June 27, 2022

Bethesda’s Latest Disaster

Everybody and their nan know about the mayhem following Fallout 76. The game has been rife with controversy, with broken buggy gameplay to ludicrous memorabilia being given away. However, the biggest and perhaps worst the game can offer has only just begun.

On 23rd October, Bethesda announced their new, game-changing concept; Fallout 1st. A premium membership subscription that costs £11.99/month with a yearly subscription offer for £100.

The Fallout 1st service offers players access to;

  • Private worlds accessible exclusively to you and up to seven friends
  • A storage container offering unlimited storage for your crafting components
  • A new fast-travel-enabling Survival Tent with a stash, sleeping bag and “more for your basic needs”
  • 1,650 Atoms (Fallout 76’s in-game currency) per month for use in the Atomic Shop
  • An iconic Ranger Armour Fallout outfit, which is exclusive to the service and
  • Unique icons and emotes which are, again, exclusive to the Fallout 1st service.
Still not as terrifying as Bethesda’s practises

Let’s Pick Those Apart

In a free game, these would be an ideal incentive for players wanting more out of Fallout 76. However, Fallout 76 is already a paid-for title, not a free-to-play one. The problems only escalate from there, unfortunately.

Players are reporting that the “private” worlds aren’t actually private. There are loopholes behind the privacy Bethesda mention, such as the inability to restrict access beyond one’s friends list. A player with a larger list of friends cannot go completely invisible and make the world invitation only. Conversely, anyone in the player’s friends list could see the player is online and simply click to join them.

The worlds the players find themselves in also seem to be recycled at times, too. Some players have reported finding dead bodies and already looted locations in their “new” world. Bethesda announced they would bring in private servers as late as a week before the announcement of Fallout First. At the expense of delaying some free DLC until next year. Free DLC that Bethesda was releasing by way of an apology, by the way.

The storage containers have also reportedly made some player’s stored inventory disappear from the game. This has affected players in their own worlds as well as whilst visiting other player’s worlds.

What Did Bethesda Have to Say?

Bethesda reached out to Polygon to clarify some of the issues and give an update on what they are doing to rectify the issues.

A reported update to the private world settings will be available “soon” which will allow players to control all access to their private servers. Bethesda said on the issues;

“We understand this is not what players expected for their Private Worlds. We are looking to provide an option in an upcoming patch that will allow Fallout 1st members to restrict access to their servers more completely.”

In regards to the container issues, a representative said the following;

“a small number of players with a large quantity of scrap are experiencing a display issue causing their Scrap Box to appear empty”

[Bethesda believed this to be a user interface issue and any ‘lost’ scrap should still be accessible whilst crafting from workbenches. They continued saying;]

“We are actively working to address this issue, both internally and using the data and characters folks from the community have provided us.”

Convenient storage unit, or a black hole for scrap?

Bethesda claimed players were not getting used or recycled worlds,

“When a Fallout 1st member starts a Private World, a dedicated world is launched on an [Amazon Web Services] server. Players who have seen looted containers upon login may be experiencing the expected behaviour upon log out and log in[!?]. Loot is instanced for each player in containers. As Fallout 76’s players know, if you loot a container on one server, and then log out and log back into another server, the container remains in a ‘looted’ state for a period of time.”

However, in regards to the container issues, Bethesda did provide an update to Polygon that (almost) redeemed them for their above comments;

“Our initial investigation indicated that this was a display issue and that no items had gone missing. However, we have since found that a small number of players have in fact experienced a loss of scrap items after placing them into the Scrap Box and then loading into a world.

Resolving this issue is currently our top priority. We are also exploring ways to restore the missing items.”

Too Little, Too Late for Fallout 76?

Of course, for players of Fallout 76, this may all be a case of too little, too late. And rightly so. Surprisingly, it isn’t even just the gaming press that has been on this story either. An article about one interesting spin-off story (more in a moment) made it to the front page of the BBC website.

[Sadly, the site has updated and the story isn’t on the home page any more, but is still accessible here]

The BBC story details how one individual, David Chapman, was able to buy the Fallout First domain name and has used it to mock Bethesda. FalloutFirst.com – which, for some reason, Bethesda did not bother to acquire beforehand – is most suitably NSFW but is well worth a visit when you can. And even more bizarre is that Chapman bought it for a meagre £21.40!

The trolling genius told the BBC how Fallout 1st;

“was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me make [FalloutFirst.com].

My motivation stems from frustration with Bethesda. And in general the current trend of the gaming industry. [Bethesda] said players had been asking for this – players never asked to pay a subscription for features hidden behind a paywall.”

#BoycottFallout76

Since Fallout 76’s launch, controversy has plagued it and Bethesda every step of the way. And Fallout 1st may indeed be the last straw. Despite several updates fixing certain issues, another set crop up in its place. Understandably, the community has had enough, with some players on the Fallout 76 subreddit talking about a boycott of the game and of Bethesda altogether.

https://twitter.com/HoaWasteland/status/1187446248812318720

Our sentiments exactly, matey!

Again, this paywall comes at the cost of £12.99 a month or £100 for an annual subscription. Or, you could get the Xbox Ultimate Games Pass for £10.99 a month and have access to well-over 100 games, including The Outer Worlds!

The Outer Worlds being a creation of Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain of Obsidian Entertainment. Boyarsky and Cain are more commonly known as the co-creators of the Fallout series. And they who also helped work on Fallout: New Vegas. So, if you fancy playing a true-to-values, great Fallout experience without the need to purchase over-the-top subscription services to access community-demanded features, play The Outer Worlds instead.


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