Fallout 76 has to be one of the most interesting games to have surfaced from this year’s E3. While its ideas of mixing the single player experience with that of a shared world shooter isn’t one that has been met with unanimous praise, there’s no doubting that Bethesda’s take on the formula looks very interesting so far, especially in context of some of the more “out there” stuff they’re attempting.
Bethesda’s Pete Hines recently did an interview with YouTube channel FZ.se in which he spoke about a lot of stuff, including things such as the roles the developers want players to play in the game, what player interactions are going to be like, and how Bethesda plans to prevent harassment of players by others who are playing.
When asked about what sort of in-game roles the studio is expecting to play in Fallout 76, Hines’ response was pretty simple: all of them. “I am anticipating the whole spectrum,” Hines said. “How much of the whole spectrum remains to be seen. But the truth of the matter is, you want some people who are in there acting as raiders. That adds raiders to the game, because people want to do that. You want people to be acting as traders, you want people who are building settlements, you want people who are nomadic and don’t want to build settlements. You want the whole spectrum.”
That said, Hines also feels that the game needs to have the sort of balance so that all people are able to play whatever roles they want, but that they don’t ruin other players’ enjoyment while doing so. As per Hines, when players are adapting these roles, they’re doing nothing more than what they’re supposed to be doing in a Fallout universe, and the stuff that they’re doing just acts as a replacement for stuff that NPCs in a Fallout game would be doing anyway. “You also want it to be done in a way so that some people can’t completely ruin other people’s experience,” Hines continued. “I’ve had people ask me, like, ‘what happens if I’m wandering through the world, and I get jumped by four other players?’ Well, what happens in Fallout 4 when you’re wandering through the world and you get jumped by four riders, or ten, or whatever the number is?”
“That stuff happens,” Hines said. “The fact that they’re a real player doesn’t change the fact that, yeah, it’s a problem! It’s a problem when it’s four NPCs that we designed the AI for, or ten, and it’s a problem when it’s four players. And you might get killed!” Hines also understands, however, that there also needs to be a system in place that prevents harassment of players this way. This is where the “revenge” mechanic comes in, which is something we’ve reported on earlier as well.
“But it doesn’t have to be the case where, ‘well, but then they just non-stop keep harassing me’,” Hines said. “We’re working on systems and ways to handle that, so that it doesn’t always have to be that way, that it could almost be more of a challenge system. Because there’s gonna be times, maybe in the example that I used before, that you and I are wandering around, and we decide to get into a duel. And we get into a fight, and it’s a really good one. And right before you die, you kill me. I should have the ability to go, ‘I wanna get revenge on that guy.’ And the game could say ‘I’ll give you a little extra reward if you want to duel again,’ and I could say, ‘Yeah! I should have killed that guy first, he got lucky. I want to go again,’ and we can do that. Or I could say, ‘Nah, I don’t want to do that. He got the best of me, I’m gonna go do the quest that I was doing.'”
However, Hines was also careful to stress the fact that the game is not PvP- that this is just one of the mechanics in place for players to exploit if they should wish to do so. “So it’s a way for players to decide to which level they want to engage,” he said. “And hopefully when done well, and done positive, it’s fine. Again, it’s not a PvP game, where it’s about killing everybody else. It’s about being in a post-apocalyptic world where you get to role-play. There’s tons of quests, there’s areas to explore, there’s stuff you can craft, there’s things you can build, you know, all of those possibilities.”
That sounds interesting, to say the least. There’s also something that needs to be noted, which Bethesda have pointed out on a few occasions, that Fallout 76’s servers aren’t the kind where you’ll find thousands or even hundreds of players in a single game at the same time. With only a few dozen players on any given server at a time, that sort of balance should be easier to achieve- though whether that will be the case in practice is something that remains to be seen. Fallout 76 launches on November 14 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Stick with GamingBolt for more updates on the game.