Starfield will bring back Oblivion’s “conversation wheel”


Millions of gamers the world over are waiting for Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming role-playing game set in space.

Because even if Bethesda has only shown a cinematic trailer and a bunch of concept art of Starfield so far, this is still one of the most eagerly anticipated games in a very long time, a game that Bethesda boss Todd Howard has described as “Skyrim in space”.

Bethesda, though, will have a hard time topping The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is still the company’s best-selling game, and is widely considered one of the best RPGs ever made.

But expectations are certainly high for Starfield, which will be the company’s first new IP in 25 years. And after focusing on its Elder Scrolls and Fallout series for so long, gamers will surely be wanting to see whether Starfield will be something special when it comes out on November 11 this year.

Of course, while Starfield may bring some innovations to the table, it is expected to stick to the template laid out by Bethesda’s earlier releases. And one thing that the game will be bringing back is the “conversation wheel” from Bethesda’s earlier game Oblivion, as was recently reported on IGN.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (to give it its full name) came out back in 2006, and despite looking pretty dated now, is still one fine role-playing game. Although its successor Skyrim is a superior game, Oblivion had something the former didn’t: the conversation wheel.

This was part of a persuasion mini-game in which you could admire, boast, joke and coerce the other person (and also resort to bribing) in order to improve the other character’s disposition towards you, and get them to reveal their secrets…

“It feels like you’re having a conversation where you’re actually trying to persuade somebody of something”, said Bethesda’s Todd Howard, adding that “as far as new systems dialogue, I think it’s definitely one of the most successful ones that we’ve had”.

It was a nice mini-game which was left out in Skyrim, but is seemingly coming back in some form in Bethesda’s upcoming Starfield game, as lead quest designer Will Shen said in a recent developer video.

“We sat down, and it was funny [because] we didn’t start with ‘let’s look back at the old Oblivion system’, but there are a couple of beats there”, said Chen.

“You have to think about, ‘What’s my risk here? Which one do I want to choose?’ We didn’t want it to be a system where there was definitely the right thing to say”, added the Bethesda man.

Also, the fact that there won’t be a clear right or wrong answer in conversations is a plus, meaning that Starfield might allow for deep role-playing, letting players truly be the character they want to be in its sci-fi fantasy world.

It would be a great thing, then, if Starfield turns out to be as good as the best Bethesda has offered in the past when it launches this fall. There’s also the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI game to look forward to, even though this likely won’t ship until sometime in 2025, giving that Bethesda is focusing its energies on Starfield’s launch this November.

Read more: Starfield gets release date and trailer at E3