Connect with us
Advertisement

News

Bethesda inadvertently invents social classes in Fallout 76 (updated)

The launch of Fallout 1st inadvertently introduces a binary social class system to Fallout 76. It’s the most scathing social commentary we’ve seen in Fallout in years.

Published

on

Fallout 76 class system
Bethesda / Thumbsticks

The launch of Fallout 1st inadvertently introduces a binary social class system to Fallout 76. It’s the most scathing social commentary we’ve seen in Fallout in years.

Last week, Bethesda introduced Fallout 1st. It’s a subscription service for its live-service Fallout game, Fallout 76. It costs a lot.

For reference, a lot is £11.99 a month, or £100 if you pay a whole year upfront. And yes, that is 50% more than the cost of Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One, or three times the price of Xbox Game Pass on PC. And with either of those, you get to play hundreds of different video games. With Fallout 1st, you only get to play Fallout 76.

Advertisement

(To be fair, you do get some stuff included in Fallout 1st, including access to private worlds, unlimited storage for crafting components, and a movable tent you can use for fast travel. You also get significantly-increased monthly Atoms, Fallout 76’s in-game currency that you buy with real cash. It’s perhaps this final point, which feels rather pay-to-win, that has gotten the internet all riled up.)

In case you hadn’t picked up on the tone, people are rather upset about it. While most internet complaining is both unpleasant and not newsworthy, some of the Fallout 1st, erm, fallout – like this domain registration – is downright hilarious.

But there’s another unexpected consequence to the introduction of Fallout 1st: Fallout 76 has a class system now.

So the Fallout 1st icon, which Bethesda clearly thought would be a badge of honour for players, has painted a target on the backs of individuals who Fallout 76’s player population clearly feels are the post-apocalyptic bourgeoisie. The proletariat isn’t quite seizing the means of production, but it is making life uncomfortable for Fallout 76’s newly-formed upper class. And in a social construct where the odds are stacked so heavily in favour of the wealthy, and against the common folk? Being a belligerent nuisance is sometimes the best we can hope for.

Now if even players of Fallout 76 can get the hang of it, maybe there’s hope we can get rid of the Tories and Republicans after all.

Updated: November 9, 2019

As reported by Polygon, a new clan called the Apocalyptic Aristocracy has formed in Fallout 76. Like all of the most exclusive clubs for posh knobs, you can only join if you’re a member of the wealthy elite. In this case, that means a paid-up Fallout 1st subscriber.

Formed as something of a riposte to the prole uprising, where players were griefing and killing any players with the Fallout 1st identifier, the Aristocracy has – as have most very online things – grown out of memes and jokes. Specifically, around the notion that members of Fallout 76 high society, the 1st subscribers, were offering each other discounts on traded goods, while inflating the price for the unwashed masses.

From there a collection of memes and shitposting on social media has grown into a real collective, of around 300 or so Fallout 1st subscribers. It’s in part an extension of the joke, but it’s also a bit of safety in numbers, combined with the opportunity to form a bond and play with like-minded individuals.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

“The anti-subscription players had become very toxic,” one of the Aristocracy’s founders, VectorZarak told Polygon. “So much so that players could not even discuss the private servers or the bonuses that came with them without being insulted or yelled at. What started as a joke quickly turned into a safe haven, where players who had subscribed could openly discuss Fallout 1st topics without being attacked.”

The Aristocracy spends most of their time dressing fancy, looking down on the common people, and generally feeling superior about the benefits their silver spoon affords them. Much like in the real world, then.

A class war may sound unpleasant, but in a game like Fallout 76, that has, in truth, been struggling since launch? It’s actually a rather lovely development.

“Nothing seems to bring people together like shared suffering,” said VectorZarak, “and the past week has seen a lot of venom spewed toward Fallout 1st members. I want to give players a place to go where they can peacefully discuss and plan with others who use the private servers.”

“We know [Fallout 76 is] not perfect, but developers don’t work for free, so we do what we can to help fund the improvement and expansion of the game,” he concludes. If only the real upper classes were so benevolent.

We hate to ask, but...

Thumbsticks has a couple of goals. We want to write interesting articles and cover games that most outlets won't, and we want to give opportunities to new writers and new voices. And right now, with the current state of online publishing? It's tough to meet those goals! We hate to ask, but if you want us to continue writing what others won't, or to keep covering weird indie games, or to be able to give opportunities to new writers – and only if you can afford it – then please consider supporting us on Patreon.

Recommended for you

Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

Advertisement

Latest from Thumbsticks

New Xbox One game releases New Xbox One game releases
News6 hours ago

New Xbox releases: January 24-29, 2022

Here are the new Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One releases you can look forward to in the coming week.

My Friend Peppa Pig My Friend Peppa Pig
News23 hours ago

My Friend Peppa Pig is out now on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S

My Friend Peppa Pig is released today for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Mystery Gift Distribution Codes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Mystery Gift Distribution Codes
Guides1 day ago

Guide: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Mystery Gifts and distribution events

Here's the complete guide to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Mystery Gifts and distribution events.

Yakuza - Xbox Free Play Days Yakuza - Xbox Free Play Days
News1 day ago

Play three epic crime games for free on Xbox this weekend

Yakuza 3 Remastered, Yakuza 4 Remastered, and Yakuza 5 Remastered are currently free to play for Xbox Live Gold and...

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
News2 days ago

Following years of crunch, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga gets a release date

Warner Bros. Games confirms the release date for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga amid reports of crunch at developer TT...

Nintendo Switch Online - classic games Nintendo Switch Online - classic games
Guides2 days ago

Nintendo Switch Online: The big list of NES, SNES, N64 and Genesis games

Nintendo Switch Online includes access to a growing library of classic NES, SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis games. Here’s the...

Death's Door - Xbox Game Pass Death's Door - Xbox Game Pass
News3 days ago

One of last year’s very best games is coming to Xbox Game Pass

Death's Door, Rainbow Six Extraction and Windjammers 2 are among this month's second wave of Xbox Game Pass titles.

Among Us - Roadmap 2022 Among Us - Roadmap 2022
News4 days ago

Among Us 2022 roadmap includes Friends List feature

Innersloth has outlined this year's content and development roadmap for Among Us.

Advertisement