Many people complain about this game, but there are many elements of which show Bethesda are going forwards, not backwards. I believe Fallout 76, in addition to being an MMORPG keeping Fallout alive up until Fallout 5 releases, is a test. It is intended to measure what Fallout players want and to respond to their criticisms in preparation for the next Fallout game. This is evident by Bethesda's "No Man's Sky" approach to 76. When the game released, it was about as barebones as a Fallout experience could be. Players criticized it and rightly so. Bethesda responded with Wastelanders and while they still have made questionable demands of their player base (Fallout 1st for example), Fallout 76 even rivals past Fallout games in content now. This is one of the most understated redemption stories in the video game industry over the past year or two. 1. Static Leveling Due to the MMORPG nature of 76, every area is it's own unique contained zone with different varieties of loot scattered around. The enemies within these areas do not level with the player. Morrowind fans have been wanting static leveling back in a BGS game since forever. Not only does this add to the feeling of progression, but it also marks a turning point in Bethesda's goals and aims. They're not trying to make it accessible to everyone at level 1 like in Skyrim, they're fully aware some areas need to be end-game areas. They managed to throw a few of these areas in past games, Old Olney and the Glowing Sea for instance, but they were never as high-level as say, The Mire and Cranberry Bog for instance. 2. Dialogue Odd for someone to say this about an MMO, but the dialogue in the Wastelanders update for Fallout 76 is well done, at least in comparison to Fallout 4's dialogue wheel. The inclusion of a dialogue box similar to Fallout 3/New Vegas shows that Bethesda are listening to their consumers, if that was ever was a concern. 3. Silent Protagonist Much like the above point, the silent protagonist makes a return in Fallout 76 in large response to criticisms of Fallout 4. Some people argue this is because it's an MMO, but Bethesda easily could have gone with The Old Republic approach and had their four option dialogue wheel make a return. They decided to go with the older, more beloved system. Whether you like 76 or not, you have to give the devil his due in that he's gone out of his way to make people who didn't like it, like it. 4. No Player Backstory Fallout 76 features no character backstory like in 3/NV/4. All that is known about your character is that they wake up after a party in Vault 76 and they escape to roam the wasteland. That is all. You HAVE to be a Vault Dweller like in 1/3/4, but you don't have to be a SPECIFIC Vault Dweller, much like you had to be a Courier in NV, but you don't have to be a specific Courier. Your character is your own. 5. World Design Fallout 76 features a sprawling, active and well-designed world filled with content, unique environments and ways to alter those environments. In many ways, it's map and world design is superior to any Fallout game before it, even the Bethesda ones. Every area features a unique atmosphere, ripe with beauty. So to finalize this post, I will say that Fallout 76 has it's problems deeply rooted at it's core design. However it was never intended to be a Fallout spin-off in the vein of New Vegas. It was always intended to be a fun experience diverging from the traditional Fallout formula and New Vegas was similar in that aspect. New Vegas diverged from Fallout 1/2's isometric aspects while also diverging in atmosphere and tone from Fallout 3. While it never fully diverged in game mechanics from Fallout 3, it was unique to every Fallout game that preceded it in tone and inspiration. New Vegas was the only Fallout game to completely embrace the western aspects that have been embedded within the franchise since the very start. Cowboys, gambling, Eastwood-esque setpieces? All of those have arguably had a small part in Fallout, but they were only ever brought to the forefront with New Vegas. Fallout 76 tries something new and covers uncharted ground. If Bethesda wanted money they would make another singleplayer Fallout game, since they know that sells well. If they wanted a live service, they would attach the multiplayer onto that singleplayer experience. They haven't done that, even if they have made poor decisions in the past, likely a result of the Softworks branch of their company or Zenimax, not the Game Studio itself. The game studio has done everything it can to appease players, even if it is impossible to change the baseline of the game itself.