Bethesda has unequivocally confirmed that the world of Fallout 76 will always be online, which prompts concerns of how players will interact with each other and what experience this will provide. Senior vice president of Bethesda’s global marketing, Pete Hines, has stated that Fallout 76 is not solely focused on PvP, and that the team is hard at work trying to find ways around griefing.
Hines tries to explain in an interview with Variety that Fallout 76 is more about the exploration and rebuilding of a blank canvas than it is about dropping in and shooting one another. “It is important to note this is not just a full-on PvP game where you get in the world and everyone shoots everyone. It's more like a challenge to another player.”
It was already made known during Bethesda’s main presentation that Fallout 76 was instead dubbed a “softcore survival game” due to players not losing their progression, items or gear when dying to another player, meaning that PvP combat might not yield much reward. Victims of the slaughter can opt in to a “revenge thing” trying to go “head-to-head” with the perpetrator.
Bethesda currently has more systems in planning to combat bullying and harassment, with rumours previously pointing to deterrents in the form of bounties making regular perpetrators a target. Personally, this doesn’t seem like it would work given that players of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V use this more as incentive to attack other players.
Much of the concern has arisen due to Bethesda’s comparisons with other online post-apocalyptic survival games like Rust and Day Z, however Hines has stated that Fallout 76 is something new entirely, focused primarily on the world itself.
Alongside PvP, player interaction also includes the ability to trade and complete quests, if people manage to even cross paths. There are only a few dozen players within a world four times the size of Fallout 4, meaning that the chances of enemies crossing paths is drastically minimised in comparison to established titles. Still, there is always the looming threat of nukes going off from the other side of the map, even when the player isn’t online.
KitGuru Says: It seems like the true nature of Fallout 76 will contain an air of mystery up until its release, but Bethesda really are trying to balance true tension with the freedom to play in an array of different styles. Does Fallout 76 still interest you?