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Messages - Empiro

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The X-Com Files / Re: Quick question on Bravery
« on: April 04, 2024, 12:11:18 am »
Bravery is much easier to increase in this mod compared to the base game. Early game, money is tight enough I don't reject anyone. Later on, I'll likely reject based on PSI strength than anything else.

Commendations give boosts that aren't counted against the cap (you can have more than 100 bravery this way), but they do count for requirements for trainings and enhancements.

Besides using interceptions (Bases/Embassies are great for this), Healing is a great way in combat. Just make the low-bravery agent the preferred medic, and it'll go up on its own.

One other way is using the garrote and surfboard weapons. Neither weapon is great, and you only can get surfboards on the surfs up mission.

It's really good to maximize your bravery because the Kukri is an amazing weapon due to its bravery scaling. At 140 bravery, you have +59 damage from bravery alone.

The X-Com Files / Re: A question on aircraft
« on: January 24, 2024, 07:32:56 am »
Interceptors are at least tough enough to stand toe to toe against medium and large scouts. They outrun the Hybrid Aircars and you can easily take them out in large numbers without risk of return fire.

MIGs though, seem to have tissue thin armor and will be blown up as soon as a UFO sneezes on them. They also have poor range and are pretty slow. I'm not sure there's a single UFO they can come out on top of, and they can't safely clear out Hybrid Aircars, which are a big risk to transports.

The X-Com Files / Re: Beginner's difficulty setting question
« on: January 22, 2024, 07:39:20 am »
For beginners (or even veterans), I recommend the limit TUs on first turn mod. I think the hardest and most frustrating part of the mod is how in many missions you basically start out surrounded. It was always a big source of frustration for me, and not getting trounced on the very first turn has mad the mod much more enjoyable.

The X-Com Files / Re: A question on aircraft
« on: January 22, 2024, 07:13:11 am »
In my current game, I've used a decent number of Interceptors. By May, I don't have any way to manufacture the alloys needed for replacing everything with Ravens, and I want to build my first Improved Lab, which takes lots of alloys. I've also used alloys for Tanks. Minigun Tanks train up Accuracy fast, and Laser Tanks make Ghost missions a cakewalk.

Interceptors can easily shoot down all of the Hybrid defense craft with little risk. It's 50/50 against alien fighters though. Those things do way too much damage.

The Mig definitely seems like it doesn't have much of a niche, because it's a straight (though expensive) shot to Interceptors. The Arrow did a good enough job against cult craft.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: January 09, 2024, 11:49:57 pm »
To be precise, it allows "Unarmored (dog)" armor.
So, you rush up the stairs and...kill infector the same way you kill zombie. Or would you allow it to roam free in the hospital first? For "extra fun" and all that.

Correct, but if you try to bring an unarmored dog to the actual mission, it will not allow it. I think it's just a documentation error.

Yes, the intent of the infector is to make the mission a bit more challenging and/or unpredicable, as well as giving players another way to obtain an Infector (which can be problematic due to RNG).

The current zombie is always just a plain zombie. At most, it can kill a few of the civilians before it dies itself.

Plus, the description implies that there's an outbreak / patient 0. Right now, there is no chance of that since it's impossible for anyone else to be infected.

The spread could become kind of bad, but it won't be too bad since the created zombies are just regular zombies rather than infectors. I'm not sure if X-Com Files has the same quirk that the original X-Com and TFTD did -- where the Infector will keep attacking the same target. That would further limit the spread by effectively ensuring that only 1 zombie can be created per turn.

The X-Com Files / Re: Training Methods / Collecting Medals
« on: January 09, 2024, 01:18:47 am »
In my current superhuman game (mostly, but not quite Ironman), I've been farming achievements / commendations, specifically ones that give you more TUs and Health in order to maximize their melee capabilities.

So far, my best agent has 110 TUs and 120+ melee without any bonuses from armor (currently has Bio-Enhancement, TNI, and Martial Arts). Adding Synthsuit just makes them an absolute monster in melee, capable of sprinting half the map to deliver a killing blow for 6 TUs (using the Kukri). I'm lookning forward to other potential enhancements and armors that further improve this.

This is an old thread, but it has some good tips for it. I want to add a few more strategies focusing on TU improvement:

Mass Killer: kill 7+ enemies per round. The nice thing about this one is that it also grants the lower tier ones (multi-killer, and ice-cold killer). The absolute best and easiest way to get this (potentially multiple-times per mission) is to use the Rocket Launcher on either the Cult Manor or Cult of Apocalypse missions. In the Cult of Apocalypse Outpost mission, enemies are clustered near the entrance, and you can probably get this several times. Once you get a decent number of TUs, you can even get this with a melee weapon because the enemies are so close together!

Assaulter, Gunslinger, Jungle Mower -- all of these give TUs every other level. It's not too hard to get to level 3 or 4 on these for +2 TUs just by using the right weapons.

Shotgun Surgeon -- gives +1 to TU every level. It's good to try to get at least 4 levels in this.

Tasemaster / Suppressor -- both are really similar, but with different weapons. Oddly enough the Stun Rod belongs to Supressor while Electric Prod and Stun Spear belong to Tasemaster.

Technician / Purifier -- Both give +1 TU at every level, which is really nice. However, the interesting thing is that the Agricultural Flamer, Flamethrower, Macro Flamer, and Flare Gun belong to both categories, so you get double credit for them! The weapons aren't the best, however, so it's probably worth trying these on routine missions.

Whirlwind -- once you get about 100 TUs, this becomes pretty easy to do any time the enemy is even sort of close to each other.

The X-Com Files / Re: Zombie plot stuck
« on: January 08, 2024, 11:48:51 pm »
I've had this happen to me too. I had wait a very long time to get to Zombie Infector. I think that's the risk of low chance rolls. Even with a lot of rolls, it's quite possible for it not to come up (Using psavola's numbers, there's more than 2% chance that it never comes up in 18 months.

At least you have a good chance of getting it from the scientists, who are easy to capture.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: January 08, 2024, 11:44:36 pm »
I've noticed that the Zombie Isolation / Zombie Outbreak mission has a minor bug where it says that you can bring dogs, but you actually can't.

In addition, this isn't necessarily a bug, but does anyone think that the mission would be way more fun / challenging if it were a single Zombie Infector instead of a Zombie? As it stands, the mission is basically 8 guys rushing upstairs (or if you're lucky sniping from outside) to kill the one zombie while a half dozen civvies are trying to beat it to death.

The X-Com Files / Most Efficient Blood Plasma Extraction
« on: January 08, 2024, 11:34:59 pm »
In the game, you often will get way more Energetic Blood Plasma than you need, even before you get the ability to produce it yourself. Since selling creature corpses and live creatures are a good way to make money, I took some time to figure out what are the best monsters to extract blood plasma from, and the best ones to sell. The following table gives the opportunity cost per unit of blood plasma, taking into account the cost of the material (versus just selling it), the project cost (usually low), and labor cost (also very low), along with what extra stuff is produced (i.e. zombie parasites).

The gist of it is that Zombies, both alive and dead, are usually good for extraction, mainly because you can sell the parasites that are produced. In the early game, you're also likely to encounter the following good candidates: Bullfrogs (though you might want some to make muskets), Spikeboars (same, but with Quillbows), Shamblers, and Mongorns.

On the flip side, anything that requires multiple corpses like rats and such are very expensive per unit, and it's usually best to sell those. Also note: anything with a * below has alternate uses or other products that you should also take into account. (I didn't count zombie parasites though).

Blood Plasma: Megazombie Corpse   2620
Blood Plasma: Zombie Boomer Corpse   3700
Blood Plasma: Zombie Corpse   4100
Blood Plasma: Fat Zombie Corpse   4360
Blood Plasma: Bullfrog Corpse*   5380
Blood Plasma: Living Battered Zombie Trooper   6073.333333
Blood Plasma: Chryssalid Corpse   6100
Blood Plasma: Living Zombie   6300
Blood Plasma: Living Megazombie   6733.333333
Blood Plasma: Spikeboar Corpse*   6940
Blood Plasma: Living Female Tomb Guard   7203.333333
Blood Plasma: Living Male Tomb Guard   7203.333333
Blood Plasma: Living Fat Zombie   7740
Blood Plasma: Shambler Corpse   7940
Blood Plasma: Living Zombie Infector   8305
Blood Plasma: Strix Corpse   8332.5
Blood Plasma: Living Strix   8905.714286
Blood Plasma: Living Shambler   8970
Blood Plasma: Living Giant Bombardier Beetle   9180
Blood Plasma: Zombie Infector Corpse   9360
Blood Plasma: Mongorn Corpse*   9750
Blood Plasma: Living Chryssalid*   10062.5
Blood Plasma: Living Spikeboar   10220
Blood Plasma: Living Bullfrog   10253.33333
Blood Plasma: Reaper Corpse   10333.33333
Blood Plasma: Living Giant Rat*   10490
Blood Plasma: Living Fenrir   10920
Blood Plasma: Tomb Guard Corpse   11013.33333
Blood Plasma: Living Giant Beetle   12360
Blood Plasma: Fenrir Corpse   12380
Blood Plasma: Living Reaper   15166.66667
Blood Plasma: Living Mongorn   15375
Blood Plasma: Owlman Corpse   15880
Blood Plasma: Werecat Corpse   15880
Blood Plasma: Werewolf Corpse   15880
Blood Plasma: Living Owlman   17940
Blood Plasma: Living Werecat   17940
Blood Plasma: Living Werewolf   17940
Blood Plasma: Zombie Trooper Corpse   18100
Blood Plasma: Living Megascorpion   20460
Blood Plasma: Living Zombie Boomer   20500
Blood Plasma: Giant Beetle Corpses   21020
Blood Plasma: Giant Rat Corpses   21300
Blood Plasma: Megascorpion Corpses   22500
Blood Plasma: Living Black Werecat   22940
Blood Plasma: Living White Werewolf   22940
Blood Plasma: Living Shadowbat*   25560
Blood Plasma: Living Chupacabra*   30460
Blood Plasma: Chupacabra Corpses   31500
Blood Plasma: Shadowbat Corpses   49800

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« on: January 08, 2024, 10:56:59 pm »
The common advice is - don't update while on battlescape. Also be careful not to have two versions of the mod in the mod folder (that includes archives) - one of them simply won't work and it can be tough to understand why.
Yep, same as any other item pile on the map.
Sucks, but it happens. Don't fret over it too much, you'll get more where that come from.

For some battles, where you know things will get blown up, I recommend removing unused items. Use F5/F8 at craft equipment screen to save/restore equipment loadouts. Then, go inventory button -> CTRL+ALT+X to remove loot pile. Then you can use restoer + "add on top" button to add loadouts with "extra" items that you're not afraid to lose, like grenades, medkits, etc.

I don't know if it's possible to mod this or if there would need to be an engine change, but this is one thing I wish the game would change/fix. The thought of X-Com just keeping extra equipment in a big pile on the floor near the exit is kind of amusing to me.

If possible, I'd add some sort of protection on the equipment on that tile, to simulate putting the extra stuff in lockers and such.

The X-Com Files / Re: Need tips for Golden Academy Tower
« on: December 31, 2023, 04:22:36 am »
Smartgun gives you Advanced Robotics Prereq. You don't need it to research it. You do need Promo3 to acquire it, but I assume you have that already.

The main challenge is getting a copy of the Smartgun to research it. You'll only find it occasionally in Syndicate crates. You can get it for free too from high-tier Syndicate agents.

I highly recommend the Smartgun if you can get your hands on it. It's probably the best generalist weapon in the game.

The X-Com Files / Re: [submod] XCF Remusic
« on: December 09, 2023, 03:07:56 am »
Is this compatible with the X-Com Files Resound mod?

The X-Com Files / Re: Turn 1/Game strategy for XCF
« on: December 01, 2023, 07:14:47 am »
With Position Markers, I wonder if it doesn't make sense to now throw one of those out on the first turn. It would give close enemies something else to shoot, and it could help you plan out your next turn (if it survives).

The X-Com Files / Re: Chump desperately needs help :P
« on: November 21, 2023, 02:11:45 am »
I'll just add one tidbit here. If you use smoke extensively *), it is often useful to have a scout drone with you, because it can see through smoke (with 50% thermal vision). The big benefit of this is that you don't need to get out from the cover of smoke and get spotted (and after that, grenaded or sniped by the snipers). So using smoke but leaving it and getting spotted may be rather risky. The worst case scenario here would be that the snipers throw grenades at your 'scout agent' that returned to the cover of the smoke, but the same grenades also would kill those agents that never left the smoke. Another alternative is using dogs and try to find the enemies within the smoke using their sniffing (sensor).

*) I say this because it may be easier to do without in most missions in the early game, by going for the cults at night and throwing out flares. That way you don't cripple your own vision (or need dogs or drones), yet can still see the enemies.

I prefer dogs for seeing through smoke because a) they can run and move a lot more squares per turn b) can bite enemies that get close and c) can easily get more of them (always a risk of an AI unit getting shot and then permanently destroyed by a grenade)

I like night missions a lot too, but one source of frustration is that it can be hard to tell if a square is illuminated or not, and a mistake there can be deadly. Is there any good ways (extra info keys, views, etc.) to tell if a square is lit up or not?

While all of these are important, I'd suggest also going for the Bio Lab as soon as possible (and Intelligence center, once it becomes viable later on). Being able to get 5 or 10 additional scientists (i.e. double or triple your research capacity) speeds up your research and all the others a LOT. Struggling by with 5 scientists for a long time slows your progress. While logistics is a big priority, I think trying to get Bio Lab faster makes more sense than, for example, obtaining better protection (that won't probably save you all the time anyway).

Intel labs usually come first in my games -- I haven't found too much of a need for better medical equipment early on, and you want to research all 4 cults quickly anyway.

The X-Com Files / Re: Chump desperately needs help :P
« on: November 20, 2023, 10:09:24 am »
Oh. Well, I've completely borked my playthrough xD.

Oh! I remembered more questions that I had...

With Smoke Grenades, where do I throw them, in relation to enemy forces?

Generally, throw them where your troops are, or between your troops and the enemy (closer to you). Avoid throwing at the enemy. The main reason is that smoke grenades essentially add squares to vision range. If it covers your soldiers, then you have really good control over who you can and can't see (by moving into or out of the smoke), and each square of smoke you move through means an enemy has to move through several squares. The general strategy is to deploy the smoke, walk out and spot an enemy, shoot them directly (if you can risk the reaction fire), or walk back and shoot them blindly (or with another soldier).

However, many animals and aliens have some sort of thermal vision and/or PSI vision. Those can partially or completely negate any benefits of smoke. If you have their combat stats, you can check for those abilities in the Info screen. Note that your own dogs also have thermal vision, so use this to your advantage!

Another important note is that if you hit any enemies on your turn (or their turn) with a shot (or direct hit from a grenade launcher), you're automatically "known" to the enemy until the end of their turn. Many enemies in this game can shoot you if they "know" about you, so smoke may be way less effective if you've hit anyone on your turn. Red Dawn has many enemies like this, so if you want to use smoke grenades, make sure you can either find hard cover or throw grenades instead.

Are handcuffs worth using?
Occasionally. Some enemies tend to recover stun damage much faster than normal. Some are just that important and I don't want to have to deal with them.

Did I build a 2nd base too early?

Rather than a time, I look at money. I usually try to build a second base when I have about 2 million dollars. That's about how much to get a new base up and running (Hanger + Stores + Quarters + Gym + construction cost). I also try to start saving for the Intelligence Center so that I can immediately increase my research capacity.

I almost obsessively that bad? Does kneeling provide any benefit other than accuracy?

It makes you slightly harder to hit too. In some cases (kneeling behind your car, for example), it can block line-of-sight.

As I've gotten better at the game, I definitely find myself kneeling a bit less. It's usually better to keep your mobility and move out of sight behind a solid wall, or into dense smoke. I'll kneel if there's not much else I can do, or if I need to make an important shot and have the TUs to spare. However, keep in mind that kneeling can mess up line-of-sight, so I try not to do that unless I'm sure that it won't mess things up.

Well, wrt the promotion II timing, I guess a question is "What's a typical/par-for-the-course" timeframe? I'm trying to gauge just how much I botched my playthrough  :o

I usually try to get that around September or October of 1997 if I can. However, there's a luck component that's out of your control -- you need to get a researchable Cool Alien Gadget (usually a Psi Clone) and the 2nd tier of cultists from all 4 cults. One recent game, I did not get a single EXALT Safehouse until December, even though I had researched EXALT either in Jan or Feb. In a different game, it took me a very long time to find a Psi Clone. The main advantage of having Promotion 2 early is that you can get access to Armored Vests, which makes a huge difference in casualty rates.

It's not too big of a deal if you get to it early 1998, because before then, it's hard to have enough money to build a lab and hire 25 scientists. You won't be at risk of falling behind in research as long as you make sure to save up money to get the lab as soon as its unlocked.

Sorry for all my chump/newb questions...

No problem. I like answering these, because often the discussion leads to me getting better too.

Start of game, I would say the most important research are: Logistics (Van), Kevlar Vests (basic protection for cult missions), and Promotion 1 (smoke grenades). After that, try to get Dogs (helps a ton with undercover missions which are money makers), followed by the Helicopter to get 6 Soldiers out on missions. Better weapons can usually wait a bit, since you'll likely loot plenty of rifles that you can immediately use. However, the Hunting Rifle is pretty darn good.

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