Today I'd like to regale you of a few tales from the wasteland.
Changing the World
My first adventure of the day was a delightful surprise. I, like many others in the Commonwealth have been enjoying the awkward radio stylings of Travis on the Diamond City Radio station. But when the game gave me a mission to help give him some confidence, I thought "okay, let's see how this plays out." The quest itself felt like the kind of "tranformation from awkward nerd to confident man" that I've seen many times. But what I really appreciated was that this quest has changed the performance on the radio. I imagine if I had just skipped on the quest, Travis would have stayed awkward and uncomfortable in the role . But because I helped out, his intros and news stories have altered to reflect his new persona. This sense of making a change to the world like this was something I was sorely missing from Fallout 3. Glad to see something like it added in for this game.
It Came from Outer Space
My second adventure from Day 6 in the Commonwealth came about randomly. I was taking a break from questing to explore the north section of the map; just discovering each point of interest working my way East to West. First up was the Robotics Disposal Ground where I stumbled across a deactivated Sentry Bot. Exploring the terminal in the nearby shack, I saw I could activate it so I decided to quick save and see what kind of power it was packing. After activating it and watching it just sit there, I grabbed the Fat Man that was laying nearby and shot the guy. Then he came at me with a fury and easily destroyed me before I could reload for the much-needed second mini-nuke. So I reloaded my save and tried again, this time shooting in stealth and saving V.A.T.S. for the second nuke. That did the trick. But I didn't really want to waste a couple of nukes on the guy so I reloaded the save again to see what else I could do with the Sentry Bot. Turned out the same activation holo-tape could also send him to some other points.
Shortly after this experience, I passed Level 20 and a UFO came crashing down to Earth overhead. I followed the trail and came upon the downed ship and a mysterious green blood trail. Following the trail to a nearby cave, I came upon the pilot, killed him, and grabbed his Alien Blaster. New goal: invest in some levels on the Science! Perk so I can mod this baby and wreak havoc upon my enemies.
Back Into the Vault
Continuing my adventures on the map, I stumbled upon my first non-111 Vault. As a long-time fan of the Fallout games, one of my favorite parts of each game is discovering the new, messed up ways the fine folks at Vault-Tec decided to fuck with people going through the apocalypse. So that's why I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop in Vault 81. Everyone seemed so normal and well-adjusted, apart from having to work long hours to maintain the vault. But that couldn't be the experiment. That'd be too simple. Then I saw the first glimmers of hope when I found an old discarded Overseer terminal in the Reactor room. But I needed a Master level hack to get into it and I just haven't invested those points yet. Crap.
Fortunately, doing a menial side quest or two triggered an event that revealed the deep dark secret of this vault: that there was a second hidden portion of the vault observing the main vault. Reading through the terminals, this vault was intended to use the vault dwellers as human guinea pigs for disease and vaccine experimentation. But the suddenness of the bombs dropping meant that this laboratory side of the vault was only manned by three scientists. Discovering the communications between these scientists and that original Overseer (whose terminal is still locked but I imagine will give me even more insight when I return to unlock it) was particularly enjoyable. And while I'm playing this game as a relatively good person, this was one of the first quests I came across where I'm looking real forward to my more evil play through to see how events unfold.
These story-telling techniques are just another one of the many reasons I love these games. There is so much extra lore and narrative if you're willing to look for it. It's something I always had a hard time connecting with in Skyrim (I barely ever actually read any of the text on those books, I usually just clicked it to get the mission objective or skill point), but I love getting to know each of these quirky little fleshed-out stories of the pre-war world or what happened in the 200 years I was frozen.
I Am S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
Only added a couple levels today and got up to Level 21. No change to my SPECIAL (S=6, P=6, E=5, C=6, I=7, A=4, L=4).
Because of how I handled the Vault 81 quest, I seem to be suffering a permanent status effect of Molerat disease (Max HP -10). I wonder if that will fade with time or if I'm stuck with it.
As for my Perks, I feel like I've been finding a lot of magazines recently:
Armorer, Astoundingly Awesome 4, Astoundingly Awesome 7, Astoundingly Awesome 8, Awareness, Barbarian (4), Black Widow (2), Blacksmith, Bloody Mess, Cap Collector (2), Covert Operations (2), Gun Nut, Guns and Bullets, Hacker (2), Live & Love 2, Local Leader (2), Locksmith, Mysterious Stranger, Science!, Scrapper, Tesla Science, Unstoppable.
I'm also up to 7 Bobbleheads: Perception, Repair, Melee, Speech, Energy Weapons, and Medicine.
Unfortunately, today brought the first instances of my game just crashing entirely. I had just shot a Super Mutant Suicider from afar causing him to blow and take a couple of his friends. Then I turned and started heading the other way and as I was running the game just errored out to the PlayStation main screen. I reported the problem, restarted, loaded the recent quick save and tried again. Slightly different path traveled but the game crashed again. So I took a break and spent the rest of the day doing chores and stuff. I'm hoping that playing around with some different stuff will break free from this situation and that I'm not stuck in a crashing loop of some kind.
Wish me luck...