When No Man’s Sky Frontiers launched, the patch notes contained mention of Expedition 3: Cartographers. If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’ll know that I’m pretty excited about the Expeditions in this game, and have tried to predict when the next one will launch a few times now. Well, I’m doing it again, and I’m saying that it’ll come out tomorrow. This would be about one week after the launch of Frontiers, plenty of time for this community to have wrapped its head around the new stuff. It’s at this point that we all usually start to trail off, but an Expedition would change that. Even though Hello Games hasn’t revealed the release date yet, I believe we’re getting this third Expedition tomorrow.
This third Expedition is named after the people who make maps. In No Man’s Sky, the map is ever-changing and always procedural. It’s basically impossible to get out there and map out everything in the known galaxy that’s around you. That is, unless you have a very specific galaxy. I reckon that Hello Games will have made a specific galaxy for this Expedition, and mapping it is going to be the overall task that the community has to work towards. I don’t think that the entire galaxy will need to be mapped, but a good chunk of it will certainly be required.
The only thing we know about this third Expedition is that it will see you start on a very toxic planet and take much longer to fix up your starting ship. This, I think, is designed to make you think more about the ship you’re building. It’s going to have some very special equipment, adding to the reasons I think this will be a map-based community challenge. If nothing else, that starting planet is going to be mapped out pretty quickly.
Whatever the Expedition involves, I’m desperate to be playing it tomorrow. The game is already so vast and full of stuff to do, but these Expeditions focus all that No Man’s Sky gameplay into a tunnel that you can smash through at your own pace. It’s a refreshing change, and I think the community is desperate at this point.