So, I won't say I've been playing the hell out of NV lately, but it is still getting a workout.
Since updating to new video drivers that aren't older than the game itself, stability has improved -- but not by a fuck-ton. Still get regular crashes; it still hangs on loading a game about 20% - 30% of the time, and the game's memory leak is still capable of causing the PC to BSOD when combined with some particularly poorly written web sites (I'm looking at you, Firefox 6 and Java in general) as Firefox has its own hellacious memory leak of doom.
Still, the game is playable. Insofar as I've been conditioned to overlook shitty performance by five years of Gamebryo playing and modding, anyway.
The base game continues to be spectacularly underwhelming. I decided to finally do the Black Mountain quest yesterday; since I'd never done it before. I hate super mutants in general, and nightkin even more; and so generally didn't bother with the whole area. Found that muties go down quite readily to a Brush Gun loaded with SWCs. Tried to work with Neil or whoever; but his dialogue was bugged, and both options linked to the "I have something else to do first" reply. Another home run in the game of attention to detail I see, Obsidian. Went up on the peak without him, nosing around a storage building; and happened to find a deactivated robot. I think activating it may net me the keys to those two trunks I can't pick -- or at least provide a distraction to the remaining FEV subjects in the area. Activate it, it follows me outside, and we're greeted by a mutie in a blonde wig, who declares that "she" is so happy to have (robot's name) back yadda yadda how can I ever thank you. Gives me the keys to the trunks, leaves to follow the robot wherever they were going, quest ends, EXP awarded.
That's it?! Shit, the tutorial killing geckos with whatshertits in Goodsprings was longer and less anticlimactic. Now, granted, I wasn't expecting a four hour dungeon crawl of epicness... but come on. Exploring the ruins after the mutant was gone, I saw that had I gone the normal combat route, it wouldn't have lasted much longer. The facilities at Black Mountain only consist of a store room and two rooms in the broadcast building. Disappointing, but hardly surprising.
The quest with Contreras also appears to be bugged. I finished it without killing the SUPAH NUMBAH AY ONE RANGAH GAWD; but didn't result in any expanded inventory or being given the rifle. I'm not sure I care enough about the rifle to dig into the master and try to figure out what the holy hell went wrong this time.
Questing aside, I've picked up another new mod: IWS or Increased Wasteland Spawns. Think MMM without the framerate destroying "improved" creatures.
I had originally intended to bitch about the mod, as the trial play with it active resulted in FPS in about the 3 to 5 range, and a half dozen crashes.
...Turns out I had minimized a Firefox window before starting the game and forgotten about it. The stupid browser was eating half of my system resources, which naturally made FONV unhappy. Once I got that stuff turned off, the game seemed much happier and I haven't noticed a substantial drop in framerate. Just the drop you'd expect from that many extra NPCs being active in a cell at once.
Though I will say that the IWS author needs to bone up on his command of English, since his definition of "low" and mine are wildly different -- the low increase plugin results in a Fiend spawning for about every hundred square feet in west vegas. There are dozens; hundreds. Every five or ten steps another set of spawn points activates. I suppose it's all relative. I can only assume this is another person who is obsessed with turning Fallout into Call of Duty. I don't even want to know how many the high plugin adds.
On the up side, the ridiculous number of raiders made for an interesting time of watching my girls go terminator on their asses.
Been playing with CaliberX awhile now, and I find it continues the XCALIBR tradition of not being playtested enough. Of particular annoyance, is it adds a second type of "match" .50BMG ammo; identical to the base game's except in price. Wouldn't be a huge annoyance except that the two types won't stack, and their entries at the reloading bench are identical -- which means you don't know which you're loading, and when running low of one, it compromises your ability to have a full mag no matter how much of the other stack of match ammo you have.
The mod also nominally adds the ability to break down 45-70 hollowpoints. I say nominally because while the entry is there... it doesn't work. The option refuses to touch "HP" tagged rounds, and won't even light up if they're all you have in inventory. When it does light up/work, what it actually breaks down is standard ammo... which there's already a specific option for.
There are also several misnamed loading entries amongst the new custom ammo types. This is all the sort of minor stuff that is the reason you read through your scripts three or four times and playtest every option at least once before uploading shit.
As for my own mods, I've continued testing the sorters and they seem to work. I still need to edit a bit of code to get the components for a doctor's bag to sort into one container; but aside from that the sorters are essentially good to go.
My combat styles have gotten modified again. I activated the flag that has them leave an area when something's going to explode -- they had previously ignored grenades, flaming cars, et cetera -- and made a few changes that resulted in Natasha's personal combat style being born. I haven't decided which, but I'm going to pick one of the three to be included into the next version of NCCS as a new style for players who don't want their companions to learn and grow and whatnot; they want a killing machine from the get-go. At the moment I'm leaning towards Maeva's style -- she takes cover the least, and is the most generally aggressive. I figure that if I'm going to do the killing machine class and style, I may as well go for the gold.
As well, the girls made a long range kill again -- this time nailing a gecko at seventy-six paces (I took the time to pace it off). I'm pretty sure it was Natasha again -- she was behind me at the time, but I'm sure it was her marksman's carbine I heard barking. That girl's shooting like a member of the Noveske 3-gun team these days...
I've generally been using her in a support role; but after the last couple days, I'm thinking it may be time to load the girl up with something heavier and see how she does.
I'm also heavily tempted to take their combat radius even further. See just how far out I can get them to reliably engage a target...