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New version 4.1 is in the open beta testing phase now. Maybe see what the multi-player silliness they plan on introducing later into that will be. Aside from that they seem to have been working on improving the game but the user interface is still a lot of new things to learn by heart. Enjoy spending a lot of hours on that! I find it super confusing. It is a tycoon game first and foremost.
wpegg: Is there a stable economy?
Sort of. It works, but don't expect to make a constant profit selling the same ware (like Silicon or Hull Parts) over and over.
The market will be saturated in no time, so if you are a "casual X3 player", your habits (of building 1000 universal traders) will work against you.
wpegg: Are there micromanagement issues?
There are. :(
wpegg: What are the bugs like at this point?
But of course!
Most notable (IMO) right now are:
1) Xenon are too weak and quickly go extinct even without player's involvement due to something being broken in OOS combat calculations, most probably;
2) resource collecting AI behavior of station managers is broken, vastly over-prioritizing one resource to the detriment to other resources of the same type (basically, if a station needs both Ore and Silicon, its manager will not send miners for Silicon until the station is full on Ore, and quickly switch everyone to Ore the very moment the station experiences Ore "shortage", even if it is 10 Ore short of full), which basically breaks mega-complexes. Workarounds are present, but they are not pretty.
wpegg: I'd be interested to know who the bugs vary between personal control (i.e. piloting your own ship and travelling around) versus setting up a large empire and trying to automate a large fleet.
Yes, they vary. Different stages of the game -- different bugs.
For the empire-building see above.
As for the personal control -- it is mostly solid. I mean, NPCs are ugly and unnatural, as usual, sometimes jumping on chairs or flickering (or vanishing upon the gate jump), but nothing game-breaking (like stuck controls).
wpegg: What kind of rate of improvement have you seen in the quality, are they letting it slide, or is it improving steadily with each patch?
Overall, I'd say yes, it is improving. Some design decisions are dubious, but stability has increased a lot. Now, the game does not crash upon exit on Linux (see complaint) and FPS do not drop to single digits in map mode. Everything is smoother.
wpegg: Is it, in your opinion, ready for a casual X3 player to take the next xtep (that was originally a typo, but I quite liked it ;))?
I don't want to lie. From my perspective most of the "die-hard X3 fans" did not like the game (mostly because it is NOT X3 in any way or form: from ships' design, to gameplay meta). It would be better if you would not have any previous X3 experience at all.
Post edited June 26, 2021 by Alm888
Alm888: <snip>
Thanks Alm, Themken, I might go for it then if the bugs aren't game breaking now. I don't mind that it's not X3, a different game would be fine.

How essential would you guys say the DLC is? Play without then buy if I like it, or Collectors Edition is a must in order to enjoy?
The DLCs add more plots, more game starts and more sectors. I cannot see they are a must have when you are new to the game.
At least one of the complaints Alm88 had is being improved upon in the v4.1 according to the beta changelog.

Let me add one more: I think personal combat is less fun.
Post edited June 28, 2021 by Themken
Alm's assesment is fair and correct. Improvements have been steady but there's still problems around.
The economy largely works and I'm often impressed by how influential you can be by boosting a faction's economy alone.
Micromanagement has improved with some QOL but is still wuite archaeic at its core, still, aside from some technical problems, an improvement over X3, in my oppinion.

As for the DLC: don't underestimate that they add new factions and ships, which for me was one of the more major lackings compared to X3.
Post edited June 27, 2021 by Artfactial
Version 4.10 now with custom game starts and lots of QoL additions and bug fiXes and performance improvements and bug fiXes and some balancing.
When will the Linux installers be updated for 4.10?
hastydeparture: When will the Linux installers be updated for 4.10?
I would love to know that as well but as I suspect there will be a hotfix incoming soon anyway I thought I would wait for that before reminding GOG, if they still have not given us it a day or two after it arrives. Of course we should still get this one within a reasonable time.