Fallout 76’s launch can best be described as rocky. While there are moments of genuine joy or post-apocalyptic terror to find in the title, there’s also a lot of broken or just plain boring gameplay to sort through. Players have encountered everything from being unable to die, forced to walk the wasteland as an unstoppable murderbeast, to constantly exploding cars and NPC textures that break and stretch. Amid growing player frustration, Bethesda posted an apologetic statement on the Fallout 76 subreddit that touched on the immediate anger of the community, and laid out a substantive December roadmap that will start to address player concerns.
“We know you’re frustrated and angry at the state of things right now, whether it’s the issues you’re running into in the game, or the lack of communication about fixes, updates, or news,” Bethesda Game Studios’ community team said. “We didn’t want you to think the silence meant nothing was happening. We’re sorry and understand this was not the right approach, and we’ll work to make a better bridge between you and the dev team at BGS.”
Bethesda said it will step up communication with the game’s players, and promises weekly articles that cover “issues you may be experiencing, quality of life requests you have, or new features [the developers are] excited to share.”
In more tangible terms, Bethesda outlined Fallout 76’s next two patches.
The first patch will hit on Dec. 4, and will increase the stash limit — a major source of player frustration — from 400 to 600. The limit is set to further increase once Bethesda confirms this won’t affect server performance. The other changes in the patch are focused on bug fixes and loot tables, including guaranteeing two to three items off bosses, ensuring players aren’t stuck in Power Armor, and allowing players who die while over-encumbered to respawn anywhere on the map (and not just at Vault 76.)
The second patch, due on Dec. 11, is meatier, bringing an assortment of bug fixes but also some nice quality of life changes. PC players will be getting push-to-talk in voice chat, 21:9 resolution support, and a field of view setting.
All players will get the chance to respec their SPECIAL points after gaining a level after 50, as opposed to picking a new perk card. There are also major improvements to the CAMP system. A Bulldozer system will allow players to remove trees, rocks, and other small obstructions from terrain to place their CAMP more effectively. Even better, upon logging in, if your CAMP has been dislocated by another player on the server, you will get a prompt to either continue to play on that server and choose a new location for your CAMP, or find a new server where your CAMP is still active.
Fallout 76 has been one of the buggier game launches in recent memory. Bethesda previously stated that working on a game as a live service is a new endeavor for the company, and the developers are clearly still finding their feet. There’s a lot more work to do, and the game hasn’t really eked out an identity. Even the elevator pitch of “it’s Fallout ... with friends!” struggles when the game deliberately bucks many of the pillars of the Fallout franchise, including NPCs and conversation trees.
The game’s main story themes are about rebuilding a world that is largely left automated by a few surviving systems, and that seems to describe the development as well. Despite the fact that there’s a long road ahead, and December’s patches are just a start, there’s a sense of relief that Bethesda is addressing the game’s glaring issues. Fallout 76’s launch might have been a struggle, but at least Bethesda isn’t abandoning the world of Appalachia to fend for itself.
The full patch notes for Fallout 76’s Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 patches can be found on the official Fallout site.