Fallout 76 is shaping up to be far different than anyone was perhaps expecting. Bethesda opting for an always-online world was interesting enough, but now comes the news that West Virginia will be entirely populated by online players as there will be no NPCs in the game world.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Senior VP of Global Marketing Pete Hines confirms Fallout 76 is still “an RPG where you can still do quests and explore the world” but that things will be flipped on their head somewhat to accommodate more organic player interactions, plus a little mystery thrown into the mix for good measure.
“In our previous games, if you’re walking up a hill and there’s an enemy NPC we’ve placed there, there’s a little red thing that shows up on your compass to say ‘that guy’s a bad guy’. We cheated for you. You already know. But [in Fallout 76] you don’t know anything about that person or what their motives are, unless you’ve come across them before.”
The logic is sound and the NPC replacements, both online players as well as robots (they’re NPCs too, damnit!) and holotapes giving out quests, are adequate enough but there might be a little more uproar among traditionalists. Though that, coupled with Bethesda’s plans to stop griefers, might just turn the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Fallout 76 into one of the more varied and thriving MMO landscapes in recent years.
Me? I just want to rock up to the nearest shack and start hocking wares at a killer mark-up. And there’s no NPC around to stop me.