Fallout 76: Post-apocalyptic homebodies

When I came back to Fallout 76 for Wastelanders, I had hoped to like it, but I really didn’t expect to get this much sucked into it. Seriously, for a while there, it was sucking up about 80% of my gaming time, day after day, because I was just so interested in the missions and game world.

I think that a huge draw for me is the sense of going out on expeditions into the unknown. There’s a big element of exploration with F76 (and all the Fallout games), and grabbing some supplies and then hoofing it over a mountain range into an unknown area on a quest for some weirdness or another always made me feel vulnerable, excited, and daring at the same time.

But first things first — I built a house. I was holding off on it for a while, but eventually I knew I really wanted my own home base and would love it once I did it. Probably the longest part of making this was finding the ideal location that wouldn’t be CAMP camped by other players. I ended up making it in a small clearing at the top of a mountain in the starter zone, not too far away from the Vault.

The home-building process went surprisingly easy. I spent some of the free Atoms I’d earned on a contemporary housing set (walls, floors, doors) to make it look less ramshackle, and then constructed a basic 2×2 cabin that you see above. I want to keep the interior full of decorations and homey stuff, with all of the workbenches and whatnot on the outside. It’s a work in progress, but so far I’m pretty pleased with it.

Probably my biggest complaint about Wastelanders is that I still don’t think that the devs have the quest flow just right. For starters, there’s a big gap from when you finish the initial quests until you can start in on the faction ones (you have to reach level 20), which left me wandering around looking for the odd quest to do and mob to kill for XP.

Then, many of the quests that I was given as part of these chains sent me into absurdly dangerous areas. Like, “Hey, you’re level 14 and these are level 52 mobs. Have fun getting past them to your objective!” I had to do more than a few suicide runs to try to frantically dash into structures to click on The Thing and get the next quest step before being gunned down.

Oh! I did see a nuke! Well, I was informed that there was one going off in a couple of minutes, but it was so far into a high-level area that I didn’t have the chance to get there through fast travel. I went to the top of a ridge and was able to see some light in the distance, so I guess that was something.

Really, the quests are pretty excellent even if they’re somewhat rare to find. I stumbled upon this frat one that I thought would be pretty simple, and it turned out to be a many-step quest to find the formula to a secret alcoholic drink that was going to fuel the success of an actual underground speakeasy. Lots of environmental details and humor, even if it was pretty morbid.

And I came upon the room of the most dedicated Nuka Cola fan in the universe as a result.

So yeah, good times all around. I’ve gotten my first CAMP ally (Beckett, who set up shop at a bar that I built for him), started in on the Settler faction quests, and decked myself out with a nasty combat shotgun that mows down mobs like nobody’s business. I feel like I’m getting the hang of the perk system and weapon mods for the first time, and I’m even not that bad at combat any more. Good times.

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