Fallout 76: It’s All New Again

This is just a quick update because I’m still playing Wastelanders with the new character I created, Yordie. I thought by now I’d have returned to my Level 161 character, Zahava, but I’m really enjoying my rise through the levels starting from Level 1. I don’t have much to say right now, but I feel that the Wastelanders DLC has changed Fallout 76 so much that I want to experience the whole game again with all the changes.  I doubt that most existing FO76 players will do as I’m doing, but this is working for me. I can always switch to Zahava if I feel that I’ve gone far enough. Bravo to Bethesda! You got it right. You’ve made everything in this game new again.

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Fallout 76: Wastelanders WOW!

Betheda Studios Wastelanders Logo

Yesterday Bethesda released the Wastelanders DLC.

Yesterday I spent about six hours in #Wastelanders. I started with a new character, Yordie, and faithfully endured many of the newbie steps and explored all the old sites methodically.  I was surprised at how many small and large differences there are, but by far, I was delighted by all the people roaming the land. In the original Adventures mode all the people are dead, replaced by mindless robots; now, the people alone enrich the game. Yeah baby, Bethesda!

I didn’t take any pics yet, even though there is plenty to photograph. I think I’ll abandon my Yordie character in a day or so, I just don’t want to go through all the old quests again; for example, it took me months to acquire all the Pioneer Scout badges I wanted and Robotics Expert took three-months to complete!

One thing I saw on day one was a lot of highly rated people crowding around Lacy, just outside the entrance. I can understand that they wanted to engage Lacy, but many of them just hung around. In fact, as a Level 1 player I was bombarded with Team requests. It makes sense that people would want new players to work with, but there was a lot of pushiness about it. At the Wayward Inn, a Level 80 player in power armor tried to block me from entering the bar. Anyway, he offered to trade with me, but wouldn’t move out of the way of the door. This is asshole behavior and I should have Blocked him but didn’t want to bother. Fortunately, I wasn’t intimidated and managed to get into the bar despite him trying to prevent it. This is one of the things I dislike about all open world, multi-player games, including Second Life.

The pestering didn’t end with the big shot at the door, and by the time I made my way to Flatwoods I decided to go Private Server for the rest of the day. If the asshole behavior had been that unusual, I think it could have dampened my enthusiasm for the game, but I have become very wily and experienced at handling the assholes that infest games.


After I get a better feel for the new features, I’ll start looking for friend to team up with. I’m looking forward to that!! If you’d like to join me, leave a message in comments or on Twitter or Facebook. Just look up Yordie Sands. See you in-game!!

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Fallout 76: The Night Before Wastelanders!

I can’t contain my enthusiasm for the coming release, within hours, of Fallout 76 Wastelanders. My introduction to the Fallout world came when I saw the guy with his dog in a Fallout 4 television commercial a few years ago. The tune featured the song “The Wanderer” with Dion & The Belmonts; a real golden oldie but such a carefree song filled with great expectations. Bethesda Softworks seems to have a penchant for these oldie songs and they have great taste in their theme songs; like Fallout 76 featured “Take Me Home, Country Roads” but by Spank instead of the John Denver classic. The musical choices really sets a tone for these post-apocalyptic games. But my favorite featured the Beachboys song: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. For the most recent FO76 Wastelanders trailer they feature the drumbeat from another oldie: “C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran (had to look this one up). If you like golden oldies, you gotta give Bethesda some love.

Anyway, I’m ramped up for my first day in New Appalachia. I’m already prepared for a buggy experience because a lot of the people who participated on the Private Test Servers had let it be known that the bugs are still there, but I’ll endure just to get into the new places, people, gameplay, adventure and lore. I’ve decided to create a new character from scratch to get a feel for what is going on, but eventually I’ll commit my Zahava character to the fray. I have several pieces of unfinished business in the FO76 Adventure mode, like I’ve never killed the Scorch Queen even though I’ve put some serious hurt on her. And I avoided making vault raids, like into Vault 94, and there are a couple other events and quests I’d like to do, but they really require a good sized team to complete. Nonetheless, I got 43 of the 50 Achievements in Adventure mode and I still hope to complete some of those team events.

Anyway, it’s now 3:00am and my understanding is that Bethesda is beginning the rollout procedures. I sure hope things go well and the DLC pulls in new people. Go Bethesda Go!!

Now time to get to sleep and wait for news that #Wastelanders is live!!


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Fallout 76: Level 160 and Waiting

In the past weekend I reached level 160, thanks in part to Bethesda’s surprise triple experience points event; a first, I’m told. Even though I’m making good progress and my store is doing well, I’ve become somewhat bored with the game as we anxiously await the Wastelanders DLC (release date April 14th). All of the top video commentators have been giving insights into Wastelanders and I’m thrilled with the direction the game taking.

Launching Nukes

Nonetheless, I’ve been doing a few things, like making additional nuke launches. So far, I’ve made three successful solo launches.

However, two weeks ago I had all the Nuclear Codes when I entered Silo Alpha, but got killed while attempting to fix mainframe cores. It didn’t seem to be a problem because I was able to quickly scurry back and make my way into the launch center. I fought off the robots that were trying to kill my launch crew but when I got to the launch center in my X-O1 Power Armor with it’s fancy new Blackbird paint job, I discovered that the launch codes were gone. It was late in the day on Tuesday and I suppose that even though they were valid when I entered, getting killed reset the timer…so, there I was with enough time to take the pic below.

Yordie Sands in Fallout 76

That’s me at Site Alpha’s nuclear launch center.

Yordie’s Excellent Adventures Club

People who know me from Second Life may remember the adventures I used to organize and eventually created an adventure group. Remember? Anyway, I decided to for a new Yordie’s Excellent Adventures in Fallout 76. Yeah, it’s not the same as speeding around on the Blake Sea and stuff like that, but I think it adds new life to the “adventure” part of the equation.

The group is a private club but I only have a couple dozen in-game friends, so I’m going to try to recruit some old friends from Second Life. It is possible to play the game on a PC, but unfortunately I play on Xbox One, so text communications extremely limited and the emoji signal system is just too limited. However, mic/headsets work fine and can be team only, so no one can eavesdrop.

I suspect that there aren’t many SL’ers that will be interested, but I’m going to try hard to get some old friends on board. I remember that several SL’ers used to play games like World of Warcraft, but Fallout 76 doesn’t have to be PvP (which I really dislike). The good thing is that I’ll be able to mentor any newbies because I’ve been playing the game for almost a year now. I’ll also change my store into a clubhouse, but that’ll be after Wastlanders DLC is released. I’ve already setup the club in Xbox, but I’ll explain more in my next post. The photo below is the background photo for the club; it is part of Bethesda’s in-game content. It represents the spirit of the club I’m trying to create.

Photo from Fallout 76

Brotherhood of Steel’s Taggerty’s Thunder unit.


Best Wishes to Everyone During this Pandemic!

Hey, I wanna get the band back together. Hehe and all. So, that’s me, sitting atop the White Springs Railroad Station, waiting for the COVID pandemic to end.

Yordie Sands as “Zahava”
at White Springs Train Station


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Fallout 76 Shopper’s Warning

One of the things I’ve loved about Fallout 76 is the shopping, in particular, being able to create your own store and go shopping at other player’s stores. I believe this feature became available around the time I began playing, around April 2019, and after the shopping trend soared, it began to taper off. Today, on the verge of the Wastelanders DLC, shopping has devolved into a hit or miss, or even get killed experience.

First, here’s the shopping experience I love, starting with an example of my own store. I don’t have a particularly cool looking store, but my stores are efficient and I go to a lot of trouble to keep them well stocked with the items I sell.

Yordie's Store at WS

This is a shot of my standard store with it’s marquee Nuka Cola.

For one thing, rather than have a random assortment of weapons, I specialize in 50 cal machine guns and all kinds of ammo, including Ultracite ammo. The same is true about armor, I specialize in BoS combat armor, plus plans for Ultracite power armor. And I don’t sell a bunch of meds and junk, I specialize in supplies of Nuka products, plus hard to find meds. My specialization hasn’t increased my sales, but when someone who is interested in the types of products I carry drops in, they usually buy a lot of stuff. A problem is, players don’t drop by as much as in the past and there’s several reasons for this, but one reason is that cheaters and griefers have found ways to make shopping a less enjoyable experience.


My only experience with Griefers comes from the years of playing Second Life. A griefer is a strange breed of person; a psychologist would probably identify them as anti-social personalities. They seem to enjoy causing normal people problems, anxiety, losses and pain. Normal people usually wonder: What’s wrong with these people? This post isn’t about who psychology, it’s about what griefers do, specifically to the FO76 shopping experience with stores designed to be death traps.

  1. Killer Stores had been relatively rare in FO76 until recently, at least on Xbox One. I’ve seen videos by players on PCs that indicate that there is much more mischief on PC versions of the game.
  2. The killer stores I’ve encountered generally have one thing in common: on arrival at the store you have to enter a building and follow passageways.
  3. One type of death trap had a passageway was obscured by palm tree plants, making it necessary to walk blindly up stairs and then fall into an enclosed trap with a bank of a dozen flamethrowers. You can die instantly, but the game is glitched enough that you might respawn and respawn indefinitely, burning up all of your Stim Packs (health restoration meds). Fortunately, You can always just power off if you need to, or open your map and exit the game if it will let you.
  4. There are other variations on this hateful theme, for example, the griefer may use land mines, or just put the stores’ vending machines on a platform that extends over a cliff, so when you use the machine, the griefer can simply exit the game, the floor disappears, and you fall to your death.

How do I know these things? Yeah, I’ve been caught in a variety of these schemes, but I’ve avoided many others. First, if you go to a store that seems to have a great inventory, but you have to enter a building: beware. And if the store is on a cliff, first you should observe the outside if you can see where the vending machines are: do not use machines that are suspended over a high cliff. If you have to enter the building, and find yourself forced to walk down long corridors, you may be in danger; however, half the time (who knows, really?), these are legit stores with creative designs and you can use the vending machines successfully. A lot of stores have taken to putting their vending machines in front of the building, and this is a good sign. However, even outside, you may be in an area where bloated Gangrenous Feral Ghouls or some other one-hit-kill beasts frequently attack, so be careful even here. Yeah, it’s sad that shopping has come to this.

There another kind of store that seems to have a great looking inventory on the map, but once you get there you discover the vending machines are locked behind doors. So, if you pick the locks you instantly become a “Wanted Player” and fair game, regardless of your Pacifist setting. And you’ll prolly get killed. If you don’t pick the lock, you’ve just wasted your Fast Travel fee; hence, they’ve costed you money (and like I said, this is fun for these guys, even if they aren’t around to see you).

What can you do? Before you Fast Travel or otherwise go to a store, check the name of the store’s owner. If you get killed in the store or if you are sure the store is a trap or a grief, you can block the player. Blocking bad actors is no panacea because there are thousands and thousands of them, but they you won’t have to deal with that specific griefer or their stores (stores don’t show up on map) if owner is blocked. I believe that you still may come across their stores through exploring, but if they don’t show up on your map then you’ve probably blocked or otherwise muted them. If you make a mistake, you can easily unblock.

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Fallout 76 @ Level 128

My Zahava character has reached level 128, but I suppose my knowledge and skills are at a significantly higher level because of the predecessor characters I’ve created. Nonetheless, I still feel I have a great deal to learn about the game. Here’s a little ditty, I was in the vicinity of Vault 51 the other day and discovered that the door had been wrecked. My guess is that when you begin playing Nuclear Winter that triggers the change in the door. Here’s before and after pics of the entrance.

Vault 51 when I first discovered it,
and the same vault a few days ago.

I turned my posts that dealt with the recent problems I had with Bethesda customer support. I was angry but the incident reminded me of the kinds of things that have happened in gaming many times in the past. I keep hoping that gaming software companies will eventually learn that pushing the envelope on their technology is disrespectful to the people who buy their products. Back in the early days of Microsoft Windows, the software was terribly buggy but in time Bill Gates realized that the product needed to be more reliable. Hopefully this will happen inside Bethesda someday.

BTW, everyone who is interest in Fallout 76 can get some great insights from Marta Branco’s InnovSurvivalist YouTube channel. She’s one of the people who is working on the Wastelanders, and her insights are worthwhile.


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Fallout 76: Nuclear Winter Solo

Okay, okay. I’ve been thinking about FO76’s battle royal, Nuclear Winter. So, today I tried it out for the first time. First, I realized that there’s a Solo and a Team version, and this sounded great to me. I thought by going solo I could learn how the game is played and yada, yada, yada.

Yordie Sands in FO76

That’s me when I first discovered Vault 51,
the setting for Nuclear Winter

I mean, from my brief experience with multi-player teams so far, I’ve found it to be really difficult because I was the only one with a mic for talking to team members. That lack of communications is supposed to be handled with the emote system, but emotes and clumsy Xbox messaging just suck. (No more complaints about that.)

So I started playing and was killed very quickly, but after reaching level 2 I started getting the hang of it and adopted a sneaky approach to the game; mainly because I kept getting killed by player with ratings above 100. Geezus. But okay, I began watching what those players were doing after I got killed (this is a feature of the game; you can watch what your killer does next). And guess what? I saw that a lot of the players that killed me worked in teams or gangs (3 or 4 players, even more). Huh? WTF? In the Solo game, players were forming teams. My oh my, this really sucks.

Nonetheless, I stuck with my solo mode and managed to kill three players as I climbed to level 7. I’m not sure how I feel about Nuclear Winter yet. I watched some of InnovSurvivalist‘s (Marta Branco) videos (Solo 1, Solo 2) and have a better understanding of how to win. BTW, I really like this girl’s videos and totally support her! She gives great updates on new FO76 Releases and plenty of tips when you got stuck; like Solo Nuclear Winter.

I’m still trying to figure out this whole FO multi-player thing, but the experience reminds me of the crap I encountered when I tried World of Warcraft over a decade ago. Nuclear Winter is much better than WoW, but it’s the gang thing that really upsets me. I’ve read that Bethesda is working on a system to shutout cheating but I suspect it’s going to take a long time. My only reference is that awful WoW experience, so this seems like Deja vu. I’ll keep trying, but I doubt that I’m going very far with it.

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