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X3: Terran Conflict...anyone play this?Follow

#1 Jan 08 2012 at 10:04 PM Rating: Good
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I can see this turning into the kind of game I love to hate to love. It's like EVE without the skill queues and gate camps (which makes sense, what with it being an offline game and all.) I picked it up from Steam yesterday and after about 9 hours between two days I'm just barely ...barely...getting started. It took me about 4 of those hours to figure out how to generate an income. Then I got frustrated with the auto-pilot bouncing me off nearby transports causing an explosion and a "GAME OVER" message.

I can see it being the kind of game that you play for years and years if you don't overdo it and burn out on it.
#2 Jan 08 2012 at 11:29 PM Rating: Good
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Aurelius wrote:

I can see it being the kind of game that you play for years and years if you don't overdo it and burn out on it.


For me, that's dragon warrior monsters: 2

but it doesn't take much to amuse me.
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

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#3 Jan 10 2012 at 12:31 AM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
Aurelius wrote:

I can see it being the kind of game that you play for years and years if you don't overdo it and burn out on it.


For me, that's dragon warrior monsters: 2

but it doesn't take much to amuse me.


I'm just kind of burnt out on MMOs. I've been playing Rift and just today extended my sub for another 3 months but I don't play it that often. I like games where you can progress and games with a certain amount of complexity so that you can do different things when you play. So far X3:TC seems like one of those games but it doesn't seem all that popular.

Edit: amg...I just learned that sometimes when you pewpew an enemy ship, the pilot will eject and then you can fly near the abandoned ship, eject, and take command of it. You fly around in your space suit with a repair laser (which is slow as hell to repair anything but at least it's free.) I just picked up a little fighter class ship from a pirate, had my original ship auto-pilot to the nearest shipyard and flew my newly claimed fighter there as well. Once I repair it, it will be worth more than I've earned in the game to date. How cool...

Edited, Jan 9th 2012 11:26pm by Aurelius
#4 Jan 10 2012 at 2:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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that sounds pretty cool. I am also done with mmos for now... won't be adding cash to wow, I'm bored already unfortunately. Ticked at XI so screw that, not paying them money to redevelop XIV.

SWTOR doesn't appeal, nor does rift... meh
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
#5 Jan 10 2012 at 3:50 PM Rating: Good
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The lack of any in-game tutorial seems to drive off anyone that touches the game. I bought X3:TC during the Steam winter sale, but haven't gotten around to playing it.
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#6 Jan 10 2012 at 5:56 PM Rating: Good
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I should get more into PC gaming now that I'm getting less into MMOs. Looking up this game it does seem like one you could play for ages, a tidbit at a time.
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
#7 Jan 11 2012 at 12:40 AM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
that sounds pretty cool. I am also done with mmos for now... won't be adding cash to wow, I'm bored already unfortunately. Ticked at XI so screw that, not paying them money to redevelop XIV.

SWTOR doesn't appeal, nor does rift... meh


I enjoy Rift because I enjoyed the gameplay mechanics of WoW, Rift is very similar with the added benefit of the soul system for a bit more customization and the dynamic open world stuff, but for some reason I just can't get back into the grind. I don't have any substantial complaints about the game, so I figure I'm just due for a break from MMOs. SWOTOR doesn't appeal, the thought of playing FFXIV makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little, and there isn't really anything else on the horizon that appeals.

xypin wrote:
The lack of any in-game tutorial seems to drive off anyone that touches the game. I bought X3:TC during the Steam winter sale, but haven't gotten around to playing it.


The learning curve is steep, there's no doubt about that. I wouldn't have ever known about the option to eject from your ship and take command of another vessel when its pilot ejects if I hadn't seen it on a youtube video. I had an idea that you could take control of enemy ships based on the Steam achievements listing but from what I had read into it, you needed to drop the ship's shields and then send over a boarding party of marines to do the job. Turns out that's only for very large ships. For the smaller ships you just pay attention in case the pilot ejects, go for a space walk and take command when you're within 30m. I got another ship that way tonight, but the downside is that neither ship is something I want to fly and I can't find any shipyards that will buy either one. A quick search last night told me that the first ship I "commandeered" is worth about 500k credits, which to put it into context would have more than doubled my on-hand amount after ~10 hours of playing.

(If you're wanting to try to get into the game, this is the ship capturing video I mentioned, but more importantly the guy who did that video actually has a full series of tutorial videos that can really help you get started by showing you the finer details you might not have thought of.

Olorinus wrote:
I should get more into PC gaming now that I'm getting less into MMOs. Looking up this game it does seem like one you could play for ages, a tidbit at a time.


Ya, a tidbit at a time is right. The mission system is a random engine that basically picks objectives, determines a reward, ranks the difficulty of the mission based on your ship type, appends a time limit and says, "Hey! We'll pay you <x> to do <y>!" I wouldn't even worry about the missions so much except that it's the easiest way to trigger pirate spawns. The nice thing is you can load up the game, do a mission or two, save, and shut it down. At the rate I'm going I'll have the new upgraded ship I have my eye on by the weekend and then I'll be able to see if it helps with the combat missions. If not, I'll have a save set aside from before I buy it and buy a freighter instead and try the trader thing for a while. Options like that in a standalone game are pretty neat.
#8 Jan 13 2012 at 4:39 AM Rating: Good
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Okay, so now that I've had a chance to play the game a little more I'm marginally hooked. And I'm taking the time to explain why here because everywhere I look, the perception of the game is almost always, "I bought it off Steam when it was on sale but I just can't get into it..."

I finally upgraded to a new ship. I'm not kidding when I say I had 12+ hours invested in the game before I had the currency on hand to do so. For that entire time I was flying around in a medium interceptor class ship with extremely limited missile capability and only one choice in terms of the kinds of guns I could equip. In terms of combat, small fighters were easy to kill. Medium fighters were not at all hard, but you could easily get swarmed under. Large fighters were sometimes difficult for two reasons. First because they took a while to kill and you almost never encountered them by themselves, which often meant that while you were trying to lead a large fighter and get enough shots to land to destroy it, his pals were lining up to do the same to you. Also, they had better weapons than me which meant that if they got a good bead on me, I could go boom in a hurry.

Also, missiles. Missiles in this game are devastating. One hit from a Banshee missile was enough to obliterate me. But the interesting part is that when someone fires a missile at you, it tells you and you often have a chance to find it and shoot it before it gets to you. I actually saved a friendly NPC ship today by picking off the swarm of missile a heavy fighter had shot at it. Tricky part to remember is that missiles have a blast radius and if you can shoot down enemy missiles, guess what the enemy can do to yours? I got blown up tonight when I fired a very large missile at a large ship and it shot the missile as soon as I fired it. Kinda funny in a sick and twisted sort of way...

Back on the topic of upgrading to a new ship and why it took so long...rewards from missions are slow to ramp up. Keep in mind that there's an entire trading meta game that you can get into that would probably be a good way to start out to improve your earning capacity, but I shoved that off to the side in favor of the pewpew. When you start a new game you can pick a number of different scenarios that determine how you start out the game. I started with one of the combat scenarios which is why I had a medium interceptor and hardly any credits. If you start out with a trader scenario, you get a larger ship and more credits.

So to start out you fly around and do missions and you're seeing rewards like 20k here and 35k there and you think, "Wow, that's a lot!" until you show up at a shipyard and oggle the next ship you want to buy and see (in my case) that it costs 2.4mil. And it's not like I skipped a bunch of tiers of ships. The ship I chose was the first step up that was worth doing.

One option to improve your earnings as a combat pilot is to pick up your police license for whatever faction controls the sectors you work out of. You gain reputation by shooting down enemy ships and completing missions in sectors that faction controls. When you get your police license, you earn a bounty on every enemy ship you shoot down in sectors that faction controls, which you get immediately and independently of any mission rewards. The things is, you don't earn a lot. A small fighter will earn you 500 credits, medium 1000, large 5000. But every little bit helps...

As I got more familiar with the controls and enhanced my space combat pilot kung-fu, I was able to take on tougher missions. There are certain tricks you learn like drawing enemies that would normally melt your face into friendly battlegroups, or patiently waiting for them to engage someone else before you attack so that they don't all turn on you at once. I've had to reload after dying a lot. An awful lot. But eventually you learn and progress until that brilliant moment when you get to step into your shiny new ship...

To give you an idea, I went from one ship with two guns (it could hold four, but the only guns that I could equip cost 330k credits each.) I could use one or two puny types of missiles. Bumping into a small freighter was enough to blow up my ship. A direct hit from a frigate class ship was enough to send me back to the loading screen.

My new ship can hold up to 8 guns in the primary battery and also a tail gun (although it turns fast enough that I can't see the use for a tail gun right now.) Some of the guns available to me are not only better than the one on my first ship, but half the price. So I got 4 of the ones that appealed to me the most, and four smaller guns with a very specific purpose (more on that a little later). I can use all but they very largest of missiles. I have roughly 5 times the shielding that I had on my old ship as well. I can still get blown up quickly but it doesn't happen nearly so often.

One of the things I noticed when I first bought the ship is that after you buy it, you still have to outfit it. I had to fly several sectors away just to find a station that had the main guns I wanted in stock, and another several sectors to find the smaller ones. Then another several sectors to get the shield batteries... Once I was squared away I was eager to try it out in a mission and as soon as it was done, I noticed a friendly fighter with the combat mission icon so I hailed him and he had a special mission for me. By special, I mean the interface was different (more dialogue options), and the pilot had a unique name and voice compared to the generic selection you come across. He wanted me to follow him to a nearby sector and join up with a fleet to drive out some bad guys, so I went with him. When we got there, the bad guys we were after weren't there but another fleet of bad guys were so the mission updated to clear those out. This is the part where I died a lot trying to learn how to make the best use of my new ship. The enemy fighters weren't bad...it was the capital ship that had me reloading several times.

The best part, though, was when I lobbed a couple of banshee missiles at it and it went boom. 400k credits appended to my mission reward, and I don't even know what I got for the bounty. That mission alone paid out over 1.1mil credits. That was pretty neat.

So then I decided that I had a decent ship and it was time to extend my influence and start working towards my police license with other factions. Off I went on a tour of the known universe, stopping to do combat missions wherever I could find them and messing around to see what I could do with my smaller guns. I read a tip that suggested that if you want to force enemy pilots to eject so that you can capture their ship, one of the best ways to do so is to burst down their shields as fast as you can and then switch to smaller guns and whittle away at their hull. You don't want have a stream of projectiles already on their way to the target that will destroy the ship after the pilot announces that they're ejecting. I was having decent success with this, though most of the ships I was claiming were of the small/medium fighter variety.

Then I picked up a mission to protect a station. These are fairly common and are one of my favorite kinds of missions because the enemy ships tend to focus on the station and you can just fly around and pick them off. What I wasn't expecting was the bomber-class frigate that came through the gate as part of the enemy fleet. Here's the thing with big ships and missions like that: if you fly around picking off the little ships and then the big one blows you up, you just wasted a ton of time for nothing. So I decided to ignore the small ships and just go after the big guy. I linked all four of my main guns and swung around behind him...pewpewpew...his shields are gone and...he ejects. And there, sitting adrift in the emptiness of space was my first "bigger than any fighter" ship. According to the wiki, it's worth just over 5mil...

Okay, okay, enough with the silly stories. Aside from hitting the jackpot with a big honkin' ship, there was something that was kind of bothering me about the game and that's the fact that it was listed on Steam as a strategy game. Something that's very easy to overlook when you're flying around in a single ship is that there is a rather powerful scripting engine built into the game that allows you to issue commands to ships that you own even if you're not flying them personally. For example, when I capture an enemy ship, I fly up to it and eject from my ship (necessary to use the "Claim" command that transfers ownership to you) to claim my new prize. Now Ive got two ships floating in space. Instead of having to spend a lot of time flying around in my space suit, I can just hop back into my main ship and then tell my new ship to dock at whatever station I want. It will fly off on auto-pilot and as long as it doesn't get attacked it will go where I told it to go and dock.

It goes way beyond that, though. You can send ships across sectors. You can form multiple ships up into a wing and order them around. You can order them to protect you, attack a specific target, whatever. With the appropriate upgrades, you can tell them to patrol or explore. You can set up automated mining operations with a fleet of ships gathering ore and a hauler moving between them and grabbing that ore and taking it from them and then hauling it to a station to sell...all fully automated. You can even set up trade ships that will scan sectors for commodities you choose, find the lowest sell price, fly to the station and buy it, and then haul it to the station with the highest buy price. Again, fully automated.

I've now captured a total of 17 enemy ships. I was originally going to sell them until I realized I can repair them, outfit them, and send them off to the far corners of the universe to do a variety of different things. Once you get enough ships doing enough different things, all of a sudden you spend less time playing from the point of view of a space shooter and more playing through the sector map and station menus.

And then once the credits start flowing in, I can look into assembling a fleet of my own. Instead of flying a fighter, I'll be able to fly a capital ship, with wings of destroyers and bombers and carriers launching wings of fighters and...

Who knew I'd get so much from a $20 game?
#9 Jan 14 2012 at 12:30 AM Rating: Good
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If you gift it to me, I'll play it.
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#10 Jan 14 2012 at 1:07 AM Rating: Decent
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Kastigir wrote:
If you gift it to me, I'll play it.


No way, dood. Cheap is cheap, and you'll more than get your money's worth out of it if you can get beyond the initial learning curve.
#11 Jan 14 2012 at 2:30 AM Rating: Good
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I've spent too much at Steam the past several months. I need too cool it for a while.
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People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome. ~River Tam

Sedao
#12 Jan 21 2012 at 12:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus wrote:
For me, that's dragon warrior monsters: 2


Back in the day, I loved the crap out of DWM 1. Never got a chance to play 2.

I wonder if I can find my cartridge around here somewhere...
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#13 Jan 24 2012 at 7:06 PM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
For me, that's dragon warrior monsters: 2


Back in the day, I loved the crap out of DWM 1. Never got a chance to play 2.

I wonder if I can find my cartridge around here somewhere...


Two is everything that was good about 1 + more goodness. The story is sort of meh but imo it was always about breeding and raising the monsters anyway

Edited, Jan 24th 2012 5:06pm by Olorinus
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
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