Take all those damn pencils out of your Starfield inventory, Todd Howard tells overencumbered pack rats

Todd Howard
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

If there's one thing I love in this world, it's trinkets. Tchotchkes. Doodads and thingamajigs. Nothing enables this desire for collecting crud more than a good old-fashioned Bethesda game. Forks, mugs, spoons, bowls—you name it, it's probably in my inventory.

Yet now I sit here as the king of crud collection himself is telling me I'm doing it all wrong. Yep, as GamesRadar reports, Todd Howard has singled out me and my fellow overencumbered adventurers for hoarding all random junk you can pick up.

"It seems like people hit this every time they play one of our new games: picking up all the stuff," Howard told Insomniac Games' Ted Price on the Game Maker's Notebook podcast. "They immediately get encumbered. No, you don't need the trays and the pencils. But we like that you can pick them up."

I have to respectfully disagree with Howard here. Sure, my pencil isn't worth a single coin. I can't even use it to write a nice letter or repurpose it into an entirely new item. But it's my pencil. If you didn't want me amassing a Staples store worth of stationary, you shouldn't have given me the option! I admittedly haven't dumped a whole lot of hours into Starfield, but I can tell you I spent almost the entire time fighting my oxygen tank in the name of carrying all of my extra junk around with me. 

Honestly, though, I'll do anything to spite an encumbrance mechanic in videogames. As Luke Winkie wrote a few years back, encumbrance kinda sucks. It's one of those necessary evils, something to help rein the player in or create a more meaningful way of handling different armour and weaponry. Doesn't make me hate it any less, mind.


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Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.