Betawatch: Fallout 76 enters beta testing

    
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The next few months, then.

That’s great, it starts with an NDA and no platform crossplay, Bethesda is not afraid. It’s the end of the world as we know it but played online; it’s Fallout 76 beta testing, and it’s here! And there are factions being teased, although how any of those factions are going to play out in a game without actual NPCs remains to be seen. Life is hilarious!

We also bid farewell to Bless Online, which has now really launched for reals into the world as a free-to-play title. Our days of making jokes about it are certainly coming to a middle.

But the beta news train rolls on despite the end of the world (and despite not all fitting nicely into REM lyrics). Let’s take on some more.

Well, as long as it’s the end of the world as you know it, might as well see which of the games below are still in beta testing. Why not, right? And if some of them have jumped into later testing phases or the like without us realizing, hey, let us know.

As always, we consider an MMO to be in open testing if it features free, public signups and will server wipe prior to launch. An MMO is marked in closed testing if it’s running a private test phase that cannot freely be accessed by the general public; it’s usually under NDA as well. Early access and crowdfunded MMOs whose tests we deem legitimate will be included. So-called “open beta” soft-launch MMOs with cash shops, no sign of launch in the west, or limited interest for our readers will not be listed; we also do not list expansions, with occasional exceptions.

AdventureQuest 3D: Open beta
Arcfall: Pre-alpha
Ashes of Creation: Alpha one
Bless Online: Early access open beta
Camelot Unchained: Closed beta (one)
Children of Ur: Open alpha
Citadel: Forged with Fire: Early access
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha
Cube World: Closed alpha
Dauntless: Open beta
Dark and Light: Early access
DayZ: Early access
Divergence Online: Alpha
Dual Universe: Pre-alpha
ECO: Early access
Edengrad: Early access
Eleven: Closed alpha
Ever, Jane: Open beta
Fallout 76: Beta in October
Gloria Victis: Early access on Steam
Global Adventures: Closed beta
Legends of Aria: Closed beta
Life is Feudal: Early access
Line of Defense: Early access, removed from Steam
Occupy White Walls: Closed alpha
OrbusVR: Early access beta
Osiris: New Dawn: Early access
Pantheon: Backer pre-alpha
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
PixARK: Early access
Project Genom: Closed alpha
Project Gorgon: Early access beta
Rend: Early access
SamuTale: Closed alpha
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
The Black Death: Early access alpha
The Cycle: Alpha
The Repopulation: Early access alpha
Valiance Online: Alpha
Wild Terra: Steam early access
Worlds Adrift: Early access

Yes, MMO gamers, you too can perform the unpaid quality-control work otherwise known as game testing! Check out Massively Overpowered’s Betawatch every week for a run-down of MMOs that are still on the road to reality.
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Tandor

Is Fallout 76 still going to be forced PvP only, or will there be any consensual PvP official servers? As a fan of Bethesda in general and Fallout in particular since the beginning, that factor will determine whether I have any interest in the game.

I know that it’s supposed to be a PvP-focused game but the lack of any PvE servers will restrict interest and limit sales unnecessarily in my view.

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Sorenthaz

It sounds like the PvP isn’t forced/always active.

“On top of flatter PvP level balancing, players are also protected by the murder system. As Bethesda’s Todd Howard explained, when you initially attack someone, you’ll deal greatly reduced damage until they return fire. Those opening shots are “like slapping somebody in a bar” and asking for a fight, as Howard put it. If you ask for a fight and the other person accepts, you two can duke it out like normal. If you win, you’ll get a few caps—that’s it. If you lose, you’ll only lose some of your scrap materials—the adhesive, metal bits and other junk clogging your inventory—and can easily respawn nearby, so duels are really just for fun.

If you attack someone who doesn’t fight back and kill them, you not only won’t receive any caps, you’ll also be marked as a wanted murderer. While marked, you won’t see other players on the map and you’ll appear as a big red target on the map to other players. You’ll also have a bounty placed on your head, and if someone kills you, that bounty will be taken out of your caps. It’s a pretty severe punishment, though it does make me wonder what happens if you’re already out of caps when you go on a killing spree. And if you’re wondering: yes, you can kill your friend if they become a murderer, even if they’re in your party.

A passive buff called Pacifist provides one final layer of insurance. Pacifist lasts until you reach level five, and as long as you have it you’re totally immune to other players. They can’t damage you and you can’t damage them. This gives new players a grace period to gear up and learn the ropes, but once you reach level five, you lose the Pacifist buff and become fair game under the rules of the murder system. If excessive player killing does become a problem at some point down the line, I could see Bethesda extending the level cap on Pacifist. ”

https://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-76-pvp-details/

So basically you technically don’t lose anything for getting ‘murdered’ and if you fight back it’s only a ‘duel’ unless that person has a bounty on their head, in which case if they kill you it… still doesn’t really do anything other than minorly inconvenience you. Partaking in PvP is pretty much optional unless you want access to certain things that require folks to fight over it.

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Tandor

Yes I realise that thanks, but not losing anything for getting murdered isn’t the same thing as having consensual PvP. There are plenty of idiots likely to devote their time to going around murdering reluctant PvPers for the hell of it.

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NecroFox4

Hey Eliot, there is no NDA for the Fallout 76 beta.

From their official FAQ (https://fallout.bethesda.net/faq):

Q: IS THE B.E.T.A. UNDER ANY FORM OF NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT (NDA)?

A: Nope, we encourage you to share your experience! Beginning on October 23 on Xbox One, and October 30 on PlayStation 4 and PC, anyone in the B.E.T.A. can freely stream, post screenshots, create content, and share their feedback with us. Anything posted prior to the official B.E.T.A. is in violation of an NDA.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

A+ Eliot.

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Sorenthaz

From what I’ve seen on Twitch with folks streaming Fallout 76, it actually looks potentially promising. It looked very much like what you would think a Bethesda-era Fallout would look like if it had co-op multiplayer. The main thing of course is that there doesn’t seem to be friendly human NPCs as 76 is supposed to be the first vault to open within that territory, but there are robot NPCs who’ll sell/buy stuff.

Areas look detailed as heck, you still use your Pip-Boy as a menu/inventory management tool, there’s still storylines and quests to pursue with a ton of stuff to explore, and it doesn’t look like it compromised on the graphics/gameplay for more MMO-ish systems in comparison to Elder Scrolls Online which became sort of a mutated hybrid.

Also looked like stealing really isn’t a fear/issue since, well, no one is around to really stop you from looting stuff.

So I’m certainly curious about seeing/hearing more from it, as it does look like it could be a promising title.

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rafael12104

I’ve been playing the beta. Still formulating the pluses and minuses.

The big picture, I agree with you. It is promising and if you like the modern Fallout series, you won’t be disappointed.

It is different though. More emphasis on crafting and skills and less on the story. And of course, after you get out of the starter areas, you do feel alone, until you run into someone scavenging. It is almost shocking. Heh. And you have to be wary. But so far, the safeguards against ganking seem to be holding.

And yes, this game will be best enjoyed playing Co-op with friends.

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Sorenthaz

I did hear though that perks largely revolve around cards or something, and that impacts what you can do in the game?

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NecroFox4

You still have S.P.E.C.I.A.L., but it is augmented by Perk Cards, which add passive ability boosts and things of that nature. It’s not a terribly complicated system at first, but as you get duplicate cards (you earn a free “pack” of cards every other level or so, I think) you can “combine” duplicates to basically level them up, which strengthens the boost that they provide (say from a 5% boost to a 15% at lvl 3 card).

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rafael12104

Yes. The card system isn’t the crap you get with other games. It compliments the skills system very well, and I’ve been told that later you may actually have the opportunity to create mutations to enhance or combine skills. Not sure how that works just yet, but it has been talked about.

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Schmidt.Capela

Mechanically I find it quite interesting. Well, apart from the no respeccing SPECIAL points part, which I would utterly hate if I were to play the game.

It’s very gamey, though, what with you being able to just swap cards on the fly.

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rafael12104

Yeah. It works fairly well. I think that your point about respec is a good one. But with the cards you can refine a specialization and take it different ways. It is like a respec of sorts within a specialization.

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Sorenthaz

Oh, sounds kind of like Warframe’s mods, in which case that could be interesting.