The Outer Worlds Impressions - Oh.....I get it now

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From a wrap up perspective.

Its ranging into the good territory.

I do get the distinct impression that this was some compromise on the intended product to be sure. Its not buggy rushed, but there's some glaring gaps in polish and odd chunks of content or alternate branches that behave in nonsensical ways.

IF I had to guess, some combination of ran out of money, or had to finish off the publishing deal with TakeTwo before Microsoft could buy them up.

Just complete it.

its a mixed bag imo. i rate it 7/10.

its better than any RPG i played save for system shock and Deus Ex but more i play, enemies get more and more bulletsponges. that make combat unfun.

although i like exploring different planets.

its just a good fallout game.

B-Cell:
enemies get more and more bulletsponges. that make combat unfun.

Then you didn't spec your character correctly.

Check out Spiffing Brit's video below on how it's possible to cheese your character's stats and perks to end up 1-shotting everything in the game (apart from the final boss, which he 2-3 shots).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SltHrXsPnCs

(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

TopazFusion:
(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

Is an infinite money glitch really needed later in the game. Because at the moment I'm just gaining money as I progress, because I'm basically stealing everything I see, selling what I don't need and doing missions and getting by just fine. Given I'm not far into the game, but I'm earning money and not spending it because I have everything I need.

Catfood220:

TopazFusion:
(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

Is an infinite money glitch really needed later in the game. Because at the moment I'm just gaining money as I progress, because I'm basically stealing everything I see, selling what I don't need and doing missions and getting by just fine. Given I'm not far into the game, but I'm earning money and not spending it because I have everything I need.

No, I can confirm an infinite money glitch is useless throughout the game. I just finished my first playthrough... never bought a single weapon, piece of armor, bullet, energy cell, or healing item. There were a couple of times I used [bribe] as a dialogue option... and that was all the use ANY money has in the game at all. At no time do you not have enough or need to go grind for some more. The starting area, edgewater; that was the last time in the game I picked up a weapon or armor piece that wasn't better than what I had or had some utility. Money has so little value it isn't worth the time wasted in picking up stuff just to sell it... better to scrap it or just leave it to rot. And I wasn't stealing anything, this was a playthrough roleplaying a good guy. With the abundance of stuff lying around and looting... I'm not even sure it would be any more useful in supernova difficulty. Just go out and shoot some marauders and keep adventuring and you will be swimming in everything you might need. Any points spent or perks bought to enhance your character's ability to interact with the in-game economy... wasted.

The economy being laughable aside, I loved the game. Couldn't recommend it highly enough. But they threw a really broken and worthless in-game economy into the game because "it needed one" without any regard for it being something that actually improved the experience. It was actually amusing, one time I walked into a room and leveled because I "discovered" a vending machine. I actually laughed... the first and only time a vending machine was useful in the game.

TopazFusion:

B-Cell:
enemies get more and more bulletsponges. that make combat unfun.

Then you didn't spec your character correctly.

Check out Spiffing Brit's video below on how it's possible to cheese your character's stats and perks to end up 1-shotting everything in the game (apart from the final boss, which he 2-3 shots).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SltHrXsPnCs

(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

So the game is just about min/maxing everything? Because it puts roadblocks in place if you don't pick the right skills?

trunkage:

TopazFusion:

B-Cell:
enemies get more and more bulletsponges. that make combat unfun.

Then you didn't spec your character correctly.

Check out Spiffing Brit's video below on how it's possible to cheese your character's stats and perks to end up 1-shotting everything in the game (apart from the final boss, which he 2-3 shots).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SltHrXsPnCs

(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

So the game is just about min/maxing everything? Because it puts roadblocks in place if you don't pick the right skills?

Not really, I think it is more a comment about someone not creating the build they wanted rather than any evidence of roadblocking. After all its possible with the right build to go through the entire last "stage" of the game without engaging many or any enemies at all, including that last boss fight. Its also possible to win the "bulletsponge" fights by keeping on a steady mask of inhaled healing potion and either running through the area or staying and fighting it out. Or agroing one faction and running them into another that's hostile to them. There seems to be plenty of solutions available to a variety of builds. Even later on when crazy high levels in skills are needed to do things like hack computers or lockpick doors, if it is mission critical there is always a way to do it outside of having that crazy high skill. I'm not saying that there aren't builds that couldn't finish the game... but it would probably have to be a deliberately badly created character that couldn't. My first character proved that, I didn't end the game with any skills unmodified over 80 (out of 100) so very little min/maxing there.

TopazFusion:

B-Cell:
enemies get more and more bulletsponges. that make combat unfun.

Then you didn't spec your character correctly.

Check out Spiffing Brit's video below on how it's possible to cheese your character's stats and perks to end up 1-shotting everything in the game (apart from the final boss, which he 2-3 shots).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SltHrXsPnCs

(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

This is a completely pointless rebuttal. For a couple of reasons. But the biggest reason is that the game is designed in a way that you should be able to complete it no matter how you leveled your character. There is a difference between saying the enemies are more difficult because you might not be a combat character, and saying they are difficult because your character is just wrong.

The game is presented to the player so openly that you can build yourself however you want, it never once suggests that the player should put in some minimum combat effort to get through effectively.

Regardless i went combat a lot toward mid to late game and i still found the enemies tedious. It ruins the fun in the end especially since combat is a certainty in the game and if i ever replayed it, i wouldnt bother with dialog based skills because they dont end up helpping you actually complete the game.

To be fair the combat 'bullet sponginess' is nothing to do with how you've specced your character. Each piece of equipment has a level which affects base damage, but this level can be changed to keep up with your character (and, by extension, your enemies). Using the workbench select the 'Tinker' tab, then use your spare bits to upgrade your weapon damage. Weapons can be levelled to five levels above yours, so for example a level 20 character can improve the standard level 4 assault rifle to level 25 (and in doing so increase base damage from 21 to 140+). Tinkering armour likewise vastly increases the protective value of your gear.

CritialGaming:
The game is presented to the player so openly that you can build yourself however you want, it never once suggests that the player should put in some minimum combat effort to get through effectively.

Regardless i went combat a lot toward mid to late game and i still found the enemies tedious. It ruins the fun in the end especially since combat is a certainty in the game and if i ever replayed it, i wouldnt bother with dialog based skills because they dont end up helpping you actually complete the game.

I'm only about halfway through the game as far as I remember, having done the Cascadia Death March, and honestly my experience doesn't jive with others'. I find myself wondering what I did right, whereas others have done horribly wrong. Some enemies are damned bullet-spongy, but it's the ones on which it would be appropriate -- heavy automechs, power armor troopers, megafauna -- and when it comes to run-of-the-mill enemies, there's nothing out of the ordinary about them compared to like enemies from other games.

The biggest thing I've learned, is the importance of keeping companions up to snuff, keeping their gear appropriately-leveled, and raising Leadership skills. It seems most neglect those skills, since they don't provide immediate and obvious returns on investment to the PC. Which is kind of silly, because it actually does -- the 60-point Inspiration bonus that doubles companion skill bonuses is one of the most powerful bonuses in the game. My PC doesn't even have Lockpick 50 yet, and despite wearing heavy armor and dealing with the -5 stealth penalty my modified score is nearly 80 from Parvati alone, and that isn't even her primary skill. Armor skill bonuses increase companion's skills, which means a percentage of that goes to you as well.

Meanwhile, there's a universe of difference between a companion with token Leadership skills and unmodified, untinkered gear, and a companion with improved Leadership skills and appropriately-leveled gear. I'm playing a heavy weapons, heavy armor character, and to be honest my solution for most fights is "take your sneak attacks, then point Max at what's left".

Same goes for the Defense skills. Dodge is godlike. Block I haven't toyed with much since I'm not playing a melee-focused character, but I definitely notice a difference when I swap to melee in the event an enemy gets in my grill.

What I wonder, is if people are buffing the weapon skills when they shouldn't. Weapon skills don't give that great an RoI, especially early on when the tech, stealth, and dialog skills are at a premium. My PC's weapon skills aren't even to 40 yet, and I'm handling myself just fine. They're a fine place to drop skill points once you're comfortable with your non-combat skills' level, but until then you're much better off raising anything else.

But hands-down, the single thing you can do to have the most impact is keep weapons and armor tinkered. Other than that, figure out the rock-paper-scissors mechanics at play and carry a diverse weapon selection so you're not weak against any single enemy type. For example, currently my PC is still packing Ol' Reliable, a dead-eye assault rifle for those sneak attacks, vermin as a sidearm, and an iconoclast cleaver (I think, just upgraded from landing pad cutter). Other than needing a replacement for the LMG, I'm doing just fine.

Gethsemani:

So does Fo1, Fo2 and Morrowind too. Fallout sort of assumes you will head to Shady Sands then Junktown then the Hub and it is around there it opens up. Fo2 expects you to go to Klamath, then the Den, then Vault City and after that New Reno. Morrowind clearly points you to Balmora, from where you will go to Ald'ruhn early on and then send you on missions around the southern part of the map before eventually sending you up north.

Yeah, i never got where the "handholding" complaints against New Vegas were coming from, either. Considering it's not that different from every other game in that genre. NV holds your hand in Goodsprings, up to Primm maybe. From there on it nudges you towards a "correct" path, but you can just ignore it and find your own way towards the eponymous town.

evilthecat:

This may be an accident, it may be that J.E. Sawyer brought in Hegel simply to get some big philosophy words to make their game sound smart, but it is also tells us something about Caesar's character which clearly represents Sawyer's view, namely, that he's a fraud. He's an old bald dude from LA pretending to be the Son of Mars to tribals who don't even realise they're LARPing.

Oh, i'm certain that Caesar sounding smarter than he is, and also being kind of a hypocrite was a deliberate choice. You can pick it from the very time you're able to talk with the man directly, at least.
I don't remember exact quotes, but for example, he goes on a little tangent about how hypocritical is NCR, by calling itself a democracy, when for first 50 years after it was established, it was ruled by the same woman(no turn terms i guess). Then after Tandi died, came corruption, clientelism and all the pains stemming, in Ceasar's mind, from lack of a sufficient leader.
And that comes from an aging, sickly man, with no offspring, leading a very hierarchical society. What if for example, some wild card kills him, before he decides who should take his mantle? Surely it wouldn't be good for the Legion.

Also, the thematic mortal flaw of NCR - modeling itself after pre-war America. Edward's answer to that is to ape an even older empire.

Kyrian007:
No, I can confirm an infinite money glitch is useless throughout the game. I just finished my first playthrough... never bought a single weapon, piece of armor, bullet, energy cell, or healing item. There were a couple of times I used [bribe] as a dialogue option... and that was all the use ANY money has in the game at all. At no time do you not have enough or need to go grind for some more. The starting area, edgewater; that was the last time in the game I picked up a weapon or armor piece that wasn't better than what I had or had some utility. Money has so little value it isn't worth the time wasted in picking up stuff just to sell it... better to scrap it or just leave it to rot. And I wasn't stealing anything, this was a playthrough roleplaying a good guy. With the abundance of stuff lying around and looting... I'm not even sure it would be any more useful in supernova difficulty. Just go out and shoot some marauders and keep adventuring and you will be swimming in everything you might need. Any points spent or perks bought to enhance your character's ability to interact with the in-game economy... wasted.

Shame. I'm not for economy being the obligatory part of an rpg, but having to depend on what Spacer's Choice sells would really lend itself to the themes of the game.

Eacaraxe:
Just the tips:

...keeping companions up to snuff...

...Dodge is godlike...

...Weapon skills don't give that great an RoI, especially early on when the tech, stealth, and dialog skills are at a premium...

...keep weapons and armor tinkered...

On further rumination, I'd add one more big one.

Respeccing your character isn't just for build and level-up oopsies, it's cheap, and it's doable on-demand. Buy early perks if you so desire, with the intent of respeccing out of them later once they lose their value due to natural progression and/or are rendered entirely obsolete by later perks.

Resilient, for example, is one of the better perks at tier 1 while you're still early in the game. Even better than Toughness in my book, since we're talking about a static boost to a small health pool due to low levels, versus five damage off every incoming attack at a point that alone can double or triple effective health. When you're in the teens and armor regularly clocks in at 20+ rating, especially if tinkered, you should look at swapping Resilient for Toughness. Negotiator and Few Bits More are in the same category: they're excellent at low levels when you're still hungry for ammo, shunts, or mag-picks, but lose their usefulness by the time you get to Groundbreaker or your first couple stops past it.

Meanwhile, Quick and the Dead is an invaluable early pick. Faster TTD regeneration is great. But, once you unlock tier 2 and get access to Reaper, innate TTD regeneration loses its premium status since you can regain TTD by killing enemies -- and you'll likely regenerate TTD in combat just as fast if not faster with Reaper anyways. With Reaper, Slow the World becomes more important since more seconds' worth of TTD gets you more of a valuable commodity all while improving Reaper's RoI.

Run and Gun is in the same category for high mobility characters. It's fantastic, until you unlock tier 3 and get access to Steady Hand, at which point the RoI for the later perk invalidates the earlier purchase.

The big takeaway here, is to buy what you need when you need it, then simply respec later when better perks become available. My recommendation would be to respec at 12 or 14 to offload deprecated perks in favor of better tier 2's, then again at 22 or 24 to do the same with tier 3's.

Also, Temperament is pretty much the one stat to rule them all. It scales, and unless you drop some serious skill points into Medicine your passive health regen will match the inhaler's if Temperament is Very High or Maximum. But, the biggest not-terribly-obvious bonus to high Temperament is the ability to unequip Adreno and load up on nothing but buffing consumables.

Eacaraxe:

The big takeaway here, is to buy what you need when you need it, then simply respec later when better perks become available.

How do you respec? I haven't come across any option to do that, or else overlooked it if it's just an option at the bottom of some menu or something. Is it something unlocked when you get to a certain point in the storyline? Because I'm level 22 now and have been running around doing side content, and haven't seen any option to respec. Also, does the respec apply to companions as well? Because I wouldn't mind tweaking some of their perks now that I've progressed some more.

Happyninja42:

Eacaraxe:

The big takeaway here, is to buy what you need when you need it, then simply respec later when better perks become available.

How do you respec? I haven't come across any option to do that, or else overlooked it if it's just an option at the bottom of some menu or something. Is it something unlocked when you get to a certain point in the storyline? Because I'm level 22 now and have been running around doing side content, and haven't seen any option to respec. Also, does the respec apply to companions as well? Because I wouldn't mind tweaking some of their perks now that I've progressed some more.

There's a respec workbench on the Unreliable. I think it's somewhere on the upper level at the back? My memory's a bit fuzzy.
And yes, you can respec companions as well.

Be careful though, it costs more and more each time you do it. So it's just like Mass Effect Andromeda, if you're familiar with that game.

IceForce:

Happyninja42:

Eacaraxe:

The big takeaway here, is to buy what you need when you need it, then simply respec later when better perks become available.

How do you respec? I haven't come across any option to do that, or else overlooked it if it's just an option at the bottom of some menu or something. Is it something unlocked when you get to a certain point in the storyline? Because I'm level 22 now and have been running around doing side content, and haven't seen any option to respec. Also, does the respec apply to companions as well? Because I wouldn't mind tweaking some of their perks now that I've progressed some more.

There's a respec workbench on the Unreliable. I think it's somewhere on the upper level at the back? My memory's a bit fuzzy.
And yes, you can respec companions as well.

Be careful though, it costs more and more each time you do it. So it's just like Mass Effect Andromeda, if you're familiar with that game.

I vaguely recall ME:A, but I'll look for it on the ship. And just to confirm, it doesn't unlock after a certain point in the plot? Other than the point where you fully open the ship of course?

MrCalavera:

Gethsemani:

So does Fo1, Fo2 and Morrowind too. Fallout sort of assumes you will head to Shady Sands then Junktown then the Hub and it is around there it opens up. Fo2 expects you to go to Klamath, then the Den, then Vault City and after that New Reno. Morrowind clearly points you to Balmora, from where you will go to Ald'ruhn early on and then send you on missions around the southern part of the map before eventually sending you up north.

Yeah, i never got where the "handholding" complaints against New Vegas were coming from, either. Considering it's not that different from every other game in that genre. NV holds your hand in Goodsprings, up to Primm maybe.

Here's the difference between NV and Fallout 1. NV has a mountain barrier that are impenetrable. This makes you follow a path until you get to Vernonia, where it spreads out. You can do little side missions. But its like playing a corridor shooter. Follow the corridor until you escape.

Fallout 1 allows you to go from the Vault to the Glow if you want. Nothing is stopping, you can explore in many directs.

Why does New Vegas do this? It wants to tell a story in a certain way. It says, "You cant understand how this world works unless you meet the NCR and Legion in ways that we wish." Your first experience with the NCR will be Primm, Your first experience with the Legion will be Nipton. (And I'm not talking about repeat playthrough, where you can back door this. The FIRST time will be the same for everyone.)

There is a big difference between what the game expects you to do and what the game forces you do to.

From there on it nudges you towards a "correct" path, but you can just ignore it and find your own way towards the eponymous town.

if there were different ways to head towards NV, people would be complaining about. There are two, and one requires you to go through Deathclaw county. You CANT find your own way. It's blocked. There isn't nudging, There are impenetrable mountains. And, I think, this makes NV a game that doesn't match up with Fallout design philosophy.

Edit: Maybe I can say it this way. When you start these games, the worst thing you can do, IMO, is to go to the main settlement. I don't want to go toNew Vags, or Diamond City. I want to pick a direction and see what's there.

Kyrian007:

Catfood220:

TopazFusion:
(He also throws in an infinite money exploit for good measure)

Is an infinite money glitch really needed later in the game. Because at the moment I'm just gaining money as I progress, because I'm basically stealing everything I see, selling what I don't need and doing missions and getting by just fine. Given I'm not far into the game, but I'm earning money and not spending it because I have everything I need.

No, I can confirm an infinite money glitch is useless throughout the game. I just finished my first playthrough... never bought a single weapon, piece of armor, bullet, energy cell, or healing item. There were a couple of times I used [bribe] as a dialogue option... and that was all the use ANY money has in the game at all. At no time do you not have enough or need to go grind for some more. The starting area, edgewater; that was the last time in the game I picked up a weapon or armor piece that wasn't better than what I had or had some utility. Money has so little value it isn't worth the time wasted in picking up stuff just to sell it... better to scrap it or just leave it to rot. And I wasn't stealing anything, this was a playthrough roleplaying a good guy. With the abundance of stuff lying around and looting... I'm not even sure it would be any more useful in supernova difficulty. Just go out and shoot some marauders and keep adventuring and you will be swimming in everything you might need. Any points spent or perks bought to enhance your character's ability to interact with the in-game economy... wasted.

The economy being laughable aside, I loved the game. Couldn't recommend it highly enough. But they threw a really broken and worthless in-game economy into the game because "it needed one" without any regard for it being something that actually improved the experience. It was actually amusing, one time I walked into a room and leveled because I "discovered" a vending machine. I actually laughed... the first and only time a vending machine was useful in the game.

A Science build eats money like candy cause you're relying on Tinker to shore up your combat deficiencies.

Supernova does eat a bit of cash too, because some stuff like Water is annoyingly hard to get other then buying it (the supervival aspects of Supernova might actually be engaging if it wasn't tied to the dumb difficulty with health/damage).

Happyninja42:
I vaguely recall ME:A, but I'll look for it on the ship. And just to confirm, it doesn't unlock after a certain point in the plot? Other than the point where you fully open the ship of course?

No, it's accessible the moment you get on the Unreliable. Go into the cargo bay, climb the ladder, go past the bulkhead that leads to the engine room, and walk down the catwalk towards the main hatch. It's at the end of it, big GECK-looking doohickey sitting on top of a crate.

trunkage:
Snip.

I don't know what game you're talking about, but we're discussing the 2010 game released by Obsidian called "Fallout: New Vegas". That one? That one has about seven confirmed routes direct from Goodsprings to the Strip, only two put you anywhere near aggro range of a Cazador or Deathclaw in the event you're not even trying to sneak, and three of which go straight through the mountains you claim are impassable. Hell, one even involves saving the Stealth Boy you get from Goodsprings and using it to sneak through Black Mountain (good route for picking up snowglobes or hitting up key landmarks on the way, if you so choose, but I've never taken it because I've never seen need). It's ridiculously easy to get from Goodsprings to the Strip, even for a first-time player.

You can start in the Goodsprings graveyard, set a marker for McCarran, and walk in a more or less straight line to get there without pissing off a Deathclaw or Cazador assuming you're not "game journalist" levels of incompetence at first-person RPG games. Might make the Powder Gangers a little pissy passing Vault 19, but those can be dealt with as half the time they kill themselves with their own explosives.

Hell, you can walk straight down the north road. The one you're expressly told by NPC's to not, under any circumstances, use. Victor is scripted to show up and kill the first group of cazadors, you Stealth Boy past the second group, and you end up just south of Red Rock Canyon to have a leisurely stroll east.

In fact, as I said, when the game first came out there were people annoyed and confused because they ignored quest markers and tried to go straight to the Strip and died, or got there without having the first idea what's going on.

CritialGaming:
I remember the Bethesda engine bugs, and the typical problems you expect from Bethesda now.

With The Outer Worlds i finally get what everyone meant. The game is in an entirely different league compared to anything Bethesda has put out with any IP. It's colorful, funny, well animated, and fucking bugless.

After Obsidian did Alpha Protocol and New Vegas they finally realized that the inherent bugginess of their games was a huge black mark on their reputation and bumped up their QA and bug-testing efforts to fix it. I for a long time treated bugs in Obsidian games as a kind of meme born from inherent universal truth. In fact when Obsidian hit their kickstarter funding goal for what would eventually become Pillars of Eternity I remember joking to some friends of mine that at least half of that funding would get blown on booze and strippers because Obsidian did not know how to make a game without bugs, rushed production, and a ton of cut content. It was what they were known for and it was foolish to expect otherwise. But Obsidian, unlike Bethesda, have shown they are capable of learning from their mistakes. While Bethesda is hanging themselves clinging to Fallout 76 and destroying their reputation with bad practices, Obsidian has been steadily getting better despite their long-term struggle with financial stability and their future certainly looks brighter than Bethesda's.

Now if only Obsidian could pry the Fallout IP away from Bethesda's grubby mitts and get it back to the actual creators of the series the world would be a much better place for it. If nothing else it would kill the unholy albatross that is Fallout 76 and give Bethesda a chance to regain some much needed sanity.

Eacaraxe:

trunkage:
Snip.

I don't know what game you're talking about, but we're discussing the 2010 game released by Obsidian called "Fallout: New Vegas". That one? That one has about seven confirmed routes direct from Goodsprings to the Strip, only two put you anywhere near aggro range of a Cazador or Deathclaw in the event you're not even trying to sneak, and three of which go straight through the mountains you claim are impassable. Hell, one even involves saving the Stealth Boy you get from Goodsprings and using it to sneak through Black Mountain (good route for picking up snowglobes or hitting up key landmarks on the way, if you so choose, but I've never taken it because I've never seen need). It's ridiculously easy to get from Goodsprings to the Strip, even for a first-time player.

You can start in the Goodsprings graveyard, set a marker for McCarran, and walk in a more or less straight line to get there without pissing off a Deathclaw or Cazador assuming you're not "game journalist" levels of incompetence at first-person RPG games. Might make the Powder Gangers a little pissy passing Vault 19, but those can be dealt with as half the time they kill themselves with their own explosives.

Hell, you can walk straight down the north road. The one you're expressly told by NPC's to not, under any circumstances, use. Victor is scripted to show up and kill the first group of cazadors, you Stealth Boy past the second group, and you end up just south of Red Rock Canyon to have a leisurely stroll east.

In fact, as I said, when the game first came out there were people annoyed and confused because they ignored quest markers and tried to go straight to the Strip and died, or got there without having the first idea what's going on.

OMG. 7 ROUTES! that's almost as big as 360. How about we move from the start a bit. Let's head on over to Primm. Once you get there what are your choices? Backtrack or move forward. You can go to NCR, visit the little bomb crater, look at an empty dry lake or head on over to Nipton. But all these choices are irrelevant, because if you go there, the final stop of this section will be Nipton (you can go through a canyon far to the south, which is slightly easier than Deathclaw valley). I.e. your choice is irrelevant, you will be going to Nipton (even if you went through the canyon, your still back on this next track.

What happens next? when you get to the farms, you get a choice. Camp Charlie or Camp Searchlight. Sure you can go South and look at some things, but to get anywhere, you have to choose one of these two routes. When you get to Searchlight, you can head over to Cottonwood cove. If you do this, you have to basically head back to Searchlight before moving on. (You can move parallel to the road, but that's feels irrelevant because where all heading the same way. AND both Charlie and Searchlight routes meet up at Novac. This keeps going until 188.

It's designed to funnel you. It's NOT designed to let you explore. It says, "look you can go visit this little sight over here, but you HAVE to come back to the track. Want to have a look at Nelson, that's okay. But to progress, you have to come back to the route we made you. Even if you skip everything and backtrack, your stillfollowing that deign.

In Fallout 3, I remember heading to Springvale, the Big Town, the cinemas, Mereti train yard, Agatha's house, Minefield, Temple of the Union then up to the Republic of Dave. But from Springvale, I could have gone South, West or East AND KEPT GOING. (except East, due to the city). It wasn't designed to make me go back on the track. I doubt anyone had a similar experience. I can tell you what most people's experience is for NV

Eacaraxe:
-raising Leadership skills.

I'm glad my instinct to pour most of my points into those is correct. (I legit had 40 points sitting around that I wasn't sure where to spend, outside of "I need 5 more points of Hack or Lockpick" situations)

Word to the wise, don't run a character with below average perception and below average intelligence at the same time. Lower crit damage and no weakspot/headshot damage together makes damage dealing feel tricky (I was playing on hard and had to drop down to normal).

Fortunately, my high leadership skills allow me to bust out my Companion moves pretty steadily and some of them are incredibly powerful. Abusing those as well as single-shot bursts of TTD Knockdown is usually enough to let me empty clips into things (Thank goodness for Tinkering, or I'd be in real trouble).

aegix drakan:

Eacaraxe:
-raising Leadership skills.

I'm glad my instinct to pour most of my points into those is correct. (I legit had 40 points sitting around that I wasn't sure where to spend, outside of "I need 5 more points of Hack or Lockpick" situations)

Word to the wise, don't run a character with below average perception and below average intelligence at the same time. Lower crit damage and no weakspot/headshot damage together makes damage dealing feel tricky (I was playing on hard and had to drop down to normal).

Fortunately, my high leadership skills allow me to bust out my Companion moves pretty steadily and some of them are incredibly powerful. Abusing those as well as single-shot bursts of TTD Knockdown is usually enough to let me empty clips into things (Thank goodness for Tinkering, or I'd be in real trouble).

Actually I started a second playthrough while making the dumbest motherfucker I possibly could. And the game actually accounts for this and some of the resulting dialog is fucking amazing. I suggest trying to play the game on easy or normal as a moronic meathead just for the laughs.

CritialGaming:

aegix drakan:

Eacaraxe:
-raising Leadership skills.

I'm glad my instinct to pour most of my points into those is correct. (I legit had 40 points sitting around that I wasn't sure where to spend, outside of "I need 5 more points of Hack or Lockpick" situations)

Word to the wise, don't run a character with below average perception and below average intelligence at the same time. Lower crit damage and no weakspot/headshot damage together makes damage dealing feel tricky (I was playing on hard and had to drop down to normal).

Fortunately, my high leadership skills allow me to bust out my Companion moves pretty steadily and some of them are incredibly powerful. Abusing those as well as single-shot bursts of TTD Knockdown is usually enough to let me empty clips into things (Thank goodness for Tinkering, or I'd be in real trouble).

Actually I started a second playthrough while making the dumbest motherfucker I possibly could. And the game actually accounts for this and some of the resulting dialog is fucking amazing. I suggest trying to play the game on easy or normal as a moronic meathead just for the laughs.

You misunderstand, that's EXACTLY that I'm doing on my first run. XD I have negative Intelligence and Negative Perception. It makes dialogue often absolutely hilarious and I love it.

Unfortunately, having both those traits set to negative means that I can't shoot weakspots for bonus damage and my crits are vastly weaker than usual, which makes dealing damage hard enough that I had to downgrade to Normal mode.

aegix drakan:
I have negative Intelligence and Negative Perception. It makes dialogue often absolutely hilarious and I love it.

I went with that build too, and it's hilarious. Some of the dialogue options are some of the best I've seen in this kind of genre.

My favorite so far; When you first reach the Groundbreaker you're told to go see someone on the starboard side of the ship, and you can respond:

  • "[Dumb] Uhh... which side is the starboard side? Aren't there stars all around?"

Another one that got a chukle out of me was a certain science terminal on Roseway, I was given the following options, and only the following options:

  • [Dumb] Press the button
  • [Dumb] [Science] Twiddle the knob
  • [Dumb] Fiddle the switch

And yes, picking the Science option gave me a bonus for the quest. The hilarity of having high Science but low Intelligence, lol.

aegix drakan:
Unfortunately, having both those traits set to negative means that I can't shoot weakspots for bonus damage and my crits are vastly weaker than usual, which makes dealing damage hard enough that I had to downgrade to Normal mode.

I got around this by abusing a revolver called "The Vermin". And despite its name, it's not actually a unique or legendary weapon.

The Vermin has a special TTD effect called "Knockout". Note: Not to be confused with Knockback or Knockdown (a large number of other weapons have these two effects).

The Vermin is the only weapon in the game with the Knockout effect, and unlike the other two above (which are just small 1 sec stuns or less), Knockout actually ragdolls the enemy and keeps them like that for about 10 seconds or so. This is more than enough time to switch to another weapon (cancel TTD first) and destroy them with it (or just keep shooting them with the Vermin, that works too), and by the time the stun wears off (assuming the enemy is still alive) your TTD will have recharged to the point where you can hit them with another Knockout and repeat the process, effectively stun-locking any enemy in the game regardless of level or difficulty.

Then the only thing you're weak towards is being swarmed by lots of smaller enemies. And for that I have a plasma shotgun (ie: a weapon where crits don't matter).

TopazFusion:

aegix drakan:
I have negative Intelligence and Negative Perception. It makes dialogue often absolutely hilarious and I love it.

I went with that build too, and it's hilarious. Some of the dialogue options are some of the best I've seen in this kind of genre.

My favorite so far; When you first reach the Groundbreaker you're told to go see someone on the starboard side of the ship, and you can respond:

  • "[Dumb] Uhh... which side is the starboard side? Aren't there stars all around?"

Another one that got a chukle out of me was a certain science terminal on Roseway, I was given the following options, and only the following options:

  • [Dumb] Press the button
  • [Dumb] [Science] Twiddle the knob
  • [Dumb] Fiddle the switch

And yes, picking the Science option gave me a bonus for the quest. The hilarity of having high Science but low Intelligence, lol.

aegix drakan:
Unfortunately, having both those traits set to negative means that I can't shoot weakspots for bonus damage and my crits are vastly weaker than usual, which makes dealing damage hard enough that I had to downgrade to Normal mode.

I got around this by abusing a revolver called "The Vermin". And despite its name, it's not actually a unique or legendary weapon.

The Vermin has a special TTD effect called "Knockout". Note: Not to be confused with Knockback or Knockdown (a large number of other weapons have these two effects).

The Vermin is the only weapon in the game with the Knockout effect, and unlike the other two above (which are just small 1 sec stuns or less), Knockout actually ragdolls the enemy and keeps them like that for about 10 seconds or so. This is more than enough time to switch to another weapon (cancel TTD first) and destroy them with it (or just keep shooting them with the Vermin, that works too), and by the time the stun wears off (assuming the enemy is still alive) your TTD will have recharged to the point where you can hit them with another Knockout and repeat the process, effectively stun-locking any enemy in the game regardless of level or difficulty.

Then the only thing you're weak towards is being swarmed by lots of smaller enemies. And for that I have a plasma shotgun (ie: a weapon where crits don't matter).

Wouldn't it be smarter to go with a melee build if you are taking such negative traits in stats built for ranged combat? Because, I mean with those stats negative, you should have been able to pump up something else a lot, and the physical traits are about the only other thing to go with.

trunkage:
It's designed to funnel you.

No shit it's designed to funnel you. It's a bread crumb trail that educates you along the way about the game world, various factions within it, sets up the main conflict in the game, establishes the stakes of that conflict, and allows you to pick up along the way equipment and consumables for a strong start.

It also doesn't force you to go through that track by mandatory quest markers, checkpoints, or step completion. Hence my entire discussion about sequence breaking versus sequence enforcement. You can go straight to the Strip and complete "He Went That-a-Way" as soon as you leave Goodsprings, end of story.

It's incredibly odd you want to compare this to FO3, where you can explore the entire map and do literally everything else in the game, and none of it will matter one whit in terms of story completion until and unless you go to Tranquility Lane.

aegix drakan:
Fortunately, my high leadership skills allow me to bust out my Companion moves pretty steadily and some of them are incredibly powerful.

Sadly, I find using them disruptive to the flow of the game, and the voice clips get incredibly repetitive and grating. Nyoka's pretty much a permanent bench-warmer for me because of this, and it really annoys me. Why they didn't allow you to skip or disable companion ability mini-cutscenes is beyond me.

CritialGaming:
Actually I started a second playthrough while making the dumbest motherfucker I possibly could. And the game actually accounts for this and some of the resulting dialog is fucking amazing. I suggest trying to play the game on easy or normal as a moronic meathead just for the laughs.

Just wait until you see the dumb character ending, it's fucking hilarious.

TopazFusion:
I got around this by abusing a revolver called "The Vermin". And despite its name, it's not actually a unique or legendary weapon.

I love the Vermin line of pistols, that barrel sway is a killer though. There's no way they didn't add that as a nod to the Ranger Sequoia cultists out there like me. I loved that gun so much in NV, there for a time I was considering buying a Magnum Research BFR chambered for .45-70, even though I have absolutely, positively no use for that kind of firepower.

trunkage:

MrCalavera:

Gethsemani:

So does Fo1, Fo2 and Morrowind too. Fallout sort of assumes you will head to Shady Sands then Junktown then the Hub and it is around there it opens up. Fo2 expects you to go to Klamath, then the Den, then Vault City and after that New Reno. Morrowind clearly points you to Balmora, from where you will go to Ald'ruhn early on and then send you on missions around the southern part of the map before eventually sending you up north.

Yeah, i never got where the "handholding" complaints against New Vegas were coming from, either. Considering it's not that different from every other game in that genre. NV holds your hand in Goodsprings, up to Primm maybe.

Here's the difference between NV and Fallout 1. NV has a mountain barrier that are impenetrable. This makes you follow a path until you get to Vernonia, where it spreads out. You can do little side missions. But its like playing a corridor shooter. Follow the corridor until you escape.

See, it was quite some time since i played NV from the start, but i have it installed, so i decided to look it up and see if i was wrong in my assessment. And... not quite.
Deathclaw ravine is nearly impenetrable, atleast with the build i used, but you can go different routes, provided you use some invention. For example, to my surprise, you can outrun cazadores, and sneak past the deathclaws near the quarry with one of the two Stealth Boys the game puts on your path(or maybe a sneakier character). And you can also pass through Mojave Outpost and Nipton without setting foot in them easily. All the obstacles the game puts there are some centaurs and bandits. To say it's "like a corridor shooter" is stretching it. (Also, what's Vernonia?)

Fallout 1 allows you to go from the Vault to the Glow if you want. Nothing is stopping, you can explore in many directs.

You can, but you won't, not before you know what and where the Glow is.
And even if you stumble into it by accident, or exploring map top to bottom, you still wouldn't be able to go inside without a line. And Rad-X, atleast not for long enough to do anything, even if you knew what to do with this place.

Why does New Vegas do this? It wants to tell a story in a certain way. It says, "You cant understand how this world works unless you meet the NCR and Legion in ways that we wish." Your first experience with the NCR will be Primm, Your first experience with the Legion will be Nipton. (And I'm not talking about repeat playthrough, where you can back door this. The FIRST time will be the same for everyone.)

Which isn't that different from the way OG Fallout did things, now didn't they?
In 1 you start from the Vault, pass Shady Sands, onto Vault 15, maybe Khan hideout, then Junktown before finally hitting Hub. In 2 you go to Klamath, then Den, then Modoc before ending up in Vault City(maybe if you feel like exploring, you walk into Redding on the way, but that's it). And it will be a similar experience to 90% of people playing for the first time.
While the games benefit from seeming freedom of Overworld, they DO want you to follow a certain way, up to a point atleast. It's especially obvious in first Fallout, which leads you like that until you're past half of the game, from what i remember.

From there on it nudges you towards a "correct" path, but you can just ignore it and find your own way towards the eponymous town.

if there were different ways to head towards NV, people would be complaining about. There are two, and one requires you to go through Deathclaw county. You CANT find your own way. It's blocked. There isn't nudging, There are impenetrable mountains. And, I think, this makes NV a game that doesn't match up with Fallout design philosophy.

See above. IMHO NV is more in line with "Fallout design philosophy"(Who's got dibs on that btw? Sawyer, Avellone, Cain?) than 3, which puts you on this flat map and expects you to go on a sightseeing tour. It's just that because of the engine, it utilizes different ways to do what the original entries did: Lead you by the hand a bit for the first act of the game, show you around the settlements, locations, before leaving you alone to go forward.

Edit: Maybe I can say it this way. When you start these games, the worst thing you can do, IMO, is to go to the main settlement. I don't want to go toNew Vags, or Diamond City. I want to pick a direction and see what's there.

[/quote]
Okay, i don't really want to compare it to Fallout 3 again, because IMO these games can stand on their own feet and do things differently, and that's fine, but... That's exactly what Fallout 3 does. Sure, you can "go climb that mountain", but it also puts Megaton practically right next to the starting Vault. The game obviously wants you to visit that location first.
Vegas, like you pointed out, atleast expects you to go on an obstacle course before you reach it.

Eacaraxe:

trunkage:
It's designed to funnel you.

No shit it's designed to funnel you.

Great. Finally. You understand this. Pity about the rest of the paragraph because it's totally unfounded. "Don't have to follow quest markers". That sure doesn't matter because I have to walk past them anyway. Why cant I go in the direct I please? "Doesn't matter to story completion until and unless you go to Tranquillity Lane." Yes, perfect example. FO3 does it's story terribly. It's all over the place and doesn't make much sense. (It's mainly Three Dog.) I'm going to repeat this again. I'm talking about EXPLORATION. Set up is not mandatory nor is establishing stakes. I'm fine without it. Now, maybe it's actually possible to have story and exploration go hand in hand. I mean, you could just run into Tranquillity Lane. It's like walking around those Cazodors to the Strip. I'm absolutely fine with skipping large portion of the main quest/ story accidentally by exploring. In fact, its what I want. I don't need a story told in me in the "correct order."

So what's the difference between skipping through the Cazadors and skipping through Tranquillity lane? The first is a conscious effort, where I only have one objective. Get to the Strip. The latter is something that I happen upon as happy circumstance. You may like the former. You might need directions and places to go. I'm fine with following where the wind takes me and seeing what's over the horizon.

This funnelling is completely the OPPOSITE of what I see as an RPG. I don't need someone telling me where to go. The design of the landscape in NV has to be manipulate in such a way that it deletes any source of exploration. It's like in Skyrim where you try walking up a mountain and as some stage it stops letting you go up. It feels unnatural, considering where you just came from. Having a couple of alternate routes LITERALLY misses the point. Because it's all been designed to limit what you are capable of doing into such a small box. It's like skills in Morrowind going to Skyrim. NV is "streamling" choices. Except, that's actually a bad example because that implies that NV is just pruning exploration. Where, at least for the first half, NV is completely excising.

Funnelling matter because it warps everything to fit Obsidian thoughts on what is "appropriate for you". Which is generally the opposite of what I want. Sidenote: Pillars of Eternity is a very frustrating game that's only made frustrating because it stops your ability to progress every half hour. NV feels like Pillars of Eternity, where you have to complete a bunch of maps in order before moving on. Yes, there is a back door but the maps determine how and when you engage.

And maybe this is where I point out that I think the exploration after the Strip is way better and I can actually start enjoying the game.

Now, I understand if your a story guy and that what motivates you above exploration. Fair enough. The last thing I do in any of these games is the main quest. Because its always the most boring quest. NV is no exception. I'm fine with meeting all the factions and doing their quests but once you actually have to try and start the robots, the game takes a nose dive. I've done the Battle of Hoover Dam once and that's definitely enough for me. I don't usually talk to Dad at all in F03. Diamond City is usually only visted about half way through exploring half the map. Usually, for me, NV finishes after the first talk to Caesar because he's a great and nonsensical character and Benny's discussion while under guard is great. (Also, I leave the Strip as soon as I can. It is the boringest place in NV.)

Bad news for anyone doing a 2h melee build. They nerfed the Prismatic Hammer in the most recent patch.

Apparently the additional damage was being applied as an exponent (ie: to the 'power of' a number) rather than a multiple of that number.
That's quite the programming opsie, and no wonder the thing felt overpowered as hell.

trunkage:
It's like walking around those Cazodors to the Strip.

I'm not sure what this argument is about, but I'd just like to make it known that Obsidian did the same thing with Outer Worlds too.

(Maybe extremely minor spoilers? I dunno)

You're expressly told by multiple people not to land at Cascadia when traveling to Monarch. You're told to find another (safer) way to reach Stellar Bay. But this involves pissing around talking to multiple other NPCs, traveling to other locations, earning credits, and doing other quests to eventually get where you want to go.

Of course, if you're feeling ballsy, you can just land at Cascadia and fight your way overland to Stellar Bay. You can even do this right at the start as soon as your ship is flyable and you leave Edgewater. You can head to Cascadia before you even set foot on the Groundbreaker, skipping a significant number of optional quests.

The only problem is, just like those cazadores all those years ago, the enemies you face when landing in Cascadia are way too powerful for such a low level player. Not only are they quite a few levels higher than your own at that point, but they're also very heavily armored (Mantisaurs which have a thick exoskeleton, and Marauders wearing heavy armor). In order to punch through all that armor and even stand a chance you need corrosion or N-ray weapons, but you only get your hands on those sorts of weapons/mods if you go to the Groundbreaker and then on to Roseway etc.

Anyway, point is, the game is kinda linear, but it seems Obsidian is a fan of including a 'shortcut' in their games, albeit an extremely perilous one for those brave enough. It's good, it adds replay value if you want to give yourself a challenge and if you want to skip a bunch of stuff you've already seen before.

TopazFusion:

trunkage:
It's like walking around those Cazodors to the Strip.

I'm not sure what this argument is about, but I'd just like to make it known that Obsidian did the same thing with Outer Worlds too.

(Maybe extremely minor spoilers? I dunno)

You're expressly told by multiple people not to land at Cascadia when traveling to Monarch. You're told to find another (safer) way to reach Stellar Bay. But this involves pissing around talking to multiple other NPCs, traveling to other locations, earning credits, and doing other quests to eventually get where you want to go.

Of course, if you're feeling ballsy, you can just land at Cascadia and fight your way overland to Stellar Bay. You can even do this right at the start as soon as your ship is flyable and you leave Edgewater. You can head to Cascadia before you even set foot on the Groundbreaker, skipping a significant number of optional quests.

The only problem is, just like those cazadores all those years ago, the enemies you face when landing in Cascadia are way too powerful for such a low level player. Not only are they quite a few levels higher than your own at that point, but they're also very heavily armored (Mantisaurs which have a thick exoskeleton, and Marauders wearing heavy armor). In order to punch through all that armor and even stand a chance you need corrosion or N-ray weapons, but you only get your hands on those sorts of weapons/mods if you go to the Groundbreaker and then on to Roseway etc.

Anyway, point is, the game is kinda linear, but it seems Obsidian is a fan of including a 'shortcut' in their games, albeit an extremely perilous one for those brave enough. It's good, it adds replay value if you want to give yourself a challenge and if you want to skip a bunch of stuff you've already seen before.

To me, it sounds like its more like Pillars of Eternity. Despite all I've said, New Vegas exploration is better than that (or Baulders Gate for that matter.) I feel like the theme of this game is great but the structure will be utterly grating to me

trunkage:
Great. Finally. You understand this.

Incorrect. Once again, you're building straw men by attacking points I never argued in the first place. I deadass pointed this out in my very first and second posts on the topic. The difference is in to what degree players are mandated via game mechanics to proceed in a preset path. If you're unwilling to actually read my posts, that's on you.

"He Went That-a-Way" has one gate: go to the Strip and find Benny. You can go by the intended route through Primm, Nipton, Novac, and north along Hwy 95. Or...you can go straight to the Strip and find Benny. Hence, my entire discussion in the difference between "sequence enforcement" and "sequence breaking". It's not a reasonable argument to suggest you can "break" a sequence that was never enforced via game mechanics to begin with.

It's all over the place and doesn't make much sense. (It's mainly Three Dog.) I'm going to repeat this again. I'm talking about EXPLORATION. Set up is not mandatory nor is establishing stakes.

You're complaining about FO3's story structure and arguing that exploration and discovery are the ideal benchmarks for an RPG...while complaining about the one instance in FO3's entire main story that can be skipped via exploration and discovery.

You should probably think about that.

So what's the difference between skipping through the Cazadors and skipping through Tranquillity lane? The first is a conscious effort, where I only have one objective. Get to the Strip. The latter is something that I happen upon as happy circumstance. You may like the former. You might need directions and places to go. I'm fine with following where the wind takes me and seeing what's over the horizon.

The funny thing about this, is players are only warned about the hazards of the north route via game dialog, which a player is likely to miss if they're skipping or not really paying attention. Players are straight up told they can take that route or find a way through, if they're willing to deal with the hazards. And, once again, in direct contradiction of your own assertions, there are multiple confirmed safe routes going straight from Goodsprings to the Strip, guides to which are available online; but, in the context of the game world, must be discovered through exploration.

Meanwhile, Tranquility Lane is in Vault 112, hidden underneath a garage that looks identical to all the game's other garages in the middle of an area largely bereft of other major landmarks and surrounded by mid-level mobs, and players are given absolutely no warning there is anything special about it and are left to find the basement on their own. The only additional factor Bethesda could have added to dissuade players from finding or entering Vault 112, is if they flagged the entryway inaccessible until the end of Scientific Pursuits.

This funnelling is completely the OPPOSITE of what I see as an RPG.

Based upon your own commentary, I have a very hard time believing that. You're arguing exploration and discovery are what defines an RPG to you, but in the same breath you're arguing a game that doesn't actually mandate through game mechanics following a set path does, and arguing "shortcuts" that can be discovered through exploration in that same game that doesn't actually force you down a set path in the first place, don't count. While simultaneously complaining about the one time in Fallout 3 where players actually can do the one thing you're saying is the definitional trait of an RPG, never mind Bethesda did everything in their power to dissuade this, sparing locking players out of that area as they do with later quest areas.

Eacaraxe:

Snip

lets just deal with this point. This isnt a discussion on sequence enforcement or sequence breaking.

I dont really care about sequence breaking. I care about no sequence.

This is a discussion on sequences and how they shape the game. NEGATIVELY.

Just picked up Outer Worlds up for $35 from Target. I probably won't play it until I finish Disco Elysium though.

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