X3:TC and on

I’ve been ill the last week and so I’ve not done much of anything. Last night I decided to spend a couple of hours gaming, maybe some Fallout 3. But when I got to the desktop, the X3 icon was just more appealing.

Oh, and did I mention, X2: The Threat and X3: Reunion were both available for Linux? (I think TC uses cutting edge Direct X stuff so no Linux port, at least not yet)

I’d gotten a little angry at X3 because the way they’ve organized the load and save menus it is really easy to click “Load” and then accidentally overwrite your game. Yes, there is a dialog saying “Are you sure you want to save game #3?” which looks exactly like the one that says “Are you sure you want to load game #3?”. Sigh. I had a whole factory complex going but after the above rollback I screwed something up and it bankrupted me. I’m pretty sure that I lost a few of my cargo ships due to the lack of simulation fidelity when you run at 10x seta time and that didn’t help.

So after that I’d rolled back a ways and concentrated on manually operating some of my ships to speed up my cash income (ore and sillicon and getting soja husk and teladianium moving in boron space), searching out the abandoned ‘easter egg’ ships in various sectors and using my money to build up some fighter-class ships. 

I’ve gotten a decent little empire going. I’m flying an “Enhanced Pericles” fighter (251m/s) escroted by a “Scorpion Raider” (290m/s). I have about 20-25 ships total, 5 of them combat worthy fighters plus a “Zathrus” from OTSC which turns out to be a litle 4-ship carrier that looks very vaguley reminiscent of the “Eagle”s from Space 1999. In turn, this proves to be not just an affectation but a practical thing because your ships actually land on its internal deck and are open to space – when one flies past, you can actually see the ships it is carrying, even shoot them instead of it.


x3repairsMy empire is based around an Ore Mine in Antigone Memorial. I have a fleet of ships busy trying to sell the ore it produces and the workhorses of my fleet are a Boron Dolphin and a Demeter Super Tanker. The Dolphin I bought second hand for 90,000 credits; the Demeter I got when a pirate abandoned ship! I have several Hermes I got the same way. I’ve saved a bunch of money by repairing my own ships.

I transfered my Trading Extension Mk 3 pilot from a Nova Raider into a Caiman (3500 cargo capacity) which I shunted out to Teladi Space (Thuruk’s Pride/Rhonkar’s Fire) and noticed that when I loaded a new Mk3 into the Nova Raider it got Level 7 so I shunted him over to an Iguana Vanguard (1500 capacity but only Medium and not working out real well for me). The Raider has a fresh Mk 3 and I seem to have found two really nice spots for training ’em up.

I’d gotten up to 1.5 million credits again (after the rollback and equipping all my ships and buying the Mk3 trading upgrades) and I was having a problem with pirates and Khaak appearing in my home sector and making me wish I’d spend the money on putting shields on my freight ships. Unfortunately many of the sectors along the Atreus Cloud corridor in my universe instance have lost major factories and mines due to some bad-ass Boron/Pirate/Argon M1-level sector-wide battles. One of the upshots is that there are no Laser Towers for sale anywhere in my universe and weaponry and shields are rather pricey in the few places they’re available.

x3busysectorSo I added a a Laser Tower factory and a Complex Kit to my existing Ore Mine, set up the cargo ships and … suddenly I have a busy little sector. Then I set off east for the Terran Sectors, killing the odd pirate and Khaak on the way, managing my less trained Mk3 traders and switching over the ships I was manually driving to the task of keeping my Factory Complex fully stocked (having a SuperFreighter with 11,000 capacity tasked with buying Energy Cells is one thing, but if you fit it with a jump drive …).

I started this game out as a Humble Trader in Herron’s nebula but my remote-explorer Discoverer has finally reached a sector over near the “new space” which links over to the terran area. If I play tonight I’ll probably find the storyline at long last.

I flew into my first Terran sector last night with 3k in the bank and I seem to be gaining about 100k every hour (the Mk3 universe trader has started pulling his weight) plus the odd 150k spike when I sell a laser tower. I’m going to do the first round of storyline missions now and then go set up some spare laser towers around my factories and maybe setup a complete Satellite factory loop complex someplace since I’ve heard they sell rather well. I also want to see if I can get a few more Caiman ships they seem to make really good Mk3 traders.


I would have totally missed this game if it was not for this blog. I’ve spend lots of time in Mount & Blade last weeks and this seems to be the same kind of open-ended sandbox style game.

I got this game today in a local store. A 120 page printed manual was included! Maybe I’m oldschool but printed manuals score several free points in my scorebook. I just love manuals. :)

I was going to buy this game on Steam the other day: 37’12€.

On a spanish online shop, 26’95€, with a shitty 20 pages spanish manual, or uk online shop (120 pages english manual): 25’50€.

What are this steam people thinking? Are they insane?

BTW, I have not buy this game still due to the copy protection / DRM it has…

I will buy it as soon as a no-DVD crack is out. I hate to have all the game DVDs at hand just to play, and I hate even more this protection schemes, that looks as trojan horses to me.

This game sounds pretty damn awesome, a pity about the DRM. Does it benefit in any way from owning X3 Reunion or any other of the series, or is it it’s own product? Either way, I’m definately going to grab this game.

Playing the earlier games simply means you’ll be familiar with major aspects of the game. However, X3:TC is a major leap forwards in terms of the engine technology – it’s really pretty. Certainly having played the very early games reduces the learning curve by a huge margin when you step into TC.

Having bought it from Steam, which cost a little extra, I’ve really had no problems at all with the DRM stuff – and I’m usually prickly about that stuff.


That said, I do sort of wish I’d bought the original. They usually release some kind of “no cd” patch themselves after a period of time – they’re a smallish team who’s goal is to release an online version but they have to keep selling SP editions to tide themselves over and piracy really hurts them. So I can understand why they might have gone overboard with the release game.

I started the storyline last night, it was the same storyline I’d encountered in my brief dabble in the terran sectors before. I’ll post about that separately.

1 of the better looking space sims out there. Tho I find the controls a bit off, it would be a much better game if they integrated your own custom menu creator, so you can make specified “left-click” menu per ship, station, sector. But other then that I love to travel in my Odin :D

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