Today Egosoft’s Director Bernd Lehahn tried to address the many, many problems players are having with the game and also issued a further apology to anyone who shelled out for X Rebirth.
“First, I would like to apologise to those of you who have had technical problems.”
Bernd then goes on to say that they’re “amazed” at the “huge success” of the game and again apologises for the problems.
Secondly, I would like to say how amazed we all are here by the huge success of the game. Number one on Steam for several days in a row at this time of year when the big hitters come out… wow, we never expected that. It’s crazy to see that more than 10,000 people are playing our game at any one time on Steam (even more if you include those who are in offline mode). Madness!
These days the success of a game is obviously measured on sales and not on quality, which from a gamer’s perspective is a pretty sad state of affairs. It’s easy to ship a broken game, there’s been a few this year including Rome 2: Total War and Battlefield 4 to name a couple.
The list of problems with X Rebirth is long and it’s going to take a serious amount of man hours to fix things especially when you read comments like “we made no special attempt to optimise for fast PCs”. Really?
So what’s next for X Rebirth? Fixing is the order of the day and Bernd has issued a prioritised list.
1) Language bugs – the German Betty, french text and other problems will be fixed.
2) True crash bugs fixed. There are undeniably some program-related crashes, and we are are trying to sort these out by sending those who experience particularly large numbers of crashes special versions of the EXEs. From the feedback it seems that some people are affected much more frequently than others by crashes. At the beginning of the week we will build a group of new computers and will try to reproduce your problem PC (same motherboard, same GPU, etc.). Those of you who believe you are particularly badly affected (and no, it is NOT safe to use 32-bit Windows) should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the special EXE.
3) AI bugs with trade ships (please make sure you are using the trade menu correctly before assuming you are affected by this bug).
4) Performance improvements: It seems ironic that most customers who are particularly dissatisfied with performance are those with the fastest computers. This may partly be because we made no special attempt to optimise for fast PCs. It even seems as though the most extreme high-end PCs barely have higher framerates than mid-range ones. We will be tackling this issue aggressively and will be stocking up on high end hardware for tests, to try out things like SLI and hex-core systems. Of course optimisations will also benefit other systems. Tips for configuration are in my post on the Steam forum and in the Egosoft Support forum.
5) Improvements for the near future: We will now begin to organise our plans and your wishes by priority. There are a few major development areas that are sure to take us into the beginning of 2014 for an update, and many small things that we would like to address as soon as possible. Here are just a few examples:
– Smalltalk on platforms: Once you unlock a reward you can ask for all the rewards we currently have already. If you ask for a good NPC you can further filter by job type. So you effectively find e.g the best pilot in your vicinity.
– NPC classes are to be clearly marked to make it clear who does what.
– Improved joystick support – there seem to be problems at the moment with joysticks. Some may not yet be configured in a satisfactory way (we’re working on it). There is also a suspicion that certain joysticks crash the game at startup when they are plugged in.
– Improved menus – feedback regard some menus which should be improved accordingly. What I hear most often at the moment are problems with managing the Trade Order list. This should be shown in every ship that is in your squad and can then be removed from the Info menu. There are also other improvements in various menus that will need to happen gradually over several updates.
– Shortcuts – currently veterans miss many hotkeys such as “T” for next target, Shift-“D” to dock, Shift-“R” for the property list, etc.