Frustrations and Growing Pains
Of course, Fallout 76 is often frustrating. I found myself wanting a mini-map for quick referencing, so I didn't have to open my Pip-boy. You can only set one custom destination point, which makes marking crafting stands, beds, mob spawns, or other points of interest annoying.
There's bad FPS drops in areas (I dropped down to the 15s here and there), but I didn't experience what I'd call actual glitches.
Your food can spoil, and the game doesn't tell you before or when it actually happens. You just pop open your menu and surprise! That radstag meat you were saving has gone bad before you got a chance to use it.
Ammo and stimpaks have weight in this game. Pretty much every item has weight outside of notes and holotapes. Expect to drop some items as you trek and don't be disappointed when you're quite full quite often.
The quick-item menu needs to be optimized ASAP. Just like in Oblivion or Fallout 4, Fallout 76 has a radial menu that quickly accesses an item. But every segment isn't prioritized by item type, but instead listed in A-Z order, making quick plotting even more annoying than it should be. Bethesda needs to separate items into types--weapons, armor, food, drugs, etc--so we can easily change out gear when it breaks or when we need a quick Rad-Away.
The quick inventory doesn't tell you the stats of the items you're about to equip. So you better use the favorite system to mark them. It'll tell you the condition, but when you have 4 Hatchets, and all of them are different levels, that doesn't help you so much.
There's no way to take all items from your stash or a container, meaning you have to press E a whole lot. This is likely done to keep that added feeling of tension but just makes things more frustrating than need be.
The basic Pip-boy design is fine for an offline singleplayer game that pauses, but not ideal for an online game where action is ever-present. Navigating through the vertical menus is a clunky experience that doesn't befit any online game, and should be updated in some way at the very least.
There also needs to be a mini-map or a better compass. Something needs to be done about the simplified bar compass. I didn't really like it in Fallout 4 or Skyrim, but I managed. In Fallout 76 it just gets way too cluttered and you have to go to your map often to figure out where you are in relation to objectives and other landmarks. And of course opening up your map leaves you open to be killed...so there's that too.
Outside of the annoyances of always having to maintain your character and their gear, all of these things add a kind of weight to the experience that could be alleviated with more targeted refinements. There's some things we can't help and some things Bethesda made by design (like the survival elements) but others like the funky menus can be shored up.
Last updated: Sep 24, 2019 at 12:27 am CDT
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