Fallout 76 is a game that has had a lot of ups and downs. While I have had quite a bit of fun playing through it, it’s apparent that some are less than impressed with the quality of the game, at least in the first few months following its release. I feel as though there have been enough people that have pointed out its flaws, so I am here to provide a positive critique through the use of an example of a UI feature that I hope is included in some form when player vending is implemented.
I am a recent graduate with a focus on UI/UX which is why I created this simple prototype to demonstrate a feature I would like to see once player vending becomes a reality. When I first heard the rumors about player vending becoming a feature in future updates there was one question that immediately came to mind. How are we going to find other player’s camps?
I suppose you could message someone, add them to your team, then travel to their camp to check out what they have for sale, but that process seems tedious.
The only other option then seems to be randomly stumbling upon a camp and hoping they have a vending machine available. This too seems a bit too much work to make a quick sale, but then again, perhaps this is what Bethesda is going for.
It seems to me that the best way to fix this problem is to make a player’s camp and current for sale items publicly available on the over-world map, should they choose to. I’ll detail the specifics of my design at the bottom, so if you just want to see what it would look like head down there.
*this is based entirely off the idea of player vending machines located at C.A.M.P’s
Looking To Find A Camp
This section will demonstrate the process a player looking to find another camp to trade with would ideally go through.
1) Open Map – Once a player has decided they want to trade at another camp, they open the map and search for a green camp icon. (In this example the icon is yellow like normal, I’ll fix it in the next update)
2) View items – Once a player hovers over the camp icon, a window will pop up that that details all the items available from the vending machines at that camp, along with prices, condition, stats, ext.
3) Select Items – when a player has selected what item(s) they want to purchase, they will be able to fast travel directly to that camp and complete the transaction.
Making Your Camp Discoverable To Other Player
1) Set C.A.M.P. As Public – If you have decided to make your C.A.M.P public, hover over the icon on the map and a small info box will appear asking you if you want to make your C.A.M.P. public, similar to fast travel.
2) Pay Fee – Similar to workshops, you will pay a small fee for you C.A.M.P to be public. This fee will allow you to have a larger budget for defenses and activate damage reduction much like how pvp works before you decide to retaliate.
3) Step 3, profit – Your C.A.M.P will be public for 24 hours from the time that you initiate this feature. When you log off your C.A.M.P will still leave with you, but if you come back within the 24-hour period, your C.A.M.P will be public still, unless you chose to cancel.
· Reduced Fast Travel Costs
Public C.A.M.P’s aren’t just for trading! The cost to fast travel to a vendor C.A.M.P is reduced relative to the cost of surrounding locations.
Ex. If the nearest location cost 30 caps to fast travel, then the vendor C.A.M.P. will only require 21 caps, a 30% reduction. This design would help to encourage greater player interaction.
· Increased C.A.M.P. Budget For Defenses
Worried about pesky neighbors poking their noses where they don’t belong? Increasing the defense budget for the seller’s C.A.M.P. will allow greater protection against griefers and discourage destructive or toxic behavior. Nothing says NO SOLICITING like an army or turrets!
Note: Increased defense budget only available when seller’s C.A.M.P. is public
· C.A.M.P Receives Increased Damage Resistance When Set To Public
Are those defenses not working out so well? Never fear waste lander, your vendor fee also provides your C.A.M.P. with increased damage resistance to combat those that just can’t leave well enough alone!
Similar to pvp, a public C.A.M.P will receive “slap damage” unless the owner retaliates. This would cause griefers to use mass amounts of ammo and likely break weapons while attempting to damage/destroy your C.A.M.P. This ability only applies to other players, not enemies.
· Promote Player Interaction
Are your neighbors of the tall, scaly and large claw variety and need an eviction notice? Looking for a partner in crime…. or crime prevention? Or perhaps you want to revive a long-lost brotherhood?
Making a C.A.M.P discoverable on the map could lead to more player interaction in the form of trade, teaming, role-playing, ext.
· Display Items You Are Seeking
Tired of spending your precious time hunting for specific items/components? Your handy vendor window will not only display the items you have for sale, but what you are looking for as well! Let them come to you…or your vending machines while you save, explore or pillage Appalachia.
Being able to display items you are looking for allows for you to passively trade with others while you are away from your C.A.M.P. through the use of vending machines.
· Advertise Offers On The Map
Tired of tracking down a fellow survivor only to find they have nothing of value? Or maybe you have a room full of items you can’t or no longer want to use? Rather than trying to hunt down suitable buyers or various vendor bots, let the player’s come to you and take all that junk off your hands!
Being able to advertise what you have for sale and the price for those items means that if a player fast travels to your C.A.M.P. they know what they are getting, and no one leaves empty handed.
· Competitive Market
Are the local vendor bots ruining your small business? Don’t let these machines ruin America’s long-standing example of what capitalism can achieve! Shared cap reserves and set prices make trading a pain and emulate the practices of communism. And for all we know, they could be Chinese spies…. You will have to compete with prices of other vendors across Appalachia and see how loyal a “loyal customer” truly is. Preserve America and reject communism today!
Having the player able to set their own prices will make the market fairly competitive and will make localized items easier to find as well as player vendors who are located in an area of abundance. What is expensive and hard to find in one area might be sold for cheap in a different location. Establish a functioning player economy across Appalachia.
Note: Delivery possible in the same way the Great Appalachian Sweepstakes functions
· Make Offers On Items
Don’t like it? Then buy from someone else…unless you got the…stuff
Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to create a “make offer” feature that won’t be distracting to the seller while they are away from the C.A.M.P. As it stands now the only way to get a better deal would be with charisma boosting items just like regular vendors.
· Specified Vendor
Are you a simple farmer only looking to feed the people? Or perhaps you are sitting on a literal gold mine. Don’t worry, you too can compete in the Appalachian marketplace as a specified vendor. After all, not everyone can run a massive one-stop shop while trying to survive in this new world.
While some people might want to sell a variety of things, you can specify if you want to sell only a singular category of products. Crops, junk, weapons, components are all niches that need to be filled. For example, if you have a camp next to an aluminum mine, you can advertise your C.A.M.P as such so that people will look for your specific C.A.M.P. as denoted by specific color when looking for metals in this case.
Note: this feature is not yet implemented in the design. Selling more than one category of items requires you to be a general vendor. Categories are weapons, armor/clothing, aid, junk, ext.
There are still quite a few changes and examples I need to make into a prototype until this design is complete. I am planning on redoing the UI to emulate the trade UI rather than the pip-boy along with animations, the “make offer” feature and specific camp colors. I have a few other ideas to design for other aspects of the game, but this is the first and I‘d love to know what you think about it, the pros and cons and whatnot. I’m sure I left out a few details so if you have any questions, please ask away. Also, I realize the irony of designing an Xbox prototype on PC, I’m just a filthy console player is all.
Oh, and Bethesda, if you are listening, I could really use a job.
Thanks for the feedback! I'll post update if there is enough interest.
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