Skip to main content

X3: Reunion - for gamers who think Eve online is too casual.

Tim (Van Hemlock) has been playing a bit of X3 Terran Conflict which reminded me that I have an unplayed copy of X3 Reunion on my shelf since way back in 2005. This game is hard. There is no tutorial and the manual seems intended to intimidate rather than inform aspiring players. I could complain about the dreadfully unintuitive user interface except that I have a strong suspicion it is deliberately made that way to frighten off those who are not hard enough. The carrot for those who persevere, I am told, is a universe of unparalleled depth where the dedicated can carve out an empire.

First hour in game:Hmmm, there doesn't seem to be a tutorial. In fact I am being asked to teach some rookie pilots the ropes. Thankfully I have played enough space games to know that you don't aim at the enemy ship you aim at the little lead indicator which tells you where they will be by the time your bullets get to them. I manage to shoot down a few bad guys and we survive.

Second hour in the game: I have spent most of my time in game to date getting hopelessly lost. You can ask passing ships for directions but the most common answer is to go through the North (or South, East or West) jump gate. Where the heck are the gates? And What does North mean in Space anyway? How can a space faring race not know how to make a map?

Third hour in the game I have gotten through the first couple of missions. Mission three is kicking my butt big time. I am supposed to capture a baddie in a big lumbering ship.  Unfortunately he spawns waves of fighters and then jumps to hyperspace. If I stop to deal with the fighters he gets away. If I ignore the fighters and go after him I get killed while my own jump drive charges up. I think I need to earn some money to upgrade my ship before trying again.

"I started in a fighter so perhaps bounties are the way to make cash.Except you need a police license to collect bounties and I can't afford one yet. It seems that I shall have to do some trading to earn the cash for a license. "

5 hours in: Wandering aimlessly through the galaxy I have managed to work my seed capital of 5,000 credits up to a staggering 5,200. Trading is hard when you lack the software to check prices without docking at a station (I can't afford it yet) and dynamically adjusting prices mean that a route that is profitable the first time may be lossmaking the next.

8 hours in: I finally found a way to make some money by using my meagre cargo hold to haul illicit alcohol. I manage to amass 40,000 credits before the police catch up with me. Given that every credit I have is invested in my cargo hold there is no way I was going to comply with their request to dump it over the side. I run for it and manage to make it to the temporary safety of a station. Unfortunately I now appear to be a hunted criminal.

9 hours in: The police were surprisingly reasonable (gullible?) when I hailed one of them to explain that it was all a big mistake and that the alcohol was purely for medicinal purposes. The agreed to forget the matter and  I can fly around again without fear of arrest. I am getting bored of smuggling moonshine. Let's buy that police license so I get earn some dosh  by shooting pirates. Oh no! It seems my standing with the police is not good enough to be a bounty hunter. There is that little matter of my resisting arrest

On the bright side I notice that after 9 hours of wandering around the galaxy I have ended back in my home system. This just happens to be the most populated system I have come across yet  and there appears to be plenty of opportunities for a rookie to make money from trading or doing jobs that the citizens have posted on message boards. No doubt if I hadn't tried to do a few missions and ended half way across the galaxy I would have had a quicker start just staying put.


mark john said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular posts from this blog

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein

Lotro: The Forgotten Treasury

Throg joined a Kinship group for the Forgotten Treasury instance last night. It was an enjoyable change from the solo questing that the now level 55 dwarf champion has been mostly doing so far in Moria. Some members of the group had tried and failed to clear the Treasury before so we knew it would be challenging but we were lucky enough to have a well balanced group with Guardian, Minstrel, Lore Master, Hunter, Burglar and Champion (Throg). Throg (level 55) and the minstrel (53) were both below the 56ish level of the instance but the others were all higher so it more or less balanced out. [SPOILERs ahead] It is a well designed enjoyable instance set in a circular chamber with balcony around. As you enter, a boss absconds to a locked side chamber with his treasure leaving the fellowship to clear trash ringed around the balcony. Once the trash are cleared you have access to a puzzle which must be solved in order to open the locked door. Clearing the (including six mini bosses) also