PCG Article Starfield article-never run out of fuel

Todd Howard says you'll never run out of fuel in Starfield because it's a 'fun killer' | PC Gamer

My most anticipated game in the past 10 years, I soak up any article about Starfield. It's an ambitious game with all its many features (and hopefully not overly ambitious), but I was disappointed that this feature was cut, at least initially.

To me, running out of fuel is part of survival (and poor planning on the players part), and I love the survival modes, mostly from mods, for Bethesda games like Fallout 4 & Skyrim. It adds a whole new complexity to gameplay, and I love complex details like that as it adds to my immersion in a game's world. Running out of fuel just leads to so many variables and other encounters or possibilities for divergent gameplay.

But I also understand that certain features had to be scaled back, with all those variable scenarios having to be calculated within the game, especially with Starfield already being delayed once already. I am encouraged by this statement from the article:
Howard does note that Bethesda may return to some of these ideas post-launch with some sort of more hardcore survival mode.

Whether Bethesda does this or not, I do think that the mod community will find a way to work this back into the game, but I hope that Bethesda address' this as well, because it's not a "fun killer" to me.
 
I can see how it would be hard to make it a fun mechanic. I've had the issue in the survival mode of Fallout: New Vegas where, in the beginning, I would have to spend a lot of time trying to find food and water "instead" of playing the game, until I got rich enough to be able to buy whatever I needed, which invalidated the entire mechanic.

So I'm happy it'll be an optional thing. I personally don't want Starfield to be a survival game and I don't expect it to feature a lot of divergent gameplay either. I'm fine with a universe that just has a ton of pre-written content.
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
951
2,508
12,770
I generally agree with Todd, but... they should make it optional at least. I mean, there's a lot of ways to explain why ships don't need fuel, but it could add some spice to the game. I finished Fallout New Vegas in survival mode and it was a great time although later in the game the mechanic became a little annoying. I didn't have the courage to play Skyrim this way mainly because it disables fast travel and doesn't introduce Mark and Recall spells in its place. But again, probably Todd is right.
 
@Pifanjr and @Sarafan - I agree that "survival modes" should be an optional choice and not every player wants to deal with the added gameplay elements, it's just one of those things that make me more immersed in the game world, even if it takes me out of my chosen path to survive or disables fast travel systems. The best survival modes in Bethesda's games have been from various mods, and I'm sure that it will eventually end up being the same for Starfield.

The thing I imagine about running out of fuel in Starfield, is all the possibilities. You try to fly to a certain planet, but you run out of fuel due to not knowing the right amount of fuel needed. Or that fuel station you "thought" was there, was taken over by pirates. Or maybe your were a space combat situation and your fuel tanks were ruptured. Those types of situations force the player to take alternative measures or make difficult choices. All those types of situations are random and what make Bethesda RPGs great, at least in my opinion.
 
I don't mind having some survival mechanisms with a little risk involved. That is one thing I enjoyed with Metro Exodus on the hardest difficulty. At times you had to plan a little ahead and take into consideration if you had enough oxygen or bullets to survive the next battle and if you did not, then you would have a hard time. A little risk here could be something like the old Atari game Gravita where you had to find the best passageway because if you didn't, you would run out of fuel and not complete the objectives. What if you could just glide if you ran out of fuel? Think off having an old cassette tape in the ship, flip on some David Bowie with Space Oddity and slowly glide around in the universe until you find a fuel resort or something you perhaps could salvage as fuel.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
What if you could just glide if you ran out of fuel?
Well, you should, but how would you stop?

Minimizing fuel is definitely a fun game to play, especially with newtonian mechanics where you need fuel to start, stop, and turn!

Think off having an old cassette tape in the ship, flip on some David Bowie with Space Oddity and slowly glide around in the universe until you find a fuel resort or something you perhaps could salvage as fuel.
Just make sure I've got my Peter Shilling option!
 
You are setting yourself up for disappointment there... its a Bethesda game, I know its going to be ..... (insert expletives).

MInd you, in my eyes. they have never made anything good.
That's okay, I know Bethesda-type open world RPGs aren't for everyone, they've just been a mainstay for my gaming time since the release of the Elder Scrolls Arena back in 1994. I know I won't be disappointed. I also know there will be bugs & glitches, I expect that, I don't think it's possible to make game of that size with all the different variables with the influx of millions of players different choices & actions. Bethesda will be busy maintaining & patching Starfield for the next 1-2 years easily. Sometimes those glitches are funny.
 
I'll probably have an unpopular opinion on this. But I think it's a good thing, and I think they're just staying in their lane. Survival games and story-based RPGs are two different types of games. Sure, there is always going to be some survival stuff in a story-based RPG, but that's not the main thrust. I say let it be what it was meant to be first, so we can enjoy it for what it is. Then down the road, they'll probably do what they did with Skyrim and put out a big update that adds survival as an option. But not until people have had a chance to enjoy it as a story-based RPG first.
 
I'll probably have an unpopular opinion on this.
I'm fairly sure the vast majority of players will not care about a survival mode and would prefer less survival mechanics.

I personally think the survival modes in Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas (the only ones I have experience with) feel tacked on, creating tedium without any reward in the beginning and becoming virtually meaningless once you have enough money, unless you add self-imposed restrictions.
 
I'm fairly sure the vast majority of players will not care about a survival mode and would prefer less survival mechanics.

I personally think the survival modes in Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas (the only ones I have experience with) feel tacked on, creating tedium without any reward in the beginning and becoming virtually meaningless once you have enough money, unless you add self-imposed restrictions.
I'm not a huge fan of pure survival games. I did enjoy No Man's Sky a lot, though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pifanjr
@WoodenSaucer & @Pifanjr - I think you're both probably correct, that the majority of Starfield players wouldn't want to deal with those types of survival mechanics, such as running out of fuel. To me, those types of gameplay elements add immersion, hardships to be overcome, and divergent gameplay that you might not see otherwise. For the developers, I imagine that it's a nightmare to program in all those variables, and considering that the release date has already been bumped, it's understandable that they had to at least initially cut that feature.

Even if they don't add it in at a later date, I'm sure modders will create a few survival mods, and when it comes to Bethesda RPGs, the best survival mechanics that I've experienced, have come from mods anyway, and superior to what Bethesda implemented.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY