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Tacitus Watching Troy Burn from year 2016-IV
Apr 15th 2019 at 7:17:06 PM

Nonono, the save's playtime is over 72 days hours (sheesh, time is hard) total. I've been playing this character on and off for the past two months.

I'm in the habit of picking up a companion, taking a mod to remove the cooldown on Affinity, romping with them until I get their perk, and then retiring them, usually to Sanctuary Hills. Piper and Nick go back to their workplaces in Diamond City, Deacon remains with the Railroad, while back in Sanctuary, Curie manages a hospital, Cait runs a bar, Preston patrols the riverbank, MacCready has his own sniper tower, and Ada runs the supply line to Red Rocket so I don't have to listen to her too often. Strong... well, he's at the Castle allegedly helping with the defense, in practice standing in the middle of the courtyard, whining. And Danse is currently dead of a heart attack from seeing his boss' head explode while trying to murder him.

The problem with this approach is that it greatly impacts my questing in that I put off doing certain things so I'll have the right companion with me to maximize Affinity gain. Like not getting Mama Murphy off her chems or handling Trudy's diner until I've got Cait, ignoring Covenant until I have Deacon or Valentine with me, or not going to the Slog without Curie. Which makes things repetitive on subsequent playthroughs.

Also, Companions suck on Survival mode. They blow stealth all the time even with an improved companions mod, their damage is even more gimped than the player's, and I've seen mighty Strong get his ass handed to him by a bog-standard Feral Ghoul.

Edited by Tacitus on Apr 16th 2019 at 9:50:15 AM

Current Earworm: "For the King"
Journeyman Overlording the Underworld from On a throne in a vault overlooking the Wasteland
Overlording the Underworld
Apr 16th 2019 at 12:33:15 PM

For companions I stick with Dogmeat (I can use Lone Wanderer and the dog perks with him) or Cait (I love redheads.) for companions. If I mod, I'm either rolling with everyone or I'm grabbing the Nora survives mod and making her a redhead while I roll out as Nathaniel.

blkwhtrbbt The Dragon of the Eastern Sea from Doesn't take orders from Vladimir Putin Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
The Dragon of the Eastern Sea
Apr 16th 2019 at 1:11:51 PM

... that still means you leveled up once per hour. That's amazing! I can't level up over the course of three play sessions anymore

Say to the others who did not follow through You're still our brothers, and we will fight for you
Apr 16th 2019 at 1:29:52 PM

I've never gotten that high a level, and the best I ever did in a single playthrough required idiot Savant spamming.

Tacitus Watching Troy Burn from year 2016-IV
Apr 16th 2019 at 1:55:32 PM

Well, it's Survival Mode, so I'm constantly cooking food on top of the normal armor and weapon crafting, so that's some additional XP. I'm also walking a lot, discovering locations, and since I got "Gift of Gab" from Piper early on, there's some bonus XP. Those locations have enemies in them, which are dealt with efficiently via silenced headshots or shankings, quick XP. I've built up nearly every settlement, so all those shacks and beds and cat posters and mutfruit add up to a lot of XP. Built an army of Sentry Bots to use as provisioners, tons of XP from that. Sometimes I'll hear one of them blow apart some enemies in the background and get XP from it, even though the bot isn't officially my companion. Max Charisma character build to pass Speech checks, "Gift of Gab" again, bonus XP. Max lockpicking and hacking to get into places, more XP. And sometimes I get to turn in a quest for XP too.

Honestly, I miss Skyrim's leveling system, when you only leveled-up from improving a skill. Here I'm fighting the same way, using the same gear, but getting force-fed experience points and having to fight an increasing number of bullet-sponge enemies.

Current Earworm: "For the King"
Apr 16th 2019 at 2:49:22 PM

For companions, I tried to go with ones who were thematically suited to what I was doing. If I was marching out to go heroing, Id go with Preston. If I was searching and investigating and such, Piper. If I was going along the main plot line or doing something that felt noir enough, Nick. And so on.

"The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy, paraphrasing Mark Twain.
Unsung it's a living from a tenement of clay
it's a living
Apr 17th 2019 at 2:06:53 PM

So I finally got around to picking this one up again, about a month ago. Claimed the Castle, helped the Railroad, beat the game. Haven't really had much to say up until now. Most of the dialogue was, as Tacitus mentioned, a bit of a slog, but I liked having Nick and Deacon around to snark every once in a while. They're a step above Bethesda's usual companions, but like everything in the game, hamstrung by the dialogue wheel.

What surprised me a little was that, less so than being limited to only four choices, it's the fact that those choices are pretty much only ever reactions. It makes the Sole Survivor feel very passive. And the voice acting doesn't help (at least for the male Survivor, only done the one playthrough) — it's not badly acted per se, but that bland pleasantness at all times made it hard to really get into character, so to speak.

Then again, while I do like the companions in New Vegas, there's an opposite and yet somewhat similar feeling with them, that they're just along for the ride and that they lack stakes. I know that that's kind of the point, but it does make it hard to get attached.

But I digress. The reason for all this was to try out Far Harbor, and wow, yeah. It really is a much better game. You can actually ask questions, and resolve quests in very different ways, and the factions change drastically based on your decisions. The ideas of identity and memory that are brought up with DiMa, and faith and community and fanaticism with the Children and the Harbor proper, it's hard not to feel some Obsidian influence there. There's also a greater feeling of interconnected lore through all the terminals and audiologs spread throughout the Island, where in the Commonwealth I often had that sense of genericism I had in Fallout 3/Oblivion, where while there was a lot of stuff, some of which was pretty interesting, none of it seemed all that cohesive.

DiMa was a great character, in the sense that I really torn with how to deal with him in the end, in a way I definitely didn't with Father or the Institute. I do wish they hadn't felt the need to give him a crime as clear-cut as actual murder to atone for — mind-wiping a synth and replacing a human would have been enough, based on what Acadia's ideals are supposed to be, and merely having the ability to destroy both the Nucleus and Far Harbor could have easily been crime enough for either one to march on the synth — possibly even a (decidedly not very nice) way of letting them put aside their differences. Hell, maybe you could have even gone out and tracked down the actual Avery, and tried to bring her back, and that could have been a fascinating dialogue-based final confrontation.

I ended up reloading so I could try both, but I did really like the level of compromise that either decision requires — the way it adds depth to the outcome of the main game, by actually letting you examine certain choices that are forced upon you with no real third option possible.

Edited by Unsung on Apr 17th 2019 at 3:10:34 AM

Tacitus Watching Troy Burn from year 2016-IV
Apr 22nd 2019 at 9:55:45 PM

So on the one hand, going through Far Harbor on Survival is a decent challenge. Lots of water to wade through and catch infections from, poor visibility so things can easily ambush you - the night vision goggles I got from a mod were near useless, the fog made it all a blur of white and green, so most of my nighttime exploring was tinted red from infravision. The constant radiation exposure takes its toll even with improved armor, and it took me a while to gather enough fiber optics to build one of those decontaminator arches. And I actually got one-shot by a Dusky Yao Guai, that was surprising.

But oh, the crashes from all that fog. The nail-biting tension as the seconds tick by and I wonder whether the game has gone still because it takes up to a minute to process a save or quicksave depending on local conditions, or because it's locked up entirely. The frustration of making the initial run up to Arcadia six times because the game crashed every time I tried to save at the top of the mountain, even indoors. The tedium of the DiMA memories, combining puzzles that weren't great the first time around with the game's clunky Workshop controls. And the rage that comes from running circles in the fog trying to hunt Shipbreaker, getting the radio signal strength up to 99.07%, but not catching sight of anything but a completely unrelated Fog Crawler. He's either invisible and intangible, or the Pip-Boy is lying to me.

The Nuka-World Raider Jamboree is going to be cathartic, I can already tell.

Current Earworm: "For the King"
Dhiruxide Suicidal Squirrel from Somewhere and nowhere
Suicidal Squirrel
May 8th 2019 at 5:27:39 PM

One thing... if I bother with Fallout 4 is to do a thing I used to do in Fallout 3 9 years ago:

Give myself near infinite mines, arrange a long line of mines with enough distance from each other so they don't all explode at once and cause a chain reaction. It was one of the last things I did in Fallout 3 before I gave up. Like lighting a fuse and watch it burn sort of thing, except it explodes instantly.

Anyway, is Fallout 4 on its own a good game or is it a case of needing mods to make it into a "proper" experience? I am serious about laying mines and causing chain reaction with them tho.

Edited by Dhiruxide on May 8th 2019 at 2:30:17 PM

Tacitus Watching Troy Burn from year 2016-IV
May 8th 2019 at 9:33:25 PM

Anime mod

Yeah, I had a good cackle when I saw that on the Nexus. The cutesy samefaces combined with tacticool military gear in some of the screenshots made it look eerily like RWBY.

Anyway, is Fallout 4 on its own a good game or is it a case of needing mods to make it into a "proper" experience?

The core gameplay cycle of exploring the world, finding a new location, clearing it of enemies, stripping it of loot, and taking that loot back to a base to be used in crafting or settlement building, is very strong, if that sort of thing appeals to you. The combat is much-improved compared to Fallout 3 or New Vegas, if not as good as that in a dedicated action shooter. As a role-playing game trying to tell a story, it is a dismal failure made all the more jarring by the success of its immediate predecessor. And of course it's a Bethesda title, an unstable pile of bugs that they can't be bothered to fix (but boy do they have some new Pip-Boy skins to sell you!)

If this sounds appealing, mods can certainly enhance your Fallout 4 experience by adding options when it comes to settlements, weapon and wasteland fashion, and trying to fix the worst of the game's bugs. If this doesn't sound appealing, mods aren't going to salvage the game. At least until something comes along that completely rewrites the main quest, silences the player character, adds the previous games' skill and perk system, and integrates that system in how the player character interacts with the world.

Also, "throw mine/grenade" and "pistol whip" share the same button for some idiotic reason.

Current Earworm: "For the King"
M84 'Til all are one from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
'Til all are one
May 8th 2019 at 9:35:32 PM

So does anyone else think that Fallout 5 or whatever should use Edwin Starr's "War" as a theme for the trailer?

I always kind of figured that song was perfect for Fallout.

Edited by M84 on May 9th 2019 at 12:35:58 AM

Disgusted, but not surprised
Journeyman Overlording the Underworld from On a throne in a vault overlooking the Wasteland
Overlording the Underworld
May 9th 2019 at 6:01:43 AM

FO 4 is basically Skyrim with guns. Which isn't bad in itself. The story's utter rubbish, unfortunately, but that shouldn't be a surprise for anyone who played 3. It's basically that story with the roles reversed. The male character definitely doesn't show the right emotions. He's got rage issues at points, and sounds a bit sad at others, but it's not consistent enough to sell me on "I just lost my entire world." He jumps right into other peoples' problems way too easily, and if you pick certain dialogue options the grief is just barely there.

I haven't played enough with Nora to really get a feel for her being better. In late June I'm going to start recording a roleplay run of Nate and inject a little humanity into him with my in-character commentary.

May 9th 2019 at 7:57:49 AM

I do feel like Nora is better, but you still have to be careful about roleplaying to keep your responses consistent or she sounds like she's bouncing between emotions at random. And even in the best case scenario the game just doesn't get you invested in Shawn enough.

blkwhtrbbt The Dragon of the Eastern Sea from Doesn't take orders from Vladimir Putin Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
The Dragon of the Eastern Sea
May 9th 2019 at 8:24:54 AM

Find crafting overhaul mods. AWKCR is essential in my opinion. Grab an ammo crafting mod to so you can make ammo at works instead of in a ammo plant. Because crafting at a workbench lets you use crafting material from any other settlement you have couriers sent to, whereas the manufacturing plant can only use materials you have with you on site.

Say to the others who did not follow through You're still our brothers, and we will fight for you
Dhiruxide Suicidal Squirrel from Somewhere and nowhere
Suicidal Squirrel
May 9th 2019 at 8:56:42 AM

Actually I love guns and shooty shooty gunplay in games so... whether it is Doom and other old school FP Ses or S.t.a.l.k.e.r. with its realistic ballistics, im down.

I like fanmade expansion dlc mods the most. Any ambitious mods like that for Fallout 4? I'll grab the essential improvement mods too, just not graphical ones coz my pc is a bit potatoish. I have zero interest in these lame fanservice mods.

blkwhtrbbt The Dragon of the Eastern Sea from Doesn't take orders from Vladimir Putin Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
The Dragon of the Eastern Sea
May 9th 2019 at 9:00:14 AM

The actual story DLC are actually really really good. Far Harbor is actually basically if you distilled the themes of the main game and made a good game out of them. I ranted about it previously.

Edited by blkwhtrbbt on May 9th 2019 at 11:03:54 AM

Say to the others who did not follow through You're still our brothers, and we will fight for you
Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
May 9th 2019 at 9:02:37 AM

In my opinion, Fallout 4 is a considerable improvement over Fallout 3...but not necessarily over New Vegas. General thoughts:

-The biggest mistake the game makes is its dialogue wheel, perhaps necessitated by the voiced protagonist. The dialogue wheel limits the player to four dialogue choices and therefore severely limits player freedom. They should have kept the protagonist silent and kept the old dialogue system.

-The gunplay is vastly improved and totally awesome.

-Crafting is really great in this game, and really adds to the post-apocalyptic scavenger world feel. Plus, it replaces weapon durability, something I loathe in just about any game.

-The Sole Survivor's backstory is my favorite for any Fallout Protagonist.

-You can date a french robot girl.

-The game has even grayer morality than even Fallout New Vegas. This has ups and downs. On the plus side, it means you can plausibly be at least a semi-good guy for any faction. However, it also means there's no faction that you can really Love to Hate-there's no faction as unlikable as The Enclave or The Legion.

-Using perks instead of skillpoints was a terrible idea.

-The game uses radiant quests as a bit of a crutch.

-Settlement crafting mechanics are potentially very interesting, and again something I think really adds to the post-apocalytpia of the game. The issue though is that many settlements don't have much to offer until you build things there.

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
Dhiruxide Suicidal Squirrel from Somewhere and nowhere
Suicidal Squirrel
May 9th 2019 at 9:06:50 AM

I have a general question and I apologize for my ignorance because last Fallout game I played was New Vegas 8 years ago (so, so much blast with it. Exploring creepy vaults was my favorite activity) but why is Fallout so US-centric? Any Fallout mod set in Europe or Asia for example?

Do land mines still explode when shot at in 4? I need to replicate my line of explosions [lol]

May 9th 2019 at 9:15:58 AM

[up] Early installments were less "Americana" and had a wider view - the Japanese featured a bit more in F2. They played up the Alt-History avenue of an America that re-embraced Conservative values and a different technological timeline. That was it's originating point.

The later games doubled down on the Americana side, exploring how society could recover and how the "Old World" is remembered. Exploring the ideas of old world values and the strangely more liberal ideas being found in the ruins of the world (Fallout 3 had the Enclave, the old world fascist government, coming back AGAIN for another go; New Vegas was how the world was recovering, but they were repeating the mistakes of the older governments)

And Fallout 4 is more showing how they haven't all learned as much as they could have.

America is the focus because, over the years, that's the place that has had the most "lore" focus - and the companies who made the games are US based, so satirizing their own culture was probably easier. Also, the US is huge, not QUITE so monolithic (Each state has differences obvi!) and has a culture of gun ownership, so weapons would be easier to explain.

Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
May 9th 2019 at 9:26:27 AM

With Fallout, it's essentially about America. Its concept is essentially an extrapolation of early US Cold War culture where people really were trying to build things like vaults. Similarly, the technology is borrowed heavily from that era's seemingly science fiction.

A lot of the tone of Fallout is, in fact, set by the contrast of these two concepts. You had this stepford society talking about a Jetsons-esque future, while preparing for the apocalypse. Much of this social commentary is still relevant to modern American culture, even if Fallout brings it to somewhat ridiculous levels.

Also, as pointed out, America is a great place for a post-apocalyptic setting. It's geographically huge and diverse. It's also has a lot of internal cultural diversity. And also has a lot of gun ownership and the like which means you can easily have armies rising up out of the ashes. It's a nation with a lot of doomsday preppers, plain and simple.

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
Dhiruxide Suicidal Squirrel from Somewhere and nowhere
Suicidal Squirrel
May 9th 2019 at 9:33:12 AM

What about S.t.a.l.k.e.r. ? Its set exclusively in Ukraine and you have so many, many guns. Like NATO rifles! Or Metro series?

Speaking of it, I wonder if theres a mod, a crossover mod or something... youtubing it I found this:

like this... eh.

Some might say Metro would fit better and I dont disagree but never played it. I had so much fun with Shadow Of Chernobyl back in the day. My uncle used to play them all lots

Edited by Dhiruxide on May 9th 2019 at 6:33:43 PM

May 9th 2019 at 1:48:08 PM

Huh, Fallout 4's story is a weird mishmash of 3's and New Vegas isn't it. 3 and 4 are both about leaving a Vault to find your missing family member, then eventually helping them complete a massive science project to aid the residents of their living area. 4 and New Vegas motivate the protagonist by having a visible antagonist take something valuable to them, have the protagonist follow an intended plotline to reach and deal with said antagonist, then eventually recovered what was stolen from you. Or you can abandon that idea to join up with the various factions you met and help them take over the residential area.

The main difference is that Adult Shawn plays the roles of James and the Platinum Chip, meaning that the Fallout 3 plot can only continue if you side with The Institute, which is fitting because the Platinum Chip side of his character only matters for the same reason.

Tacitus Watching Troy Burn from year 2016-IV
May 9th 2019 at 1:51:51 PM

Another obstacle to trying to do a Fallout game outside of the nuked US is that you'd lose a lot of the set dressing as well. No Vaults, since the Vault Program was a social experiment run by the future Enclave. You might be able to justify having iconic robots like Protectrons and Mr. Handys overseas due to international commerce, but it'd be just as likely to see completely new local competition. And it'd be even harder to excuse the series' FEV products, Super Mutants and Ghouls and the like, appearing thousands of miles from West Tek labs.

There's still narrative possibilities, of course: working out what the Resource Wars did the Europe even before the bombs fell, the big question of how Soviet/Russian history unfolded to make China the US' main adversary, how China prepared for armageddon and whether those preparations worked as badly as America's. And if you knew a lot about a host country's Cold War culture and technological aesthetics, you could at least capture the spirit of the setting. But the results wouldn't be "Fallout 4 but everyone has a Russian accent" or "New Vegas set in Australia," they'd be more Fallout-adjacent, spin-offs set in the main continuity but quite different from the main series.

And if you did want to have a Fallout story set outside America, but still have something like Vaults, and Super Mutants, and Zeerust robots, and anti-communist hysteria... why bother setting it outside America, then?

Do land mines still explode when shot at in 4? I need to replicate my line of explosions

I have 1126 hours in Fallout 4 and I have no idea. I know you can target mines in VATS if you aren't too close to them, so I assume you can pop them with bullets. Problem is, the way they combined perks and skills means that leveling up Sneak eventually keeps you from setting off traps, so after that point you just sort of stop noticing land mines. Unless your companion steps on one.

Current Earworm: "For the King"
Dirtyblue929 Armchair Developer from A Very Deep Hole Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Armchair Developer
May 9th 2019 at 2:06:05 PM

With the discussion of a Fallout game set outside the US, I feel the urge to bring up an idea I had for solving the problems associated with it — have it set in a US-occupied country.

Think about it — having it set in a country that had been reduced to a US puppet state would allow you to keep a lot of the Americana in the form of propaganda and such while still exploring a different culture through the lens of 50's retrofuturism. Heck, you could even have one of the major factions be The Remnant of the US occupation force, perhaps having Gone Native and/or mythologized their homeland.

As for candidates, there's annexed Canada for the "not too different" approach, but you've also got Mexico (IIRC the Fallout Bible had it occupied War on Terror-style to protect oil interests), Japan, maybe Korea... Lots of options, really.

Edited by Dirtyblue929 on May 9th 2019 at 2:06:45 AM

"Oh no, I'm not brave enough for politics."

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