Fallout: New Vegas official forum post roundup

Ausir October 9, 2010 User blog:Ausir

Here's a roundup of Fallout: New Vegas-related posts by developers in official forums. We haven't done these in a while, so here's quite a few of them.

Will there be Elvis songs?

Sorry guys, no Elvis in FNV.

We felt we were better off getting a wide variety of music than getting a single Elvis song.

Jason Bergman

Asked about components for ammo crafting:

You can occasionally find boxes of primers, boxes of cases, or jars of powder on merchants (usually at the Gun Runners).

J.E. Sawyer

About fast travel in hardcore mode:

In Hardcore mode, fast travel only works if you won't die due to dehydration/starvation/etc. during the time it takes to get there. So there are *some* limitations on it.

Jason Bergman

If you travel a long distance you are likely to have your H20/FOD/SLP meters lighting up when you get to your destination.

J.E. Sawyer

The PipBoy shows exact values (as with RAD in F3), but the HUD has pop-ups for general "danger".

When you hit the first level of badness, the three letter abbreviation will pop up but be dim and HUD-colored. So if your HUD is set to blue and you hit Minor Dehydration, it's a dark blue, semi-opaque H20.

When you hit the second level, it's normal HUD color, fully opaque. No messin' around, get some H20.

At the third level, it turns red. At the fourth level, it slowly pulses red. At the fifth level...

There are five abbreviations that can show up on the HUD: H20, FOD, SLP, RAD, and LMB. With limbs the color changes as more of your limbs are crippled. Just in case you forget that your torso, both legs, and both arms are piles of mush.

J.E. Sawyer

In response to some VATS questions:

I did a playthrough recently on PS3 without pulling up VATS other than fat fingering the trigger. There are certainly play styles and character builds that will get great benefit from VATS and some that don't.

Frank Kowalkowski

I was a stealthy long-ranger with Boone in my corner (sometimes Cass) and also had speech tagged. I also play a lot of console shooters, so the mechanics of dispatching enemies at all ranges is probably helped by that. I used primarily rifles and the more powerful handguns (revolvers). When vault/cave clearing I'd throw an SMG into the mix for room clearing at close range.

Frank Kowalkowski

Long-range characters or stealth-oriented characters benefit less from VATS than general mid-range run-and-gunners.

J.E. Sawyer

Melee or guns stealth?

Either way, it's less useful because the targets tend to be unaware and not moving (or not moving fast), which makes them relatively easy to hit.

There's still a maximum VATS range, regardless of PER. And IMO, it's pretty boring to stroll through the game making silenced VATS head shots at guys at ranges that are far outside of (their) detection range.

J.E. Sawyer

Regarding weapon mods:

"The old way" F3 modders did it should still work if folks aren't satisfied with this functionality. I'm also confident that modders can make new crafting activators to make that type of weapon modding more straightforward for the player.

J.E. Sawyer

Answers to various weapon-related questions:

The slide does move and does lock back during reload on the 9mm Pistol. However, the slide moves very quickly so depending on the framerate/capture rate, you may not see it during firing.

J.E. Sawyer

Also there is a "ping" for the rifle in question, but it does occur on reload, not the last round. That's just part of how the engine works.

J.E. Sawyer

Are there any weapons with suppressors other than the varmint rifle and .22 pistol?

There are other weapons that can have suppressors, yes.

J.E. Sawyer

The Courier's origins:

To clarify, the Courier was definitely traveling from California (you are ambushed off of I-15 on the way to New Vegas), but nothing is said about where the Courier came from prior to starting that trip.

J.E. Sawyer

Minimum Strength requirements:

  • Melee/unarmed weapons for which you do not meet the STR requirement inflict an attack rate penalty instead of an accuracy penalty.
  • This general formula also applies to weapon soft skill requirements. Miniguns have a high STR/high Guns requirement, so if you try to use one with a 3 STR, 20 Guns, you're going to be a virtual Don Knotts starring in the Shakiest Gun in the Mojave.
J.E. Sawyer

Humans don't wield miniguns in real life. Humans use miniguns mounted on objects. Even the one Jesse Ventura used in Predator required enormous effort to carry around and was powered by two truck batteries. There's also the problem of ammunition weight. They're not infantry weapons -- not yet, anyway. Superheroes only!

J.E. Sawyer

Minimum skill requirements:

Yes, it's the (soft) skill requirement for the weapon. Early weapons have no numeric skill requirement even though they are (obviously) tied to a specific skill. More powerful weapons have higher skill requirements. If you don't meet the requirements, the weapon will either be less accurate or your attacks will be slower. The top-tier weapons in the game have a 100 skill requirement (e.g. the AMR, Gatling Laser).

So if you neglect Energy Weapons for half the game and pick up a Gauss Rifle, you will have some pretty swervy aim. As with STR requirements, you can still use the weapon if you don't meet the requirement, but you're really ineffective with it.

J.E. Sawyer

Is there a dev console on PC?

Yes there's a console on PC.

The only reason to disable it is because it allows for easy cheating. Which is a big deal in a multiplayer game, but we're single player only. You want to cheat, knock yourself out. :)

Jason Bergman

In response to ammo questions

First, ammo types can alter, among other things, the projectile being used, including the number of projectiles per round consumed (particularly useful for buckshot/slugs).

Second, ammo types can be switched through the PipBoy inventory menu or in real-time by using a hotkey.

J.E. Sawyer

You equip the ammo in the ammo section of the inventory. It works pretty much like equipping weapons or apparel but any ammo that is invalid for your current weapon is "dark" (like a broken piece of gear would be).

J.E. Sawyer

A discussion about gun realism

I'm sure we screwed up a thing or two along the way, but we tried to get most things right.

And if anyone's wondering, on FNV's Service Rifle, you only tap the forward assist on a jam. :disguise:

J.E. Sawyer

From an engine perspective, a jam animation only follows a reload animation, so there are certain things we couldn't do. For example, when your character thumbs the slide release on our 9mm Pistol, the slide will travel all the way forward, completing the reload cycle. This is followed by a weak hand "slingshot" animation for the jam. Of course, if you've had a jam, the round wouldn't have gone into battery and the slide wouldn't have finished its travel. But we couldn't branch the animation, so that's just the way it is. Similarly, if you perform a reload mid-magazine on the 9mm Pistol, the slide will snap back as though you fired the last round in the mag. To be fully realistic, the slide would stay forward and you would manually rack the slide after reloading the new magazine. Bonus realism: when the left arm is crippled, you should manually rack the slide on your leg using the sights.

So, like I said, we tried to get most things right, but there are a few details that we couldn't do or may have overlooked.

J.E. Sawyer

Long-barreled shotguns retain pretty tight groupings at long range, but short-barreled ones have wide spread. And yes, there are both 20 ga. and 12 ga. slugs.

J.E. Sawyer

[About whether automatic weapons have huge recoil]

Not all automatic weapons do, but many of ours do. This wasn't done for realism, but for game balance. This is a game where you are carrying around a 9mm SMG at the same time as a Cowboy Repeater. Because we don't use a progressive recoil system but a flat "spread" value, our automatic weapons tend to have a very wide spread by default. They make up for this by doing a high amount of DPS (damage per second) and are intended for short-to-mid range use. While I know that many automatic weapons can be extremely accurate, especially in semi-auto (e.g. Carlos Hathcock's record-setting long-distance shot in 1967 with a scope-equipped Browning M2 machine gun), for us automatic weapons are the high spread, high DPS weapons.

J.E. Sawyer

The hand loads are an area where we mayyyyy stretch realism a bit. I'm sure someone will look at the stats for a custom .308 JSP and say, "Why does this have a slight DT bypass bonus AND damage bonus if it's soft point?" In cases where hand loads require a high skill investment, we tend to make the rounds better all-around because yeah, you're just that good at selecting the perfect bullets and power loadings. We could have called the variants all "Hand Load", but well... honestly that just seemed kind of boring.

One great thing is that our recipe editor for GECK is extremely easy to use and the ammo forms also allow a lot of customization. So if you're an ultra-purist and want to haul out your reloading table for 50 different flavors of 5.56mm, it's pretty easy to do. We stopped short of overwhelming the player with recipes because I think our general audience cares less about reloading than you or I.

EDIT: One more thing: ammo lists for weapons are standard GECK form lists, so if you want to make really specific form lists that would be appropriate for a specific weapon or a "realistic" list of appropriate bullets for the likely twist of a weapon, you can do that as well. For example, you can make a .38 Special pistol that fires only .38 Special and its variants and you can also make a .357 Magnum revolver that fires all the .38 and all of the .357 Magnum. Similarly, you could make different ammo form lists for weapons with a given twist that use heavier weight bullets and a separate form list for weapons with a twist more well-suited to lighter bullets. That's a lot of nitpicky detail, but yeah you can do it.

J.E. Sawyer


Aiming reduces "wobble" which is the natural random drift of your weapon.

J.E. Sawyer


The recipe/recipe type editors in GECK are extremely easy to use. You can create an enormous number of recipes very quickly. Additionally, launching the crafting interface is done with a parameterized (for recipe type, e.g. Campfire, Reloading Bench, Wacky Science Lab) scripting command, so you can make any activator or trigger launch the interface. You can also do it through conversation scripting, which is how Veronica's Scribe Assistant perk works.

J.E. Sawyer

Here's also some posts posted by J.E. Sawyer at SomethingAwful forum, where he is a regular under the nickname "rope kid":

Having a high Charisma in F:NV gives Nerve (combat bonuses) to your companions.

J.E. Sawyer

The biggest reason (outside of general game balance) to not allow a 90s rap group-sized party is that each companion messily devours large amounts of memory.


That said, having a big party really does make the game balance fly out the window pretty quickly.

J.E. Sawyer

You still can't sleep in owned beds, though in my own playthrough this didn't present any serious problems for dealing with SLP.

J.E. Sawyer

All rifles have a very small amount of spread but it's only appreciable at extreme ranges. If you have the required STR/skill for a weapon, your arms aren't crippled, and you're crouched and aiming, you should have only the tiniest amount of sway.

J.E. Sawyer

Slugs fire single big lumps of metal that do a lot of damage and are good for punching through armor. And while they are more accurate than the spread of buckshot, they are no substitute (accuracy-wise) for a proper rifle.

You can get both 20 ga. and 12 ga. slugs.

J.E. Sawyer
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