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Ever since Fallout 76 launched, we have consistently worked to improve and evolve the experience based on your feedback. That's why we're excited to launch Fallout 1st, a premium membership that offers something players have been asking for since before launch: private worlds for you and select friends. In addition to this huge feature, Fallout 1st also includes a host of exclusive items and membership bonuses, all of which you can find detailed below. And the best part? Fallout 1st is available right now.— Bethesda.net

Fallout 1st is a paid subscription service for Fallout 76. It costs $12.99 USD for one month and $99.99 USD for one year. A number of features and items are unlocked upon becoming a Fallout 1st Member. It was first made available with patch 14 on October 23, 2019.

Membership benefits

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Private worlds - Private worlds can hold up to eight players and all gameplay from the online Adventure mode is the same. If the owner of the private world leaves, it will stay active if another 1st member is on that server, or for 30 minutes if there are no more 1st subscribers in the world.
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Custom Worlds - Customizable private servers with separate progression.
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Scrapbox - The scrapbox holds unlimited storage for crafting components, as opposed to storing them in the my stash box during normal gameplay. The player will keep all of these even if their Fallout 1st expires, however, they cannot deposit more inside.
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Survival tent - The survival tent is a deployable fast travel point accessed from the Favorites wheel. When placed, the survival tent provides a miniature base of operations with a stash box, scrapbox, sleeping bag, cooking station and a banjo.
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Atoms - Fallout 1st members receive 1650 Atomic Shop per month for use in the Atomic Shop.
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Exclusive discounts and rewards - Members also receive a number of exclusive cosmetics with their Fallout 1st purchase. Every month, one free item may be claimed in the Atomic Shop under the Fallout 1st subtab. The player will keep all of these even if their Fallout 1st expires.
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Ranger Armor - The iconic outfit and helmet, as well as an exclusive player icon, are available for all Fallout 1st members, always. The player will keep all of these even if their Fallout 1st expires.
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Exclusive emotes - The Funky Mothman and Protectron Shuffle emotes are available for all Fallout 1st members, always. The player will keep all of these even if their Fallout 1st expires.
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Additional Scoreboard Prizes - Fallout 1st members are able to claim additional unlocks from the Scoreboard.

Controversy and user reaction

Launch controversy

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Upon the announcement of Fallout 1st, gaming news sites were quick to point out the point of contention for the user base was that several long-requested features were gated by the subscription, most importantly private worlds.[1] IGN echoed many of these main criticisms.[2] The nature of the subscription service was described by Cass Marshall of Polygon as being in "harsh conflict with the content of Fallout 76, "further contrasting the conflicting anti-capitalistic messages of corporate greed and the pre-War automation riots with a nickel and diming subscription."[3]

Reaction by some users to Fallout 1st was initially negative, concentrating in the period immediately after its announcement and introduction, in May 2020. Gamesradar reported that some players targeted subscribers specifically to grief in game, akin to a class war mimicking the in-universe class struggle.[4] Other complaints referred to several features not working as intended upon launch. Despite being fixed by later patches, some users of Fallout 76 protested the launch by creating in-game protest messages or quitting the game entirely. One example of such is Fallout First, a domain purchased by David Chapman who created a website to mock the announcement post of Fallout 1st.[5] The website has shut down by January 2021 but can still be accessed through an archive.

After several months, the griefing of 1st users began to cease, due to more players subscribing to the service and initial outrage dying down.

Filing cabinet controversy

The filing cabinet in question from Fallout 76

The filing cabinet from Fallout 4

In January 2022, Bethesda revealed that the exclusive Fallout 1st item for the month would be the open filing cabinet, which was a reskin of a non-paywalled filing cabinet already in the game, but with two drawers slightly open and a cleaner exterior.[6] The open filing cabinet is permanently open. The open filing cabinet's model was not created for 76, instead being a re-used asset lifted from Fallout 4. Players also pointed out that a clean filing cabinet was already the sixth rank reward for The Scribe of Avalon.

The filing cabinet immediately proved to be controversial; many players felt insulted, were unsatisfied and upset by the choice of item, claiming it was a lazy, low effort and bland uninspired item, and posted to social media to express their disappointment; many players cancelled their 1st membership or sent messages to Bethesda mentioning they were considering cancelling their Fallout 1st, and requested for a better item to be made available for the month.[7] They also felt the company needed to raise their standards for the exclusive monthly item.[8] Other players expressed concerns, viewing the filing cabinet as a sign that Bethesda is caring less about the future of Fallout 76 regarding investing in the game's quality.

The notorious filing cabinet quickly became a meme in the Fallout 76 community,[9][10][11] with players making sarcastic responses about how the cabinet is amazing,[12][13] critical videos,[14][15] artwork,[16] posts criticizing Bethesda for feeling the company was shafting the paying playerbase, refusing to use the item because they felt that the item represents Bethesda being anti-consumer, or finding ways to scornfully mock the item in their C.A.M.P.[17] They also encouraged other players to not pay for 1st, not display the filing cabinet, not shop at C.A.M.P.s that have it displayed, and felt the situation echoed the original class war controversy of 1st, pointing out that poorer 1st users will tend to value what the monthly item is more, while richer 1st users will tend to view the monthly item as more of a superfluous bonus item. Within the 76 community, the cabinet became more than a virtual office-themed object, instead becoming a politicized symbol of sorts.

Some players were indifferent and bewildered by the backlash, mentioning they do not care about the monthly exclusive reward and felt that the anti-cabinet side were acting entitled or overreacting, while the anti-cabinet side felt these players were condoning and enabling mediocrity for paying and poorer players.[18] To counter the anti-cabinet side, some players adopted a pro-cabinet stance and chose support Bethesda,[19] renewing their 1st and choosing to display the cabinet in prominence, furthering the vilification from both sides.[20] While the previous controversy created a rift between 1st and non-1st players, the filing cabinet created a rift between poorer and richer 1st users, with players humorously calling the debacle the "Fallout 76 filing cabinet civil war of 2022."[21][22]

Gallery

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References

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