If you followed Bethesda Blog leading up to the release of Fallout 3, you may recall a series of blog posts from David Hodgson, author of the Fallout 3 Game Guide. After the amazing work David did for Fallout 3, it was a no-brainer to work with him again for Fallout: New Vegas. Beginning today and in the coming weeks, David will discuss the New Vegas game guide, which you’ll be able to pick up in both regular and collector’s edition flavors when the game releases.
Without further ado, here’s David…
Part 1, New Vegas: New Guide
Since I was lucky enough to be asked back to write the official guide for Fallout: New Vegas, I’ve been working constantly since late May, clocking in around 1,200 man-hours, and trying to trim my word count to within the 300,000 range. During the course of these blog posts, I aim to list some of the guide’s most helpful aspects, so you can see the differences this new adventure brings. To begin, here’s an overview of the Training chapter of the guide:
The Training section is familiar to those who have utilized the Fallout 3 official guides. While much of the way you create your character remains the same, a lot has changed, and flagging each instance with an icon for easy reference was important. After an overview of Attributes and Derived Statistics, there’s a section on Skills, including the all-new Survival Skill, and tweaked Guns Skill, which folds much of the Big and Small Guns Skills into one, and provides a Strength rating for each weapon (which, naturally, are given for everything you shoot). Traits are covered, along with advice on picking the ones best-suited to your play style. Then comes the text tsunami known as “Perks”, which lists every single one of them. Although I can’t spoil your anticipation of Perks just yet, there are some memorable, amusing, and astonishing accoutrements you can add to your Wasteland warrior.
Meet Gary 666: The Incandescent Death. He’s an archetype for those craving an Energy Weapons-wielding heavy trooper, who lives for melting foes into piles of ash and goo.
How’s your social game? Interacting with Factions, whether it’s helping them out, or massacring their forces, affects your adventure in many different ways, especially if you’re dressed in specific attire.
The rest of the Training deals with creating a character that isn’t going to collapse after a Fiend sneezes on you. How all of the Attributes, Skills, and Perks interact with the clothing you wear and the Followers you find are all extremely important (and overwhelming), so a special Character Archetypes section was created. No matter what your play-style – from the social outcast Sniper to a mountain man bred specially for Hardcore Mode – there’s a character for everyone. We even included the best weapons, outfits, Perks, Skills, Implants, and Followers to compliment each Archetype. One Bethesda employee was said to remark “that’s pretty freakin’ sweet.” Speaking of Hardcore Mode; the training continues with advice on thriving in this most inhospitable of climates. Then there’s updated information on Karma, mapping, and other activities before we delve right in to Reputation, and explain exactly how everyone reacts to everyone else, and how you fit in. What is initially confusing political and societal idiosyncrasies is broken down into something understandable; and more importantly, something you can act on during your entire adventure.
Checking out a game of Blackjack in the swanky Ultra-Luxe Casino. The guide even lists the criteria for the Floor Manager comping you gifts!
But Training still isn’t over; there’s information on Damage Threshold (a new way the game calculates strikes on armor), weapon types, and a tutorial on modified your weapons. There’s a deluge of information on scavenging, plant life in the Mojave, and most importantly, Crafting. Whether you’re cooking up a juicy Gecko Steak, or skinning the Gecko’s hide to tan and sell, you’ll need to know how to use a Campfire, Reloading Bench, and Workbench effectively, what Skills are needed, and just how many ammunition types you can modify to pierce armor. Now, this wouldn’t be a guide on New Vegas without a mention of gambling. Fortunately, this is much more than a mention; there’s effective ways to win at Blackjack, and more importantly, a crash-course in the game of Caravan, which includes sample decks created after months of playtesting. Note these decks work both in-game, and in real-life Caravan games, too! Oh, and we also break down the rules of Lucky Horseshoe, in which you challenge a robot cowboy with a wandering eye to a game similar to Blackjack, but with one important difference: You usually lose.
This colossal Training chapter concludes with a look-see at the different Followers you can find. Not only are their locations listed, but their Perks, associated Quests, strengths, weaknesses, partners, and how best to “combo” them with a character style, along with some tried and tested general strategies for crucial companionship. Training concludes with a look at the different Collectibles in the Mojave Wasteland, which range from Caravan Cards to Hollowed-Out Rocks, Legion Ears to Skill Magazines. This is the perfect start to a comprehensive guide.
Next time: I delve deeper into Crafting, live off the land, and decide what poisons to coat my Melee Weapons with.
We’ll return next week with another post from David. In the meantime, for more details on the Fallout: New Vegas Game Guide, visit Prima’s website.