Bethesda

Fallout 4 – The One Big Change

Fallout 4

I feel like a bad Blognation member right now, as I completely forget where this upcoming thought was inspired from. I did read it around the Blogosphere (and even commented on it, and fleshed it out a bit further), so this is driving me a bit nuts. Still, I felt it worth fleshing out just a bit more. (If I can remember, or if that Blogger comes here, please remind me so I can link appropriately!)Fallout 4 is my go to right now. Last night I decided to sit down and finish the main story line. And promptly became distracted, and did four other quests (by accident) before restarting the real, next quest in the storyline arc (and promptly running out of time and going to bed before I even moved the arc along one step). That is the fun (and danger) of Fallout 4. The letdown in that greatness is the travel system.

Like many games Fallout 4 has an instant travel system between points you have visited before. It destroys immersion. Last night (for example) I had a raid on one of my settlements where they called out for help. I was able to transport there instantly. I get that crossing huge swathes of danger infested wasteland is inconvenient. I also understand that I could have walked there if I had chosen to. The latter option also takes away from game play. There needs to be a balance. Even better, if there is a balance that enhances game play instead of taking away from it – and the solution is really easy.

Vehicles.

Vehicles in Fallout 4 would add an entirely new dimension. First off, those carcasses of vehicles all over the roads could now be moved and salvaged, adding a new element of game play (clearing roads between destinations) for faster travel times.  There should also be different levels (wheeled cars, hover vehicles, boats, etc.) that you can now build, maintain and use throughout. As you progress, you can open new and better vehicles (hello, vertibirds!) that either companions can support you with and even more reason to secure your settlements (you need somewhere to store them vehicles! I strongly feel that this type of travel in the game would really add to the game, create a better sense of urgency, and a fun mode of travel that could bridge the difference between hour long walk and instant teleportation.

World of Warcraft

I really have the itch to catch up in World of Warcraft. Not to raid or anything, but partially because I feel like I have unfinished business there – leaving my poor characters behind the leveling curve. Mists of Pandaria was the one expansion I spent the least amount of time in and I figure I could probably hop in Warlords and do the content I want to do in 30 days. All in all that’s not a bad proposition as I bought the expansion for 75% off. I also have a strong desire to catch up on all the raids that I couldn’t do, but can now solo. While I have often been sad about the class homogenization that gutted much of what was interesting in that game, some of Legion Class preview things have me very interested. The Outlaw spec of the rogue and the very clear separation of Hunter Specs (hello, Survival!) have me very interested in WoW for a change. I just struggle with that one, perfect character for me that I want to play. I think if WoW was able to satisfy my desires by providing a class that I loved (more on that in a second) or the ability to be different classes with a weapon switch (which is my now preferred MMO model type, since I do not have time for alts!) then I could still be playing.

My favored play style is 5 man dungeons. This means, to optimize my time in WoW I should tank. This is simple enough. Tanking isn’t always great for questing though, and if I do want to raid, I definitely wouldn’t be prepared as a tank. You need 1 tank for a 5 man and 2 for a 25 man. Main healing for 5 mans is also an option so the offspec is also important. Let’s look at the classes I have:

Paladin (Isee) has been my main 5 man tank the past couple expansions. I hate the healing style on the Paladin, and not a big fan of Ret. (At level 90)

Druid (Couchon) was my first character and my raiding main for most of my WoW life. I liked healing on the Druid but did not like either of the DPS specs. (at level 85). I always hated that new gear didn’t show up on bear form.

Shaman (Isey) became my main during the SSC raids as we were lacking Shaman and particularly the nicely powered Chain Heal. I switched then and quickly fell in love with the totems and style of the character. I also specced Enhance which was helluva lot of fun. My dream in WoW is to have Shaman as tanks, I would resub lifetime. (at level 85)

Rogue (Coosh) – favourite to level, but I hate long DPS queues for dungeons (if those things are still a thing.) I often level the Rogue first to learn the dungeons from a DPS perspective before tanking them. (at level 90)

Those are my high level characters. Currently leaning Druid.

The other interesting option, since I have a free level 90, is to go Warrior. I have a level 72 Warrior LLewella  (thanks Roger Zelazny). Tanking as a warrior is interesting, even moreso with the Gladiator option to do DPS as sword and board.  That is enticing. Unfortunately, that spec is leaving in Legion. I am getting way ahead of myself now.

The fact I am thinking (and reading, and writing) about WoW is a pretty telltale sign I’ll be back there soon. I just need to find the right mindset and class to dive back in.

On Relationships

Not interpersonal human relationships, as that is better served by the professionals.

Not MMO player relationships (guilds, etc) as that is still managed between human beings.

In Fallout: New Vegas, I am asked to manage relationships in game via two formats – Karma, and Reputation with various groups.

Karma is interesting – if you do something inherently bad, even out of sight, you ‘lose’ it. Down the road your Karma rating is a benchmark on whether certain groups or characters will work with you. It is an unforseen force, yet exists. Many argue that to be true in our real lives. Karma, is apparently, a bitch.

Example in game: I am tired. I see a bed. I mouse over the bed to have the option to sleep in it. The choice is in red – if I choose to sleep in it I will lose Karma. It is red only because it ‘belongs’ to a character in game. I can’t ask that character for permission to sleep in his bed. I only have the choice to sleep in it, lose Karma, or not sleep in it and find another place to sleep. For some reason you can’t sleep on couches. (One of my favorite pasttimes).

Oddly enough, if I kill the owner of the bed I don’t lose Karma. Now that he/she is dead, the game flags the bed as ‘unowned’ and I can choose to sleep in that bed and not lose Karma. Sad post-apolyptic survival social commentary that you get penalized for sleeping in a bed without asking, unless you kill the owner of the bed first. I should probably just end this article here, but there is more.

The second managed reputation is with faction. If that same owner of the bed is a member of a group, say the NCR, then if I kill him I lose reputation with the NCR (even without a witness). In my play through in F:NV the NCR and I don’t get along. Apparently I was more concerned with my Karma score than my Rep scrore, and heck, you need to sleep a lot in the game.

I get a mission to go speak to an NCR Leader at an Embassy. He teases me with the premise that if I go speak to him he has the power to offer me amnesty for my past crimes against NCR bed owners. I decide to go have a chat with him. Unfortunately for me he is located deep in a NCR Military Police Base. Unfortunately for the NCR MP’s the Leader didn’t inform them that he asked to speak with me.

I kill 40 NCR MP’s on my way to the NCR Leader ( I have to kill them, they won’t let me walk by) to get my amnesty. In fact, I even killed 2 in his room while he sat at his desk and watched. I believe a head exploded on his paperwork. There is a severed limb of one of his NCR guards in his lap.  He watched, waited for me to finish, then offered me my desired amnesty if I would take the time to go convert a neutral faction to the NCR cause.

I go do so, and the NCR and I are pals once again.