Todd Howard Discusses How They Improved Starfield's Ship Combat By Dumbing Down The AI

In a recent interview, Todd Howard discussed how ship combat in Starfield was improved by reducing the AI intelligence, making enemy ships easier targets. They also simplified the planetary travel system to focus more on exploration, creating a game that balances challenge and enjoyment for players.

In a recent interview with the Gamer Makers Notebook podcast, Todd Howard discussed the improvements made to ship combat in Starfield. Initially, the developers wanted to create intelligent enemies that would pose a challenge to players. However, they found that this resulted in constant jousting between player and enemy ships. To avoid this, the decision was made to dumb down the AI. Enemy ships now follow predictable flight patterns and turn in a way that makes them easier targets. This adjustment was made to ensure that combat in Starfield is enjoyable and engaging rather than overly challenging.

In addition to altering ship combat, changes were also made to how players travel on planets in Starfield. Originally, there were plans to have different environments requiring players to adapt with multiple spaces for things such as high radiation or cold planets. However, this concept was scaled back, and it now serves more as visual flavor rather than a core gameplay system. By simplifying the system, the focus is placed more on the overall experience of exploration rather than getting bogged down by complex environmental adjustments.

Todd Howard’s explanations reveal a desire to strike a balance between challenge and enjoyment in Starfield. The decision to reduce AI intelligence in ship combat allows for more satisfying engagements without constant maneuvers for players to avoid attacks. Similarly, the simplification of the planetary travel system ensures that players can focus on exploring the vast and immersive world, rather than being burdened by constant environmental adaptations. These modifications aim to create a game that is accessible and enjoyable to a wide range of players, while still offering engaging gameplay and a rich world to explore.