Fallout

I weighed everything in my Stash Box in an Excel spreadsheet, and the difference in numbers was staggering, until I took off every perk. (An analysis essay on one of the changes from 4 to 76)

fallout 2 - I weighed everything in my Stash Box in an Excel spreadsheet, and the difference in numbers was staggering, until I took off every perk. (An analysis essay on one of the changes from 4 to 76)
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TLDR; grr weight bad

I won't lie – I'm a hoarder. The current playstyle of my character is a collector, walking around in my White Wolf Fedora, picking up everything that isn't bolted to the ground. My camp is set up like a museum, with display boxes full of cool knick-knacks that I come across in my adventures.

I recently decided to put my stash box into an excel spreadsheet, so that I can know what categories are contributing the most to my everlasting problem. After adding up all the weights, I got 472 units. It came across as a shocker to me, since my stash was calculating its weight at 788 units.

After some thinking from Bethesda's perspective, I figured the most likely thing was the programmer was too busy eating crayons to program perk weight modifiers into the stash (or it's not intended to be there). So I made a new page on my spreadsheet, and copied everything over, then removed every weight-influencing perk and recorded the new weights.

Surprise surprise, the weights (approximately) balanced out. Mine was a little bit under by about 2 "units", which is most likely due to the weights that the game engine knows have more decimal points than are being displayed (.03 displayed is probably .025 in the game engine).

The result of this experiment sort of… disappointed me. I was an avid player of FO4, and would routinely stick 15000 units worth of stuff into a single toolbox. Along with that, if you recall in FO4 we could apply all of the perks as our levels went up. It took like 275 levels or something like that, but you could apply every perk which made your endgame pretty fun as you shred through things as if they were butter. I understand that FO76 is a survival game more than it is a typical fallout game, and frankly, I have no issues with that, since it combines my favorite games with my favorite genre. The issue is, I see these players — level 200, 300, 400 — and I just can't help but feel bad for them as they aren't able to have all the perks, despite the work. Their grind has no payoff that improves their player. I'm not saying that we should get to assign a SPECIAL point every time we level up, but maybe every 2 or 3 after level 50? There's a lot of people that say this game has no real endgame content, and it's true for now, but having a weight of like 900 because of strength 30 would be a great way to enjoy it.

Moreover, the most important part of any game is the players. Without us, the game wouldn't sell and would basically cease development. As a user base, we need to be heard, and our requests listened to, and responses given. Rockstar had so much success with GTA Online because they listened and were active in fixing issues and creating content that was wanted. So if your entire player base says "we want more weight management please Bethesda", the fact of the matter is, it would be smart to listen to the player base. We are the consumer and end-user, so if you really want me to buy Fallout 1st then give me a reason to want to invest money in playing this game for an entire month and prove to me that I won't get bored.

Now, this wouldn't be a real opinion unless I addressed the other side (it would just be a complaint). So, from Bethesda's side, there are a couple of reasons for the lack of helping us with our weight.

First and foremost, there's the scrap box. By giving us worse weight management, it encourages users to just buy Fallout 1st and stop having to worry as much about weight management. When I took off my weight perks, junk went from 230 to 430 units, which is half of my stashbox. The fact of the matter is, a one-time purchase of $60 (or in my case, 15) just won't cut it when you're expected to continue to make free content updates and run servers. Those people who pay for Fallout 1st are, in a way, keeping the lights on. In FO4, the games were hosted on our console. No server, no recurring electricity or hardware costs on their end. When we got our DLC in FO4, we paid for it, basically paying for the development of that expansion. Now, with Wastelanders on its way, they had to hire new voice actors, pay their developers, and hire exterminators to try to get rid of the bugs, and they are giving away all of this for FREE. In summary, Bethesda is more or less incentivized to NOT make the average, non-subscription player's weight management better in-game since we can do it by paying for it.

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Secondly, there's server budget. We all know about the horrible CAMP budget, with its limit on our building. Simplified for those who don't speak technology (it's ok, I love you all), in Fallout 76 the majority of what's "going on" in the world is processed by the server, NOT your console/PC. The result is there's a limit on how much can go on before the server can't take on more. In a game engine, each "object" (i.e. a chair, a bobblehead, a building shell) has a certain complexity that it takes to process it. Imagine it this way, if you were told to draw a wooden wall, you would probably get it done pretty quickly, the walls in the game aren't that complex. But if I asked you to draw the power armor station, it would take you significantly longer since it is very complex with tons of little nooks and crannies. Now instead of you, it's the server, and instead of draw, it's render in a 3-dimensional world while keeping track of location, state, and many other traits. As we add more things to this world, the server keeps getting more strain on it. Just a bit more computer science for you, this same thing happens with player/stash box inventory. Right now, we have a limit on how much stuff we can have in the box – 800 units. I'm *guessing* player inventory might be managed on our end, which is why there's A) inventory exploits and B) no limit, since our console/PC process it. If we were to be able to have more stuff in the box, it'll keep increasing the amount of things the server has to keep track of. As it is, my assumption for the reason the GUI of the stash is so laggy (at least on Xbox) is because our items are stored on disk serverside, so as we page through items it has to call that item object back and then send it to the user to be displayed. Now imagine if we had 3, 4, 5 times the amount of stuff in our stash boxes, and so did every other player on the server, well the server would have a stroke every time I decided to sort by weight instead of value.

Aside: The reason settlement budget was HUGE in FO4 was because it was the only thing loaded and it was run on our local machine. With only one player on the map, you only have to load where they are and what they can see in the render distance – no need to load small objects. So our settlements could be huge, because unlike in 76 where any camp a player is near is loaded times like 30 players, there's only like 2 MAYBE 3 settlements that could be loaded at once. Also, the PS4 and Xbox One are, for lack of a better term, BEASTS. PCs change from person to person, so I'll just say in general, the hardware that was being played had way more than enough power to run the game, and as a result, we were given more and more budget to our settlements since we could run it.

So to summarize this essay, I understand why Bethesda has no inclination to assist us in our endeavors. At the same time, it is borderline inexcusable how little the player base is listened to. Occasionally while surfing this subreddit I'll see someone that's an official Bethesda rep, but it's always the same person. You're telling me that arguably the largest collection of Fallout 76 players, over 200,000 of us, only has 1 staff member looking at it? (Oh, got angry there) The point is, Bethesda needs to listen to it's users a bit more, starting with the weight of things. Perhaps you halve the player cap per-map and then we can double our weight, it's safe to assume not all servers are constantly running full. Or, make the big jump and allow us to host 76 on our own machine, then make it so we can invite friends like a Minecraft world.

Thank you all for reading. I spent more effort on this essay than I ever did on any assignment in highschool. Go figure. I'd love to hear feedback or discuss more computer-sciencey things in the comments, and I'm on Xbox as the same name as my reddit username if you want to have a real chat (or just vibe and play).

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