November 2015 General Chat

1st November 2015

Can’t believe the weather here at the moment – 25 degrees. T-shirt weather. I would have worn my shorts but I haven’t shaved my legs in a month.

Anyway, spent much money in the Steam Halloween sale? Me, nothing.

What else is on your mind?

Don;t forget: no chat about mods listed on the site – please do that on the proper page – thanks.

This Month’s Sci-Fi Movie

In June 2014, I started to use a poster from a classic Sci-Fi move as the background for the post image.

This month it is from Beast from Haunted Cave (1959). A group of gold thieves pull of a heist and flee into the snowy wilderness, only to be pursued by a horrible, spider-like monster.

A heist movie AND a huge spider, gotta love that.


  1. I haven’t spent a penny on the Halloween sale. Main reason being that Fallout 4 (the final stop for this hype train I have been riding since it was announced in June) is out in 9 days time. I’m seriously going to be off the grid for a while when that game arrives.

    1. Same here. I just hope that they’ve managed to get a fairly stable release, though. Because it’s Bethesda, I’ve got this creeping suspicion that we’ll all have to reset our save games at least once. :p This is the first Fallout game I’m approaching when it’s new. The others had been out for a while by the time I bought them, so they managed to patch out a lot of problems by then.

      1. Geoff Wales

        Seems to have lots of bugs, and I’m not talking mutated insects.

        1. Steam says I’m 13 hours in. I haven’t encountered any major bugs, to be honest, and definitely nothing show-stopping. Little glitches here and there, like AI pathing. And a building whose textures were messed up. But that’s about it.

          Open world games deserve a bit of leniency with bugs. They are extraordinarily difficult to test since the number of permutations is almost limitless compared to strictly linear games.

  2. If their news articles are to be believed, they claim to have learned from all their previous releases and are aiming for a stable release on launch day. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  3. Weather here in Spain is amazing at the moment. 26 degrees yesterday and same for today and tomorrow. I should be outside but i seemed to have picked up a cold. I think I have been training too hard and am a little week. Either a few days off from today or some easy sessions instead.

    Any other fitness freaks here?

  4. Geoff Wales

    Shouldn’t chat be in PARTICIPATE? πŸ˜€

    1. No, because Participate is about events and otherwise everything would have to be in participate.

  5. Geoff Wales

    Opens tent flap, revealing terrible blizzard outside: “I am just going outside (to download Fallout 4) and may be some time”

    1. I wonder what they said to him as he left. Bet they bad-mouthed him and then felt terrible when they found out what he did.

  6. My PC is laughably outdated (it can’t even run Ep2 at 60fps on max) and I’m not bothering to buy a current-gen console anytime soon, so rather than play Fallout 4 like every single other person, I’ve actually gone back to Fallout 3.

    Turns out in my last (and incomplete) playthrough I was playing a slaver and trying to capture named NPCs in towns. I’ve picked that back up last night and let me tell you, Rivet City is currently a lot less populated.

    1. Maybe we should start a club: The Non-Fallout 4 Players. Think we’ll get many members?

      1. We’ll be lucky if we can get a third.

        1. yuk yuk yuk πŸ˜‰

          <_< Sorry, *I'm* enjoying FO4…. But I have to reward myself playing it, only after I finish up another chunk of my nanowrimo novel. To wit, I will be working on once I post.

    2. You should give Fallout: New Vegas a try. Your mileage may vary, but I enjoyed New Vegas a lot more than Fallout 3 in hindsight, though I liked Fallout 3 when I played it.

      I’m slowly warming up to Fallout 4. It started off fantastically well, then slumped, and now it’s kind of growing on me again as I started to figure out how the revised systems worked. It has several positive aspects, but there are many additions and changes that have left me perplexed. I don’t enjoy the settlement building aspect and yet it feels like a mandatory activity. I also dislike how conversations offer fewer dialog options. However, when it all works, it works really well. The gunplay is a lot of fun and good enough that you seldom need VATS anymore.

      1. I actually got New Vegas a couple of years ago and played a fair bit – don’t remember how long, but I got quite a bit done in the main mission and some sidequests on the interim – but then life got complicated and I stopped playing console for a while.

        With all this talk of FO4 I did put New Vegas in first, but I’m so lost as to what I was doing in my last playthrough that I gave up. FO3’s old save was at least easier to follow, thanks also in part to my having played through it a few times, and I thought the idea of playing a slaver was fun so I continued that.

        1. FO3 doesn’t have as much of an ongoing storyline, so it’s not that hard to dive back into it. It’s rather simplistic.

          Admittedly, I didn’t finish New Vegas the first time and I wound up starting over years later for the same reason. New Vegas didn’t resonate with me the first time. The country-western elements were alienating to me. But it wound up hooking me the second time because I appreciated the game’s gray morality. It’s not a long-shot to say that a post-apocalyptic Nevada would probably be like the wild west. Instead of being a goody two-shoes to reap the gameplay benefits of being a messiah, I could make the decisions I would personally make.

          The way New Vegas is structured, you end up getting a lot of backstory prior to reaching the titular city. Once you get there, you end up making choices that will determine the final outcome of the game, and the idea is that the experiences and things you’ve seen prior to that point are intended to influence your decision making. Nothing is what it seems in that game, nothing is purely good or purely evil. What I like about it is that the game isn’t really siding one way or the other. It’s presenting you with the information, but allowing you to choose your own destiny.

          1. FO3 doesn’t have as much of an ongoing storyline, so it’s not that hard to dive back into it.

            Well, you say that, but you try loading a game where you have no idea where you are, no recollection on who your followers are, no clue what you’re doing or what you’ve done (or even what the story was, with the exception of the Kings because the Kings were awesome), and stuck in the middle of a cave that’s full of Mirelurk Kings that keep kicking your ass. I didn’t even remember the controls when I loaded that up!

            Mind you, I was actually loving New Vegas, so I’m sure I’ll get back to it.

            1. The Kings were in New Vegas. πŸ™‚

              I’m saying that Fallout 3 was a lot looser in terms of plot, so getting back into that game after a hiatus is less troublesome than New Vegas.

              1. Right, sorry, I misread the original post and thought you meant New Vegas isn’t hard to dive back in. Which, admittedly, made no sense considering the rest of your post, so I have no idea how I got that mixed up, haha.

                Yeah, Fallout 3 was easy to dive back into. It helps that my last playthrough was fairly early on and I’ve explored the game thoroughly before, so it was easy to know what I was doing.

  7. Geoff Wales

    FO4 feels a lot more like FO3 to me than New Vegas. I wasn’t wrapped in the ‘gray morality’ of Vegas and not having a clear path to follow. Ironically, I’m wandering all over the place in FO4, but that’s because I’m building up Perks and XP before concentrating on the main search. A lot of the good stuff is in the more remote locations, I find.

    1. Yes, I’m covering as much of the northern half as I can before heading south since, broadly speaking, things are more difficult the farther south you go.

      The setup is odd because the intro starts off so nicely and gives you a strong sense of purpose, but all that momentum dissipates because the story quests quickly take you into difficult territory when you aren’t really prepared to go there. So, instead, you wander and do odd jobs and it feels kind of strange and disconnected given the stakes involved.

      1. Geoff Wales

        Yes, that’s a good point. Maybe more like real life, in a way. A difficult task can take a lot of preparation. I’m slowly getting the hang of crafting things and started building my house at Sanctuary Hills. A lot of the little details don’t really get explained, so it takes time, plus a bit of reading the webs.

      2. It’s so silly that Bethesda games give you these big stakes to follow. “Save the world!” “Find your dad!” “Find your baby son!” Uhhh… no.

        Their games are perfect for getting lost and just finding cool stuff to do, so it actually hampers them to give the protagonist drastic motivations.

        1. Geoff Wales

          I know I have a main quest to do, but I am biding my time, building up my SPECIAL skills before I wade into it. If it was just small tasks all the time, and no overarching story, it would lose its narrative drive, and I think I would get bored quickly. There are other significant quests and goals that come to light as you play, so it draws you in emotionally on a few levels. Without a story, I probably wouldn’t play it at all. I like the idea of building settlements. They take time and feel worthwhile, rather than endlessly wandering around, killing raiders and mutants for XP points. The need to maintain your amour is also a good thing, making it a bit less of a walk in the park, as it became in FO3.

          1. Not saying there shouldn’t be a main story, but I think of New Vegas as an example of that done right in the same context. From what I can recall, the main story started as a quest for revenge on the guy who shot you in the face (Benny). It’s great motivation, but at the same time there’s no implicit rush to get it done. Unlike saving your kin or the world, you can take your sweet time tracking the asshole down for revenge, and you can even rationalize taking longer as building up to it, revenge being best served cold and all.

            I realize the story doesn’t end there (although to be honest I can’t recall the rest), but at least the beginning sets up the right pace. You can either go straight for the main story, or get lost in the sidequests without ignoring any major stakes.

            1. Everything about New Vegas’ setup is done right, in my opinion. I feel Obsidian was very careful to not roleplay the protagonist for you. The Courier is given almost no backstory at all except for the fact that A: You worked for the Mojave Express and B: You got shot in the head delivering a package and were left for dead by the man you eventually come to know as Benny. Beyond that, it’s totally up to you how you want to do things. Maybe Benny is a priority, maybe he’s not. The game wisely doesn’t assume that the Courier is even a good person. You could be a nasty, murderous character right from the start and the fiction would support it. In fact, there’s a whole faction just for players like that.

              And you’re bound to be that character to some faction whether you like it or not. House, the NCR and Legion are all competing with each other, with lesser factions mixed in as well, including yourself. You can’t side with one without ticking off another and you can’t win the game without taking someone down. Hence, that’s why I felt “liberated” to make the choices I would make, rather than the ones that would keep me on the “good track.” In New Vegas’ world, even good people have to do bad things sometime. “Good” is a relative thing, and I think that’s how it should be in Fallout’s world.

              Bethesda, on the other hand, constantly presumes that the protagonist starts off as a good person and gives them a sympathetic backstory. These are quests that suggest life-or-death implications, and so the whole notion of dawdling around helping other people with their problems comes across as weird. Not to mention that the game assumes we want to save them. As a result, most players will probably be inclined to play as a good character unless they explicitly decide to do everything the opposite way.

              1. Bethesda, on the other hand, constantly presumes that the protagonist starts off as a good person and gives them a sympathetic backstory. These are quests that suggest life-or-death implications, and so the whole notion of dawdling around helping other people with their problems comes across as weird. Not to mention that the game assumes we want to save them. As a result, most players will probably be inclined to play as a good character unless they explicitly decide to do everything the opposite way.

                Too true. You basically have to play hero for the story, for the most part. It’s weird when you’re playing a scumbag who nuked a whole town for a few caps and keeps ruining the lives of everyone and suddenly you’re supposed to provide clean water for everyone, especially when you have a robot that purifies water for you.

                At least in my current playthrough I can justify it somewhat, since I’m siding with the slavers and I’d want at least them to survive.

              2. Geoff Wales

                I laugh every time I read your comments about New Vegas. We are complete opposites!

                I hate having to do ‘bad’ stuff, and found I was doing that a lot in NV. I am inevitably bound to follow a moral path, as gaming is partly an escape from the moral ambiguity of the world I live in. I find myself feeling bad about invading some poor mutant’s home and murdering him and his mates. They’re just making a living, cannibalizing raiders and anybody else that comes along, as they do. Fine, upstanding citizens! Probably have a sing song when it’s pouring rain outside, and maybe if one of them can read, they can enjoy an instalment of Grognak the Barbarian, drinking radiated mutfruit moonshine out of some poor sod’s skull.

                1. Well, there’s two points to that.

                  1. Fallout has always been a cynical, twisted franchise. The Vault experiments are the most obvious example of that, but there are several instances, even in the more black-and-white Fallout 3, where doing the morally upstanding thing ends up having unexpected consequences. Take Tenpenny Tower, for example, whose wealthy residents shun the homeless Ghouls living in the subway next door. You could make peace here and convince the residents to give the Ghouls shelter. That would be the morally right thing to do. But, if you come back to Tenpenny Tower some days later, you’ll find that the Ghouls slaughtered Tenpenny’s residents because they “annoyed” them. This kind of thing is echoed in one of the many potential endings to New Vegas as well.

                  Likewise, there’s the infamous Vault 112 which basically involves putting its dwellers out of their misery without their conscious consent. That is considered the morally correct choice, but it’s a very dark one.

                  So while you can absolutely play as a messiah-like savior of the Wasteland, and 90% of the time you’ll be fine, not everything has a happy ending despite your best intentions. New Vegas just changed that to more like 75% of the time. πŸ™‚

                  2. Enemies like Raiders and Super Mutants basically hate you no matter what, which is sort of implausible and unrealistic. There are many instances where doing the right thing involves wiping out a camp of these characters. Honestly, it’s kind of a moral blind spot in the game. At least some Raider factions in New Vegas were made into factions you could bargain with, like the Powder Gangers, but Fallout 4 just reaffirmed how much I hate the big, dumb Super Mutants and their lack of narrative depth.

                  1. Geoff Wales

                    Yeah, sometimes I want to bond with them, those big knuckleheads – drink some Nuke Cola together, kill a few bugs, swap some ammo, just get to know them personally. πŸ˜€

  8. I received an email this morning from a RTSL user asking for some mapping help.

    As you know I am not a modder, so I couldn’t help him, but there are plenty of smart resourceful people who visit the site, so hopefully we can help him….

    I have been having troubles with mapping on half life 2
    when I get on hammer editor for half life 2 2009 engine and create a new map it says cannot load default scheme file. I have tried everything but nothing works, you and your website are my last resort. Please help

    Obviously, a web search brings up plenty of results but experience trumps knowledge, so does anybody have any input?


  9. For all you flashlight enthusiasts:

    1. theres hundreds of uses for a 1000w flashlight … the first thing that came to mind is the police and searches …. also the military could also use this especially for casivacs so a helicopter can easily locate the injured ….
      finally im sure many football teams could do with improved floodlighting ….
      great arcticle !

  10. Hi guys …. allthough this isnt in topic… ive just had a email from leon brinkman regarding the “closure” mod and he,s told me the mod should be released this side of xmas …. theres still a few bugs to fix and then the release should go ahead … im sure phillip will get the mod from leon as soon as its released ….

    1. Zekiran

      Oh that’s wonderful news!

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