Trade Fight Build Think....EXPLORE!

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Alan Phipps
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Post by Alan Phipps » Tue, 27. Mar 18, 16:04

@ Skeeter: Heh, so basically you disliked the lack of worthwhile exploring in XR, but mainly because you didn't explore enough to find any worth doing. :D

(Note: I'm laughing with you and not at you!)

Anyway, let's try to get back to discussing X4 gameplay aspects rather than just reminiscing about Rebirth.
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Skeeter
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Post by Skeeter » Tue, 27. Mar 18, 17:56

All I was trying to say is I expected new stuff from dlc to jump out at me when I explored those areas, I figured half hour looking around would do it but it didn't, I was "hoping" it would make me go " aw cool" new stuff but I didn't. Ah well, probably still would have gave up on it anyhow. Bought the dlc tho so supported them.

Heard there were new weapons but don't think I saw a station sell anything new tho can't recall it's been so long since I played.
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MegaJohnny
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Post by MegaJohnny » Tue, 27. Mar 18, 21:27

I think it doesn't help that, even with the view distance at the max setting, you won't notice anything in adjacent zones. In Cold Star there are flashing nav beacons to guide you to stations, but not always in HoL - and admittedly the Gigurums flying over are easy to miss. Obviously you want to feel like you found something yourself, but there should be breadcrumbs leading you to them as well.

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Post by Sandalpocalypse » Wed, 28. Mar 18, 01:04

Home of Light itself wasn't very exciting. It was more Toride and Cold Star that were interesting. HoL is a highly populated city sector and was never gonna be a place for exploration. The DLC talks about how you could try to break the Terracorp monopoly, but the way faction rep works and the nature of the XR economy made that kinda unengaging.

HoL was a showpiece for X4-style sector design though. Relatively simple highways, with a mix of stations clustered on the highway and others located far from it.

@Skeeter - I'm pretty sure there is a Toride Explorer gamestart that dumps you in Toride right away. It's a fun thing to do imo.
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Post by ajime » Wed, 28. Mar 18, 04:06

Skeeter wrote:All I was trying to say is I expected new stuff from dlc to jump out at me when I explored those areas, I figured half hour looking around would do it but it didn't, I was "hoping" it would make me go " aw cool" new stuff but I didn't. Ah well, probably still would have gave up on it anyhow. Bought the dlc tho so supported them.

Heard there were new weapons but don't think I saw a station sell anything new tho can't recall it's been so long since I played.
I was pleasantly surprised recently to find heavy laser and that missile which drops you from boosting which i can't remember the name from those systems. I wasn't actively looking for it though. Time to lightsaber some reivers and blockade some boosting tradeships in AL.

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Post by Vandragorax » Wed, 28. Mar 18, 14:25

MegaJohnny wrote:I think it doesn't help that, even with the view distance at the max setting, you won't notice anything in adjacent zones. In Cold Star there are flashing nav beacons to guide you to stations, but not always in HoL - and admittedly the Gigurums flying over are easy to miss. Obviously you want to feel like you found something yourself, but there should be breadcrumbs leading you to them as well.
Surely this is what the long range scanner is for?

The pings are the breadcrumbs :) But apparently lots of people found this system too childish and hand-holding and would rather see visual indicators of where interesting stuff might be, so they can be intrigued to fly over to whatever it is and take a look.

I'm down with that, like seeing a huge energy storm in the background and going towards it to see what is there, or a moon that looks close enough to fly at and investigate.

The problem with this though is that it could be difficult to show to the player which features can be flown to/interacted with and which are simply background skybox type things. I think the scan ping system does a good job of showing us where there 'might' be something interesting.

Maybe the next logical step is to combine the two: you see something interesting in the background, then perform a 'ping' and after pin-pointing something of interest, we can perform a deep scan which takes some time aiming at the target direction but would come back with some actual information about the object, like some description of a nebula cloud, or a large asteroid, the site of a previous battle with salvagable wreckage, or something mysterious out there. Thus prompting us to go take a closer look.
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Post by Skeeter » Wed, 28. Mar 18, 14:53

For me I would love to see say visual things to explore. Say in a sector there's a nebula, you go in explore it and could find a old X 2 ship with say a crate next to it or if possible a scan ship feature and you have a chance of finding in it some old tech like maybe a gamma ire laser which u can equip and it fires just like they used to, same FX and audio etc.

Maybe in a asteroid field u can find a old working relic ship, maybe one my favs from X tension a pirate Bayamon I think it was, it had a cool cockpit and shape iirc.

Little prizes for exploring.

Maybe a hidden boron outpost near some planets atmosphere that's hidden behind something and inside sells a few old boron ships. Borons not there but ship still had a few docked ships for sale in it for example so no boron NPC's to worry about but let's x4 players have some ships that they crave.
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Post by Silla » Thu, 29. Mar 18, 22:18

id like to add diplomacy :roll:

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Post by LittleBird » Thu, 29. Mar 18, 23:43

Skeeter wrote:For me I would love to see say visual things to explore. Say in a sector there's a nebula, you go in explore it and could find a old X 2 ship with say a crate next to it or if possible a scan ship feature and you have a chance of finding in it some old tech like maybe a gamma ire laser which u can equip and it fires just like they used to, same FX and audio etc.

Maybe in a asteroid field u can find a old working relic ship, maybe one my favs from X tension a pirate Bayamon I think it was, it had a cool cockpit and shape iirc.
Keep in mind that with X-Rebirth Egosoft managed to increase the size of... everything. That includes nebulas, asteroid fields etc. There is absolutely no way to "find" something in space that scale by just looking for some visuals.
The increased scale makes designing exploration much more difficult.
I like your examples but how can it realised?
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Post by Skeeter » Fri, 30. Mar 18, 03:06

Perhaps rumors that NPC's talk about could start the exploration. So you were given either cords to start with or a area to investigate to start you off. Then using sensors and visual cues like sensors beep faster as you close in on a unknown signal and the visuals could be a huge asteroid bigger than the rest, so as ur getting nearer ur thinking hmm my that's a oddly oversized roof over in that direction and my sensors seem to indicate something maybe over there in that general direction. Etc etc.

Or by pot luck you can just explore and be lucky finding something, random drops of derelicts here there and everywhere, they give a radiation signal. If u have god sensors and are within 30km u can detect the signal and try zeroing in on them.

Or by missions with subplots. Let's say you escort a convoy of refugees from a to b to c. During the mission you fly through a uncharted region of space, you fight off few pirates and after u detect a faint radio transmission and you can either investigate and maybe discover something cool but fail the mission if you leave the convoy for too long or ignore it and finish ur mission and miss ur chance of discovery.

Few examples.

A good adventure starts with a good clue. Imo.
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Killjaeden
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Post by Killjaeden » Fri, 30. Mar 18, 04:17

Skeeter wrote:A good adventure starts with a good clue. Imo.
And good clues require hand crafting... not procedurally repeating the same voice line over and over, except for different objects and locations. My opinion...
Almost all good and exciting exploration ideas mentioned so far rely on developers handcrafting and placing exciting stuff, making plots and so on. It just doesnt work as procedurally generated and ever-repeating cycle.
Or by pot luck you can just explore and be lucky finding something
if this was a design goal you would be bored to death as player if its done properly - or you would be showered with stuff., because if you build something on players expectation of luck by actively chasing it you must as game designer make sure that he doesnt draw blanks all the time -> there is a predetermined pattern how likely you are to find something. If you dont (as game designer) players will do that luck thing once and then never again, when they realized the chances are actually way too small and the universe too large for this to work like they expect.

quoting you out of context: "when I explored those areas, I figured half hour looking around would do it but it didn't" - this is what would happen with randomly placing objects in large space. Space is a very very bad environment for hiding things - because you only have distance to hide something in most cases. The only exception are dense asteroid/debris fields with complex formations (tunnels etc). Complex formations require handcrafting (modelling of the asteroids).
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Skeeter
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Post by Skeeter » Fri, 30. Mar 18, 06:07

Oh I agree hand crafted exploration would be great. I would prefer that to randomly generated ones. I only gave some examples to the other poster of how they might do some things.
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LittleBird
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Post by LittleBird » Fri, 30. Mar 18, 09:28

@Skeeter
And I think that would work. :thumb_up:
This would solve the problem that space is way to large for visual clues as an entry point for exploration.
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ajime
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Post by ajime » Fri, 30. Mar 18, 10:12

I guess its the same as freelancer's cue. I remembered the best weps were salvaged off from a wreck.

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MegaJohnny
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Post by MegaJohnny » Fri, 30. Mar 18, 10:24

Vandragorax wrote:Surely this is what the long range scanner is for?

The pings are the breadcrumbs :) But apparently lots of people found this system too childish and hand-holding and would rather see visual indicators of where interesting stuff might be, so they can be intrigued to fly over to whatever it is and take a look.

I'm down with that, like seeing a huge energy storm in the background and going towards it to see what is there, or a moon that looks close enough to fly at and investigate.

The problem with this though is that it could be difficult to show to the player which features can be flown to/interacted with and which are simply background skybox type things. I think the scan ping system does a good job of showing us where there 'might' be something interesting.

Maybe the next logical step is to combine the two: you see something interesting in the background, then perform a 'ping' and after pin-pointing something of interest, we can perform a deep scan which takes some time aiming at the target direction but would come back with some actual information about the object, like some description of a nebula cloud, or a large asteroid, the site of a previous battle with salvagable wreckage, or something mysterious out there. Thus prompting us to go take a closer look.
Ha! I guess you've got me there, because I didn't know the LRS could get pings from another zone. I just thought of it as the gateway to the silly lockbox minigame.

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