The, Er, Fallout of Fallout 76


I may have been a wee bit hyperbolic in my post (and IAANAL), but this is the key reason I think this is just a publicity stunt by the lawyers. Maybe if this was in Europe I wouldn’t be so cynical about it, but the circumstances under which American consumers are entitled to a refund on digital goods (and even non-digital goods for the most part) is essentially “go fuck yourself.” Some states might have stricter rules, but even that usually just amounts to a requirement that refund policies be clearly stated, which is why every digital storefront has that giant “NO REFUNDS EXCEPT WHERE REQUIRED BY LAW” disclaimer on it.

Maybe if someone could show that Bethesda’s uninstaller deleted something of significant value, they could sue for damages, but as it is, I would be stunned if this “lawsuit” ever amounted to more than a Reddit post. “Buyer beware” is still pretty much the law of the land, and all it takes is five seconds on Twitch to see that the game is not literally unplayable.


The instability issues and consumer rights scuffles are fun to yuk at, but hardly the thing that puts me off the most about FO76 as a whole. It’s mainly plundering the iconography of the series (particularly, the 60s retro-futurism that F01 and 2 used in service of a broader point about conspicuous consumerism) to prop up a work that wholly rejects the role-playing priorities of its forebears.

During a playthrough of FO4 on Spoiler Warning (which Chris Franklin of Errant Signal was on), they were speculating when/if Bethesda were going to eventually make a game in either the Fallout or TES series that abandoned the role-playing elements in favor of a presentation-focused directed experience. While FO76 definitely isn’t exactly that, it is a complete divergence from the story RPG format to one that’s currently in vogue (multiplayer survival).

FO4 was already heading in that direction with a massively simplified and reductive dialogue tree system that existed primarily as a way of streamlining the process of getting and completing kill/gather quests. 76 is the obvious conclusion, where real NPC interaction no longer exists and you’re automatically fed kill/gather quests through basic UI interactions.

(I’ve heard the argument that some of the recordings in 76 are well-written, which I’m sure they probably are, but that fundamentally does not change the fact that the player has no meaningful capability of actually role-playing within those stories)

It’s not like you can’t have that level of story interaction within a multiplayer-focused genre, for all of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s issues with the story and MMO elements fighting for attention with each other, Bioware made a genuine attempt to include the alignment-based character role-playing that the KOTOR games were known for. FO76 throws the possibility out the window, while trying to maintain a surface-level impression of a story to facilitate a critical path for people playing on their own.

And Fallout’s brand of character role-playing isn’t so sacred that you couldn’t try to use the framing for a different genre interpretation (no one’s going to be arguing that Fallout Tactics was some betrayal of the series identity), but you need to put in the legwork to make it a fully-realized game within that new genre. They’ve just taken the junk economy and base-building mechanics from FO4—which themselves were a half-realized idea to justify the work in placing all the trash around the environments—and ported them over into a multiplayer server mod with very little adjustment, while leaning on the Fallout IP to fill the void. There are much, much better multiplayer survival games than this.

They’ll probably spend the time ironing out the most glaring technical problems, and build on what they have so that no one can accuse it of lacking capital-c Content™, but it’ll still be a nothing game. One part Fallout-but-not-really nothing, another part survival-mechanics-but-not-really nothing.

It is the most Bethesda-ass resting on their laurels project imaginable. This was going to happen in one form or another.


Here to add another notch to the ‘growing pains’ stick while we can still call issues that folks have with this game that: reporting functions.


I like the idea of this. It’s amazing that no other company seems to mind so much. (Efficacy and methodology aside.)

The frequency of “well, stop playing I guess” or “Okay, we banned them for a couple hours, surely they’ll spend that time reflecting on their life and come back calm and reasonable.”


I’m not involved in logistics, I have no idea the amount of time and effort that goes into things like this. I am taking this stance out of sheer ignorance, but it is a stance I will take nonetheless.

How in the holy name of fuck do you run across a supply/cost issue for canvas. CANVAS. We’re not talking about some space age polymer or rare earth minerals, we’re talking about cheap fabric that’s existed for centuries. Is there some insane hemp or cotton shortage I’m not aware of? How is it possible that they didn’t know how much these things were going to cost in advance and how in the name of god is it possible that the cost of fabric is what’s making a $200 collector’s edition too much of a financial burden?


If you ever end up in a review meeting about Cost of Goods with some VP questioning everything because they are trying to earn a bonus by cutting 2c off the production cost of each item, because this years business push is to increase margins by 1%, you’ll understand how this happened. You might even be the guy who says “but we advertised canvas, we could get sued” and earn a “don’t give me excuses” speech. I’ve been in that room. It’s terrible.

It doesn’t matter to that VP on that day that your quality is going to be lower. They won’t get blamed. They’ll get their bonus/raise, and move on. The quality discussion will come up in 6 months after bad reviews start showing up, and somehow no-one is going to point a single finger at the VP who demanded lower costs in the first place. And if you do you’ll hear another “lets work on solutions” speech for your trouble.



Damn this is just getting worse and worse as time goes on.


That’s a link to some sort of car website. Seriously, I’m just getting redirected to some car site.


Yeah, same here. It’s really weird, because quoting it and formatting it through the board itself, the link appears to be correct.


Copy-pasting the link seems to work for whatever reason.

However, the event did occur before the release of Fallout 76 , and the canvas bags offered to the influencers isn’t identical in design to the promised Collector’s Edition version.

I don’t know how the process for producing these kinds of one-off, limited edition things work, but this sounds bizarre. They made three (3) separate versions of this damn bag: The original canvas one they offered, a different canvas one only given away at this event, and the cheap nylon one people got. Maybe it’s easier than I thought to sort out these manufacturing deals.


Do you people not like cars??? I don’t know how to internet I guess. Can’t wait to see how this fallout shit finds a way to get even more ridiculous.


You know, depending on when Bethesda was placing their orders, I think you may have stumbled onto something here. Cotton prices did actually spike about 20% from the end of 2017 through summer 2018, mostly due to weather conditions and uncertainty around U.S.-China trade relations. (That’s nothing compared to the 250% spike in 2010/2011, though.)

Considering how inflated the prices on special editions are, I doubt it would’ve pushed those packages into the red, but I can definitely imagine some suit somewhere in the Zenimax/Bethesda marketing department deciding to cut and run.


Here’s Chris Franklin echoing my same suspicions about the production, and conclusions about the end result.


You’d think I’d feel slightly more vindicated that “hey, maybe Bethesda sucks, kinda” is becoming more of a common sentiment, but nope, I’m just sort of annoyed that it took THIS long.

For me, 76 seems like everything not great about the way Bethsoft has made games since at least Oblivion coming home to roost, but it’s only intolerable NOW? I don’t know, it’s weird.


trains > bikes > cars


Fallout 76 lacks half the things all those games have had. This game has so little going for it already that the technical stuff is harder to overlook, and the technical stuff is even worse this time.


I am not looking this up further but uhhh

Looks good boss


Here’s a video from the 18th, so guns just have randomly been nonlethal for a couple of weeks at least



what the fuck


Were gun critical hits not doing damage, and now all gun attacks aren’t doing damage?