Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fallout Shelter

I am a FAN of the Fallout series, dating all the way back to the turn based originals. Works for me that my hopeful return to active duty on this blog starts with the latest Fallout game from Bethesda. No?
Free, Universal, 200mb download, Gamecenter enabled, No internet required, Optional IAP.

Fallout Shelter is a base builder set in the Fallout universe. In this game you are the Vault Overseer, its your job to expand your vault, see to the needs of your people, protect them from the wastelands, etc. You will be placing rooms and upgrading them. You will be maintaining the three main resources (water/power/food) as well as keeping your peoples stimpak and rad-x needs satisfied. You get to decide who comes in your vault and who is left outside the door (ideally, you want to accept everyone). Your role as Overseer even allows you to choose who reproduces and even the child's name. So pretty much you are god, nice!

Top right corner hammer icon brings up every room in the game along with cost in caps and population requirements to access. Placing a room is as simple as choosing it and then choosing one of the green square/rectangles that appear. Need to build further down? Elevators. Note, its currently not possible to move rooms. If you want to move a room you will be demolishing and rebuilding. Also you can not demolish a room if doing so would result in a room elsewhere with no access to the rest of the vault. All rooms of a same type will automatically merge with one another so long as a, their of the same upgrade level and b, they will not expand more than three wide.

There are two means of populating your vault. Travelers at your door and pregnancy. Travelers have random SPECIAL stats, random equipment on them and random appearance. Travelers beyond the initial fresh game batch are pretty rare but you can increase their frequency with a Radio station room which also increases happiness of everyone). Via pregnancy you have a look similar to both parents, a suggested name, no equipment. It takes between 3 an 5 minutes to get a couple to 'do the deed' and you do this by putting them both in crew quarters. Once the deed is done it takes between 3 and 5 hours for the mother to give birth. During this time she can do any job you assign her in the base aside from anything combat related. She will flee combat and from what I've seen so far attackers do not attack pregnant women and children. Once birth is given it takes another 3 to 5 hours for the child to hit adulthood. Once an adult, you have full control over them. Job, further re population, guard duty, exploration, up to you.

Your citizens need food, water and power. Without power the other two needs stop producing. Without water, everyone begins to suffer radiation poisoning. Without Food everyone starts taking hits to their hitpoints. Note, citizens off exploring do not pull on any of the three needs, they sustain themselves while out on the road.

You need citizens to do the various jobs around the vault and citizens actually have jobs they prefer. This is determined by looking at the SPECIAL (stats) of the citizen. The highest stat is the field they do the best in. Tapping on any room that can produce anything will show a letter near its name, this is the SPECIAL stat that job needs. If you put a citizen in a job they are best suited for they are happier and produce more of that rooms product. Fully populating rooms also decreases the time it takes to produce that rooms product. Two unique products to the game are Stimpak's and Rad-X. These can be actively administered to anyone in your vault in need and can also be given to explorers for use on the road automatically as they need.

There are three encounters in the game. Fire, Rad Roaches and Raiders. Raiders come in the front door and will move from room to room top to bottom looking for people to shoot at. Rad Roaches and Fire can occur anywhere in the base and will periodically move from one room to another until the problem is dealt with. Tip, if you don't have enough guns for everyone in your vault un equip everyone. Equip folks in rooms having encounters and then un equip them afterwards. Keeps the weapons on hand. Fire damage isn't permanent and you don't need to equip the folks in the room the fire happens in with anything, apparently all vault citizens have fire extinguishers in their back pocket heh.

You will naturally want to improve your citizens special stats, after all a citizen with a high stat in S will do a much better producing and faster job than a citizen with a low S in their stats. Training rooms let you improve any stat you choose and there is a room for every stat in SPECIAL.

When you send people out exploring you give them a weapon, armor, stimpacks and rad-x. If you choose. The citizen will  keep exploring until you tell them to return or they die. If they die you can spend caps to revive them (this also applies to death anywhere in the vault, caps cure all). Once revived they will resume exploring. While exploring they will find caps, weapons, armor, they'll earn experience points, they'll consume rad-x and stimpaks. They will continue exploring until you tell them to return and the return time is half of the time they've spent on the road. Note, there are no encounters nor risk to the explorer while they are on their way back.

Lunchboxes are this games form of IAP. You get them in two ways, one of which is with real money and the other is from completing objectives. Note, lunch box purchases with real money do not transfer over to new saves so use caution with your spending. Lunchboxes contain random amounts of resources, caps, weapons, armor and even rare citizens.

Ok, so next are my personal tips and suggestions.
. Slow and steady, if you build to fast your needs will always be in the red. Needs in red steadily punish the entire vault.
. If a need is in red, armor and arm the workers in that room and try rushing few times. Succeed or Fail, the workers will gain experience, success partially refills that need and gives caps!
. Until you have some epic weaponry and armor don't bother defending the door (do level it up though, more reaction time for you the longer it takes them to get in). Just arm / armor up the room the raiders are screwing around in instead.
. Do your objectives! They award caps, you can cancel one a day that you don't like and often times they reward Lunch Boxes!
. If your simply chasing exploration timers / training timers, close the game and only reload when necessary. Game in a closed state significantly slows down resource consumption in the base and encounters are completely disabled. Draw back? When you collect resources from your rooms there is a chance of getting a nice sum of caps, this is based on the overall 'luck' SPECIAL stat of the workers in that room. Game not running? Not earning potential caps. Also your citizens level up over time while doing their jobs, this also slows down quite abit.
. You get a daily report card that awards you caps based on the overall happiness of your citizens.
. Resources constantly dipping in the red? Send the non essential citizens out exploring, they don't pull off the base while out on the road.
. Armor grants various stat bonuses, make sure you equip the citizens properly. Example, if a set of armor increases the "S" stat, equip it on a worker in the power room (which uses S). Even better productivity.
. Tap/Drag a citizen from room to room in your base, as you hover over a room a number will show up, this number is how that citizen will contribute to that room. A + means they they will improve production, a - means they will harm production and no symbol means they neither improve or worsen anything.
. If you drag / drop a citizen in to a full room they will swap places with the lowest skilled person working in that room already.

I've had two separate growing 'pains' as I like to call them. Time periods where I just couldn't keep the resources in the green and caps were non existent. Caps follow resources so in both cases I put folks to work training to improve their SPECIAL stats and closed the game. Once they leveled their stats I swapped them with lower skilled workers and then trained them. Over time your vault will become self sufficient on its own simply by working and rotating the training rooms that improve the stats needed by each resource room in your base. Also feel free to try rushing to get those resources you need. Once the three resource producing rooms are stable, its much easier to earn caps.

Suggestions to Bethesda.
1. let us move rooms around for a nominal fee
2. let us partially recoup investments from previous saves. idea, when you start a second save you can direct your explorers to find the previous vault and loot it.
3, citizens on guard door duty should respond to any encounters anywhere in the base including chasing raiders who make it past them.
4, storage room should store a surplus of the three main resources.
5, let us power down rooms to conserve electricity.
6, wandering traders with rare sells.
7, trade route Establishment with local villages trading resources for caps.
8. themed vaults. fallout 3 suggested that every vault had specific experiments tasked to it by the government that the overseers conducted post fallout. Let us choose our type of vault and have that grant perks and faults accordingly.

Will post followups as I discover more, till then o7

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