Fan Uncovers Starfield’s Full Skill Trees Ahead Of Release

As the next Big Game™ on the near horizon, you might have a lot of questions about Starfield. We know that the game will have an enormous amount of explorable planets, but other specifics are still somewhat of an unknown—until now, that is. One fan has spent hundreds of hours compiling all known information about Starfield’s character skill system, and the results are yours to peruse.

As a Bethesda-style RPG, Starfield will feature a set of skills you can invest in on top of its exploration and combat. If you’ve played Skyrim or recent Fallout games, you’ll likely know what to expect. But for a game generating as much interest as Starfield, there’s still so much more to learn ahead of its September 6 release. In an attempt to help on that front, one Redditor has compiled what appears to be the game’s entire set of player-earnable skills. Keep in mind however, that while impressive, this information has been pulled from pre-release footage, and so may not be entirely representative of the final game. Still, this is an impressive feat of aggregation, and taking a peek is a decent way to pass the time until the game finally launches.

Pre-order Starfield: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop 

In a Reddit thread titled “After almost 200 hours of research, here is the complete skill system used in Starfield,” user asd8dhd shows off their impressive body of work in a 44-page document.

While it bears repeating that this is all based on pre-release footage and some specifics are expected to differ in the final build of the game, the document reveals that Starfield is likely to break up its skills into the following categories:

  • Physical Skills (such as boosts to damage resistance, increases in health, resistance to infection and addiction, and melee combat)
  • Social Skills (such as persuasion, diplomacy, and bargaining)
  • Combat Skills (seems specific to certain weapon types like lasers, pistols, shotguns, rifles, etc.)
  • Science Skills (features different schools of study like geology, medicine, xenobiology, and astrophysics among others)
  • Tech Skills (focuses on robotics, ship piloting, and ship weaponry)

The document outlines five different skill trees across Novice, Advanced, Expert, and Master. And while certain skills might not be present in the final game, it stands to reason that the final version of Starfield will hew very closely to what’s in this document. You can view all the screenshots the information was pulled from here.

Oh, and if you’re interested in checking out all the star systems that’ve been seen in trailers thus far, check out this page by yet another intrepid pre-release Starfield investigator.

This research is an impressive effort, having taken literally hundreds of hours. It puts my failed attempt to review every chicken parm sandwich in my area to shame.

Nintendo’s Console After Switch May Release In 2024

Nintendo is reportedly planning to release its much desired follow-up to the Nintendo Switch in the second half of 2024. Sources aware of the Zelda publisher’s next-gen console reportedly told VGC that it would be portable, like the Switch, but most details are still snugly under wraps.

Nintendo itself has been exceedingly coy about the future of its hardware, often bowing out of specifics when asked. Earlier this summer, for example, when investors asked if the Switch, which came out in 2017, was approaching its end-of-life, president Shuntaro Furukawa focused on the longevity of its software instead of suggesting it would ever be replaced by a different console.

“Never before in hardware has software sold at such a pace,” he said. “Like last year’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and this year’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom; Nintendo Switch titles sold more than 10 million units in the first three days of their release.”

Despite selling over 125 million, the Switch install base has slowed its growth over the last 12 months. The hardware has also struggled to keep up with some big new releases like Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, though 2023’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom showed the current Switch can still deliver a GOTY-worthy blockbuster with beautiful visuals and good performance.

Read More: Nintendo’s Thinking About How Fans Will Move To Its New Console

Could the Switch Pro come out in 2024?

VGC’s suggested release window lines up with a Nikkei report from earlier this year pointing to a similar timeline based on Nintendo’s current negotiations with part suppliers. And Nintendo previously said during a May earnings call that the company wasn’t planning any significant new hardware refreshes before the end of its 2023 fiscal year in April 2024.

Despite how guarded the company is, sources tell VGC that Nintendo is working on a console that might have “an LCD screen, instead of the more premium OLED, in order to bring down costs,” and that “will also accept physical games via a cartridge slot,” VGC writes. Sources did not clarify whether the potential new console would be backwards compatible with Switch titles, a massive boon to everyone who has invested hundreds of dollars into their current Switch game libraries. Nintendo did not immediately respond to Kotaku’s requests for comment.

Based on the details given, this round of next-gen Nintendo rumors seems pretty different from what fans have been anticipating up until now. In 2021, Bloomberg reported that Nintendo already created 4K Switch Pro development kits (Nintendo publicly declared these “[false] claims”) and passed them out to certain developers, which certainly makes the prospect of buying a hardware refresh with a worse LCD screen annoying.

Read More: Report: Games In The Works For 4K Nintendo Console That Doesn’t Officially Exist

Whatever Nintendo is working on, you probably won’t get it this year. Sorry about that.


Why Spider-Verse’s Home Release Isn’t Like The Theatrical Cut

In a recent interview with GamesRadar, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller explained why the movie’s digital release introduced some changes to its multiple theatrical cuts.

Sony Pictures Imageworks “still had some shots that they felt they could do better for the finished version” while the movie’s international cut was going through censor checks two months before its release, according to Miller. This led to crew members chipping in with additional ideas for a final cut of the film with some tweaks and “improvements” to scenes that Miller says fans could “pore over forever.”

Read More: Mind Blown: Across The Spider-Verse Has Multiple Versions Out In Theaters

“Certain crew members– people in the sound department or on the animation team– were like, ‘Oh, could we do this instead?’” Miller told GamesRadar. “Let’s do the best possible version we can. Because it’s a multiverse movie, it’s like there’s a multiverse of the movie– that was really the reasoning behind it. It was trying to make the best possible version that everyone was going to be the proudest of.”

Spoiler warning for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse.

Back in July, moviegoers had their collective minds blown by the fact that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had multiple versions circulating in theaters (outside of the one with audio issues). At the time, fans thought the cuts added to the meta-narrative feel of the film’s multiverse storyline and gave them an excuse to watch it multiple times to see if they noticed any subtle changes in the film. However, fans seem less charitable with some of the additional line changes that the record-breaking animated film made in its home release.

Some changes include alternate lines from Miles Morales at the end of the big Spider-Men chase scene, and how he discovers he’s in the wrong dimension toward the end of the movie.

Read More: Fight Me: Spider-Punk Is Spider-Verse’s Best New Hero

Beyond the Spider-Verse will release ‘when it is ready’

While Spider-Verse’s home release was equated to a game’s day-one patch update, its producers also gave a video game-esque answer as to when folks should expect its sequel Beyond the Spider-Verse to hit theaters, saying only that it will come out “when it is ready.”

“Those conversations are thankfully above our paygrade, but I can tell you we’re already hard at work on it, and we’ll take the time it takes to make it great,” Lord told Digital Spy.

Beyond the Spider-Verse was initially slated to release on March 24 before being delayed indefinitely by Sony Pictures in the wake of the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes.

“What we’re trying to accomplish with the film is have it be the most satisfying conclusion to the story than it can be, and take it to places that you haven’t been before. And make you laugh and cry, and cheer and think,” Miller told Digital Spy.

Diablo 4 Bonus XP Weekend Overlaps With Starfield Release

Diablo IV's Lilith stands in the shadows against a red background.

Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

Diablo IV will host its first XP and Gold buff event, Mother’s Blessing, from September 1 to September 5, which IGN noticed coincides with “NASApunk” role-playing game Starfield’s release window.

Approximately. Bethesda’s Starfield is out in Early Access beginning August 31 at 8 p.m. Eastern, but only for those who own the Premium or Constellation editions of the game, or for Game Pass members who spend $30 to upgrade their (free) Standard copy to Premium. Then, the RPG is out officially, without any clarifications, on September 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Diablo IV’s Mother’s Blessing Weekend is nested in that period, from 1:00  p.m. Eastern on the 1st to 1:00  p.m. Eastern on the 5th. A news brief from Blizzard says that, in that time, all Diablo IV players—including those playing in the Seasonal Realm (which includes seasonal content), those playing in the Eternal Realm (the “default,” base game), and under any World Tier difficulty—will receive both XP and Gold at a 25 percent increased rate.

Read More: Here’s When You Can Actually Start Playing Starfield

“For those curious where to attribute this newfound boon, look for the new in-game icon beside your potion count that signifies the increased rate of earning Gold and XP,” Blizzard says in its brief. “Stoke the fire, gather round, and rally your most savvy of companions to slay demons with renewed fervor. The Blessed Mother’s cruelty is matched by her generosity, but not for long.”

Every Diablo IV player should take advantage of Mother’s Blessing Weekend while they can, but especially those also planning to play Starfield. That game, with its hundreds of explorable planets, can supposedly be hundreds of hours long, so it’ll no doubt occupy most of your video game time once it’s out. But, no pressure if you don’t have time to play both games. Bethesda keeps touting Starfield’s incredible amount of content, I’m sure there’s a planet dedicated to Diablo IV XP.


Arcane Season 2 Will Reportedly Release Winter 2024

An Arcane screenshot shows Jinx sitting in a chair.

Screenshot: Riot Games / Netflix / Kotaku

The second season of Netflix’s popular League of Legends animated series, Arcane, is reportedly expected to release sometime towards the end of next year.

The news of the show’s return, which was shared on Twitter by League of Legends fan account LeagueOfLeaks, was apparently announced by Riot Games’ parent company Tencent during its 2024 Video V Vision Conference. While LeagueOfLeaks’s post only reveals that the show will return sometime in Q4 of 2024 (October-December), fans on the r/leagueofLegends subreddit theorize that the sequel-prequel to the original MOBA game will release sometime in November just like its first season did. Their theory is further supported by the fact that it would land around the same time as League of Legends’ 15th anniversary event

Kotaku reached out to Riot Games, Tencent, and Netflix for comment.

Read More: The Biggest Fan Theories For Netflix’s Second Season Of Arcane, Explained

In our review for Arcane, former Kotaku writer Ari Notis loved the show despite not being a huge LoL fan, saying:

Lest you worry that you need familiarity with League lore, I’ll note, with a confession, that you’ll get by just fine without it. I don’t know anything about the source material, haven’t ever played the game, couldn’t even name any of its characters before watching Arcane. In fact, I think my knowledge gap has only enhanced my enjoyment.

League of Legends

Read More: The Best (And Worst) Video Game Adaptations You Can Stream Right Now

Arcane’s second season was announced in November 2021, during Riot Games’ two-day Undercity Nights event, just two weeks after its series premiere. At the time, fans expected season two of the critically acclaimed video game TV series to take at least six years to complete like its predecessor. Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent reassured fans they wouldn’t have to wait as long for Arcane season 2 in a 2021 tweet, with the caveat that the show wouldn’t be done by 2022—which would’ve been an impossible turnaround for any animated show, especially for one as visually demanding as Arcane was.


Troubled Vampire RPG Gets New Devs, Aims For 2024 Release

A Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 screenshot shows a lady with red glowing eyes standing in the dark.

Screenshot: The Chinese Room

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, a game that’s had a troubled development rife with multiple delays, now has new developers and is eyeing a 2024 release date.

In a new announcement trailer, publisher Paradox Interactive revealed that The Chinese Room, the devs behind Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, will finish developing Bloodlines 2 and introduce new gameplay mechanics in the process. Speaking with PC Gamer, creative director Alex Skidmore revealed that The Chinese Room, known for atmospheric, narrative-focused first-person games, will rebuild Bloodlines 2 using “a new code base with different gameplay mechanics and RPG systems.” You can check out Bloodlines 2’s new reveal trailer below.

World of Darkness

Read More: RPG Starts Offering Refunds For People Sick Of Waiting Years For It To Come Out

Along with the introduction of new RPG systems, Paradox Interactive VP Sean Greaney told PC Gamer that The Chinese Room will be changing the age of players’ vampires. Originally, Bloodlines 2’s player-controlled vampire was meant to be a recently-turned “thin blood,” which is considerably weaker than, say, an aged vampire in the game’s universe. Now, the game stars a more seasoned and powerful vampire, according to PC Gamer.

“We don’t want it to be just a sort of poor homage or pastiche of Bloodlines 1. We want it to be its own thing. We’re not doing what Bloodlines 1 did, which is a traditional RPG game start: the very first day you’re a vampire. The actual character you are has been a vampire for quite a while. And that was to create something different from Bloodlines to give a different experience,” Skidmore told PC Gamer.

Despite playing as an older, more established vampire, Skidmore told PC Gamer players will still be able to “fill in the character a bit” as they roleplay.

The Chinese Room

Not everything is changing now that The Chinese Room is behind the helm of Bloodlines 2. According to PC Gamer, the developer will “reuse a significant amount of art and level design” from previous dev Hardsuit Labs’ version of the game and its Seattle setting. Hopefully, the next stretch of Bloodlines 2 news won’t center on yet another delay like it has in the past.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s New Trailer Reveals Release Date

Whenever Sony events roll around, there’s always a twinge of anticipation among players that we may see new footage of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Square Enix’s sequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake, which itself was the first chapter of its trilogy of games that are not-so-faithfully remaking the 1997 classic. And that’s exactly what we got during today’s State of Play event stream.

The new trailer shows new footage of Cloud meeting everyone’s favorite human-sized plush cat, Cait Sith, who joined Cloud in battle alongside Sephiroth (as an ally?), as well as some choice scenes of Zack carrying a K.O.-ed Cloud, and the teensiest peak at Cloud’s red-cloaked, gun-toting companion, Vincent Valentine. Or at least his back. And what a glorious back it is. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, which was initially slated to release this winter, will now be released on February 29 2024 for PlayStation 5. You can check out the trailer below.


The last time we got a crumb of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth footage was during this year’s Summer Games Event. In it, we saw pleasant scenes of Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barret, and Red XIII traversing Juno, visiting Cosmo Canyon, and riding some Chocobos. We also saw less pleasing sights, like Shinra TV news footage of Barret and Tifa carried into an ambulance and Tifa on her back foot in a fight with Sephiroth. Suffice it to say, FFVII Rebirth looks to continue to remixing story beats from the original game, which’ll have fans on the edge of their gamer chairs.

Read More: A PS5 Game On Two Discs Is Giving 1995

A Quick FAQ About Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Now that we’ve gotten an eyeful of some new FFVIIR scenes folks are sure to be fast at crafting intricate fan theories, art, and memes, so here’s a quick recap of everything we know about Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth takes place after the events of Remake, in which a bunch of events from the original game—like the deaths of Zack Fair and Aerith —seem to not be happening this time around. Or at least not yet, god forbid. Rebirth appears to continue to play with scenarios that deviate from the original 1997 game, chief among them being a scene where Cloud and Sephiroth are traveling through the wilderness together. Weird.

According to a series of posts answering fans’ questions on the official Final Fantasy VII Twitter account, we know that the remake’s take on the original game’s planet-spanning world will be large enough that “players will be able to journey across the wide and multifaceted world with a high degree of freedom.” A part of that odyssey will include a “chain of narrative developments” involving “each character’s destiny.” The account went so far as to claim Squeenix “made preparations” so that players won’t necessarily have to play Remake to “fully enjoy” playing Rebirth. Given the bonkers timeline changes at the end of Remake, I reckon players should play Remake before Rebirth.

Read More: Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Be A Trilogy

Something else players can look forward to with Rebirth is that the game will feature “new comrades.” However, the official tweet saying, “new comrades will join you in battle and you can cooperate with other party members in even closer ways than before” is vague as all hell, so it remains to be seen what that all indicates.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is due out for PlayStation 5 on February 29 2024, while the third, currently unnamed entry in the FFVII Remake trilogy will be released in the future.

Microsoft Aiming To Release Next Xbox By 2028

A Xbox Series X/S sit in front of a black grid.

Image: Microsoft / Kotaku

The successors to Microsoft’s current game consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, seemingly won’t be coming out until sometime in 2028. That’s according to conversations between company executives that were recently made public in federal court filings following the Federal Trade Commission’s failed attempt to block the Activision Blizzard acquisition back in June.

As first reported by Axios, transcripts of a May 2022 meeting recently released by the Northern District Court of California show Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella asking if the “plan for 2028” is to stick with a single main platform target for developers to make games for or pursue something more like the range of specs seen on PC. Based on other executives’ responses, it sounds like some combination of the two.

“We have already started this journey with Xbox One and Xbox One X, furthering it in Series S | X,” corporate VP Kevin Gammill wrote, as transcribed by Axios. “We need to be even more flexible going forward with gen 10, but also provide the ability for creators to take advantage of unique hardware capabilities.”

Plans can always change, but the exchange makes it appear as though Microsoft will double-down on its current multi-model approach with the Series S being weaker but more affordable than the Series X, a more direct competitor to Sony’s equivalent PlayStation 5. 2028 would also make the current generation nine console cycle one of the longer ones. It was six years between the PS2 and PS3, and seven between the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

“I think we’re kind of at the end of the beginning,” Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer told IGN in an interview last month, three years into the life cycle of the current consoles. Early supply shortages and game delays due to the global pandemic may have slowed things down initially, but major new game releases ticked up in 2023, and have already called into question the long-term capabilities of the less technically powerful Xbox Series S.

Despite an apparent requirement that games on Series X have gameplay feature parity with the Series X versions, Larian Studios got an exception to the rule and will eventually ship Baldur’s Gate 3 for Series S without the split-screen co-op it will enjoy in other console versions. While Microsoft continues to back its weaker console, it’s hard to see how it can make it all the way to 2028 without being forced to make more compromises, or some games potentially seeking to skip it altogether.


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