Anyone play this for an extended length of time?
I found that the Xtended mod was an amazing bit of work and can't play X3 without it anymore. Oddly enough, though one can use a joystick, I felt that keyboard+mouse was a much easier way to play.
- It's a fun game overall. Not really a sim as I'd say it, but being able to own entire armadas of ships is great. Mods like Xtended add orders of magnitude of dimensions to the game.
- Some of the bigger space battles are just mind blowing. If you have the right mods and scripts, you can have dozens of capital ships and hundreds of fighters going at it in a system all at once, and they keep coming.
- It is a pretty game, the space backdrops and scenery are excellent. You can also get high res mods for this too. There's also enough variation in the backdrops that not every system looks the same. One of my favorites is probably the "volcanic planet" background that's in a few of the Xenon systems.
- Modding for the game is both great and bad. It's great in that there are a number of mods out there, and they all do various things that you may love or hate, and you can pick and choose. It's bad in that it can be a nightmare to figure out how to install them, and teaching yourself how to use the game's scripting program and language is an exercise in pain. I know a bit of x86 computer assembly, and this was just as painful to figure out. It's rewarding once you get the hang of it though.
- Ships don't really feel that much bigger or small in my opinion. Sure it kinda seems that way once you start, but once you play enough there really isn't that much of a difference.
- The game is very complex, but it's honestly not that "deep". Missions aren't as engrossing as one would expect, but there are plenty of them. The main storyline is really just a big extended tutorial in my view, but it can be fun to play through at least once. There are plenty of random missions to be had though, so you won't ever run out of them.
- It's not remotely intuitive how to play the game. FAQs and guides are somewhat sparse and not well writen. Figuring how to build and manage stations and complexes can take you days, and that's not joking. This could be viewed as a good or bad thing, I think it's more neutral and just adds some time to the game, and I love complexity in games.
- Way too much firepower IMO. Ships die fast, and I mean FAST. Get in your captured Xenon J that can do 89 kts fully twinked, and put turrets to autoengage a target. Pick a fight with another destroyer or carrier. With you manuevering properly to stay out of fire, you can pop the other cap ship in about 30 seconds. IMO fights should last much, much, miuch longer, esp between cap ships. There's a mod in progress to balance that out.
- The AI isn't terribly smart. In fact it's pretty damn stupid.
- The game doesn't scale very well in terms of micromanagement. There are scripts and addons that can help, but overall running a huge empire can be a royal pain, and extremely expensive.
- Modding can be a royal pain and a total nightmare. Scripts can conflict or overwrite without you knowing about it. Bugs can be rampant, especially in the Xtended mod which I refuse to play without, and also when you add even more stuff on top of the mix.
I'd buy it, now that they removed Starforce from it. It's a $30 game in my opinion. Make sure you patch it up to the latest versions, and I STRONGLY recommend you look into the Xtended mod. Overall modding for that game is very much "do it yourself", sure you'll find a lot of stuff that's prepackaged and works nice with the fan-made tools, but getting in and figuring out how it works so you can change it to what YOU want is also half the fun. I ended up making several of my own scripts, including an "IFF Jammer" one that used microchips to "convert" a ship to Xenon ownership. Lots of fun with capital ships.
I played quite alot as well too before.
Universal Traders are the way to go. Once you level them up high, they basically become gold farmers. Alternatively, manually remote trading can do wonders too once you've found a few trade routes you like. It does get tedious though, but thats what I do while waiting for something in SETA
Once you get a half decent cash reserve, i think like 100 million or so, build a huge complex in the argon territory for space fuel/ space weed(I like Presidents End since there isn't much clutter) There is even silicon asteroids there so you can make your facility fully self functional. If you don't do so and just buy crystals, its still doable, but I find it a bit of a hassle to manually guide a ship everywhere to stock up on crystals. Enough pirate bases are nearby so that they're bought as soon as I produce them and provide a steady source of income just in case my UTs become extremely stupid and all end up getting killed.
The M7 ship you get from the bonus pack is HORRENDOUSLY overpowered. When outifitted with proper Pandora speed upgrades/tunings, you can have it have the speed/manuverability of a fighter, but with the firepower of a destroyer. You can easily clear out Xenon sectors with it. Plus, PSGs are mountable on it to kill the pesky swarming fighters around you.
Before I get the M7, I love the Split Mamba Raider. For a M3(I think thats right), it has great speed/manuverability/firepower at the cost of really poor shields (1 25MJ) That shouldn't matter since with some half decent strafing and the awesome firepower on it, you can take down those huge hauling cargo ships or M6s with escorts fine (Forgot their designation). Just remember to throw on one of those mass things that you have to buy ammo for on your turret for missle defence.
As Whacker says above, the game has a horrendously large learning curve simply because there are so much stuff to do. I played it for something like 200 hours and I still couldn't figure out how to get CAGs to work. If you keep going at it, after a few hours and you get some money or get a xenon invasion mission or two, the game becomes insanely addicting
Last edited by TevashSzat; 11-14-2008 at 02:57.
"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton
Yes, but have many of the same criticisms as above. The series is definitely not for everyone, but if you can muddle through and figure out what is going on it can become addictive. Having your own extensive industrial and trade empire is great, seeing all your ships and factories going about their business, and the credits rolling in.
Am now playing the next in the series, X3 Terran Conflict, and while there are some improvements the core of the game is very similar to X3:R. If you like X3R you will probably like X3 TC.
"All things are born from darkness, and all things return to darkness". Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
There are so few combat/economy/exploration space sims out there now, it's hard not to recommend it, at that price. I guess everyone should try it, but it didn't grab me. I think I've posted before on this one, but to recap:
On the plus side, it's basically a big open-ended sandbox game, and I like those. It's an interesting take on how to combine some economic strategy and expansion with cockpit-level space battles. The external ship graphics are pretty, and I like some of the ship designs (especially the larger ships).
But it had a lot of negatives for me. The enemy pilot AI is very primitive. Space battles devolve into simplistic 2-dimensional turn-and-burn, tail chases. They're all like Kahn... don't know about the third dimension in space combat, apparently. As mentioned earlier, there are "capital ships" in the game but they fight just like oversized, lumbering fighters. No crew to manage, no orders to give, no flexible tactical solutions in a battle. Just turn-and-burn like all the other ships in a battle, big or small.
There is an arbitrary speed cap on every ship. Accelerate up to whatever your max speed is, and then you hit a brick wall. Granted, this is a game mechanic that many space games use, to keep combat within spitting distance and not confuse players with Newtonian physics. But the actual movement cap felt slower to me than many other space games, in terms of relative motion to other ships and objects. There have been a few nice exceptions like the Independence War games that show you can do space combat without a speed limit, and with Newtonian tricks like swivel firing. So that's a pet peeve of mine. But X3 just seemed especially poor at modeling the feeling of speed and motion in space flight, even compared to other games that use the same general approach (Tie Fighter, Freespace, etc.)
Because the movement speeds are slow, the game takes place over a series of linked, fairly small action areas near planets (mostly) where objectives are crammed fairly close together. As space games go, the "Universe" has a very cramped feeling.
There are several powerful factions in the game, but no real diplomacy interaction once you build up a commercial empire. At least in the original X3 game... I don't know what's been added in the most recent version.
I think I might have stuck with the game longer, if the space combat aspect had been more developed and more fun. In the end, that just killed it for me. The combat felt dumb. But maybe other players wouldn't mind it, or could get enough out of the sandbox economic game to have fun with it.
Feaw is a weapon.... wise genewuhs use weuuhw! -- Jebe the Tyrant