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Topics - FiendishDrWu

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XPiratez / Approaches to Base Building
« on: June 22, 2020, 07:02:00 pm »
After not touching XPiratez for a while, I've gotten back into it this last week.  I'm liking the changes, particularly with regard to events.  Throwing/bows also seem to have gotten some love, which is nice!  I've been loving the throwing axes.

Unlike vanilla X-Com, where you could get away with it, you can't just build a couple of "Do everything" bases and call it a day - there's simply too much stuff to be built and done.  Here's my current approach, in July of the second year:

- Main base, Isle of Lesbos in the Med, all the research happens here.  I have two hangars, one for El Fuego (heavy intercepts) and one for a Turtle (undersea and general combat).  Also 50 runts working on Chateau and X-Grog whenever they're not doing equipment/extraction/gambling/tokens/enslavement/recruitment stuff.  Goal is to transition this to ground missions and science entirely.

- 2nd base, China, 2 hangars, with Airbus (w/ assigned Lokk'Narr team for sneaky missions) and Pachyderm (for orbital or do-this-in-a-hurry ground missions.)  Also setting up large living quarters and one or more dojos; the plan is to have a large population of Gals in training here, as well as being my second point for launching ground missions.

Next two bases are more peripheral; they're staffed with Peasants constantly training in Dojos and with second-line gear, which has been sufficient to fight off the Ratmen and Doom raids they've had (albeit with casualties from the Doom Imps!).  They also have a single hangar, currently empty, waiting on good interceptor craft.  One is in Antartica and I'm working towards making that my Mint/heavy workshop base - I just got the Mint and am constructing it; for now it's 65 runts making X-Grog, and the other is in Brazil and has 4 Sectoweed farms going. 

Once I've got a little more cash, I want to set up  hyperwave/hangar with interceptor/token garrison bases in North America, Austrailia and central Africa as well. 

What are other people's approaches to base building? 

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XPiratez / Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« on: May 01, 2018, 04:13:08 am »
Just completed my first play through of X-Piratez.  Overall, I had a blast!  Again and again I found myself amazed at the level of depth Dioxine has added to an almost 25 year old game.  I started last fall with 99H1 and upgraded to 99I2a to finish it, with a several month break in between.  I wanted to share some thoughts I had about it, in no particular order.  Warning, has some spoilers.

- I’d played a few missions in, and I had gotten the hang of the “raid the church” missions.  I’d learnt that killing people on those missions was generally punished, and that sometimes prisoners were nice to have for robbery.  So I set out with harpoon guns with stun bolts on what I thought was another routine temple raid. 
Spoiler:
  I was wrong!  Turns out it was full of zombies!  I hadn’t encountered them before, and found out the hard way - by losing a gal - that stunning was useless against them.
  Fortunately, out of sheer laziness, I had a number of other weapons that I’d left sitting in my airbus, so after racing the survivors back, tossing their weapons aside, and grabbing the various swords and bats I had, managed to defeat my foes.  Being thrown a curve like that really got me hooked.

- I appreciate that there’s a lot of written backstory as to what’s going on, even if I wasn’t always sure about how it all tied together.  With the limited tools available, Dioxine manages to use Bootypedia & workshop to give a strong sense of a living world, all the more impressive given the limited ways in which the game engine permits storytelling. 

- One small disappointment - the ending. 
Spoiler:
The ending is basically the ending of regular XCom, albeit with some text changes - I’m guessing this is an engine limitation?  But I would have like to have found out more about Jill, leader of the Naarlocks. I found myself wondering if the Knights of Cydonia had survived and would aid me in the final battle, or if they were themselves the final enemy.  I wondered about who was really behind the Pink Ships, Shadowtech, and the falling out between the Star Gods and the Reticulans.  One data disk alludes to there being a few hundred million humans & mutants on the surface, but 13 billion Gillmen or other undersea denizens, and their Elder Gods are never really explored.
The game never really answers these questions, but I gather that Dioxine is still working on the ending, so I should probably shut up and be patient.     ;D

- Like others, I found the endgame can drag a little.  With over a billion dolaros, via my
Spoiler:
currency forgery and battle tank sales
I found that Ivan Dogovitch’s QoL mods helped shave some time off the waiting game.  I had enough manufacturing capacity that I could basically ignore everything and still have a monthly score in the thousands, plus piles of cash coming in.  I took missions that seemed like they’d be fun, or good practice for the gals, and ignored things I thought might be dangerous or simply tedious. 

- Speaking of cash, I rarely have more than 2 or 3 bases in a regular game of X-Com - in my X-Pirates play-through, I ended up with the full 8 bases: My first science base, my first industrial printer/spa base, my factory base, my “build the conquerer” factory/printer/workshop base, and 4 interception bases.  The very different interception & manufacturing game in X-Pirates really drives you to expand your operations - there’s simply no way you can do all the things you’d want to do in one (or two, or three) bases. 

- One aspect of the game I never really explored much were alternate soldiers or tanks.  The Gals, particularly once trained at a spa, seemed to be pound-for-pound the best fighters I could get.  I guess I can see some value in tanks
Spoiler:
or synths
for fighting enemies with strong voodoo, but I’m not sure I get how slaves, Lokk’Naars, or the new peasants fit in.  Likewise, I never really experimented with hiring veterans, freaks, etc.  Am I missing something, or do other people not find them particularly compelling? 

- Another thing that bugged me - and this is probably more an engine limitation than something Dioxine can fix - was finding out where to source things.  I went with the grey codex, and could theoretically build sorceress suits, but I was never able to figure out how or where to source a Tome of Lightning.  Likewise, sythmetal mesh, magischen motors, force crystals, etc. always seemed to be in short supply, and it took a lot of digging to figure out how to get parts.  I see in the latest build that when you’re looking at the fence list you can see what uses a particular item has, which is nice - I suppose you could use that to work backward to see what you might disassemble to get parts, but not everything can be disassembled, and you have to have one of the items first.  Likewise, getting all the components in one place can be a hassle - the “all vaults” will show me all vaults, but it gives me no idea where those items are, which is kind of tedious when you have 8 bases!  Again, though, this is an engine limitation, and not Dioxine’s problem. 

- There are perhaps too many trappings, and I frequently found myself struggling to figure out exactly what to equip my gals with.  Part of that is probably bad inventory management on my part - toss the old crap out! - but I found myself having to constantly consult the Bootypedia to figure out what to have the gals wear. 

All things considered, though, X-Pirates is absolutely breathtaking in it’s ambition and depth.  If the new XCOM games are all about taking the old X-Com and purifying it to it’s simplest elements so everyone can enjoy it, X-Piratez goes in the opposite direction: adding complexity - and meaningful, game-affecting complexity! - to an old classic. 

Oh, and lots of cartoon boobs.   ;D

Definitely worth the donation!

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4604.0.html


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XPiratez / Sell me on better weapons & better strategies!
« on: September 27, 2017, 10:28:50 pm »
As someone who played the original X-Com as a kid, I'm totally loving X-Piratez!  It's quirky and fun, and the variability it brings to the table makes the 25+ year old game engine feel fresh & new again.  In original X-Com, I'd invariably end up with a Skyranger full of soldiers in Powered Armor, with Heavy Plasma, except for a few who had Psi-Amps or Blaster Launchers.  I'd scout the enemy, mind control the baddies, use them to find more baddies, mind control them, then march the whole lot out somewhere and shoot them with a blaster bomb.  Not in this mod!

Right now, in Sept 2602, I'm using a Shadowbat for most of my ground missions.  I typically have a mix of gals in Camp Paint/Guerrilla Gear, with Hunting/Auto/Battle/Las/Dragoon rifles up on the wings of the bat, along with Rogues with hunting bows and fire arrows, while my scouting is Barbarian/Amazon gals with Barbaric swords.  I've been using this basic approach for almost a year in-game and it works pretty well.  I GTFO immediately if I'm up against lots of Marsec/Megapol/Mercs, unless there's several near the Shadowbat I can get to with my sword Gals, but otherwise this approach works pretty well.  I relied on grenades a lot in my earlier days, and I still keep some on board, along with shotguns, but I don't use grenades or shotguns much anymore, unless it's a really close-quarters mission, like an Archeological Dig.  I've yet to really use the heavy weapons or explosives much; though I did use a grenade launcher against a Megapol landed ship to mixed results. 

On underwater missions, I'm using my "B" team I keep for defense purposes at a manufacturing base, and my typical approach is to have them swim up to level 4 or 5, and slowly patrol.  They're high enough so that they have clear lines of sight every direction and can't be easily surprised.  They all have X-bows, which works fairly well - I've noticed the baddies I meet often take 5-6 X-bow shots to take down, but hey, low-risk ranged weapon training! 

I managed to find a single space suit in a warehouse raid, so I typically have that on someone, armed with a heavy laser, during space missions.  Those pods are terrible.

Any advice?  What do you do differently? 

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