Archive for July, 2016

Something that needs to be fixed in Fallout 4 is the settlement attacks

July 17, 2016

I love the game and am trying an Ironman run. However, there is one frustrating aspect to it that really needs to be fixed.

I have lots of settlements. I try to keep their defenses high, but still get notices that they are being attacked. The issue is that I then need to rush off and defend them as there is timer before the mission fails.

The problem is that I may be on the other side of the map. I may be embroiled in some long mission, and perhaps overloaded and unable to run. Worse, as an Ironman player, we don’t use fast-travel. This is considered cheating, as you can miss all the potentially dangerous encounters between locations. Ironman players walk/run to each location in the game.

So, twice now recently I get a notice of a settlement being attacked. Once was clear across the other side of the map in my most far-flung settlement location. I headed out as soon as I saw the notice (dropped my current quest) and still saw a failure notice before I could trudge in power armor all that distance (through enemy territory for part of it). So, I had to reload a saved game and fast-travel to have a 30 second fight with some super mutants. All of the enemies, locations, loot, and XP I had encountered along the way while trying to walk over was gone now, of course. Immersion in the game was lost.

Next I had to rush off to defend a location already bristling with turrets. I got there to have a fight that lasted maybe five seconds with some robots. I gathered up loot from the fallen mechs and then headed back to my main base at Sanctuary.

A similar situation exists when you get missions to rescue NPCs. Take too long and the mission fails.

Again, this just ruins the exploration and quest-driven aspects of the game. I shouldn’t be expected to go from my main base all the way to a quest location on the other side of the map — and then turn around to go back because some farm near Sanctuary is being hit by a couple of raiders.

Here are my proposed fixes. Either one will work, though the first one is preferable:

1. Remove all timers from the settlement defense and hostage rescue missions. Let us get to them just like any other mission in the game. This lets me finish up quests I am on at the time.
2. If we simply must have a sense of urgency on some missions, then add a countdown timer. Give the player feedback on how long they have to do the settlement defense or NPC hostage rescue mission. Get rid of the drop everything to do it now or risk failing it aspects. Also, allow enough time to go to the mission location WITHOUT having to resort to fast-traveling and having to abandon missions they are already on.

This should be a simple patch. Someone may have done one or both of these with a mod.

One other change would be to offer clear guidance on a level of settlement defenses where NOBODY will attack. If I need to maintain 2X food and water in defense, well OK. I can do that. If I need 3X to stop all attacks, well I can go nuts on defenses. The issue I have is that settlements with high defenses still seem to be targeted. Tell me how much is enough and I will put it in. I do want my little NPCs to be safe.

One option would be to pop in a simple settlement attack risk calculator into the HUD that looked at assets cs. defenses. That is admittedly a tad complicated, since it gets into HUD redesign. Or, just have some NPC dialog that talks about how they can see their strong defenses on their base should keep attacks from happening. Have them worry aloud if they see defense ratings below the full safety measure. The player then gets feedback on whether to keep adding defenses.

Or, to be really simple, Bethesda could simply patch in a “no attacks on is defense is X times food + water” functionality. Then, tell everyone what it is so we can exceed it (post it to the forums).

Again, great game, but judging from other player comments, I am not the only one who finds these seeming random settlement attacks annoying.

Melanoma: The Sequel

July 2, 2016

Nearly two years ago I had a Stage IIB melanoma removed from the rear right side of my neck. A few weeks I noticed a tiny dark spot near my right side-burn. I had it removed and tested and the melanoma was back.

A PET scan and two MRIs later it is in both lungs (one tumor each), my second left lateral rib, and a 10 mm nodule on the left side of my brain in the language centers.

For genetics geeks, it is a C-KIT mutation, which is apparently kind of rare. BRAF would have been expected — and lots easier to treat.

I was scheduled for brain surgery on Tuesday of this last week (26th), but it was delayed until genetic typing could be finished. It was determine a risky procedure (a real thread the needle approach path with no margin for error) and the thought was it might not be worth the risk if it was a BRAF. A couple of newer drugs can tried on a BRAF with decent odds of effectiveness.

Now we may have to revisit whether getting the one in the brain into a sample jar is a desirable option.

My oncologist is trying to arrange a consult with MD Anderson. He wants to explore any possibility of C-KIT melanoma in the brain having higher drug resistance due to their location. It is actually reassuring to me that he keeps up his homework.

Two drugs targeting C-KIT are available, though the side affects are worse than BRAF treatments and the effectiveness is reportedly lower. Other options include radiation, though it will be high-dose since melanomas have noteworthy radiation tolerances. As for prognosis, it is obviously going to be a rough few months whatever happens.

On the plus side, other than some fatigue I have no symptoms. A steroid I am taking to help with some edema around the brain nodule sometimes helps with the fatigue — and other times it drops me into a worse bout.

My record so far was seeing four different doctors in the same day and two pharmacy stops. Quite impressive!

I am trying to get as much work done as possible, though admit that it is between doctor visits and tests and fatigue spells.

Work is FUN! Any day I can swipe my badge or log in from the home office is a GOOD DAY. I am also getting to see some amazingly cool tech long the way.

I will update from time to time.