Survival Mode Feedback – the good and the bad

fallout 5 - Survival Mode Feedback - the good and the bad

As Survival mode just launched, I'm sure Bethesda is gathering feedback from the various forums, so here's my take.

The good: I think a PvP mode was needed for those who thought the way it was before was too "soft", but also for the players that just wanted to PvE. Since the very beginning, in the official forums, me and many others kept saying that Bethesda should have two different servers, for two different crowds. I'm glad they finally did it.

  • The fact that you lose aid (more on that later) is a nice added risk, because most people will put their junk in the stash, but all of us need aid items to survive, and we will carry at least some with us. That makes PvP interactions more dangerous and tense.

  • No Fast Travel points: pretty good to avoid people constantly teleporting from one place to the other, especially those with a bounty on them. Also, it's nice to change things up a bit and actually walk to get somewhere instead of simply watching a loading screen. This way, you can find people on the road and ambush them (this is PvP after all) or, hey, trade with them.

  • Legendary rewards: really nice. Nothing more to say about that.

  • Added XP bonus: a welcomed reward for those who try their luck in a more dangerous environment.

  • No dots on the map: the fact that we can't see other players on the map forces us all to be more vigilant, which fits perfectly a PvP scenario. Also prevents "predators" from chasing the same player over and over everywhere he/she goes.

  • Spawn Protection: if it worked, it would be nice, but more on that later.

The bad: I can see that this studio isn't particularly experienced when it comes to PvP. I would recommend asking for help from someone who is, or take notes at the very least.

  • The Scoreboard: this has been mentioned many times already. If you are making the first three players visible, I think they should be the ones with the most kills, which are supposedly the most dangerous in the server… not that one guy who decided to hide in a bush in Seneca Rocks for two hours.

  • Losing double the caps: that's a big no-no. Look, it's fine that we all lose caps. But we should lose the same amount, no matter our level. Why? Because damage is so "normalized" (more like all over the place, but more about that later) that level doesn't matter. That level 250 player isn't any more dangerous than a level 45 with a pipe rifle, but for some stupid reason he is losing 500 caps, while the other only loses 90. Come on.

Losing those caps in Adventure mode is fine, because you almost never die in PvP unless you are actively looking for it. The way I see it, in Adventure you lose caps because you took the risk to fight another player in a server in which people normally don't engage in PvP – it's kind of a deterrent and a punishment. But in Survival, where everyone is constantly fighting and dying, losing high amounts of caps every single time is absurd.

  • Losing aid items: like I said above, this is a good idea. But the implementation is not so good. When you have 50 Stimpaks, it's fine if you lose 5-7 after every kill; you still have enough to survive. But losing 15-30 (as it is now) forces players to keep going back to their stash to manage their inventory, instead of being out there fighting! You also lose a high amount of all other aid items you have on you, so the situation is even worse. In a server in which players are constantly dying, losing practically all their aid at once encourages a less risky playstyle (camping, basically), which isn't really good for Survival as a whole.

I know, we should also stash our aid items. That's true. But that takes me to my previous point: we shouldn't be going back to our CAMP after every kill to restock! That will make the mode very frustrating in the long term.

  • DAMAGE – oh, the damage. I should have named this point something like "balance", but I'm not sure the guys at Bethesda will understand this word 😜 (love you, people!)

Take a look at this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/fo76/comments/b5zo2o/survival_damage_testing_results_and_personal/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share (thanks to u/LordBastion278 for the testing and feedback).

Damage, armor, perks, balance… they are a mess right now. As expected, the only viable "build" (if we can call it that) is a full set of Sentinel/Assassins or Cavalier/Assassins. This is not good. Every other player that isn't using one of those, will die at 3 shots, max. Again, not good. For a PvP interaction to be enjoyable, it has to be dynamic and engaging. Not one guy with chameleon waiting for someone to come and end him/her in a couple of shots. I've said this many times: that's boring for the winner, and frustrating for the defeated.

I want to see long fights between two (or more!) players taking cover, moving, trying to flank the other. And the only way you can have that is if those players are able to last more than a few seconds alive. The damage is too high, and it encourages a camping playstyle rather than a dynamic one.

Also on this post, we can see that certain perks (dodgy, serendipity…) aren't working properly, if at all.

What 'm trying to say is that balance, as a whole, really needs to be looked at. I can say a lot more about this topic, but I don't want this post to be longer than necessary.

  • Spawn Protection: again, a good idea that has been implemented poorly. I think the timer needs to be 45 seconds to one minute (seeing how long it takes for the game to fully load after you respawn). People are getting camped in Train Stations. And hell, a fight between a dozen players in the same spot is really fun, but not when all they do is wait for defenseless guys to spawn there and kill them.

    • Suggestions:
  • Safe zone(s): I think having at least one safe zone in which players can't be killed (or if they attack other players, they get destroyed by guard-like mobs) is necessary. It promotes trading and teaming up. Just because Survival is more focused on PvP doesn't mean that we should leave all the social aspects of the game aside. It would be a place in which players can handle their inventory and relax without having to watch over their shoulders or go back to Adventure mode. Also this could be a place where alliances are forged. As it is now in Survival, either you already have a team that you know from Adventure, or you are going to be solo all the time. Because, well, you can't trust anyone. But in a Safe Zone you can talk with someone, get to know them, without wondering every second if they will stab you as soon as you turn your back.

  • Factions: in my opinion, this is long overdue. You give us this cool selection of Factions – Enclave, BoS, Responders, Free States, Raiders, Order of Mysteries – but we can't really join them. We can never feel part of them, and not only because they are dead, but because we don't have anything that can identify us as members of that Faction.

I know this would take massive work, as a proper Faction system isn't easy. But when I heard of an online Fallout, all I could think of was how cool it would be to form alliances between Factions, make war, and make friends. But none of that was there. This suggestion is for both modes, but with the implementation of Survival, I think the game could really benefit from a competition between clans/factions/teams.

And that is all for now. I'm sure I've forgotten many things, and I will try to include them later if necessary.

Bethesda, I love all the things you are doing for the game and for us, and how much you are improving the game. Keep up the good work. This is just feedback to improve it even more (in my humble opinion).

Thank you to whoever read all that; damn, it was long!

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