At QuakeCon 2018, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard took tp the stage to discuss their ambitious first-ever online installment to the Fallout universe with Fallout 76 and what fans should expect when it launches this November.
QuakeCon is well underway, because of it, fans are already beginning to rally behind what Fallout 76 will have to offer. As the panel gets underway, Gary Steinman, Todd Howard, and company have taken to the stage in order to discuss what the game will have to offer fans and how it will be both what we know and love and something entirely new in the Fallout series.
As the trailer once more plays, we get a look at what the game will have to offer, giving us an idea of the story behind it, why the player characters will be so important to the story and how their emergence from the vaults will play such an important role. As the future begins, we understand what we will see, and many are already applauding title.
In the panel is Chris Meyer, development director, from Austin, Project Leader, Jeff Gardner, and of course, game director, Todd Howard. Todd Howard begins to explain that Fallout 76 is an open world RPG set in the Fallout 76 ranging with qualities from is systemic gameplay mechanics and its online elements where every character you see will be another human.
Chris Meyer explains that his experience ranges from Ultima Online as the first game he ever worked on as an MMO title, but also, the sandbox game that helped him begin as a developer in sandbox games. The biggest point of Fallout 76 that Jeff explains, is definitely a Fallout 76 title where fans will take on quests, will enjoy the game, but also experience something entirely new.
Todd Howard also explains that Fallout 76 is 80% of the series that we know and love, but 20% will also be something entirely new altogether. He explains that he knows that not every single Fallout title is played the same by a single Fallout fan. Each is their own unique type of player. But the most important part is that players love the authenticity of the Fallout franchise, which is something that will become a big part of the franchise itself and with the development of Fallout 76.
When it comes to the game itself, in how it works, Fallout 76, as Chris Meyer explains, will be using the Quake III networking architecture to make the game completely possible. Confirmed by Gardner, Fallout 76 is indeed being developed by Bethesda Game Studios’ across the United States. Todd Howard gives us an idea of how character progression will work ranging from perks to stats and leveling will work out in the end.
The first video we see is just how perks will work, allowing players to approach the game to their liking. This includes with how the hand you will use has been changed. Now, we get to see new perks ranging from perks such as mutation changes due to radiation. Character creation will be a thing, much like in Fallout 4, which will allow you to choose facial features ranging from your hair, to gender, to physical traits and even take a photo of your character for your online badge. You can even mess with filters and frames you wish to use.
Soon as you level up, after going through the tutorial, you can choose through the S.P.E.C.I.A.L’s the game is known for, which includes the gladiator card, a perk card that changes how you play the game, which includes the ability to increase your abilities in melee combat. If you choose another version of the same card, it will power up, making your perk even more powerful perk, but at a higher “point” cost to equip. Todd Howard reveals that Fallout 76 will not have a level cap, it does not max out, much like Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Each special will cap out at 15 points this time around, up from 7. Since Charisma will work in the game, Chris actually gets questioned regarding this matter. After all, Charisma doesn’t have NPC’s, it will not have a system where Charisma will allow you to trick NPCs. There is a singleplayer card that will help you, allowing it to work in a single player gameplay such as the Lonewolf card.
The game will also include perk card packs that players can use, which allows you to unlock new perks as you play. Each will include their own rarity ranging from common to rare, which is highlighted in a bronze to the gold coating on its border. Perks can be swapped out, so if you get a higher-end perk, you can swap them out. Perks can also be shared between you and your teammates, allowing you to find more materials ranging from crafting items and even ammo.
The perk cards will have more than 100 cards for players to explore as they progress in the game. Some cards in packs may be slightly higher than you are in order for you to plot ahead. When you hit level 50, you quit giving out special points, allowing you to pick cards, to pick out new perks to enjoy. Currently, Todd explains, they are working to curb the power ramp in the perks and find a sweet spot for the system.
Chris explains that he has used perks he’d never expected to use before, which includes lowering down the weight of items, finding them more useful than he would have ever before. Jeff even finds himself with a weird mutation due to rads. He got one to bird bone, which caused him to jump extra high, but equipment weighed quite a bit more.
But Todd announced something bigger, which includes a beta date as Todd as Gary put Todd in the hot seat over that. Todd explains that they are currently playing it, working on it, fixing some bugs around and the beta will head out in October as the game will constantly be updated, working on it as hard as possible before its launch. Todd even jokes that he does expect the Break-It Early Test Application, which includes server bugs, possible crashing, and even laughs as he states he expects it to completely break at some point.
Todd Howard does explain that there is some of a roadmap for the game in the upcoming years, that will have a content map for years ahead, and the B.E.T.A. is just its very first step. As the attention shifts, Gary questions Todd about how PvP will work and what players will expect. Todd states that PvP is going to be both a thing for those who want to fight one another, but also a PvE thing, which brings in the sense of danger in the universe.
Players will not take full damage when they are shot, which is the “equivalent of slapping someone in a bar,” or even an invitation to a fight. PvP will include a cap reward for engaging that other player. This includes a system where if a player dies, they have a nemesis type system, allowing for double the rewards against the player that killed you. They are even working with a PvP system that will hurt griefers, which includes something called “The Wanted Murderer,” that disables CAPS, EXP, etc, which just becomes a social deal.
A “Wanted Murder” will be an incentive to hunt, which includes a bounty on their head, which includes hunting them down for a bounty that comes out of their very own caps, and the hunted person will not see other players on the map while they’re being hunted. The biggest question that is brought up is, “what happens if I die?”
Death will have a “punishment” system that comes into play. Players will lose their junk, making it available to other players, and they can take it for themselves. No, don’t worry, you won’t lose your weapons, your armor, or even that beautiful power armor you have found, but don’t think junk is worthless. It’s important. You will need it in order to upgrade your gear, you will need them to upgrade your armor, your weapons, and even your gear of choice. You will want to store them when you can.
Just like a death in any game, you can travel in the game via a fast travel system. This includes travel costing caps, moving to any locations you’ve found on the map, and even heading back to the Vault if you wish. But you may see that as a problem. Todd Howard and Jeff explains that PvP can be disabled, players can be blocked if you wish not to PvP and they will not see you on their map and vice versa for that session.
PvP will be balanced out, put in a power curve where everything has been minimalized so it levels out. But nukes are next. Nukes will play an important role where players will blow one another up. Blueprints can be made so that if your camp is nuked you can make it rather quickly without having lost the design you made. This includes hidden turret placements, item placements, and even how you made it at that time.
But now the panel has shifted to how social choices will work, which includes communication via emotes. Now, they are adding voice chat with strangers to the game, making it area based. Next is VATS. VATS is now real time, removing the lock on for body parts, making it so that body part locking is a perk. VATS can be used to find enemies around the map as you explore.
VATS will still be based on the perception stat, which begins at 1 and makes it so it’s not near as powerful as before. Which makes it useful to level up. Fallout 76 will be scored once again by the previous musician Enon Zur and much more licensed music than ever before.
As the questions trickle in, mods and private servers are brought into the light. Mods will return, but quite seemingly locked to private servers for their fans and Todd has confirmed mods will be an important role in the future of their game. With them wrapping up, the team confirms they are excited to see their fans in the game and Todd shifts forward to say that part of their excitement isn’t just because of how fans will enjoy the game, but because of their fans.
For those of you looking towards to Fallout 76 can expect to launch on Nov. 14, 2018, for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.