I can say that I very rarely walk away from a Fallout 76 session feeling let down or bored. At level 26, the world is still pretty open and new to me, and each night’s activities contain a host of unexpected discoveries and experiences. But more and more these days, I find myself hitting brick walls and finding myself at impasses to actually complete missions.
There’s a lot to be frustrated with here, mostly due to how Bethesda handles its quests and mob difficulty levels. For starters, none of the quests are labeled with suggested level ranges or a difficulty rating. You can start a quest in an easy region and soon find yourself forging into very dangerous territory because step 3 demands it. There also seems to be no rhyme or reason for the levels of mobs that I encounter, either. They’re supposed to be loosely tied to a level range within a region, but I’ve been told that if a high-level player comes through, then the mob levels will increase to match — and then stay that way for a while, completely putting the screws to weaker players.
So there are many questlines that I’ve started and simply can’t finish because they’re death sentences. And that stinks, because quests are by far a huge source of gear and XP to leveling players. There’s one quest — the one for the backpack — that I can’t finish because it requires me to rez another player, which is kind of impossible with the scarce communication tools on hand.
Another problem I’ve been running into is when I get into these harder parts, I’m burning through ammunition at an insane rate just to down a single mob or two. I have some nice guns at this point, but I’m going to be out of ammo within days if I press on.
When I hit these walls, I sigh, curse Bethesda, and switch to the next mission and see if I can do that. It’s a shame, because a lot of these questlines have great stories attached to them. On the recommendation of a Twitter friend, I started doing one involving a group of women who formed a superhero-themed team that helped folks around the wasteland. They have costumes, an underground base, the works. But about midway through, I was asked to get a sword from this one specific location — and that locale is guarded by very high level mobs.
I tried a lot of things to run in and grab it, but since I have to use a computer terminal to unlock the case, no amount of stealth will keep me undetected. I also waited to see if other players would happen to run through and be interference, but no such luck. The populations on these servers are too low to expect anyone to show up.
I’ll keep persevering, because there’s a lot of fun here, and I try not to shy away from the challenge of it all. I figure that I’ll eventually work my way up in levels and gear to be able to handle these obstacles and finally break through the walls, but in the meantime, I’m going to have to keep cycling through quests to find ones that don’t send me on death trips.
I am excited about the summer season pass that’s coming up. That might be a really good way to level up and get rewards, presuming that it makes allowances for low- and mid-range players as well as highbies. Bethesda really hasn’t addressed that, so I guess we’ll see.