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Buttons_64Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No real spoilers, just general discussion

Buttons:

Update!

I’m level 45 or so with 15,000 caps. I spent more time than I should have trying to ‘finish’ quests for Garvey until I realized they wouldn’t stop and then wiped out the other few side quests I had that I could, and then started exploring Boston Proper (which I’d been avoiding) and following the Main Storyline. Without spoilers, I met up with the Brotherhood and did some ‘ambient’ quests for them, I’d been to Diamond City a while ago (I find I generally don’t go there often at all), and finally met Nick Valentine and followed that quest line for a while, found the Railroad and did some early quest work with them, and I did check out the Combat Zone (which I would encourage you to do) and… well, if I say any more – Spoilers. I haven’t yet met Curie like you two have, but I did meet, befriend, make a companion, and then a relationship with the Irish Redhead Cait. And go do the Castle thing Garvey wants you to do; it’s worth it.

In my skill tree I’ve got all the crafting stuff maxed out (Armorer, Gun Nut, and Blacksmith) and I’ve got certain ingredients tagged for search, and I think I’ve met every primary seller in the game so now I’m ‘saving up’ on ingredients so I can blow through all the weapons and armour I’ve got stored at Sanctuary and upgrade everything. I’ve been using ammo I don’t use along with grenades, molotovs, medex, radaway, and stimpacks as currency primarily, I always switch to my ‘fancy’ clothes, and always try to walk away with more money than I left with. I’m anticipating using the caps I have to do some mass-purchase of ingredients so I can fully upgrade everything fully. I’m not as entranced with the ‘rename your weapon/gear’ as Mr McP seems to be, but I do rename things once I’ve got them fully upgraded with the suffix ‘FU’. Y’know, so I can know the difference.

Sadly, however, while main-questing with Nick V as my companion, I lost him. I think I might know where to find him when I opt back into the main quest, but until I try it, that’s a hypothesis and he’s lost. I hope the game isn’t broken because of him.

As for your taking Kotaku’s suggestion about not using fast travel; I actually considered the same thing back in Skyrim, and then again here. I decided ‘eff no!’ to that because I simply do not want to put in the time. I know I’ll have extra experiences, but I don’t think they’re worth it for the time invested. I do the walking on the way to a place, and when I’m done with an area I’ve walked to, I’ll fast travel back. It seems to be a nice mix of ‘walking enough to have some interesting experiences’ and ‘I don’t want to walk all the way back to Sanctuary again, damnit’. Enjoy the walking for me.

That’s the update from here.

Butch:

I lost Dogmeat forever and when I needed him, he popped up. Out of nowhere. You’ll be fine.

I dunno. I was thinking on the walking last night. I think the best of Bethesda is the set pieces you just find. They’ve never been good at main stories, but, when I think back to FO3, so much was just the finding. Agatha. The suburban cannibals. Oasis. Dude, Oasis. If you had fast traveled to your quest points, you missed all of that. And that was the best part.

I mean, last night: one of the best nights I’ve had with the game, and it came from saying “I’m gonna check out that radio tower,” getting three signals and following them. There’s the metaphors. There’s the themes (we like themes). That’s what the game is trying to say.

Yes, yes, yes, gameplay, systems. But the real “storytelling” is in the side bits. I’ve said before: FO3 wasn’t a novel; it was a collection of short stories. Same thing with this one, and the short stories lie off the path.

Kotaku said something along the lines of “So much of the stories of this game are told with skeletons,” and it’s true. They’re just found moments where the fact stuff is just there is the real story. I urge you: fuck the settlements, fuck Garvey, and wander. Therein lies the game.

Buttons:

I think you misunderstand me. I don’t fast-travel to new destinations; in fact, you can’t fast-travel somewhere until after you discover it (except for a small handful of exceptions). So on the way to a new location I have the experiences you and the Kotaku writer mention. But when the location’s cleared/quest is over, I fast-travel back to Sanctuary and dump everything. Ok, new destination? Fast-travel to someplace I’ve been to nearby, walk over and have those extra experiences. So am I missing all of that content you’re talking about? No. Am I experiencing as much as you? No. Am I experiencing more than if I just fast-travel everywhere? Yes. There; happy medium – not too much time spent retracing my steps over old ground, and yet I experience the interstitial tissue of the game. Seems win-win to me.

Feminina:

I am kind of into the walking around and finding things, but also into the “actually getting stuff done,” so I’ve been more or less doing the Buttons “walk there, fast travel back” method lately. Especially because the more you explore, the more loot you collect, so usually once I’m done with some location or quest-part, I NEED to hurry back to a settlement to unload my cargo of desk fans and hot plates.

I’ve kind of gotten into a rhythm where I’ll go out on some quest objective, try not to get too sidetracked, and then once I can’t carry any more loot, head back to whichever settlement is complaining the most strenuously and give them my largess and also build them some beds or plant them some food or whatever the hell it takes to stop their whining. (Although those vague ‘happiness’ alerts are quite frustrating…I have a couple of locations that are just perpetually losing happiness, even though all their other indicators are fine, and I’ve given them loads of attractive kitten paintings over their beds, houseplants, benches to sit on, etc. What do you people WANT, anyway? And why can’t you make it for yourselves out of all the spare parts I’ve left for you in this workshop? Why am I the only person in this post-apocalyptic wasteland who can actually do anything useful with this precious, precious junk?)

I do tend to get sidetracked, though. It took me about eight tries to finally make it to Morowski’s chem lab because I had to check out everything along the way. South Boston police station, high school, Gwinnett brewery…

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