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

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 :)

Thank you for this tip! I had the quest and had been ignoring it. I’m now very glad I did it.

That first mission you’re talking about (at the research facility, right?) was one of the longest ones I’ve encountered in Starfield. Like you, I try to avoid sustained FPS combat – in my case because it hurts my hands. Since that quest, mostly I’ve found that combat has come in shorter spurts. I avoid most POIs because I don’t want to tire out my hands. I have done all the Ryujin quests, but those were mostly stealth missions. You might like those. In one of them my stealth broke down and I had to finish by fighting, but even then I was using a stun weapon.

The UC faction quest has more combat but so far nothing nearly as long and tedious as that research-station combat. The main quest hasn’t been as combat-heavy as that first mission, but I’m not finished with that yet either. I’ve made a lot of my 27 levels by exploring, doing side quests, picking locks, crafting, using the flight simulator.

All that said, please feel free to criticize the game all you like here. I appreciate hearing different points of view. It doesn’t spoil my enjoyment of the game, because I really enjoy it regardless of what others think, and it’s interesting to hear why some things don’t work for other people. Me, I love the exploration, procedurally-generated terrain, outpost-building, ship-modding, and the random things that happen while wandering around.

Also, that’s an awesome photo! Did you take that? That hydroponics module is one of my favorites.

Which reminds me: I’ve started seeing my own photos as loading screens. I didn’t notice until tonight. Have I just not paying attention, or is that a new thing?

Using your own photos as loading screens is a neat little bit. On the other hand I don’t want to take any photo mode shots now because I see them often enough to notice all the poor composition and lighting.

Yeah, I find that was my take on Skyrim. Loved the game, played for hundreds of hours, mainly exploring and discovering every inch of the map (never fast traveled or used a horse) but I barely remember the main quest, and I did every faction line and remember very little of them. I just loved the open work they gave me to create my own stories.

Starfield’s photo system has some nice tools – depth of field, field of view, filters. But I’m usually too lazy to spend much time with them. Now that I’m seeing my own work as loading screens, I might spend more time on nicer photos.

Its like I am playing a different game. :D

OIP

Planets are the worst.

Among other changes, I’d want some jetpacks to be like Anthem or Ironman, ie continuous flight.

Then you could get round the planets more easily, while not changing things up too much.

Then I’d think of a reason why you’d want to do that.

I’ve been meaning to give kudos to Wes Johnson for hamming it up in his role as Ron Hope. I half expected him to break out in a “NOT ON MY WATCH” line from Oblivion during my conversations with him.

Played around just a little with the ship builder. Wow, this thing has terrible usability. I don’t understand which components allow extension to add more modules and which don’t, as the little interface blip things that seem to suggest expansion is possible are apparently mostly lies. I suppose I could watch some tedious video about it, but I feel like it shouldn’t require training to use a core game system.

At the moment my Razorleaf has this blocky reactor growing out of its back like a huge cubical tumor because it provides 6 more power than any of the other reactors at this port…

These are the voice actors for Sarah and Andreja. Guess who plays who.