Starfield by Bethesda -- PC and Xbox exclusive -- 09/06/23

After my 3rd temple, I just gave up and said I don’t want to do them anymore, lol.

I did all the temples to see all the powers, but the fly through the magic foozle thing got old fast. Like you, I can’t see why they thought it was a good idea to make the player go through that more than once. After the first one, you should have just clicked the door and popped out on the exit door side with the power acquired thing.

Starfield is just a bland, repetitive experience. Every game mechanic has been done better somewhere else and there was no attempt made at improving anything. You can probably site each game mechanic and see how some other game does it better.

I think this game is going to die off fast over the next year. I have been watching the BG3 player numbers vs Starfield, and already BG3 is more than 2x as much concurrent players on steam as Starfield.

I wonder, if in several years from now, if Skyrim’s concurrent player count will outpace Starfield’s. The only thing that can save this game in the future is if the modding community makes some really good overhaul mods that change a lot.

The temples were a metaphor for what BGS got wrong. The first one is cool, an interesting little puzzle. But then the next 20-odd are the exact same thing, in the exact same place, copy-pasted onto nearly identical locations. It’s super lazy.

The Skyrim shouts were all at the end of interesting, unique dungeons. Starfield isn’t Skyrim in space. It’s pretty Daggerfall.

In several years? I bet it will happen by the end of the year.

(Though it’s not an entirely fair comparison, since I’d imagine a huge proportion of gamers got Starfield via Game Pass rather than buying it, while basically everyone owns Skyrim on Steam.)

This bodes well for the sequel; it means we’ll get pretty Morrowind next!

Even ignoring the Game Pass issue I agree but I also think that was going to be a given. The NASApunk, near-future, lower tech, more grounded SF was never going to be as wildly popular as dragons, magic, and all sorts of fantasy aesthetic. Isn’t FO4 a better comparison?

For me Skyrim is a better game but Starfield is a better toy. Modders might make it into a good game later with new mission chains, new NPCs, and a reworked economy but for now it is a big sandbox of parts. Like No Man’s Sky and (way, way back) Minecraft it is a universe in which self directed goals are the important things.

Or it could be going in the opposite direction: I wonder how many newer (younger) gamers will be playing this as their first Bethesda game, not having their opinions influenced by Skyrim/Fallout, and finding it to be “the shit”?

Honestly, I’m not really getting the “this is so bland” vibe when I play it.

I’ve had a ton of fun flying around in space and finding all kinds of random encounters and stuff. There are tons of interesting things to find out there.

Yeah, actually it’s pretty cool how many versions there are of Starfield out there. That was pretty sneaky of Bethesda.

Starfield’s been a mostly bug-free experience for me, but I just hit back-to-back quest-breaking bugs. First is the Mantis quest, which won’t advance despite me reading the note and even going to the planet anyway. Task is highlighted, but Read the Note is still unchecked and no marker is appearing.

Next up is the Red Mile quest. After I agree to the run, the casino owner says she’s going to make an announcement, then gets into a long conversation with an invisible person, and now the quest marker is stuck above her head and I can’t even talk to her.

Tried reloads from earlier saves in both cases to no avail. Amazingly, these are the first quest-breaking bugs I’ve encountered in a Bethesda game since Morrowind. Got through F3, FNV, F4, F4VR, Skyrim, and SkyrimVR all without an issue.

The planetside exploration is the strongest part of this game, for me. Far better than NMS. Celestial bodies rarely have life, planets have moons, and different gravities, biomes, mountain ranges, valleys, and while the life forms are disappointingly earthlike, they at least seem somewhat logical, and not a random assemblage of earth animal parts that make zero sense together.

I’m more concerned with anyone going into the game with the pre-conceived notion that it’s utter garbage, because someone who earns their livelyhood by making social media content with thumbnails that look suspiciously like they’re getting molested by a randy elephant told them so. Because, you know, it’s easier to parrot shit you heard on (enter not-so-social media platform of your choice) than to buy it, play it, and judge it on it’s own merits. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

This cuts both ways, too. It’s incredibly hard to get a somewhat unbiased opinion on for example From Soft titles, and if Hello Games ever gets around to making another major release, I firmly expect some asshat to come crawling from the woodwork and gargle the magic words “BuT SeAn MuRrAy LiEd AnD tHe GaMe sTiLl HaS nO cOnTeNt.”

Now, in regards to bland content in Starfield: Each System seems to have 1-2 POIs as minimum that are marked on the planets when you scan them from orbit, and so far they all seemed bespoke - that’d be around 200 “hand crafted” POIs before you have to resort to generic dungeons for looting and shooting. I’ll investigate further in that regard, mostly due to finding the last 3 pretty fun.

Can’t trust the press, can’t trust the player reviews, can’t trust youtube channels, and doing everything by yourself is pricey and time-consuming (admittingly, it’s pretty fun, though, going in blind and without any expectations, good or bad).
This timeline is truly special. And most definitely took the short bus to school.

EDIT: @TranquilityBase : I’ve had a few bad experiences with breaking Skyrim and FO4 questlines; if you’re on PC, you can investigate on how to set the quest stage via console to skip the broken triggers. Not perfect, but better than nothing.
Some bugs (like random aggro in towns) can be resolved by dismissing your companion and sleeping for 24 hours in your ship. While it didn’t break the Charybdis quest chain, it still was pretty annoying.

Are you saying you don’t find all of the large animals with little tiny wings flying around in NMS plausible??. :)

Plausible, schmausible. Those are my favorite things to ride. :D
Right next to the jetstream-farting air fishes.

I don’t think anyone has said it’s utter garbage - not here that I’ve seen, or in any of the reviews or online comments I’ve come across. There’s just this feeling amongst some that it’s a bit disappointing, not as great as the previous games they’ve made (which also had their flaws). Obviously, not every one feels this way, plenty of people are loving it, too.

I took your advise and started up a new game when I got home from work. Played thru the opening rescue mission. Weird thing is, I’m not sure this is the world I want to be in. Do I want to be in the “real”-ish world, or in the fantasy World of Tomorrow? I keep wondering if I shouldn’t just jump into NG+, skip the main quest, and concentrate on exploration, side shit, and shipbuilding. But Night City looks so fucking good, and the neon drenched noir atmosphere is so inviting. Sigh…

One thing is for sure, my brain can’t handle the different control schemes for both. It’s one or the other. I’ve already jumped numerous times instead of interacting in Cyberpunk.

Just wandered into a place where NPC’s are playing poker, and there’s stacks of credits on the table. Why can’t I play Texas hold’em in this game, Mr Howard, why??

That’s what I’m doing. The are time of interesting side quests.

So I’m about 10 hours in and just can’t even open it again. I said I was done with FPS games a few years ago and so I shouldn’t be playing it I guess?

Meta-question, does a negative take add value to the thread? I’m not all about being negative to you all enjoying the game. I’ve always been annoyed at the QT3 forum for absolutely ragging on a game I like, Civ 6. Why did everyone constantly enter the Civ 6 thread to rant about how much they didn’t like it? It was a downer for me. The art is great in Starfield.

The reasons are all covered by others except a couple; I just don’t enjoy the killing in the game. It doesn’t feel natural in the way it did in Skyrim or other RPGs.

Take the early mission where I killed 30 humans then met the leader of them at the top of the building. I one-line convinced him not to fight, and he let me go. How is that fun? How can I kill so many people in the future and be a functional member of society, leader of an outpost or interact with any human being? It would have taken zero additional effort for devs to re-think this mini-quest, to one where you walk by the pirates who are suspicious but direct you to the top. At the top you have the same conversation, but are motivated to seek a peaceful outcome by the threat of a building full of mercenaries behind you. A higher-skill check would perhaps convince them you’re an ally, and allow you to go through and loot side by side the pirates, while a lower-skill check would say “you can go, but don’t take anything or else”, requiring some stealth looting. No additional game dev effort, much more fun.

The second is how the story is ‘sequenced’ in a way I don’t need any more. Like ABCDEFG. I know side-quests add 1234 in between but the main story arc is very simple. Does it get better? In Subnautica you find PDAs that reveal the story randomly, so you assemble in your head trying to fill in gaps and weird combinations of distant past and recent past. Subnautica - wow, an open world future FPS that I LOVE.

The art is great and there ARE moments of clarity, exploration, and reveal.

So I think what I want is a 1/50th-combat mod, likely a no-campaign mod. I guess.

Maybe I should try using the photo mode for a couple hours, look at this one:

Yeah dude, you are allowed to not like a game and tell folks. Unless you are taking prior they can’t like the game, it’s cool.

The main story arc is ok, but honestly, it’s not the highlight of the game. I like the faction quests, and all the other weird side quests, much more.

The companion quests are interesting too.

You killed 30 guys to get up there, so maybe he was afraid you wouldn’t let him go :)