No Welp’s Sky

I just had to be the weird, bird/lizard creature.

The squad and I found ourselves playing No Man’s Sky this weekend. I’ve owned this game for a while on PC and even longer on PS4 but this is the first time I’ve played it with other people. 

Previous attempts were made. Blades and I played the multiplayer once on PS4 when it first came out. I’ve owned the game on PC for a couple years now and the rest of the squad have acquired through Steam sales since then. 

Last weekend we decided to give it a go. I had a character that was an hour in and had done a bit the tutorial already. The rest of the squad were at various points in their own saves. CC had been playing  more than the rest of us and was out of the tutorial. Supertoast had a save that was in somewhat the same tutorial step as me. Blades had just purchased the game and was starting fresh.

Our session last weekend was all us figuring out how to play the game again. What controls do what, how do you scan, how do you access the menu, that sort of thing. No Man’s Sky is a console game that happens to have ended up on PC. This is apparent in the UI where there are  menus that are meant for a controller and end up being awkward on a mouse and keyboard. The quick access menus were a particular offender. Pressing x brings up the menu, you scroll through with q and e, or the scroll wheel, press x to open the sub menu, press x again to do the thing. It’s going to take some getting used to.

But as awkward as the on ground controls can be sometimes; the flight controls are even worse. I’ll admit, I’ve been spoiled by my many hours in Elite: Dangerous with my HOTAS setup. I cannot stand the keyboard and mouse flight controls in No Man’s Sky. I feels like flying a spaceship through sludge. Thankfully, this is fixed by plugging in a controller. 

As a side note, I’ve tried flying with my HOTAS set up in NMS and I can confidently say Elite has ruined that for me. It’s no where near as good.

This weekend’s adventures were more about getting everyone to the same point in the game. SuperToast and I were able to get caught up to each other since we were a mission or two out of sync. We’re both sitting on the mission to go to another star system. But we have to wait for Blades to get caught up to us.

I forgot how tedious the begging tutorial is. You start with nothing and have to make all your gear. Then once you do that you have to fix your ship, learn how to build a base, and a whole bunch of other stuff that prevents you from just playing the game. As far as I can tell, there’s not a great way to skip it but you can help another player through it by giving them the materials they need.

 Blades set out to work on the tutorial while the rest of us went our separate ways in our Star System. What I quickly realized last night was four people can play NMS together without actually doing anything together. It’s a different multiplayer experience than I’m used to where everyone needs to be on the same page and to get anything done you have to work together. Not so in No Man’s Sky it would seem.

At least this is true on this first starting planet. As we get farther in to the game I’m sure there will be more for chances for us to work together.

Ancient bones in their natural habitat

For my own little adventure, I set out to find as many natural burial sites as I could while we were playing. These contain ancient bones which sell for a pretty penny at the galactic trade terminal. The price range anywhere from 60k to 700k depending on how old they were and the rarity. I started out the night with very little money to my name and ended the night with just over 5 million credits.

I manged to buy a ship with 4 extra storage slots for 660k. All the other ships with massive upgrades and storage had equally massive price tags. And here I thought I could afford most things with my 5 mil. Apparently, I’m not even close.

Two Man’s Sky

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Back in 2016, when the hype train was rolling in, I tempered my expectations for No Man’s Sky. Don’t get me wrong, I was super excited and even preordered it so I could play right at release. Unlike the general public, I got exactly what I was expecting and wanted. It just turns out that what I wanted didn’t happen to be all that entertaining. I whiled away some hours and then put it down never to be played again until this week.

That’s when the big multiplayer patch hit. I had been following the development of No Man’s Sky and every time I saw a patch I thought: wow that’s great but still no multiplayer. Those first few days after the initial release I was in a voice chat with a bunch of other friends just talking about what we were seeing as we played. It would have been so much better if we could have played together and now we can!

But the most striking thing I found when I loaded up No Man’s Sky was the third person view. Now this is exciting for a couple reasons. It gives the game a whole new perceptive (sorry I had too). It makes everything feel bigger with your character as a reference point and the world feels that much more huge and lonely. Also, third person view also allows for dress up and dress up is the most important thing after game play.

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Di-hydrogen is the only thing keeping us alive out here

Now we haven’t gotten to delve that much into multiplayer but the hour or so we spent with it was fun. We decided to play survival mode because we wanted a challenge. Probably not the best idea after coming back to a game after 2 years. What I assume survival does is pick a barren wasteland of a planet, puts you in the middle of it, and says ok bye have fun now.

Our first planet was a frozen tundra of death. Our environmental protection was nothing and we ended up dying over and over again unable to find warmth anywhere. So we decided to try again with a new game. In a cruel twist of fate the game put us on a desert planet which is a cool 126 degrees at night. We survived long enough to find our ship and begin the tutorial, lucky us.

The next hour was spent fumbling around the menus trying to figure out exactly what we were suppose to do. It took us a few lives to figure out how to make charges for our life support and thermal protection. Then we spent a good chunk of time hording those resources because those meters don’t last very long with the current equipment. Once we had enough of that we started chipping away at the tutorial missions. The most harrowing part was trekking 700u away from the safety of our ship to get a analytics scanner in a little abandoned base. We almost didn’t have enough sodium to charge our thermal suit for the journey back. I’ll be glad once we get off this planet and out into space mostly because I’m tired of hearing “Thermal protection falling” over and over again.

We haven’t played around with the building aspect yet but I’m glad it’s been added to the game. One of the downsides of 7 Days to Die was when I was offline my friends couldn’t build in the game. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to work on a base while each other is offline in this game. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far out of No Man’s Sky after a couple years. While it was fun for a while when it launched there didn’t feel like there was a lot to do. The game seems way more fleshed out these days.

No Man’s Sky: Two Weeks Later

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So it’s been a while. Blaugaust was going so well and then bam, I haven’t written in like a week.

I’m the kind of friend who gets super excited about a game, gets all of my friends to buy it and then plays it for a week and never picks it up again. I’m a bad friend…To remedy this, I’ve been playing games and waiting to see if my personal hype wears off too fast before I ask my friends to join me. It’s been working well so far and I actually have better reasons to ask friends to play other than “OMG IT”S SO GOOOOOOD!”

I’ve been loving no man’s sky for the past 2 weeks. It has it’s flaws, OK it has a lot of flaws, but the game still captures my interest. Though, 2 weeks in the enchantment is wearing off little by little. I’m not even very far into it yet. I’ve jumped to a total of three galaxy’s and have just been following the story way points around.

I thought No Man’s Sky would be this game where I would get lost in it for hours exploring alien planets and naming creatures. It was like that for the first two days but lately I’ve been playing it an hour here or there after work. It’s an incredibly slow way to play a game but I’m in no hurry. I actually find myself losing interest if I play it for more than an hour, for all it’s procedural generation, everything has started to feel the same. The animal combinations are still awesome though. It’s like a bunch of kids played the biggest game of Cootie ever.

I also thought naming things would never get boring. After the first planet where I realized just how many rocks and plants could be named I decided I’d only be naming planets, systems, and animals. Along the way I’ve named some interesting looking plants and rocks as well though. It’s still fun to scan things though just to put my marker on them, No Man’s Sky really puts me in the mind set of I found it first and you can’t have it.

Flight is a little disappointing. The auto pilot takes over if you get too low to the ground so you’re perpetually 20 feet in the air. Also all the ships feel the same when you fly them, apart from the number of inventory spaces and the cockpit screen there isn’t a difference in the ships.

The thing I find the most fun right now is collecting the bits of alien language. It’s satisfying when you slowly start to understand what npc’s are saying. It’s a mechanic that I really didn’t expect to be all that fun.

Overall, I’m still enjoying the game a little bit at a time. I’m looking forward to see what is implemented in the future if anything. No Man’s Sky in it’s current state is exactly what I thought it would be so updates are only icing on the cake. I may never get to the center of the galaxy but I’m sure there will be a lot of adventures and sight seeing along the way.

NMS: The Journey Begins

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There was a blinding light as my life support came back online. As my eyes adjusted, the world around me slowly faded into focus. It was lush, green, with towering trees and endless rolling planes. In a galaxy of nearly infinite possibilities, this was not the worst place to find myself stranded. I looked at my surroundings trying to remember how I got here. Behind me a ship sat smoking. Was it mine? It had to be mine. My life exosuit gently reminded me I needed to fix the ship and I needed to leave the planet. Thank god my exosuit has all the information I need to complete the repairs, I’m no ship mechanic.

The first thing I need is Iron which is in abundance here. My mining laser cuts through the rocks with ease extracting the elements I need. With every use the power slowly decreases, the batteries dying I don’t know how to recharge it. I collect my iron and make the part needed to fix the launch thrusters. My multi-tool is out of power but the exosuit tells me it can be charged with an isotope like carbon. The only sources of carbon around were tiny plants, I  broke them up manually by hitting them with my useless multi-tool. Over the course of 15 minutes I managed to scrape up enough carbon to charge the mining beam to 50%. I needed to find a better source of carbon, maybe the strange looking trees in the distance. I started walk.

When I reached the grove I chopped at the tree until I had extracted all of it’s carbon. It was enough to fully charge the beam and i had some still left. I quickly harvested the remaining trees so that I would have extra when I needed it. I harvested some more iron, some zinc, I even found some plutonium. All of this was enough to completely repair my other multi-tool features, a scanner to illuminate points of interest and a bio scanner to identify and discover creatures. It wasn’t long after repairing when I encountered the first life form on this alien world.

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The Scuttle Bug is quick, it’s vicious, and is easily provoked. They appear to be solitary creatures and will attack on sight. I ran into these far more than I would have liked. Each time barely escaping as I tried to scare them off with my mining beam.

My exosuit informed me that I needed another ore to repair the pulse engine. I walked nearly a half hour across the plains and plateaus to find the giant hunk of ore reaching toward the sky. On the return trek back to the ship, the scanner picked up a point of inteest not too far off the beaten path. The need to repair my ship warred with my curiosity of this place. I trudged on across the plains toward the tiny question mark.

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When I arrived I found an abandoned outpost, I could find no signs of life. I raided the containers for materials, a scrap of cloth, some plutonium, and a health station. As I traveled inside the outpost the whir of a functioning trade terminal caught my attention. I offloaded some of the carbon I had as it had grown to excess but I was reluctant to sell anything else for fear that I might need it in the future.  I left the outpost walking quickly to my ship.

Following the instructions I repaired the last malfunctioning pieces of the ship. Luckily all the thermite9 I’d been collecting along the way was used to fuel the thrusters. I was going to leave this planet. I had no inking of where I would go next, but I would listen to the exosuit, it had not lead me astray yet. as I climbed into the cockpit, I hear a rumbling, something was approaching fast and low. I looked up and saw another ship, I was not alone.

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I engaged the launch sequence and took flight hoping to follow the alien ship. It was too quick, and I lost it over a mountain. The exosuit gently reminded me to leave the planet. I pulled the ship up, and left the atmosphere. With the pulse drive functioning, I could explore the vast expanses of space. I didn’t know where to go, where home was, who I was but I knew I had to push forward.

The exosuit picked up a beacon on a distant planet. I was instructed to go there and investigate. Pulse drive engages, I set a course for Kokhayskoy Oske, hoping to find something that would jog my memory.


No Man’s Hype!


We are just a few hours away from the release of No Man’s Sky. I haven’t been this excited about a video game since Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Its been a while. With all the buzz about it one question remains, will it live up to the hype*? Maybe,  it’s really hard not to feel like it might when there are day one patch notes like these.

I found out about No Man’s Sky about 2 years ago from a friend. It was around the same time that I was itching for a space game of some sort. I wanted to fly ships and trade things around the galaxy. I ended up buying X: Albion Prelude and it satisfied me for a while. But No Man’s Sky sounded so cool, randomly generated planets and animals…like a 3D Starbound. I couldn’t wait for it to come out…and then he told me it was projected to launch sometime in 2016. Over time I kind of forgot it was coming out, every once and a while a site would have an article about it but nothing we hadn’t already seen before. It wasn’t until this April that I realized it was going to launch in June. I even pre-ordered it and I never pre-order anything, of course it was  the day before it got delayed.

I don’t think hype is all that bad of a thing. It’s fun to be excited about a game release. Often times I’ll see a game trailer or hear about a game and say “ok that looks cool” and then promptly forget about it. But I realize that I have to keep my expectations in check. I bought Destiny on the day of its release. I was expecting a space shooter made by Bungie that might sort of be like and MMO. What I got was well…Destiny. I actually really enjoyed Destiny for what it was and I stuck around through the first two DLC. Probably put a good hundred hours or so into it, I even enjoyed the PVP and I’m not much of a PVPer. But I know a ton of other people who were let down hard by the game. It seemed as if the whole internet was against it after the hype tain fell off the rails.

For No Man’s Sky really all I’m expecting is a resource collecting game with some pretty visuals, upgradable spaceships, and naming animals and planets. I’m not expecting a deep and complex game, I’m expecting to have to grind a bit and to explore a lot and of course become the galaxies best space trucker. It downloaded onto my PS4 this morning where it sits  taunting me with it’s timer. If all goes well I’ll be exploring the stars today/tomorrow at midnight!

*This word was probably used more times than is acceptable in this post…..HYPE!