This thread is the feedback thread for the Fallout 3 guide that complements EssArrBee's "Fear and Loathing in New Vegas" guide for modding Fallout New Vegas. While Fallout 3 is older, some friends of mine who never played it got interested when they recently bought Fallout 3 GOTY at a Steam sale. I said I would provide them some information on mods and utilities they might want to try. After that, well ... it kinda grew to be a bit more. I looked in detail at the "Fear and Loathing in New Vegas" guide and found to my surprise that many of the better mods available for Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas were very similar, and that there were also many new mods for Fallout 3 that weren't available for Fallout 3 the last time I played it in 2010.
Since I really liked the style of the "Fear and Loathing in New Vegas" guide, I made a copy and used it as the starting point for the Fallout 3 guide. A lot of the "Fear and Loathing in New Vegas" guide text and structure has been preserved. It is intended to include a set of mods in each category that were a reasonably representative set of the better mods currently available for the associated category, including ones that I (or other participants in this thread) had used and liked the last time playing Fallout 3. I also wanted to include some mods I had never used that seemed quite interesting and worth trying. Of course, since it is an evolving guide there is a lot of flexibility to add and remove mods in the list.
There has been a reasonable amount of testing of Fallout 3 with the entire set of mods in the guide loaded, but I wouldn't characterize the testing as extensive. There is still a lot of testing of some of the optional texture especially for clutter and weapons. EsssArrBee has been working lately on evaluating exterior textures choices to try to come with a set with good quality and acceptable performance; this also needs to happen for Fallout 3. Since Fallout 3 is older it may be easier to get good performance; the resolution of the textures and meshes for Fallout 3 are usually not as high as those for more recent games.
Many of the initial mods added to the guide are the Fallout 3 versions of mods in the "Fear and Loathing in New Vegas" guide; this simplifies some of the testing needed. There is more detail on this at the beginning of the guide itself.
I wanted to have a theme for the guide that is closely related to the Washington DC area, to the Fallout 3 storyline, and to the overall set of Fallout games. My choice was "Clear and Present Danger". Fallout 3 is much less whimsical and more serious than the other 3 Fallout games (and IMO even more dangerous from the outset than the recent Elder Scrolls games), and the Jack Ryan series of books/movies have at least a few good relevant quotes; I'm open to suggestions on supplemental themes.
I continue to work on updating the LOOT mod cleaning instructions and Bash tags for the mods in the guide to include in the LOOT masterfile. Since Fallout 3 is old, many mods have ITM and UDR errors shown in FO3Edit. Bash tags are critical in providing the data Wrye Flash needs to provide compatibility among the varied mods included in the guide. With the proper Bash tags and existing compatibility patch mods, it doesn't look like much will be needed in any manual merge patches - at least among the mods in the guide that are not marked as optional. Wrye Bash is also being expanded and evolved to include the Fallout 3 and NV games, and eill eventually replace Wrye Flash for use with the Fallout games.
This is the feedback thread, so look and see what you like and don't like and what's missing and comment. Fortunately here on the STEP forums there are always lots of useful comments and feedback. If you have troubleshooting questions or comments please enter these in the "Support" thread. If you want to suggest mods to add to the guide please enter these in the overall STEP "Mods" thread, using the Fallout 3 tag to identify the mod.
I'll update this post as the guide moves forward, adding comments on some of the issues that seem to be of most interest.