X4! My thoughts, impressions, and ideas so far! [LONG]

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Shade-RHB
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X4! My thoughts, impressions, and ideas so far! [LONG]

Post by Shade-RHB » Sun, 7. Jan 18, 18:17

Hello all!

I'm so excited about X4 being on the way, had to sign up to the forum just to share my thoughts and ideas so far!

Quick perspective on me, I've played X:BtF, X2, X3 (TC/AP as well), and X: Rebirth. I loved the first three, I did not like Rebirth although I thought the visuals were awesome, the gameplay moved in a direction I did not enjoy at all. Me and space games go all the way back to the original Elite in the 80s, played on the commodore 64, I am 42 years old.

I've watched all 3 live streams on X4 to date, most of them 2 or 3 times, eagerly dissecting everything said, and I'm very encouraged by what I've seen so far!

I'm also aware the entire X4 team is only 20 people, so I'm keeping my ideas hopefully modest and achievable. We all learned from No Man's Sky, small team, keep expectations realistic!

Onward to thoughts on what I've heard so far!

-= 01: Jumpdrives and Teleportation =-

First and most important is removing jumpdrives and going to player teleportation. This is a FANTASTIC IDEA! I love it, please pursue this all the way to it's logical conclusion!

I love this because in X2 and X3 especially the jumpdrive rendered time and space largely meaningless. As long as you had an ample supply of energy cells you could be anywhere at any time with your main fleet, which really removed any tactical planning. You couldn't control space, distance and lines of reinforcement just didn't matter, cause you could just jump anywhere. Having repair and resupply areas were not necessary, just pile everything into some remote system and then jump to wherever, no planning needed.

No jumpdrive but having player teleportation is the best of both worlds. You can still be in the action personally, but time, space, distance, all matter again.

However there are MANY mechanics that follow this decision that will be required to make it work. Many I think you're already planning, but I'll mention them here for clarity.

Time, space, and strategic positioning will actually be important, like for example you find a key system behind which multiple other systems connect in a galactic cul-de-sac of sorts, you may want to control and heavily reinforce that chokepoint system, and then conquer and control the systems behind it, creating a secure rear area for your growing empire. A place where you can exploit resources to the full in safety.

By extension this absolutely requires that lines of reinforcement matter for all races, not just the player. It is CRUCIAL for the success of this that ALL ships are built and created at shipyards, and must fly from there to wherever they will operate. They must NEVER just spawn randomly in systems (possible exception is for missions, but otherwise, NEVER). If ships can just spawn in behind your defenses, strategic positions again becomes meaningless.

Indeed, this is why I stopped playing X3. I'd been playing a while, built up a good fleet, and was having a massive engagement in a Xenon sector, a huge fight, epic stuff. I'd cleared the system of hostile ships, and was hammering away at their stations, when an ENTIRE NEW FLEET just spawned in, right in the middle of the system. Not reinforcements from a neighboring system, not built at a station in the system, just BAM, entire new fleet.

It was absolutely immersion breaking, it said to me right then and there: absolutely nothing I do matters, I can't ever conquer a system, I can't ever clear or secure a system, everything is basically static and will be replaced endlessly no matter what I do. Nothing here matters, so why am I playing? And thus, I stopped playing right there.

It's vital that the player can make a difference in the universe. It may take a long time, and a huge amount of ships and resources to swing the balance of power in the universe, but it has to be possible, there has to be something like a win condition, even if (and preferably) it's of the player's own making, like they want to control a sector of space, eliminate all Xenon in the universe, or all Kha'ak, or hell declare war on one of the civilized races if you don't like them enough. It would take a massive empire to win such a war, but it needs to be possible.

With Jumpdrives gone, strategic positioning of resources, ships, fleets, stations, and above all staging facilities and shipyards, becomes a key strategic element of the game and I think that'll be AWESOME.

-= 02. Teleportation continued (Combat implications) =-

One of the things you said in your live streams is you felt people would not want spend their time on a slow capital ship, since it moves like a whale, and would prefer to give remote commands to such ships.
And in a way, you were right, flying a capital ship IS boring. But also you're wrong, cause in X2 and X3 especially I'd stay on my capital ship almost exclusively ANYWAY, even though it was boring, because it was the only safe place to be in a big chaotic battlefield.

You are right in that we WANT to be in the fight, where the missiles and the laser beams are lighting up space in some massive fleet encounter with 50 ships on each side and capital ships blasting away, that's GLORIOUS and amazing, and in such a fight I wouldn't DARE be on anything but the capital ship because of the dreaded "game over, load last save" problem.

Individual ship combat in space tends to be pretty boring. You spin, you wheel, you line up your sights and fire. You tried in X: Rebirth to make individual ship combat more engaging, and sorry to say, it failed, cause it will ALWAYS be boring. What makes it epic spectacle is FLEET engagements. Not 1 on 1, but 20 ships on each side, or 50, or 100, filling the sky with carnage. That's incredible stuff and what I would ultimately aim for as my empire grows and I seek to engage the main threats in the game on their home turf.

But in such a fight, I might send in 20 fighters and some corvettes into an equally sized enemy force and I'll kill them but I might lose a third of my fighters. If I'm ON one of the fighters that went down, it's instant game over and I have to reload. Especially a tiny little M5 or something it can blow up in one shot, killed so quickly you can't even react. This really needs to be addressed, and you have a system already to allow a fix, Teleportation.

It should be that in the heat of a fight, if your ship is blowing up, you will instantly and automatically be teleported to another friendly ship in the fight, as long as there is another friendly ship within range. That puts the player back in the fight, and the win condition is your FLEET comes out on top. If you run out of ships to escape to, THEN you're dead and have to reload, but if the game ends the moment the ship you happen to be on is blown up, then we as the player are simply not going to be on those vulnerable ships, and the exciting combat we WANT to be a part of is forever out of reach, cause it's too dangerous to get personally involved.

An alternative to that would be tele-presence and remote piloting. You physically stay on a different ship, but you could have a 'command ship' module that allows you to remote fly other ships you own within the same sector. I don't think that's even necessary though, as you already have a solution to this problem in the game, that being Teleportation.

But if escaping a ship requires you to get out of the chair, back to the teleporter, charge it up a few seconds and THEN jump away, it will be useless and we're right back to "I'd love to be in that fight, but it's game over if the ship I'm on gets blown up, so I'll just issue orders and never be part of the fight."

It must be instant, it must be automatic, as long as you have a ship left in the fight to escape to. This would also create strategy in a fight to maintain a reserve out of the front of battle to escape to as needed, with a rear guard action when you see the fight is lost, to buy you enough time to flee the system at normal space speeds, since again Jumpdrives are gone so that escape mechanism is gone with them (and I applaud that, keep them gone it makes everything too easy).

-= 03. True Dynamic economy, and Player Shipyards. =-

Something X games have always lacked in the past is an epic end game. Everything seems static and impossible to change anything. You have a few ships, a modest fleet, but there's always this upper limit where the NPC races do things and have things that we as the player can't even do, and that's always been frustrating.

You've said in your streams that it will be a true economy, top to bottom. Everything mined somewhere, and resources dictating what can be built. I LOVE this, and hope it's true. It makes things like economic warfare matter. Sabotaging resources important. Destroying key infrastructure as key war goals.

Maybe the core Xenon systems are outputting an endless tide of ships you can't seem to cope with. But they've got systems supplying ore to them in vast quantities, and that's how they build so many ships. If you can't penetrate their defenses at first, attack their economy, blow up their lightly defended ore mines, starve them for resources. Their production slows, their reinforcements dwindle, and through economic attrition and battle you wear them down and win. That sort of thing is possible if the economy is as true as you claim, and I hope it is cause that would be amazing.

Altenatively if the Argon are struggling to stem the Xenon tide, their shipyards are starved for resources, you could become a resource tycoon feeding immense resources into their economy and soon new fleets are built faster than the Xenon and the tide turns in your favor that way.

I never bothered with more than a handful of mines, cause other than feeding my own handful of factories it never felt like they had any impact. This could make deep and full utilization of a regions resources really matter.

And that brings us to one of THE most important things I have always felt was lacking, PLAYER SHIPYARDS.

This is a MUST.

The player headquarters in X3 was really worthless for this. It dribbled out a completely inconsequential amount of ships, and the resources required to build them were absolutely silly. Something from every civilized race, usually rare and esotetic stuff. What if you're at war with one of those races? What if you want to be?

Because jumpdrives are gone, immense fleets, bigger than any X game before, will be required to control and dominate space. Secure your reinforcement routes, cover your merchant fleet.

In order to create a true end game, a self-sufficient empire that can dominate the galaxy, the player needs the full suite available to them. Shipyards should be just another station you can build, if you feed it enough resources it can churn out a steady supply of ships, just like the NPC races. The resources needed should be fair in comparison to what the NPCs spend to do the same, and should not be outrageously esotetic. Ore, silicon, race-appropriate food, energy, and time. Building a ship should be no different than building any ware, it should just take reasonable resources and time to produce.

My recommendation would be to have 4, even 5 levels of ship producing modules. Start with a fighter workshop, making M5s, M4s at most, and small freighters. A module like this would be cost effective, could be put in forward positions to supply a single sector with local fighter production for patrols and security. It wouldn't cost that much, but it would not be that fast. Something you get early on as a starter thing, or put in forward positions where you don't mind too much if it's destroyed.

A fighter factory would be the next level up, building M3 ships and below. along with larger freighters. It's bigger, more expensive, but faster, especially for the smaller ships.

A regular shipyard would be next, even bigger, even more expensive, building M6 and M7s, corvettes, and small frigates, and the biggest freighters.

A capital shipyard would be just as it sounds, capable of building everything. Capital ships AND your own stations. These would be immense structures, requiring huge build plots, tons of money, massive infrastructure to feed them with materials, you'd have to place them carefully and defend them zealously, but they could build anything. All you need is the ore, the energy, the time, and the blueprints.

And that brings us to blueprints. I know you already plan to do them, and I encourage that. A whole aspect of the game would be collecting the blueprints necessary to teach your shipyards how to make every possible thing in the game. Some are common and easy to get, some are esoteric, hard to find or outrageously expensive. Would represent an entire aspect of the game to expand your independence and empire building capabilities to be able to build everything you need yourself, but only if you have the blueprints.

But blueprints really don't mean squat unless you have an entire structure of player shipyards to utilize them. The trickle of ships out of a player headquarters just won't cut it. We want to build empires, we want to free ourselves from the shackles of being dependent on the other races. We may need them at first, but if we get big enough, we should be able to do it all on our own if we wish.

-= 04: Maps, the universe, and the nightmare of micromanagment. =-

With player shipyards and the need to control space effectively, we'll have many more ships than we did in the past. Immense fleets that can secure whole regions and battle it out in epic fleet engagements.

This creates many information management challenges.

Some of these challenges I see you are already deep into solving. The new command map function is beautiful from what I've seen. It seems to borrow significantly from Real-Time Strategy games which I heartily applaud. I love RTS games and blending the X universe together with those mechanics should be glorious! I have nothing but praise for what I've seen of it so far! :D

That looks fantastic for the system map control. One thing I've yet to see is the galactic map, which will be very important as well for a strategic overview of the state of the universe.

One key thing I'd like to see is color-coding of the galaxy map so you can see at a glance who is dominant in any given sector at any given time. A race will have it's own color, and if it's completely dominant in a sector it'll just be a solid square of their color. If it's a border sector, maybe a lighter shade of their color. If it's actively being attacked or contested between two or more races, it can have a striped or barber-pole effect between the colors of the races fighting it out there, so you can see instantly from the galaxy map where the fighting is.

This would reasonably be dependent on having live information from those sectors. Making scouting and satellites in conflict zones vitally important to setup and maintain so you can monitor the flow of ongoing conflicts.

This would be a very simple way to convey to the player the state of the universe without having to click your way into hundreds of sectors. I hope it would also be easy to program as well, just being simple colored boxes and stripes.

As a suggestion, I would have these colors:

Player Controlled: Light Blue.
Argon: Light green.
Boron (if they end up in the game): Dark blue.
Teladi: Dark green.
Split: Yellow.
Paranid: Orange.
Unclaimed: White.
Pirates: Black or dark gray.
Xenon: Red.
Kha'ak: Purple.

This would make the galaxy map a meaningful source of useful information so long as you are on top of your satellites and scouting.

Also on the galaxy map I'd have two numbers next to each system of how many player stations and player ships are in a system, to ease keeping track of where your assets are. Possibly a third number for how many satellites, splitting that out would make it less confusing. Alternatively just not have satellites counted amongst those numbers, as we'll probably have a lot of satellites and that could also get very cluttered.

I considered asking for numbers shown there for NPC stations and ships, but thinking about it there's going to be tens of thousands of NPC ships all across the universe in constant motion, that would get really cluttered and confusing, so probably best to keep it simple. Sector Ownership status and "where's my stuff?" for the player. Those are the important things to know.

The vast fleets we'll need to control also creates another immense logistical problem. Outfitting them all.

For me when playing X3, I found the micromanagment of trying to equip lots of fighters so incredibly awkward and tedious that I often gave up using them at all. I'd restrict my fleet to capital ships and maybe some M6's to engage fighter swarms, but I wouldn't bother with anything smaller than that cause they'd be killed so easily and were such a pain in the ass to buy and equip.

Related to the blueprint system I highly recommend players have an option to setup specific loadouts and SAVE those as a blueprint or loadout. The complete package, not just the bare hull of a ship but what weapons it has, in what slot, what shields, what missiles, how many, even specific command settings for turrets. Top to bottom a 'ready for action' ship, be it fighter, freighter, or capital ship.

Once an equipment loadout is setup, you can save that and command a ship to be built to that specification with all equipment, and/or the shipyard builds the hull, and you command it to then equip itself to a specification. Once commanded to equip to a spec, the ship will run around and gear itself up to match that specification. Either purchasing the gear from friendly NPCs or if you set it to prefer that, equiping strictly from player-owned stations and equipment docks.

This would make equipment docks in your shipyard sectors vitally important. You could supply the equipment dock with the weapons and the missiles needed to outfit your fleets. Supplying the equipment dock would then become the strategic thing to do, with individual ships equipping themselves.

This would also make such things as resupply stations near battlefronts a key element.

In the past X games, I basically never bothered with using missiles on ships, cause of the micromanagement hassle of getting them into the ship and keeping them resupplied. If a ship has a 'battle ready' spec that it's commanded to adhere to, this could also be used for repairing, re-arming, and reloading such weapons.

For example you have an ongoing battlefront against the Xenon in a sector. Nearby you establish an equipment dock as a repair/resupply center, and fill it with all the missiles, weapons, and gear your fleet needs to maintain the attack.

After a fight, with some of your ships damaged, many having expended missiles, etc, you simply give them all one command for "repair and equip to specification" with a preference for player stations (or specify that station as the place to go to first), and the entire fleet will return to the equipment dock, fill up on missiles, repair damage, and be ready to fight again without a mountain of tedious micro-management.

All they need is that saved loadout or blueprint that they know is their 'battle-ready specification', and then it should be, I hope, a simple matter to command any given ship to make itself battle ready. IE: re-equip back to specification.

A simple ship status indicator can show what ships have completed this process. A green checkmark would indicate it's completely ready to specification, maybe a yellow bullet icon for 'ammo depleted' and a broken red shield for 'ship damaged'.

Voila, at a glance you know if a ship is ready to use without digging into the equipment of a ship one by one. All you need is that saved loadout to compare to so it knows what it's supposed to be setup as.

You could even have various loadouts for the same class of ship. Maybe have a few sets of M3s, a dogfighting loadout for taking on fighters, and a bombardment loadout with more missiles for taking on bigger ships. Say in a combat wing I've got 10 dogfighters and 5 missile bombers, and they'll know from their saved loadouts what they should have, and tell me in simple icons if they're ready to go or not, based on the saved specification.

This would do WONDERS for managing and comprehending quickly the status and usefulness of a huge number of ships.

Looking at your live streams I THINK you have something like this system already in a proto-type stage. The graphical interface for equipping ships looked very promising, but the key factor I wasn't able to draw from the livestreams was all the rest of what I just talked about above, if you can save those loadouts, and command ships to equip themselves to spec, instead of having to go through that interface over and over again for hundreds or even thousands of ships, which would be a nightmare. Plus a simple way to see at a glance if a ship is battle ready or still needs work.

The only way the system can know if a ship is what we want it to be is if we have those loadouts saved, and can very simply tell a ship: "You should be this. If you're not this, you're not ready. Go get yourself ready."

-= 05: Borons =-

This is a short note, but I had to mention it. I LOVE the Boron ship designs from X3, they were all my favorite ones. The graceful lines and bioluminescent colors. I've seen in your livestreams how you feel about Borons cause of characters walking around on stations and landing pads and how doing Borons would be super hard.

I think this is kind of cutting off your nose to spite your face. It's the ships that are the important part. Sticking strictly to past established lore about the physical body shape of the Borons I think is going to hurt the depth of your universe needlessly. You need those peace loving species as a counterpoint to the aggressive Split and xenophobic Paranid.

I would suggest you just go Star Trek-style on Borons. Humanoid body shapes, just give them fish/squid-y heads and fish scale skin texture. That way they can walk around like everyone else, using the same animation cycles and so forth, and sit in the same cockpit chairs.

I assure you, we the fans will NOT mind this at all, if it means we can still have those BEAUTIFUL ships. :D

-=06: War and Peace =-

I've not not seen any mention in the streams thus far about a diplomacy aspect to the game. I don't feel it really needs one of any depth per se, but it does need some way to make peace with NPC races if you've ended up going to war with them.

I expect Xenon and Kha'ak will ALWAYS be hostile no matter what, but if you end up fighting with split or paranid over a particularly juicy sector and then wish to STOP fighting with them and return to peaceful trade, there needs to be some mechanism to get them to stop shooting at you.

It shouldn't be free or at your leisure, of course. That would be too easy to abuse. Launch a hard strike on a sector, clear it out, claim it as your own, then rapidly make peace so you can keep it. Can't have that, they'd have to make demands, or you pay reparations, SOMETHING to make peace expensive and difficult and not just a convenience whenever you want it, but there needs to be some way to stop the fighting with the civilized races.

-=07: Salvage, Boarding, and Bounties =-

One thing I felt was always missing in X games was salvage. Battle is usually just a net loss of resources. You lose or damage some of your ships and in the course of winning a fight, and you get to the end of the fight and basically don't get much of anything for it.

Bounties for kills are one thing, which should be implemented aggressively so battle has some value right off.

Another way to make combat pay is Salvage. If destroyed ships left wreckage that you could slice up and recycle into ore and weapons and parts, that would make battle useful too. Would also enable a salvage class of ship, but micro-management would be a danger there so you'd need to be able to command a ship to salvage on its own and return salvaged resources somewhere. Either your stations or freighters or somewhere without having to babysit it.

If that's too complicated to program to be a simple automatic command, best leave it out.

Finally there's boarding. I know there was some form of boarding in X3, but to be honest I never once attempted it. The methods to actually pull it off were as clear as mud. Since I never tried using it before, I don't have a specific suggestion on how to do it better, only that it needs to be a lot better and more intuitive to pull off than it was.

-=08: COMPLIMENTS! =-

I feel this post has been a lot of asking for stuff, and not enough complimenting what I've already seen.

Watching your live streams I'm very excited for what I've seen so far! I've loved a lot of what I've seen. The modular stations, fully dynamic universe, the beautiful command map. In the most recent livestream you showed off the Travel drive which I think is also a great idea.

I'm eagerly looking forward to more livestreams and updates!

I feel like there was more I wanted to say but I've been writing this for HOURS, so much so I've been up all night and the sun has now come up. O_O

Suffice to say, I'm very excited! Here's hoping for an amazing game!

SHADE :)

riky rice
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Post by riky rice » Sun, 7. Jan 18, 22:47

I absolutely agree on everything, especially on the galaxy map, the instant teleportation during combat and the player shipyard

ScandyNav
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Post by ScandyNav » Mon, 8. Jan 18, 16:10

I'm on the same wave here since i'm also long term fan of X series, from the XBTF. And I also was upset because of bad gameplay design decisions in XR. Even the 4+ version is completely not fun to play.

But instead of dealing with small details i'd like to say to Egosoft team only one thing:
Do not release the X4 until you answer one global question:
-Why build and why gather fleet?

There is absolutely no answer on that question in XR. The mid- and end- game content is completely absent. No business competition, no need to supply fleet, no need to attack anything or defend anything. Nothing.
And the saddest thing is that there was so many updates, but XR did not receive that mid/end game content anyway. This made me think that Egosoft guys don't understand how to make this content. And this, on its turn, causes great concern for the future of the new game.

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Post by Vandragorax » Mon, 8. Jan 18, 18:12

A very well written post and I agree with the vast majority of it. Especially your conclusion about why we won't ever be in the small risky-to-fly-in-a-big-battle ships and we'll always just camp on a capital ship in a fleet engagement. I would very much welcome a local (within 200km or something) remote controlled flying option so essentially the exact same thing as teleport only we are piloting it remotely so if it blows up we just go back to where we were. Maybe have this only accessible from a certain control panel on capital ships in order to have us go back relative safety.

I also agree with comments above that I'm not sure Egosoft have enough focus on their end-game but I think this is mainly because they have been so focused in the past on simply bug fixing. Fixing bugs is great and all, but we need that end game for the X series to really compete with the other big boys in this genre.

Let's hope Bernd reads your post too and takes on board some of the points because I think they are very relevant :)

Shade-RHB
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Post by Shade-RHB » Wed, 10. Jan 18, 11:02

Couple quick addendums to my long post above.

Thinking about levels of shipyards, the level 3 regular shipyard I suggested above should also have limited ability to make stations too. Particularly civilian stations, mines, food production, energy, and light fighter-level weapon forges and other basic commodities.

While saving the big heavy weapons and mega-stations for the top level shipyard.

Also an addition to my thoughts on having ships able to equip themselves to specifications. I realized a change in how credits are distributed would be required to make that work.

In order for ships to be able to equip themselves, especially if they're doing so from NPC stations and not strictly from player owned stations, ships would need to have access to funds to purchase weapons or missiles on their own. It would be far too tedious to give each ship money to do this, so your fleet as a whole would need to have universal access to player funds in order to equip themselves.

BUT, the danger THERE is ships automatically equipping and repairing could rapidly bleed your finances dry when you're not expecting it, and you suddenly find yourself broke and you stall out your entire economy, as some credits would be required to keep things moving.

My thinking then is we should have two credit accounts that we can move money between. A 'Player Empire' account, which all ships everywhere can access for equipping, rearming, repairing, or hell even for stations to order their own freighters to automatically replace transporters they may have lost (like for example you can command a station to maintain 4 freighters, two set for ware collection and 2 for selling products, and if some are lost, it'll replace them on its own).

Then a "Personal Player" account, where ONLY you as the player have access to those funds and you manually spend it. That way you could always maintain a reserve that the automatic empire functions will not spend your money and you'll never suddenly find yourself flat broke unexpectedly.

What does everyone think of that?

SHADE :)

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Post by Fedora01 » Wed, 10. Jan 18, 11:46

Shade-RHB wrote:Couple quick addendums to my long post above.
Also an addition to my thoughts on having ships able to equip themselves to specifications. I realized a change in how credits are distributed would be required to make that work.

In order for ships to be able to equip themselves, especially if they're doing so from NPC stations and not strictly from player owned stations, ships would need to have access to funds to purchase weapons or missiles on their own. It would be far too tedious to give each ship money to do this, so your fleet as a whole would need to have universal access to player funds in order to equip themselves.

BUT, the danger THERE is ships automatically equipping and repairing could rapidly bleed your finances dry when you're not expecting it, and you suddenly find yourself broke and you stall out your entire economy, as some credits would be required to keep things moving.

My thinking then is we should have two credit accounts that we can move money between. A 'Player Empire' account, which all ships everywhere can access for equipping, rearming, repairing, or hell even for stations to order their own freighters to automatically replace transporters they may have lost (like for example you can command a station to maintain 4 freighters, two set for ware collection and 2 for selling products, and if some are lost, it'll replace them on its own).

Then a "Personal Player" account, where ONLY you as the player have access to those funds and you manually spend it. That way you could always maintain a reserve that the automatic empire functions will not spend your money and you'll never suddenly find yourself flat broke unexpectedly.
To, hopefully, expand on that there could be a way to set fleet or squadron budgets. The budget would replenish up to a set amount over time, reducing the strain on your personal account. This would keep inactive fleets from hemorrhaging money, while smaller active patrols would still have access to the funds they need. The fleet/squadron would use this money to replace/repair their assets as they seem fit.
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It was about this time I realized I might have too many tabs open.

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Post by ZaphodBeeblebrox » Wed, 10. Jan 18, 12:10

Indeed, this is why I stopped playing X3. I'd been playing a while, built up a good fleet, and was having a massive engagement in a Xenon sector, a huge fight, epic stuff. I'd cleared the system of hostile ships, and was hammering away at their stations, when an ENTIRE NEW FLEET just spawned in, right in the middle of the system. Not reinforcements from a neighboring system, not built at a station in the system, just BAM, entire new fleet.
This is one among a number of reason why I eventually stopped playing X3.

One of the reasons I stopped playing Rebirth was because of the poor way in which the genesis of actors was being handled.

You could sit in some zones and have an inexhaustible supply of capping candidates. So while you waited for a capped (pirate) ship to be repaired another would arrive. There is nothing like exposing the (simple) game mechanics to put me off playing.

The other really annoying thing was to have an indestructible pirate station in a "civilised" zone and for pirate destroyers to regularly spawn in that zone "out of thin air."
It was a woman who drove me to drink... you know I never went back and thanked her.

Don't try to outweird me, three-eyes. I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.

Falcrack
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Post by Falcrack » Wed, 10. Jan 18, 13:02

OP, your dissertation is missing an abstract.

Shade-RHB
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Post by Shade-RHB » Wed, 10. Jan 18, 17:54

Falcrack wrote:OP, your dissertation is missing an abstract.
Ha. Yes I know it was psychotically long there, but it's just cause I'm passionate. It's been a long time since X3 first came out, and I've been starved and disappointed for great space games since.

Elite: Dangerous is pretty, but slow as dirt and there's not much to do, it just looks amazing. And you can't impact the universe at all.

No Man's Sky had... well the planets were cool enough but there was again, not much to do. Again, can't impact the universe at all. It's just there, and nothing you do matters a bit.

And I didn't like X: Rebirth for much the same reason, nothing seemed to matter.

But the X series, when it's at it's best, and I hope this will be a great entry, can make it feel like you're doing something, you're building up to a grand empire, an epic fleet and mighty economic tycoon. It's what I've wanted for years and years and I hope this is the game that really nails it.

And unlike some of those other games which have disappointed me but are run by massive conglomerate publishers, whipped by corporate taskmasters to squeeze all originality out of their product for focus grouped blandness, I feel, I hope, the Egosoft team is small enough and flexible enough and independent enough to actually hear what we have to say.

Those big publishers what's the point in even talking to them? They don't listen to we the little guys suggestions. Egosoft? Maybe. Hopefully! :D

SHADE :)

PowerPC603
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Post by PowerPC603 » Thu, 11. Jan 18, 01:12

About equipping ships automatically:
They could make it so that your shipyard and the storage modules can store ANYTHING, even equipment like a docking computer, trading extension, fight software and such things.
They simply need to make those things as tradeable items so your ships could go out and get some from the NPC stations and bring them to your shipyard so it's always fully stocked on them.

Or even some station module so you can make them yourself.
Then you can simply attach that module to your shipyard and it keeps itself stocked at all times.

I absolutely hated the fact that in earlier games, you always had to buy them from npc's but you cannot make them yourself, or even stockpile them.

For every ship you wanted to outfit with a jumpdrive, every ship had to fly through countless sectors to go and buy a jumpdrive at the Goner Temple or the HQ below Argon Prime IIRC.
Because some stuff was only sold at a few places in the entire universe.

And for limited stuff at npc stations, you had to wait until they magically reappear in stock (they don't get produced somewhere but just spawn) so you can buy more of them.

Let us produce them ourselves and make them as a ware so they can be transported to another station to stockpile them for later use.
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Alan Phipps
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Post by Alan Phipps » Fri, 12. Jan 18, 18:12

Suggestion and ongoing discussion of ship software upgrades belonging in the research tree now merged with a dedicated thread on that topic here.
A dog has a master; a cat has domestic staff.

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Sandalpocalypse
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Post by Sandalpocalypse » Sat, 13. Jan 18, 15:22

Maybe the core Xenon systems are outputting an endless tide of ships you can't seem to cope with. But they've got systems supplying ore to them in vast quantities, and that's how they build so many ships. If you can't penetrate their defenses at first, attack their economy, blow up their lightly defended ore mines, starve them for resources. Their production slows, their reinforcements dwindle, and through economic attrition and battle you wear them down and win. That sort of thing is possible if the economy is as true as you claim, and I hope it is cause that would be amazing.

Altenatively if the Argon are struggling to stem the Xenon tide, their shipyards are starved for resources, you could become a resource tycoon feeding immense resources into their economy and soon new fleets are built faster than the Xenon and the tide turns in your favor that way.

I never bothered with more than a handful of mines, cause other than feeding my own handful of factories it never felt like they had any impact. This could make deep and full utilization of a regions resources really matter.

And that brings us to one of THE most important things I have always felt was lacking, PLAYER SHIPYARDS.

This is a MUST.
this is where things fall down. What if the player would rather be puttering about, or they're playing a space mercenary doing bounty contracts? If you're 'turning the tide', that implies that if you *didn't* then the Argon get overrun by the Xenon. And then while a player is doing what they wanted to do the entire landscape of the game changed and they lost their PHQ.

X4 the simulationist 4x would be cool, but it's not necessarily compatible with X4 the sandbox game for people who want to scoot around in spaceships.

you could gate things behind progression locks or something the player has to do to start full on wars going, but you're up against the problem of developing for content most players will never see....
Individual ship combat in space tends to be pretty boring. You spin, you wheel, you line up your sights and fire. You tried in X: Rebirth to make individual ship combat more engaging, and sorry to say, it failed, cause it will ALWAYS be boring. What makes it epic spectacle is FLEET engagements. Not 1 on 1, but 20 ships on each side, or 50, or 100, filling the sky with carnage. That's incredible stuff and what I would ultimately aim for as my empire grows and I seek to engage the main threats in the game on their home turf.
Elite dangerous actually has pretty compelling 1v1 combat, it can be done. Unfortunately E:D's fleet combat is a little wonky.
Irrational factors are clearly at work.

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