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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout: New Vegas - J.E. Sawyer "Hardcore" Mod Released

Default Fallout: New Vegas - J.E. Sawyer "Hardcore" Mod Released

December 30th, 2011, 02:34
J.E. Sawyer has released his personal mod for Fallout: New Vegas, intending to make the game more challenging and address some inconsistencies with karma and alignment. This isn't an "unofficial patch" (or an official one, for that matter) and isn't intended to fix bugs or add content.
The full suite of DLC is required - even the Gun Runners Arsenal and Courier's Stash - hopefully you can pick them up cheap if you don't have them. Grab the mod file here direct from Josh's personal site.
Here's the short version of the changelog from his Formspring postings (full notes are included with the file):
It's mostly general balance adjustments I couldn't do for various technical/time reasons, plus some general "make the Hardcore game harder" adjustments. I've made a couple hundred adjustments, but the most significant are probably:

* Max level with all DLCs installed is 35.
* XP rate is halved.
* Base player health is quartered and level-gained health is reduced by 25%.
* Base Carry Weight from 150 to 50 (related perks/things have also been adjusted).
* Energy Weapon ammo weighs less than its nearest equivalent Guns ammo.
* Energy Weapon durability is in the same ballpark as Guns durability.
* Medium Armor has a small amount of DR proportional to its DT.
* Heavy Armor has even more DR proportional to its DT.
* Power Armor does not require a perk, but if you have the perk, the weight of the armor is essentially negated.
* Karma/Alignment values adjusted all over.
* H2O/FOD/SLP rates doubled, but the first threshold is moved from 200 to 400 (statuses roll over ever 150 after).
* Water and Food drop rates on NPCs is dramatically lower. It is difficult to stay out of Dehydration/Starvation by looting enemies.
* Water/Nuka-Cola/Sunset Sarsaparilla heal much less, but now all restore H2O (alcohols will as well, but at lowered values).
* Default Stimpaks are uncommon. A new variant, Stimpak, Expired is the default. It is not that great.
* The player's Workbench recipe now makes Stimpak, Homemade. It is better than Expired, worse than default Stimpaks, and has the PE penalty from Healing Powder.
* All Stimpaks have weight.
* Pre-Order items have been adjusted to be more well-balanced and not worth that much if you rush to Chet's to trade them in.
* A bunch of fixes I couldn't make during development because of load order conflicts, time, etc. E.g.: Automatic Rifle spread re-adjustment, putting the Police Pistol on the Cowboy List, Bozar on Grunt, Junk Rounds are now actual ammo variants you can make, etc.
* Some other stuff.

It requires a load order manager (must load after all retail .esms) and every single DLC, including GRA and the pre-order packs.
Note that Josh has done around 20 hours of testing but makes no guarantees:
* I played with this mod for about 20 hours. That's the extent of its testing. Really. BEWARE.
* This is not official and it's not a patch. If it disintegrates your game, do a Kareem and skyhook the .esp into your Recycle Bin.
* I didn't add any huge new things because that wasn't really the point of the mod.
* I avoided anything that involved heavy scripting because I am bad at scripting and didn't want to blow everything up.
* Will probably conflict with some of your 10,000 other mods. Sorry.
More information.

-= RPGWatch =-
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December 30th, 2011, 02:34
You can find the full changelog here:

http://www.falloutwiki.com/Jsawyer.esp
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December 30th, 2011, 02:41
I have all the DLC except for one of those little ones. Guess I'll have to grab it now.

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I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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December 30th, 2011, 04:16
I hope this starts a trend!

Can you imagine Todd Howard's mod for skyrim?
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December 30th, 2011, 05:04
By far my favorite obsidian dev, the balance changes he put in a previous patch were already pretty good, look forward to an eventual rerun of the game with this.

I only regret that there's no way to easily increase the distance between settlements in NV as that'd make hardcore mode(and the gameworld) work better- skyrim has much larger distances between settlements and the casuals still didn't bitch about it.
No matter how tough he makes the hardcore mode, the reality is that you're never more than a 2 minute run away from a settlement with fresh water and food, or 4 minutes from the river.
Last edited by KapitanUnterhosen; December 30th, 2011 at 05:30.
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December 30th, 2011, 05:35
Looking forward to trying this one, but I will need to go back and compare the change notes with Arwen's Tweaks to see which modules I might need to deactivate, or perhaps tweak the Tweaks.
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December 30th, 2011, 06:10
Getting this one for sure and I'd totally replay Skyrim if he did one for that game. That would rock!!!


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December 30th, 2011, 10:24
* H2O/FOD/SLP rates doubled, but the first threshold is moved from 200 to 400 (statuses roll over ever 150 after).
This I am not 100% sure of. How often will it mean that you will have to eat/drink in game hours ? I thought the current rates on Hardcore were not that bad…

Seems interesting though. Will give it a shot when I feel like getting the last couple of DLC I am missing.

And yeah, it would be really nice if someone did something similar for Skyrim. As that game's "fantasy world sim" part is what it has going for it (it certainly is not the rpg in it ) it would greatly enhance the realism and immersion aspects (I could look in another 120 hour replay with a mod like that and a few graphical tweaks in a year or so )
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December 30th, 2011, 10:35
Sounds like the game will become a survival/frustration simulator. Not really my thing - but I appreciate any mod from a developer that provides insight into what he REALLY wanted from the game as opposed to what they thought would work financially.

I love hardcore modes and stuff like this, but if the game isn't fully designed around such harsh conditions - it will always be a battle of conflicting designs. Which is why I think it would be frustrating to play this - given the UI and overall combat/balance approach, though I haven't tried it.

What a gaming world it would be if developers were allowed to fully realise their vision, instead of catering to audiences.

Then again, would anything ever get released?
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December 30th, 2011, 10:47
J.E. Sawyer has released his personal mod for Fallout: New Vegas, intending to make the game more challenging and address some inconsistencies with karma and alignment.
To say it with codexian language: Incline!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 30th, 2011, 11:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Sounds like the game will become a survival/frustration simulator. Not really my thing - but I appreciate any mod from a developer that provides insight into what he REALLY wanted from the game as opposed to what they thought would work financially.

I love hardcore modes and stuff like this, but if the game isn't fully designed around such harsh conditions - it will always be a battle of conflicting designs. Which is why I think it would be frustrating to play this - given the UI and overall combat/balance approach, though I haven't tried it.

What a gaming world it would be if developers were allowed to fully realise their vision, instead of catering to audiences.

Then again, would anything ever get released?
Overall this seems like a dry, colorless, and completely mechanical mod, solely focused on decreasing likelihood of survival. I'd much rather see a focus on changes to the virtual world adding motivations for survival; if my PC keeps dying there needs to be a lot of somethings worth surviving for, or who needs it? Why build a world and then make it damn near impossible to experience that world?

Give me a new character, or more depth to an old character; more interactions with characters or places in the existing world; more places; more colors. A single joyous AHA moment.

I'm just not turned on by increasing pain with nothing to show for it…
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December 30th, 2011, 11:13
Originally Posted by RPGFool View Post
I'm just not turned on by increasing pain with nothing to show for itů
Maybe J.E. Sawyer wants YOU to show up playing with all tricks the game has to offer.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 30th, 2011, 11:26
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Maybe J.E. Sawyer wants YOU to show up playing with all tricks the game has to offer.
I see what you're saying. And it's probably just that different people are turned on by different things. But I just don't get motivated to jump through hoops, no matter how complicated and and intricate, without something on the other side.
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December 30th, 2011, 11:34
It's one thing to simulate a harsh environment, but if the game is designed around entertainment and constant rewards - it clashes heavily. The game is, in most ways, a traditional cRPG which will reward combat and questing - and if you're fighting the UI along with harsh needs for survival, you're not really getting a good flow.

That's what I mean by the game needing to be designed around something like this.

The original "hardcore" mode of NV seemed appropriate for the game. It wasn't all that harsh, but it had immersive qualities that made the whole thing more engaging.

This kind of mod, to my mind, is a misunderstanding.

Then again, some people are bound to enjoy it anyway - regardless of any "design" conflicts.

I think some people enjoy the idea of being challenging in a very harsh environment so much, that they don't really mind how the design clashes with the gameplay.
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December 30th, 2011, 12:00
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Then again, some people are bound to enjoy it anyway - regardless of any "design" conflicts.
Exactly. I like to use all resources a game gives me to advance and getting in hard to reach areas and/or beat extreme difficult enemies. In many modern games even on high difficulty this approach breaks the game balance, because too many resources are available.

Cutting resources leads to more thinking - this is true in real life as well.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 30th, 2011, 12:06
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Exactly. I like to use all resources a game gives me to advance and getting in hard to reach areas and/or beat extreme difficult enemies. In many modern games even on high difficulty this approach breaks the game balance, because too many resources are available.

Cutting resources leads to more thinking - this is true in real life as well.
I agree that almost all modern games (cRPGs in particular) are too easy to break.

That's because most of the audience isn't concerned with balance, and only the minority will bother investing themselves enough to make it happen.

Sucks to be part of the minority, especially since we're a big part of the industry even being here - but that doesn't mean we're entitled to anything.

Mods are great, to be sure, but they can't really change things at the core without a huge effort.
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December 30th, 2011, 12:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's one thing to simulate a harsh environment, but if the game is designed around entertainment and constant rewards - it clashes heavily. The game is, in most ways, a traditional cRPG which will reward combat and questing - and if you're fighting the UI along with harsh needs for survival, you're not really getting a good flow.

That's what I mean by the game needing to be designed around something like this.

The original "hardcore" mode of NV seemed appropriate for the game. It wasn't all that harsh, but it had immersive qualities that made the whole thing more engaging.

This kind of mod, to my mind, is a misunderstanding.

Then again, some people are bound to enjoy it anyway - regardless of any "design" conflicts.

I think some people enjoy the idea of being challenging in a very harsh environment so much, that they don't really mind how the design clashes with the gameplay.
o.O

It's a mod. MOD. No one orders you to use it, so why are you complaining?
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December 30th, 2011, 12:31
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
o.O

It's a mod. MOD. No one orders you to use it, so why are you complaining?
Why are you pink and why do you own a rocket ship?
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December 30th, 2011, 12:40
It's a pity it requires all the DLCs, since this makes it unavailable to anyone from Eastern Europe.
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December 30th, 2011, 13:20
I guess it's a worthwhile effort but I coincidentally started replaying this a couple weeks ago and I've come to the conclusion the game is just hopelessly broken when it comes to providing any sort of challenge. I attempted to make my own difficulty mod with things such as reducing the earned exp from all sources by 90% (level 15 a few hours into the game is ridiculous especially considering all the level lists seem to think level 8 should qualify for > noob loot drops) and it just doesn't matter what I do. They made this game to be easy enough that a retarded 9 year old could play it without much trouble, and that's what it is. Next time I suggest that Obsidian make their game hard as the default design choice and scale the difficulty up or down from there, instead of making it trivial by default and then adding some minor tweaks that they somehow believe will make it ball-busting on higher difficulty settings. Although, in this case I'm really not sure what they could have done since they were limited by the engine Bethesda provided to them and Bethesda is not a big fan of challenging gameplay.
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