The Observatory That Stood Up and Walked Away From Me

The Observatory That Stood Up and Walked Away From Me

[ NOTE: This post might be considered to be a bit of a spoiler. Be warned! ]

Walking Rock

I remember the first time it happened. I was mining rocks on some planet’s surface in order to load up on Pure Ferrite and Ferrite Dust for a base I was putting together. After a while at this tedious task — lo and behold — the rock I was mining sprang legs and started to run away from me! I was hundreds of hours in the game before seeing this, and it jarred me, taking me completely by surprise. Doing a little research for this post, I see that these “Sentient Minerals” are a thing that was announced in the No Man’s Sky Visions (v1.75) update, back in November 2018. They attempt to flee the heat of a mining laser and, if you can catch them, provide concentrated resource rewards. (Somehow I had missed that detail on the Visions release page way back when.)

Since then, I’ve encountered these fleeting boulders a handful of times in the game, but it’s still a rare thing. Not nearly as rare, however, as something I saw in a screenshot posted about a year ago on one of the social media feeds.

The screenshot in question showed a floor panel held high in the air above a planet’s surface by four gigantic legs, apparently running away from the player. The poster indicated that they were mining the rocks sitting within a decorative planter in a side room (which requires an Atlas Pass v2 to enter) of an Observatory building when not just the rock but the building itself sprouted legs and began to walk away. It was an absurd looking situation, and I wasn’t sure whether the poster was using some mod to get the effect, or if what was reported actually had happened in the game. Since then, however, I’ve gone out of my way to mine any rocks I’ve encountered inside Observatories, sadly with no dramatic results.

Until this weekend, that is, when all that mining paid off. When it happened, it was even more of a jump scare than my encounter with that first fleet-footed rock, despite the fact that I was specifically trying to get the Observatory to sprout legs with said mining. A couple of rocks into it, the room fell away and I was outside, four enormous legs towering high above me. The floor panel of the room I had been standing in was aloft and on the move. I chased after it, but it disappeared after getting some distance on me.

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The Best Father’s Day Card in the ‘Verse

The Best Father’s Day Card in the ‘Verse

Father's Day card featuring watercolor blobs

My daughter, who is very well aware of my more-than-passing fondness for No Man’s Sky, is quite an artist. She enjoys spending a lot of her free time sketching, painting, and otherwise creating (rather unique, in my not so humble opinion) works of art.

For Father’s Day this year, she really put a smile on my face with a card she made for me featuring a watercolor rendering of a dad and daughter pair of blobs.

Now, I know not everyone is a fan of the blob (I’m looking at you ECDMDragon (Discord)…), but I think they’re pretty cute. And clearly the girl does as well.

I thought I would share the “fan art” here and wish a belated Happy Father’s Day to all the other interloper dads across the universe.

Festooning the Wall With Vintage Sci-Fi Book Covers

Festooning the Wall With Vintage Sci-Fi Book Covers

A few months ago Hello Games setup a merchandise shop on their website and began selling official HG merch. The store has shirts, posters, stickers, socks, and the like for No Mans Sky as well as a few Last Campfire items. What caught my eye, though, are two sets of coasters (the sort upon which one might set beverages) featuring cover art from 12 of the larger No Man’s Sky updates. Upon seeing these, I quickly ordered both sets (along with a t-shirt, for good measure).

The coasters arrived several weeks ago and had been just sitting on a table while I contemplated exactly what to do with them. It finally occurred to me to mount them together on the wall of my basement office / retro computing / gaming room as a sort-of poster display alongside some existing No Man’s Sky wall art, above the desk upon which sits my iMac and gaming PC (assembled for No Man’s Sky back in 2016).

I arranged the lot on the wall and am rather pleased with how they look, hung all together. As such, I thought I would share a photo.

A Look at “Threadneedle: Expedition II Base Omega”

A Look at “Threadneedle: Expedition II Base Omega”

This morning No Man’s Sky Expedition #2: Beachhead drew to a close after its two-week mission clock timed out. As with the Expedition before it, I found it to be a great deal of fun seeing players zipping about the various systems along the mission route and visiting some of the many bases they left behind.

Having been a rather more basic set of missions than the initial, two-month expedition, I managed to finish the expedition after about a week of play and then set about constructing a base in the system hosting the fifth and final player rendezvous point. Within the final system I found a planet characterized by gigantic spires of rock and frequent storms bringing “walls of flame.” At the very top of a particularly tall spire I began constructing a concrete base in the shape of a ring that is positioned such that it is being impaled by the tip of said spire.

Doing what’s needed in-game to acquire blueprints for items with which to build the base and fill the new space (make it “home”) — gathering Salvaged Data, Quicksilver, and Tainted Metal — takes time…and, as such, I spent a total of about 20 hours play-time on this expedition, where the core missions were completed in around 12.

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A Look Back at “No Man’s Sky” Expedition #1: The Pioneers

A Look Back at “No Man’s Sky” Expedition #1: The Pioneers

As I type this post, the on-screen timer counting down the end of No Man’s Sky Expedition #1: The Pioneers reads 1 hour, 31 minutes left. After that, the mission will end and players’ Expedition save will convert to a Normal mode game save. Anyone who hasn’t completed all of the goals in the five phases of this first, two-month mission will find themselves bereft of victory.

On Wednesday, March 31, Hello Games released No Man’s Sky Expeditions (v3.3) which brought a new community focused play mode, Expedition, to the game. Expeditions involve a multi-stage mission along a preset path through the galaxy that must be completed within a set period of time (two months for Expedition #1), at which point the current Expedition will conclude and a new one set out by Hello Games will begin. Everyone embarking on the active Expedition starts off on the same planet, with a limited set of technologies, and will need to make their way many lightyears to the final destination point, fulfilling achievements along the way to progress through the mission’s various stages and on to full completion. Helpful awards are granted along the way as achievements are met and stages completed. Those who emerge victorious will be granted major awards, such as the Golden Alpha Vector fighter, which is the chief award for completing Expedition #1.

As a player fond of base building, I wanted to take advantage of the huge community aspect of Expeditions as an opportunity for a few bases of my construction to be visited by other players. (Unlike any of the other play modes, online players are everywhere in Expeditions, working their way, system-to-system, through the mission at their own pace.) As such, I took my time and built up my player by acquiring the many construction and technology blueprints necessary to build the bases that I felt would be a fitting mark to leave on this social undertaking within the No Man’s Sky universe.

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Say Hello to My New Companion, Subpixel

Say Hello to My New Companion, Subpixel

A few weeks back, in mid-February, Hello Games released another (free) No Man’s Sky update: Companions, version 3.2. This time around, Sean Murray and his team have given us the opportunity to explore the vast reaches of the universe with a special fauna friend at our sides.

Upon encountering a creature of their liking, players may engage with it and make that beastie their bestie. In fact, players can have a stable of up to six special sidekicks that can be summoned to any planet’s surface or the Anomaly where these precious pets can be shown off to others. Companions will aid players by scouting ahead and discovering resources as well as doing their best to protect their kind keeper during hostile alien encounters. Additionally, one is able to “induce” an egg from their companion, which can be genetically modified in a new Anomaly station or just allowed to run its natural course in delivering a new, bouncing baby companion.

While I always appreciate a new update from Hello Games, and I thought Companions sounded interesting, I didn’t really picture spending too much time with the added features — they’re just in-game pets… A few days (or hours, really) in, however, I was loving it! It was lots of fun warping from system to system, looking for that perfect new companion while picking up some of the most bizarre creatures out there along the way. I finally settled on a pink robotic fellow that I named “Pixel,” whose wild frolicking had me laughing as I ran about new worlds, exploring. In time, however, Pixel produced an egg which I tried my hand at genetically modifying in hopes of creating a smaller robo-companion. Thus hatched “Subpixel,” son of Pixel. And Subpixel is the companion I feel will share in most of my future explorations. We have a delightful time wandering about new worlds, dodging sentinels, or just watching the sun set upon the distant horizon.

As you can see from the above video, Subpixel is a spritely little fellow and it’s a miracle he hasn’t worn out his batteries.

A Traveller Explores Worlds of Olde in a Moving “No Man’s Sky Foundation” Livestream

A Traveller Explores Worlds of Olde in a Moving “No Man’s Sky Foundation” Livestream

As regular readers are aware, I spend a considerable amount of time exploring the early No Man’s Sky universe. And it seems I’m not alone.

I recently ran across a video captured by YouTuber Unholy_Mr_Brown during his live-streamed session of exploring several worlds in the Foundation (v1.1, circa 2016) version of the game, which happens to be my go-to for “time travelling” / historical exploration. During the hour and a half livestream, the fellow traveller explains the reasoning behind his preference for the older versions of No Man’s Sky to the new. His sentiments, full of emotion, echo many of my own and I found watching him explore and listening to his commentary very much to my liking, and so I share it here with readers. (His channel is full of other exploration videos of past versions of No Man’s Sky, for those wanting to see more.)

While on the topic of video explorations of worlds of olde, I will take the opportunity to share another video that I spotted a while back on Reddit in the NMS_Foundations sub (the focus of which is “to share the old-school sci-fi vibes of No Man’s Sky“). It’s called This is No Man’s Sky and was created in late 2019 by YouTuber J. Twittenhoff using the Press Kit version 1.0 of the game on a PS4 Pro. It’s something of a fan trailer of the early game with a lovely ’80s synthwave vibe. (The creator posted part II of his project a short while later.) Thanks to u/jenga67 , author of the lovely Back to Foundations game mod, for submitting the video to the subreddit.

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Exploring an Early World That Exemplifies the Meaning of Solitude

Exploring an Early World That Exemplifies the Meaning of Solitude

The previous post made to this blog covers my exploration of a mountainous desert world from No Man’s Sky Foundation v1.1 (circa 2016), with photos and a somewhat lengthy video. Soon after exploring that planet, I set down on another world in the same system that turned out to be one of the most desolate I have ever encountered in my four years in the game.

The world is devoid of all flora and fauna and is nearly silent but for a subtle and woeful drone sung by the wind. It is a striking, high-contrast pink-purple world with a dark and purple sky. The landscape is full of rocky crags with stone arches and water lakes here and there. It is rather unlike anything one might encounter in more recent versions of the game.

Here I present several photos and a short video account of a portion of my exploration of this desolate place. I have rarely felt more solitude on a world in the No Man’s Sky universe than that which this planet presents.

Those interested in this No Man’s Sky “time traveling” may enjoy my previous forays back in time.

Taking a Stroll Back Through Time: A Long Walk on a Desert Planet

Taking a Stroll Back Through Time: A Long Walk on a Desert Planet

As regular readers of this blog and my NMS-focused followers on Twitter are likely aware, I am currently enjoying No Man’s Sky Foundation 1.1 (circa 2016) alongside the current version of the game, which at the time of this writing, is Next Generation. I got this setup on my PC early last year and have had a lot of fun being able to go back and explore the universe of olde, harboring worlds with wilder and more chaotic terrain generation. In a recent session in Foundation, I decided to record my exploration of a mountainous desert world and share it, here, with readers.

Craggy desert worlds of this sort appeal to me, and I could see from high above the surface that it would be enjoyable to explore. After setting down beside a small lake as the sun was setting, I set out on foot to see what I might find. After, perhaps, 10 minutes of walking it occurred to me to start recording my screen as I explored.

The ability to be anywhere on a planet and summon your starship from afar had (happily) not yet been added to the game in the 1.1 release. Several types of Habitable Structures feature landing pads or ship summoning terminals that can be access by way of a Bypass Chip (dropped from the game in NEXT) in order to call your ship to those limited locations. As a driver for my exploration in Foundation, I often land and set out in a certain direction and not stop going forth — no turning back — until I locate such a facility from which I can summon my ship. On this adventure, it took 3 hours and 30 minutes to locate such a building, and it was a glorious little walk.

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A Tour of 3 “Yoda Hut” Bases from the Swamp Worlds of “No Man’s Sky Origins”

A Tour of 3 “Yoda Hut” Bases from the Swamp Worlds of “No Man’s Sky Origins”

[ Update: It is worth noting up-front that the weekend following the publication of this blog post brought the “Mud Huts” discussed here as a buildable item that can be purchased in the Anomaly from the Quicksilver merchant. As such, searching for the ideal hut is (perhaps sadly) no longer a requirement for those seeking such a base shelter. In a recent video, Mac Foraday demonstrates the building of such huts. ]

The first few weeks after No Man’s Sky Origins landed, I spent a great many hours in the game traveling from system to system, exploring the entirely new worlds added to the universe, as well as the dramatically expanded diversity found on the planets that have been there all along. Almost immediately I discovered a fiery hellscape of a world that was so unlike anything I’d encountered in the game before, I had to setup a base from which to explore it in detail. After several weeks’ journey, I paused to share some of the amazing sights I encountered.

Aside from the aforementioned hellish volcano worlds, another new type of world is a swampy sort marked by dramatically rooted trees, glowing fungi, and a sort of organic pod dwelling that players have taken to calling “Yoda huts,” given their similarity to the well known Degobah homestead of the aged Jedi master. Not long after installing the update, I encountered my first world of this sort, but I didn’t immediately notice these little organic huts situated at the base of certain trees. But, as soon as I came across my first, the possibilities got me quite excited given my fondness for “tiny home” bases.

The unfortunate thing about these organic pods is that surrounding flora is heavily clipped into almost all of them, cluttering their interior space with leaves and brambles. Finding a hut that is both nicely situated and free (or nearly so) of intruding plants is a time-consuming process, I’ve learned. They can often be found in small groups close together or even growing in and amongst one another in an overlapping sort of way. Some are inaccessible, the main opening being entirely in the ground or in the trunk of a tree. But, if you want to find just the right pod-home on these new swampy worlds, with a little patience you can.

The photos and video shared here start off with the first pod I found enough to my liking to put down a base computer and settle. The encampment is a series of three huts located on a hilly world that’s more misty than swampy, really. The main hut is the “cleanest” of the lot, the other two being rather overgrown, internally. I was still able to utilize them though, placing my base teleporter just inside the entrance of one, and using the other to conceal power storage and host a bouncing blob terrarium.

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