…And I’d Do It Again!

I know this is true because I did. The ‘It’ in question here being starting an activity related to X4 at unwise-o’clock like I did the other night. This time around, it came as a somewhat definitive answer to the question I still had open at the end of that post…

To Mod, or Not to Mod?

It was barely a question.

Even as I hit publish, I was pretty sure I knew the answer. Where mods exist, I will surely follow. And follow I did. Starting, once more, 20 minutes before intended sleep time. (At least I’m consistent in one aspect, I guess.)

Figured would just take a cursory glance and maybe decide how to go about the mod collection building (I decided on Nexus Mods). That’s all. How long could that take?

*sigh*

At the very least, today was Friday in my neck of the woods. I can handle a tired Friday. And besides, at least I wasn’t crazy enough to actually finish building the mod collection and play it. (Seriously, I wasn’t. I’ve spent a bunch more time adding the list this evening before finally taking it for a test drive.)

I’ve been relatively constrained in my modding. At least when compared to my Skyrim endeavours. I have a grand total of 41 mods running right now, some of those merely being patches for other mods. The big one forming the core of my changed experience being ‘Galaxy Remake: Stars + XRSGE‘. XRSGE stands for, X4 Realspace Galaxy Expansion. Bit of a mouthful, but it adds a significant number of sectors to the universe map and adjusts the existing ones to make perhaps a little more sense.

That’s all good and well, but given I don’t even know the current lay of the land, I didn’t really need more space to explore. It was really the ‘Stars’ portion of it that I was after. Now, you can install just that standalone… But… You know, it was there anyway, so why not give it a try?

Anywho, the Stars portion modifies all the sector backgrounds/skyboxes. One thing that struck me immediately on playing the other night was how low resolution the starfield was. They were blurry blobs of light, and I did not like it.

I know, I know. The difference is probably impossible to tell in these screenshots after the compression is applied. But even so, this shot is taken from the perspective outside my ship. In a spacesuit. A rather vulnerable position to be in.

In any case, one side effect of changing the entire universe is, funnily enough, that old save games are no longer going to cut it. So it was time to start fresh. Given I’d just done the intro sequence for the Terran Protectorate, I thought I might see how things were on the Argon side of the fence with the vanilla Young Gun start. (You know… Like I’d originally intended to.)

And here starts a brief story of discovery. Of learning. Of consequences.

You see, I was happily zipping my way around a redone, all-new, to me, version of Blackhole Sun. I was scanning stations, seeing what missions might be available, perhaps even keeping an eye out for the odd trade that might make sense in my tiny little ship.

Side note: The Argon Young Gun starting ship has nothing on the Terran Cadet starting ship. I mean, sure — in one of these realities, you’re a graduate from flight school into an advanced military force and in the other, you’re not. But still. The Argon ship was faster out the gate; I’ll give it that… But that’s all.

Anywho, while zipping around feeling entirely unprepared for anything that might choose to cast a stern glare in my direction, I found a lockbox. And while I was near it, perhaps accidentally, perhaps not, some stray fire while ‘testing out’ my now singular (sigh) cannon might have opened said lockbox. This isn’t in and of itself, so far as I’m aware, a crime. It had no listed owner, so all’s fair in love and space salvage, I reckon. I activated my tractor beam and hoovered up my prizes and rather quickly discovered why the actual owner might be a little reluctant to attach their name to such a container.

Inside, amongst other less valuable items, were several data discs capable of assisting station hacking efforts. Highly illegal items to possess. I was aware of this, I can claim no innocence here.

But… They were worth a bit over 300k credits in total. I had 10k to my name. With those 300k credits, I could just about get a mining ship of my own out and about and start, bit by bit, the growth of my empire.

All I’d have to do was find some nefarious sort willing to deal in the less than legal.

Not related to the story being told. This was, in fact, after restarting back as Terran. Again. Spoiler for the direction the story is taking right there.

One system over, I found a Trading Station. Perfect, I thought, Almost has to be the sordid sorts I need on this thing.

But I didn’t quite get that far.

I was asked to stop on my approach to the station for scanning. I panicked and tried to high-tail it out of there. Failure to comply with police gave me a standing hit and a fine, then when they managed to successfully scan me despite my disobedience, that fine was expanded upon. Greatly.

By the time I docked, between the attempt to flee and the fines, my ship was impounded pending payment of a fine and all illegal items were, shall we say, removed from my person upon landing.

Without which, I’m sorry to say; I had no way to pay the impound fee and recollect my ship, making the story of this particular Argon Young Gun more of a cautionary tale. A short one, at that.

Lesson’s learned? Well… I suppose the obvious would be to drop the illegal goods immediately upon recognition. But pffft. The real lesson here is to smuggle smart. If no buyer is lined up, drop ’em out in space somewhere, ideally above or below the elliptical, where your general law-abiding traffic is less likely to go.

Or, at the very least — if you get caught, don’t then go dock and hand yourself in. *facepalm*

In any case, these shenanigans are brought to you by the ‘Crime has Consequences‘ and are illustrative of the types of things you can add to the game. I’ve certainly attempted to balance Quality of Life with ‘Realism’, and overall not pushing QoL into cheating territory.

This mod list may or may not be final, but I’m going to give it a good go as the Terran again and see.


This was posted during Blaugust 2022, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in year-round!

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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