Need Help Mastering The Mojave

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Gameplay & Tech' started by DwayneGAnd, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. DwayneGAnd

    DwayneGAnd Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 12, 2016
    I have only beaten this game three times in the past. The first two used pistols only, the first one used guns, the second used energy weapons, and the third used heavy weapons.

    I have the following builds planned:

    Cowboy: Uses weapons affected by Cowboy, including ranged, melee, and explosives.

    Grunt: Uses weapons affected by Grunt, including ranged, some melee, and explosives.

    Guns: specializes in guns.

    Energy Weapons: Uses either laser or plasma energy weapons.

    Pyromaniac: Uses weapons affected by pyromaniac, including ranged and melee.

    Brawler: Uses unarmed weapons.

    Melee: Uses melee weapons that have good critical damage.

    Heavy Handed: Uses melee and unarmed with high damage, but low critical damage. Uses heavy handed.

    Heavyweight: Uses explosives and other weapons that deal no critical damage including the Shoulder Mounted SMG.

    Wild Wastelander: Takes wild wasteland for a unique gameplay experience.

    I have the same problems as I do with fallout 3 as I frequently find myself in situations where I am overwhelmed by an impossible situation such as going up against enemies too powerful for me to take down.

    During one playthrough, I was in Honest Hearts, but couldn't deal good damage against giant radscorpions. In another, I could barely penetrate the armor of the robots in the sacrificial chamber. And in another, I couldn't take down the hostile rogue BoS paladins in the followers base at the conclusion of Veronica's quest I Could Make You Care.

    I also frequently found myself having to drink to eat something just so I would no longer be overencumbered.

    I have yet to play on hardcore mode.

    I have questions I need answered to help make gameplay difficulties easier. How should I set my stats? What traits are recommended and which are best avoided? Is it worth maxing certain traits endgame? What is the best way to use your companions and manage their equipment? How can I avoid running into situations that are too difficult to handle? When should I start making enemies of either the Legion or NCR?
  2. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    With the Legion, you can obtain a ceasefire from them (if your rep with them is in the negative) after dealing with Benny. Upon leaving the Tops, Vulpes (or some other Legion Frumentarii IIRC) will give you the Mark of Caesar that grants you safe passage to Caesar's territories in-game.

    Just don't bring Boone with you since he is always hostile to Legion NPCs and will trigger combat.

    Also, do your best to keep your questions on NV in this thread. You are doing well now based on your Fallout 1 & 2 general thread (though I'd recommend figuring out all these builds by testing them out personally).

    EDIT: IIRC NCR gets a similar ceasefire as well though I may be wrong.
  3. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    After leaving the Tops for the first time an NCR rep and a Legion rep will come to you and both will forgive and forget all the shit you done to them.
    Just be careful later on. I did some Legion missions once, planning to just see where this goes but finishing with NCR, but then I did one mission too much by accident (I was told that Legion spies are everywhere, but I just wanted to talk to Caesar which finished one last quest that got me branded as terrorist witht he NCR).
  4. DwayneGAnd

    DwayneGAnd Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 12, 2016
    I recently started a guns build. He will be using light armor. So far I have taken the following perks:

    Confirmed Bachelor, Educated, Lady Killer, Light Touch, Toughness (2)

    I plan to take Tunnel Runner, Living Anatomy, Bloody Mess, Hand Loader, Finesse, Grim Reaper's Sprint, Jury Rigging, Silent Running, Better Criticals, Nerves of Steel, Strong Back, Travel Light, and Just Lucky I'm Alive.

    I'm also considering taking both Shotgun Surgeon and And Stay Back. As of the time I'm writing this, I'm on level 13, wearing reinforced leather armor, first recon beret, and using the service rifle and the weathered 10mm pistol. Since I'm focusing mainly on using guns for combat, I'm not touching any of the other combat skills, save for explosives to pass the various checks in dialogue.

    Since my endgame strength will be 7, here are some of the endgame weapons I'm considering using. I won't be using them all due to carry weight issues.

    Riot Shotgun or Dinner Bell
    Assault Carbine or 12.7mm SMG
    5.56mm Pistol or 12.7mm Pistol
    This Machine
    Christine's CoS Silencer Rifle

    My endgame armor will be Ulysses' Duster and First Recon Beret with the Lucky Shades.

    My starting stats were:


    Skilled and Small Frame were my chosen traits. Later, I'll change the skilled trait to Built To Destroy.

    Already I have taken the perception and intelligence implants. I plan to get the luck and agility implants together with the dermal plating.

    This will be my endgame stats:

    S-7 (reinforced spine)
    P-7 (implant and first recon beret)
    A-8(implant and small frame)
    L-10(implant, lucky shades, and stat point from completing lonesome road)

    Already I have Veronica and Ed-e as my companions. I'm about to start I Could Make You Care.

    What I would like is advice on how I'm doing so far and what I can do to make this character as powerful as can be to take down the strongest opposition easily.
  5. DwayneGAnd

    DwayneGAnd Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 12, 2016
    I just beat the game with the character above. My endgame weapons were the Riot Shotgun, 12.7mm Pistol, 12.7mm SMG, Christine's CoS Silencer Rifle, and the Shoulder Mounted SMG. My endgame armor was Ulysses Duster, First Recon Beret, and Lucky Shades.

    But even though I've beaten the game, I have to admit that even at certain parts I had difficulty with and even the final climax of the game was a bit of a challenge. So I find myself wondering if I had done something wrong or if he could have been made better.
  6. DwayneGAnd

    DwayneGAnd Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 12, 2016
    I just recently heard that there are two kinds of builds: critical and stealth. Stealth builds focus on killing in sneak mode where every hit while hidden is a critical hit, which makes finesse and items increasing critical chance pointless, as does raising luck higher than needed for better criticals. Critical builds get their critical chance as high as they can, with no need for stealth.

    Maybe that's one thing I did wrong, taking silent running for my build even though he had had critical hit chance. Also, there's other ways of increasing critical hit chance such as reading True Police Stories with comprehension and the Fight the Power perk.

    In my opinion, the best armors for a stealth build are the Assassin Suit, Courier Dusters, and the Stealth Armor Mk II (though the fact that the med-x's are addictive can be a problem) and the best helm would probably be the elite riot gear helm for the sneak sight and bonus to perception.

    Now for critical builds, what I would like to know is exactly how much luck do you need or if it even needs to be maxed. A lot of very good weapons only have a critical hit modifier of only 1 or less. A lot of weapons affected by either cowboy or grunt have a low modifier.

    Also, I have the YUP unofficial patch and learned that you cannot wear the first recon beret under any riot gear helm, which does make the elite riot gear path have less critical chance than the light touch path which uses Ulysses' Duster and First Recon Beret. Then there's the 5% flat modifier added by Light Touch which makes all automatic weapons more likely to score critical hits, so I'm guessing that automatic weapons are reccommended for a light touch build, but not an elite riot gear build.

    With 10 luck, finesse, fight the power, built to destroy, and true police stories with comprehension, you get a maximum of 38% for the elite riot gear if you make your attacks in Vats against the Legion, NCR, or Brotherhood of Steel, and 33% against all other targets. Add an additional 5% for the light touch build(with the first recon beret) and you get a total maximum of 43% against the Legion, NCR, Brotherhood of Steel, and 38% against all other targets. Multiply with the weapon's critical modifier, then add 5% if using light touch. If specializing in lasers, add 10% for Laser Commander. Add 4% if you have Set Lasers For Fun.

    If you don't bother with built to destroy, fight the power, or true police stories with comprehension, you only get a total of 21% with light touch builds and 16% with elite riot gear.

    So I have come to the following conclusions:

    Cowboy/Grunt: You probably don't need max luck because most weapons affected by these perks has 1x or less. The Light Machine Gun, Assault Carbine, and .45 Auto SMG have very low critical hit chance, so use a light touch build if you use one of them. If not using any of them, use Elite Riot Gear. For crowd contro, use grenade launchers as a grunt or dynamite as a cowboy.

    Light Touch: Automatic weapons work best when used with this build. With the bonus from Light Touch after calculating critical chance, you can afford to use weapons with low critical chance and still have a reasonable chance to critical hit due to the rapid fire. You probably won't need built to destroy, fight the power, max luck, or true police stories even without comprehension. Use a single shot weapon with a critical chance of 1x if you are using an automatic. The same applies if going melee or unarmed. If using Guns instead of energy weapons and your automatic weapon can chamber AP bullets, use a pistol or rifle depending on which is more powerful, otherwise use a shotgun. If not using automatic weapons, take your critical hit chance as high as you can and use weapons with a higher critical chance modifier. But remember that weapons with a multiplier of more than 2x will end up giving you a total of more than 100% which will feel like a waste if you raise your critical chance very high. When using an explosive weapon for crowd control or tough battles, choose the one that your strength allows.

    Elite Riot Gear: Weapons with a weapon modifier of 2 to 2.5 work best if you choose to get your critical chance as high as you can. With the maximum 38%, using a weapon with 2.5% modifier with give you 95%. Add another 5% from VATS to get a critical hit with every attack. If using guns instead of energy weapons, if your primary high critical chance weapon can chamber AP rounds, use a pistol or rifle depending on which is stronger, otherwise use a shotgun. When using an explosive weapon for crowd control or tough battles, choose the one that your strength allows. If going melee or unarmed, choose weapons with low critical chance if not trying to get high critical chance, and choose high critical chance weapons if you want more criticals.

    Assassin: If using the Courier Duster or Assassin Suit, take tunnel runner for the increased sneaking speed. You can go with either long range or melee with this type of build. If you choose long range, you'll want a scoped weapon for long ranged sniping, and weapons that are affected by the Professional Perk to increase your stealth critical damage work best when you need to get closer, but not in melee range. For crowd control, use grenades are the explosives of choice to not give away your position. If making a cowboy, use Blood Nap for melee range, guns for longer range, and dynamite for crowd control. For grunts, use Chance's Knife in melee, guns for longer range, and frag grenades for crowd control instead of the grenade launcher.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017 at 6:56 AM
  7. DwayneGAnd

    DwayneGAnd Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 12, 2016
    It seems there's a flaw in the plan above. I checked the tables for the weapons online on the fallout wikia and apparently many weapons, particularily the automatic weapons have very low critical hit damage. So if I make a build which primarily uses those weapons, then I don't need a high critical hit chance. In other words, I won't need high luck, finesse, equipment that increases critical hit chance, or even better criticals.

    Therefore, my new conclusions are:

    Light Touch Builds are most powerful when specializing in the usage of laser weapons, combined with Laser Commander and Set Lasers For Fun. They also have the highest chance of critical hits when using weapons with 2X critical modifiers and using VATS which gives a total chance of 96%. Is using weapons with 2.5X, you will get over 100% which feels like a waste, so take your luck up enough to get Better Criticals, don't bother with Built To Destroy, and use VATS to get an even 100%. With the exception of Embrace of the Mantis King(3x) and Two Step Goodbye(4x), none of the other weapons with very high critical chance are worth using. If using Mantis King's Embrace, you don't need to read true detective stories to get 100%, just max your luck, and attack in VATS. Two Step Goodbye has very low critical damage, but causes an explosion on kills dealt by critical hits which is great for crowd control. However, it is better only as a secondary weapon, not a primary weapon.

    Elite Riot Gear is best used with weapons with a critical hit modifier of 2X or 2.5X. If taking all the critical hit chance perks, maxed luck, and using vats, you get 100% critical chance with 2.5X. If using 2X and VATS, you'll get a max of only 86%.

    Low Critical: For these builds, you can dump luck, and forget about finesse and better criticals as you won't be depending on critical hits. Use weapons that deal pure damage and low critical hit damage such as automatic weapons and shotguns. Great choices of weapons are the heavy automatic weapons, flamers, and any other rapid fire weapons with low damage.

    Assassins: Since you'll be dealing all damage from stealth, all hits are critical as long as you remain hidden. Don't bother with finesse, built to destroy, true police stories, fight the power, and raise your luck only enough for better criticals. The Profession perk is great for increasing sneak critical damage.

    Next post, I'll be writing down great weapon combinations for all builds.
  8. DwayneGAnd

    DwayneGAnd Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 12, 2016
    I had a brainstorm last night. While looking at the tables on fallout wikia for weapons, some weapons have good damage, critical hance, and critical damage. Others deal good damage but either only good critical damage and poor critical chance, or low critical chance and poor critical damage.

    Therefore, there are three different kinds of builds I believe exist. It all has something to do with weapon damage, criticals, and critical damage. I asked myself two questions concerning all weapons dealing high damage:

    1.Does the weapon deal good critical damage?
    2.Does the weapon have a good critical hit chance such as 2X or higher?

    If the answer to both question is yes, the weapon works best in a critical build. In other words, raise critical chance as high as you can. Built To Destroy, Comprehension with True Police Stories, Fight the Power, Max Luck, Finesse, VATS, and either Ulysses' Duster with First Recon Beret or Elite Riot Gear. If taking the duster, get Light Touch. With Ulysses' Duster, you get 43% and 38% with Elite Riot Gear. Add 5% for VATS and 5% with Light Touch together with 10% for Laser Commander and 4% for Set Lasers For Fun. If your final calculations are more than 100%, make a few changes to luck stat or remove comprehension and other additions to get as close as you can without going over 100% otherwise it will feel like a waste. Good weapons are Paciencia, L'il Devil, Embrace of the Mantis King, Nuka Breaker, Protonic Inversal Axe, Fist of Rawr, Fist of North Rawr, Alien Blaster, Pew Pew, Q-35 Matter Modulator, Christine's CoS Silencer Rifle, Gobie Campaign Scout Rifle, Elijah's Jusry Rigged Tesla Cannon, YCS/186, AER14 Prototype, and Old World Glory.

    If the answers are yes and no respectively, then you need to choose between damage or critical damage. If you choose damage, pick perks and traits that increase your damage such as Bloody Mess, Heavy Handed, Thought You Died, the gender dialogues, Sneering Imperialist, Robotic's Expert, and Entomologist, all the while forgetting about perks that increase critical damge. If you choose critical damage, make it a stealth build where all your hits become critical hits and doubling damage for long range or quadrupling for melee, get silent running, better criticals, and Just Lucky I'm Alive. Also get The Professional to increase damage of sneak attack criticals. For both builds, forget about raising critical chance. With the stealth build, you only need enough perception and luck to get better criticals. Great weapons for stealth builds are 12.7mm Pistol, 12.7mm SMG, Anti-materiel Rifle, Sonic Emitter, Plasma Defender, Laser RCW, A Light Shining In Darkness, .45 Auto SMG, Holorifle, Blood Nap, Chance's Knife, Ballistic Fist, Pushy, and Industrial Hand. Some of these weapons are also great for the damage build, all depending on damage. Other good weapons for either category are Medicine Stick, Hunting Revolver, Ranger Sequoia, Mysterious Magnum, Survivalist's Rifle, Marksman Carbine, Light Machine Gun, Saturnite Fist Superheated, Gehenna, Plasma Caster, Smitty Special, Multiplas Rifle, All American, and This Machine.

    If the answers to both are no, or no and yes, then make a damage build. Forget about critical chance from stats, items, and equipment, and choose perks and traits to raise damage. Good weapons are CZ57 Avenger, FIDO, K9000 Cyberdog Gun, Shoulder Mounted Machine Gun, all shotguns (most notably the Riot, Lever Action, and Dinner Bell) Cleansing Flame, Heavy Incinerator, Sprtel Wood 9700, LAER, Thermic Lance, Two Step Goodbye, and all explosives.

    The best armor all depends on what kind of build you are making. For pure damage builds, take either Desert Ranger Combat Armor or T-51b Power Armor. For Stealth builds, take either the Courier Duster or the Stealth Suit MK II, both with the Elite Riot Gear Helmet. Be sure to take Tunnel Runner, Travel Light, and Toughness is taking the light armor route. For critical builds, take either Ulysses's Duster and First Recon Beret with Lucky Shades if necessary, or the Elite Riot Gear with Elite Riot Gear Helmet.

    Concerning Stats set at the beginning of the game.


    S-max 8 (depending on chosen weapon)
    P-lower scale
    E-minumum of 5
    A-varies (enough for rapid reload perhaps)


    S-max 6
    P-min 5
    E-min 5
    A-max 8
    L-max 6


    S-max 6
    P-min 5
    E-min 5
    A-max 7
    L-max 9

    Now I feel like I'm truly ready to master to mojave starting with my next character.