During a panel at QuakeCon 2018, Bethesda discussed how Fallout 76 will deal with the addition of a nuclear stockpile and the inevitable griefing problem (when gamers harass or kill other players even when they don’t wish to interact). Fallout 76 is the first game in the Fallout series to be multiplayer. The change allows for new kinds of gameplay but opens the series up to the issues that plague all MMOs, with bullying topping the list. Bethesda has promised they’ve preemptively addressed the problem and found ways to keep bullies in check.
Fallout 76 is the latest installment in the popular Fallout series. The game will be a prequel, bringing players closer than ever to the Great War, the cataclysmic event that created the nuclear wasteland the story takes place in. Unlike previous installments, Fallout 76 is an entirely online multiplayer with no NPCs, so every other character in the game will be another player. But for fans worried about the sudden change, Bethesda has stated that this does not signify the end of single-player games for the company.
At QuakeCon (courtesy of Gamespot), game director Todd Howard and project leader Jeff Gardner talked in detail about a new inclusion in the game, an accessible cache of nuclear weapons somewhere in West Virginia. After the stockpile was revealed at Bethesda’s E3 2018 press conference, players grew concerned about possible abuses of this new power, namely that whoever gained control would use the weapons to mess with other players. The developers explained that a series of codes will be needed to gain access to one of the hidden launch facilities and that the system was complex enough to make nuclear launches infrequent. Once a player does get the nukes, they will be able to select a spot on the map to decimate, revealing new items, locations and enemies, high-level characters need to progress. But for anyone worried about losing their structures, players can use the C.A.M.P. tool to move their structures to a safer location or save the structure as a blueprint and rebuild at a later date.
Bethesda addressed how they plan to tackle griefing (also courtesy of Gamespot). When one player attacks another minimal damage will occur. Howard compared this to slapping someone to see if they wished to fight. Players can choose to ignore or retaliate. Should they decide to fight back, they start doing full damage. For anyone who kills another player who elects not to respond, the guilty party becomes a “Wanted Murderer.” Along with gaining no rewards for their kill, their position on the map is revealed with a red star and a bounty is placed on their heads with money from the player’s own pool. Additionally, should a player be killed, they will only lose any junk they’ve collected, not their weapons or armory. But with hidden stashes around the map, players will quickly learn to hide anything valuable.
Fans will have to wait until November 14 to try their hand at Fallout 76’s new multiplayer game. Unless, of course, they are one of the lucky players to take part in the B.E.T.A. this October. Whenever a game is made multiplayer, it always opens itself up to potential abuses by griefers. But Bethesda appears to be taking creative steps to address the issue without taking away the danger that makes PVP fun. Hopefully the steps the developer has taken will help take the sting out of griefing as well as give guilty players a taste of their own medicine.