Fallout

My four hours of Fallout 76 experience summarized for your enjoyment.

fallout 7 - My four hours of Fallout 76 experience summarized for your enjoyment.
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Minor Spoilers for some of the content. I kept it as vague as possible.

STORYTIME!

Logged on pretty close to 7:00

I didn’t mess much with the character generator. Just mostly made sure I had a beard and hairstyle that I liked then made my character a little less skeletal than the preset. When the perks were offered, I took Strength for the extra carry weight and melee damage since I wanted to conserve ammo and I like smacking stuff.

Leaving the vault, I decided to head west to the freeway, instead of straight south like everyone else just to see what the game would throw at me. I was greeted at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the vault by Liberator drones and a bunch of lootable containers with mostly junk. Punched my way through this early encounter to get a feel for melee combat. Also, I had no gun.

Before I hit the highway, I came across a destroyed tent and campfire with a skeleton draped over what looked like a tombstone. Two scorched rushed me and I came away with a pipe pistol, pool cue, and a lvl 5 shotgun that was lying next to the skeleton.

On the highway, I heard gunfire and found two melee protectrons and an eyebot fighting a pair of scorched. Before I could even get to the fight, the robots had won the day and then turned their aggression on my wet-behind-the-ears vault dweller. I tried the pistol, but some latency issues (that plague most combat I encountered) made me switch back to my pool cue to finish off the bots. Not three minutes later, I ran into a column of scorched marching down the road single file. This fight was considerably different as they fanned out when they saw me and three of them began taking pot shots with pipe weapons while the three melee scorched tried to eat me. This was a hairy 6-on-1, but I managed to come out on top using a stimpack and beating them all to death with my pool cue and shooting a few with my pistol. I noticed that the ranged scorch would break line of sight to reload which I found to be a nice touch.

The first on-map structure I came across and decided to investigate was a rundown lumber mill. Outside, a protectron in heavy-equipment yellow with two circular saw blades for hands was slowly rolling around on tank treads. I interacted with this non-hostile construction bot and received 10 wood from him for free! While looting the mill, I ran across several workbenches and poked around on the construction system. During my fiddling with making bulk steel and the like, another player ran into the room and asked me what I was doing in game chat. We had a nice conversation and he gave me some leather armor, in exchange I modded some of his pieces to boiled leather armor. I noticed that when he killed scorched I didn’t get anything, but otherwise the loot containers he searched always seemed to have items for me. There was a little evidence (a brief loading screen) that the loot was rolling as I inspected the crates separate from him. We parted ways and moved towards the first main quest objective marker on our own terms.

After arriving at the first objective, I stashed what I deemed worth saving and made my way to the next objective. There, I predominantly avoided the rest of the players and did my own thing. I looted every building I could find and did the small quests there to get the main quest to update. Twice I had an enemy pop-in jarringly. Once it was a pair of scorched in a tent and once it was a mole rat. Not sure if it was a fresh spawn or latency on my part, but nothing too challenging appeared so I was fine.

During my time in the town an event mission popped up. I did not participate in the event, but I still received the rewards when nearby players completed it. One of the rewards was Legendary! Yay! It was a Chameleon Leather Arm… Boo… Stealth is not really my thing. During my time in that town I hit level 4 and the pack of perk cards I had wasn’t particularly exciting. I continued to pump strength, stopping only to grab a hacking card and a lockpick card.

I took the time to do some crafting here, and did something I never do in a Fallout game. I actually broke down some of my guns for components. It was at that moment that I realized that breaking down weapons is how you unlock new schematics for that weapon type. I did not sell a single gun after that discovery. Armor and melee weapons didn’t seem to unlock new mods, but I didn’t have very many of those to break down, so I couldn’t conclude that it wasn’t progression or RNG based.

Read:  A faction I made up over a period of time, I'm not extremely familiar with the timeline so you won't find any times or dates here. Please feel free to share constructive criticism.

I decided to investigate a supply drop instead of continuing towards the airport so I doubled back and climbed a mountain road. Halfway up the mountain I encountered my first of what would be several “mannequin” glitches. A corpse in Responder Paramedic garb was standing with arms outstretched to his sides, smack dab in the middle of the road. The body was completely ethereal, I couldn’t interact with it at all. I would later on encounter this in two other places not marked on the map, both times there was a nearby duffel bag that contained what I can only guess was the corpses’ belongings.

Arriving at the drop-zone I had to fight a few protectrons that were engaged with liberators before I could open the drop crates. I claimed a fairly impressive marksman’s rifle and a barbed wire bat among other assorted aid and ammo items. With 2 hours left in the beta window I used the fast travel to go back to the first quest marker so I could offload some of my inventory before I went investigate a mine on the way to the airport.

Outside, I had a brief firefight with some scorched one of which clipped through the ramp he was running up. I was unable to loot his body even though the corpse was halfway poking through the floorboards. Once I finished his buddies, the body inexplicably jumped out of the level geometry and I got my loot. I had failed to offload as much as I should have, and I had my first battle with encumbrance here. I enjoyed the mechanic of running as long as you had AP while over-encumbered instead of the immediate crawl of previous games. I guess it makes sense since opening your pip-Boy to manage inventory no longer pauses the game (because, you know, online).

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Once in the mine, I found a very typical Fallout dungeon instance. It was filled with scorched and a smattering of pre-war lore, some cramped hallways and some larger rooms. There was a side passage I couldn’t explore because it was heavily irradiated and I forgot I had Rad-X. The final room was a bit anti-climactic because the “boss” was just a scorched with a crown around his level number, nothing particularly unique or challenging. The chest he was guarding had a neat assortment of decent loot including a laser pistol and a forest treasure map labeled #08.

Exiting through the ubiquitous “Bethesda back door” I realized that my encumbrance issues needed to be resolved sooner rather than later. I started to traverse a nearby railroad bridge and instantly recognized the picture on my treasure map. I decided here was as good a place as any to test the C.A.M.P. before I added to my ever-growing hoarders inventory. I muddled with the camp, but I didn’t have any of the more advanced building prints, so I gave up after a stash, generator, and a bedroll. I also deduced that circuits were much harder to find than in previous Fallout games, as I had not found any and therefore could not construct a turret.

I hunted around briefly for the treasure spot before I found and dug up the mound that contained my treasure. It was a fairly decent haul including my first look at wooden armor (a chest piece) that outclassed the raider chest I had found earlier in terms of raw damage reduction. I tossed it on before I made my way towards the small town by the airport.

Arriving in the town I immediately managed to over encumber myself yet again (I like carrying stuff way too much) trying to clear out a robot factory. I then triggered an event where I had to activate and escort a protectron through a frenzied ghoul-infested area. It was level 14, and quite strong, so I simply motored about smacking ghouls until it came time to protect it from a wave of attacking ghouls while it interfaced with an alarm. Unfortunately, this is where I learned the limits of solo-play. With no real way to draw aggro effectively, I couldn’t kill the ghouls fast enough to keep them from swarming, and the mission failed.

With less than an hour to go, I decided to try and check out the airport before the beta window closed. Inside, I found a bunch of scorched that got really hung up on counters and large obstacles in the room. I killed them all, and then made my way to a nearby workbench to scrap some junk, where the game promptly crashed. It was only for a split second, but I swear my character was rendered completely nude for a moment when the game kicked out to the title screen. This was about 30 minutes left until beta end.

Re-logging, the game spawned me on the far side of the town, but really close to the airport and I was able to duck back in quickly. I found it interesting that it didn’t load me inside the airport, but I guess since indoors is instanced; it wouldn’t make sense to do so. Some of the enemies had respawned, but nothing too challenging. I cleaned out the terminal as quickly as possible, but there were WAAAAAY too many audio logs to listen to all of them. I finished the quest and figured I had just enough time to do the C.A.M.P. tutorial that was presented. Then I stepped outside and all hell broke loose.

Read:  For those trying to farm the Hunter's Long Coat or other rare outfits.

I exited out the back door, I had no idea what I was in for… Now I was staring at Three lvl 10 Super Mutants, guns drawn. It was a firetrucking ambush. It was a firetrucking bomb dropping on Beaver Cleaverville. For a few seconds, that place was Armageddon! THERE WAS A FIREFIGHT!

The mutants were gunning down scorched and I ducked into a nearby air traffic control tower to get out of the line of fire. Unfortunately, I ran into two of the Scroched had the same idea. I dropped them both only to see the Super Mutants advancing. I backed up the stairs, using the central pillar as cover while chipping at their health with my modded pipe pistol. I managed to get one to low health and it tried to retreat, but it ran into the other two and they got sort of tangled on the staircase. This gave me the time I needed to guerilla pot shot two of them to death. The third made it up the stairs, but his flinch animation from the pipe pistol was so long I was able to kill him without dying myself.

I grabbed what I could from their bodies (over encumbered again because that's how I do) and tried to leave to make my way to the objective marker only to realize an event had started that spawned waves of scorched until a supply drop. With no time to unburden myself, and time running out in the beta, I opted to try to flee towards the objective with no fewer than 8 scorched tailing me. I tried to lose them by Skyriming up a ledge, but they looped around and caught up to me quickly. I killed a few to clear my path and then tried to flee again, only to see a nightmarish creature blackout out the sky with dark leathery wings and a spray of green nuclear fire. The last thing I saw was a scourge beast.

I respawned at my camp to offload my overflowing inventory only to find it overrun with 5 lvl 6 supermutants, it took a few tries as I was hesitant to use stimpacks but I took them all down and ended my beta window at my camp, eager for more of this fantastic game!

Some takeaways:

– Really dig the crafting system. Gaining schematics by scrapping guns is a great way to balance the need for caps with the need to gear up. Could use a few indicators as to what you will learn, or if there's some sort of progression/RNG to it.

– Latency is a really bad thing. Enemies are quick and no pause for VATS means you have to be on the spot with your bullet placement.

– Melee VATS is a little erratic. The game pulls you with a short lunge I found a little disorienting at first.

– Exploration was rewarding and scratched my hoarder itch perfectly

– This game will be so much better with friends.

TL;DR: I played the whole 4hr. window, the game was a blast. There are a few improvements to be made, but Bethesda has a winner here for sure.

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