People are playing No Man's Sky right now—some retailers broke street date—but they aren't playing the version Hello Games plans to release this week. An update from studio founder Sean Murray reveals an extensive list of fixes and additions coming in Update 1.03, which will be ready with the launch of No Man's Sky on the 9th for PS4 and the 12th for PC.
As a sampling: there are new 'paths' to follow throughout the game (one written with the help of James Swallow), galaxies are up to 10 times bigger, atmospheres are more varied, creatures can help you out if you feed them the right food, and they've added the ability "to scan star systems other players have discovered on the Galactic Map, increasing the chance of collision."
A few exploits have also been squashed, which may invalidate some of the revelations from pre-launch streaming. "Infinite warp cell exploit and rare goods trading exploit among other removed," read the notes. "People using these cheats were ruining the game for themselves, but people are weird and can’t stop themselves ¯\_(シ)_/¯ "
There's a lot more in the document, and Murray also teases what's next. "Next up we’re adding the ability to build bases and own giant space freighters," he wrote. "Temporal AA and my new cloud rendering tech should be coming soon too. It will really change the game again, and enhance it visually."
We don't have a great frame of reference for these patch notes, seeing as we're not playing the game they modify, but the size of them is surprising—what feels like months worth of patches is going out the week before launch. I'm just happy space stations will have bars after the patch. Wouldn't be a space station without alien liquor.