Tag Archives: fallout 76

Bug-Riddled Update Shows Why Fallout 76 Needs A Public Test Server

Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)

This week marks eight months since Fallout 76 released as a buggy mess. Since then, Bethesda’s online survival game has improved a lot. But while it has had a lot of good days, the arrival of patch number 11 yesterday was not one of them. Instead, it’s renewed players’ calls for Bethesda to try updates out on a public test server before dropping them into the main game.

The update is pretty sprawling, encompassing balance changes to Fallout 76’s battle royale mode, new quality-of-life improvements to make starting out as a new player less daunting, and tweaks to the game’s premium currency economy. It also introduced a host of new problems, like legendary loot not dropping from enemies and weird new “death zones” around the map that automatically kill anyone who stumbles into them. All of the bugs being reported by players and rounded up in a post on the game’s subreddit have made patch 11 reminiscent of the game’s other two-steps-forward, one-step-back updates.

One of the biggest issues is related to Power Armor. “We’ve made behind-the-scenes improvements to the Power Armor system to help address lots of bugs,” Bethesda wrote in the game’s patch notes. “As a result, you may notice your Power Armor pieces have moved into your inventory or Stash.” However, some players have reported that the pieces have gone missing altogether. It’s not clear how many people were ultimately affected, but players with multiple sets of the rare and expensive armor appear to have been hit the hardest.

“I’ve lost an entire set of T-60 fully modded PA,” wrote one player on Reddit. “Furious as I spent ages getting the caps to buy plans (I’m not that market savvy so I never have too many caps as I have limited time to play). I know I’m never getting my PA back but its so demotivating to go and do it again.”

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Others have had the opposite issue, with existing sets of armor inexplicably duplicating. “I logged in and spent 10 [minutes] putting all my frames back together,” wrote another player. “Then I put them back in my stash where they disassembled and I ended up with 812 pounds in my stash while I was still over encumbered with duplicates. Had to put everything back together a second time.”

The update has also made some controversial changes to how players earn Atoms, the game’s premium currency. Players used to be able to collect them by completing basic Challenges early in the game. In an effort to make the early game less harsh, Bethesda replaced those Atoms with useful items like Stimpaks and Disease Cures. But it didn’t add those Atoms back in elsewhere, effectively decreasing the amount players can initially earn just by playing the game.

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This change comes alongside the addition of a new item called a Scrap Kit, which can only be purchased with 50 Atoms, the equivalent of 50 cents. This item automatically scraps a player’s junk and deposits it in their Stash. While not a game changer, the Scrap Kit is certainly a more convenient time saver than doing all of those things manually. It also means players who have one can adventure out into the Wasteland without worrying about dying and leaving all of the scrap they’ve collected behind when they respawn. What’s annoying players is that they have to pay for the privilege. Similar to Repair Kits, which Bethesda added to the game in the spring, this effort to monetize around the edges of gameplay while the game still has plenty of bugs has left a bad taste in many players’ mouths.

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The game’s new greenhouses aren’t helping either. The buildings are bonuses that players can only unlock by purchasing the Green Thumb Bundle for 1,500 Atoms, or approximately $15. But some of the players who have it say it’s a pain to try and place in the environment, causing repeated error messages unless it’s placed on perfectly flat ground. It doesn’t play nice with concrete or other foundations, and you can’t stick real plants in it either. Worst of all, some players say the greenhouse doesn’t even keep out the rain.

At a time when Fallout 76 has generally been on the upswing thanks to new content and clever new mechanics like player-owned vending machines, the latest update has proven to be a frustrating flat tire on the road to redemption. Anthem, another online game whose trajectory has had a lot in common with Fallout 76’s, added a public test server at the end of May. Since then, BioWare has spent weeks working with PC players to get its next big update right. It feels like Fallout 76 is long overdue for the same treatment.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Noble Stranger Stayed By My Side While I Died In Fallout 76

Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

You do not want me in your Nuclear Winter squad. I have a penchant for switching my drop location at the last second, landing on the map hundreds of meters away from my teammates. I’m never on mic. And I’m terrible at staying hidden. But none of this stopped another player, let’s call him Bill, from trying his hardest to save my goddamn life anyway.

I used to feel like there were too many battle royale games. Then Bethesda added one to Fallout 76, and I realized how the little details that differentiate each battle royale from one to another can make all the difference. For me, that meant returning to Fallout 76’s Forest region as it was being engulfed in flames. You can drop nukes in Fallout 76. You can drop nukes in Fallout 76’s battle royale mode. But no nukes have filled me with the same amount of dread and sadness as I felt while I watched a house burn to a crisp around me as I fumbled with a door knob to get back to the hallway and escape. Behind me, everything was destroyed. In front of me, my randomly assigned squadmate Bill.

I’m not sure if he was looking for me, because I sure as hell wasn’t looking for him, but having been reunited on the verge of another apocalypse, I decided to stick with him. We were only two, our other teammates already killed. My only strategy in Nuclear Winter consists of hiding as close to the storm as possible and then getting outnumbered in the final circle of fiery hell. Bill had a much higher Overseer Rank, as well as a gatling gun, so I decided to follow his lead. There were only about a dozen players left by this point. Maybe Bill would miraculously lead me to my first Nuclear Winter win. Instead, I led him to his death.

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We were on the main road just south of the New River Gorge Resort when I spotted something moving up ahead. Unable to communicate with Bill (no mic, remember?), I took out my sniper rifle to try and pin the the stranger down. I was quick enough to snag his arm before he could dive back behind a tree, but not quick enough to stop Bill from getting riddled with bullets. As Bill fired back from the road, I tried to flank our mystery vault dweller. I don’t know which one of us killed him, but I do remember being giddy with excitement about it. This was going to work. With Bill’s help, anyway.

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I had no armor, though, and little confidence in my own abilities. Bill was armed to the gills, so I dropped him my last stimpak so he could heal up. Small acts of kindness between strangers breed disproportionate amounts of goodwill, in my experience, and Bill, though he couldn’t communicate, seemed to be genuinely taken aback by the generosity, especially following my initial status as the selfish renegade on our team. He flipped me a thumbs up, or maybe a heart, or maybe I’ve invented that memory because of how I imagined her felt., Either way, he was my new best bud. At least for a few more seconds.

I was standing in a bush while Bill did whatever Bill does. But it’s hard to see things while you’re in bushes, and even more boring just to be stuck standing there. While Bill went to check on a Scorchbeast corpse, I ran ahead looking to see if I could find any loot caches beneath the nearby transmission tower. But I never found any. All I heard was the crack of laser gun. The next thing I knew my insides were fried. Eventually, as I lay bleeding out, Bill came running. I still haven’t been able to fathom why. I was in an open field overlooked by an embankment of trees. He didn’t have a chance. And yet his selfless act of bravery, futile as it was, is still with me weeks later. Next time, Bill, I promise to wait in the bushes.

Source: Kotaku.com

Bethesda Wants To Make Fallout 76 Easier For New Players

Screenshot: Fallout 76

Fallout 76’s world can be a brutal, especially for players just starting out. Hunger, thirst, disease, radiation—there’s no shortage of maladies in Appalachia. In the game’s next big update, Bethesda is determined to dial down the danger, at least early on, so new players can actually spend more time exploring Fallout 76 in peace.

“We’re looking to make a few adjustments to help new and low-level characters have more gradual introductions to some of the game’s mechanics and challenges,” Bethesda said in a blog post late last week announcing the major changes coming in Patch 11. The biggest of these changes include:

  • Reducing the cost to fast travel for players under level 25
  • Giving players under level 15 higher disease resistance
  • Making food take 50 percent longer to spoil
  • No longer wiping out stat bonuses from food and drink after fast traveling
  • Making encounters with higher level enemies outside of the Forest, the game’s starting area, more rare

The studio says it also plans to make rewards from Fallout 76’s checklist-driven Challenges completed earlier in the game more useful for low-level players. Right now, a lot of these activities grant ammunition for guns players don’t have, or crafting materials for things they can’t yet make. New players might racking up high-level ammo while they’re hurting for first-aid, fresh water, and food.

Patch 11 will also make item effects and their descriptions clearer.
Screenshot: Bethesda (Fallout 76)

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These basic necessities can be so scarce early on for players who don’t know where to look for them that it’s become common practice in Fallout 76 for higher level players to search out those who are still in the single digits and leave them little gift bags full of Stimpaks, Rad-Aways, and grilled meats, and boiled water.

While players have done a good job of papering over Fallout 76’s holes with creative role-playing, making the game’s onboarding process a much smoother experience will go a long way toward helping it find new players as Bethesda continues to add post-release content. Patch 11 is supposed to arrive later this month.

Source: Kotaku.com

At Long Last, The Canvas Fallout 76 Bags Have Arrived

In November of last year, purchasers of the $200 Fallout 76 collector’s edition were disappointed to discover the fancy canvas bags advertised were replaced with cheap nylon sacks. It took half a year, but Bethesda has finally made things right, as incredibly wrinkled canvas Westtek bags make their way into fans’ eager hands.

In the image above, shared on Twitter by Jordan Stapleton, we see the end result of a long journey. The canvas bag, once considered impossible to deliver due to “unavailability of materials,” has arrived. To the left of the bag we see the tiny package the canvas bag arrived in. One can easily imagine someone at Bethesda angrily cramming this bag into the tiny plastic pouch, muttering, “Here’s your damn canvas. I hope you choke on it.”

For reference, here is the nylon bag that came with the collector’s edition originally.

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And here is the canvas sack fans are now receiving.

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Barring these canvas numbers bursting into flames, this is the fifth and hopefully final article in the Fallout 76 Collector’s Edition Bag Saga. We made it, everybody. We’re safe now.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fallout 76 Players May Finally Get Their Damn Collector’s Bags

Screenshot: Bethesda

After a seven-month wait underscored by security issues and cheap nylon, Fallout 76 players may be able to get the collector’s edition bags they were promised.

Gather round, children, and let me tell you the saga of the collector’s edition Fallout 76 bags. The fancy-pants $200 Power Armor edition of Fallout 76 was supposed to come with a canvas bag, but players got nylon bags instead. They were not happy, and our own Luke Plunkett referred to them as “nylon trash.” Bethesda promised replacement bags, but we haven’t heard much about when they’ll arrive until now. To make matters worse, customer support for people who wanted these bags accidentally leaked their names, phone numbers and addresses. If I were to ever buy what amounts to a $200 bag, I would hope that it 1) is made of literally anything other than nylon and 2) does not dox me.

But the Bag Saga may finally be coming to a close. Today, Bethesda tweeted that they’ll be sending out replacement bags starting next week.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that next week is also E3, where Bethesda will be having a press conference and will want to foster goodwill from their fans. I just hope that whatever the resolution is, it will not require a fifth article about these freaking bags.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Sad Story Of Steve, The Pet Deathclaw Whose Life Was Cut Short By Fallout 76 Bugs

“This is how a Deathclaw is supposed to feel,” Hertell said. “This one doesn’t look like its about to die any minute.”
Screenshot: Mikael Hertell (Fallout 76)

Mikael Hertell really wanted a pet Deathclaw. He wanted one so bad he spent hours searching through Fallout 76’s broken wilds in search of one he could tame. He named it Steve. Steve was a good boy. Some might say a very good boy. That is, until Hertell went to sleep, woke up the next day and found Steve dead, killed by a glitch. That wasn’t the first time this happened to Hertell, either.

Before, Steve there was a Mega Sloth. There was also a gun—a legendary TSE (two-shot explosive) .50cal machine gun. Both disappeared. The gun vanished, Hertell believes, because of a glitch, something many players on the game’s subreddit have shared experiences of. What happened to the Mega Sloth is less clear, but Hertell, a YouTuber and musician who lives in Finland, thinks it died because of the unstable way campsites occasionally load in the game.

“What is the point of having near impossible to find weapons in the game if [Bethesda] won’t even acknowledge a bug that just deletes your most beloved guns from your inventory?” Hertell wrote in a frustrated May 1 Reddit post. “And I’m also out of my tamed sluggish mega sloth that i server hopped for ages [to get]…logged in and poof no sloth in my camp anymore.”

“I’m afraid to log back in, I lost my pet and my favorite gun i can’t afford to lose anything else :/”

What happened to the Sloth? Hertell still isn’t entirely sure.

Screenshot: Mikael Hertell (Fallout 76)

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“I logged in and I noticed that there was no sound from the sloth but all the enemies that spawned were dead, looked around for a bit and found him hanging from the ceiling of one of the pre-existing buildings that existed inside my camp boundaries,” Hertell told Kotaku in an email. “To this day I have no idea what killed him because the only enemies there were low level mole rats.”

Whatever the bug was that took his first pet’s life, Hertell remained undeterred in his quest for an irradiated buddy. “I’m a huge pet lover irl and currently have three cats and a ball python in the house so it just felt like something was missing from my camp unless it had a pet in it,” he said.

The mysterious nature of pets in Fallout 76 also appealed to him. Nothing in the game tells you that you can tame wild animals. Even the game’s official strategy guide only mentions it in passing when discussing the perk card for Wasteland Whisperer, the skill that makes it possible to pacify wild creatures, and even then it doesn’t specify that these animals, if properly tamed, will follow you back to your campsite and hang out with you till death do you part.

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Hertell crowdsourced information from random Google searches, equipped Wasteland Whisperer, and went out hoping for the best. The creatures have to spawn alone, and even then it doesn’t always work. Yesterday, after weeks of preparation and server hopping, Hertell finally found a lone Deathclaw and managed to woo it over to his side. He was elated. He posted about it on the game’s subreddit.

“God I hope this one doesn’t die like my megasloth…” he wrote.

Then today he logged back onto the game, and it had died. “Well that lasted a whopping 12 hours, I logged in and somebody was checking out my camp and he told me that a Supermutant killed my pet…” he wrote in a follow up post.

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This time, the culprit was clear: bad loading times.

Screenshot: Mikael Hertell (Fallout 76)

Ever since Fallout 76’s Wild Appalachia update arrived at the beginning of April, loading into the game has become a slightly more wonky affair. It’s hit people with elaborate campsites the hardest, as different parts of the game world appear to occasionally load in at different times. This is what Hertell believes happened to him, and why Steve is now dead. “The problem is that now when you log in to the game the game loads you into the game world quite fast and then loads enemies relatively quickly or agonizingly slow depending on where you are spawning,” he told Kotaku.

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“Same goes for camps,” he continued. They take a minimum of around 1.5-2 minutes to fully load into the world so you are stuck there waiting for them to load. My issue with the pet was that for some reason while my camp took a long time to load into the game (and as almost everything is client side in the game this holds true to every visitor I get) my pet deathclaw steve would load the same second you spawned near the camp along with enemies.”

Before Hertell could do anything, Steve was dead. A super mutant had killed him. Since pets in Fallout 76 don’t scale to match the level of the player they belong to, it doesn’t always take much to kill them, even if they’re a dreaded Deathclaw. And the pets don’t respawn. Once they’re gone they’re gone for good. If Hertell’s camp turrets had spawned in more quickly, they might have been able to save Steve. “I’m just pretty pissed really, i spend so much time getting the pet only for it to be killed in a matter of hours,” he wrote on Reddit.

Screenshot: xCryocide (Imgru)

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The tragic story of Steve might seem like a strange, isolated incident, but it’s indicative of a broader tension within the game and its community. It’s possible to get a pet to get attached to in Fallout 76,, but almost everything about the world, going down to the very code its built on, seems intent on trying to extinguish that relationship at a moment’s notice. The subreddit is full of posts with people requesting an overhaul to the pet mechanic, or a little more attention for itso that more players can give it a try for themselves.

Based on his recent experience, Hertell warns players against trying until the feature is fixed, or at least the load times for campsites become more stable. “What good is taming a cat when it dies to the first radroach that decides to attack your camp,” he said. “[It] would be cool for Bethesda to actually make it work instead of leaving it in a sorry state that its in now but I feel like the only things that get patched are the ones that get a lot of public outcry and the pets aren’t that well known so I really don’t see them making any significant improvements to them in a while.”

Slowly but surely, pet taming might finally be starting to get the attention it deserves. There’s already a meta memorial service for Steve going on in the game’s subreddit, with some players calling on one another to celebrate the Deathclaw’s legacy in some way at their own camp.

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“May the legend of Steve live on in campfire tales,” wrote one player.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fallout 76’s New Project Paradise Quest Has You Do Genetic Experiments For Big Pharma

Without stuff to kill, the masses in Bethesda’s online survival game Fallout 76 tend to get restless, taking aim at one another when nothing else worth their time is available. Fortunately, this week’s update has offered up a fine distraction in the form of a public quest called Project Paradise.

The quest is located in a series of man-made biomes used for genetic testing in a new area under the Arktos Pharma plant, just south of Morgantown. Project Paradise becomes available every so often, drawing players from far and wide into the bowels of big pharma to complete experiments in exchange for rare loot. It works well in part because it’s a multi-step mission inside a vast new underground environment but also because successfully completing it really does require strangers coming together and working as a team.

The first phase of the quest involves activating an experiment that unleashes three test subjects into their respective biomes. From there, whoever is around has a limited amount of time to kill nearby livestock and harvest plants to fill each biome’s trough with the proper food. After the feeding period, players then need to defend the creatures against enemy attacks that come in three waves. This means having at least one player in each biome to fight off invading ghouls and robots.

The entire place is teeming with level-50-and-above Assaultrons who enjoy blasting you at point-blank range with their giant face lasers The group I was with spent most of our time running back and forth trying to revive one another while trying to take cover behind broken machinery. At one point I was critically injured and called for help, only for someone to come over, stare at me for a brief moment, and then decide to eat me to regain their health. Sometimes you got to take one for the team. (It only takes seconds to respawn nearby and rejoin the fight.) The social aspect and the large-scale destruction go a long way toward making Project Paradise a lot more fun than last month’s more solo-oriented Burrows dungeon.

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The event also guarantees players a three-star boss who drops a three-star legendary item if all of the animals are fed as much as possible, making it worth everyone’s while and encouraging teamwork to get the best possible result. It makes me wish Bethesda could go back and add similar mechanisms to trigger more difficult and rewarding versions of other public quests.

So far, the only real downside to Project Paradise, outside of the occasional bug (which currently seem more common in the underground biomes than the rest of the game), is the lack of a server-wide alert for when it’s happening. Many players have taken to constantly bringing up their map to check if the event is active as a result, with lots of calls from the community for Bethesda to add some sort of more obvious notification.

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Slowly but surely, Fallout 76’s would continues to feel a little bit less empty, thanks not just to new quests like Project Paradise but also the recent addition of player vending machines, which players can use to sell items to other players. On one server, a player had set up their camp right outside the Arktos Plant and was selling low-priced healing items to help the adventurers heading inside—Fallout 76’s version of a lemonade stand. Maybe Appalachia can get rebuilt after all.

Source: Kotaku.com

Meet The Modder Painstakingly Rebuilding Fallout 76 In Fallout 4

Fallout 76 had a rocky launch, but it’s since established a community that’s making do with what they’ve been given. Still, some of those fans don’t see Fallout 76 as a proper Fallout game, which, for one fan, gave rise to an idea: What if Fallout 76‘s setting of Appalachia was in a proper Fallout game?

Marc “DeeZire” Stafford is a modder who’s been building additions to his favorite games for a long time; in his words, “pretty much my entire life.” These projects have ranged from things like his series of popular mods for the classic Command and Conquer real-time strategy series, to the “Things To Do In San Andreas ‘Till You’re Dead” mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which is one of the top-rated mods for the game. Lately, he’s been focusing his efforts on Fallout 4, which brings us to his current project: transporting the entirety of Fallout 76‘s setting, Appalachia, into Fallout 4. But he’s not just taking a scalpel, slicing Fallout 76 open, and grafting its skin onto the single-player game that came before it. Fallout 4 is set nearly 200 years after Fallout 76, so Stafford has decided to bring its setting even further into the post-apocalyptic future.

“The ultimate aim is to recreate the entirety of Appalachia as it is represented in Fallout 76, but in Fallout 4, and therefore around 185 years later,” Stafford told Kotaku in an email. “The best way to describe my vision for this would be to say that it will be instantly recognizable and familiar to those who know it, yet different and distinct enough to have its own unique look and feel… A big source of inspiration was Far Cry: New Dawn that realized the same world space after the events of Far Cry 5, so that effectively did what I’m doing here.”

It’s common to see modders try to bring settings from past games into new ones (see, for example, Skywind, Skyblivion, and The Capital Wasteland project, all for other Bethesda games). But this mod will do the reverse. Stafford’s mod is bringing Appalachia forward in time, despite its perch on the shoulder of an older game.

It’s an intriguing conceit born, in part, of limitations. Bethesda doesn’t make it easy for modders to port assets between games, so Stafford went into this project with the understanding that he couldn’t just replicate Fallout 76‘s version of Appalachia 1:1. He’d have to get creative.

“There are locations in Fallout 76 that I will simply not be able to fully realize, as there’s nothing like those assets in Fallout 4,” said Stafford. “So those locations will look quite different, but in a way that can be explained logically and consistently with Fallout lore and canon. The exterior of Vault 76 is a good example of this, instantly recognizable and familiar yet different. There is a backstory to uncover that tells of how the Vault was forcibly entered at some point in the past, thus explaining the now-exposed entrance and the alarm sound. As strange as it may seem, I actually like that imposed limitation, as it keeps me motivated and stimulates innovation.”

He offered another example involving Fallout 76‘s Vault-Tec Agricultural Research Center. There are no assets for fertilizer storage containers in Fallout 4, he said, but the location is still present and fully realized in his mod’s trailer. What he did, he explained, was take ice coolers from Fallout 4 and rotate them just so. “With a bit of ingenuity and creativity, a lot is possible,” he said. “There are also a surprising number of assets in Fallout 4 and its DLCs that were never used, but that did end up in Fallout 76. So by utilizing those, I can remain close whilst still giving players something new and different that they haven’t experienced in Fallout 4 before.”

Image: Marc “DeeZire” Stafford

Broadly speaking, Stafford’s goal is to make Appalachia look more weathered and war-ravaged than the relatively pristine version that players encounter when they’re fresh out of the Vault in Fallout 76. He’s doing this by using the “post-war” versions of Fallout 4 assets and swapping out textures, a process he says is “fairly simple.”

“I’ve found the hardest part is doing the landscaping,” he said. “Trying to make land appear less lush and more distressed without making it bland and repetitive is trickier than it sounds, especially when you’re trying to re-create the topography as close as you can. The cliffs are particularly tricky, so I can see this recreation being more hilly than rocky in some areas.”

Stafford isn’t just trying to paint inside the lines of Fallout 76‘s setting. He’s also taking into account actions performed by players—for example, that whole nuke-dropping thing they love to do so much.

“Currently, I’m considering making the Cranberry Bog very similar to Fallout 4‘s Glowing Sea, since that is where most players launch their nukes,” he said. “We as players know what they do (or did) in Fallout 76, but as somebody visiting there 185 years later, you have no idea, so you can piece a story together… I’m constantly having to think, ‘How did this place end up like this?’ So I’m also thinking that the Whitespring will be little more than a crater, as that’s another favorite nuke hotspot, and it would be very difficult to convincingly recreate in Fallout 4.”

If all goes according to plan, there’ll be story elements in the mod for players to uncover. These new additions draw on another oft-remarked upon element of Fallout 76, which is that its world feels less like a traditional Fallout setting and more like a Roomba lovers’ convention, given that it’s inhabited exclusively by robots (Bethesda had hoped other players would take the place of NPCs). In Stafford’s story, people continued to war as players do in Fallout 76, ultimately splitting into factions. One faction that originated in Fallout 4, the Rust Devils, came to dominate the region by using the most abundant available resource of all: robots.

Image: Marc “DeeZire” Stafford

“That story can be discovered through the environment, NPCs, notes, and terminal entries,” Stafford said. “I think [it] provides a good backstory for the origin of the Rust Devils and how their need for resources led them outside of Appalachia—and eventually into the Commonwealth. One thing Bethesda [does] well is environmental storytelling, and it will be very much like that here… There’s a surprising amount of unused or cut dialogue and NPC interaction scenes in Fallout 4, which I’m trying to integrate here.”

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There are many longtime Fallout fans who have scoffed at Fallout 76 as both a game and an entry into the series canon. Stafford is not one of them. He still logs in every day to farm Mr. Fuzzy tokens, play instruments, take photos in silly outfits, and just generally soak up the space. He appreciates the game on its own merits, even though he feels like “it’s not a good Fallout game.”

“I’ve seen comments along the lines of [the upcoming mod] being ‘the Appalachia we should have got,’ but I’d be clear in saying that this did not come about as a result of any disappointment or frustration with Fallout 76,” he said. “I think what everyone could agree on is that, with Fallout 76, Bethesda created a great world space to play in, which is what they do best. So bringing that to Fallout 4, but in a much more traditional post-apocalyptic Fallout style, was the primary driving force for me.”

Image: Marc “DeeZire” Stafford

At this point, the project only has a few months of progress under its ornately studded post-apocalyptic bandit belt, and Stafford, an experienced modder, knows there’s still plenty of uncharted territory ahead. He’s breaking the map up into chunks that he’s working on instead of doing the most exciting sections first, so as to avoid losing interest. Still, Stafford is already encouraged by the interactions he’s seen between Appalachia and Fallout 4‘s role-playing systems.

“I’m exploring the wasteland of Appalachia with Nick Valentine as my companion,” he said, recounting something that happened during a recent test. “I turn to him and ask him for his thoughts, and he replies, ‘What do you suppose did this place in? The bombs or the people after the bombs?’ I smiled from ear to ear. It was as if Nick Valentine knew what I was trying to convey and achieve here. I’m using that quote in a trailer.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Newly Discovered Fallout 76 Secret Hints At Connections To Other Fallout Games

New holotapes have led players on a hunt for clues about one of Fallout 76’s most recently-added vaults, and what connection the gamemight have to the rest of the series.

Fallout 76’s May 7 update added a number of new features, including player-owned vending machines and a new vendor for legendary items at train stations. It also added something that wasn’t in the patch notes: mysterious new orange Vault-Tec boxes with holotapes inside that hint at a computer system gone haywire deep in the bowels of Vault 51.

The first, discovered just south of Morgantown, consisted of a man appearing to come out into the wasteland for the first time, stunned by his surroundings. “Where… the hell… am I?” he says. “Doesn’t matter. Where was the other one again? Tower. River. Fork.” Those last three clues led players to a second orange box near the Flatwoods radio tower. “This part of the world is over. Might as well be the entire world from the looks of it,” the man says this time. “I swear on every soul it took. Every soul I took. That I’m gonna unplug that goddamned bucket of bolts.”

He concludes the second holotape by saying he has to go north for Reclamation Day, presumably to Vault 76. In the woods just south of that vault, players found a corpse. There was no Holotape this time, just a simple, hand-scrawled checklist:

  • X Distract him
  • X Stash the rest of the supplies
  • X Jump in the other crate
  • X Pray to god I survive
  • X Find anyone from 76
  • Kill ZAX

ZAX is the name given to a series of supercomputers developed by Vault-Tec to help various parts of the government analyze complex data. It first appeared in Fallout 1‘s West Tek Research Facility. In Fallout 3, President John Henry Eden, the leader of the Enclave, is also revealed to be a ZAX artificial intelligence. Now that it’s been mentioned in Fallout 76, players are wondering what that will mean for what’s inside Vault 51.

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The vault, one of several unopened ones currently in the game, was added in a March update. This is the first time that Bethesda has given any clues about what might be inside. While some players had hoped that there might be non-player characters hiding in some of the Vaults, the newly discovered holotapes seem to indicate that Vault 51 is home to, at least, a rogue AI.

Whether it’s something players will have to team up together to fight, or part of a different sort of quest, the discovery has some people wondering if the ZAX unit in Vault 51 will end up connecting Fallout 76 to Fallout 3 in some way, possibly providing clues as to how the ZAX AI in the latter became self-aware and powerful enough to take over what remained of the U.S. industrial complex later on in the series’ timeline.

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Of course, we won’t know anything for sure until the vault finally opens, which will likely be sometime before the end of the year based on the game’s 2019 roadmap. Even so, having new mysteries in the game that help tether what has been a somewhat disappointing Fallout game to others in the series has been a nice reward for players who have continued to stick with 76.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fallout 76’s New Camera Quest Helped Me Fall In Love With The Game’s Broken Beauty

The Harper’s Ferry Armory.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

Fallout 76’s world is lonely. Despite being a multiplayer game, it hosts just a couple dozen people around a sprawling map in any session you play. Other Fallout games might have a lot of computer-controlled civilians to chat with. Not this one. All of the non-player characters died long ago, or mutated beyond recognition. This limits the game’s drama, but the more I play Fallout 76 the more I’ve come to appreciate what it gains from being so empty.

I had this epiphany thanks to the game’s newest quest, Bucket List, which adds a new playable object to the game: a film-based camera. This is distinct from the game’s photo mode, which requires players to open a seperate menu and temporarily disables their character. The new camera, a ProSnap Deluxe, lets you capture moments with the ease of zooming down the sights on a gun, one of the most natural instincts in any shooter. Ever since getting the camera I’ve been eagerly snapping pics.

The New River Gorge Bridge.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)

To begin the quest you first have to find the corpse of a tourist, one which wasn’t in the game prior to last week’s update but now randomly spawns at any number of locations across the world. I found mine after climbing up through the Landview Lighthouse. Looting a skeleton draped across the wrought iron railing at the top I learned it belonged to Anne Litzinger, a college student who moved from San Francisco to go to school in West Virginia and didn’t like it at first. “I thought this place was antiquated, filled with ignorant hillbillies. I hated it,” she says in a holotape. “Eventually, I guess I got over myself. It turns out, people are people. Brains aren’t regional and our birthplace doesn’t define us. I decided that once I graduated, I’d really explore West Virginia.”

Even though Fallout 76’s world doesn’t have living non-player characters, their ghosts continue to haunt the world, imbuing it with low key melancholy that makes it feel like one of the most relatable in the series. As Litzinger tried to mine through Appalachia’s cultural and architectural heritage the bombs fell. Her sightseeing list became a bucket list instead, knowing the radiation would kill her before she could finish it. She asks that whoever finds her body does so for her.

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It’s not enough to loot Anne’s corpse and start taking pictures of the locations that remain on her list. You first have to repair her broken camera and make some film for it. I was missing some of the aluminum and crystal necessary to do so first before going back to my camp I made a detour into the Morgantown high school. The cafeteria pantry is full of cans and the classroom has microscopes, both of which could be broken down into the ingredients I needed. I couldn’tt help but think about the students told to duck and cover under their desks when the alarms went off as I walk the hallway of broken lockers.

One of the places on Anne’s list is the Red Rocket Mega Stop, a 1950s-style gas station and diner for vacationers coming in off the highway. Another is the Pumpkin house, an old Victorian home surrounded by jack ‘o lanterns where a robot programmed to harvest the orange gourds continues to do so in perpetuity. It’s inspired by a real world location in West Virginia where people carve and display thousands of pumpkins every year.

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The Pumkin house
Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)

At the end of the quest the Fallout 76 gods dump a random legendary weapon and an assortment of other lesser loot directly into your inventory for your trouble, since neither Anne nor anyone else is alive to give it to you.

Fallout 76’s landscape is dotted with so many strange, decaying monuments to space age Americana that I can’t help but marvel at them, especially when one unexpectedly catches my eye as it peeks out over a tree line or from around the side of a mountain range. But some part of me also feels compelled to take pictures to document the beautiful parts of a disappointing game so many people will never get to see. It’s a sentiment that’s also subtly reflected in the Bucket List.

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Games fit into the various nooks and crannies of our lives in all different ways, and where Fallout 76 failed as an ambitious new type of story-driven multiplayer sandbox, it’s performed admirably as a destination for virtual camping trips and strange archeological hikes. I’ve come to fall in love with the sounds and sights of Fallout 76’s post-apocalyptic Appalachia in the dozens of hours I’ve spent combing through it. Players might never be able to rebuild it as Bethesda once suggested, but even as a graveyard for the victims of a nuclear war it’s the one I keep returning to.

Source: Kotaku.com