“A Settlement Needs Your Help…”

Yes, that means I am playing Fallout 4 again.  The hype of Fallout 76 got to me to say the least and I’m sure the fact that a few days before I started playing again I went down a YouTube rabbit hole of “Things to do in Fallout 4 after you beat the main storyline” didn’t help either.  In my defense though, there are a lot of things I didn’t know you could do in the game.  Instead of talking mostly about what I want to play as I did in my previous post, I am actually going to be talking about what I have been playing…and maybe some other random stuff thrown in too.

First, I want to start with some of that random stuff.  Back in March I recounted the experience I had with the first month or so of being a new member within the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).  It’s been about five, almost six, months since I first joined and I am still enjoying it.  I haven’t been able to attend any other events other than the one mentioned in the previously linked post, but there was one thing I was able to do in the time since then.  What was that thing you might be wondering?  Well that was to get authorized as a rapier fighter.  Doing so allows me to participate in tournaments at events if they have any, or if my local group needs fighters for a demo they are doing I can volunteer for that.  In order to authorize I had to go to a regional practice that was being held a couple hours away, because the authorizing marshals cannot be from your local group.  The rest of the authorization consisted of me answering a few questions about the rules and a few bouts to show I knew enough about the techniques to do them safely and properly.  I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t nervous about doing all of this because it was something I never had done before and despite having trained and practiced with the other fighters in my local Shire, I had little confidence in my own ability.  That all said, the actual authorization was rather easy in my opinion…the worst part was hoping my mask would pass inspection since it was on the bigger side…and no, I don’t have a big head either…though that might depend on who you ask.

In the time since I have started practicing and even more so after getting authorized, I have really enjoyed fighting.  Which isn’t something I ever expected to say, or type…  Since I am someone who enjoys learning new things I obviously have enjoyed learning the techniques used in Italian style rapier.  What has also been just as enjoyable has been the rabbit hole that has been YouTube, various Facebook pages and groups all related to the discussion of fighting techniques.  While reading the conversations and watching the varying YouTube videos I quickly learned that, yes there is a proper way to do a specific technique, but yet people have found variations of that technique as well.  I know, it’s weird but I find it really interesting how there are so many different ideas on how far one should actually lunge forward.  So yes, to say I have really enjoyed this might very well be an understatement.

I can easily see myself getting rather involved within the SCA, at least locally anyhow.  Exactly how much, I have no idea right now because of two big things.  The first one being time.  Given the fact that I want to finally start college soon, I’m not entirely sure how much I want to commit to SCA related things and then get busy with classes and whatnot and be forced to step away from what I’ve been doing.  Which I do know a simple solution to this, simply just focus on what I want to do the most and only do things when I have the time.  There is just a lot of stuff to do…however, I have kind of narrowed down what I want to focus on already.  Obviously one of those focuses is going to be involving rapier activities because of the enjoyment I have from it as you can tell from the above paragraphs.  I also think I want to focus on the heraldry side of things too.  Why?  Because I have always thought heraldry was cool even long before I knew what the SCA was.  Plus I find the aspects of heraldry within the SCA super fascinating in general.

Moving on to the next random, not necessarily game related thing I wanted to mention is the fact I got a new guitar.  It only took me ten years to do so, but I finally joined the cool kids’ club by owning more than one guitar.  Anyways, I think it is safe to assume that I am probably going to be a Fender person when it comes to guitars.  I had been looking at getting a PRS when I started seriously kicking around the idea because quite a few of the guitarists I like use those.  Then I found out how much a PRS can normally cost…and while it is in line with a top model Fender, it was going to be a lot longer before I could actually get one.  Which was fine, I’m used to saving up for the big items that I really want.  After getting a case of sticker shock I started looking at some reasonably priced Fenders because the first one I bought was a Stratocaster and I absolutely love the way it sounds and plays, especially after I had some different strings put on it one time.  I found a few that I had liked near the $500 range, most were other Strats with a few being some fairly basic Telecasters.  Then I played around with their custom shop to see what caught my fancy…and boy did my fancy get caught up in the $1,300 guitar that I created.

Now I could have cut about 300 dollars off of that if I didn’t have the gold plated tuning keys or also gold plated cover down by the pickup selection switch and tone knobs.  I probably could have knocked some more off too had I not chosen custom humbuckers for pickups…  While I still do like the one pictured above, it isn’t the one I bought for reasons that are probably obvious by now.  Instead I went back to looking at the reasonably priced ones and found another one that caught my eye and probably more so than the one I drafted up in the custom shop.  I present to you, the J5 Telecaster.

 

If you are unaware, J5 is the shortened version of John 5.  He is the current guitarist for Rob Zombie, and has been a “guitar for hire” for many other large name bands and solo artists before.  He is also known to be a pretty good guitarist depending on who you ask.  Now, before anyone who considers themselves a “guitar aficionado” comes in here and yells at me for it not being a real signature edition, or not a real Fender Telecaster…just stop.  There are obviously differences between this one and the actual J5 Signature Tele you can get from the Fender Custom Shop.  There isn’t the usual killswitch between the tone knobs and it doesn’t have the exact brand of pickups that he uses either, just the same type.  It is, however, built to the specifications that John 5 has for his actual signature edition but made in the Squier line from Fender so it is more affordable.  It is also totally a real Telecaster…I mean I can count at least three places where it has the word “Fender” on it…  Anyways, I really do like that guitar and it definitely looks nice in that frost gold color.

Alright, that covers the random stuff that has nothing to do with gaming.  Let me get to the main subject behind the post title.  Fallout 4.  As I mentioned already, I have started to play the game again most likely due to the fact that I am not excited for Fallout 76.  Once I started playing again I also decided to make a new character and try to play through the game a little differently compared to my first play through.  My initial goal was to try and maybe be a semi-stealthy character that could hopefully smooth talk their way out of most tense situations…you know, try and be diplomatic.  I don’t think that is going to work however…on the upside though I’ll have a high charisma and intelligence character I guess.  Progress wise, I have managed to just make it to Diamond City and find and rescue Nick Valentine so I am still not too far into the game.  Of course it doesn’t help that I have fallen back into my mentality of getting easily distracted and having Preston Garvey tell me constantly that there is a settlement that needs my help.  In turn, that is where the title for this post originates from…his infamous line of “I heard that there is a settlement nearby that could use your help.  I’ve marked it on your map.”  I WILL NOT HELP THAT SETTLEMENT PRESTON, YOU DO IT YOURSELF!!!  AND DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH MY MAP!

Ahem…I’m sorry, got carried away there for a bit.  The ironic thing about all of that though, is I decided that since I was going to make my second play through different from my first one I would focus a bit more on my settlements.  Especially considering the fact I went and picked up the Game of the Year edition of the game to get all of the DLC that had released for the game and one of those DLC’s focused on adding things to build your settlements with.  I don’t actually know how much I will focus on the settlements as in the long run I’ll probably get tired of having to constantly run around scrounging for supplies to build them up.  However, I am really interested to see what the expansion that turns you into a leader of your own Vault is like so I can’t wait to give that a try.

That covers the falling out of the wasteland…and unfortunately I have bad news to tell you all.  That news is that whether we wanted it or not, we’ve stepped in a war with the Cabal on Mars.  So let’s get to taking out their command one by one.  Valus Ta’aurc. From what I can gather, he commands the Siege Dancers from an Imperial Land Tank just outside of Rubicon. He’s well protected, but with the right team, we can punch through those defenses, take this beast out, and break their grip on Freehold.

Ok now that I have successfully wasted your time by making you read through the opening dialogue to a strike from Destiny 1 and the coveted Zavala meme let me talk a bit about the stuff I’ve done in Destiny 2.  The Solstice of Heroes event is going on currently and it has been pretty cool so far.  I’ve enjoyed working on upgrading the set of armor you’re given that looks like a ceremonial armor set for the Guardians of the city.  I doubt if I’ll be able to get the Masterwork variant but I plan on trying for the legendary set at least.  I’ve also enjoyed how they have given us the ability to replay a few missions that were both important to the main storyline of D2 and just fun in general.  Just remember that there are Servitors everywhere.  Something that also happened since the last time I posted were the faction rallies for season 3.  Two out of the three times I sided with the Best Monarchy (aka, New Monarchy) and those times they did not win the rally.  However, come the last rally of the season I decided to side with Future War Cult in hopes to get the catalyst for the Sunshot that they had…well that didn’t happen as it fell on a week were I was super busy and couldn’t get from rank zero to 50 in that time.  On the upside though, the Best Monarchy won that rally!  Obviously I am also really excited for Forsaken to release next month as there are a lot of cool things coming to the game via the expansion.  I did manage to snag some screenshots from random places in the game not too long ago so I hope to post those one day in the near future.  Lastly, apparently I’m a traitor in the world of Destiny now.

Moving on to the other game that I recently bought and have been playing.  No Man’s Sky was a game that originally released on the PS4 and PC last year I believe and its initial release was…well it released, let’s just leave it at that.  Back when I first found out about the game I was immediately intrigued by the concept of a massive space and planet exploration game.  In my mind it was something different from what I was always playing and there is part of me that enjoys wasting some time just mindlessly roaming around places exploring…I’d probably do so in real life if I could.  So anyways, like I said I bought the game once I found out (much to my surprise) that it had released on the Xbox.  It seems like a decent game from what I have played of it right now and so far my only and biggest complaint is it doesn’t do a tremendously good job at explaining how to play the game.  There is a quasi-tutorial once you first start playing that explains the absolute basics of the game, which does help, but once you get into some of the more complicated stuff it isn’t all that helpful in my mind.  Of course this could be a subtle way for the game to actually teach you how to play it instead of just saying “Here, this is how you do it.”.  Other than that, I have been enjoying the game way more than I originally thought I would.  I can see myself spending a few hours just exploring a planet or planets…or totally stranding myself on a planet because I forgot what materials are needed to craft propulsion fuel for taking off…

Alright so the next game related thing leaves the virtual world and heads to the old fashioned table top.  Well kind of.  A while ago (I dare say a year ago) I was introduced to the game that is Dungeons and Dragons and had some fun times playing it with Freakshow, DCleak, Storm, and the occasional epicbeast and Frantic.  However, after talking to some other people about campaigns they are currently running through I have really had the itch to play again.  I tweeted to Freakshow that I had missed our shenanigans and was looking forward to the day we can continue our stupidly amazing escapades.  This is where Freakshow set forth a rule in order to keep playing.  That rule being simply that I must DM the next campaign as he doesn’t have as much time to dedicate to running a campaign right now.  Ok sure, no pressure…I got this…

I have to admit though, it’s a daunting task for myself as I have never DM’ed a D&D style game before and there is a lot more going on to it compared to the few times and games I have ran before this.  That all said, I also must admit that I am thoroughly enjoying coming up with everything to use in the campaign as well.  I kindly asked Freakshow if it could be in the same universe as the campaign he was running was in for specific reasons I do not want to mention in fear of spoilers.  Providing I can pull it off correctly and the way I want to, I have a feeling it’ll be awesome and hopefully whoever will be playing will also enjoy it.  I am not entirely sure when we’ll start because I have not had much time to finish out the details I need for the first few sessions, though I hope to work on those this week off and on if I am able.  An upside though is I already have an idea of how I want the greater story arch to go and the biggest thing that worries me is my inconsistent creativity putting a hold on things for longer than necessary.

Ok with all of that out of the way I do think it is time to close this post.  Before doing such, I want to offer some parting thoughts on a couple of small things.  I don’t know exactly where I saw it in the past few months but somewhere I saw someone say something along the lines of “it’s not what you know that matters; it’s who you know.”  I know that is most likely a frequently used saying so I could have seen it anywhere, but that is besides the point I want to make.  That point being I have actually discovered it is true.  With some things coming up in the future that I will be doing (and am extremely excited for) that aforementioned saying has proven true for me.  It also reinforced the fact that it is perfectly ok to take a risk on some things.  And of course, there are some things that I wish I had taken that chance on when the opportunity was there.

Unrelated to the vaguely hinted at upcoming plans, I want to try streaming some stuff more in the future.  Now that I have real internet that is more than capable of playing an online multiplayer game and streaming it at the same time, I think it might be fun.  What will I be streaming, you might wonder.  I’m not entirely sure yet, but Butane suggested games and I concur.  I imagine I will stream Destiny 2 since it is what I play the most of when I have gaming time.  I would hazard a guess I would stream the new Assassin’s Creed game once I get it and maybe have finished the story once…or even on my first playthrough of the story.  Oh and probably some Rocket League especially when I am able to play it with Freakshow and Frantic, and possibly some of the DMH folks.  I do know for certain though that I most likely will not be trying to make a partner or affiliate on any of the streaming platforms.  It’s not because of anything related to the platforms or any deep dark secret; it is 100% due to the fact that in order to achieve that goal, you have to turn streaming into, at the very least, a part time job and that is not the kind of job I want.  Yes, it’s an awesome achievement to make a partner or affiliate because it takes a lot of time and hard work to get there so if you are someone who is a partnered or affiliated streamer then you should be happy about what you have accomplished.  It just is not something I see myself doing or see myself wanting to do.  You are, after all, reading the words of someone whose dream job is to be a historian working in a museum.

Ok now I believe that wraps things up here.  Until next time, enjoy the games you may or may not play in the mean time.

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