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Newbie to the X games, have questions

Posted: Fri, 29. Sep 17, 22:34
by Paulspace
Hello, I am a huge space game fan I have been playing them for years (sadly until recently I was on console only, so X games are new to me)

I see lots of your X games on steam and I am going to buy one but which one, I do not know!?!? (I would normally just buy the latest one, but that is not always the best I think, so I'll ask you guys, the people who have played most or all of them)

What X space game would you recommend a X-virgin buys?

Thank you for your help on this, I can't wait to buy one and play.

Re: Newbie to the X games, have questions

Posted: Fri, 29. Sep 17, 22:45
by RAVEN.myst
Paulspace wrote:I would normally just buy the latest one, but that is not always the best I think
Spot on! In the case of the X games, simply going with the latest is not likely to be the best fit. Personally, if buying the collection (I forget what it's called) is a viable option for you, I'd recommend that, as you can then experience the extensive history of these games, as well as enjoying the development of the genre. You could then do quick run-throughs of the earlier ones (or perhaps not so quick, if you find yourself really enjoying them, as is likely with X2, in my opinion), and slow down with the ones that catch your attention the most.

If, however, you are limited in money or time terms, then I would suggest X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude (the latter includes the former, so it's good value) as a very adequate entry point (though you'll have skipped the more story-driven previous ones). X3TC offers the longest total "plots" (similar to campaigns/quests), while X3AP has shorter plots that take place after the events in X3TC, and brings some technical quality of life improvements, along with more ships and such.

Of course, this is all based on my own personal opinion/preferences...

Happy hunting! :)

Posted: Fri, 29. Sep 17, 22:58
by Timsup2nothin
Counter opinion...

The "latest" would be Rebirth, which even though it has X in the title isn't really part of the same series.

As far as the series is concerned, I would go with the latest (Terran Conflict with Albion Prelude expansion) and call it good. Instead of 'getting the backstory' by playing through the older games, I'd recommend just finding a good walkthrough/plot synopsis and read through it.

You don't need to directly experience the vast improvements in user interface by torturing yourself with the earlier versions...you can just take everyone else's word on it.

Posted: Sat, 30. Sep 17, 10:14
by pjknibbs
A "counter" opinion which is basically the same as the original opinion? That's a new one on me. :D

Anyway, I would recommend X3TC/X3AP as well (it's called the X3 Terran War Pack on Steam). Some people like Rebirth, don't get me wrong, but I'm not counted among their number, and even people who *do* like it admit it's a major change in direction for the series as a whole.

Posted: Sat, 30. Sep 17, 21:16
by Paulspace
Thank you to everyone who helped, I just bought X3:Albion Prelude on steam.

Downloading now and I'm going to watch some youtube tutorials, I don't have an expensive flightstick like some, so I will have to use my bog standard PC controller but hopefully it'll be ok.

Thanks again for your help

Posted: Sat, 30. Sep 17, 21:55
by RAVEN.myst
Paulspace wrote:Thank you to everyone who helped, I just bought X3:Albion Prelude on steam.

Downloading now and I'm going to watch some youtube tutorials, I don't have an expensive flightstick like some, so I will have to use my bog standard PC controller but hopefully it'll be ok.

Thanks again for your help
Heya :)
Don't worry about high-end joysticks/controllers - I used to have a pretty fancy one (which I found pretty much crucial for X2), but when the poor thing broke and I wasn't able to replace it, I discovered that X3TC/AP are great even with mouse+keyboard.

If (or 'when'?) you have any questions, you know where to find us :)
Happy hunting!

Posted: Sat, 30. Sep 17, 23:51
by Timsup2nothin
I played for years with mouse and keyboard. Then because another game just had to have a joystick I bought a cheap one. ($30) It lasted three years and I just bought another one ($34, inflation). I don't play the other game much at all anymore, but I got used to being able to steer while looking at menus.

Posted: Sun, 1. Oct 17, 02:58
by ajime
Timsup2nothin wrote:I played for years with mouse and keyboard. Then because another game just had to have a joystick I bought a cheap one. ($30) It lasted three years and I just bought another one ($34, inflation). I don't play the other game much at all anymore, but I got used to being able to steer while looking at menus.
ahh i never really though about multitasking it that way :lol:

Posted: Sun, 1. Oct 17, 03:40
by Timsup2nothin
ajime wrote:
Timsup2nothin wrote:I played for years with mouse and keyboard. Then because another game just had to have a joystick I bought a cheap one. ($30) It lasted three years and I just bought another one ($34, inflation). I don't play the other game much at all anymore, but I got used to being able to steer while looking at menus.
ahh i never really though about multitasking it that way :lol:
Those moments when you realize that the asteroid you are seeing above the CLS programming screen is the same asteroid that is showing below it become somewhat more manageable with a joystick.

Posted: Sun, 1. Oct 17, 05:47
by RAVEN.myst
Timsup2nothin wrote:
ajime wrote:
Timsup2nothin wrote:I played for years with mouse and keyboard. Then because another game just had to have a joystick I bought a cheap one. ($30) It lasted three years and I just bought another one ($34, inflation). I don't play the other game much at all anymore, but I got used to being able to steer while looking at menus.
ahh i never really though about multitasking it that way :lol:
Those moments when you realize that the asteroid you are seeing above the CLS programming screen is the same asteroid that is showing below it become somewhat more manageable with a joystick.
Bwahahahaah!
Yes, since the loss of my joystick (which I haven't replaced on the grounds that I am trying to emigrate, therefore accumulating more junk while spending money to do so would be counterproductive on two fronts), I have missed the ability to do that, as well as the ability to maneuver freely while placing a station. Also, full multi-axial attitude control makes dogfights a lot more visceral and "realistic"... (In X2 and X3R, both of which only have the archaic "classic" mouse mode, I don't even bother with ships smaller than a corvette, unless I have a 'stick.)

Posted: Sun, 1. Oct 17, 21:30
by TTD
I bought an Attack 3 jpystick, by Logitech. Still have it on my desk now after all these years. it was cheap, then, and should still be cheap, if they are to be found.

The one thing I enjoyed most about the joystick was the throttle control.
second was the programmable buttons :-)


Oh and welcome top X.

Posted: Mon, 2. Oct 17, 06:20
by Bill Huntington
Good to see 'TTD' on the screen. It's been a while.

Posted: Mon, 2. Oct 17, 10:23
by TTD
Yes I took a long siester after X Rebirth.
But lurking in the corners now :-)

Nice to see many old timers like me still here, though.
Even PJ does not look like he's retiring any time soon ;-)


But to the author of this thread....
I have never played such a good series of games that would keep me playing for so many years.

I think I will still be here in another 10 years, if all is well. :-)

Posted: Mon, 2. Oct 17, 15:32
by zazie
Timsup2nothin wrote: ... but I got used to being able to steer while looking at menus.
You can use this feature without a joystick. Just switch to "classic mode" of steering and use your mouse.
Priceless in
Timsup2nothin wrote:Those moments when you realize that the asteroid you are seeing above the CLS programming screen is the same asteroid that is showing below
:mrgreen:

@Paulspace: I am pretty sure that the steep learning curve of the X-games will make the start into this fascinating game difficult. Don't hesitate to contact us again - we all share the same experience.

Posted: Mon, 2. Oct 17, 16:50
by Honved
Either X3:TC or X3:AP are good, with a few positive and negative points for each. The one thing "missing" in AP would be the longer TC plots, but you can add those back into the newer version via a mod, provided that the "modded" tag isn't an issue for you (no Achievements in a modded game).

Just be aware that the learning "curve" is nearly a vertical wall for the first dozen or so hours, and that it's well worth investing the time to get past the difficult and not very well explained starting situations. Once you've got some playing time under your belt, you'll have multiple options in a given situation, rather than sit there helplessly "when" (not "if") something goes awry. A veteran player with practically nothing to work with will easily outperform a new player with everthing handed to him/her on a silver platter.

Bascially, you can initially either trade (buy and sell resources) or fight (accept Fight missions from stations), and other options will open up as you progress and acquire the proper equipment (such as building stations, mining minerals, ferrying passengers, or scanning asteroid mineral content for pay) - be aware that some offered missions may be difficult or impossible without certain equipment which you may not have. There are a number of plots: you don't need to do all of them, or any of them for that matter, but some open up other plots and some have "special rewards", so some of the game's more advanced options will be closed unless you eventually do certain plots.

"Fight" means having a combat ship with weapons and a shield generator, which your starting ship may or may not have (a single 1Mj shield is best described as a joke), and which may or may not be a real pain to acquire (finding an Impulse Ray Emitter in the vicinity of Argon Prime can be a nightmare for the unintiated if you don't pick them up before they sell out after the first few hours). "Speed is life", especially in the lighter fighters, and learning to "kite" to dodge fire is an essential (especially if used in conjunction with a "roll" to make a "corkscrew" evasive maneuver). Missiles are a significant part of play, but some are more expensive than the normal rewards for killing the opposing ships that you'd typically use them against, others are best used defensively against other missiles, and nearly useless against other ships.

"Trading" involves finding a station with an abundance of a finished product (the top bar is nearly full) and selling it to a station that uses it as a resource (that good is found in one of the lower bars, and is nearly empty). Stations sell but never buy the top (output) product, and buy but never sell the lower (resource) products (unless you own the station, of course), except for Trade Stations and Equipment Docks, which buy and sell specific types of items. Getting Trade Extension software on your ship will allow you to see prices without docking (including in other sectors where you have an asset located), and to trade remotely using other ships that you own. A more powerful scanner will allow you to locate stations more easily in sectors you visit.

Note that the long periods of travel between stations or sectors can be cut down considerably by using SETA (at 4x or higher settings), but eventually you'll most likely end up with enough remote assets that you'll want every second of that transit time to do all of the upkeep and task assignments for your growing empire. Eventually, when you've got 50+ ships doing remote trade (most of them autonomously), and several fleets of capital ships at your disposal, this game becomes a whole different animal than a simple space shooter.