Fallout 76 strays a heck of a long way from the traditional 3D Fallout formula, and nowhere is this more apparent than how it’s approach to quest design. It’s an online-focused experience set shortly after the first-ever Vault Dwellers head to the surface, meaning there are no NPC humans whatsoever in its post-apocalyptic world. At all. The only people you’re going to see are other players themselves.
“There aren’t NPCs in terms of being human characters, but there’s other stuff out in the world – there’s robots and other things you can talk to that will give you quests,” said Bethesda VP of global marketing, Pete Hines, to VG247.
There’s going to be a much smaller populace in Fallout 76 though, and Bethesda is hoping the environments themselves will do the storytelling. “It wasn’t like there was nobody here between the bombs and me walking out of the vault – other people have been here, so what have they been doing, how have they been surviving, and what was going on?”
Much of what’s happened can be deciphered by looking at the world itself, or examining notes and rifling through computers. It’ll be a look at the past rather than the present though, and Bethesda hopes the present stories will be provided by the players themselves interacting with one another.
There will, thankfully, be the main questline in Fallout 76, but the majority will be odds and ends that players discover along the way. “You’ll get some quests by just exploring – here’s some holotapes and some guy’s story, here’s what he was doing. He disappeared, where did he go? See if you can figure it out. It’s a lot of that, as opposed to talking to an NPC and getting story that way,” continued Hines.
It certainly sounds a little worrying. Bethesda is going out on a limb with Fallout 76 and there’s certainly going to be an expectation from fans that they can do some in-depth questing and exploration. Those thirsting for quests will still be able to find them, although it sounds as if they’ll be slightly more generic quests obtained from holotapes and computer terminals.
What are your thoughts, can Bethesda find a winning formula with Fallout 76’s quest systems? Or are you worried the online element is going to make Fallout 76’s story suffer? Let us know what you think of the situation below!