Monthly Archives: November 2015

3 days later…

Note: I had to download some pics from the web. I normally don’t do that but I’m on my laptop and all my screen shots are on my computer at home. I’ll do better next time but the images I found are similar to the in game experience so it’s not going to be markedly different other than the gear I might have had on.

The start

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All Fallout (and Wasteland) games have started somewhat similar. You’re a dude in a vault given a task or motivation to leave and you step out into the blinding site overlooked a wasteland of broken remains of the old civilization and the blight that is now and left after hundreds of years in the vault. With a few exceptions of course.

Fallout 4 starts you out just before the nuclear war starts so you can get an idea of what suburban life is like and give you a small motivation to get you started once you get that far. SPOILER: You end up watching your wife die in her cryo tube and your son taken from her.

Once in the vault you’re told you need to be decontaminated but instead you’re put in a tube of some sort and flash frozen (cryo technology). This is different from all other installments where you end up being a living member either in a vault and then leave or outside the vault in a later date.

So after a short romp inside the remains of the vault, picking up a gun and some ammo and dealing with some pesky rad roaches you’re out in the start contrast to the suburban area you ran from in the beginning.  And you’re motivated by one single thought in your mind – to find the guy who took your son and get him back.

Outside in the town you once lived in

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Your former life is located not far away from the vault itself. Here you’ll run into your former Mr. Handy Codsworth and he’ll aqaint you with the lowdown and also reminiss about what was lost. It’s clear that Bethesda have invested in actual voice acting and a little bit more meaningful dialogue compared to previous version. It’s completely voice acted, including your characters responses or questions and it feels emotional enough to be believable.

I’m not stating that it’s a brick of gold – such as with the many fleshed out characters like in Borderlands 2, but it’s a much more solid attempt to ‘humanize’ the story elements without adding too many repetitive voices with more canned responses.

Eventually you’ll end up (perhaps) saving some people stuck in a further off town that’ll resettle here and you can try out the new crafting/SIM experience tool that allows you to take a settlement and ‘improve’ it (more about that specifically in a different blog post.

Dog companion, stat

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I other versions of Fallout the dog companion was something you worked to obtain. In general it was immediate or basically automatic. I have a sneaking feeling that Bethesda wanted you to get back in familiar territory quickly instead of going through the same motions as before giving you that ‘it’s almost the same’ feeling, but repackaged and prettier. You’ll find this guy across a bridge from the town you start in by a gas station and another area you can pimp out. Just as with the first town it comes with all kind of crafting stations and a hole in the ground (if you check out the clues left behind) with your first fusion core.

Just a simple interaction with the dog will make it your first companion and a useful addition when fighting basic enemy critters, not so much against well armed raiders and death claws. One thing tho. There’s a perk that makes it more useful against armed raiders (he can grab the raiders weapon arm and hold it, making your shots easier) and I have also observed him dragging around feral Ghouls on the ground that makes it easier for you to nail them.

It’s HUUUUGE

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Another difference from previous games is that you will get your hands on a minigun and power armor not long after you meet up with dog and walks into the next town over. This is where you end up saving a bunch of people holed up in a Museum from some nasty raiders. And given the task to find a fusion core and take the power armor on the roof and the mini gun and deal with the rest of the attackers.

It is also where you get a first hand experience of a deathclaw.

First – deathclaws much like all other creatures now have more interesting attack patterns. Most of them no longer just run towards you (altho sometimes you’ll see them running logged against an object without getting too you – familiar pathing issue for Bethesda products using this engine). Mole rats will surprise attack, then run off and dig themselves into the ground and pop up elsewhere, raiders will peek out from objects and fire at you and the deathclaw like this one will bob and weave from side to side making firing at it harder. And it’s fast. And hits very hard. Even when you wear a power armor.

This adds to the game itself. Creatures don’t appear too predictable and stupid eventho they’re not perfect. And it provides a tactical element where you sorta have to think on the go and try to get the upper hand on them.

The one exception to this are feral ghouls. They’re pretty much will go right for you so they can rip you open.

Personally I like the fact that you get your hands on these things early. It gets you familiar with how things work now (power armor isn’t just something heavy you wear, it’s a portable tank armor). And I like the new power armor because it’s not just damage reduction – it’ll pretty much deflect almost all shots until one segment gets damaged enough.

It also lets you jump off buildings without taking fall damage. But there is one catch and it’s big. It runs on fusion cores which are at least in the beginning very rare. So while you have a few badass moments you won’t be walking around everywhere in power armor stomping mole rats and mongrel dogs. You’ll save it like I did for when it’s needed – like when I saved a bunch of people from a raider gang that had taken over some factory or something and you have to fight off more than a dozen of them. Having a ‘can’t hurt me now’ thing is for better words ‘useful’. Until concentrated fire blows parts of your armor off that is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Falloutlicious and Craftbigbangers

Fallout 4 is here. And while I’d love to be the guy who played Fallout 4 from the midnight launch till the wee hours and went to work with a 12 O’Clock Shadow, morning skunk mouth of coffee, mouthwash and peppermint gum, I’m’ too old for that shit’ or rather, my boss boss is visiting today.

I could conjure up le old ‘I’m so damn sick today’ but I’m already taking tomorrow off.

I did spend the early morning hour doing the intro. Which is figuring out looks, watch the early stuff and see ‘my’ son get kidnapped by a scruffy looking guy and ‘my’ wife shot. Then there was the bit about walking around scrounging the innards of the rusted out vault, pick up stuff and go ‘hmm, looks interesting’, smack some rad roaches and get the hell out of there.

Then the regular bit about covering the eyes because not having seen the sun in forever tend to do that. And of course realize that the cute 50’s looking suburban area with blushing fall trees, new houses in a row was nothing but a sun bleached wilderness and the gutted remains of the old civilization. With overturned rusted out cars and trucks and the skeletal remains of whomever got caught in the blast whenever the bomb went off.

Unlike other games in the series you’re not just a vault dweller that spent several hundreds of years in the underground. You’re not like the previous one (Fallout 3) where you began as a toddler in the vault, grew up and leave looking for your dad.

No in this vault they cryogenically freeze you and you only wake up once to see the scene of your buy getting taken from you and your wife killed. I have my suspicions that since you go back into sleep that boy is now grown up or something like that.

Anyways – I will still dip my toe in the waters of DDO just to do a raid or two, but for now I’m taking a longer break until Lam opens up – checking that out – and then until U29 drops. Plainly speaking DDO is wearing thin and Fallout 4 is an excellent excuse to immerse myself in the wastelands again.

To think I’ve played every single Fallout since the first excellent Wastelands. Every one – from the first, to tactics to the remake of Wastelands. I’ve played – AND – loved it all. So my post from now on will be mostly about Fallout 4 until Lam and u29.

The Many Faces of…

I like the Event. Moreso than any others before it. I think I made that pretty clear in my last post so there’s no reason to rehash anything. But primarily I think because unlike Crystal Cover I don’t have to depend on hirelings to perform their minimal function while I place torches and such or that the group I’m in enters at the right level without some highlevel person ruining everything before it’s too late to fix.

Plus unlike previous events this does not rely on complicated schemes for material or unlocking function. Get a key, do a challenge. Done.

But one thing that I didn’t cover last time is what class might be the best to use. In the featured Image is my Vanguard straight fighter tank. Now level 22 I think and just a hair from being able to use the Bsword from the MOTU Raid. I did make a cosmetic out of that armor (clearly not the one meant for a level 19 when the image was taken) and the hood – that one is from the event. It makes an excellent cosmetic for that setup. I definately want to get the spinaltap for cosmetic and mirror that shield – from U28. That combo makes for an excellent setup for that toon.

Anyways; as vanguard goes it’s not entirely ideal for the event. Everything is undead so while trip and stunning shield works, stunning blow won’t (unless you’re smacking shadarkai’s in the public area).

Plus the DPS isn’t the best for these type of events. Maybe in the highest level but not at level 19-22 even with a good unlocked destiny.

In previous years I’ve recommended divines and even Arti’s. Arti with the animus (or similar like the glass cannon) and a good repeater is still pretty nice. But on the higher level even with a good pumped Arti those tactical detonations and such seems not all to effective.

Divines definitely are. But high end divines comes with the negative of high resource use in order to get the most bang for the bucks, so this year since Warlock is out, I’ve been running alot of that. And it’s pretty nice.

I know – people don’t like the easy button playing, but Warlocks works nice in these events for several reasons – least of all because they got superior DPS – that’s not true at all.

First and foremost. Bursts. A good warlock running ES will have access to 2 okay bursts and either twisting in energy burst or running Draconic adds more burst options. Here most of the Warlock centric elements work just fine. Such as fire, sonic and acid. Plus if you also run ES you’ll have an okay amount of Light on top of that.

That’s not to say you can run a good Sorc and do an impressive amount of damage, but some undead are immune to specific elements (like cold and electric, not all but some) and therefor makes the choice of savant element that much more important – and possibly painful dependent on gear.

With Warlock you’ll have cheap main attacks in the average damage range such as bursts and possible blasts. But if you combine these with some more useful destinies it gets even better.

I like Draconic for acid or fire. Excellent destiny adding a breath, cortex and energy burst to the mix that goes well with the Warlocks pew, pew and possible ES bursts.

I also like Exalted Angel. It might not have a good synergy with your pact element but it does with ES adding not only light damage but also several nice SLAs. True, this is a more SP thirsty destiny due to the SLAs, but you still get good bang for your bucks.

Of course we should forget Paladin on the melee side. All melee will do just fine in the event but Paladins add a nice barrage of undead killing power – making them uniquely adapted for some undead bashing fun.

Note – I prefer Warlock for public area killing. The different bursts allows you to quickly dispatch mobs to get as much out of say a Draught or for that matter grouping.

For the challenges anything will work fine, since there will be smaller mobs and they’re generally not that long. Any which way you seldom have enough space to fully exploit ranged advantage so you’ll end up in close combat often enough.