out perform // outlast // out work
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
Hello friends! If you’re joining me for the first time today, you’ve found yourself in the middle of a short series detailing my adventures in Hello Games’ new game, No Man’s Sky, beginning with Day 0. I’m not leaving anything out, so if you don’t want to know what you may run into, it’s probably a good idea to stop reading this post. Personally, I feel like it would be hard to spoil NMS for anyone considering almost everything you come across in the game is being discovered for the first time. Every planet, every life form you see has never been seen by anyone else before. No Man’s Sky is about you- about your story as you chart and catalog the galaxy. When we left off yesterday I was standing on a dead planet in search of the valuable mineral Emeril. I’d bought a ship, discovered a space station, and sold off a hefty amount of materials before logging out for the night. After writing my first Captain’s Log and taking some time to reflect on my initial experience, I came up with a plan for the next day.
The planet I started off on was fine, I guess, but the aesthetic wasn’t my favorite. The ground fell off everywhere into caves and the plants were mostly variations of cacti, so I logged in with the intention of founding a planet I wanted to spend more time on. After gathering a few basic materials to fuel my ship and selling my cargo to the aliens at the space station, I took off toward an electric blue planet at the far end of my little system with a default name something like “Oxbijsf-7”. At first I wondered if I would have anywhere to land. From a distance the entire visible surface seemed to be covered in water. Thick cyclones of cloud concealed the rest. As I broke through the atmosphere several large masses of bright green signaled islands. Heading for the largest of these, I slowed for landing at the top of an enormous island mountain. Everything was beautiful. Wildlife was everywhere and big knots of gold jutted out from the valley below. With no idea how long it would actually take, I decided that I was going to stay on this planet until I had discovered every species it had to offer.
Working with a theme made my adventure easy. Naming the planet in honor of this website gave me ample inspiration for each of the creatures I discovered. I ended up naming everything I discovered just in case anyone ever happened to stumble across my planet in the future. Most of the animal species took on the names of my past guests, though I couldn’t resist unleashing giant “Derpalopes” (pictured on the right) on my future visitors. The size difference of the wildlife on this planet was huge. Enormous bipedal deer-dinosaurs towered over the tops of trees while tiny fish-faces insects wove their way through the grass. The surface teemed with activity. At first I steered well away from the bigger creatures, afraid that they would try to eat me or kick me back into space. It wasn’t long before I realized how wrong I was. I ventured a good ways from my ship, stopping at the edge of a steep cliff to peer out over the opposite side of my island. The sun was setting. It was beautiful. I heard a strange snuffling sound behind me and got half a turn in before I was launched out over the side of the cliff. My jetpacks engaged just before I met an untimely death, but my shields still took heavy damage. I started back up toward where I’d fallen. If I was going to discover everything here, I had to get ahold of even the most dangerous animals. My attacker turned out to be a quick, teetering little bear fellow with chicken legs and rhino horns. I shot a few rounds at him with my gun, incurring the wrath of some nearby sentinals. Fearing for my life, I boosted myself just far enough away to get a head start and escape. I picked off my trailing sentinals one by one, but lurking somewhere in the grass was the rhino/bear/chicken that I still needed to discover. I was attacked a second time by a similar creature as I was walking back, but was able to defeat it and scan its remains. This was probably the most useful part of the whole ordeal- the discovery that you can scan a creature after you have killed it. This bit of knowledege would come in handy later as I tried to catalog the things flying far above the beaches. As I went along I got into a groove. I searched for monoliths and knowledge stones, giving myself clear directions toward small goals and scanning everything as I went along. Predators generally found me before I found them, running out from tall grass or from around corners to attack me from behind. In these encounters I ran a good distance before backtracking to nab them on my scanner. I invested in a better scope so I could scan from further away. I tested the swimming/underwater breathing mechanic, nothing too surprising there. I mined gold as I passed it and discovered my first trade terminal at a small outpost, a device that allowed me to buy and sell directly from my inventory. Unfortunately I had left my ship far behind and could only sell the things I was carrying. Species discoveries generally came from three different places: on top of the ground, in the water, and in the sky. The large majority on this planet were found out on the open land. There were two species of birds, two species of fish, and several marine plants I had to find in order to reach 100% completion for the planet. It was not necessary for me to discover all the waypoints.
Toward the end of my session found a huge complex, what appeared to be a couple of locations that had spawned immediately next to each other. A sprawling mult-roomed building took up much of the area ahead of a squat station with a landing pad. Inside I found an alien (which, the game kindly warned me, was a “shady life form”), who wanted to keep me quiet about… something. I couldn’t really tell what was going on because I didn’t speak his language, but I chose a random interactive option and gave him some carbon. That seemed to appease him, and he returned to blankly staring at the wall. A new gun rested in a case nearby, as well as a built-in trade terminal where I could once again sell my items without returning to space. This time there was a way for me to summon my ship to a connected landing pad outside, so I sold off all of the cargo I’d been storing in the craft as well. My discovery guide read something like 73%, so I logged out for the evening wondering where I would find the remaining species. Before heading to work the next morning I decided to take a few quick pictures of my findings, and was surprised to see my completion for the planet all the way at 100%. It seems as though it takes some time between when you upload discoveries and when the % is updated. I earned a trophy and claimed my 300,000 unit reward. When it comes to discoveries as a source of income, I’m not sure that they are the most profitable route. Mining Emeril or Gold seems to be the quickest way to making money if you can manage it, though it’s pretty monotonous if you’re really trying to earn a lot (enough to buy a good ship, for example). Catalogueing is certainly more fun, if a little less financially savvy. Now that I have completed one planet, I am excited to explore another. Maybe I’ll even take a peek at fixing my warp drive so I can reach another system.
The Path of Atlas, from what I’ve heard, is an ongoing series of objectives that help drive your game forward. I was given the option to follow the Path at the start of the game and turned it down. Now I’m trying to figure out how to find it again. The Path of Atlas directs you to fix your warp drive, which gives you the ability to travel between planet systems. Without your warp drive you are essentially confined to the system you are in (unless you want to slowly travel toward another place for days). There seem to be other perks to following the Path as well, such as access cards that let you go in the (numerous) locked rooms.