no man’s sky – what i’ve learned

i’ve played almost 20 hours and am probably about to play some more, encouraged largely by some patches over the last week that have really improved the PC port, but before i do here’s some spoiler-laden stuff  that i’ve learned about the euclid galaxy’s outer rim, some 177Kly from the galactic core.

every star system has a race that’s in charge of things, and as far as i can tell there are three of them. unless you give an offensive answer to a question (i unknowingly said i was sentinel-aligned once) it seems really difficult to actually hurt your standing with them. interacting, trading, learning their language, finding their plaques and monoliths and ruins all improve your standing. that opens up what i hesitate to label dialogue options but it’s basically what they are on a limited level.

the gek are a race of vicious giant frogs who have come to control much of the outer rim. there is some kind of caste system in place here according to the plaques. the first spawn run the show. it was their force that apparently conquered the rim, and a second generation came out of the slime and became their soldiers. despite their despotically warlike plaques interactions with them are pleasant.

the vy’keen are a brutal race of warriors mainly aligned against the sentinels. the value toughness and fearlessness, and if one gives you the chance to punch it, take that opportunity, that’s the right choice. it will punch you back and you’ll take damage, then get a new blueprint because warbros or something. some vy’keen i think called Hive led a charge against some great big behemoth of the sentinels, but was somehow convinced not to attack or something, it’s not really clear what happened there. that’s right at the cutting edge of the vy’keen plaques i’ve found. i don’t think they and the gek get along.

the korvax are kind of gethy, and as far as i can tell their main purpose is to seek out… idk, enlightenment? they’re a synthetic race with some kind of limited collective consciousness but they do all present distinctly. space anomalies are always (So far) manned by a korvax high priest and a gek engineer.

atlas is an enigma that wants to lead you down a path. i dont know what that path is because i quickly strayed from it when an anomaly korvax told me i could fly into a black hole and go closer to the galactic center. i’ve done enough of what atlas wants to get an atlaspass v1 but that’s all. otherwise i’ve been looking for aluminum dicks and iridium to upgrade my hyperdrive. plus, atlas kind of sounds a lot like the thing the vy’keen warrior was talking about.

sentinels are the immediate enemy, but their goal seems to be to protect the environment from “explorers” (this space sure seems occupied to me) stripping its resources. planets with higher-security sentinels (especially HOSTILE) are often covered with high-value trading items, like vortex cubes or gravitino balls, and picking those up gets you chased by 2 flying and 1 walking sentinel every time. they’re easily dispatched once you’ve got an upgraded multitool.

cargo pods, finally, are your best friend. i recommend farming gold early because it’s the most valuable junk you’re likely to find, then sell it at trading posts or space stations. do the same with albumen pearls and gravitino balls and all that stuff. you need cash to buy inventory slots in your suit. i have nearly 40 now. not hearing the goddamn inventory full warning every ten seconds improves the experience a lot.

flying between planets is the worst part of the game and it really isn’t close. i’m sure they’ve hidden loading in that 1:34 flight from one planet to the next, because apart from what’s buried in a warp or docking animation there is not a loading screen to be found in this game, however, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re waiting and doing nothing at all. and you can’t tab out, because the game pauses. i’d love to just fart around with twitter while i fly to Hjwoghg-agarajag VI, but no, i have to stare at the screen. “well then just get up and grab some chips while it flies” you say. oh no. you have to babysit your damn ship because if you don’t, you’re going to attract pirates who DESTROY YOUR FUCKING BOAT while you go get a drink of white grape juice. having your boat destroyed is the worst thing that can happen. it’s worse than death. you have to start all over from wherever you are. death just respawns you at a load point, man.

i mean, not that i would know. i haven’t died. it’s extremely hard to die in this game and if you recharge shields intelligently during fights, also extremely hard to lose your boat. this is just what i’ve read online.

i’m very hopeful that soon i’ll be able to cover bigger warp distances, because right now, after slingshotting out of two different black holes, i have made it exactly 1,000ly closer to the core of the euclid galaxy. that is 0.1% of the way. i probably do not play this game for 2,000 hours. please progress faster soon, thanks.

other advice – i haven’t really bothered with getting new ships, mainly upgrading my inventory through cargo pods. i haven’t upgraded the one i have much either. i finally upgraded the warp core and i found it with increased cannon damage, but that’s it. do invest in suit upgrades though. the Tau level upgrades are very expensive but mostly worth in my opinion, just to not have to recharge your cold/corrosion/radiation/heat/flying monkey protection every 2 seconds onworld. build up enough slots and you can just sorta install them and forget them, destroying the cheapest one you don’t need if you’re really in a bind for an inventory slot.

which reminds me, that bind would be because you’re crafting something, and each component goes in a single inventory slot. you only ever have 2 elements at a time, but to make a warp cell takes something like 4 inventory slots. you need a couple of elements i don’t remember, plus a slot, where you make the electron vapour, which frees a slot where the carbon was, where you make the suspension fluid, and in the vapour’s old slot you make the antimatter with another element, which combines with some other element to make the warp cell. the elements can stack, but items like bypass chips and anything you sell and warp cell components take up a whole slot solo. it’s dumb as hell.

to make it MORE confusing, the “blueprint” recipes you discover are organized chronologically in the order you discovered them, and unless i’m missing it, you can’t rearrange them. beam focus sigma next to beam focus theta next to beam focus tau? hahahahahaha. nope, it’s all a scrambled mess. don’t know greek alphabet? you’re stuck with trial and error or hoping you judge the recipe’s rarity right to guess which is best. some weapons/ships come with multiple tiers of the same thing installed. do their effects stack? who knows? the game tries really, really hard to get in its own way with its UI/UX elements. the menus and maps are clearly designed for controller, and they work fair enough on M+K, but not pleasantly.

but i’m still going to keep playing the fucking thing because its premise and its promise remain so interesting. yes, all the procedurally generated buildings are very much clones. yes, all the planets are basically the same size and therefore gravity. yes, you’re “discovering” a galaxy that’s already filled with other intelligent beings. somehow that’s all still just so interesting to me. especially with the vy’keen making me think atlas might be aligned with my treehugging laser-blasting nemeses…

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