When I last wrote about Fallout 76 in November, I had given an “eh, so what?” to its newest mode, Fallout Worlds. Since then, I’ve only been back to Worlds (Private Worlds) once, cajoling my husband to formulate our own world and give it a go. That go lasted a single session, and we’ve not been back. Earlier this month, Bethesda made the mode, both its public and private versions, a tad more appealing by factoring in the ability to achieve S.C.O.R.E. milestones through non-repeatable daily and weekly challenges, but it still very much an “eh, so what?” vehicle as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been far more involved with my newest character, Darlene, who’s gone full raider!
I originally had in mind that she was going to have a junkie’s rifleman build, one that focused on using chems and non-automatic rifles. After working through the game’s various storylines and getting her to level 50 with all the (mostly) correct perks needed for such, well…the junkie’s qualifier didn’t last long. I tried my best to stick to it for a good ten or twelve levels, but I simply became annoyed at constantly having to keep, find, and craft chems, let alone remember to actually use them regularly enough to make any difference. So I scrapped that part of the build altogether and instead turned to stealth. It was truly the best decision in the history of all my Fallout-based decisions, ever.
As it goes, I’m pretty bad at being stealthy in games, and I had never tried out such in a Fallout game, always preferring to go in guns blazing. I can easily say now that stealth perks are my absolute favorite, and I even tried them out when I dipped back into Fallout 3 not long ago. In Fallout 76 with Darlene, I did stick with my plan to go fully in with non-automatic rifles, and that, too, had paid off handsomely. Me and my Fixer – a combat rifle with stealth bonuses – have been joined at the hip, and I’ve even come to love the hunting rifle, a thing I long ignored due to its overall slowness. Most recently, I switched over to using couple powerful energy weapons, a tesla rifle and a gauss rifle, that I had stashed away, and are they ever cool. Depending on the circumstances and the legendary effects needed at a given moment, those two things can rip through some enemies in a flash…literally!
After going stealth rifleman for a while, Darlene eventually dinged 100, and that’s when I started to switch over to an unarmed stealth rifleman, as I had managed to gather up a few nice legendary gauntlets and other punchy things during the course of play. I’m in the midst of gathering up the full set of needed perks for that particular build, but I’m so far okay with bashing away at enemies in cases where stealth fails me, or rather, I fail it.
So, that’s all well and good for Darlene – she’s my Raider Barbie Girl, what with there being so many great raider-type outfits available in the game – but what of the present state of Fallout 76? Content-wise, the game remains a desert peppered with the rare oasis. The game’s newest event, “Invaders from Beyond,” just wrapped up its debut, and based solely on what I’ve seen online, it was a success (as far as one can throw around “success” and “Fallout 76” in the same sentence, anyway). I tried out the event once on my own and didn’t get very far. No harm done, as it was quite clearly designed to be done by a large group of players. If I had any inkling to venture out of my own private adventure and play the event with random folks, I imagine it probably would have relatively fun. Same went with “Night of the Moth,” a group event that revolved around the game’s creepy Mothman Cult, which was released back in December. I tried it solo a couple times, failed a couple times, and then went on my merry way. Bethesda brought back its seasonal event, “Fasnacht Day,” last month, and that one I completed several times over. It’s an enjoyable and relatively low-stress event that’s usually easy to manage by oneself, though, I do understand that it can be much better with people who like to “roleplay” the event, as it were.
And…that’s about it. With the “Night of the Moth” and “Invaders from Beyond” events came a host of quality-of-life updates, bug fixes, changes, and “improvements” – you can now hide your backpack and change the color of your pip-boy display, woot? – which is fine overall. (Well, except when Bethesda continues to kill things for creative C.A.M.P. builders, it seems.) But, as far as story content goes, nothing new has been added to the game since Steel Reign was released last July; and, it doesn’t look like any new story content will be coming until this fall, with the purported release of Expeditions: The Pitt. According to the game’s newest roadmap, an update will be released in the summer, but all that’s coming with it is a S.C.O.R.E.board stuff and new/updated public events. Which is only enough to elicit an “eh, so what?” from me.
All this is to say that I’m currently going with the “choose my own adventure” mode of play in the present confines of Fallout 76. My present objective is to work through a number of world challenges that involve obtaining different badges so that I can get some sweet backpack upgrades. I’ve again finished all available story quests with my Dalene, including one that I hadn’t found previously (very cool!). I’ve played around more with C.A.M.P. building and think I’ve finally settled on my raider gal’s permanent home. Since I can’t quit stealth or my Fixer, I want to work on getting her to level 150 in order to open up my final legendary perk slot. It’d be nifty to find all the game’s locations, which I don’t think I’ve done, as I’m still finding new locations each time I revisit Appalachia. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally see through the whole nuke-dropping/endgame situation. Or…not. It’s my own adventure, after all, but only because that’s the way is has to be.