Fallout 3 Atomic Ninjas part 6

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In late August I reported that No Mutants Allowed got inside the Fallout 3 demo presentations and got a few Q&A sessions with Pete Hines. They went to the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum and replied to questions about their viewing of the Fallout 3 demo. This is the sixth of a series of blogposts with an edited version of those sessions. You can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here and part 5 is here. So let’s roll:

Will AP become useless if you never use the V.A.T.S. system?

BN: It does not appear to have any function outside of VATS.

Sua: From what we saw, probably, yes.

I hope npc reactions are improved allot more in the final game. Like when you pick up the laser rifle from the soldier the BoS soldiers should force you to give it to them and give you one of their Chinese assault rifles instead.

Considering their excessively possessive nature in FO1/2 when it came to technology… well. Pretty unlikely they’d even let you near the laser rifle.
The lack of helmets is also unsettling I would rather have BoS soldiers wearing patched up helmets and marking their armor to show rank or identification. If the only reason they don’t wear helmets is so you can identify them. Then just have them remove their helmets to talk to the PC when no combat is going on.

Not to mention (grandfather) Maxson was killed, hit in the head during a raid because he wasn’t wearing his helmet. I’m pretty sure the BoS learnt their lesson after that…

But of course, a helmet doesn’t let you show much facial expression during dialog. I could understand the leader being helmetless for that purpose, but nearly the entire squad? Un-bloody-likely.

I’m more concerned about the disparity in rad counts between the too-ubiquitous mushroom clouds and the “tap” water… sure, one is ingested and that explains the rad count to an extent but… come on?

Probably just a demo thing, tho’

Relaxing? Or maybe tired of all the (endless) fighting? Like in war-weary and disenchanted by the whole mess? You know, like in the anti-war movies.

No, it’s definitely just bad/unfinished AI scripting, just like the soldier shouldering his gun the moment the bomb hits. They need to do some work there.
Which I think is the value here:

Remember how all those previewers were ecstatic about the improved RAI? Well, guess what, you don’t actually *see* improved RAI anywhere in the demo, all those previewers have to go on is the promise that RAI will be better. All the RAI I saw in the demo was *exactly* like it was in Oblivion (with the possible exception of combat AI)

Does this mean that mutants are only out to kill you or what?

Basically, Pete Hines was talking about dialogue as a valid option and then just threw out “obviously, that doesn’t go for supermutants.” Might’ve been a joke, might’ve been inaccurate, it didn’t sound very definitive to me. But supermutants are “the enemy”, that much is clear. Whether or not you can talk to them and how much backstory they have I don’t know.

Was there anything odd about the Vault that may signify what kind of experiment it could be? Was there any mention of traits???????????

It had a worn, dark look, like SuA said, and its tyrannical government-style rulership by the Overseer reminds a bit of the tight-fist ruling of Vault 13, so it might be intended to stay closed indefinitely. Though that would be weird seeing as that was already 13’s experiment.

No.

Weren’t ALL the mutants using heavy or melee weapons in both F1 and F2 precisely because they could not use small arms?

Yes, but with the note that this was partially because the Fallout devs simply didn’t have the time to waste on making supermutant animations with small guns, but they would’ve if it didn’t make sense that mutants can’t use small guns.

Wasn’t FEV supposed to trigger an uncontrollable growth of muscle mass? I think that was one of the reasons the original design showed them deformed and Hulk like. And the mutants we’ve seen so far in the few screenshots don’t look any smaller.

Smaller, no. Less deformed, yes. They’re just 7-8′ human beings, it’s possible their hands are small enough to use assault rifles. It didn’t look “wrong” in the demo, it looked like the size of the gun in relation to the mutant was fine.

As an added question: Were the mutants shooting weapons Rambo style ? Just staying in the middle of the road, spray and pray, or was there any attempt to seek cover/flank ?
Couldn’t tell. The combat AI wasn’t stunningly impressive, and there was a lot of stand shoot, spray and pray. From everyone, not just supermutants.

In the earlier Fallouts, only the military had most of the access to robots and the only real AI was rare. But how now in Washington DC there is a Protectron and the “Stupid Git” robot in the demo? Was any of this explained? or is my (usually bad) memory of Fallout off?

No, not explained. Nor could I really tell from the demo if the robot density will be higher, but I don’t think it’d be a huge problem if it were. Sure, Fallout didn’t have many, but the one big city in Fallout had been hit pretty bad by the war and rioting, it might simply be different on the other coast. The pre-war world had plenty of robots, so it could make sense for a lot to survive. I don’t think the “stupid git” remark by the robot makes any sense because the only machines in the fallout universe that had any “personality” were A.I. like ZAX which was a huge computer.It makes even less sense when you consider it’s a posh, thick, kinda fake British accent.
It’s really, really bad. I pray they remove it.

So the slow-mo in VATS would get pretty tiresome after a while. Do you think it would make more sense to keep VATS without the slowmo?

Sure, it’s a RTwP system with aiming, the mechanics are what’s important, the slo mo is just for cool points and doesn’t actually relate to the mechanics

I’m interested if Brother None or SuAside can recall exactly or as close to exactly what Mr Burke says to the player. Other previews have mentioned things from building a residential suburb on the sight to building a shopping mall on the site to just wanting to blow it up because it is a “blight”. Can one of you guys remember the exact reason why?
He does go on for quite a while, but I don’t think he mentions his own, personal motives. It’s quite possible there’re dialogue lines in which he’ll name more reasons to convince the player, but Pete chose to accept the quest immediately (for the pace of the demo, I guess).

He mentions that it’s a blight, I don’t remember him elucidating that further, and the real estate remarks are just jokes.

From what Ausir has told me BethSoft does use the wiki quite a bit.

Yip. And it shows, I have yet to see them get any lore wrong, even though we still have to wait for the explanation for the supermutants and BoS.

If we were all optimists around here, we’d all say that the reason they didn’t explain it is that it was too long and complicated to explain in 30 minutes…

The reason they give for not explaining is it that they want people to see it in the game. That sounds fairly reasonable to me, though they could be handling it better.

I kinda of a have a pre-exception mode to this because I think no matter how well you explain it you’re always inspiring the feeling of “why move it cross-continent just to rehash the same factions/monsters.” I’m fine with supermutants, especially if they were bred locally, though not with their look. The BoS, different from the originals in look, behavior, goals and location, I honestly just don’t get it.

Ever since the first reviews of the preview demo came out I was struck by how many of the reviewers talked about the glare when the PC first emerges from the vault and sees the sun “for the first time in his life” or lines to that effect. Someone commenting on it was one thing, but I became curious and cynical when I read the exact same response in a second and more reviews.

The glare/blur is impossible to miss and has a cool effect, so it doesn’t surprise me a lot would talk about it. “For the first time in his life” might just be a sign of having played the original Fallout, where that is heavily emphasized.

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