X: Rebirth Dev Sorry For Messy Launch, Promises Changes

By Nathan Grayson on November 19th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

X: Rebirth made Craig sad. Given that all we at RPS want to do is defend Craig and keep him safe from the harsh realities of this slowly rotting world, we were fully prepared to launch a volley of our most devastating starfighters at developer Egosoft. In practice, this would have meant tying bricks to a bunch of paper airplanes – the exact science of which has thus far proven somewhat… illusive. However, fortunately for our overtaxed, underpaid R&D department (made up of John and Craig’s cat Dex and a drawing of a scientist), Egosoft has gone and issued an apology. It’s also promising fixes in both the short and long terms, ranging from vicious bug squashings to overhauls of AI, menus, and – thank goodness – the addition of some sort of autopilot option. Back to the hangars, 45th paper airplane fleet. You won’t be burying your brick-flattened brothers today.

Egosoft posted its apology on X: Rebirth’s Steam forums:

“First of all let me start by saying that I am very sorry if you personally experience problems with our new game. We are doing what we can to fix these issues as fast as possible.”

The developer also posted a list of workarounds for issues like crashes, performance problems on high-end machines, saving, and malfunctioning trade ships. Further out, meanwhile, Egosoft plans to address menus and maps (including a possible minimap), the lack of autopilot, movement (or lack thereof) in the cockpit/possible Oculus Rift support, facial animations, targeting hotkeys, and issues with joystick support.

Definitely give the full post a read if you’re thinking of making an ex out of X right now. It might help a little. And in the long run, well, there’s clearly potential here. It’s just a damn shame that Egosoft opted to dash so much of it against the asteroid fields of angry scrutiny instead of building a quantum trans-molecular polish shield against it.

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116 Comments »

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  1. Seiniyta says:

    Almost feels like they ran out of money in the final stretches of this game and had to release it to get some money to get the game actually properly working. It’s not a big publisher/developer so it’s definitely something which can happen. It’s very regrettable. Once a lot of the issues are fixed I’ll probably pick it up.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      You mean: Sword of the Stars ][
      all over again?
      “Let’s release alpha, pretend it’s complete game, get money, and than worry what to do next”.
      Pathetic.
      Even more so when things like “paid alpha access” already exist and (somehow) got commonly accepted by gamers.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        Still not quite at the level of SotS2, at least until people start reporting divide by zero errors.

        • frightlever says:

          I don’t think anyone has reported divide by zero errors, so by my calculations that makes the percentage of divide by zero errors reported to be… hey, my calculator is broken!

      • Kapouille says:

        If by “pathetic”, you mean they’re struggling to pay their employees wages and those employees are working through the clock to get the bloody thing out of the door, I’m guessing you’re probably not far from the truth.
        Independent studios are in vast majority struggling with their cash flow. What you see is the consequence of having to balance between running out of cash and making the game you’ve been dreaming about.
        Another constant is the lack of proper QA in smaller outfits, explaining why the player is usually the tester in earlier stages.

        • Premium User Badge

          Cinek says:

          By pathetic I mean: releasing alpha version of the game as a final one, and than complaining about payments.
          They should have just postponed release by ~6 months and give current version of the game as a Steam Early Access or something similar. Nothing would be wrong in that and it’d be a perfectly fair behaviour meeting the needs of players (not to be lied) and developers (be paid) in a reasonable middle ground.

      • Syphus says:

        SotS2 was far far worse. The game was pretty much not playable at all. I can meander my way through X, dealing with issues as they come up. However, SoTS2 was completely unplaylable and the developers were certainly not nearly as nice.

      • Baines says:

        Would you prefer the opposite? “Let’s release a complete game, pretend it’s an alpha, get money, and then worry what to do next”?

        (As silly as it sounds, I think that’s what Spicy Horse has done with Akaneiro. Steam description admits the game has already launched, but it remains classed as “Early Access” there. Being classed as Early Access means Spicy Horse can make a $10 purchase the only way on Steam to access their “free-to-play” game.)

      • vecordae says:

        I do not get the sense that it is a comparable situation at all.

        Egosoft released a relatively complete game, even if it feels a bit like the game is still in beta. The campaign’s a bit bugged, but one CAN play the game, even if some desirable features are missing. Further they accepted responsibility for the problems in the game THAT DAY and outlined what they will do to resolve it and gave some reasonable deadlines. I get the feeling that they knew they were releasing things a bit early, but thought they still had something worth playing to offer.

        Kerberos, on the other hand, released what was obviously early alpha, told everyone that it was a big mistake and that the actual release-worthy game code would be out in a few hours. Which turned out to be slightly more broken. Enormous chunks of the game were missing or simply not present. You couldn’t actually play the game. It took them three days to get around to apologizing, and, when they did, it was pretty half-assed and didn’t involve accepting any real responsibility for what happened. That would come later, but it took time. Though they managed to eventually get their game playable, they treated their customers with what appears to be resentful disdain the entire time. I got the feeling they felt that their customers were a bit beneath their strategy opus.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        It’s nowhere near Sots II levels. At launch that game was still in early development, nothing worked 100% apart from the main menu. You can actually play through X:Rebirth, it’s just more like a beta game as it’s really buggy and runs like a pig. To me it also fails at the main reason for the series “rebirth”, making it more intuitive for new players, the UI is a confusing mess.

    • Artist says:

      Nearly finished game? Missing funds? Just one word: Kickstarter! That site is known in germany.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        No, they have a publisher. The last thing I want is to see EA and it’s ilk profiteering off Kickstarter.

        • Atrocious says:

          You can’t really compare deepsilver to EA (from the size and funds perspective). But yeah, kickstarter isn’t the right platform for a case like this.

          They should have offered alpha/beta access, like Bohemia did with Arma 3. Then the hardcore fans could have helped with finding and reporting bugs, before the average (new) customer sees all the ugly things.

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            Ham Solo says:

            I agree with this.

          • KDR_11k says:

            Deep Silver is part of Koch Media (the guys who bought Volition). Wikipedia lists their revenue for 2009 year at 310 million euros, they’re distributors for Square Enix and Namco Bandai, among others. They’re not some small indie label.

          • Sharlie Shaplin says:

            I agree with this. They should have at least used Steam early access, it would have been better for us and them.

        • Premium User Badge

          Cinek says:

          Bobby – that’s bound to happen. Whatever you want it or not. EA released blasphemy of “indie bundle” so kickstarter will be nothing surprising.

          • InternetBatman says:

            It is, but I don’t think it’ll ever be a huge thing. If a publisher can raise the money to fund a game from kickstarter, what’s stopping the devs from doing it? Kickstarter + digital distribution can mostly take the place of a publisher in that case. Add VC and it becomes much harder to be a publisher of small titles.

          • Baines says:

            I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen, but big publishers have already had a form of Kickstarter for a long time. They just call it “Pre-orders.” (Some companies even give you free bonus stuff for giving them money in advance of release, just like Kickstarter.)

          • Premium User Badge

            Cinek says:

            InternetBatman – EA owns several studios. I would expect one of them jumping on kickstarter bandwagon.

  2. Nyxz says:

    I knew this would happen, thats why i didnt pre-order.

    Damn im starting to learn the new game industry.

    • MrThingy says:

      Same here. It just had the strange aura of inevitability about it.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I DID have it on pre-order, but as its still not shown up yet, amazon have declaired it lost in the post and given me a refund.
      Cant help but feel like ive dodged a bullet there

  3. Snargelfargen says:

    We will add some autopilot support. However it is our goal with X Rebirth that you do not need to run the game semi-automatically for extended periods of time. This is also he reason why we will not support SETA / SINZA time acceleration. There should never be a need to wait 20 minutes for your trade ships once you have multiple ships. You can queue orders and do many things in parallel. Time acceleration as a trick to accelerate trading will not be in X Rebirth.

    An admirable intention but wow, what a terrible function to remove from the game. Getting players to play the “right” way requires more carrot, less stick

    • JimboDeany says:

      Exactly, unless ships become cheaper, or quicker, there’s still going to be exactly the same problem in building up a trade fleet. Think I may stick with X3 Reunion and some mods…… any recommendations?

      • Mavvvy says:

        The XRM mod and improved relations 2.0 would be 2 of my favs.

        • JimboDeany says:

          Cheers

        • Stardreamer says:

          Thanks for the suggestions. I’m kind of missing an epic Space Experience in my gaming life right now so I think that instead of Rebirth, and while we’re still waiting for Elite and/or Limit Theory to arrive, I might fire up Terran Conflict or Albion Prelude and just Mod the hell out of it, see how I get on. XRM sounds great.

          [EDIT] Actually, XRM sounds bloody brilliant. Why have I never tried this before? Really looking forward to this now. Thanks, Mavvvy!

      • KDR_11k says:

        The campaign throws you some free freighters, free play mode doesn’t though.

        The highway travel speed could use a bit of an increase, especially in low traffic areas where you likely won’t find any ships to slipstream behind.

  4. Premium User Badge

    TheTourist314 says:

    *elusive

  5. Stardreamer says:

    This is classic Egosoft. I got horribly burned by X3 reunion and swore off buying any new games from them until at least several months had passed.

    What they are absolutely brilliant at is long-term support. This game WILL be polished until it is a good as it can be, and supported and updated with new content long past the point most developers would have moved on. And without charging you another penny.

    • Humanji says:

      Yeah, they’ve enough good will built up from their previous games and interactions with the player-base for me to trust that most problems will be sorted out. I still don’t think they’ll be able to change enough to make this game as absorbing as the previous ones. But they, along with the modders, will be able to make this into a pretty impressive game in it’s own right.

      • Reapy says:

        Maybe they should have embraced the alpha funding thing more. It is basically what they are doing anyway, but would have pissed less people off such that they come away with a positive feeling rather than an angry one. I mean, common, no joystick support? How basic is that?

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      Yeah, it’s as though they had come into a cycle of releasing their games 3-6 months early. Your average developer would release a game with far few bugs and broken features, but post-release support would be much shorter. Shift the release 3-6 months earlier and you get about what Egosoft releases.

      I don’t know if it’s a planning issue or a funding issue but it’s always struck me as strange.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I know their rep is good for long-term support, but I’m still not convinced that when Rebirth is “polished until it is a good as it can be,” that it will be a game I want to play.

      Let’s say Egosoft or the modders strip out all the most annoying features and add a few essential new ones, like joystick support. Let’s say they replace having to walk around stations for NPC interaction, they get rid of the annoying minigame in the highways, they increase the menu text size so it’s legible, they make a better nav map, and they get rid of your babbling copilot.

      Even if all of that were possible, we’d still have a game where you can’t fly different ships, fully automate trading, and build your own stations like previous X universe games. The entire economic engine seems really thin compared to previous games, and the economy was the only reason to play them. It sure wasn’t for the combat. If anything, the combat is even worse in Rebirth due to limited weapons and missing controls.

      Maybe there’s something salvageable here, and I sure hope so because I bought the stupid thing. But I’m just not seeing it yet.

  6. crinkles esq. says:

    There’s been some digging into the game files, and it’s come to light that there are many references to the Xbox 360 in the files which weren’t there in X3, as well as other facts such as the game working great with an Xbox controller and yet no joystick support. Which has spawned theories that this game was originally designed as a 360-first title, but they couldn’t get the performance to an acceptable level.

    Regardless of that, many of the design decisions in this game just seem completely bizarre. There’s a skeleton of promise in the game, but it’s a skeleton of a beaver they’ve tried to re-arrange and display as a human. It’s not just a matter of fixing bugs.

    • gorkomatic says:

      Bernd has been dancing around the issue but it would seem that at least at some stage X:R was co-developed for PC and X360. That would explain at least some of the bizarre design choices (such as controller-centric interface that is completely useless at resolutions above 720p).

      Not all of them though. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that they tried really, really hard to make interface that is actually more obtusive, more click heavy and generally far more cumbersome than the one from X:TC. Up until last Friday I thought that was impossible.

      • Morcane says:

        What do you mean dancing around the issue? There’s a video out there where he plays the game with a gamepad. Duh, of course they’re wanting to release on consoles too; they’re stupid to ignore that market.

        • Premium User Badge

          Cinek says:

          So now we know why this game feels incomplete – they wasted time and money on (totally ignorable) consoles instead of making a game.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          I think the jury is still out on the code issue, in that it might just be a module relevant to dx9. However the fact it IS dx9 only, an interface apparently optimised for tv resolutions (font size most legible at 720p), FOV locked to setting suited to TV, performance issues on high end machines and a control system apparently optimised for a controller do all point to a game that has not been extensively rejigged for the target PC platform

        • Zenicetus says:

          Another clue is that the game files fit on a single DVD. It’s actually smaller in size than previous X series games. That’s probably one reason for the identikit station interiors. It’s like the dungeons in Dragon Age 2; they had to fit the game on one DVD for consoles.

          I think this also explains the cel-shaded cartoon graphic style they used this time around, so you don’t notice how low-res the textures are, or the lack of reflections and other higher-end graphic effects.

          There is a difference between designing a multi-platform game where the PC gets its own feature set , and designing solely for a game console as the primary target, while gimping the PC port. That’s exactly what they did here. And worse, the developer lied to the community about what they were doing. They claimed it was a PC game, first and foremost.

      • Premium User Badge

        Cinek says:

        ” they tried really, really hard to make interface that is actually more obtusive, more click heavy and generally far more cumbersome than the one from X:TC” – wow… that’s a huge achievement. After playing X3 I thought it just doesn’t get any worse than that, and here we got rebirth with even worse UI? I’m impressed. They must have worked really hard on that.

        • gorkomatic says:

          Well, at least that expains what took them seven years, right?

          But basically, imagine general X:TC interface “feel” (menus nested inside menus), but remove a working clickable map (because console controller), and constrain each sub menu to eight options (because again, you are supposed to browse it using one of the analog sticks). Add a delay between activations of each sub menu layer (because… who knows?), so you just can’t quickly tap options from memory (as you would in X:TC).

          As a bonus:
          – remove ability to select, in any way whatsoever, the ships that are not currently following you
          – remove all possble movement orders save for “follow me” and “don’t follow me”.

          • WrenBoy says:

            While its essentially true that the only direct commands are follow me and dont follow me, its worth pointing out that they sometimes follow you even when you ask them not to.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Aww they just want to be your friend :)

  7. Baltech says:

    If they ran out of money during developement, why didn’t they release this as Early Access game? It certainly feels like an Alpha. They would have had more time to develop, there’d be money coming in and they would have had feedback from gamers but with less negative publicity. Missed opportunity?

  8. hunsnotdead says:

    SHOW ME YOUR SKILLS

  9. rustybroomhandle says:

    Been playing this, and knowing how well Egosoft support their games in the long run, I know the (horrible) bugs will get fixed, but there are some really strange design decisions.

    Walking on stations is just ‘orrible. Thankfully someone made a mod that allows you to talk to NPCs in the sector without even docking, so at least that means it can be skipped. But when mods exist to remove features that the designers obviously put some effort into, you have to wonder if maybe their time could not have been spent in better ways.

    The co-pilot is another weird one. It feels like a design decision that reads “You’re probably a young male, so here’s your designated girlfriend – we even gave her a boob-window”. I’d prefer a Wookie. :P (incidentally, my SO made a mod that patches up the stupid boob-window, and a second mod that makes the “dance clubs” into regular bars, not the cut & paste strip clubs they are in the default game)

    I have not gotten too far into the trading and fleet building side of things, but the spreadsheet and keyboard-friendly interface of X3 was definitely a more efficient way to manage stuff. Some people saw it as a barrier to entry, but as you get more used to using it you could do almost anything with a few keystrokes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      “But when mods exist to remove features that the designers obviously put some effort into, you have to wonder if maybe their time could not have been spent in better ways.” – that’s not really an argument. There are mods for all sorts of BS just because someone had spare time to “remove a feature”. Most obvious example being EU4 map where someone turned it basically into EU3 rainbow-garbage just because he had time and skill

      Never the less I agree that being unable to talk with characters without docking is kinda silly. Suddenly all phone-manufacturing companies went out of business?

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        I should have specified that it’s a very popular mod. I have read very few comments from people who actually like the on-station bits.

        • Premium User Badge

          Cinek says:

          I know, and it seems reasonable enough. Just saying that argument “someone made a mod to remove feature” isn’t really an argument.

        • wu wei says:

          EgoSoft could have saved themselves a lot of pain by paying attention to the reaction when EVE introduced walking in stations.

          • SwENSkE says:

            ‘Walking in stations’ never made it into EVE although if done right it could’ve been an interesting addition.

            Anyway this comparison makes no sense whatsoever. In a PVP-centric MMO like EVE I can imagine lots of activities in stations that could be a lot of fun – in a single-player game like X not so much.

            And btw, most people weren’t opposed to ‘walking in stations’ because they didn’t like the idea in general but because EVE was in a bad shape at that time – especially concerning large fleet fights, the heart and soul of EVE – and people thought development time should rather go into optimizing performance and features already in game.

          • Distec says:

            I’d like to add that there were MANY other problems that players had with the Incarna update; blown videocards, ridiculous microtransactions, and leaked corporate documents.

            But as far as the stations themselves go, agreed. Why bother with a feature that doesn’t work, is unfinished, and/or is completely unnecessary to the rest of the game? If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

      • Blackcompany says:

        I was just sitting here wondering how many of these bugs could have been squashed prior to release, and how much better a SPACE game Egosoft could have developed, had they not wasted their time worrying about things like Walking in Stations. Did they learn nothing from the recriminations of the same move on the part of CCP, when fan backlash basically centered around, “Ok…but what about the space part, of your space game?”

        Have to admit that, if I pick this up, the mod to remove the necessity of docking just to talk to people will be one of the first mods I utilize, as docking just to search a station for a single NPC strikes me as an enormous waste of time even in games where NPC dialogue and animations are worth taking in.

    • JiminyJetson says:

      Any chance you have a link to the Mod to remove the need for the wretched FPS sections? A quick google isn’t returning anything

    • Alfy says:

      Mmmmhhhhh… Wookies…

  10. Malfeas says:

    I spent 80 minutes with this game.
    50 of those were spent in menus desperately trying to get it to run well and checking for driver updates.
    The remaining 30 made me shake my head at the writing. At least when it didn’t just crash, which it enjoyed doing every 5-10 minutes.
    The combat was weirdly uninteresting. I can’t quite place what made it so, but I simply didn’t get into it.
    When I realized I could loot people’s boxes and lockers on a station, the whole first person experience having been completely uncomfortable up to this point, I stared at the screen for a minute before exiting the game.

    I’ve uninstalled it and unless there’s been a communication error the nice people at amazon seem willing to take it back for a full refund.
    Egosoft is now the only company I’ll treat like EA. Avoid at all costs.

  11. P.Funk says:

    Another developer apologizing for a shitty launch of an unfinished game?

    *yawn*

  12. GamesInquirer says:

    I really don’t know if this game is fixable without essentially remaking every single aspect of it, outside the station and ship models. I don’t care for the console port discussion that’s risen, plenty great games are on consoles, but the game just doesn’t seem very good even underneath all the bugs, badly designed menus, dodgy highway lanes (an aspect actually praised in all previews, what the heck), misguided elder scrolls style loot everything in sight encouragement and way too many other such relatively minor inconveniences that one could overlook for an otherwise great game. Although it’s certainly weird how everything is a mini game, from the highway lanes to the long range scanning to chatting with NPCs in ways that enable them to like you and give you special information, it’s minor.

    Even something as basic as the space traveling and combat feels all wrong regardless of input method, the controls don’t seem to behave right even after customization (which has some weird limitations, like only being able to put the strafe left/right on an axis, not buttons, if you don’t use a keyboard) and turning off auto-rolling and auto collision avoidance (note there are even no advanced controls for things like targeting – outside looking at what you want to target for a second) while the main (not fire and forget) weapons themselves seem either impossible to use on moving targets in distances beyond 50m or you enable the aim assistance so that you only need to point your ultra gigantic crosshair at the enemy ship and let loose. Either way, completely unsatisfying on every level. It’s not because they wanted it arcade style either, I can love arcade games just fine and have been enjoying the NeonXSZ alpha (it plays much like an open world sandbox space combat game but it’s all indoors like Descent and even though it’s all about arcade action and responsive on a twitch controls you still have more capabilities, like inertia).

    Performance is also beyond awful, especially outside the first few starting systems as the story goes, regardless of settings which are few anyway (on an i7 3770K, 16GB DDR3, 7970 OC, even though my system often reported ~30% usage of the GPU and ~60% usage of the CPU, or vice versa, I forget right now). I don’t think it looks particularly great in normal conditions either (again, regardless of the in game settings), though it probably can look good enough if you have some kind of beastly PC that can add ungodly amounts of supersampling and maintain fluid frame rates. If any can.

    The focus on the story and characters which is the reason behind some of the limitations seems misplaced also, it’s as clumsy as ever and the wooden NPCs, sloppy cut scenes and dodgy VA detract from rather than add to the atmosphere of the game. I’d rather have that whole aspect menu and text based with the imagination filling in the blanks more competently than their realization and all that effort going into the meat of the game. Open space and the underlying economy mechanics.

    Anyway, if they couldn’t do it right in x number of years this supposedly took I don’t see how they can overhaul every problematic aspect (even outside the issues one could claim are subjective rather than objective) within a few months at most in order to please the buyers. Unless they want to tell us we should all get a refund and buy the game again in another year, or two, or three.

    • WrenBoy says:

      I agree with you when you say that it would be possible for the game to be good even if it was explicitly designed for consoles.

      I dont think that makes the conversation uninteresting though. Bernd is claiming that the interface and design decisions resulting from this were done as part of his artistic vision and that the players just dont get it. The probable dishonesty is what makes it an interesting conversation.

      What annoys me most is that Bernd and Egosoft clearly did know what gamers want. The previews and grand talk of living universes proved this. What he seems to have asked his team to create though are beautiful station models surrounded by the most simplistic series of mini games and the worst space combat I have ever experienced.

      • Awesumo says:

        Ah, the artistic defence: “those people just don’t get it”.

      • Suriel says:

        There is a statement from today in the German PCGAMES by Bernd Leheman, that they indeed experimented with XBOX360 designs – both for X3 and during development of X-Rebirth, but they never could past the memory limitations.
        Too lazy to translate, but added below. Run it trough a translator. ;) And I think a more detailed insight into the development process of this game we’ll not get anytime soon. At least not from Egosoft.

        Wir haben nun auch eine Stellungnahme von Egosoft-Studiochef Bernd Lehahn: “Wir experimentieren schon seit langer Zeit mit Konsolenversionen unserer Spiele. X3 Reunion hatten wir bereits auf der Xbox 1 und der Xbox 360 laufen. Damals hatten wir Probleme mit der Menüführung und dem Konsolenspeicher, sodass wir das Experiment nicht weiterführen konnten. Auch während der Entwicklung von X Rebirth haben wir wieder mit der Xbox 360 experimentiert. Eine Controllersteuerung, die jetzt unterstützt wird, konnten wir diesmal umsetzen, das Speicherproblem bleibt auf Xbox 360 allerdings bestehen.

        Wir hätten unser Universum mit seinen vielen Details auf der Konsole nicht in der Größe unterbringen können. Deshalb haben wir uns wieder gegen eine Konsolenversion entschieden – X Rebirth ist ein PC-Spiel. Wir sind allerdings sehr gespannt auf die neuen Konsolen, die Xbox One und insbesondere die PlayStation 4, sodass wir uns auch damit beschäftigen werden, sobald unsere Zeit es zulässt. Jetzt liegt unser Fokus allerdings zu 100% auf X Rebirth.

  13. honuk says:

    Charging for an alpha, as usual.

    Luckily for them, selling an alpha version of your game is pretty trendy right now, so it should be all good.

  14. Artist says:

    Nathan, can we please name it as what it is? I love Egosoft, Ive supported them since 1999, I will continue to support them.
    But X Rebirth was release months ahead of its completion, broken with bugs and huge showstoppers (corrupt saves, unsolvable missions, non-working AI ship), that dont let you run your game much past 5hrs.
    And too much of the “mid-/lategame content is mostly NOT working.

    What Berd Lehahn (lead director of Egosoft) should do is not issue a minor “sorry for bugs”-statement but an full apology and explaination how this mess could happen to restore the trust of the customers.

    Or do anybody of you believe that there will be the needed major changes in gameplay-design that X Rebirth needs to finally tap properly into its potential?
    Hope you have not forgotten the “Elemental: War of Magic”- Desaster and that it was just patched up and later rebirthed as “Fallen Empress” for more money.

    We have to STOP to say “its a bit sorry” and name the disaster as what it is and get on from there. Honest, frank, straight.

    • Artist says:

      Edit: Honest, because Bernd Lehahn told everybody weeks ago that most of the bugs have been fixed and X:R is ready for release. But a betatester said that there was a long list of severe bugs that was not fixed the weeks before the gold version went into the press. He guessed lacking manpower.

      Does not change the fact that the customers have been lied to. Outright lied.

      • WrenBoy says:

        I would be even more pessimistic to be honest. I can forgive the bugs, the performance issues and the horrible interface. I can forgive some balance problems and some mechanics which turned out not to be working well.

        The issue with Rebirth is that I cant see any evidence of a potentially good underlying game. If this is actually 7 years worth of development time, it would take many many more years to use this engine to create a game that people would actually enjoy investing time in. Who is going to care about X Afterbirth by then?

        The AI is non existant. The economy seems to work on an even more simplistic level than previous games. They have a reputation for supporting their games but were never able to solve difficult issue such as the pathing problems in previous games. The pathing is far worse now, I guess as a result of the space cities confusing the AI.

        The combat AI is extraordinarily bad. Maybe with a lot of effort it will be brought up to mediocre. I dont expect to see interesting dogfighting around space cities though.

        Apart from the nice station models, there is nothing worth saving in Rebirth. Its just plain bad.

        • Stardreamer says:

          Wow. That sounds terrible. Such a shame. I reallty wanted Rebirth to do well, but now it sounds like it’s got all the faults of the previous games, or worse, PLUS some truly terrible design decisions baked into the core experience. I may never actually buy this now, or at least wait until it’s hit some rock-bottom sale somewhere.

      • Lemming says:

        Indeed. Games have been pulled off Steam for less.

        • Baines says:

          On the other hand, games have stayed on Steam as well. Valve doesn’t care about Steam game quality. They only act when the press gets bad enough.

          Maybe Egosoft can pull a Hammerpoint Interactive. Sell the game for a bit, see it pulled from Steam, then put the same broken game back on Steam with a new name. Coming soon, “Space: Survivor Stories”.

    • Vercinger says:

      It’s Fallen Enchantress. And it’s not a good example/comparison. The re-released game was given free to owners of the original version, and the developers admitted to failing badly.

  15. Chris says:

    From what I have read, the programming of this game is the biggest flustercluck ever.

    It’s a 32 bit program that requires 64 bit Windows. So those of us with lots of RAM get a game that uses but a fraction of memory available, and those of us with 32 bit systems get a game we can’t play, despite it being a 32 bit game.

    It has a UI that was designed for consoles. despite the fact it’s not available on console.

    And it’s very poorly optimised.

    • BrightCandle says:

      Its likely the game uses Large Address Awareness so it can use 4GB of RAM on a 64 bit machine (or server class hardware that can use more RAM on 32 bit). But on 32 bit OS its limited to 2GB which isn’t enough. Its not the only game to do that, Arma 3 for example can be run in the same mode.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      “this game is the biggest flustercluck ever.” – You should have seen Sword of the Stars II at the release.
      This game got “options” in main menu that didn’t work (like: you clicked it and nothing happened – they implemented it slowly over next 10 or so patches)
      lol

      • gorkomatic says:

        Been there, done that, didn’t get the t-shirt (or a working game, for that matter).
        And while it’s not SOTS-2 level catastrophe, it’s very nearly there.

        And the whole apparoach – basically “exchange fanbase loyalty for quick buck” – is similar.

  16. Screamer says:

    Also saw this coming, but knowing with X# after a few months most thing will be fixed. Thing is I’m not suer they will be able to fix some of the bizarre design choices they made reading the forums. Also whats up with them saying they did not optimise for high end PC’s. What may I ask did they run the game on the to create the trailer? Because I’d really like that game!

  17. trueplayer says:

    I really don’t understand this attitude. Why not wait before buying just to see how it looks, what do people say (I know, I know – sometimes people bitch for no reason but still) ?

    I’ve learnt in the past to NEVER buy anything on release. The game is not going anywhere now does it?

    Otherwise we end up with tons of butthurt people – it happens again and again.

    edit: This was supposed to be a reply to Artist’s comment.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Speaking for myself, I have preordered twice in my life so far, both cases were just a bit of excitement for a style of game I enjoy but dont see very often (the only other game I preordered was Legend of Grimrock so I guess 1 out of 2 aint bad).

      Im currently recovering from an injury and have to spend the next week in bed. Ill then have a lot of work to catch up on and no time to play video games. I thought it was worth a punt given my limited availability.

      I am disappointed. I was expecting plenty of issues but was also expecting the core of a decent game.

      • Atrocious says:

        Play X-COM Enemy Within and get well soon. :)

        • WrenBoy says:

          The worst part was actually that it was a toss up between that and Rebirth. I chose unwisely.

  18. BrightCandle says:

    Reading through their full statement they haven’t addressed all the problems with the core game itself. The trading and other mechanics are simplified to the point of useless, its not just the surface issues of performance and controls and views its also the core game itself is rubbish due to all they ripped out of it. They can fix the make up on this pig but it will still be a pig underneath.

  19. Spoon Of Doom says:

    So, what I’m getting from all this is that it’s better to stay with X3 and forget Rebirth ever happened? It’s a shame. From what I’ve heard, the devs said they wanted to essentially make the same game as the last one, but optimized a little more and some of the clutter removed that came from stuffing unplanned features into their codebase / game design. That would have been exactly what I wanted from Rebirth.

    • JimboDeany says:

      I’d imagine that would’ve been a much easier and cheaper game to make too! They seem to have spent a long time developing terrible features and removing useful ones. I’ll be sticking with X3 modded to the gills I’m afraid.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Martel says:

    It has been extremely disappointing and just makes me sad. No way to get a refund so I’ll keep it installed and fire it up again some day after modders create the game it should be. I have to say I don’t really get any of the performance issues, and the stations are very pretty, but everything else about it is worse than X3.

  21. dE says:

    It’s not the bugs that kill this game, they could and most likely will be fixed. It’s the weird design decisions that are the issue. I had a discussion with a friend about some of the design decisions and every other sentence, we concluded with a “what the hell”.
    It was a pretty damn long list of weird design decisions that make no sense. Things like, why include station interiors when you absolutely don’t have the ressources to pull it off? Why smash it into the players face, forcing them to constantly dock and notice the copypasta? If a part of the game is bad and it’s pretty obvious you’d need a lot of funding to make it not bad, why turn it into such a central element of gameplay? The odd thing is, the game would be better without the stations in their current state. They serve no purpose but to introduce additional barricades to climb in an attempt to get anywhere. Even weirder, I absolutely love the idea of seeing a stations interiors. That’s what I loved about Freelancer, the feeling of the planets being alive and different.

  22. Perjoss says:

    I’m a bit worried that at some point they will stop fixing things in the form of patches and start accumulating the fixes into an expansion pack (one that costs money). I really hope they have the game in decent state before trying to extract any more money from their fans.

    I don’t want a refund as I’ve had fun with Rebirth already and I have a bit of faith in Egosoft, and I can always go back to Albion Prelude and have fun while I wait for some of the bigger fixes for Rebirth.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      They have actually been really good in the past with this kind of thing. They are still releasing patches for older games.

  23. Premium User Badge

    uzihead says:

    STEAM

    X Rebirth

    YOU’VE PLAYED 29 hours
    LAST PLAYED Today

    …it was exactly the same with X2, X3 and still, waaaay better than the release of Silent Hunter 4.

    The game definitely needs all the features enumerated, in my opinion as well. But for some it works just fine with a bit of saved games files hacking, workarounds and learning the game faults. Just like the old times…

  24. jrpatton says:

    No amount of patching will fix the awful voice acting and dialog, and crappy docking areas.

    I have a GTX 680, and on lowest settings the game runs at 25fps. Even if this was fixed, I will not be able to stand the aforementioned acting, and clunky interfaces.

  25. Lagwolf says:

    What is it with “x” games. X-Com was/is a buggy mess & now X-Rebirth. The curse of the X?

  26. satan says:

    I broke my no more preorders promise I made to myself with this game, I just love space that much. I was very disappointed, not much else to say.

  27. Knallfix says:

    The funny thing is, if the game works, like your ships doing that delivery etc, or you discovered how you are supposed to do something (but no one told you), the game can be really fun.
    Lucky me had only one crash so far and the performance isn’t *that* bad, AMD 7870.

  28. dogoncrook says:

    It’s wonky if you play it like an X game, but fire up freeplay and you have freelancer 3. I get it’s not what everyone expected, or even what was intended, but it is what a lot of people have been begging to see for ten years or so now. For what it’s worth I thought the other games where shit and bounced off. I paid no attention to this, read the ridiculous outrage and got a bit interested, watched a lets play where a guy was talking to a neon old lady who told the player to boil his head.. immediate purchase. Play it like I did freelancer and I’m totally confused why anyone would call it shit except for the bugs. I also have to say a good amount of the complaints aren’t even true. Sure they didn’t explain it, but many of the “bugs” are features and when you expect the game to be “dumb” it will often surprise you.. or you go on steam and bitch for 20 hours.. and bury the thread that explains it to you with hate and hyperbole…That’s a fun game too I guess.

    • GamesInquirer says:

      I guess it’s also fun to be all “I like it and so should/would you, if only you didn’t whine and just tried to understand that the issues of the game are actually features”.

      Besides, Freelancer was considered about as flawed and unwanted by many people expecting a serious and deep space game (and it was also hyped beyond belief, all that Elder Scrolls in space crap) but it was fully playable with intuitive systems and controls next to no real annoyances to overcome. They also knew not to let you wander in the repetitive stations but make it almost menu driven and snappy. Hell, Freelancer’s combat was dreadful because of how intuitive its mouse driven controls were (yep, a primarily space combat focused game where you can’t use a joystick and everything is designed around the mouse), making it nothing more than cursor following and chugging the equivalent of potions from start to finish, just with ever increasing numbers as you progress through the same mundane missions over and over. X: Rebirth’s combat (and travel as it uses the same controls plus mini games) is somehow both shallow and unintuitive, yet equally unsatisfying. Its economy aspect is probably, possibly, deeper (then again, you won’t get the satisfaction of buying new main character ships), but with how unintuitive or flawed or annoying almost everything is many sure don’t want to play it long enough to find out.

      My hopes for this sort of game now only lay with Elite (I got an Avenger LTI but Star Citizen is a different beast, as are other great looking space combat games like Enemy Starfighter).

      • dogoncrook says:

        Pointing out that not everybody thinks it’s shit = me telling you what you should do.. whatever

        I will tell you what you should do though, stop buying games you don’t like.

        • GamesInquirer says:

          The game had no demo and is part of a known series, X. Not everyone had your wonderful insight to know that it is actually a sequel to the nonexistent Freelancer 2 (if for the sake of discussion we assume that you’re right with that description, personally I think many Freelancer – 1 – fans would be pretty disappointed if they bought it based on your recommendation, but hey, they simply shouldn’t) which meant you made an informed purchase fully aware of everything you like and dislike about it and how you should expect it to be dumb when playing to enjoy it.

          [ many of the “bugs” are features and when you expect the game to be “dumb” it will often surprise you.. or you go on steam and bitch for 20 hours.. and bury the thread that explains it to you with hate and hyperbole…That’s a fun game too I guess. ]

          That is merely saying that not everyone thinks it’s shit? It doesn’t pass condescending judgement on those who think it is and, much like you, talked about it online? Okay, I guess you’re writing in a different language that I assumed is English. Carry on.

          • dogoncrook says:

            That was a comment about the steam forums being fucked right now with kids crying, you read too much into things. If you have critisicms of the game they are perfectly valid. AsI stated many of the threads are actually misunderstanding or lies so yes I am passing judgment on those threads as shit opinions because they are based off shit information. Really not something I see a problem with.

            You also can’t watch 5 minutes of a lets play without seeing at least one of the features you loathe so I don’t think I’m acting superior when I say why didn’t you do a bit of research?

            I used freelancer as an example because it’s more in that vein. But yeah me liking a game is obviously a bad opinion, or something because I like shit things.

          • GamesInquirer says:

            I doubt the Steam forums only have such people with knee jerk reactions and no genuinely disappointed gamers but then you’re gonna say that you meant a specific thread or whatever in which case you’d think it’s best to comment there rather than go all weird about it on a completely different place.

            What features that are visible in a let’s play did you see me loathe? In my first comment (not the first reply to you which didn’t really include much about X: Rebirth at all) I specifically said things like the mini games and bad menus and dodgy stations and all that stuff are superficial and while annoying they would be easy to overcome for great gameplay underneath, I just didn’t find that, and no, that’s not visible in a let’s play. Watching isn’t playing. Plenty let’s plays make great games look bad and vice versa. And where did I say your opinion is shit outside the condescending bullshit? Or is this another vague comment about what you saw on a different place but chose to bring here? Meh.

  29. The Random One says:

    John and Craig have to share a cat? Man, video game journalists are even more poor than I thought.

  30. Megakoresh says:

    Not putting the game off my radar for now then, keep us posted plz.