Starfield players cannot actively pilot their ships to a planet's surface

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,219   +4,271
I think they probably miss communicated this, I mean it is probably the most boring part of any game travel between 2 places. When someone says starfield I dont think - well I sure hope I can do the less than minuet long flight to and from the atmosphere

I honestly don't think they did and I can tell you why: The company completely changed vision from a vast sandbox with randomly generated dungeons and fairly simple city layouts in Daggerfall that made up for it with it's *vast* size (To this day it's the biggest map in videogame history it is literally the size of England if you just travel by foot normally) so it used fast travel liberally. Fast travel however had actual RPG mechanics to it you had to have provisions, decide if you stop at inns more safely or just camp to go faster but risk more random encounters, etc.

Then the company shifted perspective quite a bit on Morrowind: most cities are now hand built and seamless (Except for Vivec that kind of cheats a little but they made a decent in-game justification for the limitations of it) And fast travel was changed to pre-selected destinations not just "Anywhere you want" meaning that while Vvanderfell map size is relatively small for an open world game the game takes advantage of all of it by using the maps actual geography and in-game events cleverly. This is a game where you can't just click on a map and fast travel or even get a compass or map market, you have to actually read the in game dialogue for directions to get to places and actually pay attention, interact with the environment to get to some of the places and yes this includes some of the places that are essential for the main quest, game doesn't hands you anything when it comes to fast travel and traveling the map actually feels like traveling, a true exploration.

Then Todd Howard happened to Bethesda: he basically took over the company instead of being a nobody guy promoted very late in the Morrowind development to lead designer but he didn't actually design much of the game and you can tell because immediately after he radically changed Oblivion to make sure player has a compass and can fast travel just as easily as in Daggerfall, while keeping the same limitations Morrowind had on map size. And yes I'm sure is specifically him because he has been *very* vocal in interviews about this being his vision: He frequently talks about fast traveling, getting the player 'Right to the action' and he even outed himself as an ***** saying how players (meaning, him mostly) just click skip dialogue until you're told "Ah that's who I kill!" while other devs at Bethesda have confirmed he's the kind of guy who makes a barbarian type with a big sword and just runs and kills everything on sight. That's how he plays, that's how he design games and that's why since Oblivion each iteration of game he makes is more simple, has less RPG elements and stats, worst dialogue and more emphasis on fast travel. That's Todd for you and as long as he's in charge statements like the one in this story are not an accident, not a miss communication but his actual game design philosophy: He is just not the brightest bulb of the bunch.
 

George Keech

Posts: 250   +426
I honestly don't think they did and I can tell you why: The company completely changed vision from a vast sandbox with randomly generated dungeons and fairly simple city layouts in Daggerfall that made up for it with it's *vast* size (To this day it's the biggest map in videogame history it is literally the size of England if you just travel by foot normally) so it used fast travel liberally. Fast travel however had actual RPG mechanics to it you had to have provisions, decide if you stop at inns more safely or just camp to go faster but risk more random encounters, etc.

Then the company shifted perspective quite a bit on Morrowind: most cities are now hand built and seamless (Except for Vivec that kind of cheats a little but they made a decent in-game justification for the limitations of it) And fast travel was changed to pre-selected destinations not just "Anywhere you want" meaning that while Vvanderfell map size is relatively small for an open world game the game takes advantage of all of it by using the maps actual geography and in-game events cleverly. This is a game where you can't just click on a map and fast travel or even get a compass or map market, you have to actually read the in game dialogue for directions to get to places and actually pay attention, interact with the environment to get to some of the places and yes this includes some of the places that are essential for the main quest, game doesn't hands you anything when it comes to fast travel and traveling the map actually feels like traveling, a true exploration.

Then Todd Howard happened to Bethesda: he basically took over the company instead of being a nobody guy promoted very late in the Morrowind development to lead designer but he didn't actually design much of the game and you can tell because immediately after he radically changed Oblivion to make sure player has a compass and can fast travel just as easily as in Daggerfall, while keeping the same limitations Morrowind had on map size. And yes I'm sure is specifically him because he has been *very* vocal in interviews about this being his vision: He frequently talks about fast traveling, getting the player 'Right to the action' and he even outed himself as an ***** saying how players (meaning, him mostly) just click skip dialogue until you're told "Ah that's who I kill!" while other devs at Bethesda have confirmed he's the kind of guy who makes a barbarian type with a big sword and just runs and kills everything on sight. That's how he plays, that's how he design games and that's why since Oblivion each iteration of game he makes is more simple, has less RPG elements and stats, worst dialogue and more emphasis on fast travel. That's Todd for you and as long as he's in charge statements like the one in this story are not an accident, not a miss communication but his actual game design philosophy: He is just not the brightest bulb of the bunch.
I 100% agree re being more simple. I don't really even think of Bethesda games are RPGs anymore more open world Action/Adventure. Lots of issues with them. I more mean out of all the issues it will have not being able to pilot into atmosphere is pretty low on the list.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,599   +2,563
I think they probably miss communicated this, I mean it is probably the most boring part of any game travel between 2 places. When someone says starfield I dont think - well I sure hope I can do the less than minuet long flight to and from the atmosphere
What people gathered was it was a SC competitor, and judging before or after the 15min video showing how awesome the space combat and ship building looked, they assumed players would be able to land manually.

As for landing being boring. I'd argue just flying through space is boring. Ships could have boost to make landing a faster process, but if it is indeed too big of a task for a small reward then I can understand it's omission. Even if you went into hyperdrive until you enter the upper limit of planetary flight before letting players take over would be cool. The problem I have is saying it's not necessary simply because they feel they don't need it without evidence to prove it, or because it wasn't in other AAA titles.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,219   +4,271
I 100% agree re being more simple. I don't really even think of Bethesda games are RPGs anymore more open world Action/Adventure. Lots of issues with them. I more mean out of all the issues it will have not being able to pilot into atmosphere is pretty low on the list.

That's very fair and for that I would refer you back to my initial post as the reason for my concerns: Is not that I wand the full piloting into atmospheres honestly they became pretty routine and uninteresting in No Man's Sky for example.

To me it's more of a symptom of the overall disease: their Creation Engine. I know quite a bit about it because I've modded Skyrim and Fallout 4 extensively and I know the many limitations of their engine and they go back decades as I said: It's why Oblivion is barely playable at all today on modern PCs (You're honestly better off using an xbox360 emulator to play that version of it if/when that is plausible idk) and why the original Skyrim was basically unplayable after a little while on the PS3 version and on the PC version it was just super prone to crashing. Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE (Same updated version of the engine) had some minor updates to address some of the terrible way the game handles memory which was the reason so many crashes were present specially when modding, but it's still very prone to corrupt game saves the longer you play through a character.

And a very clear indication of them basically just updating the same Creation Engine yet again even though it's 30 year old code at this point, is that Todd didn't want to spend time solving some of the issues with transitioning into script and actor heavy areas a.k.a. Cities. It *is* possible as modders have done Skyrim open cities for years but with literal memory hacks and other tricks to avoid constant game crashes when that mod is present.

This tell me that instead of trying to address some of those issues on the engine, Todd just hijacked the discussion and said "Just make each planet an instance and fast travel in, gamers don't want to see that anyway" And that's probably why every game they've made after Morrowind has separate world, dungeon and city instances because it's the only way they can get the engine to not crash every time by just limiting the worldspace as much as possible and make it seem like a vast open world but very devoid of any actual content for that you have to get into a dungeon.

I have no reason to think anything will change because of this decision, much more important decisions will shape how the final game looks to conform to the extreme game limitations: Basically very tiny planet that might look big from the outside but in actuality you can walk around the entire planet in like 20 or 30 minutes of in game time. It's going to have few random creatures frolicking around and a few bandits (But just 'Space bandits' now) in tiny middle-of-nowhere 4 people huts and some caves, downed space ships or space stations that you will have to transition into.

That's basically the jist of it: people are buying into Todd's hype but the finer detail tells me this is maybe just a dozen of much tinier planets, think the size of the major Skyrim holds, with 1 'City' that has 10 NPCs and 3 houses/rooms for them at the most and that's it. All of the things you can do there will take you maybe an hour if you're thorough then you're off to explore more planets much of which will be as barren as No Man's Sky planets where it's just a large mine for you to gather resources with no NPCs or stories or even life forms just here's the Ice planet...It has ice and a special crystal you need to craft something...That's it: no lifeforms, no sentient settlements, nothing to do besides land, grab ice and mine for crystals and leave. That counts as 1 of the 'Thousands of planets' to explore there will be many other ice planets just as empty for you to well, get ice and crystals, that's it.
 

Shear

Posts: 45   +40
That's very fair and for that I would refer you back to my initial post as the reason for my concerns: Is not that I wand the full piloting into atmospheres honestly they became pretty routine and uninteresting in No Man's Sky for example.

To me it's more of a symptom of the overall disease: their Creation Engine. I know quite a bit about it because I've modded Skyrim and Fallout 4 extensively and I know the many limitations of their engine and they go back decades as I said: It's why Oblivion is barely playable at all today on modern PCs (You're honestly better off using an xbox360 emulator to play that version of it if/when that is plausible idk) and why the original Skyrim was basically unplayable after a little while on the PS3 version and on the PC version it was just super prone to crashing. Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE (Same updated version of the engine) had some minor updates to address some of the terrible way the game handles memory which was the reason so many crashes were present specially when modding, but it's still very prone to corrupt game saves the longer you play through a character.

And a very clear indication of them basically just updating the same Creation Engine yet again even though it's 30 year old code at this point, is that Todd didn't want to spend time solving some of the issues with transitioning into script and actor heavy areas a.k.a. Cities. It *is* possible as modders have done Skyrim open cities for years but with literal memory hacks and other tricks to avoid constant game crashes when that mod is present.

This tell me that instead of trying to address some of those issues on the engine, Todd just hijacked the discussion and said "Just make each planet an instance and fast travel in, gamers don't want to see that anyway" And that's probably why every game they've made after Morrowind has separate world, dungeon and city instances because it's the only way they can get the engine to not crash every time by just limiting the worldspace as much as possible and make it seem like a vast open world but very devoid of any actual content for that you have to get into a dungeon.

I have no reason to think anything will change because of this decision, much more important decisions will shape how the final game looks to conform to the extreme game limitations: Basically very tiny planet that might look big from the outside but in actuality you can walk around the entire planet in like 20 or 30 minutes of in game time. It's going to have few random creatures frolicking around and a few bandits (But just 'Space bandits' now) in tiny middle-of-nowhere 4 people huts and some caves, downed space ships or space stations that you will have to transition into.

That's basically the jist of it: people are buying into Todd's hype but the finer detail tells me this is maybe just a dozen of much tinier planets, think the size of the major Skyrim holds, with 1 'City' that has 10 NPCs and 3 houses/rooms for them at the most and that's it. All of the things you can do there will take you maybe an hour if you're thorough then you're off to explore more planets much of which will be as barren as No Man's Sky planets where it's just a large mine for you to gather resources with no NPCs or stories or even life forms just here's the Ice planet...It has ice and a special crystal you need to craft something...That's it: no lifeforms, no sentient settlements, nothing to do besides land, grab ice and mine for crystals and leave. That counts as 1 of the 'Thousands of planets' to explore there will be many other ice planets just as empty for you to well, get ice and crystals, that's it.

Man, that is a lot of crazy nonsense. Replayed Oblivion on PC a month ago. Runs great on my modern PC.

Engines aren't stagnant they can be upgraded. Unreal Engine 5 is an updated version of Unreal Engine 4.5 not a complete redo on everything.

Todd this Todd that. Todd ain't go no power in their past creative direction of the studios he's in charge of.




 

Shear

Posts: 45   +40
I mean if you want that type of simulation experience there are other games out there for it. Personally, after having done the landing sequence 1000s of times in Elite I am okay with getting a cutscene of landing and taking off.
 

dangh

Posts: 677   +1,055
So Fallen Empire is suddenly a bad game, then?
Or borderland 3?
or Mass Effect

the only fplks out there crying for an immersive s;ace shooter are folks who still buy the Stare Citizen bs a decade later!
Are you seriously putting as comparison 15 years old game (mass effect), which was full of lift scenes just because there was no power to load more than small fragment of the map? Your expectations are still in 2007 and you don't want anything new? Did you never wanted to be able to actually sit on Normandy bridge and just fly this thing? Were you completly fine with a space game, where nearly no action was taking place actually in the space?

Borderlands 3 wasn't a space focused (or advertised) game - it was a SF game, where travelling in space wasn't any selling point of it. looter shooter, not an role playing game, and as well direct descendant of Gorderlands, game created in 2009. 2 console generations ago, when windows XP was still strong.

We already seen games like Starlink and No Man Sky, where such things are possible. Wouldn't be nice to have games have more, not less, features? Especially if something is advertised as space game, when you actually see only planets surface?
And no, there are many folks not happy with this decission, and most of them do not care about SC scam. I could say, people who are happy with this news are ones, who can get any crap they are served if it is comming from a brand they like.
I't is 2022, game to be released 2023, and yeah - what we were shown actually is similar to 10 years old games, but still, we should expect more. Because if you take away this non-usable space, we just seems to be getting reskinned skyrim.
 

lonetac

Posts: 13   +12
The hype surrounding this game is unfounded. The fan boys are going crazy against anyone who criticizes it.

News flash, this game doesnt look great. The gun play is horrid, the graphics look dated, games already have this feature he says players dont want for... excuses, excuses, excuses.

Everytime they release more information about this game, I become less interested. And ive played every Fallout, ES game in the series, I love them. But really, how is this game a step forward in any direction? it needs a lot of polish and work still and those gun devs, replace them, they are horrible.
 

lonetac

Posts: 13   +12
That's basically the jist of it: people are buying into Todd's hype but the finer detail tells me this is maybe just a dozen of much tinier planets, think the size of the major Skyrim holds, with 1 'City' that has 10 NPCs and 3 houses/rooms for them at the most and that's it. All of the things you can do there will take you maybe an hour if you're thorough then you're off to explore more planets much of which will be as barren as No Man's Sky planets where it's just a large mine for you to gather resources with no NPCs or stories or even life forms just here's the Ice planet...It has ice and a special crystal you need to craft something...That's it: no lifeforms, no sentient settlements, nothing to do besides land, grab ice and mine for crystals and leave. That counts as 1 of the 'Thousands of planets' to explore there will be many other ice planets just as empty for you to well, get ice and crystals, that's it.

I dont know the last time you played NMS but your assessment is completely off base, inaccurate and simply wrong. There are NPC's, settlements to fight over, run, govern. Tons of lifeforms. There is so much to do on a NMS planet its ridiculous. Now if you had said, its the same things to do on every planet, that would be different but saying NMS planets are empty is about as incorrect as you can get.
 

Thanthan

Posts: 91   +190
This game does not use Unreal engine 5? But the older Unreal engine 4?

In all likelihood it uses their own in house engine, though I don’t believe that’s confirmed. I was making a joke on Bethesdas expense, implying that they expect their fans to fix their games to a degree where they might as well remake them in an engine that actually supports modern features, such as UE5.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,219   +4,271
I dont know the last time you played NMS but your assessment is completely off base, inaccurate and simply wrong. There are NPC's, settlements to fight over, run, govern. Tons of lifeforms. There is so much to do on a NMS planet its ridiculous. Now if you had said, its the same things to do on every planet, that would be different but saying NMS planets are empty is about as incorrect as you can get.

I think that you got answer on your first instinct right on the first line: I played it mostly on the launch version. Most of what you describe has been over a very long period of post launch patching and that's fair enough for them but with Beth you wouldn't expect much in the way of those level of super detailed extra content being introduced at all: their DLC is very story and item focused with sometimes new areas but never this radical gameplay enhancements.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,482   +2,168
And that limitation of instanced cities is the same we've seen since Oblivion. Acutally since Morrowind given how bad some open cities performed and how the main one was designed to be instanced anyway.
I agree on most of your points but instanced cities exist because of consoles, period, and not necessarily because of the 'malice of Todd'. There is a reason that Open Cities is a PC mod, and that the first appearance of instanced cities was the first console release, Morrowind. In general the shortcomings of their engine and ports can be laid at the feet of consoles holding things back for the rest of us.
 

lonetac

Posts: 13   +12
I think that you got answer on your first instinct right on the first line: I played it mostly on the launch version. Most of what you describe has been over a very long period of post launch patching and that's fair enough for them but with Beth you wouldn't expect much in the way of those level of super detailed extra content being introduced at all: their DLC is very story and item focused with sometimes new areas but never this radical gameplay enhancements.
Yeah, admittedly most of the content was added after launch. At launch the game was really empty but now they have so much, its wild. The game is a really a testament to a labor of love. And all the updates were free. its a completely different game now.

The launch was aweful, no doubt.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,482   +2,168
In all likelihood it uses their own in house engine, though I don’t believe that’s confirmed. I was making a joke on Bethesdas expense, implying that they expect their fans to fix their games to a degree where they might as well remake them in an engine that actually supports modern features, such as UE5.
Unreal may be a "modern" engine but if my experiences with Conan: Exiles are any indication modding on it is pure ***. Unless Conan is just a particularly bad implementation of its modding capabilities it's horrible: you need to download a copy of the UE editor that is as big as the base game (which is already over 100 gigs in size), it's slow and cumbersome, and all mods are closed-source by default; e.g. when you download a mod it's in an encrypted archive and you can't tinker with the workings unless the author took the time and effort to explicitly release its source files somewhere. If you're an IP-rights ***** I suppose that sounds great to you but in terms of onboarding new modders it's awful; the best way to learn modding on a given game is to look at the workings of other mods and figure out how they did things, and then apply that to whatever you are working on. In Conan and I assume other UE games you basically have to hope somebody wrote you a guide to whatever you're trying to accomplish, or that you can find a modder willing to walk you through whatever you're attempting. What's worse, though, is that this inevitably leads to dead mods: mods where the original author either won't or can't release the source or update the mod to account for updates, which means that mod is now basically useless, as any users or fans of it will also be unable to update it.

Bethesda's engine has a lot of problems but in comparison its modding is a lot more trim and user-friendly: the CK works on top of your existing install of the game and the .ESP files that govern the alterations can be opened by any other editor. While script files are technically closed-source once compiled there are programs available that can decompile them and the source files are easy to find and include with a mod. It's much easier for newer modders to reverse-engineer things and popular mods are much less likely to die completely unless the author is also successful at utterly erasing it from the internet. There is a reason its modding community is so gigantic and it is because its whole design is built around making getting started as easy as possible.
 
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Such a biased article, seems written just to stir up the usual trolls who pretend to know about software development.

Honestly the game looks awesome to me right now. As for the atmospheric flight - it's awful in NMS and I'll be happy without it.

The lack of twitch combat and atmospheric flight make me think of the space add-on (JTL) in SWG which I enjoyed immensely, without needing to be able to fly from the planet myself.

What they really should have done to ensure a better game (and lose most of the trolls) was ditch the console kiddies and make a real PC game again.
 
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mountains

Posts: 74   +89
Some great comments here. De-lurking here to add:

- While I am not an actual mod author, I still mod Skyrim SE (still not on AE yet). So that is where my perspective comes from. I see that I am not alone!

- This is Todd being Todd. He probably needed to admit to us early about the loading screen lameness so we can all get mad now, then get used to the idea. But him saying "...That's really just not that important to the player." is right up there with "It just works." as a Todd-ism. I wish he had not said that. I think Dimitriid has it right that "the player" in this case means Todd. But he is unsuccessfully trying to shape the narrative here, and it is a little painful to watch.

- I understand there are real technical limitations, including specific console limitations (as terzaerian points out), and their own Bugthesda engines. But I know people that actually bought NMS because of the no load screen landing feature.

- Like all things in life, you either feel it or you don't: I think those of us that care about this line of games see this news and it fits our own concerns based on experience. "Oh, they are gonna do THAT again? Crud." Its like the stupid boats in Skyrim. A game about a viking-like civilization that has boats that... don't move. But we can load screen you somewhere!

- Modding is what has kept games like Skyrim alive. While it is good that this company is fairly open (maybe ambivalent) to modding, you would hope they could work even harder to really support the modding community. That last AE update for Skyrim has really disrupted the extensive, still thriving, modding community for that game. If they were going to disrupt it so much, they should have created more real improvements with that update. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with that company.

Hopefully, this Starfield thing launches with better long term modding support. Hopefully, decisions they make under their new MS overlords really benefit mod users and authors. They need us to fix their games for them and fill them with beautiful stuff.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 1,482   +2,168
- Modding is what has kept games like Skyrim alive. While it is good that this company is fairly open (maybe ambivalent) to modding, you would hope they could work even harder to really support the modding community. That last AE update for Skyrim has really disrupted the extensive, still thriving, modding community for that game. If they were going to disrupt it so much, they should have created more real improvements with that update. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with that company.
Preach it. I'm still running Oldrim from 2011, not modding it anymore. The version fragmentation of the SE, VR and whatever other Samsung Smartfridge releases they're doing encouraged me to move on. -_-
 

Revolution 11

Posts: 183   +236
This pretty much confirms they're using the same lousy engine they've been using since Skyrim Special Edition and Fallout 4: most of the upgrades were cosmetic in nature (And not as good as what they modders accomplished before or since for the very same games) And that limitation of instanced cities is the same we've seen since Oblivion. Acutally since Morrowind given how bad some open cities performed and how the main one was designed to be instanced anyway.

So that's over 20 years of the same engine with the same limitations and Todd hiding behind fast travel as a feature.
These game developers sink tons of money and time and work into their own boutique and custom game engines and defend them jealously. But the real reason why is that they don't want to pay Unreal the licensing fee and royalties. What they never consider is the true cost of what it takes to maintain their own aging codebases. I would argue that Unreal is pretty much the gold standard for AAA games these days with Unity as a good choice for smaller games.

Bethesda on the other hand is ok with bolting a damn old engine onto their games well into the 2020s. The fans are the ones to blame, for buying their games.
 

Revolution 11

Posts: 183   +236
Glad I'm not a game dev, gamers are one of the meanest, pettiest and cheapest bunch of fans something can have.
Fans are like that because they know better, have experienced better in the recent past, and expect gaming to improve, not degrade into a corporate squeezing of customers. Gaming was more consumer-friendly, less exploitative, and developed with more good faith in previous decades.

Gamers still remember all this and now all they can see are microtransactions, loot boxes, F2P exploitation, and invasive DRM, all on shorter and less dense games with less interesting content. All of this with marketing that constantly overpromises and then underdelivers. It is basically fraud.

Also, it is not just a comparison to the golden days in the past. There are companies that do a damn good job making great games. Why tolerate BS from a developer if there is one that treats their customers right and with respect?

Sorry if gamers are discerning customers and not the corporate fanboys you want.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 573   +738
I mean if you want that type of simulation experience there are other games out there for it. Personally, after having done the landing sequence 1000s of times in Elite I am okay with getting a cutscene of landing and taking off.

That's a great point. I mean you could download DCS for that takeoff and land fix, and it does it far better than any RPG will ever do it.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 573   +738
I dont know the last time you played NMS but your assessment is completely off base, inaccurate and simply wrong. There are NPC's, settlements to fight over, run, govern. Tons of lifeforms. There is so much to do on a NMS planet its ridiculous. Now if you had said, its the same things to do on every planet, that would be different but saying NMS planets are empty is about as incorrect as you can get.

I'd give credit to the NMS team for adding all that content eventually, but there's no denying it launched with most of its promises missing. Outside of flying in and out of planets there wasn't much else...
 

Aceseven

Posts: 315   +399
Fans are like that because they know better, have experienced better in the recent past, and expect gaming to improve, not degrade into a corporate squeezing of customers. Gaming was more consumer-friendly, less exploitative, and developed with more good faith in previous decades.

Gamers still remember all this and now all they can see are microtransactions, loot boxes, F2P exploitation, and invasive DRM, all on shorter and less dense games with less interesting content. All of this with marketing that constantly overpromises and then underdelivers. It is basically fraud.

Also, it is not just a comparison to the golden days in the past. There are companies that do a damn good job making great games. Why tolerate BS from a developer if there is one that treats their customers right and with respect?

Sorry if gamers are discerning customers and not the corporate fanboys you want.
gamers arent discerning customers, they literally beg for everything to be f2p and will flock to whatever shiny new bauble catches their attention.

all of the grimy things devs and publishers have thought up keep working because those same oh so smart gamers keep tossing whatever dollars they can find at it.

I bet fromsoft or whoever else could sketch a stickman on a napkin, say something is coming soon and these dopes would run through traffic to preorder it.