Commentary on Fallout 4

Fallout 4 came out two years ago with Xbox One. I saw the ad on television and thought it looked really cool–with a dog companion even–and it provided for a female protagonist (excellent!). It had my interest but I had recently purchased Xbox 360 and didn’t want to upgrade. Fast forward two years and I bought Xbox One as a Christmas present for myself just before Thanksgiving and started playing Fallout 4 the day after. OMG! It was soooooo immersive. I dropped other projects, including my novel, and for the first couple of days I played until the wee hours.

As I’ve said many times, I’m not a gamer. It is true. But I do play some video games from time to time. Until Fallout 4 my favorites were Lara Croft/Tomb Raider games (LCTR and ROTR). Anyway, as a non-gamer who plays video games, I don’t have the gaming skills that true gamers have. And I hadn’t played anything like F4, so it took me awhile to get used to the Bethesda platform and controls. So I started out at Very Easy, which is not that very easy, but I got going with it. And by the time I got my dog, Dogmeat, I was hooked on the game and the evolving story.

There was plenty of shoot’em up and all that, not my favorite stuff but killing a pre-historic Deathclaw (kind of a Tyrannosaurus)  got my adrenaline pumping, even though I was blasting the monster with a red-hot mini-gun. *smiles* The thing about game that intrigued me was the quest, find your son who had been stolen. It was a powerful motivator and I bought into this wholeheartedly. In fact, the game and story are so well designed that there are only a couple of decisions you make that lock you on a track; otherwise, the game play is free and open. In fact, the commercial played with an old 60s song featuring the words: “I’m the kind of guy who likes to roam around…” And the way the designers stuck with this theme is amazing.

Of all the things in the game that I liked, my favorite was the creating of settlements. I enjoyed the building, recruiting and culling of settlers, even matching some settler up for maybe romance, although there is no romance or sex in the game. Like I sent a good looking guy over to Abernathy Farm to meet the cute daughter. Nothing happened but the settlements ‘Happiness’ rating did go up. HAHA. I liked the power armor also. It was cool, stomping around in something like a personal tank. Feral ghouls and all other monsters would try to kill you but you were safe with your Laser Rifle blasting away. The problem with power armor is that it needs repair after most battles, and the best of the armor drains away valuable resources. Still, totally cool.

The things I like least were the lead characters who were designed to give you orders to follow, especially Preston who I came to despise. Others were bad also, but this is how you get your quests, so they are a necessary annoyance. I’m glad that gore was kept to reasonable levels, even less gore than with the Tomb Raider games, but there were some characters I wanted to murder. I even murdered one and felt horrible after it, so I replayed that sequence. Nonetheless, these irritating characters are part of the genius of the game. Only true monsters and even beings are just black and white, and I had no sense of upset while killing the Super Mutants and other evil beings.

Long story short, I played through to one of four outcomes–Airship Down–and was really upset with the choice I made. So I went back several steps and replayed it to The Nuclear Option. I reached Level 60-something before walking away. And all of this took months! Not every day, day and night, but something akin to that. I’d recommend this to everyone, but I’m certain that most people do not see the world through my eyes. HEH.

Just sayin.

 

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Sunday Night at the Junkyard Blues

I’ve been wandering around SL a bit lately. I’ve spent time on several mainland continents and have noticed that so much of the land must have been abandoned, and now owned by Linden’s public works department. But I didn’t find any of it up for auction. I understand what’s going on, what with Sansar on the horizon, but it’s a bit sad for me.

Even some great clubs are gone. Last Sunday I learned the blues club Crossroads was closed down (UPDATE: apparently I was wrong about this). I wasn’t there that much but I always liked the people and the ambiance. And some clubs are impossible to keep from crashing on. In some ways, not much has changed in SL since I left. Anyway, I’m glad that Junkyard Blues is doing relatively well. I went there Sunday night and caught DJ Fiery Otaared’s show. She remembers me and we talked about this and that. To me, Fiery is the best blues DJ on the grid. Hugs girlfriend.

Yordie Sands Blogger

That’s DJ Fiery Otaared on Sunday night.
Spinning tunes at Junkyard Blues.

Yordie Sands Photographer

That’s me tending bar while Fiery spins tunes. Yeah, I’m still wearing the same outfit.

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Covering Corners

I found this post on Wendz Tempest’s blog CozeySL. Love the scene. Great photography.

CozeySL

They’re usually neglected, often overlooked, the corners you pass are pretty standard in my book. So give them a makeover, spruce up a space..your corners can take it, on either face!

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The Decade Club

Ten days ago was my 10th rez day. Yay! I’m ten years old or as Seth Regan advised me, I’m now a member of The Decade Club. So how could I not go on a sentimental journey? That evening I logged in, spent some time in my home. First, I changed my hairstyle. I still haven’t changed my outfit for probably three years now, so it’s becoming kind of a thing. Then I spent time in adventure room mulling what to do next.

Yordie's Adventure Den

The area of my house where I have my adventure and blogging paraphernalia.

I attempted to go to some of my favorite nightclubs, but kept crashing. Instead, I decided to go to one of my favorite environments, Calas Galadhon’s Misty Mountains. It wasn’t the same layout or landscaping that I remember, although very similar, but it definitely rekindled the same feelings that thrilled me years ago.

The Misty Mountains of Calas Galadhon

That’s me, lost in the wonderful Misty Mountains.

The visit was short but it got me thinking about those amazing early days. I mean, amazing except for all the crashing and assorted weirdness. I’ve thought about the fun I had in so many roles that I played.

I really enjoyed my times exploring the Japanese themed areas, like Hosoi Ichiba–what an amazing place that was. But I also enjoyed my time as an apprentice geisha at Little Yoshiwara. I started in 2008 and prolly spent a couples years there. I even created my two of my early Zen gardens on adjacent sims.  Last night I decided to drop by for a visit and was amazed at how well it had adapted to the improvements in Second Life.

Little Yoshiwara

This is the pavilion where I gave my cultural speech about Japanese gardens.

Little Yoshiwara hanamachi

One of many beautiful areas in the Little Yoshiwara hanamachi.

After spending a timeless sentimental journey back to my roots, I shashayed on over to the Junkyard to catch DJ Sasha spinning some bluesy tunes.

It’s hard to imagine that I could ever hurl myself back into the virtual swing of things the way I once did, but I truly enjoyed the visit.

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Junkyard Blues 2017

I spent a couple hours at Junkyard Blues last night and rang in the new year. DJ Bard Wasp was spinning some great bluesy tunes as owners Kiff & Dina ignited the fireworks. I had to tune my graphics settings way down because the place was packed–over 60 peeple–and I crashed a couple times.

There were lots of folks I didn’t know, but a lot of us old-timers were “returning home” after long absences and it made for a memorable event. One of the hostesses called me “a legend” and I had to blush. God only knows what kind of legend she’d heard about… and I didn’t dare ask. Dina reminded me of the night that the Dreamgirls had a sleepover in the motel parking lot. I’ve had a lot of fun at the Junkyard over the years.

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Not my best photo ever, but it captures a lot of the scene. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Linden’s Extra Prims

It wasn’t revolutionary, but it got my attention–Linden properties have 33% more prims. I’ve continued to own my Linden Home even though I’m rarely in SL, but the extra prims drew me in. For my property gained about 60 prims (previously 117 prims), and with good Mesh furniture it that goes a long way. I had already decorated with some great Mesh furniture but now I’ve rezzed a lot of cool stuff that had been sitting in my inventory. Btw, I haven’t upgraded myself yet–no Mesh body or head. But my interest in SL has been re-ignited a bit.

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My living room is unchanged, but I’m mulling some ideas.

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My bedroom is pretty much the same also… unused. Heh.

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I added this little cubbyhole for all my adventuring stuff.

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That’s me in front of my kitchen. I don’t think I’ve changed clothes in months. Heh

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Back on the Sea

It was one of those wonderful moments. Back in 2012 I was racing my speedboat from the Blake Sea toward my dock at Sailors Cove. When I’m speeding like that I have my mini-map open so I can see and avoid crashing into other boats, but I noticed something seemed to be just behind me. I looked back once but saw no one. So I finally stopped and realized that an Apache helicopter had been tracking me. I looked up and the pilot started chatting with me. He asked to come aboard and while I’m standoffish far too often, I also love that kind of spontaneity. So I said, sure. He came aboard and held on while I continued racing through the canals that lead to the docks.

His name was Antares and we had a lot of fun times together. He took me flying in his warplanes and boats. We even did air combat with me on the rocket guns. I was pretty bad shot and we got killed a lot. Once we were out in the Apache and came across a giant ship, the Titanic, out on the Blake Sea. Anyway, we boarded her and joined in the party, although I’m pretty sure we weren’t welcome cuz it was a bunch of pirates I think. Anyway, we had fun like that. Like, he was with me and my girlfriends when we traveled from SS Galaxy to go scuba driving. What a great day that was.

Anyway, I left Second Life about a year later (as I’ve long asserted) but just a few weeks ago Antares and I began chatting over Facebook. He thought it would be fun to go out dancing and that sounded great to me also. So on Sunday when met over at Junkyard Blues and spent some time dancing and catching up, but this always leads to that and we talked about planes and boats and before long he took me aboard his new yacht.

Yordie Sands, photographer

Antares taking Yordie out in new yacht.

I can’t say that I’ll be a regular in SL again, but I’m reminded me how much fun SL can be.

 

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