At the end of March, Hello Games released the No Man’s Sky Expeditions (v3.3) update which brought a new, periodic, community-focused play mode to the game. I published posts and videos about my experiences with first two community Expeditions, Pioneers and Beachhead, as I completed them, here at NMSspot. A several month hiatus from Hello Games followed but, happily, Expedition Three: Cartographers finally landed — and on the heels of the major Frontiers (v3.6) update that brought the all new Settlements dynamic, allowing players to basically run their own little Mos Eisley, as well as a massive overhaul to the base building system and the base parts to choose from. (And I must, here, mention that in the aforelinked release notes to Cartographers, I was humbled by Hello Games’ kind nod to a piece of my in-game photography, a pursuit I most enjoy while exploring within No Man’s Sky.)
Cartographers placed players on a toxic world with extreme geography and a disabled explorer ship. The ship in question was of a highly unusual configuration making the task of repairing it and getting off the planet a rather long and laborious one, far more involved than that of a traditional starship. Once repaired, the player was able to escape the planet and seek out the various rendezvous points in systems across the galaxy and complete the remainder of the Expedition.
Given that I would clearly be spending a considerable length of time on that starter planet, I built a base near my downed starship, trying my hand for the first time at construction using the aforementioned new base parts. And that was a learning experience; many of the parts were quite unfamiliar and in the days and weeks after the Frontiers release, a series of patches arrived addressing various kinks in the entirely new building dynamic. (Things have since smoothed out nicely.)
Building that initial base was good practice and by the time I was able to make my way to space, I was ready to give it another go on the final rendezvous world, the Expedition’s end planet (or moon, as the case turned out to be).