Fallout New Vegas: Yordie at Boulder Dam

I’ve continued playing FONV up to Lever 14. And I’ve enjoyed because the story line flows so well written. There are things I dislike, the whole ammo reloading thang, for example. Also, I found the constant degradation of weapons makes me a bit weary. But I’ve been engaged in the gameplay and story, and I found the landscape vast and interesting. It’s old school tech (runs in Xbox 360 Mode), but will has enough elements to make it very playable, even now.

That’s me in my clunky outfit at the fortified Boulder Dam.

Like Fallout 3, I’ve kind of run as far as I want to go with this game. I could come back if I get interested in the lore again, but I’ll prolly just let Oxhorn walk me though his unique lore series. Also, I’m aware that there’s a new release coming: Fallout New Vegas 2. And I’ll definitely give that a try, although I haven’t dug into the status yet.

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Fallout New Vegas: Seeking Lore

I’ve kind of run out of interest in Fallout 3; it’s been fun and has filled in a lot of the history of the game for me. The reason I lost interest is more related to the old tech; lets face it, a lot of graphics and gameplay technology has advance since FO3 was first released. Also, I got very weary of the dismal, colorless landscapes; yeah, FO4 is pretty dismal also but not as dismal. So, yeah, Fallout 3 is still playable and I enjoyed my excursion, but I prolly won’t be returning.

I’ve also been poking around Fallout 76, getting back in the groove a bit, but I’m not ready to return. And this led me to open up Fallout New Vegas, not just because it’s there, but because I’m interested in the Fallout history and lore. I’ve heard some players contend that FONV is the best game Bethesda ever made; so, I was more than curious. You see, I’d fiddled around in FONV in the past and it was interesting but I didn’t see anything that really inspired me.

I started play FONV last week and have advanced through the Goodsprings quests, including taking on the Powder Gang. I’ve also been over to Primm and other nearby places and outposts.

I’ve read about a Fallout: New Vegas 2 in the que for release later this year, so I plan to play current FONV for a while then hang it up and wait for FONV2. Regardless, I’m enjoying the game as it is so far.

Here’s a pic I managed to snap of myself in Goodsprings. I’m not sure how I got the frontal view because I tried several shots that didn’t work. So this may be the one and only pic I’ll have from FONV.

Yordie Sands is a blogger, writer and gamer.
Yordie at the Prospector Saloon in Goodsprings.

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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Oh my! I’ve been waiting for a game like this since seeing the movie Avatar. And it looks like I’ll have to wait another year, until 2022, but I’m on fire with enthusiasm. For one thing, I sort of got my gaming legs playing the Lara Croft games, produced by Ubisoft, and this gives me confidence that they’ll do a good job on Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Checkout the trailer, released yesterday. I think it will thrill you also.

Following the release of the film in 2009, several of Second Life’s creative people setup some fun sims and groups, and I eagerly joined in. I had a lot of fun but SL role play can lead to a lot of different interpretations of what should and shouldn’t be done. There were also, of course, plenty of griefers. Nonetheless, I have great memories of my life as a Na’vi in Second Life. Below are some photos.

That’s Yordie Na’Vi on her dragon flying across Pandora’s Moon in Second Life.

The game will be available on Xbox Series X, and there’s no plan for backward compatibility. So, if you’ve been putting off buy a new Xbox, like I have (I mean, I own an Xbox One X and S already), you will have a lot of incentive to buy next year. And I will. Can’t wait!

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Fallout 3: Traveling Back in Time

I bought Fallout 3 a couple years ago, starting fiddling around in it, then came Fallout 76. I spent over a year in FO76, then spent over a half-year in FO4, and have been planning on returning to FO76. But I’ve been curious about the Fallout lore. I’ve watched several of Oxhorn’s Fallout Lore videos, even back to Fallout 1, but I wanted to get back into Fallout 3 and get the feel for the gameplay. So, last week I did. I wasn’t interested in being competitive, so I set the gameplay to “Very Easy” (I know, how lame!). Anyway, I’ve been running around in the Wasteland and despite the fact that it feels like travelling back in time, I’ve enjoyed it.

That’s me at Level 9 in my combat armor and helmet.

When I began playing I expected the gameplay to be very similar to Fallout 4, but it’s quite different and several things are a lot more cumbersome. For example, I have an Xbox One and the controller doesn’t easily permit me to use the favorites wheel; in fact, I can only put four items in the wheel and use them effectively. Another thing, tossing grenades is a bit of a hassle; in FO4/FO76, your grenades are equipable and can be thrown without changing your active weapon. And there are several different controller buttons that give me fits, but I’m adapting. And then there’s the dismal post-apocalyptic landscape! It is even more abysmal than Fallout 4, and greenery is hard to find.

Nonetheless, the quests are quite challenging and I’m really glad that I’m just playing for fun because yesterday I did the Find Vault 112 quest. Wow! I can’t really say much about it without SPOILERS, so let me just say that I had to turn to Oxhorn’s Fallout 3 – Part 7 video to figure out how to proceed. I was smart enough to figure out what the elements of the quest were, but it appeared to be too much work while I was playing (Again, I know how lame that is, but hey!). So, I backed out and did other things, but I’ll prolly head back into the game sometime this week and deal with the Tranquility Lane thing.

One thing I especially like about the Fallout games is the lore. I became intrigued when I first played Fallout 4 and Paladin Danse told me that he used to live in Rivet City, in the Capital Wasteland. Then I became more and more familiar with the evolving lore. I think the lore is one of the aspects of the Fallout games that I enjoy the most.

I’ll keep playing Fallout 3 for awhile longer, but I’m starting to spec up on recent changes to Fallout 76 and will return soon.

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Second Life: A Friend is Someone…

I’ve been hopping into Second Life from time to time over the past month. Mainly, when an old friend IM’s me, I’ve headed inworld to hangout, chat, and go dancing. We don’t spend more than a hour or two at a time, but it’s really nice to be with this old friend again. I don’t know how long this will continue but our virtual experience has changed so much since the early days when we naively roamed the grid, wide eyed, and full of great expectations.

Anyway, as the saying goes: A friend is someone who likes you. So, it’s a real treat to reengage after so many years apart–over a decade. I don’t know his real name or age or much about his real life, and he doesn’t know me any better, but I think we know everything we need to know about each other. We do talk about shared interests and experiences, but mostly we talk about a wide range of subjects. And somehow the sharing of these points of view seems to have built a connection between us. It’s not like this will ever develop into a real world relationship, but it is an enjoyable virtual relationship.

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Fallout 4: Sadly, The Saga Continues

Following the wipeout of a game I had been playing since 2019, I made a concerted effort to resolve several key issues I had been having with a new download of Fallout 4 (ver

Bethesda support was very helpful and escalated my issue to their Advanced team, but after several days they couldn’t resolve the issue. I also worked with Microsoft’s Xbox Support but they couldn’t or wouldn’t help; by “wouldn’t” I mean, it was pretty clear to me that the version was being rolled out by Xbox Services and Microsoft wouldn’t pursue the problem that far. I’m not angry about this because I trust that Microsoft is still trying to deal with the problems created by the SolarWinds hack. So, I decided to try to live with the new version despite the fact that it is inferior across a broad list of categories. Nonetheless, it is stable…so far.

I restarted my game without any Creation Club (CC) items or Mods. I played quickly through the lower levels but around level 20 I started adding some CC items: dogs, back pack. I continued moving forward and eventually added more CC items, then a couple mods, then a couple more. I’m currently back to Level 50. I’ve also been very strategic in developing my factions, and I met with the Minutemen and took back Fort Independence (The Castle), but there’s a new problem.

That’s me in my Home Plate private house in Diamond City.

The new problem: I’m reasonably certain that the version of Fallout 4 I’m running on Xbox does not notify me when my settlements are under attack. This would be something I might be able to live with normally, but after taking The Castle I noticed that the morale of all four of my settlements cratered 30 to 40 points. At Abernathy Farm, several settlers told me that they are “really in trouble here.” But it was not at all clear what I needed to do to help. I’ve played this game a lot over the years and I’ve never seen this level of morale destruction. So, here I am, once again, wondering where this will lead.

About a month ago I repurchased the Fallout 1st subscription within Fallout 76, so I’ll probably put Fallout 4 on the shelf for awhile and return to FO76. My hope is that at some time in the future, a new version of FO4 will be release that solves the many anomalies I’ve discovered. I really, really, really hope Microsoft/Bethesda comes through with better version of FO4, but it’s an old product and they may be putting their money elsewhere.

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My Novel & My Writing

Along with a lot of people in this world, I’ve been suffering my way through the COVID era, and I’m sorry to say that I lost the handle on my novel writing. In fact, I’ve been more active as a blogger and social network commenter than I have as a writer. Now, I’m trying to get back in the saddle, so to speak.

This pic kind of feels like where I’m at right now.

I know what I want Book II of The Temporal Expeditions to be. I know how I want it to progress. I know that it will be at least 120k words, of which I have about 70k words in first draft format. But the completed work is the ending half of the novel, and I’ve been struggling to fully map out the first half. I call this writer’s block’s crazy uncle.

In the year and a half since I published The Temporal Expeditions, Book I I’ve lost the context of that book in my thoughts. I mean, it isn’t fresh because I’ve had to do a mental refresh several times, and that means I’ll need another refresh cycle. I’m planning to use Read Aloud to reread Book I to me. This will help me plunge into the writing of Book II. I use the reader because I’m dyslexic and spoken words enter my thoughts more easily than reading. Yeah, I know this is odd but dyslexia is weird.

BTW, dyslexic writers are not that uncommon. In my case, words pour out easily. I’m even a pretty good speller. But drinking the words into my thoughts through my eyes requires a lot of discipline.

I’ve added a new tab to this blog: My Writing. In general, I’ll be pulling in meaningful posts from my Journal blog, so all of my blogging activity will be focused here. I’m not sure this is going to workout well, but I’ve already added the first entry about the inspiration for The Temporal Expeditions.

I plan to continue writing about Second Life and Gaming in general. In fact, playing Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 put me in a mindset of existing in a world where all of our precious civilization is rough and raw. It’s abstract, but it lets my thoughts roam over a different landscape.

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