Disclaimer: what is about to be discussed cannot be independently verified. Though I believe it has a high degree of validity it remains rumor and should be taken with a grain of salt rather than as gospel.
Wracked by poor design decisions and even poorer decisions from upper management, Fallout 76’s first year has been a train wreck with a never ending series of disasters, controversies, and even hackers continuously plaguing the game. Wastelanders Update is intended to herald the game into a new epoch. Returning the game closer to the standard the series is known for while adding a slew of additional features like NPCs, new events, weapons, and beyond.
Bethesda needs this expansion sized update to revitalize Fallout 76 and to facilitate quality control. They have begun inviting users to test the content before it goes live. Now a warning is needed to not expect much change as a result of the feedback. Testers when facing criticism for the sorry state of Fallout 4’s DLC broke their silence and reported to the community that Bethesda by and large ignored nearly every bug report and bit feedback the testers gave them. Bethesda Game Studios Austin isn’t the same team, but with a company history of being incapable of fixing anything don’t hold out much hope for any significant difference between the tester version and the final build.
One of selective testers has broken their silence and released a few details regarding the update on 4chan. The summation isn’t good, as the content is somewhat of an improvement, it is not the saving grace many had hoped for the game. With the leaker reporting it is more on par with Fallout 4 in levels of quality.
Contrary to Bethesda’s claim, there will be very few new areas added. Most “additions” are simply overhauled prior existing locations with the addition of NPCs that will give you quests and serve as barter locations. The two main factions of NPCs are the Raiders who want treasure to party and live it up and the Settlers who want treasure to improve their communities. No word was provided on how significant the changes would be to catering to either faction.
Despite the story being advertised as morally grey it’s comically good versus evil. With speech options making a return in the form of Fallout 4’s dialog system. One answer is always polite, one is always asshole, and the other asks questions with a sprinkling of stat checks thrown in here and there. NPCs are reported to heavily reuse dialog as the tester had already found 3 that had the exact same voiced lines.
Little detail provided in regards to how significant the changes to the map are, but that seems to largely stem from the changes being mere reskins or retooling of previously established areas. With the world being populated by new enemies with the addition of a few new mirelurk variants, an enemy the leaker referred to as “The Enforcer,” along with military created mountain lion mutants called Cantors.
A few quality of life improvements have been made to the game such as increasing storage to 1000 while allowing bulk ammo, but beyond the addition of a few new weapons and new ammo types there is little in the way of significant overhauled content.
As expected the tester is experiencing the occasional lag from the increased load, but reports that he has not had any server crashes or game crashes during his time with the game. Overall, he was rather pleased with the improvements, but he’s still playing the game after the disastrous year it has had, so that is to be expected for someone who was willing to stick around.
Overall it would appear the content upgrade is painfully mediocre if the leak is true. Nothing appears motivating to get players to return, general audiences to adopt, or true fallout fans to stop looking at the game as if it was a failed experiment of the Master.