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Messages - Harald_Gray

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Troubleshooting / Savefile locations?
« on: May 29, 2016, 11:04:19 am »
I'm not sure what to make of this, as the behavior is so weird I'm not sure it is openxcom's fault, but I'm unable to find the latest savefiles, even though they are visible and playable in the game itself.

I can see all the older savefiles and even new ones I manually add to into the xcom1 directory. But anything I save ingame seems to have vanished when I try to locate the files, to the point that searching the whole computer for the savefile's name yields nothing.

Is this a new bug or feature I'm unaware of, or am I looking at a malware infection?

Open Feedback / Re: Sleeping on a tire heap
« on: August 21, 2015, 02:48:06 pm »
Okay, I now have a horrific tale to warn you against this feature.

I've decided to give TftD a try and I was in the middle of a shipping attack mission. I've killed the last alien on the upper deck and the game crashed on me after I've closed the re-equip screen. No error message, nothing in the log, just a crash. o I've realoaded my last save, killed the last two aliens again and tried again. No crash this time, good, let's hope it will manifest again so somebody might track the cause but glad the mission is go.

We all know the deathtrap full of crates that is the deployment zone of a liner terror second stage. But I've killed all the aliens without losing anyone and ended my turn. And a girl in bikini jumped onto one of my aquanauts and the primed magna pack explosive in his inventory vent off. What followed was a model example of chain reaction going off, all the other primed explosives going off. Everyone dies.

Yep, that bikini babe killed my whole team (and herself).

Maybe that crash was RNG gods trying to tell me stop playing and go do something else...

May i ask how your overall experience was?
What could be improved?

Ummm, I'm not sure my experience is entirely relevant, considering I've kept the 0.84 version installed for the whole playthrough. However, for what it is worth:
- I like the increased difficulty
- numbers of aliens in small ufos are sometimes too high, to the point where one begins to skip missions that would be boring and unimportant
- those high numbers of aliens also mean money quickly becomes much less of an issue
- long research times plus more research topics require way more scientists; I've ended up with 250 for much of my game
- research paths are sometimes too unpredictable for a first-time playthrough
- heavy laser/auto is such a great weapon that I've never switched to plasmas
- gazers are perfect for soldier training; stun/disarm one, wait for it to wake up (or make a medic waste his shots on your tank), keep emptying pistol magazines into it until your soldiers train up
- I'm happy that neither laser cannons nor plasma beams need ammo, so keep it that way, please
- pacing the game into 14+ months seems too much, as by that time one has so many ufos appearing that one ignores most crashed ships
- muton elites are nasty, so I've made it a habit to leave their crashed ships alone; there are so many other races regularly appearing by then that there's little point in facing them repeatedly without a good reason

And I guess I'll wait for the 0.92 and try again before I make any more suggestions on how to improve it.

Okay, I'm almost ready for the Cydonia mission. I'm at the point where I ignore most of grounded UFOs, I've practically stopped caring about money, my bases are nearly invulnerable, my team is ready... But...

There's no way for me to research the Cydonia mission because there's no Ethereal base on Earth and no alien mission planning to build one. I've even downed an Ethereal battleship but there was no commander in it, which I believe is a design choice, not a random effect. And with almost 500 detected UFOs and sixteen months of in-game time behind me the wait is getting kind of boring.

So my question is, is there something in the code that might give me a hope that an Ethereal alien base mission might generate anytime soon? I'd hate to wait for maybe even another year or more of ingame time, hoping the random number gods will take a pity on me.

Well, I've literally copied code from my own working mod, changed the names to fit the new mod (using Ctrl+c -> Ctrl+v like an idiot so it's not a typo), and that same code no longer works in the newer mod. I've even enabled both mods at the same time and one works and the other doesn't. I've fiddled with this and that and tried a dozen variations on a theme and the result stays the same.

Not to mention the fact that in vanilla, you can research a dozen sectoid navigators in a row even if there's nothing new you can learn from them.

*That's* why I'm so confused. *Something* has to be causing this and its either a very obscure bug or, more likely, something I'm by now blind to.

Work In Progress / [Question] Live alien can only be researched once.
« on: July 26, 2015, 08:04:14 pm »
I'm testing a new mod and I've run into a problem that's leaving me confused. I can only research captured aliens once and I don't see anything in the code that should be causing this. I have two individuals of the same type in a base and when I research one, the other remains and can even be sold but not re-researched. Let me post relevant parts of the code.
Code: [Select]
    size: 0.0
    recover: true
    liveAlien: true
    costSell: 60000

Code: [Select]
    cost: 10
    points: 50
    needItem: true
    cost: 10
    points: 20

I don't even remember how many variations I've tested and it never works. I've even tried to copy my own code from a working mod and while the original code works, the new one doesn't.  My code unlocks the new research, as it should, but no matter what I do, or what getOneFree items I add, the game never offers me the option of researching that armored navigator (or any other of the new aliens) again. Anyone has an idea what might be causing this?

The problem is likely caused by something else, because I've just installed the latest nightly and your code works fine, robin.

Aren't you loading a mod that defines this *after* your own one?

Well you can make sure that Races do occur on Terrormissions. ;)

Well, I don't like spawning Mechtoids without their special weapons. A Burner without his Scorcher or incendiary rockets is just a Sectoid who's a little funny in the head and wears light armor, a Commando wearing a stealthsuit but holding a fully visible rifle looks stupid...

So I gave them their own terror missions  ;D

No, no. To be blunt, I'd like that for every race. I always was a little bothered, that even with enough races to begin with in vanilla, there always were these waves, during which you have more or less always the same aliens. First it's Sectoids, then the floaters begin. Then the Snakemen come, followed by Mutons and then the Ethereals. But not in a mixed way. More like 10-50 missions of a race one after another until there's some change. OK, sometimes paused by some Sectoids of Floaters, but in general, always big waves. Only in late game you begin to have some variety, where you don't have this likelihood of knowing, what's to come. Having more races probably spices it up, if they don't occur in this wave-like fashion.

Problem is that there's not that many missions during early game and every mission has a fixed race (or has a fixed racial mix) and some races might be too problematic during early game. You're likely to have say half a dozen active alien missions tops, probably less of them, in March to May. If you shoot down the first ufo of a mission, you can expect a copy of it arriving later, with the same race aboard. This doesn't leave much room for racial variety during early game, regardless of what mods you use.

Well if they bring there own weapons. I will certainly not integrate them. Since my weaponset is now fixated (no further changes).

They use vanilla weapons plus three new types. And I do understand the reasons for not including them, no hurt feelings here  :)

Uh, I planned them to spice things up a bit, they're not intended as a new cannon fodder.

But if you do want to be meeting them more often, simply increase their mission weights in their ruleset.

They don't appear in regular missions. You can only meet them in their own missions, in retaliation missions and very rarely in alien bases.

The reason is that they need their own missions to be able to utilize their own weapon loadouts.

With heavy Plasma, they don't seem as threatening . =)

Well, they're just buffed Sectoids, what did you expect?  :)

You see, they're not supposed to be the toughest eliens of the bunch. They're an attempt to make Sectoids appear somewhat useful in late game so they're *designed* to retain some weaknesses. Their armor gives them higher chances of surviving single laser/plasma hits but they're no Mutons. Plus they do use powerful weapons.

Just to make sure, though... Have you also tested high-item-level Mechtoid terror missions? The kind where you're also facing power 110 rockets, battlesuits that completely ignore about half of frontal heavy plasma hits, and civilians perfect for being zombified by drones and then bursting into everyone's favorite unit, the Chryssalid? Because Mechtoids need their own mission deployments to reach their full beauty  ;)

I'm playing with the mod now, on a savedgame which previously wasn't played with it. The don't seem to accur at all. Do I have to start a new Campaing-game in Order to run into them?

There's two reasons for this. One, these guys are supposed to be somewhat rare. Two, new missions are IIRC only generated once per month. This means that if you're unlucky or don't wait long enough, you'll see no new races, no matter what mod you use. So you don't have to start a new campaign but if you're getting impatient or you're too unlucky you might need to take more direct measures.

I'm afraid I can only offer three remedies, though. You can edit the ruleset and increase the missionweights, they are at the beginning of the rulefile, but you'll still have to wait and it'll stay subject to random chances. You can manually edit your savefile and add in a Mechtoid mission. Or you can use the New battle feature to test the tactical aspects of this mod.

Oh, and one more detail. The Mechtoids are kind of tough, so they can't appear sooner than in March, being replaced by plain Sectoids before then (and sometimes after) should you get a Mechtoid mission in early game. Fully Mechtoid crews start in May.

Work In Progress / Re: [UNITS] Unmanned Ground Vehicles, or UGVs
« on: July 24, 2015, 10:31:22 am »
Would you be able to add drones to the aliens with your mod or make a separate mod if you're interested enough?

One could only add a drone to an existing alien race by having it replace one of the existing ranks, e.g. I could replace some cyberdiscs by drones. Terrorist units are a good candidate for this, as most races have two ranks using the same unit, but it would mean there'd be lower numbers of the original units in missions.

And yes, it would be better to do this as a separate mod. No sense in forcing a player to accept a change in alien races to be able to use some new early-game human tech.

Maybe a flying drone that spots for the aliens, such as those HL2 combine camera drones.

Okay, I'll admit I've been thinking about some early- to mid-game flying human units too. But I keep running into game balance issues. Easily replacable, psi-immune, unarmored flying scouting drones that can even be used indoors would give the player a significant advantage. Making such drones prohibitively expensive makes no logical sense. So I don't want to make the game this much easier by creating such units.

The grenade launcher drone looks like something you could have all the way through. What's its ammo capacity? Would you be able to give it ammo to reload itself? I would say, so long as an operative is next to the drone both of them will use up TUs when you reload ammo for the drone within the inv. Might not be viable to have an op as a mule haha carrying huge rockets unless you have the smaller rockets mod. Just an idea.

The GL variant has power 40, even less than a grenade, making it unsuitable for late game. Its accuracy is absolutely horrible, but what would you expect from a turn-of-the-millenium remote-controlled mini-drone? And the ammo capacity is 15, meaning it is quite easy to run it dry.

Sure, increasing the ammo capacity is just a matter of rewriting one number, but a huge ammo capacity makes little sense both logic-wise and balance-wise. Realoading it by having a soldier reload it is currently beyond the limits of modding, indeed beyond the limits of the code.

As for a mule drone, the problem is that the inventory is the same for all units, which means you have to either make the inventory unavailable (like with UGVs) or accept the fact that the mule could use any item you give it (so you could have the mule use medkits or fire weapons).

And what hellrazor said about the too many new researches is true, if you already have other aliens mods installed this quickly turns into a research-screen list of epicness.  ;D

I "solved" this by simply lowering all times needed for the alien researches, but it's only a work-around not a real solution.

The times for most Mechtoid autopsies/interrogations are already fairly low, at least compared to vanilla, unless that research also reveals something of value. A full lab can complete almost two mechtoid researches in just one day.

And the reason why I've added so many research topics is that unlike with most other races, there are significant differences between various Mechtoid ranks and individual ufopaedia entries are about the only in-game way of giving this info to a player. Spoiler alert, for example some of the drones can zombify; now imagine the face of a player who finds this out the hard way after already killing and capturing several of those. "What the fuck?!? How come my scientists never warned me some of these fuckers carry chrysalid eggs?!?" Another spoiler, Marines are more aggressive than any vanilla alien, making them more likely to go ahead and shoot you. One more spoiler, it takes about thirty plus stun bombs to take down a Mechtoid battlesuit. And I know of no better in-game method of giving the player at least some hints than individual ufopaedia articles.

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