Fallout 76 Custom Worlds: I Don’t Get It

Quakecon is happening as I write this. I wasn’t really following it because my FPS days are long behind me, but then a Tweet about Fallout 76 slid down my timeline. They’re adding something called Fallout Worlds. I do play Fallout 76 now and again so I had to go watch the YouTube presentation:

So the brief recap in case you don’t have time to watch the video: they’re adding custom world settings. Examples included build anywhere and unlimited ammo. Basically tweaks to the rules of the game so you can change up your experience. That sounds pretty neat…until you get to the huge caveat.

When you play on a Custom World, the game makes a copy of your character for that world. This is now a completely separate character and any progress you make does not translate back to the ‘standard’ worlds. Basically it is a one way cloning trip.

This feels to me like a Public Test Server where you can tweak the ruleset. I can see it being a fun diversion to go into a custom world with unlimited ammo and extra enemies and just blow shit up for a while, but long term I just don’t see the point.

Credit for this and header image: Bethesda.net

There are two ways to play on Custom Worlds. Every month Bethesda themselves will spin up a Custom World with some ruleset they find interesting. Anyone can play on these, and after a month they get shut down (and your character gets deleted) and a new Custom World with a new ruleset gets created. The one month duration is a starting point and they say they’ll adjust that to be shorter or longer based on player feedback.

If you’re willing to pay, “Fallout 1st” members (Fallout 1st is the optional subscription service for the game) can create their own Custom Private Worlds. Same rules apply: you get a copy of your character that, once created, stays on that world. I guess the difference here is you can leave that world up indefinitely and only play on it, which makes the system a little more appealing.

I’m still not sure the cost of playing on a custom private world is worth it. Normally you can play on your Fallout 1st Private World today, then decide to jump into the public server with the same character tomorrow. You can move back and forth whenever you want. But as soon as you make that Private World custom in any way, your character is locked there.

So yeah, I just don’t get the appeal, beyond a short term diversion to screw around with. I get WHY these limitations are in place. It’d be super easy to make a custom world and twink the hell out of your character and then go back into the public world super buffed. But because of that issue, I just don’t see why they’ve devoted the resources to creating this new feature.

Can anyone educate me? If you’re excited about the feature, please let me know why in the comments.

Custom Worlds is sccheduled to launch on September 8th.

Why I’m hesitant to spend money on Fallout Shelter PC

Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter launched on PC this week, after a year or so as a mobile title. While I had taken the game for a brief spin on an aging iPad, I don’t really ‘do’ mobile gaming so didn’t spend much time with it. I’d heard a lot of good things about it, though, so I was excited to give it a go on PC.

Fallout Shelter is free to play, with revenue generated through the sales of various consumables that make running and growing your shelter a little easier.

You install Fallout Shelter through the Bethesda.Net launcher after logging in with your Bethesda.Net account. I installed it on my desktop first. Started a vault and found that it was a pretty enjoyable game. I figured it’d only be a matter of time until I bought something to try to spiff up my shelter.

A few hours later I decided to install it on my Surface tablet. The good news is it runs very well on that hardware. The bad(ish) news is, I had to start a new Vault on the Surface. For some reason, maybe because I had to login to d/l the game, I assumed that Fallout Shelter ran on a server somewhere and that I’d be able to access my vault from any machine. Not so.

And for some reason that makes me less inclined to spend money on the game, I guess because I feel like I’d need to pick a spot where I was going to play before I started investing $$ on a particular vault. I kind of feel bad about this and in fact I might still buy some stuff just to support Bethesda but it’ll be a 1-time thing.

I guess it feels like playing Civ and spending $$ in order to build something in a city, knowing that you’re spending money on just one saved game and you will probably play many more; will you spend cash every time you play? With Vaults being local to each machine they just feel like a saved game rather than a persistent thing that I want to invest in. I know this isn’t really logical; I’m writing about it just because I find my own reaction kind of interesting.

I’m a little sad that this means there’ll never be any way to visit a friend’s vault either, I suppose. I’m sure there will be trainers or hacks that tweak the save file directly to get you all the stuff you could buy, so letting us interact with other players would mean spreading hacked materials around the game’s community.

None of this takes away from Fallout Shelter, mind you. It’s still a fun little game. And I’m sure it works the same way on mobile devices; since I only have one iPad and had moved on by the time the Android version came out, I’d never noticed. This is more an observation of my own buying habits than anything, I guess.

Elder Scrolls MMO is official. Internet rejoices. I sob.

[Update #2: OK, I’ve found a second source (the infamous un-named source… a source CLOSE TO THE MATTER!) that confirms a totally separate team — separate studio in fact — is still working on the kinds of rich single player RPG we’ve come to love from Bethesda. So I’m placated at this point. Whew! Almost blew a gasket for a minute there.]

[Update: According to a comment from someone who I suspect is someone I trust, 🙂 there’s a totally separate team for the MMO and we’ll still see more single player Elder Scrolls games. Which I’ll take as very good news indeed.]

So Game Informer broke the news that it’s cover game for next month is The Elder Scrolls Online.

Yup, it’s official.

G+ is full of people claiming that spontaneous sexual reactions are happening to them in response to this news.

I, of course, am odd man out. Now I don’t really KNOW anything about The Elder Scrolls Online, but this is the Internet, where Knowing is Irrelevant to the Battle.

Remember how great Knights of the Old Republic was? Remember how OK that 3 weeks you spent playing Star Wars: The Old Republic were? And SW:TOR had the benefit of at least rendering the ancient Star Wars universe using modern-day graphics that put KOTOR to shame.

The Elder Scrolls Online is to Skyrim as SW:TOR is to KOTOR, except The Elder Scrolls Online will probably look slightly worse than Skyrim, given that it’s an MMO.

Now all those dragons you kill will respawn 30 seconds later. All those thieve’s hideouts will be ignored until you get a quest to kill 10 bandits, since clearing them out will be meaningless in a game where everything resets every 45 seconds.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE MMOs. But I hate that we’ve come to a place where everything HAS to become an online multiplayer game to stay relevant. I was looking forward to the next Elder Scrolls game that would let me be THE HERO instead of just another dweeb grinding for loot and screaming into the LFG channel for someone to help him kill an epic rat.