Don’t Fall For It, Never Preorder!
The lead designer of Starfield, Emil Pagliarulo, and the lead quest designer, Will She, held a AMA-like event on Discord where they revealed quite a bit about Bethesda’s next bug fest … err fully polished game. It will come as no surprise that you will be able to purchase and decorate housing in all the major cities on the various settled planets, as that has been a staple of RPGs for some time now. What might surprise you is there is no way to finish the game without a little blood on your hands. There are ways to talk your way out of combat as well as non-lethal weapons, but apparently someone needs to die at some point, for some very important reason.
They’ve also included smuggling mechanics, allowing you to add secret compartments to your ship so you can cart around illegal items to sell to shady people. The repercussions are Elder Scrolls-like, if you get caught you can head to jail, bribe the person who caught you, try to escape or see if you can take on the entire planetary patrol. They bragged of over 20 companions you can pay to join your crew, a one time fee and not salaried, which could make replays a possibility.
First off, a note on the subject of Starfield and housing. You can own property in "all the major cities in the game", according to Pagliarulo, with some dwellings being purchaseable and others, quest rewards.