Finally decided that since black hole roulette no longer works, 120k LY from the Galactic Hub is close enough to say "F it, road trip it is". First refueling stop was an uncharted blue star with a planet called simply "Peggy", that was classified as a "Vile Anomaly". Constant pinkish rain and some moderately curious stripey creatures, but I don't see what's so vile about it. Onward...
Only about 20k LY left to the Hub - this has gone far quicker than expected!
I use The Porcelain Grasshopper for long trips like this, an A-class Explorer that gets about 1090 LY per warp * 20 warps on a full tank.
Along the way, it's the quietest places that compel me to linger a moment. A brilliant purple system, uncharted and undiscovered til today, with a single, massive, dreary planet. Just me and a few scissor-tailed birds that remind me of Texas.
And before I know it, I'm there. Gain's Folly on TopOfTheTree3, the "portal system" people can visit (but not settle) via portal, as I had a few weeks ago before deciding on this adventure.
I wasn't sure if civilization would fade in gradually the way it does in a real-life road trip, with gas stations and suburbs slowly rising up into cityscape. But this is a universe of instantaneous warp travel, and grand structures appearing overnight.
There are plenty of bases built for obvious utility, like this Gamma Weed farm which glows pleasantly at night.
In a nice stroke of Fully Automated Luxury Communism game design, harvesting crops is entirely client-side (separate copies of a given plant in each player's game) so building a farm is like opening a giant free buffet to all visitors. It's not uncommon to find notes of gratitude left by visitors.
It is nice to exist within a community with such values.
Spent some time today spiffing up the base I'd claimed on Gain's Folly. If you have all the portal glyphs you can visit it at https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/1021f9556c30 ; as you crest the hill just past the portal see the last image for where I am on the skyline. Enjoy the panoramic view, sit a spell on the rooftop couch, help yourself to the motorcycle and all the Frostwort (glass) in the farm domes.
(BTW base is visible on PC version, Euclid galaxy, Normal difficulty)
It's interesting how building even a few tall things creates a skyline that others may in turn seek to have a nice hilltop view of. The dynamics of land grabs in digital spaces have likely been well-studied in older "virtual worlds" but I wonder how different they are here in NMS where there's effectively infinite space to build. We still want to be near others - to share, to show off, to sign the guestbook.
At the heart of the New Arcadia base is a mighty specimen of L. Frostliateum, one of the largest plants native to Gain's Folly. As soon as I selected the base's site I decided I was going to build around this plant rather than chop it down. In general, I'm very interested building bases that harmonize with the native landscape as much as possible within the constraints of NMS's building mode.
Had a cool unscripted moment in my first 10 minutes of checking out the Abyss update last night. I build the new mini-sub and head down to the first abandoned building the quest points me to, head inside and find the spooky log, but when I come back out I see... fish, stunned or dead, floating slowly down to the ocean floor. I look up ~30m and see three massive shark-eels in a feeding frenzy.
Hopped in my sub and sped away, staying low to avoid their notice.
Game designer tangent: the point of having emergent things in your game is less to create a sense of constant surprise, treating systems as a generator of the unexpected that must by necessity wind down eventually, and more to slowly build a world that is surprising on first contact but consistent and learnable over time. With the above story, I now know how to better sense ocean predators.
The recent undersea adventures happened mostly on this rather pleasant (on the surface) world, one I found on the far side of a randomly chosen black hole last month. It's within striking distance (50k LY) of the Pilgrim Star, a historical site I've been thinking about lately, and I wanted a way station in this general part of the galaxy. But the large oceans made it a great place to play through the Abyss storyline.
The server glitch that was preventing me from seeing player-built bases on New Lennon, the Galactic Hub's capital world, finally righted itself so I toured some bases tonight. It's actually less densely populated than the portal world, Gain's Folly, but bases are more evenly distributed across the planet. New Lennon's portal sits right on a lake, with some lovely views. I wonder if I should build something here.
The Pilgrim Star is the system where, in the game's very earliest days after release, one player decided to try walking all the way around a planet, using only the stars and a compass as guide. He documented his journey:
It got some news writeups and he streamed the last hour of the journey.
The planet Dudenbeaumodeme has regenerated multiple times since then. But there is still a planet there, and I get to wondering what it's like these days.
The journey to the Pilgrim Star goes quickly, and I soon have an answer as to what the historic planet is like these days: a world of blue grasslands and near constant rain, kinda miserable but pretty in a way. No bases here but a few player messages wondering what's become of the planet, and a few others buried inaccessibly deep beneath the long since regenerated terrain, probably marking some now-vanished base.
I decide to honor the history of this place and create a base called the Pilgrim Star Visitor Center, with a monument to "The Pilgrim of Dudenbeaumodeme". It's very close to the planet's portal, which you can visit with these glyphs: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/109a039bae4b
The visitor center is still a work-in-progress while I stock the gift shop with trinkets. I'd also like to do a hiking trail + historic tour, but limits on player messages mean I'd have to coordinate with many other players. Someday...
There are "uncharted" systems, which have zero settlement of any kind. Exploring these feels like being in nature, quiet and mostly pleasant.
Then there are "abandoned" systems, which have most signs of sentient habitation, but... nobody's around. The quiet here quickly becomes creepy. Trade platforms are usually full of activity, but this abandoned one feels like the Korvax left in a hurry. Like driving through a ghost town, stopping to get out and look around for a bit.
Recent base building adventures:
1) "The Cave" - glass cubes grow out from a snowy mountainside fissure, and down into its vast system of caves. https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/310502c5ca1d
2) Couldn't resist an underwater base after everything Abyss added. Landing platform in the middle of the torrid planet Onton's ocean, enter via dramatic drop down ~100m of glass tube. https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/4174026bf17f
Week 2 of unbreathable air here in the Bay Area, and the extreme planets of No Man's Sky are a strangely pleasant escape. The atmosphere of a world with giant, writhing plants rendered absolutely everything sepia - no filter!
Another was a desert of colorful bubbles, with a terminal that rambled vague and unnerving about time travel... I feel like I've been seeing that more and more lately. Maybe HG has something planned for the final weekly event?
Finally made it to the Galaxy Donuts location at Wicomico Beach, #16 in a franchise of player-built fast food restaurants. The robots who took my order were very polite.
To my knowledge this is the only Galaxy Donuts on PC, the rest are on PS4. Coordinates to visit: https://nomanssky.gamepedia.com/Galaxy_Donuts#Galaxy_Donuts_16:_Wicomico_Beach
I ate my imaginary donuts and looked out on the beautiful lake locale - a beach house, some underwater farms. This location especially reminded me of the real-life Pacifica Taco Bell: https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Chalupa-in-paradise-Does-Pacifica-have-the-13379462.php
A few nice new things before the Visions update hits tomorrow: very pretty new S-class ship I bought for a song, start of a new base inspired partly by House On The Rock in Wisconsin, on a desert moon so tiny you can see its curvature from not too far above. Base perches on a mesa above a crashed freighter, a trade depot, and a holoterminus - busy area, chill planet.
Haven't found a portal in the system yet but the coordinates are 019C:0083:0764:00A7.
I also managed to finish the main storyline in my Survival difficulty savegame, which I haven't documented at all here but went relatively smoothly after the initial harrowing hour or so of getting off the starting planet. At the final decision point I rewarded my character with reincarnation(?) in Eissentam, a galaxy with an unusual density of lush planets.
I streamed some Permadeath Mode last night and as user "oldtimeywimey" said in the chat, just after I narrowly escaped into shelter from a raging firestorm on my starting planet, "moments of calm feel even more poignant in this mode."
And it's true, the feeling of coziness inside while a storm howls outside is a basic joy of this game for me. The more dangerous a planet is the nicer it feels if you can find a bit of safety in it. Take care of yourselves out there, fellow travelers.
If anyone's playing on PC over the holidays and wants to visit the bases I've left across Euclid galaxy, here are some coordinates:
New Arcadia: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/1021f9556c30
Rainbow Farm: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/4174026bf17f
The Cave: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/310502c5ca1d
Neo Pescadero: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/200ffe936e6d
House on the Rock: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/60a704f6599d
Bodacious Beta Quadrant BBQ Deck: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/3229fab8d53c
Watauga IX: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/2096ff649cde
If you like a tiny game-like challenge, I've hidden a diplo statue in each base. <3
Since it's the most difficult feat the game recognizes, I took my permadeath character to the end of the Atlas Rises storyline today. Unlike my survival Gek I condemned this Vykeen to the incredibly hostile Calypso galaxy, where every day will be a fight for survival.
Sure enough I awoke on a world blasted by radiation storms and made it to my ship only by digging tunnels. Made camp on the 1st non-murderworld I came to, an eerie glitch I named Cliffhanger Ending, and called the story complete.
Still playing NMS off and on. Lately I've been playing less of No Man's Sky The Infinitely Large Place To Wander Around In and more of No Man's Sky The Videogame - finding a good S-class multitool and ship, grinding to become fluent in Gek, making various numbers go up. It's an okay way to relax in the evening.
I did build a couple of new bases in some interesting places. This "mega exotic" I named Hercules Monochrome, after its distinctive atmosphere:
I made a page on my website cataloging many of the bases I've built thus far: http://vectorpoem.com/nms
It's nice to have a record of them all in one place. I added message nodes to most of my bases with that URL so folks can easily check out more of my work. I kinda wish this sort of sharing could be done from within the game itself, but the good ol' open web still works for me.
I searched many uncharted systems to find an ideal site for that base, which meant a good few hours of not seeing any NPCs or player-built bases. NMS defaults to feeling like you're in the middle of some very sparsely distributed sort of civilization, so deliberately avoiding that for a while created a nice lonely feeling, like driving just out of town for a hike on a cold day.
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