Current Version: [RC2] Release Candidate 2 NEW
Dated: August 6, 2010
Compatibility: X3:TC 2.1 - 2.7.1
Tested speed gains: Up to 38% more FPS (due to reduced CPU load) > Latest Test Results <
Notes: All bugs and economy issues have been fixed. RC2 contains additional tweaks and optimizations. This should be the final release candidate.
Ship Rebalance Mod (SRM) Compatible Version (by vkerinav, v3.1):
RC1 - July 26, 2010
Beta 1 - Sept 28, 2009
X3-Unleashed improves performance for X3:Terran Conflict by reducing load on your computer's CPU. It does this by selectively reducing the total number of jobs (flights) in the universe to be closer to realistic and manageable levels. All flights were classified and weighed accordingly when adjusting their numbers, so that the universe as a whole still feels alive, and balanced.
- Reduced flights in the universe means a return on FPS. In the case of X3-Unleashed, reducing overall flights by 47% provided our test system a return of +38% FPS (tested with repeatable low-graphic-demand conditions).
- Less ships moving between sectors (ex. traders) means less traffic jams at gates and in busy traffic lanes.
- Less traffic jams means flights to destinations take less time. For a NPC trader that means more trades per hour, making up directly for having less traders in the universe.
- Less NPC flights (especially civilians) means less stations with completely full docking rings, enabling the player to dock without hassle, and to dock more of their own ships.
- Fewer flights in the player's sector (on average) means less wasted CPU cycles when those ships utilize collision avoidance routines.
- Keeping civilian flights going (a small but noticable number) adds flavor and texture to the universe, while not significantly adding to CPU overhead. Typically these flights do not have escorts, do not trade, stay in one sector, do not interact with other ships (except to flee hostiles), and simply move station to station. Combine their low CPU use with smaller collision and hitboxes than most ships, and their impact on FPS in X3-Unleashed is almost unnoticable.
- Far less civilians overall means less avoidance calculations when the player is in a sector, less radar tracking for the player, and less docking/undocking at stations.
- Less traders means far less overhead where that set of scripts is concerned. Searching the universe for best buys/sells, flight management, purchasing and selling, etc. And given that they now fly more routes per hour (see previous point), they attempt to make up for their reduced numbers.
- Rogues (Yaki & Pirates) remain untouched, with numbers equalling those from vanilla.
- Classic Enemies remain between 85% and 100% of original numbers.
- Military numbers were only marginally tweaked downwards, in anticipation of most players using a script like Race Response Fleets (RRF) or Improved Races (IR). The immersive impact of military ships in a vanilla game was rather minimal at best as it was. Their relative population in the universe however, has actually risen from 8% in vanilla to 11% in Unleashed.
- When determining which flights to trim and by how much, all were categorized both by type and function, and given due consideration to their impact on the gaming experience, the X3:TC engine, and their rendering requirements.
X3:TC v2.1 or higher (2.7.1 recommended)
Knowledge of "Fake Patch" installation technique
Choosing a Version of Unleashed:
You need to chose which version you would like to run before copying the files. Only one can be installed and run at a time:
- Unleashed - No Civilians (no civilian flights - lowest possible CPU load)
- Unleashed - With Civilians (with reduced civilian flights to add flavor)
New Game or Existing Game?
X3:Unleashed works perfectly fine with both scenarios - either a brand new game or one in progress.
When adding Unleashed to a game currently in progress, flights will be slowly reduced to Unleashed's numbers, as the X3 engine cleans them up naturally over time.
Unleashed installs in your X3:Terran Conflict directory as a fake patch.
- Copy the .cat and .dat files to your Terran Conflict directory (you'll see other cats/dats there)
- Rename Unleashed's .cat and .dat files so they are now either the highest number, or 1 less than the Plugin Manager's (if used). For example: if adding to a vanilla installation of 2.7.1 X3:TC, Unleashed's cat/dat pair would be copied into the main directory and renamed 13.cat and 13.dat. If you install other fake patches with number pairs higher than Unleashed, be absolutely certain that they do not modify the game's Jobs.txt and JobWings.txt files. If they do, rename Unleashed's cat/dat pair so it once again has the highest number.
- Placeholder .txt files have been included to help you remember what cat/dat pair you just installed. Be sure to change the ## at the beginning to whatever you used when renaming the cat/dat for Unleashed.
Reverse the install process detailed above: remove Unleashed's cat and dat files, and if you had any other cat/dat pairs with higher numbers, reduce them all by 1.
NOTE: Removing Unleashed and then loading a savegame will populate the universe with additional ships of all kinds over time (generally this takes 30-60 minutes).
Mod Behavior / Universe Changes:
The overall number of flights in the universe will be lower than those found in a vanilla X3:TC game, but the universe will still feel populated and alive. You may notice more free docking ports at stations, less traffic jams at gates, less collisions at gates and in nearby traffic lanes, and higher FPS among other improvements.
X3:Reunion and Terran Conflict have been known to be harder on your CPU than your graphics card. Most systems for this reason have the CPU as the bottleneck when you play X3, and you notice FPS skyrocket when you look away from stations and ships into empty space. Unleashed helps alleviate the CPU bottleneck, though it cannot completely remove it. If your graphics card is being stressed heavily (such as in a view with lots of ships and/or stations), the gains noticed from Unleashed will be less, since it only affects your CPU's workload.
This is why metrics testing on Unleashed was performed with different views, and the numbers averaged to give a general idea of expected improvement. It will not be the same on all systems, nor will it be the same from sector to sector within X3:TC. But it *will* help your game run smoother in nearly all circumstances, except those with extreme demands on your graphics card for rendering large objects or a large number of objects.
If your system is among the few where CPU power vastly exceeds graphic rendering power (new CPU, old video card), you may find that your performance gains are minimal at best. This simply means its time to upgrade to a new video card!
Last but not least - absolutely no guarantees are made regarding performance gains on your machine, your copy of X3:TC, or your blend of scripts/mods and savegames. All setups are unique (PCs do have personalities after all), and differences can be due to the smallest imaginable thing. For suggestions on testing the effects on your machine, see the following post regarding metrics. While our testing showed gains between 20% and 35%, it could very well be different for others.
None at this time - please report any suspected issues in the official forum topic.
No flights (jobs) were completely removed from the Jobs.txt file. This was intentional, in case they are required by scripts or the Mission Director for quests. It also helps with future compatibility, when trying to merge changes from two Jobs.txt files. In the case of Civilian flights in the NoCiv version of Unleashed (for example), their numbers were simply set to 0/0.
Conflicts with other Mods/Scripts:
If you use the "No Civilians" mod by Graxter (or a similar variant), you should uninstall it prior to using Unleashed. Unleashed comes with a NoCiv cat/dat if you would like the absolute fastest game possible at the expense of not seeing those ships around. Similarly, any other Mod that makes changes to the Jobs.txt file (in the types directory) should either be uninstalled, or have it's Jobs.txt file merged with Unleashed's by someone who knows what changes were made by the other mod.
Total Conversions like Transcend that use custom Jobs.txt files are definitely not compatible with Unleashed at this time, as it was designed for use with a standard Plot (or non-Plot) game of Terran Conflict. It uses it's own custom Jobs file, which is also highly optimized.
- Serial Kicked
- Aragon Speed
- Targ Collective
- The X community
Feedback is welcome. Merging with other packages is encouraged and supported - PM prior for details.