The world of DLC is a weird one, we either get messy one-item downloads like Bethesda's infamous horse armor DLC or get whole new worlds and campaigns. The gap in terms of quality is pretty huge in the dowloadable content game but now that the idea of DLC has replaced classic add-on's for good and has been established for a few years it's a valid assumption that DLC should not only be worth the money but also come with a fair deal of quality.
Mid November 2015 Bethesda dropped its newest smash hit "Fallout 4" on the market, a game that re-defined the term "selling like hotcakes" with "our new hotcakes are selling like Fallout 4". Yes, it's already a financial success for Bethesda but let's not forget that what also helped the studio make so much money was the fans willingness to trust the studio in advance and buying a season-pass. For the uninitiated: essentially a download code that entitles you to all upcoming downloadable content, so in short, you're buying a product in advance to its release and place good faith in the developer without even knowing what exactly you'll get. This blind trust should be rewarded.
Despite several studios having proven that you shouldn't think twice but about ten more times before buying a season pass Bethesda holds a pretty good track record with DLC. While some studios release half baked or insultingly flat DLC packages Bethesda usually brings the player a whole new experience. Back in the days of Fallout 3 (wich isn't that long ago, it just sounds a lot more dramatic when phrasing it that way) Bethesda released a whopping ammount of 6 (!) DLC's that all offered a new campaign and world each.
So what can we expect from Fallout 4's added content? Nothing until we hear otherwise. But that doesn't stop me, a huge Fallout fan myself, from speculating and putting ideas out there knowing what I and to some extent also a lot of Fallout fans could enjoy in the near future from this brilliant game.
Before the DLC starts:
Every DLC usually integrates a device to link the added storyline to the ongoing game. So for this scenario we introduce a new character: Shelby, the Ghoul. Before the war Shelby used to be a pilot and has spent his entire Ghoul-existence trying to get his plane to work. Every DLC package adds this character and his one quest: find the last neccessary part for his plane. This quest comes with every DLC, if played once already it won't repeat. Once completed Shelby offers our character to join him on his journey. Where this journey takes us is up to the DLC we installed.
Potential DLC #1: Cape Cod - Nantucket - Martha's Vineyard
After finishing the pre-quest with Shelby he takes us to Martha's Vineyard Airport where we're immediately thrown into a battle between two groups. After sorting out the fight the only survivor. The soldier, calling himself Captain Green tells us of the highly risque situation: Three factions have taken residence in the Massachusets beach area. While rests of the Enclave are operating from a warship retitled "The President's Yacht" a religious organization calling themselves "The Enlightened" built from a mixture of ancient religious texts tries to violently overrun the area. The third faction consists from the original settlers who have sheltered up in Barnstable City.
Green takes us to Barnstable City where we meet a wide range of colorful characters full of humans, ghouls and supermutans seemingly living in peace proving that it indeed is possible for all these creatures to coexist in peace. We also meet Fawkes (yes, our former companion from Fallout 3) who has taken it on himself to create a place for tollerance. While his plans were noble not everyone wanted to share their homes with "abominations" so they spun off into the fanatically religious "Enlightened". From here on we're given a quest-line of checking up on the other settlements in the region and finding out about their allegiances.
Once that is done Fawkes asks us to infiltrate "the Enlightened", this brings us to Gosnold where we gain the trust of Pope Ingram who considers himself the reincarnation of god. After finishing the infiltration quest Pope Ingram orders us to report to their allies: the Enclave. Thus we make our way to "The President's Yacht", wich is less a yacht but a warship. On deck the Enclave's current leader Matthew Scott sees potential in us and reveals his master plan: before the bombs fell Vault-Tec had a hand over the US, that being two nuclear missiles stored away in a launch site disguised as a Vault. He sends us there with a code that will blow up both "The Enlightened" and Fawke's camp. We now can decide to either tell Fawkes or Pope Ingram or just do as Scott says. If we tell Fawkes he'll try to convince Pope Ingram of joining forces against the Enclave. If we pass a speech check we have both sides joined against the Enclave. In case we fail there's a battle against "the Enlightened"; both scenarios are ending with us blowing the Enclave to bits.
The winning faction(s) will remain.
Potential DLC #2: Vault 14
Earlier this year Bethesda released "Fallout: Shelter" a mobile game focusing on handling a Vault as an Overseer. The game mechanic was simple: build more and more levels and inhabit them with various stations creating needed ressources like food, water or energy. The system works like Fallout 4's ingame settlement system. Sadly this system doesn't apply to a Vault...yet.
Yes, managing your own Vault would be neat but everything needs a story to happen organically. So I propose this: our player character comes across an emergency signal in the Glowing Sea, the signal itself coming from a Raider who discovered something "strange" before being mysteriously killed. Following the signal we come across the dead body at the entrance of a cave, gunned down by a turret. Investigating a little further down the cave we finally come across a Vault door. Following a speech check with the Overseer we get to enter the mysterious place that managed to stay active in the deadly radiated Glowing Sea. Up until this point the plot works a lot like the "Vault 81" Quest but when entering the Vault we get the gist of the DLC: it's 81...but a lot bigger. Double the size, three times the colorful characters and a whole plot line forcing your character to handle a civil war raging withing the Vault wich is in a "election" process.
The plot follows our character making alliances with the three ruling parties: the Aristocrats, the wealthiest group of people in the Vault hellbent to keep the Vault closed for good and not leaving anyone (including you) out; the Runners, a group trying to convince the residents of opening their doors and collaborating with the people on the outside and the Followers of Liberty, a religious party with no real intentions but following their deity modeled after the Statue of Liberty.
Over the course of the game we learn the shocking truth: this process has been repeating itself for the last 200 years and has always ended the same: the rich subdue the revolutioners by buying the vote. Depending on our characters choice we can either help the Aristocrats win, get to leave the Vault with a lot of cash but never get to return there or help the Runners take control over the Vault only to lose a battle against the Aristocrats army that would rather see the Vault destroyed than in the hands of the Runners. In the Aftermath of this plot we're forced to relocate the Vault residents. But where? They refuse to live on the outside. So we relocate them to the only place possible: our own Vault 111.
This is where the plot ends but the fun begins, after creating a basic livable enviroment for the residents we can either leave and go on with our merry lives or expand our Vault as the Overseer in the vein of "Fallout: Shelter".
Potential DLC #3: Jack Cabot's Hunt for the Alien City:
During the events of Fallout 4 we made the aquaintance of Jack Cabot. A pre-war scientiest who managed to use his father as a source for eternal life. See, Jack's father was a wealthy archeologist and one day discovered a mysterious alien artifact that gathered him eternal life and powers beyond belief. Jack managed to lock the man up once he became mentally unstable, that is until our character got to either free Lorenzo Cabot or kill him. Following the events Jack proclaims to go ahead and look for more alien cities around the globe.
This is where my next idea for a potential DLC starts. Some time after the questline about the Cabot mystery we recieve a mysterious radio signal, turns out Jack desperately tries to get in contact with us. Added to a cry of help are Jack's coordinates. Unfortunately the coordinates lead to Baja, Mexico. Thanks to our previous (or if this is your first downloaded DLC, our first) interactions with Shelby, we make our way to the sunny area. We start our plot in Angéles where we question the citizens about Jack. A lead brings us to the main town La Paz where city officials of the NCR refuse to tell us about Jack's whereabouts if we don't finish some obligatory quests for them relating to a city inhabited by people that seemingly can't die. This makes the DLC's theme clear: alien influence. The inhabitants of Capo San Lucas are blissfully unaware of their immortality and have lost all sense for time. We finish some objectives for the main town leader and ultimately discover the source of their longevity: a dead alien skelleton is on the ground of the cities well. Back in La Paz we're told that Jack built a camp at a close harbour. There we come upon an alien cult that attacks us without hesitation. Upon defeating all foes we learn from a close terminal where Jack was headed. By swimming out to the open we discover Jack's Yacht, wich didn't seem to have a good ride as it's completely destroyed. Checking out the remains of the ship we're attacked by horribly mutated creatures only out to kill us. After finishing off these creatures we seem to be back at square zero. However we have a lead: the cultists. After informing us on the cult we visit their Head Quarters: "The Curch of the Outworldy". We soon find out that their religion is based on the skull of an alien. After defeating the cultists we get one last clue: "The Factory". Going there we discover that the location is infact an alien draining facility, alien artifacts and corpses are drained of blood to create the serum that helped Jack and his family to remain immortal. The leaders think that holding Jack captive solves their issue but Jack himself can't help much without an active alien artifact. He tasks us with finding one. After finding the wished object the cultists believe that Jack can finally recreate the serum for immortality but turns out that the object we found was not a bland object but a beacon. The cultists are quickly taken out by an army of aliens who then take us and Jack to their home base, a city far off in the atlantic. They explain that the city's inhabitants are all stranded on earth after a giant secret war the human military lead against them before the bombs fell. For aliens these creatures are fairly humanized. They enlist our help to get rid of the fanatic cultists trying to get to the secret of eternal life through the alien blood. After helping the local factions (NCR and La Paz Regulators) they join the aliens in the war against the cultists (who are seemingly aided by the Enclave). After a brutal and devestating war the aliens offer the NCR and the Regulators to help them rebuild. What an amicable end. But the aliens offer us a clue for a future DLC: "the Dark Side of the Moon will strike back". Cryptic now but incredibly important later.