This update starts with some hilarity and then descends into wordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswords. So I won't feel insulted if you skip over most of it, but I felt I had to give the 'full deal'. This is one of the more annoying parts of the game, so at least the tone isn't inconsistent.
Okay, George, you have yourself a bet. 300 caps says I can make it to the Boomers.
I'm not sure if George is implying he's unusually tall or what, but you can't really see the gate from here. Beleive me, if you could it'd make a big difference on your first playthrough. Theres a hill covered in ruins between this road and the gate, and the first time you get up there you'll have no idea where you're going and will be pounded into the dirt.
Also even if he did climb up to a vantage point without being spotted and exploded, how would he see me through the smoke of the artillery barrage?
Georges instructions sound reasonable, but frankly they're almost useless. He's basically implying that its all a matter of timing your moves from cover to over, but a) the cover doesn't really work, because these are howitzer shells not bullets, and b) staying calm and awaiting your chance in the middle of an artillery barrage is not exactly trivial. If there is some pattern to the explosions, its not one you can make out while you're in the middle of them.
You stay here, Boone, I need some insurance in case George wants to...alter the bet.
Ok, road peters out, and there are ruins up ahead. So far so good...
...Whats that whistling noise?
Its not easy to take screencaps while being shelled, let me tell you.
Here, my easy-to-break limbs come back to bite me in the ass bigtime, since even the minor splash damage from a miss in enough to cripple limbs and thus slow me down. So every few paces I have to furiously mash tab and give myself surgery mid-explosion. Not conducive to game flow, really.
And then I died. Oh welp, time to try that again.
Hmm, I think I need to work on my strategy for this...
Slight variations on 'run like a lunatic' don't seem to work so well...
HEY LATOONI TRY RUNNING OH WAIT YOU CAN'T
Finally it dawns on me that drugs might be the answer, and I take some med-x to reduce the damage taken.
With that boost, I'm able to make it....by the skin of my teeth, and after using 3 of my 4 doctors bags to fix my legs, but still, I'm past the barrage.
Oh....goddamn....these bastards....better have a tailor...to fix my....goddamn suit....
By being better than the bullets.
Slow down hotshot. I know you're sad your giant guns didn't perform, but I'm not here to start a fight. If I killed you all there'd be no-one to pay for my suit.
Mother Pearl? Who's that?
Ok then, sounds like thats who I need to talk to. Lead on.
Well I didn't exactly see a red carper rolled out for me!! Anyone else would have been pancaked by that barrage.
If you wanted a demonstration I could have just brought you to the Ultra-Luxe....But anyway, how did you want me to show how special I am?
You're being awfully vague...Is there some big secret you're not telling me?
Uh, thanks, I guess. (Wasn't really what I asked you, though.)
So, if you need me to help you get back into the world, what do I start with?
Wow, thats an awesome responsibility you've given me. I'll try my best to teach them this vital skill. Ciao.
The quest log doesn't give much insight in what to do next, basically presenting us with the idea of 'helping' the Boomers, or going back to Yes Man saying you want nothing to do with these crazy people. So we'll have to continue to look around to get a better idea.
Man, all these kids with rocket launchers...I'm actually going to have to be polite for a change.
Well, here I am, Nellis Airforce Base, and it looks like they've got quite a bit of gear here. I should look around.
Heres the Museum, Pearl said something about only having to listen. Can't hurt.
Woah, what? Whats a kid like you doing here?
Eh, 'everything' is kinda a strong word, but I do want to get the lowdown on you people and where you get all these explosives from.
The painting? Uh, I guess.
Classy. Now hurry up.
A flying machine...that drops bombs on people. Yeah, I think I can see that being useful. Maybe coming here wasn't so bad a plan.
We now proceed to a mini-segment where we can grind some more fame out of talking to the kid. In anticipation, I pop a skill magazine to up speech, but that proved unnessecary as my speech was high enough and it was other skills being tested.
It does mean I end up taking the wussy options to agree with the kid whenever I can't pass a skill challenge, but I guess I can chalk that up to Latooni's aching brittle bones begging her not to put them through more grief.
Well, kind of, and I'm not naive enough to think I can get the adults to tell me...So, you guys used to live in one of those 'Vaults' people talk up so much. Why'd you end up leaving such a resource-rich environment?
Hmm...not sure I can relate, been the mistress of little pops and bangs for a while now. But I guess I can relate to wanting to keep your firepower to hand. Freedom to bear rocket launchers, its an interesting goal.
Well I suppose if no-ones stopping you....Speaking of which, was a place like this really deserted when you found it?
Ah, but you guys had the Gieger counters in your Pipboys, so you could tell where the radiation was.
(Doesn't explain how you cleaned it away enough to live here, but still...) So you're here, all on your own in this camp. Don't you need outsiders for supplies? The NCR need big farms to keep all their troops fed, they can't live off scavenged Dandy Boy Apples and mut-fruit like the rest of us.
I don't get how you keep yourselves well-fed without the odd trip to a ruined Super-Duper Mart, but I'll admit you managed it somehow. Well done on that score, at least.
As it should be. So, what about those big guns you use? Are they from the airplanes, or something else?
Wow, I gotta admire going to those big lengths to get your own personal gun collection. Thats dedication right there.
Sadly you cannot go to Area 2 and get your own howitzers, the game map only had so much room and military bases in Nevada tend to be pretty huge. If we were scaling the map accurately the real-world Nellis would probably be the entire game.
You mentioned something about...the base teaching you how to fly? How does that work?
I'm not sure what I can justify Lat saying here instead of this flowery prose, so I'll just leave it here. You won't judge me too harshly for debasing myself in the name of XP, will you?
Er, yes, indeed. So...where did you learn about this bomber machine?
Apparently the timeline on Fallouts incredibly resilient technology goes back farther than it first appeared.
Well, I'd be really interested in seeing it flying about and exploding people. It'd be a real sight to behold.
Nah, I think you're doing ok. Don't think you could really spice it up more, just work on not insulting your audience as much.
So, who should I visit next? I shouldn't be surprised if half the camp needs some kind of help they can't get themselves.
I don't have a kind. I'm unique.
And since apparently the Boomers trust the opinion of an excitable young boy, we now have a leg up on getting 'in' with these well-armed madmen.
These must be the 'hangars', their main buildings. I should find their engineers in here.
Hey, I think you'll find I can be very useful, if you treat me right.
Wait...so you just need someone to walk to your solar thing and tighten the screws? No bullets, no explosions?
Which the specialists are apparently too old to do. Huughgh.....Ok, wheres your spare parts locker?
Okay, thats an actual issue that an actual wanderer like me can do something about. But dammit old man, I deserve something for this, like getting to go on your Flying Machine simulators or something.
I'm leaving that conversation in just to show how non sequitir it is. If it weren't for the speech challenge I doubt I'd even look at it twice. Again, I say decide your own canon on whether Lat said anything here.
...Ok, please tell me whether you're unimportant enough to shoot.
He kinda has a point though. Why do the NCR, the Mojave's people, and Caesars Legion all speak the same dialect of english 200 years after the bombs fell, when a few hundred miles to the north in the DLC I can find Tribals whose language is unrecognisable?
Loyals assistant, sure. What's the deal with that old man, if he thinks he can make me pull around chunks of solar panel for him?
Whats that? Something about a Lady?
Goddamn these people....
Jack is mainly forgettable, but has the potential to give you a sidequest if you need to squeeze some more fame out of the Boomers. So it seems fair to point him out, even if it potentially paints a target on his face.
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume this is their 'Lady', their flying machine, but it looks like they're missing most of it. But the boy talked about the plane at the bottom of the lake. I think I see where this is going...
Man, this place is huge. No wonder the old man hates walking to the far end.
I'll promise only that I'll try. Anyway, apparently you have a problem with Ants? I sure hope you mean the giant kind?
I think I will feel free, because I'm not a savage. And even a savage can handle a few ants so long as they have a working trigger finger.
But I just came from...You know what, forget it. I'm going to try to find one non-condescending Boomer. As a personal quest.
Doctors have to be nice, right?
...Well, that settles that. So, you can at least sell me supplies, right? Its just that I'm kinda low on them after nearly being blown up.
You motherfucker...And I'm supposed to help you? Really?
(Maybe he's only a dick because he's not a properly trained doctor?)
Well, I'm not sure what I can prescribe these guys beyond a bullet in the brain. Don't knock it, it worked out great for me!
As best we might be able to help the guy who needs medicine 40, by using skills magazines and drugs together, but thats about it.
Suns getting low in the sky, must have been here longer than I thought. Given how pissed off I am at these Boomers, maybe I'll go back to that guy to get my caps.
You know, the scenerys kinda pretty when you're not dodging explosions.
This railway tunnel is the other entrance that Georges note mentioned, but I can't say there any advantage in trying it. You have to go to the other end (which is, no shit, in the middle of Deathclaw territory), break open an extra-heavy lock, then come out this end and....get artillery'd again. If theres safe ground around there that doesn't trigger the bombardment, I wasn't able to find it (then again, I'm not the most patient person).
Anyway, I was wandering around this town for 10 minutes looking for the next item of interest.
Who's this unfortunate? Guess all that fancy armor didn't do much good in the end.
Nice chunky armor I might be able to sell...And some holotape.
Where this 'escort' is, I couldn't say. I have a suspicion his corpse either failed to spawn or fell through the world geometry.
Damn this shits heavy...but all I gotta do....is get back to nice muscley Boone.
Yeah, well I'm special. Now, pony up the cash.
The agreement was 600 caps.
Thank you. Damn, its a sad world where I get more courtesy from a guy who makes people run into explosions as a hobby.
Come on Boone, we're going to the next phase of things. Just...carry some things for me, would you?
Boone won't take the power armor because its linked to a faction, so I have to give him my miscellaneous crap, mainly bottles of water and Sarsparilla.
And now, we head for the Gun Runners to trade some stuff in, and figure out what to do with those Boomers...
My, those weren't the most pleasant people, now where they? So, now comes decision time for the Boomers.
1) We can try turning on them and risk being blown to kingdom come a dozen times over as we get rid of their main members. That could potentially give us a lot of weapons...that we'd probably have to sell because we don't use explosives. So hours of risking explodey death followed by hours of trying to sell our junk missile launchers? Might not be the most fun. But I'll do it if we're sufficiently insulted.
2) We can leave and never return, telling Yes Man to ignore these wierdoes. In that case, the questions of 'where to next?' and 'should we steal everything we can before leaving them?' arise.
3) We knuckle down and do their quests. In which case, should we focus on killing the ants, or suddenly have some inspiration about where to find new solar panels, potentially leading to another sidequest? Do we use Loyals anti-ant weapon or do it all one bullet at a time? There might be a few other sources of fame I haven't touched on yet, if we explore Nellis.
And of course, we need to sell all our crap and dump a bunch of it back at the Lucky 38. We could take a detour during that if we wanted.
Other options are welcome, please let me know what you think!