More like Brotherhood of Jerks

| Friday, December 11, 2015
Dear games where I am not playing someone in an army,

Please stop recruiting me into your army.

Thank you,
Person playing a game based primarily on wandering the wasteland with one or two companions

P.S. You're jerks and you have the worst HR department ever. Where do I even start? Let's see... First off, I am already working with a rival organization: the Minutemen. Maybe you aren't enemies, but the one time I brought one of your people there, he started talking smack about them. So either A) he's a jerk and you look bad or b) you don't like my crew, or c) both.

It's definitely both. You see, you're jerks. You show up in your flying ship of death and what are your first words? Are you here to liberate us? Will you share life-saving technology to purify water and grow food? Will you at least offer to kill raiders, like I have been as a part of the Minutemen? Nope, you yell at everyone to not interfere. Great PR.

When I wander into a few of your people getting overrun by ghouls and save them, they go on some paranoid rant about civilians. Sorry, weren't you guys begging for help? And did you never hear of the radical invention of "indoors"? That's right, go inside and the ghouls will just walk on by. They are incredibly stupid. Shoot them from the windows or the roof. Really guys? Really? And somehow I'm the civilian in danger.

I killed a deathclaw about five minutes after leaving my vault. Well, it could have been five minutes, but I had to talk to a robot and find a dog and talk to some annoying meth head. Point being, I am awesome and you are not.

Anyway, back to your terrible HR department. I am a wanderer. My home was nuked. I sometimes help people establish settlements, but I don't settle. I wander and shoot things. I wear a very fine suit under this power armor. Did I mention that I killed a deathclaw? I used the power armor to do it.

I do my own thing. It's the whole reason for my existence. Literally. I exist to wander around, sometimes alone, sometimes with companions who are more or less annoying. For example, the last Minuteman used to be my sidekick. But he kept wanting to have "that conversation" even though we'd totally had that conversation and I said no so stop asking that why I leave you at The Castle, okay, Preston!? Anyway I'm super happy with Piper. She thinks I can make stuff from junk, which I can. That wasn't innuendo, but boy does she sound happy in the morning. After I've been sleeping the entire time. Uh.

So, I wander and that tends to mean wandering where I want to go, or maybe where I just happen to end up. That's pretty much the exact opposite of following orders. Even if I did the exact opposite of your orders I'd still be predictable, which I am not. So stop pretending that I have to follow your orders. I can build by own giant airship with more airships on it. I once made one from legos. But it was a watership and it had planes. But whatever, you don't even know what that is anymore.

I have some standards. For example, don't ask me to get food from settlers "by any means". That's what raiders do. I sometimes get paid to kill raiders. Or I do it for fun. Then I take their stuff. Where do you think I got the materials for these fancy weapons that I use to kill raiders? Yea, I'm like a Catch-22 that broke the cycle and is spiraling upward into greater and greater ability to kill you. I have more nukes than what you found in that fort that I helped you capture from the super mutants.

So I'm wondering, when you claim that you are here to liberate the Commonwealth, who are you liberating it from? The Institute is scary, but it does not control it. Same with the raiders. The Minutemen are the closest to a controlling power and really they're just some tiny settlements that let me use their old tires to make guns. Supposedly I'm a general, but I haven't led shit since we captured The Castle.

I can only conclude that you're not here to liberate, but to "liberate". You make up some false enemy, or inflate a real one, as an excuse to swoop in and seize power. Well I won't stand for it!

Maybe a little bit. I could use a backup suit of power armor for Piper. So I'll do some of your missions. But I will draw the line at some point. Like not doing your stupid side missions. I did one of them and I was already bored. I walked it, shot a lot of mutants, took their stuff, and left. It's exactly what I normally do, but somehow when you ask me to do it it sounds boring. Maybe it's because you're a bunch of uncharistmatic, overly-aggressive zealots. Me, I wear a nice suit with a bonus to charisma, I only shoot when necessary, and I'm not so much zealous as adventurous.

Oh man, I bet I can get some copper from this telephone. Do you have any more psycho? I've been making psychojet and that stuff is so great. It's like the best of both worlds plus the third one and it's so great. Where the hell am I melting down these dinner trays to get aluminum? I have a campfire and a hammer.

Inventory Management

| Tuesday, December 1, 2015
I've been spoiled by World of Warcraft. Or more accurately, I've been spoiled by its openness to addons. I can customize my UI many ways: rearrange bars, change hotkeys, and most importantly: organize my bags. Everything is nicely sorted into gear sets, consumables, trade goods (by type), quests, trash, and so on. My auction addon gives a decent idea of what things are worth, too.

So when I complain about inventory management in Fallout 4, and Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim, and Oblivion, that's where I'm coming from. These games have terrible inventory management.

To begin: Miscellaneous. I've said before that this is a ridiculous 'category'. Some of these are crafting items. Some are vendor trash. Some are quest items, possibly for quests you don't even have.

On the first point: If a game has a crafting system that uses particular crafting materials, then those crafting materials should have their own tab. If there are multiple crafting types, then the materials for each should be able to be sorted or filtered.

Fallout 4 brings another level to this: materials within materials. Junk, once useless vendor trash, is now a source of rare crafting materials. Gun mods need nuclear material, turrets need circuits, electricity for your settlements (you do like indoor lighting, yes?) require copper. I've developed the habit of buying junk from vendors to get these materials. But which junk? Some junk gives steel, which is trivial to get. Some junk gives copper or oil, which are trickier. Yet, there is no way to filter by the type of sub-material in junk.

While we're at it, why not have a cost/weight display? I'm so often overloaded with items and stick the excessively weighty and non-valuable items in boxes to rot. I run the math in my head, but why not build it in? It's tiresome to wonder whether the 38 cap weapon for 3.9 weight is worthwhile, it's so close to 10/1 after all, but how close? Better than 54/5.2?

I give up! I have enough caps. I'll just pick up stuff that is worth my time. If it's not at least 100 caps, just don't even show it to me. Unless it's a junk item I need. Or a crafting material; I'm still leveling, after all.

Thanks, Piper, I can do something with this. No, Preston, this is not just junk. Maybe that's why your Minutemen fell apart, you didn't see the value in desk fans and dinner trays. Or maybe it's that you never stop asking people if you can have "that conversation". We had that conversation and I said I wasn't interested. Sexual harassment is not cool; not even in the post-apocalyptic future. I'm the man frozen in time since the future 50s, not you.
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