A "Wipe" is the start of a new game season, which involves erasing (or wiping) all player-generated data so all players start over from scratch. This includes:
- Items you bought, sold, crafted, found, stole, etc
- Tents, Safe Houses, and Bases
Everything related to character progress. We all start over and if you want the same faction name you had in the prior season, you need to hurry up and go get it because anyone else might get it first.
Unlike a normal development update which can be implemented without disrupting data during an existing game season, a Wipe happens when the developers are ready to implement new features and changes that are significant enough that they cannot be easily implemented without otherwise adversely affecting the existing game. Some changes alter the game mechanics, for example. A Wipe is needed when new development changes are too complex to be incorporated into the existing game, and thus a routine server restart will not suffice. Developers do not usually Wipe the server often, and instead will allow an existing season to run while they prepare new changes for the next season.
Do not ask about when the next Wipe will be, even after it is mentioned or announced. It's annoying to the developers who often cannot answer that question with sufficient accuracy. You will just be told "Soon" anyway. Watch instead for announcements on the forum. Likewise, do not ask about new features that are not yet officially announced.
Usually there is some time at the end of a season before a new one begins when a wipe date is announced, and players have maybe 2 more weeks to play the current season. Such an announcement will be on the forum and posted by a developer. (Beware of prank announcements by imposters.) During a season's last days, crazy things happen and developers usually have some fun playing jokes on the players. Everyone's tents might become visible to all players! Enemies show up where they don't belong and bases get raided! Items get stolen from private collections and vehicles disappear! Or maybe everyone hanging around in Hub explodes 10 times in a row, or gets repeatedly electrocuted. This time of complete pandemonium is often called Pre-Wipe Madness.
- Date of most recent Wipe: September 01, 2017 - start of Season 3
- Date of prior Wipe: May 1, 2015 - start of Season 2 which lasted 2 years 4 months.
Interesting Notes from Season 2
- 265 max concurrent players online (down from 460 during first session)
- ~91k total characters created
- 44k Total Tents/Safe Houses/Bases created
- Over 3M total items in-game
- ~585M Caps
- ~67M 5mm Ammo
- ~600k Rockets
- ~12.5M Micro Fusion Cells
- ~5600 Plastic Explosives
- ~150k Nuka-Colas
- ~454k Super Stimpaks
- 1 Urn, 1 Easter Egg and 1 Water Flask (who has them?)
- Kilgore's inbox: 1600 Sent messages, and over 9000 Received messages with tears