By the fans - for the fans

English Version Issue 8 English Version

December 2002

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  • A short foreword...
  • X² - The Threat Project Update
  • New official X² Video
  • New Official Forums are now open
  • Desktop Wallpapers - Bonus
  • Weapons presentation
  • Sector Design Competition
  • Next System, Next Station - Part 3
  • Imprint
  • A short foreword...


    Welcome once again to the next issue of X News. You will find various items in this issue that we are sure will be of interest to you. All the staff on the X² project are working extremely hard at the moment as we enter the final phase. Thanks to all those involved and a special thank-you to you, the fans, for being patient with us.

    So what have we got this issue?

    Project update, new video, a special article on new weapon systems, a "design the sector" competition and another story from Melissa.

    So lets get to it!
    Best thing would be to start right --> here

    Have fun with X-News VIII !


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    Get X² onto the media!

    Want to support us?

    You all know that it is very important for a computer game that it receives a lot of coverage by the PC magazines. To achieve this the mags need to know that quite a number of people is interested in a game, so they can see it is worth writing about.
    You can help us there very easily. Just send an email or a readers letter to your preferred PC magazine asking for more info on X² - The Threat by Egosoft. (but please don't spam ;-) )

    Some news were just recently released on this German magazine: Please have a look at their news about X².

    Thanks for your support!


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    X² - The Threat Project Update

    How far X² development is

    The game is, for all intents and purposes, feature complete (which doesn't mean it's finished). There are still one or two minor things to add, but that part is done! It has now entered full beta and has been released to all level 5 DevNet users. Work is now continuing on addressing any issues found during testing, tweaking graphical touches, sector detail creation, language translation and last but not least, mission and plot finalisation. Yes, all those different cockpits are still being done!

    Then cut-scenes, voice recordings, music and further testing and these are just some of the items being worked on.

    Release date? Ahhh…that question! As some of you may have guessed, the game will not hit the shelves for Christmas, but we hope to release it as soon as we can. We can tell you that it will not be available before March 2003, but it will be available for purchase soon after. There is a natural gap between the game going "gold" and actually reaching the stores. We hope to tell you when its gone gold.
    We are currently discussing (for example) such minute details as the dialogue that happens during the missions. You can imagine this takes time and creates a lot of debate :-).


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    New official X² Video

    It has taken a lot of time, hard work and late nights, but we have the latest X2 - The Threat video for your enjoyment!

    Please select to download from the link below.
    Download new X² video

    A very high quality version of this movie will be available on magazine cover disks shortly. PC Zone(UK), PC Games(Germany) and GameStar(Germany) will all be hosting this on their cover CD/DVD's in forthcoming issues.

    A playable demo of the game will be released in due course.


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    New Official Forums are now open

    As many of you will already be aware, the Egosoft forums have now moved to their new home and are back at Egosoft one again! A big thanks to THQ for their hosting over the past few years.

    You can find the new forums at the link below and we will be adding features to these too as we go along. Your DevNet account is now the same account to access the forums, so if you received this newsletter, you already have an account! Go and check out the forums for the latest discussions and you may find new screenshots, wallpapers and other news posted on there. The Egosoft team frequent these forums on a regular basis.

    New Egosoft Forums


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    Desktop Wallpapers - Bonus

    Bring X² onto your desktop

    Thanks to Eagle, there will be some new desktop wallpapers for you to download soon.

    Until then we've got 2 wallpapers from Egosoft's graphics artist Markus Pohl.

    Please select to download from the links below. (Right-click and select "Save target as" to download)

    Wallpaper 1 Wallpaper 2




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    Weapons presentation

    An overview on some new weapon systems in X²

    A variety of new weapon systems are available to the player along with a new hull damage system that accompanies the shield system. Your hull can take damage and this works in the same way as shields...

    Hull Damage - 1024*768 - 265kb

    ...although your hull damage does not regenerate. You can however repair your hull (for a price) at a shipyard. The larger the hull, the more damage it can withstand.

    Below you will find some text for some of the new weapons taken straight from the game. Take from the text what you want : but let me reassure you that they are lots of fun to use!

    Photon Pulse Cannons

    First Developed by Professor Jo Bydnah of the Argon, the Photon Pulse Cannon became a favourite of the Argon Military, who then sold the original designs on to the other races. This type of weapon is extremely powerful, and can only be fitted on the larger Capital craft. It works by sending highly charged photon radiation through a series of coils that multiplies the charge, creating a very deadly pulse of radiation. Other versions of this weapon include a super-conducting coil set and a proton filter that makes the weapon more effective against hull and shields. The stations that produce them were originally Weapons Research Laboratories for Argon scientists; they are now home to the production of Photon Pulse Cannons that can be used on most capital ships. Professor Bydnah still works on updating the PPC weapon and has recently become the head of the Argon Weapons Research in Omicron Lyrae, and represents the Grand Sonra University.

    Mass Driver

    This weapon is unique in that it is the only type of non-energy based projectile weapon available. It consists of a rapid feed multi barrelled cannon that is capable of delivering a large number of small projectiles to its target in a short period of time. It inflicts damage not due power of individual projectiles but due to the large numbers of projectiles delivered. Due to the nature of this weapon ammunition it has almost no effect on a ships shield but instead delivers heavy damage directly to the targets hull. It also causes very little power drain due to all energy requirements being supplied by the ammunition. Currently the weapon can only be fitted to Argon and Split ships, as they are the only ships that can accommodate the ammunition feed system. The true power of this weapon comes from its ammunition. Each projectile is a self contained unit consisting of the projectile itself, a small armour piercing shell with a micro explosive core encased in a unique crystalline matrix, which allows the shells to pass through ship shields unhindered, by producing a tiny spatial distortion using the shields own energy, and an explosive micro-charge designed to propel the shell at high velocity towards its target.

    Phased Shockwave Generator

    This weapon was developed in conjunction between the Teladi and Paranid. It works by sending out a phased, compressed bundle of energy called a package, which reacts and expands, creating a shockwave of phased energy. This weapon has many uses, some of which can be quite useful, one is missile defence, and another is as a multiple fighter defence. The weapon is quite unique as it is the first 'area affect' weapon to come out on to the common market. The Paranid decided to sell this weapon after their economy started to fail, and this has proven quite popular since it was released. The process of building this weapon is a complex one that requires job specific machinery. Safety is also an issue, the prototype station exploded when the main matter compressor overloaded. Since that incident, the manufacturing process has changed; the employers decreased the amount of workers in favour of automatic machinery. The Phased packages are developed in a zero gravity environment and with no atmosphere present. It has been noted that if the package reacts with photon energy, or more commonly known as light, then the package will start to expand. Another requirement therefore is a dark room. The energy then is compressed using subspace compression technology, similar to that of cargo bays, but with minor differences. The energy when it expands sends out the phased energy that affects both shields and the hull. Some pilots have described its effects as, 'Being stuck in an Ion Storm'.

    Ion Disruptor

    This weapon is unlike any other weapon encountered before and was developed by Boron Scientists; this weapon fires a steady stream of ion particles in the direction of a ship. The stream is then ignited. The result is a lightning effect that effects ship systems and shields, while leaving the hull relatively untouched. Although this weapon is still new, it has undergone extensive testing to make sure it keeps up to Boron standards. While simple to explain how it works, manufacturing the weapon is a different matter; it is a complicated process that involves producing a device that can create a stream of ionised particles. This in itself is very dangerous. Boron scientists turned to the Argon who use Lightning Conductors on some planets as a power source. They reverse engineered the conductors and converters to fire the particles. Ion Particles themselves not only affect electricity, but they also affect the firing mechanism. The Boron came up with an ingenious idea that took them several years to develop. The weapon actually fires normal particles which fly through a ring that converts the particles into Ions. The process can be seen in one of the Boron Published Documents by Dr Halilo Wo - "Processes and Functions of the Ion"


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    Sector Design Competition

    Set yourself a monument in the game

    OK, we had the ship competition, now we have one sector left which is waiting to be designed and named!

    What we need from you:

    1. Name Of The Sector
    2. Race It Is Intended For
    3. Description Of Sector (Stations, number of Suns etc.)
    4. Your Name (or alias if you prefer)
    Important! Please send an email with your entry to with a subject heading of "Sector Competition".

    The contestant may not enter more than one suggestion. If he/she does, then all of their entries are automatically disposed off.

    The best name will then be selected by a panel of judges and then submitted to Map Job, who will then base a system around the sector description. If any of the information submitted can't be used then the closest fit of the description will suffice.

    Who will have won will be announced in the next issue of X-News, with a small preview clip of the sector.
    Your sector name will remain in the game forever, plus you will get a mention in the game credits and receive an X2 - The Threat sweatshirt signed by the development team!


    Name Of Sector
    • The name of the sector must be translatable into German/English
    • If this can keep to the current naming patterns, then that is great
    • No sector can be named after anyone - E.G. Handby's Joy
    The race it is intended for
    • This can only be one of the six main races, Argon, Boron, Paranid, Pirate, Split or Teladi
    Description Of Sector
    • If a hidden station (such as 2nd trade dock or pirate base or any form of secret) is suggested, then it will be considered. More secrets the better ;)
    • Disregard information about gates. Sector will have to be placed in one of the available slots
    • If the sector description is beyond what the sector design staff can complete, but is still the chosen sector, the design staff will try their best to match this as close as possible
    • NO judge or map job staff can enter the competition


    Commander J Handby (sector map co-ordinator)
    Editorship of X-News

    So here is an example:

    1. Kingdom Start
    2. Boron
    3. One sun, equipment dock, two SPP's, three Plankton Farms, SPP's to be hidden in a nebula along with one of the gates. Two M2 class ships patrolling and 4 each of M3, M4 and M5 class. Each station to have three defence craft and three freighters each.
      "Kingdom Start is where the Boron first discovered that space weed could indeed be induced into their environment suits. The single bright star in this sector is a welcoming beacon to the weary traveller and many a pilot can't help but let out a wry smile as they remember their first time here. Even though now the Boron military keep a firm grip on those long past illegal activities."
    4. Commander J Handby
    Not a very good example I am sure you'll agree and we understand that you may not know about new stations and so on. Don't worry, we will take that into consideration and may alter the content of the sector slightly. Once you play the game, the content of the sector may change anyway, but the name will remain forever!

    Get those entries emailed. Closing date Friday, December 20th 2002


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    Next System, Next Station

    Scale Plate Green

    My contact person was late. I always knew that the Split were erratic and often unreasonable, that's why I had little hope that my date would be on time. The 'Blue Arrow' was safely stored in the dock area of the Trading Station, where I requested a standard check of her with the supervisor of the station. Now I had some time to think over the realities of this system. The Teladi system 'Scale Plate Green' is scattered with 26 partially very mineral rich asteroids, on which the Teladi already built two mines, which are supposed to make good profit. But the major task of this system seems to be the production of the Teladian Nostrop Oil. Already four Sun Oil Refineries are to be found here. The population density is not very high in this part of the Teladi territory and even the corridors and rooms of the Trading Station appeared to be empty. I like this peace in large installations. The view from one of the relaxation lounges into the wide-open space with the planet hidden in the half shadow and the many slowly rotating asteroids calmed my inner excitement.

    The weak light of the two central stars hardly illuminated the objects in this system. I had to remember that perhaps in one of the asteroids there could lay a hidden nest of the lovely space flies, remote, safe, undiscovered. Yes, still undiscovered, because one hears again and again that it presents a worthwhile occupation for Pirates to catch these cute organisms and sell them to the Split. If one knew where the nests were, then one could keep these areas under surveillance.

    Something did not make sense to me, but first I had to sift the many thoughts, which raced through my head. The three suspicious characters, which I carried with me since the system Tharka's Sun, their strange indecision, as to how far they wanted to fly with me, then this mysterious job of the executive committee of the Argon Beta H.E.P.T. Laser Forge, to meet here with a courier of a SQUASH Mine Factory of the Split and to wait until further notice, the messages about a strange stranded spaceship, which circulated only in bits and pieces and unofficially - all that was fascinating and exciting, I wished only, I would have more time, in order to look more into this in detail.

    At the info terminal I called up the space fly announcement and read it again. Now it became clear to me: The large unrest and the departure activity, which I had experienced in Chin's Clouds, were not to be seen here at all. The asteroids in this system did not seem to interest the reward hunters... why not? Nothing I would rather do now, then to fly there and examine each individual asteroid. But I had to complete a job first and this required that I remained here ready to be called up.

    I went to the public map and discussion room, in which the front wall represented the current map of the entire system. The picture was transmitted directly by a navigation relay satellite, so that one had constantly an updated overview of the objects, their allocation and their movements. On the other walls were somewhat similar but not so highly detailed displays of the adjacent 3 sectors. Three groups, mainly Teladi, discussed excitedly and looked again and again to the right wall, which was dark and did not show any satellite picture at all. In their excitement they noticed neither my greetings nor me. I went to them and was told after a while that the satellite in the sector, to which the south gate led, probably failed and a new one is urgently required to be installed. The difficulty probably was that it concerned an enemy sector and one would not find a volunteer for this job. "I! I will do that!" I cried inside, but I was here bound. I did not say anything.

    I sat down into a bowl, which was constructed for beings of my race and looked at the main sector projection. This sector must have a great strategic importance. Here two important travel and trading routes seemed to meet. One route leads from the Argon areas behind the east gate through the north gate across further Teladi systems to the Split, the other through the south gate across an enemy area into further Teladi sectors. I have never been in these corners of the universe before; even here in 'Scale Plate Green' I was visiting for the first time. And an enemy sector I only know from narrations. I gladly would like to feel the prickle in my belly again, when unknown surrounds me and could represent danger...

    I called up the data of some of the ships flying in through the east gate. Some freighters have a long way before them, if they wanted to fly to the Boron systems. One even flew to the distant Paranid sector 'Trinity Sanctum'.

    I shuddered suddenly, when something cool touched my head. When I turned, a Split was standing behind my seat. "The creature follows me" he said briefly. He turned and went off, without waiting for a response. I followed him through the corridors of the station. I was glad that he was there and had found me - I did not have to lose more time just sitting around. In the large main hall, where much activity prevailed, the Split turned briefly, in order to see if I was still there and to take the way to the docking area. He stopped before a combat ship of the type Scorpion and took out two locked and strong looking cases. "She takes freight and fly home." He said coldly.

    I took a case from him and noticed that both would be too heavy for me. I looked at him briefly and said short but clearly: "Come Split, follow me." To my surprise he answered nothing, but did as I said. When we arrived at my Falcon, he said only: "Perhaps the creature will be spared from the Split - if it survives the way home." His lips twisted into a sardonic smile. "Perhaps not" he added. I lifted the second box off the ground and said, "Oh, thank you very much. Good flight home." But the Split was already gone. I saw him entering his spaceship, as I ran as fast as I could the whole way back until I was again in the room with the sector displays.

    After a short discussion with the persons present and then with the station supervision we agreed on the fact that I should try to install the navigation satellite in the neighboring sector. The Teladi that had taken part in the preparation of the flight seemed grateful and I was pleased like a child to have finally, adventure before me. Finally I would meet the mysterious machines.


    to be continued

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    Additional Contacts


    EGOSOFT / Deutschland -

    Editorship english:
    Chris F. / Great Britain - (cc)

    Editorship german:
    Michael B. / Germany - (mb)

    Contact the editorship:

    Darren Astles - (da)
    Florian Bircher - (fb)
    Jonathan Handby - (jh)
    Florian Ortner - (ort)

    Translations and proofreading:
    Herbert Hohenburger - (hrh)
    Peter Biner W. - (pbw)

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