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Egosoft has released a new patch for X Rebirth, taking its open-world space exploration game to version 3.5. The studio is also making all X Universe games, including Rebirth, free for the weekend on Steam, and launching the public alpha test of the Linux version of Rebirth through Steamplay.
The 3.5 update adds new generic and upkeep missions intended to simplify station management, new Onil mining ships, a "container magnet" that attracts nearby collectibles to the player's ship, easier navigation through a text search field on maps, and new FXAA graphics options.
The patch also makes improvements to station manager and station-owned ship trade behavior, responses of player-owned stations to nearby player ships being attacked, and the balance and accuracy of combat calculations when the player isn't present. There's also better support for user interface modding, the Russian localization has been completely redone, and "much more," as the saying goes. A full breakdown of the changes is up on the Egosoft forums.
The free weekend begins today and runs through the 15th, and includes everything from X: Beyond the Frontier to X Rebirth. It's a good opportunity to see how Rebirth is doing these days—it was notoriously buggy at launch—of, if you'd prefer a more assuredly-stabled spacefaring experience, its predecessor, X3: Reunion. And if Linux is your thing, you can dig into all the details in the Linux alpha support thread.
X Rebirth was a huge disappointment. The previous X games were fantastic, if somewhat obtuse, open-ended space sims, but Rebirth was a mess. The 2.0 update that came out earlier this year made a number of fixes and improvements, but developer Egosoft kept at it, and has now released both the 3.0 update and the Teladi Outpost DLC.
The announcement of the update includes links to videos explaining the major changes to the game, relating to crafting, trade, fleet captains, station builders, NPC education, hacking and sabotaging stations, and boarding ships. The full list of changes can be read here—it's pretty big—and for those who prefer to dig deeper into the details, an X Rebirth 3.0 manual is up on Steam.
The Teladi Outpost DLC adds two new Teladi systems to explore, one of which contains the Habitat-class "superstation" Overwatch, one of the largest space stations ever to appear in the X Universe. There are also new Teladi ships, items, and upgrades, as well as new dangers, including the Xenon and Pirate factions that can make traveling through some sectors a very risky prospect.
The DLC was initially going to be free for anyone who owned or purchased X Rebirth by November 1, but Egosoft has decided to make it free for everyone as "a thank-you gift for all X Rebirth owners." It does, however, require the 64-bit version of the game; Egosoft said in the patch notes that there will not be a 32-bit version of the 3.0 update, and that the Teladi Outpost DLC is not compatible with prior 32-bit releases.
You know a videogame is in rough shape when its developer actually apologizes for the state it was in at launch. But while some studios might have opted to bury such a poorly-reviewed game and move on (or, more likely, would have been forced to close its doors) Egosoft seems determined to make X Rebirth work.
The next step in the game's rehabilitation will be the release of X Rebirth 2.5, which will arrive soon according to an X Universe forum post. After that, the game will be updated to version 3.0, which will incorporate various fixes, improvements and new gameplay features that will be announced closer to release. At the same time, The Teladi Outpost expansion will also come out, adding a new storyline and star system with two unique sectors containing a massive Teladi space station with various factories and a number of new ships, weapons, and equipment.
X Rebirth 2.5 and 3.0 will be implemented automatically through Steam updates (unless they've been disabled), while The Teladi Outpost expansion will be free to anyone who already owns X Rebirth or purchases it by November 1. More information about the expansion may be found on Steam.