X3: Terran Conflict - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Spaceship explore-o-trade-a-shoot-y-sandbox series X will return revamped and expanded with X4: Foundations [official site], developers Egosoft announced over the weekend. They’ve muttered for years about what they’d fix and changed after 2013’s disappointing X: Rebirth and lawks, it looks like they’ve learned a lot. Spacemen will once again be able to fly every ship in the game rather than being locked to one, for starters. Transporters will let us teleport around between ships, the economy is more complex, factions are more alive, and… ah here, watch the announcement video introducing all this and more: (more…)

X Rebirth - Egosoft
This update brings you a number of improvements that didn't quite make it into 4.00, and a few fixes for things that did. In particular we've improved capital ship movement and general AI flight behaviour in specific situations, and made some UI tweaks including adding ammunition information to the detail menus for ships and stations.

As usual, we've also improved performance here and there and squashed some crash bugs. Some of the improvements we've been able to make have come as a side-effect of our efforts on the VR Edition that we're working on, and we're expecting more to come from that in the future.

The full changelog is quite extensive, and well worth taking a look through:

• Added ammunition display to detail menus of ships and stations.
• Improved font readability in certain cases.
• Improved crosshair visual quality.
• Improved slider bar behaviour for large range values.
• Improved positioning of minigame display to try to avoid obstructing other elements.
• Improved output errors caused by mods which generate certain UI problems.
• Improved output from errors caused by Steam configuration issues when trying to start game.
• Improved AI fight/flee behaviour.
• Improved squadron engagement logic.
• Improved combat movement for capital ships with forward-mounted weapons.
• Improved determination of zone in which to mine for station-based mining ships.
• Improved station-based miners engaged in inter-sector mining.
• Improved defence officers on capital ships now target surface elements of hostile ships.
• Improved movement from explicit player-given movement order.
• Improved capital ship movement in areas with many asteroids (asteroids now break when rammed by a capital ship!).
• Improved mouse cursor hotspot in OSX/Linux version.
• Fixed several issues with Chinese localisation.
• Fixed scroll-bar overlapping frame background in menu in some languages.
• Fixed sliders in some menus starting somewhere in the middle rather than at the left.
• Fixed notoriety bar not displaying correct LED-states in certain cases.
• Fixed several crosshair behaviour and appearance issues.
• Fixed several other minor UI visual glitches.
• Fixed NPC command not updating correctly in menu.
• Fixed sound position of long range scan echoes.
• Fixed Xenon capital ships being boardable.
• Fixed mining laser getting weapon mods that affect cooling.
• Fixed Withdraw From Battle not holding fire.
• Fixed squadron escorts not moving to attack in some cases.
• Fixed trades getting disrupted by ships fleeing.
• Fixed escape pods not moving after being ejected.
• Fixed capital ships sometimes getting stuck trading, especially with other ships.
• Fixed ships and stations not becoming hostile when their trade drones are destroyed.
• Fixed rounding issues causing engineers to sometimes not make progress when repairing hull.
• Fixed several issues with ship pathing.
• Fixed rare cases of untargetable icons being displayed or comm-actions being listed incorrectly in the interact menu.
• Fixed relation mismatch between the Argon Secret Service Licence and the mission rewarding it.
• Fixed Argon Secret Service Licence not being able to be regained when achieving the required Argon relation.
• Fixed engagement distance tolerances for capital ships moving in combat.
• Fixed long-range scan hints appearing too often.
• Fixed R&D Chem Lab stations requiring Bio-Optic Wiring during construction.
• Fixed subordinates of capital ships taken from the player during the plot ending up in a broken state.
• Fixed weapon mod menu being available on NPC ships.
• Fixed circular command structures when assigning multiple ships a commander.
• Fixed request to repair ship resulting in new drones being installed instead.
• Fixed case of fleeing ships failing to do so.
• Fixed crash starting game on a PC with more than 8 graphics devices.
• Fixed external view being in the wrong position when activated for the first time.
• Fixed ships sometimes ending up in wrong positions after loading a savegame.
• Fixed cases where player drones bounced off the ship instead of docking.
• Fixed ship traders failing to determine the amount of ammunition currently equipped.
• Fixed long range scanners not detecting objects in adjacent zones.
• Fixed passengers being commable from space, allowing them to be picked up.
• Fixed Xenon P being generated for missions more often than it should
• Fixed ships patrolling while guarding something, occasionally getting continuously distracted.
• Fixed construction drones flying to incorrect positions.
• Fixed cases where ships took unnecessary detours into potentially dangerous areas, especially in Home of Light.
• Fixed inability to move with a capital ship if a station is nearby (especially the large Split station in Maelstrom).
• Fixed mouse input being enabled for flight or first person movement while a game overlay is active.
• Fixed inability to leave a highway while a menu is open.
• Fixed problems with targeting objects in various cases.
• Fixed endless loop when loading a savegame in certain cases.
• Fixed several small memory leaks.
• Fixed several causes of crashes.
• Fixed a cause of performance drain and memory leak affecting long play sessions, particularly large battles.
• Numerous small performance improvements.
PC Gamer

The sprawling space sim X Rebirth, in spite of its fine heritage, was not good. It was so bad, in fact, that developer Egosoft apologized for the whole thing, and to its credit has put in considerable effort trying to improve matters. A major step in that direction will be taken with the launch of the X Rebirth VR Edition, slated for an Early Access release in the first half of 2017. But likely even better for fans of the series is word that a new game, X4, is also in the works. 

"X Rebirth VR Edition is a super-exciting development for us," Egosoft managing director Bernd Lehahn wrote in the latest X-Universe newsletter. "Playing this with a VR Headset feels like finally playing space games the way they were meant to be played all along," 

The VR version will be significantly changed from the original, with a new graphics engine, redesigned economy, and updates to the UI, pace, and balancing. Unfortunately, all those modifications mean that existing saves won't be compatible with the new release: If you want to play in the VR space, you'll have to start a new game. 

As for X4 (which is what I'm really more excited about), Lehahn said it's too early to talk about details, and the game doesn't even have a proper name yet. But Egosoft is "making good progress," and he wanted to clarify what's been happening, and what fans of the series can look forward to. 

"When we worked on X Rebirth we needed to make a lot of simplifications. We removed some features in order to be able to concentrate on others. But when X Rebirth was released, many fans expected it to be an 'X4,' a game with most of the key features of the X3 games and then some," he wrote. 

But it's just not possible to create a game of that scale that within the limitations of X: Rebirth, and so those features, "along with the foundations laid by all the work and feedback that went into X Rebirth, have been the basis for the big project that we have been working on for the last few years: a real X4," he wrote. "While I cannot say much about its features yet, what I can tell you about it so far is that it will allow you to fly many different ships, it will give you an all-new interface to manage large fleets, and it will give you full freedom when building stations from individual modules." 

Lehahn said Egosoft will have some "really cool things" to reveal in 2017, but even without the albatross of X Rebirth hanging from its neck, it has a big task ahead. The earlier X games were quite good, but they also existed in a time before Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen. Is there room in such a niche genre for another wide-open space sim—especially once that doesn't have the benefit of being filled with real people?

Community Announcements - Egosoft
In addition to our big announcement today of the new X Rebirth VR Edition, we are also releasing new public beta updates for several of our existing games.
  • X Rebirth 4.10
  • X3: Albion Prelude 3.2
  • X3: Terran Conflict 3.3
All three of these updates improve the games, and include a number of fixes and performance improvements that have come to our attention over the past months. These updates will, of course, be made available to everybody once the testing has ended.

Public beta information: https://steamcommunity.com/app/2870/discussions/0/451850020338425977/
More news: http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=392987
PC Gamer

The X Rebirth expansion Home of Light is now available, as is the 4.0 update, which brings even more changes to a game that's already undergone quite a lot of them since its troubled launch two years ago.

Troubled, of course, is a nice way of saying bad, but I have to give full credit to developer Egosoft for persevering in its efforts to make the game playable. The latest update adds a bulletin board system to keep track of missions, makes big changes to the external views, enables Orders for multiple selected ships, adds a Trade Deals menu that shows profit estimates, enables time acceleration with SETA, adds new tutorials, and makes a number of other changes that will, hopefully, make the game more of a pleasure to play.

The 4.0 update will be free for everyone who owns X Rebirth. Those who don't mind spending a few bucks more can also snag the $10/ 8 Home of Light expansion, which brings three new systems to the game, including the titular Home of Light, and its massive economy to profit from. The expansion also includes specialized warehouse stations, new game starting points, new missions, and the possible return of an old and forgotten enemy, although I suspect that its mention in the update notes indicates that it's actually pretty likely to happen.

It's interesting that while the comments on Steam in response to the launch of the 4.0 update aren't quite universally enthusiastic, the Home of Light user reviews are almost universally positive. There are relatively few of them, but the general consensus is that the new content, coupled with two years of fixes, has finally resulted in a proper X game. And if you're a space sim fan, a proper X game is a pretty fantastic thing.

Community Announcements - Egosoft
We are pleased to announce yet another free update to X Rebirth, along with a new DLC called Home of Light which is available to buy now.

Key new features of 4.0 include:

• Bulletin board system to keep track of offered missions.
• Major overhaul of external view (enabled menus, target elements, external view in highways, and more).
• Orders for multiple selected ships in the Property Owned menu (replaces 'Broadcast' order).
• Trade Deals menu with profit estimates.
• Economy logging and statistics.
• Time acceleration using SETA.
• New mission to obtain player ship jump drive.
• New missions to hack stations and obtain rare or valuable items.
• You can now find and craft rare weapon modifications that increase your weapon's stats when installed.
• New in-game tutorials.
• OS X and Linux versions now join Windows on full release.

The Home of Light DLC is the second expansion for X Rebirth and establishes the access to three new star systems, including the well-known Home of Light, home of the powerful TerraCorp.


For more details take a look at our new trailer and explanation videos which cover both the 4.0 update and the Home of Light DLC:

PC Gamer

You have to give credit where it's due: X Rebirth was a hot intergalactic mess when it launched in late 2013, but developer Egosoft has continued to plug away at it with both free updates and paid DLC. Today the studio announced that more of both is coming in February in the form of the Home of Light expansion, as well as the major 4.0 update.

Home of Light will expand the X Rebirth universe significantly with the addition of three new systems, including the Home of Light from the X3 games. It will also add new warehouse trading stations that will enable high-volume trading, and new enemies, weapons, missions, "mysterious phenomena," and secrets to discover on the outskirts of known space. The 4.0 update will launch around the same time—neither of them have a hard release date yet—and will feature the addition of trading graphs, new engine technology, customizable weapon upgrades, and at least some of the new stuff mentioned above—enemies, weapons, secrets, and so forth.

As pleased as I am that Egosoft is sticking with it, the obvious question is whether or not all these updates are actually improving the game in a meaningful way. And I really don't know. Reviews on Steam are "mostly negative," with 68 percent throwing a thumbs-down, but that includes reactions going all the way back to launch day. More recent comments seem legitimately mixed, and much of the criticism now focuses on the fact that Rebirth is very different from previous games in the series. One such review describes it as "a great game" and credits Egosoft for being a dedicated and reliable developer, but then tags it as "not recommended" because it's "not an X game."

X Rebirth: Home of Light will normally sell for $10, but for now can be pre-purchased on Steam for $8, and will also be included in the upcoming X Rebirth Complete package. The 4.0 update will be free.

Community Announcements - Egosoft
Here's another hotfix, this time to solve a problem encountered by a few people when trying to load some specific savegames.
Community Announcements - Egosoft
Since the latest Steam client update, the mouse cursor could get "stuck" in certain situations. We have issued a hotfix to solve this problem in X Rebirth while the Steam developers investigate the underlying cause.
Community Announcements - Egosoft
X Rebirth 3.61 is now available, with a few more fixes and small improvements.

• Added ability to toggle HUD display (default mapping Shift-H).
• Improved "flight assist off" mode by allowing stop key to operate.
• Improved AI pathing and mission guidance to and from Empty Space zones.
• Improved DPS calculations for launchers including one very wrong case of overpowered missile turrets.
• Fixed multiple causes of "stuck trades".
• Fixed construction vessels adding unbuilt upgrades after repairing a station.
• Fixed welder drones occasionally working on wrong parts of station after loading savegame.
• Fixed player owned ships ignoring the "Refuel automatically" Captain's option when they are not in squad.
• Fixed beam weapons not heating up over time.
• Fixed infopoint location at several stations.
• Fixed secondary resource efficiency effects not showing up in menus when only some resources are present.
• Fixed targeting of mission offer or infopoint causing zone map to stop working.
• Fixed hotkeys and back button on repair menu slider not working.
• Fixed in-game processing of mouse clicks when click is bringing game window into focus.
• Fixed Steam Workshop options not being available in Extensions menu if the extension list is empty.
• Fixed selection of gates using map.
• Fixed several more causes of crashes.
• Several small performance and memory optimisations.

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