FO2 Mechanics Overhaul Mod

Discussion in 'Fallout General Modding' started by JimTheDinosaur, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    One thing I forgot about melee defense is that PE also plays a role in the form of a defense bonus based on unspent action points: if you are facing your opponent (you can now change your facing direction at the cost of 1 AP), every unspent AP functions as the "Evaluate" action in GURPS, with you trying to figure out your opponent's next move. This then adds to either the quality of your block or dodge.

    Hopefully this'll also make a high PE melee build viable, primarily as a counter-attacker (as long as enemies aren't crowding you that is).
     
  2. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    I've been going through all the weapon stats, systematizing every single one of them (again, mostly because I'm changing so many things that assigning arbitrary values would end up requiring so much balancing and endless reworking). As you might imagine, weapon prices were especially hard to get "right" (e.g. for ranged weapons this is based on a combination of damage per attack, damage per AP, range, mag size, and damage per burst taking into account strength required to avoid recoil).

    If any of you has the time/inclination to go through them before I painstakingly run them through the item editor I would much appreciate it.

    Just a bit of run down of the changes I probably only posted at the codex:

    - AP is now a measure of time, and 10 (1 second or so per AP) for all characters. The old AP=AG system has started pissing me off more and more; it just doesn't fit in a turn-based game that turns get compressed to the point where un-agile characters become incapable of performing a whole variety of actions.

    - Firing and aiming are now separate actions: each weapon has a base AP cost to rudimentarily perform (ranging from 2 for most knives, to 6 for miniguns), but do so at a very big THC penalty. You can then, a la JA2, spend AP to aim. Each AP adds AG*10% to your weapon skill, to a max of 200% added bonus (so, at 10 AG, you can spend a maximum of 2 AP aiming, for a bonus of 100% each).

    - Damage ranges have become pretty important to keep sight of: like said before, wide damage ranges are beneficial for high Luck builds, but now the upper range is additionally what decides armor piercing (this allows me to regulate armor piercing on a weapon-by-weapon basis: AP ammo simply raises the upper damage range now). Lower damage ranges are a measure of a weapon's force (so strong characters with sledges, or pulse rifles have high lower damage ranges), and influence things like knockouts and knockdowns as a result.

    Couple of new changes to keep in mind if you do: base AP cost (so before spending additional points on aiming) is based on a combination of weapon type and weapon weight (mainly to give more of an advantage to low weight weapons), and melee damage is no longer the tiered system I talked about earlier, but a (slightly) more simple universal value: each point of ST adds 10% of the melee weapon's weight to your max damage, and 7.5% to your min damage (it also adds 0.5 pounds to the "weight" of your unarmed attacks). So, with a sledge of 12 pounds, having 5 ST means that you do 8-12 damage.

    Here's the excel sheet: https://app.box.com/s/08i9i5gcdsr2rwa2473r
     
  3. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    Keeping up my perfect run of posting progress updates on a mod which hasn't seen an update in a long while, I think I've finally come up with a way to deal with PE and weapon ranges in a way that's intuitive. In vanilla, PE gives a flat bonus and long ranged weapons give a THC bonus for the first so many hexes, meaning high PE character with a long ranged weapon doesn't get bonusses based on range, but simply by virtue of attacking, which is boring and counter-intuitive.

    Instead, I'm going to make it so that you have a penalty per hex distance (lets say flat 5% drop each hex), of which the weapon's range gets substracted as a percentage (e.g. if you have a rifle with a range of 50, then 50% gets removed from the distance penalty, making it 2.5 per hex). However, this is only the case with maxed out PE; every point under that reduces 10% from the weapon's range bonus (so, with a PE of 5 applied to the previous example, you get an "effective" range of 25, thus only removing 25% from the distance penalty). This means I don't have to do any of the stuff vanilla had to do with weapon perks giving bonuses for "long range" weapons: it's all included in the range itself. Having a weapon outfitted with a scope adds hexes to the range, and raises your PE (you can go over 10 PE this way: 15 PE would give you a 150% effective range bonus).
     
  4. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    This is some awesome stuff you're working on. I'll definitely give it a try the next time I give FO2 a run through. I love the idea of de-linking APs and AG. That's some innovative thinking.

    Spending APs to aim? Excellent.

    If you pull this off, we may have to abduct you and force you to try and fix the combat in Arcanum... :twisted:
     
  5. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    I'd love that, but you'd first have to abduct Timeslip and force her to make a version of sfall for it. Can't really do anything about its mechanics as it is, though it'd be awesome if you could.
     
  6. Glovz

    Glovz Vault Dweller
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    Sep 16, 2005
    Jim, it might be about time for you to update the first post of this thread to reflect and detail your most recent decisions.

    I've been rereading this thread and the thread over at rpgcodex, but I have been having a hard time following everything clearly.

    It's difficult to provide any constructive feedback at this point. :(
     
  7. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    Good point. Here's the new first post:

    The goal of this mod is to address a number of systemic shortcomings in Fallout 2.

    The first is the lack of useful skills, attributes and perks: It's obvious enough that INT and AG are king, there's only a couple of useful perks, and only a handful of skills are worth investing in at all. Here's a list of the changes that will be made to the attributes, perks and skills to alleviate this:

    ST:
    - Carry weight. This used to be a stat that was more about convenience than anything else: how much would you need to manipulate your mules in the game? Now it's limited to what you carry in your hands and wear as armor. Exceed it and you get movement and THC penalties during combat. This means that having a low ST character will be no more annoying than a high ST one, but you'll only be able to wear light armors and weapons without penalties.
    - Weapon min ST reqs. This now only affects recoil: each gun has a min ST requirement per bullet fired, and if you already exceed this requirement for the very first bullet, the weapon costs additional AP's to fire as you spend time steadying it. For burst weapons, every additional round you fire adds up to the requirement, resulting in stacking THC penalties if you exceed it.
    - Melee Damage. This is now based on a weapon's weight (or, if unarmed, the "weight" of your punches is determined by your strength): each point of ST adds 10% of the weapon's weight to its damage, making ST much more relevant for heavy weapons like sledges than knives.
    - Blocking power. Against melee attackers, you can choose to block, adding to your DR based on how much higher your ST is than your opponent. Note that a sufficiently skilled opponent can find a way to circumvent this block.
    - Resistance against knockdowns and weapon drops.

    PE:
    - Sequence. This was a largely irrelevant stat because you'd almost always end up getting the drop on your enemies anyway: the real sequence in combat almost always worked out in your favor. Now the character with the highest sequence always gets the first turn: try aiming your weapon at a character with higher sequence (who also sees you pointing that weapon) and that character initiates combat.
    - Ranged Modifiers. Worked as a lame flat bonus in the original. Now each point of PE substracts 10% of a weapon's range from the per hex THC distance penalty. So maxed out PE with a 70 hexes range weapon gives a 70% lower distance penalty. Scopes additionally multiply your effective PE by 1.5.
    - Unused AP's defence bonus. If you can see the opponent attacking you and he's standing nearby you, each unused AP is spent focussing on his next move, giving you a defence bonus.

    EN:
    - Hitpoints. This mod introduces fixed HP, meaning that you won't end up with as much of an infinite supply of HP you would regardless of your EN. A low EN character will be very vulnerable throughout the game.
    - Rad resistance. This mod has radiation zones on the world map, and increases the effect of EN on rad resistance.
    - Poison resistance. Poison now affects you every turn in combat and every few seconds outside of it, making it more of a short-term threat. Additionally, Needler pistols now do poison damage.
    - Resisting knockouts, missed turns, and crippling hits.

    CH:
    - Number of party members. Same as always, but the Leadership stat should make them more interesting (see below).
    - One minor addition is that it now affects the likelihood of characters accepting a drink or drugs from you (and the number of intoxicants they accept before turning hostile).

    IN:
    - Skill Points. Same as always.

    AG:
    - Aiming bonus. AP is now set at a constant 10, unaffected by AG. Unaimed and aimed shots cost the same amount of AP (unaimed shots are now simply defaulted torso shots), and you can spend additional AP's to increase your chance to hit. Each point of AG increases the percentage that gets added to your effective weapon skill by 10%, up to a maximum of 200%, meaning a maxed out AG character can spend 2 AP aiming for a 100% skill bonus per AP.
    - Movement speed. AG now only affects the cost for the first hex moved. Every second point of AG reduces that cost by 1, going from 6 AP for the first hex moved at minimum AG, to 1 AP at max. The cost of the first hex moved is additionally raised by large weapons (1 for sledges/rifles, 2 for big guns), and for moving to a hex either diagonally or straight behind you. This of course all in all highly complicates the peak-around-the-corner exploit. Moving during your turn now also gives a defense bonus against ranged attacks.
    - Dodge bonus. If you aren't blocking, you gain a dodge bonus against melee attacks based on your AG.

    LU:
    - Damage. There are no longer criticals in the form of damage multipliers. Instead, LU affects the likelihood of hitting higher values in your damage range (e.g. with a weapon that does 15-40 damage, a high LU character would have a higher chance of getting 40 than a low LU one).
    - Armor Piercing. The same principle applies to armor piercing, which is now based on your weapon's upper damage range. There's always a roll made to see how much you actually pierce, and LU determines how high this ends up.
    - Special effects chance (knockdowns, knockouts, cripplings, etc.)

    Concerning skills, in general your starting attributes have a much greater effect on them: they all have a base value of 10%, to which 40% can potentially be added through relevant stats. Skills have also been capped at 200%, and the first increment of increased cost now comes from 75-100%, rather than the original 100-125%. Now for a list of the changed skills:

    - The six combat skills have been changed to One-handed small arms (pistols and smg's), Two-handed small arms (rifles), Big guns, One-handed melee (clubs and knives), Two-handed-melee (spears and sledges), and Unarmed. Skill simply depends on which animation is used for the weapon, so grenades use the unarmed skill, and throwing knives the One-handed melee skill. You also get a defense bonus based on your "relevant" melee skill (so, if your melee attacked while carrying a rifle, your ability to use that rifle as a tool to block an opponent's attack depends on your Two-handed melee skill).
    - Gambling has been changed to Leadership, which raises the skills party members gain per level. Party members no longer gain levels at random, but every time you level up.
    - Traps now lets you set traps yourself by entering Sneak mode and dropping either a spear or an explosive on the ground. The value of the item used to make a trap and the type of material of the tile you're placing it on determine how much trap skill you need to place it.
    - First Aid and Doctor have become more relevant with Stimpaks mostly healing temporarily, and automatic rest healing being removed. You now need either First Aid kits or "Improvised Healing Materials" to heal HP's during rest, and Doctors Materials to heal crippled limbs, also during rest.
    - Outdoorsman now affects world map travel speed (mostly useful when traveling through rad zones), and the quality of the Improvised Healing Materials you find (which affects up to how many HP's you can heal with them during rest).
    - Stealing has gotten an additional barrier: the more allies of the target can see you, the harder it is to even see inside the inventory of your target, let alone steal or plant.
    - Stealth has additional uses because of how enemies will be on the lookout for assassins if their buddies step on your traps, and that all unlocked containers are now "guarded" by characters that can see them, and who will warn you not to touch them.


    As to Perks, the problem was of course that the vast majority of them simply weren't viable as 1 per 3 levels picks. My solution will be to have perks every level, and nerf the more overpowered ones. Also, perks will no longer be tiered according to level (meaning you had an ever-increasing number of obsolete low-level perks populating the list): att. and skill requirements only govern which perk you can have. You can find a provisional list of perk changes here:
    https://app.box.com/s/0eema1esji3omeurwbae

    The second problem is the game's lack of combat difficulty and complexity. Before you ask, no the point isn't to make FO2 into JA2, just to give you some more options other than eye critting your opponents continuously. There's a couple of issues with combat this mod tries to address:

    - Limiting inventory time. Ostensibly tough fights became a breeze once you have enough HP's because you can simply wait until low on damage, then enter inven and fully heal. However, Stimpaks no longer heal very much permanently, so should be used with care. Also, inventory use AP cost has been raised significantly, and you can only use one item in it before being forced to exit. Reloading now also takes substantially more AP's.
    - Avoiding utomatic eye-critting. To avoid higher skill levels resulting in almost automatic hits on even the hardest targets, I've nerfed THC at higher values (going from 0-10% THC will be much easier than going from 80-90%, especially in the case of hard to hit bodyparts or burst attacks). Because the mod makes it so that missing a targetted body part can still score a hit on an adjacent bodypart, the base penalties for aiming for certain bodyparts have also been reduced, meaning you should be able to aim for different bodyparts throughout the game now.
    - Giving more flexibility for bursts. As said, the amount you can stably burst depends on your ST, meaning you'll now be able to adjust the number of burst rounds through the interface.
    - Giving more options during melee combat. You'll be able to choose whether to block or dodge, and in addition whether to attempt a counter-attack on a "succesful" block/dodge (to attempt to do so comes at a defense penalty however). Defense against melee attacks is now also partially determined by your own relevant melee skill.
    - Adjusting how many AP's are spent aiming.
    - Expanded secondary attack modes. All spears and knives can now be swung (for added base damage), thrusted (for more penetration), or thrown. Sledges can either produce knockback (swings) or not ("thrusts"). Laser beams can be concentrated to add armor piercing. And so on.
    - Limited AI improvements. Not much I can do in this regard, but the AI chooses more smartly which bodypart to aim for rather than the random way it worked before.
    - Working AP bullets. AP was always inferior to JHP in the original game. Now AP bullets raise your upper damage range (meaning an increase in penetration) at the cost of a general reduction in damage.

    An overview of the new options integrated into a (temporary) UI made by the FoN team:


    The third problem is that of weapon progression/variety. Replaying FO2, you notice that you always get weapons in more or less the same order, with many hard-to-find weapons showing up too late to be of any use. Too many weapons also play too similar, with no considerable difference between a sledgehammer or a knife, and a rifle or a pistol.

    My solutions to this are:
    - Gear randomization. You can probably already dream the place you're first going to encounter the Bozar by now, and this mixes it all up, generating weapons based on location, attributes and experience level. There's also more variation in terms of ammo load-outs, with powerful characters in rich regions having more chance of having more, and more powerful, ammo, while poor characters often have only a single round in the chamber.
    - More distinctive weapon types. Fallout 2 has a lot of different types of shotguns, but they're mostly indistinguishable from other rifles. So I introduce different types of shells which spread out in a "shotgun-y" way. Lasers will penetrate targets and potentially hit targets next in line. Plasma rifles do splash damage to nearby targets. Cattle prods produce more knockouts. And so on.
    - Non-linear weapon progression. Having you automatically gravitate towards the pulse rifle is quite boring. Instead, different types of characters should benefit from different types of weapons. High ST likes sledges and heavy/burst guns, high AG likes pistols and knives, and high PE scoped rifles. Different weapon types should remain viable, rather than becoming irrelevant as the game progresses.
    - Less linear armor system. Having bigger armor should not be a no-brainer; it now costs you in terms of agility and (if you're not strong enough) combat effectiveness. The armor system has also been changed so that DT doesn't (nearly) automatically takes off a huge chunk of your damage: it is now purely a threshold which gets ignored if your armor piercing roll (again, based on your weapon's upper damage range) exceeds it. So, almost all weapons and ammo will rarely do any damage against the strongest armors at full strength because they won't pass the DT. Characters with fast and weak weapons (knives, pistols) will therefor be required to aim for bodyparts that give higher chances of penetration. So the goal is that there aren't any "hard counters": if you can't pierce, there's always a way to bypass - it's just harder. Similarly, going around with a combat leather jacket shouldn't be impossible, just very hard because you'll need to place the emphasis on dodging attacks, and taking out enemies quickly.
    - Differences between one- and two-handed weapons. You'll now generally be faster both in movement and attack AP cost with one-handed weapons and be able to cheaply switch between hands (now takes 5 AP to do with two-handed weapons) to compensate for the shorter ranges and lower damage outputs.
    - Systematized weapon upgrades. Instead of having just a couple of different weapons that can have one type of upgrade, each weapon type can get a certain upgrade. So each rifle can be outfitted with a scope, each pistol with an enlarged magazine, etc. All of these upgrades will now have potential drawbacks attached as well: an enlarged magazine weighs down your weapon, possibly making it cost more AP to use, etc. You can have upgrades done at the usual suspects, but also yourself: Guns 'n Bullets magazines now increase the skill you have at improving weapons in combination with either Repair (for most guns), Science (energy weapons), or Outdoorsman (for most melee weapons).

    Finally, there's the issue of the economy. Like with combat difficulty, this starts out fine, with you scrounging for nickles to pay for that first leather jacket. It just goes off the rails pretty quickly, with barter becoming absolutely irrelevant soon enough.

    To fix it I've put together a pretty complicated economic system. As I see it, the problem is that you always end up amassing a lot of inferior items to buy the superior ones you actually need: you convert a stack of deagles into that plasma rifle you really want. Problem is, why does that high tec trader want all those deagles in the first place? I introduce a demand system based on different zones: certain wealthy zones just want premium goods and won't give you squat for inferior stuff - they also charge more for the stuff that's in demand in their zone. Same works vice versa: tribes won't trade all their livelihood for a plasma rifle they don't need.

    To make this work, I also had to deal with money: you could just sell your deagles for cash in one place, then exchange the cash for the plasma rifle in another. So I implemented inflation zones separate from the demand zones: here track's kept of the cash in the zone, and cash prices are adjusted accordingly. Here's a map of the various zones:



    Another "issue" was store inventories: they become a bit dull after your second playthrough, and have now been randomized based on the demand zone of the store/caravan/trader. Stores also now "realistically" restock based on the amount of cash they have and the cost of the items they want to buy.

    A final issue for the economy was random encounters featuring two opposing factions: you'd have free reign to finish of the weakened victors. What I'll do is have enemies appear after so many turns during random encounters: basically the scenario of you stumbling upon two fighting factions will happen to you as well.
     
  8. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Venerable Relic of the Wastes
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    Sep 14, 2009
    Very impressive work...:clap:
     
  9. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    I'll give it a playthrough after I'm done with the current one. You're bound to get more feedback than you'd know what to do with out of that :D

    How compatible is it with:

    - Miria for real for RP 3.2?
    - Controllable NPC's?
    - Nirran's extra perks per level/lower level per perk spread? I play with 3 perks every level up but don't really cheeze it, and I don't ever take sniper or slayer as they are just broken. I've tried different setups, this seems to be the most well balanced one as it allows me to check a lot of stuff out without ever grinding for one resource and ending up with an excess of another.

    Also, how does your trap system work exactly?

    And, err, where do I download it to try it out? - I'm stumped on that one...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  10. Glovz

    Glovz Vault Dweller
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    735
    Sep 16, 2005
    Some feedback:

    The lack of useful skills, attributes and perks:
    SPECIAL: I like what you've done with the stats, but have you looked at how the penalties affect the player early on? If the penalties are too great from any one stat then all player builds become the same. I've been trying to figure out a player build that might work with any stat under 4 with your mod, and I'm not sure it could work. I guess for a build with a stat less than 4 the player would have to rely on a team player more so than in the original game play.

    In regards to the Skills changes, the only thing I find problematic is the loss of Throwing. I was thinking if you divide Melee Weapons skill by Close Combat vs. Ranged as opposed to One-handed vs. Two-handed, this should allow for Throwing to be removed but still represented much more significantly. However; this would cause no clear seperation across melee weapons, was there a need to have that?

    Traits: the Bruiser penalty seems a little heavy given your changes to AP, maybe a +25% movement cost would be better? Maybe the same with the Fast Shot penalty "halved" changed to "reduced by 25%"? Kamikaze bonus seems supernatural now, again maybe change to -25% cost? I assume the One Hander penalty was ment to read "-20% chance to hit with two-handed weapons"?

    Combat difficulty and complexity:
    I am not sure about the block or dodge mechanic being user activiated, in my opinion it would be more interesting if blocking or dodge simply happened based on some sort of calculation based on the users skills.

    In regards to Weapons and the earlier post with a spreadsheet reference: are weapon initial damage ranges calculated in stead of static?
     
  11. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    Should be.

    The idea is to severely nerf the go-to perks like sniper, increased rate of fire, action boy, etc. and keeping the crappy ones you'd normally not consider, like snake eater or whatever, more or less the way they are. Perks shouldn't end up overpowering.

    As I have it right now you enter sneak mode and drop the relevant item on the ground, "making" a trap. But I'll try and integrate it into the UI.

    I removed the previous version because I didn't want people to give me feedback on that one. I've been working for months on this new one, and the list I gave wasn't a definitive one (I've got about 2/3rd of it done at this point), just something for people (Glovz) to give feedback based on.

    I don't agree: in vanilla, you effectively can't have AG below 6 (or maybe even 8) without entirely gimping your character because you can't do anything. Now you can have low AG, but you'll just be slower and need more time to aim or take a lot of high risk shots. You couldn't have ST below 4 because you would be forced to spend all your time juggling with your mules and wouldn't be able to wield any useful ranged weapon. Now you still have a variety of viable ranged (and, even, melee weapons), and don't have to juggle. Though you will have to have light armor to go with your light weapons, making you rely on dodging. There was no point in having CH above 6 because you really only had 3 early-mid game good npc's - now with the leadership skill you can potentially have more than enough quality npc's to make max CH worthwhile.

    Anyway, I can go on, but I think the system should work out for both exceedingly low stats and high stats in different combinations.

    Heh, I think the removal of throwing is one of the least controversial things I've done. It's the only almost exclusively secondary combat stat: it's meant for those couple of times you want to throw a grenade or a spear, and not worth investing in over your primary combat skill. I like becoming better in all aspects of, e.g., spear fighting a lot better.

    Yeah, I think I forgot to look at the traits again, will have an updated one up tomorrow.

    Hmmm, might be a good idea. Thanks.

    Not sure what you mean, sorry.
     
  12. Glovz

    Glovz Vault Dweller
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    735
    Sep 16, 2005
    I meant the weapons min and max damage values.
     
  13. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
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    Mar 17, 2013
    Ah, you mean if the damage ranges stay the same during the game? They do, unless you use AP ammo (which widens the range by raising the upper damage range while reducing damage as a whole; e.g. a 20-30 weapon with AP ammo would raise the upper damage range, and penetration along with it, by 50%, while also dropping damage by 50%, effectively making it 10-22 (50% of 20-45) against unarmored enemies).
     
  14. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    Ok, well, thank you for the reply, I'll deffinitely check it out when it's available. Party control in combat is something I don't play without as it makes both combat and inventory management too fiddly. There is an odd thing where some perks seem to apply to your companions and some don't, I'm not sure how that will affect stuff. A few thoughts about balancing stuff, and a bit of a read concerning perks (since I've had ample opportunity to really play the game a lot with most of them).

    - Sulik is overpowered. Seriously, that guy is way too good as long as you can control him. I think they made him that way because of his melle tendencies to help him survive charging into stuff all the time, but once you can get tactical with him he's too good.

    - The game is incredibly annoying to play without 4 move points. I'm not even abusing them, but positioning is pretty much all there is to tactics in the vanilla, and without them it's way too fiddly. Unarmed and melle in particular are terrible without them. If you're looking for better combat, make them features of everyone, not perks, and give them to opponents too. If you allready did, great job.

    - Same with quick pockets. Whatever you do to the inventory AP cost, as long as this thing is here, everyone will take it all the time. Also, everyone allready takes it instead of really broken stuff, so making it even more of an impactful lifesaver would have the adverse effect. Also, one half of the tactics in this game is positioning, the other is having a bunch of different guns, weapons, ammo and grenades on you and rotating them throughout the fight. If you can't do that there's nothing much to do. If you make all of this more difficult than it allready is you'd just make the fights drag on forever while stuff that's automated right now will take manual actions. This might make melle opponents such as wanamingos overpowered, too.

    - Awareness is also something that should've never been a perk, because it's just a UI thing.

    - Perks, especially if balanced, are way too spread out at 1 every 3 levels, and it makes the game very boring once the distance between levels begins to stretch. The level progression where you only get a bit of health and some passive bonuses / dialogue unlocks if you have a guide to them is too pasive, and if you ding and not get a perk out of it there's no proper sense of acomplishment or reward. I've tried 4 per level, 3, 2, 1, and a lot of vanilla, and I can guarantee that if the level and stat requirements are properly adjusted and the UI improvement ones (awareness, bonus move) were made automatic / removed so you don't have to burn dings on them 1 per level starting at lvl 2 would be a decent hardcore option, with 2 being a fine baseline. They don't break anything, really. I'll be playing at 3 anyway, this is just advice from having done a lot of testing.

    Having done all that testing, because I plan to make a through perk mod one day anyway, a few pointers about specific perks from my experience:

    Absoultely broken vanilla stuff I haven't been taking even when they were the only things left:

    - Sniper
    - Slayer
    - Lifegiver
    - Bonus HtH attacks (far more gamechanging than Bonus Rate of Fire IMO. BroF just makes otherwise lousy companions able to shoot 2 times.)

    Stuff that's rarely going to get passed up due to power:

    - Better Criticals
    - Living Anatomy
    - Dodger

    UI improvements/stuff noone'll ever pass up for sensible reasons:

    - Awareness (This is only a perk so people wouldn't take Toughness all the time)
    - Quick Pockets (Same thing)
    - Bonus Move (Same thing)
    - Bonus rate of fire (it's only broken with the silly BroF trait build, otherwise what it does is make more companions viable and not all that much else)
    - Action Boy (it's not about power, but getting more AP out of a level is just more rewarding and interactively applicable than anything esle)

    UI improvements/no-brainer stuff for sneaky people:

    - Silent running (Sneaking without this thing is hair pullingly annoying, and I suspect this is why most people never bother with it.)
    - Thief (everyone's a thief with "Thief" - even if you built for anything else!)

    Stuff which is potentially very, very broken if you can take more perks than one every 3 levels, and possibly just as broken even then as long as the perk progression isn't tied up with all of the categories above:

    - More Criticals (high luck, fixed/no sniper and better criticals + 3 levels of this gives you 25% base crit chance. I stopped taking it alltogather.)
    - Toughness (This thing, if stacked 3 times, gives you +30% damage resistance. +5% in game costs you 8000 gold and a suit of combat armor. If the early perk progression wasn't tied up with awareness and the UI improvement stuff, at 3lvl/perk I'd take this at 3,6 and 9 and never have to go beyond leather mark II. I used to routinely stack this and actually just trade my combat armors for +10% more in implants. With this I only ever pick up power armor when I find it in Navarro)



    So whatever you do, know this:

    - Toughness is overpowered to the extreme, it needs a big fat nerf. (I'd cut the bonus to 5% or up it's level requirement, give it only one rank and make it 15%.)
    - If you've indirectly "fixed" the damage sponge syndrome through static hitpoints, you've just nerfed Lifegiver from OP to no-brainer
    - If you fix/remove sniper, you've not done all that much as More Criticals is only slightly less silly
    - Bonus HtH attacks make unarmend stupidly cheap while at the same time it costs no ammo
    - Only masochists play with less than 4 move points at the first opportunity. Very non-dynamic fights otherwise. I'd give at least 2 to every critter built in.
    - Noone's going to ever pass up living Anatomy or Dodger. They improve every gun/armor out there.
    - If the current vanilla Dodger and Toughness aren't being picked on every character, it just means people are paying perks for a decent interface or the offensive perks are wildly broken.
    - Having to take a perk for the effects of silent running is a crime. I've ignored the sneaking skill alltogather for a decade because the idea of having to spend a perk to not have to keep unchecking the "always run button" is just terrible. Yes, I know I can double click, but I also know that I can happily ignore anything related to sneaking except stealing and never have to pay attention to it.

    Take from it what you will. I'll give your mod a try, regardless of my outlook on certain things.

    Wholy optional but not unwise textwall for your consideration, with my outlook:

    My thoughts are that the game would be balanced if the perk progression were stretched out properly, with at least 1 perk per level, every monster/character having move points, all the UI perk effects made automatic or given as quest rewards, and the outlying broken perks changed. With barter prices/mechanics adjusted and a few gold drains introduced, that should be enough.

    My points in case you're interested:

    - The real problems with the balance/game can only be fixed if someone mods in a proper endgame and develops the existing towns better, distributing the loot, XP and stuff among more characters, quests and fights. About 1/3 of the total XP in the game (at least) ought to be moved behind resource draining fights, as well as a bunch of quests not awarding both the kill XP and the quest XP.
    - By my estimate, the RP EPA has loot and XP in it for about... up to 10-15 times the difficulty and interaction needed (provided you have the skills at a set level, if you don't it just binarily doesn't). SAD a lot more. San Francisco and NCR have XP and loot in them (even accounted for level) for 2-3 more cities their size. That's not even counting the Hubologist stash or the two vaults.
    - Monsters involved in quests giving XP both for kills and quests is another thing. Random encounter monster placement and map configurations also cut down on strategy and depth, as does the AI pathing (the problem isn't you running around the corner, the problem is the AI not having ways to smoke you out or doing the same to you - if neither one does it, what IS there to do?).
    - There's no properly rewarding vendor trash either, so whenever there's loot in containers, and that's almost everywhere, it's either worthless in terms of money or worthwhile but also useful. Guns and ammo seem to be the only interactive basis of the economy (chems are just funny money bills which are also stats cheats), but if every place with containers contains a crapton of them you're ussually either getting a haul for free (in a city) or getting XP for killing the "guards", XP for the quest which took you there (or opening the door like in Mariposa), stuff you would spend money on (ammo, guns, armor and stims) as well as vendor trash (excess of stuff you'd buy anyway). So if your party of 4 cleans out vault 15 for Tandi, you get XP for killing all the mooks, you get XP for 3-4 quests, you get money for a quest, you get gear you can use and a Vault full of loot. That's what's broken.
    - The only place where this is sort of well thought out to a degree is trying to loot the vault in VC when you get acess. There's quite a haul, but you have to figure out ways to acess it. Compare that to, say, the hubologist stash where you read through a computer (a conspicuous one) to find it, walk in, shoot a few guys and walk away with enough money to fund a New New Reno with blackjack and hookers.
    - I also strongly believe that the game was never really balanced for mooks dropping weapons and armor. Sounds silly, but it's true, and you can see it with the endgame weapons. Most folks who have those only have them to be able to challenge you or prevent you from attacking them at all. Once you have said weapons, there's nowhere to go with them. That's why I'm pretty sure you can't balance the game with changing numbers on the guns. Even weight and such. If ten gauss rifles drop, and they're too heavy to take them all to a shop - who cares? You only "need" as many as you have party members who can shoot them. And if you can kill 10 guys who had them, you're probably fine with what you had allready. I'm not sure anyone ever needed a bozar - if you can kill whoever you got that Bozar off, you've allready won.
    - The three best fights in the game in my opinion are - the wannamingo mine, the recently added Abandoned House near San Fran (brilliant, tough ranged mooks with 0 drops in sort of appropriate numbers (allthough even up to double wouldn't hurt), and the wolves attacking cows in Modoc (because the buggers have an objective which isn't you which makes them unpredicatble). The Metzger fight is ok if you take it early enough because the loot is significantly meaningless and the number of mooks is about right for an ok fight, and the Raiders would be fine except there's too much loot on top of their guns (and the rear entry chokepoint kills it dead, approaching from the chainlink fence actually makes you work for your cover/distance, the number of is ok-ish, loot is silly overabundant).

    - Most of the problems with the game stem from realism, not lack thereof. Everything is about guns. There's no way to portray aimed shots to the eyes realistic and balanced at the same time, when you shoot something in the eye - it drops dead. Heck if you shoot just about anything anywhere it's pretty f****d. Heck people in RL wore/wear helmets to protect from debree and glancing bullets and that saved countless lives. Mechanicaly speaking, there's no real way to portray disabling shots realistically as long as they both deal damage and disable. Fallout is cursed with realism in that the interaction with the enemies is limited to weapons, and most of them are guns. That's an overdose of realism right there. And eye shots aren't even the problem, I don't think I've went for more than a handful in my life. The problem is people shooting guns at each other in anything resembling a realistic fashion. Single guys with hunting rifles / snipers have killed hundreds of men IRL, it's not eyeshots that unrealistic. They're the only thing that IS realistic in what it does, and it breaks the game completely once you start being able to do it on a regular basis. But if the game was real any shot near an artery at any point, any shotgun blast, any burst out of an SMG or 20 shots out of an assault rifle whould have the effects worse than an eye shot. A burst out of a minigun could kill you through a brick wall - it's a helicopter weapon.

    And if you have a game with no proper cover, or mobility, and AI that only ever tries to get into a position to shoot, with guys having accuarcy issues and even sligtly realistic guns, it'd make a very boring game. Guys standing around trying to hit each other and whoever gets an accurate enough shot off first will just see the other guy drop. Realisticaly, the only was to kill someone with a minigun is to get a jump on him and have all your guys fire first and drop him before he gets off a single burst. Make this impossible (by removing, say, bonus rate of fire) and noone will ever survive an encounter with a minigun. And if you make a minigun burst survivable - you're playing a fantasy game. Heck, make a shotgun blast survivable under most any circumstances and you've allready pushed it well beyond realism :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  15. -RavenWolf-

    -RavenWolf- First time out of the vault

    10
    Sep 26, 2009
    I like how throwing knifes and spears will be tied to the related melee weapon skill instead of a generic throwing skill. But im not convinced on having grenades related to melee.

    As grenades are more a situational weapons, one approach can be to use a non skill related formula (let say 55% + AG*4 +PE*2) to determine the THC with grenades/Molotov/rocks.
    And there should be perks that increase this chance. So every character will be able to use grenads without investing skill points

    Also, have you plans to increase damage of throwing weapons (knifes, spears, rocks) based on ST (or max range, that is determined by ST)?
    I was thinking on something like a bonus if your target is closer than the max range like (max_range – target_range) as a % in damage
     
  16. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
    Modder

    736
    Mar 17, 2013
    @lujo, dude, appreciate you taking the time to put all that down on paper, but at this stage I really don't have a lot of use for criticisms of the way vanilla works given that 99% of the stuff you criticize I've already changed. Just check the introduction I've posted chief.

    Interesting... though I originally did it as a bit of a boost for the unarmed skill, giving it a unique one-up over the other melee skills... I'll have to think about it, because I'm still not sure about separating grenades from skill.

    Yes on the increased damage, not too sure about the increase for close range. You already have the increased THC for close range, and adding damage on top of that would give you the perverse incentive to only use throwing up close. Unless you have an idea how to get around that, I think damage has to stay constant over distance.

    In unrelated news, I think I'm going to try and change the way addiction works. The random factor always brought out the OCD save scumming crowd, and I think it'd be more interesting to have it work over time instead: low resistance to addiction (based on EN?) means you can only use Buffout once every two weeks without becoming addicted. I'll also try and make it so the effects don't stack, which was always a bit lame; that way I can add some perks/traits that raise drug effects without that becoming superfluous.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
  17. lujo

    lujo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    334
    Jun 14, 2013
    I did, fork over the mod and I'll check it out. And I knew you changed a lot, and that you've been doing this for a while, but I wanted that out of my system in case there's anything you've missed before I take a good long look at your mod which changes a lot of stuff.
     
  18. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder

    Sep 14, 2009
    Maybe throwing knives could have an instant kill, if a critical is scored, against leather armor and below. That would make them a more viable weapon at the early stage of the game. ATM they're rubbish.
     
  19. Michi

    Michi First time out of the vault

    60
    Dec 7, 2009
    Did this mod die?
     
  20. Glovz

    Glovz Vault Dweller
    Modder

    735
    Sep 16, 2005
    @Michi
    I believe Jim is on an extended modding break. :(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016