Fallout 76

Fallout 76 at QuakeCon 2018: Griefers, SPECIAL, and mods

During a Q&A today at QuakeCon, Bethesda Game Studios unveiled some more interesting tidbits regarding Fallout 76Gathered at the meeting was Chris Meyer, development director; Todd Howard, game director; and Jeff Gardiner, the project lead behind the game.

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The three men had some fascinating knowledge to share. At least a couple of things are worthy of a good chin rub.

Griefers gonna grief…?

It seems only natural that in an online multiplayer game you’ll run into a few people who’s idea of fun doesn’t quite run parallel to everyone else’s. These folks are the kind to camp spawns or harass other players insistently. Griefers are often a sore subject. At the event, Howard spoke of a plan to deal with the threat.

“We turn the assholes into interesting content,” he told the audience. Constantly going around killing other players turns you into a wanted target. A bounty is placed on your head, and other players will be able to see you via red star on the in-game mini-map. But here’s the fun part: griefers won’t know they’ve been targeted. In other words, if you decide to grief other players, you better watch your back; your victims may just turn the tables on you and become the hunters themselves.

Claiming a bounty nets a you twice the payout in precious caps, with an amount changing based on player level.

Here’s the question: will it work? I can see the system encouraging some people to keep their bullets to themselves. However, Fallout 76 will most likely not become the last bastion of multiplayer safety. Many griefers see their actions as a kind of sport, and they will undoubtedly try and find a way to game the system.

What will stop a team of griefers from targeting another group, then running to a strategic location to bottleneck the would-be “revengers?” Only time will tell. But I can already sense a few tweaks and patches for the system coming soon after the game launches.

You’ve activated my SPECIAL card!

Like all previous Fallout games, Fallout 76 will use the SPECIAL system for leveling your character, albeit with a new twist. Instead of merely slotting points to any of the attributes like before, strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck (SPECIAL) are supplemented by cards. The more you level up a skill, the more cards you can slot in, much like in one of those weird Yu-Gi-Oh! arm devices (the hell are those anyway?).

The cards award you with a passive or active boost. One such card — shown off in the video above — improves one-handed melee damage. There is a card that increases how much health you gain from stimpaks, while another reduces the weight of food and drink by a percentage. Some cards to hunt down increase abilities for your entire team. Bethesda reveals that there are hundreds of cards to acquire in the world of Fallout 76.

Mods among us

Bethesda games have always improved with mods. Look into your heart, you know it to be true. Historically, the company has openly supported its massive audience of modders and artists, and with Fallout 76, it plans on giving them a chance to work on new territory. “Given the online nature [of Fallout 76], it’s going to be very complicated,” Howard said, “but we’re committed to it.”

Naturally, we don’t expect any nude mods (“don’t we have enough already,” no one asked). Nor do we believe people are going to run around the world with a machine gun that fires mini nukes — despite how fun that sounds. Instead, it’s more realistic that we’ll see some mods for UI changes and the like. Regardless, we’re excited to hear more about how mods may change Fallout 76.

The Fallout 76 Q&A can be found in its entirety down below. The game will release on November 14 this year.

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Image of Cameron Woolsey
Cameron Woolsey
Cam has been shooting for high scores since his days playing on the Atari 2600. Proud member of the Blue Team during the first console war, and has more Sonic paraphernalia than he cares to admit.