As an online Fallout game, Fallout 76 has potential. Bethesda may not unlock the game’s potential within the vanilla product. They may not be able to afford to. But with the implementation of private servers and mods, I think the game can evolve into something special.
When the concept of the game first leaked, my first thought was: “It could work. But it has to be brutal.” Basically it needs something to make it special, besides just being an online Fallout game. The immediate idea I had was to make the game brutally difficult. With the game’s setting taking place only 20 years after the bombs fell, Bethesda has the opportunity to make a very unforgiving environment.
If they make it so it’s virtually impossible to survive on your own, it’ll effectively force people to work together. It might pan out, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that such a thing is too much of a risk. If Bethesda were to do that than most people would simply die, get frustrated and never play again.
Once the game was revealed at Bethesda’s E3 press conference I saw that they had realized that as well. The vanilla game has to be as accessible as possible. After all, they are running a business here. With such a blockbuster franchise, they can’t afford to really take too much artistic freedom with the game.
The image I used for this post is the one featuring four players wearing power armor. Obviously we have to wait until the game is released to confirm, but I doubt getting power armor would be too difficult. Ammo and guns in perfect condition probably wouldn’t be very scarce. But for people like me who want a different kind of experience, I’m happy to see that Bethesda hasn’t shunned the modding community with this online only Fallout.
Back in my MMO days, I played Runescape. One of my favorite things to do was to go out into the wilderness area, where pvp is turned on, and try to survive. There are resources and crafting stations scattered around the map. So I would enter with nothing and see how much progress I can make before I’m finally hunted down by other players.
I would certainly like to do something like that again, within the Fallout universe. But more than that I’d like to see if the world would devolve into mass griefing regardless of conditions. I think that even if it’s 100% impossible to survive on your own, there will still be griefers. But that would make people who genuinely want to work together that much more valuable.
I want the harsh, highly irradiated world. I want the game to end up populated with mostly jury-rigged weapons. I want pre-war weapons and ammo to be extra rare. Maybe I’m a masochist. Maybe I just want multiplayer hardcore mode. But I can’t be the only one who thinks that such an experiment would be fascinating to see.