Notes On A Patch: Is No Man’s Sky a better game now?

Back in September, when I was deep in the throes of my obsessional relationship with the peculiar No Man’s Sky, I wrote a Supporter post describing my dream patch notes. Clearly, when so many people have chosen to invest their misplaced personal anguish into the game, the spluttered response would be, “Well, pffpffpffff, how about NOT [MAKE A GAME UNLIKE THE GAME I WAS EXPECTING],” or some such. But rather than trying to look outraged, I hoped to lay down the details big and small that I’d want in order to improve a game which – despite all it lacked – had me in its hooks. So, now there’s been a big update! How many of my wishes have been granted?

The troubling number of hours (I’d estimate maybe 100) I spent with a game that really wasn’t very good came to an immediate end, as predicted, the moment I got my 48-slot ship. I bought it with my saved up hundred million units (I actually got it at a snip, making the moment all the more anti-climactic), switched No Man’s Sky off, and hadn’t loaded it since. Buying that ship was my invented end game. I was so woefully let down by the abysmal Atlas narrative that I lost any desire to follow a path to the centre of the universe/galaxy (the game really can’t seem to make its mind up there). So instead I decided getting that biggest possible ship should be the target, and once it was met, well, there was nothing else to do beyond repeat the same actions I’d already repeated countless times. In truth, all this latest update needed to do to get me playing again was announce a 49-slot ship, but alas, it has not. Indeed, while it’s introduced a bunch of new features and fixed a few old ones, it’s managed to leave my tick list of desires horribly unticked.

It makes sense to go through my fantasy notes line by line and comment. So let’s get started.

– Got around to recording a line where the AI says “Life support systems at 75%” instead of “Life support systems low” because they’re not low, they’re at 75%.

A strong start, perhaps somewhat boosted by my flippantly putting this one first in my list. They pretty much did this one. Not anything so expensive as having the lady say four different lines, but rather replace the one with the notion that the numbers are falling.

– Tweaked ship controls so you can now see where you’re going at all

A big fat nope. There does seem to have been a slight tweak in-atmosphere controls to let slowing down mean you make a sudden dip to lower ground, but it’s next to useless. It’s still absolutely abysmal, and this strikes me as the most egregious failure of the new update. Not being able to see what you’re flying over, let alone not being able to stop or fly backward, are atrocious, and that it’s still the case months on seems of huge concern. The bloody ship can fly backwards in space, why can’t it do it just above the ground?! This, of all the things wrong with NMS, is what’s bothering me the most in my return.

– Now allows crafting without requiring empty inventory spaces

NIIICCK-NURRRKKK. While there’s some notion of stacking now available (although not much), it’s still the case that to combine two items in your inventory that, when combined, form only one item, somehow takes a third inventory slot to perform. Again, this seems like such an obvious top-of-the-list item to fix in any update, adding a little combination window in the crafting pop-up and resolving the issue in the most obvious way possible.

– Interaction with aliens no longer takes an ice age before options appear

Oof, three in a row. You still have to watch the text crawl onto the screen, despite its not even being legible, and then another inexplicable pause, before it’ll generously consider giving you the options of what to say. Even when trying to trade on stations, utterly needlessly making you sit through the same nothingness for no damned reason before you can find out they don’t have any Omegon to sell you, or their colossal ship somehow only has 12 slots for storage.

– Updated procedural generation systems for following:

This one had sub-sections. In order then…

> Flying creatures now sometimes don’t have otter heads

They still always have otter heads.

> Not every single planet has the exact same giant shell plant thing, nor those green glowy light plants

They all still have the giant shell plant thing, but at least you can now harvest the ubiquitous glowy light plants!

> Added more than four possible ship designs to land in any one space station

Nah.

> Buildings on planets now procedurally generated, rather than mystifyingly all built to one precise design

Course not.

– Anomolies no longer charge you 50,000 units for blueprints you’ve already got

I’ve not checked this one out, but it does afford me the opportunity to mention that the game has decided to forget which blueprints you’ve already got, and now declares each and every one of them to be a new discovery. I thought, “Hooray! They’ve added some new ones!” until I realised that no, they’ve just messed up the bit where it told you you’ve already got it.

– You can now scan sodding stalactites

Hahahahaha no.

– Surface scans do anything at all, including identifying shop points

They do not. But impressively, they’ve managed to make them more dreadful! It will now tell you, wildly at random, of a key spot to head to for resource gathering! From outerspace you can see a symbol appear on a planet, in one specific spot, alerting you to a must-visit location that… oh wait, no, it randomly points you to one of the literally hundreds of thousands of mineable resources found on any one planet. For no reason at all. (However, they do now show you where occupy-able bases are located, thank God.)

– Aluminium in the ground now counts when mined

In all the playing I’ve done, I’ve not encountered aluminium for some reason. But I can confirm that underground gold now finally counts. Maybe a tiny tick?

– Sometimes there’s a star system not previously occupied by one of three alien races

Nope.

– You can bloody well sell your previous starship because what the hell were we thinking?

Ludicrously, no, this is still impossible despite being a clanking great arse of a false impediment to progress. Even if they paid wildly discounted prices, RPG store style, it would at least be something more sensible than just abandoning a perfectly good ship worth 30,000,000 units to rust on a space station.

– Pirate ship loot no longer evaporates because that’s the stupidest thing we put in the game

As far as I’ve been able to tell, it evaporates far, far faster. Sigh.

– The Atlas storyline now finishes with something that makes the morosely repetitive journey even vaguely worthwhile, along with a hand-written apology to everyone who previously slogged through it

I’m still waiting by my letter flap.

– We’ve bothered to put the red/green dots on flora as well as fauna because we’ve decided we hate you slightly less

They haven’t.

– Updated space combat so it’s something other than the worst thing ever implemented in a video game

They claim it’s been “improved”, but I absolutely cannot discern any improvement whatsoever, other than the photon cannon not being entirely worthless in fights. It’s still cumbersome, frustrating and utterly impossible to out-manoeuvre enemy craft. It’s bad to not improve it, but it’s really bloody weird to say they have.

– Scans start immediately, not after a completely arbitrary two second delay

I’m not sure if I’m imagining it, but they do seem a little faster to complete. And scanning birdies (with otter heads) is now a cinch.

– Ship weapons can now mine giant floating lumps of rock on planets, like they can mine giant floating lumps of rock in space

A big wobbly no. And yet this one’s another no-brainer. Of course it wouldn’t gain the same results as meticulous land-based hand mining, but for a massive loss in yield it should obviously be possible.

– Five more maths puzzles

I’ve found the planets I’ve visited across multiple star systems to be dramatically less built upon than before. This could be coincidence or bad luck, or it might be by design, but I’ve yet to find anywhere to even offer me a maths puzzle. So I don’t know.

– Some sort of point

Again, I ended flippantly, and as I’ve discussed at enormous length in many articles, I found lots of point in just exploring what is there, experimenting within it to find its limits, and enjoying the process of landing somewhere new and exploring. And that lasted a really long time. And then it stopped. And going back, despite being able to build and expand a base, recruit aliens to work in them, and buy my own freighter (with an inaccessible inventory seemingly designed to just make the game feel worse), nothing has actually been expanded in the core game. Other game modes have been added, of course, lifted straight from Minecraft’s earlier additions to its vanilla mode of play, but neither offers the game what it most desperately lacks: purpose.

Obviously any update is welcome at this point, since Hello Games opted for that most sinister of anti-coverage tactics, The Silence. And as they heavily emphasise, this is apparently just the start of additions they say they’re going to make. But for me, there’s a real issue with such obvious, front-and-centre core issues either so far being ignored or even worsened: it makes the desire to return much harder to find. A game that had me play compellingly for a month just has no grip on me at all this time out, despite there being a little bit more for me to find in the vast emptiness of its universe. Aspects that I suffered through to get to the game I wanted to play before now just feel like reasons not to bother. Struggling to see the ground below my ship as I explore was a pain in the arse before, but an incentive to switch off and play something else today.

Hello are obviously in a pretty pickle at this point, presumably not feeling like they could survive the PR disaster of even considering charging for added content at this point, yet having to fund their staff, office, and sundry costs to produce these additions and fixes. “But the game sold a kerjillion copies, they’re rich now!” Well, we’ve no idea how dreadful a deal they might have signed with Sony, and no clue about their financial situation before. Let alone that those riches would have otherwise been invested into the next project, and even more ideally, to be enjoyed by the people that earned them. No Man’s Sky must be a bitter pill for Hello, a team trying to work on a game that at least a part of them must absolutely hate by this point, in an environment of hostility like no other. Hell, I wonder at even this article – would I be leveling such direct grievances at another 10-man indie team? But when you promise the universe, loudly, on the telly, for year after year, you rather invite the consequences of that. I don’t envy them one bit. I still wait NMS to be a lot less annoying to play.

This update isn’t enough to woo me back in, because any of the elements they’ve added are still hidden behind the frustrations that have worn me out. So why aren’t they fixed? Well, as a rule I’ve learned over the years, if a fix seems obvious and simple to implement, then it likely isn’t. Where I say, “Just give me the ability to hover or fly backward on planets!” they might say, “Every time we code that in the game just prints out the letter E.” Who knows.

There’s a wonderful game inside No Man’s Sky, but it has yet to be realised. I’ve found moments, like my daft joy in carving sculptures, or the time I found the perfect planet, but most of me just repeats that refrain, “Give me six months, a staff of three and a decent budget, and I’ll write you a story that’ll make the game essential.” That’s what this game so desperately needs, beneath the fixes that are still so wanting. Neither has showed up so far.

Disclosure: Alec did a bit of writing for No Man’s Sky prior to its release but we don’t hold that against it.

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94 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    “- Sometimes there’s a star system not previously occupied by one of three alien races.

    Nope.”

    I haven’t played the game, but this is the thing that baffles me about it the most. It seems to be a rejection of the entire premise of the game, right?

    • CriticalMammal says:

      To be fair, they have taken a step towards making this possible. They now have completely barren planets, the one I found ONLY had the little thamium9 plants and a bunch of rocks. I didn’t find any buildings or anything on that one.

      Hard to see, but I even went an extra step and viewed it from a distance and that planet didn’t even have the little “travel/trade trails” in the sky like other planets do, which connect normally to the relative space station. This one and it’s moon don’t have them: link to i.imgur.com

      So I guess, theoretically you *could* now have a system that’s all barren planets. You’d probably still have a space station which had aliens on it but the planets would be empty. Honestly though, barren planets are great to contrast nice lush planets but having too many of them would probably negatively affect the experience. Which I assume is why they toned it all down for release in the first place.

    • Dinger says:

      Are those alien races divided into sexes, and if so, are the males the possessive ones? ‘cos it can still be “no man’s sky” if it’s owned by proto-race alien gentlewomen.

      • batraz says:

        I understood man as “anthropos” in this title, that is “human being”, not as “andros” which is “male”. “No woman’s sky” would be a different game, I guess… A game with no shops ?

        • batraz says:

          And a Bob Marley soundtrack ?

          • inspiredhandle says:

            Hahahaha. Brilliant. How much do you wish you’d thought of that within the 5 minute window? 13 minutes later? You must have been kicking yourself.

          • batraz says:

            I didn’t mean to hurt you… I’m sorry that I made you cry. So please, don’t go “ad hominem” on me.

  2. geldonyetich says:

    Maybe they ought to just open up modding some more whilst removing the taint of consolitus from the engine.

    In a game of No Man’s Sky’s scope, it will probably be impossible for Hello Games alone to deliver, but if they tweak the platform to be worth it, the community can jeer less and pitch in more.

    • Marr says:

      The mods for version 1.0 had already fixed half of the things John wanted, but of course almost none of them are compatible right now.

    • DuncUK says:

      A Steam workshop would save this game on PC at least. Let the community make it into the game they want and then spend your remaining resources thinking how to bring those mods to console owners.

      Hello Games are doomed. They have a tiny team with dwindling financial resources and an audience so hostile to anything else they do, there’s basically no hope for further revenue beyond selling more copies of NMS. Right now, I cannot see how they’ll turn their reputation around to be able to release a game that sells anything significant at all. They’re doomed to keep polishing this turd until they run out of money and/or talent.

  3. GenialityOfEvil says:

    I think they took the idea of a “gameplay loop” a little too literally. Everything in the game is a short circular set of actions, except for that long circular set of actions, you know the one I mean. So the whole game ends up being a grind with no payoff.

  4. tslog says:

    No surprise from my previous comments that I do really hate this game…but I’m still desperate for a sort-of-like no man sky ( without the garbage systems tacked on) , very probably made by a different team, And sadly, I predict, will be many years into the future.

    Hello Games Took universe/planet exploration that so many of us wanted, and turned it into a nightmare.

    • Neutrino says:

      Actually it has already existed for years.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Don’t let the old style graphics put you off, your brain will adjust, and the combination of massive universe, free form goals, plus decent story line is better than anything that’s been released before or since.

      Imo you can’t call yourself a proper PC gamer if you haven’t completed FFE.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        I’d have said “NMS without garbage systems tacked on” is closer to Noctis than FFE, but I guess that depends on what you think constitutes garbage systems

  5. NetharSpinos says:

    “Maybe they ought to just open up modding some more whilst removing the taint of consolitus from the engine.”

    I keep seeing this term being bandied about recently. Is consolitus supposed to be some sort of substantial affliction to a game, or are people just being elitist cunts?

    • geldonyetich says:

      It’s not PC Master Race elitism if the game is genuinely worse off for concessions made to port a game to consoles.

      No Man’s Sky suffers from a dumbed-down, dreadfully limited interface because it was designed to be played on gamepads.

      No Man’s Sky’s graphic engine suffers nasty pop-in issues and texture limitations because it was developed to run on limited console hardware.

      No Man’s Sky suffered and continues to suffer from numerous bugs and odd design decisions that simply would not exist were it designed prioritizing the PC platform first.

      Consolitus is a genuine affiction to quality games, there is qualifiable obvious proof like the above, and much more besides.

      • Tetrode says:

        While I too am disappointed with No Man’s Sky and am not trying to defend it, the term ‘Consolitus’ is complete bullshit and is definitely PC elitism I’m afraid. Your “qualifiable obvious proof” of it is pretty rubbish.

        “No Man’s Sky suffers from a dumbed-down, dreadfully limited interface because it was designed to be played on gamepads.”

        Yes because there’s been no console game ever made that’s had a half decent interface. /s

        “No Man’s Sky’s graphic engine suffers nasty pop-in issues and texture limitations because it was developed to run on limited console hardware.”

        You mentioned previously “the game is genuinely worse off for concessions made to port a game to consoles.” yet you also say that it’s developed on the console hardware. Which way is it? Also, many console games don’t suffer from pop-in or texture limitations like you say and they can look absolutely gorgeous. One example being Uncharted 4. I can name more if you’d like?

        “No Man’s Sky suffered and continues to suffer from numerous bugs and odd design decisions that simply would not exist were it designed prioritizing the PC platform first.”

        I didn’t realise bad design decisions and bugs are exclusive to consoles? I keep forgetting that every PC exclusive is immune to these problems….. come on dude.

        Finally, at the end of the day a lot of these games wouldn’t even EXIST if it weren’t for consoles in the first place as that’s where the money is. You can’t keep blaming consoles for all problems in games any more. It’s fucking dumb and short-sighted. No Man’s Sky’s problems are it’s own, consoles have nothing to do with them.

        • geldonyetich says:

          Sorry, I don’t feel like trying to prove the obvious to hotshot arguers on the Internet today.

          A game designed for a primary audience on another platform is often plagued with issues for the PC. Also, the sky is blue and grass is green under most circumstances.

          No Man’s Sky is such a game. I don’t care if you believe it or not: consolitus is real and worthy of scorn, and having higher standards in PC gaming doesn’t mmake me elitist.

          • Premium User Badge

            Nauallis says:

            You don’t? And yet you’re answering every comment? Keep getting triggered, you elitist man-child whiner.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ericusson says:

            Seriously Naualis that is your answer ?

          • geldonyetich says:

            Forums on the Internet: damned if you argue, mocked if you don’t.

            Honestly, this isn’t rocket science. It’s computer science. Software needs to be designed. Primary hardware platform factors into that design. While it would be nice if most developers prioritized the PC or were capable of releasing a product which performed well on all platforms it was ported to, in reality it’s exception, not a norm.

            Primary and secondary platforms are a thing in software design. The PC is often treated as a secondary platform due to the prevalence of piracy and consoles artificially creating whole other audiences.

            Ergo, vis-a-vis, etc, consolitis is a thing. Those who disagree just don’t understand the fundamentals of software engineering in the here and now. Living proof can be found in nearly every existing port. No Man’s Sky is a prominent example.

        • Stopsignal says:

          Applause. Seriously. Sometimes people don’t understand, the problem is in the skill of the developers rather than a machine.

          In any case, if the developers are good, they will do design differently for both the pc release and the console release. When they don’t do this, they are bad developers. Consoles have nothing to do with this.

          It’s like porting a shooter game from pc to PlayStation and only letting you able to aim with the touchpad thingie. It’s a developer problem. Not the PC’s fault.

          And what the hell? Enable modding? Is it just a check box that says “enable modding” when programming a game? Show me, because I have never seen it. They most probably won’t, because they will have to rewrite all the game if they do so.

          It’s wrong of them to not properly port the game to PC, the consoles have nothing to do with it.

          • geldonyetich says:

            I’m not sure why bother even defending consoles. It’s not like the last generation of them was particularly called for. Consoles are probably on their way out.

          • GeoX says:

            What a dopey comment. Consoles serve a largely different market than PCs do. I mostly play computer games these days, but PC chauvinism remains embarrassing and dumb.

          • geldonyetich says:

            I’m far from the only or most qualified person, including many industry insiders, who have suggested consoles may be on their way out.

            I’m not going to insist, though, as predicting what technology will or will not do is a fool’s errand.

      • Swordfishtrombone says:

        Inflammation of the console. Sounds serious.

        (And, yes, for the inevitable pedants, it should be “-itis” not “-itus”.)

        • consolitis says:

          Haha yes I noticed he strangely couldn’t spell consolitis… he probably has no clue of the real background and history. I stopped reading his ignorant rant though after his weird denigration of gamepads, since everyone knows the microsoft 360 gamepad has been the gold standard of PC game controllers for years.

          • inspiredhandle says:

            By “gold standard”, do you mean “only real option”?

          • aepervius says:

            Hey. No. The gold standard for most game on PC is still to use keyboard and mouse as method of control. There are exception, like fighting game where a controller make more sense, and other game where the addition of a joystick make it more enjoyable, but for many other genre, seeing controler as the gold standard is just plain wrong. Most AAA games which are both on PC and console simply don’t bother adapting to that standard and do bungled interface which are horrid. Example : no man sky, skyrim among others.

          • inspiredhandle says:

            I took “PC game controllers” to mean “game pads for PC.” Meaning it didn’t necessarily take peripheral priority over mouse/keyboard, but was the best game pad for PCs. Who knows for sure if that was in fact what was meant.

            My point was that there’s not much real choice now (without using the likes of DS) thanks to XInput being the new standard.

          • MajorLag says:

            M+K is the objectively superior choice for just about everything. FPSs, TPSs, RTSs, rogue-likes, zachlikes, etc. The only real exceptions are flight sims (joystick), platformers (gamepad), and driving games (gamepad or wheel).

          • Michael Fogg says:

            ^^ it is ‘objectively superior’ not to have terrible back pain, which happens to many people after hours of typing on a keyboard. Gamepad allows to sit back and just hold it in your lap, which is much more comfortable, especially after a day of office work.

          • geldonyetich says:

            Get back to me about how wrong I was to spell a slang word a certain way after it shows up in a dictionary that isn’t open source. The objection had nothing to do with how I spelt it, the OP just spontaneously decided to try to make “consolitis/tus” a politically incorrect term.

            Ironicaly, I don’t think gamepads, in and of themselves, are invalid control mechanism. The trouble is when a game’s potential is being held back because the developers limited themselves to a gamepad interface when the gameplay itself could have benefitted more on the PC if it were more M+KB centric.

            For something like a simple platformer, this is a non-issue. But I can play something like No Man’s Sky, or even “good” ports like Skyrim or Elite:Dangerous, and see where bending over backwards for gamepad compatibility lead to less-than-completely-optimal PC interfaces.

          • SuicideKing says:

            On the flip side, my hands/fingers hurt if i play too long using a gamepad…

  6. Zorrito says:

    Notes On A Patch: Is No Man’s Sky a better game now?

    No. It didn’t add yetis, multicoloured jock-straps, dwarf animals that look really large, that magenta I like, or sarcasm.

    Seriously, commiserations that you ploughed 100+ hours into a very thin game, but this is really weird journalism. How about the stuff they did add?

    Survival mode + bases = a big improvement for me. Plus planet surfaces are looking better etc. Still plenty of bits that are threadbare, but the improvements are worth a mention no?

    • typographie says:

      He posted a link in the first paragraph to an article Philippa wrote detailing all the changes made in the patch.

      I think it’s perfectly valid critique to discuss all of the things the community took issue with that the patch has not addressed. John isn’t alone in most of these complaints.

      • Zorrito says:

        The ‘whatabout’ list is always long when it comes to updates ;). I understand the frustration, but it’s still an easy game to play.

        I guess I’m just enjoying the Survival mode, and have found it adds some ‘purpose’ and gameplay (IE the age old ‘survive better’, while giving the survival gear and enemies an actual role to play). Enjoying it a ton more than the launch mode. Just seems a shame they’ve both passed over it in the main. (I see John did actually mention it in passing, but seems not to have engaged with it).

  7. Cerulean Shaman says:

    Sometimes you need to be careful to take a neutral, unbiased approach to a touchy subject. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter because telling the truth will make you sound like a hateful snob no matter how hard you try because it’s just that bad.

    NMS got internet-level spotlight of the negative kind which is always exclusively melodramatic, but that’s not to say it wasn’t deserved. Kudos to them for trying to fix the chaotic mess they threw out on the street, but the realist in me sees more of a desperate attempt to dredge their sunken ship from the depths while flailing around trying to save themselves and their honor. Seems far more likely than any altruistic motivation towards their fans.

    There are a lot of issues with NMS. Maybe someday those issues will be gone, who knows. In my opinion they’ve got a long, long way to go and this patch was a casual approach to leave the living room on their way to the door to even start beginning a very, very long journey.

    At least we know it to be a terrible mess of a game that exists, rather than being left wondering… *COUGH*STARCITIZEN*COUGH*.

    Best of luck, I guess, but there’s just too many strong titles releasing now and throughout the upcoming year to really care about a game that had its chance already.

    • darkhog says:

      Seriously, at this point Star Citizen is basically Duke Nukem Forever (before DNF was released), though even worse as they still shamelessly take people’s money without delivering much except walking around a hangar or some extravagant club (which even I can do with Unity in few hours). And people are gonna to be SALTY. Much more salty than in case of NMS.

      Back to NMS though. Not every game was good at launch. Take a look at Battlefield 4 for example. But they’ve fixed it afterwards. It may be case for NMS as well and the silent treatment we get may be because they’re just too busy writing code to write posts, aside of patch notes. Plus after what happened I’d be camera-shy as well.

    • Marr says:

      Well, no for-profit business is driven by altruism really. At best, commercial morality is more of a do-no-harm affair, and HG could have done a lot of harm by abandoning the game, splitting the profits and folding the company. This was widely expected a week ago.

      • Premium User Badge

        Captain Narol says:

        Only by Trolls.

        People really following the game knew quite well that HG was still at work and that such scenarios were only hostile propaganda. There have been regular small patches before that big update and they always said they would not let the game down.

        • Marr says:

          Well, not sure if I’m a troll, or just wasn’t really following it properly. I saw a company spend big money hyping their game through the roof, delay release, deny review copies and preloading, release a minimum viable product with terrible UI, push a day one patch to hide its most disappointing omissions, tweet confusing nonsense about the first players to meet in game, hire a PR professional and then disappear for months from all social media. At that stage, ‘take the money and run’ was the rational option for them.

          But no, they’re apparently digging in for the long haul, and that really is bizarre. In that case why not just release an honest early access project in the first place and save themselves all this grief? Geoff Keighley tried to tell them this and they crossed him off their friends list for being ‘negative’.

  8. foszae says:

    I could have had empathy for a ten-person indie developer, but when you sign a big contract with a soulless behemoth like Sony, i cease to have any pity for you. As soon as you’re taking any kind of dictats from a Rolex-wearing animatronic in a suit, you’re no longer in it for the joy of gaming, the love of story-telling or even just the quirky fun of programming puzzles. At that point, you’re on your back, knees up, desperate for a fat pay cheque — and yeah, you deserve whatever judgment consumers weigh against you.

    • darkhog says:

      Unfortunately they kinda had to take the deal, because a flood had destroyed their equipment. They basically did that just to be ABLE to make it at all. It didn’t turn out well, but it might’ve also turned good if they’d have taken different PR approach.

      Proof: link to hellogames.org

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I totally forgot about that. Funny how every who wants to push the scam narrative seems to have as well.

        It would be interesting to know how much that event did end up harming the end product.

    • kavika says:

      Wow, entitled much?

      You paid 2-3 meals worth for a pile of bits that ended up not entertaining you. Get over it and play a game that you already know is worth your time and money. In the scheme of things, video games are stupidly cheap entertainment, especially considering the risk devs take and the poor opportunity-cost-to-remuneration ratio that games have.

    • trashbat says:

      This is a pretty terrible, entitled attitude. The joy of solving quirky programming puzzles doesn’t in itself pay the rent or the mortgage. If you’ve got a plan to bring about the end of capitalism then perhaps it’d be fair comment but otherwise I don’t imagine it’s a standard you hold yourself to, unless you’re in an extremely fortunate position.

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        keefybabe says:

        Yeah, I’d also like to point out that every game developer I’ve known (and I know a good few) gets paid less and does more hours than a standard business programmer. Pretty much nobody, at the ground level, who actually makes these things is in it for fat wads of cash.

        I suspect no man’s sky’s biggest issues came from a crap QA department or pressure to release.

        • trashbat says:

          Yep. I mean, if you wanted to actually make money, you could go earn £100k+ a year contracting or working on a legacy banking system etc.

          There’s an ancient idea still hanging around that games should be all about the art, and make money later. Well, that possibility pretty much died with 3D graphics and the need to have both serious capital and a professional team of software engineers.

          If you’re 16 or whatever with your bills paid, I can see how you’d be more inclined to view big publishing deals as selling out. When another decade’s rolled by and you’re developing for an arms company or something, you can look back at those times and reflect.

          (I am a SW eng but I don’t work in games, FWIW – wrong skill set)

          • Marr says:

            There’s another ancient idea still hanging around called patronage, where people willingly pay up front to allow games to be all about the art, and stop worrying about the bills. Kickstarter, Greenlight, Early Access, etc. Given they had enough media attention to appear on Colbert of all places, HG could have gotten crazy funding by that route without selling the foundation of a game engine as a complete, full price release, disenchanting a million would-be fans and supporters.

    • Robin says:

      Get a load of Jonathan Pie here

  9. Lachlan1 says:

    “Clearly, when so many people have chosen to invest their misplaced personal anguish into the game”….hang on, Sean’s a white male, why aren’t you calling him a “pathological liar”?

  10. tigerfort says:

    Did anyone at RPS check which bits Alec wrote, or is he curled up in a corner somewhere, weeping “all my friends hate my amazing Altas narrative”?

  11. Wednesday says:

    Wouldn’t the whole “not flying backwards” thing on a planet have to do with their being no gravity in space but plenty above a planet. Also, aerodynamics.

    You can do it in Elite but each ship has permanent “up” thrusters you can see working.

    • Marr says:

      Maybe sorta, but they can fly really stupidly slowly and they land in classic Thunderbirds fashion, drifting slowly to a halt in midair, then firing ‘landing engines’ to force themselves down the last few meters. Ultimately, being able to hover and reverse is just more fun, and we know this because there are mods for it.

    • aepervius says:

      Not really. To travel backward in space you need engines on the front which push you backward, sort of directional thruster. Those therefore also exists and are usable on planet. There is nothing *stopping* you to use them. Aerodynamic make it maybe awkward, gravity only affect up not transversal. Therefore there is no reason whatsoever those forward thruster could not push you backward too on planets albeit slowly. No the only reason is because like most of the functionality of the game, they were done without too much thought, implemented until “good enough” was reached. So flying slightly backward was not seen as necessary since you jsut hit E to land somewhere. I enjoyed the game for a while but gave up after the 48 slot ship too. Looking again, it is incredible how many half done functionality or UI design I can see.

    • inspiredhandle says:

      I suspect “fly backwards” means hover and translate backwards. If we are talking about flying backwards at considerable speed, if the lift is being generated by aerofoils(not thrusters), as in a space plane, then they will only generate lift going in one direction (like a ceiling fan) and can’t fly backwards.

      Usually (with some exceptions) flight models in space games are atrocious anyway; pretending space flight is the same as atmospheric flight (complete with bank turns). It’s really only after playing something like Kerbal that I fully appreciated how confusing docking can be, going from terrestrial flight sims (roll, yaw, pitch) to space flight (roll, yaw, pitch, and translate in all directions).

      • Marr says:

        Imagine a future crossbreed NMS/Kerbal in which the procgen ships are actually evolved for various flight characteristics, and alliances between factions create hybrid technologies. An experienced pilot could tell a ship’s strengths and weaknesses just by looking at it.

        • inspiredhandle says:

          STOP!! The mere mention of this genre crossbreed very nearly brought me to orgasm. This is a hugely potent mix of game mechanics that will always be THE fever dream of all space sim enthusiasts. Though no human has the genius or foresight to create such a thing, even whispers of such a game would create a swirling hype vortex that would dwarf that of NMS. The world would not survive it.

  12. Synesthesia says:

    Damn, this reads like an angry forum post.

    • rgbarton says:

      To tell you the truth I think this may be my least favorite RPS article ever. Why? Because its written like its intended to be a joke yet it feels more sad than anything else.

    • Robin says:

      It reads like a Steam user review.

      I agree with the main points that there are still lots of odd interface issues and the patch mainly adds breadth rather than depth. But adding a story to ‘fix’ this? Yeah, no.

    • batraz says:

      I don’t agree : M. Walker’s straightforward style actually makes me want to play this game, and sounds more convincing than all the consumer rage I’ve witnessed in this case. I can feel for a disppointed lover, certainly not for anyone who can spend 60e for a game and then be angry about it. Maybe I’ll wait for another year, and this game will have a nice color palette and a story, and I will give away some of my precious gold.

  13. Babymech says:

    • Fixed technology becoming fully charged when repaired
    • Fixed rare cases where item_sky would spawn but not be assigned to any class_man

    • TechnicalBen says:

      The hilarious thing is “items now repair fully fulled/supplied” was a bugfix/game design of the last patch.

      This is why NMS gets grief. Either the team don’t know or understand what they are doing, or they are changing their minds too often.

      If someone wants soup, make soup. If your a steak house, serve Steak. If NMS was a restaurant, they would rebrand to a clothes shop before your order turned up and you would get a perfectly represented cheese sandwich printed on a T-Shirt. (Ok, that may be hyperbole :P )

  14. tankacealpha says:

    Combat not improved is one massive hot take of hot takian proportions. It has been massively improved, not only in implementation but in scope and immersion, easily one of the most improved core aspects of the game aside from the adding of new elements.

    • Marr says:

      But it’s improved from 0/10 to 1/10, which is both huge and inconsequential. Aggressive ships still ‘attack’ by steadily draining your shields every few seconds using a beam that apparently has no restrictions on range, tracking, direction or line of sight.

  15. rgbarton says:

    Eh kind of weak really considering a lot of the article feels like they phrase,
    “Anyway they didn’t grant anything on my wish list so that means that nothing of note is improved”

    Considering it touches barely touches on any of the numerous things that have been implemented ro

    • geldonyetich says:

      Seems to me like this is not about whining so much as attempting an efficient approach.

      Take the scenario of a huge game with many problems. A patch is released.

      Do you care about every little thing that patch did, or do you care if your lead qualms about the game have been settled?

      This post is siding on the latter assumption.

  16. racccoon says:

    This is a good game!
    No Mans Sky Has balls! It released its game without handouts and is a functional working game.
    Shameful is..Star Citizen, a chicken shit in hiding, Hiding behind years & years & years of theatrical curtain twitching, awaiting the next stage presentations, so they can keep collecting/taking/stealing more money for free! from all those mugs in the public arena!
    Star Citizen is the next and most terrifying bombastic game flop ever seen, if, “ever” it releases itself from the begging bowls of doom, it will happen.

    Back on topic:
    NMS On space fights made simple, reverse thrust, line em up and you win!

    Well done
    Hello Games No Mans Sky is a great game keep up the good work.

  17. khaoselement says:

    Article starts with a person crying over gamers being legitimately upset over all of the blatant lies told to us.

    Stopped reading to cry in the comments. About all the care the author took, why should I give any more?

  18. Marr says:

    It is at least a game now, if not a very good one yet. To me, the best thing about all this is that it increases the odds of one day getting a behind the scenes documentary.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Ericusson says:

    Why do you even still talk about this turd and its lying developers ?

  20. simakuutio says:

    Instead of gaining infinite rage with this game, how about trying an alternative which have already alot of content on it even it’s still Early Access game on steam. Name of the game is Empyrion and if you ask my opinion, it’s like No Man’s Sky with playability and everything. It even updates very frequently with alot of improvements. I wouldn’t think twice if I were you…

    • Danley says:

      Just note that Empyrion is much more of a survival game / astronaut simulator than it is an exploration game. The planets as they are (to be fair, in early access) are bland and uniform. The gunplay is better, and the construction by far better (though still not as good as Starmade). I’m drawn to reply to this comparison because I’ve played Empyrion 20+ hours for what it is, and 90+ hours in NMS for what it is. I love PCG and exploration more than I like construction. Others will fell the opposite way. The two games are vastly different.

  21. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I enjoyed reading this witty takedown of Alec Meer’s No Man’s Sky, but seriously, why haven’t you told him your grievances directly? I’m sure he would fix most of them at a moment’s notice!

  22. TechFox says:

    Should have watched Dunkey’s review.

  23. HoboDragon says:

    Despite enough hd-space, I uninstalled NMS after 30-40h gameplay (note: rarely delete games until I run out of space). Even after the patch I haven’t bothered reinstalling and reading this (thanks for the article!) I don’t think I will. A shame, really. But then, I have plenty of other games to play.

  24. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Having been put off buying the game at launch both due to early reviews and its price, I just bought it now, due to this patch and that it was on sale.

    I am very satisfied with my purchase.

    I am playing only in creative mode, going where I want on a whim, taking any ship I take a fancy to, exploring planets, and taking screenshots. From the first trailer this is all I ever wanted from it.

    I’m playing with photo mode on all the time so that I don’t have icons and notifications floating about to distract me all the time.

    The only frustration I have is if I don’t pay enough attention to landmarks as I wander, and end up forgetting where I parked my ship. It’s a great problem to have.

    I’d have been quite disappointed on launch with the necessity to gather resources etc., but I’m loving the game now.

  25. Dajmin says:

    I’m still struggling to see the point of this update. For a game that’s built around exploration, they’ve created new systems that discourage you from doing it.

    Sure, there’s some quality of life stuff in there, but I feel like there’s plenty of higher-priority features they could have worked on or added. Assuming they don’t just result in printing the letter E :)

    • Marr says:

      Actually the way the new systems work does encourage exploration. The bases exist to house R&D NPCs who give you fetch quests for various otherworldly resources which unlock the game’s tech tree. You can portal between any space station and your base, teleport it to a new planet in the form of construction resources, and eventually set it up inside a freighter that follows you on your travels.

  26. chascoppard says:

    Where I say, “Just give me the ability to hover or fly backward on planets!” they might say, “Every time we code that in the game just prints out the letter E.” Who knows.

    Um, this mod has been available for months…

    link to nomansskymods.com

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