The Fallout 76 beta (I refused to write B.E.T.A.) is coming to a close, and Bethesda is absorbing feedback for potential changes to a game that comes out in uh, six days. Not a lot you can really do in that window, but at least one thing is being changed sometime in the “near future” that was annoying fans during the beta.
One common complaint, especially on PC, was the prevalence of open world chat being on by default in the beta, meaning that you could hear the voice of anyone with a microphone on nearby. Bethesda’s explanation for this was “Our goal with voice chat being on by default is to highlight that the world is alive with real people, other players like you. We like to start with encouraging player interaction.”
The problem? There’s one idea of how this will work in theory, and then there’s reality. Let me explain:
“Wow, just found an awesome treasure chest over here, buddy come check it out.”
“Hey can you pick up some lunch honey? Double cheeseburger Dr. Pepper thanks.”
“Hey, you want to team up to take down this world boss over here?”
“Kaylee! Kaylee! Daddy’s playing a game right now, go find mommy. (child screaming)”
“Trying to shoot at me, pal? You’re going down!”
(unrepeatable cursing and racial slurs)
You get what I’m saying. Most of the time people leaving their mics on will produce all manner of unwanted sounds from babies crying to vacuums to sirens to incessant food eating, and that’s even overlooking potential harassment issues.
Players requested the ability to push to talk, meaning your mic wouldn’t be on all the time. Originally Bethesda said that they would “look into adding this in the future,” but after even more backlash that claimed they didn’t understand the problem, that was updated to that they “will be adding this in the near future.”
Again, Fallout 76 comes out in six days, so the problem with all this beta feedback is that almost none of it will be fixed/changed for launch. Another common PC problem, for instance, was people complaining about a lack of FOV slider, but that seems like something that will not get added as Bethesda claims it breaks their engine, because of course it does.
Every game usually launches with some manner of issues that need to be patched, but Bethesda games are usually buggier than most. I personally did not have many problems with the Fallout beta on Xbox One X, and my issues with 76 are more conceptual than technical, but I know others experienced some issues.
We will see what state the game launches in next week, I suppose.
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Read my new sci-fi thriller novel Herokiller, available now in print and online. I also wrote The Earthborn Trilogy.