First of all this isn't going to cover everything to see in Waste Virginia. This is more or less the early/beginning stages of the game. So please keep that in mind. I do hope this gives some insight into what this game is going to be like for pretty much everyone starting out.
Upon Starting out in the Vault, look around the room a bit if you want but def grab the Nuka Tapper mini game on Holo from your desk computer because once you leave the Vault, there is no going back in. There isn't much in the Vault other than the directed items you are supposed to grab before setting out. There is at least one terminal that has some rather mundane info in it about security issues like theft and such from time spent in the vault but not much else…
Once setting out you can go directly to the Overseer's camp if you wish or you can go in pretty much any direction you want. It might behoove you to go to the camp as there is a LOT of good starter stuff there. Including mini quests to craft a weapon and piece of armor. I didn't know this so by the time I got to this I had already built a full set of leather armor and then had to craft something else to complete the actual quest which kinda wasted some supplies. So again might be best to go to the Overseer's camp right away especially if you aren't all that familiar with the mechanics of Fallout in recent games.
CRAFTING and MODDING
As far as crafting goes I highly recommend you grab everything you find along your travels even if it weighs you down. You'll find work benches all over the place and you can "scrap" your junk all at once at any of the workbenches. This breaks the junk (like fans, lamps, etc…) down into just the raw components thus making your load MUCH lighter. There are several workbenches and each allows you do do a specific thing. The ones I saw were, Armor, Weapons, Chemistry (for making healing items and the like), Tinkerer (making ammo and other things like combining several components into bulk supplies), Power Armor (couldn't do anything with it yet other than scrap my junk items), there is also a cooking station you can build to cook foods and boil water. DEF make sure you gather water as often as you can even dirty water cuz it can be boiled into cleaner water at a 2:1 ratio. Also be sure to grab the berries and such form plants along your journey as you can cook water with the berries and leaves to make teas and such that are better than just drinking water.
Speaking of food and water… Always keep an eye on your food and hydration levels! These are not to be forgotten! Hence the reason I suggested to always get water when you see it. Same goes for food. See a gopher thing or opossum, doggo (nots its name) or brahmin, kill it, loot its meat and then cook it's meat at any and every cooking station you come across. It's also smart to have a decent supply of wood on you as well. You can get wood by scrapping junk or collecting it from the downed trees that litter the wastes so it should always be easy to find some. You generally need 1 wood per thing you are cooking, be it water or food. But never be without some of each food and water. You'll learn new recipes from finding some or just by cooking more things.
As you are scrapping junk you can also break down weapons and armors that you don't need to get more materials. You have to do these 1 at a time but they generally yield good supplies that you'll need to craft other things of similar nature. And as you break things down and build new things you'll learn new schematics for weapons or armor or foods. You'll also learn mods for weapons and armors. You can, in turn also find schematics for mods and other building items as you search things in Waste Virginia. For instance I was going over things in a Pharmaceutical Lab and I won't spoil the lore there but I did happen to find the schematic that taught me how to upgrade my Machete to a serrated machete.
Speaking of modding weapons and armors… Each time you mod something, be it a gun or piece of armor, it will lose some permanent durability even if you just repaired it to max durability… So don't go crazy on the mods as you'll find your weapon or armor might break often… Also as you level, you'll be able to craft new leveled armors and such. Like when you hit level 5, and you go to a armor workstation, you'll have the option to craft a lvl 1 piece of armor or a lvl 5 piece. Obviously the lvl 5 will protect you more but also requires more materials so keep this in mind. Any time you see a work bench, scrap your junk and check your schematics, you never know if you missed a note that you learned something new. And as I said before scrapping your junk will greatly lighten your load.
Life and the pursuit of staying alive…
ALWAYS keep an eye on your health! I shouldn't have to say this but many might not be familiar with the mechanics of survival in Fallout… There are two main ways of healing in FO76. Stim Packs of course, and resting! I'd save the Stim Packs for use in combat only… There are beds all over Waste Virginia so use them to top off your health any time you see one. The healing process is fast when resting so you can fill up your health bar pretty quickly just by laying down for a min or two. Do not worry, you will not be sleeping for long periods of time so again use Stim Packs for when you REALLY need them and rest in a bed to top off your health bar.
Keep an eye on your rads… running through water will guarantee you a LOT of Rads… generally 10 per second. And your Red Rad bar depletes your max Health pool so try to avoid rads as much as possible. If they get high, pop a Rad-Away to get rid of a bunch. Keep in mind you'll then need to heal that bit of health back up, preferably by resting in a bed… Back to resting in beds… Try to avoid resting spots that are on the ground. You'll find a lot a long the way that are in camp sites and tents that are essentially sleeping mats or sleeping bags that are right on the ground. Resting on these can sometimes get you a disease. FUN, Right! So look for beds in houses and such, they seem to be pretty common at least in the start of the game.
Once you reach lvl 5, stuff starts to hurt a lot! Those pesky robots that you find everywhere (all of which seem to hate humans now) do a lot more damage once you reach lvl 5. Same with scorched and even other Vault Dwellers… Multiple Scorched can put a serious hurt on you, so if you see a band of them roaming on the road, take caution. In buildings they are generally more spread out but can still gang up on you pretty fast. If a pair or pack of Vault Dwellers decide to attack you, you might want to run if you are going at it solo unless you're packing some serious heat!
I managed to get into an altercation right at the Overseer's camp with a pair of Dwellers that were just out to try and kill anyone over level 5 that was trying to craft or whatnot at her campsite… They killed me a few times and I killed them a few as well. I feel I did pretty well considering there were two of them and only 1 of me. Eventually they ran off and we were both worse off for it… So be safe out there!
One final note on staying alive… The Scorched and pissed off Robots will literally shoot at you non-stop if they can even see a glimpse of your shadow LOL! I had a Protectron shooting at me from out side through a window when I was on the second floor and on the opposite side of the house! Bastards have much better aim than you do starting out so keep that in mind. Same goes for the Scorched… If you are killing one, rest assured another or several are running your way and will be shooting at you through the tiniest of cracks!
The game is visually BEAUTIFUL! I really mean it. I'm playing on the XB1X and it's so pretty! That being said there were some graphical issues I ran into, but that is to be expected in the BETA and probably first few weeks or months of release. The main issue I had was with lighting… OMG it would drive me crazy some times… There would literally be rooms that were just pitch black! And before you say but it's post nuke war and no power mostly… know this… It's full on day time and the current room i'm in is well lit… Open a side door and it might as well have been a black hole. Literally no light made it in. There were even times where certain things would give off light and I could see that glow from a distance but as soon as I got close, BAM, pitch black! (Here's an example clip I took in game of this) I've submitted bugs already for most of the things I found but just wanted you all to know to look out for such things when inside buildings.
Night time is truly NIGHT! When you are out in the open with a clear sky, it's not hard to see and see pretty far, even makes it easy to spot camp fires or other Vault Dwellers that are running around with their PIP-Boy Light on… On a side note… If I can see you so can the bad guys, and often times far more in advance! But I digest… (anyone…. nope… ok moving on) The landscapes are beautiful at night, but be careful running through the forests at night… That lush and beautiful foliage and tree canopy blocks out a great majority of the night sky light and the forests can get pretty darn dark. I fell off a cliff at one point and nearly died from it. Fortunately I was running to a house I wanted to investigate and it had a bed I was able to rest in.
The rivers and streams look crystal clear and are some of the most beautiful in game water I've seen in a video game, but don't let their beauty kill you with their rads… I was looking at all the splashing I was causing and the rapids were causing and before I knew it the game was giving me a warning about extreme Rad exposure… Over 3/4 of my health bar was red in a short time because of all the rads I was soaking in from the beauty of the water…
ME, MYSELF, and I
Leveling your character goes by pretty quickly at the start… One min your'e leaving the Vault, the next you are level 5 and the pain really sets in LOL! But leveling is really neat with the Perks system, And equipping as many Perk cards as your skills will allow is awesome! put a second point into Endurance, you get to apply two perk cards to that SPECIAL skill slot… level it up again, and you'll get to apply a 3rd card. So whatever level your SPECIAL skills are at is the number of cards you can slot into it. Yes its that easy and yes you can change cards out at any time… I will say tho, that cards do not fly in like mad… I was level 7 and only had 2 cards I couldn't allot… 1 of which was too high a level for me to equip. I'm sure as the game progresses this will change and you'll end up having many choices and cards to swap in and out… If this is the case, eventually I'ld like to see a "deck" builder of sorts that allows us to make certain decks that we can easily swap in and out so that we don't have to swap 3 or 4 cards here and there. But if not I totally understand because they probably want people to stick to a specific build type and just change a card or two here and there. Overall it felt pretty easy to navigate after a few levels.
This game is everything I could have wanted from a Fallout Survival game that is online! I know a LOT of people have bi*ched and moaned about the lack of humans, but honestly in the 8 hours I've had in game so far between the Stress test and last night's BETA… I didn't even notice it. It feels desolate and lonely as the Wastes should feel this early after the bombs fell… There's so much reading and lore to find in terminals and Holo tapes left behind that give you side quests that lead into more side quests that I was almost thinking I needed to slow down and knock out some of these quests before I got overwhelmed. And I did just that. And there are robots of all kinds all over the place. Many are hostile but some are friendly, like the gatherers… Stopped and talked to a lumber bot who gave me like 19 wood! THANKS! Also made it to a Military Training facility with a whole training staff of Robots who are not afraid to berate the ever living hell out of you for failing the Agility course over and over and over… Damn Balance beams! I did pass it finally with 5 seconds to spare LOL! 2 min time limit felt crazy hard at first especially since it was dark and I didn't know I had to jump at certain parts to hit the directives… I will say the hit-boxes for some things could be a little bigger… Trying to loot downed bad guys was almost becoming a chore and would sometimes lead to me having to hold the reticle just above or next to the enemy to loot them so I hope they improve that a bit.
But seriously I didn't miss not having people to talk to, there was almost always some other Vault Dweller near by which was cool because you never know if they are gonna be friendly or just try to kill you LOL! Everyone I ran into was friendly aside from that duo I mentioned earlier. So take your time, team up or don't and take in all that is FO76 when you get your crack at it! I've not even progressed very far but I took part in some really fun events and explored a lot of cool things like taking control of a junk yard and defending it from a few waves of Scorched and Rogue Protectrons! Others may say differently but I have loved every moment of this game so far and cannot thank Bethesda enough for taking a gamble at this online only version of Fallout! I truly had some reservations when it was first announced and was nervous about it being successful, especially with as much trash was getting thrown around before anyone had even played it… But after the 8 EXTREMELY short hours of play time, I truly cannot wait for this game to fully launch! I don't even care if they end up wiping our BETA progress, I will gladly play this all again and try out different things!
If you have any specific questions about things I touched upon, please ask and I'll try to elaborate more. I'm nearing 40 so my memory isn't what it used to be (also smoked my fair share of trees LOL), but I'll do my best to remember and answer as much as I can beyond what I've already said.
Can't wait to see you all out in Waste Virginia!
© Post "After 4 hours in the Stress Test and 4 more in the XB1 BETA… Here’s some stuff I’ve seen and learned. SPOLIERS" for game Fallout.
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