Free Fallout 1st gear? Yes please! Everything else? Maybe later.
Some time ago, I wrote two articles about the things I enjoy in Fallout 76. I ended the articles by saying that I’m cautiously optimistic about the future of the game. Is the game reaching its potential or its end? Or, more likely, neither?
Let’s see, shall we?
Fallout 76 Bomb Drop Day: What is it?
First off, let me express my genuine surprise that Fallout 76 is alive.
I don’t mean that like ‘alive and kicking’ or ‘doing well despite its detractors’, I mean that they are apparently a living breathing entity.
The reason I know this is that they somehow posted news on Steam, in which they state ‘In Fallout, October 23 marks the day the bombs fell, the event that started it all.’
Can we just take a quick moment to question a society which actively celebrates the date that imaginary nuclear weapons were launched? Not that the scale compares, of course, but can you imagine real-life companies having a 9/11 sale?
Oh wait, of course that’s a thing.
All that aside, let’s examine how Fallout 76 is celebrating their Bomb Drop Day:
– The game is free from October 20th-26th
– Free time-limited Fallout 1st account upgrade
– Fallout 1st includes Survival Tent, Scrapbox, and ‘Mechanic’ floor and wall skins
– Ingame events (including bonus XP) from 22nd-26th
Okay, let’s unpack some of that.
Fallout 76 Bomb Drop Day: Unpacking some of that
The game being free is a great idea – it’s what got me onboard in the first place, after all.
The Fallout 1st stuff is good to see, if a little surprising.
For those who don’t know and aren’t fans of extrapolation, Fallout 1st is the subscriber model – you give Fallout 76 some money and they let you use a private server, a Survival Tent, and a Scrapbox. They also give you exclusive free items every month. This months items are the ‘Mechanic’ floor and wall skins, which is why you get those.
The Survival Tent is pretty handy in some situations. It’s like a secondary base, which is free to place (your normal camp costs money to place). It’s handy for having a respawn point near tough areas, or as a free way to travel to certain areas that you’ll need to revisit multiple times (such as during the main campaign). It has your stash, a banjo (for a useful player buff), somewhere to sleep (to heal, and also to get another player buff), and a grill to cook food on.
It also has a Scrapbox.
Unlike all the other components of the Survival Tent, the Scrapbox can only be built by the Fallout 1st gang. It differs from the regular player Stash in two important ways: It can only store scraps, but it has no weight limit. This matters because scrap is often the heaviest thing in most peoples stashes, so being able to store it elsewhere can free up a lot of space. For instance, I moved all my scrap to the Scrapbox and had half of my entire stash limit back – it had been almost full.
There’s another way the Scrapbox differs from the Stash, too – it can only store the scrapped materials, not the actual junk it comes from. So, for example, if you have a teddy bear or an alarm clock you want to display, you can’t store it in the Scrapbox because that would destroy it and break it down to scrap.
We get to keep our Scrapboxes after the Fallout 1st trial runs out. We can’t put anything else in them after that time, but we can take things out of it. This is the actual reason I revisited Fallout 76 – I couldn’t believe that was true. But it is.
I can’t really comment on the Events as I tend to avoid them. Fallout 76 isn’t very interested in the whole ‘time and effort vs reward’ thing, you see. Instead, I’ll let Fallout 76 themselves tell you about the Events: ‘It wouldn’t be a true celebration without in-game events, and there will be three in-game events running from October 22 – 26. Get Double S.C.O.R.E. and Double XP, and get 25% off Legendary weapons and armor from Purveyor Murmrgh at the Rusty Pick.’
There’s also a sale on Atoms, the real-world currency used to buy certain in-game items, usually cosmetic.
Fallout 76 Bomb Drop Day: My experience as a returning player
So, I go to the Atom store to grab the free time-limited Fallout 1st unlock. I load one of my characters, wait for far too long on the loading screen, and I’m in.
I remember that the S.C.O.R.E. challenges (which are pretty much what they sound like) are a thing, but first I want to check out the new Legendary Cards (‘special buffs’). I am shocked to find my Legendary Cards are already equipped and that I’ve already completed some S.C.O.R.E. challenges.
It turns out that I played this game recently (right after Fallout 76 released the One Wasteland update) and forgot all about it. I wonder how that can happen and then I decided to go and kill some enemies.
The moment I do this, I realise why I’d forgotten about logging in. As Mike Patton sang on Faith No More’s under-rated album, Angel Dust: ‘It’s not fun anymore…’
The combat is – well, how to put this delicately…
The combat in Fallout 76 is about as well-balanced as a giant meteor landing on a seesaw seat.
Enemies that used to take, say, 3 shots now take 10 shots to kill. Some might say that I should respec, that I should remake my character. The problem with that is that it could, due to how the game is designed, literally take months to do that, by which time some other balance issues will probably interfere with – well, you get the idea.
While I still see hope in the future for Fallout 76, I can’t pretend that I approve of the direction it’s going at the moment.
Still, at least I’ve got some space in my Stash.
So there’s that, I guess?