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[X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Mon, 31. Aug 20, 11:28
by Lotharian
I plan to set up my first complex (self-sufficient, powered by one SPP XL) in the "usual spot":
Unknown Sector east of Legend's Home.
Lots of questions:

- Is each complex "racial", or can you connect Argon stations with Paranid for example?
- For the Complex Hub, I believe I can toggle each item to either allow or disallow NPC trade? But if I produce surplus of needed items (ecells for example) is there any way I can allow only the actual surplus to be sold? Or to safely sell surplus do I have to find other options like CAGs?
- When connected to the hub, will my stations (ore mines for example) stop producing if they run out of space for the product (i.e. ore)?
- Will NPCs come to this unknown sector to buy goods, namely 25 MJ & 2 GJ shields, PACs and PPCs?
- Is the listed SPP XL production of 92595.35 ecell/hr (from consistent with a "100%" solar output system? So then in a 150% system (which they say is +1/9th speed) it would produce ~102884 ecell / hr?
- Is there a "sensible" limit to the number of stations I would want to link into a complex in a single Unknown Sector? Right now I'm planning around 27 Paranid stations including (and running off of) a single SPP XL. My CPU is a quad-core i5-4590, RAM is 8GB DDR3.
- What should I expect for enemy opposition in this sector? Will this opposition increase if my fight rank goes up (currently I'm still "Harmless.")
- How far would you put the Hub from the gate?
- Should I really cram all of the stations into like a minimal-radius sphere or cube with no space in between, to increase defensibility?
- Should I really put them so close that not even 1 combat ship could fit between them? (I think I've seen that mentioned...)
- Any tips for physically placing / positioning / rotating stations to avoid destroying things? (other than constantly saving the game.)
- I've seen different advice for guarding a complex, planning around OOS combat dynamics. I like the idea of a big fleet of Solanos with PACs. Should I link sets of Solanos to a central M6 like a Springblossom? Would I then tell the Springblossom "Defend Sector" (or should I use "Attack All Enemies"?), and its Solanos to "follow Springblossom"? Or, should I only run the Solanos, and if so how should I command them? I'm worried if the leader dies the followers will just sit there. I never did any kind of "wings" and barely any combat so far.
- Should I be worried about my defense fleet killing, for instance, the red Duke's transports and me getting in trouble for that?
- Should I also deploy some Solanos in the adjacent sector to increase the safety of my complex system? If so what orders should I give them to protect my sector while avoiding getting in trouble with the controlling race?

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Mon, 31. Aug 20, 13:37
by jlehtone
- Not "racial". You can connect all together. (Except the Docks/HQ, which cannot join any complex.)

- A Station has resources (must be bought) and product (will be sold). Intermediate in a complex is product of one member station and resource for another.
Overall, letting NPC trade with you is bad for profitss (but illegals are safer for them to haul away). Otherwise, I do recommend CAG. That gives you control.

- The stock size of a ware in Complex is the sum of stock sizes of the connected stations. Yes, a station will not start a production cycle before there is space for the product.

- NPC Free Traders seek offers from with 9 (?) jumps of their current location. Therefore, if they are in the neighbourhood and the offer is better than competition's, they do come. How often/many Weapon Traders are in the neighbourhood? Hard to tell. A trained CAG can sell to all Docks in the Galaxy.

- "Sensible" is subjective. I did put 1000+ stations in one sector in X3R, but practically never visited the place after making the last connection. With lesser CPU and GPU.

- Random measly Pirates are the most likely threat there.

- I would build the Mines, tow them to neat array, and place the final Hub quite close to the Gate.

- Numpad 5 snaps on object. (Stations connected to Complex are not "objects" for it.) Snap to existing station, then translate 2-4 km, and build. No rotation. Building "compact" has meaning only in sector and is more laborious to build, although wide-spanning Complex is large OOS too.

- OOS is heaviest guns that you can get. No ammo-based weapons. Couple Springblossoms. One leader. Other with command "Attack target of [leader]" or "Attack nearest [to leader]".
Whether leader runs "Defend position" or just "Standby" is up to you. If Pirate fighters attack your Complex, you should have enough time to command the leader to explicitly attack those Pirates.

- Each of your ships has "Friend/Foe" settings. I don't recall Duke as separate faction though. Most important/confusing point there is "Show as enemy if enemy to me". It is on by default. When on, anyone hating the ship is a Foe. When off, they are not.

This has pros and cons. If I tell ship that Xenon are the only Foe and untoggle the "Show as ...", then ship will not count Pirate as enemy. Not until that angry Pirate shoots at the ship. If the ship survives initially, it will set Pirates a foe and return fire.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Fri, 4. Sep 20, 01:55
by Lotharian
Thanks. I figured out most of the rest. Ended up needing more mines to be self-sufficient -- actually had to use all 4 known silicon asteroids in the sector to feed the 3 crystal fab L. 30 stations in all. Should make a surplus of 1191 ecells, 21 silicon wafer, 230 crystals and 150 ore per hour, in addition to the 10 shield and weapon plants. Nice! Just hope it doesn't get wrecked.

Actually the hardest part was trying to outfit Springblossoms with prototype SSCs. At one point I had like 9 ships running around Aldrin trying to supply the weapon plants. And the worst part is, remote traders seem unable to use the intra-system gates even with explorer software and telling it literally to fly into gate. It can't...

One weapon plant seemed totally dead, choked on supply and nothing produced for a long time, but eventually it started up again. At this point I'm just dedicating four automated Mk3 Mistral to trade in Aldrin (I am so tired of it, after so many hours of manual trading in Aldrin) and keeping a ship at each of those plants to buy all the PSSC I can.

Still stumped on the correct defense posture for the complex. Right now I have one group defending position at the gate, another group on Attack All Enemies. The AAE group seems to sit still when I'm OOS, and randomly roams around when in-system. I'm worried they'll be too far out of position to actually defend, or die from hitting something if I come in. I think before I jump into that sector again I'll first have to stop them. I've read that defend station doesn't work. So while it's cool to have a complex, I'm dismayed at the barebones options in terms of laying it out, and in properly defending it.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Fri, 4. Sep 20, 08:49
by AleksMain
True self - sufficient complex doesn't need ships for supply purposes of its factories.
X3_Complex_Construction_Guide wrote:The Complex Construction Kit enables the player to link player owned stations together eliminating the need for ships to ferry wares between stations. A well planned complex can produce final products using only Energy Cells as an input or even be completely self sustaining producing wares for free.
Complex Construction Kits can only easily link stations that are closer than 20km away and asteroids are often scattered throughout the sector making mines vulnerable to attack and travel times unreasonable. Once a mine (only use Large mines) is built on an asteroid, the player can move the mine using a Tractor Beam.
AleksMain wrote:
Thu, 27. Apr 17, 19:00
I had created some spreadsheets long ago for my own complexes, but now I don't need them.

It is easy:

(1 Silicon Mine L (25 Yield)=> 1 Crystal Fab L <=1 Cahoona Bakery L<= 1 Cattle Ranch L)<=> 1 Solar Power Plant L

(SSC chain is above)

1 XL = 2 L = 5 M = 10 S

See ... tion+Guide
AleksMain wrote:
Tue, 19. Jul 16, 16:56
spankahontis wrote: ...
Which lead to building fully self sustaining complexes that provided all the wares you wanted in a continuous loop.
Fun to build but immersion breaking to f**k, asteroids that never run out of resources, it was ridiculous and try building these complexes in areas with allot of micro-asteroids like Elaine's Fortune or Greater Pride and you get chaos with the placeholder.
I had built such complex in Elena's Fortune.

I can post screenshots:

Below you can see Products and some intermediate products of complex
As you see above complex has 1,160,000 Energy cells capacity and some of Solar Power Plants are idle, since it produce more than necessary Energy Cells. I can use products any time to refuel my ships or to equip my Cobra with missiles (it is one of the SSC complexes)

Below is Sector view with complex. It is far from each gates and any Pirate (see screenshot) will not see it in his scanner.

I had moved ALL Silicon Asteroids with yield 25+ and added to my complex.

I never build complexes near gates or factories.

Complex in Elena's Fortune had not been attacked even once, although Pirates are always enemies for me.

Since almost every mission give me new capital ships, boarded by my own marines, then I use Mammoths to store weapons and shields of boarded ships. Sometimes I sell it in Equipment Dock (can be used HQ in Home of Light too) without any limits.
Some weapons (PPC) produced and produce my first SSC.
I have dozens of battle capital ships, but use them for my missions only.
As you see my complex doesn't need any guards, although enemy ships are present.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Sat, 5. Sep 20, 12:36
by Lotharian
I guess if you have a jump beacon that could be good? Otherwise I'm just trying being somewhat near the gate, with guards. Right now I'm trying 2 groups, each led by 1 Springblossom (8 prototype SSC + 6 EEMPC on turrets) and 4 Solano (6xPAC) for support.

Noticed something really weird... there's two 1-gate unknown sectors with ALMOST identical yielding asteroids for both ore and silicon. (Or maybe totally identical and I just didn't find one of the silicon asteroids.) What is up with that?? I had to keep checking that I wasn't looking at the wrong sector but no, it's real! They are:
The sector west of Clarity's End, and east of Legend's Home
Almost completely identical asteroid yields - that can't just be random chance?? What happened there exactly? One of them isn't even listed on, but yes it exists.

I'm planning my 2nd complex in the "copy" sector. Also realized I did the math wrong on the first complex, but another 30 stations will fix everything! :mrgreen: Planning on 2x SPP XL in each sector, around 60 stations in each. New one should be nearly-self-sufficient, with only very occasional transfer of crystals between them. Unless of course I find that missing silicon asteroid!

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Sat, 5. Sep 20, 13:44
by AleksMain
Lotharian wrote:
Sat, 5. Sep 20, 12:36
I guess if you have a jump beacon that could be good? Otherwise I'm just trying being somewhat near the gate, with guards.
Actually I have implemented another solution for it:
AleksMain wrote:
Tue, 16. May 17, 18:38
Since these complexes don't require sellers and buyers, then they are far from gates and NPC stations.

From time to time I can fill TS+ Mistral by Energy cells (there is reserve more than 1 million Energy Cells always in each of the complexes) or Missiles in one of the complexes for my own needs and order them to jump and fly to any station or ship in the any sector.
Here are some details about Mistral:
15000 Cargo
78m/s Max speed

This message is reply.
Please, see original message (of @Lotharian) for further discussions in this thread.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Sun, 6. Sep 20, 00:15
by Lotharian
Yeah, I use some Mistral Super Freighter for large hauling tasks. Still sucks to send them a long distance though.

Anyone know about the "almost identical" asteroid thing for these 2 sectors? I read one of them was added in AP? Seems like Egosoft copied the yields from the other one for the new sector, and added another good silicon asteroid to boost it? I flew around but was not able to find the "missing" silicon asteroid.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Sun, 6. Sep 20, 09:52
by jlehtone
Roguey's map shows asteroid locations.
Both Unknowns are new to X3AP; not in X3TC (according to Roguey, who who reads data from game files, IIRC.)

Asteroids can get blown to rocks (stray shots/missiles in in-sector fight). They do respawn eventually, but there are also the rocks to deal with.

One Silicon 'roid in Barren Shores was shot in my game -- during Assassination, IIRC -- and I really did want to Mine it. I had Miner ships clearing out all the rocks while I waited the 'roid to respawn. Took several ingame days, IIRC.
I have plenty of rocks in Scale Plate Green, Black Hole Sun, Getsu Fune, etc from same 'roids having been blown up more than once. Many fights. Should clean up, but those areas are a bit hot for miners.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Sun, 6. Sep 20, 19:58
by Lotharian
Thanks, now I don't have to lie awake at night wondering about that missing silicon asteroid, lol. (I actually dreamt about X3 complexes all night though :mrgreen: )

They are identical otherwise though. And you say they were both added in AP. Did Egosoft decide this would be "the right set of asteroids" for unknown sector complexes?? I mean seriously!

Unknown Sector A: Silicon 26 26 15 7, Ore 30 25 17 13 8 5 5 1
Unknown Sector B: Silicon 26 26 --- 7, Ore 30 25 17 13 8 5 5 1

Seeing them like that, kinda drives me crazy that that silicon 15 is missing!!

Other thoughts after building a couple complexes:
- A 63 station complex (with long pipes) & a dozen ships causes noticeable frame drop on my i5-4590 & GTX 1050 Ti, but it's moderate. And that's about the number of Large stations you can do before exceeding self-sufficiency, for asteroid sets like above.
- I REALLY hate the interface for placing stations. Is there no way to stop the sector window from blocking off 90% of the screen as I'm placing? Why couldn't we just get a 3rd person camera tracking the new station as we place it??
- F3 on an existing station (one that's NOT yet added to a complex) sets the camera on it, and this definitely looks like the best option for safe, neat placement. My subsequent complexes will use this method and thus won't be a rats nest like the first 2. I'll have to place the stations like this first, before using any complex kits.

Sad news:
- Major error in calculation. I marked the silicon wafers / cycle as 10, based on the websites. But I just found out my yield times are actually for a 5 wafer production cycle, since they are lower yield asteroids... as a result, my Argon plant is now starved for silicon wafers, not even close to self-sustaining. This really sucks. :oops:

Luckily I didn't expand the original complex yet to also outstrip its silicon yield by 2x. So I can probably keep that complex self-sustaining. As for the other, I guess I can generate a surplus of silicon wafers somewhere, and just transfer. But the deficit is 473 wafers or 8514 cargo units per hour. Even a full Mistral Super Freighter couldn't transfer 2 hours worth of that wafer deficit. BLECH.

I've just set it to Buy intermediate products, set silicon wafers high, and all the others at lowest price. Maybe traders will help me. Honestly I kinda want to just start over completely.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Sun, 13. Sep 20, 20:57
by Allan F

You can make big complexes, and ship in silicon and ore from all over the universe. If you want to start over, you can self-destruct the complex. That will unlink all stations, and you can then self-destruct the stations you don't want, and reconnect the rest.

Better option will be to just turn off production for those stations who are starved.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Mon, 14. Sep 20, 13:09
by jlehtone
Lotharian wrote:
Sun, 6. Sep 20, 19:58
- I REALLY hate the interface for placing stations. Is there no way to stop the sector window from blocking off 90% of the screen as I'm placing? Why couldn't we just get a 3rd person camera tracking the new station as we place it??

As for the other, I guess I can generate a surplus of silicon wafers somewhere, and just transfer. But the deficit is 473 wafers or 8514 cargo units per hour. Even a full Mistral Super Freighter couldn't transfer 2 hours worth of that wafer deficit. BLECH.
Do you have Advanced Satellite in the system? When you do, (EDIT: and press 'k') silhouettes of stations (and ghost of the new) are shown on the map.

What do you need Wafers for? If for making energy, then it is better to refine the Silicon into Crystals. Crystals are much more compact to haul.

Like Allan says, you can turn off production of individual stations in the complex. Then they serve as mere extra storage.

Re: [X3:AP] Questions about Complexes

Posted: Tue, 15. Sep 20, 05:14
by Allan F
To get a better view of the placement, deploy an Advanced Satellite in sector - anywhere in the sector - and when you deploy your station, press "k" to see the overlay on the map, and zoom in and out with pgup/down and center on a item with "5" on the numpad.