This post is long winded, overwritten, highly opinionated and really only meant for comedic purpose. Bring on da down doots, I had fun writing it.
Sometimes it is difficult to explain the player base for FO76 and rather than call people names or put them in cliques I decided to illustrate it as an analogy where I call people names and put them in cliques but make it seem less bad. This is a picture painted in very, very broad strokes, if you get offended you probably know which # you are.
To start let's think of FO76 as an actual Train scheduled to come into a station. Imagine a group of six friends are waiting on the station platform for that train. They have all ridden trains manufactured and operated by this company and really enjoyed them in the past.
- They Hear the Train a'Comin (Pre E3 Rumors About Online Survival) – Everyone gets excited about the train but friend #6 checked the leaked unpublished schedule and found out it was a going to be cargo train, not a passenger train. He doesn't buy a ticket or even wait around to see it, #6 just leaves. Meanwhile the train is blowing the hell out of its whistle getting everyone left excited about what it might be. #4 and #5 are skeptical but buy tickets because they make a living riding and critiquing trains, #1 and #3 really loved these trains in the past and feel good about buying a ticket, #2 has been burned by buying tickets ahead of time and decides to wait.
- They see the Train Coming 'Round The Bend (E3) – Well it's a cargo train but it looks pretty cool from here except to friend #5, he is pretty pissed and goes to join #6 and they start trash talking the train, calling the Conductor names and telling the other 4 they are id*ots for being excited. The remaining 4 get upset at how #5 is being unfair since the train company has been pretty reliable in the past and they haven't even seen the train yet. Yeah the Conductor is paid to lie but he hasn't been completely bald faced about it before. Meanwhile the train is blowing the whistle so hard it is covered in steam and you can't really see how big or how long this train is. #3 and #4 get a little irritated they haven't upgraded to a diesel electric engine, #1 doesn't care, he just loves this train.
- The Train is Getting Closer! (Greenbriar) – Friend #4 and weirdly enough #5 get a free ride down the service road to see the train before it gets here. The ride is really nice and friends #1-3 are eager to hear what #4 has to say since they know #5 will still hate it. The video that they bring back is not the most encouraging but they know that the train is still under construction… At this point #3 and #4 wonder if a train due so soon can be finished before it gets to the station. #5 points out all the faults, ignores the good things and craps on the train operators for trying to buy their favor.
- The Train is Approaching the Station! (BETA) – Yes finally! Friends #1,3,4 and once again #5 have been in position to jump onto the train as it pulls into the station (#6 is long gone after getting a ticket for an actual passenger train and #2 is still waiting). Once inside the train, it is gorgeous and full of so much stuff to see and do. Sure some of the stuff was just stuck to the walls with crazy glue and looked just like the last few trains but it was really cool, except to #5 who thought it was just repainted and repackaged old crap. Half the stuff didn't work right and the only thing they had to drink was Coke Zero but there was a lot of it. #1 wasn't having any of the negativity but everyone else was starting to get concerned that this train was going way too fast, there was no way this would be ready for passenger #2 when it got to the station.
- The Train is Out of Control! (Launch) – #2 waits for the train to slow and it doesn't. In fact it kind of looks like parts are falling off of it and all that smoke might be from some of the cars that are already on fire. #2 is glad he didn't spend his money on a ticket and goes to join #6. #5 bails off of the train laughing like a loon and makes sure everyone knows this train is derailing and it is carrying toxic waste and the Conductor did this on purpose because he is a thief and probably a terrorist. #3 and #4 try to warn the Conductor, Operators, Engineers or anyone in charge that their train is derailing. They find the engine room unmanned and no sign of anyone onboard besides passengers. #1 downs a Coke Zero and is having the time of his life, he loves this train and does his best to drown out the shouting and squeal of twisting metal by talking to himself.
- The Train Derails! (PR Disasters) – #5 is recording the whole thing, still giggling, as car after car comes off the tracks and piles up in a giant mess of twisted metal. This doesn't stop either, just when #5 thinks it is done, another goes flying into the air. It is spectacular, the worst disaster since the EAtrak luxury train went off a cliff earlier that year. #4 sees it is hopeless, wishes #3 well and bails for safety. #3 grimly pounds on the locked engine room door to no avail. #1 is on his third Coke Zero, doesn't get what all the fuss is about.
- The Emergency Intercom Crackles to Life (Patches) – #3 hears a crackly voice the intercom to his right, it is a pre-recorded message that everything is fine and that the real engineers remote controlling this train will get it back on track soon. Everything inside the train is wrecked and knocked off the walls, exposing rotted wood and rusted metal underneath. News helicopters are circling the scene and some cars are completely engulfed in flames. Still the train moves on and begins to right itself, just doing so very, very slowly. The voice on the intercom also lets everyone know that tickets have been steeply discounted and the bar was now open. For half the original price of a full ticket you can get Cherry Coke Zero! #5 is now bored and pretty sure he can crap all over another train, #4 realizes that the train will never fully be back on track and starts telling #3 and #1 that they should probably jump. #3 sighs and jumps. #1 has a Cherry Coke Zero and lets #4 know he is just as bad as #5 and should be ashamed for saying such bad things about this train.
- The Train Rattles On (Now) – #3 and #4 watch the train disappear off into the distance. Then the anger and resentment kick in as the adrenaline wears off. #5 is a career douchebag and they really hate it when he is right but he was so right. How could the engineers and the train operators let this happen? In bitter disappointment #4 realizes he still has a job to do and admits the train is doomed but really hope he ends up being wrong. #3 walks away dispirited, occasionally checking the news to see how the train was doing and to complain about how badly it is doing to anyone who cares. #1 looks around and realizes he is alone, checks the news and doesn't see how all this happened, he was having a great time and never got why #3 and #4 were complaining! Now angry, #1 wondered how dare #3 and #4 complain about a train they aren't even on anymore? Sure the train may not be anything like what they wanted, sure it caught on fire, sure the Conductor lied and disappeared when the train derailed, sure the operators were super bad at responding to complaints, sure they broke more things than they fixed when they tried to fix something, sure they had Cherry Coke Zero on the last train for free and they are charging an entire ticket price for it now, sure the train was an old one repainted, sure, sure, sure. #1 was having fun and #3 and #4 just didn't get that, more train for him! Heck, they didn't even get to see that the Engineers just put out one of the 9 cars that was on fire (only setting one other car ablaze doing so too!) and they added Vanilla Coke Zero to the menu! #1 makes certain to send a Thank You Note to the hard working Engineers who were laboring away so diligently to get this train back on track, the others just don't get that these men and women behind the scenes are heroes who put their heart and soul into this train that brings so much joy. Now full of Coke Zero and self satisfaction #1 feels a bit of pity for the other 5 who just couldn't look at things objectively like they can.
- The Train Grinds to a Halt (Future?) – #1 is starting to notice the train is going very, very slowly. #1 knows everything is fine, they are having fun but if the train stops, the fun stops. With a dull clank it comes to a shuddering stop and #1 starts to get worried (maybe the engineers didn't get his note!) then the Conductor finally shows up and asks if they would like to try new Cherry Vanilla Coke Zero, now available for the first time at 50% off. #1 is super happy to oblige but he is running out of money, the smile never disappears from the Conductors face but his eyes narrow and his brow furrows. #1 then asks about why they stopped. The conductor assures them that it will be okay once #1 gets out and starts to push. #1 seems perplexed, he bought a lot of Coke Zeros, he bought a ticket, why would he have to get out and push? The Conductors eyes relax and he tells #1 that tickets are free now so they will have plenty of friends to help push the train. #1 asks if he will get anything special because he paid for his ticket. The Conductor looks disappointed in #1, didn't #1 get to ride in style all this time? Wasn't that what his ticket bought? #1 nods and agrees that makes sense. The Conductor smiles and helps #1 from his seat and to the door thanking him for his support. #1 thanks the Conductor for making such a great train but is cut off by a well placed shove down the steps and out into the hot sun. The Conductor, still smiling reminds the unwashed free ticket masses along the tracks not to forget to buy Grape Coke Zero or the Engineers might have to start applying the brakes. #1 seems unsure about that business model but the Conductor has already slammed and locked the door. #1 gets up brushes off his pants with scraped hands and begins to push. #1 knew it was really for the best, the Conductor had never let them down before and #1 was still having so much fun it didn't matter. Months later and only one mile further down the track, #1 wipes his brow, sighs and thinks about how #2,3,4 and even that jerk #5 didn't know what they were missing.
If you read all the way through this, I thank you, I hope you didn't hate it.
© Post "Six Friends Waiting for a Train: An Analogy for Explaining FO76’s Player Base" for game Fallout.
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