OpenXcom Forum

Modding => Released Mods => Area 51 => Topic started by: Hobbes on January 11, 2016, 05:11:31 am

Title: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 11, 2016, 05:11:31 am
So, I'm currently designing 0.9 which should contain the last major change regarding design and I've come up with some interesting insights to share regarding missions.

Right now the missions have three issues: too many UFOs (unconfirmed bug), the scripted missions are changing the vanilla flow and there are a lot of new terrains/missions to balance regarding their appearances.

So I've decided to start with 2 major changes:
* Remove the specific Overseer missions, to reduce the number of UFOs (and solve the bug)
* Increase the number of possible UFO waves from 1 to 3 in the vanilla missions. On Alien Research, Abductions, Harvest, Supply and Base the additional waves contain 33% and 66% of the vanilla UFO wave, and most consist only of a couple UFOs. On Alien Terror, Infiltration and Retaliation one of the new waves will contain the Overseer UFO and a heavy escort. 

The smaller number of reduced UFOs will make it harder to detect UFOs or predict their behavior. It will also allow for the same mission to be repeated over a region, although at a low chance, and finally, it will reduce the recovered loot. And finally, the reduced number of UFO missions opens more space to a new regular monthly mission, but with no scripted missions and keeping the openness of the original regarding research.

Thus, there will also be major changes to the new missions:
* Reassign the Alien Hive and Colony terrains to the Alien Base Assault missions
* Consolidate all the new missions into a single new mission to be generated every month like terror sites
* Redesign and expand the new missions to balance the appearance of new terrains

I'm basically finishing this last part and the new missions can have 8 different objectives:
* Defense - hold a position against the aliens
* Assault - kill all aliens
* Attack - rescue civilians
* Extraction - escape carrying a specific item
* Recovery - assault to recover a specific item
* Destroy - specific map object
* Escape
* Capture

Each of those objectives will have 4 specific terrains assigned, for a total of 32 different missions.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on January 11, 2016, 01:08:56 pm
I assume you are still using the same Version of the Area51 Base Terrain for those?

Since i was so far very hesitent to die into those specifically, since you changed loads of stuff with them.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 11, 2016, 05:15:14 pm
I assume you are still using the same Version of the Area51 Base Terrain for those?

Yes, Area 51 and all of the new terrains will be used for those missions, but their appearance will be more balanced - right now Area 51 terrains are used for roughly 1/2 the missions but with this new structure they'll be present only in 1/3.

Here's a breakdown of the terrains per missions (list incomplete - only 3 terrains assigned to a mission at the moment):
* Defense - Storm Mountain, Area 51 Defense, Siberia
* Assault - Area 51 Recovery, Area 51 Assault, Area 51 Base
* Attack - Slums, Polis, Airfield
* Extraction - Complex, Area 51 Research, Area 51 Extraction
* Recovery - HWP Factory, Skyranger Factory, Area51 Research
* Destroy - Storm Mountain, Area 51 Base, Cargo Ship
* Escape - Slums, Polis, Port Linership
* Capture - Linership, Complex, Airfield

I'll need to create a few new terrains, but nearly all the work to implement all of this will regard the ruleset. The existing terrains will be used as they are right now.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: niculinux on January 11, 2016, 07:19:49 pm
Interestin! Just out of curiosity,  shall we see any weapons/items ?
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 11, 2016, 07:36:12 pm
Interestin! Just out of curiosity,  shall we see any weapons/items ?

If you mean new weapons/items/craft in addition to the ones already in Redux, yes it is likely as long as they don't make significant changes to the research tree or to game balance. I already got the Blackbird tagged for addition since  I'd like to at least see that craft on a map.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: niculinux on January 13, 2016, 11:18:36 am
If you mean new weapons/items/craft in addition to the ones already in Redux, yes it is likely as long as they don't make significant changes to the research tree or to game balance. I already got the Blackbird tagged for addition since  I'd like to at least see that craft on a map.

yes, that i meant :) thanks.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: silencer_pl on January 13, 2016, 11:15:40 pm
In my humble opinion you need to see something for X-COM Armour. I personally don't like that many aliens can one shot kill you in Flying Suit, while some of your anti specific alien guns have hard time in one shot killing them - exclude Blaster Launcher as anti specific alien gun.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 14, 2016, 05:46:53 am
In my humble opinion you need to see something for X-COM Armour. I personally don't like that many aliens can one shot kill you in Flying Suit, while some of your anti specific alien guns have hard time in one shot killing them - exclude Blaster Launcher as anti specific alien gun.

The Overlords weapon has 100 power, which is even less than the damage output of a Heavy Plasma, and the Solarite weapon is 140 but it is melee. The Hybrid and Armored Sectopod have a weapon of 150 power but they only face them in certain missions and they are supposed to be tough aliens to defeat.

If I add an a better armor than Flying Suit, then the Heavy Plasma gets less useful for the AI and fighting the early races (Sectoid, Floater, etc.) during the late game becomes even easier. So those aliens might need a better gun against that advanced armor to have a chance, so I'd have to give another weapon to the aliens to keep them at least as efficient in vanilla in killing XCOM troops, which brings back the issue you first mentioned that XCOM soldiers are being killed in one shots, and all of this doesn't really solve the issue.

But, about the anti-specific alien weapons, one thing I want to do is to increase the Gauss weapons' stats to the same ones as Lasers, which will represent a 10-15% increase in their power. Lasers will still have unlimited ammo, making them slightly superior. One thing I noticed also from your playthrough is that you haven't really used either the Alloy Shotgun and the new ammo rounds for the Small Launcher, which can also be useful against those aliens with increased Plasma/Laser resistance.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 14, 2016, 06:25:23 am
OK, here's my current draft of the new monthly mission structure. The top of the sheet lists the terrains and what types of missions can be reasonably played on them. The bottom of the sheet is the selection I made of attributing 4 terrains to each mission, using several criteria: same probability for each terrain to be chosen, etc.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Mission%20List.png)

Each of the 32 missions will have its specific alienDeployment, giving it unique alert messages and site locations, and some will feature the human collaborators instead of aliens. A few more specific details about each mission type:
* Capture - an alien Scientist/Commander (chosen randomly) will be present during the mission
* Recovery/Extraction - both involve recovering a Data Disk, first mission you'll need to discover its location, second you'll start already with it and have to move to the exit. Each data disk will unlock a specific tech when researched, allowing to skip all research requirements for that topic. Techs will all be human, like Gauss and Laser weapons, armors up to Personal Armor, advanced crafts and HWPs. 
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: silencer_pl on January 14, 2016, 12:22:50 pm
The Overlords weapon has 100 power, which is even less than the damage output of a Heavy Plasma, and the Solarite weapon is 140 but it is melee. The Hybrid and Armored Sectopod have a weapon of 150 power but they only face them in certain missions and they are supposed to be tough aliens to defeat.

If I add an a better armor than Flying Suit, then the Heavy Plasma gets less useful for the AI and fighting the early races (Sectoid, Floater, etc.) during the late game becomes even easier. So those aliens might need a better gun against that advanced armor to have a chance, so I'd have to give another weapon to the aliens to keep them at least as efficient in vanilla in killing XCOM troops, which brings back the issue you first mentioned that XCOM soldiers are being killed in one shots, and all of this doesn't really solve the issue.

But, about the anti-specific alien weapons, one thing I want to do is to increase the Gauss weapons' stats to the same ones as Lasers, which will represent a 10-15% increase in their power. Lasers will still have unlimited ammo, making them slightly superior. One thing I noticed also from your playthrough is that you haven't really used either the Alloy Shotgun and the new ammo rounds for the Small Launcher, which can also be useful against those aliens with increased Plasma/Laser resistance.

Today will be the day I will use Alloy Shotguns and I'm not very satisfied with them (as mentioned in feedback thread). The spread is too wild, although overall they should be perfect for Overlords. I don't know I think when Nook played in 0.54 version Alloy Shotguns were more reliable. Auto Cannons are also questionable because it takes from 1-5 shots. Sometimes I have a feeling that aliens are invurnerable, because in some cases I need to land 5 heavy plasma shots. But I know this is the fault of 0-200% damage range.

I was thinking of a more specialized armour. Also why aliens armour have protection against certain weapons, and human armour only against smoke, stun and fire? I understand that in vanilla resistances were non-existent and TFTD made strong use of it.  One time you made example against armour comparing tank armour vs shell types. So why only aliens use this?
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: yrizoud on January 14, 2016, 01:08:44 pm
XCOM soldiers are being killed in one shots
An idea to consider is to make higher tier armors start reducing damage by a percentage, rather than increase the flat amount.
This helps avoid situations where a shot has 45% chance of leaving soldier unharmed, 10% chance of wounding him, and 45% chance of killing him outright - such randomness is not fun for a strategy game.

I've toyed with the idea of making "unarmored" humans pretty vulnerable to plasma damage (150%), and each new armor reduces this weakness a little. The early plasma weapons' damage is scaled down accordingly, so that when XCOM starts using them against aliens, they are not as devastating.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 14, 2016, 05:53:46 pm
I was thinking of a more specialized armour. Also why aliens armour have protection against certain weapons, and human armour only against smoke, stun and fire? I understand that in vanilla resistances were non-existent and TFTD made strong use of it.  One time you made example against armour comparing tank armour vs shell types. So why only aliens use this?

You have a good memory (because of the tank armor/shells) :)

Specialized armor sounds a lot more interesting, but against what? Aliens don't use AP or Lasers so those two are out (actually a couple of the new terror units use it, like the Holodrone). HE might be useful but giving a modifier to plasma is the same as increasing the armor value. Melee might be another option but it isn't that used.

An idea to consider is to make higher tier armors start reducing damage by a percentage, rather than increase the flat amount.
This helps avoid situations where a shot has 45% chance of leaving soldier unharmed, 10% chance of wounding him, and 45% chance of killing him outright - such randomness is not fun for a strategy game.

I've toyed with the idea of making "unarmored" humans pretty vulnerable to plasma damage (150%), and each new armor reduces this weakness a little. The early plasma weapons' damage is scaled down accordingly, so that when XCOM starts using them against aliens, they are not as devastating.

And when the humans start deploying advanced armors the effectiveness of the alien shots drop as well when using the early plasma weapons. This is an interesting idea for another mod but here it involves too many changes from the original.

But when I mentioned the issue of 'one kill shots', to me it isn't really an issue but one of the key features of the original UFO and TFTD (less here with its damage variation model) for several reasons. The most important of those is how the AI depends on those shots to be effective, since it can't coordinate attacks with several units as well as the player.

In any case, there is already one vanilla feature that allow players to reduce the one shot kills, which are the HWPs. The Hovertanks have 130 armor and 90 health which allows them to absorb most shots since only a shot with 220 power (and max Heavy Plasma damage is 115) can kill an intact Hovertank.

Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: silencer_pl on January 14, 2016, 06:44:55 pm
Erm max heavy plasma damage is 230, 115 is average damage. And in my whole experience hovertanks are just tiny bit more resistant and can die a plenty vs heavy plasma, cyberdisc, sectopod.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 14, 2016, 07:01:07 pm
Erm max heavy plasma damage is 230, 115 is average damage. And in my whole experience hovertanks are just tiny bit more resistant and can die a plenty vs heavy plasma, cyberdisc, sectopod.

Correct, 230 max damage is what I wanted to write.

The big difference between HWPs and soldiers is health, which HWPs have nearly the double of a veteran soldier, and which allows them to survive longer. To kill an undamaged Hovertank with a shot to the front of its armor requires a RNG result of 220 or higher, which corresponds to even less than 5% of the possible results for a Heavy Plasma shot. To kill a flying suit with 50 health requires a RNG result of 160 or higher, which corresponds to ~30% of all possible RNG results. So the chance of a Hovertank dying from a Heavy Plasma is 5-6 times lower than a Flying Suit, which is a lot.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: silencer_pl on January 14, 2016, 08:14:10 pm
By the way, I've noticed that there is no alloy ammo for tanks. Maybe with improved tanks armour there should also be better bullets / rockets ?
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 14, 2016, 08:20:45 pm
By the way, I've noticed that there is no alloy ammo for tanks. Maybe with improved tanks armour there should also be better bullets / rockets ?

That's a good idea since the Gauss weapons will be upgraded to the Laser stats. I previously didn't add any new weapons for the tanks because the I didn't think the differences between conventional/alloy ammo/gauss made it worthwhile to have a HWP with that weaponry.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on January 18, 2016, 03:41:23 pm
Work on 0.9 is progressing, I'm aiming to finish it before XCOM 2 comes out on February 5th, since afterwards I should be completely hijacked by that game from what I've seen so far.

Here's a list of what's coming for 0.9 in addition to the new missions described above:
* Varied UFO waves for each mission - DONE
* Reworked Geoscape with additional textures to try to make the world a bit closer to reality (although it is really impossible to make a real life globe with getting rid of the bright greens) - DONE
* Reworked regions, taking into account the new tactical missions and also removing some cities to make it look better. The Pacific Ocean is also to be divided into North and South regions - DONE
* Simplified research - data disks will work differently and Lasers will be available for research right after Gauss tech research is completed
* Gauss weapon stats increased to Laser ones - DONE
* Gauss HWP will be added
* Skyrider will be replaced with the Blackbird (designed by Roxis123)
* Add the no helmets for power suits mod
* Add Labship and additional UFO internal configurations
* Rebalance to Phasers/Stalkers - DONE
* Overlord rebalance
* Add Acid and Elerium rounds to HC/AC?

I hope I haven't missed anything mentioned before.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on February 02, 2016, 05:52:17 pm
Well, I got bad news and good news.

Good news is that a new feature (mission timers - read about those here (https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4288.0.html)) got added yesterday by Warboy1982 to the Nightly which just expanded the type of missions possible.

Bad news is that I was working for a release of 0.9 before February 5th, since on that day XCOM 2 will be released and I'm completely hyped about it, but with the new features announced before I'll need to rethink the list of the new Council Missions. Just for a little idea, version 0.9 would have a total of 73 new missions (as alienDeployments), although only 57 will be actually used on Redux (to avoid certain mission types to appear too much). Most of these missions already exist on the early versions of Redux and I'm working on the new ones.

So, this means that 0.9 will be released but just not as I had planned and announced. Sorry about that but I can say that I've already tested the Slums escape mission with a timer and it was something completely new to play and fun, so the wait seems worthwhile :)
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: davide on February 02, 2016, 11:13:09 pm
It is much better wait the first patch of XCOM2 before play it....
 ::) ::) ::)
and if you wait same time you could buy GOTY edition with all DLC
and a beautifull T-shirt


 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

in the meantime you could work on Redux 2.0 full time

 :P :P :P :P :P

Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on February 02, 2016, 11:24:32 pm
It is much better wait the first patch of XCOM2 before play it....
 ::) ::) ::)
and if you wait same time you could buy GOTY edition with all DLC
and a beautifull T-shirt


 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

in the meantime you could work on Redux 2.0 full time

 :P :P :P :P :P

I played Enemy Unknown from the first day it came out and I wasn't bothered with the bugs at all. And I'm already too hyped for XCOM2, specially since I spent the last 6 months thinking of it while working on Redux.  8)

In any case, I suspect I'll get some ideas for new terrains and missions from XCOM2. And then I'm going to start thinking about Phase 3 (Phase 1 = Terrain Pack, Phase 2 = Redux, Phase 3 = ????)
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: davide on February 03, 2016, 12:13:17 am
I joke  ;)

I bought on steam a cheaper complete package of new  XCOM games but I do not install any of them for now
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: davide on February 09, 2016, 10:42:28 am
Is Redux contains already Hellrazor Expanded Terror (Luke's mod heavy reworked) ?

I would like that Redux 0.9 will include Hellrazor's UBase reworked too

bye



Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on February 10, 2016, 12:58:48 am
Is Redux contains already Hellrazor Expanded Terror (Luke's mod heavy reworked) ?

Yes, it already includes it.

Quote
I would like that Redux 0.9 will include Hellrazor's UBase reworked too

bye

I haven't seen those but 0.9 will have Alien Colony and Hive as additional terrains for Alien Base Assault missions.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: davide on February 10, 2016, 02:24:40 pm
I haven't seen those but 0.9 will have Alien Colony and Hive as additional terrains for Alien Base Assault missions.

Hellrazor's ubase maps are new maps with vanilla style,  terrain tilset is compatible, but them use an additional MCD

https://www.openxcom.com/mod/expanded-ubase-rework (https://www.openxcom.com/mod/expanded-ubase-rework)

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,3580.0.html (https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,3580.0.html)
Here you have criticized some purple floor tiles, but them are vanilla and are used as light source.
In mine opinion, It is a waste of time heavy refactoring a vanilla and peculiar XCom terrain
because with same efforts, Modder could create completely new original terrain such as your Alien Colony and Hive, or XOp's Alien base
Therefore I respectfully suggest you to consider to integrate those complementary maps.

If I can ease you watch them: :-[

you can append this line into MapView settings Images.dat:

Code: [Select]
${expandedUBaseImg}:C:\game\ox\OpenXCom\user\mods\Expanded_UBase_Reworked\TERRAIN\

U_BASE2:${expandedUBaseImg}

and you can append this line into MapView settings  MapEdit.dat:

Code: [Select]
${expandedUBasePath}:C:\game\ox\OpenXCom\user\mods\Expanded_UBase_Reworked
${rootPathexpandedUBase}:${expandedUBasePath}\MAPS\
${rmpPathexpandedUBase}:${expandedUBasePath}\ROUTES\

Tileset:Expanded Helllrazor UBase terrain
type:1
rootpath:${rootPathexpandedUBase}
rmpPath:${rmpPathexpandedUBase}
blankPath:${blankUFO}
palette:UFO

files:Expanded Ufo Base
${dep}:U_BASE U_WALL02 U_PODS BRAIN U_BASE2 U_DISEC2 U_OPER2
UBASE_07:${dep}
UBASE_07b:${dep}
UBASE_10:${dep}
UBASE_04:${dep}
UBASE_04b:${dep}
UBASE_00:${dep}
UBASE_00b:${dep}
UBASE_15:${dep}
UBASE_18:${dep}
UBASE_18:${dep}
UBASE_21:${dep}
UBASE_03:${dep}
UBASE_20:${dep}
UBASE_06:${dep}
UBASE_06b:${dep}
UBASE_06c:${dep}
UBASE_16:${dep}
UBASE_12:${dep}
UBASE_12b:${dep}
UBASE_11:${dep}
UBASE_11b:${dep}
UBASE_11c:${dep}
UBASE_08:${dep}
UBASE_08b:${dep}
UBASE_05:${dep}
UBASE_05b:${dep}
UBASE_13:${dep}
UBASE_17:${dep}
UBASE_17b:${dep}
UBASE_02:${dep}
UBASE_02b:${dep}
UBASE_02c:${dep}
UBASE_14:${dep}
UBASE_09:${dep}
UBASE_09b:${dep}
UBASE_09c:${dep}
UBASE_09d:${dep}
UBASE_01:${dep}
UBASE_01b:${dep}
UBASE_01c:${dep}
UBASE_19:${dep}
end
end

(obviously mod path has to be changed to respect your installation  :-[)
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 03, 2016, 05:07:03 pm
After two months of playing XCOM 2 I've gone back to finishing version 0.9 and the new missions. Still got some work before I present the new version but here's what I've already finished in the last days:

New Downtown terrain:

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen003.png)

New Escape mission (will have 12 different terrains, here's the 3 I've finished so far):

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen004.png)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen006.png)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen007.png)

The Escape mission can appear instead of a Terror Site - you won't get any previous warning since the alert is the same, but each city on Geoscape only generates either a Terror Site OR an Escape mission, so if you use a cheat sheet you'll be able to know what you'll get.

And to finish, Geoscape has been further improved, with additional textures:

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen008.png)

There's also a ton of new missions coming through later on.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: harre on April 03, 2016, 11:55:55 pm
Looks lovely, is anything working for TFTD?
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 04, 2016, 12:38:19 am
Looks lovely, is anything working for TFTD?

No, this mod is for UFO only
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: davide on April 04, 2016, 01:33:15 am
Welcome back,
I was afraid you not survive xcom2!!! :'(


 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 04, 2016, 01:50:07 am
Welcome back,
I was afraid you not survive xcom2!!! :'(


 ;D ;D ;D

Thanks. :)

Those 2000 hours of playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown sure did help - XCOM 2 didn't felt as difficult as EU at the beginning, although I still haven't tried Legendary difficulty.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on April 04, 2016, 07:04:04 pm
OMFG!!!

This improved Globe looks awesome.
You wouldn't mind me stealing it as soon as it becomes avaible right?
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on April 06, 2016, 05:56:38 pm
So I was going to save this bit of feedback until I do my full review/feedback of the mod but with you working on 0.9 I guess it would be better to do so now.

1)  Improved HC/AC.  Possibly also the Rocket Launcher and Multi-Launcher but those two feel mostly fine from this perspective.  And when I say improved I'm talking about the accuracy.  Almost all weapons (all weapons?) that get a tier upgrade also get an accuracy improvement as well.  This leaves these weapons rather lacking and potentially worse to use even in regards to explosive ammo.  So an upgraded version with improved accuracy would be nice.

2)  Ammo Improvements.  Not just the HC/AC ones you've listed, but improved rockets and rocket packs and it would be nice if Gauss weapons could use AA ammo.  As of right now by the time you get AA ammo you can quickly get Gauss which makes a lot of that AA ammo useless.  My full review will include other possibilities, but Gauss also being able to use AA ammo would be nice.
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 06, 2016, 09:19:31 pm
So I was going to save this bit of feedback until I do my full review/feedback of the mod but with you working on 0.9 I guess it would be better to do so now.

1)  Improved HC/AC.  Possibly also the Rocket Launcher and Multi-Launcher but those two feel mostly fine from this perspective.  And when I say improved I'm talking about the accuracy.  Almost all weapons (all weapons?) that get a tier upgrade also get an accuracy improvement as well.  This leaves these weapons rather lacking and potentially worse to use even in regards to explosive ammo.  So an upgraded version with improved accuracy would be nice.

2)  Ammo Improvements.  Not just the HC/AC ones you've listed, but improved rockets and rocket packs and it would be nice if Gauss weapons could use AA ammo.  As of right now by the time you get AA ammo you can quickly get Gauss which makes a lot of that AA ammo useless.  My full review will include other possibilities, but Gauss also being able to use AA ammo would be nice.

Thanks but I'm going to suggest that you compile all of this for you review when you're done playing. The new missions/terrains are giving me a lot of work and I don't have time/motivation to be thinking of anything else at this point because it might take a couple weeks before I'm done with them :)
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: GrossorMD on April 07, 2016, 03:35:25 pm
Looks good  :D  What's the ETA for 0,9?
Title: Re: Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 08, 2016, 03:06:33 am
Looks good  :D  What's the ETA for 0,9?

Couple of weeks or less. Last night I finished the Escape terrains (13 of them) but I still got 18 new missions to finish implementing, then add the required changes to research, alien squads, etc., and a couple of minor changes to other stuff that are already backlogged.
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 28, 2016, 08:07:14 pm
New version is still some time away from being released due to more stuff being added/reviewed but here's the updated progress list and a major announcement. :)

* Varied UFO waves for each mission - DONE
** To do later: add Labship and additional UFO internal configurations
* Reworked Geoscape with additional textures - DONE
* Reworked world regions, taking into account the new tactical missions and also removing/adding cities for a better distribution - DONE
* New Council missions - 1 is chosen randomly and spawn each month, can be Destroy, Capture, Recovery, Extraction, Assault and Defend - DONE
** Finish Destroy mission - only one remaining, all other missions and their terrains are implemented at this stage - DONE
* Reassign the Alien Hive and Colony terrains to the Alien Base Assault missions - DONE
* To do later - Finish Pyramid terrains, Polar, Desert and Jungle versions. Each texture now has a list of possible terrains to be used on Alien Base Assault missions - suspended until it's possible to define Alien Base terrains in world textures)
* Alien races appearance rebalance/fix - DONE
** Reworked alienRaces PACT versions to give proper alien ranks to capture missions - DONE
* Reworked research & manufacturing - DONE
** Lasers can now be researched after all vanilla Gauss weapons are researched - DONE
** Research & Manufacturing times now back to vanilla values - DONE
** Data disks can now be recovered from both Extraction and Recovery missions, upon researching them they'll give a random tech of the following list: Gauss Weapons, Alloy Ammo, Laser Weapons, Thunderstorm, Alloy Sword, Alloy Vest, Combat Armor, Personal Armor, Alloy Shotgun, Improved HWPs, Stormhawk Missile, Blackbird - DONE
* Weapons & Alien Units redesign, with the helpful collaboration of aknazer - DONE
** New Overlord & Phaser stats and damage modifiers - DONE
** New Gauss Autocannon and Gauss Heavy Cannon, as upgraded versions of their conventional counterparts - DONE
** Gauss weapons (Pistol, Rifle, Heavy) bumped to TFTD values - DONE
** Other minor adjustments to other weapons and units stats - DONE
** Gauss HWPs will be added - DONE
* Skyrider will be replaced with the Blackbird (designed by Roxis123) - DONE
* News briefs are being rewritten and will now appear as a Research project, each brief will contain some info about the locations of the council missions and their terrains, the new alien races, more UFO folklore & news, etc., I have written about 50 new entries so far
* Add allied humans (armed civilians) to missions
* Finish Special missions

And finally, one major change is coming which is that Redux will be renamed starting on version 0.9. This has to do with the name no longer reflecting the current nature of this expansion, since Redux at the beginning was meant to 'improve' aspects like air combat, research, squad sizes, etc., but as development moved forward I started removing all of these kinds of mods/features and keeping it to closer to vanilla as possible, while expanding the ingame universe with new missions/terrains/units/weapons.

As a result, from 0.9 onwards Redux shall be named as XCOM: Area 51

Some of you might recognize it as the name of my old website that hosted my terrain mods for the vanilla game and that's exactly why I chose it. More than 10 years ago when I started modding I once dreamed of being able to add new missions and all the terrains I wanted to the vanilla game. And when I first started modding for OXC I used the mods I had on my site to develop the Terrain Pack, which then evolved into Redux and now returns to XCOM: Area 51 :)
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: new_civilian on April 29, 2016, 11:40:43 am
Woah, can't wait to test all this! May I have a tiny suggestion to make the new plasma weaponry a bit more "standardized", it's not much but could the new small plasma weapon have the same color as the plasma blaster? I don't know the names atm, but I mean the ones from UFO2000 , they have a different color theme atm. I will change the pistol-sized weapon file and post it here in some minutes, ok?

update: file attached
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 29, 2016, 02:20:20 pm
Woah, can't wait to test all this! May I have a tiny suggestion to make the new plasma weaponry a bit more "standardized", it's not much but could the new small plasma weapon have the same color as the plasma blaster? I don't know the names atm, but I mean the ones from UFO2000 , they have a different color theme atm. I will change the pistol-sized weapon file and post it here in some minutes, ok?

update: file attached

This is not a new weapon, it already exists as the Plasma Assault Cannon but it is only carried by the aliens on Cydonia and it has the color of the original UFO2000 sprite
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: new_civilian on April 30, 2016, 12:11:25 pm
I meant new weapon as in contrast to the default vanilla weapons. Still, i personally prefer an ongoing theme on weapons of a branch, that's why I made the color correction^
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on April 30, 2016, 04:13:15 pm
I meant new weapon as in contrast to the default vanilla weapons. Still, i personally prefer an ongoing theme on weapons of a branch, that's why I made the color correction^

I've considered that principle, of an ongoing theme, but there are two reasons why I don't consider it relevant:
* The vanilla weapons don't really match with one another, so unless you also replace their sprites they'll always be a mismatch
* Ingame, it's easier to recognize which weapon is being carried by a soldier if they have different colors in addition to different shapes

Because of these two I decided to try to mix the colors as much as possible, although in the case of the Gauss weapons they all have the same color.
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: new_civilian on April 30, 2016, 05:42:58 pm
Yeah, ok, now that makes sense. Interestingly now that I know that I like it  :D
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Countdown on May 02, 2016, 11:00:56 am
* Ingame, it's easier to recognize which weapon is being carried by a soldier if they have different colors in addition to different shapes
This is an important point. I've been using Cooper's blaster launcher mod and it makes the alien version of the blaster launcher green and brown. In the hands of aliens it looks similar to a stun launcher from certain angles. That is not a mistake you want to make.

-Stun Launcher - That alien isn't a priority; he isn't going to kill anyone.
-Blaster Launcher - I'm about to lose half my squad if I don't kill this guy.
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 02, 2016, 03:42:14 pm
This is an important point. I've been using Cooper's blaster launcher mod and it makes the alien version of the blaster launcher green and brown. In the hands of aliens it looks similar to a stun launcher from certain angles. That is not a mistake you want to make.

-Stun Launcher - That alien isn't a priority; he isn't going to kill anyone.
-Blaster Launcher - I'm about to lose half my squad if I don't kill this guy.

The aliens don't actually carry any of the weapons we've been discussing but thanks for reinforcing this point :)
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Arthanor on May 02, 2016, 06:39:09 pm
This is an important point. I've been using Cooper's blaster launcher mod and it makes the alien version of the blaster launcher green and brown. In the hands of aliens it looks similar to a stun launcher from certain angles. That is not a mistake you want to make.

-Stun Launcher - That alien isn't a priority; he isn't going to kill anyone.
-Blaster Launcher - I'm about to lose half my squad if I don't kill this guy.

Then you use fatrat's elerium bomb for small launcher mod, and that harmless alien wipes out a good third of your squad..! ;)
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 02, 2016, 08:40:17 pm
Just found an already existing recolor of the Heavy Cannon, from chaosshade's Alloy Weapons, and a recolored Autocannon from hellrazor's Hardmode mode. I'll use these for now to implement the Gauss cannons, although that AC needs a recoloring more to brown.
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on May 02, 2016, 08:51:05 pm
Then you use fatrat's elerium bomb for small launcher mod, and that harmless alien wipes out a good third of your squad..! ;)

Thats a very good idea, especially if you Mix deployments and give alien both ammo types (Stun Bomb Elerium Bomb) or seperate deployments after Mission (Terromission get Eleriumbombs only, Supply Ship Stund Bombs only) and mix in Ranks which can carry Small Launchers for example Engineers and or Navigators (i personally give Engineers the ability to wield them).

It basically transforms the Small Launcher into Alien grenade thrower with instant damage, very good for ground clearing and of course squad wipes. I personally i also applied "arcingshot: true" towards the Small Launcher, to have a follow up weapon for the M-79 Grenade Launcher. Also it is better tonot give the alien to many different ammo types for it (maybe add a fire bomb into the deployments hmm.... something i could do for my Mod).
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 02, 2016, 08:56:36 pm
Thats a very good idea, especially if you Mix deployments and give alien both ammo types (Stun Bomb Elerium Bomb) or seperate deployments after Mission (Terromission get Eleriumbombs only, Supply Ship Stund Bombs only) and mix in Ranks which can carry Small Launchers for example Engineers and or Navigators (i personally give Engineers the ability to wield them).

Already implemented on Redux: on Terror, Retaliation and Base missions the Medics carry Elerium Bombs, on all other missions Stun Bombs
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on May 04, 2016, 09:14:49 pm
Hi Hobbes,

you might wanna recheck the regionweight for STR_NORTH_ATLANTIC since the regionweight there is 45!!!
At least in the last Version of Redux (0.8 j), it is also in the original Terrqainpack Ruleset set to 45 (Version 3.7)

Code: [Select]
  - type: STR_NORTH_ATLANTIC
    cost: 500000
    areas:
      - [305, 335, -70, -30]
      - [300, 335, -30, -10]
    regionWeight: 45

I was always wondering why i was getting so many missions in the North Atlantic, well that obviously would explain it.
Best regards :)

PS: Can't wait for the Globe with the new textures and such!
Title: Re: Redux Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 05, 2016, 12:35:41 am
Hi Hobbes,

you might wanna recheck the regionweight for STR_NORTH_ATLANTIC since the regionweight there is 45!!!
At least in the last Version of Redux (0.8 j), it is also in the original Terrqainpack Ruleset set to 45 (Version 3.7)

Already fixed but thanks :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 08, 2016, 07:47:54 pm
Just finished implementing the Gauss Autocannon and Gauss Heavy Cannon. I used chaosshade's sprites for the GHC and made a new one for the GAC with some recoloring of the original sprites.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen034.png)

Meanwhile, also finished implementing Roxis231's Blackbird, with some slight changes though since I made it a pure transport, increased its carrying ability from 7 to 10 units (no HWPs) and removed the floor 'hatch'

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen035.png)

And finished renaming the mod to Area 51, although the mod portal still lists it as UFO Redux, but that I'll only change when 0.9 gets released. New terrains will need some real testing though, since I'm getting occasional crashes most likely due to issues with the terrain generation.

Main issues remaining are to finish the Destroy missions and rework the research tree.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on May 10, 2016, 08:18:06 am
Looks nice!  I'm assuming you had to manufacture that Incendiary ammo and couldn't simply use the buyable HC/AC Incendiary Ammo?
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 10, 2016, 03:44:57 pm
Looks nice!  I'm assuming you had to manufacture that Incendiary ammo and couldn't simply use the buyable HC/AC Incendiary Ammo?

Yeah, I said before that I wanted to make the vanilla/Gauss cannons clips compatible with both weapons but I remembered that vanilla uses chemical reactions to propel the rounds so they couldn't really be used in a railgun and vice-versa, so I discarded that idea.

The only thing missing are the remaining weapon stats (cost, weight, etc.)

I've considered adding some missing weapons (shotgun 3rd tier, sniper rifle 2nd tier, sword 3rd tier) but for now I want to focus on finishing everything instead of adding even more new stuff
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 12, 2016, 07:59:07 pm
Well, until yesterday I thought I had wrapped up the mission changes, until armed civilians got implemented by Warboy, so this is also coming for version 0.9

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/screen037.png)

Meanwhile, still need to finish a few things regarding new missions/terrains/news briefs that are all related so this is taking some time but I want to get 0.9 released soon because it was impossible for me to test everything in detail and I'll need some help there.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Boltgun on May 13, 2016, 06:41:41 pm
Cool, will there be an indicator separating allies from foes? Thin men vs army would be hard to figure out.

It will look like you are not the only defense force and that you can actually helping countries defending themselves.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on May 13, 2016, 06:56:18 pm
Enemies give you a number to click on, so if no number then not an enemy (assuming the selected soldier can see the enemy).

And Hobbes I'll test it once it comes 9ut, but I'm in the process of moving so my play time will be limited.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 13, 2016, 09:48:09 pm
Cool, will there be an indicator separating allies from foes? Thin men vs army would be hard to figure out.

It will look like you are not the only defense force and that you can actually helping countries defending themselves.

The only way would be to add an indicator for all civilians since the 'allies' are armed civilians but that isn't included.

Right now I have considered adding them to the following missions:
* Terror Sites - just 1 or 2 soldiers/policeman, as stragglers that got separated from the rest
* Council Missions - up to 8 allied units (plus unarmed civilians), depending on the mission and the terrain

The allied humans will only use conventional weapons and not upgrade over time (for several reasons), so they can be useful on the early game but later the aliens will simply trash them.

And Hobbes I'll test it once it comes 9ut, but I'm in the process of moving so my play time will be limited.

Good luck with the move. Did you made any additional changes to the spreadsheet? I haven't updated all of the unit/weapon values because I wasn't sure if you made any more changes meanwhile.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Blank on May 14, 2016, 04:11:27 am
Seems like a good idea not to upgrade the allies' guns. Think about that famous x-com rookie accuracy and imagine an 'allied' civilian helpfully trying to shoot an alien right next to your troops. On the flip side, if the guns they carried were too valuable then they probably won't survive the mission.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 14, 2016, 04:29:23 am
On the flip side, if the guns they carried were too valuable then they probably won't survive the mission.

The main issue is that with the vanilla itemLevels you'd probably see allied soldiers with Lasers and even Plasmas before your troops had them researched. And I think you might collect all the civilian weapons automatically if you win the mission.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on May 14, 2016, 06:51:27 am
I didn't make any new changes.  We hammered out pretty much all of the weapon changes and the aliens are pretty much at a spot where they need to be tested to see if any additional changes are needed.  As of right now about the only thing I think might need to be adjusted are the shotguns, but they are likely to require a decent bit of testing given how they work.  For example that Alloy Ammo might be too low for damage given how many things have 20+ armor.  What does it matter if it hits up to 7 times if the damage can't penetrate the armor?  Also how many pellets hitting the target should it be balanced around?  Numbers are roughly balanced around all pellets hitting the target, but that's only likely when you're within 1-2 squares; and while it is designed as a short range weapon I don't think it's supposed to be a melee weapon.

Though with the changes and thanks to fractional damage always doing at least 1 point of damage, shotguns are decently viable for dealing with Stalkers and Phasers.  When each pellet does 1 damage (1-2 for the Alloy Shotgun) you're looking at up to 5-7 damage per shot depending on ammo-type (5-10 for the Alloy Shotgun) on aliens that only have 20 or 45 hp and are balanced as bullet sponges unless using the proper ammo.

So at least the shotguns will have that going for them.  But overall I expect their damage to still be a bit low, especially if the balance goal is for ~60% of the pellets to hit the target (so 3 from reg ammo and Alloy Shotgun, or 4-5 from Alloy Ammo).
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 24, 2016, 04:48:41 am
Tonight I've finished the alienDeployments for new Council missions, for a total of 76 possible missions, although 48 will only be used due to balance proposes. In any case, playing all the 48 missions in a single campaign requires 4 years of gameplay. And I most likely will need to add some conditionals to missionScripts in order to ensure proper distribution between the 6 different types of Council missions (Capture, Defense, Assault, Recovery, Extraction and Destroy), although that might come with some constraints of its own.

Which means that 0.9 is almost done since I decided that more new weapons/UFOs can wait for now, although there are 3 issues remaining: armed civilians/allied soldiers and News Briefs. Once those are done I should get out the new version.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on May 24, 2016, 07:06:18 am
Got to hear that can't wait for the missions.
To steal and adapt!

Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 25, 2016, 02:58:20 am
Last minute details :)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/Mudranger1.png)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/Mudranger2.png)

That's an allied human inside the APC
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 26, 2016, 11:00:32 pm
More last minute details. These are the Project Bluebook reports, which replace the News Briefs

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/Project%20Bluebook%20topics.png)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Blank on May 27, 2016, 08:41:42 am
Some of these titles intrigue me.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 27, 2016, 03:16:30 pm
Some of these titles intrigue me.

:)

I love UFO folklore (comes from even before XCOM) and I have several of Timothy Good's books about UFOs, including Above Top Secret (https://www.amazon.com/Above-Top-Secret-Worldwide-U-F/dp/0688092020) which was one major influence acknowledged by Julian Gollop on the original UFO: Enemy Unknown. So instead of naming those titles as 'Report 01', 'Report 02', etc., I decided to use names of chapters of Timothy Good's books.

Here's the content of the first Bluebook report (The Growing Security Threat):
* Reports from tourists in Namibia of 'strange animals' rebutted by park rangers as elephant herd sightings
* 'Ground methane release' causes major fire damage to isolated military outpost on Alaska
* World governments dismiss claims of a secret organization currently investigating 'paranormal' activity
* Freak boreal auroras seen over Greenland responsible for comms disruptions, scientists confirm 'unusual solar storms'
* Chinese base at Yulin on lockdown after alleged security breach on its perimeter, military authorities deny any unusual activity
* Osaka 'devil' terrorizes suburbs, residents describe 'winged eyes', police checking local zoos for escaped animals
* British researcher releases formely classified documents related to 1982 RAF Woodbridge incident, reports add no new details to previous UFO claims
* Russian bunker at Zrbynia 41 disabled by 'unknown' radar contact - sentries report 'ball of light' hovering nearby

And some of those news items are actually inspired by UFO cases described on the books ;)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 27, 2016, 11:48:51 pm
Just did some more testing and everything seems to be working as expected, so here's a preview of the Project Bluebook feature, which completely replaces the old News Briefs, and is a part of the new Council missions. 

The new Council missions appear once each month, and usually they will be one of of these 3 types: Defense, Assault and Destroy. There are also Capture, Extraction and Recovery missions but those will be rarer to appear and require specific research to appear, namely Project Bluebook.

The original Project Bluebook was an effort made by the U.S. Airforce to collect (and usually debunk) UFO sightings that took place in the 1960s. Here your eggheads go over the world's newspapers, military & intelligence reports and whatever they can find to see if it might contain anything of interest in fighting the aliens. And once they're done browsing all the news they put the interesting bits into a Project Bluebook report like the following:

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/Bluebook%20Report.png)

The first thing to notice are the locations mentioned in the report: Toulouse, North Atlantic, etc. Those are actually possible locations for the next month's Council mission, so player might get some forewarning. Second is the alien robot (aka Phaser) being scared of fire, which is a tactical tip. Third is that 6 of the 13 reports will generate a Capture/Extraction/Recovery mission next month, potentially giving the player some early/mid technologies, if the mission is successful. First Bluebook Report is free (but doesn't generate any mission), all others cost 100 scientist/days to complete.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 28, 2016, 06:26:51 pm
I was looking at the Research tree today and decided to make a change that should have quite an impact. Previously you needed to interrogate an Alien Scientist which would give you Reverse Engineering allowing to unlock plasma weapons, psi-lab, firestorm, all of the higher techs. But I  realized that this tech was redundant, since Elerium can do the trick without the need for another tech (and it also fits better for narrative proposes).

So now you need Alien Scientist to unlock Elerium, which has some dramatic changes because Power Suit and advanced Lasers/Gauss are now out of reach until Elerium is unlocked. Should be interesting to try. This will also impact manufacturing but I'm also going to take the opportunity to simplify that section and bring it closer to vanilla ;)

Edit: finishing one last map for one last mission, hope to get this whole thing released soon.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on May 29, 2016, 06:08:03 am
Damn, I just read all the features. I feel like a kid again waiting for my birthday and expecting Super Mario Bros. 3! You're the man Hobbes!

So do the current features on the list reflect only 0.9 coming up or is it everything 1.0 will have one day?
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 29, 2016, 08:43:36 am
Damn, I just read all the features. I feel like a kid again waiting for my birthday and expecting Super Mario Bros. 3! You're the man Hobbes!

So do the current features on the list reflect only 0.9 coming up or is it everything 1.0 will have one day?

Almost everything. Most likely there will be a few more aliens, units, maps, weapons, etc. but that will really depend on how they fit into the new theme and/or if I can get some nice sprites.
Title: Area 51 Version 0.9 playtester needed
Post by: Hobbes on May 30, 2016, 04:41:12 am
Tonight I finished implementation of version 0.9, yay! :)

Already gave it a trial run and played the strategic layer for half a year. It definitely was a weird experience which already gave me ideas for balancing the Council missions, but I decided to ask if anyone is interested in playtesting it for a couple of days before I release it.

Here's a few images of what lies ahead...

(https://imgur.com/xsLHlgH.png)

(https://imgur.com/gY0PCC6.png)

(https://imgur.com/sx8MIW1.png)

(https://imgur.com/fCGcZfo.png)

(https://imgur.com/yClYFVZ.png)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on May 30, 2016, 07:42:12 am
Man I would love to playtest it...if I had the time.  Right now I'm lucky to get 1-2 hours at night for games, assuming I even open my PC.  Totally looking forward to this in 1-2 weeks though when things die down here and I can get into a more normal schedule.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on May 30, 2016, 08:45:02 am
Yeah let me have at it! I'll give you my input from my experience. I can't do full play-through, but I can totally play it and let you know what I think and I like sharing ideas :) Thanks Hobbes, pm me if I'm worthy to play this early!
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on May 30, 2016, 01:51:44 pm
Man I would love to playtest it...if I had the time.  Right now I'm lucky to get 1-2 hours at night for games, assuming I even open my PC.  Totally looking forward to this in 1-2 weeks though when things die down here and I can get into a more normal schedule.

I hope to have it released by then, otherwise I'll send you a copy to try it out.

Yeah let me have at it! I'll give you my input from my experience. I can't do full play-through, but I can totally play it and let you know what I think and I like sharing ideas :) Thanks Hobbes, pm me if I'm worthy to play this early!

Great, there's a couple of things I need to tweak first but I'm PM you a download link later on. Thanks :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on May 30, 2016, 10:50:49 pm
Man I would love to playtest it...if I had the time.  Right now I'm lucky to get 1-2 hours at night for games, assuming I even open my PC.  Totally looking forward to this in 1-2 weeks though when things die down here and I can get into a more normal schedule.

I would love to plunder this mods riches ^^
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: kkmic on May 31, 2016, 10:12:45 am
Can't believe I missed this until now.

Looking good Hobbes. Can't wait to give it a go.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Crazy Photon on June 01, 2016, 07:15:26 am
*comes back from the shadows*

Hey Hobbes, long time no see!

I am willing to give it a try, probably will not be able to dedicate more than 2 hours per day but should be able to test this & next week.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 01, 2016, 08:25:38 am
I got a distress signal, which was something new and didn't expect. Can't wait to keep playing and discover new features!
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 01, 2016, 01:58:45 pm
*comes back from the shadows*

Hey Hobbes, long time no see!

I am willing to give it a try, probably will not be able to dedicate more than 2 hours per day but should be able to test this & next week.

Hey Crazy Photon, it's really been a while :)

I'm just changing the start areas for the Escape missions then I'll send you a link for download. Thanks!

I got a distress signal, which was something new and didn't expect. Can't wait to keep playing and discover new features!

:)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 02, 2016, 06:10:57 am
Spoilers: So I attempted to beat that distress mission, but I felt it's impossible in 20 turns with no armor after one mistake.

I had to reach the control room that I assume was on the other side of the ship. Took the bottom floor route with all the private cabins and after a dead end, I ended up taking them up the elevator to the bar area and having to back track, because I didn't think to bring explosives to blow a hole into the wall of that bar to continue forward. Lost some more ops and ragequit... I dunno, one bad move and I lose. What happens after 20 turns? Do I lose all my men? Hopefully not. I should of tested that out. Maybe you shouldn't tell us. I also noticed all those explosive barrels in the cabin section. I thought that was strange. Also shot into a wall and explosion after explosion wondering what the heck I just did. Huge explosions at the begining, spawn area just west of that and it's a Passenger Cruise ship.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 02, 2016, 02:47:33 pm
I also noticed all those explosive barrels in the cabin section. I thought that was strange. Also shot into a wall and explosion after explosion wondering what the heck I just did. Huge explosions at the begining, spawn area just west of that and it's a Passenger Cruise ship.

Hmmm, explosive barrels in the cabin section and walls exploding after being hit? Oh myyy

Probably it's better if I post the bottom floor of Linership then you can point me exactly where all of this happened :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 02, 2016, 09:12:36 pm
Ok, the explosions by the landing zone, I can see they're barrels now, which is a logical explanation to keep them outside, but still not a pretty sight for a luxury cruise ship. I was wondering what it was that caused smoke to cover the upper levels too. I thought all my operatives were all gonna die, heh.

As for the other barrels inside and right next to a passenger cabin, I personally think they shouldn't exist, but it's your call. What's in them? Fuel? They should explode with fire and just burn my guys too. ^^

Edit: Replace with sofas/chairs?
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 02, 2016, 11:18:13 pm
Ok, the explosions by the landing zone, I can see they're barrels now, which is a logical explanation to keep them outside, but still not a pretty sight for a luxury cruise ship. I was wondering what it was that caused smoke to cover the upper levels too. I thought all my operatives were all gonna die, heh.

As for the other barrels inside and right next to a passenger cabin, I personally think they shouldn't exist, but it's your call. What's in them? Fuel? They should explode with fire and just burn my guys too. ^^

Edit: Replace with sofas/chairs?

Those barrels are actually part of the original TFTD design but if they're so out of place then I can remove/replace them. As for the smoke in the upper areas the most likely culprit is an alien grenade explosion.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 03, 2016, 07:23:40 am
Ok, all this happened during my turn. It's okay, since they're from TFTD, I'm sure they're for fun factor. I would remove them, personally :)

I sent you a message about the Terror-Site not warning me about an escape mission(did I?). By that I mean the briefing doesn't mention it. Also, 20-turns is the standard for all these time-based mission, correct? Maybe we can increase it, sometimes, or is this because I'm playing on Superhuman? I love the challenge of time limits, so I hope we can balance this new mode for UFO.

Now, as for the escape mission, is it in all Terror-Sites, or is it random? You can put a good standard description like:

"*As X-COM operatives are fighting to reclaim the Terror-Site, the local government has taken matters into their own hands and blocked our assistance. They have officially began preparing to explain why they nuked the city our operatives are in!*

Your objectives have changed! You are to regroup with your squad leader and rendezvous to the coordinates you're given, secure evac zone and wait for extraction! Skyranger is on the way as we speak! You have 20 turns to reach evac before all hell breaks loose! I repeat, 20 turns, no less! Operator out"


Now if you can give us that scenario, it would be hellish. Teams of 3-4 operatives scattered around the Terror Site. It's okay if one of the teams were nearest, because, you still gotta get the rest of the team in. Once we reach the Evac zone (lit up ground tiles to know where it is), we make our final stand to defend this point until the 20th turn and make sure all men are standing in the tiles last turn.

Classic audio clip for those who missed it :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 03, 2016, 07:33:12 pm
Ok, all this happened during my turn. It's okay, since they're from TFTD, I'm sure they're for fun factor. I would remove them, personally :)

I personally like to keep things as possible to the originals but I doubt anyone will notice their removal, so I'll do it :)

Quote
I sent you a message about the Terror-Site not warning me about an escape mission(did I?). By that I mean the briefing doesn't mention it. Also, 20-turns is the standard for all these time-based mission, correct? Maybe we can increase it, sometimes, or is this because I'm playing on Superhuman? I love the challenge of time limits, so I hope we can balance this new mode for UFO.

I'm really interested on your guys feedback regarding the timers/alerts/briefings for balance and useful info for the player. The 20 turn limit came up in a discussion with Warboy and I tried it a couple of times, but I can't be considered a unbiased player, so if you say it should be longer, then my question is: how much? :)

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Now, as for the escape mission, is it in all Terror-Sites, or is it random? You can put a good standard description like:

Random. You have a chance of around 60% for a regular Terror Site and 40% for an Escape. But, I actually designed the mission system allowing for the player to know before the mission if it will be a Terror or an Escape site, if you learn how (or use a cheat sheet that I might also release).

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"*As X-COM operatives are fighting to reclaim the Terror-Site, the local government has taken matters into their own hands and blocked our assistance. They have officially began preparing to explain why they nuked the city our operatives are in!*

Your objectives have changed! You are to regroup with your squad leader and rendezvous to the coordinates you're given, secure evac zone and wait for extraction! Skyranger is on the way as we speak! You have 20 turns to reach evac before all hell breaks loose! I repeat, 20 turns, no less! Operator out"

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/screen090.png)

Grade A for dramatic effect but when you compare it to the Terror Site's briefing:

Mission will be successful when all enemy units have been eliminated or neutralized. You must attempt to save the lives of any civilians in the area by neutralizing the alien menace. To abort the mission return XCom operatives to transport vehicle and click on the 'Abort Mission' icon.

In 3 sentences it manages to tell the player all the info it needs regarding the mission objectives and evacuation.

My current version has:

Your squad has deployed to engage the aliens but it has been cut off and an emergency airstrike has just been ordered to stop the alien massacre.  Mission will be successful if at least 1 X-Com unit has retreated to the inside of the Mudranger and the mission is aborted in 20 turns or if all aliens are killed.

I'm open to more ideas :)

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Now if you can give us that scenario, it would be hellish. Teams of 3-4 operatives scattered around the Terror Site. It's okay if one of the teams were nearest, because, you still gotta get the rest of the team in. Once we reach the Evac zone (lit up ground tiles to know where it is), we make our final stand to defend this point until the 20th turn and make sure all men are standing in the tiles last turn.

Regarding maps this is quite easy, only requires writing the script. Change the battlescape dimensions from the current 80x40 to 60x60, put the Mudranger/craft in the center and place several 10x10 buildings for XCom units to spawn around it. However, I think that might place the player too much in those hellish situations where it's a loss from the start due to bad initial positions for all the spawning areas. But if you'd like to try it out, I can set a test version although you'll have to play it on New Battle and not on your current campaign.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/screen091.png)

This is something I've been playing around, which is adding a 2nd XCom spawning area (either 10x10 or 20x20). Since the map is a 80x40 it can either result in both areas being close, or at opposite ends. The advantage here is that the player has a reasonable chance for 1 area to be always close to the exit, so it will be harder to evac at least 1 unit and avoid squad wipes, or to start already occupying a larger share of the battlefield.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 04, 2016, 04:40:02 am
Hey Hobbes, I'm out of time for now. Hopefully I can jump back in on Monday and keep me up-to-date with patches.

Thanks for adding my text to the game, I like it! But you're right, like that saying goes "less is more" and I also prefer the game's style for dialog.

I'm playing on Superhuman. I took a blow to funding at the end of the first month, because I only had large UFOs popping up. I also finally got around to getting lots of goodies to manufacture like alloy ammo/armor to contend with the larger UFOs.
The way you made it so you require the low end armors to creating the improved versions, that was surprising, I thought I was going to skip straight to Personal Armor hah...
That said, can you add an option to let us salvage broken armor on the field? There is a mod I'm currently using for repairing armor from dead ops but I'm nowhere near getting to tier 3 Personal Armor. Soon.

I do like the manufacturing focus, compared to going straight to Laser Rifles and done heh.. and hopefully I can make use of the alloy ammo before they become obsolete with the next tech(Gauss?) and so on.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Blank on June 04, 2016, 08:44:51 am
Now if you can give us that scenario, it would be hellish. Teams of 3-4 operatives scattered around the Terror Site. It's okay if one of the teams were nearest, because, you still gotta get the rest of the team in. Once we reach the Evac zone (lit up ground tiles to know where it is), we make our final stand to defend this point until the 20th turn and make sure all men are standing in the tiles last turn.
This reminds me of some old versions of TFTD's alien colony part 2 when there weren't enough x-com spawn points so some of your soldiers would be scattered about the map on different levels, alone and surrounded.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 04, 2016, 08:35:34 pm
Hey Hobbes, I'm out of time for now. Hopefully I can jump back in on Monday and keep me up-to-date with patches.

Cool, I'm already thinking of releasing version 0.9 in the next days

Quote
The way you made it so you require the low end armors to creating the improved versions, that was surprising, I thought I was going to skip straight to Personal Armor hah...
That said, can you add an option to let us salvage broken armor on the field? There is a mod I'm currently using for repairing armor from dead ops but I'm nowhere near getting to tier 3 Personal Armor. Soon.

The original suggestion was for each armor requiring its predecessor, but I trimmed it down only to Combat Vest requiring Alloy Vest. Just a way of recycling the starting armor, so you should be able to still use that mod for Personal Armor. 



Quote
I do like the manufacturing focus, compared to going straight to Laser Rifles and done heh.. and hopefully I can make use of the alloy ammo before they become obsolete with the next tech(Gauss?) and so on.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 06, 2016, 07:43:22 am
Great! Can't wait for official 0.9. What else did you add after you updated the testers? I'm already imagining lots of balancing for 1.0.

I haven't played enough, but do you think the research tree is good enough? I'm sure anything can always get improved. I'm hoping others can chip in.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 06, 2016, 05:18:16 pm
Great! Can't wait for official 0.9. What else did you add after you updated the testers? I'm already imagining lots of balancing for 1.0.

I haven't played enough, but do you think the research tree is good enough? I'm sure anything can always get improved. I'm hoping others can chip in.

I have only added Blank's Polar Island terrain since it was a type I wanted for some time. I might add a couple of additional missions but I'm still undecided about those.

As for the research tree, it works and doesn't have any redundant topics.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 06, 2016, 08:39:38 pm
One last minute addition, Cold Isle, designed by Blank, which will appear on Council Extraction/Assault/Recovery/Destroy missions that take place in the Arctic/Antarctic. This is the Extraction mission:

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/screen094.png)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: GrossorMD on June 07, 2016, 12:03:36 am
Question: are the maps of those specific missions static or random?
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 07, 2016, 01:43:28 am
Question: are the maps of those specific missions static or random?

Both and more. A few of the maps are static (Skyranger/HWP factories), but the majority are fully random or procedurally generated, where some maps are placed in specific locations to create roads, exit/entry areas, etc., and the rest of the battlescape is filled with random maps.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 07, 2016, 05:55:25 am
That is a nice map! I haven't heard of Blank. Is he on another forum? Wow, I can't wait for 0.9! Bring it with you next time Hobbes!
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Dzlan on June 07, 2016, 01:12:58 pm
Well, I've played a lot of OpenXcom, being one of my favourite games, and I have to say, the past few weeks, I've bee loving this mod.
That is.. until I came across a landed UFO that had these human looking enemies in grey armour and black helmets. And I've got to say, this mod needs some serious balancing issues.

One of them aliens took at least 24 sniper bullets, several alloy LMG rounds, and several standard rifle rounds. And it was still standing. I was using spotter/sniper tactics to even pull this off, and it shoots a ranged explosive weapon as well has some pretty good accuracy and reactions it seems. By then I just gave up and quit. It's really off putting, especially when I saw another on the other side of the map. I doubt I'd even have the ammo to finish another off, and I'm sure there would be more too. (And this was on easiest difficulty too.)

I've had one of your specialize maps where you needed to escape with a data disc (according to the briefing) where I couldn't escape due to the wall of sandbags that blocked the entire path to the exit. I had to resort to leaving my men lined up on the side and reaction shot aliens who step into view to kill every single alien to even manage to succeed that mission which was painfully slow, because I don't have high explosives usually and grenades do not cut it with sandbags.

Your whole men in black scenarios are, in my opinion pretty annoying too. I get that this mod is supposed to be tougher then the original game, but pal, this just isn't right. Which is a shame, because your extra weapons mods, the extra maps, new aliens, and changes to how many parts of the game work are really really nice.

I also find that the rpg-7 and ak-47 are a turn off in a game where your weapons are literally named "Assault Rifle", "Pistol" and the aliens use "Plasma Pistol, Plasma Rifle", etc
Adding specific guns like the ak-47 just doesn't feel right. Honestly, something about it doesn't fit. I'd like to see them using the Assault Rifle like us, or something.
I feel like your added enemies are just far too powerful and that the standard enemies haven't changed much so that your added races feel really offputting.

There's some of my points of view. I've always thought of this mod as a rather nice "OpenXcom Expanded" sort of mod. But honestly, I feel like it needs some rebalancing here and there and a few things take me out of it. I'm seeing some talk about timed missions and though I've not seen any, I don't think it's something I'd like to see either. I enjoy taking my time, imagining my men are like the marines from halo, being pinned down while another trio moves around the building to flank.

Anyway, theres a bit about how I feel at the moment. I've not got the time right to give my view on everything just now, but I might later, if your interested in my feedback.

I've been seeing a lot more UFO's then normal too which I might have also seen mentioned in this thread somewhere.

Some things I do love is the changes that make manufacturing more important, makes you be a little more aware of ammunition usage and stuff.
I like that new Darkstar, though I've not actually used it yet (I want to in my next run, because I used to use patrols and stuff a lot while monitoring the activity chart obsessively, trying to catch every single alien in every wave.

Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 07, 2016, 06:25:18 pm
Well, I've played a lot of OpenXcom, being one of my favourite games, and I have to say, the past few weeks, I've bee loving this mod.
That is.. until I came across a landed UFO that had these human looking enemies in grey armour and black helmets. And I've got to say, this mod needs some serious balancing issues.

One of them aliens took at least 24 sniper bullets, several alloy LMG rounds, and several standard rifle rounds. And it was still standing. I was using spotter/sniper tactics to even pull this off, and it shoots a ranged explosive weapon as well has some pretty good accuracy and reactions it seems. By then I just gave up and quit. It's really off putting, especially when I saw another on the other side of the map. I doubt I'd even have the ammo to finish another off, and I'm sure there would be more too. (And this was on easiest difficulty too.)

Those are Phasers and you need fire/incendiary to kill them. They've already been adjusted for upcoming version 0.9

Quote
Your whole men in black scenarios are, in my opinion pretty annoying too. I get that this mod is supposed to be tougher then the original game, but pal, this just isn't right. Which is a shame, because your extra weapons mods, the extra maps, new aliens, and changes to how many parts of the game work are really really nice.

The new missions and maps are one of the main features of Area 51 and there are maps that you simply cannot use in the vanilla missions. If you don't like them, stick to other mods since you can get the extra weapons, aliens, etc. And you can get either aliens or human enemies on Council missions, they're random.

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I also find that the rpg-7 and ak-47 are a turn off in a game where your weapons are literally named "Assault Rifle", "Pistol" and the aliens use "Plasma Pistol, Plasma Rifle", etc
Adding specific guns like the ak-47 just doesn't feel right. Honestly, something about it doesn't fit. I'd like to see them using the Assault Rifle like us, or something.

RPG is both an acronym for Rocket Propelled Grenade and for Ruchnoi Protivotankovyi Granatomyot (Russian for portable anti-tank grenade launcher), more commonly known as RPG-7. Since I only use 'RPG Launcher', referring to the general type of weapon, and not the particular 'RPG-7', it seems fine to me.

For the AK-47, yeah doesn't fit the convention but I've also had people saying to me that they really liked the inclusion of the AK-47. Everyone using the same generic Assault Rifle does feel more odd to me, when there's so many nice weapon sprites around of contemporary rifles. So with the choice being between sticking to convention and naming it 'Battle Rifle' or 'Automatic Rifle', although it's still an Assault Rifle in everything but the appearance, I prefer to use 'AK-47' since it's the most used assault rifle in the world.

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I'm seeing some talk about timed missions and though I've not seen any, I don't think it's something I'd like to see either. I enjoy taking my time, imagining my men are like the marines from halo, being pinned down while another trio moves around the building to flank.

Missions with timers will appear on upcoming 0.9. If you don't like those, it's understandable but there're staying for version 0.9

Quote
Anyway, theres a bit about how I feel at the moment. I've not got the time right to give my view on everything just now, but I might later, if your interested in my feedback.

First, thank you for your comments. If you have anything to add not related to the previous topics, go ahead :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Solarius Scorch on June 07, 2016, 07:13:08 pm
For the AK-47, yeah doesn't fit the convention but I've also had people saying to me that they really liked the inclusion of the AK-47. Everyone using the same generic Assault Rifle does feel more odd to me, when there's so many nice weapon sprites around of contemporary rifles. So with the choice being between sticking to convention and naming it 'Battle Rifle' or 'Automatic Rifle', although it's still an Assault Rifle in everything but the appearance, I prefer to use 'AK-47' since it's the most used assault rifle in the world.

How about a solution like this:
I've had the same problem in X-Com Files and ultimately decided to rename the standard X-Com weapons to BlackOps Pistol, BlackOps Rifle etc.; BlackOps being a weapons manufacturer I invented. (Somebody makes these highest-class weapons after all.)
Weapons like Heavy Cannon or Auto Cannon retained their names, but now they're made by X-Com, so they don't need a marketable name. If they were bought, I'd also rename them to something more specific.
This allowed me to add a ton of real weapons like the Kalashnikov without breaking the convention.

This is just a suggestion of course, not sure how well it'd fit your mod or if it's even to your liking.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 07, 2016, 07:43:18 pm
How about a solution like this:
I've had the same problem in X-Com Files and ultimately decided to rename the standard X-Com weapons to BlackOps Pistol, BlackOps Rifle etc.; BlackOps being a weapons manufacturer I invented. (Somebody makes these highest-class weapons after all.)
Weapons like Heavy Cannon or Auto Cannon retained their names, but now they're made by X-Com, so they don't need a marketable name. If they were bought, I'd also rename them to something more specific.
This allowed me to add a ton of real weapons like the Kalashnikov without breaking the convention.

This is just a suggestion of course, not sure how well it'd fit your mod or if it's even to your liking.

First issue, I'm keeping all features of the original game as they were, including the item names.

Second issue, I've tried already your solution when the human enemies had 2 complete weapon sets, one of them being of the Omega Rifle, Omega Shotgun, etc., but I disliked the overabundance of redundant weapons that appeared on the Equip screen, where you'd have a Rifle/Assault Rifle/AK-47/Omega Rifle, all with the same abilities and just slightly different stats. Other than faction flavor those added nothing meaningful to the game so nearly all of those weapons were removed on the early versions, except for the Snubnose Pistol, AK-47 and RPG. 

As for AK-47, I completely agree that it stands out in relation to the other weapons, but names like 'Automatic Rifle' or 'Battle Rifle' are too generic, IMO. Any other solution has also its drawbacks and on this case I decided to keep it as simple as possible, and use 'AK-47' because most of the the human enemies consist of irregular military, not MiBs (which appear mainly on the first month), so AK-47s are nearly a trademark for those.

But, the easy solution for players is simply to open the Area_51_Strings_en_US.rul on mods/Area 51/Ruleset/ and change the name of the 'AK-47' to whatever they like. And I could change the Human Agents (or MiBs) to only carry Machine Pistols and Shotguns to better fit their style instead of AKs. 
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Blank on June 07, 2016, 07:59:36 pm
I did find it odd they were for sale when I first played the mod, especially the AK-47 since it was strictly inferior to the assault rifle and cost not being an issue at those amounts. More clutter when trying to figure out to set out my loadout with the new weapons. Once I hit that first scripted complex mission though I realized they're mostly there for the enemy agents to use and you to sell. It makes sense to me for them to stick out a bit from the rest of the X-com arsenal.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 07, 2016, 08:35:42 pm
I did find it odd they were for sale when I first played the mod

And on a previous version you could only sell and not buy AK-47s or their ammo. Which then stood out as unpractical since some players would want use them and at least buy ammo. So, they were made placed for sale but moved to the bottom of the Purchase list, since they're more for the enemy agents to use, as you described.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 08, 2016, 05:41:26 am
About buying Aks, I understand this is a worldwide organization so maybe the Russians demand to have the Warsaw's choice weapon as an option next to the standard Assault rifle from NATO or USA, where ever it's from. Personally I'd rather see them as loot, but don't wanna piss off any Russian X-COM bros here, so why not, let us buy them :)

Timed missions limit your turns and drastically change the game. I like the change, so you try to make the best out of the turns you have. Just gotta have us test how many turns it would take for multiple routes with different alien races. I'd say increase turns to 30 and see how easy it is, because we wanna be able to beat the mission with extra turns and report how many turns it took us and slowly decrease turn count. X-COM is tough to balance since you have randomness to consider, so give us more turns :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 08, 2016, 03:47:53 pm
Timed missions limit your turns and drastically change the game. I like the change, so you try to make the best out of the turns you have. Just gotta have us test how many turns it would take for multiple routes with different alien races. I'd say increase turns to 30 and see how easy it is, because we wanna be able to beat the mission with extra turns and report how many turns it took us and slowly decrease turn count. X-COM is tough to balance since you have randomness to consider, so give us more turns :)

No problemo, I'll set the mission timers for 30 instead of 20. I'll need to finish some mission stuff first before I'll have this new version ready though.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 08, 2016, 07:30:02 pm
Coming soon in a theater near you: Indiana Hobbes and the Temple of Ice

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/Indiana%20Hobbes.png)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 08, 2016, 09:10:15 pm
Wow, this is cool! I think when we were little, we all imagined exploring ancient ruins with traps and secret passages like Egypt and Azteca. I had two large buckets of mixed Legos as a kid that we bought from yard sales and since my pops couldn't afford to buy the big Johnny Thunder sets, the Lego catalogs inspired me to create my own ruins and temples. That feeling of imaginative fun as a kid, I really miss it. It's like a high we all chase after as adults.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 08, 2016, 09:18:18 pm
Wow, this is cool. No need to imagine it, I can play it! I think when we were little, we all imagined exploring ancient ruins with traps and secret passages like Egypt and Azteca.

It's almost finished, then I'll add it to version 0.9 :)

I wanted to add XOps's Ice Pyramid for a long time, but since he also uses it for a special mission, I decided to design my own map instead of using his, which took about 2 months to finish while doing other things for Area 51. I'm not going to post any pics of the inside here to prevent spoilers though.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 09, 2016, 07:32:54 pm
So this the last bit of content before 0.9 rolls out?

If you don't mind, give us a change log before it's out :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on June 09, 2016, 07:59:17 pm
Coming soon in a theater near you: Indiana Hobbes and the Temple of Ice

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18824603/Area%2051/Indiana%20Hobbes.png)

This looks like the correct place to hide the prototype Psiamp -;>
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 09, 2016, 08:27:09 pm
So this the last bit of content before 0.9 rolls out?

If you don't mind, give us a change log before it's out :)

Regarding the version you already have:
* Change: Outpost Special Biolab mission can now be unlocked through either getting Bluebook reports 7, 8 and 9, or by getting reports 10, 11 and 12. Previously you needed all these 6 reports to unlock the mission
* Change: Data Disk 2 now unlocks UFO Power Source research, gives 'Project Redlight' Bluebook report, and unlocks Outpost Special Coldisle mission
* New mission: Outpost Special Coldisle (stage 1) and Outpost Special Pyramid (stage 2), allows to recover Alien Crystal
* New Item: Alien Crystal, unlocks Elerium (previously it was Data Disk 2) and gives 'Project Aquarius' Bluebook report
* New terrain: Cold Isle by Blank, added to existing Recovery, Extraction, Assault and Destroy missions
* Change: Data Disk 1 now gives 'Project Sign" Bluebook Report, in addition to a random human tech
* Change: Human Scientist now gives 'Project Plato' Bluebook Report, in addition to a random human tech
* Change: Thin Man now gives 'Project Pounce' Bluebook Report, in addition to a random human tech
* Change: less role of human opponents during Council missions (due to negative feedback about the 'MiBs')
* Increased timers from 20 to 30 turns, as requested

I'm in the process of rewriting several UFOPedia articles & mission briefings for better narrative proposes and I'm also considering whether to remove the MiBs or reduce their appearance.

Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 09, 2016, 08:43:50 pm
This looks like the correct place to hide the prototype Psiamp -;>

You seem to have adopted the Chinese economic model: make cheap copies of everything that you can get your hands on and combine them together regardless of how they fit.

It works, but people don't buy Chinese because it is new, original or exciting, but simply because it is cheap and it is not expected to last long. And it is cheap because they didn't had to put their creativity or imagination into work, somebody else already did it for them.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on June 09, 2016, 09:34:20 pm
You seem to have adopted the Chinese economic model: make cheap copies of everything that you can get your hands on and combine them together regardless of how they fit.

It works, but people don't buy Chinese because it is new, original or exciting, but simply because it is cheap and it is not expected to last long. And it is cheap because they didn't had to put their creativity or imagination into work, somebody else already did it for them.

I just wanted to praise your work here.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: GrossorMD on June 09, 2016, 09:34:46 pm
I'm really looking forward to this. Tbh the main reason I havrnt played ufo defense in a while is that I was waiting for v0,9 of A51/Redux
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 09, 2016, 09:55:52 pm
I just wanted to praise your work here.

And I've said it before: copying is a compliment to someone's ideas and/or work. However, the whole point of creating is not simply copying

I could have simply reused XOps's underground pyramid maps, even though he also uses them for a special mission. So in order not just to copy his work, I took his Pyramid Ice sprites, designed my own 60x60 map based on a old idea I had, which took me weeks of work, and even designed and added new sprites that I needed. This is creating, and not just copying, because I took XOps' work and added something new to it that he and others can now use.

"Your work inspired me" is a much bigger compliment for an author than having his work copied
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 09, 2016, 10:01:04 pm
I'm really looking forward to this. Tbh the main reason I havrnt played ufo defense in a while is that I was waiting for v0,9 of A51/Redux

Just hang on a couple of days until I finish these last minute adjustments then I'll release a beta. I can't actually wait for more people to start trying out the new missions and getting some feedback.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: hellrazor on June 10, 2016, 12:42:40 am
"Your work inspired me" is a much bigger compliment for an author than having his work copied

Actually that was the point i initially wanted to address, because this pyramid map and the tileset made me imagine a labyrinth were you need to search for a prototype psiamp.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 10, 2016, 05:27:33 am
Would be neat to explore an ancient alien colony before it's activated in TFTD. Old looking ruins of a colony. Once you enter, it reanimated long dead zombie lobstermen to defend the place. Also they'll carry underwater tech we can research, but have no use for the UFO war.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 10, 2016, 06:19:34 am
Would be neat to explore an ancient alien colony before it's activated in TFTD. Old looking ruins of a colony. Once you enter, it reanimated long dead zombie lobstermen to defend the place. Also they'll carry underwater tech we can research, but have no use for the UFO war.

Just a thought.

Just follow the yellow bluebook trail... ;)

I have finished designing 0.9 but I still need to playtest a few things tomorrow to make sure there are no obvious crashes but I should release it very soon. :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 11, 2016, 12:42:51 am
I did get a crash which caused me to restart, but I thought it was due to mods. Didn't log it, sorry Hobbes. Was from a few days ago.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 11, 2016, 02:13:14 am
I did get a crash which caused me to restart, but I thought it was due to mods. Didn't log it, sorry Hobbes. Was from a few days ago.

Gotcha. I already fixed several of the new terrains in the past days, so that crash is probably solved. It's still likely that something is broken somewhere, but I'm going to make one last test run and if I'm satisfied I'll release version 0.9 tonight.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on June 12, 2016, 11:30:28 pm
Oh for release notes you might want to also include the aliens/weapons spreadsheet.  Would make it pretty easy to see all of the changes in regards to damage model, armor, resistances, etc.  On my phone atm so can't relink it.  Also starting tonight I should be able to put in some time into the new version so hopefully it's out by then!
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 13, 2016, 12:00:58 am
Oh for release notes you might want to also include the aliens/weapons spreadsheet.  Would make it pretty easy to see all of the changes in regards to damage model, armor, resistances, etc.  On my phone atm so can't relink it.  Also starting tonight I should be able to put in some time into the new version so hopefully it's out by then!

I'll include your chart on the .zip file for the next update
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: GrossorMD on June 14, 2016, 01:34:53 pm
I'm not 100% sure, but I'd swear I've had agents beaten to death by civilians.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 14, 2016, 01:59:32 pm
I'm not 100% sure, but I'd swear I've had agents beaten to death by civilians.

You got close to a civilian and it melee attacked you? Civilian AI must need some tweaks
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: GrossorMD on June 14, 2016, 02:13:05 pm
Sorry: I was mistaken. It was actually a cybermite that I had failed to spot. My agent was right next to the civilian both times it happened, and the cybermite scurried back to it's bolt-hole after both deeds, so I misblamed a blonde woman for it

EDIT: This one is for real though: After council missions you get the deceased guard's weaponry as "bounty".

Also, if I may say: if  it was for sale, the RPG would actually be a good competitor to the standard rocket launcher, given that it's ammo is about as powerful (as small rockets) and smaller.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on June 15, 2016, 07:10:26 am
Sorry: I was mistaken. It was actually a cybermite that I had failed to spot. My agent was right next to the civilian both times it happened, and the cybermite scurried back to it's bolt-hole after both deeds, so I misblamed a blonde woman for it

EDIT: This one is for real though: After council missions you get the deceased guard's weaponry as "bounty".

Also, if I may say: if  it was for sale, the RPG would actually be a good competitor to the standard rocket launcher, given that it's ammo is about as powerful (as small rockets) and smaller.

Why not just use the Multi-Launcher then?  Compared to the RPG you can Aim Fire it for 5% more accuracy (105 vs 100), the Snap Shot is only 5% less accuracy (45 vs 50), and it only sacrifices 5 damage compared to the RPG/Small Rocket (both are 75 vs 70 of the Multi-Launcher); plus you can Auto Fire it if you really need to (though I find the Aimed Shot the better option).  Thus for the space of 2 RPGs you can get 3 ML shots, and it starts with 3 for 6 total shots from a soldier (same as you could carry for RPGs, but only taking up a 2x2 slot instead of 5x 2x1 slots).

So while I agree that the RPG is on par with Small Rockets, you already have that option in the Multi-Launcher.

EDIT:  And a quick damage range is RPG/Small Rocket 37.5-112.5 vs ML 35-105 for a total difference of 2.5-7.5 as explosive damage (well all Area 51 damage as of v0.9) is 0.5-1.5 listed value.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Mr. Quiet on June 15, 2016, 08:14:37 am
The mini launcher is the one that auto fires rockets, correct? I try to avoid it, because it doesn't match the game's sprites. It's a nice looking one, but for another game maybe :)
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: aknazer on June 15, 2016, 03:19:03 pm
The mini launcher is the one that auto fires rockets, correct? I try to avoid it, because it doesn't match the game's sprites. It's a nice looking one, but for another game maybe :)

Mini-Launcher is the small rocket launcher from Apocalypse.  Multi-Launcher is in Area 51.  But yes it is the one that can Auto-Fire rockets.
Title: Re: Area 51 Version 0.9
Post by: Hobbes on June 15, 2016, 03:47:16 pm
The mini launcher is the one that auto fires rockets, correct? I try to avoid it, because it doesn't match the game's sprites. It's a nice looking one, but for another game maybe :)

You mean that the Multi-Launcher sprite doesn't look good amongst the vanilla weapons?