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Some mildly spoilery bits about Nick Valentine’s background, much discussion of settlements


I got nothing. Played a little Grim Fandango with the kids (have I mentioned you’re missing out?)


Ow, the pain of missing out! Too bad there was absolutely no way a normal human could ever possibly have known that Manny could move at something other than a crawl.

I played some FO4, but accomplished pretty much nothing. Cleared out the Medford Memorial Hospital, trying to work my way towards Malden, then heard about one of my settlements being under attack, and dashed off to help (because unlike you I care about people!).

Kept fast-traveling there because they’re far away, and landing right next to a bunch of raiders with missile launchers who would instantly blow me up. Need to try traveling to a nearby spot and skulking over in their direction so I’m not loading right on top of them, but of course I’m weighed down with loot, including missile launchers that I took from the last settlement attack and totally need if these guys have them. How much time do I have to help a settlement under attack before the accusing eye of the “0 population” shows up? I WANT to go unload this loot somewhere useful, but I’m not sure I have time.


If by normal human you mean someone who never looked at the options, or, really, pushed the buttons on the controller to find out what they actually do, then yes.

I care about people! I do! Just not enough to interrupt narrative.

Yeah that’s what happened to me at Oberland station but it was mutants and miniguns and grenades. Fuck that.

As for loot unloading, I built a couple of shops at the co-op! These rock. Boom! And they make people happy. Best part of settlements so far.

The zero population thing we’ll just have to live with. But imagine the poor schmucks who hear that radio beacon, think, hey, yeah…that DOES sound good, and show up to utter carnage.

Should’ve stayed minding your own tatoes.


OBVIOUSLY that’s what I mean by ‘normal human,’ hello. ME. Are you trying to say I’m some sort of abnormally lazy weirdo or something? Because them’s fightin’ words, only not really because I can’t be bothered.

Dude, you should at least turn off the beacon at Oberland Station to spare people the trauma. Or else you know you’re going to have more people wind up there and try to settle amid the bodies, and start complaining about “the bed situation,” and then get wiped out by super mutants with miniguns. The whole cycle will just continue.

Shops make people happy? I should try that. I’ve got all these settlements with perfectly reasonable amounts of food, water, bedding and defense (plus radios and kitten pictures and houseplants! I gave several of them jukeboxes, damn it!), but their happiness just keeps going down. Lousy depressed jerks, not caring about my convenience here.

But maybe they just need shops. Everyone likes to shop! Except me. I just want to turn desk fans into jukeboxes.


Actually, I don’t think I ever got around to that beacon. I did the co-op and Sanctuary, but that’s it. It’ll be fine. Mutants like gourds, right?

You can make jukeboxes? Wow!

I found an actual kitten. Too bad I didn’t have dogmeat. He’d’ve liked that.

I can’t for the life of me figure out happiness. It seems totally random. I mean, I can see why Oberland Station wasn’t happy, what with getting slaughtered and all, but other than that, forget it. Sometimes, people will be very happy and I wonder why. Good gourds, maybe.

You have to assign a dude TO the shop. Maybe that’s the happiness angle. “Phew. I was SO sick of pumping water all day. Now all I have to do is sit here with my feet up waiting for her to get back with 27 missile launchers. And hope no mutants show up.”


I imagine you should be fine if you never built a beacon there. I build them everywhere, but I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. “Come one, come all! Raise the need for beds, food and water! I can’t wait to come back here with my cargo of desk fans and typewriters and provide all of those things for you!”

I would definitely be happier if I got to sit in a shop instead of kneeling on the ground digging at gourds with my bare hands all day. You’d think one of the things I could give them would be farming tools, but no…they’ll have to be content with kitten pictures. No wonder they’re unhappy.


It’s hard to dig with a desk fan.

Played some more!

Found a dude trying to raise mirelurks, and a BADFTL office with a very interesting nugget about Nick Valentine….story! Have you found this?


I was just there two days ago! Looking for…stuff for Nick. Which you may have found without actively looking for it, since you were there already.

That was a very interesting tidbit. Eddie Winter and our Nick Valentine’s fiancee (or at least, the human precursor to our synthetic Nick Valentine)…the plot thickens.


Yeah, didn’t expect that. Nice touch.

Interesting you were looking for it for Nick. I’ve had that location on my map (undiscovered) for weeks. I think it popped when I found some other Eddie Winter stuff, as every time I do I seem to get a “map updated.”

I have a feeling I know why you’re trying to find Malden, all of a sudden.


Actually it’s because I’m looking for something for Nick, but also just because it’s been on my map for ages. The Brotherhood had a note on Malden Middle School that put it on my map, and I’ve been SO CLOSE, but I still haven’t made it father than the Medford hospital. Which chased me off last time I was in the area, but which I cleared last night, so assuming I can survive fighting off these raiders who are hassling my settlement, I can probably make it to the Malden Center T stop next time I play. Maybe. If there’s nothing else distracting in between.


Make sure you find the donut recipe!

Cuz Malden is all about donuts.

Police station? There’s a police station there. I think it’s where I first heard of Eddie Winter, unless that was Cambridge.


Donuts! Malden is ALL ABOUT donuts. I will look very hard for the recipe.

There’s a police station in between? Makes sense. I will go there. But obviously I also need to check out the infamous middle school.


Buzz bites. They’re kinda handy.

I STILL have to go chill with the BoS some. I’m gonna finish up with the USS Constitution first. Then either Railroad of BoS. Sorry Garvey. Sorry Good Neighbor. Sorry Shaun.

Gonna be playing this forever, huh?


In my case, sorry Shaun. Sorry Railroad. Sorry all my companions counting on me to address their problems (except Garvey and Curie: we’re good).

We’re going to be playing this forever, but then, we already knew that.


We are. I feel like I STILL have only scratched the surface.

I take it that even after Good Neighbor it doesn’t feel like it’s ending soon.


Oh lord no. Goodneighbor is where you go to follow up on a couple of side quests and pick up a bunch more side quests, but so far the only practical thing it’s had to do with Shaun and/or the main plot is say “now go to this other place.” I mean, I did learn quite a bit, but as for actually finding the kid, that’s still in the very indefinite future.


Game so very long. So much loot.


So much loot that you actually have to care about if you care about settlements! Remember I was all “this will be the game where I don’t care about loot and accumulating money”? Well, it sort of was, for about 20 minutes, until I realized you could scrap junk and build things, and furthermore that you needed to build things to keep people from whining. That was it. From then on, it was an all-out loot obsession.

I burned 5 level perks on that Strong Back series! Now, with pockets in everything, I can carry 350 pounds AND use action points to move normally if overloaded (for a few steps at a time), AND fast travel when encumbered. This is pretty sweet, but encumbrance is still a pain. I’ve been adding pockets to my companions’ armor. I need to get the perk that will let me make deep pockets. I think I literally could not carry enough desk fans to satisfy me. I could find a box of 700 fans and I would still think “I wish I could carry a little more.”

Sorry, Shaun. The desk fans, they distracted me.


Eat your tasty radstag!

Pretty much the only armor modding I’ve done is adding pockets. EVERYTHING has pockets.


Radstag! Bufftats! Pockets! All about them.



One thing about Curie is she doesn’t like chems. Piper, either. Cait LOVED them. See a deathclaw? Take EVERYTHING. Kill it AND get some.


And kill a nice bottle of wine, then sleep. Like life! She loves that.

Have you ever tried to talk to a companion drunk? It’s fun.


I don’t usually take chems, except when I’m trying to haul something. I’ll have to go get Cait and do them a lot more often, though.


They are really handy.

Fucking kiiiiiiiil!

So Nick was human….


Oh, yeah, that was potentially kind of a spoiler to spell it out like that. I mean, we know current-Nick is a synth, and they didn’t have humanoid synths in the pre-bomb days, so knowing a Nick Valentine was active before the bomb pretty much means that one was human, but if someone hadn’t put the pieces together it could be spoil-y.

There’s another loose theme here, with the exploration of the boundary between robots/machines and humanity. Nick was human, Curie wants to be human. The Constitution robots seem to be ideologically opposed to humanity at this point (except thawed Real Americans like the PC). The Institute is trying to mimic humanity, and some of their creations may THINK they’re human, but still not be. Power armor helps humans mimic the strength of machines (and makes us look pretty much like giant robots). And some humans, like Kellogg, have synth parts installed and become somewhat machine-like.


Yeah, found a holotape yesterday…..

Though they did mention the CIT…. (Ha)

Gotta love using Whitey Bulger and a synth plot. Nicely done.

Don’t forget Strong and his desire to “civilize.”

Indeed, all rather about us/them. Who’s American, who’s civilized, etc.

We saw some of that at the end of Covenant. “She believes she’s human, that’s good enough.” Or, “She’s my daughter, that’s good enough.” To be ONE OF US. Whatever that means. What is “us,” anyway? A fictional construct?

Had you played FO3, we could’ve gone one all day and night about whether it was pro-America or very anti-America. We could do the same here with pro-“us,” be that America, humanity, “civilized” people….


Yeah, the machine/human thing is definitely a subset of the us/not us thing. Also pro/anti “us.” At some point, maybe “us” is just whomever we feel the most sympathy with…but who even is THAT?


It’s certainly more vague than 3. I mean, three was AMERICA in big letters. This? Hmm.

It certainly has provided food for thought. And fans. And gourds.

Speaking of gourds, weirdest thing. Went to the workshop tab, and saw that some of the settlements I actually care about (like the co-op) had fewer people and no defense. Panicked, off I went, only to find no issues. Every thing was fine. Weird.

Gave ’em turrets anyway. BOOM!


Yeah, the ‘workshops’ tab seems to lie sometimes, just to freak you out. One of my settlements was marked as no defense, and I thought “what the hell, were they attacked and I didn’t notice?!” and I hurried over and it turned out they had plenty of defense, same as I left them with, and were like “what are you flipping out about, we’re fine.”

But yeah, a few more turrets can’t hurt.

Speaking of settlements, I just managed to make it the 10 feet from the Medford Memorial Hospital to Malden Center (totally how it is in real life), and was killing and looting things in there, as one does, when I got a message that Graygarden was under attack. How I get these messages, I don’t know. I like to imagine Dogmeat runs up and whines dramatically and I say “what’s that, boy? Graygarden is in trouble? Something about falling into a well? That doesn’t make any sense…it must be super mutants!”

So I abandoned Malden Center mid-loot to rush off to Graygarden, where they were actually doing quite well driving off the super mutants on their own, thank you. So I think you don’t always lose a settlement if you don’t go help them? Maybe it’s just based on the strength of their defense compared to what random enemies roll up, or whatever. Anyway, I shot at a couple of mutants just to say I’d helped, and then looted some bodies because I have principles. I’ll have to go back and finish with Malden tonight if I play.


That’s what happened yesterday! Weird. I got their defense up to 46. Should do.

Maybe there ARE people in Oberland station! They’re chilling, eating, like 92 food, all set. I’ll tell myself that.

HA! Good doggie….good doggie…..

I think Malden did ok. As did Concord. Better than Lexington, as that Corvega plant will just trash property values. We’re so set.

It must be random, whether settlements survive without your help. Cuz there have been a couple of times where the random XP machine popped, and now that Mr. O’ told me what that was, I know it was settlements, but I didn’t get a “so and so is under attack.” Just XP. I know not from where. So maybe that was like wimpy raiders or something and they didn’t even bother sending dogmeat.


Just don’t ever go back, and Oberland Station can live on as an oasis of plenty in a harsh, cruel world. EVERYONE will be there, all taking care of their own issues, never needing to call you because they can build their own beds. It’s true in your mind, dude.

Yeah, maybe you only get the ‘attack’ alert if the danger is over a certain level, but there’s still going to be a chance the settlement could handle it on their own even if you don’t go. I could see that.

“If you don’t take care of your settlements, they might fail! Or they might be fine if most of their inhabitants are robots with buzz saw arms. And also there’s that one settler who had the initiative to get into the suit of power armor you left standing around.”

I salute that guy, honestly. Take the damn armor! I wish I could just throw armor and weapons on the ground in piles and the settlers could equip themselves, because I theoretically want to give them all better gear but it’s so time consuming to talk to them all individually.


HA! I’ve taken Mr. O’s advice and dumped everything THEN scrapped it and I have a feeling that the poor settlers are always “WOW LOOK at that pile of goodies……and now it’s just steel and plastic. Sigh.” And I say “What? I’m making you this nice tire wall!” and they say “Uh…yeah….thanks…but..uh…wouldn’t this have been more useful when it was seven sub machine guns?” And I say “Perhaps….but XP, baby!”

It would be so much easier to talk to them all individually if they weren’t all named “settler.” I can’t keep them straight. Can’t be bothered.


Yeah, there’s no way to keep all the settlers named Settler straight. They could at least be Settler Annie and Settler Bob or something.

I would totally let them dig through the pile of gear before I scrapped it, if they only would. That would be fun to watch! Imagine the squeals of glee and the cries of disappointment! “Aww, I wanted the submachine gun!”

But if they’re relying on me to keep track of who’s wearing/carrying what and whether anything that’s in the pile is better…guys, I just can’t.


Yeah, but it would only be a matter of time before they were all “HEY! He got the Fancy Lads snack cakes LAST time! No fair!” Then they’d leave, get eaten, I’d feel guilty…

And no one would take the bloodbug proboscuses and they’d sit there getting stinky….

No good would come of it.


They can draw straws for the snack foods. And I’m using those proboscises myself, damn it. They have acid in them, which is good for…something. The settlers can only have gear and pre-bomb food: I’m not sharing my desk fans.