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When Bethesda unveiled Fallout 76 at E3, it was scant with details. This was not a huge surprise. The company is famous for its secrecy on its projects. However, since Fallout 76 will be the studio’s first attempt at a multiplayer Fallout game, fans were concerned about how it was going to handle those who intentionally try to ruin the game for others.
When asked to nutshell the game in a Saturday night QuakeCon Q&A panel, Todd Howard said, “I think like 80% of it is the Fallout everyone is used to, and the other 20% is really different.”
It is the “really different” part that has fans worried. It is one thing to have a game like PUBG that is essentially a free-for-all, but Bethesda has said from the start that this is not what it wants Fallout 76 to be. The studio’s vision is to create a world where all the other survivors are real players living in and trying to rebuild the wasteland.
Of course, any time you are dealing with the mass gaming public, you have to consider individuals who chose to ruin the game by being disruptive. The developers are well aware of this aspect of multiplayer games and think they have devised a solution to “disincentivise” such conduct.
The team is employing a unique combat system. If one player opens fire on another, he will deal reduced damage unless the one attacked returns fire. In that case, it becomes a full-on gunfight. However, if the victim does not shoot back and ends up getting killed, the initiating player becomes a “wanted murderer” with a bounty on his head.
“[Essentially] we turned a**holes into interesting content,” said Howard.
Murderers also receive no reward for killing other players, so there are no incentives like looting gear. Once a player is wanted their location is revealed on the map for others to see. If the murderer is killed, the bounty money comes out of his own pocket and goes to the bounty hunter.
Indeed, it is a clever scheme that just might work.
Players can find and detonate nuclear warheads, which is actually encouraged because it creates a wasteland with new creatures and other bonuses. However, it can also be used to destroy other players and their structures. The ability to “nuke” others’ homesteads was addressed too, albeit in a different way.
To make it less of a hassle to rebuild, players will be able to “blueprint” their settlements. In this way, they can restore them quickly or even relocate if they wish. Howard explained that having destructible buildings was not just something they thought would be cool, but was also a feature they felt they needed in the event that a player gets trapped in a structure by another wastelander with no means of escape. So in a way, having destructible buildings is somewhat a deterrent against the toxic play.
It sounds like Bethesda has thought the griefing situation through pretty thoroughly, but we will have to see how these systems play out in the game. The panel also shed some light on other aspects of the game like the perks system, which you can check out in the video above.
The Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. starts in October for those with a pre-order. The full game is slated for a November 14 launch on PS4, XB1, and PC.