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News for Thursday, September 29, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 19:38

We have rounded up more reviews for Fallout: New Vegas' last story-based DLC, Lonesome Road, mixed as the previous ones.

The Game Effect, 7/10.

Lonesome Road, ultimately, can't compare with what we've come to expect from our Fallout: New Vegas content. Overall, and to be brutally honest, the entire feel of it leaves the impression of a design team that was either very rushed (despite delaying the release date), or quickly running out of ideas. Despite the promise of answering questions, most of those weren't questions we were asking anyway.


Ultimately, the new elements presented in this DLC don't outweigh the old ones that are being rehashed. And it's even more of a shame because of the magnificent record that Obsidian (and Bethesda before them with Fallout 3) have built up. It may indeed be that this is a great DLC pack - it's just hard to notice, since the expectations aren't on par because of the much better ones before it. That doesn't by any means indicate that nobody should buy it or play it - but, to probably get on the NCR's bad side by quoting Latin, caveat emptor.
Thunderbolt, 3/10.
In being anticipated as the most important DLC, Lonesome Road already collapsed under the pressure and risks submerging New Vegas in a sinkhole of the pointless. It’s nowhere being as wealthy as Dead Money, it’s more dishonest than Honest Hearts, and compared to Big MT, it’s the real Big Empty. As what is presumably the final expansion of the Mojave skirmish, Lonesome Road is paved in letdowns and enough wrong turns to falsify its promises of bringing things full circle. Consider yourself a victim of highway robbery if you elect to pay its toll.
IncGamers, 7/10.
In each of the four New Vegas DLC releases, Obsidian has used the opportunity to both expand the Fallout universe and add depth to the characters within it (as well as sprinkle it with new guns and playthings). Together, they form a wonderful collection and present a superb reference point for how to expand your original title in unique ways.

None of the add-ons can really be subject to the oft-repeated (and justified) claim that the material should've been included in the main game, and at seven or eight hours in length they all provide pretty fine value for money. Each one has its flaws (with linearity being Lonesome Road's biggest drawback), but overall they're a fantastic, collective achievement by Obsidian and should make the (surely) inevitable New Vegas 'Collectors Edition' a must-buy for anyone who hasn't yet sampled these expansions.

The lights may be going out in Vegas, but the irradiated glow will never dim.
Gaming Irresponsibly, 8.4/10.
I’m not going to mention anything key to the plot, but although the story is a good one, it just wasn’t everything i expected it to be, I certainly wouldn’t say that i was disappointed, just that my own hopes were too high to begin with. Once you complete Lonesome Road you will have that, inevitable, moral decision to make but this time some of the choices will open up some new areas on the main map for you to explore once returning from The Divide.
Gaming Truth, 8.5/10.
This isn’t my favorite DLC pack for New Vegas, but for a game that has had nothing but awesome and engaging DLC, this is kind of expected. But then again, it’s like comparing rubies to emeralds – they’re both shiny and awesome to have, so I’ll take as many of whichever I can get. Just like every DLC, however, I just wish it were longer than a handful of hours – and I’m notorious for taking much longer to complete games and DLC than most.
Game Rant, 2.5/5.
In the end, the most disappointing thing about “Lonesome Road” is all of the wasted potential. The story itself is solid and entertaining to play through, though unfortunately with all of the issues that crop up the story isn’t enough to justify the price tag. Unless you’re a huge fan of Fallout New Vegas or desperate for another trip back into the Mojave, it’s probably best to wait until “Lonesome Road” goes on sale.
Mana Tank, 6.9/10.
Compared to the other DLC available for New Vegas, The Lonesome Road is a bit underwhelming and short lived. Clocking in at easily less than 3 hours for a bare minimum level, ill-equipped adventurer, I can only imagine how short it would be for someone at the current level cap with insane weapons. That’s not to say it shouldn’t be played as I truly believe that any fan of the game should at least give it a go; if not at the very least so you can have some interaction with the man responsible for your fate. Just don’t expect to understand it.
Cross Platform Gamers, scoreless.
Although I had high expectations for the Lonesome Road, overall I thought the presentation of it left me feeling disappointed. Traveling the Divide was a intense and rewarding experience but Lonesome Road is a instance where the journey was more fun than arriving at the destination. Although not the strongest DLC piece it’s not terrible. I recommend it for any Fallout fan if they have the character and the fortitude to brave the Divide.
Duck and Cover, scoreless.
Perks are nice, nothing game changing, but fun stuff, the level 50, yes, 5 more levels, perks are kinda enh, but they are unique. At the end of the dlc you get to make a choice that can drasticly alter your Mojave relations, and open up one new area or the other, or both, but opening them up comes with a cost, as all things do. And ultimately, that's the idea behind Lonesome Road, the cost, and what you're willing to pay.

First playthough took roughly 7 hours, second and third ended up being around 4-5 each, probably could pare it down to 3 if I tried. This is definately a jewel in the crown of the dlc, forboding and opressive,with enough explosives to keep anyone happy.An aside, you get to blow up many nuclear warheads, try not to stand too close when you do.

News for Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 20:49

Per Jason Bergman the Gun Runners Arsenal and Courier's Stash are now available to European PS3 users, following the usual one-day delay.

Posted by Odin - at 12:27

NMA will have some planned downtime later today at 19:30 CET for an upgrade of the forum system.

Some functions of the website will not be fully functioning after the upgrade, but we hope to have them in place as soon as possible.

News for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:23

After being released on Xbox Live first, just as pretty much every DLC for the Fallout franchise ever, the Courier's Stash (which contains all the previously preorder-only item packs) and Gun Runners' Arsenal (which includes 27 new weapons between moddable variants of vanilla items, new uniques and non-unique version of uniques that didn't have them) are available on Steam.

Posted by Odin - at 19:24

NMA was hacked earlier today and the hacker left the following message:

Dear Forum Users,

I regret to inform you that staff seems to not give much of a fuck about security.
The URL gave me access to all databases because the GET parameter 'id' is unescaped numeric injectable with 1 parenthesis. I then stumbled upon Odin's account in the phpBB database and cracked the MD5 of his ridiculously weak password (it's "" BTW). After deleting his two "sticky" posts I decided to "backup" the whole phpBB database to my computer.
I don't want to harm any users and I will not sell or otherwise use the numerous passwords and email adresses I obtained. I only want to remind staff about the importance of website security.

After this message got deleted the first time I resent it as a Mass Email so every user gets to know Razz
I also banned all the Moderator Accounts except for Odin's.
Props for hacking a site using quite old code also on taking a backup of the database, that shows that you just wanted to warn us. Next time send me an email or PM instead.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:15

The two item pack that conclude Fallout: New Vegas' DLC releases, Gun Runners' Arsenal and Courier's Stash, are out today on PC/PS3, and already out on Xbox Live, and to mark their release, Bethesda has released on their blog the latest preview of Gun Runners' Arsenal new weapons, penned, as always, by J.E. Sawyer from Obsidian Entertainment.

Two-Step Goodbye - A unique Ballistic Fist for professional wastelanders only. On a particularly devastating kill shot, it plants an explosive charge onto the target. You’ll know what’s coming when you hear the beeping. You’ve got two steps to get away. Use them wisely. Note: we’ve already repaired and re-sold this weapon three times for friends of people who didn’t heed the warning.

GRA Baseball Bat, Katana - A world of sophistication apart, the GRA Baseball Bat (above) and our incredibly popular customizable Katana (below) fill similar roles for the Melee Weapons specialist. The Baseball Bat can be customized with a Cork Core (increases attack speed), Maple Body (increases condition), and Nails (increases damage). You might be saying, “Why can’t I just pound regular nails into a Baseball Bat myself?” This is an art, friend. It requires skilled Gun Runners artisans to craft nails that are worthy of being precisely inserted into a Baseball Bat for combat use. Speaking of art, our Katana (below) is such a dazzler that we’ve heard some enemies just stand and stare as the blade comes flying in (no guarantee implied). Custom options include an Authentic Blade (increases damage), Balanced Grip (increases attack speed), and Protective Sheath (increases condition).

Greased Lightning, GRA Power Fist - The Gun Runners understand that bullets aren’t the answer to all problems. Sometimes, you need a really solid Power Fist. We’ve got two. Greased Lightning is a one-of-a-kind model. We’re not sure what the heck they did to it, but the pistons fire so fast we thought it was going to tear our tester’s arm off! Damage is much lower than a standard Power Fist, but when you’re hitting this fast, who cares? If you want something more customizable, pick up our GRA Power Fist. Chromed Tubes increase condition, High Cap Valves boost damage, and there’s even an option for Ported Chambers to modestly accelerate attack speed.

News for Monday, September 26, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 23:08

J.E. Sawyer explains to us what differentiate Esther from a normal Fat Man, why you could want to wield a 25mm Grenade AWP and more in part four of the Gun Runners' Arsenal preview, creatively titled "Bring the boom with Gun Runners’ Arsenal".

25mm Grenade APW - We’re really proud of this one. Brand new for the Mojave Wasteland, the 25mm Grenade APW gives you the death-dealing capability of Grenade Machine Gun in a more portable package. With a stock magazine capacity of six rounds, a brisk semi-auto rate of fire, and respectable accuracy, it’s a great addition to any Explosives arsenal. If you want to step things up, pick up an Expanded Drum (increases capacity), Long Barrel (increases projectile speed) and Upgraded Internals (increases rate of fire).

Paciencia, Medicine Stick - For long-range shooters who scoff at scopes, we have two seriously accurate, seriously powerful rifles. First up is Paciencia (as shown above), a low-capacity Hunting Rifle with incredible accuracy and deadly power, especially from concealment. If you can’t kill a target in three shots (a full mag!) from this beauty, you’re not worthy of it. If you’d like superior ammo capacity for extended fire fights, try Medicine Stick (see below), our unique Brush Gun. Accurate, powerful, and with an increased ammo capacity, it’s hard to go wrong. Though to be honest, most of our shooters feel its less intrusive sights are its best feature.

Hive Missiles - It’s always the same: you haul out your Missile Launcher, drop a pound and a half of American pride down the chute, pull the trigger, and pray to St. Gabriel that it’s not going to go sailing a foot over the charging Super Mutant’s head. Why make a big bet on one spin when you can spread your chances over NINE buzzing Hive Missiles? Sure, the individual missiles don’t pack the same punch, and sure there’s a lot of collateral damage, but if they were standing behind your target, they were probably up to no good anyway, right?

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 11:16

After talking with senior producer Jason Bergman and senior designer and project director on Dead Money, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road Chris Avellone, Will Ooi turned his attention to New Vegas' and Honest Hearts project director and lead designer J.E. Sawyer for the latest edition of his "Unmasking the Gamers" feature, available both on his blog and on Gamasutra. Here's a couple of snippets:

WO: At Black Isle Studios when you were appointed the lead designer of the later-cancelled Fallout 3/Van Buren project, what did you have in mind to bring to the series? We've seen many of those original concepts used in New Vegas - was it always a plan to delve into post-apocalyptic political/religious conflict?

JS: Van Buren was not as political as New Vegas, mostly because the political theatre was west of where the "Prisoner's" story was happening. The religious conflict in New Canaan was restricted to that area, and was mostly an internal conflict rather than one with external pressure.

As for what I wanted to bring to the series, personally, I was initially interested in adjusting mechanics, making gameplay more enjoyable, and making as many player builds viable and rewarding as was practical. At the beginning of the project, I was just the lead system designer. It was only later, after Chris Avellone left Black Isle, that I took over as the game's lead designer. The majority of the story content had already been developed by Chris. I was mostly re-arranging the content into something I thought our shrinking team could get done.


WO: Based on the answers on your Formspring account and also New Vegas and the Honest Hearts DLC, you seem passionate on incorporating a balanced, worldly view into your games. Do you see the medium as possibly being a foundation for education?

JS: I think all methods of communication can be didactic, but I prefer provoking players to start an internal dialogue rather than presenting a "correct" world view or opinion. It's one of the reasons I think RPGs have the potential to be so compelling. When you read a book or watch a film -- or even when you play most games -- characters take action and make decisions within the context of a story and the singular narrative the creators have defined. You have the ability to judge those actions as a passive viewer, but that's much different from being asked to actually make the choice yourself.

Ultimately, I want people to be able to relate the problems they face and the choices they make in games to the real world. Some people view games as pure escapism. I am not interested in making games that promote the individual's retreat from the world. I want to make games that create worlds parallel to our own, that make players compare and contrast the things they experience in games with what is happening all around us every day.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:32

Revolvers, rifles, plasma/pulse grenades, more guns detailed in the third blog post on the upcoming GRA DLC.

GRA Anti-Materiel Rifle, Assault Carbine - For our more hard-nosed “operators”, we’ve got two customizable rifles in big and small calibers. First up is the GRA Anti-Materiel Rifle. Personalize this hard-hitter with a Custom Bolt (increases rate of fire), Suppressor (reduces sound — does NOT silence it), and Carbon Fiber Parts (lowers weight). For close-quarters armor-piercing mayhem, we’ve got the GRA Assault Carbine. As with standard Assault Carbines, you can outfit them with Extended Mags (GRA variants required), but you can also boost weapon longevity with a Forged Receiver and increase the rate of fire with a Light Bolt.

12 Ga. Flechette, Dragon’s Breath - You know we love shotguns. We’re especially fond of the 12 Gauge variants. Between Buckshot, Slugs, Coin Shot, and our new 3/0 Buck, 4/0 Buck, and Pulse Slugs, you’ve got loadout options. Is that enough? No matter the number, the Gun Runners answer is always, “No.” So here are two more. Flechettes and Dragon’s Breath. Flechettes are tiny metal darts that replace traditional shot. Great for armor penetration, though not quite as damaging. Dragon’s Breath is for people who occasionally want to set things on fire. Why you want to do that with a shotgun, we don’t know. We’ve stopped asking. Here you go. Just keep your engagement ranges close or the Dragon’s Breath will produce a pretty cone of flame and nothing else. You’re welcome.

Bozar - Some have called this beauty the “ultimate refinement of the sniper’s art”. We call it a highly accurate Light Machine Gun with a mil-spec scope, a 30-round magazine of 5.56mm, and a rate of fire that can project a withering storm of lead downrange in no-time flat. The compensator keeps it accurate even on full auto. With 5.56mm Match ammunition, you could mag-dump into a Bloatfly’s head at a hundred yards with all shots on target (no guarantee implied).

Thanks OakTable.

News for Sunday, September 25, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 10:14

More Gun Runners' Arsenal details are coming out on the Bethblog, penned by Obsidian's own J.E. Sawyer, and in this installment we have some details on some 'new' guns and energy weapons and ammo types, so we'll go with the latter:

.50MG Explosive - High caliber ordnance for our high caliber clients. Available now at select dealers, this terrifying round produces a secondary blast after driving into its target. Recommended uses: Deathclaw Mothers amidst their young, Brotherhood Paladins surrounded by Scribes, or a particularly annoying pack of Geckos. Bring your piggy bank: MSRP is 40 caps per round.

20 Ga. 3/0 Buck, 12 Ga. 4/0 Buck - Shotguns: you love them, we love them. But sometimes, ordinary buckshot doesn’t get the job done when the Vipers come knocking in a suit of metal armor. Sure, you could bust out the slugs, but the Gun Runners have some more options: 20 Gauge 3/0 Buck and 12 Ga. 4/0 Buck. Fewer pieces of shot, but they’re bigger and heavier. Still not enough? Fine, take the Hand Loader perk and craft some Magnum variants.

20 Ga. and 12. Ga Pulse Slugs - When you’re fighting robots, slugs are helpful for punching through armor. You know what’s even better? Pulse Slugs. That’s right. In addition to a love tap from the lump of metal slamming into their Combat Inhibitor, they get an extra kick from an Electromagnetic Pulse triggered by the impact. As accurate as a regular slug, but with a little less “oomf”.
Thanks, OakTable.

News for Saturday, September 24, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 19:54

We have a second batch of reviews for Fallout: New Vegas' last hurrah, the Lonesome Road DLC, and they're as mixed as the ones we've rounded up so far.

IGN, 6.5/10.

After spending around seven hours with Lonesome Road one thing became clear: you won’t want to purchase it for the story. Like other downloadable content packs, you’ll gain five additional levels and some sweet weapons worth some serious cash…er bottle caps. Unfortunately, those are the only major benefits. In this case, only Fallout fans desperate for more content should embark on this oddly paced journey through the Divide.
Metro, 4/10.
Not even the equipment rewards are particularly worthwhile. The new nail gun and rocket launcher are quite useful, but not game-changinly so. The new karma-resetting perk is also handy, but a rather odd reward to be dolling out at the very end of the whole New Vegas experience.

As a result the experience just comes across as utterly pointless. If Bethesda had let things end with Old World Blues they would've been going out on a high note and the mediocrity of the two preceding downloads would've been easily forgiven.

But this isn't even that good and just made us glad we weren't going back to the Fallout world anytime soon, when really it should have had us anticipating the next full sequel even more.
FMV Magazine, 4/5.
In short, it’s a fitting end to the New Vegas saga, and well-worth getting your hands on if you’ve enjoyed the moody exploration, moral dilemmas and meaty action of the main game. Packing a great deal of extras, and also boasting a fine story-line to boot, Lonesome Road is very nearly the perfect example of what great DLC should be.
The Oracle, scoreless.
"Lonesome Road" is not going to make any new fans of the series. However, the expansion, problems aside, offers a fitting conclusion to the Courier's tale before the climatic end of the game. Raising the level cap and bringing new perks to the table is always nice even though you still can't play past the Second Battle of Hoover Dam.

I recommend the DLC if you're a fan of the series, if you're not, you might want to hold off on purchasing or maybe wait until the ludicrous Steam sales in November.
Piki Geek, 4/5.
Lonesome Road is a hefty bit of content, clocking in at just under 8 hours, though, your mileage may vary depending on how often you die. It’s also the only New Vegas DLC I feel comfortable calling a “must own”, even though I ultimately enjoyed Old World Blues more. Lonesome Road ties up the main story line and answers the remaining questions about your background, thereby making it essential to anyone who gives a damn about the game’s story.

Even though there were more “Oh fucks”, “god damnits” and “sons of bitches” exclaimed than at any other point in my time spent with New Vegas, Lonesome Road is worth the $10 (800 Microsoft Points) price of admission. Come for the story, stay for the loot.
GameFront pretty obviously didn't enjoy the way Ulysses was written, 75/100.
But it’s not all talking, on the Lonesome Road you’ll explore what is probably the most interesting environments found in a Fallout game to date. Really, I can’t understate the triumph of the design team here. The Divide is ravaged far more than other places in the Mojave Wasteland; the terrain itself has been altered, and so you’ll walk through buildings that are tilted at an angle or that are comely toppled, and at one point I found myself wandering through a cave that was made from buildings falling against each other. It’s was exhilarating.

It’s a shame, then, that exploration is hardly encouraged, as for the most part the Lonesome Road is a very linear experience. But that’s OK, because the journey is for the most part very interesting. Now, if only that one guy would have shut up.
While Blistered Thumbs seemingly did, 8/10.
In the end, Lonesome Road has put me in an awkward position. The DLC does some very interesting things with its storyline, and really doesn’t have any big detracting factors from it in terms of its quality. The only real bug I found was an enemy clipped through the floor and continued to follow me around for a bit, grunting at me. It was sort of like being followed by an invisible linebacker that’s too passive for his own good. So, let me say this: Lonesome Road is a great piece of DLC, but it’s one that you need to look up some video on to really decide whether or not you want to spend the cash. Watch some video, play it at a buddy’s house, or whatever you choose. This just isn’t one of those things you want to impulse buy, despite how good it is.
Finally, Trendkiller Online rightly notes that the linearity of the DLC is a bit at odds with the tenets of the Fallout franchise, scoreless.
This in no way makes this DLC bad, It’s just hard for me to recommend this to anyone other than a Fallout fanatic or a completionist. If you never ever played a Fallout game before but are looking to get into New Vegas now, I would recommend waiting for the inevitable game of the year edition. Simply put, this DLC is not representative of the greater Fallout series, It exists for those looking to put a cap on New Vegas, to finish it off, to get 100% completion. In the end it is enjoyable, if not a bit misled, but it should not be any gamers introduction to Fallout as it may make for a less than stellar first impression.

With that said, I salute Bethesda (and Obsidian) for what has been a thoroughly enjoyable game in New Vegas… but it’s clearly time to bring on Fallout 4!!

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 11:58

After giving the same treatment to the first three Fallout: New Vegas DLC, the folks at GameBanshee offer us a two-page review on Lonesome Road. In the scoreless review they note that the DLC is hardly for everyone, but still consider it "a fitting and thoughtful end" for the Courier's journey.

I hesitate to touch on Lonesome Road's story, because, as the prime focus of the experience, even small spoilers would hurt the sense of discovery. More generally, though, Lonesome Road is an introspective piece - it's smart enough to remain understated, and lets the Divide and its inhabitants speak for themselves, rather than forcing exposition and monologues down the player's throat. The narrative, while generally straightforward and sparse compared to prior New Vegas DLCs, isn't content being self-contained - its themes of the role of individuals within history, the nature of nationhood, and the unforeseen consequences of actions all provide food for thought, and more often than not claw at the fourth wall, speaking not to the Courier, but challenging the player instead. That it's also able to smartly tie in and shed new light on a prior companion character, and in doing so weave its A and B plots together so tightly, is yet another testament to the quality of storytelling on display.

Much as how Dead Money was driven by its ensemble cast and the stressful situation they were all forced into by a mysterious figure, Lonesome Road's focus is dead-center on another mysterious figure testing the Courier's limits. Ulysses is one of the most effective, well-realized, and refreshingly non-standard characters in any game I've played in quite some time - a complex man whose very nature is tainted by a label like "villain". Fans of Chris Avellone's prior works, whether that's Fallout, Planescape, or Star Wars, will find his trademark all over Ulysses, and the result is a character who can stand comfortably beside the RPG genre's finest. That said, Ulysses is also of the "philosophical, vague, and esoteric" school of antagonists, and most of the storytelling falls on his shoulders; combined with the fact that many plot points are left open to interpretation, some players may find him more frustrating than intriguing.

News for Friday, September 23, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 16:57

In regards to Bethesda's appeal to a preliminary injunction on FOOL developer Masthead, no surprise here, it was denied, Gamasutra reports.

This week, U.S. District Judge, the Honorable John F. Walter, denied the temporary restraining order requested by Bethesda against Interplay.

"Plaintiff has not demonstrated that it will be irreparably prejudiced if the requested ex parte relief is not granted, or that it is without fault in creating the crisis that requires ex parte relief," he argued.

"Indeed, Plaintiff was aware as early as February 2011 that Masthead was potentially infringing its copyrights... Yet, Plaintiff waited seven months to apply for ex parte relief."

He concluded, "The Court finds that Plaintiff unreasonably delayed in seeking relief, and that the emergency that allegedly justifies a TRO is self-created."
Get better lawyers, Bethesda.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 10:33

J.E. 'gun guru' Sawyer, project director on Fallout: New Vegas, Honest Hearts and, now, Gun Runners' Arsenal, has posted some new details on the upcoming item pack due to release next Tuesday on the Bethesda blog. Energy weapons galore:

Optimized Small Energy Cell, Micro Fusion Cell, Electron Charge Pack, and Flamer Fuel - Though we specialize in guns, we’re more than aware of the common complaints about energy weapons: ”My Laser Pistol doesn’t pack enough of a punch!” “The ammo’s too heavy!” “Max Charge ammo eats through my Tesla Cannon like a Glowing Ghoul at a Radroach buffet.” The Gun Runners don’t have the cure, but if you’ve got the talent, scientist, heal thyself. Optimized Energy Weapon ammo: 30% more damage, superior armor penetration, and they even weigh less. The only drawback is a slight increase in weapon degradation. Requires Vigilant Recycler.

GRA Laser Pistol, Plasma Pistol - Never let it be said that the Gun Runners are snobs. We’ve worked on some distribution deals for customizable low-end Energy Weapons. Don’t let the “low-end” designation fool you. With new mods, these weapons can be potent against a surprisingly wide range of foes. The Laser Pistol’s Combat Sights make the weapon much more user friendly. The Focus Optics customization boosts damage. On the other end of the (visible) spectrum (heh), the Plasma Pistol’s High-Energy Ionizer elevates its already impressive damage into the steel-melting range. A Magnetic Accelerator addresses the traditionally slow projectile speed. Recycler mods, to lower operating costs, are available for both weapons.

Cleansing Flame, MF Hyperbreeder Alpha - Two more one-of-a-kind (until we hear otherwise) Energy Weapons for clients who are interested in those things. Cleansing Flame is a high capacity Flamer with superior base damage, longer range, and a burn effect that improves with the user’s skill. An Energy Weapons expert is absolutely devastating with this monster! The MF Hyperbreeder Alpha is a unique Recharger Pistol that’s been hotwired for automatic fire. A previous owner heavily modified the internal breeder reactor for a rapid recharge rate, making this quite handy for anyone who doesn’t like to carry around a lot of ammo.

Thanks, GameBanshee, VRaptor117 and OakTable.

News for Thursday, September 22, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 22:31

No Mutants Allowed's Brother None reviewed Obsidian's final DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, noting its excellent atmosphere is offset by some serious flaws in narrative and a focus on combat in linear levels.

The DLC is also very focused. What I mean by that is that it has no side-quests, just its main quests done in a pre-set order. It has no non-hostile NPCs other than ED-E and Ulysses. It doesn't have a lot of explorable optional areas. So it figures this DLC is pretty short compared to the others, I clocked in at about 5 hours, but it is also much denser than the two preceding DLC, you go from fight to fight and dialog to dialog, with no walking back and forth or searching around in between, as opposed to the main game and the preceding two DLCs.

The DLC's strongest point is atmosphere. Unlike the other DLCs, you're given no background through slideshows or expository opening dialogs, you just wander in and have to discover more yourself. The Divide is by far the most thoroughly destroyed area seen in any Fallout. After the post-post-apocalyptic feel of much of New Vegas, it does a great job of giving us a place more freshly off an apocalyptic event, deadly to travel in, wandering through buildings askew (warning: may cause nausea) and crumbling around you. A “Damnation Alley”-esque atmosphere, as creative director Chris Avellone put it, that book's story happening decades after the apocalypse, rather than centuries. There is a constant feeling of danger, and it is underscored very well by having ED-E around responding to imminent threats with whimpering sounds. There's a lot of little moments, such as the first time you meet the tunnelers, you see a deathclaw in the distance attacking one and promptly getting torn to bits. Moments like those really set up the atmosphere.


Before this DLC's release, Chris Avellone explained in a developer blog that the narrative of Fallout games comes largely from the players. And he's right, that has always been one of the series' main strengths. How ironic is it, then, that Lonesome Road is the very antithesis of this ideal, with an antagonist who hates you because of events that happened outside of the player's control, and a linear, railroaded path that will play out pretty much the same for everyone, differences in dialog depending on your faction allegiance aside.

Content-wise Lonesome Road is satisfactory, and it's almost worth it just for the pretty amazing atmosphere and look of the Divide. But this linear combat-focused gameplay path will not appeal to everyone, and anyone expecting a satisfactory conclusion to the story arc of Ulysses and the Courier might be in for a let-down. If you reflect on it for a while, there is some appreciation to be found in the clever way Ulysses' arc ties in with lessons the Courier learned over previous DLC, and like Elijah in Dead Money he's an image of the cost of obsessing and failing to let go, but this does not make the main narrative structure any more satisfying in an immediate sense. It's not a bad DLC overall, but it suffers from coming right behind the excellent Old World Blues.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:41

Here's our first batch of reviews for Fallout: New Vegas' last major piece of downloadable content, Lonesome Road, the tone of which seems only slightly more positive than Eurogamer's review.

Our esteemed host, Atomic Gamer awards it a 6/10 and calls it "half-baked", but still wishes for Obsidian to work on the franchise again in the future.

I'm reminded of Mass Effect 2's Arrival DLC, a half-baked little add-on that ended an otherwise grand and epic game with a bit of a whimper. But where BioWare got some leeway from gamers in the knowledge that there was a bright future ahead and that Mass Effect 3 was on the way, this unsatisfying conclusion to the New Vegas saga leaves me kind of upset that it had to end this way - and a little concerned for Obsidian's future, especially since the studio has already had to lay off people in the last year and we know of no other AAA games they've got up their sleeves. With any luck, Obsidian already has another major project lined up, and if not, then maybe Bethesda will task them with creating Fallout 4 using the Creation engine (which powers Skyrim) or maybe RAGE's id Tech 5 engine. It seems pretty much certain that we'll see another major Fallout release, sooner or later, and despite the Lonesome Road disappointment, I for one hope that our friends at Obsidian remain at the helm.
Gamer Limit is slightly more positive, 7.5/10.
Overall Lonesome Road is a fairly standard romp through the world of Fallout, but I can’t help but expect more out of the game’s supposed final expansion. While the experience overall is enjoyable, other than the very end; after everything is said and done and your choice is made, there isn’t anything truly exciting on offer on this DLC.
The Controller Online, 6/10.
Coming close on the heels of Old World Blues, which was fantastic, Lonesome Road is a let down. The story is relevant and very interesting but the gameplay does not fit with the main theme of Fallout New Vegas. Lonesome Road could have been told in one long cut-scene to save you the trouble. Unless you’re just in it for the new loot, your money is better spent on Dead Money or Old World Blues.
Just Push Start didn't have time to check what weapons were vanilla and what were added by the DLC, 3.5/5.
Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road is a fitting end for the story of the courier but due to the lack of content/replayability it is a disappointment following the hugely successful Old World Blues. While the story and some of the characters will have you enjoying the experience the rest of the add-on will make that feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment will quickly fade. This is best for those who are heavy duty Fallout fans and those who can look past the problems in the downloadable content.
Finally, Empty Lifebar comes across as the only truly positive piece, 5/5.
Once Ulysses has made his intentions clear it’s up to you to find him. Along the way you’ll learn about the past you share and his strange fascination with you. You and him will have an ending to things, a meeting between two Couriers that will be remembered for years to come. Your choices at the end of the road have the chance to affect the Mojave, and thus, the rest of your game. There are numerous choices, and thus several different endings. No matter your decision in the end, feel free to sit back and relax, it’s been a long journey, but it’s finally over. Lonesome Road is by far the best Fallout DLC yet, adding tons of new weapons and gear, new combat scenarios, and a well-written story. The way in which the tale ends makes it feel as though it had always been planned as one of the installments. One possible complaint regarding the add-on is the lack of characters to speak with. Aside from Ulysses and your companion, the only voices you’ll hear are that of pre-recorded Holotapes of the long-dead.

Still, Lonesome Road is an amazing journey, one that Fallout has been without. This DLC is a must buy for any Fallout fan, the hours of new content, amount of exploration, and unique environments make the add-on more than worth the $ 1o it costs. Lonesome Road lends itself to numerous play-throughs for those who want to see the different endings and the ways in which the Mojave might be affected.

News for Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 19:53

Bethesda's senior producer Jason Bergman just tweeted that Lonesome Road is out on PSN in Europe too. Some users are reportedly having problems with the login, which hopefully should be solved quickly.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:13

It appears we've got our first review for Lonesome Road, as Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead comes back for the last New Vegas' DLC, and he's quite obviously not impressed, and hands it a meager 5/10.

So Lonesome Road has already squandered most of what made New Vegas so much fun by the time it reaches its rather garbled conclusion, which leaves the loot to tip the balance. Here, again, it's a bit of a let down. The flare gun is fun, and the new nail gun is a useful, silent way to cripple enemy limbs. The Red Glare rocket launcher is extremely handy, though you'll need around 50,000 caps to upgrade it fully.

There are also some cool new perks that allow you to reset your karma, but mostly the new additions are functional rather than essential. In fact, I found that the superior weapons obtained during Old World Blues got me through more encounters than anything introduced here.

Fans angry that they need to fork out more money to see the "real" ending of the game can rest easy. The events of Lonesome Road build to a suitably apocalyptic climax, but it has none of the depth, pace or meaning of the face-off between House, Caesar and the NCR that rounded out the original storyline. Completists will want to see it through, just to say they did, but it's a shame to see such an epic atomic age narrative go out with a whimper rather than a bang.

News for Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:08

As anticipated by senior producer Jason Bergman Lonesome Road has gone live on Steam, both in the States and Europe.

People who live in the US and play the PS3 version of the game should be getting the DLC as soon as PSN updates, while European PS3 users will have to wait until tomorrow.

EDIT: it's now up on PSN in North America

Posted by Brother None - at 17:25

With Lonesome Road releasing today on three platforms (delayed on PlayStation for Europe until tomorrow), Chris Avellone has a new developer blog entitled Lonesome Road: Beginnings and Endings.

In short, the idea for this last DLC would be the player would be contracted to travel one of the most dangerous roads in the wasteland, the goal a linear one - head for the setting sun, starting at point A, and try to survive to reach point B. In an original draft, we tried to think what payment would work for accepting such a job and what you would carry, when it occurred to us that the player may simply want to satisfy their curiosity about the past and who's been hunting you all this time. So we left it at that.

As for what that means for the Wasteland afterward? Who knows. While the finale of New Vegas proper ends at the second battle of Hoover Dam, traveling into your character's history, into the past of the Courier and of the Fallout world, was still a narrative road open to us.

A bit about writing - when doing narrative design, writing is the smallest part of what we do from a storytelling perspective. The rest is getting creative with the time and resources you have. We then use that to flesh out visual storytelling design documents, scripting the begin and end slides, graffiti layouts and placement design, chronologies and timelines, monster ecologies, level design aesthetics and naming of locations, loading screen lore, quest layouts and quest names - even the inventory items are designed to reinforce the theme, whether from mad scientist gear to Sierra Madre chips.

Still, for all that work, the narrative largely comes from you. In fact, most Fallout players have far more interesting stories of their gameplay experiences than we could ever dream up as narrative designers. In my opinion, that's how it should be.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 13:53

Going by various reports coming from places such as The Vault and the official Bethesda forums, Lonesome Road has gone live on Xbox 360 in the United States and Europe. No word of when the DLC will go live on Steam or PSN, as of now.

News for Monday, September 19, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:46

According to what senior producer Jason Bergman stated on the Beth forums, Lonesome Road, the last story-based DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, and Gun Runner's Arsenal and Courier's Stash, the two item packs planned for the title, will be released one day later in Europe, just as it happened with the latest DLC released so far, Old World Blues.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:41

Exactly one day from its release, Coin-Op TV found the time to put online a brief video interview with Chris Avellone, focused on, you guessed it, Lonesome Road, although Chris also talks about the DLC business model in general, voice actors and whether Bethesda will release a GotY edition for New Vegas. Here's the embedded Youtube video:

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:32

The folks at Bethesda have uploaded the final pre-release Ulysses' holotape for Lonesome Road on their blog, preceded by the customary introduction from Chris Avellone:

The past can be difficult to escape from. If you’ve played Honest Hearts, not only will you have heard hints of Ulysses’ presence, you will have seen the results of what he’s done in the past that helped shape the White Legs, from their armaments to their rituals. The knowledge your Courier can find in the Divide can help put the tragedies of the past in a larger perspective.

History follows strange roads, and it can follow you no matter how far you walk. This is the third of several holotapes your Courier can discover in Lonesome Road, and helps shed more light on New Canaan, the White Legs, and Graham.

The rest of the holotapes? They are for your Courier to find in the Divide. Perhaps the history within them holds the key to the future.
Direct link.

News for Sunday, September 18, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 10:00

We're finally at the last installment of Will Ooi's long and interesting interview with Obsidian's chief creative director Chris Avellone, available on Will's Blog and Gamasutra. This time Chris goes on length about Fallout titles, especially Fallout: New Vegas and its DLC, Fallout 2 and Van Buren, those being the titles he worked on. The subjects include the original plans for Ulysses, what he and the people on the team learned from the mistakes made with Fallout 2, humor in games and more. Avellonian snippet ahead:

WO: When cutting Ulysses from the original, vanilla version of New Vegas, was there always an intention to have him - as well as characters only hinted at, such as Elijah - feature in the DLCs?

MCA: No, I didn't know until the end of DLC1 that Ulysses would be part of the narrative arc, it evolved out of writing those characters in the DLC. Elijah and the Burned Man were always intended for the DLCs, and planning to incorporate them and the other hooks occurred before FNV was finished.

As far as Ulysses, there's been some talk that the DLCs feature material that was axed in the game, and that's largely incorrect.* Even Ulysses' incarnation in FNV isn't what he came to be in the DLC narrative arc. All the characters and locations in the DLC are brand new, and the most we did was to make sure there were visual and narrative hooks to these DLCs prior to release (signage, hints, discussions about the other courier). Doing these hooks aren't easy to mask because everyone can have access to the GECK and files on release, so as one example - with Felicia Day's recordings where Veronica discusses Elijah post-Dead Money, we had to make up fake topic lines in order to mask who she'd really be talking about when the DLC was released.

* One notable exception was the LAER rifle, which was a model from New Vegas we didn't use in the main game. We decided to make it work in the DLCs.

WO: Prior to the release of Honest Hearts, the The Burned Man, Joshua Graham, was of near-mythical status thanks in part to the fact that he was only ever spoken of and hinted at with awe. What are the considerations in ensuring that such mystique is maintained when finally bringing these characters to life?

MCA: First, the character model. There's challenges in models in Fallout, where you have a choice between doing a model that can lip-sync and have facial expressions (like Graham) but not have as much freedom with the body type and construction, or you can go down the path that we did with Ulysses, where we decided to forsake that in order to build a completely custom model for the player to interact with.

Also, you have to be clear - when talking about a myth, it's just that, a myth. The reality in meeting someone is certain to either defy people's expectations (and it's difficult when this happens, because when a player imagines a certain character to be a certain way and they're not, they're invariably disappointed because let's face it - anything they can imagine as cool is usually going to be better than what we try to guess would be cool for them).

At the same time, it's the perfect opportunity to surprise them and use that expectation as a twist, which I think Graham (and Josh) did extremely well.

News for Friday, September 16, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 19:06

The Flaming Mac blog has a pretty nice opinion piece on New Vegas' odd place in the Fallout franchise. It weirdly obsesses over the PC not being from a vault (and how often can we do that before it gets gimmicky) and apparently not knowing the Courier is not, in fact, native to the Mojave area you play the game in. But he makes good points about the game's overly straight good-guy-bad-guy plot and linearity.

The NCR-Legion war is one of the best and strongest story elements in New Vegas, as well as being closer to previous Fallout narratives than other parts of the game. Fallout games have a strong motif of examining how societies are formed and run, and New Vegas may actually exceed previous games in this respect. However, the gradual progression of pursuing a personal conflict that turns to a regional one is warped and shortened in New Vegas. The player is made aware of the NCR-Legion conflict in the game’s prologue, and the PC hears about it from nearly everyone they meet. There is no surprise turn, no twist that preys on the emotional drive developed on the fear and love compelling the PC’s first ventures in to the wastes. The PC is aware of the conflict and its significance very early on, so all that’s left is to find out how you’ll get involved.

Even the vengeful, personal pursuit of Benny is paralleled by the mystery and importance of the Platinum Chip. There is simply no surprise here: you know that you’ve got to be in a fairly important game from the get-go if you’re being pawned around by casino owners grappling over a valuable object. The only surprise is what the Platinum Chip does – which doesn’t actually re-define the conflict, it just moves the odds around.

The strangest shift in New Vegas is the strikingly linear feel to the game’s beginning. Literally linear, in that you’re pointed down a road where a hundred yards from either edge lie men or beasts that will kill you in seconds, so you’d damn well better stay on that road. (Perhaps they were a little too enamored with Cormac McCarthy, which I can’t entirely blame them for: The Road was superb.) All the previous Fallout maps had an almost agoraphobic, shelter-less, panic-inducing openness: you really can go in any direction. There were safer directions to go in, and more obvious paths, but nothing felt imposed. The Lone Wanderer of Fallout 3 could, completely by chance, stumble in to Smith Casey’s Garage and emerge with his father, skipping the whole first act. That is truly Fallout-style open-world storytelling.

News for Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:29

We already brought you news that it was gonna be released today, so without further ado, here is the trailer for the last major DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, Lonesome Road, in which we'll find out why Ulysses didn't take the job that got our own Courier into the mess that is the title's plot.

Thanks, Generic Dude 2.0 (duh) and Briosafreak.

News for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 21:22

The second of the weekly Lonesome Road Holotape recordings is now available on the BethBlog. This holotape details Ulysses' travels to and from the Big MT from the Old World Blues DLC, and can be found in Lonesome Road itself. Like the last one, it is marked by elliptical speech patterns, logging in at 1:53 in length.

The Fallout New Vegas DLCs have been a unique opportunity to do short stories in the Fallout universe, and a rare opportunity to know, for certain, you’re going to be able to do a series of adventures, with a clear ending. As a narrative designer that allows you to do something rare in the game industry – foreshadowing across multiple titles.

As an experiment, we decided to use this opportunity to tell an overarching story in the Fallout universe, and let the player see firsthand the wreckage left behind in the tracks of two couriers, from your Courier, to Elijah, to Christine, to the Sierra Madre, to Graham and the White Legs, to the Old World madness of the Big Empty… and lastly, the road that leads into the heart of the Divide and the player’s past through Ulysses’ eyes.

This is the second holotape your Courier can discover in Lonesome Road, and helps put Ulysses’ journey to Big MT in Old World Blues in perspective. It was another accident sparked by what happened at the Divide, with far-ranging consequences.
Direct link.

The trailer is coming tomorrow..

News for Saturday, September 10, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 1:47

You may recall MCA telling us Jace Hall "was brought in initially as a skit for the Jace Hall show to be bad and then fired", but they ended up liking his take on the talking Toaster in OWB. The Jace Hall Show website now has an interview with Jason Bergman about the episode and the toaster.

JHS: The episode certainly captures the drama of the “toaster recording session”…were there any unforeseen challenges that arose with having Jace do the voice of the toaster?

There were two, really. One, was that we were cracking up the entire time. Both when we were filming, and when we were doing the “real” recording that we used in-game. Travis Stout was the writer of the Toaster, and it’s a very, very funny script. Jace handled it like a pro.

Which brings up the other problem – Jace’s voice. The voice he does for the toaster is super deep and aggressive. By the end, you could tell he was really straining himself to keep going. Fortunately it wasn’t a very long script, because I don’t know how much longer he could have kept up that level of intensity.
Thanks GameBanshee.

News for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 18:53

You probably already saw this elsewhere, but in case you didn't: a girl made a pretty neat Fallout 3-based Monopoly game for her boyfriend. See the details here or see more on her Deviant Art.

Speaking of Fallout-based things, it seems an entrepreneurial European has decided to bottle and sell Nuka Cola (thanks Fallout Now). It's an attractive-looking website and a funny concept. If you want to order (I didn't, the shipping costs are way out there), you better hurry because Bethesda is going to cease and desist that company as soon as they see this post.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:49

While Bethesda did not hire Mark Morgan for Fallout 3, Game-OST lets us know the Fallout and Planescape: Torment composer has been hired for Human Head Studios-developed and Bethesda-published Prey 2.

A few minutes ago a cult composer Mark Morgan has officially confirmed our website he and Jason Graves are writing the soundtrack for Prey 2.

As Mark Morgan told Game-OST, he is responsible for that part of ambient and electronic music in general, while Jason creates an orchestral tracks. We will find out the details during creation of the soundtrack.

News for Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:11

To prepare us for the release of the last story-based DLC for New Vegas, Lonesome Road, Bethesda has released on their blog the first of a series of holotapes recorded by Ulysses the courier may find during his journey to the Divide. Here is what project director Chris Avellone has to say himself on the blog:

Lonesome Road brings the DLC story arc to a close – events that were first hinted at in New Vegas and Dead Money come to pass, as the last of the DLC cast of characters, Ulysses, reveals himself. For a time, we just introduced him through the perspectives of other characters, a description of another Courier who wore an Old World flag on his back, and in Old World Blues, a mysterious figure who marked his presence through graffiti and holotapes left in the Big Empty.

But those holotapes weren’t the only recordings. Ulysses carried more on his journey back to the Divide, and used them to chronicle his past and yours. As your Courier will discover in Lonesome Road, these recordings of Ulysses are buried in the wreckage and storms of the Divide. As you walk the road, you’ll have a chance to hear the history of the courier who has spent years hunting you down.

This is the first of a series of holotapes your Courier may find in the Divide. While we, as developers only knew a few things for certain about your player character’s history, Ulysses can shed more light on past events – and events to come.
And here's the direct link to the MP3.

News for Saturday, September 3, 2011

Posted by Dude101 - at 15:07

This is the final interview in this series. I hope you enjoyed them.

Who are you?
My name is Mark and I am 36 years old. Originally, I'm from the Midwest United States. I say 'originally' because my job has taken me all over this country and the world (eastern US, Japan, Greece, S. Korea, Australia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Ireland, Hong Kong and others). Like another 'legendary modder' (a title I am not entirely comfortable with Razz), I too have a super power: I can steal ideas and mods, take them apart, reverse-engineer them, tweak them, and incorporate them into
my own! Razz

What do you do outside of modding?
I'm still affiliated with the Navy. They keep me kinda busy. But in my off time I like to travel, read, watch sci-fi, and, my favorite thing - spend time with my family. I'm not married, so if there are any Fallout groupies out there - female ones - hit me up! I promise to make time for them, too! Very Happy

The Megamod is a personal mod you share with everyone else because you are nice Wink. Have you ever considered hoarding it for yourself to taunt those that demand things from you?

Ha! I see you have maintained your sense of humor! Razz I can be pretty bad, but I'm not THAT bad! Quite the opposite: I toyed with the idea of making custom mods for a while for those people with special requests. The only time (since it was originally released) that I've considered keeping it for myself was if I'd seen a new mod that someone had made and they didn't want it included in the Megamod. Then I would have added the mod to the Megamod, and just kept that version for myself.

Do you plan on merging the final version of the RP with the mod?
Definitely. It's a big mod, of course, so it's gonna take some time. Some elements have already been added, though.

The MM has gobbled up most other mods already. Do you have any new features planned?
There are still other mods in progress that I would like to include. I also have bits and pieces of mods made by others that I may go back and complete for inclusion in the Megamod. Two of these that readily come to mind are the New Arroyo mod and the Toxic Caves mod. I keep a file with a bunch of ideas that I consider including. Sometimes they are story/mod ideas (like one I have involving Zax, the Glow, and some "friends"; and others involving party NPCs when you have left them somewhere). Sometimes it is for some cool little item that could aid in quests (like one I have about a kit that can be assembled with the proper skills and training to temporarily change a male character into a female one). Sometimes they are for new perks, skills, or quests. I've got ideas for party NPC enhancements. I also have a number of maps that I have collected over the years that I want to incorporate in some way. No, I'm not done with the Megamod just yet. Wink

How did you get into Fallout modding?
I started in December 2004. I was home from the Navy and had a lot of free time. I was online, looking at the NMA website and came across a few mods. I installed one new location, and I thought: Hmm... that's interesting. So I installed another location mod, and thought: Hmm... that's interesting. Then I thought that it would make for a bigger, better game if I could add these mods together to play at the same time. Of course, when I tried it, my game was broken. Not badly broken, but a few things were off. So, I grabbed a few tools, read a few tutorials, and fixed the minor glitches. Once I saw that I was able to fix those small glitches, I was hooked on modding. I searched for a few more mods, waited patiently for a few others to be completed, and started the work of combining them together, keeping an (overly) detailed log of everything I had changed. I started the mod in December 2004 and worked on it til November 2005. I didn't announce it before it was completed because, the project was originally just for me. I hadn't even considered giving it to the community at first. I wasn't trying to be selfish, I just didn't look at it as a project for the masses. It was just a giant puzzle I was working on the whole time, seeing if I could get all the pieces to fit together: Can I figure this out? But, as it got closer to being done, and I had gotten some help from a couple of people, I thought I'd go ahead and release it. Plus, I thought that by releasing it that I'd have a lot more people playtesting it for me, identifying bugs. Hmmm... maybe I am just totally selfish! Wink

Where do you find inspiration for this?
Well, originally, I was just stealing everyone else's mods. Not much inspiration required for that! Razz Again, I was originally just trying to see if I could get a whole bunch of mods to work together. But, eventually, I started to be a little more selective about mods I added and even started adding my own little elements. Sometimes it is just things I wish I could do in the game. Sometimes I'm just trying to figure out an alternate way to solve something in the game. Or, maybe I want something a little more realistic or challenging. Sometimes it is something from a movie or book. I downloaded a lot of fanmade Fallout PnP files way-back-when that I look through occasionally for ideas. I consider myself a somewhat
creative person, though. I'll write down original ideas with any notes that come to mind and brainstorm. I might set an idea aside for a time, and come back to it later, just trying to think up ways the idea can be implemented and what the effects would be in-game. And when I get stuck, I'll bounce a few ideas off people. I know that is a real shocker to some: "MIB88 doesn't listen to anybody!" they may say. No, I do sometimes. Chris Parks, Morticia, Nirran, and Tom Dude101 have proven to be really good sounding boards.

Who is your most influential modder?
Other than the TeamX New Vision mod and a couple of small location mods, I haven't played any other mods. But, Killap is great because of his dedication. He wants to produce this perfect product, and that is very commendable. Timeslip has done
some great things for the community (and helped me with a few things for my mod specifically), and it is because of her that we can implement certain things in our mods. Josan12 is to be commended for dealing with the tediousness of making so much new art. I mean, that takes real dedication to deal with that tediousness. Nirran has helped me out immensely and also created a number of his own mods. And I am really appreciative of the work TeamX has done. Really, the list could go on and on about the people who have modded, made modding tools, or helped/influenced me... just look at the Credits in the Megamod. But, I think the most influential modders for me were Lich, Skynet, and Shadowbird. Crazy, huh? I say that they are the most influential modders not because they created huge projects for Fallout... they didn't. They didn't come up with anything especially groundbreaking back then. But... their mods were the first ones that I came across: Bunker 21, the Truck location, and the Abbey. I saw those mods and installed them and saw what was possible. That is what got me started in modding.

Any advice for newcomers to the modding scene?
Well, there's the standard advice people always say: Start small. Don't be overly ambitious. Maybe join a small team til you get your (modding) feet wet. Don't just come to the table with a bunch of ideas, be prepared to contribute something tangible, since everyone has ideas and that is the fun and easy part. Don't get discouraged about any roadblocks you encounter, just keep working on it and asking for help if you get stuck... That sort of thing. But, staying true to my character, I think the best advice is akin to what Yoda says in The Empire Strikes Back when he says to Luke and Ben: My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. (I know, I'm a real Star Wars nerd!) Same sort of thing, though. Keep your own counsel. Add the things you want to see. Make the mod you want to play. If others like it, cool. If they don't, that's cool, too. But, if you make the mod you want to see, then the task will not seem like such a burden... or, will seem like less of a burden, anyway. As long as you are having fun modding, that is all that really matters, as far as I'm concerned. That's why I always say that the minute that modding is no longer fun, or feels like a job, I'll quit then and there.

Where do Fallout 1,2,3,NV rank in your all-time favorite titles?
Ok, I'm gonna admit some more bad stuff about myself. While I own Fallout 3 (the one that came in the fancy lunchbox) and Fallout: New Vegas (also the collector's version), I have yet to install or play either. So, really it is just a vote between Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. Both are excellent games, each with certain merits over the other. However, because of the size of the gameworld, the ability to mod it more easily, and maybe because of the fact that I played Fallout 2 first (blame it on the being overseas), I would say that Fallout 2 rates higher in my book.

Who is your favorite Fallout character and why?
Well, the dogs are cool because they can fight (and I just like dogs). Marcus is cool because of his backstory. Lenny has the potential for an awesome backstory. (Imagine the things he could have seen or done in 175 years or so.) I like characters who are flawed in some way. Myron is too much of a jerk. I like Cassidy, though. He might not be the smartest or toughest of the party NPCs. But he can fight. And, he seems like a rather crotchety old man that I could relate to.

What do you think about FNV?
I think that the box set I bought looks really cool. I like the novel and other goodies included. I know, I know: It's pathetic that I have not installed it and about 10 other games I bought.

What's your take on modern RPGs?
Wow. This really is kind of a tough question to answer for me. I mean, I haven't played many modern RPGs, so I don't have much of a basis with which to even form an opinion. I bought several, and fully intend to play them. The last game I fully played through was Planescape: Torment about 7 years ago (friggin' awesome, and one of my all time favorites). I even made it virtually to the end of Lionheart, Arcanum, and Baldur's Gate. I own Neverwinter Nights (and some expansions), expansions to Baldur's Gate, Assassin's Creed, The Temple of Elemental Evil, The Witcher, Shadowrun, and others, and have either never installed them yet or haven't played into them much. I really like the games, but either I lack time to play them or just get sidetracked onto other things. I am a fan of the newer titles, but, I like the older ones more. I like the games where what you do really matters to the game world, where you have a ton of choices. Wasteland was great. And, to this day, two of my favorite games are Omega and Ancient Domains of Mystery (which, for those who don't know, are totally ASCII graphics). But, from what I've read in reviews, most of the newer titles seem very watered down. And I am no fan of watered-down RPGs.

What would you prioritise if you survived a nuclear war? (water, procreation, Saviour of knowledge or finding shelter)
Well, I am a fan of all those things, especially the whole procreation bit (just want to do my part to ensure the continuation of the species!). I think I may even consider myself a savior of knowledge, as demonstrated by my collection of games that I
haven't even installed yet. However, I'm gonna say shelter would be my priority. Who cares if you have supplies, knowledge, and a hot babe if you absorb enough rads to make you glow in the dark and give you a permanent orange afro?!

News for Thursday, September 1, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 14:48

This is a post more for turn-based strategy/RPG fans than Fallout fans. NowGamer offers an interesting interview with Julian Gollop, who is best-known for his work on the turn-based strategy-RPG series X-COM. That series is now getting an FPS reboot (sound familiar?), but once upon a time was set to get a spiritual successor/remake that was to be turn-based but different. Who messed it up? Interplay after being taken over by Titus and Herve Caen.

What can you tell us about the cancelled The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge project for Virgin, which was rumoured, in spirit, to be a full 3D version of your original X-COM game?

Yes, it was designed as a sort of remake of X-COM for PC and PlayStation 2, and it was looking very promising actually. We were using a lot of new technology, including the Havok physics engine, which was very new at that stage. At the time we were one of the very few companies that were using it.

It was quite an ambitious project – the closest thing I can relate it to is probably Valkyria Chronicles on the PS3. We had a third-person camera view behind your character with a bar representing your Action Points, which went down as you moved.

When you went into shooting mode it went into a first-person view and you could select snap shots or aimed shots, which altered the size of an aiming circle on screen. So you did the shooting from that view, and went back to the third-person view to move your characters. In fact, when I first played Valkyria Chronicles it was quite eerie because it was a very similar system to what we had with Dreamland.

We also had an interesting destructible terrain system with lots of physics, so you could blow holes in buildings with a rocket launcher and see all the brickwork fly around, then move through the gaps, it was quite advanced for its time. Unfortunately Virgin got taken over by Interplay, who in turn got taken over by Titus Interactive.

Titus had no interest in what we were doing – they were only after Interplay’s assets, and they cancelled the project. But because we had a four-game deal with Virgin and had only done one game for them – Magic & Mayhem – we had no choice but to wind up the company at that point.