Fallout

Bethesda is a truly despicable company

And it is a feature, not a bug.

On 27th April 2021, a few hours before the servers went down for the new patch, I renewed my subscription to Fallout 1st. Other than deciding to play the game in the first place, it turned out to be the worst decision I ever made in relation to Fallout 76. I won't be touching it or purchasing any other Bethesda property again, because it taught me all too clearly the contempt that Bethesda holds for its customers.

My entry into the world of Fallout 76 began about a week before the first Fasnacht. Despite the game being universally panned by people for its numerous launch bugs, I've played and enjoyed pretty much every Fallout game there has been and was wanting more of that magic. I did indeed read on the fiasco where Bethesda tried to cheat its customers with some cheap canvas bag, but at this point in time I still held on to the hope that the contempt Bethesda had for Fallout fans was a bug rather than a feature.

I honestly enjoyed my time with the game, even up until very recently. There was a lot to love; all the little Easter eggs you'd find; the personal holo stories and written notes; the sense of a new world to be explored and rebuilt, it kept me hooked even where no endgame was to be found. And month on month more kept being added until the introduction of Seasons gave me a reason to be truly excited with goals worth achieving and gear worth having.

And so it was that in preparation for Season 4 I decided to renew a Fallout 1st subscription that had been lapsed for many moons. But before I did that, I logged into the game to check on a few things and to confirm the servers were definitely up so I could claim Season 3's Fallout 1st rewards just in the nick of time. Finding everything good, I paid my money and quickly booted up and claimed my Fallout 1st Scoreboard rewards before logging into the game proper. I soon discovered something was very wrong…

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The very first thing I noticed was that my character was completely hungry and thirsty. But stranger still was when I went to drink some Purified Water I no longer had even a single unit of it. In fact, I no longer had any boiled water either. Okay, well, let me just dump all this junk I had on my person that had been weighing me down into my scrapbox and then I'll investigate more. Except that there's now no junk on my person and – even worse – my scrapbox is ENTIRELY empty where just moments ago it had within it tens of thousands of items. I did what any reasonable player would do in this situation; thinking it might be a display bug I logged out and in again, only to find the issue persisted.

Over the next few hours I took a full inventory and here's everything I noted lost: all my water, all my junk, all fusion cores, all scrap and repair kits (many received as part of Atom pack purchases), all bobby pins, legendary scrip, some legendary weapons, and possibly – though I cannot say for absolute certain – a reduction in perk coins and de-ranking of some legendary perk cards. Months and months of effort completely wiped out, simply by renewing a subscription to Fallout 1st.

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I filed a ticket for a refund for Fallout 1st and the restoration of my lost items. A few days later I had my refund but was advised by Support to file a separate ticket for the restoration of the items. At this point I still retained a sliver of optimism and goodwill for Bethesda, but the response to my second ticket proved to me once and for all what snakes they truly are. In response to my diligently listing for Support all that was lost, the response I got was that there were far too many items to check and so they wouldn't be checking at all and I would not be receiving the restoration of even a single item. That was their EXACT logic. Here is the direct quote

"Unfortunately after reviewing your request we cannot provide you with the items that you are requesting. Bethesda Customer support generally cannot restore items that have been lost or are otherwise missing, and we would not be able to search for a massive list of items like you are asking. I apologize for the inconvenience."

Bare in mind, some of these lost items – like the scrap and repair kits – were paid for with real world money through Atom pack purchases and everything was lost as a direct result of purchasing Fallout 1st – not anything that I did or occurred within the game. In such a case, Bethesda had a moral and even legal responsibility to restore what was lost. And they point-blank refused to even look. This is the company Bethesda are. They are thieves. It is not too strong a word. They have literally stolen from me things that I have paid real world money for.

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And there's not a single thing I can do about it. Other than to tell you my story, other than to warn you all that just by subscribing to Fallout 1st you could lose everything like I did, and you too will receive the same answer from Bethesda, and you too will have no recourse, I am completely powerless to recover that which I have paid real world money for and spent months of in-game effort to acquire. Bethesda is a truly despicable company and it is a feature not a bug.

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