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X3 Albion Prelude

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#21 Bullwinkle



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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:16 AM

Agreed. Although I doubt that it will be more of the same... they are creating a new engine after a decade of experience with the old engine. And they clearly intend to make the game more accessible to new players.

I am more concerned that they may not be able to make the game as much fun as X3TC. As you say, only time will tell!
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#22 SuperG


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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:57 PM

Tacling the clumpsy Game interfaces means a opertunity to make this depth often called complexity much more accesable and with that a brake own of barrier for the game masses.
It can help sales drasticly.

Fleets and RTS and crew and wing man depend on good AI and with such depth the requierment for complex AI are high.
Its a huge task to do well.

So they support high-end rigs.

Would give it a spin on my.
5870 or GTX580 game rig.

any reviews?

#23 Bullwinkle



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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:38 PM

any reviews?

Albion Prelude still uses the X3TC engine. The major rewrite is for Rebirth, which is scheduled for a March 2012 release.

Reviews on the EgoSoft web site (about Albion Prelude) say that boarding is improved. Boarding is one of the most fun features of the game, IMHO. Instead of destroying that expensive enemy carrier, after you have killed all of its fighters and collapsed its shields, you send in a squad of your highly trained marines to attempt to capture it. I say "attempt", because some enemy ships carry marines of their own (or other defenses), so the boarding op isn't over until your marines fight their way to the ship's computer core and hack it to make the ship your own. Your marines must successfully complete several tasks before they can claim the ship. If they fail, then chances are that some of them will not survive the mission.

Xenon (sentient AI) ships are the most difficult to board. They have no organic marines for your own squad to shoot -- there are only automated defenses which try (viciously) to kill your commandos. And the AI is fully capable of wiping out an entire squad of your best SEALs, so don't even try to board a Xenon ship until you have mastered boarding vessels operated by organic life forms.

Did I mention that you have to train the marines first? Training requires many hours (days, actually) of game time in an expensive training program. And, ultimately, they are not at their best until they have completed several successful boarding operations. Civilian freighters are easier targets than military vessels, which gives you good reason to do a bit of pirating. You can pirate ships from the pirates if you want to maintain your rep with the Commonwealth races.

Because of all of the training and preparation, it really stings when one of your marines dies. It hurts more than losing a heavy fighter (or even a corvette), because you can just buy a new ship (if you have enough credits). Marines have to be trained and cultivated with care.

Both the game immersion and the mechanics of boarding ops are thrilling... I still get chills when my team first cuts through the hull of the enemy ship, because I know that the next few minutes will be an intense life-or-death struggle for my elite special forces. It is worth the effort because a successful boarding op results in adding a new capital ship to my fleet, which is worth tens of millions of credits. Boarding is high risk, but the rewards are equally high.

That said, there are some details about boarding that are a bit too difficult in X3TC. Luckily, there is a script which fixes most of the issues (called Improved Boarding). Even better, most of the features of Improved Boarding have been built into Albion Prelude.

People generally like the other new features of Albion Prelude as well. However, there is a bug that requires a script to fix. Look for a thread called "[AP] Performance mods" for the full story. A full fix from EgoSoft is planned for later this month.

Personally, I have not yet tried Albion Prelude because I am waiting for the non-Steam version.

Think of Albion Prelude as User Downloadable Content (DLC) for X3TC.

If you are looking for "X3 but with a prettier interface" then you will have to wait for Rebirth.
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#24 Kaesho


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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

Bought x3 TC and Albion Prelude on a steam holiday sale. Haven't had much time to sit down and play it but from what little I have played of it the learning curve is really high. Kinda like a first person eve offline. I look forward to the day I can really sit down and delve into this game.

#25 Bullwinkle



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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:25 PM

People often talk about the learning curve for X3, but my experience is that the learning curve is part of the fun of the game itself.

EDIT: The "curve" never really ends, because the objective is to learn how to "beat" the game, which is a challenge that continues as long as you play the game. When the learning ends, so does the game itself. So don't worry about learning everything all at once, because that is impossible. Instead, learn one thing at a time. Look up what you need to know for the next mission, and do not be concerned about what you do not yet understand.

You will make mistakes, but so what? The game is tolerant of mistakes. In fact, the game assumes that you (and your AI pilots) will make plenty of mistakes. Eventually, you will find it easy to earn millions of credits. That is intentional and it helps you to recover from any poor choices you might make along the way. You can recover from just about anything in X3. (But save often anyway.) :)

X3 never ceases to be fun for me. Even if I spend some time outside the game, on the Egosoft forum or looking at plug-ins, it is still all part of the fun.

For people who have real lives and only want to play X3 an hour at a time, there is a pretty good walkthrough here:

Humble Trader Start / Walkthrough for New-ish Players

I only read the first post and the comments from other readers (because I don't like to read *too* many spoilers), but the first post is an excellent balance for giving the new player a quick start into the game. The first post does contain a couple of minor spoilers (the locations of two abandoned ships that you can claim for yourself). That might be a bit of "cheating" but, let's be honest... X3 is almost impossibly time-consuming to play if you never seek external information (and if you keep the game 100% vanilla, with zero plugins).

The above walkthrough is not perfect, but it's a good start. One caveat: I would not be in a hurry to sell ships that you find abandoned, or ships that are given as rewards during a plot line. Sometimes those ships are unique, and cannot be easily replaced later. Specifically, the Iquana Vanguard is a rare (and good) ship that you might want to keep. It is the fastest TP-class personnel transporter in the game, and it is a uniquely good ship for boarding operations, which you will want to do later. Similarly, M5-class scout ships can be far more useful than the walkthrough suggests.

So, if you want a bit of help in what direction to take, read the first post of the walkthrough, and then perhaps the comments that follow the end of the walkthrough. Some of the comments are more reasonable than others, but there will always be differences in choices and playing style... that is part of what makes X3 great!
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#26 SuperG


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 02:28 AM

Learning curve is something unavoidBle with a game with lot of depth and many different gameplay options.
But the interfaces don,t support it they are hogs of multy layer menu and most of all incomplete.
Then the next thing the AI is so limited you must spit trough these multi layer menu to mico manage our Empire.
If the situation is peace full you can wast a lot of time in the UI.

Mictomanaging yout fleets mid battle like a collective hive mind isn't doable.

So what do we get.
A unneccecery steep learning curve where there are wall to avoid.
Wich means if that didn't kill your gameplay but seek the gameplay type that are doable without extreem micromanaging or overseable that is how X3 would be played.

Dog fighting single ship combat fighter class. this part of UI is decent.
Wingman AI very limited. So barely use it. And if the need a M3 heavy with the biggest shields so the can survive with dodo
Capital ship gameplay single ship doable but limited.
Carrier gameplay incomplete gameplay and UI a micromanagment hog.
Fly around in a Phanter m7 as light carrier as base for my player ships M3.

Fleets is this problem even worse.

It needs more a complete spaceship RTS gameplay worked out.

The mod community fills in some of those holes

And X-rebirth will tackle this problem by a complete UI overhaul and new type of core gamplay mechanics.

So what did I do in X3 wel mostly cappic fighters collect them as stamps :)
So the boarding feature is so totaly my thing the reason I keep playing X3
With M7m boarding ships I was pushed to do some complex building for missile loop fabs because. m7m are in great need of missiles.
In earluy game nVidium mining.
Collecting derelic ships.
If the AI and UI fits more the different gameplay. Then carrier and fleet combat would be more accessable.

Play it pure vanilla. so no mods.

#27 Bullwinkle



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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:21 PM

Play it pure vanilla. so no mods.

If you worked your way to a Panther (light "carrier" frigate) with fighters (M3), and you did that in the pure vanilla game, then you have more patience than I do, my friend! :) Creating a fleet, without plugins, would require an unbearable amount of micromanagement (for my tastes). Plugins make it easy (and fun) to manage a fleet.

I agree that the UI needs an overhaul. But all of the problems you mention are solvable with plugins. I believe that Egosoft intends it that way. Learning about plugin scripts is part of the fun. However, I agree with you that the plugins should not be required in order to make the game enjoyable -- that part is a bit excessive.

Wingman AI is as good as enemy AI. Rule Number One: If you want peace in your sector, then be sure that you have superior firepower! Maybe Cutlass heavy fighters. Or try Spitfyre heavy interceptors with half their hardpoints filled with corvette-class Prototype Matter/AntiMatter Launchers (PM/AML). A wing of those can overpower a fleet of enemies. They have light shields compared to their weapons, so they will take losses, but they can also dish out a lot of damage in a hurry.

> Micromanaging your fleets mid battle ... isn't doable.

True. Better to use two or three wings. Set one to attack fighters (to reduce the number of targets). Depending on the enemy fleet, you might set another wing to "attack your target", which has the effect of adding range and mobility to your carrier. Again, depending on the enemy, you might want to set a third wing to "protect me". Three quick setups, and do them *before* you engage the enemy. Then there is very little that needs to be done during the battle itself, other than select targets and pursue them.

IMHO, Egosoft could make the game more accessible by taking the useless and overly-complicated stuff out of the Bonus Pack ("Commercial Agent" and "Commodity Logistics Support") and replace them with a decent fleet management solution. As it stands now, the only good thing in the Bonus Pack is the Turbo Booster (which should have been in the vanilla game from the start).

For me, X3 is the richest, most fun, space sim I have ever played. However, I would quickly find it unplayable without the plugins. With plugins, I have assembled a sizable fleet with minimal micromanagement. Here is how I do it:

[*:n0vg7gt3]Frigate "light carrier". Frigates are faster and more maneuverable than full carriers. Also, most frigates have main guns that can be operated from the cockpit. Anti-shield main guns are perfect to prepare a target for boarding. Full carriers (and, sadly, the otherwise awesome Panther) have only turrets, which are less convenient for lowering enemy shields without damaging the hull.
[*:n0vg7gt3]Several wings of fighters, separated by speed. Gold Wing interceptors, Red Wing multi-role fighter-bombers, and Blue Wing heavy bombers and carrier-docking freighters (Falcon Haulers). For simple fleet management, I use the Cheat Package to clone as many fighters as I need, then use the same script to deduct the price from my account. Yes, it is a major cheat, and I only began doing it after equipping a couple of dozen fighters the vanilla way. But fighters die too easily, and it is simply impractical to try to equip dozens of them by flying around looking for jumpdrives, docking computers, transporter devices, etc. There are several carrier management scripts, but they tend to be complicated on their own. Cloning is quick and easy.
[*:n0vg7gt3]Several wings of (captured) corvettes and frigates set to automatically defend key sectors (using the Satalite Early Warning Network (SEWN)). (SEWN is built into the official Albion Prelude Bonus Pack)
[*:n0vg7gt3]A fleet of Universal Traders (civilian freighters who use AI to automatically find the best buy and sell deals). (UT's are the best AI in the game!)
[*:n0vg7gt3]A fleet of miners. The Prospector script allows them to mine Nividium, in addition to the other minerals (unlike the vanilla mining script). Prospectors also automatically sell their wares at best price when they are full. (to download Prospector, you will have to visit Lucike's Page (via Google Translate).)
[*:n0vg7gt3]Several "best-buy runners". These are freighters using the Manual Trade Extension to find best buys on things that I need, such as weapons, missiles, and ammunition. They fly around the galaxy looking for wares (so that I do not have to).
[*:n0vg7gt3]Several large transport freighters (TL), which hold stuff and build things. They are also excellent for taking a wing of Prospector-equipped miners (Falcon Hauler M3's) to Undefined Space to mine a Nividium asteroid or two. Also, the smaller TL's (Elephant and Ryu) are almost as good as frigates for Out-Of-Sector (OOS) combat (at a fraction of the cost). The reason for this has to do with the way that combat is calculated by the game. When the player is Out Of Sector, the game simplifies calculations based on weapons and shields and turns, instead of trying to calculate every shot fired (as is done when the player is In Sector (IS)). Maneuverability does not matter OOS. TLs have strong shields and guns, and the Elephant and Ryu are fast. Also, a TL can carry a wing of fighters, for additional strength.
[*:n0vg7gt3]A couple of large complexes, using the TCM Tubeless Complex Mod (English). Building complexes with tubes is far too complicated! Also, I changed the value in Globals.txt to increase the range between factories in a complex (SG_MAX_DISTANCE_BUILDCOMPLEX). That allows me to move complex hubs to convenient locations. Yes, this *can* be done by creatively stringing together factories, but it is tedious to do it that way. Increasing the range and removing the tubes makes complex-building fun!
[*:n0vg7gt3]The Salvage Insurance Contract script allows me to save whenever I want to, including in space. Sure, I could manually buy Salvage Insurance. But, after doing it the vanilla way a couple of times, what is the fun in continuing to do it that way?
[*:n0vg7gt3]One of the most annoying things in the game is the fact that a ship can only carry one jump drive. It was fun, early in the game, to creatively swap jump drives by using fighters in my first Military Transport (TM -- a tiny four-ship "carrier"). However, after doing a couple of dozen ships, it is no longer fun. The Upgrade Kits script allows you to carry jump drives and tunings, which is much more reasonable. Also, the script is easily modified to make it equip ships with your standard equipment, which is an alternative way to manage equipping your fleets. Upgrade Kits automatically deducts the cost from your account (plus a service fee). I love this script, because Upgrade Kits solves one of the larger long-term headaches in the game.
[*:n0vg7gt3]Finally, I use the Marine Repairs script to repair fighters and marine-carrying ships. And I use a fighter equipped with 8 or 10 repair lasers to repair other ships. Both solutions speed up repairs substantially.
The point that I am trying to make is that it is possible to play X3, to build a large fleet and large factory complexes, and to do it all with smart AI and minimal micro-management. The only thing required is a few plugin scripts.

Are these "cheats"? Well, yes, of course they are. But I would not play the game for more than a day or so without them. With some well-chosen scripts, the game is more fun and still challenging, without the tedious and boring parts.

Of course, the game is designed to support many different playing styles, so do whatever is most fun for you! :)
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#28 SuperG


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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:59 AM

I'am a very patiant person. But I totaly disagree with you about modding.

But first the source of the problem rely pure on this.

Game production Budged. Wich relates to workforce and time. A genre wich is more complex in game mechanics with lots of depth and multi gameplay mechanics. Needs more of it then the relative simplistic feature tight FPS genre. It is called a huge feature creep. Even within this genre.
With there old legacy code base the problem is excesive code re-use. Like they stick by there crewl UI system.
Actualy with X rebirth they admit it. But that what I already know.
And now confirmed. Like Duh.
Well I am patient And I know this. I guess Egosoft is a professional more independend developer who do there own thing. Making this kind of complex niche game with limited resources.
Wich I extreemly apreciate. better something half ass made with love and blood and sweat witout the backup of a huge publisher. Then nothing at all.
So I expect rushed game lot of bugs and don't blame on them they can't do wonders.
This is acualy more because I think the dev's are so passionate to make there game vision reality, that they forget reality of software enginering and game development limitation. And feature creeps got a grip on them. They more give in to feature creep and then the problems starts.
That's the risk if you are in position to make the game you want to make.

This game isn't intended like spore to use gamers as content creators as part of the gameplay like spore and littlebig planet. In this troublesum case the mod community figure out clumsy mod tools wich are more something for inhouse dev. And isn,t part of the game.
In FPS genre there are fully licencable game engine wich offer tools as core part of the engine.
Even that doesn make it right to let a retail game depend on mod community to finish there game core mechanics. Spore and LBP are intended to use the gamer for it. But pure to create content as part of the gameplay.
Modding is just for this, dev.s made a choice a modder could take the other road. but not implement missing parts. that means the game is flawed. unfinished.
That Egosoft depend on there community do make it more finished is actualy a bad thing but then agian for such feature creep un avoidable.

What I think and what egosoft do wrong is pure the feature creep problem.
They UI is just a part of it as it isn't right for the job and incomplete.

Well a licencable engine isn't something done easaly it takes also lot of time and budged but then a decent part of it put on the tools.

Don't take this lightly, thw mass market of gamers don't take any of this crap like unfinished and to buggy incomplete and bad UI system. it drive lot of gamers away.

Then the need to dive into support form figuring out to put some community workarounds in it or complemetery mods.
Well this game isn't the only one with this problem. But there is a other aproach.
Other devs tackle this the other way. Like I recall that freelancer delivered wasnt what the devs had vision but axed a lot of features. So mid production they get to a point that there is feature freeze and that the focus is to finish the game within budged and on time with decent level of polish and Q&A it needs. Guess Freelancer had a bigger budged and Microsoft as publisher has a lot of software enginering experience. And with it good publisher back up.
A example of a low budged on time deliverd finished game like a dev wrote in a game prgramming book.
Is startrek fleet commander III.
As you get what you pay for publsiher.
A other aproach to tackle and keep feature creep. Is a game called america army Where they itterate deliverabe games on each release extending it.

Well egosoft could do it to.
Instead deliver the full feature creep halve assed out.
They could take a tight core gameplay set with the hind sight to extend it. A feature freeze and take the other halv of production time to finish it full with some polish and the Q& A it needs.
Relay only feature to the public after feature freeze. Gamers arent so forgiving and understanding. Promises feed hype and hype is a bad thing. Unless you fullfill expectations.
Less depth but a more accesable only minor bug, surely no gameplay killers bugs. but more stable with a finished feel.
The other features that didn't made it. Could be put in a next itteration a few addons that brings features wich complement the game and feel finished to. A bit tight and finished game need 2 to 3 years. A decent addon a good part of a year.
Instead fix a few of many bug, finsih it a litt bit more. with a bit extra features that introduce new bugs on a still unfinished game. In mean time large part of the target audience run away.

Well you game advice I agree with. But I stop playin X3TC for a long time. just so many games to play. And am a online gamer. COD and BF3. So picked it up with a freshe start with AP.
But as I recall Yes I find the AI stupid limited. And yes I adopt my gameplay style to stupid AI.

So I use AI to how ever limited.

Also in a capital ship you have some time to do some tactical stuff how ever limited.
If in a fighter I use auto pilot fight command software to so I can do a bit of tactical and wingman babysit task.
Just doing the cool stuf in X3TC and keep away of unfished stuf. that X3 TC

Now in AP
Well I started 3 games.
Terran commander in a M6 well bit limited.
Humble merchand to limited.
argon defender M3 ? started few AP plot missions and got a M5 and M6 Nice start

And as vanilla gamer.
I now play with AP use the bonuspack complementary mods. wich are signed.
Still vanilla I think.
collect wares in sector sell missiles so have little 3 some fleet now.

What I normaly do wenn I start is expore the universe map search for derelic ships. wich are random now so the bonus pack help with that. Planning on Placing sats. But first I need a fast ship to explore. tha advanced discovery is still to slow :)
Or going for a M7. like the slower capital gameplay.
And my fav boarding with M7m.

AP got new ships and rebalancing. need to spit trought excel sheet about ship stat. What to get? :)

#29 Bullwinkle



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Posted 15 January 2012 - 01:24 PM


Too much space fuel, G-man? ;)

"Feature creep" is when a developer attempts to add more features than they can develop within the release schedule. Typically, new features are added during development, which delays release. Because the release is delayed, more new features are added, which results in further delays, then more new features, and so on. Feature creep causes long delays before release (like Duke Nukem Forever's infamous 14-year development cycle).

Egosoft does not suffer from feature creep. They are very good about making consistent, periodic, releases.

"Code reuse" means to write library routines that can be easily reused in other parts of a program. Code reuse is a Very Good Thing.

X3 has extremely few bugs due to its maturity. However, code maturity is a two-edged sword: it also makes adding new features difficult. That is why Egosoft are making a new engine for Rebirth. Creating a game engine, from scratch, is a major undertaking. There has not been a public beta, so we will see how well they do on their first release.

In any case, Egosoft has good development discipline. I am confident that they will make Rebirth work, even if it requires updates after the initial release. Personally, I hope that they include better in-game instructions and/or tutorials. I imagine that many players probably quit X3 before they find the forum and the scripts library.

And that is a shame, because the game is truly awesome.
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#30 sscadmin



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Posted 15 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

I don't think its ranting per-say, I think SuperG has some valid points. I look at some of his post and agree with some and not with others. Bullwinkle you did describe your points well and I agree with both the definitions feature creep and code reuse. And I don't think Egosoft is a victim of that, I just think they merged two different game styles wrong. On one hand you have the exploration/action side of X3TC/AP and then you have the management and empire building side. I would have liked to be able to play one or the other, not both combined. Because a lot of the time when I try to play X3TC I reach the point where I have to do the empire management and I really don't want to fool with it. I just want to sit back and do some missions, cap ships and the rest.

I think Egosoft has some great devs and artists on their team and do hope that X-Rebirth is exactly what I have been wanting in a X game. And I have to admit I never dabbled much ion the mods for X3TC just because i don't think you should have to mod the game up (unless its visual/sound related improvements) to play-through a game.

I know with AP, I think I read somewhere that you have to actually complete X3TC to play the content is this correct or can you just play AP content without having to play through all of X3TC? I know trailers hype a game well but the combat in AP looks really fun.

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#31 Bullwinkle



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Posted 15 January 2012 - 03:57 PM

On one hand you have the exploration/action side of X3TC/AP and then you have the management and empire building side. I would have liked to be able to play one or the other, not both combined.

I can understand that point of view. However, you really *can* play the game any way you want. You can earn plenty of credits by fighting or trading without empire building. And managing a fleet is completely optional, as well.

ONE of the multiple plot lines (the Hub Plot) is empire-oriented. Even that, I played it differently than most folks do, with minimal complex building. I just made a couple of space fuel and space weed factories to earn a lot of credits, then set top prices at the Hub and let the NPC's do all of the work of making and transporting the stuff. It took a week or so, but it was not painful at all. I mostly did bounty hunting and boarding missions while I let the NPC's do the empire-building. And I *could* have done it without building any factories at all. I could earn plenty of credits by selling captured capital ships. Or doing high-rank assassination missions.

The only side effect of my method is that my space fuel plant seems to have encouraged the growth and spread of pirates. I now have as many pirates as other races, and they are all over the map. They don't do much harm, but they do put a lot of red dots on the map. :)

Note that the Hub Plot is only one plot line out of more than a dozen to choose from.

The rest of the plots do not require empire building. Some of the threads on the forum recommend it, but they are not entirely correct. Stimulating the economy with a few Universal Traders (including a couple in Terran space) is all that is required. And Universal Traders are extremely easy (once you figure out the requirements).

But I *do* understand your main point, Darkone, which is that the game *is* hard to enjoy if you just play the game (without the forum and plugins). And I 100% agree that the game would be much better if it could be played without having to go to the forum!

Regarding Albion Prelude, it is mostly add-on content for the X3TC engine. I do not know what it would mean to "complete" X3TC, so I am sure that is not a pre-requisite! :) However, my understanding is that the X3TC plots do not play in Albion Prelude, so you have to kind of flip back and forth between the two if you want to play all of the plots. You have to *install* X3TC in order to install Albion Prelude. Could that be what you were reacting to?

As far as I know, combat is largely the same as X3TC, with some minor changes. Egosoft hired some of the top modders to add features to Albion Prelude. For example, Gazz (MARS Fire Control author) updated the turret scripts so that they do a better job of tracking (and killing) both targets and incoming missiles. Cycrow (who makes the Plugin manager and many scripts) added much of his Improved Boarding script, and extended it in some cool ways. Many others contributed, as well. But don't expect AP to be dramatically different than X3TC, other than the new plot material.
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#32 sscadmin



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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:06 AM

Thanks Bullwinkle for that easy to understand explanation on game play. Because all I really ever wanted to do is play the game almost like in Freelancer. I just wanted my ship with the occasional extra ships to help with ship captures. But outside of that I didn't want to empire build at all and when I would read in the forums or the docs it mainly discusses empire building, which is not what I want to do :)

But now knowing that you can complete the game this way that does give me motivation to install it again and give it the time.

Is there any mods that I should think about installing to give me the best type of game play for a single ship experience? You could make another thread for that so we don't spoil this one.

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#33 Bullwinkle



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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:39 AM

As you say, one of the most brilliant aspects of Freelancer is that they removed all of the complicated B.S. from the game, and *still* made it the most fun of the space sim games. That is remarkable, and it was a quality that seems rare in the community.

I think that the playability of X3 could be improved dramatically just by adding some helpful text to the menu dialogs. There is already an "info" mechanism built into the game, but most of the info in the system is wrong or woefully inadequate. It could almost be done as add-in scripts, but it would require modifying the work of other scripters, and coordinating that crew could be more challenging than doing the work. ;)

Here is an example of something that is easy to do but is VERY difficult to figure out: After you accumulate a couple of freighters, what do you do with them? Manually sending them from dock to dock gets old, fast. There is a choice of AI "software upgrades" that you can buy at the various Equipment Docks, but how do you know whether to choose Trade Command Software Mk1, Mk2, or Mk3? Or perhaps Commodity Logistics Support Mk1 or Mk2? Or maybe Commercial Agent? What the heck is "Commodity Logistics" anyway?! :?

As it turns out, the simplest choice is the best answer. Just start a Sector Trader. There is only one menu choice and it has no options. Easy. Sector traders learn as they go, and advance in levels. When they reach Level 10, then the menu choice to start Universe Trader becomes available. Do that. Then, with a total of two menu clicks, you have created the best and easiest money-making tool in the game.

Repeat 20 or 30 times, and you will soon be earning millions of credits per hour, without doing anything. Your NPC's do all the work! (Hint: Leave the game running while you sleep/work/whatever, and you will earn even more credits without doing anything).

OK, so there is some "fine print": Sector and Universe Traders (ST and UT) require Trade Command Software Mk3, which is only available at Teladi Equipment Docks. It is the most expensive software in the game at half a million credits. Plus there are some rules about which ships are allowed to be STs, and slightly different rules for UTs. And there are a few "gotchas" that can come up along the way (including pirate attacks against your freighters). The basics are simple, but you may want to consult A brief guide to Sector and Universe traders for the details.

Why isn't this explained anywhere? It is not in the manual, and there are only the vaguest clues in-game. Even the forum is confusing for the new player. I cannot answer why this is not simplified anywhere else, but there you have it. :)

Regarding helpful mods, I outlined them a few posts ago but I could add links and more info for you. I will see what I can come up with in the next few days.

EDIT: On second thought, this is probably a job for the wiki. I have not tried the new wiki since you replaced the old one... I will have to take a look.
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#34 SuperG


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Posted 23 January 2012 - 05:25 PM

My thought on code reuse. Well it has not only pro's but con to.
Why do they do it. to develop from scratch just take so much time. So good stuf is reused.
But if resources are low code reuse means you restrict to this old implementation.
Wich is good thing to have it fast result, but often not what you realy need.
I could quote the presrelease of egosoft about X rebirth why the build the GUI from scratch.
Wich is acactly my point. but I am bit lazy.

that the huge problem. The game is broken. Bad GUI System. As a veteran X gamer and use to this clusmy thing I manage. The game is still fun for me.

Keep in mind I played all x series games from X2 and up. And have been on the dev section on egosoft forums to. Discussing this GUI problem to in the dev section. while back.

Why I choose to play it is pure for the capital ships. The good thing for me is that big ship game play is slow. And after capping fighters I collect every ship. some where they introduce boarding. I do boarding that so cool. Thats why I play this unfinished game. I know the problems and i know the devs cant do much about it. That need just a lot of dev time wich they don't have. So it's not a rant more a observation.
It's a huge step to redesign the complete GUI engine.

Good gui design is important. Because with crap design you can make something simple very steep barley accesable. While you can make something with some complexity and real depth relative accesable.

There are Dev books on this. GUI can make or brake game.

So mine AP experience.

So started argon defender. Start with M3 got a M5 and a M6 from the plot nice start. Got a few fighter capped.
Found misterious tuning crate. And the M6 got some marines in it. Nice.

I like depth and I know it could be much more accesable.
It nice to know that X rebirth they tackle this main problem.
Makes me very currious about this remake.

Play a lot of BF3 online but inbetween I play X3 AP

#35 Digitalus


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:33 AM

My biggest problem with the X series has been the interface, followed by the ugliness (without mods) of large complexes. But mostly the interface.

Managing a handful of ships works well enough, but managing a hundred becomes a tremendous chore without using lots of mods. Even with mods it ends up being a huge headache.

I don't mind the complexity (Dwarf Fortress is one of my favorite games), but this kind of complexity (interface getting in your way rather than helping you play the game) is not fun. I guess that's why I play an X game for a few weeks, then give up in frustration over how hard it is to manage each ship in my empire once I have several dozen ships.

#36 Bullwinkle



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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:30 AM

My biggest problem with the X series has been the interface, followed by the ugliness (without mods) of large complexes. But mostly the interface.

Managing a handful of ships works well enough, but managing a hundred becomes a tremendous chore without using lots of mods.

Yeah, it is all about the scripts, really. Without them, the game becomes tedious; quickly. With them... well, I have never had more fun with a game. YMMV -- Your Mileage May Vary!

DarkOne asked me to expand on my favorite scripts. When I stop playing X3 for a bit I will get that done. ;)

In the meantime, my top four are:

- Salvage Insurance Contract: Allows you to save while in space. And never runs out, unlike the vanilla Salvage Insurance. (As of this writing, version 1.00 is newer than v1.01. :S Check the "last modified date" at the bottom of the post.)

- 500km Comm Range: Allows you to choose missions anywhere in the current sector. That is much easier than flying around to the different bases. In my experience, it improves gameplay and does not detract in any way. The default 25k comm range seems to be nothing more than an artifact from earlier games.

- Cloning fighters (for carriers) rather than buying them. OK, so that is a fairly big cheat. However, as you (and everyone else) points out, upgrading, equipping, and setting up dozens of fighters is not fun. I use the Cheat Package to clone a "template" fighter that I keep safely parked at a station. Then I use the same Cheat Package to deduct the cost from my account. There are other fleet management scripts (especially CODEA), but they require their own level of learning and babysitting. Cloning is clean and quick and direct. And almost instantaneous.

- Upgrade Kits: Allows you to transport tunings and jump drives, among other things. Also, with a bit of hacking, it is an excellent tool for equipping ships with your standard equipment. I use Upgrade Kits on ships other than fighters.

The difference between fleet fighters and other ships is like this: I buy fighters 10 at a time, and cloning requires only setting up missiles and adding them to a wing. Presto, instant fleet fighter! Other ships deserve a few more seconds of my attention to make sure that they are set up correctly for their specific roles. For that job, Upgrade Kits is perfect. Upgrade Kits also is perfect for equipping a ship that I come across in the field, whether through Return Ship missions, abandoned ships, NPC's bailing from smaller ships, or marine boarding ops on larger ships. Or just second-hand ships that I buy from an individual (NPC).

For complexes, the TCM Tubeless Complex Mod (English) is ideal. It is the same as making a vanilla complex, except that the tubes are not drawn. It really cleans up complexes dramatically!

I will get around to adding more detail, and I will clean up and post my version of Upgrade Kits.


(Probably!) :)

EDIT: (Maybe!) :lol:
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#37 Geraldine


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Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:33 PM

Just got an email notification from Egosoft regarding version 2.0 of Albion Prelude. Here is the details below

"X3AP version 2.0

The war continues

We are pleased to announce that X3: Albion Prelude 2.0 is now available! The latest update includes two new mini-plots and a number of additional features and bugfixes.

One of the new mini-plots draws the Boron deeper into the war than ever before and provides the player with access to the mysterious Xenon HUB. The second re-introduces the secret Unfocussed Jumpdrive and the mighty Player Headquarters, the latter providing a new function to easily equip newly built or bought ships – a function that all fleet commanders will no doubt appreciate.
With the ongoing war and the associated investment in new assets, it's no surprise that the various races have come up with a new type of ship to support their war fleets. With version 2.0 the X-Universe sees the first examples of this new category of fast, light escort carrier. If you are too busy doing other things to follow the regular war reports, version 2.0 brings a function to disable these reports until you want to take part in the war again. In addition, new graphs give you a better overview of your property and your current progress. We also have good news for all Polish players, as X3AP version 2.0 will include a complete Polish text translation.

As well as adding new content and features, the latest development also eradicated some of the most annoying bugs. Amongst others, the problem of ships forgetting their commands and some related bugs with the Rapid Response fleets have been fixed. As usual the complete changelog can be found in the documents folder of your X3: Albion Prelude installation directory.

X3: Albion Prelude 2.0 is available now for download over Steam. The Steam client will automatically update your game to the latest version, provided it has not been configured to prevent this.

X3AP Retail versions

Those of you who have been waiting patiently for the retail version of X3: Albion Prelude can now finally breathe a sigh of relief. X3: Albion Prelude will be hitting the stores on DVD.

If you already have X3: Terran Conflict, then the Add-on package containing only X3: Albion Prelude will provide you with the means to get directly into the Argon-Terran War. If you want to experience the whole story of the conflict and the war between the Terrans and the Commonwealth races, then the Terran War Pack will be the right thing for you. The Terran War Pack contains:

X3: Terran Conflict
X3: Albion Prelude
X3: Albion Prelude Soundtrack
The Terran War Pack will be available for a price of 19.99 € in €-zone countries. The DVD versions of both Terran Conflict and Albion Prelude include the latest versions with the newest features.

The following versions and release dates are confirmed for several territories:

Version Translation Release Dates Countries
(all 2.0) Packaging Voice Text Add-on Terran War Pack

English • • • - 9th March UK
German • • • 2nd March 2nd March Germany
French • • • - 9th March France
Italian • - • - 9th March Italy

If your country is not listed here then you will be pleased to hear that the Egosoft shop will be selling the DVD versions of X3: Albion Prelude. As usual there is only a limited stock available, so order sooner rather than later.


Both the X3: Albion Prelude Add-on and the Terran War package will require you to install the Steam client in order to be able to install and play the game(s). Note that if you already have a Non-Steam version of X3: Terran Conflict then you can register it with Steam to get a Steam version. If you have any questions about the installation process, or about Steam in general, we recommend having a look at our new Steam FAQ section. It covers the most common questions about Steam and gives useful tips that will hopefully make your experience with Steam and the X-series games an enjoyable one.

A NoSteam executable for version 2.0 of X3: Albion Prelude will be made available for those who have technical issues relating to ongoing Steam connectivity after installation."
Geraldine :girlsmile:
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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:41 PM

Nice one Geraldine.
That the dates I was looking for, :D I posted in the wrong thread before :oops: .
Was in town this morning and went into "Game" but as usual the monkeys didn’t know anything about the release date, no wonder there going out of business.
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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Got an unpleasant surprise a couple of days ago :? ,... Yes my copy of X3 Albion Prelude Terran War Pack finally showed up in the post. :lol:
Getting the games up and running was fairy painless except every time I lunched the game it tries to download and install DX9, got around it by putting Steam into off line mode and the game launches and plays fine.

As for the game nice graphics still as boring as dishwater :lol:
"Ship computer calling bomb#20 you're out of bomb bay again"

#40 Bullwinkle



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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

Got an unpleasant surprise a couple of days ago :? ,... Yes my copy of X3 Albion Prelude Terran War Pack finally showed up

Wow, that *is* an unpleasant surprise!

(just kidding) ;)

still as boring as dishwater :lol:

Well, sure. Did I forget to mention that Albion Prelude (AP) is mostly downloadable content for Terran Conflict (TC)? :)

There is about 100 times more stuff to see and do in TC than in AP. On the other hand, AP fixes a few things that need scripts to fix in TC. So there are pros and cons.

Regarding the dishwater thing, could you list some of the things that you find boring? They might be fixable. Without doubt, the game is highly addictive to some people (including yours truly). Overall, it may be the most fun game I have ever played (once I eliminated the boring parts).

However, I will also say that X3 is the only game I have ever played, for an extended period, that requires so much work to remove frustrations. The kicker is that "fixing" X3 becomes part of the "game". It's like upgrading your ship, except that you are upgrading the game.

For a while, I was considering writing a How-To guide to making X3 great. After playing the game for a couple of hundred hours, it finally dawned on me that the search for "fixes" is part of the game itself. There is still a need for a better primer, I suppose. But it is easier to answer questions than it is to try to anticipate what another player might ask.

So ask away. :)
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