TL;DR: My long-lost gaming group came back, earned a backpack and camera, did a run under Arktos Pharma and was having fun looking forward to Wastelanders only to be crushed in a week and a half.
About a week and a half before Fallout 1st was announced, one of my buddies pinged our group of four saying we should try and hop back in-game. All 4 of us were great friends in college, and when FO76 was announced, we had hoped this game would be an excellent way to rekindle our friendships.
Unfortunately, FO76 left much to be desired, and we've gradually been moving on lamenting what a shame it was the game was broken, had significant issues and wasn't all that fun to play as a co-op game because we ended up standing around being quiet while one member of the party listened to a holotape.
Anyways, this one buddy had hung in there. Seen the game go through the events, atomic shop sales, Nuclear Winter and the like, and at this time, we were expecting Wastelanders to come out soon. Well, he pinged us all, and convinced us to hop in. We spent 5 or six hours trying to wrack up Tadpole challenges, earning backpacks and getting a camera for each of us, and posed for a few pictures over a Scorchbeast Queen. We were enjoying the progress being made in-game, but we felt like this was all fairly short-lived as ultimately we were just grinding to get better gear none of us really cared about since we probably wouldn't play much more.
Our one saving grace was our friend who had organized this being ecstatic and saying we'd at least have Wastelanders soon. We joked about it being in the atomic shop and praying it wouldn't be a DLC or something, and we even speculated this may be a new co-op option offline or separate from the main servers so there could be consequences of killing an NPC.
We left our game night promising the Saturday after Wastelanders released, we'd all dedicate that day to hop back in and explore once more. The next week, we were hit with the announcement Wastelanders would be pushed back and that the atomic shop would no longer be cosmetics because of "data" or "its what the players want". Now, we see this Fallout 1st service.
Bethesda claims this is all what we wanted. All I want is the ability to play a game that doesn't bug out or crash every two seconds; that doesn't need either a bunch of grinding or money to play the gameplay loop of collecting junk and crafting; that allows my friends and I the freedom to goof around and create our own stories with mods. And most of all, I don't want to have my friends pay more for a game which turned it's back on the players two weeks after the game launched by dropping the purchase price, going radio silent for so long and presenting us players with a half-baked experience.
I hope my buddies and I can re-group next spring with the Wastelanders launch, but by that time, the data may indeed point to that requiring a 1st subscription. That would be the nail in the coffin for Fallout in my book. I already feel no inclination to play unless it's with friends, and since none of them want to support this, I lament what this means for both what this game could of been, and what my friends and I could have had in this game. Do better Bethesda. Please.
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