Spoilers Ahead

Starfield is like a summertime flea market at a local fairground: it’s sprawling, probably filled with janky stuff, but people really love going there because every once in a while, amidst the dirty old toys, attic-rescued furniture, a seemingly never-ending supply of 1970’s kitsch, and that one weirdo who makes “home remedies” in jars, they might find something completely unexpected that just blows their minds.

Last night I had jumped into the game while on Discord with Friends, so I wasn’t recording video and therefor didn’t want to tackle anything particularly exciting. I decided to go on one of those survey missions where I had to scan a planet for cash. Everything is for cash in this game, but I only ever buy ammo. As busy-work goes, it was pretty mindless, and after I capped the purpose, I decided to take a look around one random moon.

Every now and then, NPC ships will fly overhead and land nearby when groundside. Depending on how far the ship is from where I am, I have tried to reach them on foot, only to have the ship take off after I kill the pirates who are milling around outside. This time, I managed to reach the ship, and decided to run like my ass was on fire to get into the bay before I started taking out the picnickers. Once that was done, I let myself into the ship, and reduced the crew compliment to 0.

In this situation, one can take the ship. Since it was a Crimson Raider ship I figured why not? It wasn’t sexy, and was under-powered compared to my Mantis Razorleaf, but maybe I could loot everything and sell the ship at the nearest outpost. My first thought was to go to New Atlantis. Bad decision; being a pirate ship, I had contraband on board and because I panicked, I held “E” a bit too long, got up from my seat, and missed the chance to pay the fine so the entire UC armada laid into me and I died. On reload, I jumped out of Jemison to Valo, home of HopeTown (which is a whole other dust-up and part of the Freestar Collective faction mission). That’s when things got weird.

I was once again stopped by the local authorities, but I carefully made sure I didn’t eject myself before I was able to answer their hails. Thing is, the options I got weren’t the usual “pay fine, lose inventory”. I could only surrender, and was faded to black for my troubles (scene transition, not knocked unconscious).

When I awoke (again, transition), I was in an interrogation room being stared at by some members of a division of the UC Navy called the United Colonies System Defense. I was eventually taken to speak with Commander Kibwe Ikande who offers me an ultimatum: go to jail, or go undercover and infiltrate the Crimson Fleet.

Because I suck at taking screenshots, and at taking notes in general, I had to look up some particulars on this particular circumstance. This mission is called “Deep Cover”, and isn’t specific to hijacking a Crimson Fleet ship; that just happened to be my exciting introduction. According to info online, this mission can trigger by getting arrested on Jemison as well and refusing to pay the fine. While that’s cool and all, I’m kind of bummed that this mission is not specific to my circumstance. I don’t think someone should be tapped for undercover work, regardless of their reputation, because they failed a pickpocket attempt. I expect that this will be substantial content, though, so I understand that limiting its introduction to a very specific situation which some/many/most people won’t ever get to would be a waste, but I think it sounds better to get chosen because I’ve already pirated a pirate ship.

As an aside (and which I’d rather rant about in its own post but good segues are few and far between), this is kind of why I dislike “guide culture”. I have a friend who has been pumping out links to all kinds of videos and articles on how to “get the best ship in the game!” or “get the most powerful gun in the game!”. I really hate that shit. I didn’t pay Starfield Money to watch some “what’s up guys” asshole lead through the story content so I could take a shortcut to min-max my character. If I hadn’t purchased the game and was interested in the story, or just wanted to see how it plays, I’d watch Let’s Play videos for a bit, which is fine. But I think the idea of leaning on someone else to suck the mystique and surprise out of a game like Starfield is just really, really stupid, and makes owning the game basically worthless. Note that this does not pertain to “WTF do I do now?” style situations where a solution just isn’t clicking, or when I want to be effective in group-centric games. I reserve this particular ire for story-based, expansive titles where experiencing the experience is the whole point.

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