Fallout 4: My Settlements

I’m still playing at the ‘Regular’ skill level and have reached level 54, and only recently entered the Institute. I’m in no hurry to get to the end and just hope the game won’t push me too fast because I’m enjoying finding new ways to build settlements and add features. I currently have eleven settlements if you include Greygarden, and most recently adding Bunker Hill. All of my settlements have over 10 settlers of which half are on defense, and my biggest settlements (three now) all have 20 settlers with the same ratio of defenders.

Building settlements is very challenging because each one is on very different terrain and building features. Sanctuary Hill and The Castle are the most straight forward settlements, and places like Tenpines Bluff and Hangman’s Alley (work in progress) are both very challenging. My rule for big settlements: they must have an above ground water source. I don’t know if that rule makes sense, but it seems to be how events have unfolded. All of my settlements, except Greygarden, have a bar, a dog and a brahmin. The bars and stores payoff every day and I’m basically rich now: walking around money around 40-50,000 caps plus dozens of gold bars, pre-war currency, dozens of sets of combat armor, powerful weapons, and of course, my luxury apartment in a city unnamed. 🙂 Oh yeah… and Jack, I’m cool… you dig?

This is the center of my Starlight Drive-In settlement.
Basically, sleeping quarters below, stores and bar above.

This is the center of my County Crossing settlement.
I had some good ideas but I need to do a redesign on this one.

It’s nighttime at Oberland Station and a few of the farmers are at the bar.

Yeah, I bought the Picket Fences add-on to get some decent looking furnishings. 🙂

And those are my favorite power armor suits. Love the crome X-01 in the back. I call them ‘The Boys’. *giggles*I play this game too many hours of the day, but it beats listening to CNBC all day for the latest market swings.

 

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Fallout 4 Continued…

Okay, I went back into Fallout 4 on “Regular” level. It was obviously harder than “Easy” level but after I got a good sniper rifle (a ‘pimped out’ 308 bolt action with scope) things started to settle down. I intended to go grab all the goodies I knew about, but I quickly learned that the difficulty slowed me down enough to make it always interesting. Also, at the regular setting there were a lot more Legendary enemies I had to overcome.

This is my little bar and restaurant where Sanctuary Hills settlers go after work to share some brew, iguana on a stick, and talk about how they whipped those raiders. heh.

Anyway, I’m currently at Level 34 and despite the fact that I rescued Nick Valentine several levels back, I don’t intend to go looking for Shawn before turn 40 or even later. Right now I have ten linked settlements: Sanctuary, Abernathy, Tenpinnes, Starlight, Greygarden, Oberland, Greenway, Taffington, County Crossing and the Castle. Sanctuary and Starlight are my major settlements (currently 16 each, but I’ll increase them soon) and the Castle is growing to a major settlement quickly.

The thing is, I really like building settlements. It reminds me of my days in Second Life when I would build Zen gardens and different versions of the Harvest Moon Café. Anyway, I finally figured out how to take screenshots in Xbox One, so the lead photo is of my bar and restaurant at Sanctuary Hills. I just love the way that settlers and shop keepers know how to behave in the setting you create. The game is an absolute fascination to me.

PS: I know my little settlement is nothing compare with the prize winners. Those guys are awesome but I still love the building.

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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.

junkyard-blues-new-years-2016_002

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

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