We knew Bethesda’s switch from producing single player games to a multiplayer title would probably bring technical difficulties, and yesterday this prediction once again proved itself true.
Over on Reddit, Fallout 76 beta players began reporting they could move faster when looking at the floor. It turns out the reason for this is because Fallout 76’s engine physics and game speed are linked to the framerate – in simple terms, the faster your framerate, the faster you can scurry around.
This form of game design isn’t new for Bethesda: its previous single-player titles, such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim, similarly linked framerate and game speed. Fallout 76’s beta framerate is supposed to be locked down – but PC players have found that changing just a few lines of code (like in previous Bethesda titles) can disable VSync and “unlock” the framerate. This allows players to boost their FPS to access speed and weapon hacks. Not ideal in a multiplayer game.
Obviously, this isn’t going down particularly well with fans. “For an online game this is just appalling,” Reddit user watto33 writes. “Everyone running around with max speed killing each other with absolutely no cheat program at all.” Maybe that’s just what happens if you release a bunch of vault dwellers into the world with no rules and a steady supply of Jet.
Unfortunately for PC players, it also seems like this problem won’t be solved for some time. Speaking to Polygon, Bethesda said it was aware of the issue but that a fix “won’t be out until the game launches”. I guess Bethesda really has left players to fend for themselves.
Although players have made light of Bethesda’s difficulties with bugs in the run-up to Fallout 76, it appears the jokes are actually coming true. Following Bethesda’s frankly worrying letter to fans warning about “spectacular” bugs, we’ve so far seen exactly that – with one bug on the PC version even deleting 50GB worth of data. A self-deleting game bug has to be peak Bethesda.
The question is whether the developer can get all of these problems fixed before the game’s release on 14th November. Thanks to the data-deleting bug, today’s beta has been extended somewhat – but will this give the team enough time to iron everything out, and with repeated bad publicity such as this, how many will still want to buy it at release?