The problems of Fallout 76 are…too much. What must Bethesda do now to save the game? Let’s take a look at the five biggest construction sites that the makers will have to work on in the coming weeks.
The last weeks of the year were certainly different for Bethesda. The state in which Fallout 76 was released has been the subject of intense criticism from players and critics for weeks. In our test of the online role-playing game we also had to find several blatant flaws. As a result of the negative reactions, the game was already available a short time after release, partly reduced by half.
Although there are no official sales and current player numbers in Fallout 76, it should be pretty clear that the developers at Bethesda Game Studios need to make changes as quickly as possible to prevent the title from dying a quick death. The creators should concentrate on the following important areas.
One of the biggest problems with Fallout 76 is its technical condition. The aging Creation Engine is not always able to provide a smooth gaming experience, despite its poor graphics quality. Here the performance has to be worked on as soon as possible. so that at least no one is disturbed by Ruckler anymore. The graphics will certainly not win a beauty award anymore, but at least the many graphic glitches like floating objects, blurred textures and non-loading objects have to be fixed.
In addition to the client-side technology, the servers must also be properly screwed. They are not really stable yet. It doesn’t always require extraordinary actions, like detonating three atom bombs at the same time, to crash a server. During our test it happened to us again and again that we lost the connection to the server in various situations. Especially annoying, if the progress of the quest is lost.
The group game
Up to four players can currently form a group. Apart from divisible Perks, however, there are hardly any advantages in forming a team. For example, experience points and quest progress will not be shared among party members. For example, this creates problems when players at different levels join forces. While the higher level character will kill enemies without any problems, the lower level player must always be on the lookout to inflict at least one damage point on each enemy as quickly as possible in order to gain any experience points at all.
Even different ways of playing, such as melee, can be severely disadvantaged by this system. Especially when a group of friends agrees on different roles for their characters, this form of “roleplaying” should not be torpedoed by an unfair distribution of experience points. The fact that groups share their experience and progress in quests is standard for online games and should be changed as soon as possible.
The way in which PvP is currently handled in Fallout 76 is not satisfactory for fans of the confrontation with other players. It can be used unfairly to the advantage of the attacked player and is detrimental to a number of character builds. As a result, PvP battles rarely really occur. This is where developers need to create new incentives. One possibility would be to design the already existing pacifist mode in such a way that players with this option will not suffer any damage instead of just causing no damage to players themselves.
In this way, the need to defend against an attack before a PvP battle starts could be completely eliminated. If you play without pacifist mode, you can expect to get damage from players at any time. Another possibility would be to establish a second server type on which PvP is basically active, while PvE is in focus on the other servers. In this way, everyone could devote themselves to their preferred form of play.
The storage problem
Fallout 76 wants to be a survival game that will keep you on your toes with hunger, thirst, and the constant maintenance of your equipment. The player is also encouraged to set up and defend his own camp as a retreat. Of course, all this is not for free. So the only logical thing you do as a player is to stockpile all the food and resources you can get your hands on. But now items in Fallout have always had a certain weight and the carrying capacity of the character is limited accordingly.
For the storage of objects there is therefore the so-called storage box. However, this is also currently limited to only 400 weight units. However, given the amount of material there is to collect, this is not really much. Especially if you still store one or the other legendary item as well as parts of power armor, you are damn quickly at the limits of your capacity. Now an increase of the crate to 600 weight units has already been announced. But that’s not really satisfying. Here Bethesda has to come up with further improvements.
The narrative style
As we have already described in the test, the presentation of the story through audio logs and readable texts is not everyone’s cup of tea. Although Fallout 76 has some interesting stories to offer if you get involved, in the long run this form of storytelling is simply boring. Should Bethesda ever want to integrate new quests and actions, they should definitely not think about abandoning their “No NPCs” strategy. It’s just part of a role-playing game that you talk to characters of the game world and in the best case still make dialogue decisions.
No matter how the developers plan to tackle the big problems of Fallout 76, the task is a daunting one. It wouldn’t be the first time that an online title with a problematic start changes for the better and becomes a popular game to play. Ubisoft, for example, has shown the way with The Division, which experienced a kind of second spring after a series of updates. However, compared to Fallout 76, the initial problems there were relatively manageable. Even if Bethesda can’t turn the tide here anymore, let’s hope they’ve learned from this experience for the future.