QuakeCon 2018 revealed plenty about DOOM Eternal and Bethesda’s other biggest games, but it also brought us plenty of news about Fallout 76 and how the non-traditional Fallout games’ features will work.
It’s already a multiplayer game that’s always online, but Bethesda’s innovations with Fallout 76 don’t stop there. From a new perk system to launchable nukes that’ll take out opponent’s structures, the game gives players plenty of tools to experiment with. It also has a way of punishing players who get a bit too aggressive with those tools and end up using them against unwilling combat participants.
Much of the information about Fallout 76 came earlier today in a special QuakeCon panel along with a fan Q&A session. The whole video can be found above with just over an hour and a half of discussion, but we’ve got five of the biggest features found below.
Not only is Fallout 76 filling the wasteland with other players, it’s also removing the NPC component from the game. Bethesda’s said more than once that there won’t be any NPCs in the game. That point was reiterated during the QuakeCon panel with Bethesda explaining why they chose to change this core part of the Fallout games.
One of the main reasons that was mentioned on-stage was that the developers wanted the game to remain unpredictable, something that’s much more likely to happen if there are real people instead of NPCs. Other players you run into could be either friends or foe depending on how they’re feeling, but that’s assuming you even find them considering how big the map is.
With any multiplayer game that features PvP elements, there’s always the chance of others trying to grief players, a term that essentially means they’re in it solely to ruin your experience. Bethesda has an answer for that in Fallout 76 though with the community getting the chance to bring griefers to justice themselves.
PvP in Fallout 76 is semi-optional in the sense that players can choose not to participate in an aggressor’s challenge. Bethesda said that the first few attacks against someone else work like a challenging slap that opens up combat if the challenge is reciprocated. If you don’t choose to engage, you can still be killed, but that’ll label your killer as a wanted murderer. At that point, the killer will appear on everyone’s map as a red indicator and will have a bounty on their head. The killer gets no rewards for the first kill, so if you want to grief others, prepare to have the rest of the server return the favor.
Fallout 76 is also introducing a new perk system that brings new and old perks back to Fallout players by way of trading cards that can be unlocked every level.
Once players level up, they’re able to allocate one point to one of their S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats. They’ll also have the chance to pick one perk card with a certain number of cards able to be equipped depending on what your level is. These cards have “costs” associated with them in the sense that using both a two-point Strength card and a one-point Strength card requires players to have at least three total points in Strength.
Players will also receive perk card packs as they progress too with the packs being distributed every other level until level 10 and ever five levels afterwards. Players with high Charisma can share these perk cards with their multiplayer comrades, but there are also perks that support lone wolf-style gameplay if that’s what players choose.
Though Fallout 76 is an online game at its core, players still have an option to have a more personal and contained experience with private servers. Bethesda’s said in the past that private servers would be a feature included in Fallout 76, but the point was stressed once again during QuakeCon for those who might’ve missed it.
Within these private servers, players will also be able to utilize the mods that are so popular in Bethesda’s games. Though players might have some concerns about how mods will impact the integrity of online play, Fallout 76 game director Todd Howard said that despite any challenges that might arise, Bethesda’s committed to the mod support feature.
Just as they could in Fallout 4, Fallout 76 players can build structures and settlements to act as their base of operations. These bases are threatened by a new force this time though that differs from the normal Raiders or Super Mutants that attack them since launching nukes against opponents is now a viable option.
If you plan ahead though, you can prepare for the nuclear destruction of your base by blueprinting the builds ahead of time. This will make it so that even if your base is leveled, you can use the blueprint to have it pop up at another location. This same feature can be applied even if you just decide it’s time for a move though, nukes or no nukes.
Fallout 76 launches for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 14.