Fallout 76 has done much to anger its players on a regular basis in the eleven months since its launch, but of Fallout 76’s many failures, few have enraged the community quite like its recently-implemented premium subscription service, Fallout 1st. It has now reached the point that people are claiming subscribers are being targeted by griefers as a result.
Fallout 1st offers a number of useful features for players willing to pay up, including the ability to set up private servers, a Scrapbox for storing an unlimited amount of crafting supplies, a Survival Tent that serves as a mobile base, a monthly income of Fallout 76’s premium Atom currency, and an exclusive costume and selection of emotes. More than the fact that these features are hidden behind a paywall, players are mad at the price: $12.99 for a month’s subscription, and $99.99 for a full year.
It’s a rather insane price tag for a few exclusive features in a single game, and it doesn’t help that the private servers and Scrapbox are bugged. Apparently players are so mad about how this is playing out that their anger isn’t just focused on Bethesda. There are now reports of players ganging up on Fallout 1st subscribers (an icon designates them as such) in the game’s default Adventure Mode.
Many of these paint a picture of subscribers attracting the ire of non-subscribers by wearing the exclusive Ranger Armor outfit or using one of the exclusive emotes. The griefing apparently goes both ways, however, because other players have also made claims of being harassed in similar fashion by Fallout 1st players. This has led to both jokes and legitimate complaints about Bethesda effectively adding a class structure to Fallout 76 with its subscription service, marking a clear divide between the haves and the have-nots.
In all likelihood, whatever griefing is happening isn’t anything too serious, given how Fallout 76’s PvP system restricts unwanted combat between players in Adventure Mode. But what’s truly interesting is the conversation that the community is having because of these reports. More than the concerns of in-game classism, people are debating whether griefing is even an effective form of protest against Bethesda’s actions, since it all it does is result in them playing the game more (which is what Bethesda wants) while making it a more toxic experience for everyone else.
This quote from one Reddit goer, KillerCameo, sums it up pretty well: “We almost made Appalachia a better place when we were working together and seemingly rebuilding our virtual society. Now things have plunged into chaos due to different ideologies about how 76 should be handled. I guess it was only a matter of time where we would go back to fighting each other. War never changes.”
Fallout 76 is available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.