I keep thinking about how someone said that this game is Minecraft for adults although it does seem that more adults play Minecraft than youngsters do (as far as I can tell). There are some similarities between the two games, like, the necessity to scrounge and gather… stuff in order to complete missions and, really, keep yourself from getting killed a lot.
To that end, I’ve been killed 12 times and not because I screwed up. Yesterday, my to-do list was all about farming Cobalt and as much as I could so I could turn it into the other form of Cobalt that fetches a very high price when you sell it at a space station or land-based trading post. I have, among the many worlds I have a base established, almost the perfect place to farm and it literally takes hours to remove every piece of available Cobalt from the cave that I specifically established my base near. Then the unthinkable happened:
I ran out of Carbon, which is very much needed to power my Multi-tool. The bad part? The planet this base is on is subject to “major” storms and there’s not a lot of Carbon to easily be had given that there are… predators lurking and waiting to attack the moment your back is turned. And the storms show up regularly, like every ten minutes or so, making it a pain to be outside and trying to harvest Carbon from trees and plants.
Sigh. This put a big crimp in my plan for the day but it was easily remedied because on a base on my home planet, it’s set up next to another cave with Cobalt but what makes this cave different is it has probably more Carbon than I know what to do with – and the cave on the base I was farming has no available Carbon.
So I had to go home to load up on Carbon and as I did so, I realized that I had forgotten one of the primary rules of Minecraft: Gather up as much of the necessities as you can manage to do. In Minecraft, there’s no such thing as too much wood, coal, and iron; indeed, once you appear in a new Minecraft world, getting as much of this stuff as you can, well, it’s something that you will learn provided an experienced player doesn’t tell you to do this very important thing.
And a thing that I should have done once I realized the need to do it. The failure can kinda be blamed on the game and how it has you doing things in the early going. Since you start out with a Multi-tool with its Mining Laser, you find out that it’ll run out of fuel at some point but, oddly, you’ve probably – and accidentally – collected enough Carbon for it to not be a problem… until you tack on more devices and updated items that, shit, run on Carbon.
Minecraft is big on wood, coal, and iron; No Man’s Sky is big on Carbon, Di-Hydrogen, and Ferrite but you eventually find out that the more you advance through the game, crap, there’s a whole lot of stuff that you need to have in your backpack and in great quantities… and your backpack will only hold so much stuff and provided you can buy more space, bringing me to the other point of this game that reminds me of Borderlands:
There’s no such thing as too much money. The day before, I had nine million units (dollars, if you will) which, comparatively speaking, isn’t a lot of units and considering that some players are billionaires – but they have way more hours of game time than I do. I’d been on a ship-collecting spree, going on the hunt for the much-prized S-class ships and, specifically, ones that were crashed and all busted up; that’s “easier” than hanging around space stations and/or trading posts and waiting for one to show up and even then you might not have the units to buy the ship.
But the crashed ones have a major problem: They have to be repaired and that takes both a lot of materials and units and more so since some of the stuff you need can only be purchased at a space station or trading post. I found and added to my fleet of ships three S-class ships and one of the big Haulers… and pretty much wiped out my nine million-plus units fixing them up so that they’re space-worthy and fully operable, leaving me with a measly 720,000 units. Ouch – talk about a hit to one’s wallet!
Hence my need to go farm Cobalt and convert it to its more pricey form… and I ran out of Carbon and, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have and more so because once I realized that this game has some Minecraft aspects to it, I should have done what my son-in-law did: Collect stack upon stack of the very necessary items and more so when most of the necessary stuff can be piled up into stacks of 9999.
So I’m back home, harvesting Carbon, fighting off the hazardous plants that live in caves and that are prone to popping up at any time and trying to gas you to death which means shooting them – but getting Oxygen or Sodium in the process and, yep – you find out that you’re gonna need lots of these elements as well.
I harvested almost seven thousand pieces of Carbon, more than enough to go back to my Cobalt farming cave and wipe it out of every piece I could find and, yes, it took me almost two hours to collect two full stacks of 9999 and 700 more; that didn’t count all the Geodes I got while harvesting the Cobalt; Geodes are cool in that they usually give you more of whatever you were harvesting and for Cobalt, they tend to give you Tetracobalt which is pricey all by itself but even more so when refined into the even pricier form of Ionized Cobalt.
Yep… took me a moment to remember what that form is called. Anyway, I’m not happy because having to restock a lot of Carbon put me behind schedule; even though I have both a Medium and Large Refiner – and I used both of them, it takes a long time to refine that much Cobalt and, yeah, in the process, I used up all 3000+ pieces of Oxygen because, if you add Oxygen to Cobalt when you refine it, instead of the normal 2:1 ratio you get refining Cobalt on its own, you get a better 2:5 ratio that gives you more Ionized Cobalt.
I had a plan to replace the much-needed Oxygen – I have an Oxygen Generator that – get this – when you fuel it with Carbon, 250 pieces of Oxygen gets generated… but it’s a slow process so I found myself running back and forth to either my own Trading Station and the one in my local space station buying up all the Oxygen I could… and costing me even more units that had to be replaced.
The good part? When I finally refined all the Cobalt into Ionized Cobalt and sold it, I walked away with just over seven million units so at least my wallet is… heavier, for the moment. But I still have the need to stockpile as much stuff as I can because, shit, you just don’t know what you’re gonna need a lot of until you find out you need a lot of it. I spent the rest of my time scrounging for hard to find stuff, like Activated Copper which is needed to fix items on busted ships, not that I plan on looking for more of them since you can only have six ships in your personal fleet… but you never know when you’re gonna need it or what you’re gonna need it for.
The bad part? Activated Copper – and the other Activated elements – are only found on planets with extreme conditions: Heat, cold, radiation, and/or toxicity. And most of those planets – at my point in the game – is guarded by some very aggressive Sentinels. Sometimes, if you start to “mine” something, they’ll show up and scan you; maybe they’ll leave you alone and maybe they won’t and sometimes, one will scan you and find you’re carrying something in your backpack it thinks you shouldn’t have, then start firing on you and/or escalating their alert level and really bringing the heat.
Shooting those little motherfuckers ain’t as easy as it looks and if you kill one, two more will eventually show up and if you off them, even more aggressive Sentinels will arrive including a Walker Brain – think of the AT-ATs of Star Wars fame and those things are no joke. I’m out to farm stuff like this, ducking Sentinels, taking cover from the extreme conditions and storms and, well, I’m not having a good day while, at the same time, I’m having fun going through this shit.
While I have a couple of main mission things to do – and a couple of secondary missions and one of which I’m not going to do since it involves dealing with some very nasty Sentinels, I’m finding that I’m spending a lot of time hopping around not one but two universes and looking for systems/planets that have the materials I need and, hopefully, without having to deal with those pesky Sentinels.
Or, kinda/sorta, I’m playing Minecraft in that I’m exploring and collecting stuff in order for me to survive. In Minecraft, you can create all of the large chests as you need to store… stuff; in No Man’s Sky, you are limited to just nine storage containers – and provided that you had the nanites (the other form of currency in the game) to unlock the plans for all nine storage containers. The thing about this is that I could go to a new planet, build a base and add all nine storage containers… and they wouldn’t be empty because they’d be the same nine containers I already have and whatever is already in them.
One of the things I have to do is consolidate my storage containers; when you add stuff to them, it sometimes stacks like-items and sometimes, it just goes in whatever available space in any container. I wish that there was an easier way to do this but there isn’t. For instance, I’d like for all the edible stuff I’ve collected to be in one container but I’d have to spend some time taking them from wherever they happen to be, putting them in my backpack, and then into a container with enough space. It’s tedious and monotonous work and so much that, yeah, you just really don’t want to be bothered with doing it… but you probably need to because your stuff can get all spread out across all nine containers so, say, instead all of your Storm Crystals being in one place, they could be anywhere and if you needed more than one of them, you’re gonna have to look through all of your containers since there’s no telling where they are.
At least in Minecraft you can create a large chest – then create a sign that says what’s in the chest and you know that only the stuff that belong in it will be in it.
Here’s another bad part. I can’t stop playing the game even though I’m at the point where it’s making me a little crazy between collecting stuff and trying to do the main mission stuff.. I need to farm more Cobalt to get more units; I need to get my storage units organized and I seriously need to make some of my bases neater and, to that end, yep – forgot another Minecraft thing in that when you first build a house, you should build it with the expectation that it’s not going to be big enough for what you need to do.
The issue in No Man’s Sky is that unless someone tells you this, you just don’t think about it until you have to do it… which means, for me, dismantling a lot of stuff and building it again so that my big bases don’t look like a Category Five hurricane went through the place. And I don’t know if I really wanna do that.