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Messages - Ran

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166
Programming / Re: alien AI work, now with test builds
« on: March 11, 2013, 06:57:40 pm »
Well' I'm mostly playing on Veteran and all I do is collecting grenades from dead aliens (there are notably more than at Beginner level). However only terrorists actually throw them at my soldiers.

What I don't get about sneakyAI is why aliens try to walk away when they see a target instead of shooting it. The guy outside the UFO is a soldier so I guess he should be pretty aggressive. Maybe it's just my impression but I think with sneakyAI enabled aliens spend more TUs for walking away and less on shooting - unless they are already in cover.
Will have to run more tests on this


167
Programming / Re: alien AI work, now with test builds
« on: March 10, 2013, 11:28:11 pm »
Glad I can help.  :)
This applies to all UFO types from Medium Scout to Battleship as well as certain game situations in general (see below).
Take the Large Scout for instance. It's great for ambushes with it's narrow aisles leading to the 2 doors, yet aliens take no advantage of that but wander around mindlessly.
Also aliens should make more use of grenades. They regularly carry them but except for terrorists almost never throw them. Especially inside UFOs they'd have a terrible effect.

After some testing I now understand  how sneakyAI works - and where it doesn't work.
When aliens see a target, instead of blindly attacking they try to get in a covered position and shoot the target from there.
While this sounds good and works decently with distant targets in complex terrain like jungle, forest or farm, it's complete nonsense when there is no cover within reach or the target is very close.

Try the attached savegame:

There's a sectoid near the lower left corner of the UFO.
If you put a soldier very close to the alien there is a very high probability that it will not shoot the easy target but run away and try to hide in the bushes to the left which may end with the poor alien standing in open terrain with the back towards your soldier. If you give him another turn, the sectoid will take cover in the bushes and shoot the soldier from there.
So the basic idea is good but a very bad choice in the given situation.

Enter the UFO with a single soldier and place him in the middle of the aliens.
Watch in amazement as they try to run out of the UFO or wander around until they run out of TUs.
Of course they will shoot now and then but in the majority of cases they try to take cover or flee which is insane in this situation. Rather than sneaky they simply seem terribly afraid of your soldiers. ;)

Maybe it's possible to have different AI modes:
sneakyAI if target is far away and cover within reach - try to hide, shoot from cover, or pop out, shoot, go back to cover

aggressiveAI if the target is close or cover out of reach - spend all TUs on attacking nearest target no matter what

lurkingAI inside UFO (except for some aliens patroling) - save TUs for reaction shot, move cautiously and make sure you end turn in favorable position near doors or corners facing the right direction.




168
Programming / Re: Question on alien appearance ratios
« on: March 10, 2013, 10:49:50 pm »
Yes, I know.
I didn't bother to make results for each mission type as this is way to little data anyhow but still you can see there is something wrong sometimes.
I don't think you should experience only snakemen and floaters in the fist 2 months, nor should there be ethereals in February.

As soon as mindshield works or there is a debug mod in which you can't lose I will gather more data.

169
Programming / Re: alien AI work, now with test builds
« on: March 10, 2013, 01:36:10 am »
Yes, clearly an improvement!

What exactly does sneakyAI do?
Aliens try to avoid tiles you can see?
I noticed aliens are more timid and rather try to walk away when they see an agent than trying to shoot him.

Generally I think aliens are pretty good outside now, but terrible inside UFOs.
Instead of taking advantage of the terrain (lurking behind corners and doors and shooting anybody who walks into them) they just wander around and even past your agents without any plan. I don't know if this is possible to implement but aliens should not simply walk through doors (and get shot by an agent waiting outside) but stop at a door, open it and only walk further if it is safe and if they have enough TUs for a shot. Even better if they could give each other cover (always check if another unit with enough TUs for reaction shot is nearby before advancing).

170
Programming / Re: Question on alien appearance ratios
« on: March 10, 2013, 01:07:10 am »
Well, I'm sure you can, but I'm a n00b when it comes to programming... :(

171
Offtopic / Re: Anyone still got the original XCOM games?
« on: March 10, 2013, 01:03:32 am »
As I said:
US Version: UFO Defense -> Avenger in front of Mars
European Version: UFO Enemy Unknown -> Fly Alien
Sorry if this was unclear...

If I could choose a poster I'd rather have one with the Avenger, that alien just looks weird :-\

Never seen the Playstation version myself, are there any differences?
What's on the lowest picture on the back of the box - UN Headquarters? Does this appear in the game?



172
Offtopic / Re: Anyone still got the original XCOM games?
« on: March 09, 2013, 12:43:23 am »
About the packaging - all my XCOM games are german versions as I live in Vienna.

Any of you ever had UFO Defense with the Avenger in front of Mars on the cover?
https://wfgodbold.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/x-com-ufo-defense.jpeg

I think this packaging was never available in Europe, only Enemy Unknown with the weird fly-like cyborg alien that has nothing to do with the game.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/93/X-COM_-_UFO_Defense_Coverart.png

173
Programming / Re: Question on alien appearance ratios
« on: March 09, 2013, 12:17:39 am »
I've run a game from Jan-Aug at beginner level using custom hyperwave decoder and calculated the appearance ratios for each month:

January
-----------
Sectoid:        0%
Floater:       67%
Snakeman: 33%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:       0%
Total UFOs:     9

February
-----------
Sectoid:      38%
Floater:       43%
Snakeman:   0%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:     19%
Total UFOs:     42

March
-----------
Sectoid:      55%
Floater:         4%
Snakeman: 17%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:     24%
Total UFOs:    29

April
-----------
Sectoid:      33%
Floater:       17%
Snakeman: 12%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:     38%
Total UFOs:    24

May
-----------
Sectoid:      60%
Floater:       30%
Snakeman: 10%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:       0%
Total UFOs:    20

June
-----------
Sectoid:        0%
Floater:       34%
Snakeman:   4%
Muton:        48%
Ethereal:     14%
Total UFOs:     29

July
-----------
Sectoid:        0%
Floater:       57%
Snakeman: 20%
Muton:          3%
Ethereal:     10%
Total UFOs:    40

August
----------
Sectoid:        0%
Floater:       38%
Snakeman: 59%
Muton:          3%
Ethereal:       0%
Total UFOs:    32


Unfortunately you actively have to shoot down most UFOs to keep the game going which makes gathering data a lot of work. For proper statistics a multitude of such datasets would be necessary.

If you just monitor, it's a lot less work but the game ends after Feb.
Most games are are as expected but there are some exceptions:

January
-----------
Sectoid:        0%
Floater:       50%
Snakeman: 50%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:       0%
Total UFOs:     8

February
-----------
Sectoid:        0%
Floater:       47%
Snakeman: 53%
Muton:          0%
Ethereal:       0%
Total UFOs:    19


Actually I think that's a good thing, it gives the game more randomness.

174
Suggestions / Re: Make ufos smarter an tougher
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:38:49 pm »
Yes, piƱata is the perfect term for the poor small UFOs!  ;)

I read your posts about the interception game, sounds really interesting.

A bomber-UFO would really be a good idea since currently (and in the original) your base is completely immune from battleship attacks once you have a couple of fusion ball defense facilities.
Maybe it could damage/destroy random facilities at your base during a flyover without triggering defenses. So if you don't shoot it down with your crafts it will seriously damage your base - and clear the way for further battleships to land.

175
Offtopic / Anyone still got the original XCOM games?
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:19:46 pm »
When I first stumbled across this great project about half a year ago, first thing I did was recovering my old XCOM games from the attic.
Even after more than 10 years up there they still look pretty good and even though the CDs are badly scratched, they all work. :)

Anyone got other/older versions?
A friend of mine had the floppy version but the disks became unreadable a long time ago so he threw them away.




176
Programming / Question on alien appearance ratios
« on: March 05, 2013, 08:05:43 pm »
I've always wondered how the appearance ratios of alien races are calculated.

While they are very different from game to game they are clearly nonrandom and also different from the original game.
https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Alien_Appearance_Ratios

Is this set at the start of a new game or have I simply experienced some statistical freak events?

I've started a couple of new games with modified instantly built hyperwave decoders and monitored everything that appeared on the globe for the first few months.
The majority of games starts with either floaters, sectoids or a mixture of both as expected, other races join in later.
But I've also had games with only floaters or only sectoids for the first 4-5 months, in one case it was only snakemen from the beginning to July.
Another combination was only sectoids and etherals but nothing else in 6 months.
Generally, snakemen and especially mutons were rare, I've only seen very very few ships with mutons so far.







177
Programming / Re: Implemented: UFOs landing
« on: March 05, 2013, 07:49:54 pm »
I support this!

While I think landing now works pretty nicely, the behavior of UFOs in general could be improved. I've made some suggestions here.:
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,1035.0.html

Something else that has always bothered me:
Please don't make Terror- and Battleships disappear after they reach their destination, let them fly home. This may mean to alter their crew as most has been dropped - or you make them speed away for a short distance and then leave earth so they cannot be intercepted anyway.

178
Suggestions / Make ufos smarter an tougher
« on: March 05, 2013, 07:41:42 pm »
While the game is really fun to play in the current state, I think UFOs are way too weak and harmless.

Basically they ignore whatever you do and neither try to evade nor attack your craft.
Even a single Interceptor with Stingrays can (and will) safely shoot down everything smaller than a supply ship and with several Interceptors, avalanches and some luck even a battleship will eventually go down.
So while I really like interceptors (I'd even say they are my favorite item in the game and a masterpiece of human technology), you should need a bit more to take out every alien spaceship equipped with far more superior technology.
I think this currently makes Firestorm and Lightning nearly obsolete. Sure, Avengers are much more convenient but except for going to mars you don't really need them either if you have enough bases (which are easily affordable since it's a no-brainer to shoot down and raid masses of UFOs with a handful of Interceptors).

As far as I remember this also was the case in the original game but I'd really appreciate a possibility in options.cfg to make UFOs smarter and stronger.
Maybe things can also change with game difficulty - the more difficult the game, the smarter the aliens and UFOs. This would make it much more fun to play on higher levels of difficulty.

.)small UFOs should try to get away (they are all faster than the interceptor anyway)

.)large UFOs could either ignore you and speed away continuing their mission or actively attack you even if you try to hold them at a distance

.)a great idea would be a new small UFO type as escort for otherwise defenseless small-med UFOs carrying out missions.
Should be very fast and aggressive so you cannot evade it and go after the UFO it is meant to protect.
Armed in a way to likely damage but not destroy an interceptor and not too hard to shoot down. It's main job is to distract attention from the mission-UFO and make you waste ammunition. Equipping it with little crew with only basic weaponry would mean only very little value if recovered.  This would force you to send multiple crafts to prevent an alien mission from being carried out and to raid valuable artifacts.

.)retaliate on Skyranger while on the way to crash site (alien rescue mission), this would force you to send Interceptors to escort your Skyranger

.)aliens should evaluate their missions - if you constantly get shot down in one region try to avoid it and go to another, if successful intensify your presence. If you have to send small UFOS to dangerous places give them escort.
In my current game, alien activity is largely limited to the regions around my 2 bases while the rest of the globe is neglected (mid-game on veteran).
This is absurd as the aliens are digging their own grave by supplying me with loads of items and money from easily downed crafts.



So much for my Ideas, I'd love to help but I've no clue about coding and my drawing skills are somewhat limited. If there's anything I can do except hunting for bugs let me know!

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