TL;DRish On Tuesday’s Additive Damage System

fallout 3 - TL;DRish On Tuesday's Additive Damage System

I know a lot of people are concerned or uncertain about the "Big Nerf" that's dropping on the 15th, so I thought I'd take some time to break down exactly what the actual practical end result will be depending on your playstyle.

Before we get started: DON'T PANIC. Everything will be fine. These are (mostly) small adjustments to what actually happens in game when you play.

I have tested A LOT of things on the PTS, and actually managed to figure out why the new formula is hitting some weapons so much harder than others seemingly at random. Well, it's not random, it's not targeting one weapon over another, and it's entirely consistent. And there have been no changes to base weapon damage.

That being said, none of that is actually important or really that relevant for the average player. We are not talking about numbers here. We are talking about how the game will feel on Tuesday, and what adjustments you may need to make in order to keep being kickass.

Apologies if some of this is obvious, but I figure it couldn't hurt to offer some hopefully helpful advice from someone who has looked into this…a lot.

Also, all of this is applicable regardless of what health you play at. That doesn't mean Low Health/Bloodied means nothing, because you still do the most damage. You really do. This is just in general.

Let's start with Unarmed:

If you are not already Sneaking, start. Use Ninja, Covert Operative (yes this works, I don't know why) and Escape Artist. Sprint from one target to another, enter Sneak again and, for the love of God, Power Attack. I know it's slower, but the difference is between one-shotting a Super Mutant and not doing that. Swing Speed increases the speed of the Power Attack animation, so no, you didn't screw up by getting a Swing Speed weapon.

Melee Food/Fury is also a good idea, but any and all consumable buffs are always a great idea. You probably can't two-shot the Queen anymore but there's no way that was gonna stay there forever.


Same idea as unarmed, but you likely won't need to sneak unless that's your jam. The key here is Power Attack. Really crack those skulls! Also, if you aren't running Party Boy/Party Girl and have the points to give it a shot, you should. Whiskey gives +6 Strength.


You won't notice any significant difference in anything that you do. You may use a little more ammo, but you're a heavy gunner; it's kinda hard to notice if your fire rate is really high.


This one is my main build and I love it. With the new formula, I still love it. I've yet to meet a Rifleman who isn't using Stealth, so let's assume you are. If you are using a Hunting Rifle, you should probably switch weapons to something with a significantly higher base damage. And I mean hot off the crafting bench, zero perks damage. Yes, that does matter a lot more now. Sadly, we got stuck with the biggest possible adjustment.


Unfortunately, the Lever Action Rifle may not have enough kick to get the job done. It could on many things, but for a consistent one-shot head shot sneak attack for non-boss enemies…you're probably gonna need to move up to the biggest boom.

My suggestion would be the Gauss Rifle. I know a lot of people don't like it, but give it another chance. It kills things dead really, really well. Instigating, Anti-Armor, Junkie's, Bloodied, hell even Mutant's would work just fine. You could honestly get away with a non-legendary version, to be perfectly honest. Prime that thing, throw on Full Demo if you're able to (this perk interacts with Gauss Weapons more effectively than it does weapons with the Explosive legendary effect) and aim for the head. You know what to do.

Alternatively, if you have a high enough Agility and/or use Chinese Stealth Armor/Chameleon Armor…use a Railway. Ideally an explosive one, if you can get your hands on it. It's not as loud as it seems…


Assuming you are properly spec'd, sneaking, and aiming for weak points, you will be using one to two more rounds of ammunition on most mobs. That's pretty much all there is to it. You're still perfectly viable.


If you're still maining Shotguns, you are probably using VATS. If you are not using VATS, use VATS. Additonally, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a Magic Shotgun if you don't have one already. It's not necessary, but it does even the playing field a bit more. You can also grab an armor piece with Reduce Damage While Blocking as its third star, and then everything is magic!

Yes, it is a problem that the "best" solution to Shotguns is to use a "glitch" (the fact that it forces shotguns to do proper damage makes me feel like there's something else going on there), but we're working with the systems as they are, not as they should be.


Good news: you're getting Tank Killer! Bad news: all of the problems that exist with pistols now still exist with the additive formula. Except now you should probably start sneaking if you weren't already. If you've stuck with it until now, you'll be okay. You'll be using more ammo, but more than the Commandos and Heavies.

EDIT: Upon further thought, Anti-Armor may actually be more helpful to Pistols than any other build. Just something to keep in mind. I could be wrong.

And there you have it! I hope someone found this information helpful, or perhaps even relieving.

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