Fallout 2 mod Fallout 2: Weapons Redone v2.3

Discussion in 'Fallout General Modding' started by Magnus, May 8, 2008.

  1. Cyrus

    Cyrus First time out of the vault

    Nov 5, 2015
    Hey Magnus, just wondering, what is your reason/philosophy for giving AP ammos additional AC (instead of DR)? What are you trying to achieve?
  2. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    I'm not quite sure how the developers intended AC to work (It's really a holdover from the pen-and-paper RPGs, when AC used to be the sole armor stat). They did give Leather armor a higher one than Metal, implying that it represents your ability to dodge. But then there's the Power Armors, which all have a massive AC, and that doesn't make much sense when you think of how bulky they are. They also gave AC reduction to Needler AP ammo and Rocket AP. So it seems like AC could also be interpreted as an indicator of how thick your armor is, and that AP ammo should pierce it somehow.

    I sort of went for a middle ground and decided to give AC reduction only to ammos that either pierce armor(AP), or have splash damage (Flamer, rockets). I didn't give it to Shotgun shells even though the spread would somewhat justify it, because all the shotguns already have an innate +20% chance to hit, and a LOT of enemies carry them, so I don't want to make them too difficult.

    Now, it seems like it's still an odd design choice, but there is a subtle reason why I think this works really well in the game, and why I've kept it this way for so long. I'll try to explain it below:

    My original design philosophy was simply to make AP ammo useful. In the unmodded game there is no scenario where it is, and the main reason for that is its inferior damage. So, I retooled the armor values and the DR reductions on JHP and AP ammo so that AP ammo does more damage than JHP against anything in Metal Armor and above. It looked good on paper, but then I played the game, and realized the main problem with Fallout 2, the huge one that we cannot fix:

    80-90% of all enemies in the game, from raiders to Radscorpions - are wearing Leather Armor or below.

    So, JHP was still the boss. You wouldn't use AP as your main ammo, and you certainly wouldn't give it to your NPCs. I thought about this for a while, and then I realized something: JHP only does more damage than AP if all the bullets hit. The player usually bumps up his Small Guns skill to >100% early in the game, so this won't matter much, but most players also pick up Sulik and Vic, whose Small Guns skills are low enough that a reduction in AC could really make a difference in their hit ratio. This gave me the idea to make AP ammo also reduce AC (after all, .223FMJ and 7.62mm ammo already did). I did so, and gave Sulik an SMG full of 10mmAP, and sent him off to fight Metzger's gang. He rocked with it.

    So now you can comfortably give Sulik and Vic AP ammo in the starting game (I usually give Vegeir's assault rifle to Vic) and reserve the high-damaging ammo that doesn't give as much AC reduction for Cassidy, who has amazing Small Guns skill anyway. By the time you find you're up against a large number of foes with dangerous weapons but little armor (Bishop's Raiders come to mind) your companions will likely have enough skill to use JHP effectively and so you'll want to use JHP instead. After that however, your main foes will be the Super Mutants (Combat armor) and the Aliens in Redding (also Combat Armor), so then there is still a real use for AP ammo. Even later on you will be up against enemies where 10mm and 5mm ammo isn't cutting the mustard anymore, which is when you break out the Gauss Rifles and Bozars, both of which benefit massively from the AC reduction on their ammo since the Enclave have such high AC.

    In short, I now feel that it's an ongoing balance between high damage versus high accuracy, instead of just a linear progression in damage (with no armor piercing involved at all). And I think I've finally succeeded at what I set out to do.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  3. J_Fred

    J_Fred Long time lurker

    Dec 22, 2013
    I always thought Power Armor having high AC means the bullets just bounce off - in other words, AC is the chance to hit the player character, not their armor. That's how I explained it, at least. It was more than likely just an oversight.
  4. Cyrus

    Cyrus First time out of the vault

    Nov 5, 2015
    I see Magnus. Thoughtful of you. Interesting solution, you've used a practical sense to find balance.

    Have you guys considered that AC can also be thought of as "cover"? I get this from the fact that standing behind certain objects simulates cover and reduces your hit chance, and I suppose turning action points into AC is supposed to simulate "having time to find better cover". Which also might explain why AP bullets reduce cover, since AP bullets can cut through some cover, imagine hiding behind rubble or a thin wall, and the bullets going right through. At the same time AC also seems to represent dodging ability (or maneuverability) at certain times, and deflectivity at other times like Fred mentions.

    I think the devs simply had a poor idea of how to use the 3 layers of defense (AC, DT, and DR) and just made a mess of it. I just can't figure out for example why they create DT and DR and not using either one of them in a distinct and meaningfully way. The 2 are not well distinguished, which begs the question of "why have both?" when one would have done fine!
  5. J_Fred

    J_Fred Long time lurker

    Dec 22, 2013
    I think DR and DT are excellent in spirit. Never should a raider be able to beat you to death with a baseball bat if you're wearing power armor (which can happen in Fallout 3 and 4 since they only use DR). Small arms fire should bounce off certain armors, or at least do minimal damage. I like DR and DT to be in my Fallout games (It's shame 3 and 4 don't really try at times to be Fallout).

    AC in the 2d games (1,2 and Tactics) does need some work. It works okay most of the time, but coupled with DR and DT it gets a bit messy.
  6. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    Another thing that could use a touchup is armor-piercing criticals. If that raider targets your eye he has a 50% chance of getting a critical hit, and those are either armor-piercing or not. If he's lucky and it is, then it's as if you're not wearing any armor at all, but you may also still be subject to 1.5x, 2x or even 3x damage multipliers from the critical hit. That's pretty gruesome. So in a way, AC is the only defense you have against those crits, and it makes sense that advanced Power Armor would be so reflective as to reduce the chance of them even landing a blow on you.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
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  7. Zaius238

    Zaius238 Sunburn

    Jul 14, 2007
    Hey Magnus, can you give any advices for character creation, with your mod installed?
    Would be a good or bad idea select energy weapons as the main combat skill?
    And is there a NPC that sells Tasers? How much dmg it inflicts in enemies?
  8. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    I *think* you can buy a Taser in NCR, they definitely have ammo for it. If you run into a Vault City or NCR patrol you can also get your hands on one, but the first time you meet them you likely won't be able to kill them, so try to get encounters like "slavers fighting VC patrol" and hope that the slavers take out a Taser guard. Myron carries one as well I think. With the best ammo the Taser is comparable to the Plasma Pistol in damage (less raw damage but better armor penetration), but has shorter range and uses the Small Guns skill. It also has the special property that if you score a critical hit with it, the enemy will always be knocked unconscious, even if you shot them in the leg.

    The best advice I can give you is to forget what you know about the vanilla Fallout 2 combat, and try out whatever you like. Especially melee, throwing and unarmed have been made viable choices and are actually fun to use now, and the Bonus Melee Damage stat has been fixed so that it also applies to your minimum damage and to throwing weapons. Seriously, I took out Metzger using only Throwing Knives, Dynamite (which can be thrown) and Molotov Cocktails.

    If you want to go for Energy Weapons you need to remember that Big Guns and Energy Weapons don't show up until the second half of the game, so you need to rely on your NPCs for damage until you get your hands on them, but give Sulik a Sharpened Spear and you'll see what I mean. Once you do find a Laser Pistol (try New Reno), you are a force to be reckoned with.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
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  9. Josan12

    Josan12 Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 15, 2007
    As a few players have already said, to me it seems like AC is just messed up in FO1&2. I think the devs just got kindof confused between AC, DR and DT, and AC got left out in the cold as a marginal stat that does very little and doesn't even really make sense. It's name implies old school D&D armor, but then DT&DR make it redundant, and anyway it actually makes attacks miss you, implying you're dodging attacks

    Anyway, To remedy this, I've always wanted to set AC to be very high for the lower armors, and negative for the higher armors, thus meaning you choose between the old a) light armor, light protection but highly agile dodger, or b) heavy power armor, heavy protection, little or no dodge ability, or c) a combination of the two. It would make sense to rename it DC (dodge class) as that what it sctually does in the game anyway. My main desire would be to make all armors relevant at any point in the game - you could play through the whole game in your vault suit as it has such a high 'dodge class'. Of course, if you get hit you get creamed, but it would be a viable strategy.

    Unfortunately it's not possible to set armors to have a negative AC AFAIK, and anyway, the whole game would need to be rebalanced around this. Plus, it pushes the suspension of disbelief to be dodging bullets... :eyebrow:
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  10. eXalted

    eXalted First time out of the vault

    Aug 28, 2012
    I get the following error when trying to start the installer:

    The console buffer size must not be less than the current size and position of the console window, nor greater than or equal to Int16.MaxValue.
    Parameter name: width
    Actual value was 100.

    Can something be done so I can fix this? :(
  11. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    Resize the installer window so it is really small, then run it again. Or try running it in fullscreen.
  12. leoric

    leoric First time out of the vault

    Dec 24, 2015
    About AC reduction on ammo - I still think that current approach is wrong. As you say, "80-90% of all enemies in the game, from raiders to Radscorpions - are wearing Leather Armor or below. So, JHP was still the boss."
    But isn't it natural to use non-AP ammo against non-armored targets? As your mod changes the weapon distribution tables anyway, it would be wiser to limit AP ammo locations to NCR and SF and reduce it's abundance, because no enemy outside that area is actually worth hoarding AP ammo. Salvatores are too tough? Well, they should be.

    Regarding high AC of PA - I believe it is that way to represent the uneven armoring of your body: you have to evade the bullet completely if you try to not being damaged while unarmored. In Leather armor there is a chance that the bullet will ricochet from sturdy plates and do no damage or a blow will land on those sturdy plates and fail completely - as DT is equal for chest and toes, you can't just rely on DT in damage calculation. Note how higher weapon skill makes AC less relevant - because you place your attacks better.
    Metal armor doesn't cover your arms and legs, so it's AC is lower - while chest is well-armored, you have to take care of your limbs.
    The only vulnerable spots of combat armor, as I understand it, are joints - so AC is higher than leather.
    Same goes for PA, but limbs and torso are extremely well-armored in comparison to joints, so even small shift of stance can greatly reduce the bullet damage when it connects with a solid armor plate instead of the joint you tried to hit. Given the shape of armor plates ricochet chances are very high in this case. Same for melee attacks - weak joint and powered limb are very, very different targets.

    Of course, this isn't ideal and localized armor system would be much better, but it is a way to model that.

    And notice how shotguns with their innate accuracy bonus comply with this model - they effectively negate high chances to dodge.
    As Needler and Bazooka have different types of ammo, they have AC bonus on AP ammo to represent the same effect. Needlers rounds are actually multi-pelleted, just like shotgun shells, and AP rockets are created to destroy tanks, so they don't care what part of PA they hit.
  13. Pieter

    Pieter First time out of the vault

    Feb 11, 2017
    Well, i'm not being able to install the mod, console size error, anyne knows what to do?
  14. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    Try running the installer in fullscreen mode! Or, make the console window really small, then try it again.
    I'll have to fix this issue in a patch.
  15. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    I've lost the source code for the installer, so I had to reverse engineer the executable with ILDASM. But I'm happy to say that now it will no longer fail to run in windowed mode!

    I've updated the download here on NMA, and will probably just take down the Mediafire link for now.
  16. Sagez

    Sagez It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 29, 2013
    I guess that you're still developing this mod and I must say that some of your changes are great, like being able to toss explosives at the enemies or some ,,nice little touches'' like the fact that flamer illuminates. So... what new can we possibly expect in the next version?
  17. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    Glad you like it! I'm personally extra pleased with how the throwable explosives turned out. It's never going to be very practical in combat, but chucking a boomstick through Metzger's window is a hilarious way to start the fight, and since quite a few shops restock them they can serve as a poor man's grenade at a point in the game where you don't have too many of those. It also works well on turrets. And, if you've got low Throwing skill or drink Booze to drop your PE, you can target a party member and miss on purpose, so the dynamite lands next to someone behind them without pissing them off! Hello mr. Bishop, no sorry, I was aiming at Sulik, don't mind the three dynamite bundles you're standing on.

    For the next version I will be looking at a way to make JHP ammo less volatile. Currently you may find yourself laughing off shots from Metzger's gang in your Combat Armor, until one of them suddenly lands a critical hit that does 100hp and you explode in gore. There's no counterplay against that. What's more, you can reliably do this to enemies once you get the .44 Magnum and enough skill to aim for the eyes. I do want critical hits to feel appropriately powerful, but I don't want the Magnum to be the best gun in the game, at least not until you get the Sniper perk.

    The core of this issue is that armor-piercing criticals ignore all damage resistance, including what's added by the ammo. This is bad because JHP ammo relies on its own resistance to mitigate its huge damage mod. So then you get the full value of the damage mod, plus potentially a damage mod from the crit, and you're looking at 7x or even 10x the weapon's normal damage. That's simply not okay. .45 ACP rounds and Explosive rockets also have this problem, which makes the Grease Gun way too strong and provides less incentive for using AP rockets, none of which is desirable.

    What I will try to do, is make a small hook script that adds the ammo resistance back in, if the current attack is an armor piercing critical. That way we keep the idea of crits being devastating, but reduce the insanely high crit damage that some weapons undeservedly have. I'm not 100% sure this is possible to do, but I'll give it a try.

    EDIT: This IS possible! In hs_combatdamage there are arguments that will let me check if the current attack is a critical hit and armor piercing. If it is, I can get a pointer to the weapon used in the attack, and see what ammo it is loaded with, if any. Then I'll just reduce the outgoing damage by the resistance value from that ammo. Unfortunately I can't pull the resistance values directly from the ammo proto, so I'll have to hardcode those, but it's only six ammos that exhibit this behavior: 10mm/5mm/.44 Magnum JHP, .45 ACP, 9mm Ball and Explosive rockets. Hah!

    Other things I have in mind:

    The LSW is in a good spot. It fills the hole that the Bozar left when it turned into a sniper, doing less damage but having more utility due to its single-shot mode. This makes it a jack-of-all trades and a Big Gun user's bread and butter, although it falls off in the endgame. The M60, however, is currently just a weaker version of the LSW, meaning it's neither unique nor fun. It needs a more distinct identity. When you hear "M60", you think "Rambo", and Rambo does not fuck around with one bullet at a time. Therefore, I will remove the single-shot function on the M60. In return, its burst function will fire even more bullets, and the weapon will have a huge magazine capacity so you don't have to reload until everyone is dead. This moves the M60 out of the LSW's shadow, and puts it in a unique spot for someone who likes high-output burst weapons (Fast Shot, Bonus Ranged Damage) as opposed to snipers (Finesse, Better Criticals), but aren't rich enough to buy the Avenger in NCR or far enough into Broken Hills that they can recruit Marcus for his Minigun. Those people can now go to New Reno and either become a Made Man and buy an M60 from Eldridge, or find it in one of the random encounters that I've changed there.

    Gauss weapons are still good, if somewhat boring since their damage nerf, but their ammo is too plentiful for a single-shot sniper weapon. I'll reduce it to 40 bullets per clip, with the recommended half version having 20 bullets and thus corresponding to the rifle's clip size. In return, I'm increasing these weapons' minimum damage by 5 points each, to make sure they still feel like the king and prince of Small Guns.

    I will be reducing AC penalties on FMJ/AP ammo to half of what they are currently. Their AC reduction is supposed to simulate that they can pierce through thin walls and other objects that the enemy might be using for cover, but figures like -20 and -30 are simply too high. Reducing them will increase the value of tactical positioning, skill point investment, armor choice and perks like Dodger and HtH Evade, and that's in tune with this mod's philosophy. Flamer Fuel, Gauss ammo and rockets will probably stay where they are.

    On that note, I will also be giving an AC penalty to MFC ammo. The only weapons that use it are high-powered energy rifles, which should rightfully have an AC bonus by the above reasoning since they make big, smoking holes in whatever you point them at, with no recoil or travel time. Currently the big Energy weapons lose to Big Guns in both accuracy and damage during the late midgame, where the noob-friendly Bozar and LSW are rocking hard due to their accuracy bonuses and AC-reducing ammo. At that point, the only real use for Energy Weapons is for characters with mediocre Strength, low Agility or the One Hander trait - the Energy pistols are better than the conventional ones, and the Laser rifle only requires Strength 5. The endgame is when the big energy rifles start to outshine most Big Guns, since their lower AP costs mean you can often fire them twice or even 3 times per round, and their armor-piercing damage types will fry Enclave troops and Horrigan alike extra crispy. Your first energy rifle is found either in the Military Base or the SAD, but you are unlikely to have enough points in Energy Weapons to start using it reliably at that point. Giving them all an extra -10 AC might be enough to smooth out that bump in the road, for a better progression towards that devastating endgame.

    Plasma and Turbo Plasma rifles will no longer have the Long Range perk. Their selling point is raw power and speed in exchange for mediocre range - sniping enemies from across the map is strictly the Laser Rifle's job.

    Updating to newest Sfall, which has my Melee Damage changes already done, and in a better way. Thus we can remove the hook script which currently does that. The damage will stay the same, but the inventory screen will show accurate figures and the mod will be more compatible with other mods.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  18. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    Some more ideas:

    Melee weapons that SWING have +5% to hit. Melee weapons that THRUST have +5% critical chance. This underlines the idea that Sharpened Spears and Combat Knives are for fighting masters, whilst Sledgehammers and Crowbars are for thugs that just want to clobber someone.

    Making the Shovel a weapon. Two-handed, 4AP, ST req 4, damage 8-12, two hex reach, Swing only. Strictly inferior to both the Crowbar and Spear, but available in Arroyo and great for diplomats with low Strength. Deals double damage to Spore Plants if you target the roots!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  19. Cyberdyn

    Cyberdyn First time out of the vault

    Jun 30, 2017
    I'm planning on playing fallout 2 again and i'm very interested by you mod.
    Maybe i ask you when do you plan on releasing the next version of your mod with the JHP ammo Crit fix ?
    I always disliked that the best anti-armor way in fallout was Crit, it is even weirder for damage boosting ammo.
  20. Magnus

    Magnus Weapons Manufacturer Modder

    Dec 6, 2007
    The plan is to have it out this weekend! Saturday maybe? I've got the crit fix mostly working, the rest is just a matter of editing protos.