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[X3AP] What's the point of fighting?
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chairborne





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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 00:48    Post subject: [X3AP] What's the point of fighting? Reply with quote Print

I meant to write a review on steam but figured it would've been better to come over here and hear the opinions of hardcore players. tl;dr at bottom

Having played some 50 hours i find this game is good but really falls short when it comes to anything "war-related" and "politics-related".
To be more specific, what i'm talking about is not the physics of the game or the weapons/ships available, but more about the underlying mechanics of war and politics in the game.

In general, the whole commonwealth-terran war the game is trying to depict is really not involving, it just feels like something very distant and more like an obstacle than something you should get into. This stems from the fact that i never get the feeling im being guided by a superior political or military entity throughout the whole game. At first i tried the first argon scenario where you get right into the albion prelude plot, i was given tasks but it never really felt like i was being part of a big conflict, nor was i ever given a reason why i should've gone to fight the terrans in the first place, i was just pointed in their general direction and told to kill them. The second time i chose the pious paranid scenario, and the war was just a distant memory, most of the game was spent building up my economy and on a very small part killing pirates.

To go a bit more in-depth on the topic of politics, despite these races have built gigantic space-faring empires it never really feels like you're actually part of one, nor that you have any form of bound/obligation to them. Which is good in one way (freedom yay!) but really disengaging in another. With the pious paranid start i had good relations with pretty much all factions of the game, there was no punishment for being aligned with both the terrans and argon/CW, this is not something i'd expect from two sides engaged in a long and bloody war.
Also, it seems like nobody lives in space, everything is engineered towards some sort of automated factory complex in the middle of nowhere (wouldn't it make sense for people to conglomerate their space stations into bigger industrial complexes like the player does?) or military installation, having some proper civilian infrastructure like citadels or centers of political aggegration (other than corporate headquarters) would've made a better job at setting the tone of the game imho.

Moving on, the way the actual warfighting works in the game feels very pointless and vague. It's pointless because despite all the efforts you put, you cannot capture enemy sectors for good, as soon as you warp out of a sector the enemies immediately spawn back in. Then if that's the case why bother? This applies to both "war sectors" and regular sectors, haven't tried going in depth and attacking a terran core world but something tells me there would be no change there as well.
It's vague because there is no real endgame nor big strategy driving your decisions when it comes to war. I tried both following the directives from General McGeneralface in the "aid the war effort" missions and just going off my own way and didnt notice any difference (in fact i had better results not listening to the guy whenever a new war report came out). You never feel like you're part of a big war machine, but rather like you're part of an unorganized band of people with warships, without any logic to it. If you don't take part in these military actions there's no penalty (instead of being thrown to jail for insubordination), and if you do you're never inserted into a bigger fleet to have a sense of community and purpose in what you're doing. On top of that, most of the times the war reports gave weird or flat out wrong information like "sector X has fallen to the terrans", despite it clearly wasn't the case.

To reiterate a previous point, not being able to cap enemy sectors made me feel like any credit spent on big war machines was actually wasted because no matter how much i tried it only resulted in me losing a faction's respect and nothing else. In fact i think the game very much encourages you to do the opposite, aka be in good terms with everyone so you can trade with them and buy unique units and factories (although, again, everything is oriented to build massive fleets that have no purpose).

I think this game would benefit from having some sort of career path/occupation: you can choose whether you're a merchant/researcher/explorer/politician/pilot-officer, and as you rank up you can shape up more how the rest of your race behaves. Examples: you start as a lowly merchant with his single ship, and as you pile up more and more money you also have more influence to the point where you can ask your government to put up a trade blockade on some sector so you can cut off enemy supplies and they have to buy from you. Another example, you start as a pilot fresh out of the academy with your simple fighter ship going out to war with the rest of your fleet, and as you pile up bodies you're granted higher ranks and better ships with more responsability, until you finally become a general and you have more influence in empire affairs like planning strategies of war and the likes. As a side quest, since piloting doesnt give many rewards, you could leverage your influence for better equipment and ships from the higher ups.

As a final bit, i think it's a shame the HQ is given as reward so much further down the line, according to the wiki you get there when you have basically finished most of the plots and have no use for it anymore.

tl;dr why should i get involved in the war? also the game could use career choices insted of being so open-ended

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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 01:09    Post subject: Re: [X3AP] What's the point of fighting? Reply with quote Print

chairborne wrote:
As a final bit, i think it's a shame the HQ is given as reward so much further down the line, according to the wiki you get there when you have basically finished most of the plots and have no use for it anymore.

That was X3TC. X3AP gives the PHQ quite early.


The Great Train Robbery (1979):
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Judge: [Judgementally] Now, on the matter of motive, we ask you: Why did you conceive, plan and execute this dastardly and scandalous crime?
Edward Pierce: I wanted the money.

Lets face it: the game is extremely simple. One either finds delight playing it, or not.


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Timsup2nothin





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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 04:13    Post subject: Re: [X3AP] What's the point of fighting? Reply with quote Print

jlehtone wrote:

Lets face it: the game is extremely simple. One either finds delight playing it, or not.


Basically this. I fight because I enjoy the fight. The game doesn't really demand it, and sometimes I play for long periods doing other things, but when I want to fight, as the OP mentions, the physics are good for it.

One of the underrated aspects of X3 (I can't speak for the entire series, but would assume it applies) is the versatility.

As a space flight simulator, of the 'just fly around and see where you get' sort, it's pretty good. The controls are a bit simplistic if that is all you are doing, but the views are certainly good.

As a combat space flight sim it is pretty good. Lots of different ship types, and while AI pilots are pretty much predictable lumps of target material you can usually stir up enough of them at one time to make things dicey enough. Might be a bit of a drawback in that you have to play other aspects of the game to 'unlock' (ie, pay for) the bigger ships and get them equipped.

As an econ sim it's pretty good. There is a very wide range of tools available which can be combined in a very large number of ways, so there is almost an inexhaustible number of options to explore...and while the economy isn't as dynamic as a real economy it does offer a consistency in its operating rules that makes figuring it out a worth while project...with a full spectrum of options whether you want to play as a manufacturer, or a trader, or a thief...or a hybrid.

As an RPG its pretty good, with a fair variety of quests and interactions.

So even though it is far from perfect in any genre, being pretty good in multiple genres is a rare feat worth noting.


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 04:39    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Just a quick point: Pious Paranid is a "peaceful trader" sort of start scenario - the game boasts somewhere near 20ish in total (I forget the exact number - upper teens, perhaps?), many of which are unlocked by reaching various milestones within the game in other starts, and many of them offer "less bland" relations with other races (though these CAN be fixed by the player, with some effort - and tend to need to be, in order to be able to engage with the plots.) At least one of the start scenarios available by default (Bankrupt Assassin) features hostile relations with factions at start (as well as an interesting and potentially challenging mechanic at start to keep the player on his/her toes.)

As for the rest: well, in broad terms I certainly agree, and it certainly tends to feel futile to try to affect the universe in any sort of meaningful political or military way - for instance, as you point out, sectors can't be conquered, even if the player flattens its "contents", ownership cannot be taken over (whether within the Argon-Terran war, or anywhere else) and the destroyed stuff simply grows back over time. The only large-scale changes the player can effect are economic/industrial ones - mostly in the form of facilitating the smooth operation of universe-wide industry in order to skim profits off it - and, as you point out, this "encourages" (to put it mildly!) a "friends-with-all" sort of approach, narrowing the scope of rewarding philosophies/approaches (antagonising any faction only really punishes the player, ultimately, by reduced access and profits.) All this seem to me to stem from the heavy emphasis on the sandbox - and much like in any sandbox, there is lack of investment in one's endeavours and achievements, because all changes are ultimately illusory. I'm a staunch "vanillaist", but if you are not and therefore have no aversion to game mods, you might seek some deeper satisfaction therein - as far as I know, there are a few that make significant changes to the political/military structure and nature of the universe.

Timsup2nothin wrote:
....while the economy isn't as dynamic as a real economy it does offer a consistency in its operating rules that makes figuring it out a worth while project...with a full spectrum of options whether you want to play as a manufacturer, or a trader, or a thief...or a hybrid.

As an RPG its pretty good, with a fair variety of quests and interactions.

These are where I derive the bulk of my satisfaction in this game, and luckily for me, I am most compatibly engaged.


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RainerPrem



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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 05:31    Post subject: Re: [X3AP] What's the point of fighting? Reply with quote Print

chairborne wrote:
...

Having played some 50 hours i find this game is good but really falls short when it comes to anything "war-related" and "politics-related".
...


Hi,

in addition to the other comments: I've played several thousands of hours TC and AP and there are still new things to discover and challenges to overcome. That's the main benefit of those games.

cu
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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 06:49    Post subject: Re: [X3AP] What's the point of fighting? Reply with quote Print

RainerPrem wrote:
chairborne wrote:
...

Having played some 50 hours i find this game is good but really falls short when it comes to anything "war-related" and "politics-related".
...


Hi,

in addition to the other comments: I've played several thousands of hours TC and AP and there are still new things to discover and challenges to overcome. That's the main benefit of those games.

This is a very pertinent comment - I, too, along with many many other users on this forum, have clocked up thousands of hours, and even so I still occasionally learn or think of something new, thanks to the subtle complexities in the game, which are not immediately apparent. 50 hours isn't nearly long enough to "review" this game, it's barely enough to learn the basics (which, admittedly, are a lot more extensive in this game than they are in the vast majority of others.) [However, in my opinion, the shortness of the plots in X3AP compared to those in X3TC doesn't help matters: a first-time player completes the plots and may think that's the game "finished" so to speak - again, a consequence of developer focus on providing a sandbox experience above all else, with plots relegated to little more than tutorial duty, which in my own opinion IS a pity. And that being said, yes, a sandbox-centric game WOULD certainly benefit from deeper military/political/territorial dynamics with meaningful consequences.]


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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 08:07    Post subject: Answer Reply with quote Print

Chairborne, we usually give new pilots some respect. 'The learning curve is steep.' That's how we usually say it. You're so kind to review our game but your understanding is pitiful. If you want a better feel for it, try TC. The plots there are much better; then you'll understand the politics of AP which follow from it.

The politics are weak but do provide a framework. You can decide your relations with each of the other races. You've noticed some things in AP about the politics. I played the AP plot through a few times but generally ignore it.

There are some combat skills that come into play for the TC plot. There's a couple big fleets that take a lot to beat. Not that hard, really, but 'the learning curve is steep'. You have to destroy 25 big monster enemies that just keep coming. You start with a nice M3. You have to build up and earn $ to get a ship good enough to beat them. For the hardest combat, it doesn't pay to have a fleet. You lose too many of yours to the enemy you face; there is no win by attrition. They just keep coming. Some do it with a fleet but I just take one good ship into the action and use some skills to beat the enemy one by one while I'm attacked by numerous enemies. There's strategy and timing.

Different players have different interests. Many like the economic part of the game, building big complexes and eventually making money with them. A challenge for you: make a self-sustaining money-making complex. I'll even give you the easiest type. Sell Spaceweed or Spacefuel to the universe and you'll make big money. It's a big AP universe with a lot of choices. There's a lot of mistakes to make. If you try the challenge, you'll make a lot of them. You can even check with us on this Forum for answers we've found. And here's something great about this game. There's more than one answer. Maybe there's as many answers as there are players.

Take combat. I like small ship combat. I'll take the smallest ship and work up to an M3. I'll do it by capturing the ship I attack. (Capping) Then I either make it my personal ship or sell it for $. I've learned enough to fund my whole game with capping. Some TS ships sell for $1 million. Some M3+ sell for $3 Mil. Then you get into boarding the big ships with your marines for big money: $20 Mil to $90 Mil. Then you get your marines back and do it again. There's in and outs to all of this. It's fun to learn it, fun to use it.

There's different capabilities for the ships. There's a Jump Drive that lets you jump a number of sectors away. It uses Energy, which you can carry. The Transporter lets you transfer things between ship. Otherwise it's hard to do. There's a Docking Computer that allows you to dock at a station or certain ships. There's the hard way if you don't have it.

There's some games where you start with nothing. Then you appreciate each thing as you earn it. The Tormented Teladi Game Start gives you that one. You have a time limit and start with almost nothing. Bankrupt Assassin gives you some feel for AP combat with an M3. A lot of players, new and experienced, spent time with Humble Merchant. It develops into a nice economic game. I play it as a combat scenario and do well with it. And many do both. Poisoned Paranid calls for a lot of skills and has a time limit. The reward is a great personal ship, the Paranid Hyperion, which you can over-tune. I'd suggest you spend some time with each of these game starts if you really want to understand the game. Then cap a few ships and build a complex. Come to the Forum if you have questions.


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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 08:43    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hmm well you have proven that you are smarter than the average Steam reviewer as you actually gave the game a chance first and showed willingness to figure out the game somewhat. I personally recommend you do not review games on Steam at all.

You are right though, it does lack a meaningful endgame. I always end up just sitting around watching the credits pile up at the very end. However the end is a long time coming. It is one of the reasons I enjoy X3TC more than AP. The thing about AP is that it is seems to be designed with the experienced player who knows what they want in mind. If you want to be a big bully and throw fleets around, there is a war for you to do that, want to start a new game but don't want to grind the starting credits, well there is the stock exchange for that. In X3TC however it is more of a slow burn. You don't get the HQ until the end of a VERY long plot (which just happens to be my favorite one, because it gives you something to do with all the resources you have built up).

I'm not recommending you play X3TC but more along the lines of the open endedness is the point. You do what you want. If you want someone to hold your hand, you are playing the wrong game for sure (as you found out). That is what makes it special. You are given the tools, its up to you what you want to do with them.

But restrict the game in some way because you think its too open ended? Absolutely not! It is one of the defining features of the X3 series. Otherwise if you had to choose to do one thing or the other it would just be one of many terrible imitations that already exist.

If however you feel there is something truly missing from the game and you actually like it and not just farming snippets to try and make us look bad for defending a game we love, there are mods. Lots and lots of mods. From simple visual enhancement packs (as my signature shows Smile) to complete overhauls such as X-Rebalance Mod (XRM) and Litcube's Universe (X3LU).

One thing to consider as well, the community looks dead. I can assure you it is not. Check out the X3TC subreddit as well (it covers all the X3 games). It is in a state where there are few new post from vets but we are all on standby to help anyone who needs it as quickly and accurately as possible.


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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 13:38    Post subject: Re: Answer Reply with quote Print

Bill Huntington wrote:
For the hardest combat, it doesn't pay to have a fleet. You lose too many of yours to the enemy you face; there is no win by attrition. They just keep coming. Some do it with a fleet but I just take one good ship into the action and use some skills to beat the enemy one by one while I'm attacked by numerous enemies. There's strategy and timing.

Hmmm, I have to EMPHATICALLY disagree with this - I *only* ever do fleets these days (and for a number of years), never the single monolithic ship approach. I get both better results AND a far superior, more interesting tactical challenge. With minimal (or even no) attrition losses, depending on how well I've managed my fleet through the battle. And I start this approach right from the start, getting me a TL ASAP and filling it with fighters as I can afford them, thus allowing me to grow a bit of muscle gradually, instead of having to save up a lump sum for, say, a corvette. Then, usually, a M8 is my next addition (doesn't fly around with me as a matter of course, of course - called in as needed), and from there on I choose whatever path appeals to me most for that game - most usually, though, I put myself in a M7C and transfer over my fighter wing into its roomier accommodations, allowing me to grow that wing larger. It's been several years since I personally piloted anything larger than a frigate, as I find it tedious and boring (the *occasional* exception might be a nice carrier, which I use, again, for its FIGHTER capacity more than anything else) - yes, I always own M7Ms and destroyers, but I order those around remotely, pulling them in and out as necessary.

Bill Huntington wrote:
There's more than one answer. Maybe there's as many answers as there are players.

This I most emphatically AGREE with! Smile

Bill Huntington wrote:
I'd suggest you spend some time with each of these game starts if you really want to understand the game.

And this, too. I would also add: if you have the patience, look up the unlocking requirements for the other game starts (and a few of the ones Bill mentioned also have prerequisites), unlock them, and try them out. For some really tricky starts, you can sample Lost Lar and Unholy Traitor. That being said, all the "special" start scenarios' added challenges are overcome in the early game, and thus further challenges (for the middle and late game) need to be sought - here I will also echo Bill's recommendation and Sinxar's sentiment, to try out X3TC for its longer and more engrossing plots (with the added benefit of having a nearly identical set of starting scenarios to choose from.)

Sinxar wrote:
One thing to consider as well, the community looks dead. I can assure you it is not.

Heheheh - that's right, we're all too busy playing X games (and they are all, right from X:BtF all the way through to X3AP and X: Rebirth, getting attention.) Very Happy


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PostPosted: Tue, 15. Aug 17, 22:52    Post subject: Re: Answer Reply with quote Print

Bill Huntington wrote:
Chairborne, we usually give new pilots some respect. 'The learning curve is steep.' That's how we usually say it. You're so kind to review our game but your understanding is pitiful. If you want a better feel for it, try TC. The plots there are much better; then you'll understand the politics of AP which follow from it.


Not very respectful of you to call my understanding "pitiful" and to be fair you yourself don't seem to really have understood what i'm talking about.

Quote:
There are some combat skills that come into play for the TC plot. There's a couple big fleets that take a lot to beat. Not that hard, really, but 'the learning curve is steep'. You have to destroy 25 big monster enemies that just keep coming. You start with a nice M3. You have to build up and earn $ to get a ship good enough to beat them. For the hardest combat, it doesn't pay to have a fleet. You lose too many of yours to the enemy you face; there is no win by attrition. They just keep coming. Some do it with a fleet but I just take one good ship into the action and use some skills to beat the enemy one by one while I'm attacked by numerous enemies. There's strategy and timing.


This is exactly NOT what i was talking about in OP. My question was WHY is that something i, as a player, want to do? Why do i want to invest my time and money on building my fleet and shoot the baddies? What's the reward? What's my political/strategic endgame, and how does winning a confrontation against an enemy fleet affect that?

Can i reach total victory over an enemy faction? No.
Do i get any kind of reward by destroying enemy units other than combat XP? No.

The only thing i might get is access to better factories and ships so i can shoot baddies more efficiently. You see how this is a circular process?

Quote:
Come to the Forum if you have questions.


I do have a question, it's a very simple one and you seem to be unable to answer it thus far. Why should i get involved in the war?
Everything in this game is engineered towards conflict. Most of the factories in game don't produce books or medicines, but cannons and missiles. Heck, even civilian logistics ships can be converted into improvised aircraft carriers like many of you mentioned, but then the game cuts your legs with how you can affect the universe.
For a sandbox game i think it falls short with how much control you can have over the universe you live in.

Quote:
But restrict the game in some way because you think its too open ended? Absolutely not! It is one of the defining features of the X3 series. Otherwise if you had to choose to do one thing or the other it would just be one of many terrible imitations that already exist.


Heh i get what you mean, fair enough. My point was more about the fact that you can't really specialize into something and achieve the same goal in different ways. What if instead of needing good relations with a race to buy their products/factories, you could have your own research station that can unlock a special item or factory for yourself? What if said research station could specialize even further and craft items/factories that don't exist in the universe, so that you basically control supply of said special item?
This is just the first thing that comes to mind, but i hope you get where i'm going with this.

Quote:
If however you feel there is something truly missing from the game and you actually like it and not just farming snippets to try and make us look bad for defending a game we love, there are mods. Lots and lots of mods. From simple visual enhancement packs (as my signature shows Smile) to complete overhauls such as X-Rebalance Mod (XRM) and Litcube's Universe (X3LU).


Thanks, i've already done a bit of research and ImprovedRaces seems to address one of the things i disliked thus far about the game. I'm a modder myself, although on a different game. Cool It's good to see another community thriving also thanks to mods, however as you probably know modding something into the game doesn't always produce the same result as having said feature integrated directly into the game by the developers themselves.

Anyway thanks to everyone for taking time and replying to me, very appreciated!

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PostPosted: Wed, 16. Aug 17, 00:51    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

While I understand what you mean, it simply isn't possible to get that deep. I tend to think about it as you are just one guy vs the world. While in X3 that isn't really the case because you eventually become a superpower yourself and could in theory fund research on things like that.

Not sure systems like that are even possible in the X3 engine, it is struggling as is (the engine is 12 years old now wow). Maybe in X4 we will have more complex things to do.

Yeah I know what you mean about the mods. I usually shy away from modding my games as I typically prefer vanilla. Unfortunately we are stuck with the dev's vision of the game and things like balance is an issue. Interesting fact, a lot of mod content was integrated into the games over time. The most popular example is the bonus pack for each of the games. In X3AP, i *think* the additional plots (shady business update) were made by modders, i know the Terran HQ model was for sure. However it isn't something to count on. There may be further updates but unlikely to be content ones. Another major limiting factor is the games are single threaded so that is a major hurdle in of itself for the devs and modders alike.


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PostPosted: Wed, 16. Aug 17, 04:42    Post subject: reply Reply with quote Print

Thanks for your reply, Chairborne.

We can do some of what you're talking about. Some players would rather build and trade rather than fight with bad guys. It can be done. There's probably more $ in weapons, but factories can be built for the food of five different races and a number of high tech commodities and their intermediate products.

TC and AP are space simulations. I'd guess the attraction is actually doing each thing. I do some building in most games, but I really enjoy taking down the bad guys and stopping them from bothering my little empire. Some players play one game for months and even years because building takes time. I get what I want in a game day or two, then play another gamestart with another wrinkle.

You complain about the Terran - Commonwealth War being pointless, more or less. If you take a look at the TC plot you'd understand that both sides see it that way too. Both got dragged into it. How many messages are there? How about a war worth fighting? Have you noticed Paranid arrogance yet? And their nice ships which can sold for $.

The game is interactive. What you do changes things that come after it. Like you buy a load from a station. Then your next ship has a higher price because there's less product available. Or you kill a peaceful pirate ship. Then it's whole clan based on one pirate base is hostile to you.

Pirates are good example of TC/AP. There's a pirate rating, along with a rating for each of the major races. A bad pirate rating means they hunt you and attack you whenever they can. A good pirate rating means they leave you alone. Even a good rating doesn't apply to all pirates; some rogues will attack anyway. But a good rating cuts down the attacks a lot. If you trade with the pirates or do missions for them, it helps your rating. New pilots usually kill pirates learning their combat skills. Later they figure out the consequences of that and usually start a new game with lessons learned. I'll kill selected pirates or rogue pirates but I'll do missions for pirate bases after that to keep high pirate rep.

There's more to these games than you see right away. If you start with a jump drive, you don't know how hard they are get. You have to have a certain rank to buy each capability. Only certain stations in certain sectors have them. Certain races sell some unique products. Like the Split sell Turbo drives, or the Argon and Boron sell Jump Drives.

You noticed that the War Reports aren't accurate in some ways. You've missed that the stated sectors will be active shortly if not right that moment. If you don't have satellites or other ships there, you'll miss the fleets that your scanners don't pick up right away because they're not in range. And each of the War Zones has a usual owner, which has consequences. There's the fog of war built into many parts of the game; inaccurate information is included, with the player aware and using his or her own judgment. Then there's getting credit for the kills to move the plot along. You might not get them in the sector named in the war report. It'll be in another sector that's highlighted by a different search. Did you get all that in your 50 hours, Chairborne?

TC/AP is not an arcade game but there is combat in a certain way. The game allows for levels. When you have the skills and want to take on the challenge, there's the Xenon sectors. To survive in them takes a lot. To destroy the toughest enemy in a Core Sector like Xenon 023 takes more. Then you can repeat the experience for a few game days and earn the highest combat rank. Yes, Chairborne, being good at war like this is part of the TC. Many of us like the challenge.

You've brought up some good points, Chairborne. But how much of them are 'Why isn't this game like ___?' TC/AP is its own game. There's limitations, which is some of what you're saying. I hope you stay long enough to understand what we do have.


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Wed, 16. Aug 17, 04:48    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@chairborne: Despite my going on about alternative starts and what-not in an attempt to essentially provide not much more than distractions, if you will, I do understand your frustration with (or perhaps it's better described as regret about) the game - there are certain things that simply cannot be done, and this is quite clearly evidenced by (among others) the fact that it's impossible to viably go "one against the rest", as you will always need to spend credits on certain things (ie. cannot ever be 100% cash-independent, no matter how developed one's industry and infrastructure) such as building your own ships, and you will always need ship upgrades and ship equipment (non-ware equipment such as duplex/triplex scanners, jumpdrives, etc.), and both credits and those upgrades/equipment can ONLY be acquired from NPC sources, so at the very least one non-red faction HAS to be maintained. Unfortunately, it's as Sinxar said: the engine has been pushed to its limits, and let's face it, given its age it's doing pretty damn well. Wink

To circle back to your original question, though, which hasn't *really* been directly answered as yet: in my opinion, it can be quite hard to justify fighting in light of the sacrifices this will *always* entail - yes, the game certainly appears to favour a "make nice with everyone" approach in certain ways (though combat itself is in some ways often incentivised in terms of short-term gains - combat missions get very lucrative very quickly, for instance; too much so in my opinion, in fact, and hence I don't do missions myself.) However, such sacrifices can represent ways to significantly crank up the game's difficulty/challenge level, by the player imposing arbitrary restrictions/rules upon his/her game - for example, I choose a scenario and then I stick to ONLY that character's race's ships and stations from that point on, and often I will choose to actively provoke or maintain conflict with that race's traditional enemy (Argon vs Paranid, Boron vs Split) if applicable. Having clocked up thousands upon thousands of hours on the X games, collectively and even singly, in some cases, and being also a vanilla player myself, I have no option to do such things to keep things interesting. And despite the game's limitations, there's still an impressive scope of possible things to try out.

Happy hunting! Smile


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zazie



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PostPosted: Wed, 16. Aug 17, 11:14    Post subject: Re: Answer Reply with quote Print

chairborne wrote:
I'm a modder myself, although on a different game. Cool
This could be a starting point for realizing your ideas you apparently have. I dare to say so though personally I have no modding capabilities at all. But I may explain it from the X3-game-evolution:

X3 Reunion was the first game of the X-series with the new engine (in 2004/5). Some members of the X-gaming community worked hard on modifications that added absolutely new possibilities to the game . Examples: boarding ships with Marines, new races, new ship classes and so on. They called it Xtended-Mod. Egosoft then hired some members of that Modding Team and took over a lot of those ideas in X3 Terran Conflict.

The rest of the "Xtended-Modders" and some new members continued their work and published their XTC-Mod (based on X3TC): Again they overstepped borders and presented a whole new game: a completely different and evolving Universe, new plots and so on. They introduced new 'commodities' (like coffee or the notorious fluffy-dice).

In short: it IS possible to mod the game so that new content plays a role in a new plot - all written with the game-engine's own capabilities.

Take that as an invitation Smile

P.S. No doubt that other Mods have also contributed to the fascination of the X3-games. I talked about the Xtended-Mod because of its unique contribution to the evolution from X3R to X3TC.

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jlehtone



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PostPosted: Wed, 16. Aug 17, 21:44    Post subject: Re: Answer Reply with quote Print

chairborne wrote:
My question was WHY is that something i, as a player, want to do? Why do i want to invest my time and money on building my fleet and shoot the baddies? What's the reward? What's my political/strategic endgame, and how does winning a confrontation against an enemy fleet affect that?

Can i reach total victory over an enemy faction? No.
Do i get any kind of reward by destroying enemy units other than combat XP? No.

True (in vanilla). There is no politics, whatsoever. There is no "war". The war sectors are simply hostile sectors, but not quite like the Xenon sectors.

The player is nobody, insignificant, zilch. The NPC do not care, no matter what we do.

We can build a fleet that outnumbers everything else. The NPC have about 10'000 ships together.
We can build build more stations than the others have together.
We can sell resources for top dollar and clear the products at rock bottom discount. Every transaction will be a loss for the NPC Factory that we trade with, but it keeps trucking.

We can demolish ships and stations left, right and center whereever we please, whenever. We can outtrade and outproduce everyone. Nobody cares. We can have Xtreme in both combat and trade XP, but the NPC don't mind.

Sure, our provocations turn "our reputation" into red but that merely makes it easier to find something to shoot at. Admittedly, the possessed XP changes generic mission payout, but credits are cheap.

We can do anything and everything, but no, we cannot make permanent "political" contributions. We are nothing. Simple as that. Simple game.

Thinking
Well, almost. There are some minor irreversible changes that the player can do (in vanilla).

A X3AP plot can end the War. Permanently. I've yet to see it, but I heard that no warfare is involved.

Player's reputation among Goners. If your reputation drops to bottom, then the only way to climb back is to kill enemies. Missions and trading won't pull you up from that deep. The Goners have no enemies to kill, and thus if you do go down, you will stay down. Then again, Goners are as insignificant as the player.


There is something in the War too. It has "states". Many states, ranging from Argon practically controlling all the war sectors to Terrans nominally ruling everywhere. Between the extremes are "balance/tie" states. The state fluctuates back and forth somewhat, but not all the way. Somewhere, underneath is a "overall war score", around which the fluctuation occurs. Player actions can push the score to either extreme.

A minor (non-permanent) change in the content of the war sectors. That in itself is hardly a reward or incentive, is it?


I cannot offer you a decent WHY. I have a personal why: Valhalla, Xenon I, Jump Beacons, etc -- trophies. Gotta catch them all.


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