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The ‘Fallout 76’ Fiasco: Why You Should Be Patient

Published on December 16th, 2018 | Updated on December 18th, 2018 | By FanFest

Fallout 76 was a game that was announced to quizzical but optimistic fanfare. Todd Howard, the famous Bethesda director, ascended to the stage at E3 with all the confidence he could muster. He talked about the online, the features, how Bethesda would make sure players would not have to deal with “griefing”. The crowd cheered, and Todd grinned. He felt like he had them in the palm of his hand.

Fast forward to today. We are a month past launch, and the feeling of excitement people had has turned to rage. In my job I hear a lot about games that have broken people’s trust, but I have not had an incident of this magnitude since Star Wars Battlefront II arrived last year. Fallout 76 is a broken mess, as referenced here by my colleague Peter Hanks.

The vault is unfortunately like the game, empty. (Photo credit to Bethesda)

”So wait wait David, this article is about patience? All you have done so far is talk about how Fallout 76 has failed?” Well, let me get to my point. See, this game is a lot of what people say it is. But there is an easy lesson to learn and a pattern to follow.

The lesson is simple. Bethesda has to learn from their mistakes. They have sat on high because of the incredible single player games they have made such as Skyrim and Fallout and some amazing studio acquisitions in Machine Games (makers of Wolfenstein) and ID Software (makers of Doom). Bethesda has been able to get by with issues in their games and engine because they are so expansive you do not mind a freeze up. This is unfamiliar territory for them so they need to “fess up” and make it right.

Bethesda games are also notorious for bugs. Add in online servers and you are just asking for the problem to be exacerbated. Do we really expect Bethesda to have magically made a perfectly working game when they never have, especially since they have never made an online game? I don’t think so.

How can I shoot when the game doesn’t work? Simple, restart and patch, patch, patch. (Photo credit to Bethesda)

The pattern however, is equally simple. If you have followed gaming at all recently, you would notice almost no online centric game has found their footing right away. Destiny and the sequel both struggled until their big expansions hit. The Division was almost MIA before some updates really hit home. Zenimax Media who makes a Bethesda property in Elder Scrolls Online definitely did not hit their stride for a year or two.

The point here is that as a consumer we have to stop holding these online games to the same standards as single player. That is not what they are. We have to be patient and hope they will figure out what we want. These online-persistent games just are not going to be finished at launch.

That is not to say we should not have standards. It’s not to say you are wrong about being disappointed when the game is not what you expected, or is experiencing problems. But especially if you are playing Fallout 76, be patient. I think Bethesda will eventually put together something great.

Also, we’re mad about a nylon bag in the Power Armor Edition? I did not even know it was supposed to be canvas until I saw something about it. Were we buying it for the bag or the helmet? Just to make a point, look at my face as I open the box in this video. Getting angry over that just is not worth it, and Bethesda even has offered to make up for it.

Do you have any experience with Fallout 76? What are your thoughts on it? Are you planning on biding your time with it? Pull out your Pip-boy and use it to drop a comment down below.

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as seen on promo graphic

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as seen on promo graphic