Classic Fallout Gameplay Flaws (Also New Vegas)

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

  1. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    Interesting topic

    To start with i would say the biggest problem i usually have with those games is the special system balancement, which was at its peak on fo2

    Fo1 had half of its skills as useless or underpowered.

    Steal has a broken formula which only uses the PC skill to boot you into critical sucess rolls or critical failures rolls, while your actual sucess or failure rolls only take your crit chance and the target's steal skill into account.
    This could have been useful if you take item size and the face penalties of the first roll into account, but theres not a whole lot of heavy items to steal in fo1 with merchants and other characters carrying not much that you would need to take, which meant you would mostly steal weightless shit like stimpacks. So, steal was underpowered in 1.

    Traps were poorly implemented by actually requiring Perception to actually detect the traps in any rooms. The game had very few traps and most of them were placed on the ground in which you couldnt manually disarm, this meant the skill would be meaningless.

    Fo2 made it better by placing traps on walls and such, so even without a high perception you could manually check places and disarm them, also, the per requirement to detect traps were diminished.

    Both unarmed and big guns were greatly underpowered in fo1 due to very few endgame options and better options in other weapon categories. The only benefit they could have over small guns, energy weapons and melee were if the player took fast shot which is a very specific playstyle for more advanced players, despite how OP it can get if you do something like Fast shoot melee 1 AP power fist hits, this required metagaming knowledge and you had extremely great builds with something like energy weapons anyways, so both big guns and unarmed are underpowered.

    Throwing had literally one useful build, being the flare throwing + high crit one. Its utterly garbage.

    Outdoorman is useless

    First aid is horseshit compared to doctor since it heals less HP and it doesnt fix broken limbs, people can argue about the higher ammount of points it starts with, but this not only is bad for roleplaying as theres characters who clearly shouldnt be skilled with First aid and STILL can use it quite efficiently, but really feels like an filthy casual feature to try and ease it for first timers (which doesnt really matter since in 1 hour you are already swimming in stimpacks) the other argument try to point out to the timed quest and how doctor waste more time in comparison. Its also not a good point since you still have plenty of time to complete your quest and if you arent happy with it you can literally expand the time without any negative outcome (unless you are playing V1.0 thats it)

    Gambling is useless. Fo1 has literally one cassino in the whole game and you can miss it depending on how you deal with the junktown quest. Barter being quite good in fo1 and being also able to break the game's economy make it redundant.

    Theres some objectively bad traits like bruiser, but those werent that big of a problem in fo1 and its actually one of the things It does better than 2 (fast shot being better than 2, skilled being quite good for non combat and dumb characters,etc....)

    And charisma is sadly a dump stat here.

    All in all i would say we have 9 useful skills and 9 bad ones in fo 1 which is quite of a big deal in a game about playing it in your own way and having choice.

    Some people say Fo new vegas has the best balance by merging skills and making them more useful, however i cant see how this is the case.

    Medicine is often the example which people often point out to

    Except i cant see how its that different from the OG games. It works as a buffer from shit like stimpacks (which you will be swimming in anyways) while survival works as a buffer for Food

    They are literally two different options to healing yourself in which Survival gets to be objectively worse and useless unless you are playing on hardcore (in which, survival gets to be only for convenience's sake anyways, its far from required)

    And they fucked up by merging small guns and big guns

    The problem with small guns in fo1 was that it has way more options on variety compared to big, energy and unarmed

    This meant you simply could end your whole game with only small guns and have a better time.

    Fo2 made other weapon categories more useful by adding more options to mid/end game like they did with unarmed and big guns

    Fo New vegas's solution? Lets add even more options to small guns by mixing it with big guns!!

    Theres literally no reason to pick energy over guns. Yep, i know theres some incredibly OP guns late game for energy weapons, but some of the best weapons in the game are also avaliable on the Guns category, their ammo is easier to find, theres way more options when it comes to variety for either early/mid/late game and they dont really play out that differently on gameplay.

    Unarmed is objectively better than Melee not only by having better weapons for endgame which are also more satisfying to use but because its skill tree is needed to get acess to the slayer perk.

    Sneak was greatly nerfed in vegas compared to 3, sneak crits arent optimal builds anymore and the map layout just doesnt support sneaking that well. Theres a lot of confined spaces on vegas and not a whole lot of verticality to use sneaking as an advantage.

    Atleast they got explosives right, as well as repair, science and lockpicking

    Speech is objectively useful but i dont like how every skill is constantly used in dialogue checks, it makes the speech playstyle less unique

    For vegas i would say we have something like 8 good skills and 5 weak ones

    It also has the con of making charisma useless again

    While fo2 had no dump stat, 12 useful skills and 6 weak ones and the only con compared to the other titles would be marginally weaker traits. Its by far the best version of the system.

    Those games have way more flaws to be taken into account, but this would require to go quite in depth on those aspects as i did with the skills and i would rather just point out my biggest problem with them (this being again, the balancement)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  2. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    Fallout allowed for six skill based healing attempts per day; only three of those can correct crippling injury. This means that the player can potentially heal three crippling injuries per day, not six.

    The main task for the player is to use the correct skill for the correct injuries, and not use Doctor on the PC or party members who are not blinded or crippled; using First Aid on them instead; leaving the slower/higher level treatment for the others who'd benefit more from it.

    The Doctor skill takes more time to use (sometimes more time than you have, or would want to wait). It awards twice the XP, but Doctor is a career choice. The player MUST use skill-points to advance the Doctor skill—this takes away from other skill development.
    Doctor also enables some conversation options with NPC doctors.

    First-Aid is effectively non-physician Sports-Medicine, not surgery or advanced procedures.
    First-Aid does not require the use of skill points to advance, and is improvable by using skill books. Any PC can have a decent First-Aid skill if desired, but lacking elevated skill in Doctor, they are not one, and have to seek them out for advanced medical treatment.

    *Obviously chest wounds, limb, and head trauma are serious injuries that require a doctor, but for game purposes, non-crippling injuries can be assumed to be minor ones, or fixable in a pinch.

    Why is this considered bad? Traps must be found before they can be disarmed. Presumably a 95% Traps skill would be useless to the blind—because they would doubtless trigger the trap before noticing it.

    Gambling [the skill] was mistakenly implemented to weight the odds of winning; where it should have been used to detect cheating in games of chance; think Zatoichi.

    Even so... I have played gambler PCs who could acquire quite a lot of money very early in the game; this can change skill choices due to being able to afford high end equipment.
  3. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    I never said that tho.

    Yep and thats literally where i applied my criticism.

    In fo1 you can swim in stimpacks after one hour making the marginal HP gains innefective, it only matters for first timers and again, feels like a filthy casual feature that wont work well on the long run

    This simply shouldnt exist. If i had no investment at it my character shouldnt know how to use it. Having my low int idiot being able to heal himself five times on the map while he couldnt even have the ability to read about medicine on the first place is quite dumb.

    Its just not good enough. Doctor wins

    This wouldnt be a problem if traps werent so often placed on the ground. This means you have no way of manually disarming them, you have to invest on per and then your character would automatically do it.

    Not only its a skill which forces the player at investing points on an attribute he maybe doesnt want, but also is completely useless if he doesnt do that.

    Fo2 again, correct it by giving you the ability to manually disarming traps because they are not placed on the ground everywhere anymore while still requiring perception to detect them. This means you can do it by caution which makes a world of difference.

    The requirements + few quantity of traps in the whole game simply doesnt justify the investment on 1, thats why its an optimal tag on speedruns of 2 and not 1
  4. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    While i agree, barter also has the ability to break the game's economy and far more uses throught the game

    Gambling was also made better in fo2 due to the lack of a viable barter skill and the high ammount of cassinos in the game.
  5. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    But consider the origins... Fallout allows the player to intentionally create a gambler PC*; hence the gambling skill—which also entails not having those points allotted to other (possibly even more useful) skills. It's an RPG, and it evaluates how that PC would personally fare in the post apocalypse; just as it will do with any variation on personality, temperament, and preferential education. In this case, you get a PC who will succeed at games of chance (as opposed to a PC who loses his shirt every time, but wins his gun fights).

    *This also goes for trap specialists, even if there were zero traps in the game.

    The point about First-Aid & Doctor, is that they are different, with differing pros & cons to each; not every PC can BE a doctor, and still be an expert at what they prefer to be.
  6. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    While roleplaying is a thing, having a shitton of options and no substance for them makes the experience worse as it only delivers on the ilusion of actually recognizing your play style and dont deliver on the satisfaction of actually using your skills to fully advantage during the gameplay.

    This also results in fewer builds and way too many players repeating the same build over and over again (sniper build tags on Small guns, lockpicking and speech)

    One of the best aspects of an rpg is building your character as you wish and seeing how the game apply reactivity to your playstyle and its just not worth it when you constantly feel like the game wasnt well designed around an specific build you tried to make.
  7. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    This we can agree on.

    Fallout (as I understand of it), was Tim Cain's B-title side project to implement GURPS on the PC; expanded later. Even the NPC party members were not originally intended, and late stage they lost the GURPS license, after having twice avoided cancellation, and having to rewrite GURPS out of the game in two weeks—or be canceled.

    So despite three years development time, parts of it seem to have been rushed or cut.
    *There used to be fourteen targets for an aimed shot.

    All I can say is that I never personally took issue with any of the skill implementation... but then I would have taken issue with finding traps in every location... the whole point is to have the skill when others do not, but you don't hope to be slogging through trap after trap, you hope not to
    injured by them, and able (even if just once) to benefit by disarming them at need.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  8. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    The interface is shit, the NPC ai is shit, the random encounters are shit...I mean the game would not do well if it launched in 2022 just due to the bugs alone. New Vegas was so shit at launch on console that I could hardly play it without 13 crashes a day.
  9. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    This would be taking things to the other extreme

    Balancement isnt about making everything equal, but about making everything viable with their own trade offs

    When a game tries to hard to make everything equal it only undermines the purpose of taking a choice to start with, hence why i criticized the constant usage of skills on dialogue in new vegas, as it makes the uniqueness of a diplomat character almost non existent

    I still would say theres a lot of things that could be done to improve on 1's skills tho, which is why fo2 actually balanced a lot of them.

    In fact, i would say balancement was my main issue with Arcanum and why i dont really think it was a good game (while i do consider fallout 1 good besides its issues)
  10. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    I never agreed with that. The UI is designed to have the appearance of salvaged electronics. The party AI (sadly) was tacked on via just scripting; this is why Ian shoots the PC in the back with an SMG..... The AI cannot detect the player in front of the target; no support for this.

    I think the barter screen is fantastic; literally bring what you have to the board [table], and trade for it. True... it would have been better if the respective barter skills allowed some wiggle room, rather than a flat refusal of even a single cap under value.

    I have asked people before, of how many booby traps have they have actually seen; do they have some in their house? Do their friends have any?

    Myself I considered it absurd to have live explosives in the infirmary of the AG center in Wasteland 2.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  11. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    The interface is shit FOR 2022. All of that stuff would need to be updated if they did a remake in that style. The ai is dog shit there is no use defending it.
  12. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    Did I? Sure, there is a reason why it does what it does with firearms; I mentioned that.
    I didn't mention the combat AI that just closes in and attacks when it gets within range.

    Arcanum NPCs will notice items dropped on the ground, but in Fallout, the enemies can end their turn standing on ticking dynamite.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  13. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    Let me put like that.

    It doesnt make sense to expect explosives in a cave or a well populated city full of people walking around.

    But when i have the brotherhood of steel, a highly isolationist group which usually dispatches outsiders to their deaths only to avoid leaking its secrets and sharing its technologies and i can just walk around their fortress without a single trap outside and only 2 people guarding its door, theres a problem

    Besides, my criticism dont apply to quantity of uses only, but overall execution.

    If quantity was my only point, i would classify repair as underpowered compared to lockpicking since it has way fewer uses and they are shattered around the game.

    It still gives you the best outcome for each quest in which its implemented, gives the player easy acess to the best armor in the game and still makes mariposa WAY easier all the way throught.

    Spamming things on map to make skills equally useful again, is not good since its not organically designed and Undermines player choice

    Hence why i dont actually would like if every corner had a trap
  14. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    I'm not sure if you did or not I did not read the entire post just my portion, but I know people who have. It was simplistic and not the strong point of any of the games ever. Getting mowed down by Ian is just part of the mediocrity. There simply is not much to the combat. The more I think about Fallout the more I realize I only liked the setting, the maturity, and the C&C. Everything else was just adequate.
  15. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    Is it really though? Outside of their bunker is a fenced lot with two human tanks, armed with miniguns. Why would they bother trapping that? Why would they care if anyone hopped the fence?

    *Why would they not assume that two guards was overdoing it?
    (When they don't actually even need the first one.)
  16. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    I would call combat rather decent despite the encounter design and poor AI

    Theres enough feedback
    Because then we have more chances of just doing like me and exterminating both of their soldiers alongside of everybody whom i see, stealing their weapons and having acess to a portion of their secrets.

    The logic of "we already have soldiers so thats fine' could be applied to anything in the world, still you wouldnt expect to walk around area 51 and find no traps

    This is all about what the designers decided to do, it would be perfectly justifiable to have traps in there and nobody would criticize the game for it, they just decided they wouldnt.
  17. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    Well anything outside of the game files is meta-fiction, but I would not think that they would expect any opposition at all from wastelanders. The PC is an anomaly.

    Hypothetically the fence could be electrified, and the grounds could be mined... but that would seem a waste of power, and give the guards no place to stretch their legs.

    I don't see the sense for trapping a vacant lot with only an impregnable bunker hatch within.

    If they were attacked by a mob, a squad of power-armored knights would soon emerge from the hatch to relieve their monotony.
  18. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    It's decent enough or nobody would be talking about it. Fallout Tactics had better combat and nobody played it.
  19. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    I thought Tactics had the best combat of any Fallout IP title [then and to date]; so long as the default is ignored, and changed to TB mode.
  20. Dotan

    Dotan First time out of the vault

    Jul 17, 2022
    I think its decent on an basic standpoint

    Animations are well done so you can see when you hit someone and when you didnt, sound design is great for that too

    Aimed shots add a layer of depth alongside of bursting, knocking away with melee and shit like AoE with grenades and flamethrowers

    Its lack of good a.i, weak encounter design and unbalanced skills undermines the potential to be truly great

    Which as said, was only achieved in tactics (which has the best combat system in the series)