Unleashing the Ghoul Within: How Fallout 76's Upcoming Update Redefines ADVANTAGES in Gaming

For years, the remorseless world of Fallout 76 has thrown its survivors into the wasteland, where otherwise tough settlers were brought to their knees by radiation poisoning or murdered by fellow human Players, or worse, by mutants. But that’s about to change. Beginning in early 2025, the dead will literally rise and join the ranks of those slogging through the post-apocalyptic junkscape. The update, introduced as ‘a free update with the… questline to play as a Ghoul’ opened up the world to the undead at level-50. At least, it did when Bethesda, the American video-game company behind the Fallout series, released it. The necessary workarounds that allowed it to be done were never intended by the programmers. But that’s never stopped exploitative gamers before. Playing like a Ghoul will be quite different from playing the way you have been, yet it is completely legitimate. In fact, it has been played that way by a small number of people – those with the patience to figure it out. It successfully subverts the game’s underlying assumptions.

Transforming Into a Ghoul: A New Horizon of Gameplay

The Ghool choice, in a way, brings a new element of strategy into Fallout 76 gameplay, something that affects how you play and whom you can interact with. On the one hand, becoming a Ghool will make some factions less inclined to deal with a ‘less attractive’ player character, while on the other hand this new form brings a slew of benefits, the most notable one being the total ease with which the Ghoul can deal with the deadly radiation of the wasteland.

Customization and Perks: Tailoring Your Ghoul

Perhaps the chief benefit of this reversal is the increase in customisation. Players can now drastically alter the appearance of their Ghouls, and can choose from a myriad of Ghoul-specific perk cards, adding a great depth of strategy to the gameplay. It means that the player’s Ghoul can be as unique as the player behind their PC, resulting in wide-ranging play styles and tactical options.

A World of Radiation: The Ghoul’s Playground

The radioactivity that was once the game’s titular wasteland – dangerously high, and just one more challenge for players to overcome as they logged hours in the game – is now a plus for the Ghoul player. Players weren’t just playing as someone different, they were being led into places they were previously afraid to go The radiation-soaked zones of Fallout 76 are less scary, less dangerous, and more attracive to Ghouls, who are able to thrive where other players felt the need to gear up and use chems.

Drawing Inspiration: The Fallout TV Show’s Influence

Even more fortunately, Fallout’s first live-action TV show, a spin-off series shown on the Epix network, and airing around the same time as Brotherhood of Steel, may have delivered a cultural coup for the new Ghoul playable: while the concept of Ghoul playable was conceived before the show’s release late in 2019, Walton Goggins’s character in the show, Cooper, has been so popular that it only bolsters interest in the Ghoul playable feature and relates the core storyline of Fallout (and this new game) to an exciting offshoot.

Anticipation Builds: The Skyline Valley Update

This Ghoul feature is timed to appear just before the long-anticipated Skyline Valley update, a patch that is expected to bring new quests, new features, and a larger map. The broader context here emphasises the myriad ways that the world of Fallout keeps evolving. Day after day, veteran and new players alike are able to log in and stay engaged with lots of new content and fresh reasons to explore the world of Fallout 76.

A Welcome for Newcomers

For those who haven’t plunged into Fallout 76 yet, the game is widely available on PC and consoles: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the newer consoles on backwards compatibility. The next update, Skyline Valley, arrives soon, and the Ghoul transformation feature is on the horizon. This is an excellent time to explore this vast, rich, post-apocalyptic world.

Embracing the Advantage

The imminent Ghoul perk in Fallout 76 feels like another fundamental step in the game’s evolution; it’s not just a new look, it’s a genuine strategic advantage that obliges players to recalibrate their thinking about the game and take fuller advantage of ‘the ugly perks of the Wasteland’. The further we get from Fallout 76’s launch, the more life it gets. The further Bethesda invests in their game, the more its best customers get out of it. This is more than a simply way to devalue or prolong the game. It’s a change of approach, a gradual transformation in the way that the game is designed to be played. In Fallout 76, as time goes on, Westworld will go away.

Exploring the Concept of Advantage

Across gaming, and certainly in Fallout 76, advantage is not only a ‘net gain’ but a strategic advantage, an enhanced immersive experience, and an extension of personalisation. Advantage is learning to play the world of the game well, turning danger into opportunity, and specialising your characters for the post-apocalyptic world. Ghouls show that developers can allow players’ advantage to create a deeper, richer, more surprising gaming experience by taking their player base to new and diverse locations.

Jun 11, 2024
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