Bethsoft hopes Fallout 76’s Wastelanders is finally ‘Fallout with friends’

    
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As MOP’s Justin reminded me on our podcast this week, April’s Wastelanders expansion really is a chance to set aside much-deserved grudges for Fallout 76 and give Bethesda another opportunity to wow us, especially players who thought the game had potential and just needed another year or two of polish. And maybe some people.

NPC people, that is. As GIbiz’s PAX interview with Bethesda indicates, the studio was well aware of criticism that the game was missing personality and soul, that it felt empty and motiveless. Here’s lead designer Ferret Baudoin explaining what went wrong at launch:

“If you’re a person who liked exploration, for example, from our traditional games, it was possibly one of the best worlds to explore that we’ve ever had. It was just huge, full of stories and stuff like that. But there was a large portion of our audience that wanted people. They wanted an emotional connection. And if you know everyone is dead, and you come across a holotape from someone, it loses that hope that you might meet that person and help them out. […] I think what we learned from launch was that core combat was fun, it was great to explore, there was a lot to do, but what we needed for a lot of our audience was to bring the humanity back.”

Like Pete Hines, Baudoin suggests the game was set up for PvP, but the people who showed up to play weren’t super interested in nuking each other to oblivion all day long; instead the players did weirdo fun things like playing Santa. “That was something we didn’t anticipate,” he says (apparently never having peeked into an MMO before?). But while he wishes NPCs and other Wastelanders content had been in from launch, he also says there was no way to know that people wouldn’t like what they had coming since there was “no clear analog to what [the team was] making.”

MMO gamers will know that we and publications like ours had been covering what people wanted out of an online Fallout game for years, as well as the immediate reaction after the official announcement through the lead-up to launch. But Baudoin seems to be saying the team was more reacting to launch itself, and now the devs think they’ve come to a version of the game Fallout fans will actually want to play.

“I think [Wastelanders] looks a lot more like a traditional Fallout game. The tagline in my head a lot of the time is: ‘Fallout 76 is Fallout with friends.’ I think now we’ve added more of the Fallout into it, the things you expected from Fallout 3, Fallout 4, are now in there. I think we’re more properly delivering on that expectation that some people had.”

Source: GIbiz
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memitim

“I think what we learned from launch was that core combat was fun” Well you learned nothing then because it was rubbish.

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Kayweg

Wastelanders then, eh ?
I don’t think so.
Instead, Wasteland 3, a game that’s shaping up to be so much more “Fallout” than FO76 can ever hope to be.
Oh, and co-op too.

kofteburger
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kofteburger

If you have friends.

HalLundy
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HalLundy

Love how you call them out on their bullshit. Only MOP does this.

“Oh; we had NO IDEA people expected NPCs and RPG elements in the new Fallout game”.

Well maybe you’re in the wrong industry mate. Can i recommend transferring to Mcdonalds?

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Danny Smith

Take a drink everytime they say “like a traditional Fallout game”. If it weren’t for the paypigs paying for fallout first and atoms they probably would have just given up and made it offline at this point.

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Zero_1_Zerum

’76 failed at being an MMO AND it failed as a Fallout game.

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Except it never was a MMO and I’ll disagree, it’s a pretty good Fallout game if one enjoys what it offers and doesn’t focus on desired features which it might lack.

Rumors of its failure have been greatly exaggerated by those who wish such were true.

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Zero_1_Zerum

Too little, too late. Been a Fallout fan since 1, loved 3, NV and 4.

But, they dropped the ball big time with ’76, and I doubt very much dropping some NPCs in the game will fix it.

Everything I’ve read about the game makes me want to ask:

Did they not play Fallout games before making ’76?

Covynant001
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Covynant001

I would have to ask, have you ever played FO76?

Just because bad things are said on the internet doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy the game, especially if you are a fan of FO4 which it very much resembles.

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Schmidt.Capela

I will be interested in FO76 the day we can host our own private servers for free, as well as mod the game as much as previous Fallout games allowed. Which, mind, is the bare minimum I expect of anything that carries the Fallout name.

Without that, I consider this game to be so incredibly worse than anything else that ever released under the Fallout brand that even if I got gifted it, even if that gift included the subscription, it still wouldn’t be worth even the download.

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Your loss then, you can play on a private server, not the most fun way IMO, interacting with others has been one of the best parts of FO76, and this is coming from a person who generally loathes the unwashed masses.

As for mods, when you play basketball do you expect to use different rules.

Mods are a scourge; totally unnecessary in a multiplayer game.

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Aiun Tanks

Oh this ridiculous excuse again – cut us some slack because we were pioneering, breaking new ground, ‘this has never been done before!‘ The same excuses Destiny and The Division fell back on when their looter-shooters fell into plain-as-day, obvious potholes that had already been identified and smoothed over by countless prior entries in genres that made use of the mechanics that those guys fucked up.

How the everloving hell can they straight-faced claim there was, “no clear analog to what [the team was] making.” Whether they knew it or not, it’s just not true.

That’s just incompetence or huffing your own marketing farts into a dazed self-fellating high, believing this ‘never having been done before.’ You’re not that unique. Almost nothing is. Break everything down into its core components and even compare against combinations of those components that have been used before, and there are patterns and points of commonality.

Learn to fucking categorize mechanics and resultant player experiences. What the hell kind of designer can’t take that kind of step back?

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Aiun Tanks

Everything about FO76 makes me so angry. “Oh hey, we noticed that people responded really well to the forensic investigation quests in Fallout 4! Let’s make that the ENTIRE GAME!” Like a chef notices that people really appreciate when there’s salt on fries, so let’s just serve people an entire fucking bowl of salt. Post-mortem investigations were a fun seasoning, they were not the meat of the meal. How the HELL did they not understand that?

“Oh man, when we were testing co-op, our guys in the office just kept shooting each other and found it really fun! How come that doesn’t translate to popularity with people who get forced into the same thing with strangers they don’t know, care about, or even like?”

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Rolan Storm

While I still do not have any hate for the game your points is actually spot on. Especially about excuse.

Game launched without NPC, you could not do it in time – okay. Stop spinning it, guys.

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Danny Smith

Its almost like Bethesda are total liars.

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Utakata

“…suggests the game was set up for PvP…”

And they think this what most successful MMO’s are made of? And they where targeting this to RPG audience that’s likely only interested is PvE being that the IP is RPG? I mean, that’s so obvious you could almost pick it off the ground…and yet, they utterly failed to get that. Thankfully, it appears their audience might be smarter than them, lol.

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Aiun Tanks

But didn’t you know? It’s not an MMO, so how could they have learned any lessons from MMOs?! What they were doing has ‘never been done before!!’

Excuse me a moment, I have to go destroy a stress-ball.

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Utakata

Of course, they would bring out that “resting” parrot! >.<

…on the side though, I carry two stress balls. One per pigtail. <3

Covynant001
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Covynant001

I’ll repeat, FO76 is not a MMO, they were going for more of a small scale multiplayer PVP game like Destiny and others.

Might not have been a good choice, but I could see how they made such a mistake.

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Utakata

Err, you only said it once. I never claimed it was. And something about that “resting” parrot. o.O