Bethesda Explains Fallout 4 Patch Plans: Steam First, Consoles Last

Fallout 4 has been out for a couple of weeks now — long enough for its many quirks to be documented. Bethesda, of course, is on the case — a beta patch is in the works and should be available on Steam this week.

Last Thursday, Bethesda published a post on its site entitled "Thanks and Updates for Fallout 4", where it broke down its plans for fixing the game's outstanding problems:

Given the scale and complexity of the systems at work, especially when allowing you to build your own settlements, we're happy that Fallout 4 is our most robust and solid release ever, and we'd like to thank our amazing QA staff who worked as hard as anyone to break the game so we could fix it during development. But a hundred testers will never replicate the many millions playing the game now, and we're hard at work addressing the top issues.

Interesting, the developer has decided to lean on Steam's ability to release beta updates for games, allowing it to have "opt-in" patches that can be tested by the public before making them a part of the official build.

As a result, the PC version of Fallout 4 will get updates first, with consoles following:

This process has worked well for us in the past and allows us to get more fixes out faster. Expect to see more updates, that are smaller and more frequent, than a few big ones. This allows us to make sure each fix is working right, as any change can have unintentional side effects in a game this huge.

It goes on to say that the first patch — in beta form — will be available this week, so Steam / PC users will want to keep an eye out for that.

Thanks and Updates for Fallout 4 [Bethesda]


    if only the game was developed that way

      By using consumer beta testing?

      Oh god, early access Fallout sounds kinda awful

      Last edited 22/11/15 2:36 pm

        no i mean develop on pc then port down to consoles

          But it was already developed on PC and the similarity between the platforms this gen eliminates the need for delays to facilitate parallel releases.

          The only difference would have been bragging rights.

            And better inventory management/interface, and more complete dialogue and interaction options, and more user friendly building/construction.

              That's what you think should be improved, not what was missing because of a parallel release on multiple platforms.

              Pretty sure this isn't anyone's first Bethesda rodeo man, those flaws have been front and centre of every Bethesda game of this style since Morrowind.
              It's far more likely PC would've got exactly what it has now.

                But that stuff wouldn't need to be 'improved' if it wasn't missing to begin with. I think I am also going though the shock of how 'consolized' the new Battlefront is. I choose to play games with a keyboard and mouse as my opinion is they are superior to gamepads for serious gaming and I find it disappointing to find great games are being simplified and made around controllers.

                Anyway, I do feel stuff is missing. Some drag and drop functionality would be nice and more complete dialogue choices instead of the basic three or four (which are sometimes nothing like what you imagine they are by their descriptions). Also, has anyone figured out how to apply stimpacks to individual limbs?

                Don't get me wrong, this is the only criticism of the game I can come up with. I think its a masterpiece and I will be playing it for years like Oblivion, FO3, Skyrim and to a lesser extent, NV. I have had no major bug problems (A couple of times I have had my pip-boy and weapon models disappear for a few minutes, not a game-breaker) and have enjoyed every minute spent with the game so far.

                Speaking of that, this has taken up far too much of my precious FO4 play time already... :)

                  You can't apply stimpacks individually, they streamlined that so a single stimpack will heal all crippled limbs. Similar how you could apply a stimpack in NV that slightly healed all limbs rather than specifically one. I haven't checked to see if it fully heals the limbs or only partially if there is more than one crippled tbh though.

              To be fair, inventory management and construction is better in this game than it has ever been in any of the previous games and TES. Which is to say inventory management is at least functional now whereas it was god awful before, and construction was non-existent previously so I'd say this is a good step up.

              Hopefully mods will improve it even further.

                I am loving not having to open every single container (I am a compulsive hoarder/collector in these games) but I find I lose immersion in a game every time I get frustrated with the controls which does happen to me occasionally in this game.

                and yes, it has happened before in Bethesda games but does that mean I should be ok with it?

              All I want for inventory management is the ability to sort by most recently picked up items. It's annoying having to scroll though that misc tab looking for a note that you just picked up off a dead raider. The inventory is already way better than previous games, allowing sorting by weight, value, etc.

                you can sort weight/value
                inventory has been the same since past Fallouts.
                (note finding is a minor nuisance, as some have the same names) though.

              Don't forget all of the missing option settings. Can't adjust field of view, gamma and it won't let you use ultra wide-screen resolution unless you manually adjust the .ini file. Good to know, in time, the modding community will take care of most of the issues...

    Why is it interesting to use a format a lot of developers use these days? Or are Kotaku going to clash with any decision Bethesda makes now?

      What clashing?

          Where is the clashing in this story I mean.

          Despite the fact that story includes Bethesda, it's a whole other kettle of fish. I'm missing how the article above about patching is clashing with Bethesda.

            "I can see the links mannnnn". Look for that more often now.
            EDIT: Which you created by playing that card.

            Last edited 22/11/15 7:10 pm

              You might need to expand man, I don't think you and I are on the same page (or book for that matter)

              The comment seems to imply that Kotaku are taking a swing at the decision to run beta patches, I'm not seeing the swing.

              Last edited 22/11/15 7:23 pm

                People responding with kotaku is now influenced by the stance in that article. I thought that was fairly obvious. That's going to occur more often. I don't know how to word that for green eggs and ham. I'm not good with rhyming.

                It's okay, you're on the same page with me. I also don't really see the clash in this article. I do think it's weird that Kotaku thinks it's "interesting" but that's about as far as that goes.

                  I think the interesting/different thing - to me - is the use of Steam's beta patching for 'opt-in' patches to be road-tested by the playerbase as opposed to what I have always assumed is the norm of simply releasing a patch and Steam updating clients automatically.

                  I know some frequently-patched games or those with really intensive community interactions, or early-access games do this, but I didn't expect it from a major AAA. I don't think they did this Oblivion, FO:3, or Skyrim, so I'd say this is a new and interesting approach from Bethesda, worth noting in an article.

                  I expect the tin-foil hatters are just over-analyzing with an unreasonably critical eye, similar to that co-worker or friend you have who gets the shits with someone, and from then on, anything that person does - no matter how innocuous - is simply further evidence of how awful they are. Even if their closest friends do exactly the same thing, because, "It's just different, OK?"

      They didn't seem to mean bad interesting, merely interesting.

      They didn't seem to mean bad interesting, merely interesting.

    Worst bug I've experienced on PS4 was more weird that game breaking. Had to report to a character to close off a mission only to find he had teleported into hostile territory, quite some distance away. Found him, looking all confused, then watched him begin walking back to the mission area. In real time.

    All things considered, that's pretty tame.

      I have experienced no bugs. Bored with the game though, went back to disgaea.

      I'm Xbox One and I've had almost nothing, my dog companion likes to get stuck inside objects and generally get in the way, but other than that nothing comes to mind. Also a few minor framerate drops, but it lasts about 2 seconds and it only happens once every hour or so.

        Almost every time the dog "finds" something for me he acts like he wants me to follow him then runs off in a random direction, leading me away forever until I realise he's decided to "follow" me by running in front.

        Dog is a troll

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    Please fix the 'Fast travel endless loading' bug.

      Yeah...I hate resuming my game when I'm inside a building (loads)...then go outside (loads again), then I need to fast travel (more loading). Takes about 5 mins from starting before I can actually play the game.

    As far as I'm concerned, any Bethesda-develped game is in beta until the GOTY edition comes out a year or so later.

      Except NV Gotye. I'm still sore over getting stuck in one of the DLC areas and it would crash when ever I tried to leave the zone. I couldn't bring myself to start again and kicked myself for not saving before entering.

        Haha bummer. I got 50 hours into Fallout 3 then my PS3 died and I had to start from scratch after I got a new one.

        I quit gaming for a year after a F:NV bug struck down my copy on the Xbox360... tried everything to fix it but the only way was to basically start again after spending months of spare time playing. If Fallout 4 has anything similar I will probably avoid any game that needs more than a 12 hour commitment for many, many years :(.

        Same here. I started that DLC that begins with the boat ride. Game crashed 5 before getting off the boat. No way to fix it. No way to do the DLC. Accidentally quicksaved right before the crash and the save before that was waaay back.
        Uninstalled. Never looked back. Sorry, NV. You were great but I've got too many games to play to deal with that.

    So not only are we paying beta testers for the game, but also for the patches now.

      An open world game having a few bugs doesn't mean you're a beta tester...As for the patches they're opt in so you're only a tester if you choose to be.

    I've have a couple of corrupt saved games this weekend. Thankfully the auto saves before them were only a minute or so back, so no biggie yet. Still shit though.

    The game auto saving every 10 minutes and every time you go through a load screen is a big help. I think there's an option to autosave when you exit your pipboy as well?

    The best bug I've seen was a Radscorpian die as it popped out of the ground which in turn launched its floppy carcass in the air.

    Had a bug where after saving in a town, upon loading up again, the town folk are immediately hostile to my companion and in turn, me, shooting at us.
    Had to go to a save 5 mins before that and start again. Then half way through, turned hostile.
    Tried with a different companion, same thing.
    Only way I could get the jobs from town and barter items was to go in solo. Then no problem and got everything I needed from town then got the fuck out of there!!

    Bunker Hill

      Did you unlock any safe or took anything from Bunker Hill even when you are hidden? I tried to unlock a safe in Bunker Hill while hiding and it still make them hostile regardless if I'm hidden or not.

        Yeah I did originally (stole ammo whilst hidden) and put it down to that but the next few attempts didn't get up to any mischief, but they were still upset at my companion no matter who it was.
        I simply just had to do the area solo - I just put it down to a bug.

          Haha maybe you took something and gave it to your companion? Your companion might be holding something that trigger it.

          I don't travel with companion :p. Lone wanderer! I'm considering bringing dog meat again since he doesn't count as companion and I still get the Lone Wanderer perk bonus.

            Ooh good to know. I only need them as a pack mule really. (Although the big fella is excellent to send in against Deathclaws!)
            Cheers for the info, will try it out.

    Worst bug I've seen so far is probably when you take over Covenant, you don't have ownership over the defences or most other items.
    Seen some hilarious ragdoll events and a couple of bodies fall through the floor and the odd dodgy texture.
    My biggest issue, which isn't a bug but something that needs improving is settlement management.

    Oh, and there was a Brahmin on the roof of my house in Sanctuary.

    Last edited 23/11/15 1:00 pm

    Nothing gamebreaking that I encounter yet but funniest was one of the NPC was stuck in swimming animation while moving around in Sanctuary. Crack me up so bad I stopped playing a looked at him for 5 minutes.

      Seen so many of those breakdancing / swimming bodies around the Wasteland!!
      Cracks me up every time. Sometimes they make a hell of a noise.

      LOL I hit a raider with my gun and she paused mid air, and her legs started spinning around her body slowly... i nearly died of laughter! Especially when her knees starting touching the back of her head

    A corpse had a note I needed for a quest, but the corpse spawned inside floor geometry, invisible but for the quest marker, meaning I couldn't get to it to loot it.

    I sat out front of the building and directed artillery at it until the corpse got blown out of the house.

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