Saturday, July 10, 2010


I wanted to give this its own post, since it's going to be a bitch and a half.

First off, this mod is entirely too big. It reaches into too many things, and consequently causes conflicts all over the place. Seriously; goddamned near every non-clothing mod I run shows a conflict with FWE in some respect.

Second, it's not realism they're pushing; but difficulty. Granted, to people who have never fired a weapon, and think a KOA is "roughing it", the two may seem interchangeable - but there is a difference. Everything is simply made harder; the game is not a challenge to overcome so much as an ordeal to be endured.

Expect to be constantly out of ammunition, high on rads, and have something crippled.

My companion and I have to carry six or eight weapons between us, because on the rare occasion you do find ten rounds of ammo, it won't be for a weapon you normally use.

Probably the most annoying thing, though, is the weapons. Accuracy? HA! With a small guns skill of 40 and a hunting rifle at 50% condition, an average of one out of ten rounds of ammo will hit a raider at sixty odd yards. The assault rifle is even worse; firing a "group" about twenty feet in diameter at the same distance.

Is this what people who've never fired a gun think it's like? I mean, wow...

I owned a '37 K98 made by Mauser-Werke Berlin, years ago. It had been through pretty much all of WWII, as far as I could tell - and not maintained well. To be specific: the bore was shot out of the thing. Years of battlefield conditions and mercuric-primed ammunition from the poor schmuck who carried it through the war, followed by surplus purchase by a total Fudd who didn't understand that rubbing a steel cleaning rod against the bore is bad had left the rifling in horrid condition. It was nearly gone in the six inches of barrel nearest the muzzle. Still, even with some of the worst surplus ammo I've ever used (heavy ball, made in Ecuador in the '50s) it could keep them all in a six-odd inch group at a hundred meters. Better, with ammunition loaded by people who weren't farming dirt the week before.

Wish I still had it... I miss the old girl.

Sorry. Nostalgia moment.


The "realism" also seems to include the weapons having some sort of failure every other round. Severely annoying when you're being shot at. I guess they don't have gun oil in 2277.

Damage is ostensibly increased, but somehow it still takes four times as many hits to kill something. And shotguns? Worthless. A scavenger took three rounds from a shotgun to the face, at less than five feet, and didn't go down. Without any "improvements" running, the same weapon will drop them in one upper torso hit.

Damage to the player, on the other hand, is heavily increased. You get crippled limbs when someone looks at you funny, and can't heal them without medical equipment.

Again - sounds good to people who have no idea what they're talking about. I have injured myself a lot over the years, and I can tell you first hand that the human body can take a shit ton of punishment and keep on going if it has to.

We won't delve into just how much I know about nerve damage and joint injuries.

Some of the medical stuff is okay. Stimpaks not healing instantly? I can get behind that. The medical kit seems okay, too. Have a blow-out kit, myself, that either rides on my vest or gets packed along in a rifle bag when going to the range. Hemostatic agents and those spiffy Israeli-designed combination tourniquet/cravat/bandage things are quite handy to have when there are firearms involved, even if any shootings will be unintentional. Also keep a fully-stocked M3 "aid bag" in the closet for a wider range of problems. You'd be amazed what you can handle with gauze, surgical tape, rubbing alcohol and heavy doses of aspirin. (Though yes, I'm aware that aspirin is not ideal when clotting is desired)

FWE's supposed improvements to the AI don't exist, as far as I can tell. Raiders are less intelligent in FWE than without it. I fired like seventy-five rounds at a group, unsuppressed - had to fire that many to kill four of them, I shit you not - and no one ever came looking for me. They walked back and forth a lot, but none ever figured out that the guy with the gun pointed at them was doing the shooting.

The version of IMCN in FWE is less annoying by a wide margin than the standalone I tried months ago. That one had protein and "nutrition points" and how full your stomach was and a bunch of other uselessly complex shit. The one in FWE blessedly only has hunger, thirst, and tiredness. Annoying to keep up with, but realistic enough that I'm willing to put up with it.

The "sprint key" sucks. Plain and simple. The fucking thing won't uninstall no matter how many times you tell it to. Replacing the move forward key with it was an even worse idea. I ended up rebinding it to backslash just to get it out of my way.

"Bullet time" was a stupid gimmicky idea in Max Payne, and it's a stupid gimmicky idea now.

Most of the new drugs seem to be fairly useless. One of them, for example, is Dextromethorphan, more commonly known as DXM, or "that stuff in Nyquil". It's a cough suppressant, and in high doses - or smaller ones for certain sensitive individuals - a hallucinogen. Realistic? Sure, I guess... but I don't recall chest congestion being something you can become afflicted with in FO3, so I really don't see the point.

Ditto for Diazepam. I don't recall the digital me ever being afflicted with depression or panic attacks. Not even sure how they'd simulate that one...

Morphine I can see, as the game effect for it is the temporary ability to ignore crippled limbs. I'm pretty sure the dosage would have to be high to get that effect, but it's plausible, at least.

The menu setting system is sort of nice, I guess. It's clunky for my taste, but I can see the appeal for some people; having the ability to change timescale, experience and such like that. Useless to me, personally, since timescale is just a console setting; and once exp rate is set where I like it, I don't feel the need to change it again. The ability to set the amount of effect certain parts of the mod has is nice in theory, but mostly pointless in practice.

The repair changes I don't care for. Scrap metal I can see being useful for repairing weapons and armor... but tin cans? That stuff is generally useless for anything more than making shims.

The CRAFT additions are... odd. As I said, the medical kit is an okay idea. I haven't managed to assemble the pieces yet, but I assume the tool kit will be similar. "Repair parts" don't seem to have much in the way of useful function, other than being one more thing to carry around. The ability to make a medical brace is nice, as central as they are to the medical changes.

The bonus to repair within a certain distance of a workbench is believable. After all, it is easier to work on something when you have a proper place to do so.

On the whole, the mod is pretty much what I thought it was the first time I looked at it: fifty of someone's favorite mods shoe-horned into one repackage and called a total conversion.

If you're a micro-manager/compulsive item collector who thinks the Resident Evil series are the greatest games ever, you'll love it.

I'll probably keep it running, because it does a few things I like; but they won't be getting an endorsement out of NosCo, and it won't be making the must-have list.


  1. See, that's why I stay away from anything labeled as a "total conversion". They generally have more things in them that I don't like than things that I do. I prefer to go on a mod-by-mod basis, just as I did in Oblivion. I REFUSE to install Oscuro's Oblivion Over-crash-your-game-every-time-haul ever again. I liked Francesco's and MMM, but I love lots of extra enemies. So in FO3 yeah, I use MMM, but that's the only big one and I've resisted the urge to experiment with anything else. So thanks for the heads-up on this one. I had been wondering if it was worth the time to try it, and now I think I will continue to curb that curiosity.

  2. I stayed far away from OOO. I never even tried it - the thing just looked too sketchy for my taste.

    Francisco's I do use to this day, as I like the economic overhaul, and the resetting of areas to be specific levels of monsters, instead of based on the player's level. Never did like seeing a skeleton as a dungeon boss, or bandits wearing Daedric armor.

    But, Francisco also didn't jump in and mess with the entire game in one go. It was fairly specialized, and modular.

    FWE is all or fucking nothing. The most you can opt-out of via plugins are the DLC addons. Everything else is modified via in-game menu, and if you want to know how well that works, see my bitching about the sprint key.

    I really wonder about the sanity of people who want to run FWE, FOOK, and MMM all at once. Their poor games must have some equivalent of schizophrenia going on with so many game overhauls going at once.

  3. Thanks for this. I was going to ask you for a review on it as I was debating to try it out even if my computer is having a hard time with fallout 3 right now. (Think I just need a new one but might ask for tips to help other then have all the settings on low and even a window game yet still crashes and freezes at odd times)

    I think I would rather just have a bit more ammo in the game with more foes as most of people's real add ons are just a pain in the ass and not really real. I did try a mod that had a sprint thing and bullet time and both did not really please me.

    Oh, Matt when is the next story part coming out? Looking forward to it.

    Wonder if I could play Oblivion more as I miss that game. Do you two mod for that game by chance?

  4. David, I do actually technically mod for Oblivion. I have... a dozen odd plugins. Some CM companions, a set of map markers in scenic locations for purdy screenshot purposes, a remodel of Summitmist Manor into a place to leave large numbers of companions, a special ring; nothing on the same concentrated order as what I do in FO3. I do not, however, share them. The ring's a bit of a cheat item, and I never figured anyone would be interested in the map markers or Summitmist mod.

    Next story part is up in the air. I think the actress playing Ria is going to get fired and replaced by someone better, and I have to decide what I want to do with the story yet.

    Can't help you with FO3 ammo mods - I've never found issue with the amount you get with Ein's default ALIVE plugins running. It helps a lot to take the Scrounger perk when you get a chance, though.

    Spawns I can help with. If you want MMM without the AI and new creatures/items baggage, you can try the increased spawns standalone plugins. Seem to work fine as far as I've been able to tell, although Increased Increased is probably too many if you don't have two or three friends along with you.

  5. David:

    I've done some sets of CM Partners companions as well. At one point I had intended to do sets for all my favorite custom races, but I just have so many projects I want to do I end up making it too much like unpaid labor for myself. Oh, and there's my Ayleid texture packs, which people complain are too low-res, but if your computer likes that sort of thing these might just be for you.

  6. Thanks Matt and Herculine

    I would always be up to looking at your Summitmist Manor mod by the way.

  7. Really, David, I appreciate the positive outlook you have on my modding abilities... but the Summitmist thing isn't some treasure I'm keeping squirreled away for my own selfish use.

    Before I got hold of the RR Companions Vault, I waffled back and forth between Oblivion and FO3 quite a bit. Played FO3 because of my love of shooting things, but kept going back to Oblivion because it was better in every other way: more and better companions, more cool items, my system could handle the older incarnation of the Gamebryo engine better; so that I actually had better graphics in Cyrodiil than the Capital Wasteland. Plus, Oblivion has those gorgeous sunsets on the Abacean Sea; that even with Fellout, FO3 can't come near to.

    Anyway. Banging around the TESIV Nexus one day as I so often did, I came across a zombie apocalypse mod - I don't recall the name, now. It advertised a sort of movie experience; the zombies would invade towns, battle it out with guards on their own, and if they saw you would follow you into buildings.

    Oblivion meets Night of the Living Dead, I suppose.

    I normally based out of Rosethorn Manor (my favorite player house), but it couldn't billet all of my extra companions; so I had them staying across the street in Summitmist - which is essentially yours to do with as you please after the Dark Brotherhood quest involving it is over.

    The third floor can sleep like fourteen NPCs, so being right across the street, it's perfect for "spares" to be kept nearby.

    I had visions of zombies assaulting my companions' stronghold, battles ensuing, and so forth. Seemed cool to me... so I opened the CS and modified Summitmist. Tore out most of the furniture on the ground floor, and replaced it with two double beds and a single. With the dining area on the second floor, it seemed like an okay place for them to live.

    The zombie mod didn't work out, though. The zombie assaults never happened; they didn't follow indoors, let alone move indoors on their own. No tide of undeath sweeping across the kingdom like a wildfire. It was just the occasional attack by a half dozen on a random city's guards.

    Being as it was so horribly BORING, I quit using the mod. Without the impending apocalypse, I never felt the need to finish the manor renovations. I never updated the pathgrid, or redid the items or anything - it was pretty much just beds replacing tables and chairs.

    Without them NEEDING to be on the ground floor to repel attacks, it was simpler to just have them stay up on the third floor where everything already was set up.

    Like I said: I'm not being selfish here, the plugin was just an unfinished amateur work, for another mod that turned out to not even work right.

    Always felt like it would be a waste to upload.

  8. Hmm I wonder if I did spend time to learn how to mod right I wonder if I could play around and get your zombie attack that would be true to a twisted meaning.

    I did enjoy the story and background of the two games with you as I am the same way with the Oblivion doing better on my computer then fallout 3 overall yet I never did get into the Companions in that then fallout 3 but now that I think of it I only use two mods for Companions in this one. Yours and Herculine's(along with maybe one or two I try to make)

  9. I didn't use companions much starting out in Oblivion. Usually played it solo, using my stealth trick. But companions come in handy.

    They make things seem less lonely, for one. Beyond that, I found out by accident once that the Thieves' Guild quests where you can't kill anyone? Yeah, that only applies to YOU. Turns out companions in tow can kill anyone they like, and since the deaths don't flag you as the killer, you get off completely free.

    Makes things quite a bit less boring with the sneaky-sneaky crap.

    Also fun to deck pretty ladies out in spiffy armor and travel around with your own retinue. NPCs never really notice, but it's still nice.