In Fallout 4, I didn’t do much with building my base. I stuck to the initial Red Rocket workshop you happen upon after emerging from Vault 111, gave it every crafting table, set up turrets outside and put a safe in the office to store some sentimentalities for role-playing’s sake. Later on, when I joined the Brotherhood of Steel, I moved pretty much everything to their airship and made Logan Airport my base of operations.
So I wasn’t expecting to use the CAMP feature much in Fallout 76, especially after running across that first Red Rocket down the road in Flatwoods, with its stash box and tinker’s table outside. Everything else I needed was in that village, too. I did set up a rudimentary CAMP nearby underneath the New River Gorge Bridge, but it was basically an uncovered platform with a bed and two workbenches. Once I put walls and a roof on it, those dickhead Protectrons from the “Fertile Soil” event began wandering over, so I had to move.
When I did, I surprised myself by how much I got invested in making my new joint look cool. I liked the aesthetic of the cabin being set into the hillside, so I went up the hiking trail just outside of Flatwoods, to the obstacle course and rappelling tower, and put down near there. When I saw one of the staircase options in a menu, I got the idea to put the thing on stilts and, well, here you are. Welcome to The Fonville-Morisey Parade of Homes, Saturdays at 1 p.m. on WRAL ...
There are only two turrets because, again, asshole neighbors keep showing up (especially their goddamn off-leash dogs) to tear shit up, and I’ve run out of circuitry replacing them while maintaining my energy firearms. But there’s the adhesive garden out back, both dirty and clean water (why you can’t make tea and juice with purified water, I don’t know), and a rotisserie spit, Nuka-Cola machine and newsstand for aesthetics.
Upstairs, the shutters and grate floors give the common area a sense of larger space (work with me here). The workshop and cozy master bedroom have solid floors for privacy and security. Anyway, I’m pretty proud of the joint and I often just stand there and look at it, beaming with pride like an honest-to-god homeowner.
Then my neighbor showed up and did something way cooler.
I don’t know whose home this is, but this is genius stuff. They built their CAMP onto the picnic shelter/scenic overlook complex a few paces to the west of me, and even set up some amenities inside the first covered area. It’s a great way to extend the usable space beyond the boundaries and building budget the game gives you. I’d steal this location in a minute if I hadn’t done so much work on mine already.
You only see someone else’s CAMP when they’re loaded into your world, so when they’re not in mine, I don’t get this. So I treated myself to an open house while I had the chance. Please pardon the level 1 feral ghoul, we’ve complained to the HOA about them ...
If you’re wondering what that place looks like without a CAMP bolted onto it:
And here is where it is on the map, in case you want to see if this person’s CAMP (or mine) is in your world next time you play:
Building onto existing structures is not that new. I’ve seen a CAMP done at the Poseidon Energy substation over by the Ohio River, and I’ve seen others plopped down in the middle of Highway 86. But still, one of the cool things about running across one another’s CAMPs in Fallout 76 is picking up ideas from what they have done. Another very high level survivor (with keypad locks on the facility) set up in the creek bottom near the Overseer’s Campsite and fenced in the victory garden, which reminded me to do the same for mine. Here at the overlook, those barricades along the open back entry are going on my place, too, because I’ve been upstairs smelting nuclear waste and heard the Bumpuses’ dogs ransacking my generator and ice machine downstairs.
Fallout 76 has a lot of work ahead of it following a very disappointing launch and initial world offering. (And I’ll be talking about this more later, but man alive, the Stash capacity really needs to be increased, which Bethesda Game Studios says it will do soon.) Still, the creativity I’ve seen in others’ CAMPs, and the inspiration I’ve found in my own, is a solid positive for the role-playing experience. Just get those mongrels and ghouls off my lawn.