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After completing Mission: Countdown in any of the three nuclear silos, sites Alpha, Bravo, or Charlie, Vault Dwellers can insert a nuclear keycard and enter the launch codes, granting access to the targeting computer. Viewing a military-style map of Appalachia, the player can then select a target for the missile.
As soon as a target is confirmed, the Death from Above quest will begin for every player on the server. Air raid sirens will immediately sound across the wasteland and an emergency broadcast warning alerts the entire server of the imminent nuclear strike. It will take three minutes for the bomb to drop and the created blast zone will last for two hours. The silo which launched the missile will be unavailable on the world for 3 hours. Additionally, the silo will be unavailable to the launching character across all worlds for a real-world duration of 3 hours.
Upon nuke impact, players and most workshop objects inside the blast radius will be destroyed instantly. Anyone inside of an interior cell within the blast radius will be safe from the effects. Players outside the edge of the blast zone will not be killed. Once a player has entered the zone, they will take severe radiation damage unless wearing power armor, a hazmat suit or Chinese stealth armor. NPCs inside of a blast zone will don hazmat suits as well.
While where a nuke is launched is dependent on the choice of the player, certain portions of Appalachia are in a "protected zone" and cannot be targeted. The protected zone includes many areas of Appalachia where low-level players are likely to have early quests. If any part of the blast radius would be within the protected zone, the nuke cannot be launched.
If a nuke is launched at specific locations on the map, a public event with a high-level boss enemy will begin. The listed location only needs to be contained somewhere within in the entire blast zone radius and does not have to be explicitly targeted as the center of the blast zone. The event can then be accessed by fast traveling to the closest location outside of the impact zone.
|Blast zone events|
|Public event||Location within radius||Description|
|Scorched Earth||Fissure site Prime||The scorchbeast queen emerges from the fissure and summons her army of scorched minions. A large team of 8 players is recommended.|
|A Colossal Problem||Monongah Mine||With the rubble blasted away and the entrance exposed, delve deep into the mine and face Earle Williams, a Wendigo colossus. 8 players maximum per instance.|
Certain random encounters may only appear if the area is within a blast zone.
|Blast zone encounters|
|Wendigo Colossus||Assault (10% chance)||A 3-star wendigo colossus and its gang of wendigo spawn.|
Some enemies killed within a blast zone will drop special loot, in the form of mutated organic materials. These may be used for crafting, consumption or may be broken down for raw components. The following items may be added to their drop tables:
|Glowing mass||Glowing meat||Hardened mass|
|High-radiation fluids||Ionized meat||Nuclear material|
The rules for dropping glowing loot are not universally applied, so not all creatures, even glowing variants, are able to drop glowing loot.[note 1] For example, most creatures that spawn during Scorched Earth will be Scorched instead of glowing, and will be bugged to be missing the requirements, even if they are killed within the blast zone. Only the following enemies are able to drop glowing loot:
Flux is harvested from mutated flora that briefly emerge in a blast zone. Before the Great War, flux was researched and subsequently named by the Enclave in Appalachia, who discovered that missile detonations fundamentally change the nature of a plant's tissue.
|Raw crimson flux
|Raw cobalt flux
|Raw fluorescent flux
|Raw violet flux
|Raw yellowcake flux
When affected by a blast zone, the following ore veins have a 15% chance to be converted to an ultracite vein:
|Aluminum vein||Black titanium vein||Coal vein|
|Copper vein||Crystal vein||Gold vein|
|Iron vein||Lead vein||Silver vein|
Ultracite veins around fissure sites work differently. When affected by a blast zone, decaying ultracite veins will be completely removed and hidden from the game. On the other hand, standard ultracite veins, which are likewise hidden when not affected by a blast zone, will become harvestable inside of a blast zone.
Interacting with either an ultracite vein or a decaying ultracite vein will spawn a wave of Scorched defenders, regardless of a whether a blast zone is present.
In Nuclear Winter, players must obtain four launch codes and a nuke briefcase before gaining the ability to drop a nuke. By activating the briefcase, a targeting computer allows the player to drop a nuke anywhere they choose.
Similar to Adventure mode, the blast radius will instantly kill any players inside at the time of impact and will leave a red radioactive circle for a duration. Unlike Adventure mode, the countdown timer is reduced to 20 seconds and the blast zone is comparatively smaller.
- If Monongah Mine is within the radius of an active blast zone when another nuke is launched anywhere else on the map, it can trigger another A Colossal Problem event.
- After playing a round of Nuclear Winter in which a nuke was launched, the blast radius in Adventure Mode may appear many times larger than normal on the map. This is visual only and does not affect the blast zone effects in the world.
- Plants grown at player C.A.M.P.S. and workshops will not be converted to nuked flora.
- The nuke blast zone has a radius of 20,460 units.
- Nuke blast zones persist for exactly two hours.
- Scorched Earth will not drop "glowing loot."[verified] Most NPCs do not drop "glowing loot" upon death in a nuke zone. Creatures spawned during
- Strangler pods within a blast zone are supposed to have a chance to convert to either glow pods or Strangler bloom when affected by a blast zone. Due to the glow pod being listed first and having a 100% chance to spawn, the 25% chance to cosmetically convert to strangler bloom is never possible.[bug 1][verified]
- Pumpkins do not convert to nuked flora.[verified]
- Nuclear poster narration
- The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; Meeting Transcript, Entry 1.5.2 (Partial)
- 100% chance:
- Note: In order to drop glowing loot, 3 conditions must be met:
· Must have the GlowingLootDrop pool on their NPC record
· Must have the ActorTypeGlowing keyword on their NPC record
· Must have spawned in/died within a blast zone
- Note: Only 002B71DC; the display name is the same as any other Mr. Handy variant. This one will spawn with a flamethrower.
- Note: Volatile fever blossom is unobtainable as of 3/2021
- LPI_FloraSwampPod01 [LVLI:0038F0A8]