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  • SMAX?

    I bought SMAC yesterday for a fiver and I then come on here and see everyone talking about SMAX as well as SMAC. Call me an idiot but what exactly is the difference? I'm guessing SMAX is an upgrade of some sort....
    Shores Of - The Premier Tolkien Community -

  • #2
    SMAC is the original game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and the more readily available (so you've probably bought that). SMAX is Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire, and an expansion to the first - seven new factions, some new techs, units, buildings, landmarks ... and bugfixes. It seems to be quite an art to find it but to most (but not all) on the forum it is worth to search for it. Look in the FAQ thread if you are interested.
    Why doing it the easy way if it is possible to do it complicated?


    • #3

      Game seems great so far.....
      Shores Of - The Premier Tolkien Community -


      • #4
        It is ...
        Why doing it the easy way if it is possible to do it complicated?


        • #5
          If you live in London, you might wanna check out Oxford Street's HMV - I bought SMAX there for a fiver aswell recently

          Although it was a sale, they had stacks of it.
          ... This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality...
          ... Pain is an illusion...


          • #6
            I think I'll stick with SMAC for now and maybe get SMAX at a later date .
            Shores Of - The Premier Tolkien Community -


            • #7
              no, you'll want to get it now if you can. they've stopped making it you see, and if you can get it somewhere, snatch it up before someone else does! otherwise you'll miss out, and they're REALLY hard to find


              • #8
                I agree with TKG.


                • #9
                  You don't need to install it now. In fact it's probably better to play the basic game before upgrading anyway, but if you don't pick up SMAX now there's a good chance you won't be able to later.
                  "Luck's last match struck in the pouring down wind." - Chris Cornell, "Mindriot"


                  • #10
                    Yep. I agree with everything said here, with one additional point. When SMAX was released, Firaxis also released the Planetary Pack (or PP), which included both SMAC and SMAX. Now, I have never seen SMAX on it's own - and I'm British, like you. I did, however, find the PP for £10 a couple of years ago, which is much the same price as SMAX alone would have cost.

                    Basically, if you spot a PP, don't ignore it just because you already have half of it. Chances are, it'll be the only way to get SMAX and it probably won't cost you any more anyway.
                    The church is the only organisation that exists for the benefit of its non-members
                    Buy your very own 4-dimensional, non-orientable, 1-sided, zero-edged, zero-volume, genus 1 manifold immersed in 3-space!
                    All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
                    "They offer us some, but we have no place to store a mullet." - Chegitz Guevara


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Adalbertus
             most (but not all) on the forum it [SMAX] is worth to search for it...
                      As I have been one of the most vocal AX bashers in this forum, I might need to precise my position lest I unduly influence newcomers.

                      SMAX *added* new code, which resulting visible effects were:
                      - new units
                      => new components ("alien-concept" weapons and armors with inherent abilities attached to them, new missile payloads)
                      => new abilities
                      => new native lifeforms (spore launchers, sealurks)
                      - new facilities
                      - new projects
                      - new factions (you could have mostly cooked'em up on your own, but actually some new factional features have been added, and I doubt you could have simulated the whole new concept of Alien faction just by using the previously existing faction.txt files option)

                      All these changes are not bad, but imho they don't significantly add new fun to the gaming experience.
                      The game was already fun as it was, and from my PoV SMAX only added less than a 5% of fun.
                      Many (not all) players agree that the original 7 SMAC factions were better thought out and balances, so that many in Multiplayer prefer to restrain to the original 7 even when they use SMAX.
                      Most of the new facilities are seldom used, and the new units components abilities are just niche flavors and add little to the actually used tactical options (who ever got to significantly and proficiently used Dissociative or Soporifin in their games? Never met one...).
                      Maybe the most intersting additions were a couple of Projects (Planetary Energy Grid, Cloudbase Academy...).

                      Mind, this does not mean that SMAX is "bad".
                      I think it was overrated, but it's definitely a nice "icing" to get. For *no more* than a fiver (£ or $?) of course.

                      Then SMAX edited code already exisiting in SMAC executable (terran.exe), fixing some of its bugs.
                      SMAX is NOT standalone.
                      You NEED SMAC to install SMAX upon it.
                      After the installation, you'll have a terran.exe code (calssic SMAC) and a terranx.exe code (new SMAX executable) coexisting.

                      Well, what really pissed me off was:
                      - they did not release the fixes they HAD written for the previously existing part of code in a separate SMACv5 patch: the bug-fixing code was only included in terranx.exe, where the to-be-fixed code sections were the same also present in terran.exe
                      - the expansion itself opening menu gives you the choice to play classic AC, or the AX expansion: but of the two options they now offer you in the same menu, one is (somewhat) bug-fixed while the other is still bug-ridden, because of the above point.
                      - they sold together the *added* code with the *edited* code: that is, if you were only interested in getting the bugfixes, you were *forced* to also get the expansion in a single bundle
                      - that bugfixes/expansion bundle was sold at full game price!

                      This resulted in:
                      when you wanted to play Multiplayer with a friend who (in his full right) only had SMAC because he was not interested in getting the expansion you were forced:
                      - eithter to play a version WITH bugs you knew the fixing code thereof had been wrtitten but not released,
                      - or to tell your friend to buy at full price an expansion he wasn't interested in, with the sole purpose to get a patch fixing a few bugs...

                      So, albeit I understand that from a profit company PoV Firaxis/EA choices were not only justifiable but even smart and advisable, as a customer I was nevertheless *angry* with their greedy commercial/marketing approach.

                      In the first place, the expansion was not bad (being *generous* it added a 10% to the gaming experience), but it was sold at 50$ where 15-20$ would have better reflected its customer value.
                      Then, if you only wanted the bugfixes, you were forced the same to pay that already inflated price for them.

                      Now that it's out of production and that you can find it for 5$ (?) in remainders/bargain bins, my objections are almost obsolete.
                      Remains the fact that if a company releases an *incredibly* bug-ridden game, and then releases Patch2, Patch3 & Patch4 *for free*, being forced to pay even a mere 5$ to get a Patch5 (which would only repair to their programming incompetence and selling you a defective product for your money in the first place) still sounds a bit outrageus.
                      Especially when that company's PR stated that they were not overly concerned in fixing the bugs they sold you because after all bìtching about them "cemented in the customers the feeling of beloning to an online community".
                      Having all this well clear in mind, my acutal position about SMAX is that you can perfectly enjoy the game withOUT it, but as it's now out of production, it's absolutely worth to pay 5 or even 10$ if you're lucky to find it, regardless of the bugfixing issue.
                      I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)


                      • #12
                        Just chiming in here with the wave of affirmations that SMAX is worth it _now_. I myself had to replace my copy, and it cost my ~$65 US. And I still think its worth it. Tons of fixes, tweaks, improvements, etc, that really improve gameplay. The only thing I liked about SMAC better than SMAX is that I could play without my CD. Does anyone know a way I can make that work for SMAX?

                        PS: If you're like me, and don't want to hunt around forever to find a copy of SMAX, check this link:



                        • #13
                          there is a no-cd patch for SMAX, but i heard it caused the interceptor-crash bug

                 i *think*. i don't use it my self

                          $65 for SMAX? i payed $10 US for mine (but the shipping cost was more than the game its self )


                          • #14
                            I am among those who have yet to acquire SMAX, and am truthfully in no hurry to do so - not that I wouldn't if the opportunity existed for me (wallet contents are lacking). However, I have this question:

                            If you have SMAX installed, startup the program, and elect to play "Classic SMAC", do the new "SMAX" techs and stuff appear in the game? Or do you get only the "original SMAC" techs and stuff, but with the benefit of the corrected program code?

                            To use a word that appears frequently in the aliens' replies to human proposals, I'm afraid I find the majority of the additions "silly". I wonder sometimes if Alien Crossfire was intended as a serious thing or if there's a joke behind it.
                            I am on a mission to see how much coffee it takes to actually achieve time travel. :frantic:


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gwillybj
                              If you have SMAX installed, startup the program, and elect to play "Classic SMAC", do the new "SMAX" techs and stuff appear in the game? Or do you get only the "original SMAC" techs and stuff, but with the benefit of the corrected program code?
                              Neither of those things. You get EXACTLY the same SMAC 4.0 'corrected program code'.

                              Read MariOne's post above as he expounds on this very issue?

                              One wonders how you missed it when you read it the first time.