A Starfield player dug into the game's files and discovered evidence of complex exploration and survival features that were removed during development.
Based on recent data mining results, it appears that Starfield was a more complex and difficult game during development, with many of the space travel mechanics removed from the final release. While Starfield has undoubtedly been a huge success for Microsoft, many players have expressed disappointment with Bethesda's latest sandbox game, especially when compared to previous titles like Skyrim or Fallout 4. Starfield's latest rating on Steam is just 28%, and a number Players is only 28%. It is constantly decreasing.
While Bethesda should be commended for boldly introducing procedural generation into Starfield, the game's discovery cycle has been met with a lukewarm reception. Starfield's shipbuilding feature was praised by many fans, but many also criticized Settled Systems' monotonous wandering of barren planets, along with less attractive loading screens and a lackluster user interface.
However, it appears that more emphasis was placed on survival elements during Starfield's development, which Todd Howard confirmed in a previous interview. One fan, redsaltyborger, discovered remnants of Starfield's ancient star map in the game's files, making this discovery particularly interesting since star systems had characteristics and dangers that players had to face. This suggests that space travel played a larger role in Starfield prior to release, and the map reinforces neglected mechanics such as fuel consumption and interstellar trade.
The map depicts Leviathan IV, with a brief description indicating that it is a mineral-rich system used by pirates to hide valuables. This feature is missing from Starfield's current UI, and adding it would have greatly improved the look and story of stable systems. Additionally, the Leviathan IV ship previously had solar flares and micrometeoroids, two hazards that would make space travel difficult – the former could cause minor damage to the hull, while the latter could be fatal to the player's ship.
We've heard from Bethesda that Starfield has become fun to play after seven years of development, so there may be a good reason why these mechanics were removed. Starfield's economy is steady, players travel quickly from planet to planet, they don't have to worry about running out of fuel, and there are no dangers in space. Although this provides stable gameplay, some players on the Reddit forums believe that the final version feels watered down.
With a major Starfield update scheduled for February 2024, Bethesda has already begun back-end support for the game. Although the update mainly focuses on bug fixes, the developers hint at the possibility of adding a “new travel mode” to the game in the first half of 2024. After all, it is not yet known whether these cutting features will appear again. Other in the game or not.