Fallout 76: The Adventures of Buck Frexit (Days 5 to 7)

Buck’s adventures were put on hold somewhat by an impromptu server update that Bethesda ran to coincide with UK workers returning home after a hard day’s working hard to make more money for the people that employ them.

I took a break from the wasteland of West Virginia to finish the latest Laundry Files offering by Charles Stross.

The weekend, however, saw Buck head off alone, following in the footsteps of Vault 76’s “Overseer” and exploring the wider expanse of the Appalachian wilderness.

Buck finally got into the basement of the Mothman Museum and picked up a Mothman Cultist outfit and so the world was now, very much, Buck’s oyster.

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Eagle eyed readers may notice that my quest list isn’t reducing but that’s because there are timed quests in the game and if I wanted to play racing games I’d install the latest Forza or Daley Thomson’s Decathlon.

Over the weekend, Buck encountered the darker side of PvP, when 4 players chose to goad him into PvP and then returned to his base again and again to murder him, time after time.

Buck also encountered his first “Glitched Quest”, a traditional entry into any Bethesda game.

To start with, the PvP was actually quite unsettling.  I’d setup C.A.M.P. next to Flatwoods and had been dropping unwanted Ammo and Junk for nearby players.  A couple of players came into my shack and decided to hit me a couple of times.

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It was irritating, I was crafting at the time and so took this as being a little unsporting.  Thankfully, JiggyBeastZero had gifted me a Ski Sword a few nights prior and Buck is built for melee combat.  Like the eponymous Butcher Pete, I hacked and whacked and slashed the culprit to pieces and then his friend who tried to avenge him.

What I didn’t know was that there were two more players in that group who decided that the next 10 minutes were a “Let’s kill Buck Frexit in his shack” special event.

Taking a tip from my zombie apocalypse survival lessons, I quickly entered “build” mode and removed the stairs to the upper floor I was hiding on.  I then patched the hole with a floor piece.  The players (soon to be griefers) couldn’t target me or reach me with melee and so I decided to take a moment to re-equip with explosives.

Armed with a missile launcher and plasma grenades, I started to plan a strategy when one of the players found a way up to me.  Two more player kills and I realise one of their party was in power armour and more than twice my level… I was killed in one hit.

The problem didn’t end there though.  They hung around waiting for me to return.  At that point the became “griefers”, spawn camping to troll the player protecting their C.A.M.P.

It left me a little angry to be honest.  Shook up and unwilling to engage again.

Thankfully, the game allows you to block players, which I did.  I then moved to a new server for good measure.

The quest glitch contains spoilers but needless to say, Buck had to kill a baddie to end the quest but only one player per server can kill the baddie.  Cue several restarts of the game to find a server where that baddie hadn’t been killed yet.

Spoilers in the video:

So I now have a new shack, with 3 storeys to make it harder for griefers to get to me.  This one is more portable too, I think maybe next time I’ll write more about the crafting side of the game.

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Fallout 76: The Adventures of Buck Frexit (Day 4)

Continuing this week’s foray into the Appalachian wasteland, Buck was joined by another friend to explore the mechanics of team work in Fallout 76.

JiggyBeastZero joined me as I was exploring the Mothman Museum.  We killed some baddies and looted buildings before deciding to try some public events.

We’re both still low level (Buck is level 15 and Jiggy is now level 9) but the areas we’re exploring are quite forgiving on the lower levelled player.

We made some important discoveries however.

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Firstly, you don’t have to stab or shoot another player to become “Wanted”.  I think Jiggy may have attacked a turret at the workshop, which flagged him as an enemy but then I was flagged by picking locks on some of the workshop containers and robbing their contents… I know, baddie for life.

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I think I had to be spotted stealing to be flagged as “Wanted” but I didn’t get chance to check straight away as the workshop owner (a pleasant player named Zombie2Assassin) murdered me whilst I was thinking about it.

On my second visit to the same workshop, Zombie2 decided to “Thumbs Down” emote both Jiggy and I… Jiggy had retained their “Wanted status” and Zombie2 had just murdered them a second time.  Being the consummate diplomat, I attempted to smooth things over with Zombie2 with a quick “Thumbs Up” followed by a “Wave Hello” emote.

I then picked another lock, stole some materials and became “Wanted” again.  Being several levels higher than me (and presumably, a better shot than me) Zombie2 had no issues murdering me again.

When I re-spawned, Jiggy was still “Wanted”, in front of me an not moving.

Then, all of a sudden, Jiggy was naked, “Wanted” and still not moving… Jiggy believed that they were still being attacked by our new nemesis, so I checked the map.  Jiggy was no where near me, according to the map.  They had re-spawned a short distance away and had left a kind of underpants-ghost to taunt me.

I did try to hack the ghost to death but I think that just added to my weapon’s loss of “CND”.

The rest of the evening was spent wandering and looting.  We eventually took our own workshop and farmed some materials.  I found a power armour frame for Jiggy and they found a “Ski Sword” for Buck (Buck loves melee).

And then Zombie2Assassin found us and decided to pay us back for robbing our stuff… and then killed us again for good measure… bless.

With that, we all went our separate ways, Buck contracted parasites and I went to bed.

Fallout 76: The Adventures of Buck Frexit (Day 3)

buckfrexitAfter a successful weekend emerging from Vault 76, I was looking forward to seeing what Monday’s Fallout 76 patch would bring to the game.

I should really take a new ID card photo, Buck is now level 15 and a little less handsome than he was at the start.

Unfortunately, as a console player I’m forced to download the whole game package rather than just the patched elements, meaning a 3.5 hour wait as my WiFi connected Xbone downloads the 48.4gb “update” over my superfast-but-contended-at-peak-times Virgin line.

PC players allegedly benefited from a 15gb file but those on PS4 probably faced the same delay that I did.

The plan had been for 2 or 3 friends to join me so we could see how the game coped with balance across teams with a mixed level.  Unfortunately my potential team mates were still downloading by the time I got into a server.

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So Buck Frexit headed off to the next key plot marker and scavenged his way through the wasteland.  I tried the Mothman Museum, to try scav a cultist outfit (as sported by Throgok in the image above… the door was locked on this server, lockpick skill level 2 to my skill level 1).

I then decided to take control of some workshops and finally got a taste of PvP.

I’d already taken the workshop at Sunshine Meadows, which allowed me to farm some foodstuffs for a while.  This had been left unoccupied and so didn’t raise any PvP flags, so I headed down to the Poseidon Energy Plant and took the one there.

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Someone had already set the plant up to generate Fusion Cores but hadn’t finished the job… so I added a few more generators and set the plant running.  A bit of crafting later and I was happily farming fusion cores, cooking and sleeping. Every now and then I’d defend the plant from ghoul or scorched attack and it was during one of these that I had my first PvP encounter.

A player, 5 levels higher than me and wearing only their y-fronts, had triggered my turrets – presumably as taking a turret out was one of the daily challenges.  This rendered them a target to me so I took my trusty .44 and a Machete to teach them a lesson.

They handed me my ass and continued to take the turret down.

The great thing here was that this rendered the player “Wanted” and a prime target for me.  I respawned, fed them a few frag grenades and then introduced them to my shotgun – close range.

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Boom, one dead (and oddly naked) character and I get my first PvP kill.

I hung around to see if they wanted revenge but after a bit more Fusion Core farming, I logged off and went to bed.

 

Fallout 76: Thoughts from the First Weekend

I thought about naming this review “Fallout 76: The Adventures of Buck Frexit” but settled for a more meaningful title.

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Political spoonerisms aside, I’ve enjoyed my first weekend in the wasteland of West Virginia.  I’ve attempted solo play as well as joining my good buddy “Throgok” for some public events and team based tomfoolery.

Full disclosure though: I can be a rabid fanboy over certain things.  I railed against Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings for example; I am absolutely “that guy” when it comes to “I read the book before the film/series” and hating on things before they are released.

With Fallout 76, I’ve tried my best to avoid the negativity clouding actual experience.  I’m trying to be a better person.  It is my intention to be balanced in this review and I apologise in advance if it comes across as negative or whiny.

Originally, I wasn’t going to bother with Fallout 76.  The negativity had started to get to me and, honestly, I’d have ignored the game if I didn’t have friends playing it.

I first came across Fallout through Fallout 3.  I didn’t really get into the first 2 games as they just weren’t my kind of game back in the day.  Fallout 3, New Vegas and Fallout 4 all appealed to my inner dystopian and I’ve enjoyed the way each new game has built upon the success of the last.

Fallout 76 is a side-step to that.  I’m neophilic enough to recognise the overall good in these changes and deep down I know this isn’t Fallout 5.  This is Bethesda’s way of diversifying to a new market while they potentially undertake the decade long process of creating a new single player behemoth.

Having said that, I do worry that this may be it.  In the same way that Elder Scrolls Online (longer in the tooth, settled and far larger than Fallout 76) could have killed off any hope of The Elder Scrolls 6, it is possible that Fallout 76 is the knell that spells doom for Fallout 5.  I’ve never really forgiven Blizzard for allowing World of Warcraft to kill of Starcraft: Ghost… and those scars twinge when I think about future Bethesda titles.

All that aside, I spent the weekend exploring the newly released Appalachian wasteland.  My only exposure to the beta had been through the experiences of other players, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect… and overall, I’m quite satisfied with the experience.

Firstly, the game is beautiful.  Even on my day one edition Xbox One, without any kind of 4k graphics, the environment is stunning.  Yes there is a lot of repetition in the doodads and items making up the scenery but there’s a subtle dynamism at play that help to keep you distracted enough to think “Wow! Check out that sunrise”.

I’m also pleased that Bethesda have put efforts into limiting “griefing” at this early stage.  Each server holds a maximum of 24 players, you see the other 23 as pale dots on the map.

Players who have attempted to murder other players’ characters show up as a red “wanted” dot on the map (as well as targeted enemies when you meet them face to face); you can hunt and kill these player’s characters to receive a bounty.  Furthermore, these “wanted” players cannot see where any other players are on the map.DsT1VK4X4AAtA3Z.jpg

The only problem with this is that you can accidentally pick up “wanted” status by accidentally hitting a team mate mid combat.  This happened to my buddy Throgok as I was shanking feral ghouls.

This accidental blue-on-blue did nothing to detract from the team-play experience.  Eventually, Throgok was sniped by a player twice his level and his “wanted” status was gone when he respawned.

Playing with someone else was a good laugh, pretty much like any other multiplayer game… it’s the company that makes it fun, rather than the game itself.

The solo game had its own enjoyment, mainly in the sense of bleak isolation inherent in the Fallout universe.  There are only ever 23 or less other people on your server and the map is huge.  I have played for hours without meeting another player and at other times have fought side by side with 3 or 4 others as we take down swarms of Protectrons or other baddies.

That isolation is a key part of playing fallout.  The Elder Scrolls Online often felt flooded with people all trying to gather the same 10 resources for some easily-forgotten NPC, Fallout 76 definitely feels like its you (or you and a few of your friends) against the world alone.

This isolation can work against you however, many of the public events and higher level critters definitely need more than you and a few buddies to take them on and win.  With only 24 players per server, it’s very rare to see everyone on one server flocked to the same event and the fact you have to pay to fast travel puts players off jumping across the map on the off chance of diving into a public event.

Outside of the public events, there isn’t a great deal to do except explore, take down baddies and slowly grind through the myriad “challenges” set for you within the game.  Hopefully these will expand as time goes on… there were points during the weekend that I would have described gameplay as “Dull”; thankfully not many.

I’m not sure why Bethesda chose to exclude meaningful NPCs from Fallout 76.  Every quest seems to be triggered by robot, terminal, note or holo-tape.  We do see NPCs in the form of corpses but so far the game has no living person to interact with, other than fellow players.

I think the worst point was when server lag or some other glitch locked us out of a public event for a good 5 minutes or so – not great on a timed event.

Team play did highlight a couple of other issues that I hope are addressed in future patches.  The fact that team mates can attack each other and trigger unwanted PvP attention is made worse by the fact that players can Ninja each other for loot and kills.

Loot in containers is random for everyone.  If I loot a trashcan and find a stimpak, my team mates may find dog food or chems.  But if I pick up a roll of duct tape (precious precious duct tape) from a table, that duct tape is gone… no longer available for anyone else unless I trade it or drop it.

I’m not sure if the game shares XP on kills either.  I found a few times that Throgok or I would accidentally steal kills from each other.  I think this deserves further research however.

One final thing that I’m struggling with are the “survival” mechanisms.  I never played the previous Fallout games on survival mode, it’s just not something I’m interested in.  I think I could get used to it if the hunger, thirst and item degradation rates slowed down but at the moment they feel like a real barrier.

I remember having to eat and drink in the good old Ultima Underworld series of games.  Food would spoil and you could die from hunger or thirst if ignored.  I get it, I really do but Fallout 76 seems to have taken the Atic Atac approach to survival and I seem to spend more time cooking up grills, soups and juices than I do repairing my weaponry and hunting Wasteland creatures.  If any one thing is likely to put me off playing it is this constant reliance on eating and drinking in the game.

The survival element does have a plus side though.  The comedy of contracting “Swamp Itch” or “Dysentery” from a dodgy sleeping bag is only made better by the genius of “Mutations”.

With a high enough radiation level you can mutate to a new you and benefit from some weird side effects.  The “Marsupial” mutation I picked up gave me a boost to my maximum carry weight and maximum jump height but knocked my “Intelligence”  attribute down by -4 points.  It also meant half my health bar was taken up by radiation.

I recorded myself jumping around and then decided to record some more as I spotted some weird luminous track marks on the floor.  I’m not sure if they were meant to be there or not.

All in all, I’m looking forward to dropping back into the Wasteland and carrying on the adventures of Buck Frexit (and friends).

I genuinely believe that Bethesda will make improvements over the coming weeks.  There’s a server patch on the afternoon of Monday 19th (9am EST, which is 2pm GMT I think) and the game is bound to evolve as time goes on.

I’m also hoping that there will be more exciting contents brought to the Atom store.  I’m not really fussed for the cosmetic side of games like this but I’d save Atoms for decent outfits or more LOL-worthy emotes.

Maybe I’ll see some of you in the wasteland?

Gotta Catch ’em All

level41Earlier this Spring I came out (kind of), I announced to the blog-o-sphere that I am Ingress player.

I’ve always been a Gamer, in one form or another.

From that first glimpse of Pong and my Grandfather’s Atari 2600 (which he sold to Soggy… for those in the know).

We had various arcade games on a machine in the family’s fish & chip shop and family games on our ZX Spectrum in the Eighties.

Right through Baldur’s Gate and Diablo in the Nineties; and onto the console wars of the 21st century; I can’t think of a time when my life has not, in some way, been influenced by Gaming.

I LARP, I’ve participated in and run LARP events, tabletop roleplaying sessions.  I’ve played MMOs (finally), single player campaigns and even designed campaigns and systems that nobody will ever play (seriously, I wouldn’t be a genuine roleplayer if I hadn’t! <insert wide grin here for those roleplayers that haven’t delved this deeply into the obsession>)

I’ve written previously about more contemporary games but Ingress was the first to break the mold and invade reality.

That statement probably comes across as somewhat louche from those who know me as a LARPer.

The thing is, LARP is a game which relies on the suspension of disbelief – its very medium is a corruption, ignorance or corruption of reality… some (but not all) particpants cite escapism as their reason for playing.

IngressProfileIngress augments reality.

I’d say a good 90% of my work colleagues are oblivious to the fact that our place or work serves as an anchor to a great many XM fields that ensure the populace of Brighouse are under an alien influence that encourages Art, Love and Creativity.

Unless you’ve been living in a media-proof bubble, you’re already familiar with the company that developed Ingress – Niantic.

Niantic are the brainweasels behind Pokémon GO.

For the past 4 years, Niantic have run Ingress as a successful, GPS based augmented-reality game.

They have encouraged gamers like me to go out into the world, register places of interest that we come across as “XM Portals” and then compete with people in our local areas to control those portals, in a game that has proven both engaging and infuriating over the 3+ years I have played it.

And yet, since shortly after BREXIT, I have neglected Ingress in favour of Niantic’s latest game-child.

I simply have to be the very best.  I have to catch them all!

pogo1Pokémon GO has taken the GPS entities registered by myself and fellow Ingressers (118 places of interest photographed, geographed and registered to date personally) and converted them to either Pokémon Gyms or Pokéstops.

But why?

Why has this fad hooked me in?

Ingress was, by and large, ignored by the mainstream and adopted by Techies (and a few Corporates like me).

In 3 years of playing Ingress I hae become aware of 11 players in the town I work in.

Only 6 of those are what you would class as serious, hardcore, daily players (shout out to agents DMH10, Doodified, Ikibau and Pepian and yah-boo-sucks-to-you to Astral Ranger and DeckardB26354).

Towards the end of last week I took a stroll out on my 30 minutes lunch break (as I usually do) and encountered 15 people playing Pokémon GO.

Fiff-fucking-teen! In a 30 minute (OK, I’ve overshot to 41 recently) period.

15 people playing Niantic’s latest offering, oblivious to the Shaper invasion of Ingress.

My reality wasn’t just augmented… it was skewed!

pogo215! Wow!  Whilst playing Ingress I’d bump into a fellow player – by accident – once in a blue moon.  Most Ingress meet-ups are by design and I shun most of those due to the high number of cheating fuckmonkeys on my team locally.

15 in one day is amazing but why the sudden interest?

Allegedly, Pokémon GO is the most downloaded mobile game ever – EVER!!!1!one!

I never paid much attention to Pokémon in my – erm – late twenties.

Whilst Pokémon was encouraging kids to be the very best, I was building a career as a senior software developer, playing Diablo 2 and dressing up as a Low Elf and fighting the “Dark Alliance” with rubber and latex weaponry.

(OK – by “fighting the Dark Alliance” I mean, being humiliatingly butchered by them – but that’s not the point!)

To date, I’ve shunned Pokémon as irrelevant to my needs.

botpMy own youth was influenced by Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and Mosschops.

What should I care for random cutesy anime creatures that only seem to speak their own name when I had Thundercats, Transformers and the Masters of the Universe?

Shit son! What constitutedanime” to me in my teens is now classed as “hentai“!

No, the early 21st century’s cartoon pocket monster shenanigans was obviously just a way to part breeders from their money – so that junior could have the latest faecachoo – just like Hasbro did to my parents with transformers when I was a kid.

But now I see what I was missing out on.

You see, Pokémon GO appeals to the Gamer in me.

pogo3Here I am, just under 3 weeks away from my 41st birthday and I’m addicted to a Pokémon game.

You see, it offers everything I need to feed my gaming gland.

Those intelligent bastards at Niantic and Nintendo have hooked me in faster than any schoolyard skag-dealer.

Pokémon GO has 3 whole areas of progression/leveling and if there’s one thing gamers love, it’s leveling.

There is a genuine psychological dependency on character progression.  It’s more addictive than nicotine (which in turn is more addictive than heroin – I can only attest for the veracity of the former statement however).

On top of that, players are encouraged to “catch ’em all”.  I’ve already caught 73 of a possible 150 creatures.

Even better, I can name my Pokémon whatever I like, no profanity filter, just a character limit.

pogo4Like Star Trek: the Next Generation, the mental health benefits of Pokémon GO have been recognised already.

The game gets people out into a pocket-monster-augmented world and interacting with people they never would have thought to interact with previously.

I’m used to that from Ingress – seriously, my local fellow PoGoers seem terrified as I approach them with a toothy grin and demand:

Hi! Are you guys playing Pokémon or Ingress?

This is a genuine phenomenon.

Everywhere I go, I see people playing the game.

And not just the Ingress-paranoia of “Ooh, look, do you think they’re playing Ingress?”.  No this is groups of people, of all demographics, capturing monsters and battling gyms.

pogo5It must be 2 weeks now; 2 weeks of buggy software, overloaded servers and an almost constant Launch App – Attempt Capture/Gym Battle – Force Stop – Launch App cycle… and yet I’m still hooked.

I hit level 20 today, I believe the level cap to be level 50. Now that the server issues seem to have stabilised the game is a real pleasure.

It’s taken me 3 and a half years to get to where I am in Ingress (3 months from level 15 – the cap is 16, I’m 18 months from level 16).

And yet I’m 2/5ths of the way there after 2 weeks!

So there you have it.  I’m a 40-something Pokémon trainer and Gym Leader (until the local Instinct/Valour cock-knockers take out my Vaporeon) and I’m proud… Bring on the wearable!

Elite: Lave – Revolution – A Blast from the Past

Lave: RevoloutionLike many gamers from my generation, I remember spending hours in front of my Father‘s BBC Micro, racking up credits and saving up for a Docking Computer or a better set of lasers on my Cobra Mk III in the vector space trading game Elite.

A lifetime later and Allen Stroud takes us back to those halcyon days with this cracking piece of science fiction.

I know Allen through LRP; he played a formative part in my understanding of much of the early game world of the Lorien Trust‘s system here in the UK.

He is also, in my opinion, a thoroughly nice chap.

Set in the systems neighbouring Lave, Elite: Lave Revolution (Elite: Dangerous) tells of the cosmo-political transition that Lave takes. From the Lave of my childhood to the Lave of the forthcoming (and long awaited) reboot of the Elite game. Elite – Dangerous.

Far form being “just another game tie-in”, Lave: Revolution is as gripping as it is cunning. The tale follows a number of characters through a maze of galactic conspiracy, deception and ultimately – planetary revolution.

The story is decorated with historical transcripts and technical factoids that add to the world in which Allen is weaving the tale but this only serves to add icing to what is already a well garnished tale.

After reading this in one sitting I am left thirsty for more – I’ll have to make do with the Elite – Dangerous beta and wait for Allen to write more.

Skyrim Dragonborn DLC – First Look

Dragonborn DLCI am hoping this note will be an impartial view of the new DLC for Skyrim, released yesterday for the arm-and-a-leg of 1600 msp.

To justify any perceived impartiality that seeps through:

I have racked up hundreds of hours of playtime in Skyrim on the XBOX 360, the majority of such time being spent on a level 81 (Everything but restoration at 100 and balanced Health/Magicka/Stamina ratios) Altmer.

I’m also somewhat jaded when it comes to the previous DLC… I only played the SIMS expansion, Hearthfire, for the achievements and had more engagement in curing myself of vampirism after Dawnguard than with any of the Dawnguard plot.

Sure I enjoyed floating around as a Vampire Lord but I took a massive hit on stats in vampire form AND now have an achievement I will likely never gain… who in their right mind would want to be an elder scrolls werewolf?

Lycanthropy in Skyrim is like wandering around with a “Kick my, I’m stupid” sticker on your back and nerfs your stats even more than the Vampire Lord.

Fighting enemies that are levelled to a level 81 murder elf without armour, enchantments, weapons, spells or shouts isn’t a challenge it’s insanity.

Anyway, the aim is to detail my first experiences with Dragonborn without geting over-enthusiastic for the game I love and without getting too down over the previous DLC.

Like previous DLCs I didn’t get an “in” until I’d slept and wandered into Whiterun, where I was quest-spammed by cultists and an Ebony Knight – all at once.

This wasn’t a problem for the head of the Dark Brotherhood (Companions, Thieves Guild, Mage College – delete as applicable) and left me with a couple of choices:

  • Travel to Solstheim? (Really Bethesda? 20 gamerscore for getting on a boat)
  • Deal with a new quest closer to home? (And 0 gamerscore for dealing with that)

Now I’ve been burnt by Fallout 3 & New Vegas DLC that has forced me into areas of no return, with no equipment and no base of operation; so I opted for the quest closer to home (having already emptied my inventory except for essentials prior to downloading the new DLC).

 In dealing with that new quest I encountered the toughest fight in Skyrim since facing the dragon priest Krosis, whilst level 10, at Shearpoint.  I had to return at level 17 with a Storm Atronach to beat Krosis.  No such level up option for me now.

Several attempts later, I’ve beaten the bad guy and I’m feeling a lot better about the new DLC – as slow to start as it seemed.

The DLC feels levelled to my abilities, even fighting Netches and Ash Spawn in Solstheim, I feel challenged and almost at risk.  Granted, I haven’t used any of the healing potions that I spent a good 30 minutes brewing before setting off (the first quest taught me that I needed to be less cocky and carry more healing potions).

Solstheim also seems somewhat bigger than previous expansions; larger than the weird shadow realm of Dawnguard.

It’s a completely different map, accessed by boat from Windhelm – the boat is even consistent insofar as the dead stray dog I left on it months ago in Windhelm is still on it in Solstheim.

I’ve only given it a few hours so far, I’ve wandered the coast, completed a couple of quests and fought lots of Ash Spawn but there does seem quite a lot to explore with the promise of ruins, wrecks and forts on the horizon.

With new crafting options, alchemy reagents, ores, creatures and – allegedly – shouts, this certainly feels like a true “Expansion”.  I’m not sure I hold stock in many of the tales of “rumoured new features” that have been bandying around.  I’m yet to fly a dragon and I am still unable to cast spells or shout shouts from horseback.

I can well believe the rumoured 30 hours play time however!

In summary, I’d recommend it but a part of me wishes I’d waited until there was a “Gold members deal” that let me buy it for 1200 msp instead of 1600.

Now if only I could stop Skyrim from crashing at random like Morrowind started to do to me… it’s been doing that for months now.