[Polygon] It may not be possible to save Fallout 76

Oct 26, 2017
4,618
#1
Online games often launch with problems that must be fixed, and fixed quickly. Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios’ first large-scale living game, was no exception. Fallout 76 was troubled during its beta period and suffered multiple issues throughout its extended launch.

I’m not surprised by this: I’ve played too many online games in their first weeks to expect perfection out of the gate. Fallout 76 is unique in one troubling way, however: Post-launch developer support has managed to make many of these problems even worse.

The future of Fallout 76 depends on ongoing improvements to its current, broken state, but with every patch, Bethesda continues to move in the wrong direction.

I’m not sure how Bethesda is going to fix the game, to put it bluntly. And it’s becoming less clear whether Bethesda itself has an effective plan for how such a thing might be possible.
But that positive feeling didn’t last long. Frequent disconnections and other server issues made it hard to set up groups. While we could joke about it at the time — the common refrain was that anyone who couldn’t log in hadn’t properly sacrificed a goat while Mercury was in retrograde — the truth was that it wore us down. Constant visual glitches further hurt our experience.

Fallout 76 just doesn’t work, and I mean that on the most basic level. I don’t want to spend my few hours of daily gaming time fighting with connection issues; I want to play a video game. Fallout 76 has offered the basic functionality of a working game only intermittently since launch.
Fallout 76 is affected by multiple serious issues, but the game’s most recent patchhas actually made things worse.

Released at the end of January, the fifth patch made sweeping balance changes that lowered the value of duped items. This had several unintended consequences. The patch hit endgame builds that relied on the current meta of the most powerful items hard, causing them to deal significantly less damage. It nerfed the powerful explosive and two-shot modifiers to an extreme extent: Now they’re at 20 percent, not 100 percent. Which, again, wipes out the progress of the players who had worked hard to create a character with those abilities. The nerf was a blunt instrument, impacting cheaters and legitimate players in the same way.

The patch also reintroduced old server infrastructure that brought with it old bugs, including the primary duping bug Bethesda had fixed at the end of 2018. It took yet another patch to fix many of the old problems that patch 5 reintroduced, and the game will need more balance changes in future updates. Every patch that should help the game take a step forward has ultimately forced Bethesda to take multiple steps back. And item duping has persisted, in some form, through every iteration of the game.
But for now, the problems are getting worse faster than they’re getting better, and players won’t stick around forever waiting for things to improve.

All along, the Atom Store continues to chug away, offering more cash items than you could possibly buy with in-game activities alone. It’s hard to stomach a request for more money when I’m already having such difficulty trusting Bethesda with my time.

I want to love Fallout 76, because I think it’s built on strong ideas. But Bethesda has followed a rough launch with three full months of controversy, server issues, lost progress, and anger. So much has gone wrong that it’s incredibly difficult to fix one thing without inadvertently hurting something else. It’s going to take a monstrous amount of work for Bethesda to fix the issues while also reaching out to players, begging that they stay involved in the game.

The question remains: Is that even possible?
Much more on the link

https://www.polygon.com/2019/2/7/18214008/fallout-76-updates-patch-fix-future
 
May 4, 2018
204
#6
I know I'm going to get crap here for this, but Bethesda should just cut and run, and this is coming from a sucker that bought the game at full price. The core gameplay loop is just too badly broken to salvage. Adding additional content isn't going to fix that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,442
#7
While the post launch work seems to have been making things worse, there is a silver lining in that Bethesda clearly does want to salvage this, and that's encouraging. Looking back at the launches of No Man's Sky and Sea of Thieves, those games were largely declared to be DOA, and now they're doing very well for themselves. I'm not saying it will be easy, but I think Fallout 76 might be better eventually.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,799
#8
No shit.

It's a cash grab online game simply looking to exploit the Fallout IP and get to market when the iron is hot.

This is not getting a TESO like revival.
 
Oct 27, 2017
254
#9
anecdotal, but all of my friends who were super on board with FO76 have quietly fallen off and abandoned the game

They were part of the crew that "ignored the haters" and all the "negativity" around the game at launch and when I pressed them recently if they were still playing FO76 one of them told me "nah, it's just too buggy and there's nothing left to do, Bethesda is too focused on making items to buy in the cash shop instead of focusing on PVE content"
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,834
#10
If it were going to be fixed, Bethesda would have said something by now. The fact that they’ve been carrying on BAU is telling.

People should keep giving Bethesda shit over it, but I also wouldn’t expect anything at this point. I know this has certainly tempered any excitement I had for their future releases, and hopefully it has for others as well.
 
Nov 6, 2017
1,262
Pflugerville, TX USA
#12
I wonder if Bethesda thinks this whole thing was worth it. I’m sure they wanted a game they could leave on cruise control while raking in the sweet MTX money. I know some people here like the game, but most Fallout fans want an actual Fallout game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,618
#13
Polygon is a joke.

They put this game on their top games of 2018 list and then publish an article like this.

There’s a reason I never check their website.
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,747
#20
Really feels that way, they still have no roadmap of any kind, no new content being previewed and so on. After the disaster of a launch bethesda has done what to fix the situation? They have been months now going "new stuff coming!" without a single preview or hint. Every week new update comes out with not a shred of hope.

I still play it a bit, but most everyone I know seems to have abandoned it already, and it feels like Bethesda is just letting this game die too with how poorly they are supporting it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
238
#21
Polygon is a joke.

They put this game on their top games of 2018 list and then publish an article like this.

There’s a reason I never check their website.
A lot of outlets were excited about the game. Does that make polygon garbage? Tons of people who bought the game were wrong about the game. EVERYONE was duped and tricked into buying that pile of hot steaming shit.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,893
#23
While the post launch work seems to have been making things worse, there is a silver lining in that Bethesda clearly does want to salvage this, and that's encouraging. Looking back at the launches of No Man's Sky and Sea of Thieves, those games were largely declared to be DOA, and now they're doing very well for themselves. I'm not saying it will be easy, but I think Fallout 76 might be better eventually.
Both No Mans Sky and Sea of Thieves were fundamentally sound, functional games. Two games that looked good and played fine but just fell short of the vision or expectations (or some very badly advised promises by the devs), and lacked enough content to feel substantial. Both were always going to be "fixable" with more content as long as the publishers and devs committed to it, which fair play to everybody involved they did.

Fallout 76 is a barely functional mess that can't be fixed by content rollouts or a DLC strategy alone. It's not the same thing at all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,035
#25
Polygon is a joke.

They put this game on their top games of 2018 list and then publish an article like this.

There’s a reason I never check their website.
As somebody noted, there are different authors.

Still, it is no less ridiculous that anybody considered it their "top" game. Hopefully that person did put a lot of warnings in their justification.
 

CosmicSea

Banned
Member
Feb 5, 2019
466
#26
A lot of outlets were excited about the game. Does that make polygon garbage? Tons of people who bought the game were wrong about the game. EVERYONE was duped and tricked into buying that pile of hot steaming shit.
How were people duped and tricked? The game is what they showed, it looked terrible when they revealed it.... Not to mention bethesda's track record.
 
Nov 3, 2017
2,354
#27
The sooner this dies the better. Every developer that is wasted on this trainwreck is one too many. They should rather focus on their upcoming games.
 

Slayven

You probably post about me on another board.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
27,120
#28
No shit.

It's a cash grab online game simply looking to exploit the Fallout IP and get to market when the iron is hot.

This is not getting a TESO like revival.
The turn around on TESO needs to be talked about, they really tore into the guts of the game and made it into something else.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,508
#33
It says plenty about their issues when in fallout 4 there's a whole huge chunk of the map that runs at fucking sub 15-30 fps with a powerful 1070 system. And with a few mods to fix their shit to improve performance with minimal visual impact, I have it running now at 50-60 normally with rare dips to sub 50.

An online game won't be able to get fan patches as long as cheating is an issue.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,166
#35
What a upsetting isn't that they killed fallout 76, they killed the fallout ip. Who the hell would trust them after this, fallout 4 was already given mixed reactions
 
Oct 27, 2017
863
#37
I honestly forgot this game came out until I saw this thread. Pretty wild for a Fallout game.

The opening paragraphs did do a good job of explaining the games appeal in a way I never thought about, though. Too bad Bethesda squandered whatever potential experience they had on their hands.
 

Slayven

You probably post about me on another board.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
27,120
#39
If it were going to be fixed, Bethesda would have said something by now. The fact that they’ve been carrying on BAU is telling.

People should keep giving Bethesda shit over it, but I also wouldn’t expect anything at this point. I know this has certainly tempered any excitement I had for their future releases, and hopefully it has for others as well.
They would have launched a "we are listening" and had a info graphic roadmap. My hot take is they keep a crew on to keep it running, maybe add a few things here and there. And 18 months they shut it down
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,927
#42
I know I'm going to get crap here for this, but Bethesda should just cut and run, and this is coming from a sucker that bought the game at full price. The core gameplay loop is just too badly broken to salvage. Adding additional content isn't going to fix that.
I really think it's a bad idea to cut and run after a release like this. You're talking about something that could potentially leave a lasting stain on a franchise and development studio. In the past they've managed to get away with messy releases (like the PS3 versions of their games) because people just played and enjoyed them on other platforms. But this is an issue that everyone felt. And if they tried to cut and run it makes me think that people are going to be far less forgiving when it comes to BGS games in the future.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,623
#44
Read this the other day and I dont think they can save it at this point. Even adding in new content and things to do in the "endgame" wouldnt be enough to get me to return.

Its a good foundation of ideas though and proabably even a better learning experience for the studio. I dont think they can do what people want though with the engine they have been using.
 
Oct 31, 2017
480
#46
I don’t even think Bethesda thinks it’s possible to save now. Game feels like it’s already being run by a skeleton crew.
I'm still floored that they managed to fuck this game up so hard when they touted support from Zenimax.
The fucking studio that 1.Currently has a VERY successful Elder Scrolls online game. 2. Has the experience and infastructure of converting a game like Fallout to an online experience. 3. ESO literally went from being absolute trash to absolute gem in under 3 years. Seriously it's a totally different game now. The famous Angry Joe review is horribly outdated.
FO76 had no reason to be this godawful. And honestly this piss poor performance has actually made me very wary of any new games from them. Including the new Elder Scrolls.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,439
#47
They should just kill it off. This was the first Bethesda game I didn't buy day 1 because I didn't really understand why it existed in the first place. It just seemed like a game that, even if it were perfectly executed, has no reason for being. I mean, if they really wanted a multiplayer Fallout game, and cared to make it big and populated, they should have copied ESO. The people who want the same singleplayer Fallout still wouldn't care about it, but it would appeal to a whole lot more people than 76 ever could.

The turn around on TESO needs to be talked about, they really tore into the guts of the game and made it into something else.
I don't think it can be overstated just how amazing a job they did in completely reversing this games fortune. It's probably the most impressive turnaround I've seen with a game, and that includes FFXIV, because they fixed it all while the game was live instead of shutting it down and rebooting.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,940
#48
BGS is a dev known for the attempts to fix their buggy games being futile. They fix a few things, break more things, don’t bother fixing some bugs at all, eventually move on and leave the buggy product as is.

Now it’s happening in a multiplayer game in which this whole process happens again but on a much worse level. And it’s not something you can get away with as easily. Especially since the community isn’t allowed to fix the game themselves as they’ve always done before with BGS.

As the years go by, BGS’s approach as a dev become less and less tolerable. I hope they eventually learn from it.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,190
#50
Both No Mans Sky and Sea of Thieves were fundamentally sound, functional games. Two games that looked good and played fine but just fell short of the vision or expectations (or some very badly advised promises by the devs), and lacked enough content to feel substantial. Both were always going to be "fixable" with more content as long as the publishers and devs committed to it, which fair play to everybody involved they did.

Fallout 76 is a barely functional mess that can't be fixed by content rollouts or a DLC strategy alone. It's not the same thing at all.

This here^^ for all the Shit and lies regarding No Mans Sky, there was at least a functional game there, I mean I did have some fun with it before the revamp etc, same with Sea of Thieves (which to be fair, MS always said there was a drip feed of content coming and building upon in, so a little harder to not see it as incomplete)

Fallout '76 was a fun run through to the endgame, I assume even more with friends, but after that last story "Boss" there was nothing there at all, and even up to that point there was seemingly no point to it, and I even bought into the "First Vault open" premise, that was an interesting thing for a Fallout MMO, this is not that