So last night my wife and I were running daily challenges while one of our friends was making a new character in Vault 76 (this is not his first). During character creation another player in the server asked if he could help him out as he first came out of the vault. A kind gesture, but my friend refused, as he had us awaiting him. When my friend finally came out, there was… we'll call him "William", a level 80+ waiting for him with gifts. My friend tried explaining that this wasn't his first character, that he had other people helping, etc… but William would not be dissuaded of his eagerness to help. He offered to make all of my friend's starting equipment and walk him through his intro levels and help along the way. So we went ahead and threw William a Party and Team invite (this is on Xbox), just to thank him as a group and say hi.
William hung out with us for the next hour or so as we did our tasks, even traded a few legendary items with me. Then he asked us if any of us knew certain mods we could put on his armor… I've been playing since the Beta so I know most mods. He hands me five armor pieces. To my surprise all but one were Scout armor with no mods. I mod the one piece that wasn't Scout, then explain how you can't learn Scout mods and can only buy them from the Enclave Bunker. He seemed surprised and didn't know about any of this.
After a few questions it became clear that William had never done the main quest and still had the VERY early quest "First Contact" on his quest list. He didn't know where Flatwoods was (mind you, we met up with him at The Wayward). We all encouraged him to do the main story quest, but I think William was a little disappointed that we couldn't resolve his problem. Yes, I could have bought all the mods for him from the merchant… but that would only exacerbate the core problem. My friends and I found it extremely odd that he had ignored the main quest all this time. He was equipped to the nines with two-shot exploding weapons, bad-ass power armor, etc… but yet had this massive hole in his 76 experience.
Then, as we were wrapping up for the night, it hit me… William never went through the main quest because he likely had his own "William" that walked him through their own version of the game's intro, and our William never got the official tutorial/intro quest experience.
I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I hope William does the main quest and gets to first-hand experience the highs and lows of the 76 story, and I hope William knows he's a very nice young man.
Reply to those that say that everyone plays in their own way:
(Possible spoilers) Just seems a real shame… the main quest, though flawed at times, has some amazing moments. The overseers tapes are great, the emotion you feel in them, the hope and heartache in them is extremely well done. Plus knowing the context of all that's happening enriches the game so much. Understanding how hard the Responders worked to hold everything together, to understand how the raiders fought amongst themselves and swept over other parts of Appalachia, how the Freestones prepared, how the BoS came, and to see how the scorched plague drowned it all out as these groups desperately fought against it, but never came together to help each other. Understanding and knowing that story, not just as words, but as an experience. Seeing the bodies of the Responders, Brotherhood, Freestates and Raiders as they tried their damndest to survive, to see the struggle, to hear their now dead voices as they saw their world crashing down around them… to me it adds so much more to this experience. I couldn't imagine skipping all that.
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