It's a lot to take in.
At QuakeCon over this past weekend, Bethesda Game Studios held a Q&A panel about their upcoming release Fallout 76. With thousands of fans in the audience Chris Meyer (development director), Jeff Gardiner (project lead), and Todd Howard (game director) revealed some more details related to their highly anticipated online game. Here are some key points.
Where did everybody go?
NPCs are replaced by other players. The big difference compared to other games they’ve done is that “every character you see is a real human that is playing the game, and that creates some really exciting scenarios that we never can anticipate.”
Bethesda’s Pete Hines confirmed non-human characters like robots will still roam the world (and they won’t be controlled by other players).
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Fallout 76 will be using the Quake 3 networking architecture. The 20-year-old game code has been used in dozens and dozens of video games over the years, and still seems to be kicking around.
Photo mode has been added into the game and it will allow you to change the field of view, zoom in and out, apply filters, change expressions and poses, add frames, and more. At the start of the game you’ll be able to take a picture for your ID badge.
When you first leave vault 76 and level up you’ll be able to pick a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck) that you want to increase. Once you pick the one that you want to increase you can then select a perk in that S.P.E.C.I.A.L. These perks are like collectable cards, which you can continue to level up and combine with other cards to build out your character. There will be hundreds of cards to choose from within the game.
Gotta collect ’em all
Perk card packs will contain random cards which will give you some flexibility in choosing your perk build. You can swap out perks at any time, so this allows you to experiment with cards that you might not have normally picked. These card packs also come with a short-printed joke and a stick of gum – which can reduce your hunger for a while if you eat it. Yum!
Talk the talk
If this is a multiplayer game then how does charisma work? Players that invest in charisma points will allow their team to become more powerful, however there are still cards in the pool which will benefit you if you intend to play just solo.
Player versus Player
In PVP when you shoot someone else you don’t do full damage to them, unless the other person shoots back at you. There is a bottle cap reward based on the other players level if that person is killed. If you are killed by someone you are able to seek revenge which the game will give you double the reward once you complete the task.
If you decide not to engage with other players, they will still have the ability to kill you through the chip damage. This will then mark that player as a wanted murderer – they will get no reward for doing this in the form of bottle caps or experience. Once marked as a murderer everyone will see them as a red star on the map and they will have a bounty on their head, which the price will come out of their own pocket.
Leave me alone
You are able to ignore and block players from the game session so that if you die that player cannot see you on the map anymore – it will make it harder for them to come find you again. There will also be a pacifist flag option that will make sure you do not cause damage to other players which will trigger the PVP mode.
You will be able to blueprint your bases so that if they get destroyed by other players, you will quickly be able to rebuild it. It also allows for you to move your base to another location on the map easily if you find somewhere else that you like.
Communication is a key part of Fallout 76. Players will not only be able to talk to players in their group, but also strangers around them – which is proximity voice chat.
V.A.T.S. this all about?
V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) is now real-time and the percentage of hit chance will be based off of your perception. Not only can it be used to target enemies, but it can be used to also find them within the environment if you don’t know where they are.
Music to my ears
Fallout 76 will have licensed music and it will contain more tracks than the previous games in the Fallout series.
Servers and mods
Private servers and modding the game is something that Bethesda Game Studios is working on. It is a complicated problem which they need to solve, but they are 100% committed to solving it.
Fallout 76 heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 on 14 November.
Luke Lawrie traveled to Dallas, U.S.A as a guest of Bethesda.