They say a picture says a thousand words. But a wink? A wink speaks volumes, especially when you’re asking about juicy new Fallout 76 details. We asked Design Director Mark Tucker about plans to add brand new locations to the Fallout universe via the new Expeditions feature in Fallout 76, we didn’t get a firm yes, but instead a hearty pair of pronounced winks.
Fallout 76 is experiencing a fresh wave of fan enthusiasm on the heels of what has arguably become its most popular Seasonal Event, Invaders from Beyond. It introduced aliens to the Fallout landscape with all the chaos and calamity you’d expect. And this isn’t the first time aliens made an appearance in Bethesda’s venerable series — Fallout 3’s Mothership Zeta DLC took place entirely on an alien ship. Now the aliens are on our turf, and it won’t be the last we see of them, either.
Read on to learn more about what’s next for extraterrestrial invaders, the upcoming Expedition set in The Pitt (Pittsburgh if yinz is hip), and what’s next for the franchise.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Player reaction to the aliens has been overwhelmingly positive. Has this changed how you plan to use aliens going forward?
The reaction has been fantastic! Obviously, when we put things in the game that generate such positive reactions and engagement from our community, we can’t help but consider how we could expand on it in the future.
The Aliens are quite committed to their “research.” So, players should anticipate future sightings.
“We want to create things that everyone can participate in, have fun, and get cool rewards.”
This event is faster paced than ones we’ve seen previously. Will we see more shorter events with varied locations in the future?
Enabling the Public Event to occur at varied locations is something we will continue to pursue. That was a very positive takeaway from this one. The duration of our Public Events tends to come from our iterative process and how they play.
Pacing matters — it really boils down to each Event. We hone the timing and pacing of these as we develop and playtest them. This includes making adjustments based on feedback we get from our players that participate on our Public Test Servers.
How important are high-level players for public events like this? Do they affect decisions around difficulty and loot?
We want to create things that everyone can participate in, have fun, and get cool rewards. For our Seasonal Events, we tend to skew a bit lighter on the difficulty to give all our players a chance to be successful and get the cool rewards.
For the future Public Events in Update 36: Test Your Metal, we are leaning towards making them more challenging, with recommended levels of 50+.
Can we look forward to some NPC interactions in the future? Fans seem to want The Brotherhood of Steel to weigh in on these alien invaders.
Yes, we have a lot of new characters coming later this year in our Expeditions: The Pitt release. We will have more details in the future, but players get to meet and interact with a variety of new NPCs with a lot of different backgrounds and stories to tell.
“The feature does set us up really well for that possibility, doesn’t it?”
The next major event on the horizon is The Pitt expedition. How exciting is it to go beyond West Virginia? Are you planning to add new locations to the Fallout world?
The team is extremely excited about the work we are doing both on the Expeditions feature itself and the first location we are adventuring to: The Pitt. We’ve spent a lot of time working on really pushing the contrast between The Pitt and Appalachia. We really want players to feel like they are stepping out into a different place when they first arrive to The Pitt. And we are working hard to make sure that same feeling continues all the way through.
Expeditions is an exciting new feature for the game. Obviously going back to The Pitt has been a fun process for the dev team.
As far as going to new locations in the Fallout world, I will say this — the feature does set us up really well for that possibility, doesn’t it? <wink> <wink>
You’ve said the team is adding authentic Pittsburgh streetlights and fire hydrants to The Pitt. Will we also get other regional details like french fries on our sandwiches or the ubiquitous parking chairs?
We are paying close attention to a lot of different details from Pittsburgh and the previous Fallout 3 DLC. Again, we really want it to feel different and sell the fantasy of going someplace different outside of Appalachia.
I don’t want to give it all away here – but I hope players that know the city and the previous DLC will see and find things in their adventures that are familiar to those previous experiences.
Fallout 76 is available now on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.