Rambling on about Fallout 4

I have played over 200 hours now of Fallout 4 and am currently working through my third play through. I did the first run on easy setting but am now running on normal difficulty. I usually like to start a new game on a lower setting. I don’t like getting stressed too much while learning how the game goes.

If you are not playing survival mode then you don’t have to worry much about food, sleeping, etc. I feel my character is a bit like the Dragon warrior from Kung Fu Panda. “..can survive for months at a time on nothing but the dew of a single ginko leaf and the energy of the universe”. In this case swap in stim packs and purified water. The stim packs restore health quickly and the purified water more slowly. If your health is really low take a few stim packs at once. In Fallout 4 most things you eat or drink will give you some level of radiation. This is removed with Rad-away packs. The packs are easy to find. The purified water will not give you any radiation.


The first play through I did I wanted to focus on stealth. I decided to forgo the power armour you get early on and just use leather. The power armour does reduce your stealth in the early game. However it doesn’t stop you sneaking around. You are just more likely to be heard and spotted. However there are so many benefits to wearing power armour that I now prefer to use it. The armour is powered by Fusion Cores and in the early game it can be hard to find them. If you run out of power the suit moves very slowly. You can use the fast travel option to get back to Sanctuary. Using a suit without power isn’t practical. I explored a bit without the suit and found 2 cores. After that I haven’t had a hard time getting fusion cores for the suit.

The leather stealth play through I did I focused on Agility as my main stat as this enhances being sneaky. However I didn’t know at the time the importance of charisma to the game. I still had fun and didn’t overly worry when I ‘failed’ a charisma check when chatting to people. A friend at work said that some quests in the game only show up when you ‘pass’ these checks. Meh. Play the game how you want to I say.

However with Power armour you need certain stats to be able to upgrade it and add special mods to the armour. I picked a strength based stat focus for my second play through but quickly aborted it as I had to put points into stats rather than perks. I looked at what stats I would need for the perks I wanted and this is what I came up with.

Strength – 4 (for blacksmithing or use 3 if you only want the armorer perk)
Perception – 4 (lockpicking)
Charisma – 6 (local leader)
Intellect – 6 (for hacking and science perk – power armour mods)
Agility – 3 (for stealth perk)
Endurance and Luck – whatever points you have left


If you are like me and are not a fan of companions use the lone wanderer perk. You can talk to your companion and send it back to Sanctuary or any other settlement.

The reason for the local leader perk is to be able to create trading stations at your settlements and to setup supply lines. The supply lines is done through the workshop interface and you assign a settler to link to another settlement. This allows you to access resources at the settlement that is linked. I mostly link them to Sanctuary as I use this as my base. The settlements are amusing to me but you can ignore them if you want to. Just get Sanctuary setup and ignore the Minutemen quests. I mostly did that for the Brotherhood of Steel play through. The BoS give you a workshop at their base later on. I switched all my supplies to that base from Sanctuary once I could.

So If you want to play settlements there are a couple of things to focus on. Beds, water, food and defense. I usually clear (R key to scrap) whatever I can that isn’t useful. Then use these supplies to help setup the rest. If you have the local leader perk you can assign a settler to the supply line to help with the lack of resources to build things. Once you have the basics setup I transfer any useful items for the workshop store to my inventory then continue exploring and questing.

Talking about useful items and inventory, it can be amusing what items are laying around that are actually useful. Adhesive is the number one thing you need. It is used in all armour, weapon and power armour crafting. So if you see Duct Tape or glue or vegetable starch pick it up or buy it from the vendor. You can never have enough. With the food at the settlements setup you can make vegetable starch. This is helpful when you find yourself short of duct tape. Use a cooking station and you can craft this. Other items that are useful are screws (toy cars, desk fans, etc) and springs, gears, circuits, etc. Just start by picking up lots of items. You can tag an item for search in the crafting stations. Then any item you see in game that has a component you need it will have a magnifying glass icon next to it. If you are curious what components an item has you can use the R key for transfer rather than E to take. This will show you what components an item has when you hover over it.


Most weapons you find in the early game are pipe ones. Apart from the 10mm pistol you get at the start. I like having some kind of sniper rifle with a scope. It helps me to check out things at a distance. Keep the 10mm and mod it. I use it right through the whole game. It is good against raiders in full stealth once you get the suppressor on it. The pipe rifles do not have a lot of power but are easy to find. I use the rifle one and swap it out as soon as I find a Hunting Rifle. This can eventually be upgraded to a .50 caliber sniper with recon scope and suppressor. Also good weapons are the combat shotgun and the combat rifle. Later on the assault rifle is very powerful but the ammo is harder to come by. The 5.56 ammo is mainly found on destroyed turrets. Other than that you have the energy weapons that I don’t use much. Also the missile launcher is good to hang onto. Keep the Fat Man around for those mobs that are painful to kill otherwise. (Silly queen mirelurk. &@%^& ). As the Fat Man is really heavy I tend to store it along with the mini-nuke ammo in the workshop at Sanctuary until I need it. There are lots of grenades and mines and other types of weapons including melee ones. I must admit I tend to forget the grenades until after I should have used them.

There are four main factions in the game. The first one you encounter is the Minutemen. They are focused on helping settlers and responding to calls of help. You can quest with the Minutemen and it won’t impact your interaction with the other factions. You can chose the Minutemen to finish the main story but I haven’t done that yet.

Next up is the Underground Railroad. I found the quest to find them was interesting and fun. They are focused on freeing the synths that want to escape and get them away from the Institute. They are a secretive bunch with dead drop quests and infiltrate the Institute quests. Quite fun and I did my first play through with this group as my chosen faction of the main story arc.

The Brotherhood of Steel you encounter once you enter Cambridge. They are a military faction that focus on protecting people by killing the raiders, ghouls and super mutants. They have an strong hatred of Synths and the Institute. I tend to hate this sort of faction but was curious to see how the ending differed from the Underground Railroad. So my second play through was a BoS one. I found the quests leading up to the end of the story arc amusing. They are a little black and white about who they think are good and evil. It can be a bit disturbing in places but overall it was fun.

The other faction is the Institute and are generally considered ‘evil’ by the other factions. They are a science based organization staying hidden and creating the Synths that you hear a lot about in game. My current play through of the game I will chose the Institute faction. I am curious to see how that ends. Generally though I find their actions give me the creeps. They are trying to do ‘good’ but go about it the wrong way.

Overall I find this game great. You can ignore everything and explore or focus on the main quests or a bit of both. You can do the settlements or not. I am doing a lot more exploring this time around and finding quests I missed. I am enjoying this game a lot. Chose your own path through Fallout 4 and just have some fun.

D3 Barbarian leap and smash build

I have been playing a Barbarian for season 5 in Diablo 3. It has been a lot of fun. I have gotten lucky on some item drops that just complement the build. I am searching for theΒ  Lut Socks boots that allow you to leap three times before the cooldown starts. So currently enjoying leaping and stomping my way around rifts and bounties.


Quake and slam fun

To start off with the skills are as follows. The main focus of the set Might of the Earth is leap, earthquake, stomp and avalanche. So I have Leap with the Death from Above rune that stuns enemies for 3 seconds. For Ground Stomp I have the Foot of the Mountain rune that increases fury generated. I am not using a standard generator so all my fury is generated through the passive skills and runes. For Earthquake I am using the Cave-In run that pulls enemies within 24 yards into the quake area. For Avalanche I am using the Lahar rune which reduces the cooldown when spending fury. Some of my gear makes this rune of less benefit but I like the visual effect. So for the remaining skill spots I am using Threatening Shout with the Falter rune that increases the damage enemies take. I am also using Seismic Slam with the rune Rumble that lets the ground effect last for a little while after using the skill. I was using whirlwind with the Hurricane rune but changed when the bracers dropped.



For the passive skills I am using Ruthless for the damage boost to low health enemies. I am using Earthen Might to generate fury whenever Earthquake or Avalanche are triggered. Animosity also provides another boost to fury and Rampage increases strength after killing enemies.

Main gear items are the Might of the Earth set obtained as part of the season journey.


Might of the Earth set

The bracers provide a substantial damage boost to Seismic slam and it is so much fun slamming things. Though if I do it too much I run out of fury. No worries though. Just stomp and leap a bit to get some fury back.


Bracers of Destruction

The belt Dread Iron has a boost to my Avalanche skill and also causes Ground Stomp to trigger Avalanche. This also means that the Earthen Might passive is triggered too generating some fury.


Dread Iron Belt

A recent drop that looks very cool is the weapon Scourge. Bursting into flames when all those enemies have been sucked into your earthquakes is just a bonus.



I have the Bul’Kathos’s Wedding Band that rolled with nice stats and is a health boost with the drain. The gem I have here is Bane of the Powerful.


The amulet and other ring is the Endless Walk set that increases damage when standing and reduces damage while moving. I am using Taeguk and Pain Enhancer gems in these. I will probably change the Pain Enhancer gem but haven’t put too much thought into it. If I ever get lucky with a Focus and Restraint ring set drop I will change these items.


The Compass Rose


Traveler’s Pledge

Lastly for items are the buffs in Kanai’s Cube. First up is the Blade of the Tribes weapon that causes my Threatening shout skill to trigger Earthquake and Avalanche. I may have cackled with glee when I saw that drop. This also triggers the passive rune Earthen Might for more fury.


Blade of the Tribes

The other two items in the cube are temporary for now. The armor buff is the Fire Walkers boots that burn the ground as you walk. I walk near items that break and the fire will destroy them. In the amulet slot is The Star of Azkaranth that makes you immune to Fire and heals your for 15% of the amount prevented.

As for game play I try to spread my use of the skills. I will mostly leap first and then move a little and use the shout. This gives you two areas of earthquake and an avalanche. Then a ground stomp will add another avalanche. Once you have some fury generated Seismic slam to your hearts content while leaping and stomping and shouting your way around. If these are on cooldown you can use the baseline earthquake and avalanche skills as well. It makes for an impressive amount of damage spread over a large area. Lots of fun. Now only if those boots would drop. Silly Kadala doesn’t want to give them to me for some reason.πŸ™‚

D3 Wizard – Melting lasers of doom

I was carrying a friend through torment 6 bounties and she said my disintegrate spell looked like melting lasers of doom. I admit I lol’ed at that.πŸ™‚

Laser time

Laser time

I have been playing season 4 in Diablo 3 and having fun. I decided early on to play a wizard as I didn’t have a male wizard in my D3 lineup. I was hoping to do an archon build but my gear has lead to a hybrid fire and archon build. I have tried to switch my gear to the Archon set but the item drops are not quite good enough. Then I thought, why am I trying to change my build. I am having lots of fun with this one.

So, now that I am doing torment 7 content and I thought I would detail the build and gear. I am not a hard core player. You won’t see me racing through rifts so fast you can’t think. I don’t claim to know in the slightest what the best stats or gear is for the wizard. This is just me having some fun.πŸ˜‰

Anyway I am currently running a build with no generator. So I sometime find I am without arcane power to cast spells. Though regeneration and cost reduction means this doesn’t lasts long.


My main damage dealer is Disintegrate with the fire rune Convergence. This appears as two fire beams of “OMG that is fun”. My other main skill I use is Black Hole with the fire rune Blazar. This is great for grouping up enemies for easy laser melting. I am using the wizard staple skill buffs of Energy Armor, Magic Weapon and Familiar. My last active skill is Archon with the fire rune Combustion. This is great for bosses and those moments when more powerful version of the lasers are needed.

Passive skills are blur and dominance for survival; Astral presence for more arcane power and regen; and Conflagration for a fire spell boost.


For the Kanai’s cube powers I am using the bonus damage to elites.


For the armor slot I am using the Illusory Boots. This allows me to move through waller effects and similar. As my build doesn’t have any movement boosts or escapes I find these very helpful. For the ring slot I am using the Royal ring of grandeur.


For my gear I am using the Firebird’s Finery set. This is why most of my skills are now using fire runes. I have been saved a few times by the 2-set bonus.


I got lucky early on and had a weapon roll as ancient. The Fallen Champion is good as well. Though I sometimes flinch and cast a disintegrate at him.πŸ˜‰


I got this belt early on and is a nice boost to the Archon skill.


Another early item I still have as the fire boost and stats are just too good to replace currently.


I haven’t found the ring to match this amulet yet but I am using the Taeguk gem as I am always spending my primary resource so is a good boost to my damage. Also the lvl25 bonus is nice for survival.


Using this ancient ring for the stats and the new gem Bane of the Stricken. I am currently working on leveling this to 25.


I love this ring for the 27% increase in damage to elites. Using Bane of the Powerful gem for another 15% damage increase at lvl25. With this ring, gem and the Kanai’s cube 50% bonus, the elites don’t last long.πŸ™‚

My helm and bracers are not very special items but rolled as ancient so haven’t found replacements for them yet.

As for gameplay, I cast my three buff skills and make sure to recast in any lulls. Other than that I use disintegrate and black hole when there are lots of enemies I want grouped up. I use Archon when in trouble or for bosses and sometimes just for fun. If I run out of arcane power I back off a bit and let it regen just enough to cast disintegrate again. Or you can cast Archon as it doesn’t drain your arcane power. By the time it wears off you will be at full arcane power again.

I mostly find this build a lot of fun and easy to play. Mobs with ranged spells or ones that jump close are the ones that will hurt the most. I just move around a bit and grab health globes as I go. Not sure how this build will do at higher levels but enjoying torment 7 with my melting lasers of doom build.

Pet Battle Leveling in Frostfire Ridge

I spent a lot of time roaming around the Valley of the Four Winds leveling battle pets. Especially towards the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. There is a great area in the farms near Halfhill that had no mobs to aggro and the crickets were particularly forgiving on level 1 pets.

One of the main issues I find with pet leveling in Draenor is that most enemy pets will one shot a level 1 pet and you end up wasting your time healing and trying again. Or trying to find that one round where you can swap in the leveling pet and not have it die.

So, enter my current strategy for grinding pet leveling in Frostfire Ridge in Draenor. First up you need an anchor pet. I use the Feline Familiar as this pet is both good against flying pets and critters. It also has the ability Devour which will heal your pet for a large amount if you finish off the enemy pet with that ability.Β  Make sure you have Onyx Bite, Stoneskin and Devour chosen.

Next up you will need a pet with a block ability that persists through pet swaps. I use the Darkmoon Zeppelin and the ability Decoy.Β  The last pet will be the leveling pet.



To start with head over to Wargol and out the southwest entrance. Around this area you will find quite a few Frostfur Rats and Twilight Wasps. There are a few more wasps a bit to the north as well. The extra pets that join are a combination of these and some normal rats.


I find the Frostfur Rats can be easier to fight. You can get lucky using your level 1 pet to start with.


Usually with this combination of abilities on the rat will see your level 1 dead. I often see the below combination of abilities and that seems easier.


If you attack the wasps with your level 1, it will end badly. Though you can get lucky.

Silly Wasps

Silly Wasps

So back to my strategy. Start with the Zeppelin in slot one and cast Decoy.


Then swap to your leveling pet. As they are protected by the decoy, they will take no damage.


Then swap to your anchor pet. I cast Stoneskin then usually Onyx bite to soften them up.


You should finish each enemy pet using devour for the heal, if you need it. On the wasps this will do about 160 damage. It is weak but will still heal for large amounts.


With the weekend bonus plus the safari hat and the pet treats bought off the garrison vendor I got to level 9 with one battle. Then level 13 on the next. There are some pockets of other pets in the zone with few mobs nearby. These mostly have Icespine Hatchlings. Your zepplin should be able to deal with these readily. Though I find the Feline Familiar does well in most wild pet battles.

I hope that helps with anyone wanting to grind out some pet battle leveling and to get that garrison monument. Happy Hunting.

Review – Dawn of the Aspects

I have recently finished reading Dawn of the Aspects by Richard A. Knaak. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn some more about the dragon aspects and their history. Like the other World of Warcraft books I have read I decided to take a tour in game of the key characters and places.

Rusted Proto-Drake

Flying around Northrend on my Rusted Proto-Drake mount

The book starts in Wyrmrest Temple with a meeting of the former dragon aspects. The time is after Dragon Soul and the battle where the aspects used their power to bring down Deathwing.

Wyrmrest Temple

Wyrmrest Temple

Kalecgos is the youngest of the former aspects and only became the apsect of magic after the defeat of Malygos. Like the other aspects he is feeling a bit lost and wants their advice.


Kalecgos at the Wyrmrest Temple

After the meeting Kalecgos flies over Dragon Blight and sees something in amongst Galakrond’s bones. He is drawn to this magical artifact and digs it up.


Galakrond’s Rest

Galakrond was known as the father of dragons and was massive in size. As the screenshot above shows my rusted proto-drake mount is tiny in comparison to just one bone.

He takes the artifact back to the Nexus and is affected by the magic it wields.



The artifact takes control of Kalecgos’s mind and he is drawn back in time to witness the early days of the dragons we know as the aspects. He inhabits the mind of Malygos as a silent passenger and views the unfolding story with growing concern for the aspects and his own safety as he struggles to regain control of his life.


Malygos flying in Coldarra

This is a great book and I love dragons so especially enjoyed this one.

An idea for future garrisons

I have been thinking on what garrisons or player housing might look like in future expansions. If there will be such a thing. People have touched on the topic a bit and there are some interesting ideas out there. I like BlizzardWatch‘s article about the content issue with Draenor. I get that we feel disconnected. I certainly do. I chat to guild mates but don’t see them. I am not raiding so the only time I saw them was running dungeons in the early part of the expansion. Now I only see them when we visit each others garrisons on the rare occasions we need to get a quest from the daily visitors. And then it is only for a few minutes.

I like the idea of garrisons. It is cool to have your own space to do things. I am not sure we needed something so BIG though. All those buildings and minions is a great idea but after a while I end up doing the profession dailies (sometimes) and the garrison missions and not much else. The lifespan of the content provided by the extra buildings seems limited.

As others have mentioned, not having the big cities this expansion that everyone wanders around in makes World of Warcraft feel like a single player game. It should feel lived in and populated. Isn’t that why all those server mergers and cross realm technologies were implemented? Hardly worth it if everyone sits in their garrisons. I like how the outposts work in that you have your building but other players are there with you. They see theirs and you see your building.

So what next? I liked the larger cities of past expansions. Especially Dalaran. One of the things I liked was the horde and alliance sections that you could only get into if you were of that faction. However you could still see into it. Holiday events were amusing when everyone would hover outside the opposite factions section looking for the right race/class/gender combination for an achievement. I think having a large city with a section only you can get to that others might see would be cool.

So a neutral city for both factions with the usual vendors, traders, AH, banks, etc. Have a large building in a similar style to the rest of the city that only guild members can get into. Decorated with guild achievement items or something. With maybe a weekly quest perk for the guild to do a dungeon/raid run or similar. Then nearby have a small section of 2 to 3 buildings like a walled in estate with a courtyard that is your place alone. You can invite people to visit like in the current garrisons. The outside wall would be similar in decor to the rest of the city but the interior would be yours to change.

Keep it simpler and smaller so you can visit and log out in it possibly but spend most of your time outside it in the city. Have the best of both worlds of having your own housing but be part of a larger whole. Be part of a world filled with players.

A Well Seasoned Crusader

Sorry for the title pun, but I have my season 3 Diablo Crusader running Torment 6 solo. This is my second crusader and my first character to run T6 solo. Most of my Diablo characters end up running T1 or sometimes up to T3. The closest I have come to T6 is my Demon Hunter in a Sentry build. So I thought I would show you his gear and skills and explain a little of how I play him. I haven’t been in T6 for long so still need to improve my game play there.

The Crusade marches on.

The Crusade marches on.

So first up I wanted to show you his skill setup. (Link to Skill Calculator on Battle net)


I have played with a few of the options and find I prefer this setup. Punish is a slow hit but I find I don’t like the other options. I mostly use Sweep attack with the gathering sweep rune to drag those demons in closer. Shield Glare with the Zealous Glare rune to restore a bunch of Wrath when cast over a large group of enemies brought closer by the sweep attack. This restores 9 wrath per enemy blinded so can restore your wrath to full with good density of mobs.

Akarat’s Champion is just plain fun. I use Laws of Justice with the Faith’s Armor for a shield absorb and increased resistance. Heaven’s Fury is used here as my weapon gives me extra beams.

Passive skills are heavenly strength for the two handed weapon. Also my shield gives me a bonus to damage with a two handed weapon. Towering Shield increases damage of punish and reduces the cooldown of Shield Glare. More glares equates to more wrath, so more smashing things. Holy Cause increases weapon damage and restores health when you deal holy damage. I have set most of my runes to do holy damage so this is a good survivability choice. Finally Finery for increased strength for each gem socketed.

I’ll just go over my gear first then explain the game play I am now doing.


First off with the full Roland’s set sweep attack is a powerful ability. The 2 set bonus means my shield absorb is available more often. The 4 set bonus is a great damage boost. But the 6 set bonus…. *drool*. It is quite funny to watch your Crusader do a slow sweep then get really fast really quickly. The only downside of this is you will drain your wrath in very little time.


I was lucky to have a friend give me the second ring to this set. These have changed my game play a bit as I try to keep both +50% increases running. So I weave in some Punish attacks amongst the sweeps.


With all that wrath being drained so fast these are essential to restoring some wrath to keep sweeping enemies.


I got this belt early on but find it a lot of fun. As I play a more melee style of crusader without any of the ranged abilities this circle of crowd control is a boon. With the blind from shield glare there is a good synergy in keeping the mobs stunned.


I love the look of this shield but as a straight damage boost it is great.


I always prefer using a flail on the crusader and the extra rays of Heaven’s fury is fun.

I am using Bane of the Trapped gem as I blind a lot of mobs. The other gems are Bane of the Powerful and Efficacious Toxin but any gems would do here.

For stats I focused on reduced cooldown early on but have started to increase crit hit and damage.

I have been lucky with drops and getting items from Kadala. I had a good friend from work run me through some T6 rifts which helped enormously. I found a few blood thief goblins and swapped to T6 to spend them. All in all a lot of luck to get all the gear. I still struggle a little bit with T6 elites, especially as I don’t have an escape ability active.

Mostly the play style is gather a few enemies with sweeps and increase the attack speed. Then use shield glare to restore some wrath and punish for a couple of hits at increased attack speed. Then back to sweep attack. Weaving the two and grabbing any health globes to restore wrath is the main goal. Use the other abilities as needed. I tend to use the law for increased resistance and the absorb shield on cooldown. Heaven’s Fury is good when there are a lot of mobs a bit spread out. And Akarat’s Champion I mainly use for the elites.