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Messages - Sturm

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Translations / Re: The new system can be destructive for the translation!
« on: September 06, 2014, 10:51:19 am »
I'm surprised that people that can write on forums in English play a translation instead of playing the original work O_o .

Work In Progress / Re: Nuclear Weapons
« on: September 05, 2014, 11:20:12 pm »
Backspace "armor" ...

Love these nuke mods. I'm currently using the one that blows up 20 tiles and uses the high explosive sprite.

One logic problem to me seemed to be why can a backpack nuke completely destroy a landed battleship when ajax missiles are supposed to be nukes also and hardly do anything when shooting UFOs down?
In original game the descriptions weren't displayed. So, maybe they came to conclusion that they are silly and don't reflect what happens in the battlescape. Something which wasn't changed with multiple versions and from what I saw on different platforms:

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 05, 2014, 07:38:39 pm »
Okay... so if we use that method to make holes in UFOs, we will never get holes in south and east walls, right? Because this method only finds "objects", I guess.
True. And accidentally only external walls are objects. So, if the method would also search for walls, it would also create explosions on internal walls.

Can you define an explosion size limit? Or is it only possible to define explosion strength?
It is possible to define radius.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 05, 2014, 06:35:37 pm »
Okay, cool... but I guess the southern walls somehow don't count as walls (=containing alien alloys), right? Could you post a screenshot of this UFO with all tiles revealed (debug mode, for example)?
True. I have noticed it.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 05, 2014, 06:20:26 pm »
That would be really cool. Especially if the aliens could get some advantages from being left alone for too long... better "ambush" positions? Re-distribution of weapons (aliens picking up better weapons from dead comrades)?

But for now I could live with the terrain damage.

Btw, could you use the modified code to create impact damage to the terrain all around the UFO? Low-power explosion on all hull tiles? Or would this remove the hull tiles?
It doesn't remove the hull tiles.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 05, 2014, 05:17:01 pm »
Yep, sounds fine... But wouldn't the blasts damage the terrain near the UFO as well? This shouldn't happen.
Yeah, it''s a serious problem.

It would be the best if it would be possible to deploy the UFO first with all the aliens deployed on spawnpoints inside the UFO. Then battle damage would be applied. Then terrain would be applied. Then aliens would start deploying. Power sources could overload during the deployment. There could be a check of whenever the aliens notice bad state of power sources and evacuate the UFO which could result in everyone trying to get out. Then the power sources would explode. Then if long enough time has passed before Skyranger landing, smoke and fires would be removed. Then the X-Com craft would be put down. Then aliens within visual range would turn towards the X-Com craft.

This way, there could be different situations before landing.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 04, 2014, 11:18:50 pm »
Actually, these descriptions were right there in the original game! They just weren't displayed. I discovered them around 1998, at my first attempt to localize the game, and was quite surprised. :)
I suspect that the descriptions caused so much embarrassment that the writer was immediately fired and they couldn't find anyone who wanted to look at them while correcting the text files so they simply disabled them in code :D .

For me, ideally there would be an additional tileset that'd replace random UFO walls with damaged versions - burnt, peppered with holes, mangled, etc, but basically staying impassable and usually blocking LOS (with armor reduced to 90, 80, in extreme cases even 50 so you can break through with a HE charge). Actual hull breaches should only happen with the "maximum fuck" weapons (I'd add Avalanche to that category, since Plasma Cannon is an end-game weapon, and nobody is using Fusion Bollocks, so, anything with 100+ damage); maybe a very small chance of a 1x1 breach with the middle-ground weapons (say, 40-99 damage).
Fusion balls could be interesting if they'd be remade into "UFO Destroyer" weapons. Something like: you can destroy a Battleship with one hit but there won't be anything left to salvage. Generally, all Elerium explosives are ridiculously under-powered in game especially in relation to their names.
By the way, the highest ranking alien in the UFO could have some Elerium explosive which he would use to destroy the ship if 20 turns pass or something like that.

actually,  given the mostly-circular design of UFOs as well as the fact that the air combat window can only be a gross simplification of what's really going on, I'd say that a random damage system is perfectly fine. UFOs use a gravitational propulsion system, they can very well rotate in-flight to fire at you, exposing different sides to incoming fire.
I don't think it's a gross oversimplification. They UFOs simply don't react in any way except by firing back if in range or running away. I'm not sure if they have to rotate - there are no visible weapons on UFOs so the attacks could somehow be generated by the power sources.

my table above is a suggestion of in-game mechanics that try to make sense within the game setting. it will have to be playtested, of course. too many holes in UFO walls may be a terrible idea... on the other hand, I think it increases the tactical depth of the game: use overly powerful weapons, and you get less loot. a 3x3 hole in the wall of a medium-sized UFO is perfectly capable of destroying stuff inside the UFO that you want to recover. (the next step would be to tie power source explosions to the power of the shots that hit the UFO... if you want to recover elerium, you better wear it down instead of nuking it).
Personally, I made power source explosions much more powerful. Capable of often gutting the UFO or in extreme examples obliterating the outer shell in smaller UFOs. So, loot is usually drastically decreased when not waiting for UFO to land.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 04, 2014, 05:06:48 am »
Avalanche is NOT Phoenix... even if it looks like one. Probably a Phoenix modded for less range and more speed and/or EM shielding. And, the Pedia says it carries a nuke, convenient to forget as it might be :)
Oh God, these craft weapon descriptions are non-canon and absolutely horrible XD (original X-Com had no craft weapon descriptions). I don't know what the person who wrote them was thinking XD .

True, I haven't noticed that Phoenix had range of over 100 miles. Phoenix is already Mach 5, though.

The main problem with outward damage is... that UFO breaching, a major feature of this game, is suddenly a whole lot easier as you can mount a multi-pronged assault. Sure, as things are in vanilla, you can  mine the exit and wait till turn 20, but abusing the routine that was meant to save the player the hassle of finding the last alien is sort of cheating.
Aliens usually come out multiple times before turn 20 - they just don't know where the player units are. The main reason I mine entrances is to avoid an alien coming out and shooting my operatives while they gather to enter the UFO. Personally, I don't like UFOs with holes in them because ability to come out on my flanks and rear is much more useful for aliens than ability to enter the UFO through different entrances is for me.

20 turns would be a few to several minutes. I don't know why government would

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 03, 2014, 09:54:40 pm »
that's what I was aiming at, precisely :)

we could then define hit damage levels for different size explosions. something like this:
 60-100:  radius 0 explosion (1 tile destroyed)
101-140: radius 1 explosion (3x3)
   300+:   radius 2 explosion (5x5)

- the standard cannon shouldn't be able to completely destroy a UFO hull tile (especially not with a single hit, because it has such a high rate of fire)
- the laser cannon and stingray should have a hard time creating a man-sized hole
- the avalanche should regularly destroy a tile, but not always
- plasma cannon should burn holes most of the time
- fusion balls should cause large holes sometimes

for reference, here's the vanilla values:

cannon:             damage 10 (5-15)
stingray:            damage 70 (35-105)
laser cannon:     damage 70 (35-105)
avalanche:         damage 100 (50-150)
plasma cannon: damage 140 (70-210)
fusion ball:        damage 230 (115-345)
Note that these damages are on completely different scale than the Battlescape damages. Cannon would be more powerful than hand-held and HWP-mounted cannons as the first are limited by the ability of soldier to withstand recoil (why does the heavy cannon and auto-cannon have AP ammo by the way? And what's the deal with the multiple barrels of auto-cannon? In Laser Squad auto-cannon was HE-only and had only one barrel which makes more sense and the second has a pretty short barrel - aircraft auto-cannons are usually about 2m long and weight about 100 kgs. IMO craft's auto-cannon would do similar-level damage as heavy plasma. Which would mean a certain (about 12%?) chance for each hit destroying one tile.
Sidewinder which is a RL equivalent of Stingray has much heavier warhead than any weapon on Battlescape. It has a warhead that is 2-3 times heavier than a whole Large Rocket. Assuming all missiles rely on direct hits, all of them should be easily able to make holes in UFO. Avalanche hits would probably be very nasty.
Aircraft missiles are HUGE. Sidewinder is 3m long. Phoenix is 4m long.

The main challenge for a Battlescape damage system is that all damage would probably be located in the rear area of UFOs because interceptor is simply chasing the UFO. It seems that UFOs just fly on auto-pilot until the crew realises that they are being attacked and increases speed to outrun the interceptor.
So, a completely mangled rear area of the UFO would be be more probable than mild all around damage that is the result of re-using the Power Source detonation code.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:21:51 am »
Very nice. I'd say between 0% and 7% should be enough, though... otherwise the UFO has too many entrances, and breaching it loses the thrill.
On the other hand you can have several exits from UFOs from which the aliens can come out without warning you with door sounds. It's also more difficult to secure every exit with mines.

Do you think it would be possible to keep track of the damage values of each hit the UFO took?
Well, it should possible. I don't have skills to program it yet, though. The damages could be written into a table or something like that would then be read when generating the battlescape, doing number and damage of "hits" based on the hits in the table. The game could run through tiles multiple times exploding them until all "hits" are used up.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 03, 2014, 06:53:07 am »
One way to simulate damage is to roll for every outer ufo wall and if its "crit" then explode that tile. Something like current power source explosion.
True. Luckily getSpecialType() == ALIEN_ALLOYS seems to return only the outer walls. Here's how 15% 3m radius explosions look like (The terror ship could be 25%, though. I don't remember).

The main problem is that aliens get spawned outside, so it's impossible to take casualties in-air into account.

Work In Progress / Re: Weird idea : breed alien terrorists ?
« on: September 01, 2014, 06:09:23 pm »
1-2 (in extreme cases up to 4-5, if they really think alike) scientists are the brain behind a project, they'd have a small group of  aides/lab technicians to help with the dirty work (but NOT thinking or taking credit), in some cases gruelling and less important work gets outsourced, or, if a project is very big and important, it's split into parts for several groups like that to work simultaneously (ex. Manhattan Project), but in such a case, a lot of diplomacy is needed to appease scientists' egos and curb the competition between groups (no such big projects in XCom it seems).

But it's always the quality, not quantity of that small group that matters, groups more numerous than 2 scientists are prone to intense bickering and inefficiency, still, giving them more lab technicians and money would help ofc.
So, we could assume that "scientists" hired are averaged between brains, lab technicians, aides, diplomats, etc?

Troubleshooting / Re: Regarding base defense skirmish mode, 3 questions
« on: September 01, 2014, 03:05:30 am »
Base defence in skirmish mode is pretty badly made. Giving 1 of every item is a particularly horribad idea. There should be some way to set base inventory.

Suggestions / Re: It makes no sense that alien ships have no outward damage.
« on: September 01, 2014, 01:24:39 am »
I believe the ufopaedia in vanilla said the pistol was 9mm.
"The standard issue XCom pistol is a high powered semi-automatic with a 12 round capacity."

The rifle was also 6.7mm which is roughly equivalent to a .270winchester (which is between a 5.56mm and 7.62mm nato in power). So its not really a heavy duty rifle either. Though it does have good accuracy.

But even a Desert Eagle (44mag or .50ae) would do more damage than that rifle.
I think that X-Com uses a penetration-based damage model. Which means that higher energy and lower calibre trumps over momentum (though with .270 winchester, momentum would still be a bit higher for the rifle bullet).

What supports it is the fact that UFO power source (/propulsion), by the descriptions, seems to not care about aerodynamics at all.

What I think the designers had in mind was, the Power Source/Engines for the ship determine if it is airborne or not.

Apparently they are pretty fragile, and the equivalent of buffeting from external explosions (like theatrical Bridge Shaking in Star Trek) can cause them to malfunction and explode when they are turned on. Kinda like dropping your laptop while copying files can crash the hard drive.

Since smaller UFOs can actually get destroyed its a fair bet to say that any actual Hull Breaching of the ship really does destroy them, not just blowing up the power source but tearing the ship apart.

So maybe the UFOs are a hell of alot tougher than expected and they only get shot down because of "shaken baby syndrome".
The thing is that larger UFOs don't actually get thicker armour than smaller ones. They are just larger. On the other hand X-Com made alloy craft that use thicker armour while staying small.


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