Fallout 76's time in the spotlight at Bethesda's E3 2019 conference was brief, but they apparently didn't need long to show that they meant business when it comes to bringing the wayward title back on track and into a brighter future.
The changes that Bethesda's bringing to the table for Fallout 76 look absolutely massive on paper, and they raise an equally massive list of pressing questions concerning how they're all going to work. While players will have to sit and wait for answers concerning the greater majority of the details, they can at least rest assured of what's listed below. Here are the ten biggest changes that players can expect with the Nuclear Winter and Wastelanders updates.
10 New Main Quest
One of the highlights from Fallout 76's upcoming Wastelanders update is a brand new line of main quests for players to tackle in Appalachia.
While the precise details we currently have skew heavily towards... well, slim, there are a few elements that fans can be absolutely certain of. With the update set to introduce human NPCs into Fallout 76, it's all but certain that they're going to revolve around settlers moving back into Appalachia, and resolving whatever conflicts will inevitably arise between them.
9 Nuclear Winter: Battle Royale In Fallout 76
Love it or hate it, the immensely trendy battle royale format has invaded some of gaming's biggest franchises, and the Fallout series has decided to throw its hat into the ring with a fifty-two player bloodbath.
Levels won't matter and players will queue up entirely separately from the more conventional game modes, in order to keep a level playing field. It'll also introduce its own set of perk cards that function solely in Nuclear Winter, and there will still be PVE elements to contend with. Rewards, however, will carry over into the normal game modes.
8 Human NPCs Are Being Added
Fallout 76 originally launched with the controversial sticking point of not featuring any human NPCs whatsoever, and while it was certainly an interesting concept, the greater majority of players felt that the game suffered in no small part on account of that design direction.
It might not feel like the addition of actual human NPCs to an open world RPG should be a newsworthy headline, but regardless, here it is. Bethesda will be committing a host of said NPCs in the Wastelanders update, and players couldn't be more overloaded with questions concerning their implementation.
7 Branching Dialogue Trees
Naturally, the introduction of actual human NPCs to Fallout 76 begs the question, how are players going to interact with them? From the looks of things, it all seems to fall along the lines of what one would expect from a modern Fallout title.
A lot of questions remain unanswered, such as whether or not the NPCs can be killed or if they actually have static locations in the game world. But branching dialogue trees have been totally confirmed as the method of normal interaction.
6 Skill & Statistic Checks
While this particular facet of the gameplay teaser for Wastelanders wasn't given a great deal of fanfare, it has the potential to be huge. Truly meaningful stat and skill check interactions have been a deeply desired feature among players, since their relative scarcity in Fallout 4.
A lot of the dialogue options presented when the player interacts with one of the new human NPCs seem to be tied directly to the character's statistics. Whether they're flat checks or have some RNG involved is unknown, but it definitely appears they'll be pretty prominent during NPC interactions.
5 Major Combat Improvements
Fallout 76's Nuclear Winter update has brought some major enhancements to the game's combat system, some of which were long overdue. But late's always better than never!
Some of the biggest highlights include the option to turn on damage feedback in order to see just how much damage the player is doing with successful attacks, the ability to cancel drawing and holstering animations, and a sorely needed bump to the speed with which a character lines up their sights utilizing a scoped weapon.
4 New Factions
While it wasn't stated outright, the gameplay teaser that Bethesda shared for Fallout 76's Wastelanders update provides more than enough evidence to assume that players will be taking sides among Appalachia's new NPC inhabitants.
The NPCs themselves seem divided into different sets, with some bearing the conventional settler aesthetic with ragged, but otherwise normal clothes, as well as a rougher looking bunch sporting armor and gear that uncannily resembles that of a raider. Even one of the spoken lines towards the end of the teaser clearly states that the player is "with us, or with them."
3 Choices With Consequences
Choices with consequences were mentioned as a major bullet point for the Wastelanders update, the further implications of which remain a mystery. But a few details can be surmised from the presentation.
With human NPCs moving into Appalachia, presenter Tom Mustaine explained that it's up to the players to choose how to interact with these NPCs and then "live with those consequences," which further hints that choices may interact with a karma or reputation system among NPC factions. The absence of these systems in recent titles has seen a lot of disapproval among fans, so seeing them come back would certainly be a winning move.
2 New "Overseer" Progression System
The Nuclear Winter update also introduces Overseer Ranks, which are advanced through the unique Overseer experience points earned during its battle royale mode.
Overseer Ranks will unlock a nice spread of cosmetics like armor and weapon paints, CAMP objects, and the like. It'll also unlock additional rooms within Vault 51, allowing the player to further explore the lore and mystery behind its original inhabitants and what ended up happening to them.
1 New Weapons & Creatures
Sure, new gear and new enemies are pretty standard fare, but there were a couple of particularly interesting tidbits featured in the teaser for Wastelanders that went without mention in the actual presentation.
The first is a terrifying new mutated monstrosity that defies conventional explanation, a horrible fleshy mass of limbs that's sure to inhabit a few nightmares. The second is a player character that's armed with what seems to be a typical bow and arrow, which is sure to either endlessly frustrate or totally enthuse depending on its associated mechanics.