One of the of the major concerns revolving around Fallout 76 when it was announced was how the game would deal with trolls and griefers . During a panel at QuakeCon, the development team outlined how the game’s bounty system will work to protect unwilling PvPers from trolls.
Fallout 76 will allow players to easily ignore and block users seeking to kill them in unwanted PvP confrontations, but that is only one of the systems that Bethesda is implementing. The more interesting one is a player bounty system that will penalize griefers for their actions, making trolling and griefing a very unprofitable activity. (For the uninitiated, a griefer is a person who harasses or deliberately provokes other players in order to spoil their enjoyment.)
During the panel, Todd Howard said it wanted the game’s open world to have an element of risk, but did not want to encourage griefing or abusive behavior. To that end, the team made the decision to not incentivize such behavior. Killing a player who is flagged as a pacifist, meaning they do not wish to engage in PvP, will reward no experience points (XP) or caps.
“So there is no reward, you get no caps, you get no XP, you get nothing for becoming a wanted murderer except for the kind of social incentives people have online to be assholes,” Howard said.
Beyond that, the team has crafted a bounty system that will actively penalize players for griefing by making them pay their own bounties. A player who engages in murder will be marked on the map with a red star that will display their location to other players. In addition, they will not be able to see other players on the map, which will put them at a distinct disadvantage when trying to avoid bounty hunters.
“We turn the assholes into interesting content,” Howard said during the panel. “They appear on your map as a red star. Everybody sees them and they have a bounty on their head. And that bounty comes out of their own caps. And they can’t see the other players on the map.”
While this system likely won’t completely prevent people from being jerks, it should at least provide some safeguards to those who simply want to explore the world without getting ganked every 5 minutes.