Mod support will indeed be coming to multiplayer survival sandbox Fallout 76, Bethesda have said, though not in time for its November launch. Mods are a standard feature for Bethesda's RPGs, of course, filling in all the holes Bethesda leave and adding so many wonderful new things, but the always-online nature of 76 left that in question. Not to mention that some spectators have been concerned that the Creation Club DLC microtransaction store popping up in Bethesda's recent games might shove plain ol' mods out. But nah, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has said, "We love mods, and so we are 100% committed to doing that in 76 as well."
Fallout 76, as Bethesda revealed during their pre-E3 pressblast, is a multiplayer "softcore survival" sandbox in the post-apocalyptic world. Emerging from Vault 76 only 25 years after the bombs fell, players will rebuild civilisation as they please, which I'd imagine is quite a violent form, given how survival sandboxes work. It'll even let players take control of nuclear missile sites to launch nuclear missiles. I guess after 25 years underground listening to a neighbour's snoring, you'll be so irritated you'll overlook the horrors of the nuclear apocalypse to wipe 'em out? Weird. It's weird. I'm told war never changes, but you might expect folks to consider not nuking their former housemates for at least a few years.
While Fallout 76 won't have any human NPCs, though quests will be scattered around through terminals, tapes, robots, and the usual Fallout "found world" ways. And though it's real-time, it will have some form of VATS letting folks use compumagic to target body parts. Bethesda plan to keep updating and expanding the game themselves after launch, in that 'live game' way, but they will let us create new things for it too. Eventually.
Howard explained the mod plans to Geoff Keighley on YouTube's E3 show on Monday night, as overheard by cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer:
"Our goal for launch--this is really new for us--is: have a well-running, robust service and then, some period later... we're currently still designing what that service looks like, you'll be able to have your own private world, and be able to mod it, and do all of that. We think, with our games, that's where the long-term life of them really is. That is trickier when you get into an online world but we're definitely committed to that, just won't be at launch."
Mods are hugely important for most multiplayer survival games too, so good-o.
If you're still worried that he might be talking about the Creation Club when he says "mods", nah. Bethesda have always been quite clear that they don't consider Creation Club DLC to be "paid mods", and so far that's true - it's all content commissioned and created specifically for the Club. Mod-like content, sure, and expensive, but not mods. Though I wouldn't be surprised if FO76 does have a Club too.
Fallout 76 is due to launch on November 14th.
If you want to hear more, here's Howard's section on the show:
Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.