I've had my eye on this one too, but I'll wait a while to see how it turns out. The last one was a bit of a disaster. Let's see how this one turns out before spending money on it. It's a bit strange how it's coming out with so little marketing - hopefully it's just a sign that they didn't invest a lot in this domain, not that it's rushed and not ready.
I'm also quite a bit annoyed that they won't have VR support for this one while they had it for Rebirth, the game I didn't want... From what they said, it looks like they would sell a VR version separately if they were going to do one again - that's annoying too, because it can be nice to drop in and out of VR while playing a game like this. I would enjoy doing most of the management bits on monitor, but would love to do the flying in VR.
It was mentioned in an old livestream that it would have.
I preordered on GOG - one of the few times in my life I did - because I appreciate the Day1 DRM free release and their focus on SP and offline content. Realistically it might take a month or two for the initial fixing and even longer to get the full game going - at least with their past titles that seems to have been the norm. But between a nowhere to be seen SQ42/Star Citizen offline and an always-online ED, this is the best go we offline SP guys have on PC for such a game...
So far from what I've seen in the streams, X4 looks neat. I feel like it is the X3 sequel we have been looking for. Particularly neat is the ability to select and control ships and fleets with your mouse like a RTS game--I didn't see this, but I heard from other folks in the stream that this was possible.
According to devs whom I asked and they replied, Track IR is coming after 1.0 release when they can confirm it still works.
I gave it a first try the last two hours, and it appears to have a lot of potential.
As usual with Egosoft, getting everything set up (controls GFX...) is a bit of an effort. But the game feels good (especially with flight assists off - drifting and newtonian physics), the visuals are solid, and it's stable. Performance is decent, not 60FPS/4K but acceptable.
I think with some polishing and added nations/content this will be a pretty good Star Citizen / Elite Dangerous substitute for us Offliners. In fact offering a few things these two don't.
I imagine it offers a huge amount of content neither Elite nor Star Citizen could, like making and managing station complexes, fleets of traders and entire armadas of warships.
I'm tempted to start playing X3 Star Wars mod again for the time being until it is released for X4, but X4 fixes I hear my biggest gripe of the series--the crappy control over your fleets. I hear for the first time you can control you fleets like an RTS game with band box selection and clicks to move them.
And yes, while SC and ED offer the planetside stuff and Space Marines thing, X4 is going for massive space battles where you can both command your own carrier fleet AND be a pilot in a squadron with them. I also like the idea of a fully dynamic ecosystem, meaning in theory you can win wars by fighting over ressources to the point where the enemy AI can't build and maintain ships anymore.
There's a huge depth here, just a bit complicated to set up.
I think the big new thing is that everything in the game (ships, stations, wares...) is all built realtime from actually mined and processed raw materials. I.e. the system now calculates AI harvesting, AI mining, AI stations processing raw materials to parts, and then parts to ships.
So in theory for example if you sabotage and intercept mining operations of a certain faction they should run out of spare parts and ships eventually. In XR there was an economy for parts and raw material, but not up to the point where the AI factions needed it to build their ships and stations.
Well, looks like I can't play X4 even if I wanted to. I only have a Nvidia 670 GTX and can't afford an upgrade right now with the medical debt from my wife's chronic illness piled so high. Seems X4 requires a 3 GB vram card. Ah well. =)
That real time economy is exceptionally appealing. As a pirate faction I could truly do great harm to the other factions. What I wonder is...
a) Can you extort other factions for credits so you cease your attacks b) Bribe other factions to war with other ones c) Set up shell corporations to conduct my dirty work for me, thus insulating me from reputation damage, or vice versa, use the shell corps to conduct legal business while I do filthy, awful things
I suppose once you control the entire galaxy you win.