X3: The return

Last week, I X3: The Reunion screenshotnoticed that I had missed an update for ‘X3: Reunion’ (earlier on xsamplex), which should patch your X3 game up to 2.5 (if you’ve got X3 via Steam, it should come as an automatic update).

Since the last time I played the game was probably almost a year ago, I decided to try out the new patch. Three or four days later, I can (safely) report that I’m hooked to it again: It’s an excellent game, that is if you’re into space-sims a la Privateer and Elite. So yeah, here’s the next batch of tips and remarks about X3 (previous tips). If you’re not familiar with the X3 world, you may want to hold up right here.

1. I used to hate flying slow Nova’s and Falcons (M3 classes), however, in the fight against pirates and others, they are superior, particularly when you have an escort of 3 or 4 M4 fighters handy. If you need fast M4 fighters, you can buy Buster Vanguards at the ‘Heart of Light’ system: though, make sure to upgrade their shields and weaponry first (run ‘southward’ via sectors Montalaar and Lucky Planets). Additionally, keep at least 2 captured pirate Falcons. During fights, let your M4 fighters handle the fast flyers, while using your squad of Falcons to finish off the larger ships.

2. The only good transporter is the Demeter Miner: it’s faster than regular transporters and at least it can carry XL commodities like ore and silicone wafers.

3. In the beginning, trade ore, silicone wafers and energy cells in areas like ‘Kingdom’s End’ (via Power Circle and Queen’s Space), ‘Argon Prime/Home of Light’ (via Power Circle and/Or The Wall), ‘Paranid Prime’ (via Emperor Mines, Priest Rings and Empire’s Edge), ‘CEO’s Buckzoid’ (via Profit Share and Seizewell) and ‘Trinity Sanctum’ (via Lucky Planets). Notice that the AI is smart enough to detect when you start dumping raw materials in all sectors, so if you see the prices for ore and silicone wafers fall, it’s time to start trading energy cells or Teladinanium.

4. Use Pegasus M5 scouts to travel through sectors that sell special devices like “Trade Extensions #3″ (see sector ‘Industry of Finance’).

5. A high ore yield for asteroids doesn’t automatically mean profits. You find several asteroids with a yield of 61 in ‘Antigone Memorial': these asteroids eat resources. No, really: you’ll be burning money to keep those mining stations on those asteroids running.

6. You can actually capture Kha’ak interceptors and Xenon M and Ls. They make lousy fighters though.

7. Patch 2.5 added a couple of new sectors, which aren’t that interesting, unless I miss something.