Fallout: New Vegas is far on the horizon of games I’ve sufficiently overdosed on. Still, yesterday’s release of the most recent DLC, Old World Blues, enticed me to check into the new perks the game unlocks. As with the previous installments of DLC, the level cap has been raised by five levels.
The new perks are rather unimpressive. I am starting to think the gang at Obsidian are running on fumes in that department:
Required: Level 20, Endurance 6
With the Atomic perk, you are 25% faster and stronger whenever you’re basking in the warm glow of radiation. Outside of irradiated areas, your Action Points (AP) regenerate faster the higher your level of radiation sickness becomes.
My Thoughts: I don’t know how literal “faster and stronger” is in this description so this perk is hard to judge. This may be a fun perk for those who like to live on the edge and frequent VATS, neither of which I am partial to.
Mile In Their Shoes
Required: Level 20, Survival 25
You have come to understand Nightstalkers. Consuming Nightstalker Squeezin’s now grants bonuses to Perception (+1 PER), Poison Resistance (+5), and Stealth (+5 Sneak) in addition to the normal benefits.
My Thoughts: Regardless of the availability of “Nightstalker Squeezin’s“, the benefits this perk brings are nothing to write home about.
Them’s Good Eatin
Required: Level 20, Survival 55
Any living creature you kill has a 50% chance to have the potent healing items Thin Red Paste or Blood Sausage when looted.
My Thoughts: These items have a high drop rate, and are a completely RAD-less food. At a campfire you can even combine them into more effective versions. If you’re playing on hardcore and are sick of carrying around your own food, this perk can definitely help find some on-the-go.
Required: Level 30, Endurance 8
You gain a non-addictive subdermal Turbo (chem) injector. This perk may be taken twice, with the second rank increasing the effect from 2 to 3 seconds and the uses per day from 5 to 10 [Activated in the Pip-Boy Inventory.
My Thoughts: This perk has a very high Endurance requirement. If you can get past that, the benefits are awesome. Basically you can inject yourself with Turbo without fear of addiction or worry about carrying them around. This can be done 5 times a day, each hit lasting 2 seconds. On the second rank the doses double, but you only gain an additional second of Turbo-time. I think one rank should be sufficient for most players — if you need 10 doses of Turbo in a game-day you may have a problem… This may be one of the coolest perks of Old World Blues.
For the first time, the new DLC also includes brand new traits as there now exists an NPC which allows you to change your traits one time.
Benefit: + 1 buff to SPECIAL attributes while outdoors
Penalty: - 1 debuff to SPECIAL attributes while indoors
My Thoughts: I am always leery of traits like this. I learned from Four Eyes that this trait doesn’t help when it comes to getting perks. That means it would only help by providing a small boost to your skills and maybe the occasional SPECIAL based speech check. More trouble than it’s worth!
Benefit: + 2 buff to SPECIAL attributes from 6am to 6pm
Penalty: – 1 debuff to SPECIAL attributes from 6pm to 6am
My Thoughts: Of the SPECIAL influencing traits in the new DLC, this one is the most appealing since the boost is bigger than the penalty. Also, if you tack on the Night Person perk the debuff doesn’t hurt quite as much. Another option is just waiting twelve hours whenever you fall out of your comfort zone, but this is less of an option for those on hardcore mode.
Benefit: + 25 lbs to total carry weight
Penalty: – 1 debuff to SPECIAL attributes while current equipment weight is below 160 lbs
My Thoughts: Kind of interesting since I am almost always pretty burdened, otherwise see Claustrophobia.
Benefit: + 10% damage increase while below 50% health
Penalty: – 2 debuff to Perception and Agility while below 50% health
My Thoughts: This trait gives a very minor benefit and a pretty severe penalty. Now, you may be saying to yourself, Hulk want smash, why Hulk need to perceive things and do so in an agile manner? Well, Hulk… If you want to get the Slayer perk (requiring 7 Agility) which believe me, you do — then you will have to have your Agility at a staggering 9 points when it comes time to take the perk. This assumption is based on how Four Eyes, a similar trait functions. Being able to attack 30% faster or hit 10% harder, which would you prefer?
Benefit: Chems last twice as long and addiction rates are set to zero
Penalty: Locks the level cap at 30
My Thoughts: Now this is interesting. If you design a very focused character (to make up for the lack of skill points) and abuse the hell out of chems, would that make up for ~15 levels of progress? Hard to say, but I wouldn’t mind finding out. Adding on the Chemist perk would extend the life of your stash making you an increasingly dangerous junky.
Old World Blues also has some new implants which can be acquired from the same NPC who lets you re-select your traits. At this point, I can’t say for sure if the player’s ability to install these implants is based on Endurance (as was the case for the implants which appear in the stand-alone version of the game). I will try to find this out and update this article accordingly. If any readers know, please leave a comment confirming/refuting this!
- Implant C-13: +10% damage to Cazadores
- Implant M-5: Crouched movement speed increased 20%
- Implant Y-3: Removed RADS from radiated water sources
- Implant Y-7: Gain more AP and HP from food
Another body modification perk available upon clearing Old World Blues is possibly the greatest reason to acquire this DLC. The player may select from an improve heart, brain, or spine:
Head cannot be crippled, +10% resistance to chem addiction, +10% DT if your DT >= 10 or +1 DT if your DT < 10
My Thoughts: This is the obvious choice among the body modification for a sniper class. A crippled head means blurred vision and difficulty aiming. This is less important the closer you get to your enemy.
50% poison resistance, Healing items boosted by 50%, Robots have -25% crit chance
My Thoughts: The main draw for this perk is the boost to all healing items, but increased poison and critical resistance is also a nice addition. If you’re not playing on hardcore, this is a better option than Big Brained.
My Thoughts: This is a game changer. Consider my current melee builds (1,2) obsolete. This perk allows melee users to start with much lower strength and thus be more well-rounded as a whole. The added DT is awesome, but honestly I would take this perk without it.
I am pleased to see the broad variety of character buffs available in Old World Blues — and I haven’t even looked into weapons yet! Old World Blues is available now for all platforms for $10 USD, a shockingly low price to have your organs rearranged.