Stage 76: Acceptance

Well, I certainly feel better now.

Essentially, almost all of my concerns surrounding Fallout 76 have been addressed in several follow-up interviews with Todd Howard and others. There is something to be said about the failure of BGS’s marketing department that there needed to be three days’ worth of interviews and a 40-minute documentary to explain what kind of game the studio is even putting out, but whatever. It’s a Bethesda game, so if we can successfully log into it and the game not immediately explode, things are going well.

Here are the videos I have watched lately:

The summation? The griefing potential in Fallout 76 is limited.

You do not lose any items when you die, and you can choose were to respawn afterwards. When you log off, your base disappears with you. Anything you build can be repaired if destroyed. You can pack up and move your base pretty much at any time, and potentially save the layout as a blueprint for easy re-setup. Nukes do destroy everything in the area (for a time), and they also drop a endgame zone with high-level monsters in the blast radius, but there is apparently enough time for you to pack up and scoot out of the area. Plus, with the nukes, there are actual high-value areas (monster-spawning zones) for which the nukes are intended to destroy. Ergo, for every pack of sadists collecting launch codes for trolling potential, there will also be a group of PvE players interested in grinding loot and otherwise competing to Do The Right Thing.

Oh, and there will be areas (including the beginning area) in which no player bases can be built, specifically to avoid scenarios where you cannot find/complete a quest.

There are still some areas of mild concern – presently all players are visible on the map all the time – but honestly? I’m good now. People may indeed track you down and murder you from afar. There are systems in place already, apparently, to prevent them from being able to continue harassing you thereafter. And… I kinda get it. If other people were impossible to attack, griefers would just find another way to grief. But this way, there is a little bit of drama. Would you implicitly trust every person you ran into after the apocalypse? Maybe if you needed to supplies, or felt contact was inevitable. So now, there will be stories.

I will still, of course, be rolling on a PvE server if those are available.

Fallout76_Order

Speaking of, I already pre-ordered. That’s not something I do but Amazon offers 20% off preorders, and more crucially, preordering grants access to the beta. Member of Press©, and all that, right?

So we’ll see how things go soon.

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Posted on June 15, 2018, in Fallout and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This is just silly. If PvP has no impact, then why have it at all? It’ll be like WoW PvP server, where assholes will do it just to be annoying and normal players will be annoyed. Being annoyed in a game is worse than being defeated.

    With impact PvP you can defeat opponents. With PvE only, you don’t have opponents. With this, you can’t be defeated, you can’t defeat them, but if he wastes his time to make you miserable while playing, he can. So he will.

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    • I do feel like it’s a “split the baby” design decision, but I kinda get why they want to try. Not everyone is nice, and presumably some of the Vault dwellers would want to see the world burn after they get released. You can imagine some kind of TV show surrounding the drama of post-apoc survivors when some of them go bad.

      Of course, in that hypothetical TV show, killed people wouldn’t respawn 100m away and go about their business.

      We’ll see how things shake out in the beta. There will certainly be trolls in there.

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    • So what do you think about the new opt-in for WoW?

      I’m sure it won’t “fix” things for pvper’s right away (it’ll definitely fix things for the pver’s ^_-), but I do think it has potential to not only reduce complaints, but maybe even create new, interesting content that players from both sides of the pvp divide may opt into. Depends on how many people are willing to go to the pvp side of things and how long they develop for it if only a very small fraction opt in. Of course, the sub itself means they can afford to “waste” resources on it if they so desire.

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  2. I have never played a Fallout game so I may be misreading this but from an outside perspective it seems utterly ludicrous to expect a long-established playerbase derived entirely from a series of offline games containing only single-player PvE content to migrate happily and successfully to an online game predicated on PvP, with only the setting to cling to as a liferaft. I completely understand that the developers feel that both “always online” and “PvP” make sense for the profitability of the franchise – these days almost all developers believe both of those things are givens for every franchise – and it may be the case that they’ll attract a new audience by adding them, but what’s in it for the people who played the earlier Fallouts?

    Many of those players will buy in regardless, on the strength of the name and the goodwill accrued by the earlier games, but if, as seems highly likely, the developers fail to come up with a version that those players recognize as theirs, how long will they stay and how much bad feeling will they keep when they leave? You’d think the obvious answer would be for the developers to produce a pure PvE version alongside the PvP edition. How hard can that be? It used to be pretty much standard procedure, after all.

    That it tends not to happen any more and that the expectatiuon is that everyone either already wants at least some PvP or will come to enjoy it when they try it seems to me to be an indication of the kind of people making games nowadays. They like PvP and they can’t understand why everyone else wouldn’t too. And sometimes it works but usually it doesn’t and sometimes the games get revamped post-launch in recognition of the fact that it didn’t and sometimes they don’t.

    It’s always interesting to watch from, as I said, an outsiders perspective, but it’s astonishing how the process repeats itself and no-one seems to learn anything from the experience.

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    • The original two Fallout games were isometric, turn-based RPGs played out on a grid. Then there was Fallout Tactics, which really dialed up the, well, tactical battle aspect at the expense of the RPG parts. Fallout 3 bringing things to the first-person 3D realm was a huge change that was also criticized at the time. Combine that with the developer’s own words about how they always looked at multiplayer as a potential option, and you can kinda see how they got to Fallout 76 from Fallout 4. The only particular whim was when they decided on no NPCs, which created a cascade of design considerations through which PvP seemed a bit inevitable from that starting point.

      That said, I do sympathize with everyone disappointed in not getting a fully-fleshed out, “traditional” Fallout experience. The “found stories” are really excellent, but it sucks knowing there aren’t going to be any tragic NPC stories, Factions to choose, moral dilemmas to face, etc.

      In the Todd Howard interviews – specifically the 2nd link, I believe – he made a comment that was basically “life is short, so we may as well make the games we want.” He’s worked at BGS for something like 25 years, and perhaps he simply wanted to see what a multiplayer Fallout looked like before he retired? These games are made by creative people, and I can see why they might want to try something new instead of directly going what might be better for the company’s bottom line.

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      • These games are made by creative people, and I can see why they might want to try something new instead of directly going what might be better for the company’s bottom line.

        Hahahahahahahahaha.

        GTA:Online

        P.S. If this does well, I would imagine that Fallout 5 comes out sometime after GTA 6 :D

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      • I meant specifically the BGS devs, but I get what you’re saying.

        If there is more than cosmetic microtransactions, then I’d worry.

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