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Fallout 76 Rant: The Impact of Legacy Removal

Posted in botch, business, video game, video game design by commorancy on January 25, 2023

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While Pipe might be life in Fallout 76, the Legacy removal might actually mean the death of Fallout 76. While some gamers are praising the removal of Legacy weapons from Fallout 76, those who are impacted by this change might actually have the power to sink the Fallout series, and possibly even Bethesda itself. Let’s explore.

Misguided Maneuver

It’s clear that Bethesda is horribly misguided internally. On the one hand, I get Bethesda’s rationale behind the removal of these “illegal” mods from Legacy weapons. On the other hand, Bethesda’s rationale is entirely misguided and fails to take into account the real damage that has now been inflicted on the game and, ultimately, the game’s player base. The real question now is not whether the game is better, but whether Fallout 76, ironically a survival game, can survive this change.

One thing is certain, some players are reeling from this change and rightly so. Bethesda itself also doesn’t seem to fundamentally understand the player base which has been born out of these legacy weapons having been included in the game for literal years.

What is a Legacy Weapon? A Legacy weapon is any weapon that was formerly in the game and could be obtained through loot drops, but was removed from the loot drop list by Bethesda Fallout 76 devs in the game’s early years (loot drops removed around 2018-2019). This meant there was no way to obtain these weapons after the loot drops stopped… until Legendary Modules were introduced when Nuclear Winter began in 2019. Once these legendary modules were added, for a short time it may have been possible to craft such weapons on a crafting bench until the crafting of these weapons was also patched. Since then, these weapons have been unavailable.

Which Weapons were Removed?

The “Legacy” weapons to which this article refers are any legendary energy or plasma weapon with an explosive attachment. These explosive attachments have now been deemed “illegal” by Bethesda even though they were perfectly legal when they originally dropped. Such weapons could be obtained earlier in the game’s life legitimately, but today are no longer obtainable and are now marked as “illegal” by Bethesda’s Fallout 76 team. Weapons which have now been removed include:

  • Explosive Gatling Plasma
  • Explosive Laser Pistol
  • Explosive Laser Rifle
  • Explosive Gatling Laser
  • Explosive Flamer
  • Explosive Gauss Rifle
  • Explosive Gauss Shotgun
  • Explosive Gauss Minigun
  • Explosive Gauss Pistol
  • Explosive Tesla Rifle

All of the above weapons have had their explosive attachment removed by the Fallout 76 devs, turning many 3 star Legendary weapons into 2 star weapons.

Note, I won’t even get into the severe bugs introduced as a result of the removal of these Legacy weapons… bugs which have heavily impacted many rogues in addition to the Legacy removals. It’s not pretty for Bethesda or Fallout 76 right now.

Righting Wrongs

Once Bethesda knew these weapons shouldn’t have been included in the game back in 2018-2019, a patch should have been swiftly crafted and implemented then to remove these “illegal” weapons. This would have saved Bethesda this headache today. Instead, Bethesda waited and let this situation fester for going on nearly 5 years now. Not only did it fester, it actually born a whole new type of gamer in Fallout 76… a type of gamer willing to spend real cash money to not only obtain and own these “illegal” weapons, but who were also willing to pay Bethesda for Fallout 1st and pay Bethesda for Atoms to buy the Atomic Shop’s literal valueless junk.

Yes, this new type of gamer is the one who is literally propping up Bethesda’s Fallout 76 game. These are the gamers who are paying Bethesda’s bills, keeping Bethesda’s lights on and ensuring their staff remain employed.

Removing these weapons is literally a situation of “biting the hand that feeds you!”

Fallout 76 Gamer Types

When Fallout 4 began and also when Fallout 76 began, the primary type of gamers that Bethesda had hoped for were those interested in playing the game firmly on their “golden path”. In programming, a “golden path” is the path that most users will take when using any piece of software. This path is the path the engineers design the game for users to find and use. I dub these types of users the “golden” users. The vast majority of software users fall into “golden” users. Video game software users take a different route.

Gamers are somewhat different for this “golden path” approach for a number of reasons. The primary reason gamers are different is that video games entice children to play. By the very nature of this product being a video game, children are naturally one of the video game industry’s primary demographics… regardless of the game’s rating.

Let’s define children. Children include ages 8-17, with the primary age of most children playing ranging from 12-14. Because children don’t have a lot of life experience, their minds aren’t constrained by “adult” thinking. Children play games in ways that suit their fancy, which means children do not always remain on the golden path. In fact, in most cases, children stray from the golden path frequently in video games. Children actively try to poke holes in, find problems with and generally do things that an adult gamer might never think to try.

Children aren’t the only players doing this, however. Many adults can maintain this childlike poke and prod thought process well into their 30s. This leads to the next type of gamer I dub the “rogue” gamer.

Rogues vs Golden

Rogue gamers don’t follow the golden path laid out by the developers. These gamers intentionally and actively seek to find bugs, exploit holes and obtain “rare” objects in a game, including weapons. Almost every “rogue” gamer seeks to one-up their fellow player by finding something that their friend doesn’t have, whether that be a way to build under the map, go out of bounds or obtain a weapon that few other players have.

Rogue players don’t play the game as intended and are unwilling to follow EULA rules. They’re so flippant in the way they play the game, they actually don’t really care if their account gets banned or if Sony shuts their PlayStation down by disabling their PSN account, for example. In the gaming world, Rogues don’t care about the rules or abiding by them. With that said, they do care about finding the latest rare thing to have in the game.

The thing is, many of these rogue gamers come from well-to-do, dare I say wealthy families. This means they are willing to pay and pay and pay. They will pay for Fallout 1st. They will pay for Atoms in the atomic shop. They will even pay other players real cash money on places like eBay to buy rare in-game items.

In short, many rogue gamers keep Bethesda’s (and by extension, Microsoft’s) bills paid and the lights on. That’s not to say that every rogue gamer is wealthy enough to do this, but many are. At this point, I think you might understand where this is heading.

One thing that rogues typically don’t care about is the game itself or even the game’s story. They’re not playing the game because it’s Fallout and they’re not playing it because it has interesting lore or interesting quest lines, they’re playing the game because it’s an MMO, because it has multiplayer, because it has combat and because they can find and exploit heavy guns that no one else has. Rogues will only follow down a quest line because it unlocks their character to have or use something unique or better than someone else, not because of interest in the RPG aspect or the story.

Golden players, on the other hand, play the game by the rules using weapons considered legal within the game. These are also players who typically respect the Fallout canon, who are genuinely interested in the story being told, who play by the rules, who choose to play using guns the game provides and who don’t stray outside of the bounds simply because they find a loophole. These are dedicated Fallout players who’ve likely played many previous Fallout games, if not all of them.

Mixing The Two

These player types are not hard walled into two groups. Some players remain mostly golden, but go occasionally rogue when they deem appropriate. For example, some of Bethesda’s rigid game rules go too far. Some players become rogue when it’s necessary to bypass some of these Bethesda rigid rules, simply to save time, to cut weight down or for other reasons that help them play the game better.

Bethesda doesn’t get its player base

One thing is certain, Bethesda does NOT fundamentally understand who’s actually playing Fallout 76 and who is actually paying their bills. It goes even deeper than this.

Because there was a whole separate black market for these high powered “illegal” weapons, Bethesda completely overlooked this aspect of its game. Instead of taking advantage of these payers and bilking them for money, they decided to remove the weapons from the game.

It’s clear, you can either benefit from these players by making real money off of them or you can alienate them… and alienation is exactly where we are now.

Black Tuesday

On Tuesday January 24th, 2023, rogue players had to say goodbye to their “illegal” weapons. Bethesda removed weapon modules from the game, which during the 2018-2019 years were perfectly legal to own and use. This change sends not only a mixed message to players, it sends an exceedingly bad message.

It says that Bethesda really doesn’t give one crap about a huge segment of its very player base who are paying its bills, keeping its staff employed and keeping the game from going under.

This change is likely to be the beginning of the end for Fallout 76. Why?

Perplexed

Rogues are as perplexed and mystified by this late change now as anyone. For years these weapons were in the game and remained so. However, it’s just now that Bethesda decides to rid the game of these weapons?

Because these rogue players comprise a substantial portion of the revenue given to Bethesda for Fallout 1st and other pay-for-play features, it’s surprising Bethesda was so willing to risk losing that revenue and possibly even the entire game over this silly change.

Rogue players must now make a choice. They can either stay and play a hobbled version of the game using no special weapons or they can go find a new game where they can, once again, feel special and own special weapons. This is the actual real danger to Fallout 76. Rogues are fickle players. They only stay and play where they can find their “specialness”. If they can’t find and remain special, then the game is done and they leave it.

That’s exactly the crossroads at which Bethesda now finds itself. The question is, are there enough newbie players to keep the lights on and the staff employed? The answer to this question comes in how Bethesda chooses to respond.

High Levels and Endgame

After playing any game, not only have you amassed levels for your character, you have unlocked perks and skills. The problem is, once the quests have ended, what do you do with these skills? That’s fundamentally the problem with most games. You spend your time playing through the quest lines leveling up your player only to find that when you reach the end, all of that leveling up and those perks were for nothing… as there’s no endgame content.

Many gamers find little to no endgame content to utilize that high level skill. That means, you reach the end and you go find a new game to play.

Fallout 76 is only different in its endgame because it offers Events (and Legacy weapons). After the quests are done and there’s no more quest lines to follow, the Events and Daily quests are what’s left. These are repetitive activities that offer a slight chance for rare loot rewards. It also offers the chance to try out a new overpowered weapon.

Leveling up in Fallout 76, unfortunately, is mostly worthless. Because guns cap out at level 45 or 50, that essentially means your player is capped out at level 45 or 50, regardless of the level number your player may actually achieve. The only benefit to leveling up is to max out the Legendary perk cards, an addition that gives higher level players a tiny bit of an incentive to stay with the game.

Once a player reaches level 650-700, that player can easily have maxed out the Legendary Perk cards.  Max leveling these Legendary Perk cards sees a tiny bit more damage out of weapons, if utilized correctly. So then, what’s left after this? Not much, other than going Rogue and trying to find unobtainable, but overpowered weapons which formerly existed in the game.

While these weapons were once in the game circa 2019, they have since stopped dropping as loot long, long ago. That means that new players can’t easily obtain these overpowered weapons unless they monetarily buy them from another player. Hence, a player economy is born.

Initially, caps were the answer to this economy. Unfortunately, caps became mostly pointless as a currency in the game when Bethesda moved to bullion, scrip and stamps offering up the newest, most rare items. This is when players moved to selling these highly prized and overpowered weapons for real cash money, as in USD. Internet forums and trading boards came to exist to list and sell these weapons for real money.

In one fell swoop, Bethesda shut all of this down… the trading, the sales, the weapons, all of it. Without these weapons in the game, there are no more sales of them. You can’t sell what’s no longer in the game.

It goes way deeper than that. Not only did it kill third party sales of in-game weapons, it is poised to see a massive number of high level players abandon Fallout 76 and cancel their Fallout 1st subscriptions. Why play a game when there’s nothing special left?

Endgame content is firmly limited to Events. Unfortunately, in retaliation for these high powered weapons being in the game, Bethesda ramped up these events to be likewise overpowered. Without these weapons in the game, the events are STILL way overpowered…. to the point where these events are likely to FAIL the vast majority of the time when using standard weapons. Bethesda retaliated against the players by removing the weapons, but failed to reduce the overpowered nature of the events back to a level where standard weapons can be successful. Right now, these “golden” level 45 and 50 level weapons are not enough against these highly overpowered event enemies.

It gets worse, as players dwindle from the game due to natural attrition and now because Legacies have been removed, new players will be hard pressed to find enough higher level players on a server to take on the Scorchbeast Queen, the Titan or even Earle. These events are now so overpowered because Bethesda souped them up against Legacies, it’s near impossible to win these events with non-Legacy weapons, especially if a server has maybe 10 players on it.

Bethesda is definitely at a cross roads.

Microsoft

Now that Microsoft owns Bethesda, Bethesda is most definitely playing with fire. In fact, Bethesda’s choices surrounding Fallout 76 have always been questionable. Legacy removal is probably one of THE most questionable changes Bethesda has ever made for Fallout 76, considering when the problem actually started. Why does Microsoft matter? We’ll come to that answer in a bit.

For now, Fallout 76 is on the cusp. We don’t yet know the fallout (ha) from Bethesda’s meddling with Legacies. The point is, we cannot know how the rogue players will respond or how much financial damage these players who abandon the game can literally do to Bethesda.

It’s clear, without these Legacy weapons in the game, rogues who were playing Fallout 76 solely because these weapons existed will evaporate… and along with that, so will the income from Fallout 1st and all other income that keeps Fallout 76 afloat. Are the rogues a big enough population to make a dent in Bethesda’s income stream? My personal guess is, yes… at least for the longevity of Fallout 76. Without the rogues, Fallout 76 may be hard pressed to remain a viable entity, let alone Fallout as a franchise.

Does Fallout keep Bethesda afloat? It most certainly isn’t the only game that Bethesda publishes. However, Fallout 76 is currently the only Fallout franchise title available. In short, probably not.

Obsidian, another developer, was purchased by Microsoft in 2018, the same year that Fallout 76 released. Obsidian contains the remnants of Black Isle Studios, the original studio who developed the Fallout franchise. Because Microsoft now owns both Bethesda and Obsidian, it’s possible that someone at Microsoft could easily mandate the transition of the Fallout IP and franchise from Bethesda back over to Obsidian to handle.

Bethesda is clearly out of their depths with Fallout and they clearly don’t understand the franchise. Worse, they don’t even understand multiplayer systems in relation to Fallout. This first multiplayer Fallout game is probably the worst implementation that could have possibly been imagined. Partly this is due to its design goals, but partly it’s due to the inept team who couldn’t actually build a workable product… and here we are today. Because the Fallout 76 team failed to build a workable product, they’re now forced to remove a feature from the game that shouldn’t have been in it in the first place. Yet, that feature remained for nearly 5 years, solidifying them as legitimate in the game.

What Bethesda has done is tantamount to yanking a baby bottle from a baby after that baby has already begun to drink. If you didn’t want to give the baby bottle to the baby, it’s simpler not to do it up front than yanking it away after you’ve already given it to the baby. Heartless.

Can Fallout 76 tank Bethesda?

At this point, maybe not. What the loss of Fallout 76 will do is sour future gamers towards Bethesda games.

“Once bitten, twice shy.”

Few will step up to the plate again knowing the disaster that befell Fallout 76, especially once it disappears. Believe me, Fallout 76 WILL end. The question isn’t if, it’s when. After this Legacy removal, I believe Fallout 76’s end days are here. It’s just a matter of time before the remaining high level players (many of whom are now rogues) walk away and find a new game.

Gamers are fickle and these kinds of stupid maneuvers are ripe for rage quitting. Some die hard gamers will remain and play, but only for a short time until they become frustrated with the crappy standard weapons and find a new game to play. At a minimum, I’d certainly expect to see a rash of Fallout 1st subscriptions cancelled in the next 30 days.

The answer is that, alone, Fallout 76 likely can’t tank Bethesda. However, Fallout 76’s demise can most certainly make a big enough dent that someone at Microsoft (Phil Spencer?) retaliates against Bethesda through layoffs (Buh Bye Todd Howard), closures and by handing over various game IP to better equipped and better managed studios.

It’s clear, the current developers are ill equipped to understand what Fallout 76 should be. Let’s understand why…

Rogues, Games and Marketing

Rogues, whether a game studio likes them or not, are a market force. These are players who have money and are willing to spend it. A game studio can either embrace this fact, or go bankrupt trying to eliminate these gamers from the game. As they say, “Get woke, Go Broke!”

Bethesda is firmly in this latter camp. I don’t know what impetus is driving Bethesda’s management team and devs to take this “woke” approach, but clearly it’s not about trying to make money. Clearly, rogues represent real money sales. If a single player is willing to pay $20 or $50 or $150 real cash money for a single over powered weapon in the game, then Bethesda clearly isn’t actually trying make money. Who leaves money on the table?

Leaving an untapped market on the table is not only stupid, it’s probably one of the stupidest things I’ve seen Bethesda (or in general, a game developer) do.

Pay for Play

As much as gamers harp on the pay for play scheme, it’s a real thing, it exists and it needs to exist. Yes, buying an in-game weapon for real cash money is considered pay for play. You can’t deny that. Whether pay for play is good or bad thing is entirely debatable. One thing is certain. Pay for play makes money… and that’s exactly why game developers are in business, to make money.

In fact, pay for play already exists in Fallout 76 with Fallout 1st and Scrap Kits and Repair Kits and the list goes on. Even foodstuffs like Perfect Bubblegum and Lunch Boxes are forms of pay for play. Selling overpowered rifles for real cash money is just the next logical step.

At this point, Fallout 76 is almost 5 years old. When a game is brand new, perhaps pay for play isn’t something that’s needed. However, 5 years later with 95% of players at endgame, then pay for play is perfectly fine and, dare I say, necessary. It extends the life of a game. Anything that extends the life of a game I consider a good thing. It allows new players to step in and know their time won’t be wasted because the game must close down due to lack of players. It allows rogues and endgame players a means of keeping the game interesting and keep them coming back for more play. Anything that keeps players playing is a good thing. That alone continues to make money for Bethesda. I’d say that’s win-win-win all around. Everyone wins.

High Level Players, Veterans and a New Map

One thing that Bethesda has failed to take into account, in among Fallout 76’s many failures, is the failure of planning for high level players reaching the endgame. In The Elder Scrolls Online, this game’s devs seemed to properly plan for endgame high level players. In fact, ESO devs went so far as to convert level 100+ players into then new “Veteran” levels. For example, for every 100 levels, you got 1 Veteran level. A level 300 player would convert into Veteran level 3. These new Veteran levels were denoted by a Veteran symbol next to the player’s new rank, just above their head. This distinguishes Veteran players from low level players of a similar number.

In addition to being converted into Veteran levels, this change also unlocked the game to be played from the beginning using a new harder Veteran challenge level. Eventually, the devs even opened up a new Veteran level territory that required teaming up with other Veterans to handle this new difficult area. This area was so challenging, in fact, there was simply no way to solo it. The hordes were so difficult, you were forced to go in with a team even as a high Veteran level. While the lower level territories remained trivially easy for a Veteran, the Veteran territories were intensely challenging. Even group dungeons were incredibly challenging.

Likening this to Fallout 76, there is no way to liken this. While Fallout 76 devs are busy introducing silly and bugged out territories like Nuka World and slapping high level players on the wrist by removing legacies, the ESO devs (at about this same time in ESO’s lifecycle) were treating high level players like valued players and giving them more challenges. Effectively, the Fallout 76 devs are treating high level players like a nuisance when they should be celebrating players who’ve made it to level 600 or 800 or 1200 or 2000. This celebration should include rewarding these players, not chastising them.

If a player has given up a year or two of their life to play Bethesda’s Fallout 76 game and reached level 1000 (and who continues to actively play it), that’s a celebratory moment. Bethesda devs should be celebrating long standing players who continue to play the game instead of slapping these players on the wrist and saying, “Bad”.

ESO celebrated high level players the right way. Fallout 76 devs treat high level players like nothing more than a mere annoyance.

Here you have one team at Bethesda who fully understands and embraces their entire player base. On the other hand, you have an inept team who hasn’t the faintest clue of who their player base even is. I shake my head at this incredible disparity within the same corporation. It simply makes no sense.

Inept Developers

You’d think that if anything, The Elder Scrolls Online would have taught the Fallout 76 team some valuable lessons. Unfortunately, you thought wrong. It seems that these two MMO system teams do not at all communicate their valuable lessons from one team to the other.

The reality, which has become incredibly apparent, is that the Fallout 76 development team is wholly and completely inept; not just from a development perspective, but from a money making perspective. They don’t seem to understand the value of keeping ALL of the players happy and, most importantly, paying.

A game studio makes money by keeping people playing the game WHILE spending money. You don’t make money when you chase away your paying players. It’s pretty simple. Removing legacies from the game is a seminal chase-away-players moment. It’s also quite clear that the Fallout 76 developers and even the management team don’t get the real danger here.

Instead of embracing the legacies and the whole real money economy that’s grown up around these weapons’ accidental existence, Bethesda turns its back on the players by removing the weapons from the game. Not only has this shut down that entire real world economic situation (which Bethesda could have tapped), players who wanted these items have no reason to stay, pay and play the game any longer.

This means some walk away from Fallout 76 immediately and others leave slowly over time as they lose interest, “because it’s boring”. Some players, specifically rogues, must make their own fun in a game. Legacies were the rogue’s way of making that fun and cutting the boredom. Without the legacies, there’s honestly no reason for these players to remain playing the game… let alone spend any more money on it.

Business Lessons

While I hadn’t intended this article to become a business lesson, it’s moving quickly in this direction. Let me take this section to discuss this aspect of business operations.

Every college student should be required to take at least one or two business classes. What I mean here is that it’s vitally important for students learning software development to understand how their work impacts the bottom line of the company. Not all software features are good for business. There is no more clear illustration of that here than the removal of the Legacy weapons from Fallout 76. Adding new features can help out users. Removing features can easily cause people to walk away from your product.

This is where business classes come into play. Business classes teach students to have the smarts enough to realize that, “Hey, this feature that I’m being tasked to implement has a high chance of losing 70% of our PAYING clients!” Businesses must empower all employees to speak up when they see problems like this.

While software architects come up with ideas, they may not be privy to exactly how many people might actually be using a given feature. Before implementation of any feature that impacts the userbase, someone needs to put on the brakes and say, “Let’s pull the numbers of how many people are actually using this feature before rolling it out!” Sanity must always prevail in any software business. You can’t simply roll out a feature without understanding exactly how it might impact your existing bottom line.

This is why business classes, and more importantly, business intelligence and reporting is important. Blindly making changes without understanding the business impact can easily tank a business. Case in point, Musk’s incredibly poor handling of Twitter. Now we have yet another poor business case, Bethesda’s shitty handling of Legacy removals in Fallout 76.

Too Late

This article is written after-the-fact. Unfortunately, removing these weapons is more or less a done deal. What I mean here is that knowing the way that Fallout 76’s code is written, there’s no way to undo this change. Meaning, it’s easier to stop a code rollout before it happens than it is to undo a change already made. In many cases, it’s actually impossible to undo code changes due to the nature of the way it was rolled out.

At this point, Bethesda is stuck with this change, for better or worse. At this point, unfortunately, we’re probably at the “or worse” point. As I said above, we’re nearly 5 years into this game’s lifecycle. Instead of Bethesda celebrating high level player achievements, these players are being chastised and chased off by removing weapons these players relied on.

The point in becoming a high level player is to take the benefits that go along with that high level, which includes high damage weapons. That’s an expected staple of any game that supports having high level players. If level 1000 players are reduced to using weapons at the same level as a level 50 player, what’s the point in playing Fallout 76? In fact, what’s the point in leveling up beyond level 50?

Not only does this Legacy removal impact high level players, it impacts low level players because they know they can’t get these weapons in the future. That means that players who might have hung around to level their character up to level 1000 for the chance of getting one of these weapons might now get to level 100, quit and go buy something else. That drastically reduces the income of Bethesda… and by extension Microsoft.

When the Fallout 76 team could have embraced these weapons and monetarily leveraged the external market by retooling them to be legitimate and finding legitimate ways to sell and use them, the Fallout 76 team’s lack of business intelligence and foresight prevailed.

It’s anyone’s guess if Fallout 76 can recover from this change. My guess is that this Legacy removal will be the last major thing the Fallout 76 team does before the plug gets pulled on Fallout 76 by Microsoft. Bethesda, prove me wrong.

Compensating Controls

This final thought is yet another failure of business intelligence on the part of Bethesda management regarding the legacy removals. One idea that many game developers employ to soften the blow of any negative change is introduce a compensating positive change. For example, when something gets removed from a player’s inventory because of a policy change, the developer will offer up some kind of freebie for all of those players who are impacted. This can include free currency, a free new weapon, a freebie in the game store or something similar. This freebie offsets that player’s item loss in compensation.

Unfortunately, with this Legacy removal, Bethesda offered players no form of any kind of compensation for the loss of their weapon. They still had their weapon, yes, but severely altered. Bethesda might as well have removed the weapon as the weapon that remained is pretty much worthless. It’s surprising that Bethesda has offered up no compensation at all, but here we are.

For all of the above reasons, the rogues are likely to abandon this game entirely… perhaps even the franchise itself… said as if rogues even care about Fallout as a franchise. That leaves the golden players left to carry the weight, but unfortunately there are likely not enough of these golden players willing to shell out for Fallout 1st in the numbers needed to keep the game afloat. Thus, this change is likely to be Fallout 76’s death knell.

Way to go, Todd! Phil, if you’re reading this, you probably need to have a sit down with Todd to figure out what the hell is going on with the Fallout 76 development team.

Update: 1/29/2023 — Positive Changes vs Balance

While I didn’t discuss this above, there was really no need to state the positive changes by removing legacy weapons. We all know that exactly what taking overpowered weapons from the game means. For those who need this spelled out, it means less powerful weapons now exist in the game. That means shooting more, making more ammo and grinding more to keep your guns working. It also means the need for finding more ways to buff your weapons using Magazines, Bobbleheads and other consumables. It also means reworking perk cards to max out the damage done with these weapons.

In short, it means spending more time reworking your character to find the highest damage build based around the game’s crappy level 45 and 50 weapons. Ultimately, it’s an exercise in futility.

Does the game have balance after legacies? No, it does not! Fallout 76 is actually quite unbalanced. It is entirely because Bethesda has now given enemies many questionable unbalanced buffs. Removing legacies from the game doesn’t in any way negate these problematic introductions around enemies. Let’s list these enemy problems…

  • Enemies are allowed to instantly and silently teleport right behind you and instantly damage or kill you. Not balanced.
  • Enemies are still given perfect aim with every single shot, where players are given VATs that misses more frequently than it manages to hit. Not balanced.
  • Enemies have perfect accuracy with every single shot and are given 100% anti-armor per shot while players must live with weapons that afford drastically reduced accuracy and are given zero anti-armor per shot unless using perk cards and/or Anti-Armor legendary weapons. Even then, anti-armor afforded to the player is never 100% even though enemies are given 100% anti-armor shots. Not balanced.
  • Enemies have majorly enhanced perception, which can instantly negate Sneak cards. For example, if one enemy “sees” you, the horde around them all instantly see you. It’s not enemy by enemy, but by the horde. Not balanced.
  • Daily Ops is worthless due to actual enhanced perception given to enemies. Players spend major amounts of time building their character’s method of combat. If the player has chosen a sneaky sniper build, for example, Daily Ops entirely negates that. This means Bethesda expects us to completely retool our build strictly around Daily Ops? Not balanced.
  • Daily Ops, once again, is worthless due to stealth fields given to all enemies. Stealth invisibility fields negate using VATs. If you’ve built your character around using VATS criticals, once again Bethesda has negated that. Not balanced.
  • HP bar above an enemy lies. If an enemy’s bar says level 50, yet it takes hundreds of shots to kill it, that’s not level 50. A level 50 enemy should take a similar number of shots to kill it no matter what type of enemy it is. Not balanced.
  • Weapons show a high level of accuracy in the UI, but do not provide that high level of accuracy when shooting. Not balanced.
  • Weapons show specific damage numbers, but never actually provide that level of damage when shooting. For example, an Instigating Fat Man purports around 1500 damage in sneak, but never actually shows more than about 100-200 damage when landing a direct hit while sneaking. Not balanced.

As you can see, the vast majority of Fallout 76 has no balance at all. Unless you consider enemy tactics and damage stacked against the player as balance, there is very little balance about the game. The legacies were, in fact, the only way to negate Bethesda’s entirely unbalanced game. In fact, the legacies gave balance back to a game against Bethesda’s unfair and unbalanced enemies.

Unfortunately, we’re now right back to a completely unbalanced and unfair game, where enemies can cheat against the player using tactics like teleportation where the player been given no such ability or defense.

Balance in Fallout 76? Hardly.

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Fallout 76: Map locations of Wood Piles

Posted in advice, howto, video game by commorancy on January 18, 2023

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Many players are wondering where to find Wood Resource Piles (aka Wood Piles) throughout Fallout 76. While there are websites showing map locations leading the way to gold, concrete, steel, lead, waste oil and acid deposits, none yet show where to find wood resource piles for your camp. Yes, there are a number of these wood piles in Appalachia. Let’s explore.

Wood Pile Sites

Starter List
Wood Pile Update #1
Wood Pile Update #2
Wood Pile Update #3
Wood Pile Update #4
Legacy Removals and Wood Piles Update #5

The links above lead to the list of wood piles that have been found. Unfortunately, as many others have found, there are no maps to find these resources easily via Google. Well, now there is. The research for this article is time consuming as it requires searching all over the map for these wood piles. That’s where this article comes in. I’ve done this work for you and now the article is closed.

For ease of writing this article, I will abbreviate C.A.M.P. to simply the word ‘camp’ except when I’m referring to the device itself. There are a number of workshops that have wood resource piles. This article does not include wood resource piles located in workshops. If you wish to know which workshops have wood piles… then from the Fallout 76 map, hover over the workshop icon and the game will display resources available at each workshop.

Wood Resource Deposits

What are these deposits and why are they special? Like iron deposits that produce steel scrap and crystal deposits that produce crystal scrap, wood deposits produce wood scrap when equipped with a proper resource extractor in your camp. Some of these deposits exist inside of workshops, but you cannot build a camp in a workshop. Many players want to build their camp on top of a wood resource deposit so they can extract wood scraps at their camp.

Yes, these deposits do exist separately throughout the Forest and even into the Cranberry Bog. Wherever there are forests and wood, these wood pile deposits exist. That I’ve also discovered while scouting, these wood deposits seem to exist near, but outside of workshops and usually aren’t far off of a road. Though, they don’t always appear near workshops and they are not always near a road. These wood piles can be claimed using your C.A.M.P. device and used within your own camp with a wood resource extractor.

Wood resource piles have a distinctive look and shape from regular logs of wood in the landscape. Here’s an example:

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Note that the cones on this pile are only for this specific pile. All other wood piles I’ve found do not have these orange cones. Additionally, note the four posts that constrain the wood pile. These wood resource piles always look like this (with the exception of the cones).

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If you see one of these wood piles in the wild AND which is not located in a workshop, you can use it in your camp to extract wood by placing down a wood resource extractor. The extractor will produce wood scraps for you. The above is how a wood pile looks when a resource extractor is placed down. Resource extractors require power to operate, hence the reason for the two solar panels to power it. While you can use any generator of sufficient power, I prefer using two solar panels which can be placed right on top.

Settlers and Wood

Since the introduction of Wastelanders, the game now offers random NPC settlers living in the wasteland. These settlers can sometimes point the way to finding such wood pile resources. For example, if you hear the sound of wood being chopped, there’s a high probability that locating the sound will lead you to a settler and a wood pile. Settlers don’t spawn all of the time, but they do occur the vast majority of the time. This means that some wood piles must be found by stumbling onto them. By following the sound of wood being chopped, it is likely to lead you to a wood pile.

Again, these wood pile deposits are available to use as resources in your camp, just like ground copper, silver or iron deposits.

Wood Resource Deposit Locations

Let’s get right to the heart of this article and the reason why you are here. These are all of the wood pile resources I’ve found. Every single resource I’ve scouted is available for use in a camp, allowing for a wood extractor resource to be placed. The vast majority of these piles are located in The Forest. However, a few do exist in the Cranberry Bog and other locations around the map. As I find more, this article will be updated.

I’ve also tested all of these locations to ensure that a C.A.M.P. device can be placed which will include the wood pile. Though, placement on some may not work if placed directly in front of the pile. These piles may require you to walk around a little to find a suitable location where the device turns green and allows placement while still including the wood pile.

Let’s start with this first set of wood pile locations …

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Location #1 — Gilman Lumber Mill (Forest)

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This wood resource deposit is located near the Gilman Lumber Mill just below Vault 76. The arrow marker points to the spot. This location actually contains two wood deposits. Unfortunately, the deposit closest to Gilman (next to a fence) cannot be claimed for use in a camp. This second one which is farther away and not sitting against a fence (see the arrow marker) is usable in your camp. It looks like so…

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This wood pile below, unfortunately, is NOT usable in a camp. It is shown to prevent confusion from the above pile, which can be used in a camp. Again, this pile just below placed next to the chain link fence cannot be used as a camp resource, but it can be harvested for wood by your character. Yes, it would be nice to have two wood extractors in the same camp, but alas it’s not to be. Thanks Bethesda.

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Location #2 — Back end of Wixon Homestead (Forest)

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This wood deposit exists not far from the Wayward, but sits at the very back end of the Wixon Homestead’s farmland, not far off the nearby road leading to the Wayward.

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Location #3 — Hunter’s Ridge (Forest)

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This wood deposit is near Hunter’s ridge along the road where the marker shows. This pile has two orange cones.

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Location #4 — Pylon V13 & Drop Site C2 (Cranberry Bog)

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This wood deposit is somewhat near the Abandoned Bog Town workshop, but is not part of it. It’s fairly far off of the road and you can hear a settler chopping wood all the way from the road if they are there.

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Location #5 — North of Twin Pines Cabin (Forest)

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Near where the road forks into two, you’ll find a wood deposit which is not far from Twin Pines Cabin (the Blood Eagle symbol on the map).

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Location #6 — Deathclaw Island (Forest)

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Slightly off of and north, just up the road from the spawn point for Deathclaw Island (pine tree marker on the map), here’s another wood resource which can be used at your camp. See the arrow marker. The wood pile looks like this.

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Note that the building seen in the background is the small red shed which is part of the Tyler County Dirt Track workshop. However, this wood pile is not part of that workshop and can be used in your camp.

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Location #7 —  Point Pleasant (Forest)

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This wood pile is very close to Point Pleasant. However, the spawn point for Point Pleasant leads you to the south entrance. This pile is near the north entrance of the city with no fast travel point close. You’ll want to fast travel to Black Mountain Ordnance Works and walk down the road towards the north entrance of Point Pleasant. Immediately after you pass a red colored large hauler truck, it’ll be on your left. Careful of a possible Blood Eagle camp nearby.

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Location #8 — Silva Homestead (Forest)

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This wood pile is located a little bit south of Silva Homestead and is also a little bit off of the road near and sorta behind a red tractor. This location is a little bit tricky to place the C.A.M.P. device. However, if you are creative with your C.A.M.P. device placement, you might be able to include both water and wood as resources in your camp. Note that you only need to cover about half of a ground resource with the green perimeter circle for that resource to be usable. Placement of water resources are a bit more finicky.

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Location #9 — Billings Homestead (Forest)

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This wood pile is located just up the road a little from the Silva Homestead pile. This pile is close to, but not part of the workshop. Like Silva Homestead, this one also requires creative placement of the C.A.M.P. device to be able to use this pile as a resource.

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See the placement of the C.A.M.P. device below. Any closer to the pile and it turns red due to the workshop proximity.

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Location #10 — Grafton Steel (Toxic Valley)

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This wood pile is near Grafton Steel, but is on the north side. Similar to Point Pleasant, the fast travel point for Grafton Steel is on the south side. You’ll need to trek up the road to the point where the marker is. It’s just a little bit off the road, but you can still see the pile from the road.

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Location #11 — Near Black Mountain Ordnance Works (Forest)

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From the fast travel point at Black Mountain, travel down the road to the point you see. There’s a small gravel road that leads into an unmarked junkyard which looks like this…

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At the back of this makeshift and unmarked junkyard resides a wood pile…

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I didn’t scout this area carefully to see if there were any other resources present, such as a junk resource. You’ll need to visit to determine this. It looks like there might be a junk resource available off to the right as shown in the wider picture of this makeshift junkyard.

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Location #12 — Alpine River Cabins (Forest)

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Just above Alpine River Cabins there’s another wood pile. Seems like there’s a lot of these in the Forest area. Makes sense, though. It looks like this…

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New Piles Update #1

Location #13 — Mosstown (Mire)

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Very near Mosstown, but just outside of it is a wood resource pile. This resource pile is usable in your camp even though it’s very close to Mosstown.

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Location #14 — WV Lumber Co. (Forest)

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This wood pile so close to the water line, you can likely claim both water and this wood pile in your camp.

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Location #15 — Groves Family Cabin (Forest)

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This one is closer to Groves Family Cabin than Darling Sister’s Lab. The trouble with this map image is that when the Groves marker is selected, the text obscures the arrow. I selected the Darling Sister’s Lab marker to give you a better idea of the map location.

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Location #16 — Miner’s Monument (Forest)

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This wood pile is just across from Miner’s Monument.

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Location #17 — Southern Belle Motel (Mire)

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Next to the Southern Belle Motel is, you guessed it, a wood pile ripe for claiming in a camp. This one is directly next to water. With this one, you can definitely claim both water and the wood pile in your camp. You can probably even put up a bunch of water purifiers along side your wood extractor.

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New Piles Update #2 — Cranberry Bog

There are apparently a number of wood piles strewn around the Cranberry Bog, but not close to roads Some of these wood piles reside fairly close to various Firebase sites, but not always. Here are the four newest wood piles I’ve found. Thanks go to a game friend who knew about two of these piles and helped me locate them with markers near the sites. That also spurred me to traipse around the Cranberry Bog looking for the two others included.

This player also told me he was unable to place a wood extractor at the wood pile located near Drop Site V9 when he had his base there. I have tested this location by placing an extractor and have experienced no difficulties (see below). Please let me know in the comments if you experience any problems with any of these sites listed.

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Location #18 — The Thorn (Cranberry Bog)

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Not far from The Thorn (see marker) is another wood pile. Sometimes a settler is not there.

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Location #19 — Bootlegger’s Shack (Cranberry Bog)

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And another near a grove of Sundew Trees.

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Location #20 — Drop Site V9 (Cranberry Bog)

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A small trek north of Drop Site V9, you’ll find another wood pile. This one is far enough north that it shouldn’t be inside of a blast zone very often, if ever… unless it’s a newbie player who doesn’t know exactly where to nuke.

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This is the wood pile I was told wouldn’t place an extractor by someone who had a camp here previously. I have tested this site and I was able to place down a wood resource extractor without any difficulties, like so…

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Location #21 — Firebase LT (Cranberry Bog)

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Halfway between Firebase LT and that fissure site, you’ll find another wood pile. It looks like so…

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New Piles Update #3

Location #22 — Sunrise Field #1 (Cranberry Bog)

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This wood pile is the first in three wood piles located near Sunrise Field. You’ll need to take a close look at each marker location and correlate that with each image. Note that one of the locations that would seem natural to have a wood pile instead has a uranium deposit (see below). The third wood pile is farther away and in a different area than one might expect.

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Location #23 — Sunrise Field #2 (Cranberry Bog)

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This is the second wood pile located near Sunrise Field. It exists next to this small red shack.

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Location #24 — Sunrise Field #3 (Cranberry Bog)

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This third wood pile is located halfway between Sunrise Field and Sparse Sundew Grove. I’m connecting this one to Sunrise Field due to its close proximity.

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Sunrise Field — Uranium Deposit (Cranberry Bog)

For completeness, I roamed to an area near Sunrise Field (to the right and below) where I thought another wood pile might be located. Instead of a wood pile, I see a uranium deposit. Here’s the location of this uranium deposit in case you’re curious.

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The reason this uranium deposit is included here to keep you from wasting time roaming over to this area thinking there might be another wood pile there. There isn’t. It’s a uranium deposit.

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New Pile Update #4

For this update, I’ve finally found the location that I remember seeing months back and it’s actually in the Savage Divide! I originally thought this wood pile site was much closer to The Whitespring than it is. It’s actually very close to the Garrahan area of the Savage Divide right where it meets the Ash Heap. These wood piles, though, are considered in the Savage Divide.

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Location #25 — Bastion Park (Savage Divide)

From Bastion Park, travel down the road and you’ll find this wood pile just off of the road near a semi truck with logs on the back.

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At this location, you’ll see this semi truck with logs on the back right next to the wood pile.

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Location #26 — Monongah Power SS MZ-03 (Savage Divide)

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From site #25, trek just a little ways down the road and you’ll find this wood pile which is close to the substation fast travel point. This wood pile is the pile I thought was very close to The Whitespring. Instead, it’s much farther down near Monongah Power Substation MZ-03 and not far from the Garrahan Mining HQ. I was also surprised to find that there are actually a number of wood piles in close proximity in this area.

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Location #27 — Garrahan Mining HQ (Savage Divide)

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Even further down this same road near the Garrahan Mining Headquarters, you’ll find another wood pile to use. It looks like so…

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This wood pile is located near a small unmarked village of houses.

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Location #28 — Braxson’s Quality Medical Supplies (Mire)

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This one is in The Mire. From Braxson’s Quality Medical Supplies (the icon looks like a factory), trek to the below location and you’ll find this wood pile…

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Location #29 — Crimson Prospect (Cranberry Bog)

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We’re back in the Cranberry Bog for yet another wood pile. Halfway between Crimson Prospect and the Ranger District Office, you’ll find another wood pile ready and waiting for a camp to be placed.

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Legacy Removals and Wood Piles

As a result of Tuesday January 24th’s removal of Legacy weapons (aka Black Tuesday), I have made the decision to no longer search for any more wood piles. There are now 29 Wood Piles in this list, well enough to satisfy anyone who wishes to base their camp around one. While I was unable to find any of these wood piles in the Ash Heap, Toxic Valley or the vast majority of the Savage Divide, you’ll need to search in these areas yourself if you want your camp in a specific area not listed near a wood pile.

If you’re simply wanting a wood pile to base your camp around, there are plenty of sites listed in this article from which to choose. If you’re specifically wanting one in a region where none is listed above, I’ll leave it to you to go find one close.

My reasoning for closing this article at this time is that Fallout 76’s player base is actively under siege by Bethesda, which I further foresee many players leaving this game over the course of the next 30-90 days as a result. Without Legacy weapons, the game is likely to become “boring” and “no longer fun to play” by many. That reduction in players leaves fewer and fewer players playing Fallout 76 on all platforms. That further means that information articles like this one will see fewer and fewer searches from a dwindling set of players who need this information.

With the 29 sites already discovered above in combination with the likely significant reduction in player base, there’s no reason to continue searching. If Bethesda changes their stance on legacies or finds a way to entice a whole lot more players back into the game, then I may revive this article and continue to update it. As of now, this article is officially closed with the 29 sites listed. I am no longer actively searching out any more wood piles.

Ending Notes…

I haven’t tested placing extractors down on each of these wood piles in this list. Some of these locations may or may not allow for placement of an extractor. You’ll need to test this. The only test I have performed is to see whether it’s possible to place a C.A.M.P. device at or near the wood pile. Every wood pile in this list turns green when testing a C.A.M.P. device placement, but that test doesn’t guarantee that a wood extractor will place once a camp is established.

For map reference, the arrow marker not only denotes the location of the wood pile, the arrow’s direction also points directly towards that wood pile.

If you happen to locate a wood pile not listed or find that one of these wood piles above doesn’t work to extract, please leave a comment below. If you find a pile that is missing from this list, please tell me where it is located is in a comment below and I’ll credit you for having found it. Even though this article is closed for updates, I am still actively accepting comments from people who may find a wood pile not in the above list. You will be duly credited for having found any wood pile not in this list.

Enjoy and happy camping!

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Tips: Cooking with an Air Fryer

Posted in air fryer, baking, cooking, tips by commorancy on January 18, 2023

air-fryer-2You recently got a new air fryer as a holiday gift and now you’re wondering, “What can I do with this?” Or, maybe you have one sitting on a shelf that’s been there for months? Wonder no more. Let’s explore various cooking tips for that air fryer.

What Exactly is an Air Fryer?

Simply put, it’s a forced air broiler. It’s like a convection oven, but the forced air is much, much stronger. Not all air fryers are necessarily the same. While many offer touch controls, some offer only simple timer knobs (see Bella air fryer just below). Some also heat from the top, while some heat from the side. All cook pretty much in the same way. How does it work?

These small cooking appliances are designed with a fan which forces high speed air through heated coils vertically down onto the food. Some may force it across the food horizontally. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Even though the concept is simple, the speed of it is fairly amazing for cooking. However, there are some cautions to go with that cooking speed.air-fryer-knobs

Cooking times are dramatically reduced as a result of this forced air cooking method. Because of the high speed air flow, many foods can be cooked in about the same time as using a microwave. Unlike a microwave, an air fryer makes and keeps foods crispy and brown rather than mushy or rubbery.

Here are some cautions. Because the velocity of the air fryer is quite high, an air fryer is also quite drying for all food. This can make certain foods dry out if cooking precautions aren’t taken, such as wrapping the food in foil to keep the moisture in. Wrapping with foil doesn’t allow for crisping up the food. This means you’ll want to wrap the food for long duration cooking times and then unwrap for the last 8-10 minutes at the end of the cooking time to crisp the food.

Cooking Times

Air fryer cooking times are dramatically reduced from a standard oven. It’s way faster than even a convection oven. A pizza might cook in 18 minutes in a regular oven, but may be done in 8-10 minutes in an air fryer. Speaking of…

Pizza

Cooking Pizza in an air fryer might seem natural, but it’s not. If you intend to cook pizza in an air fryer, you’ll need to know how to do it correctly or it’ll burn and get overly dry.

When cooking pizza in a conventional oven, 400ºF / 204ºC temperature is exactly that. However, in an air fryer, that same temperature is actually quite a bit hotter because of the forced air. This means you have to reduce the heat level when cooking in an air fryer by at least 50ºF / 10ºC to compensate, maybe more. Otherwise, your food will become blackened and hard.

Pizza is no exception. When cooking pizza in an air fryer, you’ll want to cook no higher than 280-300ºF / 138-149ºC and monitor it closely. Cheese easily burns in an air fryer and, yes, it’ll also burn quickly, within 6-8 minutes. Pizza can be tricky to cook in an air fryer. If you’re really wanting the best pizza, I always suggest using a real oven. For reheating pizza, an air fryer is perfect when set to 200ºF to 250ºF / 93ºC to 121ºC.

If you like and prefer a charred, blackened taste on pizza, then an air fryer is perfect for getting that result. I prefer my pizza cheese melted, a tiny bit crispy, but mostly still stringy and fresh. Getting the latter result in an air fryer requires careful lower temperature cooking.

Veggies

Vegetables can be cooked in an air fryer, but I’d suggest wrapping them in foil, adding a tablespoon of water in the foil to keep them moist and steamy. If you want more of a grilled texture to your vegetables, then steam them in foil for about 8-10 minutes, then unwrap the foil and cook for the remaining 3-5 minutes on 380-400ºF / 193-204ºC to crisp them up.

Hamburgers

A hamburger patty is easily cooked in an air fryer. However, air fryers are messy beasts and need cleaning frequently. With foods that tend to produce spatter, like beef, poultry and pork, you’ll want to be sure to clean the interior of your air fryer after cooking such foods.

Hamburger patties cook in about 8-10 minutes at 400ºF / 204ºC. Though, you’ll need to flip the food if you cook without foil. If you’re cooking in foil, there’s no need to flip as the steam will cook both sides evenly. I recommend steaming the hamburger patty for half of the cooking time, then unwrap and cook the remaining time open, being sure to flip it half way through the open cooking time.

Hamburger patties can be placed into the air fryer completely frozen and will still be cooked in that 8 to 10 minutes. Fresh, thawed hamburger patties will cook slightly faster, so check them more frequently.

Hot Dogs

You don’t really need to cook hot dogs in an air fryer. Instead, you’ll simply want to reheat them. Many air fryers offer a reheat setting. Use only the reheat setting for hot dogs. In about 5 minutes, you’ll have hot dogs cooked to perfection. For air fryers with knob settings, reheat is 6 minutes at 200-250ºF / 93-121ºC.

Choosing the air fry option, which typically runs at 400ºF / 204ºC for about 15 minutes, you’re sure to burn the hot dogs, and most anything else except french fries and other potato side dishes. If choosing the 400ºF / 204ºC option, be sure to check your food often and shake the basket about every 3-5 minutes.

Hot dogs cooked at 400ºF / 204ºC will begin to blacken within about 2-3 minutes. If you like your hot dogs blackened, then this is the option to choose. If you prefer your hot dogs warmed with a slightly crispy bite, then reheat is the choice for cooking.

Cooking Side by Side

It’s easy to cook foods side by side in an air fryer basket. For example, you can place hot dogs and fries into the basket together and have a full meal ready go to at the end of the cooking time. However, note that fries take longer to cook than hot dogs. A soon as the hot dogs are warmed, remove the dogs, then raise the temperature to cook the fries at 400ºF / 204ºC for the remainder of the time, around 6-8 minutes.

Alternatively, cook the fries until there’s about 3 minutes left, then lower the temperature to 200-250ºF / 93-121ºC to reheat the hot dogs for 5 minutes, which will also keep the fries hot.

Tortilla Chips / Dehydrating

Many air fryers offer a dehydrate setting. This cooking method cuts the fan speed down dramatically and runs at a temperature around 100-150º / 38-66ºC . This is perfect for drying foods, such as making your own baked corn tortilla chips.

For baked tortilla chips, cut fresh corn tortillas into quarters. Place the quarters flat into the basket. The chips can be overlapping without issues. I typically cut up about 4-5 tortillas and layer them on the bottom of the cooking tray. Then, set the cooking method to dehydrate for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

These chips come out quite crispy, but not the same as you can buy at the store. If you’re wanting to make nachos, it’s a reasonably quick way to make chips without running to the store.

One trick here to soften the chips a bit is to place the chips in a paper bag and let them sit overnight. The next day, the chips will have a softer crunch and be more like chips you can buy in the store.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that air frying these tortillas at 400ºF / 204ºC will do you any favors. It won’t. The chips will blacken and taste burnt. You don’t want this for tortilla chips. If you want to heat the chips, use the dehydrate method described above to keep them crispy, yet looking and tasting like tortilla chips. You can use reheat on the chips for 1-3 minutes to warm them up, too.

Frozen Fried Foods

Here’s where the air fryer shines. For frozen foods like Totinos Pizza Rolls, corn dogs, mini tacos, taquitos or even simply fried chicken (fresh or frozen) or french fries, the air fryer setting works perfect to reheat and cook these.

All of the above foods cook using the air fry option. The air fry option typically runs 380-400ºF / 193-204ºC for about 12 minutes, shaking the basket several times while cooking to even out the cooking. No need to thaw, just place them straight into the basket frozen and 12 minutes later you’ll have piping hot and crispy foods. Some of the above foods may cook in around 8 minutes. Always begin checking your foods for doneness around 8 minutes while shaking the basket.

The air fry setting is perfect to cook fried chicken or other fried and battered foods to perfection. That’s why they call it an air fryer.

Cookies and Cakes

While it is possible to use an air fryer to bake such foods, I don’t recommend it. These baked food types don’t bake well in an air fryer. There are three reasons for this:

  1. The forced air ensures the top of the baked good is overcooked and dry
  2. The forced air will flatten cookies out and make them too flat
  3. The forced heat will overcook the top of cookies, but leave the underside undercooked (same for cake)

Instead, for a more even bake, I recommend using a regular or toaster oven for baking cookies, cakes and brownies. If you want your cookies a little more crispy, you can throw them into the air fryer for 1-3 minutes at around 350ºF / 177ºC after they’ve been baked in a regular oven.

Baked Pasta

If you’ve ever bought a baked personal pan pasta from Pizza Hut or any other Italian restaurant, then you may be wondering how to get that crispy cheese texture on the top of hot steaming pasta. The air fryer is perfect for making this. However, you’ll need to invest in some cooking pans that fit into your air fryer.

Up until now, I’ve not discussed the size of the baskets on an air fryer. Here’s where you’ll need to get your tape measure out and determine the dimensions of your air fryer basket. Mine is about 8″ across. With that sizing in hand, head over to Amazon and search for air fryer accessories that will fit inside your basket. It’s possible your air fryer came with small pans that fit inside of your basket. Mine did not. You’ll want to obtain either a square or round baking pan that fits inside your air fryer basket.

For baked pasta:

  • Layer your cooked pasta on the bottom of a round or square pan (not in the basket directly)
  • Layer mozzarella on top of the pasta
  • Layer cooked pasta sauce on top of the cheese
  • Place various toppings like beef, pork, veggies and pepperoni
  • Top with a layer of cheese

Cook in the air fryer at 350ºF / 177ºC for about 6-8 minutes, checking for cheese browning at around the 5 minute mark.

Note that if you’re using a basket type fryer, be sure sure to buy a pan accessory kit which also includes a pan grabber. This grabber grabs hold of the lip of the pan which allows you to easily lift and extract the pan from the basket without using your hands and without spilling. Though, you can use oven mitts if you prefer… a pan grabber is much easier to prevent food spillage.

Cooking Other Foods?

There are plenty of other foods you can try cooking in an air fryer. For example, if you buy a frozen food from the store and there are not air fryer cooking instructions on the package, subtract 50% of the cooking time from regular oven cooking and that is usually what’s needed for an air fryer. You may also want to reduce the cooking temperature by at least 30-50ºF / 8-20ºC to avoid overcooking or burning.

As I said above, if it’s cookies, cakes or other baked goods, you should opt for baking in a regular or toaster oven. Even such foods as pot pies or sweet pies may cook better in a conventional oven. Some foods are easy to over bake in an air fryer.

When cooking meats, many cooks want to save the drippings to make gravy. If you’re wanting to make gravy, don’t use an air fryer. Air fryers force evaporate almost all liquids produced by foods. This means, no gravy. If you’re wanting to make gravy, then you’ll want to braise your chicken, pork and beef in a regular oven to retain those juices. Don’t use an air fryer.

If you don’t care about gravy, then cooking your food in an air fryer is an option. Just don’t be fooled into thinking you can make gravy from cooking meats in an air fryer. It doesn’t work.

Pre-heating an Air Fryer

Some air fryers have a preheat setting. However, it’s really unnecessary. You can throw your food straight into the basket and begin the cooking instantly. It might add 1 extra minute to the cook time, but it’s faster than waiting 2 minutes for a preheat. To be fair, it only takes about 1 minute for an air fryer to preheat… which is why it’s mostly unnecessary to preheat your air fryer unless you want the grill surface to be hot so it will add grill marks to your food.

Basket vs Trays vs Cleaning

Some air fryers are more like toaster ovens with trays. If you have this kind of air fryer, you’ll need to use an oven mitt to pull out the trays to shake them. If you have the basket type fryer with a handle, these are more convenient because the handle stays completely cool on the basket. I recommend the basket variety because it’s much easier to clean and the handle remains cool.

If you have the basket variety of air fryer, there are lots of “keep it clean” options, including basket inserts made of paper, parchment and even silicone. These inserts allow for cooking and removal to keep your basket clean. There are also pans, as mentioned above, which can be used to help bake foods while keeping the interior clean.

Still, spatter from foods can get into the heating elements and surrounding areas. You’ll need to periodically wipe and clean the interior of the air fryer after it has completely cooled. You may need to use a little Easy Off oven cleaner to fully clean this spatter. Be sure to clean your basket every so often to make sure you’ve cleaned off food smells from previous uses.

ninja-air-fryerFinal note. Some air fryer images show a basket filled to capacity, like this Ninja to the left. Don’t do this. The maximum you should ever fill your basket is about half to 3/4 full. Never fill your basket entirely to the top with food. The reason? The top most food is too close to the heating element and will burn. You want to keep your food far enough away from that heating element to keep it from burning. Such images are strictly for marketing purposes, not for functionality. Do not replicate these marketing images when cooking.

Happy Air Frying!

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President Biden’s Classified Documents

Posted in government, presidential administration by commorancy on January 15, 2023

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Biden is currently the sitting President of the United States. Let’s make this perfectly clear right from the go. Does a President of the United States have legitimate access to be in possession of classified documents? Yes, but let’s explore.

Republican Agenda

Ever since the Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun investigating Donald Trump for a number of alleged wrongdoings, the Republicans have treated Biden as if he is in the wrong. While the DOJ does operate as part of the Federal Government, it is an autonomous entity not under direct control of the White House. While the White House, or more specifically President Joe Biden, can agree or disagree with the DOJ’s handling of matters, his opinion is not relevant to that department’s investigations.

Let me even clarify the heading of this section. The ‘Republican Agenda’ specifically refers to the MAGA Republican agenda, a small sect of the overall Republican party that is extreme in all aspects and is willing to take their agendas to extremes. These specific Republicans are unwilling to compromise, hold firm on conspiratorial ideals, wish for the government to topple and are doing their level best to instigate a civil war. This began under Donald Trump. Like the other MAGA Republicans, Trump also holds unrealistic and extreme points of view; points of view that are dangerous to Democracy and, frankly, to the rest of the world.

These MAGA extremist points of view may ultimately be the undoing of not only American Democracy, but unravel America itself. Meaning, the United States Government may be on the verge of disappearing if MAGA get their way… and with it, not just America, but the economies around the rest of the world. In other words, America’s economy is so intertwined with the rest of the world economies, if America falls, so will many other countries, likely including China and Russia. MAGA Republicans are playing with fire.

Mainstream Media

Unfortunately, mainstream media is helping this MAGA agenda along by pushing stories that further these MAGA narratives; narratives that only serve to undermine Democracy, but also undermines all of the foundational democratic institutional glue of the United States Democracy including the judicial system, the executive branch and the legislative branch. There is no branch of the US government that is not currently under internal siege by these MAGA extremists.

Mainstream media is making this situation worse by perpetuating and perpetrating fraudulent stories on the unsuspecting public (Democrat, Republican or Independent).

Stupidity Runs Rampant

One thing that’s become abundantly clear is that stupidity is running rampant throughout far too many MAGA Republicans. Yes, even from people who’ve been elected to government positions. These people have demonstrated they are severely under-educated and do not possess the cognitive or critical thinking skills to understand fact from fiction from fabrication. These are people who that when told something by someone even slightly trustworthy (to them), they believe every single word as though it were written as gospel in the Bible.

Mainstream media is taking full and complete advantage of this fact and are now writing not only extreme propaganda articles, they’re writing the absolute worst form of tabloid garbage. Case in point. Dailymail writes this entirely propagandistic article: THIRD batch of files found at Joe Biden’s Delaware home.

By ‘files’, this article means “classified documents.”

Presidential Power and Classified Documents

As the duties and powers confer to the duly elected President of the United States, that elected individual is given absolute clearance over the documents presented to him and created by him. This means that as President and while remaining the sitting President, that President inherits all clearance levels needed to perform and execute his or her duties as President of the United States.

This clearance level includes possession of and creation of classified documents at any level needed to perform those duties.

It also means that wherever the President chooses to work, classified documents are likely to be present, either previously created by someone else or, indeed, created BY the President of the United States himself as part of his job responsibilities. Having this clearance level is entirely part of being President of the United States.

Possession of Classified Documents as a Crime

To circle back around to that insanely stupid Dailymail article, it attempts to insinuate that Biden somehow should not be in possession of said documents. The President needs to be in possession of whatever classified documents allow him to perform and execute his responsibility as President of the United States. There is no crime here. Biden is not a criminal for being in possession of such classified documents.

Let’s liken this situation to Donald Trump. After Biden was sworn into office as President of the United States, Donald Trump became an Ex-President or if you prefer, a former president. As a former president, each former President gives up their role as sitting President including giving up access to various classified top secret documents.

Donald Trump was found to have been in possession of said documents at his Mar-A-Lago residence. However, the stark difference between Biden and Trump is that Biden is STILL the sitting President of the United States and still possesses the rights to own, hold, read and manage classified documents. Ex-President Trump, on the other hand, no longer holds the right to own, hold, read or manage such classified documents.

Questions without Answers

The question surrounding Trump is whether the documents were duly and properly declassified prior to those documents landing at Mar-A-Lago. As an Ex-President, Trump no longer holds the power to declassify such documents after leaving office. Biden, as President of the United States, still holds the power to declassify any document he chooses.

Thus, any such rousting by the Dailymail to make it appear as if Biden is somehow in the wrong or has performed a crime, there’s a simple Presidential fix. Biden, as President of the United States, can immediately and instantly declassify any and all such documents in question, leaving the people trying to make Biden look bad standing firmly with egg plastered on their faces. The President can nullify any such alleged criminal situations.

Biden being in possession of classified documents is not only NOT a crime for Biden, it’s actually part of his responsibility as President of the United States. As I said, stupidity reigns supreme with the MAGA Republicans.

Smart or Not?

The question comes down to NOT whether Biden’s possession of such documents was (or is) illegal, but whether it was a smart idea to leave them in his Delaware home. That’s the only situation that has any problems for the Government. Biden firmly has every right to BE in possession of those documents. The problem is only if those classified documents remain in the home unsecured when Biden is not actively there.

No, it’s probably not the smartest of ideas to leave such documents unattended. So long as there is sufficient security at the home to protect that home from intruders, and one would hope that as a sitting President, his home would be not only duly protected by active armed security forces, it would be outfit with an active security system. Even then, so long as the documents were placed into a properly secured safe or other such similar and nearly impenetrable storage unit, then the documents are considered properly secured even at his Delaware residence.

If someone who accessed Biden’s premises managed to gain access to such documents and read them, the illegal activity is actually on the people who found and read the documents. It is illegal for those people searching for them to be reading those documents, not Biden. Meaning, it is THEY who should be arrested for reading Biden’s classified documents.

Biden’s Desk

It gets worse. Any document that Biden writes while sitting at his desk could be considered instantly classified from the moment the pen hits paper. This means that finding a piece of paper with writing sitting on top of any desk, surface or object within Biden’s home could always be considered classified at some level. That means that anyone reading such documents without any clearance level granted could be considered having committed a crime. Not Biden, mind you, but the reader.

If there’s a crime having been committed here, it’s the people who infiltrated Biden’s home to find such classified documents. That means that the United States has a major security problem on its hands around Biden’s home.

If people (likely MAGA Republicans) are so easily able to penetrate the President’s residence to find such documents, security is no where near where it should be for that residence. This is clearly both a crime called breaking and entering and possibly even stalking.

Biden’s Security

Someone on Biden’s security team needs to quickly ferret out who gained access to the Biden Delaware home and how they managed to gain that access. This is a question no one is asking. However, this is a serious security breach at the top levels of government. No one should have access to Biden’s home with the exception of the Biden family and the Presidential security detail. All others should not be allowed onto the premises unless under escort by said security and only when a member of the Biden family is present. Otherwise, the Biden house should be firmly and completely secured and barred from entry except for Biden family members only. In other words, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Apples to Oranges

Let me get to the heart of why this all matters. Someone or several someones in the MAGA Republican party is simply trying to craft an illusion that appears like Trump’s classified document situation. This crafted situation is intended to make it seem like there’s something hypocritical going on. Except, there isn’t.

The only way the same situation between Trump and Biden can unfold is only after Biden leaves office as President. Only then can Biden be held accountable for holding onto classified documents at a personal residence.

While Biden remains a sitting President of the United States, he is a duly sworn officer of the United States Government and remains in power with all of the duties, responsibilities and, yes, clearances needed to perform that job.

On the other hand, Trump lost those powers, duties and clearances the moment he left office as President. For this reason alone, there is absolutely no comparison here.

Trump’s legal woes over classified documents remain. Donald Trump has no right, power or clearance to hold onto such still classified documents at his Mar-A-Lago residence. Biden, on the other hand, still holds every right, power and clearance to BE in possession of such classified documents wherever he chooses to work.

What Trump has done may be found to be illegal. What Biden has done (and continues to do) is perform his duties as sitting President of the United States. Until Biden leaves office, no crime has been committed involving classified documents. Dailymail, your article is a red herring and it’s damaging America.

Mainstream Media Stirring the Pot

Such articles by the likes of Dailymail only seek to stir the pot of dissent. They use people’s stupidity against them by making it seem like someone is in the wrong when clearly they are not. Thus, it only comes down to the editors and producers of said articles earnestly trying to undermine Democracy by making something appear as illegal when it clearly is not.

What Trump has done may very well be illegal and that remains to be seen by the investigations the DOJ is performing. Biden has done nothing yet illegal, but it might not be the brightest of ideas leaving such documents lying around in the open. Joe Biden, buy a proper document safe.

However, the question remains, how did someone gain access to Biden’s Delaware home to find such documents? No one should be allowed on the premises without Biden’s or his Secret Service detail’s authorization.

Something around Biden’s situation is clearly amiss, but it has nothing to do with classified documents. No one is investigating this.

Dailymail Comments

Reading some of the entirely misguided and, dare I say, stupid comments I’ve read on that Dailymail site, it’s clear that stupidity reigns supreme among MAGA conservatives. It’s like MAGA Republicans check their brains at the door when they walk into a room. They want to find anything and everything to attempt to discredit and, ultimately, impeach Biden. They are even willing to attempt to turn Biden’s daily and standard Presidential duties into a criminal activity.

While impeachment (using whatever junk they can fabricate) may be possible with the House now under Republican control, there is absolutely no way the Democrat controlled Senate will ever vote to convict and remove Biden from office. The MAGA Republicans know this, but they’re still trying quite hard and stupidly to discredit Biden. The only thing the MAGA Republicans are doing is making sure they never ever get elected again.

That’s the reason for such lame and stupid arguments as in this insipid Dailymail article allegedly finding classified documents at Biden’s residence. I’d honestly be more surprised if there WEREN’T classified documents found at Biden’s residences.

Planted Documents

Some have also supposed that the documents were planted by Republicans. While anything’s possible with MAGA extremists, they wouldn’t need to plant classified documents at Biden’s residence. Biden has been actively working at this residence and it makes perfect sense that some classified documents might remain there.

The question isn’t whether the documents were planted or even why the documents are there, but how someone managed to infiltrate Biden’s residence to find them? Why was someone snooping about Biden’s property? How did they get in? Why were they reading said classified documents of a sitting President without permission? These are bigger, more important security questions that need to be addressed… especially by Biden’s Secret Service Detail.

Vice President Documents

To close this article, you’ll notice that I didn’t mention the fact that these documents were from Biden’s time as Vice President until just now. Why is this fact not important? It’s not important because very likely there’s no way to establish exactly when the documents landed at Biden’s Delaware home. The presumption is that these documents landed at his home prior to Biden becoming President. We can’t know this.

Unless strict chain of custody for ALL classified documents is maintained, including exact dates when said documents changed hands, there is very likely no way to verify the exact date any specific document ended up at Biden’s home. Additionally, as President, Biden might need access to classified documents back from his a time as Vice President to handle matters occurring today. For this reason, he could have requested those documents and brought them to his home WHILE PRESIDENT… which is perfectly legal.

Finally, I’ll also point out that while the DOJ is investigating these documents found at his residence, they will likely exonerate Biden over all of the above points. I also hope that someone at the DOJ is smart enough to point out the security flaws and weaknesses with people snooping around Biden’s home in search of such documents… which honestly discloses the much, MUCH bigger problem here.

Let’s Suppose

Even if it’s possible to establish the documents were kept at the Biden residence prior to Biden becoming President, the fact that he is NOW President of the United States overrides that problem. The fact that he has clearance NOW overrides his possession of them when he wasn’t president and wasn’t vice president. Let’s take this one step further. The only way this information can truly be used against Biden is at an impeachment hearing.

The DOJ cannot easily (or possibly at all) bring criminal charges against a sitting President of the United States for activity prior to his being in office. The US Constitution is crystal clear on how to remove a President from office and that is strictly through impeachment and conviction via the House and Senate. That same constitution is entirely silent on bringing criminal charges against a sitting president and, up to this point, so has the Supreme Court remained silent on this point.

Note: Randocity prefers using Reuters and the AP as sources whenever possible. These two news organizations have regularly proven to be mostly unbiased when reporting, unlike all major TV “cable news” networks.

Have a thought or idea to discuss? Please leave a comment below. If you like reading Randocity, please click the follow button in your mobile app or web browser.

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No Man’s Sky: Benefits of Organic Frigates

Posted in advice, howto, video game by commorancy on January 1, 2023

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NMSlogoAs a follow-on to Randocity’s How to Get the Living Ship in No Man’s Sky article, you may be wondering what the difference is between an organic frigate and a technology frigate in No Man’s Sky. Yes, it ties into the Living Starship. Let’s explore.

How To Get an Organic Frigate

If you haven’t played through the Leviathan community expedition and received The Leviathan frigate, you may be wondering how to get more organic frigates if you’re starting a fresh game. Yes, you can get more organic frigates (and better ones too). To obtain an organic frigate, you’ll need to obtain certain key items:

  • Dream Aerial
  • Anomaly Detectors

To be complete, we’ll need to step back further. You’re also going to need to grind No Man’s Sky until your character has picked up enough items and unlocks to allow for use of the above items. These additional items and unlocks include:

  • Have a ship outfitted with a Hyperdrive (and fuel) and Pulse Drive
  • Enough Tritium to refill the Pulse Drive
  • Enough Fuel to fill the Hyperdrive (you’ll hyperdrive jump to find each organic frigate)
  • Obtain a Freighter
  • At least 100-500 million units on hand. The more you have, the better. You need this to buy the organic frigates.

Getting a Freighter

Obtaining a freighter is relatively easy. You’ll simply need to jump into enough systems to find one in distress. After the ensuing space battle is completed by you, the captain will allow you to purchase that freighter. Note, the first freighter you come upon will be free, at least as of this writing.

Meaning, it’s worth waiting until you find at least an A-class or S-class freighter before accepting it. An S-class freighter is well worth waiting for because your frigate expeditions gain a HUGE bonus every time you send your frigates on expeditions. Picking up a free S-class freighter is the best option here. However, any freighter will work with organic frigates.

S-Class Freighters

I’ll be honest here. S-class freighters are relatively rare to find, but if you’re diligent enough by jumping into many different systems, you’ll eventually happen upon one. If you’ve already picked up your free freighter earlier, you’ll be required to buy an S-class freighter… and they’re typically exceedingly costly. Some S-class freighters can cost around 330 million units. Some even more than that. On one of my sessions, I found an S-class freighter that cost 13 million units, but it had very few slots and technology open. That meant I had to grind for many, many Salvaged Frigate Modules and Cargo Bulkheads to unlock everything on that freighter. Though, it was well worth it.

It doesn’t matter the number of slots opened or the amount of technology unlocked on an S-class freighter. It matters that it is simply an S-class freighter. If you find an S-class as cheaply as I found mine, buy it instantly. Don’t hesitate. The frigate expedition bonus is well worth the amount of grinding required to unlock the rest of the freighter. In fact, that bonus will help you do that via your frigate expeditions.

Dream Aerial and Technology Frigates

Circling back around, to get the Dream Aerial you’ll need to buy a number of “standard” technology frigates. In fact, you’ll need to buy enough technology frigates to be able to run 3 star missions from your freighter’s expedition board. Once you can run 3 star missions, there’s a chance a Dream Aerial will be found by your technology frigate expeditions. You can always dismiss frigates later. Once you have the plan to build a Dream Aerial, you can then locate your first organic frigate (or second, if you’ve run the Leviathan expedition), which then unlocks the ability to find more via Anomaly Detectors.

Once you have a Dream Aerial built, activate it, then use the pulse drive to obtain your first (or second) organic frigate. One down, ~29 more to go.

Anomaly Detectors

After you have your first organic frigate from the Dream Aerial, you can delete the Dream Aerial device. The Dream Aerial is only useful once to obtain your first organic frigate. From here, you’ll have to rely on Anomaly Detectors to obtain the rest of your organic frigates for your fleet.

To obtain Anomaly Detectors, you’ll need to perform a bit of grinding in the game. First, find a dense asteroid field. Second, begin destroying the asteroids non-stop, avoiding the random ships also roaming the field. Once you’ve destroyed enough asteroids, the game will award you an Anomaly Detector. Rinse and repeat until you have as many Anomaly Detectors as you need.

You’ll use up one Anomaly Detector to locate each organic frigate you wish to find. If you want all 30 frigates to be organic, then you’ll need 29 Anomaly Detectors if you didn’t play Leviathan, 28 if you did. That means grinding through an asteroid field until you have enough detectors.

How to use Anomaly Detectors

To use Anomaly Detectors, it’s nearly identical to the Dream Aerial. Activate it, then zip into pulse drive and wait. From here, you’ll see many “Rare” deep space objects appear. Ignore them and do not drop out of pulse. Instead, in 15 seconds they’ll timeout and disappear, then another will appear. Eventually, you’ll see a Whalesong. This is the one you want.

Drop out of pulse at the first sign of Whalesong and pick up your organic frigate. Organic frigates come in classes C through S, but most are likely to appear as C-class (the least costly). Typically, a C-class organic frigate might cost ~8 million units. However, an S-class organic frigate might set you back 53 million units. Be sure to have enough units on hand before performing this step. You don’t want to see Whalesong only to find you don’t have enough units on hand to buy the frigate.

Note, you may occasionally find an organic frigate that you’ve bought does not appear back at your freighter. This is a known bug. Ignore that system and don’t try to pick that frigate up again. Some organic frigates are bugged and won’t appear at your freighter even after you’ve paid for them.

One Organic Frigate Per Star System

You can only obtain one organic frigate per star system via Anomaly Detectors. This means you’ll need to hyperdrive jump to an unexplored system and use your Anomaly Detector again there. This means you’ll need a hyperdrive on your starship or freighter so you can jump into various new systems to pick up another organic frigate.

Abandoned systems may not produce organic frigates. I’d suggest caution when attempting to locate an organic frigate in an abandoned system.

30 Slot Limit

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No Man’s Sky offers a maximum of 30 frigate slots. Once you reach your 30th frigate, you can’t buy anymore. If you locate an organic frigate, but find the game won’t give you the option to buy it, you have reached the maximum number of frigates you can own. You can check the number of frigate slots consumed on your freighter’s bridge at the fleet management console.

Always make sure that you are under the 30 slot limit and that you have enough units before venturing out with your Anomaly Detectors. Anomaly Detectors are hard enough to find without wasting them because you didn’t have enough frigate slots or units.

Benefits of Organic Frigates

You might be wondering what the difference is between an organic frigate and a technology frigate since they appear to do the same thing. Yes, both are very, very similar in what they do. However, organic frigates offer two very important differences over technology frigates, at least as of this writing:

  1. Organic frigates don’t break that I’ve found. Meaning, you’ll never have to venture over onto them to repair them (as of Waypoint). I’m assuming an organic could die, but I’ve never had one do that.
  2. Organic frigates offer benefits that can’t be found with technology frigates. Organic frigates can discover organic items such as Spawning Sacs and Psychonic Eggs. These items are not located by technology frigates! If you own a Living Ship, these extras are very important.

Spawning Sacs and Psychonic Eggs

No Man's Sky_20221231183305These items are quite useful to the Living Ship. Spawning Sacs add inventory slots to the Living Ship in the same way as Storage Augmentations add slots to technology starships. Spawning Sacs are rare to find and can only be found by using S-class organic frigates on frigate expeditions. Psychonic Eggs extract into useful technology additions for the Living Ship, much like buying Starship modules from vendors at space stations.

Psychonic Eggs are not the only way to obtain Living Ship modules. You can also obtain them through random, but occasional pulse drive travels between worlds in a star system. You don’t need to consume anomaly detectors to find these. They’ll randomly appear while in pulse drive. Psychonic Eggs, however, give you the ability to unlock these at will rather than waiting on random encounters.

No Man's Sky_20221231183217Unfortunately, you first need open slots in your Living Ship before Psychonic Eggs can become useful. That requires Spawning Sacs. In rarity, Spawning Sacs are probably the rarest items you’ll encounter, with maybe the exception of the white and gold guppy Exotic ship. Sending out 20-30 frigate missions, you might see 2 Spawning Sacs.

Note that you must send out S-class organic frigates to even have a chance of them finding Spawning Sacs. That means leveling up your organic frigate fleet to S-class before you’ll have any chance at receiving Spawning Sacs.

I didn’t begin seeing Spawning Sacs as a frigate expedition rewards until I began sending out S-class organic frigates. Even then, these Sacs are relatively rare spawn rewards.

Technology Frigates vs Organic Frigates

Because of all of the above, I strongly suggest filling out your frigate fleet with organic frigates. It’s a little more time consuming, but if you have a Living Ship and want to outfit it fully, you’ll need organic frigates to do this. Because organic frigates find all of the same stuff as technology frigates, but even more, it’s worth replacing your technology frigates with organic frigates in the long run.

Feeding Organic Frigates

One additional thing that’s been added is the ability to feed your organic frigates. However, you don’t need to feed them constantly. Instead, this feature adds a feeding slot that allows you to modify the stats of your organic frigate depending on what you “feed” them. By feeding the organic frigate with certain foodstuffs, you can modify the stats of each organic frigate.

This is something that cannot be done at all with technology frigates. Whatever stats a technology frigate has, that’s what it remains. If you want something better, you buy it. With organic frigates, you can spend time crafting unusual foods and feed them to each organic frigate to see how the stats change.

Note that some foods reset stats and some foods boost stats. Because it’s random, you won’t know what a food does what until you feed it to the frigate. After that, you’ll know. Also, what works with one organic frigate won’t work with another. Meaning, if you feed one frigate bread and it gains 20 to exploration, that doesn’t mean all frigates will respond this same way. You’ll need to trial-and-error your way to find the best foodstuffs to see the stats you’re wanting for each individual frigate.

For example, if you want to boost Combat stats on a specific frigate, you’ll need feed it a variety of foods until you find the right combination. I will say, though, that you should limit feeding your organic to basic foods. Don’t go overboard producing the rarest of cakes as it is typically overkill. Simply feeding the frigate Cake Batter might afford the same response as feeding it the cake itself.

I always recommend trying basic food components before spending time building expensive and time consuming cakes and pies. Organic frigates don’t yet have picky palettes and stats can be boosted with simpler crafted food items, like sugar, batter, pie crust and so on.

Leveling Up Organic Frigates

One question that has surfaced is how to level up less than S-Class organic frigates to S-Class. Don’t worry. They do this all on their own. All you need to do is send them out on expeditions. It doesn’t take long to see a fleet of S-Class organic frigates. It takes maybe 10-20 expeditions to see a C-Class level up to S-Class. This leveling up system works with both technology frigates and organic frigates. Admittedly, organic frigates seem to level up at a faster rate than technology frigates.

This ultimately means it will take a little bit of time to get your organics up to S-Class to begin seeing those ever elusive Spawning Sacs. Though, you may see Psychonic Eggs appear as rewards long before your organics reach S-Class.

Subject To Change

Because No Man’s Sky is an ever evolving game, due mostly to Hello Games continual meddling of it, the rules defined in this article may change with a major update in the future. For example, even though organic frigates don’t seem to become damaged or die on missions now, a future update could make this change possible. This might mean that your organic frigates could potentially die or become injured in a future update. Right now, it’s not possible. Please keep this in mind if you’re reading this article a year or two from when this article was written.

Organic Frigate Gallery

To end out this article, here’s a small gallery of images from my fleet:

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Oh, and Happy New Year to everyone reading. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

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Holiday Moments: Happiness is Christmas

Posted in holiday, music by commorancy on December 25, 2022

Kristen Chenoweth knows just how to make songs work and this without exception. Her voice is so exceptional and sweet, it’s perfect for this Christmas day. I know, just get on with it. Without further adieu…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at Randocity to everyone in your family!

Playlists update as follows:

And with this post, so ends the Holiday Moments until next season… Enjoy!

Holiday Moments: White Christmas

Posted in classic, holiday, music by commorancy on December 24, 2022

Karen Carpenter enchanted us all with her mesmerizing contralto voice throughout the 70s. No where is that more crystal clear than here on this Christmas Classic: White Christmas featuring Karen Carpenter.

Holiday Moments: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Posted in holiday, music by commorancy on December 23, 2022

Holiday Moments: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Posted in holiday, music by commorancy on December 22, 2022

Holiday Moments: Wonderful Christmastime

Posted in holiday, music by commorancy on December 21, 2022
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