Classic Fallout Gameplay Flaws (Also New Vegas)

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by TerminallyChill, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    It's no secret that Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout New Vegas are beloved by fans of the series for having things like a meaningful RPG system, reactive worlds, and high levels of internal narrative consistency.

    No game is perfect though, which is why I'm asking you, what did these revered titles get wrong gameplay wise? What have other entries in the series like Fallout Tactics, Fallout Brotherhood Of Steel, Fallout 3, and Fallout 4 gotten right? What do other games in the genre pull off better than Fallout, Fallout 2, and New Vegas?

    Some ground rules for the thread:

    1. 'Nothing.' is not a constructive answer, and implies bias. Please avoid 'nothing' comments unless you legitimately have something useful to add to the conversation.

    1a. This is not a narrative discussion. Everybody on this website already knows that super mutants don't make sense in Fallout 3. If you find your point based around something related to Fallout's mythology, lore, or writing, please take it into another thread.
     
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  2. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Fallout 1&2: Off the top of my head, the system of its turn-based combat kind of made it that nearly every move you will make once you can hit somewhere along 80%-95% THC to enemy's eyes ended up as eyeshots. Personally, this is not really a problem for me because nowadays, if I play Fallout 1&2 I would actually target enemy's arms, legs, and even groin/head because I can cripple them and reduce their THC, increase the AP they consumed when they move, and knock them down, respectively. But the fact remains that even I would still end up using eyeshots so that combat can end faster. The problem here is probably because they didn't explain what attacks targeted to what does what, but those things are probably explained in the manual anyway. However, having played newer games that are better when it comes to turn-based combat, I would say they could've put a little summarized explanation to help explain to players what does, for example, attacks to the leg would do. Instead, we all know physical trauma to the eyes would hurts ALOT, and this is reinforced by the fact that you can score more critical strikes when targeting eyes.

    Another flaw for me is how burst attacks were never exactly clear what enemies would got hit, and by how many bullets. Obviously, the closer the targets, the more damage they would take. But why does an enemy behind my target would occasionally takes >= half damage, and also <half damage? If, for example, 10 bullets are being used in a burst attack on point blank, would all bullets damage the target and not hit anyone behind it, or would some slip by and hit someone else? This was never made clear to in the game.

    Fallout NV: Sadly, the fact that it inherited Fallout 3's gameplay mechanics, and despite it improves upon them greatly in nearly every way, is the one and only flaw it has when it comes to gameplay mechanics. And like some people say, it actually downgrades Fallout 3's equipment repair system by making it possible for characters with low Repair to fix their stuff all the way to 100% condition. Other than that, the rest like shooting doesn't feels right (despite of them adding the more stable version of Ironsights), there's no stealing skill and perks, and you can always savescum to get what you want to steal, lockpicking and hacking use minigames and involve very minor character's skills (which is crime in an RPG, depending on what kind of RPGs you like).
     
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  3. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    Yeah, I think a lot of this is part of the overarching issue that Fallout 1 & 2 both struggle with, which is learning curve. Manual or not, understanding the basics of this game is pretty difficult for a first timer. Tim Cain himself has voiced regrets over the inability of Fallout to ease players seamlessly from novices to masters.
     
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  4. Norzan

    Norzan Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 7, 2017
    Looks like Black Angel already posted what i was going to, specially about New Vegas. Still love the game but damn, it could have been much better.
     
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  5. Cobra Commander

    Cobra Commander Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Dec 6, 2016
    Only the main of each.

    Fallout 1: turn based combat without a squad? NO!

    Fallout 2: the story is not very good =/

    NV: Big Rigs have less bugs.
     
  6. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    As @Cobra Commander alluded to in this thread, New Vegas has a consistency issue with its map markers which Fallout 3 handles better. In Fallout 3, a location with a map marker pretty much always designates an area with a unique gameplay purpose, such as an item or a quest. In New Vegas, there are some marked locations such as the Yangzte Memorial and the Ivanpah Dry Lake which don't provide consistent rewards, making their apparent significance feel misleading.

    *Blows whistle* Foul. Thread rule 1a.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  7. Norzan

    Norzan Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 7, 2017
    I think i consider myself lucky because i hardly run into any major glitch, just some minor ones. I did played the Ultimate Edition, which i assume has the majority of glitches fixed.

    I did read that New Vegas at release was a disaster. Constant crashing and glitches galore.
     
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  8. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    As someone who got it on release day, holy shit. It was something to behold. Companions disappeared forever, heads spun around like the Exorcist...
     
  9. Eshanas

    Eshanas Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 6, 2016
    1, 2, and NV suffer from a lack of detail when a player finishes everything to do in town. Goodsprings is irrelevant after the first few quests, for example. It makes the game feel so dead. Whenever I make my rounds unloading goods at the local shop, nothing has changed. Goodsprings is peachy. Primm is peachy. Nipton stays dead. Novac stays quiet. No one ever returns to Boulder city or Jacobstown.

    Granted, this is a problem with a LOT of games. But I wish Fallout would had added a second layer of quests unlocked by the player progressing past a certain level or quest down the line so the world could breathe again. It's not like the concept is alien to them because when you clear the prospectors den, prospectors move back in! So they have the idling idea of a organic, living world that moves without the player.

    NV could had benefited from more sprawling dungeons. 3 needed to clean up its sprawling dungeons. NV could had used more map space?
     
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  10. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    Completely agree, as this mechanic jives well with Fallout's philosophy of consequence and reactivity. I think the best way to implement it would be for each major settlement to have a "phase two" where after certain thresholds were met, a new useful service would appear depending on your choices. For example, if you cleared out the Repconn Test Site by completing Come Fly With Me, scavengers would open up a junk market at the gas station in Novac. This would encourage the player to come back because let's say they use a different method of trading where certain goods are worth more than anywhere else.

    Hilarious, but true. Not a lot of Dunwich Buildings or L.O.B. Enterprises in New Vegas. Too many metros in Fallout 3.

    You mean the half of the map on the other side of the Colorado that got cut? :rip:

    Another thing I definitely think Fallout 1 & 2 dropped the ball on was inventory management. The developers of Pokemon, a Game Boy title, somehow managed to program better organization. What the hell Interplay? Fallout 3 and New Vegas did massively improve on this later with the Pip-Boy 3000, but even then that fucking catch-all miscellaneous category was doing far too much of the heavy lifting. This still wasn't fixed by Fallout 4. Insane.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  11. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Fo & Fo2

    Skills: most are redundant or borderline useless

    Aimed Shots
    I think that max damage shouldn't have required targeting the eyes. There are plenty of places on the body that are guaranteed to be imminently fatal, even with modern medical care. The legs for instance could have yielded the highest damage brackets at a lower chance, representing a strike to the femoral artery. Or for the torso hitting the heart in the right place.

    Squad Commands
    The lack of squad controls is kind of disappointing, but at the same time I can appreciate how it better represents having an actual team. Which fits in with the game's overall design quite well. If you could issue commands and not necessarily have them fulfilled as intended, or at all, that would have been best. But that would have necessitated a lot of innovation, which is kind of unreasonable to expect.

    Rope use markers

    The economy, it's broken--just like in real life. Go figure.

    Tell Me About: getting the most of this function is a chore. I get the idea but locking players out of content because they can't guess which keyword will trigger dialogue just seems like a bad idea.

    Melee and Unarmed miss rate: why? Just why? Why would anyone fail to punch a wild animal that is both in the process of biting them, and also bigger than their entire body? Because war never changes?

    Those books man, those #$&#&($@ skill books. As a pathologically min-maxing player...well you can guess the rest.

    F:NV

    Companion Quests: you have to bring them along to complete them, constraining your playstyle too much even if you only want to do quests tied to the ending. Most have requirements that mean back-tracking, and doing things in a certain sequence so as to not get locked out of content.

    Too many quests must be done in sequence to avoid getting locked out.

    Still can't command yo squad.

    Super Condensed Map
    : walk for two minutes in any direction and you'll find something that looked, at best, a hundred meters away. There's no sense of distance. Kind of kills the vibe.

    Too much loot to lug: not exactly realistic. Plus, if more of your inventory had to be ammo just to keep your weapons supplied, then melee and unarmed would make more sense. Even on...hardcore mode? I always forget what it's called, you can easily bring an arsenal with you wherever you go...except for the Sierra Madre because it's basically Fallout hell. Obviously this gets far more ridiculous whenever you go swimming...

    Too many invisible walls, not enough climbing.

    Lack of tactics and strategy: attack, heal, move out of the way, reload, run away; rinse, repeat, snooze.
     
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  12. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    While you aren't wrong, I always thought Fallout was one of the better RPGs when it came to handling this. Some D&D games are absolutely unplayable if you don't pick certain skills. You can at the very least still bullshit your way through Fallout and Fallout 2 even with a Gambling/Outdoorsman/Traps character.

    Hakunin: Hey Chosen go kill those spore plants.
    Me: Ok. *Pulls out knife and runs over to the garden*
    -14% chance to hit a stationary, rooted enemy standing next to me
    Me: :freak:
     
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  13. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 26, 2007
    This is going to be hard to read, if one can only mention peeves; I've read several reasons that I would disagree with. For instance, redundant skills... What redundant skills? I don't know of any in FO1&2, and FO3 & NV were so merge-happy that they combined unrelated skills just for the hell of it.

    As for gambling... That's an interesting one. In GURPS, the skill is not used to win, it's used to detect cheating... but that's not how it works in Fallout :(. Still... I have fond memories of my level 1 PC strutting into Gizmo's casino, with 5 caps, and leaving shortly after with 1500.

    In Fallout 1 & 2, I appreciated the Traps skill, because it not only revealed traps underfoot, but it allows the PC to detect & disarm the trapped safes; like Killian's , or Mr. Bishop's... and thus avoid damage, and alerting the guards. I have had the PC rob Mr. Bishop's safe, and sneak out without combat.
    ___
    @Topic I was fine with non-military NPC party members not obeying orders, but I was disappointed that the paramilitary NPCs did not support following battle orders. The Brotherhood squad could have been a fully player controlled, or at very least followed the PC into the base.

    In Fallout 2, I wish they had more careful about placing unusual encounters inside towns, instead of out in the deep wastes where they belong. Encounters like with Brain, or the lock picking scorpion... and of course the ghost.

    Fallout 1 had secret doors, but some led to... nowhere; so what was the point of them?


    Another peeve I have with both Fallout 1 & 2, is that due to the excellent hotkey support, the game's scripted encounters can be cheated by pressing the A key, for Attack; like the Overseer fight, that is only intended for the PC with Bloody Mess, and like the drug dealer in the Hub, that is supposed to require an expensive introduction... but in practice, you can just enter combat mode (fast, before the scripted exit happens), and you can barter what you wish of him. They didn't account for the hotkey preempting their triggers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  14. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    The problem with these skills is that a 200% Gambling or Traps character can't really rely on these aspects as their central gimmick the way you could with something like Speech or Unarmed. The quests and game world just weren't set up for it. If there was consistently an avenue for specialized characters where a Gambling/Traps/Outdoorsman check was performed in order to let you complete an objective, then these skills would be fine. I find it doesn't usually work like that in the originals, though. New Vegas did a much better job with keeping skills relevant by merging things like Gambling into Luck and Traps into Repair. These attributes were utilized enough within the game that a character based around either is completely viable.

    :eek: What the fuck is this sorcery?
     
  15. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 26, 2007
    There are secret doors in the game; usable if you know where to find them. This one is in the Hub. There is another one in the basement of the Cathedral.

    It's just a guess, but I think that the Cathedral's might be the only deliberate secret door, and that others might not have realized it when they placed these in their own maps... and perhaps just thought they were walls. The one in the Hub literally leads out of the back of the house, and you can walk right around to the front again.

    The sorcery... is that I used DOSBOX's built in AVI capture to record that video. :smug:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  16. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    I've played Fallout like 100 times and I never knew this. Hilarious if they were just developer mistakes, though.

    You're running the original Fallout program on a DOS emulator? Is that what it takes these days? I still use Windows 7 and the Fallout Collection disc (actually just an ISO image at this point) works fine for me.
     
  17. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 26, 2007
    No, Fallout uses 8-bit color VGA. It plays fine for me on Windows 7, but recording the Windows version is sometimes problematic. I often use FRAPS to record, but with Fallout, the palated color fade-to-black effect that takes seconds during play, can for some reason take almost a minute while recording it in FRAPS. The game slows to the speed of drying paint. FRAPS records all of this in realtime.

    DOSBOX was no better in this regard... it is slowed while running the DOS version of Fallout (which wants a Pentium 90MHz instead of a 486), but its video capture is built in, so the resulting AVI file is (frame-for-frame) what the game put out. That's a real plus, when making an animated GIF.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  18. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    That's pretty sweet.

    I thought of something else another family of games does better than New Vegas, and that's Rockstar's open world simulation elements. Every Grand Theft Auto since III, Red Dead Redemption, and L.A. Noire have some pretty good tricks employed to make their worlds feel alive. NPCs have lengthy script packages, traffic flows realistically, and obviously there are just a lot more entities wandering around at any given time. Makes cities feel crowded, which I wish Obsidian was able to do with locations like Freeside and the Strip.
     
  19. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    But then they missed good opportunities to offer more content in form of, for example, have some casinos cheating and fucking with their customers behind their back, or maybe have some NPCs challenging you with games like poker as part of quest(s) or just some minigame like Caravan. And detecting Traps in New Vegas is just a matter of players paying attention, instead of letting character's skills do the job of detecting them by themselves, and although disarming some traps and salvaging it requires the character to reach/exceed the skill threshold, one can just disarm mines by clicking on them instead of letting character's stats/skills to determine the outcome.

    Like Gizmojunk mentioned before, Gambling initially meant to allow characters to detect cheating based on GURPS system. Even though that's not how it works in Fallout 1&2, wouldn't you agree that a game like New Vegas would have vast opportunity to use that kind mechanic? As for Traps, I would disagree that characters who have 200% Traps doesn't have as much opportunity to use it as characters who have the same amount of Speech. I can't remember Traps checks off the top of my head in Fallout 1, much less Fallout 2, but I would say there's enough for characters who put points into Traps. In Fallout 1 you had lots of opportunity to use Traps in the Glow and Mariposa, of which both are huge dungeon-esque areas.

    And even though I've mentioned it some time ago in another thread, I would like to mention once again that the transition from classic format to modern format means the lost of critical failures. It was such a fun mechanic to have, and it seems like it's literally impossible to implement in New Vegas, much less Fallout 3/4. No more traps exploding in your face because you have low Traps skill, no more losing your ammo when you try to shoot (of which should be much more possible to happen because 3/NV have equipment durability, so if you're not maintaining your guns properly then there's higher chance of it experiencing (critical) failures). And while one might say it's part of the classics flaws, with all their randomness and stuff, there's no excuse for them to implement better system and mechanics when making the newer games (albeit, they DO have an excuse for why they aren't implementing better system).
     
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  20. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    Yeah I agree, Gambling is an especially stupid skill to have neglected in a game about Las Vegas. It's definitely better to have a low number of richly implemented skills than a high number of underutilized ones though, which is why I still think they made they right call with merging what they did in New Vegas. Anything could have worked though. If they had designed a mechanic for placing traps in the world and added a decent number of skill checks during quests, Traps could have been brought back too. Just look what they did to Outdoorsman (Survival).

    Didn't they have something in Fallout 3 where when your weapon condition was low, it was more likely to jam and have a longer reload animation? (Maybe that's in New Vegas too, but I feel like it isn't). I don't think critical failures are terrible idea or impossible to implement in a game like Fallout 3 or New Vegas. They just need to be somewhat predictable so the player knows how to avoid them strategically. A calculation of Luck and weapon condition would work perfectly for this in my eyes.

    Something else I like from Fallout 3 over the originals is the ability to overencumber yourself in return for a massive speed penalty. Adds some depth and strategy where there previously was none, and more importantly makes bartering less of a chore when you have a bunch of companions carrying shit. GIVE ME ALL YOUR DAMN SCORPION TAILS, SULIK.