Bethesda has made quite a few decisions lately with Fallout 76 that have left players angry, confused, and upset. It looks like those times aren’t over yet. Bethesda just announced on April 4 in an official post that it’s adding Repair Kits in the coming weeks after Patch 8. And although Repair Kits by themselves aren’t a problem, the problem is that Bethesda is going to make these available only in the Atomic Shop. Players say this goes against an explicit promise that Bethesda made earlier, and they’re threatening to boycott the Atomic Shop or the game itself as a result. Here’s what’s happening.
Players Are Enraged & Worried that Repair Kits Are the Start of Pay to Win
Just one look at the Fallout 76 subreddit is all it takes to see how many people are outraged. On the day of the announcement, the following stories were posted (and this is just a sample):
- DANGER SIGN: Repair kits (Non-cosmetic item) will be purchasable with Atoms only. (1,100 comments and 4,800 upvotes)
- Pump the breaks on #PayToRepair Bethesda, if you want more money, implement better cosmetics. (91 comments and 900 upvotes)
- What the Heck Bethesda??? Right when things were going good you add non-cosmetics to the atom shop? Shame on you. (187 comments and 1,100 upvotes)
- 19/25 Top Posts on this Sub are up in arms about Repair Kits. Take the hint Bethesda. (100 comments and 610 upvotes)
- Bethesda’s promise of NO PAY 2 WIN elements was a core part of my decision to buy, play and support this game. Breaking this promise is unacceptable. (131 comments and 583 upvotes)
New posts are being added every few minutes, with more and more players outraged as they learn the news.
Bethesda Announced that Repair Kits Will Fix Items & Be Purchased Only in the Atomic Shop
So what exactly happened? On its “Looking Beyond Patch 8” post for April 4, Bethesda announced the addition of Repair Kits. This new utility item will let players restore one item in their inventory to 100 percent condition. It’s supposed to “help you spend more time looting and shooting, and less time toiling away at a workbench fixing your gear.” The problem is that it’s a single-use only consumable that restores one item and it can only be purchased in the Atomic Shop “using Atoms you’ve purchased or those you’ve earned for free by completing in-game challenges.”
Bethesda said the Repair Kits were a popular request and it gave them the opportunity to “try out something new with these, both in-game and in the Atomic Shop.” Bethesda will also have Improved Repair Kits that are also single-use, but they buff an item’s condition up to 150 percent. These rare items will be awarded for free for various in-game conquests, such as taking down a Scorchbeast Queen.
Fans Say Bethesda Is Breaking a Promise that the Atomic Shop Would Be Cosmetic Only
Fans are outraged because they say that Bethesda promised that the Atomic Shop would be cosmetic only and this is a direct violation of that promise. It’s not the repair kits themselves that are the issue, but the idea of having to buy them in the Atomic Shop. Redditor u/Hoguer96 wrote: “Non-tradable un-craftable atomic shop items? This is simply infuriating. Fix this before it explodes with the power of a nuclear bomb in your face Bethesda.” Players are concerned this will only be the beginning of shifting the game to a pay-to-win focus.
Did Bethesda promise to keep the shop cosmetic only? Yes, it looks like they did. On November 2, 2018, when they launched the Atomic Shop, Bethesda wrote in part:
The Atomic Shop was founded to give you as much choice and variety in how you want to customize and celebrate your adventures. It doesn’t offer anything with a competitive advantage, and more so, it aims to bring joy not just to you, but the other dwellers around you.”
In an October 2018 interview with GameSpot, Bethesda made the same promise regarding microtransactions in the Atomic Shop. Pete Hines said: “Atoms are used in our shop to buy cosmetics things. So you know, new outfits or skins or things like that. [Things to customise] your character to look unique from everybody else.” GameSpot noted that Bethesda appeared to be following the models of Fortnite and Overwatch, where real money would only be spent on cosmetic items and not items that actually affect the game.
GameSpot discussed the same topic again in late October. They quoted Hines as saying: “Folks that want to spend money on whatever the hell it is because they don’t have enough Atoms, they can, but it’s not, ‘I’m now better playing against other players because I spent money.’ It’s not pay-to-win. And it’s not loot crates.”
Hines added that Bethesda wanted to stay “on the right side of the line” when it comes to microtransactions and avoid money-grab situations.
Now Players Are Proposing a Boycott
Players are proposing boycotting the Atomic Shop entirely if the Repair Kits are added, until the shop is returned to being cosmetic only. Players are concerned that this is the start of a slippery slope leading to more pay-to-win items in the future.
Any time you can pay real world money to increase your power in a game, it’s pay to win. Repairing items increases their DMG/DR thus granting you more power. It’s not edging on pay to win, it IS pay to win plain and simple. Players that buy repair kits for atoms have an advantage over those that don’t, end of conversation. They need to revert this decision and make the repair kits craftable items. It’s fine for them to also be ingame rewards for dailies/quests etc. but it’s not cool to sell these for atoms. This is a greedy, slippery slope.”
Other players have expressed concern that items will start breaking easier once the Repair Kits are introduced. Redditor u/tigress666 echoed many players’ concern by writing: “Once this starts how soon before they get tempted to rebalance the game so that it feels you need to pay to fix the balance?”
The Repair Kits aren’t available yet. Bethesda said about the Kits’ release: “We’ve received lots of requests for Repair Kits, and we’re excited to add them in the weeks following Patch 8.”
Not everyone is incensed about the Repair Kits, however. Some are welcoming their addition to the game. Here’s a video by KingFanMan, who’s happy about the Repair Kits.
But other players have a different view and are concerned this is the beginning of a slippery slope.
As of the time of publication, Bethesda employees on Reddit have not responded to complaints or tags, and Bethesda has not made an official statement in response to the complaints and concerns.
What do you think about Repair Kits? You can tweet the author of this story and let her know your thoughts.