Todd Howard Says That Starfield's Enemy Ship AI Is Deliberately Stupid

He shared that a stupid ship AI is what lets you hit targets.

Todd Howard, the Game Director of Starfield, recently shared some details about the game's development during the Game Maker's Notebook podcast. He highlighted that his team dedicated a lot of time to perfecting the space battles, which turned out to be more challenging than initially expected by Bethesda. It was primarily due to certain features related to battle complexity.

Howard said that their team initially designed the AI for ships in Starfield to be highly intelligent. It wasn't big of a deal, as he stated. However, later they decided to abandon this approach as it would have resulted in less thrilling battles.

"It's very easy when you get out into outer space, particularly with some type of physics, to make the enemies really really smart... It turns out you have to make the AI really stupid, you have to have them fly, and then they need to turn, basically like "hey player, why don't you just shoot me for a while?" So once once we'd settled on our pace, and how the enemies are gonna move, that's where it came together," said Howard.

Image credit: Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

During the conversation, Howard also talked about the initial design of planet exploration in Starfield, which involved significantly higher difficulty. As a result, players had to be more attentive to the influence of the environment on their character and their suit, while also considering resistance to various effects like radiation or thermal radiation.

However, testing revealed that players found it challenging to grasp such a complex system. Consequently, the developer opted to simplify it by abandoning certain aspects. Nevertheless, the game still incorporates negative effects that players must address by using medication or seeking assistance from doctors.

Image credit: Bethesda, Starfield

Some more news on Starfield, a couple of days ago Bethesda released a new patch for Starfield, which improves the issues with performance and stability, as well as fixes general gameplay bugs. 

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