First, excuse me my weird expressions, as English is not my first language. Second, I'm definetively a fan, and this is trying to start a constructive chat to maybe help Hello Games finding their way with NMS.
Is not my intention to show of, but I'd like to state that I've been making videogames for 30+ years, since 1984.
Cut to the chase. Hello Games are incredibly talented coders and artists. However, there's some weak game design in NMS. The main game design problem I see in NMS is that there's a disconnect between all the procedural variations and the gameplay. Simply put, most procedural variations of everything don't mean shit.
When people say 'boring', that's what they mean. In borderlands the weapons were also proc gen, but the all played differently. In NMS, all procedural weapons are basically the same, a pretty shell for exactly the same gameplay content. Ships share the same problem.
All creatures are 'gameplay-wise' the same (maybe except predators/non-predators) thus, they are 'boring'.
The gameplay is only based around all the NON procedural elements, the parts that repeat, the same resources, upgrades and items. And those are extremely repetitive.
So doing exactly the same, searching for the same plutonium, the same 'expensive item' (vortex cube/gravitino balls/...) in a different background, still feels repetitive.
The most amazing thing Hello Games accomplished, the incredibly detailed and varied planets, all play pretty much the same. Yes, there's some 'hazzards', but even those all PLAY the same. So after a while, it doesn't matter if it's Toxic, Heat or Radiation, it's all the same.
No Man's Sky suffers from a very safe and conservative game-design, like they were scared of trying something fresh or new. They risked so much on technology/art, that they were scared to risk anything on the game design side.
I don't have all the answers. But the path to fixing is that the procedural variations (planets, ships, tools) HAVE TO MEAN MORE, on the gameplay front. The planets need conditions that truly turn them into different gameplay scenarios. The ships/weapons, need more features that UNIQUE to each SHIP/WEAPON. Things you CAN'T change, balanced with the features you can edit yourself by installing upgrades and such. Creature types, shoud have more gameplay differences like; man, those worm things are a bitch because ...
That's my 2 units. There are other, more minor things, but this is the most flagrant game design problem I've seen. I so want NMS/HG to succeed. I wish we could help them! :-/
TL;DR; There's a disconnect between all the 'visually different' procedural variations and the gameplay.
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