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OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Edit as of 04/12/2018: If you aren't sure about wanting the game, wait. It's been released in what I think is a very obviously unfinished state and while you can find fun with it, if you're looking for the long term gameplay of X3 or immediate short term enjoyment as a new player, both are in a fairly poor state for different reasons. Best to read the thread or check the latest pages to see the current state of the game before you buy. It's gonna be a real hit or miss game.

E: As of 08/05/2019: The short term gameplay I think is a good bit better now but we're still waiting on more content I think to make the long term game up to X3's par. It plays good, but it's not a 1000s of hours game like X3 is.

E2: As of April 2020 with the Split expansion and 3.0 update I actually think the game is in a pretty good place, I've been playing it a lot and enjoying it more than a lot of X3 games. It's a lot faster to get into and there's a lot of fun to be had with mods that turn the war diffiuclty up to make it more like a litcube's campaign. It's still a lot lighter on content than X3AP but I do think it's a good fun game to play.



So this isn't going to be a super fancy OP because to be honest I don't know enormous amounts about the game, but I do know there's a bunch of y'alls that really loving liked X3, and were really not fond of X: Rebirth and might have checked out of the series as a result. Well, this might change your mind.

For those not up on it, the X series is an awesome series of space shooter/explorer/empire builder/story games made by this one German dev team for like, nearly 30 years or something. And X3 in its various incarnations was the gold standard for the genre, nobody else quite makes anything like it in scope and depth because each time they release a new one they basically just bolt a new game's worth of new crap onto the previous game and release it again, so the universe and ship roster was massive.

Then Egosoft released X: Rebirth and it was not well received. The game was a complete transition to a new engine with all new assets, but this massively scaled back the scope of the game into something much more like the original X, very few sectors, ships, only one flyable by the player, almost entirely plot driven. It was not, even as someone who likes the game, a very good X game if you enjoyed X3.

But now, egosoft has done a similar thing, they've taken the engine built for Rebirth which did have some really cool technical features and did look really good, and they've upgraded the graphics a bit more and they've built way more gameplay and content into it. You now have the ability to fly (and walk around in) every ship in the game. You can custom design your stations again with a proper interface and there's more places to explore. They've also streamlined the annoying roleplay stuff from Rebirth so you can now do stuff through menus rather than having to walk around everywhere.

This much we've been told but there's also a new trailer launching on monday and the game is coming out on November 30th. And it looks loving great based on the streams we've seen.

STREEEEAAAAAMS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igmDNW1AyWQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlnUEFlyXrA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGqChkwJXeg

So, if you want a sequel to X3, this might be what you're looking for. I know I'm pretty interested.

Best places for info are the official forums (which just moved to a new software in preparation for the new game) and the egosoft twitter feed has a bunch of nice screenies coming out.

https://forum.egosoft.com/viewforum.php?f=146 - Forums
https://twitter.com/EGOSOFT/status/1045759677710176256

Trailers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuIeKMYaIAk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6s9sXjqCME

And some cool looking screens.




Also some screens those of you who liked X3 might appreciate: The map screen and station designer! Stations literally are made by snapping modules together in a proper editor! Sooo much nicer than X3! Also the map looks more like an RTS style thing? Much better C&C functionality than the X3 or Rebirth maps. Ships have a similar thing to the station designer for attaching different weapons and equipment.



Seriously this looks like it's gonna be a real fun game in the X3 vein, and what else you gonna do, wait for star citizen?

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Apr 15, 2020

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OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


And of course I forgot to set the thread tag... Eh it's not unfitting.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


As I said I... kinda liked Rebirth. I bought it a bit late and it's not something I could replay to the degree I played X3, but I did have fun with it the first time through, and it is real pretty too. I wondered why they made all the cool engine features they did but not really use them for much. I guess this is why, just ran out of money and time and had to release something between then and now.

The numbering scheme makes sense, cos this seems much more a sequel to X3 than Rebirth did.

Anyway they've done some good changes according to the forums. For example we're supposedly getting both SETA and a high speed travel drive (like the X:R booster but you can use it constantly, and the autopilot can use it too) so the exploration and travel should be a lot less tedious than any previous game, and this also means that while there are the highways from X:R, you're not reliant on them to get anywhere fast.

The map uncovers like, hexagonal sectors as you fly around it too, so it's got a lot of room for very big sectors you can actually explore and map out.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 16:00 on Sep 29, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


You should hopefully get a nice video about the difference on Monday, but yes basically the X games are far more about being able to materially affect the environment in which you play, being able to build up or destroy the economy of entire empires if you spend long enough on it.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Supposedly one of the X4 features is you get a HQ much faster and you can set up a teleporter network to teleport you around your empire, definitely seems like they've really leaned into the empire management side of things.

And given that stations are now entirely modular presumably you can trick out your HQ however you want.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Koboje posted:

Never played Rebirth, did it have any significant redeeming qualities?

The backend is much improved, stations are, I guess, much better put together than they are in X3, with each part being modeled individually rather than X3's complexes, and things like storage space and production being tied to which modules you have. The problem is that despite this there were only specific stations you could build and the modules were pre-planned. Also they added a bunch of roleplay stuff where you had to get out of the ship and meet people and do minigames to access what really should have been basic menu functionality. Walking around on stations is cool but useless so they shoehorned in what basically amounts to "nobody talks on the phone in space" to justify it. Capital ships use the same technology but have no modeled interiors, so you sit on an external landing pad and watch your cool cruiser get into a fight from there, rather then, y'know, on the bridge.

Rebirth is really a bunch of cool mechanics buried under terrible interface limitations, but those mechanics seem to form the basis of the gameplay improvements in X4, utilizing station modularity in concert with a proper interface and freedom to plan them how you want. The walking around is better integrated with far more interior modeling for spacecraft, you can fly the new ships they put in, the boost drive is great for travelling but tedious to use in X:R so now it's a constant use thing, they reintroduced SETA as an addon to X:R but now it's back in as a baseline mechanic. The highways are another cool solution to realtime travel over long distances but the lack of an on-ship option made them quite annoyingly limiting especially when some sectors had them only going in one direction, so you had to loop back round if you missed your exit. They introduced AI managers to run your stations for you but you have to use them instead of setting up your own supply ships, and you also have to hire them personally by talking to people on stations which is very tedious.

All of the problems are not so much the systems introduced but the design around how they're employed and the interface. Everything in Rebirth I think would be cool if it wasn't shoehorned into necessity by a dev team who were, i think, really just trying to pad the game out a bit to hide the lack of real content.

Basically X:R seems like the intermediate step between getting the new engine going and making a feature complete X game out of it in the X3 tradition. Possibly the biggest change is the engine does this really nice "cities in space" kind of feel to stations, with them being truly massive things with lots of ambient little traffic buzzing around them. Massive change in style from X3's very sparse layout, in part facilitated by a much better pathfinding system for large and small ships. It looks gorgeous too and makes a great change from X3's rather limited visual appeal. Add some better design and mechanics to that and I think it should be a winner.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 19:33 on Sep 29, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Avorion's pretty good, and yeah it straight rips a lot from X, but I agree it doesn't quite scratch the itch. I'm reaaally hoping we get some solid video on some of the things I've seen snippets of in other videos, on monday. The current PR is a bit all over the place and a lot of it is in German.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Game releases November 30th 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUcXYxILnF8

quote:

X4: FOUNDATIONS, the long awaited sequel in the successful X series brings our most sophisticated universe SIMULATION ever. Manage an empire or EXPLORE space in first person. Fly every ship, TRADE and FIGHT to BUILD your empire with modular station construction and THINK carefully when embarking on an epic journey.

Freedom to personally fly all ships: X4 will allow you to fly all ships personally. From small scouts over a wide range of ship classes up to the biggest carrier, everything can be piloted from the cockpit or an external view. A big focus in the development of X4 has been to achieve a seamless and immersive experience when moving between ships. You can leave a ship, climb down a ladder, walk over the dock of a large space station into another ship you may have parked there and replace the pilot that was working for you just by clicking on his chair.

Modular stations and ship upgrades: Building space stations and factories has always been a foundation of the X games. After gaining enough money through fighting or trading, most players want to establish their own economy and start influencing the universe on a larger scale. In X4, it is now possible to be completely free and creative. Stations can be constructed from a variety of modules, be it production modules, living sections, docks or many other types of parts. The powerful new map system allows you to drag and connect modules using a connection system to design your own unique creations. Ships also offer a variety of upgrades. Engines, weapons and other equipment can be added in a graphical editor and actually seen on the ship.

Most dynamic X universe ever: X4 will be the first X game to allow our races and factions to freely build and expand their empires; the same flexibility the player enjoys in creatively designing space stations from modular building blocks is also available to them. Races expand their empire based on supply and demand, which leads to an extremely dynamic universe where every action the player makes can influence the course of the entire universe.

Managing your empire with a powerful map: Once you have more ships and many NPCs working for you as pilots, crew or station managers, the map will be your preferred method of managing it all. Ships can be ordered with simple clicks and through drag-and-drop operations to set their future path and commands. Graphically plan your trade routes, coordinate attacks with your entire fleet, manage the hierarchy or send ships on remote exploration missions.

Most detailed X economy ever: One of the key selling points of X games has always been the real, simulated economy. Wares produced by hundreds of stations and transported by thousands of ships are actually traded by NPCs and prices develop based on this simulated economy. This is the foundation of our living and breathing universe. Now with X4, we have taken another, massive step. For the first time in any X game, all parts of the NPC economy are manufactured from resources. Ships, weapons, upgrades, ammo and even stations. You name it. Everything comes out of the simulated economy.

Research and Teleportation: The seamless change from ship to ship and from NPCs controlling your empire for you continues on a higher level. Once you own a larger fleet, you will be very interested in researching a technology from your HQ: Teleportation. Once you've unlocked teleportation, you can jump from ship to ship a lot quicker and experience all the critical situations your NPCs encounter first hand. Every order you have given to a ship before turns into a mission objective when you pilot the ship yourself. The moment you leave again, your pilot takes the helm and continues with their previous orders.

Get into the game: In X4, you can start your journey from a number of different gamestarts and as a number of different characters, each with their own role, set of relations and different ships and technologies to start with. No matter how you start, you are always free to develop in any other direction. Focus on exploration, make money with illegal trading and theft, command large battle fleets or become the greatest entrepreneur ever. It's all up to you to decide.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 10:12 on Oct 1, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


There should be another, possibly more in depth video today too.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Aaand we have a gameplay information video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6s9sXjqCME

Those of you looking for more dynamism in factions might be getting something like what you asked for.

Also looks like they've gone back to the multiple plotlines just being around in the world.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 13:46 on Oct 1, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Yeah I mean I can't fault them for the amount of work they did on Rebirth post release and, honestly, I enjoyed Reunion for all it was a bit janky.

The station building interface looks unbelievably improved from X3 too so I can really see myself having fun with it even if it's buggy, so yeah, I think I might put some money at this early for an honest effort.

Look at all this crunch!

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 14:41 on Oct 1, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


IIRC OOS stuff was actually significantly improved in Rebirth. Helped by the fact that you generally use quite large and tough ships to do trading (exclusively so in Rebirth)

Plus the teleporter thing might allow you to respond to large conflicts.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.




Well that's a nice turnout for them.

Steam also has a nice picture of the encyclopedia, lots of stats! Lots of categories!



I have to say this might be the nicest, cleanest, most functional looking interface I've ever seen in in an X game. Full screen windows! Did you ever think you'd see such a thing?

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Eh while I'm not fond of their pre-release approach to Rebirth I also can't entirely fault them cos it's not like they're rolling in money. I'd probably do the same thing, cos yeah I'm amazed they're still in business given the work and time gap between X3 and X4. I don't really know how else they could have done it other than cashing in, somewhat unfairly, on brand appeal.

They did put a lot of post-release work into Rebirth and much of it for free, so I'm not left with the impression they're treating people shittily out of pure greed.

So yeah I'm entirely willing to buy this on release. Again helped by the fact that I did enjoy my time with Rebirth even if it's not a very good X game.

Orv posted:

I am a little put off to hear that some of the old school races are going to be full on expansion territory, like I guess no Split to start with? But yeah, it's not like I'm not going to buy it the moment I hear enough people say "Well it's not garbage..." so whatever.

Boron obviously present problems with physiology, no idea how they'd even translate over to the new system where NPCs are things other than 90's as hell CGI clips.

Split though yeah were in Rebirth so they're definitely possible, but they had very little content to go with them so it's not a big leap between making paranids and making a proper split faction.

I admit though I'm not sad because I really like the look of paranid ships.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 23:46 on Oct 1, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Siets posted:

Question: is this going to be a game where I can chill in my captain's quarters ala Picard and look out the window as I fly only to get paged to the bridge when we receive an incoming signal? I know this is kind of a dumb thing to want and its really not an actual gameplay loop or anything, but damnit if it isn't something I've wanted even more from a space flight sim than going from orbit to surface.

We don't really know, the whole ships having interiors thing is really quite new for X4, even from the previous game which introduced the technology.

It sounds like you can do a lot of management and sit and watch as your NPCs fly stuff around, but we won't know for sure. X3 involves a lot of management but you did it all through clunky menus from your cockpit, no interiors.

I too am hopeful though because yes I also enjoy that kind of feel in games. Best to wait and see on launch.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Rynoto posted:

If you never played X3 then the gameplay loop was: Start as single ship/small wing which you use to trade/fight/explore/salvage/etc. until you can afford to hire ships to do them with/for you. Repeat until you have a massive fleet and enough money to build stations to create your own products from said trading/mining/etc. Repeat until you have more stations, more fleets, and steadily became lord high baron over the galaxy.

So, if they add automated piloting to their walking in ships thing then you could probably just hang out and watch your empire go about its thing.

Yeah this. There's lots of managing to do but I don't know how they're going to implement it. The player HQ being a central thing is very nice because that came very late in X3, and it certainly seems like it fits with you having a home base to come back to and do your managing from.

Really the interior system would be great if it let you set up a bunch of terminals on different aspects of your empire and used the 3d space to let you move between them intuitively rather than having to page through menus. A good use of the tech. But we'll have to see what they do with it.

Even just being able to look out the window would be nice though rather than having to sit with SETA on and never joggle the mouse.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Orv posted:

However even the larger multicrew ships that they've shown are basically just corridors leading to each interaction - hangers, landing pads, cockpit, cargo - and there's not really any leisure room on even the huge ships. That might change of course.

Booo.

This was a problem in Rebirth too, there's nowhere for you to just sit and be while your ships do their thing. Much worse there of course cos you literally sat on the landing pad.

Still, hopefully your station at least gives you an office.

I suppose if all else fails you can go sit in one of your ships.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 00:37 on Oct 2, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


That would, actually, be a really neat feature for luxury craft, an office suite I forgot about M6 being used for that, I think I ended up in the paranid M7 which IIRC could dock a fighter.]

That's something I hope they change too, actually, the ship classes.

Because:

M1 - Carrier
M2 - Destroyer
M3 - Heavy Fighter
M4 - Interceptor
M5 - Scout
M6 - Corvette
M7 - Frigate
M8 - Bomber

Is an atrocity.

Obviously it's cos they kept having to add numbers on as they brought more ship classes in but hopefully they get a better system going forward.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 01:27 on Oct 2, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Yeah X games are definitely designed with M&K in mind, previously you could play them with joystick but it wasn't great because, as mentioned, the menus are a pain.

Supposedly they added better joystick support and Rebirth was playable with a joypad, I think, but yeah M&K is probably still best.

Bettik posted:

I'd forgotten all about this, but they actually did a live presentation in august '17 where they shared a bunch of live gameplay. The UI looks rougher than in the recent trailer but it shows stuff actually working more than a year ago. That's a bit encouraging:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeYbb0hf10U#t=512s
(the video should start right at the beginning of live playthrough stuff.

This is cool, not seen this.

But it does remind me of one of my other favorite Rebirth features which is the gravity well for capital ships, where if you get close to one, your ship takes on its frame of reference and moves with it, it makes it really cool to fly around them in motion, and that would be super cool with a smaller player ship or the space suit.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 12:30 on Oct 2, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


limaCAT posted:

Yes, this looks like exactly what I would like to play.

Can you supplant/substitute the existing empires in the X series? Or make them your puppets.

Not in previous games but it sounds like it might be possible to a larger degree in this one. No formal diplomatic interface but presumably you could blow up all their stuff and build your own.

Before you could blow up a sector but it wouldn't really change ownership, and you couldn't wipe out factions entirely, they'd eventually just spawn in ships. You might still have that if you try to entirely wipe someone out. Certainly economically you can build similar empires to the starting ones and field enough ships to fight them militarily.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Well Rebirth has a workshop so it'd be odd if X4 didn't.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Jesustheastronaut! posted:

My biggest thing as a noob in X3 were ships that I controlled remotely to scout and trade apparently would crash on gates or other ships and take tons of hull damage or get destroyed and then I'd have to spend 20 minutes afk repairing with my suit repair laser. The only way I'd be able to make money early game was harassing enemies until they ejected then take them over. Then it's another half hour of repair laser

E:spelling

They fixed that for Rebirth actually, ships don't kill themselves and have much better pathfinding in general.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Me too maybe.

I mean I'm gonna buy it anyway, I fully expect it to be a bit rough but it can't be worse than rebirth and I enjoyed rebirth so why not.

Even if it's pretty bad, rebirth got plenty of post-release support so I don't mind chucking them a few extra quid while I wait for it. Again they're basically the only people making this sort of game so I'm gonna be a bit more generous than I normally am.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


CBN_Shaggy posted:

Did they bring back ships with moving/rotating bits or is that still lost from X2?

This means everything.

The engines on some of the fighter craft do actually gimbal to give them extra roll authority, and the flight model will supposedly change depending on whether your ship can do this, with ships rolling into turns if they are faster that way.

Weapons also gimbal a bit and I think the degre to which they can is dependent on the weapon.

But no artificial G sections that I've seen so far. Probably because they just have magic space gravity.

Stations though, In Rebirth alone they had a lot of really cool animated sections for most of the modules, especially industrial ones, they look really cool in motion.

Hav posted:

Burn the witch

I'm definitely not going to say it's a good sequel to X3 but I liked it as a fun space story game with X themes.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 14:56 on Oct 5, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Yeah really, it'd be a real disappointment coming from X3 but, like, it's far from a bad game on its own merits.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


One nice thing about having multiple ships is not having to feel like a giant space pervert because I have big titty boob window catsuit sat next to me.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.




Paranid interiors look pretty dope. Capital ship bridge going by layout.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


limaCAT posted:

With all the systems they could have scrapped why didn't they scrap SETA?

They did, for Rebirth, people hated it, so they put it back in.

They've tried to add alternatives such as a high speed travel drive and the highway system but a lot of people really want SETA.

Personally my hope is we can set it and then get out of the chair and wander around. Least you've got something to look at then. Also that menus won't occasionally knock you out of it.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 13:22 on Oct 8, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


That's kinda what I want and it looks to be where they've put some effort, the ship/station UIs look miles better than anything in previous games.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Siets posted:

So I'm trying to understand the X games and their mechanism of travel and exploration. Sounds like X1-X3 used jump gates that took you to big system bubbles (not unlike EVE Online) that took some time to fly around and explore in. Then in X: Rebirth, they did some weird highway thing instead of the gates? What is the functional difference here?

For me, gates between systems always made the game universe feel small. EVE Online feels extremely small to me since you can gate between systems in seconds and similarly warp around anywhere you want inside the system in seconds. I like space games that feel bigger, even if it means taking minutes at a time to get between locations and objectives. Any chance X4 is going to lean in the latter direction?

X1-3 used jump gates yes and each system was a largely empty void with gates at the edges, populated by some stations, a skybox, and traffic travelling through the gate network. Systems on busy trade routes were populated, systems on the edges far less so.

X Rebirth used a quite complex system. Jumpgates jumped you between star systems but there were only 4 at launch. Instead, each system had highways which basically boosted you around. Superhighways generally moved you noticeably closer or further away from the star or around massive system features such as Albion which was dominated by a giant fractured planet. Normal highways you could get on and leave at any time and basically allowed you movement around the "system" equivalent from X1-3, which were renamed zones.

X4 keeps that hierarchy of systems > superhighways > zones but the highways are much more consistent, in Rebirth they were deliberately one way in many places which made navigation tedious because you relied on them to quickly navigate through space. Now they're supposedly more two way and usefully located, and your ship in addition has a high speed mode you can use to travel fast on your own, so highways form the hub of zones but not necessarily everything needs to be around them to be accessible easily.

We also had SETA, which is basically time speed up, so in X3 you would drop SETA on and the world went at 10x speed so you could get places easier. X Rebirth dropped that, so navigating was very time consuming.

In 4 they've supposedly improved highway utility, given a proper speed boost to ships wanting to travel in a straight line for a while, put SETA back in, and given us a teleporter so we personally can jump around the place even if our ships can't. It should hopefully be an improvement on X3.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 19:57 on Oct 8, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


I personally really liked the Rebirth structure, it was super cool to enter the jumpgate to devries and come in at the edge of the system, then enter the superhighway which catapults you winding through space into the corona of the sun, then you can get the other one right out to the far reaches of the system in the shadow of one of the planets.

Gave you a real sense of place and all the system had super cool themes.

The problems were really just that there were few systems and navigating them was actively annoying if you just wanted to go somewhere. But that's all to do with layout and options, not the actual concepts which were, in some ways, very similar to the trans orbital accelerators used in X3AP.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


It's worth noting that the eastern edge of the map in X3 did get really weird with jump gate connections and there were a few that went massive distances and connected back to other areas, but yes for the most part the western edge was a straight grid (that being the oldest part, inheriting from older games)

And let's not get started with the nonsense you could pull with the gate hub. One of the plots gave you control of an ancient gigantic space station with like six gates in it, which you could connect between any other gates on the network, basically allowing you to superposition the hub sector between any three pairs of sectors on the map.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


They're very specifically not doing that though, Rebirth and the engine rewrite and the mechanics in it are clearly serving as the foundation for, uh, foundations. A lot of the stuff you can see in the trailers is using mechanics and tech developed for Rebirth, and they've said as much in interviews. The station editor for example is using the station tech present in Rebirth, just with more customizability and a much better UI.

If X3 needed anything it wasn't better graphics, the UI was woefully inadequate for the kind of things you wanted to do in the game and I'm glad they took it to bits and seem to have made some big improvements to it in X4.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 20:20 on Oct 8, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


I always used to like setting up in that little cluster of 3 unknown/uninhabited sectors in the southeast corner. Really liked having my own space. Dump a load of lasertowers on the gate and have fun.

Really hope there'll be spaces like that in X4.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Hav posted:

The first release of the game had all the 'big' screens come up between you and boob window, and it was atrocious. First thing they did was decouple the screens from the 'immersion' of having a big screen TV between you and the co-pilot.

Between that and the two different radials for abilities and 'stuff', and it's fairly obvious how it was going.

All of the old UI is still in place, but radials don't really work in this context (as well as say, Spider-mans gadget radial). I don't know if I have a mod in place, or they revived the 'sidebar', but the beauty of that thing was you could nail the menu navigation to 'enter-7-1' to hit a specific menu. Or use a POV hat.

It's really amazing how they made the UI worse, but it seems to have stabilized a _lot_ since release. Some of it is still janky as all hell, but it has a weird charm.

I like the scale shift towards the bigger items, and the highways _work_ (although nobody could fixing the music sample in highways?), so I'm very hopeful for Foundations.

They did, I think, put the sidebar back in. I still don't particularly like it though and the whole thing is just sluggish to control.

The X4 stuff looks much more like X3 but just... better, and fullscreen too which is a godsend.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


If they're keeping the artifact stuff from X3 Rebirth then chances are you can find some super rare engines and poo poo for your personal small ship, which make it more competitive than other ships, so it should allow you personally more fiat in what to fly. Especially if you can just dock everything on your capital ship and take it off again when you want to do something in the area you're in.

The docking stuff makes it seem more like larger ships serve as bases for smaller ships which is a nice way to do it.

Also I gather that stations can be refitted to different production runs, so that should definitely help with the station founding part of the game.

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


As far as I'm aware there are no public beta testers. I don't think egosoft has ever run open betas.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 02:04 on Oct 11, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


It was when they stopped using the same engine (and most of the content) they'd used for their past three games (all titled X3:something) and seemingly decided to restart from scratch, necessitating the recreation of basically all their assets and technology. Because X3 was showing its age and still doesn't do a lot of things very well, it just does them when nobody else does them at all, for the most part.

This however took a very long time and a lot of work and I suspect they knew they couldn't do it all at once, so instead they released X Rebirth which, in a major departure from X3, has an extremely different focus being much more narrative driven. Now, X games do have narratives but the last two games had the narrative be entirely optional, just picked up as a questline in the world but not something you're really tied into, it was a plot within a sandbox, not the other way around. X Rebirth is the other way around, the plot is necessary to unlock the sandbox elements. This perhaps bears more relation to X3 Reunion and possibly X Beyond The Frontier, the first game they made in the series, which also had only one ship, but that was a long time ago and I've never played it.

If you liked the later X3 games and wanted more then Rebirth would not have filled that role. It clearly had much of the technical foundation for the systems being displayed much more appealingly in the X4 trailers, station building for example being much better simulated but far less customizable in Rebirth than in X3, while X4 seemingly adds the necessary interfaces and versatility to the underlying simulation to faciltate X3-like custom construction, but infinitely better visualized and simulated than it could ever have been in X3, which was notoriously fiddly and clunky if you wanted to build large space station complexes.

The main issues I would identify with Rebirth was that it traded on the X name which is probably not a very good practice from X3, because people will reasonably expect more of a similarity between the two and I don't think the difference was very well communicated before launch. Also Rebirth was very buggy on launch but this is not actually unusual for X games, they all are, even the ones that were iterations on basically the previous game with extra stuff bolted on. They do, however, invariably receive good support afterwards and this is no different for Rebirth, it got a huge number of patches and (some free) expansions which I think would probably make it a quite good space story shooty X-flavoured byproduct game. I enjoyed my run through it though I don't want to play it again because it is quite narratively driven and the strength of X gameplay was never in its basic combat mechanics, it always relied fairly heavily on the empire progression to give you the impetus, and that isn't super enjoyable in Rebirth.

Either way this appears to have very much soured a lot of people's view of the game, possibly because a not insigificant number may have joined the series midway through TC/AP which were the later stages of X3 development and less buggy/more content packed than the earlier offerings. So to end up seemingly back at square one for no reason is an understandably unpleasant experience.

Rebirth was and is a very significant step forward technically for the X series, but the gameplay built on top of those technical features was not really comparable with the previous installment either tonally or quantitatively. There's less of it and it's not leaning on the same things that X3 does.

X4 is clearly built on that technical foundation just by looking at it and how some of the interfaces are set up, but they appear to have leaned in quite heavily to expanding the gameplay in more of an X3-ish way. I'm hopeful that it does well enough to see more content because content is really the thing that X3 had that the new engine games simply can't replicate, because it just requires time, and games art especially takes a lot of time nowadays.

Honestly I think some of the vitriol is excessive and a lot of people didn't like their first impression with the game and so wrote it off without really looking at it. Which is fair enough, but I don't think it leads to an accurate impression or understanding of what the game actually was, what was actually in there, because there really was a bunch of good technical changes that would have been incredible to have in X3, but which were part and parcel of the engine rewrite.

The changes shown from Rebirth to X4 are all, I think, very much in the right direction even coming from X3. Complex building looks better than I could ever have hoped for in an X game and the interface generally looks vastly improved. The game (and this was present in rebirth too) has a much better sense of scale and environment than X3 does because it can actually do dense areas as well as big open empty space, creating both a very nice visual effect and great contrast too. Given how much of your time in X3 was spent staring at menus, I think the visual and scale changes really help to enhance that because just looking at the stuff you built is a kind of important thing for the game to make fun, cos you're gonna be doing it a lot. I also very much liked the later additions to Rebirth in the form of finding rare poo poo in space you can't just buy. It makes exploring actually different and interesting and gives you rewards you can't get otherwise.

The reason I stopped playing X3 is because while it's the only thing that does what it does, as I said earlier, it doesn't actually do a lot of it very well. Building stations involves manually setting their X/Y location using orthographic views which makes even just locating a station somewhere specific, extremely difficult. There is a loving art to making passable looking complexes and it's all down to knowing the idiosycracies of the way they're connected and being able to master the absolutely terrible interface for doing it. I'm hopeful for a game that takes the things I liked doing in X3 and makes doing them, not an utter loving chore.

OwlFancier fucked around with this message at 18:43 on Oct 12, 2018

OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


Nnnno that's actually the default nose art afaik. Though you may have found a mod that makes it a bigger titty skunk furry.

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OwlFancier
Aug 22, 2013

It is a powerful visual metaphor for my posting.


The default art kind of fits with it being some clapped out old shitbox you literally find drifting at the start of the game. It's basically a cartoon skunk crossed with an old bomber pin up and fits with the really worn out hull texture.

I'm sure someone's made a version with half a dozen extra tits and a giant dong though because it's not a videogame if someone hasn't done that.

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