It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s paid attention to Fallout 76’s journey from a hyped foray into multiplayer survival to embarrassing blemish on Bethesda’s otherwise illustrious CV – Bethesda’s next prominent non-player-character-introducing update, originally due to release this fall, has been delayed. It’s not been the best year for Bethesda.
One of the most common complaints leveled at Fallout 76 was a distinct lack of NPCs to flesh its take on post-apocalyptic West Virginia. The world feels empty, almost lifeless, devoid of survivors trying to make the best of a radioactivity-steeped hand of cards. A pretty glaring omission for an RPG.
Bethesda duly conceded as criticism mounted, and during this year’s pre-E3 live show, announced an update dubbed Wastelanders to ‘fundamentally change the way you experience Fallout 76’ with the chief feature the introduction of NPCs. Was this the update to save Fallout 76?
Fast forward to today and mimicking the medley of Fallout 76 disappointments to date, Bethesda has delayed Wastelanders to Q1 2020. Why? The developer has coughed up the usual bumbling excuses linked to wanting to deliver the best experience for players.
The blurb reads;
It’s going to need more time to be the best, most polished update it can be, so we are delaying its release to Q1 next year. We’ve continued to re-evaluate and change our processes to make sure the work we’re doing hits our quality bar, and yours. We apologize for this delay but know it will be worth the extra time.
Bethesda was, nevertheless, kind enough to release a handful of Wastelanders screenshots for the diminishing number of gamers still playing or interested in playing Fallout 76. Their saintly patience for a game that has been nothing but a rapidly deflating blunder is commendable if a little optimistic at this point.
To soften the blow, Bethesda announced that private servers are to launch next week. It’s also working on reworking Fallout 76’s reward system ‘to be clearer, more fun, and more impactful for all types of players,’ but the changes won’t materialize until April next year at the earliest.
Finally, Bethesda confirmed it would round-off 2019 with smaller fixes and quality-of-life focused mini-updates.