X4: Foundations - announcement questions and answers
With the official release date out for X4: Foundations, it’s the perfect time to check out the info on all the questions Egosoft has already answered about the game and get your expectations straight!
Have in mind, a lot of these questions are related to the initial reveal from 2017, and some answers are still unknown due to either them not telling, or simply because the feature is still in development.
- Can you land on planets?
- Can I land my S ship on an M ship while the M ship is landed on a station? Or dock fighters/cargo shuttles on a carrier docked at a pier?
Quite honestly, I'm not sure. In principle it could work, but I have a feeling that a docked ship probably won't be picked up as a valid docking location.
- Will there be crafting?
We're not planning to remove the crafting feature but I'm not sure exactly what it will be used for.
- How much technology we will have? I'm hoping it is not going to limited to hand full of tech?
Really not sure how to answer that.
- Will we be able to pilot Skunk again?
There are good reasons why this wouldn't make sense, but who knows?
- Will there be predesignated station spots or can we build wherever we want?
You can build where you like, within reason.
- How will the universe respond to the player once the player reaches late game power levels? In X3, the AI just had no concept of how to handle the player at those stages, and there was basically no content for it.
We will certainly have the means to have factions respond to player actions, but exactly what form that response will take is still being worked on.
- Did you get rid of the conversation mini-game? Replace it? Is it still required for anything?
That's a topic we will be making some decisions about soon.
- What about hacking?
- Repairing of things in general was unpleasant in XR, will we finally not have to dock every 3 minutes to talk to some dumb engineer who will fix up the ship since the guy on board refused to do anything more than repair weapons and junk? Will stations finally not require 80 submenus and manual hunting for damaged modules that take half a year to restore, while expansion of the station has to sit and wait in a dark lonely corner?
We'll try and make things a little more pleasant for you; maybe a receptionist to offer you coffee and engage you in small talk while you wait.
- I like the idea of having a co-pilot for all ships ... will we be able to hire & fire crew, see their skills etc?.
This was covered in the XCon presentation and you can hire other crew for your ships.
- Can we play X4 completely as RTS?
You might be able to, but it would be a pity if you did as you'd be missing out on a lot of the best bits.
- There will be possibility to capture/buy/colonize zones/sectors/systems?
Gameplay in this area isn't complete, but the concept of sectors changing ownership does exist in the game so it's not out of the question.
- Will the missions/AI be made smarter about what they are trying to achieve or scripted in a way that the missions aren’t just about watching the fireworks?
We are always working to improve missions and flight AI, but it is more difficult than a lot of people think to make such things seem "intelligent" in a game where the player can do almost anything.
- Is ship piracy / capture / cargo theft in X4? Does ship capture include all larger / capital ships?
We're still working on the details of this feature.
- Will jump drives be as powerful as in X-Rebirth (jump anywhere in universe), or will become limited to within system (you have to pass gate) like X-Rebirth NPC? I'd prefer same as NPC and "the teleporter" for late game.
No. I'll leave it up to you to decide how to interpret that!
- Will there be more options for Pirate players? E.g Pirate shipyards a pirate stations where we can sell your loot? In X-Rebirth pirate gameplay was almost impossible.
- Multiple seats are on bridges it also be nice that u can manage your ship the different stations like say on a star trek ship.
We have added the ability to fly capital ships due to popular feedback, and now you are demanding that we make it a full bridge simulation! As I said before, this is unlikely, at least for this iteration.
- Can a player influence relation between 2 different races/factions, and even cause war between them?
I'm fairly sure that, even if we don't add an explicit means to do this, players will find a way to make it happen (and I'm not talking about mods).
- Just to dream a little... I heard about more dynamic inter faction relations; do you plan to have treaties and negotiations? (open/close markets, prices, tech exchange, war/peace, etc)
I don't think we're planning diplomatic gameplay at the moment, but never say never.
- In the presentation the question was asked if players could create their own character and the answer was no. However, will players be able to play a "free game" again and start with "nothing"?
Exact game starts are still to be decided, but I don't see any particular reason why a really basic start wouldn't be one of the options.
- Will can we mining/recycled the debris of stations and ships destroyed?
This has been a long-standing wish list item for us, but it's not there yet.
- Will generic missions be only activated from stations like in older titles or will there be some random missions? like randomly finding and saving crew from burning ship or helping them fix it (for a price) ...
Missions can appear elsewhere, but whether they will or not remains to be seen.
- Will exploring get overhaul compared to XR and what can we expect (will there be more interesting thing to fid)?
Exploring the universe will be more important in X4. Whether you consider the things you find to be more interesting is always going to be a matter of opinion!
- Will marines have secondary jobs like repair armour hull on a ship while in flight?
Having marines repair the ship doesn't really make sense, but there will hopefully be more scope for reassigning people from one role to another.
- Carrier ships with large internal docking bays, will we be able to walk around and see all the docked ships? I assume with the new seamless model, it'll not be like X3 Carriers at all.
You can walk around on docking bays on large ships, yes, but you won't necessarily see all the docked ships, because (as explained in a previous reply) some of them may have been moved to internal storage to free up docking space.
- And another... Cargo Collection. Ordering other ships to collect cargo the current player ships cannot. I hope we can give a general "Collect Cargo" order and not have to tag everything individually...that got old very quickly lol.
I'm not sure exactly what commands will be available, but clearly with the player able to fly ships capable of collecting cargo, the gameplay possibilities are going to be different in this area anyway.
- Are we forced to walk on stations or can we control all aspects from cockpit?
Platform gameplay has been reduced in comparison to X Rebirth. However, there are new interaction possibilities on platforms, and walking will always have a real purpose, for example as part of missions.
- Will the fact we have a co-pilot mean that if we eject, the ship can continue to fight whilst I run away?
Once you leave a ship, your co-pilot will take the pilot seat and continue flying the ship.
- Will SETA be a part of X4?
Yes, SETA will be part of the game.
- Do you have to pay the crews?
You have to pay a hiring fee once, but don't have to pay them a daily salary.
- Are capital ships modular?
Not to the same extent as stations. However, there are numerous upgrades you can adjust and change (weapons, engines, turrets etc.). These will also be visually different.
- What mission types do you currently have planned?
There should be more happening in the universe which can than trigger missions based on those events. There will still be generic missions which may 'fabricate' the scenario as it was in previous games, but we do of course want these to have as little fakery as possible.
- Will there be a campaign in X4?
There will be different game starts with different personalities and different little storylines for each of them. Additionally, there will be a central plot everyone can play.
- Will there be cutscenes with our character and/or ship in it? Will cutscenes be prerendered or in game?
I think this was addressed in the presentation, whether the player has a visible avatar. Currently, no. As for cutscenes, I think we'll be aiming for in-game cutscenes. We have a cutscene system we can build on which in the long run gives up more bang-for-the-buck.
- Will the (dynamic) state or relationship of the factions tie to the random missions selection? For example, if faction A is getting very powerful, factions B and C might start offering more missions to steal cargo from A, or build competing stations near A's sectors. Things like that.
Those are the kinds of things we are aiming for, but I can't promise exactly what form the results will take.
- Is the end goal for the dynamic factions to create an always changing universe, or will they work towards an equilibrium that (without the player messing with things) will eventually settle into a fixed state?
The aim is for things to keep changing but remain in overall balance, i.e. we don't want one NPC faction wiping out another NPC faction just by chance.
- Are there any recycling functionalities going to be added or planned for X4?
This has long been on our wish list, but it's not made it to the top so far.
- Is there any chance to tell the main plot using some nice sequences, walking and speaking with VIP, instead of ship screen talking only?
Plot presentation is far from complete, but since you can play most elements of it from different game starts and as different characters, it seems unlikely that we'd do this.
- How will difficulty settings be handled in X4?
This is still something we're discussing, but it will probably be different to XR.
- If decision making happens on AI level between managers for trade and build, what handlers make the decision about defending and possibly forging wars? If factions are represented by interacting AI handlers, what handler is then the faction head? A faction head would be interesting to represent as "living" and "killable" with personal characteristics and interaction.
I don't really understand your questions. There is faction-level AI that is separate from the individual station-manager-level AI.
- The player will have ability to research new technologies. Will the player will do it in specialized research modules as part of sandbox gameplay, or is it scripted part of story line (chain of missions where you acquire tech)?
Research is currently fairly limited in scope, so not really a "sandbox" feature in itself.
- Why did you bring back SETA?
Most gameplay features that address the fact that some people want a way to speed up certain things in the game focus on travel. Only SETA addresses the fact that there are some players want to speed up things other than travel, usually production or building. As a single-player game, it is up to each individual player whether they consider doing this to be "cheating", and since the feature already exists and works the "make it optional" mantra actually does apply for once.
- Will pilot levels be making a return from X3 and will they effect combat/trading or will they be fixed per XR?
Like other NPCs, pilots will have skills. Exactly what effect these skills will have remains to be finalised.
- Will there be training schools for your employees (pilots/engineers/marines/etc) to raise their level/ratings (similar to how you could train marines in X3)?
There should be ways to develop the skills of your employees, but exactly what they will be is not something we're ready to talk about.
- What components can be replaced? Engines confirmed, but what about shields, energy generator, capacitors?
Engines, weapons and shield generators are the main ones, but there will also be some others. We don't have "energy generators" or "capacitors" so those aren't among them.
- Will the plot or other factions response to the player property?
I'm sure some elements of the game will respond to player property, but exactly how and to what I can't say at this stage.
- Regards NPCs, there will be important characters like for example Nopileus, or Bala GI around?
I doubt they will appear in person, not least as many of them must be long dead by the time X4 is set!
- Since the AI will be much more intelligent, it may be very difficult for players to earn money and survive. Will there be a modifiable "difficulty level" to choose AI performance corresponding to each player capabilities? Will it be set for each start, for each game, or modifiable during game?
As mentioned in a previous reply, difficulty levels are something we've not yet decided upon.
- Are there going to be improvements on accidental fire on NPC stations? In X3, this was an issue; because the NPC can shoot your station / ship and you can't say or do anything. While, if you accidentally shoot their ship / station, you get warned 3 times before it turns hostile.
Accidental fire is tricky to balance. It's hard to tell the difference between someone deliberately attacking you and someone hitting you by accident while attacking something else. It's even harder to tell when someone is exploiting whatever line you draw between these two, to try and get away with attaching without being attacked back. Some simple rule like a number of hits is often the only sensible solution.
- Will [a difficulty setting] be metered or influenced by available resources set in each factions starting zone and will it be finite or replenishable by mining choices (factory or mobile)?
That's too detailed a question for me to be able to answer at this stage.
- Will players be able to create their own stories for others to download and play?
Modding will be supported. And with the dedicated scripting engine, people will be able to create their own stories.
- Will crafting be a part of the game?
Yes, crafting will be included in X4 and will even be extended.
- Will the Khaak return?
We will see.
- Will the Boron return?
The Boron will most-likely not be part of X4 at release.
- So is there Research and Development aspects in the game or is it just scanning stations and making teleporters?
Research is part of the game, with teleportation being one of the features you can research.
- Will there be First person combat aboard ships or stations?
No, there won't.
- Can your pilot be killed while you walk around?
- How will the management of stations work?
You will have to hire a manager for your station and can then adjust the management level, i.e. decide how many decisions you want your manager to do on his own.
- Will there be a stock market in X4, like their was in X3:AP?
No, this is an example of the kind of thing Bernd was referring to when he talked about the X3 series having become over-burdened with features.
- Will NPC interaction be completely optional or is it required to access certain features?
Docking to talk to an NPC will be optional for most things, but there may be some specific activities that require it.
- How do you acquire workforce in sectors where’s nothing there (no stations, no planets etc.)?
Well, if there is nothing there, then it will be harder to get workforce. That is the idea and sometimes that will be a limit. But it can be and it will, of course, have to come with advantages in other areas. So, where we make it hard to operate a station, usually there must be a benefit on the other side. But of course, it should always be possible to get workforce one way or the other. Whereby it can be a big difference in how fast you will get it.
- Is there an upgrade to do like a pulse scan of an entire station, or at least big chunks of it?
You won't need to do that.
- Is there still the need to scan the entire station?
No, there isn't and the whole the scan gameplay has changed. It's not 100% decided yet, but we do not have this whole gameplay with flying from info point to info point to collect information for a station. There is still information collection and you will have to fly or you have an opportunity to fly over the surface of a station sometimes, but it is not necessary to do that all the time. It's a special thing usually done in missions only and it works differently, but more on that later.
- Do Solar Panels/modules align to the sun?
Planned, but not yet implemented.
- Will there still be mass traffic trading (a really nice feature in my opinion, but i've never been able to recognize it very well)?
We do use the mass traffic system, so there are mass traffic ships. We use the system also for transportation of wares between capital ships and stations for example, which are located in the same logical zone in the game.
- Are there 'special' stations for the player to obtain/construct which don't follow that modular approach?
There is a chance for that, cautious yes.
- Is there anything unique that you can build as a player?
Yes of course. The best example is, of course, the player headquarters (HQ) which is a unique and special thing you build. Not really from the ground up, but in a very special situation as part of the plot. But there are others, a lot of those modules which you saw today. They are not immediately available to you. If you play the game you will have to find them first and make them available. At the beginning of the game, you will be limited to a small subset of modules. Then more and more become available and many of the more advanced and unique ones will have to be unlocked through missions or through special things in the game.
- Can you buy complete stations from other factions?
- Will players be able to build shipyards part?
- Will the main part be the only part which will act as a dock, or will there be a part to act as a dock extension?
You can add multiple docks - there is no "main" part.
- How can the station repair itself if all the docks are destroyed and there isn't enough resources to repair one dock?
Don't need to dock to repair.
- Can you destroy enemy stations modules-by-module?
- What happens if a station is "cut in two" by a module being destroyed?
There will be a wreck keeping it together / station will not break apart, just the module is then destroyed. The rest will survive.
- If a wreck keeps the station together, what determines the complete destruction of a station? Destruction of the CV? Or of all modules plus the CV?
Destruction of all modules.
- What happens to the player if the dock module is destroyed while the player is on it?
- Can docks also be used as a garage for ship collectors?
Yes, if you have your own dock, you can also use it as a garage.
- Can the player only teleport to ships or can you also teleport to stations?
Yes, the player can also teleport to stations, even to NPC stations. The limitation is the range, which has to be extended. That is a big part of the plot of the game via research in the player headquarters. But once you have stations in range, then you can teleport to them.
- Will be there be any way to fast forward time?
Yes, SETA (Singularity Engine Time Accelerator) is in the game.
- Is there a SETA minus or slow-mo to assign commands during combat?
Not currently - interesting idea.
- Will we be able to walk around on the inside of our station?
Only in certain places, like docks.
- Can we land manually?
No landing gear but you can land manually until the last moment.
- Can I dock with autopilot or do i have to leave my ship's chair and wait for the pilot to come back?
Autopilot can dock.
- If I walk through my carrier can i see all the docked ships in the hangar?
Not all, only those on the platform. You will not see ships which are in "internal" storage.
- How dynamic are the factions? Can we expect AI Factions to react to player actions or even other factions? like wars etc?
Factions have their own AI. They will fight each other. Wars are possible, but we don't want all-out chaos.
- Will the ability of taking over sectors be in the game or not?
It looks likely I think. But I wouldn't want to promise something that isn't in yet. The hostile plot placement is already a big step in this direction. Basically, you are attacking a sector that way and you are attacking the faction as soon as you get detected by them. In a way this is a sector takeover already. We do not currently have the mechanisms to declare a sector your own (for the player). NPCs do that already. That's an important thing, but I think it's possible that we make that last step, as well. But I don't want to promise anything that is not in yet.
- Do the new planets have any function (besides from looking pretty)? Do planets have an impact on the workforce?
The planets themselves are not directly influencing the workforce. But we are using the system of workforce, so if we have a system which is predominantly populated by Paranids, then the workforce that is going to be on stations will be typically Paranids, too, because they are living there. Of course, also the stations will have habitation modules. You can even build some for multiple races and depending on what the living quarters are for people that's the people working on that station.
- Was it just said that that the stations are all generated?
All generated stations.
- So, every play-through stations get generated?
Yes, every game start the station will look different.
- Is there any logic behind the layout of the NPC-designed stations or is it completely random?
There is an underlying logic, but it is fairly flexible.
- To wonder whether we'll be able to build our own [highways]. Even if we just get the option to 'place end point' and then the game builds a branch to it.
We have no current plans to allow the player to build highways.
- Is it planned to edit the visual presentation of the high-ways, looks more like SciFi instead of magic. In games like freelancers, a similar system with a ring construction exists at regular distance to guide the motorway. In the rebirth you have only the in- and outpoints with a construction. The rest floats freely without any explanation in the room.
The highway appearance has been worked on. Whether you think they look more realistic is something you'll have to judge for yourself.
- If it is possible to add a second lane that goes in the other direction. In addition to a visible construction like the freelancer, it would be great if I could change the direction at any moment, if necessary as in real life highways.
No, there were good reasons for making any given highway one-way. Where we need bidirectional traffic, we can just place two next to one another.
- Will there be super highways (interplanetary travel)? I noticed that there is only regular highways and gates.
I'm not going to reveal all the secrets of the new universe. but someone else has let the cat out of the bag here
- I assume story of X4 is after XR do to gate connections (Argon Prime is not connected to any of its old sectors from X3) will there be any old ships from X3. I'm not talking about name but by actual look?
I think there will be some familiar names.
- How much time has passed since X:R? How long since the gates reactivated?
Too many spoilers!
- There will be an almost empty, unexplored space for player to develop?
- How many planets is there? How big is the map compared to X3?
Comparing the map to X3 doesn't really make sense as the space isn't divided up the same way, and what's in each area is very different too. To a certain extent this is also true when trying to compare XR and X4. I'm not going to answer specifics on numbers as that would be too spoiler-ish.
- Will there be any Terran and or Split ships/faction in X4? Are they copy from X-Rebirth, or expanded in some way?
I can't go into details about what specific factions and ships there are, not least because this is still subject to change.
- Will there be random anomaly in space, like maybe wormholes or black holes?
- I think it was mentioned during XCon that X4 will have systems, sectors and zones again. Does that mean that it will only have a small selection of systems like XR has? Or will it be a lot bigger than that? Speaking of which, will there be more ambient diversity between sectors? In XR many sectors feel like they barely differ from each other.
As mentioned above, the arrangement of space will be a little different. It should feel bigger, and there should also be more variety.
- I notice the ecliptic plane seems back on the map, will we be seeing stations take advantage of space being 3D? IE, not all being placed along a single plane.
There is nothing stopping stations from being placed above or below the ecliptic, and I've no doubt there will be some variation, but experience has shown us that too much wild variation without good reason doesn't achieve much and can be disorientating. That's not to say the map will be entirely "2D", just that the majority of stations are likely to remain reasonably close to the ecliptic.
- Are there any new races?
If you mean "new" to the entire X Universe, then no.
- Will there be any natural disasters? Comets/meteors destroying station or creating crisis on planet or sun flare destroying all wheat on stations (something like that)?
Not currently planned that I'm aware of.
- Will there be treacherous space sectors like meteor showers/thick fog hard to see sectors?
You'll have to explore and find out.
- Will we see older model ships back in X4? (I miss my M1 Galleon)
As seen in one of the presentations, there were some X3 ships making a return. Not all of them will return however, you'll have to wait and see.
- Do you have any plans to add one or more uber capitals like the M0-series from famous X3 mod? If so, can we get our hands on it? Would be nice to have a real gameplay target.
I don't know, and even if I did that's exactly the kind of spoiler I wouldn't be answering!
- Will the universe be a set universe like other X games or is it procedural / randomized?
The map itself is not random or procedural but some of the content within it may be.
- Will the stations modules vary cosmetic and about functionality from each race/faction? So we can for example construct an station combining modules from various races to have the benefits per race /faction in some products/weapons?
Some station modules may have racial variation but not all.
- Will we be able to build in low orbit like Omicron Lyrae in XR? Will there be any systems from XR?
I'm not answering specific map questions.
- I'm curious about the travel system how all that is gonna work?
Travel will be similar to XR, whereby the highways will be mostly in straight lines or single radius curves. Not all zones will have highways and you will be able to boost over longer distances. This is following the steps we did in the Home of Light DLC. Additionally, using a feature called "Teleportation" you will be able to teleport between your ships, to travel much more quickly.
- How does the Story of X4 connect to X Rebirth or X3?
In X4 you play a new story, which is not directly connected to XR or X3. Lore-wise, however, it plays in the same universe. And time-wise after the events in X Rebirth.
- About how many ships are in the game?
Specifics like this are not possible to answer until much closer to release, as they are subject to change.
- With the absence of the jump drive, how do capital ships move between sectors?
Bernd: They fly through gates. They fly through highways and they will also use the accelerators, and they have boost drives, of course.
Owen: One of the reasons why we went with transporters and not having the jump drive was that we want the player to be a bit more tactical with the placement of units across the map. Not having to just say ok I have a fleet of capital ships I can fill them with energy and go anywhere instantly. Well, we also don't want that for the NPCs, because that takes away from the strategic value of things like a gate. You try and stop them making an advance and if they can just jump behind you, then it's very tricky to control. It really does add thinking. Where do I put things, am I missing any areas that they can get in. I'm enjoying looking forward to really trying to figure out how to stop the AI and expand myself and things like that, and see what the NPCs do with each other. (See also this post by CBJ about the reasons behind the removal of the jumpdrive and the introduction of Teleportation.)
- Can we fly from one sector to another one without using a gate since it's all seamless? Maybe not everywhere since some sectors may be several light years apart but others can be around the same planet?
No, that's not possible. There are no borders between zones within a sector. But it definitely is not possible to fly from a cluster to another cluster (from a system to another system; that's like the solar systems). The coordinate ranges of those are completely out of the league. With sectors I think it is practically impossible. It would take a long time, but it's not theoretically impossible. Anyway, I think the relevant part of the gameplay relevant section of that is that you can fly beyond the gates as far as you like, and the map adapts to that. So that it zooms out further and further. What you see as one system on your map can change and the sizes of systems and also the sizes of sectors can be dramatically different from sector to sector or from system to system. So just because it appears equal in size, when you zoom out and see multiple systems, it doesn't mean they are equal in size.
- So, sector maps have fog of war?
- Is the background on-screen taken from a certain X3 sector?
No, all backgrounds are made from scratch.
- How many systems will be in X4 on release? 100+?
We're not giving numbers on things like that.
- How large will the game universe be?
We are not giving size info.
- How does the map react if you fly outside the "displayed" hexagon of a sector, just flying in a straight line?
It will zoom out, so you will always be visible.
- Is there any kind of orbital mechanics? Are sectors in orbit around their planetary body?
No orbital physics.
Economy / Trade / Build
- Will we be able to build self-sufficient stations?
Maybe not entirely self-sufficient but you can certainly "chain" production.
- How will mining work? Are all systems going to have everything they need just like in XR?
Mining is still under development so I'm not sure yet.
- But will we have all the XR resource types? Ores, Gases, Ice, Gems, Silicone ect ect.. I loved mining all the different things, it kept me busy and demand for different mined goods kept changing so I never got bored.
I'm not sure all the same types will be there, but hopefully there will still be enough variety for you.
- Will enemy races (Xenon, Khaak, etc) also have working economies/mining operations/etc? I think that'd greatly improve immersion or even make it possible to stop enemy ship building by destroying their resource stations.
In principle they could, but plans are not finalised so I can't give more details.
- Since the economy is supposed to be better, and the main "drain" at the top tends to be destroyed ships and spent weapons... will there be some sort of war or active hostilities going on?
There will certainly be hostilities.
- Will be production depend of station population? There will be a station population after all?
As things currently stand, the available workforce is one of the things that can have an effect on production.
- In XR, when you have one or two freighters you are pretty much required to explore the complete map already in order to make profits. In X3, you could employ a small fleet of freighters in a profitable way in a relatively small part of the universe without having explored many systems yet. Will X4 be more like X3 or like XR in this regard?
Not sure, but I think things will certainly be different to XR in this regard.
- What are plans to improve station managers and their ability to manage -
choose prices and stock levels, do repairs, buy needed ships? Any way to reserve certain amounts of resources for our own use and sell all excess?
These details are still not finalised.
- Do trade stations / warehouses make a comeback?
With modular stations, it doesn't necessarily make sense to talk about specific station types. However, I believe there will indeed be trade stations.
- Will have it more ressource (mining, workable) than in X-Rebirth? Some that disappear?
Hard to compare, and not yet finalised.
- Will station construction still need a Construction Vessel? And will the construction require resources and time like in XR?
Yes, construction of station modules will require a construction ship, and yes it will take time and resources. The process will be somewhat different to XR though, for various reasons.
- Will planets have any influence over economy/universe. Are they only there just to look good?
At the moment they have no influence.
- Will X4 still have the distinction between "Skunk only" cargo and general cargo? For example, smaller ships and fighters would be limited to "Skunk" cargo as it is in Rebirth, with only larger ships able to more station resources and products? With the "fly any ship" feature of X4, this old approach seems somewhat moot now. Basically, moving back to the X3 way of handling cargo for the most part seems the best fit, with cargo simply being cargo, limited by type and size.
As you say, this is a bit of a moot question. There will still be inventory items and cargo items, but since you can now fly ships that can carry cargo, I foresee more trading taking place with "real" cargo.
- Can you build them wherever you want (X3) or is it limited like in XR?
You can build stations almost freely! You will have to buy/rent building places in the universe, which will be more expensive with increasing size. Thus, should motivate the player to build not exclusively in the centre but also in border regions of systems.
- Is the construction of stations limited in any way?
It's a connection system (similar to Lego) where you can connect station modules almost freely. There are a couple of restrictions (for example with regards to the compatibility of modules from different races) and some requirements with regards to certain module being dependent on each other, but apart from that, you're able to design your own stations.
- What’s the purpose of "modules to live in" in factories? what are those "people" for? And what do they do?
You will need living modules for your employees working on your stations to live in.
- Will we be able to save station layouts, or sections of stations, like a default living space and storage or something we would want to use for future station designs?
You plan and design your station in a graphical editor and save the blueprints to build these stations later.
- How will the management of stations work?
You will have to hire a manager for your station and can then adjust the management level, i.e. decide how many decisions you want your manager to do on his own.
- How will NPCs decide where and what to build and how to expand their empires?
It's a hierarchical, dynamical system, in which different managers of a faction will communicate with each other and decide based on supply and demand, what wares are needed and where to build their next stations.
- Considering that inventory items still exist in X4 and yet having a dynamic system in which wares need an enclosed production cycle, I wonder if X4 will still have dummy wares. I mean by that wares that have no purpose besides aiding the player but no real usage for the economy itself.
There will almost certainly be some wares that are not used in production, at the very least for things like plot missions, but quite likely for other purposes too.
- Will Trading Software MK3 with the Sector/Universe Trader option be making a return (for a steady profit even if not the best profitss)? What about the Explorer Command Software?
The exact software commands from X3 won't be "making a return", but there may be some equivalences.
- Will there be more than one economic sink?
I guess that depends on how you define what constitutes a "different" sink.
- Will small traffic have any uses in economy?
Some may, some will not.
- Will the modules available to players include full shipyard build bays, from S to XL craft? Will there be any limit to the number of modules a given station can have? Will we be able to build new station modules in 3D, or just 2D? (I'm thinking about more vertical designs like the Licensed distillery in Omicron Lyrae in rebirth, for example.
I can't give a list of the exact modules available as it's still subject to change. Yes, but limits are currently more on the space the station takes up rather than the number of modules. Some modules are likely to have connectors on the top and/or bottom.
- The player stations in X4 will be modular and customisable during their initial build, but will it then be possible to add additional modules to a station after that has been completed to extend its capacity, or capabilities? Or would I need to create a new station to do that?
You'll be able to extend your stations, and so will NPC factions.
- Can you build the factory to create new station modules yourself?
Station modules are built on-site.
- So, when I click on Medical Supplies on one station, that station's price is SELL price, and the other stations are the BUY price for them?
There will be various filters on the map to allow you to show different information.
- In x rebirth I have built a station to build rockets. but I can’t transfer the rockets to the player ship. Can I trade this in X4?
Ammunition production and supply will be different in X4, but you’ll have to wait for more information on this.
- How are stations built? Does the station build itself or is there any kind of construction device?
It is the latter. There are construction vessels and they can be hired. You don't have to own them yourself and even NPCs hire them just like the player does. They're like service providers flying through the universe. How exactly the construction will be presented will definitely change a lot [from what we’ve seen in the videos].
- Are there restrictions on where we can build, or will it only be at certain locations like in XR?
Pretty much where you like.
- Do you always have to pay for a lot (building place) or can you also take it by force?
It is actually not even necessary to use force. You always have the choice to place a lot. You can always place a lot in a sector and do so without a license but that is not liked by the races. The game doesn't distinguish between doing this for military outposts or for economic stations. So, in theory you can also go into the middle of the Argon territory and just start building a station. But if you do this without a license, then the Argon will attack you and that will of course lead to you suffering a loss in reputation. So the question is, if or where you want to do that.
- Can you rotate the station on construction view?
You can rotate the camera in every direction, so rotating to a side view is possible.
- Will station construction be in 3D, or will stations be mostly flat?
- Can you rotate parts in all 3 axes?
No, just around the connection node.
- Will it be possible to build multiple modules at the same time or only one module after another?
- Can you snap to an angle, or will everything be 3 degrees off from mouse error on rotating?
Modules snap, so no random offsets. When connecting to an existing node it snaps the orientation. When freely rotating you have the option to limit it to a 15 degree "grid"
- Are there tools to stop docks being blocked by other parts of the station?
That's up to you, depending on how you design your station.
- Can you mix race designs?
- Is there a size limit for Stations?
Yes, but it is rather big at the moment.
- Can stations be designed to produce multiple products?
You can add multiple production modules doing different things.
- Can you connect different stations built at separate times together at a late time?
- Will it be possible to move a constructed station?
No, but you can dismantle and rebuild using the same plan.
- If you dismantle a station module, what, if any, penalties will there be?
- Can we move already constructed modules?
Yes, you can. But that means they will be torn apart and rebuilt again, because the NPCs are not moving the finished part around. They basically deconstruct and reconstruct the part that you moved.
- How expensive is it to rearrange station parts, after they have been built?
The player doesn't really have to pay the full price again, when he does it. When you build a station and you want to change the plan, then usually that means if the modules have already been built that you get to recycle what you currently have. Some of those resources go back towards the next modules you want to build. You can redesign whole trees of the station, if you decide to change it from producing mainly one product to another one. Nothing is stopping you from changing a normal factory into a shipyard eventually, if you put the right modules on it. It's a pretty flexible system, where you are able to plan a whole station without having to wait for each module to finish before you go on to the next stage.
- Can we build military/heavy armed stations?
- Is there resource collection with mining ships and resource collector ships?
Yes, that's a big, big thing of the game that you can harvest resources and send mining ships to asteroids. There are special ships just for that purpose.
- Will X4 have ship designations like M5, M3, TL, TS, M1, M2 back to easily identify different types of ships without having to memorize all ship names?
At the moment we are still using the S/M/L/XL designations. Whether this will change or not remains to be seen.
- UI/Workflow was one of the biggest drawbacks of X3. XR... Took a step back and frankly made it worse. What have you done to improve the situation. Do you have basic RTS controls from the map? Loop selects, context sensitive right clicks (i.e. right click an enemy, attack, right click a friendly, guard, etc)?
With the new map and its context menus I think you'll find the workflow a lot easier.
- The Property Menu shown in the trailer has room for about 6 entries. Why so few? The property menu in X3 has room for 50 entries. It also shows more information about each ship. Why is it smaller?
As far as I know that menu is still WIP.
- Will there be UI scaling in settings?
The way the UI is set up should mean that scaling is less of an issue.
- Will the event communication monitor work like in X rebirth? Because in X rebirth I always mist a lot of events in the monitor when I was in the middle of something.
This is an area we are working on.
- I also asked this in another thread but will we have more detailed and almost always on empire stats? Like current worth, free credits, credits tied to trades and so on. And, proper empire statistics screen?
I'm sure there will be some way to view stats, but I doubt it will be "always on".
- The log. Any planned improvements over XR? For example, last n important events at top left corner? Station specific logs - Was attacked by pirates n minutes ago, took n% damage to module. Sold n energy cells to PMC faction trader at price p n minutes ago. Station profits now exceed its cost (maybe even make this a statistic in the station screen) n minutes ago. Like these examples show. I would hope to get some easier to understand timestamps for events.
There are some ideas in this area, but I'm not sure how far they go in the direction you are suggesting.
- Any planned improvements for the empire management side? Like, a detailed and proper management screen? Property menu just was not enough in XR and it did not feel like the "centre" of my empire.
The map will be the main focus for most activities. What will happen with the property menu is still to be finalised.
- Is there any chance in the future (not necessarily at release) to have possibility to move some information screens (map?) to second external monitor for dual monitor setups?
We don't currently have plans for this, but who knows in the future?
- Is each map hex a sector as in previous X games?
Sometimes it's a system, sometimes a sector. But the scale and system size can and will be different.
- Will the map be constantly updated?
Similar to previous games, there will be the distinction between static and live info. As soon as you discover a zone or part of it, it will be added as statitic information to your map. Live updates (for example what ships there are currently flying through that map) will only be available, when you have an asset (a ship or a station) within a zone and only within the scanner range of that asset.
- Will we be able to select units by drawing a frame in the map overview?
- Will we get context based single click commands?
Example: right-clicking on an enemy orders all selected ships to attack it, without opening the little context menu / giving move orders when clicking in empty space / giving follow order on friendlies / etc.
I doubt it, as there are few cases in which there is only one logical action.
- Will we be able to queue commands easily?
Example: holding shift and giving move commands adds them into a command queue. This queue will be worked through in the order that they were given.
- will it be possible to open multiple menus at the same time? Will there be an alternative to close all menus to regain controls?
Context menus may come up over other menus, but in general most menus are "modal". We would like to make basic ship steering available with a menu open, but it gets tricky in some situations, for example when a menu allows text input. I don't know exactly how far we'll get solving this.
- Will there be front bumper view like in previous X3, when no or almost no parts of ship are visible and a digital hud is displayed on the screen?
The "front bumper" view in X3 was actually the "cockpit" view, but without a cockpit. We don't currently have that in X4 but external camera handling still has some work to be done on it, so that might change.
- Will there be a digital hud on the screen in the 3rd person view if there is an unlocked 3rd view camera?
The HUD can be displayed in external camera views, but I'm not sure exactly which ones will support it.
- Will X4 support Hotas (Saitek Rhino for example)? Can use of a mouse be avoided entirely if so desired?
I can't commit to explicit support for a specific joystick, but in general we are aware that people would like us to provide default profiles for HOTAS setups. You should be able to do most things without a mouse, but I can't promise it will never be needed.
- Will we be able to control ships directly via mouse?
The game is designed with mouse and keyboard being the primary controls in mind.
- How much can you zoom out of the map?
You can zoom completely in and out of the map, so that you can see the whole (known) universe or only a single zone.
- Can you select multiple objects in the new map e.g. a group of ships either to order or attack?
Yes, you will be able to select multiple ships by drawing a box around them using your mouse cursor.
- Can I play in X4 like RTS?
The new powerful map system allows you to manage many tasks over the map directly, which allows for an RTS-like interface.
- will the gravidar work like X3, in revealing everything within range, or will the scanning of elements around stations from X:R be retained?
Revealing basic information won’t require scanning, but there may still be specific activities requiring you to scan info points.
- Will there be more variety on the icons in the sense of X3, or they will be like X Rebirth (mostly all the same)?
Icons will be similar to the icons in x3. At least the ship icons.
- Will there be cockpits customizations?
No. One cockpit per ship.
- Does the UI support 4K scaling? X3 and XR are tiny!
We are trying to do that.
- Is there a property list which you can use to snap to the locations of your ships on the map, or do you need to search for your ships on the map?
There is a "property owned" tab in the map with all of your ships listed. Double-clicking on a ship in the list, snaps the view to that ship.
- Can we have hotkeys on the map?
While we do have a lot of flexibility with mapping keys, there are no hotkeys specifically for the actions on the map. You can do everything with the context menu. At the moment our focus is making everything really fast with the mouse control, because that is what works for everybody and not just for the super experienced players. But I'm pretty sure we can add hotkeys later.
Combat / Flight
- Are there any improvements to AI (navigation & battles)
We constantly try and improve the AI, but it's a never-ending task and people have very high expectations!
- can we set up weapon groups and change the order in which our capital ship gunners engage targets like we could in X3?
There will be weapon groups for primary mounted weapons and commands for turrets, yes.
- Will mines and laser satellites be making a return?
Not sure yet.
- Will there be improvements in the usefulness/survivability of small fighters? In X:R they weren't really worth the money.
Balancing is another never-ending task, and of course we will be looking to improve areas that need it.
- Will there be more tactical weapons? Like, weapons that are really effective against subsystems but useless against hull/shields or EMP missiles that makes it impossible for ships hit by it to target something and shoot missiles.
I can't give details about specific weapons, but you will be able to give your ships different loadouts, and you'll be able to save and re-use loadouts.
- What mechanics are there to capital ship combat to make it more interesting for the player? Is there any subsystem targeting? Energy management? Repair coordination?
I don't think detailed capital ship systems management is something we're aiming for at the moment.
- Fighter wings were a complete PITA to set up, and really not worth the price. Any plans to address this?
- Will there be any sort of formation tool? I'd love to be able to not just assign an escort to a ship, but assign an escort and tell it to fly *here* in relation to the larger ship.
We have the ability to set formations, but I'm not sure that you'll be able to micro-manage them to that extent.
- Will factions take revenge seriously when one of their ships, especially capital ones, are attacked and/or captured?
Up to a point, possibly, but we have to be careful to ensure that every game doesn't turn into all-out war between factions due to escalating retaliation.
- Will the flight assist OFF function from XR return? I can't play FA ON anymore.
I can't immediately think of a reason for removing it, so probably.
- In XR the skunk was moving around like in a free camera mode (strafing? or how you called it) instead of being bound to a more plane-y behaviour (i.e.).
I'm not really sure what you're referring to here. We're not removing the ability to strafe, if that's what you're asking. If you're referring to the rotation then maybe this explanation from Lino will help.
- I don't want a full bridge simulator, but can we have a turret command station, so the ship can still fly on 'co-pilot' and allow me to take manual control of the turrets?
Not currently, but the matter is still under discussion.
- Skunk is gone and I imagine that if we are flying an S ship we won’t be able to single-handedly destroy L or XL ship anymore?
That's a balancing question, and as such is subject to ongoing development and change, so it doesn't make sense for me to try and answer it now.
- How does collision damage work in X4?
At the moment it works the same way it did in the most recent version of XR, but that's subject to change.
- Will there be any ships similar to M7M class form X3?
Ships specialising in missile attack have been discussed, but I can't promise they will make the final cut.
- Will ships have upgradable armor hulls?
We have no current plans for armour upgrades; defensive upgrades in the game are normally shield-based.
- Weapon Loadouts: I assume we'll have full customisation (within given weapon-class limits) of all fixed weapons, just like it was with the Skunk. However, will ships equipped with Turrets have different options per-turret, or, as in Rebirth, a "fit it or don't" option only?
There will be much more freedom and control, but in the case of groups of turrets you won't necessarily be able to micro-manage every individual turret. You will get to choose which kind of turrets to install for that particular group, but not to put different types of turret in different slots within the same group.
- How will boarding work now that the player isn't limited to a single ship?
Boarding is still under development, but yes there are more ways for us to approach this now.
- My question is about piloting capital ships. If we pilot a capital ship, will we have direct control over any weapons (namely the primary weapons) on that ship? I assume the turrets will be handled by the AI, but if not is it possible for players to control those too?
If the capital ship had primary weapons then you'd be able to control them, but I'm not sure they do. You almost certainly wouldn't be able to control turrets while actually flying the ship. On whether you'll be able to control the turrets more directly in some other way, see the answer I gave near the top of this post.
- Can stations be destroyed?
Stations (aside of special landmarks) will be destructible and will not reappear after leaving the zone.
- Will there be First person combat aboard ships or stations
No, there won't.
- Can your pilot be killed while you walk around?
- Will ship roles be more strict? (Like frigates vs destroyers)
Ships will cover certain roles, but there will not be one ship that can do anything. This means only certain ships will be able to install shields, weapons and upgrades.
- There will be inertia as in XR?
Well, X3 also had some inertia, but yes. It's not full newtonian but you can turn off the flight assist as you could in XR.
- Will all ships strafe at the same speed and acceleration when flown by the player?
No. Each ship can have their own characteristics and you can have different engines which differentiates it more.
- You can fly everything. Can you fly mass traffic crafts?
No, you can't fly mass traffic, but it would be pretty boring being stuck in a lane anyway.
- Can I fly around in zero-G suit, or am I limited to move on surface of ships/stations?
We're still discussing the possibility of space-suit EVA.
- Is there a jump drive in the X4?
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- Will ever the 3rd person camera eventually be UNLOCKED from a ship's stern?
Yes, there will be an unlocked external camera.
- Will ships have special abilities or unique weapons (like Sucellus main cannon) ? Lino posted image of some Xenon buggy (will it be in game)? Also, I thought I heard that we will pilot/use utility drones. Will there be any mechanics like that in game and what purpose they will have?
I don't know, and I couldn't tell you even if I did. I can't give details of specific ships or drones
- Will ships always drain shields when boosting? Or will there be some other mechanics to travel long distances without recharging shields every 10 seconds (I find that annoying in XR especially when exploring)?
Good question. I've done a lot of boosting and not had to stop every 10 seconds, but I'm not sure what the limits are, if any. I'll have to see if someone else can answer this.
- Will some weapons require ammo?
Anything that fires missiles will require ammo, of course, but non-missile weapons don't.
- Will ships blow up when accidently bumping in to objects?
- Will stations have weapons or weapon platforms (I haven't seen any on video)?
Stations will have defences, yes.
- We haven't seen any combat in X4.... Will capital ships battles last long like in XR or will they be short like in X3?
That's a balancing question and as such is subject to change until quite late in development. If I had to guess then I'd say capital ship battles won't be over in a few seconds.
- Can ships we own be commanded to refuel/rearm with a certain amount of automation?
Exact commands available are still subject to change, but those seem like likely candidates.
- Which improvements have been made to NPC AI ships (fighting, maundering, docking)?
The AI has been improved in many parts and will be better than in X Rebirth. It's too early to talk about specifics.
- Will we be able to fly and command capital ships? with a bridge?
Yes, you will be able to fly all ships from their cockpit or bridge in case of Capital ships.
- Are cap ships vital points better protected than in Rebirth?
Balancing details are still subject to change.
- Will automated trading ships be able to use the highways in an optimal way?
I can’t promise it will always be optimal, because pathfinding is more complex than some people realise, but we are always working on improving it.
- Could we have a description of weapon systems please? Is it similar to past games with Energy weapons and Missiles?
Those are still the main weapon types, yes.
- Will there be shield effects when you hit something?
I’ve not seen anything new in this area so far, but I won’t rule it out as I don’t know whether there are any plans to add them.
- will the ship have different characteristics like in X3, eg. Teladi being tanky and slow, Argon being balanced, Split bring fast, fragile but with much firepower etc?
It’s too early to answer specific balancing questions.
- Is the boost duration and intensity bound to the shield energy?
To be honest we are not sure yet.
- Is OOS combat going to be more balanced and predictable than in X3?
It already is in XR.
- Will X4 introduce new ship classes?
We have many different purposes for ships, things like carriers. Owen: We want to have a better carrier behaviour. You can't just have a ship, a big capital ship with docks, and call it carrier. We want it to have a real AI behaviour, where you can send it in and you know that it's going to be sensible with launching fighters, staying out of range of a destroyer. Class things like that. We want to better specialize the ships that we have. But of course, because it's an X game you can use ships in a multitude of different ways. There's always a bit of crossover. So, yes, it's a lot more diverse than it was in X Rebirth with a lot of different crossovers. It's always a little bit of a compromise between ships that are specific for a purpose and on the other hand still allowing the player what we call hybrid ships, where you can actually take a ship and change its purpose by equipping it with different things. But the classes they're different, definitely new and different classes.
- Physics question - are there destruction mechanics? Like ships being destroyed and debris having physics?
Similar to XR but modular.
- Can crew members die when the ship gets damaged, but not destroyed?
Crew dies, if the ship is destroyed.
- Will there be all known races from X3 in the game? (Terrans, Paranids, Yaki pirates…)
Not all of them, no.
- Will the races have their own weapons as it was in the X3?
Some factions may have specific weapons, but they are unlikely to be the same as in X3
- Will be all known headquarters from X3 in X4? Will they also look like in the X3?
- How much the internal parts / cockpit of each spacecraft will be different from each other. Specifically, about the large ships (carriers and capital ships) the internal parts of each of them will be different from the other? Can we see the NPCs around these big ships doing their job?
Small ships will have cockpits that match their hull, so there should be quite a bit of variety there. We're not modelling the entire interior of larger ships.
- Will there be Boron in any of DLCs ? If yes I would suggest to put them in mech suits. It wouldn't make sense to have to see them jumping around platform like fish without water Rolling Eyes?
Can we finish the game before we start thinking about what we're going to add in DLCs please?
- I noticed speakers on platform so will we have stations announcements again?
- Will some of the ship designs from XR be coming back? I loved the Balor, Arawn, Drostan and Too many S class ships to list. It would be a shame to just leave them behind in Xr.
I can't go into specifics on individual ships, largely because I don't know.
- Will spawn points of ships be more logical and realistic?
In X:R ships often spawned out of nowhere right next to their target station or far away from any realistic home zone, which felt really unrealistic and static. Will X4 do the same or will ships, even smaller ones, actually spawn in shipyards/next to shipyards and fly from there to their target zone, like in earlier X games?
Wherever practical, ships will be built rather than spawned.
- In the videos it looks like there is a standard docking bay with 1 medium and 3 small landing pads. What happends if all of these are taken? You have to build another landing pad module, or does this pads include some kind of lift/elevator that will "hide" landed ship inside the station, so that more ships could land?
I thought the presentation showed the answer to this; ships are moved in and out of interior storage as required.
- What will Paranids eat?
Pizzas cut into 3 pieces?
- Will Player HQ have "more interior" than just the landing pad?
Still to be decided, I believe.
- Will some capship have more interior than just a bridge? E.g. Carrier hangar?
Possibly some, but don't expect a full interior. We are limiting interior modelling to areas that are relevant to gameplay (and by that, I mean gameplay we actually have, not potential gameplay that some people might like but doesn't actually exist in the game).
- We haven't seen any improvements or iterations through any X game so far of the external camera mode. Is there any plan to enhance this view, mainly so that it can be spun around, and zoomed in and out by the mouse? I feel this could be so much more of an awesome cinematic view but it is hampered by being so static and making us always move to the keyboard for very jerky camera movement.
There are some improvements to the external camera options already, but not all of the ones you've asked about. There is still more work to be done on this, though, and more cinematic behaviour is certainly on the wishlist.
- Will we be able to export data/stats in vanilla games to compute our own stats as is possible in X2 and X3 using export stat feature?
- Will X4 share the same overall, less reflective, more "cartoonish"/flat looking visual style of XR, or will their materials now have more shady shaders, as could be expected because of the new PBR approach?
We still have some work to do, but hopefully it will look more "shady".
- Is this a concept for Xenon bomber? http://i.imgur.com/4U5eh4G.jpg
I don't know. But bear in mind that concepts aren't always directly mapped to a specific target ship; sometimes they are just concepts for a style, for example.
- Will ships have some damage model? I mean visible hull or another parts damage?
You can certainly damage certain elements of some ships. The other day I was wondering why I couldn't shoot, until I looked out of the window and saw that my guns were a glowing mass off charred metal!
- Will there be satellites/advanced satellites?
Probably not in that form, but the primary purpose they served is likely to be covered in a different way.
- About technologies will we be able to get cloaking device on ships? or cargo bay shield jammer to jam police scanners while I have illegal merchandise on board?.
Too early to give details of every technology.
- Will there be a galactic news report system so player can or ignore system problems?
News systems are often requested, but they are extremely time-consuming to implement, partly because of the sheer volume of text to be created and translated, and partly because keeping them fresh and having them correspond to real events is a lot more difficult than people think. That said, there is definitely scope for linking some activities to real in-game events. (See also this post for more information on the issues with the so-called BBS in previous X-games.)
- Will we be able to change our player name as in games prior to Rebirth, or are we stuck with whatever the game gives us? I much preferred to be addressed as 'Pilot' than as 'Ren Otani' (I'm NOT a Ren Otani. I'm more a 'Black Bart'.
There is no technical reason why not, but it does limit the options for certain plot elements and for text/voice recordings. However, I think that the more open nature of the "campaign" missions in X4 makes it more likely that we'd be able to make the option to change the player name available.
- The teleporter: I can see this being a great quality of life tool late-game, even if on the face of it seems a bit over-powered based on what we know now. Once the tech is researched, do you plan to limit it in any way? I.e. only ships of a certain class can be transported to. So, if the player just had a light fighter (aka Scout) in the Zone, then such an asset to too small to hold a teleporter. However, if they had an M-class ship with docking for a fighter, the player could teleport to said M-class ship, then jump in the fighter. Basically, the player has to have a somewhat more advanced asset in the area to take advantage of teleportation.
You will start with more restrictions and research will help you reduce those restrictions. I don't want to go into more detail than that.
- During X Rebirths development, numerous videos were shared demonstrating certain features. Do you plan to do this with X4? Feedback at this stage might be valuable, though of course you're exposing yourself to...people on the internet, which isn't always pleasant
Undecided. Feedback from the X-Con presentation was good, and suggests that we could do more in the future, but we still can't show features that may or may not make the final cut because the internet tends to pounce on people whose crystal ball isn't 100% accurate.
- Will X4 make modding more accessible or more heavily supported than previous X games. (X3:TC, for example, which is easily moddable, but modding itself isn't as easily accessible.)
We always try to make modding accessible, but there is a limit to how much direct "support" we can provide because we're a small team.
- Would/will Egosoft consider making a "mod maker" utility available, making scripts/scripted behaviour less arcane and including custom assets more easily possible for the user?
With so many things that can be modded, a "mod maker" would be a huge undertaking in itself. However, the fact that it will be relatively similar to modding in XR will mean that people don't have to start from scratch in their understanding of how to do it.
- Perhaps a launcher that helps debug [mod] conflicts?
Again, with so many modding possibilities, that would be very difficult to achieve and give rather patchy results.
- Will X4 rely more on Egosoft's custom behavior scripts or will it allow the incorporation of more standard scripting/coding languages? (Don't know anything about XR in this regard.)
I refer you to the answer I gave here.
- Will there be a Linux version?
This is not decided yet. But as all previous games had a Linux version and part of the technology we're using (e.g. Vulkan rendering engine) is designed to work on Linux too, there's a good chance for one. EDIT: Also see this.
- What's the release date?
This is not decided yet, we aim for 2018.
- Will it be possible to place own pictures on player ships and Buildings much like a own Faction Logo?
Faction logos are a thing in X4, for ships at least.
- What design language will be used in the final game? Will the designs be like in X3 or more like X-Rebirth?
If you mean art design (I'm not an artist) I would say it's somewhere in the middle. Just travelling through space in the cockpit of my small fighter does remind me of X2 more than Rebirth, but the objects are just as complex as they were in Rebirth with all the sub systems on objects and station being made of modules (but WAY more modular).
- Will there be a box with CD release of the game? Even if I have to order it online and have it delivered, I'd rather have a CD with the full game.
Too early to say for certain but I would expect a similar release to XR, with boxed versions and through an online platform. Keep in mind that there is a NoSteam EXE for XR.
- Will we be able to put some custom paint or logos on our stations too? Like ships?
Custom paint jobs, no. Logos, maybe.
- I have seen a placeholder I believe saying something along the lines of " call for putting your advertisement here". I wonder if we will be able to use those billboards for advertising our company somehow... or if it was indeed just a placeholder
There will be advertising signs, but currently you don't need to place these manually. I'm not sure if there will be further gameplay associated with them later.
- In the presentation video @20:10 there is filter setting in the map. Could the buttons be rearranged to follow the principles of Trade Fight Build Think, and not the current Trade Fight Think Build.
I am equally disturbed!
- Will there be a fully voiced ship computer like X3's Betty? Will it use actual speech synthesis to support mods/speak any arbitrary string or will it also be pre-recorded?
Betty was in XR too, so I hope so. We have no current plans that, I am aware of, to use speech synthesis to replace the real Betty's dulcet tones.
- Will all dialogues, cutscenes and other delays be skippable?
I can't say for sure that every single one will be, but we are well aware that people would prefer not to have to sit through conversations every time.
- Will ships show hull damage on their exterior (not talking about damaged modules but burn marks on hull or missing parts).
Not that I know of.
- How confident are you that X4 will fulfil the (sometimes very demanding) dreams of your long term fanbase?
Everybody's dreams are different. We are never going to please everyone, but we hope that most people will be happy with the direction we're going in.
- Will X4 support Virtual Reality?
No, not at release. Virtual Reality requires major changes to the game interface, balancing as well as severe changes to ensure a proper framerate (read: performance). Thus, if there will be a VR version, it will be a standalone game.
- Will there be Early Access?
This is not decided yet.
- Will this game be moddable? (to remove highways, create ship components?) What tools will be available?
Modding is a huge part of every X game, so it will be possible in X4, too. However, at this moment we cannot say for sure what tools will be available.
- Will this be pure single player or also multiplayer (in a way, COOP etc.)?
For reasons that have been discussed at length, any form of multi-player involving real-time interaction between players is off the cards.
- Will trade ships and command ships owned by the player be scripted, in the likes of CAG, CLS or CODEA and SRS?
Ship commands are all scripted.
- What is your favourite change in X4 over the previous games?
The biggest things that are new compared to all the previous games are the modular stations and the map, so it would have to be one of those.
- How extensive will the plot be, in terms of unlocking new sectors / dictating race relations and so on?
Not giving away spoilers
- Will there be a pirate force around the universe?
Of course there will be pirates.
- Is the livestream showing videoed or live gameplay?
We recorded the gameplay earlier, but it's all in-game footage.
- Which ship do you use in the demo?
Scenes are recorded in a small scout ship.
- I noticed the style has changed a lot from X2-X3 and now X4. Is there a specific reason for the stylistic change on the ships?
Partially caused by the fact, that ships have to land now on platforms.
- Are the station we currently see rendered separately or are that in-game scenes?
Those are normal screenshots made in-game.
- Is the first X game which uses Vulkan?
XR VR uses Vulkan too.
- Will Vulkan be used exclusively?
That's the current plan.
- Will there be multi-video card support on older SLI card (3 cards)?
If Vulkan supports it then it should work.
- Can you turn off the stardust?
No, but you can easily mod it out.
- Do you have some sort of real time reflections?
Not yet implemented. Maybe later.
- lol there is a person underneath that ship, hanging.
well spotted, will be fixed soon
- Why is the game called X4: Foundations?
Owen: I think some people get confused because of the two different uses of the word foundations. I think some people maybe think foundation like a corporation or a charity, while we're more thinking of the building foundation. Something we build off and what the races in the universe are building off. They're still recovering from all the gates shut down and they're finally getting on their feet.
Bernd: It's funny, how we choose names. It was not not long before the presentation actually that we had a long list of possible names and some people like some, but there was no name that everybody liked. Once that we found this name, everybody seemed to like it. Partially for different reasons. But what I like about the names for X-games is always that they leave some things to interpretation just like the X itself. If the game stands for anything, then it stands for the freedom and that the game can be different things for different people.
- When can we buy/play the Early Access on steam?
We have not decided whether we will do early access.
- Is Alexei Zakharov still composing the music?
- Will the game include a new soundtrack?
- Will X4 support multi-threading?
- Will X4 be able to support multiple screens, like 3 or more for a very wide format?
X4 will probably not support multiple screens.
- Will we have "the possibility" of a 2nd screen experience or external apps?
So far not implemented
- Will there be a Demo or a Beta?
Not decided so far.
- Will the map lag out with a significant number of ships flying around?
Too early to talk about performance limits.
- Will you be able to import your ships/fleets/stations from X3:TC?
- Have you guys looked at Voice Attack at all as a company?
Yes, but not extensively.
- Could X4 have head tracking support (e.g. "6 degrees of freedom")?
Head tracking works in XR already.
- How is the game simulated? Do space battles or trading really happen in systems player is not currently in?
Yes, but with a reduced granularity of simulation, as in previous games
- How long has x4 been in development so far? A 2018 release date sound way too soon.
We've already been working on it for quite a while.
- Can you already estimate the system requirements?
No we can't, as too much will change.
- Will X4 be as easy to mod as X3?
Modding will be similar to XR.
- How extensive are the modding capabilities compared to X Rebirth?
To be honest we don't know yet, but we are doing what we can to make everything possible. That's what we tried with X Rebirth and that's what we definitely try with X4. So I think it is safe to say they will be at least as good if not better.
- Will there be modding access to UI?
Access will be similar to XR
- Will modding have access to AI such as faction AI?
- Can we write our own GLSL Shaders?
- Will we be able to write our own OGL shaders?
Not known at this point.
- What’s the word on the support for joysticks with many buttons?
We support them. Sorry, the joystick support wasn't great at the launch of X Rebirth. We worked on that a lot recently, also for X Rebirth. We added a lot with the XR VR edition and also ported that back to X Rebirth. There is actually an update coming. I think with the next update of X Rebirth VR edition and also then with the next patch for X Rebirth default profiles for something like HOTAS systems are included. Mapping is possible for a while already and this is not limited. You can basically map as many buttons as you like. I think we now have like 8 devices. So, lots of options for really sophisticated joystick setups.