No Man's Sky - The Spear of Sleep

No Man’s Sky launched as a PS4 exclusive on August 9, 2016. I pre-ordered it back then (and I still have the classic Alpha Vector ship to show for it). I had just been laid off from the corporate job I’d been working for the previous three years, and I was hesitant to spend any money. Thankfully, my copy of No Man’s Sky was already paid for at that point — otherwise I would have waited on it, unable to justify the price tag.

That was a stressful period of my life, for obvious reasons, but No Man’s Sky — with its chill vibes and soothing indie rock soundtrack — allowed me to just zone out and focus on something that wasn’t my impending lack of work. For that, I am grateful.

I’ve played hundreds of hours of No Man’s Sky since then. I put in a fair amount of time after the Atlas Rises update, and a boatload of time after Next. I played here and there in the weeks leading up to Beyond, and Expeditions really sucked me back in. So I don’t spend a lot of time thinking back on my initial burst of playtime — the time I invested before there were ownable freighters, before there were Exocraft, before there were bases to build, before there was even a fully fleshed-out crafting system (you could craft a few things back then, but your options were terribly limited).

But the other night, I decided to open up my original save file (which has over 330 hours on it) and futz around on my freighter for a bit. I was trying to remember which ship I had set to default when suddenly I saw it… The Spear of Sleep.

No Man's Sky - The Spear of Sleep

I don’t feel a lot of things these days — not after the numbness of sitting in a basement for 18 months and waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic. But I felt this. Boy howdy, did I feel this. My heart leapt in my chest. The hair on my arms stood at attention. I might have even gasped. This was the real deal. This was my trusty old ship from all that time ago.

In fact, a vast majority of my No Man’s Sky playtime was spent with this ship. I’ve maybe spent more time with this ship than with all of my other ships combined.

I was pretty sure I’d acquired it shortly after launch, so I checked my Twitter history and sure enough:

This was posted on August 13, 2016. That’s four days after the game came out. Yes, I’ve had this ship since No Man’s Sky was just four days old.

There have been literally dozens of game updates in the meantime, and ships have gotten some cosmetic overhauls. The colors of my ship are brighter now, and there’s a whole lot more detail. A lot of the components have had their basic shape altered — like the wingtips and the detailing on the area behind the cockpit. But this is unmistakably the same ship, with its ultra-wide wingspan and tiny little snubnose.

I spent so much in-game money on this. Six million units is space peanuts in the current version of No Man’s Sky, but back in 1.0, it was an absurd amount of digital cash. In order to acquire it, I spent hours and hours farming iron and plutonium (which were actual elements in the game back then), which could be crafted into an item called a bypass chip. I would fill my (super-limited) inventory with bypass chips, then zip off to a trade terminal to sell them all. Rinse, repeat. I finally had my six million, as well as my Spear of Sleep.

The thing is, back in version 1.0, you couldn’t upgrade your ships. I eventually left this behind for ships with faster engines and more slots for upgrades. However, I never had the heart to get rid of it, so there it sat on my freighter, whiling away the years.

No Man's Sky - The Spear of Sleep

And what a name! My ship that’s been slumbering aboard my freighter is actually called the Spear of Sleep. How perfect is that?

Now that you can upgrade ships in No Man’s Sky, I decided that this will be my next big project. This C-class, 30-slot starship (with only four tech slots) is getting upgraded to an S-class 48+21. It will be a lot of work. My tech is currently an absolute mess, as this ship survived a whole lot of game updates without any maintenance on my end.

No Man's Sky - The Spear of Sleep

But it will be worth it. This will once again be my main ship, and together, we will explore the universe once more.

Now it’s time to get out there and grind some Nanites!

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