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  1. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    Until quite recently I was blaming the Gamebryo engine as the source of all Bethesda’s jank, but I’ve come to believe that they’re just technically incompetent. Gamebryo, taken by itself, is a pretty solid if unremarkable engine, but it’s all the crap they’ve bolted to it over the years that’s destabilised things. Writing wise, they seem to be stuck in a weird loop when it comes to Fallout, with an obsession on having the main quest be to find someone. Fallout 3 - find your Dad, Fallout 4 - find your son, Fallout 76 - find the overseer. Course you could argue that Fallout 1 and 2 were similarly reductive in finding a water chip and then a geck, but neither locked you into a familial relationship and you could grow your character in whatever way you wanted. FO76 locks you in a different way, as by the time you emerge from the vault West Virginia’s new societies are done. It’s like they kept hearing that environmental storytelling was one of their strengths, so they tried to fill the map with nothing but that, and it reached the absurd point where you’re completing quests for dead people. So many times I’ve come across a scene in FO76 and thought ‘I wish I’d been here when x went down.’ You don’t have to be the saviour of the wasteland, the NPCs could consist of very few remnants that are probably still doomed, but Bethesda seem to think being able to build a house is an acceptable replacement for actually influencing the world.
  2. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    In other Bethesda related news, they’re sticking with the Creation engine for Starfield and the next Elder Scrolls games. Todd Howard’s justification being that they know it really well (is that why Skyrim still has bugs on its fiftieth port, Todd?) and the modders know it really well. So that’s what your years of dedication to Bethesda properties have earned you modders: being wheeled out as people who actually want Gamebryo’s latest facelift, as opposed to a group that can adapt and adjust to most any engine. Might have been more honest to say ‘Our games are hugely reliant on being fixed and improved by the modding community, and them getting used to a new engine would only slow the output of game sustaining mods.’ He did promise that ‘some work will be done on the animations’, however. Confirming gamers’ suspicions that no work had been done on them over the past decade.
  3. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    I’ve mostly done it single player, if only because it was best for the atmosphere and having time to listen to the holotapes, read terminals etc. What’s so frustrating is that there’s the seed of a pretty good game here, but it needs about a year more in the oven. My last night with the beta was a real anti-climax, with locations either feeling like <put something here later> or having tantalising bits of story which weren’t run with and developed upon. I think the final nail in the coffin was a YouTuber showing a really intriguing location, which was a challenge to get to the summit of, but when he did so there was nothing but a note to read. Bethesda’s tone-deaf responses to PC gamers really rubbed me the wrong way as well. There was a weird thing with them saying, when asked for an FOV slider, ‘we can’t give you one as it stresses the engine and causes animation issues and excessive clipping.’ Yet, before they locked the ini file, users reported being able to up the FOV and play for hours with no ill effects. Similarly, things like ‘push to talk’ voice comms and the overly small player stash size. Neither was seen as priorities by Bethesda and their responses were ‘we’ll look into fixing these in the near future’ when they should’ve been saying ‘we’ll get these fixed for launch.’ Bethesda always make a point of praising the modders, but I don’t think they truly realise just how much their games are propped up by them. This time they’ll receive no such help in implementing features that people expect in a 2018 multiplayer, even ones as basic as ‘why can’t I see weapons on my player character?’ Something tells me they’re in for a rude awakening, and it’s well past due.
  4. Garibaldi

    Bottom : An Appreciation

    For two halves of bitter in pint glasses?
  5. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    I felt much the same with Fallout 4; such a dearth of meaningful content that I couldn’t comprehend how it had taken a few years. Maybe a lot of their time is spent wrestling Gamebryo into its latest, creaking iteration. Yet if that was the case, why not invest in a new engine by now? Even if it means building one in house. The problem is only going to get worse. Despite all the negative stuff I’ve said about Fallout 76, I have to admit I am still playing it. Uncovering the world remains enjoyable, and though the lack of NPCs will always be weird, I have experienced a handful of good quests. As in, good quests on a Fallout 4 level - you’ll never experience the multi-branch, morally ambiguous quests of Fallout old in this title. In fact, I completed a quest for the Firebreathers faction last night and still can’t decide if it was supposed to be funny, tragic, both or neither. So, in short, I think many players’ interest will dissapear once they’ve covered the map. It’s a big map, granted, but developers often underestimate how long the content they’ve provided will last. When all the locations are discovered, and holotapes hoovered up, Bethesda hasn’t spoken of an end game beyond nukes and ‘make your own story’ (which is nebulous hand waving the likes of which I’ve never seen.) Unless they have more developed interactions between factions, then being a member of a faction is meaningless. Ok, so I’ve put on an Enclave uniform, do you now think I’m going to role play a member of the Enclave? That shit is up to you to organise, Bethesda! Suggesting players do it all themselves is either deeply cynical or shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how MMOs work. Either way, it’s not a good look.
  6. Garibaldi

    Bottom : An Appreciation

    There’s a weird kind of poignancy to it that you only notice as you get older, a bit of tragedy among the slapstick. For example, why is Eddie always wearing a suit? He has no job, no skills or prospects, but always dresses like he’s ready to step into a role forever out of reach. Even Richie never abandons his shirt (an original vanderheuuuuusen), despite it being discoloured and reeking.
  7. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    Played a lot more last night, much of the nine hour run-time, and it feels...thin. It feels thin in the same way that Fallout 4 did, as in there should be something more going on at the locations. I visited a few big ones, including the prison and the observatory, and apart from some flavour holotapes and terminals it was just FO4's approach of 'murder everyone.' There are exceptions, well, one that I've found, which was an Army Fort where the bots ran me through basic training. It was novel and fun, but just stuck out more for that. Could be I just made a couple of bad choices, and there's a lot more of interest out there, but I've heard similar complaints from some of the YouTube streamers who got deep into the XBox beta. Similarly, community events all seem to be horde mode events, just defend this area/bot for a while and get your rewards. Took over a settlement just to see how that all worked; some cabins by the lake. Cleared out the place, claimed the workbench for some caps, then defended it against a few waves of enemies. The place was in a total state, with smashed furniture and debris in all the cabins, so I was curious as to how much it would let me scrap to tidy up. The answer, very little. So the main cabins are filled with crap, giving you little usable space in there, maybe for a few beds, and there's a fair sized yard outside to build your own structures in. I wasn't expecting to see something on the level of the 'scrap everything' mod for FO4, obviously, but if customisation was going to be so limited then why pile in the ugly debris? You can make places look dilapidated without making them near unusable. I feel kinda spent on it all already. It's multiplayer, but there's not enough reasons for players to interact. Bethesda needs to make some ballsier moves like removing the robot vendors so players are forced to trade with one another, removing the ammo/first-aid vending machines as they break immersion/are unnecessary with resources for making your own supplies so plentiful/and have ridiculous prices. As I say, maybe I just had a bad area, but right now FO76 feels like a fairly solid base which has only been partially filled in. Much like FO4 did, in fact.
  8. Garibaldi


    I haven’t watched Arrow for ages but her arc in this is annoying after just three episodes, with constant ‘Diaz must be stopped!’ histrionics and alienating all her closest allies. Oliver’s prison jaunt is the only thing that seemed fresh enough to bring me back, and now I’m watching it just for that.
  9. Garibaldi

    The Good Place

    That’s the situation we’ve reached in tv and movies, where body shaming is so chronic that even a guy playing an academic gets a six pack when he finds out he’ll have to show his chest for a couple of minutes. Could just be a happy coincidence of course, but I doubt it.
  10. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    So, put four hours into this last night and it’s an odd fish. I am impressed by the map, which from what I’ve seen so far is the best in a Bethesda Fallout game. There’s not an asinine amount of ‘hey, look at this!’ popping up as you traverse the terrain, and it feels curiously different doing so through foliage that’s actually green and alive. I followed the main quest for a while, which was initially awkward as you kept bumping into other players and it felt at odds with the air of isolation the game was trying to project. Other players of course were standard fare. Those that did have their mics turned on never spoke, so when I got close to them I could enjoy either hearing their tv or other people moving about/talking in the background. Has always puzzled me why people do this, just mute it unless you’re going to talk ffs. Anyway, the game throws a shitload of notes and holotapes at you to build story and atmosphere; there was one small area where I must’ve picked up about four. They’re actually pretty good stuff, and make the most of the no NPC weirdness, but you can’t really digest them or spend time reading terminals etc unless you leave a group and solo for a while. Saving them up to listen to later wouldn’t work, as the context is gone. It feels like a multiplayer mod for Fallout 4 that can’t quite co-exist with the single-player element. Gunplay is identical to Fallout 4 (like much everything else, bar the map), and the initial oddness of the new VATS ceases to be distracting after a few battles. I found a few new melee weapons but no new guns so far, though both better guns and armour are usually gated by level, Borderlands style. Some FO4 mechanics work well here, to the extent that you wonder how much of that game was just a test bed for FO76. Crafting and customisation is something you’re encouraged to come to early, and you’ll want to as it means putting some leather reinforcement on your flimsy vault suit and making those pipe guns slightly less pony. I haven’t tried base building yet, but found a few blueprints for various items on my travels. As a default, it looks like you can construct a wooden shack and give it light/power, but it wouldn’t stand up to much of a battering. The map is also so big that just stumbling across player housing will be notable, at least until people start to build the Avengers tower, so there’s not a huge chance of having your dwelling messed with. I’m not psyched to go back tonight but I am curious, and get the sense that feeling could grow. In a way I’m reluctant to pair up with others, as it would mean missing a lot of incidental detail in the world, but if I don’t then why am I playing a multiplayer game? Maybe just rocking up with a group to clean out an enemy intensive area, then doing your own thing for a while is a workable solution.
  11. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    Thanks for the opinions. I’ve heard quite a few players on reddit and the like saying that the thirst/hunger meters are too generous as it stands, so will be interesting to see if Bethesda tighten them up. That’s what I’m most nervous of: their willingness to make certain things harsher and risk alienating a few players. Case in point is power armour, which functions a little different in FO76. As in, it can go in your inventory. Power core runs out due to poor planning, no problem, I’ll just stick this mobile tank in my backpack. Also, don’t worry if you forget to do so, as when you get more than ten seconds away from it then the armour warps to your backpack. I mean wtf? It just eliminates any kind of tension or stakes from the situation. Such as running out of power cores, and having to dump a load of your inventory so you can strip the most valuable parts of the armour before leaving it. Even if your core is almost out, you could still fast travel to your camp to dump it there, but apparently that’s not lenient enough.
  12. Garibaldi

    The Long Dark - Episode 1 & 2 Redux December 2018

    Two. The third is due out this December, though.
  13. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    I did pre-order just for the beta code on PS4, which should give me a good slice of time with it next week before deciding whether or not to cancel. I shall endeavor to bring my perspective of a person who's been turned off by many aspects of FO76, but still feels somewhat curious.
  14. Garibaldi

    Fallout 76 - Prepare Your GaaS Masks

    If they were really concerned about the potential for ‘spectacular’ issues, then they should’ve done a bit more than launch a closed beta that lasts for two weeks and is bookended by the game’s release.

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