Bethesda has announced the remaining time frames for Break-it Early Test Application of Fallout 76, or B.E.T.A. for short.
The shortest times are causing some alarm among players though. On Tuesday, November 6, players will be able to get into the game for a whopping two hours from 1-3pm ET. Players are worried that these shorter stints will cause some weird gaps in progression. Thankfully, the sessions on November 8 will see players returning to West Virginia for a six-hour time limit.
Though it is understandable why Bethesda is choosing such short time frames, intermixed with longer ones. The idea seems to be that they want to gauge player progress in a situation where players are rushing to experience as much content as possible, then compare that behavior to a more casual experience in the longer sessions. That is a pretty neat little trick to finding game balance that I enjoy seeing, because it means the design is influenced by real-world behavior. And since it’s often nearly impossible to predict the strange ways in which players will break games, pushing that mentality to work all of the kinks out ahead of launch is good. Bethesda also probably wants to see what happens when gamers really hammer the servers, with thousands trying to connect and play.
And while the progress in-game during these testing phases will carry over to the full launch, I’m not as concerned about new players getting steamrolled. Fallout 76 is taking it easy on new players, because the game won’t allow people to be flagged for PvP until level 5, so things should balance out in this situation.
Fallout 76 launches soon on November 14th, 2018 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.