Fallout 76 project lead Jeff Gardiner has departed Bethesda

    
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Less controversial.

The launch of Fallout 76 was pretty rocky, but over time the title has managed to turn around its reputation and receive at least tacit approval from players along the way. So it is perhaps bittersweet to know that the project lead on the game, Jeff Gardiner, has left Bethesda (and concurrently his role on the project) to work on unspecified projects elsewhere.

Gardiner announced his departure via Twitter yesterday, offering thanks to both co-workers and fans for the experience of working on a variety of different titles over the course of nearly 16 years. It’s probably going to come as something of a surprise to fans of Fallout 76, although there’s nothing to indicate that said fans have any reason to worry about the ultimate fate of the title. Still, it’s a shift in leadership in the near future, and that’s always just a little bit disruptive.

Source: Twitter via PCGamesN
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Richard de Leon III

Managed to snag a cheap copy of fallout 76…glad i didnt pay full price or wouldve really been upset. Even with all the improvements, it still doesnt approach the rich stories in previous fallouts. And until i can freely play in a private world with no one else around, I doubt ill enjoy the game much. Their insistence on being paid a monthly sub just cuz they want that sweet mmo style dollar is sickening.

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Toy Clown

I think it was neat that Jeff Gardiner left a goodbye post on Reddit to the people who play the game. He’s even been coming back and replying to player’s well wishes. Usually, we hear of devs moving on after the fact and not many of them do public goodbyes. I wish him the best!

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PanagiotisLial1

I think its too early to say if its better or worse, but seems rest team stays intact so maybe its not a huge difference in the end

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Schlag Sweetleaf
pour one out 76.gif
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Greaterdivinity

Some people are wild. I found out about this because some guy was freaking out and saying the game was going to shit and he was quitting…just because Gardiner had announced his departure.

Don’t know much about him but good luck to him. I’m not much worried about 76, seems like it’s on a fairly good course overall and no single person, even a lead, is responsible for a game being good or irreplaceable. It’s a team effort, so I’ll keep looking forward to what the team is working on.

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Knecht_Rootrecht

It was the wrong game to begin with. They started out with the idea of making a RPG without RPG content. No real story, no NPC while the actual game was around filler missions and keep-players-busy-grind.

No thanks. I would have bought a story RPG in the tradition of Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and even Fallout 3 in an instant. Not something doubling down on everything I hated in Fallout 4.

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McGuffn

They started out with the idea that they’d make a multiplayer shooter survival game and that’s what they did. They’ve since changed course and are putting more traditional rpg elements in and taking survival elements out.

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Knecht_Rootrecht

As I said, they doubled down on the worst parts of Fallout 4. Yes, the gunplay was better and it had survival mechanics, but as an RPG is sucked.

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Greaterdivinity

At launch, sure. They were trying something fairly different for the series. But over time they’ve considerably expanded the RPG elements with a LOT more story, tons of actual NPC’s and other shit that’s made it feel a lot more like a traditional Fallout game.

Bethesda tried something new, it didn’t pan out, and they’re course correcting. They deserve criticism for the original game being pretty bad, even if they deserve some praise for stepping outside the strict confines of, “This is what a Fallout game is.”, but they also deserve praise for reversing course and turning the game around. It’s fairly solid now IMO, and easily worth 100+ hours to explore the map and do story missions, not even touching on the “endgame grind” aspects of it.

I just wish they’ve move to a new bloody engine that wasn’t so rife with bugs all the time. One of these days I’ll be able to talk to Ward to get the Foundation daily mission, and then turn it in, without needing to walk in and out of his camper 20 times because he refuses to talk to me.

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PanagiotisLial1

I am not entirely sure the problem with the bugs is the engine. Seeing down the history of the company most of their games were filled with bugs, especially on launch down to the release of ES1 Arena. I think either they have a culture of limited bugproofing(maybe they intentionally limited the budget for testers to use it on devs and artists) or their games code is so massive they cant possibly spot all within their time limits

EmberStar
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EmberStar

The problem is *entirely* their engine. The “Unofficial Patch” mods include a list of bug fixes that fans can make – and a big chunk of the list is correcting the SAME narfing bugs that were in Morrowind, and have been in every Creation Engine game since. The difference with Fallout 76 is, it’s not possible to have the fan-maintained Unofficial Patch mod to body-filler over the same bugs that have been in the game for twenty years.

IE, it IS the game engine when some of the bugs are potentially older than quite a few of the *players.*

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Andrew Clear

The way I see it, is that they made the game that they set out to make, and it ended up not being a game that was enjoyed by enough people to financial support it.

Not every good, cool, or fun idea actually ends up being good, cool, or fun when implemented.

They have changed course, and made a lot of fundamental changes to the game, completely destroying their original design. It seems to be doing better for them now, and they must be making enough to justify the continued development.

I am guessing he didn’t leave because of Fallout 76’s performance, probably just burned out, and wants a different opportunity. A lot of developers burn out, not just in games, but in all disciplines of software development.

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Mikey's Bored

In fairness, they literally said from the beginning that they were setting out to make an online multiplayer survival Fallout game with no intention on turning it into any sort of RPG. They did this as a response to fans of FO4 asking for exactly that, an online Fallout game where the entire point was to roam around exploring and building. They did what they said they were going to do, and that has since changed because everyone else piled in and decided they wanted a more traditional mmorpg. IMO, it is definitely much better for it but they were pretty clear about the original goal of the game.

Fisty
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Fisty

Awesome. Maybe a new lead will bring some new ideas in. Like….text chat *shakes fist*.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

“But voice chat is so much more immersive!”

Not if you’re trying to talk to someone who doesn’t use it (no mic, doesn’t want to talk because their voice doesn’t match their character gender and they just DON’T want to deal with random idiots who have a problem with that, social phobia, whatever.)

Not when you’re stuck next to some guy who is eating a bag of Doritos with the mic apparently IN HIS MOUTH.

Not when you’re listening to someone scream at the kids in the background, or listen to music, or watching an Adam Sandler movie at full volume.

In my opinion, “no text chat” is usually a sign that the game was developed primarily for consoles, and the PC version is at best an incomplete port.

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Vanquesse V

I’m just about getting ready to start feminizing my voice to give you an idea of how I feel about voice chat as a means of communicating with randos.

My impression of why it hasn’t been done yet is that they worried that console players would be pissed at them spending a significant amount of time designing a system used exclusively for pc player, one that they consider only a segment of pc players actually want and cares about.

Considering the state of the game at the end of last year when they made the roadmap for 2021 I can see how they could convince themselves that was the right way to go.
I really hope that official text chat is in the cards for next year, because the roughly 24-36 hour period between a fo76 patch, and the plugin needed for the text chat mod getting updated to work as well is always much less fun than usual, and that’s with barely anyone using the mod in general.

Fisty
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Fisty

That plugin delay is so annoying. Liyalai is a damn hero. If one person can make a mod to do it across all servers, surely they can assign a teeny tiny portion of their time to implement server side or if they have to, global chat, to the game. Or, pay Liyalai like they pay these mod creators and actually work it into the game.

Fisty
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Fisty

I’m one of those people that always has TV in the background, other people in the room or just doing something that is infinitely more entertaining than some rando in voice chat. It’s hard to find good guilds because of this too.

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Mikey's Bored

Yeah something they have said they’re working on for ages, now. An persistent online game with no text chat is weird, most people communicate exclusively through emotes at this point.