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Author Topic: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New  (Read 2073525 times)

Offline Xylon666Darkstar

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4980 on: January 08, 2023, 12:03:40 am »
Spoiler:
xcom bio-enhancement
becomes way far available before delta radiation.

Offline amokk_gw

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4981 on: January 08, 2023, 01:25:40 am »
This is a pretty stupid argument if you consider it on the complexity of iron man. The bio-exo suit on the manor is just garbage. If you see an assassin, then with a 90% probability you immediately get 3-4 throwing knives. If you miraculously survive, then the agent needs to be treated on the next turn, and often by two different people. Assassins are neutralized either by accidentally shooting a minigun, or they are put into a stupor in the doorway by a dog barking. With subsequent execution. Any other encounter with an assassin with a 95% probability is the death of an agent. It's ridiculous to assume that bio exo will really save you from meeting an assassin. On Iron Man, agents with health above 50 are a huge rarity until the discovery of delta radiation.

I found the best to deal with assassins are motion scanners. Since smokes aren't really necessary in Black Lotus missions, equipping every soldier with a motion scanner is quite usefull. But there will be turns where the soldiers are busy with other tasks and don't have TUs for motion scanners, so some will likely slip through until the situation is more or less stabilized. But I found that in the first couple of turns assassins are relatively rarely an issue.

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4982 on: January 08, 2023, 03:55:43 am »
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That may not always be an option (spent your meds on a friend already, etc), or not fast enough vs bleeding.
Strategically, it's of course better to save the agent. But tactically, it can make your position worse than outright losing one.

Yes, you have to dedicate one or two people to rescue the agent. That's your duty as a commander, isn't it? And if you don't overextend, you almost always have that luxury. There's also roles for drained agent, not everyone needs to be on frontline all the time to be useful.

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I meant max damage vs Heavy Tac Suits, which you claimed was 65.
Yeah, it's 58, sorry. I assumed ninja throw to be a little higher that in the wiki, thus got 65.

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Do Assassins come at you from the back all the time? And 95*2*0.5 - 16*1.4 ~= 72, not 67?
AI tries to avoid reaction fire if it can (when walking), so it will try to attack from the sides, or back, if it has the opportunity.
Some people like to rotate back to expected frontline, get hit, and get the baddie with reaction fire, sectoid-style.
But yeah, you right, the max is technically 72, I don't know why i have taken 20*1.4 for that, I didn't intend to count the back.

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In any case, what makes melee dangerous is that they can slash you more than once due to flat and low TU costs, so max damage on one swing is not the most important metric. As you said yourself for the throwing knives. Getting into melee is always a crapshoot until you get such high armour values even a max damage hit does negligible damage.

The point is that surviving an assassin is my main concern there, and bio-exo clearly improves that. The fire is also something of a concern, but surprise - exo covers you there also.

All that's left is kinetics, now that's a true crapshoot. I play with smoke, so enemy almost never sees me, and shoots blind. And they have such abysmal stats that I wonder how do they even manage to hit sometimes.
And even if they hit, they actually have to deal damage.

It's true that there multiple tools against assassins, but most of them are crapshoots. Randomly checking on scanner? Randomly throwing incendiares? Scouting each turn to hope and see one? You can get maybe 3/4 assassins with that, but one or two bastards usually still manage to slip through and wreck a havoc.

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This is a pretty stupid argument if you consider it on the complexity of iron man. The bio-exo suit on the manor is just garbage.
Wrong. It's evident you didn't try. I explicitly noted for you that I cleared 4-5 lotus manors on ironman superhuman, in bio-exos.
And yeah, I was also heavily skeptic about it until I tried.

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If you see an assassin, then with a 90% probability you immediately get 3-4 throwing knives.
That's the point of a bio-exo suit, it has huge cutting resist.

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If you miraculously survive, then the agent needs to be treated on the next turn, and often by two different people.
Wow, and do agents never need treating normally or something? How's this relevant? I don't know about you, but my agents don't ever go alone, always have backup and medkits nearby.

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Assassins are neutralized either by accidentally shooting a minigun, or they are put into a stupor in the doorway by a dog barking.
You can also scout them with rat or a scout drone, they have reasonable anti-camo, as well as see through smoke better then dogs.

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Any other encounter with an assassin with a 95% probability is the death of an agent.
Yeah, for you. Because you do not use bio-exos.

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It's ridiculous to assume that bio exo will really save you from meeting an assassin.
I didn't "assume" anything, that's battle tested. And with enough luck, you can survive Chupacabras.

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On Iron Man, agents with health above 50 are a huge rarity until the discovery of delta radiation.
Wrong again. All my (senior) agents were above 65 health at this point in the game, and at least two had 74, see attachment. That was my first manor attempt.
Some of the guys on this trip survived long enough to see Cydonia, hehe. There, they were max 118-130-156 health, depending on race.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 04:34:57 am by Stone Lake »

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4983 on: January 08, 2023, 04:51:34 am »
AI tries to avoid reaction fire if it can (when walking), so it will try to attack from the sides, or back, if it has the opportunity.
For melee and thrown weapons, that means they waste their TUs on walking rather than attacking, which is a win in the total damage department. And I've been getting throwning knives in the face more often than not. They have to happen upon your flank or rear (which is a concern with Assassins) to reliably backstab you.

Some people like to rotate back to expected frontline, get hit, and get the baddie with reaction fire, sectoid-style.
But you get the reaction shot anyway? What does that even do, except look cool and waste TU?

The point is that surviving an assassin is my main concern there, and bio-exo clearly improves that.
Yeah, I think you've convinced me there.

And they have such abysmal stats that I wonder how do they even manage to hit sometimes.
...
And even if they hit, they actually have to deal damage.
I have a suspicion that extremely low values of hit 'percent' are excessively misleading when it comes to actual hit chance.

I also play with 2d100/2 damage, and it still seems a crapshoot whether they crit me or not. So I prefer higher armour values whenever possible.

It's true that there multiple tools against assassins, but most of them are crapshoots. Randomly checking on scanner? Randomly throwing incendiares? Scouting each turn to hope and see one? You can get maybe 3/4 assassins with that, but one or two bastards usually still manage to slip through and wreck a havoc.
Well, yeah, that is true. I don't Ironman, so guess what I do then? Assassins are bullshit. :D

I wish Solarius would put that super-stealth mojo on the aliens instead of multiple starter cult enemies per map.

If you see an assassin, then with a 90% probability you immediately get 3-4 throwing knives.
Four knives means the Assassin stood almost perfectly still during their turn, or you ran into one and then out of TU (which is on you). I don't think I've ever seen that happen, because Assassins literally can't throw four knives on Veteran.

Offline Mathel

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4984 on: January 08, 2023, 12:44:14 pm »
Back when I played XCF, I used incendiary mines against ninjas. Put a minefield up, then the ninjas will light themselves up.

I have a suspicion that extremely low values of hit 'percent' are excessively misleading when it comes to actual hit chance.

They are.
The "hit percent" is accurate at medium distances. At short distances, the real hit chance is higher. At long distances, the hit chance is lower. (Edit: Except if you have 0% listed. Then your actual hit chance is always higher, since the shot can still accidentally hit your designated target.)

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4985 on: January 08, 2023, 01:06:39 pm »
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For melee and thrown weapons, that means they waste their TUs on walking rather than attacking, which is a win in the total damage department.
Yeah, probably.
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And I've been getting throwning knives in the face more often than not.
If the enemy is directly in front of you, but just one tile off to the side, there's still 33% he'll hit your side armor.
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But you get the reaction shot anyway? What does that even do, except look cool and waste TU?
Well, with throwing knives you won't get to react at all, since you won't see the assassin from that range. So you'll just tank knives with your back armor.
If he goes for melee, it's far worse, so I don't do this. It sounds like an invitation to be katana'd.
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I have a suspicion that extremely low values of hit 'percent' are excessively misleading when it comes to actual hit chance.
Yep, they are. That's because it's not "hit percent", it's firing accuracy.
https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Accuracy_formula
More firing accuracy essentially decreases the width of the firing cone, making you more likely to hit.

But I was talking more about how are enemy stats are garbage compared to what agents can do.

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Challenge
Beat in 15 turns. Some dogs got burned by fire, but will live. Rookies got off with a scare. If they also had smoke, this would be trivial.

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Back when I played XCF, I used incendiary mines against ninjas. Put a minefield up, then the ninjas will light themselves up.
Mines are cool. Especially gas ones, can do all sorts of cool tricks when you're immune to gas. But they have a tendency to get bonked by anyone except assassin, so I just spam them everywhere I can.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 01:11:48 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4986 on: January 08, 2023, 01:50:56 pm »
If the enemy is directly in front of you, but just one tile off to the side, there's still 33% he'll hit your side armor.
True, but he could also crit from the front, or graze from the side, or whatever. None of this is really reliable. And if there's 'only' a 1/3 chance of performing significantly worse than Bio-Exo vs cutting, that's a minor win. Not enough to offset the other advantages, though.

Well, with throwing knives you won't get to react at all, since you won't see the assassin from that range. So you'll just tank knives with your back armor.
Yeah, but that's specific to ninjas and Bio-Exo suits. I thought there was some general advantage to doing it 'sectoid-style'.

Yep, they are. That's because it's not "hit percent", it's firing accuracy.
I'm aware. But I meant that this number is wildly off-target. I've seen enough cases of '2%' shots hit people like 10-20% of the time at 20 tiles or so, if the intervening terrain is clear.

But I was talking more about how are enemy stats are garbage compared to what agents can do.
Experienced, enhanced agents are significantly superhuman, yeah. The aliens could learn a thing or two from X-Com bio-enhancement programs. :)

Beat in 15 turns. Some dogs got burned by fire, but will live. Rookies got off with a scare. If they also had smoke, this would be trivial.
I didn't expect it to go this well! How long were you reloading your turns until no doggie was vaporised? Or did you do mid-turn quicksaves?

For some reason, I also thought Battleships had some of the big roof turrets, which would have actually been impossible. Hmm, maybe the little turrets need a giant amount of dodge to represent them bring attached to the roof instead of the ground?

I guess it kinda shows that aliens do need better stats to be a big threat. Or perhaps Brutal AI. >:D

It also shows how unbalanced melee damage scaling is. I kinda find it immersion-breaking when regular, non-enhanced dogs can rip out alien spaceship turrets with their plain Mk I teeth. Mine literally cannot, 0-40 damage vs 50 armour.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 02:01:16 pm by Juku121 »

Offline PPQ

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4987 on: January 08, 2023, 02:18:55 pm »
Just don't overdo it. Remember that for every hardcore player that enjoys a painful challenge there are also old people like my self who enjoy a more casual play stile. So you need to balance for the middle rather than just making challenge for challenge sake.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4988 on: January 08, 2023, 02:51:40 pm »
No worries, I doubt Solarius will do either. And you can always tell challenge-seekers to use the Brutal AI mod and see how long they last. ;D

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4989 on: January 08, 2023, 03:47:51 pm »
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I thought there was some general advantage to doing it 'sectoid-style'.
Nope, in general that's mostly disadvantageous. That's why sectoids are chumps and dogs eat them for breakfast.
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But I meant that this number is wildly off-target.
It's not off target because it's literally not hit chance, but related. But yeah, it's somewhat misleading if you think about it this way.
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How long were you reloading your turns until no doggie was vaporised? Or did you do mid-turn quicksaves?
Not too much. Regular enemies mostly ignore you. The hardest part is getting inside the saucer avoiding turrets. I use Boo Boo to bait their fire from afar, then run through with other dogs. After that you have cover, and can start to methodically shank aliens, turrets and cyberdics. Yeah, there were quicksaves.

My headcanon is, the sectoids somewhat knew about the Earth. And thus just ignored a bunch of strays next to UFO. It's tension, X-Com landed nearby! Next up is, screaming, chaos in psi-channel - how do these bastards attack us??
So, underestimated the enemy, but it was too late...
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For some reason, I also thought Battleships had some of the big roof turrets, which would have actually been impossible.
That's terror ships. Would be still possible, if dogs could fly. Or jump.
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I guess it kinda shows that aliens do need better stats to be a big threat. Or perhaps Brutal AI. >:D
Nope, the point was that savescumming is the most terrifying weapon. You can already beat almost any late-game encounter normally, with sufficient prep, when you get to promo 2. But with savescumming, oh boy.
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It also shows how unbalanced melee damage scaling is. I kinda find it immersion-breaking when regular, non-enhanced dogs can rip out alien spaceship turrets with their plain Mk I teeth. Mine literally cannot, 0-40 damage vs 50 armour.
Just imagine they're wielding katana in their teeth. In general, dogs are a bit too strong, yes. What's more, fairly pumped dog can withstand ethereals.

But they also die pretty easily and require some skill and knowledge to use properly. I lost something over 300 of them, and it was year 2.5 before I got a first dog to cap TUs.

Then I found out that you can cheese exp a little, and it became 20 maxed out dogs, 10 rats, etc. Didn't need all of those that much in the end, and yet 10 still died...
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Remember that for every hardcore player that enjoys a painful challenge there are also old people like my self who enjoy a more casual play stile. So you need to balance for the middle rather than just making challenge for challenge sake.
I feel that the strength of the aliens depends on player's knowledge. Aliens feel like a legitimate threat when you don't know how to deal with them, and then feel like worms in the dirt you walk upon. Enemy unknown and all that. I think, that makes for a nice feeling of progression and manages to cater to both categories of players.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 04:24:07 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4990 on: January 08, 2023, 04:29:46 pm »
It's not off target because it's literally not hit chance, but related.
Well, in some cases (extreme values, clear shot to 5% of the body while 95% is covered by a hedge, etc) it seems so weakly related it's counterproductive.

Regular enemies mostly ignore you.
Yep, that's a big issue with classic X-Com AI.

Yeah, there were quicksaves.
I meant middle-of-enemy-turn quicksaves. Took me half a dozen tries to get to turn 3 without any dogs biting it with regular saves.

Nope, the point was that savescumming is the most terrifying weapon.
It is. But... If the enemies coordinated well enough that each turn they'd hit and kill someone in the open with 99% certainty without milling around, even if not the same agent/dog every time... If melee wasn't OP... Maybe you'd actually need tactics and ranged weaponry and pure savescumming wouldn't work. I suspect Brutal AI might actually do something like half of this. Should try sometime.

Then I found out that you can cheese exp a little, and it became 20 maxed out dogs, 10 rats, etc.
What precisely were you using? High armour, mind control, non-surrendering enemies corralled away while you bark'n'bite the rest, something else?

Edit:
My headcanon
;D

Would be still possible, if dogs could fly. Or jump.
XCF dogs are more likely to get a bite that shreds UFO walls, which would also work. :)

Just imagine they're wielding katana in their teeth.
A guy with a katana bashing alien spaceship turrets into pieces is also a considerable distance into full fiction territory.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 04:50:36 pm by Juku121 »

Offline Nalca

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4991 on: January 08, 2023, 05:59:34 pm »
What precisely were you using? High armour, mind control, non-surrendering enemies corralled away while you bark'n'bite the rest, something else?
I would say, dogs barking at a stunned enemy. Count as hitting an enemy with an attack.
Guess they lack confidence  :P

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4992 on: January 09, 2023, 07:39:57 am »
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I meant middle-of-enemy-turn quicksaves. Took me half a dozen tries to get to turn 3 without any dogs biting it with regular saves.
Nope.
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If melee wasn't OP...Maybe you'd actually need tactics and ranged weaponry and pure savescumming wouldn't work.
Wow, somehow scamming a hit with a blops or heavy cannon to a turret across the map is less OP than shanking it up close?
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Brutal AI
Atm feels about as dumb as original, but in different way. The dog challenge is definitely doable against it, but maybe you're bound to lose a dog or two to grenades. Maybe not, as you can lure the grenadier to a cover and eat him.
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What precisely were you using?
Morale.
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A guy with a katana bashing alien spaceship turrets into pieces is also a considerable distance into full fiction territory.
There could be some seams in its construction. For example, he can old-school jam it with a metal rod. Or break it's sensors. It's a dumb stationary target, why should it be invincible?
And agents are superhuman hulks. They most definitely can bend metal, and rip the turret with hands. I'm actually peeved in opposite direction - you can't ever punch the crap outta sectopod, even though it's not the most stable thing and the hulks should be able to overturn it.
Anyway, you can just leave primed hi-ex next to it instead. Ever heard of K-9 sui-squad?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 07:54:25 am by Stone Lake »

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4993 on: January 09, 2023, 08:51:16 am »
Wow, somehow scamming a hit with a blops or heavy cannon to a turret across the map is less OP than shanking it up close?
No, having a non-vanishing chance of everyone surviving both the positions from where they can run across the map and those you end up in is where the extra OP-ness lies.

Atm feels about as dumb as original, but in different way. The dog challenge is definitely doable against it, but maybe you're bound to lose a dog or two to grenades. Maybe not, as you can lure the grenadier to a cover and eat him.
Don't they shoot your dogs from long range a lot more, possibly with Blasters? There was no full cover for a lot of them in the saves.

You should probably share your observations on dumbness with Xilmi, too.

Morale.
You mean panicking? Took so long to yield results last time I tried it I gave up.

There could be some seams in its construction. For example, he can old-school jam it with a metal rod.
That would at best leave you with half a sword and the snapped-off half wedged into the super-alloy seam. Swords make poor crowbars.

Or break it's sensors. It's a dumb stationary target, why should it be invincible?
They are probably networked, and plugged into the UFO's own psi-channels to boot.

And it needs to be tough precisely because it's immobile. Not so tough you can't kill it, but not without serious firepower. Or hulks with equally tough rods to bash it with. :)

I'm actually peeved in opposite direction - you can't ever punch the crap outta sectopod, even though it's not the most stable thing and the hulks should be able to overturn it.
Interesting idea. Though maxed people in Power/Flying Suits definitely can, if not very reliably and/or from the front.

Ever heard of K-9 sui-squad?
Yep. Used to be rookies before dogs came along.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 08:56:01 am by Juku121 »

Offline Stone Lake

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Re: The X-Com Files - 2.7: Spectral Entities
« Reply #4994 on: January 09, 2023, 12:18:05 pm »
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No, having a non-vanishing chance of everyone surviving both the positions from where they can run across the map and those you end up in is where the extra OP-ness lies.

Don't they shoot your dogs from long range a lot more, possibly with Blasters? There was no full cover for a lot of them in the saves.
They try, but no. First, I'm in pretty reasonable cover. It's not like I'm going extra mile for stupid shit and the entire alien squad has guns on me. It's just one or two. What, they miss their entire auto? That's just X-COM, happens to me all the time. Wow, they threw the grenade wrong and blew themselves up? That's just X-COM, happens to me all the time.
It not completely OP here. It's all of things RNG juking offers, combined, and then some.
Reasonably scumming player would just clear up here a bit with hit-and-run tactics, and then it will work anyway. Not exactly a pinnacle of thought required.

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Though maxed people in Power/Flying Suits definitely can, if not very reliably and/or from the front.
No, they can't.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 12:20:16 pm by Stone Lake »