I’m Bernd Lehahn, founder and managing director of Egosoft, one of the longest existing independent game development studios in Germany. Since the mid 90s, we’ve been working on the X space game series. Our titles included (among others) X: Beyond the Frontier (1999), X2: The Threat (2003), X3: Reunion (2005) and X Rebirth (2013). Our latest game, X4: Foundations, was released in November 2018.

We’re currently working on the next big update and the first expansion for X4, called Split Vendetta. We recently announced that both the 3.0 update and the expansion are being delayed to the first quarter of 2020.

AMA! Proof: https://twitter.com/EGOSOFT/status/1186318926843666433

EDIT:

Thanks for your participation and your ongoing support for our games. We hope you've enjoyed this AMA. Follow us on social media to stay up to date on our development of X4: Foundations and be sure to check out /r/X4FOUNDATIONS too.

We suggest adding our upcoming expansion X4: Split Vendetta to your Steam wishlist (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1133000/X4_Split_Vendetta/) and please consider writing a review for X4: Foundations (https://store.steampowered.com/app/392160/X4_Foundations/) if you've already played it.

Thanks a lot and have a great rest of the day!

-Bernd

Comments: 427 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

Shuulo11 karma

Will there be some expansion in diplomacy field between factions?
Will relations between factions be more dynamic or static as before? Will it somehow impact player faction management?

zav429 karma

Yes. This is indeed one of the main features of the story plot that comes with the Split Vendetta Expansion. The idea is to give very rich players the power to actually influence the factions of the game on a diplomatic level. That way we can showcase the dynamic universe AI and players can decide what X universe they want (as the answer to this depends a lot on the playertype and can vary greatly!)

Falcrack5 karma

What will be the mechanism in the game whereby players influence diplomacy? Can the factions change diplomatic attitudes (ie war and peace) between different factions absent any player involvement? Can the player influence a faction to go to war with another faction, or get a peace treaty with a faction they are already at war with?

zav426 karma

What we currently plan is that these decissions are integral part of stories. So when you play a plot there are opportunities to change the politics in a rather big way. This then works like a big economy sink and can take a while.

All still in development though, so stay tuned ;)

apoptosist11 karma

Are there or may there be any ways to invest in Egosoft?

zav428 karma

Unfortunately not yet. We discussed kickstarter for new projects but so far decided against it

Falcrack11 karma

Can you provide details of the planned changes for the research system in 3.0?

zav427 karma

The most important part is to better integrate it into the plot and explain more of what these features unlock. What it also will do is add more tasks to the actual research. This is all work in progress right now.

abueloshika10 karma

From a studio perspective, what was the most difficult aspect of recovering from the Rebirth launch?

I imagine you could do a certain amount of bracing yourself knowing the state the game was shipping in but it still must have been hard on the team to see just how badly it was being received by players and I assume that had a financial aspect on the studio as well.

zav4214 karma

the hardest part was long before the release. You have to see that X Rebirth was in development for more than 7 years. An entire studio working on such a large project for a time much much longer than originally expected would normally be a death sentence. We were lucky that the "small expansions" to X3 we made at the time, were very successful and allowed us to continue.

Other than that, it is mostly a problem of communication: X Rebirth is a game different from the rest of the series. This was intentional and we announced it as such and did NOT call it X4. It was a step on the road towards X4 for us and designed towards a slightly different audience. I still believe it worked well for many even if yes the release was very problematic at the time.

Belisarius74879 karma

I hope you're not thinking of retirement, but where do you see yourself in the future regarding the development of future X-Titles and addons/DLCs?

zav4216 karma

See my other answer to user Str_. Probably going to be working on X games till I die ;-)

Malkano869 karma

Hey Bernd, long time X fan. I was wondering what sort of combat missions we will be getting for 3.0? I would love some fleet on fleet or like bounty hunter missions from X Rebirth.

Also I was wondering are we getting bigger ships in the Split DLC like Battleships and such?

Thanks.

zav429 karma

Yes we also intend to improve combat missions for sure, but let me explain on mission improvements in general:

Many things going on at once:

  • We are adding new generic missions and improve on those that are there with more text and better balanced gameplay.

  • We improve the mission guidance system by having better UI elements that show you what to do and better objective display (not just in the corner). This is actually a big task which again might continue beyond just 3.0

  • We also have plans for a new “mail” system which will be used in addition to the logbook and briefings to help you better organise what is going on doing missions (again possibly beyond 3.0)

  • We will add new sources for generic missions on and around stations. Especially the NPCs on stations will often offer missions when you talk to them.

And most importantly we add longer stories with more depth. Special characters, special activities etc.

apoptosist9 karma

Would you please consider having an extremely high-level interface with a planet as a very simple "resource sink", with some station very low in orbit (like in X:R) operating as the "interface point"? This was one of top-voted requests in a recent reddit survey. As a bonus, it would add more vertical movement to the map, as many have complained about it feeling too 2D.
Longer-term, maybe you could use the cool “planet editing” code shown in your promo videos to link resources sold to the “planet station” with changes to a planet. E.g., gradual terraforming (like changes in ocean levels) or construction/restoration of huge structures (like a torus? 😊). This is probably much harder than the station itself, but it could be a cool hub-like project.

zav429 karma

yes we do consider something along these lines! Not in 3.0 though.

Falcrack8 karma

Can you give us an approximate idea as to the length and scope of scripted campaign missions for both 3.0 and the Split DLC?

zav428 karma

Not yet. What is clear is that the 3.0 stories are probably longer than the Split (unique) ones. But we really do not know yet how many hours they will take (besides it is always hard to estimate playtime as different play styles change this dramatically)

KrotoMax8 karma

Greetings, Bernd!

First of all I want to thank you and your team for creating such an amazing experience for each and everyone of us.

Today I serve as an ambassador for a community ~1000 people from Russia, who are willing to ask a few question. Here are the most requested ones:

1) Are you planning to add more races, such as Terrans in future expansions? And is there a possibility for new, unknown races to appear?

2) If you were to make another X game, would you focus on its availability to people with lower specs, or on cutting edge graphics and physics and why?

3) Did you, at any point, have an idea of making an X game that is not a space sim?

4) Will there be any balance changes to capital ship battles? As of right now, the impulse turrets is the only best choice, the turrets aren't as easy to command as in X3. At the same time, destroyer guns barely do damage.

5) Will you be adding more Xenon Ships?

6) Why did you change the classification of ships (M1, M2 etc) and weapons (light, heavy, "AA", universal) to the new system, and is there a possibility for it to come back?

7) Was H.R. Giger the inspiration for Khaak?

And one personally from me:
How's your day?

zav4210 karma

1) Yes, there will be a "re-introduced" race in the second Expansion. What else is yet to be decided.

2) X4 for low end does not make sense. This is not the game for it. In the past this also often got resolved by time, because we develop a new engine (and platform) for a long period of time. So while it is top end right now it may not be so top end anymore in a short while. That being said we also always optimize and improve

3) No. X games means X universe. We may consider other non "X+number" games, that are not this hard core sim with all of its features, but they would still play in this sci-fi universe or else it would not be an X game

4) We are permanently looking into "small" improvements and you are more then welcome to send me your opinion on this balancing in particular ([email protected])

5) maybe

6) Because most of the team felt that it was confusing. M1 big to M5 small worked well at first, until there were suddenly more classes that did not fit in anymore

7) I love H.R Giger and Alien in particular, but no I think the main inspiration for the Khaak were insects (in general)

day: busy typing right now but otherwise great ;)

Belisarius74878 karma

With the release of X4 you said modding tools will be made available. Is there any plan to release them soon?

zav4210 karma

Yes, we are preparing at least some of this at the moment (a special executable that will allow players to see more of what is going on behind the scenes for example). There is always more we want to do (for example tools to get your own 3D models into the game) but are a lot of work to set up and maintain unfortunately and therefore compete with our ongoing development work

apoptosist8 karma

Will we be seeing (3.0 or later) combat missions generated based on actual attacks, such as distress calls or "revenge requests"?

zav429 karma

This is definitely already the plan. The war subscription missions (as an example) are based on this principle: The universe develops (freely) and missions are given based on events. See my other answer about mission improvements for more details

apoptosist8 karma

Will 3.0 have travel-drive-match-speed for fleets/AI and for player? For example, ships in wings that use travel drive speed of slowest ship, and player ship's travel drive can match travel drive speed of target.

zav428 karma

We have recently made several AI improvements for squads and fleets to stay together and match speed. Stay tuned

Shuulo8 karma

Was there any critical time when Egosoft was close to to be closed? Im so happy that XR not that smooth start did not impact X4 release, I was really afraid we will never see it.

zav429 karma

This risk always exists for a small indie developer. For us it was probably highest somewhere in the middle of the XR development, when we started too many too big tasks all at once (new design, new engine, new gameplay...)

apoptosist8 karma

Generally speaking, how are Egosoft's finances since X4's release? Have you been doing better than expected, or worse? Many of us just want to know you can keep doing the great (and extremely rare) work you've been doing, and any kind of answer on this would be appreciated.

zav4212 karma

We are doing OK... As a developer you always wish for more as that would give us more freedom (e. g the possibility to hire more people), but X4 is (again) a real "long term seller" and we intend to keep it that way by making updates (for free) and keep in peoples minds.

Falcrack8 karma

What if any improvements to drone command and control are planned? I feel that medium ships that carry drones, like ther Cerberus and Gorgon, are not so useful because defense drones launch too slowly (i.e. using pad to launch instead of tubes), and most importantly, the drones are not under any sort of direct player control.

zav428 karma

Please check out the 3.0 beta as soon as it is available. If you then are not happy with it, please get back to me by email!

apoptosist7 karma

Are there any good ways we can make life and work better for your developers?

zav428 karma

You are!! People who help by being nice inside the community help us mange our community on all platforms (Reddit, egosoft forums, steam forums, facebook). Every post you do in any social media or forum helps us. THANKS!

J_DoesGAMES7 karma

When 3.0 drops and the dlc should i restart to take full advantage of it? for example will there be story released that involves factions i might have taken land from ect.. Another thing i was wondering was are yall gonna expands the command list for the ai ships? id like to make fleets to compress my inspector when map is open for example a mining fleet that doesn't just defend its superior i liked the freedom of assigning task within fleets from x3 . Another question i have is will i ever be able to set up trade offers with my aux ship? and my last question will we be the ability to build highways in player owned sectors?

zav424 karma

1) You do not HAVE to restart but we try to encourage you to do so. The problem of alienating a later potential ally certainly exists, but this is a bit independent of restarting as all plot lines play independently anyway and should work with sometimes opposing gamestarts.

2) Yes we are making a lot of improvements on fleet management. Check out the 3.0 beta and beyond...

fisher__20006 karma

This question is in relation to x4. With all of the new content that is added to X:Rebirth and X4: Foundations, would there be any chance the team over at Egosoft would develop one last DLC for X3AP?

It’s considered one the best X-universe games and it would be really neat to see more content added from the games that preceded it. An example could be more sectors such as DeVeris, Cold Star and Maelstrom, which we have only been introduced to in rebirth, it would be great to see these fleshed out as well new plots such as the expansion and development of industries into these sectors, and much needed quality of life fixes. I know the players are there for this, as well as room for expansions. An example of the fixes is adding the missing factories for the Terran’s, while the plot could elaborate more on The Great Gate Shutdown, or more on what happened to the cast of X2/X3- reunion. I would also like to point out that a mod user called Cadius created a mod called Xtra Ship/ Station Pack, https://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?f=94&t=308762 which he has ceased to develop. The ships in this mod should really be a part of the game & canon as they fit perfectly into the game’s lore. (The Terran player HQ) was created by him so please make a deal to get these ships in the game officially if you do another dlc (I would pay handsomely for, even crowd fund =D)

Thank you and your team for all of your hard work and making one of the most intresting space games (lore-wise) that I have invested in

zav427 karma

Not impossible, but no promises. We always look at all options and yes if people want more of X3 it would be a possibility to also do that. Right now we are however mainly focussed on improving X4

TrutMeImAnEngineer6 karma

Hello Bernd,

Thanks for making this ama. I really loved X3 back in the day. I enjoyed playing it for several hundred hours, I think. I really love the idea of the series, to have action elements mixed into a simulation game in space.

I recently bought X4 Foundations and I was surprised about the change in user interface. Could you elaborate on the decision making process behind this topic?

zav424 karma

The goal with X4 Foundations was to have a very powerful sandbox that works for a very wide audience. We have very different players, some of which have very different expectations (traders, builders, strategy, dogfight, leaning more towards peace, etc.) So we were looking for a very powerful UI that works best for all. As always this is a lot about finding a compromise. We now are working on making this very powerful UI easier to learn and of course on adding content to the foundations of the base game

portumski6 karma

Would you take on the Dune franchise if offered?

zav429 karma

oh funny question. You happen to own it? ;-)

Honestly: Probably not. While it is certainly cool to work on such big franchises, we are very happy to instead develop our own further. This gives us more creative freedom

couger22746 karma

2 questions about the first person portion and the npc/characters of X4.

1: Would you consider allowing volunteers to record lines for character voices to expand the pool NPC sounds? Because the game is so cast we often run into the same voices. This would be done from a provided script but could add a lot of flair to the game.

2: Will NPC/character customization ever be a thing? I typically choose a Teladi start but wish I could give him/her pants.

Bonus question: please give us an online X universe game! Even if I can't build stations I would totally pay large sums of money to play with others. Ok maybe that's not a question....

zav427 karma

1: Not easy because of localisation. But if you want to help, feel free to contact me ([email protected]) and send samples of your voice.

2: Unlikely in X4. Our character art pipeline is not set up for this. It is not completely ruled out though

Bonus: err... you know about online-universe.net ? ;-) So yeah: Been there and decided against it for the time being

apoptosist6 karma

Could we get a public beta of 3.0 some time in November 2019? If not, can we get some idea of when the first public 3.0 beta might appear, even if just an estimate?

zav426 karma

very like,y

Xainiax6 karma

how much thought goes into bringing some of the early lore, like the universe being larger than what we have access to, up to some of the more recent titles?

also how much turnover is there at your studio?

zav428 karma

This is why we have the encyclopedia timeline feature. It has cutscenes that summarise the big events that have happened in the past games as well as in the books by Helge Kautz. We intend to put some energy into making these more widely available in the future as I think many players have not seen most of them.

Tomonor6 karma

Hi Bernd, thanks for doing this ama. Guess we really needed official feedback by now.

I will try not to overwhelm you with questions, but I do have some questions that might tackle the core of the game's design by itself.

1.What can we expect with the post 3.0 patches and the 2nd DLC?

  1. With advent of the second DLC release, is there a possibility that you guys break habit and work on a third, possibly Boron related DLC?

  2. Will you improve the Player HQ functionality? For instance, Research shouldn't be so easy and light on functionality, the HQ model should be "completable" (instead of its permanent chunky unfinished appearance), and should be considered a threat for some factions maybe?

  3. The current universe is kind of boring visual-wise. I'm aware that the Split DLC will bring at least one cool looking system with the Blackhole consuming the sun thing (Blackhole Sun - what a missed opportunity there!), but could we also get a revamp on the original vanilla cluster/sector visuals?

  4. Also visual-wise, I know we are getting some revamps on the effects, but how shiny are we speaking of? Is it X-Rebirth level shiny, or "just shinier"?

v3.0/Split Vendetta related questions:

  1. How are you going to revamp the Mission system?

  2. Can we only expect Split ships/assets, or are we getting some Argon/Paranid/Teladi ships too? It would be nice to fill the gap of the missing ship classes on the racial side (eg Argon/Teladi Corvette)?

  3. How are you going to handle the aforementioned story plot missions (regarding the dynamic nature and uncertain outcomes of the game)?

Gameplay related gameplay questions:

  1. Are you ever going to finish up the ingame Encyclopedia, and if not planned, is there a possibility for us players to help to fill it?

  2. Are there plans for addressing the map's awkward post-deep space exploration state (stays super out-zoomed)?

  3. s there a possibility of rethinking the Encounters/Deep space exploration mechanism?

  4. Are you going to reconsider adding Jumpdrive back?

  5. Can we expect more end-game content? (eg, dynamic race relations, factions responding more aggressively to player actions, full-scale galactic war(s), new threats [could even be a new faction or a more advanced Xenon branch])?

  6. Are you going to improve the Kha'ak any time?

  7. Can we expect NPC Training Centers/Seminar functionality added or utilized?

  8. Also, can we expect hireable NPCs with randomized skill-sets?

  9. Are you going to touch-up on the balance of ships/turrets?

  10. Can we get racial weapons added (missing moun charger, mass-driver, +even more)?

  11. Could you somehow make NPCs more lively? I'm not talking about anything drastic, but right now they reek of lifelessness regarding how bland they are.

Abstract questions:

  1. Is it in the possibility to alter the game's code in such way to add the proposed Reactors back into the ships properties (that weapons, shield recharge, and boosters/travel drives could utilize)?

  2. Can we get back the fun looking Superhighway mazes/paths from X-Rebirth (doesn't have to be that overdramatic, just not as boring as the straight lines we have currently - at least something interplanetary from planet to moon)?

  3. Is it ever going to be possible to alter/build/destroy regular Highways?

  4. Is it possible to introduce such landing pads into the game that doesn't have the "lift" functionality, thus could be approached from more directions by NPC ships, other than above? I'm thinking of something like the already implemented quick-launch bays, but with more functionalities/details.

  5. Are you ever going to introduce Corporations to the game (as individual, goal-oriented factions)?

  6. Can you add S-class, possibly manable turrets for small ships?

  7. Can we expect more "rooms" to explore, especially on cap ships? For instance, engineering bay, lounge, private quarters, tactical holodecks, that sort of thing.

In case you will answer any of these, thanks a lot! We love your game and we really wish to see it live up to its full potential.

zav4214 karma

phew.. this is huge, but I saw a few of these already prior on the egosoft forum and prepared a few answers ;)

  • With advent of the second DLC release, is there a possibility that they break habit and work on a third, possibly Boron related DLC?

We really do not know yet. I have said it before: If we add the Boron, then we want to do it right and that means it is not going to be easy. Character animations (totally different physiology), environments (under water) and also quite unique ships all mean a lot of new experiments. So no promises right now.

  • Can we get a revamp on the character designs?

We are constantly improving characters. Our character design expert Damiaan is currently working on a completely new setup to produce a wider and better looking set of characters and also improve animations. All of this is a constantly happening and will continue also after 3.0.

  • Will you improve the Player HQ functionality? For instance, Research shouldn't be so easy and light on functionality, the HQ model should be "completable" (instead of its permanent chunky unfinished appearance), and should be considered a threat for some factions maybe?

Yes absolutely. The new 3.0 plot also includes a lot of improvements around research and the HQ in general. Your criticism about the HQ design however is something else, the idea with the HQ is that it is a cool and unique relict station with special features that make it very valuable for the player. How you then design it and build on it however is intentionally left to the player.

  • The current universe is kind of boring visual-vise. I'm aware that the Split DLC will bring at least one cool looking system with the Blackhole consuming the sun thing (Blackhole Sun - what a missed opportunity there!), but could we also get a revamp on the original vanilla cluster/sector visuals?

Again: I hope the Split Expansion video shows you already where we are going. Yes there will also be new systems in the base game and indirectly we also always improve these. However we have no plan to do a complete redesign of the environments of the existing base game as that would not be possible in a savegame compatible expansion.

  • How are you going to revamp the Mission system?

I had posted this answer before: Many things going on at once: We are adding new generic missions and improve on those that are there with more text and better balanced gameplay. We improve the mission guidance system by having better UI elements that show you what to do and better objective display (not just in the corner). This is actually a big task which again might continue beyond just 3.0 We also have plans for a new “mail” system which will be used in addition to the logbook and briefings to help you better organise what is going on doing missions (again possibly beyond 3.0) We will add new sources for generic missions on and around stations. Especially the NPCs on stations will often offer missions when you talk to them. And most importantly we add longer stories with more depth. Special characters, special activities etc.

  • How are you going to handle the aforementioned story plot missions (regarding the dynamic nature and uncertain outcomes of the game)?

It really works like a puzzle. There are individual chains that sometimes have connections to each other (e.g using the same character / location / scenario). You as a player may not always be able to play all missions, and they are not all in a fixed linear order though.

  • Are you ever going to finish up the ingame Encyclopedia, and if not planned, is there a possibility for us players to help to fill it?

Again this is an area that is constantly being improved. We are adding a lot more content already.

We have made bad experiences with opening up game content too much for the community in the past but more than willing to try: Any fans who feel they are competent authors can contact us

  • Are there plans for addressing the map's awkward post-deep space exploration state (stays super out-zoomed)?

The fact that the map zooms dynamically and per system is definitely not going to change. There was a bug in a previous version where some ships strayed off way too far away from systems and thereby making the map zoom out too much. Unfortunately it is hard for us to tell retroactively where this might have been caused by bug and where it was intentional exploration.

  • Is there a possibility of rethinking the Encounters/Deep space exploration mechanism?

We are improving it by adding more variety and integrating it better but I still believe that this mechanism in general is good.

  • Are you going to reconsider adding Jumpdrive back?

No. Jumpdrive does not fit with the rest of the game mechanics. It would be easy to add of course, but it makes all strategy obsolete. The idea is that in late games scenarios, while the player can move around inside his fleet almost completely free (thanks to teleportation), the ships can not suddenly move “behind obstacles”.

  • Can we expect more end-game content? (eg, dynamic race relations, factions responding more aggressively to player actions, full-scale galactic war(s), new threats [could even be a new faction or a more advanced Xenon branch])?

More end game content: YES, very much so. This is our main focus for 3.0 and beyond.

Dynamic race relations: Again YES this is what we want to build up on a lot more. X4 is a great foundation in this regard. I believe dynamic faction relations have a lot of potential and are also our best way to allow the universe to be modified into the direction each player prefers (more war? more peace? etc.)

  • Are you going to improve the Kha'ak any time?

We have just worked on the Khaak balancing very recently (as part of 3.0 internally). This is not yet anything new (as in new ships or other assets), but we wanted to make them more true to the original Khaak from X2.

  • Can we expect NPC Training Centers/Seminar functionality added or utilized?

Version 3.0 will bring a rebalance of NPC learning as well as a method of applying seminars to individual NPCs. No plan for training centres like in X3. The idea is that the masses gain their XP through actions (as they do already just in some cases quicker), while the best ones are manually taught even further. Of course the star scale is exponetial, so gaining full 5 stars is still very very hard.

  • Also, can we expect hireable NPCs with randomized skill-sets? They are already, just on a lower level.

Again the scale is not linear. The masses of NPCs are in the zero to two star area and this is of course intentional. We want to make the really well trained captain or manager really valuable

  • Are you going to touch-up on the balance of ships/turrets?

We are always working on all balancing a little but there are no plans for a major rebalancing at this point.

Falcrack5 karma

For 3.0, are there plans to let us give movement and other commands in full 3D space (i.e. manipulate position along the x, y, and z axes)?

zav4212 karma

yes. Not necessarily in 3.0 but soon after for sure

UFeindschiff5 karma

I have a few questions:

  • Are there plans to focus the game back on a space sim and less of an empire management game? X4 went one great leap ahead with the seamless landings, walking around on ships, etc, yet 2 steps back with the lackluster combat in X4 as well as the strange progression curve. While in X3 you slowly built up, in X4 you go from your starting ship to at least an M-sized ship in 5 minutes, effectively skipping many ships.

  • Are there any plans to do anything else with the old X3 engine or is that one just dead?

  • If the awnser to the previous question is no, are there plans to open-source the old X3 engine (just the engine, not the assets, just like e.g. Doom did)?

zav423 karma

1) X game development is a constant balancing act between mutltiple things. It is not one game or genre and never was, but instead a hybrid between many. That is also the reason why it attracts a lot of different audience with different wishes. So no I would definitely not say that X4 ever moved away from being a true space sim, but yes it added new aspects. You criticise the progression curve and that is something we are always trying to fine tune. Currently I would agree that the first few days could be slower but I also do not want to go to extremes here as we also are adding more content and have a lot moree things to do later on in the game. Again: It is always about finding a compromise that works for as wide a variety of players as possible.

2) not impossible

apoptosist5 karma

Could/will 3.0 have more interactions with NPCs, such as asking them "Hear any rumors?" with responses about whatever commodity is needed the most, war updates, and/or data vault locations?

zav427 karma

One thing we are adding (not in 3.0 beta but soon after) is missions offered through NPC comms. This is not the kind of free talk that you are suggesting, because that would be a nightmare to localise and add voices for, but it is a great and intuitive source for new missions

vincanis5 karma

X4 to me feels like a solid shell of a game without a lot of content to it, especially compared to X3. I've found myself bored with X4 after far less time than prior games. Can you think of something I'm missing that would make X4 feel more complete and engaging?

zav4210 karma

Hard to answer without knowing what exactly you did already, but let me ask:

Exploration: How many of the timeline cutscenes did you unlock already?

Trading: Did you try your own goals, like completely eliminating an NPC faction or drving them out of business?

But again... most importantly: Yes X4 is a platform to a degree and we are NOW working on adding more content to it. So please stay tuned!

fiby_uk5 karma

Hi

Any plans to improve carrier battles, logistics and defence? There have been some notable content creation from the previous X3 games that would be a welcome addition to X4.

zav427 karma

We are improving fleet control a whole lot, but taking from X3 is not possible. X3 works completely differently and is much simpler in many ways. Unfortunately we can not simply take solutions from X3 and bring them to X4, but again: This is being worked on.

Alith-Ahnar5 karma

The X4 1st anniversary is up soon and no actual content has been added to the game.
So what are your plans to add new content are there any additional DLC planned beyond the two that have been promised as part of the collectors edition and what is the overall future for X4 in general?

zav4211 karma

The main reason the 1st expansion is delayed is that we want to get a lot of gameplay features right BEFORE it comes out. So this is really mainly 3.0 work (part of the free update). A lot of the content for X4SV is already quite far but we want to make it more "round".

We do not yet know about what is going to happen after the second expansion.

Falcrack5 karma

Can you tell us what changes are planned regarding sector ownership for 3.0?

Outliver4 karma

and will we be able to select other factions to be able to build stations in our sectors?

zav424 karma

Well the plan is to unlock a few features that depend on sector ownership (such filters would fit great there) this possibly includes specific behaviours. But this is not yet decided finally and may change

Kliosan4 karma

  1. How much will the story be expanded in version 3.0?;

  2. Will there be global storylines in the game, requiring billions in the account (somthing like rebuilding Xenon HUB)?;

  3. Will a FOV-slider be added to the settings?;

  4. Will new types of missions be added to the game?;

  5. Will it be possible to build or rebuild something realy HUGE? :)

zav423 karma

1 + 2) See my answer about mission improvements in another posting in this thread... In short: A lot. Story and mission content is our main focus right now.

3) Not so easy without breaking part of the UI, but we consider it.

4) Yes

5) Well we improve the HQ plot. This includes the ability to build something huge, but thats not really the main point of it.

apoptosist4 karma

Will we ever get an auto-eject/teleport feature so we can take more personal risks in battles without having to break immersion with slow reloading?

zav427 karma

there is a chance

Falcrack4 karma

What are your thoughts on recurring taxes (ie property tax, sales tax, income tax), regular crew and workforce wages, ship maintenance, and other ongoing expenses in X4? Any plans to introduce any of these in the future?

zav427 karma

Phew... Not at the moment. Such features would potentially make sense in the context of very late gameplay. So they would have to be unlocked. This is important because we also always have to be careful not to overcomplicate the game at the start.

Belisarius74874 karma

X3TC added a lot of side plots with plenty of rewards. So as a story gamer I'm highly interested in more story content. Is it or will it be possible to play more plots in the future of X4?

zav423 karma

Y E S in capital letters. See my other posting about mission content development ... let me quote it:

Many things going on at once

  • We are adding new generic missions and improve on those that are there with more text and better balanced gameplay.
  • We improve the mission guidance system by having better UI elements that show you what to do and better objective display (not just in the corner). This is actually a big task which again might continue beyond just 3.0

  • We also have plans for a new “mail” system which will be used in addition to the logbook and briefings to help you better organise what is going on doing missions (again possibly beyond 3.0)

  • We will add new sources for generic missions on and around stations. Especially the NPCs on stations will often offer missions when you talk to them.

  • And most importantly we add longer stories with more depth. Special characters, special activities etc.

Yamr34 karma

Hello,

1) Is the AI being worked on for them to defend their sectors better? in 2.5, the HOP military was not even engaging, or defending, the XEN that were wrecking destruction on their sector. I do not have the capacity to take on the XEN from 2 fronts as they are now pushing hard in Hatikvah's Choice I.

2) Why are XEN ships so much more powerful than my ships? For example, 1 XEN K vs. my 3 ARG destroyers and 1 ARG carrier, if I don't intervene myself, the XEN has the capability to blow up one of my destroyers. Is this normal? Just feels like my things melt compared to theirs. I buy all my ships with the default High Preset.

3) What type of station(s) do you recommend building first? I never bothered with building an empire in X3 because I was just the rogue mobile Armada with multiple fleets of 60+ ships per. I'd like to try taking over the 3 Silent Witness sectors to the North this time around.

Thank you for releasing X4. I put in a good 3000 hours into X3 and am approaching 600 or 800 now in X4. I may not be the best but it's definitely the experience I want from a Space Sim. P.S. Fantastic work on the ARG ship design. I love it.

zav426 karma

1) This was part of the focus of 2.60. Pleas retest and if you find problems please contact me ([email protected])

2) As I explained elesewhere in this thread we are always looking into balancing improvements. So if you have a particular example that you find to be problematic, again feel free to email me about it. In general of course the Xenon are definitely intended to be a huge thread and must be capable of winning against large faction fleets sometimes

3) I do not have a single suggestion and it really depends on where you are and what your goals are.

Thanks!

Nathuz3 karma

Hi Bernd, will the message system of X4 get an update in the future? Right now (atleast in the german version) many messages are cut off due to there length.

zav426 karma

We are currently experimenting with a new "mail" system. This is to improve mainly mission instructions. It is more asynchronous and would allow the player to read things when he wants to.

Falcrack3 karma

Could we get more movable commands, like we can move “fly to” waypoints currently, for such things as placing deployables, attack targets in range, explore, collect deployables, etc., which currently cannot be moved after placing the order?

zav424 karma

We will be looking into improving the map, and giving commands. This is a permanent focus, so part of it happens in 3.0 part after. Not sure what I can promise for when though

Str_3 karma

As a developer why haven't you really branched into other genres? It's interesting to me you haven't.

Used to play the X games quite a bit btw, very fun.

zav426 karma

I personally feel very happy to work on this genre / game series until I drop dead, because I really enjoy it (most of the time). It is not limiting at all because the X series is so hugely "wide" in that it kind of includes many other games. Part of the reason why I feel that way may also be because as a small indie developer I was already working in this industry for almost 10 years before X came out and was a success. So I had this experience of making many different games already and see the benefit of having this really cool platform now.

apoptosist3 karma

Thanks so much for doing this! Could you please provide more details about the "things [that] have emerged that we really want to see implemented"?

zav424 karma

You are asking about features where we have changed our internal priorities after listening to feedback from the community?

This happens all the time. An example is the current focus for more long term content. Things the player can do after he has achived almost all the other goals, is super rich and has enough resources. With X4 we see incredibly high average playtime numbers, so these guys want special things they can do even after many 100s of hours of playing. This is currently a focus for 3.0 and also beyond

PrivacyPolicy20163 karma

Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking have made on your organization or you personally?

zav426 karma

Probably not as much as to newer studios, but certainly a lot. We were there before Facebook and the others emerged, so we have our own community (actually inherited the forum from THQ). This I consider still our "core" community and Reddit here is very similar to that, while facebook (as an example) feels quite different. Each has their own advantage and slightly different audience of course

apoptosist3 karma

Might you consider crowdfunding (and/or other sources of funding, beyond DLCs) so you can hire more people and add or improve more features?

zav425 karma

We have discussed it but decided against it so far. One reason is the added overhead of managing such a community. Players who invest a lot of money rightly expect getting a lot of attention and feedback, this in return requires manpower. So its a bit complicated, but still something we may consider for the future

apoptosist3 karma

Will there be any actual missions like what was shown in the Gamescom Demo, where we can work as a fighter pilot onboard an allied (but not owned) carrier/host ship?

Example: Get war combat/patrol missions from onboard allied carrier, approximating a Wing Commander-type experience. Imagine launching for a recon mission, scanning an enemy ship or station or placing a satellite, landing, and then launching for a combat mission, etc.

zav424 karma

See my answer about mission improvements.

Also: The demo we showed will of course be released together with 3.0 (and more demos like it)

apoptosist3 karma

Will we get to see more of the fantastic sectors and ships from X Rebirth in X4 vanilla? You did such amazing work on those assets, and I think people need to experience them in X4.

zav426 karma

No, we do not want to simply "back-port" X Rebirth assets into X4. Sometimes there may be exceptions, but generally this is not a good idea.

There are multiple reasons, including performance and GPU memory consumption. So while it may work well (for some) in a MOD, it is not a great idea for the majority.

But we are making even better and cooler new systems in the expansions (and also free for the updates). So stay tuned