I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks since the Posse has gotten into near nightly NMS exploration lately. This started because Syn and I had picked it up again to see what was new, and when we talked about it, Vix and Xaa became interested in trying it out. Just a fluke, but the game suddenly went on sale for half off on Steam a couple days after, so they picked it up.
I pre-ordered NMS back in the day and played it quite a bit at launch. I was not one of the folks who were unhappy with the state of the game in those days – I hadn’t followed news of it before release and didn’t really have any expectations as to what it should be. I had some constructive feedback (most of which has been fixed by now), but overall, I enjoyed it.
I’ve popped back into it every now and then, but I never actually got all that far into the game’s questlines. The game felt quite large and overwhelming due to this, but Syn and I try to play it every now and then.
Even though I didn’t write about it, I think we started dabbling in the game sometime back in November of last year. We found a nice Paradise planet and set up bases near to each other. Trying to play it multiplayer got us all sorts of grief, however. There are far too many buggy things that happen (and shouldn’t happen) if you’re grouped up with someone and trying to go through quest lines.
For example, there was a time when Syn couldn’t tame a pet on our home planet no matter how she tried. Until I disconnected from her game, then she had no problem.
Another example, when the settlements quest popped up for me, the game pointed me to the exact same location that it had sent Syn for her settlement, which she’d already claimed. Reading up on that, I discovered that had I tried to claim her site after she’d already claimed it, it could have bugged settlements for the both of us.
Instead, I just had to warp far, far, FAR away and use my navigational data to purchase a map to a new settlement. Then the quest found a different location for me and we were both able to “happily” serve the whims of a financially failing establishment and attempt to make it a better place to live.
Since then, we’ve all come to play the game solo for the most part. We sometimes connect on multiplayer to share a location, see a base, or to do missions from the Anomaly. But for our normal gameplay, we just keep it solo while connected on Discord for questions and communication, and that seems to work.
Despite my grumbling about settlements and settlers grumbling about me, I’ve enjoyed this new feature of NMS. You randomly get a call to check out a settlement that’s not in good shape – they have terrible living conditions (I’ve not heard of one that’s spawned on a nice planet), a ever-rising debt, and a slew of things that need to be developed and fixed.
Sometimes you have requests to build new buildings – mine wanted a cantina first up – that help with happiness, productivity and population. You also have to listen to the woes of the citizens and decide outcomes to their disputes. Sometimes you get a visitor that can have effects on your settlement depending on how you choose to interact with them.
I hesitate to call it a city builder, though it resembles one. Placing new buildings is random and up to the game, but requires you to supply the materials for each stage. Once you supply the materials, the building takes real-life time to progress. Most of the time this is between one and two hours – though the first building may have taken a day.
Once you finally do get your settlement out of debt, you can claim some of the items that the settlement produces at least once a day. There’s a timer on that, and it probably gets shorter as the living conditions get better.
I enjoy checking in on them and seeing what changes over time as a little project on the side.
Companions: Pets and Mounts
Another thing that I’ve been exploring in game is the companion system, which is also somewhat newer. You can adopt creatures you run across, ride them if they’re mountable, and “breed” them by taking their eggs to the Anomaly and messing with the DNA (I haven’t sorted through this system yet).
The very first pet I adopted was one of the flying butterfly/snake/caterpillar creatures that captivated me back when we first discovered our home planet last year.
I’ve since learned that they aren’t all that rare on Paradise planets. But I still really like them as a flying mount. In fact, I hatched an egg from my first adopted pet, and while she seems to be stuck in Infant state, whatever I did at the Egg Station made her a bright green with a potential to be very large.
This is Formista, and she’s my favorite companion so far.
She’s already larger than the others of her kind even as an infant, but I’d love to see her finally age so I can see how large she’s supposed to be in the end!
I’ve also caught some less useful pets over time, like this strange rainbow slime with eyes in it…
Eventually I did release it because you can only have so many pet slots. While it was a cool pet, it didn’t benefit me much to have.
I’m working on training up a ground mount because they can do a lot more than the flying mounts. And this is something I still haven’t explored yet.
I also ended up tearing down the old prefab base I had begun because I was having trouble with powering it, the lack of space inside, and the fact that my terraformed ground kept coming back. I later learned there’s only so much terraforming you can do in a base radius before it starts undoing the earliest edits.
I’m much happier with my new base, especially since I’ve opened up building pieces such as windows and glass roofs. I now have a larger, more open wooden type base next to the ocean with great big windows and a green house area.
I wish I had a better shot of my newest build, but here’s an idea.
I’ve mostly been putting off the main quests for doing side quests, unlocking new slots for my suit, upgrading technology, base building… all that sort of stuff. As of last night, I’ve been working on trading in order to upgrade my existing ship. I have a decent B class Shuttle type, but I was hoping for something of a higher class before I spent the materials installing bigger warp drives.
Amoon did help me find a crashed B class Explorer which is a step up for me. It’s a free ship, though I have a lot of work to fix the broken slots within it. I’m not in a rush, though. I’ve already made a lot more progress in the side questlines in this game than I ever have, so I’m pleased with that.
I’m done with most the base building quests, I have my farming station quests taken care of, my exocrafts going, and not too many other quests from the stations within my base. I did start the quest for the living ship, which I’m in no rush to complete either.
On top of that, we’ve been working on missions from the Anomaly that earn Quicksilver for various cosmetics and fun things. I got rainbow flame trails for my jetpack, for example. So there’s much, much more I can do in this game!