XTC News 14th July 2009.
It's been a while since the initial announcement we made, so we thought we had better tell you something about the new mod rather than just veiled suggestive comments and pictures. ^^
So what are some of the things we have been up to?
First of all we have an announcement that some will love, and others will hate, so let's get this out in the open now. We have created an entirely new universe from scratch. We have been hinting at this for a while with the teaser stories we have been posting on TXU, but it's time everyone knew.
This was a difficult decision as we know that a lot of people will not like the fact that they will not be in the normal universe (Not to mention, from our point of view, the amount of work that is involved to do something like this). The plain facts of the matter are that with all the new sectors ES added to the map in TC (and then even more in the 2.0 patch, although by then we had already started work on the new universe), the possibilities for expansion were severely limited. This on its own was not enough of a reason to create a new universe, and we were originally going to use the current universe and not add new sectors, but the more we thought about things we wanted to do, the more we realised how difficult it would be to do them in the current universe. Then a stormer of an idea surfaced that we simply could not leave out of the mod once we had confirmed it was possible, and this idea would simply not work in the current universe. The idea itself will be announced at a later date as it is one of our large features and we do not wish to tell you about yet. Yeah I know that's cruel, but how else will we keep you checking in for new info?
(If anyone can guess what it is before we announce it, I will personally send them a pack of chocolate chip cookies. ^^ XTC Team and Testers are excluded from this promotional offer...
Another thing we took into consideration is the performance in TC. If we added extra sectors to the vanilla map, these would need populating with stations and ships. More jobs in an already stressed universe was not good in our opinion, what's the point in making a mod the size of XTC if the game engine cannot handle it? Even if we didn't add new sectors, we thought about the extra strain our additions would cause with the extra scripts etc we will have running in XTC, and we figured that everyone's machine would just cough, splutter and fall over dead. So we went for a new universe. This universe is smaller than the standard TC universe, but by no means small. It is about the same size as the standard X3R universe. By reducing the amount of sectors slightly we have also improved performance in the game.
The new universe has plus points and minus points from a players point of view.
The minus points are that you will have a universe that is entirely different from the one you are used to, so nothing will be familiar and safe, and you will have to explore the whole universe to see what is out there again. All ES plots and starts will be unavailable as they will not work in a different universe.
The plus points are that you will have a universe that is entirely different from the one you are used to, so nothing will be familiar and safe, and you will have to explore the whole universe to see what is out there again. All ES plots and starts will be unavailable as they will not work in a different universe. ^^
The team have had constant requests for the XTM ships that didn't make it into vanilla TC to be added to the new mod. As this was pretty much a foregone conclusion we haven't said much about it, but just to put everyones mind to rest we can confirm that they have been added to XTC.
Recently we have had a new member join the team. Trickmov of X3R 'Sector take over', 'Player owned equipment dock' and 'Statistics centre' fame is now working with us, so expect good things to come from this pairing.
We have introduced a working in-game difficulty system that can be manually set to different difficulty settings to tailor the game to each players skill level. This setting can be changed at any time from within the game itself, suppressing and replacing the current ES system in use.
XTC will include XXL fabs for all you complex builders out there. For those that are not familiar with this type of mod, this adds many larger factories to the universe for sale that produce products in larger amounts than the stock factories, this allows you to build complexes using less factories to get the same amount of resources (or the same amount of factories in a complex that really churns out the goods ^^).
Player configurable shield, weapon, and missile complexes. Self contained mini-complexes that are pre-built by the races. You just need to place them and tell them which products you would like them to produce.
Mobile factories (From XTM) also make a return in XTC so you can build all those nice weapons, or produce E-cells etc while on the move. After listening to our fans feedback (complaints ^^) and due to the new menu system available in TC, all control scripts have had a major overhaul for efficiency and ease of use as well.
All scripts in XTC have been written from scratch to include the new functionality in the TC script editor, and have also been written with a large and complex mod in mind from the start. This time around we have designed the scripts system to take growth into account and to hopefully provide a more stable and enjoyable X-Tended game.
Exploding ships will now cause blast damage. The range you can be damaged at, and amount of damage an explosion will cause is scaled to the size of the ship going boom. Don't sit next to that flaming M2 when you are in an M5. ^^
Ever wondered why huge capital ships where designed without a way for the crew to escape if they are going to explode? Well now they do. Any NPC capship that is about to explode will release emergency escape pods that contain the (lucky) crew members that managed to get to one in time.
M1's now will act a little more like carriers. Any damaged ship that docks at a carrier will be slowly repaired by the carrier's maintenance crews.
Sector station defence forces that will respond to threats. If you attack a station ships will be launched from the local trading station to deal with the incursion.
Pirate stations will slowly build themselves defences over time, the longer they are there the stronger their defences will become.
You don't want\don't like any of the above options? Not a problem, most of them can be individually turned on or off depending on your personal preferences.
The final thing we would like to announce is a new newspaper system. This is our take on replacing the (in many peoples eyes) missing BBS system from X3R. The core of this system has been designed so that it is easy to add your own news to. The core files for this system will be released as a separate mod soon, and before the release of XTC. This has been done so everyone can have a universally compatible news system whether they are playing XTC or Vanilla, it's just the news articles that will be different depending on which universe you are playing in.
That's all for now folks, I hope we have wetted your appetite more this time around. ^^
The X-Tended team.