So, I got “new” power source for my old machine that was lacking one. After some RAM replacement I was greeted by GRUB — giving me dualboot choise of Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 2000. I chose the best windows ever made and once I got to the desktop I saw only x icons: Unreal Tournament 1, Unreal Tournament 2, OpenTTD, Master of Orion 2 and X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. That XvT is special for it contains my modifications to the game.
What was this project about?
My XvT project aimed to merge all missions from X-Wing and TIE Fighter into X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. This means that both games could be played as multiplayer games! To a great extent this project was a success. As with every project there are issues, this one had the following:
- TIE Fighter had more craft than XvT even with it’s add-on Balance of Power.
- The original games had mission parameters that XvT lacks.
- XvT has balanced crafts for it’s intended for Multiplayer.
- Fair Performance is the best rating for many missions as the originals didn’t give ratings.
- By default there were only one playerstart.
The craft problem.
By installing BoP the craft database was extended by a great deal (Super Star Destroyer FTW!). But it didn’t have many crafts required by TIE Fighter missions (TIE Defender, Missile Boat, etc.). This was fixed by ImpTac Ship Patch. The ITSP adds myriad crafts even some planetoids, Unfortunately I never got those working.
Status: All is good. The required craft exists and more! (but no Death Star)
The Mission Parameters
The “Craft X must survive until other goals are achieved” does not exists in XvT/BoP. I haven’t tested every mission there are over 200 of them. So it’s not known whether this is a game breaker, but I do know that some missions are much easier as you get a success during mission start and then you don’t need to care about that mission critical craft.
Status: This is obvious bug, but some serious testing is required to find out what missions this affects and could the missions be tweaked to have alternate goals to fix this.
Now this one is nasty. There was a common theme in both X-Wing and TIE Fighter: Empire has superior numbers, superior dexterity but no shields where the Rebels were the opposite, few heavily armoured and shielded craft. Now for some god-awful reason they decided to balance every craft. Some craft lost their uniqueness and became just mirrors of what-ever-the-other-side-has.
Status: This issue affects every mission and breaks few. Basically every missions that you fly with Assault Gunboat is extremely difficult as it has way less shields than it had in TF. Also several missions that require you to protect a certain container/craft becomes difficult if not impossible as warheads are more powerful.
The Performance Issue
The originals did not have performance rating, you only get score. That score is often 10000-20000 which means that in XvT you’ll only get Fair or Average even when you finish the mission on Hard!
Status: This is mainly annoyance, but it is a bit unfair to get lesser performance than is deserved. One could edit some bonuses with the mission editor to compensate.
Only One Player-start
As the original games were single-player games, the converted ones are too. XvT does support multi-player and custom player-start. ie. one could choose different craft on familiar missions.
Status: All missions are SP at the moment. Again fixable with the mission editor.
The worst thing is that this too is a project that I can’t release! LucasArts stopped a similar project; They were converting TIE Fighter to X-Wing Alliance. Nowadays Star Wars is owned by Disney so it’s not much better there. It’s sad that this kind of fan-projects have to be private use only, now this remains in the HDD of my trusty W2k. XvT’s overbalanced missions were boring. Imagine playing TIE Fighter campaigns with your friends! So damn awesome.
I started this project when BoP wasn’t released. I belonged into a “clan” before the internet. We did custom TIE Fighter and X-Wing missions that we flew and the NPC’s were named as our clan members! Good times.
(but my fists only gets stronger by age!)