- Bethesda’s updates for Starfield have focused on bug fixes and graphical improvements rather than adding new content.
- Many players are hoping Bethesda will include new features in future updates, such as the ability to kill off more named NPCs.
- There is a demand for Bethesda to revive a system from The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind that allowed players to kill any character in the game, regardless of their importance to the story.
Bethesda in December announced that updates would be coming to Starfield about once every six weeks going forward, and that has left a good chunk of its player base pondering just what’s down the road for the open-world outer space RPG. While 2024 has already seen two such updates, on Jan. 30 and again on Feb. 7, these updates have generally been filled with bug fixes and upgrades to graphical quality, such as with lighting and reflections on the surface of water.
While those updates have served to make the game more stable and improve on its visuals, there haven’t been any updates to the game’s actual content, with many players suspecting that the road map doesn’t include any outside of future paid DLC, like the Shattered Space expansion planned for later this year. Still, some players are hopeful that Bethesda will include other features in its regular Starfield updates, and one of the requests that seems to be gaining a lot of ground is giving the player the ability to kill off more named NPCs.
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Turning Starfield into a life-sim, one martini glass at a time.
Specifically, there seems to be a call for Bethesda to revive the system it implemented in 2002’s The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind, which would allow the player character to kill any character in the game, regardless of their relevance to the story. In that game, if a player killed a character necessary for moving the plot forward, a warning would appear onscreen informing the player that their actions had altered fate and that the game could not be completed as normal.
In a thread on Reddit about changes that players would like to see Bethesda make to its game, reintroducing this mechanic is one of the most popular responses. “They might as well let us kill all NPC regardless of quests, because when there’s new game+ it doesn’t stop us from doing it later,” one Reddit user, Onefoldbrain, posted in response to the idea. “The only thing they need to ensure, is that new game+ works 100%”.
Could Bethesda Actually Pull It Off?
Starfield relies heavily on a New Game Plus approach. After collecting all artifact pieces throughout the main story, the player is able to enter The Unity and move on to a fresh, new universe over and over, replenishing all missions (except in the cases of some unique universes where certain characters are intentionally missing). As another Reddit user pointed out, in new universes where key members of Constellation are already dead or otherwise unable to help the player find the artifact pieces, the player is still able to use the organization’s space station, The Eye, to track down those pieces and move on to the next New Game Plus, which means the idea could be feasible without locking players out from continuing their story.
Still other players would like to see the number of unkillable NPCs whittled down regardless of whether it would affect the next jump through The Unity, as it would give them more agency over their actions. Sleazy business executive Benjamin Bayu, who rules over the city of Neon, seems like a popular target that players have had both the motive and opportunity to take out during scenes in the game, but he is invulnerable during these scenes because the game has him flagged as unkillable, with weapons sometimes making no impact whatsoever even when fired directly at him.
On the oppositie end of the spectrum, another player expressed a want for more agency in not having to kill or release equally sleazy business executive Ron Hope. “Freedom of action, meaningful choices and reasonable consequences. I don’t want to murder everyone,” commented Reddit user paradoxbound. “I want to hit Ron Hope with EM weapons and force him to stand trial for his crimes. The game is broken and forces you to kill him.”
- September 6, 2023