A Look at the “Epreeto I” System and Its Majestic Diplos

A Look at the “Epreeto I” System and Its Majestic Diplos

A few months back, I dusted off the No Man’s Sky save file that I started in August 2016 when moving from PS4 to PC for the game. I set it aside when NEXT landed in 2018, thinking that it might be a good time to start over, anew. In that original save, shortly after the Atlas Rises update, I left Euclid behind and jumped to the Eissentam galaxy (the 10th galaxy). So, for most of the past two years, I’ve been playing the more recent save, in the Euclid galaxy.

This past week I entered a yellow star system and set down on a violently toxic world swept with frequent Extreme Radiation storms resulting from a nuclear catastrophe that took place at some point in the distant past. As I was running about, making a quick exploration of the surface, I spotted a diplo off in the distance, only a greenish-yellow silhouette in the howling toxic maelstrom that was underway. On closer inspection I found that it was a pair of diplos — mother and daughter. They travelled together, never wandering away from one another. Well, not until I threw down some Enzyme Fluid bait and let the momma take me for a little joyride.

The pair I found are of the species Z. Musikereum. They are of gender: “rational.” Additional notes on the species follow.

Encountered on Erithor II, where they have adapted to the nuclear catastrophe that enveloped the planet. Possessed of a tremendous natural strength, they fear no other creature that walks upon this world. Their diet consists of fallen fruit that has begun to rot. This fermented, bacteria-enriched mush appears to have a vital place in their digestive system. Additional observations: Born on meteors

I took some photos and captured some video of these majestic diplos, and recorded bits of my exploration of the other three planets in the system. The system definitely holds some impressive sites. In my experience, the Eissentam galaxy definitely delivers, but more on that later (and soon)…

Have a look and portal in for a visit, if you’re in Eissentam.

“Tiny Home” Base VI Floating High Above a Crowned Moon

“Tiny Home” Base VI Floating High Above a Crowned Moon

Here I present my sixth “tiny home” base build since striking off on the effort. This is the first “tiny” orbital base I have built and, as such, it’s not quite as tiny as those that came before it, what with the practical need for a landing pad and my desire to space the small rooms out a bit to provide an outdoor area to walk around and take in the sights. And, unique sites they are.

The base floats high above the surface of an Irri Shell moon (the sort of exotic world described as Finned, Bladed, or Shell-Strewn). The moon’s host planet is ringed, and the ring system intersects the moon — which is rare enough — but the point of intersection is such that only a small “cap” of the moon sits “above” the ring system; the moon is crowned by its host planet’s rings. Having never seen a world like this in my 2,500 hours in the game, I immediately set out to locate the center point of the crowned area and build a base above it.

The orbital base resides in the cloud layer of the moon and is built at nearly the highest point allowed by the game, far above the base computer down on the ground. The complex consists of a small, central outdoor area under the shade of a tree, with three structures leading off from it: a landing pad, a bedroom/office, and a den area. The entire intersection disc of the ring system can be seen from the base, and the shallow angle of the ring systems leading off and around the host planet makes for quite a vista.

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A Day-One Player’s Opinion on the Procedural Generation of “No Man’s Sky” in 2020

A Day-One Player’s Opinion on the Procedural Generation of “No Man’s Sky” in 2020

Scanning my YouTube feed just a short while ago, I spotted a video that grabbed my attention. The video in question is entitled “My Honest Opinion On No Man’s Sky Current Procedural Generation: A Review In 2020“. Regular readers are surely aware that I have rather strong opinions on the procedural generation in No Man’s Sky and how it has changed over time. As such, I began watching to see what the video’s creator, Thunder (THTDI Inc), had to say about it.

This video spoke to me.

Fifteen minutes later, I sat down to make this post and share a wonderfully succinct take on the current state of proc gen in No Man’s Sky, its effects on exploration (as compared to that of the early days of the game), and how things could be made better for those of us that are interested primarily in exploration, above all of the other gameplay aspects that No Man’s Sky has on offer.

As a day-one player with 2,500 hours in-game, I have shared my wish, on this blog and through various other outlets, that Hello Games let the proc gen engine “off the leash” a bit in order to bring to the universe new worlds that are truly shocking, wildly alien, and, as such, extremely engaging to explore at length. In the pre-NEXT days, such worlds abounded but, as I’ve expressed previously, perhaps to a fault.

While I, personally, find many more stunning vistas in Foundation [v1.1 circa November 2016], I can’t deny that sometimes the terrain is difficult or even downright troublesome. And, the non-stunning worlds can be rather similar and fairly monotonous to encounter. This adds to the intrigue of approaching an unexplored world and wondering just is waiting on the surface as you descend through the atmosphere, because it could be something quite strange and unusual. But, then, it might just look like this.

In order to get back to that wild, no man’s land (…or sky, as it were), I have been playing Foundation 1.1 alongside the current game for the past year or so. (Tips, for anyone interested in doing so). In a post providing an update on that effort, A Progress Update From a “No Man’s Sky” Time Traveler, I concluded that, while the wild, unbounded terrain of olde makes for extremely engaging exploration, the direction that Hello Games went in the NEXT release, where worlds were made more approachable perhaps, was likely a good one for the majority of gamers out there.

Thunder, the creator of the presented video, points out that a few new biomes would indeed add variety, but unless the proc gen is allowed to vary the worlds with a wilder, more random hand, that variety will be limited. I think the ideal would be a combination of the sorts of worlds that we presently enjoy in Beyond, along with new, wilder worlds that are truly aberrant, even eerie.

Recent rumors, alongside an expiration of the patent of the Superformula, have lead to speculation that a proc gen overhaul may be in the works. Time will tell, on that front. Whatever the case, I was eager to share this video with readers and would love to hear the thoughts of others as regards the worlds of No Man’s Sky.

Community Event #31: The Event That Wasn’t. Sort Of. (It Was Pretty, Though.)

Community Event #31: The Event That Wasn’t. Sort Of. (It Was Pretty, Though.)

Last weekends Community Event was a rather unique affair in that it’s the Community Event that didn’t really happen. Not for most, at any rate, it seems.

Hello Games indicated in a May 29 news release that the weekend missions are going on hiatus in preparation of a new content insertion. A tweet from Greg Buchanan first verified that. Yet, when I walked up to the Nexus in the Anomaly on Sunday, I saw a 1,200 Quicksilver mission waiting.

It appears that the event was used as a test case for the replacement of the network backend of the game that landed in the June 5th update to the Steam PC Experimental branch (a beta version) of No Man’s Sky that was also release on Xbox One via the Xbox Insider Hub service. The update brought a number of things, the main being groundwork for network crossplay across across all platforms. This update went public today in an update for all platforms.

Given that the only people participating in the event were those who opted in on the beta versions for the two aforementioned platforms meant that it was a somewhat lonely affair, but the event world was so striking to me that I wanted to share a video I captured playing through it. The standout item is an amazing base reconstruction of the Eiffel Tower just a short distance from the portal into the world.

It seems that weekend missions across all platforms will soon resume, accompanied by new lore / story content. Until then, enjoy this glimpse of the event that sort of wasn’t. The portal glyphs of this world can be seen below.

Does Expired Patent of the “Superformula” Tie to Rumors of More Alien Worlds in “No Man’s Sky”?

Does Expired Patent of the “Superformula” Tie to Rumors of More Alien Worlds in “No Man’s Sky”?

[ NOTE: This post contains references to allegedly leaked information about upcoming versions of the game and, as such, should be viewed as a spoiler post. Be warned. ]

On June 5th, Hello Games updated the Steam (PC) Experimental Branch of No Man’s Sky with an update several gigabytes in size. (The Experimental Branch is a beta version of the game that Steam players can opt into in order to see the latest features and help Hello Games work out the kinks by providing feedback and bug reports.) The patch notes for this release say only:

  • Replaced networking back end.
  • Upgraded to OpenVR 1.10.30.

Upon receiving this update, Experimental Branch players began seeing little platform icons attached to players wandering around in the Anomaly (a networked area of the game). Hello Games also released this beta version of the game (or a similar version) for the Xbox One via the Xbox Insider Hub, a Microsoft service that allows users to opt into betas, akin to Steam’s beta option. Players on both platforms running these betas are seeing each other, with appropriate platform icon, in the Anomaly at the same time. This, along with a host of platform icons discovered in the beta release by data miners, clearly speaks to some level of cross-platform gameplay on the way.

Now, since May 19th we’ve known that new content of some sort was on the way, thanks to a tweet from author / scriptwriter Greg Buchanan who was behind the (great) Artemis storyline from 2017’s Atlas Rises update to No Man’s Sky. On May 29th, Hello Games posted the Beyond Development Update 11 page on their website, detailing a number of new things going on in the game, including mention of a content-related hiatus to the weekend missions.

Beginning this weekend, there will be a short pause between seasons of weekend missions. These will be returning very soon, featuring new story content we’re really enjoying from one of the writers on Atlas Rises.

(There actually was a mission this past weekend, but it appears that it may have been a test of the new networking back end / cross-play and only visible to those running beta versions on Steam and Xbox One.)

The following day, an anonymous post appeared on 4chan (let me pass the salt) entitled “No Man’s Sky summer update leaked details.” Within, the poster claims that according to his/her source, a content update is imminent and that it will tease out details of what is to come in a larger summer update. I am not going to print all of the details that were mentioned, here, but will say that what caught my particular interest is the suggestion that this coming update is “heavily focused on pro[c]gen” (procedural generation), with the indication,

…my source has told me that hello games have been working on ambitious things with their procgen and will improve terrain diversity and formations. new biomes will be introduced & more “alien” planets.

Additionally, data mining efforts of Procedural Traveller on the June 5th PC Experimental release reveal several findings that seem to backup the notion of new biomes on the way. (It is worth bearing in mind, however, that there are some items found in the data from even years past that have not come to fruition in the game.) Also, a number of mild visual / rendering changes have already been observed by myself and others in the PC Experimental version.

The reason that this struck a chord with me is the fact that just last month, the patent for the “Superformula,” created by Belgian biologist Johan Gielis, expired.

The Superformula (image: Johan Gielis / Botanical Society of America)

The Superformula is, as Gielis describes it, “A generic geometric transformation that unifies a wide range of natural and abstract shapes.” It is basically a modified take on an equation that describes a unit circle. The equation contains a number of variables and the geometric shape that it generates depends on the particular combination of values plugged into it.

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Devil’s Spire Lookout: “Tiny Home” Base Number Five

Devil’s Spire Lookout: “Tiny Home” Base Number Five

Last week I shared my fourth “tiny home” base, built on a cold, dead moon. While traveling around the system system, gathering resources for the construction, I discovered another moon that grabbed my attention. It suffers particularly violent and frequent firestorms, is decorated by towers of rock rising from its surface, and is sliced through by the ring system of the parent planet — the same planet, in fact, that holds last week’s base moon in orbit. Naturally, I had to build there, on the sister moon of last week’s base.

Whenever I encounter the rare spectacle of a moon sliced through by the ring system of its parent planet, I go in for a closer look in the vicinity of the line of intersection. As I flew close to the surface alongside the ring, I observed frequent towers of stone rising from the ground (that is to say, when the firestorms that blocked all visibility remained at bay). After a few minutes of making close passes to these towers, I noticed one that looked jagged, oddly formed — an aberrant spire. Setting down for a closer look, I observed an interesting sort-of crescent shape to it as observed from above. It seemed a perfect place to try out a tiny base comprised of multiple small units.

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Moon Base: Disco 1 – A (Tiny) Patch of Color on a Dark, Dead World

Moon Base: Disco 1 – A (Tiny) Patch of Color on a Dark, Dead World

This week, I left behind my third “tiny home” planetary base at the north pole of a fungal moon (where sunsets are not known) and began construction of Moon Base: Disco 1 on the Life-Incompatible Moon of a large Bone Spire planet.

I was struck by the amazing view this barren world afforded of the ring system of its host planet. I explored large stretches of its surface until I came to a breathtaking area where the ring system soared above like a milky, illuminated ceiling. It was just then that I noticed a dark tower of sorts rising above the horizon. After setting down, examination revealed it to contain no door, window, or feature of any sort. Its sides, I observed, extend in the precise ratio of 1 : 4 : 9 (the squares of 1, 2, and 3).

I took this to be a fortuitous discovery, and chose a nearby location to build my base.

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The Sun Never Sets on My Third “Tiny Home” Planetary Base

The Sun Never Sets on My Third “Tiny Home” Planetary Base

Last week I shared the second “tiny home” planetary base I’ve built since deciding it would be fun to create these cozy little dwellings all over the galaxy. Well, galaxies, I should say; my first two bases were located in the Eissentam galaxy, while this latest can be found in Euclid, on PC, in Normal mode.

For this base, I chose a rainy, rocky fungal world with low-slung mountains, carved deeply with caves and outcroppings, that stretch off into the horizon. The sentinels are frenzied and often come knocking for a visit… This world’s rock formations are so distinct and pronounced that it wasn’t hard to find an interesting spot to build, once I identified the general area where I wanted to build.

In doing so, I utilized a short guide by Redditor u/Cheater42, entitled “Banish The Sun: How to locate your base where the sun never sets,” which caught my interest a few days before this build. Following the guide, in about 25 minutes I had found the vicinity of one of the planets poles, and then set about looking around for a particularly interesting spot. In short order I had located two facing outcroppings of rock that allowed me to build my base in a sort-of “bridge” arrangement. The planetary coordinates of the base are +24.80, +107.85 (but I don’t feel that these correspond with the polar area of other planets).

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Continuing My “Tiny Home” Base Undertaking, I Present My Second Effort

Continuing My “Tiny Home” Base Undertaking, I Present My Second Effort

Last weekend I shared the first in what I expect to be a long list of “tiny home” planetary base builds to come. After completing the last, I moved on from that lush and violent, purple world to a desert moon that I had visited several months earlier and saved in my records. It is tormented by frequent dust storms that cause the atmosphere to take on a particularly ominous aspect, which is what made the world stand out to me when I first discovered it. And the sentinels are on high alert.

Upon returning to this dusty moon, I spent some time flying over different parts of it in order to find a spot with a nice view of the orbital planet, as well as dense and varied flora. I think I did alright in this regard, in the end.

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A Look at My “Forever Starship,” Found Way Back in NMS 1.0

A Look at My “Forever Starship,” Found Way Back in NMS 1.0

On Saturday, October 29, 2016 (at about 9:52am) I found my forever starship. It’s a fighter, of silver and red.

This was in the original release of the game, when crashed ships were everywhere and you could grab one, fly off, find another, and repeat — usually jumping up a notch in slot capacity every time. That dynamic ended a few weeks later, though, when the Foundation update landed.

I present this post as a pictorial of one of the very nicest looking ships I’ve encountered in the game in my nearly 2,500 hours in, but also as a sort-of bug post aid for Hello Games because, as you can see, with the release of Beyond, the wing nacelle color treatment has become anti-symmetric; the color of one wing engine evolved to not match the other over the course of a few updates. I have only seen this in fighters with this particular wing arrangement, known as Wing_K (and quite a few other than mine: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4). I’ve reported the issue to Hello Games via the ticket page, but it is, as yet, unaddressed. [Update: Skel#8634 (Discord) let me know that there is a mod that partially works around this issue, for PC users who want to give it a try.]

It is interesting (this issue aside) to see how the design of a ship’s features has evolved over the nearly four years since No Man’s Sky launched, especially the extraordinary details that have been added in recent updates. With the release of Beyond, the scale of the game’s ships increased significantly, a move necessitated by the addition of VR gameplay. This allowined for greatly more intricate details to be put in place. The ships, today, look incredible and far more refined than they did “at birth.”

No Man’s Sky 1.0x – October 29, 2016
No Man’s Sky 1.0x – November 6, 2016
No Man’s Sky Foundation – January 15, 2017

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