Scissors beats paper, paper beats rock, rock beats…baseball bat?

I remember when I used to be awesomely skilled at videogames, or at least didn’t suck quite so much. Tonight, I started playing Fallout 3, got lost in an area consisting of about three rooms, used up all my ammo on giant roaches, gained confidence in my ability to kill and maim with a baseball bat, and then as soon as I figured out how to get out of the facility, some random dude straight-up killed me with a rock. Good old rock…nothing beats rock.

34 Comments Scissors beats paper, paper beats rock, rock beats…baseball bat?

  1. robot_mel January 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Use the “VERY EASY” option. It’s what I did. At about 12th level I was able to turn it down to “easy” without getting killed every 4 minutes. (And don’t forget your VATS!!!)

    1. admin January 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      What are VATS? It kept saying “Go to VATS by pressing RB”, but when I pressed RB, nothing happened, so, uh, I think I missed something.

      1. shadowstitch January 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm

        Oh, dear sweet Mellzah… I shall help school you on how to make Fallout 3 bend over and be your whimpering little bitch. For it is such a delicious little dumpling once you get the hang of the reins.

        Yes, make sure you turn the difficulty down all the way. Even that won’t save your ass ALL the time, but the game tends to throw you less curveballs that way.

        VATS is the automatic aiming mechanism that turns the game from a 1st person shooter with very poor aim, into a KOTOR style “Freeze the world while you make a decision” RPG fight.

        It only works when there is an enemy visible on the screen (which is a bonus feature, allowing you to identify and target enemies your meat-eyes haven’t seen but VATS knows exist) but it allows you to make better choices in terms of aiming, as well as target specific body parts and take advantage of certain perks which up your accuracy or whatnot in VATS mode.

        There are a few little idiosyncrasies involved, but I’m sure you’ll sort them out pretty quickly; like how VATS can’t shoot through things that are physically in the way, naturally. Even if VATS says you have a 100% chance to hit…if your gun is physically behind a wall or obstruction, you’ll waste bullets using up all your AP on a wall.

        Later on in the game, when your weapon proficiencies are way way up, you can start shooting from the hip, but in the beginning, it’s almost ESSENTIAL to stick with VATS every chance you get.

        1. admin January 7, 2009 at 6:03 pm

          You, sir, are the wind beneath my wings.

          This ought to make a huge difference in my overall enjoyment!

          1. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm

            Additionally, your Perception makes a huge difference in how and when you register enemies. Even at 10 you will be more than likely capable of seeing them before they show up on your compass marker, but at least that way you’ll have a chance to see and avoid them before -they- notice you.

            The other thing is that..well, you will do better by approaching the Wasteland like the dangerous, hostile place it is. Look around all the time. Treat it like a huge, dark alleyway where muggers and thieves could be lurking behind every dumpster, trash can, or mutated tree, and you’ll go a long way towards dealing with enemies more effectively. If that doesn’t work, and you keep getting jumped, make sure that your default weapon is either a sawed-off shotgun, or a combat shotgun. Both do so much more damage at close range than other weapons. I can’t count how many -vicious dogs- that hid behind rocks became -headless..not so because I had my combat shotgun out and ready to roll.

            The conclusion that can be pulled from this is that I would travel down any dark alleyway with a military grade shotgun out and ready, just in case a dog or hobo popped out. Which is entirely true.

            You tagged Small Guns, right? And are increasing it almost every level? It is, especially right at the start, really important to up that particular skill.

          2. admin January 7, 2009 at 6:59 pm

            I went with melee because ammo seemed so scarce and unarmed just seems foolish. Is that wrong? Alltogether, I went for melee, lockpicking, and speech. :\

            Also, I’m having a really difficult time finding enemies–I can see them on my compass, and I hear them say the same three phrases over and over and over, but can’t seem to pinpoint them/they can’t find me. Any idea what’s going on there?

          3. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm

            It’s first character was a scottish-blooded, booze-swilling, fisticuff wielding madman. Named Seamus. He died a few horrible deaths too, but it’s just fun to punch down guys with guns. Hit ’em in the arms a few times, and they drop the gun! Pick up gun! Hit raider in face until death occurs! This is the recipe for goodtimes.

            Currently, I am the shotgun toting used-car salesman of the waste. If I can’t talk someone into giving me money, I shoot them in the face. Really, it all works out.

            The big thing about having small guns is to realize how many guns that covers, and the answer there is -lots-. Shotguns, pistols, sniper rifles..damn near everything that doesn’t require a backpack to hold its ammo. And repairing is kinda/sorta easy if you have skill and excess guns, so keeping a high-damage gun around is fairly easy. You will need to switch up which guns you are using from time to time, and probably need to invest in obtaining more ammo, but there is plenty around. Melee isn’t a bad skill to back it up, however, especially if you VATS and target arms to make them drop their current weapon, grab it, and then stab them to death to conserve ammunition.

            You may be having issues with height. Several of the locations have multiple floors, and the compass doesn’t grock up or down. The other thing is that occasionally bad guys get stuck outside of game geometry. It’s easy to fix in the PC version, maybe not so much in the 360 one. I’d just chalk it up to crazy cthulu-inspired madness (there is a place that exemplifies this in the game, I won’t tell you where), and let the poor bastards alone in their non-euclidean rooms. You’ll never get to them.

          4. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 7:13 pm

            The biggest thing to remember when using a shotgun is this – headshots, headshots, and headshots. When close, these are devastating.

          5. admin January 7, 2009 at 7:35 pm

            Also, as far as healing goes, how much do I need to worry about healing myself with irradiated food/drink? Do I need to be really careful about not taking damage because my body will start falling apart in a matter of hours or is it really not a huge deal?

          6. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm

            On Easy? Probably not a lot. But that doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to heal yourself with those things should it present itself. It’ll help save you stimpacks, which are valuable. Also, sleeping in beds will heal you, so that’s not much of an issue either. Radiation isn’t as scary in this game as it could be (at least, until you reach near the end, where it can get really scary in one spot), so don’t worry too much about radiation poisoning. Keeping a few Rad-X and Rad-Away on hand is ideal, however. Try not to drink from pools of water, at least, not until you get the food sanitizer from Moira.

          7. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 7:45 pm

            Oh, and if you happen across signs that say something along the lines of “Heavy Radiation in this area, fatal levels of exposure reached in (penciled in) .5 seconds” trust them. Those signs are spot on.

          8. transgress January 8, 2009 at 1:25 am

            eh, so my first time through i killed moira pretty early in the game and didnt end up with the sanitizer, and strangely enough after you kill everyone you meet you run out of stimpacks pretty quickly (well you go through periods where you have lots and other periods where you have none). The radiation isn’t as bad as you would think, I healed myself mostly through the game via water, just pop the rad-x/rad-away and youre fine.

          9. admin January 9, 2009 at 2:40 am

            So you’re saying the people who give you stimpacks won’t have them on their corpses if you just kill them instead?

          10. admin January 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm

            There’s just really something satisfying about baseball-batting people in the face.

            I honestly haven’t gotten anyone to talk to me, everyone either shoots at me, attempts to stab me, or brains me with a rock. Is it only specific people you talk to, or is walking around with my baseball bat out and at the ready affecting how people treat me? My quest says find info about my father in this nearby town, but I can’t stop getting stabbed to even look around.

            On a sort-of related note, I’ll never be one of those survivalist people who builds a bomb shelter. I hope I die in the nuke blast–if this is the future, I would much rather be dead.

          11. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm

            Villagers, scavengers, escaped slaves…all of those guys will talk to you. But raiders are the most common people out there, and they tend to be nasty. My guess is that you found the Springvale Elementary, which is swarming with raiders. Head east, and the most you should find before hitting Megaton are some giant ants.

          12. admin January 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm

            That is exactly what I found! And the denizens of this fine elementary school kept calling me a bitch and stabbing me instead of recognizing what a hot piece of non-irradiated ass I am. So I baseball-batted most of them to death except the ones I couldn’t find and stole their water, and then wandered around aimlessly until rockdeath.

          13. admin January 7, 2009 at 9:39 pm

            P.S. I always have issues with height, it’s practically the theme of my life. I don’t see why it should be any different in Fallout 3. 😉

      2. robot_mel January 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm

        Oh, that will make things MUCH easier! It’s the way you do critical damage. I played it on the PC and it was the “v” key. I’d check you’re manual. You really can’t play the game without it.

        1. admin January 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm

          I think the problem is that I was always pushing the button when there weren’t enemies around becase when I’m in the middle of a fight, my first instinct is not to go “Hey, I wonder what this menu option does!” But I will definitely be checking the manual now! 🙂

          1. robot_mel January 7, 2009 at 9:34 pm

            Yeah, it only works when there’s one being targeted. Good Luck!!!

  2. suspiciouskay January 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Ah, Fallout 3. Many bloody and/or explosive deaths await you in this game. But it’s so, so good.

    1. admin January 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      The only time I get to see my awesome character with bright purple hair is when she meets a gory end. 🙁

      1. shadowstitch January 7, 2009 at 5:44 pm

        Well, you CAN tell the camera to go from first person, to over the shoulder, to third person mode, and scale it inbetween…if that’s what you prefer. But I don’t know how to do that on the 360.

        On the PC, you can hold down the “toggle camera viewpoint” button, and it will let you freely look around your surroundings, including peeking at what you’re wearing, zoom in on your boobs, survey the area around you, etc…

        1. admin January 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm

          Well, theoretically you should be able to see more around you in 3rd person mode, right? But then again, wouldn’t that make it harder to target enemies with a gun?

          1. suspiciouskay January 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm

            If I remember correctly, the left bumper switches your POV; you can hold it down while moving the right thumbstick around to position the camera as desired. You can zoom in and out, make great action shots to use as thumbnail images for your save games, etc.

          2. admin January 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm

            It is clear to me that I need to start over in order to maximize fun/awesome. 😐

  3. lady_sotha January 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    All of the above suggestions are awesome. Huzzahs to all friends of Mellzah!

    And yes, you should probably start over. Based on what you’ve posted, you haven’t made it very far, so this is the ideal time to call it a wash and do it over again.

    On the 360, I always played in first person, unless I was trying to see what my armor/weapon looked like on my character. And ammo is less scarce once you start to explore various places. Pay attention to the opening tutorial on how to control your character, it is really helpful.

    And last but not least, if you can spare the cash, the guide is very informative and well worth the expenditure. Hope I was helpful!

    1. admin January 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

      Awesome tips, I think I will start over and probably pick up the guide when I get paid tomorrow. Thanks, Liz!

      1. distance_to_sky January 7, 2009 at 11:08 pm

        Have you ever seen the ‘Let’s Play’ threads on the Penny-Arcade forums?

        I could totally do one of those as a tutorial using Elly’s Flicker account if she is okay with it.

        1. admin January 7, 2009 at 11:13 pm

          I think I lasted a whole day on the PA forums before I was ready to stab someone. But if Elly is cool with it and you’ve got the time, that would be awesome. 😀

          1. distance_to_sky January 8, 2009 at 12:41 am

            Elly said she was fine with it. I’ll maybe get home tonight and go through the first few bits taking screenshots and the like.

          2. admin January 9, 2009 at 2:50 am

            GOSH haven’t you wasted your free time on me yet? 😉

  4. transgress January 8, 2009 at 1:21 am

    ah, you get used to it pretty quick– first time i played it, those dudes you gotta shoot in the face got me, after that i ended up killing everyone i came into contact with (that it would let me kill) on the hardest setting and beat the game in a couple of days.

    My friend actually watched in utter amazement that it let me get away with everything it did, whats kinda funny is that my karma was bad enough that the slavers loved me… until i killed all of them too.

    1. admin January 9, 2009 at 2:49 am

      I really love playing a girl who beats people up. 😀

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