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Messages - OmniscientQ

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OpenXcom Extended / Disabling Mod Sanity Checks
« on: July 19, 2021, 08:21:16 pm »
I had been hoping that the next release of X-Piratez would be compliant with the new ruleset sanity checks on the latest versions of OXCE, but alas. It was not to be. Normally, I'd just build an older version that Piratez is known to work with. However, there are a few critical bugs that have been resolved since 7.0. I'm not sure there's any version that both contains these fixes and lacks the new sanity checks that are incompatible with Piratez.

Is there an option, either in the options.cfg file or a parameter I can set when compiling, to disable the checks? Would that even be a good idea?

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OpenXcom Extended / Segmentation Fault - OXCE 7.0.3 & X-Piratez L8
« on: April 24, 2021, 10:17:51 am »
I'm getting a repeatable crash using OXCE 7.0.3 and X-Piratez L8. I just pulled and compiled the latest from Github, just to be sure it hasn't already been fixed, to no effect.

It should be easy enough to reproduce; simply end the turn. It's just one of the Piratez Air Race missions.

I wasn't entirely sure whether it'd be more appropriate to post this here or in the Piratez subforum. Apologies if I guessed wrong.

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Programming / Re: Auto-Battle
« on: May 31, 2020, 11:24:45 pm »

Actually, if the same AI that the enemies use could just be substituted in as the player, the difficulty of implementation would be similar(but in a different area) to balancing out an abstract points system.

One of my biggest concerns was how to get an auto-battle feature to incorporate mods, and do justice to the intended balance of the mods. That's one of the best arguments I can find in favor of turning the X-COM units over to the same AI that runs the aliens, and just let it play out. Then the auto-battle would be running by exactly the same rules that the mod author already balanced towards. The AI would be dumb as hell, but that'd just be the trade-off the player accepts by using it. Would you want to be able to watch the battle play out? It'd be useful, if the player were allowed to interrupt and take control back. On the other hand, if you just want the battle to be done, being forced to watch half a dozen turns of "Hidden Movement" flash across your screen could get annoying fast. I do think I'd personally prefer that the game get to the battle summary as fast as possible once I hit the button.

I think I recall a post by Meridian stating that turning X-COM units over to the AI wasn't possible, but a quick forum search didn't find it. It may be the case that this isn't possible.

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Programming / Auto-Battle
« on: May 31, 2020, 05:06:23 am »
X-COM Auto-Battle

One of the few features of the old xcomutil by Scott Jones yet to be implemented in OpenXcom is the auto-battle feature. For those who don’t remember, it was an option that would allow the player to automate tactical combat.

It didn’t hand control of your troops off to the AI to finish the battle. Instead, it reduced the participants on both sides to a couple of abstracted numbers, and then rolled some dice. If I’m recalling correctly, it made some sweeping assumptions. Ammunition wasn’t actually consumed. Fire rates didn’t matter. You had a basic 5% chance to capture rather than kill. Night missions applied a huge penalty that was partially offset for any soldier carrying a flare. Psionics basically amounted to an “I win” button. The xcomutil feature could also be invoked mid-battle. Once you had cleared the bulk of the alien forces, tipped the score in your favor, you could leave the clean-up to the grunts.

Some people might be tempted to say that an auto-battle function is cheating, or it defeats the whole point of the game, but I have a few reasons for thinking that OpenXcom would benefit from having one. In no particular order:

1 – One of the self-imposed challenges proposed in the xcomutil readme, and one I enjoyed, was to run auto-battle on every mission, and never assume direct control (Insert Mass Effect meme here). Being unsure of whether you’ll get the live Navigator or Deep One in your first month means having to change things up, and poses some new challenges.

2 – Sometimes, you just can’t stomach the thought of going through the motions to retrieve a medium scout full of Floaters, or to track down the last alien who's hiding in a closet. Even when you don’t have the flying power armor and psionic amplifiers to make such a mission risk-free, it’s just a chore to go after another wreck. Then there are the wonderful mods that border on being total-conversions, like X-Piratez and X-COM Files, where a single campaign *will* last for several years. Two years into a Piratez game, I feel guilty about letting Warehouse Wars missions despawn, but they feel like a chore just like the hypothetical medium scout full of floaters.

3 – The Android port of OpenXcom is wonderfully done, but a touchscreen is sometimes a pain in the ass. For some reason, it feels forgivable to me when I’m doing anything on the strategic level, but the tactical side leaves me frustrated at the lack of a mouse. If I could automate combat while on my tablet, I would.

If an auto-battle feature were to be created for OpenXcom, how would you want it to work? Would you want something fairly vague like the xcomutil version, or would you want the game to track every single movement and shot? A more abstract system might make it easier to work with mods in the mix, though the results might not reflect how difficult the mission would have been if it were played out manually. Would you want a status screen that shows the relative strengths of each side as the battle progresses, perhaps with simple buttons to influence it (something along the lines of Cautious, Standard, Aggressive, Retreat), or should it jump straight to the battle summary? Should it be made interruptible, so that the player can step back in if something goes horribly wrong (Much harder to implement. Where do you place all the units?)

I realize this falls outside the scope of OpenXcom, or even OXCE. The OXC mission statement was to faithfully recreate X-COM without the bugs and limitations imposed by hardware of the time. Adding an auto-battle feature means designing an entirely new system for which there's no canonical reference, so I want to get some input and feedback, and maybe even some semblance of consensus on what it should look like.

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The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: January 12, 2020, 06:38:13 pm »
I can't get the X-Com Files to load at all, or even appear in my mods list. I've been happily pirating it up with X-Piratez, and I put the X-Com Files directory in right next to the Piratez data files. Yet, when I launch OXCE, it isn't listed as an option. I just get UFO Defense, Terror from the Deep, and X-Piratez. I have absolutely no idea what more I need to do.

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XPiratez / Re: A thread for little questions
« on: January 10, 2020, 07:01:13 pm »
Alright. Next little question. I'm planning to try Male Touch next game, and I was looking at the various trainings available. Do they allow your soldiers to break the normal stat limits for their soldier type? If you send them to MMA or Holy Warrior training before they've reached the normal limit, is the extra potential wasted? Should you send them to training as soon as they qualify, or hold off until normal training and field experience have run their course?

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XPiratez / Re: A thread for little questions
« on: January 08, 2020, 05:20:02 am »
I had a quick look at the ruleset to see what's the problem with the labship: It's that they are 100% hunter-killer, which often fight until destruction. Science vessel has 1800 hp, so you can't really blow it up on accident.

Iazo once wrote how to crash hunter-killers:
Have a vessel bait the hk so it will chase. Then attack with other ships, while the hk is still chasing. The trick is, the vessel the hk is chasing *cannot* be in the fight. Then the hk behaves like a normal UFO and will crash when at half hp.

I haven't tested this myself, so I can only tell you what Iazo said. Other than that, I belive there is a rng roll at the creation of a science vessel to decide if it will fight to the death as a hk or not. So you might have just gotten unlucky with rng so far.

I had a look at the ruleset myself, though it took me a while to figure out what string to search for. I had considered the possibility that the HK behavior was the problem, but there are tons of other vessel types with "hunterKillerPercentage: 100" in them that have no problem leaving wrecks. Megapol, bandits, faction escorts and fighters... I've splashed and assaulted them all. The only other vessel I've seen with this behavior of absolutely never leaving a wreck are the self-defense interceptors launched from enemy hideouts.

I'll be sure to give that workaround with keeping the HK target away from the fight a try.

EDIT: It worked! It nearly killed the one Barracuda it wasn't targetting, but the Science Ship is down! My Thunderhorse is already on its way.

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XPiratez / Re: A thread for little questions
« on: January 08, 2020, 01:26:03 am »
It is September 2605, and my research has stagnated for close to a year because I just can't seem to get my hands on two key techs: Science Vessel and Red Shields.

I know what to do about the Red Shields part. There's a Merc base on the map, and I know there's a commander just waiting for me to come pick him up. Last time I tried, I wound up killing him AND losing the entire squad trying to take out the last hovertank. I've got a new squad of Gals trained up and kitted out in Harbinger armor. I just need to work up the nerve to launch the mission.

The Science Vessel is even worse, though. They've become pretty damn rare. The only mission they seem to perform these days is Academy Propoganda, and they never land. And every time I try to take one down, it explodes into pieces. It doesn't matter how lightly I tap the damn things. I've turned off all but a single beam laser on my interceptors and just dealt with the shield regenerating, and they still leave no wreck. It's been frustrating enough that I resorted to savescumming when another one finally popped up on my hyperwave decoders. No combination of weapons I throw at it results in something my ground-pounders can assault. I know there's supposed to be a late-game weapon to force a landing, but I'm guessing it's locked behind Higher Studies, which I can't get to until I nab a Science Vessel. Did I fail to read some critical piece of the Bootypedia that would explain what's going on?

In other news: I finally got a Thunderhorse up and running, along with a Swordfish, a fleet of Prospectors, and a couple Barracudas for interception. (I like the idea of the Nightmare, but it has just 33% more HP and lacks that sexy dodge bonus. Plus, a Barracuda can shred damn near anything with those quad lascannons, while a Nightmare has - ew - missile slots.) My beaten-up Fortuna, which I somehow managed to not lose in 4 years of piracy, is starting to feel a bit superfluous. It has shields, which is nice, but not a whole lot else to recommend it. Everything it can do, one of my other ships can do better. Prospectors can handle space and underwater missions, the Thunderhorse is a better bulk transport, and the Barracudas handle the pew-pew. I mainly keep it around as a trophy, and because I keep hoping one of them !Raid Space Freighters! missions will pop up. I stuck a pair of STC fusion boosters on it to get the speed up over 3,000 just for that reason. Deliverators are space-capable, though. Is there any pressing reason to keep the Fortuna around, aside from nostalgia?

Also, when the hell are those Space Freighters supposed to show up? I've been watching and waiting, since I assume the "Guild Ship Officer" will be there to take care of my Red Shield problems as well.

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XPiratez / Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« on: December 21, 2019, 02:06:09 am »
Once free, always free. Unless Hobbes regulary releases updates that are somehow necessary to make his map asset pack work, anybody could continue to use the version form back when it was free to use, even hypothetical purely commercial mods. I doubt the map asset pack was released under any sort of licence and since he never objected his works were used for profit by third parties for many years despite onviously knowing so, he would e at difficult at court in msot countries. It’s dick move to keep using it, but he seems like the bigger dick here, unless he’s trying to cover himself in case whoever owns original X-Com decides to sue him (unlikely, both x files and x piratez use copyrighted owned music and nobody gives a damn)

I gave this some thought myself, and I'm tempted to agree but for one possibility. In open-source software (and modding by extension) the common understanding is that an author can change their license any time they want, but such changes aren't retroactive. If you released v1.6 of your awesomeapp under GPL, and then release 2.0 under some other, more restrictive license, then people can keep using and distributing v1.6 for as long as they like.

But what if the old version never had an explicit license at all? If you forgot to include one, does that somehow imply a complete release of control over that version? Reading Hobbes' comments, that seems to have been the case. He gave no thought to licensing at all back in the day, it didn't seem important. Declaring that all of his work is covered by his new license doesn't conflict with past licensing permissions because the past license is a null value.

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I don't know why you think of adding things that they automatically have to be stronger or more powerful? You can add weapons that fill in gaps. Or alternatives that have other strengths at some points, but are weaker in other points. So there are more options to choose from, depending on your strategy?

Well, the short answer is... If it's not better, why use it? If I have a cool idea for some hybrid alien/human tech gun, then in order for it to be useful, it has to be better than the Heavy Plasma in some way. If it isn't better, then I'll just use the Heavy Plasma instead. There's room, of course, for intermediate grades of weapons, but the laser class already fills in the space between starting terran technology and the alien plasma weapons. Hence my question of "What's missing?" Obviously, the answer isn't just "We need bigger guns!" Maybe the problem, as suggested above, is that the plasma weapons as a whole need to be nerfed a bit in order to make room for new innovations. The Heavy Plasma is already a top-notch sniper weapon on top of being a fine auto-firing weapon for front-line grunts. If the ability to make aimed shots were removed or nerfed from the plasma weapons (Dunno what kind of justification I would find for that limitation, but...), then that opens up the possibility for some dedicated high-tech sniper rifle, or a series of them.

Actually, when I say that out loud... type it out loud... whichever. Anyway, the model that starts to emerge in my head looks a lot like the tech tree in UFOAI. The UFOAI tech setup has some issues of its own, I'll grant, but there's nothing wrong with having options. Maybe a ruleset that recreates the UFOAI tech progression would be worthwhile.

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Years ago, I was sitting bored at a crappy job, and thinking about X-COM while some customer with an unimportant complaint droned on and on about how horrible a person I was. Specifically, I was thinking about the research tree, and all the various ways I would change it, if I could.

Now, OpenXcom is here! Finally, I can make my dreams a reality!

Of course, I had many of the same ideas as everyone else. Improved "alien alloy" rifles and cannons. Night vision goggles. I even wanted to redo the way grenades worked, by separating the detonator from the payload. Then, the motion scanner technology would lead to a motion sensor detonator. Motion-detonator + regular grenade = proximity grenade! Proximity detonator + stun bomb = stun mines! I thought about making Blaster Bombs and Stun Bombs interchangeable ammos. Blaster launchers that can shoot stun bombs around corners! Small launchers that can fire blaster bombs, but only in direct line-of-sight! (Though, the small launcher would have the inherent danger of inaccuracies...). I wanted to make it so that simply researching plasma weapons would let you use, but not manufacture, the alien weapons. In order to manufacture them, or research new weapons based on alien principles, you would first need the Plasma Weapon Theory project... Maybe a new helmet inventory slot that could hold a mind shield device. That way, psionically weak soldiers don't automatically lose half their number to a single sectoid leader, much less an entire ship of ethereals!

So. Now I can make all of those things happen. But as I look back, I find myself wondering what I could add that would be meaningful, rather than just "power creep". For example, I wanted to make a new class of weapons, a hybrid of terran and alien technologies. I didn't like the idea that X-COM was unable to out-guess the aliens, to innovate. I wanted X-COM to get creative. Alien-alloy rifles, for example. Using the alien technology in unexpected ways. Unfortunately, the alien tech already seems to have most of the bases covered. They have improved rocket launchers, long-range stunners, and the best direct-fire weapons available. Anything new would really just be redundant, and probably overpowered. Do I really need a gun stronger than a heavy plasma? Am I really going to claim with a straight face that heavy plasma isn't deadly enough? That I need more firepower, because the conflict isn't one-sided enough already? I suppose an argument could be made for having an arms race. Add new terran guns and hybrid weapon classes, and then the aliens can adapt and start making better weapons too. Would that be fun, though? Or would it just be the same old thing with slightly larger numbers in the inventory window?

Bleh. I started this post intending to share all these "cool" ideas I had way back when, but over the last 20 years, I've played tons of games that have ten different guns that all try to fill the same role, or that have five different tiers of guns, each more deadly than the last. As I pulled up my old text file and reviewed its contents, I didn't ask myself "What else would cool and awesome?" Instead, I'm asking "What does this add that wasn't there before?"

This morning, I was so excited about the prospect of modding, but something's gone horribly wrong along the way. So, my fellow X-COM fans... What's missing?

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Offtopic / Greetings, OpenXCOM
« on: June 01, 2013, 03:28:07 am »
Greetings, OpenXCOM folks! I come to you by way of UFO:AI, and I have to say I am impressed by the speed with which this project has progressed. I remember looking at the various X-COM related links on the UFOAI a year ago, and OpenXCOM was at version... 0.3? There was no working Geoscape, no working base management, no nothing. Now... You have recreated X-COM. I am humbled.

I managed to find a bug, and reported it (as a guest user) but figured I should actually register and introduce myself. An open-source X-COM game has been a dream of mine for a while, and I am eager to start modding things. Small things, probably, but still.

I have some slight skill in C++, and so I hope to contribute to the base project as well. I'm currently reading through the source code to see if I can solve my own bug report, so we'll see.

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