Bethesda Game Studios has detailed the dialogue options and trees that we will see in its upcoming space RPG, Starfield. The company compared the dialogue system in Starfield to older Bethesda RPGs, which includes multiple options that will likely have different outcomes. The game’s persuasion system was also discussed.
A recent interview held internally at Bethesda with Todd Howard gave us a bit more information about how the studio is aiming to return to its roots for Starfield‘s dialogue trees. “We’ve done a lot of different dialogue systems,” said Howard. “We’ve gone back to, I’ll call it a classic Bethesda-style dialogue. You’re looking at the character and how they emote, and you have a series of choices there.”
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Howard is likely referring to games that used this “classic Bethesda-style dialogue” before the days of Skyrim and Fallout 4, both of which streamlined its dialogue options. Older titles like Fallout 3 and Morrowind offered more robust, branching dialogue trees with varying outcomes, encouraging mutliple playthroughs.
One of the new additions being added to Starfield‘s dialogue system is persuasion. Howard explained that players will have a number of turns and persuasion points to select different dialogue options in an attempt to sway an NPC. It sounds great and might add plenty of replay value to the game. “It feels like it’s part of the dialogue, but you’re spending points to persuade them,” said Howard. “It feels natural, not like I entered some other mode where I’m not doing regular dialogue. I’m in this mode of persuading you to get what I want.”
Another feature discussed in the interview is the ability to remove unwanted traits from your character. Traits can be positive or negative and are selected at the beginning of the game when creating your protagonist. Players can take on certain quests that will let them remove traits in case they don’t have any use for them. This also eliminates the need to create an entirely new character from scratch when you start refining your character’s traits midway through the game.
Starfield launches in early 2023 for Xbox Series X/S and PC.