X-Universe News

October 2008

This issue

English Flag English version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200810_44News.html
  German Flag German version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200810_49News.html  
Introduction A Very Short Note...
Steam version of X3: Terran Conflict Pre-Load via Steam is now available!
X3: Terran Conflict FAQ What you always wanted to know!
Credits & Contact: The bit that nobody reads anyway!

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A Very Short Note...



The wait is almost over! Soon you can hold your private copy of X3: Terran Conflict in your hands. Today we want to answer some frequently asked questions about Terran Conflict. Having said this: Welcome to the X-Universe News #30.


Have fun!



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Steamversion of X3: Terran Conflict

Pre-Load via Steam is now available!


Starting this week, you can buy X3:Terran Conflict on Steam (www.steampowered.com). The download will be started today or tomorrow and activation of the game will start at the same time the first shops start selling the game in the UK.



In North America the game will be exclusively available via the STEAM platform from VALVE. There are two different packages: The standalone version of X3:Terran Conflict for 39.99US$ (plus local taxes) and a bundle with X3:Reunion for 49.99US$. The game is fully localised in German, French and English and includes the English PDF manual as electronic download.


For more information have a look at http://www.steampowered.com



X3: Terran Conflict is also available for preorder in our Online Shop for a price of 39.95 EUR.


Visit our shop at: http://www.egosoft.com/shop



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X3: Terran Conflict FAQ

What you always wanted to know!


On the message board and in emails we are asked very often questions, which we want to answer in the following section.



Which languages are available in X3:Terran Conflict?


X3: Terran Conflict will be released including ALL available languages in ALL territories! No matter where you buy your game, the DVD (or the download from STEAM) will always allow you to play:


French, English or German: With full voice translation and all available further languages with subtitles.


New subtitle languages will be added later, but at the time of releasing 1.0.1 the game includes Italian subtitles.


The boxes of the game currently also include translated manuals (French, German and English contain a 120 page translated printed manual, Italian and Spanish contain a 16 page translated manual). All European disk versions also include all three manuals as PDF documents.


The download version from Steam allows you to change the game language to any of he above mentioned supported languages including voice output but only contains the English PDF manual!



How many campaigns does X3:Terran Conflict have to offer?


The game will feature five different campaigns. These are separate from one another and each tell a unique story leading to some special and unique rewards. All of these five campaigns can be played from most gamestarts (see below) and use full voice recordings.



How many gamestarts, and which gamestarts allow me to play the campaigns?


It is important to know that most gamestarts allow you to play ALL campaigns. The game lets you choose between four gamestarts right after first installation and more than 10 more gamestarts can be activated when playing the game. Some of the gamestarts feature special missions and some require you to play "bridge" missions to get the right relations to other factions before you can play all campaigns.


For more information about this topic please have a look at my posting about it on the devblog.



What is really NEW in X3:Terran Conflict?


Some people incorrectly describe the new content mainly by focussing on the new Terran race. Yes, the Terran introduce an entire new economy with two factions (military and secret service ATF), but there is a whole lot more: There are now a number of corporations which you can find in different places of the "old" X universe. They have HQ stations, operate their own ships and offer unique missions.


Most importantly, there are several new ship classes which exists for ALL races and also greatly change and upgrade the known X universe. In addition to that there is of course also a lot of re-design in established systems and new sectors are added in many places. Last but not least there is yet another unique new faction that you can find by playing one of the five main campaigns.


As you can see: A lot more than just the solar system.


More information about new weapon and shiptypes in the developer blog.



Are you stealing work from the great XTended MOD?


What we did is this: Once we saw how cool XTM really was, we hired as many of these guys as we could to work on X3: Terran Conflict! So they joined our team and brought some of the ideas over into the new project.


The really cool XTM shipyards for example were further improved and made it into Terran Conflict as "Super shipyards" for all races. You will also find OTAS as one of the new corporations and some of the ideas for unique shiptypes.


Again: More information available in the developer blog.



Can X3TC be modded?


Of course. We didn't just keep the modding abilities from X3: Reunion but massively improved them through the new MD scripting system. MD is a programming language which can be used to write missions in a very easy and standardized way. Also the script editor (not to be confused with MD), an editor inside the game that allows programmers to write ship AI, was extended. This and other improvements should help the great X3 modding community to create even more cool mods.



What hardware do I REALLY need to play this game?


Well sometimes people want more than just the minimum requirements listed on the box. Here are some rules that I found when testing the game on many machines:


In any situation the game is normally either CPU / memory bound OR it is limited by the capabilities of the graphic card. Which of these two is the limiting factor depends on the situation.


The good news however is, that you have quite a bit of control over the graphic requirements: The weakest graphic card that I have personally tested with was a GeForce 5900 with 256MB memory. The problem with this particular card is that it has 256 MB memory which indicates to our engine, that it is not a "low end" card. Cards with less memory than this are automatically set to "low shader quality" by default. With the 5900 you should also do this manually. In that case the game is playable pretty well in most scenes.



Which graphic settings should I use?


Most important rule: LEAVE Anti-Aliasing turned ON! The default is to always have 2xAA turned on and this is GOOD. Even on the above mentioned 5900 you CAN use 2xAA when you choose "low shader quality".


Second rule: On modern mid range cards (e.g. 8800 / x2900 etc.) you can easily set Anti-Aliasing to 4x if not 8x and gain significantly better visuals! Anti-Aliasing is especially important in the Terran systems with their completely new set of art assets. But also all the other races have lots of new stations and ships and these too benefit from higher AA settings!


Third rule: On the above mentioned "mid range" cards, you should always have shader quality set to maximum and very likely texture quality on highest resolution too.



How much memory helps?


Another rule of thumb: Much memory helps much. Thanks to the windows virtual memory management, the game can be played with 1GB of memory, but it will slow down sometimes when swapping out data to the harddisk. How frequently this happens and how bad it gets depends on how many other services and programs are eating away physical memory.


Since X3:Terran Conflict is a 32bit EXE it can not make use of more than 2GB of memory itself, but this does not mean that 4GB wont help. Because windows itself and all of its services always eat away memory even before our game starts, a machine with 4GB of memory is less likely to swap out to harddisk then a 2GB machine. Nevertheless the game is playable pretty well with 2GB of memory of course.



Which service pack / which OS is required?


X3:Terran Conflict has been tested thoroughly for Windows XP 32bit, Windows XP 64bit, Windows Vista 32bit and Windows Vista 64bit.


All versions of VISTA require service pack 1 to run the game. Do NOT try to running the game without SP1 because it will run out of memory because of the way Vista mapped the graphic card memory into a games address space. Alternatively this can be fixed with a hotfix.



Will there be a Mac and / or Linux version?


As you may know X3:Reunion is already available for MAC and will be released for Linux very shortly. X3:Terran Conflict may be ported at a later point.



Which Direct X version is required?


The game runs with (and includes) the latest version of Direct X 9. Of course it also runs on Direct X 10 machines, but we found that most of the graphic features that we wanted to add with X3:Terran Conflict were possible with the DX9 API and decided against limiting us to Vista at this point.



Are multicore CPUs any good?


Yes they are. Even though the X3:Terran Conflict engine is not specifically optimized to make use of multiple threads, it benefits greatly from at least a second core or CPU. Since X3:Terran Conflict oftentimes throws unusually high amounts of polys onto the graphics pipeline, the engine is more likely to be CPU bound than it is to be limited by the graphic card (see above for details).


The latest generation of graphic card drivers use available additional cores for this setup and can therefore speed up the entire pipeline significantly. In addition our engine also does use multithreading for tasks like audio and video streaming. This combination can get you a benefit of up to 100% with a second core. In other words you could almost get a performance close to that of a chip with twice the clock rate (GHz).



Will there be a demo?


Yes. First there will be a rolling demo which is also a 3D benchmark. We hope to release this REALLY soon now (tm). But a while later we also plan to release a playable demo.



Will there be new updates for X3TC?


Of course. As with all the other X games, the development continues. We are already working on new missions and content for future upgrades and plan to have version 1.2 ready for release THIS WEEK!



Does X3TC use a copyprotection system?


Yes. X3:Terran Conflict uses the so called "TAGES" system for disk as well as for online versions.


As was the case for all X games, we will release a version without copy protection at a later point.


Important: The DVD version does not require online activation!



Why should I register the game?


Registering the game will give you access to our support forums, special downloads and the UPLINK feature.


Steam users will also be able register their game at Egosoft.com



Can we use UPLINK with X3TC?


Yes. Uplink will be available shortly to allow you to upload your game statistics to the egosoft.com website and compare your achievements with those of everybody in the community.



Where can I buy the game in the US?


Right now X3:Terran Conflict in North America is exclusively available on the Steam platform.



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Credits & Contact

The 'move along' nothing to see here bit!


If you would like to get in contact with us, then feel free. E-mail: X-Universe-News@egosoft.com


EGOSOFT info@egosoft.com


Editor in Chief

Michael Baumgardt - Germany


Issue Editor

Thomas "Elf" Buchhorn


With Thanks To

Bernd Lehahn


Translation and Proofreading



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