Update: In light of some perceived lore discrepancies pertaining to the Bortherhood of Steel's appearance in Fallout 76 (see our original story below), Bethesda has responded.
In an Instagram post (opens in new tab) picked up by Eurogamer (opens in new tab), the developer outlines exactly how the long-standing series faction had the means to appear trans-USA within such a tight post-Great War time frame—something disputed by a host of prospective Fallout 76 players.
The post reads: "November 2077, a month after the Great War, army Captain Roger Maxson arrived with survivors at the Californian bunker of Lost Hills. There he formed the Brotherhood of Steel, who used a functioning satellite to extend their reach across America… all the way to Appalachia."
So there you have it. Panic averted.
Our original story follows.
A group of Fallout 76 fans have called out a perceived discrepancy in Fallout 76's timeline, relative to long-serving series faction The Brotherhood of Steel.
As reported by Eurogamer (opens in new tab), Reddit user Baffodil voiced concerns about the following in-game note (opens in new tab) which alludes to the Brotherhood's presence in West Virginia's Appalachia—the setting of the incoming multiplayer shooter RPG. Baffodil, and a number of other (opens in new tab) prospective players, reckon the BoS's presence in east coast USA in the year 2102 (when 76 takes place) is less than likely.
"Almost all lore up to the events of Fallout 2 and 3 with the BoS took place almost exclusively in California," says Baffodil (opens in new tab), "with ranking leaders having to make petitions just to go on expeditions to facilities even within California, earliest known activity was only in California around 2134.
"The Brotherhood of Steel being in WEST VIRGINIA in the year 2102 should be downright implausible if not impossible—the implied canon is that they were still hibernating in their bunker in Lost Hills until 2150 after they went on an Exodus from Mariposa directly south to their new base in 2077… Note the BoS were not created by Bethesda. So this is overstepping into original Interplay/Black Isle Lore and retconning FO1."
In conversation with Gamespot (opens in new tab) (but not in direct relation to Baffodil's musings), Bethesda's Pete Hines said: "Our developers take things like lore and canon seriously and if they're going to do something they're going to make sure that there's a real and defensible reason for it. We have proven with Elder Scrolls games, we're willing to say 'Well lots of people will say things happened one way,' and the opposite or something else could entirely be true.
"So there's no question that we've gone back to change things to fit what developers have wanted to do and not be beholden to something that somebody wrote 20 years ago even in franchises that we created like the Elder Scrolls."
Hines then adds: "But having said that, we don't take it lightly to just go 'Ah, we're just going to do whatever the hell we want.' There has to be a thought process—what is the rationale? Why would this logically work in this time? Why would there be super mutants, or the Brotherhood of Steel? How does that all fit and hold together? There's absolutely reasons and explanations for how all that ties to Fallout 76."
The Brotherhood of Steel section of the Fallout wiki says "relatively little is known about the early years of the Brotherhood of Steel", before mentioning a breakaway "detachment" appeared in West Virginia in 2102—which appears to directly reference the above Fallout 76 in-game note.
So, what do you make of all of that? I guess we'll have a clearer picture come November 14 when Fallout 76 lands, but in the meantime I'll turn it over to you lot to discuss in the comments below. We've mailed Bethesda asking for their thoughts on this subject, too.