Ready for Fallout 76 BETA? I am…ish

Last Updated on September 21, 2019 by Michael Brockbank

Getting excited for Fallout 76 BETA? The official release of the game itself is November 14, 2018. But, PC and Playstation 4 players can join the fray on October 30. As I am looking forward to streaming on Halloween, I might have to dedicate a bit of time to Fallout.

However, I am a bit skeptical as to this new iteration of the franchise. And not only because I don’t believe in “games as a service” or strictly online play.[template id=”145″]

Gearing Up for Fallout 76 BETA

Perhaps my biggest hangup about Fallout 76 BETA is how Bethesda is pushing it to players. On October 30th, I can pay to be part of the “Break-it-Early-Test-Application.” They charge players the same amount of money as if it was generally released.

In other words, it’s an early-access game.

I remember back in the day when companies use to pay beta testers as a form of employment. Nowadays, you can call it “early access” and generate revenue instead of paying people to break a game.

Sigh…it’s a sign of the times…

A Lack of NPCs

From what I am able to gleam, NPCs are not going to be all that plentiful. Essentially, the only interaction you’re going to have is with other players directly and the enemy environment.

I can see a lack of NPCs being beneficial for a couple of practical reasons:

  • Reduce Server Load
    Considering the number of people in each server, the expanse of the landscape and the enemy NPCs in-game, a lack of interactive NPCs may free up an incredible amount of resources. This makes the game run more smoothly for the players.
  • Time and Money
    Modeling for each NPC, voice actors, story line and more is often taxing on game developer resources. This means less development time and a sooner release date. And it saves Bethesda a bunch of money in the short-term.
  • Cultivating a Universe
    Fallout 76 is considered a prequel to the franchise. Which means there will be few settlements if any across a ravaged world. In reality, there is less likelihood of interacting with people when the first vault opens.

As long as I can quest or there is some kind of point to Fallout 76, I’m sure I’ll love to play it. Then again, I play a lot of games that have only one goal: survival.

However, it would have been nice to have something like GTA 5 in the Fallout universe. That meaning the quests, NPCs and other nuances the govern over Rockstar’s popular title.

No Companions

Unfortunately, companions are more than likely not going to be part of Fallout 76 BETA. So, no “Dog Meat” like characters to help you along as you go.

However, that’s not to say that some time down the road they won’t be included. Especially for those who have the pacifist flag and want to protect themselves. Then again, Bethesda may just keep companions out of the game.

A New Way to Quest?

From what I can tell, quests are not all that plentiful. According to Bethesda, there will be holotapes available in the world to give quests, but most of the game looks like it’s centered around pure survival and player interaction.

I know the first Overseer quest is there to guide people about how to use the C.A.M.P. station, but it doesn’t look like you’ll come across a lot of people who will hand out quests to you.

Personally, I don’t mind this aspect. It’s why I still play H1Z1 Just Survive. Sometimes I simply want to go about my day, drop a few zombies and keep myself alive for as long as possible.

And in a PvP game, that’s not entirely the easiest thing to do.

I guess we’ll have to see how everything unfolds in the Fallout 76 BETA. We can get news and snippets of leaks, but never assume things will stay the same until the game’s official launch.[template id=”505″]

Is Fallout 76 BETA a MOBA for Bethesda?

At first, I was worried that Fallout 76 BETA was going to turn into more of a MOBA for Bethesda. Essentially, think of people killing for the sake of killing; a free-for-all where the last man standing wins the game.

Fortunately, Bethesda is putting in measures to reduce the impact of player killing. Sure, we’ll have raiders. But randomly attacking someone isn’t going to be without its penalties.

For example, murderers are going to be tagged for all to go after. This works on a type of bounty system where you can loot the murderer.

But what if the player dumps his or her caps before going on a killing spree?

Bethesda also put in a penalizing system that reduces a players efficiency against both other players and NPCs. Which means the murderer will have a hard time even fighting off the environment of Fallout 76 BETA.

It’s all fun and games until you’re schooled by a mole rat.

I’m sure players will face grievers whose sole purpose is to cause mayhem and chaos. Never underestimate a troll. So we’ll have to see just how well these systems work once the game goes live to the public.

Another aspect of PvP is how people are able to fast travel away from a fight. Of course I will assume people are going to employ hit-and-run tactics. You can start a fight, realize you’re going to lose and then run away.

Does it weaken those who are attacked, though? If I lose half my life after a raider attacks me and he runs away, is half my life still missing? If so, that would open the door to some trolling guerrilla tactics.

Yet Another Iteration of VATS

In earlier games of Fallout, VATS is a system that stops time and you can make aimed shots on an NPC or devise other strategies. In Fallout 4, VATS only slowed time.

So in a server with 24 other players, how will VATS work in Fallout 76 BETA?

Well, it’s going to run in real-time. You’ll still have the ability to pick targeted areas when shooting, but you’ll have to be much faster with the fingers.

Although I can see how it may help those who don’t have the best first-person-shooting skills, I’m not convinced it’ll be as vital to Fallout as it was in the past.

Plus…I’m going to miss those critical shot cinematics you see in Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas.

Don’t Fear Change

It all boils down to change. At first, I thought I was going to hate Fallout 3 because it stepped away from the overhead view of previous games. Turns out it was one of my favorite games once it was released.

Who knows? This multiplayer experiment may lay the ground work for a new way to continue the franchise into something grand.

Then again, it could turn into a generally hated dumpster fire that no one wants to play.

In either case, keep an open mind about the game until you’re able to play it for yourself. You never know how a game is going to engage you until actually playing it.[template id=”543″]

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.