Monday, April 16, 2012

Fallout 3 Mod Review - Mart's Mutant Mod

Fallout 3 Mod Review - Mart's Mutant Mod (RC 6.2)

Summary: A few more monster types, increased monster spawns, monster loot, various tweak options.
Why Get This: NOT until you have finished most of Fallout 3. Get this if you need more things to kill, or more types of things to kill.

The main features of Mart's Mutant Mod are more monster types, and more monsters in general. The monsters added are lore friendly, and often drawn from previous versions of Fallout. Depending on where you are in the Wasteland, you may or may not see many of them. Some areas were specifically designated by the game to have certain types of creatures (e.g. downtown DC is almost exclusively Super Mutants), so you'll see a lot of them there. Boring, but aligned with the plot/background of Fallout 3.
Monsters new and old have some interesting death behaviours (like Glowing Ones exploding), as well as interesting loot or food items.

There is also the option of multiplying monster spawns by a factor of 2 or more. This has the side effect of slowing down your game because you have to spend more time killing in each encounter; and levelling you up faster because of more kills (in a game that already levels you up too fast for many people). It also often diminishes the effect of stealth because there are so many eyes looking for you from different angles. In a game where stealth is quickly too easy, this may or may not be something you like.

The main reason I CANNOT recommend MMM (at least not on your initial play through Fallout 3) is because it has a tendency to kill off interesting outdoor events (such as "unique" random encounters). Many characters and creatures are placed outdoors, either by vanilla Fallout 3 or some mods. The vanilla game already tries to protect them by keeping them away from spawn points (though not necessarily successfully, such as with the citizens of Arefu, who are somewhat close to where a Deathclaw could spawn).
If you have MMM's increased spawns, this becomes trickier. And whether you have that on or not, at night, MMM spawns large packs of Night Ghouls who can roam around very far. These can end up swarming and killing NPCs, thus causing you to miss out on various interesting placed encounters.

Another reason to be careful with MMM is that although Increased Spawns is generally nice, with the Broken Steel add-on, after level 25 you will start to see the "super-monsters", that have enough Health to survive a Nuka-Grenade or even a Fat Man, and have huge killing power. With Increased Spawns, you might suddenly end up with several of them and a no-win situation. That said, there's probably no reason you can't turn it on prior to your character being at level 25.

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