Starfield's next update adds new gameplay options, improved maps, 60 FPS support on Xbox Series X, and more

GraniteStateColin

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May 9, 2012
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This is great progress. Well done Bethesda and Starfield team!

My personal biggest complaint/annoyance with Starfield, as someone who otherwise likes to explore planet surfaces, is the repetition of installations (human bases) across planets. I love the game overall, but when I come upon the same exact base with the same exact placement of enemies and loot (the contents of the loot are random, but placement is 100% identical each time), it's discouraging. Just completely breaks any sense of immersion when I see another identical <insert name>.

Maybe this is an unsolvable problem, part of the issue with having only a limited number of hand-crafted bases with a colossally large total land mass of planet surfaces. For those surfaces not to be empty, perhaps these bases must repeat. But just as the repeated "protect your settlement" quests in Fallout 4 become annoying, this similar problem makes exploration annoying.

However, I had a few ideas that could address this and better than the way it works now:

1. Increase natural surface variation and levels of more challenging, possibly semi-intelligent alien creatures and reduce the frequency of human bases so they are naturally at least LESS repetitive. For example, add volcanoes (live and dead), waterfalls, complex canyon systems, etc. and populate these surface features with clever hunting enemies. Because these would all be fully random, there would be little sense of repetition.

2. We already frequently encounter enemy ships on the surface of planets. They could add crashed ships that can't be piloted, but can result in interesting random encounters. I think (not certain), that ships can already be partially randomly generated. Scatter these on the surface in place of the complex, repetitive hand-crafted bases.

3. Create a random base builder. I know these would never be as good as the hand-crafted bases (which are excellent, just terrible when they repeat frequently). Keep their algorithms relatively simple with fully random configurations, enemies, and loot. Avoid putting any stories in them from email or notepads, unless these can also be generated randomly.

4. Stop placing repeating bases altogether. Only place them in specific designated locations. Leave the rest of the planets open for exploration. Along with #1, this would completely eliminate the problem, but would reduce access to human loot -- ammo, money, weapons, etc.

5. Randomize the locations and number of enemies in a base. If they must repeat, at least make them feel less like clones of each other. Make them as different as possible.

6. Track which installations or bases have been used when and ensure the player doesn't run across the same exact base multiple times in rapid succession. If you just encountered a particular Ship Building Factory, then don't let the player see another of that Ship Building Factory for as long as possible. This would at least cause it to FEEL less repetitive.

I'm sure the fine folks at Bethesda can think of more, but those would be a great start and should be within the realm of what's possible for them.
 

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