All I Need to Know About Fallout 76 I Learned From The Greenbrier Resort
If you didn’t know, Bethesda recently invited an exclusive list of media and content creators to West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort, a location that is also featured in the virtual world of Fallout 76, for a special event to showcase the gameplay of their upcoming “survival light” multiplayer Fallout game. Guests were flown in and given a variety of exclusive shwag, including ‘Vault-Tec’ hotel toiletries. More importantly, they were given a chance to play and record three hours each of footage from inside the game. Each member was given an Xbox 1 console to play on, as well as a hard drive full of the 4K footage that they recorded. The footage was under an embargo until 10am EST on October 8th. About 2 seconds after that the internet was flooded with something people have been begging for since E3: gameplay footage.
Simply typing “Fallout 76” in Google right now will get you more info than you’ll know what to do with. Lucky for you, I spent 12 hours on my Twitch channel watching, pausing, dissecting, and discussing as many videos as I could. Suffice to say, a ton of juicy stuff was revealed. At the end of this article I’ll list the videos I watched, so you can check them out yourself, if you’re so inclined.
First and foremost, we’ll talk about the story quest, because I’m sick and tired of people saying there will be no story quest. There is, in fact, a story quest, and it begins the moment you start the game. Not only is there a story quest, but there are numerous side quests as you play. The Overseer of Vault 76 leaves you some instructions and asks you to find her. There’s also tons of story ‘filler’ even in the Vault by way of accessible terminals. You get a sense of what life was like in the vault just before you left. There were romances, tensions, infighting. All the sorts of things you’d expect from highly capable people crammed into a vault for 25 years.
Next, I’ll mention perks. I was going to post a massive list of individual perks with a mixture of ones that we know the effect of and ones we don’t. Instead, I’m going to just point to some general categories we’ve seen so far. For example, if it has weight, like food, drinks, ammo etc, then there’s probably a perk to reduce how much weight it takes up. Even so, ammo weights, at the very least, are far less than those in Fallout 4’s survival mode. There’s also perks to increase how much you gain of pretty much anything. Ammo, canned food (from food containers), caps from stashes, vegetables from gardens, and meat from animals. Then there are melee perks to increase damage. So far it’s one handed weapons, two handed weapons, and unarmed attacks.
There’s a perk to increase your running speed, and perks to help you find comic books (which we knew were in the game before) and bobbleheads, which we’ve seen confirmed for the first time. Now it’s no great shock that these fan favorite collectibles are in the game. What did come as a bit of a surprise however, is that bobbleheads now all appear to be one-use items that grant their benefit for one hour of playtime, and then are gone for good. It’s unclear whether a person can have more than one of a given bobblehead in their inventory, or whether any given bobblehead can be used more than once. Bobbleheads so far have included SPECIAL stats, such as Charisma and Strength, as well as familiar ‘do more damage with X weapon’ type bobbles. Additionally, at least one bobblehead was seen to grant an additional 5% xp for one hour (which is also an effect you can have on a perk card).
There are a few new features that involve obtaining loot. On the footage I’ve seen thus far, I haven’t noticed any specific legendary creatures. What do exist however are ‘boss’ creatures for each given area. These boss creatures have a crown next to their name, and take a slight bit more damage to kill, as well as dealing slightly more damage. They do not guarantee a legendary item drop, but do tend to have significantly more loot and caps when compared to their non-boss counterparts.
Next we’ve got treasure maps! These line drawings on paper depict an area somewhere in the vastness of West Virginia, and show an X on them. If you can locate that spot with just the slight visual clue you’ve been given, you can go there and dig up the treasure by hitting the location with a melee weapon.
Finally, there are supply drops. These were created by the government before the war and can be obtained by taking a special holotape, obtained potentially even from normal enemies, to a special radio tower. Once the holotape is plugged in, the supply drop is brought to you via vertibirds on autopilot. The catch is, anyone can grab a supply drop, so there’s a bit of potential for a PvP scuffle with these. Bringing friends is advised. Actually, I’m not certain if supply drops share the quality of most other containers in Fallout 76: Namely, the loot in them is tailored to each individual who opens them. This includes corpses. If you loot a corpse killed by your team, your team mates can also do so, so you don’t have to worry about being a loot ninja!
There were some particulars revealed about specific loot items as well. Throwing weapons have returned to Fallout, much to my personal joy. These items are bound to the same slot as grenade type weapons and are equipped the same way. However, they have a more direct flight path and are considerably more subtle, if not as devastating to an area. Certainly useful for maintaining stealth for either melee or ranged weapons.
We also got to see some more information on just how stealth is going to work, especially in PvP. One of the big factors here is the fact this is an online game. If two people are standing in the middle of the street, and one crouched down and disappeared from view, it might be a bit of a toss for immersion. On the other hand, if someone is around the corner from you behind a building, do they need to be crouched down to be considered silent?
For NPCs at least, stealth will function pretty much identical to Fallout 4. The big benefit to using it in a player versus player scenario is that you will disappear from the world map a few seconds after activating it. That’s right, it’s not instantaneous. Developers have suggested that running away from a player and ducking in some bushes and not moving will be one of your best bets to not being physically seen. Getting sneak attack bonuses however they were more vague on. There was some mention of “if you stay out of their detection radius long enough, then attack, you’ll get sneak attack bonuses, even if they previously knew you were there.” It’s vague, but that’s okay. At least we know it will work to some extent, and we’ll just have to figure that out for ourselves.
If the “quiet way” isn’t your style, you’ll probably be happy to know that the M79 Grenade Launcher, a fan favorite from the mod community, is in the base game of Fallout 76. Just one of a few new weapons we saw. Aside from the throwing knives and tomahawks we saw from the throwing weapons, one player also recovered a glowing red hot ‘heated pitchfork’ that looked to be quite the nasty customer. And, yes, the Fat Man is back and available in West Virginia. Apparently a few of them got shipped out from Fort Strong in Boston before the Great War sent us scurrying into our vaults.
Speaking of fast travel (see what I did there?) in Fallout 76, you will be able to fast travel for FREE to any party member, to your CAMP, and to the entrance of Vault 76. Additionally you’ll be able to Fast Travel for a nominal fee to any location that you’ve discovered on the map. The farther away the location is, and the higher the level of your character, the higher this caps fee will be. Interestingly enough, visiting a location isn’t the only way to unlock it on the map anymore. Positioned around West Virginia’s 6 massive zones are scout towers. If you climb these and ‘activate’ a special area of the horizon, your character will discover locations without having to physically go there. Pretty neat trick, that!
In Fallout 4, another neat trick was slamming yourself with enough dru.. err chems to make Hunter S. Thompson jealous, and wading through enemies like a ripper through ghoul-flesh. Alas, in Fallout 76 you’ll be limited to one dose of chems at a time. Designer drugs are back, however, and you can even find them as regular drops instead of being required to craft them yourself at a chemistry station. So if you’re torn between a snert of Jet or a puff of psycho, worry not! Psychojet will be available at your local pharmacy.
I’m not sure if this applies for the designer drugs and chem crafting, but recipes are a pretty big deal for most other things in Fallout 76. For example the first time you visit a cookfire, you might know how to boil water and some other very basic cuisines. Not until you find certain ingredients will you discover the recipes for which they can be used. Some recipes can be found deposited around the world in the form of magazines as well. In fact, many plans for your CAMP can be found this way, in addition to specific blueprints for gear. If you plan to be a crafter, you may have to purchase recipes in order to obtain a complete set.
Also, you won’t be able to simply have a buddy log on and craft them a set of combat armor with a bunch of mods and turn them into miniature powerhouses. Most gear has item restrictions of some sort to prevent this sort of twinking abuse. However, you can make them a handy set of wood armor! They can even find their own mods to add to it, which is pretty nifty. You can pick up item modifications out in the world, then take them back to the bench and cram em in.
There are a couple different places you can find workbenches too. Aside from a player’s CAMP, you can also find them located around the map in various buildings. These stations are static and won’t go anywhere, and can be used by anyone any time. There are also special workstations that are sort of temporary bases. You must actually complete a small event to take control of them, and can build at them like you would a camp, though with limited recipes. Mostly you’re just creating defenses, and resources can be found at these locations for this purpose. The specialized stations can actually manufacture useful things. One might make tea, another could be fertilizer. There’s even one at a power plant that allows you to manufacture fusion cores to fuel your power armor.
I mentioned wood armor. Don’t like the aesthetic? That’s fine, you can actually layer clothing on top of armor now. So you get an under armor, like your vault suit, and then you can have the various armor parts, plus a set of clothing on top! So you don’t have to feel like a chump with your ass hanging out if you want to wear that pretty red sequined dress, now!
The last super important thing I want to touch on is the in game real money shop for Fallout 76, which is being called the ‘Atom shop’ after the currency that it supports. Atoms can of course be purchased for real money which is supposed to help upkeep the game’s servers, as well as to promote future content. What’s really cool though is that’s not the only way to get Atoms. They can be earned through normal gameplay for completing various benchmarks, challenges and achievements. Furthermore there are already repeatable daily and weekly missions, and plans at the very least for monthly missions, that will reward Atoms along with other various rewards.
Hopefully you’ve found what you were looking for. As I said, there’s a ton of information to process, and I’m continuing to watch videos as the days go by. If you have a question about something you didn’t see here, feel free to drop me a tweet at https://twitter.com/nworpheus or visit my stream (linked above), or visit the OnRPG forums at http://www.onrpg.com/boards/ Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you in West Virginia!
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