“Hell’s Front Porch” : No Man’s Sky “Tiny Home” Base IX – in Origins

“Hell’s Front Porch” : No Man’s Sky “Tiny Home” Base IX – in Origins

The update of the year, No Man’s Sky Origins 3.0, has landed and we’ve finally gotten a healthy helping of what many of us were hoping for: improved variation. I a have a lot to say about this update as a whole, and intend to do so in posts soon to come, but early in my exploration of the game’s new universe I discovered the most inhospitable hellscape of a planet I have ever encountered in 2,700 hours in the game. It is an “Erupting Planet” with frenzied Sentinels and “Colossal Firestorms” that I was quick to experience upon landing, after my suit AI warned me of an approaching “Wall of Flame.” It is a terrible place.

I was in love.

Where better a place for another cozy little “Tiny Home” base (my ninth, in fact)? So, I began scouting out locations from the air, when finally I found the place — a spot near the wall of a sooty canyon at the base of three active volcanoes, with sparse flame-ravaged trees bespeckling the dark lava rock surface. There I built a metal base, raised on a pedestal to avoid the frequent flame spurts that characterize the world, with water and fuel storage tanks (obviously) situated on the safety of the roof. (At least there are no R.O.U.S.es — well, actually…)

The base is situated in the Eissentam galaxy in Normal mode. I didn’t expect my first post since Origins launched to be another base build post, but the situation was too perfect. More from me on Origins soon, and I hope you enjoyed a look at this little patch of paradise. Stop in for a visit…if you’re up for it.

Community Event (Sept. 18) – Or Where Not To Park a Derelict Freighter

Community Event (Sept. 18) – Or Where Not To Park a Derelict Freighter

I don’t post about every weekend community event, but this past weekend’s was so out of hand that I thought I would share a video.

As I emerged from the portal on the event world, I found myself in the middle of a lot of action, with boltcaster rounds whizzing all about. Sunday, it seems, was a busy day on the event world.

Player bases peppered the planet’s surface, and after making my way to the Anomalous Disturbance to find out what was needed to quell the disturbance (Albumen Perls), I explored several. Among them was a large canon-shaped base that I investigated, failing to realize that it was actually capable of firing players far above the surface and into space. I learned this after-the-fact from a video by Jason Plays who demonstrated The Cosmic Cannon, as created earlier on a different planet by player Commander Keen, who apparently constructed it on the community event planet as well to give folks something rather unique to play with (portal coordinates to the original location can be found in the video).

After visiting several other bases and gathering Albumen Eggs, I headed back towards the site of the Anomalous Disturbance, noticing a massive freighter half-embedded in the ground. It was not there moments earlier. As I approached the landing pad of a large base next to the Disturbance, I noticed the landing rings were set at an angle. This observation betokened what was to come when I stepped out of my ship and onto the pad. I was — tilted. Leaning. I could walk, but as if in a stupor of some sort, with controls skewed along with my orientation with respect to the ground. I then noticed my jetpack had been disabled. And that’s when I realized just what was going on.

Someone managed to glitch a derelict freighter (which arrived with the Desolation update) into the event planet and in close enough proximity to the event site that “gravity” was obeying the floor angle of the freighter and jetpacks were disabled, as they are in a derelict freighter, because the game thought I was inside the freighter. It was quite difficult negotiating the base where I landed in order to get to a clearing where I could summon my ship, which was the only way I could think to get out of that bind. And, indeed, once I lifted off, things were back to normal.

I love the creative player bases and various other clever player creations on community event worlds, but this one seemed to actually have put players at risk of having to restore from their older save, which could be costly to players that hadn’t made a manual save in a while (or who don’t backup their saves frequently). And, as can be seen in the embedded video, I wasn’t the only one affected. It wasn’t such a fun experience.

At any rate, I quelled the anomaly and it was revealed that Ariadne is no murderer — an unknown imposter has taken on his/her appearance and stands in their place…

Community Event (Sept. 4) Brought a Sator Square and Other Sights

Community Event (Sept. 4) Brought a Sator Square and Other Sights

It has been a few months since I covered one of the weekend Quicksilver community events — the last one I covered was the odd “event that wasn’t” — but a few of the sights I encountered this past weekend prompted me to share another video.

The mission took place on a “Cabled” Exotic world (the sort that always send my mind in an equestrian direction, somehow) where a gathering of cable pods were needed to quell the disturbance at hand. Locating 16 cable pods on the surface of such a planet takes some times, to be sure, but that gave me the opportunity to observe some of the player-made bases that cropped up on the world. These are, for me, the highpoint of these events, and I wanted to share some of what I encountered.

The most notable base presented a massive, floating rendering of the ancient Sator Square. Have a look and hats off, player Aceacin, for the striking build.

“Tiny Home” Base VIII: A Desert Cliffside Dwelling

“Tiny Home” Base VIII: A Desert Cliffside Dwelling

Exploring a recent desert world, I was flying high, skimming the mountain peaks and deep canyons that formed the planet’s horizon when I spotted a small outcropping of rock halfway up the wall of a deep canyon. It struck me that it would be the perfect spot for my next “tiny home” base. It provided and excellent vantage point to observe the world’s profusion of flying serpents, and the frequent firestorms that besiege the landscape promised to make a small, cliffside dwelling all the more cozy.

The wood-slatted base is comprised of three rooms, somewhat partitioned by beams and rafters. Entering the dwelling, one finds themself in the computing and communications area. Proceeding further into the base, a living area with a couch, meal table, and large-screen display can be found. Beyond this lies a sleeping area with storage lockers and closets and a doorway leading out onto a platform that leans out over the cliff edge and features a small sitting area as well as a Base Teleport Module. The entire dwelling is generously arrayed with flora of various sorts, in the interest of augmenting the oxygen levels of the world’s thin atmosphere.

In the interest of space savings, the Nutrient Processor and various additional storage tanks and containers are located out of doors, but in close proximity to the base. A small patch of Curious Corn has been planted along the cliff to provide additional foodstocks.

The short walk-through video that follows conveys the overall feel of the habitation.

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“Tiny Home” Base VII: Rock And A Hard Place

“Tiny Home” Base VII: Rock And A Hard Place

Here we go with the seventh installment of my mission to build quaint little bases all across the galaxy(/ies). This appropriately named “tiny home” base is suspended between two massive rock plateaus on the desolate fungal moon Eslingto IV in the Goride VIII system within the Eissentam galaxy.

Since No Man’s Sky NEXT landed, I started seeing a rare sort of world that is defined by clusters of large, flat-topped plateaus separated by great distances. It occurred to me that it might be interesting to build a dwelling in the very small gap that is sometimes all that separates neighboring plateaus. I kept an eye out for this type of world and finally, quite recently, encountered one.

The base’s location affords a clear view of the planet to which the moon is in orbital lock, as well as other distant groupings of elevated plateaus. The local fauna seem friendly enough and the sentinels are generally unobtrusive, though Dangerously Toxic Rain sweeps through with some frequency.

Dial in the glyphs and stop in for a visit!

And, it seems I’ve chosen No Man’s Sky‘s fourth birthday to publish this post. As such, I know it’s Spiced “Apple” Cakes, Appalling Jam Sponges, Briney Delights, and Haunted Chocolate Dreams all around, today, for readers and myself in celebration of the the journey that flutters behind us as well as the undiscovered road ahead. Happy Birthday, No Man’s Sky. At 2,600 hours in, for myself, it’s been an eventful four years!

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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