Boot's Corner

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Fallout: New Vegas — Some Observations

Posted by JungleBoot on October 28, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas is the recent installment in a series of Bethesda games that put the gamer in a post-apocolypse life.  As the title indicates, this time you are in and around the Las Vegas area.  You start out in the small town of Goodsprings.  Here you wake up in a doctor’s office and begin creating your character.  Luckily, the process is far simpler than in Fallout 3.  There is very little roleplaying.  You merely create your character and get sent on your way.

Unlike Fallout 3, you have the option to start right away and go exploring or go through the tutorial.  A hard core gamer would choose to ignore the tutorial and just start exploring.  Keep in mind, that “tutorial mission” doesn’t go away.  The game isn’t smart enough to disable this mission should you leave the area — an oversight in my opinion.  Instead, you may go back at any time and start it.

My first time through I ignored the traits during character creation.  I didn’t see how any of them would benefit me.  That changed on my second attempt.  I decided to go with Four Eyes and Heavy Handed.  Heavy handed is pretty straight forward.  It makes your melee attacks stronger.  Ok, that’s cool and handy.  Four Eyes increases your Perception by 1 when glasses are worn and decreases it by 1 when without glasses. So, if during character creation you left your Perception alone at 5 and took the Four Eyes trait, Perception will drop to 4.  Now, take the glasses on the table in the Doctor’s office and put them on.  The glasses will boost perception by 2 (+2).  Your Perception now is 6+.  Find a hat that provides a +1 to Perception and put it on.  Perception rises to 7+.  Now you have a few options on raising Perception more. 
 
01. You can take Intense Training to increase Perception by 1 point again.
02  You can vist the New Vegas Clinic near the Crimson Caravan Coumpound and purchase an implant (4,000 caps) that will increase Perception by 1.
03. You could do both and raise Perception to 9 when wearing glasses.

That’s kind of nice when you think about it.  The choice is yours.  Personally, I wouldn’t waste Intense Training perk twice here and just be happy with 8 points in Perception.  Plus, if you add ED-E as a companion, you’ll get his “Perception” perk.

I mentioned the New Vegas Clinic and implants.  What is that all about?  It’s simple.  Do you remeber the bobble heads from Fallout 3?  The bobble heads increased certain skill stats and SPECIAL points.  These bobble heads are not present in Fallout: New Vegas.  Therefore, you may purchase implants that will increase each SPECIAL score by 1 point.  It’s not cheap.  Each one will cost you 4,000 caps.  So, you will have to increase your Barter skill and wear the Trader Hat and Trader outfit to maximize your gain when selling weapons to merchants.  My favorite place is Gun Runners.  In some cases, especially early, it is better to sell the weapons you pick up in their current condition than repair them first.  It just depends.

On to something new.  What to do first?  Where should I go and why?  What skills are the most important to tag during character creation?  First thing you need to do is aquire a base of operations.  This will become your hideout and place to stash gear.  Refrigerators are not required.  You just need a place to sleep and be able to organize your stuff.  The Nevada Highway Patrol Station is the perfect place.  You have a place to rest inside the jail and multiple storage containers.  It is located south of Primm and the NCR detachment stationed there.  This is the first place you should take over.  That gives you what to do first, where, and why.  As far as skill tags go, it’s really up to the player.  However, one should always be Energy Weapons or Guns.  Guns are everywhere.  Energy weapons are found primarily in New Vegas  That makes my choice easy.  I always take Guns.  Plus, I like using Sniper rifles.  My other choices are Repair and Speech.  I prefer to talk my way out of situations or gain compliance through dialouge options.  Why take Repair?  It doesn’t work like it did before.  Repair works differently.  Before you were limited to how well you could repair an object.  Now, you can repair everything to 100% regardless.  What repair does now is determine how well your repair is.  In other words, by using 1 Varmint rifle to repair another Varmint rifle you will gain an X percent increase in weapon condition based on your Repair Skill.  The higher your Repair score the better that percentage is and the less items you must use to make full repairs.

Why not choose Science or Lockpick?  That’s a good question.  There are probably good reasons to take them.  But, I discovered in Fallout 3 that most of the places I gained access to using Lockpick and Science weren’t worth it.  Once I place enough points in Guns, Repair, and Speech, I go back and start increasing Science, Lockpick, and Medicine — in that order.  And if there is a chance after those three, I would raise Survival.  There is a good benefit to raising Survival high.  You can make foods that will replenish health X amount of points over X amount of time without increasing your radiation exposure.

Anyway, I could go on about my observations.  But, if you have a question.  Ask.  If I have an answer, I’ll provide it.

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