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Messages - The Reaver of Darkness

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1
Hey Reaver, I've found a map bug. I've known about it for a while, but I neglected to report it, because part of me doesn't want it to go. There are two tiles of floating sand on one particular desert map. It's at the far north and won't have any real effect on game-play 99% of the time. I've encountered this twice now, once on the previous patch and once on the current patch. I like to think it's just another one of the alien's mind tricks to try and distract my soldiers. Unfortunately I can't point to the exact map file as I don't have knowledge about openxcom maps.
Very strange. While my mod does add copies of the desert maps due to having route changes, I have made no changes to the map files themselves. And yet I have confirmed that this is not present in vanilla, only in my mod.

It does potentially affect game balance: it offers a high-quality sniping position (you can kneel on it) for flying soldiers, where one shouldn't be. It's fairly minor but can make a large difference in a handful of cases.

When I patch it, you can keep your copy this way by making a backup of DESERT09.MAP from the MAPS folder of Harmony mod. Then every time you install an update, just copy and paste your backup version of DESERT09.MAP to replace the existing one in the mod folder. You may as well create this backup right now. And make sure you save it somewhere other than a mod folder.

Also, I am happy to see that you have selected the Starblazer! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

2
Suggestions / Re: Rotated alien Ships
« on: May 29, 2022, 08:14:46 pm »
I can't recommend Luke's UFOs enough! I have used them since my early days as a modder! There are several minor flaws in the UFOs, however. The biggest issue is that he doesn't have any Battleship variants.

Darkened UFOs mod is also perhaps very good. I think that one is more popular and possibly better designed (less flaws) but I don't have experience with it.

3
My initial motivation was to make cyberdiscs hitbox in form of actually a floating disc, that is much harder to hit with horizontal fire line, than, let's say, a Reaper hitbox. But if you will hit it from above or below - it's an easy target as well. Considering it's a flying unit - it makes a lot of tactical gameplay meaning.
Also, if we take iconic example with sectoid hitbox, on fixing like @Reaver is proposing, we will get its hitbox not that different from muton's. But they are very different in sizes, judging ufopadia and battlescape images… Making muton is a target, that is much easier to hit, compared to smaller enemies, would make interesting balance options, considering its high armor value.

I can go on with more examples like that.

Sectoids already use a smaller column (2) while snakemen use a larger column (4) and the rest (floater, muton, ethereal) use a "medium" column (3). My hitbox mod fixes this by boosting them all to 3 for sectoids, 5 for snakemen, and 4 for the rest.

You can already make the cyberdisc hitbox match its model simply by making it shorter, but it causes a bug in which if it is standing on elevated ground, melee attacks can't hit it. The hitbox height it has is the bare minimum to avoid the bug; shrinking it by even one voxel will make it commonly unhittable in melee. But soldiers have no significant difficulty in hitting the smaller hitbox with ranged weapons, so aside from the melee bug it works great.

I think we'd have no major issues with hitboxes if the hitbox bugs were fixed:
1.) Small units have their weapon height based on hitbox height, and it is correct only for soldiers, and wrong for ALL other alien races.
2.) Large units must have a minimum hitbox height in order for melee weapons to function correctly (unless they never stand on inclined terrain).
3.) Shot angle has a very high odds of hitting almost exactly dead center where the soldier is aiming, roughly equal to their list chance to hit in most cases. Then if it doesn't go dead center, it goes straight to stormtrooper accuracy more or less regardless of the shot's list accuracy (and this can still happen at 110%+). This means their odds of hitting a bee off your nose at 100 tiles is not significantly different than their odds of hitting a snakeman at 5 tiles, and no that is not an exaggeration.
4.) This might be the most difficult one to fix, or maybe it isn't: sometimes a soldier simply aims along a trajectory which does not intersect with the target's hitbox. This is most common with: diagonal shots esp. with elevation differences (which can be mitigated by making perfectly orthogonal shots); strange target hitboxes esp. against terrain or if target hitbox is very small/off center; having tile hitboxes in between the shooter and the target (occurs differently but not necessarily less commonly with OXCE's off-center shooting, can be mitigated by using OXCE's alt-fire). I don't know much about how this stuff works but I think it was either SupSuper or Warboy who showed me the function in the base code. There was a list of tile positions it seeks to find an eligible trajectory, and perhaps fixing it is as simple as expanding the list.
        If a soldier aims along a missing trajectory, the most noticeable thing is that the shot will ALWAYS miss UNLESS it is a stormtrooper accuracy shot which gets lucky. All bee-off-the-nose shots will take nearly the exact same path and miss their target. This means that the higher a soldier's accuracy is, the lower their odds of hitting the target. The only way to fix it is to move either the shooter or the target to a different position.

4
Very interesting concept and looks entirely doable, however it would require individual modders to create LOFTs for their units. I suspect most mods would simply not use the feature, or just copy LOFTs from other mods.

I propose an easier solution: simply disassociate the unit height into two separate heights: one which determines the height at which they carry their weapon, and the other which determines the height of their LOFT pillar. Nine times out of ten you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two solutions during gameplay, short of taking LOF screenshots. Even with Sectoids, the iconic extreme example, a player won't typically feel like anything is wrong when a shot heading to brush past its meager body collides with it instead, or passes through the edge of its large head and keeps going. The sprite is too small to easily notice these things without playing the footage back in slow motion.

5
Playthroughs / Re: Hardmode Expansion Run
« on: May 13, 2022, 06:46:30 am »
Had to rewatch the work of the muton berserkers a few times, to reach my full satiesfaction :D
The best developer is always the one who really understands what makes their mod great. :D

6
I don't know what it would be like trying to code it but it seems to me like it would be simple enough. You could leave all defaults at 1 and allow specific units (including prisoners) to be given multipliers.
I imagine it's used on quite a lot of places and finding all related "count = count + 1" and "count++" will not be very trivial.
Perhaps encase the whole property in each specific case, so for example a "count+X"= becomes "count+X"= *2 for a unit type with size 2.

I would have been interested in it if it had been implemented a few years back, but I won't likely use the feature at this point. However it seems highly useful. I just got used to not having it. I approve of adding it.

7
Check that you don't have the deployment height set to 0 for this mission deployment.

I'm expecting it is something like this:
Code: [Select]
alienDeployments:
  - type: STR_CUSTOM_TERROR_SITE_X
    height: 0

I don't know if it is accurate, but the ruleset reference claims that the default value for height is 0. If so, then this means that you must specify a height for any non-vanilla missions, or else it will set it to 0.

So do this:
Code: [Select]
alienDeployments:
  - type: STR_CUSTOM_TERROR_SITE_X
    height: 3

8
Harmony 1.0.6 is out!

Changes include:
* Most cannons and launchers now show which ammo is loaded
* Added Alien Explosive Missile Defense System
* Tractor Beams finally drain shields like they were supposed to all along
* Ethereal Navigators now yield 2 Psi Wave Emitters
* Buffed the Executioner aircraft; much more reason to fly it now
* Several new graphics
* Many tiny bug fixes and quality of life changes

See original post for download!

9
You can put the line of fire template voxels anywhere you like regardless if it's a wall, floor, or object. Then you can change its block movement behavior independently with the bigwall attribute. But there is some extra processing which will make it not always do what you want. Bigwalls work best (or only) when placed in the object slot of the tile, and unit's vision of the floor tiles (how they "see" (reveal) terrain) seems to function partially independently of LOFTs.

Another thing: explosion propagation will attempt to chew through a tilepart and lose momentum if it is in either wall position, or chew through it but not lose momentum if it is in the floor or object position. If the object has a bigwall setting, this can alter it to behave like a wall instead of a floor. It seems to me that smoke cannot propagate past ANY tilepart which is in the wall position, EVER. If you discover a way to make it happen, let me know. (I REALLY want to make smoke propagate through fences.)

10
I find the ideal way to reduce this tedium is just to arm everyone the same way. For Vanilla, a good general loadout plan is Rifles+grenages > Laser Rifles > Heavy Plasmas. For my Faithful or Harmony mod, you can go Rifles+grenades > Heavy Auto Lasers > Plasma Assault Cannons. In most mods, there are strong yet fairly generalized soldier setups which can be applied quickly and easily if you are feeling lazy. Being on a lower difficulty than fits your skill level also helps.

11
Help / Re: Penalty for despawning a crashed UFO
« on: April 21, 2022, 08:47:16 am »
You could put tiles in the UFO which only show up on crash sites, and are recovered for points. Thus, skipping the crash site removes the opportunity to collect the points.

It takes some advanced level modding, but if you're determined to do it, then get some baseline experience with Volutar's mcdEdit and hit me up on Discord or here for details. Discord is a much faster way to reach me; I am thereaverofdarkness#2362. On the other hand, if you are already an advanced modder, then you can simply peek into my mod Reaver's Harmony and see the method based on how I have done the Data Capsule items.

12
I think this should be fixed in code, where the vision algorithm is either changed to only reveal tiles which are visible through the smoke, or even voxels which are visible through the smoke,
I suspect that would greatly increase lag, or cause a lag spike every time a unit took a step. Vision is done separately for tiles versus units. Vision of units is probably a lot more robust, counting complex variables which are most likely ignored for tile vision.

There's probably a way to do it without making it laggy, but you'd have to understand how all of the vision calculations are made, and I don't.

13
Help / Re: TFTD: Tentaculat editing
« on: April 12, 2022, 03:59:25 am »
That's the problem.
Then the TENTACULATs become weak opponents, because they will not be able to penetrate the soldier's armor themselves.
It is enough to have a strong armor and calmly walk your pets on a leash  :D

You can adjust the Tentaculat's attack to alter its likelihood of/ability to penetrate armor.

I have been using this script in my mod for a while now. Here is what I have done to the Chryssalid's attack:
Code: [Select]
items:
  - type: CHRYSSALID_WEAPON
    strengthApplied: true
    damageAlter:
      ArmorEffectiveness: 0.8
      ToArmor: 0
      ToArmorPre: 0.15
    damageType: 7
units:
  - type: STR_CHRYSSALID_TERRORIST
    stats:
      strength: 70
In my mod, the Chryssalid's attack applies 70 power worth of melee damage (type 7), which ranges from 52.5 to 87.5 due to my global 75-125% damage range. (Vanilla is 0-200%.) This attack also ignores 20% of the target's armor. For a target with no weakness or resistance to melee, this attack will be able to hit health past 65 - 109 armor. This means that if the target has 110 armor or greater, they will definitely survive, but if they have 65 armor or less, they definitely will not survive. If the unit does survive, then the attack damages their armor for 15% of the incoming damage (5 - 16 armor).

In practice, it means that poorly-armored units are quickly taken out by Chryssalids, moderately-armored units can usually survive a few attacks, and heavily-armored units don't have much to fear from Chryssalids.

You can adjust several different values to achieve desirable results within your own mod. And if you're not sure how to do it, leave a description of what you want to achieve, and I or someone else may explain how to accomplish it.

14
Playthroughs / Re: OG TFTD playthrough
« on: April 12, 2022, 02:03:34 am »
Reaver Monkey reporting for whatever is the least savory duty needed!

15
Help / Re: Penalty for despawning a crashed UFO
« on: April 12, 2022, 01:11:18 am »
I think I've figured out what the alien points are for. This is how activity and the likelihood of a pact are counted.
What about crashed UFOs?
Does the game have any penalties for ignoring them? And if not, does OXCE allow it?

Yes. Points scored for the aliens contribute to alien activity in graphs, as well as applying negative points to the player score.

Infiltration is completely separate from score, however. A country signs a pact with the aliens when the aliens complete an infiltration mission on that country.

There are no penalties for crashed UFOs despawning by default. I'm pretty sure you can make them cost points (or grant points) in OXC, but I'm not sure how to do it. It might be as simple as adding a non-zero despawnPenalty value to the UFO site in alienDeployments, but that might cause the point loss also when the landed UFO takes off.

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