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Bethesda's tax on new vending machines garners mixed reactions

By Cal Jeffrey · 7 replies
May 9, 2019
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  1. Until now trading in Fallout 76 was carried out in person with other players or you could sell unwanted gear to vending bots. After installing Patch 9, players can place their own vending machines at camp, stock them with gear they want to sell, and set a price. When other players encounter the machine, they can buy available items with Caps.

    There’s a catch though. Bethesda will take a 10% cut from every item sold. The devs claim this fee will help to “maintain the health of the game’s economy and mitigate inflation.”

    Now granted, Caps are not the premium currency bought with cash (that’s called Atoms), so Bethesda isn’t stealing real-world money from players. Still, Caps are not easy to come by, especially for beginners, which is why some are up in arms about the cut.

    “How does taking 10% of our caps in player vending ‘help support a healthy game economy?’” said one 76er on the game’s subreddit. “It will make us charge more than we actually want for the items in order to make up the difference.”

    "This 10% fee has been designed to help maintain the health of the game’s economy and mitigate inflation."

    The player makes a good point. If players know they are going to be charged 10 percent on transactions, logically they will just raise the price to offset the difference. So at first glance, contrary to what Bethesda claims is the reasoning, it will actually cause inflated pricing.

    However, the issue is not so cut-and-dry. As Caps continually enter the economy through questing, the value of the currency decreases. To maintain a steady worth, Bethesda has to have a mechanism to remove them from the game.

    “Having multiple ways to get caps out of servers helps to reduce the overall amount of caps floating around in players pockets,” said another Redditor. “Having a fast travel cost caps and implementing a tax in these new vending machines help to accomplish that goal. Personally, I think we need even more ways to get rid of our caps.”

    The problem with this argument is that players’ wallets are capped at 25,000 Caps. So there is already an artificial ceiling for how much currency can be in the game and it seems rather low. Once players reach that limit, fighting monsters and questing becomes unrewarding, essentially ruining endgame play.

    The small wallets exacerbates the problem increasing the need to remove currency from the game. So it’s a bit of a Catch-22 in trying to regulate the economy, especially when there is no telling whether a player is going to be dropped into a rich or poor server on any given day.

    It will be interesting to see how Bethesda continues to regulate the Fallout 76 economy. Will they make Caps harder to earn? Increase wallet size? Charge more for fast travel or selling? It seems anything they do will be criticized by a portion of the community.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,624   +2,363

    In the real world, as long as regulators put strong and well considered measures in place to prevent "exploits" an economy will balance itself. Inflation is caused by having too much currency in circulation or other factors that devalue money. (These days its often due to governments artificially devaluing their currency to maintain an export advantage.) Quests are essentially printing new money in FO76 - the caps aren't taken from somewhere else in the system, their just created from thin air. Respawning loot and monsters are a nearly unlimited resource except for the rare bosses, which are probably camped to hell like they are in every MMO. The most obvious answer to the problem would be to introduce supply and demand game mechanics. Give NPC vendors a finite supply of caps that can be replenished both through players purchasing items from those vendors and a game mechanic that refills the NPC's cap supply over time (simulating exchanges with other NPCs). The quantities of craftable and common non-craftable items in NPC inventories would steadily decrease over time if players weren't buying enough of them (again, this represents NPC consumer activity). This will all have need to be continually tweaked for balance but other games have done it successfully. I don't know if there are any centralized governments in FO76 but if so its logical that they would tax people for the common defense, infrastructure upkeep - the usual stuff that makes civilization possible. That's another money sink Bethesda could employ.
     
  3. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 132   +166

    I didn't realize Fallout 76 still had players.

    Anyway, for a comparison point, the Auction House in World of Warcraft has always taken a 5% cut of all sales. It rarely even generates much discussion or impact on player strategy, just a fact of life I'd bet most players are not even thinking about most of the time.
     
  4. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 714   +270

    It can also be said that if it isn't sold, no money is made. A 10% tax on a high-priced item will likely lead to that item not being sold. Which is probably what Bethesda was angling at.
     
  5. MasterMace

    MasterMace TS Booster Posts: 69   +40

    As in most games that have currency caps, most of peeps networth is locked up in items
     
  6. PurpleYoda

    PurpleYoda TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +11

    And here I was thinking this game bombed so hard there was no one playing it!! Looks like all those initial reviews didn't paint the real picture and there is still a strong base of fans who do find this game worth their time after all! Good for them. Maybe it will be another case of 'No Man's Sky' where the game only gets better with time ;-) Wonder if Anthem will be next or is it too far gone to have any chance for revival ;-P
     
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,300   +1,751

    This is child play compared to how complex and massive the in-game economy in Eve Online is and the work devs do to not break it :D
     
  8. kmo911

    kmo911 TS Enthusiast Posts: 83   +8

    And they will/ wasnt real tax next time. ?? this is beginning to lol. fallot 4 has unlimited cash. and you can play as a GOD mode. the game is nice to complete. just a warrning dont build too mutch on low levels and up in the sky. it will be removed by game to get better performance. save ofhen and alot. make bacup of youre savegames. if fallout 76 servers goes down crash overheats dds attaced and so on would we lose all our cash or is it stored on homecomputer ?
    they should include sp to get more stach money and then move over to MP. this could be fun when you want to buy something over 30000 caps. it would be a long LOL FAR cry did yeah get it ???
    DO THEY REALLY WANT to loosing cosumers. so let it be. said (name)

    nxt game would be doom 2016 and ethernal with to low poins to get to nxt level. LOL SO sorry but you cant adwange to nxt leve before you have 1 million in points. so it begins so it ends (pc game strofee) gues what game...Dark Angeal name this is FAQ https://fallout.bethesda.net/en/faq so changing ingame tings must be changed here too ?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019

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