Fallout 76 Concept Update: Factions of the Wasteland

A Nuclear Fallout:

A game commonly mocked for its… Less than stellar release, Fallout 76 has been fighting an uphill battle to become a game worthy of the ‘Fallout’ title, and it has been successful since the release of its ‘Wastelanders’ patch last year. The game has a solid roadmap for 2021, but as of right now, nothing for after.

Bethesda Games Studios have been working on appeasing a lot of solo players and classic Fallout fans with the quests they have been adding to the game as of late, so I felt as if I could come up with an update concept that would expand upon the idea of a collaborative story simultaneously experienced by multiple ex-Vault Dwelling players.

Before we get into the detailed concepts of the update, I wanted to discuss the reasoning as to why I believe this update would be perfect for Fallout 76:

Justification:

Group Story:

Fallout 76 introduced multiplayer to the Fallout universe, but from the beginning, Bethesda adopted a so-called “Together but solo” method to completing quests in order to account for individual player choices. Whilst this worked for the original story, Wastelanders and Steel Dawn – I wanted to work on something which involved group voting, responses and decision making. This encourages debate, impulse decisions and brings a feeling of things not totally being up to you.
Certain missions will require certain players who have adopted roles to complete in order to progress the story, so multiple people will be working on different projects in order to have a focus on a community project. To deal with the potential of factions with a lack of players, it will be possible to switch up roles at any times.

Consequences:

Up until now, for the most part, players have been able to wait around however long they want to complete quests. Due to the team-based nature of this storyline, players will need to show up in order to complete them with their faction or deal with having their voice and say unheard.
So players don’t miss out on any of the story on their character permanently, quest progress is faction-tied. If a player wishes, they can start their own new faction in order to complete the story again.

Co-Op Needs:

Vault 76 dwellers were sent out to start rebuilding Appalachia, and aside from helping a few other factions – All we’ve done is set up a couple camps around the state of West Virginia. This evolution to the game will allow players to start building up their own factions and settlements in order to bring society back to the wasteland.

Building Together, and Shared Homes:

Players can build at one another’s CAMPs, but they don’t really have enough budget and space to build a thriving settlement. Workshops sometimes have the space, but they’re only temporary.
Having an instanced, separate base where everyone has their own dedicated plot and budget to build the home they wish and collaborate on permanent community structures, in which they can visit any time without requiring other players to be on brings the feeling of having your own home, where your allies and friends are constantly in a living, breathing world.

Your Own Community:

We’ve seen multiple Fallout communities popping up over social media, with their own signs at camps and the likes. This will allow that sort of feeling on a smaller, more close-knit scale with the potential to grow if it is a popular feature.

This will bring the scale and importance of the Settlements from Fallout 4, with a more cooperative experience tied to them.

Fallout FIRST Bonuses:

I have included a variety of bonuses for Fallout FIRST members throughout this update. This is because the premium subscription service is very highly priced, and I believe this will add more value to FIRST. I can see many more people subscribing if this update implemented these bonuses for FIRST.

Headline Feature: Factions

Description:

Factions are a new “clan” system for Fallout 76. Players can start up a Faction and invite up to 11 friends to join them. Unlike teams, Factions are permanently available and have their own customisable instanced hub which can be fast travelled to from the social menu and built upon by all members.

Due to their more permanent nature, they can be named and have an assigned banner. Faction names will display below player usernames and their CAMP on the map.

Factions will offer bonuses in the way of high-tier rewards when completing Public Events when in a team with Faction Members, and offer a fourth high-tier reward level in Daily Ops.

Roles:

Each Faction member can specialise in a role for the Faction, with their own perks and jobs to complete.

  • Faction Leader: The Faction Leader is assigned to whoever created the Faction, but has no real perks, but final say over faction customisation.
  • Commanders: +1 to each S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat.
  • Medics: Stimpaks are 33% more effective and heal online Faction members up to 20% of their max health when used.
  • Builders: Structures cost 25% materials and take longer to break. Plans are more likely to be found in containers.
  • Scavengers: Junk items and food weigh 50% less and are found more frequently.
  • Soldiers: Ranged weapons do 1.5x damage.
  • Traders: Trader-built Vending Machines will return full caps price to the seller, and vendors will sell items for 10% cheaper.

New Feature: Faction Bases

Description:

Faction bases are instanced locations in which Faction members can fast travel to for free at any point, regardless of if the host is online or not. They boast thirty plots of varying purposes (seen below) and can be upgraded to offer different perks whilst at the base.

Faction bases will be attacked on a semi-frequent basis when at least three players are online. The chances of this can be reduced by upgrading defences. Defence missions will show up as an event on the map.

There is a shared Faction STASH box in which all Faction members can donate supplies, weapons and armour into. This also applies to a Scrapbox if the Leader has Fallout FIRST. Due to the size of the Faction, this shared STASH box will have quadruple the storage of a personal player STASH.

Players can opt into establishing a “Supply Line” with their camp, allowing them to share supplies with the Faction, although players cannot access other player’s shared supplies. The sharing is for the player to use items from the shared STASH at their own CAMP, and use their own CAMP resources to upgrade areas at the Base.

Locations Themes:

When selecting a Faction Base location, the Leader can select an area theme for the location of their base.

  • The Mire (Deep cave hole boundaries)
  • The Savage Divide (On a mountain peak for boundaries)
  • The Forest (Island for boundaries)
  • Ash Heap (Quarry walls for boundaries)
  • Cranberry Bog (Mutated flora walls for boundaries)
  • Toxic Valley (Island surrounded by toxic sludge for boundaries)

Customisation:

The Faction Leader can name the Base whatever they want, as well as create a banner using a selection of prefab shapes. This will be flown throughout the Base, as well as becoming a placeable CAMP item.

Plots:

There are thirty plots available for building. Including the following:

  • Twelve player home plots, one dedicated to each Faction member. These are about half the size of a player camp.
  • Six plots for NPC ally settlers, which will be upgradable.
  • Four guard posts:
    • Basic Guard post
    • Sniper Tower
    • Artillery Cannon (Will be able to launch bombs into the region their theme is based off of)
    • Sentry-Bot station
  • Two provisions areas:
    • A small farm, which will grow over time.
    • A water purification shed, and purifiers if available.
  • Six custom slots in which Faction members can build whatever they want together. This could include eateries, bars, armouries, stores, or whatever else the players desire. These range in size:
    • Two the size of a home plot.
    • Two the 75% the size of a player camp.
    • One the size of a player camp.
    • One 25% bigger than a player camp..

All structures will be permanently visible on their plots, regardless of whether their owners are online. As plots are dedicated building areas for that player in an instanced area, this removes the logistics of conflicting structures in the same location.

Players can choose which home plot they want, with it working as a first-come, first-serve basis.

Next to each player home plot, there will be a mailbox in which Faction members can donate whatever they want to that player for them to collect when they are next online.

Each plot has the full budget of a player camp. A Fallout FIRST subscription adds 25% budget to a player’s home plot, and each Fallout FIRST subscription will add 5% budget to the shared plots.

Players can place any items they have purchased in the Atomic Shop on their own home plots and on any shared plots, regardless of who else owns the items.

Vending Machines placed on shared plots are shared machines, so all players can contribute items towards them for a central, Faction-only trading post which functions even when the seller is offline. Players can collect any caps they made offline from the machine when they chose.

Central Resource Buildings:

Faction bases also have two central resource buildings which can be upgraded by players for better perks:

  • Central Hub
    • This is where large votes can take place, as well as any Faction management decisions. Any supplies are also donated here.
    • Upgrades:
      • Double Storage
      • Triple Storage
      • 50% budget boost
      • Fridges and ice boxes
      • Raid warning siren
      • Better armaments for NPC settlers
      • Fusion Generator upgrades (+ Power for defences)
      • Water filtration upgrades (Double water production speed)
  •  Workshop
    • A room with two to three of each of the worktables.
    • Upgrades:
      • Better tools (Allows Faction members to over-repair items whilst at the Base)
      • Use less resources whilst at base
      • Chance to also repair online Faction members’ items when repairing something
      • When crafting here, the chance to make a free spare of the item which will go to a random faction member

Allies:

These bases can also attract six different NPC settlers who will stay in their own special structures on their plots. These can be acquired by encountering them randomly or by progressing through the story. These include:

  • Mr Randy: A Mr Handy bot who believes he is a human. He will contribute by putting junk items into the shared STASH. His structure is a small shed with a Mr Handy box. He is found aimlessly wandering Watoga.
  • Dufus: A heavily mutated pug, the size of a man. Dufus is very affectionate but will bring random meats and bones to the shared STASH. His structure is a big doghouse and bowl. He is found chained in the Whitespring during the story.
  • John Prestwick: A hopeful man, will alert players of new radiant quests tied to their role in the Faction. His structure is a radio tower in which he listens for information. He approaches the Faction at the Base himself.
  • June Smith: An older woman, a passionate chef from before the war who has always wanted to run a diner. Provides the Faction members with cheap, but nice meals. Her structure is a small diner which will be upgraded by trading with her more and more. Found being transported by slavers, who the player must kill. Due to her age, she decides to stick with the players.
  • Tommy Traitor: Ex pre-war mobster turned snitch, turned Ghoul. Will provide defence services for the base. Structure is a large lookout tower. He is introduced later on in the story, where he saves the players.
  • The Overseer and Davenport: Iconic characters coming to the vault. They locate Legendary gear and offer Davenport’s classic photography quests in rotation. Structure is a recreation of the Overseer’s home. Will come after completing the story. If the story leads to Davenport's death, he will be partially repaired and hang from the ceiling of the Overseer's home.

Any player can encounter ally NPCs in order to send them to the Base, serving as a nice surprise for other people the next time they log on.

All NPC allies will live in the Base at once, unlike CAMP allies so there’s no need to choose a favourite.

Themes:

Aside from location themes, Bases can also have their structure, lighting and road themes customised with the following theme pre-sets:

  • Wasteland (Default)
  • Settlers
  • Raiders
  • Brotherhood of Steel
  • Pioneer Scouts
  • Enclave
  • (Atomic Shop DLC) Responders
  • (Atomic Shop DLC) Free States
  • (Atomic Shop DLC) Biv’s Brewery
  • (Atomic Shop DLC) Silver Shroud
  • (Atomic Shop DLC) Minutemen
  • (Atomic Shop DLC) Railroad
  • (Free Atomic Shop DLC) Christmas
  • (Free Atomic Shop DLC) Halloween
  • (Event Reward) Fasnacht 
  • (Event Reward) Meat Week
  • (Pre-Order DLC Bonus) Red Rocket
  • (Pre-Order DLC Bonus) Nuka-Cola
  • (Pre-Order DLC Bonus) Vault-Tech

Map Examples, Before and After Fortification:

  fallout 76 island base fallout 76 island fortified

New Faction-Based Story: Save Our Souls

In order to introduce players to the Factions and their new system for stories, there is a new short, but detailed and branching story coming along with this update,

Release Preparation:

Three months before the update is dropped, settlers move into the “Bootlegger’s Shack” in the Cranberry Bog, offering trades and some light dialogue. The area is slightly more built up.

Description:

On DLC release, players are to check up on the Bootlegger’s Shack settlers to find them dead. The player will be taken into a story in which they will share with their Faction. The story is about a brutal new Deathclaw-worshipping raider faction with a grudge against Vault-Tec due to the events of Nuclear Winter. The story will have multiple choices all spanning out to eight different endings.

The Faction will have a large part in the story. Voting on certain decisions and at some points, having members with certain roles take on their own separate tasks to progress the story forwards. Story progress is tied to the faction, so wherever one Faction member is at it, everyone is. Don’t miss out on important missions, or you might just not get a say in what happens! (Don’t worry too much though, you will be able to start your own Faction in order to replay the story, or even disband your own one to start again)

Players will all be partaking in dialogue at the same time, with multiple people getting the same dialogue options. NPCs will respond to whoever speaks first. Talking over one another brings a sense of realism and urgency to the dialogue, as well as that feeling of not being entirely in control. Having contrasting opinions and reactions to the story will really create a unique role-playing experience.

Storyboard Link:

I created a mind-map storyboard, available on my Twitter which you can access by clicking here. The image is very large, and unfortunately, we cannot fit the full-scale image on the website. Feel free to let me know which ending you believe you’d get!

Voting:

Votes during this storyline will take place during the missions, but there can be support added to the Faction Base allowing for polling to be done over a week or so. Factions are able to support stories for a long time, and having a much slower burn story with more carefully collected votes could really create something much debated and interesting.

Faction Radiant Quests:

Provided by John Prestwick.

  • Faction Leader: Random quest from any of the role quests.
  • Commanders: Gather information on a random faction: Another player faction or an existing NPC faction such as the Settlers.
  • Medics: Gather samples from a creature.
  • Builders: Patrol the Base and make any necessary repairs to the fortifications.
  • Scavengers: Collect X amount of a particular type of junk.
  • Soldiers: Assassinate a target.
  • Traders: Protect Brahmin from one location to another.

 

New CAMP Items:

Building Items:

  • Two-floor elevator
  • Three-floor elevator
  • Shipping container structure build set
  • “Scrapper” building set (Mix of wood and metals)
  • Emptied bus prefab
  • “Doomsday Prepper” CAMP shelter
  • Barn doors (Large doors the size of a garage door, themed around a barn)

STASH Boxes:

  • Power Armour scrap bundle
  • Weapons pile
  • Ammo pile
  • Armour pile
  • Cluttered junk
  • Scavenged Robot parts
  • Terminal desk (Allows usage of terminal and access to a STASH)

Decorations:

  • Player Character name sign
  • Player Gamertag sign
  • Player Faction Name sign
  • Fallout 4’s “Ghoul Chair”
  • Open crate
  • Country flags
  • Tree tire swing
  • Multi-coloured neon lettering
  • Photo frame, allowing players to display photo mode pictures
  • Radios playing Rose’s Raider Radio and Talk Radio
  • Collectable Russian Dolls themed around previous Fallout characters and influential content creators:
    • Preston Garvey
    • Alistair Tenpenny
    • Benny
    • Grahm
    • Bottle
    • Cappy
    • Oxhorn
    • GamerMOMOver50
    • JuiceHead
    • TKs-Mantis
    • DTDGamer
    • AlChestBreach

Resources:

  • Animal traps, providing random meats and pelts
  • Fish net, placed in water to catch random fish
  • Canning station, where players can “Can” foods to preserve it forever
  • Wall-Mounted Turrets, providing defences
  • Fast travel target
    • Come on! We had it in the BETA!

 

New Gear:

Weapons:

  • Laser Musket
  • Hand-Made Handmade
  • Wrist-Mounted Canon
  • Dual 10mm Pistols
  • The Focus Rifle (A continuous beam, uses Plasma or Fusion Cores)
  • The Acid Spitter

Armour:

  • “Trophy” armour set, consisting of parts of robots, scorched, BoS armour, etc.
  • Baseball Padding
  • Ye Olde Knight Armour
  • Bone Armour

Apparel:

  • Black Leather Duster
  • Fallout 4 Kellog’s Outfit (Renamed, of course)
  • Vault 76 Suit: Tattered
  • Vault 76 Suit: Rolled Sleeves
  • Vault 76 Overseer’s Vault Suit and Jacket
  • Vault 96 Suit and Parka
  • Fallout 4 PipBoy skin
  • Cracked T51b Helmet Backpack
  • “Gun Nut” Backpack (Just lots of guns)
  • Acoustic Guitar Backpack
  • Decommissioned Jet Pack Backpack
  • Scorchbeast Queen’s Wing Poncho
  • The Highlander Outfit

Customisation:

  • Various new hairstyles with a focus on longer-on-the-top options
  • Players can change the colour of the roots of their hair, giving the impression of growing out dye or  aging up
  • Underwear colour options
  • Various scars and tattoos for elsewhere on the body
  • New options for teeth
  • Heterochromia and scarred / blinded eyes
  • Blasted off ear tips
  • Asymmetrical eyebrow customisation

New Effects:

Perk Cards:

  • Perkception: Get more Perk Coins when dismantling Perk Cards.
    • Level 1: One more
    • Level 2: Three more
    • Level 3: Five more
  • Faction Fanatic: Gain +2 to all S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats when in a team with faction members. -1 when not in a team with faction members.
    • Level 2: Applies to each member in the Faction and Team, too
  • Scrip Kid: Gain more Legendary Scrip when selling Legendary Gear.
    • Level 1: +5%
    • Level 2: +7%
    • Level 3: +9%
    • Level 4: +11%
  • Elitist: Legendary weapons deal 20% more damage, and Legendary armour offers 40% more defence. However, these numbers are negated for standard gear.
  • Muser: The “Well Tuned” buff lasts twice as long and offers regenerative effects for the whole team.
    • Level 2: Lasts 3x as long
    • Level 3: Lasts 3x as long and has 2x regeneration speed
  • (LEGENDARY PERK) Acting Classes: Pass all speech checks in dialogue.

Negative Perks:

Players will be able to take “Negative Perks” in order to assign one new perk card to go into any S.P.E.C.I.A.L slot they desire. Up to ten Negative Perks will be able to be used.

  • Diabetic: Sugar-based items reduce perception and agility by 1 for 10 minutes.
    • As a Type 1 Diabetic myself, I could see myself using this one for a little bit more of a personal feel.
  • Robophobia: Robots deal 10% extra damage and receive 15% less damage.
  • Purist: Cannot receive any mutations, they are instantly cured. Having over 25% rads will also cause -1 debuff to each S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat.
  • Antisocial: Vendor prices add 10 caps, -1 Charisma and being on a team does -2 Luck.
  • Vampire Genes: Daylight reduces Strength by 1, Endurance and Agility by 2.
  • Sleep Apnoea: Chance for player to randomly pass out for 7 seconds. They will be unable to move for this time and their screen will turn black. One real-world hour cooldown.
  • Arthritis: -1 Strength, Endurance and Agility.
  • Pacifist: Guns break 50% faster and are 20% less accurate.
  • Lactose Intolerant: Products with dairy give a -2 Perception and Luck debuff for 30 minutes.
  • Hayfever: Chance to sneeze when near plants. Will throw off accuracy and blur vision for a few seconds, as well as alerting nearby enemies.

Legendary Effects:

A variety of new, very powerful Legendary Effects available for weapons:

  • Chilling: Bullets Inflict freezing damage and slow enemies.
  • Preservative: Bullets have a chance to not be consumed upon firing.
  • Bottomless Clip: No need to reload.
  • Disarming: Disarms enemies, causing them to flee or use fists.
  • Modular: Allows the Legendary item to be dismantled to learn up to three new mods, with at least one being guaranteed.

Mutations:

Players will be able to unlock new Mutations, each with their own advantages, disadvantages and all-new visual effects.

  • Frosty: Reaching low health sends out an ice pulse slowing nearby enemies. Causes the player to permanently have a pale cyan skin.
  • Sheepish: Being hit with a melee attack will generate a 20% chance to shoot out Sheepsquatch Quills. These quills cover the player’s body.
  • Ghoulified: 70% less health and -5 Strength points but the player is totally immune to radiation and ignored by 90% of Feral Ghouls unless provoked. Player will look like a Ghoul.
  • FEV Light: Player loses -6 Intelligence but gains +7 Strength and +2 Endurance. They’re 20% larger, making them easier to hit, and have green splotches and boils all over their body.
  • Jetset: Using Jet will slow down time in a 25-meter radius for one minute, leaving the player unaffected. Consumes 50% hunger and thirst. The player will appear twitchy and have 10% less accuracy with ranged weapons for 20 minutes after usage.
  • V.A.T.Sman: V.A.T.S consumes only 15% of the original AP cost, has a 10% increased chance to hit and can shoot through walls. Regular aiming is 15% less accurate. Makes the player have glowing, lime-coloured veins from the Pip-Boy up to the player’s neck.
  • Bullet Sponge: 100% extra resistance to physical bullet damage, -1 Endurance and Agility. Makes the player’s skin look red and spongey, almost like the Scorched without the crystals.

 

New Creatures:

A variety of new weird and wonderful creatures have came to Appalachia, including:

  • The Smidgeon: A passive, mutated bird.
  • The Owl: Visually like the Mounted Owlet. Neutral creature.
  • The Silkbeast: Much like the Honeybeast, but more spider themed and very aggressive.
  • The Radboar: A passive pig creature with nine legs. Commonly farmed for pork.
  • Gatorclaw: Returning in their Fallout 4: Nuka World form.
  • Multiple fish swimming in the rivers and lakes: Radcod, Radsalmon and Nukepike.
  • One Legendary Boss: Queen Snake. Very large. Tunnels, bites attackers and smacks them with it’s body dealing strong knockback.

Miscellaneous Changes and Additions:

Gameplay Mechanics:

The update also comes with a variety of new gameplay mechanics in order to enhance the experience, with a focus on advanced combat and movement.

  • Clamber: Press jump again when near a ledge to grab onto it and climb up, allowing more verticality when climbing and jumping from one area to another.
  • Slide: Press crouch when sprinting in order to quickly slide a few meters
  • Combat Roll: Double-tap crouch whilst moving in a direction to quickly roll out of the way of incoming attacks.
  • Player CAMPs will now slowly disappear over fifteen minutes after a player has left the session, still offering items from the Vendors. After the first ten minutes, the machines will break before the rest of the CAMP collapses.
  • Changes to Proximity Chat for a more realistic range, as well as reverb when in large structures, and muffling when behind walls or in a building. (Including instanced interiors)
  • Players can now tune into “Talk Radio” on their Pip Boy for full-map communication.
  • Talk Radios can also be built at CAMPs.
    • There are two versions of this radio. A one-way radio to listen for alerts from other players, and another with a proximity-based microphone.

Random Encounters:

  • Wandering random encounter NPCs based on popular Fallout YouTubers and Streamers. (Much like the ones mentioned in the CAMP Russian Doll decorations)

World Changes:

  • A variety of new smaller settlements can be found around Appalachia.
  • A large, permanently irradiated crater can be seen near Fissure Site Prime as a result of all the nukes launched into that area. Serves as a much smaller “Glowing Sea” radiation zone.
  • Certain interiors are now Faction-based instances.

Quality-of-Life Features:

  • The ability to move out-of-Power Armour HUD assets to different areas on the screen, as well as re-scale them.
  • The ability to change the colours of the HUD, Pip-Boy and Pip-Boy light separately.
  • Player saves are now tied to Bethesda accounts, allowing them to be accessed on any device they own Fallout 76.
  • Cross-Platform play enabled.
  • Teams player count increased from 4 to 8.
  • Doubled the CAMP budget for players on Xbox Series X|S, Playstation 5 and high-end PCs.
  • +50% CAMP budget for Fallout FIRST members.
  • Team Leaders will be able to join the instances of other team members. (Interact on door > Select which instance you would like to enter from a list)
  • Fast travel directly to CAMP shelter interiors via a selection menu on CAMP fast travel option.
  • Players able to see other player-set CAMP names.
  • Option to toggle UI player names between their Gamertag and their character’s name.

 

fallout 76 fotw logo

Conclusion:

In the end, I think having an experience which encourages player cooperation, debate and perhaps even conflict will allow Fallout 76 to embolden it’s stance as a collaborative role-playing experience in the Fallout universe. With a personal, branching story around the secretive and corrupt nature of Vault-Tec and the brutality of Raider factions, an immersive and collaborative building experience, a variety of new quality-of-life and other highly requested features, and a brand new place to call home with your friends – What else could you want?

I truly believe this will bring a lot of ex-76ers back to the game, as well as introduce it to a myriad of new and curious people – But what do you think? Feel free to let us know on Twitter @GamesAtlasCom with any feedback!

Also be sure to share this with Bethesda and Fallout on their Discord, Twitter and Subreddit to share the word! The higher chance of them seeing it means it’s more likely we could get this, or something like it!

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