## Sexier Complexes Guide: 2nd Edition!

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

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Ryuujin
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### Sexier Complexes Guide: 2nd Edition!

In the beginning, there was chaos... then came Ryu's Sexier Complex Guide...

...After a timeout I'm back, and refined my complex construction techniques even further than before., so, I figured it was time to release a version two of Complex Construction for Dummies - with less annoying verboseness and more easy to follow stepness

Complex Construction

Node Theory
Before you can start plonking down stations and making them look really darn pretty, you need to know the logic behind how they fit together. The key to all this are the port nodes. They are easily identifiable on a station and look something like this:

[ external image ]

These nodes are the bits the tubes connect to. When two stations are connected it will find the two nearest nodes on each station, and then place a "long" tube piece from each facing directly outward, next, it'll attempt to join these two pieces by placing one or more pieces of variable length. But we're going to cheat, and place the nodes so close together, all 3 pieces will fold atop each other and look like a single thick piece of tunnel.

This little lesson is the key to all the next steps and how you'll make your complexes look like you probably envisioned when you first heard the word "complex"

Quick reference:
Keypad 7, 9 - Rotate station around horizontal
Keypad 1, 3 - Rotate station around verticle
Insert - Switch between horiztonal/verticle map mode
Plus, Minus - Zoom camera in/out
F1 - Cockpit view
F2 - Exterior view (Front/Back toggle)
F3 - Target exterior view

Before we start: Placing your first station
Placing your first station should be pretty easy, stick it wherever you like basiclly; it does help to remember the scale of the map, some very large sectors (ie. Mists of Elysium, Ministry of Finance) it's very easy to stick a station miles from any other stations by accident because you didn't consider how BIG the sector was. To illustrate, It's quicker to fly from Great Reef south gate, to West Gate Resevoir of Tranquility than it is to go halfway across Mists of Elysium.

This is the real meat of it, everything else is fluff. Over the months of playing I've come up with a foolproof sequence to do this quickly and effectivly, so each step is relativly small. First thing, get into a smallish craft (Anything but a capital ship really), fly over to the station to connect to, and target it directly (The station itself, not the hub complex)

Step 2: Positioning yourself
Now, search the station for the node you want the other station to connect to, fly about til your find it. Now, fly up to it physically so you are pointing nose-toward the node, use your lateral thrusters (strafe) to position yourself as close to perfectly dead center and level as you can.

Sort of like this, but with your HUD turned on

Step 3: Camera one...
Press "F2" twice (by default), this'll give you an external view face-toward your ship, press hard left or right on the control and swing you ship around 180 degrees so your back is now facing the node. This means we are now "seeing" the direction the node does.

Back to back they faced each other... or something

Step 4: Camera two...
Next, press "F3" - (You did select the station right in step 1?), and you'll now have an outside view of the station. Press "up" or "down" on the keypad (or PoV hat by default on joysticks) to bring the camera either directly above, or directly below the station. Directly below is usually easiest.

We are now ready to position the station

Step 5: To me, to you!
Now, get out the station you wish to place from your TL, scroll it over to existing station, when it's close press "5" on the keypad and it should jump to the same location.

Step 6: We control the horizontal...
Have a good look at the station you wish to place (rotating the station (7, 9, 1 and 3 on the keypad) and zooming the view (+ and - on the keypad) should help you locate the nodes if unsure).

Once you have found the node on the new station to connect to, rotate the station until the 2 nodes appear to facing each other precisely - using a straight edged object like a pen or piece of paper will help. And move it until they're close enough for your personal taste; closer the better in my opinion - Just make sure they do not physically overlap!

Step 7: ...and the verticle
So the stations are neatly lined up, neat, but nothing new from my old tutorial. Here comes the clever part... remember we spent all that time positioning your own spaceship? Press F1 to return to the in-cockpit view.

Next, press "insert" on the keyboard to go to the verticle controls, your ship is the same height and angle as the node remember, now you can use the up/down and rotational controls to match the height of the node so both nodes are looking precisely at one another.

Try see past the console to the node behind it

Finally, when you're happy, place the station, and then place your complex kit, don't worry about order too much it'll use the closest nodes, which thanks to you are VERY close.

See how close these nodes are?

Using this system, you can even position stations at angles

One off step The hub
Obviously each complex will have one hub. The hub is a little different in so far it doesn't like being squeezed up to another station, place it too close and it'll place itself god-knows-where and look horrible. Do the same process as you did for the other station, but place it at least one and a half times the width of the station away from the rest of the complex, so that you can get 2 and a bit long tunnel pieces in (one from the hub, one from the station and a teeny one in between)

Also in older versions of X3, the hub ALWAYS places itself due north, I havn't tested if that's true in the latest patch since my home sector faces north anyway.

[ external image ][ external image ][ external image ]

The Last Word

Some final stuff to keep in mind is:
- Don't let two stations come physically into contact or they will "collide" causing shield drain, CPU and loading lag (sound files etc), and potentially be destroyed.
- Because you are facing the direction of the node, it's possible to place stations at angle to each other
- ALWAYS use the same complex kit type each time (if you bought from the Boron, buy your next kit from them), if you change kit type, the hub will jump randomly.

And there you have it! - Go forth and create obscenely large framerate murdering complexes!
Last edited by Ryuujin on Tue, 12. Dec 06, 03:33, edited 4 times in total.
chilipalmer
Posts: 576
Joined: Wed, 28. Dec 05, 14:09
very nice
fiksal
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Joined: Tue, 2. May 06, 17:05

### Re: Sexier Complexes Guide: 2nd Edition!

Ryuujin wrote: Step 3: Camera one...
Press "F2" twice (by default), this'll give you an external view face-toward your ship, press hard left or right on the control and swing you ship around 180 degrees so your back is now facing the node. This means we are now "seeing" the direction the node does.
GENUIS!
Good guide, cant wait to build my first complex
Gimli wrote:Let the Orcs come as thick as summer-moths round a candle!
Incubi
Posts: 5044
Joined: Mon, 2. Jan 06, 06:59

### Re: Sexier Complexes Guide: 2nd Edition!

fiksal wrote:
Ryuujin wrote: Step 3: Camera one...
Press "F2" twice (by default), this'll give you an external view face-toward your ship, press hard left or right on the control and swing you ship around 180 degrees so your back is now facing the node. This means we are now "seeing" the direction the node does.
GENUIS!
Good guide, cant wait to build my first complex

I made a thread saying that before, and it got ignored.. now this guy is a genious

Actualy I need a genius to help me make factories in heavy Nebula areas I love the blood red Nebulas by Cardinal domain

edit @ OP

Some fabs do not seem to have nodes, the one fresh in my mind is the rymes fact. In cases lik this one where it looks different or is hidden.. how do you locate the nodes?

Thank you for pointing out why the hub jumps around soetimes.... it does not like being too close to the stations woot.... I was having trouble with that.

The ship trick for lining up stations. I have been doing that for a while now, if you want the 3 over lapping tubes it is important that they are very close to eachother other wise you get a bent straw looking tube as the complex tries to use 3 tubes to connect. I find in cases like adding a distilary to a wheat farm , you cannot line up nodes at a close range without the stations colliding. So with those you either have to go with a long tune or a some what bent tube. But then there are occasions where a bent tube is nice anyway
Ryuujin
Posts: 944
Joined: Thu, 3. Feb 05, 15:48
I had noticed a couple of stations have invisible nodes, or dummy nodes that don't in fact work when you line them up. The only real foolproof way to get around that is simply trial and error annoyingly =/

Argon stuff seems particulary finicky for weird node placements, but, that doesn't bother me much this game seeing how the Argon want to kill me on sight for some reason despite me having not laid a finger on a single one of their citizens

Edit: Oh, and in heavy nebula areas - try using video enhancement goggles to zoom in on the node when in the cockpit view stage
lt_wentoncha
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu, 15. Dec 05, 01:51
Good guide, but I've given up on sexy complexes. As long as they look good on the sector map 'ats good enough for me.
wolfmaster1979
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri, 13. Feb 04, 05:29
Some more useful information: (my 2 cents)

Another thing you can do to make some sexy looking complexes is to place stations directly above or directly below each other.

Heres the trick: Let's say you have your (1st) station at X: 20, Y: 15, Z: 10. When you are ready for your second station highlight your 1st station and press 5 on the num pad. This will line it up 100% with the 1st station. Then press insert and move your second station up or down as you desire. (I used 500m per station.) Then for the hub you do the same but instead of 500m I used 1-2km (I think).

[ external image ]
47 station complex

More screenshots:
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/ ... n00002.jpg
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/ ... n00004.jpg
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a222/ ... n00003.jpg

This will give you a lengthy but sexy looking complex without the need to search for the nodes.
jlehtone
Posts: 22015
Joined: Sat, 23. Apr 05, 21:42
Boron Crystal Fabs are quite nice, when the array is North-South "horizontal". 1 km spacing to avoid collision.

The max length of the intermediate tube pieces seems to be 500 m. They do have variable length. The tube connected to node has fixed length. I'm not quite sure now if it is 800 m or 850 m. About that anyway.

Several nodes are at 30 degree angle from one of the planes. Trigonometry helps to guess, where the first tube ends.

The AdvSat video feed on the map is my main tool, rather than having ship there. I hate it how the ship relocates if it is near objects when committing a build.

To place stations so closely together that there seems to be only one tube between them, and yet have no collisions. The Germans call that the "compact building method". Their complex building guides do refer to Ryuujin's first Guide too. But one cannot make very large complexes with the "compact method". For large complexes one has to use the "grid/array/matrix" approach, like wolfmaster1979 described above.

When you know the node locations and possible spacings, you can make rather compact, yet somewhat pleasing arrays.

One of the "hidden" nodes is in the GPPC Forge (both Argon and Split. And even if you know where it is, the orientation of the tube is likely to surprise you.

The translation (with Numpad 2, 4, 6, is 50 meters. One cannot align all nodes perfectly with that resolution. Not unless one can snap in some other object than the station you try to align with.

Ryuujin, this edition of your guide is better. Schematic drawing in the previous did told the overall idea, but seeing the real nodes is more concrete.
Flick Montana
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun, 15. Jun 08, 05:51
I joined this forum SOLELY so I could say thank you for posting this. However, I wish I could say it worked for me. As it happens, all of my complexes still look like utter rubbish. I don't know how you did yours so perfectly, but I am envious. Mine are nightmares.

Why is the design aspect for building complexes implemented so unbelievably poorly? It almost seems as an afterthought that they included this ability. If only there were some plugin that allowed you to open a build manager so you could actually do this effectively.
Lancefighter
Posts: 3144
Joined: Sun, 19. Dec 04, 02:41
err umm there are a script here and there that might help, if you really fail at complexes... (like me. I got mine to look semi-nice on the map, but thats about it tbh.)
Dungeoncrawler
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Joined: Sun, 7. Dec 03, 05:32
My complex looks terrible and is aligned so bad that if I try and dock to it with auto-pilot it puts me into a continuous loop trying to dock .

CDc
Usenko
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Joined: Wed, 4. Apr 07, 02:25
My complex looks so bad that a team of mathematicians are studying it to see how this shape could be described . .

Just kidding, I don't have a complex yet . . .
Morkonan wrote:What really happened isn't as exciting. Putin flexed his left thigh during his morning ride on a flying bear, right after beating fifty Judo blackbelts, which he does upon rising every morning. (Not that Putin sleeps, it's just that he doesn't want to make others feel inadequate.)
Terre
Moderator (English)
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Excellent guide Ryuujin.
Ryuujin wrote:Before we start: Placing your first station
Placing your first station should be pretty easy, stick it wherever you like basically; it does help to remember the scale of the map, some very large sectors (ie. Mists of Elysium, Ministry of Finance) it's very easy to stick a station miles from any other stations by accident because you didn't consider how BIG the sector was. To illustrate, It's quicker to fly from Great Reef south gate, to West Gate Reservoir of Tranquillity than it is to go halfway across Mists of Elysium.
When placing the first factory for a horizontal hub placement I like to get a node facing north. I place my craft facing due south; where I will eventually place the hub, and drop the first factory in front of me, then using the keypad numbers - rotate a node so that it is directly in front of me, then drift the factory south, 3 to 5km. Using the '5' and drift technique, the tube attachments are not perfectly on the horizontal or vertical; for a vertical placement you will need to move the hub north by a few hundred metres, and on the horizontal, down by a hundred metres.
• Vertical and Horizontal hub placements.
Also the hub can not be place; without a pipework mess, horizontally between two factories due to the hub side connection ports are blanked.
• Image of hub connection ports.
shibby5404
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu, 6. Nov 08, 09:40
Hey guys, cool guide, I'm trying to make a complex now, I'm having abit of trouble though. It has clicks so when you push the keyboard even for a split second, it won't move smoothly, it goes to the next click. Any way to make the clicks smaller? Or to make it smoothe?

Second problem, when your getting the second station ready to place in conjunction with the first, I have my ship all lined up, but I can't see the station I'm placing properly.. Anyway I can get rid of the map while placing it?
zoleeboy
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed, 29. Jan 03, 18:39
Yeah that´s a PITA, just how are ye doin´ all the fancy placin´ with the map blocking all yer screen?

PITA 2 is when ye spend all night placin´yer fancy stations, everything looks good, ye leave the sector and next time ye come back ye find all the tubes ´replaced´so ye got a spaghetti of wires and tubes....

And, afaik as of 2.1 the complex hub will force itself lookin´ due SOUTH so placing a HUB on the north side of your complex will screw everything up....
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Terre
Moderator (English)
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zoleeboy wrote:And, afaik as of 2.1 the complex hub will force itself lookin´ due SOUTH so placing a HUB on the north side of your complex will screw everything up....
This guide was written for X3: Reunion, but that a'side, yes the complex hub will default to a due south orientation in X3: Terren Conflict.
Alan Phipps
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But unlike in X3R vanilla when this guide was written, in X3TC vanilla you can successfully rotate the hub before you drop it similarly to any other factory. Further, you no longer need to use all CCKs from the same race in a neat complex and nodes are actually no longer essential for tube connections as tubes will now join to previous tubes at junctions.