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About this mod

Overhaul of New Vegas's raider factions, balancing their loot and adding more of them to fight.

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Mojave Raiders
Requirements:
Gun Runners' Arsenal



Description

Mojave Raiders is part-two in my trilogy of mods for populating the Mojave wastes; and, as you can see, I'm as imaginative as ever with the naming. Unlike Mojave Wildlife, this mod is more of an overhaul of New Vegas's rather lacklustre raider-types, fixing what I consider to be one of the major unsolved balance and progression issues the game still has. As well as, y'know, just adding more bad guys for you to kill n' stuff.

Raiders in New Vegas were done rather poorly in my opinion. Firstly, have you ever read some of the lore regarding the Vipers or Jackals? They're meant to be spear-wielding tribals with an aptitude for poisons and the like, but New Vegas reduces them to typical gun-toting outlaws AND even dresses them in standard wastelander attire, making them look more like your average Freeside street thug than legendary tribesmen (sorry, Justin, I meant 'people'). Also, Obsidian clearly planned to develop the two raider gangs more than they did (the same can be said for much of New Vegas), as their weapon and armour leveled lists contain many items which have level requirements higher than the maximum levels of any raiders you can encounter, hence they never appear in-game. This explains the relatively small pool of weapons they have in vanilla, which is a shame since killing and looting raiders is likely how you obtain most of your equipment, especially early-game, and so would have been a great way to introduce the player to New Vegas's expanded arsenal as they level up and progress through the equipment tiers. This leads me on to my next major gripe. Raiders are easy fodder—they're meant to be—but this also means they're a really easy source of items. In vanilla, Vipers, Jackals, and Powder Gangers have quite a plethora of loot: they each have a chance of food, drinks, chems, and clutter—and these are all common drops too. This is one of the reasons, I realised, why the player accumulates so much of these items by the time they reach Novac, and it really hurts the early game balance. It seems Joshua Sawyer realised this too, which prompted him to remove all food, drinks, and chems from Powder Gangers in his mod. I noticed this when working on JSawyer Ultimate Edition, and I'm guessing he took one look at the other raiders, saw how many there was to edit, and was like "Nope!". Fiends and Great Khans (they're technically raiders too) don't suffer from this loot problem; they use the same system as Fallout 3, where raiders rarely drop a 'death item' and carry an uncommon 'raider loot' item, which can be caps, clutter, chems, food, extra ammo, etc and provides enough variety whilst keeping stuff more balanced. Funnily enough, some of the other raiders ALSO have these, which exacerbated the loot issue. Lastly, my final issue with raiders is that there's too damn few of them.

With the above in mind (you are still here, right? that got longer than I expected) this mod makes several sweeping changes to raider factions, those being Vipers, Jackals, Fiends, Powder Gangers, Great Khans, and a few other miscellaneous thuggish types. The aims are to add more raiders to encounter, whilst fixing and preserving game balance. The changes are as follows:

  • More Raiders: Raider-inhabited locations have received a bolstered population, some previously empty primary and secondary locations are now home to some new raider spawns (check out the Mountains Shadows Campground, for instance), and there are many more raiders hoping to pry on travellers at strategic locations along the Mojave highways. West Vegas, particularly, is now teeming with Fiends, so pack some firepower if you intend going to Vault 3 anytime soon. The remaining placements are either Vipers or Jackals, as appropriate, and are mainly in the south, east, or north of the Mojave as in vanilla. Bonnie Springs is also much more populated now, and I've fully restored the cut Cazador takeover that was intended to occur after you cleared the place (Uncut Wasteland also does this—I recommend loading Mojave Raiders after it). In addition, I've set many non-respawning raiders to respawn if it was safe to do so, meaning that many areas now repopulate that didn't previously. Finally, I've added a Helgen-style raider takeover of Nipton, which occurs several days after the player passes though and learns of its demise. This represents the opportunistic, looter aspect of raiders, and it adds a cool gang base to fight your way through.

  • Raider Re-armament: Vipers and Jackals now wear standard 'Raider' armours (Painspike, Sadist, etc). Whilst it doesn't quite do their tribal nature justice, it hits closer to the mark than their vanilla getup. It also allows the player to access these items earlier in the game, where they might actually have a use for them (especially with the JSawyer mod's buffs). ALL raider factions have had their weapons either partly or fully rejigged. For starters, raiders now use raider-specific weapon condition leveled lists, meaning weapons you find on them are generally in poor condition. I also saw this as a great oppertunity to equilibrate New Vegas's weapon progression, and distribute some of the weapons that were previously really rare. Level-wise, raider gangs roughly fall into four tiers, these being (from Tier 1 to 4) Jackals/Powder Gangers/Convicts/Thugs, Vipers, Fiends, and Great Khans. These same tiers were used for equipment distibution, with "Leader"- or "Boss"- type raiders being one tier higher than their respective gang members. I consider Tier 4-5 to be occupied by high-level Whitelegs and Marked Men from the DLCs, who can sometimes carry stuff like Anti-Materiel Rifles and Riot Shotguns (I haven't edited these). I've tried to give a good variety of Guns, Energy Weapons, Melee, Unarmed, and Explosives—even a few heavy weapons (Flamers and Miniguns)—but all appropriated weighted. For instance, Guns are the most common ranged weapons still, and Melee and Unarmed are still very common. Heavy inspiration was taken from the Fallout 3 raider weapon lists, which got the balance right in my opinion (actually, Bethesda seem to do leveled lists really well, shame about their world- and story- building *cough*Fallout 4*cough*). And, speaking of Explosives, the amount of Dynamite on Powder Gangers and Convicts has been lowered to more appropriate levels (but still higher than other NPC grenade loot) to prevent the wealth of it you'd recieve for simply looting the Primm Convicts.

  • Redone Raider Loot: Following Sawyer's lead, Vipers and Jackals have recieved the Powder Ganger treatment and have had all their additional chem, food, and drink loot removed. I've converted every member of all three of these factions to use the 'death item' and 'raider loot' system used by Fiends, so they still drop chems, food, etc but at rates much better for game balance. The same goes for a few other thuggish raider types. I've also covered some Fiends and Great Khans which were erroneously missing either the 'death item' or 'raider loot' entries (at last check YUP didn't fix these), and I've changed Great Khans slightly to use their own unique varients of these lists, which contain more tribal-like food and chems, like animal steaks or Healing Powder, to reflect their nomadic nature. Lastly, raiders now have a chance of dropping either NCR or legion currency in place of their standard caps. The values are roughly the same, and caps are by far still the most common currency. This is just meant to add some variety and represent some loot the raiders may have taken from passing travellers (or recieved as payment from some dodgy faction dealings), and gets some more use out of the currency system.

  • Scorpions Gang Makeover: The Scorpions Gang in vanilla is a somewhat pointless faction that only inhabits the Monte Carlo Suites south of Westside, and has little relevance aside from that. They're basically a rehash of the Vipers and Jackals, except they have two named bosses: Roller and Yvette. I thought this was pretty lame, all considering, so I gave them a full makeover to something I think more fits the New Vegas atmosphere. I'll leave it for you to find out more. I haven't added much else for this faction besides the new outfits and names, but I may consider expanding their presence into the surrounding region in future versions.



Installation

This mod requires:
  • Gun Runners' Arsenal


Download and install to your data folder the standard way. Due to this mod's rather extensive changes, load it as low down as possible (especially after JSawyer Ultimate Edition, if you use it) to overwrite other mods' changes, and patch accordingly with FNVEdit if you want to be extra safe.

I highly recommend using Uncut Wasteland, which restores several raider spawns that were cut for no reason in the vanilla game (mostly fiends, and probably due to console performance restrictions). Load Mojave Raiders after to avoid conflicts.

There's also an optional file that you should use if you have a mod which changes the Varmint Rifle to use .22LR ammo as the devs originally intended. The file simply changes the ammo in raider Varmint Rifles lists from 5.56mm to .22LR to match.


Uninstallation

This mod can be uninstalled at any time and will have no permanent effects on your game.


Compatibility

As with all my mods, Yukichigai Unofficial Patch and Unofficial Patch Plus are compatible out-of-the box, and are highly recommended. However, this mod makes a LOT of edits, and it will conflict with any mod that also changes the same records. Therefore, it's best to check for conflicts with FNVEdit and create merged patches for major conflicts. Notably, this mod will conflict with mods that add to or change raider weapon lists; so, yes, the Project Nevada Equipment module and Weapons of the New Millenia will require a patch if you want to see their weapons appearing on raiders.

If you're following me of late you'd know I'm really busy IRL, and I honestly have no interest in PN or WotNM, so if someone else could make and share such patches that'd be grand, and I'll link to them. "It's a good exercise" as my chemical thermodynamics tutor would say. I also don't want to set the precedent that I'll be patching EVERY mod personally, especially since patching for mods I have no interest in makes modding a chore and really kills my enthusiasm for it. Apologies for that. I may get around to patches eventually, but don't hold your breath.

Regardless, making patches is really straightforward, and, as always, FNVEdit is your friend here. At its simplest, making patches for weapon distribution mods just requires adding the weapons' 'WithAmmo' lists to the raider weapons lists, which I've somewhat condensed to the generic tiers so it should actually be simpler than vanilla. An extra added wrinkle is to copy my lower-condition raider "WithAmmo" weapon list format, which essentially means making a copy of the weapon's original "WithAmmo" and "Cond" lists and lowering the possible conditions to 15%, 20%, and 25%.


My Mods

I spend a lot of time creating and supporting my mods, so any donations are gratefully received.



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