When I first heard about No Man’s Sky, my initial reaction was “Cool, an exploration game! I really enjoyed the exploration in Mass Effect; I just hope there isn’t too much combat in this game. Combat is so boring”.
Unlike so many other people, I was not disappointed in No Man’s Sky. I was hoping for hours of exploration and very little combat — so the game has greatly exceeded my expectations.
HOWEVER, I do have a special mod to my game, let’s call it the Explorer’s Mod, which improves the game a lot — makes it much less “grindy”.
To get the “Explorer’s Mod”, all you have to do is edit the memory of your game (in my case, I asked my son to do it) and add two billion credits to your account.
Think of it as a research grant.
No more mining for resources while hiding from sentinels! No more shuffling items in my inventory! Now I can focus on what’s really important — to explore, take photographs of landscapes and lifeforms, and to catalog new species. Along with this scientific mission there are responsibilities. I have to find blueprints for the best technology, and learn how to use them. I have to figure out how to use the navigation system…try to avoid getting lost…again.
Part of the Explorer’s Mod Research Grant is the constraint “DO NOT KILL ANY CREATURES”. Not even in self-defense. And ever since the time I saw a clump of “mushrooms” get up and run away, I haven’t killed any “plants” either.
It’s great not having to worry about money, but there are still many challenges. Here I am trying to take one more picture of a new species before my shields fail.
In that case, it was not a good decision.
Another challenge is the calculation “Do I have enough resources with me to go to that area over there on foot, or should I run back to my ship before I freeze to death?”
And, I have had to bargain with dozens of aliens in order to find the ship that had the technology I wanted. This was a slow process that took endless patience. Although, I have to admit, it was great to be able to afford whatever caught my eye. (Don’t you just love that new starship smell?)
Wealth does not solve all my problems — it appears that some resources are not for sale. I need Emeril to construct a shield upgrade — but I couldn’t find it in any of the space stations; no fellow travelers had any for sale either. My research grant doesn’t help me here. I really will have to brave the Sentinels and mine for Emeril myself.
Another challenge is Space Pirates. In this case, I have broken the rule “do not kill any creatures”.
I’m hoping it’s possible to improve my shields so much that shooting pirates is no longer necessary.