If you happen to enjoy some ponderous planetary exploration in Starfield, you'll be glad that the dev team made things much more friendly out there in the run up to launch. In a new discussion on the 'AIAS Game Maker's Notebook Podcast' (thanks, GamesRadar), Bethesda's Todd Howard talked about exploring the cosmos in Starfield, and how the experience was once a lot more punishing.
Basically, at one stage, the team had quite an unforgiving system in place that meant exploring planets was a much more difficult task - depending on conditions and the gear you had acquired. In the end, the team "nerfed the hell out of it" so that players could enjoy roaming around more:
"So the way the environmental damage works in the game, on planets and on your suit, you have resistances to certain types of atmosphere effects, whether that's radiation or thermal, etc. and that was a pretty complex system.
It was a complicated system for players to understand [...] we just nerfed the hell out of it."
Todd went on to say that at one stage, the game required you to switch between different spacesuits to survive on different planets; "one for high radiation planets, one for really cold planets" etc., but the team didn't want to overwhelm the player. However, the Starfield director did hint that something similar could come to the game after launch - although no promises were made.
The full interview is well worth a watch if you've got an hour or so of spare time and even a fleeting interested in Bethesda's latest RPG - Todd opens up about developing Starfield and how it was working with Microsoft towards the end of the process.