Full disclosure, I'm almost exclusively talking about Quad Crossbows here. Some points (okay, one point) count for normal Crossbows as well, but all the funky stuff starts happening with Quads.
So, I noticed that aside from roleplayers and people who do the Hunter scout badge, pretty much no one touches the Crossbow with a ten-foot pole. And honestly, I was the same.
The fire rate is ass, the damage is mediocre in comparison to other rifles, the ammo is rather expensive to make, it doesn't have any mods.
The only upside is that it's silent and once in a blue moon you get your bolts back. But even with sneak attacks it gets outclassed by basically all other rifles in terms of dps, since silencers exist. Oops.
So what traumatic event enlightened me to the wonders of the Crossbow?
Honestly, it was self inflicted. I wanted to make a hunter-esque character and kinda forced myself into it.
I built the character pretty much exclusively around a Quad Crossbow, because there's no way in Hell I'll reload after every shot. That's where the funky stuff started happening.
The Quad Crossbow comes with 4 shots as you would expect. Contrary to other quad weapons though, you will have to load every single one of those 4 shots by hand. So I do get my rapid fire, NW-like crossbow behavior, but I still gotta put the work in. Still, with Gun-Fu and sneak attacks it's very manageable.
But enough shit talking – this is where the cool funky stuff starts happening.
So, since you have to reload every shot independantly, which is very irregular behavior for a quad weapon already, you'd think it does some other weird things. And you would be right!
Despite having to reload all 4 in succession, apparently it treats all loaded bolts the same – meaning that if you pop a VATS crit, you just infused all loaded bolts with crit magic. As a bonus, as long as you stay in VATS, all bolts you reload during that time will also get the crits. For some reason. Basically, as long as you got AP you are the Crit Machine.
Now you might think: "Huh, that's neat."
BUT WAIT! There's more!
The Crossbow also does that weird thing where if the very first shot in VATS is a hit, all other follow up shots will 100% hit as well – no matter what the hit% says.
The numbers aren't always right. Take that, math!
On that matter, if the first shot misses, all successive shots will miss as well, so cancel out of VATS and try again.
So, if you pop a Crit, and it hits, you basically just scored 4 direct Crits and any other shots you can load until your AP runs out.
As a bonus, your VATS meter depletes after the first shot, but the followup crits can fill it right back up again, so you can have crits for days my dudes.
Pair that with Gun-Fu and Grim Reaper’s sprint and you start dropping fools like Van-fucking-Helsing.
Now you might think: "Hey, that's pretty good!"
BUT WAIT! There's one more thing!
So this is the part that applies to ALL crossbows (except exploding ones I think) – but of course Quad does it best.
You probably noticed that if you fire a bolt somewhere, it sticks to that surface. Of course it would – it's basically a really BIG nail.
But what most people don't know is, that beeg nail has a collision box. It can block doors, and most importantly, it can serve as a stepping stone.
You can basically build a ladder by shooting bolts into a wall and jumping on them. Combine that with a jetpack and you can climb ANY structure in the game.
I'm still doing some more testing with other perks, i.e. quick hands, but so far I couldn't get that to trigger on a crossbow, so no idea if it does some weird stuff on the quad.
Anyway, that's my sales pitch for the Crossbow – forego your plasma and gunpowder ways and return to the string and pointy stick.
Stay safe people.
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© Post "It’s better than you’d think – or – In Defense of the Crossbow" for game Fallout.
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