Fallout 4 Disaster

Last week I reached Fallout 4 Level 122 and was looking into adding one or more of the DLC-type mods. I was also getting a bit tired with the game; after all, I’d gained an additional 60 levels since resuming the game back in October. I had also began dabbling in Fallout 76 again, even bought a subscription to Fallout 1st. So, I backed up Fallout 4 to a Seagate Xbox external hard drive. Then disaster struck.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions

It was like this! And the game I began in 2019 was wiped out.

Microsoft Outage

Last week, Microsoft shutdown several services while I was on Xbox. The outage lasted into the night and when I it came back I noticed that all of my mods were showing in my mod list, but weren’t active. I also noticed that all of my Creative Club purchases showed, but like the mods, they weren’t active. Something must have gone very wrong at Microsoft. One commenter on Reddit suggested that there may have been some kind of security issues related to mod files, but there’s no way to know what happened. After a lot of scrambling to restore the mods and CC content, it became clear to me that this iteration of the game was lost.

Bethesda Reinstall

I decided to uninstall my existing version of Fallout 4 then reinstall. I don’t recall the version I had been using but it became clear to me that the newly installed version was a bit strange. For example, the Brahmin no longer showed up while I was recruiting for my new settlement. There were also graphics glitches. I’ve looked at available version information, but I don’t determine if the version I’m playing is is current or an older version.

SolarWinds Hack Mitigation?

I’ve wondered if the events I’ve described are somehow related to mitigation procedures to restore security following the massive SolarWinds hack. Another idea has occurred to me, maybe Microsoft and Bethesda had to modify some code bases for an upcoming offering.  I don’t know. I don’t even know where to begin finding answers to these questions. I’m very frustrated, but if my disaster is the result of efforts to deal with SolarWinds debacle, then I can’t blame them.


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Fallout 4: Featuring The Castle

[Level 118, Very Hard] I’m winding down in Fallout 4 for now, but I’m still adding details to my settlements. Without attempting to show The Castle itself as many have done, I’m focusing attention of several areas inside the castle walls where stores have been setup. But I’m starting the show with one of my fav Minutemen, well, Minutewomen. She’s a Minuteman Ranger and has been with the garrison since the battle to retake it from the Mieurlurks. Checkout her lethal Service Rifle (a very cool mod)!

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She doesn’t have a name but she is one badass Minuteman soldier.

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This is the garrison bar and grill, and there’s a small Slocum’s Joe with great donuts. This is where everyone hangs out when they are off duty.

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The Castle has the best medical facility of all my settlements. That’s why Doc Andersen is the doctor.

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All of my large settlements have clothing stores and this is fully stocked and kinda cute in a post-apocalyptic way.

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Naturally, every settlement needs a general store.

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Here’s a peek inside the main compound of The Castle. There are guards at both the main entrance and a rear exit.

By the way, I’ve been adding “clutter” (DYI Clutter mod) to all the shelves in all the settlements. I’m still thinking of building two more settlements but I also have my eye on returning to Fallout 76. In fact, yesterday I bought a Fallout 1st subscription. More to come…

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Fallout 4: The Tale of the Lost Provisioner

A few weeks ago I reported that I had two provisioners stuck on an inaccessible overpass. I attempted to “move” them both to a new settlement, Covenant, using the Settlement Management Software (SMS). However, only one of the even moved from her stuck position and never made it to her new home. So, I just gave up on the lost provisioner and moved on.

Well, while I was in Nuka-World doing a quest, I got a message: Covenant is under attack. I was tempted to overlook it because I haven’t developed that settlement, but after a few minutes I decided to go see what was going on. Sure enough, super mutants had penetrated the compound and were shooting up the place. So, I wiped out the invaders and took a look around to assess the damage.

Low and behold, I found the long lost provisioner sleeping in one of the houses. This amazed me. I thought she was a goner. Then my analytical mind kicked in: Maybe stuck settlers are drawn back to their home base during the event of an attack. Anyway, I used the SMS to move her to The Slog where she’s doing well as a guard.

“You never know what you’re gonna get.” ~Gump

BTW, I’m running into a lot of anomalies in Nuka-World, probably caused by one of the mods I’m using, so I’m thinking of bringing my adventure in Fallout 4 to an end soon. I’ve also saw Juicehead’s video about a very promising upcoming release in Fallout 76, so I may return there after shutting down FO4 again.

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Fallout 4: Starlight Drive-in Pond

I talked about Starlight Drive-in’s mud pond in the previous post, and should have included at least a token pic of it. So, here are a couple pics of the lovely little mud hole. It’s not so bad once you clean it up a bit.

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There’s only a small number of settlements that even have water access, so this little pond is a nice little feature.

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Here the pond is, a little more up close and personal.

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This is a view from the recruitment beacon tower.

Starlight isn’t my favorite settlement, but I’ve put a lot of time into trying to marry security with a comfortable place for settlers and caravans to enjoy.

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Fallout 4: Featuring Starlight Drive-in

[Level 116, Very Hard] It’s been two years since I first built the settlement at Starlight Drive-in. I’d built on the site in previous games (five) I played at different levels of difficulty.

In my first game (started at Very Easy; hey, I’ve never claimed to be a gamer!) I tried to build a barrier around the radioactive mud pond, not realizing that I could simply delete the radioactive materials. It drove me nuts because my settlers spawned right next to the pond and I was totally frustrated with it. By the second game (Easy) I set one of those giant water purifiers in the middle of the pond, and I continued this during game three (2018, Normal difficulty).

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I’ve seen a lot of gamers use the drive-in’s mud pond as a water source. So did I.

Finally in game #4 (Hard), I had an idea that I could build a great little center for commerce, using a second level for sheltering the settlers. It was pretty cool but didn’t really look that great (see photo below; note that I’m using mods for the spring colors).

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This was my 4th game of Fallout 4 and this build represents some of my best building, but not my best.

In early 2019, I began game #5 (Very Hard difficulty) and I’d been thinking about making a center piece out of that ugly little mud puddle. I spent days building the settlement before I even began recruiting settlers. SPOILER: Whenever possible, build the settlement before you recruit settlers because once settlers arrive they find ways to get in your way whenever you are trying to do any type of building. (Funny, sorta.) Anyway, I feel pretty good about this settlement, but even now I have ideas for making it even better, should I ever start this game again.

Fallout 4 photo by Yordie Sands

This is Starlight Drive-in main compound with concrete walls.

So, what’s inside that building and has that ugly little mud pond revealed a one of the prettiest little places in Fallout 4? Well, I’ll show you several pics of the interior, but that ugly little mud hole doesn’t really have a lot of pretty to reveal. My guess is that there’s some mod out there somewhere that makes it more appealing, but there are no where near as many mods for Xbox/Playstation as there are for the PC.

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This is the recently expanded medical clinic overlooking the pond.

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I consider the bar and grill to be the center piece of every settlement.

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I thought Starlight was a good place for The Scribe to setup his armor store.

Note that all of the stores open onto the little pond; humble, muddy, and all.

Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic video game

There’s also a Slocum’s Joe, Clothing store and General store.

Starlight Drive-in is one of the large settlements in the game and I always build it out to the limits of the enemy spawning zones. This has been one of the safest settlements I have and there are half a dozen provisioners coming and going all the time. Even though I like the progress I’ve made with this settlement, I think I’ll give it one more try in the future.

OTOH, I’ve been playing this iteration of the game for nearly two years (I took off for over a year to play Fallout 76 though) and am not really thinking about starting over any time soon. Also, I tend to believe that Bethesda Games will come out with some thing new in the Fallout series this year. Plus, I plan to return to Fallout 76 next month or so.

Up next: I’m thinking of featuring The Castle. I’m not a big fan of the fortress because so much of it is prebuilt, but I’ve done some things that I want to show off. One thing I love about The Castle is that I have ten real Minutemen stationed their, when you include Ronnie, Preston and the radio guy. They are my best soldiers and have the best clothing, armor, and weapons. Note: The Castle is very secure now that the Institute is caput, and I haven’t triggered a war with the Brotherhood.


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Fallout 4: The Slog Settlement

Currently Level 108[112] I completed most of Far Harbor DLC and have begun Nuka World DLC. I’m actually surprised at how much I’m enjoying Nuka World; guess my morals, ethics and sense of decency have fallen to a new low. *smiles*

I worked quickly on turning The Slog into a proper settlement. I’m now up to 27 settlers and have Paladin Danse and Curie stationed there. Also, the ever charming super mutant, Strong, has found a home there as a happy provisioner. Anyway, both Danse and Curie will be moving on to Old Longfellow’s place in Far Harbor soon, and I’ll begin adding new settlers after that. Below are some photos that capture the essence of the settlement I built there. So far, it is very secure.

Fallout 4 - The Slog Settlement

This is the fully walled in area where Slog farming is centered.

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This is my usual front entrance configuration, which has proven to be secure.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions.

This is a peek into the main compound area; not as lavish as other large settlements but seems to fit well.

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This is The Slog’s medical center and that’s Curie at the surgery chair.

This completes my work on The Slog, at least for now. Next up, I’ll return to Starlight Drive-in and display what I’ve been able to do using the muddy pond as a focal point. Hey, “[the pond] ain’t much but it’s somethin’.”



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Fallout 4: Provisioner’s Routes

I’m at Level 108 now and just finished that KiMa’s tedious mental puzzle inside The Nucleus. I also added The Slog to my large-size settlements; only 27 peeps, but I’ll be moving Curie and Danse to other settlements soon and then build-up the regular settlers.

I’ve also been increasing the number of provisioners I have running caravans through the northern region of the game. Currently, all settlements average around four caravans. In my early FO4 games I really disliked the idea of running provisioners, but now there seems to be proof that the more caravans you have in a region, the better the security is. The security improvement is also a result of having a large numbers of minutemen manning checkpoints near the active settlements.

Yordie Sands is a writer, blogger, photographer and gamer.

These are my current provisioner routes in the northern half of the Commonwealth.

Currently I have five large settlements, six small settlements and one safe house, for 300 settlers, so I’m still not fully built out. I’ve avoided several settlements like Greentop Nursery, because it is very difficult to build on and the settlers seem so unwilling to do their jobs; what is that all about? I’ve also avoided Finch Farm, Taffington and others, but I may add a lot more when I complete all the DLCs. I am looking forward to building a large settlement at Kingsport Lighthouse, but first I want to create a cool place for Old Longfellow (Luv this old guy).

Anyway, I still have a lot of work to do before I’m ready to put Fallout 4 on the shelf. I’ve ordered an external drive for Xbox and plan to back this iteration of the game up, before I begin messing around with Sim-Settlements. This game can be a lot of work, but when you complete a major questline or build another large settlement, it can be very rewarding. More to come…

OH, OH, OH! Before I forget.

I figured out a way to avoid killing lost characters (NPCs that get stuck in inaccessible places), just “Move” them (using Settlement Management Menu) to an unused settlement. The odds are, the NPC will never actually make it to the new settlement, but at least you can now recruit and assign a new NPC to their job.



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