Photo by Nefeli Sassaris
Bethesda and their most recent game, “Fallout 76,” have once again been thrust into the public eye with yet another controversy. On Oct. 23, Bethesda revealed the next big step for the ever controversial “Fallout 76.” Fallout First: a subscription service that would give people features that the players of the game have been expecting ever since the rocky release.
The service would come with the ability to create your own private worlds that up to eight people can play in, without the constant issue of already barren locations due to someone else being there first; a so-called “scrapbox,” which has unlimited storage space for all of your crafting materials that you can take with you to any world; a survival tent that comes with a stash; a sleeping bag and a fast travel point which makes base-making even more pointless; a monthly supply of Atoms, “Fallout 76”’s premium currency which brings you to the loathed Atomic Shop; a premium outfit and an icon and emote pack. You can get all these features and nothing else for the low price of $12 a month and a jaw-dropping HUNDRED dollars a year.
With all of these features now in the game, the community around it has expressed their opinion on the service: pure disbelief. While all the features are indeed enticing to a regular player of the game, one of the biggest promises about “Fallout 76” was that the microtransactions in the game are only for cosmetics, and anything game-altering has to be earned in the game. While this promise has been shaky with past additions to the game like purchasable scrap to craft better weapons, the assertion that only cosmetic items will be monetized seems almost like a complete joke as this service comes bursting into the game.
The already small player base of the game has shown complete outrage as the service seems to push the idea that the fans wanted this all along. Quotes like, “That’s why we’re excited to launch ‘Fallout First,’ a premium membership that offers something players have been asking for since before launch,” litter the page. The convenient part that this page omits is that all these requested features were expected to be free due to the cosmetic-only promise that laid the groundwork of the game’s PR.
The outrage this time around has even transcended typical means of protest. While most controversies for the game have typically stayed within forum posts and threads, this time it has pushed people to new inventive heights. One extremely irate player of the game was able to grab the website domain FalloutFirst.com before Bethesda could, making a complete parody of the original post with amazing lines such as, “Ever since ‘Fallout 76’ launched, we have consistently done nothing to improve and evolve the experience based on your [expletive] feedback.” Dubbing the service as “Fallout [expletive] You First,” he makes a complete mockery of the services that the original provides and has openly said that he bought the domain so that if one were to search for “Fallout First,” this will be one of the sites that they see.
After all the initial hate, many who actually bought the service hoped that it would make their experiences better. After all, they’re the market for these kinds of features. Of course they should work.
Users of the service have been reporting problems with the service’s perks, a number of which start with the private worlds. Players have been reporting weird occurrences of already dead enemies and looted locations, implying that these aren’t the serene private experience that people have been hoping for, but actually are previous instances of existing servers. It gets worse, however. These private servers have also been reported to allow non-“Fallout First” members to remain in a private world even when the “Fallout First” member that allowed them into the server leaves. This goes against the original pitch of “The world will still stay active as long as one other player in the world is a Fallout First member.”
However, the worst problems of the service have been reported for the supposed infinite scrapbox. Unfortunate individuals who use this frankly fantastic perk have been reporting that whenever someone deposits scrap, an essential item for crafting and literally in the name of the storage itself, the scrap all disappears without a trace whenever you leave the server in which you deposited your scrap. That means two of the biggest selling points of this $100-a-year service don’t even work as advertised.
Bethesda has responded by saying that they are attempting to fix the issues with the service. However, considering Bethesda’s history, it might be best to wait to see it before believing it.
Edward Park is a second-year student majoring in English education . EP909756@wcupa.edu.