So, the basic mechanic of the crafting system is that you have a portable base called a C.A.M.P. The CAMP has a storage called the “Stash”, which is equivalent to the Workbench storage in Fallout 4 if you’ve played that. The Stash has a storage limit of 400 pounds. There might be ways of expanding that, I’m not sure. One of the Fallout 1st perks, though, is that you get a separate storage called the Scrapbox that only holds broken-down items (“scrap”) but has unlimited capacity. So it’s not like you can’t engage with crafting and camp-building without 1st – it was added like a year after launch, so early players didn’t have anything like the Scrapbox regardless of how much money they were willing to spend – but having 1st makes crafting a hell of a lot easier.
It’s exactly analogous to the way that Elder Scrolls Online works where you have a limited amount of bank storage but purchasing the subscription (“ESO Plus”) grants you a “crafting bag” that holds unlimited amounts of crafting items. Presumably, that’s where they got the idea. But crafting is a lot more central to 76 than to ESO, so I think it’s a bit worse.
There have also been a few other controversies like there’s a refrigerator you can only buy for Atom Points that extends the amount of time it takes your food to spoil – in a survival game – but 1st is the one that really sticks in my craw because it’s an ongoing expenditure.