Looking for beautiful sectors to put my HQ in

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Looking for beautiful sectors to put my HQ in

Post by fireanddream » Thu, 21. Dec 17, 17:11

Looking for stuff like:

huge bright planet(s), fancy nebula, good amount of NPC traffic

Not looking for:

asteroids, small rocks, dead end sectors

Xenon sectors are open for consideration.

In previous playthroughs I've settled in:

Split fire - in my opinion best scene ever from the north gate, though asteroids were annoying me. Did put ore mines on them and have them self destruct but the debris took forever to clean up... In fact I don't think they ever did.

Sanctity of corruption - nice planet + nebula view from the east gate.

Xenon sector 347 - taught me there's no win against the Xenon but at least it did successfully offer me a long term goal, which is why I might just settle in another Xenon sector this time.

Light of Hope - sounds good, doesn't work. Great unique view but the asteroids and creepy music blew it.

I've also scouted a few this time. Sectors like Red Light, President's End, Teladi Gain(my fav so far) and Hila's Joy all look pretty nice. I like Teladi Gain's lore though, a space vape hub for dem space hippies, sounds like a home for me.

Xenon sector 597 is breathtaking. Of course it has to be a Xenon AND dead end sector.

Your suggestion please?

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Post by RAVEN.myst » Thu, 21. Dec 17, 17:52

For me, Heaven's Assertion has always been one of the most breathtakingly beautiful (though I think it may have a couple of 'roids). Potential upsides: a shipyard (but no EqD, sadly), and it's a prominent sector with traffic from Split and Boron to the East, and Paranid to the North, as well as Duke's Buccanneers are based just South in Lasting Vengeance (if playing X3AP, otherwise that sector to the South is an "unknown" one.) Downside: your neighbours are snobbish, cliquey Paranids. :P

Also, very striking but in a dark sense (certainly not "bright") is Twisted Skies (if playing X3AP - in X3TC it has to be chosen as the purchased own sector in the A New Home plot). However, it probably wouldn't suit your purposes, as the neighbourhood's crap (dead end within a dead end cut off from anywhere else by a Xenon sector!) The planet IS really wicked-looking, though - but mostly if you're looking to choose a site for an evil lair :D

In a recent game, I set up in the North, near the E-gate, of New Income. Although there's lots of 'roids, it actually afforded me some decent views of the planet - not spectacular, but modestly pleasant, I guess.

Some of the Terran sectors have magnificent views, but despite being large sectors, they feel cramped due to the large Terran stations; in any case, the nicest-looking ones are all without gates, which can be a serious ball-ache...

(By the way, thanks for the question - I may set up in Heaven's Assertion in my current X3TC game, seeing as I'm playing a Paranid game, and that's already near to my primary Hub connection. :) )

EDIT: Personally, I also rather like Argon Prime - nice water-bearing terrestrial planet, good music... However, perhaps a tad crowded, being a capital world and all.
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Post by jlehtone » Fri, 22. Dec 17, 01:47

How much time do you spend at the HQ? I prefer to be anywhere else, but I control a lot of ships remotely and they often lurk with the PHQ. I cannot even remeber what the sector looks like.
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Post by Reven » Fri, 22. Dec 17, 07:22

I ended up with essentially three capital sectors. My X2 and X3R chosen sector was Brennan's Triumph. I kicked the pirates out and "redeemed" my family name. The fiery planet and red sector has its own beauty.

The X3TC player sector of Guiding Star is quite nice, and it has some great asteroids. X3AP takes it away from you, ostensibly the Argon exercised eminent domain and took it for war materials. Well, after the war in X3AP I took it right back, thank-you very much.

Lastly, my jewel, I find the X3AP player sector, Morning Star (or whatever you choose to name it) to be one of the most beautiful sectors in the game. Great blue planet with blue nebula, plus it has the benefit of a sun output of 600%.

Unfortunately Guiding Star and Morning Star both suffer from terribly unfortunate sector music. I changed both of mine.
Last edited by Reven on Fri, 22. Dec 17, 18:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by RAVEN.myst » Fri, 22. Dec 17, 07:57

I just remembered that, visually, I also very much like Spires of Elusion (selectable at end of A New Home in X3TC and containing nuts I mean asteroids, belonging to Boron in X3AP) - lots of blue (large watery planet), lots of light...
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Post by Thrake » Fri, 22. Dec 17, 19:03

Reven wrote:Unfortunately Guiding Star and Morning Star both suffer from terribly unfortunate sector music. I changed both of mine.
How do you do that? It would be nice to stop ruling out some sectors because of that :)

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Post by Reven » Sat, 23. Dec 17, 03:51

I will go over it here, but careful, the mods are pretty strict about mod talk in this forum so this may get the thread moved. There are two ways, each with their benefits and drawbacks.

Method 1: Benefit is that it's easy. The drawback is that you don't just change the music setting for one sector, you change the music for every sector that uses a particular music file.
  1. Point a file manager to <x3 install folder>/soundtrack and you will see all the music files in the game - they are all 5 digit numbers dot mp3. Some of them have MP3 tags that show up in explorer.
  2. Find the music file for the sector in question. this thread will help you for the X3TC sectors. For the X3AP player sector the file is 08700.mp3.
  3. Rename the old file something like 01234.mp3.orig so you can undo your change in the future if you want. In the case of the X3AP player sector file 08700.mp3 just delete it. That's one change you'll never want to undo. :p
  4. Duplicate a music file from one of the other sectors, or copy in a completely new song and rename it to the correct filename 01235.mp3 (or whatever your sector's music filename is)
  5. Enjoy.
Method 2: Benefit is that you change the music for a single target sector only, and any other sector which uses the same music still uses it. Drawback is that it's hard and may require a lot of manual work.

This involves changing the map file in your install. You used to be able to do this mostly automatically with X3 Editor, which has a galaxy editor and could specifically change a sector's music, but I'm not sure it works with X3AP or even with modern Windows versions since it was deprecated long ago. I haven't used that program in a long time, you can try it and see if it still works. I myself do it by manually editing the universe file with the help of the newer X3 Editor 2:
  1. Download and install X3 Editor 2
  2. Open (through the VFS) the file maps/x3_universe.pck - you'll need to open it as a text file by selecting ALL then Text Viewer. Not all sectors are in that file, some others, like pre and post-war comnbat sectors are in the x3_universe_war and _NOwar files. The player sector is is 2024_Player_Corp.
  3. Find the sector you want to change by its X & Y coordinates. You should be able to see the format fairly easily. The music for a particular sector is in the m="####" setting, which is just the MP3 song title without the leading zero and the trailing .mp3. You can change the music to whatever you wish by changing the numbers there.
  4. Save the file. I don't think X3 Editor 2 will automatically save back into the .cat file (never tried that), so you will have to save it as a flat file then create a real maps directory and put the file in there so it overrides the VFS. In the end for X3AP you should have <x3ap>/addon/maps/x3_universe.pck (or whatever other maps you edited) as real files.
If anyone has questions on either method, I suggest starting a thread in the scripting and mod forum and/or PMing me and I'll help. If there is demand I'll make a full tutorial on method 2 since I haven't actually seen one. There are tutorials for method 1.


Now in an effort to get this thread not locked/moved, I'm going to drag it back to the original topic of pretty sectors. Look at the pretty Morning Star sector with my two HQs and a trade station:

Pretty Picture to Distract Moderators

See, this is a nice pretty picture post, not a mod post.

It's actually obvious from the position and entrance angle the gates were put at that the devs went to some effort to give the sector that WOW factor from the first moment you gate in. The above picture is what you see immediately on entering from the West gate. I placed my HQs and other stations to try and compliment the view (if the green reticles weren't there it would be better). As I said, the music they ended up putting in the sector is just unfortunate - it really detracts from the beauty. I'd suggest 08106.mp3 as one that matches the feel of this sector quite well. I tell you, after a day of putting out fires and thrashing Xenon sectors, there is nothing quite like gating back home to this view and hearing that music as I dock my battleship.
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Post by SirNukes » Sat, 23. Dec 17, 05:14

For music modding, that universe editing method won't work on an existing save since it is mainly used to set up sectors in a new game. But there is an easy way to drop in a shell director script with a single command to alter a sector's music. Let me know if you want the details. You can also use the Change_Sector_Music option in my customizer to generate the script.
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Post by Alan Phipps » Sat, 23. Dec 17, 15:04

@ Reven: Crafty beggar! :lol:
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