Bethesda discusses Fallout 76's quests and RPG mechanics, promises a compelling solo experience

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

When Bethesda began teasing Fallout 76 prior to E3 2018, most fans were excited. Though some hoped Bethesda's next game would be a new entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise or the highly-anticipated Starfield (both of which were briefly revealed at E3), a brand-new Fallout game seemed like a solid compromise.

However, when Bethesda finally showed the actual game off on stage, confirming rumors that it would be a multiplayer-only survival game with base building mechanics, the community's sentiment changed significantly - for the worse.

Tensions have since cooled, but many fans still worry that Bethesda is losing its core DNA, abandoning singleplayer games in favor of "cash grab" multiplayer titles and trend-chasing.

Bethesda wants to reassure those fans now, though; Game Informer's Andrew Reiner recently had the opportunity to sit down with the developers of Fallout 76, and they gave us quite a few details about the gameplay of their latest RPG.

For starters, while Fallout 76 is not a single-player game, it can still be played solo, and it's absolutely still an RPG, Bethesda says. There's still gear to craft and obtain, monsters with health bars that need depleting, and plenty of in-game story content.

However, the game's story won't be told the same way as it has been in other Bethesda RPGs. Fallout 76's main "campaign" begins when players first leave the vault on "Reclamation Day."

Instead of talking to an initial set of main story-related NPCs -- which will exist, but only in the form of intelligent AIs and robots -- the vault's Overseer will leave a set of instructions for you, kicking off a "lengthy, multipart" story that ends in players launching nukes at each other.

It isn't just the Overseer who will have quests for the player, though. As previously mentioned, non-human NPCs can be found throughout the world, acting as mission givers.

However, the conversation system players have become used to has been scrapped for Fallout 76. Players will be passive listeners rather than active participants, as there are no dialogue choices to be found in-game.

In addition to NPC quest givers, players will obtain missions from holotapes, terminals, or simply by walking near a location of note. However you feel about Fallout 76's multiplayer features, it's clear Bethesda is doing its best to provide the classic open-ended single-player questing experience fans love.

Naturally, quests and NPCs aren't the only things that make Bethesda's games so compelling. Given that Fallout 76 is an RPG, it will have the same S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats you've come to expect from the company's previous franchise entries.

Players will level up, and add points to their Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, or Luck attributes as they go. Game Informer says Fallout 76 will not have a level cap, however, suggesting players might be able to completely max out all of their attributes with enough effort.

The S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats might be relatively unchanged in Fallout 76, but the game's perk system is a bit different than what you've seen in previous titles. Rather than selecting a perk every few levels, players will pick "cards" that give them unique abilities, stat bonuses, and more.

These cards will affect everything from the weight of certain items to the damage players do with select weapon types of. Bethesda also reportedly wants to have "themed" perk cards that unlock as players complete world events, which are another new addition to Fallout 76.

World events will occur as players explore, and they will push everybody to converge on a single location to accomplish an objective - it's not clear what those objectives might be, but my guess is they will involve some pretty tough boss battles.

While we've only covered a small fraction of what Fallout 76 has to offer here, Game Informer's full write-up offers quite a few additional details. Regardless, we'll certainly be keeping our eye on the game as it gets closer to its November 14 release date.

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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
People need to shut the f*** up about solo play in 76!

Dont like it? Don't buy it! I think the idea is amazing and can't wait for it. Considering how much Fallout 4: Social justice sucked ,I'm happy they aren't going to screw up the lore anymore. People don't understand this is basically going to be fortnite with a fallout skin.

There are tons of other great single player games coming out, go play those. No one cares what you want. Bethesda took a risk and I'm looking forward to it.

Gamers as a whole suck and are annoying as f***. Nothing interesting or new is coming out because you guys beg for the same crap and complain when you don't get it. As much as COD sucks, they've been giving people the same crap for 12 years now and everyone eats it up.
 

Danny101

TS Guru
I like the idea of going about doing your thing and then get a sudden call to appear at a location, join forces, take care of business, and then go your separate ways to whatever you was doing. Random events that may never occur again.
 

ghostf1re

TS Guru
People need to shut the f*** up about solo play in 76!

Dont like it? Don't buy it! I think the idea is amazing and can't wait for it. Considering how much Fallout 4: Social justice sucked ,I'm happy they aren't going to screw up the lore anymore. People don't understand this is basically going to be fortnite with a fallout skin.

There are tons of other great single player games coming out, go play those. No one cares what you want. Bethesda took a risk and I'm looking forward to it.

Gamers as a whole suck and are annoying as f***. Nothing interesting or new is coming out because you guys beg for the same crap and complain when you don't get it. As much as COD sucks, they've been giving people the same crap for 12 years now and everyone eats it up.
Cool man. That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I'm going to wait for reviews myself.
 
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BSim500

TS Evangelist
People need to shut the f*** up about solo play in 76! People don't understand this is basically going to be fortnite with a fallout skin.
^ Um, that was actually our point. "Fortnite clone with a Fallout skin" is another way of saying "this is no compelling solo game". And whether you "like" people comparing it to earlier games or not - that's exactly what comes with wanting the free marketing that comes with riding on the back of an established franchise. Surely you're not that naive you think it's "unfair" that Deus: Ex The Fall got down-voted for not feeling like a Deus Ex game? If devs want to avoid this, they need to call it something else. But then the game has to be good enough to stand on its own two feet. Fortnite was. Fortnite clones made 18 months too late rarely are...

There are tons of other great single player games coming out, go play those. Nothing interesting or new is coming out because you guys beg for the same crap and complain when you don't get it.
If you mean Metro: Exodus and Cyberpunk 2077, there really aren't enough you need 2 hands to count them on over the next couple of years. And what's "new, creative and fresh" about Battle Royale in 2018/2019? It is literally the most over-used, over-spammed recycled style of gameplay for 2017-2018 there is. You literally said yourself "this is Fortnite Clone #541: Fallout Skin Edition". That's not new or original, it's just another generic BR clone that every man & his dog is trying to make to scrape up the few remaining breadcrumbs that Epic Games dropped on the floor...
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
^ Um, that was actually our point. "Fortnite clone with a Fallout skin" is another way of saying "this is no compelling solo game". And whether you "like" people comparing it to earlier games or not - that's exactly what comes with wanting the free marketing that comes with riding on the back of an established franchise. Surely you're not that naive you think it's "unfair" that Deus: Ex The Fall got down-voted for not feeling like a Deus Ex game? If devs want to avoid this, they need to call it something else. But then the game has to be good enough to stand on its own two feet. Fortnite was. Fortnite clones made 18 months too late rarely are...



If you mean Metro: Exodus and Cyberpunk 2077, there really aren't enough you need 2 hands to count them on over the next couple of years. And what's "new, creative and fresh" about Battle Royale in 2018/2019? It is literally the most over-used, over-spammed recycled style of gameplay for 2017-2018 there is. You literally said yourself "this is Fortnite Clone #541: Fallout Skin Edition". That's not new or original, it's just another generic BR clone that every man & his dog is trying to make to scrape up the few remaining breadcrumbs that Epic Games dropped on the floor...
Realistically I see the new fallout as closer.to ARK than fortnite but I used fortnite as an example.because that's the game everyone is talking about right now.

But I also think that a "battle Royale" game suits fallout PERFECTLY. If anyone has ever played fallout then they'd know it's several factions, good and bad, fighting over resources.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Yeah, looks like they took a great concept and are turning it into another money grabbing free-for-all garbage pit. I have nothing against those that like those multi-players but I don't want to be side stepped either. I'll wait for the reviews, but this one looks like it's going to be a bomb. Pity, it had so much potential!
 
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KLEEBANKLIBAN

TS Rookie
"Bethesda wants to reassure those fans now..."
I'll wait for the user reviews...
Yep, this. Bethesda doesn't need to point out in any other fallout game that "hey the solo play is going to be compelling", it's what's expected. For Bethesda's sake, they better hope this is a good game.
Well the only reason they never had to point it out before was because solo was all there was so fans didn't start to worry about things they didn't know. Honestly, if more people trusted in what they have always known of Bethesda, this really shouldn't have needed stating. I never even momentarily thought the game wouldn't be solo-able. I plan to play it solo 95% of the time. Bethesda has always made games they like, and we have liked them, so goes without saying most of us will like this too if we give it a shot as we have common gaming preferences to Bethesda. Todd said at the E3 reveal that it was perfectly playable solo. Though in hindsight it would have been best if he took more time to assure fans of this. As far as I'm concerned, other players are just more intelligent and upredictable AI.

My main concern seems to have just been answered.. Robots! I was wondering how story would be relayed, and I was worried that with no NPC's the story telling would be too obscure or text based, like in terminals haha. I figured Overseer would be involved but wasn't enough. I still felt like the game could be good enough otherwise to enjoy, as the world is by far the most important thing in a Bethesda game and we've got 4 times that of Fallout 4 to explore and the world looks great with 16 times draw distance detail, but lack of story would be a huge blow.

I'm sure that with the free DLC the game will slowly introduce more NPC's. Only the initial season needs to be players only. More vaults should open over time with other factions, and intelligent ghouls will roam our way. Right now we just get to explore uncharted territory. Todd said that as early as the end of year one it will be a totally different game. We all know how buggy their games are and this is a hugely ambitious undertaking for their engine. Even without consideration for the timeline and us being first out, probably best that this is just the bare bones launch to make sure the hundreds of bugs I expect will be worked out before they start adding more content and features.

It will actually be kind of cool getting to experience this early build, as late adopters will never get to experience the game the same way. Though I wouldn't want it to be like this forever lol. Will get old. Though the games always did get old once I'd explored everywhere. I guess it's no different in that regard NPC's or not. I don't care to go to the exact same area 50 times with different quests.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
I think Fallout 76 is to the Fallout franchise what ESO is to the Elder Scrolls franchise. Elder Scrolls V and VI are the single player games with ESO being the money-making MMORPG.

Does anyone know what the pricing structure will be like yet? Will it be a monthly subscription like ESO was or a once-off fee possibly supplemented by in-game transactions?
 

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
I think Fallout 76 is to the Fallout franchise what ESO is to the Elder Scrolls franchise. Elder Scrolls V and VI are the single player games with ESO being the money-making MMORPG.

Does anyone know what the pricing structure will be like yet? Will it be a monthly subscription like ESO was or a once-off fee possibly supplemented by in-game transactions?
It's a one-off purchase, I'm not sure about MTX - at the very least, they won't be tied to in-game progression, that much has been confirmed if I'm remembering correctly (and you definitely won't be able to buy the perk cards with real money).
 
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