The first Fallout 76 beta wrapped up last night and we got a chance to play a couple hours of Bethesda's upcoming multiplayer post-apocalypse. In the few hours we had playing Fallout 76 we came away with some big questions about how Fallout 76 will grow and evolve when it comes out in-full early next month.
Fallout 76 is an online, multiplayer-survival game set in the post-apocalyptic Fallout universe. Players emerge from Vault 76 in the Appalachia region once-known as West Virginia. The beta gave a good taste of what to expect in Fallout 76 including story quests, NPCs (or lack thereof), combat, and how leveling. But that doesn't mean there aren't some pressing issues we hope will be answered in due time.
1. High-level content
Early game stuff in Fallout 76 seems fairly standard for an MMO. Leave Vault 76, gear up your character and have them explore nearby areas of Appalachia while fighting some low-level enemies like Radroaches and Scorched denizens. While there were some community events that felt challenging, we're wondering what end-game content could look like. Will Fallout 76 have raids that will require strangers partnering up? What about dungeons?
We don't expect to get an answer to this one until the full game is out, but I'm genuinely curious what later-level sections of Fallout 76 will look like after a pretty introductory beta session.
2. Bug hunts
Bethesda game launches and bugs are practically synonymous and Bethesda itself even lampshaded how the Fallout 76 beta might be fantastically buggy. And we've also known that Fallout 76 was a bit buggy in earlier preview builds as well. So, the question is that with just three weeks until launch how many of these bugs can we expect to see fixed? We know there's a day one patch planned for Fallout 76 but will it be enough to bring Fallout 76 running on older consoles like the launch Xbox One up to snuff?
3. Fallout 76's anti-troll methods
During my playtime of Fallout 76 all the other players were mostly into their own journey to really pay attention to one another. Sure, we all waited in line together to use the crafting stations and occasionally worked together to take down a farmhand. But in the back of my mind the thought of one of them turning on me loomed.
Luckily Bethesda has a nifty anti-griefing feature in Fallout 76 that ends up turning hostile PvP players into bounty targets that have to pay out their own bounties. Not only that but there is a Hunter/Hunted mode for players who want to get some PvP action. I'd love to have seen the bounty feature in action during my beta and I wonder if it's really enough to keep hostile players at bay. We'll see if Fallout 76 developers a troll problem at launch.
4. How will factions evolve?
Fallout 76 was revealed to have five factions players can join: The controversial Brotherhood of Steel, Enclave, Raiders, Free States, and Responders. At the start of the beta players were herded into joining the Responders as they are a pretty well-meaning and positive faction. As the game introduces other factions it will be interesting to see how interactions with them will play out.
Outside of specific questlines and loot, will there be online components to joining a faction? Will becoming a Raider ask players to attack others like in Dark Souls? Will there be a competition between factions a la Destiny?
5. Private servers
After experiencing the shared online world of Fallout 76 we're excited to find out more about how private servers will work once they become available after the official launch. While director Todd Howard confirmed that Bethesda is committed to private servers, interviews suggest servers won't go live until sometime after the base online experience is settled.
However, we know that private servers are being built to support modding, which could lead to some really crazy stuff in the hands of talented modders. And even if modding comes after the launch of private servers, there will hopefully be some admin tools that will allow for some custom rulesets. A PvP-focused server? A Pacifist server? The possibilities are certainly interesting.
The next Fallout 76 beta for Xbox One is scheduled for October 27 and will run from 2pm PT/5pm ET to 4pm PT/7pm ET. You can also check out our Fallout 76 beta preview and Fallout 76 guide for a full rundown of previews, news, trailers, and more.
Fallout 76 is coming out on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on November 14.