What's the opinion on Fallout 4 now that its been out for a long while?

Hades

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Brah, you clearly never played Morrowind and how weird and out there Dunmer lore is. And the land itself is alien.
I think the problem is that Dunmer lore is weird and alien, but that the rest of the continent is very conventional. The two games that followed Morrowind was just your standard medieval Britain setting, and then your standard medieval viking setting. With Cyrodil they even went out of their way to make it a standard medieval Britain setting despite Cyrodil previously being said to be the jungle, and the Empire being based on the Roman Empire.

Morrowind is the exception to the rule, and the rule on Tamrial seems to be standard medieval fantasy stuff.
 

Samtemdo8

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I think the problem is that Dunmer lore is weird and alien, but that the rest of the continent is very conventional. The two games that followed Morrowind was just your standard medieval Britain setting, and then your standard medieval viking setting. With Cyrodil they even went out of their way to make it a standard medieval Britain setting despite Cyrodil previously being said to be the jungle, and the Empire being based on the Roman Empire.

Morrowind is the exception to the rule, and the rule on Tamrial seems to be standard medieval fantasy stuff.
The standard medieval stuff is Cyrodiil, Skyrim, and High Rock.(Though in older lore Cyrodiil was a tropical jungle with Roman Architecture)

Hammerfell Arabian Nights/Desert Culture flavor.

Elsweyr is this mix of desert and jungle.

Valenwood is unique, with lore talking about giant walking trees with cities towns on top of it.

Black Marsh I think is your Aztec land in a marshy swamp like place.

And the Summerset Isles is High Elf land.

But landscape and climate alone is not the only factor here, you also have to consider the fauna and what creatures inhabit it. Morrowind has a lot of alien, untypical monsters like the infamous Cliff Racers and Nix-Hounds. So don't expect Goblins and Ogres in Black Marsh or Elsweyr or Summerset Isles. And especially the Daedra creatures that can come in weird flavors like the Vermai.
 

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Yes. And Vault 15 is a dead end. If you go there first things first (and manage to get through it), you have no idea what to do besides explore and eventually find out about Necropolis.
Just a query. What do you think happens after you get to the bottom of Vault 15? What do you do next?
 

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My impression of FO4 was a game where you played the garbage collector in an open world semi FPS filled to the brim with fetch quests and a story even the developers openly didn't care about with some clumsily imitated minecraft component. It also looked butt ugly.
What do you think a fetch quest is?
 

sXeth

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Does the game actively acknowledges that the player character is a person from the Pre-War Era and was frozen in time? And that he or she knows first hand what life was like in the Pre-Nuclear Apocalypse?

Does anyone recognize him as such other then the antagonists that kidnapped his or her child. Does the Brotherhood recognize that fact?

Because you think a character like that in the Fallout universe would be a bigger deal?

Pre-war Ghouls are a... not common, but also not super-rare thing. Alongside the ever-expanding (but usually more secret) roster of AIs (Whether AIs proper or cases like House where they put their brain in the machien).


Realistically, FO4's protagonist would probably be the worst off of the lot, and die horribly to some mutated virus everyone esle in the world has evolved immunity to within a week of exiting..



What Bethesda needs is a storyteller. Someone with a vision for an overarching plot and worldbuilding, an idea for how things can develop. In Fallout 1 & 2, the NCR is busy rebuilding civilisation. A new civilisation. Fallout 3 & 4 (let's skip NV, as Obsidian made it) is just returning you to the original Fallout of trying to rebuild civilisation, but somewhere else. And what you get is the detritus of the old world replayed ad infinitum, and still nobody's made anything new. The Institute was perhaps a ray of light, except for being totally stupidly excessive tech and kind of fascists so you had to nuke them. So, an Enclave replacement, except with a more utopian inclination. Meh. And I would guess Fallout 5 (which will be in about 10 years, when Fallout Online finally reaches the end of its shelf-life) will be much of the same.

Likewise, Elder Scrolls is kind of garbage - it is a series of the most baseline cliche fantasy claptrap. There's this place with several kingdoms and an empire, and stuff happens, and every once in a while stuff gets shuffled around a bit, a threat to the world appears, someone gets out of prison to save the world, blah blah blah.

Yeah, for the all the lauded "world building" (idk how much stock I'd put in that. I could find a (probably unpaid) intern to churn out ingame books too on Bethesdas budget. They don't really manage to put together any coherent history or series of events. In both the Bethesdas fFallouts, and Elder SCrolls, everything is either geographically shuffed or set centuries apart so they never have to muster anything but the vaguest sense of continuity or reference to other entries.
 
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immortalfrieza

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The game really isn't about the main quest, it's like 90% side content, it's more about just exploring the world and finding out cool things about it while having fun adventures and becoming powerful. The plot is just how they kick off the adventure. You can legit play for 200 hours without even touching the main quest.


It's not the game you wanna play if you want engaging story, it's more about the ambiance, the feeling of being in a post apocalyptic wasteland with your dog and your robot suit blasting mutants at the sound of 1930s music while paying for guns with coke caps.
Exactly. Bethesda open world games... well, most open world games for that matter, have always been about "Here's where this is set, here's the set pieces, now make your own story." You're supposed to imagine up something to do and why you do it, rather than having your motivations and actions given to you like other story driven games. If the player is interested in finding and saving Shawn, then they'll go do that. If they aren't, then fine, run around and go nuts.


Does the game actively acknowledges that the player character is a person from the Pre-War Era and was frozen in time? And that he or she knows first hand what life was like in the Pre-Nuclear Apocalypse?
Yep. Mostly when you're actually doing stuff related to the main quest, but yes. However, considering that nearly everybody Pre-War except for some Ghouls are dead and everything Pre-War is crumbling it's no surprise it doesn't come up much. Truth be told it shouldn't, that life is over and to have the Protagonists bring it up more than a little while after they got out of the Vault not to mention other people would be ridiculous.
 
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Kyrian007

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Exactly. Bethesda open world games... well, most open world games for that matter, have always been about "Here's where this is set, here's the set pieces, now make your own story." You're supposed to imagine up something to do and why you do it, rather than having your motivations and actions given to you like other story driven games. If the player is interested in finding and saving Shawn, then they'll go do that. If they aren't, then fine, run around and go nuts.
Precisely. Someone earlier in talking about negative points mentioned the side stuff being distracting and not important to someone laser focused on finding their missing kid. And that isn't at all how I reacted to it on my first playthrough. Mostly because I'm old and it isn't my first open world rodeo. Getting "laser focused" on a main quest... that's just a stupid way to play this kind of game. You can't go after the main objective until you've amassed enough power to crush all opposition with overwhelming force. You have to sidequest to find the best gear and level up... then you go after the main quest.

Now I know, that's an out-of-game line of reasoning for someone who wants to be immersed in the story. But there's an in game reason too, seemed obvious to me. You're given little to no information to go on. What, the "prophecy" of Mama crackhead? Yeah, I'll get right on following up on that "lead." The only 2 things the character really knows about the kid's abductor is that they are motivated (willing to kill,) and well organized. My immediate reaction was not, "gotta find those guys right now, charge in, and get my head blown off." On account of not being suicidal or stupid. Running across not only power armor, but a potential network of allies in the Minutemen gave me the obvious idea of building a power base and information network so I could not only FIND Shawn, but easily rescue him and avenge the death of the spouse. In as ruthless and brutal a manner as I could imagine. Also, the player is a man out of time. Rushing off into the radioactive wilderness screaming "Shawn" at the top of my lungs... just doesn't seem as good an idea as a more methodical approach.

Also, no the writing wasn't particularly good. But it did work out for the best in at least one way. Also spoiler territory so the plot twist about Shawn's age. I got that right away. I never assumed from the beginning that I had even woken up in the same decade or even century since Shawn was taken. The way it was written, Bethesda assumed it was going to be some sort of huge surprise. It wasn't. I was prepared for it. That's why the main quest line was always of secondary importance to me. Vengeance was far more of a motivator to me than the possibility of rescue ever was. In fact, after all the good I had done and all the lives I changed for the better topside. When I found out what Shawn had become I killed him. Not at the end of the game. But that first time down in the institute. The first face to face you have with him.

It was interesting. I started with the Minutemen mostly just "playing along" to make a powerbase to exploit in a quest for vengeance. But I got invested enough in the communities I had built along the way... they became more important to me than Shawn's life. And then I see all the online reaction and hate for the settlement building and the Minutemen specifically... I must be really strange. Those were the high points in my game. I reclaimed and rebuilt a major metropolitan area. It was hugely entertaining. A great game. And you don't have to do that stuff. Aside from the bare minimum when its tutorialized, you have to build 1 thing. Ever. And use it 1 time. I've played through it as a lone wolf exploiting one of the factions to get everything I needed to go after Shawn. That playthrough is MUCH less satisfying. I see why people who played through it like that complain so much. Not nearly as fun.

With all of Fallout as well as Elder Scrolls, much as immortalfrieza pointed out, you get out of it what you put into it. You can't just sit back and let Fallout entertain you. You have to make each play through of those games mean something to you. The frameworks of story and the world they build, are more important than story specifics. You don't play a game like Fallout 4 to enjoy its story. You use it as a toolkit to create your own. Nothing wrong with liking that or not liking that. Just know that's what you are getting into before getting started. For me, that was exactly what I was expecting and in turn I loved Fallout 4.
 
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Agema

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Brah, you clearly never played Morrowind and how weird and out there Dunmer lore is. And the land itself is alien.

Bethesda is just fucking lazy in advertising this series by making it look like your safe and typical fantasy kingdom with Oblivion and Skyrim.

Michael Kirkbride gave the series a unique flavor and identity when he went all out in Morrowind, Redguard, and Battlespire.
I played Morrowind. Like, about 20 years ago. And where's Michael Kirkbride now?

But isn't that the point: how has Bethesda really built on that? Oblivion was super-safe. Textbook high medieval style random fantasy land. Demon invasion? Oh god, yawntastic. Then Skyrim, textbook Viking-style fantasy land with - wait for it - dragons: the non plus ultra of fantasy cliche. (I wouldn't cry if I never read another fantasy novel with a dragon in it, but there they are, regular as clockwork.) I would personally consider their decision to move to Hammerfall for the sixth - as is widely believed - another act of safety. Nice scenic vistas, majority human, etc. No risks with a massive forest full of weird-looking, slightly alien elves or (god forbid) swamps with humanoid lizards.

I get it, that's what sells easiest. Overall, players prefer the mediocrity of the comfortingly familiar to the challenge of inventiveness. Here's Call Of Duty 29 or Assassin's Creed 17, just like the last one, 75-80% in the reviews, 30 million sales thank you kindly. When companies throw $100+ million at a game, they can't afford a flop so it needs to be safe. And so Bethesda plays safe, to the point of tedium.

Honestly that why I often scour the Indy stuff. Sure, most of it's derivative baseline fantasy, but a few are far more interesting, even if they lack the glitzy first person scenic vistas. You could take Pillars of Eternity as a more mainstream example. That's what Obsidian has conventionally excelled at: you've got a world and story someone with at least some talent put a lot of time and thought into, rather than the scrapings of a panel of fanfic writers given a budget and licence. That's part of why Half-Life was a cut above: it had a decent professional storyteller behind it.

Yeah, for the all the lauded "world building" (idk how much stock I'd put in that. I could find a (probably unpaid) intern to churn out ingame books too on Bethesdas budget. They don't really manage to put together any coherent history or series of events. In both the Bethesdas fFallouts, and Elder SCrolls, everything is either geographically shuffed or set centuries apart so they never have to muster anything but the vaguest sense of continuity or reference to other entries.
If one thing annoys me slightly about the Elder Scrolls, it was the Daggerfall thing where they made some contrivance that of all the different endings, they ALL happened because blah blah magical time space continuum hiccup blah, which is the worst sort of contrivance to try to hammer the square peg of lore into the round hole of the gameplay. To me, it feels like the courage of your narrative's convictions. Although as you say, it also doesn't really matter: they're all so separated in time and place that it doesn't really matter what happens in any of them by the time the new one rolls along.
 

Gethsemani

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Yes. And Vault 15 is a dead end. If you go there first things first (and manage to get through it), you have no idea what to do besides explore and eventually find out about Necropolis.
The point of pointing you towards Vault 15 is that you'll head there and find Shady Sands along the way. Shady Sands then gets you started with the first proper side quests with the Raiders and Tandi before setting you off towards Junktown, from where you'll be pointed towards Necropolis and the Hub.

Look at the map itself:https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/World_map?file=FO1_WorldMap.jpg

There's very little "own volition" going on there. The only direction you can go to find something as a new player is east, because the other directions are all sparse nothing and increasingly dangerous random encounters. The early game is firmly rooted in the north-eastern four locations and the mid game in the central 4 (Junktown, Necropolis, The Hub and Boneyard). What Fallout and Fallout 2 does is that it offers the sense of own volition while being very railroaded by beef gating. For a newcomer it will feel as if you're calling the shots and making logical decisions, but you are just following the game designers intended path. It IS some very good game design that people to this day play Fallout 1/2 and feel as if they have agency over the pacing of the entire game and main story. But in reality, unless you're a hardcore munchkin or massive cheeser, you can't do much then follow the intended (but not telegraphed) path.

For comparison the Fo2 world map has very much a similar design, where you simply can't outpace the game because the starting areas are distant from the late game or blocked by insane beef gates: https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/World_map?file=FO2_WorldMap.jpg
 
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Dreiko

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Another thing about fallout that I like, and this may be my outsider perspective here, but fallout for a lack of a better term feels like a very American game. From the rugged individualism to the old world music to all the guns and stuff...it just felt like if not a patriotic game a spiritually American one. It kinda meshes with the ideas of it from someone growing up in Europe anyhow. Stuff like caps being the currency and the world being blown up but people still trying to uphold some law and order like it's normal. I don't really know how to focus this more but it's just a feeling I had with the series starting in FO3 and it never really went away. I find it unique due to that.
 
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Agema

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It was interesting. I started with the Minutemen mostly just "playing along" to make a powerbase to exploit in a quest for vengeance. But I got invested enough in the communities I had built along the way... they became more important to me than Shawn's life. And then I see all the online reaction and hate for the settlement building and the Minutemen specifically... I must be really strange. Those were the high points in my game. I reclaimed and rebuilt a major metropolitan area.
Yes, I think this part of the game is fine and engaging. You could even see the narrative as a man who looks for his son, and learns that family isn't bloodline, it's community (except that I'm not sure that Bethesda really thought that out as any deep intention). But it's only fine up to a point, and that point is playing Architect and Interior Designer simulator, and constantly being bugged by Preston to go and fix every single one of these communities' problems so there's a new generic mission popping up every 15 minutes. What I'd have really wanted is to set them up or otherwise deal with their initial problem, and then see them build their own stuff. So I clear out their raiders initially, and next time when I come back for some reason two months later, holy shit, they've thrived on their own and built themselves a new dorm, planted maize, built some fortifications, etc.

Part of what I see from a "living world" is that people can get stuff done without you. I feel like a lot of RPGs want to cast you as a sort of god, who makes all the big decisions and everything revolves around. I prefer the idea of a more dynamic place where stuff moves with you, where you're a big cog interacting with NPCs with their own ambitions and power to make stuff happen. Obviously, in many games this is what scripting achieves. But it can also be open world: faction A fights faction B, territory changes hands, and this goes on without you. Maybe you want to involve yourself, maybe you don't. In Skyrim, for instance, I think the entire civil war could play out without you lifting a finger. They attack each other's forts, have pitched battles, the fortunes of war swing one way or the other, someone wins even if you stay out of it. It means maybe you can fail a quest, but the king still wants it done and sends in a team who achieves what you didn't. Maybe you win your side a great metaphorical battle, and they lose the metaphorical war anyway because the odds are just that bad.

(Except I know deep in my heart that's going to breed thousands of whiners who complain that they couldn't build up from a 24-population village to overcome the Empire of Awesome, because they want to and think they should be allowed to.)
 

Samtemdo8

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I played Morrowind. Like, about 20 years ago. And where's Michael Kirkbride now?

But isn't that the point: how has Bethesda really built on that? Oblivion was super-safe. Textbook high medieval style random fantasy land. Demon invasion? Oh god, yawntastic. Then Skyrim, textbook Viking-style fantasy land with - wait for it - dragons: the non plus ultra of fantasy cliche. (I wouldn't cry if I never read another fantasy novel with a dragon in it, but there they are, regular as clockwork.) I would personally consider their decision to move to Hammerfall for the sixth - as is widely believed - another act of safety. Nice scenic vistas, majority human, etc. No risks with a massive forest full of weird-looking, slightly alien elves or (god forbid) swamps with humanoid lizards.

I get it, that's what sells easiest. Overall, players prefer the mediocrity of the comfortingly familiar to the challenge of inventiveness. Here's Call Of Duty 29 or Assassin's Creed 17, just like the last one, 75-80% in the reviews, 30 million sales thank you kindly. When companies throw $100+ million at a game, they can't afford a flop so it needs to be safe. And so Bethesda plays safe, to the point of tedium.

Honestly that why I often scour the Indy stuff. Sure, most of it's derivative baseline fantasy, but a few are far more interesting, even if they lack the glitzy first person scenic vistas. You could take Pillars of Eternity as a more mainstream example. That's what Obsidian has conventionally excelled at: you've got a world and story someone with at least some talent put a lot of time and thought into, rather than the scrapings of a panel of fanfic writers given a budget and licence. That's part of why Half-Life was a cut above: it had a decent professional storyteller behind it.



If one thing annoys me slightly about the Elder Scrolls, it was the Daggerfall thing where they made some contrivance that of all the different endings, they ALL happened because blah blah magical time space continuum hiccup blah, which is the worst sort of contrivance to try to hammer the square peg of lore into the round hole of the gameplay. To me, it feels like the courage of your narrative's convictions. Although as you say, it also doesn't really matter: they're all so separated in time and place that it doesn't really matter what happens in any of them by the time the new one rolls along.
The Oblivion addressed that with the weird Daedric Realm of the Shivering Isles and all the insane quests and weird fauna.

Skyrim had the Dragonborn expansion where we enter the realm of Yog-Sototh and brought back Morrowind weirdness in the southern part of Solstheim.
 

Kyrian007

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Yes, I think this part of the game is fine and engaging. You could even see the narrative as a man who looks for his son, and learns that family isn't bloodline, it's community (except that I'm not sure that Bethesda really thought that out as any deep intention). But it's only fine up to a point, and that point is playing Architect and Interior Designer simulator, and constantly being bugged by Preston to go and fix every single one of these communities' problems so there's a new generic mission popping up every 15 minutes. What I'd have really wanted is to set them up or otherwise deal with their initial problem, and then see them build their own stuff. So I clear out their raiders initially, and next time when I come back for some reason two months later, holy shit, they've thrived on their own and built themselves a new dorm, planted maize, built some fortifications, etc.
Having seen all the complaining, I think my download may have been bugged (I mean, even more than a Bethesda game already is.) Preston didn't do that to me. Past me having all the settlements built and a couple of "X got kidnapped or y got stolen" radient quests... Garvey didn't bother me much at all.

And settlements doing stuff on their own... that's a question of build quality. The way I build them, I'd get the "x location is under attack" message. I'd make my way over to the settlement in question... eventually. And find several raider or super mutant corpses strewn about and my settlers already having either started or even finished repairs on any damage to my walls and defenses. True, they wouldn't build new structures or assign themselves specialty work other than farmer or defender. But again its just a point of preference. I don't buy a game so it can play itself. I don't want the (not incredibly bright) AI making decisions like architecture or design for me. I want it done right, and that means doing it myself.
 

Gethsemani

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Having seen all the complaining, I think my download may have been bugged (I mean, even more than a Bethesda game already is.) Preston didn't do that to me. Past me having all the settlements built and a couple of "X got kidnapped or y got stolen" radient quests... Garvey didn't bother me much at all.
It was significantly toned down in a fairly early patch. Preston still offers Radiant Quests, but not at the insane rate he initially did.
 

Samtemdo8

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It's pretty good.

It's a perfectly functional FPS/RPG. I don't much like the base-building and community management gameplay (I think they were probably eyeing up Fallout Online and wanted to test it out). The gameplay is fine, it's entertaining enough, everything works okay.

I think the main problem is that Bethesda don't really have an idea what to do with Fallout, so it doesn't really do anything new. By which I mean the series has become a bit sclerotic: the same set-up, the same humour, the same factions, the same stuff. Okay, the Enclave were replaced by a new bunch of dodgy powermongers, but even still. It's still enjoyable in ways, but there's a sense it's getting old: the Fallout world has stopped going anywhere, and just become a set of cliches to be repeated in slightly different forms.
Forgot to mention this. Is the base building aspect a requirement to proceed and progress in the main quest or to survive in the wasteland at all?

I cannot ignore it at all even if I'm not doing the main quest?
 

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It was significantly toned down in a fairly early patch. Preston still offers Radiant Quests, but not at the insane rate he initially did.
I pretty sure the fix was never hand in a completed radiant quest back to Garvey....

Also, why waa Garvey the hated one here? There were plenty of radiant quest givers in F4
 

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I will say all this talk of Fallout 3/4 holding your hand and really kinda railroading you to the plot, no pun intended, is all very valid. But the opposite can be leveled at Morrowind and Oblivion. After hours of playing Morrowind, I still had no idea what I was supposed to do. You're a prisoner and you're set free and...and good luck. Turns out there's an entire story about joining the army or some such, and pimping around and beating up a God, but its never actually stated. You just have to stumble into it.
Whereas I spent hours upon hours unlocking doors, stealing books and selling them to try and get a silver sword to fight ghosts. For over a decade I had the game and truly never knew there was a plot, like a story we're supposed to be following and a goal. I thought it was just sorta the Sims, in fantasy land.

Like I get the complaint the newer Fallout games don't let you figure our shit on your own, but if the alternative is Morrowind or Oblivion where the plot is at best uninterested in you, if not deliberately obtuse and hard to find, I'll take the Fallout ways of story telling.
 

Agema

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But again its just a point of preference. I don't buy a game so it can play itself. I don't want the (not incredibly bright) AI making decisions like architecture or design for me. I want it done right, and that means doing it myself.
Well, I hope your character never goes away for a few years or dies, otherwise civilisation is going to instantly collapse.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to micromanage the communities. I'm just saying they should be able to build and develop without you, too.

Forgot to mention this. Is the base building aspect a requirement to proceed and progress in the main quest or to survive in the wasteland at all?

I cannot ignore it at all even if I'm not doing the main quest?
I think you have to do a bit of it, if for no other reason than there are "tutorial" missions to make you do it and learn how, and a few other plot specific missions. But you certainly can just not bother with a lot of it. It's also partly in your best interest. I developed a couple heavily just so I had bases for crafting.