Assumption: all stations spawning without any trader ships?

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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Browser_ice
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Assumption: all stations spawning without any trader ships?

Post by Browser_ice » Sun, 23. Dec 18, 19:59

Somehow from all the X games (haven't noticed yet for X4) are using this general game concept:

Upon spawning, all stations have no trading ship assigned. They may have a trader NPC but no ships assigned. All trading ships are actually thought to be independant sector/universe traders.

Am I right in this assumption?

If yes, why ? Was it a concept choice because it would involved too much CPU to have stations with assigned trading ships?
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Alan Phipps
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Re: Assumption: all stations spawning without any trader ships?

Post by Alan Phipps » Sun, 23. Dec 18, 20:18

The change to as you describe was made between the X2 and X3 game designs. CBJ gives the reasons here. That was in 2009 though when game-engines, APIs, OSs, systems and processors were less powerful and sophisticated than those of today. <shrugs>
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SirNukes
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Re: Assumption: all stations spawning without any trader ships?

Post by SirNukes » Sun, 23. Dec 18, 20:48

Browser_ice wrote:
Sun, 23. Dec 18, 19:59
Am I right in this assumption?

If yes, why ? Was it a concept choice because it would involved too much CPU to have stations with assigned trading ships?
Dock traders will pick a particular dock to service for a while, occasionally switching, but otherwise it's a shared pool.

A shared pool of traders is more dynamic and easier to set up from a design standpoint, and allows the economy to somewhat function with fewer trade ships than otherwise. Eg. 1000 stations could run off of 400 traders, potentially. It also allows for specializing traders for flavor, such as having 200 "Energy" traders. And as Alan's link mentions, station owned traders will often just be idling; this was really bothersome in X Rebirth with player stations (with big trade ships, lack of docked idling, container specialization, etc.).

That said, the trading script isn't as good as it could be, and often leaves some stations unserviced for indefinite periods of time. For example, a PPC forge might be stuck on energy cells but buying at only 18 due to having some in stock (but not enough for a long production cycle), while other stations around it buy regularly at 19 and distract all the traders. This problem could be solved with per-station traders, but is probably better solved with a better trade script that either randomizes or prioritizes stations more fairly.

jlehtone
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Re: Assumption: all stations spawning without any trader ships?

Post by jlehtone » Sun, 23. Dec 18, 21:51

There was an another design change X2->X3 that probably plays a role: docking.

Up to X2 all stations had internal docking with effectively infinite bays (for small ships). X3 changed to external docking clamps, with typically 5 or 10 "bays" per station. There is simply no room for trade (and defensive) fleet sitting idle at home.
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