Fallout 76 Has Built in Speed Hacks Because the Physics Engine Is Tied to Its Framerate

cageymaru

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According to PC beta testers for the game Fallout 76, Bethesda has tied the physics engine of the multiplayer game to its framerate. By simply editing a .ini file or pointing the camera at the ground, players are able to attack and run at bionic man speeds. Bethesda promises to have a fix for the issue at launch. At least they extended the beta to find more bugs.

Update: Bethesda has confirmed to Polygon that it's aware of the issue, but says a fix won't be out until the game launches.
 

Dekoth-E-

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A fix won't be out until it launches.

Translation: we can't actually fix this so we are going to hope this blows over enough to sell as much as we can before people figure it out that we can't fix a game breaking design flaw. Because that is what this is. This was a brain dead decision by someone that has hard coded a major design flaw into the game. That is NOT a bug.
 

Zepher

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I didn't get to try it out the other day, got hit with the re-downloading the entire game bug and got tired and went to bed, but I'll try it today.
 

Zepher

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I am also a 21:9 user and this game currently doesn't support 21:9 so I wouldn't buy it anyway. I pre-ordered the game and canceled the other day but I still have beta access so I am still going to play it a bit since it's free, lol.
 

Templar_X

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Sadly it has been this way for Skyrim and Fallout 4 (both use Bethesda's Creation engine). Fallout 76 is on the same engine so there you go. =/

Edit: It saddens me that after all these years, after Morrowind and Oblivion, with Bethesda having such a large user base, financial backing and interesting lore they don't seem able to put out what I would consider a polished title.
It's always the "Bethesda" experience. It was kinda acceptable in the early 2000s, but after that it seems they didn't know how to evolve into a better studio and got lost into launching the games in the same buggy state every time. Then steps in the community with bugfixes and mods making the games reach their potential.
Don't get me wrong I've had a lot of fun with Bethesda's games through the years, but that just makes it more frustrating I guess. So much potential gets ruined by poor execution that happens again and again, never learning from past mistakes.
Well, they're raking in the money every time so I guess it works for them.
/rant over
 
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ChoGGi

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Well.... If they kept the code base (relatively) clean then I wouldn't see any reason to just scrap it, but it's a game company so it's probably horrid and ready for the dumpster :)
 

gamerk2

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I'd hate to be the poor bugger having to go spelunking through the code base for this.

Probably really easy to find. It's probably within the main game loop, which looks something like this (at a REALLY high level):

while (Running)
Do_Physics
Do_Graphics
Do_InputOuput
wend

Which ties everything to how fast you can render (since that's the slowest thing in the loop, it dominates how fast it executes).
 

AlphaAtlas

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Note that modder's fixed this for SSE some time ago, and it was actually pretty simple (if a bit hacky). It just adjusts an ini setting based on the current framerate:

https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/18160

And that's the same engine Fallout 4 runs. Interestingly, no one has ported the fix to Fallout 4 yet, but it has the exact same havok ini setting. That also means a fix on Bethesda's end should be trivial...
 
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CombatChrisNC

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There isn't some kind of clock in a PC which it can use? I don't know, like the ghz of the CPU? Or the clocks for the RAM? Hell, SOMETHING other than the framerate!
 

djoye

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Bethesda fix: Set fallout.ini to read-only and tell people to please not edit the ini file.
 

DPI

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A bug in a ..beta.. is frontpage news? Maybe if it had slipped through to release it would be worth getting upset about.
 
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I am also a 21:9 user and this game currently doesn't support 21:9 so I wouldn't buy it anyway. I pre-ordered the game and canceled the other day but I still have beta access so I am still going to play it a bit since it's free, lol.

Haha thanks for the info 3440x1440 also, glad I didn't waste my money on this garbage.
 

cageymaru

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A beta having a bug is frontpage news?
Well it has been in the game engine for other Bethesda titles forever. Better to make it known to Bethesda that it isn't acceptable now before people are skating 200 mph across the game world in PVP.
 

Armenius

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I'd hate to be the poor bugger having to go spelunking through the code base for this.
They just have to actually update the engine to something that has been common for 20 years or better: Put the physics update loop in its own thread and update it at a fixed rate so the rendering thread can do its thing as fast as it can. Hell, you can still do it in a single thread, you just have to dynamically calculate the physics with delta T.
 

ChoGGi

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I'm sure the fix is easy, I was more commenting on the edge cases which I'd expect to find in a ? 10+ year-old engine.
 

chockomonkey

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Sadly it has been this way for Skyrim and Fallout 4 (both use Bethesda's Creation engine). Fallout 76 is on the same engine so there you go. =/

Edit: It saddens me that after all these years, after Morrowind and Oblivion, with Bethesda having such a large user base, financial backing and interesting lore they don't seem able to put out what I would consider a polished title.
It's always the "Bethesda" experience. It was kinda acceptable in the early 2000s, but after that it seems they didn't know how to evolve into a better studio and got lost into launching the games in the same buggy state every time. Then steps in the community with bugfixes and mods making the games reach their potential.
Don't get me wrong I've had a lot of fun with Bethesda's games through the years, but that just makes it more frustrating I guess. So much potential gets ruined by poor execution that happens again and again, never learning from past mistakes.
Well, they're raking in the money every time so I guess it works for them.
/rant over
Exactly right. I remember when Skyrim came out with their Creation engine touted as "new" everyone was so excited, myself included, that finally all those bizaree Gamebryo engine bugs of Bethesda's games would finally find in the past a place of rest and ultimately humor.

Not long after everyone got their hands on Skyrim did we discover that the frame rate was locked. Not hard to unlock it, so we all did in order to have 60fps for PC (of course), and then plates began flying off the shelves!

So here we are a whole 7 years later and they haven't moved beyond whatever core of the Gamebryo engine they still are using? A company with that kinda money? Just sad.

This is front page news IMO. It's news like this that really cements my understanding of what kind of company they've become. A real pity especially with their new Elder Scrolls game already in the development cycle.
 

Charlie_D

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There isn't some kind of clock in a PC which it can use? I don't know, like the ghz of the CPU? Or the clocks for the RAM? Hell, SOMETHING other than the framerate!

Haha, some old games, etc. were tied to the frequency of the processor. It worked, except a faster system would speed up the game dramatically (of course, this was when single digit Mhz was common in a CPU).

The turbo button on old PCs slowed things down for you (or sped them up, depending on your POV)
 

mbelue

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Zenimax has the one of the best engine developers on the market under it's umbrella.

They also have a developer in denial about one of the worst games on the market.

Seems like the solution is close to the vest.

Just pay id Software to make their Doom engine into better middleware and first Bethesda to use it.
Surely any additions made to it would be attractive to other 3rd party licensees?
Or has iD completely abandoned the idea of selling it's tech?

Then again iD couldn't be bothered to make their own multiplayer for Doom, so nevermind.
 
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Again they made this mistake, first Skyrim and Fallout 4 where if you didn't lock frames at 60htz it would cause major aberrations to occur, how could they be this stubborn to understand the issues that can crop up from do this.
 
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Exactly right. I remember when Skyrim came out with their Creation engine touted as "new" everyone was so excited, myself included, that finally all those bizaree Gamebryo engine bugs of Bethesda's games would finally find in the past a place of rest and ultimately humor.

Not long after everyone got their hands on Skyrim did we discover that the frame rate was locked. Not hard to unlock it, so we all did in order to have 60fps for PC (of course), and then plates began flying off the shelves!

So here we are a whole 7 years later and they haven't moved beyond whatever core of the Gamebryo engine they still are using? A company with that kinda money? Just sad.

This is front page news IMO. It's news like this that really cements my understanding of what kind of company they've become. A real pity especially with their new Elder Scrolls game already in the development cycle.

You really start seeing the issues when modding and creating mods for Fallout 4 or Skyrim, they need to start from scratch, as Upisnotjump proved a cheesecake can get you to the loading screen.
 

ZiggyDeath

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I wonder if the associated loadtime "bug" is also still present. This "bug" made Skyrim and FO4 unplayable for me.

This issue is far worse than needing a 60fps lock. In some instances, load times gets linked to fps.

So what happens is you use vsync or a fps lock to 60 to prevent this hyper physics situation, but load times go from <10s transitions to >minute long load times.

Basically the game can't exceed 60fps or it goes crazy, but during loading screens you want >200fps.

And yes, there's a mod that fixes this by dynamically toggling on and off a 60fps cap during loads...

/smh
 

HeadRusch

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You guys are crying about physics engines and all Zenimax and Bethesda really care about is selling another round of Pip BOy collectible pins, figures and ironic t-shirts, robes, hoodies, shoes, pacemakers, evening wear, top hats, sporks and fruit roll ups........to all of us.

Fallout 5 will still have 320x240 texture maps and characters that animate like rigid stick-figures, and it's all our faults.

Cuz this crap is still as good as it gets for us right now until someone tries to do better.
 

Krenum

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You guys are crying about physics engines and all Zenimax and Bethesda really care about is selling another round of Pip BOy collectible pins, figures and ironic t-shirts, robes, hoodies, shoes, pacemakers, evening wear, top hats, sporks and fruit roll ups........to all of us.

Testify!

Fallout post Bethesda is a shining example of how an idea can become an institution. They took a well liked cult classic and made it into a mockery of itself. Anyone want a Vault Boy cake pan? I bet you can find one.
 

Bullitt

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Again they made this mistake, first Skyrim and Fallout 4 where if you didn't lock frames at 60htz it would cause major aberrations to occur, how could they be this stubborn to understand the issues that can crop up from do this.
I have been going absolutely crazy in the past week trying to troubleshoot why I could only get 48fps out FA4. I had changed video cards since original purchase and monitor (144hz) and finally got to the bottom of it. I can't believe they'd introduce a PVP MMO based upon this limitation. Definitely off my purchase list.
 

AlphaAtlas

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Zenimax has the one of the best engine developers on the market under it's umbrella.

They also have a developer in denial about one of the worst games on the market.

Seems like the solution is close to the vest.

Just pay id Software to make their Doom engine into better middleware and first Bethesda to use it.
Surely any additions made to it would be attractive to other 3rd party licensees?
Or has iD completely abandoned the idea of selling it's tech?

Then again iD couldn't be bothered to make their own multiplayer for Doom, so nevermind.

That's what I always thought! If Zenimax just hired fraction of iD's tech gurus to work on gamebryo for a generation, it would go a long way.


FO76 just might be the wake-up call Zenimax needs to do that. They can't get away with messy technical issues in an MP game like they could in Fallout 4/Skyrim.
 

Sycraft

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physics tied to frame rate, what have we gone back to 92???

spawn the physics off into a separate thread and fully decouple it....

lazy developer.....

I have no idea who they are still doing this shit. What's even stranger is they have an MMO engine that it is NOT tied to framerate. Elder Scrolls Online uses a different engine from the single player ES/FO games and it isn't tied to framerate. You can run it at 144fps, and there are no changes. Given that it is already a MMO engine, I would think that would be what they would base 76 on, rather than the single player engine that they use for the others. Apparently not. I mean ESO's engine isn't great, it descends from Hero Engine (they claim it doesn't but there's evidence in the executables it does) and has plenty of issues... but so does the Creation Engine (which descends from NetImmerse) they use for their other games and the ESO engine is already fully set up for multi-player.
 

Spun Ducky

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I remember in the late 90's early 2000's going through the opengl game development book and one of the earliest things it covered was decoupling your framerate from physics lol
 

doublejack

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The obvious answer is to stop patching patches and make a new engine thats not a decade old.

I think they should just move to id Tech 6. It would not be difficult to build the features into id Tech 6 that are needed to flesh out an RPG, and then they would be on one engine for the bulk of their games... one that is arguably the best engine in the business. It is console compatible, too. This seems to be the obvious solution.
 

M76

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physics tied to frame rate, what have we gone back to 92???

spawn the physics off into a separate thread and fully decouple it....

lazy developer.....
Performance can affect the physics even if it is not tied to the frame rate, so don't assume the worst immediately. It's really hard to do physics that gets you consistent results regardless of the performance.
 

AlphaAtlas

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Probably wasn't much of an issue with the non-MP titles.

It was if you wanted to play over 60 fps. The janky physics would break heavily scripted sequences (like, for example, the iconic Skyrim intro), which would get quests stuck, bug NPCs and so on.


There were other issues too, but that's the big one, and unfortunately it wasn't readily apparent to players who just forced VSync off in their control panel. I've seen quite a few bug reports that were almost definitely caused by a high framerate.
 

alxlwson

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This is disheartening. I have been very excited for FO76. No UW support, and game breaking 60Hz BS. No thanks.
 
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