Fallout 76 players that attack defenseless opponents will be marked with a "bounty," inviting everyone else to come and destroy them.
The whole concept of the Fallout franchise seems to invite… you know, that kind of player. When you’re scrabbling for limited resources, Somebody’s going to want your share as well. As it happens, though, Fallout 76 is going to take a darn dim view of any sort of griefing.
As the negative stereotypes will tell you, gamers can be an unpleasant lot. Sore losers and equally sore winners. They’re liable to invent their own arbitrary rules of the ‘right’ way to play and send rage-infused messages to those who don’t abide by them. When they’re not doing that, they’re just plain ignoring the objective and padding their K/Ds.
Granted, a lot of these clichés are completely accurate. If you just play by the age-old adage that you should never play with randoms, you won’t be wrong very often. As such, any big multiplayer-heavy title is going to need to think about a way of punishing griefers. Luckily, the upcoming Fallout 76 seems to have that covered.
As Destructoid reports, at last weekend’s QuakeCon, Bethesda’s own Todd Howard laid out what was in store for those who don’t play nicely. Undesirable players (he used a more colorful term for them), he said, will be turned into “interesting content.”
Essentially, if you shoot down a player who doesn’t fight back, you’ll get an instant bounty on your head (which will be paid out of your own caps). Everyone else will see you on the map, with a bright and obvious red star icon, while you won’t be able to see anybody else.
Of course, the chaos that the bounty system can cause will be familiar to anyone who’s played Grand Theft Auto Online (which is everyone on the dang planet at this point, apparently). The interesting wrinkle, however, comes in the form of that stipulation about fighting back.
According to Howard, if a player shoots another out of nowhere, that initial shot will cause minimal damage. The shoot-ee can then choose to fire back, at which point it becomes a real PvP match with full damage. There are real incentives to engaging with others, too, with rewards (scaling with your level relative to your opponent’s) for victories and a system that further incentivizes taking revenge after a defeat.
All in all, Fallout 76 multiplayer certainly sounds like it’s shaping up to be one spicy meatball. With the news that private servers are only coming after launch, it looks like we’re going to have to inspect this griefing/PvP system from close quarters for a while.