Maybe Fallout 76 Isn’t Such A Bad Fallout To Begin With

Maybe Fallout 76 Isn’t Such A Bad Fallout To Begin With

I have a confession: I’ve never played a Fallout game, at least none of the modern ones. It’s not a deliberate hole in my gaming backlog, but just one that grew out of timing and circumstance. And given that I’m engaged to a devoted Fallout fan, who probably would have finished Fallout 4 if she didn’t do something as silly as get into a relationship with me, it seemed like a good time to venture into the wasteland.

So over the weekend, I’ve been familiarising myself with Fallout 76. It’s left me wondering why I didn’t play Fallout 3 or New Vegas sooner, but it’s also reminded me of MMOs and the parts I like about those so much.

Back when Fallout 4 was in pre-production, Bethesda mapped out some potential multiplayer modes. They couldn’t get a model to stick, however, and fans have been pleading with Bethesda to add at least co-op, if not full multiplayer, to Fallout ever since.

And that’s partially how I’ve been thinking about Fallout 76 over the last few days. Structurally, it feels a lot more like an MMO. Your event log gets repeatedly filled with daily quests and miscellaneous tasks randomly popping up every time you jump into a new area. Regular events pop up every couple of hours; it doesn’t take long for your quest log to fill the right-hand side of the screen.

Fallout has always been like this, the veterans amongst my friends tell me. There was always quests and things to do every time you hit a new town. The game just wasn’t quite so “in your face” about it.

Do all those quests really need to be tracked at once?

It’s fascinating that the screen is so visually busy, because so often I’ve found Fallout 76‘s world to completely lonely.

Case in point: after being flooded repeatedly with daily quests and the minutia of building our camp, farming resources and just wandering around looking for wood, Tegan and I decided to make some progress on the main story quests. The game had been telling us about a journal in Welch for days, but it was at the arse end of the map, with nothing of interest nearby, so we’d let it be.

But we wanted to level up a little faster. So we found the nearest fast travel waypoint down south – which was still a good ten minutes in-game jog, if we were completely uninterrupted – and made our way to Welch.

It’s a completely unremarkable route, for the most part. The environment gets gradually darker as you inch closer towards a mining mountain, the air and ground filled with soot from above.

Even the area on the map looks charred.

There’s little in the way of enemies, and much less in the way of life. We ran into a pack of wolves, a few low level ghouls, but for the large part navigating the contours of the mountain proved the most time consuming.

After trekking around the mountain, running into a few mole miners and super mutants guarding some abandoned houses, we eventually reached Welch.

It took almost 40 minutes.

Our reward for getting there, besides a protracted fight with mole miners perched on roof tops shooting us with 76‘s equivalent of BB guns, was a series of abandoned houses with next to no loot.

A miscellaneous side quest, “Find Duchess’s Stash”, appeared. Located at the bottom of a broken down third story house, the reward for all that toil was a Rad-X, some mentats, an X-Cell, Calmex and some Psychotats.

No other players to maybe get into a quick skirmish. No terminals underscoring the history of Welch. No robots wandering the ashen houses looking for lost children, and no immediate pointers to notes illuminating why the mole miners were holed up here to begin with.

Maybe there was more to be found. But this whole journey had taken up nearly an hour, with no levelling save for the mole miners felled by our shotguns and pipe rifles.

Unimpressed and with little inspiration or provocation to explore further, we ported back to build our camp in the resource-filled forests near Vault 76.

Nothing is as unrewarding as trekking over ash and hill for an hour for these bloody things.

Where the MMO comparison falls apart with Fallout 76 is that so much of your time is spent doing anything but levelling. You’re given trace amounts of XP for miniscule things – discovering a location, crafting some water, looting a plant – but it pales in comparison to how much you’d get for the main and side quest lines.

Even the daily quests don’t offer that much XP. They’re more an opportunity to group up with the 23 other players in your server. And it’s not until you leave an unusually trafficked event that the emptiness of the rest of the world becomes apparent.

As I trundle throughout the wasteland, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, I’m left wondering whether this is what Fallout was meant to be like. Games that play on the ever-increasing XP bar don’t let you alone for quite this long. There’s more stimuli.

But it also reminds me of the few times I’ve happily binged on MMOs, and precisely what I liked about the genre.

In many instances, I’m the kind of person who truly, genuinely, prefers to be alone.

When the original World of Warcraft came out, levelling was a true journey. There were no quest markers, and at launch there weren’t even those fast level, guided questing mods.

Hitting the level cap was a true achievement; some people needed months of casual play. Others sped up the experience with the assistance of others, but I preferred the solitary experience.

I wanted to wander Azeroth alone. Around other people – not completely isolated – but doing my own thing, at my own pace.

Fallout 76, in so many ways, seems ideal for me.

It’s not that the game is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The performance is appalling at points – it’s the first game I’ve seen bring a 2080 Ti to its knees. One area, towards the upper edge of Appalachia, saw my frame rate plunge to 11 with just a few humans and enemies on screen.

I’ve mentioned the weird controls before. But that’s nothing compared to how finnicky building your camp can be.

Take this piece, a simple staircase with a steel covering above. It’s a single piece, that I built as part of Tegan’s camp.

The game let Tegan store that as part of her blueprint and items. But when we wanted to tear it all down to rebuild, the game decided that she couldn’t remove it.

I couldn’t remove the staircase either, even though I originally built it. But Tegan couldn’t remove it either. So it stood there, hovering as a lone concrete foundation, while Tegan wrestled with the camp controls for five minutes.

Eventually we scrapped it, losing half the resources.

It’s the kind of experience that makes you ask why. And Fallout 76 does that a lot.

Why, for instance, do I need to read recipes and plans in my Pip-Boy to make sure they’re saved? The recipes and plans don’t come up with a piece of paper or some kind of interactable object. I’ve already gotten the reward by finding them. Why make me dig through a bunch of menus and scroll down only to do something that should trigger automatically once I’ve looted it?

Why does the “expert” version of the rifleman perk have exactly the same stats, benefits and maximum level as the base rifleman perk? Why not just have one card? Alternatively, why not do people a solid by letting them combine the perks instead of having to go through another hour or so just to level and get another perk pack?

Why is so much of Fallout 76‘s interface unexplained? Why bother showing people in a party the quests that party members have by default if they have to go back and complete the quests themselves to get the rewards?

Why not tell people if a side quest is going to time out, forcing them to restart the entire process from scratch?

Why is my character randomly dropping ammo, food and sometimes junk that I actually want to keep from my inventory without warning or notice?

Why doesn’t the game tell people in the first hour, or at least the first two, that you don’t have to carry around all your spare junk to craft stuff? You can just leave that all in your stash. Given how prohibitive the weight limit is, and how easy it is to become encumbered early on, surely that’d be a prompt worth having.

The cannibal perk is actually really, really great.

When people riff on Todd Howard when they say “it just works”, or just say “it’s a Bethesda game”, maybe this is what they’ve meant all along.

Sometimes, you just have to go with it. I wonder if the developers forget that sometimes themselves, so set in their ways that the experience for a new player is forgotten completely.

That’s why I’m pretty glad that I’ve had friends I could share Fallout 76 with. Genuinely, I do enjoy wandering the wasteland alone, combing warehouses and abandoned locations for loot and seeing the scraps humanity left behind.

Previous Fallout games have a lot more life to them, more consequence, and if we’re being honest, more layers. I’m not worried about factional battles in Fallout 76. I’m not labouring over dialogue choices or NPC interactions. The camp building is complicated enough (thanks to how janky it is). Just getting from point A to point B takes enough of my day.

But it’s nice to be able to share that with someone.

I like that the world is largely unoccupied, for the most part. I’ll get to a point where I want a more exhaustive Fallout experience. I’ll certainly tire of the suspect performance, no doubt, and I’ll want something more to do than endless daily quests that constantly fill up the right side of my screen.

But this has been a fun way to ingratiate myself into modern Fallout. Fallout 76 is designed to be a shared experience, but so much of it is really just surviving the wasteland in solitude.

That’s absolutely not for everyone. It may not even be the game Bethesda envisioned, or something they would uphold as a unique selling point. I’m enjoying myself all the same, and when I eventually tire of multiple nukes and helicopters tanking my frame rate into oblivion, I’ll have a much better grounding for seeing what Fallout 3, New Vegas and 4 have to offer.

Until next time.


  • When the original World of Warcraft came out, levelling was a true journey. There were no quest markers, and at launch there weren’t even those fast level, guided questing mods.

    A lot of those things changed cause developers learned what works and doesnt work over time… your basically saying Bethesda a ganes studio that develops RPGs doesnt understand what needs to change to turn an RPG into an MMO… which is dumb for a AAA studio to get wrong a decade after other developers solved that a decade ago.

    Fallout 4 was a significant quality improvement of a launch title by Bethesda when compared to the bugs and disaster of Skyrim and Fallout 3. To seem them deliver a buggy that falls behind, incomplete and frankly poor performing game in 2018 seems a huge misstep for them… they didnt need to rush this to market in this state and could of spent 6 months in quality testing and Betas to get the game right.

    Despite its intention and style, its missing a lot with a rush to market, and at the end hurts then professionally since this was a huge partnership with Microsoft, first step into Games as a Service, and the flagship for their gane launcher/store.

    Will be a year minimum before this mess is playable without punishing players.

    • It’s playable now without punishing players though. And Alex wasn’t saying F76 is like vanilla WoW with no quest markers and the like because all those conveniences are there, as the screenshots clearly show.

  • Recipes/plans aren’t auto-learned because they’re consumed on learning, but they’re also tradeable to other players. Not everyone cares about collecting those recipes but they are a good source of caps if you find someone willing to buy them.

    The reason the weapon perks come as three cards (normal, expert and master) is tied to the way card swapping and build flexibility work. You can only equip each perk card with the same name once, so you can’t equip two 1-star Rifleman cards for example, you need to combine them into a single 2-star Rifleman. But the more stars a card has, the less flexibility you get to swap it out for something else on the fly. Since you can only equip as many stars as you have points in that attribute, swapping out a 3-star Rifleman card (for example) to make room for a 1-3 star alternative lets you keep the other six stars and +40% you have in Rifleman from the other two cards. If you’d had to combine them all into a single 9-star Rifleman card, you’d either have +120% and nine stars used up, or unequip the entire thing.

    Quests your party leader has are shown with a star in the interface because they grant bonus XP when other members of the party complete that quest while grouped. This is usually explained in a tooltip when you first group, but it’s been a bit glitchy and the tooltip doesn’t always come up.

    Quests with a time limit do tell you how long they have, they put eg. [4m59s] in the quest title. There are untimed quests that can fail for other reasons, but timed ones do show a time limit. The exception to this is daily and weekly quests, which presumably time out when the day/week ticks over.

    If your character is dropping ammo, food or junk without your input, that’s a bug. I’ve never seen this happen myself, to my knowledge there’s no mechanic that causes you to drop things under any circumstances except when you die. You can walk around grossly overencumbered if you want, it just eats AP.

    I think them not telling you that you can craft from resources in your stash might just be an oversight. It was explained already in Fallout 4 and perhaps they just assumed people were already familiar with it. I know that if a message to that effect had even come up, I’d have probably ignored it since I already knew how it worked, but that could definitely be improved for new players.

    The Welch thing seems to have been poorly set expectations by the game. The Overseer journals are mostly there to get you out and about, they don’t necessarily point you to places with developed stories and quest lines like Grafton. Welch is just a little shithole mining town, the quest was just meant to get you down there and see some new places along the way.

    Still, glad to hear you’re enjoying the game, Alex. I have a similar approach to MMOs and I love Fallout 76’s whole mixed solitude and company approach. The map is enormous, so they can afford to have that genuinely good sense of emptiness without compromising on the number of points of interest around as well.

    • Just tagging on to this, there is what I consider a bug to do with temporary quests if you change servers for whatever reason, eg. dailies will vanish from your log even though you’re 90% the way through them. This is annoying and I hope they fix this. Some miscellaneous quests will disappear from your log if you leave the area they triggered in or change server (eg. ‘explore the trailer’) but should reappear if you return to that location. Both of these could be improved a bit.

      • Its not the only online game to suffer from that. Happens with Guild Wars 2 all the time. When server populations are low, it prompts you to move onto another server, and if you do any progress for a meta event on that server resets to zero.

        The flipside was able to be done in Destiny 2, where you could quickly get multiple public quests done just by porting to the nearest port point. Which in most cases was 100m away, but it put you into a new instance where the relevant event was often still running.

        Or with lost sectors which you could quickly farm by backing out to a certain point and back in, to find it respawned for you. That trivialised more than one meta event. Dailies in GW2 dont reset, but that jump to a different server resets resources as well, making it easier to do dailies.

        Not sure a solution would be all that easy given how exploitable it could be. Its either reset like here, or exploitable like Destiny 2.

        Having said that, losing progress to a server switch IS annoying.

  • I don’t consider myself swift to cry conspiracy! but this is such apologistic nonsense that I can’t help but believe financial incentive from Beth was involved. You’ve managed to turn several objectively terrible flaws of the game (like bugs, the empty world, the lack of any decent narrative, the cluttered MMO interface) into quirky features. This is spin so dramatic that it had to be at least encouraged by Beth PR.

      • Feel free to check out my comments or those of @xenoun for positive views on the game. There’s also quite a lot of rational positivity (and some irrational fanboying) on the fo76 subreddit. It’s worth reading all sides, because a lot of the hostility is from people who haven’t played and are just parroting often mistaken things they’ve heard. Which isn’t to say there isn’t criticism to be had, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some make it out to be.

        • Oh don’t get me wrong (and this is to @rammo123 as well) there’s *tons* of things that are wrong with the game. And I’m coming at it from a very specific perspective, which I don’t think matches most fans here – because this is stuff everyone else has already been through. So I don’t have quite the same fatigue as others.

          And you can’t miss something you’ve never had before, right? If you’ve come from FO4 or Vegas and enjoyed these factions, stories and characters that interlock, and more involved RPG mechanics, then I get why that person would look at FO76 and be rightly disappointed.

          For me, this is a good way to get to grips with the franchise. And I can also wander around the wasteland with a friend and fiancee, which helps me become accustomed to the Bethesda jank and the whole experience. That helps a lot. But most people have been through that.

          It’s a different value proposition, really. @shadowlee is in a pretty similar situation: I don’t know how long this would stick if I was doing this completely alone, as opposed to being in the same game instance with Tegan. I like the solitude of wandering an MMO or large open-world alone, but I like doing so knowing that other people are out there, and that I can team up if need be. Small quibble, but having that social element does make a difference.

          • The inverse of that is that a lot of the draw for me, which is a deep familiarity with and love for the setting and its stories (no matter the form they take) is something you don’t have. Where I’m happy to overlook some kinds of jank because the value of further exploring that setting is a major offset, that’s unlikely to be something you share.

          • I think your comparison to vanilla World of WarCraft was really interesting.

            I Googled exactly that recently, thinking FO76 might “click” with me, despite being a very average sounding game.

            I still play vanilla WoW at least once a year, because the uniquely dull-yet-immersive levelling experience simply hasn’t been replicated well by many other games. Modern MMO’s, including retail WoW, miss the mark by being too fast/easy/approachable. They’ve forgotten those of us why just want to experience the world slowly.

          • Nevermind, just saw @zombiejesus post:

            “And Alex wasn’t saying F76 is like vanilla WoW with no quest markers and the like because all those conveniences are there, as the screenshots clearly show.”

            Not for me then.

          • It has destination markers (specific locations) and destination areas (circles where it could be anywhere inside). Not all quests will point you to exactly where you need to go but most quests will at least point you to the general vicinity. Whether that’s up your alley or not, I don’t judge.

          • Yeah. The vanilla WoW comparison wasn’t a mechanical one, but more the experience of trekking from place to place and the amount of stuff you don’t encounter, compared to games today which throw you into constant feedback loops.

            FO76 might actually be improved if they took a vanilla WoW approach and stripped most of the UI back. But I can’t see them ever having the courage to do something like that, especially when you look at how the PvP is designed.

            For @chinesefood, I’d say give this game a wide berth.

        • There is one dude on twitter who just cant let go of the fact that its an always online Fallout Game. Hes pretty critical of that and anything Bethesda does.

          He also very outspoken about the Hitman series, his tweets are pretty funny to read.

          • I guess I’m of the school that everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but at least have an informed one. Don’t believe everything you see online, especially when it comes to internet mobs both pro and anti. It’s totally cool that some people don’t like the game, I’ve always said it’s different and not for everyone. I just wish more people came to that conclusion from a basis of fact or experience, rather than believing made up stuff like ‘it has no encryption’ or ‘you can send packets that kick other players offline if you don’t like them’ (the latter being patently wrong to anyone with a basic understanding of client-server architecture).

            Weird that he doesn’t like Hitman, I haven’t played it since the first two games but friends I trust have been very positive about the reboots.

          • I really enjoyed what I played of Episode 1 of Hitman bloody years ago when it ‘launched’ but it earned a fair bit of resentment from me thanks to its episodic nature. I wanted to play it when it was done, dammit. My enthusiasm for a title has a shelf-life, and it left me wanting more and failed to deliver more until after I no longer wanted more.

            I still haven’t played the rest of it, despite owning all the released episodes, because now that so much time has passed it’s got no novelty value to persuade me to go through the massive install again, and the sequel’s out. Which is pretty much exactly what I wanted to avoid.

            It’s not necessarily a fault of the game itself, but how I consume them. And when a game makes itself inherently incompatible with my means of consumption, that annoys me a lot.

    • Come on, man. We’ve all seen Alex’s comments on here, and some of us have followed his tweets, he’s bloody diligent when it comes to demonstrating integrity when it comes to disclosure of relationships when it comes to things being reviewed… why you gotta go there?

      There are thousands of fanboys on the reddit sub who are willing to blind themselves to FO76’s faults or… fuck if I can understand why… are genuinely enjoying the experience. Why would it seem such a stretch that someone in Alex’s position would find some commonality with those?

      He’s super clear up-front that his perspective is very different from the hardcore fan, I’d be thinking you’d give the different perspective some more credit for authenticity than jumping to the, ‘secret paid endorsement’ angle.

      I’m disgusted by FO76 on so many levels, for the PVP (which I consider to be like shit in my coffee – it doesn’t matter how noticable it is, that you can drink around it, or how small a percentage of the coffee it ends up being THERE IS SHIT IN MY COFFEE), for the always-online, for the lack of mods, for the garbage build system that sacrifices power for balance (I was enjoying FO4’s levelling the most, thankyouverymuch), the emptiness of the world for the sake of their ‘no human NPCs’ garbage, the regular respawning to the point that any smoke and mirrors around your impact on the world are utterly dissipated/smashed.

      But I can accept that not only are there are peole for whom this is right up their alley, but they actually manage to like this garbage without getting paid to. I mean for fuck’s sake, there are millions of people who actually enjoy MOBAs of all things.

      • There’s been a lot of author-bashing lately. It comes in waves over the years but the last few weeks/months it feels like it’s been especially bad.

        • It’s pretty good here comparatively. You should see what the UK side of things looks like, its about as vicious as YouTube comments.

          • I mean….the australian kotaku authors are by all accounts just less shit or better than the UK or US authors?

            Even people who tend to hate on kotaku as a whole will say the asutralian articles are decent or at least better than the other branches

            I cant trust my own opinion due to “well of course asutralian articles are better!” bias because go australia!

          • Different strokes. Small cultural differences and changes in approach work better for gamers in the UK versus the United States and in Australia as well, and that’s partly because we have a model that’s setup to do precisely that: serve the readers of the regions that we’re in. That means stories with a slightly different lens or maybe just a slightly different approach than what an author overseas might take, because we’re coming at it from another perspective.

            It’s more that people are serving a different crowd, and while that doesn’t mean content won’t be relevant to everyone – games are available globally, after all – it does mean the reception often is different.

  • Seems they’ve doubled down on the shooting gallery simplifications from 4. It absolutely looks like a fun time, but there’s basically nothing left of the Fallout games I remember most fondly except for the setting. Even the ‘A: yes, B: smart arse yes, C: testy yes, D: no’-system from 4 is better than nothing at all. Hell, I even liked Tactics: BOS, but a AAA rust-alike? Schmeh. I’d still very much like to play it, but I don’t think I’ll get enough value out of it at full price. There’s inevitably going to be a free weekend in 6-12 months too, I’ll probably wait until then to check it out.

    Worth reiterating that I haven’t actually played 76 yet though. Any fans of the older games here that have given it a go?

    • I mentioned in another post that it’s more like Subnautica rather than Rust, but multiplayer and with protections in place to make sure the standard douchebaggery that exemplifies Rust’s playstyle doesn’t happen. If Rust is an exercise in bringing out the worst in players, F76 seems to bring out the best. In some 30-40 hours of play so far I’ve only had two players actually try to kill me, and one time was because I’d gotten a bounty on my head.

      • Do players not engage in PVP because they don’t want to, or because it’s such a hassle to actually get it started? I haven’t played yet (still on the fence tbh) but from the videos I’ve seen, a player can spend a long time shooting at you and wasting their ammo in an attempt to initiate some PVP for it to never actually occur? The fact that there’s PVP in the game but no one wants to participate in it sounds more like an issue with the implementation than the want of the players, no?

        • People do participate in PVP all the time. Aside from watching several fights I’ve been involved in three myself, two by choice and one because of a bounty (I lockpicked something I didn’t realise belonged to someone). The difference here is it’s either consensual or the initiator has a much harder time. It’s not hard to start it, you tag them, they shoot back, away you go. What’s hard is trying to kill someone who doesn’t want to PVP, if they don’t shoot back the initiator has significantly reduced damage against them, and that system is what stops the kinds of griefing and trolling you get in Rust.

          • Re-reading my post looks a little confusing. When I said two players tried to kill me, I mean two initiated a fight against me. The third fight I was in I initiated. Sorry about that.

        • PvP is centralised around the workshop areas – you claim the turf and it spits out resources for you. One of the most desirable creates some powerful ammo and high level players fight over it all the time. I read on reddit a story of a couple guys who took it over…to only then literally get nuked by the original owners.

          PvP exists…the low level players you’re watching bumble around and fail at it though aren’t showing what it’s really like.

          The other side to it is that most of the Fo76 community seems to be really friendly and just don’t feel like engaging in PvP. I’m not gonna bother with any of that myself until I hit end game.

          • I saw a lot of beta videos, because I was hoping to be convinced that it wouldn’t be a dumpster fire (from the perspective of my tastes), and the fact that there were no human NPCs because they were hoping players would fill that role seemed really at odds with the means by which they gave players to role-play.

            No NPC can tap into the imagination and adaptability of a human when it comes to roleplaying a character in a specific world.

            The counter to this is that few humans WILL ever maintain the versimilitude and discipline of programmed NPCs in grounding and bringing authenticity to that world. Especially when their interactions are restricted to emotes and emoji. I feel like they undermined their stated intent on that front.

          • That’s where I think private servers will really shine. Club-like groups, small enough to not exceed the server limit, where they can police their own and make sure the people coming on genuinely do want to roleplay and not just be trolls. THAT is the moment I think text chat would be a great idea.

          • Plus mods, to get past the design decisions that turn a sale into no-sale.

            I really wonder, sometimes, if Bethesda have forgotten or at the very least undervalued how mods have influenced the success of their games.

          • Mods are coming, but I know you can appreciate that they need to be handled differently (eg. a lot more carefully) in a multiplayer game with cloud-based servers. For them to work, they have to be on the server itself, and they also have to make sure that the client-side component can’t interfere with servers that aren’t running that mod. There’s probably also a factor that characters created on modded servers probably shouldn’t be able to join normal ones because the modded server might completely trivialise gear or XP acquisition.

            TLDR, they definitely want to do it (and plan to) but it’s a lot more complicated than for a single player game.

          • Yeah. It’s that careful gating which really threatens what modding represents.

            I’m reminded of the olden days of Battle.Net Diablo characters being distinct from Open Diablo characters, and it was largely expected that playing on the open servers meant damn near guarantees that playing with anyone other than your friends was going to mean potentially getting murdered by hacked items, and was done purely so that you could whip up end-game characters to play with different skill builds or bypass boring early stages.

            My real concern about the FO76 approach to mods will be if(/when) they decide to draw a line in the sand about what they consider to be ‘going too far’. Partly that, and partly about their very strange approach to monetizing mods. Additionally, monetizing private servers will be a very unwelcome development that will see me probably opt out entirely and just wait for co-op Fallout 5, even though 76’s approaches may very well result in eroding that possibility to the point that my ideal may never come to pass.

            The probability of that eventuality is a big part responsible for the fervour with which I (and I assume others) criticize decisions which seem to be leading toward that dark future.

          • Makes sense they didn’t implement npc as quest givers.
            Especially in mutiplayer as npc would most likely be killed.

            Makes sense as it would cause more problems for the debs.

  • My husband and I have been playing Fallout 76 for a couple of days now and we’ve decided it’s “simplified Fallout 4 that we can play together”. We both agreed that we probably wouldn’t bother playing it as a solo game, but running around the wasteland together is fun. We play a lot of Destiny 2 together, so having Fallout as well gives us a bit of variety.

  • If you had played Fallout games in the past, you’d know that settlement/camp building only came in with FO4, and wasn’t universally received well; You’d also understand that ‘fetch quests’ have never been an end in themselves, but the design of FO76 limits the game to pretty much only being a string of fetch quests. That said though, I think you do highlight that the game, if it was technically competent, is a good intro to the Fallout theme for people new to it. I sincerely hope you enjoy your time with it, but at some point you’ll come to realise that Beth has screwed you over.
    Note that I’m not anti FO76, I’m actually anti-Beth’s sub par competence and over par grafting.

    • I know settlements were introduced in FO4 – I still have to localise and digest all of the coverage that goes on in a daily basis, so I’m not wholly unfamiliar with the series. I didn’t want to make a big point of that, but even if I don’t play something, I get a pretty thorough idea just through the daily nature of reading/watching/listening to everything I pour through as part of the job.

  • How is the lag / latency? I noticed some hefty delays between clicking and shooting in some of the videos before release… And how is it in Aus?

    • Servers are hosted globally on AWS, from what I understand they do use the Sydney datacentre. I’ve not really had any latency problems, but my shitty internet has given me spates of ‘controls locked’ sometimes because it can’t talk to the server. That’s entirely a problem on my side though, the only server problems I’ve had are just rarely you get disconnected. Haven’t tried since last night’s patch though, which had stability improvements for both client and server.

    • I haven’t noticed any lag at all, even in the beta it was stable.

      One thing people don’t mention is just how smooth the launch went. It’s not uncommon for launch day of games to have massive problems with servers but that’s one thing Bethesda have got right. I have a feeling their controlled beta sessions gave them a good handle on server traffic that they used to inform launch.

  • Previous Fallout games have a lot more life to them, more consequence, and if we’re being honest, more layers. [LIST]
    …But it’s nice to be able to share that with someone.

    Now imagine if 76 had been more like an iteration of 4… with co-op.
    Y’know… what everyone was asking for, and didn’t get.

  • I’m actually loving it. I can’t stop playing it. It’s as if it’s made for purely for me.

    I’ve played Destiny, Ark, Conan, 7 Days to Die and Elder Scrolls Online extensively. I played them all PVE solo, more or less, though PVP Elder Scrolls online can actually be really good.

    For someone like me, Fallout 76 has more content than each of those games had at launch. It has way less bugs and nightmares than Ark, even when Ark supposedly left Early Access. I have yet to encounter similar game-breaking bugs at all. I’ve lost dinosaurs in Ark due to server bugs that took me hours upon hours to actually get. F76 even has less annoying bugs than Conan where sometimes the npc enemies wouldn’t even load in correctly and I’d be swinging a sword trying to hit invisible enemies. It has a visual design and a sense of aesthetics as strong or far stronger than anything else on that list. Better combat than any of those games barring Destiny. A more interesting leveling system than any of those games. And it’s more fun and rewarding to explore than any of those games or any MMO I’ve ever played.

    The only thing setting it back is the fact everyone seems to have an opinion on what a Fallout game should be. My opinion is, that it’s a good game that happens to be set in the Fallout universe. I don’t really see anything wrong with that.

    • There are some invisible enemies in Fo76…found one that seemed tied to a bugged spawn point. My CAMP was right next to it so I’d commonly have 3 enemies spawn in and 1 of the 3 was always bugged.

      Didn’t matter whether it was a protectron, mole rat, mongrel, liberator or ghoul (the enemy type cycles) one of them got stuck in t-pose, stood in idle pose and a couple of times was completely invisible stuck on the spot – only found them when I tried to run through and got stuck then swung my melee weapon and killed them.

      That said though it was minor and didn’t bother me much despite it being right next to my camp.

    • That’s awesome. Yeah it’s not exactly what I wanted out of a Fallout game personally, but my extreme bias toward the turn based isometric Fallouts doesn’t mean I’m not going to enjoy 76. I like survival games too, I’ve played a fair bit of Conan/Rust etc, and tbh this looks like a massive improvement over all of the games in that genre. It’s not quite what I’m in the mood for right now – still a little jaded over Fallout 4 if I’m being honest (and $AAA…) – but it looks heaps fun.

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