better pathfinding and fewer problems with crap in the environment playing mayhem with targetting because it creates an invisible barrier. That's probably a much harder fix, but it's something that will add to the game for everyone. Well... maybe not folks who like to use LoS exploits when they play.

 

Finally, the big question is, can they significantly modify VATS so it's more balanced without pissing off players who enjoyed the game because VATS made it significantly easier? My take is that we are over-represented by folks who prefer a more challenging experience. That's all well and good. If it's possible, I would simply make harder difficulties center, among other things, on bringing the nerf-bat to bear on VATS. That way, it works more or less as it did on normal setting, but becomes far less useful, although still viable, at the harder setting.

 

As a general statement, I think the setting, from easy to hard, should have absolutely no effect on experience. A setting isn't harder if it results in significantly enhanced experience rewards. Likewise, I would hate to be the poor bastard who has a hard time with the game and sets it to easy only to have my experience reduced. Nice call, Bethesda! Yeah, that was sarcasm.

 

Twinky has a point, though. I'll save some of my wall of text for the next post. That's where I'll say that called shots to the eyes and groin bring a level specificity to combat that is out of place in FO3 combat, which is probably why those called shots aren't there. Only I'll take a lot longer to say it. hahahaha

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Nice post, Aristes. :lol:

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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One very important question that may not have been answered, is the game going to be modable with the GECK? Something to keep in mind, a broken VATS like Fallout 3 is better than no VATS for the simple reason that it can be modded to be turnbased like a mod out there for FO3, the only thing missing would be a free control of the camera and we could have a limited isometric turn based game.

 

Modding GOOD content is difficult, modding GOOD gameplay is more feasible if given the right tools. Even if the GECK makes it look like it is counter intuitive.

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My problem with VATS is basically two things:

 

1) VATS is a combat mode where you (as the player) don't take much damage from the enemies while the enemies take full damage.

This should (hopefully) be something that is somewhat easy to fix or tweak, I hope?

 

2) In VATS, whenever you get a hit, heads and limbs will explode, gore and blood will follow - no matter if you have the bloody mess perk or

have just hit someone with a critical hit.

I'm fine with gore and blood in Fallout: New Vegas as long as I only (and this is just a wish, not a demand) see heads roll and limbs fly when I have the bloody mess perk and hit someone with a critical hit.

 

And then there's a third thing that annoys me about VATS; it doesn't really work. Hitting V do bring up the VATS scheme --- but there seems to be something wrong with the control scheme for VATS, I find. Can't say what it is - it is more of feel, I find.

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Vats is.. well...

It isn't about vats exactly. When playing a detailed real time game (first person, a third person, isometric doesn't matter) you either base your gameplay on doing the right thing at the right time like commandos or you allow the player an option to pause the game and give orders and whatnot. As this game is (or supposed to be) an RPG with adventure/exploration flavor, the player needs a way to pause the game and asses the situation.

 

By itself I think Vats is not enough to do this job at all. Without thinking about its buggy mechanics (increased critical hits is acceptable as you are targeting a specific body part but atm you only get the "cool" munckin criticals... Crippled limbs etc have no effect on the gameplay or AI. Heh the AI doesn't even have an option to act in groups or run away...) and buggy game play (Invisible walls, buggy pathfinding, being unable to hit if target is too close...) It only allows you to make targeted shots. If this was a game with decent gameplay the targeted shots would be good but the actual gameplay is so... so... bad that this option doesn't add anything to the game.

 

In itself Vats is not a bad system to implement targeted shots onto a real time game. They will just have to remove the Dr bonuses, fix the line of sight issues, fix the damage calculations and make combat up to modern standards.....

 

What this game needs is another system that is like Brothers in Arms or Mass Effect orders systems. If I have teammates then I need a way to tell them what to do. The system could even double as a perception/intelligence/level based 6th sense alerting you to enemies flanking you.... I mean IF they can get the AI to act coherently and use tactics like flanking, suppression fire...

 

TBH a graphical engine is a graphical engine. Sure all of them have their own limitations etc but we are not talking about making a game that needs 100% correct hitboxes. I would have said just let he stats do the work and give us a graphical representation but I was bannd from B. boards more than I care to remember for asking things like are you sure this much gore is a good idea.... Anyway, B. has somehow managed to scramble all the physics in the game somehow so you are likely to get tons of errors just by doing normal things. (The problem with physics was also present in Oblivion as you can experience by putting 8 or 10 gems in a bowl and see them explode all over the room by gaining momentum via hitting each other....)

 

The guys at Obsidian will probably have to disable a lot of code then write a simpler versions that work to get the whole show on the road.

 

Ah well, If I didn't have a rough guess at how much fixing the guys at Obsidian were going to handle, I would have already be begging for new gameplay elements like improved stealth (lightning and noise based) to play like Thief 3; Team Controls like BiA, Mass Effect, Freedom Fighters to control squads of henchman; a tycoon game mode with which to manage the assets we will acquire in Vegas; a sims like interface to design my den and its defences and a very detailed crafting system that would make use of prewar blueprints that you could hunt in old computers and libraries...,

Edited by cronicler

IG. We kick ass and not even take names.

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2) In VATS, whenever you get a hit, heads and limbs will explode, gore and blood will follow - no matter if you have the bloody mess perk or

have just hit someone with a critical hit.

I'm fine with gore and blood in Fallout: New Vegas as long as I only (and this is just a wish, not a demand) see heads roll and limbs fly when I have the bloody mess perk and hit someone with a critical hit.

 

Well... If you have the bloody mess perk on ALL body parts falls off... Without bloody mess its just the part that you hit. I sort of thought bloody mess was silly for this reason. Dont personally mind the heads falling off and stuff.

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If this was a game with decent gameplay the targeted shots would be good but the actual gameplay is so... so... bad that this option doesn't add anything to the game.

 

I think your posts are interesting, cronicler, but I have to say, statements like this just cause me to groan.

 

Fallout 3 was extremely popular. If the gameplay were so... so... bad, then Obsidian would not be working on a new Fallout game at all. Sure, as a matter of opinion, you might not like the gameplay. Sure, you might be one of the crazies who claim that the massive sales for Fallout 3 were derived solely from crafty PR, marketing, and the slack-jawed, unwashed masses. However, constructive arguments regarding the new title would be better coming from someone who is willing to concede that the game is popular and scrapping all of the most prominent features is not a good idea.

 

If your essential point is that the gameplay in Fallout 3 is so... so.... bad, then frankly I would take every single point you make with a grain of salt.

 

I say tighten up what's there and maybe add new things to make FO:NV a title in and of itself. Don't go scrapping or completely removing features that built into the success of the first game.

 

So, advocate what you want. Fair enough. ...But coming from the perspective that Fallout 3 was essentially a failure and Obsidian needs to raze most of it to rebuild from the ground up is simply nuts.

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I also wonder if it will give Josh the opportunity to reintroduce some of his old ideas, such as his division of the US into the 13 commonwealth (hence the flag, it was actually originally Leon Boyarsky's idea on FO1, but it wasn't fleshed out with an exact division of the US into the commonwealth until Josh's work on Van Buren).

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here's a question:

 

will Bethesda allow Obsidian to change something as integral to their version of the game as V.A.T.S. (or really any other style of gameplay/mechanics) or are we basically just getting an Obsidian-made story as DLC?

 

I sure hope so. One thing I don't want to see is B. doing the same thing to Obsidian and F:NV as what they did with Zombie (was it Zombie?) and Rogue Warrior.

 

Then again, it is a spinoff. In my eyes it's supposed to be different, and there is no sense in giving the game to Obsidian unless they're also given artistic freedom to carve what they can out of it.

Perkele, tiädäksää tuanoini!

"It's easier to tolerate idiots if you do not consider them as stupid people, but exceptionally gifted monkeys."

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I think your posts are interesting, cronicler, but I have to say, statements like this just cause me to groan.

 

Fallout 3 was extremely popular. If the gameplay were so... so... bad, then Obsidian would not be working on a new Fallout game at all. Sure, as a matter of opinion, you might not like the gameplay. Sure, you might be one of the crazies who claim that the massive sales for Fallout 3 were derived solely from crafty PR, marketing, and the slack-jawed, unwashed masses. However, constructive arguments regarding the new title would be better coming from someone who is willing to concede that the game is popular and scrapping all of the most prominent features is not a good idea.

 

If your essential point is that the gameplay in Fallout 3 is so... so.... bad, then frankly I would take every single point you make with a grain of salt.

 

I say tighten up what's there and maybe add new things to make FO:NV a title in and of itself. Don't go scrapping or completely removing features that built into the success of the first game.

 

So, advocate what you want. Fair enough. ...But coming from the perspective that Fallout 3 was essentially a failure and Obsidian needs to raze most of it to rebuild from the ground up is simply nuts.

 

Totally agree. All this talk about major changes to the engine is just crazy. The by far most likely reality is that FO:NV will be the same engine (maybe with a few very minor tweaks) with a new story, characters, and setting. And that's going to involve a lot of work and be far beyond an "expansion."

 

I really can't wait until the hopefully soon reveal so we can move on to discussing things that we can actually impact and not waste time debating the value of VATS with people who don't like it.

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Aristes I wasn't even talking about opinions there. The actual FPS part of the game has so many bugs and unpolished bits that nothing in the game's list of gimmicks felt useful. Trying to do anything other than taking a corner and ambushing the mob was chancy as hell. Half the time my long range rifle shots or close range meelee attacks were not working somehow. What I meant with the "gameplay were so... so... bad" comment is the little problem that half the time game could go apes* without any reason.

 

I am not saying oh this is bad scrap that. I am saying that to get a polished and sturdy product Obsidian is going to do a lot of bug fixing. B. has not fixed most of the game botching bugs and glitches since the release and they just don't seem to care about the bugs.

 

Sure the game sold ok, but as you might recall Age of Conan sold okay too at first. If FO3 title was competing on a MMO area where sub-par products are forgotten real quick then it would be a bust.

 

My experiences with fallout 3 were similar to my experiences with oblivion: A super game once you disable the main quest, get the combat overhaul, general overhaul, AI overhaul, better textures, Open cities and some other "small" mods like Kwatch rebuilt, Village extenders, Ui and Map mods and finally quest and story mods...

Sure the game is very enjoyable but I had to disable most of the Vanilla game and insert 6gigs worth of user made content. (Ok, I concede that 3,5 - 4 gigs of it was just textures and Goddess item shop :*)

 

There is a very capable foundation in there but B. didn't bother with creating anything or polishing or even seeing if the parts fit good. Now Obsidian has to use the same pile of stuff and create a game. I have faith that they will be able to fix the problems and create a nice/good product at least but it just irritates me to see them having to fix the damn game in the first place.

IG. We kick ass and not even take names.

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Its been said before but deadline is soon. I just have think this realistically and plead for good writing and some SPECIAL - balancing.( No godlike skills in the end of the game. )

 

Overall i found f3 to be somewhat unchallenging, and overcrowded. Making encounters more rare but at the same time more lethal would be great. No heavy level scaling at any point of the game. Hand placed loot. Much less dungeon crawling and ambient industrial dark sort of music, (ALA f1/2) it just fits much better than orchestral, believe me. Also dont overdo the story part. Just make sure dialogue is good and personalities stand out.

 

But anyways i think its great you guys are getting your shot with fallout and im pretty excited. Good luck !

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Aristes I wasn't even talking about opinions there. The actual FPS part of the game has so many bugs and unpolished bits that nothing in the game's list of gimmicks felt useful. Trying to do anything other than taking a corner and ambushing the mob was chancy as hell. Half the time my long range rifle shots or close range meelee attacks were not working somehow. What I meant with the "gameplay were so... so... bad" comment is the little problem that half the time game could go apes* without any reason.

 

Ya, I call BS on all of that. Most of my characters are long range specialists and I can snipe, hit, and kill mobs so far away I can't tell what they are. And if my half century old arthritic hands and my sloth like reflexes can do you, you probably can too.

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I sure hope so. One thing I don't want to see is B. doing the same thing to Obsidian and F:NV as what they did with Zombie (was it Zombie?) and Rogue Warrior.

 

Then again, it is a spinoff. In my eyes it's supposed to be different, and there is no sense in giving the game to Obsidian unless they're also given artistic freedom to carve what they can out of it.

 

i've been going back and forth about this in my head. and what i've decided is similar to this:

 

Totally agree. All this talk about major changes to the engine is just crazy. The by far most likely reality is that FO:NV will be the same engine (maybe with a few very minor tweaks) with a new story, characters, and setting. And that's going to involve a lot of work and be far beyond an "expansion."

 

I really can't wait until the hopefully soon reveal so we can move on to discussing things that we can actually impact and not waste time debating the value of VATS with people who don't like it.

 

yeah. i agree, except i am really hoping that SPECIAL is given an overhaul and implemented with a more discerning eye. not to mention Sawyer's dislike of VATS, i'd assume he'd at least tweak SPECIAL or skills to interact with VATS to make it less of a cheat/easy-out. but yes, the game will look the same. same crappy character animations, same low-res textures, etc. let's just hope other than a new "expansion" with a better story/dialogue we also get some better (or old-skool) role-playing. choices, consequences, rewards, punishments, creative character-building...you know, gee wally...kinda like FALLOUT.

 

Its been said before but deadline is soon. I just have think this realistically and plead for good writing and some SPECIAL - balancing.( No godlike skills in the end of the game. )

 

Overall i found f3 to be somewhat unchallenging, and overcrowded. Making encounters more rare but at the same time more lethal would be great. No heavy level scaling at any point of the game. Hand placed loot. Much less dungeon crawling and ambient industrial dark sort of music, (ALA f1/2) it just fits much better than orchestral, believe me. Also dont overdo the story part. Just make sure dialogue is good and personalities stand out.

 

But anyways i think its great you guys are getting your shot with fallout and im pretty excited. Good luck !

 

yep, yep and yep. also...you have the greatest avatar i've seen on a Fallout-related forum. Jim Woodring is a personal deity to me.

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BTW, wonder what the currency in New Vegas will be. Bottlecaps again? Gold? Casino chips?

 

That reminds of something weird from Fallout 3. I'm usually not one to get all bent out of shape over pedantic lore details, but this just stuck out to me as strange. You find prewar money all over the place, and it's worth 2 or 3 bottlecaps. So why are they still using bottlecaps if there's tons of prewar money and its more valuable than caps?

 

Which in turn reminds me of another futile demand I have for New Vegas: Trading with any npc. Maybe give it more character than even Fallout 1/2 by making certain NPCs accept certain items (for example, a pacifist won't want guns in return for their medical equipment and a crooked athlete might place a premium on any Buffout you give him)

 

Ya, I call BS on all of that. Most of my characters are long range specialists and I can snipe, hit, and kill mobs so far away I can't tell what they are. And if my half century old arthritic hands and my sloth like reflexes can do you, you probably can too.

 

VATS works pretty well in long range, imo.

But it's awful in close range, and since the AI's main routine seems to be "CHAAARGE!" it's problematic-- especially near the end of the game where you're in cramped buildings with about 15 super mutants surrounding you on every side.

 

Run and Gun doesn't work particularly well at either long or close range unless you're using a scoped weapon.

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BTW, wonder what the currency in New Vegas will be. Bottlecaps again? Gold? Casino chips?

 

Casino chips sounds very likely. Although not as durable as caps, they can't be reproduced and should be plentiful enough in the Vegas area. I'm expecting bottlecaps though.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I think some combat changes must be inevitable. I just don't think that removing VATS is feasible, nevermind making the game a stealth FPS the likes of spliter cell or thief.

 

The question isn't whether or not there will be changes. It's what changes there will be.

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Hines hasn't given any indication that Obsidz is being held back, but then, why would he if that were the case? Regardless, Obsidz is going to do the best they can with what they're allowed to do.

 

I've realized that all of my worries w/r/t F:NV have to do with how closely it resembles F3. It's basically the same anxiety I had pre-F3, but in reverse. I don't want this game to be terribly similar to F3, and I should note that I don't mean that in a pejorative way towards F3, which I thought was pretty damn good.

 

What I mean is, I'm worried that F3 will become the new standard for Fallout. In some ways that's unavoidable, but all the same, I'd like to see more emphasis on NPCs (I have no doubt this will happen) and party NPCs (not so sure about this). Companions were only slightly less useful in F3 than they were in F1, and far less useful than they were in F2. Up until this point Obsidz' most natural medium for building organic, impressive characters has been the party system. They're just breaking out of this with AP, but I still worry, because of the threadbare attention paid to characters in F3. I like learning the stories and the thoughts of NPCs. If they exist solely as sources of info or quests it's difficult to relay that information gradually, like you would be able to if you had the character around for a majority of your playtime.

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BTW, wonder what the currency in New Vegas will be. Bottlecaps again? Gold? Casino chips?

 

Casino chips sounds very likely. Although not as durable as caps, they can't be reproduced and should be plentiful enough in the Vegas area. I'm expecting bottlecaps though.

 

Vegas is probably close enough to be affected by the NCR so probably just "money" like in Fallout 2.

I'd be very surprised if the NCR didn't show up in this game, maybe even as the villains.

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Well hopefully the PC in NV is a structured PC like The Nameless One or The Jedi Exile.

 

But then again The Fledgling in Bloodlines was a blank PC and that game had a rocking story and dialogue with awesome characters. Its too bad you essentially went through their quest chain in one go and that was it, nothing past that point.

 

Also I worry about Beth and Bioware hurting the progression of the genre. I mean we definitely are a few step back from game like Planescape, BG II, System Shock 2 and Deus Ex at the turn of the millennium. Its about bigger or prettier now and EPIC.

 

And I dislike how Obsidian keeps putting themselves in the shadows of Bioware and now Beth. What a bunch of **** that the Aliens RPG got cancelled.

Edited by Promethean
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