Non-pony stuff today. I’ve been playing a bunch of Fallout 4 as of writing this. Most likely I’ll still be at least poking around in it when this goes live a few days later. Was going to put some of this stuff in the intro spots for pony story posts, but when I got down one paragraph and still kept going I realized that it’ll make a fine short post all by itself and give me a day’s worth of content for the blog. Win-win situation.
I’m still enjoying the game. Had to restart due to messing up the main quest with a console command trying to fix something, plus just wanted to start over with a different set of SPECIAL stats now that I knew what kind of character I wanted to play and what perks I wanted. Not that it matters a whole lot in the big picture, since the only real decision for 9/10ths of the game is stealth or violence and at least half of those times it comes down to violence to finish a quest anyway. Still, wanted to play a character who could take apart and build everything. Getting the stats spread for that was a little tricky.
Oh, and I finally figured out what the heck is going on with building settlements and quite enjoying it. For the most part anyway. The placement of structures and stuff is wonky in places. Still, settling places, getting settlers supplies of food and water, setting up trade caravans so I can use my supplies everywhere. All good. Got to build a good amount of infrastructure for my junk hording and power armor maintenance supply requirements. If I put in a little more effort to really grow all my settlements and get lots of settlers I bet I could stop scavenging for supplies almost entirely. But where’s the fun in that?
Also, I think the junk/crafting system in this game is really good. Well, maybe not the crafting system itself. That could probably use a bit of work. The scavenging junk part however is probably the best version of this sort of thing I’ve come across. Basically, for crafting you need stuff like steel, rubber, plastic, etc. Which you mostly find by getting junk and breaking it down for it’s component parts. Which are listed when you are looking at them to pick them up. In the looting/inventory screen I mean. This means that all the junk that you find in boxes, on tables, where ever else, is useful. It rewards the urge to grab everything that’s not nailed down that most video game rpgs have trained players. You never find anything that’s totally useless. Yet it’s not actually all that efficient to just grab everything. Some components are more common than others. I’m pretty late in the game and at the moment I’m actually pretty choosy with what bits of junk I pick up because I’m constantly running low on just a few things I need. Mostly adhesive and aluminum. Forget weapons or caps, in the wasteland the most valuable thing turns out to be glue! At least if you like building and modding weapons and armor.
Not that the game is perfect. In grand Bethesda tradition it’s incredibly rough around the edges and the writing is basically cruddy. So far I’ve got two main complains about the game. One reasonable and one not so much. The not so reasonable one is that watching how the game trailers before the release played up the power armor in the garage, I was really looking forward to that being either the main quest or one of the major side quests. Finding a broken suit of power armor and scavenging and repairing it to full working condition. Finding a part here, a part there, that sort of thing. Nope. You just get a full suit of power armor pretty much first thing in the game. Sure it’s got power limitations, but that’s just a matter of using it when you have the batteries for it and after a while that isn’t even a concern. However I can’t really blame Bethesda for not giving me the game I was imagining in my head.
The reasonable complaint is about the main quest. It really, really sucks in a game like this. Basically the bad guy kills your wife/husband and steals your baby. Then you have to track them down for revenge and/or rescue the kid. It’s not all that good on it’s own, but in a linear game it could work. Push a sense of urgency on the player and what have you. In a open world exploration game like Fallout 4? It is just terrible. The main quest has this urgency to it, and the entire gameworld is designed to be meandered through and explored and filled with side quests. With this character I’ve spent literally months (in-game) building and protecting and improving a network of two dozen settlements. I’ve done quests all over the place. I’ve explored like one-half or two-thirds of the map. Basically just seeing the sights and helping people in need. I haven’t even gotten as far in the main quest as I did in the first game. However every time I have a dialogue exchange with someone during the main plot, all my choices are desperate mother looking for her child. Which is mostly the fault of the decision to give the protagonist a voice. Without the voiced dialogue it would be so much easier to ignore. Anyway, having a forced desperate hunt for your son really sucks as the main quest for a game that’s all about exploration.
In Fallout 1 and Fallout 3 the main quest was important and in Fallout 1 it did have something of a time component. Yet it lacked the same level of urgency forced on you. In both of them the main quest was there to provide motivation and a general direction, but in both cases it didn’t feel horribly contrary to just wander around for a while checking the world out. Heck, in both of them the exploration was basically built into the main quest as a side-element. In Fallout 1 it was about finding a piece of rare tech, surviving and discovering dangers as you tried to figure out where something suitable could be found. Had a time limit of three months I think? Which is important, but not baby kidnapping urgent. While Fallout 3, the main quest was all about figuring out the mystery of what was going on. I don’t think there was any time limit at all. Now in Fallout 4 there isn’t a time limit, but every single line of dialogue just shoves it your face.
Wow, guess I had more to rant about on that point than I expected. These things always seem shorter and less verbose as thoughts in my head. Anyway, on to minor stuff. Already using some mods and I’m looking forward to a few years down the line when Bethesda releases the actual modding tools and the community really gets up and running. I’ve got about 300 mods on my Skyrim game and only stopped there because of hard limits in the game itself. I can easily see putting that many or more mods into Fallout 4 to make it a utterly incredible game. It really does have the potential to be absolutely incredible if all the rough edges could be expanded on and polished up.
It is interesting to imagine what kind of story Fallout Equestria would be if this game was the basis for it instead of Fallout 3. The main plot doesn’t matter so much. Fallout Equestria pretty much ignored the main plot of the game in that one. Really, the basic world setting is what Fallout Equestria used but there are still little connections here and there. Mostly I’m thinking of the settlement sub-systems and the idea of a advanced tech scifi villain that builds robots as the main bad guy. I mean Littlepip already was basically doing the settlement thing with helping communities connect and trade and stuff. Basically what most of us want to do in a open world game like that. It just would be interesting to see what changes having that as a core part of the game would have had. I mean there is a little sub-plot in Fallout Equestria of the main characters building a home for themselves in a small town that they helped out, the citizens moved someplace safer but our main characters moved in and spent some time fixing up the place. Then they pretty much forget about it when the big events start kicking off. I think it would have remained a big part of the story if Fallout 4 was the basis. Mostly because I myself pretty much started working on the settlement stuff because I found a spot that I wanted to make a little home base for myself.
Anyway, fun to ponder but ultimately useless. So time for pictures of my character’s efforts in building a new home for herself in the wasteland: Should be able to click on the pictures for larger versions if you want a bit more detail.
Here we have a few pictures of the area before. Not my screenshots, so had to go with the best I could find. Which also showed me the amazing places other people are building which make mine look kinda wimpy. Anyway, here are three before shots of the ruined Starlight Drive-In.
The place is still a work in progress. I don’t have the resources to put in proper electrical systems to keep the whole place lit up properly and the layout is a bit random. I think it’s a good start though. Got some shops, got my main work area, my power armor racks, places for everyone to sleep, food and water for everyone, and good defenses. Including that artillery cannon in the background. I just wish building stuff on uneven ground wasn’t so annoying or I’d be putting in better walls around the place and bigger buildings.
And here is my power armor collection. I’m trying to get full sets of various types. I had a picture of the four I had when I first typed this up, but then I found two more frames and a new set of armor. So now my collection is, from left to right, the T-45 that I’ve been doing most of my adventuring in. A incomplete T-60 set that I’ll be using when I’ve got it fully put together and modded. A suit of raider power armor. A incompletely suit of X-01 armor that I’ll probably use if I ever get it completed and upgraded. Brotherhood of Steel suit I got off a dead knight when I found one of their battles. Lastly, a suit of Atom Cat’s armor from the hot rod power armor place I just discovered. It’s got flames painted on it.