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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar DavidTC
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    SPOILERS FREE

    I am, of course, playing Fallout 4.

    I’m about 35 hours in, and have almost completely ignored the main plot, although when I actually do go forward with it, I am not disappointed because it’s gotten me two hilarious companions already.

    The first companion you get just for getting to that city everyone keeps mentioning, so at least do that. The next one isn’t much farther along the main plot.

    And that city everyone says to go is not like Vegas in New Vegas, it’s not hard to get into or require you walking around half the map. Just…go straight there. It’s on your map. If raiders are in your way and too hard, just reload and take a different street. (And don’t forget, you can, in fact, swim, which is easier than tackling some of the bridges. Sprint swim your way across the shortest distance between two banks, and you’ll be fine. The new health system makes rads much easier to ignore, all they do is reduce your total HP instead of causing other penalties.)

    I should probably continue the main plot, as it’s pretty clearly that plot is *completely* unconnected to to the other stuff I’m doing, and the developers said as much. And it look like the companions are *along* the main plot, so if I don’t do that, I don’t get to see what other interesting people are out there.

    I’m still trying to figure out if there’s the ability to join different factions or not, if this is New Vegas. I joined the first, obvious faction that I met, who are obviously the ‘good guys’ of the game. There is at least one other group I’ve been asked to join, but I didn’t yet, because I’m not sure if it would be in conflict with that other group, and they are jerkasses.

    But, then again, I’m not sure the game even *works* like that, because you pretty clearly *must* be a member of that first group, or settlements don’t work…so it must be okay to join two groups? Or do settlements works regardless?

    As an aside, there is the strange option to *not* tell everyone what you’re trying to do, or be vague about, despite the fact that, logically, no one should really be against it. I can’t quite figure out why I *wouldn’t* tell people, so I’ve been totally upfront with everyone. We’ll see if that bites me in the ass.

    The amazing thing about the Fallout series is that, the first time playing a game, you think ‘Oh, of course, I’m being railroaded in this direction, because plot’, so the next time you’re like ‘I will outsmart the game and *not* do that.’..and everything still works.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
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      Oh, and a piece of gameplay advice: You can save your level ups. The only thing they actually seem to do is give you a perk, so having at least one unused perk sitting there is very handy in case you suddenly need to craft something or unlock some door or something.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC
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        Perk or SPECIAL point at level up.

        I did realize fairly quickly that to get the level 4 Luck perk, for instance, you didn’t need levels 1, 2 or 3. (I’m so used to trees). You just needed 4 points in Luck.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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      says:

      Yeah, I find myself ignoring the main plot a lot too.

      I’m playing “the Sims” with my various sites and noting that I need to start putting points in “gun nut” and “science”.Report

  2. Avatar James K
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    says:

    I’ve played for about 5 hours so far.

    I like the settlement and crafting rules – both fit well with Fallout’s concept of humanity picking itself up off the ground after the apocalypse. Similarly, the idea of having armour in pieces makes all your armour look makeshift, which also fits with the setting.

    What I don’t like is the drift toward it becoming a full-on shooter. VATS being merely a slowdown instead of a pause makes combat vastly more stressful for me, to the point where I’ve turned the difficulty down to minimum. Also I would have preferred to retain the old skill system. I was also very unhappy to discover that you end up fighting a Deathclaw in the first plot mission. You know how you go toe-to-toe with a Deathclaw? You don’t.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to James K
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      says:

      You know how you do that thing?

      Two words: Exploding cars.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC
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        says:

        You can make cars explode?

        Awesome.

        I somehow set a bunch of ghouls on fire earlier. It was helpful, because there were a truly large number of ghouls. And then there were those stupid flying bugs. Thank goodness I’d just gotten the Mysterious Stranger perk…

        Gun Nut is already working for me, as a perk. 🙂 Upgraded my pistol more, and turned a hunting rifle into a great sniper rifle. AND set up improved machine guns in my settlement.

        I’m not entirely certain my settlement is safe. I’ve covered the main bridge in, and blocked off the shallow part of the river, which I think will keep most people out. However, there’s the back way to the Vault and I’m not sure if that needs to be locked off or guarded. When I get more circuits, I might put some turrets there and wall it off a bit more.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20
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          says:

          You can make cars explode?

          Oh, God, yes. Ever seen a mysterious nuclear explosion, or, worse, been killed by one?

          Yeah, that was probably a car. (Or one of those damn suicide super mutants.)

          Find an undamaged car. Shoot it a few times. It will catch on fire. Now…back up like fifty feet, and wait about five seconds.

          And pay careful attention to see if that explosion caught *another* car on fire. 😉

          Fun fact: The entrance to The Pitt, in the Fallout 3 DLC, was a bridge covered in cars…and *mined with explosives*. So you’d trip a mine, you’d run and jump at the last second like the punk you are, and it would go off, and you’d be mostly fine, and you’d think whew…

          …and then a few seconds later a car would explode, which would unerringly set at least one other car on fire, which would then explode, etc, etc…

          I’m not entirely certain my settlement is safe.

          You might be failing at gameplay and story segregation. 😉

          You know how to stop people from invading your settlements? Have your defense high enough that is more than the total of your food and water. I.e, if you have 3 water and 5 food, you need 8 or 9 defense. (Not quite sure which.) At my point in the game, I am insanely over-building defenses, somewhere to the point of double what I need.

          Where you put this defense is only relevant if you actually get attacked.

          Of course, even with a really high defense, you sometimes still ‘get attacked’, but I think what is actually happening is a ‘Provisioner'(1) or a Trader is getting attacked, and running to the camp with enemies behind them.

          Thus I have started putting all my defenses on how *they* come in and out of camp. 😉 Which is not always the actual path.

          1) Slight gameplay spoiler: If you’re running multiple settlements, you need the ‘Local Leader’ perk. It lets you direct Settlers (Making them ‘Provisioners’) to travel back and forth between settlements, which means that all the crafting supplies are shared between them. You eventually end up (If you’re like me and are trying to run *every* settlement.) a spoke system from a central location. Note that the people *actually do* walk back and forth, so between the settlements needs to be somewhat clear. (Although I’ve noticed that none of the people seem to have any problem with walking through radioactive rivers! Although I did lose a connection once, don’t quite know how.)Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to James K
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      says:

      Oh, and I thought they were trees also. In fact, my first two perks chosen were attributes at the top, under that assumption. (Not that I regret them…they were things I wanted higher anyway.)Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James K
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      says:

      Yes, I am irritated as heck about the new VATS.

      But that’s because they’ve abandoned skills for the “nothing but perks!” model.

      Once upon a time, I could pour my skill points into my tagged skills and get my guns or lockpick or computer or persuade or whatever up incrementally and make sure that everybody has 25 or 50 (or whatever) and it’s measurable.

      Now each perk point I get is oh-so-valuable, I’m frozen with fear whenever I have to allocate a point. Do I put it in my stats? I should put it in my stats. Do I put it in my weapons? I should put it in my weapons. Should I put it in lockpick? That gives me money… I should put it in lockpick.

      I mean, you get so very few stat points at the beginning! Instead of 5 each for your SPECIAL stats, you get, what? 4 each for them? That’s, like, 7 levels I have to go up before I catch up to where I should have been at the start of the game!!!Report

  3. Avatar Hoosegow Flask
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    says:

    I started, played several hours, then restarted. When I created my first character, I assumed intelligence wouldn’t be very important (except when choosing perks), since there are no more skill points, and that hp gained from endurance would not be retroactive, which is the way it worked in past Fallout games. Both of these assumption turned out to be false.

    Turns out there is no level cap and INT boosts the xp gained, so a higher INT should allow you to reach a higher level for the same work. So for my second character, I maxed INT and it has made a noticeable difference. I haven’t done the same number of quests or exploring, but I’ve already matched the level of my previous character.

    I may try a melee character in the future, keeping INT at 1 and using Idiot Savant to gain xp.

    My gripes so far:

    1. Resolution. How does a AAA game developer have such horrible resolution support? I have a 3440×1440 monitor. When I select Fullscreen, I lose any option for selecting a resolution and it runs at some very low res. I can run windowed, at 2560×1440, with the desktop showing behind the game.

    2. Songs. They apparently had a bajillion in sales by the first day. Could they not have licensed more than a dozen really old songs? I know they had more songs back then. I’ve seen some on Spotify. GTA 5 apparently has 240 songs.

    3. Graphics. I was pleasantly surprised with the graphics. They were better than I had anticipated. I feared it would look too much like FO3 and NV, but they have noticeably improved. That said, they’re certainly not pushing any limits or breaking new ground. And the world is very still. It feels very odd, especially coming from Witcher 3, where there is a ton of movement in the environment.

    4. Interface. This wouldn’t be complete without complaining about Bethesda’s interface on PC. While they did finally add hotkeys for things like the map and inventory (yay!), something I have been wishing for since I first started playing FO3, the workshop interface is horrible. Like most of the complaints since Oblivion, it’s due to the fact that it was clearly designed for consoles. Not only is it a chore to navigate, it’s not intuitive and I keep hitting the wrong key trying to back out of selections. I cannot wait for the inevitably mod to fix the interface.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Hoosegow Flask
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      says:

      1 and 4 are driven by the same thing – these days AAA PC releases are half-assed posts of console games. X Box and Playstation don’t go past 1920 x 1080, so why would they put any effort into higher resolutions.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Hoosegow Flask
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      says:

      Re: song licensing. Rockstar got so many songs for GTA5 because they knew full well that they had a massive amount of sales waiting for them, so they could afford to budget for a lot of licenses. Fallout comes with high demand also, but not nearly as sky-high as GTA5.

      In further mitigation of the seeming lack of effort put in to licensing music, Fallout’s a prominent but not the centerpiece franchise for Bethesda. That would be Elder Scrolls, for which pop music licensing would be inappropriate.

      In aggravation, however, the motif is for ‘classic’ songs which seem like they would be cheaper to license, and if no one on the team had a sufficiently deep knowledge of pop music history in order to make good selections, getting a musicologist to consult would surely have been a trivial expense.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko
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        The lack of songs doesn’t make sense to me, because they actually *don’t* have to pay for them. Why? Two words: Public domain.

        A *lot* of music from the 30s-50s is in the public domain.

        There is a rather amazing mod for Fallout 3 that expands the radio playlist with 100 additional songs…all public domain songs.

        That’s *five hours* of music. Right there. They literally could have just grabbed those exact songs from archive.org, or, because they want to make the styles of music slightly different from game to game, done a bit of browsing there and gotten different ones.

        And that’s, maybe, 500 more megs. (Oddly, with Fallout 3, that mod had to contain a .wav, a stereo mp3, *and* an mono mp3 version of every song, so it was huge, but that seems like an obvious things that should have been fixed.)

        It’s really hard to come up with an excuse for their crappy music size.

        Oh, and later, you get a radio station that you sorta need to listen to in various contexts (Not saying more because spoilers) and they just play bland classical music…and *that* repeats just as quickly. (I notice because they have one song that reminds me of Tomorrow Belongs to Me from Cabaret, which is *really* inappropriate in the context.)Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          What disappoints me about the songs is that they feel like someone just googled “1950’s songs uranium” or “1940’s songs war” or something.

          Which would have been less irritating if they had 200+ songs but since it feels like they only about about 50 (and 10 of those are repeats from the previous game), it’s one of the design decisions that leaves me wondering “what the hell happened? Did no one catch this?”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          (I notice because they have one song that reminds me of Tomorrow Belongs to Me from Cabaret, which is *really* inappropriate in the context.)

          I thought that The Enclave radio station was one of the most brilliant things about Fallout 3.

          A Fallout 4 radio station that played Tomorrow Belongs to Me would be freaking *AWESOME*. You know what? The game that Obsidian makes using the Fallout 4 engine should totally include that song.Report

  4. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    says:

    I don’t even bother buying games anymore until I can get the base game and all the DLC in one package. There’s no shortage of slightly older games I haven’t played and can get at a deep discount. So…I’ll let you know what I think in a year or two.Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Brandon Berg
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      says:

      I did that with the previous two Fallout games. I bought Skyrim on launch (or soon after). I later picked up the DLC on sale, but haven’t been able to bring myself to play them. I guess I’m just too burned out on Skyrim. I worry that will be the case with FO4 as well.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg
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      says:

      This time for Fallout, there is a ‘season pass’ for $40 that I think is all the DLCs, so you can, technically, ‘get them all at once’, although obviously you have to wait until they are released to play them.

      Although I suspect your strategy is more about price than ease of purchase. 😉 I do exactly the same thing for *most* games, delaying until the price drops.

      Fallout is just one of my favorite series…3 and New Vegas are basically the only games (Well, plus Civ 5, but that doesn’t really count.) I’ve played through more than three times. I tried to restrain myself, and then I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to wait the entire minimum of six months before any price drop, so I might as well just get it now.

      I’m actually a little baffled they don’t sell a ‘Full Edition’ (Aka, ‘Game of the Year’ edition, except I guess they don’t want to call it that until after they’re the game of the year!) at the very start of things. They have a finite amount of stuff they’re going to add, it’s almost certainly all planned out, just let me buy it now as a single item instead of two.

      Oddly enough, a long time ago, I bought Arkham Asylum normal edition, then an ‘upgrade’ to the GOTY edition, and for a while I had ‘both games’ in my Steam list, and then the original vanished and now I just have the GOTY one. It was all rather odd and confusing, and it’s the only game I’ve seen that let you do something like that. (And, checking, I appear to have *no* achievements for that game. Oops. Good job, Steam.)

      Plus, now that I have FO4, I *might* be able to wait until the next Tomb Raider drops in price. 😉 I’m hoping, because that already is out for a console, that will factor in the price drop time delay of the PC version, and we’ll get a discount at next year’s Steam summer sale, or failing that the fall sale.Report

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