The information below is organised according to the edition of the book that you own. Please check the Edition number printed on the copywrite page at the front of the book and then scroll down for the relevant updates.
Published March 2021 POD file version 1.3, Software used 3.22
Expeditions Update 3.3 – This update was released within a month of Companions and introduced two major features, a new game mode called Community Expeditions, and an additional Analysis Visor function called Target Sweep, along with tweeks and enhancments to the game, including a change to Sentinel Combat.
Introduction Page iv – Community Expedition – A new mission type introduced with the 3.3 patch. The content of these types of game are set to be changed on a regular basis, and they are time limited. You can think of them as a complex Nexus Mission starting with a randomised set of facilities, with special rewards.
Although there are community aspects to the game, you don’t need to interact with the other players to succeed. In fact, their presence can make life a little difficult.
One thing that you should bear in mind that the knowledge required to take part in these missions can be gleaned from completing Awakening and the later main missions, so unless you want to spend a lot of time following pinned hints and other guidance, it’s best to get some experience of the game in other playing modes first.
Page 11 – Testing the Visor
That’s not all that the Analysis visor provides. Using the F key/Left Trigger/L2, items of interest are shown in the Analysis Mode. Since the Expeditions Update, an additional mode is instantly available in the Visor by using the XXXX/D-pad left/right to select Target Sweep mode. We won’t be using this for some time yet, but it’s worth noting that a lot of missions that involved the tracking down of items and locations have now been enhanced by the inclusion of this feature.
Page 22 – Analysis Visor – The Target Sweep Mode
When you have been given a specific Mission target in the game, and you are close enough to reach it on foot, the Analysis Visor defaults to Target Sweep Mode. Pressing the Scan Control (F Key/Left Trigger/L2 brings up a rectangular sight in the middle of your view with four dots in the corners and scan beacons to either side.
To the left is a Target sweep information box. This tells you the current mission or objective to which the Visor is tuned into.
When the target is to your left or right, the relevant side beacons will animate. When it is roughly ahead of you the four dots will illuminate. The distance is shown in units.
Having swung your player round to face the current objective, you must travel on foot to get closer. Either plant a beacon to head for using the E key/X Button/▢ Button, or just check quite frequently to ensure you are still on track. The direction indication becomes more accurate as you near the target, until eventually you will see what you are searching for or the Analysis Visor will lock on to the objective and convert it to an icon for you.
The Target Sweep mode can also be used in conjunction with the Catalogue in the Menu (described in Part 2) to help you find specific objects.
Using Target Sweep, locate a piece of damaged machinery and active it. Your Guardian Angel has left you the formula to build two new items – an addition to your Multi-tool that is going to allow you to alter and mine the terrain, and the plans for a computer which you need to establish a base. Now we are getting somewhere. There was also an important clue in the last message – the Base Computer that you build may well provide you with further information later in the mission.
Page 29 – Locating the next set of Co-ordinates
The Target Sweep mode of your Analysis Visor will point you in the right direction of the new location, and also tell you how far it is away. If you decide it’s a long way off and you have the Launch Fuel to spare, you can fly there. If you decide to walk, you will have to follow the Target Sweep guidance as you did for the previous set of co-ordinates.
If you are flying, once in the air the red marker will appear as a target. You might head for the target at low level, as this one will probably be quite close, but there will be lots of occasions when your destination is half way round the Planet. There are two ways to speed up the journey – fly a bit higher so that you can travel faster, or if the distance is great enough to warrant it, point your ship straight up and operate your Pulse Drive for a few seconds, switch it off, swing back to the Planet, locate the marker and use the Pulse Drive to lock onto it again.
You will soon get the feel for when to use which technique.
Travel to the co-ordinates given you, land and then use the Target Sweep Mode to pinpoint the exact location.
Page 43 – Expedition – This Menu option only exists when you are playing a game in the Community Expedition mode. I’ll look at that in Part 3.
Page 50 – Drop pods – these have been rebalanced and are now easier to exploit, so you might reconsider if they are an efficient way of expanding the Exosuit inventory size.
Page 85– Sentinel Combat
The Expeditions Update made battling with Sentinels harder. Oh Great, I hear you exclaim. Actually, with a good level of shields, they may be a little easier, but more interesting. Although the general principles of Sentinel combat have not changed, there are now more of them. Once a normal drone attacks you, it is joined by two Armoured Drones. Level Two consists of 4 Armoured Drones, Level Three has 3 Armoured Drones and 2 Quads, Level Four has 4 Armoured Drones and a Walker and Level 5 has it all – 5 Armoured Drones. 2 Quads and Walker. Good Luck!
The amount of damage they inflict is a little reduced. You can also now see when the Drones are repairing the Quads and Walker because they display spanner icons while doing so, making more sense of when to kill the Drones first. According to the patch notes the Quads have become a bit better at tracking you, but it’s still possible to confuse them by hiding behind objects
Page 127 – Game Change or Bug?
When I began writing this book, I could see a flaw in the concept of Trading Routes. Although I could sell Trading Commodities at a profit in the Systems that demanded the produce, I could also sell them at a decent price in any system as long as it wasn’t one that actually produced the goods locally. I tested this on the PC and the Xbox, and found a few people on various forums that agreed that this was the case. However, with the release of 3.3 Expeditions, this loophole seems to have been closed.
Page 127-128 – Trading Routes
It’s quite straightforward from the information we have already to work out two simple trading loops. You can then fill up a large Hauler and pop round the routes by teleport and make a lot of money. Better still, build small bases in each system, perhaps near Trading Outposts.
The two loops suggested are Science>Commerce>Materials>Science and Energy>Minerals>Manufacturing>Technology>Energy.
The real key to making any trading trip worthwhile is to buy from Wealthy Planets where there is plenty of stock – you should be able to fill up a 48 slot Hauler. Where you sell is really up to you as long as the items are in demand, but it makes sense to go to another wealthy system that can sell you a lot of new products, saving you extra travel.
Page 186 – The Living Ship. The whole of this mission has been improved – instead of having to search for random co-ordinates, you use the Target Sweep mode of the Analysys Visor to locate each goal of the mission.
Page 190 – Community Expeditions.
The main new feature of patch 3.3 is actually a new game mode and not a mission as such, but I’ve included it here because when you complete certain stages you can cash in your rewards in another Game Save.
If you want to take part in a Community Expedition, you must start a new game. It’s like starting again at Awakenings, except you have a little more equipment and, once you have found it, a better ship. You don’t get specific guidance as what to do, though.
Some important notes to bear in mind:
- At the time of writing, this game mode is very buggy (probably because of the number of other players that share the systems). Make Saves far more often than you would normally. If you have trouble playing at all, try turning off Multi-player in the Menu
- The Expeditions are time limited, and it looks like they will expire after three months. Given that the first one began on 1st April 2021, it looks likely that if you start playing in late June, you may only have a few days to get as far as you can. When the time runs out, your game save just reverts to a normal game, so you can carry on exploring.
- Everyone starts on the same planet, and there are also common rendezvous points throughout the mission. Some areas will be locked to protect resources, and you won’t be able to build a base in critical areas such as near where you find your first ship.
- The Expedition Page was mentioned in the Menu chapter. The left side of the screen shows the Phase you are currently playing – in the first version there are six Phases. The right side of the screen shows the Milestones – if they are highlighted you have completed that part of the mission and can collect the rewards if you haven’t done so already. The Milestones can theoretically be completed in any order, although some milestones will have to be reached before it’s possible to finish others. Once all the Milestones are complete you unlock rewards and can then move to the next Phase.
- It’s also possible to complete Milestones that you may not yet know about from a later Phase. For example, a little bit of Commodity trading during Phase one awarded me The Jackpot milestone in Phase five for earning 1 million units from one sale. Clicking on the other Phases on the Expeditions page will show you the Milestones that are part of them.