We know that Bethesda wanted to have little or no NPCs, have survival elements, and have the game set shortly after the bombs dropped. I think a more interesting setting, or at least a good spin off setting would be anywhere during the great winter that occured during the 2130s.
The great winter takes place only a few decades after Fallout 76, meaning that any rebuilding done in that game is doomed even without the nukes. This setting would allow for proper introduction for survival mechanics and an insentive to actually build camps to survive the harsh environment.
It would also explain the lack of human NPCs, and also provide an opportunity to have them exist in sheltered hub areas where it's warm and hospitable. This would adress both concerns about there being no central hub and no NPCs, but would also help prevent the issue of players mistaking NPCs for Players and vice versa.
This setting would be the most different one yet, and would give opportunity to really go wild with the enemy and creature designs. My favourite part of Fallout 76 is that decided since it's so soon after the bombs have dropped, animals have mutated like crazy, but this aspect is held back by all the asset flipping.
Another note on the asset flipping, many people have criticised that many outfits in the atom shop and in the game are straight from Fallout 4, but many of these clothes wouldn't work in a winter setting. Or at least they may only be appropriate in hub areas/camps where it's safe to take your coat off.
And lastly, the lore around the Great Winter is really scarce, which means that Bethesda are relatively free to do what they want with it, or at least if there are lore inconsistencies with the BOS or super mutants, we at least know that those two factions are well established at this point and I think people would be less critical if the world at least looks waste-landish.
Maybe this setting would work better for another spinoff rather than what we got and I really do like the lush landscape that Fallout 76 provides, and maybe my favourite movie being The Thing is doing weird things to me, but I wished the great winter was explored further. How did anyone survive during that time?
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