An issue with the Fallout 76 PC beta is forcing some to redownload the game

Update: We're in the beta and playing, though some players are apparently still re-downloading Fallout 76 after the launcher encountered problems earlier today. Bethesda says it's investigating.

Original story: I've been sitting here today watching the Bethesda launcher's Fallout 76 beta timer run down, knowing it would expire two hours early and wondering why. Everything Bethesda has published stated the PC beta would begin at 4 pm Pacific, but the timer was two hours ahead, and clicking on it showed a 2 pm start. I even helpfully (not that helpfully) tried to point this out to Bethesda on Twitter:

When the timer expired, the launcher told me (eventually) that my copy of Fallout 76 was being unlocked, then displayed a 'Preloaded' button, which I clicked, at which point it tried to download the preload again. Which is weird! It's preloaded, there's no need to re-preload it. I hope. (Update: it is now in fact making me re-download the preload. Sigh!)

I foolishly restarted the launcher, at which point I became unable to log back into my account, receiving an error message and being told to check my username and password. Eventually I got back in, but my game library is currently entirely blank. The forums at Bethesda's site are showing a 504 message as well.

Bethesda is currently looking into the issue and hopefully it will be resolved soon. In the meantime, Bethesda asks that we not click on their launcher. Seriously, don't click anything.