Friday, September 15, 2017

Raptr - Closing Down This September 30th, The Blog Here Says 'Goodbye Old Friend' To The Once-Useful Program


Just a notification that the 'Graphic-Configurator, Game-Installer, Gameplay-Recorder and
Social Media client that tried to tie it all together' - Raptr - will be no more, as of September 30th, 2017


A few days ago, I received an email stating that Raptr was ending the program/client which at one time was tied-in with AMD's Graphic Drivers as "AMD Gaming Evolved". Now that both NVIDIA and AMD have their own 'game configuration utilities' and 'game recording capabilities' (via Crimson for AMD and GeForce Experience for NVIDIA), "there is no need for such a separate utility", as Raptr's 'Farewell Letter' basically states:

"We are sad to announce that we will be closing Raptr on September 30th, 2017. We want to start by thanking you for your support over the past 10 years.
The world is different today than when we first launched Raptr. Many companies offer game optimization tools. Having an independent platform to do this is no longer necessary.
On September 30, we will start the process of shutting off access to your Raptr account and disabling features. If you'd like to export your tracked game play history, you can do so immediately using the instructions below:
  • Go to Raptr.com
  • Sign in to your Raptr account
  • Click to get your gameplay data
If you have any other questions, please send us feedback.
We are proud of the service we built and the community who helped grow Raptr.  Thank you, once again, for your support.
Dennis “Thresh” Fong
Co-founder and CEO"

Mr. Fong Qin, known worldwide as "'Thresh' Fong" for his 1990's Quake and Doom tournament career, was also the co-founder of Xfire (which itself was acquired by Viacom in 2006). While the Raptr/Gaming Evolved client was useful, it seemed to have challenges from close to the start [or at least, noticeable in hindsight, from when I first started using it].

The Press Release - the notification that Raptr was closing down - as it looked on the Raptr website, September 2017
(Click to see Full Size)


At one time, Raptr offered Rewards for playing (and letting it track your Hours or Record your Gameplay); 'Reward Points' that you could collect, every time you Optimized a Game (let the utility auto-configure your in-game options/settings for you), or viewed/contributed to a game Forum (similar to Steam's Game Forums [forii?]). You could also earn Raptr Reward Points just by playing a game and having it running (it gave a running total of your Hours Played).

The Raptr/Gaming Evolved Client, as it looked in 2014, showing the Reward Points collected at one time
(from the Gaming Evolved/Raptr Press Kit, Click to see Full Size)


Prizes to spend your Points on were Draws for, or outright purchases of, Full Games and game tie-in material, such as Character Costumes or Vehicles (Mounts). Just before it was taken away, I even saw some Computer Hardware in there (some dated GPUs mind you, but still, it was neat to see some computer parts you could earn 'with time played' only). I never did win a Draw for a Retail Game, but I heard from a couple of people who did. There were many, many upset users, who had been saving for years (literally), at the loss of the points system. Some noted at the time that perhaps it was an early bell, tolling for the end of Raptr, even then...

The Raptr/Gaming Evolved Client, as it looked in 2015, showing Plays.Tv in its 'built-in' Beta phase and Graphic Drivers being kept up-to-date [I owned an AMD/ATi GPU at the time], the client still showing Reward Points being tabulated, and the Twitch Broadcast implementation
(Click to see Full Size)


There was a Forum interface built-in to the Raptr client (directly-accessible within it) that was similar to Steam's Game Forums [too similar?], where people could discuss games, talk about upcoming releases, and share Screenshots; but there wasn't too much going on in them [that I could see, personally]. There were some helpful and contributive posts, but they were always few in number:

Example of Raptr/Gaming Evolved Game Forums, showing Guild Wars 2, circa 2016
(Click to see Full Size)


As 'the end' neared, the Forums became overrun slowly by Spammers and non-English posts talking about other websites (not that there's anything wrong with speaking other languages, I know a bit of a handful of languages myself, but it was an English forum and much of these posts were clearly Spam of one sort or another). People started asking why things weren't getting 'cleaned up', near the end.


The Raptr/Gaming Evolved Official Raptr Forum, shown in the client, displaying the number of users of the forum
(Click to see Full Size)


While many felt it was 'just like Steam' or 'not needed' even back then, it still boasted over 100 Million registered users at one point (as evidenced by the number of users within the main Raptr discussion group, above) - and it was even 'targeted by hackers' in 2015 - infiltrated in an attempt to gain access to the many users' data and potentially personal information. A notice went out in January of that year, notifying users to change their password, as a result of the recent security breach:

Raptr Forum Notification, urging users to change their Passwords, after a recent security breach, circa January 2015
(Click to see Full Size)


Personally, I feel sorry that I couldn't spend more time with Raptr/GamingEvolved, as I only discovered it a couple of years ago.. Over the entire time, my own illness prevented me from posting more, sharing Screenshots more, and talking more about Releases and Reviews [as it does here in this blog!]. I feel like it could have been 'the next Steam with bonus game configuration' perhaps - but alas, it simply had too many challenges going against it... People started asking for Chat interface (a la Skype) and Voice Chat, but the Voice part never came. People wanted a GVR (Game Video Recorder) and while that arrived, in the form of Plays.tv - first in the app itself and as a stand-alone utility - perhaps it was too late to save Raptr, as both NVIDIA then AMD, came out with their own 'built-in' gameplay recording capabilities about the same time. For example, in 2013, NVIDIA's Shadowplay became part of their Settings Optimization client, GeForce Experience, which allowed high-performance gameplay recording. Eventually, AMD's ReLive, part of their Crimson GPU Driver update, also allowed high-quality gameplay recording as well. Both of these essentially negated the game recording aspect of Raptr (Plays.tv, which continues onward today as its' own stand-alone recorder):

Information Panel about Plays.TV, the gameplay recording utility that was once included with Raptr/Gaming Evolved
(Click to see Full Size)


Although many didn't use Raptr, or even like it, there were those that used the client to at least keep track of their Hours Played, used it a light social-media app, or just enjoyed the semi-automated Graphic Configuration within. As a former user - that wished he used it more - I myself say a sad 'Goodbye' to Raptr. So long, old friend, I wish I got to know you better...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It's Not Just You™ - The Elder Scrolls: Legends A.I. Seems Pretty Hard To Beat Now [Noticed]

Just a little notification that, if you are playing TES:Legends recently and find it's quite a bit harder to beat the computer opponent (AI/NPC)... It's Not Just You™



I was in the Beta for The Elder Scrolls: Legends; but never got around to finishing my "First Impressions" article on it [as is how it usually goes for me and posting, heh]. Legends has been out of Beta for a few months now, and if I could summarize the game in one paragraph, I would say that Legends is a Virtual Collectible Card style game, that is 'both Single-Player and Multiplayer' (you can play against other human opponents, in matches and "Arena" rounds - but you don't have to, you can entirely play against the computer AI both in single matches and in 'Arena playoffs', if you desire). It is actually more of a "Card Collecting" game than a "Trading Card" game - as I have not seen a way to trade with human players yet - but that is similar to other 'virtual card games' of this genre, like Hearthstone and Gwent ("World Of Warcraft" Lore and "Witcher" Lore -based virtual card games, respectively). The game cannot be played Offline and you don't actually get any 'Real Life' Cards of any form; but that again, is the same for the other virtual card games mentioned.

After playing a little bit when it was first Released, I didn't play Legends for a few months, only recently picking it up again to play a bit - and boy was I in for a surprise!

The computer AI as it is now, offensive and ticked off
(Cropped Screenshot of art by Bethesda Game Studios)

Perusing the Updates for the game (which there seems to be one of every few weeks, a nice thing to see for a game!) - there was an Expansion for the game released at the end of June 2017 (Heroes of Skyrim) - but nothing that says, "We felt the AI was a little too easy to beat, so we beefed it up a bunch and it also will pull cards out of it's butt hat, getting exactly what it needs at times, to win!" - so I'm not sure when this AI change occurred... [I didn't play for a good few months or more, so sometime around mid-2017, I reckon].

Judging by the recent changes to the Computer Opponent A.I., get used to seeing this screen more often...

Legends is a fun game still, with it's flashy effects and nice sounds, not to mention the wonderful Elder Scrolls-style 'realistic' art on everything; I personally don't mind if I am going to be losing to the Computer a lot more; but it would have been nice to see a more obvious notification of it somewhere - or a way to perhaps adjust it (via a Slider or Dial or anything..).

I do think the AI was 'just a little too easy' at first, making simple moves and not many combos, losing a lot more than it won against me - but now it seems pretty darn hard - almost too hard, pulling multi-combos everywhere and buffing cards a lot more and getting 'the perfect card' or 'just what it needs' at times, to pull off a win (as though, instead of the AI having a prepared set of cards, cards seem now 'generated as the game goes', to "keep it competitive"). I can still win once in a while against the AI in Solo Play and Solo Arenas - and I understand that Bethesda might want to make things 'a bit difficult' to encourage selling Card Packs; but... Dearest Beth: It's "Just A Little Too Much" Now... [in my opinion]

The 'new' Computer Opponent A.I. at work, busy buffing its' cards to no end

I won't stop playing, of course - and I won't stop getting Card Packs once in a while (for all three of the Collectible Card Games mentioned above, when I can) - but I just wanted to mention this, for others too; that if you noticed the Computer seemed 'tweaked' lately and is now pretty darn hard to beat as an Opponent in Legends.... It's Not Just You™

If I play some Versus matches, which I do from time to time - See You In The Game!


Addendum
Changes Seen:
- Increased Combination plays (Buffs, Debuffs, then Attacking)
- Increased Healing cards (Health added to Opponent)
- Highly Increased 'instant-kill' or 'unsummon' type "Destroy A Creature" cards (Piercing Javelin, Lighting Strike, Execute, Cast Out, etc)
etc.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Deals And Sales - 'Things Goin' On This Weekend' (Weekend of August 11th, 2017) [Notification]

Just a quick Notification of some things going on... Once in a while, I try to post about Sales going on somewhere - especially the 'big' ones, like Summer's End or Christmas Sales. This weekend, there are a few 'Free Weekends' and Sales going on (that I saw so far) and thought I wanted to share them, just in case there were others interested in these games, heh. Here's what I saw is Goin' On This Weekend:





Guild Wars 2 Expansion (Path Of Fire) is Free To Try all weekend:

https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/get-ready-for-the-guild-wars-2-path-of-fire-preview-weekend/






GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) is having a couple of Sales on games which include series like Master Of Orion, Warhammer 40K, Painkiller, Delta Force, Red Faction and at the same time having a sale on Strategy Games like Codename Panzers, Men of War, Hybrid Wars, Total Annihilation, Empire Earth, and more:

https://www.gog.com/promo/20170807_weekly_sale
and
https://www.gog.com/promo/20170811_special_promo_strategy_sale






Some other games, which are Free To Try all weekend via Steam, are:







For Honor, the medieval swordplay/battle game is Free To Try all weekend and selling for half-price
(for those that remember Die By The Sword, it looks like it may be similar to that, but in an 'arena' setting [sorry, but I haven't been able to try it yet]):

http://store.steampowered.com/app/304390/FOR_HONOR/












Saints Row IV, from the crazy "each game is increasingly like GTA-on-drugs" open-world/action
series, is Free To Try all weekend and selling at a reduced price
[I haven't tried it yet, but I am still playing the wacky Saints Row III once in a while and still getting a kick out of it]:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/206420/Saints_Row_IV/






Sorry I didn't get to finishing this sooner, but the weekend isn't over yet! Get out there and try these games out or grab something you want on sale - and maybe See You In The Game!


Edit:

I completely forgot one more I was going to post in here! 

GamersGate also has some games on Sale right now, including Borderlands (for five bucks!), the Mafia series, Bioshock series, Xcom series, and more:

https://www.gamersgate.com/offers




[Note: I am not affiliated with these game sites, nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning them here (the Links do not have any 'affiliate tags' or similar additions to them) - I am merely an enthusiastic gamer and like to share deals and other goings-on with other gamers like me. Enjoy!]

Monday, July 17, 2017

How To Use The Mouse To The Best Of Your Ability (a.k.a. How To Be A Better 'First Person Shooter') [Text-Only]


[Text-Only - This Post is Text-Only Mode, for now. I may return to this posting and add Screenshots or Images at a later time.]


I was browsing around in the Steam Forums [forii?], where I like to try and answer Technical Questions and give Suggestions about Gameplay and Tips - and I recently answered a query someone had about using the Mouse in Fallout 4 (arguably a 'Shooter' game for the most part) and how it seemed difficult for them to aim in the game (it is possible to utilize an Automated Aiming capability called V.A.T.S., in Fallout 4 - but the game can also be played 'in real time' without it, playing as a First Person Shooter would be played, similar to games like Overwatch, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Battlefield, and more).

So, I answered with a somewhat-lengthy reply, trying to be helpful and informative, letting them know where to do things like change the Settings of the Mouse and the Sensitivity; really trying to show them that there needs to be a 'personalization' of the Mouse Settings, if they wanted to utilize the Mouse, as a gaming tool, to the best of their ability (to "let your ability shine through the Mouse" as it were).

I thought it might be nice to share my answer here too, then - to share with others that may be wondering things like:

"Why am I having so much trouble aiming/killing in <game name>?"

"Why does it seem so hard to kill people <in a Multiplayer game>?"

"How can I improve my gameplay in Multiplayer/Player-Versus-Player?"

...and similar questions.

Thus, here was my reply in the Forum... Perhaps it can be of some use to you:

-----


If I may pop in, as a 'First Person Shooter' since Wolfenstein 3D (1992), and having won some Local Tournaments in the past (UT99 and Quake III Arena); you really need to find your own personal 'mouse sensitivity'…

(I used to do 180's while running to 'check my six' or headshot the player behind me - which they didn't like of course, heh)

Note that this must be adjusted for every new mouse and potentially every new game. This is the only way to truly have a movement and reaction time/rate in the game that you personally feel comfortable with.


There are a few places you must adjust it:

- in Windows (Settings>Devices>Mouse [for Windows 10])
- in Mouse Software (that disc that comes with the Mouse that everyone ignores, or the manufacturer’s Drivers and associated 'Software Configurator' of some type for the mouse from their website), where you can also Keybind different keys or combinations to your Mouse, if it can do so, and set DPI gradations/steps.
- in the Game (Options or Settings)


Again, I cannot helpfully stress this enough; try to do this for each and every game you play – it is amazing in how it can personalize your comfortable movement/scan/hit rate.
It is really possible to 'hit anything' in a game, if you make your own personalized changes to all of the above.


Some people like to move their mouse a lot, slowing down the movement into smaller gradations for sniping and tight movements.
Some people like to move their mouse very little, using mostly their fingers and hardly turning their wrist (these types usually switch DPI settings as-they-move, for sniping and tighter movements).

Both are arguable for usage and both can utilize the DPI settings/changes possible on modern mice.
You must find your own movement type and movement rate, set by those three locations previously stated.

Once you set the mouse how you like it - whether you switch DPI settings on-the-fly (to make your character scan slower or faster, switching between scoped and non-scoped, for example) or whether you keep one DPI setting and alter how fast you move the mouse – you will find that you can aim/scan/hit a lot better (and also not get tired as fast).

Tip: Don’t forget to turn off any Mouse Acceleration (The kind that moves your mouse pointer farther on the screen if you move the same amount of space on your desk, only faster)… This only adds to the difficulty in scanning/aiming and makes it harder to build up muscle memory for your mouse (such as, "I move my mouse this far, and my view onscreen moves this far").

The only recourse, other than doing the above and taking all of the above steps, is V.A.T.S….(at least, to be totally comfortable and 'reach your full potential' with the Mouse (wow this is starting to sound like an Infomercial, sorry about that haha))


But, try to have fun exploring it – find “You” in your mouse movements – and have fun learning how “You” play!

-----


Note, Dear Reader, that I am not trying to 'be pompous' or 'brag' here, with this posting... I merely stated my 'qualifications' at the beginning, to show that I learned a lot over time and that I had personally found some effective ways to improve playing, with the Mouse (especially in the past). 

I do not wish to sound like to 'know everything' as well - and indeed can learn more - I just wanted to share what I did learn over time and hope that this might help others out, too. If you are an experienced FPS player ('First Person Shooter gamer'), then you no doubt already know most of these concepts (or have figured them out on your own). 

I should state that I am also nowhere near as good as I once was [being 40 now, alas, age occurs to all..]. Where I once could out-shoot almost anyone, regularly doing 180s-to-instant-headshots (as stated previously), I now regularly get my butt handed to me in games like Overwatch, CS:GO and the Battlefield series of games [although I can still get Top Spot on The Board at times! heh]. 

Still, I wanted to try to help others... and I hope that this posting helps anyone improve their mousing (and killing/winning), if that is what they desire to do. 


I always like helping others and teaching others what I can... "The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind." ~ William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

SYITG

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Not Just You™ - GTAV Launcher Crashing Right After The Update, Here's What Worked For Me [Notification]

Just a quick notification about GTAV (Grand Theft Auto Five) and how it seems to be crashing after the Launcher downloads an Update of some sort (and after looking it up a bit online, it looks like it's not just me...). I'll quickly share some Tips I found from others and which one worked for me in the end - if your GTAV Launcher is crashing every time you try to play the game - don't worry, It's Not Just You™...

The thing that was happening.... oh I don't know maybe
EVERY SINGLE TIME I TRIED TO START THE GAME

Things I tried:

  1. Rebooting
  2. Copying d3d9.dll (eventually trying all of the d3d Libraries, copied to the game folder)
  3. Updating GPU Drivers and Windows Updates (all was Latest already)
  4. Updating RTSS (Rivatuner Statistics Server to Version 7.0.0 (Beta), part of MSI Afterburner)
  5. Download latest Social Club installer and (Re)Install (to the same Location I had it already)

I had to go all the way to Number 5 to Stay Alive... [wow that's like a chance to do a triple-layer reference]


Sunday, July 09, 2017

Fallout 4 - Things The Game Doesn't Tell You Or Explain To New Players Very Well (in Point Form) [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

[Note.: This post is 'LIVE' and 'UNDER CONSTRUCTION', as I continue to add more data and Tips and Example Screenshots to it eventually... I decided to make it available now however, to assist those playing Fallout 4; especially those just starting out - seeing as there was a Steam Sale on (Welcome New Players, heh). I will be adding more Text and Tips and Screenshots and More and this post cannot be considered 'finalized' until after I add a 'Final Footer Image' to the posting (see some of my other posts for examples of this type of 'end image' I put in my posts). Please excuse changes as they occur and temporary mistakes and spelling errors, which may show up should you return to this article while it is under development. Enjoy, however - I hope you find something helpful to you - and have fun in Fallout 4!]


I'm having a ton of fun playing Fallout 4 (as I always say, 'spending too much time Working On Settlements and ignoring the Main Storyline') - but I wanted to share a bunch of things that I had to 'figure out on my own' in the game, or that I saw others had to (in forums, etc)... There is a kind of Tutorial in the first town in the game, and when you first start out some things are explained, but not much after that (there are some Instruction Screens the first time you Lockpick or Hack A Terminal). Below then, are a handful of concepts, in point form, that I wanted to share; especially for New Players, that the game doesn't quite cover (or 'cover enough'):


  • If it says "You lack the requirements to create this item" ... and you have the requirements and Perks listed... there can actually be more Component requirements (build materials needed), you have to SCROLL DOWN on the Requirements List (labelled "Requires") to see them

  • How to Holster your Weapon: Hold R for a moment (on PC, by Default); the same key as you have set for Reload (The game walks you through Aiming and Reloading, but does not seem to cover Holstering)

  • Weapons do not need to be Repaired in Fallout 4, but Power Armor can be damaged and need Repairing at a Power Armor Station, which can be found in Towns and Settlements, and can be Crafted in Workshop Mode as well (they require two Perks/Skills; Armorer (Rank 1) and Local Leader (Rank 2))

  • How to use the VANS Perk so that it shows the 'Trail to Follow': (See my article on V.A.N.S. ... hold Q for a bit, then put away Pip-Boy right away with TAB and the 'smoke trail to follow' should be left behind)

  • You can adjust the Difficulty at any time in the game, even if it is just temporarily (such as if you are ill and can't fight as well for a while). To change your Difficulty, bring up the Menu while playing (Escape on the PC), then go into the Settings, then into the Gameplay category, changing the Difficulty in there, from Very Easy all the way to Survival Mode (where you have to Sleep, Eat and Drink to stay alive and everything is ultra-hard to kill!). The chance for Legendary Items (and the Legendary Enemies that carry them) increases with the Difficulty - but you can also increase the chance of Legendaries by simply going further South and East, increasing the Difficulty of the Area/Mobs/etc

  • If you TRADE with Dogmeat he can carry Items like all other Companions can (he can also wear Dog Apparel, such as Dog Armor or Dog Collars, if they are found in The Wasteland)

  • You can increase how much Robot Companions can Carry, depending on what parts you build them with (need Automatron DLC to build a Robot that can be your Companion [to 'accompany you on your Travels']), watch the "Carry Weight" Amount as you choose parts

  • It is "ok" to Drink 'the regular Water that is everywhere', it will still heal you a little; it is just Irradiated and causes some Radiation Exposure. If you have a container such as an Empty Bottle or Milk Bottle, you can also fill these containers at Streams or other bodies of water, to Cook with


Don't totally ignore Cooking (although you totally can, if you want to). Cooking various icky parts and gooey bits that you find in The Commonwealth not only heals you, most of the Recipes also give you 'Buffs' - temporary increases in various Stats - and things like Breathing Underwater or the ability to Carry More... Cook All The Things!


  • The RED Bar in your Health Bar (that is normally GREEN) is the level of Radiation you have acquired. It 'takes up space' in your Health Bar, because you cannot be "100% healthy" with Radiation Exposure (it must be removed with RadAway or by a Doctor at a Clinic (for a small fee))

  • The Water Pumps that are built at Settlements give 'Pure Water' from underground (it counts as "Purified Water" as it comes from underground where it has been protected/filtered from radiation by the land/ground, similar to how it would be IRL). The Water Pumps can be drunk from directly (like a Water Fountain) or the water can be bottled to drink later (if carrying empty bottles/etc); you don't have to go all the way back to The Vault to get "Pure Water" [something I was doing in Survival Mode all the time]

  • To Build in a Settlement, go up to the Workshop Bench (always 'mostly red' colour, with 'tools' on it and usually located Centrally in the Settlement) and Activate it. If you are "Allied with the Settlement" (helping them out or have already helped them out by Completing a Mission for them) it will open Workshop Mode

  • To Scrap in Workshop Mode (to 'break down an item/weapons/armor into Components you can use for Building Materials), look at it (drop it on the ground if you are carrying it) and hit SCRAP. Walk around a Settlement as soon as you can utilize Workshop Mode, looking for anything that you can Scrap in the area, for use as building materials. The items you Scrap all get 'broken down' into Components, which are the building materials themselves, the 'things you construct other things with' - everything being stored in the Workshop Bench itself as Inventory


You do not have to Scrap everything 'manually'/'one at a time'. Just STORE or put Junk Items in the Workshop Inventory ('trading with the Workshop Bench', called "Transfer") and when you want to Build something, the Workbench calculates if you have enough Junk Items to break down into enough Components to build with. It will show what you want to build as GREEN if you have enough estimated building materials to construct the thing you are trying to build. (You may also need certain Perks to build some things, watch the Requirements list)


  • People can 'steal' your Power Armor... Raiders can Steal your Power Armor if they come across it in The Wasteland, for example. Settlers can even take Weapons out of nearby Crates/Containers to use, when attacked. To avoid losing your Power Armor, take out the Fusion Core from the Power Armor ("Transfer") when leaving it, so that it cannot be used by anyone else (it is like 'taking the keys out of your vehicle') [NPCs don't seem to carry/use Fusion Cores on the Armor]. However there have been stories of cases where Settlers will take a Fusion Core out of a container in a Settlement and throw it in a nearby Power Armor Suit and run off with it to Defend the Settlement! Crazy. Although most of the time, the Settler will simply 'get out' of your Power Armor after the Settlement is Defended - still, take out Fusion Cores from your Power Armor when you leave it, so that noone (for the most part) can take your Power Armor and you can always find it where you left it.

  • If Items and Containers around you are 'glowing green' or looking like they have 'pip-boy radar on them', this is a result of the Highlighting from the Scrapper Perk. Any items that you 'Tag for Searching' for (eg. when trying to Build something and you didn't have enough materials, you can "Tag the Components for Search") will have this GREEN highlighting when the Pip-Boy detects you are close to an Item in the world that is made up of that type of Component (eg. Steel or Plastic).
    To turn this OFF, open the Pip-Boy and go to the Junk page in the Inventory tab, and change to component view by clicking on the Component View button at the bottom ('C' on PC).
    Then in this view, go through the Component types and clear the Tag For Search by doing it again on the Component type.
    Then, your 'Highlighted view' from the Scrapper Perk is turned off and Items and Containers will not 'glow green' around you anymore

  • Speaking of glowing green, unless you want your vision to be green-ish and REALLY BRIGHT every time you crouch (Sneak), don't get Night Person Rank 2 (Perk). Although the Perk does state that you'll get "Night Vision when you Sneak", unless you really want to be able to see really well (and slightly green-ish) in the dark or when you Sneak, hold off on Rank 2, or watch some videos on it first, to see what it looks like. [To some, the Bonuses are worth it - and they don't mind the way it looks - but personally, I did not like how the Night Vision worked/looked; and since Rank 2 of the Perk and the Vision are tied together (you cannot have one without the other), I personally avoid Rank 2 of the Perk, for now]

  • If you Exit the game (in any way except using ALT+F4), the game will Save your progress as an "Exit Save". Then, when you start up the game again and Load the Exit Save, it will [should] Delete that Savegame. Note that if you try to Exit the game with the Pip-Boy up, the game cannot Save your progress when you Exit to the Main Menu or the Desktop (be careful in Survival Mode!)

  • Don't forget to periodically see what Upgrades you can perform on your Weapons (to do more Damage) and Armor (to withstand/absorb more Damage) at Weapons Workbenches and Armor Workbenches. Some Modifications require Perks to 'know how to do them'; check the Requirements as you go through your Weapons and Armor, to see what you need to make them better


Tip: If you are having trouble killing things, look for ways to improve your Weapons to do more Damage and your Armor to protect you from it - with Modifications at Armor and Weapon Workbenches! Also, the further South/East you go, the harder (higher level) enemies you will face. Tread slowly, go back over areas you have been, to see if anyone has 'moved in' and left items/money around. Stick to the 'NW' as long as you need to (especially in Survival Mode)...



Speaking of Killing Things, here is how to utilize the Suppressor (the Weapon Modification attachment that actually works really well in the game; but it is more 'realistic' than 'silent'...).

Note: Knowing how to attach a Suppressor to your Gun requires the skill/knowledge, represented by needed the "Gun Nut" Perk of different Ranks (needing Rank 2 for attaching a Suppressor to Pistols and needing Rank 4 for attaching a Suppressor to Rifles)


Here are some Tips for shooting enemies (even groups) with a Suppressor on your gun:

- Shoot from a distance
(the Suppressor reduces sound, but is not "Silent", just like IRL)

- Headshot for instant kills
(most of the time, aim manually to help this, as the chance to miss is always present in V.A.T.S. With good aiming, that single shot can always be spot-on)

- Stop attacking your enemies for a moment
(they will look around at first of course, but if you don't move and don't shoot, they will not know what the hell is going on and if you wait longer, they will eventually even stop looking "thinking it was the wind/rats/etc")

- Repeat, killing the second enemy, and so on...

Try to remember that if you shoot too frequently, they can hear the direction (suppressors aren't silent, just like IRL) or can see the puff of smoke or something, because they eventually figure out where you are BUT ONLY if you keep shooting when they are Cautious and looking for you. If you stop shooting when they are looking for the source of the sound/attack, you will be ok. Remember, "low and slow...".



  • Weapon And Armor Attachments (Modifications made to Weapons and Armor at Workstations for each) can be taken off of Weapons and Armor you find and put on your own favourite pieces/items... As an example, take a 'Weapon you found on a Raider' to a Weapons Workbench and choose a lesser attachment/modification than what is present on the item. In this example, if you want a "Hardened Receiver" that is on a Weapon you found, choose one further 'up' the List of Modifications, such as a "Standard Receiver" and 'build' it on the Weapon you found; then you will be changing the Attachment and receive the "Hardened Receiver" Modification in the form of a small box 'kit' in your Inventory that you can then use on your own Weapon! Simply go back to your favourite gun at the same Weapons Workbench and see if you can put the new Weapon Mod ("the Hardened Receiver" with higher damage output) on your favourite gun


  • If people around you are glowing (looking, for example, red or green) and look like they have 'lines through them' as well, you may have a helmet of Power Armor that has the "Targeting HUD (Heads-Up Display)" on it as an Attachment/Modification. This effect is visible even if it is only active on a Companion's Power Armor Helmet. Simply remove or change the Targeting HUD Modification of the Helmet at any Power Armor Station, to disable the effect.





















[......I am going to add to this post, as I remember things that I already have forgotten and can't seem to bring back up at the moment to throw in here; but I still hope someone finds these concepts and Tips helpful - especially new players to the game..... Have fun with Fallout 4!]

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Fallout 4 - V.A.N.S... What Does It Do? Why Would Anyone Want To Take/Use It? [Explanation with Example]

I saw someone ask this in the Official Steam Forum, wondering why someone would even pick the VANS Perk (the Skill to use it) while levelling. I wanted to come back here and post, as a Quick Tip perhaps, a short explanation on what V.A.N.S. actually does (and how it can be helpful to players).

Briefly summarized, V.A.N.S. is a Perk of Intelligence (requiring only 1 INT to Unlock) that lets the V.A.T.S. interface 'show you the way' to your marked objective/quest/mission location. An example I recorded of how it looks, is below:
Recorded aboard The Prydwen, this is a short example of how VANS looks in Fallout 4.
(Reduced size, framerate and quality, to fit Upload requirements at Steam)
Click to see slightly larger Full Size

To use V.A.N.S., simply hold the Hotkey for opening VATS for a short time (eg. on PC, instead of hitting 'Q' quickly once, to enter V.A.T.S., hold it down) - let go of the 'Q' key, after about two full seconds or so - even if the Pip-Boy has not fully opened yet. Then hit 'TAB' to close the Pip-Boy right away, once the 'green trail' is seen.
You do not need to move or turn at all, until after closing the Pip-Boy fully (for example, I do not use the mouse at all to use V.A.N.S., on PC, I just open the Pip-Boy with 'Q' and close the Pip-Boy with 'TAB').
[Perhaps this will help those having issues with opening/closing/viewing the 'trail'...]

If you've played Skyrim, it is similar to the Clairvoyance Spell in that game, as it will then illuminate a 'trail' that looks like a tube of smoke along the ground, that you can follow (but in Fallout 4 it is 'Pip-Boy Green', as opposed to 'SKYrim Blue').

While this doesn't seem needed as Fallout 4 has both Map Marks (on the Map in the Pip-Boy and at the bottom of the Screen in a Compass) and Floating Markers (that can be seen on Doors, above NPCs, etc). V.A.N.S. is helpful in a slightly different way. It shows you the 'Main Path to take' to get to your Marked Objective/Quest/Mission (as in, "go to this Street and use this Road").

For example, if you are jumping around in the back hills or lost in the skyscrapers of Downtown, it will guide you out of where you are with the 'green steam trail' and show you how to get back to the main roads, then it will illuminate which way to go from there, too.


The Map Markers that are normally available only show the 'overall' or 'general' Heading, like a Compass (N, E, W, S) and not 'how to go around this thing in front of you' or 'how to get back to the main road first'. Those last concepts are where the usefulness in V.A.N.S. shines; in how it can guide you from exactly where you are, first around whatever is in front of you (to the nearest main path), then how to go on from there to your next objective.

Try it out on your next Character perhaps - and have fun in Fallout 4!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Quick Tip: Fallout 4 - "Get Rid Of Someone You Don't Like" in Your Settlement (Without Killing Them or Using Cheats) [Suggestion, Text-Only Mode]

Just wanted to share something that came up, in answering a Question someone asked in the Official Steam Forum for Fallout 4 - in case anyone has a Settler in one of their bases that they really, really don't like...

A person asked in the Forum, how to 'get rid of' Jezebel', whom for those who do not know, is a Robo-Brain type automatron, from the Automatron Official DLC. Without getting into any Spoilers, I'll just say "she has an attitude"...

However, because she is a Resident of your Settlement, you cannot easily get rid of her, as attempting to just kill her will set all of the other Settlers gunning for your head in retaliation/defense.

Also, although she can be Assigned to the Task of, say running a Shop at the far end of Town and 'stay there', she is not of much use in that respect - because Robots cannot run Shops/Stores [sadly].

I thought of using her to start a Supply Line (so her Task/Job will take her out of town almost all of the time and you'll rarely ever have to see her) - and saw that another helpful Fallout 4 player thought of the same thing - and already posted it as a Reply in the Discussion...

Still, I could add (as a Tip perhaps); that you can 'send her away' even more so by first Moving her to a Settlement that you rarely go to (using the MOVE menu bar command, at the bottom of the Workshop Mode interface).

You could Move her to Oberon Station perhaps, or The Slog [those are where I normally send 'people I don't like' lol] - anywhere that you normally don't 'check up on' as much as you do your other Settlements...

Then, after that, Assign her to become a Provisioner and start up a Supply Line (using the SUPPLY LINE menu bar command, in Workshop Mode) between the starting place of where you sent her ("far away") and another place you rarely go to - that way, you will REALLY never have to see her again!

[Actually, you may still run into her, as you run into your Provisioners if you journey into the paths between the Settlements you have Supply Lines set up for - but still, if you pick two remote places that you don't really visit often as her Supply Line nodes (start and end points), then you'll really rarely ever bump into her]

Either way, I hope these ideas help any of you 'get rid of someone' you don't like, from a Settlement (and you don't want to kill them or use cheats/commands to do it). Have fun in Fallout 4!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fallout 4 - "Starting Out: On Settlements, Building, Crafting, Materials And More" - A Beginner's Guide of Tips and Concepts to Settlement Building and Development [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Update: Added images for Main Concepts sections (Food, Defense, etc)
Update: Added steps for How To Assign a Settler to a Work Station/Shop/etc
Update: Added how to Give Yourself Any Building Components, or Food, with Commands (Cheats Section)
Update: Added how to Build past the Size Limit in Settlements (Not a Cheat, Doable on Console as well as PC)


[Note.: This post is 'LIVE' and 'UNDER CONSTRUCTION', as I continue to add more data and Tips and Example Screenshots to it... I decided to make it available now however, to assist those playing Fallout 4; especially those just starting out - seeing as there is a Steam Sale on now (go get it! heh). I will be adding more Text and Tips and Screenshots and More and this post cannot be considered 'finalized' until after I add a 'Final Footer Image' to the posting (see some of my other posts for examples of this type of 'end image' I put in my posts). Please excuse changes as they occur and temporary mistakes and spelling errors, which may show up should you return to this article while it is under development. Enjoy, however - I hope you find something helpful to you - and have fun in Fallout 4!]





I have been having a ton of fun playing Fallout 4 lately... and while I am taking forever to finish up a 'First Impressions' of the game [I keep playing and building up my Settlements instead of writing!], I wanted to share some Tips on handling Settlements; some concepts and ideas that might help new users to the game, players that may not have developed their Settlements very much yet, or players that are looking for ways to possibly improve or increase their Settlements and their Production and associated benefits (Bottlecaps income from Stores, Settlers roaming around and finding/providing you with Supplies, Clinics for healing and removing Radiation, and more).

Screenshot showing the Workshop Area of The Sunshine Tidings Cooperative, Decorated (Work In Progress).
(High Resolution Texture Pack enabled [not 100% sure, sorry, but I think it was at this time]
The Automatron DLC Robot Workbench can be seen, center background. Minuteman Flag seen, left wall, foreground)
Click to see Full Size

[Settlements and their development and growth is one of my favourite aspects of the game, not only because it supplies you with Junk/Scrap/Materials to build with and Money as well, but also because of the 'life it breathes into the game'... every Settlement becomes 'alive' with people coming and going, working and resting, asking for help or talking amongst themselves around you. After getting a few Settlements set up and running smoothly, they become a place to restock, sell and collect, modify and improve gear, rest and maybe enjoy some scenery, taking a break from the action by building and re-working, improving and creating a place of solitude and pride, in each little 'town' in The Commonwealth...]


Example of the Workshop Mode interface bar, normally seen at the top of the screen in Workshop Mode (Building mode)
Click to see Full Size 


Here then, are some main ideas to start off with or to keep in mind  - hopefully helpful to fellow gamers who are either starting out in Fallout 4 [from the latest Steam Sale], or are looking for ways to improve their currently-undeveloped Settlements (colour-coded somewhat-by-importance to help separate them for easier reference):


1.  In the very beginning, build Food and Water and Beds, as much as you can.  
These three things (Beds, Water, Food) are the main limiting factors to how many people will come to live in a Settlement. 
 [The maximum amount of people that can 'live in your town' is supposed to be your Charisma+10 (so if you have 5 Charisma, that would be 15 people); Provisioners who run Supply Lines (more on them later on down further) don't seem to count towards this calcuated total (by my experience so far). Also, this limitation is stated in many places online - however, I have Settlements that are much higher than this number (over 30!) so I have not finalized the concept of Settlement Limitation Amount, at this time] 
Don't worry about Guard Posts and Turrets, at least, as much as you might think at the start - because although they do help with the overall safety of your Settlement; reducing the amount of Raids that occur, reducing the amount of Damage that will be sustained in the Raids, and setting a higher Security rating (which seems to affect Happiness, but not Immigration rate - more on Happiness later on...) - you can actually put the responsibility on yourself to take care of Raids at first [and get the bonus experience and loot that comes with it!] by Fast Travelling to the Settlements as soon as you see the 'Help Defend' tasks come up - or making 'rounds' between your Settlements as they are starting up, as Raiders sometimes attack while you are there and you can then help clear them out - and get all the Loot they drop, too! 
[The game leads you towards building Turrets at your Settlements near the beginning, too - in the form of a 'tutorial' of sorts, somewhat-early on]



2.  Plant any Food (Corn, Tatos, Mutfruit, Gourds, Watermelon and Razorgrain) you find, at first.
Starting out, you want to maximize your growth, so re-planting food you pick up not only increases how much food a Settlement can produce/feed for the Settlers, it also multiplies how much you can harvest!

You can harvest any plants by 'picking them' (hitting the Action key while close to them). You can then immediately re-plant the food you just picked, by entering Workshop Mode and going to the Resources>Food section.
A while later, you can start to Cook with your Food - not only do the meals you prepare have special bonuses (they are all different!) but boiling up some VEGETABLE STARCH, made from all materials that you can gather at any Settlement, is a great way to create your own Adhesive building material. Used for almost everything, Adhesive is a very important material to have!



Vegetable Starch, a source of Adhesive, you can create yourself by cooking together Corn (3), Mutfruit (3), Tatos (3) and using Purified Water (1). Purified Water, you can either find as you travel, cook yourself [3 Dirty Water can be boiled up to make 1 Purified Water], or use Water leftover from your Water Sources in your Settlement - as any extra Water that is not used by your Settlers will be 'kept by the Settlers in the Workshop inventory' [in the Workshop Bench]. You need Adhesive for Modifications to Weapons and Armor and even for Building - it is used for almost everything and is therefore very important to keep stocked!





3. Tied for the third most important thing/things to start thinking about, are these two concepts:

  • As you can, increase your Turrets and Guard Posts, to increase the Security of the Settlements, and as stated above, reducing the amount of Raids that occur, reducing the amount of Damage that will be sustained in Raids, and keeping your Settlers 'feeling secure and more relaxed' (Happier), too. 
Although the Security Rating of a Settlement ("Defense") does not effect the speed at which Settlers will immigrate to your little town, the Defense Rating of a Settlement affects the Happiness Rating - which affects how 'Productive' the Settlers are in that Settlement (speed of gathering resources, amount of Caps earned, etc) - more on Happiness later on...
If you have more Guard Posts than you have assigned Guards, they will 'patrol' around the Settlement, going between them, back and forth. If you have the same amount of Guard Posts to Guards, they will each stay at one, standing 'on guard', most of the time.
[I personally like to have a couple extra Guard Posts created in my Settlements just to have the Guards move around more... It creates more movement in the Settlements overall and makes them 'feel more alive' - something I really like in my Settlements!]

  • Build extra Scavenging Stations as your Settlement grows, as your Junk/Materials allow you to, so as the Settlers keep flowing in, you can assign them to the empty Stations - concentrating more on Scavenging over time will get your Settlers working and searching around, bringing you any Junk Items they find, "automatically" for you to then use!
Scavenging Stations are assigned to Settlers, who then start wandering the Settlement randomly, picking up Scrap and Junk items they find and placing them in the Workshop over time - they will even 'break down' the items at the Scavenging Station - and you can watch them do it! 
[If you have the Automatron DLC/Expansion, you will find that robots Assigned to Scavenging Stations will simply stand next to the Station with no animations occurring (sadly)]

'How do you Assign Settlers to Scavenging Stations?'
Further down, there are Steps with Screenshots for each,
in the Section "How To Assign Settlers To Work Stations"


After a while, with more Settlers coming in (sometimes they will migrate to your Settlements quite fast, seeing a solid place to find food, water, beds and have some security/safety), you'll start to see Junk/Scrap/Materials pile up slowly, even Bottlecaps flowing in, sitting there waiting for you in the Workshops of your Settlements. 
 [If you have extra Food/Plants/farming and Guarding that needs to be done, Settlers seem to assign themselves to those first, if you haven't been by to visit in a while to 'tell people what to do' - I have returned to Settlements to find New Immigrants that have started Farming or standing at Guard Posts on their own - but I have yet to see Settlers that Assign themselves to Scavenging Stations]
Don't forget to 'make your rounds' and periodically travel around to check all of the Workshops, grabbing these extra 'Caps and 'Mats, snatching-up the extra Purified Water you'll see in them, to sell for even more Bottlecaps (especially if you are more desperate for money sometime). Purified Water is created by extra Water production of the Settlement; water that the Settlers aren't using from the Sources you have set up. This extra Water gets placed in the Workshop for general use and Supply Line provisioning to other Settlements - but since it sells for a decent price and 'piles up for free', grab it and Sell it, if you really need 'Caps!


4.  As you find more Settlements, start up Supply Lines between them all...
Supply Lines are ways to 'share' the resources of the Workshops between Settlements. You assign a Settler to create a Supply Line between two Settlements, and they then become a "Provisioner", leading a Caravan between the two Settlements, taking supplies between them so that you can effectively 'use the Junk/Scrap/Materials/Components of both of them', no matter which one you are in!
Supply Lines are started by entering Workshop Mode, then going up to a Settler (one that is Unassigned with no 'job to do', or one that you want to make run a Supply Line instead of the job they are currently assigned to) and choosing Supply Line from the bottom menu bar.
That townsperson will then become a Provisioner, leading a caravan and a wacky Brahmin through the wilds of The Commonwealth... between the Settlement that they originated in and the one that you assigned them to make a Supply Line to.
Between these two Settlements then, you can utilize any* Junk/Scrap/Components between them, in their Workshops.
*Note that it appears you cannot share any Weapons or Apparel that you put in [I have not tested Miscellaneous items yet]; you can only share Junk [as of the time of this posting, this may change in a future Update/Patch in the game, of course].
Requirement: Supply Lines require the Local Leader Perk to be able to 'organize the people', which requires a Charisma of 6 - but it has no Level requirement, so you can get it at the start of the game if your Character has a Charisma of 6. If your Character does not have a Charisma of 6, you can also put Perk Points into Charisma as you Level - you get one Perk Point every time you gain a Level - thereby slowly increasing your Charisma to 6, eventually. You can also put on Gear and Clothes that 'accentuate your Charisma rating' [eg. Apparel that says "CHR 1"], to get your Charisma up to 6 'instantly'!
[With places like Tenpines Bluff, a Settlement you find somewhat-early on, that has barely any resources at all and barely anything to Scrap for Building Materials - the game seems to even be encouraging you to think about Supply Lines... at least, this is my interpretation..]


Pick Up Everything! Loot Every Body And Clear Out Every Location You Find!



Workshops will create Scrap building materials (Components) for you 'automatically' from any Junk Items you store in them - just 'keep building' and if you have the Junk that can be broken down into the Components you need, it will do it for you!



What I mean by the above Tip is, if you put in a bunch of Forks and Knives you have found (for example), and you want to build something in your Settlement that requires Steel to build with, just go ahead and start Building - your Workshop will 'smelt/breakdown the Junk items (in this example, the Forks and Knives) into Steel' automatically, so you can essentially 'use the Fork and Knife to build with' - you do not need to "drop the items on the ground and then go into Workshop Mode and Scrap the items one by one" to get the Materials from your Junk items to Build; just select your part to Build and it will let you build it - if there is enough "components from junk parts" to do so!

[I'm not sure if this changed from an early Patch or something, but I see a bunch of people asking in forums, even recently, if there is an easier way to get Scrap (building materials) from Junk items besides manually 'Scrapping them one-by-one on the ground in Workshop Mode' - there should have been a better Tutorial for this, in a way, in the game itself; but I hope this information above clears it up and helps people out]



Remember: 
Junk Items = Scrap Components = 
Building Materials!


Pick Up Everything! Loot Every Body And Clear Out Every Location You Find!


  • Repeated, Scavenging Station concept from above, as a Reminder:

    Build extra Scavenging Stations as your Settlement grows, as your Junk/Materials allow you to, so as the Settlers keep flowing in, you can assign them to the empty Stations - concentrating more on Scavenging over time will get your Settlers working and searching around, bringing you any Junk Items they find, 'automatically' for you!
Scavenging Stations are assigned to Settlers, who then start wandering the Settlement randomly, picking up Scrap and Junk items they find and placing them in the Workshop over time.
 [If you have extra Food/Plants/farming and Guarding that needs to be done, Settlers seem to assign themselves to those first, if you haven't been by to visit in a while to 'tell people what to do' - I have returned to Settlements to find New Immigrants that have started Farming or standing at Guard Posts on their own - but I have yet to see Settlers that Assign themselves to Scavenging Stations]
[If you have the Automatron DLC/Expansion, you will find that robots assigned to Scavenging Stations will simply stand next to the Station with no animations occurring (sadly)]




How To Assign Settlers To Work Stations (To Get Them To Perform Jobs In Your Settlement, Such As Running Shops/Stores Or Gathering Items For You To Use)




Below, are the five simple steps to Assigning a Settler to any Work Station, getting them to utilize it and start contributing to the income of Supplies/Income of the Settlement. In this example, we are going to Assign a Settler to a Scavenging Station:


1. When you first build/place a Station or Store/Shop or other useable buildings in your Settlement, it will show up as "Unassigned", in the Workshop Mode interface. All buildings that are Assignable in a Settlement will show a 'person icon', in Red, to show that the building has a Requirement that needs to be fulfilled, for it to begin functioning.


2. Find a Settler that you want to Assign to the Station. This can be a Settler that is already "Assigned" to something (so you can change their Job they are Performing in your Settlement), or a Settler who is "Unassigned" (doing nothing specific). Highlight the Settler by looking directly at them, then press the ACTION button to begin to 'COMMAND them to do something'...



Settlers who are Unassigned still gather Junk Items they find while walking around and put them in the Workshop Inventory for use by everyone. However, this happens slower than if they were Assigned to a Scavenging Station (which gives them 'access to tools'). "Unassigned Settlers" contribute to 'making people feel uneasy' in the Settlement - which negatively affects the overall Happiness of that Settlement (resulting in lowered Production for that Settlement). Assign all Settlers to Tasks, or Relocate them to another Settlement ("Move" them), if there are no Jobs/Tasks for them to do.


3. Go back to the Station/Shop/Building that you want to Assign the Settler to, and highlight it by looking directly at it. Then click the ACTION button to ASSIGN the Settler you just started COMMANDing, to 'utilize this Station' (in this example, the Scavenging Station, shown below).


4. After clicking ASSIGN on a Station/Shop/Building, the 'person icon' should change from Red to Green, to show that a person is now assigned to the Station/Shop/Building (for example, the 'Requirement for the Station to function' is fulfilled). You should also see a message in the upper-left saying, "This resource is now assigned." - that's it! In this example, you have now Assigned a Settler to the Scavenging Station.


5. If you go back to the Settler, you can check to make sure they are properly Assigned, by looking at them directly in Workshop Mode. They should now show the Task they are Assigned to (in this example, the Settler now shows a "Scavenging Station Icon" (a Buzzard, the 'scavenger bird')).


Perform the above steps whenever you want to Assign a Settler to any Work Station, Guard Post, Shop or Store - the steps are the same, no matter what you need to have Assigned.




Pick Up Everything! Loot Every Body And Clear Out Every Location You Find!


Example of a Crafting Station, which allows you to create or modify items in the game. This is a Weapons Workbench (from Sanctuary), used to Modify found Weapons, adding higher capacity, faster firing rates, more powerful scopes, and more.
(Click to see Full Size)


Starting out with Weapons (Similar Concept to Armor)

In the beginning, other than the best Weapons you can save for yourself to use (or share with your Companion), SCRAP the rest for Materials...

Don't worry about building up a 'Collection to Sell' [at the start], you will run into so many enemies that you will have lots of spare Weapons to Sell for Caps later on. Scrapping for Materials not only lets you have Mats to Modify other Weapons you find and improve them as you Unlock Perks with your Points (using the Blacksmith skill) - it will also let you find other parts/materials as you 'break down' the Weapons you find into typical weapon-type-materials like Steel, Wood, Plastic and Screws - sadly, you cannot break down Weapons to gain the ever-important Adhesive, it seems [it is 'already used', I guess!].


Example of a Crafting Station, that allows you to create or modify items in the game. This is an Armor Workbench (from Sanctuary, seen in the rain), used to Modify found Armor, adding bonuses like more defense (adding more material to armor), or putting pockets in it (to allow you carry more weight), and more.
(Click to see Full Size)



Starting out with Armor (Similar Concept to Weapons)

In the beginning, other than the best Armor you can save for yourself to use, (or share with your Companion), SCRAP the rest for Materials...

Don't worry about building up a 'Collection to Sell' [at the start], you will run into so many enemies that you will have lots of spare Armor to Sell for Caps later on. Scrapping for Materials not only lets you have Mats to Modify other Armor you find and improve them as you Unlock Perks with your Points (using the Armorer skill) - it will also let you find other parts/materials, as you 'break down' the Armor you find into typical armor-type-materials like Rubber, Cloth, Leather and Steel - sadly, you cannot break down Weapons to gain the ever-important Adhesive, it seems [it is 'already used', I guess!].

Short Story/Example About Armor: Because I could Modify and Customize Raider Arm armor near the beginning, I gave up the higher-protection "DC Guard Left/Right Arm" armor pieces that I picked off of a poor dead DC Guard, [because it does not seem to Modify-able in the game and] because I 'knew how to Modify' the Raider Armor to be POCKETED for higher Inventory/Carry space [you need to 'learn how', by putting Perk Points ('skill points earned every Level') into Armorer, a Strength 3 skill]. I put the DC Guard Armor in a Dresser at the beginning for the time being, using the 'Pocketed Raider Arms' I could Modify - a higher Carry Weight Limit is a valuable commodity - especially at the beginning!



Pick Up Everything! Loot Every Body And Clear Out Every Location You Find!





Did someone say CHEATS?




Sick of trudging around The Commonwealth like a Brahmin with two heads cut off, looking for junk to break down into materials to 'just build' with? Tired of picking up every piece of Junk you find, trekking in and out of town constantly and thinking "I just want to build up my base..." or "can't there be an easy way of getting junk" or "there's gotta be a faster way to get junk"..?


Then wonder/wander no more - there is a way to instantly get all the materials you want!

In Fallout 4 [and most Bethesda games], you can type the item you want and how many you want, of any item in the game, into the Command Console. However, you need to know the item's Unique Identification Number, first (known as the "Base ID" of the item, in Bethesda games). 
One way to find the Base ID of any item or object in Fallout 4, is to open the Console (by hitting the Tilde key, "~", usually found next to the Number 1, in the line of numbers across the top of QWERTY keyboards), and clicking on the item or object in the game. It will then show the BaseID of the object at the top/center of the Command Console area.
For an example; if you wanted to find out the Base ID of that Deathclaw running at you (and since we are in the 'Cheat Section' of this article, say... you want to kill it instantly), then you would find out the ID for it by opening the Console ("~") and clicking once on the Deathclaw (it should be 'frozen' by opening the Console), which would show the BaseID of it just below, at the top of the Console area. Now, for this example of 'killing it instantly'; you just have to type in "kill", then a space, then type in the BaseID you see on the screen, and hit Enter. BOOM. That Deathclaw that was running at you (and you were unprepared for, full of inventory and unable to run, no doubt)? It's dead. "First Crack At The Gear!". 
[Note1: If you try 'clicking on the enemy, then typing KILL, then hitting ENTER'; it may not work as desired. You may end up killing yourself. Although those steps do work, they do not seem to work 100% of the time [in my testing], therefore, the Suggestion of doing the steps from just a bit above ("clicking to get the ID, but typing in KILL and the ID number"), is recommended - to save from accidentally killing yourself and having to LOAD...]
[Note2: The BaseID seems to change [in my testing], as in, when a Deathclaw (from our example above) 'spawns' (comes out of the ground), it will have one ID (and it seems to be 'unkillable' for a short time), and then when it starts to come at you and attack, it will change to another ID - which can then be used in the Command Console to 'kill' it. Also, Base Identifiers may be 'Procedurally Generated', which is, automatically and repeatedly created and changed, as a game goes on. Although this does not seem to happen for items like Food and Materials, it does seem to happen with Enemies and Gear (Weapons/Armor) - so be sure to take the steps above when trying to manipulate objects around you (eg. 'kill'-in an enemy), finding the BaseID each time, to be sure that there will not be a mistake or missed opportunity, to utilize the BaseID in the Console.]


Want nearly-infinite food?
Want nearly-infinite materials to build with?
Want to 'just build and not worry about going around collecting Junk (to build with)'? 

Then wonder/wander no more - here is a way to instantly get all the building materials you want!


[WARNING/Suggestion: Although getting all of the items you could ever want, whenever you want, to 'Just Build' - effectively turning the game into "Fallout 4: The Sims Apocalypse" where you just Build and Decorate and work on keeping your Settlers at bases Happy (not that that's a bad thing) - it can potentially contribute to making the game 'less exciting', as it takes away much of the need to go anywhere or do anything (other than keep your Settlers' Happiness maintained). This isn't a bad thing necessarily (I have one Character I created just to play around and learn the Build Mechanics with and have fun just building and decorating..). I only mention this because I would like to Suggest to create a separate Character to do this with, or remember that when the game 'gets kind of boring', to create a Character where you 'don't cheat at all', to create suspense/tension within the game. No matter how you prefer to play though, I hope you enjoy Fallout 4 as much as I have - and still do... Have fun!]


I have some Batch Files for Fallout 4 below, which will allow you to 'type in to the Console what you want' [Materials to build with, or Food (so you won't have to worry about Farming or feeding your Settlers)] and you will instantly have a ton of those items on your character.

With the Items in them listed in Alphabetical Order, I have one file that is for getting Materials (Scrap/Junk to Build with), one file that is for getting Food (to Eat/Cook with) and one that is for getting huge amounts of both in one shot...

To use these Batch Files in Fallout 4, simply download the Text file(s) and place them into the Fallout 4 game directory/folder, where the game data/files are.
[Don't worry, they are just Text Files, but I give directions on how to make your own further down, if you 'don't like to download things unknown very much'.]


To quickly find the Fallout 4 game files location [in Steam, on PC]:
Go to the Library section in Steam and Right-Click on the "Fallout 4" listing, choosing 'Properties'.

In the Properties window that comes up, click on the 'Local Files' tab.
It shows you what Drive the game is on; but to quickly get to the game files themselves, click on the 'Browse Local Files' button, which will open a new File Explorer window (Windows).

This location is where you want to Save the Text Files to (the 'Batch Files for Fallout 4'), usually it will have a Path like "SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Fallout 4" on whatever Drive/Partition you installed the game to.
In that folder, Download/Save (or 'Paste', if you 'Copied' the files from another location) the .TXT files, to be able to call them up from the Command Console in-game. 
Example of how the 'Batch Files' (Text Files) look, after being placed in the Fallout 4 Game Folder
(Click to see Full Size)


Here are the steps to use the .TXT-format 'Batch Files' once they are in the game directory (shown for the file for getting Food, the file for getting Building Materials, and then the file for getting Huge Amounts Of Everything To 'Just Build' if you want...):

1A. To use the file that gives you 1000 of all types of Food (so you don't have to worry about Farming or Feeding your Settlers for a long time); type in
 bat allbasefood
 in the Command Console and hit Enter. That's it!  
1B. You can now close the Console and you'll find you have 1000 of every type of Food in the game, on your person.
1C. Go to a Workshop to Store the Food there (otherwise you will be 'overburdened' with all of that Food in your pockets) - you will find the Food items under the AID section in your Pip-Boy, as shown below:


2A. To use the file that gives you 1000 of all types of Materials to build with (all of the Crafting Components, so you don't have to worry about going out and looking for and collecting Junk items to Scrap for a long time and can 'Just Build', if you want to play that way for a while); type in
bat allbasematerials
 in the Command Console and hit Enter. That's it! 
2B. You can now close the Console and you'll find you have 1000 of every type of Building and Crafting Material in the game, on your person.
2C. Go to a Workshop to Store the Materials in the Workshop Inventory (otherwise you will be 'overburdened' with all of those Crafting Components in your pockets) - you can just hit the STORE ALL JUNK button, to do it in one step.


For the last one, which gives 9001 of every single type of Food AND Crafting Component in the game [maybe I should have named it "IJUSTWANTTOBUILD.txt"], use the steps below:

3A. To use the file that gives you 9001 Of All Types Of Everything To 'Just Build' With (all of the Crafting Components in the game, so you don't have to worry about going out and looking for and collecting Food OR Junk items to Scrap, for a long time and can 'Just Build'); type in
 bat allyourbase9k
in the Command Console and hit Enter. That's it! 
3B. You can now close the Console and you'll find you have 9001 of every type of Building and Crafting Material in the game, on your person.
3C. Go to a Workshop to Store the Junk Items (Materials) and the Food (from the AID section in the Pip-Boy), in the Workshop Inventory (otherwise you will be 'overburdened' with all of those Every Frelling Thing In The Game For Settlement Building in your pockets).  


Here is where to Download the Text Files to place into the Fallout 4 directory/folder (the 'Batch Files' to use), from the GoogleDrive for The Blog:

allbasefood.txt file
allbasematerials.txt file
allyourbase9k.txt file



If you don't like to normally Download things 'from unknown places/people' [aren't we just 'Friends That Haven't Met Yet, though, my dear reader?], here is what the Google Drive link looks like when you click on it:


Still, feel free to Scan the files with your installed Anti-Virus Program(s), or online through something like Virustotal.com (this is actually a good idea to do with anything Downloaded..).

If you you rather create your own Text Files, to place into your Fallout 4 directory/folder, to run as 'Batch Files', to give yourself an amount of these items, instead of fully Downloading the Text Files offered above - then here are the steps to create your own files:







Is There A Way To Build More, Past The Limit?




Sadly, there is a limit to how much you can Build in a Settlement - indicated by the SIZE bar in the Upper-Right corner of the screen in Workshop Mode. While this limitation is there to stop us from building so much that it makes the game go down to 1fps in that area, the SIZE limit is pretty conservative [in my opinion] and I found out that there is an easy way to 'Build More' - getting past that Build Size Limitation....

When you see the message, "Nothing More Can Be Built.", you can just press your lips together and blow, making that weird trumpet sound, after reading the steps below. No Limitations for you! Just follow these steps and you can continue to Build in that Settlement:

(Note that this is not a Cheat, it does not affect Achievements and it is doable on Console as well as PC)

  • Get some Weapons together on your Character (specifically Guns, as this specific technique does not appear to work with Melee or Thrown in my testing). Apparel and Junk does not work for this either.
  • Bring up the Pip-Boy and Drop the Guns on the ground
  • Close the Pip-Boy and enter Workshop Mode (by Activating the Workshop Bench or holding 'V' (on PC) to open Workshop Mode)
  • Look down at the Guns on the ground and STORE them in the Workshop Inventory (careful not to SCRAP them, that is not what we are doing here at the moment!)
  • You should now see your SIZE bar going in reverse and it will even change from Red to Yellow to Green. BOOM. More Room To Bloom. 

That's it! You can now build more in that Settlement. Enjoy! If you want to retrieve your Weapons, you can just go into the Workshop Inventory ("Transfer") and get them back - which means you can repeat these steps over and over, as needed! (Don't forget to Share your Screenshots on Steam or elsewhere - other people want to see what you can do - and it gives them new ideas, too)


Although it is possible to get past the Build Limit by simply dropping 'any item' and Scrapping it [I recently learned this on the Steam Forum for Fallout 4], this is still not what I was trying to do, with the Steps above. My intention was to STORE the Guns, so that they can still be utilized later - selling them for Bottlecaps, or 'Breaking Them Down' and taking their Modifications off to use on other Weapons, or just using them as Weapons in the game on the Character (or given to Settlers to help them fight off Raids/Attackers) -  that is why the Steps above utilize my method. Storing the Guns allows you to continue to use them (as opposed to Scrapping them into Components to Build/Craft with).















[......I am going to add to this post, as I remember things that I already have forgotten and can't seem to bring back up at the moment to throw in here; but I still hope someone finds these concepts and Tips helpful, for either starting out in the game or improving your Settlements (there are more advanced concepts to come..... Have fun with Fallout 4!]