Thats right folks, not another poll, not another Hole fight no this news isn't about the Fallout wiki, its about that series of video games nobody remembers. You know the one with the headcrabs and the gravity gun. Ok maybe I'm the one who forgot.

Masthead MMO

Masthead's previous MMO, Earthrise, whose tech is or was being used for Interplay's Project V13 (better known as Fallout Online), is now shutting down, failing to find the funds to convert to free-to-play.

“One year after the launch of the game, we have decided to stop the Earthrise servers. Earthrise was released too early and did not meet the expectations of its fans” said Atanas Atanasov, Director of Masthead Studios. “We did our best to revive the game in 2011, but the time was not enough to keep up with the user requirements. There is a huge interest in high quality open world sandbox MMORPGs, unfortunately the big publishers do not show any interest in the genre. It is unfortunate that low budget companies like ours are trying to bring innovativeness in the already saturated MMO market. I hope that one day an independent studio will be able to release the long anticipated open world sandbox MMO, which everyone is talking about, but no one is making. We tried, but did not succeed. We would like to apologize to those who were disappointed from Earthrise and to thank everyone who supported us during the years."

Guess thats the final nail in the coffin for Fallout Online.

Role-playing Games and the Problem of Sympathetic Characters

The folks at "The Problem With Story" have penned a brief editorial dedicated to what they feel are some design decisions that make it difficult for the player to feel sympathy for your characters in role-playing games. It's not Fallout-centric, but it uses Fallout 3 as the primary examples and touches on some subjects that I'm sure some people here are interested in, so here's a snip:

"Why? What is it that whenever my character is killed or damaged, I have absolutely no concern for his wellbeing?

It’s because the character building aspects of role-playing games are fundamentally broken and prevent sympathy from the player.

Consider what I’ve done with the character so far. I’ve created a façade for him, which is nothing more than an appearance. The fundamental nature of the role playing game is that you create a personality through your reactions to other NPCs, but even then, sympathy is hard to come by.

The character here is nothing but an avatar. When I respond to the Megaton sheriff asking me whether I can diffuse the bomb in the middle of tomb, I’m not responding whether my character can do it. No, instead, I’m wondering whether I, Patrick Stafford, can do it."

The Rhythm of the Quest in Fallout 3 and New Vegas

It seems the way quests were handled in Fallout: New Vegas wasn't appreciated by Rowan Kaiser who, in an editorial over at Joystiq argues that Fallout 3's more exploration-based content had a better "rhythm" than the quest hubs of Obsidian's title. Here's a snippet:

"The conventional quest rhythm of the modern RPG started with the original Fallout, back in 1997, as so many things did. It was refined by BioWare in Knights Of The Old Republic, and in multiple MMRPGs. The game's main quest guides your character to a central location – a hub – usually a town, where multiple characters offer you quests. If you're like me, you load up on as many of these as possible, and then try to clear them up as efficiently as possible.

Fallout 3 didn't follow this model entirely. Its rhythms were more based in exploration. Find a Vault, delve into the Vault, spend half an hour figuring out what's going on. Sure, it had quest hubs, but they were minor. Skyrim, when it's working well, follows the exploration model even better than Fallout 3. Fallout: New Vegas, to my disappointment, was not so exploration-based. It used the conventional "hub" form, with too-simple rhythms. Everything seemed to take the same amount of time, and if it was too hard – and it rarely was – there was another quest to do first, to improve your Courier just enough that you could handle whatever you were trying to do."

J.E. Sawyer's mod updated to v3

For all you PC gamers out there Sawyer has once again updated his mod for Fallout: New Vegas. Here are just a few of the things fixed in this patch:

  • Sturdy Caravan Shotgun added to ShotgunSurgeonWeaponsList
  • Super Slam, Piercing Strike, Unstoppable Force, Slayer set to have OR conditionals for equivalent Unarmed or Melee Weapon skill levels.
  • Lead Belly now negates ST penalty from eating raw meat (of all kinds).
  • IsHardcore condition on raw meat ST reduction removed. This means you will always suffer ST loss from eating raw meat unless you have Lead Belly.
  • Ninja now adds 15% to Critical Hit Chance with Melee/Unarmed (instead of multiplying by 1.15). Prereq allows Melee Weapons or Unarmed to qualify.
  • Lady Killer and Cherchez La Femme damage bonuses increased from 10% to 15% due to proportionally lower numbers of female characters in the game.
  • Demolition Expert now has only 2 ranks. Each rank grants +10% damage and +10% larger explosion radius. Don't worry; Explosives are still very powerful.
  • Marksman Carbine and All-American removed from Grunt list.
  • Battle Rifle and This Machine added to Grunt list.
  • Mercenary's Grenade Rifle, Great Bear Grenade Rifle, and Red Victory Grenade Rifle added to Grunt list.
  • Plasma Spaz now (also) increases attack rate with plasma weapons by 20%.
  • Rad Absorption now decreases radiation 10x faster (was 1 per 20 seconds is now 1 per 2 seconds).
  • In Shining Armor perk condition fixed to get the Attacker Weapon as EnergyWeapons.
  • Stonewall DT bonus vs. Melee/Unarmed weapons increased from 5 to 10.
  • Missing metal armors (NCR Salvaged Power Armor, Gecko-Backed, etc.) added to In Shining Armor list.
  • Composite Recon Armor removed from In Shining Armor list.
  • Loneseome Road metal armors and helmets (e.g. Armor of the 87th Tribe, Marked Beast helmets) added to In Shining Armor lists.
  • Elijah's Last Words Attack Speed bonus replaced with 25% damage bonus and extended to Unarmed weapons. Condition set up properly.
  • Elijah's Ramblings Melee Weapons critical hit bonus dropped to 25%
  • Roughin' It Bedroll Kit weight dropped from 15 to 10
  • Various other fixes

Feargus Urquhart on how Obsidian and Bethesda view Fallout

Feargus Urquhart (CEO of Obsidian) gave a interveiw with Game Informer about the two companies veiws on the franchise. Saddly I can't add the video here cause its not on Youtube but here's a link.

Bethesda Concept Artist Adam Adamowicz Has Passed Away

As reported by Agent C, Adam Adamowicz has died. I think this post by gaming site Kotaku best sums things up.

"I played something like 130 hours of Fallout 3. I adored many things about it and, admittedly, hated a few others but my absolute favourite part was exploring the world. The entire history of this never-quite-was version of Washington DC could be read in its architecture, its artifacts and its people. The game turned the city where I actually live into a wrecked, raygun-gothic husk of itself… and I loved it. The concept artist who created nearly all of these designs, Adam Adamowicz, passed away earlier this week. A fellow concept artist has outlined Adamowicz’s skill and legacy in a touching obituary:

"Earlier today we learned that Adam Adamowicz, one of the main concept artists behind Fallout 3, Skyrim and other Bethesda titles, passed away today. It was silently announced, but I’d like to shine some light on Adam because he was an anomaly in the game industry, a veritable one-man conceptual machine, who unlike his contemporary counterparts, did a majority of his work in non-digital mediums. Fallout 3 was pretty much visually designed from the ground up by one humble man who got little to no recognition, nor sought it. For those who are unaware, I also work in the video game industry as a concept artist and often sought inspiration from what other conceptual designers were doing in the industry. Back when Fallout 3 was released, it came with a making of DVD showcasing how the game was built from the ground up. When Adam’s art pit showed up in the video, with his own hand-drawn art covering every inch of space from the ground up in his cubicle I was nothing short of blown away and filled with inspiration."

Adamowicz’s work for Fallout 3 is, indeed, meticulous and impressive. This morning, I went back to the collector’s edition art book and got lost in its pages for quite some time. Bethesda’s official website for the game features several now-iconic examples."

Wow that was alot of Copy & Paste but yeah its nice to see news (to bad its not about Fallout 4). I was gonna post this a few days back but a prank I pulled prevented me. Thats the last time I log on here drunk. Just wanted to keep a promise I made to our newest Bureaucrat Jspoelstra by keeping everyone in the loop.

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