21 Apr 2010

FallOut 3 Fundamentals – Part 2 – Advanced Tactics

Author: Author | Filed under: Guides & Hints
    Advanced Tactics

Karma, Stealing, Interaction & Conversation

Killing things in Fallout 3 is fun, but so too are the myriad interactions you’ll have with residents of the Capital Wasteland and surrounding environs. Learning how to conduct yourself in conversation is extremely important, especially if you know what kind of character you’re trying to play. Generally, the choices you make will speak for themselves. Lying to someone is a bad thing to do, but is often an option, while brutal, chaotic honesty can result in the netting of much respect from those surrounding you. The end result for both is the same — a net gain or loss of karma, which will determine if you’re a good guy or a bad guy… or someone very much in between.

Stealing and pick-pocketing people will also net in karmic loss, even if no one is the wiser to your deeds. Be extremely careful when stealing from people, because those people will turn on you, and perhaps their friends will as well. Of course, feel free to steal from those who have abandoned their houses (temporarily or otherwise). They won’t know you did anything, of course, but your karmic debt will begin to build exponentially. If that’s not important to you, however, then go on and do it to your heart’s content.

Otherwise, interactions are somewhat self-explanatory (yet extremely deep) in Fallout 3. Everything has some sort of consequence. If you go into Megaton and start shooting everyone, expect everyone to shoot back. And even if you somehow make it out of the town alive, when you return, don’t think that the people there have forgotten what you did. Sometimes, you have to give them time to get over things. Other times, they’ll never forget. The general rule of thumb when exploring the vastness that is Fallout 3 is to not bite off more than you can chew. Even if you’re playing as an extremely evil character, chances are that character will understand that he can’t go into Megaton and kill everyone there and survive. Why kill characters who can potentially kill you later, whether you’re evil or not? Holster that gun, you nut job.

Shopping & Inventory Management

One of the more daunting aspects of Fallout 3 is managing your inventory and effectively shopping in the game, especially if your strength is low (thus lowering the amount of gear you can carry before becoming encumbered). Constantly surveying what you have is integral to your success, because you’re going to find a lot of stuff out there in the Wasteland, and most of it is completely useless.

Encumbrance is the worst thing that can happen to you, because your only realistic choice is to get rid of some of your goods so you can move again (you can’t even instantly teleport when encumbered — a huge bummer indeed). Thus, managing your inventory and constantly returning to various settlements to sell unwanted goods is integral to collecting Bottle Caps (the currency in Fallout 3) and ridding yourself up occupied space in your inventory so you can grab more stuff.

Therefore, the best time to shop more often than not is when you’ve got things to get rid of, because you can swap things for things you need, perhaps netting a profit of Bottle Caps when all is said and done (if not, you’ll either be completely even or, more likely than not, have to pay the difference out of your own stash of Bottle Caps). Don’t be afraid to go back to settlements often. After all, you will be able to instantly transport yourself to just about any location in the game once you’ve unlocked it, so getting from place to place is extremely easy.

While we’re speaking about shopping and inventory management, we’d also like to say a quick word on repairing your equipment. Keep your gear repaired! The effectiveness of your weapons, armor and other gear is completely contingent on its condition. The more things are used and battered, the worse their condition becomes. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have a powerful weapon or piece of armor that’s barely useable because you’ve neglected to take care of it when you could. We know, repairing things is expensive. But it’s vital, so don’t neglect to do it.

Hacking & Lockpicking

Finally, we’ve come to the last of the three sections of our brief Advanced Tactics section. Hacking and lock picking will be done often in the game, though your skills in both will be contingent on dumping points into those statistics when you level up. Hacking and lock picking have their own uses, of course, which we’ll discuss briefly below.

Hacking old computer terminals is tough. You’ll need to select words out of all of the text on your computer screen to try to figure out which one is the right one, with subtle hints letting you know if you’re close or not (primarily by way of telling you if you have any of the letters in the proper place). You’ll only get four chances before a terminal locks itself, so be sure to bail out and reset the password after three tries if you’re still cold on what the password actually is. Guessing wrong on the fourth try will thwart your efforts with that terminal forevermore, if you’re not careful.

Lock picking is a bit easier than hacking simply because it’s straight-forward in its delivery. Using pins (of which there are a finite amount, depending on what’s in your inventory at the current time), you have to manipulate a screwdriver and your pin in just the right way that the lock clicks open. The more difficult the lock is, the more manipulation the lock will take to jimmy it open, but remember that you can dump points in your lock picking skill if you’re having difficulty. Generally, the vibration from your controller, once the nuances are learned, will give you the best feel for when a lock is about to open, or when your pin is about to break off, forcing you to try again. Lock picking is all about patience — remember that when you’re about to throw your controller across the room.

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