Fallout 76 confirms a July 16 launch date for Patch 11 and provides preliminary details for a summer event

    
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After a bit of a delay, the next update for the blasted Appalachian landscape of Fallout 76 has its release date. Tuesday, July 16th, will bring Patch 11 to the online sandbox survival title, offering up a number of quality-of-life things for those roaming the wastes.

Patch 11’s feature set includes 50% more time for food and drink to stay tasty before going in to a spoiled state, improvements to item descriptions, a few adjustments to the Power Armor, and protection for bulk junk items from being wiped out using the “Scrap All Junk” option at a workbench. Full patch notes for the update are expected to arrive with the game’s next maintenance.

As for what’s next in the world of Fallout 76, it would appear that some summer grilling fun with the Supermutant Grahm is on tap:

“Grahm’s going to need a little help from his human friends and he’s hoping lots of you will make an appearance and lend a hand. Of course, you’ll be handsomely rewarded if his shindig is successful. Look out for more details, including the event’s start date, a little later this month.”

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Rick Mills

So how is this game for a casual pve player? Is progression gated by grouping? Can you build without undue stress about protecting your structures?

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Lexton Collins

It’s very good actually. I started a few months ago and I’ve been having a blast. Non-consensual PvP has never been much of a thing anyway, as it used to be that other players attacking you would do reduced damage to you until you consented to PvP by firing back at them. They removed even the reduced damage a while back, so you can’t be hurt by other players unless you choose to engage, and if you want to remove any possibility of that happening by accident, you can turn on pacifist mode, which causes your own shots not to initiate a PvP request. Even with that aside, though, most of the people in this game are just insanely nice to each other. It may look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but in terms of how its residents relate to each other, it’s closer to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Your camp can be attacked by NPC enemies but I haven’t found it to be much of an issue. The attacks are brief moments of excitement but I’ve never felt overwhelmed or in danger of losing my camp. Occasionally, I’ll come home to find that a mole rat has chewed through the fence, gotten into the garden, and torn up a few of my tato plants, or a supermutant will manage to bust its way through a wall and maybe take out a generator, but it’s a minor annoyance at worst, and that’s without putting up any automated defenses (I’d rather use my camp budget on cool decorations, and the constantly running motors of the gun turrets irritate me, so aside from some fences, I leave my place undefended).

There one caveat to the PvP thing is workshops. The game will encourage you to take over workshops and if you do that, anyone can attack what you’ve built there. If you “attack” another player’s workshop by accident by, say, blowing up one of their turrets or picking a lock on their property, you’ll be flagged for PvP. This is easy to avoid, though, once you learn to recognize workshops, and even if you accidentally get yourself flagged once, it’s removed as soon as someone kills you and they can’t loot your stuff, they just get a small cap bounty from you. When dying in PvE, you drop none of your money or equipment, only the junk you’re carrying. So scrape/deposit whenever you get the chance and you have nothing to worry about.

There is, of course, always the possibility of being nuked. That can not only kill you but also wipe out your camp. People don’t really seem to use the nukes for PvP on Adventure servers, though. Instead, they use them to nuke bosses/areas to create high level raid zones. That being the case, there are certain places on the map that tend to be nuked. Learn those areas and don’t build in them and you’ll be fine. Even if a nuke is incoming, you get several minutes warning to clear the area.

In terms of whether you need to group, I’m playing through the main story rather slowly so I haven’t tried any super high level dungeons or anything yet, but my impression so far is that the game is pretty much soloable. You’ll want to keep out of the way of some of the big nasties (like scorchbeasts) without friends to help out, but that isn’t hard, and nothing outright forces you to group. I’ve even managed to take on a few things by myself that I’m pretty sure were intended for more than one player.

All-in-all, I’ve been very happy with it as a casual building/exploration/pve experience. The ‘lite’ in ‘survival-lite’ is accurate.

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Rick Mills

Thanks for taking the time to write that up – very helpful, and it looks like I’ll have to give it a try :)

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NecroFox4

Lexton broke it down extremely well. I would only add that I’ve yet to encounter a single instance in the game that requires a group, with one glaring exception; the Scorchbeast Queen. The Queen is essentially the “big bad” of the game, and is in no way, shape, or form intended to be solo’d. Even with a full server beating on her at once, it takes 20+ minutes to bring her down. She spawns wave after wave of big bead scorched mobs to make things interesting. But it is extremely fun!

The only other thing I would expand on here is on nukes; as Lexton stated, you get a 2 minute warning when a nuke is being launched. You will get a notification on-screen, along with a timer on-screen, and you will also get a big red circle on your map to tell you where the nuke is going to land. If your C.A.M.P. happens to sit within that circle, and you don’t want it to get destroyer, simply disconnect from the server (log out) and then connect to a new server, and you’ll be good to go. It is extremely unlikely that you will be connected back to the same server again, so the likelihood of having your C.A.M.P. nuked in this manner is remote at best.

That being said, while solo play is definitely possible, things are a lot more fun in a group. And with the community being so open, engaging, and friendly, finding a group among strangers isn’t terribly difficult in FO76. You can even hit the FO76 subreddit to find like-minded wastelanders to join up with, if you’re so inclined.

I thoroughly enjoy this game as a casual PvE adventure/survival-lite experience. It does still have it’s bugs, and they can be annoying at times, but annoying tends to be as bad as it gets.

I encourage you to give it a try, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. We’re getting a big update this fall that will add human NPCs and a lot more story, so if you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up and get ready for all the new stuff coming down the line!

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John Mclain

The entire game is solo focused actually, you only need to group up for a total of three events in the entire game, and they are optional ones. And honestly two of those can technically be done solo as well, just not flawlessly for the best reward.

The game actually slightly penalizes you for grouping up currently since XP isn’t shared unless everyone tags the npcs before it dies.