Fallout 76 Update 22 was rolled out a couple weeks ago. I think most players would say its packed with new features. But the update has made it clear that the release may favor one of the two basic types of Fallout players. Type 1 are players who love shootem’up. Type 2 players are more likely to enjoy the adventure and discovery. I’m overgeneralizing but for example, I’d say top player JuiceHead enjoys Nuclear Winter and all things gaming. OTOH, top videographer Oxhorn enjoys Fallout lore and exploring. Neither playstyle is right or wrong and until recent releases, both styles of play seem to be accommodated by Fallout 76. In short, I believe that Update 22’s new features favor high velocity players and seem to leave players like me in the dust.
Legendary Perks – YAY
I’ve played with Bethesda’s Fallout S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes systems for over four years and I am certain that the FO76 system is far superior to FO4. And with Update 22 the introduction of Legendary Perks allow an advanced player to benefit in ways that help generate further interest in the game beyond Level 100. Bravo to the team that came up with this!!
Daily Ops – NAY
There are other features I really dislike and Daily Ops is now at the top of that list. I was really looking forward to the arrival of the Brotherhood of Steel faction and eagerly plunged into the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ quest. Once in the event, I was plunged into a storm of robots and to make matters worse, the navigation diamond past station 1 was stuck inside a wall. In the process I got killed several times and didn’t complete the event. Okay. I’ve run into tough challenges before but with the addition of the new One Wasteland feature and the time limits, I found Daily Ops demoralizing. In fact, I’m irritated by this buggy s***storm I don’t know if or when I’ll even try it again.
One Wasteland – NAY
One Wasteland is a good idea in theory. Basically, the higher level you are, the higher level enemies you must confront, from the lowly Molerat (Lvl 50 and higher) to horrendous Deathclaws and so forth. I was okay with this added level of difficulty until “Meat Week”, an event I usually enjoy. However, on joining an event in The Mire I found myself alone. I waited but no one joined me. So, I thought, WTF, I’m level 159, I’ll go it alone. I’ve done a lot of tough challenges alone, but as soon as the event began I was overrun by massive waves of very high level baddies, worse than I’ve previously encountered in solo play. I used my exploding 50 Cal (with 5x Explosive Expert, Fireproof, and Bloody Mess perks, and several mutations) and blasted dozens of enemies to pieces over a broad area. I died three times and got NOTHING. Because I used the Bloody Mess I couldn’t even find all the monster parts. Maybe there was a Legendary something in mess that remained, but after a half hour of looking around I stopped. I tried another event over near Flatwoods and there were lots of players but it was extremely difficult and I nearly died a couple times, and again I got NOTHING of value. So, screw it.
Going Forward, Going Away
I’ve made it clear that I love the progress of this game since I started in April 2019. I felt that the introduction of ‘Wastelanders’ was wonderful. But after Update 22, I’m genuinely miffed at the direction the game seems to be headed. And here’s why I mention play style differences: JuiceHead says he likes the U22 changes and I respect that. I think InnovSurvivalist likes the changes also. But I don’t. The changes spell wasting countless hours on split-second timed nonsense. Just saying.
My belief is that the product managers listen WAY too much to high level players who are more interested in making game objectives more and more unattainable. And I seriously doubt that the Fallout 76 team even comprehends the desires of casual players. If they did, they’d work on all the trouble with griefers, magic weapons and defects. Nuff said. Well, one more thing: I like that the designers are trying to make team/group activities work, but I just haven’t been able to connect with so many random players that I don’t know. Suggestion: create a region where players can go to listen to music and dance, and just hang out. That was the key to success of Second Life.
I’ll Be Back
I’ll continue playing Fallout 76 from time to time, but my Fallout 1st subscription is due to expire next month and I’ll prolly cancel that subscription. This means loosing my huge scrap stashes and I’ll prolly have to get rid of a lot of Legendary weapons I’ve been hording. It’s just this simple: Update 22 destroyed a lot of the joy this game for me. Boo Hoo.
Last night I returned to a Fallout 4 game I’d left at level 59 (Difficulty: Very Hard) a couple years ago; I left to begin playing Fallout 76. I revisited the game and there’s a lot of gameplay left to run with. I also own two DLCs I’ve yet to try, so there’s that also. And maybe I’ll be able to run the upcoming DLC sized mod “Fallout Miami”; although I find its tricky to get more than a few mods to work concurrently. Maybe by the time I finish the FO4 game I’ll return. Maybe FO76 will be friendlier to the casual player; maybe not. If this is a permanent shift for Bethesda, then I’m just petty enough to resent it. But time will tell.
I’M SORRY to sound like Whimpey. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the game. I’m just fed up. I totally appreciate that my style of gameplay is different than a lot of players. In fact, I’m fascinated to watch the top shootem’up players, like gooberti (Level 1000+) who amazes me! But there’s a delicate balance to these games and when the game turns away from you, it may never be the same game again. And who knows what influence Microsoft will have on these games. We shall see.