A group of Fallout 76 players have been permanently banned following a prolonged homophobic assault on fellow players. Good riddance.
The incident in question started when Twitter user AJpls and friends came across another player, NathanTheHicc, who had asked AJpls to trade for a Disease Cure item. When one of the soon-to-be-victims complimented NathanTheHicc’s outfit, he said “I don’t f**k with that homo s**t” and left, only to return a short while later with a cohort.
Fallout 76 uses a proximity-based mic system, allowing players to talk to any others in the vicinity. NathanTheHicc and his friends used this to begin spouting homophobic slurs and threats at the victims, such as “we have come to eliminate all gays”, “queer down”, and “decontaminate the aids”, claiming they were “cleansing the wasteland of the queers”.
The game’s PvP mechanic is designed so that players won’t receive full damage from others as long as they don’t return fire. As AJpls explained in an interview with Eurogamer, his group attempted to take advantage of this by not engaging, hoping the assailants would eventually get bored, but the assault continued on, as the assailants slowly chipped away at the victims’ health. Eventually, AJpls’ group was forced to change servers.
Much of the incident was captured on video and posted to AJpls’ Twitter account.
Called themselves the “gay eliminators” “cleansing the wasteland of the queers” “know what we did to your people back then, we killed them” THIS is the stuff said to us tonight when playing Fallout. @bethesda @BethesdaStudios @Fallout #Fallout #Fallout76 pic.twitter.com/zwPuz7AbsG
— AJpls (@twitch_ajpls) November 16, 2018
AJpls linked Bethesda in the posts, hoping action would be taken against the aggressors, as there is no in-app report function.
“The tweet was forwarded to some community managers for the game and they were very kind and helpful,” AJpls told Eurogamer. “We were given a link to report the players but had issues with it. The site asked for a video file of the incident but the accepted file types weren’t video files. So we couldn’t send one. For me, the page would not even load. It seems very difficult to report players.”
Eventually, the Twitter post got to Bethesda, and the team took action. After a temporary ban of three days to review the incident, the developer decided to ban NathanTheHicc and friends permanently.
“We will not tolerate this kind of behavior by any of our players, nor towards any of our players. We will continue to investigate claims of misconduct or abuse – along with Microsoft and Sony – and take action when necessary.” Bethesda stated.
Eurogamer also managed to get in touch with NathanTheHicc following the first temporary ban. While he claims not to hate homosexuals, and that the incident was simply intended to be playful “immaturity”, NathanTheHicc expressed no remorse over the things he said.
“I do not regret the incident.” he told Eurogamer. “I will not apologize given the opportunity. I don’t plan on doing anything like this in the future but to be fair I didn’t plan the initial incident, I just found them and decided to go through with it.”
While the developer did the virtuous thing permanently banning these toxic players, the inefficacy of the game’s reporting process is only one of Bethesda’s many missteps lately, which include refusing to refund players and falsely advertising the contents of the game’s Power Armor Edition.