Bethesda and Mods go Hand-in-Hand
Fallout and Elder Scrolls, if you’ve played them, you probably heard about Mods. They are that wonderful bit of fanmade content that you can download and install on the game. You can get a new outfit, weapon, or even missions and companions. Pete Hines and Todd Howard know full well that Skyrim is alive and still played because of mods. Their popularity has increased so much that Bethesda worked hard to get mods added to consoles for the first time EVER. They even started the Creation Club to bring paid mods to customers. Oops, I mean “Mini DLC”, right Pete!?
Every Fallout and Elder Scrolls for years has had mod support for at least PC users. Just in the last year or so, gamers on console finally got to experience mods like PC gamers have (to some degree). Fallout 3 has mods on PC. Fallout 4 has mods on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. So…Fallout 76 should have mods too right? Well…maybe not. Lets first talk about some things Bethesda said will be in Fallout 76.
Fallout 76 is Actually Entirely Online
Todd announced that they are taking a risk with Fallout 76. It’s entirely online and connected to dedicated servers. When leaving the vault, every character you see is a real person. After all, this is after the bombs dropped and nobody is really alive (aside from Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls in gameplay footage). Now, that sounds great, right? Well…maybe not. This suggests there are no NPCs asking for help, no factions to join and help out. According to Todd, the only humans you’ll see are fellow Vault Dwellers who left the vault, aka other players. Without many NPCs, we may not actually have much of a story.
Solo Mode, not Singleplayer
Todd mentioned that if you don’t want to play with others, you can play Solo. So, what’s the difference between Solo and Singleplayer? Singleplayer would mean you don’t have to connect to a server and stay online to play. Solo mode suggests that you have to stay connected to the internet even if you play by yourself. This means that you may have to maintain a connection to their servers even when playing by yourself. Fans of Fallout are accustomed to singleplayer, story-driven, gameplay. Being online only has many fans worried about Fallout 76.
Love it or hate it, it’s a core part of Fallout 4’s gameplay if you want to help out the Minutemen. It can be nice to build your own home the way you want it…but all the settlements in the commonwealth? Come on Minutemen, I’m the General of your army, not your carpenter! You got two hands, build your own home!
Many players hated the settlement building aspect while some seemed to love it. Personally, I like customizing one or two settlements, the rest I just wish to automate and get back to the fun. Thankfully, the Sim Settlements mod on Nexus Mods (for PC) offers to automate the entire process of settlement building and maintaining needs.
Will Fallout 76 require that players build settlements? We do know that players can build bases/homes for themselves and/or their friends. They can even pick up and move their base somewhere else! Building Settlements? Not so sure for now.
Todd revealed that we will find information about several “Monsters” that we can fight in Fallout 76. We’ve seen creatures like Scorch Beast, the giant flying bat creature. The Grafton Monsters and even some small owl creature, who’s likely based on the Legendary Mothman from Point Pleasant. Players can hunt down and kill these creatures and take a group photo after the kill.
What Bethesda Hasn’t Said…Mod Support
Fallout 76 is an online game with numerous players playing together. For those who make mods, this brings up some concerns…about mods. Let’s say you downloaded an awesome mod that has this really nice looking laser rifle in it. It looks unique, has it’s own custom animations and sounds too. Now you jump into a multiplayer game and what do other players see? Nothing. The rifle has “External Assets” (textures, sounds, and other files) that are not in the base game. The textures are new and fan made. The sounds are also new and fan made. Those custom animations? Well, they are not part of the base game either! So, other players have no files to load to show your weapon. Some mods may possibly cause another players games to crash if they don’t have the necessary files.
When Skyrim Special Edition launched on PlayStation 4, people tried to port mods that had “External Assets.” One person tried to upload a mod that would turn dragons into Tomas the Tank Engine as a joke. There was no texture or framework for Tomas the Tank Engine already in the game. Since there was no texture to load, it made dragons invisible.
Now, it may be possible for mods to be added to the game after launch. Some online games like Conan Exiles do have mods available on Steam Workshop. However, you can’t join other servers unless the server has the mods you have installed. Thus, some players will host their own server and list what mods players must install to join the server. Playing solo removes any restrictions on what mods you can or can’t have. It’s that reason that we may see fan-made mods added to this game after launch.
What Bethesda Hasn’t Said Much About…Story
Let’s start with what we do know. It’s set about 20 years after the bombs fall. You play the role of a Vault Dweller leaving the vault to reclaim the wasteland and rebuild what was lost. According to entries in computers from Fallout 3, we can expect around 500 vault dwellers in the vault. However, each server may have a couple dozen players at a given time. We will get at least one mission from the Overseer. …that’s it.
Will we clash with a band of Super Mutants? What about encountering a group of Non-Feral Ghouls that may or may not be hostile? Will we encounter members of the Brotherhood of Steel or Enclave? We have no idea so far. Bethesda may just be leaving the details of the story secret to reveal a little more before launch. Then again, with the online aspect of this game…there may be little to no story at all.
Should We Worry? …Probably
Bethesda focused on addressing people’s worries about how Online worked. They did a good job of that, but some other factors they didn’t touch at all. We have no idea if Fallout 76 will even have an antagonist at all. They didn’t even mention anything about having or not having mods. Of course, there may be a story and they may have mod support to some extent. For now, as I said in a previous article…we’ll have to wait and see.