Thursday, January 28, 2016

Screen Share: Fallout 4

It’s been a while since I did my last Screen Share post. So I think I’ll post 3-in-1 today. The subject is Fallout 4, the latest game I’ve been playing. I’ll admit that my want to play has died down considerably, not from a lack of content, but I’ve got out of it pretty much all I wanted so far. The settlements would have been the thing to keep me engaged longer, but I’ve hit too many limits and I’m now waiting for some great mods to come out after the G.E.C.K. is released. May even attempt my own mod for once.

Nightmare Fuel

Going too deep is a risk adventurers take when exploring. Some days they find a hidden treasure, others Nightmare Fuel. Deep underground the Commonwealth lies an abandoned school room where only the dead and forgotten once knew of. I’ve no idea what went on during school hours, but eventually someone had the last laugh...

The Mighty Have Fallen

The Boston city skyline is a beautiful sight, especially during early morning when the mist from the harbor is gently strolling through the streets. As with many large cities of the wasteland, you can see just how the Mighty Have Fallen. Once a sprawling streets of the future, now a rusting pile of the long lost. Perhaps humanity got too big for its breeches, or perhaps we weren't ready for the power we had unlocked. A proverbial Pandora’s Box was holding the secrets of the atom, and we just had to open it.

Ego Trip Down Memory Lane

Ok, ok, I just wanted to show off my Starlight settlement. I really love how it came out, just wish I had more lighting options and had to deal with less generators. Necessity is the mother of invention, and I think my power tower to hold all my generators was a good idea and creates the look of a skyscraper behind the Joe sign.

Either way, I just like taking an Ego Trip Down Memory Lane with this image. My mightiest settlement and yet I still had a lot more I wanted to do. For instance, I wanted to spell my name along the outside of my house up there, and have spotlights aimed at the lions on the corners. Streetlights would have been nice too, along with a better laid out power grid. Oh, a person can dream, can’t they?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Update

Haven’t put anything out on the blog this week. Just want to do a quick post to throw something on there so my blog doesn’t feel like I’m neglecting it.

I’ve been focusing my attention on doing YouTube videos this week. So far I’ve got out two playthrough episodes for Fallout 4 on my own channel, and a video for Geeks and Geeklets about showcasing housing in EverQuest 2. I’ve put a lot of work into those videos.

I’ve also done a vlog video mostly for myself saying that my YouTube channel is now a year old and recording some statistics for myself to review come next year. Sort of taking a snapshot of where I am now to compare later. Will I do better or worse next year? I’ll have to see.

I’ve picked up a new messaging app called Telegram on my phone. I like it because of the stickers and that I can make my own custom sticker set if I want to add more. It reminds me of how Microsoft Messenger used to let me have custom emotes. It also claims it’s secure and won’t advertise on there. I’m not against it making money, but I’m always suspicious when things say free. It says it’s working off a major donation so I’m accepting that for now. The thing works really well and is responsive, so we’ll see how long I keep it.

It’s also been a rough week learning about the deaths of some great people. David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Brian Bedford. They’ll be missed.

I hope anyone who is bored enough to read through this is having a great Friday and enjoy your weekend.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mechanic Review: Fallout 4 Settlements


Fallout 4 settlement building is a really fun mechanic added to a game that scratches that open world housing itch I’ve had. Well, semi-open world since you are still confined to static plots, but some are pretty darn big.

I’ve played around with the system long enough to feel that I can give an experienced review on the system itself. Show where it shines, where it’s lackluster and where it’s down right frustrating.

To begin, the system has a lot of good intentions in mind and is a wonderful addition to the aging engine Bethesda is using for the Fallout and Elder Scroll series. The use of the word “aging” doesn’t mean “old”, but it does mean some parts of the engine are dated and in need of update or repair. Also by aging is that the engine has so many features that a new engine just wouldn’t have, so I’m glad they are using it and updating it still. Much like an aging MMO, the older ones tend to have a lot more to do. If you’ve been to the Institute, it’s a good analogy of this engine. The part everyone is at is shiny and new, but there is a lot of old technology behind those walls.

Unfortunately with the good intentions, the settlement building does feel like it was tacked on late or later in the development of the game and there are bugs and sections of the mechanic that is woefully underutilised. One of those are the picket fences magazines that add new items to the list of buildable stuff. There are only 5 of these magazines and one wasteland survival guide that adds two silly flamingo lawn ornaments. Between getting the magazines and not getting them doesn’t feel like a lot of difference going through the build list. There are a lot of furniture and items out in the wastes that you just can not build in your settlement without mods. It’s a good start, so I look forward to what modders can do to pick up the slack. I’ve already seen a few good ones on the Fallout 4 Nexus.

Another pitfall is that some settlements offer a lot of room, but you are still held back due to a small settlement size limit and how many settlers can be at one settlement. I understand the limitation to help keep people from slowing their game down, but there should be an option that let’s people who can handle more, or doesn’t care about that, to build and allow more on a settlement. There are some cheats to get around this a little bit. For instance you can drop a lot of guns you are holding on for new settlers on the ground, go in build mode and store each one individually. That should lower the size limit bar and allow you to build more.

Where this system soars is the inherent fact you can build whatever you want with the given objects you have, and within the confines of the settlement build area. Many housing systems of other games are usually within a small house or are pretty static with placement. Here you have an entire area to build many houses and can design inside and out. I’ve spent hours on a bunch of settlements and still have lots of places I haven’t even touched yet. I wish I could do more with my settlers, like set up guard routes or pathing in general. Maybe set up trade with places that aren’t settlements, like Diamond City.

Fallout 4 settlements are heading in a great direction and I honestly can’t wait to see what modders can do with it. If you want to see some of the possibilities you can do with a settlement, I posted a video of what I’ve done in Starlight Drive-In.