War. You all know how it goes, right?

Fallout 4

It's been a bit over a week I've spent with Fallout 4 and I've got my play time counter up to 26h, as I'm writing on a Thursday afternoon. And I started last week's Tuesday. Funnily enough at work most of the corridor-chats have been about Fallout and what we've done there. I wonder, why?

Rather unusually I didn't spend much time working on my character's face. First I thought I'd again try to do something more or less like myself, but then I started playing around and ended up somewhere else. So I got a graying slightly round-bellied rock-haired dude.

The SPECIAL points allocation was a bit different now, as they all started at 1 and there were fewer points available. I first set them all to three, except Charisma that I always keep at 1. Then I gave him some muscles, brains and a bit of catlike agility and luck to help him out. In numbers, as you can see in pic 1, I set them: S:5 P:3 E:3 C:1 I:6 A:5 L:5.

Into the new world

There wasn't anything new or interesting to say about the beginning: I started the game and left the Vault. As I was ogling at the pic 2's gate opening I remembered the same moment in Fallout 3. I thought if we'll be snickering at this scene as old-fashioned and low-detailed just the same way in less than ten years?

Because I really didn't have much choice (or I didn't feel like fooling around yet) I followed the storyline obediently. At least I replaced the vault jumpsuit with chinos and a t-shirt for a bit less dorky look. Anyway, I didn't take pics of the first quest, as everyone who wants to see it has seen it either by themselves or in the 'net.

As expected I ended immediately in front of the Museum of Freedom to murder some random Raiders. From the roof I found a crashed (well-preserved) Vertibird, an unpowered Power Armor and a minigun just waiting for myself. Of course the power cell had to be fetched from a service tunnel (there was one in the Museum's basement but I only found it accidentally two evenings ago). The Power Armor was awesome but ate its power core like a pig, so after the first mandatory fight and a quick test I just parked it away and didn't dare use it.

There was plenty to fix in the Power Armor and apparently you could modify it, as long as you unlocked the necessary modding perks first. The fun thing was that walking in that suit looked and souded as heavy as it should be. The stomping thudded, the HUD was different and even my character's chatting was as if from a loudspeaker. Small details, but they added quite a bit of mood for me.

As I said, being paranoid with the rapidly emptying power cell I parked my PA as you can see in the pic above and haven't touched it since. I guess I'll have to face my hoarder and start running around, whenever a mission requires that. But so far I've survived more or less nicely without.

In the neighbourhood

After spending two evenings on adjusting the Settlement I finally started walking beyond Concorde. In the very first corner of the street I met a wandering trader with her Brahmin and they came by Sanctuary every once in a while in the following days.

Whatever that place was supposed to be, I guess a roadside diner. While walking carelessly that way I heard some bragging around and of course I had to add my spoon in the soup. Feeling powerful or believing in my "they can't get that mad that easily" delusion I replied sarcastically to the punks and of course they started shooting at me straight away.

After a couple reloads I got them slaughtered and their corpses emptied of valuables and nonvaluables. At least the diner's lady with her junkie son offered a discount. That was better than nothing, I guess.

At this point I spent a moment looking more at the perks I'd want. The good old classic, Bloody Mess was there, of course. This time you'd get perks solely based on your SPECIAL attrs, some perks had just that one level but some had from a couple to something like five, with always increasing requirements and bonuses. Pleasantly you could still check what the later levels of any perks offer, even if you couldn't even dream of getting them yet. Oh and you could use those points in increasing the SPECIALs instead, if you felt like it.

For some sick reason I was extremely amused by the fourth and therefore highest level Bloody Mess: you hit someone so hard that they explode and whoever stands close to them may also blow up! Perfect! Still, I decided to leave all that messy amusingness for much later and I spent my points on something that was more urgently needed.

On that trip my adventures ended when I noticed a green thunderstorm in the distance. Not that rain scared me but the radioactive lightning bolts made me run like a rabbit and far, far away.

Cling, clang, tap tap tap

After my quickly terminated exploratory trip I marched back to Sanctuary, where I started tinkering a bit. My original house that I built out of prefab pieces for the demanding settlers was torn and scrapped immediately and I started all over. First I laid the floors the way I wanted and then enjoyed the ẃalls snapping on nicely to them. These walls looked better (they were less broken and more varied) and all in all building more storeys was handier.

Somehow I managed to spend a few good evenings working on this one building. Yes, this kind of stuff really appealed to a Minecraft and Factorio fan like myself. I could build generators, pull cables and who knows what else in the future. It's a crying shame that the UI is not as good as it could and should be, but I managed to build something anyway.

My three wind-powered purifiers made me plenty of free clean water

It has to be awesome to sit in the exhaust and chat away

The guard tower was in a wonderful place but none of those idiots managed to find their way there, even with handholding

Walling the work camp

We had talked about the Settlements at work quite a bit, as I mentioned before. Among other things we had thought that the only way to make sure that a Settlement would be somehow safer and easier to defend was to wall it in and have only one entrance. And of course there'd be an unhealthy amount of turrets and other neat things at the entrance.

I started my walling by first building a big gate at the edge of the bridge and then added walls towards the more dangeours-feeling direction. On the pillars of the bridge I build two of the advanced machine gun turrets to add some of the much-needed flair.

At this point I didn't feel like working more on the wall, as my entrance wasn't as awesome as I had wanted it to be and I didn't want to redo much. Not that setting those walls on a non-snapping ground was fun or anything, so I didn't feel like doing that for many hours on end.

Randomly it occurred to me that now I could offer some Jet to a weird settler, a junkie-granny, in case she'd tell me something amusing at least. Nope, it wasn't anything special. Next she wanted a special chair of her own, the normal chairs weren't good for her behind. I built her chair and she started whining for Mentats. I thought that she'd sit there and wait until I felt like dealing anything, then I built a cube for her out of picket fences so she wouldn't start ruining other people's doings while being high on Jet.


Even though my Int was halfway to the max, a coworker of mine who plays with an I:1 idiot recommended the Idiot savant perk heartily. It'd give 3x (and later 5x) XP randomly, more often the stupider the character was. I took it upon me to bump it up to at least the multiplier five, as every extra point was better than no extra points.

Then I finally started playing with the workbenches. First I modded the guns I mostly used as much as I at that point could. The handguns (10mm pistol and pipe revolver rifle) I changed to be as damage-dealing as I knew to make and then I turned my greedy gaze at my favourites, the close combat tools. I had been using a telescope baton so far, but now I noticed that I had somehow gotten into possession of a few sets of brass knuckles. Oh they joy and happiness, as I saw the option to modify them into spiked knuckles! I mean, spiked knuckles were my absolute favourites in Fallout 2 whenever Power Fists weren't available.

With light, roomy pockets and fresh-feeling toys I headed towards west, to complete a quest given by a Minuteman - or the quest given by a man from the neighbouring farm, whichever was quicker to solve. On my way I beat a bunch of stray dogs into pulp and snacks, as well as a couple of fellow Scavengers. I did approach them nicely, without any weapons held out or anything, but as soon as I got to a chatting distance they started screaming "I was here first!" and raised hell.

I proceeded at a normal pace towards a gigantic radio antenna. On the bunker's back yard there was a small fight going on between raiders and bloatflies. I decided to let them beat each other up first and then I'd just clean the rest up. Why tire myself in vain?

The bunker's basement almost ended up being a tough spot, as there were five maniacs in one room. Luckily those idiots left that room one by one so I had the time to beat each into a bloody pulp before the next one was out of the door. While beating the fourth one up in VATS (that was a panic-maintaining change, by the way, that it doesn't pause the game anymore but just slows it down) that there were sick amounts of projectiles flying through the doorway. After finishing this dude I peeked cautiosly into the next room I saw that the last one was posing with a damn minigun. Being a smart fellow I sent my stupid dog in first and while they were locked I ran in safely with my fists up.

After I had roamed around those corners and cleaned places up I went to empty my overloaded pockets in Sanctuary and headed Southwest. Pretty quickly I found the remains of a transport company's depot and the first calmly encountered Feral ghouls. Now you could shoot their limbs off like the zombies in Left 4 Dead! Shooting the arms off wasn't that exciting, but legless monsters were much easier for crowd control - and much more amusing. In small amounts, that is.

As I kept moving on more or less in the same direction I was surprised by rain. Having the weather change was very pleasant, especially as not all the rain was acid rain. Crossing a bridge I encountered some neutral Settlers. I don't know where they were going but I'm certain that they didn't end up in any of the settlements under my command.

Running headlong into problems

Somehow, after a bunch of wrong turns, I ended up in front of a police station saving a grumpy Brotherhood of Steel guy from a tidal wave of Feral ghouls. It took a few good tries before I solved the last half-dozed with a pair of well-aimed grenades. Knight Danse wasn't too friendly, but at least he was more polite than his comrade in arms. And of course he needed some help, what else?

I decided to leave these bums waiting for a moment when I felt like helping them out with their silly problems. First I took care of a Raider problem for another settlement I had encountered, in hopes of them turning more acceptive towards me. On my way I also slaughtered a gangful of Gunners from a half-collapsed highway (maybe in vain, as they had nothing to do with my quest). As I was looking at the first of them through my newly discovered sniper rifle I noticed that at long last you could hold your breath while aiming!

20% for leg dismembmerment? Yes, please!

20+h and that's all I've had the time to even pass by

Now I went to take uncle Danse with me to check out the ArcJet factory, that I had already visited without laser weapons and escaped pretty rapidly. I thought that if he's not useful for anything else, he'd at least distract and draw fire leaving me in relative peace.

Look who's talking, Sulik's soulmate...
You can imagine how I was surprised when in a room we were attacked with Terminator prototypes! I had known to expect them, thanks to a loading screen babbling about Synths, but I really didn't expect to encounter them this early on.

Of course in the middle of the ArcJet cleanup I got a notification of some serfs... I mean farmers under my protection being under attack. I left Danse wherever he happened to be and fast-traveled to Abernathy Farm to cut the raiders to ribbons. Being lazy I had never dragged my materials from one Settlement to another so I never had the resources to build any turrets here. Now I happened to be carrying a healthy load of crap so I built five and put around the top of the roof. This way they provided Security > Water + Food which should keep the attacks either completely away or less likely to happen.

That being done I returned to the factory, finished up the quest and joined the Brotherhood of Steel. As this was done yesterday evening, that's as far as I've got so far and it's not much. Maybe I'll return to the Settlement adjustment this evening or maybe I'll beg for extra quests from whoever is willing to give me any tasks. Right now I don't want to go any further with the BoS quests, as I was thanked by random Synth encounters twice on that few hundred meter long trip along the river between the ArcJet and the police station...

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