Fallout 76 Coming to Steam With New Wastelanders Update

There’s no use beating around the bush when it comes to Fallout 76. At launch, the game received the kind of reception usually reserved for global pandemics. The game wasn’t just buggy, it was diseased. An unfinished mess, it took me 70 hours of playtime before I gave up. I won’t go into everything that got me to the point of complete demoralization, but the breaking point was when I lost all the progress on a major quest because the game crashed for the 15th time that day. We talk about it more on one of the episodes of our Real Professional podcast. Give it a listen if you want to know my struggles.

Since the disastrous launch, Bethesda has been working hard to try and fix Fallout 76. It’s an absolutely monumental task. The typically jovial Bethesda E3 presentation for 2019 felt more like an extended apology. But to win us back, they promised two big things. First, a battle royale mode. Called Nuclear Winter, the 52 player slugfest would also unlock benefits for the main game. It was alright, unique enough to draw some fans back in. Still, the core game had plenty of issues. The far bigger promise was the addition of NPC characters. Finally, Fallout 76 would feel like a fucking Fallout game.

It’s been a long wait since the announcement, with some stumbles along the way (I promised myself this wouldn’t become an article about Fallout 1st). As of today, we finally have an answer of when we’ll see this new game-changing content. Coming April 7th, the Fallout 76‘s Wastelanders update finally arrives. The update introduces two new NPC factions, each with their own reputation system that can be grinded in typical MMO fashion. The first faction is the Settlers, a group of D.C. construction workers that have taken up residence at Spruce Knob. They’ve built the area into a fortress called “Foundation,” and under the leadership of Paige they seek to rebuild society. The second faction is the Raiders. They used to live in Appalachia, and are ready to kill anyone who would take their homeland. Led by Meg, they have set up residence in the far cooler Crashed Space Station. Calling this new town Crater, their more brutal tactics and tribal rituals make them the more entertaining option.

The update also comes with a new main quest, a revamped original questline, an entirely redone choice/conversation system, and a host of new creatures and gear. Is it enough to fix Fallout 76? That’s the million-dollar question. At this point, I’m not sure if most people are willing to give the game a second chance. I was doing some research to find how much it would cost for someone to give the game a shot, and was shocked to find that it hadn’t gone free-to-play. The game is still $40 for the standard digital edition, which is taking a phenomenal amount of piss. You can get the physical game from most retailers for under $20, so a $40 price tag for the benefit of not having a physical disk is completely tone-deaf.

This will hopefully be remedied by the time the game comes to Steam on April 7th. That’s right, with Wasteland update, Fallout 76 will also be dropping on the world’s biggest digital gaming platform. A platform that has always been notoriously hostile to exclusive titles and overpriced games. Another road bump, the Atom digital currency will NOT transfer between accounts. Your unlocked items will, but you’ll have to log in to your Bethesda.net account, spend it, and then launch on Steam.

To end on a positive note, I am rooting for Fallout 76. I honestly have some fond memories of my time in the Appalachians. The game tried to be something far grander than their budget or development time, and lost sight of most of the basic issues for that larger picture. But that larger picture is still there. Hopefully, the Wastelanders update can color in the blank spots and bring 76 some much needed new life.

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