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samoja
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Post war US

How much of post war US is desert? I mean we see there are still plants around aplenty, and since water did not go anywhere there should be vast forests and grassy plains, plants are way more resilient to mutation then animals are, they can even handle cross species pollination and grafting which would never work for animals. Yet in every game to date we see desert and more desert, with a little bit of growth here and there, is it just because post war survivors like to build their settlements in the desert for some strange reason or what?

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jlf65
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Yea, it's the one main

Yea, it's the one main complaint I have about the Fallout series. If you look at any area abandoned by people due to heavy radiation contamination, the one thing they have in common is just how LUSH the vegetation is. One possible explanation is that the nuclear winter killed a LOT of vegetation over parts of the world, and it's only just spreading back into those places. The issue there is this is 200 years later, and things should have recovered by this point. That's one reason I like "green" mods for Fallout. Not only does that change the way the game looks entirely, I think it's a bit more realistic. Now the Mohave is a desert, plain and simple. It NEVER had much of anything. The DC area should have tons of grass and shrubs and even trees - remember, this is 200 years later; trees have had plenty of time to regrow... unless survivors are totally harvesting them, which is a distinct possibility.

Yu Narukaze
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Actually, most pre-War plant

Actually, most pre-War plant life was killed by the Black Rain around a week after the bombs dropped. Water contaminated by the byproducts of nuclear war can kill plants quite easily, as it turns out.

Mystical Panda
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There's probably some tools

There's probably some tools that gives a performance 'hud' when developing, and after studying the real time results of many tests, they determine each scene or area can only have so many polys per cell (too many, and it starts to lag long before shadows and stuff are added), so they make sure it's under the engine limit. This can result in bleak or empty areas to account for npc rendering and other cpu (not just gpu) overhead.

On an aesthetic note... it adds to the feeling of emptiness or loneliness:

"In a world of seemingly nothing, I yet felt the ghost of something. Something long since past. Something, not born within my flesh or readily touched by my hand; something bound only within the fabric of my mind. A thought without image, long since past. A thought haunts me upon the very steps of my travels. The hope of a civilization long since past, now dust upon my eyes. A ghostly image of a people who now forever rest only within me."

jlf65
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Yu Narukaze wrote:Actually,

Yu Narukaze wrote:

Actually, most pre-War plant life was killed by the Black Rain around a week after the bombs dropped. Water contaminated by the byproducts of nuclear war can kill plants quite easily, as it turns out.

Yeah, but it doesn't last. Nuclear blasts don't make regions uninhabitable for long - Hiroshima was back to "normal" in less then 14 years. They even made a movie in Hiroshima in 1959. Plants were regrowing soon after the blast - long before people returned. Unless there's some continuing source of radioactive pollution (say, those barrels of toxic waste we see in the game here and there), the blast zone will be less than normal background radiation levels in only a couple decades. The in-game lore recognizes this on some level as the vaults were not meant to be close for more than a few decades, then release the inhabitants back into the world.

Risewild
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Don't make the same mistake

Don't make the same mistake many people do when talking about real world radiation and Fallout games radiation.

They are very different. If Fallout games had real-like radiation, ghouls would be impossible, people affected by severe radiation sickness couldn't move at all and would die very fast, most places that are still irradiated, wouldn't be because the radioactive isotopes would have decayed naturally. Those from atomic bombs/nuke blasts have a half life of around 50 years. No matter if you dropped 1 or 100 in the same place, the isotopes would have naturally decayed into nothing.

Radiation in Fallout follows the 50's retro-futurist formula. Where it was used in science fiction as a magic thing to do anything the author needed it to do. It could create monsters, allow people to live for longer, give super powers, allows even time travel, etc. It was a "anything is possible using radiation" shenanigans. 

Nostalgia
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I put trees in both the

I put trees in both the Mohave and DC. They add so much to the scenery! Nature is extremely resilient.

jlf65
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Well, I put them in DC in

Well, I put them in DC in some games. Never in the Mohave - it's a desert, after all. Never had trees in the first place!

Maybe if they were only added near the lake or the river...

Decker
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Plant life obviously was not

Plant life obviously was not completely removed in the Fallout setting lore - Depends on locale, weather patterns and so forth. F1 and F2 take place in areas which naturally were mostly deserts before the Great War, and had been made green in some areas by manmade irrigation systems. No surprise then that post war F1 and F2 environs were desertlike, as was their original natural state. Indeed FNVs Mojave is not that much different from pre-war mojave plant-wise, always was a desert. Fallout 4 has yellowish grass all over the place and no leaves in the trees, which prettymuch looks like Boston region in the autumn - It often gets fairly cold there in autumn and winter months IRL too - If anything, Fallout 4 is missing snow coverage for the winter months which does occur IRL. Only game in the series of Fallout CRPGs which fails reality checking with vegetation actually is Fallout 3 - It seems way too dead overall plantwise for the region, this is never properly explained in the games lore.

While not to be considered realistic, Fallout's way to handle radiation is at least plausible on some level. Note that IRL radiation sickness can have varying degrees of symptoms depending on type, amount and rate of radiation absorbed by the body. Very rapid large dose may not even initially feel like anything much more than a sunburn perhaps - It can take some time for any actual symptoms to show, perhaps like an hour or so of 'I feel perfectly fine' followed by rapidly worsening sickness of 'I wish I was dead' variety and horribly miserable and messy death only hours or a few days later. AFAIK, most plants can survive doses considerably higher than humans.

What the Fallout setting really changes is having scifi-magic effective anti-radiation medicines like Rad-X and especially Radaway, which can completely heal any and all radiation damage sustained - No real world medicine like Radaway exists IRL, at best realworld medicines can slightly reduce the effective absorbed dosage. Significant IRL radiation exposures always leave an unhealable scar of lifetime radiation history, which increases cancer risk and permanently damages reproductive cells.

About ghouls etc; If we go by the original lore from Fallout 1, ghouls are a result of both less than lethal long term radiation exposure as well as raw airborne FEV infection (which can work through an immune system already weakened by the radiation). FEV is not quite in the same realm of scifi-magic as Fallouts radiation medicines; Scary thing about FEV is that it is actually plausibly based on IRL scientific principles such as DNA/RNA chains, genetic sequence scissoring etc. Rapidly genetically altering an adult living beings physiology with viruses is not possible today, but it is not at all an impossible future biotech development.. Ghouls, supermutants and FEV mutated invasive animal species are actually way more plausible than most people would think at the first glance.

 

Risewild
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Ghouls are only caused by

Ghouls are only caused by radiation. This was decided by the creators of Fallout after they decided that was the best way. So the canon is that they are only created by radiation.

Not to mention that Harold was mutated by FEV but he himself says he is not a ghoul (he's a FEV mutant), although he looks like one (further proof that the creators decided only radiation can create real ghouls). He also says that Ghouls are created by radiation (and not radiation + FEV).

Chris Taylor supported the idea that ghouls were made by a combination of radiation and FEV, Chris Avellone agreed with that at first, but then changed his mind and declared that only radiation made ghouls, Tim Cain always said ghouls are only made from radiation. In the end the official canon is that ghouls are only made from radiation. It is still like that in Bethesda's and Obsidian's game lore.

Decker
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True, current Fallout canon

True, current Fallout canon is that ghouls are radiation only - Scientifically impossible sorcery as this may be. IRL, ionizing radiation simply chops up DNA into pieces randomly, it does not in any way gravitate towards a predictable genetic redesign subspecies template like a ghoul. IMHO seems like a needlessly dumbed down explanation.

I for one would prefer the original F1 version of rads + FEV equals ghoul, because it is way more plausible. This version actually would not be completely impossible in the real life future. Simply put, this would be a better, more believable explanation for ghouls with more roots in real science.

 

rockitten
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The problem with rads + FEV =

The problem with rads + FEV = ghoul is that, why some human are spared?

Regarding to radiation to plants, well, radiation does killes lots of plants, many "lust vegetation" we see, are less radiated vegetation grows back into those radiated area, either by survival of fitness, or by "decontamination" through half-life decay.

Even then, many plants do mutated into very weird form, like this:

jlf65
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I think you meant "lush", not

I think you meant "lush", not lust.   And yes, there will be mutations, but you still can't argue - it's LUSH... as long as the climate allows for lush vegetation.

 

Decker
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rockitten wrote:

rockitten wrote:

 

The problem with rads + FEV = ghoul is that, why some human are spared?

Not just any amount of rads would do, ghoulification needs an almost lethal total amounts of frequent radiation doses over time (such as provided by the radioactive fallout clouds from the great war in some places), or maybe from ingested radioactive particle(s) of matter. Small or infrequent rad doses are not enough to bring down the immune system, which is the key here; Normal human immune system can and does stop airborne FEV by adapting and creating antibodies. For a virus, the FEV is a big complex multi-molecular thing with a spherical protective protein sheath (makes it radiation resistant) - This is propably why it is fairly reliably detected and resisted by a normal immune system.

(Also, radioactive fallout post Great War propably was not an even all encompassing blanket without gaps - Terrain and weather patterns play a part here; Some areas get hit hard with radioactive fallout, while some places may be left entirely untouched. Some very lucky surface survivors may even have gotten through the whole disaster with no rads at all. Same thing holds true for plants and animals; an untouched valley sheltered by mountains could allow for many species to survive the nuclear holocaust intact.)

All this is also the reason why supermutants are created by dipping into entire vats of FEV, and not by breathing in the airborne FEV that has been spread all over the planet - The sudden massive infection from the FEV vat immersion punches through the immune system with sudden brute force before it can adapt or produce enough antibodies to halt the viral invasion. Even so, the very best supermutants are made from 'prime normals' which means humans with zero or near zero prior exposure to airborne FEV, such as vault dwellers. Lack of FEV antibodies makes for more survivable, better supermutant conversion which leaves more of the subjects intelligence intact.

In this context, rads+FEV ghoulification would be more like a seriously flawed but still survivable FEV conversion, with only some of the desired genetic traits such as halted aging retained. The significant radiation doses absorbed by the ghoulifying person make the initial human DNA to be modified by the FEV too seriously flawed to begin with, hence the ghouls do not turn into supermutants ever, but may sometimes have other various mutations or health problems like for example a tree growing out of their head.