When Fallout 76 arrived back in November of 2018, it didn't come with NPCs. It was also unbelievably broken, but folks couldn't believe that Bethesda, the madmen, actually did it, and released a Fallout without fully featured NPCs.
At launch I was like many players: slowly meandering around looking for more direct story content, before quitting and occasionally coming back to see how the updates fare. So far the game has markedly improved, but there's still a ways to go and I don't think people will ever forget the state it launched in.
Speaking of improvements, more of those were announced at QuakeCon this past weekend during a Fallout 76 panel (which you can watch in its entirety below), including a new battle royale map called Morgantown (arriving in September), a new four-player raid that's coming soon (no real details were doled out for this one), and most importantly, the confirmation that NPCs are still slated for November, and private servers are still on the docket.
Bethesda compares the NPC update (Wastelanders) to past entries like Fallout 3, and teases that private servers may come before any of this content. At the end of the day, at some point in this game's troubled future, you'll be able to host private sessions and play a Fallout entry, with NPCs, with friends.
I'm looking forward to that...a full year after the original came out and charged $60 with microtransactions. This whole debacle is book-worthy.