X3: Terran Conflict, or X3TC for short, is the latest game set in the X universe made by Egosoft. The best way to describe X3TC is a sandbox style free-roaming game in a universe that is connected by a series of jump gates. Although the player starts out small, they can eventually be in control of an empire that spans the entire known galactic space with fleets of ships and hundreds of sector spanning factory complexes. The last time I played X3TC was version 1.5. Since then, Egosoft has be steadily adding patches and content into the game, which is now up to version 3.1. Eager to jump in to discover the new missions and content, I’ve decided to fire up the game once again and log my adventure.
Read on for: A new beginning…
A game mode that comes with a free dose of warning messages about its difficulty catches my attention immediately. Dead is Dead(DiD) uses the Steam Cloud to store saved games, and once the pilot dies, the game immediately ends. This is different from all the other game modes where you can restore from a previous save point. This presents a unique challenge and immediately instills horrors and chills in me. The X Universe is a dangerous place, with a billion ways of dying a excruciating death (I exaggerate, but only slightly). Starting a DiD play-through practically begs for an unhappy and frustrated ending at some point down the line, most likely at the receiving end of an untimely aimed burst of red hot plasma. Yet, like a moth to the flame, I am strangely attracted to this insanity. The original inspiration of this play through mode, the legendary Squiddy McSquid, has gained so much popularity among fans of the game that Egosoft made an entire game mode based on his story. Now I must also trod down this path to seek out new challenges, and not to mention the most important rewards of them all, steam cheevos.
Here we go…
What did I get myself into? I’m dropped into the middle of a sector called Queen’s Harbour and all I can see are some green fins in front of my cockpit. I’m in an… Octopus? I immediately check out my ship to see what sorts of gizmos and resources I have available to me:
Wait…. is that..? SPACE FUEL!!!???? Here I am, sitting in the middle of a Boron home sector, and all I have to my name is an unarmed scout ship, 1000 credits, a paper thin shield, and 2 units of HIGHLY illegal spacefuel. Great, what an awesome start to my life of fame and fortune as an intergalactic assassin. I immediately I take a quick look at my local radar to see if there are any pesky police heading my way for a possible scan of my illegal goods. Luckily, there are none, but I did spot a few Boron M2 Destroyers in the area. Since I never like to pass up the opportunity to admire my future property, I fly in close to get a better look a ship I’d kill to own right now… if only I had some weapons and a few million combat drones.
Yes, my puny scout ship (that little green smidge right in front of the turret) is smaller than the size of one of the guns on a destroyer, I have quite some ways to go. First things first, I scooted on over to the nearest equipment dock and sell my puny 1MJ shielding. That thing won’t stop anything but the weakest of weapons anyway, instead, I use the 5000 or so credits I gain from that to boost my ship speed up a few ticks. At the very least, the Octopus is decently fast. I am now fully prepared to utilize a tactic popularized by Squiddy McSquid: RSLG (Run Screaming Like a Girl). Now that I’m completely broke but in a slightly faster ship, its time to figure out a way to make money. However, I have no weapons, my puny cargo compartment is mostly filled with highly illegal goods, and I have no reputation with my home race to buy anything better (being broke doesn’t help either). So now that reality has settled in, it is time to get cracking.