Hey all. Dunno why exactly I'm writing this, but it's just been on my mind this past weekend.
Now if you have an Xbox One, I'm sure you've heard that New Vegas was just recently made available for the Xbox One via backwards compatibility. Naturally, when I first heard this, I squee'd with excitement. In no time at all, I installed New Vegas, got my ultimate edition second disc and installed all the DLC and transferred a save from my 360 over via the Cloud and played non-stop for about 3 days straight.
Overall, I have to say that my experience was significantly better on the One than on the 360. The framerate was a little more stable, commands felt more responsive, and the game didn't crash as often. In total, I've had it crash about two times, after hours of gameplay. This could be for a variety of reasons, however. It could be that the game is using the Xbox One's upgraded RAM to run significantly smoother since New Vegas was a pretty RAM intensive game on the 360 and especially the PS3. Or, it could be the lack of unnecessary saves in New Vegas's folder. I won't lie, I save-scummed a LOT when I initially played New Vegas. On my 360, there's quite a huge backlog of multiple saves on multiple characters at different parts of the game. I made sure to limit my saves to one or two slots at the most for the time being, so it could be that. However, what really stuck to my mind wasn't even the game or the game's performance, it was the Dead Money DLC. -Spoiler warning for those that are even mildly interested-
For the uninitiated, Dead Money is a DLC about you, the Courier, getting kidnapped and forced to work with three other "associates" break into an old world casino, the Sierra Madre, a fabled morsel hidden beneath a deadly cloud, luring treasure hunters to their doom. Over the course of the DLC, you have to navigate a treacherous villa that sits outside the Casino, avoiding traps, thick pockets of the cloud, broken speakers and radios that could trigger the bomb collar strapped snuggly to your neck, and of course the ghost people, highly perceptive enemies that you need to dismember if you want to stop them from getting back up again.
I've done Dead Money a multitude of times, but only recently did this come to mind. Dead Money breaks the game's economy.
Now if you've played Dead Money, you're probably thinking, "Duh, if you're good enough, you could just make off with all the gold in the vault," and while that does break the economy, it's only for a while. What I'm referring to are the vending machines you find throughout DLC. All throughout the villa, you find holotapes that unlock new items that the vending machines sell. The reasoning was that these would be special emergency items the staff could access but normal patrons couldn't, stuff like heavy duty chems and stimpaks or even ammunition. In the police station alone, lies the holotapes for .357 magnum and .308 rounds. Suffice to say, if you play the game right, you never run out of ammo for the BAR or the police pistol. That's just the thing though. You never run out of ammo or chems, even after the DLC.
During the final act of Dead Money, you're in the Sierra Madre and have to look for your companions and deal with them properly. Before that, though, you need to turn on the power to the Casino itself since it shut down when you triggered the gala event to open it up. When you turn on the power, you find that the Casino's gambling subroutines are still operational, and if you have a decent number of Sierra Madre chips, you can gamble away at any of the tables much like you would at any of the casinos on the Strip, and then just turn your winnings in to the cashier who will give you pre-war money in exchange, which is highly valuable. However, when you reach a certain jackpot limit and get banned from playing at the Sierra Madre, one of the prizes you win is the voucher for a free 1000 chips that you can redeem at any vending machine. This voucher is what breaks the economy, not the gold, and not even the ass ton of pre-war money you can get.
After completing Dead Money and leaving the Sierra Madre, you end up back in the bunker from which you initiated the DLC to begin with. Down the hall and to the right, you find Elijah's quarters, as well as a drop box. Inside his quarters is a vending machine from the Sierra Madre, and inside the drop box is the voucher. If you look on the terminal to your left, it explains that the Sierra Madre is transferring your winnings to the drop box every three days. So that means every three days, another voucher for 1000 chips. If you found any of the holotapes during Dead Money, you can just cash in these chips on ammunition or chems and then sell these chems. It'll be an infinite supply of chems and caps. You could potentially rake in more caps than you would if you sold off all the gold and prewar money.
This calls into question whether this was intended or not. I think the devs didn't intend for this to happen. I think it was supposed to only give you enough vouchers to match how many chips you won in the casino, essentially doubling your total winnings, but instead it gives you an infinite supply of chems and ammo that you can sell to all kinds of merchants. Even more, you never were supposed take all of the gold in the final act of Dead Money, however it's certainly possible if your skilled enough; heck if you're really good, you don't even need a stealth boy to do it. So what ends up happening is that caps become ludicrously easy to rake in. You can just use vouchers that spawn every three days to buy up ammo, chems, weapon repair kits even, and just sell them to other vendors for infinite money.
It's just something that's been on my mind for a the past few days now.