Once upon a time on Abundance, the warm wind blew the tops of the purple tallgrass of Vodeye and shook the red-leaf canopy of the Hieksa Forest. Fourteen species of animals gamboled across the gently rolling landscape, a paradise of a planet, peaceful. Player himshieland homesteaded here for three weeks in 2017, an eternity for residence on a single world in No Man’s Sky. With the rest of the universe beckoning, it’s impossible to sit still for long. April and May kept himshieland busy exploring, marking waypoints, making discoveries, and ultimately building a towering base, “Abundance H.Q.”, all in purple to reflect the grasses of his adopted homeworld.
The base welcomed visitors, although only two are recorded on the planet’s discovery log (and 12 others through the comm stations they left behind). Three geobays invited wheeled travel, while a landing pad at the very top of the thin structure curried interstellar commerce, as did the official Trade Terminal inside. Stations for a weapons master and base executive occupied different floors, both with commanding views of the horizon. Gravitino balls and venom urchin plants provided valuable resources to sell in the old Galactic Hub, and marked the last human outpost at the center of the Euclid Galaxy, part of the NMS-Love enclave of settled worlds. Himshieland was not alone on Abundance. In its heyday the planet featured five active bases, although the archaeology only points to three, all but one of them now lost.
Imagine taking your leave of such a place to go adventuring in a universe opened wide, having reached the end of the main goal of the game, to achieve the center, and then to see what’s beyond. If anything, Abundance H.Q. was a place of temporary retirement, a place to rest after weeks or months of constant travel. Imagine leaving home for weeks and then coming back to something terribly, terribly wrong.
On August 11, 2017, the Atlas Rises patch (v1.3) reset the universe. On Abundance, what was once a lively Eden turned into a barren world overnight. Nothing grows anymore on Abundance, now a planet of yellow-green rock and empty mountains. Every animal now extinct, the only ambient sounds come from the wind that once blew the grasses on himshieland’s world. Nothing else remains but his base. On a barren world, there are no buildings or indications of past activity. The ships still come from the stars to land, but leave empty-handed, hope dashed upon the rocky outcrops, the myth of hospitality at the end of the journey broken.
The base continues to run itself. The lights remain on. The Trade Terminal remains active. The geobays stand ready for vehicles. The weapons master and executive are long gone, but the place still has the feeling that they will be back any minute as if they had just gone for lunch or for a short walk in a nearby park. The machines hum. But perhaps the most unsettling thing of all is that the entire complex floats a few meters above the ground. And if one walks between the building and the suspended rack of vehicle parts, one can hear a door open and then shut again as if the core base unit was still present. It has vanished. The only thing left is this floating edifice of glass and steel.
On September 1, almost three weeks after the Atlas Rises extinction event, himshieland returned home and brought someone: troyrice77. Together they created a monument near the floating entrance to the base. Himshieland also dropped a communication station on the ground nearby designating it as a heritage landmark for the region, or as the founder of the Galactic Hub would call it, a “state park” within the greater Legacy Hub. GalacticHeritage visited shortly before I did to plant another marker indicating the site’s importance to the history of the Galactic Hub, the base at the edge of the galactic abyss, and gateway to whatever comes next.
As an archaeologist, I wanted to document the base and the communication stations surrounding it (and elsewhere on Abundance). I also wanted to see if I could determine what the world was like before it turned to stone. Thanks to the record-keeping of himshieland himself, I was largely able to, although the loss of data on the animals remains a tragedy.
Anatomy of a Ghost World
Planet: Abundance (RIP)
Base Name: Abundance H.Q.
Legacy Hub (formerly Galactic Hub): Part of the “NMS-Love” (NMSL) occupied region of systems
System: Gamma Centauri: NMSL Yellowzone No. 12
Circumference: ca. 10:30 minutes (630 seconds) at 4756u/s = 2,996,280u or ca. 2,996ku
Diameter: ca. 954ku
Volume: 4.55 x 108 u = 455,000,000u
The Earth’s moon has a circumference of: 10,921km (or nearly 4x that of Abundance)
Type: “Empty” planet (aka Barren-class, meaning no life and no buildings including monoliths and portals)
Sentinels: Low security
Dominant Lifeform: Gek
Conflict Level: Tranquil
Discovered by: himshieland
Planet Base Coordinates: RURHA:0805:0084:0804:00B8
Portal Coordinates: None on this planet. The neighboring planet “Tombstone” does have a portal, however.
Resources: Vortex Cube, Star Bulb, Aluminum, Iridium, Heridium
Exterior Temp: Ranges between 1.8 F, 2 Rad, 17.5 Tox (night) and 101.4 F, 0.7 Rad, 15.6 Tox (day)
Interior Temp (ship): 66.2 F
Interior Temp (base): 101.4 F (unusual as the inside base temp should be 66.2 F), which lends a more ghostly feel, as if the base’s walls were not there.
Length of Day: 1 real-time minute = 45 minutes on Abundance. 32 real-time minutes = 1 day on Abundance.
Waypoints Tell the Story of pre-1.3 Abundance
Based on the planet’s archived data log, 80 Waypoints have been discovered (although none now exist), dates ranging from Apr. 24, 2017 to Aug. 13, 2017.
28 discovered by himshieland on Apr. 24, 2017, between 12:10 and 16:20.
31 discovered by himshieland on Apr. 25, 2017, between 07:28 and 17:03
4 discovered by himshieland on Apr. 26, 2017, between 05:10 and 05:22
3 discovered by himshieldand on Apr. 30, 2017, between 09:34 and 09:43
8 discovered by himshieland on May 6, 2017, between 10:26 and 11:50
1 discovered by Ruuddog on May 8, 2017, at 19:25
3 discovered by himshieland on May 14, 2017, between 09:10 and 09:11
3 discovered by himshieland on Aug. 13, 2017, between 21:21 and 21:21
(NB: Times indicate when they were uploaded to the Online Services (Atlas server).)
Waypoint names give clues as to the prior surface of the planet, now completely barren and rocky: Yonyayp Dell, Lonytis Meadows, Vodeye Grassland, Ronity Woodland, Plains of Sauli, Hieksa Forest, Widrad Dale, Brent’s Rainforest.
Waypoint names also give additional information, often renamed by himshieland to indicate either coordinates (e.g., VEYS:0805:0084:0804:00B8) or what was found nearby: Outpost/U72/19V/M17/, 1-4-Z-98G/Trade Interface, “Midway between Base1 and Base3,” “Between two tradeports (S class ships!)”, etc. These named waypoints indicate a rich and varied settlement, which included at least three player bases, the others of which may or may not still exist as of this writing. The same could be said of the S-class “exotic” ships as well as game-placed structures such as trading posts. Based on the renaming of some Waypoints, the player himshieland might have been named Brent, and was from the UK (note the “Tyneside” waypoint, hinting at a Newcastle location).
According to the Discoveries log, six plant species (all “common”) have been discovered, but none exist on Abundance as of May 5, 2018: Sabeneum Newareum, Neflosum Coceum, Artae Ragerera, Rivigeum Eochis, Urniseum Etifia, Nucelea Wuyndatopusum. All were discovered by himshieland, but no dates of discovery are given.
Also based on the Discoveries log, 14 animal species once existed on the planet, but none were recorded. All are now extinct.
The following room-by-room description starts at the top of the base, and then works its way downward, with each floor read let-to-right. Everything is in pristine condition as if nothing ever happened.
Flight Deck (top):
himshieland’s beacon (south) is visible and has the option to save (I did not activate it).
himshieland’s signal booster (north) is also visible, but I did not activate it. Coords are: RURHA:0805:0084:0804:00B8
North Bay: Weapons terminal and 3 weapons racks. Decorative computer display along west wall.
Observation Pod: Facing west. Glass bubble with porthole at bottom where one likely could have seen the base unit in 2017.
South Bay: Decorative planters along east wall. Decorative computer display along west wall.
Hallway leading west from the flight deck to a T with down-ladders to north and south.
Control Room (one level below flight deck):
From north to south: Gravitino Host planter, decorative base computer, decorative health station, functional Trade Terminal (20D/N99-8), decorative shield station, base terminal, Venom Urchin planter. Central down-ladder heading several meters down to the arrival deck.
Entryway to Arrival Deck: Atlas decal on the floor in front of the ladder.
Arrival Deck: Opens to the west. From north to south along the edge of the deck platform: Colossus geobay, Nomad geobay, Roamer geobay. Hovering just to the north of the Colossus geobay is a massive Atlas diamond sculpture. In front of the Nomad geobay is a black walkway into the base. The walkway features three Atlas decals. Directly in front of the Nomad geobay and to the right of the walkway is a Monument erected by himshieland and troyrice77 on 09/01/2017 (12:14) (likely September 1, 2017). Atlas Rises was released on August 11, 2017, meaning that the monument was built by returning travelers who were also likely to have placed the NMSL Heritage comm station at that time (all comm stations were reset when v1.3 launched).
Just 10m to the east of the base is a suspended Exocraft tire rack on the same level as the Arrival Deck’s floor. If one walks between the suspended base and tire rack, one can hear a door open, likely belonging to the base unit, which can no longer be seen.
Comm Stations on Abundance
13 communication stations have been placed by visiting players as well as the base’s creator. Only 11 could have their messages read because 2 of the 13 were buried under bedrock, something the Terrain Manipulator tool cannot cut through. Six of 13 were too high to access even with a jetpack, to it is not known who left these messages.
- Suspended 5m above the ground (too high to jetpack onto). “Awesome view.”
- “This is an NMSL Euclid Heritage Site.” Excavated c. 1m below the current surface, a purple comm station placed by himshieland.
- Along ridge. “AGT sending big love to Love.” Placed by Matthew71NSW.
- Further along ridge. “This is an official Galactic Heritage site”. Placed by GalacticHeritage.
- On peak to north of base, suspended 5m above summit (too high to jetpack onto). “Awesome base!”
- To NE of base, suspended 5m above the ground (too high to jetpack onto). “Hi from NMSL!”
- To N of base, suspended 5m above the peak (too high to jetpack onto). “”
- 12 hours N of base, buried in a mountain and under bedrock. “Homebase, not B&Q ;)”. Unable to see who placed it.
- 12 hours N of base, buried in a mountain, 14 secs. W of comm station 8. “Still no base here”. Placed by HutchBelfast. Green comm station.
- 12 hours N of base, buried in an adjacent mountain, 14 secs. W of comm station 9. “Nothing to see here”. Placed by The_JME.
- 7:51 NE of base, suspended ca. 20m in the air. “Sweet ramp”. Unable to see who placed it.
- 5 hours S of base, buried under a mountain under bedrock. Could not read the message or see who placed the comm station.
- 7 hours E of base, suspended ca. 50m in the air. “Once more, with feeling!”. Could not see who placed the comm station.
(NOTE: All suspended comm stations near the base are roughly at the same level as the platform indicating that the landscape surrounding the base was flat. While one can just make the base platform with the jetpack, the comm stations remain a little higher up and are thereby impossible to achieve.)
Excavation: No base unit discovered under the floating base in Normal Mode despite the ghostly door noises. Himshieland’s comm station is located 1m under the surface re: Euclid NMLS Heritage Site.
Other Features on Abundance: n/a
Abundance will remain a pilgrimage site, albeit much more difficult to get to because of its lack of a portal. Consider it to be like Canyonlands National Park in Utah: hard to get to, but well worth the trip. If you do visit, do not make an explicit save (getting out of your ship is fine), and do not construct anything. Do not interact with the beacon and with the signal booster as this might either reset or delete the base. Instead, enjoy the eerie quiet, and look into the heart of Euclid.
—Andrew Reinhard, Archaeogaming