I've read other threads on this and none of them seem to work for me. I've applied a Microsoft fix for TLS and I'm using GOG Galaxy, but all I ever get is the (annoying) blue circle telling me it's trying to connect. GOG Galaxy itself happily connects to GOG (and updates the game) but the game does not ever go online.
Is there something fundamental I'm missing here, before I give up entirely on online NMS ?
Can it even be done ?
Perhaps a slightly different way of phrasing this might help because I used to play completely off-line and it took me a while to readjust - if you launch No Man's Sky from a desktop icon or the Start menu then connection to the Discovery servers will not occur. The Discovery servers are maintained by Hello Games but access first goes through the game client which in the GOG system requires having Galaxy open. The simplest way to ensure this is to launch Galaxy and then launch No Man's Sky from within Galaxy. Another option to launch these separately was already offered. In my case the first 900 hours were completely stand-alone before I finally relented and installed Galaxy but sometimes I would forget and directly launch No Man's Sky and therefore did not have the path established to the Discovery servers and I would then exit and launch the game through Galaxy. Back in the old days of NMS there was a small reward for scanning something but to get a much larger reward of space bucks the discoveries had to be uploaded to Hello Games as opposed to the current system of space bucks for the discovery and nanites for uploading.
You can also intermittently play with Galaxy having been launched and discoveries that were not previously uploaded due to a lack of server connectivity will also be uploaded the next time that the game sees that connection has been established. The downside is that it is possible that someone else might visit and report discoveries before your discoveries are reported.
Your posts indicates that you probably have checked this a few times but just in case there are times when the Discovery servers are taken down but in more recent times this is typically only for a short period.
Just in case I also remember about some people reporting that they had run a patch for the TLS issue instead of the fix. The fix made the necessary registry changes while the patch did not. I am not sure if the patch is still around because of the confusion in that many did not notice that they had to then make manual registry edits.