Why did Bethesda facilitate Starfield’s environmental damage?

Exploration is a major part of Starfield Experience, with large planetary locations through which to roam the galaxy, but it can be risky. In addition to combat and exploration, the environments contain a variety of hazards, each capable of afflicting the player with specific conditions. However, Bethesda’s original plans for such dangerous environments and hardships were much more complex.

In a recent interview with Insomniac’s Ted Price for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Game Maker’s Notebook podcast, StarfieldTodd the director of Howard explained how and why Bethesda decided to tone down certain elements of the game leading up to launch.

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Creating Starfield with Bethesda’s Todd Howard AIAS Game Maker’s Notebook Podcast

Bethesda ‘got away with it’ and made the enemy ship AI ‘really stupid’

Howard said this in his interview with Price StarfieldThe first concept of environmental damage on planets and in space was dramatically more complex and what he described as “punitive”. Originally, Bethesda wanted players to cycle through different specialist suits for specific dangerous areas, such as irradiated worlds, extreme temperatures, and other environments. Each will impose potentially more significant afflictions and types of damage on the player than reaching the end game, requiring them to respond in order to survive.

To scale things back, the studio “completely eliminated suffering and environmental damage”, to the extent that “you don’t think about it so much.” Howard described the result as creating more “flavor” than the actual gameplay systems the player is required to manage.

Read more: Starfield:Explaining suffering and environmental damage

Suffering was not the only thing that was improved and reduced. Referring to the challenge of designing space combat, Howard said that to avoid scenarios where the player and AI were “just messing with” each other, Bethesda had to “make the AI ​​really stupid” so that To make them easier to follow and pursue during dogfights.

However, environmental damage may cause some changes to be seen in the future. Howard suggested that the grief system may be “something” [Bethesda addresses] going forward.”

Bethesda has hinted that Starfield Likely to evolve slightly over time. As reported earlier in September, The studio is planning to add missing features to the game For longer periods of time. Howard also didn’t rule out possible gameplay additions in 2022 Like a hardcore mode that will increase the difficulty. More Advanced mod tools are also expected to arrive in 2024,

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