X3 - 'Meh'

Ok, so I listened to people cheerleading the X series, and got a copy of X3 as a birthday present. Im a big fan of elite, and expected something along those lines. I didnt play X or X2, Im new to it.
‘Meh’ kinda sums it up. There are just too many reasons to lose interest here. Firstly, there doesnt seem to be any real tutorial, just some tooltips that come up seemingly randomly. Really important stuff, like how to engage the autopilot or how to review mission objectives, just arent explained.
I go through two jumpgates, then my briefing makes no sense. “head towards the south gate” errr… what south gate? Im now stuck, no hints, no help, and havent even fired a shot or docked anywhere yet.
The game uses starforce, which doesnt bring much of a cheery smile to my face, insisting on a reboot, and an ever present DVD. Thankfully startup and load times arent too bad.
Performance wise, its dire. I’m running a 2.8ghz 1.5gig RAM 6800 GeForce setup, which laughs at battlefield 2, yet strains badly at low res under X3. what gives? Graphical options are minimal, and turning off the ever present annoying voices is an exercise in futility.
Yes it looks nice (in an eve online kind of way) but the interface is clunky, and newbies are basically left to get on with it. I suspect there may be a deep game under here, but lifes too short to fight against the game to find it.
Is it just me?

Nope. It’s me too. I’m struggling with it, but really I’m just trying to get my moneys worth out of it and waiting for Civ IV to get here.

I don’t have it yet, but from everything I’ve read, it’s not just you. I was on the X3 promotional bandwagon too after promises from the developers they’d fix all the things you just complained about. I’m embarassed I started that thread seeing that much of what was prmised has yet to be successfully implemented.

That said, the developers are pretty good at post-release support so it may just need time to “mature” via patches.

Funny, I had the exact same issues playing X2 when it came out. Empty promises, insaine system requirements, helpless tutorial.

Funny, I had the exact same issues playing X2 when it came out. Empty promises, insaine system requirements, helpless tutorial.

I’m already patched with the current patch. not sure what version that made it. I’m selling mine on amazon, hope to raise cash towards CIv 4. anyone know if theres a Civ4 demo planned?

Damn it sounds like this thing was developed by CRS.

anyone know if theres a Civ4 demo planned?

Hmmm I haven’t heard about a demo so far.

I just wanted to chime in and say that from what little time I spent with the game last night (thanks gogamer for carrying the DVD version here in the US), I’m really thrilled. That being said, I’m a long time X player so I don’t need the tutorials.

But I can easily see how this isn’t the game to bring newbies into the series, but then again, I’m not sure which one really is. The tutorials in X2 we pretty weak, there were none in X-Tension, and I vaguely remember something in X:BTF. X3 was a great opportunity to bring in the newbies with it’s revised interface (which I really like when I use a joystick mouse-combo), but it seems like it may have been a wasted opportunity. To be honest, I didn’t even really see the tutorials jumping out at me when I was starting up my game. The technical problems are also embarrassing in the “make a first impression sense.”

As for what I think of the game itself. Awesome visuals, the sound is uneven but it’s the same oddities I’ve seen since X:BTF. I thought what time I spent dogfighting was way better than past games (but still not as good as X Wing or Wing Commander series). I really like the interface and lack of cockpits. It’s a great compromise between Freelancer’s mouse only workings and the old stick and keyboard from days gone by. You can basically go mouse only except when you dogfight, which is what I’ve always thought would be a good setup. Using the two together for normal flight also works great. I’m also glad they give you starting options with the story disabled. I’m going to give the story a go I guess, but for me, my best experience with the series was with X-Tension which just dumped you into the sandbox with no story to drive you along.

My system is an AMD64 3500, 2 gig RAM, Audigy 2, Geforce 6800GT and the game runs choppy in largers systems. Read up on the Egosoft boards and apparently the HUD is a big drain for some reason. Sure enough, when I turn off the HUD (shift-H), it’s smooth (1280x1024). Hopefully that’s something that can be fixed because the HUD is essential most of the time. There is the occasional sound stutter, but what’s worse is the sound mix. Music levels completely drown out dialogue, especially in the opening cinematic.

In the end, I would absolutely recommend it to the diehard fans. In a lot of ways, I feel like this is the best version yet. But I can’t really recommend it to newcomers looking to jump right in. The original X:BTF specifically didn’t tell the players how to play a lot of the game because they felt the whole point was being trapped in a strange neck of space and needing to figure things out. It was a pretty bad decision then, but Egosoft never really has rectified how to teach players their game. For me, I stuck with it and figured it out slowly, over time. It was a great investment then, but I’m not sure I would have the time now to make the same investment.

Anyway, here’s hoping Egosoft gets the technical slowdowns fixed, at least then their core base would be happy. It’s probably too late to really fix tutorials and other such things.

By the way, also got Civ 4 at the same time as X3. I really enjoyed Civ 4, the “magic” is back for me after not really caring for Civ 3.

Now that’s what I call an inside joke. Maybe 3 people on this forum will get it.

Now that’s what I call an inside joke. Maybe 3 people on this forum will get it.[/quote]

I (for)got it!

X3 ended up selling me on Space Rangers 2. The FexEx guy is supposed to show up today.

Now that’s what I call an inside joke. Maybe 3 people on this forum will get it.[/quote]

I (for)got it![/quote]

I got it!

This is disappointing to hear. I was looking forward to a game of this type since I haven’t really played anything enjoyable since IW2. I was also getting in the mood for the genre after playing a bit of EVE and SR2 and wanting more “stick” action. Since I didn’t play any X game, it sounds like I should stay away.

All you people who are having problems with this game…God is punishing you for playing a game with Starforce :).

Bleh, my problem with X2 was the tutorial made me feel like an idiot. Sounds like X3 continues that tradition.

Plan on a long wait if the past is any indication. :) The only demo is most likely to be the warez version floating around.

Assuming the most significant technical issues can be resolved, I think that this game is worth getting as long as you’re willing to really learn it on your own. It will definitely reward you with a pretty solid, deep space sim, but you have to be willing to master it on your own. I would recommend people wanting to just jump right into a game to stay away, but if you want a space sim you really can (and have to) spend some time with, I’d try and look into X3 a little more. Maybe go to the official forums, or hope for a demo.

All that being said, it’s tough to compete with Independence War 2, I thought (even though I haven’t finished it yet) that game was pretty classic.

All this suffering talk of X3 has made me want to do this - http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=127267

(EliteFFE thread)

its quite a long thread, but good for the nostalgia value if your tempted to play the game again, or a place to get started for the first time if you missed it!

I came to it quite late, the graphics are…well not like X3, but its got that X factor! And it is doing me fine untill the real successor of the Elite games comes along.

Oh its got stories+screenshots to(towards the end of the thread) - its my tribute to one of the finest series of games its been my pleasure to play since the 80’s.

And whats a few bugs between friends, especialy as you can use work-arounds to avoid the worst. :D

Its sad to hear that X3 hasn’t been what i guess most of us wanted it to be :( still it will get patches…but well you can try FFE and see what i mean.

They could do a much better job easing new players into the game but it is all there in the manual.

from the site:

We are pleased to confirm that update 1.2 will be available for download during Friday 28 October 2005. To download and update your game, please click on your “Check for Update” button as shown.

For your reference, a further 1.3 update will follow in mid-November. Along with various minor issues, this is planned to make a large further optimisation for memory usage that will again significantly improve performance over 1.2.

There are several fixes and enchancements that are included in this update (some of which you will not even have tried yet), the main ones of which are:

  • added support for more joystick models
  • fixed random crash on entering a sector
  • voice and audio syncronisation fixed
  • performance optimisations including reduced memory consumption and shader enhancements
  • improved menu design
  • gamestart position modified to improve trading options at the start
  • complex construction of factory positioning improved
  • Tool tips added to assist in learning the menu Icon System
  • added ability to scroll menu bars with mouse
  • docking made easier, plus additional docking guide added
  • plot gameplay improved in key game parts
  • cut scenes re-produced, re-directed and optimised
  • added content for infostation help dialogues

as well as many more smaller issues resolved.

Did this patch do anything to help performance? Whats up with the 1.3 in Nov? How many patches will it take to get the performance fixed? I am waiting till then. I remember when X2 was first released it was a real performance DOG and it took a while before they got it under control. They should have learned from that but nooo.