What if: Fallout 76 is out now?

Fallout 76 was not very good at launch. He was heartache prone, lifeless, clumsy and buggy as hell – worse than Cyberpunk, and it’s not even close. Many of these issues persist: Crashes are common, bugs still abound, and the UI is more nightmarish than any Scorched you’ll encounter in post-apocalyptic Appalachia. But they’re less onerous than they used to be, and are no longer laid bare in an empty world where players have nothing to do but harass each other.

The past three years have seen their ups and downs, but a few key updates – Wastelanders, Steel Dawn, The Legendary Run, and One Wasteland For All – have made the world of Fallout 76 a dramatically different world than the players entered. 2018. There are NPCs now, and proper quest lines with a branching dialogue that makes it look more like a Fallout game. It’s a better MMO too, with more daily quests, endgame gear, and role-playing options. So what if Fallout 76 comes out now?

Well, for starters, Fallout 76 is unlikely to sit on a metacritic score of just over 50%. Judging by the handful of rated and unrated reviews that have popped up after the release of Wastelanders, we’d likely score a little over 60%, maybe even higher considering recent updates like Worlds and Locked. & Loaded.

Of course, it’s not a No Man’s Sky style turnaround, but it has improved dramatically over the years. It probably wouldn’t lead to hundreds of thousands more copies sold, but with most of its worst bugs exterminated, you imagine more players would be willing to give it a go.

The biggest difference in player usage would be Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda earlier this year, which brought Fallout 76 – alongside the rest of Bethesda’s catalog – to Game Pass subscribers. This means that around 18 million more players have access to the MMO, and it could have had a huge impact had they been able to step into the game from day one.

without bigger servers there is no way to create great persistent stories

So: more players at launch and less breakthrough problems. But let’s get past the headlines that made so much noise about the release, as deserved as it is, and dig a little deeper. Let’s focus on what makes Fallout 76 special.

The now defunct Battle Royale mode, Nuclear Wasteland, could attract and retain enough players to become a stable and cohesive part of the game, which Bethesda could establish as a place where players can showcase their PvP prowess. Fortnite 2 it certainly wasn’t, but it was a lot of fun and could have turned into a variety of multiplayer modes.

Fallout 76, even now, has a vibrant and dedicated RPG community. Over the years, players have recreated Mothman cults, started acting troupes, held music festivals and cooking shows, and formed militia groups.

A player-made camp in Fallout 76

Certainly, faction and character building was key to the release of 76, because without NPCs the Appalachian Desert was a lifeless, characterless void waiting to be filled with eccentrics, bounty hunters, and wandering merchants. . The potential for player-created faction wars has been evident from day one, but it never had enough support from Bethesda.

Appropriate RPG Servers Could Solve Some of Fallout 76’s Biggest Problems

More players, especially high profile streamers, could give Bethesda a boost to expand its private server options. Currently, a Fallout 1st subscription allows players to open their own servers, but with an eight-player limit, there is no chance of creating full-scale role-playing scenarios. No wars between raiders and settlers, no skirmishes for key resources, and no room for extravagant freelancers to operate between warring tribes.

One need only look at the success of GTA RP servers to see that there is clearly a market for this type of MMO gameplay. Frustratingly, Fallout 76 has all the right ingredients. The Worlds update means players can adjust their server settings and get more creative in building their CAMPs, but without bigger servers there is no way to create great persistent stories.

If Fallout 76 were to launch right now, with the benefit of all of these updates, a change like increasing server capacity would be high on Bethesda’s agenda.

Fallout 76 Brotherhood of Steel

Appropriate role-playing servers could solve issues like long-term engagement, attract new players, and stay relevant after launch. Ironically, this is a change that could make the Wastelanders update obsolete for some – why would anyone want a world full of NPCs when players could fill those roles?

With Starfield’s release date still a year away and The Elder Scrolls 6 launch even further afield, it’s not inconceivable that we could wait until 2030 for Fallout 5. And while Fallout 76 still gets better. regularly, one wonders what could have been if he had launched in its current state.

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