Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Doin' Goodsprings in the Neighborhoodsprings

Welcome back; stay a while and listen!

Last time we met, I had just exited Doc Mitchell's sprawling abode, ready to take on a harsh, unforgiving world.  The town of Goodsprings was mine to explore and begin leaving an indelible mark upon the wasteland itself!  ONWARD WITH THE EXPLORIN'.


Shooting in the eyes will definitely be happening

Random house had a BB gun outside, all ripe for the pickin'.  Cool.  YOINK.  Let's go see what's inside this abandoned nobody's there at the moment house.


I took everything.  Including the teddy bear.

Sweet.  Another BB gun.  I used it immediately to repair the previous one; wear & tear (especially on pre-war items) is a significant part of this game.  Everything you find is for the most part broken, or on its way to be broken.  I effectively scavenged one bb gun for the parts, improving the first one marginally so!  It's still however, a bb gun.  Which means its about as useful as harsh language in a knife fight.  Now to go traipse around that abandoned school...


THE KID FROM M.A.N.T.I.S.

WELP School's overrun with Mantises.  Mantis?  Mantii?  Whatever.  To save ammo (a precious precious commodity in the Wastes) I decide to get a little scrappy and toss some punches their way.  I figure Frank's gotten into a few scrapes in his hey-day, why not test out them dukes while the stakes are relatively low.


Time too retire, time too hax

A secure terminal, from which I could concieveably glean information from?  Gyoh-ho-ho-ho but wait, it's locked.  What does that even mean?


Follow the white rabbit, et cetera.
 OMG SO MUCH HAXX0rING!!111!!1one! w00t w00t.  The 'hacking' minigame is essentially Mastermind, with letters.  Varying levels of difficulty (Very Easy, Easy, all the way up to Very Hard) based on how much Science skill you have.  Each tier of difficulty, the security questions gets more and more complex, and you have less chances to get it in.


Aaaaaaand open!

Success!  Opened the safe, which had a gun in it.  In a school.  Well, as much as I don't agree with that, I do like that at least it was locked away from easy access from children who would be unable so solve a password request in 4 tries with hints given each attempt.

Ok that didn't make me feel better at all.  Off to the local watering hole, to satiate my thirst... my thirst for KNOWLEDGE!


Easy like Sunday mornin', lil'missy.  *WINK*

Well the welcoming committee is a crazy old man who has a dynamite fetish or something.  He's a former prospector, who in the Fallout universe, means he just scavenged what he could from rummaging around the remnants of the old world, bombed out and ruined.  Cool man cool.  I am a delivery boy.


OH BEHAVE!

'Sunny' Smiles, if that's her real name, comes recommended by Doc Mitchell.  Cheyenne was never mentionned, in that Cheyenne is also a pretty large mutt who immediately growls upon you entering the bar, getting into an attacking position.  Thankfully Sunny here doesn't let her get any further than that.


How do I wasteland?

Sunny's somewhat of an expert as to roughing it out there in the wilderness.  if Doc Mitchell's to be believed she'll give me a few handy lessons as to let me keep the vast majority of my vital organs and blood and limbs secure and stuff while venturing out past the secluded borders of Goodsprings.  But first, she needs to see what I can do.


Go. Hunt. Kil Botlz.

She hands me a Varmint Rifle, and tells me to have at them bottles.  Again, this is part of the game's slow introduction to game mechanics; Tutorialsville.  I could skip all this, but I like it!  It makes me feel invested in Goodsprings growth as a community, or alternatively ultimate downfall (if I so choose, mystery mystery hrrm hrrm hrrm!)

Satisfied I am able to murder innocent immobile bottles with impunity, Sunny asks me to follow her down to the wells, and hunt us some geckos.  Car insurance be damned in the future, gecko is back on the menu!


They're comin' right for us!

V.A.T.S.!  Or better-known as Vaul-Tec Assisted Targeting System.  This is the somewhat melding of Fallout's original turn-based strategy/RPG element in 3/4 isometric view heyday, brought over to the three dimensional free-roaming shooter RPG genre Bethesda have excelled at with the Elder Scrolls series.  Essentially it allows me to pause mid-action, and target specific body parts as shown, with varying degrees of success based on my stats/skill/environment/etc, for AP (Action Points).  Each shot costs X amount of AP, and its really self explanatory.

I could also go full-on first person shooter and use the gun's iron sights, but right now, I feel like letting the cinematic sweeping camera angles of VATS tell the tale of how this Gecko and I are gonna have a Jon Woo gunfight and stuff.


"I've made a huuuuuuuuuge mistake."

95% is the maximum chance available when in VATS, because who knows, life is weird that way, YOLO SWAG et cetera.  This one got close enough to start biting, but that means the closer we are together, the better the chances I have of hitting him in the noggin.  Combat is very much like love, in that respect.  Closer you are girl, easier I have it to hit you where it counts.  Mmm da heart.  YEAH GURL.  UNH.


Behold and despair; my handiwork at killing reptiles of peculiar size.

Well those two are dispatched; but wait! What yonder cry for help do I hear!?


MY HERO!

Ellen DeGeneres sure is happy I saved her!  She refuses to take a selfie with me though, which makes me sad.  But y'know, at least I did something nice for someone, which is cool.  I'm cool like that.


+ 500 Reputation with the Wildhammer Clan (Neutral)

Yay I'm finally accepted somewhere, and all I had to do was save someone from being eaten alive by sizeably large reptiles!  If only getting respect and acceptance were that easy in real life!  I'd be going places I would.  Oh well, I can dream!  Hey what's that thing over there...


Lead-lined my ass.

Wild Wasteland hard at work.  It references this infamous scene, as there's a length of rope with the skeleton in there too, and an iconic hat as well.  Which is now my hat.  I'm wearing it right now.  Its quite comfortable.


GRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAVEDIGGERRRRRRRR

By chance I wandered off to the Goodsprings cemetery where I was left for dead not too long ago, looking for clues.  All I found was a shovel and some graves that what needed diggin' up.  Inside those tombs, nothin' but ammo.  Which I gleefully looted.  GHOST BULLETS!  Who knows?!  Maybe I'll need'em to kill ghosts?  (Note: they're just regular bullets.  Any ghost-slaying properties I attach to them are solely fictitious in nature and have no outcome in regards to slaying the recently departed.  Furthermore, who knows what truly can kill a ghost, or if they can be killed at all.)


Nuclear Winter in the palm of your hand!

On the list of weird things I didn't expect to find in a graveyard: a snow globe of the town I'm currently in.  Somehow I think I should keep this, as it's just way too random to be here without having any purpose whatsoever later on.


A clear message in regards to what's in the distance, perhaps?

Bright Lights, Forbidden City.  New Vegas gleams on the horizon, lit up in neon splendor as a a sign tells me to not advance any further.  To be fair, the sign is because 20ft beyond it is Deathclaw territory.  If you don't know what a Deathclaw is, imagine the most horrible nightmarish creature you possibly can, then add more teeth and claws to it.  That.  Might as well head back to Goodsprings proper, maybe get some rest as it's night out now.



 Trudy's the owner of the Prospector Saloon; and she's mighty glad I helped out Sunny and saved Ellen from them Geckos, so she's not shy about letting me sleep on a cot in the back.  I notice her radio's busted, and she admits being unable to suss out why its broke.  Maybe I should take a look at it?  No harm in that!

Wait... what's that beyond the Radio there...


Swiggidy Swooty lookin' fo dat Boozy.

AAAAAAAAAAALL MIIIIIIIIINE

And so, that's how I stole everything of value in the Prospector Saloon after fixing Trudy's radio!  Next week, we deal with my favorite Beatle:  Ringo!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ain't that a kick in the head: BRAND NEW SERIES!

Jolly good morning, my lovelies!

Today we begin our most assuredly descent into the living HELL that is Fallout: New Vegas' post-apocalyptic roleplaying sensation!

Before we start off however, some slight background for the uninitiated:

Fallout
The world of Fallout is a revisionist telling of America being stuck in a 1950s art-deco military industrial conplex kind of vibe where cathode rays and vacuum tube technologies were still rampant near 100+ years later on, while ray-guns and atomic-fueled cars and personal robot servants were all the rage. Essentially imagine those "Welcome to the WORLD OF TOMORROW!" shorts with a splash of The Jetsons.  Fun right?  Except the cold war never ended, and China invaded Alaska for its oil resources.  SO Vaul-tec, America's leading consumer choice for shelter solutions created a giant social experiment that were the Vaults; large fallout shelters that were to house specifically selected sections of the populace as part of a larger social experiement.  Previous Fallout games have you play as dwellers of these vaults.

But this is Fallout: New Vegas.  We're in the future: 2281 to be precise.  We're in the Mojave desert, skittering across the dessecated husk of the Old World, eeking out an existence as a Courrier.  Essentially we're a mail man.  And we start off the game by being shot in the head, and left for dead on a courrier-run gone bad.  From there-on its however we want to go, but our main goal above all-else is twofold:

1) find out who/where the sons of bitches are that done shot us in the head, and deal with them accordingly
2) retrieve our package and complete our delivery.

Everything else is thankfully free-reign.

Within the wastes are various factions of bandits, raiders, settlers, mercenaries etc, that are all vying for control of the Mojave and surrounding Nevada/California landscape.  As with Skyrim, I've acquired the DLCs for this game, so we'll also be visiting parts of Utah,  the Sierra Madre, Big Mountain & an area only known as 'The Divide'.  


Challenge
As with Skyrim, I'll be going through Fallout: New Vegas with a specific set of parameters that I,ll have to adhere to, regardless if doing something else or indeed the opposite would be more beneficial to me in my playthrough.

Currently, the ONLY suggestion I've recieved was by my friend Marty, who suggested "Put all your points into Luck."  Which doesn't sound like much at first, but its a start.  So I've built upon it, in that because the setting is Vegas, I was going to incarnate Ol' Blue Eyes himself, leader of the Rat Pack Frank Sinatra.  

Except because its Fallout, I'd be forming my own group; the Rad Pack.  As in Radiation.  I am clever shut up.  This would mean the following restrictions to my gameplay:

  • All attribute points at character creation be spent into LUCK.
  • Armor/Apparel restricted to old-world clothes when applicable (unless required for a quest, i.e. Ultra Lux attire)
  • Weapons are restricted to pre-war items, closest possible to actual Rat Pack / Vegas / Sinatra-stuff as possible. So no gattling guns or lasers, or Power-Fists.  Tommy guns are OK though.
  • Tagged Skills: Guns (Frank's presumed Mob connections) Speech (Crooner life) and Barter (Vegas Livin' ain't Easy)
  • Tagged Perks: Wild Wasteland & Skilled.  Just to give myself the full weird Fallout experience and a 10% Experience points penalty ontop of not being able to wear armor or use awesome weapons why not.

Throughout gameplay, I'll be attempting to pick further perks that go along with the theme of the character when possible, while increasing my main skills as much as possible before spreading out into other areas.  More than likely never updating skills such as Energy Weapons as they don't fit the theme & of no use to me as I'm auto-banning myself from using energy weapons (unless where specified from a quest.  (There's actually one or two.  Sucks, I know.)

And so here goes!  Follow me on an amazing and wild adventure, won't you?


Eeeeeh, what's up doc.

Good ol Doc Mitchell there patched me up after Victor (More on him at a later date.) found me left for dead in Goodsprings' cemetery.  Mind you an apt place to be left-for-dead.  I mean its a simple job for the gravedigger to just cover the body with dirt, but I'm a lucky son-of-a-gun I guess.  Doc's a real straight shooter, and asks me my name; however didn't peg me to be a 'Frankie'.  Considering that the original choice is "Courier", I'd prefer being Frankie any day.


Nah Nah Nah Nah DEFAULT-MAN!

Well I'm not much to look at; Doc's asking me if he did an OK job stitching me up together again.  Considering I was only told I was shot in the head, I don't really get what he's at.  Unless I was dismembered and he's actually a sorcerer and brought be back from the dead, in which case WHAT.  WHAT IS THIS DARK MAGICS.

Then comes the requisite 5 minutes of switching between hispanic, caucasian, african descent, male & female, constantly transmuting race & gender infront of Doc Mitchell's very eyes as if some glitching T-1000.  Wolfy's just fine.  Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust fine.  And so, my pitiful attempt at trying to resemble Frank Sinatra starts.


Enh; blue eyes.  Close enough.

Well that's a fail.  I'm sure there's a guide out there that explains in excruciating detail how to do it, but I can't be arsed sorry.  Nope.  I got things to shoot into the face with gun-things.  Doc's all "can you has legs for walking now?"  Which in non-idiot means "Can you walk around and see if your legs work still.  And if so, please move towards the Vigor-o-Matic Stat-Tester, thank you."

So I do.  Most of this section is a tutorial on how the simple game functions such as movement, etc.  But y'know its fun.  I likes fun.


So luck much chance wowe

First (and main) restriction: check.  Happy Marty?  Luck 10.  I am gonna DIE within 10 feet of Doc Mitchell's house OR breeze through the game.  I mean who knows; I might be that lucky.

Doc, satisfied with my movement and ability to play a carnival machine, asks me to follow him to his salon, so we may discuss some stuff.  Mostly he wants to run a few rudimentary psych evaluations to see if that bullet to the dome I took didn't go about and lobotomize me or something.  Cool.  Cool cool cool.  But first let me steal all your shit.


+1 to being Dapper

Score!  Lucky Strikes!

WHISKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

Alright; Doc must be wondering where I went.  I head on over to his living room, which is essentially a couch placed infront of a fireplace (Why does it have a fireplace, it never gets that cold there!?) and some chairs.  Cozy.  Welcoming.  Comforting.  Let's see what he has to say.


PENIS.  The answer is always PENIS.

Well that was weird.  Word association followed by multiple-choice Rorschach tests.  That last one totally looks like two ants goin' butt-to-butt poopin' back and forth forever though.  Whatever.  Test results come back inconclusive, so he lets me pick my tagged skills (remember now, Barter, Guns, & Speech)  And now to pick two traits:


We can't stop here; this is radioactive bat county!

Wild Wasteland is as described above: its just weird nonsense that you can randomly encounter while playing the game.  Example: in Fallout 2, you could encounter Godzilla, The TARDIS, The Bridgekeeper from Monty Python & the Holy Grail, etc.  This 'trait' just enables this in the game.  Fun stuff.  Skilled gives me a +5 to all base skills, at the cost of a reduction of 10% Experience points gained.  A short boost overall in the early stages of the game, for a somewhat to sizeable penalty over the entire game as it progresses.  Why?  Because CHALLENGES, THAT'S WHY.  Speaking of Challenges...


I am a sissy, I fully admit it.

I chose to not do Hardcore mode simply for the fact that while I'd actually like to try it, its not conductive for the way I play the game; I put in a few hour stretches here and there, and really Hardcore mode requires a lot more dedication than I have available for a 4 year old game I'm bloggin' about right now.  I'd have to devote my every waking moment to playing the game, especially with the host of other restrictions I have in place, that to save myself some frustration, and you guys the sadness of me abandoning this blog enitrely, I'll play the game on the NOT retardedly hard difficulty mode.


What's behind this door?

Satisfied with everything, Doc Mitchell hands me an old pip boy and some duds; specifically a Vault 21 jumpsuit he had lying around, as to cover my shame.  With little ceremony he sends me back out into the world, where I am free to poke around town, or tear off after the assholes that shot me in the brain.


M'LADY

Great, first thing I manage to do after cheating death in a post-apocalyptic radioactive wasteland, is become a gun-toting MRA.  Look at that gun and hat action.  Ready to oppress ladies left and right with my #NotAllMen bullshit.  ugh ugh ugh.  Hopefully I'll find something better to wear soon enough.

Until then, we'll just have to wait on the next installment!  Which will be until further notice: Tuesdays.  Gives you all a week to look it dem purdy pictures and comment on stuff.  Maybe you have an idea for an added challenge?  Maybe you'd like to tell me to go die in a fire?  I don't know, maybe you would, or wouldn't; I'm not the boss of you.  You're free to do as you choose!  Choice! LIFE BE IN IT!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tyin' up ends tighter than the Raiders' offensive line Pt. 2

(STILL THE SAME FOOTBALL JOKE.)

So; when we last saw eachother, we were warped into Hermaeus Mora's realm of nightmares, with Miraak standing there being all " 'Sup."  like he owned the place.  Well he sort-of did, but really not.  Anyways.  He pulls his Emperor schtick, I say no, and... he kicks me out!  Well fiddle-dee-da, what the fuck.  Maybe I'm not fat enough for him yet; he wants me to plumpen up with more delicious dragon souls before he goes about absorbing me into his collective power pool.

Gross.

Anywho.  Out of dreamland, for now.

SKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!

Remember Frea? 'Course ya do.  WELL turns out the Skaal are her people.  They eek out a meager existence on Solsteim's frosty slopes, relentlessly under assault from Miraak's brainwashed troops.  Because that's what he does.  He mind controls them and stuff.  Kinda sad really; dude can't make friends at all so he just coerces the weak-willed ones to do his dirty work, like excavate all his temple nonsense.


Don't mind if I do!

But first, cool skeleton takin' a nap here won't mind if I take his swords now would he?  Not like he needs 'em, I've punched everything alive and not-quite-dead within a 5 mile radius anyways.  You don't mind mr. Skellington, do you?  Didn't think so.


Shields won't hold captain; we can't take it much longer!

So the Skaal village's defenses compromise essentially of... the 3 people left in it, spending all their time praying to the gods of Old.  Not like, OLD GODS like Cthulhu or whatever Elder Scrolls equivalent (Hermaeus Mora HINT HINT) but like, their own versions of dudes in Sovngarde and according to Nord tradition.  They're ancestors but so ancient they've transcended dead guy/gal status and became legendary embodiments of stuff like courage and compassion and war, etc.  Y'know.  Godly stuffs.  We good?  We good.

Frea's dad is Storn, the local elder Shaman or whathaveyou.  Within me, he recognizes the power to stop Miraak once and for all.  Or so he thinks.  First off however, there's a bunch of totemic standing stones that need to be cleansed of Miraak's influence.  However only a Dragonborn can do so, using the 'Bend Will' shout.  It so happens he knows it, and teaches it to me.  This allows me to also bend the will of dragons and use them as mounts.  Handy!


"Go forth and complete the sacred prophecy of... yelling at rocks."

What Storn didn't tell me however was that Miraak had these stones guarded by hulking masses of NOPE.  Creatures assembled from the inky nothingness of entropy, which is what Hermaeus Mora's realm is essentially fashioned of.  It's like if Livejournal was made into a physical place you could go to, but only the livejournal part of the internet populated by teenagers starting to be  self-aware but still not mature enough to understand that the world does not revolve around them and their non-problems.  Also nightmares.


Ain't lurkin' fer nothin' but a good time

Well that was terrible.  Lurkers are rugged beasts and what's that I hear, off in the distance...


"MACHO MADNESS RUNNIN' WILD YEAH"

Oh. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.  I forgot I had this bad boy installed.  FUCK YEARGH.  Wait.  I kill it (Obvs.) but I don't get his sou--- OH GODDAMNIT MIRAAK.  He shows up from between dimensions, and absorbs the soul for himself.  ALL THAT HARD WORK, FOR NAUGHT.  I guess that's why he let me live, so I could go 'round and feed him some tasty macho dragon souls.  Well F that, I'm not about to stand around and do this guy's business for him.

Whatever.  Storn's all about finding a way back to Hermaeus Mora's realm, but on our own terms.  Which will require another of Miraak's books.  Thankfully he knows where one is!  Unfortunately its within a deadly dwarven ruin known as Nchardak.

Thankfully he knows of a dark elf named Neloth, who just so happens to be an expert on dwemer ruins and more specifically Nchardak.  Good.  Come along and try to be useful.


"Ah, ruins.  Good ol' ruins.  Nothin' beats ruins!"

Well this place looks sufficiently rundown and dirty.  Where am I, current-day Detroit? HORT HORT HORT I'm sorry Detroit city is in a very unfortunate situation where it recieves less aid from the US government than certain 3rd world countries.  In fact less than all of them.  Detroit's in a bad place go out and help'em.  Maybe become a robocop, clean up the place.  It's OK I'll wait.



You all done?  No?  A bit more time? Ok.





We good?  We good.


"Friendly fire is this guy's favorite spell, it seems."
Gatdam Neloth.  Seriously dude; check your aim.  That's a big ol dang ol frosty ol twinpops in my fuckin' chest there.  Furthermore, you've enhanced it, and the poor sap I was killing I might add, with the elemental power of electricity.  Behold, you robed Tesla, for you've cunningly channeled it through the ice shard creating a sucking wound through and through me, directly into the dude's junk.

That's pretty amazing, actually.  Hardcore bro.  up top.


Oh no a puzzle whatever will I do.

Puzzles suck, moving on.


Oh no a book whatever will I do.

Yay book-get.  Let's get this baby back to the village so Storn can do whatever magic nonsense he needs to do to it.  I ain't no book-mage; don't look at me.


"I I I Iiiiii want the booooook."

So, Storn gets his book, gets about halfway through it, then WELP, if we press on, Hermaeus Mora will be pissed probs, and there's no turning back.  Frea of course opposes contnuing, because usually stuff like that means her pops gonna get got, and she'd rather keep him alive.  I'm all for an alternate solution, because those usually involve me punching a lot more things into various thicknesses of paste.


SIKE!  Reading.  For idiots.

Oh SNAP.  Storn's all "WE DON'T HAVE TIME" does the thing anyways, counting I'll probably be able to rescue him from that Daedric Prince's realm while I'm in there rootin' around for Miraak too.  Yeah OK.


This is all too heavy, man.  I need to reflect on all that's happened... also I'm hungry.

Well its like; now Storn's dead, and the Skaal village has a floating murderous book in the town square, and no longer any defense against Miraak's agents in the physical realm.  I... guess I should get in there and y'know, hop to it.


And eyeball tentacles everywhere.

No longer in Kansas, AMIRITE? HA HA HA WHAT A JOKE WE SHARE RIGHT N--


Books.  Why'd it have to be BOOKS.

For those of you who don't know me, I hate to read.  I used to love it, but then college happened and I've read enough for one lifetime.  So a nightmarish realm filled with cthulhus and constructed entirely out of books is my own personal HELL.


INVISIBLE HORRORS

Damn things can go invisible!  Ambushing me in a book tunnel after a flurry of pages swarm me.  I think I peed a little, out of fear.


He comes bearing... gifts.

Hermaeus Mora, like all Daedric Princes, comes offering me a gift.  Why? who knows.  these guys are always doing shit for no reason; its how they get their jimmies in jams or whathaveyou.  Of course this requires reading, so I hate it already.


Desintegration!?  Fucking RIGHT.

I can shout people into dust?  Sign me the fuck UP.


ULTIMATE POWERRRRRRRRRRRR

Aaaaaaand Miraak.  He's impressed I got this far! We're not so different he and I, and all the other monologuing platitudes.  Whatever.  Time to go to TOWN on this supposed Dragonborn.


Hoisted upon his own nightmare-tentacle.

Well Hermaeus Mora might've helped a bit there, at the end.  Mostly because he suffers no losers in his team, and Miraak got his bell rung by yours truly, he done went and murder-killed him, releasing all of Miraak,s poached dragonsouls back to me while I was there.

It was like in Highlander, when Christopher Lambert kills another highlander guy and absorbs all their power / knowledge, but with less lightning and Queen music, but more badassery and.. well that's about it.  Coulda used the Queen though.  Here it is.

With Miraak dead, Mora's all "Coo' coo'.  GTFO." And warps me back to Skaal village.  Hopefully nothing has changed while I was gone...


Squatters suck

Buncha gremlin-lookin' dudes decided to move in to the empty houses, F that nonsense.  Riekling gon' get evicted or die tryin'.

That's done!  The end! Skyrim got skyrimmed (Sorry.)  Solsteim is saved for now, so I can go back to Skyrim's holds, see if everything is still the same as I left it before my last big adventure.


Ol Stumpy we calls'im!

YEP.  Everything's still the same.  Glitched all to hell and back.

THANKS for pursuing this adventure with me, especially if you followed along from the start to the very end.  This was fun, despite the lack of updates here and there.  

My next adventure will be a Fallout: New Vegas adventure, but there will be more about that soon enough in an upcoming post.

Thanks again for all your stalwart clicks and stuff, its been a wild ride!