No Man’s Sky NEXT

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jul 31, 2018

Filed under: Column 120 comments

This week on the Diecast we talked about No Man’s Sky NEXT, the massive patch / overhaul that rolled out a week ago. I was peeved that people were claiming that the patch “fixes the game”, when none of the core problems had been addressed. As I said on the show, “It’s the same damn game!”

But I put a few more hours into it and I don’t think that’s quite fair. It’s not the same game. It’s a very different game… with most of the same problems.

If you’re new to the site, you may want to go back and revisit what I said about No Man’s Sky a year ago when I did a four-part analysis on the state of the game as it existed in the summer of 2017. In particular, The Disappointment Engine post illustrates how so many of the mechanics work to frustrate the player.

Before we can look at where the game is now, let’s jump back and look at where it was at launch two years ago.

No Man’s Launch

For the record, all the screenshots in this post are from the latest version. (And not from pre-NEXT versions, even though that's what I'm talking about below.)
For the record, all the screenshots in this post are from the latest version. (And not from pre-NEXT versions, even though that's what I'm talking about below.)

Back in 2016 this started out as a very fussy, annoying, shallow game. You had just a few precious inventory slots available to work with, and you needed most of them just to get around. You needed to gather one resource to power your mining laser, another resource to keep your life support going, another to power the takeoff engine on your ship, another to power your ship to fly between planets, and still more to make the jump between star systems. Some of these resources had to be crafted into other things with pointless levels of intermediate recipes.

That was basically it. The whole gameplay loop was just a treadmill of harvesting stuff so you could fly to a new planet and harvest the exact same stuff. There was a mild progression system where you could gradually upgrade your equipment and ship, but there was a ton of grind between moments of meaningful progression. You’d spend hours and hours gathering the same trivial resources and refilling the same equipment just to keep going, constantly opening your inventory to shuffle things around.

Sometimes you’d find treasure in the world in the form of ultra-rare resources, but since your pockets were always full you couldn’t really take it with you which means there was no reason to go looking for it.

Imagine a version of Skyrim where you can only carry 11 items, and your armor and weapons take up 9 of those slots. Sometimes you’ll find a stack of ten valuable items, but who cares? You can only take two of them with you. Why even bother looking for treasure? But if I’m not going to look for treasure, then… what am I striving for? The whole thing was a self-defeating loop of busywork.

I cheated myself a decent looking ship, but I'd rather there was a way to properly EARN it through upgrades and customization.
I cheated myself a decent looking ship, but I'd rather there was a way to properly EARN it through upgrades and customization.

And then once you sunk a few dozen hours into the game you’d finally reach a major unlock and gain access to a new batch of star systems only to discover they’re basically indistinguishable from the ones you’ve been staring at for hours.

Some people claimed it was a good “zen” game where you could just relax and enjoy the journey, but that made no sense to me. I could see how travelling around in No Man’s Sky could be about low-key exploration and wanderlust. Sadly, the mechanics work directly against this idea at every turn. It’s really hard to get into a “zen” state with the computer beeping at you “INVENTORY. FULL.” every ten steps. It’s hard to enjoy the journey and exploration when I have to keep stopping to shift some stuff from my main inventory to the ship inventory and puzzle over stack sizes to free up more space in my pockets. It’s like a highway where there’s a traffic light every five car lengths. That’s not my idea of a zen experience.

It was a shallow game where the central gameplay loop worked directly against the one thing the game did really well.

So now it’s been two years. What’s changed?

The New Hotness

New since launch: You can decorate your flagship. Also new: You have a flagship.
New since launch: You can decorate your flagship. Also new: You have a flagship.

The game now has many routes of progression! You can do the Atlas quest. You can work for Polo. You can do the random stuff Artemis tells you to do. Your terrestrial base is no longer tied to a pointless linear quest, so you can build the place you want. Or several of them. You can own a flagship and frigates and send the frigates out on timed missions. You can build inside your flagship to make it a swank hangout and build up your fleet.

This isn’t brilliant content or anything, and there’s not a lot of synergy between the different layers. But it does form a coherent sense of progression and give you a reason to explore that great big expanse of stars and planets.

Space stations feel like proper space stations now. Previously a space station would have one small room with one guy and a commerce terminal. Now it looks like a mall, with people loitering in the open area in front of the shops.

I look kinda like Deadmau5.
I look kinda like Deadmau5.

You can now customize the look of your character. You can choose a race, a head, your outfit, and color everything. Even better, this feature is designed to be easy and fun, rather than yet another grind. Rebuild your character at any space station for no cost. All of the characters are genderless aliens of some sort. Some are cute, some are amusing, and some look strange. There’s a lot of variety so you’ll probably find something you like.

The planets are a little more interesting now. While every planet is still a single-biome deal, they have local differences in topology rather than being a single homogeneous landscape. You get highlands, lowlands, and coastal regions. Also, the landscape on the ground now matches what you see from space, putting an end to the days when you’d aim yourself at the middle of a continent, descend towards the planet, and then find yourself staring at a vast ocean once you emerged from the clouds.

Multiplayer now works, although I haven’t tried playing with anyoneI’m on GoG and all my friends are on Steam, and I don’t even know if cross-play is possible..

I would say the people praising the game are basically right in the sense that No Man’s Sky is now “fixed”. It’s a proper game at this point, with both short-term and long-term goals. From here, the biggest thing you could do to improve the game is to remove the stuff that doesn’t work. We don’t need more features, we just need to remove the stuff stopping us from engaging with the features we already have.

Give Us Some SPACE

Vast new worlds of possibility. Same old interface sorting bullshit.
Vast new worlds of possibility. Same old interface sorting bullshit.

The starting inventory is MADNESS. It’s not just “a little too small”, it’s massively undersized in a way that kills the player’s ability to engage with the best parts of the game.

As designed, your typical end-game starship has about 48 slots. With that many slots, you can reasonably behave like a typical open-world adventurer: Go out into the wilderness. Get yourself into some trouble. Find some cool loot. Load up your pockets with treasure, take it back to town, sell it, and use the proceeds to buy yourself an upgrade or two. Rinse. Repeat.

When the NEXT patch came out, I started a new game and immediately used a save editor to give myself a 48 slot starship. Here is one of the adventures I had:

I landed on a planet with searing rainstorms, where the local sentinel robots were incredibly aggressive. So I had to sprint from one cave to the next to take shelter before the rain boiled me. There were these clusters of glowing spheres that the sentinels guarded jealously. Sometimes as I was running through the torrent I’d find a nest of spheres and pick up a couple, even though that would immediately summon the killer robots. It was a mad dash across the planet, blasting robots, cowering from the storms, swiping treasure, and scanning the occasional bit of wildlife when I got a calm moment. When it was over my cargo bay was bursting with glowing spheres, I’d managed to 100% the wildlife scans for a nice bonus, and I’d even hit a couple of progression milestones for killing sentinels and surviving in extreme conditions.

It was the most fun I’d ever had playing No Man’s Sky.

And yet, that adventure would not have been possible if I’d been playing the game as intended. With the intended early-game inventory I would have landed, picked up a couple of spheres, and then I’d be full before I even lost sight of my ship. What then? Just LEAVE after being on the planet for sixty seconds? Is this really what the game designer wants us to do? Or do they expect us to wander around on a planet for no reason, passing up piles of loot we can’t take with us?

It’s not like this would unbalance the game! My hour-long adventure netted me about a million space bucks in glowing spheres. That’s comparable to the other ways of making money at that point in the game. The only difference was that this was fun and exciting and gave me a reason to explore these planets on foot.

Get Rid of the Busywork

Planetary rings are a cool new feature.
Planetary rings are a cool new feature.

The other thing that needs to go is the busywork “gameplay” of constantly gathering up all the different kinds of fuel. It’s not that you have to gather stuff often, it’s that you need to do so constantly. Your gear in No Man’s Sky is like a car that can only hold enough gas to drive four blocks. Don’t worry, the game designer put three gas stations on every bock. Sure, that makes the scenery incredibly repetitive and the constant refilling keeps you from enjoying the journey, but on the other hand… um. What’s the point of this feature again?

In No Man’s Sky, the space between planets is filled with this homogenous cloud of space-rocks. If space were actually filled with rocks like this, then space would be opaque. It’s complete nonsense from a scientific standpointYes, any game with faster-than-light travel is scientifically nonsense. But there’s a difference between compromises made in the name of fun and things that look blatantly absurd for no reason. I won’t complain about artificial gravity on spaceships, but I would complain if my spaceship propelled itself by flapping its wings., it looks ugly having all these space-turds floating around you all the time, and the rocks block our view of the gorgeous scenery.

The thing is, the only reason those rocks exist is because you might run out of fuel while you’re flying between planets. If you just made the pulse drive free, then you could get rid of the absurd cloud of rocksPlanets can now have rings. That’s a great place to stick the space-rocks for players who enjoy asteroid mining.. This wouldn’t even change the balance of the game. Right now you stop, shoot rocks for two minutes until you’re topped off, and then continue on your way. The process adds nothing to the game.

It looks like there are just a few rocks here, but more materialize as you move through the cloud.
It looks like there are just a few rocks here, but more materialize as you move through the cloud.

When the game was new, the busywork gathering mechanics existed because that was the only “gameplay” NMS had to offer. Now we’ve got real gameplay systems and lots of long-term goals. You can spend dozens of hours upgrading your ship, your gear, your fleet, and your base.

All the refueling mechanics do is distract you from the fun stuff. It’s trivially easy so it doesn’t make for a challenge to overcome. It adds to the fun-destroying inventory pressure and it distracts you from the parts of the game that are actually interesting. This is like a shooter where you have to stop after every room and spend five minutes piling up boxes to make a staircase so you can reach the next room. Yes, it makes the game much longer, but at what cost?

To be clear, I think some of the fuel mechanics are okay. I think having the player stop for warp fuel makes sense, since it pushes to you stop and explore the planets. Having the player need to find / craft ammo works well enough. But the mining laser should not need to be refueled. It’s already got the heat mechanic to throttle usage.

Likewise, I’m not suggesting that the player’s life support systems be limitless. I’m just suggesting that it would be better if it recharged automatically when you reached your ship / shelter. Stopping to open the inventory every few minutes so I can shove resources into the life support system doesn’t add anything to the game, particularly when those resources are all around me, all the time.

Overall, It’s Better

This is either a REALLY small planet or that's a RIDICULOUSLY big ship. Either way, cool view.
This is either a REALLY small planet or that's a RIDICULOUSLY big ship. Either way, cool view.

I gave up on this game last year. I didn’t think anyone at Hello Games knew how to design gameplay mechanics. But with the NEXT update they really do seem to be improving. Gradually. I don’t know if they got help, if they’re listening to feedback, or if they’re learning as they go.

There’s still a lot of strangeness in the system, but most of it is leftover nonsense from the early versions of the game. The interface is still vastly more complicated than it should be, and I don’t see any way to fix that. The vehicles are still as pointless as ever, which is a shame considering how much work went into them. The language-learning mechanic progresses so slowly that it’s pointless, which is fine since the game ignores the language barrier when it’s convenient. There are still bugs and oddities.

If you’re looking to try the game yourself, I strongly recommend this save editor. When you start a new game, use the editor to give yourself some breathing room in terms of inventory space. It really does make a massive difference. Even if you’d prefer to try the intended experience first, keep the editor in mind. It might salvage the game for you once the interface blues take hold.

 

Footnotes:

[1] I’m on GoG and all my friends are on Steam, and I don’t even know if cross-play is possible.

[2] Yes, any game with faster-than-light travel is scientifically nonsense. But there’s a difference between compromises made in the name of fun and things that look blatantly absurd for no reason. I won’t complain about artificial gravity on spaceships, but I would complain if my spaceship propelled itself by flapping its wings.

[3] Planets can now have rings. That’s a great place to stick the space-rocks for players who enjoy asteroid mining.



From The Archives:
 

120 thoughts on “No Man’s Sky NEXT

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    You forgot to mention planetary rings. They’re a cool new feature.

    1. Gargamel Le Noir says:

      Check the alt text of the picture under “Get Rid of the Busywork”
      Edit : Damn it, my sarcasm radar failed me, didn’t it?

    2. DerJungerLudendorff says:

      He also forgot to mention that you can customize your flagship now. Also you have a flagship now.

  2. Karma The Alligator says:

    Is it on purpose that you have the same picture about planetary rings (with the same text) twice?

    It’s kinda weird, I’d heard that NEXT was supposed to be a sequel, which annoyed me since the base game was, well, kinda broken. Much better that it’s an expansion/overhaul instead.

  3. Bloodsquirrel says:

    This is like a shooter where you have to stop after every room and spend five minutes piling up boxes to make a staircase so you can reach the next room.

    Oh, so it’s Half-Life 2?

    1. Ander says:

      Yeah, that was my first thought. My second thought was that HL2 isn’t at its best in the shooter portion, and the whole package makes it up for me. Many others, understandably, hold that an FPS with subpar shooting is ipso facto a subpar game.

      1. Jabberwok says:

        Yeah, HL2 would go on my list of favorite shooters ever, yet the shooting itself probably wouldn’t make the same list.

    2. Sartharina says:

      At least Half Life 2 has the materials and method of building the staircase constantly changing and becoming more elaborate.

  4. Ronan says:

    I’m on GoG and all my friends are on Steam, and I don’t even know if cross-play is possible.

    It is not possible, because they didn’t bother implementing multiplayer for GoG so there is no multiplayer for GoG users.

    GoG has – on their own – offered to refund users: https://www.gog.com/news/extended_refund_policy_for_no_mans_sky

    1. Niriel says:

      It’s very nice of GoG to do that. But five days only to ask for a refund? I spent the whole week moving from one house to another, packing, painting, my new home isn’t even connected to the internet yet (previous owners were very old people who never needed it). I have like three games on GoG, I don’t start it often to check the news, and I’ve been trained to ignore their emails. Sure, I never bought NMS so I’m not personally affected. Still, five days only seems tight.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Wow.

        I mean no disrespect, but the amount of ridiculously piled-up issues you’re currently having, some of which are entirely your choice, is surely rare enough that hardly anyone has a similar situation. Frankly, considering that they don’t even have an obligation to extend this refund policy, and that it even applies to people who purchased the game at launch, I’d say “generous” doesn’t quite say it.

    2. Ander says:

      Props to GOG. I’m glad they’ve become my first place to look for buying games.

  5. PeteTimesSix says:

    …but I would complain if my spaceship propelled itself by flapping its wings.

    Maybe you would. Personally I think there is a vast untapped market for games that’d let me ride space dragons/birds/whales.

    1. Karma The Alligator says:

      Space animals would be awesome, but that’s not what Shamus said. He’d complain if his spaceship, something made of metal, flapped its wings.

      1. Ronan says:

        Like a space ornithopter ?

          1. Echo Tango says:

            Yeeaaaaaahhhhh!

      2. PeteTimesSix says:

        Warframe’s various landing crafts and their flappy bits come to mind.

        Mind you, Im not sure what the purpose of most of them (some do seem to at least provide thrust vectoring) is…

        1. Kestrellius says:

          I’m not sure what the purpose of anything in Warframe is.

          Of course, most of what we see was built by the Orokin or people descended from them, and…well, the Orokin “Literally Everything In This Game Is One Of Our Projects Gone Wrong” Empire isn’t exactly known for its practicality.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I’m not sure what the purpose of anything in Warframe is.

            Being cool.

      3. derjungerludendorff says:

        So you’re saying you don’t want to ride across the galaxy on a winged robo-whale?

        1. Karma The Alligator says:

          I did say space animals would be awesome. A winged robo-whale isn’t a spaceship, though (even Farscape’s biomechanoids aren’t winged).

    2. Syal says:

      Kangaroo ships hopping their way across space. Snake ships that sway back and forth. Tick ships that can’t do interstellar travel on their own but can magnetize themselves to a nearby ship that can, and just cling to it annoyingly.

      Horizon Zero Dawn SPACE.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        There’s definitely room for a game with these ships in the market! :)

    3. LCF says:

      “but I would complain if my spaceship propelled itself by flapping its wings.”
      Someone’s overdue for a Spelljammer session.

  6. BlueHorus says:

    I’m not sure if this was asked first time around, but does NMS NEXT have mod support? A lot of these problems seem kind of obvious as well as long-standing – and in my experience, modders are great at making small ‘quality-of-life’ improvements that soon seem indispensable.

    Mods making (say) the pulse drive and/or mining laser free seem obvious enough that they would already exist by now – if it’s possible.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Sweet! Now I’m a bit more likely to pick this game up, probably in a sale.

        You can usually trust a mod community to iron out the worst ideas a game has given enough time.

        1. Marc Forrester says:

          I’ll be fascinated to see how this plays out with people being able to edit their saves and fundamental gameplay mechanics on what is now an open PvP online sandbox. https://diablo.gamepedia.com/The_Stone_of_Jordan

          1. Mephane says:

            Right now, mods and multiplayer mix in odd ways.

            Some things only have an effect for the player with the mod, for example alternative models for the exocraft (ground vehicles) – other players see the default model instead. This still could have funky side-effects due to different hitboxes between the models.

            Other things seem to impact the session as a whole. For example, I use a mod that makes launching your ship free (because I find that fixed fuel cost a giant hassle, the game feels much smoother without that barrier to travelling around a planet), and when a friend joined my game, apparently for them launching the ship was then free, too. If I joined theirs, it appears that I would get free launches but they wouldn’t, however.

        2. Galad says:

          Looks like the team making this game is bumbling their way into proper game design. I’m still only possibly going to try this game if I somehow get it for free.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Multiplayer now works, although I haven’t tried playing with anyone

    You have to play it with Paul.Both of you have talked about the game before the patch,so it is the law that both of you now have to play it together.

    1. Droid says:

      By that argument, Shamus and SoldierHawk would have to play Dark Souls Remastered together, as it is a graphics patch for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition.

      So, yeah, if someone were to institute that as a new tradition on this blog, I’d definitely be in favour of it.

  8. BlueBlazeSpear says:

    Nothing frustrates me more in a game than to get pulled out of the fun bits because I’m being bogged down by busywork. And I read your series about No Man’s Sky and it just seemed like the game was about busywork, and that really put me off to the idea of the game.

    No Man’s Sky: Next sounds like it tried to give the busywork more purpose instead of trimming back the busywork so that a player could do something crazy like actually enjoy the game.

    As much as I like space and sci/fi stuff, this sounds more like an exhaustive slog than anything else, even with these improvements.

  9. FormidableDice says:

    I would love to see you contrast No Mans Sky with Empyrion. Basically similar game concept, but Empyrion does it better (or at least was more enjoyable).

    Empyrion has less random worlds and a more of a survival resource pyramid. Ships can be built almost Lego style. It is also in extended alpha…

    1. Scerro says:

      Empyrion is fundamentally not an exploration game, it’s more about building and designing ships and bases. It’s a weird set of blocks intended for PvE, PvP, and Survival. Fundamentally, it’s Space Engineers with the collision simulator removed. I like it, but it’s almost more built for PvP than anything.

      They’re all the base idea behind Star Citizen – just done at budget levels with varying levels of success at what SC promised. NMS does exploration. Space Engineers does ship design and collisions great. Empyrion meets in the middle and has more meat in terms of a progression system, but still is fairly primitive.

  10. Mephane says:

    I was disappointed by the launch, but spared the pain because I waited for reviews, so lucky me. Anyway, I have not really been following the game since then, but rather just took a short glance from afar every couple of months, and noticed that they were definitely working on improving it.

    Now with the NEXT update and the accompanying sale, I finally bought it, and it mostly feels that now it actually is the game that was originally promised for launch.

    However, I use a handful of mods, and actually haven’t played it in an unmodded state at all. Some of them are just minor graphical things, like removing the screen-edge “vignette” effect. But the one mod for which I actually went looking for mods, before I even bought the game, is one that makes launching the ship free.

    Normally, every time you take off (including recalling the ship to you) consumes a special fuel used only for that purpose, which is a rather bizarre design decision and something that I always knew would greatly annoy me. With the mod, I can hop around a planet at no cost. And fly to other planets and space stations in the same system at almost no cost (the impulse drive efficient enough that you never need to bring spare fuel, you just use what is in the drive itself and only replenish it once a day by shooting asteroids for a minute). Such a gread headache removed from the game, and it frankly feels like this is how the game is actually intended to play.

    ———————————

    Anyway. I am greatly enjoying the game so far, my biggest issue is the UI, or more precisely the UX. Not only does it suffer from the biggest syndrome of lazy console port ever, reusing the same few buttons for so many things (for example, landing your ship and marking a waypoint use the same button; if you fly low and slow enough, the button will simultaneously mark the distant object you wanted to mark, and land your ship), and requiring you to hold the button for so many harmless things that it negates any potential safety against harmful actions like deleting stuff from your inventory.

    No, even withing that framework, there are just so many nonsensical issues. For example, the portable refinery. To refuel it, you click on the top panel, then click on any of the available fuel types to choose that. To load raw materials in the left panel, you… have to press X which is normally used to transfer cargo between the ship and your backpack, then scroll through a list in a ridiculously tiny box (by clicking on arrow buttons no less) to find the material you want to use. You can choose the amount of output with similar arrow buttons, but not just enter the desired amount. When you are done, you remove any remaining raw materials and output in a similar manner, but not the remaining fuel. For that you have to pick up the refinery again, then the you get the corresponding amount of fuel back in carbon (afaik even if you used a better fuel, you always get carbon). You cannot just pick up the refinery to collect it all – raw materials, output, fuel, the machine itself – no.

    Another example is the quick menu, which is so atrocious to navigate that it is often quicker to just refuel the mining laser directly in the inventory.

    P.S.: I think many of the game’s headaches could be solved by just making all the various bars and fuels have a 10x higher capacity. Like, instead of refueling the hazard protection every 5-6 minutes with a handful of resources, let me do that once in an hour with a full stack of sodium. That way, you need to carry less in your inventory as a buffer, because the buffer is in the equipment itself.

    1. Shamus says:

      I’m glad you brought all this stuff up. The interface is still completely surreal to the point where you’ll begin to question your sanity:

      E to activate things? I thought it was X? Okay then.

      Later:

      Why isn’t E working? Oh, it’s not E, it’s left mouse. Why did I think it was E?

      Later:

      Am I not clicking on the right spot? I’m pretty sure… oh. It wants me to hit X. I thought… uh. Why am I having such a hard time getting used to this?

      It needs to be said, but I didn’t want to write that rant for the third time. Enumerating all the interface madness would take forever.

      I’m just assuming all this strange behavior makes some kind of sense when you map all of this onto a controller. I want to believe this is the product of lazy porting and not some sort of avant-garde experiment in dadaist interface design.

      1. Mephane says:

        I’m just assuming all this strange behavior makes some kind of sense when you map all of this onto a controller. I want to believe this is the product of lazy porting and not some sort of avant-garde experiment in dadaist interface design.

        Well, if the issues with the portable refinery aren’t evidence enough for you that it is terribly designed from the ground up, and not just a lazy port, let me shatter your illusion once and for all:

        In the discoveries screen where you can upload animals, plants etc that you have discovered, you hold E over individual items or the bottom button for the whole category to upload that data.

        If however you hold E over a planet in the left panel, it won’t upload all data from that planet. Instead, it will “hide” that planet. But “hide” here doesn’t mean it disappears from the list, it just means you can no longer select it any more; it stays there uninteractable. Only when you are on that planet will you then be able to upload more data from there, because the screen auto-selects the current planet when you open it, even if that planet was hidden-but-not-really.

        And as a bonus, there is literally no way to recover the planet from this zombie state at all.

        It’s literally an anti-feature. It serves no useful purpose at all, not even some obscure freak use case, while being a terrible hassle when you trigger it accidentally, and it is made precisely so that the most intuitive thing to do here will trigger it.

        1. Droid says:

          See, I’ve never owned No Man’s Sky, nor was I ever really interested in it, but this kind of crap makes me really doubt whether the sheer amount of convoluted, unintuitive menu navigation on both PCs and consoles is really the result of breathtaking incompetence or just some developer trying to be an asshole on purpose. From what I’ve seen from it, it’s so intricately awful, so fractally broken, that any honest attempt to salvage it would mean throwing out 50% of it and remaking it from the ground up.

          1. Urthman says:

            There is an old D&D module where your swords & sorcery characters discover ancient ruins which are actually a crashed alien spaceship. You can find energy blaster weapons, but they are purposely designed to work differently than you might expect, to represent your characters’ complete ignorance of technology.
            Some resemble some sort of video phone where the death beam comes out of what looks to be the video screen you should be looking at. Others look sort of like guns, but the beam comes out of the opposite end you would expect. So if you try to dive in using your out-of-character SciFi knowledge, you will almost certainly shoot yourself in the face.
            So maybe the interface issues in NMS can be thought of as the experience of trying to use technology cobbled together from 3 (or more?) alien species. Of course it’s not going to be intuitive to use.

            1. LCF says:

              Here’s the hidden truth They do not want you to know:
              The StarGate Program is real, and NMS interface is a distributed-computing attempt at reverse-ingeneering of Goa’Uld technology.
              Of Course, as it’s from Goa’Uld origin, it incorporates three slave-races mentalities and bits and odds of Ancient designs, along with some pirated Asgard concepts.
              Hence the reason for this mess.
              Better keep the ships flying, we need these X-300’s fast/

        2. Dreadjaws says:

          This is the kind of thing that defenders of this game never mention. Everyone focuses so much on the positives that at this point I have no choice but to suspect they’re simply desperate to justify their purchase.

          Like Shamus says, everyone is nutty about all the new features and no one ever bothers to take a second or two to say anything about all the problems that weren’t fixed.

          Every day that passes I’m glad I’ve never purchased this game. I might give it a try if it comes in Humble Monthly, but only as one of the bonus games. If it’s announced as the big title I’m pausing that month.

      2. BlueBlazeSpear says:

        I’d be curious to hear from someone who’s played this on a console with a controller to see if it shakes out that the control/menu quirks are the result of porting as opposed to it just being an abysmal design for everyone involved.

      3. Groo says:

        I want to believe this is the product of lazy porting and not some sort of avant-garde experiment in dadaist interface design.

        Amazing every word of what you just said was wrong.

        It’s not the product of lazy porting. It’s too consistently inconsistent for that.

        It’s not an avant-garde experiment in dadaist interface design. It’s not inconsistent enough to qualify.

        It is, obviously, a wholesale and explicit deployment of sadist interface design.

      4. Nimrandir says:

        PS4 player here. I have yet to fire up the game again since the Next update, but I don’t recall having issues with which button to press. However, the console version has its own peculiarities.

        You still move around a cursor like you have a mouse, even though everything in the menus is on a grid of some sort. I can’t remember if I tried using the d-pad instead. Also, I have absolutely no idea who is serviced by the ‘hold a button’ mechanic.

        If I had to guess, I’d wager the team didn’t have resources to design two different interface schemes, so we ended up with . . . whatever this is.

      5. Shamus says:

        Additional: If you’re using the quick menu, then F is the select button, instead of E, X, or mouse.

        1. Shenangians says:

          I agree the user interface and key bindings are a mess. Yet somehow the muscle-memory in my fingers has gotten used to it and it doesn’t really distract me from having fun in the game.
          I’ve probably hardened from playing Dwarf Fortress.

          1. Mephane says:

            Muscle memory only gets you so far in NMS. For example, opening the inventory (default with TAB), sometimes it defaults to the current inventory (e.g. suit or ship depending on whether you are on foot or in the ship), sometimes it remembers the one you had previously open and jumps to that inventory even though you are in a different context.

            Or the quick menu, which I already mentioned above. Muscle memory? Hah. It doesn’t even start consistently on the same icon in the top-most level, and in the nested levels it also sometimes switches to some default, sometimes to the previously selected item.

            —————————————-

            I do have developed some muscle memory for manual quick saving though. Because NMS wouldn’t be NMS if it didn’t have a convoluted answer to that. Normal games use one of the F-keys (typically F5) for quicksave. NMS instead opted for an input sequence more akin to a combo in a fighting game:

            Z, Q, F, hold E, hold middle mouse button. I am not making this up!

            1. Karma The Alligator says:

              Z, Q, F, hold E, hold middle mouse button. I am not making this up!

              Just… why? It’s like they really want their players to suffer for every QoL thing that we take for granted in other games.

              1. Mephane says:

                The answer is several levels of WTF.

                * There is no menu option anywhere to manually save your game.
                * The game has an auto-save function that is triggered only when you leave your spaceship, plus a couple of other very specific and limited trigger.
                * In the initial release, you literally could not save your game without a) hiking back to your ship, b) calling the ship to you (which costs precious fuel).
                * To alleviate this state of affairs, they added a new, craftable item that lets you save your game manually. (Not sure if it always was the case, but in NEXT the item is reusable, you only have to craft it once.)
                * The save point, as this item is called, is an object you must put on the ground and then interact with in order to use it, because this how various other types of equipment function.
                * Z opens the menu with all the items you can plop on the ground.
                * The menu always* opens directly with the signal booster (some kind of radio receiver and signal decoder) selected.
                * The save point is always one item to the left of the signal booster in that menu.
                * You scroll through this horizontal list with Q and E for left and right respectively.
                * F plops the selected item on the ground.
                * Holding E interacts with objects and machinery.
                * Holding middle mouse button picks up objects from that list of ploppable equipment and puts it back in your inventory.

                ————————
                * Except when you are in your base or its vicinity. Then the menu doubles as the base building menu (another absolutely convoluted mess) and the regular gear from that menu gets hidden in 2 layers of base building submenus…

                1. Karma The Alligator says:

                  Ah, OK. I thought it was some kind of hidden cheat code or something. What you describe, while annoying, sounds better.

                  Still doesn’t explain why they don’t allow normal saving from the menu, like most other games.

            2. BlueBlazeSpear says:

              Basically entering the Konami code to perform an action, I think, by definition, does not make that action a “quick” one. How is this even technically allowed to be called a “quicksave?”

              1. Mephane says:

                It isn’t in the game. As I explained above, it’s actually an ingame devise with the sole purpose of quicksaving when you interact with it, the combination is what is needed to deploy it, use it, and put it back into your inventory.

      6. Ronan says:

        I play on a french (azerty layout) keyboard.
        So instead of moving with WASD, I use ZQSD.
        Most games have no problem with this (except telltale’s, for some reason).

        NMS detected my layout correctly, so it assigned Z to go forward and Q for left.
        Only problem is, Q is used to choose something to build, and this is not configurable. So every time I wanted to go left, the game thought I wanted to build a device I had no use and no resources for.
        I had to switch my keyboard layout to be able to play.

    2. Ander says:

      I think many of the game’s headaches could be solved by just making all the various bars and fuels have a 10x higher capacity. Like, instead of refueling the hazard protection every 5-6 minutes with a handful of resources, let me do that once in an hour with a full stack of sodium.

      That sounds like the kinds of things people do immediately to their ES games; they often insist on them to make the game “playable,” esp. for balance issues in Oblivion.
      I don’t entirely understand the pass that Bethesda gets for this.

      1. Asdasd says:

        They get a pass because they don’t make you pay extra to play a fixed version of their games… yet.

        1. Mephane says:

          Well, they reintroduced paid mods under a different name, “Creation Club”

        2. Karma The Alligator says:

          Just because you can mod things doesn’t mean Bethesda should get a pass for that. It’s still horrible game design.

    3. Geebs says:

      The user interface makes no sense on the PS4 version, either. For example, you still have to hold Square to upload your discoveries, and then for absolutely no reason you have to hold Cross over the icon at the top (which has no tooltip as far as I can tell) to claim the bonus for discovering all of the animals. It’s bonkers.

  11. Ravens Cry says:

    Yay! A nice long post! I love to read these. I enjoy your more edited videos, but they’re rare, but I don’t particularly enjoy watching streams post-facto, and, as I’ve mentioned, podcasts don’t work with my brain, but your long screeds? They make my brain happy.

  12. Nimrandir says:

    I picked up a copy of No Man’s Sky on the cheap after your revisit to the game last year, and your analysis gave me the necessary foreknowledge to enjoy the experience. I essentially gave up on collecting anything not vital to power my equipment and zeroed in on wildlife cataloging — playing like the David Attenborough of space. Taken in that context, No Man’s Sky makes for a pretty solid Pokemon Snap game.

    I’m sorry to hear the update didn’t wow you (I have yet to try it, as noted above), but at least it gave me the opportunity to thank you for putting up with the game’s faults so others could find a way to have a good time with it.

  13. Lame Duck says:

    So, what you’re saying is that No Man’s Sky is almost ready to leave early access?

    1. J Greely says:

      I thought the previous major release, Atlas Rises, made it into a half-decent $15 early-access indie game (that cost $60). I’d say Next is an early public beta of a $20 indie game (currently marked down to $30) that has most of the core features promised for the initial release, but needs another six months of polishing before it’s fully functional.

      My latest fun: turning in a quest (“base archive recovery”) and being told to wait 6 hours (real time) before I can continue with the next step. It advised me to select another task to work on while I wait, but the only other thing I really have right now is for Polo, and the task is UI_MILESTONE12_OBJ, with description UI_MILESTONE12_OBJ_TIP. Not sure where I’m supposed to go for that one…

      -j

      1. Droid says:

        Pretty sure you go to UI_MILESTONE_12_OBJ_LOCATION to do UI_MILESTONE_12_OBJ_TASK (and yes, it’s _MILESTONE_12_, not _MILESTONE12_ like in the quest description).

        1. Urthman says:

          I’m really not a fanboy trying to make excuses for things in this game which are undeniably terrible and broken. But I kind of love the idea of your universal translator occasionally barfing up errors like UI_MILESTONE_12_OBJ_LOCATION when it tries to parse what the aliens are saying

  14. Jabberwok says:

    I’m enjoying it a lot, but I’d also like to see changes to the pulse drive fueling system. I’d rather just be able to buy fuel at stations and outposts, like any reasonable space sim. It could top up automatically when you land and deduct a small fee from your account. That would explain why all those ships keep landing but no one ever comes out of them.

    If we run out of fuel in empty space, we could either send out a distress signal to ask for help (which could attract pirates), or wait for a solar cell to recharge it enough to get going again. Asteroid fields could be so much cooler if they were specific locations with their own things going on, instead of just random clouds.

    1. Nimrandir says:

      Yeah, I just fired up the game again to check out the update changes, and I noticed my pulse drive was almost empty. When last I played, I would simply load it up with iron (if I remember correctly) and be on my way. Keeping a full ship slot of iron was SOP.

      Now I need either tritium, which I presume is in the space poo, or pyrite, which is apparently a desert-specific thing. Moreover, the stack of iron in my cargo hold became . . . something else. Copper, maybe?

      1. Mephane says:

        Tritium is super easy to come by. Just shoot any of the smaller asteroids and most of them will drop some, and a fully fuelled drive lasts for a while, plus the asteroids are everywhere anyway, so no need to even keep some tritium as a buffer.

        1. Jabberwok says:

          Yeah, they’ve changed all of the elements around, but Tritium is clearly the replacement for finding iron in asteroids.

          1. Lanthanide says:

            I only played at release. I always thought iron was a weird choice for a fuel element.

            1. Philadelphus says:

              Yeah, it’s literally the worst element to pick from the standpoint of trying to extract energy from. You can’t get energy from iron either by fusion or fission. Combined with the deposits of (I think it was) plutonium lying around on every planet, it’s like the developers are trying to make the most chemically inaccurate game possible.

              1. Mephane says:

                It still is an idiotic mess in that regard, maybe just a bit less than at release. For example, you can refine elemental sodium into sodium nitrate with no other ingredient required. You can refine oxygen into carbon, but unlike most other refining processes, not vice versa.

                I wish they had just opted to use only made-up names for all the materials.

                1. Jabberwok says:

                  I suppose it’s an odd choice to use real chemical names, though maybe it makes them easier to remember. I started playing shortly before the update, and I stopped worrying about the plutonium sprouting all over the place when it occurred to me that they were using their own version of ‘the periodic table’ which has no relation to the real one, and just happens to use some of the same names.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    though maybe it makes them easier to remember

                    Elerium,adamantium,unobtanium and vibranium are all pretty easy to remember.Heck,even though I know a lot of chemistry I still have trouble remembering what sodium and potassium are called in english* because they are called differently in my language and the symbols for them dont match the names.

                    Using real elements makes it just as hard to remember for those who dont have much knowledge of chemistry,but it makes it harder to suspend disbelief for those who do.

                    *Yes,while writing this I had to look up potassium because I could not remember its english name.

                    1. Droid says:

                      The Natrium/Kalium Revolution will come, friend!

                    2. Syal says:

                      Alarium, Blarium, Clarium, Delarium, Elarium, Flarium, Glarium, Hilarium, etc.

                      Solved forever.

                    3. BlueHorus says:

                      Hilarium sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

                      Though watch out, if you’re caught carrying Glarium you’ll get some nasty looks.

                    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      On that subject,a chemist joke:
                      How can you tell if someone is a chemist or not?Ask them to pronounce unionized.

                2. Karma The Alligator says:

                  You can refine oxygen into carbon

                  So you basically breathe a lot?

                  1. Droid says:

                    That got a chuckle out of me. Thanks!

                  2. Mephane says:

                    You misunderstood. You are not adding oxygen to carbon, creating CO2. You are literally transmuting oxygen atoms into carbon atoms.

                    1. Karma The Alligator says:

                      Aw, come on, it was a joke. Also would explain why you can’t turn the carbon back into oxygen.

        2. BlueHorus says:

          Tritium is super easy to come by. Just shoot any of the smaller asteroids and most of them will drop some, and a fully fuelled drive lasts for a while, plus the asteroids are everywhere

          Sounds like getting hold of some is kind of…trite.

          Surely the devs intended that pun.

  15. Shenangians says:

    Perhaps NMS suffers from trying to incorporate trendy “survival” elements in a game that should be about exploration and discovery.
    I have to admit, I’m a sucker for survival elements in games, and part of me is happy that NMS requires me to fill up all those “hunger bars” keeping me and my spaceship alive and functional. I think almost any game can be improved by adding survival elements (to me, Skyrim’s Frostfall mod is one of the greatest mods of all time). There is unarguably something very compelling about survival.

    But the way these mechanics are implemented in NMS is simply lame, due to the cumbersome inventory system and everything being hard-wired to it. So I guess the root of the issue are not the survival-elements per se, but the fact that it is all just a matter of grinding for resources and filling up counters in an extremely awkward inventory management system.

    NMS has so much going for it, but in regard for it to become a truly great game, I think they would have to completely rework the inventory management.

    1. Shenangians says:

      And this is why I hate consoles.

      It’s blatantly obvious NMS and the weird-ass inventory management was designed for a controller. So many excellent games, crippled because of the need to be controller-compatible for the damned consoles.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Except,its not.If you check the comments youll see that someone playing it on a console is also saying how the ui is nonsensical there.

        Also,dont blame consoles for people making shitty ports.Good ports do exist,which means that the fault is squarely on those who do it poorly.

        1. Jabberwok says:

          I am half convinced that someone played Destiny during NMS’s development, and told the dev team they needed to put its menu system into their game.

          I had never seen a UI like this before Destiny, and it’s almost exactly the same here. It’s the console version of a mouse-driven interface. I’m used to it now, but all of the hold-to-confirm prompts, and subtle things like the menu moving in relation to the cursor, feel very weird with a mouse at first.

          But, to be fair, I hated the system on console as well. But it seems like something that was implemented because that’s the way the wind was blowing. That might explain the survival crafting focus, as well.

        2. Shenangians says:

          Probably some good ports exist. Yet I think it is undeniable that consoles have had a dumbing-down effect on games over the years, and not just concerning the interface, but in many cases the gameplay in general – which I guess is unavoidable since the interface is so intrinsically linked to the gameplay.

          NMS is an excellent example of this. The Elder Scrolls is another good case study. I love Oblivion and Skyrim as much as anybody, but the games have suffered since Morrowind due to the console focused interfaces. I really love how in Morrowind I can easily place items in the world with pixel-perfect mouse precision. Imagine the gameplay possibilities this could open up had this been continued in the later games. We might have had puzzles involving items places in the correct location on an arcane table. Much better and intuitive house customization, magic based on mouse gestures… gameplay can be deeper and more detailed when you have mouse-precision.

          And consoles are why we can’t have these nice things.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Both no mans sky and elder scrolls games have bad interfaces regardless of what you are playing them on.This was mentioned by many people numerous times.The only difference between skyrim on consoles and skyrim on pc was that on pc you could download mods to improve the game.And while morrowind was a good game,I wouldnt call its interactions with the world as perfect.Clunky would be more fitting.

            Consoles are not dumbing down the industry.Developers cutting down content because its hard for them to implement well is whats dumbing don the industry.Just compare moo3 to pit people.The first is developed specifically for pc,and is full of menus ,the later is a sped up console focused strategy game where units attack on their own.Yet pit people offers far more freedom,much more content,has a richer and more inventive lore and characters.

  16. Geebs says:

    I still find NMS strangely compelling – there’s nothing else quite like it out there, and it kind of scratches my Morrowind itch for wandering about and gradually getting better at stuff in a way that later Elder Scrolls games don’t. The grind is soul-destroying, however.

    You can’t fault Hello Games’s ambition though. Planet-spanning procedural volumetric clouds? That’s insane. Oh, one layer wasn’t enough, you’re actually going to do two? That’s double insane. The terrain deformation tech is also ridiculously powerful for a game of this scope.

    Shame the writing is so godawful though. The original version wase mercifully free of that bullshit; you were just Some Guy who woke up on a planet and decided to explore the Universe. Now you’re some generic Chosen One exploring an edgy teenager’s Matrix fanfiction.

    1. Jabberwok says:

      Yeah, I could do without the chosen one angle. Very, very sick of that. I do think the Gek are kind of interesting, though, and there are some story elements I’m curious about. But I’ll be choosing to ignore the prescribed player backstory in favor of my own headcanon.

    2. Urthman says:

      Yeah, I fully expect to arrive at the center of the galaxy and have some weird alien monolith say: THE SKY IS YOURS NOW, NOMAN.

  17. Marr says:

    The faithful on reddit have refused to engage with this at any level. Responses: You’re lying about the improved experience of starting with increased inventory, and you’re just one of those cheaters ruining the game by hacking everything in then complaining that there’s nothing to do.

    This game is people’s damned religion or something.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/NoMansSkyTheGame/comments/93iku2/shamus_young_makes_a_very_solid_point_about_the

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      If only it were just this game…if only……..

      1. Marr says:

        Okay, so one person has engaged, and communication seems to be impossible. Their position boils down to this AFAICT: “So people are resistant to the idea because it’s a very terrible one – what you’re actually suggesting is to cut out a majority of the game’s progress and just hand over end-game stuff because some guy didn’t want to put in the effort.”

        This in response to the suggestion that starting inventory be made a bit bigger to unlock the game’s new systems to newbies. Protestant work ethic, maybe? I guess it would make sense that the game this was for two years would attract players with that mindset?

        1. Karma The Alligator says:

          I’m gonna say it’s one of those people who had to do it the hard way before, even though they weren’t enjoying it (you know, basically wasting their time), and now resent anyone who has it easier than them.

          1. Droid says:

            “You just need to git gud!”

          2. BlueHorus says:

            Or they actually enjoy the challenges brought by the small inventory space and think that’s the point of the game? Different people enjoy different things.

            Same way I simply don’t get the appeal of, say, catching ’em all in a Pokemon game*. Or yiffing. But whatever, people are weird.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Or they actually enjoy the challenges brought by the small inventory space and think that’s the point of the game?

              Sure,but i that case there would have to be challenges in the first place.Lets take fuel,for example.Now in a properly designed game,you can get fuel only in certain places.This means that when planning to go to A PLANET to do A GATHERING,you have to plan ahead how much fuel to take with you,so that you would have just enough to get there and back,but not to much in order to be able to fill all the rest of your cargo space with the stuff you gathered.But here,fuel just lies around everywhere.You dont have to plan in advance how much fuel to carry with you because youll just top off your tank when you arrive(or in between even).

              Or how about oxygen.In games where oxygen is important,it limits how far from the hub you can go.But the farther from the hub you go,the more valuable things you can get.Here,you can just stumble upon anything anywhere,with very little variety(and mostly its just due to the planets distance from the center).So the only challenge oxygen provides is how long can you endure the tedium of rushing back to your ship earlier than you would want to.

              Small inventory does not automatically offer challenge.You have to craft challenges specifically around those limitations(like having a jetpack that can only go so high before running out of fuel,when juuuuust above that is a cool thing).

              1. BlueHorus says:

                Hah. I’m trying to play Devil’s Advocate and failing. I was more aiming for KarmaTheAlligator’s suggestion that people were resentful of someone else not having to do the boring busywork they did.

                I present instead that some people like busywork and think that’s the point. A phrase that came up a couple of times on the Reddit forum was ‘[Shaums is] skipping the game’s content’, after all.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Well,yes.Some people enjoy clickers,for whatever reason.And this game is almost a clicker with prettier graphics and token more interactions.

            2. Karma The Alligator says:

              That’s fair, but then they never mention how they like the challenge or anything positive, they talk about how that’s how the game is and that it should stay that way. To me that’s how someone talks when they want everyone to go through what they’ve gone through, but maybe that’s just me.

            3. Sartharina says:

              Same way I simply don’t get the appeal of, say, catching ’em all in a Pokemon game*. Or yiffing. But whatever, people are weird.

              CURSE YOU, RICK ASTLEY!

              … I thought you had something silly or insightful or something but a rick roll there.

        2. Syal says:

          So this may or may not count as politics, but.

          I don’t think folks should be commenting here on comments from other sites unless it’s integral to the discussion. If Redditors wanted to have an argument with Shamus, they could post here. If you want to have an argument with Reddit, you can post there. Posting a response here about something over there seems less like trying to hold a position and more like retreating to your house and throwing rocks.

          1. Marr says:

            That’s fair, I have absolutely retreated. I’d gotten the impression that the game’s fanbase had relaxed now it’s generally accepted that HG are genuine and in this for the long haul, and that this piece might actually resonate with a subset. Apparently that’s a Hell No.

            1. Jabberwok says:

              To be fair to them, it’s not generally accepted everywhere. Many people might still be on the defensive. If you visit the game’s Steam forums, you’ll still run into constant ‘Sean Murray lied to me’ posts and people who don’t play the game but want to argue about it in every thread (sometimes with just general anger that there are positive reviews of the game). Steam discussions are pretty terrible in general, but NMS is probably the worst I’ve seen.

              I have a ton of criticisms of the game’s design, but often end up downplaying or defending them just because some people exaggerate the game’s flaws to a spectacular degree, either out of frustration or general spite. The subreddits are much less contentious, of course, but could be polarized by what they encounter elsewhere.

              1. Marr says:

                Maybe so. Everyone needs to understand that Steam forums share a circle of Hell with youtube comments though, and represent nothing of opinion out in the real world. Take a look at their response to women asking about the possibility of female player character model options some time. Or rather don’t. I’m sure you can imagine.

                1. Jabberwok says:

                  Haha, I’ve seen how self righteous many of them have gotten about the Dead or Alive people apparently wanting to put more clothes on THEIR female player models. You’d think the fans were a mob of French revolutionaries about to storm the Bastille, instead of a pack of pervy fighting game nerds.

                  I’m trying to wean myself off of those comment sections, but they’re very adjacent to services I use constantly. Youtube is especially difficult to avoid.

                  1. Marr says:

                    I watch youtube mostly through rss feeds on a phone locked to landscape display, there’s basically no way to see the things using this arrangement.

    2. adam says:

      Even outside of that community I have people telling me that I should just be playing on creative mode because I don’t like having to constantly refuel eight(!) different things, and how all that busy work directly opposes what the game supposedly wants you to do: explore.

      1. life support
      2. hazard protection
      3. launch thrusters
      4. pulse engine
      5. warp drive
      6. mining laser
      7. terrain manipulator
      8. boltcaster

      That’s just the list of things that require constant or frequent attention. It doesn’t include the ancillary stuff (refiner fuel, ship shields, etc). It’s absolutely out of control. And yet if you object to it people tell you that all of this is necessary for the “challenge” of a survival game. Really? I need THREE separate fuel gauges to constantly refill, each requiring different resources, in order to have a challenge? This would be tedious and annoying with a infinite inventory. With the extremely limited inventory you get by default it is fucking bonkers.

      Just inexcusably poor game design.

      1. Agammamon says:

        This would be tedious and annoying with a infinite inventory. With the extremely limited inventory you get by default it is fucking bonkers.

        I think its a balancing act – and it still only works for people who enjoy having a brake (which is all ‘survival modes’ are) on how fast they can progress through the game. Even though I like this sort of thing (though not its implementation here) its just added grind.

        If its done right *and you like that sort of thing* it can impart a strong feeling of verisimilitude. Like you’re really there and this is you living in that world. And, of course, some people are not good with intrinsic gameplay and need that external prompt ‘to give them something to do’. Those are the sorts of people who chase down achievements, no matter how ridiculous, and will accept a crappy grind experience simply because it gives them a goal in their timewaster.

        Done wrong – or if you simply don’t like that sort of gameplay – it just pointless grind.

  18. Reed says:

    I *REALLY* appreciate your articles on this game, Shamus.

    The idea of No Man’s Sky is strongly appealing. I very much want to play the game that this game aspires to be.

    But the game that actually exists — even after the patch — sounds too painful. I’m not paying for the privilege of being nibbled to death by hamsters.

    Maybe after another patch… and a price drop to under $10 on GOG… with the save editor installed and ready…

    *SIGH* Or maybe not even then.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Maybe after another patch…

      Announcing No Mans Sky NEXT SUBSEQUENT

  19. Grampy_Bone says:

    I’ve been enjoying it a lot more than I did at launch, but I also haven’t played any of the updates since launch so it’s very different to me.

    Inventory still sucks though. That just seems to be one of Sean Murray’s Things. The game is going to have this inventory system and THAT is THAT.

  20. Eschatos says:

    Bought the game, played for two hours, realized it was actually Shoot Rocks Simulator and returned it.

  21. Anachronist says:

    I swear, that 7th screenshot (the one with the planet rings in the sky) made me think of “Good Robot” because of that robot flying overhead in the scene.

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