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No Man's Sky to evolve with major future content updates

Hello Games will push free future updates to continue evolving No Man's Sky, adding in major new features like base building and more
By: Derek Strickland | Gaming News | Posted: Aug 7, 2016 10:19 pm

When No Man's Sky releases this Tuesday, it won't technically be complete: Hello Games' Sean Murray promises to continue evolving their interstellar space sim with major free content updates--the first of which will be the game's beefy day one update.




Hello Games just dropped a massive news update on No Man's Sky's expansive day one update, revealing just how much the update changes the game. The infamous Atlas Stones exploit has been fixed, so don't expect to fly to the center of the universe in 40 hours, and they've even adjusted the ugly texture pop-ins I complained about. Check here for a list of known bugs in the unpatched pre-release version, most of which have been now fixed. The day one patch will be available on Monday, August 8 when PS4 press review copies are sent out. We have a list of patch notes below.


Murray also reveals that this is just the first No Man's Sky update, and the studio will release a bunch of patches to add in future content and fixes--all of which the studio plans to offer for free. "Hello Games will continually update No Man's Sky this way. This is the first of many," he said in the update.


The next update, Murray teases, will let gamers build their own personal bases, possible in space and on planets: "Next up we're adding the ability to build bases and own giant space freighters. Temporal AA and my new cloud rendering tech should be coming soon too. It will really change the game again, and enhance it visually."


With this day one update, Hello Games has made all of No Man's Sky's leaked footage and pre-release info completely obsolete and null and void. Murray and his team have been working on this expansive update ever since the game went gold back in July, so it's been a good month.


"This universe we've built is a pretty large canvas, we've got a lot of ideas. This is the type of game we want to be."


The Hello Games boss shed light on how the new update will affect gamers who already have copies.


We reported that Hello Games would wipe the servers and the new update would make previous saves incompatible, but Murray says that players will be able to decide if their saves or wiped or not.


"If you had an early copy somehow, your save game will technically work post update, but you will miss out on new content and experiences if you don't delete your save before updating. We highly recommend deleting your save if you have played before updating your game (we won't do this in future, but it's a day zero update)."


Basically, the early copies are a different game than the patched version--which is something I expected all along. Murray confirms that the No Man's Sky servers will be wiped twice: once on Sunday in preparation for press reviewers, and then again on Monday to prepare for the game's launch on the next day.


The studio confirmed that press review copies will be sent out on Monday, August 8 and we know that the review embargo lifts just 11 hours later on Monday, August 8 at 11PM.




Spoiler warning! If you want to keep No Man's Sky a surprise, don't read the following patch notes!


Check below for a huge list of changes that the new day one patch adds. As you can see it's no small feat, and it fixes a lot of the bugs and glitches we reported on last week:

  • The Three Paths - there are now new, unique "paths" you can follow throughout the game. You must start the game on a fresh save, with the patch, as early choices have significant impact on what you see later in the game, and the overall experience.

  • The Universe - we changed the rules of the universe generation algorithm. Planets have moved. Environments have changed biomes. Galaxies have altered shape. All to create greater variety earlier. Galaxies are now up to 10x larger.

  • Diversity - Creatures are now more diverse in terms of ecology and densities on planets.

  • Planets - we've added dead moons, low atmosphere and extreme hazardous planets. Extreme hazards include blizzards and dust storms.

  • Atmosphere - space, night time and day skies are now 4x more varied due to new atmospheric system, which refracts light more accurately to allow for more intense sunsets.

  • Planet rotation - play testing has made it obvious people are struggling to adjust to this during play so it's effects have been reduced further...

  • Terrain generation - caves up to 128m tall are now possible. Geometric anomalies have been added. Underwater erosion now leads to more interesting sea beds.

  • Ship diversity - a wider variety of ships appear per star system, and are available to purchase. Cargo and installed technology now vary more, and ships have more unique attributes.

  • Inventory - ship inventories now store 5 times more resources per slot. Suit inventories now store 2.5 times more per slot. This encourages exploration and gives freedom from the beginning. We're probably going to increase this even further in the next update, for people in the latter game phases, and will allow greater trading potential.

  • Trading - trading is deeper. Star systems and planets each have their own wants and needs, based off a galactic economy. Observing these is the key to successful trading. We still working on adjusting this based on how everyone plays, but all trading values have been rebalanced across the galaxy, giving a greater depth. A bunch of trade exploits were uncovered and have been removed

  • Feeding - creatures now have their own diet, based on planet and climate. Feeding them correctly will yield different results per species, such as mining for you, protecting the player, becoming pets, alerting you to rare loot or pooping valuable resources.

  • Survival - recharging hazard protection requires rare resources, making shielding shards useful again. Storms can be deadly. Hazard protection and suit upgrades have been added. Liquids are often more dangerous

  • Graphical effects - Lighting and texture resolution have been improved. Shadow quality has doubled. Temporal AA didn't make it in time, but it's so close

  • Balancing - several hundred upgrades have had stat changes (mainly exo-suit and ship, but also weapon), new upgrades have been added.

  • Combat - Auto Aim and weapon aim has been completely rewritten to feel more gentle in general, but stickier when you need it. Sentinels now alert each other, if they haven't been dealt with quickly. Quad and Walker AI is now much more challenging, even I struggle with them without a powered up weapon.

  • Space Combat - advanced techniques have been introduced, like brake drifting and critical hits. Bounty missions and larger battles now occur. Pirate frequency has been increased, as well as difficulty depending on your cargo.

  • Exploits - infinite warp cell exploit and rare goods trading exploit among other removed. People using these cheats were ruining the game for themselves, but people are weird and can't stop themselves ¯_(シ)_/¯

  • Stability - foundations for buildings on super large planets. Resolved several low repro crashes, in particular when player warped further than 256 light years in one session (was only possible due to warp cell exploit above).

  • Space Stations - interiors are now more varied, bars, trade rooms and hydroponic labs have been added

  • Networking - Ability to scan star systems other players have discovered on the Galactic Map, increasing the chance of collision. Star systems discovered by other players appear during Galactic Map flight

  • Ship scanning - scanning for points of interest from your ship is now possible. Buildings generate earlier and show up in ship scans

  • Flying over terrain - pop-in and shadow artefacts have been reduced. Generation speed has been increased two fold (planets with large bodies of water will be targeted in next update)

  • Writing - The Atlas path has been rewritten by James Swallow (writer on Deus Ex) and me. I think it speaks to the over-arching theme of player freedom more clearly now. Early mission text has been rewritten to allow for multiple endings.


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