Choose My Adventure: Simply skipping through quests small and large in Fallout 76

    
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I’m not sure that this week has fully inured me to Fallout 76, but I will say that things were starting to come together a little bit more this time around. This week, as the title would lead you to believe, was all about completing quests, and while the setting and some of the gameplay still hasn’t really hooked me, the simple joy of moving along the Appalachian wilds in search of quest completions and neat stuff to do was enjoyable.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite things to do in Elder Scrolls Online was simply walk around and find some neat side quests to do, mostly before any main quests. So it was with my time in Fallout 76 this week, as I walked in the general direction of my secondary objectives from Duchess, turning to the left and right as I neared other quest lines that were in my laundry list.

The wisdom of the playerbase was absolutely spot on in regards to those secondary quest objectives, incidentally; picking up the details from both the park and the farm were pretty invaluable when the time came to move ahead to the main event. Along the way, I managed to locate the vendor who handed me my free Shelter, located a random event that I’m pretty sure I had no business peeking in to (considering I died a couple of times — Super Mutants hurt a lot), and found a station that I activated to get a boost of XP, building plans, as well as starting some sort of event, apparently. An event, I might add, that I’m pretty sure nobody else took part in, self included.

In addition to the random events that I either cleared or tried to clear, there were some interesting encounters as well. I ran into a bunch of cultists of some sort. A level 30 Scorchbeast decided to patrol the skies as I was en route to somewhere. And then there was a warning of a nuclear weapon launch which caused me to kind of panic run for ultimately no reason as the nuke detonated well out of my area.

As I marched along, I started to get a little more acclimated to how combat in VATS is meant to go, especially since I have a three-star PERK card that effectively increases my accuracy if I focus fire on a specific body part. This felt equal parts useful in some fights and hilariously pointless in others; the aforementioned Super Mutants apparently don’t mind being shot increasingly in the head, while Ghouls wilted under a single shot. And that was when both foes were even level. I’m guessing I’m missing something that determines enemy strength above and beyond character level. Armor, more likely. Or in the case of the ghouls, a lack thereof.

I also had this distinct feeling like aiming wasn’t really aiming. On more than a few occasions I’m pretty sure I peeled off a clean headshot only for nothing to happen, while other times I was ripping in to foes with relative ease. So either there was some lag, I’m even worse at FPS combat than I supposed, or there’s some Gygaxian dice rolling nonsense that determines whether an ironsighted shot to the nogging actually lands, which is supremely unsatisfying. This led me to use VATS more often than not, which was also unsatisfying due to it just being a sort of aimbot that collectively gets better the more times I fire.

So, yes, combat has been unfulfilling. The missions, though, have been. Fallout 76 certainly does seem to have a cast of characters in it, and I had a good time meeting nearly everyone I’ve met. Even the leader of the Free Radicals had a sort of charm to him.

I still blew his head off, though.

Using the intel I had gathered and the items I was gifted from the optional quests, I was able to talk myself in, shoot my way out of the leader’s hideout, and exfiltrate using stealth packs that made me invisible. It was nice to be given the option to take on this quest in my own way; not many MMOs allow for creativity in completing quest directives, even if it’s a fleeting bit of creativity. I assume there were a couple of other ways to go about it, but I think I ended up with the best possible outcome.

Also, I picked up some pretty nice loot while I was in the West Virginia Lumber Company hideout. Additionally, I was gaining lots of XP and levels, though that’s mostly due to the XP boosting event that was happening up until the 14th. I suspect that gravy train is pretty much over and done with when it comes to the next playthrough.

Speaking of that next playthrough, I’ve got a poll question to offer up. The Duchess has some new quests for me to follow, but there’s still that whole Overseer thing going on — or more specifically, a quest that’s telling me to join a group known as the Responders. I suspect I’ll try to do them both, but consider this question one of which direction to step towards first instead of choosing one over the other.

Which series of quests should I follow through with first?

  • The Duchess. Find her muscle and see what happens next. (46%, 41 Votes)
  • First Contact. Join up with the Responders and pick up the Overseer's trail. (54%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 90

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As before, this week’s poll will wrap up at 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 18th. For the time being, I’m going to maybe do a bit more research on what parts of SPECIAL are good for a primarily VATS-using player. Or maybe I won’t. I’m not sure I’m going to be all that invested in my little Wastelander, even if she is cute.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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Motherball

That’s my favorite way to play RPG games, just wonder about and let every little thing distract me. It’s one of the reasons I like harvesting resources in games, because I always wind up somewhere wild.

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Stick with the Duchess. You will find story, other NPC characters and a few other “oh shit!” moments. Plus it is likely that you will find some locations that open up new side quests and maybe even advance the Overseer quest line.

Treat the Overseer quests as a side job. That is, if you happen to see the Overseer quest as you journey and it is near by, go ahead and do it. There are no NPCs on those quest but they are interesting and can give you much needed loot..

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Fisty

Eh. Move on. Seems like too much of a slog for you. Not your fault, its theirs.

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BalsBigBrother

Same as last week stick with Duchess as that is the better time imo. Overseer is good to do as you can pick up some useful stuff but story wise it’s a bit dull (that might be due to me having done it more than a few times).

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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76SKIP.gif
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Greaterdivinity

I also had this distinct feeling like aiming wasn’t really aiming.

This happens to me a LOT. I assume it’s server issues, because I encounter constant issues with hits not registering on the health bar (even if the enemy staggers and you see the blood from the shot), or registering but instantly healing back for some reason.

Bonus points for aiming in third person still being broken as hell, especially when trying to shoot things that are up close.

I still haven’t used VATS at all (felt weird, haven’t put any perk cards towards it), but I suggest grabbing a few 2H melee weapons and rolling with those for a lot of the smaller guys (and even some supermutants). I had great results from killing scorched and bugs etc. with my melee weapons, and while it’s hard to do you can even get humanoid enemies to “dance” with you so that you can duck in for a swing and back out before they can connect (may require some of the faster attack perk cards though).

I’m still lost and know little about the game, but I’m enjoying the hell outta just exploring the map and not even focusing on missions. Map completion is my fuckin jam, yo. At least when I’m not fighting with the inventory/weight management system.

I’m sure I’ll eventually realize I screwed up everything on my character and need to make a new one or something, but for now I’ve got around 50 hours or something put in the game and I’m still eager to dive in whenever I’ve got an hour or two to kill.

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BalsBigBrother

Don’t worry about screwing up your up your character too much as you can fix them or at least will have a means to move things about to shore up any perceived weaknesses.

That is something to deal with later though just keep doing what you have fun with.

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Greaterdivinity

That’s good to know. I’m still hoping to rope a few friends into playing so I’d make an alt for that, but if not then I’ll keep my current character and just fix her janky build…eventually. I assume you stop getting SPECIAL points eventually and the progress just becomes managing your deck of active cards and pushing progression on the legendary perks? (while still getting card packs every so often as you level)

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BalsBigBrother

You will eventually get a choice of moving a special point or taking à perk card. So you can make use of that to fix things up if needed.

Legendary perks can play into what you do with that as they can substitute the need for some normal perk cards. Which in turn frees up some special points that could be shifted elsewhere.

I would suggest hitting up YouTube once you get to that point to see what your options are. While not necessary it could save some time.

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Greaterdivinity

Thanks for the tips. I loathe YT walkthroughs so hopefully I can find a written guide. I imagine there are some floating about, I’ll just have to remember to look them up >.<

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Sorenthaz

At level 50 you’ll stop being able to raise SPECIAL (and each stat caps at 15 naturally) but each level-up will let you re-assign a stat point or else pick a perk card. A lot of the juicier perk cards don’t become available until the 40’s or 50’s so it may take some time to finish grabbing all the perk cards you’ll want for whatever build.

50 is also when you get to choose your first legendary perk card, and you can select others at levels 75, 100, 150, 200, and 300. These can be upgraded with coins that you get from either hitting SCORE (season) milestones or scrapping unwanted perk cards. Eventually (sometime in 2021 at this point) Perk Loadouts will be a thing so you can easily swap between card loadouts, so keeping around cards that help with crafting/repairs/etc. might be a good idea for the long haul.

Also there are legendary perks that let you raise SPECIAL beyond what you normally can, which includes opening up the ability to use more perk cards, so it’s a nice way to potentially even out a stat or two that you rely on or would like to fit another/more card(s) into.

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Sorenthaz

If you want there’s a handy build calculator that sort of lets you lay everything out, tells you how much SPECIAL you’ll need for XYZ, when you’ll want to pick up each perk card per level, etc. You can even work in/plot out legendary cards, legendary effects, mutations, etc.

Like here’s roughly what I’m running on my character right now. I don’t really know if it’s the most optimal and my gear is just a lazy mix of stuff right now but it gets the job done and regular mobs die in 2-3 hits from my attacks (or 1 hit and then the bleed makes them explode Fist of the North Star style).

Another thing I’ve noticed with hits registering is that if you have Fallout 1st and play on a private server, hits register more frequently and when I apply my bleed from the Talons mutation I actually see the bleed ticking down an enemy’s health bar in real time. In regular public servers when I apply a bleed the healthbars don’t smoothly trickle down – there’s a 1-3 second delay before the server tick updates the health bar and usually kills the target. So it seems like for some reason there’s a weird built-in client/server lag when on the public servers but not on a private one, even though private ones should still be run through Behesda’s servers.