QuakeCon 2018 hosted a Fallout 76 panel today and it was shocking with goodies of information about the upcoming game.
The panel was composed of development director Chris Mayer, project manager Jeff Gardiner, and director director Todd Howard. Spread evenly between a talk about the game leveling system and a longform segment where the team answered common questions about the game, the panel was very informative about what the actual experience of Fallout 76 is going to be like
You can watch the whole video here, or you can read my distillation of all the funny facts below. Note that you must skip 40 minutes in the official video to view the panel.
Here are some of the things we learned.
- They showed a short Vault-Tec explainer video about leveling and mutations followed by more elaborate explanations by Howard and Gardiner. Each level up gives you a single point to dedicate to a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. state, and for each point in a state you can assign a certain benefit. Perks are chosen from a bank of alternatives. If that sounds confusing, I think it is. See the video above if you want the best explanation possible.
- Since the benefits are allotted, you can exchange them based on what you need at the moment. For example, if you do something heavy PVP with friends, you may want to have an increased damages. If you're shaking, you might want more carrying capacity. As Howard said, "do you exchange a thing here or there."
- Game level cap to achieve S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Points are 50, but you can continue to add new benefits beyond that.
- You are exposed to mutations at certain levels of radiation and you do not seem to have a choice about it. Gardiner told a story about getting a surprise mutation called "Bird Bomb" which increased the height of the jump while reducing the strength.
- The game has a photo mode that can be used with friends, enemies and everyone in between. We saw a little bit of how it worked during class creation, but not how it works in the open world.
- The player versus player match is login. To start it, shoot someone and it does a small amount of damage. Howard liked this to "relax someone in a bar." If that person wants to make PVP with you, they burn back and the weapon will do full harm. Winning a PVP match gives you some caps (game currency) and some experience points based on your levels.
- If you kill a player who never accepts the invitation to do PVP, you become a "wanted killer." You will not get any caps or experience.
- Players are incentivized to hunt for wanted murderers. The murderers are marked on the map, and players are encouraged to hunt them down. As Howard said, the mechanic goes to "assholes" for interesting content. "
- PVP does not start to level 5.
- You can ignore and block other players in one session, prevent them from interacting with you and you can flag yourself as a pacifist if you do not want to handle PVP- The mechanics.
- The PVP match number is normalized between players. Howard claimed that a player could fight a high-end player in the powerhouse, although it will obviously be difficult and higher level will have the advantage.
- When you die, keep all the equipment you and your capes. You will drop your "trash", an upgrade material you use in your camps to build objects and equipment. Death is the key question for a player "It's worth it to go back and get my trash?"
- Another death gift: When you die, you have the ability to respect close to your death point or back on Vault 76 for free. You can also respawn elsewhere for the cost of caps, with that price increasing the farther away from you.
- When a nude goes off, the camps are destroyed, there are higher enemies, and the map's loot changes.
- But do not be afraid! The camps have a blueprint, so if you create a building you like, you can "blueprint" it so you can easily make a copy somewhere else. So if your copy of Hagrids Hut is nuked, you can build it somewhere else as long as you've written it.
- The blueprint system also lets you easily deconstruct and move your camp to other places in the map. Panelists said that this was a fairly common thing for people to do during internal testing.
- You can make musical instruments. Todd Howard let himself play an invisible tuba.
- There are team conversations and site-based public chat. You can dampen it if you want.
- Inon Zur scores the score. There are more radio tracks in this game than any previous Fallout title.
- The VAT system is still in the game, but it's real time and you can not target body parts unless you have the limit. It's unclear from the panel how accurate this works, although Howard managed to score points in the Perception state, will make you more accurate.
- There will be private servers as well as mods. Howard said that mods in particular was difficult to implement because of the game's electronic nature, but that it is a problem they are "100% committed to solve."
And that's it! It's a kind of roller skating of Fallout 76 information, but it's the biggest information game we've had about the game since E3, and it makes me think about two dozen other questions I have about how this really will work in practice.