Where the last three Fallout games were set in Boston, Washington, and Las Vegas, Fallout 76 brings players to West Virginia earlier in the timeline when the first vault opens 25 years after nuclear fallout from the great China-US war. It's 2102 now and the main story arc sees players follow the trail of breadcrumbs left behind by the Overseer of Vault 76.
As the first online multiplayer game in the main Fallout series there are lot of questions to be had about Fallout 76, especially given its place in the lore. Here are the answers to key questions about how multiplayer, building, progression, and griefing are handled in Fallout 76 alongside details on how familiar Fallout systems have been adapted for the online experience.
How is Death handled in Fallout 76?
When taking damage in-game, players are first 'downed' like in many other shooters before being completely killed off, giving allies a change to revive you.
If a player isn't revived, death gives them an option to respawn on a party member or a campsite. The ability to continually respawn on allies lets players take on the larger, higher level creatures of Fallout 76.
Death is rather forgiving and upon meeting your end, you don't lose your weapons or gear, but death does damage their durability and may force you to repair. Players do lose "unprocessed junk" which can be prevented by "breaking down and storing in your mobile campsite" - Polygon.
How are Griefing and Trolling is Handled in Fallout 76
The most interesting dynamic Fallout 76 is bringing to the franchise is the social aspect and the uncertainty surrounding encounters with other players. Will they attack, ignore you, try to trade, or perhaps join you?
More often than not, especially in the early days, expect everyone to attack everyone - even just to try it. While that freedom is core to the experience, Bethesda has implemented measures to forcefully deter this type of behavior.
If a player attacks another player for instance, damage is severely nerfed if the target doesn't fire back. This is a weird one since just ignoring incoming fire makes you partially invulnerable in what's essentially a PvP world. Still, it may be necessary to stop campers from benefiting from ambushing/trolling high-traffic spots on the map.
Another deterrent is that if an attacker succeeds in killing another player who isn't fighting back, they earn the infamous label of "Wanted" murderer and earn no rewards for that kill. The label means they get marked on the map with a red star (and they lose the ability to see others on the map) and a bounty is placed on their heads with reward money coming from that player’s own pool. Additionally, should a player be killed, they will only lose any junk they’ve collected.
What Are the Level Cap Restrictions in Fallout 76 and How Does Progression Work?
The traditional level cap of Fallout 76 is 50 but the goal isn't to stop players from leveling up so it doesn't end there. Level 50 is just where players will stop earning points in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system - the same system found in all Fallout games that's based on the seven traits (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck).
Each upgrade to a particular trait allows the player to assign a Park Card and there are hundreds of cards, including special Gold variants of the perks, that can be collected and applied. Perk card packs are rewarded every two levels until level 10 and after that, every five levels.
You can still choose whether to get stronger or smarter as you level up, but the new card system seems to make your character much more malleable, as you can easily move around cards based on the situation at hand. - The Verge
For example, the more points you have in Strength, the more Strength Perk cards you can equip. Perk cards can be equipped and unequipped at any time. You collect Perk cards by choosing one on each level up, and through randomized Perk Card packs that you earn at level up milestones. Perk cards feature returning favorites like Bloody Mess, and dozens of new Perks including new team-focused ones that utilize Charisma.
When you have duplicate Perk cards, you can even combine them to increase their level and the bonuses attached to them. These higher-level Perk cards will require more S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points, but it will be worth it for increasing important things like your First Aid skill or your ability to drink dirty Wasteland water.
The overall player level however, does have an impact on player loadouts too. Some weapons and armor have a level restriction according to Bethesda's Pete Hines so if you find one of those valuable items, maybe hold onto until later (or for a high-level friend).
- Fallout 76 (2018 Video Game) release date: Nov 14, 2018