This likely isn't news to the overwhelming majority, seeing as it's been a thing for quite a while, but I wanted to talk about this a little bit and share some info I personally went out of my way to obtain. Before I continue, I need to make it clear that this is not me complaining at all, nor is it really criticism. I consider this an observation.
About a day ago I decided to compare locations from the Fallout 76 map and various different maps of West Virginia as a way to get a general idea of where most towns and locations would be. However, I quickly got sidetracked when I looked at the location of Flatwoods in the game compared to real maps. I've compared the maps both with and without tilting my head, because the map in game seems tilted counter clockwise to me, though that isn't definitively the case.
In game, Flatwoods is almost perfectly South-East of Point Pleasant (<
I never payed attention to these differences in the past, but I likely will going forward. All of this does, however, bring up the question of why there are obvious changes in locations in the first place.
The obvious answer is; They can't recreate the locations exactly for gameplay purposes as they would likely be too far from each other or wouldn't fit into the full map of the game without being more taxing on the game. This is perfectly reasonable in my opinion, if a little confusing sometimes. However, there appears to be no official reason given as to why locations are different that fits the Lore, besides one possible explanation. I refer to this explanation as Fallout Universe Location Differences, or FULD. Dumb, I know, but it helps explain this. Many things in the Fallout universe are different from our own, so it stands to reason that Locations in the United States can be different as well. Not some super interesting conspiracy level explanation, but explanations aren't always glamorous.
If you actually read all of that, then thanks for your time. It's a subject that everyone has most likely already come to terms with, but I never fully realized how far it went until recently, and wanted to share my actual research, with examples, that lead me to writing this. No matter what differences there may be in locations in the game compared to the real world, it will still be fun to visit these places in the game. Only a few more days until the PC beta starts, and I'm sure we're all quite anxious to start breaking the game for Bethesda so they can fix what they need to before the official launch. Anyways, thanks again for your time.
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