Fallout 76 (opens in new tab) is certainly no stranger to controversy, but usually it's the sort that unites the community against the developer or publisher. This time around, the addition of the Fallout 1st (opens in new tab) paid subscription service is causing an in-game rift between subscribers and non-subscribers, adding another layer of chaos to an already upsetting situation. According to multiple accounts and a lengthy Reddit (opens in new tab) discussion on the issue, there seems to be a campaign by some non-subscribers to make subscribers' in-game lives as miserable as possible.
Some context: Fallout 1st is a $13/month subscription service that Fallout 76 players can pay for to gain access to private servers (another issue (opens in new tab) altogether) and other exclusive benefits. Made worse by some frustrating implementation hiccups, the service is drawing ire for what many in the community see as allowing for players to pay to win. Unfortunately, instead of directing that ire toward the appropriate channels, angry Fallout 76 players are reportedly using griefing tactics to express their frustration with the service.
One Reddit user described their experience after using the Fallout 1st-exclusive Mothman emote in a public server. "I got beaten up when I decided to do the Mothman emote in Vault 51. At least 5 - 7 people in teddy bear costumes kept punching me," wrote KATheHuman (opens in new tab). Another Reddit user by the name of Jerakal noted the irony of "a game with themes of class struggle and people struggle against a feature that only benefits players with disposable income."
It's easy to see why someone passionate enough against pay-to-win features being brought to a game they love might be upset by another player supporting those features financially, but it's also easy to imagine other ways of communicating frustration, like you know, communicating.
Bethesda (opens in new tab) has issued a statement on some of the core issues players are experiencing with Fallout 1st, but we've yet to hear anything from the developer on the developing civil war in Appalachia.
For how to increase your in-game fortunate, consult our Fallout 76 guide on how to buy and sell your way to a better future.