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Bethesda recently launched a premium subscription for their much maligned live service, which is proving to be yet another disasterous chapter in the disasterclass story that is Fallout 76.
Another month, another ill-conceived attempt to wrest the last vestiges of profit from fans by Bethesda. Fallout 1st, a new subscription-based service targeted at truly the hardest of hardcore fans of Fallout 76, however limited in number they may be. Priced at $99.99 a year, it "generously" offers subscribers the chance to access their own private servers in-game, arguably pay-to-win advantages and a few token cosmetic items.Though perhaps we should have seen this as the logical conclusion of the Fallout 76 life cycle, given the already overly aggressive monetisation of the in-game Atomic Shop, charging players for aesthetic CAMP items and skins that should have been in the default game from launch. Greed has been a consistent theme in the manner to which Bethesda have introduced new content.
Fallout 1st offers several features which most other games have at launch (Source - Bethesda)
Much of these features have been requested by the small, but hardcore player base that Fallout 76 retains at some time since the launch last year as quality of life fixes to save this deeply troubled game. They undoubtedly hoped Bethesda would implement them in the run up to the now-delayed Wastelanders content update, but few could have foreseen these simple improvements coming in the form of an avaricious subscription.
Most notably, this included a set of festive outfits added last year which cost 2000 atoms (roughly $20) which are only relevant in one month of the year.
HO-HO-HO.... That'll be 20 Bucks. (Source - Bethesda)
True to form, they've managed to mess up the launch of this brand new moneymaking scheme with the promised private servers not being so private after all. Some of those unfortunate to have paid Bethesda for this "service" are reporting other players are being able to join their "private" servers and loot items to their heart's content. Additionally, another promoted feature is giving players the ability to retain an infinite amount of stored scrap, which is used in crafting and base building, something of a core gameplay loop. This also seems to not be working as intended with players having collected scrap they attempt to store disappearing and being lost to them forever.
Interestingly, Bethesda had previously refused to allow infinite storage of scrap claiming that it would cause server instability, yet apparently that isn't an issue provided users pay for a premium subscription first. The sad thing, is that hardcore fans of Fallout 76 will probably pay for the promised convenience they may one day receive, but will know in their heart of hearts, that these features should have been in the game from launch rather than held over for a cash-in a year later. Bethesda not only knows this, they depend on it and will ignore any community backlash if it means taking more quick bucks from those who will still support them.