Legendary SPECIAL Perks for Newbies – Tales From the Fallout 76 Wasteland

I’m still playing Fallout 76, pretty much exclusively. We’re coming up on another short monthly recap, folks!

My new character, created shortly after the TV series ended, hit level 200 last night. That’s actually slow progress compared to most Wastelanders but I’ve just accepted that I’m a slow, methodical gamer and there’s no upside to comparing myself to others. Level 200 sounds crazy high given that the level cap at launch was, iirc, 50. But I’ve seen plenty of characters with 4 digit level numbers.

The old hands consider levels 1-50 like some kind of long tutorial and generally consider you a newbie until level 100. Level 100, by the way, seems to be the level cap for mobs, excepting a very few bosses that are maybe 110?  But gear maxes out at level 50. So think about that. At level 50 you stop getting attribute increases (S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points in Fallout terms — you’ll have a total of 56 at level 50) and stop getting higher level gear. And now you have to go fight a level 100 super mutant. At level 50 I could not imagine how I’d ever get strong enough to fight level 100 mobs. At level 200 I take out a level 100 super mutant with 3 or 4 rounds from my rifle.

Mind you, I’m talking bog standard level 100 super mutants but still…

So how does that work? How do you get stronger after level 50? Well it’s kind of a combination of your build, your gear, mutations, food and chem buffs, and legendary perks. That’s a lot, and I’m no pro, nor do I want to write a 10,000 word post no one will read, so today let’s just talk about the Legendary Perk system.

Legendary Perks

Legendary Perk interface from Fallout 76
Here’rs part of my level 200 character’s Legendary Perks interface

Legendary Perks are a special kind of Perk Card that you put in Legendary Perk Slots. You don’t have to go find Legendary Perks cards; you get them all as soon as your character is ‘born.’ But you don’t get your first slot to put them in until level 50. Then you unlock additional Legendary Perk slots at (going from memory here) levels 75, 100, 150, 200 and I think the last one is at level 300. So by level 300 you can slot 6 Legendary Perks.

In all there are 26 Legendary Perk Cards, and there is a list of them over at the Fallout 76 Wiki. I won’t claim to know off-hand what they all do, but specifically there are 7 that add to your SPECIAL values, one for each attribute. This is, as far as I know, the only way to get more SPECIAL points beyond the 56 you have at level 50.  Each SPECIAL attribute maxes out at 15 (well there’s some nuance there but we’ll leave that for another day) so if you’re running a build that already has the Strength attribute maxed at 15 and you slot the Legendary Strength Legendary Perk card, you can now reduce your Strength attribute to 14 and use that extra point on another attribute. The Legendary Strength Perk will keep your strength at 15.

Legendary Perks can be ranked up 4 times, and the SPECIAL cards add +1, +2, +3, and finally +5 to the relevant SPECIAL attribute as you rank it up (values not cumulative, unfortunately). That means if you use all 6 of your Legendary Perk slots on Legendary Special perks, and rank them up to max, you’ll have another 30 SPECIAL points. That’s going to take you a while to hit though. Step 1, you have to get to level 300 to unlock all the slots. Step 2, though…

And Now, Some Possibly Correct Math

Then the real work begins: ranking up those Legendary SPECIAL cards. You do that via Perk Points. OK so where do Perk Points come from? Perk Points come from scrapping Perk Cards. You choose 1 Perk Card per/level, and if the level is divisible by 5, you get a “Perk Pack” of 4 random cards. Every card scrapped gives you 2 points/card level. If you scrap every card you get, you’ll get 18 Perk Points/5 levels which works out to 3.6 Perk Points/level.  Your level 1 Legendary Perk cards are free, as mentioned. Then it take 50 Perk Points to rank them to level 2, 100 to rank them to level 3, and 150 to rank them to level 4. That IS cumulative, so it takes 300 Perk Points to max out a card. So that’s about 83 levels. 83.33 exactly, and there are 6 of them, so by level 500, you’ll have them all maxed. Of course it’ll really be more than that because you’re going to want to USE many of your Perk Cards. Non-legendary Perk Cards are ranked up by combining duplicates and have a max rank of anywhere from 1 to 5.

Anyway I’m going down a silly math rabbit hole. Point is, it takes a lot of levels to max everything. But wait, there IS a shortcut! Fallout Seasons! I’m only now enjoying my second Season so I can’t speak with authority on this, but in both seasons I’ve experienced there have been bundles of Perk Points given as part of the Season Rewards. This season there is a repeatable 25 Perk Point bundle (the equivalent of 8-9 levels worth of scrapped Perk Cards) at level 150. THAT is the golden goose of leveling up Legendary Perk Cards and that is my goal this season.

By the way a couple of other Legendary Perk cards that can be very useful early on are Master Infiltrator which, for 1 Legendary slot, gives you a 3 ranking in hacking and lockpicking. That frees up 6 slots in your build if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to swap out cards every time you need to unlock or hack something. Second is Ammo Factory; great if you’re someone who crafts their own ammo and who is always running short. At level 1 it gives you an extra 50% of ammo when you craft, and if you rank it up to 4, an extra 150%.

Oh, one last thing about Legendary Slots; they are account-wide. So if you have them all unlocked and then roll a level 1 alt, they will come out with all 6 slots ready to be filled. They’ll have to rank up their own Legendary Perks, but at level 1 (or even 20, since you can now start at 20) having an extra +1 for each SPECIAL attribute would be really handy.

Back to my journey, I started with Master Infiltrator then did Intelligence and Luck since those are both always handy (currently every point of Int = +3% experience) and then added Strength and Agility just because. I still need to do a lot of ranking up, though! At level 300 I’ll probably add Perception.

OK that was a lot about Legendary Perks, but at least I scratched the writing itch I was having!

I am still very new to the game, so if you are an old pro and I got anything wrong, please let me know in the comments and I’ll make corrections where needed!

Spring Cleaning Event – Fallout 76

There’s an event running in Fallout 76 called “Spring Cleaning” and I was talking about it on Mastodon and figured maybe I’d share the same info here. As a relative noob to Fallout 76 there were some details that tripped me up, so in case they trip other people up, too, I figured I’d share the little I know.

Getting Started

To get started, open up the Atom Shop and look in the Skins section. There should be a “Free” bug on it to help guide you. In the Pip-Boy tab you’ll find an Abraxo Cleaner skin, which is free. Buy that and log in.

Screenshot of the Atom Shop showing the needed skin
Here’s the skin you need

Now find an Armor station, and go to the Modify tab. Find your Pip Boy and you apply this new skin to it as a Paint Job. Just leave that on for the next 2 weeks while the event runs.

Screenshot of the armor station modding screen
Mod your Pip Boy!

What To Do?

Open your map and then open the goals UI. On the Xbox you do this with the right arrow button. It’s the same place you see challenges and such.

Screenshot showing week 1 of the Spring Cleaning task list
Here’s the Week 1 List

As you can see, I knocked out 5 of them last night and got some nice utility-ish rewards. You can find brooms, soap and Abraxo cleaner in kitchens and bathrooms around the wasteland.  Spoiler[ Outside of the Whitesprings Mall, near the north entrance, is a Maintenace building that has almost everything you need. ] A quick way to do the “Scrap” tasks is to create bulk items, then just scrap them. It’s a little cheat-ish but hey.

The Monkey Wrench

There is one monkey wrench thrown into the works if you’re just coming back to Fallout 76. For two of this week’s tasks you need to use the Cremator weapon, and as far as I know you can only get that via Seasons Rewards, and it is on page 4 of the Seasons (you need to be Rank 22 in the Season to unlock this page).

Screenshot of season rewards, page 4, showing the require Cremator
The Cremator is a gift from Page 4 of the Seasons Scoreboard, unfortunately for newly returning players

Given that the event runs for 2 weeks, you might (I haven’t done the math) be able to get to page 4 for week 2 if you use Score Boosters and such, but I of course don’t know if these tasks vanish at the start of week 2 or not. Basically if you haven’t been playing you probably can’t complete all the tasks (well I guess you could purchase levels in the Season Pass if you REALLY wanted to) but the interim rewards like Repair Kits and Perk Card Packs still make it worth doing, given how easy it is.

Stay safe out there, 7-6!

Fallout 76 Custom Worlds: I Don’t Get It

Quakecon is happening as I write this. I wasn’t really following it because my FPS days are long behind me, but then a Tweet about Fallout 76 slid down my timeline. They’re adding something called Fallout Worlds. I do play Fallout 76 now and again so I had to go watch the YouTube presentation:

So the brief recap in case you don’t have time to watch the video: they’re adding custom world settings. Examples included build anywhere and unlimited ammo. Basically tweaks to the rules of the game so you can change up your experience. That sounds pretty neat…until you get to the huge caveat.

When you play on a Custom World, the game makes a copy of your character for that world. This is now a completely separate character and any progress you make does not translate back to the ‘standard’ worlds. Basically it is a one way cloning trip.

This feels to me like a Public Test Server where you can tweak the ruleset. I can see it being a fun diversion to go into a custom world with unlimited ammo and extra enemies and just blow shit up for a while, but long term I just don’t see the point.

Credit for this and header image: Bethesda.net

There are two ways to play on Custom Worlds. Every month Bethesda themselves will spin up a Custom World with some ruleset they find interesting. Anyone can play on these, and after a month they get shut down (and your character gets deleted) and a new Custom World with a new ruleset gets created. The one month duration is a starting point and they say they’ll adjust that to be shorter or longer based on player feedback.

If you’re willing to pay, “Fallout 1st” members (Fallout 1st is the optional subscription service for the game) can create their own Custom Private Worlds. Same rules apply: you get a copy of your character that, once created, stays on that world. I guess the difference here is you can leave that world up indefinitely and only play on it, which makes the system a little more appealing.

I’m still not sure the cost of playing on a custom private world is worth it. Normally you can play on your Fallout 1st Private World today, then decide to jump into the public server with the same character tomorrow. You can move back and forth whenever you want. But as soon as you make that Private World custom in any way, your character is locked there.

So yeah, I just don’t get the appeal, beyond a short term diversion to screw around with. I get WHY these limitations are in place. It’d be super easy to make a custom world and twink the hell out of your character and then go back into the public world super buffed. But because of that issue, I just don’t see why they’ve devoted the resources to creating this new feature.

Can anyone educate me? If you’re excited about the feature, please let me know why in the comments.

Custom Worlds is sccheduled to launch on September 8th.

Fallout 76 Do-Over

I bought Fallout 76 for the Xbox One X when it first came out. BIG mistake. But you know that drama. The game was janky as heck, and the design had some major flaws, the biggest one being no NPCs. There’s nothing more depressing than doing a bunch of quests to track down people when you (the player) already know you’re just going to find their desiccated corpses.

Bethesda got the message, and it took them a year and a half but recently they rolled out the big Wastelanders update that adds NPCs, more quests and more things to do. It has improved the game a ton (though the jank, while better, certainly hasn’t been eliminated).

My little camp near a river.

A Fresh Start

I started playing again and I was liking it OK over in Xbox-land. This past weekend Bethesda had a free trial weekend, though, and on a whim I decided to download it on PC. I generally prefer gaming on console to PC (that’s a whole other post) but this time, wow, is Fallout 76 ever better on PC. The graphics are way better and using a mouse & keyboard, particularly when building your CAMP, is so much less frustrating. I know, I know, most of you PC gamers are saying “Well duh” but I generally use a controller even on PC. I find them much more comfortable.

Anyway, I decided to fully commit to the PC version, and snagged a copy while it was on sale for $30. It was a good time to make the switch since along with the free-trial weekend was a double-experience event, so I’m already higher level (all of 14, so still very low) than I was on Xbox where I’d started a new character for Wastelanders. I’m not as far along in the quest lines, but I’m higher level.

There’s some bad stuff happening in West Virginia

In fact I’m liking Fallout 76 so much I may go over to the dark side and buy a month of Fallout 1st, their much reviled “pay-to-win” (I guess?) system. I was thinking about buying some “Atoms” (their RMT currency) anyway and you get more with a month of Fallout 1st than you’d get buying the Atoms directly, plus you get some other nice perks including Private Servers and a Stash Box that sounds a lot life the Crafting Bags you get with ESO Plus for The Elder Scrolls Online. I don’t fret much about whether something is “pay-to-win” since I play solo anyway. Mostly I just want to make my CAMP look prettier by buying some cosmetics from the cash shop.

Polly the Robot is always trying to get ahead of herself /cringe