Fallout 76’s patch reintroduced old bugs on top of nerfs, leading players to demand ‘change in leadership’

    
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Yesterday’s Fallout 76 patch nerfed demo perks and capped carry weight, among other basic balancing tweaks, but apparently, it did much more. As VG247 noted, the Fallout sub is awash in bug reports, some of which look pretty familiar. That’s because Bethsoft fixed them once already.

“Today’s update of the game reintroduced a few old bugs into the game, like the bobby pin weight, bulked items not working properly, fusion core spawn rate at work shops being too low by a factor of 10 (down to 0.8 instead of 8 per hour) and it also looks like duping is back on the menu,” reads one Reddit summary of the issues last night. Players on the official forums are also aghast over the idea that the game’s build versioning system for internal patches is such a mess.

While Bethsoft has said it’s aware of the problem and we can assume it will be fixed, the sub is still on fire. One thread with nearly 4000 ups outright calls for a “change of leadership in Fallout 76 development“:

“Because bobby pins are heavier again. Ultra-wide support – a standard in PC gaming for years now – is once more broken. And loading bugs have returned. All of which making it obvious that this patch ROLLED BACK THE VERSION OF THE GAME WE HAVE. To a version with heinous bugs and visual issues. This is a gross and unforgivable level of incompetence. Observably, factually, it is time for a change of leadership in Fallout 76 development. I am NOT asking for someone to be fired. Mistakes can be redeemed; people can learn and adapt. Let the person or people in charge take a step back and learn from someone else for a while. It is high time for REAL leadership in Fallout 76 development. A very public, openly communicated change needs to take place.”

Source: Reddit via VG247
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Schmidt.Capela

An interesting, if only tangentially related, piece of news: GameStop Germany is giving away free copies of Fallout 76 with every purchase of an used PS4 controller.

Which, mind, is absurdly bad news for Bethesda. It signals that retailers that trusted Bethesda about Fallout 76 are likely losing money, and in turn suggests that there will be far less trust and goodwill in the sales channel towards Bethesda the next time they release a new game.

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Greaterdivinity

Hotfix coming for issues introduced in Patch 5 from fo76

And confirmation that they appear to have screwed up merging builds and accidentally released an older version of the client that didn’t include more recent fixes.

Yeesh, the community team is super on top of acknowledging bugs/feedback, they’re crushing it. But beyond that…it seems like nobody else at Bethesda can be asked to give a crap : /

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Natalyia

Software development at this scale is hard. Just look at the number of people in the credits of a AAA game, and try to imagine organizing a group that size to do something – anything – and you’ll begin to get an idea. And an online multiplayer game is one of the more complicated tasks you can ask a group of people to do.

And bugs can “reappear” – even if a programmer fixes something, and QA verifies that it’s fixed, the same darn symptoms can (and do) appear on customer’s machines.

However. This sort of thing should never happen. I don’t know that they need “new leadership” at Bethesda, but they certainly need a serious review of their development practices, because it’s utterly broken or even nonexistent.

This isn’t a couple of of students at university doing a project out of their dorms. This is a multi-million dollar professional development studio. It simply should not be possible to “forget” to ensure that the last released version is the basis for the next one.

It’s inexcusable. It’s not that someone would have been fired for this anyplace I’ve worked, it’s that it simply couldn’t happen. Multiple people would have had to explicitly arrange for it – not just “not do their jobs”, but actively work to make it possible.

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Greaterdivinity

Just look at the number of people in the credits of a AAA game, and try to imagine organizing a group that size to do something – anything – and you’ll begin to get an idea. And an online multiplayer game is one of the more complicated tasks you can ask a group of people to do.

Just saying on this – this may be misleading for a lot of games. AAA games don’t NEED 1K+ people working on them, that’s just what happens when EA or Ubisoft want truncated development cycles and the only solution is to throw bodies at the problem, which correspondingly blows up budgets.

Compare that to high quality AAA games with much longer development cycles like Detroit: Beyond Human or God of War where they had large, but comparatively smaller, teams that had much more time to work on the games and you have much lower budgets with much smaller staffs.

And bugs can “reappear” – even if a programmer fixes something, and QA verifies that it’s fixed, the same darn symptoms can (and do) appear on customer’s machines.

It happens, but in this case it seems like they screwed up merging branches and accidentally released an old build. I legit don’t think I’ve ever heard of that happening in another online game before.

I don’t know that they need “new leadership” at Bethesda, but they certainly need a serious review of their development practices, because it’s utterly broken or even nonexistent.

I think new leadership is in order, especially given the fact that they’ve pretty much never been able to release a game without expansive bugs and glitches, but also just how badly FO76 turned out for them. Maybe not at the level of Todd Howard, but at least within BGS Austin (former WarCry Studios, I believe). Because holy hell do their internal processes seem beyond fucked based on the product they released and have been updating.

Software development is hard, but what we’re seeing with FO76 is pretty unique and…uh…impressive, but in all the ways that Bethesda probably doesn’t want.

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NeoWolf

A patch that breaks as much as it fixes is just so much of an MMO trope at this point thats it doesn’t surprise me or disappoint me it just amuses me. I mean really has ANYONE in this genre never experienced a patch that broke as much as it fixed at this point across ANY of the MMOS? lol

I daresay their in house testers are getting a severe bollo**ing…not.

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Schmidt.Capela

Breaking as much as it fixes is kinda par for the course if the bugs it causes are new; it’s hard to make sure one change won’t have unexpected side-effects elsewhere.

When a patch brings back bugs that were fixed one patch ago, though, it’s sheer incompetence. It means not only that someone managed to accidentally undo the fixes, but that this regression passed through all quality control steps without raising any red flags. Which, in turn, means that QC isn’t even adding just fixed bugs to their test suites.

So, either Bethesda goofed big time, or their development process is an ungodly mess that actively avoids industry best practices.

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NeoWolf

As I say a patch that breaks as much as it fixes (new or old) its just a trope at this point, nothing new. Patches that were poorly tested before being put out are SO numerous and across SO many games at this point.

I mean thier history of putting out broken games and then having patches that makes things worse goes back to Daggerfall if not further. And it certainly hasn’t helped that they are using the same broke a** engine for 76 as they did for FO4 which is unversally despised by everyone for its inherent badness and limitations.

its just as I say..nothing new its just a sad yet familiar joke.

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Tanek

This would be true if the patch broke new things. But in this case, the new patch undid all the fixes of an old patch and brought into question the whole process of keeping different game builds straight.

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Random MMO fan

Oh man… Bethesda just keeps delivering the never-ending incompetence like no other company. And still no word from Todd Howard or any official at Bethesda about the state of the game or any apologies or anything like that (just anonymous posts at Fallout 76 website and on Reddit). This is the worst “major game developer” communication I’ve seen.

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Greaterdivinity

I can’t blame them for not wanting to talk to press, knowing that every question will be “Why is FO76 a dumpster fire, and did you know it would be a dumpster fire before or after the E3 press conference?”

But at the same time it’s a pretty cowardly thing to do, especially for Todd Howard. Sack up, apologize, talk about how it happened, and then finish it off with a positive message on how the team is working to fix things and prevent issues moving forward.

Literally the best-case scenario for them at this point and I have little doubt their PR team has likely suggested this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the fact that they have no idea how to address these issues and prevent them moving forward (still…) and don’t want to talk.

But hey now, the communications aren’t bad, actually. We’re not getting good details from the dev team, but at least the CM’s are active as hell lately and doing what they can to try to mitigate issues and address concerns. It’s not much, sadly, but it’s what they can do : \

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Random MMO fan

But at the same time it’s a pretty cowardly thing to do, especially for Todd Howard. Sack up, apologize, talk about how it happened, and then finish it off with a positive message on how the team is working to fix things and prevent issues moving forward.

Yes, exactly! Admitting your own errors then telling everyone how committed you are to fixing them and in which way would do A LOT to improving people’s stance towards the game and the company, especially when done by a well-known figure and not by anonymous “Community Manager”. Sea of Thieves devs did that and continue doing that through various video releases on their YT channel, so does Mark Jacobs from CSE (even though he does limit his participation on various places related to CU). Absolutely no good reason why Bethesda couldn’t do the same, other than just trying to let everyone gradually forget about this game while providing “just enough” patching support to give impression that they still care about it to few remaining customers ;-)

Seriously, though, I have a friend who was a huge fan of modern Fallout games (starting from FO3) and who used to pre-order all collector’s editions and re-tweeting all major tweets from people like Pete Hines and from official Fallout and Bethesda Games Twitter accounts. After playing FO76 and experiencing all the issues and lack of communication from any Bethesda’s official, he completely quit playing it and re-tweeting anything from Bethesda (last time he did it was at the beginning of December) and is back to modding (and playing) FO4 and other non-Bethesda games.

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Danny Smith

b-but its just a dark cabal of internet haters out to maliciously take down the good name of Todd, paragon of truth and ally of the consumer and the product is flawless! comment sections keep telling us so!

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Gene Elder

Still better than the state of Star Citizen gameplay.

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Bruno Brito

Why is that?

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Paragon Lost

(chuckle) QC and competence, both are in short supply anymore.

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NeoWolf

Pretty sure they were an urban legend to begin with :)

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agemyth 😩

21:9 support is not a “standard” feature in PC games. You knew that when you bought the darn thing or you were lying to yourself to justify the purchase.

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Schmidt.Capela

Among AAA games it is, with a few exceptions.

Ironically, Bethesda used to support it; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion supports ultrawide monitors natively. That support was removed from newer Bethesda games, though, including all versions of Skyrim and every Fallout game.

But the complaint about ultrawide resolutions isn’t just about the lack of support, but because Bethesda did add native support for it in FO76, but broke that support in the latest patch. So, it’s a regression, a removed feature.

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hurbster

This game truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Whenever I am down there is always Bethesda’s latest cock up to cheer me right up.