So, a couple weeks ago, I started running a game at my camp.
The rules are simple: Find all 10 Vault Boys, win 100caps.
Since then, I've been observing everyone I could while they played the game. Here is what I have learned about How Fallout 76 Players Play "Find the Vault Boy"… not like that, weirdo:
- I had to add the glowing blue letters AND the blinking traffic lights before people started noticing the board: People would see it, but they would rarely bother reading it until I made it literally flash at them. I made a new version on an alt
with just the traffic lights, and it seemed to work just as well, but the blue letters add some pizazz to the whole thing.
- More than a third of 76 players will play silly games they happen upon, if unprompted. They may give up after a minute or so and leave, or they may stick it out for the duration, but fairly close to half the players would engage in the game to some degree. This number raised to around half the players when I was able to greet them verbally or performed emotes next to my sign.
- Most of those who would play the game took the time to turn on their mic if spoken to: I couldn't talk every time, but when i could, most players would talk back, even if it involved changing their settings first. Those that did not had no problem with the additional instruction of "thumbs up when you spot one".
- If more than one person started playing at the same time
they immediately cooperated, although this only happened twice. If someone else was already significantly along with the game, cooperation was less likely.
- Most of them played for fun: I had 14 winners since I started the game (14 individuals or cooperative groups that, with or without hints, stuck with it till the end and didn't vanish immediately after possibly finishing). Most of them declined any reward, just enjoying the game for itself. Of the remainder, most of those of them dropped items worth more than the reward I gave them as a gift.
- Participation did not seem linked to the level of reward (in regards to caps): I'm sure if I offered free AA-E guns as a reward I'd be swamped, but as I have none to give, I had to settle for cap rewards, and tinkering with the amount had no noticeable effect.
- There were three search habits I noticed, which were determined by discussion, observing their movement patterns, and in what order they found the vault boys.
Joggers: They run around, moving constantly, usually strafing everywhere. Often foiled by having elements that were not visible at obvious angles or by placing them above or below their standard line of sight. Several times, I saw a jogger actually jog past a visible vault boy, simply because it was not in their standard cone of vision. A couple of them jumped directly over a specific one that was placed in an area that people tended to path over.
Jumpers: If they can land on it, they'll jump on it. They will jump on anything that does not have a roof too close to the top, and look from there. Despite stating that there were none on the roof (the game was fully accessible to low levels without jetpacks or mutations), most of these ones jumped up there anyhow just for a better view. Can be foiled by decoy locations (an amazing amount of time would be spent trying to got on top of or behind random awkwardly stacked objects that *might* have one behind them), and will often return to those decoys under the assumption they may have missed something.
Scanners: They move to a location and rotate at least 180 degrees, then move to another location. They are more likely to notice things that joggers do not, but are even more susceptible to nonstandard sight line objects.
- Not everyone checked the
port-a-potty the first time around. Color me astounded. I assumed that one was a freebie.
I am going to keep this game running for a bit (if you see a camp for MrBright01 north of the Whitesprings Rail Station on PC, that's me, come on over and have a look). Once I get ready to renovate it, I'll probably do a short video or photo album of all the locations so everyone can have a laugh (might even do a "Where's Vault Boy" pic set where you have to really look).
Meanwhile, all you friendly folks out there, keep making Fallout 76 great!
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