Griefing. Griefing never changes.
Since the dawn of man, there have always been people who get their kicks out of ruining games for others. Today, things are no different. Griefers run amok in basically every popular online game. They’ll burn down your painstakingly built house in Minecraft, feed the enemy team in League of Legends, and shoot the ball into their own goal in Rocket League. They’re annoying and can ruin the game for people who want to play the way the developers designed.
In Fallout 76, Bethesda’s first foray into multiplayer for the Fallout franchise, steps have already been taken to discourage griefing. In a post-post-apocalyptic world filled with super mutants and raiders, the last thing you want to worry about is some angry 12-year-old troll.
At QuakeCon 2018, Fallout 76 game director Todd Howard discussed how the game was balancing PVP combat with griefing. He described how he wanted there to be some element of danger coming from other players because it fits the theme and world of Fallout. However, the game isn’t designed for players to just massacre each other on sight, a la DayZ.
If a player attacks you out of nowhere, the damage is severely reduced. Howard compares this initial reduced attack to lightly slapping a stranger in a bar to see if they want to fight (an action we HIGHLY recommend you don’t do in real life). If the player who was attacked accepts the fight, then both players will start dealing full damage to each other.
Even though unprovoked attacks do reduced damage, they are still able to kill players. A player who kills another in this way doesn’t gain any experience points or caps from their corpse. The attacking player is then labeled as a “Wanted Murderer.” This player is then marked on the map with a large bounty on their head, alerting every player in the vicinity.
No weapons or armor are lost upon death, though you do lose any collected crafting materials. If you truly do not want to join in the PVP experience you can turn it off entirely. Additionally, if a player keeps following you and harassing you, there are built-in options to block or ignore them.
Griefers, raiders, and everyone in between can join the battle when the Fallout 76 beta releases on October 23 on Xbox One. PC and PS4 players can join in a week later on October 29.