Perfect Ten: What I’ve always wished for in a Fallout MMO

This week I’ve been absolutely consumed by the thought of Fallout 76. I know, I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up for a proper MMORPG, but even the prospect of some online multiplayer functionality thrills me to no end.

Fallout has been one of my favorite computer RPG series ever since its first installment way, way back in the 1990s. I played Fallout 2 like crazy back in the day, log in to Fallout Shelter frequently now, and just recently started my third journey into Fallout 4.

There’s so much to love about these games, which is I’m quite eager to see the full reveal of Fallout 76 by Bethesda at E3 next week. Before that happens, however, I want to share with you what I’ve always wished for in a Fallout MMO. It has such potential to be an awesome online RPG with a huge built-in fan base and big developer muscle behind it. Let me share my list and then you do the same in the comments!

1. The retro-futuristic vibe

This entry comes almost without having to be said. One of Fallout’s greatest appeals is that it took a morbid and ugly post-apocalyptic setting and jazzed it up with retro-futuristic settings. Our universe and the Fallout one branched off significantly following World War II, and much of the game’s lingering remnants of civilization are based on atomic age culture. It’s keen!

2. The humor

Again, that setting is enough to send us all screaming for anti-depressants or our mommies. It’s the end of the world, what is there to smile about, nevertheless laugh? But Fallout really injected a healthy dose of humor (black and regular) into its descriptions, UI, characters, and situations. It’s still quite grim at time and the humor doesn’t make it a farce, but it helps to get us through the wasteland with a smile.

3. Iconic touches

C’mon, you can’t have a Fallout game with some of the major elements of the game’s design, such as Pip Boy, Fallout Boy, Vaults, stimpacks, deathclaws, and all the rest. Fallout is a fully fleshed-out world with its own brand that makes it instantly recognizable and likable compared to other post-apoc titles.

4. Pip Boy UI

Having gone back into Fallout 4, I was once again impressed with how the user interface is well integrated into that clunky-but-so-fashionable arm computer that Vault dwellers wear. Sure, you could make a Fallout game without allowing us to use Pip Boys, but WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT. You might as well end the world.

5. Companions

It gets lonely traveling out there in the aftermath of civilization, which is why you need a partner or two to help you out. Even in a multiplayer setting, I’d still want to see the option to pick up and bring along NPC companions, perhaps similar to what SWTOR does. At least give us Dogmeat!

6. Radio stations

It’s a silly thing to gush over, but I really am a fan of optional radio stations in Fallout. Again, part of it has to do with tamping down isolation; when you have a friendly voice in your ear, it makes the exploration seem more bearable. I can imagine how an online game would be able to continually expand the radio station with new interludes and songs as time went by.

7. Housing

If the rumors are true, Fallout 76 is going to feature some sort of base building mechanic. That makes sense, as Fallout 4 included that as an optional feature. At the very least, I’d love to be able to scavenge goods and materials to build up a cozy little safehouse tucked somewhere out of the way.

8. Factions

There are plenty of factions and groups in the Fallout series, and I wouldn’t mind Bethesda transplanting its Elder Scrolls guild system over to work our way in to some of them. I’m not just talking about mindless reputation grinds but instead deep storylines and new mechanics. Let us earn our place in the world and forever identify with our actions.

9. A primary focus on PvE

PvP is a trap that many online game developers are falling into lately. I’m not saying that PvP is bad or has no use, just that I suspect too many devs see it as an easy way to get around building real content. “PvE first and PvP after” is my desire for a Fallout MMO. I want hand-crafted content in a world that’s fun to explore.

10. Perks (and other cool character building)

It’s always been pretty engaging to build characters in Fallout games, especially with the game-changing perks that you occasionally receive. Yes, these are essentially talents, but Fallout has always seemed to have a lot of really fun ones that made me wish I could grab them all. I’d expect any online game to step up its game and give me some freedom and flexiblity in shaping my own Vault Dweller.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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amkosh
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amkosh

After the crap which is Star Wars: The Old Republic, keep a MMO way the fuck away from Fallout, thank you very much.

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Zen Dadaist

They could always streamline VATS so it works like Zed Time in the Killing Floor series.

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Stropp

I haven’t played that. How does it work?

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Zen Dadaist

When you score a direct headshot on a Zed, there’s a chance for it to initiate Zed Time. Subsequent headshots in Zed time can trigger an extension to the Zed Time and certain character classes can pull these off more frequently. It’s basically when everything (the whole map) sssslllloooowwwsss ddddoooowwwwnnn for a few seconds – but you can still move your mouse at full speed. It makes lining up more headshots etc easier, and at max level each of the classes has a choice of perk that boosts its capabilities during Zed Time, like infinite ammo or real-time firing and so on.

Not quite the same as VATS but it works for multiplayer co-op shooting without much disruption. It wouldn’t work if FO76 has enormous open world maps with more than one squad of people present however. It’d become way too disruptive.

EDIT: Thinking about it, I should probably have posted this in the actual Fallout 76 thread not in a possible FO MMO one!

hurbster
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hurbster

Use ESO as a base and going from there would be a good start. Nevermind what the negative nancies say, ESO right now is a damn solid MMO. It’s right that it is not like the single-player games.

However, how is gunplay going to work ? VATS isn’t going to work in an MMO, or even just co-op.

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Stropp

You’re right, something like VATS will be problematic in that you can’t really slow gameplay for one player without doing something weird to all the others in the area. It could be done away with, it’s always been possible to play Fallout without it even if most don’t.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I wish they would get rid of the VATS system in future Fallout game. It feels like a deliberate annoying crutch in the previous games.

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Bruno Brito

I think it could be improved.

Bannex
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Bannex

Wonder if 75 will be full of dances, emotes, daily costumes, and login rewards…

Gross.

hurbster
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hurbster

Dunno about ’75 but ’76 might be, and there is nothing wrong with that.

BTW, what’s a daily costume ?

Bannex
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Bannex

Was supposed to be daily login rewards. Cell phone auto corrects the stupidest stuff, like 76 into 75…

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Rolan Storm

Well, I’ll pile on then: TESO is too different. It is good and my primary, and yeah – TES setting – yet everything we love about TES games are not really there (though a lot of other stuff is).

So we really should be careful what we wish for with Fallout MMORPG. I mean everyone were psyched about TESO and yet most of us left almost immediately at launch. I have not returned until OT (and others never did at all).

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Paragon Lost

Count me totally against the whole co-op crap, I want an mmorpg. I’ll further double down with the point that I’d rather it was like TESO in more ways. Regardless of what those posted below me. ;p

Bannex
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Bannex

Count me against the whole MMOing every game crap. Some games like fallout and TES are so atmospheric and immersive that the mmoification of them drains it of any life (see TESO).

Co-op is exactly what this series needs. Battle royale mmo nonsense will land this in a parody of epic proportions. Not looking forward to 76 unless it’s got a significant amount of coop pve (see dying light).

I agree with Justin, pvp focused MMOs are just a way for devs to avoid making real content.

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Sana Tan

I like the massive multiplayer aspect of it but, to my surprise, I think I’m feeling a bit disappointed by traditional MMOs. It’s the grind I guess. I’m sick of having to “work” in a game in order to enjoy the real endgame. Yes you enjoy it the first time you level, but afterwards it becomes a nightmare for me.

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Paragon Lost

That’s the thing, some decade plus ago mmorpgs became more focused on the End Game being the the all of mmorpg-ing. Instead of being expansive and more. The focus became to narrow in my opinion and that’s now the norm.

I love end game activities and all, but what made mmorpgs so much more than other genres of mmos was that there was so much more to do. Mmorpgs weren’t so narrowly focused like an FPS, RTS, MOBA etc.

A return to a living, breathing world where there is a lot of things going on, from immersive role-play and events to trading and crafting. Instead of it pretty much being about the destination and raiding/dungeon instances. The journey was important, and sure often there is grind to some of those activities but it shouldn’t be really painful.

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Daniel Reasor

Companions or body collision, PICK ONE. I’ve yet to see an AI companion in any game who doesn’t get in between me and the enemy I’m aiming at. When I think of Fallout, I think of playing as a loner, because I despise the companion AI.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I want them to look at TESO and do it nothing like it.

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Al_Bundy

Just curious, can you explain why there’s somewhat “suddenly” so much negativity about TESO here?

In the past I always had the impression TESO was a well-liked title… I know it had problems in the beginning but since the One Tamriel Update it seems the game is heading the right direction…

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Oleg Chebeneev

For me its not sudden. I wasnt a fan of TESO since when I first played it. I cant say it is a bad MMO. Its just not a TES game for me. Its a standart theme park MMO that pushes you from one quest hub to another and has all the MMO checkmarks. It lacked feeling of exploration and great adventure that Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim had. Also it is nowhere nearly as good or pretty as well modded Skyrim.

So every time when I started playing TESO I compared it to my modded Skyrim and asked myself: “Why play inferior version of TES when I can play much better one?”

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ghostlight

Couldn’t have said it better myself Oleg. I tried ESO a couple of times, and to me it felt pretty average. They checked off all the mmo boxes, but the game felt like it had no heart and soul, not like Oblivion and Skyrim which were overflowing with personality.

hurbster
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hurbster

Yeah, I pretty much disagree with everything you just said.

Bannex
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Bannex

“Suddenly”? Lol TESO isn’t a elder scrolls game it’s an elder scrolls themed Kardashian game.

Dress up your barbie and put her in her doll house. The studio has stopped improving the actual gameplay and focused solely on crates, crowns and $$$.

This has been a problem for awhile

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Dušan Frolkovič

Nothing sudden, more like returning.
Basically at launch people were already split between those that wanted more of the original games and those that were ok with how TESO did it.

So for those that were ok with how it worked, yes it has for sure improved over its lifetime.
For the OG (meaning Original Games :) ) group nothing has changed.

P.S I actually attribute me kinda liking TESO to trying but never getting into Morrowind or Skyrim

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TheDonDude

It may be wishful thinking, but I don’t think it will be like TESO.

First, they learned a lot from TESO (compare vanilla TESO with One Tamriel).

Second, if they’re planning FO4 style base building, FO4-style dialog, and the FO4 engine, then it’s already a very different beast from TESO.

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Armsbend

If it is anything like ESO – count me out.