J.E. Sawyer Social Interview on Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC

J.E. Sawyer has been answering a lot of questions on the Gun Runners' Arsenal item pack DLC recently announced for Fallout: New Vegas on his Formspring account, with questions ranging from "is this fairly priced" to getting more details.
Hypothetical situation: game releases a number of DLC's, and the last DLC is released at the same time as an item pack containing items that could have easily been included in the DLC, but wasn't for the sake of profit. Ethical, in your view, or not?

If you're talking about the weapons in GRA, they would not have been included in LR. GRA contains over two dozen weapons, plus new ammo subtypes, plus new challenges and achievements. The content in GRA was always developed as part of a stand-alone DLC. They took separate development resources and separate testing resources.

About the GRA: If new ammo subtypes are being added to existing ammo types - say, 40mm grenades and their incendiary variants - would that conflict with weapons added through mods which use the current 40mm grenade ammo list? What about the DLC weapons?

Okay, here's the deal: initially all of the new ammo subtypes were added to their respective lists via script. Unfortunately, we found a load order bug that would cause indefinite hangs if a weapon were hotkeyed with an ammo subtype from GRA -- basically it was a dumb side case but it was real and serious and bad, so we had to add the new ammo subtypes directly to the ammo lists in GRA. That is, the GRA ammo lists *overwrite* the stock ammo lists. Not ideal, but there you go.

Gun Runners' Arsenal sounds great, but please tell me you put some emphasis on Energy Weapons. They're in bad shape compared to guns.

There are some doozies in there.

I know your not sinking to EA'snickel and diming for clothing and weapon packs that cost a few bucks each but still not a road I want Obsidian to go down. One day just like Mass Efect 2 you'll charge $3 for a few diff clothing options.

I specifically asked to make GRA because I wanted to show players, publishers, and developers that you could make a reasonably-priced weapon pack that added more than two retextures.

Well, that and because I wanted to add some more weapons and ammo types.

In any case, I feel that players will get a very good value for GRA. There's a lot of cool stuff in it.

I think it's worth noting that The Witcher 2's patch 2.0 offers an update that adds substantially more stuff than GRA for free. Worth reflecting on.


GRA question, are there gonna be new Unarmed weapons? If so, could you name one?

Yes. There will be new weapons for every skill category. All of the new items are available at merchants *only*. The weapons are a mix of the following:

* Unique versions of core weapons (e.g. the Nuka-Breaker is essentially a unique Rebar Club and the Bozar is a unique Light Machine Gun).

* Brand new weapons that have no current base equivalent in the game. Many of these are created with recipes.

* "GRA" versions of core game weapons that previously had no mods. E.g. if in the core game a weapon (for example, fictional weapon Super Laser) had no mods, you may see that merchant has something like Super Laser (GRA). The (GRA) signifies that it can be altered by mods with the same weapon name and (GRA) suffix -- e.g. Super Laser Focus Optics (GRA). The (GRA) mods will not work with weapons of the same name from the core game. Sorry, just a limitation of how we had to structure the data due to potential .esm/.esp conflicts.

* Non-unique versions of unique core game weapons that had no base version.

Jason Bergman confirmed that there were 27 new weapons in the GRA pack, does that include the already existing weapons that now just have GRA in the title to allow for modding? or are the 27 all completely new?

That figure is all-inclusive: some unique, some completely new, some mod-able GRA versions, and some non-unique versions of unique core game weapons.

Aren't equivalents of most items in GRA already available as mods?

I'm sure some are, but I doubt most are.

Why is the GRA pack being added and not put it in with the stock game? Time constraints or for profit?

Because it took more than a small bit of time to develop and test.

Can you explain what you mean by "Non-unique versions of unique core game weapons that had no base version."? Like a generic "This Machine"?

Like that, yes.

I was wondering what type of challenges will be given in Gun Runners Arsenal for Fallout New Vegas. Can you shed any light on what type of challenges will be given? Are they going to be fetch challenges, kill challenges, find challenges, or what?

They are combat challenges. The one star (*) challenges are quite easy to pull off. The two star (**) challenges are moderately difficult but nothing too crazy. The three star (***) challenges are generally quite demanding.