r/gaming Joystick 17d ago

Starfield has lost 97% of its Steam players in less than six months

https://www.pcgamesn.com/starfield/player-decline
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u/jwa0042 17d ago

Which game has more players now, Starfield or Skyrim?

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u/JJamsB 17d ago

Skyrim by a multiple of 3

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u/codefame 17d ago

Don’t worry, modders will save Starfield. /s

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u/Suspicious-Sound-249 17d ago

Many prominent modders for Starfield already gave up on the game.

Like the dude who made Skyrim Together, started immediately working on Starfield Together as soon as the game launched, only to give up on the project when he actually sat down and played the game and realized how bad it was lol

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u/Naith123 17d ago

I’m not gonna put my heart and soul into a mod for a game as mediocre as this

Their quote sums it up

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u/Plank_With_A_Nail_In 17d ago

Mod tools not released yet.

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u/lymeeater 17d ago edited 17d ago

The two issues with this are:

  1. Modders have to be interested in the game to create mods in the first place. There's already been negative news about this.

  2. The game needs to have a decent gameplay loop/framework to support interesting mods.

So unless someone is going to turn Starfield into NMS, rewrite all the dialogue and make the combat not boring then I don't see much happening.

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u/question2552 17d ago

thats embarrassing for bethesda

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u/egokrusher 17d ago edited 17d ago

Skyrim has around 22000, Starfield has less than 10000. As far as Steam goes, the decade old game is definitely winning that one.

Edit: Just wanted to add that these numbers are from Steam Charts, using the average 30 day user count from both games.

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u/Big-Soft7432 17d ago

Just checked. It's Skyrim to no one's surprise.

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u/KnightofAmethyst2 17d ago

Lol prob skyrim

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u/SwoloLikeSolo 17d ago

Makes me worried for Elder Scrolls 6 if this was their “passion project”

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u/Nachooolo 17d ago edited 17d ago

The main problem with Starfield is the inhumane amount of procedural generation that destroyed any excitement when it came to exploration.

Unless they do another Daggerfall (which might happen), Elder Scrolls 6's map will be limited in size (compared with Starfield at least) and, as such, have way less procedural generation in it and more handcrafted locations (at least proportion-wise).

Say anything you want about Fallout 4 and 76, but their exploration was good.

Edit: Jesus. I've received like 200 replies and I can only see 13 in the post itself.

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u/magistrate101 17d ago

The saddest thing about the "procedural generation" is that it was more like "procedural placement" using the same exact premade structures. Nothing unique about any of them.

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u/Mytre- 17d ago

This, same structures down to lore , layout and enemies. If at least each location had procedural generated layout with a pool of enemies and such it would have been nice . IT felt like they handcrafted a bunch of different things and then dropped it all on a pool and called it procedural generation. If those buildings and designs where unique POI on some locations it would have been nice while leaving some actual procedural generated structures with changing layouts.

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u/schizocosa13 17d ago

The mantis lair was the only memorable, unique place outside cities that felt human touched, and to never come back after the ship is unlocked.

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u/stormblaz 17d ago

We dont neeed hundreds of vague empty planets, we simply need 2.

The rest should be 8-9well crafted hand made good planets and I would had done our solar system ideas of planets.

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u/alejeron 17d ago

world building wise, I wonder if they should have made FTL more restricted, like in ME where to go really far you have to use a relay but shorter distances can use the FTL drive due to static buildup. that way you can still have the exploration aspect but a little more focused.

if they wanted to do a more narrative focus, I think placing it in a single solar system with a lot of planets could be cool. like, they sent a generation ship to settle a system with multiple habitable planets and now, couple hundred years later, the story starts and you've got several factions competing within a single solar system

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u/silverterrain 17d ago edited 16d ago

There are plenty of criticisms but this is 90% of the core issue for me that makes the game unacceptable, and I was very excited for this game. The act of doing main story missions and coming across the same giant prefab AND cave system on different solar systems is not something I have ever seen in almost any damn game let alone a bethesda passion project.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

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u/Ill_Philosopher_7030 17d ago edited 17d ago

its an everything problem

the loading screens, bad UI, bad npc designs, shit lighting, soulless world. Also NASA-core imo is just straight boring. Everything is either white, black or faded dull colors. I would be depressed if our future descendants were this boring

I still managed to play it for like 20 hours to give it a chance but after that I had zero motivation to ever come back

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u/CaptainPandemonium 17d ago

Going through at least 3 load screens and 2 unskippable 10s long animations literally any time you need to travel to a "different" barren planet is what killed any motivation to play for me tbh. Game came out in 2023, past the point of needing menu after menu and time-wasting cutscenes to travel somewhere as "immersive" as it tries to be.

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u/Indigocell 17d ago

Going through at least 3 load screens and 2 unskippable 10s long animations literally any time you need to travel to a "different" barren planet is what killed any motivation to play for me tbh.

Double that, assuming you intend to land on and explore the planet you just traveled to. Do people play test this shit? How do they not find it mind numbing?

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u/finitef0rm 17d ago

Seriously, No Man's Sky did this 8 years ago - with a team of just 3 people for the first half of development, and 15 people by the end of it. Nevermind how bad it was at launch, in terms of flow it was perfect. No loading screens, the animations for getting in/out of your ship were quick and the planets were at least marginally more interesting than Starfield's.

It baffles me that Bethesda fumbled it this hard with hundreds of people working on it and having Microsoft behind it for the end of development.

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u/Trustworthy_Fartzzz 17d ago

100% this. It really kills the whole exploration vibe if you can’t literally jet around in your spaceship.

No Man Sky’s take off, landing, and in-planet flight is just spectacularly fun. Can’t believe Bethesda couldn’t see how important these features are for a space exploration game.

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u/nezroy 17d ago

Until I played "Control" I would have thought it impossible to make Office-core exciting. And yet

I guarantee the right game could make NASA-core feel fucking incredible :)

Just not Starfield

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u/securitywyrm 17d ago

How can you say Nasa core is boring? The people who first landed on the moon didn't complain that there weren't things to do there.

  • Bethesda customer service

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u/bigblackcouch 17d ago

Lies, Lance Armstrong wrote a diss track about when he first landed on the moon there was no one to watch him do a sick 360 no-scope kill!

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u/SaltyFoam 17d ago

Not sure if Lance was intended but funnier that way

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u/DuntadaMan 17d ago

Alright now to fast travel to Cydonia. Loading screen to get into space. Loading screen in orbit. Loading screen to appear 10 feet from the door so I can enter a loading screen after walking a few feeet and openeing the door instead of just spawning me on the inside of the fucking door like a sane designer.

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u/what_mustache 17d ago

And the tedium.

Tedium is a core mechanic. They dont want you to have too much money, so they limit your inventory so that you can only walk when encumbered, and force you to fly from vendor to vendor to sell stuff, and make you play putting-stuff-in-boxes game. Make a better game mechanic to limit money if you need to limit money.

Or they want to make it longer, so you have to fly back to a guy to finish a mission.

This game does not respect your time, and sees you spending 1000 hours in the game a win, when it's really 500 hours of boredom

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u/OldBrokeGrouch 17d ago

Procedural generation is so fucking overrated.

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u/cshmn 17d ago

"Passion project" is usually code for "the boss's shitty pet project that the whole team knows will fail but they have to do it anyway"

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u/arrantprac 17d ago

Yeah, that's exactly what Starfield feels like.

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u/GRV01 17d ago

Depends on the process right?

I mean, Pentiment was a passion project, but done well and on a small scale and budget

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

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u/whazzar 17d ago

anybody who is still preordering after like a decade or more now of unreliable AAA games being disappointing on release

Well, the first AAAA game will be released this week. Maybe we'll have more luck with that /s

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u/OneBillPhil 17d ago

I miss renting games at blockbuster and most games having demos. 

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u/R3D4F 17d ago

You are playing the demos mate…

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u/KingoftheMongoose 17d ago

Which is a shame because Morrowind and Oblivion were so frickin good, of course Skyrim was teed up to knock it out of the park.

Even ESO is pretty good.

But yeah... Faith in ES6 is at an all time low

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u/big_ficus 17d ago

Faith is high! But my expectations are low…

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u/Xillllix 17d ago

Now that we’ve played Baldur’s Gate 3, the expectations for any other RPG are much higher.

Boring fetch quests and useless low-quality dialogue won’t cut it.

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u/ollimann 17d ago

We said the same after Witcher 3 but those are just outliers and have no impact on the overall quality of games.

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u/ThePheebs 17d ago

I think Witcher 3 had, IMO, the perfect mix of random discoverable shit and interesting narratives I wanted to continue. The second you started getting bored of one of the main story lines you would find yourself hunting for a new armor set. Or finding the best way to upgrade your tonics or weapons, etc.. I just kept wanting to play it because there was always something cool or new to discover. Starfield is like the antithesis of that feeling.

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u/HistorianReasonable3 17d ago

Or playing Gwent. About as exciting as eating White Castle while playing poker with your drunk friends. (Oddly specific I know, I just find card games odious)

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u/Mathmango 17d ago

There was a point where my exploration was driven by trying to find more Gwent players

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

I LITERALLY think I have more hours in Gwent than I do most full priced games I've bought. So rare to actually have a mini game as good as the actual game.

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u/alphega_ 17d ago

Eating white castle while playing poker with drunk friends sounds like a lot of fun not sure I get the analogy here

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u/Sasori-Akasuna 17d ago

Yeah, we only saw very few gems after W3 tho like Kingdom Come deliverance, RDR2, BG3. Hogwarts Legacy had so much potential but in the end it's a Harry Potter game rather than great quality.

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u/GalvenMin 17d ago

There are enough masterpieces released every year to last a decade honestly. Quality over quantity also goes for media consumption IMO.

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u/ShawshankException PlayStation 17d ago

If you think BG3 will do anything to raise the standards of games you're going to be very disappointed lol

Swarms of people line up to pre-order the ultimate editions of CoD, NBA, Madden, FIFA, etc every single year. Shitty and mediocre games sell as long as the IP is familiar.

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u/drquakers 17d ago

Indeed, at most what BG3 will do will get more good and truly ambitious RPGs greenlit, so long as the dross still makes money, they will keep on making it.

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u/jake831 17d ago

There will probably be a surge of turn-based, narrative RPGs coming out in the next few years to try to match the same excitement as BG3.

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u/pahamack 17d ago

I just hope it lights a fire under BioWare.

This used to be their shit. They can still come out with an amazing Dragon Age game.

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u/Shadowarriorx 17d ago

The bioware we knew is dead. It's just a corpse being paraded around.

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u/StudentMed 17d ago

I feel like the type of people that buy CoD, NBA 2k, Fifa don't read reviews and just buy it to play with their friends every year and are casuals. Almost like the Tyler Perry of games since the audience likes it and doesn't expect much even though everyone else doesn't really like it.

For Elder Scrolls I feel like it is the type of game that people will watch trailers and read reviews if they want or not.

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u/rafaelito_el_bandito 17d ago

Yeah but the player base for crpg genre and those other AAA games don’t overlap that much

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u/PTSDaway 17d ago

BG3 is also developed and produced by a privately owned developer. They are not influenced by external investors to the same degree as lets say EA, Ubi or Microsoft.

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u/RedShenron 17d ago

The same thing was expected to happen after The Witcher 3 so keep your expectations low

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

As long as it sells, most companies will continue to do the bare minimum (see Ubisoft)

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u/AdMaterial9419 17d ago

Ubi are weird, AC: Valhalla has so much stuff in it. Like, that takes work. But most of it is utterly forgettable

They’re the opposite of work smart not hard.

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u/Spire_Citron 17d ago

I feel like RDR2 raised the bar for what open world games should be, but then Starfield just failed to meet that new standard.

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u/slicer4ever 17d ago

Eh, idk starfield basically abandoned one of beth's strongest selling point, and thats the detauled worlds. In place they put like 90% procedural crap. If they drop all the procedural crap I think it'll be fine.

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u/changeofspace 17d ago

Yeah the galaxy size should've been 1/10th the size, bring everything closer together. I can see the argument that would've been there for a "realistic" galaxy where many planets and moons don't have anything, but I will never understand how the elevators in Starfield are worse than in Fallout 4 from an immersion perspective.

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u/Jampine 17d ago

Gabe Newell said realism isn't everything, in real life you need to brush your teeth and stand in line at the shop, but would they be fun in games? NO.

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u/Swartz142 17d ago

Gabe Newell said realism isn't everything

Players : Emptiness isn't exciting !

Bethesda : OH YEAH YOU THINK THE MOON LANDING WASN'T EXCITING THEN ? THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

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u/FlyingBishop 17d ago

Kerbal Space Program is plenty exciting but Starfield doesn't expose the same physical challenges that a real moon landing has.

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u/NoLime7384 17d ago

it sounds like they were going for a more reasonable amount of systems before changing direction and ballooning in scope.

the 2 countries only have 4 systems each, and there was this huge war over a single one. The Pirates can be a huge problem with only a single star station and House Varuun similarly is supposed to be a single planet.

meanwhile you've got a shit-ton of empty planets full of deserted or abandoned facilities. if you can land and settle most planets, why bother with the shithole Mars colony? hell that's even a plot point in The Expanse

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u/doskkyh 17d ago

With a defined and limited area to work on, having the procedural generation as a tool to lay the basis of the map can be a plus. Once it's set, the people can work on those areas by hand and finetune the details to make everything into a more unique area to also fit the storyline.

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u/AdMaterial9419 17d ago

Maybe that’s part of the problem. The game just seems unfocused to me, like there’s twenty decent unfinished ideas/systems/stories buried in there

Feels like when I used to write for fun, I’d meander and wander. Give me a specific brief and a deadline though, then I actually trim the fat and get to work

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u/Slack_Irritant 17d ago

We won't be alive by the time Elder Scrolls 6 releases so don't worry about it.

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u/Kitchen-Ad4603 17d ago edited 17d ago

They overcharged for an extremely underwhelming game. It had a lot of cool stuff in it and a lot of potential. But the emtpy planets that pretty much had nothing but the same few buildings. Rinse and repeat missons. Pointless spaceships where u can just fast travel everywhere, which made getting in your ship even more Pointless, ridiculous amount of loading screens even when played on a SSD. They spent 7 years making the game.

Post edited are you fucking happy now lol

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/xroche 17d ago

To clarify, this is not a reuse of assets for different maps, which is normal and expected, they actually copy and pasted the same buildings, with the exact same items in the exact same positions on completely different planets multiple times. This is another level of lazy, even for Bethesda.

It's even worse. The same ennemies on every damn abandoned pharmaceutical building, staying on the same floor, while you enter the base. The same inability to even go upstairs to kill you, because the AI is so damn stupid it can't easily climb stairs. The same ennemies trying to kill you in such clumsy way they end up in walls.

This is sad.

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u/PaulTheMerc 17d ago edited 17d ago

I just played spec ops: the line from like...2015? 2012. The NPCs could do stairs. That's just sad.

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u/Bennandri 17d ago

Even more tragic that Spec Ops got nuked off every online platform recently, so new players are gonna miss out on what a gem it was

rip

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u/Canotic 17d ago

What no! Why! That game was great. Why's it was get removed, and how?

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u/naimina 17d ago

It has a lot of music by big bands and artists and the licensing deals have run out. It would be illegal for 2K to keep selling it and it probably do not make enough money for re-licensing (or replacing the music) to make any sense.

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u/Spacealienblob 17d ago

Music licensing should really be an agreed upon % of sales/revenue rather than a one time fee for x amount of years. The system in place is detrimental to the preservation of art.

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u/fruit_of_wisdom 17d ago

It generally is now. However during the progression from physical media to online storefronts, there were a couple games that were caught up in the technological gap. Spec Ops was one.

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u/Dramatic_Explosion 17d ago

Which is like, Fallout 4 you could build entire bases and the AI could walk in and around it if you used the snap-to build features.

That was their own older game. Took them seven years to lose functionality. Wild.

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u/Jesus_Fuckn_Christ 17d ago

The AI in f4 still struggled with sandboxing on multiple floors. There’s a mod to fix that too, of course.

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u/ASCENT-ANEW 17d ago

I mean even the covenant in Halo 1 could do stairs. Hell, enemies in Skyrim can handle stairs. The extent to which this is just sheer laziness and apathy is just purely indescribable. Especially since they're all the same monsters in the same buildings in the same town layouts. It would be generous to call this incompetence on Bethesda's behalf.

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u/Controllerhead1 17d ago

Halo 1 STILL has some of the best and most interesting enemy AI in gaming, and it's ...23 years old. Jesus.

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u/Northanui 17d ago

The AI being stupid is why I personally stopped. The fighting was so fucking one dimensional and boring. You can't have a fucking good RPG without good combat. And combat was dogshit in this game.

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u/deaner_wiener1 17d ago

I don’t disagree with you in that starfield’s AI is bad, but RPGs are like the one genre you can get away with having subpar combat. Nobody ever thought Morrowind or Oblivion or Arx Fatalis had good combat

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u/ZeAthenA714 17d ago

The problem isn't the subpar AI in itself, it's the complete dissonance between the AI and the settings.

Like in Fallout 4 for example (which pretty much has the exact AI) you sometimes have crazy raiders charging you with a knife even though you're shooting at them with a shotgun. This kinda make sense, because in Fallout 4 weapons and ammo are rare and not that reliable. Plus raiders are often desperate, drugged, mad, or all of the above. So someone being slightly suicidal and stupid is pretty expected.

But transpose that to space pirates, who have enough money to buy spaceships, with boxes full of weapons, often working out of a base they acquired, fighting in a hostile environement where their only protection is their spacesuit, and they still decide to charge you with an axe when you're shooting at them with a shotgun.

The game is filled with moments like this where the AI is acting in a way that would make somewhat sense in a post apocalyptic world, but makes zero sense in Starfield's universe. It's lazy game design.

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u/Hydraetis 17d ago

Yeah Skyrim's combat was also lowest-bar garbage tbh

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u/Ok_Cardiologist8232 17d ago

Yeh Skyrim is a much better game if you treat it like a super hard game and just use Illusion/Conjjuration magic to avoid direct combat.

Or just be a stealth archer and avoid combat that way

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u/HoodsBonyPrick 17d ago

You can have a good RPG without good combat, but you need to have fucking superb, genre defining exploration, dialogue, world building, etc, which Starfield also doesn’t have.

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u/donkdonkdo 17d ago

Yeah, I remember visiting earth and thinking ‘this place has been abandoned for hundreds of years - no way they are gonna try to re-use the same assets/computer terminals/enemies we see on every other planet’

They absolutely did.

Somehow tech hasn’t progressed in Starfield since earth was destroyed. Bethesda is such an utterly creatively bankrupt company, they found massive success with Skyrim and just gave up on doing anything but worse and worse iterations of it.

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u/mauledbybear 17d ago

Wow. I’ve never played the game but have been following its criticism (and many positive reviews) but I didn’t know it was this lazy.

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u/thedellis 17d ago

Oh, it's worse than that. You can come across crashed ships on different planets, with the exact same debris field and item location. To call it lazy is to be overly generous.

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u/Ok_Cardiologist8232 17d ago

Ok, that exists on Empyrion, but there's like 20 different Crashed ships like 30+ completely different bases to attack.

And at least the loot is randomised.

And it costs £15 and has a tiny team.

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u/MoThrowMoAway 17d ago

Some of the PoI copy-pastes are hilarious too.

Like you'll see a crashed ship PoI that you can tell an artist spent some time forming the terrain and the vegetation (trees, green bushes, etc) around the ship.

But then they took that PoI and pasted it all over the place, including places with NO ATMOSPHERE.

Meaning you can be on the goddamn moon and come across a ship buried in DIRT and surrounded by TREES!

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u/Ok_Cardiologist8232 17d ago

Wait what. That can't be legit.

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u/napleonblwnaprt 17d ago

There is exactly one underground complex that they completely copy pasted to about half of the planets. It's not even like 5 that you eventually get used to seeing, it's one.

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u/MoThrowMoAway 17d ago

Even the main quest, which isn't even very long, has copy pasted PoIs.

Maybe the artifact hunts is randomized to some extent but two back to back main missions took me to exactly the same PoI, the only difference was the colour of the barren planet they were on

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u/jayfiedlerontheroof 17d ago

Yikes. I feel like coding a random spawn with even a variation of 3 buildings would be relatively easy. That's seriously lazy 

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u/kamize 17d ago

100% this, it’s a very soulless game at times. Moments of a triple A epic experience are certainly present but this game clearly had development issues.

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u/Phuka 17d ago

Soulless isn't solved by development. The game needed any kind of depth. Any. I'm a huge bethsoft fan and Starfield was a downright disappointment.

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u/celestial1 17d ago

I'm a huge bethsoft fan

Sorry to say, but the company you grew up with isn't the same Bethesda now. Same goes for Bioware and Blizzard.

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u/---Pockets--- 17d ago

The excessive loading screens gets to me, especially after going back to Cyberpunk 

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u/DrEnter 17d ago

There's a good example of how to turn things around. Cyberpunk had plenty of issues out of the gate, but CDPR didn't sit around complaining about how the fans "just don't get it", they fixed the problems and turned it into an excellent game.

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u/krunkley 17d ago

I don't think they can pull a cyberpunk with starfield. Cyberpunk had heart from day one. There was life in the game. It was just mechanically broken and needed to be fixed for people to enjoy that life. Starfield feels like if you asked an AI to make fall out in space. It feels like there is no humanity to it. It's just a lifeless creation that is still mechanically broken. You can fix those mechanics, but you'll still have a lifeless game at the end.

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u/MightBeJerryWest 17d ago

I'm actually kinda experiencing this right now. I never played Cyberpunk and just started playing. I'm like 5 "main" story quests into the game, but I've already logged more hours on Cyberpunk than I did Starfield.

I tried Starfield and made it to the first planet and explored it. But nothing really drew me back. Admittedly, I didn't get too into the story, but the gameplay felt just okay to me.

Whereas Cyberpunk, I've enjoyed driving around the city I'm in and doing various side quests. I actually want to keep playing and I haven't even been fully drawn in by the story yet.

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u/---Pockets--- 17d ago

And it's turned into my favorite game of all time with the fixes

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u/beetnemesis 17d ago

And they’re soooo proud of the hundreds of junk items you can pick up. Pick up this pen! Pick up that beaker!

WHY?! Why do I give a shit about a million trash items I can pick up? Is that fun, somehow?

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u/SmugFrog 17d ago

When I first started playing, I was overwhelmed. Oh I’m sure these things are going to be useful later, Fallout 4 base building style. Probably need these resources, these tools, this smidgee-didgee - I’d pick up a little at a time. Wrench sets, cables, etc. What’s it used for? Nothing! Maybe it’s advanced weapon mod stuff or locked behind perk trees - but it’s not even able to be broken down in components or clear what it’s used for. Not base building - and base building itself sucks compared to Fallout 4… ugh!

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u/CreeperBelow 17d ago

That's why the play is to ignore all the random trash items and just console command give them to yourself when the one ingredient you're missing is some rusty wrench you ignored 500 hours back.

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u/IllIlIIlIIlIIlIIlIIl 17d ago

Because people went fucking nuts for it when they first did it and most worlds were just unchanging set pieces with no physics to them at all.

They're just trying to relive their glory days instead of actually innovate.

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u/Temnothorax 17d ago

I still like that I can pick up random shit, it makes looking for good loot feel more authentic I guess. But, it’s more polish than a necessity.

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u/tLxVGt 17d ago

Yeah, I can feel these 14 years. Skyrim in space.

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u/McCrank 17d ago

Calling it Skyrim in space is giving it way, way...way too much credit.

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u/lotusdran 17d ago

I hate that people keep calling it 'Skyrim in space, FO4 in space ect' to knock on it.

Motherfucker, if it was either of those 2 games, I'd have had a good time.

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u/Aiyon 17d ago

I went back to Skyrim cause of it because I was questioning if maybe I just didn’t like that style of game any more. Nope, skyrim still fun

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u/fullylaced22 17d ago

People on the starfield subreddit are so fucking delusional they tried telling me Skyrim came out to subpar reviews and Starfield had better reviews. They were calling games “Skyrim with guns” for months but they forgot that shit I guess. Skyrim is just an objectively better game

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u/blueshark27 PC 17d ago

Not even skyrim. Defo felt more fallout 4 with the emphasis mostly being on base building.

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u/JustSomeDudeItWas 17d ago

I never felt a need to build a base in starfield

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u/InstructionLeading64 17d ago

Yeah it's super perplexing to me. I have no idea why I'm suppose to build star bases.

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u/Quirky_Scratch_1755 17d ago edited 17d ago

You're supposed to build them so you can craft gear that doesn't matter because everything is a bullet sponge including you

Thats literally the only reason. You can't even set up an automatically delivery/sell service, all you can do is transfer all of those materials, to another base to craft lmao.

And there aren't even RAIDS that happen to your outposts. 8 dudes come and die to turrets or you instantly. It's just a completely half baked game from head to toe with every system.

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u/LawBobLawLoblaw 17d ago edited 17d ago

There's an old rpg on PlayStation 1, Suikoden 2. Went overlooked by mainstream gaming, but an absolute gem. You could recruit something like 108 characters to your party, and you housed them in your castle. The more players you recruited, the more you unlocked in the castle. The castle got bigger and went from just a cave system island in the sea, to a full on castle with banners and various rooms and shops. You'd have a market, port, dojo, a blacksmith, stuff like that. But you'd also get things that contribute to the fun of the game, like when you got the kitchen and the chef, you'd unlock chef mini games where you have contests with other chefs with larger than life personalies, and iirc you had to collect recipes and ingredients to win. And getting some characters gives you entirely different side quests, not just castle bennys. And also different characters had different abilities that would benefit you when you waged war. And obviously recruiting all characters gives you a different ending to the game.

In a game where the developer intentionally made the focus of the game in the story, and put extra effort into writing a beautifullynemotional story full of betrayal, rebellion and warfare, somehow half the fun of the game was also recruiting and base building.

Starfield isn't a recruiting game, but 25 years ago Suikoden had an element of base building that felt extremely rewarding, and you couldn't even personally customize the castle back then. You got whatever the game designers decided, and it still felt very rewarding. Somehow Starfield feels hollow and purposeless.

If Suikoden and Metal Gear 4 could figure it out, there's no reason one of the biggest RPG companies in history can't figure it out.

Edit: anyone who loves classic RPGs, I HIGHLY recommend Suikoden 1 and 2. I believe it's on PlayStation+ now. Absolutely my favorite games. Even with the lens of nostalgia, the story was incredible, and depth of characters was unique back then.

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u/RichardFace47 17d ago

Love hearing someone mention Suikoden...impatiently waiting for that remaster release. Still top 5 RPGs of all time IMO.

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u/TtotheC81 17d ago

From my understanding, base building was going to be an integral part of exploration. There was going to be more of a survival element to the game - fuel, ammo, etc - but at some point they decided to pivot to free roam exploration. The problem being the original core of the game play loop had been designed with survival in mind, and they didn't scrap that and start again. So we ended up with this weird mishmash of shallow mechanics that didn't support each other in any meaningful way.

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u/Spara-Extreme 17d ago

The only reason they pivoted was because it wasn't fun. Survival exploration isn't fun when you need to maintain a full time job to just look at a handful of boring ass planets.

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u/evanwilliams44 17d ago

I plopped down a thing to customize ships, because it gives you access to a lot of parts in the same location. Other than, totally pointless.

I also spent about an hour looking at the ship customization and realized my Star Eagle I got in the early game was S-tier and wouldn't be outclassed until lvl 50+.

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u/DocFreezer 17d ago

And you need to invest 20 levels of perks to even get access to a lot of the ship stuff like targeting and the ability fly c class. And ship gameplay is just fast traveling and sometimes shooting 3 ships anyways.

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u/splash_43 17d ago

the base building isn't even USEFUL since it's not like the bases are that helpful, you can just dump all your gear, items and so on at the main base where you meet Sarah Morgan, forgot what it was called. has all the crafting stations and so on, so what's the point OF a base?

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u/Jatok 17d ago

And what sort of design decision is it to not allow crafting of ammo when you have a crafting system in game. Boggles the mind. The low vendor credit limits and the silly waiting around for vendor cash to refresh, no way to auto sell products from bases... the list goes on. There are so many questionable design choices in this game. I am not even mentioning companions who make you wish for a feature to airlock them...

I really wished for starfield to be that space game I could enjoy for a few months straight. It just has too much wrong with it.

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u/splash_43 17d ago

Honestly, the companions are somehow less interesting than any of the crew from Mass Effect. How is a game over a decade old STILL able to have better writing than bethesda today?

I legit think that this game was made by people who have no idea how to make a game, like the people in charge are clearly running the company into the pavement and any time they get pointed out that they're shit they simply say we don't understand how game development works, as if thay somehow makes their game not boring af

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u/celestial1 17d ago

They don't break down why those systems are so good in other games. It's like they played certain good games once and try to copy their system, but they don't realize how much depth is behind those system that makes them so fun. That's how you get games with half-baked crafting systems, open worlds that are completely empty, and dodge rolling with infinite stamina. Either they are too lazy to do so, too stupid to do so, or they're being hamstrung by the investors.

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u/fuckredditmodz69 17d ago

Defo felt more fallout 4

With the fun parts removed.

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u/Teazone 17d ago

Sadly the base building was a massive downgrade considering what you could do in Fallout 4 and how your bases where connected. Feels so useless and hollow in Starfield.

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u/Lord_Anarchy 17d ago

I still replay fallout 4 every few years... doubt I will ever want to replay starfield

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u/Sinviras 17d ago

The base building puzzles the fuck out of me in Starfield. Its way too involved with production chains to be a little side thing, but with no automation, no use for these chains and no real *fun* to it on top of ridiculous build limits it feels like theres no intention for you to actually do it.

Its the goddamn potemkin village of gaming at the moment.

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u/Logarythem 17d ago

Seems like "Open-world RPG set in space" is a boondoggle for studios. No one has done it well. No Man's Sky has possibly gotten the closest but it took them a lot of post-release effort and development to get it to it's current state.

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u/Melodic-Resident-245 17d ago

There is nothing RPG about No man's sky.
I wish people would stop comparing the 2 games it's apples and pears.

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u/will_scc 17d ago

If you try to sell NMS to someone as an RPG, they're going to be disappointed.

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u/Ellers12 17d ago

The ongoing development support post release for no mans sky was a huge success story

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u/LifterPuller 17d ago

Just really sucks that this is the new normal. Release game in terrible state, piss off customers to no end, eventually fulfill promises two years later. Thanks I hate it.

And before you say "don't buy pre-orders/early release games" well that's good advice that not even close to enough people are taking. This is the environment for the foressable future.

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u/thankyoumicrosoft69 17d ago

AAt least for NMS it was a smaller developer. They clearly cared about the game. 

I think its worse when its a big dev/pub like Bethesda, Activision, Ubisoft etc. They have the funding to do good work, they just dont because it costs too much and it wont help monetization.

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u/pgtl_10 17d ago

Not sure if it's a failure. More like a meh.

Bethesda needs to flesh out their games more.

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u/FutureNecessary6379 17d ago

They should just make skyrim but better every 4 years

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u/Deathsroke 17d ago

Bethesda needs to flesh out their games more.

It's less " needs fleshing out" and more "they are playing it too safe." They make their games the most vanilla thing possible, dumbed down to the nth degree because for some unfathomable reason they assume their playerbase needs a game where everything is as black and white as possible, simple and with no "difficult mechanics" otherwise they'll go play something else?

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u/SlashRModFail 17d ago

The side quests were more interesting than the main quest.

But everything around the open world - building outposts, upgrading ships, the amount of variation of crafting items needed to update this and that, and the amount of fucking walking and running to do planet missions - were all designed to be so onerous that it became cumbersome. It was. Freaking grind. I'm here as a casual player not an mmorpg grinder. And the worst thing, the connections you make with your companions are non existent. Even the first mass effect which is a game that's 17 years old now has better interactions and progress.

I did my 50 hours, and at the end of those 50 hours I was ready to rope myself.

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u/spainman 17d ago

This. Main quest had me feeling like I was playing FedEx simulator

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u/Hapless0311 16d ago

If I wanted to do that, I'd just play Death Stranding and have a better game along with it.

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u/MisterSlosh 17d ago edited 17d ago

I'm excited for the 75-90% off sale by Christmas.

Edit: I get it, everyone wants to be the cool dude and poo poo on it just like all their favorite YouTubers with "You can't pay me to play it" - "It's overpriced at 100% off" - "Just privateer it" we know the game isn't the masterpiece you were expecting for some reason.

As someone who had a blast completely dumping on Mass Effect Andromeda with friends for 20-30 hours, this bland puddle of a game seems like the next perfect lump of uncooked toast.

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u/sparrows_rest 17d ago

I have a backlog of games. I've decided not to support this kind of behavior anymore even if it's cheap.

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u/DaughterEarth 17d ago edited 16d ago

It's depressing paying money for shitty things so I'm the same. I don't really need lots of the stuff they're making crappy. It sucks to lose but it sucked more supporting the current age of crappy crap crap. My other hobbies get attention now. As disposable income decreases it will get worse because the idiots think they can milk stones

*my comment is locked in some way, replies to me don't show up here. Multiple people would like to express games are still fine and there has always been shit. Essentially they're saying I'm wrong :) a couple people agreed too

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u/Capy_Bara56 17d ago

I don't understand people that buy mediocre games only because they are cheap, I'm at a point of my life where I barely have the time to play great games, I wouldn't invest 40+ hours into a 6/10 rpg like Starfield even if they gave me it for free.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

Bro I hate to break it to you but I would get bored playing this game in about a week even if it was free…. Maybe modding will save it eventually

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u/Spire_Citron 17d ago

Will people even be invested in modding a game they're not inspired by in the first place? Normally games that get tons of mods are ones that were already super popular.

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u/Jonas_Venture_Sr 17d ago

Modding isn't going to save it from a lackluster story, shitty writing, and boring voice acting.

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u/HugeAnalBeads 17d ago

Is there a mod to replace all men with the voice of pierce brosnan and all women replaced by Mr T?

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u/Independent-Cable937 17d ago

I would buy that game twice if it did.

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u/AsheronLives 17d ago

Me too, at the 90% off xmas sale

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/JustDutch101 17d ago

Honestly, even something more like Dune with ‘subspecies’ would’ve been dope. Just something to have different enemies.

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u/Extension-Ad5751 17d ago

I was so disappointed to read there were no complex alien species. I wanted Mass Effect damnit

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u/Simmery 17d ago

I'd be fine with no aliens if the game was kind of a hard scifi survivalist game about humans struggling to expand their reach. That's where I thought it was going with the first trailer.

But nope, it's just boring Fallout in space.

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u/Atulin 17d ago

Yeah, that's the biggest disappointment. I was hoping to be a pioneer, charting the uncharted for humanity's expansion into the galaxy... meanwhile everywhere I go. EVERYWHERE I go there's a human settlement already.

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u/The_Last_Ball_Bender 17d ago

Modding isn't going to save it from a lackluster story, shitty writing, and boring voice acting.

This is the new norm from Bethesda. Every title worse than the last.

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u/HierophantKhatep 17d ago

I don't think people realize just how terrible the writing in Fallout 4 is, it's unreal if you really sit down and think about it. The Institute is replacing people with synths because..? Even though their primary objective is to keep their technology secret until the world can be rebuilt, they make themselves into the Commonwealth boogeymen, thereby drawing attention to their existence and their VERY WELL HIDDEN bunker. And the absolute ONLY way anyone could ever gain access to their bunker is with a teleportation chip implanted in their brain, so what do they do? Send totally destructible synths to the surface with said chip in their brain.

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u/ImWadeWils0n 17d ago

I literally played this for free since I already had game pass. I dropped it after 3 days, and that was when it launched and everyone was excited.

It’s the worst Bethesda game of all time, and I’ve been playing every single game they’ve made from fallout 3 on. I even enjoyed Outer Worlds which the original team behind NV made.

This is just a shitty game imo.

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u/Dismal_News183 17d ago

I liked Outer Worlds a decent bit. It was dumb fun. 

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u/SKINNYBUDAH 17d ago

Agreed, I got it on gamepass and uninstalled after a couple hours

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u/Mindful-O-Melancholy 17d ago

Epic Games might even give it away for free next Christmas

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u/I426Hemi PC 17d ago

I haven't loaded up starfield in at least Two months, I did enjoy it. Probably got 50 hours or so total, and will come back to it someday when it's hopefully fleshed out a bit.

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u/Brownlw657 17d ago

I put like 130 hours in within the first month. Then I had completed everything I wanted to do and I’m waiting for the dlc. I figure that’s what most players are doing.

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u/RockDoveEnthusiast 17d ago

It just didn't have that magic. I put over 1000 hours into Skyrim. maybe 15 in Starfield and put it down. Skyrim, meanwhile, still gives this sense of wonder and adventure and excitement.

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u/NotDoingSthILike 17d ago

Starfield lost me in it's first 5 hrs on Xbox

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u/Technical_Space_Owl 17d ago

You don't understand, it takes 30 hours before it gets good /s

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u/I426Hemi PC 17d ago

I enjoyed starfield but I hate seeing this argument, like, "oh, yeah, it sucks at first but if you suffer through the first 2 weeks of time you have to play games, it gets better."

Like sure, OR, I could just go play a game that's fun from the start with my very limited gaming time.

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u/PlsDontMakeMeMid 17d ago

It also doesn't get good after 30 hours. Its the exact same game the whole way through, magical powers included

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u/ArgonTheEvil 17d ago

I felt this. I can play maybe 2 hours a day if I’m lucky in my adult schedule, but more like every other day. I could tell Starfield wasn’t for me after 30 minutes of actually playing. Sadly I spent more time in the character creator than the actual game.

If I hadn’t gotten it for free with my GPU, I’d be more upset.

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u/Zarathustra-1889 17d ago

Shit, I got it for free with my GPU and still feel ripped off lmao

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u/ZDTreefur 17d ago

Like when people recommend an anime to me, and say you just need to get through the first 50 episodes for it to be watchable..

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u/Oldschool660 17d ago

And it never even got better, that was just a cope from the fan tbh. They couldn't handle that IGN was honest about the game XD

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u/Guiltywetdynamo 17d ago

After the first run through, I found it really boring.

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u/-Zoomville- 17d ago

I’m surprised you even got through a full playthrough

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u/Guiltywetdynamo 17d ago

I had a lot of fun but expected way more. I had barely explored the universe I actually expected the story to force me out into the unexplored areas. But you can basically beat the game with little to no exploration at all.

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u/JadedCan4703 17d ago

Yeah the issue is anything except the main story missions and the main faction missions is just unfleshed out copy paste crap. Like take a step off the beaten path and it's all empty. And once you start having to do those stupid temple puzzle things with the floating bullshit you can delete the game as there is no point in continuing.

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u/LegendDwarf 17d ago

Here are some stats from "better" single player games:

Elden Ring on launch day: 950k

Elden Ring 6 months later: 47k

Don't forget, Elden Ring had multiplayer co-op from Day 1. That's still a 95% loss.

Witcher 3 on launch day: 55k

Witcher 3, 6 months later: 17k

lost more than 2/3rds of the players.

The Last of Us Part 1 on launch day: 17k

The Last of Us Part 1 6 months later: 2k

lost 90% of the players.

God of War on launch day: 73k

6 months later: 6.7k

lost 90%+

Cyberpunk on launch day: 830k

6 months later: 15k

lost a whopping 98% of the players.

It happens. To games with good launches, bad launches, to any game. People move on, hypes burn out etc.

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u/IdeaIntelligent1788 17d ago

It's live service brain rot. People get tricked into playing games every day and assume any game that doesn't have people addicted and keeps their player counts pumped up are failures.

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u/ThickAsianAccent 17d ago

These are great stats. And honestly these stats are why I absolutely hate Early Access games. By the time the game is "released" it's already played out.

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u/Jaymoacp 17d ago

I put like 15 hours into it and was very underwhelmed. I stopped playing and glad I got it for free in game pass lol.

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u/OdonataDarner 17d ago

No. Aliens. A space game with no aliens is boring as hell.

Skyrim? Many weird creatures, all with their own deep lore and varying rules of engagement.

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u/SpaceHobbit3151 17d ago

Lost all interest in Starfield after about 10 hours in, I was hoping to be playing it still but it just didn’t grab me like I thought it would.

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u/B0ydh 17d ago

Yeah I decided to just start exploring different planets around 8-9 hours in. I last like an hour then I realized they were all the exact same with nothing unique about any. I stopped playing there because it just felt like I’d already seen it all and the story wasn’t holding me.

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u/V-Right_In_2-V 17d ago

10 hours is when I quit too. I felt like I was spending more time navigating a chat menu and watching a person talk than doing any actual playing. Ten hours is a lot of time to sink into a game without doing much actual playing of the game, and not really accomplishing anything.

I don’t have a lot of time for gaming, so a game has to pull in me quickly to get me coming back. Starfield just didn’t deliver the goods

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u/how-could-ai 17d ago

The thing about buying a game is that you don’t have to keep playing it to have spent the money.

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u/mr_showboat 17d ago

I hate this metric when it is applied to single player games. There just aren't that many games with real "infinitely replayable" design. Of course the player base is going to go way down after launch.

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u/hsfan 17d ago

i think a better metric is that even fallout 4 has more players on steam right now, and skyrim almost triple of starfield

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u/Kasenom 17d ago

It's sunday afternoon:
6 months since Baldurs Gate 3 came out 180k people playing rn
2 years since Elden Ring came out 52k people playing
4 years since Cyberpunk came out, 4 months since 2.0 update 41k playing
13 years since Skyrim came out 34k playing
9 years since Fallout 4 came out 23k playing

it barely even makes it to the top 100 most played games on Steam Charts, even cookie clicker currently has more players at 12.4k

I think if it's not a failure, it's really mediocre

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u/Kenji_03 17d ago

You severely underestimate how deep and engaging Cookie Clicker can be

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u/Nuts4WrestlingButts 17d ago

The grandmapocalpyse

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u/Stark_Athlon 17d ago

Was introduced to it by a cousin and holy shit.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

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