Saturday, November 14 2015

Dear Bethesda,

I’d like to express my astonishment that my 3.5-year-old gaming laptop seems to play Fallout 4 just fine, despite a graphics card that’s roughly 80% as fast as the minimum requirement (GTX 560M vs. GTX 550Ti). Not at anything approaching maximum settings, of course, but it still looks great at 1080p. I kind of wonder how my character will look on a modern machine, though, since many of the adjustments in the designer didn’t seem to do much.

Admittedly, it’s been upgraded with 16GB of RAM and dual SSDs, but still, usually I’d expect to have to reduce the resolution and turn every setting to near-minimum. The game decided that “medium” settings were appropriate, and it’s working out so far.

[Update: after (mumble) hours of play, the primary performance problem is selection lag in the VATS combat display. If this screen were a little less dynamic, I’d be able to select targets before they move into cover or melee range. As it is, I’ve had to turn the difficulty down to compensate.]

By the way, not to sound like an SJW whiner, but when my character is in full power armor, how is it that random raiders know which gender-based slurs to use? Is it the dainty way she swings her minigun?

#1 complaint so far (with only a few minor crashes, one instance of getting stuck between a counter and a table, and having to use the console to get an NPC down off the roof) is trying to find all the bodies after a fight in order to loot them.

#2 would be that having the compass and enemy-finder at the bottom of the screen causes a bit of neck strain. It would be much easier to use if it were at the top.

#3 would be the dog, constantly interrupting my looting by wandering in front of me and intercepting keystrokes as commands, falling from high places, and running in front of automatic weapons. Honestly, this pup makes Lydia look positively graceful. I think I’ve used about twice as many stimpacks on the dog as on myself.

PS: the PipBoy App for iOS doesn’t seem to work at all. I don’t think it’s actually sending packets, since tcpdump sees nothing at all coming from its IP address, and it’s allegedly broadcasting to find machines running the game. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could manually enter the IP address, as your help page falsely claims I can?