One of the biggest threats you’ll face in Fallout 76 will be other players, which has some fans worried about griefing and corpse camping. But worry not, Bethesda has assured players that there will be measures put in place to prevent abuse, and it just announced one of them today.
Wide-eyed vault dwellers venturing out to the wastelands for the first time will have nothing to fear. In an interview with Multiplayer.it (via VG24/7), Bethesda’s Todd Howard confirmed that characters under level 5 are exempt from player-vs-player combat. On the surface, that seems reassuring.
But if you’ve spent time in PvP games, then there should be sirens going off in your head, and for good reason. As it stands, this well-intended mechanic is ripe for abuse. After all, there’s more to griefing than just stomping under-powered noobs. Ironically, a feature like this could actually encourage griefing.
For example, you could use your player invulnerability as a lowbie to be really, really annoying. If a low level player is immune to player damage, what’s to prevent a malicious player from following someone and blocking their attacks by moving in front of mobs? If lowbies can’t be killed, what’s to stop them from constantly getting in your face and blocking your vision?
To quote Conan the Barbarian, “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” In a PvP game, indiscriminate murder can be used to grief players, but it can also act as a soft form of self-policing. If your team can kill you for being a douchebag, then it’s in your best interests to be a decent dude.
Howard is aware of these concerns and added that the feature could change between now and the game’s release. Hopefully, it will be a human-centered feature that gives high-level players a way to meter out their own form of vigilante justice. I’d rather have the satisfaction of blasting a griefer myself than leaving it up to the game.