Now Fallout 76 has been out for a couple of weeks, there are plenty of players who have hit the soft level cap and are now grinding through the endgame.
The endgame for many involves hoping to get crafting plans or schematics for high level items as a loot drop from events or special enemies.
This process would normally be a long-winded, random affair, but players are "server hopping" to get a leg-up.
Server hopping exploits the way Fallout 76 has been designed to plonk players into a random game world each time they log in.
Each time you log in to Bethesda's post-apocalyptic multiplayer game, it finds you a game world to inhabit. Your characters spawns in this game world, which invariably will have various things going on that might not be going on had you spawned in another game world.
For example, certain high level items are sometimes sold by Fallout 76's various robot vendors. After something specific and the vendors don't have it? Server hop and try again until they do.
Here's another example: one of the systems at play in Fallout 76 is public events. These trigger in certain areas under certain conditions, so there's no guarantee they'll be available while you're playing. Some of these public events reward the endgame schematics players are after, so they're worth doing - even if most of them are pretty boring to soldier through.
So, what do you do if you spawn into a game world and the public event you're after isn't live? You server hop and try again.
Players are also server hopping to beat the respawn cooldown on high level enemies, such as deathclaws, and to farm experience points. The video, below, shows how it can be used:
This is what lots of Fallout 76 players who have hit the endgame are doing right now - they're server hopping to speed up item farming. As redditor ambiotic put it in a recent post on the Fallout 76 sub, "Right now end game is essentially server hopping to farm mobs."
The sought-after Handmade rifle was the recent subject of a server hopping guide on the Fallout 76 subreddit. The plans for this rifle are sometimes sold from a couple of vendors on the map, but not always. If they're not there? Log out and log in, and check the vendor again. Players have reliably farmed these plans using server hopping.
Another way to get the Handmade rifle plans is to server hop to farm public events at the Eastern Regional Penitentiary, as pointed out by redditor LoLKolie. The Eastern Regional Penitentiary has two possible events you can trigger by running to the building entrance. Players are server hopping, running to the door, then, if an event fails to trigger, server hopping to try again. Rinse and repeat until you get the plans.
Server hopping in video games is nothing new, but Fallout 76 players are debating whether it should be considered an exploit or whether it's fair game here.
Fallout 76 players who use power armour need as many power cores as possible. Power cores are used to, as you'd expect, power the armour. Under normal circumstances, power cores are pretty scare, but by server hopping you can farm them by finding a place where power armour spawns, then server hopping to get as many cores as you want.
The concern is server hopping negates the competitive resource gathering element from Fallout 76. Why contest a claimed workshop for unique loot when you can server hop until it's available?
Redditor Adamy2004 said: "Let's say someone just started out in the game and went to a nearby farmhouse. In that farmhouse there are a couple good recipe spawns, maybe some aluminium can spawns and some other useful resources. The new player would never even know those spawns are there if some other guy is server hopping and spam farming that location. It just does not make for a good game design."
So, what's to be done? One suggested answer is to put a cooldown on server hopping itself. Another is for Fallout 76 to try to put players into the same server they were in before.
Whether Bethesda addresses this - or even considers it to be an issue - remains to be seen. For now, then, Fallout 76 players remain server hopping mad.
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