Whats new and changedOne of the first questions you may wonder; what has changed since X3AP?. Well in this short guide I will try and explain.
One player shipLets get this one out-of-the-way first; there is only one ship the player can fly, the Albion Skunk. In my knowledge I would say its around an M4-M3 size craft in previous games, due to its size, fire-power and cargo hold size.
The Super-novaThe Super-nova is the main event and ultimately the main reason why the universe has changed so much. This caused the old races to split into factions and space-travel to change entirely. Most of the gates were shut-down by the super-nova, but just a handful of gates still remain.
Highway systemAnother thing changed is how you get around. You can of-course point your ship in a direction and fly there, however instead of SETA (a way of compressing time) you can now travel inside giant highways. There are 2 types of highway; Sector-highways and normal Zone-highways. Sector highways link between sectors, whilst normal highways go between zones.
Clusters, Sectors, ZonesThis brings me onto the next point, how areas are divided. In the previous x-games, we had just sectors which were normally connected together by up-to 4 gates (North, South, West and East). However in X-R this has changed (in order of size);
- The universe / galaxy
- This is basically everything, like before,
- The galaxy is split into clusters, abit like your map quadrants. Theses are connected together with Super-gates, like gates before.
- From clusters, we have sectors. A sector is similar to before, but they are much much larger. This time they contain many little areas called zones, and normally have many small zone highways running throught them.
- A zone is the smallest area type in X-R. A zone is like when you get nearby a certain station or group of stations, inside a sector.
Removed direct tradingAt the start of most x-games, the first thing you may do is trade. When you built up enough money, you would tire own trade ship (Local Trader (LT) or Universe Trader (UT)) and let them do it for you. In X-R you can no longer directly trade, but you can order your ships to do it for you (much like LT or UT). You can however pickup Inventory wares with your ship.
Walk around platformsA new feature in X-R is you can now land and walk around on platforms (no, not shoes). This means you can physically meet other people and ask for their services, rather than selecting them through a small chat-window or list. Locations range from bars, repair bays, hangers, trade docks and more.
Removal of SETAFor many x-players you will be used to a device called SETA. SETA allowed you to compress time (make the game run at x2, x4, x6, x10 faster than normal). However this caused a lot of problems with the AI / demands.
For example, if a ship is flying at 500m/s (at x1 speed), this could turn into 5,000m/s (with SETA at x10)! As you can imagine, controlling a ship at 5,000m/s isnt easy... however the AI doesnt just fly a single ship, but a whole universe of them. So the game would have to fly 1,000's of ships to travel at crazy-speeds - isnt possible with our current tech. So egosoft decided to split ships into inner/outer sector.
Inner-sector ships had more CPU time, meaning their flight was more true. However out-of-sector calculations were rushed, which often meant some crazy things happened (like a M2 getting destroyed by a M5, or a rock etc.).
Egosoft wanted to get rid of all this, so by removing SETA all ships could fly using the better AI (since there are x10 less to worry about). This should also mean all the problems with the crazy AI should be gone too.
DronesAnother change in X-R is drones. In the previous games, drones used to be small-craft that would often defend a single ship (like a UT). However in X-R drones have more important role; such as hacking, exploring, destroying things and more.
Drones can also be controlled directly, meaning you can fly them. However when flying a drone, it takes away control from your own ship; which could leave you as an sitting-duck.