Frontier First Encounter. Anyone still playing it?

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Mighty Midget
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Frontier First Encounter. Anyone still playing it?

Post by Mighty Midget » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 14:45

After returning to X:Tension after a few years' break, and looking into space trade/exploration games, I remembered FFE as the game I spent the most time on of all games I played. It ran more or less continuously on my Amiga 500 then PC for years and years. Yes, it was horrenduously buggy. Yes, you were limited to a single ship in your inventory. No factories to own, but boy was there gameplay and places to explore, trade routes to be found, hunting grounds for trigger happies, job offers aplenty, it was a game that couldn't possibly be explored in full due to its sheer size.

I recently re-obtained FFE with plans on giving it another go some 15 years after I last played it and to my surprise I found that there were modded versions that offered bug fixes as well as better graphics. Now I must admit I am completely out of the loop when it comes to what these modders did years ago and I have no clue which modded version I should try, not to mention which one(s) are still found online. Regrettably, several high quality Elite/E2F/FFE sites have gone down over the years and the web is now full of dead links.

This is where I hope someone here have some insight on which mod I should go for and if possible, be able to verify that this mod is still obtainable. I don't have much hope for obtainability seeing how FFE is largely forgotten now with only a handful of people remembering it let alone still playing it.

How about you? Did you/do you play FFE and what do you think of this game? Do you perhaps prefer E2F or the original Elite?

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Rice
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Post by Rice » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 16:46

seems JJFFE is still quite easy to obtainable, but i'm not sure if its legal or not to point you towards the missing gamefiles, as there are pages which offers them. because its abadonware. but towards the launcher and Mods i can surely give you a pointer

variant 1. probably the most basic one
https://lotf.co.uk/jjffe.html

variant 2. has been made around 2009 which is a refinement of GLFFE while GLFFEE is a "refinement of variant 1 "
http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Nic%27s_Mod
http://nic.dnsalias.com/FFE.html

variant 3. (
http://www.frontierastro.co.uk/Hires/hiresffe.html
^
Explaines the approach while refering to resources found on http://spacesimcentral.com/
which i can't check because Wordpress always works quirky to not at all on my end and that stuff is behind the Login ;)

Variant 4.
http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/FFE_D3D
ah well, same as for Variant 3. it refers to SSC ;)
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Mighty Midget
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Post by Mighty Midget » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 16:53

Hugely appreciated.

I did attempt to sign up on SSC but since it never worked I assumed (perhaps hastely) that it was effectively dead. Looking at GLFF now and hopefully I'm back in the cockpit soon!

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mrbadger
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Post by mrbadger » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 17:40

I bought it many years ago. I did want to play it, but hit too many bugs to enjoy it.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

Mighty Midget
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Post by Mighty Midget » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 17:54

mrbadger wrote:I bought it many years ago. I did want to play it, but hit too many bugs to enjoy it.
Understandably. The bugs did make me quit the game over periods of time but either I'm too stubborn or Daggerfall made me more imune than I'd otherwise would have been. Either way, thanks to the web, I learned how to avoid many of the bugs or work around them. I'd have to relearn that now of course.

Redvers Ganderpoke
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Post by Redvers Ganderpoke » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 18:14

mrbadger wrote:I bought it many years ago. I did want to play it, but hit too many bugs to enjoy it.
I never finished it until the internet arrived and the revised versions were available. In some ways it is much better than ED (the method of story telling is 100x better ) but when I tried to play on a modern PC the graphics just looked terrible - best not to mention the sound.
I'm not dead, I just don't post very often anymore.

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Post by brucewarren » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 18:55

It also came with a game making bug.
SpoilerShow
When you got the Thargoid ship it was possible to kit it out in such a way that it could be turned into a ship with a ridiculously large cargo capacity but the jump range of an eagle on steroids

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mrbadger
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Post by mrbadger » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 22:17

My main problem was that I picked up a passenger, taking up a lot of cargo space, then played for hours while working my way to the place where I was supposed to drop them off, then found that I couldn't, and that I was stuck with a non completable mission and permanently lost cargo space.

Before that point I'd been having fun. After that point I was unable to enjoy it, or even be bothered to start a new game.

Had there been the possibility of patches I'd have waited, but there were no patches. I understand there are community fixes, and guides to avoiding the worst bugs now, but I've moved on.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

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Post by matthewfarmery » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 22:46

I did try this game a while back, but I gave it up, I did like the second one as well, but then again, that was buggy as anything as well.
I think if I remember, even the modded versions still have a critical mission bug in them, so you can't complete the game. (but its been a long time so I can't remember if that has changed.

On another note, there is an open source remake of elite 2 / 3 called Pioneer that is still been worked on

not touched it n a while, but seems to be pretty good now

https://pioneerspacesim.net/#&panel1-1

They had to remove elite style ships because FD asked them too, but anyway, worth checking out, if your interested.
[http://gamerschoiceuk.com/ a multi game help site that offers help for X2, WoW, guild wars and many others

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Post by pjknibbs » Mon, 18. Dec 17, 23:57

mrbadger wrote:My main problem was that I picked up a passenger, taking up a lot of cargo space, then played for hours while working my way to the place where I was supposed to drop them off, then found that I couldn't, and that I was stuck with a non completable mission and permanently lost cargo space.
You got off lightly! In FFE there's a mission where you get transported to the Thargoid home world--in order to ensure you don't go Rambo your weapons and shields are removed for this journey. When your business with the Thargoids is finished, they don't transport you back to where you came from--oh, no, that would be too easy (and not quite buggy enough). No, they leave you in a system 400 light years from home, and they don't give you your weapons or shields back--so you're faced with making a year-long return trip with no means of defending yourself. Best hope you have a fuel scoop!

Leastways, that's how it was in the version of the game after applying the first patch (supplied to me on a floppy disc, you'll note, this is a time before the Internet was commonplace enough for patches to be downloaded from it). I'm sure they fixed that later on, but I wasn't about to faff around getting *another* floppy with the fixes on posted to me...

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Post by Mighty Midget » Tue, 19. Dec 17, 01:32

Not much love for that game, huh? :lol: Well I can't say I'm surprised. Lotsa fans were almost as outraged as Braben himself was over the publisher demanding a half baked game being shipped. Still, just had a few moments now with the unmodded FFE (couldn't get the modded one to work properly) and it did bring a stupid grin on my face playing it again after all these years. Time will tell if I'll rage quit over a bug or keep playing albeit perhaps not for years and years.

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Morkonan
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Post by Morkonan » Tue, 19. Dec 17, 02:03

It may have been years ago, but I remember posting a bunch of links to freebie games and servers for this sort of subject. There must have been a couple I posted on this very game, surely?

One of the problems is, of course, getting one's hands on such old games. "Amazon" or "Ebay" is the common suggestion, though some electronics and game stores may have old boxes on a table, somewhere.

Some devs have truly opened their titles up to the community. "Star Control" is like that with "The UrQuann Masters" release. I think Microsoft opened up one of their similar games to that development as an independent host for multiplayer expressed interest in keeping it alive. Surprising, considering "Microsoft" and such.

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mrbadger
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Post by mrbadger » Tue, 19. Dec 17, 11:37

Mighty Midget wrote:Not much love for that game, huh? :lol: Well I can't say I'm surprised.
Given how much the first game was loved, and much this game was anticipated, to have it finally arrived as a buggy piece of garbage was just too much.

It had so much potential.You could even see how much potential it had when you started playing it, which made the failure to meet that potential even worse. I'm sure Braben was devastated by what the publishers forced him to do, but that doesn't change the fact that the game was a disaster.

I bought it at least two years before I even owned a PC. That's how much I wanted to play it. And that's why it being so buggy had such a profound effect on me.

Braben is the only developer who's games have caused me to buy entire computers just to play them.

John Carmack of Id has caused me to buy hardware to go inside computers for his games, but never an entire computer.

I still haven't played this new Elite yet, that requires time I just don't have.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

Redvers Ganderpoke
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Post by Redvers Ganderpoke » Tue, 19. Dec 17, 13:24

mrbadger wrote: Braben is the only developer who's games have caused me to buy entire computers just to play them.

I still haven't played this new Elite yet, that requires time I just don't have.
All my computer upgrades all seem to coincide with Elite releases as well.

Elite Dangerous is indeed a time sink.
I'm not dead, I just don't post very often anymore.

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Post by Geek » Tue, 19. Dec 17, 13:38

matthewfarmery wrote: I think if I remember, even the modded versions still have a critical mission bug in them, so you can't complete the game. (but its been a long time so I can't remember if that has changed.
I finished the plot with JJFFE (likely to work with any version based on it too).
Right on commander !

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