Decoding Starfield Mannequin: Why Do They All Have Low-Quality Gear?

Starfield Mannequin are a common sight in Starfield. They can be found decorating settlements, outposts, and facilities across the Settled Systems. However, players have noticed that the gear these mannequins wear is almost always low quality Deep Mining equipment. This has led to confusion and frustration among fans who are looking for better loot.

The Issue With Starfield Mannequin

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A Reddit user created a post detailing this issue that has gained a lot of traction. They explained how at level 83 on very hard difficulty, they feel they should be finding better gear on enemies and in loot chests. However, they continue to find mostly low quality items, even on mannequins inside master locked containers.

Many users in the thread echoed this frustration. A Redditor said they have not found a single legendary or rare Advanced armor drop despite farming high level planets. Others mentioned finding strong gear early on, like the Mantis suit, but then hitting a long dry spell where nothing better is found for dozens of hours of gameplay. There seems to be a disconnect between player level, difficulty, and the quality of loot drops.

Possible Explanations

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Several theories have been proposed to explain this issue. Many feel that loot scaling and rarity are not working properly. The level of enemies and containers does not correspond to the gear that drops from them. Loot rarity also seems to decrease as you gain levels rather than increase.

Some think loot is tied to solar system level rather than player level. So even high level players will find low level loot in starting systems. Others blame RNG and think the loot system is functioning erratically. Players with certain traits and backgrounds seem to have worse luck than others, hinting at something being misconfigured.

Mannequins in particular are believed to be bugged. They are always wearing Deep Mining suits regardless of location or container difficulty. Some think their loot pool is broken and stuck on basic items. The fact that they never wear faction themed armor also points to something being wrong.

Many have speculated that the underlying economy is unbalanced. With so much basic vendor trash flooding the systems compared to useful items, it creates the illusion of bad loot. Mods and crafting could potentially help mitigate this issue.

Impact on Gameplay

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This loot problem has wide ranging impacts on gameplay. The lack of item progression leads to stagnation. Players hold onto early game items because nothing better drops, even dozens of hours later. It diminishes the excitement of opening chests and looting boss corpses since you know it will be worthless.

It also restricts build diversity. You cannot spec into certain playstyles because gear to support it does not exist. Some skills like lockpicking feel pointless when their only reward is low level items. Faction missions become frustrating when the rewards are always inferior to what you already have equipped.

For many, it ruins the core gameplay loop of equip, mod, and upgrade. Your character is essentially built at the 10 hour mark with no upgrades available after that. It removes an important sense of progression in what is meant to be an endless RPG.

Steps to Resolve

Fixing these issues should be a top priority for Bethesda. Here are some steps they could take to improve the situation:

  1. Overhaul loot scaling and rarity – Tie gear quality to player level, not zone level, and increase chances for rare/epic/legendary at higher difficulties
  2. Fix mannequin loot pool – Make them draw from all gear types just like enemies and chests
  3. Add more unique items – Faction themed armor, named vendor loot, quest rewards
  4. Allow gear upgrading – Let players improve qualities of items they like through crafting
  5. Rebalance economy – Reduce trash drops cluttering loot table so good gear has room to appear
  6. Create gear sets – Collections of items that provide bonuses when worn together
  7. Introduce transmog – Let appearance of gear be changed while retaining stats
  8. Expand mods – More weapon and armor mods would add variety and longevity

Implementing changes like these would go a long way in improving overall loot satisfaction and game longevity. It would provide more goals to work towards and make the core loop enjoyable long term. Better loot is the key that unlocks build diversity, rewarding exploration, and entertaining experimentation.

The Player Experience

To humanize the player experience, here is a little story about encountering this issue:

A player just reached level 50 and was excited to start finding some real powerful weapons and gear. He loaded up a high level bounty hunter mission on the planet Celebrai. The targets were tough but he managed to take them down after an epic battle. Eagerly, he looted the bodies but only found a common pistol and repair kit – worthless!

An hour later he unlocked a master terminal and opened the reward chest inside – more trash greens and greys. Frustrated, he decided to try buying new gear at a faction vendor but their stock was no better.

These experiences repeated over and over. Marcus was growing bored using the same basic rifle and armor he had been wearing for dozens of hours now. He felt his character progress stagnating with no new gear to mix up his playstyle. Exploration was feeling pointless when even the most hidden caches contained useless items. The loot treadmill he had been running felt broken.

Many players share Marcus’s frustration. The lack of compelling gear diminishes the rewarding feeling that should come from difficult battles and master locks. It reduces the game to a repetitive trudge. Like Marcus, players just want the loot system improved so they can have fun chasing new gear builds and spectacle again.

The Key Takeaway

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In summary, Starfield’s mannequins wearing low level mining suits is indicative of a larger issue with loot scaling and variety. Gear drops do not align with player power level making progression feel stalled. Rare items are too scarce to enable impactful new builds. Steps need to be taken to expand the loot pool and make its distribution more rewarding. This would reignite the core gameplay loop which has gone stale for many players. Better loot ensures continued engagement and experimentation. It is the lifeblood of Starfield.

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