Feel like going for a dip in Starfield? Then you might want to avoid this particular planet. It has a lake or ocean that’s so corrosive that it instantly kills the animals in it. What were they doing there? That’s a question you should perhaps ask Bethesda.
Or maybe not, since I can probably make an educated guess at what’s going on here. As spotted by one Reddit-using Starfield player, this body of water doesn’t look particularly pleasant in the space game – but I guess the yellow colour is kind of a giveaway. Well, it could be something else but I don’t want to think about it.
In this case water, found on the planet Xi Ophiuchi VIII-B, is extremely corrosive. There’s no way anything living can survive in there, but Bethesda have set it to spawn fish.
So, the fish spring into existence and then die. How horrifying must that be as a fish, or whatever alien equivalent Starfield is using? Forget mayflies and their one-hour-to-two-days life span. In this liquid hell you’re lucky if you get a micro-second.
The Reddit user in question didn’t, wisely, wade in. Instead, they snapped a rather sad picture of the fish floating in the corrosive water. They noted that the water’s so damaging, if you shoot at the fish they fly up into the air.
So just what is happening here? It’s probably down to the way Bethesda created Starfield’s galaxy. Like The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall, it used procedural generation to create many of the planets.
That doesn’t mean the planets are being generated as you play, Bethesda will have used procedural generation to build the galaxy. The developer would have employed some kind of tool which selected what to spawn where and so on.
But seems no-one thought to tell it not to check whether a planets ‘water’ can support life before marking that body of liquid as a spawn point. As disturbing as this murderlake/hellocean is, I’d be surprised if there weren’t more of them out there. That’s enough reason for me to fire Starfield up again.