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Messages - Arthanor

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XPiratez / Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - 0.99E.2 - 18 Nov - Dead in Space 2
« on: December 09, 2016, 01:48:20 am »
Looking into the AI code, there's a lot of stuff that makes a unit want to escape, but especially if it's hurt and sees lots of enemies at once. In a zombie mission, the player generally shoots the closest zombie first (why wouldn't you?) and also generally keeps all the soldiers together (because you don't need to move, they all need support and that's closer to the ammo pile). This results in a situation where the closest zombies are hurt and see many enemies, so likely try to escape. Zombies are also melee and pretty slow, so the further ones probably can't charge this turn they're probably unlikely to try to advanced unless they can get cover.

This result in a situation where the closest zombies retreat when wounded, the ones not too far refuse to advance into exposed positions because they see 4 soldiers (assuming a van) and the presence of other zombies does nothing to influence their decision and make them likely to charge because every alien is considered independently (that's the point of vanilla: Superhuman aliens grown in vat and with no coordination but great weapons VS simple human with crappy weapons but good team play: Humans + team play + good tactics wins and player is happy). But it doesn't work very well for zombies or some other factions in mods.

As for giving the knowledge of where the player is, that's usually not a problem in zombie maps since there are plenty of zombies in sight already (and they see you too). But that would make them deadly in terrain heavy maps where you are more likely to be in charge range and to spread your soldiers as opposed to open maps where you can stick together and there's no hiding for zombies. A good fix should make a zombie horde charge you in open terrain and try to overwhelm you with numbers, not make scattered zombies in terrain suddenly psychic things that know exactly when to leap out to get you.

For this, I can only see cranking up aggression to insane levels to lower escape odds as much as possible but in the following code:

Code: [Select]
https:// take our aggression into consideration
switch (_unit->getAggression())
case 0:
escapeOdds *= 1.4;
combatOdds *= 0.7;
case 1:
ambushOdds *= 1.1;
case 2:
combatOdds *= 1.4;
escapeOdds *= 0.7;
combatOdds *= std::max(0.1, std::min(2.0, 1.2 + (_unit->getAggression() / 10)));
escapeOdds *= std::min(2.0, std::max(0.1, 0.9 - (_unit->getAggression() / 10)));

It looks as if values other than 0-1-2 get handled by a default that caps useable values for aggression at 8. Changing this min/max to a formula that can be extended beyond 8 could enable modders to set aggression to 200 and pretty much get a unit that always goes for the charge?

XPiratez / Re: Bugs & Crash Reports
« on: December 08, 2016, 06:02:19 pm »
Normally: Gal and Penthouse owner do their business, owner gets up and goes somewhere, alarm goes off and gal is in position near the roof.

In this case: Gal and Penthouse owner do their business, owner gets up and... Alarm goes off! Gal punches owner in the face and gal is in position near the roof. :D

Playthroughs / Re: That moment in time...
« on: December 07, 2016, 08:12:36 pm »
Yup, and given that in vanilla UFO, you are guaranteed a sectoid research mission in the region of your base, chances are that the first UFO you shoot down is a sectoid one. On superhuman, that's 20% chance of a retaliation and retaliations are the same race as the one that was shot down, so it will be mind control + cyberdiscs. Fun times!

Always order flamethrowers, rocket launchers, big rockets and HE packs on day one, so hopefully they arrive in time for the potential base defence. And some soldiers/dogs to replace early losses and help out defending!

In fact, mods like the FMP really help by giving you access to a pretty reliable close range answer to cyberdiscs which is perfect for base defence: Flamethrowers hiding in a closet and peaking out to BBQ cyberdiscs. With that, you don't need to worry about them blowing up, or having to get large rockets/HE packs on them and potentially putting soldiers at risk or damaging valuable loot.

Playthroughs / Re: That moment in time...
« on: December 07, 2016, 02:55:10 am »
According to the ufopaedia:

Starting on the first month, each shootdown of a UFO can trigger a retaliation mission by the aliens, with the chance being determined by difficulty level, at Easy being 4%, then increasing each difficulty level by 4%, until it reaches 20% on Superhuman.

So it is definitely possible. OpenXCom had a bug where it checked twice for retaliations (so you had almost double the odds of getting one!) before. I'm pretty sure it was fixed in the nightly, I know Meridian fixed it in OXCE+, but if you're using 1.0, you'll be up against that too.

XPiratez / Re: Shotgun balance
« on: December 07, 2016, 02:50:40 am »
It depends on playstyle. I used the hunting rifle a lot at the beginning for snapshots reactions, but now it's far superior to train reactions in melee. And although having a weapon that can react well is nice, the hunting rifle is a bit underpowered when you take out its one advantage of training reactions.

As for other ones, usually once I get them, 1-2 Kustom Snipin' Guns make it on my lineup, but it's hard for them to compete with HMGs really. They get screwed by the RNG (small drift causing them to hit terrain, small roll meaning no damage is done) and by the wonky projectile paths (where the game lets you fire even though you can't hit). Both of these are compensated for by the HMG (and later Vulcan) and their large number of shots. You can get ~40-50% to hit with those, and with so many shots, that's more hits and more damage than the snipers can do, while also being able to blow out intervening terrain (you can even force fire through light cover pretty reliably). So my snipers get replaced by HMGs or Vulcans pretty quickly.

What snipers would need is a return for all of them to being able to react (real and/or movie snipers will get you within seconds of you peaking your head out of cover), maybe with a slightly worse damage bonus on snap shots than aimed shots (but I don't think that distinction is possible). In fact, I'd actually give snipers a large bonus accuracy for kneeling, to represent that you need to setup if you want to hit something. Then the snapshot would become useful again, and it doesn't really matter for the aimed shot since that one is usually well above 100% any ways and there's no difference between 100% and 160%.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 04, 2016, 07:16:37 pm »
Exactly, sometimes the USH is fun to use (ex.: katana) and it makes sense for enemies to use it, but it doesn't work as collectible in XCF because the items are too mundane for the setting and if barely any player is excited by the collection while others are annoyed by it, why make it so prominent (spam the new project every time you get a new item). And it is not optional: you need it to check to ensure it is indeed worse (or you ruleset dig which is bad form) and in case other projects might need the AK-47 or axe as a requirement.

Maybe you like collections just for achieving them and I respect that. Some people just are collectors (and I like collecting some stuff too, just not any kind of stuff that I could possibly collect). However, I think this unlikely occurrence of satisfying a rare collector player despite the setting is not worth the common occurence of people being jarred by having to research axes.

That is why I made the suggestion I made: Removing displeasure for the many is more important than the (mild at best, you're presumably not playing xcom to collect random digital USH and the real pleasure is in playing and killing aliebs) pleasure of the few.

Hell, as I offered before, I'm even up for writing the research stuff for my proposal into a mod to XCF, so IF people want to, they can research axes and do the collection of USH whole as an option. Or the opposite, if Solar implements my suggestion, I'm willing to write a mod to XCF  that would return the collection aspect for those who want it.

Normally I would agree it isn't as nice to buy a collection whole as it is to build it up yourself. But this is like a 2nd set of tools. You already have a good set (the weapons that aren't USH) and you need a 2nd, crappier and cheaper set for the cabin. I don't get excited by going to the hardware store and picking up a bottom of the line hammer one day, then the cheap saw another, etc even though I'm "building a set". I'll buy it all at once and be done with it because none of those items are special or exciting (and I'm not broke enough to be excited enough by buying cheap either. In this case we're swimming in money atm in XCF).

Work In Progress / Re: Ruleset list order for TFTD
« on: December 04, 2016, 06:37:18 pm »
Nicely done! Kudos and interwebz cookies, as promised.

OpenXcom Extended / Re: Meridian's resources and mods for X-PirateZ
« on: December 03, 2016, 07:47:55 pm »
Fully agree, although this started as just a way to share mods and music and stuff from the LP, it has grown to be so much more. OXCE+ totally deserves a thread in the modding/experiment section, so others can learn more easily of it and more people can use it (I wouldn't even play vanilla UFO or TftD without it, honestly..). Furthermore, now that XComFiles also uses it, it isn't really a Piratez thing either.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 03, 2016, 07:45:06 pm »
Yeah.. that works in Piratez where the gals are a bunch of wackos escaped from some weird experiment or picked up from the deepest primitive slums, but it makes little sense for any kind of police or para-military organization to need to interrogate people to learn about AK-47 or machetes or axes, or to need to look at a physical one to know what it does. Players keep complaining about it because it is jarring and not fun. Maybe making USH useful is nice/fun for you, but keeping it truly useless and non-obtrusive is much better for the player.

This is also very setting dependent. One can get excited in Piratez when the gals pick up an AK-47 and "figure it out" because they're making progress from the cavegals you start with by rediscovering all the weapons of history in a post-apocalyptic world (especially since you have written the description in such a way that they're a reward in themselves for how enjoyable they are to read, regardless of weapon utility). In XCom or XCom files? Nope, it just makes you feel like you're in charge of the most retarded, crippled organization 20th century Earth could possibly put together to investigate/fight aliens. XCom is about 20th century people discovering new alien stuff, not rediscovering 20th century weapons that are currently in use and not at all forgotten (and where description have to be much more sanitized given the institutional/military setting unlike in Piratez, so there's much less potential for cool descriptions being the actual reward). As such, your use #2 doesn't work in XCF, or maybe it does for you, but it is unpleasant to many players, enough that it is probably the most recurring complain about the mod (regardless of if the mention is of either AK-47, axes, hammers, etc. They're all USH).

Use #1 and #3 are very true and it is nice for the setting that rebels and cults are armed with AK-47, machetes and axes. I certainly wouldn't exchange that for everyone being armed with a "Rifle". It's also nice that, should you fancy having a Japanese katana warrior, a Russian AK-47 dude or something, you can. But that's it for the value of USH. As such, the mechanic I am proposing gets rid of #2 because it doesn't fit while to enable #1 and #3 in as non-obtrusive a manner as possible.

or hidden behind bulk researches that will forever clutter the research que, so the player will finally research them, but not to collect a collectible, but to finally get rid of that shit, which is a very different feeling, again.

Yeah, discovering boring stuff is boring. I totally agree. If you think discovering 20 at a time still isn't exciting, how is discovering them one by one more exciting? I can tell you as a player of XCF, and others have said it as well: It is even more boring to discover the 20th useless item than it is the first one. It's even more "Oh! Come on!" and eye rolling worthy. So let's do away with the "achievement"-style accomplishment of "discovering" what an AK-47 is in the 20th century, discover all the USH at once and then move on to discovering actually interesting stuff.

You want to clutter interrogations so people don't get all the important bits too quickly? Have some text about whatever cult so the cultists can ramble on about that after their interrogation. The "Notable Cultists" results are an awesome example. You didn't get anything weapon-wise, but you learn a little bit about stuff, and the "Interpol notified" line makes you feel useful even though it's just a couple points because it feels like you are helping fighting crime/the cults. I'll take that over machetes/katanas/etc. any time! Then it feels like you're learning and progressing in your investigation of the cult, while enjoying something creative in the awesome setting that Solar created. I'd love to know even more about all the crazy cults and their backstory and every bit of into is enjoyable because it's like reading a page of a novel, or from 40k codex before they got all crazy. Learning about an intelligently designed, creative and new setting is cool. Learning about AK-47 and axes when playing a 20th century organization just plain isn't.

Furthermore, in XCF, most of the USH research comes from the actual items being researched, not from interrogations, so neither the "cluttering the research list" argument nor the "delaying interrogations" argument really work. I'm suggesting a few projects to unlock all of the USH at once. The current state is that every weapon you bring back from a mission shows up in the research list as a thing to be researched and stays there cluttering the research project list until you finally give in and dedicated a scientist to research machetes and another one for axes so you don't have to see them in the list anymore (and just in case not researching the machete will prevent you from inventing the "Machete of plant slaughtering" that is needed to win against the Treemen, or something like that, because who knows what Solarius came up with and you better cover everything. Or you peak at the techtree and realize it doesn't lead anywhere, but still do it because after 3 years of in game time, it's about time you got rid of that stupid project). Good that you bring this cluttering up, because that's another argument in favour of my fix (1-2, maybe 3-4 projects if you were to do the same for general use pistols and rifles, instead of one per item cluttering the research list).

OXCE Wishlists / Re: Solar's wishlist
« on: December 02, 2016, 04:26:20 am »
Not really. They're already using best weapons. And even Mercs are a fodder. All it takes is to nuke hangars.

Well, yes, hangar nuking is pretty much the response to hideout assaults. But past the first one, you are (should be?) putting your loot severely at risk, and your VIP captures too since you're likely to obliterate everything. If you're willing to sacrifice both, then sure it's easy. But if the use of nukes becomes the way out of nasty crackdowns, that defeats farming and all is good as far as I'm concerned. So basically, my suggestion is/was "crackdowns should be nasty, best taken out either by air combat, base defence facilities or base defence tactics that are not conducive to farming". If you want the loot, shoot the things down and go get it. Shooting down a cruiser to get the VIP inside, even with the shield buff that makes beams useless, is totally doable. You don't need "loot delivery".

A task team of stormtroopers/marsec/mercs with boomguns, plasma spitters and scorchers + a few blasters or something (ie stuff that snapshots well + explodes to kill when having near misses and destroy walls) is a force that the factions should be able and willing to afford to get rid of a group that plagues their shipping. It even makes sense for them to deploy that way (similar to using flamethrowers to clear out tunnels/bunkers). It's not that much compared to all the ships that they deploy for a retaliation. Bring out the big guns on the ground like they do in the sky and teach them pirates that it wasn't a good idea to challenge their supremacy.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 02, 2016, 02:58:59 am »
Sounds good! Best of luck with it :D

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 02, 2016, 02:00:22 am »
Yeah, pretty much.

I'm of no preference regarding UFOPaedia availability of the oriental weapons. They are modernized, but it's not that hard to find a HEMA or Kendo place that uses them, which presumably the agents that are inclined to use such weapons would already be part of. So should you know about them or not? It doesn't matter, as long as you don't have to research katanas, then tonfas, then etc. but get to buy them (and their article, if you chose to go that way) all at once when the "Oriental Weapons" or "Historic Weapons" project is unlocked.

Can you list multiple techs for "requiresBuy"? That would be the simplest. AK-47 "requiresBuy" Promotions II and Contacts: Arms Dealer, done. Or I guess you can hack it with a 0 cost "BuyBasicRifles" project that depends on those two other techs and is listed as the requirement for the AK47 and other basic guns.

Just looking at the ruleset, I noticed you have a cost (small, but still) for the "BuyAK47" project. Is that necessary? I'd just streamline it and say: If you know the dude that sells the guns (Contacts), and you've got the clearance to buy the guns (Promotions), then you can buy guns, no more research necessary. What are they researching any ways?

Although it's fun to unlock alien or hi-tech fancy weapons one by one because they're special, it's isn't really for basic modern guns. Getting rid of this cost would allow you to unify the projects to clean up the research by just listing the necessary contact and promotion in the "requiresBuy" if possible, or at worst having a general use "BuyBasicRifles", then "BuyBetterRifles" that enable a bunch at a time. Then BlackOps guns either have the "requiresBuy" with Contacts: BlackOps and the specific gun, or a cost 0 "BlackOpsXBuy" project that depend on both.

But yeah, I think you got it by now and I'm just rambling...  ;D

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 02, 2016, 12:44:18 am »
OK, thanks for the support, guys!
You deserve it man, as I said, you've made something new and awesome and it's the unfortunate side-effect that it makes people care and comment, and it's more natural to say: "fix this" and it's also shorter otherwise "I like this, and that, and this too, oh, and that too! and..." just takes too long. It's odd, but I think as a creator you have to take pride in how much comment you get, regardless of what it is, because with the exception of "This sucks!" which is pretty rare, it all means that somebody cares about what you did.

@Arthanor: Interesting. Just to complete your proposed model, when do we get to buy axes?

When you've completed "Contacts: Hardware store", which is actually called "Improvised Weapons" in game because "Contacts: Hardware store" sounds stupid. That research could give the logistics officer talking about how she had to hire lawyers to make a case to the bureaucracy that using improvised weapons to kill monsters was ok and not animal cruelty, and similarly that axing a terrorist was no worse than shooting them. Now that it's gone through, the quartermaster can go to the hardware store or military surplus and buy axes/hammers/machetes/combat knives/etc. for the agents to bring on missions.

The above, plus interrogation of any Black Lotus cultist (or maybe not the kimono guys but only the ninja looking guys?), enables the "Contacts: Katana Ninjas", actually called "Historic Weapons" to sound more sensible, which unlocks katanas, tonfas, throwing knives, maybe a broadsword for the HEMA enthusiast, etc. This one could be a report from the quartermaster, saying that he had an argument with the logistics officer about how it was no worse to slash a monster with a Katana than axing one with an axe, after an agent questioned his selection of "weapons" and laughed at him for running a hardware store instead of a proper armory. Upon verification, the legal precedent should hold and he can now provide you with proper (old-style) weapons instead of having to use tools.

All these weapons would available from day 1 in the UFOPaedia and can be used when picked up, but require the above research to be bought because otherwise XCom can't sanction their acquisition. Any case of looting and using these weapons before is considered "personal initiative" and since the Commander (player) is a no non-sense guy, he supports his agents doing what they need to do (especially since it's him who tells them what to do any ways) so it's a rare case of "turning a blind eye" but there can be no trace of XCom buying the weapon.

If anyone says: "LOL Why can't I buy an axe from day 1?!?! This is stooopid1!1!", the reason is the bureaucracy, already established as major in the story (ie it's the same as not being able to rent a van for 4 agents from day 1, etc.).

I believe this should take care of a decent part of it?

@Ragshak: There's no straightforward method for dealing with Assassins, it's the whole point of them. :) At least not in early game (yeah, thermal goggles will come later). If you suspect one's nearby, you should set a trap or something encircle him; at worst try to sacrifice only one person to draw them out. As Naruto taught us, ninja wars are brutal. :P

It would be nice if units on fire stopped being camouflaged. Then throwing an incendiary bomb could reveal enemies. I mean, if you're burning alive in a puddle of napalm, you're not going to manage staying still and hidden, are you? But only for enemies that are on fire (ie burning and losing health), just stepping in fire shouldn't do it.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 02, 2016, 12:13:46 am »
Assassins are... killers?

They're my #1 most challenging unit in the early game, by far. There's a few things you can do, like give your scouts the armour that reduces melee damage since if I remember well throwing knives and ninja stars are melee types. I also thing you can get motion scanners by the time you struggle with them? That will tell you from ~10 tiles away, which I think is far enough to avoid being shot by the hidden knives of death.

But as far as seeing, as in finding from further away, no, I don't think there is a way. Solar, any chance we can get some thermal vision goggles for the agents? That ought to work on them!

OXCE Wishlists / Re: Solar's wishlist
« on: December 01, 2016, 09:13:12 pm »
I'd really love to see how would you implement that 'simplest' solution (making base defenses as difficult as to be unwelcome but not an instakill for early-mid game).

Well, alright, maybe it's not the simplest solution because it goes and rebalances key aspects of the game. It's a simple solution to the "need to code something so I can better exploit crackdowns" since it removes the need for coding by making base defenses always desirable. From the modder's (your) point of view, It's not a simple solution since it's a lot of extra modding work. Although I do believe that it could be achieved with multiple ranks in a given factions, and retaliations only using the hardcore ranks + being given hardcore weapons, combined with having a early game variant of the races with less hardcore ranks and weapons used for retaliations (and all the required ranks/weapons already exist). I also believe it's ok for base defenses to be a losing proposition in the early-mid game, since I don't believe pirates or modern humans should be able to stand up to pissed off global factions or aliens, respectively. Hence my mention of moving to a base, as a weaker guerilla/pirate/resistance faction would do.

But I won't go further into it. Since:

Please don't turn my question to a nerfing/buffing flamewar.

Is it possible to make a ufo shot down by base defense spawn a crash site?
That would be a good alternative to making defenses not fire since having a crash site means you could get all the good loot people want and you'd fight a slightly less advantageous battle since bases are usually designed to be easy to defend, compared to UFOs that are often a pain to clear.

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