Fallout 22 - Play all Fallout games in 2022! - Join!

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Proletären, Jan 9, 2022.

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  1. william dempsey

    william dempsey Veteran of the psychic wars. [REDACTED]

    Jan 23, 2022
    Hmm I may change my mind and play tactics before I play the Sum.
  2. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    It will be easier to judge the Sum if you have played the original first I think. There are some mod recommendations in the starting post you can take a look at.
  3. william dempsey

    william dempsey Veteran of the psychic wars. [REDACTED]

    Jan 23, 2022
    Ok mate, I will try Tactics. Up until now I have gone through the training levels only.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  4. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    I think I'm done with the preparations, so I'll probably start the NV playthrough today.

    I might do some small mod reviews as I go along, giving some non-spoiler description what it adds to the game and how good are individual parts (writing, voice acting, etc).
  5. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    That would be neat! Have fun!
  6. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    Fallout: Tactics completed!

    I'll give you some thoughts on the last missions now and then I will return with a lengthier post when I have the time.

    It was fun fighting my way up the hill to the vault door on Cheyenne Mountain. I had much use of the tank. And it's always fun to nuke stuff (unless it's a game made by Bethesda, then it's lame).

    Vault 0 was fun as well. Being the last map I was eager to punch through and get to the Calculator. No though battles really, I was expecting at least one Behemoth inside the mountain.

    I was really battle-weary by the time I entered the Calculator's Lair. It was tiresome to do the last battles. It was cool to see General Barnaky again and it was actually a bit touching when he was reminded about his wife Maria and he stopped fighting. Again, the voice actor for Barnaky is excellent. The choice of brains can explain the erratic behaviour of the calculator. An artist, a game designer, a pornstar, a lawyer, a politician and others were among the brains. Not the best choices to say the least.

    It feels great to finally be done with this game! I'm almost proud of myself that I saw it through to the end even though there was no way I would have abandoned my quest to re-play the Fallout games.

    I had no random encounters and no special encounters during my entire play.

    e: I can't believe I've been playing Fallout: Tactics since April! That's insane!



    -Going into the game, what are you looking forward to?
    I was looking forward to experiencing the game anew since I haven't played it since I was 17 years old and that was almost 17 years ago. I liked it at the time even though I was aware of some of the flaws. I’ve always had a positive view of Fallout: Tactics since I first played it when I was just an unbiased youth. I wasn’t aware of the criticism directed at the developer at the time.

    -After having completed it, what did you think of the game?
    The game was both good and bad. The story is good, the new lore is interesting but the execution is not the best which makes the game a mediocre experience, even though it has its moments.

    The narrated sequences that are told through a book are very well done and helps set the tone just right. The mission briefings and debriefings are also well done. The rest of the game doesn't live up to that standard, which is a shame.

    I will only ever play Fallout: Tactics again if they release a good remaster with major improvements or if there's a new mod that makes the game fundamentally better at its core.

    -What would you improve?
    There are issues with the engine like if you are on different levels of the map or are moving between levels. Sometimes enemies that are far below you under ground can still attack you. It's also possible for enemies to do melee attacks through walls sometimes. The pathfinding is atrocious which leads to a lot of micro management of movements. That makes it difficult to issue several move commands simultaneously as you cannot trust the squad members to move intelligently by themselves.

    The game doesn't take itself seriously most of the time and the writing can be very silly. That contradicts the tone set by the narrated sequences and the briefings. I would make the game have a darker tone but still keep some of the humour. Just look at Fallout 1 to get the balance right.

    Fallout:Tactics is a combat game but it could probably do well by making better use of non-combat Stats and Skills. Wasteland 2 is also a tactical combat game but manages to do this aspect better. There's a leadership skill for example. Speech is not included in Fallout: Tactics but you could have used that to solve hostage situations for example. There’s three different speech skills in Wasteland 2 as a comparison. Also Science and Lockpick are not rewarded enough in XP, you get very little by doing successful checks with those skills. You can get like 145xp for disabling turrets. Then again you can raise the skill almost entirely through books and be able to pass most checks, with a bit of luck. But I would still overhaul the number of experience points given for non-combat skills. Maybe there could be some internal politics within the Brotherhood that you could engage with as well? Like if you are going to include the various mutants as recruits or not.

    The art-style is all over the place and even though Fallout: Tactics has more details to it still looks worse than Fallout 1&2. It would have gained a lot by using the same artstyle as the older games and being consistent with the use of retro-futuristic aesthetics. There are too many modern designs in it and the Equilibrium mod that I used made that even worse when it came to inclusion of new weapons.

    -What's your thoughts on the main quest?

    The main quest takes you westwards from Chicago. You encounter some interesting factions like the Beastlords before meeting familiar old enemies like the Super Mutants. I liked the missions against the robots the most. I don’t know why but It felt like they were better designed somehow. And the maps looked better. It’s difficult to put your finger on it.

    The main quest also introduces some new lore like Vault 0. And you encounter some cool new factions on your journey. It’s good and the story is nicely told with some twists and turns, like the true identity of Gammorin and what happens to general Barnaky.

    One interesting thing is that the only time the Brotherhood is in trouble is when they are fighting their own, otherwise they are superior. Like the Super Mutants are causing them a hard time but then it’s revealed that’s because they are led by the former Paladin Latham who used old Brotherhood protocols against them. And the Calculators superiority is in essence because of General Barnakys brain.

    -If old, does the game still hold up in 2022?
    Apart from the engine being somewhat shit like height levels and pathfinding causing problems it's easy to get into it. There are some good mods as well to make the experience better. I’d say it’s still holding up.

    -If not Fallout 1, does it add to Fallout lore in a good way?
    I think so yes.

    I like the idea of Vault 0, of course there would be a master Vault for the government to use so that they can remain in charge even after the bombs and to repopulate America. I don't like how the vaults are run as experiments as introduced in Fallout 2, however having the all-important control vault malfunction because of political incompetence and budget cuts is Fallout enough for me. The introduction of Vault 0 in Fallout:Tactics comes with some questions though. Like why wouldn't the Enclave be housed there instead of on an easily targeted Oil-platform outside the West Coast? Vault 0 would have been much safer. Fallout: Tactics get’s in conflict with the lore of Fallout 2 that way. It can be explained away of course but not 100% satisfyingly.

    The Beastlords are cool and as I wrote in the thread there should always be a trait in Fallout games called Beastlord that lets you control animals, but with some negatives to counter.

    The Super Mutants trying to cure sterility is a good concept. Of course they would try to find a cure otherwise they would be doomed.

    The faction of the BoS that found itself in Chicago and that eventually defeated the Calculator becomes a huge faction in control of a lot of territory. This would be the most powerful faction in all of Fallout. How would you handle that in later games?

    As I mentioned before if I were to do an expansion for Fallout: Tactics then it would be about the fleeing remnants of the Masters army and their desperate quest to cure their sterility. In the main campaign, after defeating the SMs, the BoS acquires their research. Maybe there is a way to make them fertile again? It's an interesting thought and could be explored.

    I would also like to see a DLC campaign about how the BoS survivors first set up shop in Chicago. It must have been pretty tough for them to get on their feet again after the Zeppelins crashed and then become the major faction over there.

    I like the premise of the game following the events of Fallout 1. The BoS drove the Super Mutant army east over the mountains. The Brotherhood had split into two factions on the question of accepting outsiders or not? The faction that wanted to include outsiders were eventually outcast and tasked with pursuing the fleeing Super Mutants. However because of reasons the BoS contingent ended up all the way off in the ruins of Chicago. Since the people who ended up in Chicago were almost exiled from the Brotherhood and since they based their version of the Brotherhood on different principles than their former comrades I think a name change would have been in place. That way they would be more easily distinguished. Instead of having the West Coast BoS and the eastern version they should just have started up under a different name. Maybe New Dawn, Steel Dawn, First Order, New Order, Iron Guard, Steel Guard, National Union, National Unity, Steel Front, Pact of Steel or something like that would suffice.

    In Fallout 2 the Brotherhood of Steel is weak and low on manpower. That they exiled a lot of people some 40 years prior and then didn't accept new blood helps explain that. So the split of the BoS into two versions of it doesn't contradict Fallout 2 lore I think.

    The western BoS is eventually defeated by the NCR and it would be the NCR that has to fight the eastern Brotherhood if they ever cross the mountains.

    Ghouls worshipping a nuclear bomb is in! That’s an idea both I and Atomic Postman pondered. The nuke is called Plutonius. It’s way better than Megaton in Fallout 3. Way better!

    The eastern brotherhood uses labour camps and deterrent camps. Pretty grim. The narrator even mentions gulags. It’s a tough regime. Both during the campaign and how the Brotherhood develops later as described in the end slides. This is the correct way to portray the Brotherhood of Steel and not as some saviours of the wasteland. It would actually be a good opponent to the NCR later as the Brotherhood run territory by a militaristic regime in contrast to a democratic republic.

    The Calculator's task was to clear the wasteland and prepare for the birth of Neo-America. It drove away the Reavers and the Super Mutants and killed a lot of beings in its way. After its defeat a big area around Vault Zero must be very empty and for a long period of time before people start moving there again.

    -What's the game's strengths and weaknesses?
    The combat is fun enough. The weaknesses are in the mediocre execution of most features.

    There's some nice gore in the game like rooms full of dead bodies reminiscent of the Butchers room in Diablo 1.

    -What would you like to change in the game?
    Having the artstyle be consistent with that of Fallout 1&2 for one. Then I would sharpen the writing. Then make the game less linear and maybe include mutually exclusive paths through the MQ for added replayability.

    I agree with Alphons that it would be nice to go off on something else when you get tired of the main campaign. The Xkcon mod seems great for that. I would suggest the possibility of going back to Chicago for some R&R after you've dealt with the Super Mutants. Then you would get to see the Brotherhoods main base of operations. I would have liked that.

    There should also be more (meaningful) interactions at the bunkers between missions.

    I know the game is called Fallout: Tactics and that you are just a soldier on the battlefield. However some elements of strategy could have been a fun addition where your reputation decides what recruits and resources you get. A certain reputation could give you deals with shady arms dealers. Maybe one should be able to do some war crimes and become a warlord? However if you add too many strategy elements it would be an entirely different game.

    I would have liked to see more different armours and especially one that gives a bonus to Stealth so that I can be a Ninja.

    In a lot of missions you are railroaded into a specific path across the map which reduces the possibility of using tactics. I would redo most of the maps to allow for some tactics.

    -What build did you use during your play-through?
    My main character had Small Guns and then transitioned into Energy Weapons. I also had Sneak and some Science. Then I had the characters that you begin with, Farsight and Stitch, all the way through. And then a guy with Big Guns and Throwing Weapons, one with Pilot, Repair and Energy Weapons and then the last recruit with Big Guns, Traps and Lockpick. Maybe not the optimal party but I didn't like to switch characters once I had recruited them. You get attached to your characters even though there is no banter. I had no melee characters either. I got everyone to level 27.

    It’s a shame I never found any Tank Shells. I would have loved to shoot with its canon.

    -Describe your favourite quest and why you like it!
    I think I agree with Alphons on the missions. The later locations where you were fighting the robots in city ruins looked the best I think.

    -What ending did you strive for/get?
    I tried all the endings that were available to me. So all but the bad Karma ending. The ending slides are very well done at tells you what happens to the region in the coming years.

    -If the game is on Steam then write a sentence that would catch the NMA perception of it and that we could use for our Steam curator.
    Let me get back to that one.

    -Do you consider Fallout: Tactics to be canon?
    Probably not since the events in Fallout: Tactics aren't followed up in any later games. However the only game that has been developed since is Fallout: New Vegas and I don't think it ever mentions the events of Fallout: Tactics. And I don't know if Van Buren makes any references to it either… In the lore section above I discussed what I liked about Fallout: Tactics lore.

    I think some of the better concepts from Fallout: Tactics could be repurposed so that they are not entirely discarded. If Wasteland 1 is ever converted into a Fallout game then I would have Base Cochise be swapped for Vault Zero I think. Or I would merge elements of Fallout 2 and Tactics into my own version of Fallout 2 where the Enclave operates from Vault Zero and not the Oilrig. You could probably do a better sequel to Fallout 1 than what Fallout 2 is and that sequel could use ideas from both Fallout: Tactics and Fallout 2. Maybe.

    I have sometimes been thinking of a story addition for Fallout: New Vegas in which a baby Super Mutant is born in a cave by a mother that has traveled down from the North. The existence of this Super Mutant baby in New Vegas tells us that the Super Mutants in Fallout: Tactics eventually managed to cure their sterility. That fact would be of major concern for all humans since the once defeated enemy would now be a rival species and a great future threat. How would the NCR react to that?

    You can bring the baby to NCR or to Marcus in Jacobstown. If the baby is brought to Jacobstown the inhabitants there would act like the people in the ending of Children of Men when the newborn baby is carried through the crowd. Marucs would drop a tear and can die knowing that his species has a future. Then they would need to move so as to not alert the attention of human neighbors… This way you can have Super Mutants in Fallout without having to invent new sites for FEV experimentation with every new game.

    -What do you think of the combat oriented approach in Fallout: Tactics compared to the other games?
    It's fun to do something different and the realtime simultaneous combat plays well. I would have liked a pause button but that's not the highest priority. However it will be great to continue with Fallout 2 and have the classic combat again.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2022
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  7. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    Started NV with New California- initially I wasn't planning to play it, but the NV thread on Codex saw some activity lately and I read my old post about the main plot twist.
    I've checked out their Nexus page and was pretty surprised to see that creators are still active answering questions and chatting.

    My biggest gripe aside from the main plot was how empty New California is. Many map markers are just inaccesible buildings buried beneath the sand, road signs or parts of dry riverbed.

    Both NCR and raiders have 2 exclusive side quests for their supporters, while 3 more side quests available to both factions can be found by exploring.
    Both faction HQs are on the verges of the map and you'll spend a lot of time just following the quest marker while nothing happens aside from meeting a feral ghoul, scorpions, bloatflies or some random raider/ NCR trooper.

    I've decided to take the Warrior path, with minimal Charisma and average Intelligence and then work for the mob as hitman (basically you follow the NCR questline, but you have additional objectives).

    I've escaped the Vault with all human followers (too stupid to fix the robot dog and the second robot is only available on Scientist path).

    I'm playing without Wild Wasteland, so I think that I might also rate mods on how much they feel like WW even without the trait.

    I've played NC just after release and supposedly a lot of references were hidden behind WW since then. So far it's pretty light on them.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  8. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    Oh nice! Would you even consider to review Fallout: New California for the site? No pressure on that on though, just let it slide if you're not interested. It will be great to get your impressions here. Will you continue with the same character in New Vegas later? @Atomic Postman did an interesting rewrite of New California here that could be interesting to have in mind while playing.

    Also I was wondering, having played both recently, how would you rate Fallout 2 and Fallout: Nevada against each other?
  9. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    I want to write a short overview of every mod I play- maybe I'll have enough to say about New California for an entire review.

    That's the plan- start in NC, go through the bigger mods and mod series like Tales from New Reno, Beyond Boulder Dome, Bounties, Th3overseer's, Frontier and several smaller ones and see where the character ends up.

    I expect to hit the max level way before the end, so I'm also using mod Limitless Stats that allows to level up beyond 50 and raise skills beyond 100.

    The main plot starts pretty high in my opinion with an interesting political situation (major NCR expansion pushes the locals that want to stay indenpendent to form an alliance with raiders, which cripples the relationships they've developed with the NCR mob, which previously flourished due to a free market) but sadly it degrades into clones and FEV nonsense towards the end.

    I'd say it was alright for a fan mod if they have just kept the NC protagonist separate from the Courier and didn't go with the Divide + amnesia fanfic combo.

    They both have flaws, but in different areas.

    Fallout 2 is filled with smaller and bigger conflicts for example- you start with smaller ones like Lara and Tyler or Modoc and Slags ;and end up with bigger ones like VC and Gecko, Bishop's schemes, Reno gang wars or Shi against Hubologists.

    Nevada starts small with Justin and William in Black Rock and then gets really strong with Reno factions and Big Louis. But after you leave Reno the conflicts are pretty weak, lacking interesting options- drug problem in Vegas doesn't even allow you to support the conspirators.

    Fallout 2 has really fun combat scenarios- fighting slavers in their bases, Morton brothers, Khans, Wanamingo mine.

    Fallout Nevada has an optional assault on Stryker/ Thompson and attacking the Vegas lab (which can get pretty boring when you have to hunt down every guard and scientist to free the slaves). Random encounters are also pretty boring, aside from the special ones like Neon Gangster.
    The best fights are in the Resurrection though, especially the big faction ones.

    Fallout 2 lacks in the skill usage. In Nevada I carefully weighted each tag and point, pondering which skill to raise. In 2 I've just dumped almost everything into Guns and at one point forgot to spend 2 levels.

    I'm really excited to play Sonora somewhere down the line, as apparently BlackDesigner avoided some of the Nevada's problems.

    I would also love to see one day the Director's Cut/ Restoration Project for Nevada, because some really interesting things were cut- like the Wendover, Mormons, conflict between SLC sheriff and mayor's son who survived in a private bunker, more nuanced conflict in Vegas (with the option to help pin the drug problem on mayor and help the conspirators take over Vegas) and a major conflict between Winds of War and a nearby town taken over by refugees from the villages raided by WoW.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  10. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012

    Do you now anything about the difficulty levels in Fallout 2? I'm pondering which one to select.

    I've got the game installed with RPU and then some of the QoL options from FO2tweaks. Should I add more things? I think I will try the RPU - Talking Heads Addon as well.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2022
  11. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    Damn, New California has some really cool moments, but between them are these super long walks where literally nothing happens.

    Your compass is filled with map markers, but most are not even real locations (riverbeds, road signs). Other locations are simply exteriors like the old base near Union City or radar base that infinitely spawns ghouls near the major crossroad where you choose whether to head to NCR or raiders.

    Union City looks really nice, giant pre-war ruins mixed with adobe houses, with sprawling cornfields and abandoned trailer parks, giant military base built into the mountains next to it. But if you bother to explore, you quickly discover that you could condense the entire location to be smaller than Goodsprings as "majority of citizens were evacuated due to raider threat".

    For some reason you can enter every adobe building, but they're all empty aside from the clinic, hotel and a potential player home.

    Trailer parks have some minor loot and a unique grenade, but the mentioned before military base is inaccesible.

    You can enter the sewers, which are a short dungeon with feral ghouls and a player house if you find the password.

    Pre-war buildings are all empty, aside from the town hall, bar and a single shop. For some reason an empty apartment buiding has a separate map marker.

    Cornfields are massive, filled to the brim with spore plants and a single NPC you can talk to.
    Next to them is train tunnel with NCR investigators looking over several dead troopers and brahmins. You can find a note there from one of the raider bosses taunting the soldiers, but it's not part of any quest and killing the guy doesn't do anything. (you can meet him and some of his men in some abandoned trailer park to the north, but they're hostile if you work for NCR/ mob).

    Aside from that there're some old houses with minor loot and the password for the sewers.

    According to the comments by mod authors on Nexus they made all this extra space for other modders who would want to populate the NC with new locations, quests and NPCs, but since everybody wanted to work on the Frontier all this space is unused (I think the ghoul village Odyssey built on a Poseidon gas station to the north from UC was made by another modder).

    NCR radio is nice- really nice selection of music (renditions of several classics and even original songs by Martin Purvis) plus news that I personally liked. News have some stuff depending on the plot progression like the raider agression or Fort Daggerpoint, but it's mostly stuff from the Republic- Congress voting on a new bill or recent construction in New Arroyo unearthing the remains of the old Arroyo village and then being halted due to archeologists investigating the site.

    There's also the raider radio, but didn't listen much. Music is some metal, while news consist mostly of the hosts torturing some NCR officer.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2022
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  12. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sounds like Fallout to me. :smug:
  13. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Antediluvian as Feck

    Sep 14, 2009
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  14. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    I installed Fallout 2 and I'm almost done with Klamath but I haven't had any time for gaming during the last week. Do you think I have to start over if I try your maps? I'm willing to do it.

    How do you setup that? I use the resolution suggested by Magnus but if you have another option I gladly try that.

    @Alphons thank you for that report! I followed the development of F:NC on ModDB and it was always the hope of the developer that people would do side-content for the mod. It's a shame nothing has happened in that regard, yet. A slight rewrite of the main quest would be good as well but that would require new VO.
  15. william dempsey

    william dempsey Veteran of the psychic wars. [REDACTED]

    Jan 23, 2022
    I was finding it difficult to get motivated to play tactics. I think I explained why I bought it only a matter of months ago ( The Sum ).

    After re reading your comprehensive critique of tactics and your above comments about LOS and clipping issues were you can be attacked through walls and from below, I will have to push myself even harder, as this type of shit is my pet hate.

    I cannot understand why there are mods for this that or the other when glaring faults have never been tackled.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  16. Proletären

    Proletären Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    To be fair that's only minor annoyances but it's still irritating when it happens.
  17. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    Because modern games still fucking let assholes shoot through walls. Vigilante and some other Xcom type games off the top of my head do that. Wasteland 3 too. Mostly due to the shitty Unity engine I think at least in the modern context. They might be able to handwave it since bullets go through walls but Silent Storm did it right. Shame it will not run.

    I think it comes down to them not knowing jack shit about firearms.
  18. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    I have finished New California after around 21 hours and reaching Level 18.

    I'll collect my thoughts over the weekend and maybe I'll have enough for a full review.

    Every mod for New Vegas I have played is flawed to some degree, but my favourites have something so good about them that makes me stop caring about the flaws.

    In short: New California is not one of them. It has a lot of good stuff about it, but I was constantly reminded by it's issues.

    They've fixed some of the glaring issues like the massive fights killing the Gamebryo and endlessly spawning massive amounts of enemies or some dialogues being cringe, but others will remain, since the creators have moved on 2 years ago.

    As it is New California is a testament to their massive ambitions and determination (just 2 guys made it in 7 years), but also shows that it's not enough and that sometimes it's better to scale down your ambitions to the level of your available resources.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  19. william dempsey

    william dempsey Veteran of the psychic wars. [REDACTED]

    Jan 23, 2022
    Yeah, that is sound logic, aka " Don't bite off more than you can chew "
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  20. Traplord209

    Traplord209 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 27, 2022
    I guess this will be the year that i finally play Fallout Tactics instead of replaying new vegas for the 200th time.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2