New Details for Fallout 76

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With a little more than two months until release, many fans of Bethesda’s Fallout series remain apprehensive about Fallout 76, the first multiplayer entry in the franchise. Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner recently chatted with Bethesda’s development team and reported back on what exactly players can expect from the game.

Key takeaways:

  • There will be robot and non-human NPCs in the wasteland, including quest givers and merchants. However, players won’t have dialogue choices with these characters.

  • Quests are numerous, and some will be extensive and in-depth.

  • The world is four times the size of Fallout 4, and there is more to interact with than in any previous installment.

  • Skills and perks are equipped via cards, which are obtained upon leveling up and are tied to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats. Cards will not be obtainable in any way through microtransactions.

  • Larger-scale events will trigger at random across the Wasteland, encouraging players to work together to acquire top-notch loot. PvP will automatically be turned off during events, so you don’t have to worry about friendly-fire.

  • Your level will factor into difficulty, but only to a point. Fallout 76 will be more zoned than previous games, featuring areas that are more beginner-friendly and others that are geared for stronger players.

  • PvP will not be initiated until both players fire upon each other. An unprovoked attack will do minimum damage, as long as you don’t retaliate. If another player does manage to kill you and you don’t fight back, that player will be marked as a murderer, with a massive bounty placed on their head for other players to collect.

  • Harvesting resources and settlement building will be a major part of the game. Friendly players may rest and recover at your settlement, but Bethesda is still deciding just how extensively they can interact with your things.

 Who else is ready to explore West Virginia?

Who else is ready to explore West Virginia?

On a personal note, I’m happy (and a little relieved) to hear that questing, along with exploration, will largely continue to drive gameplay as it has in previous entries. I’m also glad that PvP essentially requires the consent of both parties, and that the penalty for griefing is so steep (although I have no doubt there will still be trolls. There are always trolls). From the start, I haven’t been thrilled with the fact that players can nuke others’ settlements, but with nuclear weapons being such an integral part of the Fallout world, I understand why Bethesda chose to make that an option.

Events sound like fun group content, but I’m a bit concerned about how they’ll work given the extremely small server size (something like 24 players per instance). It will be frustrating to have to miss out on these missions - and the subsequent loot - because the handful of players on your server aren’t interested or are busy with other things.

Settlements were a fairly divisive addition to Fallout 4, but I’m personally excited to see that they’re back in Fallout 76, and much more integral to surviving the Wasteland this time. Players managed to create some really unique and elaborate settlements in Fallout 4, which they were only able to share with screenshots or videos; I can’t wait to explore my fellow survivors’ creations in-game in Fallout 76. I do hope that, for us console players, Bethesda has refined and improved the mechanics of settlement building. I really don’t want to spend 45 minutes trying to place a wall with the joystick ever again - but let’s be real, I probably will if I have to.

Fallout 76 launches on November 16 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. Pre-orders will have access to the beta in October.