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

It’s pretty easy on Normal settings. But there are now plenty of different difficulty settings available now. In fact, I wish most games would follow SF lead on this going forward. More options are always nice, plus people can balance their own game according to their own playstyles, preferences and strengths and weaknesses as a player.

Heh, yeah, sorry about that. Definitely you need the skills, but the whole point of it seems to be mostly to look good and play ship builder. If all you really want to do is win space battles (a worthy enough goal), you can do that simply by slapping on higher-tier stuff.

I was aware of the different difficulty options when I started, but don’t feel particularly compelled to change them now. If I ever start a new game (which I doubt, the game is maybe 7/10 for me at this point), I will probably up the difficulty.

As with most Bethesda titles, they try and give you the option of playing the way you want. If you don’t want to mess in all that much detail with ships, you don’t have to. You can simply buy or steal better ships and do minimal, if any upgrades as you go along.

That said, I don’t think class A ships are all that viable in the later game, say between levels 45-60, on normal difficulty. At that point you will need a decently equipped and capable class B ship. Above level 60 class B ships get tough to keep alive in space battles at normal difficulty, so class C is probably a requirement.

You can also substitute perks for better ships. There are perks that improve your shields, ship repair, weapon damage, etc. All without doing anything to your ship.

Any mods out there that simplify scanning? Ie one scan of flora&fauna to complete the entry. Or even better, scanning from orbit so I don’t have to deal with seeing the same prefabs for the 100th time.

Of course. What a stupid waste of time that was.

I beat Starfield. Final mission was pathetically easy, and I didn’t come close to dying. I don’t think I died more than 3 times the entire game! This is the easiest RPG I ever played.

I don’t think it was designed to be hard, not on normal for sure. The harder difficulties make enemies spongier if you don’t use a mod, but don’t appreciably increase the challenge much. It’s more of a roguelike open-world FPS than an RPG really.

That’s a weird take, SF is nothing like a rogue like, not even close. Not at least by my understanding of what a rogue like is.

Got to agree this time. The only roguelike things I can see are those obnoxious cavern dungeons that make you walk all the way back to get out of after everything is dead. At least in rogue the upper levels are full of enemies again…

The NG+ stuff. The game is clearly intended for you to play through it multiple times. You lose all your stuff, but not your skills, each NG+. To me, that’s where the rogue-like elements come in. It isn’t a one for one correspondence–it’s more of a general sort of bent, as I see it. It explains though why so much of the game is as it is.

But, hey, everyone is entitled to their own take.

Starfield is absolutely a Bethesda game in that it follows Todd Howard’s philosophy of choosing “fun” over everything else, and in his mind that means the default difficulty is not going to be hard at all and that you will be able to make choices and do things that make no sense if you think about it. For example, the four main faction quests in the game can be done by a player in the same playthrough even though the setting would seem to make clear that you cannot be a Freestar Collective Ranger and be a high level operative citizen for the UC at the same time. That game doesn’t even try and justify it happening in-game. There are many other examples. But, it does mean you have freedom.

Between the higher difficulty levels and the ability now to granularly adjust difficulty within in that, I think you can create a more compelling and challenging game for your preferences, though. It just won’t be the default normal difficulty.

I see where you’re coming from, but it sounds like it’s really just some very light rogue-like aspect to the narrative arc.

I think the idea that you generally need to start over repeatedly to actually make it to the end of even your first “complete” run through the game is much more important to the structure of a rogue-like, and that’s not the case here.

Yeah, you can pretty much do all the faction missions and side quests in your first “life” regardless of what the story says.

This has always irritated me greatly with Bethesda games (though I still love them). It would be far more interesting and better for repeat playthroughs, to force you to choose between factions and limit the amount of schools/guilds you can join.

I may be misremembering, but I think Morrowind only allowed you to join one House and that was great, but you can then join the Mages, Thieves, and Fighters’ guilds with no repercussions or penalties.

Is it really more fun to be able to do EVERYTHING, Todd?

I’d rather, if you joined the Mages guild and then wanted to later join the Fighters, you could, but then lose your Mages guild membership and maybe face a penalty to spell casting/mage abilities and guild perks. And you could only be allowed to change once per game.

The one mechanic I really liked in Starfield is the skill system where you have to achieve a goal before you could spend a skill point to raise your current level. I wish other RPGs would rip off that mechanic. I can’t remember any other games that do that right now. It does encourage you to spend your skill points right away so you can make progress to the next level. Despite that, I didn’t spend my last 6 skill points as I was purposely handicapping myself near the end.

I am going to admit up front that I have not watched the video I’m sharing and I don’t know who Matty is. But he interviewed Todd Howard for about an hour and apparently there’s a lot of good info about what Bethesda is planning for various games, Starfield included. My understanding is that he confirms that Shattered Space is the first of potentially several annual DLC releases currently planned.

You can, for sure. If you view the game in traditional RPG terms–do the quest–it works. To me, though, the RPG elements are very light. To be anything close to a role-playing game, there would have to be consequences to choices, and in general, there aren’t. “Finishing” the game to me means getting all of the Starborn powers, seeing all of the NG+ world differences, and maxing out your character. And you can’t do that in one run.

Then again, I haven’t come close to that, and have no interest really in doing so!