Thoughts on enemy variety and classification.

Content of the article: "Thoughts on enemy variety and classification."

Taking a study break, and just leaving some thoughts here. I feel that enemies in Fallout, particularly 4 just end up feeling like one of two possible types. Dumbass with gun who stands still shooting at you, or dumbass with melee attack who runs at you.

The same two thoughtless solutions work to destroy these enemies every time. Shoot the dumbass, or backpedal while shooting the dumbass. It's boring. Like the Dead Space games, Fallout has a system which tracks damages done to various limbs; unlike Dead Space this feature is hardly utilized.

Shooting a sprinting enemy in the leg should force a stumble. Crippling a radscorpion's stinger should stop further attacks with the stinger, and likewise with an Assaultron's head-laser.

Stabbing a raider during their gun-bash animation should cancel the gun-bash. Shooting a ghoul just before it leaps at you should make them fall on their face. The player should be rewarded for paying attention during combat.

No more grab attack animations. They take too long. Aren't telegraphed well, and so feel like unavoidable damage. The player should have the means to stagger/knockdown/knockback enemies, so it's fair to let the enemies do it right back where appropriate, but ffs STOP RESURRECTING THE SYNC KILLS FROM SKYRIM.

From here, I'll address thoughts relevant to particular enemy types.


  • These being raiders/gunners/intelligent ghouls, etc
  • Depending on the faction, and rank (Raider Scum, Gunner Seargant) they will behave differently
  • Poorly trained and equipped groups like raiders are likely to flee at 40% hp, removing themselves from the fight temporarily. The presence of higher level Raiders will prevent this, unless you kill their boss first (think of killing the Elite leading a squad of grunts in Halo).
  • Well trained and equipped groups (BoS, Enclave, Gunners) still flee at 40%, but instead of cowering in place in a adjacent room for 15 seconds; they retreat to cover and take potshots at you with their sidearm. Higher level officers not only prevent them fleeing, but support their troops with stimpacks and suppressing fire.
  • Humanoid enemy types, while guarding their own dwellings; react when spotting a sneaking player that got sloppy. Raiders release attack dogs to flush you out. Gunners will sick a sniper/spotter team on you in outdoor areas during the day; resort to using flares and sicking their conscripts on you at night. BoS call on a Scout who commands an Eyebot; boosting perception of allies and painting the player's location on their HUD.
  • Different humanoid groups in combat might favor attack the player, each other, or attack indiscriminately. Whatever makes sense based on their factions.
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Feral Ghouls

  • Fast moving, melee enemy, spawns in groups, often unarmored.
  • Diving attack upgraded to stagger, and even knock the player down at higher levels. The dive attack is given a more obvious audio cue, and animation wind-up to compensate. Lowest level ghoul variants can't dive, and higher level ghouls use it overall less frequently than in F4
  • Striking a ghoul during it's wind-up stops the dive. Melee strikes always stop it. Ranged attacks always stop unarmored variants, but ranged must strike the legs of armored variants (ghouls have no armor on their arms and legs, the clothing is tattered and rotted away)
  • low medium health pools in exchange for spawning in groups.
  • Too feral to run when hurt
  • When engaging the player, and other AI controlled enemies; ferals will attack either indiscriminately


  • Resilient to melee and gunfire, damaged by energy weapons normally
  • Vulnerable to pulse damage (lightning) and loses AP when suffering pulse damage. Can be forced into a shutdown state at 0 AP.
  • For models that struggle with heat management (Assaultrons, Sentries) Fire also deals AP damage. Forcing a shutdown at 0 AP.
  • Robots feel no pain. Durable limbs. Never run when wounded. Pain states are all downgraded 1 step (Knockback becomes a knockdown, knockdown becomes a stagger, a stagger is ignored)
  • Crippling the head makes the damn Assaultron laser go away. Crippling a leg makes the Sentry's bull rush attack stop
  • Robots that spawn in the wilderness, or dungeons lacking recharge stations; will spawn with a randomly crippled limb (the price of decades, perhaps centuries without maintenance)
  • Robots spawned in dungeons with recharge stations spawn at full health. If wounded by a player that ran away, they will return to the station and gradually restore health. Robots inside a recharge station can be sabotaged or hacked with the right perks.
  • Robots prioritize attacking the player, unless they suffer damage from another attackable source.
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I haven't covered everything, perhaps a part 2 will come later.

Source: reddit.com

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