Bethesda Wants To Make Fallout 76 Easier For New Players

Screenshot: Fallout 76

Fallout 76’s world can be a brutal, especially for players just starting out. Hunger, thirst, disease, radiation—there’s no shortage of maladies in Appalachia. In the game’s next big update, Bethesda is determined to dial down the danger, at least early on, so new players can actually spend more time exploring Fallout 76 in peace.

“We’re looking to make a few adjustments to help new and low-level characters have more gradual introductions to some of the game’s mechanics and challenges,” Bethesda said in a blog post late last week announcing the major changes coming in Patch 11. The biggest of these changes include:

  • Reducing the cost to fast travel for players under level 25

  • Giving players under level 15 higher disease resistance

  • Making food take 50 per cent longer to spoil

  • No longer wiping out stat bonuses from food and drink after fast travelling

  • Making encounters with higher level enemies outside of the Forest, the game’s starting area, more rare

The studio says it also plans to make rewards from Fallout 76’s checklist-driven Challenges completed earlier in the game more useful for low-level players. Right now, a lot of these activities grant ammunition for guns players don’t have, or crafting materials for things they can’t yet make. New players might racking up high-level ammo while they’re hurting for first-aid, fresh water, and food.

Patch 11 will also make item effects and their descriptions clearer. (Screenshot: Bethesda, Fallout 76)

These basic necessities can be so scarce early on for players who don’t know where to look for them that it’s become common practice in Fallout 76 for higher level players to search out those who are still in the single digits and leave them little gift bags full of Stimpaks, Rad-Aways, and grilled meats, and boiled water.

While players have done a good job of papering over Fallout 76’s holes with creative role-playing, making the game’s onboarding process a much smoother experience will go a long way toward helping it find new players as Bethesda continues to add post-release content. Patch 11 is supposed to arrive later this month.


Comments

    New players....ah Bethesda always the optimist.

    Back in my day we had to carry around so much ammo for a gun we were never going to use that yaddayaddayadda.

      And what about special ammo right?

      Things like grenader launcher rounds and rockets... We'd always be saving them 'just in case', only that time never arrived and we are still carrying them around to this day.

    That's an easy one- scrap it and pour those resources into Elder Scrolls 6.

      If they did that, I imagine you'd be one of the people criticising them for abandoning their paying customers so soon after release. It's a good thing they're continuing to support and improve the game, not a bad thing.

        Imagine all you like.

        If they did that, I'd be the one praising them for committing fully to a proven product that they have yet to botch as hard as dropping a newborn on its head right out of the womb. Every time Bethesda try to fix FO76, either they make it worse or some new failure comes to light, and they disgrace themselves again. At this point, their polishing a turd, or at least trying to make the turd smell better to those who haven't already caught a whiff.

          How much time have you spent with Fallout 76, at launch and recently? There's been generally positive feedback from the community for Bethesda's updates to the game that just aren't consistent with what you're describing.

            No one reports on the fixes, aside from finally shipping out the promised canvas bags, but we've all heard of the initial bag bait 'n switch, the Nukacola Dark Rum, the security breach of customers' private data, the continued plague of existing problems with the Gamebryo/Creation engine, the pitiful treatment of players who found the cheat room / testing hall that every Bethesda game for the past ten years has had, the failure to remove that cheat room / testing hall in the first place, and, just overall, the decision to rush out a game that they knew would be poorly received by players. I had no interest in playing it so, admittedly, you may be right, but I've heard and seen far more bad then good. If you play it and have stuck with it, please tell me what's improved.

            My interest is in ES6 and that Bethesda deliver us something great like they did with Oblivion and Skyrim, FO3 and NV, and not like 76. I like Bethesda for the most part but their reputation with their audience is going to go the same way as that of Disney's Star Wars if they treat ES6 the way they did 76. ES is their flagship franchise; they cannot afford to do that again.

              Oh! And the decision to "compensate" players with 500 Atoms, which wasn't even enough to purchase a canvas bag (and associated skin) ingame. And the poor treatment of players such as the one who played for over 900 hours and was then banned for having too much of at least one specific type of ammo.

              Alright, I'll address these best I can.

              - The bag was a problem, for sure. But it's merchandise, and doesn't have any bearing on Bethesda's support of the game itself. Ditto for the rum.

              - The data breach was absolutely a problem, but was also exaggerated. It affected people who submitted a ticket in a two hour window, which was around 30 people, and personal information wasn't leaked unless it was included directly in the ticket body. No credit card info was leaked, despite some fake headlines.

              - Problems with the engine are being progressively addressed. In fact, you should consider it a good thing Bethesda is fixing them now with F76 because Starfield and TES6 are both still using the same engine, and they're both incorporating the tech advancements and fixes being made to 76.

              - I strongly disagree that the treatment of players who hacked their way into the admin room was pitiful. You couldn't accidentally glitch in there, there was nothing at all you could do in the game alone to get in there. The people who got in used external cheat programs to modify the game's memory, against the terms and conditions. The bans they got were well deserved.

              - Nobody was banned just for having too much of one type of ammo. They were banned for acquiring hundreds of thousands of rare ammo in a 24 hour period, several orders of magnitude faster than any mechanism in the game would allow. The bans were part of a system Bethesda added to detect the trade of duped items.

              I'm not absolving Bethesda of sin, they've fucked up a lot and I'm right there with you on a lot of the things they've done wrong. The problem I have with your earlier comment is the implication that the effort they're putting in to sustaining and improving the game is somehow wasted.

              As someone who enjoys the game and wants to see it get better, it's a bit insulting for someone who doesn't own or play the game to come along and declare everything would be better if Bethesda just dropped it, especially on some ethereal notion that reallocating those resources will have any meaningful benefit to a game that's still years out from release. F76 still has a lively player base despite all the problems early on, it feels like you're throwing all of those players under the bus for something that may not even be needed.

                Thanks for your views on the individual points; it seems my sources didn't go back and correct themselves once new information came to light. I'd prefer to be better than those sources, even if it means eating humble pie, and apologize for any offense. My initial comment came from a place of personal bias and a deep-seated adoration for the ES and earlier FO titles, and a desire to see the next one be the best that it can be, as I'm sure you and others would like to see 76 become. However, as you point out, it would be unfair ensure one game succeeds at the expense of another and it's existing player base.

                  You're good, mate, that stuff is water off a duck's back for me most of the time. I am a little defensive about F76 because I think the hate for the game is hugely disproportionate to what it deserves (and it certainly does deserve some criticism). I'm glad we could find some common ground, it's harder to do these days with everyone taking sides on everything. I'm with you on wanting to see the next TES and Fallout titles be the best they can be, I'm a huge fan of both.

                  Gotta love drive-by downvotes from an account that never leaves comments.

    A couple of friends who have just started playing last weekend have experienced so much frustration due to bugs, it still sounds pretty awful. It might be "better" than it was but it is still pretty bad by the sounds of things.

    You know what would make the new player experience even better? Offline play. Private small-party co-op. Gameplay-affecting mods.

    Oh well. Maybe at the end of the year or something...

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