During Bethesda’s E3 2018 press conference, we learned a lot more about what kind of game Fallout 76 is shaping up to be. In addition to seeing a trailer with gameplay details, we also learned that Fallout 76 is an always-online multiplayer game. You can still play solo, but the other characters you encounter in the game are other human players.
This setup opens Fallout 76 to some issues, though, namely how people will behave toward other players. How do you prevent someone from targeting you and trying to ruin your game? We spoke to Bethesda Senior Vice President about the online nature of Fallout 76 and how Bethesda aims to preempt potential issues.
“When you see a person in the world, they’re a real person, and now you have to figure out [what role they play]…maybe they’re being super helpful, maybe they’re wandering the world as a trader and just trading with people, maybe they’re being a bad guy and they’re part of a raider group,” Hines said. “[We allow] for that sort of tension but with systems in place that keep it from being abusive. So you can’t be harassed by somebody who just keeps chasing you around the world and keeps killing you over and over again; the game literally doesn’t allow that to happen to you.”
He continued, “Death isn’t supposed to be a super negative thing. You don’t lose your progression, you don’t lose all your stuff, somebody can’t kill you and then take everything in your inventory [and then you have to] start over.”
The question remains how PvP will function exactly, but Hines emphasized that it’s not a dog-eat-dog world. “Think of PvP more like issuing a challenge to somebody as opposed to just, ‘no matter what I want to do to somebody, I can,'” he explained. “The game only lets that go so far before you can basically say, ‘I don’t want to participate in this challenge anymore.'”
Hines compared PvP in Fallout 76 to fighting a Deathclaw in Fallout 4. If you attempt to kill a Deathclaw and die, when you respawn, you can either decide to try again or move on and do something else. “That should kind of be how it works for any human person,” he said. “They can’t keep coming after you, just like that Deathclaw wouldn’t come running across the map and keep chasing you.”
Hines also emphasized that Bethesda plans to continue supporting and tweaking these systems as time goes on. It remains to be seen how they work, or if intrepid players figure out ways to circumvent the rules in place, but the upcoming (but currently undated) beta is a good time to test how they work.
Fallout 76 is set to release on November 14, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For more on Fallout 76, see our roundup of all the Bethesda news.