Fallout 76 is essentially another ‘alone together’ MMO, previewers report

    
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No, we'd still prefer not.

Bethsoft is on an all-out media Blitz for Fallout 76 today – even the Washington Post lowered itself to a hands-on with a video game, calling it “lonely” as a compliment. The best coverage so far in my estimation was delivered by Jess Conditt of Engadget (yes, formerly of Joystiq, so it’s no coincidence). Depending on what you wanted to see from this new entry into the franchise, some of her commentary may seem like a high-five or a slam; she emphasizes the focus on the overarching storyline, looting everything in sight, the bullet-time targeting system, crafting, stock stats, and typical Fallout quirks.

Where before most gamers seemed primarily concerned about the potential for unfettered PvP ruining the gamescape, it’s the multiplayer-vs.-solo aspects that have the internet on fire right now. While the entire game is technically soloable as the studio has been promising since E3, grouping will definitely benefit the player, particularly in endgame. Here’s Design Director Emil Pagliarulo coining a fresh version of the old “alone together” term:

“The stories and quests are individual to each person playing the game, and that includes the main quest –- following the Overseer’s journey as she ventures out into Appalachia to secure the missile silos. So when you’re in a team, the goal is to help each other in any way you can. ‘Solo but together’ might be a good way to look at. If you play the game with the same group from the beginning, you’ll be experiencing these stories at relatively the same time. Events are an exception -– they can be solo’d, but are intended to be done as a group –- and that includes your own team.”

Y’know – basically like most overworld zones in MMORPGs. Have you seen anything from the mainstream previews today that change or set your mind on playing?

Source: Engadget
Update:
Bethsoft now has a preview of its own out.

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ValidReasons

Ugh. I hate to be one of those guys who craps all over a game before it even comes out, but I’m not in a panic to catch this particular train.

I watched Gopher & Brutally Honest’s game footage and I was surprised at how many assets from Fallout 4 Bethesda used. Down to trivial stuff like those round white chairs with red upholstery & those yellow wooden crates. Also the rusted out vehicles are identical to the Fallout 4 ones.

Ok, it’s logical. It’s the same world, so it makes sense that it would have the same stuff in it. But somehow that just seems weak to me. I would have expected to keep a few familiar details, but take the opportunity of a whole new game to do some amazing super-cool design work.

Fallout 4 definitely had its flaws, but the creativity and artistry that went into designing the Commonwealth was pretty awesome and made up to some extent for its shortcomings in other areas. When I clicked on the vids I was like, Ok, let’s see what they’ve come up with this time. Even the tiles for building camps/settlements appear to be the same. Even the weapons. I mean, dang, you guys couldn’t be arsed to design some new weapons?

“Ammo Vending Machine?” Why would there be an ammo vending machine? Why would that exist? (Or if it did, shouldn’t it at least be named something retro-futuristic like “RobCo Ammotronic?”) Ok, sure why would anything in Fallout exist? But up to now things were at least logical in terms of the lore (mostly, sort of). It kinda breaks the spell for me.

But the real issue for me is mods. All of the above could totally be fixed by the fanbase. I doubt that I’d even have bothered with FO4 without mods. They’re what made the game worthwhile for me. But you can’t really have that in a multiplayer scenario.

I’ll probably give it a chance at some point, though.

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Rottenrotny

Wow, some of these comments are salty and/or delusional.
Almost everyone I know has been talking about how awesome an online co-op Fallout game would be since Fallout 3. Now we have it.

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Roger Melly

Not sure about this one . I think I would have to read some reviews and comments a month or two after it releases .

xpsync
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xpsync

Not feeling the AAA.

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Joe Seabreeze

Not what I was hoping for. Looks and plays like Fallout 4 (which was a disappointment for me) without much of a story. Throw in a buddy and some pointless ganking, and that’s about it. Kind of a waste of pretty good looking graphics. Collect junk all day, bleh.

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rafael12104

Check this review out based on the press play event. It sounds fair to me. We will see what we get, but to be honest, I don’t think there will be any more surprises. Your predisposition in favor or against will remain the same.

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ghostlight

Yeah, speaking as someone whose’ all-time favorite RPG is New Vegas, I’m kind of sorry to say that I will definitely be sitting this one out at launch and waiting for the reviews and player scuttlebutt. That said, this is one of those situations where I would be completely happy to be wrong if the game turns out be be great.

I am definitely tempering my expectations though. Bethesda is another studio like Blizzard and Bioware that back in the day I thought could do no wrong, but have since come to realize that they are not perfect and sometimes far from perfect.

“If you want to see the fate of democracies, look out the window.” – Robert Edwin House

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firelily

All this game is going to do is delay and postpone development of any real Fallout sequels, like ESO did for TES. All we wanted was a Fallout that we could play through with a friend, not some boring reskinned pvp survival game.
To be quite honest though, I think Bethesda has completely lost the through-line with regards to what Fallout is anyway, and this is just more proof of that.

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Emiliano Lozada

Or perhaps like BGS has been saying since 2016 (maybe even before) that they want to work on a new engine and it’ll take a while since the current one is hitting its peak.

Or the fact that BGS was in court over the rights for a Fallout MMO something that ORIGINAL DEVS were trying to work on before Bethesda had the rights. Y’know the entire thing that Fallen Earth try to capitalize on when the rumors/talks of it were hot.

But hey, keep sticking with your own story.

hurbster
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hurbster

Also, ESO is Zenimax, not Bethesda.

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Arktouros

While you’re not wrong at the same time usually people tend to flock to the latest and greatest game. ESO was a terrible game for a super long time and it took them a few years to pull it around to be pretty decent. If they released ES6 after ESO people would have dropped ESO without a second thought. By delaying ES6 they give ESO time to fix itself and grow and potentially keep a player base after ES6 gets dropped.

hurbster
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hurbster

I liked ESO from beta.

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John Kiser

You are aware that ESO and TES are completely and utterly different development teams and have nothing to do with one another. They formed a new dev studio specifically for ESO and that studio was around since 2007. They aren’t the same dev company, do not have the same employees and the like. While Zenimax is parent company of both Bethesda and Zenimax Online studio (the company that actually made ESO), you should learn not to blame a completely different company for any of that.

Fallout 76 may take up some dev time, but ultimately you don’t know if it’s a different team in house at bethesda specifically for it or a slew of other things, but please stop blaming ESO for making TESVI take longer than the 5 or so years it took for TESV to come out because it has nothing to do with the same dev team or studio or even writers even a little bit.

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wratts

I could be wrong, because I know this IP means a lot to people, but this just looks like such a miss. You’ll have a “story” with no agency, because they’re saying it’s a predefined arc you’re exploring. The core gameplay looks like a dumbed-down FO4, with bad multiplayer animations and uninspiring combat. The PVP implementation looks designed to satisfy exactly no-one.

I just can’t visualize what the target customer is who will say “finally! This is the game I’ve been waiting for!” I think instead you’ll have a good size number of people who will check it out, play for ~10 hours, and then have it languish in their Steam library and every now and then they’ll say “you know, maybe I should go back again”. Followed by 5 hours later “ah, that’s why I uninstalled, that’s right”.

Probably I’m cynical and burned out on hype trains, but I’ve played the series since the original Wasteland, and this is the first iteration I’m completely planning to pass on

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

You’re greatly underestimating the amount of fanbots the Fallout series has, the kind that will throw money at anything with a “Fallout” name ;-) Just take a look at some posts on /r/Fallout/ subreddit, you’ll find plenty of “Wow, this honestly is blowing away my expectations. This looks like my dream fallout game. Looking forward to playing this with my wife and friends” comments.

Which is kind of very unfortunate, since it’s people like these that enable certain game developers/publishers to go for “minimum effort for an acceptable amount of reward” kind of thing, instead of trying to go for more innovative, unique gameplay. But oh well, nothing much you can do ;-)

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cursedseishi

I think you may be overestimating on the number of Fallout fans who are also eager to play it online too. Reddit’s a big place, but not everyone posts there.

Played the series since I discovered 1, including Tactics, and have been happy to burn through whatever Fallout game we get next… However 4 put a damper on that, and then the announcement of this game made me honestly wish Bethesda lost the rights to the title. Let Obsidian take a fair crack at the game again and without a decades old-engine that Bethesda has been forcing down our throats from Morrowind to Skyrim/Fallout 4.

Besides, Bethesda has literally been about “minimum effort” for a while now. Their games aren’t great to play in so much as they are just great to use for other things. If modding wasn’t a ‘thing’, these titles would of died off fast. And Bethesda knows that too. They’ve said they see this game living on forever because ‘hey, people are still playing Morrowind and Oblivion to this day!’. Yet those games exist solely by the work of modders keeping them relevant.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

As big as these games have been on consoles, which (until recently) didn’t allow any modding… no, they wouldn’t have died off at all.

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Tobasco da Gama

Sounds like exactly what I want out of a post-apocalyptic multiplayer game, I’m not gonna lie. I’m still going to wait to see how it plays out on the actual public internet, or at least with a bunch of B.E.T.A. folks, rather than an invite-only event for journalists, though.