War may never change, but a lot can happen in a public beta test, and those braving Fallout 76's wasteland early have found some things in need of changing. Bethesda may have warned that there were "spectacular" bugs to be found, but few were expecting this laundry list collated on Reddit - client-side modding, unsecured connections and worse. Also the significant issue of player speed being tied to framerate, (thanks, Eurogamer) - players with uncapped framerates can zoom off by staring at their own feet. Bethesda have partially acknowledged these issues in a statement to Eurogamer today.
"Many of the claims in the thread are either inaccurate or based on incorrect assumptions. The community has however called to attention several issues that our teams are already actively tracking and planning to roll out fixes for"
"Our goal is always to deliver a great experience for all our players. Cheating or hacking will not be tolerated. We know our fan base is passionate about modding and customising their experience in our worlds and it's something we intend to support down the road."
While almost impressively vague, Bethesda's statement does suggest that at least some of the issues highlighted by Reddit and elsewhere are being worked on. The biggest problems at the moment seem to be client-side modding. According to modders, surprisingly little has changed under the hood since Fallout 4, allowing basic changes to be made with the regular Fallout 4 mod toolkit. Some of these mods could easily be considered cheats, such as this one that shows you exactly what spot needs to be tickled in order to open locks, installed by simply replacing an interface file.
Bethesda don't have long to get these problems ironed out before launch. The game is due out on November 14th, with only a few more public beta sessions planned between now and then. While some of these problems (especially client-side modding) are less likely to be an issue on consoles, I'm hoping that they've got at least some kind of anti-cheat system worked out by release. I'd not consider it such an issue if Fallout 76 were a purely cooperative game, but those hunting the deadliest game in PvP could be a problem if they can claim any underhanded competitive edge.
Still, when it's not breaking or causing Geiger counters to make worrying noises, our man of the future Matthew Castle reckons that Fallout 76 still feels pleasantly Fallout-ish, even if it is (ironically) a little more lonely. Fingers crossed for a smooth launch next week. For those already out in the wastes who haven't melted or been eaten by bugs, Dave Irwin's guides may help, too.