I'm about 10 days of real-life time in to a brand new play-through of XTC. Not sure how many game hours I've been with the machine, but I've made use of SETA and currently show 5 days of elapsed time, so the Universe is starting to open up.

Decided on a new strategy this time... Instead of a general mix of combat and complex-building, this time I've limited my trading work to saving up for and purchasing freighters which I'm then setting to Sector Trading. I've found that when they get to L10 or so, I can move them to Universe Traders. I've also found that the speed with which a trader levels up is hugely dependent upon the number and variety of stations in the sector [it's obvious that it will have impact, but the degree is remarkable].

Best of all, I've found that once you get one or more Universe Traders going, your ranks will start to improve across multiple races, not just where you have elected to drop stations. In this run-through, that helps me get to where I'd like to be - i.e. I'm aiming for good relations across the board, rather than focus exclusively in Argon space until I reach a certain level of progress and then going from there.

What I would say, in kind of a complementary statement to my earlier post about Elite Dangerous, is that I would be happy to sacrifice the improved graphics of Elite for the sheer rich gameplay of XTC.

Oh to have a combination of them both...

And of course, because hardware has moved on and improved since the X-Games were launched, I've now got a middle-of-the-road machine that can effortlessly play XTC using 3 x 24" monitors at 5760x1200 pixels. It's amazing...

I must easily have 1500+ hours in the X-Games. In terms of bang-per-buck, I don't think I have any better-value games.