For the most part, playing a human in an MMORPG is incredibly boring to me. Many time it’s just as boring in single-player games, including Fallout. For years I’ve been wanting to play in the Fallout setting as a Ghoul, or Super Mutant. I would be able to do that in Fallout Online.
The faction list I would start Fallout Online with would be Citizens (general human populace), Brotherhood of Steel, Mercs, Raiders, Ghouls, and Super Mutants. As the game advanced in time, more factions would be added, pulling from established canon, and perhaps even premiering new ones.
This is a huge factor to consider, perhaps the biggest. Because it leads into one very important question: does Fallout Online center around a vault (or vaults), as the single-player games have, or does it choose a different direction?
I think, in order for it to be as open world as possible, Fallout Online would have to break away from being so focused on vaults, and be more focused on post-apocalyptic survival aspects. Vaults would still be in game, of course, which would help establish a location, as there are only 122 known vaults in the United States. But therein is another matter to ponder. Would Fallout Online have to be set in the U.S.?
If the setting were to be in America, I vote it be placed in Texas, and established with most or all of the assets that were created for the cancelled Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2.
Texas is geographically the second largest state in America, which means there is a lot of room for Fallout Online to use and grow into. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 was to take place in the center of Texas, from Lubbock in the north, to Corpus Christi in the south. Within that area, there is a lot of land variety, from sparsely populated desert region (such as in Fallout: New Vegas), to mid-sized cities (such as Abiline), up to metropolitan areas (including San Antonio and Austin). Whether Fallout Online had everyone start out in a single central location, or gave each faction its own starter location, Texas seems like an excellent place to make it happen.
Bring back the Karma system of reputation! As I mentioned earlier, one of the major gripes players are voicing against Fallout 4 is the inability to play as a ‘bad guy’. Fallout Online would allow you to choose how you want to play your character, thanks to having your actions gain you positive or negative Karma points. And that’s as it should be.
Fallout Online would use the Fallout 4 crafting system, without a doubt. It would certainly have to be expanded and refined beyond even what it is now, ideally to at least ArchAge and The Elder Scrolls Online levels.
It’s the simple things, really. Minimalist HUD. Give me auditory cues in place of blatant visual ones. If a creature is badder and meaner than others of its kind, then it should look and sound like it, not simply be identified as so with an obnoxious star next to its floaty name. Give players the choice of turning off the on screen view-blocking minimap and allow us to use a Pip-boy instead. Maybe even replace the standard minimap with a miniature Pip-boy screen. NPCs should be fully voiced, but the only voice I want to hear for my character is the one in my head.
Nix the loading screens. I want seamless transitions from one area to the next. The tech is available that can make that happen, just look at No Man’s Sky. If it can go from ground to outer space and back to ground seamlessly, it stands to reason that someone can make a seamless transition from a below ground area (such as a vault) to an above ground area, a distance of no more than a couple hundred virtual feet.
So, those are just a few thoughts on what I’d like to see in Fallout Online, and why. There are of course many other factors I haven’t touched here, such as the Pip-boy (does every character get one?), V.A.T.S., computer hacking (how would it work?), Perks, and player housing. I leave those up in the air, so please feel free to share your comments and ideas.
Many of the pieces needed to make Fallout Online a reality have already been created, they just need skilled people to step up to the workbench and craft them together into a worthy masterpiece. With only have 61 more years until the Great War of 2077, I hope we get to play a proper Fallout MMORPG long before then.