That hope was severely crushed, time, and time again. Playing the game involves a lot of resource gathering (which is fine), however, it would seem that all players do is destroy in order to craft upgrades. There seems to be little to no constructive elements that benefit the planets the player lands on. This was a dismal disappointment to say the least. As I discovered, there are Atlas interfaces that travelers of the stars can interact with and earn Atlas stones. Something is said to happen once ten of them have been stored in your inventory, but through a fumble of my own, I ended up rejecting the Atlas path and solemnly had to travel the path to the galactic core with the disdain of Nada and Polo ever looming each time I bumped into them during my journey. I completely botched the "secret option" as such, their kindness felt very empty, as if I had dishonored them with no means of ever redeeming myself.
Well, so I thought. Apparently, I've stumbled upon and re-established the path to the Atlas interfaces. Unfortunately, it would appear that the path is leading me further AWAY from the center of the universe, rather than towards it. In addition, I have the maximum hyperdrive upgrade available to me, and I've been zipping along the galaxy on this connected path, but have yet to regain any knowledge of how far away I am from my nearest meeting point.
I think my biggest concern is that I'm getting dreadfully bored of this game. I now have the full 48 slots in my jetpack backpack so I can hold a plethora of upgrades and equipment (although, conversely, I still have an incredibly small ship). So I no longer need to earn as much currency for upgrades to that interface. I still need a much larger ship, but I can take a far more leisurely approach to selling and trading than before as it would occur without my own persistence. (I'll need to buy and sell elements and items anyway for travel between planets.) As such, I can also be more meticulous in my endeavors to acquire a ship that is both appealing visually and provides enough storage space.
I've already spoiled the ending for myself (or perhaps only one possible version of it). As such, it's rather soured my continuance for playing. So much so, that I actually bought the DLC for Destiny. I said it. No Man's Sky is WORSE than Destiny.
So, I'll be doing a live stream (regrettably) for Rise of Iron when it comes out on September 20th. Way to go Hello Games...you've managed to take my dreams of space exploration and grind them into the dirt.