Bethesda Reveals First Look At Starfield’s Dialogue System

Starfield isn’t going to just be about exploring an infinite universe. It’s also going to have a lot of talking. Interacting with the locals will be one of the core skills required to survive in the frontier, and thanks to a new interview, we’re getting our first look at how explorers can talk their way out of trouble.

"We've gone back to kind of a classic Bethesda-style dialogue," explained Bethesda CEO and Starfield game director Todd Howard in a recent interview. That means the player will look at the person speaking and then respond with several unique options.

Or a lot of options. Howard revealed Starfield has over 250,000 lines of dialog and counting. That’s more than twice that of Fallout 4, and since the player character is silent, none of them are coming from the protagonist of the story.

In addition to seeing some dialogue, Howard also revealed Starfield’s persuasion system. The example shown was a conversation with a raider or pirate character where the player has several options to either smooth-talk the person to avoid a violent encounter or to outright intimidate their way past.

All of this is accomplished via a points system. The harder the sell on the person you’re trying to persuade, the more points it’ll take. There’s also a turn limit to how many times you can attempt a persuasive argument on your subject. We didn’t get to see what would happen if the persuasion fails, but past Bethesda games usually resolved such an outcome through violence.

"It feels natural," added Howard. "Not like I've entered some other mode where I'm […] persuading you to get what I want."

On the topic of whether Starfield is "hard" sci-fi or not, Howard replied in the affirmative, but not everything about Starfield is going to be as unforgiving as the cold void of space. For example, your ship will limit how far you can travel so that you can never run out of gas and get stranded in the inky black forever.

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