Galactic Hyper-Balkanization: An Imaginarium for a Multiplayer Universe

An Essay I just posted on the NMS reddit page. Thought you guys might like it here.

*SuperHeavy Tinfoil Hat Recommended. Even better with Imagination Preloaded.

With the discovery of imminent multiplayer experiences in the game, our community has been thrown in a tizzy of two extremes: Immense Excitement and Deep Concern. What follows in this Essay is just the stretches of my own imagination (Read: Speculation) of some of the possibilities of what is to come in an MP universe, by choice or otherwise. Much of this is based on existing game mechanics, state of the community and on what is just announced; and is purely just a means to extend our immersion into the game and Community better. So, as MZK would say it, “Sit back and Relax. Let’s get Started”

The Growing Griefer Grief.

As Sean had stated in the XBOX interview, preying on other players may become a possibility. And while we don’t currently know the mechanics of such interaction and its limitations; its safe to assume some of us are going to be hounded by Griefers in the coming days. Most of us assume that it is going to be the “Toxic” Newbies that are going to assume the said role but I hope to differ. Consider these Possibilities:

  1. Nothing is going to stop some player from starting his own Piracy Hub in a part of, say, Euclid Galaxy, naming it “Pete’s Progressive Piracy Cove” and growing a community of Griefers whose sole role in the game is to take your stuff from you. While we still don’t know about the permanency of bases, its confirmed that your ships can be attacked and freighters looted (possibly after destroying its’ defences). If this is not limited to a game mode then the easy way for some of us is to leave the game for good. But what this Imaginarium serves is to think of other ways to grow out of this problem.
  2. From Cobra’s countless videos (God Bless him and other NMS youtubers), I’ve caught on to the diplomatic wars that have been fought between hubs. It doesn’t take much to imagine where that might go if we were to be provided with a full MMO experience.
  3. If a Veteran of the game, with his topped-out Fighter and Freighters, are going to see the profit of conflict, its probably going to be a provident target practise for them to prey on large groups. At that point they are no longer Griefers but proper Predators!

Probability and Resilience in a Universe of Quintillion:

The Hermit:

To those Lonely Grubbers could avoid any of this altogether by Hyper-jumping to the fringes of the Galaxy or jumping Several Galaxies in. You’ll be so far away from the chaos that you could be left to do your own things and play your own game! Literally No one is going to find you there! And if they did shrugs shoulders.

The Havens:

When the Universe Reset happens and Hubs need to be moved again to more pristine locations, consider this: Would You want to share the Coordinates with anyone and everyone? IF so, very saintly of you! Be prepped to have Pete’s Progressive Pirates on your ass.
This is exactly where the game can probably be extended beyond its Virtual Realm. Each hub community is probably now a community based on trust and should be cautious on how new members can be added. Here a set of ways in which this can (possibly) be done:

  1. The locations controlled within the Galaxy by each hub is split into hierarchies, where the Hub itself is the top of the chain. Other locales can be the Sub-Hubs, Resource Rich Systems, Conflict of Interest Systems and Testing Grounds.
  2. First two are self-explanatory and are reserved only for the Trusted Players. New players are to be tested for Loyalty in the Conflict of Interest Systems where (probably) two Player hubs are vying for Dominance.
  3. Testing Grounds are just place-holder useless systems where New members are given their first Co-ordinates to check if they really are for real or are Griefers or Bots.
  4. Serendipity however works and some player can accidently happen to find himself warped into the haven Hubs. Then it’s up to the Members to either defend or come to a deal with the player for Fealty.
  5. As you can imagine much of said discussion on the working of such systems will happen outside the Game.

From Confounding Conflicts of Interest to Crowd-Funding Co-operation:

If such large multiplayer Interactions (Both In-Game and Out of it) might arise then the Interest and Extent of Influence of existing and New hubs are going to change. Yes, it’ll be engaging and extremely toxic at the same time. The only resilience to this this the same mechanic that brought it out in the first place: “The Power of Large numbers”.

  1. Each Hub can evolve its own rules of economy and market adding upon the existing In-game Market. Trade routes can be charted and Profitable Ways of Managing resources en-masse would be a possibility.
  2. If resource sharing and trading is enabled then the economy can fund its own military prudence. Talented Players can man the Top of the Line Fighters to protect or to wage Conquest.
  3. Peaceful Players can find refuge under Communities to further their own interests at the cost of providing services or finance in return. These are for the Explorers who can seek out the best systems for each community; for the Scientists who can aid in discovery and For the Architects to Build the colonies for the community.
  4. Players can pick and Choose balanced teams for exploratory journeys and can contribute to the glory of the hub. Each is left to make their own Odyssey in the universe.

Of Knights, Mercenaries and Inventory for Hire:

Perhaps players need not join the existing Hubs but can found their own Guilds, without any Localised Space of operations. They can act as opportunists or Players for hire, who can aid you in specific endeavours.

  1. Our Lonely Grubbers can incorporate into a set of Knights for aid, aiding each other if ever one of you is attacked and overpowered, and is in need of hire. They can come to your aid when a location is shared and can be repaid in cash and Kind.
  2. Guilds of Full Time Mercs and Auxiliaries can be established as well, for anyone to hire and they can fix their own payments. Also, they might abandon, desert or switch sides at will (Read the Prince by Machiavelli)
  3. Inventory for hire are the owners of Balanced Ships with Full Slot Inventory that can aid another player in carrying resources. Depending on who maintains that ship, the Inventory for hire can also act as add-on protection.

The Imaginarium Ends here. Will post more when my Head wanders off NEXT

I just wanna say that we’re blessed with a Game where the Devs are on it full time to make it a game of dreams and an equally enthusiastic Community. We should probably try our best to take those changes and adapt to whatever that’s being given rather than worry about it all the time. We’ve weathered many storms, so stay curious and excited for NEXT!

TL;DR: Improvise, Adapt Overcome. (But you’re really missing out on the content XD)


Well thought out and written piece, out of likes but I’d give five if I could.

Personally I think the pvp will be handled well. Sean still likes to play this game as a lonely, mysterious experience. He’s expressed his opinions towards pvp style multiplayer in the past.

I think he would only allow this feature to exist in his vision, if it still allowed those who want that original experience to keep away from pvp.

I don’t know how they’ll implement this, but there’s a few ways they could do it.

My current favourite possibility is its the new goal of the center, a good reason to go there.

You start in pve. You reach centre. You have option to proceed to several galaxies as introduced in 1.3, except the options will be divided to pvp galaxies and pve galaxies.

Those who want to play pvp will have a true desire to reach the centre, and maybe along the way they’ll learn something, and not be complete space jerks (throwback!) when they get there.

Other possibilities are an option to disable pvp before you load a save (thay way griefers can’t toggle it mid session and become invincible). Or pvp being a new game mode and pve being inserted into all current saves with an option to toggle your presence off (for those who want true solitude)

But I like the galaxy option the most.


From Sean Murray’s Twitter Feed:


Having a Galaxy just for PvP would be brilliant. I just hope they do learn their lesson along the way. That being said, I still have no clue as to how that mechanic would work and what will stop players leaking into other Galaxies and griefing on others. Lets just wait and See!

When you take the community as a whole, the hypocrisy IS REAL. No one can truly deduce the only thing that it wants.
But that kinda is the game right. No Man’s sky is a game of pluralism, and so is its’ community! I think that’s what Sean believes and is trying to make most Happy! It’s kinda evident in his tweet.
One can only imagine what the community will thirst for after NEXT; after the toxics and complaint machines are done with this iteration of the game and have gone. XD

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It wasn’t really the Steam post that I flagged this for. It was Sean’s reply that interested me - but his reply wouldn’t have made much sense without the original post.


As far as griefers go, I’d like to think that I’m the badass that would form a posse, hang out a griefer’s base and just multitool them to death until they learned their lesson. …But I have no IRL friends that play this and I’m usually too preoccupied exploring…


Oh Get this, as I was posting this on Reddit,
Someone else had already started an thread recruiting people to join his own Piracy Hub and to fill specialized roles. Maybe this is happening real quick afterall!

Doing that would just be badass, but being the knight in shining glory wouldn’t be complete without your own outfit of fellow knights to teach em all the Lesson they deserve!

Something about that does seem to prophetic. But then again, When had Sean’s tweets ever been normal. He does fill in that “Bearded Prophet of our Times” pretty well! :rofl:


An anti-griefing squad? That sounds like a great idea. I’d sign up for that.

You mean the sentinels right? That’s where they should come into play.

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The Sentinels are what I’d called selectively protective. I wouldn’t want to rely on them for consistent peace keeping when there are entire planets where it’s open season on any Traveller walking.

Shades of the Wild West.

Two reasons not to worry about griefers:

Most griefers won’t have the patience to grind for resources and tech, then make countless jumps to hunt down other players.

Three months after the release of Next, they’ll move onto another game.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This exactly

Wish i could upvote this a million times.

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Assuming no mans sky can lure them away from the fortnites long enough. The kids do sure love their fortnites.

(disclaimer:Is joke. Have played my share of fortnite pve :wink: tho the kids are all bout dat pvp, I believe. )

I’ve always thought this was true:
Co-op is a subcategory or game mode of Multiplayer. Multiplayer covers all games where you are more than one player. Co-op is short for cooperative and refers a multiplayer game where you play together with other players to complete a common goal against a non-player enemy.
Google search,

If that description is correct, them NMS is becoming a sub-categorized cooperative play type of multiplayer but not a full fledged multiplayer with all the bells and wistles (and griefing) of full multiplayer.