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Fallout: New Vegas

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KvP:
Probably got your hopes up when you saw the thread title, didn't you? Nothing concrete as of yet. There are some "details" about New Vegas that have "leaked" today.


--- Quote ---First details of "Fallout: New Vegas" or an exciting hoax?

This may very well be a hoax, but it's pretty well written and convincing. From the Halife2.net Forums:

Fallout New Vegas information is coming "very soon." It's going to be Gameinformer's next cover. This is the information in the magazine:
--- End quote ---

Already it sounds pretty legit. GI's next cover is yet to be shown, I know for a fact that NV is being shown for the first time very soon and GI looooooooooves a big reveal.



--- Quote ---- Similar to Dragon Age: Origins, at character creation the player can select from different background stories. The first few hours of the game are different depending on which background you choose, and you get some unique perks based on your background when the main game begins.

- One background story is shown, Chinese Agent. The background story takes place before the bombs fell. The player is part of a team of Crimson Dragoons infilitrating Hoover Dam. You manage to sneak through the Americans' defenses, set explosives, and head to an extraction point, but your escape is cut off by American soldiers in Power Armor. The player and other survivors of the Crimson Dragoons take refuge in a cave in the canyons, where they commit hari kari with cyanide capsules. The player about to do the same when the bombs fall. The background story ends an indeterminate time later, when the player exits the cave, removes his helmet, and sees his ghoulish reflection in the waters of the Colorado River.

- By default, the Chinese Agent has the skills Sneak, Small Arms, and Explosives tagged and SPECIAL stats set, although the player can modify their tagged skills and stats if they don't like the template.
--- End quote ---
If this is a hoax, it's from someone who really likes Van Buren because this is almost straight out of Van Buren (when entering the lower levels of the Hoover Dam, you run into Chinese Spy ghouls).

One thing, though - if Obsidz is going to include backgrounds they're doing it much more extensively than DA did. I'm assuming it'll be more like Arcanum or Vampire: Bloodlines, where your background is a significant part of how people can react to you. At least, they'd make things different for ghouls or slavers. That's their style.


--- Quote ---- One character background option is Lone Wanderer. This selection has no background story or template and is a complete blank slate for players.
--- End quote ---
Sounds about right.


--- Quote ---- The SPECIAL system used will be similar to Fallout 3, but skills will be harder to cap and one character will not be able to become a master of all skills. The article is not very specific because apparently it's something the developers are still tweaking.
--- End quote ---
At this point that's probably a given. Josh Sawyer (the lead on the project) is a massive systems nerd. What I know is only that the guns / armor system is being overhauled to DT (Damage Threshold) over DR (Damage Resistance) much like how the original Fallouts worked, but hopefully better (that system wasn't too balanced). I know he doesn't like a lot of things about the innards of F3, chief among them being the very Bethsoft-ish tendency to be great at everything from the start of the game, and the first aid systems.


--- Quote ---- Gambling will return, but not as a skill. Your Luck stat will effect gambling results. You can attempt to cheat at cards using your Sneak skill or hack slot machines using your Science skill.
--- End quote ---
Natch.

Here's where I get skeptical:

--- Quote ---- There will be vehicles. The desert of New Vegas dwarfs the Capital Wasteland and you will need transportation to get around and explore it. You will acquire a vehicle several hours into the main quest. You can customize your vehicle with parts bought at shops or won through racing circuits and quests. Vehicles will not be common, but you will encounter road gangs, merchant caravans, and other vehicles in the wastes. The open desert is home to some very large mutant creatures, like giant radscorpions and sandworms, that will attack your vehicle.
--- End quote ---
There are a number of issues. One, as Borderlands and many other games have shown (ahem Mass Effect), vehicular portions of a game are more or less their own game and they need lots of attention. The sheer number of bugs that would need to be weeded out with physics and the like would be staggering. Also you'd need an exceptionally flat wasteland.

The other thing is that when I was talking to Josh some years ago about his ideas and involvement in Van Buren he had this to say about the Fallout setting:

--- Quote ---I think the Fallout feel comes from the physical setting (I keep things in the American southwest), the continual presence of Fallout organizations and new organizations that blend into previous Fallout styles, and by keeping super mutants, ghouls, centaurs, and other really freakish critters at the fringes of areas.

I also try to downplay obsession with fuel and vehicles, as most people have simply adapted to traveling by foot and brahmin -- or through the generation of alternate fuel like ethanol. SECs and MFCs are usually used for weapons, not transportation. Rare vehicles are usually motorcycles, but there are no gangs of roving vehicle guys. There just aren't enough intact vehicles and fuel sources going around for that. Long distance travel is often done by rail, sometimes with the aid of the Iron Lines tribe.
--- End quote ---
But he could have changed his mind, or vehicles could've been an integral part of the pitch to Bethsoft, who knows. I'll believe it when I read it.


--- Quote ---- New Vegas has a coliseum run by a slaver gang called the Caesar's Legion. You can gamble on and participate in arena fights.
--- End quote ---
Prepare your bodies for the thunderdome. It is the new law. Caesar's Legion is also from Van Buren - they were supposed to be a massive organization and the main focus of the sequel to Van Buren. Maybe Obsidz decided to make Black Isle's Fallout 4?

We'll see how much of this turns out to be true! Maybe all of it!

Storm Rider:
To be fair, it makes sense for a desert environment to be flat. But that just means that they're going to need to populate it with that many more man-made objects if the geographical features can't capture player attention on their own. The origin stories thing seems logical, but if Obsidian can push it further than Dragon Age did then that would be cool. I especially like the Chinese Agent backstory and how you actually start before the apocalypse but because you're ghoul-ified, you can still live until the events of the game start. One point I found interesting is that they want to make SPECIAL and skills harder to max out. Even in the first two Fallout games, obsessive players would have meticulous knowledge of where to get all the permanent stat boosts. Fallout 3 was easier on that front, but if Obsidian sticks to their guns in that regard then I imagine it'll drive a lot of those guys a little crazy.

I've read some of Sawyer's thoughts in various places on the Internet (interviews, of course, plus he posts in a pretty limited capacity on Something Awful) and he seems like a smart guy. I'm definitely interested to see what Obsidian does with the Bethesda tech and so forth. Hopefully we'll get more substantial details soon.

KvP:
Apparently Pete Hines (that's the Bethsoft honcho, in case you didn't know) said in response to the rumors "like usual, people made a surprising good job of amplifying everything". I'm going to go ahead and discount vehicular combat, as that's kind of ridiculous. I'd figure train travel would be in, if VB is canon.

KvP:
Haha, the odds are tipping against all of this. Some of the Obsidz guys I occasionally hear from are pretty incredulous.

Alex C:
Yeah, I was always under the impression that most vehicles worth mentioning would be inoperable and/or horded by guys like the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave or a few units of the NCR. The way I figure it, a couple of guys in power armor and an old humvee might as well be a main battle tank as far as your average settlement is concerned; you're not going to be taking them out very easy with your li'l molotovs and half dozen guys with shotguns. Most tribals would just be completely boned. If such things were likely, they'd have been a much bigger part of the setting by now.

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