|DeathQuaker RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8|
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So what use ARE settlements? They are a huge sink of money and materials. What does the player get out of them other than the satisfaction of building them up?
Beyond being a place where you have guaranteed friendlies where you can keep your stuff (including your companions for easy finding):
- You can farm food, water, and random supplies for free. I don't just mean by manually harvesting plants: any surplus your settlement produces gets stored in your workshop's inventory. So for example, I have a lot of food planted at Sanctuary, a water purifier, and a scavenging station. When I go to Sanctuary after awhile and check the workshop's inventory, I find extra food, purified water, and other things like ammunition and other supplies stored there that I didn't put there. While it's not a massive boon, it's nice and sometimes it's helped me restock on materials for recipes particularly.
- If you have the level 2 Local Leadership perk (and sometimes other pre-requisite perks) you can build shops. Over time they carry pretty decent inventory. The more settlements you have, the less far you have to schlep to sell off your gear and restock on ammo and crucial items.
- Place to build crafting benches. Moreover, if you establish supply lines, settlements share workshop inventory, so not only can you raid all of your settlements for extra food and water per above, but it also means you have access to all your spare mods and supplies for modding your equipment from any settlement--reduced schlepping and weighing yourself down.
- Traveling merchants visit your settlements, like Stockton and Trashcan Carla. While you can also just randomly run into these folks on the road, it's nice, again, to have a guaranteed safe spot where you can deal with them. They can carry some very nice stuff, including some unique gear.
- Oddly, the occasional raider or super mutant attack is "useful" in that basically creatures that tend to carry relatively decent loot spawn in an easily defensible space.
- I haven't tested this yet, but I kind of assume that the stronger and better your settlements are, the more support you can get from the Minutemen if you need it. I could be wrong though.
Now, a lot of this of course is dependent upon your interests in building up settlement-related perks. If you're not into tht kind of stuff, probably best to keep Red Rocket as a homebase for modding your weapons and armor and storing your power armor, and ignore the rest of it. A lot of it is indeed building stuff for the sake of it, so it isn't for everyone.
ETA: Also, what Caineach said.