FO4 Combat Overhaul 3

Feb 3, 2018

Article #4 in a 4-part series.

In the first part I went over my goals in overhauling combat, and in Part 2 I reviewed the mods that build the foundation. In this part I cover my changes.


Technically the only requirement here is FO4Edit to make all the changes to the base game. My advice is to start with the mods I reviewed in Part 2 to reduce work making only the desired changes based on the work of those authors. Afterwards you could always merge the plugins into one. I keep my changes in a single plugin and keep DRO so I can compare if needed.


create a patch override

A patch plugin overrides changes made by Fallout.esm and other mods. It’s also a good idea to carry over changes made by other patches we want to keep such as fixes from the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch, and even if not there some changes of interest anyway. Let’s review how to create a new plugin to override data in the game.

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Fallout 4 Holiday Edit

Jan 16, 2018

Article #3 in a 4-part series.

In Fallout 4 by Bethesda Game Studios, Diamond City decorates for just two holidays: Halloween and Christmas. And on those days. Let’s say we’d like to see the nice folk of Diamond City keep their Christmas decorations up a bit longer. It’s a simple adjustment to a Papyrus script, DmndHolidayHandlerScript.


  • Creation Kit
  • Notepad++ (optional)

You may edit the script in a text editor like Notepad++ or edit within Creation Kit. I find it easier to use Notepad++ setup to compile Papyrus. After installing Creation Kit, find the file within the folder Data\Scripts\Source\Base and unpack the contents directly into that folder. If editing the script within Creation Kit then in Cell View select World Space: DiamondCity and look for the editor ID: DmndHolidayHandler (0004408D) and right-click to edit. Find the script within the Scripts tab, right-click, and select Edit Source.

If new to Papyrus, see the introduction at

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2017 December Miles

Jan 3, 2018

  • cycle: 92 miles (148 km)
  • run: 42 miles (68 km)


  • cycle: 1450 miles
  • run: 645 miles

My 2017 totals are up from 2016, down from years I commuted 30 miles per day which surpassed 7,000 miles each year on the bicycle.


Icy Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon


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Fallout 4 Combat Overhaul Part 2

Dec 22, 2017

Article #2 in a 4-part series.

In the first part I went over my goals in overhauling combat, and here I review the mods that build the foundation. In Part 3, I’ll cover my changes including adjustments to several weapon and armor mods to complete the overhaul.

combat overhaul mods



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Fallout 4 Combat Overhaul Part 1

Dec 20, 2017

Article #1 in a 4-part series.

This part reviews my goals for reworking combat. In Part 2 I list the mods I’ve selected, and in Part 3 I describe some of the changes I’ve made to perks, armor, and weapons.

swinging plastic swords and shooting bean bags

Fallout 4 by Bethesda Game Studios improves shooting combat over previous Bethesda titles in smoothness of control, accuracy, and the VATS is fairly user friendly, too. Unfortunately, the game shares much in common with TES V: Skyrim especially in making combat feel more like a passive, stand-up-and-take-hits fights. The difficulty choices multiply damage in and inversely damage out, but I find increasing difficulty more annoying than anything since the same tactics still win the fight. Better is to make weapons more deadly, limit health, increase stealth difficulty, and try to get the NPCs to behave more reasonably for combat.

Before I started modifying the game, I had a strong feeling others had already begun changing combat so I went looking for solutions coming up with a collection of mods to use as the groundwork. Then I went about calculating and charting damages to find a reasonable solution for a more realistic and challenging gameplay in Fallout 4 Survival.



Here I’m not going to go into detail on how I arrived at these assumptions. There are books and articles written by combat veterans, historians, and martial arts experts on effective use of weapons and armor. I draw upon some of these, but do not reference them here. We’re modifying a game with its set of restrictions, and we must work within those bounds. So, we don’t need worry about scientific accuracy. If you disagree with an assumption, you may adjust your game accordingly.

  1. sword combat: unlike in the movies showing several minutes of sword clanging, real sword fights end quickly
  2. handguns: it may take more than a single shot to slow an attacker down, but each shot increases that likelihood
  3. “critical shot” in the game means hitting somewhere vital and likely deadly
  4. the power of a gunshot helps define potential damage, but velocity and size factor (smaller high-velocity round may result in less damage than larger low-velocity round)
  5. metal conducts energy with potential to damage a person touching it including the wearer if not suitably insulated
  6. modern armor is designed to fracture or crumple so wearer takes less impact
  7. a marksman trains to increase accuracy, and better accuracy doesn’t necessarily result in more damage unless it’s a “critical shot”


  1. play Survival 1-to-1 damage (or 2-to-2) with weapon damage increased, more so for high-powered weapons
  2. armor protection leaning towards expected realism
  3. health point limits by creature type - no more spongy humans
  4. stealth more difficult
  5. tougher turrets, robots, and vertibirds
  6. AI should prefer to take cover instead of stand out in open, and more likely to flee when outnumbered
  7. shooting perks should emphasize increase in accuracy over damage
  8. explosives should make more sense (why does molotov cocktail have blast damage?)
  9. make energy weapons rare or more inconvenient due to huge power requirements

I want being one-shot a real concern even at level 100 forcing me take cover and plan my assault. Combat robots need to be scary tough, and vertibirds less of a joke.

Alternative goal to consider: remove laser guns for ballistic-only gameplay and perhaps keep the electric swords.

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