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caleb





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 02:57    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hey, that's cool. And I'm in the same boat as you. Played X-Tension for far more than I want to acknowledge, X2, X3s for massive amount of hours, and they are each great in their own right. I did preorder rebirth, and it was a massive let down. And I did try to play it. Just could not get into it. I was very active in the forums during that time, and I feed cheated and lied to. The picture they painted of the game was way different than what it actually was.

Overhype? maybe. But I still think they went a bit too far on the promises, and did not deliver. Maybe that was just me, but perception is your personal reality.

That does not mean I hate Egosoft. I think they have been able to create some great games, and here I am hoping that X4 will be another great game. That it delivers everything we want in a game, and more! But I did mature as a gamer on that regard. I do not pre-order games anymore. We have much more information now a days to check before buying a game. I'm not overhyping myself either. I just do not blindly trust any company anymore.

So it's just a shift in perspective. I have to say that being hyped about something can be fun. To dream about how great things will be. To feel like you are part of something as it develops. Unfortunately, reality is not really like that.

So here is hoping for a great game. If they make a great game, we all win.

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Scoob





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 14:06    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Rebirth was, unfortunately, a bit of a disaster at launch - it really didn't work properly and felt very very empty feature-wise. I was encouraged by the move to a new engine (proper multi-threading support, x64 - eventually) and I did like the capital ship designs with multiple hardpoints etc. However, ES never delivered on the promised customisation options. We never got a "fit this type of turret or that type of turret" No, we got "fit a turret or do not" that's not really customisation.

However, ES did give us DLC and a load more ships, so while customisation was out, there was more variety. Modders of course gave us a lot more stuff, both ships and features such as Player Owned Shipyards - which should have been a vanilla option I feel.

One of the things that does concern me though is this new Engine. Sure it multi-threads now and, from my own observations the CPU load is fairly balanced over all threads. This is good. However, sadly, the engine does appear fundamentally broken when it's pushed. What do I mean by this? Well, there are some ambitious mods out there that add more ships, more ships in-game at any point, additional Zones, Sectors and Systems as well as other features. With these new features being added by modding, I'd expect to see resource usage increase as the Engine is pushed harder. The problem is, every single game I've played (even vanilla, to a lesser degree) has seen performance utterly tank over time. This is NOT CPU/GPU resource limit, rather an engine problem where it simply cannot utilise the resources available to it.

Basically, over time performance tanks but so does resource utilisation. This is disturbing as it shows that the engine simply cannot scale when more is asked of it, despite it being multi-threaded and there being ample system resources. It's this fundamental engine limitation that really worries me. When I consider how far modders pushed the old Engine in X3 AP & TC for example, that old engine was being pushed much harder, yet it was largely single threaded, with only the DX workload getting it's own thread.

Now, I'm looking forward to X4, a lot, but my on-going concern is how is adding a huge portion of the older X games feature set - so, lots of flyable ships etc. - going to impact this engine, especially over the long, potentially modded, play-throughs many of us will likely have?

I'm reassured how Bernd has owned the mistakes made with Rebirth, plus he and the team are genuine fans of the genre and want to do the best job possible. I've not doubt there. However, I do think it's critical that they take advantage of the community for extended closed beta testing prior to release, to hopefully iron out as many launch-day wrinkles as possible, and to also gauge performance on as great a variety of hardware as possible.

Note: I'm aware ES have continued to update Rebirth as well as older titles, this is great and shows their commitment to their games. That said though, none of the updates appear to have fixed the Engine starting to choke late-game. If my CPU was being pushed in a mature game, I'd accept that as a signal to upgrade. That's fair, However, invariably my resource utilisation is far lower come my late-game stage accompanied by stutter, low-fps and unresponsive controls.

My hope is that ES can nail the resource utilisation with this Engine, giving it both longevity and scalability as more cores/threads become the norm, as well as giving modders the capability to push things even further.

Anyway, I rambled a bit as usual. I'm looking forward to the next update / live stream from ES and I've LOVE IT if the devs took some time to talk about performance. I know it's very early days and traditionally optimisation / performance tweaks would be more a priority once the game is feature-complete. However, considering these games are never feature-complete when you consider future updates, DLC and of course the modding community. Well, keeping an eye on performance from the start - especially as this is an established engine - is important. The engines odd issue with actually using the resources it has available makes this more critical. If my fancy 8 Core CPU is performing no better than my old, reliable 4 Core CPU from seven years ago - no GPU bottleneck FYI - then something isn't quite right.

Final thought: Modding, at least for me, has been such a huge part of the X Game experience that ensuring that the game still runs well - fully utilising available resources - is very important to me.

Scoob.

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seePyou





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 15:39    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I have countless hours in all X games, and have been plauying them for ever. X3TC is still my favorite game of all time and I still spend a lot of time in it. Only this month I started a new game run on X3TC to tackle a new self-imposed goal.

I own all games, even X:Rebirth

X:Rebirth was bought on pre-order.

I have never since, nor will I ever again, pre-order any game.

I have faith in no company, and I do not state this as a negative. I simply acknowledge that companies are lead by people who are not infallible.

Egosoft has a strong history of keeping up with their games, so Egosoft remains a good company in my book. I still have no faith in them, but as I said, I have no faith in any company.

It's not about faith. I know that X3 was released with bugs and Egosoft kept on and keeps on maintaining it. This is to their credit and I respect them for it. This does not mean I have faith in them.

I will keep my eyes out for X4, and I will wait until some reviewers I tend to agree with present their reviews. When I read these reviews, I will decide if I will buy the game or not. Faith will still not be forthcoming, not to Egosoft, and not to any other company.

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MegaJohnny





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 17:01    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I wouldn't say I have faith - if all we had was the vague promise of "a real X4" I would be quite worried.

But consider how much we have seen working in-engine on one of the streams:

  • Flying (almost) every ship and switching between them
  • Piloting capital ships
  • Teleportation
  • Freeform placement & construction of stations
  • Multiple weapon slots on fighters
  • Graphical ship equipment editor
  • The new map, in all its glory
  • Travel engines
  • TOAs/superhighways (whatever they are in X4)
  • Real carriers, carrying ships, not just drones


Yes, any or all of this could be gone at release, but considering they've programmed the basics of it and shown it running to us, I think it's much less likely.

All this is very encouraging to me, because it's a clear departure from XR where so many things were fixed. Player ship fixed, ship loadout fixed, station locations and build orders fixed. Command and control for your ships much reduced. Being able to choose so much more in X4 will make you feel much more like a real part of the universe, which alongside empire-building is a main draw of X for me.


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LittleBird





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 19:58    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@MegaJohnny
Has Egosoft ever made a statement about the station interior?
Is the hangar everything we get or do they plan on building inner space like in X-Rebirth?


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MegaJohnny





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 20:03    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LittleBird wrote:
@MegaJohnny
Has Egosoft ever made a statement about the station interior?
Is the hangar everything we get or do they plan on building inner space like in X-Rebirth?

I think they mentioned you might go into somebody's office as part of the storyline, or something like that, but I don't remember anything concrete.


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Alan Phipps
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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 20:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Some devs' FAQ Q&A from the Index Sticky:

Q. If I walk through my carrier can i see all the docked ships in the hangar?
A. Not all, only those on the platform. You will not see ships which are in "internal" storage.

Q. Carrier ships with large internal docking bays, will we be able to walk around and see all the docked ships? I assume with the new seamless model, it'll not be like X3 Carriers at all.
A. You can walk around on docking bays on large ships, yes, but you won't necessarily see all the docked ships, because (as explained in a previous reply) some of them may have been moved to internal storage to free up docking space.

Q. Are we forced to walk on stations or can we control all aspects from cockpit?
A. Platform gameplay has been reduced in comparison to X Rebirth. However, there are new interaction possibilities on platforms, and walking will always have a real purpose, for example as part of missions.

Q. Will we be able to walk around on the inside of our station?
A. Only in certain places, like docks.


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StDragon





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 21:06    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Five years of XRebirth and i still can't play properly the game. Sorry but no. Until rebirth works fine, i don't need another game from this developer. Even if it's the best space game, all for you. Thx.

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LittleBird





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PostPosted: Wed, 18. Apr 18, 23:06    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@Alan Phipps
Thank you very much.
That is a relief.


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Snafu_X3





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PostPosted: Mon, 30. Apr 18, 05:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Scoob, you make some v interesting points & I hope (like you) they'll be addressed in the next stream/podcast

Quote:

Basically, over time performance tanks but so does resource utilisation. This is disturbing as it shows that the engine simply cannot scale when more is asked of it, despite it being multi-threaded and there being ample system resources. It's this fundamental engine limitation that really worries me. When I consider how far modders pushed the old Engine in X3 AP & TC for example, that old engine was being pushed much harder, yet it was largely single threaded, with only the DX workload getting it's own thread.
V interesting points IMO. The first thing that leaps out at me is your 'bottleneck' problem: does this still occur lategame with vanilla play/minimal mods installed (note NOT disabled: mod artefacts can still disrupt 'vanilla' play Sad )

Second, is your hardware possibly 'necked at data I/O thruput (ie from storage to RAM, since it's not suffering from G/CPU issues)? I know this is likely to be a trivial question for an experienced game machine designer, but just in case..

Third, has the multithreading issue hinted at in the XR pathing video linked above been addressed? (I don't expect you to answer this as it's something only a DEV is likely to know). Specifically, will the game be able to utilise >4 cores (given appropriate m/t driver support, natch; multichannel audio drivers seem to me to be specifically lacking in this respect ATM..)


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Beermachine





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PostPosted: Wed, 2. May 18, 19:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

For me personally, Egosoft burnt their trust with XR, not because of it's disasterous launch, but because of the fundemental design decisions and move away from the grand strategy open world freeform experience of X3 to a more steamlined approach, and somewhat misleading PR prior to launch.

Now, if X4 is an immersive, action packed, masterfully written epic narrative adventure (like the Mass Effect series, Dragon age 1, Witcher 1-3, etc) then I would love it.

Conversely, if X4 was an openworld sandbox strategic game with no / poor storyline (like X3, Mount & Blade, Civilisation 4-5, etc), but with the experience of progressing from a single entity to intergalactic empire with fun, challenging and varied gameplay mechanics throughout that journey (and hopefully also for the "end game"), then I would also love it.

The main difference between the two is one I'd love for 60 hours or so, and the other for 500+.

The problem comes when a game tries to do both (as in my opinion XR tried), given the time needed to fully develop the gameplay to a satisfactory level, as well as the many contradictary gameplay design decisions between these two very different styles of games. Games with this approach tend to end up with a nightmare mishmash of mechanics which don't fit the gameplay experience (for example mini games in a strategy game). The end result is an unsatisfactory gameplay experience for either player demographic.

As for X4, until I see actual full gameplay loops from independent sources, rather than PR controlled segments, I'll reserve judgement as to which player demographic it's gameplay is designed primarily towards, or whether they succeed with a much more difficult hybrid approach like XR.

As for a remastered X3, while I would be somewhat disappointed with no new gameplay mechanics, it would still be a definite purchase. The sole reason being that modders spend inordinate amounts of time modding games that they fudementally enjoy and suit the gameplay focus of the core design. Hence strategy sandbox games gets mods focused on expanding that aspect (factional wars, pirates guild,more open world aspects, etc), and storyline immersion driven games gets ones primarily for that (expanded quests, immersion overhauls, etc).

Given the great wealth of mods for X3, it's obvious that it's core gameplay design appealed to a wide variety of modders who wanted to make unique and varied gameplay experiences. The key difference from X3 being multicore support, x64 and no GOD engine to work around, allowing far more scope for modding possibilities.

As Scoob pointed out though, if X4 dispite having multicore support and x64, can't be pushed anywhere near as far as X3 mod wise without collapsing into suboptimal FPS figures, then it's fundementally a large step backwards and puts much more emphasis on Egosoft's core gameplay design decisions.

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GrieferBastard





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PostPosted: Wed, 2. May 18, 21:44    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I think we're all very hopeful that X4 will take what we loved from X3 and add in the best parts of X:R and deliver something absolutely better.

However X:R was a jarringly bad experience for some of us. We tried to voice our concerns up front but were told no it'll be fine you'll love it - however it wasn't and we didn't. The highway experience was bad, the experience was not enjoyable and the new things added were in no way comparable to what was lost.

So saying "yeah, we're not going to put in the stuff you've said you wanted from X3 and we may be keeping the stuff you hated from X:R but we're fixing it so you'll love it" isn't going to go over well.

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SteveMill





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PostPosted: Sun, 6. May 18, 09:53    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

As the saying goes:

Trust is hard won and easily lost.

I’m a fan of the X series and space games in general but XR burned up my trust with both the state of release and game design decisions.

Unless X4 is released mostly feature complete and geme breaking bug free it’s going to be one of those games to buy 18 months later in a Steam Sale.

Companies in general need to stop treating its customers as paying alpha testers.

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Scoob





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PostPosted: Sun, 6. May 18, 22:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Snafu_X3 wrote:
Scoob, you make some v interesting points & I hope (like you) they'll be addressed in the next stream/podcast

V interesting points IMO. The first thing that leaps out at me is your 'bottleneck' problem: does this still occur lategame with vanilla play/minimal mods installed (note NOT disabled: mod artefacts can still disrupt 'vanilla' play Sad )

Second, is your hardware possibly 'necked at data I/O thruput (ie from storage to RAM, since it's not suffering from G/CPU issues)? I know this is likely to be a trivial question for an experienced game machine designer, but just in case..

Third, has the multithreading issue hinted at in the XR pathing video linked above been addressed? (I don't expect you to answer this as it's something only a DEV is likely to know). Specifically, will the game be able to utilise >4 cores (given appropriate m/t driver support, natch; multichannel audio drivers seem to me to be specifically lacking in this respect ATM..)


Hi, sorry, a little late replying!

I did some quite extensive playthroughs with a vanilla game - a nice fresh, clean install - yet the problems were still there in a mature game. Running mods - assuming they don't have game-breaking issues - just accelerates the decline.

I've done a lot of testing re: my own systems potential limitations, I run the game from a RAID0 SSD Array - which is pretty fast - but even using a Ram Disk sees the exact same issues. So, they are not CPU, GPU nor drive limited, it's purely the engine that seems to choke, leaving all system resources under utilised.

The game does appear to thread well in that the CPU load is spread relatively evenly over all cores/threads - there's no single thread coming anywhere near to maxing out. So it's not a case of "Only 30% CPU load" when one thread is totally pegged out at 100% with others barely idling.

I'm aware that multi-threading isn't some holy grail of game development, there will always be some tasks that rely on the results of others so no amount of cores is going to help there. I mean, there comes a point where trying to spread a single process (let's say it's some sort of pathing algorithm as an example) over multiple threads to get it done quicker is at best diminishing returns and at worst can slow things down.

My hope is that the devs recognise this - they must have examined how modders are pushing their game engine - and will code to make the Engine much more robust going forward.

In the old X3 and prior Engine, the game LOVED it when technology advancing gave us vastly more single-threaded performance. I hope the new Engine can do the same as more and more cores become the norm. Going from an old AMD x2 to a Q6600 quad core back in the day made a massive difference to the game at the time. Not due to the extra Cores, but the IPC and clock speed of the CPU.

Anyway, I'm hoping the devs can release some more information soon, be it an update, live stream or just a chit chat.

Scoob.

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ajime





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PostPosted: Mon, 7. May 18, 05:07    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

inb4 new engine bug was just realized Razz

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