How will you make your character S.P.E.C.I.A.L. in Fallout 4? As fans of the series know, assigning points to the 7 SPECIAL stats is one of the most important aspects of character creation and progression. Shortly after character creation in Fallout 4, players will be able to assign 28 starting points to the 7 SPECIAL stats which consist of: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Agility and Intelligence. In order to successfully conquer the wasteland it is imperative that players balance their SPECIAL choices carefully.
Prior to the worldwide release of Fallout 4 on November 10th, Bethesda has been teasing each of these stat categories with some entertaining videos. Each of these videos and a brief description of their SPECIAL counterpart can be seen below.
Strength is a measure of your raw physical power. It directly affects how much you can carry (so you do not become over-encumbered), and provides a boost to the damage output of melee attacks. In previous Fallout games this attribute was important in satisfying the minimum Strength requirements for weapons, penalizing you with poor aim and other mechanics if your Strength was too low. Strength was also used in certain conversations and interactions to intimidate your counter-parts into doing your bidding. It is expected that these conversation options will make a comeback in Fallout 4.
The primary benefit of Perception is to provide greater hit-chance when using VATS – the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. This will come in handy when attempting to pull off a string of head shots with only a few bullets, or to cripple the leg of a charging Deathclaw. The Perception entry in the SPECIAL video series also touches on its benefit to pick-pocketing, or even better, the art of reverse-pick-pocketing.
Endurance is a formidable stat when it comes to surviving the dangers of the wasteland. Endurance will directly benefit the health gained from eating food foraged from your environment. It expands your pallet, making more food choices available (human flesh perhaps?) and makes your character less susceptible to the dangers of the wasteland (things like radiation, dehydration and hunger). Endurance will also directly benefit the new sprinting mechanic, which is making its first appearance in the Fallout series.
The fourth entry in Bethesda’ S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute video series focuses on Charisma. As seen in the video, Charisma in Fallout 4 impacts your character’s ability to create and maintain relationships with NPCs. As with other Fallout games, Charisma is expected to affect your character’s speech success along with your ability to barter for items. We know that with high enough Charisma players can select a perk that ignores the addicting effects of alcohol – what’s interesting about this video is how much alcohol is shown. Perhaps Fallout 4 will rely more heavily on consumable pre-combat and pre-interaction boosts.
The Intelligence entry in Bethesda’s SPECIAL video series shows glimpses of my favorite attribute. High Intelligence has been a powerful aid in past Fallout games. It allows you to gain experience and level up faster. It provides bonuses to skills like Science, Medicine, Repair and more. On the flip side, low Intelligence provides an equally interesting experience. A stupid character in the Fallout games will be severely limited in their conversation and questing abilities, although the grunting dialogue options are amusing!
This week brings Agility to the Fallout 4 SPECIAL video series. As with the two most recent Fallout games, Agility directly affects your Action Points, or the resource used to aim at multiple targets in VATS. In Fallout and Fallout 2, action points or AP was the game mechanic that governed the number of things a player can do during a single combat turn. The video goes on to showcase Agility’s involvement in dodging attacks, sneaking, quicker reloading, and of course murdering NPCs in their sleep (the Mister Sandman perk).
The final installment of the Fallout 4 SPECIAL series is all about Luck. Luck is one of the most interesting attributes of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. While watching the video, we learn that Luck impacts critical hit success and failure. The video goes on to tell us that Luck will also have an impact on loot value (damn you, RNG!) Toward the end of the video, we see that Luck will also dictate one of the most popular perks in the Fallout franchse: the Bloody Mess perk
With that, the Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. series has reached its conclusion. While we no longer have these entertaining videos to look forward to every week, the end of the series can only mean that the launch of Fallout 4 is right around the corner!