Finally getting some quality time with Beyond. Here's what's currently strewn about my ship's holds. I have no idea what the new cooking system is really "for", deep down, but I love how ridiculously broad and aimless it feels right now. A bit like IRL cooking without a cookbook, just seeing what's in the pantry and winging it.
The new power system has left Rainbow Farm a somewhat sad, dark place at the bottom of the ocean. Bioreactors and solar panels can barely put a dent in the amount of juice needed by all those grow domes, and after surveying the area I found zero electromagnetic power sources in range... am I screwed? The update seems to have spawned a thermal vent right under the base, I really really hope HG takes a page from Subnautica and adds geothermal reactors, wind turbines for stormy worlds, etc.
All my bases are now back online, fully powered. In many cases I was able to painstakingly run cable 100s of meters to an electromagnetic hotspot, but in a few cases I had to rely on a careful balance of solar panels + battery bank. None were nearly as nightmarish as what I had to do for Rainbow Farm though:
There's the Galactic Hub, where lots of people meet up.
There's the center of the galaxy, an obvious endgame goal many of us head towards.
In the opposite direction, 800000-900000 light years from the center, is the edge of the galaxy, beyond which few stars exist and none are reachable. The Fade, they call it.
It strikes me as an interesting place to travel towards and explore. I set out.
First refuel stop: a haunted sepia planet of river canyons and ancient skeletons.
Making good time, only about 25k LY left.
Second refuel stop is a nondescript airless world. These places are the one time the game's music score fades away completely, and their sparseness exaggerates the game's already ridiculous sense of scale.
The Beyond update decreased the gravity of airless worlds considerably, so they're pretty fun to jetpack and drive vehicles around.
All of the warp jumps on this trip have been directed from the bridge of my freighter, the CS-9 Shirasai (named by its original Korvax crew, not me). It's a nice streamlined work flow but gives long journeys a different feel. I think I prefer exiting hyperspace in my own personal starship, seeing new planets suspended before me, ready to dive towards on a moment's decision.
Maybe this is why I stopped being a manager.
The screenshots don't do it justice; it's hard to convey what it feels like to see stellar space just... end. Like living in an ocean your whole life and suddenly coming to the shore of a continent.
There are a few dozen stars beyond here that can't be targeted by any hyperspace computer, and then just an expanse of increasingly thin, ever darker clouds of gas. The end of all things.
I've been kinda stuck on these planets lately, anomaly worlds called, variously, "sporal", "capped", or "fungal" (but not like the much more common toxic bio-shroom planets). As anomaly worlds they never have water nor any marks of civilization; unlike other anomalies, they can have grass of various colors.
I just think they're neat!
I think in the back of my mind I'm shopping for a particular feel of one: green, rolling hills, blue or lavender sky. Maybe a moon, in a nice quiet uncharted system
portal glyphs to visit my mechanical shroomworld out on the Fade: https://galacticatlas.nomanssky.com/me/2166087fecae
Warping through 100+ systems to find this planet actually took me longer than the trip out to the Fade, because of how stringent my requirements were: unsettled system, capped anomaly world, green grass, non-red/orange sky. Hunting for things in an infinite haystack can get boring but it was a relaxing Friday evening and I'm glad I held out for this one.
Found some portal glyphs to a green grass, blue sea paradise world someone else found and spent a bit of time roaming it, visiting peoples' bases, studying the Gek knowledge stones (I know 756 words!)
Sometimes it's nice to lose track of time wandering far from my ship, to look back and see how far I am from my way home. In a universe of infinite distances you have to work a bit to invest any given distance with meaning.
In what is perhaps my most JP act of the year so far, I recreated Doom E1M1 in No Man's Sky's Creative Mode. Portal glyphs on my bases page so you can visit if you're playing on PC:
(No demons, explore in peace!)
When I'm seeking a sense of true solitude, I don't go to never-settled systems, but to abandoned ones. The trading posts on these are lit up at night, the trade terminals still work. But it's like the drive-thru of a fast food joint you didn't realize was closed until you pulled up to the dark window. The quiet of an empty mall parking lot at 3AM. I shouldn't be here. Nobody should be here. Remaining for long feels somehow like pushing it.
online multiplayer jerks
No Man's Sky has been a little harder to enjoy lately, with the two previous weekend mission planets being name-squatted by right wing trolls (quickly reported) and the most recent one becoming an unplayably slow glitchfest.
Still, when the shared space is claimed instead by creative builders it can feel like a cool anarchic temporary art experiment, and there I've seen jaw-dropping things, amusing things, things that make me glad this universe isn't entirely solitary.
I found a frosty moon whose top third is sliced through by the ring of its planet, resulting in an interesting set of rendering glitches.
It's harder and harder to find the edges of what's possible and what's rare... which is only fair, with a few hundred hours logged in the game since 2016. I'm hoping the next update brings some new surprises.
Lately I've been slowly traveling the surface of a nice lush planet with purple-magenta grass and a massive blue ocean. The Nomad hovers like a water strider over land and sea, and makes reasonably quick time. I head north and use a portable beacon to bookmark my progress. It's fairly relaxing. I worked too hard and long on the Playscii release yesterday, and this + the SF ballet later will be a good unplug.
Rundhak Taha is three or four loosely connected, lake-filled continents surrounded by ocean. You can see my journey so far from the base icon and the beacon (star).
Tiny to medium sized islands occur periodically across the ocean, and many of them seem to float like buoys, unconnected to the planet itself. Their edges are often too tall for the Nomad to climb.
A fun diversion to break up the long stretches is to use the Nautilon's sonar to scan for underwater shipwrecks...
Once I reach the crash site, I dive straight down, find the starship on the sea floor, and climb in. I repair only the launch thrusters and pulse engines, the thing only needs to be spaceworthy enough to reach the nearest starbase for salvage. Theoretically pirates might jump me en route, but these ships are usually barely working wrecks. I don't do it for the money, I just like making an old forgotten thing useful again in some way.
I've crossed over Rundhak Taha's north pole, which from space appears to be enveloped by a large cloud cover. I can't tell if it's more hazy than normal up here. Terrain has mostly been these gently rolling hills with the strange plateaus interspersed; ideal terrain for the Pilgrim bike to tackle. Current trip time is still only about 2 hours 40 minutes since outset, and that's with all the screwing around.
Trip time now at approximately 6.5 hours. I've crossed the giant ocean on the planet's other hemisphere, grazing the west edge of an island about half the size (proportionally) of Australia, then another hour of ocean.
KLF's "Chill Out" just as good for virtual road trips as real ones.
Crossed the south pole just after sighting land - the great southern continent - with two other planets in the system (Uzenot Gamma and Funafut Tau) just beginning to peek over the horizon.
A rather dramatic storm kicks up over the ocean, rages for a while, and then right as it clears, the lonesome steel guitar of "Madrugada Eterna" plays and home appears on the horizon.
And thus ends my circumnavigation of the magenta paradise planet Rundhak Taha, at about 8 hours 40 minutes... about an hour of which was stopping to explore, smell roses, etc. So for future ref a planet of this size takes about 7-8 hours to fully traverse, by exocraft.
Thanks for following along!
This was an interesting, worthwhile, meditative experience.
It's very easy, both as players and developers, to fall into thinking of space in games as something you consume - it's Authored Content, and you want to See It All.
NMS dunks this notion into the sun; space is infinite, indifferent. So what does it then "mean"? NMS itself provides various answers - story content, grindy systems. What I try to do when I play is, instead, decide for myself, and make my own moments out of this infinity.
Void Eggs will soon be unlocked at the Nexus, and nobody knows exactly what they will do. My money's on Space Whales.
I came across some clever fans unraveling some stuff found in the data files (kinda-spoilers?): https://forums.atlas-65.com/t/melody-of-the-egg-new-arc/6899
The trail leads to a specific spot on a specific planet, which I of course had to portal over to and see for myself.
I love that this random location could suddenly become important, and huge numbers of players might be descending on it soon. Who knows, though!
No Man's Sky spoilers, next update hints
Well, this was a neat little tease. After you have a Void Egg, on random hyperspace jumps every so often you'll get a mysterious message, that eventually adds up to a full set of portal glyphs. Go to that system, and you'll get a message directing you to a specific spot on a specific planet. And there, a terminal has a message from as-yet-unknown creatures that will... be your buddy? Dunno if it'll be more Space Whales or Pokemon or Baby Yoda, who knows?
After a long incubation and not a little tedious combing planets for the exact coordinates, the Void Egg finally hatched into the key feature of the new update, a glorious Living Ship. Bizarre and very cool.
I do kinda wish there were more interactive differences from owning and flying a typical ship, though. Like maybe you can't rename it? Or maybe whatever you type in is only considered a nickname...
A few weeks ago I saw this shot of a crashed freighter and was a bit captivated by it... definitely one of the more dramatic intersections of terrain and a once-in-a-while feature.
The person who posted it said it was taken in Elkupalos galaxy, ie the galaxy that comes after Eissentam. Which suddenly made it very remote, and all the more captivating. Maybe someday I'll make it out there.
It got me thinking once again about remoteness and distance, in a universe where portal travel can take one anywhere in a galaxy, if temporarily.
I used the coordinates gathered by this project https://j50n.github.io/blackholesuns and dashed out a bit of Python to determine, by brute force random choice, what the most remote (furthest from any known coordinates) part of Euclid galaxy was.
And then I went there.
To complete the sense of isolation, I found an abandoned system with a single planet. I was hoping to find a system whose only planet was a "dead" world (no life whatsoever, like our moon), but the generation apparently doesn't produce such systems, ie dead planets always have siblings or moons.
I settled for a "Lost Blue Planet", not totally devoid of life but sparse, deserted-feeling, indifferent to me. I named it Selidor, built a teleporter at this ruin, and basked in the sense of loneliness.
But this shot of a crashed freighter from a planet in Elkupalos Galaxy, posted on the NMS subreddit a few weeks ago, was still haunting me.
To get there, I'd first have to travel to the center of Eissentam Galaxy, from my foothold ~400k light years away. Which my 2600LY-per-jump exotic ship Le Corbeau was able to make pretty short work of.
I awake in Elkupalos about 700k LY from its center. A portal takes me instantly to the lush planet shown in the shot. "Wish I could have stayed", says the only message left by its original explorer.
But they didn't specify planetary coordinates for that screenshot, so I have no idea where on the huge planet that exact spot is.
So it feels a bit like having road tripped to some remote scenic spot based only on a postcard, knowing the county but not which of hundreds of country roads to turn down.
The humid, cratered tropical world of New Tulsal has regular storms that reduce visibility to only a few meters, which made searching extra difficult. After flying low over the surface for an hour or so, past endless similar-but-not-identical crater lakes, I bought a stack of charts from the cartographer at the local starbase, hoping that some of them would have crashed freighter locations. The last one in the stack brought me here. Still one in a thousand chances I found it.
To build a permanent base on New Tulsal I'll need to travel the long way round, ie without a portal. I jumped into a random nearby black hole and it brought me within 100k LY, which is close enough for a road trip.
Halfway there, stopped off at some ruins on a tranquil planet with peach-colored skies. I'm now only about 10 jumps from New Tulsal, so next time I play I should easily reach there.
There we go. Added this one to my bases page:
It's less apparent from the original shot but just before the tip of the wreck there's also a large terrain glitch: two weird perpendicular slices of voxel, likely an edge case in the game's special location placement code. It makes the site that much more unique.
This was probably the most involved thing I've done with the game so far, though it was mostly a matter of diligence and patience.
A while back I said that every place in NMS is essentially a number, and there's something compelling about standing at a specific exact number that someone else found. Elkupalos is a set of numbers that are reeeeally far out there, by many definitions.
If you make the trip here - well met, traveler, and may the wind take your troubles away.
Recording of yesterday's stream, in which I drove all the way round the small tropical moon Namt Q29, after dropping down to its surface from space: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph_wCPB7S18
We encountered a fairly strange and amusing gravity glitch, but otherwise it was a laid back drive on a gentle planet.
Haven't done anything too interesting in NMS lately. I've spent a bit of time wandering two less populated galaxies: the extra hostile Calypso, and the extra sparse + strange Aptarkaba.
Looking through old screenshots, I found the coordinates for the very first community mission planet, all the way back in August 2018. I strongly suspect this is also the planet the devs "filmed" the NEXT trailer on, though its colors were scrambled by the Visions update a few months later.
Nice base here.
Re: old community missions, for the sake of historical record-keeping I compiled a list of the locations of the nine NEXT-era community missions: https://gist.github.com/JPLeBreton/16a9e16f79d61c5d7cf33fbc1dbcea63
Nice shot from a visit to the second week planet: dusky sandstorm looking out over a lake, as giant kite-worms wheel in the sky with a passing ship.
It's been so hard to mentally unplug from the Current Situation lately, and I need to take better care of myself. One thing I found helps is the Wildflowers generator I made with Playscii - even when I don't have the energy to make anything, a bit of code I wrote months ago still produces something beautiful I'm proud of, once a day.
So I made a similar generator for visiting random No Man's Sky planets, "JP's Planet of the Day": http://vectorpoem.com/nms/random_portal
Today's planet was a somewhat eerie cabled anomaly moon. Unsettling and grim, but worth sitting with a moment, and poking around a few of its caves. Its sole fauna species is a rolling ball creature indistinguishable from its flora. At least nothing attacked me, which is the best you can say on certain days.
Today, our first "lifeless" Planet of the Day. Devoid of animals or civilization, aside from the portal... who built it, anyway?
I like that this game has deliberately "dead" places; whitespace is important for the imagination. Besides the terrain on these can be interesting in itself, often massive in scale, and fun to explore with the moon-like gravity.
Today, a frosty planet. While pretty, with the game's current planet generation code this biome tends to be a bit seen-one-seen-em-all (for instance, the daytime skies are always the same shade of light blue). But with this one I arrived at night to the pleasant surprise of its star turning the night sky a deep magenta.
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