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Could there be an alternate timeline where Fallout 76 was good?

This is the timeline I want.

fallout 76 light house
Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

Bethesda can’t seem to score a win with Fallout 76 and it seems like it is no fault but their own. With that being said, since early last year, there were a lot of Fallout fans that were super excited about the game and some of those people expected Fallout 76 to be Bethesda’s magnum opus.

After hearing about the news that Bethesda left the dev room in the online-only game, I couldn’t help but ask my peers if they thought could be an alternate timeline where Fallout 76 was good.

A world in which Fallout 76 changed the literal game

We imagined that in this alternate reality, Fallout 76 was a critical hit, featuring a new engine that offered plenty of new opportunities to explore the Appalachian wasteland in ways we only imagined before. As you fought alongside other players and worked to earn the support of the many NPC factions across the game, your actions would shape the direction these factions took.

Turning these factions into player-driven societies turned out to be interesting after a team of trolls effectively turned a majority of the major factions into bloodthirsty marauders. It took until New Year’s Eve for the players to overthrow the evil factions in a battle that ended with nukes being dropped on the Brotherhood and New Vault Society right after the clock hit midnight, ringing in the new year with mushroom clouds that ushered in a fresh new future for Fallout 76.

Fallout 76 offered plenty of different things to do for players. With the inclusion of cross-platform play, many players got together and began selling valuable loot from higher content and difficult bosses. Eventually hiring stronger players to protect them as they traveled over-encumbered from stronghold to stronghold.

Along with players creating a thriving in-game economy, other players began to rally to yield more political power, influencing networks of strongholds and alignment quests for world factions. Due to this, some players even ended up being information brokers, funneling information across servers for bottle caps to help reinforce or destabilize the climate of the large servers that allowed hundreds of players to actively play on.

End game content was robust and ever-evolving, with players having to fight all sorts of mutated flora and fauna, as well as defending strongholds from mutant and ghoul invasions. Plans were announced to even allow groups from other servers to raid different servers as wandering raiders. This was looking to be well-recieved because this would effectively “expand” the world players could play in.

This alternate timeline also allowed Battlefield 5 to be wildly successful

Those few players that weren’t playing the biggest and most successful game in the world still had plenty of different things to do. Battlefield V was also a rousing success, revitalizing the first-person shooter market in a way that no one expected.

In fact, outside of Fortnite and Fallout 76, Battlefield V was the largest viewed game being streamed on YouTube and Twitch. Battlefield V‘s commercial success was looking to cause EA and Activision to rethink their annual shooters into more customer friendly models. The lack of monetization in Battlefield V ended up encouraging record-breaking sales for the franchise.

Other interesting changes in this alternate reality included Ninja leading the world’s largest group floss in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. This was pretty cool for Ninja because they guy had a big year that included being in YouTube’s #1 most liked video, “YouTube Rewind 2018” hosted by PewDiePie.

Overwatch introduced a sexual preference slider for all their characters, allowing players to choose whatever sexual preference they wanted their favorite characters to have. This move was huge because it justified the erotic Overwatch rule 34 content out there on Tumblr, which the website welcomed, becoming a haven for erotic art and naked anime characters.

Unfortunately, this is just a ham-fisted fantasy, obviously

To be honest, no one brainstormed this whole thing and I literally made up the whole damn thing as I wrote this out on my phone. The truth to the matter is Fallout 76 sucks. It’s the equivalent to microwaving a Hot Pocket and biting into the warm gooey pastry to be treated to ice-cold filling that won’t get warm no matter how long you cook it for.

No one bought Battlefield V and Ninja led like five people in a floss dance in Times Square. It makes you wonder though,  if I can, on a whim, dream up a better Fallout 76, who at Bethesda signed off on the current games as release worthy and considered it an acceptable product?

The world may never know…


Todd Howard. Definitely, Todd Howard.

Is this a world you’d like to live in? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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