With just a couple of weeks left before we all wish each other “Happy New Year” and head into 2021, we wanted to take a look back at Fallout 76 development in 2020, and how the game continued to grow and evolve throughout the year. We’re incredibly glad to have shared this journey with all of you, and we’d like to say thank you for sticking with us along the way.
As you read on, you’ll catch some stellar community stats, an overview of new features and improvements we introduced this year, highlights of your contributions to the community, and finally, a new Community Calendar detailing upcoming events through March. To kick things off, Jeff Gardiner, the Project Lead for Fallout 76, had some words and warm wishes he wanted to share with you.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the fans, old and new, that have played and are playing Fallout 76. 2020 has obviously been one of the most difficult years in modern history, but it has been intensely rewarding to see millions of you come together in Fallout 76’s Appalachia to meet your friends, make new ones, and go on adventures together, in the safety of the virtual world we share.
And we’ve been with you, playing alongside you and hearing your feedback in real time. Your commitment and love for the game has helped us to continually grow and evolve Fallout 76. And 2020 brought some of the biggest changes and evolutions yet. We’re thankful that so many of you have found a safe place with friends here in Fallout 76, and we want to take a moment to reflect on the year we had together, while also looking forward to our plans for an even bigger and better 2021.
This year we launched Wastelanders, Steel Dawn, and added a ton of new features into the game, including Seasons, One Wasteland, which re-leveled the entire game, and our new Daily Ops expansion. Among a host of other things to keep you busy this winter, like C.A.M.P. Shelters. All for free, and all because you keep on playing. Sending us feedback. Posting pictures of your amazing C.A.M.P.s, telling us stories about your harrowing encounters, and coming together as a community to share, build, and grow this game together.
Because of this new, free content, and your work building the most positive and supportive community in games, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in players in 2020, both new and returning veterans. We hope all of you, no matter how long you’ve been playing, have made new friends and enjoyed exploring all the dark secrets of Appalachia.
None of this would be possible without the amazing team at Bethesda Game Studios. Nor without the continued support of our friends in Bethesda Softworks and ZeniMax. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to come out of our stay-at-home vaults soon,
Jeff Gardiner, Fallout 76 Project Lead
Before we dig into all of the new features, improvements, and adventures this year held for us in Fallout 76, we’d like to celebrate some of your accomplishments in the Wasteland. Check out the activities that our awesome community of former Vault Dwellers got up to during 2020 with these stats.
2020 BEGINS WITH PLAYTESTS
From the outside looking in, the beginning of this year may have seemed a little quiet. However, inside the studio (and later from home), we were all-hands-on-deck finalizing new questlines, bringing characters to life, polishing up art assets, and swatting bugs as we prepared for the impending launch of the Wastelanders Update. As this major expansion for the game shaped up, we knew we wanted to bring in some of our most enthusiastic community members to try out the new content and let us know what they thought prior to release.
To make that happen, we built what would become our Public Test Server (or PTS for short), and then invited some of you to join us in early Wastelanders Update playtesting as we fired it up for the very first time. With Wastelanders, and every update since then, we’ve been blown away by the dedication and passion of the players who continue to dive into the PTS. You helped us find and squash tons of bugs, and shared feedback that improved features in meaningful ways. The PTS quickly proved itself as one of the most crucial additions we’ve ever made for Fallout 76 by helping us launch more polished and higher-quality updates—and that’s largely thanks to you. We couldn’t be more grateful for your participation and support, and we hope you’ll team up with us in the PTS again in 2021.
WASTELANDERS CHANGES APPALACHIA FOR GOOD
We worked hard to put the finishing touches on Wastelanders, and in April, you joined us for the launch of the biggest update we’ve ever released for Fallout 76. Together, we all watched as face of Appalachia changed forever when people returned for the first time since the door to Vault 76 rolled open. Settlers hoping to build new lives, Raiders looking to retake their territory, shadowy cultists, and even some goons who only wished to cause chaos, flooded into the region that we had called home for over a year.
We aided our new neighbors as best we could by taking on an all-new main story and lots of new quests. We explored new and updated locations, including faction settlements at Crater and Foundation, faced down threats like Floaters and Wendigo Colossi, and teamed up to tackle events like Radiation Rumble and Riding Shotgun.
Over time, our efforts and conversations with these factions led to earning their trust through the reputation system, which helped us get our hands on advanced weapons, armor, and other gear in exchange for Gold Bullion. Some of those relationships blossomed enough that folks like Beckett and Daguerre became loyal Allies. They helped defend our C.A.M.P.s against attacks, we gave them a hand with Daily Quests, let them raid our wardrobes for new duds, and some of us even found romance!
MORE DWELLERS STEP OUT OF THE VAULT
Alongside Wastelanders release, we also welcomed many new PC players into the community by bringing Fallout 76 to Steam. Later in the year, even more of you on PC and Xbox One donned Vault Suits for the first time through Xbox Game Pass, and we’re absolutely thrilled to have you with us.
NEW EVENTS EMERGE AND FAVORITES RETURN
In the months that followed, we put on our fanciest masks and took part in explosive parades around Helvetia as the community-favorite Fasnacht Day event returned with updated rewards. Then, the sudden emergence of Treasure Hunter Mole Miners sent us scurrying to the Ash Heap to claim their loot for ourselves. Sometimes, though, new activities can have a few rough edges. Your feedback on that first run of Treasure Hunter helped shape improvements to Mole Miner spawn locations and rewards when we brought the event back later on.
THE LEGENDARY RUN BLASTS OFF!
Spring turned to Summer, and we joined forces with Captain Cosmos and his sidekick Jangles during Fallout 76 Season 1. The arrival of Seasons changed how we all approached our in-game Challenges on a quest to earn as much S.C.O.R.E. and loot as possible. We filled our collections with tons of cosmetics, consumables, currencies, and other item rewards as we ranked up and raced across the stars on “The Legendary Run” Scoreboard. That update also introduced the Public Teams system, which made it easier than ever to group up with our current friends, make new ones, and get bonuses as we took on events and adventured around Appalachia together.
CRANKING UP THE HEAT
As the summer sun raged on, a new terror sent us underground to square off against a towering legendary Wendigo Colossus during “A Colossal Problem.” After we toppled the beast (and took its heads as trophies), we came together as a community to construct a new HQ for the Brotherhood of Steel under the direction of the ever-eager Russell Dorsey, who was convinced they would soon make a comeback in Appalachia. We also partied hard with Grahm and Chally the Moo-Moo, who returned to host their now-famous Meat-Cook for all their favorite humans.
ONE WASTELAND FOR ALL
September leveled the playing field with the One Wasteland Update, which allowed creatures’ levels, difficulty, and loot to automatically adjust to everyone individually. Suddenly, even our lower-level pals could more easily tag along during our travels, and meaningfully contribute to fights that previously would have sent them running back to the comfy bounds of the Forest.
Our heartiest Appalachian adventurers also gained new battlefield tactics in the form of Legendary Perks, which arrived just in time to give us an edge in repeatable and randomized Daily Ops. We geared up, hopped into Public Teams, and proved our mettle against hordes of freezing robots and exploding Super Mutants on the road to claiming new rare rewards.
ARMOR ACE CRUSHES THE RED VIPERS
We then stormed a new Scoreboard to battle alongside Armor Ace and the Power Patrol against The Subjugator and his army of Red Vipers in Fallout 76 Season 2. That Season, we gained even more Challenges to tackle in the weekly lineup, including new Daily Ops Challenges, and soaked up all the S.C.O.R.E. we could during Bonus Challenge and Double S.C.O.R.E. events. Along the way, we also picked up some shiny new items for our C.A.M.P.s, new Power Armor, weapon and armor skins, and outfits, among many other rewards.
THE BROTHERHOOD IS BACK
It turned out Russell Dorsey’s instincts were spot on when the Brotherhood of Steel showed up at our doorstep in last month’s Steel Dawn Update. Led by Paladin Rahmani, Knight Shin, and Scribe Valdez, they took up residence in the headquarters we built for them at Fort Atlas earlier this year. Even though they didn’t always seem to appreciate what we’ve already accomplished on our own in Appalachia, we still worked hard to forge a relationship with these new arrivals. On their behalf, we conquered new story missions, investigated important technology, explored new locations of interest, and helped build up the Brotherhood’s standing among the region’s residents. As we quested and completed more Daily Ops, we also secured new weapons and armor for our own personal arsenals. However, there’s still more to come from the Brotherhood, and we’ll find out where their story is headed in Steel Reign quests next year.
SHELTERS TAKE US UNDERGROUND
When it was time to head back to our cozy C.A.M.P.s, we didn’t even consider kicking our feet up to relax. Instead, we dug into the earth to expand on our abodes by constructing C.A.M.P. Shelters. This gave us more room to flex our creativity as builders, and even more space to call home in these new lives we’ve carved out in Appalachia since we left the Vault so long ago.
K.D. INKWELL AND AVALON AWAIT!
Our final update of the year just arrived earlier this week, and it kicked off our third Season with the “Scribe of Avalon” Scoreboard. We’ve only just begun our journey back through time with K.D. Inkwell, but we’re excited to unlock loads of new rewards right alongside you as we uncover the mysteries of technology in a medieval civilization over the months to come.
SHINING THE SPOTLIGHT ON YOU!
Throughout this year, we’ve continued to highlight many of you with a variety of community-focused article series. You’ve poured your hearts and souls into stellar C.A.M.P. builds, snapped tons of fantastic photos, created fanart, roleplaying groups, podcasts, video content, and so much more. We deeply appreciate the community that’s formed around Fallout 76 and everything you’ve all contributed to it since launch. Keep sharing your C.A.M.P.s, photos, activities, and adventures with us, and we’ll keep posting your endeavors on Fallout.com in Around Appalachia, C.A.M.P. Creations, and Community Spotlights. In case you’ve missed these features, we’ve rounded-up some of our most recent ones below.
- You showed off your skill with the camera in Around Appalachia. Inspire your inner photographer with these themed pics:
- Your C.A.M.P.s have been a wonderful source of architectural and design creativity. Check out these fantastic themed builds:
- Some of you also joined us for interviews to share a closer look at your hard work:
- Shia documented the Wasteland with beautiful and detailed illustrations.
- GamingWithMaps dove deep into lore both in-game and in real life.
- XREDDER2 organized community fight nights at El Gato Pub.
- Fallout Five-O dedicated themselves to saving the day as intrepid Responders.
- ZeroFoxFK helped us level-up our Photomode game with stunning snapshots.
- Next, we’re taking an in-depth look at “CHAD: A Fallout 76 Podcast.” Keep an eye on Fallout.com for that article next week.
NEW COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Now that we’ve glanced backward at Fallout 76 in 2020, we thought you might also like a glimpse into what we have planned for the community as we head into 2021. We’ll have a Spring Roadmap to share with you in the coming months, but for the time being, we’ve put together a new Community Calendar showcasing a variety of important dates you may want to keep in mind from January through March of next year.
That’s a wrap on 2020! Fallout 76 made major strides this year, but there’s so much more we still want to bring to this game and the community. We’ve already begun working on a variety of features, events, quests, and quality-of-life improvements that we plan to implement next year, and we can’t wait to share more about each new update as we approach them throughout 2021. Warmest wishes to everyone as we head into the holidays, and we hope you’ll join us for more fun in the Wasteland in January.