In addition to a number of perks from Fallout 3, New Vegas will feature some brand new ones. Several, if not all of these perks, have been revealed by the game’s producers to Gamespot. Here they are in all their glory, along with my thoughts on each perk’s usefulness:
Required level: 8
Required stats: Small Guns 45, Melee 45
Effect: You do 25 percent more damage when using any revolver, lever-action firearm, dynamite, knife, or hatchet.
My thoughts: This perk is a little all over the place. Most people using any of the listed weapons probably won’t have such a high amount of skill points in both small guns and melee by level 8. Still, the 25% bonus to level action rifles would be nice since that is my standard go to weapon for mid-range. I guess I will have to see what my stats look like, but this perk may be something I get well beyond level 8.
Required level: 14
Required stats: Repair 90
Effect: You possess the amazing ability to repair any item using a roughly similar item. Fix a trail carbine with a hunting rifle, a plasma defender with a laser pistol, or even power armor with metal armor. How does it work? Nobody knows…except you.
My thoughts: This perk sounds very appealing as you won’t be forced to use expensive weapons to repair your expensive weapon. Instead, you can repair them with garbage and sell them. This perk seems like it would not only be incredibly helpful but also an awesome money maker.
Required level: 4
Required stats: Survival 70
Effect: You truly are a rad child. As you go through the increasingly devastating stages of radiation sickness, you will regenerate more and more health.
My thoughts: This perk sounds like one you would need to experience to appreciate. It is obviously geared toward players on hardcore mode, and that would be the only players I would recommend it for. First of all the high survival stat of 70 is relatively useless to anyone who isn’t on hardcore. Why eat radiated food when you can use stimpacs with no drawback? Also since you’re required to eat and drink on hardcore mode you’ll be racking up so much radiation you could walk through the red forest and the four-eyed boars would be like, “Damn.” The effect of recovering HP would probably stack nicely with the delayed HP recovery from items like food and stimpacs. While this perk sounds like no big deal, I am positive I will be getting it.
Required level: 22
Required stats: Energy weapons 90
Effect: From the humble laser pistol to the mighty Gatling laser, you do plus 15 percent damage and have plus 10 percent chance to critically hit with any laser weapon.
My thoughts: If you’re going for energy weapons then this is an obvious awesome choice. If the developers kept concentrated fire then that would make for a devastating combination.
Required level: 6
Required stat: 45
Effect: Your precision with a scattergun is something to behold. When using shotguns, regardless of ammunition used, you ignore an additional 10 points of a target’s damage threshold.
My thoughts: If you only played Fallout 3 then the significance of damage threshold may be lost on you. Basically it means a portion of the enemy’s armor will be ignored. This will be invaluable to shotgun users at any stage in the game. I generally use shotguns for close combat so considering this perk’s low level and stat requirement, I am fairly certain this will be making its way into my chosen perks.
Required level: 12
Requires stats: Endurance 6, Barter 70
Effect: You have learned how to pack mountains of gear for the long haul. Being over-encumbered no longer prevents you from using fast travel.
My thoughts: This perk alone just decided that my endurance stat will be at least 6. Fast traveling while over encumbered will probably feel a bit like cheating! On a side note, players who plan on playing on hardcore should be aware that fast traveling will leave your character just as tired, thirsty, and hungry as if you actually walked there. Food for thought!
Required level: 10
Requires stats: Science 70
Effect: You are able to optimize your Pip-Boy’s VATS logic, reducing all AP costs by 10 percent.
My thoughts: This perk would pair nicely with the Kamikaze trait and the Small Frame trait, especially for the player who relies heavily on VATS. Personally my VATS use fluctuates so this perk’s usefulness will depend. Having 70 science by level 10 is probably a must for anyone playing on hardcore who also plans on fixing their own limbs.
Required level: 8
Requires stats: Intelligence 5, Barter 70
Effect: You have learned the value of careful packing. Items with a weight of two or less weigh half as much for you.
My thoughts: I generally have extremely low barter as I sacrifice charisma for more offensive skills. In Fallout: New Vegas, however, the charisma stat is starting to seem more useful than it was in Fallout 3. Still, the likelihood of me having 70 barter by level 8 is very low.
Required level: 6
Requires stats: Sneak 70
Effect: Up close and personal, that’s how you like it. Your sneak attack criticals with pistols, revolvers, and submachine guns, whether guns or energy weapons, all inflict an additional 20 percent damage.
My thoughts: Sneak attack criticals already deal great damage, but if you’re looking to make sure whatever you shoot stays dead, this is some great insurance. With Lily as a follower you can add an additional 10 percent; this would be a great combo for a sneak character.
Required level: 14
Requires stats: none
Effect: As a purifier of the wasteland, you do plus 50 percent damage with melee and unarmed weapons against centaurs, nightstalkers, spore plants, spore carriers, deathclaws, super mutants, and feral ghouls.
My thoughts: I am suddenly considering going for a melee character for my first run in Fallout: New Vegas. The huge damage increase against some of the most plentiful, annoying, and dangerous enemies in the game ensure this perk is a must for any player using melee weaponry.
Hopefully these new perks help players begin to plot their characters out better, both in terms of stats and strategy. I am finding myself more torn seeing that guns, words, and fists are all more balanced than they were in Fallout 3. The freedom feels great, but I think it requires that much more preparedness .
All Kotowari articles on Fallout: New Vegas can be found here