No Man’s Sky – The Foundation Update

2016-11-30

No Man’s Sky 1.0 (Game Background)

Make no mistake, No Man’s Sky is probably the most controversial game in recent memory. Since release, Hello Games (the developers) has mostly been media-silent since release of the game in response to the backlash from the community regarding the gap between promises about the game, and what was actually delivered. Some say they should have been communicating with their playerbase, and that would have eased some of the tensions. There were no words that could fix the trust issue they created with their player base, so they set work on an update to close the expectations gap.

On November 25, 2016, the long silence was broken. Hello Games had not used their twitter account since launch.

The community erupted in speculation. Upon reading this, it was clear Hello Games was serious in updating their game with a set of content patches. The first of which would be coming soon.

No Man’s Sky 1.1 (The Foundation Update)

Just two days later, after the announcement of the foundation update. Sean Murray (Founder of Hello Games) tweeted this:

Beyond the community reaction to the tweets themselves, details about what to expect were released:

Update Contents

  • Base building
    • Field equipment
    • “Home”
    • Hire NPCs for your base
    • Quick travel through existing bases
  • Freighters
    • In-Ship base building
    • Cargoholds
  • UI Improvements
    • Quick Access Menu
    • Waypoints
    • Planet scanning from space
  • New Game Modes
    • Normal Mode
    • Creative Mode
    • Survival Mode

Base Building

Now, you can make your mark on planets building bases for yourself. The kinds of bases you are able to build mirror the assets for NPC bases, but the important part is that you can expand your base to taste. You’re not limited by any small number of parts per base that I have experienced while playing so far. The part selection is rather limited, this is likely something that will be expanded on in future expansions. Having a “Home” is something many fans will appreciate.

Once your second base is built, you will be able to travel between your first and second. This is a version of fast travel that is very useful for marking valuable locations in the galaxy. Having a network of bases would be not only nice to have, but possibly strategic depending on future expansions.

Hiring NPCs for your base is in the new tutorial mission line, and shows how useful NPCs in your base will be.

The freedom given by Hello Games with base building alone in this update is astounding, and allows for multiple ways to play going forward.

Freighters

Freighters take some time to acquire but are worth it. The update launch trailer showed the possibilities of owning a freighter such as building a base on the freighter itself, and having cargo holds in the ship for possible high item count trading throughout the galaxy. “Space trucking” is a word that comes to mind when thinking about the possibilities of freighters. You dock inside of them, they’re so big!

UI Improvements

The have been multiple UI improvements with this update. Most notably, the quick access menu. This new menu gives faster access to the inventory, and offers a quicker and better way to access commonly used items.

Planet scanning from space while in your ship has been added, allowing you to get a quick glance on the elements that planet may contain.

Permanent waypoints have also been added; you will be able to go back to specific places when needed.

New Game Modes

Instead of just the original experience, three game modes have been introduced.

Normal Mode – This is the original No Man’s Sky experience with all the new updates.

Creative Mode – Exploring and building without limits

Survival Mode – “Hardcore” mode.

Conclusion

No Man’s Sky’s “Foundation Update” lives up to its name by creating  a “foundation” for the developers to expand upon as they slowly gain back the trust of the playerbase. This sets up future content updates, and the game will grow into the game the community expected it to be at launch. Hello Games, surprised customers with this sudden content update, and those who still own the game might pick it back up and experience this universe with the new content with a “fresh” save. The tutorial missions give a very good idea on new things in the game, and allow for quite a few surprises along the way. Time will tell if this content update is enough to gain back the player’s trust after a miserable launch, but this is a very good start, a true foundation to build on.

For those interested in more, friend of the site Scott Manley has created this excellent overview of the patch.

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Comments

  • Zeb

    Something something class action lawsuit something something

    November 30, 2016 at 4:09 PM
    • Modern Inferno Zeb

      ~TRIGGERED~

      November 30, 2016 at 6:59 PM
  • David Matterall

    I wonder if they can recover. You can only make a first impression once, but from what I have heard the game is not that bad. If you’d never heard of the promise of playing together, its a great game.

    It’s too colorful for my taste, that is what stopped me, but I can see this appealing to explorers… The idea of finding creatures and planets named obscene things, however, is a worry.

    November 30, 2016 at 7:09 PM
    • The odds of stumbling across something obscene are also pretty low. If the galaxy is really that huge, it’s roughly the equivalent of running across a rude statue buried underground after a three hour journey in a random direction in Minecraft.

      Which makes the inclusion of things like Dark Souls-esque message markers all the more baffling. You have to explicitly look the Unspeakable Planet of Unprintable Profanity.

      I hope that Hello Games continues to develop No Man’s Sky and improve on it, but the game is crying out for a lot more than this.

      November 30, 2016 at 8:15 PM
  • Sidrat Flush

    I’ve been playing computer games for decades now and this is the first game so far that causes headaches due to the graphics and very sensitive camera speed which is still far too fast at minimum.

    I think there’s a mod to turn down the overly bright bloom and other nasty graphic effects that make up the pastel colour palette.

    December 5, 2016 at 7:35 AM