To start out with, I'm not going to say there is nothing wrong with NMS. IMO, there is a lot wrong with it, and while I got most of what I expected out of it, it turned out to not be as shiny as I hoped.
That said, the complaints you list are absolutely idiotic, and show a clear lack of ability and listen and comprehend when other people speak.
Can you interprate a box with an ESRB rating sticker covering the original ESRB rating which was higher in part due to the online multiplayer component that the studio even announced to the ratings agency and left in place even as the boxes were being printed before launch?
Obviously multiplayer was planned, and just as obviously it didn't make the cut. Shit happens. From the very first interviews multiplayer was advertised as a minor feature, not a major part of the game, so this is at best a minor quibble. If you bought NMS for the multiplayer then you're an idiot and deserve every second of "pain and suffering" you feel you experienced because of it.
Yeah you do that about a day before your game launches when you realise all you have said was bullshit. Also he didn't downplay it he just said the game is so big you won't see other players, and then in week one two players found their exact locations on a map at the same time.
Did you watch any interviews with Murray? Every time it was brought up the mantra was essentially "don't expect to ever run into another player". How is that not downplaying it? He got real specific when he realized it wasn't going to make it into the final game, and that somehow morons on the internet thought the game was actually a multiplayer game in the sense of Battlefield or Call of Duty.
- Procedural generation with the same underlying script. Yay the aliens look slightly different but do the same thing.
They never said they would do different things. I don't know where you got that impression, it's not in any of the trailers or interviews. I will say the fact that the variety is pretty superficial is a bit disappointing, but it's not different than advertised.
- Upgrade and modification systems that have zero effect on the gameplay.
Er, what? Have you played the game? Upgrades and mods have a huge effect on gameplay. Without mods on your ship you get toasted pretty much immediately in space combat, with the right mods combat is a breeze. With mods mining is faster and safer, you can work in extreme environments with low risk, you can hold more cargo before you need to sell, etc. Mods are pretty essential to the whole thing.
- A completely omitted factional warfare system which was shown off in every preview.
The factional system is exactly as advertised. I watched an interview where Murray did the faction stuff and it was exactly the way it is in the game. I do not understand how people were mislead on this. They specifically stated you would not be able to join a faction permanently. What you can do is assist one side or the other in a space battle, and that will affect your faction standing with both races involved in the battle. And that's exactly what happens. If you jump in a battle you get a little mission tracker, where you have to blow up X number of ships for your chosen side. It's pretty much exactly as advertised.
- Finding someone elses base as shown in the preview.
It never showed a player owned base. It showed a player discovered base. Every single little base you find has a little waypoint marker you can access, and it puts your name on it. If you ever happen upon a planet someone else discovered first their name will be all over it, including the bases. You can go into your journal and rename them if you like, but I never really saw the point to name something nobody else is likely to ever see. The game was specifically designed NOT to have player bases, because they wanted people to keep moving around the galaxy. The Foundation update is a major concession in this area.
- Intense air-to-air combat scenarios (which also showed multiplayer) which ended up being dumbed down to a point and click adventure.
No, they didn't show intense air-to-air combat with multiplayer. They showed Player vs AI combat that is almost exactly the same as advertised. The only valid complaints here are that they did show combat in planet atmospheres, where in the actual game the pirates immediately flee once you get into atmosphere, and the AI is pretty basic, making for combat that is not particularly challenging once you've got a few basic mods on your ship.
They did mention the possibility that the person you were fighting could be another player, but then went on to talk about how unlikely that would be. Again, this was intended as a minor feature but the community somehow convinced itself that this was a major part of the game. So when it didn't ship it was a huge disappointment.
And perhaps the biggest of them all: The thing at the centre of our galaxy that will blow our minds. And to be fair to him it did blow our minds. It blew our minds about how we could have been so duped by the hype only to have the developers shit in the faces of the people dedicated enough to endure the incredible grind of trying to reach the centre. It blew our minds when suddenly a realisation was absolutely clear that people paid money to go through 100 hours of unenjoyable rubbish for nothing.
This is the second valid point you've made so far, and the first one that I think is actually a big deal. Though to me it felt like pushing to the center of the galaxy was meant more as simply a direction to follow, they did hype up something cool and what was delivered was decidedly not cool.
No one gives a shit about multiplayer.
Funny how pretty much every complaint you list involves lack of multiplayer as part of the complaint, except for the one reasonable complaint about the center of the galaxy. Hmmm...
Now, for a complaint of my own that you didn't mention (perhaps you tried to in your "procedural generation" comment, but did so poorly?), is that despite the vast amounts of procedural generated content, there aren't really that many things to do. The primary purpose of the game is a chill exploration of vistas as you hop across the galaxy, but it often feels like once you land on a planet you've pretty much seen all you need to see. Walk around for a bit, take some screenshots, maybe check and see which of three types of ruins are on this planet, and then it's off to the next planet. While you CAN do all kinds of things, like going trekking across the planet size planets, or trying to find all the little bases and outposts, or participating in faction combat, there isn't really much of a point to doing any of that. It doesn't feel like you progress anything when you do anything but drive toward the center of the galaxy or follow Atlas, which is disappointing.
It was advertised as being able to take distinct roles, like a combat pilot, an explorer, or a trader. Technically you can do these things, and even focus on them exclusively, but the reality of the game is that you're an explorer who is taking a break to do some combat or some trading. The exploration aspect is such a huge part of the game, it trivializes the trading and combat aspects. I was hoping for a more balanced approach, and that left me a bit disappointed.