The first big expansion for Fallout 76, Wastelanders, launches on April 7. It finally brings NPCs to the game, making it much more like a proper Fallout entry, and less like the weird MMO it has been all this time. However, I think that it’s important for anyone who hasn’t completed at least the main questline in Fallout 76 to do so before the expansion renders it pointless.
A New Beginning
Wastelanders completely changes the landscape of the Appalachian Wasteland. It adds NPCs to loads of areas, and makes them look lived-in for the first time since the game launched. This is great, because it makes the world feel a lot more alive, but it also renders that older Fallout 76 experience pointless. In the base game, players work their way around the world, completing quests based on Holotapes left by their Overseer, eventually leading to a final fight with the Scorchbeast Queen.
With Wastelanders, a whole new questline has been added, but the original experience has also been completely revamped to include the NPCs. At the very start, right outside of Vault 76, players will encounter a bar and the inhabitants. In turn, they will direct players to head over to where their Overseer was last seen, which is how they can pick up the older questline from the original game. This is very different to that initial experience, and while it may well be better, it’s also not the same.
I know that Wastelanders is going to be a big improvement for Fallout 76. It’s adding loads of updates to content that hasn’t been there, or has needed fixes, for a very long time. My issue is that there’s a story, and a perfectly good game, available to play right now. Yes, NPCs will add something to the experience, but there won’t ever be a chance to play that original Fallout 76 experience again.
Regardless of whether Wastelanders will allow you to play on that same character that you’ve been working on for over 100 levels, it’s a big revamp for the game. Different is good, and in many cases DLC has been the spark that ignites an MMO to a wider audience. If you own Fallout 76, and you haven’t finished that original main quest, consider doing so before April 7, it’s not that hard, and you’ll always know that you did it the first time around.