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    Thread: X-Rebirth is finally here. What are your initial impressions?

    1. #11
      TXU Sr. Member Scoob's Avatar
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      I managed to progress a little further in the plot last night - incidentally I got past the 100 ECells mission easily as I didn't play with my trade ship at all first. Basically, sticking 100% to the plot sees things work for me, but that's NOT what I wanted to do. Some hard coded stuff re: your tradeship breaks things.

      Game has been a little frustrating. I made certain choices early on - spending most of my cash on certain things - only to have the plot negate all that. No details for spoiler reasons.

      Going to play again today, but will first check for updates just in case. Steam upgraded me to v1.12 last night, and it seemed to do another *tiny* update a little later but no version change.

      Scoob.


    2. #12
      Elder Administrator Aragon Speed's Avatar
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      I haven't played the released version yet as I cannot afford it ATM, but from what has been said here it seems that my initial feelings about the game from the couple of early alpha versions I played about with seem to have panned out.

      I thought that the engine was excellent but needed some serious performance tuning at a base level. This I felt was an issue that can be fixed over time, but thought it would have been addressed before release. Annoying, but ultimately not game breaking and should improve over time as the 'totally new' engine is refined.

      My biggest worry at the time was the UI. It didn't seem to be intuitive at all. However it was early alphas I was playing with and most of the UI at that point wasn't working as intended, and big chunks of the UI weren't even switched on (no visual targeting on enemy ships so you had no idea which ship you were targeting etc). So I figured it wasn't fair to judge something when it was only usable at a very basic level. Looking at the couple of comments here that mention the UI and also the massive raging over on the ES forums which also includes many negative comments on the UI, it seems my initial qualms have panned out. Which I think is a shame.

      Overall I felt that the game, and the engine underneath everything, had massive potential, but came away from the experience feeling a bit... Meh! I felt it was missing something. There was a solid and fun game in there somewhere, but somehow it felt as if it was put in a box and only showed sunlight at weekends.

      I think what I'm trying to say is that it felt incredibly.... German. I don't mean that in a bad way, every culture has its strong points and its not so strong points. What I mean is that from a technical standpoint the game was brilliant, it had a few flaws with the technology that would be fixed, but somehow it missed the flair and imagination that would move it from the 'good, solid game' area into the 'memorable game' area.

      I just felt something was missing - for me anyway.


    3. #13
      TXU Sr. Member Scoob's Avatar
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      You know, I'm warming to this game! I've managed to find some NV profile settings that make the game consistantly smoother - not perfect, but better certainly - I can share if people want. Also, just done quite a fun mission with an epic cap-ship battle going on. Unfortunately I'd sold my missiles to raise funds for [redacted] earlier, so mission was hard. Good to see that my allies aren't useless and are a huge help in missions.

      Anyway, somehow I managed to get a fighter to bail during combat - think I'd done it several times before actually but didn't let go of the trigger soon enough. If I get in close, I have a "Claim" option show up, but I guess I'm missing some software or something as it's greyed out.

      Game IS still fun, but confusing at times with somewhat unclear instructions during missions. Additionally, I feel I have little control over my ships. I.e. I cannot just say things like "He's the leader, you all protect him, and I'm ordering him to park up over there for now". It's basically Trade missions for trade ships and simple "join my squad" for cap ships. I currently have one that's low of Fuel, so I need to figure how to sort that...possibly I can buy fuel with the Skunk... One of my other ships has PLENTY of fuel, but I cannot simply tell it to "fly to..." the needy ship...

      Oh, the "streamlined" menus are exactly the same as the old menus bar ONE huge improvement, orders are STATIC, i.e. option 2 then 5 will ALWAYS be the same command, none of this well it's 2 then 4 for this ship, but 3 then 2 for this other one cos it's a blah-type ship etc. Using said menus is horrible with KB+mouse - I have the "context" menu (key "F") but can never select anything, so I just use the mouse. One GOOD thing I just spotted though which helps...you can fly to a target, Pause the game, click on the icon and issue a command (say "dock" for example) then un-pause and have it actioned.

      I'm REALLY missing a "target nearest enemy" key! The icons around the edge of the screen allow you to fly towards targets (hint: you ABSOLUTEY MUST disable roll correction else it squews every turn you make) but there's no indication which are close until you face the target. We need a hard-target lock option as well, so we can easily track ONE target if we choose.

      Btw: Yisha is NOT the co-pilot. Co-pilot suggests that she can pilot the ship. Well she can't and doesn't. Launching a drone = Skunk Dead in space, often quite literally as Yisha does NOTHING when you come under attack. Also, there is NO AUTOPILOT, unless it's some ship extension I'll buy later. I mean, I want to have my ship keep flying to a waypoint, even if just the next hughway entrance, while I do other things like check on my assets and issue orders. However, the game just stops you in space as soon as you bring up anything like that.

      So, a few niggles there.

      Back to playing.

      @Aragon Speed: I think you're best off waiting a little while, Egosoft will iron out the gremlins I'm sure. Bonus is you'll pick it up more cheaply by then no doubt.

      Scoob.


    4. #14
      TXU Ultra Hero Jeff's Avatar
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      Hi everyone, it's been a while

      Anyway, hearing all these issues makes me think I should get Rome 2 first (if I had the money to spare). A bit of a shame though, I really hoped it would be different this time considering they worked on it for 7(?) years, it's a whole new engine, etc. Oh well, at least that gives the modding community some work xD


    5. #15
      TXU Ultra Hero K.J.'s Avatar
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      Not sure if i want to buy the game in the near future. Based on the basically overall negative feedback it seems to me that, while it is a decent framework, it lacks in gameplay and content which would make me sad to see all this wasted potential if i played it. E.g. just like if you compare X3R with X3TC + XTC + additional scripts... I don't want yet another game that has to be worked on for several years before i can enjoy it for the most part. Even in XTC there is so much unused potential.

      I'll propably keep tabs on the game to see what they do next. Or maybe a videoreview can win me over but i'm not sure about that.

      I wonder to what extend the alpha and beta testers dared to give true feedback. Maybe ES should have listened more to them, or they didn't really give them their true opinion.

      Oh well, at least that gives the modding community some work xD
      Hi Jeff
      That was said alot from the optimistic folks on ES-forum that try to oppose the haters... "Oh yeah the modders will fix everything"
      I don't feel like fixing something that many people think is totally broken and lacking.

      Last edited by K.J.; 16-11-2013 at 04:51 PM.


    6. #16
      TXU Ultra Hero Jeff's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by K.J. View Post
      Hi Jeff
      That was said alot from the optimistic folks on ES-forum that try to oppose the haters... "Oh yeah the modders will fix everything"
      I don't feel like fixing something that many people think is totally broken and lacking.
      Yeah I understand, it would've been nice to mod a game everyone thought was great in the first place. Not that X:R can't be great, but atm it does look like they're relying on the modding community (again...) to make it truly memorable and great.

      As for the testers, it could also be that the bugs that are in the game now just weren't high enough priority to get fixed before release. I agree that's no excuse to release the game with these bugs though. I also don't know how big of a team they have for bug testing and how often they get new people to test stuff, but it could also be that the people they had just got used to certain issues to the point that they didn't see them any more. I've been in plenty of teams where people said "we'll test it ourselves!" and it just doesn't work, because they get so used to it that they don't notice their mistakes any more.

      I'll probably do the same as you, see how the game looks after a while and a few reviews and then I might buy it.


    7. #17
      TXU Ultra Hero K.J.'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
      I agree that's no excuse to release the game with these bugs though.
      Actually, i dont mean the bugs. I mean the designdecisions, i.e. the interface many many people complain about.

      Oh and wow, the character animations look hideous.



    8. #18
      TXU Ultra Hero Jeff's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by K.J. View Post
      Actually, i dont mean the bugs. I mean the designdecisions, i.e. the interface many many people complain about.

      Oh and wow, the character animations look hideous.
      Ah ok. I don't know how much time they put into the design or how many times they've looked at it and changed it. Design testing suffers from the same issue as the bug testing though, you can't test it yourself or anyone who has spent a significant amount of time with it, because you get used to it and won't see your mistakes any more after a while.

      As for the character animations, I don't know if they've ever had a true character artist, rigger and animator. I mean non of their previous games had any real character design and animation to speak of imho. And you can't hire 1 guy to make an entire city/army/whatever worth of characters (even if you reuse animations and meshes all over the place, it's a ton of work). I honestly never expected much though, I mean in all the pre-release videos I haven't seen a single character that made me wow. Not even Yisha who should've been the best looking character in the game because she's in your face the whole time (from the looks of it). If it doesn't wow pre-release it's doubtful it will post-release because only the best stuff is shown before the release xD


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      TXU New Member ManganMan's Avatar
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      I've waited almost 6 years for this game.
      Now I've watched gameplay on YT (can't afford to buy the game).
      I think I've did right, because calling the result of my waiting as "failure" is a very big misunderstanding...
      Maybe I'll wait till game will be patched (and much cheaper then now)...


    10. #20
      TXU Legend Eliah's Avatar
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      I'm really, really disappointed with how the game has turned out.

      On one hand, there's the bugs. Not cute little fun bugs that we mostly had in X3 - some scripts not working, some invincible stuff, some sidemissions slightly mismanaged - no, in Rebirth we're talking about proper gamebreaking bugs (e.g. fly through the new cross-sector jumplane, get thrown 1.5 million kilometers out in empty space with no way to get anywhere; the side-menu window, from where you access sector maps and property/info menus, sometimes just fails to open/activate [Yes - a whole menu system simply fails to work. Brilliant, eh?]. If the npc collision is working, then I haven't noticed. There's been trader ships flying through each other, flying through asteroid mines... I seriously don't know if npc ships even have collision detection as such. And, finally, the performance is absolutely in the gutter - Something is seriously wrong with it, as the jitteriness and lagging is way, way more evident than it would have any right to be.)

      On the other hand, there's the design decisions that are just baffling.

      - The UI.
      It's just plain awful, what can I say... Compared to X3s or even X2, everything in Rebirth feels even deeper and more nested in submenus and **** like that - there's practically no working hotkeys whatsoever, the larger menu screens take ages to appear because of the fancy animations of the menu display pushing upwards from the ship's console, the interaction ("enter button") menu is a radial design suited to controllers, not kb+m..
      There's a lot of basic stuff missing. Want to target a ship from the sector map? You can't. You can go into it's info submenu, and from there set a course towards the ship/place, then you do get an indicator of where it actually is on your HUD. The funny thing? This is not a direction indicator, but a *generic mission* 'fly to xyz'.

      I mean, seriously. I'm baffled - for what reason did this sound better than, oh idk, selecting the relevant thing on the sector map and hitting 't'?
      There's not much targeting options at all - no 'nearest target', no 'next target', no 'nearest hostile', not even a 'target what I'm aiming at' - you have to click with the mouse on what you see. Kinda difficult if you aren't flying straight at what you want to target, obviously.

      Also, the UI is unbearably tiny at most places. I mean, size-4-in-MSWord tiny. It doesn't scale for hd displays, and seems designed for, what, 480 or 640p.

      Another example - suppose you want to dock at your capital ship. Do you target it and hit 'd'? Hah, no. Firstly, you have to specifically target the hangar subsection of the ship, not the ship itself. Then you need to select 'dock' from a tiny on-screen option section which I'm *still* not sure if it's meant to be a single-click or double-click. Or triple-click, even - it just fails to be responsive.



      - The npcs.
      Another thing that, imo, isn't working out whatsoever. First off, every interaction is nested in conversation submenus. You'll open the 'talk' menu, then select the subject, then possibly the subdivision of that subject. And each talk-line is voiceacted, so if you're going around in a station looking for someone buying what you have, be prepared for hearing "What do you have?" ad nauseum. Their looks/animation has already been seen, I'd guess, but - seriously - the models are really bad. Considering how high an emphasis the npcs have in Rebirth (arguably more than ships...), I'm amazed that so little work has gone in them.

      - The trading is weird as well.
      Steam forums and other places are full of questions asking about how the hell does it even work (It mostly doesn't, from what I can tell - your owned ships seem to ignore or forget commands, or not mark them as finished) - the mechanics are definitely not obvious whatsoever.

      - Station exploration.
      This might be sort of cool, but the way you interact with stations is by looking for tiny floating UI icons signifying the station's components and docking berths. With the sector (sorry, "zone") map being the way it is, you're left with randomly flying all across a station, looking for that one icon that still has a slightly whiter shade of an outline, marking it as unscanned.
      Oh, and if you want to find out where a docking bay actually is on a station? Good luck! There's nearly no visual cues for most of them, and they are utterly lost in the modular design of these superstations. No universal guiding lights, no extra-marked iconography - it all blends in with all the other modules and ui elements you see. Simply *finding* something is a downright pain.

      As was mentioned before, there's absolutely no autopilot whatsoever. Not for your owned ships, not for your own ship either. Not even a "that's the station 100km ahead, dock at it please while I sip tea or check my properties/empire/fleets". Nope, hands-on all the time 100% of the time.

      Also, there's *no autosave*. There isn't one when there's a loading screen, no autosave when you dock somewhere, no autosave when you finish a mission or anything. There's only manual save, and a *single* quicksave slot (so good luck rolling back if you encounter a gamestopper bug, which seems to happen at least once an hour for me). Even X3:R had three cycling autosave slots...

      Actually, let's take an example of a simple scenario, part of the tutorial/intro missions:
      - You have your own ship, and a pilotless Trader vessel owned by you. You want it to start trading/moving/doing stuff.
      Here's how it would be in X3: you'd target the ship, hit c, select "navigation"-"fly to xyz". (I'm excluding trading software Mk3 becuase it seems that your traders in Rebirth aren't autonomous, but you select all the trades they will have queued up). This achieves the trading ship to fly to a station, while you do whatever you want to do.
      Here's how it is in rebirth: you fly to a station, you find - by trial and error - a docking bay where a 'captain' npc is, you open the conversation menu with the npc & hire them, they walk up into your own ship (cutscene), you go back to your ship, you take off, you fly to your trader, you land in your trader. Now, you open up the 'enter button' menu, you select "crew", then you select "contact remotely", then you select the NPC you hired, then you select "work here". Then you re-enter your own ship, take off from the landing bay, you target the trading ship itself (not the docking bay, mind), you select "add to squad". And FINALLY your ai-controlled trading ship will somehow follow you and wait for you to arrange trading deals for it.

      Seriously, that's what all this kerfluffle achieves - the previously inert trader vessel you own now can follow you. Want it to defend from attackers? Do the same, but hire a defense systems manager or somesuch. What was in a 2nd layer of a single menu, an ai command option, in X3, is now hidden between at least 4 loading screens, several minutes of flight time (and much more if you have issues finding anyone - given how there's no directional guidance), and multiple cases of repetitive, canned voiceacting. And that's rebirth in a nutshell - what was fast and somewhat easy before is needlessly padded, complicated, and annoying.


      So... yeah. On the whole, I'm really, really disappointed, and surprised that *this* is what they were doing for 7 years. The bugs, I can forgive - that's just a reality of how X games always have been, and they might get patched out in time. But the design decisions behind this.. especially behind the UI systems.. I just can't understand how anyone thought it was okay. It's visually indistinct, it lacks clarity, readability, and even self-integrity (no unified font size, very poor text character aliasing/blurring), it's unreliable (targetted things sometimes just lose focus, mouseclicks aren't uniformly responsive), every damn thing is nested in weird submenus.. Hell, the problem is, it's not just objectively bad, it's *worse* than what we had in previous X games. How did *that* happen?!
      And - heck - I want to support Egosoft. I want them to succeed. But I'm having a very hard time swallowing this as a good X game. Because it feels worse than X2/X3s, worse than freelancer, worse than even Darkstar One. I was honestly expecting a lot better, and I doubt that the majority of problems can be fixed - it's not so much about the bugs, it's about the extremely odd underlying design concepts. It's not even as if new players find these things easier than us X-vets - Almost all discussion I've seen online about Rebirth, from those who've tried it - new to X, new to space sims, or even old X players - all of them have the same "wtf is this" reaction.

      Well. That was quite the rant, I guess. But, well, it is how it is. I'm just sad that I couldn't bring a more positive response about the game.

      Last edited by Eliah; 16-11-2013 at 11:42 PM.

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