Emil Pagliarulo went to the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum and left a few enlightening posts, let’s start with armor in Fallout 3:
I know it’s been mentioned in some preview or other that all the apparel (armor and clothing) is a single suit. Headgear is separate. There are a LOT of apparel options, and yes, there are are some pieces of clothing that give stat boosts, so if you decide to wear clothing and not armor, you’ll still get a discernible gameplay benefit.
I’ve seen some apparel/headgear combinations I never wood have imagined (some which involve a big pre-war lady’s sunhat…)
And real time combat:
For us, balancing the combat is very much a “feel” thing. It’s something that takes a ton of playtesting (involving the entire dev team), and determining what feels right for everyone. It’s all about finding that nebulous perfect balance between player skill and character skill.
In run-and-gun, melee feels a lot like melee in Oblivion. If you connect with the weapon, you hit. There’s no die roll to determine that. But your character’s skill, as well as the condition of the weapon, determine the damage done.
In run-and-gun, ranged combat is… I dunno. I’d say it feels a lot like Deus Ex 1. Accuracy is affected by player skill and weapon condition — so if you’ve got, say, a really high Small Guns skill and a perfect condition assault rifle, your aim will be dead on. Low Small Guns and crappy assault rifle, and you’ll miss more. The skill and condition also affect the damage you’ll do.
With most ranged weapons in run-and-gun, you can also go into an aim mode, which zooms you in and increases your accuracy. With Melee and Unarmed weapons, the player will block instead of zooming in.
Based on all the feedback we’ve gotten, it feels really solid now.
Of course, V.A.T.S. is its own story completely…
I’d say for combat, I generally go 70% V.A.T.S., 30% run-and-gun (but that’s different for everyone, really).
Finally level scaling:
I’d say that:
a.) because of the issues some people had with Oblivion’s leveling
b.) the fact that we’ve really been focusing on the importance of overall game balance…
…this is something the dev team has come back to time and time again during our playtests, and is something we’re still tweaking. We’ve finally gotten it to a level that we feel really good about.
So basically, if you do the main quest path and adhere strictly to that, there are some areas that are set up to match your level, so you don’t get your ass handed to you unfairly while just naturally playing the game. But certain paths and locations are more difficult, by design.
It’s also the case that the farther you wander out into the Wasteland, the more you’re taking your life into your own hands if you’re not prepared. I mean, hey, a Deatchlaw’s a Deathclaw.
And, um, yeah — no Raiders in Power Armor.