Be Careful What You Wish For.

Happy Weekend TAY!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend. I had a hit and miss week of gaming as I was down a day and a bit with a migraine and I’ve finally started the demolition of the old hot tub on our deck. I’m not very handy, but the job is going rather well. It is my first real project with a reciprocating saw and I don’t know how I lived without one. I’m cutting the hot tub into chunks that will fit in our SUV and can be taken to the dump. It is hot work with the weather and unpleasantly filled with loads of mouse poo from all the mice that made their homes in the foam insulation.

On the gaming front I’ve started Fallout: New Vegas. Well, I did start after almost four hours of modding it. Even with Nexusmods fantastic modding tool it took a lot of time researching the different mods, installing and setting up these mods, and then repeating many of the steps in different orders to get the mods to play nicely together. I also had to get parts of the Fallout: New Vegas DLC to get some of the mods to work properly. Thankfully the Steam Sale was still happening and I picked up the Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition on the cheap. The game seems super stable after the stability patches and I imagine the visual improvements are nice, though I have no basis of comparison having never played the game before.

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I didn’t really enjoy my experience with Fallout 3 and this is partially the reason I am so late in playing New Vegas. I’m not completely sure I can nail down what it was about Fallout 3 I didn’t like. Some of it was the level design, for an open world it was broken up into weird chunks that made exploration a little odd to wrap my head around. Also, the landscape was far less interesting for me than Oblivion. Actually, speaking of Oblivion, I think that was probably the biggest factor in my dislike for Fallout 3. I enjoyed the gameplay and the environments much more in Oblivion but I also played Fallout 3 shortly after putting over 200 hours in to Oblivion. I was likely just a little burnt out on Bethesda’s formula by the time I got to Fallout 3. Even now, New Vegas is giving me PTSD flashbacks from my year spent with The Elder Scrolls Online.

I started up Fallout: New Vegas in Hardcore mode. I know I keep complaining about wanting my games to be tougher, so I figured I would play New Vegas in this punishing mode to see if it satisfied my masochistic gaming tendencies.

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And wow, it’s pretty rough! Aside from the big bump in general difficulty, the table below lists the changes to Hardcore mode. (thanks Wikia for the table)

Normal

Hardcore

Stimpaks heal instantly.

Stimpaks heal over time.

Radaway heals radiation poisoning instantly.

Radaway heals radiation poisoning over time.

Doctor's bags heal all limbs fully.

Doctor's bags heal limbs partially.

Crippled limbs can be healed with stimpaks, or by sleeping in any bed or mattress.

Only a doctor, a doctor's bag, sleeping in certain beds, healing poultice, weapon binding ritual, Auto-Doc, or hydra can heal a crippled limb.

Ammunition is weightless.

Ammunition has weight.

Companions cannot die, instead getting knocked unconscious for a short time.

Companions can die. However, they still heal without stimpak after battle.

No Dehydration, Starvation, or Sleep deprivation.

The Courier must drink, eat, and have proper sleep cycles or will suffer increasingly negative effects, up to immediate death.


I’m generally happy with the changes, though I suspect the ammunition weight is the cause of a lot of my woes. I’m constantly over my weight limit and having to frequent the shops endlessly. I haven’t had any companions as of yet, so I’m not sure of the impact of companions dying, but I would suspect that’s a rather big change as well. The eating, drinking, and sleeping adds a nice layer of realism to the game, though lugging around lots of food and water is also heavily impacting my inventory.

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Right now I seem to die a lot, though it is early and I suck as a character. I’m not very good at optimizing RPG character builds, so I hope that doesn’t bite me in the ass later. I don’t know how critical that is for the game at this difficulty.

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The biggest problem at the moment is the Legion assassins. The game revolves around the struggles of many factions and the conflicts between them. The Legion seem like bad folk and I killed a bunch of them in a burnt out little town called Nipton. After that I had Legion assassins after me. Assassins are common in most of Bethesda’s games, however on hardcore mode I can’t even beat one of the assassins in the group hunting me. They are brutal, I hardly do any damage to them. I’ve had one successful encounter with the hired guns but that was only because they attacked me in a military town and the troops stationed there softened them up. However, the result was that most of the town guards were obliterated, even some I was sent to speak to.

I don’t mind the assassins being tough and having to run away at the sight of them (which is also really hard to accomplish) but they are so much more powerful than me. I worry that I might have bitten off more than I can chew with the hardcore mode. I guess I should be careful what I wish for when complaining about all the easy games I play.

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Last week I also finished Octodad: Dadliest Catch with my kid. It was a great little game, though I think the brevity of the game kept it from getting repetitive. It really is a one trick pony, but the trick was great. Has anyone played the first Octodad and can comment on whether or not it is worth checking out after playing the second game? I wonder if the second game is just a refinement of the first game.

This weekend will likely be filled with saws and hot tubs. I’m sure I’ll be revisiting the wastelands around New Vegas and maybe I’ll have a chance for more Yoshi’s Woolly World with the boy.

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What are you playing this weekend?