Fallout 76: Cancelled Fallout 1st

My Yordie character reached Level 166 last week, and Zahava character reached 162.

Yordie Sands is a writer

Up close and personal with a Deathclaw

Nonetheless, I’ve taken the first step in leaving Fallout 76; I cancelled Fallout 1st. I’ve been selling off much of my weapons and armor inventory and moved all my valuable scrap to my inventory. It has been a saddening experience because there are many things I still like about Fallout 76, but there are several recent changes that have convinced me that the things I dislike reached a point that has killed the enjoyment I’ve found in this game. I’m not saying this is a bad game, there are some amazing aspects of the game, the world, and the gameplay, that I love. And I’m thrilled that Bethesda is focusing on eliminated some egregious defects and cheats (like “magic weapons”), but there three recent changes that have left me out and I’m moving back to Fallout 4.

One Wasteland

I understand the objective of One Wasteland but it is poorly implemented it has made exploring the wasteland a constant battle with high ranking lesser beings. This is relatively minor but as I discovered in Meat Week, those lesser beings can help overwhelm you when there are real monsters on the field. This is just too much “too much” for me personally.

The ‘Seasons’ Grind

I don’t dislike the idea of the Seasons feature, but I really dislike the way it drives you into a constant daily grind to keep progressing up the path just to get a lot of useless junk. Yeah, there are some cool things but plenty of not cool things (like the Ammo machine), and there are very useful items, like Legendary Scripts. Anyway, I made my way to 94% in Season 1 and I’m currently around 30% in Season 2, so I speak from experience and overall Seasons has proven to be too much of a grind.

Daily Operations

I have attempted Daily Ops only once and I don’t need to do it again because I despise the gameplay. I didn’t give up on this lightly and I’ve watched other players make the run with relative ease, but nothing about this makes me want to do it. In fact, Daily Ops was my tipping point and I’m done with Fallout 76 for now.

What is so bad about Daily Ops? For one thing, I’d been looking forward to advancing in the Brotherhood of Steel quest line, but it has become clear that the Daily Ops gameplay is the door to the BoS line and future developments. And I’m just not willing to grind away at Ops, so I feel like I’ve been cut out. However, some players love the Ops style gameplay. Like I said, I’ve only done this once, starting with being dropped into the Harper’s Ferry sewers where I was confronted by a new class of robots (they can only be destroyed with melee weapons). Anyway, I fought my way to the first checkpoint, then the next but the third checkpoint was buggy, the diamond pointer was stuck inside a wall, not up, not down, just stuck. I died three times and the experience just irritated me. I’ve since learned that the sewers quest is the most difficult of the three daily ops, and the fact that the design team chose to start everyone on the most difficult quest as the introduction sucked, (please pardon my disdain).

There’s a chance I may try Daily Ops again after I get over my irritation, but right now I doubt it. So, based on my understanding of this new direction I am likely going to be excluded from a huge amount of stuff I’d like to have. I’ve done demanding quests many times, even quests I dislike a lot. Launching nukes is pretty dangerous, especially solo, but I’ve done it successfully a half dozen times now. And I won many Tadpole and Possum badges, even got the Possum backpack (120 weight) and other Possum stuff. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. *smiles* Anyway, I despise the Daily Ops gameplay and I’m done with it for the foreseeable future.

Not Goodbye, Just ‘See Ya Later’

In other words, I feel like the game is walking away from me and I’m walking away from the game. I’m disappointed, but not sour grapes. I’ve had a lot of fun playing this game for a year and a half. And I’m sure I’ll continue dropping in regularly to see what’s going on, but I think I’ll get more enjoyment by returning to Fallout 4. I still have two major DLCs I haven’t completed yet. I’ve also been using several mods, but according to JuiceHead, there are a lot of new Mods coming.

My future posts will return to Fallout 4 and I plan to write some posts about my different settlements.


Posted in Fallout 76 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fallout 76: Moving Forward

The President’s illness, Football games, life stuff, more stuff, and I haven’t played FO76 much in recent days. I haven’t returned to FO4 yet either but I’m thinking about my how I’ll be move forward with gaming. NTL, I am still playing FO76, about four days during the past week and yesterday my Yordie character reached level 161. I’m doing a few favorite events and not really focused on the latest Seasons track (currently level 27). I’m also still working on my CAMP at Twin Lakes. Following are some pics of the compound behind the main house.

Yordie Sands is a writer

This is a view compound area that’s protected by fencing.

Yordie Sands wrote The Temporal Expeditions

This is a rear view of my house at Twin Lakes.

Yordie Sands is a blogger and author

This is a high overhead view of my CAMP compound.

I’m leaning toward keeping my Fallout 1st subscription at the moment, so I’m hoping that Bethesda will provide some DLC level additions to the game. However, I haven’t attempted to do any Daily Ops yet but may try this run again in the coming weeks.

Posted in Fallout 76 | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Fallout 76: Update 22 Commentary

Fallout 76 Update 22 was rolled out a couple weeks ago. I think most players would say its packed with new features. But the update has made it clear that the release may favor one of the two basic types of Fallout players. Type 1 are players who love shootem’up. Type 2 players are more likely to enjoy the adventure and discovery. I’m overgeneralizing but for example, I’d say top player JuiceHead enjoys Nuclear Winter and all things gaming. OTOH, top videographer Oxhorn enjoys Fallout lore and exploring. Neither playstyle is right or wrong and until recent releases, both styles of play seem to be accommodated by Fallout 76. In short, I believe that Update 22’s new features favor high velocity players and seem to leave players like me in the dust.

Legendary Perks – YAY

I’ve played with Bethesda’s Fallout S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes systems for over four years and I am certain that the FO76 system is far superior to FO4. And with Update 22 the introduction of Legendary Perks allow an advanced player to benefit in ways that help generate further interest in the game beyond Level 100. Bravo to the team that came up with this!!

Daily Ops – NAY

There are other features I really dislike and Daily Ops is now at the top of that list. I was really looking forward to the arrival of the Brotherhood of Steel faction and eagerly plunged into the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ quest. Once in the event, I was plunged into a storm of robots and to make matters worse, the navigation diamond past station 1 was stuck inside a wall. In the process I got killed several times and didn’t complete the event. Okay. I’ve run into tough challenges before but with the addition of the new One Wasteland feature and the time limits, I found Daily Ops demoralizing. In fact, I’m irritated by this buggy s***storm I don’t know if or when I’ll even try it again.

One Wasteland – NAY

One Wasteland is a good idea in theory. Basically, the higher level you are, the higher level enemies you must confront, from the lowly Molerat (Lvl 50 and higher) to horrendous Deathclaws and so forth. I was okay with this added level of difficulty until “Meat Week”, an event I usually enjoy. However, on joining an event in The Mire I found myself alone. I waited but no one joined me. So, I thought, WTF, I’m level 159, I’ll go it alone. I’ve done a lot of tough challenges alone, but as soon as the event began I was overrun by massive waves of very high level baddies, worse than I’ve previously encountered in solo play. I used my exploding 50 Cal (with 5x Explosive Expert, Fireproof, and Bloody Mess perks, and several mutations) and blasted dozens of enemies to pieces over a broad area. I died three times and got NOTHING.¬† Because I used the Bloody Mess I couldn’t even find all the monster parts. Maybe there was a Legendary something in mess that remained, but after a half hour of looking around I stopped. I tried another event over near Flatwoods and there were lots of players but it was extremely difficult and I nearly died a couple times, and again I got NOTHING of value. So, screw it.

Going Forward, Going Away

I’ve made it clear that I love the progress of this game since I started in April 2019. I felt that the introduction of ‘Wastelanders’ was wonderful. But after Update 22, I’m genuinely miffed at the direction the game seems to be headed. And here’s why I mention play style differences: JuiceHead says he likes the U22 changes and I respect that. I think InnovSurvivalist likes the changes also. But I don’t. The changes spell wasting countless hours on split-second timed nonsense. Just saying.

My belief is that the product managers listen WAY too much to high level players who are more interested in making game objectives more and more unattainable. And I seriously doubt that the Fallout 76 team even comprehends the desires of casual players. If they did, they’d work on all the trouble with griefers, magic weapons and defects. Nuff said. Well, one more thing: I like that the designers are trying to make team/group activities work, but I just haven’t been able to connect with so many random players that I don’t know. Suggestion: create a region where players can go to listen to music and dance, and just hang out. That was the key to success of Second Life.

I’ll Be Back

I’ll continue playing Fallout 76 from time to time, but my Fallout 1st subscription is due to expire next month and I’ll prolly cancel that subscription. This means loosing my huge scrap stashes and I’ll prolly have to get rid of a lot of Legendary weapons I’ve been hording. It’s just this simple: Update 22 destroyed a lot of the joy this game for me. Boo Hoo.

Last night I returned to a Fallout 4 game I’d left at level 59 (Difficulty: Very Hard) a couple years ago; I left to begin playing Fallout 76. I revisited the game and there’s a lot of gameplay left to run with. I also own two DLCs I’ve yet to try, so there’s that also. And maybe I’ll be able to run the upcoming DLC sized mod “Fallout Miami”; although I find its tricky to get more than a few mods to work concurrently. Maybe by the time I finish the FO4 game I’ll return. Maybe FO76 will be friendlier to the casual player; maybe not. If this is a permanent shift for Bethesda, then I’m just petty enough to resent it. But time will tell.

I’M SORRY to sound like Whimpey. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the game. I’m just fed up. I totally appreciate that my style of gameplay is different than a lot of players. In fact, I’m fascinated to watch the top shootem’up players, like gooberti (Level 1000+) who amazes me! But there’s a delicate balance to these games and when the game turns away from you, it may never be the same game again. And who knows what influence Microsoft will have on these games. We shall see.

Posted in Fallout 76, Gaming | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fallout 76: Microsoft & Bethesda

I’ve been committed to Microsoft since Windows 3.0 and even participated on a couple Microsoft projects because the company I worked for was a Preferred Vendor. I began developing Windows applications using Visual Studio 1.0 (with AFX framework, C/C++) which kind of sucked, but subsequent VS versions (with MFC, Visual C/C++, Visual Basic) to be great dev products. Also, I’ve used all Microsoft Office products exclusively even before they were combined as a suite. During the 1990s & 2000s I lived just a few miles from the Redmond campus and visited many times, plus I still have friends who work there. In short, I feel I know this company pretty well, for an outsider, and I’m thrilled that Bethesda has been purchased by Microsoft.

What does it mean? Why would Microsoft do this? In short, what is going on?

I don’t know but there is a lot of buzz right now and one comment I heard (maybe on CNBC?) was that this signals a content gold rush something like Netflix acquiring or creating media content. But who knows? Following is some commentary from a couple of gamers that I follow regularly. I think you’ll find their points of view interesting.

JuiceHead: My gaming style is very different than his but he has so many great insights that he’s become one of my most trusted voices. Here’s his latest:

InnovSurvivalist: She’s another high level player who brings a great deal of insight to her reporting. She does extensive testing of virtually every feature of the game and here’s what she says:

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer is a visionary and executive behind the Xbox. And Xbox is an idea that seemed like an odd child back in the beginning, but today it is a strong contributor to Microsoft’s success. I didn’t even buy my first Xbox 360 until Christmas 2014, but have since bought Xbox One S and X, and am in the queue to order Xbox Series X.

I’ve always felt Bethesda’s visionary, Todd Howard, had an ego that was cashing checks he couldn’t cover but the guy has proved me wrong. It’s hard to heap too much praise on him though because the Fallout series (I have FO3, FONV, FO4 and FO76) is plagued with defects and all manner of anomalies. But this is the guy who delivered FO4 and FO76 Wastelanders and I have come to respect the challenges he has overcome to achieve these successes. And in thinking about several comments about the Zenimax board (owns Bethesda), I suspect he’s had his hands full, but now, Howard works for Microsoft.


But I suspect Microsoft’s approach to product development will help Howard avoid embarrassments like launching Fallout 76 as a Beta. (Yeah, Microsoft used to sell Windows 3, 95 and a whole lot of other products that were closer to being Beta than production software, but they learned how to improve quality a couple decades ago. I’m hopeful that with the backing of Microsoft, the financial and marketing demands Bethesda has faced in the past will become a thing of the past.

I hope all Bethesda employees will get on that Microsoft pathway that has led so many software professionals to becoming millionaires. Jus sayin.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , , ,

Yo Second Life!

I haven’t been around Second Life much since I started Xbox gaming about six years ago. And I realize I probably haven’t changed my outfit in all those years that have passed, so a couple days ago I dropped in. I still have my Linden home and the furnishings are exactly as I had left them, and all my clothes were exactly where I left them too. So, I put on a new outfit and changed my hairstyle. Yeah, I know. I’m soooooooooo old school.

Yordie Sands in Second Life

This is my living room and that’s me. Yo!

I really need to sort through my inventory and upgrade my EVERYTHING. Maybe I need to fall in love again. HEH!


Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fallout 76: Yordie (157), Zahava (161)

When the “Wastelanders” DLC was released around April, I decided to start from the beginning of Fallout 76 again. From what I’d read, it was a massive upgrade to the game and I wanted to experience everything as if it were new again.

My existing character, Zahava (a character from my novel), had already made her way to Level 161 and I suspected I might return to her after getting a feel for Wastelanders. I mean, I’d already worked my way through some demanding challenges, like the Pioneer Scout line, and it was extremely time consuming, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t want to go through¬† all that again. But I was wrong.

In fact, I’ve stuck with my Yordie character all the way from Level 0 in April and now in mid-September, she’s level 157. And what’s more, I’m glad I took this route. Well, until Bethesda released update 22 and the Legendary perk system. Had I stuck with my original character I’d prolly have many more of the Legendary perks.

I tend to like combat armor over power armor, but power armor is a must for certain situations. Anyway, here’s a pic of me in my full Brotherhood of Steel combat armor; kinda tough, no? *smiles*

Yordie Sands is author of The Temporal Expeditions

That’s Yordie in her best Brotherhood combat armor.

Here’s a picture of my inside Silo Alpha as I solo launched my fourth nuke into the Cranberry Bog and triggered the Scorch Beast Queen. I’m wearing my Blackbird X-01 Power Armor but hope to build an even more advanced power armor soon.

Yordie Sands is an author and blogger

That’s me inside my beautiful X-01 Blackbird Power Armor.

BIG NEWS: On Monday, Microsoft announced that it has acquired Bethesda Softworks and I’m really excited about this development. For one thing, I think this will draw Bethesda much deeper into maintaining the Xbox version of Fallout games at a much higher level. I really prefer playing games on the Xbox console because I believe it is a somewhat safer environment than on PC. And now Bethesda will have access to higher level support from Microsoft’s Xbox team (at least I hope so). So bravo to Microsoft and Bethesda both. I think this will be a great partnership.

I’m still learning about the Update 22 and aside from the Daily Ops I’m pretty excited about the changes introduced. It is a lot harder to deal with much more powerful vermin and other monsters that roam the wasteland, but it’s a good challenge. I’ll have more to say about 22 soon, but for now I’m just all smiles about Microsoft’s commitment to Bethesda.

Here’s a couple of other photos I shot ingame. The first one is on the quest to get The Motherlode drill for cracking open vault 97.

Yordie Sands is author of The Temporal Expeditions

That’s me confronting the ghoul scientist who’ll control the giant drilling system.

The other one is from inside Vault 97 where the Secret Service defends the nation’s gold supply.

Yordie Sands is an author and blogger

That’s me watching the Secret Service oversee the gold supply.

More soon.

Posted in Fallout 76 | Tagged , , ,

Fallout 76: New CAMP at Twin Lakes

I was an explorer in Second Life and I’m an explorer in Fallout 76; well, I’m just an explorer by natures. Anyway, one of the most beautiful areas in FO76 is Twin Lakes. I had a camp there once before but it was too close to a Super Mutant breeding ground, so I was finding my home under constant attack. This time I’m trying a different area and I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes. I started building the new camp yesterday and finished today; unlike other camps I’ve created, this one focuses on my house. I’m still learning what I can do with the new build resources, so I might change the look again. But for now I’m happy with my new inworld home. What do you think?

Yordie Sands is an avatar.

This is a view from across a creek nearby.

The interior is much more important to me than in the past, but even though I think this first layout is comfortable (by FO76 standards), I still have a lot of ideas I want to tryout. Whaddaya think?

Yordie Sands is a writer.

This is the great hall, so to speak. Also have a bedroom.

ALERT: Marta Branco (the Innov Survivalist) advises that Griefers have a new trick: destroying your Camp. The C.A.M.P.s ‘restore all’ feature makes the rebuild easy but it can cost a great of your resources for the rebuild. Marta says this type of griefing seems to be limited to PC games. I’m on an Xbox One X, and generally I think this is a safer place to play if you’re a gamers. Just sayin’.


Well, I don’t know. I still considering my adventure club for FO76, but I can’t get past the temporal nature of gameplay. Specifically, unlike Second Life, there are thousands of instances of the game and each instance has between two and four dozen players at any given time. That means, you have to link up with friend in advance, unless they just join you on your private server. A private server will allow eight people to play at once, and there’s a lot to be said for that but one of the features that was so great about Second Life is, you can drop inworld anytime and it’s all one world. Anyway, I’m still mulling this but if old friends from SL would like to join me, let me know. We’ll figure something out.



Posted in Fallout 76 | Tagged , , , ,