Fallout

I Think 76 Could Really Use Expansions Like Far Harbor.

fallout 8 - I Think 76 Could Really Use Expansions Like Far Harbor.
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Let me explain a bit more.

I’ve recently just started Far Harbor for the first time, and I’ve been thinking throughout my introduction to a new town, the dangerous fog, and the new creatures and stories that I wish I was playing in survival for a more immersive experience. I also wish my friends were there to experience it for the first time as well. I only started playing 76 as of a few months ago. I haven’t finished either main quest line except for the Wayward’s and I’m only in the mid 30’s for levels, but I already notice that the strongest impressions I have with the game are it’s surprisingly good dialogue and storytelling, and survival gameplay mechanics. I think the game would benefit from an expansion greatly, and below I’ll explain why. I also know I’m not the only person that feels this way as I’ve poked around similar posts to see what opinions other’s had. So feel free to discuss any of the points I’ll make below, I’m interested to hear what any of the higher level veterans feel about the gameplay mechanics or design changes potentially introduced in these updates.

So firstly I want to acknowledge three things.

  1. Fallout 76 has always suffered from a bad first impression, and initial design choices. When Todd Howard discusses a multiplayer Bethesda game, your first instinct should be excitement for a 4 player co-op story driven experience. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what we have now, but the launch, subsequent lack of support, and fundamental design decisions that separate this game from the rest of the franchise still drive people away. I think some of the points I list below would remedy these.

  2. The team has already discussed a future addition called “expeditions” where we could potentially leave Appalachia. I think that’s exciting, but I’m very sure they will appear in the form of daily ops or a quest in the likeness of one dungeon or small linear path through the mountains or the outside of the Capital Wasteland with the landmarks in view. Id like to experience more.

  3. I would never want this to be an abandonment of the base game, map, or multiplayer. Just a small divergence that UTILIZES them. I want new events with new enemies in new areas, not to forego them altogether. I still want Steel Dawn Chapter 2,3, Infinity and the Enclave expansion to change up the base map and affect the story of Appalachia. But I also want the character I've created in this interesting world to explore it, and find themselves in new situations.

What I’m imagining:

Size:

  • Around the size of whatever is included with the upcoming Steel Dawn chapter. Not much more, not much less. They can even release these expansions in chapters as well. Or the Main quest can be the same length as the Wayward quest line. Just something modest to expand our world and explore the parts of Fallout that the mainline games would never get to cover.
  • Small map, anywhere from 4-6 hour story if possible, very adequate amount of side quests. Nothing too much, just realistic as another entry in the list of updates for the game, but adds a new area and story.

Design:

This is the most crucial part of this idea, the redefining, or better, refining of design choices introduced with Wastelanders.

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  • Potentially instanced expansions. Yep, that's right. A hub town is fine, a small area surrounding it that allows for a public event would be best, but the core of this concept is the introduction of the systems that most 76 players wanted originally: 4 player co-op stories with actual NPCs in interesting environments that are affected by our choices. This isn't a must, but the idea is to utilize the games as a service format that 76 has, to capitalize on the stories Fallout has the potential for. Imagine if Fallout 76 went from being the game that is just always online, to the fallout game with multiple games in one.
    • Stories don't always lack in a group perspective, the development team doesn't need to force it, they can just tell the stories they are motivated to make. I'll even list a few of my own ideas below for what could work.
    • The key to these instanced worlds is the ability to play them alone. Of course it is a design choice for them to force us not to, but the idea is that if you wanted, you could buy 76, run to the part of the map with the mountain pass into the blue ridge, load into the instance, and then play a dlc sized fallout game that is entirely solo. Over 10 years fallout 76 could have built up a small catalogue that would even entice all of the other fallout fans who still downplay this game's state today. The interest they would likely peak with just the first trailer for a potentially single-player to 4 player co-op storyline and world would help the game tremendously.
  • The "Always Free" philosophy: Bethesda has already stated that they intend to create content expansions for this game that are forever "free." I would never change that. If they were to release these chapters for free to everyone, the player increase, content update, and mechanics changes alone would introduce new ways to monetize the cosmetics of the game. For every 10 weapons they add into a world separate from Appalachia, they add in an infinite number of sellable items for us to become interested in and buy. For every new environment we can build camps in, we feel more compelled to buy similarly fitting camp bundles and items.
  • This is not meant to replace or hide the multiplayer aspects of the game. It is why I enjoy 76 as much as anyone else. I just want the game's best aspects to flourish, and for it to best correct some of the early decisions that turned people off. I would rather they make these expansions with some of the multiplayer mechanics built in, than entirely solo.
  • I really enjoy immersive games. I'm pretty sure most of us do. The best part of any survival game like fallout or a game like RDR2 was the feeling of reaching a new place for the first time, needing to buy a room to sleep in, changing your clothes to protect yourself from colder temperatures or more dangerous weather, and buying food and supplies before leaving into the world again. It's something that fallout 76 does not do despite its capability to, and is something I think it can benefit from in these personalized experiences. I would not mind running around in The Pitt with dozens of other players completing quests, but if being solo or 4 player co-op means that the blue ridge mountains is designed with a horse in mind that holds our gear and sits in our camp, then I would rather than experience even if it was separate from the base game.
    • New gameplay mechanics that help connect the expansions to the rest of the game, yet also separate it. For ten gameplay mechanics that are introduced in these updates such as cold/warm temperatures, new gameplay affecting diseases, horses or vertibirds, companions, or deadly fog, there should also be one major end game mechanic that helps connect it with the rest of the game, and prevent the high level loop from being the same menial tasks constantly. If New Orleans has a factory run by a gang trying to re-establish pre-war money as the main currency, then they can offer it as a reward for quests or events that help you purchase a number of unique items from their vendors, while also being a consistent supply of cloth for clothes making in the unique new survival mechanics it introduces or for a new unique type of camp item like flag poles that have a traveling merchant in Appalachia come to your camp to trade with you using pre-war money.

Potential:

  • By far the best part of discussion, is the imagining of what is possible. Fallout 76 does some things very well. It is a wonderful basis for what can be an extremely bright future. Problems aside, we can all agree as fans of this game that the foundation it lays is more exciting than some other games coming out.
  • Imagine if fallout 76 could be further summarized as a fallout game of stories and chapters. With the next update: the Vault Dweller has received a radio notice to head to the wayward, where an older NPC has arrived and is looking for someone to meet him at the border of the map, and accompany him to New Orleans. His family lives there and in his waning health he can pass away soon in comfort. Once there you get wrapped up into a quest line with this family. Alternatively, you get contacted to help kill a scorch beast causing terror in the corner of the map. During the fight with your team and the NPC hunter, it flees into the blue ridge mountains. Hot on it's tail you run through a mountain pass, enter a loading screen, and boom you are entered into the new instance with a decent section of the mountains and local valley filled with quests NPCs and new weapons.
    • While it is not a problem per se, the game is obviously still built on a world with no humans, no dialogue and interaction, and linear quest design. Starting from the ground up in new areas with the utilization of NPC's and the dialogue system would provide what the game was missing before, and expand my favorite parts of it.
    • Fallout can feel more alive this way. For example, problems arising in the west with the introduction of new creatures in an expansion can cause new events and quests to appear in Appalachia on that side of the map. New creatures and enemy's can take over those locations closest to the instance and make West Virginia really feel connected. Weapons, while not found outside of the expansions, can still be utilized in the base game by going to vendors with connection to the stories that appear in Crater and Foundation that sell their ammo or mods.
  • With the introduction of shelters instanced camps are possible, and could be utilized in these expansions as being outside the map, and accessible only by those in your team, but could use companions, pets, and other unique items that the shelters should be doing already.

Well this is all. I usually lurk and don't post but I was motivated by how much I am hoping for something like this. I'm sorry it was so long but also:

TLDR: Fallout 76 is a good basis for 4 player co-op or single player expansions into new areas with new mechanics like horses and companions with survival. They should be free but supported by all the new types of skins and cosmetics introduced. Please respond with any criticisms or discussions you'd like to have about this idea.

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