Getting older, not necessarily wiser!
Continuing where we left off last time (this post), There are a few things that should be considered before exiting the vault and entering the game proper. After all this is the last in game chance to adjust our SPECIAL stats in the vanilla game.
But as we established last time, this is not really a vanilla game. We have already loaded some mods to make the game function better on low end hardware. So what are a few more mods here or there, or console commands for that matter.
Since Fallout 4 is a single player game, it is really up to you to determine what cheating is, and what is just correcting deficiencies in game design and execution. In this play through I will be correcting a few deficiencies, which I do not consider cheating.
For example I am loading an additional mod to keep radiant quests in the Commonwealth. To gain experience, I usually hook up with the BOS (Brotherhood of Steel) early, because you can run their radiant quests whenever you want. Unlike the Minute Men settlement quests, which keep reoccurring every time you turn one in. However I have had the issue in early game where the BOS radiant quest assigned is outside the commonwealth. Not a big deal if you are high enough level to handle the external area, but really annoying if you are not. Once I have actually visited all the areas in game, I will disable the mod.
Being what it is, you can play a wide range of character types in Fallout 4. In fact you can play several different character types in one play through. Unlike some of the previous Fallout games there is no level cap. So technically if you play long enough you can maximize every ability and get every perk (In a vanilla play through this occurs around level 256). At that point leveling up really becomes somewhat meaningless.
So three things to do before exiting the vault. Make a save before you get on the elevator (so you can return to this point and skip the entry tutorial on another play through. Finalize your stats and appearance. And loot everything possible in the vault.
In my current game, I am going with a high intelligence build. This will facilitate quicker level ups. You could go the idiot savant rout, but I generally find going high intelligence works better for me, as there are some intelligence perks I take early.
Once I have exited the vault, I loot everything around the entrance before heading to Sanctuary. There are several boxes, a trailer, and control structure that can be looted. In the early game it is advisable to loot everything you can. In later game stages you can be a little more picky about what you loot.
Now is the time to head to Sanctuary, and your old prewar house. Technically you do not have to complete this quest or any quest for that matter. However there are some benefits to visiting your old home.
So head down the path. There are some plant you can pick on the way. When you get to Sanctuary, you will be able to find and talk with Codsworth (your prewar robot butler/nanny). Go through the dialog trees. There is a speech check (introduction to a game mechanic) that will get you some experience. You will also get the next step in the main story line, Concord (a nearby town). Codsworth will want to search the town with you, and in two of the houses you and Codsworth will engage in combat with some more giant insects.
After you finish with Codsworth, you have some decisions to make. On my play through I initially clean out Sanctuary (there are some more giant insects to terminate in some of the houses).
Next go to the workbench in the driveway of the yellow house across the street from your old residence. Enter workbench mode and play around to see what you can do. Workbench mode is what you will use for settlement building.
After playing with workbench mode, exit back to normal mode. Next go back to the workbench, only this time chose the transfer option. Store all the junk you have collected in the workbench. Look around and you should also see several specialized crafting stations (Power Armor, weapons, and armor). There is a cooking station down by the last house before the bridge. There is also a chemistry station behind one of the houses. In workbench mode you can grab these and move them to where the rest of your crafting stations are. Note be careful to not scrap them.
Now go into one of the houses and enter workbench mode, select an item and scrap it. This will break it down into its component parts like steel and wood, which are stored in the workbench.
At the bottom of the screen in workbench mode is the crafting menu. Go to furniture, then bed, then craft a bed for yourself, and place it inside a house. You should be awarded a small amount of experience at this point. Exit workbench mode.
Now go to the bed, select it and sleep for an hour. When you wake up, you will have the well rested bonus that will increase experience earned for a short period of time. So go ahead and craft a few more items, like a chest of some sort to put items you do to want scraped into. Anything in the workbench under junk will randomly be scraped for component parts when you build something. Note if you click on top of the transfer display you can cycle between the categories all, weapons, apparel, aid, junk, miscellaneous, mods, and ammo. Food in the workbench can be eaten by settlers (latter post in series).
Next you should try out all the crafting stations, to see what they do. You can build and install mods on guns, armor, and power armor. Perks that you get during the game, like gun nut, will allow crafting of more advanced mods. At the cooking station you can take all that radioactive bug meat from the critters that you killed, and roast the radiation out of it to make it eatable. In some cases, certain meats will also provide temporary boosts to some abilities and stats.
There are several safes and locks that you can try picking through out Sanctuary. The primary tool for this is a bobby pin (under misalliances in your inventory). There is a chance to break a bobby pin when picking a lock. Every lock successfully picked gets you a small amount of experience.
Note check safes for booby traps before trying to pick the lock.
There is a house that a tree has fallen on. You can walk up the tree to get to the roof, and on the roof is a duffel bag with some items in it. The same house also has a cellar accessible though the back yard that also has some items to grab.
So sleep, pick locks, build things. At some point you should pick up a level. In fact you can pick up several levels if you want to take the time. One can really get lost in the settlement building part of the game.
Next time we will talk about leveling up, getting your first companion, and gaining more experience by exploring the local area.