As if Fallout 76 isn’t considered one of the worst fallout games to date – seriously, even if you like it, a lot of people don’t – Bethesda is now adding pay-to-win items to the atomic shop. I’m talking about, of course, the new Repair Kit feature that is being launched with Patch 8. According to Bethesda, there will be two different types of kits: a basic kit and an improved kit. But, how does this fall into the pay-to-win scenario? After all, Bethesda assured us that Fallout 76 wouldn’t include pay-to-win items, right?
Well, according to Bethesda, the “Improved Repair Kits” are rare items that Bethesda plans to award as you take on various types on in-game content. Basic Repair Kits, on the other hand, will be unlockable in the atomic store using atoms that you’ve earned while completing in-game challenges or that you’ve purchased. And, there it is – “atoms that you’ve purchased.” You either have to complete a bunch of in-game challenges or just – conveniently – buy some atoms.
It’s already well known that fans are challenging Bethesda’s decision to make items available in the Atomic Shop in the first place. As pointed out on a very detailed thread on Reddit, It’s meant to be a place where all purchasable cosmetic items are sold. The addition of these Repair Kits means that certain players – read: those with funds or atoms – will be able to purchase kits on the fly and make it easier to survive encounters while those without the funds are left in the cold and, obviously, at a disadvantage. It could ultimately be the beginning of Fallout 76’s turn to pay-to-win, and we all know that’s only fun for those willing to pump a continuous stream of money into a game that, in this case, is (arguably) not worth it.
When Bethesda introduced the Repair Kits, it had this to say:
“We read tons of feedback and suggestions from the Fallout 76 community, and Repair Kits were a popular request that we wanted to get into players’ hands. We also felt we could try out something new with these, both in-game and in the Atomic Shop. As we look to the future, we’re exploring ways we can bring other community-driven ideas to the game as well, such as refrigerators for C.A.M.P.s, ammo and food converters, and even the ability to send scrap to your stash without having to head home. Repair Kits are our first attempt at a utility item like this, and we plan to make adjustments based on your feedback, so we hope you’ll share your thoughts with us when they go live later this month.”
As you might expect, feedback is coming in at an alarming rate. Reddit user OrphanFeast87 said “I have no issues with [the kits] availability to players. I’m just concerned over the slippery slope effect regarding potential paid items that DO affect gameplay directly; something Bethesda said they wouldn’t do. I’d be satisfied with the ability to make atoms a little more easily as a trade-off.”
Meanwhile, someone else points out that the Repair Kits are little more than a lazy fix to address the poor durability of weapons in the game:
“What I do have a problem within the case of repair kits as Atoms only, is that it is a band-aid solution to horrible weapon durability in the game, and incentivizes them to keep it in this awful state. Couple that with caps becoming less useful in the late game, there really should be some useful consumables they can buy. This would give high-level players things to spend caps on, and a reason to trade and contribute to a player economy,” said Reddit user Psychedelic Samurai.
Needless to say, the pay-to-win scenario works a little better for games that are free-to-play for the get-go but everyone playing Fallout 76 has already chipped in and paid full price for a game that has, for lack of a better word, sucked in comparison to the games that came before it. There’s no telling what will happen down the road, but if Bethesda doesn’t address the selling of these Repair Kits properly, it could really kill the moral for future Fallout games.