So, as noted in the last post, I finally got around to actually playing the game this morning.
I don't think I played 1.3 but for an hour or so to test some NCCS functions; so this was my first real play in quite awhile.
Ended up deleting all but one of my existing savegames. I dropped back to my "clean" save, just before using the Vit-a-matic or whatever they called it in Doc Mitchell's place.
Immediately, I noticed a difference from previous versions of the game. It seems that they've disabled most quest scripts during character generation. Normally, my companions pop right in to come find me as long as their plugin was active. They've actually appeared before it even lets me out of bed from the intro. This time they didn't though. They weren't allowed in until the generation process was complete, I had my pip-boy, and could leave the house. As soon as that happened, they made it inside.
Thankfully, character generation went without a hitch; and my plugin-placed containers were still in the house from the start.
From there, I noticed again something different. When running through the tutorial with Sunny, FPS were greatly improved. Playable, even. I remember the first time I played the game, FPS through the tutorial were prone to dropping into the 3 - 5 range, and crashes occurred about every ten minutes.
This morning, I played for about ten minutes shy of five hours, without shutting the game down. No crashes, and when I finally decided I needed a break, the game was still playable in FPS, but beginning to lag a bit.
Companion behavior throughout was quite good; bordering on exceptional. There were no hesitations to enter combat, no screwy cover behavior; accuracy was excellent, and not once did anyone freeze up at the end of a fight, or get stuck on bad navmeshing or obstacles.
Sit/stand behavior, teleporting, weapon drawing/holstering, sneaking -- all went without incident; as did weapon and armor equipping, and stimpak use. There were no incidents of mysterious, magical insta-healing either.
Encountered one bug; out north of NCRCF I spied a Bighorn stuck on some terrain, and exhibiting some pretty severe Havok behavior. Removing the poor thing's head from its neck solved that, though.
...What? It was the kind thing to do.
As well, weapon accuracy at low levels seems to have improved; though the cowboy repeater is still as inaccurate as ever. I recall reading that that had something to do with the first person model not being aligned correctly; so it's possible that this lingering issue is a side effect of the custom rifle animations I have installed. I'll have to remember to pull those and see if it improves.
Thus far, it appears everything still works correctly with most mods. I'm not far enough into the game to test my Capitalism mod yet; as even I can only play for so long in one sitting.
On the whole, I'm fairly impressed. Obsidian seems to have finally dislodged their collective heads from their asses, and made a patch that doesn't suck. Considering the play time I got in today, they may even have finally seen fit to address the memory leak that's been plaguing us since Oblivion.
I hesitate to get my hopes up too high; but on my system at least I can finally declare the game playable, by and large.
Still haven't tested NCCS itself -- since believe it or not I'm not all that fond of the system -- but since it and my personal companions run on nearly identical (if independent) scripts, I don't foresee any issues.