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Not A Falling Out, Just Fallout

July 7, 2011

Dear Reader,

I am not taking a break from WoW; I’m still logging on every day, doing my dailies (they take about a half hour to an hour), seeing if any of my friends are around, and playing on the Auction House a bit.  Leveling the shaman, though, has stalled.  While according to psychologists I can only blame my ego, since there are no external enemies but only that internal one (look it up), I still blame Steam.

I already discussed before the Steam sale and its consequences (hours of nausea, for one), so I won’t go back into that detail.  I will however say that I’ve been playing Fallout: New Vegas to all hours of the morning like I haven’t done in a long, long time.  I used to (I was “bad” when I was younger) stay up until I heard my parents getting up, sleep until around 2 (skipping school), erasing whatever message the school left from the machine, and pretend I went to school to my parents.  I had 18 absences in my senior year that were dealt with through illicit means.  I won’t go into any more detail in case this blog is being monitored by my former principal.

That said, I didn’t remember what it felt like to get up after staying up until 4 a.m.   Thank you, Steam, for reminding me.  It’s terrible.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve played Fallouts since they were Wastelands.  I cut my teeth on that game but was too young to understand a lot of the more complex game play and story.  The first Fallout was an amazing experience which I thought was only improved upon in the second incarnation.  I played Tactics and Brotherhood of Steel and enjoyed both, despite the fact that many others didn’t.  When Bethesda picked up Fallout for the third episode, I was excited but worried that it would just be another Oblivion – and I like those games (played them since Daggerfall, for that matter), so “worrying” that it would be an Oblivion sort of explains how much I like the Fallout series.  F3 was excellent, though very different in terms of game play and a little simpler in character design, but it kept the wacky sense of humor and the zany experiences in a post-apocalyptic America (in 2, you can find a whale dropped from the sky in the middle of the desert.  You can meet people who are pretending to invade Canada.  You can… well, you should just play it.

This game is quite good, too.  There’s been some unlikely challenges that have made me reload many, many times.  I’ve not been able to brute force reload everything FTW, though, which is also refreshing.  It doesn’t matter how many times you try to take on a pack of angry Deathclaws; if you’re not prepared, then You are Not Prepared.

I’m doing what I always do with a game, though, which is both good and bad.  I’m bleeding it dry from the start, which prevents there from ever being any replay value.  I’m already almost level 20 and haven’t even stepped into the titular city yet, though I have nearly circumnavigated it completely.  I’ve discovered many hidden locations with exotically named weapons like “Annabelle” and met many charming characters with exotic faces like Raul (you’ll just have to play to appreciate that one).

I’ve also inadvertently murdered a group of people, which I strangely am very annoyed about.  If you’re looking to avoid spoilers, don’t read further in this paragraph, but if you don’t care, here it is.  I found a hidden vault full of ghouls late last night (around 2 in the morning) and spent quite a lot of time killing the mindless flesh eaters.  I came to the center of the problem, a reactor, and shut it down, completing a quest to help some sharecroppers – who I’d not met (and still haven’t).  Apparently, though, there was an optional ending where I didn’t help the sharecroppers and instead helped some trapped folks in the Vault who I instead apparently suffocated.

Now, I should have read more carefully, sure.  However, since I hadn’t been “given” the quest, I didn’t bother to read about it when it popped up.  For one, it was probably three by that point, and two, I hadn’t met the settlers, so why not just clean the place up anyway?  I undoubtedly would have saved the settlers (I’m a Shield of Hope or some such in the morality meter, always doing the “good” thing regardless of the laws).  Instead, I have this cloud of digital guilt about being careless.

I guess, then, that’s the lesson to learn.  When shooting glowing ghouls in the face and turning of poisonous, radioactive reactors to clean up the area, one should always double check that there’s not a message hidden in the “unrealistic” UI quest log about hidden refugees that are completely inaccessible through actual game play.  Shame on me… but, yeah, I know; I should have read.

At any rate, I’m going to have to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, so no F:NV for me.  Then again, maybe I can squeeze a few hours in…

Sincerely,

Stubborn (who liked 8 hours but might like F:NV more)

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