I continue my play diary of Fallout 4. I reached level 60 near the end of my last session. As I did on Day 17, when I reached level 30, I’m going to take a few minutes and reflect on my current position and my thoughts so far.
I’m still working on, and mostly succeeding in, avoiding spoilers. With the initial rush of interest settling down, it’s become easier. The die-hard fans will continue forever, as always, but I’m able to research specific problems (it’s a fallout game: there are problems!) without too much risk of spoilers. Still, with my son playing and videos of my favorite Let’s Players piling up, I’m thinking getting through the story sooner than later may be wise.
Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead (although not as many today as usual)!
Jimmy at Sexy Sixty
My hit points have jumped from 211 at level 30 to 434 at level 60. Base Action Points have jumped from 130 to 185. I’ve discovered 223 locations and cleared 114 of them. I’m fairly certain that many locations can’t be “cleared”, so I’m considering this well done. I’ve recovered 13 Bobbleheads and 56 Magazines in my travels.
Looking at my stats, I’ve completed 124 quests, but only five main quests. Surprisingly enough I’ve yet to consume a single, complete power core. I’ve unlocked 26 settlement workshops and crafted 2423 items. All told, I’ve survived 303 in-game days and collected a staggering 17,406 pieces of junk.
Between perk points and bobbleheads I’ve raised several of my S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes. Since level 30, Strength went up another two points and endurance three. Both are now 6. I bumped Charisma and Agility up a point each, to 8. Finally, Luck went from 4 to 7.
Luck, as you know, is very important to critical hits and critical hits, as you know, are very important to not dying. I’ll be pushing Luck to 10 sooner than later. Strength and Endurance were low on my priority list at the beginning, but addressing limited carry weight and Action Points made them much more attractive as time went on.
I went over my weapons and armor loadouts on Day 23. There have been some tweaks, but the basics haven’t changed. I’ve been favoring armor that offers bumps to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and my stats are significantly improved when wearing it. Two “Lucky” pieces push my Luck to 11 and others raise Strength to 9. Every other attribute, with the exception of Intelligence is raised by one or two points.
I continue to play as sneaky sneaker that sneaks, but as I’ve grown in capability, I’ve gotten much more comfortable with raising a ruckus to get things over with quickly. I recently upped the difficulty to “Hard” to offset my awesomeness, but I may bump it up again.
In general scaling in the game feels “off”. Most of my, admittedly rare, deaths feel cheap. At level 60, most of the enemies I’m facing are still one-shot kills. Periodically, however, I’ll find a level 60 or 65 raider hunkered down with a group of level 10 or 11 ones. Or I’ll fast travel directly into the arms of a super-mutant behemoth or deathclaw. Or some random gunner that hasn’t even showed up on my radar just happens to have a Fat Man.
Thirty more levels means thirty more perk points! Here’s where I spent them:
- Armorer, Level 4 (from 2): ALL THE ARMOR! Which… isn’t that much. The Ballistic Weave obtained from The Railroad breathed some life into it, but I still expected a lot more variety in armor crafting.
- Awareness, Level 1: Not as useful as I’d hoped. Displays the level and individual damage resistances of enemies, but nothing more. It doesn’t display specific hit points or special attributes/skills.
- Better Criticals, Level 3: 2.5x damage for criticals. Nothing to sneeze at!
- Cap Collector, Level 2: Only taken to allow “Emporium” class shops at my settlements. Will probably never take level 3 as gathering caps isn’t that difficult.
- Demolition Expert, Level 2: 50% more damage from explosives, expanded crafting capabilities and grenades gain an interactive throwing arc. Which I love. It’s gone a long way to help an embarrassing little problem of mine: blowing myself up. I’ll likely max this out, if for no other reason than to be able to craft everything.
- Gun Nut, Level 4 (from 3): ALL THE GUNS! Much more impressed with the overall choice available compared to Armor. It’s feels a bit stalled at this point, but it’s also unreasonable to assume that the game would continue to scale indefinitely.
- Hacker, Level 3 (from 2): ALL THE COMPUTERS! The last rank is useless (since terminal lock outs only last a few seconds), but accessing every computer is a requirement if you, like me, want to see everything.
- Locksmith, Level 3 (from 2): ALL THE LOCKS! I’ll not be taking the last rank, as bobby pins are far from rare, but I do wish that there was some opportunity (like the “force” chance in earlier games) to just ignore simpler locks. I seem to spend a lot of time picking locks.
- Ninja, Level 3 (from 1): Ranged sneak does 3.5x times damage and melee is up to 10x! I can take out anything less than a mirelurk queen in a single hit with a decent melee weapon.
- Science!, Level 4 (from 1): ALL THE… um, SCIENCE! High tech weapons, turrets and everything that lights up and beeps.
- Sneak, Level 5 (from 3): Most of the bonuses for this apply whether you’re sneaking or not, so this is a no brainer. Level three means no more worrying about mines, level four gives you the sneaking bonus even when not sneaking and level five makes enemies lose you very quickly when dropping into sneak.
- Strong Back, Level 4: More carry weight is always appreciated. At level four, you can run while overloaded (using Action Points) which is nice but really comes into its own at level five when you can fast travel while overloaded. No more leaving behind… anything!
I decided to experiment and romance Cait; I’ve always had a thing for redheads. My main lady, Piper, didn’t seem to mind at all. So far the only indication that anybody has noticed at all has been some special dialog. I’m assuming this would the case no matter who else I decided to blow kisses at. Apparently the romance system in Fallout 4 is pretty damn simplistic.
In addition to the companion perks I’d already received from Codsworth, MacCready, Piper and Cait I also cozied up to a few others. From Deacon I received Cloak and Dagger, which gives me even more bonus damage to sneak attacks and radically extended Stealth Boy duration. Hancock laid the mostly useless Isodoped on me, which fills the critical meter faster if I’m highly irradiated. United we Stand was a gift from Preston Garvey, which provides me with increased damage resistance and attack power when facing multiple enemies. Finally Strong, as you might expect, offered up Berserk. It’s useless to me, but if I wanted I could deal 20% more melee damage when my hit points are low.
My Story so Far
I did get in some wandering. Nothing important; just visiting some areas that I’d noted, but not explored or looked interesting. The first was Thicket Excavations, where a shady guy wanted help draining a quarry. His money was good and he didn’t try to murder me, so I helped.
When I returned the next day, the shady guy had called in some raider friends. Not only was the quarry completely empty (that’s some pump!), it also was fully fortified! Bingo-bango-boom! Dead raiders.
I also went through the Atomatoys offices where I discovered that Arlen the ghoul, besides being a workaholic, was a pretty sweet guy. I was able to find and give him a holotape of his family that survived the apocalypse. It’s was exactly the kind of moment that the game needs more of.
I headed into the C.I.T. Ruins, just to see what I could see. I assumed that finding The Institute wasn’t going that easy, and I was right. There was a very impressive battle between super-mutants and synths, so the trip wasn’t entirely wasted. Loot is always nice, but no signs of The Institute.
I also helped Nick clear out an old missing person case. Turns out the bartender of the Dugout, Earl Sterling, went missing. After collecting some clues, we tracked him to the Diamond City surgery. Turns out Doc Crocker botched a surgery and hid his body in the basement. Doctor Sun didn’t seem to be involved… but any doctor that considers a muddy hole in the ground an acceptable operating room has to have something wrong with them.
I enjoyed this little diversion quite a bit and was sorry that it was the only one available. It’s the kind of quest I prefer, and they’ve been rather scarce in this outing.