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Minor spoilers for the Reunions quest and the follow-up to that quest where the Diamond City bartender recruits you in relation to a chems deal…yeah, that one.

Butch:

Magpied. Did a bloodbank and am now swimming in chems. Found a water plant with ghouls, made level 25 by killing a bloatfly which led to a very disappointing trophy screenshot, finally, FINALLY cleared up that water plant for the farming robots (nice of the BoS to fly over and help) which only led to ANOTHER damn place I have to defend, and got Cait’s personal quest. She’s a great character.

It’s amazing how many times I find myself saying that.

Now, I know we have Boston Mayoral shelter stuff to chat about, but I’ll throw this out as well:

The whole character dynamic here is far more like a bioware game than anything Bethesda has done before. This interests me, as we have talked before about how DAI and TW3 were the first bigassed RPGs in the post Skyrim universe. No doubt both took some cues from Skyrim in terms of scope and crafting and shit, as we knew they would. But the fact that Bethesda seems to have taken things from CDPR and Bioware (voiced protagonists, companion quests that MEAN something and can actually be triggered) is interesting. Skyrim sold like 27 billion copies. It makes sense that CDPR and Bioware would want to shift their way. Why not? Skyrim out sold DA2 and TW2 combined by a large margin. I wonder why Bethesda seemed to want to bioware itself. Not that I mind. I’m enjoying that aspect. I’m glad they did. I’m just surprised as they really had no incentive to do so.

But really, in talking to Cait last night, it felt like a bioware game. Which I did not expect.

Feminina:

Ah, the Mayoral Shelter. So packed with loot, tragedy, murderous synths, and deathclaw tunnels. I don’t think I got to Fiddler’s Green, though. Was there more greed, self-serving behavior, sacrifice, family…murderous synths…?

I did that bloodbank (I think–the one with the freezer in the basement? Which does not keep out radiation from a radstorm, although, tip, the Gwinnett Restaurant will). So many chems!

The BoS will fly overhead a lot now that you’ve seen them show up. Sometimes helping, sometimes just kind of being distracting. Once I found several of them running through one of my settlements on the way to a battle with some raiders, and I was a bit put off by that.

“Hey! We’re trying to grow crops here! Don’t just come stomping through my fields alarming my settlers! Who can handle these raiders just fine on their own, thank you.”

But as a rule they fight the same people I fight, so we’re not in conflict…yet. Actually I traveled with Danse quite a bit the past couple of days, and he’s kind of growing on me. And here’s why: he seems to understand my obsessive looting! Rather than snidely commenting “I can’t imagine what you want THAT for” or whatever, as so many companions do when you pick up a dirty ashtray, he’ll say “don’t leave anything useful behind,” or “if you can’t carry all that equipment, I can take some of it for you.” He’s indifferent to my awesome lock picking and computer hacking, but doesn’t object to them, and also doesn’t care if I brew chems (although he’s not wild about me using them).

He’s a bit trigger happy, and there’s the whole “devoted member of an authoritarian military cult of technology” issue, but he gets the value of desk fans, and he lets me do my own thing. (Which we’ll just assume makes some sort of sense given he outranks me in the authoritarian military cult of technology to which we both belong…handwave handwave…)

I may be in love.

However, although I flirted with him, and he’s shared some things and developed as a character, I haven’t yet had any moments with anyone that I would necessarily describe as reminiscent of BioWare. Although he did talk and turn out to have some character and stuff, so they’re definitely putting in some time on the writing (but that was also true of FONV, if only we’d ever gotten 80% of the companion quests).

I left Cait somewhere when I joined the Brotherhood and started traveling with Danse, and then last night I picked up Curie again, although I’m damned if I can figure out where to start with her “wanting to be human” quest. Perhaps it’s something we’ll hit on during some other quest, and will just need to know it when we see it.

Oh, and speaking of looting, if you haven’t figured this out–pick up burnt magazines! They don’t do anything for you, but they also don’t weigh anything, and you can sell them for a cap each (for some inexplicable reason). I’d been ignoring them, but now I’m collecting them wherever I see them. So much of my carrying capacity is dedicated to settlement scrap, I need SOMETHING I can gather to sell. Weightless burnt magazines are the perfect solution.

Butch:

No, what Fiddler’s Green is is a trailer park. With a three holotape kid’s story in it.

The contrast of a luxury shelter and the story there with a trailer park and the story THERE was….striking. Very. And that radio tower, you got the civil defense signal (that led you to the mayoral shelter) and a distress signal that led you to the trailer park.

Really? REALLY? Danse has a metal exoskeleton AND likes looting? Dude. He’s perfect for you.

Desk fans can really overcome any philosophical difference (NEW SENTENCE!). But the devoted member of bad cult….

Though Piper is all “Here are the three enemies of the institute, so that’s something, and they’re on that list. So ok. Though when I did that first mission for them, long, LONG ago, Garvey did NOT like them AT ALL, so I guess being against the institute is enough for Piper to lump you together, but not exactly something that leads to common ground.

Cait likes running around naked. So there ya go.

It’s reminiscent of BioWare in that I care about these characters (for reasons other than cuteness, though Cait is ALSO really cute), and the quests are hard to miss. FONV sorta threw them in as “Ok, you bioware nerds, if you MUST find them, ok, but still. Bethesda game, even though we’re not Bethesda,” where as here, they come at you. You can’t really miss them. They come at you at weird times, for heaven’s sake. Last night I was picking a lock in a place filthy with mutants and mirelurks and I guess THAT lock was what convinced Cait I was awesome and she was all “Can we talk?” and I said “Later, maybe?” and she was all “No! Now!”

Really, Cait? Can’t we just wait until we’re back at Skyhold…uh…the Normandy…uh….Sanctuary?

Feminina:

Ah…that is a good juxtaposition. Sigh…I didn’t get them close enough together to compare properly. The Mayoral Shelter was when I was still trying to figure out how to get into the basement in Fort Hagen (remember it took me a stupid amount of time to find that damn elevator), and so when I was done there and concluded the deathclaw tunnel wasn’t the approach I needed, I kind of went back to other things instead of wandering around further.

I know: Danse was kind of made for me. Except for the authoritarian military cult of technology thing. But surely that’s a minor difference when we can bond over the value of extinguishers and telephone parts! He is VERY dedicated to the Brotherhood, though. I left him at one of the settlements when I picked Curie up again, and the next time I went back to build them some more beds, even though he was just kind of hanging out in a corner, I could hear him talking wherever I went: “belonging to the Brotherhood gives life meaning,” and so forth.

Trying to convert my settlers, I suppose. But they seemed to be ignoring him.

So, so true that people will pick the weirdest moments to talk to you very seriously. I was in a basement with Nick Valentine, about to go into the next room, in which I could plainly see a feral ghoul wandering around, and he did the whole “do you have a minute to talk?”

Um…maybe it could wait until after we deal with this ghoul that’s probably going to come in here any second? But since you seem determined, fine, go ahead.

When they need to talk, they’re going to talk. And as you say, that’s a good thing in that it means we aren’t going to miss most of the quests the way we did in NV, but it does make for some odd conversational interludes.

Butch:

What elevator? I just went to the roof and found that door.

Follow the trail of turrets!

I won’t spoil. Cuz the “Storytime Simon” stuff is WAY too creepy to spoil. It’s out there near fort Hagan. It’s icon is a trailer.

Odd conversational interludes…Except not really. See, I wanted to make sure I was dolled up for Piper, just in case. So I’d be all “Can it wait?” and she was cool with waiting until I could head back someplace quiet and put on a nice outfit. Ergo my surprise when Cait did NOT want to wait. Especially since we are flirting.

What? She’s cute. Though can I really wind up with the redhead twice? Can I? Who AM I anyway?

How much you wanna make a bet that the dude who needs Kellog’s brain (ew) is the one who can help Curie?

Feminina:

My roof door only took me into the main building and a bunch of synths. I had to take an elevator down to the lower levels where Kellogg was actually lurking. I could NOT get down there before I found that (cleverly hidden in a room I somehow missed, it was). If there was some other way down there that I never found!–but hell with it, I don’t want to know.

Also, I have not encountered anyone who wants Kellogg’s brain (ew), although I am carrying around the ‘cybernetic enhancement’ items I took from his body if that’s what you mean, so I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that.

Ah, see, I guess I’ve never dared to actually ask anyone to wait, lest they get huffy and be like “fine, just forget it then” and I never hear about it again. Because I want to know what they have to say! But I’ll feel more confident in telling them to do wait (or trying it, at least) while I put on my +5 Persuasion Outfit in future.

Here’s something that happens as follow-up to that drug deal we did, if the bar dude isn’t there to shoot Trish: she tells her boss it was you, even though she promised not to, and then later you meet him in Goodneighbor and he demands that you repay him for the chems you took. And if you’re me you persuade-check him into accepting half the money instead of all of it, say you’ll pay him in a week, and wander off. And then later you finally get around to raiding his chem lab, and kill everyone there, and you’re currently not sure if he’s going to want you to pay him for that too, next time you meet. I left no witnesses this time!–but given that Trish probably told him all about how she told me where the secret lab was, he would be justified in assuming it was me. I’m kind of looking forward to going back to see him, just to find out what happens. I’ll probably have to kill everyone in sight, though.

Butch:

Oh, right. That. I found the elevator, then had a whale of a time finding stairs. Makes sense.

On synths, when you had that “I went into a pipe thing with mad loot but then deathclaw and synths waiting to kill me when I came out,” was that the shelter? Cuz I can see that being the shelter.

Kellogg’s brain is the next story mission! Didn’t you go talk to Piper after seeing the airship? Go talk to Piper!

Wait, you had to, as you finished the Reunions quest, didn’t you?

Asking them to wait worked with Garvey and Piper. Mostly cuz Garvey kept doing it and trampling other dialog. Dude, Garvey. Just…dude.

Interesting note on the chem lab. Me, I have had two follow ups to that. First, the father of the Nelson guy who we kinda killed showed up all huffy accusing me, and I lied and said “I know nothing” and he kinda doesn’t believe me. Second, that bounty hunter? She showed up again and, again, I was all “I know nothing” and she goes “I guess I’ll try another way to find my dad” and I was all “Wait…what?” but she wouldn’t talk to me any more.

Hopefully, she returns.

Feminina:

I told you, man, I TRIED to go talk to Piper, but I can’t find her anywhere. I haven’t seen her in weeks. Although I haven’t been back to Diamond City lately, so maybe she’s finally turned up there.

And no, I haven’t completely finished the Reunions quest: the next thing I have to do is go talk to Nick Valentine, which I believe is still part of that. I’ll do it next time I’m in DC fruitlessly searching for Piper. Maybe I’ll finally find her in the doghouse at Sanctuary.

So right now you’re ahead of me on the main plot. Hush. I know way more about the Brotherhood than you do.

Yes, the mad loot, synths and deathclaw tunnel was the Mayoral Shelter. Man, was there a lot of loot there. I should go back…I think I had to drop a ton of good stuff.

Butch:

Wait wait wait…. who were you with when you did the kill Kellog bit? Cuz I was with Valentine. So I talked to him right there, then it was “Talk to Piper,” and she was at the newspaper place, and boom. Next step.

I have a feeling she’ll pop up at her place when she is needed for a quest, which’ll be after you talk to Valentine, so see him first. Two birds, one stone. And don’t lose her again!

You don’t have a quest marker on that one? You should. Try his place. And get going! I don’t like being ahead of you, and you’ll get the cutie back.

You need your own PSN account. I keep forgetting that even though it has the trophy for the mission, it isn’t you.

Because I…..I….this is wrong. Ahead of you, into the redhead….I….what is this madness? Get back on the main plot, dammit!

Yeah, those synths in the Mayoral Shelter were a surprise. Fucking synths.

Feminina:

I was alone when I killed Kellogg. See, you remember I couldn’t figure out how to get down there to the bottom of the fort, so at one point I gave up in frustration and went to do something else. Then later I went to talk to Piper, agreed to travel with her, decided it was a good time to go back to Fort Hagen, lost Piper along the way somehow, and wound up finding my way into the lower levels all by myself. (You know how a lot of times companions will disappear for a bit, but then show up again when you get into a fight or enter a new location? I kept waiting for that to happen.) By which point I was like “I’m sure it can’t be much farther here, I’ll just press on alone and get a companion on the next mission. It would take more time to go back for someone right now.”

Hahahaha.

Anyway, once Kellogg was dead I got distracted by loot or settlements or shiny locations or something, and THAT’s why I still haven’t talked to Valentine. But that’s good, that Piper is a key part of the next step. She’s bound to show up, then! Having finally checked the chem labs thing off my list, I’ll totally do that next time I play.

And maybe I’ll run into this bounty hunter while I’m in Diamond City. If I do, I’ll totally tell her everything I know, just to keep our progress on that quest as dissimilar as possible. “Oh yeah, I totally worked with that slimeball to backstab his business associates!”

I’m still a little confused by the synths turning up in the Mayoral Shelter. It was so quiet in there, and then I turn around to head back out and suddenly the place is seething with enemies!

Butch:

Ah. See, I never go on alone. I need someone to distract dudes.

Here’s a neat tip: Put your chum in power armor. I had Cait wearing some cuz I wanted to take it back home but didn’t want to wear it myself, stumbled into a deathclaw nest (!) and the thing just went after her cuz power armor. I just chucked grenades at it, which didn’t knock Cait down cuz power armor, and boom. Dead deathclaw.

I also noticed the suiciders will go for whoever’s in power armor. Important tip.

She’s less cute in power armor, though.

Yeah, I think that part of the quest will be like Dogmeat popping up. Should be. Cuz I didn’t send her to her office; she was just there when the quest needed it. “Oh, hey, I was chilling in your old house and decided I needed to come back here RIGHT when you needed me! What a coincidence!”

Yeah, the synth thing was mean, especially after the deathclaw. You’re all “Dude, that must’ve been the boss. Ok, good, cleared and WHATTHEFUCK?” Mean, game. Mean.

Feminina:

I haven’t gone on alone lately. I need someone to help carry my loot, as much as to distract dudes (though distracting is helpful). But for a while there I had a bad streak of losing companions JUST as I was about to embark on big quest stuff. Like the Park Street station, at the beginning of the Nick Valentine bit! Lost Curie somewhere, did it by myself. Then in Fort Hagen.

So these days I try to keep a closer eye on people, and haven’t lost anyone recently. Except Piper, who will hopefully turn up shortly when needed.

One of my SETTLERS put on power armor one time, when the settlement was attacked by super mutants. Completely without my direction or input. It was unexpected, but whatever…I wasn’t using it at the time, they might as well. I don’t particularly like power armor, even though it does raise my carrying capacity, so I kind of figure whoever wants to use it is welcome to it. Giving it to my companion could work.

Butch:

Yeah Garvey doesn’t count as lost. We know where he is. And Piper will be back.

I lost the dog again.

Feminina:

Dude! I thought you had a brilliant plan to scrap every doghouse but one, so he’d always be there!

Next time you see him, send him to Graygarden. There’s not even a doghouse there, so he’s always trotting around the place when I go. On the bright side, the dog is the least likely of all the companions to tell you about a cool personal quest he has for you.

Butch:

You watch. I bet if he takes enough radiation he starts talking like Speak in The Tick and has the best quest in the game.

I did scrap the doghouses but he must not like the one he has. He’s there about every third or fourth time I fast travel back. Maybe he’s too close to mama Murphy and she freaks him out.

Feminina:

Yeah, he probably misses his old doghouse. Quiet, far away from Mama Murphy and her jet cravings.

Now I kind of want to travel with the dog forever in hopes he’ll start talking.

Butch:

His doghouse is also surrounded by a slew of couches and easy chairs I built when I was trying to figure out what mama Murphy’s chair was. And it’s in the middle of the road. I kinda don’t blame him avoiding it.

Feminina:

Yeah, man, that doesn’t sound appealing. No wonder he’s always wandering off. Although you’d think he’d like to lie on the couches…a lot of dogs do. I guess this one is just too well trained.

Butch:

They don’t look too comfy. Though Cait and Piper always chill on them.

Feminina:

I love how companions will just sit down and chill on whatever furniture’s around. Or start typing at computers or something. “We have interests too, you know!”

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