One of the options I liked most in Fallout 3 was the ability to completely change the appearance of the Vault Dwellers home in Megaton with upgrades the player could purchase at stores. This option wasn't in New Vegas other than some small upgrades to your place in Lucky 38 Casino but something tells me that time was a factor in that decision. I always like it when games give the player the option to customize stuff.I wish the creators of Fallout could extend this kind of customization to the dogs in the game.
An idea that has been kicking around in my head for awhile is to give the player a choice over his/her breed of dog. The choices available to the player would be based on their current Karma level. For all three Karma levels the player would have the option between two breeds of dogs. Each dog has its own perks to reward the player and add to the Fallout experience.
If the dog dies the player would have to purchase a new one; this would provide the player an option to switch breeds. In addition apparel would be available to upgrade and personalize the dog. Much like K9 units today have flack jackets, the player could purchase attire for their dog. Also vanity collars such as chains or spikes would be available for the right amount of caps. But I draw the line at dog hats - who does that to their dog?
Here are the various dog breeds I have been thinking about: Good Karma St. Bernard: +5 Health bonus. +3 survival. Special collar turns dirty water into purified water within 24 hours and turns empty syringes into stimpacks. Enemy melee attacks does -3 less damage to player. Player receives 5% discount at all stores. Chow: +5 Melee damage. Shotguns does +5 more damage. All weapon clips hold 10% more bullets. Soda’s increase the players health for a longer duration. Neutral Karma Labrador: +5 Speech bonus. Player receives 3% discount at all stores. Grenades/ dynamite +10% damage. Blood hound: + 5 Reload speed. +3 lock pick. Hunting rifles does 10% more damage to enemies. Excels in drawing enemy fire away from player. Evil Karma Doberman Pinscher: +5 Sneak. +5 perception. Gives player terrifying presence speech option. Rottweiler: +5 Damage Threshold. Dog does more damage against Super Mutants and Radscorpions. The effects of alcohol lasts longer for the player.
In addition to these dogs once the player reaches level 25 special dogs will become available to the player for an increased cost in caps. Great Dane (Good): +8 Plasma Weapons +5 Weapon reload. Player receives 8% discount at all stores. Removes poison from player. Jack Russel Terrier (Neutral): +8 Explosives +8 Perception +5 Survival. Super Mutants will not attack first. Demon Dog (Evil): +10 Damage Threshold. +5 Damage with Sniper weapons +5 Sneak. AP replenishes faster. Ghoul mask added.
With more customizable options the player has over their dog more depth could be added to the game and the player would enjoy the Fallout experience a little more. I'm no programmer nor do I pretend to understand the complexities that job entails but I think you should be able to watch your dog hump coyotes or the legs of random passer-by's in the game. That would just add hours of entertainment. Your thoughts?