Fallout 4 EP40: The Loon Wanderer

By Shamus
on Sep 28, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

87 comments


Link (YouTube)

That thing where Deacon has this conversation with his back to us? I’ve probably done this quest five times now, and that’s happened every time.

This game pretends to be a game with roleplaying and choices, but you know what it feels like? It feels like being an actor in a play where nobody will show you the script or explain what you’re supposed to be doing, and so all the other performers just muddle on regardless of what you say or where you stand. I’ll bet the person who wrote this cutscene expected us to position ourselves in a certain spot before beginning the conversation.

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202020207There are now 87 comments. Almost a hundred!

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  1. tmtvl says:

    After two weeks of better games, I’m ready to continue watching this series with replenished vitriol.

  2. Pax says:

    As a console player, I am humbled and awed by King Cuftbert’s magnificent fortress. If only the game somehow understood that you turned Sanctuary into a military compound or a city bigger than Diamond City.

    • MrGuy says:

      This is one of my biggest gripes with the settlement building mechanic.

      Sure, Josh cheated his buttskarn off here. But I’ve done admittedly lesser but still pretty impressive things to rebuild the settlements.

      The game never REALLY responds to difference between “you made some minor improvements to a few different settlements” and “you singlehandedly restored civilization to the wasteland!”

      Preston wants you to hit a certain level to make him satisfied enough to help you out. And if you do enough you get some more traders and such, but it’s really remarkable that there’s such a massive range of stuff you can do, and the game barely acknowledges it.

      If I want to play minecraft, I’ll go play minecraft, dude. If you want me to build castles in an RPG, the least you could do is have someone admire the view from the battlements.

      • Blunderbuss09 says:

        Yep. Travis mentions on the radio that people are re-settling Sanctuary but he says that whether or not you’ve left the place to rot. Meanwhile you can turn the others into huge villages but there’s not a peep about it.

        It’d be amazingly cool to take over the various industry buildings to restart production, but nah, every single one is just the same farm over and over.

    • Da Mage says:

      It’s actually not that hard. You cna buy about 300 units of concrete for about 600-700 caps. 5 common merchants sell it around the commonwealth (diamond city, bunker hill, Carla, Goodneighbour, Drumlin Diner). With a single trip you can pick up 1500 concrete for around 3000 caps.

      Lets you build crazy big stuff, I often run out of steel and wood long before I run out of concrete.

      • Pax says:

        Wood, and steel to a lesser extent, are my usual roadblocks. I tend less for the concrete minecraft look, and more for scrappy wooden stuff (unless I’m rebuilding the Castle). Well, until the last patch, anyway, which added lots of shipments of almost every building material to just about every vendor in the game. Now my only enemy would be the build limits (which can be circumvented with the “store to workshop” glitch), and ultimately, my console’s framerate, which are unfortunately inescapable.

  3. Echo Tango says:

    I just thought of a way to fix the conversation/cutscene system in this game, without needing any extra skill on Bethesda’s part. Just detach the camera from the player when they enter a cutscene, and put it in a static room, where the NPCs You Need To Talk To are sitting inside. Then they can have the camera, characters, and everything else in the correct position at all times. Sure, it won’t match the piece of open world you happen to be wandering around in, but I think it’d make for a better experience overall. Alternately, they could also make the cutscenes like Half-Life 2, where you can free wander around the area where the cutscene is happening. What doesn’t work, is this halvesies approach, where the player is free to mess up the camera by entering the cutscene wrong, and then locking the camera on them anyways. :S

    • MrGuy says:

      True, though you have to admit Josh simply walking out of a cutscene while it was happening is pretty funny to watch.

    • It doesn’t even matter if you entered the conversation ‘wrong’. Where Josh started the convo in the beginning of the episode is the most likely spot where that conversation would start.

    • Humanoid says:

      One of the few cool moments that I had with FO4 was being able to sit down on a sofa while engaged in a three-way conversation, it felt really neat and atmospheric to be able to do that. Then the script broke because I was suddenly deemed to be too far away and thus had to restart the conversation. So it was a rather short-lived moment of appreciation rapidly followed by disappointment, y’know, standard for a Bethesda game.

  4. I’ve actually never had that back-turned thing happen before. Sort of makes me wonder what the cause is. O_o

  5. MrGuy says:

    So…we didn’t really have much real choice in that conversation about joining The Railroad, did we? We pretty much had to sign up and get a code name, or the game would have refused to progress. It was, like, we were kinda pushed into it whether we liked it or not.

  6. Warclam says:

    Oh my god, Castle Buttskarn is the greatest thing I have beheld in many a day.

  7. Somniorum says:

    The reason they can help you build a teleporter and not a chair is because you have a schematic for the teleporter. If you had a schematic for a chair, they’d be all over that.

    ps: When first your castle came into view, before you got closer I’d thought you’d built a Walmart. :P

  8. Christopher says:

    Chris’ pet peeve about Virgil has got to be a “I analyze writing for a living” pet peeve. I could totally see myself making a character named “Midas Hercules” just because he was strong and liked gold or something silly like that. I read a manga where two giant pet seahorses were named Sodom and Gomorrah, seemingly for no reason. Some people just name things because things need names.

    • Somniorum says:

      I felt a bit similar – *perhaps* the reference was intentional on the part of Bethesda, but “Virgil” is also just a name. It’s perfectly possible – albeit relatively uncommon – to bump into a Virgil in real life. They might’ve just thought “hey, what’s a smart name? How about Virgil?”

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Chris, reading too much into something? Bite your tongue.

    • krellen says:

      Humans are notoriously bad at names. Extremely, extremely bad. And I will keep harping on how uncreative the vast majority of humanity is until people stop being surprised by it.

    • Now that I’ve gotten to this video a month later and no one will read this comment…

      Virgil’s function in the Divine Comedy was not to lead Dante into Hell, it was to lead him through it. Dante eventually reaches Heaven, although Virgil isn’t with him anymore by that point.

      I’m not saying the Bethesda had this idea in mind for the character. If the Institute is Paradiso, then what part of the game is Inferno? Purgatorio? Did the writers even care enough to think about that? Is this just (like Campster says) a lazy classic lit reference to make their sloppy writing seem more smart?

  9. Phantos says:

    Will SW do the Nuka World DLC?

    It’s pretty long, so I don’t know if it’d be wise to do it in this season. But it could be decent filler between seasons, if there’s ever some trouble picking The Next Game.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Seems unlikely, the crew already seem to be at the point of “Not enjoying the game very much”, and I doubt marathonning the main quest is going to help that any.

    • Humanoid says:

      Don’t think we’re short of big games to cover in the immediate future anyway – if they wished they could probably immediately follow up this season with Mankind Divided, and by the time that’s done, Dishonored 2. More likely there’ll be a shorter series between each of these though.

  10. Quent says:

    The best solution to bad main quest writing may be to not even have it. Bethesda seems to be at their best when they focus on the small contained things and, well, that’s what I end up enjoying most about their games. Its a sense of place and exploration; the more locality and variety , the less unified and segmented, the more I think they work to their strengths. Guild and faction quests could then become your characters chosen “main quest” if you wanted some structure and this way it will be tailored to your playstyle and what you want to do to some extent. Because of this I think that New Vegas might be the wrong point of comparison as, while New Vegas’s world makes more sense as a story, I don’t think it plays to the gameplays strengths or the escapism it provides. This isn’t to say that there shouldn’t be consistency in the world, just that the focus should be the small and local and the grand shoud be the background.

    Then again, I’ll still be spending a ungodly number of hours playing either way.

  11. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    The thing with Sturges saying “I’m pretty sure this teleporter whosamajigit works right” was cute the first time. But when that same joke happens with Tinker Tom on a second playthrough, it becomes less cute. I can’t remember if there’s anything similar with the Brotherhood, hopefully not.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’d be curious to know. Personally I suspect they do the exact same joke because they really don’t want you to miss it.

      • potatoejenkins says:

        Heh. Ingramm is not sure about it working as well, but she does not joke about it.

        Plus unlike with the teleporter built by Sturges or Tom nothing brakes or goes wrong during power up and she looks and sounds like she knows what she is doing to an extend.

        The difference is small but noticeable.

        • Wide And Nerdy® says:

          Makes sense. If nothing else, she has proper tools to work with and actually gets to work on high tech stuff more regularly. Certainly more regularly than Sturges, though Tinker Tom feels out of place here.

          • potatoejenkins says:

            (…) though Tinker Tom feels out of place here.

            How so? More than Sturges?

            I see them both as the more video-gamey options to be honest. The only reason to choose them over Ingramm would be not having joined the BoS and not knowing Ingramm (and ignoring the quest that tells you to build the thing with them).

            From a roleplaying perspective I’d even rather go to the Science center in Diamond City before asking Sturges. If you haven’t been to Quincy he’s simply a guy who doesn’t even know how to build a bloody bed.

            • Wide And Nerdy® says:

              Tinker Tom is plausible. The Railroad by their nature spend a lot of time studying Institute tech to help synths. In the recent past he had better infrastructure to work with too.

              • potatoejenkins says:

                Ah, yes. I agree. He makes even more sense than Ingramm. You have no way of not knowing him and if you do not join right away and miss most of his dialogue he is just a little bit crazy instead of borderline insane.

  12. Phantos says:

    “Memorable characters”

    Confession time: I didn’t know Fallout 3 had companions.

    I played it for about a hundred hours before I got bored with it. Never found anyone. Never even thought to recruit someone. It was my first Fallout game, so I wasn’t even aware that was a feature.

    I only found out years later when me and a buddy were talking about it. I was shocked they existed. He was shocked that I’d never joined up with Paladin Whoever, or… that one ghoul guy. You know, really meaningful characters. Lots of fond memories with… super mutant dude who only shows up at the end.

    Fallout 4 does a lot of stupid things, but the companions in it are a big improvement from what I’ve come to expect from Bethesda. At the very least, I remember their names.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I only remember Fawkes, because of his utterly stupid dialogue if you ask him to help out with the water purifier.

      Companions though, I have generally avoided since Fallout 1 when Ian would shoot me in the back and Dogmeat would get shot/get blown up/trigger a trap/get in my way/walk through those yellow electric doorways etc. etc.

      The best companions in an RPG series are Dupre, Shamino and Iolo (particularly in U7). Accept no substitutes!

  13. Tam O'Connor says:

    Josh, you couldn’t sacrifice a [i]whole[/i] hecatomb of brahmin to the gods? …I mean, I guess they have two heads – do they have two sets of guts? Maybe 50 brahmins does make a full hecatomb of cows? We may need to consult the oracles.

    Still, Fort Buttskarn is glorious.

  14. Ninety-Three says:

    When I met Nick the first time, I got very excited because I’m a big fan of noir. Then it dawned on me that Nick Valentine was created by the same writers who made everything else in this world. I sighed, and skipped through his dialogue without even reading the captions, like I’d learned to do with all the NPCs.

    Since companions came up here, I thought it might be a decent time to ask: Am I missing out, is Nick good? I mean, his intro scene alone pulls him above the average quality of the game’s writing, but there is plenty of room between “FO4 average” and “even mediocre”.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      So a weird thing happened. I posted this, I tried to edit it, and the site told me that I wasn’t allowed to edit it. I refreshed the page and the edit button was gone. Same browser session, well within the time limit for editing… does anyone know why editing might suddenly go away on a post?

      Test Edit: At least I can still edit this reply.

    • Blunderbuss09 says:

      I can honestly say that Nick is one of the few things in this game worth a damn.

      They could have done more with his character and his personal quest has some major flaws but the characterization and emotion behind it was great.

      • Ciennas says:

        True story. I took Nick with me to Far Harbor on my second playthrough because he has special dialogue with DIMA.

        I built myself a sweet house off to the side of the island, and included a dining table bench.

        One morning I awoke to him helping himself to some breakfast on that table and screenshotted it.

        Apparently Gen 2 designs can even eat if they wanna.

        • Disc says:

          He’ll even huff jet in the right location. I believe it’s something of a scripting oversight related to NPCs interacting with objects or being in a specific area that they just didn’t bother to fix.

          • potatoejenkins says:

            I bet every race gets a specific keyword which slaps a set list of unlocked animations on their back. Then those races will always use those animations when markers are in range (afair those are set not unlike furniture in the GECK. Just invisible. There are already mods adding mats for that which can be placed in your settlement.).

            These set of animations are blocked for the power armor race for example. It can not be simply fixed for an individual NPC unless they have their own race. Which Nick doesn’t I believe.

    • potatoejenkins says:

      Nick is my second favourite and yet I can not warm up to him. Like they said in this episode: He is only great in a vacuum. The more time I spend with him, the more I want to talk to him. But there is nothing there to get to know. And what is there blatantly clashes and highlights the awfulness of the rest of the world.

      And then I am disappointed again.

      Hello Dogmeat my old friend …

  15. While Fallout 4’s companion characters have more character to them than Fallout 3, they’re an awful change from even the bland companions of Fallout 3, and here’s why:

    They offloaded the entire karma system and any way the game could respond to your actions to the companions and the companions only!

    In Fallout 3, you could earn the hatred of the wasteland by nuking Megaton or killing “good” NPCs. You could get the factions in New Vegas to react to you by various methods that would endear you to them or make them hate you, and in both cases, these had an impact on the game world. You could role-play these actions with your character.

    In Fallout 4, all you can do is get a “[COMPANION NAME] hated that” or “[COMPANION NAME] loved that.” That’s the only way the game world responds to your “choices.” The rest of the quests progress no matter what you say or think your character would do. It’s the worst possible way to run an RPG.

  16. Fists says:

    Sooo, when is Chris going to show us his final form? I hope he isn’t chucking a Bethesda on us and pretending it’s going to be some epic set piece when it’s actually just a labrador stuck in a chair.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That fort.It shows exactly whats wrong with this game.You have this impressive looking fort,inside of which are crappy ruined houses.Once again,bethesda tells you to “be creative,have fun”,and then prevents you from actually doing that.

    • Blunderbuss09 says:

      Sanctuary isn’t even the worst. There’s other settlements that are literally the empty broken shells of houses, while a perfectly intact parking garage or office tower is just down the road. And most of them are unscrappable too!

      It’s no wonder some of the first mods was to clean these places up and put, y’know, actual houses in these locations so people would actually want to live there.

      • There’s also the disconnect of being able to fabricate materials in some cases for your crafting, but apparently increasing the quality of your work isn’t an option.

        I thought I heard the mentioning of “craftsmen” in this episode. That would’ve been great: Settlers with specific skills you could hire on to make your settlements suck less. Heck, imagine if they were people frozen in Vault III. You could get a contractor, a landscaper, an artist, etc. that with whatever quests/items were required could be thawed out to lend their skills to your rebuilding.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,”mercenary group known as the gunners”???

  19. baseless_research says:

    the loam wanderer?

  20. Blunderbuss09 says:

    Yep, gonna say that FNV did companions better. Why? Because regardless of what you think of them individually every one of them tied back into the central conflict and the setting. They were a part of that world and wouldn’t be the same people if they were somewhere else.

    FO4 has some characters that fit this bill, but mostly because they’re either faction companions, people with Boston set-dressing, or just random people. Apart from maybe Nick I never got the same feeling of them being intrinsically tied to the setting.

    Which is a shame because a lot of their concepts is really good. I loved the idea of Piper, an investigative journalist who tells the truth no matter what in a post-apocalypse setting is fascinating. Too bad they do nothing with it.

    As for FO3 they really are just random shmucks. Charon, the guy you mentioned, is a potentially interesting guy because he has a contract that makes him serve you regardless on his feelings on the matter. That’s such a cool idea but they don’t even let you read the contract and the ethical questions on whether or not this is slavery is never brought up.

    • For my money, Obsidian is pretty much the grandmaster of integrating your companions into your story. Planescape: Torment, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Pillars of Eternity all had this to a very large degree. It was great.

      Bioware can do it on a good day, but they suffer from having too much of not enough and vice versa–too much animation so there’s not enough budget to really flesh things out. Not enough main story so there’s too much side stuff. You can’t really integrate numerous characters into a main story that contains 5 events.

      • Humanoid says:

        Also ensuring each of them is romanceable.

      • potatoejenkins says:

        But don’t companions need to be tied to the main story or at least a major story point in the game?

        They need a reason to tag along other than: “Oh PC you are so great and awesome I’ll do anything for you for no apparent reason.”

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        I’d argue that NWN2 is an example of this being done badly.

        The companions are introduced slowly, through most of the game. They’re also various different alignments and classes, but since you don’t know this in advance you can end up with a badly balanced party early on (especially depending on your choice of class for your main char).

        Not to mention that all those companions hang around even if you hate them, which becomes more of a problem near the end.

        Generally speaking I hate having random companions attached to my party though, I like to be able to choose.

  21. Aitch says:

    Round of applause for Josh on that one. That billboard reveal was golden.

    Also I’m kind of surprised there’s so little to build or furnish the place with, Reginald’s aesthetic choices aside. Even with all the materials in the world, you’re still stuck with garage sale level bric-a-brac. I guess after they ripped off the settlement building mod they expected the fans to mod in the assets for it too.

    Makes me wish there was something like a “Schematic Scanner” that you’d take around the wasteland, copying bits and bobs throughout to use in your town.

    Or imagine if you hit X number of citizens, and were told “Congrats, you’ve unlocked the next level! Would you like to build a Barracks, a Theater, or a Saloon?” with a couple prefab layouts of each, or at least a shell to fill out yourself. It’d actually give meaningful choice to the way you wanted that particular place to develop. Each town could have its own ultimate functions after a certain point, besides the standard beds and turrets.

    Even if it was just stuff with a similar function, but a nicer version of it after hitting a population milestone. A simple 3 tier system. Something / anything to give a sense of progression or accomplishment.

    There’s so many little things that would have made it seem more worthwhile. People wearing better clothes as the place improved, for example. Or if you wanna get real far out, after you recruit a tailor and build them a workshop.

    I dunno, it always feels like maybe they could have spent some time fleshing out at the least one unique mechanic in a game where they didn’t seem to spend the time or money anywhere else. I get it’s probably death by a thousand paper cuts with a game like this, but still, that was their choice.

    That’s the one thought I keep coming back to whenever I start thinking about this game – Where did all that time and money actually go?

    • Ciennas says:

      Possibly they deliberately left it alone. I dislike the Xbox 1 versions disabling achievements for using mods, but there is some beautiful settlement work out there.

      Seems like the easiest fix Bethesda could have implemented would have been to add Rank…. 3? To settlement mode. Inventory trade> shops and crafting stations> Non shitty looking construction projects. Because I hate the wood build tileset. It looks just terrible. It would be great if that was your first build, but…. blehg.

      They sure do halfass the ‘player choice’ dynamic, huh?

      Build a city YOUR way, player, so long as you make it indistinguishable from the garbage aesthetic we really pushed here.

      Barn tileset looks nice, if you ignore that none of your buildings have functional winow panes.

      They actually made a conscious effort to keep you from having completely rebuilt stuff. It sorta falls apart past the ‘wood and scrap metal’ phase until DLC.

      Concrete looks nice toom made a nice little far harbor shack.

    • Blunderbuss09 says:

      Yep, and that’s one of the biggest flaws of FO4; lots of neat ideas that are half-implemented so everything feels unsatisfying.

      Y’know what some of the most popular mods are? Being able to clean up all the piles of trash everywhere so it doesn’t look like a garbage heap. More settlement items so your settlements look and function better. The ability to gather more resources. All of these are so simple and obvious I can’t imagine why they’re not in the game.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Implementing any of those would require bethesda to give a fuck.

    • potatoejenkins says:

      I would’ve been already happier with perk requirements for building shit.

      But hey, I have a smashed camera, lemme just build you a heavy laser turret real quick*.

      And a freaking water purifier (TAKE THAT LIAM NEESON!).

      *The best thing happened in one of the last patches: Remember when you could switch between different turrets to get different tiers? They fixed that. Now you always get the highest tier possible for the area you build in. Mostly Tier 7. The only turret able to reliably kill your own settlers. Explosive rounds ftw!

  22. Okay, I just have a comment that relates to nothing but bugs me.

    WHO decided that the way to write “convincing” dialog was to simply OMIT THE ARTICLES AND PROUNOUNS FROM EVERYTHING?! Real life people USE ARTICLES AND PRONOUNS IN CONVERSATION. In fact, they’re likely to add some extraneous words like “well, it wasn’t easy” instead of saying something like “wasn’t easy”.

    Most people actually do speak in complete sentences. They may not be very GRAMMATICAL sentences in some cases, but you don’t write something that sounds like dialog by making them sound like a toddler who is still in the “want cookie” stage.

  23. Sleeping Dragon says:

    RE: Cheating

    If we want to be very technical if I remember correctly during FO3 season Josh used console commands to get out of a spot he got stuck in by jumping off a walkway in the Enxlave base. I also believe some purists would consider what he did with the crafting mechanics in Skyrim something of an exploit abuse. That said both cases are negotiable at best.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Unless we’re thinking of different spots in FO3, I remember Josh getting stuck, having tcl suggested to him, refusing, attempting to grenade-jump out, failing, dying, reloading, and then wisely avoiding that pitfall on his next go-round.

    • Humanoid says:

      All of it is above board and Legitimately Obtainable. Otherwise we’d also have to include stuff like sidestepping the Legion confiscating your weapons too.

      The was a use of tcl in Skyrim too though.

    • NoneCallMeTim says:

      In the Fallout NV game, I think they used a cheat to increase XP because they didn’t do side quests, hence were underlevelled.

      Also in the Alan Wake series, there was a section where Josh ended the episode by firing off all the bullets before saving. I think he either went over and played from a previous save or used a cheat then.

  24. @Rutskarn here’s your Comfy Chair.

  25. potatoejenkins says:

    Positive things this episode: Campster spoke a lot. Castle Buttskarn.

    Negative things this episode: Fallout 4.

    (Dear Campster your Fallout 4 Errant Signal episode helped me to get at least some enjoyment out of this game. Let the vitriol flow, you’ve earned it!)

  26. MichaelGC says:

    That’s a pretty amazing upgrade to the Idiot Pen. Even if they break out of the original wooden structure there’s no way they’re getting through all that concrete. Superb work, Al-Viel One!

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