Veraxus,
Veraxus avatar

Two decades.

Daggerfall was way, way, way ahead of its time… but when Vijay, Peterson, & LeFay left Bethesda it was all downhill. Morrowind was a pale shadow of Daggerfall, and it only went downhill from there as each release stripped back progressively more and more of Elder Scroll’s ambition and personality. Who was responsible for all this anti-ambitious anti-progress? Todd Howard.

HipsterTenZero,
@HipsterTenZero@dormi.zone avatar

Todd Howard more like Todd Coward

Waryle,

Morrowind has never been a pale shadow of Daggerfall. It’s just another take on the RPG genre, and a masterful one.

Of course, it’s not a RPG sandbox like Daggerfall was and that might put off the early Elder Scrolls fans, but it’s superior to its big brother on numerous accounts : story lines, lore, immersion, quests, etc.

Morrowind is a handcrafted marvel with manually placed details everywhere that make the game fascinating and fun to explore, unlike Daggerfall which was big, but repetitive due to its procedural system.

MrScottyTay,

I actually heard recently that morrowind used some procedural tech in the generation of it’s world. They just picked the generation to go with and built on top of it rather than handcrafting from scratch. Which is what starfield should’ve done to at least a handful of planets that are off significance.

abraxas,

For some reason, Elder Scrolls is cursed. EVERY Elder Scrolls game that comes out (except Daggerfall) has a massive number of detractors about some facet of it that is “a pale shadow” of the previous.

I was around when people treated Morrowind like they are treating Starfield now. Then Oblivion had a much smaller complaint-base, but it revolved around the “disappointing lack of immersion” because Morrowind was such an opinionated game. Then Skyrim comes out and “it’s like they put Training Wheels on Oblivion”.

Starfield is just suffering from the same Elder Scrolls curse (but in space). To me, Starfield is a great game that might not be for everyone, but that some of those walking away from it are being told they don’t like it.

And it’s a bit of a problem. There’s not much to change. The story is deep, so they can’t add more story like NMS did. It’s the most stable Bethesda game ever, so it’s not about building stability. The gameplay mechanics are reasonable, so it’s not about adding new systems. Bethesda might well be screwed this time - because there’s nothing to change.

Veraxus, (edited )
Veraxus avatar

Daggerfall had some basic guiding principles that have been slowly stripped away by every new release...

  1. It was unapologetically grimdark. The lore was dark, sinister, and scary... very Robert E Howard meets Lovecraft.

  2. It was obsessed with simulation. They wanted a world that functioned logically... hour to hour, day to day, season to season, character to character, and as seamlessly as possible.

  3. It strove for tabletop-level freedom without limits. You could climb, sneak, swim... across rooftops, in streets, in dungeons... there were no barriers whatsoever.

  4. It reinforced that decisions have consequences, with multiple paths if you followed the main story.

With Morrowind, they killed the grimdark and gutted the lore. They replaced the existential dread of the lore with "weirdness". They took the mature, unflinching tone out behind the shed... replacing it with T-rated YA content. Oblivion finally completed the transition from grimdark to sterile high fantasy. This is especially heinous because the Elder Scrolls Bible laid out the franchise from Daggerfall through Oblivion, and Oblivion was supposed to be the final, the darkest, most oppressive game in the series, being literally about the end of the world.

While Morrowind strove to preserve some of the simulation, the grand multi-season scope pared this back somewhat. From there, it never evolved or advanced at all, with each new game using the same minimal, basic simulation.

The tabletop level freedom was completely axed as a guiding principle. Instead, the gameplay became much more gamey. No longer would you sink if you tried to swim while carrying too much weight, climbing has been completely non-existent, dungeoneering mechanics - and dungeoneering as a major gameplay loop - were removed en masse... and all while the seamless open world has had more and more seams - loading zones, invisible walls, etc - added.

And finally, all consequences were removed as basic principles. You could join any and all guilds or factions, your choices had no ramifications or outcomes or branching paths... there was not so much as an attempt to maintain an illusion of impact on the story or simulation.

These are the things people are talking about when they complain about each new TES game being lesser than the one before. And worst of all, they took all this withering away of ambition and applied it to Fallout, gutting the IP's very soul... and nobody really noticed this trend until Starfield, because it was a new IP that was less prone to being viewed through rose-tinted nostalgia.

Every Bethesda game that comes out (not just TES) is worse than the previous. Objectively. Because Todd Howard has removed every shred of fearless ambition from the company.

Veraxus,
Veraxus avatar

See, this is what I'm talking about. We have entire generations of people parroting this nonsense because they started with Morrowind and never actually played Daggerfall. It's incredibly sad.

mindbleach,

‘I’m idolizing my childhood so you must be too’ is not productive, to put it lightly. Daggerfall has a comically large empty world full of nearly-identical comically large empty towns. It sends you to dungeons that are hideously complex, which is a nice change of pace, but not exactly great to play through. Dialog is a lot more freeform, for better and for worse, and I could at least allow that dialog gets streamlined more harshly in every game.

Look: Daggerfall was ambitious. Its reach exceeded its grasp, by a lot - but it fuckin’ tried. That’s admirable, and something to strive for now that knowledge and technology have advanced so far. But it doesn’t make a jank relic with sink-or-swim gameplay the bestest thing evar. It certainly doesn’t make the homogeneous medieval aesthetic have more personality than mushroom castles, meteorite prisons, and a crab-dome city.

Waryle,

I didn’t start with Morrowind but Oblivion so you can’t blame nostalgia for my opinion, and I have spent around 50-100h on Daggerfall. Now that your point is invalid, do you want to try something else?

zod000,

Preach. Daggerfall was the first PC game I got on release. It was the buggiest game I have ever played, and I loved it. Morrowind was such a shock in size and complexity reduction that it took me a while to like it. In retrospect, especially knowing how the following games went, it was great, cliffracers aside.

Cowbee,

Hot take: Starfield isn’t “dated,” it’s actually a much better RPG than anything they’ve made since Morrowind. However, because they can’t rely on the world building and writing of people who have either left the company or worked for a different company they acquired the IP for, Starfield has highlighted just how bad Bethesda game design and writing truly is when done in a wholly original manner.

It’s still going to be a modder paradise.

Xeraga,

I’ve never played a Bethesda game and unfortunately Starfield isn’t going to change that (at least in its current form). Based on gameplay footage and reviews I’d rather just stick with No Man’s Sky. NMS seems to do the space exploration better and can already scratch that itch for me. The loading screens and fast travel are off putting enough that Starfield doesn’t seem worth my time. The only feature that draws me to the game at all is the ship builder.

Diasl,

I’ll save you the time, the ship builder is fucking awful.

nanoUFO,
@nanoUFO@sh.itjust.works avatar

After fallout 4 it went downhill so try any of the previous games depending on how much dated graphics bother you. With mods most of the older games are very enjoyable.

Cowbee,

Bethesda has been going downhill ever since Morrowind, to be fair. It’s just that with each release, the number of disgruntled people have been growing, and with Starfield its finally the majority opinion.

dangblingus,

Is their game design dated? What other RPG has mechanics beyond “run up to NPC, talk to NPC, receive quest from NPC, perform quest for NPC, return to NPC and get reward”?

I 100% agree that the Creation Engine is hot garbage, but are any other RPGs with cleaner newer engines actually innovating RPG mechanics?

Dukeofdummies,
Dukeofdummies avatar

I mean, that's a quest at it's core but a good game works it into a narrative and makes it blend. Ideally making all 6 steps anything but tedious. Ideally interesting and fun, but at all times avoiding tedious like the plague.

Best example I've seen is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4ADco41g9s&ab_channel=Nathidraws

Two identical "perform quest for NPC"s, which is your step 4. Negotiate for a thing in a briefcase from somebody who probably will double cross you.

Which one is more tedious? Now combine a 4 minute run in a barren wasteland in your steps 1 and 6...

A few other things that Cyberpunk did, There are several ways to handle that mission, those several options can cause 3 major shifts in that faction. Which affect other missions later on, indeed any time you deal with the maelstrom gang.

Cyberpunk had a lot of flaws but, they're at least innovating. I've never been in a legit standoff like that in a game. It's always been in a static looping animation at 8 paces.

Blackmist,

Maybe you’ve heard of a little indie gem by the name of Baldur’s Gate 3?

Although personally I’d take more umbrage with the writing, dialogue, voice acting, and lack of mocap performance over the actual gameplay mechanics.

Bethesda struck gold with Skyrim, but I don’t think they’ve moved past it.

dangblingus,

What I’m saying is that beyond the clunkiness of the CE, I don’t find the flow of gameplay in Skyrim or Fallout New Vegas to be any different than most RPGs, which is to say it’s not in my top 5 criticisms of Bethesda. What they did with Starfield looks kinda boring to me so I’m respectfully passing on it.

I’ve yet to play BG3, but it’s absolutely on my horizon. Just picked up DOS2 and gonna give that a go first.

RGB3x3,

I’ve played Starfield for 30 hours and I’ve played about 10 hours now of BG3.

The difference is remarkable. As far as RPG goes, BG3 actually gives you a way to do the role-play part of RPG. You just have so much choice and your choices have consequences. For example, it turns out, someone died because I left an encounter that I wasn’t prepared for and that came back on me later when I found a guy that I should have had a quest line with.

You have relationships, you can choose several ways to approach problems and quests, and the character building is huge. There’s real strategy to everything.

Starfield is just so bland in comparison.

(BTW, BG3 combat is real difficult early on, where I’ve had to save scum just to make it past some fights, but at lvl 3 it gets more manageable. Definitely take time to learn your party’s strengths and weaknesses.)

Cowbee,

I think “dated” is a terrible concept to apply to game design, despite being able to divide FPS games into pre- and post- Half-Life, boomer shooters are experiencing another boom.

However, Bethesda game design is simply “bad” in my opinion. The RPG mechanics are very surface level and uninteresting, typically an end-game character plays similarly to a beginning character but bullets hit harder or other such styles. Contrast that with games like Cyberpunk, and you unlock new ways to actually interact with combat in meaningfully unique manners.

That’s a very underdeveloped point, but it’s in the right direction I believe.

affiliate,

if you go abstract enough then any game can be dated. all you do is load the game, do some stuff, maybe get some rewards, and then close it.

people are saying bethesda is outdated because of how they implement these abstract ideas. they’re stale and years behind what other games are doing.

visnudeva,
@visnudeva@lemmy.ml avatar

I m a fan of Bethesda games, they all have a taste of something different from the other games, I like starfield, it is easy and fun without too much sugar, It isn’t boring and I do not crave playing it, but I enjoy doing so simply exploring peacefully following the quests and scavenging.

steeznson,

NakeyJakey makes some good points but I personally find his editing and delivery quite abrasive.

dangblingus, (edited )

He’s getting really mentally unwell. He’s great and hilarious, but he’s been on a downward trajectory with his mental health for a number of years now.

Edit: people downvoting me, go watch all of his channel and get back to me. Dude has been public with his mental health issues for years.

kawa,
@kawa@reddeet.com avatar

Yeah but, it has absolutely nothing to do with any point he brings up in th video.

kurcatovium,

Well, I kind of like Bethesda formula so I should be Bethesdas target. Played them since old Arena, through Morrowind to Fallout 3. Stopped there because Fallout 4 seemed like more of the same with less rpg and I did not have HW capable of Skyrim at the time.

Thinking about it I liked Morrowind the most. And the thing I liked the most about it was exploration and discovering the world, that is big, well done, believable and also changes in every region so there aren’t two places that would look alike.

I haven’t played Starfield, but I believe it’s going to miss the exploration part of the formula. Sure, there will be different biomes on different planets, but that’s not the same. I loved how I travelled the world and was amazed by every new scenery that emerged behind mountain ridge. Leaving swamp to get to volcanic plague storm lands. Then travel through beautiful lake district to emerge on vast grass planes… I fear Starfield will be like jumping through this with fast travel.

JokeDeity,

Bro you skipped New Vegas???

kurcatovium, (edited )

It’s not “real” Bethesda. Have it installed right nowand it’s pretty damn good. But not really in Bethesda way.

samus12345,
@samus12345@lemmy.world avatar

Have you still not played Skyrim?

kurcatovium,

Nope. Will probably check it sooner or later, at least I hope.

Aermis,

Uhm. Yeah. Definitely check it out. Get some HD texture mods, ENB and a couple QoL mods and go for it. Some dungeons may get a little familiar but the locations are all unique and gorgeous. There’s even an entire underground world it definitely has the exploration appeal.

kurcatovium,

Checking my Steam, I see I already have Skyrim. Not the “Special edition”, just the old regular one. Will I miss much playing that one over current one?

Mechanite,

If you’re playing the game vanilla you won’t really miss anything, assuming you own all of the DLCs/expansions. Both games are modable but in my experience special edition is much more stable

ICastFist,
@ICastFist@programming.dev avatar

HD textures/ENB are just graphics, which aren’t really needed. The Unofficial Skyrim Patch, on the other hand, is a must have, it fixes fuckloads of bugs (and the fortify restoration alchemy/enchanting exploit), reduces the chance of crashes and adds a bit of deleted or inaccessible content

mindbleach,

And the thing I liked the most about it was exploration and discovering the world, that is big, well done, believable and also changes in every region so there aren’t two places that would look alike.

… and Morrowind achieved that with an island you could chuck a frisbee across, using brown and more brown, and about six minutes of voice acting.

kurcatovium,

Bethesda’s peak moment, no jokes.

Cethin,

You don’t like modern Bethesda. You like classic Bethesda. I agree with you 100%. I hated Starfield.

TheMightyCanuck,
@TheMightyCanuck@sh.itjust.works avatar

It does get a lot of shit and I agree Bethesda is lacking in some creativity departments… but I’d still rate it a solid 6.5-7

I put about 80 hours into it. Enjoyed some aspects, disliked others. It’s just HEAVILY mid in my opinion. Worth a playthrough if you like Bethesda rpgs

ISOmorph,

Thank you for being the voice of reason. Talk about beating a dead horse. If you listen to the internet drama you’d think Starfield is the worst game ever made.

ours,

The way I understand this is not that it’s the worst game ever. It’s that Bethesda should be able to deliver better games.

Ookami38,

It’s not the worst game ever made for sure. It’s definitely the okayest though.

Ookami38,

My mantra around it has been it’s the okayest game of the year.

Jessvj93,

I’ve been saying it’s the most Bethesda game that ever Bethesda’d.

guylacaptivite,
@guylacaptivite@sh.itjust.works avatar

In that way games are very similar to musical instruments like Fender and Gibson. Both have been selling the same thing for decades, their new stuff is pretty much just a shiny new version and the older the better.

Bluefold,

6.5/7 is fine if you’re not paying $70 for the base game. It might be worth it now the costs have come down, but paying a premium price for a mid game justifies some of the shit people gave it.

That said, I played on Game Pass, big fan of the genre, and could only make it a few hours in. Just wasn’t for me. But then I really enjoyed The Outer Worlds and people shit on that too.

abraxas,

It’s really weird how many people stop “a few hours in”. Modern Bethesda games are notoriously slow-starts. A few hours in is still “training wheels” for the game.

I’m not saying you should go back to it, but how did you know it’s not for you that quickly?

As for Outer Worlds. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I’m of the fringe view that it doesn’t hold a candle to Starfield. It has more style, but less substance than Starfield IMO.

Ookami38,

I just have a hard time committing so much time for the chance for something to get good. Same for anything else. People keep telling me to watch one piece, sorry not going to invest time in something I am actively not enjoying until it gets good X hours in. That’s not getting good, it’s Stockholm syndrome.

abraxas,

I mean, that’s what we ALL do when we play an epic-length game. But if you’re not into epic-length games, that’s cool

Ookami38,

I disagree. A lot of epic tales grab you in the opening. In fact that’s a bit of a cornerstone of writing, grab them early. If there’s nothing for me to like in the first two hours of something, why should I assume it’s going to get better?

abraxas,

Fair enough. Don’t read the Wheel of Time then (or any Epic Fantasy, if we’re being honest) :)

Ookami38,

I haven’t read those books, but is there really nothing interesting in them in the first few chapters? No breaks from the norm, nothing to grab you and keep you invested? Tbf epic fantasy, yeah, not my genre but it seems so foreign to me, having it be THAT slow of a burn.

abraxas,

The first book (about 900 pages if I recall) is largely an homage to Tolkien with the slow meandering journey punctuated only by a few action sequences. There’s a few incredible beats (surprise, Wheel of Time is my favorite literature and I’ve read the 14-book series 6-7 times), but the author quickly shows his notorious slow pacing. It is a true joke that he can spend an entire page explaining the braid in someone’s hair and exactly how they pull at it when they’re angry.

But a lot of epic fantasy is notoriously slow with world-building.

chunkystyles,

I enjoyed Outer Worlds. It doesn’t hold a candle to Starfield.

abraxas,

Agreed. I petered out in the early game on playthrough #2. Just decided “this isn’t really worth replays”

wildginger,

Ive not played a single bethesda game beside starfield that didnt hook me a few hours in. They arent that slow to start.

abraxas,

I found Arena horribly slow to start. Skyrim had a “reputation” since release of being a slow start.

prole,

Lol wasn’t Arena the first game they ever made?

abraxas,

Nope, The Terminator came first… And I don’t think that’s THE first game, either.

I only knew this because I did some research out of confusion. See, when I grew up I had a game by a company called “Bethsoft”, and I vaguely remember it being a joust clone (though I could be confusing two things). I remembered it real well because I was 9 years old and their logo was a “tastefully” topless fairy. And you know what “tasteful” means to a 9 year old boy lol

Edit, looks like their very first game was Gridiron!

prole,

Right. Arena is the first Elder Scrolls game.

abraxas,

Right. Arena has a special place in my heart. Never got close to beating it, but played hundreds of hours anyway. I wasn’t very good at finishing games at that age lol.

Daggerfall was a dramatically better experience IMO. Never beat that one either, but I played it more than Arena. If I recall, that one was the one where just chilling out and questing could cause the main quest to timeout.

Omegamanthethird,
@Omegamanthethird@lemmy.world avatar

I feel like that hasn’t been true since Oblivion. Skyrim has you getting dragon powers a few hours in. Fallout gives you a gun and you’re blasting stuff right off the bat.

It’s those earlier games that force you to slow down. Morrowind for example gives you cave outside the first town that will almost certainly kill you if you go in.

abraxas,

Pretty much. In Starfield, the game gives you a ship that can reach about 75% of the star systems, and you can literally just start finding/stealing ships to cross the entire galaxy at the 1hr mark. If you know where you’re going, Starfield gets you in the action blazingly fast. If you don’t, well, that’s why they all (newer ones) hold your hand in the main story.

Bluefold,

For me, it was a lot of small moments that added up quickly. (By a few hours, I gave it at least 10 or so). One big one was I’d chosen the talent where you get a house on a planet but with a mortgage. I thought this would be a cool way to give me an economic incentive to explore more etc.

I get to New Atlantis and follow the quest for this and I find out the ‘mortgage’ has no penalties, isn’t paid in installments, and can only be purchased in a lump-sum. So, it was a talent that gave me the ability to purchase a house and be able to essentially rent it on a per day basis until the full amount was paid. When I finally do get there the house is empty, and not all that fun to be in. No special quests etc tied to it.

Another moment that soured it for me, and this is a minor quibble but again they added up, was visiting The Eye for the first time. There was this big pile of trash in a corridor used as the block to the door to prevent further exploration. It just entirely took me out of my immersion in what should have been an epic moment. So much so I actually took a screenshot of it at the time.

A lot of folks are likely happy to look past those things but they all added up + reviews from folks further along in the story and gameplay giving a bad impression made me move onto something new. Super happy other folks were able to find enjoyment, just wasn’t for me.

I also didn’t resonate with any of the companions to a degree where I found them actively annoying to be around. I know some would say ‘just don’t loot’ but their constant calling out people who like to loot was annoying too.

Whereas with Outer Worlds I immediately loved Pravati (and most of the other companions too). Starfield I felt like I was talking to puppets only there because I was playing the game. Outer Worlds I felt a connection to their stories as much as my own.

That said, many systems in Outer Worlds were underdeveloped and parts of the game felt empty. It was a game of high highs but also low lows. It did make me excited for the sequel to build on that foundation though.

Genuinely curious, but what systems did you feel added more substance to Starfield? Dialogue choices and completing quests in various ways really made Outer Worlds shine for me, particularly in the DLCs.

abraxas,

and I find out the ‘mortgage’ has no penalties

I mean… welcome to Bethesda-style?

When I finally do get there the house is empty, and not all that fun to be in. No special quests etc tied to it.

I can see the value in tying a few quests to it. So is your preference that they gutted the background system entirely? Other than the parents, there’s very little unique content tied to them. They’re just “flavor”.

was visiting The Eye for the first time. There was this big pile of trash in a corridor used as the block to the door to prevent further exploration

Honestly, this feels like DLC-bait to me. I can see why you’d want to “repair the eye to full working order” and maybe we will see that in the future. But for reference, there’s notes that imply the rest of the Eye is fully depressurized and needs to be repaired but time and money don’t allow for it.

  • reviews from folks further along in the story and gameplay giving a bad impression made me move onto something new

This is what I think is happening with most people. They see reviews and they sour of an otherwise great game. I saw this happen with the Wheel of Time show as well.

I also didn’t resonate with any of the companions to a degree where I found them actively annoying to be around. I know some would say ‘just don’t loot’ but their constant calling out people who like to loot was annoying too.

This is a common Bethesda thing. If you want to be as thief, the list of companions that are ok with you stealing from everybody is fairly slim.

but what systems did you feel added more substance to Starfield

For me… to start, I’m a tES lifer. Most of what I like is the things tES does consistently. Grand-Theft-Spaceship. Low consequences. Decente stories for each faction. A good main plotline. Neat mechanics to play with, a few more than you really need. I enjoyed making ships and bases, playing around with powers.

Wide-not-deep is the Bethesda manifesto, but it works for the right gamers.

RiikkaTheIcePrincess,
@RiikkaTheIcePrincess@pawb.social avatar

Help, now I’m stuck on Imgur again v.v

JokeDeity,

How does it compare to Outer Worlds? I found myself really bored in that game pretty often and I’m a huge Fallout fan so it surprised me how bland it all felt 90% of the time.

SeatBeeSate,

I’ll play it when it’s $5

TheMightyCanuck,
@TheMightyCanuck@sh.itjust.works avatar

It’s on game pass… which is how I justified playing it. Not really paying anything extra 🤷‍♂️

affiliate,

i just don’t get the appeal of the game at all. you load in, walk for a few minutes, talk to generic npcs to get generic quests, fast travel, walk for several minutes, shoot your way through unthinking npcs, scan some planets, etc.

bethesdas combat and writing has been lackluster for quite some time, but before they had the excuse of having interesting worlds to explore. here that is not the case. there’s like 3 or 4 copy pasted dungeons on most planets, and the rest is completely barren. i just don’t really see the joy in the game, it all feels so monotonous.

Stovetop,

The copy/paste aspect of it is what really got me, and made me want to stop playing.

I’m okay with procedural generation, and there’s a lot of games that handle that sort of thing well. I never feel like exploration is a waste of time in Minecraft, for example, because there are always unique sorts of quirks about how the world is assembled that can still surprise you even if you’ve played for a while.

Starfield was fun for me early on. I was enjoying some of the sidequests and taking some time to just wander aimlessly in different planets. I would actually wake up feeling excited to play more during that first week.

But there was one moment where I was exploring a new planet, and I came upon the exact copy of a dungeon that I had done once already. Exactly the same, down to the layout of the halls, the trip mines placed up near the entrance, the locations of the enemies, and so on. That’s when it felt like I was running out of things to do. The world is procedurally generated, but it’s procedurally generated in a bad way, where there’s really only a small handful of different “things” that can just be anywhere, and there’s nothing really different in the ways that you can interact with them.

Plus the comedy of being on a no-atmosphere planet and seeing some of the clutter on outdoor balconies be, like, open food and drink packages as if people are just casually snacking in the vacuum of space.

affiliate,

yeah i completely agree. it’s in the details. there are so many oversights and inconsistencies that the game feels soulless, like they didn’t have a central vision they were trying to create. it’s a lot of jumbled parts that oddly feel both repetitive and disjoint. lots of the quests feel the same, and the game just gets so predictable.

abraxas,

I beat Starfield the first time before the bad reviews started overwhelming. And I still don’t get it (except perhaps as hype). Bethesda games are far from perfect (people seem to forget the negativity around Skyrim being compared to Oblivion), but they scratch a particular itch that millions of gamers have and crave.

What terrifies me is that this whole “Hey look, we’re getting 2006 again” attitude is exactly what’s going to kill off the Bethesda “genre” the same way SquareEnix gutted the AAA Turn-Based RPG. Sure, it means we might get a black horse game out of left field (Persona 5, talking about you) but it’s a shame to see so much hate on the style of game that Bethesda is.

And we need to make no mistake. While some complaints have been valid, the biggest ones that started this snowball have been things like “I shoot guns around guards and nobody comments” or “I murder an entire town and then pay a small bounty and everyone’s fine with me again”.

I get the “huge procedural universe is soooo boring” complaint; I don’t agree with it because I loved Daggerfall and because Starfield has more hand-made content than Skyrim, but I can respect it. But that alone doesn’t justify all this “worst game ever” BS. It makes Starfield sound like it’s worse than initial-release NMS was (and I can say from experience, it’s not).

And for me, I just crossed hour 180 with Starfield, and have not been bored once. I don’t expect it to be everyone’s favorite game, but it’s certainly mine for 2023.

chunkystyles,

I put 150 hours into it and loved it. Bethesda is such a giant, and I guess this game had such hype that it completely distorted reality.

Funny thing is, I had no hype for the game. I didn’t think I’d even play it from the early previews and announcements.

But after it came out and people figured out it followed the Bethesda formula and was “Fallout in space”, then I got interested. It had been long enough that I’d played a Bethesda game that it sounded like fun, and it was.

There are a lot of things I’d like to change and refine with Starfield. But it’s still a good game.

abraxas,

Same here. I actually expected to be disappointed from hearing the early complaints. I got an xbox subscription because there were a bunch of games I wanted to play, so I wouldn’t feel bad if Starfield sucked.

Then I’ve ONLY been playing Starfield since.

sexual_tomato,

That’s the thing though- I’ve already played fallout. I’ve already played Skyrim. There are mods and expansion packs that give me more of the same already.

What I expected wasn’t fallout in space, I expected innovation and iteration on a genre, not the exact same things in a new setting.

abraxas,

What I expected wasn’t fallout in space, I expected innovation and iteration on a genre

This is what’s weird to me. Bethesda basically promised “Skyrim in Space”, and that’s what most of the hype started to come from. And they genuinely gave us exactly that.

People who don’t like Skyrim won’t like Starfield. People who wanted something more “innovative” than just Skyrim in Space with Better Graphics were creating their own sort of fabricated hype.

Zahille7,

Personally, I think it feels like a bit of a mix of Oblivion and Fallout 3, but with Skyrim-like updated graphics and such. But I kinda like that anyway.

Patches,

But didn’t give us Skyrim in Space that’s the whole point

In Skyrim you start a quest and then you start traveling to the quest location. A dragon swoops in and you fight a dragon. A spooky cave is along the way and you check it out. An hour has passed and you’re not even at the quest location yet. In Starfield you start a quest, you fast travel to your ship, then you fast travel to the planet the quest is on, you land on the quest location, you walk to the actual and 10 minutes later the quest is done. Nothing interesting happened between the start of the quest and the end of the quest, except maybe for the quest itself.

The adventure was the point in Skyrim. There is no adventure in Starfield because “space is empty, and boring” - Todd Howard.

abraxas, (edited )

It’s kinda hard to respond to you with this when everyone else is arguing “they gave us Skyrim in space instead of innovating at all in the last 20 years”. In fact, just looked back and that’s the exact family of criticism I was responding to.

There is no adventure in Starfield because “space is empty, and boring” - Todd Howard.

Space is empty and boring but still has more hand-crafted (non-procedural) content than the entirety of Skyrim. New Atlantis is arguably as big as the 3 largest Skyrim cities combined. The main quest+faction dungeons are as big as the equivalents in Skyrim.

There’s a genuine argument that maybe we don’t have enough "sprinkled in random places "quest starts that aren’t radiant, considering it’s only 50% more than Skyrim has but an dramatically larger universe. More quests that start like Mantis could go a long way, where you’re nudged towards the quest regardless of proximity. BUT, saying “there is no adventure in Starfield” seems somewhat off to the actual facts of the game… that there’s 50% more adventure in Starfield than Skyrim, but the map is 1000x larger.

guylacaptivite,
@guylacaptivite@sh.itjust.works avatar

The whole situation is blown out of proportion as is tradition in the modern world everybody can agree with that. But the complain is warranted in my opinion. What you might describe as a “genre”(it’s a style) can also simply be arguments against a lazy studio that doesn’t really progress in a meaningful way. Most of the issues people have with Starfield are the same they were having with almost all the games Bethesda makes. They simply ignore criticism about design. Of course it sells so they have an argument for continuing but that attitude made them stagnate as a studio. They never improved dialog choices. They never improved performance and optimization. They never improved npc AI. They never improved on UI design… They’re just painting by the same numbers every time just with the latest new tech in paint. So while the core is kinda dumb fun most of us like, it’s getting old now and we have every right to hold that against them.

We also cannot ignore all of the other studios making games in the same genre. CDprojeckt released Witcher 2 and 3 which are great example of progress and Cyberpunk which had a rocky start but was still miles in front of anything Bethesda story and role-playing wise. Obsidian themselves made a better Starfield since space exploration is a letdown in both. We just got Baldur’s gate but Larian made both Original Sins that were already chock full of what makes BG so great. Add to that Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Dark Arisen, Breath of the Wild, ALL the Souls games except for Demon. All of that in between Skyrims and Starfields releases. That’s a lot of competition, the genre changed and matured just like shooters did and so many other genres since. You just can’t slap a new coat of paint and then act offended by the criticism. Bethesda has shown many times now that they either ignore or simply don’t understand why they are getting negative feedback. Instead they rely on brand name, overpromise/lie, meme about their weaknesses (which is why I think they are lazy, they know) and then deflect criticism or blame players for being too picky.

That being said I also have over 100 hours in Starfield and I’m not saying it’s a guilty pleasure. It is fun to roam around being a half god everybody fears or love and everything being entirely without meaningful consequences. But I can’t ignore the shortcomings. And when I do so I keep remembering I’ve had the same for a decade.

Edit: I also don’t think the game is a 1/10 or whatever. I’d say it’s a 6 or so.

abraxas,

I think we can agree on some things, but I have no choice but to object to “genre = lazy”. There is a massive demand for a very specific set of gaming characteristics. Not only is it a silly move not to “scratch that itch”, but it’s a disservice to the fans of that genre to insist that there’s something inherently wrong to provide the exact itch in question.

I like obscure music from a dying genre that never really had a lot of legs. I just got introduced to a band called October Noir, and they’re blowing my mind. You could call them a cheap knock-off, a lazy attempt to get one last career out of the dead Gothic Metal genre. But as someone who has never had access to as many Gothic Metal albums as the mainstream gets access to Boy Bands, fuck that.

Bethesda addicts would consume 4 “Skyrim-Style games” a year, and have as much patience with them as hardcore gamers can be toward cheap soulsborne knockoffs. And I don’t think it’s an insult to the fan OR the companies making such a game.

guylacaptivite,
@guylacaptivite@sh.itjust.works avatar

Hey it’s totally fine if those games are enough then, more power to you. I still think you’d enjoy it even more if they did try a bit harder. And I’m not saying genre=lazy, I’m saying there is no such genre as a “betheda game”. The lazyness is in the repetition and lack of meaningful gameplay improvement over the years.

abraxas, (edited )

I still think you’d enjoy it even more if they did try a bit harder.

I think that’s true of any game except when it isn’t. Half (or more) of the complaints to me about this game in threads of this post have been about situations where they DID try harder.

Take the NG+. Not only is this the first time they went through the effort to add that, but they arguably did it because it was one of the most requested feature for Bethesda games of all time. Now everyone hates it because “it doesn’t work for me with how deep I go into a playthrough building my base”. Had they “tried less hard” and either not given us NG+ or not given us a base-builder, people would be happier. A Bethesda game doesn’t NEED NG+ OR base-builders, after all.

Also take “how vast and boring space is”. They explicitly took the biggest hand-crafted world they’ve ever made, and the most hand-crafted quests they’ve ever made, and put it on top of a Daggerfall-tier progressive wonderland. All of these things are examples of them trying really flaming hard, to me.

What it really seems to me is that they gave us the kitchen sink with everything everyone wanted, AND Polished it certified less-buggy… and most complaints from people are that they really wanted a game that held your hand a bit more, only had the planets that were hand-crafted (can’t ask for more than the ones they gave, since their hand-crafted mapsize is massive), and didn’t include the heavily-requested features. Oh, and a more realistic physics engine for some reason I still don’t quite get.

Basically, the complaints were “this game isn’t an Outer Worlds remake and that’s what I was hoping for”. As I see it, many of the complaints about Starfield were them doing the opposite of the complaints people had about Outer Worlds in the first place. Do you remember that awkward alien planet in OW that’s only about 500 meters square with invisible walls?

EDIT: To be clear, if someone likes Outer Worlds more, that’s great for them. For me, the only complaints I have are silly ones about the lack of full-lego-power of the ship builder. I’d have preferred a less friendly ship-builder that lets me make the ship happen more like outposts do. Custom doors would be so much better.

guylacaptivite, (edited )
@guylacaptivite@sh.itjust.works avatar

Stop using “it’s a bethesda game” as an argument. It’s weak and biased. It also deflects the fact that Bethesda games are actually marketed as RPG’s so they have to be compared to what available from other studios when talking flaws and features. You might think it’s enough but it’s not a valid argument. Bad AI and meaningless quests are not stylistic choices, they’re weaknesses. Also you have to address the criticism instead of pointing out other aspects of the game. Trying harder might not have been specific enough but what I meant is they don’t seem to work on the major issues they get criticised for over and over again. And by “they” I also don’t mean the individual devs but the company as a Whole. The presence of NG+ does nothing to improve on the abysmal npc AI or astonishing amount of loading screens and fast travelling.

In all honesty, I’ve never heard or read about the issues you are talking about. Even when googling about the NG+ addition it just talks about Starfield, post-release anwyay. And the complains were not “basically not an Outer Worlds sequel”. It was a let down that it isn’t closer, but the complains are about the lack of meat on Starfields large, dry bones. Outer Worlds is just used often as comparison because of the whole Obsidian/Bethesda past collab that make them very similar at their core especially since both are space themed. Nobody not fanboying was actually expecting Outer Worlds 2. The more optimistic were hoping some step forward but unfortunately, the pessimists were right.

That brings to your next point: bigger does not equal better. Bigger is actually a trap. The bigger the map, the harder it is to populate and bring to life in a meaningful way and Bethesda sucks at this. Here it’s once again just large inaccessible buildings nobody lives in and NPC’s just going nowhere 24/7. New Atlantis is the best example of a “big” map that feels completely dead. Nothing happens anywhere in any city that is not scripted anyway. Everybody is patiently waiting the player crosses the trigger that pushes “play” on the tape. I’d be way more excited if Betheda announced a game that brought back the scale to something like Fallout 3.

And you can’t be honestly saying it was polished and optimized. Todd Howard himself has been consistently caught saying it was optimized in interviews post release when the game still didn’t work properly on XBOX. He also blamed the gamers for poor hardware and told them they’d need to upgrade. This is bullshit, they simply didn’t take enough time, they rushed the release. They also repeatedly said they know the modders will fix for free what their billion dollars microsoft backed studio can’t be bothered with. And nobody is asking for more hand holding. It’s actually a common complain on many AAA rpgs and openworld games that everything is a freaking waypoint on your map and you end up looking at your compass more than the scenery. Starfield is no different here, it’s worse since you can rarely reach any waypoint without multiple loading screens and fast travels.

So yeah, I still believe if they listened and tried harder in bettering themselves, you would still get your “bethesda game” experience but better. Their games feel designed by a consulting firm that did a market evaluation and chose the easily added features instead of the core rebuild of their engine and expansion of the writing team. Shiny graphics and large maps are vague enough to hype up the people to pre-order while not actually having to improve gameplay experience, character building and meaningful world events which are hard to showcase pre-release, not to mention to actually do.

abraxas,

Stop using “it’s a bethesda game” as an argument

Alright. It’s fun to me and had they done what everyone else is asking for I wouldn’t have bought the game. And I know of thousands upon thousands fo people who feel the same way. How’s that for an argument? Also bad?

It’s weak and biased

Says someone who is not lacking bias. And who absolutely doesn’t want to have a civil conversation because opening that way is just going to get your interlocutor’s back up.

It also deflects the fact that Bethesda games are actually marketed as RPG’s so they have to be compared to what available from other studios when talking flaws and features

This is just a definition fallacy in action. RPGs are a massive genre with massive walls between the subdomains. Nobody ever expects a Bethesda game to compare with Final Fantasy, or Final Fantasy to compare to Baldur’s Gate. Or Baldur’s Gate to compare to Persona. Or any of those to my dusty copy of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition.

I am a huge fan of Gothic Metal, which technically falls under “Rock and Roll”. But nobody compares the Beatles to Cradle of Filth.

Bad AI and meaningless quests are not stylistic choices, they’re weaknesses

I never said Starfield has bad AI or meaningless quests. Therefore, I don’t have to defend Bad AI or meaningless quests.

…I’m actually stopping here. I’m out of time, and everyone’s hatred for Starfield is just becoming a toxic waste of my chill. It’s unfortunate that in the entertainment community, some people just have to hate on things, and the more their interlocutor enjoys them, the more emotional they become. Like if Starfield is not an objectively horrible game and every fan of it is not just stupid and wrong, there’s something actually wrong in the universe. I spent three hours late night on my 3rd playthrough of Starfield, and I’ve been waiting all day to play three hours tonight and see if I can explore a specific quest chain I haven’t done yet I heard is fucking phenomenal. And that’s a LOT more fun than continuing to argue about it.

guylacaptivite,
@guylacaptivite@sh.itjust.works avatar

Todd? Is that you? And I know you will read this, it’s just human nature.

Yes it’s a bad argument. It doesn’t answer anything. You don’t know thousands upon thousands of people not even mentionning gamers that you talked to that actually played the game and have nothing but good things to say about it. It’s just unproven, unrelated statements. It would still be a bethesda game with all the things I’ve mentionned completely fixed. You just got caught by promises and brand recognition.

I myself said it’s a 6. There’s no hatred i just don’t think it’s the product of a great studio growing to be their best as I’ve thoroughly explained three times now. You just respond pointless straw man arguments when we bring forward valid criticism. You have to defend your points also, and they have to address the points others make. That’s how debating work. You can’t just say “but I like it” and be taken seriously.

You also don’t seem to understand bias. I thought about things I didn’t like and why. Contrary to you I explained with multiple examples why I came up with my opinion of Starfield but you just answer “It’s a bethesda game”. How is that a proper answer? And don’t go with whataboutisms about how the map size is big though, Tell my why the AI got better. Tell me why the quests and choices are good and deep and why the 230000 voice lines make the game better. You go, that’s how you debate. But no you only go back to “but I love it an millions do” on a post about a video (out of dozens) deep diving into the flaw of the game and studio. Tell me why my arguments are bad and why your NG+or whatever they worked so flaming hard on is correcting them.

Also don’t pretend I’m not civil because you disagree and bring forward evidence of your claims. Address the criticism instead of hiding behind your fandom. Don’t use straw man examples like the Beatles vs Cradle or NG+ addition bullshit unrelated arguments. It’s such a bad faith argument you cannot be really believing it’s in your favour. You are free to love it but this was a post about the flaws of Starfield and Bethesda as a whole and, most importantly, why. If you cannot bring anything more convincing than “it’s a bethesda game what did you expect” then you are actually lying to yourself and you know what we are talking about. You just can’t admit it to yourself, because you have to be Todd Howard himself or this doesn’t make any sense.

abraxas,

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    @guylacaptivite@sh.itjust.works avatar

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  • GoodEye8,

    The thing is that for a lot of Bethesda fans the game fully missed the mark that scratches the players itch. If there’s one thing people unanimously agree Bethesda games are great at it’s creating a world that’s interesting to explore. Starfield is by far the least interesting Bethesda game to explore, because there’s nothing interesting to catch your attention?

    Jake brings it up perfectly. In Skyrim you start a quest and then you start traveling to the quest location. A dragon swoops in and you fight a dragon. A spooky cave is along the way and you check it out. An hour has passed and you’re not even at the quest location yet. In Starfield you start a quest, you fast travel to your ship, then you fast travel to the planet the quest is on, you land on the quest location, you walk to the actual and 10 minutes later the quest is done. Nothing interesting happened between the start of the quest and the end of the quest, except maybe for the quest itself.

    In Skyrim a quest is an opportunity to explore, in Starfield a quest is a check on a checklist. I don’t think Bethesda has necessarily lost its magic but I do think Starfield is missing the Bethesda magic.

    Bademantel,

    I had no idea that the game is that bad. Now I really have no interest in playing it anymore.

    Cold_Brew_Enema,

    I mean for me, I just got bored. It wasn’t terrible, but I had no drive to pick it up again after 40 hours.

    Veraxus,
    Veraxus avatar

    40h is where I gave up, too. I would stopped much sooner, because everything feels like the worst kind of MMO grind… but folks kept telling me “keep going, it gets better!”

    Narrator: It never gets better.

    starman2112,
    @starman2112@sh.itjust.works avatar

    In fact, it gets worse. As part of the main storyline, everything you’ve done is erased. It is literally not worth your time to engage with the systems in the game, because everything gets reset. The only thing the main story encourages you to spend time on is the worst game mechanic in anything outside of F.A.T.A.L.

    XanXic,

    I’m sure too people will be like “oh but you played 40 hours! It can’t be that bad” but the first 10-15 are misery from a gameplay perspective, like you’re just trying to level up to get more carrying capacity and get more combat options.

    Bongles,

    There’s too many basic things locked behind perk points before you can even begin doing whatever it is. Like, I spent most of a day to grind to get to be able to buy and fly a bigger ship only to then not be able to put any extra crew on the ship because that is also a perk.

    abraxas,

    That’s…not really true. First, you can get to class C ships at level 4 out of 300+ if you really want to. Second, you can build some pretty decent-sized class A ships.

    Honestly, is this something you’ve just always hated about Bethesda games, because everything about that is true to a greater extent in Elder Scrolls and Fallout games as well.

    Bongles,

    Some of it’s an opinion but nothing I said isn’t true. Sure, if I started the game with the goal of flying class C ships I could get there by level 4, but I didn’t. I played the game for a time doing other things and then came to a point where I saw an NPC selling a ship I wanted. So I grinded to get the money, saw that I needed to rank up piloting but I didn’t have any points. So I needed to level up 3 times and I needed to kill a few dozen ships. So I grinded that out and bought the ship which, with getting the money, took me the better part of a day.

    Then, after I bought that ship and got the ability to fly it I couldn’t add any additional crew compared to my starting ship because that is locked behind a different perk, which would mean 4 more levels (which take time now), and many more destroyed ships with X number of crew on board, to get the most crew on my ship; EXCEPT that it’s a master tier perk so I would first have to sink many more points into that tree to even get there. So I guess screw whatever build I was going for, if I want more crew I have to go deep into the Social tree.

    Take stealth for example. To even get a stealth meter I have to drop a point into stealth. To get a meter that is slightly better and on par with the default stealth meter in their other games I need to put in another point. Want to pickpocket an enemy? Takes a point to even unlock the ability. Want to even use a boost pack? Point.

    It’s fine to unlock abilities through the trees, there’s more of these that I didn’t mention that I’m fine with, but this does not compare with their previous games. In Skyrim, if I want to pickpocket I just try to do it. It sucks for a while but it levels up and gets better by doing it. I don’t need to go grind enemies to level up so that I can get a little better at pickpocketing. If I want to be stealthy I just need to sneak around to work on leveling up the skill and I get the UI from the beginning. If I want to work on the heavy armor skill I don’t first have to get through light armor.

    abraxas,

    Well, it seems contradictory to me and I’m just picking at that. If you care about class C ships, it’s super-easy to unlock (compared to some of the skills in FO4’s base builder). If you don’t, the lack will never matter. You can easily take the Razorleaf through the entire game with few (if any) modifications.

    So I grinded to get the money, saw that I needed to rank up piloting but I didn’t have any points. So I needed to level up 3 times and I needed to kill a few dozen ships.

    I do the same in Skyrim when I want the Meteor spell :)

    after I bought that ship and got the ability to fly it I couldn’t add any additional crew compared to my starting ship because that is locked behind a different perk

    …so? Why exactly did you want to add more crew? I’m having trouble grokking this. More crew is kinda a win-more feature and down that page for a reason.

    Take stealth for example. To even get a stealth meter I have to drop a point into stealth

    Pretty typical.

    To get a meter that is slightly better and on par with the default stealth meter in their other games I need to put in another point

    This blew my mind, but if you’re somewhere you can breathe and take off the space suit, your stealth SKYROCKETs. Walking around stealthily in a heavy space suit is tough.

    Want to even use a boost pack? Point.

    This one is the first one I sorta agree with. I understand thematically why there would be skill involved. But I’ll give you this one. That’s just not enough to sour me on an epic game like Starfield.

    Bongles,

    Take stealth for example. To even get a stealth meter I have to drop a point into stealth

    Pretty typical.

    I disagree here. It’s a UI element that is often there by default in other games from Bethesda. It’s the little eye in Skyrim, it’s the hidden/caution/danger bar in fallout 4.

    This blew my mind, but if you’re somewhere you can breathe and take off the space suit, your stealth SKYROCKETs. Walking around stealthily in a heavy space suit is tough.

    You know I did read that and I think that’s a neat touch, i wish it was explained somewhere in game (if it was I missed it) but it makes sense. I was referring to the UI again, where you upgrade the stealth meter itself slightly.

    …so? Why exactly did you want to add more crew? I’m having trouble grokking this. More crew is kinda a win-more feature and down that page for a reason.

    I bought a ship with 7 chairs, why can’t 7 people sit in it. I understand to a point that it could be for balancing the game, but to me getting the ship with 7 slots should be balancing enough.

    abraxas,

    I mean, at the 1-hour mark I was starting with space piracy and having a blast.

    The first 10-15 are misery if you follow the breadcrumb trail and don’t leave it. But the same is (more) true of Skyrim.

    starman2112,
    @starman2112@sh.itjust.works avatar

    Looking back at the 50 hours I spent on it, I have to contextualize how much of it wasn’t spent having fun. How many of those hours did I spend building an S-class ship and outposts with 4+ materials before I discovered that all of that was utterly worthless due to the main questline destroying everything? Building the ship certainly wasn’t fun. Having a planet on my screen for three hours at a time while I scout for an outpost one pixel at a time was miserable. The point of those was that the reward would be worth it, but then during the main questline it all gets erased and you have to push the stone back up the hill again.

    Contrast that with the game I spent the most time on this year: Hi-Fi Rush. It took me 80 hours to FC that game, and I was having a blast almost the entire way through! The tower was a bitch and a half before I learned the meta, beating Mimosa without taking damage took a good two dozen tries, but you know what Hi-Fi Rush has that Starfield doesn’t? Exciting gameplay. A soundtrack. A story worth paying any attention to. Likeable characters. The Prodigy. Even though replaying every level on every difficulty setting is tedious as all hell, the process of doing it was still fun, and I can still open the game up and admire the Wall. I can’t open up my Starfield file and admire my fully customized ship, the Death of Shame. It was erased along with every outpost and every relationship with every NPC.

    Drbreen,

    Yeah same here. Around the 40 hour mark. I found I moved onto something else. People spending time and resources on building big and different ship designs and building a base seemed pointless to me given the gameplay loop.

    sleep_deprived,

    I was even kind of interested, but then I got further in the main quest and figured out what the ending is…

    Then I felt like there was no point to anything I did.

    starman2112,
    @starman2112@sh.itjust.works avatar

    It’s annoying because a lot of people say it’s no different to starting a new save file in any other game, but no other game encourages you to spend tens of hours on tedious pointing and clicking just to throw it away. Fallout 4’s outpost system wasn’t designed with the intention of deleting your settlements at any point in the story.

    abraxas,

    but no other game encourages you to spend tens of hours on tedious pointing and clicking just to throw it away

    I don’t really understand the NG+ complaints. The game warns several times in several ways you before you do it, and it is absolutely not necessary to enjoy the game. And people who know the reasons you’d want to NG+ because they read spoilers? They ALSO know that they’re going to lose the previous playthrough well before they’ve gotten too deep into outpost design.

    The most common Bethesda play pattern is to reach a point your’e so powerful you’re “just done”, so you go beat the game. You take a break, and come back to NG. The number of people who maintain all the FO4 settlements for hundreds of hours are quite rare. NG+ exists to give people of that most common play pattern the option to start over again and extra content they’ll enjoy.

    Starfield is technically bigger than Skyrim before accounting for NG+. So why punish them for a new feature that rewards what most gamers want to do?

    I feel like this is a “this is why we can’t have nice things” scenario. I have been wanting a fun NG+ mechanism in a Bethesda game for 15-20 years. I hate saying goodbye to my character, but I love rising through the ranks and completing major story quests in different ways.

    starman2112, (edited )
    @starman2112@sh.itjust.works avatar

    The game warns several times in several ways you before you do it, and it is absolutely not necessary to enjoy the game. And people who know the reasons you’d want to NG+ because they read spoilers? They ALSO know that they’re going to lose the previous playthrough well before they’ve gotten too deep into outpost design.

    When a dev says that the game doesn’t really “start” until you finish the main story, I feel like that means it is actually necessary to enjoy the game as they designed it. The game was designed with this form of NG+ from the very beginning. It’s a bit like saying you can stop playing Nier: Automata after 2B’s story. Sure, you can, but it’s super not what the devs intended. Not engaging with NG+ is an option the same way quitting MW2 before No Russian is an option.

    And for people who know the reasons you want to NG+, that causes a conflict. If I know from the start that I’m going to be ditching this universe, I’m not going to be invested in what it has to offer. When I reach the end of the game, _____'s death wasn’t a big emotional moment because I never spent the time to develop a relationship with them.

    NG+ has been sorely needed in Bethesda games for a long time, but saying this is what we’ve been asking for is like saying FO76 was the multiplayer Fallout experience we were asking for.

    wildginger,

    Are you a bethesda dev? Because its like you only understand what the maybe potential intent was of the design, while being completely blind to the massive pile of neon feedback saying that the design failed to achieve the intent.

    abraxas,

    Are you a bethesda dev?

    No. I like owning a home so I opted against gamedev :)

    completely blind to the massive pile of neon feedback saying that the design failed to achieve the intent

    I mean, it’s largely a success to me playing the game. Am I not allowed to enjoy it or struggle to understand why “Game A” might be strictly worse than “Game A plus feature B that many players really wanted”?

    Zoboomafoo,
    @Zoboomafoo@lemmy.world avatar

    The difference is that the actual stated end goal of the game is to go NG+.Not defeat Aldiun, not battle for New Vegas.

    So to use your words, it’s not “Game A plus feature B”, it’s just feature B,

    NG+ as a concept stresses immersion, and making it the point of the game shattered it completely. I like the idea or giving an in-game explanation, and the story they used could have worked, but it needed to be a side quest

    abraxas,

    The difference is that the actual stated end goal of the game is to go NG+.

    I mean, it’s “Discover the secrets of the artifacts”. The main plot is never the goal of a Bethesda game.

    and making it the point of the game shattered it completely.

    Since when? You can say you don’t like it, but it certainly technically worked.

    wildginger,

    Not a great sign if your advice for the game is to not play the main game, tho, no?

    The main line of fallout or skyrim or oblivion may get sidetracked, but its still a huge goal thats genuinely fun and satisfying to complete.

    abraxas,

    That’s not really what I’m saying, though. Bethesda’s signature is always that their faction quests are deeper and cooler than their main quests. You’re allowed not to like that, but it’s definitely how Bethesda works.

    The main line of fallout or skyrim or oblivion may get sidetracked, but its still a huge goal thats genuinely fun and satisfying to complete.

    I agree, as I felt Starfield was satisfying to complete. It’s just not the point. They call them Sandbox RPGs for a reason. For Skyrim, I would take the Companions, Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Winterhold, etc over the main plot every day. For Fallout 4, it was different because the main plot turns into “pick a faction to wipe out the Institute (unless you pick the Institute)”. Yeah, NV is similar with that. It got a lot of flak for that, but I thought it worked. Fallout 3, though… “I wanna make clean water”. It’s fun, but not why F3 is a masterpiece.

    Zoboomafoo, (edited )
    @Zoboomafoo@lemmy.world avatar

    You can say you don’t like it, but it certainly technically worked.

    Don’t hide behind objectivity when discussing art, it’s all subjective all the time, and even statements that declare something is are subjective. The immersion is shattered because that is my experience with it for the reasons I already stated.

    I don’t need to add an ‘in my opinion’ because it never will be anything but my opinion

    abraxas,

    Unfortunately, you’re not the only person I’m discussing Starfield with here, and most are trying to tell me that Starfield is objectively bad. I am not “hiding behind” objectivity, I’m arguing that Starfield isn’t “objectively bad”.

    Zoboomafoo,
    @Zoboomafoo@lemmy.world avatar

    Much like literally, objectively is often used for emphasis, and I hate it, those words shouldn’t be used that way

    abraxas,

    I think people here are actually trying to make objective statements about the quality of the game (that is, lack thereof). Though they aren’t really quantifying good reasons to support that high bar.

    wildginger,

    When people watch the movie Grown Ups 2, there is a chance they might enjoy it despite it being a well recorded shit waste of time film.

    That doesnt mean the entire world lied to hide a secret gemstone. It means that by chance you like an over all bad movie. No one said you arent allowed to enjoy shit films, but your single enjoyment doesnt make the film not shit.

    Same thing here. The NG+ gambit failed, it does not do what the devs wanted. That it happens to work for you is great, for you, but doesnt change its grander failure.

    abraxas,

    When people watch the movie Grown Ups 2,

    Yeah, I really don’t think there’s any substantive way that Starfield compares to “Grown Ups 2”. That’s naked hyperbole.

    The NG+ gambit failed, it does not do what the devs wanted

    Then just enjoy the game that’s bigger than Skyrim and don’t NG+. Bethesda games always include side-quests and mechanisms that some players want and others avoid.

    wildginger,

    It was an example to explain the idea of “you liking this doesnt mean everyone is gaslighting you” not a literal comparison.

    The NG+ is just one part of you being the exception to the rule. Starfield isnt “an amazing game right up until they offer you NG+ then all the sudden it sucks ass.” The story mode reset is just one more thing thats a problem with the design.

    And… Being bigger than skyrim doesnt really matter when “”“bigger”“” means you pick one of 10 buildings at random to respawn in front of me, forever. Its radiant quests as world building, as if radiant quests werent already a complained about issue of monotonous content.

    abraxas,

    So to be clear, you think you can demonstrate that Starfield is the “Grown Ups 2” of video games? This conversation isn’t me arguing there’s something wrong with you for disliking Starfield, but you trying to imply that starfield is a genuinely bad game in some objectively quantifiable way.

    And… Being bigger than skyrim doesnt really matter when “”“bigger”“” means you pick one of 10 buildings at random to respawn in front of me, forever.

    Specifically, Starfield is bigger than Skyrim with regards to hand-crafted content, leaving procedural content out entirely. There’s more hand-crafted locations than Skyrim by square meters, and more non-Radiant quests in Starfield by a fairly large margin (apparently it’s that Starfield has as many hand-crafted quests as Skyrim+Fallout4 combined).

    So no, “bigger” does not mean picking one of 10 buildings at random to respawn. Those 10 buildings at random are yet another of those “added on top of the completed game that people are now complaining about” things like NG+.

    wildginger,

    Not only did I never say starfield was the grown ups 2 of anything, I literally just clarified for you that I didnt claim that. It was an example of the concept of “just because you like something, doesnt mean its good.” I do not know how else to reword this for you.

    If you cant grasp a very simple example, Im not sure how to continue talking with you about more nuanced topics without you completely misconstruing what I say.

    abraxas,

    I’m thinking you can’t continue talking about any topics with me if it’s getting incivil. I’m not looking for reddit 2.0. So I’ll just agree to disagree.

    wildginger,

    Im not sure where this was uncivil, I just dont want to repeat myself 4 times per point

    abraxas,

    There’s this weird anti-hype going on. Realistically, for people not loving it, it’s defensibly a 7 or so. There’s PLENTY of us who put it a lot closer to a 10.

    It’s a lot of things, but it’s definitely not a “bad” game.

    dangblingus,

    Life is too short to play 7’s.

    abraxas,

    I would say life is too short to play games you don’t enjoy. The 1-10 scale is trying to measure overall quality, not enjoyability to an individual.

    I hate Witcher 3. Its 92 on metacritic doesn’t mean I have to force myself to play it more than I already have. But there’s a line after which I usually will not touch a game because its objective failings make it highly unlikely I will enjoy it. Starfield’s 83 in metacritic (not sure why the toxicity hasn’t dragged it down more yet, perhaps because it’s an echo chamber) puts it cleanly in a “give it a chance” level for me.

    SeatBeeSate,

    It just seems terribly mediocre for a AAA game this decade. Definitely not worth $70, and not something to rush out and play. Maybe something we can enjoy a few years from now with proper updates, maybe some fixes mods.

    Bademantel,

    Fair enough but it does sound very repetitive and grindy. Would you disagree?

    Maybe it is not bad but it definitely didn’t deliver what was promised. I know, I know, how could I expect that from Todd?

    abraxas,

    Fair enough but it does sound very repetitive and grindy. Would you disagree?

    How experienced are you with Bethesda games post-1995 or so? They all have the same grind-factor. The game is tuned so you can play and win with zero grind, but it has these “treadmill” mechanics that you can either embrace or skip.

    If you want to max out your perks at level 328, it’s absurdly grindy. But you can beat the game around level 30 or so. If for some reason you want to max out a skill/perk you don’t really use, it’s a bit grindy. But if you use the skills as you get them and get the skills you’ll use, you unlock their levelups asically for free.

    Maybe it is not bad but it definitely didn’t deliver what was promised

    I hear this again, and again, and again, and again. But nobody has yet to cite one promise Bethesda objective broke with Starfield. You say “how could I expect that from Todd”? That means you know what kind of games Bethesda releases. And they promised a Bethesda game in space. And they delivered a Bethesda game in space.

    I underestand people who hate Bethesda games. You can toss a pebble and hit one of them. But I really don’t understand the level of toxicity this time around. I actually almost didn’t buy Starfield, and boy am I pissed because it was a lot better than I expected.

    joenforcer,

    Keep in mind that I haven’t played Starfield despite getting excited by the hype, and then tempering my expectations after remembering getting burned by the hype and purchase of the Collector’s Edition of Fallout 76. My opinions are more of a collective skepticism bolstered by post-hype reactions. The unfortunate reality of the game is that it is a “Bethesda game” with a lot of the magic stripped out.

    The promise of 1000 planets rings pretty hollow when a vast majority of them are desolate chucks of rock, and procedural generation is just an exceedingly lazy way to achieve a bullet point on the hype sheet. The only reason I know it’s 1000 planets is because Todd would not shut up about it like it was some type of huge achievement.

    The fun of “discovery by exploration” – going to continue on a quest and getting stopped by a dozen different interesting things along the way – is completely broken by “fast travel”. A “Bethesda game” that requires you to skip a lot of the in-between and not lose focus on a singular objective does not feel like a “Bethesda game” to me.

    Some of the Bethesda charm comes from the jank of the 20-year-old Frankenstein “not Gamebryo” engine their games are built on. We give them a pass on a lot of this because it can add to the fun. Unfortunately, they spent a lot of time hyping their pride on being their “least buggy” game on release. For a game that cooked as long as Starfield did, they should’ve spent that time rebuilding something modern from the ground up instead of cramming their ambition into their aging platform. Given the time it took, this may be my biggest disappointment.

    abraxas,

    The unfortunate reality of the game is that it is a “Bethesda game” with a lot of the magic stripped out.

    Interesting. I don’t find “Bethesda game” to be unfortunate, and I don’t agree that a lot of the magic is stripped out. No, we do not get the Iconic fallout Vault Boy attitude, but tES never managed to brand itself like that anyway. What “magic” should I be seeing missing from Starfield? It seems pretty magical to me. I’m REALLY holding my breath for a Ve’ruun expansion, maybe some “Legacy of the Starborn” style expansion that leans into the Artifacts and the cycle. And I KNOW space stations are coming (data leaks confirmed there’s code for them), and I’m so excited for when they finally do.

    The promise of 1000 planets rings pretty hollow when a vast majority of them are desolate chucks of rock, and procedural generation is just an exceedingly lazy way to achieve a bullet point on the hype sheet.

    But isn’t that what you’d expect? What do people expect from this? 1000 full-size planets all lovingly hand-crafted on a $1T budget? Micro-planets like some other games did? Taking a step back, remember that Starfield has more hand-crafted content than Skyrim… THEN adds 1000 planets to explore so you have a Daggerfall-like procedural exploration game on top of it. Because a lot of us missed procedural exploration.

    The fun of “discovery by exploration” – going to continue on a quest and getting stopped by a dozen different interesting things along the way – is completely broken by “fast travel”. A “Bethesda game” that requires you to skip a lot of the in-between and not lose focus on a singular objective does not feel like a “Bethesda game” to me.

    Are you that guy who does no-fast-travel runs in Skyrim? Quite literally, Starfield feels like the exact same amount of fast-travel as any tES game to me. FT to this city, kill this person. FT back, report what you did. FT to this area, and go find a dungeon.

    Unfortunately, they spent a lot of time hyping their pride on being their “least buggy” game on release

    For the record, that’s true. Starfield was largely downright stable from day 1.

    they should’ve spent that time rebuilding something modern from the ground up instead of cramming their ambition into their aging platform

    “Should” is a hard point. They’re clearly trying to stay Iconic Bethesda. As far as I’ve heard, Creation Engine 2 is largely a from-scratch engine. The thing is, the goal was for it to still work like a Bethesda game. Largely that goal succeeded. Many of us were craving Exactly Skyrim in Space for 10-15 years now. It’s weird how many people are complaining after they gave us what we asked for.

    I’m IT. I get it. Sometimes you asks for things you don’t really want and it’s my job to say “no” to you. But I actually really wanted Skyrim in space!!!

    chunkystyles,

    I loved it. The reality of this game is so distorted. Yes, it’s far from perfect. But in no way is it bad. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and not everyone will enjoy it. But so many people would have you believe it’s an objectively bad game, and it isn’t.

    gamermanh,
    @gamermanh@lemmy.dbzer0.com avatar
    chunkystyles,

    I mean overall. I agree that parts of it are designed terribly.

    Cowbee,

    It really isn’t, which is funny. It does many things far better than Skyrim or Fallout 4, such as quest design and role playing, it just can’t rely on fantastic lore written by people that either no longer work for the company or never did. Now that they are given the opportunity to be wholly original, the issues they’ve been having ever since Morrowind are shown at full force.

    Bademantel,

    Interesting. As I haven’t played the game, I have to rely on other opinions. Have you seen the video? He gave examples of quests that were in the game. Simple fetch quests (go to A, return to B, sometimes go back to A). They seemed to be designed in a very uninspiring way. Combined with the fact that you basically have to fast travel everywhere there’s little to catch your attention during such quests. In Skyrim, for example, you might stumble across a cave or some ruins. To me, those are the really enjoyable moments. You just explore and start to wonder what you might find next. Is that even possible in Starfield to a similar degree? Because without that im not sure I can enjoy a Bethesda game. It’s not a good shooter, the mechanics are wonky and the UI sucks. Would you disagree?

    Cowbee,

    Fallout 4 was even worse, that’s kind of a point I raise, that Bethesda has been riding the coattails of better lore. There are dumb fetch quests in every Bethesda game.

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