During the weekend in QuakeCon 2018, Bethesda’s Fallout 76 leads were hosting a Q&A session regarding the upcoming post-apocalyptic RPG title. Last we checked, the game will feature some multiplayer & player-versus-player sessions which raise concerns from the majority of the Fallout and hardcore gaming community.

The panel was led by game director Todd Howard (of course), dev director Chris Mayer, and project lead Jeff Gardiner. Does this Q&A answer most of the questions? To be frank, it’s quite informative; here’s what we gathered so far.

  • The trio showed a short Vault-Tec explainer video about levelling up and mutations. To sum it up: each level up gives you a single point dedicated to a S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat. For each point in a stat, you can assign a certain perk. So if you have 2 points in the Strength portion of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L system, you can assign 2 perks.
  • Since perks are assigned, you can swap them out based on what you need at the moment. If you want to do a PVP session with pals, you’ll swap in damage-dealing perks. If you’re scavenging, then you might want perks that give you more carrying capacity.
  • The game’s level cap for attaining S.P.E.C.I.A.L points is 50, but you can obtain new perks even beyond the limitation.
  • You are susceptible to mutations at certain levels of radiation, and you don’t have a choice over what you end up receiving. Jeff talked about getting a surprise mutation called “Bird Bomb”; it decreases his strength but increases his jump height.
  • Just like every other damn game nowadays, Fallout 76 has photo mode.  The presentation below showcased a little bit of how it worked during character creation; we may be able to use it outside of the Vault we start out from.
  • Now for the pressing stuff: PvP combat is opt-in. To initiate it, you shoot at someone and it does a small amount of damage. Todd said it’s like “slapping someone at a bar”. If that person wants to do PvP with you, they fire back, and then weapons do full damage.
  • Winning a PvP battle gives you some caps and some experience points based on your levels. If you kill a player who never accepts your invitation to do PVP, you become a “wanted murderer”. You get neither caps nor experience.
  • The best part? You are incentivized to hunt down wanted murderers. They’re usually marked on the map for players to hunt down. Todd said it best: “[this mechanic] turns assholes into interesting content.”
  • PvP does not start until level 5.
  • For those who don’t like this but would rather be online with people: you can ignore and block other players in a session, as well as flag yourself as a pacifist.
  • PvP combat numbers are normalized between players. This means that a low-level player could take on a high-level player in power armour. It’ll be tough for the former, naturally.
  • Here’s a relevant answer: when you die, you keep all of your equipment and caps, but you will drop your “junk”. This resource is used to upgrade your camps and equipment. You can collect it from the spot which you died at, but whether it’s worth it, that’s up to you.
  • When you die, you have the option to respawn either close to your death point or back at Vault 76 for free. You can also respawn at other locations for the cost of caps.
  • When a nuke on the map goes off, the following happens: camps are destroyed, higher-level enemies will spawn, and the map’s loot changes. However, camps have a blueprint system. So if your favourite building is nuked, you can build it somewhere else as long as you have a blueprint of it saved.
  • The blueprint system also allows you to easily deconstruct and relocate your camp to other places on the map. 
  • You can make musical instruments. Expect a bunch of people to exploit that 3 months post-release.
  • There is team voice chat as well as area-based public chat. You can mute it if you want to.
  • Inon Zur will be scoring Fallout 76’s OST, just like he did with Fallout 4. There will be more radio tracks in this game than any other Fallout title out there.
  • The VATS system is back, but now it’s in is real-time. You cannot target body parts unless you have the perk. And if you have points in your Perception stat, you’ll be using the VATS system more accurately. We really have no idea how this will work in practice though; VATS has always been a time-stopping turn-based thing since Fallout 3.
  • There will be private servers as well as mods. Howard said that mods, in particular, are difficult to implement due to the game’s online nature, but Bethesda will attempt to solve that problem.

We’ll be referring back to this news and keep score when Fallout 76 launches 14 November for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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