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Re: Fallout 4

#211
I use paper for the hacking game myself and I already knew about the grouping symbol trick.
I don't use the grouping symbols until I've missed three (one thing it does is reset your tries... what's the point of doing that if you haven't used any yet).
I NEVER back away from a terminal, personally I DO think that's cheating and it shouldn't reset when you do that. I'm sure others disagree but that's my personal opinion.

If anyone is a good mobile developer I'd love a little Android app that I can take a picture of the screen when the hacking puzzle is up and it makes a list of the words for me automatically. Maybe put a + and - button beside it so you can guess a word in game and enter the number of letters correct by hitting the + and - in the app. (null, 0, 1... n-1 then back to null) The app would then cross out the words that don't have that number of matches for you. If it gets down to only one match the app highlights that one.

This removes what I do on paper so I don't have tons of scrap paper all around my play area. What I do NOT want however is something to tell me what to guess, find the grouping symbols, or otherwise solve it for me. I want to do it as much as possible myself just without the paper so copying down the words and crossing them out is all it really needs to do. I'd be willing to pay up to $5.00 for an app that does that (I know that's not a lot of money but there are tons of mobile apps for less than that).

As a programmer myself (though never having done Android development) I think I could do most of it so it doesn't seem hard with the major exception of the image recognition of the words from the picture you take of the screen. I've seen other apps that do far more complicated things and don't have the luxury of a set font and foreground/background color so it seems like it would be possible for people who work with such things.
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Re: Fallout 4

#212
On hacking, I'm not sure if I'm clever or dim: I've never used paper or interstitial help; I just brain my way through each hack. By my rough estimate, I solve maybe 40% by the third attempt, and at least 90% by the fourth and final attempt.

I find the idea of figuring out a general solver intriguing. (Anyone serious about it can probably find an algorithm for this by searching for solutions for the "Mastermind" game.) But going at these things bare-brained still seems OK to me.

(Speaking of accessing things, are most here aware that many of the lower-difficulty locks can be picked by turning the lock without moving the bobby pin from its default vertical position? Sure saves time. :D )

That said, a couple of things in the new Fallout feel pretty familiar. I'm curious to hear what others here think of these.

1. Is it just me, or when a radiation storm hits, does anyone else hear in their head a Russian-accented voice growling, "There's an emission in the Zone -- get to cover, Stalker!"

2. The way that weapons and armor can be made from components, and given appropriate names, reminds me strongly of how Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC) let you design a hugely varied array of unit types, and gave each new type a name corresponding generally to the unit's key attributes.

For example, the basic terraforming unit, which sat on tracks (like a tank) was called a Former. But you could, if you wanted, replace the tracks with a hydrofoil chassis to allow the terraforming of ocean tiles. And these units then were automatically given a new name: Sea Formers.

Some people (me :) ) enjoyed this feature of SMAC, even if by the late game I was spending a lot of time scrapping obsolete unit types to try to cull some of the many types available. Other people criticized this feature, saying it added an unnecessary amount of complexity to the game.

Me? I think it works for Fallout, which after all is a game that wants to let you decide how to deal with all the debris of Post-Apocalyptia (as Three Dog used to call it). If you don't want to tinker, you don't have to -- you can just use whatever drops as loot.

Overall, I guess these additions to the Fallout formula remind me of the old advice to game designers: if you're going to steal, steal from the best. ;)
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Re: Fallout 4

#213
Flatfingers wrote:On hacking, I'm not sure if I'm clever or dim: I've never used paper or interstitial help; I just brain my way through each hack. By my rough estimate, I solve maybe 40% by the third attempt, and at least 90% by the fourth and final attempt.
Well if you're dim I'm apparently a complete idiot. Heck I had to look up what "interstitial" meant, rofl.
40% by the third attempt doesn't seem super high to me. Just an OCD thing maybe with me but I don't like to feel like I'm just guessing (even if I really am), I like to feel like I have a system that works and actually solves the problem (even if that feeling is just an illusion I've convinced myself of.) As such the way I solve it with paper has made is so I've NEVER taken a 4th guess. I'm ALWAYS 100% I have the right solution by the 4th guess because my system has eliminated all other possibilities (this statement is based on my experience thus far.) I've never failed one, I've never backed away, but I do sometimes on the harder ones spend 5+ minutes working on them with paper and such. Also while I've never missed a 4th guess that doesn't mean I've always solved them in 4 tries or less because in some cases I've gotten to three then hit the grouping symbols and got my guesses reset. Like I said though I've never made that last guess without being 100% sure it's right.

Now maybe I could just guess wildly without paper and without a "system" and maybe I would get a 90% success rate but I'm just the type of person who doesn't like feeling things are out of my control like that. I get comfort in the fact that I have a system and it works and I feel more like I accomplished something instead of just lucked out when I actually solve the puzzle and determine the correct answer without just stumbling upon it. I still get the "lucky" feeling from time to time when I just happen across the right answer on one of the earlier tries but those honestly feel LESS satisfying to me because it was just dumb luck instead of anything I did. Just a weird personality quirk of mine I guess. That's the same reason I put low numbers in the Luck SPECIAL of my characters as well (typically just 2) because I don't like things just randomly happening (even good things). I'd rather accomplish things through skill (or at least convince myself that's the case) then have it handed to me by dumb luck.
Flatfingers wrote: 2. The way that weapons and armor can be made from components, and given appropriate names, reminds me strongly of how Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC) let you design a hugely varied array of unit types, and gave each new type a name corresponding generally to the unit's key attributes.

For example, the basic terraforming unit, which sat on tracks (like a tank) was called a Former. But you could, if you wanted, replace the tracks with a hydrofoil chassis to allow the terraforming of ocean tiles. And these units then were automatically given a new name: Sea Formers.

Some people (me :) ) enjoyed this feature of SMAC, even if by the late game I was spending a lot of time scrapping obsolete unit types to try to cull some of the many types available. Other people criticized this feature, saying it added an unnecessary amount of complexity to the game.

Me? I think it works for Fallout, which after all is a game that wants to let you decide how to deal with all the debris of Post-Apocalyptia (as Three Dog used to call it). If you don't want to tinker, you don't have to -- you can just use whatever drops as loot.
I love this aspect of the game as well. I loved it in SMAC and was very disappointed it wasn't in Civilization: Beyond Earth. I apparently LOVE what people call micro-managing. I rarely use "governors" in 4x games and each turn I typically go city/planet by city/plant through my empire tweaking things. Now that doesn't mean I don't like little helpers like saved pre-built build queues and such but I like to at least look at everything and see if any minor adjustments need to be made. The notion of just setting something to a governor and then rarely, if ever, going back and looking at it doesn't sit well with me. I get that other people find this tedious but I kind of thought that those of us who DO like to micro-manage were the target audience for turn-based games. As such it's always strange to me when reviews and such complain about micro-managing in turn based games... maybe they should be playing RTS and FPS games instead?
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Re: Fallout 4

#214
Asmodai wrote:The notion of just setting something to a governor and then rarely, if ever, going back and looking at it doesn't sit well with me. I get that other people find this tedious but I kind of thought that those of us who DO like to micro-manage were the target audience for turn-based games. As such it's always strange to me when reviews and such complain about micro-managing in turn based games... maybe they should be playing RTS and FPS games instead?
Back when I was into GalCiv I played a million point game or two. For the bragging rights.
The micromanagement to pull it off was mind boggling. =)

Nowadays I prefer to to fewer chores, such as armor repair in Fallout 3.
I also downloaded a mod so I wouldn't have to repair the power armor of myself and followers.
I'm swimming in the "steel" required to repair them so it's just a matter of accepting a lot of loading times to travel back and forth... or not.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Fallout 4

#215
Flatfingers wrote:Some people (me :) ) enjoyed this feature of SMAC, even if by the late game I was spending a lot of time scrapping obsolete unit types to try to cull some of the many types available. Other people criticized this feature, saying it added an unnecessary amount of complexity to the game.
I enjoyed the feature as well, though I also agreed with its detractors... the custom designs ended up being, if not unnecessarily complex, rather inconsequential more often than not. It was too tame compared to, say, the ship design tools available in the first two Master of Orion games.
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Re: Fallout 4

#216
I was unaware of the bracket trick on terminals.

I've just been doing it in my head. Sometimes, I will guess through failed attempts if my first couple of tries don't give me enough results.

I typically just click the first word, and see if it gives any hits or not.

If it gives hits, then I obviously compare it to the other words and look for other matches. If, for example, it only gives one hit, and the word is plural (ends in "s", in this case) then I will check that against another word that ends in "s". That will sometimes let me know whether or not the matching letter is of the more common variety or not. At the very least, I can safely eliminate one of the letters from the word as a possible match.

Additionally, I will often (particularly on the harder diff terminals) get zero hits on my first two guesses. That is still very informative, as that is typically a lot of letters that allow me to cross off a number of words from the list if they match any of the letters in those words.

Or, maybe I only get one letter hit on my first two guesses. it's still a lot of information and you can often soften it by your final guess. One word has no matches, so eliminate all words that have any matches. And, of those that don't, the other word had one letter match, so you are just looking at a few words (at most, usually) that don't match any letters from one word, *and* match only one letter with the second word.

I don't know if any of that makes sense :)

I guess the short version is that I find the complete misses to be just as useful (if not more useful) in eliminating additional words from consideration.
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Re: Fallout 4

#218
I'm on the fence about buying this... full price anyways.

I enjoyed FO3 and to a slightly lesser extent NV. However this steam review makes me think:
Spoiler:      SHOW
Fallout 4 is a good game, it just isn't a good Fallout game.

They've completely neutered the SPECIAL system since with enough time and leveling up, you can get all stats to 10, all perks and become the almighty God of the Commonwealth which means you can no longer build your own unique character since you can become the master of all trades.

They also changed the dialogue system to be Mass Effect-style dialogue wheel, restricted to four choices: Yes, Yes, No (Yes), and a Question. There is no problem with going for a voiced protagonist and restricting the available speech options to four (five if you count Speech checks which almost always boil down to "Pay me more and then Yes") if you can back that up with a solid story and good writing. Things Bethesda seem to be lacking. They give you a pathetically short intro in which they introduce you to your family, and whisk you off to a Vault. Why do I care about these people? I don't, but my character does, which leads me to my biggest problem: the lack of roleplay.

You aren't your character, just along for the ride. You can no longer play as an Evil character, or anything resembling such. Diplomacy? Out the door. Guns solve the problems now, and to their credit, the gunplay is a big step up from Fallouts 3 and New Vegas but that's not why I play these games. Gone are the days of playing as a massive idiot who solves all problems with his fists or as a Diplomat who can resolve problems by talking them out whose only skill with weapons is knowing which way to hold them. Or even a compulsive gambler. Want to tell Garvey to go screw himself? Well, you can decline but the quest will not continue until you say yes and get in the damn Power Armor. You can run away but that breaks story progression.

Overall the game feels less like Fallout 4 and more like Borderlands 3 to me.
I didn't like it. That doesn't mean you can't.
I don't play these games for a watered down FPS, so how close is this guy?
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Re: Fallout 4

#219
Unfortunately he's not wrong.

The choices in (important) quests boil down to Yes, Yes, Yes, and Talk to you later (later, when you will feel like saying Yes).

There are some random encounters where you can choose to shoot this guy or the other but the "quest" ends when the survivor is cleaned up when he walks out of sight.


This ain't Fallout 2 where you are allowed to screw up in big ways. =)



Building guns and shooting stuff is greatly improved, though...
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Fallout 4

#220
It's basically correct. Looking for an RPG, with meaningful roleplaying opportunities and problem solving, character specialization, or story, look elsewhere. Looking to explore a classic buggy Bethesda sandbox and craft and shoot and spend time building a huge lightboard at your settlement, go for it.
Of course, I'm negative and biased, sales figures and fans speak for themselves :D Some people apparently enjoy this faux-RPG genre (though if not else, the practice of releasing a buggy barebones game and gracefully allowing modders to fix and sell it should at least be frowned upon)
panic
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Re: Fallout 4

#221
Gazz wrote:Unfortunately he's not wrong.

The choices in (important) quests boil down to Yes, Yes, Yes, and Talk to you later (later, when you will feel like saying Yes).

There are some random encounters where you can choose to shoot this guy or the other but the "quest" ends when the survivor is cleaned up when he walks out of sight.


This ain't Fallout 2 where you are allowed to screw up in big ways. =)


Building guns and shooting stuff is greatly improved, though...
Sadly the shooting stuff was always the least important part for me. I guess I will pass on this one then.
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Re: Fallout 4

#222
I'm about halfway through -- I think -- and so far it feels like a mixed bag.

Some things got "streamlined." Quests do feel a bit more fetchy (and, if you notice, fewer of them are things you can complete locally -- they want you to explore) and on rails.

On the other hand, they've clearly taken a page from Minecraft (first glimpsed, if dimly, in the Hearthfires expansion for Skyrim) in letting player go nuts crafting new things, including systems of sensors and powered switches... and they haven't even released their official modding kit yet.

I do want to make one comment about one of the complaints quoted above:
They give you a pathetically short intro in which they introduce you to your family, and whisk you off to a Vault. Why do I care about these people?
Yes, that would be because people -- possibly these very same people -- griped bitterly that the intro in Fallout 3 was "too long" before letting you go explore the world. In other words, with Fallout 4, Bethesda gives people what they demand, and then people complain about that, too. Geez.

Fallout 4 isn't perfect. And the people who still insist that Fallout 1 and 2 were the only true Fallout games are always going to find things about Fallouts 3 and 4 to object to. I might even agree with some of those objections... but good grief, there is a buttload of solidly enjoyable fun to be had in Fallout 4!

And again, that is before the gates to modding are flung open. Once people can crank out mods without Bethesda breaking them with patches, any mechanical parts to the game that someone doesn't like can probably be improved.

As for objections to non-mechanical aspects of Fallout 4, like "not enough story" -- would those folks rather no one had any new Fallout games to play at all because this one doesn't manage to achieve War and Peace levels of commentary on the human condition?

Failing to be a perfect game does not make it a bad game. In fact, I think I'll go play it some more right now.
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Re: Fallout 4

#223
Flatfingers wrote:As for objections to non-mechanical aspects of Fallout 4, like "not enough story" -- would those folks rather no one had any new Fallout games to play at all because this one doesn't manage to achieve War and Peace levels of commentary on the human condition?
A perfect solution would be to sell the franchise to some other development company and concentrate on TES. That makes a lot of sense to me, Flat. :lol:
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Re: Fallout 4

#224
It's a fun game on its own right, it's just not a Fallout game. From what I can tell, no one's denying that Fallout 4 is a finely-honed, focus-tested combat gallery with detailed, enjoyable crafting to appeal to the Minecraft zeitgeist. The issue is that, with the game as is, you could name it something like "Nuclear Boston" and it would be more accurate than naming it Fallout 4. Judging the issues to be mechanical or non-mechanical is reductive and misses the big picture, the sum of the parts, the essence of what a Fallout game is -- not to mention amplifying the bits you don't like, such as "expecting War and Peace levels of commentary", which is simply unfair. No one expects such a thing, and the only thing it tells me that you haven't really played the previous Fallout games.

Simply put, quoting that review:
You aren't your character, just along for the ride. You can no longer play as an Evil character, or anything resembling such. Diplomacy? Out the door. Guns solve the problems now, and to their credit, the gunplay is a big step up from Fallouts 3 and New Vegas but that's not why I play these games. Gone are the days of playing as a massive idiot who solves all problems with his fists or as a Diplomat who can resolve problems by talking them out whose only skill with weapons is knowing which way to hold them. Or even a compulsive gambler. Want to tell Garvey to go screw himself? Well, you can decline but the quest will not continue until you say yes and get in the damn Power Armor. You can run away but that breaks story progression.
Leaving aside the question of whether we should factor in mods to our initial expectations of a game, no amount of modding is going to be able to fix these issues.

This is Bethesda's departure from the series, their conception of what Fallout is -- and, for some of us at least, the worst fears with Fallout 3 -- a great game which, despite simplifications, still remained true to the possibility space outlined above -- realized with Fallout 4.

But maybe the many millions are right! Maybe I should just lower my expectations... seven years of development and a beloved franchise. What more could I possibly expect from Fallout but tens of thousands of raiders, mutants, and monsters to kill, hundreds of dungeons, and endless radiant quests a la Skyrim! In 2015, no less! It's fun, they tell me! How does it matter whether the game is fun in one way or another? Why expect anything from games but fun, fun, fun, FUN!!! I'm being, so, so unfair... :)

At any rate, this is the first Bethesda purchase I actually regret and the end of the Fallout series for me. I'll definitely wait before buying the next Bethesda game.
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Re: Fallout 4

#225
alpan wrote:But maybe the many millions are right! Maybe I should just lower my expectations... seven years of development and a beloved franchise. What more could I possibly expect from Fallout but tens of thousands of raiders, mutants, and monsters to kill, hundreds of dungeons, and endless radiant quests a la Skyrim! In 2015, no less! It's fun, they tell me! How does it matter whether the game is fun in one way or another? Why expect anything from games but fun, fun, fun, FUN!!! I'm being, so, so unfair...

At any rate, this is the first Bethesda purchase I actually regret and the end of the Fallout series for me. I'll definitely wait before buying the next Bethesda game.
I have to say I had some deeply moving experiences in the TES games, alpan, but that may have as much to do with the in-game music as it did with the actual gameplay. :angel:

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