Recently, Fallout 76 – the title infamous for its failed launch and ongoing issues since – decided to introduce a subscription service. For as little as $13 per month, or $100 annually, players could set up a ‘private’ server, gain an unlimited scrapbox in which to store materials, a new tent type, NCR Ranger Armour (over a hundred years before the New California Republic would be founded on the other side of the country), and a monthly allowance of microtransaction currency to use in the in-game store.
The Fallout community initially responded to the announcement with what can only be described as a mocking bewilderment, even from die-hard fans: the features were suggested by gamers in a survey past, on the assumption they’d get access to this stuff for free. One player even trademarked a website named after the subscription service in order to protest it.
But it quickly came to light that, in true Fallout 76 fashion, the subscription service itself was only the tip of the iceberg: Those few who subscribed to the service discovered that it didn’t even work.
Users complained that private servers seemed to be recycled, public sessions, with enemies dead and unique loots looted. Friends could join these ‘private’ sessions at their own free will. Some mentioned that the supposedly infinite scrapbox, infact, ate their scrap: A concern Bethesda was quick to dismiss, until it was forced to concede that was indeed the case for ‘a small amount of users’.
Bethesda has stated that worlds are not recycled, that players will be able to curate their worlds more effectively in a coming patch, and that the scrapbox issue will be looked into. We’ll have to wait and see whether they fix the issues entirely or merely contribute to the sideshow that is Fallout 76.