Fallout: Election 2018!

This one snuck up on me. I hadn’t realized we were closing in on level 9 in our Fallout run, and it wasn’t until I started the game up again and it asked me for my choice of perks that I realized it’s time for yet another vote. Now, we’ve got the water chip, saved our vault, and are back home again. There is absolutely, positively, no more reason to go out into the wastes again. Honest. Don’t let the fact that there’s still half the map left and a bunch of mystery abounding fool you. We beat the game. Just have to talk to the Overseer again now that we’ve submitted our report to work it out. But, you know, given that we have the option to choose more perks, even though we’re obviously not going to have the time to make use of them before the credits roll which is going to be super soon, I figured I’d let you guys make one final choice on the direction of our Athena.

Our new choices with this level up are:

Animal Friend

This perk will make Dogmeat like us. Well, she already likes us. But this will make all the other animals we run across like us just like Dogmeat does!

No, no it won’t. But at least it will make it so they don’t want to murder us on sight anymore.

Better Criticals

We’re at the stage of the game where it doesn’t always oneshot the enemy when we get a critical hit anymore. Still does massive amounts of damage, but sometimes, an enemy is able to hang on long enough to die later. If that bothers you, you can take this perk, which makes our critical hits 20% more powerful when we do catch one.

Bonus Rate of Fire

So, when I’m presenting these perks, I am completely nonpartial. I’ve got my preferences, but I’m not going to try to color your choices. So when I tell you to vote for this one, if you have any love in your heart for me or for dear Athena, you know I’m still keeping that professional distance in there.

Right now, it costs 5 action points to fire a gun, or 6 if Athena’s wanting to target a specific body part. Athena’s got 9 action points to play with, so she can fire once and do something else, either move a bit or dig into her backpack, every turn. This perk will reduce the AP cost of ranged attacks by one. Meaning Athena will get to fire twice a turn. Effectively doubling her offensive capacity.

This is obviously the best choice. So much so, I don’t know why they even offer other perks to guns based characters at this level. But no pressure.

Dodger

We’ve got an Armor Class. This works just like it does in traditional tabletop games. The higher our Armor Class, the more likely we are to not be hit by attacks. AC comes from armor and stats. This perk increases the bonus we get to AC from our stats.

That was a lot of words to say it just makes us harder to hit.

Explorer

We’ve yet to run into any of them, but this game actually has a lot of interesting random encounters. Get to see some fun stuff going on. This perk increases our chances of running into one of them.

Mutate!

Back at the beginning of the game, you guys chose two special traits for Athena. You chose to make her smarter and more aware at night, less so during the day, and you chose to make her better than everyone else. If you were uncertain about either of those decisions, you could choose this perk and get a do-over.

A short list this time around. There are more that can unlock at level 9, but Athena doesn’t have the stats for them. But that’s ok. We’ve still got enough to choose from. Or, if you were interested, any of the previous perks are still up for grabs.

Here’s the complete list of what we’ve got available to us:

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As always, vote in the comments!

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Fallout Intermission, Round 2

Hey boys and girls, it’s that time again.  Our Athena just reached level 5, which, if you’ve passed your calculus, you know as just one less than level 6.  Level 6 means she’ll have a new perk to choose from.  And that means I need your help once again!

So, same deal as last time.  Democracy rules.  Vote for whatever you want, and as long as other people agree with you, you get your way.  You get your choice of anything we had last time, but we’ve got some new ones to add to the list.

Heave Ho!

Increases how far Athena can throw grenades and stuff.  Athena’s never used a throwing weapon in her life.  Maybe she will someday.  I mean, she won’t, but maybe!  Hope springs eternal!

Empathy

Empathy is kind of a cheat sheet for speech checks.  It basically color codes our dialogue options, so we can see which ones will cause positive or negative reactions.  I remember this not working in the original version of the game, and I don’t think I’ve tried it since more updated versions came out, so if you pick it, this will be new for me as well.

Friendly Foe

If you’re the type that keeps accidentally shooting your friends, this can help you out.  It’ll highlight allies in green instead of the usual red when you’re aiming your weapon.  I don’t have any problem keeping track of my peeps, so this would be absolutely no gameplay change for us, but I wish we could give it to Ian when he’s got his hands on a burst-fire… oh, I made myself sad.

Bonus HtH Attacks

This perks lets us punch and swing faster, making melee attacks cost less AP to perform.  But Athena’s got a gun.  Hmmmm…..  I suppose it could be useful if we ran out of ammo*, or if we got captured and had our equipment stolen**, or wore out our guns***.  Aside from that, I wouldn’t expect it to see much use.

*will never happen

**nor this

***nope

Bonus Ranged Damage

Now we’re talking.  This gives us an extra two points of gun damage.  Per bullet.  So if we bring out our SMG, which fires 10 rounds in a go, well, I don’t know if the phrase ludicrous gibs is appropriate, but it’s close.

Educated

2 more skill points every time we level.  We get better at stuff faster.  I like being good at stuff.  This one makes me happy.

Bonus Move

This one is honestly my favorite perk at this level.  Right now Athena gets 9 AP per turn.  Which is enough to shoot a fool, reload, then walk a few paces.  Or shoot a goon then rummage through her pack.  Or shoot a mook in the groin, then do a little dance.  If we pick this perk, we’ll get two free AP that can only be used for movement.  It makes us a lot more maneuverable in combat.

Ranger

You would think Tycho would come equipped with this one already.  This perk reduces our chances of running into a fight out in the wastes.  Helpful for ironman pacifist runs, not so much for gobsmacked badasses that nobody messes with.  Guess which group Athena falls into.

More Criticals

Criticals in this game are devastating.  This perk lets us have more of them.

Simple enough.

Snakeeater

What a thrill, with darkness and silence through the night.

What a thriiiilll, I’m searching and I’ll melt into you.

What a fear in my heeeeaaaaart!

But yoouu’re soooooo supreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeme!

I give my life, not for honor, but fooooooor yooouuuuuuuuuuuu.

In my tiiiiime, there’ll be nooooo oooooone eeeeeelse!

Criiiime! It’s the way that, I flyyyyy to yoooooouuuu,

You’re stiiiiiiiiiiill in a dreeeeeeeeeaaaaaaam, +25% to poison resistaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaance!

Sharpshooter

Will reliably make opponents tap out in the middle of the ring.  Also increases Athena’s accuracy at long distances.  We’ve already gotten some use out of her being able to shoot farther than anyone else, so could be handy.

So you’ve got all that?  Remember, if these don’t strike your fancy, you can choose anything from last time except Awareness.  Vote in the comments!

 

A Fallout Intermission

Hey guys, guess what?  We’re going to be at Level 3 in our Fallout run pretty soon!  That means we’re going to be getting our first perk.  And guess what else?  I’m going to be needing some audience participation for that, too.

So here’s the deal.  Every three levels, we’ll get to add a perk to our character.  Perks are, basically, permanent bonuses.  We have to meet prerequisites for them, so we don’t get to just choose any of the ones the game has to offer, but we should always have a decent selection to pick from.  Our potential list will grow every time we get a new one, as well.

In any case, our little Athena’s growing up.  She’s starting to learn things out in the wasteland.  As this is part of the character creation, I’d like your help in figuring out how Athena is going to better herself.

Our choices this next level up are going to be:

Awareness, which lets us see a targets hit points, equipped weapon, and remaining ammo just by looking at them.  It’s a really handy utility perk, and I like having it to help with decision making in battles.

Earlier Sequence, which is a really hokey way of saying that our turn will come up earlier.  Athena’s really perceptive, so her sequence is really early anyways and this would have limited overall utility, but picking this would ensure that outside of the combat initiator, almost nobody gets to move before Athena does.

Night Vision.  So this is an interesting one.  By description, this just brightens up the screen when we’re in dark areas, and I have never in my life chosen this perk, because I know where the brightness knob is on my monitor.  However, as I’m reading up on it now, the Fallout wiki reports that it also provides an increase to accuracy to counteract the ranged penalty for fighting in a dark area.  Don’t know why the game doesn’t bother to mention that.  Given that Athena’s a Night Person, and as such, I’m going to be fighting at night whenever I get the option, that bonus is pretty attractive, if true.

With Presence, NPCs will be more slightly more inclined to like Athena even before she starts talking to them.  So it will make our Athena even more like the real Athena.

Quick Pockets reduces the cost for accessing our inventory in the middle of combat by 1.  I believe it usually costs 4 AP, so this will drop it from there.  Accessing our inventory lets us change our equipment, reload, heal as much as we want, and use things we don’t have at the ready.  The further we go in the game, the more I’ll be opening up the inventory to pop a couple of stimpaks at a time.  Frankly, I’ve always found this to be the most useful of the perks you have access to at level 3.

Right now, our world map is largely black, because Athena doesn’t know where much of anything is. It’s revealed as we travel. If we picked Scout as our perk, we’d be able to reveal more of the map as we travel, as Athena would be able to say farther in the distance.  Could be useful if you find yourself getting lost on the map, but I’ve played the game enough that I know my way around.  This would have a minimal impact on my play.

Smooth Talker would allow Athena to use dialogue options that require a little more intelligence than she has.  However, Athena already has a genius level intellect.  Her intelligence does go down during the day, so this could keep people from realizing that she only truly wakes up after she has a cup or eight of coffee, but even at her worst, she’s smarter than your average wastelander.

So yeah, there’s our options!  In what ways shall Athena improve?  Her destiny is in your hands!  Vote in the comments!