Update: As of 1:00p.m. EST, Fallout 76 is offline for maintenance downtime. Bethesda says it will fix the scrapbox bug during this period.
Fallout 76 is having what might be its roughest week since it launched just shy of a year ago. On top of fan disappointment over the pricing and exclusive features of the new Fallout 1st premium subscription service, the patch that added the service appeared to be bug-ridden.
Now, in a statement to Polygon, Bethesda says it is working to release a hotfix for Fallout 1st's exclusive scrapbox item, which has deleted multiple subscribers' inventories of scrap. Bethesda also promises it will improve the exclusive private worlds feature in a future patch, though the studio denies that players are loading into already-looted instances.
Fallout 76 players started reporting issues with Fallout 1st's scrapbox and the functionality of private worlds soon after the service launched on Wednesday. For a $12.99 per month or $99 per year, Fallout 1st promises the ability to host 8-player private worlds, a Survival Tent that acts as a second camp, an NCR Ranger Armor outfit from New Vegas, and a scrapbox item with unlimited inventory space (perhaps the most controversial of the premium perks).
A representative for Bethesda first told Polygon that the scrapbox only appeared to be deleting players' scrap inventories because of a UI issue. Later, the representative confirmed that "a small number of players have in fact experienced a loss of scrap items." A hotfix for the scrapbox deletion problem is now Bethesda's "top priority," and the studio is looking into ways to restore players' deleted inventories.
Bethesda also acknowledges that private worlds aren't working the way that Fallout 76 hoped they might, but only plans to address the invitation problem in an upcoming patch. Currently, anyone on a Fallout 1st subscriber's friend list can join into that player's private world without an invite—this, Bethesda plans to change in a future patch "that will allow Fallout 1st members to restrict access to their servers more completely."
As for player suspicions that Fallout 76 is actually reusing other server instances as private worlds, Bethesda denies the matter. According to Bethesda, "loot is instanced for each player in containers" across private and public worlds, just as it has been between public worlds in Fallout 76." In other words, Bethesda says the mysteriously pre-looted containers in private worlds are just its player loot instancing working as intended.
Currently, the Fallout 76 subreddit is still crowded with posts from players who are disappointed by the advent of Fallout 1st and the rough state of the patch. With the highly anticipated Wastelanders update pushed back to early 2020, Bethesda has a small window to address dedicated fans' complaints before trying to lure in new Fallout 76 players with the promise of an experience that feels more like Fallout.