Apr 29, 2011

Modding guide for Fallout:New Vegas PC

Bison Steve by end of time (Nevada Skies)

Update: Adding link to "Modding Fallout NV Tutorial" written by Gopher who himself has a few slick mods under his belt. So far three parts written which cover how to properly install mods and avoid conflicts, I'd consider these a must read for anyone not 100% sure what they're doing when tinkering with mods, such as myself! Much more detailed than my newbish how-to posted below and also includes very useful youtube step by step directions.

Hi folks, time for another post and this time I want to talk about the use of mods to enhance your experience while playing the open ended RPG Fallout:New Vegas (FNV from now) on the PC. What I will do is first talk about basic modding how-to's and getting the tools needed, and then I will simply list some of my preffered mods, what they do and how to install them. Bear in mind there are literally hundreds more mods out there primarily found at www.newvegasnexus.com , but I will for starters focus on mods that are easy to get going and not likely to conflict with other mods and cause nasty game crashes.

Get off! (Very Voracious Vermin)

But before we do that, we need NVSE and FOMM installed:

Go to your FNV folder. It is in the steam folder found in either \program files or \program files (x86) on your default hard drive if you use Steam, otherwise I hope you know where you installed it.  Once you're in the FNV folder, create a new folder called 'mods' or something else you'll remember, this is where we will save our mods for FNV initially. No mods will be working from this folder alone, but it is handy to have a common place to store them and copy from, in case of reinstallation needs. Also, if you happen to mess up your installation of FNV completely to the point you have to reinstall the entire game to get it going again, you can keep the \mods folder as is to save yourself some time redownloading and do fresh reinstalls from it.

Get the NVSE (New Vegas Script Extender) program. What this does is open up code a lot of mods rely on, and I really couldn't explain it better even if I wanted to, but suffice to say without NVSE, most mods you try to install simply wont work. Extract that file to the \mods folder, and once that is done, navigate to the \mods folder and the folder that should be created inside it now called NVSE_beta1_10 or similar, then copy the entire content of that folder to your FNV folder, which will be the same folder you have the FalloutNV.exe. and the fallout launcher in. If you see those, you're in the right place. If you've done it right you will see a new file called nvse_loader.exe and a SRC folder in your main FNV folder. To make sure you've done it right, you  should launch the nvse_loader.exe file and if everything is well you should be running FNV (with extra mod power, wooh, not that you'll notice that right away).

Now, get Fallout Mod Manager (FOMM from now). Some will say you don't have to use it, I say fuck off, you have to use it. Save it to your FNV\Mods folder. From now, you play FNV using the Fomm.exe file you just installed, not from steam or using the FNV launcher. Setting it up should be very troublefree, at least for now seeing as we didn't install any addons yet. Take a moment to run the Fomm.exe, check the menu, check that launching FNV from it works.

New bounty hunter quest chain? Don't mind if I do. (New Vegas Bounties)
If you got this far, you're ready for enjoying mod powered FNV! Get someone to pat you on the back, and read on if you wish for my suggestions of good starter mods for FNV, or if you feel confident so far, head to Newvegasnexus.com and go crazy.

Here are my picks of addons to get started with. I personally use a few more, but I'll start off listing the ones that cause the least amount of trouble with mod conflicts. Once you get your feet wet you can expand your list of mods, but take care when installing and read the comments and instructions, there are a lot of mods that will not play nice with eachother. For your own sake, remember to save all mods downloaded to beforementioned FNV\Mods folder for installation and future use. Onto my list then!

Badsprings more like it (Monster Mod)

Adds much needed atmosphere to the game through beautiful, unpredictable and sometimes dangerous weather changes. Also makes nights look like actual nights.

As this is the first mod mentioned I will do step by step instructions for installation. First off, head to the mod page, and the files tab on it. For all mods you will want to read any instructions, but for this one, we will need to download the files called Nskies 0-6-3-ESP (or more current similar file), and Nskies 0-6 Data. Once downloaded extract both files to your FNV\Mods folder. That done, right click and copy the file called Nevada Skies.esp to the folder called "fallout new vega\data". If you don't have a \data folder in your main new vegas game folder, create it. Next, go back to the \mods folder and copy the meshes, sound and textures  to your fallout new vegas\data folder as well.

If you've done all that, the mod should be installed and ready to play. Launch the Fallout Mod Manager we installed earlier, and you should see Nevada Skies.esp in the mod list. Make sure it is checked and click "Launch NVSE". You can either start a new game or continue an existing save, this mod only changes weather effects. If it all works you should see a pop up box shortly after the game has started welcoming you to Nevada Skies. The mod also gives you an item you can use from your Appearances tab in your Pip-Boy to adjust weather settings as you like and enable special mood settings. If you find nights are too dark, use the thermograph cheat menu to add Friend of the night perk.  If everything is working out so far, then congratulations, you've installed your first Fallout New Vegas mod. :)

Adds a fully voice acted and fairly long action oriented bounty hunter quest chain to the game. I like this mod a lot, it blends in perfectly with the regular game and just adds more fun stuff to do and some unexpected plot twists. To install, download and follow instructions similar to mentioned above but as always when installing mods, make sure to read over the author's notes for installation, launch FNV using FOMM as usual and make sure New Vegas Bounties is enabled, launch and enjoy.

Adds a lot of nasty enemies to the game and enables outdoor respawns, so don't feel too safe crossing the Mojave where you've gone safely before. Adds a lot of variety and challenge to enemy encounters throughout the game.

Adds a quest chain that meshes in well with the FNV quests to restore the Bison Steve to its former glory after liberating Primm. End rewards promises partnership in the restored casino.

So much pain (A World of Pain)

Freaking massive mod that adds close to 100 new areas to explore and loot (if you survive that long). New areas, new monsters, new weapons and a few quests as well. Note, some areas may bring lower specced PCs to their knees.

For the non-cutting edge gaming computers, this mod significantly increases frame rates by editing out doodads the game loads but isn't using. It's sorta strange this stuff is even needed, but it does help, at no cost. The game doesn't actually use the items this mod removes, so there's nothing lost except memory used.

Improves frame rates by removing blur effects when the player gets hit, light effects (not muzzle effects) on gunfire and removing junk items loaded outside the strip, to improve framerates while inside it.

That's just a few of the more popular mods. Again, these were picked mainly for the ease of installation and how much they bring to the game. There are a ton more mods out there that I'd like to touch on such as cosmetics and weapon and crafting mods, but that will be for another update if I still feel like it.

Enjoy. :)

Apr 3, 2011

Bad bad Google.

So! Last thursday Microsoft filed a "formal complaint with the European Commision" "as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law".  Apparently the underdog Microsoft feels squeezed out of the online search tools market, and are taking steps to get Google's influence reduced to make room for other search engines.

Hello ?

Is this Microsoft the same as the one that was fined €497,000,000 in 2004 for abusing its power in the PC market? The same Microsoft that refused to pay up and in 2007 was sentented to play not only that amount but an additional ~€250,000,000 in fines? The same Microsoft that has had complete control of the PC software platform since.. MS-DOS ?

They fought for three years to dispute the fact they have have nearly complete monopoly on the PC software platform, and now they say Google has too much of the online search index market? Poor, poor Microsoft! I so feel your pain, being pushed to the side like that, really, it must be awful...