Fallout 76 is somehow promising to blend the rich RPG world of modern Fallout games with an online, multiplayer-driven bent. However, one of the series’ main gameplay mechanics, V.A.T.S., will function a little differently this time around.
The Vault-Tech Assisted Targeting System was Bethesda’s elegant way of translating RPG mechanics fpr a first-person shooter when it launched Fallout 3 almost a decade ago. However, one of the main features of V.A.T.S. is how it slows down time to allow players to make careful choices about their shots. That left people wondering how, if at all, Bethesda was planning on incorporating the system into Fallout 76, a shared-world online game.
Bethesda Games director Todd Howard recently confirmed that V.A.T.S. would play a part in Fallout 76‘s gunplay, but it won’t slow down time.
“It’s real-time,” Howard said in an interview with Gameslice (via PC Gamer). “It doesn’t slow time. But it lets you target and pick parts and all of that, but it’s in real-time. It still works great. It’s different, obviously, because it’s real-time, but the basics of it, which are, ‘I can’t really—I’m not that good of a twitch shooter’ … You can kind of picture how it works. Like, I’m not as good as lining up someone and getting a head shot, but I’ve made my character good at V.A.T.S., and now I can do that.”
Until we get to see Fallout 76‘s “real-time” version of V.A.T.S. in action, we have to guess that there will be some sort of lock-on mechanic that will determine hits based on percentages, with a certain system that limits the amount of times you can use V.A.T.S. during a certain period of time.
This system might create concerns for some players who prefer skill-based PvP encounters, as opposed to stat-based PvP encounters, but Howard said that Bethesda is “balancing the incentives” for players attacking each other or being social and cooperative.
“We want a little bit of drama without them ruining your game,” Howard said.
Fallout 76 is launching for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 14th.