Bethesda's new legendary crafting system in Fallout 76 is extremely unpopular among players and adds a lot of extra grinding to the game.
Fallout 76's faithful are quick to offer constructive criticism on the game's latest updates and content, and the live game's new legendary crafting system is no different. The Fallout 76 Subreddit makes one thing very clear: Players really don't like the new legendary crafting system that's being tested in the PTS.
For the first time, Fallout 76 players can now craft top-tier legendary items. Sort of. The system is very layered and filled with lots of grinding and praying to RNGesus. These are the kinds of things that push players away.
The main issue with the update is a severely unbalanced time-to-reward ratio that's based on something that's out of players' control: RNG.
Here's how the system works:
Right now there's a ton of legendary items in Fallout 76, but most of them aren't worthwhile. So gamers trade the useless legendaries in for "legendary scrip," a currency that can be used to buy lootboxes containing random legendary items from an NPC called Purveyor Murmrgh.
You never know what you'll get from Murmrgh. He sells boxes of one-star (good), two-star (better), or three-star (best) legendaries with random modifiers. You have to buy boxes and hope for the best. Just like opening something like, say, a monetized FIFA pack, there's distinct odds that can sometimes be against you.
This creates a substantial gameplay loop; gamers are constantly finding gear that isn't good, so they scrap the items to get currency to spend on the chance of getting items that are good. This is a hallmark of most live games and it's not very attractive to most players.
Now players can use their hard-earned legendary scrip to buy new currencies to craft their own legendary items.
To do so, you need a few things:
1. Legendary Cores - Bethesda introduced yet another currency into the game. Cores are required to create your own legendary items, and are given out by completing daily quests and other seasonal events.
2. Legendary Modules - Purchased by Murmrgh in exchange for legendary scrip (seeing a pattern?)
Now you just select a legendary in your inventory, whether it be one-star, two-star, or three-star, and "upgrade" it. Et voila! You've created a new item.
Gamers don't like the addition of the legendary core. It forces them to participate in events if they want to craft their own gear, and legendary modules had already existed before the PTS test.
The big issue is the item's existing effects are completely randomized too. The item is 100% re-rolled.
If you find a weapon that's almost perfect save for one particular modifier you can't exchange specific stats for others like Elder Scrolls Online or even Diablo III. You have to completely reset and re-roll that item for the chance of getting a perfect item.
Gamers simply want to be able to re-roll individual modifiers not just reset gear.
To make things worse, Bethesda has significantly reduced the pool of legendary effects, players report. Gamers are now also limited to earning 150 legendary scrip a day.
Why is Bethesda doing this? They want to motivate players to participate in the end-game cycle and push people into the seasonal event structure. The idea is to create more engagement and inspire people to do more stuff because metrics show by doing more stuff, players are more likely to stick around for longer and possibly even spend money. This isn't entirely accurate. The stuff that players do must feel rewarding and not like tedious work. The game must be fun before it's anything else.
If you truly want that perfect weapon then you can technically get it, but you won't like how it's done. It's a true test of maximized grinding and players are pushing back en masse.
The real issue is that players are already participating in all facets of the game, and they have been for a long time. Fallout 76's playerbase is healthy, the community is strong, and the game has lasted quite some time despite selling convenience microtransactions, selling cosmetics that used to be free with player-created mods, and adding a $99.99 per-year subscription service for private servers.
The community does care and they are willing to spend money.
Fallout 76 players are quite passionate about the game. The live service game has one of the most ardent and tight-knit communities in the industry right now--the community is so strong that a lot of people play the game more to interact with friends and groups rather than engage in the gameplay loop. It's a strange and fascinating concept.
This level of immersion leads to a lot of detailed feedback for Bethesda to chew on. In the case of the legendary crafting system, this feedback is quite fiery and people are quick to point out its flaws.
Some players are leaving intricately detailed posts on the Fallout 76 game forums on why the crafting system is a bad idea. Others are delivering more concise thoughts on Reddit posts.
People do love Fallout 76, but no one likes it when Bethesda developers try to reinvent the wheel at every turn. The company has tried nearly everything in the playbook to monetize Fallout 76 and maximize engagement. Some of it has worked very well.
Others, like the crafting system, show a clear misunderstanding of live games--something that I criticized Bethesda for when Fallout 76 launched in 2018.
Here's what the Fallout 76 community is saying about the new legendary crafting system:
The WORST problems:
- There is zero guarantee that you can roll any good legendary item its a pure RNG
- To get a really good item you need to roll countless times, which is a tedious grind loop of farming and turning in trash legendries
- The further the player progress into the game the less beneficial the legendary system is for them
This game is literally all artificial grind, with artificial limits, all centered around making you feel like you need to log in everyday. Once people realise that they don't, and stop, Bethesda would realise that the system they have is probably one of the least fun things out there.
We can finally craft legendary weapons BUT
- It's still decided ultimately by rng and getting a 3 star you want can take months
- They've further diluted the pool of legendary effects making it difficult to get good legendaries
- They've introduced a new time locked grind with legendary cores which is also decided by rng
This system is horrible and grinding legendary cores is worse than grinding legendaries and the whole system needs to be improved.
What's even the point of having legendary crafting if it's so bad, this feature is gonna be dead in the water and forgotten about within a week of release if it doesn't get entirely reworked.
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