When the next Fallout 76 update goes live later today, it brings controversy with it. Bethesda has been under fire for the last week or so for putting Basic Repair Kits into the in-game shop, something many players feel is "pay to win". Basic Repair Kits can be purchased with premium currency (Atoms) which can be obtained at a slow rate through gameplay but can also be bought with real money. Some players believe that purchasing Atoms with cash in order to buy Basic Repair Kits is "P2W".
Many believe that the addition of an easy way to bypass the slow rate of Atom acquisition through gameplay violates Bethesda's earlier promise that the in-game shop would be cosmetic only.
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.
Repair kits come in two varieties, Basic and Improved. Basic Repair Kits can restore any item to 100% and must be purchased with earned or purchased Atoms. Improved Repair Kits are a rare drop obtained only through gameplay.
Bethesda has gone on record as to why they've added Basic Repair Kits to the shop, seemingly at odds with their own earlier words:
We read tons of feedback and suggestions from the Fallout 76 community, and Repair Kits were a popular request that we wanted to get into players’ hands. We also felt we could try out something new with these, both in-game and in the Atomic Shop. As we look to the future, we’re exploring ways we can bring other community-driven ideas to the game as well, such as refrigerators for C.A.M.P.s, ammo and food converters, and even the ability to send scrap to your stash without having to head home.
The Fallout 76 Reddit has been besieged with multiple threads filled with angry players over the decision to add Basic Repair Kits. This Reddit thread, for instance, has over a thousand comments and over six thousand "upvotes".
Ok. So, a non-cosmetic item in the Atom shop. This is not a good sign for the game. Bethesda, no. No. No. This is a direct violation of the 'cosmetics only' promise.
In fact, look at the wording of their post. In the same heading, they mention features such as refrigerators, ammo scrapping and transferring scrap to inventory without stashes: there's a severe possibility that
This game was built on our trust. Bethesda promised us cosmetics only. We trusted them, and stuck through all the bad press and bullshit bugs. And then they decide to betray us.
The repair kits may seem trivial, but they are not the disease. They are the symptom. Who knows what comes next? They are slowly acclimatizing us to more drastic game-changing content in the store. And while this may sound like conjecturing and fear mongering, history has enough precedents.
What are your thoughts on the issue at hand? Tempest in a teapot or troubled waters for Bethesda? Let us know in the comments!