[X3AP] Earth Sector

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

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Le Boron Chétif
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[X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 01:31

Hello. It's the Boron again.

Upon completing the Breaking Grounds plot, I was full of hope that i'd gotten the ultimate sector to establish my headquarters and fleet. Not quite, as it turned out : my 'passive' fleet consists of ~100 capital ships, which the game can't handle without lagging (in Senators Badlands at least, which has quite a few asteroids and regular Yaki traffic). So, if I want to keep my fleet together, it looks like I should find an emptier sector.

Here is what I thought about : what if I was to settle in the emptiest, yet comfiest sector of all, i.e. Earth? I went for a recon and the first thing I noticed was how ugly the broken Torus was. So I had another idea... I pushed the exploration further and further, with the hope of bringing my M5 in sight of Europe (my usual Earth arrival sight being the Pacific Ocean, with Central America on the right), where I would drop a jump beacon, my headquarters and my defense fleet. Unfortunately, I never reached Europe - as soon as I exceeded 4,000km from the trans-orbital accelerator, the game crashed. That happened several times in a row, hence the following questions :

- Is there a limit in terms of how far one can get from a jump beacon/orbital accelerator (or just from the centre of a given sector)?
- Does Earth actually rotate (in which case I don't need to go look for Europe, it'll come to me in due time)? Visually, it doesn't seem so, but maybe it just takes a whole 24h.... :x
- Failing both of the above, what is the single quietest place in the universe to establish my core sector? It has to be free of stations and asteroids as much as possible, otherwise my lag issue will probably remain (I don't care for a local complex, happy to ship in whatever goods I need from the other end of the universe)
:boron: Blub?

SirNukes
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by SirNukes » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 03:55

Le Boron Chétif wrote:
Sat, 6. Oct 18, 01:31
Unfortunately, I never reached Europe - as soon as I exceeded 4,000km from the trans-orbital accelerator, the game crashed.
The game internally uses 2-mm distance units (500 per meter), and generally uses 32-bit signed numbers. That will roll over and cause all sorts of problems just shy of 4295 km (2^31 / 500), so it does indeed seem you reached the fundamental limit on how far you can fly out.

Timsup2nothin
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Timsup2nothin » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 07:16

The unknown sector off of Clarity's End. Has a few asteroids, but no one ever goes in there.
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Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 09:43

Thanks folks - so the limit is just over 4000km... got it. Re Clarity's End, I unfortunately already set a complex in it (and in all the other unknown sectors that contain asteroids).

To go back to one of my initial questions - most background planets appear to rotate, but not Earth. On my attempted journey around it, I noticed that I could get closer (to the point where Hawaii had become an enlarged yellow pixel under me), and later travelling eastward, it felt like I was able to see more of the Caribbeans. At some point it also seemed that the planet surface had turned to night time, all of a sudden (think that was shortly before the game crashed). Does anyone know if Earth is an actual dynamic 3D model? Has anyone seen another side of it than the Pacific? (It's just curiosity at this point, as I guess I can still settle all my stuff only 500km from the broken Torus and have a nice enough view).
:boron: Blub?

Hemmingfish
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Hemmingfish » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 12:54

I was curious myself, so I did some testing (in Terran Conflict, but I don't think it would have changed for AP)
The Earth itself is indeed a 3d model, which can be seen if you move it to be very close to the camera. I wanted to see if there was more to it than what was visible, so I moved it to the center and flew behind it. The Earth in X3TC has a radius of about 3000km, it turns out.
Large image, Earth from behind
That looks very similar to what was seen from the front. Not conclusive, though.
Large image, Earth from inside the atmosphere
The next thing I did was to check if it rotates. I moved the Earth very, very close to my ship and turned on SETA. There was no rotation.
Next I wanted to test something. Since the rotate object buttons didn't seem to work on the Earth, I flew along its surface very very quickly, and what I'd suspected was true. The texture on the Earth is always facing the camera no matter where you view it from.
Large image, flying along Earth

Also, the Earth has a night texture that's visible when there's no direct sunlight. I moved the sun around to the other side of the sector and got a pretty picture. You must have seen it when you crossed the wraparound point and caused the sun to change position.
Earth at night

Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 13:09

Woah, that's really interesting! So no matter how you look at it, you'll always get the Pacific view - my drunken eyes did betray me last night. Funny that Europe wasn't chosen as the default texture, considering it's a German game.

Now for a Noob question - how did you manipulate Earth and Sun placement? Is there a script for that?

I wouldn't mind having the night view permanently :)
:boron: Blub?

Hemmingfish
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Hemmingfish » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 13:15

I used the universe editor to do it because it's easier when you don't really know what you're looking for, but it probably wouldn't be too hard to do with a script. Making actual permanent changes to the game is beyond my expertise.

Also, here's a picture of the Earth moved as far away as possible, and then zoomed in with the view amplification goggles. I'm pretty sure that's the entire texture visible, or at least as much as is possible to see in-game without just ripping it.
Far Earth

DrSuperEvil
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by DrSuperEvil » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 18:48

If you fly far enough in one direction you get teleported to the other side of the sector. It is possible to fly away from earth far enough that you warp behind it and into the atmosphere.

Timsup2nothin
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Timsup2nothin » Sat, 6. Oct 18, 19:36

Le Boron Chétif wrote:
Sat, 6. Oct 18, 09:43
Re Clarity's End, I unfortunately already set a complex in it (and in all the other unknown sectors that contain asteroids).

If you aren't using it for anything else, the HUB can be used to stop traffic in pretty much any sector. Bala Gi's Joy has no asteroids. Line up the hub to the west gate and another pair to the south gate of Olmanketslots Treaty. It creates a short cut so no through traffic will choose that path. Blow up any NPC stations in BGJ that would attract traders and no one will ever bother you there. If you hook up the hub to BGJ west, Brennan's Triumph west, and Napilios Memorial east you can have that whole region of Pirate space to yourself.
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

pjknibbs
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by pjknibbs » Sun, 7. Oct 18, 06:10

Hemmingfish wrote:
Sat, 6. Oct 18, 12:54
I was curious myself, so I did some testing (in Terran Conflict, but I don't think it would have changed for AP)
I think the in-universe explanation for that is that the trans-orbital accelerator for Earth brings you out at a specific place on the ring station that encircles the planet in TC, and since that's in geostationary orbit, you always *would* see the same part of the surface from there. Not so sure in AP, though!

Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Sun, 7. Oct 18, 12:25

I was thinking about the geostationary orbit as the most logical explanation... Anyway, it's all done now. I set my HQ's 500 km away from the Not-So-Aeternal Torus so it's only a minimal nuisance, changed the Earth sector music (picked my old time favourite from back in X2), and brought my collector fleet as well as a bunch of docks to 'decorate'. Here are a few screenshots from a humble Argon merchant who's back home at last :)

https://ibb.co/fd1Yw9
https://ibb.co/kVHFb9
https://ibb.co/g5Fwip

Thanks everyone for the valuable tips!
:boron: Blub?

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ubuntufreakdragon
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by ubuntufreakdragon » Wed, 10. Oct 18, 11:43

I guess the lore cause for the odd way earth is implemented is:
If the torus is in exact equatorial geostationary orbit it could be supplied by spaceelevators, so egosoft made the hole sector geostationary.
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Sovereign01
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by Sovereign01 » Sat, 13. Oct 18, 04:12

ubuntufreakdragon wrote:
Wed, 10. Oct 18, 11:43
I guess the lore cause for the odd way earth is implemented is:
If the torus is in exact equatorial geostationary orbit it could be supplied by spaceelevators, so egosoft made the hole sector geostationary.
The Atmospheric Lifter does that too, the description says it's used to transport supplies from the surface to orbital and extra-orbital facilities.
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radcapricorn
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Re: [X3AP] Earth Sector

Post by radcapricorn » Sat, 13. Oct 18, 04:24

Sovereign01 wrote:
Sat, 13. Oct 18, 04:12
The Atmospheric Lifter does that too, the description says it's used to transport supplies from the surface to orbital and extra-orbital facilities.
Makes sense. Something then-Mammoth-like did lift you up and down in X2's cutscenes.

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