Fallout 76’s Pioneer Scouts and vendors roll out as players debate taxes and the game’s MMO feel


Fallout 76’s latest Wild Appalachia update rolled out this week, implementing the Pioneer Scouts faction and quests, new backpacks that boost carry weight, legendary exchange machines to change junk legendaries into scrip, and the promised personal vending machines, which of course allow players to set up their very own vendors to sell their unwanted stuff to fellow gamers. There’s a catch with the vendors, however:

“You will receive a notification whenever a player buys one of your items. 90% of the sale price will be added to your Cap balance. This 10% fee has been designed to help maintain the health of the game’s economy and mitigate inflation.”

This kind of market tax is well-known to MMO players as a gold sink for player vendors and auction systems, though of course a badly implemented version can actually harm casual players and cause some goods to simply be not worth selling. As Kotaku points out, some players are already complaining, while others are jacking up prices to compensate.

Still, where some people see merely the annoyances of always-online tropes, others are looking at the new additions as something that actually makes the game feel alive again.

“So I’ve managed to get a few hours in with the new update and the game feels alive,” one Redditor wrote in a heavily upvoted thread. “People coming and going, dropping into your camp to check out your vending. I no longer feel like other players are some weird nuisance. I actually feel like we’re all kind of in it together. That we’re finally getting out there and rebuilding a little society. Especially since we’re creating our own fast travel network together.” That, my friend, is why we play MMOs.

Source: Patch notes

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I didn’t read the patch notes but saw a new vendor icon on my map the other night – I went to investigate and found someone’s really cool base built as a proper house (two storey, brick walls, porch, outside garage, etc) with signs pointing the way to the vending machines. There was well-done lighting and a clifftop view to boot, and once I’d stealthed my way past the guns and deduced that no, it was not some sort of elaborate trap, I bought myself a number of weapon and armour plans for a bargain price.

One of the coolest ‘discovery’ experiences I’ve had for a while and gets a thumbs up from me. Extra bonus points for showing on the overview map the number of items in each category (weapons, ammo, plans, etc) available at each vendor.

Nick Smith

Awesome! Sounds like the game is getting even better :)