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No Man's Sky krijgt stevige day one patch

Vanaf morgen kunnen we eindelijk aan de slag met No Man’s Sky. Voor je begint te spelen, zal je wel eerst de day-1-patch moeten downloaden. Niet dat je daarvoor heel lang moet wachten, want de update is slechts 824 Mb groot. Maar als je weet dat de volledige game slechts 3,69 GB bedraagt, is het toch een aardige brok.

De patch voegt dan ook heel wat nieuwigheden toe en herwerkt zelfs volledige delen van de game. Zo liet bedenker Sean Murray weten dat je één van drie vooropgestelde routes zal volgen, waar dat er voordien slechts eentje was. Elk van die paden heeft een grote invloed op wat je later in de game zal zien. Om die reden is ook het verhaal van de game herschreven, zodat meerdere eindes mogelijk zijn.

Door spelers door het universum te loodsen, is de kans dat je andere astronauten tegenkomt veel groter, omdat je nu regio’s kan scannen en er kan passeren als er andere spelers in de buurt zijn.

De patch brengt spijtig genoeg ook slecht nieuws met zich mee voor spelers met early access. Zo zal de patch geen effect hebben op bestaande save files, waardoor spelers opnieuw moeten beginnen om de verandering te zien. Een new game is trouwens zo goed als verplicht, want voor de officiële release krijgen de servers een complete reset, zodat er geen spoor meer te bekennen is eerdere bezoekers. Wij vragen ons dan uiteraard af waarom Hello Games überhaupt early access aanbood, maar goed…

Wanneer je de game opstart zal de patch meteen beginnen downloaden. Hij zal een groot deel van No Man’s Sky volledig herwerken, zoals creation en trading tot zelfs de AI van de aliens en resource management. Eerlijk gezegd maakt dat ons een beetje nieuwsgierig naar de eerste versie van de game.

Hello Games werkt in ieder geval al aan de patch sinds de game vijf weken geleden z’n goudstatus behaalde. Sean Murray is daarom behoorlijk gespannen:

“De gevoelens zijn behoorlijk intens nu. Wij zijn echt benieuwd naar de eerste indrukken van de spelers.’

Hieronder de volledige patch notes in het Engels, voor wie echt alle veranderingen wil uitpluizen. Let wel: spoiler alert.

  • 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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