This past weekend was a treasure trove of information for fans of Fallout 76. Bethesda ran some panels and Q&A discussions at QuakeCon, giving special attention to the game’s character growth system and limitations on PvP.
Perks and mutations are going to be the key methods of character progression, although with players receiving packs of perk cards every now and then, the devs hope that they will experiment with different builds instead of getting locked in to just one thing.
As for PvP — which certainly has some fans worried — Bethesda is attempting to limit the griefing through special mechanics. Players who don’t respond in a PvP encounter won’t receive as much damage, and if they’re killed without firing back, then their murderer will become a marked player with a bounty on his or her head. Oh, and if you’re under level 5 or engaged in fighting a mob, you’re off-limits for PvP entirely. The studio also said that players can easily rebuild their bases via blueprints if they’re hit by a nuke.
Bethesda defended its decision not to release the game on Steam. “We’ve done online games before, we’ve done some games-as-service,” said VP of global marketing Pete Hines. “And with [Fallout] 76, it was just really important to us to have that direct relationship with the customer, that didn’t involve somebody else.”
Game Director Todd Howard said that fans should approach Fallout 76 with some degree of flexibility: “I think like 80% of it is the Fallout everyone is used to, and the other 20% is really different.”