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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.

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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.

(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.

“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.

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

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New PlayStation 4 releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Hangar 13’s ground-up remake of Mafia is this week’s PlayStation 4 pick. The original game is not an outright classic, but it’s certainly bold and was forward-thinking in its day. The remake includes new vehicles, improved visuals and audio, and a larger city of Lost Heaven to explore.

Another highlight is the console port of Port Royale 4. Kalypso Media’s trading and strategy game depicts the 17th-century Caribbean power struggle between Spain, England, France and the Netherlands. Turn-based naval encounters are the big new feature, and each nation has a full single-player campaign to complete.

Trading is also central to Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, the new space Western sequel from Double Damage Games. Outlaw improves on its predecessor with streamlined spaceship combat, seven new radio stations, and a fun cast of bounty hunters, aliens, and intergalactic ne’er-do-wells.

Other new PS4 releases include Tennis World Tour 2, Unrailed!, and Going Under. We’ll update this article throughout the week with news of any late additions. Here’s the full lineup of new PS4 games confirmed so far.

New PlayStation4 releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • 3 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • Jet Set Knights – TBC
  • Unrailed!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Dungreed
  • Ginga Force
  • Going Under
  • Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Port Royale 4
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Bookmark our new releases page for weekly updates on the latest games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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New Xbox One releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Xbox One owners can lead a life crime next week in the eagerly anticipated remake of 2002’s Mafia. The city of Lost Heaven has never looked better, but we’re interested to see how Hangar 13 has fleshed out the experience. The addition of motorcycles is a fun place to start.

Meanwhile, players of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw can live their lives on the outer rim of law and order. This sequel from Double Damage builds upon the strong foundations of the first game with improved dogfights, an engaging story, and an even better soundtrack. If you find Elite Dangerous too overwhelming, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is an accessible blend of arcade and simulation sci-fi that scratches the same intergalactic itch.

Other new Xbox One release highlights include Port Royale 4, procedurally generated track laying game Unrailed!, and satirical dungeon crawler, Going Under. Halo ODST‘s Firefight mode is also coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Tuesday.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • Halo ODST: Firefight (The Master Chief Collection)
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • The Drone Racing League Simulator
  • Jet Set Knights
  • Unrailed!
  • Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Going Under
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Tears of Avia

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Nexomon: Extinction
  • Port Royale 4
  • Sentinels of Freedom
  • Shotgun Farmers
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Swoop by the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Hello Games announces No Man’s Sky Origins update

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

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No Mans Sky book covers
Hello Games / Thumbsticks

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

Did you know that the procedurally-generated aesthetic for No Man’s Sky was based on pulpy, 70s science fiction novel covers?

(We did know, but it’s still fun to watch the video in the post linked above. For all of its “bazillion of procedurally generated planets” pitch, the aesthetic and the atmosphere of No Man’s Sky are still some of its biggest selling points, especially with the very scary Desolation update from a couple of months ago.)

As the free content updates kept coming for No Man’s Sky, each with its own science fiction cover, it built up a bigger picture: a “shelf” of those pulpy sci-fi book covers.

But when Sean Murray, of Hello Games, tweeted a picture of all the covers together following the Desolation update, it did not escape people’s notice that there was only “room” for one more cover left on that artificial bookshelf of pulpy book covers:

And with the No Man’s Sky Origins update set to be revealed next week, people have been worried that might be the last update we see for the game. The final space on the bookshelf will be filled, as it were.

But according to the blog post announcing Origins, “This update will be another small step in a longer journey.”

Perhaps Hello Games isn’t quite done with No Man’s Sky just yet.


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Play three cool games for free on Xbox One this weekend

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and a creature-infested Louisiana.

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Sea of Thieves - Xbox One

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and, erm, Louisiana.

Shiver me timbers, Sea of Thieves is free to play on Xbox One this weekend. Rare’s online pirate adventure was somewhat cooly received on release, but who’s cool now? A treasure chest of content and gameplay updates has helped build a thriving community of shipmates, most of whom are welcoming to new deckhands. Nonetheless, take care, there’s always someone waiting to steal a Bilge Rat Doubloon or two when your back is turned.

Players should also keep their wits about them in Hunt: Showdown, the popular PvP first-person hunting game from Crytek. Up to 12 players must venture into the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. Your task is to retrieve a bounty from a vicious creature, but once you have that bounty, friends become foes, and you become the target. Hi-jinks ensue.

Finally, Warhammer: Chaosbane is moderately fun hack-and-slash action RPG from EKO Software. If the phrase “fighting battles in the sewers of Nuln” gets your blood pumping, this game is probably for you.

All three games are playable for free until midnight on Sunday for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. As always, any earned achievements and save states carry over into purchased copies of each game. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s related digital discounts.

Xbox One Free Play Days Discounts

Hunt: Showdown

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • Master Hunter Edition – 50% off

Warhammer: Chaosbane

  • Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 65% off
  • Magnus Edition – 70% off

Sea of Thieves

  • Standard Edition – 50% off

Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily gaming news updates

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Surprise! The Long Dark is out now on Nintendo Switch

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

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The Long Dark Nintendo Switch
Hinterland / Thumbsticks

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

Nintendo has developed a habit of doing the old “and it’s available on the eShop right now” trick during its Direct presentations. In a summer of interminable video press conferences and wall-to-wall Geoff Keighley and 15-minute trailers for games we won’t see again for a couple of years, it’s a lovely little trait, an instant dopamine hit.

And Nintendo used it again, a few times, during its September 2020 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase. There were games we knew were coming at some point, like Hades, and games we didn’t, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps. But they were still a nice surprise.

Then there was The Long Dark, the brilliant, wintry survival epic from Hinterland Games. That, too, got a surprise launch on the Nintendo Switch today. This is a lovely turn of events for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Long Dark is really rather good.
  2. The last we heard, the game’s performance on Switch was quite poor, so it’s excellent that it’s now in a state good enough to release.

There’s also an excellent launch trailer to mark the occasion:

Meanwhile, Hinterland head honcho and The Long Dark director Raph van Lierop took to Twitter to address some players’ confusion that, uncharacteristically, the trailer wasn’t particularly bleak.

We’re looking to heading out into the wilderness and playing The Long Dark later this year. You know, when it gets really cold.


Check out everything else announced in this month’s Nintendo Direct, or follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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