Bethesda recently announced their plans to allow us the ability of adjust our SPECIAL point allocation in Fallout 76.
“SPECIAL Respec: After level 50, you’ll be able to choose between a new Perk Card, or moving a SPECIAL point you had previously allocated.”
While this plan is great and allows people to make minor adjustments over time to their SPECIAL build to support the selection of Cards (Hand) they are using, I am left feeling like the system could be so much more. The ability to swap out cards quickly is a very flexible system. The addition of this Respec process, which seems very slow and arduous is just the opposite. While contemplating how we could make the Respec system flexible without making it meaningless, I came up with these two linked systems that would make it so much better.
How you allocate your SPECIAL points determines the number of cards you can equip in each category. The point spread of your points spent and the cards equipped is what is commonly referred as ones build. I propose to separate the two aspects, the Build being just your SPECIAL points and your cards as your Hand.
Multiple Builds is a common request in any game. The flexibility to support multiple play styles (Ranged vs Melee, Solo vs Grouped) in Fallout 76 is another game in need of the ability to swap between builds. Currently if you wish to play these varying styles, you need multiple characters which resets your progress in Plans, recipes and cards collected. Since the game allows you to level and earn cards forever, it would be glorious to be able to switch styles on a single character, allowing you the flexibility and the capability of being a completionist; collect every plan, recipe and do every quest.
Here is how I would design the system. At level 50 you would unlock the ability to embark on a quest that eventually gives you access to Medic Brain Bot. This Bot would have the capability to lock your current SPECIAL point allocation as your first build. Once this build is created, you can no longer move points around using the SPECIAL Respec option when you level up.
Now that you have a build, you can have the Bot reset all your SPECIAL points back to 1. This allows you to level again, allocating points in a different way. After 50 levels, you now have a second build. The quest unlocks again and you can return to the BOT and lock in your second Build. So for example, at level 50, you saved a perception build, and 100 you now have a strength build. Continue you this for however many builds it is determined is the max number of builds you can have.
A few more details on this concept. If you lock a build and are leveling a new you, you would have the ability to return to the Bot and switch between them at any time. This will not reset your build leveling progress, but gives you the ability to return to you first build for different activities. Once you’re ready to level again, switch back and keep going.
You maintain your character level, access to all your weapons, cards and plans, you are over 50 after all. Keep in mind that some items, advanced crafting would be locked out until you can once again equip the appropriate cards, but you still have the cards. This system is not trying to penalize you but make a system to allow for multiple builds with a single character.
After you have two builds, the Brain Bot would give a quest that frees the BOT from his secure location. This allows you to pay caps to have the BOT visit you at your CAMP to do the Build Swaps, saving the time traveling to its location. There should not be a fast travel location to close to its secure facility to make swapping builds meaningful.
After you have three builds are complete, a quest would open up to have the BOT provide a remote terminal that would be part of your base that would allow hot swapping builds from your camp without waiting for the BOT to travel to you or you to travel to it. This console would be expensive to make and would act like any other crafting workbench
Hands are your allocation of cards based on your SPECIAL points. The ability to save multiple decks is a time saver from individually swapping cards for specific situations. For example, a Perception Build could have 2 hands, 1 for Non-Automatic Rifles, 1 for Automatic rifles that could be swapped out via the Pip Boy, assuming you saved your Hand at the Brain Bot.A Strength Build could have 1 for Melee another for Heavy Guns.
Each SPECIAL build would be allowed to have “Build” +1 number of hands. So someone that has 2 hands would be able to save 3 hands per Build. This is just a convenience since the system already allows the swapping of cards at any time. Convenience however is sorely needed.
With the two outlined systems implemented, players would have a long term goal that provide flexibility to experiment, play different ways, be successful in different activities without an army of characters. It also provides that flexibility in a way that is earned in a method that can’t be abused.
So there you have it, my thoughts, thank you for taking the time to read them. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic or any other ideas you have to improve to your Fallout 76 adventures.
Have fun out there,