The Power Armor dilemma in New Vegas

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Gameplay & Tech' started by Alexander Strahan, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Jul 26, 2003
    Theoretically, the armor would make it quite a lot easier to be a wasteland wanderer-- your strength and durability would be greatly enhanced, the leg servos would probably increase your movement speed significantly, the headgear would block out glare and possibly even boast visual augmentations (night vision, etc), the seals would make you nigh invulnerable to radiation, environmental dangers, and all but the highest-grade weaponry, and the cooling and fluid recycling systems would turn the deadly harshness of the wasteland into a minor inconvenience.

    Of course, it doesn't actually do any of that stuff in game.
     
  2. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
    Well, it would also make you a target. bad idea if you are just trying to move around. Why be a target when you can handle yourself with Chems when needed and healing items when not needed.

    Plus, with the rarity of power armor (outside of the BoS) seems like the best option is to become an addict to Slasher and Med-X.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  3. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Gyro Captain

    304
    Dec 11, 2013
    In terms of actually existing game mechanics, you are correct.

    In terms of realism, there is no way some junkie could be stronger or more effective in combat than someone in a suit of functioning power-armor.

    When I roleplay prospector characters, I always have them treat power armor as the ultimate "find" for the reasons Yamu stated, even if the actual gameplay doesn't accommodate most of them. Power armor is the ultimate accessory for wasteland wandering.
     
  4. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  5. TheChosen1

    TheChosen1 Moving Target

    Nov 8, 2012
     
  6. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
     
  7. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Jul 26, 2003
    They do let just anyone use it, though. Even in the games where it's been retconned in that Power Armor requires training, your companions (including such high-tech combat experts as a Dead Horses tribal and a junkie sex slave) can slip into any old suit of Power Armor they trip over, and The Brotherhood doesn't attack you (or even comment on it) when you show up on their doorstep with your partner decked out in full T-51b. In NV, you can get PA training from the Remnants and go to your first encounter with The Brotherhood in full (and highly distinctive) Enclave armor and no one so much as bats an eye.

    In-lore, they clearly state in Fallout 1 that any idiot can plug himself into a suit of Power Armor and operate it with no more difficulty than his own arms and legs. In Fallout 2, your born-and-raised tribal scion can use it as soon as he finds it, as can his buddies the obese repairman, the senior citizen, the rotting ghoul, the spastic 120-lb teenage junkie, and the borderline retarded farm-town siblings. As far as procuring it, yeah, the BoS and the Enclave mostly have the market cornered, but every single game except the first has had multiple suits of Power Armor you could procure without ever even coming into contact with either faction. In NV, even the Great Khans will sell you hard-used sets of T-45d.

    There are no two ways around it. Power Armor Training is a flimsy retcon implemented to try and maintain game balance (and, possibly, try to make Power Armor feel more like a reward), and considering the comparative weakness of PA in the Gamebryo Fallouts it doesn't make a terrible lot of sense. I find it telling that in Josh Sawyer's New Vegas mod-- essentially, the lead designer's definitive version of the game, if he'd had free rein and a full development cycle-- eliminates the training requirement entirely, replacing it with a training bonus that allows the armor to carry its own weight more efficiently.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  8. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
    Power armor is unlikely to be found UNLESS you join the BoS, so it is simply not a viable suit of armor.

    Viability comes from availability. I would rather, as an average wastelander, use combat armor that I can more easily repair than power armor that is rare and I might be unable to fix if the MECHANICAL parts in it wear out over time.

    Not to mention that in-game, and likely in-lore, not many raiders (who would be the main enemy of a wasteland wanderer) would be using weapons and armor that need power armor, so wearing one is simply a waste.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  9. Mohamed2001

    Mohamed2001 HATE NEWSPAPERS

    557
    Jan 28, 2013
    Fiends, the most common raiders, use Laser weaponry, the PA is immortal to that. And even when you kill the leaders of the Fiends, you CANNOT stop addictions, and addictions are why the Fiends are so much. Combat Armor cannot stop lasers.
     
  10. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Jul 26, 2003
    This might be one where we have to agree to disagree. Two of the cornerstones of the Fallout franchise that have remained unwavering are the preternatural durability of select pre-war construction (guns, buildings, stealth boys, Power Armor, et al) and the fact that the PC has never been just your average wasteland jerk. Even if the courier you're roleplaying has worked their entire life as a farmhand and letter carrier, they've got more raw potential than others, and they just so happen, through luck or tenacity, to discover things and get involved in situations that other people wouldn't (/haven't/don't).

    Even if I don't quite see eye-to-eye with you on where you're coming from, though, I do agree that Power Armor should probably be hell for the player to acquire in future games, and I'd add to that that it could probably use a complete rebalancing.

    As to rarity, the BoS definitely isn't the only game in town-- They're descended from a single garrison of pre-war troops, and similar groups (and perhaps the odd arsenal or two) are bound to have survived, but at this point, any caches that haven't already been claimed are probably inaccessible or impossibly well-hidden, and any factions in possession of the armor that haven't already died out or dispersed would probably guard it jealously. Incidental PA finds (Deathclaw Promontory prospectors, Brotherhood/Enclave corpses, Great Khan armory, F3's medic armor, etc.) should probably be in a state of dismal repair and unusable without intensive servicing and rare components, and locations containing preserved suits (aside from high-tech faction locales, which would be nigh-suicidal to steal the armor from if it were given a proper rebalance) should be impossibly well-sealed, -concealed, and/or -secured. Unfortunately, the abstract "pay-to-repair" mechanic and the fact that "challenge" seems more and more a dirty word to the AAA game industry make both of these ideas unserviceable at present.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  11. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
    What I am saying is that it is normally unlikely that any wasteland wanderer will ever find power armor without joining the BoS, unless it is a nuclear moon out. That makes it not as viable as other suits of armor.

    and @Mohammed: I find that I can do fine in-game without power armor. And Power armor is only "immune" to about 2500 joules of kinetic energy, which is not good enough to face down the military it was designed against, be it from numbers or from weapons that use higher caliber weapons.
     
  12. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Gyro Captain

    304
    Dec 11, 2013
    I actually don't mind the Power Armor Training perk, I just wish it had been implemented more consistently - i.e. no stuffing random companions into power armor, which would mean that of New Vegas' companions, only Veronica and Arcade should be able to wear it.

    Even though no training was required in the original games, I agree with Enclave Knight that the average wastelander should not be able to just be able to use some arcane piece of ancient technology, any more than the average joe today can operate a fighter jet or other advanced military hardware without a proper background.

    That said, I see no reason to limit power armor to the Brotherhood or Enclave - there could be other factions or individuals who possess that knowledge, or maybe even some kind of automated training module, or it could simply be an accessible perk to characters with extremely high technical skills and intelligence. Hell, maybe it could even be a starting Trait, allowing the player to use any suits of PA or other advanced they come across. Personally, I would like to see a completely new power armored faction, or to have PA completely unaffiliated with any particular group in future games.

    And I think that the event of the player character finding PA is just as likely as the other happenings in the game. Sure, the average wastelander certainly wouldn't have access to advanced tech, but by definition the player character is not your average wastelander; they are at the center of world-changing events, over the course of which they will come across this rare item and have the opportunity to use it.
     
  13. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
    And I was talking about your average wastelander. Lack of consistent locations of finding it, might as well require training, because it requires being a part of a group to get it for sure, making it less viable than reinforced combat armor, mark 2.
     
  14. H3rw00d1

    H3rw00d1 I should, but I won't

    130
    Jul 31, 2014
    I like the fact you need training to use Power Armor. It's not supposed to be like a random suit of armor. It's something unique and it's supposed to make you more or less a walking tank when your using it. It loses it's uniqueness if anyone can wear it.

    Having it so just anyone can wear it seems stupid to me. In real life you can't just put on a suit of armor, no problem. You can try, although it probably won't fit right. Even in Fallout 3 I didn't see just average joe's wearing Power Armor (although it was quite abundant everywhere).
     
  15. EnclaveKnight

    EnclaveKnight It Wandered In From the Wastes

    188
    Sep 6, 2013
    Which is why I do not let anyone but Veronica or Arcade (or the courier if they are Brotherhood of Steel or Remnant) wear the armor.

    I'd like it if the perk was not required, but I would still not wear it if I was not building a BoS or Enclave Remnant character.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  16. Harken

    Harken Always late to the party

    84
    Aug 16, 2014
    It's true, Power Armor isn't just like any other armor. However, it's still a suit of armor even when we get down to brass tacks.

    It's true, you can't just put on a suit of armor no problem in real life. That's why armor has a bunch of adjustable straps and all sorts of features for it to fit more comfortably on different people. By this logic, you should have to get training for ANY type of armor. A far more realistic way of making Power Armor special would be requiring you to make your own custom set or armor or filler to fit you properly or including different sizes of Power Armor if only because Power Armor has far more metal on it.

    All in all, there is no reason why there should be a perk to WEAR Power Armor. Now, if the extended features actually existed in-game, it would make sense to include a training perk to access those features in particular, but nothing in regards to the armor itself should make it so hard to use.
     
  17. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Jul 26, 2003
    I'm not sure about the special filler, but your take seems pretty balanced overall. No other rare or user-unfriendly item in the game requires a perk to use. There are plenty of potentially self-destructive chems and exotic pieces of tech in the game that are far less intuitive than a suit of PA, but you don't need a perk to use and maintain a Plasma Caster or to keep from killing yourself with an overdose of Slasher (a substance which, in my experience, makes one far more potent in combat than a suit of APA). Every other item in the game that takes a level of training or expertise to use effectively simulates that through skill requirements, and I think that would have worked just fine (provided, of course, that the engine is capable of applying skill reqs to items other than weapons, which is something I can only guess at).

    In short, if you can safely learn the ins and outs of prototype fusion weapons and home-brewed combat chems through trial and error, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to get the hang of something you literally use by wearing, and that's from both a gameplay and a lore perspective. PA was engineered to be worn by general infantry in frontline conditions, so durability and ease of use/maintenance would have been top design priorities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  18. Warhawk

    Warhawk Post-Apocalyptic Pilot

    53
    Aug 14, 2014
    Consider the ramifications of an RPG based on stat bloat: You fight like mad to get exceedingly rare power armor. If that power armor is uber-powerful, then your stats have been 'bloated.' You could not get any more... bloaty. Theoretically you just beat the game, and the rest is all motions. Thus, for power armor to be reasonable within the game, they more or less suck. Hype. A gimmick. Take the pulse pistol into the Brotherhood bunker and see just how powerful they really are.
     
  19. H3rw00d1

    H3rw00d1 I should, but I won't

    130
    Jul 31, 2014
    Probably because it would be pointless to wear it if you didn't know the in's and out's of it. Having a fighter jet is cool but it's useless if you don't know how to fly it (even if power armor is easier to use than a fighter jet). The PA is supposedly hard to wear if you don't have the proper training. That's why all those NCR heavy troopers complain, the PA is only really useful if you know how to use it correctly. Even if the PA is durable, it's still heavy as hell without the components and your going to need that speed if you don't want to be a target for raiders.

    There are probably also a couple of components inside the armor to help when it comes to fighting, but I'm just guessing on that one.
     
  20. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Gyro Captain

    304
    Dec 11, 2013
    This is usually how I wind up dealing with the BoS in New Vegas. It's great fun if you're a light-armored, high crit energy weapons specialist (my favorite type of build), since you can pretty much one shot Paladins; using the Paladin Toaster is even more satisfying if you are playing an Unarmed build.

    But in terms of potential stat bloat from power armor, this was more or less how it functioned in the original Fallout. A huge ST bonus, radiation resistance, AC rating and damage resistance meant that you were nigh invulnerable, and taking out Mariposa and the Master was, in a sense, just "going through a series of motions". None of which took away from the fun of going through those motions, at least for me.