Starfield.

Roxxsmom

Beastly Fido
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
23,226
Reaction score
11,150
Location
Where faults collide
Website
doggedlywriting.blogspot.com
Wow, what a huge game! I just got it and am a few hours in now. It's very much a Bethesda game, with many of the game mechanics (good, bad, and ugly) from Skyrim and others. I was hopelessly bad at placing objects in skyrim, and the new game has pretty much the same mechanics. I am great at carefully trying to place an object on a shelf next to other knick knacks, and BAM, everything goes flying. I haven't discovered yet whether the mechanic of coming back to find all the stuff you carefully place has somehow ended up all over the room again. Used to drive me nuts in Skyrim wrt home decoration.

Starfield is a space game, which means there are some new things to master too, especially the interface for ship operation. So I've found a fairly steep learning curve and it seems to require a lot of flipping between view screens--more than what one had to do with Skyrim. As is common with Bethesda games, the in-game tutorial is pretty limited. I've had to resort to going online to figure out how to do some things.

The main quest of the game is okay. I wouldn't put it on the short list of all-time great story quest chains, but it's interesting enough to keep me on it, and it does take you places in the world and allow you to work through some of the game mechanics. As one would expect, it's very open world with tons of side quests and choices, and no one seems to mind if you go off on your own and do something else for a while. I am an explorer type gamer by nature, so I enjoy poking around in corners of a world, discovering stuff. This game definitely caters to that. I understand that there will be opportunities to purchase, steal, and build ships too. I am interested in how that will unfold. I'm using the starting ship thus far.

It's a SF game, so the aesthetics are kinda grungy compared to what is typical in a fantasy game. I don't know why SF game designers always assume the future will be all grim, utilitarian interiors, looming gantries, bare metal, and rust-stained concrete walls (outside the private quarters and parts of the capital city, which are more decorated). Keeping one's sanity in space will probably require careful attention to aesthetics in living space, imo. Also, for whatever reason, finding a new ammo pack, rigged out gun, helmet or spacesuit, or explosive isn't as "exciting" to me as finding a bundle of magic arrows, cool armor, a new magical sword or bow, etc. But that's what it is, and I enjoy SF too.

One thing about the game, though, is it takes a fair amount of computer to run the PC version. My old PC, which I have owned for years, barely meets the minimum requirements, but it was rather overbuilt when I purchased it (it has a highish end i7 processor and a GTX 7Ti video card).

My new computer, a mid-level "gaming tower" build from Digital Storm, exceeds the recommended specs in all but the video card (a lower order RTX), but it's running it fine with good, crisp graphics, no stuttering, and a decent framerate. I'm surprised a Bethesda Game would have such a high spec for a standard type of 3rd person, single payer RPG. It's hardware requirements are considerably higher than the requirements for BG3, for instance. I've never been one to purchase the highest end, state of the art PCs, because I don't do 3D or first person shooters (both of which make me a bit ... woozy, as well as not being great at them with my aging reflexes and stiffenng hands). Generally, mid-level gaming tower type systems have been well in excess of the types of games I play for many years.

This may be a PC barrier for some people who can't afford gaming rigs or have one they've been playing on for a few years. I haven't tried running it on my older pc to see how one that just reaches the minimum specs works.

My biggest complaint, and it's one many share, is no local map. The M key brings up a more galactic view, where the finest you can zoom in is at a planet level where various landing spots are highlighted. Once you start exploring a landscape or city or compound, though, you're on your own to remember where you've been. There's a scanner with a quest locater that helps a bit, but it's curious that there's no equivalent of gps or google maps in this futuristic setting. I imagine modders will provide maps for the major cities, at least. As a completionist, it drives me sort of nuts to not be able to tell if I've expored every niche of a zone.

That's Bethesda too: leave some elements of the game unfinished or klunky and rely on modders to fix the issue for "free," then of course they can disavow any reponsibility if said mods mess other things up ;) But past Bethesda games at least gave you local maps of dungeons, compounds, towns and so on. It's a bit of a head scratcher, but I'm getting better at it so far. I haven't modded yet, as I want to get a sense of how the vanilla game works first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lizmonster

Roxxsmom

Beastly Fido
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
23,226
Reaction score
11,150
Location
Where faults collide
Website
doggedlywriting.blogspot.com
Another thing frustrating me about this game is the lack of decent forums.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a Bethesda sponsored Starfield forum, though they have one for ESO. There's a Discord server, but Discord forums seem to resemble strings of very short texts, not a topically arranged array of in-depth posts discussing gameplay and answering questions. Or if there are actual proper forums somewhere, I don't know how to find them on discord (which I've mostly used to talk to other people when we are playing games online). When I can't figure something out on my own, I have to do an internet search, which inevitably tosses up videos that take ten minutes to (maybe) show me how to do something I could get from a bulleted list in 30 seconds.

That's not just Starfield these days--it is an issue with BG3. I guess gamer dudes and dudettes prefer having You Tube channels over websites devoted to games, maybe because it's easier to monetize You tube?

I bought the game on Steam, but the steam forums for rpgs such as BG3 and Starfield are a joke (dominated by right-wing trolls whining about how "woke" the game supposedly is).

Though there was, at least, a Larian sponsored forum for BG3 that was far better than what was on Steam.

The game continues to interest and surprise me, though. There are many different ways to focus game play. One can stick pretty much with the main story and major faction quests, or one can get caught up in endless side quests, or focus on exploring planets, or on designing outposts and starships, or even on decorating one's own home. Typical Bethesda game in that respect. No level cap either, which is nice. This means you can continue developing your character in a new direction, if it turns out what you chose early on had important omissions.