Play enough Bethesda games, and you'll come to dread crossing the magical threshold in which you are carrying too much weight. But in a nod to the fact that you'll be spending a lot of time gathering goods in Fallout 76, Bethesda has lessened the penalties of being encumbered just a bit.
As spotted by eagle-eyed Fallout 76 fans combing through the hours of gameplay footage that dropped today, being encumbered no longer slows you to a crawl. Instead, your AP is drained when running or walking, putting you at a disadvantage in combat but at least giving you a chance to go and drop off your items without too much hassle.
Previously, encumbrance would bring you down to a snail's space, forcing you to drop items to even have a chance to offload goods. Worse, you wouldn't even be able to Fast Travel or use a vehicle, making it that much harder to preserve your loot. As a consequence, the early game especially would often see you rooting through your inventory looking for items to drop.
You could mitigate the effects of encumbrance with perks like Strong Back in Fallout 4, but it was a bitter pill to waste a hard-earned perk on making item weight less annoying. It feels like this is a feature that should have been implemented ages ago.
The changes to the encumbrance mechanics are just one of dozens of little quality-of-life improvements to Fallout 76. With Fallout going multiplayer for the first time, it seems Bethesda has had to totally reevaluate some long-standing mechanics.
In addition to the encumbrance mechanics, we learned a bit more about how nukes will work during last week's Fallout 76 event. Nadia also got a good feel for what it's like to go solo. Of course, there's still a good chance that Fallout 76 will lose a little bit of that essential storytelling that makes the series so special, but it's at least nice to see Bethesda trying something new.
Fallout 76 launches November 14 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. But you'll be able to try it a bit earlier than that, as the Fallout 76 beta will go live October 23.