Part 5: Bunker Alpha: Where Do We Find These ThingsI used to have blog... almost. Never had that much stuff to blog about. Having a blog sounded mysterious and cool at the time! Writing "professionally" is way better: you almost get paid and you almost never lack stuff to write about (that's the big difference between vidja and real journalism: in real journalism, you have to work to get shit to write about). Ah, those were the days... almost...
As for the spaceship: that plan looks even more stupid: do they have a planned marked for it? Will they have enough people for it? Do game developers think about scale? Why can't I have fun?
Post 5: Bunker Alpha: Where Do We Find These Things
Our rag tag team of ragamuffins finally arrive at bunker alpha, all in the grand tradition of videogames presenting you with a base only after you jump through some hoops.
It's a good time spend skill points! Flashman is abnormally smart, but possessing a trait that slashes SP gain for increased SPECIAL stats. This means we only get 14 points.
The more astute among you will find that I used a character editor to untag lockpick and tag barter.
4 points in Big Guns, 5 in Unarmed, 5 in Barter, that's what we get.
The game also keeps up with the Fallout tradition of having a kill tally. I don't know if it has a function in game (besides gloating), but the character editor lets you edit that too.
I also like the Hun Boy axing the Vault Boy. Vault Boy art is truly one of the high points of Fallout series (dreadfully small collection of songs in NV radio is a low-ish point. If I ever meet Johnny Guitar, I'll punch his stupid face).
We can also see that Flashman is immediately branded as Senior Initiate, likely a new term for PFC. Unfortunately, Initiates don't get Neophytes to lug around.
Our good status is likely due to my ridiculous good looks (Charisma score). Stitch, having a level above Flashman, is still a lowly Initiate. Should have kissed more butts!
Stitch here just reached level 3 and this gained 23(!) skill points and a Perk, . I chose Fast Learner, meaning that he gets more XP. Remember, more XP = more fun. Even if that fun is exploding raiders. Due to his overall good scores - especially in doctor - he's going to stick around. At least until Flashman uses his charm (and fists) to get access to even better Brothers.
Farsight, however, won't be so lucky. There's already a Farsight+ waiting for us in the roster, even if she is somewhat uglier (I somewhat apologize to the Micro Forte dude in advance). Sorry, Farsight, you just can't compete with Goonhood Elders' advice on people.
Thus, Farsight is marked to complete the ritual of "leaving all my shit behind" in one of the lockers. Brotherhood bunkers have a lot of lockers. All of them unlocked, all of them empty. Either nobody stores their stuff in (justified) fear of their shit getting stolen, or there's another player character traveling ahead of me and stealing shit.
Yes, Farsight, even the stylish Brotherhood leather armor. I wonder whose duty is to paint the Brotherhood, uh, cog on the things.
And off we go on a magical adventure of trading people and guns!
The door to Bunker Alpha is guarded by guys in Power and Environmental armor. All Power Armored dudes are marked as wounded.
Does it... does it... chafe?
The corridor leads to a central area of sorts.
BoS bunker is filled with previously mentioned armored guys on guard duty, as well as Elders and Scribes. All of them complain most of the time. As far as I understand, this is a realistic depiction of life in the military.
Personnel Yeoman, however, isn't. He's the guy you hit up to draw new peeps from the recruit pool. The Brotherhood seems to be happy with such ad hoc organisation of troops.
The ones with the chevrons are the more advanced soldiers. The ones with straight lines are basic level meat. This is due to my high charisma. Normally, this would be the point where I'd take the guy the under the curser (I momentarily forget his name) who used to be my loot bitch and the most hated member of the team.
Brian! Yes, I remember Brian. For some reason, I hated him so much when I was younger that I actually let him die.
The small character bio gives you a rought, short outline of the competencies (read: tag skills) the lads (and lasses) have. To check them for real, you have to get them into your squad. Stitch and Farsight are given over to Yeoman's more than capable hands.
Kevin is like a shitty version of Flashman and won't stay in the squad. Why club a raider with a bat like a barbarian when you can punch him dead like a gentleman?
Mandy here looks your teen goth girlfriend and is gifted with a pretty much heroic statline. She pays for this by getting perks only every four levels and having not exactly interesting skills tagged. Still, she's not bad with a gun or a stimpack, and all the medics in this team are basically there to keep Flashman rolling via copious substance abuse.
I wish she had a cooler name, tho.
Ice here is as charismatic as a brick, but who needs that with with Endurance that surpasses Flashman, as well as being a sniper material. Her skills are blue, because Loner trait is broken. It's probably because she can't connect to anyone in the squad and the nominal squad leader will spend most of his time speeding towards the horizon to punch someone.
Either Ice or Rebecca are Farsight replacement (though the looks are somewhat unfotunate, especially for purported age of 19). She might lack Outdoorsman, but has Lockpick, so Flashman wouldn't have to. Thus, she fulfills a necessary role of keeping the main character away from unsavory skills.
She also has Scout, which will hopefully let us find more of the fun Easter egg encounters, instead of boring, ammo wasting ones.
Rage's bio is that he's a neurotic psycho. Well, he's our neurotic, totally expendable psycho. Don't know if steal is that important in the battlefield and I don't sneaking much, but hey, 99 Small Arms.
Awareness is also a fun little perk. I won't go throwin' around no high fallutin' words like "utility perks", but I generally like the way it works. I guess people would tend to overlooking, since it does not contribute directly to getting people dead, but God damn it, let me have my fun!
Hooray for incidental equality of sexes, I guess! Or you can say that everybody has a waifu/husbando now. In any case, it's Flashman and his support element. Currently unarmed support element. It's a smart decision, because players would otherwise strip recruits naked to sell their guns and shit.
And that's against Brotherhood regulation.
Having selected his new team, Flashman is
Without Wasteland warrior maidens (and Rage) rubbing against him, Flashman can finally move and give us a show of the Bunker. This room here has bunk beds and non-interactive chests. I bet that's where all the good stuff is kept by the members of the Brotherhood and lockers only serve as personal isolation chambers or something.
Bunks are stacked three high and seem to offer no protection from falling, so new Initiates are likely always placed up top. That's where the horrible attrition rate in training comes from.
There is also gym equipment which warriors use in search of something only known as "Gains". A wending machine is also there, but it only dispenses dried root and recycled water. Mmmm, dried root and recycled water.
And in the lowest corner we can see the evil red glow of a computer (supposedly miniaturization was never a thing in Fallout universe, yet PipBoys and robots exist) and workbench. The bench is only ever used by plucky outsiders who join Brotherhood after completing some long quest, get their Power Armor and fuck off. Many question the wisdom of such system.
While a tribal might get all his water from a suspicious bubbling green pool that shines at night, the Brotherhood has more than enough to drink... and to have a bath complex! Here, Paladins and Knights come to relax and talk about what shit Initiates are and what silly superstitions the latest village follows.
And here is one of two(!) rooms where a soldier can powder his nose and shave her beard.
Joining the Brotherhood puts hair on your chest. Unfortunately, it puts hair everywhere else, too. Not that good for women.
Although ghouls are just dying to join, for some reason.
This Paladin has likely seen a Meat Platter up close. My advice - don't. Meat Platters are bad.
Either all of these wounded warriors have precious ancient rectal thermometers up their bums, or Micro Forte didn't do a lying down animation. Either way, shit's hilarious.
Some question the decision of performing surgery on the, uh, med-crosses, in the plain sight of everyone. Others say that other patients can avert their eyes and focus on the holovids played on the wall mounted screens.
Seeing that holovids that survived the war aren't always cinematic masterpieces, some opt to watch surgery.
Celsius is a cool guy with cool voice acting. However, he won't heal you for free...
...and he'll only sell shit for exorbitant prices. BoS is one of those military organizations that makes you buy your stuff beyond the bare minimum you were issued with. Can't barter worth shit? Well, you better find some friends who can or haul back enough loot to make up for you deficiency in trade skill.
Scribes and Elders, the bitching never stops.
The Hall of Empty Chairs and Empty Lockers exists for a reason... that nobody knows. Most of the time it's aptly deserted, although it's planning and the fact that metal floor gives off plenty of sound make it a good place to fingerblast a fresh tribal Initiate or do other shady things.
Some say that there are Knight who collect Vault Boy statues and play mock war with them, following elaborate rules and rolling dice, but that's just a myth and anybody that claims otherwise spends a week in the box.
Next to the Hall of Empty Chairs and Empty Lockers is the other set of bunkbeds. Apparently, BoS brothers are so tired, the only way they fall asleep is complete face palm. Meanwhile, Scribes run around stealing valor, restocking wending machines with dry root, checking if the green blinkenlights (a technical term) are working and so on.
I should have notified you before, but this is a counter clockwise tour of the base. Anyways, basically the last place of interest in Bunker Alpha is tac room. Here, Elders spend most of their time standing in the darkness and staring into powered down computer screens, too proud to admit that they don't know how to turn them on. The guy in Power Armor sans helmet is general Barnaky. He sometimes promises to introduce you to his wife, Maria. Maria is his only soft spot - everything else is duty, scar tissue and Power Armor.
Here's the briefing room. It's never used, but scribe go on the podium to imagine being great and powerful Elders.
And the last stop on our tour is the first stop on your every trip to Bunker Alpha: Quartermaster Octavius. The douche likes to talk tough about equipment, but it doesn't change the fact that he's basically selling it to us, just like Celsius. Don't have the script? Well, then you'll have to do without stimpacks and ammo.
I invite the kids over to get some new shit.
But first, I have to sell all that I have! Most stuff doesn't earn me that much money, except for guns - since I have a major surplus of pistols, SMGs and hunting rifles, that is a somewhat hefty sum of money. Unfortunately, Octavius is a bit of a dick and his starting gear selection is kind of sparse. He also charges 600 for a lockpick kit that will disintegrate after a couple of uses.
Another thing about trading is that you're buying a cat in sack. As far as I know, there's no way to check the stats of any weapon without equipping them, so better have the wiki open.
I'm in luck in that I don't really need/want to buy anything from him.
Everybody gets armed! Somewhat. Recruits come with their own armor, so that's nice.
Flashman: has all the unsold stuff, plus punching dagger, which, AFAIK, is the best unarmed weapon available at this time. Yes, even in comparison to wrecking ball gloves.
Ice and Rebecca: Hunting Rifle, close to 200 rounds each, as well as ~5 Stimpacks. Everybody has about the same amount of those.
Stitch: his starting shotgun, plus all the fancy medical supplies.
RAGE (Against the Machine): has our starting MP5 (MP5 is basically god among SMGs in real life, having AK-47 level of variants) and all the scavenged 9mm ammo. MP5 has better range and damage than the Uzi.
Mandy: She gets the M1911. Made by the Mormon "saint" of producing firearms, John Browning (who made, among other guns, the M2 .50 cal machinegun that will we be turning 100 in a few years), it's one of the most popular and long serving pistols in the world. /k/ is regularly torn in the 9mm/.45 ACP debate. It's a good starting pistol that will use our .45 ammo. Luckily for Mandy, the Rainbow Six MP5-in-.45 doesn't exist in the game, else she would have had to use a shitty Beretta.
Mormons and their citadel were planned for Van Buren, so it seems, and they would have hated one your evil companions, the former missionary Joshua Graham, who was instrumental in building Ceasar's legion. Of course, this all got axed with Van Buren. Come New Vegas, the Mormon citadel was demolished off screen and all we got of Mormons was Joshua Graham polishing his never ending stack of 1911's in a neo-Native American cave... in a DLC. Needless to say, I was a little pissed. On the other hand, I didn't feel much love for any of NVs DLCs. In comparison to the DLCs of my hated FO3, NV one's felt like I wanted to see Mormons and a thriving hub of civilisation, even if Fallout Bible states that's Salt Lake is literally covered in FEV mantises
Nobody gets any sidearms, since everyone's Unarmed score is the second best combat score... and I had already sold all the unarmed weapons.
We then get to conga line to general Barnaky to get a briefing.
Places named Freeport are never free of trouble.
Also, it's probably this Freeport (you Americans seem to have several), especially since rivers didn't become a thing in Fallout before FO3.
Initiate Action Force Wonderful Destroyers Go!
This this the Overworld map. As far as I know, there's never any reason to return to sites of previous missions (fun fact, Aradesh and the Shaman disappear after the completion of Brahmin Woods mission, so, kidnapping). Overwold map is where you meet random encounters (boo) and special encounters (yay!). You also get to circle your destination for some time if you want to arrive at a certain time of day.
Rebecca's scouting gives us more vision blocks reveled around our axis of travel. I don't know if it serves much of purpose, maybe the special encounters are easier to find?
I will be punching people dead, so decreased sight and fire ranges at night aren't that bad.
Here, the Briefing is repeated. Raiders captured Aradesh and are holding him in the town of Freeport. We are to meet our informant in cool red armor (only the coolest people wear it), get info, basically kill everything we see, rescue the tribal leader. Sounds easy enough.
And so our plucky heroes set out for an adventure! Adventure in murder!
Tune in next time for "Freedom in Freeport"!