Beware of disappearing power armor in Fallout 4!
Bethesda Softworks' player ignorance has become painfully apparent to me recently. Not telling Fallout 4 players that they can activate a flashlight, activate and hold objects in order to carry them without adding them to the inventory, and neglecting to provide any type of tutorial for settlement expansion, I can live with. What I cannot, however, is the fact that perfectly good suits of power armor can go missing - as part of a game mechanic that Bethesda never told us about!
As you can probably tell, I have a strong personal connection with today's topic, so there may be attitude and language in this piece - you've been warned!
Before I can explain how power armor can go missing and how to prevent it, I'll need to tell the story of how two, not one, but two sets of fully upgraded, pristine power armor - frame and all - went missing from my most heavily fortified settlement.
Of course, if you fear for the safety of your X-01 or similar highly leveled armor, I wouldn't blame you for heading to the "How is this possible?" section of the text.
I think it's safe to say that we all see power armor similarly - it's damn heavy. If you see a frame with pre-built armor you take the whole frame, not the pieces off of it, or you'd be over-encumbered in ten seconds flat. This is how I ended up with six power armor frames standing around the Red Rocket Truck Stop.
Two were built as T-45s, one had Raider Armor, one was an incomplete set of T-51, and then there were my babies: a non-Brotherhood of Steel T-60 and a full set of T-51 armor, both pristine, fully modded and upgraded (I bet you'll never guess which two went missing).
My remaining suits are a shadow of the greatness that once was.
Being the sole settlement I use, the Red Rocket is heavily fortified with a much higher defense rating than necessary for the minimal amount of crops and water I produce there. The property has no random settlers, only companions and trusted NPCs like Sheffield and the Vault-Tec Rep.
(Note: this "companion settlement" is the subject of a article that we'll be tackling some day soon, so stay tuned.)
Having too many to store indoors, I posted my power armors around my base of operations as sentinels to ward off any evildoers. Apparently that plan backfired.
My affinity for suppressed sniper rifles and the stealth perks means that I often travel light, in other words: no power armor. My best pieces stood firm at the Truck Stop, waiting to be used for retaking the castle or some other difficult battle.
I recently began The Silver Shroud questline which requests you talk with John Hancock, mayor of Goodneighbor and eligible companion. Hancock had been my companion for a while before I left him with the others at Red Rocket. I went and talked to him to receive my quest. Upon finishing the required assassination, I went to receive my prize. I noticed on my mini-map that Hancock was moving. He was in Red Rocket... now he was at Abernathy Farm... wait there he was at Bunker Hill. He finally arrived at his office in Goodneighbor; I assume he had to go back to finish the quest.
When I talked to Hancock he wouldn't let me finish the quest without bringing him back on as my companion. "Go home MacCready." I talked to Hancock and BAM! 750 caps! Rejoice! "While you're here you can carry some stuff Hancock." That's when I saw it.
A brand new Flames T-60 power armor helmet. Hot Rod Flames is a special paint job only available to the player after acquiring a special skill magazine. "Why in God's name do you have my helmet, you bastard?" I fast traveled back to the Truck Stop to replace it. That's when I started crying. The entire T-60 and T-51 power armor sets - frame and all - were entirely missing. GONE.
I figured that the pieces might be in the workshop. NO. Maybe my other companions have them? NO. Maybe it got misplaced and I'll find it somewhere around the compound. NO. I even went back to the secret area where I found the T-60 suit hoping that it would have respawned. NO.
How is this possible?
Frustrated, I began to research the strange case of missing power armor. Not a single credible video game news site had posted anything on the issue (hence this article). However, I found a few forums with an absolute TON of people with the same problem. Some even had answers:
- Power armor never goes missing, there's always a logical explanation.
- Settlers can STEAL power armor from you.
- Settlers can EQUIP power armor to fight off enemies and leave it in stupid places.
- Raiders and other enemies that attack your settlements can STEAL power armor.
- This is all possible through the player leaving fusion cores in power armor frames.
Here's the funny part. I was never told that my settlement was under attack. My settlers only consist of companions and trusted NPCs so they wouldn't steal from me. The four high-grade suits of armor I own were placed under the weather shield at the gas pumps, surrounded by four heavy machine gun turrets. The suits were nowhere to be found.
Hancock had the helmet, so I followed his exact path from Red Rocket, through Abernathy Farm, over to Bunker Hill and down to Goodneighbor, and never found a damn thing.
Now, I've been told that players can even witness thieves stealing their armor. Pickpocketing fusion cores will forcibly remove them from armor. The other option is to kill the thief and loot the armor off of them. Unfortunately in my situation, I'll probably never find my armor again.
To make a long story short:
TAKE YOUR FUSION CORES OUT OF UNUSED POWER ARMOR OR SOMEONE WILL TAKE IT!
Of course losing my prized power armor upsets me, but not nearly as much as the lack of knowledge on this purposeful game mechanic. Bethesda should have told us that power armor can be stolen this way. The tips we are given or "tutorials" if you dare call them that, are so pathetically simple, disregarding things that players actually need to know, that it's clear the company put little to no thought into them.
I'm sure anyone who has lost their favorite armor this way feels the same when I say that the exclusion of this information is absolutely disgraceful; and that's all I have to say on the matter.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll need to start my Brotherhood of Steel questline so I can find some half decent armor again...
Check out the most recent Fallout 4 article: The secret use of Overdue Books!