Fallout 4 EP6: Welcome to Prison

By Shamus
on Jun 10, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

136 comments


Link (YouTube)

Spoiler Warning Gentlemen’s* Drinking Game of Foolishness

* Women may also participate, but for thematic reasons they should do so while wearing a fake mustache, beard, or top hat. Note that women are not encouraged to participate, because literally nobody is encouraged to participate, because this is less a “game”, as is it a very stupid, time-consuming, and expensive way to kill yourself.

Take a drink whenever:

  1. Either you encounter a situation where the dialog option says “No,” but the character says “Yes”, OR you encounter a dialog where all choices are obviously the same damn thing.
  2. They should have kept this innovation from New Vegas.
  3. Hey, guys, remember Shaun?
  4. Doing something smart breaks a quest.
  5. Josh shoots an ally, companion, or otherwise friendly person on accident.
  6. NPC we want to kill on purpose is invulnerable.
  7. Josh picks a trait or upgrades a stat because, “Fuck it, everything else is locked”.
  8. “In the original Fallout”. (Any reference to Fallout 1 or 2 counts.)
  9. Reginald dies.
  10. VATS causes something nonsensical to happen.
  11. Control confusion: The game trolls Josh by confusing or changing the purpose of spacebar / Escape / E / Tab. Or Josh confuses melee / grenade / reload / use.

Please don’t play this game. We’re trying to grow our audience and we’ve heard that killing you with binge drinking is apparently counter-productive to that goal? Turns out that if we hadn’t killed all those people during the Fallout 3 season we’d be more popular than Pewdiepie by now.

ALSO: Josh and I (and maybe some other guests, we’re still hammering out the details) will be streaming E3, which begins this Sunday. The schedule is here. Sunday has both E3 and Bethesda events, which begin at 1PM pacific time USA. Like always, this is meant to be loose and casual. If you’re looking for hard-hitting coverage and news, we’re probably not the best people to follow. If you want to hang out and see live, unfiltered reactions to things, then I’ll see you there.

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Footnotes:


A Hundred!2016There are 136 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Redingold says:

    Funnily enough, New Vegas has a Trudy in it. She runs the Prospector Saloon in Goodsprings.

  2. Hermocrates says:

    Josh and I (and maybe some other guests, we’re still hammering out the details) will be streaming E3

    Yay! I really enjoyed your streams last year, and was hoping you’d do it again. I honestly couldn’t get myself to GAF about E3 otherwise, but I am curious about the games being shown anyway. Having your colour commentary makes it actually palatable, hell, enjoyable even.

  3. I plan on playing the drinking game, just with knock-off Dr. Pepper. :P

  4. Jace911 says:

    For a game that really frontloaded a lot of its enthusiasm (Vaults! Dogmeat! Power Armor! DEATHCLAW!) , Fallout 4 spent absolutely no effort getting me to care about any of Preston’s refugees once they arrived in Sanctuary. I learned everything there was to know about them within ten minutes and they never developed beyond that even though they were the five NPCs I saw the most in the entire game.

    Trudy has the same problem: she’s completely static and exists eternally in the moment after you killed Wolfgang.

    Very few of the NPCs in this game sold me on the idea that they were real people who changed and reacted and recognized the passage of time.

    • MrGuy says:

      I think this is a big part of the problem with the settlement mechanic being in the game.

      Sturges really sums up the problem for me at the end of this clip. “You’re welcome any time through my door. Or my window. Or some of the walls, come to think about it. Well, I better get back to it!”

      The implication is clear – there’s tons of work to do. Holes in the walls, junk everywhere, no amenities. And, like any sane person, Sturges says “I need to get on that if we’re going to survive here!” But, of course, he doesn’t. None of these settlers lifts a finger to do anything on their own. They’re helpless pawns on this chessboard.

      I get what the developers were trying to do. Giving the player big powerful tools builds agency. Giving the player character the ability to literally shape the world is awesome. But if you let all the characters go around doing it too, they’re going to do things “wrong” by your standard sometimes. And, let’s face it, with the game AI, probably always do things wrong. That will frustrate the hell out of a player – imagine building a minecraft village that’s literally full of creepers who will blow up whatever you built as soon as you turn your back. So, we need to prevent the NPC’s from making changes to the settlements.

      But when the player is the ONLY one with agency, it makes it hard to respect or care about these useless mopes who inhabit the world. Oh, you want to complain about the holes in the wall? You know what? Fix it! If you can’t lift a finger, and you live here, why the hell should I care?

      A better game mechanic (in terms of making you feel like you’re helping, but not the Great Mary Sue) would be for you to bring them scrap, for them to reward you for it, and then for THEM to improve the settlement when you’re away. Have a master plan in the game file, and have it get added to when you bring the right resources. Does it put you in masterful control of every detail of the settlement? Of course not. But it still makes you the main agent of developing the settlements, it still lets you see visible progress as you put more work in, and it makes you feel a heck of a lot less like the only person in town who ever does anything…

      • Nidokoenig says:

        Alternatively, have the NPCs jog over and knock up whatever you set down a template or scaffold for, so they’re at least doing something. Swap the model out from a frame to a half built wall and on up. As you bring in greater resources, upgrade to fancier materials. It’s still your layout, and you can deliberately choose a certain stage to be the end point, and it makes sense for one guy to do that.

        • Echo Tango says:

          I was thinking exactly this. The game could even have timers on everything, so if you only put blueprints for el-cheapo stuff, it’ll be done in a couple hours when you’re done looting some raiders and junk. If you put blueprints for lots of turrets and concrete walls, it takes a couple days to finish.

          • Philadelphus says:

            That sounds pretty interesting, actually, it reminds me of a first-person Dwarf Fortress or Rim World or any similar fortress/colony/whatever-building game.

        • guy says:

          They could at least be visibly occupied tending crops or whatever all the time.

          • Coming_Second says:

            If you have them assigned, you will see settlers weeding and stuff.

            • MrGuy says:

              Exactly. If you have assigned them.

              But that’s the issue again. Nobody is capable of doing anything (even things clearly in their own interest) without your explicit say so and direction.

              You’re the unelected dictator of every town in the wasteland, and the people won’t so much as pick their own crops without you telling them that they should.

              • Axe Armor says:

                I’ve been finding that settlers are surprisingly capable if you just put down some basic necessities and let them work it out. Trying to micromanage my farmers just made me angry when everyone suddenly unassigned themselves all at once for no reason. Planted a garden in front of them and went for a walk, and sure enough they figured out how to tend crops on their own when they got hungry enough.

        • James says:

          This is what should have been done, you set the plan they build it, ideally while your away that way they can say that all the springs and random cloth you find got made into a bed whilst you were away.

      • Rayen says:

        Just have the town build stuff around randomly and the houses get more repaired over time. You can still pick up and move craft able objects and stuff to make your town exactly how you want it. Then have an option of Sturges where you can turn villagers building their own stuff on and off.

      • Grudgeal says:

        That last paragraph gave me flashbacks to the Luin sidequest in Tales of Symphonia. Never again.

        Spoilers for those interested and not in the know: Luin is a town that gets destroyed by some bad guys late in the first act. After you beat said bad guys you get a sidequest to rebuild the town by donating money. After you donate certain amounts of money, the town gets gradually rebuilt in increments. The game never tells you what those increments are, and any money that goes above a certain increment isn’t used for rebuilding the next stage, so you can spend a lot of time and money making donations that don’t do anything until you suddenly hit that threshold behind-the-scenes and the town’s general store gets rebuilt. After you fully rebuild the town for a ludicrous amount that will cost you more than everything else you’ve bought for the rest of the game combined the blacksmith will sell you some high-end weaponry at ludicrously inflated prices that are nonetheless inferior to the actual weapons you’ll get at the point in the game you got that much dough. So, in short, bugger Luin and that money-sink-grindy-non-explanatory-optional-endgame-waste-of-time with a rusty poker, I pray nightly to Martel for the Desians come back and finish the job.

        • Benjamin Hilton says:

          Aww I liked Luin because it let me feel like I was having a positive impact on peoples lives, which is really important since I felt like shit after all the people I helped in Palmacosta died.

          • Grudgeal says:

            Oh, I really liked the feeling of getting Luin to the top level. It’s just that it didn’t outweigh the 5+ hours I spent grinding that dragon in the earth temple for it.

    • Matt Downie says:

      Characters who seem interesting when you first meet them, but then turn into repetitious robots with nothing new to say ever again? In a Bethesda game?

    • GloatingSwine says:

      There’s a reason why 100% of all humans who ever played Fallout 4 set up their personal stuff at Red Rocket.

      Because then they don’t have to deal with the Sanctuary idiots whinging at them whilst they’re fiddling with gun mods.

      Also Preston can’t give you quests.

      Especially when he’s been sent to Coastal Cottage to live in half a shed with the other people who smell of mirelurk.

    • The Other Matt K says:

      Something I found interesting was that, some 60 levels after I had fled Sanctuary, I stumbled into the town where Sturges and everyone came from. Once I had cleared it out, I could read the backstory of their crew, how they had been driven away, I could find their rooms with their stuff… etc. I thought that was really cool, and headed back to Sanctuary expecting some sort of dialogue regarding it or acknowledgement or anything…. nope.

      That really sums up the game for me. I think it is a great exploration game, with tons of interesting things to discover, and I’ve probably put more hours into it than into New Vegas… but outside of some of your companions, there isn’t much ‘payoff’ to the exploration you do. There just isn’t any depth to the NPCs, when there really could have been.

  5. Tuskin says:

    There is an alternate start mod out for Fallout 4 now, but it is very bare bones, you can choose your spawn location and starting equipment.

  6. MrGuy says:

    SSHHHAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    My alternate start mod is a save I have from right before you exit the vault and get to respec your character. I just checked the timestamp and good god, that point is twenty minutes in. And that’s on a file where I skipped as much dialogue as possible. That intro is way too long for how little it accomplishes.

    • Jokerman says:

      I played it through yesterday, gonna test out this survival mode, it did not feel all that long, maybe 10 mins tops (ill have to go check the actual time). Its certainly no Fallout 3, or even oblivion

    • guy says:

      Mine is forty. I mean, I went around reading all the terminals, but still. It’s no Persona 3, but that applies in multiple senses.

    • Coming_Second says:

      I mean, this’d be fine if the game was all about the story. From the length and gravity of the intro, it is impressed upon you that you’re supposed to really give a shit about the main quest. But as discussed in the playthrough, the game does not even make haring after Shaun feasible, never mind preferable. It’s such a dissonance.

      • MrGuy says:

        I think it’s really that there are two main quests.

        One is “find Shaun,” the other is “rebuild civilization.” That’s one too many main quests.

        And their handling of it is terrible. Because JUST after you start, as you’re just beginning to pick up the trail of “what happened to Shaun” and get invested in that quest, you’re basically railroaded into meeting Garvey. And after the first encounter with Garvey, the game points you right back at Sanctuary and expects you to start improving things, and the quest to find Shaun is put on the back burner.

        That’s just awful. They ACTIVELY INTERRUPT the main plot quest to introduce the secondary “main quest” that’s clearly at odds with the “OMG I have to find my son!” quest.

        The result cheapens both quests. After establishing “You’d do anything to find your son!” as the main hook for the game, they try to teach you “Finding your son isn’t as important as this cool base building mechanic we made.”

        They could have let the main “Find Shaun!” hook get a little more established before they knocked it off the table, but then they risk “ZOMG they might not find our awesome base building game! We need to make it mandatory to encounter, and we need to shove it in the player’s face in the first 60 minutes or they might miss our precious content!”

        FO3 did this a bit with the Wasteland Survival Guide quest, though at least that was 100% optional.

        • Bloodsquirrel says:

          That’s the problem with the settlement stuff, too. If the game was thematically and narratively about rebuilding, then there might be more of a reason to bother with settlements.

          I played around with them for a little bit, but quickly came to “What’s the point, again?”. It’s not minecraft, where I can actually make a cool base for myself. You don’t really get anything from doing it. It doesn’t affect the core explore/kill/loot gameplay cycle. It’s not Simcity where you can see something slowly grow and become more complex from a god’s eye view. It’s just a bar with a bunch of numbers for population/food/defense/water/etc that pops up when you hold down V.

          There’s not even a narrative context in which I should care. The NPCs that come are dull and nameless. We don’t actually see that there are a ton of people around who *need* settlements, they just appear from the aither when your town has enough beds.

          It’s something that comes really close to being able to stand as the center of the game, but it just isn’t quite there, and becomes entirely pointless instead.

        • Jace911 says:

          I almost want to say that, if they were REALLY committed to the settlement building as a central element, they should’ve given you a reason to stop chasing Shaun after Concord if you wanted. Maybe your character realizes it’s hopeless and the wasteland is too big, and gives up to go play house in Sanctuary till some other clue falls in their lap.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait a minute…a bunch of assholes that just sit around while others work,and they sustain themselves just on fruit?These guys are elves!And since they are also mutated humans,that means that fallout 4 is actually set in shadowrun universe!

  9. Hermocrates says:

    Aw dammit! You’re not making me want to play Fallout 4, per se, but you ARE making me want to play The Sims: Post-apocalypse…

    • Andrew_C says:

      There are a lot of post apocalyptic maps for TS3 and a huge amount of Fallout (and STALKER) inspired modded clothing, furniture and some build mode stuff. And then there is the Apocalypse Challenge, but I’ve never been able to make head or tail of it, far too complicated, I might do something similar but I’d make up guidelines as i went along

  10. Wide And Nerdy says:

    You can probably get them to say in there if you assign them all to stuff thats in the cell. Might need to make the cell bigger and taller.

  11. The Rocketeer says:

    This is something I heard last episode, but I want to express my joy in hearing that, like me, Campster refers to the big raider dock/boat camp as “Libertopia.” I’ve had that appelation stuck in my head since the first time I visited.

    “Visit friendly LIBERTOPIA, the libertarian paradise that arose from the ashes of the statist pre-war world! Ride the rides! See the scenic vistas! Snort Buffjet with Manic Steve! Get shot seventeen times!”

  12. JakeyKakey says:

    All this F4-lack-of-depth nitpicking is just making me wish for a proper Witcher 3 playthrough instead. Now here’s a title that couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to Fallout 4.

    I know the main game is probably far too massive, but I feel as though Heart Of Stone and Blood and Wine + maybe some of the more interesting sidequests are just self-contained enough to make for a good season.

    • I still can’t get over a game in medieval fantasy-land that has magic terrycloth towels that remain glued onto one’s body if a fight breaks out in the ol’ bathhouse.

      • Humanoid says:

        If only Witcher modders had even a tiny fraction of the dedication of Skyrim modders…

        • GloatingSwine says:

          Nah. Witcher 3 already has tits in. Nothing left for modders to do.

          You think that’s snark?

          TES modding has been heavily driven by the filth modders. The scripting engine that allowed custom animation, opening up the skeletal modding to allow detailed model replacements not just textures, etc. All done first in the pursuit of filth.

          • I’d argue there’s two other factions: Fans of other franchises (i.e. Warhammer, LOTR, etc.) that bring in their favorite armor, clothing, and weapons, and “realistic graphics” nuts.

            The latter are also all over GTA V from what I’ve seen. They want to make the most vibrant, photorealistic, hardware-melting vistas and objects ever rendered this side of James Cameron’s Avatar. Unfortunately, in Skyrim’s case, this does nothing to improve the plot, gameplay, quests, etc.

            • Incunabulum says:

              And this is my biggest disappointment with modding. Hardly anyone does quest mods. The ones that are done are either completely half-assed or completely amazing but there aren’t that many.

              Skyrim can be pretty amazing – once you turn off the main quest.

              Its a hell of a lot of work to script quests so a lot of projects get abandoned partway through.

              • It does give one some sympathy for Bethsda eschewing complexity when you look at the contingencies needed for even the most basic of quests. The threads connecting the objects, NPCs, etc. start to look like the plot map for Twin Peaks.

                Even for Fallout 3, the better total conversion mods (“Beyond Boulder Dome,” “Alton, IL,” etc.) didn’t come out in much of a stable form until a few years after release. Another thing holding up mods for Fallout 4 was everyone waiting for the DLC to be released, so they’d have access to the largest amount of game assets and know where said DLC “connected” to the main game world, so they wouldn’t make a mod only to find out it conflicted.

          • Incunabulum says:

            There isn’t that much filth. Unless your definition of filth extends to partially unzipped vault suits. But then again – I don’t frequent LL so I don’t know what they’re doing over there.

            I will say that FO4 modders have gone for the tittilation far faster this time around than in previous installments.

        • It’s not that I want to see nudity, it’s just how (1) physics works, based on my own experience with towels, and (2) of all the things for magic-land to invent, they make terrycloth?

        • Incunabulum says:

          The problem there is, I think, twofold.

          1. TW3’s modding toolset is . . . minimalist, and their ability to integrate multiple mods pretty close to non-existant. You have to merge multiple mods and can really only install one – otherwise you run into issues where later mods overwrite *everything* from already installed ones. I think BGS’ mod db format is freaking amazing and it, more than the toolkit, is what leads the game to be so easily moddable.

          2. TW3’s scripting engine is not anywhere near as powerful as FO4’s – even before F4SE is considered. I just don’t think there’s as much stuff you could do inside the game short of writing your own script extender.

    • Bespectacled Gentleman says:

      No. That game has been corrupted by the ancient order of the Spicy crispy chicken sandwich, in the service of their dark master, W’hendii. Neither the might of the monarch of burgers, nor the Taco warriors of the great hero John, nor even the holy light of saint Macdonald can return it to us. Only fools and madmen dare to venture there now.

  13. Gruhunchously says:

    This whole episode was a back-and-forth trolling match between Josh and the game itself. It was pretty impressive.

  14. Mr Compassionate says:

    So far this season is awesome and far, far less gruelling than I expected another Fallout season to be. The full cast is present, Josh is up to his tomfoolery and Ruts’s wit is sharp as ever. Couldn’t be happier.

    • Christopher says:

      Yeah, this week has been amazing. Great episodes. I was dreading it because of the negativity towards the game, but it’s been nice.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        I’ve never found negativity to be a problem when they’ve got actual things to be negative about. It’s worse when they just run out of things to say about the game and wind up being negative just because they’re bored and nitpicking.

        This game, though, is such a buffet of things to criticize that it should remain entertaining.

  15. Kelerak says:

    Missed opportunity to call this episode: “Despite All My Rage, They Are Still Not A Rat In A Cage”

  16. Deadpool says:

    Rumor has it a new Wild Arms will be at E3…

    No one else will care but I’d love to hear all about it…

  17. Deadpool says:

    The town building was the only part of this game I was interested in… Sad it was so disappointing.

  18. Christopher says:

    The Fallout New Vegas tangent makes me want to admit something. I went back and played it after hearing you guys praising it. It had a strong start and was immersive, engaging, kinda fun. Then I got lost in the hotel in the town with the roller coaster, quit the game for the night and that was that. I just never returned. It’s a very different sort of engagement to be involved in a game’s story(and roleplaying a character) rather than just playing it mindlessly but engrossed, like how I sat down to play Skyrim for the first time one summer afternoon and didn’t get up until noon because I wanted to see where my random wandering would get me next.

    • Coming_Second says:

      First few hours of NV is universally regarded as its weakest point. I know at least 3 people who gave up on it around the point you did and declared it worse than F3, were persuaded to go back to it and eventually fell in love with it.

      I don’t think it’s that bad – the stand-off at Goodsprings is a good introduction to the variety of solutions available in the game, and I can kinda see why they made things so railroad-y to begin with – but it’s worth powering through until you get to NV itself, where things open up considerably.

      • guy says:

        It should be noted that in NV you aren’t actually on rails in the early game. You can simply beeline straight for New Vegas and go kill Benny. This is highly inadvisable because loot and XP, but you can freely skip any part that bores you.

        • Radkatsu says:

          Yeah, the whole point is you’re meant to learn the game. Once you know and understand it, that route south is unnecessary and you can cut through past the Cazadores and Deathclaws instead, then up past the Fire Geckos and Raider camps. It’s a dangerous route, but that’s the whole point, it’s designed intentionally so new players get an experience tailored for them at the start, then experienced players can bypass if they wish by taking another route.

          And really, places like Primm and Nipton introduce some incredibly important stuff, both to the plot and world in general, but I suppose Beth fans coming from Fallout 3 would just see ‘boring, I’m not a god yet, why aren’t I killing a Behemoth?’ instead of the rich world and characters :/

      • Henson says:

        I think I actually had the opposite reaction. I loved the whole ‘frontier’ aesthetic of places like Goodsprings, I loved seeing the NCR and Legion marking their turf, I loved going from settlement to settlement, seeing all these interesting people trying to weather the pressures of Geckos, Raiders, NCR occupiers and the Legion threat. The city itself, with all its glitz and wackiness, was somewhat less appealing to me. Though I can’t deny it has a lot to do and a lot of interesting choices.

        • Christopher says:

          I’m not opposed to revisiting New Vegas some day, especially if that place is where a lot of people stop. But I feel like I would probably have to start over to get into it again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I was bored. The appeal was just very different from the turn off your brain-Bethesda experience that made Skyrim the world’s greatest walking simulator. It’s easy to play that for hours, leave, and come back without any worries. But within a week of putting it down, I’d forgotten everything about New Vegas and didn’t think I’d want to return now that I wasn’t in the right mindset anymore. It’s not just remembering the plot, it’s remembering the character I made and the setting, and being engrossed in them rather than just wandering around.

          I’m sure Shamus has similar reasons for playing hundreds of hours of Bethesda games rather than New Vegas all the time even though you’d think he hates them for the way he talks about their stories and roleplaying elements. (My apologies if I’m remembering wrong and New Vegas is actually Shamus’ most-played fallout game. And if New Vegas eventually opens up so much that I can pretty much wander in every direction, maybe it gets the same appeal).

        • New Vegas itself is a much more vibrant and interesting place if you have the various restoration mods installed. It makes Freeside part of the outside world and the Strip one big area, as was originally intended. There are loads more NPCs wandering around, more quests, and even a pickpocket (though if you know what to look for, they’re pretty obvious about it).

          I’d replay both F3 (for screwing around in or running some of the alternate quest mods) and New Vegas (even vanilla it’s still great), but the biggest impediment for me is having to muck about with the settings on my PC due to the fact that the games weren’t written for multiple core machines. This Reddit thread addresses such issues for all of the Fallout games, including Fallout 1 and 2.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      The quality of writing, both for quests and characters, was far superior in New Vegas. Unfortunately it was still using the same engine as Fallout 3, so I found that aspect still pretty bad. I also had a fair share of bugs, and didn’t enjoy the combat (especially in some of the DLC, which seemed full of bullet-sponge enemies).

      For all of Fallout 4’s faults, I enjoyed the combat more than I have with any other Bethesda game for many years.

  19. Neil D says:

    For maximum trolling, I’d have built the water pumps back-to-back so it would be physically impossible to work the handles.

  20. MichaelGC says:

    I’m surprised: “They did keep this innovation from New Vegas but they clearly didn’t understand this innovation from New Vegas because it doesn’t work, unlike in New Vegas,” didn’t make the drinking game list! (I have not played New Vegas.)

  21. MichaelGC says:

    Here’s that time in various European timezones:

    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converted.html?iso=20160612T13&p1=127&p2=136&p3=281&p4=166

    (The short version is that 13:00 Pacific time works out to 21:00 London time.)

  22. PeteTimesSix says:

    From the Fallout wiki:

    “Brahmin will increase settlement food production while also producing fertilizer – a component for chemistry, which will be placed in the workbench.”

    There’s also a trader around that sells slightly-used brahmin of questionable origin for a hundred caps. Now if they’d just let us use one as a pack mule…

  23. Kerethos says:

    Goddamn it Josh…
    You had to go build a wall and cement that Reginald Cuffbert is the Fallout equivalent of a truthful Donald Trump, with the power of savescum, didn’t you?

    What’s next? Making new settlers pay for your wall? :P

  24. Attention modders, I have your alternate setup premise right here, and whoever can actually pull it off wins a million internets. It might be kind of tricky, but it’s got the potential to make the game SO much better:

    The mod makes the current player character an NPC you can choose to assist or not in their quest to rescue their son.

    You get to make your character as you like and explore as you like. To do any of the main quests (and probably get some of the companions, unless the dialog can be changed), you have to take the Sole Survivor as your companion and you choose what they say in conversations.

    This may require some retooling of the companion quests/dialog, and maybe having a Sole Survivor companion slot so you can quest with Valentine and have his dialog make sense.

    I’d also have some quests that cause the Vault 111 survivor do things to become the “General” for the Minutemen, yet you’d be the one to choose whether or not to help any settlements (since you’re just an adventurer/merc/whatever).

    Basically, the current Sole Survivor would become like Martin in Oblivion: A protagonist you assist in their efforts but whose motives are their own and not glued to your character.

    Now get on this, modding geniuses. You can save Fallout 4!

  25. Dt3r says:

    On the subject of radiation storms, STALKER: Call of Pripyat had a similar mechanic that was much more dangerous. The STALKER setting is much more lethal in general, and the radiation storms were a good example of using game events and mechanics to support world building.

    • SyrusRayne says:

      Blowouts are a fantastic part of CoP. I’d love to see something like that in F4, maybe coupled with more safe areas. As it is, you’ll get irradiated anywhere in the exterior cells, regardless of how many walls are around you. That’s probably much easier to script than the alternative, but it makes the low-risk of the radiation storms kinda necessary for gameplay’s sake.

    • Galad says:

      NO.

      “A storm is coming, and on a timer, because my quest log says so. I better hide from it, or else I get to suffer a scripted death. But where, since most buildings are strangely dilapidated? I know, this building 2kms away is surely safe!

      Oh, I screwed my save and there’s only 20 seconds left until the storm, and I can’t possibly get to it in time? Well, I better reload the previous save from 90 minutes ago!”

      This hot garbage is why I didn’t bother with this game past a certain point

  26. Axe Armor says:

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, there’s a great post on reddit about the actual math behind the settlement mechanics. Which is super useful, since the mechanics are obtuse and unintuitive and the game never explains any of it. For example, Brahmin actually just have a random chance of showing up when your settlement is taking new settlers (each new settler has a 20% chance to be a Brahmin); it doesn’t have anything to do with the feed troughs, which just attract your Brahmin to one place. Likewise, the actual thing Brahmin do is passively increase the productivity of ten crops by 50% and deposit one bag of fertilizer per day into your workshop, up to three bags per day per settlement. It’s kind of weirdly specific for something the game never requires and never bothers to explain properly.

    • Oh, yeah. I forgot the main reason I built a Brahmin trough in Hangman’s Alley: The friggin’ things were in the way! I couldn’t get to half of my crafting stations until I gave them a place to hang out other than “in front of everything important.”

  27. I noticed the resurrection mod Shamus tweeted about.
    Looks awesome. One issue I have though is that it’s everywhere.

    Places with really high radiation would have little to no green (mostly dead) trees.
    Places with lots of “clean” water or swamplike places would have more green.
    The coastal area would be more windswept and maybe look more like vanilla Fallout 4.
    The glowing sea would probably be super dead (not to mention the rad storms that originate there).

    Certain areas with a lot of combat/human destruction would probably look more like vanilla.

    Diamond City and and various settlements would look “cleaned” since people would pick up debris/junk/sweep right? (watches Shamus nod furiously)

    That being said that guy is awesome at the re-texture stuff. The bird chirping is a little overdone IMO (looking at the videos).

    Another thought that hit me is that, with enough trees blocking the view, wouldn’t it be possibly to make the trees (when at a distance) non-transparent and thus block out stuff behind them, saving drawing calls? This would allow higher framerate run and gun and duck and cover among trees.

    The only excuse I can think of in Bethesda’s favor is that the third world war caused a global environmental shift that made the Boston area extremely arid.

    One thing to note with all this forest stuff, spotting things get harder. You may accidentally get jump/stumble on enemies. Landmarks are not so easily seen from far away. Essentially the game gets harder to play. In general this is not a major issue, but I don’t think a first timer should use this mod, they could get lost on their way to Sanctuary for all the trees, heh.

    • Shamus says:

      Since we’re complaining, let me join in:

      * As you said, It’s EVERYWHERE. The goal shouldn’t be to replace all brown with all green, but to set up contrasts. Roads should stay grey. Buildings should pop against the backdrop of green. We want variation and contrast. As you said, patches of brown or bare ground would be interesting and show off the radiation damage.
      * Plants seem to block your ability to select stuff. So if a raider dies in a pile of weeds, sometimes I won’t be able to select them.
      * The really dense, large trees should be saved for the stretches of wilderness. Walling every building in with trees really kills the open world feel and makes everywhere feel the same.
      * As you said, downtown should stay the same, or the greenery should be clustered in corners.

      • SyrusRayne says:

        Oh, that would be fantastic. Contrast, variation, flavour. You’d really know when an area is bad if even the greenery died off. Hiking down an overgrown highway-turned-forest, and coming across an ugly grey, dead clearing… So much more evocative than everything being dead all the time. I really wish Bethesda would learn this lesson.

        Maybe that could allow for more intense radiation effects, too, since it’d be more obvious where the hotspots are?

        • I’ve suspected that leaves/foliage = processor power consumed, and since these games are supposed to run on consoles…

          They never come out and say the trees are dead. It’s supposed to be October, after all, so they could use the excuse that it’s fall right now.

          • Fists says:

            The Resurrection pack does look pretty GPU heavy but they could make the game at least as vegetated as Skyrim though. Even in the vanilla game I find that the AI can see through bushes that I can’t though so would probably need that fixed up to not be terrible.

            • That’s outside of my area of expertise, but I’d say Fallout 4 appears to have far more variations of textures than Skyrim does (if the graphical errors I saw in the early days of F4 were any indication, many textures are multi-layered). Someone would have to do a comparison to be sure, though. It could also perhaps be a case of Bethesda not optimizing things (as they’ve been known to do in the past), which could be why I also ran across rocks floating in mid air a lot of the time.

  28. Jace911 says:

    After rewatching the episode Chris’ comment about how the settlement building was supposed to fulfill player expression finally let another complaint click in my mind:

    Developer Bob: “All right, our mission statement for Fallout 4 is to provide players with an expansive open world in which they can generate a sense of ownership over their personal experience by expressing themselves. How can we give them the tools to do this?”
    Developer Dan: “By cutting the number of available dialogue options in half, bottlenecking the ones that remain to mean the same thing half the time, and enforcing the emotions and experiences of a predetermined character on the player avatar?”
    Developer Bob: “Genius.”
    Developer Dan: “Oh, and we should make sure that the dialogue prompts are vague and confusing so players aren’t really sure what they’re saying.”
    Developer Bob: “Yes! YES!”

  29. Actually, a good alternate start mod would just have to build in a reason for you to go after Kellogg–the whole synth thing kinda picks up from there and you could follow up on THAT instead of the Shaun angle. It’d be a major re-write, don’t get me wrong, but it wouldn’t be that difficult to make it work story-wise.

    I’d do this:

    1. The first time you pick up a fusion core, you shortly afterward get attacked by synths who zap you and take it. They keep showing up and stealing your fusion cores. Also, seed a few synth mobs around any locations where fusion cores can be found. This would be pretty broad and far-reaching because fusion cores are everywhere and they’re tied to the power armor. So pretty much any variety of start points could tie into this.

    2. The synths have a holotape on them with orders that they’re to bring the fusion cores to “Kellogg” in Diamond City for transport.

    3. When you get to Diamond City, the whole plot line there with Piper and Nick revolves around you trying to track down Kellogg to find out where the heck he’s taking all your dang fusion cores. All references to Shaun are removed.

    4. Plot of chasing down the Institute proceeds from there pretty much as normal with all references to Shaun removed.

    Basically the difficult part of this would be tracking down and removing references to Shaun. You’d pretty much have to rebuild all the dialog trees for the main quest, deleting some entire scenes. Ideally you’d want to rewrite the Institute quest line so that instead of being Shaun’s mother/father, the director just views you as a kind of replacement for Kellogg because you were resourceful enough to find them and break in, and eventually he decides that you should be the new director because you’re just ossum, kinda like Preston making you head of the Minutemen.

    The dialog scrub would be a lot of effort, but I’d certainly prefer this to the existing story.

  30. Heather B says:

    By my count, this ep only makes it to 9 drinks in 25 min. Come on guys, you can do better/worse than that!

  31. sofawall says:

    Josh actually had Circuitry in Red Rocket. Enhanced Targeting Cards are worth two each.

  32. Drew C says:

    I’ve mentioned it before but while there isn’t a alt start mod yet there are a few quickstart ones.

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