FALLOUT - Week 1 Discussion

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Welcome to the first week of The Player's Club! I'm assuming everyone has managed to get a copy of the game and is having a go at exploring the sardonic, post-apocalyptic world of Fallout. This is my first time tackling this game, so I'm going to be learning as I go, same as I imagine most people here will be.

Each game we'll play will have at least one "Dungeonmaster"; a participant who has played the game to completion and knows the ins and outs of gameplay pretty well. The Dungeonmaster for our first month is Mordy.

Mordy, could you please add a few additional discussion questions to this thread and also give us all a general location checkpoint that should roughly coincide with four to five hours of play; i.e. "stop when you get to Junktown"?

I'd like to start our "official" week one discussion on Friday, October 3rd and continue talking until Sunday, October 5th. Everyone please put in your five hours of play, then post at least one short-essay length response no later than Sunday. In the meantime, there are numerous other threads to record your thoughts about the game's writing, graphics, sound and programming... and, of course, you're welcome to start a thread on your own if you have a new topic.

Some initial discussion questions to consider follow; if you'd like to volunteer to write about any of these, please say so within this thread.

1. Few games have commanded the intense fanboy love and considerable longevity that Fallout has. In the first few hours of play, are you aware of playing something special? Does the game live up to its considerable reputation or has a decade of games since taken some of the bloom off of Fallout's rose?

2. What games are immediately recognizable as both antecedents and spiritual successors to Fallout? What does Fallout do, in terms of gameplay and fun, better and worse than these games?

3. Fallout is often acknowledged as one of the better "games for grownups." What makes Fallout a "grown-up" game?

4. Fallout was originally designed to adapt Steve Jackson's GURPS, the immensely malleable role playing system, to video game form. What elements of paper and tabletop role-playing survived in the final product? How do these elements add to the game or work to its detriment?

Meet everyone back here on Friday!

forksclovetofu, Monday, 29 September 2008 00:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure how far people got. Obviously a lot depends on how carefully you decide to play the game. You can jump right in with a prerolled character, but as any RPG fan will tell you, the best thing to do is make your own. Immediately you're confronted with an elaborate character generation screen. You have to determine your attributes, tag 3 primary skills, and pick up to two perks.

I've played before, so I picked up some stuff I might not necessarily do in a plain walkthrough. I bumped my Luck skill up to 10 (both for the critical hits that'll get me, but also because it leads to some cool off-beat encounters throughout the game), and tagged Finesse (so now my critical score is really high) and Bloody Mess. If you're looking for the "cheat" perk, it's definitely Gifted, which boosts all your attributes by 1 (far better than the extra skill points in the long run). For skills, I tagged Big Guns (for those snipers and uzis later on), Lockpick, and Gambling. I've never tried to gamble my way through the game, and I want to give it a shot.

Also, I named my character Mordy, and made him a 25 year old Male.

Questions:

1. What did you do in your character generation? Why? Do you find yourself picking certain things because they sound like fun, or because you think they might help you *beat* the game? We talk a lot about how roleplaying is supposed to be an avatar, representational experience. Do you feel connected to this character? Is he/she really a representation of you in the game world?

2. This where the game starts to branch off. If you tanked your character's intelligence, you'll be playing a substantially different game than the rest of us. If you boosted luck, you'll experience different things. Here's a question that pertains to our discussion group, and to talking about games in general: How can we compare our experiences when they'll vary so much?

Mordy, Friday, 3 October 2008 22:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

(I'll discuss the game through the exploration of Vault 15. So I'll have a section for the opening sequence, Shady Towns, and Vault 15 throughout tonight. But I'll throw them up sporadically. I'm more curious about what other people think than what I think, so I'll only post a new one when I get the feeling you're all tired of discussing the current one.)

Mordy, Friday, 3 October 2008 22:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

We need to find a new water chip! Well, Vault 15 should have one. No problem there. But first Mordy-character has to make his way out of this cavern of rats. The first few he clubbed in the face and then he remembered to equip his pistol and blew the brains out of another (Bloody Mess + Critical Hit = Super Explosion Rat).

Rats are a famous RPG trope. You start the lower level characters out on rats and let them buff up against them. Then later, dragons. Here though they are more of a nuisance - the suggestion that the world empty of humans has been filling with these things. After shooting through them, you see the light of day for the first time in your life. (Previews I've read of Fallout 3 suggest that this is going to be a much more dramatic scene.) There's obviously a game-related metaphor here. You're starting the game by literally entering into the light of the world. Again, this is another place where Fallout attempts to create affinity between your and your character. Just as your character is starting out in the Fallout world, so are you.

Another interesting mechanic used early on is that you don't know about Sandy Shades starting out. You head towards Vault 15 and the village is midway between the two vaults. You can obviously skip it and head directly to the Vault, but you won't get far without a rope (which you can get by bartering in the village). So instead you settle down in Sandy Shades. It's, IMHO, a clever way for the designers to force you along a fairly linear path (Vault 13 -> Sandy Shades -> Vault 15), without being obvious about it.

Mordy, Friday, 3 October 2008 22:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

1. When I generate a character in a single-player computer RPG, I aim at minimizing hassles in the game, so that the fun elements can come through clearly. If my character is holding me back from doing what I want to do, then the game is like real life and I won't finish it. So in this case I looked at a few Fallout pages online and got a feel for what would help. So I picked Gifted for the reasons Mordy explained. I went with Sneak, Energy Weapons, and Speech (I think; not sure about Speech). Also, I emphasized Agility and Intelligence, because I read that they're important in the game as it progresses. I'm happy about this, because I like having a smart character, but in a lot of RPGs I go for the big dumb brute, to minimize hassles (in e.g. Oblivion).

I don't feel connected to this character yet; I picked a male gendered character of my age using my usual game handle, so that could help. I often play as female characters, so this is an exception; I think I did so this time so that I can identify more with the character, to make discussion on this board easier. I will connect with him more as I get into the plot, I expect.

2. That's a good point, that we'll experience the game differently through our different characters. Does that mean that we're playing different games? I need to think about this more; I'm not sure what the identity conditions of a game are.

Peter Cetera (Euler), Friday, 3 October 2008 22:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

My guy went straight for Vault 15 and got there, then ended up in the elevator shaft needing a rope. Drat. But he did slaughter enough rats to level.

Peter Cetera (Euler), Friday, 3 October 2008 22:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

Peter, I often play female characters in games too. My first Mass Effect character was a female, for instance. I've wondered a bit about why this is. Why do you think you play female characters?

Mordy, Friday, 3 October 2008 22:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Much of Fallout is deferment. Since the quest is (in the beginning) simple enough, there's a lot of Almost Found the Chip - Oops, Didn't Find the Chip. Vault 15 is the first example of this. You move through the vault (or if this was a fantasy game, the dungeon) until you hit the bottom and realize that the chip isn't there. Thus your quest continues. Compared to modern games (which frequently have a variety of ever changing motives) this can seem simplistic. But one of the great things about Fallout is how unpressing the chip quest seems at times. Though my very first playthrough ever ended with me /not/ finding the chip in time, general playthroughs won't have any problem juggling the chip quest with all the little other things you may do.

For instance, two things you may have decided to do while in Shady Sands (Sandy Shades?) is kill the radscorpions and save Tandy. The former is very dungeon-esque, like Vault 15. The latter can be solved in a variety of manners - many of which would involve violence. If your luck is high enough (like mine was), you can trick the raiders into thinking you're Garl's father, and demand he let Tandi go. If you didn't pump your luck up, though, good luck figuring out another method :)

One thing that strikes me is how rich the Fallout world is. You'll come across information about Vault 15 (and 13) over and over again in the two Fallout games. You'll learn about who created the Vaults, why, what made each Vault special, etc. And if you play Fallout 2, you'll encounter Tandi again (as an old woman). A lot of time and care was spent on fleshing out this world, and the information about it is delivered to you perfectly. There aren't long cut-scenes or text-dumps (which plague other games). The story emerges naturally from the gameplay.

What are some cool (and possibly unusual) things you've run into so far? Did you figure out a way to solve the radscorpions problem without actually killing all of them? Did you get Ian to join your quest? How'd you convince him? How'd you free Tandi?

For those who have never played this game before, how do you expect the game to unfold from here? From what you've seen already, what do you expect to see? Do you think there will be a lot more Vault spelunking?

And the most important question: If Ian has joined you; how many times has he killed you by accident? The friendly-fire AI in this game is AWFUL. (I've died twice from him, already.)

Mordy, Friday, 3 October 2008 23:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh my god, I have become completely wrapped up in this game. I'm not sure I can even tear myself away from it long enough to write anything abt it. I have a lot of stuff to say tho!

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 00:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

Well, tell us some! Especially since I think we're finishing the discussion at Junktown for this week.

Mordy, Saturday, 4 October 2008 00:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm tabbing out of the game just to write this. THIS GAME IS PERFECT.

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 00:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've advanced pretty far past the agreed upon stopping point, but I'll attempt to keep this spoiler-free.

Okay, well, I never cottoned to this kind of RPG very much. I've attempted to play Baldur's Gate II and Arcanum (which I understand was made by the same pps who made Fallout, and it's basically a palette-swapped steampunk version of same) (except it's boring, unplayable garbage), and I kinda fell into a pattern wrt these games - I would be absorbed by the character creation process for literally hours, but when I actually get plopped into the game world I completely lose interest and dont bother progressing past the starting areas. So the fact that the actual game is so compelling is a major coup, as far as I'm concerned.

What it reminds me a lot of is Deus Ex, one of 2 or 3 favorite games ever, and besides all the great things these games do (well-written, addictive + ambitious gameplay, good production values etc) they really appeal to my overwhelming ANALNESS. I'm the guy who has to collect every bomb and arrow upgrade in Zelda even though I NEVER USE BOMBS OR ARROWS (unless it's one of those boss fights that necessitates it), I'm the only guy I know who's actually gotten 100% on GTA San Andreas (oh god what am i doing with my liiii-fuh). What distinguished Deus Ex wasn't just the multitude of story-based options it gave you (dialogue choices, moral choices etc) but in that every mission/objective seemingly had a million different ways to be tackled. And I was so enthused about this that I would often - almost pathologically - play through a scenario one way, reload an older save and then play through it another way, over and over until I was satisfied that I'd seen everything that mission had to offer. Which leads me to yr first question!!!

I pretty much went apeshit with character creation, using up the 10 save slots v quickly. I started out just making a character based on some general preferences and a vague idea of what the game was going to be like - like I knew I wanted high INT to uncover as many divergent plotlines and dialogue options as possible, and playing through the opening cave convinced me that I needed to invest in Melee Weapons (ugh). It has a shit-rolling-downhill effect on me, where each time I progress a little further in the game and realize something new about the gameplay, it compels me to try rerolling my character with the new info in mind. Things like getting a neat new perk at level 9 or 12 suddenly put the whole game in a different perspective (like realizing that the level 3 scouting perk, which adds one square to your world map radius, is complete horseshit, and that the level 9 perk that reduces your small arms AP usage by one point is overwhelmingly useful and merits planning a character around it), and I'm generally compelled to head back to the drawing board to factor that kind of thing in.

So fr instance, when I got to Shady Sands and it was made apparent how difficult it can be to lead people to certain conclusions, dialogue-wise, I went and tried a 10ch/10int character who could play with ppl's minds like so much play-doh. But this leads to me finding out that making do in solo combat with, like, 1AG and 1PE is completely untenable. So I tried a v. balanced build where all the stats were ~6 or 7 (siphoning points away from luck to feed into other stats), but that was boring. So then I rolled with different builds that revolved around difft combos of high endurance, high charisma, high intelligence, high agility and high strength. After getting further in the game I realized strength was pointless except to allow you to meet minimum ST requirements for different weapons, and I generally demoted that one to the minimum (in my head) of 4, for future builds. I started paring down endurance too, even though it's insanely useful in many respects it seemed to me like more and more of a luxury, especially when I realized how many party members I would end up having, and what a premium is placed on doing high volume damage in a minimal amount of time, as opposed to outlasting and whittling away at yr opponents.

Eventually - after creating about 6 or 7 different characters and playing them all to different points in the game, taking slightly different paths each time - I had settled on something of a main character in Gaelan, a 23 year old broad, Gifted/Bloody Mess (ST8, PE8, EN5, CH8, IN8, AG8, LU2), Tag Skills being Science, Small Guns & Steal. The idea was for her to give me enough versatility in both diplomacy and combat, and I got pretty far into the game w/her (like, far enough that I can't actually tell you in this thread). She still takes up 9 of my save spots but a day or two ago I began experimenting with different builds in my last save spot, and I'm probably gonna go with this new guy whenever I feel like I've got him nailed down. I found myself wanting more luck - need them crits! - and wanting less useless tag skills. I also found myself very curious about the elasticity of certain in-game events, like could I actually do such-and-such as soon as I left the cave? What happens if I take this path? etc etc. So now I've got a 35 year old dude named Adrian (hurrr), Finesse/Gifted, Small Guns/Speech(incredibly useful btw)/Lockpicking, ST2/PE8/EN2/CH8/IN8/AG9/LU9. I'm not sure if I can get by with that little strength, but I want to be able to max out at least one or two stats - agility's a given, and the other one i'm not sure about. I went with luck in this build but I could've seen myself going with PE, CH or IN.

2. This where the game starts to branch off. If you tanked your character's intelligence, you'll be playing a substantially different game than the rest of us. If you boosted luck, you'll experience different things. Here's a question that pertains to our discussion group, and to talking about games in general: How can we compare our experiences when they'll vary so much?

Yeah, the further along I got in this game, the more I wondered this. The entire idea of having landmarks to stop at w/this game is difficult to wrap my head around, because aside from having two generic, game-wide objectives, you're free to go wherever you want and do whatever you want. The game tells you before you even GET to V15 that the water chip's actually in Necropolis, meaning that the Vault's not necessarily a more natural stopping point than any other place in the game.

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 01:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

I bumped my Luck skill up to 10 (both for the critical hits that'll get me, but also because it leads to some cool off-beat encounters throughout the game)

this is incredibly otm btw, and in all the stat-based minutia above I really lost track of what makes this game such a TRAET - all the shit crammed into the margins, the little details and humor in all the descriptions, the left-field encounters, it's just all so COOL. I'd love to talk about them but otoh I don't want to ruin anything for other ppl, cuz it's so awesome when you just stumble onto this shit outta nowhere. But it's a game with a ton of character, and that's really what makes it so easy to get absorbed by the whole experiences, as opposed to bland fantasy bullshit like Baldur's Gate (lol more like Fagdur's Gate) (Gay-te)

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 01:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

You know, I actually forgot about asking Ian for directions to Junktown, and spent some time looking for Junktown myself. Accidentally, I ran immediately into Necropolis. I don't think I had ever hit that city that quickly before.

Mordy, Saturday, 4 October 2008 01:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

now that I've read the rest of the thread I feel bad that my posts were so disorganized and un-thoughtful. sorry guys i cant write!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 01:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

regarding Ian: no friendly fire deaths yet, but I figured out early on to only equip him with pistols (deagle usually) - it's the burst option on the SMG that seems to cause all the collateral damage. I sorta hate Ian and he's one of my biggest beefs with the game - his most useful function is as a WALKING BANK upon whom you deposit all kinds of heavy crap that either only has situational usefulness or just stuff you're waiting for an opportunity to sell off. He's also quasi-helpful in combat as the guy who can soak up some enemy attacks and occasionally finish off a badguy that you just crippled with a horrifying groin injury. but his true purpose in life is to BOX YOU IN when you're navigating tight corridors and force you to reload your last save.

Did you figure out a way to solve the radscorpions problem without actually killing all of them?

btw does a way to do this actually exist, or are you just fucking with us? I cant think of a non-killing solution to that one!

A lot of time and care was spent on fleshing out this world, and the information about it is delivered to you perfectly. There aren't long cut-scenes or text-dumps (which plague other games). The story emerges naturally from the gameplay.

nothing to add here, this is just VERY OTM

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 02:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

Other beefs with the game:

-the little iris view of your character when you're on the other side of a wall from the camera, where only the area immediately around your guy is made transparent. incredibly irritating and a major pain in the ass in terms of gameplay & functionality.

-the fact that dialogue options have 'rolls,' ie. there's an element of randomness to the kinds of options/responses you get, even if you have an extremely high IN/CH. this results in situations where you have to repeatedly reload a quicksave and keep asking a guy the same question until the hidden response pops up.

That's pretty much it though, which makes for an incredibly flimsy list of complaints.

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 02:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

I didnt take my 10ch/10in character far past Shady Sands but I did definately notice some differences when you have those stats completely maxed:

Ian joined me without even asking for a cut of the loot. I just clicked the "hey I need someone w/yr experience yadda yadda" option and he was instantly like "Hey dogg I'M IN." That hasn't happened on any subsequent playthrough.

Tandi told me about deathclaws when I asked her about goings-on down south. In every other playthrough (when I say playthrough I don't mean the whole game, just that whenever I started a new character I would usually take them to Shady Sands and complete the quests there before abandoning the character) I have worked my ass off to replicate this dialogue sequence and I haven't been able to do it, even with characters whose CH/IN were at 8 and 9.

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 02:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

ok I'm now up to level 3, having cleared out Vault 15, but I guess the water chip isn't there? It's kind of a hassle to look around, because it's just a matter of clicking on every dead computer. But I'm thinking it's not here, and so it's not worth bothering. I guess I will go back and do the radscorpions thing. Maybe something will come up.

Peter Cetera (Euler), Saturday, 4 October 2008 02:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

okay wow i really cannot recommend having a high luck stat enough - in the past 20 mins, with my LK10 character, i've had these random map encounters:

-a giant godzilla footprint in the desert, with a flattened peasant in the indention (and upon inspecting the body i found a CLOAKING DEVICE)
-a used car lot (the cars are all just empty, rusted out) bodies operated by a lone madman; if you break into his office and pick the lock on a locker, you'll find two red rider BB guns. one's just a regular BB gun, completely useless, but the other's a LIMITED EDITION BB gun that is insanely powerful and requires one less AP per shot than regular rifles.
-an overturned Nuka-Cola truck and a bunch of empty crates; one of the crates has $10,000 in it
-motherfucking TARDIS from dr who, in the middle of the damn desert; when you approach it, it disappears and leaves a doo-dad behind

cankles, Saturday, 4 October 2008 03:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

btw does a way to do this actually exist, or are you just fucking with us? I cant think of a non-killing solution to that one!

This is totally for real.

Mordy, Saturday, 4 October 2008 04:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Peter, when you get near the computer room, your little dialogue window will tell you that the rest of the vault is caved in and that there chip must not be there. It's worth getting that message, because it has a nice xp bonus with it.

Ok. I started a new character with a few different stats and played through this first part again. Nothing substantively different, though this character (Female, Dani) is kick-ass at combat. She killed every raider, every rat, everything. I'm trying to figure out what level you can get to before finishing the game. Which reminds me of another really nice thing about Fallout; No scaling enemies. If you can beat the enemy now, you can destroy him 10 levels from now. None of that Oblivion bullshit. I really hope Bethasda keeps this for Fallout 3, because it's really refreshing to play in a game world that doesn't scale with you.

Mordy, Saturday, 4 October 2008 04:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have worked my ass off to replicate this dialogue sequence and I haven't been able to do it

I ain't playing along but I remember this as being one of the great things about the fallout games that shows their ancestry in old pencil & paper RPG scenarios - there are often little things here and there that you can only get with a really, really particular combination of traits, down to equipment and attribute scores and all that. So deep. I wish I'd ever had ade's analness when playing these things, seriously, but it's just not in my character (I am ANAL 2, canx is clearly ANAL 7+)

El Tomboto, Saturday, 4 October 2008 06:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

It's difficult for me to review Fallout without putting my own cloud of personal nostalgia over it - when it came out, it was a revelation about the potential of video gaming as a medium and what could be accomplished. For the time, the presentation - user interface, graphics, audio, cinematics - was top-notch. atmopsheric, and original (despite being largely inspired by a game even fewer have probably played, Wasteland). The character creation and quest system emphasized the player's freedom and multiple paths and goals, with a fascinating post-apocalyptic world as backdrop. And unlike many procedural games or roguelikes, there was a compelling story and motivation to see it through besides random number generation. That's not to say a huge part of the fun of this game is figuring out the "right" ways to build your characters, which combinations of traits and stats will lead you further and to different quests - your typical old school role-playing game stuff. The player is deeply rewarded for this exploration with different gameplay and story paths.

It's disappointing that besides the first Deus Ex, there haven't been many games as ambitious and epic in BOTH the story and gameplay - including the harsh choices you have to make when you first play (my guess, from my own experience and other in this thread) as you will probably die many times, and reroll your character a few times before you get the full hang of it to push all the way through to the end. I haven't played the Fallout games in many years, but indeed, it still plays great. (Of course, having played through the game and already knowing the general strategies helps)

This time I made Gaffa, a 22-year-old woman - a slightly devious, silver-tongued scientist working for the forces of good, but can barely fight her way out of a collapsed broom closet. Above average Charisma and Intelligence, with a lot of Luck. Traits: Good Natured and Skilled. Tags: Speech, Sneak, and Science. I wanted a game without any combat bonuses or tag skills for weapons - this will be more difficult, but I remember at least the very end is beatable without them, so hopefully the rest of the game is, too. Also, I wanted to see how well Sneak will work without much development in Lockpick or Steal - it still lends to many situational benefits. I've played this game countless times in the past, so I wanted a less straightforward build than usual.

I convinced Ian straight off from Shady Sands to join me, which greatly helped the exploration of Vault 15. He was a definite help with the radscorpion problem, too. As for the raiders' camp... well, it was best to just take the advice of the villagers and avoid them, since there was no way to talk my way out of there without joining them and offing two slave prostitutes. I don't feel like going evil this time around - maybe another game. Or maybe I'll change my mind later! But my distinct lack of muscle means I probably won't be heading back here, at least not until the water chip is found.

The game has always been notoriously buggy, though - even with the semi-official 1.2 patch, I still ran into some weirdness in Shady Sands. Having rejected the offer to help Aradesh with the bandits in our first conversation, I was never offered it again! (Whoops. Fallout can be brutal.) So I didn't get the "Save Tandi" quest, but talking to random people in town and at the raiders' camp, dialogue options about Tandi came up, despite that the whole time she was walking around back in town. Unfortunately, that means I can't get her as an NPC. Oh well, time to go to Junktown!

Nhex, Sunday, 5 October 2008 05:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

I still can't believe you can MURDER CHILDREN in this game. That's so fucked up. Even the GTA games have a policy of not inserting any kids or animals into the action.

cankles, Sunday, 5 October 2008 12:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

I just spent like 2 hours wandering the map and attempting to wipe out every town of all sentient life. Hub and Boneyard fell swiftly, but I got merc'd when I tried to plow thru the Brotherhood. I started this warpath with 39 karma, a Champion, and ended it -44, a Berserker Childkiller.

Awesome.

cankles, Sunday, 5 October 2008 12:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

what happened to forksclovetofu? dude was really putting on the screws for everyone to write an essay about this thing and he totally disappeared!!

s1ocki, Monday, 6 October 2008 00:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, wtf. EAT SHIT, FCT

cankles, Monday, 6 October 2008 00:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

reading everyone else's responses is making me want to take another crack at this game tho. first time i was really put off by the grafx actually!

s1ocki, Monday, 6 October 2008 00:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks Canks! And I was just baking you a cake, too.

My mother's in town this week and I've had limited time to play/respond to the game. I'll post a few paragraphs of response for my hour and a half of playtime shortly.
I am gratified by the tenor of the discussion (well, up until the "EAT SHIT" point anyway) and by the real work everyone's putting in! I'll catch up, honest!

Mordy, could you dungeonmaster a bit and start a week two thread to give us:
- a stopping point
- a few discussion questions
- a challenge or two for players to try to overcome?

Much obliged!

forksclovetofu, Monday, 6 October 2008 01:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

im sure cankles is just kidding dude. and so i was i kinda...

s1ocki, Monday, 6 October 2008 01:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

I know; so was i kinda.

forksclovetofu, Monday, 6 October 2008 02:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

No seriously; I really am loving the commentary here... I was less than overwhelmed by my first experience within the game world and was afraid I might've gone on a fool's errand. The notes above (a TARDIS? Really?) have me jazzed to give this another try over the upcoming week.

forksclovetofu, Monday, 6 October 2008 02:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

come on, dude! make all these threads worth it!

s1ocki, Monday, 6 October 2008 02:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

I often feel like there's a way in which grown-up rpg emotions are kinda tied to bugginess, somehow? I am not meaning "grown-up rpgs" here! Like: the example of this I always think about is playing a badly cd-imaged grandia 2 on dreamcast, playing the same 10 minutes over and over (save point to crash), each playthrough seeming to make what was going on weirder and more complicated? I dunno - something about bugs does it for me in this sort of game, it makes the world seem unpredictable, alien, limitless? I have told this anecdote like 100x here but there's a bit in Baldur's Gate where Minsc (crazy, "chaotic good", talks to hamster) and Edwin (crazy, "chaotic evil", talks to himself) both task you to rescue some chick at the centre of a gnoll fortress. And you hack your way there, killing everything in your path, without really thinking about it. Until we got there, and she'd gone. And we'd been murdering away on the words of lunatics. That's a bug, and it's one of the most amazing moments in videogames, for me?

I am thinking of Pathologic too! (http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=67124) - I think that would be really good, for a next game?

Gravel Puzzleworth, Monday, 6 October 2008 13:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

On rolling a character:

I've not really thought about it much before, so I hadn't really realised I do this. But when I start a new RPG, my first playthrough will always be as me. So I'll try to give my character a set of attributes that match those of real-life Jim, as closely as possible. I don't know whether other people do this much, or whether it's a behaviour that's usually reserved for The Sims. I guess the point of an RPG is that it says to you "hey, play a role! You can pretend to be anyone you like!"...but then it doesn't really give you anywhere near the freedom you'd need for that to be a truly enticing prospect. "You can be a mage! Or a Thief! Or a Ranger!". Yawn. I think for me, it's always more interesting to think "ok, here's an imaginary world...how would I get on in there? What would real-life Jim do if he found himself in a post-nuclear wasteland?". So, this is how I roll.

And the thing that's made me aware of this is the fact that this time is different. I think I started out with a rough shape of me, but then snippets of info from these threads have led me to tweak stats here and there, and I've ended up watering down my original character, and ending up with something more generic. This raises two questions, I guess. 1) Will it actually make any differnce? I don't honestly know whether, 5 hours into the game, I'm feeling more or less ownership of the character than I usually do. I suspect it's no different - I think of the guy on screen as me, regardless of his stats or abilities. And 2) is my perception of this game going to be influenced more by this "reading group" than it is by the actual game content itself? I've never taken part in any kind of book group before, but it seems to me that I can't help but play Fallout differently, knowing that I'll want to have interesting things to say about it as I go along, than I would've done if I'd just been playing it straight, on my own (in which case, to be honest, I may well have grown tired of the dated mechanics and given up by now anyway).

Anyway, here's my guy, as dumped by that cute built-in character print option.


VAULT-13 PERSONNEL RECORD
17 February 2162 0806 hours

Name: Jim Age: 32 Gender: Male
Level: 04 Exp: 6,972 Next Level: 10,000

::: Statistics :::
Strength: 06 Hit Points: 048/048 Sequence: 06
Perception: 07 Armor Class: 016 Healing Rate: 02
Endurance: 06 Action Points: 08 Critical Chance: 002%
Charisma: 06 Melee Damage: 01 Carry Weight: 175 lbs.
Intelligence: 07 Damage Res.: 030%
Agility: 06 Radiation Res.: 012%
Luck: 02 Poison Res.: 030%

::: Traits ::: ::: Perks ::: ::: Karma :::
Bloody Mess Swift Learner Reputation (General) 8
Chem Resistant

::: Skills ::: ::: Kills :::
Small Guns ..... 111% Men ............ 010
Big Guns ....... 016% Women .......... 003
Energy Weapons . 016% Radscorpions ... 010
Unarmed ........ 071% Rats ........... 075
Melee Weapons .. 061%
Throwing ....... 046%
First aid ...... 083%
Doctor ......... 022%
Sneak .......... 051%
Lockpick ....... 026%
Steal .......... 026%
Traps .......... 026%
Science ........ 039%
Repair ......... 027%
Speech ......... 056%
Barter ......... 032%
Gambling ....... 026%
Outdoorsman .... 019%

::: Inventory :::
7x Stimpak 3x Antidote 1x Geiger Counter
1x .223 FMJ 1x Knife 7x .44 magnum FMJ
2x Dynamite 2x Grenade (Frag) 1x Rope
1x First Aid Kit 215x Bottle Caps 6x .44 Magnum JHP
1x Leather Armor 2x Buffout 4x 10mm JHP
2x Mentats 3x Molotov Cocktail 3x 12 ga. Shotgun Shells
1x Lock Picks 2x Flare 1x First Aid Kit
2x Water Flask 1x Desert Eagle .44 1x 10mm Pistol
1x Bug 1x Tape Recorder 1x 10mm SMG
1x Shotgun 1x Metal Armor

Total Weight: 143 lbs.

JimD, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 08:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aw, all that lovely formatting, lost! :/

JimD, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 08:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Trying to break back into this after a hugely frustrating reminder that the autosave is a recent invention. Managed to get myself killed after inadvertently "stealing" molotov cocktails from the raiders bookshelf after negotiating the release of whatsherhead.

Which of course, brought me back to the rat cave. fuck. SO now i guess i will try to devote today to getting back to square one.

Running a very different first character than usual - more intrigued with the weird dialogue and events, so i'm all luck and int and chr. normally on a first playthrough, i maximize hit points so i can blunder into things without taking too bad a hit.

will rejoin the conversation if i don't get unduly frustrated with repetition.

some call him "crazy", some call him NEWTIMES JESUS (John Justen), Tuesday, 7 October 2008 16:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

This game is infuriating. I suppose that's a symptom of being mollycoddled by games with tutorials and intuitive controls but I am finding this thing slow, repetitive and, yeah, infuriating. I wanted to talk to the guy at the end of the Temple of Trials and couldn't figure out how; thought maybe the design was so wack I would use the target action used to fight other things and now this guy is running after me trying to kick my ass. I don't know how much longer I can hold out. It is ugly and runs at a snail's pace; I mean, I'm sure it kicks into overdrive story and choice wise as the game progresses, and that it is intelligent as all hell but I am today's pampered youth and I demand instant satisfaction goddamnit. I will persevere cause I'm the self-hating kind but dagnammit if I amn't frustrated right now.

coznebb (cozwn), Monday, 27 October 2008 15:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

Sorry, I am talking about Fallout 2 and not 1. I heard that 1 is/was buggy as all hell so I skipped to the sequel. Don't get me wrong, I'm no graphics whore but I guess I am an engine whore: this game's engine is rotten to me.

coznebb (cozwn), Monday, 27 October 2008 15:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

did u read the manual?

fo1 isn't really buggy btw, probably less so than fo2; also fo1 is a superior gaming experience imo~

also ur dumb (no offense) i mean i NEVER play this kind of game (closest i've come is diablo 2) and i could still figure it out after an hour or two, i'm p. sure i'm younger than u 2

also SWEET JESUS the game INITIATES CONVERSATION WITH THE GUY AT THE END OF THE TEMPLE *FOR YOU* YOU DONT EVEN HAVE TO CLICK ON HIM ONCE

and i mean... you DO click on him and it just takes you up to him and starts a convo. did you actually initiate combat and then click on him? why the hell would you do that? :(

sorry for being a dick and i actually do agree that there's a lot of unintuitiveness to the interface (tho i just sorta take it in stride as going hand-in-hand w/older games) but just save often and use ur noodle imo

ಥ﹏ಥ (cankles), Tuesday, 28 October 2008 10:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

manual lol; sorry, no I didn't but reading around it seems like I should so I will

I'm figuring it all out anyway and I'm wandering through the world aimlessly

SWEET JESUS I was running away from an ant the first time I got to the dude and so was still in 'combat' mode; it took me two goes to figure out there's a diff betw. combat mode and normal run about like a loony mode; I hadn't yet learned how to turn combat 'off' the first time I got to the guy hence my confusion; third time through you're right it auto-chatted to the dood

"an hour or two" is quite a long learning curve for picking up the core gsme mechanic, surely you shd have tht all figured out inside the first 10 mins, which I didn't; yes, I am dumm

coznebb (cozwn), Tuesday, 28 October 2008 11:21 (eight years ago) Permalink


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