Arwen's Fallout 3 Journal 

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Updated April 02, 2014

Fallout 3 journal home

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latest journal news

April 2, 2014

I've been taking a break from Fallout, which is why things haven't been updated for a few months. Version 8.1 of my Realism Tweaks was released on January 31, 2014, as a minor update, to fix a number of bugs and to further improve game play balance.

I just went through my Fallout 3 mod list, and made a few changes, due mostly to some dead links. Fallout 3 is now over 5 years old, which is pretty old for a computer game, so there are less and less mods being updated. But I'll try to update my mod load order and add info on any 'new' mods that I'm now using.

January 13, 2014

It's a new year and I just uploaded my FINAL version of my Realism Tweaks (v.8.00 to Nexus. This is a HUGE update, and it has been my only modding focus for the past three months, so it is a relief to finally wrap this up. Unless I have to release a bug fix for v.8.0, I am now finally finished with my Fallout 3 Tweaks!

I really need to take a break from Fallout 3 for a bit. Once I start playing again, I'll get back to work on my Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer.

November 18, 2013:

I'm currently working on what I really hope will be my last major update for this mod (after more than 4 years, it is time that I stop updating this thing.) But, I finally completed a major update for my New Vegas Tweaks, which I began working on in May (before my old computer's issues put it on hold for months) . . . and I made a LOT of changes that I really want to add to my FO3 version.  So version 8.0 is now in the works, and I've made some really good progress over the past few weeks. With any luck at all, I hope to have this update done before the end of November. Oh, and this new version will include a much improved version of One Life (my newest NV version eliminate the CTD issues for many users), plus it will include a "Lite" version of One Life, for users who might not be able to use the regular version (general due to having a lower end PC).

September 9, 2013:

In case you've been wondering why I STILL haven't added an update to my Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer, my old computer began having all sorts of issues shortly after my last post, and it died completely in July. The good news is that I was finally able to purchase a brand new Custom Gaming Computer, which arrived in mid August, so I will be getting back to work on a new chapter at some point. (I'm still working on getting everything installed and set up on my new computer, some of which has been a bit of a challenge, as I'm now running Windows 8.]

May 11, 2013:

Version 7.2 of my Realism Tweaks was released late yesterday. This update fixes some bugs, further improves game play balance, expands my in-game Options Menu, and adds a few new features, including my Hard-Core module's optional Rookie Penalties . . . which reduces your initial SPECIALs to a minimal amount ... your character will then actually have put their skills and their muscles to use for their stats to slowly increase back to their non-penalized amounts. If you chose to enable this, your character will now enter the Wasteland, completely unprepared, and survival will require that you take your time and plan every move carefully.

I've also been working on my Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer. Through the end of April, I made good progress on updating my older chapters, so that they would match my latest game. But, after escaping out into the Wasteland, my character was still not as unskilled as I felt that she should have been. I also discovered some balancing issues with my realism Tweaks, that really needed to be fixed, So I went to work on trying to find a way to improve these thing. The result is v.7.2 of my Realism Tweaks, with my new Rookie Penalties. I'll try to post my updated chapters next week ... I just need to find time to make some final edits (due to changes that were added when I updated my game to v.7.2 of my Tweaks).

April 15, 2013: This past weekend I decided to completely reinstall Fallout 3, as I have been increasing having graphical issues, and after installing a number of new mods, I had started to have frequent CTDs for the first time.  Plus it is time that I clean up my install, as I've installed and uninstalled a ton of mods over the past year. Reinstalling the game is not a big issue . . . but reinstalling all the mods is. So it may be another few days until I'm back to actually playing the game again.

The mods that I'm using this time will include many of the ones that I used in my last game, but I'm going to be using fewer mods, and many of the ones that I'm using will be new ones (to my mod list), so I'm in the process of updating my mod list as well.  I'm also putting together an updated mod order page, to reflex the mods that I'm currently using in my new play through.

I'm also working on the next update to my Realism Tweaks (v.7.2), which will likely just be a minor update.  I discovered some balancing issues and minor conflicts with my GOTY and RH_IronSights patches; and also main some minor changes in some of the weapon damages and gun spread.

So it's going to be a busy week, and I won't likely be able to work on my Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer much until the end of the week . . . and then I'm going away this weekend and won't be returning home until the end of next week.  I'm hoping to release at least an update of all my older chapters (1-6) by the end of the week.

April 10, 2013: I'm play testing some new mods, and will be adding some of these to my FO3 mod list in the near future. Since I'm back working on my Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer again (yes, there will actually be a new chapter coming soon), I figured that I should check out a few new mods.

April 7, 2013: Version 7.1 of my Realism Tweaks was released today.  This is a Minor update that fixes some bugs and further improves game play balance. Even though this is a minor update, it is a very important one, especially if you are currently using v.7.0.

Now that final versions of both of my Fallout Realism Tweaks (FO3 and New Vegas) have been released and recently updated, I will be getting  which is desperately in need of a new chapter.

March 12, 2013: Version 7.0 of my Realism Tweaks was released on February 23, 2013 and is a Major update.  This is likely the last major update, as this should be the final version of my Tweaks.  But I'm currently working on v.7.1, as a minor update that will probably just fix a few bugs in the final version.

January 2, 2013: Version 6.4 of my Realism Tweaks is now available (this was suppose to be my Christmas present to everyone . . . but I had some other issues that messed me up for a while, and this got delayed. along with everything else).

This is a Major update, and includes a ton of changes that will have a major effect on your game play. My main goal with this revision was to achieve a better balance for my Full Tweaks (all modules, with all the options enabled). As my Tweaks have changed and expanded, I noticed that some of my earlier changes now made the game more challenging than I had intended; but I also found that other changes no longer made the game challenging enough. My secondary goal was to make my Full Tweaks as stable as possible, and after weeks of tweaking and testing my changes, I'm finally pretty happy with the result.

Now I just have port this version over to my FONV Tweaks, then I should be able to focus on writing my Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer again, which is desperately in need of a new chapter.

Previous news is in my
News Archive Page

Looking for my FO3 Mod List? . . . you're really close . . . Click HERE

Site Update: It has been over a year since I changed over to a higher priced hosting package, which has worked out very well for me. My website is still averaging over 4000 hits per day.  I just recently paid for another year of this same hosting package.

Welcome to my Fallout 3 Journal!

Fallout 3 was released by Bethesda on October 28, 2008, and I didn't immediately run out and buy it. The thing is that I just never got very interested in the game, and didn't even follow its development of the forums, like I had with both Morrowind and Oblivion - which were also created by Bethesda (who didn't create the Fallout series . . . just this latest installment of it.) I was just not all interested in Fallout, since it didn't seem to be the type of RPG that I would enjoy much.

But then I made the mistake of checking out the Fallout mods forums to see what mods were now being made for the game, now that it has been out for a few months . . . and I got hooked on some of what I was seeing and reading there. Anyhoo, I ordered the game at the end of February - and guess what? Fallout was a bit of a surprise for me . . . in a good way. I was worried that I wouldn't even like the game, but I found it surprisingly fun to play (once I fixed some of my biggest game issues with mods).

See Playing Fallout 3 - My First Impressions for my short Fallout 3 review.

My Character

Here's a screenshot of my Fallout character, shortly after she escaped from Vault 101. She's more than a little uneasy about suddenly finding herself all alone in a whole new world.

For more about my character and on her adventures in the Capitol Wasteland, you can check out the Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer, which is the fantasy story part of my Fallout 3 Journal. (There's also quite a bit there about Fallout 3 and the Fallout game world as well.)

Game Of The Year (GOTY) Edition:

On Nov. 12, 2009, I upgraded to the Game Of The Year edition of FO3.

Updating from the original version was a bit of a chore (a bit tricky, but also not as difficult as I feared). If you're about to try installing this over your original Fallout 3 install (yes, it can be done, and you don't necessarily have to begin a new game), you may want to take a look at my GOTY Installation Instructions.

Arwen's Realm

Are you new to Oblivion? Do you need some help with this game? Are you having trouble with MODs? Or do you just have questions or comments about my journal? Or do you just want to join a friendly moderated forum (where members actually respect each other.)

I've put together a place called Arwen's Realm, and this is my personal invitation for you to become a member.

I Need My Shades

. . . because the Wasteland is a very harsh place.

Without Sunglasses Wearing Sunglasses

When I put on my sunglasses in my game (by activating them), the glare from the sun is actually reduced. This does not happen in the vanilla game. My VisionFX mod simulates wearing real sunglasses by reducing the harshness of the lighting when you equip a pair. This was done by creating my own unique ImageSpace modifiers, which kick in when you put on a pair of the game's default sunglasses. The cool thing is that these work like real auto-tinting sunglasses, so they also work indoors. The effect only works fully if you have HDR enabled in your game. I also created a different effect for reading glasses. And, as a bonus, I fixed all the default eyewear so that you can wear them with most hats and helmets. [Note: my VisionFX is now integtated into my Realism Tweaks.

Stimpak Injections Now Happen In Real Time

. . . no more calling a timeout during combat to heal your injuries.

My Realism Tweaks' New Animated Stimpak Injection (I HATE needles!)

Page Menu: | News | Welcome | My Character | GOTY Edition | Arwen's Realm | ShadesFX | First Impressions | Links
Playing Fallout 3 - My First Impressions

March 5, 2009:

Fallout was a bit of a surprise for me . . . in a good way. I was worried that I wouldn't even like the game, but I found it surprisingly fun to play.

Yes, I have same major issues with some parts of the game (such as the excessive blood and gore), but I was expecting that. What I wasn't expecting was such an interesting game world. And some things, such as the world not leveling up with you, are definite improvements over vanilla Oblivion. So far I've only met a few characters after completing the vault tutorial (other then the ones who were only interested in killing me). But the characters that I have interacted with in Fallout 3 have been a very welcome improvement.

I also love the fact that I have some actual dialog choices in the game, so I can often pick a response that is at least somewhat in sync with my character.

March 29, 2009:

I tried playing the vanilla game just to see what it was like, and to see if I could handle it. In order to grow, one needs to push the comfort walls every now and then (and I have trouble handling violence). As expected, I didn't last very long at all and began adding mods to my game. Reducing the gore was one of my first priorities (right after adding a larger section of hair styles for my character).

I'm now playing a heavily modded version of the game, and have been able to fix most of my own issues that I had with the vanilla game. These mods have transformed Fallout 3 into a more realistic and much more immersive game. I've basically taken what I learned with improving Oblivion, and have applied it to Fallout 3 (but with some very different specific focuses, since the two games are quite different). Most of the mods that I've added were chosen because they were made to improve realism and immersion, but I was also able to mod out much of the gore (that I really didn't need). If you're interested, my Fallout 3 mod list begins HERE.

Arwen Note: I'll only be able to support the PC version of the game, and I won't be including any mods that rely on any of the DLC add-ons (at least for a while).

April 13, 2009:

Now that I've been playing for exactly one month, I figured that it was time for a bit of an update. Basically I'm having a blast! My biggest complaint is that I'm not able to play nearly as much as I would like (due to being near the end of my final semester at my university). I'm now playing a rather heavily modded version of the game (~ 60 mods), which has made some major improvements on what was already a pretty amazing RPG. Yes, there is way too much focus on combat (yeah, I know, the wasteland is a harsh place, so this isn't supposed to be a walk in the park) but the immersion factor has been incredible for me.

Ok, so I have a pretty good imagination, but this is what actually happened to me a few nights ago. I had played the game for an hour or so just before going to bed - and after my computer had been been off for a few minutes - just for a second I began wondering where Dogmeat (my canine companion in Fallout) had disappeared to. The funny thing was that I had just noticed that I no longer heard him panting, so I felt like I had to look for him in the real world. Ok, so the feeling only lasted a second - and way too many nights in a row without getting nearly enough sleep likely was a factor - but I've never had a game experience follow me into the real world to that extent before. So just saying that Fallout 3 has been an immersive game experience for me is a bit of an understatement.

Below is a very recent screenshot from my modded game. Dogmeat and I had just had a very rough day in the Wasteland, trying to get to and from the National Archives. We were both hurting and tired and I was limping rather badly and really needed to get to a doctor (or at least find some more bandages soon). I took this shot just outside of Megaton (where I just aquired a house). I was taking a short break under a full moon, with my furry best friend (who tries his best to protect me.) And we're a pretty awesome team.

I'll try to add a daytime shot soon, as this one is rather dark (well, it is the middle of the night and there aren't many artificial lights out here).

Page Menu: | News | Welcome | My Character | GOTY Edition | Arwen's Realm | ShadesFX | First Impressions | Links
Fallout Links (off site)

Arwen's Realm (my forum) - This is usually the FASTEST way to contact me. If you are new to Fallout and need some help with this game, or are having trouble with mods, or just have questions or comments about my journal - just drop in and post a message. I've put together a place called Arwen's Realm, a friendly little moderated forum community (where members actually respect each other) - and this is my personal invitation for you to drop by and become a member.

Fallout 3 Nexus - Arwen Note: this is my favorite place on the net to find Fallout 3 mods.

Official Fallout 3 Site - Bethesda Softwork's Fallout 3 home page.

The Vault (Fallout Wiki) - "a community that aims to create the best resource for the Fallout series of games, including Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3 and their spin-offs."
Arwen Note: this is a great place to find Fallout resources, such as lore (for the entire series), maps, and much more.

Page Menu: |News | Welcome | My Character | GOTY Edition | Arwen's Realm | ShadesFX | First Impressions | Links

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