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Fallout 76 players break into developer room, discover Wooby

Human NPC is a weapons test dummy, not a security blanket

Kenny (Taliesin Jaffe, later a voice actor in numerous video games) confronts giving up his Woobie in 1983’s Mr. Mom (Michael Keaton, Teri Garr).
Twentieth Century Fox
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Turns out there is a human NPC in Fallout 76. But visiting him might get your account banned.

“Wooby,” as he is called, is the sole inhabitant of a developers-only room that some players have gotten access too, potentially for the past several weeks. Eurogamer yesterday reported on the room, Wooby and the ban notices some players are getting as Bethesda appears to be trying to contain the spread of high powered items coming from that location.

The fact Fallout 76 has a secret room stocked with high level items isn’t much of a surprise. They’ve been found in Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, and are typically accessed on PC with console commands. The online multiplayer nature of Fallout 76, however, makes it remarkable that players could break into this room, apparently without using console commands.

Fallout 76 has had problems since launch with duping exploits and other misbehavior creating a surplus of high-powered items in the gameplay world. Bethesda Game Studios has tried to contain the spread with patches, but accessing Wooby’s room is an escalation of this type of threat. Eurogamer reports that players who access the room are having their accounts automatically suspended.

They get an email from Bethesda, reprinted at Eurogamer, that discreetly accuses the player of cheating and asks them to write back explaining how they visited the forbidden room. If they don’t, the account remains suspended. If they do, Bethesda says it will “conduct an investigation to reach a final decision about the status of this account.”

A developer room such as this is simply an in-world space where most, if not all, of the game’s inventory may be found and presumably tested. “Wooby” isn’t someone with any dialogue or missions to give — he’s more likely a practice dummy for certain weapons. A video, since taken down, showed a player beating Wooby to death; he carries 100 caps and Abraxo.

However, that cache of items isn’t just limited to high-level loot. Others have found unreleased armor paints, (which Eurogamer also found). This has riled up the game’s subreddits, where advertising unreleased items for trade has gotten some banned, and discussing or asking for directions on how to break into the room is sorely frowned upon.

Wooby, his test status obvious, doesn’t necessarily portend human NPCs for Fallout 76 anytime soon. But for sure this game can implement them, so it’s another reminder of what is simply a design restriction that has created a story many Fallout fans have found rote and lifeless.

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