Yeah. I kind of am in that bracket where I think I got what the game was all about 3 years ago, but am still in awe on how Sean and his people mismanaged everyone into thinking crazy ****. I do agree that they deserve every single backlash. I'm just sad about the thing because NMS is a different game than most games and I kind of wanted them bumped and ready to keep going where this was headed. I don't think the motivation is there any more though.
I'll try to make my points clearer.
NMS is a different game than, say, Mass Effect, not just because it doesn't really have a compelling story, voice acting, etc., but because of how its systems work. If Bioware wants to revamp its game, they have to write a new story, create one or two new weapons, new characters, create a new landscape or setting, and create whole new levels. Then they release a DLC with two plus hours of gameplay.
NMS isn't that. It works like Minecraft or, even, Civilization. If they change stuff in the game, they are changing the systems that change the systems that are creating the game itself. IOW, with the same amount of effort that Bioware puts into crafting two plus hours of story, they can change their entire game. So I kind of believe that NMS could still become a really great game, within say, 3 years time. Perhaps I'll buy it then, who knows? Clearly, they released it far too soon and fooled everyone into thinking that this game already contained what they were still daydreaming of including in.
There are decisions that can still be "included" in, like say, actual factions, actual great battles, sidekick ships, better progression in terms of weaponry and ****, nerfing a bit the constant survival crap, making planets better, etc.
But there are those decisions that are already "honed in", that seem to be part of NMS' vision. And these suck balls. First, planets don't rotate. I can totally see why: going into and out of a planet would be dizzy otherwise. But the problem is that now "day" and "night" is completely non physical. There is no "sunrise" nor "sunset". That sucks balls. I don't see any DLC going to "fix" this issue though, for it seems to be part of the design now. Another stupid decision: planets are all the same once you see a small patch you've seen it all. Stupid decision. But I don't think it was a technical issue, I actually think it was a design decision (because of some things Sean said regarding this). It completely devalues the "finding a new whole planet" for you to discover.
Planets that would have different biomes and them having a logic regarding temperature and solar exposure and whatnot would be pretty cool. Planets that would be mostly deserts but then at the poles you'd find ice. That would be cool. Etc. This could still be redesigned (and again, it just requires work on the systems that build systems, doesn't require actual hard work of designing one planet after the other), I just don't think they will do so.
But these aren't my biggest gripe against NMS. My biggest problem comes with the "exploration game" that it pretends to be. It's not. It's stupid. Every planet is inhabited by hundreds, if not thousands of loners down there sitting at some desk within small colony bases that are equally spread out in these balls. If you make the maths, that's like a thousand quintillion aliens out there with the same habitats and clothes. IOW, it's a completely inhabited universe. But it's a weirdly sparse universe, without any cities or anything and where all of these aliens are "travellers". You almost think that all of these are as much of an adventurous sort as you are. But then, if the universe is filled with these, what are you exactly doing photographing all of the creatures everywhere? Surely these creatures are already known to everyone else? (Clearly they know, for they already know how *many* of them are you to find on each planet) Why are you getting money out of this?
So there struck me a metaphor: it's like visiting a zoo. A big giant ****ing zoo. There are mechanical watchers everywhere that will ZAP you if you try to destroy that damned plant that tried to eat you just now, the architecture is all the same, you get to see all the animals out there, and you get some kind of cards that you collect for every animal that you pay attention to and be rewarded by your attentive posture.
All the "adventure" and "exploration" is utterly lost. There's no planet where you don't find these sentinels and you can blow it up to smithereens if you wanted to. There's loneliness but you always feel there's a hut somewhere, there's a habitat, there's a station, there's this uplink to the galactic whatever.
These problems are more than things that are lacking in the systems. These were design choices. And I disagree with them wholeheartedly.
How to fix it? Dunno. I see two games in here: in one of them, the idea of exploring a deserted universe where ancient stones tell you of a grand civilization once gone, and where nature is thriving once again and you get to catalog it. In this game you could even maintain the idea of sentinels, as these kinds of relics that are still trying to maintain the planets of a foregone civilization, and you have to deal with. The other game, a spacefaring game where you are part of a thriving civilization, filled with ships everywhere, trading posts and habitats, where you get to speak with all of these people if you want to and be part of its economy.
They built both of those games into one. And it just doesn't make any sense. Unless it's a zoo. And that's ****ing hilariously sad.