Saturday!

Walter Mondale – "Teach Your Parents" (Political Ad, 1984)

On May 29th, Bethesda tweeted out this simple little gif:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Of course, immediately, everyone went *NUTS*. That’s pretty much the test pattern they used in the Fallouts, you see. What’s going on? People yelled. Grabbing each other and shaking them. “TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON!”

So then, on May 30th, the Official Teaser Trailer for Fallout 76 was released:

Fallout 76 – Official Teaser Trailer

At this point, everybody started picking up chairs and hitting each other with them.

Stuff we know:
Diddly squat.

Stuff we’re guessing:
Well, did you see the date on the Pip-Boy in the teaser? It says “27 Oct 2102”.

Well, Fallout 4 starts on the First and Last day of the Great War: October 23rd 2077.

So, if the Pip-Boy isn’t lying to us (or the person who programmed the Pip-Boy wasn’t lying to them), it’s about 25 years after the Great War ended.

So we continue the teaser. I notice Jangles the Moon Monkey lying there on the bed. Huh. I jump to the conclusion that we’re using the same engine as Fallout 4 with the same artifacts thrown about the game. Maybe a handful of tweaks here or there. Pull back a little more and I see that we’re in a vault.

We see a hat on the bed and a full backpack. Well, it’s technically bad luck to put a hat on a bed. But this seems to be a “fixin’ to get ready to go out” situation. Cut to a television with Ron Perlman’s voice saying “For when the fighting has stopped and the *FALLOUT* has settled, you must rebuild.” We get some more quick scenes around the vault until we see a computer with an animated invitation announcing “YOU ARE INVITED!” and then we see a great hall with a large banner saying “CELEBRATE RECLAMATION DAY!”

From all of the confetti and the state of the stuff on the tables, it seems clear that the party is over. We see someone strap on their Pip-Boy and cut to their back where we see the gold numbers 76. “In Vault 76, Our Future Begins.”

Goosebumps.

Now, there is zero gameplay in this teaser and so we know very little about anything else beyond what is in the teaser, but Vault 76 was mentioned from time to time in the other games. I’m pretty sure that we can’t trust the Fallout Wiki for anything but the broadest strokes, but here’s the broadest strokes:

Fallout 3’s Citadel terminal entries mentioned Vault 76 as being a “control” vault. No experimentation, just run the way it says on the brochure.

If you remember the Mothership Zeta DLC, there was an alien captive log that has the Assistant CEO of Vault-Tec talking about how he was abducted while out doing an inspection of Vault 76.

And the newscaster (Ron Perlman!) at the beginning of Fallout 4 mentions Vault 76 having opened the year before. “Since debuting Vault 76 last year, in honor of America’s tercentenary, Vault-Tec continues to expand with plans for well over 100 Vaults around the country.”

And… that’s pretty much all we can be confident in at this point.

There are *TONS* of rumors swirling around out there. Don’t trust anything you hear until E3. Only half of what you see.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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41 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. One thing that vaguely irritated me yesterday: Jason Scrierer, of Kotaku fame, tweeted out something that he pretty much immediately deleted. I don’t have a screencap but he quotes himself here and says:

    I think that in retrospect I shouldn’t have tweeted that anyone expecting a traditional single-player Fallout will be “very disappointed” — really, I should have said that they’ll be very surprised. I wanted (and still want) to make sure people’s expectations are calibrated accordingly.

    The main thing that I am keeping in mind is that Kotaku has been blacklisted by Bethesda. As such, there could be some serious passive-aggressive stuff going on here. Or it could be accurate. I don’t know.

    I *DO* know that Bethesda did a whole #SavePlayer1 ad campaign last year. Fingers crossed that this means that the multiplayer component is more like what they did in Mass Effect 3 than something like, oh, Rust.

    There are *TONS* of rumors swirling around out there. Don’t trust anything you hear until E3. Only half of what you see.

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    • I honestly expect it’s running a modified Fallout 4 engine, so that limits how online it can be.

      My best guess, given the general thrust of Bethesda’s last few releases (and their DLCs) is something akin to “Single or few settlements or Vault proper” creation side, coupled with “raids” on the very, very, dangerous post-apocalypse for salvage and material to maintain and expand your Vault (or settlement).

      Online play will be up to 4-person co-op “missions” against the dangerous and unforgiving land, resulting in better salvage, etc.

      The overall thrust of the story will probably be something like trying to establish the beginnings of a semi-working faction, pushing back ghouls, super-mutants, and Deathclaws to create the equivilant of either a stable enclave around the Vault.

      There may be no settlement aspect at all, but I really doubt that — it’s a big draw to a lot of people and already baked into their primary engine, so even if it went fully online (like “Fallout Online”), I’d expect you to have a seriously customizeable base, settlement or Vault.

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  2. Are they going to break this game too? Fallout 4 was basically broken with the May update. It crashes to desktop every time. They’ve not fixed it and all the “fixes” are worthless. Suspicion has to do with the creation club.

    I’m not buying another fallout game until they get their shit together and fix 4.

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    • Say what you will about Obsidian, at least when you play one of their games, you *KNOW* it’s not going to work.

      And then, when it finally does after 30ish patches, you say “It was worth the wait.”

      (This whole “let’s break it 3 years after it comes out” thing is a crock.)

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    • Do you have it via Steam? My Fallout 4 started crashing recently when I tried to start it, and I discovered the extremely weird fact that somehow some files were not downloaded.

      So go into the properties for the game and tell it to check the integrity of the files.

      Since I discovered this, I’ve checked _other_ games for integrity and discovered they were also defective. I have no idea what the heck is going on, but it’s going to be my very first problem solving tool for Steam stuff from now on.

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  3. I enjoy the youtube channel of this guy who has some things to say about Fallout 76. (though Scrierer is this guy’s main source, and I didn’t know there was A History there)

    I find it hard to believe that 76 is not set in Philly. (The video spectulates West Virginia. Nothing wrong with West Virginia, of course, it just seems an odd choice).

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    • I’m not saying that Scrierer’s information isn’t good… I’m just saying.

      That’s a great video. (Pointing out the timeline for different games was awesome and I’m kicking myself for not doing something similar.)

      As for my thoughts on the song implying West Virginia: I don’t think it does. I think it’s a song about going Home. Sure, for the singer it’s a song about going home to West Virginia, but my parents loved the song back when it came out and they lived in Michigan.

      I think that the explanation that the people in Vault 76 feel like they’re (finally) going home after being stuck in a vault for 25 years is sufficient to explain the song.

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  4. I was excited, but then the rumors are that it’s an online survival rpg. I hope that rumor isn’t true, or that it’s only partially true. I love the single player elder scrolls and fallout games. I’m anxious to see what they say at E3. Co-op could be cool; getting griefed by strangers? Not so much.

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    • There are a number of ways to do multiplayer.

      You can do it as a free-for-all MMO.
      You can do it as an MMO where there is only one or two regions of the map that allow PVP and they’re well-marked and easily avoidable.
      You can do it like the way that Elite Dangerous does it where there is a great big universe and we’re all really puny and so you can avoid other people if you’re inclined to.
      You can do it like the way that Mass Effect 3 did it so that there was the single player game over here and the multiplayer over there and if you didn’t want to multiplay you never, ever, had to.

      I remember the #SavePlayer1 campaign they did last year (or was it the year before?) and hope that they are doing it the Mass Effect 3 way. I hope I hope I hope.

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      • 4-person co-op raids into more dangerous areas. More “cooperative online play” than “multiplayer”.

        You and your buddies teaming up to clear out a particularly nasty super mutant base, etc.

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        • Co-op online play *MIGHT* be okay… but, honestly, I’d want everything to be optional. Like, you don’t have to do this sort of thing to 100% the game.

          Maybe tie some achievements to doing a particular area at level 10 instead of level 45 or something as part of a team but while I have many people into whose hands I would place my life, I don’t play video games with them.

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          • My ideal would, in fact, be “Build your own enclave” with co-op for better salvage and loot. You can do it all solo, or do sections co-op for better loot, or even just have a bolted on multi-play mode where it’s you and your buddies doing radiant quests or whatnot . (The ME3 model, basically).

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            • The #SavePlayer1 clapback was *AWESOME*.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPl-YMq2WTM

              It was a great way to pinch the noses of EA who cancelled a Star Wars game (Imagine Uncharted… BUT WITH STORMTROOPERS!) because they were pivoting to multiplayer and to offer a big hug to those of us dorks who prefer single-player. Thank you, Bethesda!, I thought. Thank you, Lynda Carter!

              I can’t help but think that they’d have noticed the response (from a few short months ago!) and thought “huh… maybe folks will hold us to that…”

              But I’ve had game companies break my heart before.

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  5. There are *TONS* of rumors swirling around out there. Don’t trust anything you hear until E3. Only half of what you see.

    Boo, hiss. I’ll make up stuff if I want to! Wild speculation time!

    First, a weird inconsistency from the teaser: There is a party about Reclamation Day, but other Vault 76 info indicated it was a control Vault, which should have opened _20_ years after the Great War, not the 25 that is shown on the Pip-Boy.

    Other people have decided this is a mistake, or a retcon (What a weird thing to make a retcon over.), but I actually think the explanation is obvious: All Fallouts(1) had a prequel scene. I suspect we’re going to have a Reclamation Day Party as an intro, talk to people, set our SPECIALS, have some target practice, etc, other people go outside, and then we jump five years forward which is when _we_ first go outside.

    This actually makes a lot of sense if it _is_ an online game. In a standalone, you can be the first and only, but in online game, there have to be a bunch of Vault 76 people wandering around. So you’ve all been out and about for five years or whatever.

    1) When I say ‘all Fallouts’, I mean ‘starting at 3’. I don’t know anything about 1 and 2.

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    • I keep pushing this, but I’m gonna reiterate: “Online game” does not mean “MMORPG” or even something like Destiny. I mean maybe they’re using the ESO engine and reskinning it for Fallout.

      I suspect it’s closer to co-op play, myself. Possibly a full co-op campaign (which would be fun), or perhaps just multi-person “raids” or “quests”.

      My gut instinct is they’d go for 4-person co-op, like Destiny, and probably yanking in survival game elements (fitting), and just basically playing Fallout on “harder” difficulty — a lot less civilization out there, a lot more fallout and nasties, where you’re founding an enclave of civilization.

      I think if they were doing Fallout Online, they’d….call it “Fallout Online” and it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise. We’d have heard a lot more about a full online game a lot sooner. Those things are a lot harder to build quietly.

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      • I mean maybe they’re using the ESO engine and reskinning it for Fallout.

        Did they move assets from Skyrim to ESO? If they can that with Skyrim, they can do that will Fallout.

        …although according to some of the internet, ESO uses Havok, like both Elder Scrolls and Fallout already use? Other parts of the internet seem to disagree.

        I think if they were doing Fallout Online, they’d….call it “Fallout Online” and it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise.

        Except…they _did_ give it a weird name, indicating it is not a traditional Fallout.

        We’d have heard a lot more about a full online game a lot sooner. Those things are a lot harder to build quietly.

        We actually have heard about a multiple player Fallout before. That’s been in various rumor mills for a while.

        My gut instinct is they’d go for 4-person co-op, like Destiny, and probably yanking in survival game elements (fitting), and just basically playing Fallout on “harder” difficulty — a lot less civilization out there, a lot more fallout and nasties, where you’re founding an enclave of civilization.

        I, OTOH, wonder if, assuming they are not doing the traditional MMO, and really are pulling in survival stuff, they are instead doing base raiding stuff.

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        • Except…they _did_ give it a weird name, indicating it is not a traditional Fallout.

          The only previous example was Fallout: New Vegas, which used the existing engine to tell another Fallout story not centered on a Vault, and was more than an expansion, but less than a built-from-scratch new Fallout game. (It was also pretty awesome).

          Naming it Vault 76 tells fans “This is well before any of the other Fallout Games” and nothing else, although to me it also implies “It’s not a brand new engine, and the full triple-A, balls to the walls, Fallout 5 that’ll be coming sooner or later, but something else”.

          So I dunno, I can’t see it being Fallout Online — multiplayer is one thing, but an MMORPG of a major IP like this isn’t something you surprise people with. If it was ready for an E3 push, we’d have known about it already — at least that Bethesda was gearing up for some MMORPG (you literally can’t hide triple-A MMORPG development, too many well known names would end up working for you, with very specific skillsets. Your own hiring patterns would give it away).

          If they pulled that off, my hat’s off to them, because dang.

          I think the question really is “How big an online component” and “How much multiplayer”. Are we talking bolted on, like ME3 (which doesn’t mean “bad” — Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer was awesome)? Are we talking co-op campaign? Are we talking something like Left 4 Dead’s system, or LOTROs (Raiders versus Dwellers deathmatches, etc?)? Are we talking Destiny style multiplay? Or some sort of Rust-like survival thing?

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          • The only previous example was Fallout: New Vegas, which used the existing engine to tell another Fallout story not centered on a Vault, and was more than an expansion, but less than a built-from-scratch new Fallout game. (It was also pretty awesome).

            Fallout games not named by traditional numbering: Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (Those two names are stupidly confusing with each other, which is why the first is often just called Fallout Tactics), Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout Shelter.

            Only New Vegas was a traditional Fallout game of the ‘currently existing’ type. (Which changed between 2 and 3.)

            Likewise, there’s actually a really good reason not to call it Fallout Online…that specific name has some additional baggage due to their lawsuit about it in 2012.

            So I dunno, I can’t see it being Fallout Online — multiplayer is one thing, but an MMORPG of a major IP like this isn’t something you surprise people with. If it was ready for an E3 push, we’d have known about it already — at least that Bethesda was gearing up for some MMORPG (you literally can’t hide triple-A MMORPG development, too many well known names would end up working for you, with very specific skillsets. Your own hiring patterns would give it away).

            Yeah, about that:
            http://www.player.one/fallout-mmo-coming-bethesda-592768

            Also, Bethesda already has an MMO, and has a long history of basically developing things for either Elder Scrolls or Fallout, and then moving that thing to the other one. (It’s a pretty clever corporate setup, honestly.) Those two game series, at a low level, share a lot of code, and it’s not that odd an idea they could swap out the Elder Scroll layer and swap in the Fallout layer of Elder Scrolls Online.

            I’m not sure what we’re going to get, but I don’t think ‘The Fallout version of Elder Scrolls Online’ is impossible. But we also might get Fallout 5 with added ‘Ride a train to a new area to build a base and attack other bases that people have built, but the rest of the game can work offline’.

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            • True about Fallout Online, but I’m still betting it’s something closer to Destiny or ME3 than ESO.

              “Multiplayer/online component” rather than “online game”.

              Although if there’s base building, I’d suspect that part is more solo given how much love Fallout 4 gave the settlement system, and how much Skyrim’s housing seemed to resonate with a certain class of player (and while the settlement system did intertwine with the game proper in FO4, it didn’t need to — it was just a radiant quest/random attack sort of thing in any case).

              I dunno. Nothing really feels right for a “Fallout Online” sort of launch. A hybrid like Destiny I could see, with a rather savage Wasteland with instances, and your own slowly growing Enclave.

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                  • Yeah, most of the “Settlements” should have just been outposts. One or two settlers to man defenses and your artillery.

                    I suspect if Fallout 5 has a settlement system, it’ll be focused on one or two enclaves.

                    Although the Mechanist’s Lair is fantastic, and my settlers-to-robots ratio has gone all crazy, and I’ve gone through all my fiber optics. I have so many absolutely massive, over-armed, deathbots running my supply lines….

                    It’s all set up for just me and my Deathbots. A nice little home away from home, no freaking Marcie.

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                    • I do love throwing some artillery at raiders or super mutants. And I’ve kept most of my settlements small.

                      I’ve started building more robots, too. I just started playing again, and I’m using mods now to avoid the more grindy parts of the game (as I’ve done enough of that).

                      Give me four or five options to set up a settlement/mini-town in the next ES and I’ll be happy.

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                      • Man, give me one personal enclave to slowly grow (and better tools for scrapping trash and doing layout), and maybe an outpost or two and I’m happy.

                        One of my biggest complaints was that there was often trash you couldn’t scrap, and worse yet there was always a bug for item limits that really hosed me until I realized what was going on. (Stupid “no beds, no water” bug).

                        I’ll admit, my settlements are mostly adhesive and water farms, and over-gunned to boot. Last thing I was doing before I took a break from F04 was modding up settlers with coordinating outfits — and ballistic weave. (My medical vendors in lab coats, my other vendors in tuxedos, everyone at the Castle in minutemen garb).

                        Raids on my settlements rarely go well for the people attacking. Too many lasers. Too many settlers with Molotovs, lasers with the flaming mod, and ballistic weave garments.

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                  • So, for people who like the settlements, I’ve found a mod called Sim Settlements.

                    What it does is that you build a desk, and assign a leader (By default, this has to be one of your followers, but you can find other mods that let you use the unique NPCs the game has you collect to your settlements or are already there, which works a lot better.) and the people _there_ build the settlement.

                    Or, alternately, you can instead design the settlement, but even there, it’s much nicer. You can plop down a plot of land and say ‘This is a shop’ and a few minutes later, it’s a fully build show. You plot down something else, and tell them to build a house.

                    They have outside plots for the ‘disconnected building looks’, but if you’re like me and like to build a wall with floors around the entire thing, and slowly filling the inside, they also have interior plots. Instead of a row of stupid beds, you make can make a row of residential plots and you ends up with beds and tables and desks and whatnot.

                    And then you just keep supplying the settlement. There’s even a logistics station mod which automatically sets up supply lines and moves excess supplies into the system, allowing basically the entire thing to work by itself.

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    • I’m wondering the people who made the teaser saw that movie (or knew about the superstition) or if they were completely ignorant of it.

      Or worse: knew about it and just didn’t care because it’s “just a superstition”.

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