So I want to start out by saying that I bloody love Fallout! Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas on the Xbox 360 consumed vast quantities of my time and Fallout 4 for my PS4 was no different. From its release to the time I put it back down, I had long lost count past the 100 hour mark. Needless to say I was enthralled, again!
When Bethesda announced that you would be able to craft and customise your own settlements within the game world, I was genuinely excited. It seems not everyone was keen to become the ‘Super Lord Emperor King’ of their own town, but I was more than happy to engage in the workshop mechanics and during my play time I managed to build some pretty decent settlements complete with trading posts, a bar, a farm, clinic and even my own personal overlooking residence to look down upon my subordinates as I chugged away at my enviable stockpile of Cherry Nuka Cola that I had amassed. It goes well with Deathclaw egg omelette. Yum!
With the release of the Automatron DLC in March and the oncoming wave of season pass content continuing with Wasteland Workshop in April and Far Harbour in May, I am preparing myself for the possibility of another merry dance through the disco that is the Commonwealth. But one thing is making me think that I should wait,something that affects me personally and probably a few others out there as well.
As I stated above I love me some settlement building. And to build settlements with any decent level of variety and quality, you need resources from the world that, thankfully, can be gathered and acquired from thousands of possible locations and items. The ability to find resources in the world was not my problem. My problem was and still is with how much it costs in resources such as wood and steel to build simple items such a walls and frames. I am not a wasteful person and I do carefully consider what the cost will be before building anything. But I also like to experiment and so I will inevitably end up building something, realise I can do it bigger and better, scrap it for parts (of which the material return is pathetic) and start again. This method causes me to consume large quantities of my materials even though my many explorations and pack rat level of hoarding and trading leads me to having hundreds or even thousands of many of the necessary items.
The beginning area in Sanctuary is very generous in that it allows you to scrap a lot of the crap just lying around to gather a lot of resources. But after I consumed all of the wood and steel in this area and probably the entire north western region, I had to rely on trading in shipments from certain vendors such as the ones found in Diamond City and Abernathy Farm. Their shipments though only came in block quantities of 50 and 100, this is not enough in my opinion for someone who likes to craft a hell of a lot. A steel fence costs 10 steel to craft and that is already 10-20% of your shipment depleted right there. And then you have to wait a couple of in game days for the shipments to respawn (I don’t like ‘waiting’ in game so this took a little longer for me). Wood and steel consumption were my biggest problem, I never seemed to be able to get enough of it. There just did not seem to be enough ways to gather the hundreds of each resource at a time that I needed. And scrapping clipboards, pencils, toasters and the many other items in game that offer tiny bits of wood and steel is not an efficient use of my time or energy.
So what is the answer? Well I think I may have to resist the urge to delve back into Fallout 4 until I get some idea of what mods will be available when they eventually come to consoles. This may take quite some time and even then I will have to wait until after the Xbox One has had its initial foray before the PS4 will get to join the mod party.
I am hoping that some intrepid lad or lady will develop a mod that will give the user a far more generous resource cost to use ratio that will allow me to keep building for much longer without having to make another ‘resource run’ to the local Super Duper Mart; Starlight Drive-In is one of my favourite areas to develop! Don’t get me wrong, part of me likes the realistic aspect of having to forage and trade for materials to actually build something in this game. But when half of my game time is spent wondering where I can get the materials instead of using the materials necessary for crafting, I think some of the fun will eventually turn to derision and apathy as I trudge from place to place, my character bogged down with resources, and bemoaning the fact that I didn’t invest enough in the Strength stat to get the Strong Back perks. Damn you meager 21 initial character building starting points for SPECIAL stat distribution and your inferior dispersal ways!! Just kidding, I like specialising my starting characters in RPG’s.
And so that is my very mild dilemma. Do I give in to temptation as the DLC rolls in or do I wait and hope that a mod or mods come along to make my inevitably lengthy time as the King of the Commonwealth a more user friendly experience? We shall see.
Forged From Reverie.