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Prior to Fallout 76 going into beta on October 20, 2018, Bethesda held a press event in West Virginia where a good number of media outlets had a chance to play the game, record footage, and start working on their Fallout 76-themed articles. It feels like you can't go two clicks without stumbling onto one of those today, so just to pick one example, here's the main PC Gamer article that brings us 30 minutes of fresh gameplay footage:
And here's an article straight from Bethesda with an overview of the game's features. An excerpt:
If you’re excited for Fallout 76, chances are you’ve spent quite a bit of time in Fallout 4, exploring the Commonwealth, establishing your settlements and just trying to survive in a harsh, post-nuclear world. You’ll still have all those options when you hop into Fallout 76, but you may notice a few things are a little different. Fallout 76 is the first time you’ll be able to explore the Wasteland with other players, and as such, some systems have been adapted to suit this exciting new adventure.
WORKSHOPS AND C.A.M.P.
The Workshop returns from Fallout 4 with a wide variety of structures and defenses to build using scavenged components, and new structures like Resource Collectors to mine veins of components found in the world.
One of the biggest additions for 76 is the C.A.M.P. (Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform), a personal Workshop you can place almost anywhere in the world and use as a home base as you explore, moving it from place to place for new Fast Travel and Respawn options. When you move your C.A.M.P., all your built structures are stored and Blueprinted just as you designed them so you can quickly rebuild, or create copies of your favorite structures. This way, if your settlement is nuked or raided by other players, you won’t have to worry about starting over from scratch.
Your C.A.M.P. allows you to access your Stash, a container for safe and permanent storage of things you want to keep. Your Stash can also be accessed at Stash containers found at Train Stations and Red Rocket Stations.
Fallout 76 also features Public Workshops that are unlocked through combat, either by clearing the area or contesting another player’s ownership. Public Workshops provide free building materials for crafting workbenches, mining resources, building defenses to repel creature attack events and enemy players, or to experiment with structures to create new Blueprints. Where your C.A.M.P. is yours and yours alone, a team of players can work together at the Public Workshops, building on what other players did before them.
Maintain yourself and your equipment for peak efficiency. Collect bonuses by staying Well Rested, Well Fed, Well Tuned and Hydrated, but be careful to avoid catching Diseases and Mutations in the process by avoiding radiation, sleeping in safe beds, eating cooked food, and drinking clean water. Your equipment breaks down with use, encouraging both the periodic repair of your favorite items as well as the motivation to try out new ones you find. All items have weight, including ammunition, so careful management of carry capacity becomes important. All these survival elements combine to provide a variety of gameplay decisions to find the right balance of what to collect, what to consume, and when.
In Fallout 76, the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system returns and all attributes start at 1. You can build your character as you level up by allocating points to your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. You can allocate 1 point to a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. category with each level up until level 50. In addition to gameplay bonuses granted by increasing S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, each point can be used to equip a Perk card related to that category.
For example, the more points you have in Strength, the more Strength Perk cards you can equip. Perk cards can be equipped and unequipped at any time. You collect Perk cards by choosing one on each level up, and through randomized Perk Card packs that you earn at level up milestones. Perk cards feature returning favorites like Bloody Mess, and dozens of new Perks including new team-focused ones that utilize Charisma.
When you have duplicate Perk cards, you can even combine them to increase their level and the bonuses attached to them. These higher-level Perk cards will require more S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points, but it will be worth it for increasing important things like your First Aid skill or your ability to drink dirty Wasteland water.