No Man's Sky Beyond, which arrives August 14, is the biggest expansion for Hello Games' space sandbox yet. It will bring VR to No Man's Sky, crank up the multiplayer count to 32 players, and add features like industrial bases and automation, creature riding and farming, an improved language system for alien NPCs, a communal player hub, and a lot more.
On the brink of the release of No Man's Sky Beyond, I got to chat for a few minutes with Sean Murray of Hello Games via Skype, and he answered a question I and a lot of other NMS players have: Will Beyond 'reboot' the universe the way No Man's Sky Next did?
"We're very much trying to avoid that this time around," Murray told me.
When Next was released last summer, many players (including myself) logged in and found our bases buried beneath our home planet's surface. Some players' bases were hovering above the planet. In many cases the planets themselves had drastically changed and now contained different resources and weather conditions— a rude awakening for players who had settled on their tranquil forever homes and then found themselves standing in a downpour of toxic rain. But it sounds like that shouldn't be an issue in Beyond.
"We are painfully aware of the amount of time that people have spent building bases and things like that since Next. When Next came along, we knew that we were changing the base building system, and we were going to allow people to build bases wherever they wanted. We gave them a system where they could kind of reclaim their base."
All of those changes in Next provided a good reason to reboot the universe, said Murray. "Although, initially when people booted up, that is the scary thing for them. Like, where's this thing I've spent all this time building?"
This time, even though Beyond is changing the game again, Hello Games isn't overwriting the universe along with it.
"So, we found other ways to make the game really varied, hopefully, to make the game deeper and broader in a whole bunch of ways, and other ways to provide variety without completely changing everything, rebooting everything, and having people lose their progress, and having to wipe everything from the servers. We're trying to avoid that this time around."
That's not a concrete guarantee that your home planet and base will be just as you left them when you log in after Wednesday's update, but it's hopeful news for people who have spent months (or longer) creating bases and other projects. At least for now.
"It doesn't mean we won't do it in the future," said Murray.
"But I think we would only do [a reboot] where we know the change is really significant. If we wanted to go out and wipe the servers, we really need to feel like there is a super, super, super good reason to do that."