Using a new Expeditions feature, Fallout 76 will borrow expansion plans from Elder Scrolls Online and incorporate locations and content from other Fallout games.
Fallout 76's Expeditions feature sounds pretty ambitious. Bethesda says Expeditions will "take users outside the current map" and that they're "very excited to make them." This could be similar to how ESO will eventually incorporate the whole of Tamriel's locations--on a smaller scale, of course. Expeditions may be more bite-sized instances where gamers travel to other locations from the Fallout series. If this is accurate, then Fallout 76 is here to stay for a long time.
The real-life Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. compared to the datamined prototypes in Fallout 76, and the in-game area in Fallout 3.
Now we have evidence that Fallout 3's D.C. region will be one of these explorable regions. Unfinished assets of the D.C. region have been datamined from Fallout 76 by user eckserah, all but confirming that Bethesda is in early stages of prototyping Fallout 3 locales. One of the images clearly shows the Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. complete with the Washington Monument in the background, which also showed up in Fallout 3. These are test cells and not finalized content, so they might not show up in Fallout 76.
This lines up with what Bethesda's Mark Tucker said in a recent Reddit AmA: "We are still iterating on the Design for Expeditions, so we will share more details as we get closer to releasing them."
This move makes a lot of sense for Bethesda. Washington, D.C. is close to Bethesda's headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, and the team already has assets from Fallout 3 that can be re-tooled and updated to fit into Fallout 76's engine. Re-using assets is tremendously common in the games industry for cost purposes, so it makes sense that Fallout 3 would be among the first Expedition zones.
Nothing has been confirmed so far and Bethesda says Fallout 76's Expeditions will slip into 2022 as they work on the multitude of seasonal content for 2021.
"We still have big plans for Expeditions. We are as bummed as you are about them slipping out of this year's Roadmap. We are still iterating on the Design for Expeditions, so we will share more details as we get closer to releasing them. The BIG take away here is - yes, these will take you outside of the current map, they are their own new feature, and we are committed (and very excited) to make them," Bethesda's Mark Tucker said in a recent AmA on Reddit.