No Man’s Sky adds save slots, improves quality of space-life

nmspatch

Another day, another No Man’s Sky [official site] update. Hello Games have had their noses to the space-grindstone ever since launch, with the recent Atlas Rises (1.30) update bringing enormous changes to the procedurally generated space-sim sandbox. This Tuesday, they rolled out another update, and a slew of minor changes. Patch, 1.38, (full notes here) gives top billing to save system improvements, expanding the number of usable slots to five, each of which can have a separate difficulty setting assigned.

The surprise star of the show this update is a seemingly minor tweak: planetary trade outposts now provide hazard protection, which not only goes a long way to explain why all those aliens were standing outside chatting in the acidic, radioactive hyper-rain, but gives players without upgraded survival gear an additional safe harbour planetside where you might be able to trade for precious fuel for your suit’s life support systems. For anyone wild enough to play on Survival difficulty (I tried, cried space-uncle and tapped out), this could well be a lifesaver.

On the subject of trade, you’ll probably want to spend a little longer at those planetary trading posts now. As part of their series of incremental upgrades to the galactic economy, this patch, stock is now gradually replenished over time, and trade prices can vary between planet and space station in a single star system. While far from thrilling, it does open up the possibility of making money ferrying goods to and from a given world’s surface. Less Euro Truck Sim In Space, more White Van Driver.

Nobody ever said space would be glamorous, after all. Just big.

Beyond that, the patch is almost all minor tweaks and tuning. In space combat, friendly NPCs are less likely to turn on you if a stray shot grazes their hull, dead planets now have a variety of surface temperatures, trading NPCs are generated with their own stock levels, and your Analysis Visor is now significantly less useless, telling you the stats and approximate value of spacecraft scanned, as well as the distance to identified mineral deposits.

It’s all good, solid improvements, assuming that you were hoping for NMS to become more of a traditional space-flight/trading/shooting sorta sandbox. While I admit that I’ve not sunk as much time into Atlas Rises as I might have liked, the recent move towards a more narrative-driven experience has been an interesting one, and the story itself seems surprisingly nihilistic for a genre normally dripping with optimism. I’m already interested to see what they’re cooking up for their next major update.

39 Comments

  1. alert says:

    Hm, nah, I’m good.

    • 7vincent7black7 says:

      I’m probably gonna wait another year or two for the “No Man’s Sky: The Taken King” Edition to buy when the game is complete and delivers all that it originally promised; including an actual point to getting to the center of the universe, other than New Game+ mode.

  2. giei says:

    No VR support?

  3. Heimdall2061 says:

    The Hello Games folks have earned a good deal of respect from me for continuing to work on and improve their game like this. Not to ignore their past failings, or suggest that they were unfairly treated, but I know it’s very painful to hear the kind of torrential criticism they got after release, and it does them a great deal of credit that they didn’t lose their motivation entirely afterward.

    Keep up the good work, folks. As important as it is to recognize companies that do good work and criticize those who don’t, it’s also important to show that one mistake, however large, doesn’t have to ruin a career, and hard work and improvement can redeem reputations.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Sean Murray deserved all the criticism he received and then some, nobody will ever trust a word he says again, nor should they. The rest of Hello Games on the other hand, I’m sure they’re perfectly decent and capable people, who certainly don’t deserve the shitstorm surrounding NMS.

      • hostilecrab says:

        My god, man. Did he come to your house and molest your cat? Was he caught practicing Nazi salutes in his bathrobe? His monumental crime was promising a little more content for a game during development than it had on release. It wasn’t even a bad game on release, just mediocre. And Murray deserves as much praise as the rest of Hello Games for the work they’ve put in since release.

        Even Molyneux got a solid three strikes before people started equating him with Hitler, and I don’t remember Lionhead putting up a raft of new features for Fable III after that ended up being a damp squib.

        • Gardiad says:

          Are you sure it wasn’t a damp squid?

        • DarkFenix says:

          So somebody has to be a nazi (or similarly evil) before they can be criticised? That’s a theory I’ve not encountered before, perhaps it explains why publishers can get away with so much nowadays.

          Sean Murray went quite a bit further than “promising a little more content”, he was right up there with Molyneux and I’m not prepared to give that guy a free pass either.

          • modzero says:

            They didn’t say you shouldn’t criticize them, they said you should hold off with carpet firebombing Guildford.

          • DarkFenix says:

            Which I never even implied was warranted. I said Sean Murray, personally, deserved the criticism he got. Which he does. He lied, lied, then lied some more, frankly going beyond Molyneux-grade hyperbole.

            Me? I could see NMS’s failure coming a mile off, so I’ve got no personal stake in this, nor any personal hatred for Murray. But he deserves any and all criticism he gets, and deserves not to be trusted.

          • syndrome says:

            That’s a theory I’ve not encountered before
            Here’s this, then.

        • Bull0 says:

          No, Molyneux earned some trust with the bullfrog years and then gradually pissed it away, Sean Murray is a newcomer who Molyneuxed right out of the gate. Why should he get 3 strikes if game one has major features missing

          • modzero says:

            This is their fourth game, actually, and it seems the previous games got pretty good – in fact sometimes great – reviews. Have you considered actually using a search engine before making verifiable statements?

          • April March says:

            “Molyneux right out of the gate” sounds like a card from a videogame-themed Cards Against Humanity-like game.

  4. dylan says:

    Should I check this out yet?

  5. shrieki says:

    have been playing again and i still enjoy the normal mode exploration just for the sake of “discovering” new planets,creatures and plants.
    walking and jet-packing around still feels clunky and somewhat unsatisfying (slow) – at least at start – but it still is the core of the experience for me. checking out the terrain, “hopping from shroom to shroom”, zooming in on bizarre creatures and feeding iron to the little cute critters still makes me smile.
    i just wish i could do what Sean Murray did in one of his presentations : look at the sky, click on a solar system and directly jump there without a “space-ship”.

    also a hitchhiker-through-the-galaxy-mode would be cool … maybe a device or a conversation option that would let me take a ride with the npc-space-ships to wherever they are going.

    everything off planet is just horrible in this game so i wish i could just hop from planet to planet without horrible space game-play in-between.

  6. Elric666 says:

    I didn’t buy into the hype – I don’t intend to brag, but I saw the huge disappointment that this game was going to be to the general public from a mile away. Maybe because I’m a developer myself and have a feeling for what it means to create such a complex, procedurally generated game. It was obvious that Hello Games were overselling it – there was no way they were going to deliver on all of those promises with such a small team. And it was obvious that that much cited promo video was “fake” in the sense that it was not real gameplay footage, but more of a carefully designed trailer.

    So perhaps that is the reason why I myself was not so disappointed by the game. I only bought it after the first two major updates and think it’s an amazing game for what it is. First of all, it is a marvellous technical achievement, and I quite enjoy the creativity and mystery of the “plot” and the visual aesthetic of it all. It does manage to feel a bit “2001 Space Odyssey” in how it presents itself, which is a good thing. But also the planetary vistas and space scenery you encounter are great. Overall the visuals and music are fantastic.
    Sure, gameplay-wise it has many faults – as many faults as it has ambitions – but this is the danger of aiming high. I do feel as if Hello Games have broken new ground with this game, and it is the fate of all pioneers to make mistakes. NMS is the true diamond in the rough.
    I do hope they will continue to patch it and make improvements to the game. This is the best thing they could do to appease all of their fans and hopefully make a huge comeback with a “No Many Sky 2” in 5 years, having learned from all the mistakes.
    Either way, I’m quite enjoying the game for what it is right now.

  7. Avus says:

    It IS a better game, but it is still not a $60USD game. Buy it when 50% off.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      While I don’t think what you’ve said is unreasonable, I’ve seen people saying they’ll only buy it when it’s sub £5 which is absurd. The game is at least worth £15.

      • April March says:

        It’s only absurd if you think there’s an objective value to games. There are plenty of games that I think are excellent to the people they’re made for, but I myself wouldn’t pay more than five bucks, because while I think I’d enjoy it a little I wouldn’t enjoy it more than a five-buck game that was made perfectly to my liking.

  8. vorador says:

    Right now it is a fairly decent game. After the Atlas patch a real history was added, and there’s a fair number of additions that make it worthy of purchase. Might be tad pricey methinks, but wait for a discount.

    This is what it should have been at launch.

  9. milligna says:

    Still pretty horrible. The ships just aren’t fun to fly.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, there’s that. For a game based on exploring space, the actual ships and spaceflight seem like an afterthought. Terrible flight interface, and space combat isn’t fun at all. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who wants to focus more on a cockpit experience than ground exploration.

      • Premium User Badge

        Iamblichos says:

        This is and has always been my main complaint… I play space games to fly fun ships. These ships handle like three-legged pigs, no matter how many add-ons and bibs and bobs you load on them.

  10. Stevostin says:

    Played this lately on my video projector based PC and it had its fair share of jaw dropping moment. As it was after Atlas patch, the game keeped me entertained for a fair 30h after I felt like I had seen enough maybe not to stop but to not feel strongly compelled to keep on playing. Sure, the game used not the most elegant grinding game design mechanics to keep me glued but I felt it was ok because the travel experience was worth it. I kinda liked the writing to and that “old school” vibe of text based story telling.

    TBH I think what the game really needs are stronger game loops. Fights, but you can count environemental survival, air battle, general piloting, driving, mining, doesn’t feel bad, but they do feel meh. If the basic things to do to progress were more interesting, the game would have been so much more compelling.

    Overall the game loop: “quick problem, quick solution” is really harming the immersion. Big problems, where you have time to not notice, then notice late, then devise plans to fix them, then execution of said plan can delve in interesting chaos are the way to go for survival games, me think.

  11. racccoon says:

    No Mans Sky has been in place on my hard drive since its birth on n’ off.
    I just uninstalled divinity original sin 2 as I found a complete stalemate in the game, a total flaw to its solo play of my death and destruction approach. After 56hrs killing every single npc possible in the game, it leaves you dead in water near the end, with absolutely no where to go at all. I gave it the boot after 3 days of searching for solutions, including using hack tools, cheat tools, the editor and all the other crap the internet can muster up! some of it was a real laugh, giving me tons of stuff constantly respawning in the one the chest over n over having 1000’s of items to sell, but that wasn’t the way I wanted to play. Cheating in that game is way too easy, the only thing I got out of searching was to see that the internet is still using binary hacks that we used to make and use years ago and they are still awesome, It did bring back some fond memories, they are easy to use for me anyway! :) I just wanted to finish the game without that & couldn’t. Prey was uninstalled as well..its not that great.
    So after a thorough clean up I ended up with 200 gig free..yay. lol
    No Mans sky has its place its a great game to play & takes up very little space for such a powerful & enjoyable game of works on infinity not divinity.

  12. Red_Fox says:

    Vast as 10billion oceans yet thin as a sheet of paper. I shall pass.

    Would love to see that algorithm though…

    • Captain Narol says:

      That “smart” punchline has been used against NMS plenty of time already, and is in fact quite untrue, but you need to play the game to know it.

      So you’re both wrong and totally unoriginal.

      Anyway, your loss, you’re giving a pass to a great game that improved a lot on its flawed parts since launch.

  13. TotallyUseless says:

    The game is looking better and better. And being a huge kickstarter success and being on the market for well over a year, a 75% – 90% off won’t hurt this game. Heck even part of 1$ humble bundle would be great for this game. Not buying this at higher prices tho.

    Hello has profited so much, and this game is a commercial success already so it’s about time they give a 75% off. =) Heck not even huge AAA titles cannot garner 75+k of ratings on Steam, simply proves it’s about time for a sale.

  14. neofit says:

    I have 150+ games in my Steam wishlist, so games without a proper save-anywhere system go at best to the bottom of the pile. With this update I see that they are still not happy with their save system, which is good news afaic. Multiple save slots are a step in the right direction, even though technically you still have 1 slot per game, and it’s still location-save based trash. Maybe in a year or two and after a few more updates it will become worth it.

  15. Vitty says:

    Ooh…Cookies.

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