Enough About the Settlements Already Preston
BIG IMPORTANT NOTE
This mod alters Dialog (DIAL) and Dialog Response (INFO) records, which are not fully understood at this time. As such, using this mod has a small chance to make your game freeze, crash, burst into flame, assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia, or invest in sketchy timeshare “opportunities”. Use at your own risk.
Oh Preston. What is wrong with you? I mean you seem cool and all, but every five minutes it’s “General, blah blah settlement” this, and “settlement blah blah help” that. If you’re not giving me a time-sensitive trek-over-to-the-opposite-end-of-the-map quest, you’re rewarding my completion of the last one with another damn identical quest. Could you stop? Please? For just a little bit even? I’d really like to hang out with you, but if you keep this up I’m just going to station you at a guard post built on floating platform with four walls and no stairs. And no toilet. Yes, you’ve irritated me that much.
Seriously, this is a problem, man. I’m worried about your mental health. Okay, my mental health.
So if you’re reading this and legitimately don’t know what I’m talking about: hi, welcome to Fallout 4. Either you went in a very unusual direction at the start of the game, or you’ve been playing it for maybe 10 minutes tops. Whatever the case, let me explain.
In the course of the game you can ally yourself with Preston Garvey and his rag-tag band of Commonwealth do-gooders known as The Minutemen. After you do a few quests for him you’ll start getting “Radiant” (repeating) quests to help out various settlements and locations throughout the Commonwealth. That doesn’t seem so bad on its face, but several things combine make this very, very annoying in the long run:
The quests are timed and will fail if you take too long. Since some of them involve Settlers being kidnapped, this can have long-term effects.
Talking to Preston at all will usually result in him giving you a quest, even if he’s needed for another quest or turn-in.
Preston can give out two quests simultaneously, with no guarantee that they are anywhere near each other.
Turning in a quest to Preston will often end with him immediately giving you another Radiant quest.
All of these add up to one gigantic annoying mess that, by the later levels of the game, has you dreading spending any time near Preston.
Thanks to the miracle that is FO4Edit, I have been able to address some of these issues. While the changes aren’t as complete as I’d like, they still get at the meat of the issue with two relatively simple changes:
Turning in a Radiant quest by talking to Preston will not result in him giving you another quest immediately as part of the turn-in.
Preston will no longer give out Radiant quests once Radio Freedom is up and operational, other than three less common Radiant quests which are not available by listening to Radio Freedom.
These two changes mean that once you have gotten Radio Freedom up and running, Preston becomes 92% less annoying.
This mod isn’t where I want it totally, but until more of the INFO/DIAL/SCEN records are demystified I won’t be able to get this mod to do what I want. Eventually (perhaps after the GECK is released) you will be able to get Settlement quests from Preston, but only by using the Up-Arrow/Num-1 “How are you feeling?”/”Your thoughts?” option. Until then, this will have to do.
In case anyone is confused, you can obtain Radiant quests by listening to Radio Freedom once it is available. Each break between songs will give you any pending Radiant quest(s) which are out there, with a small number of exceptions. These quests – Rogue Courser, Returning the Favor, and Clearing the Way – can still be obtained by talking to Preston directly if they become available.
As mentioned in the giant note I’ve put at the top of this page, Fallout 4’s dialog and response records are not fully understood by FO4Edit at this time. Theoretically the edits I’ve made should be fine, but it’s possible that the changes may cause some unforeseen issues. I make no promises that running the game after installing this mod will not cause problems down the line. However, I think the chances of that happening are very small.
Hot bar image credit goes to shaidis