(Note from the start of my first diary.) This is going to be an ongoing tale of the interaction of Roy (me.. the player) and Hermond (the character in a game). I got Fallout 4 in November 2015 and have been playing it a lot. Took a break for someWitcher3, Overwatch and Dishonored II and then came back. You have to understand that everyone in our family is OCD. I mean a LOT OCD. I had played it for about 400 hours and got caught in a trap. I got involved in the Minutemen side quests and building settlements. The problem was that I kept wanting to make the settlements perfect. Tweaking and perfecting. Heck, I think I rebuilt hangman's alley at least 4 times. (There is a bug whereby the settlers will not go to the back half of the alley and I want to see settlers in beds at night. Was I having fun? I would like to think so. I would have the satisfaction of a completed settlement set up just right.
But was it FUN? Honestly.... I dunno. What I would compare it to is the satisfaction of having made a beautiful desk for your mother. I guarantee, towards the end of a project I just want to get it over with. I found myself grinding to get through to get a companion's perks. Now I am no stranger to grinding. But still, I don't know of a single gamer who enjoys it. Another point is that pretty much all of the quests in Fallout 4 are the same. Go there. Slaughter them all. Get the doodad/turn on a beacon. Return. All of them. This is totally different from Witcher 3 and makes the Witcher a game which I can replay. Fallout 4. Nope. It is probably only going to get one playthrough. (Mind you, now that I have killer weapons it is kinda fun in a juvenile way.) It took me this long to figure it out but the fun in this game is not in the quests. At least not for me.
Today (Dec 24, 2015) I had an epiphany. I was on a side quest for the railroad and went to a place I had not been before. And there on a terminal was some information. A character I actually cared about. So I spent a heck of a lot of time tracking down what happened (it was not a happy ending). But I was really, honest to God enjoying myself and the playing. This information on the terminal was not a quest. I was just some information in the game that I decided to follow up on. So I sat down this evening and analyzed it. What I missed from this game was the sense of wonder and exploration. I was letting characters in the game set my goals for me instead of cooperating when their goals matched mine. I was meta gaming the whole experience.
When you couple this with the fact that I play on a PC which gives me access to the console commands. Which I abused the hell out of at least in terms of supplies. I was not getting the game as the authors / developers intended. Through my actions I had thrown it out of balance. So I started again. With the following caveats. The sole use of the console I will do is to give myself a set of outfits for putting on provisioners so I can know who is assigned that role (I found a postman's outfit that is rare that will do.). I don't think that will unbalance the game (unlike giving myself 2500 pounds of copper.) Other than that... no console. Unless it is to fix a known bug (like an NPC was dead when I got there so I revived him.) In fact when I finally settled down to playing I was simply no console at all. Last but not least... I am going to create a diary. Or at least try. Wish me luck on this... It might even be fun. (Note my first diary was very brief set of notes.... this second is an attempt to make a readable document to be enjoyed as a story.)
(Written after finishing my second playthrough.) This is a long term, and probably very slow process. The key to writing anything is to get started and keep writing so that is what I am going to try to do.
Warning.... I am not a nice person. I am in no rush to finish the game this time. I have played it through to conclusions I found satisfactory and not so much. I've existed in their world in ways I would not have. Over 950 hours of game play can do that. Making decisions I would not have made because I knew they were necessary to move the story forward. Will you need to have/play fallout 4 to enjoy this story? Gawd I hope not. But it will make some of what I write about more understandable. MUCH more understandable. I am going to be playing the game as I write and the writings are going to be the reflection of what happens in the game (to a degree.) In game OOC events such as leveling up or purchasing a perk will be enclosed in [brackets] so you can kind of follow along. I'm going to be playing at the survival level of difficulty. I was raised in the cold war era. I remember nuclear attack drills in school and learned to drive so I could drive to a fallout shelter. Unlike New Vegas, Fallout 4's survival mode is good and nasty. Nasty in all the right ways. Cuts are dangerous, food and clean water are hard to get and radiation is an ever-present concern. Alas, in the real world there is no such thing as Rad Away but I can live with that.
The purpose of this replay is for me to tell a story, not show how tough I am by playing on Survival.. Mind you if I could just save after 1/2 an hour I would probably be cool with that. Thus far though it does not look like there is a good save Mod out there for Fallout 4 and it is necessary because after they reissued the Survival mode the game is massively unstable.
(Special note to anyone thinking of playing the game who does not already have it. When Bethesda released the new Survival mode patch they made the game massively unstable. I mean in a day of playing it might crash 5 to 7 times. No rhyme or reason, just a grey screen with the music continuing and nothing happening. And nothing WILL happen. Leave it alone for an hour and it will still be crashed. Sometimes you cannot even kill it by getting to the Task Manager. Sometimes it requires a hard reboot. The ONLY solution I have found is to literally sleep in every bed I come across. Since the only saves are via a sleep, sleeping gives me a restore point. This is an OOC answer for a OOC problem. I do NOT know if the problem persists when not in survival mode. I DO know it is the result of the Survival patch. If I was not going to be playing in survival mode I would get with Bethesda and find out how to roll it back to before the survival patch.) You should also know that I have restarted the game about 4 times as I better understood the self imposed limits I am working under. So if you have read a prior version.... this one is different.... again.
July 29, 2017 additional note. I had picked up the diary project again as my summer game (tm) and was video recording it with commentary as opposed to making it what you are about to read. A hard crash wiped out over 100 hours of gameplay. Unrecoverable. A combination of Windows 10 hard disk management and Fallout 4 survival mode save limitations. I was playing through without mods and it bit me. This playthrough I DO have a save mod installed but that is it. I have not even modded it to fix the bug in Hangman's Alley. Just saves and a mod that may let me smoke cigars.
With regards to stats this is how I am envisioning the world. The SPECIAL scale goes from 1 to 10. From 1 to 7 in the SPECIAL stats are the normal human range distributed in a standard normal distribution. This would put your average score at a 4 and a player character can start with every stat at 4. Thus, the protagonist is starting as a normal human. This leaves from 8 – 10. Once you are at 7 you are at the extreme of normal human capabilities no matter how gifted. And these increases are not arithmetic addition. Maybe logarithmic or as a function of the square of the prior number. Anyway as the character adds to the basic stats, once he gets beyond 7 this is seriously abnormal. Seven would be a world class Olympic athlete. A 10 on the SPECIAL scale might occur once every 500 years. This is to accommodate the fact that in an RPG, as you change your stats, you clearly begin to exceed what the other people in the world can accomplish. How and why this is happening will be explained in the story. And so.. on to Fallout 4.