The new updates, all of which will be free, are broken up by season. Spring will mark the beginning of “Wild Appalachia” on March 12. It’ll add two new quests geared around the Pioneer Scouts, Fallout’s take on the Boy Scouts, and exploring the great outdoors. In addition, the spring update will add brewing and distilling mechanics, a personal vending machine that you can keep at your campsite for other players to buy stuff from, and a new vendor who wanders the land giving out legendary items in exchange for your existing ones. The spring update will also be when Fallout 76 gets its new Survival PVP mode, which will allow players to go to a separate batch of servers to engage in lawless violence against one another.
Later in the summer the game’s “Nuclear Winter” will begin, at which point Vaults 96 and 94 will open and play host to MMO-style raids for high-level players. The game will also be getting a new system that allows players above level 50 to reset and begin progressing again, this time learning more powerful abilities. Bethesda says the Nuclear Winter will be “an entirely new way to play that changes the rules of the wasteland,” but so far there’s no much detail on what that will entail.
Finally, sometime in the fall, Bethesda plans to launch the game’s “most ambitious update” yet, which will be called “Wastelanders”. There’s even less info on what will be involved there, but Bethesda says the new content will include a new main questline, new factions, and new public events.
These planned updates sound like exactly the type of stuff that Fallout 76 needs and arguably should have had before the game launched. Even the game’s most dedicated players have bemoaned how unfinished its end-game feels, with players leveling well into the 100s with no real outlet for all of the abilities and equipment they’ve accrued besides griefing other players.
Personally, I’m most interested in the new liquor system that will apparently be rolling out in March. Being able to distil your own spirits and sell them to other players while you go out adventuring via a personal campsite vending machine is precisely the type of interesting social interaction Bethesda hinted at when the game was revealed, but which didn’t appear in Fallout 76 at launch.