Posts Tagged ‘Fallout 3’

Fallout 3 DLC now available on Steam! Life is good! No more MS GFWL hassles!

July 17, 2010

Now Available – Fallout 3 DLC
Product Release – Valve 12:02
You can now enjoy all five of the Fallout 3 Game add-on packs! Create a character of your choosing and descend into an awe-inspiring, post-apocalyptic world where every minute is a fight for survival.

Fallout 3 DLC:
– Operation Anchorage
– The Pitt
– Broken Steel
– Point Lookout
– Mothership Zeta

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Gamers should not have to edit .ini files to get their games to work.

March 10, 2010

Last night I had to hunt the Internet to try to find a fix for a Fallout 3 freeze issue on building interiors. I finally found something that seems to work on a user forum, but it required manual editing of the game’s .ini file.

I got to thinking later: Why do we PC Gamers accept game bugs that require us to manually edit the game’s .ini files to play the game we spent our hard-earned money on?

If a game is buggy, then I expect the fix to be a patch or hotfix that makes the changes needed. It shouldn’t be something that the buyers of the game are expected to do themselves. There are times I would nominate the PC Gaming industry for the absolute worst customer service model in existence. Name any other industry where you are expected to find you own solutions to problems much of the time, rely upon other users of the product as a primary source of information on how to get it to work, and then have to manually edit game files to get these products to function. Best of all, if the product is defective, there are high barriers to getting your money back.

As I have said before, I am a bit tired of being an unpaid beta tester for various game companies. If I drop $50 on a AAA title, I expect it to work. Period. I want to play the game, not be spending my evenings trying to get it operate.

Possible fix for Fallout 3 interior area freeze problem

March 10, 2010

I was getting lockups on interior spaces like the building in Andale and finally found this tip that, so far, seems to be helping:

“If you have more than a 2 core processor try this if you haven’t already:

Change bUseThreadedAI=0 to bUseThreadedAI=1 and Add iNumHWThreads=2 to Fallout.INI file located in Your Fallout3 Folder (usually in MyGames).”

I found this at: http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=1031688

Give it a try if nothing else has worked.

FIXED (hopefully): Fallout 3 random crashes just ruin the game’s immersion

December 6, 2009

This is a masterpiece of a game that still is as stable as the San Andreas fault. The random crashes to desktop just ruin the immersion. Please get this game stable!

UPDATE: A slowly failing video card in a SLI arrangement might have been playing a role in the crashes. With this card removed, the game was stable for several hours last night. YIPPEE!

Fallout 3: Guiltless negative karma generating trick

August 24, 2009

Let’s say it is early in the game and you want a companion to help defend your low-level character and haul heavy loot. Jericho is in Megaton and will join you for a reasonable $1,000, but he won’t work with a goodie two-shoes. You have to be a bit on the evil side to interest him in a partnership.

Yet, what if you are just a positive karma kind of person? How do you get just evil enough to hire Jericho without having your character commit acts that pose moral conflicts?

Simple: Pranking with Dukov! Just go to Dukov’s place and either use a lot of sneaky stealth play and/or a stealth boy to to grab EVERYTHING. You take a small hit to your karma with each theft. Keep an eye on your character’s karma ranking and stop pocketing when it tips to evil.

Then, simply go to the liquor cabinet and unload it all. This turns your act of mass theft into a harmless prank on an NPC.

You got the bad karma and Dukov didn’t actually lose a single empty whiskey bottle. If anything, you cleaned up his pig-pen bachelor pad, which likely will please his two party girls.

You can also stash stuff in Dukov’s desks and cabinets that are “owned” and it appears you can get a karma lowering for stealing them back and forth. Take it, put it back, take it again.

Once you have a “touch of evil”, go hire Jericho and then start the road to redemption. Give the water beggars purified water to gain lots of good karma quickly.

Then get used to listening to Jericho gripe about how he has signed up with Santa Claus and how you used to be such a bad-ass.

I had a full set of Enclave Power Armor and a flamethrower for Jericho saved up before I hired him. With these two items he has good chances of survival with most enemies. Give him med packs, as he will use them. Don’t give him anything that explodes (grenades or rocket launchers), as his aim is TERRIBLE.

NOTE: You can steal and return items from other NPCs, but Dukov simply has so much stuff in one small area that you can turn your karma from good to evil in one stop.

Fallout 3: How about less DLC and more stability

August 20, 2009

I love Fallout 3, but hate its lack of stability. Sadly, it still crashes with alarming regularity after both developer patching and the latest drivers for all my PCs devices.

Bethesda Softworks has released multiple pieces of downloadable content (DLC) for the game since its release. As a fan, I would have happily traded away the latest DLC, Mothership Zeta (not really very good), for a patch that actually fixed the game’s longstanding and rather well-known crash problems. Nothing ruins the immersion in a game like having it freeze or crash to desktop. This is especially true if you have just finished a tough fight. Crash! Now go reload and do it all over again…

Secret of Monkey Island is buggy. Lucasarts, please fix it!

July 25, 2009

I was excited to download the redo of Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition from Lucasarts for the PC. I downloaded it from Steam onto my grandson’s computer and we went to fire it up — and it didn’t work.

It crashed every time with a message saying MISE.exe could not execute. Searching the crash on the Internet, I found lots of other folks with the same problem. There were numerous fixes to try, ranging from reloading DirectX to manually creating a Settings.ini file to change the resolutions to ones that could be supported in your monitor.

I tried them one after another, with failure at each turn. Finally, I found a fix at the Steam forums that let the game operate.

Here is what allowed the game to run:

“It may cause some Problems if you are using a SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio or Audigy and not start with the “MISE.exe has stopped working” Message e.g. Sound Problems or if the Game hangs during the Credits:

– Try going to Control Panel –> Sound –> Click on Speaker, Navigate to your “Sound Blaster” Tab and Check “Disable Enhancements”.
– If that doesn’t work trying to Change the Default Sound Device to OnBoard Sound or Disabling the Driver might help.
– Muting all Sounds in the Audio Options might prevent the game from getting Stuck during the Intro Credits”

As soon as I checked the “Disable Enhancements”, the game would run. I didn’t need to do any of the other steps past checking one box in the Soundblaster tab on my speaker properties.

However, this latest episode illustrates once again why my favorite gaming platform (PC) is giving away ground to consoles. My grandson just wanted to play his new game. He didn’t want to wait while I spent hours going over tech support web sites trying to find a fix. With his various consoles, he pops in a game and they work.

I can’t count how many times I have had to play “Internet detective” to try to troubleshoot problems with PC games. It is a sad commentary when the users of a product tend to be the ones actually supplying the fixes and workarounds via forums.

The sheer number of posts indicating a crash at startup problem indicate to me that Lucasarts released the game before sufficient bug testing. Seriously, how many people use Audigy or X-FI Soundblaster sound cards? The answer is a whole lot of us! A game that won’t start if you have a Soundblaster installed with the default configuration is a game that has problems.

It also unsettling that the Lucasarts tech support web page didn’t have the solution present (or I couldn’t find it), but the Steam user forum did. Steam is a distributor of the game, not the studio that created it.

Lucasarts needs to get a patch out the door and fast. They are sitting on a gold pile with their stellar back catalog of games that could be redone using modern graphics and sound. I would love to see Full Throttle or Grim Fandango redone to run smoothly on modern PCs and operating systems at high resolutions. Full Throttle was a game I loved upon its initial release. Grim Fandango is a game I wanted to try a few years after its release, but I never could get it to work right.

However, if the first relaunch of a classic title turns into a frustrating experience for gamers, they may be soured on doing it again. A few more days spent bug-testing might be a lot better than a pile of complaints (and refund requests) from gamers who can’t get the game to work and refuse to spend hours hunting for a solution.

They will simply look favorably at the consoles that play their games reliably with minimal hassle — and PC games will have to fight to lure them back.

While on the topic of buggy games, I wish Bethesda would take a break from cranking out new add-ons for Fallout 3 and deal with the still-present crash problems. I love Fallout 3, but it is still as unstable as the San Andreas fault on my system. You just get in the habit of saving frequently to deal with the random crashes to desktop.

Fallout 3 TIP #7

April 10, 2009

Once you get to Megaton, get the mission to defuse the bomb from the sheriff. While doing this task, stand in the pool of water and drink some until you are radiated to the greatest degree possible shy of death.

Then go see Moira Brown at the supply store. Get the Wasteland Survival Guide mission and choose as your first mission to get radiated. Then, just tell her you are already so hot you should be glowing. Mission complete. She heals the radiation and you get a beneficial mutation perk that heals damaged limbs if you are thoroughly radiated at the time.

Later Moira will ask you to get inured and to cripple a limb. The safest and quickest way to do this is to use land mines. Either walk over a couple of hostile ones in the Minefield mission or set friendly ones and shoot them with a pistol or rifle while standing within the blast radius.

Fallout 3 Tip #6

April 8, 2009

When you are a newbie, pay special attention to those abandoned vehicles that litter the roads in the wastes. You see, they are highly explosive. They go off like a mini-nuke if they take a certain amount of damage. So, keep in mind where these parked car-bombs are located when enemies with ranged attacks are in sight. Duck behind a vehicle in a firefight and you may end up blown an impressive distance into the sky.

Enemies seems to have enough targeting smarts to aim at vehicles near you. So, return the favor. A group of land mines set around a vehicle makes a dandy trap if you see enemies approaching. A tossed grenade into a parking lot may clear out a group of raiders.

Be very careful in circumstances where you are overloaded and can’t run. If you are near a car, stay outside the blast radius as you go by.

The strategic use of vehicles-that-go-boom is one way to counter those tough Talon Company guys who are looking for you. At the start of the game, you are hard-pressed to hurt them and their weapons do a lot of hurting to you. So, weaken them by firing on a vehicle until it blows up right as they pass by.

Just be careful that they don’t chased you towards a parked vehicle as you are back-peddling. I had such an encounter and fortunately heard the sounds of bullets hitting metal behind my back. I managed to run sideways as a fireball lit up the sky behind me. It peeled away a lot of health, but I survived.

On a side note, it is also easy to get killed while back-peddling in the hilly parts of the wastes or on overpasses. You can take falling damage. One feels silly after killing a series of tough critters while running backwards only to fall off a cliff. Oops…

Fallout 3 Tip #5

April 4, 2009

Fallout 3 offers a plethora of “perks” that can increase various character skills, add dialog options, or provide other benefits. Some perks are more valuable than others and some are not worth the bother.

Some may be useful or useless depending upon how you plan to develop your character (good or evil, melee or ranged weapons, etc.).

Here are the ones that I found most useful after 300+ hours in the game.

In general, get Strong Back at Level 8 to be able to carry more stuff. The extra 40 pounds of weight tolerance really adds up when you are hauling loot.

Get both perks that increase your ability to generate additional skill points as soon as possible. Comprehension doubles the skill points you get for reading a skill book, while Educated adds three additional points each time you level-up. These two add a ton of points to your late-game totals. Get them as early as you can. Also, stash the skill books you collect early in the game until you get Comprehension.

I also found Entomologist to be useful, as you fight scores of Giant Radroaches later in the game and the +50 damage saves a lot of ammo.

I grabbed Black Widow/Lady Killer right away, as it does at +10 damage when fighting foes of the opposite sex and sometimes the extra dialog choices are useful.

Gun Nut is a no-brainer, especially early in the game. Most of the weapons you find are small guns and they have more ammo lying around. The added repair skills ups the damage you inflict with weapons, toughens your armor, and makes the weapons and armor you barter worth more.

Toughness adds +10 percent to your damage resistance. It can be a lifesaver in tough fights.

Finesse increases your chances of scoring a critical hit and I found it very useful.

Pyromaniac makes you a killer with the Shishkabob improvised weapon, while Robotics Expert provides +25 damage to fights with robots. This can save your skin when you start running into those tough Sentry Bots later in the game.

Cyborg also makes you tougher and ups your energy weapons skills. I liked it.

Lawbringer lets you collect bounties for every evil character you kill. Since evil characters abound in the wastelands, the loot adds up quickly.

Better Criticals adds +50 percent damage to any critical hits you score. Be aware that you must have both a Perception and Luck of 6 each to get it.

Life Giver was good for an extra 30 health points, which is useful for characters playing in Ironman Mode (you die, you start over).

Some I had no use for: Here and now gets you an immediate level-up, but so what. You will hit the Level 20 cap too fast anyway, so why rush it. Swift Learner also added a 10 percent bonus to any experience points you gained. Again, you get points fast enough and hit the level cap long before you finish the main quest. Why hurry it up?

I found no use for Fortune Finder or Scrounger. One lets you find more caps and the other more ammo. Late in the game you will be overflowing with loot and ammo anyway, so don’t waste the perks picks.

Daddy’s Boy/Girl is useful, as it bumps both Science and Medicine 5 points each. I like to max out science, repair, and lock-picking early in the game. Getting Thief can add to the lockpick skills.

I found grenades and mines to be my saviors against tough enemies early in the game (like Talon Company mercs). For this reason, I grabbed Demolition for the +20 percent damage increase of things that go boom.

These are the ones I chose. I am more of a sniper and less of a melee character, but if you want to smack things, then get perks that boost melee damage and hand-to-hand skills.

Be aware that certain perks require various SPECIAL attributes beforehand, so plan accordingly. If you want a certain perk, but need to boost an attribute, try to get the appropriate Bobblehead. For example, you can get the Strength Bobblehead in Lucas’ Simms’ house in Megaton right after you leave the vault at the start of the game

Also, The quest Those in Greyditch offers a chance to get a permanent boost to either Strength or Perception, so you can use it to obtain the attribute point you may need to access a certain perk, like Strong Back.