The Fallout 76 clown car continued its strange journey this week, as the recently semi-redeemed MMO stumbled over another technical hitch.
The popular in-game event Fasnacht Day was expected to start on Monday, but was quickly stalled by a bug. Players reacted with great frustration as the event was taken down, depriving everyone of an hourly semi-charming, semi-creepy masked robot march. Bethesda report that all is now well, and the event restarts today.
Based on a real event, Fasnacht Day runs every hour, encouraging players to hunt for decorative trinkets, and culminates in a parade of jolly masked robots. That parade is inevitably attacked, and players who defend the march are rewarded with rare masks based on the number of survivors. Alas, the repeatable event barely lasted a single run before a creature spawning problem made it near impossible to get started. Bethesda announced a fix late last night, extending the date until the 9th of June. There'll also be a giveaway on the in-game Atom store, though details on that aren't expected until "later this week".
Fans reacted more strongly to the delay than I'd expected, re-airing multiple ongoing complaints on the subreddit and official forums. I wouldn't call much of it unfounded. It seems the success of Wastelanders got people's hopes up that some old issues would be addressed, and the news that this event fell apart has burst that dam.
Damningly, players have been complaining about the bug that scuppered the parades for some time. One Reddit user gathered a dozen threads where players reported it several weeks ago. Another compiled a small catalogue of repeat complaints, particularly from players who'd subscribed for premium accounts. Player display cases and vending machines also remain deactivated after 12 days in response to an item duplication bug. Bethesda posted a brief update about that one on Friday.
It seems that the honeymoon period the troubled nuclear scrapathon enjoyed after the Wastelanders update has expired. The return of NPCs to the land was widely praised by players last month. Nate respected but didn't exactly fall for the update. As he said in his Fallout 76 Wastelanders review: "At the end of the day, Bethesda have worked their arses off for eighteen months in order to make a game that is alright."
Between the hefty Wastelanders and the recent announcement of a seasonal update system, Bethesda appear to be committed to turning the game's cursed fortunes around. But it doesn't take the most withering gaze to see that it needs a lot more work.