[GUIDE] Fight. Trade. Build. Think. An Explanation of Each, God, and More in X.

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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Jon Tetrino
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[GUIDE] Fight. Trade. Build. Think. An Explanation of Each, God, and More in X.

Post by Jon Tetrino » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 16:01

I've seen a few topics ask about the whole 'Trade. Fight. Build. Think' side of the game. Mainly where the hell these things come into play.

This is basically an info-splurge for people who are wondering about it all.

Please note: I'm talking about X3 but this applies to X2 as well. I cannot say about X: BTF or XT because I have yet to find a copy of these games to play.


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Trade

Despite the fact that X3 is supposed to have a dynamic economy, it basically comes down to supply and demand. The more a station wants the more it will pay for that item.

Stations need certain ‘Primary’ wares to manufacture their products. They also sell wares that you can either use directly as a player early in the game (shields/weapons/upgrades such as the Mobile Drilling System for mobile mining) or other stations need as a Primary ware.

This is where the trading comes in, as you as a player can buy TS class ships for major-scale trading between stations of Primary or the ever profitable Secondary wares, or even just do the odd trade on your way to places.

Trading can be done in any ship you own, just don’t expect to lug around 300 units of cargo in your M5.

Trading is the key to making small bucks in X when you get started.


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Fight

Fighting is one of the key parts to X3, and is the most obvious thing you can do. When you are starting out then chances are you may want to capture some freighters to sell for rather big bucks as it stands (considering that a decent-hulled Argon Mercury Super-Freighter can net you a good 100k if its empty just from its hull – sold in a shipyard).

If you’re confident you can capture M3's for more. Of course they put up a fight.

Certain parts of X3 you can expect to be attacked in every time you make a visit. Namely Pirate Alley as well as the Xenon sectors etc.

Fighting is vital for the security of your empire as well. You need to defend your assets when you can, and if you've got a Khaak invasion happening then you really need to put up a fight - but only if your assets are around there to. Don't push your luck you know.

Locations to avoid if you’re not good at fighting or fast enough to get away:

Pirate Alley: The most dangerous space outside of a Khaak sector, avoid at all costs. Pirate Alley is community recognised as the three sectors south of the sector Ceo’s Doubt, and despite its danger it’s the quickest way to the Paranid sectors to the southern side of the map from anywhere east of the sector Hatikvah’s Faith without the use of a jump drive.... If you can survive it!

Xenon Sectors: I have had trouble surviving in these places, as chances are there is an entire enemy fleet waiting around the gate including several M1/M2 class ships and hundreds of fighters. If you find yourself in a Xenon sector, turn around and take a long route.

Khaak Sectors: You probably wont venture into these sectors until you are confident you can take on the rather powerful force on the other side… In order to get there you need to buy co-ordinates for the sectors and jump there with a jump drive.

Khaak sectors can tear apart even the M2 class ships. Be warned.

Trading funds fighting. More credits mean possibly bigger weapons/more shields.


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Build

Once you have made your money from trading/fighting you can build a station to start bringing in more cash. This is the second best way to make money other than UT's but they cost quite a bit of money to set up (a GPPC forge costs well over 17 million to set up) for wares to get the station running along with transports to buy said wares.

Then again, chances are you won’t want to set up the more expensive factories until you have more money under your belt and are considering outfitting a fleet.

So Fighting and trading leads onto building.

QUICK NOTE: You may struggle to find where to transfer wares from your station into your ship. To do this you must goto 'Station Parameters', select the ware you wish to transfer and transfer it in much the same way as transferring frieght from one ship to another.


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THINK

This is the most asked question of all. Where is the 'THINK' part of the X games?

Well, if we were to imagine a bowl. In this bowl there is the elements Trade, Fight and Build. They are mixed together and all relate to each other.

The bowl itself is made out of the element THINK. No matter what you do in X, you have to think about it.

When you start out, you need to think very hard about your first route to profit. If you choose the trading route you have to think hard about what is the most profitable trade you can partake in.

Then you need to consider what ship to get to help you continue trading, and eventually what TS to use for a UT and where to train it.

If you choose to fight, you have to think hard about what race to pick on to make money from the capping of their ships. Then you have to think hard about what weapons to buy for your ship and whether your ship can use them.

You also have to think about what ship to upgrade to, whether you’re fighting or trading.

When it comes to building, you have to think hard about the placement of your station in the universe. A Silicon mine in an Unknown Sector is all well and good, but if you can't get customers there then it’s worth nothing.

Also, when you build complexes you have to consider what stations need what, and how many stations you need. People who don't think tend to dump a single M crystal fab with an XL SPP and fail to see why it won’t produce.

They also build a station in a Khaak sector and wonder why they don't get customers.

You also have to think about what capital ships to buy and what you will use them for. A TL is great for shifting stations but not so good for destroyer duty (exception: Split Elephant). On the flip side, a destroyer is good for some things and not for others. You have to think about which destroyer you want for the job at hand (taking out a smeg load of fighters or going against multiple capital ships?).

Pretty much everything you do in X requires thinking, so I'm surprised why people as about this side of X.

X3. Trade. Fight. Build. THINK.




The Great Abbreviation Explanation

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TS: Transport Ship - The meat of the X economy. In X2 NPC traders were home based to the AI stations, but in X3 they are all running Trade MK3, which is the same software as used by the UT’s you can own. The AI are limited in that they get a lower maximum level of trade than UT’s can… see below.

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UT: Universe Trader, the best money earner you can have as a player. The basics of a UT are simple, but best summed up in This Guide.

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SPP: Solar Power Plant. Take these out the X universe is well and truly FUBAR’d. Every factory in the game needs Energy Cells (the product of a SPP) to run.

In X3, SPP’s are the only factories that have an Extra Large (XL) variant.

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M/L/XL Stations: You can buy different sizes of almost every station in the game. All but the Solar Power Plant and the Crystal Fab come in both M (Medium) and L (Large) versions.

Other than the apparet difference in price, L versions also produce mroe ware's per production cycle. Unfortunatly they also eat up more resources per cycle to, so it is much harder to get such a factory going smoothly.

However, no-one ever builds an M sized mine on an asteroid, as it is seen as a waste of the resources on said 'roid.

The only two stations that do not conform to the M/L rule are:

Solar Power Plants: These also come in an XL (Extra Large) varient, which is rather expensive and a resource hog but can supply the energy needed for many a sector.

Crystal Fabs: Crystals are the only resource required by a Player Owned SPP, but a Crystal Fab is the only type of station that only comes in a M varient. The lack of an L version confuses many players, as you need five M Crystal Fabs to keep a XL SPP running constantly.

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L/M/S Ships: When you trade with a shipyard, you will find that most ships come in an M, S and L varient. Many players when they first start off think these are Small, Medium and Large and that it effects the stats of the ships.

Actually, the only thing the different versions differ in is the equipment you get with it upon purchase.

If you by a S ship, you will get no weapons and only 1 x 1MJ shield installed with it.

If you buy a M ship, you will get around 3 x 5MJ shield, and 4 x a medium powered weapon that your ship can mount.

L ships come with maxxed out shields and 4 x the most powerful weapon mountable.

The best way to think about this is Stripped Down, Middle-of-the-line and Loaded.

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M5: Scout ship. In X2 you started off in one of these but in a standard plot game, X3 starts you out in an Argon Buster, which is an M4 interceptor.

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M4: Interceptor. In X2 this class was frequently looked over by players who would prefer to buy an M3 for their work than an M4. Anyone who did own an M4 either capped a Pirate Orinoco (which is not in X3) using their starter M5, or bought one out of collectors sake.

In X3, the M4 really does fit into its Interceptor role. It is fast, manoeuverable and powerful. In the right hands, an M4 in X3 can be just as if not more effective than an M3.

In the X3 standard Plot game, you start off with an M4 (Argon Buster).

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M3: Heavy Fighter, probably the most useful ship in the game outside of an M1, and the type of ship you will more than likely spend most time in.

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M6: When this class was first announced back before the release of X2, many people were scracthing their heads with the idea of something smaller and faster than a M5. As this would fit the current Ship Class spectrum.

Actually in reality an M6 is known as a Corvette. In X2 these were great mini-destroyers, of which there was always a rather heated battle in the X community of which was better - the Teladi Osprey, which was the X version of a Sherman Tank, or the Split Dragon, which was the fastest and the most powerful M6 in the game... if you could use it right.

In X3, the M6 has been knocked off its podium of a personal ship by the M3. As in X3, the M6 has lost many of the benefits it had in X2.

The shielding of an M6 is not so great anymore, they have lost the ability to dock an M5 class ship, and the class in general is slower.

Unfortunatly they are supposed to be treated like a larger version of an M3. All the weapons are at the front and few of them have turrets like they used to. Its silly to dogifght in an X3 M6, as they turn worse than an Argnu in a spacesuit, making them vunerable to pretty much everything.

Upside: they can mount powerful missles if you fancy taking out a sector from a distance.

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TL: Transport Large. If the TS is the meat of the X economy, this is certainly the veggie. These are designed specifically for the transport and building of stations. The AI TL's are usually delivering AI stations so if you can't find one wait and it will be back...

TL's are debatably the most useful ship in X alongside the M1.

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M1/M2: M1 Carriers are as mentioned above in hot contest for the most useful ship in the game. In these you can carry as much as 60 ships dependant on the race (some hold more some hold less). This means that you can go and cap thirty ships, fit them in your Carrier, and still have a rather large consortium of M3's...

M2 Destroyers are not as useful in X3 as in X2 due to the fact you cannot dock on them anymore. M2's always have better suited targets - the Split Python is better at anti-fighter attacks, for example, due to the ability to mount the rather kick ass Flak Artillery Array on all its turrets.

For those who don't know, four hits with a FLAK could rather seriously damage an M6... and fighters go in two hits at most...


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Who is God?
People may talk about 'God' in X3. Many people have asked what this is, and I think an explaination suits here.

God is the name given to the evolution of the previously known AL (Artificial Life) engine that was present in X2.

In X3, God determins what stations go missing as well as what stations are built. this both helps and hinders the economy.

By observation, it appears God removes AI factories that are not making a profit on what they sell. God also places factories where there is a demand for a product.

Unfortunatly God makes mistakes (other than allowing the Boron to leave their planet). Example: The Space Feul Distillery in Herrons Nebula has been known to be removed by the God engine, only to be replaced later on.

Also God has a nasty habit of removing stations your ships are docked at, making the safest places to dock your ships Trading Stations, Shipyards and Equipment Docks due to God leaving them alone.


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The Best Place
The best place for guides is definitely here. Everything is answered in one form or another.
Last edited by Jon Tetrino on Mon, 21. Aug 06, 15:20, edited 8 times in total.

Nyax
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Post by Nyax » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 17:36

If i may offer a little constructive critisism:

It seems like this would really only be of use to people new to X. For those who aren't they have no need to have these things explained.
However people new to X won't have a clue what you mean when you start talking about TS and M3 class ships, let alone Pirate ally, GPPCs and UTs.

So i'm not too sure who your target audience is.

Jon Tetrino
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Post by Jon Tetrino » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 18:26

Target audience is people who have played long enough to get the idea of M3's, UT's etc. Long enough to actually start to question where the think part of the game is.

Nyax
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Post by Nyax » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 18:57

Well technically you have to think to play doom... :)

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Post by pjknibbs » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 19:57

Not really. 99% of the time you just need fast reflexes and the ability to tell BIG BAD MONSTER apart from FLOOR, WALL and CEILING.

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Post by jlehtone » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 20:01

Can you separate 'Think' from 'Know'?

Know that when you finally can buy M2, you should already have gathered guns for it.

Know that the Tractor Beams will vanish from the game in no time.

Know that NPC stations differ from player stations (cf resources).

Know that NPC TL's are usually busy.

Know when to be out of sector (to prevent collisions).

Jon Tetrino
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Post by Jon Tetrino » Sat, 19. Aug 06, 22:01

jlehtone wrote:Can you separate 'Think' from 'Know'?

Know that when you finally can buy M2, you should already have gathered guns for it.

Know that the Tractor Beams will vanish from the game in no time.

Know that NPC stations differ from player stations (cf resources).

Know that NPC TL's are usually busy.

Know when to be out of sector (to prevent collisions).
Someone once said: 'To know is to think, to think is to know".

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apricotslice
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Post by apricotslice » Sun, 20. Aug 06, 10:35

Nice little read.

However, guides are normally read by newbies, or those wanting to find out things properly.

So UT and terms like this, will be confusing for them.

Expand the UT name, give the difference between ST and UT, and give a link to one of the other guides that explains the ships.

Its filling in a niche in the other guides, but it needs a bit more meat on it. And if you cross-reference it to existing guides that have more info, it will be usefull for those starting out.

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Post by Jon Tetrino » Sun, 20. Aug 06, 12:34

added :)

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apricotslice
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Post by apricotslice » Sun, 20. Aug 06, 12:48

I've added the thread onto the list for inclusion in the next version of the X3 Handbook, with your permission.

Its something the Handbook can start with early on. Since it ties directly into the box cover.

Its reading nicely. See if you can expand a bit in the early section. A few more details would be good.

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Post by Jon Tetrino » Sun, 20. Aug 06, 19:43

apricotslice wrote:I've added the thread onto the list for inclusion in the next version of the X3 Handbook, with your permission.

Its something the Handbook can start with early on. Since it ties directly into the box cover.

Its reading nicely. See if you can expand a bit in the early section. A few more details would be good.
I'm writing it up spellchecked and bigger as I speak :)

Jon Tetrino
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Post by Jon Tetrino » Sun, 20. Aug 06, 21:45

done, enjoy

Jon Tetrino
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Post by Jon Tetrino » Mon, 21. Aug 06, 14:03

Ok, masive update done, and the last for now. I have included:

An explaination about the God engine
Information about M/L/XL station sizes
Information on S/M/L ship varients
Information about all the major ship classes (ignoring TP for now).
A basic tidyup of the guide layout.

Have to thank Apricotslice for his help and advice in the making of this guide.

In return I will buy him Avarice.

TBV
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Post by TBV » Mon, 21. Aug 06, 14:29

Nice little guide.

Just a couple of points:

1. An M6 is the cheapest ship type that can carry a large number of
powerful missiles. Easily enough to lay waste to an entire sector.
But is vulnerable to fighters that have rear turrets.

2. GOD doesn't seem to remove Equipment Docks or Shipyards. So these
should be safe enough to dock your ships at.

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Post by Jon Tetrino » Mon, 21. Aug 06, 14:34

The Black Vegetable wrote:Nice little guide.

Just a couple of points:

1. An M6 is the cheapest ship type that can carry a large number of
powerful missiles. Easily enough to lay waste to an entire sector.
But is vulnerable to fighters that have rear turrets.

2. GOD doesn't seem to remove Equipment Docks or Shipyards. So these
should be safe enough to dock your ships at.
Added both points. :)

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