Fallout 76's latest patch (opens in new tab) hasn't gone down very well among the citizens of post-apocalyptic West Virginia. The update brings with it some big changes to events, a new Nuclear Winter map and a bunch of rewards, but it's the Atomic Shop additions that have ruffled feathers, inspiring a multitude of critical posts on the subreddit (opens in new tab).
Amid the new cosmetic items are a pair of utility items. The refrigerator lets you store food and drink to slow down the speed at which they spoil. The collectron station, meanwhile, sends out a wee robots to search for scrap and junk. They cost 700 and 500 Atoms respectively.
While Atoms can be earned in-game, they can also be purchased for real cash in bundles. Together, they cost 1200 Atoms, so you'd need to buy a 500 and 1100 bundle, amounting to £12/$15. These items, then, cost more than a lot of people paid for the game itself.
Originally, Bethesda said that only cosmetic items would be sold, but that quickly ceased to be true when repair kits were added to the shop. Their addition was controversial, but Bethesda argued (opens in new tab) that they were fine because they didn't give anyone a competitive advantage. Players worried it would be a slippery slope, allowing other utility items into the shop. And they were clearly right.
They might not give anyone a competitive edge, but they still give players willing to splash out an advantage over those who aren't, or at least a less grindy experience. Players seem to be especially frustrated about this because the fridge was originally a community suggestion (opens in new tab), but now the community needs to dip into their wallets if they want to start chilling their food.
One of the most popular posts on the subreddit right now suggests that they should be quest rewards instead, which seems like a much better way to introduce a player-suggested feature. There's just something incredibly weird about a convenient cash shop in a post-apocalyptic survival game, and buying robots and fridges should be a bit more involved than bringing up a menu and throwing money at the screen.