Excitement is beginning to buzz as we draw closer to the Fallout 76 beta, as well as its subsequent launch in November. In the game, you and up to 23 other players fight, scavenge, and compete in a charred West Virginia. You score loot and fight back radioactive monstrosities, all to reach that maximum level of 50. And then what? Fallout 76‘s endgame content has been somewhat of a mystery. That is, until now.
Speaking with Venture Beat (via GamesBeat), Fallout 76 design director Emil Pagliarulo detailed what happens after maxing your level. According to him, the game utilizes something called a “nuke loop,” which creates all-new challenges for you and your team to overcome.
“But as you get to higher levels and you can get the nuke codes and actually set one off, what that does is it changes the region that you nuke into a high-level zone,” Pagliarulo said. “The creatures are glowing. The flora are different. That’s where you can get some of the highest level recipes and ingredients to craft the best weapons in the game. We see that as a repeatable content loop. That’s the major endgame content.”
The Worst-Case Apocalypse
In order to keep your attention after maxing out, Fallout 76 drops high-level items following nuclear launches. After each drop, you gain recipes to create better equipment to fight off the more powerful monsters, all in order to do it again. It all sounds so…boring. Maybe the promise of more grind is intriguing to those who have burned away hundreds of hours playing Monster Hunter World. But to me, I can see myself tuning out very quickly. I couldn’t even farm 25 pieces of spinmetal in Destiny before nodding off.
It’s a shame, because there are so many examples of other games with more thoughtful endgame content. Online RPGs like World of Warcraft keep you trucking on, providing challenging raids to conquer. Diablo III — alright, Diablo III today — offers players with Nephalem Rifts filled to the brim with difficult monsters and ultra-rare loot. Uninteresting endgame content has killed interest in many games in the past. Think about The Division and how quickly that game fell off the radar.
Still, the nuke loop isn’t the ultimate goal for the Fallout team. Bethesda has promised that it plans to release content packs regularly to keep interest piqued.
Will the nuke loop grind be enough to keep players wanting more? This is an important question, especially since we now know that you can’t respec your character. We won’t really know until Fallout 76 launches for PC on November 18. But I’m sure we can ask the player who hits max rank in the beta in less than three days. You know it’s going to happen.