Sunday, November 7, 2010

My [Fallout: New Vegas] Unarmed/Melee build

NOTE: For those coming here to look for the pure Melee build, you can skip all this to the bottom of the post. This is specifically an Unarmed-Critical build. The pure melee build I came up with is actually more straightforward and is posted all the way below.

I've been playing quite a bit of Fallout: New Vegas this weekend, and again I'm tempted to make a pure unarmed/melee character despite how much I love shooting people down. Seems that all Fallout games have this weird effect on me...

Anyway, I followed the basic rules of assigning stats I have for all the Fallout games I played:

1) Never put 10 in any stat. 8 is usually good enough. 9 if you can afford. AGI might be an exception.

2) Check if CHA is useless in the game. In Fallout 3 and New Vegas, it's so bad you might as well dump it no matter what character you play unless you like seeing your companions being badass instead of you.

3) Never EVER dump INT unless you are forced to.
4) END is not as important in most builds, including this unarmed/melee build. It's good to have, not bad to lose it either.

5) AGI should be 8 or above for FO1 and 2. For Fallout 3 onwards, depends if you want to screw your VATS AP or not.

So here's a simple breakdown:

S - 8 (+2 from power armor and implant)
P - 5 (+1 from implant to qualify for Better Critical perk at level 16, enough time for you to play around the world before entering The Strip)
E - 5 (For Toughness perk)
C - 1 (crappy stat)
I - 4 (I wish I had the old Gifted trait to turn this into 9 =/, 4 for Comprehension/Educated perk)
A - 8 (I like VATS)
L - 9 (For the love of critical %)

I probably metagamed abit, like finding out if certain implants are available (especially for my 5 Perception). I could probably drop -1 INT for +1 AGI to be REALLY REALLY min/maxing, but that would involve me running to The Strip at level 2-3.

This build though, is very similar to most of my Unarmed/Melee character builds in all the Fallout games I've played, but they are usually very easy to screw up and shoot your own feet by wasting 1 stat point or picking the wrong perk.

In New Vegas, perks for Unarmed/Melee should be very straightforward. Plan ahead, make sure you have 45% into Melee Weapons to qualify for the Super Slam perk by levle 8 (yes, even if you are making a pure Unarmed build). The rest should be no-brainer:

2: Confirmed Bachelor/Intense Training
4: Comprehension/Educated
6: Toughness
8: Super Slam
10: Finesse
12: Piercing Strike
14: Purifier
16: Paralyzing Palm/Action Boy (I haven't decided yet)
18: Ninja
20: Action Boy/Toughness (anything you want really)

The rest should be more or less up to you because by then you should be one-hitting Deathclaws (or so I heard :p). Anyway, once you are in the game, do NOT piss off Caesar too much. You need to get the Legion Assault Kung-Fu move from one of his lackeys in his tent at The Fort.

Before I forget, my tagged skills are: Unarmed, Sneak and Speech. Tagging isn't as important in Fallout 3/New Vegas, but with your INT at 4, every bit really helps. Especially since you are spending some on Melee Weapons if you are playing Unarmed.

I'll just sum up my build by saying that it's mostly a crit-fisher unarmed build, taking advantage of the fact that Unarmed's crit damage is through the roof (2x I think). If you are playing a Melee Weapons build, you might be better off dropping luck and dumping perception so you can have more points to spend somewhere else.

My hardcore playthrough was pretty tough at the start, like more melee characters in all Fallout games. The good doctor gave me a boxing glove for a weapon and I thought it was a joke item that can be thrown away when I saw it at first. I didn't realize the developers were serious about making me wear that crap and try to do damage. I hardly did do any with it btw.

Hey but look at the bright side. I don't have to carry ammo, so that can be reserved for food, drinks and other wonderful drugs out there. Keep all your drugs, you'll never know when you need them. Keep the Buffouts, Med-X, Rad-X, RadAways, Jet, SuperBombs, Psycho and even Mentats. All these will turn you into the HULK that even makes Super Mutants pee their pants.

Your first breakthrough will be Freeway. Run to Mike and at his shop and beg him to show you his secret wares. There you will see the Power First, everyone's favorite unarmed weapon in FO1 and 2 (then again, back then there were only 4 unarmed weapons in the game, not counting boxing gloves). From thereafter, everything should be smooth sailing.

Then we come to the 4 main factions of the game. I initially wanted to help NCR but after going to all its camps, it felt like a dog place to be in, mostly because it reminds me of National Server =/

So I wanted to help House, but realized he's too screwed up as a person to help. Caesar is...well...I thought the wasteland setting is bad enough, but crucifying people openly? Turning towns into ghost towns? Not happening. I love the robots House has though, so that really gives me one option, which is to help Yes Man who will help me take over New Vegas. Neat!

Besides look at how happy he is!

*updated 24/12/10*
Melee Build?
The main reason for crit-fishing for an Unarmed build is that Unarmed does 100% extra damage on critical (as far as I know when I posted this). I have one/two hit a Deathclaw before with this build so I don't think it's far from the truth.

The melee build is in fact much simpler and you can build it with ease since it isn't worth it to look for high crits; it's more important to get better raw damage. Melee is essentially almost as easy to build as a gun character imho:

S - 8 (+2 from power armor and implant)
P - 1 (don't need this imo)
E - 9 (+1 from implant to make it 10)
C - 1 (crappy stat)
I - 8 (to make the game really easy)
A - 8 (I like VATS)
L - 5 (you can actually drop this further since there is a +1 luck implant...)

As you can see from above, it's really easy to build a melee character. Your strength and endurance stats are max out, allowing you to be the ideal melee tank you would expect to be. High intelligence means you have a ton of skill points to distribute for other skills. And since you are no longer looking for Better Criticals perk, you really don't need perception at all. The rest of the stats are just flavor.

The stats above aren't the best SPECIAL for melee build, but I'm just showing that you can have more freedom of allocating points wherever you wish as compared to the crit-fishing Unarmed build. Also, with that many skill points, perks should be incredibly easy to qualify. As for the perks themselves, you basically pick everything that increases your damage and survivability. You can even choose to branch your specialization and try a bit of throwing/lockpicking/whatever.

For the unarmed-critical build, not so much...

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