Todd Howard: Fallout 76 "Had a Lot of Difficulties During Development"

Todd Howard: Fallout 76 "Had a Lot of Difficulties During Development"

Bethesda outlines how it will solve the endgame legendary items loop too.

Bethesda kicked off its Game Days series of panels today at PAX East with panels covering series like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. The first panel of the day was for Fallout 76, and executive producer Todd Howard, senior designer Ferret Baudoin, and development director Chris Mayer were all on hand to talk about what's coming next to Fallout 76, and even offer a bit of a mea culpa for Fallout 76's launch.

"We had a lot of difficulties during development and sometimes those difficulties do show up on screen," said Howard during the Fallout 76 Game Days panel. "You never want them to. We grew the studio, we're four different studios now in North America... and this was a game that really took a ton of people across those four studios coming together to make work."

Howard didn't specify what difficulties the Bethesda studios faced during development, but anybody who played Fallout 76 during the launch months should be familiar with what Howard was talking about. Fallout 76's own Bethesda Store launcher couldn't install Fallout 76 properly, and attempts to fix some of the launch bugs and glitches resulted in older bugs being reintroduced to the game.

Howard even recalls receiving a package from a fan full of bobby pins and a note asking him to weigh them. It's a reference to Bethesda's decision to make bobby pins 60 times heavier than in real life.

But as Bethesda has maintained throughout development of Fallout 76, it's an ongoing development process. Bethesda recently released the first of the Wild Appalachia seasonal content, which added brewing and distilling "Nukashine," the Fasnacht Parade limited-time event, and the new Survival mode.

One new feature planned for Wild Appalachia that won't be out until May 23 is the Legendary Vendor. Howard says the vendor is designed to solve a key endgame problem around unwanted legendary loot.

"We know the loop of getting legendaries, and people wanting the better legendaries and [and then] getting the one they want," says Howard. "We're solving that loop."

The Legendary Vendor's full feature set hasn't been revealed yet, but Howard explained on stage that there will be a system where players cash in their current legendaries for tokens and then "somewhat customize and roll for the legendary that you want."

In the official Wild Appalachia roadmap, the Legendary Vendor will exchange and scrap unwanted legendary items for new legendary gear, and for every star rating on a legendary item scrapped, players will increase their chances to get the legendary loot they want.

Howard also says that Bethesda is going to do more instances where players can earn specific legendary items for completing specific requirements, kind of like how some legendary items function in games like Destiny 2.

As we head into the next year of Fallout 76, Bethesda is keeping with its plan to keep iterating and developing Fallout 76 as it goes on. Bethesda urged fans to keep giving feedback through Reddit and other social media channels. And while Bethesda says that some suggestions just aren't feasible, it's always listening to input.

You can check out our Fallout 76 guide for more coverage including reviews, walkthroughs, tips, and more.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

Bethesda Responds to Fallout 76's Scrapbox Bug, Private Server Issues, and Other Subscription Problems

Bethesda acknowledges that Fallout 1st launched with a major bug, but denies that private worlds are being reused.

Fallout 76 Subscription Controversy Compounded by Major Tech Problems

Private worlds don't offer enough privacy, and multiple players say their shiny new scrapboxes are eating loot.

Fallout 76 Just Threw Out Months of Goodwill in a Single Day

With the announcement of a subscription service, Fallout 76 tosses a fire bomb at its community.

Fallout 76 is Getting a Premium Subscription Model For Private Worlds

It's almost more per month than the actual game costs.

Fallout 76 Getting Private Servers Next Week, But They'll Cost You

Also, the addition of NPC's in 76's Wastelanders update has been delayed to next year.

Inside The Fallout 76 Church That Worships Mr. Pebbles, The First Cat To Go To Space

We talk to the leaders and members of lore-centered Fallout 76 role-playing communities.

The Developers Who Never Gave Up

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Stories of ongoing or aspiring success from studios big and small that had rough starts on games such as Fallout 76, No Man's Sky, and Anthem.

More News

Kairi Joins the Battle in Kingdom Hearts 3's Re Mind DLC, Out Next Month

A leaked trailer shows off new playable characters, additional exploration of Scala ad Caelum, and more.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is "On Hold" at Bethesda

Bethesda's collectible card game is getting put in storage for the foreseeable future.

With Reconstruction Complete, Starbreeze is Pinning Its Future on Payday

After a tough year for the publisher, Payday seems like its best bet.

In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over

Allegations against Dangen Entertainment and its CEO are coming to light after a falling out between the company and some of its dev partners.

More on PC

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is "On Hold" at Bethesda

Bethesda's collectible card game is getting put in storage for the foreseeable future.

With Reconstruction Complete, Starbreeze is Pinning Its Future on Payday

After a tough year for the publisher, Payday seems like its best bet.

The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin

Yacht Club Games concludes their deep dive into Specter of Torment's design!

In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over

Allegations against Dangen Entertainment and its CEO are coming to light after a falling out between the company and some of its dev partners.

Wargroove Developers Respond to Criticisms of Whitewashed Voice Cast

"We want to be honest about what happened."

Disco Elysium: Where to Find Your Clothes and Shoes

We show you where to find all your clothes in the Whirling-in-Rags hostel.

More Co-op Games

GTA Online: Everything We Know About The Diamond Casino Heist

GTA looks like it's about to go all Ocean's Eleven on us.

GTA Online: Is the Unholy Hellbringer Worth it?

There's a very strange weapon for sale in GTA Online.

GTA Online: Is the Widowmaker Worth it?

We take a closer look at the big sci-fi blaster sold at Ammu-Nation.

GTA Online: How to Play Arena War

Own the arena with our ultimate how-to guide on Rockstar's maddest update yet.