Paid subscribers to Fallout 76's new membership service, Fallout 1st, have formed an in-game "apocalyptic aristocracy" of sorts. Fallout 1st was announced and released on the 23rd of October as a premium service costing $12.99 a month or $99.99 a year. The service gives players access to a number of in-game perks, including unique emotes, in-game resources, a regular income of premium currency, and the ability to play on a private server.
Fallout 76 launched to overwhelming negative feedback, with players citing countless bugs, many of them game-breaking, in addition to generally boring content even when the game functioned. The game was also the subject of a fair amount of controversy both before and after release, including one notorious case of false advertising where players who preordered the premium Power Armor edition of the game received a cheap nylon bag instead of the high quality canvas bag they were promised. While Bethesda has been struggling to address player feedback and improve the gameplay experience, locking the improvements offered by Fallout 1st behind a paywall has not gone over well with most players.
That being said, there are certain players who have embraced the new subscription software for its added utility, despite reports that the biggest features in Fallout 1st do not actually work. Days after the release of the service, it was reported that non-subscribers were targeting and attacking players who had subscribed to Fallout 1st. This has led to the formation of an in-game clan of players called the Apocalyptic Aristocracy, composed of paid subscribers who are seemingly attempting to separate themselves from the "rabble" of non-paying players.
The Apocalyptic Aristocracy was formed by players looking for a safe haven from the strong anti-Fallout 76 bias that is flooding the internet. While most paid subscribers genuinely enjoy the game and appreciate the features Fallout 1st has added, there are many others on the internet who are surprised and somewhat disgusted that there's anyone left on the internet who's willing to support Fallout 76. While the Aristocracy was founded partly as a joke, with the name serving as nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek reference to a conflict that many members believe is spiraling out of control.
It's clear that Fallout 76 is a flawed video game, with a long history of errors both technical and economical. While Fallout 1st is no less divisive than the rest of the game, it is clear that there are still people who enjoy the game for what it is and are happy to pay extra to improve their own experiences with it. Whether or not Bethesda can expand its player base to include more than faux aristocrats remains to be seen, but it is important to bear in mind that not everyone in the world considers Fallout 76 a total mistake.