Soooo.....I'm really running out of excuses as to why I don't do these updates more often. I did the gameplay and took the images for this update a month after the last update, practically churning them out by the standards of the LP, but then I sat on the images for 3 months, apparently waiting for my muse to return. I'm not sure why I did that, I had myriad minor distractions but nothing that would account for months of time.
I do want to apologise for the lack of updates, though. I'm very sorry, and this lacklustre set of barely connected events with snarky commentary is my way of trying to make up for it.
Ah, Hidden Valley. I did not miss being here among the scorpions. Well, lets see if the reception has thawed any.
I'm sorry that taking my crap and giving me caps for them takes so much mental effort on your part.
Nope, doesn't seem you have much of anything worth my time.
Two points: One is that she has a wierdly low amount of money to do business with, and I don't think I took it off her before. This might be another consequence of having such a low level, but I hope she gets more later and isn't stuck like that. The other is that AMRs, the endgame sniper weapon, are actually kinda cheap, but then you have to repair them yourself, and find all the mods, and also there's the issue of still not having the 100 Guns and 8 Strength to wield the damned thing.
Yup. Mission data from the patrols proving they were killed while following McNamaras orders.
Its that simple?
Wow, progress? Here? Guess anythings possible.
Apparently working to depose the rightful leader of the community is just the thing to help me get into peoples good books.
The XP from handing in the quest does exactly what we hoped: get us another level. We've almost maxed out our two main skills, though progress on the secondary stuff like getting through locked doors remains an issue. As for our perk, level 12 opens up some interesting possibilities, but since I'm not using as much VATS this playthrough (except for combat screenshots), Snipers merely a nice feature and not a must-have, and Fast Metabolism goes against our strategy of avoiding damage rather than tanking it. So I take Silent Running for the stealth benefits (And because I keep forgetting to use the Walk key while sneaking to stay quiet).
And then, apparently we skip forward through the 'few days' of Hardin getting McNamara fired. What Lat got up to during this time is up to the readers imagination.
Remember the name of this quest was 'Still in the Dark'.
Uh, thanks. I'm sure its a well-equipped little shelter with lots of useful ancient equipment with a high market price.
Uh.....not wishing to spoil things, but I'm not sure I'd call the location 'safe'. But we'll come back to that.
Just pointing out, the option exists. I don't think Munchkin will let us though.
(Hmmm, I wonder if this is why House had the Brotherhood marked as a threat to his plans?)
Oh, look who it is.
I prefer to call it 'seeking acknowledgement'. Thanks for noticing it was me who did it!
I did exhaust McNamara's speech options, but they're all about the lockdown and the camoflage systems, which Hardin is supposed to be cancelling soon, so I guess its just generic info that they forgot to take off McNamaras speech options once he's deposed. Its not really relevant to our quest, we've gotten the details elsewhere.
The NCR, getting serious? Heaven forbid.
Both sides of the conflict start having elite troops show up as you progress the story, but you hear way more about the NCRs Heavy Troopers and Rangers than you do the higher-level Legionaries, simply owing to how little Legion territory there is in the game.
Well, this has been...kinda meh, actually. Any thoughts before we leave, Ron?
....Ah-heh. You're a comedian. I'd set you up with that guy near the Tops if he was a chick. Anyway, seriously, I want to know a bit more about your history. Like that Elijah guy we're not supposed to talk about.
He led this chapter from California to here, right? And you followed him?
But something changed then.
And the other Elders aren't so crazy?
Everyone has limits. Except me, of course. But, you didn't try to talk sense into Elijah?
So, kinda a dick. But smart too?
Learn anything about the man himself?
Any idea what happened to him?
...Let's get off the topic and get back to business.
At this point, I went back to Yes Man, who congratulated me on reactivating the Securitron Army. He didn't seem to have any other text options, though looking over the text I might have missed the right options. Still, no real benefit to telling him we're done with anyone until we meet everyone.
And apparently we're too high-class for the shady arms dealer now. Guess its a matter of your reputation with The Strip.
So, with the game suddenly clamming up after the last few exposition dumps, I'm left to find my own fun for a little while.
Ok, Ron, we're having a girls night out in Freeside. Let's see what the town has to offer.
....Knife-weilding thugs hopped up on enough drugs to think attacking us is a good plan, it seems.
I tell a lie. This guy was actually wielding a lead pipe. Freeside thugs never really become a threat. they just kinda distract your companions as you walk around. We got attacked 3 or 4 times in this trip and most of the time I didn't even have time to draw my gun before Veronica had caved in their skulls with her power fists.
This might be a happening little place. Lets check it out, then that gun store.
Don't worry citizen, I'm working on a solution.
Damn straight. So, what does your establishment have to offer, ma'am?
No murders for fun and profit? No tyrants needing toppling?
Legbreaking work? Hmm....lemme think on it.
This is a fairly minor quest to allow you to meet some interesting characters in Freeside, with multiple ways of handling each holdout, as well as the option of just paying the Garrets off out of your own pocket if you want to help the people out. I think we can Speech the reward up to 50% if we want more caps, but its still slim pickings all told, something we'd mainly do for character interactions and XP.
Francine also sells booze, but we don't really need any. I haven't put Lat on any heavy chems yet, I keep meaning to but the mentats seem to be all we need.
So business is good right now?
Your services get enough use, then.
'Proclivity' is one of those words you only use when the real word is not for polite company....
Not pictured is me raising the finders fee to 200 a head. Again, this is mainly an excuse to run around the map finding 'interesting' characters to talk to and get paid a little for. Kinda a silly quest, and more than a little sleazy, but if we're desperate for XP and some spare caps to eventually afford super-weapons, we can try it.
Oh. So, you're meant to be the comedy act around here?
Really? In a dive like this, I can't see it being all that lucrative.
This is why I do business using 9mm rounds.
Hadrian's part of a quest to recruit entertainers for a much better establishment, The Tops Casino, formerly owned by Benny. Again, a side activity, mainly done to meet interesting characters and get some XP for it.
So, this is the Energy Weapons store that has all those criers advertising it. I'll take a peek I guess.
Yeah, sure, I'll make do.
Eh? Meeting? Lemme just stand a bit closer....
I forgot it was Mr Sorens friend standing over here who gets shot and not the man himself, so I didn't get a good picture of his extremely warm-blooded murder.
....Ok, meetings over, I can go in now, right?
So many wonderful energy weapons, all of them basically useless to us. Its interesting how the main energy weapons shop in the game is run by such terrible people, especially since I used an energy weapons character who was extremely good last time. I got around this the same way you get around all vendor issues in the game: I found some overpowered weapons in the DLC and used those instead for the entire game.
No relation to the Gun Runners I assume?
A family business, judging by the Van Graff name being so important.
I see. Family like that, must have given you a storied upbringing.
The advantages of hundreds of miles of desert. Though I must say, I wouldn't think to open a store in a neighbourhood like this, after weeks of travel.
Due to the way the AI works, you don't have to break in, you can just use the physics engine to carry stuff without picking it up, take it to the toilets and steal it easily.
(That doesn't really explain why you don't put your store in a walled compound like the Gun Runners and Crimson Caravan, but whatever.) So, the local gangs don't trouble you, those Kings guys?
And so you get the run of Freeside, and attract the business that comes in with the NCR presence?
I see. What about their local rivals, the Legion?
Eh, he's not quite as tall as he sounds. And he has terrible taste in skirts. So, uh, you recruiting anyone for skullduggery right now?
Eh, guard duty ain't my thing really.
The way she says that makes it sound like the guy she had shot to intimidate Soren was her own door guard....Anyway, I don't know much about this mini-quest, except what I've read on the wiki. Doesn't sound like our kind of thing.
The only thing useful to us that the Van Graffs sell are Pulse Grenades and shotgun slugs, but she also has one of the super-weapons from the GunRunners Arsenal DLC, a unique Gatling Laser with green lasers rather than red, and massive damage over time.
It appears visiting this location has gotten Veronica thinking again....
Uh sure, what you want to talk about?
Huh? Back to Hardin's bunker? Uh, sure, once we sort a bit more business out, we'll head there, ok?
Thanks. I'll try to figure out the spelling to make it easier on them.
Here I cut out another 5 minutes shooting Freeside thugs, and visiting Mick and Ralphs again only to find that Ralph, even with his secret stockpile, has nothing we'd want to buy. So, onto an actual objective:
Uh, no, not yet. Been hella busy.
I'll get to it! Don't be in such a rush!
Jack's quest is fairly trivial to do when you have fast travel, its just a couple of trips back and forth, but there's no real reward other than enhancing your reputation with the Boomers, which we've already gotten high enough. So I didn't bother.
Now, you going to put that rebreather together for me?
Yes, here, take the thing.
Actually, we were 3 points off having enough Science to fix the rebreather without the spare parts, and I could have gotten that by taking mentats, but drugs are more valuable than busted kitchenware.
....I have no idea, I thought I was already idolised. must be some wierd trigger in the scripting.
Like a piece of Metroidvania equipment, the rebreather opens up a lot of exploration possibilities in the game, from the river and the various lakes, to flooded caves and sewer tunnels. Great for the real spelunker, but probably not our priority. Still, now we can help the Boomers raise the plane....though ideally I'd like to get something more appropriate to swim in than a checkerboard suit.
Ok, Ron, gimme one second. There's something thats been bugging me since the Boomer kid showed us the wall mural, and I want to see what I can find about it....
Ah-haha....I knew that Vault 34 was sitting on an armory full of special stuff, and now, we have the Boomers key to their secret stash.
Don't give me that look, we'll get to do your stuff in a while.
So, this was mainly a setup chapter, with me going back over the various sidequests we'd been skipping over up till this point, and getting some minor points ironed out while filling in exposition. Now, we're in a good position to embark on a new quest, and get our levels up to snuff before moving into the endgame.
Time to vote on our next move:
1) Finish the Boomers quest, and get them to (Presumably) take on the Legion in the final battle
1a) Fuck around looking for appropriate swimwear so we don't get our suit wet while diving (I can cheat and look up possible suits on the Wiki)
1aa) Go to one of the DLCs, wherein the Perfect Swimwear can be found, even though it means a multi-part digression.
2) Go on a trip to meet the Khans, so we'll have met all the factions and can tell Yes-Man to start the endgame if needs be.
3) Do some of the Freeside stuff I highlighted this update,or another short dangling quest, just for the heck of it (and XP).
4) Go do Veronica's quest, which can go 3 different ways. I can either go with the obvious path, or we can do another minor option first, then finish the next update with the choice of where to go, or just have the next update be very short so you guys can pick.
5) Drop everything and do a DLC or something bananas like that.
Let me know what you think, people.