Star Quality? X3: Terran Conflict footage

I didn’t really get on with the X games. Even by my high tolerances for videogame tedium among the stars, X3 seemed to be taking the piss a little. The scope and ambition of its Elite+++++ delivery is commendable, but there was something about its humorless space trudge that put me off. I do feel like I should go back, and plenty of my space-gaming chums chide me for my lack of appreciation. What I can say that is that I am not immune to its prettiness, and this battle-trailer for expandalone Terran Conflict certainly looks fantastic.


  1. Cataclysm says:

    I prefered Freelancer to X2.

    X2 with multiplayer similar to Freelancer would of been good but no, apparently the developers and stuck in the stone ages.

    Multiplayer features are the way forward!

  2. Urael says:

    It’s such a shame this is preety much the only game of it’s type in town. I have spent many months playing the X-games but it’s lost favour recently as I’ve grown tired of the constant need to become a super-industrialist to get the full benefiot of it. If I wanted to runa business I’d so so in the real world where I’d get real rewards. Doing so in the X-games seems rather pointless, and I keep hearing the economy model is broken anyway so what, then, is the point?

    This feeling has only grown with time, to the extent that I – the biggest space game fan around – might not even pick this title up, and definitely not at full price. Hey ho.

  3. Bobsy says:

    I’ve been playing spacey games a lot lately. Recently bashed through the Freespaces (for the first time evar) and am now on Freelancer. I’ve never given the Xs a look yet though…

    I think in a way I’m really just keeping the faith for Elite 4. I had a spate of Frontier a few weeks back and it was really, really incredible. The sheer scale is just breathtaking, and the sensation of crossing a million miles, dropping into a planet’s atmosphere and making a perfect landing in a colony airlock (all without using autopilot, bitches!)is unmatched, even if it looks like a dog threw up in a pixel factory.

  4. MetalCircus says:

    X games are the most boring games on planet earth.

    X2 had a learning curve similiar to that of a cliff face. I prefer Space Rangers 2

  5. Freelancepolice says:

    The interface is much improved over x3 reunion. I bought this on Steam and although it’s a slow beast to get into, it does reward patience and time. Plus the music is lovely as always

  6. Urael says:

    Elite 4…yes, that’s the holy grail, isn’t it? Frontier and it’s sequel are fantastic in that they allow for a much more realistic sense of freedom than the x series allows; planetary landings, realistic scales of bodies within systems…even if X’s combat beats those games hands down (the vid above is cerainly an exciting one). But I’m still worried about Braben’s perpetual stage-fright over this title. His ‘needing the tech to be ready’ statements sound suspiciously like those of George Lucas about Star Wars, and we all saw what happened when the tech was finally available for his long-awaited prequels…

  7. Bobsy says:

    See this is my eternal shame – I’ve still never played First Encounters, locked as I am in a mindset that’s over a decade out of date that it’s buggy and unplayable, despite everything I’ve seen of it recently makes it considerably better than Frontier.

    Quick guide to spacery (without the X games):

    Best at big spaceships: Freespace 2
    Best at nebulae/asteroid fields: Freelancer
    Best at dogfightery: TIE Fighter/X-Wing Alliance

  8. subedii says:

    Personally I’m holding out hope for Naumachia, an in development multiplayer Space Combat sim. The trailer footage looks really good, hearkens back to the old days of fast paced space fighters zipping around capital ships.

    link to

  9. frymaster says:

    ureal – combat missions are much improved, especially the ones which ask you to patrol certain sectors. You get a bonus for every ship you destroy, which is about 250k for an M6 (and there’s lots of M6s).

    My starting M4 can pick of a Xenon P with ease (it’s the pesky Ns and Ms that kill me, they’re too damn fast)

    cataclysm: egosoft’s line traditionally was that the X games exist to provide funding for the oft-talked-about x-online. Whether that’s still the case I don’t know… how you solve the problem of large space-empires not being annihilated when you’re offline is the key point, I think

  10. Dominic White says:

    For those put off by the original X3 (which was at Dwarf Fortress levels of learning-curvery), Terran Conflict fixes almost everything wrong with it. The interface (the worst offender) has been COMPLETELY replaced with something that can only be described as ‘very intuitive’. The flight controls for mouse users are now Freelancer-style as well, so it’s dead easy to dogfight now.

    The early game has been sped up considerably as well. There’s tons of ‘instant action’ type missions that show up on your sector map that you can start with just a couple of clicks, and they pay well and provide you with the reputation you need to buy better ships/equipment. It’s so much easier to actually get somewhere as a fighter pilot, just going around and escorting ships, defending stations, attacking aliens and generally shooting stuff.

    The graphics are better as well. Ships and missiles have vapor trails that make things easier to follow. There’s an intergrated wing-command system so that you can manage large groups of ships as easily as you can your own.

    For the record, I’m about 8 hours into the campaign, and already have a fleet of about 20 fighters, and 5 AI-controlled trading units that are constantly funding my war efforts.

    Oh, and the game looks lovely on top of all that.

  11. GibletHead2000 says:

    I absolutely love the X games, and have played all of them extensively since the XBTF. I do have a good friend who describes them as ‘chinese water torture’ though.

    But how can you describe them as humourless? One of the main characters is called “Ban Danna”. Ho, ho, ho. (Well, okay it is developed by Germans)

    Actually, thinking about it I think I’m a sucker for any stereotypically-German game. I love The Settlers in all it’s forms. Both take a really long time to play, with lots of pauses to marvel at the majesty of what you’ve built. Suspect that has something to do with it. :-)

    Although, if I could play a shiny-new version of any trade-’em’up that I liked, I’d go for Hardwar2 any day.

  12. Dominic White says:

    (Curse you, lack of edit feature!)

    Oh – and in those 8 hours, I have not traded a single commodity, or mined a single asteroid. I have, however, blown up approximately a hojillion spaceships of corvette size or lower, and am working my way up to beating up capital-class ships, eventually planning on having my own personal battlecarrier.

  13. Dominic White says:

    And further wafflings:

    ‘Expandalone’ is a bit misleading, too. Crysis Warhead better fits that description, as it’s a short addition to the original game, but can run by itself.

    Terran Conflict contains absolutely everything from the original X3 plus a large expansions worth of content. Every race is now fully fleshed out with a full range of ship classes, and the universe is generally larger and more lively. There’s AI-run corporations out there doing their own thing in addition to all the races as well.

    This is largely in part due to the XTended team – a group of modders who made a fan-made expansion so good that Egosoft hired them and bought up the mod, expanded on it further, polished it up, and integrated it into the main game. You can still get XTended for free, but the version in Terran Conflict is far better. Plus, the core gameplay has been improved.

    Oh – one more thing. The story (what little of it there is, and it’s entirely optional) is actually better geared for new players. Not only that, but there’s no ‘main character’ anymore – there’s several campaigns for the different races, so if you actually do want to follow the plot, there’s a bit of replay value there. Most people just do the first few missions, then go and sandbox it once they figure out what they’re doing.

  14. danielcardigan says:

    The Egosoft forums really helped me get into the original X3 (well the Xtended GOTY edition). They have a great community. I’m buying this once I have NaNoWriMo out of the way.

  15. Lukasz says:

    I played a lot of x2. then tried to move to x3 only to find out that my comp cannot handle it properly.
    Major hardware upgrade in near future.


    should i get this game and skip x3 or play x3 then terran conflict?

  16. Kelduum says:

    I tried to play X, X2 and X3 as I really liked the idea, and miss Elite/Frontier, but got nowhere, even though Eve wasn’t much of a problem.

    I vaguely recall the main problem was the lack of direction, but the horrible names, nasty and abysmal voice acting didn’t help.

    The main thing though, is that the aliens are named after the elements Argon, Boron and Xenon, and it just grated with me, at it simply seemed that the translators (I hope its them) couldn’t be bothered thinking up names.

    Eventually, I got over that though, but the leaning curve still made Eve seem like WoW.

    Hopefully this will fix it, so I may have to give it a go…

  17. teo says:

    I hate this game with a passion
    X3 was broken beyond belief when it was released and on the official forums I was told to wait 6 months for it to get patched

    never again

  18. Cataclysm says:

    @Dominic White

    You may of just sold this game to me…

  19. Urael says:

    Dominic said: “For those put off by the original X3 (which was at Dwarf Fortress levels of learning-curvery), Terran Conflict fixes almost everything wrong with it. The interface (the worst offender) has been COMPLETELY replaced with something that can only be described as ‘very intuitive’.”

    Well that’s not entirely good news; I really *liked* the UI in X3. As long as what they’ve replaced it with is better then I suppose that’s ok, but that’s a worry right there.

    But as for the rest of your comments (and Frymaster’s), I have to say I’m a little stunned; maybe I’ve judged the game prematurely. If the overhaul between games has been that deep then it might actually be worth looking at sooner rather than later. You make the game sound rather exciting, actually, even if I’m not thrilled about your mention of 5 trading ships keeping your bank balance topped up.

    And I suppose it IS the last game in the series. It would be a shame not to have it on my shelf considering I have the rest…

    @Danielcardigan: Good luck in NaNoWriMo! I did that in 2006 and had a blast!

  20. Urael says:

    lol@Cataclysm. To me too!

  21. Dominic White says:

    Lukasz: Skip the original X3. As mentioned, the only thing Terran Conflict doesn’t have that the original game did is a main character for its campaign, and given how weak the plot/campaign was in the first game, that’s no great loss.

    Essentially, this isn’t quite X4 – it’s more X3.9. Almost a sequel, but not quite.

  22. Dominic White says:

    @Urael: “You make the game sound rather exciting, actually, even if I’m not thrilled about your mention of 5 trading ships keeping your bank balance topped up.”

    It’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds. The process of setting up an AI-controlled trading unit to fund you passively is as follows:

    Fly to shipyard.
    Buy freighter.
    Send freighter to Teladi equipment dock (they have it most often).
    Buy it Lv3 Trading software.
    Assign it the Sector Trader order.

    That’s it – it’ll automatically trundle around an assigned sector, buying low, selling high. So long as it’s in a well-policed sector (or you assign it its own little escort wing), it’ll constantly make you money with no effort required on your part. It’s a good way of investing any excess money you have.

    Eve Online this ain’t.

  23. Maximum Fish says:

    Between these and the Port Royale games, you’d think the German economy would be easily outperforming the rest of the world. They pay to stare at demand curves and production possibility frontiers, and enjoy it. Thank god for Germany, apart from great beer they’ve almost single-handedly kept the (space) trading genre alive.

    In a more on topic note, i tried both X2 and X3, and despite very much wanting to like them was put off by the enormous complexity and counter-intuitive interface, and hardware requirements, in both cases. A freelancer-style mouse-driven interface would go a long way. I just hope there’s a demo.

  24. Sucram says:

    I got Freelancer and within half an hour was playing a LAN game zipping through space blowing up ships and (probably) getting richer than the other guy.

    I got X3 and after 6 hours I was still suffering an intro mission and trying to figure out if there was a time compress function and an auto pilot function so that I wouldn’t have to suffer the long agony of playing it.

  25. Urael says:

    Dominc: Oh, setting them up is easy. It’s the fact that I feel I HAVE TO set up traders specifically to make money so I can get anywhere in the game that bothers me. Why can’t I just be a hot-shot pilot and build up my fortune that way, without becoming Ted turner/Richard Branson? Besides, every time I turned my back on my traders in X3 they got jumped by pirates or Xenon or Khaak and wiped out no matter how much shiedling and weaponry they had, and replacing a seasoned, levelled-up Universe Trader was not a quick process!

  26. Maximum Fish says:

    X-play’s review of X3: Reunion single-handedly validated that show’s existence.

  27. Dominic White says:

    At the moment, the traders are my secondary source of income. They bring in money slowly compared to combat missions right now – I did an ‘average’ difficulty combat patrol that netted me over 1.5 million in kill bounties alone. In that same space of time, my freighters probably brought in 2-300k.

    It’s useful to have a constant source of income though – then again, I’m the cautious type and always have a backup plan just in case everything goes boom.

  28. Maximum Fish says:

    Here it be, for those who haven’t seen it:

  29. Urael says:

    wow, that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while: “I’m surrounded by blown Kha’ak, and strangely unsatified”.

    Indeed. :D

  30. AlexMax says:


    One buggy initial release of one game is going to put you off the rest of the series? I got burned on X3:R too, not because of the bugs (I got the Steam version after it reached 2.0) but because of the obnoxiously awful interface.

    Trust me, X3:TC is a whole different ballgame.

  31. Flappybat says:

    Why no Freelancer sequel? Surely it sold rather well

  32. chopsnsauce says:

    I bought X3: Reunion and fucking hated it.

    Since when was space full of some kind of weird soupy mist?! How come when you turned your thrusters off you instantly stopped moving! Isn’t there supposed to be no friction in space? Maybe it was the space soup the slowed me down. BOLLOCKS.

    AND ANOTHER THING. What is it with energy weapons in games? The beam ALLWAYS travels at about 10mph? Shouldn’t the beam be going at the speed of light? CUNTS.

    What I REALLY want is a space game with proper physics and momentum, LASERS THAT TRAVEL AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT. Cannons that fire real bullets that knock ships about and blow bits off! Spaceships that travel at 50,00mph AND LOOK LIKE THEY ARE.

    Someone make this game, please.

  33. Lukasz says:

    In how many space sim there is newtonian movement?
    I remember only one (not the title though. didn’t even play)
    every single one from elite through xwing vs tiefighter to x3 has unrealistic movement.

    other complaint
    nobody shoots laser in space. never. they are very visually infective (no dodging, laser is invisible in space, just cutting no blowing stuff up)

    blowing bits off.
    yes. i agree. soldier of fortune years ago had blowing bits off why can’t we have that now?

  34. jonfitt says:

    Incidentally, there’s a Talk-o-Tron forum thread where we’re discussing X3.

    I didn’t get on with X3 for many of the reasons mentioned here, and didn’t get far.

    I’m half planning to try X3 again with the Save-Anywhere mod. But instead should I try X3:TC?

  35. Ergates says:


    The problem with “realistic” space combat (ships travelling @ 50,000 mph with inertia, lasers that move at the speed of light, etc) is that it’s boring.

    Travelling at that speed, you go from the enemy being out of visual range in front of you to being out of visual range behind you in the blink of an eye. Then it’d take several minutes to slow down, turn around and go back again.

    Which is irrelevant anyway, as lasers would be effective from way way beyond visual range. So combat would consist of: Red blip appears on edge of radar display. Combat computers aim lasers and fire. Then, either a) Red blip disappears or b) you disappar. you’d never actually see the enemy.

    Not exactly X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter material…

  36. Mathew Jensterle says:

    didn’t I-War have newtonian movement? I used to own the second in the series and I’m pretty sure that modelled inertia etc.

    Been playing X3:TC the last few days, and I’m torn. I love space sims, but it is a bit tedious, if only because I’m expecting some kind of narrative to push me along when I’m floundering, but then I struggled a little with EVE Online as well. The interface works fine, although I would ignore the manual, as I found it failed to explain the bits that actually needed explaining.

  37. teo says:

    First of all I don’t want to support Deep Silver because they put out stuff that’s unplayable. Secondly, once the game actually became ‘playable’ I tried it out for a bit.

    The first I wanted to try out was this thing the manual talked about called the tutorial. But wait! IT’S NOT IN THE GAME

    Okay, so I start the game anyway. I’m greeted with what looks like a Warcraft II-quality level CG cutscene with more artifacts than a youtube video in fullscreen mode on a 1600*1200 display. The ‘alien writing’ or whatever it’s supposed to be is just mirrored katakana! How creative of you devs!

    The game throws you right into the story so I stick with that for a while. It actually works, but it’s laughably bad. Hearing ‘Hey pirate boy, you forgot your parrot!” more than ten times gets tedious. After a while I’m told to go to system so and so. Wait, where? No one will tell me. After spending hours exploring the universe and not finding it I go online and find out that the jump gate to that system is hidden someplace in an arbitrary direction at least for times outside my sensor range in an arbitrary system. How on earth did they think I would find that? Going 10 minutes in a random direction in each system I come to?

    I know the game isn’t about the story but by that point I already despised the damn game. What they showed me when I started playing was so laughably bad that I just got angry at having spend money on it.

    Also, the fact that the planets are nothing more than backdrops kinda kills any sense of being space and having the freedom to go where you want to. Maybe the game is great, but I can’t get over the fact that they made stuff that was so incredibly bad and acted like it wasn’t. I can’t take them seriously

    I can’t help it! I installed the game recently and I was greeted with that same shit and I just got fucking mad and uninstalled it right away. call me silly if you want to

  38. chopsnsauce says:


    No, ships can’t travel at the speed of light, so that’s out for a start. I’d like ‘my best space game’ to have very few laser in it, they’d be a rarely encountered super weapon or something. Good old fasioned bullets, in space, is what I want to see. Smashing stuff up.

    I’ve never really liked ‘energy’ weapons (especially the slow moving kind). I find them somewhat ‘GAY’.

  39. Roman Levin says:

    Dominic would have persuaded me to try out TC if I had time right now.

    Also, X3: Morgan’s Search for Harder Kha’ak.

  40. Dhruin says:

    The Kha’ak use beam weapons…pain in the ass.

    As with every X game (and many German games in general) if you have no tolerance for weirdness, then don’t go near it. This is the most polished X ever but the voiceacting, tutorials etc are all pretty ordinary.

    That said, X3: TC is *easily* their best effort and really does fix a lot – the missions are ridiculously easy to pick up (those complaining about having to trade might note that some X’ers on the forums are complaining this version makes trading irrelevant).

    The interface is a fantastic improvement. Enormous. But, any game where you can have an unlimited number of ships, stations, station complexes, wingmen, commodities, fast little scouts to giant transporters and destroyers is going to have some complexities.

    So, it’s still X – complex, paced gameplay – but much more polished and easy to access combat missions for those that just want to kill stuff or get more direction.

  41. jonfitt says:

    I-War had 3 drive systems:
    Regular thrusters: Newtonian physics, with diminishing returns as you reached higher speed (presumably as your mass increased, but not at a realistic rate). Basically it was Newtonian with an effective speed limit-ish.
    LDS: Your basic warp drive. It could get you between planets in no time, but people were armed with inhibitor missiles which also had LDS drives, so you could be knocked out of warp and caught. Speeds up to but not beyond c.
    Capsule Drive: Jumpgate tech to get between systems. Hyperspace of somesuch.

    I-War had some brilliant ideas.

  42. TickledBlue says:

    Played X3… or should I say, I ‘tried’ to play X3 several times. Even with the Xtended mod installed it was a boring and frustrating exercise.

    What I find incredible is that its the ‘flagship’ space sim at the moment, but apart from improved graphics and some AI aspects, this game does nothing better than Frontier. Why in the current age, with open world games like Oblivion through to Farcry, are there no space sims that model an entire galaxy that don’t rely on a set of jump gates to travel from one boxed in area of space to another?

    You can’t even land on a planet in these damn games – and generally, apart from a station or two and some floating chunks of rock, space is pretty damn dull. So you shoot a few ships or haul some widgets from tin can number 1 to tin can number 2, and that’s it. Where are the space anomalies? Where are the hints of ancient civilizations? Where is the ability to attach a nuke to an asteroid and send it hurtling towards an unsuspecting populated planet? Damn you Egosoft for being so fecking unimaginative.

    The best modern effort I have seen is an indy title called Evochron Renegades done by one guy and coded in Darkbasic of all things – his game has a seamless universe, planetary landings and a go anywhere do anything attitude. If he can do it, what the hell is wrong with the rest of the industry? I’m going to blame YOU the consumer for continuing to lap up and buy these repackaged turds and making excuses for their lackluster development.

  43. jonfitt says:

    There’s so much that you can’t do in X3 that you could do in Frontier. Sometimes I’s just load up mid-sized ship with fuel and a fuel scop and high-tail it for the edge of known space to see what I could find.

    I can just imagine that done with more detail, ancient remains on planets miles from anywhere that no one might see, crazy aliens on a pre-space travel planet, AI traders and entrepreneurs who evolve along side you. That sort of thing.

  44. Urael says:

    I’ve been wanting to write an epic article on the space game dream that so many gamers of my generation are looking for, that would be beautifully served by modern PC capabilities, but that every large developer on the planet seems to be studiously ignoring. You see people hanging around the forums of places like Starwraith Games (Evochron), Frontier Games (Elite), Egosoft (X-games), Noctis (er, Noctis) all sharing their dreams of what could very easily be achieved with the right approach and a modicum of creativity, sad, starving souls huddled round a tiny, flickering campfire of hope. I agree wholeheartedly with TickledBLue above when he slates Egosoft for their lack of imagination; space games could be so much *better*, so much more real, more expansive and more beautiful than they currently are or have been. Infinity: The Quest for Earth has perhaps the most advanced engine I’ve ever seen, but its an MMO – if only someone could license that wonderful engine and produce the singleplayer experience we’ve been waiting for since FFE….Elite 4 be damned, I reckon this is going to be a huge disappointment…assuming it ever appears.

  45. frymaster says:

    teo: yes, the plot in x3:r is ludicrously bad, we know :D

    the reason x3:tc has a 3 next to and not a 4 is that it’s the same graphics engine. The UI is different (and better), there’s more content, there’s more _imaginative_ content, and it’s just a better game overall.

    oh, and landing on planets would kill immersion stone dead. They’d either be featureless or repetitive. Live space not dead planets please :)

  46. AlexMax says:


    It’s worth mentioning that an updated manual came out with the release of X3:R 2.0.

    link to (click ‘view the manual’)

    Not that it fixed the interface or awful story. I wish Steam allowed you to sell games you no longer wanted, X3:R and Rag-Doll Kung-Fu would be the first off my list.

    But like I said, X3:TC is a whole different ballgame, one I’m greatly enjoying.

  47. TickledBlue says:

    frymaster: you’ve got no clue mate, kill immersion with planetary landings? Yeah, ’cause flying towards the planet but never getting any closer in X3 is soooo fecking immersive. Urael mentioned Noctis above, its an old DOS game (another indy written by one Italian dev) where the whole point is planetary landings and exploration – tonnes more immersion, even with the shitty graphics, than X3’s bleak wasteland of space filled with rocks and stations. It had this great haunting midi track that played in the background as you were exploring the landscape – very evocative.

    And what freaking _imaginative_ content? There is nothing in X3 that hasn’t been done elsewhere and usually better – in what way does X3 TC add more imaginative content? I’m willing to concede that most current devs would be completely incapable of creating planet surfaces that are interesting and varied, and Egosoft is less imaginative than most so their planets would probably be like golf balls seen up close, but you’re not selling me on this _imaginative_ content… what is it pray tell?

  48. frymaster says:

    planets do get bigger and smaller in at least x2 and up, it’s just they are big are you are slow, so you would never notice :)

    re: more imagination in x3:TC: when you say “X3” do you mean “X3:R”, which is the older game, or “X3:TC”, which is the new game? The only time you mention playing “x3” you’re talking about the xtended mod which implies “x3:r”, and if so I don’t see the relevance. (x3:r is a game which I personally really enjoyed but which I would never have reccommended to anyone who hadn’t played the previous games. x3:tc I would)

    not being able to land on planets is only a problem if you’re after a game about landing on planets really :D you refer to a gam and say the whole point is planetary exploration… well, that’s not the point of the x series. it’s set in space, and only in space.

    you say the game is a wasteland yet you also say it’s filled with stations? there’s a contradiction there. The planet Earth has 510,072,000 square kilometers of surface area, of which 148,940,000 is land. You can’t create content for even one planet without resorting to procedural content generation or a very large amount of copy and paste, or by not including much detail at all.

    For an uninhabited planet, procedural content would work very well, I suppose. For an inhabited one, I cannot see that it would be anything other than bland and samey.

    In the old game frontier, there was 2 types of spaceports. Ones which you could undock from easily, and ones at the bottom of a gravity well that you sometimes couldn’t climb back out of. There was no other difference from a gameplay perspective, with the possible exception of earth and a few other unique planets. Freelancer took this to the logical conclusion: a planet was just a very large kind of space station, with a different kind of docking cutscene.

    To me this is immersion breaking of the worst kind. I’d rather be flying above it, leaving the planet itself incrutable, in a ship adapted for space travel which has no planetary landing capability at all, and be part of a dynamic system. Apart from anything else, remember the X games model the behaviour of every object in the game all the time (although the flight simulation is only modeled for your current sector) Now try to think how many ships and factories etc. might be present on the surface of a world. Now try to model them.

    I think basically you are after a different kind of game. which is fair enough. but that’s not the game’s fault :)

  49. frymaster says:

    oh, and javascript preview makes my pentium 3 cry :( and doesn’t actually preview accurately (smileys aren’t shown, for instance)

  50. TickledBlue says:

    Yup, only played X3:R + Xtended – what I was asking re the more _imaginative_ content is what X3:TC does that’s so imaginative in comparison to X3:R? You made the statement but I’ve not seen it backed up yet. From what I’ve heard it simply fixes a few things that were broken in the original X3 and made a few improvements to what was previously a user vicious UI. Your telling me this game is worth picking up over and above X3:R but I’m just hearing that it gives you more of the same, so what you’re really saying is if you hated X3:R because of the horrible user interface and only the UI, then grab X3:TC ’cause they’ve fixed that. What I’m asking is, what _imaginative_ content have they added to X3:R that takes it over and above? How has the gameplay improved?

    A wasteland can be filled with rocks, and tin cans and still be a wasteland :)

    I understand that X3 is not a planetary exploration title, its a trade, empire building and shoot shit title. Add planets as resources in that case. Let me set up mining colonies then have to run back to defend them when pirates come a knocking. Let me dogfight down alien canyons before shooting off into space – sticking to the X3 genre, I think so. There’s nothing wrong with procedurally generating the planets surface – check out this video showing off the Infinity Quest for Earth engine. The planets are procedurally generated there – doesn’t look too boring to me. The entire galaxy in Frontier was effectively generated procedurally, and while the galaxy in Evochron Renegades is hand crafted I can at least go anywhere I want, including the planets and some of the best dogfights I’ve had in that game are ones where I’ve had to cope with air friction and gravity.

    I guess what I’m saying is that when I jump into a sector in X3 it feels like what it is, a box in space where the large empty area is filled with rocks, stations and other ships. It removes the vast feeling of space, it completely destroys my immersion because I know that there are edges out there and places I can’t go. Even if I can’t land on a planet I know it has no impact on me in X3, it exerts no gravity, I can’t slingshot around it using the gravity well to outrun the bad guys while trying not to bounce off or avoid burning up, its nothing but a pretty backdrop. X3 doesn’t convey the sense of being in space and while I have my own ship, it doesn’t convey the feeling of freedom – I’m locked into jumpgates and small station filled sections of space. You could take the entire game and transplant it onto a planet surface making it naval with sailing ships and ports and it would be the same, but you could never make landfall and exploit the natives, nor could you drop anchor and go diving for treasure and you certainly couldn’t stray from any carefully mapped out trade routes to cut across clear open waters, maybe discovering a new island on the way.

    So yes, you’re right, I am after a different game, but my original point was that I am seriously disappointed in the fact that X3 is the premier space sim of our times and yet it brings nothing new to the table, that it does exactly the same thing its done since X:BTF and by default all the other space sims copy them (Darkstar One, Spaceforce Rogue Galaxy etc) it completely fails to reinvigorate the genre, push the boundaries and offer something, anything, new. As much as I hate Derek Smart and his awful awful games, at least he is trying (in his own twisted way) something different. As I said before, I blame YOU the consumer for continuing to support this regurgitated pap and claiming it’s ambrosia rather than demanding a game that takes advantage of the years of technological change and game design since Frontier.

    Stop buying this crap, support the indy devs of games like Evochron and Infinity so that they have more resources to make a better game. Egosoft doesn’t deserve our money, not for something which is effectively the exact same game we paid for before – only with all the shit they fecked up fixed.