John Sawyer Answers Your Questions Pt. 2

JE Sawyer, the creative director behind Fallout: New Vegas, is taking questions from the community. The staff at the Bethesda forums are posting answers to these questions, of which you can check out in full here.

Details which may be of interest to you are the following:

While there is a ‘bobblehead’ equivalent in New Vegas, it will not give you any bonuses to either skills or to your SPECIAL. Instead, you will receive some other mysterious in-game reward. This was probably a measure taken to try to balance the point/skill economy within the game: it was very easy to max our your skills or SPECIAL in 3.That being said, it comes to no surprise when Sawyer tells us that “ We have done several things to adjust the skill point economy. First and foremost, the formula for calculating skill points per level has changed. We are still experimenting with what formula to use, but a 10 IN will likely not boost a character’s skills as much as it did in F3.” He also tells us that this world has way less books, books have smaller bonuses, and perks that boost skills have been removed.

While bottlecaps remain the currency of choice within the Mojave wasteland, there are also Legion coins and NCR money. Each has a different relative value, though merchants will accept all three as a form of currency. To complicate things even further, each casino has its own chips for gambling. Whether or not all these forms of currency and gambling chips were a smart design choice is yet to be determined, but from my end, it isn’t looking very good. Still, these choices are grounded in the politics of the game. Bringing back this aspect of the Fallout world to the Fallout games sounds fantastic.

You will not be able to continue playing after you beat the game, which may sound disappointing at first, but Sawyer promises that doing so would compromise the impact of the ending. This gives me more confidence in the game, as it seems like the plot is taking center stage.

Lastly, true to the classic Fallout titles, you will be able to solve a situation however you see fit. Sawyer says that “There are ways to win the main plot by killing no one and by killing everyone. It was one of our initial design tenets. You will find it difficult to get by as a pacifist, and you will miss a great deal of content by killing everyone you meet, but it can be done.” Who kills everyone they come across? People are useful, you know. Jesus.


  1. Tom

    I feel like there’s a community who want to be forced to make hard choices with their characters, and another group who want to feel like a complete badass by the end of the game.

    Personally, the bobbleheads were my favorite feature. Permanent stat boosting items are the most underrated way to make an RPG fun. They make me feel like I have more customization power, and the ability to max out my character. Like, I know they want to make me make hard choices about customization because that’s what old school pen and paper RPGs did, but…the question is, does it serve a design purpose, and is it fun? The first is almost assuredly no (or to make the game harder), and the second is a questionable no.

    I dunno. I like being overpowered. I loved at the end of 3 when I could walk around and destroy everyone.

    • Well, the thing is, since enemies are so easy to kill in 3, I figure I might as well be a complete God–similarly to you. 😛 Which is why I was dissapointed at first, but in other RPGs I always enjoy having to make touch choices like that. It makes the game more interesting and makes your choices actually matter.

      On the other hand I hate games that make it so that unless you flawlessly build a character in X way.