About a couple of months ago, Bethesda provided general details as to how it would punish PvP griefers in its forthcoming post-apocalyptic multiplayer RPG, Fallout 76. The publisher and developer revealed it would put a sizable bounty on the offender’s head, with the caps coming from their pockets. Now, it looks as if the studio will be dishing out even more penalties to those who choose to kill other players in conflicts that aren’t mutual.
For the sake of context, in order for Fallout 76 players to properly engage in combat with someone, the opponent has to fire back for it to be classified as a legal kill. Otherwise, should one kill another player without having them shoot back, they become a wanted murderer, which makes them visible on the map to everyone, hides all other players on the map from them, and even allows teammates to legally kill them.
What’s more is that those who get labeled murderers in Fallout 76 will not only be affected by the bounty of caps and other aforementioned penalties, but also they will be hit with a massive debuff that significantly reduces their stats’ efficacy for two hours total that only ticks down during actual playtime. According to Bethesda’s Vice President of Marketing and PR, Pete Hines, “You lose whatever caps you have, down to zero, and you take a debuff that reduces the amount of damage you do to everything. Both other players and PvE. So you are now far less dangerous to everything as a penalty.”
“For two hours in the game, you’re going to be spitting spitballs at enemies to remind you that you’re a murderer. Remember, we speak about murder as you killing someone who didn’t want to fight and wasn’t interested in engaging, not you fired at me, I fired at you, we both wanted to do this.
“It’s specifically to stop people doing this where it’s negative and one-sided. It’s meant to not be fun – you will do far less damage with anything you use for a period of time.”
Taking all of this into consideration, it will be interesting to see how Fallout 76 players respond to this gameplay feature once the beta goes live this month. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to fault Bethesda for implementing such an idea, as it shows that the studio is taking solid steps toward curbing griefing. And with the game’s PvP combat as a whole including matchmaking elements, it definitely looks as if the publisher and developer has thoroughly thought out how to keep the online-only title properly balanced for the time being.