Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fallout New Vegas Mod Review - New Vegas Enhanced Content

ADDENDUM (2013-Apr-18) - Obviously this review from 2012 refers to an older version of the mod (v 3.0) and it has been updated since, so some / all of this may not apply. We have finished playing Fallout: New Vegas and are not reviewing any Fallout mods at this time.
Fallout: New Vegas Mod Review - New Vegas Enhanced Content (ver 3.0)

Score: +1/-3

Summary: Mod compilation.

Why Get This: One stop shop for a mash-up of various mods.

New Vegas Enhanced Content (NVEC) is a mod compilation. There are various components, mostly imported directly and most of which you can get and apply separately. They key separate components are:
  • Cosmetic enhancements - Mostly improvements to the appearance of NPCs. Optional stat and inventory changes.
  • Performance enhancement - Removes unessential static items, thereby reducing computing load and improving performance.
  • Error fixes - Most very minor, but some quite significant.
The rest of the mod is a compilation of mods. You can see the list here.
+ It's a big convenience.
- Not well curated. You get quantity but sacrifice quality. Some mods, such as Snowglobe Perks and Unique Items and Collectibles offer bonuses that are okay on their own, but combined can be unbalancing or troublesome. For example, between the two, you can get a huge movement speed boost (about +30%). On its own, this isn't a huge problem and can be a convenience in crossing long distances. The problem is that the game engine can't really keep up properly. run too fast in an exterior and you will probably see the terrain hasn't caught up in loading and processing, and you're walking on terrain textured as if it were distant terrain. And there's no telling how much game information the game engine has NOT loaded. Also, see  the screenshot below. Some mods are added that not only don't work properly but have unnecessary profanity. (The text in the upper left corner reads, "You must equip a blade before using the Grinding Wheel stupid fuck.")

NVEC Grinding Wheel

- Not well documented. You need to sift through all the mods separately to find out what's included and in some cases, how to activate it.

- Not balanced. There's just no thought to some of the inclusions, which may be those that the mod-compiler has personally added (instead of being drawn from a mod). For example, near the start of the game, you can easily pick up a 9mm handgun that has the high fire rate of a pistol, uses cheap and plentiful ammunition, has a damage splash radius, very low spread (meaning high accuracy for placed shots), AND does damage on par with an anti-materiel rifle. Even at a beginning Guns skill, you can one-shot a lot of enemies by hitting them in the head.

Helpful Tips
If you are handy with the GECK, you can selectively disable features. Otherwise you're stuck with an all-or-nothing. You can use the Console to remove some perks you don't like, but that's the extent of what you can do to remove content.

If you're not that good with the GECK and/or don't mind spending the time, I recommend you instead look through the included mods separately and add what you want on your own. Do this if you only want a few of the features you found in NVEC.

A basic way to remove content with the GECK is to first find out what the content looks like in the game file. In the GECK, instead of loading the file, use the "Details" button to look at a listing of every entry in the mod.
If you highlight an entry and press [DEL], it will modify the file by flagging that entry as "Ignore". It is NOT deleted unless you load the file. But the game won't load it from the mod either. In this way, you can turn content on and off.
To help you find out what to delete, you can download the mod that was integrated by looking up the list here. Use the GECK Details function to look through that mod, then find it in NVEC and disable it. Make a backup in case things get messed up.

If a perk gets added that you don't want, you can look up the FormID and use the removeperk console command instead.

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