How Fallout 4 Deals With Character Progression

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As much as Fallout 4 seems more of an excellent thing that we’ve seen from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, even the most fundamental systems that are involved in each are getting reworked to perform a new type of functionality. As explained in a recent video for the upcoming open-world sci-fi action-RPG title (as voiced by Todd “See that mountain? You can climb it!” Howard), even character perks are earned in a new fashion.

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Firstly, you will assign your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats with 28 points to assign between them. You can go as high as ten on any of them, and even though you pick your stats before the action really starts, Bethesda promises you will get the ability to swap them out at a later time during Fallout 4 play. These stat levels actually now have a crucial effect on your perks, as levelling up allows you to pick a perk from as high a level in that stat as you want. As explained on the Bethesda blog, each of the 70 base perks have their own ranking system, allowing for 270 different evaluations of power-up bonuses.

As such, to obtain perks that high you will need to raise the amount of levels possibly obtainable in Fallout 4. When in previous games the cap was 20, now the game is tailored to progress quicker, like Skyrim, but also with an unlimited amount of levels. Seeing how there are 270 different perks to obtain, whatever seems possible within the confines of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. leveling system will be the probable soft cap for players. Skills are now folded into the perks because of this, making it a more concise system that lets you improve ranks in perks by finding in-game magazines, like Grognak the Barbarian.

I find this is a good compromise. It’s not so much a paring down of possibilities, or a simplifying of the Fallout system in Fallout 4. Instead, it bundles skills into perks, which is essentially what perks did for the most part; provide boosts to skill rankings while offering side bonuses. It’s vastly better than driving dialogue choices down to a wheel, which is what they’ve done with the 4-button dialogue choices available now.

Fallout 4 will be available for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One on November 10th. As a revealed bonus to all pre-orders, you will get a poster of what the new perks system looks like:


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