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Messages - Arthanor

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The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 01, 2016, 08:57:39 pm »
Sorry this is proving to be such a pain, Solar. It's indeed a difficult thing to achieve in an elegant way that's also satisfactory to the players.

Well, once you switch to OXCE+ v3.5, you'll have access to the flag that lets you determine if items are destroyed when researched, no? That would enable:

- All "normal human tech" in ufopaedia at the beginning. Never need to be researched, can be used as soon as acquired. Buying weapon and ammo depends on contacts or promotions.
- All "advanced human tech" like light cannons, blackops stuff, etc. is hidden at the beginning. Can be researched but item is kept. Use requires research for computer assisted ones, not for simpler "press the trigger and it shoots" ones. Buying weapon and ammo depends on the weapon research + proper contact + proper promotion. So you need to know the weapon, where to buy it, and get the permission from your superiors to use them.
- Alien weapons need to be researched (maybe with previous projects gating that research since you can't understand plasma rifles before knowing what Elerium is, or maybe you don't care what the clip is made of and just want to shoot it, so it's fine if you know nothing about elerium). Research destroys the weapon but enables use. Later research (ex.: Plasma weapons assembly?) enable you to build them.

This way you never have the "lol why did I have to research AK-47 or axes?!" since they are never up for research. Contacts and promotions become immediately valuable because they make new weapons (and their ufopaedia) available. For advanced weapons it follows a sensible arc: Find fancy unknown rifle, look at it and discover the manufacturer, track the manufacturer (contact) to be able to buy it from them (and since they're shady exclusive people, you need to say: "I want a gun like this one that I know you make", not just "Yo man, I want some nifty shooty stuff" because then they'd just kick you out/hang up on you) and also you need to have clearance to use the weapon. Finally alien weapons you need to break apart and study to be able to reproduce them, and even then that first weapon you took apart remains in parts for reference during assembly of copies (hence the first research project destroys the item).

Although I very much value your contributions to Piratez because Piratez is an awesome mod. You created something new and awesome with this mod and I definitely encourage you to keep at it.

I haven't looked more into the dogs issue because.. well they work on my end and I gave you all I had so I don't understand that just reusing my stuff it doesn't work for you. So I don't know what to do to help you more with that. (and the rank/picture thing.. I think was/is an exe problem?)

I sort of abandoned the "advanced ammo" idea because, frankly, it made little difference to have a bit of stun damage. Either the lethal damage is enough, then the target dies any ways, or the combined damage isn't so the target is still standing up but the 2nd shot will likely kill them. I'd have to crank up the stun % higher than I feel comfortable with. But more importantly, I'm not sure people are even interested in that kind of behavior (it also makes normal things used for stunning less interesting except for VIP captures, which I like but others may not) and I don't want to spend too much time working on something that nobody is interested in except me. If I do that, I might as well work on the XAE.

All that to say, if you're interested, I don't really have a mod project at the moment, so I could make you a "how to handle guns in XCF" proposal that works along the lines of the above.

OpenXcom Extended / Re: Meridian's resources and mods for X-PirateZ
« on: December 01, 2016, 08:30:27 pm »
I guess, as Solarius pointed out, compiling on Linux and running with bash scripts to get the user/data/config folder you want for a given executable is considered extreme. Most people with Windows will just have different folders with different installs, like an XComFiles folder which comes pre-packaged with its exe, and XPiratez folder with its own exe as well, etc. Then they make shortcuts to the different exe, instead of soft links to the different scripts that launch the same exe with different folders.

It's less efficient, but indeed, what's 100MB in 2016? And what's that efficiency thing? Or those "script" and "command line" things? It's 2016! Everything comes pre-packaged and pre-arranged so all you have to do is stick your finger onto your (touch)screen, then magic happens! If it doesn't work, tell them computer wizards they're stupid because it doesn't work, then they'll fix it.  ::)

OpenXcom Extended / Re: Solar's wishlist
« on: December 01, 2016, 08:22:56 pm »
Or make it even simpler: Make sure that a player's reaction to an attack is "OMG NOOOOO!!!" and then defenses always firing makes sense because you'd never want to fight the battle and likely lose a bunch of gals or the base altogether. This also is further incentive towards developing the capability to intercept military crafts so you hopefully destroy the scouting ships before they find you, making the air game the primary defense against retaliations. Then base defenses, then the desperate last stand in your base.

Given the current circumstances, fighting base defenses against all but a few enemies is a good thing. Why would a crackdown on your hideout be a good thing? I'd actually welcome the bugged constant stream of enemy battleships, combined with a ramp up of their ground crews (Ideally crews get tougher and tougher as attacks are defeated, but I know that it's not possible, so just tougher crews in general). Even a super frustrating "facilities in which walls were destroyed have a repair time during which they are not functional". You like fighting in vaults or barracks? Well, that'll be a pain now (good thing we have the "ship stuff off at the end of battle, so you could just ship the stuff/people that can't stay right now because the base just got blown up). Then you get a reason to build some traps and corridors to fight in (Which are pretty underused, at least in my game).

If the guild knows where your hideout is and you're a pain in the ass for them, why wouldn't they keep striking at it until they get you? Why would they go: "Well, Bob the guildmaster tried but really, the 20 gals in primitive armor with swords and throwing knives were too much for the PCMs and GOs he took with him.. no point in trying again. What? You think you could do it, MARSEC commander dude? Nah, I tell you, they're ninjas in there, forget it! We'll just keep losing our shipping all the time, it's ok. No, we won't hire Mercs to do the job either. And we certainly won't inform the Governor about this rebellious bunch that disturbing global trade."

I can understand giving up after searching for a month and not finding anything but losing a bunch of ships. Giving up after having found the hideout is weird and makes the factions look weak. I'd love to see combined MARSEC + Merc crackdown teams that really whoop your ass and come with real combat teams and real nasty weapons. As a compensation, reduce the speed at which they come in so they might be intercepted. Not being able to have an air defense even if your crafts are already in the air and ready is annoying. That's half the point of an air force, to defend the base against enemy flyers.

And the other alternative if you don't have an air force? Pick up your stuff and leave. That's what pirates do when actual navies find them: They go away since their only way of thriving is picking on the weak and avoiding the strong. No ridiculous "navy of pirates standing up to the imperial navy". Or if that's to be the case, then things need to be recast so that the crew actually do become a global power able to rival the factions instead of the small scale one I think they are supposed to be.

Work In Progress / Re: Ruleset list order for TFTD
« on: December 01, 2016, 07:58:48 pm »
Hey! It's hard work to learn how to do things efficiently! And while you do that learning, you're not doing any actual work either (or might be doing work slower than the brute force...). Well done Meridian!

Now Solarius, if you want to make yourself useful, go and put it up on the wiki. We'll appreciate the hard manual work involved, I promise!

OpenXcom Extended / Re: Meridian's resources and mods for X-PirateZ
« on: December 01, 2016, 06:01:32 pm »
Well.. I did say I wouldn't take about this more, but since you're calling me out specifically...

Yes, you activate XComFiles after playing Piratez and boom, the proper XCF options are loaded. You then decide you want to play Piratez some more, activate it and bam, proper Piratez files. How is that not convenient for like... 99% of users? The only one left would be activate vanilla and vanilla options are reset, maybe, but vanilla options are kind of bad so...

If you load a mod that doesn't have special options (say.. one that adds an extra gun and nothing else) then nothing happens. If you load a big mod with important options, the act of enabling it changes your options only the first time you enable it only. That's pretty unintrusive to me.

Especially since, if you play two big mods, the proper way to change between then is by changing user/data/config folders, not swapping in the mod page (which makes you wait to load mods twice), so the options reset would only happen once: when you start using a new mod, unlike what I described above if you are well organized.

And honestly, if you don't want to use the options a mod creator created their mod for, I think the effort should be yours to break it. It should be as easy as possible to play with the proper options, since that's the right way to play. You want to change things? Fine, but do some work yourself.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: December 01, 2016, 03:19:20 am »
I don't have an option to harvest synthmuscles despite researching mutons, muton corpses, and synthmuscles.  What else do I need?

You need a tech that doesn't exist in this version :P

For the extraction, you need STR_SYNTHETIC_MUSCLES and the actual tech that you get from research is STR_SYNTHMUSCLES. You can go change it in manufacture_XCOMFILES.rul if you want, or wait for Solar to release the next version.

hum.. reaper no longer an alien, but can harvest synthmuscle.. which is best..  ???

XPiratez / Re: Bladum's ideas compilation
« on: November 30, 2016, 10:42:50 pm »
I like the idea of wind effect, but I'd have to check how it actually looks. Also quite like the base defence stuff. Base defence facilities could benefit from more variation, and damaged aliens showing up after defence fired has been a recurring request. Honestly, base defences battles are boring given that the AI is too dumb to breach and clear so it ends up being you breaching and clearing the hangars. So anything to make the battles less tedious (like starting with hurt aliens) is fine by me. It's not like you were going to lose that base, was it? (unless it's some form of crazy MC - psi vision ethereal, but that's also boring and it's frustrating so...)

Open Feedback / Re: Increased reactions
« on: November 30, 2016, 08:02:14 pm »
The game will not recognize a .txt as a game file. Notepad++ should allow you to save to a .rul. Regular windows notepad might not, but you can just save it as a .txt, then rename Whatever.txt to Whatever.rul and it'll work. Just make sure Windows is not trying to be clever (and failing) and actually creating Whatever.rul.txt.

OpenXcom Extended / Re: Meridian's resources and mods for X-PirateZ
« on: November 30, 2016, 08:00:01 pm »
My solution would be:
- Ruleset comes with a list of "if a moron installs this, this is what they need" config stuff in it.
- This changes the default values of these options whenever that mod is active.
- Upon a new activation of the mod (from the mod page, not when starting the game and looking in the config to see what mods should be loaded on startup), it also changes the active values to the defaults.

Nothing is enforced, but when starting to use a new mod, the "reboot the game to load mod" also sets the active options to what is needed. This makes a complete transition from [ vanilla with vanilla background and vanilla config ] to [ Piratez with Piratez homescreen and Piratez config ]. If the user then reviews those options, and decides that, no, Extender is crap and they don't want to use it, then they can turn it OFF. And next time they start the game, it will still be OFF because it's not a fresh start. But it was ON at the start, like it should be and ensuring that most users use the mod as intended.

Then video, audio, keybindings, debug mode (which has caused issues in the past when the config had it active and suddenly people couldn't quick save/load) and other such options can be left entirely for the user to decide on.

This is how I would do it. But honestly, I just go fish the mod from the user/mods folder of the zip file and put that into my install of OXCE+ (which runs both XPiratez and XComFiles by swapping data, user and config directories), so this is academic. Since I don't want the great (striving and arguing about what's the best way to do things) becoming the enemy of the good (doing something better than shipping configs), that's my last post on this.

Work In Progress / Re: Scientists and Egineers
« on: November 30, 2016, 07:46:45 pm »
Oh I like you so much. :)

 :o Thanks? ! I like you too but.. hum.. let's keep this professional.. :P

To be honest, I don't think you will ever find a developer, who will implement the "everyone can do everything" feature.

And if you somehow find them, then the result should be renamed to something else than OpenXcom... because it will be as incompatible with vanilla as fuck. This is not a "missing feature" or an "engine limitation"... it's a completely new game.

There are plenty of games where "everyone can do everything". XCom almost gets there with only 3 classes and apparently the aim was to have "everyone can do everything" since Apocalypse has that.

Now I understand that it is unlikely that we could find an OpenXCom developper willing to spend time in this, but hey, this topic is for dreaming of a better world for engineers and scientists than just being numbers. And honestly, if you could make soldiers as pilots work, which needed to invent everything about pilots, I'm surprised it's impossible to make soldiers as scientists or engineers work. I was going to suggest a mechanic, but that almost always comes off as a "I know better and you're stupid for not being able to program it" and I am certainly not able to program it myself nor do I think that you'd say it's impossible if it weren't, so I will refrain.

OpenXcom Extended / Re: Meridian's resources and mods for X-PirateZ
« on: November 30, 2016, 06:46:16 pm »
I have a feature on my todo list, to allow modders to override (and make read-only) some of the user settings... mostly in the Advanced tab. So that UI settings like video/audio/shortcuts/etc. can be still changed, but game mechanics like extender accuracy or storage limitations would be enforced.

Other than that, I don't have any good suggestions.

That would be much nicer than shipping configs indeed, but I disagree with "read only". What's the point? If someone decides to play Piratez without Extender Accuracy, that's their problem. It's a 1 player game after all. And making the option unchangeable in game doesn't even change much since you can either edit the mod ruleset or make a mod to Piratez that turns off the unwanted options. If you are stupid/are crazy/think you know better/just don't want to bother, you should be able to play how you like.

Work In Progress / Re: Scientists and Egineers
« on: November 30, 2016, 06:39:59 pm »

From experience, takes a lot longer than even a Piratez playthrough to become competent in science :P

Joking aside, I dislike classes too and very much like that XCom doesn't have any. It seems like having multiple soldiers types with different starting stats would pretty much cover this need, provided that you could define new stats (akin to the Apocalypse science ones) and could assign soldiers to research where they contribute, say, biology stat/100 per day to biology projects, etc. Current scientists would be 100 in every science. Would make it possible to convert certain units, like converting Espers who are great at voodoo research but hate biology, or reticulans that are good engineers.

Assigning "soldiers" to research/manufacture could be done with a button on the assignment similar to the one for pilots in OXCE+.

XPiratez / Re: Fighter Balance
« on: November 30, 2016, 06:20:33 am »
Well, it's all up to Dioxine any ways.. (Or up to yourself if you decide to mod Piratez)

I think putting light weapons in heavy slots makes sense. They're kind of similar in that they shoot projectiles, just that the heavy ones are bigger guns with bigger projectiles. I agree that missiles should remain restricted to missile slots, and heavy to heavy slots. It's not about making every craft able to use every weapon. It's about making crafts with heavy slots more useful. If a cruiser (vanilla battleship) can use plasma spitters (light weapon), pirate heavy crafts should be able to as well!

As for buff items, that's partially why I was talking about defining new weapon types for them: Then you can pick where they can go. Currently they are considered weapons instead, which is a bit odd.

The light "buff weapon" is shields, which actually could be very useful on tank crafts (say limited to 2 per craft or something). I personally think shields and targetters should be able to be equipped on any slot, and keep thrusters for missile slots.

That way interceptors can be build either:
-  dodgy machine gun interceptor (as currently, 2 light + 2  thrusters) perfect for chancing light combat crafts
-  accurate machine gun one (as currently, 2 light + 2 targetters) for freighters and the likes (but heavier gunships could be better at that)

but also:
- accurate missile one (2 targetters + 2 missiles) great for supporting a tank and taking down military crafts.
- shield + machine guns for non shielded crafts with light weapons

 whereas shield + missiles is rather useless: You want missiles because they are better against shields, but shielded things hit much too hard for regular interceptors to be good tanks unless they rely on dodge, regardless of shield add-ons.

And then, if you have enough support crafts, you can build a shielded tank to try to lower the damage taken/repair time. Although if you have good guns it might be better to use those to kill the target faster instead.

I feel like opening up lights for heavy makes heavy crafts more interesting (want to field interceptors with 2x light + 2x targetters or gunships with 3x lights or heavy? The former is better against small UFOs, the latter against big ones) and freeing some of the buff items means even more variety of builds for interceptors (ex.: an accurate missile ship is not a good choice for intercepting lighter UFOs, but is great support for military ones, so then you want also a good light UFO interceptor, and maybe a good supply ship interceptor too, which isn't the same).

XPiratez / Re: Fighter Balance
« on: November 30, 2016, 04:14:53 am »
Beats all my ideas, +1 on that.

Thanks :) Now on the implementation... Actually it's super easy :D Yankes already did it. As per the OXCE readme:

Code: [Select]
type: STR_CRAFT_TYPE #default config ...
    radarChance: 100    #how effective craft radar is, default 100.
    weapons: 4          #weapon number increased to 4.
    weaponTypes:        #definition of allowed weapon types in craft. Max 4 different types per slot.
      - 0               #slot 1 accepts weapons with type 0. This is default.
      - 0               #slot 2 accepts weapons with type 0.
      - [0, 4, 13]      #slot 3 accepts weapons with type 0, 4 and 13.
      - 1               #slot 4 accepts weapons with type 1.

So it's just a matter of taking all the "weaponTypes: - 1" definitions (1 is heavy in Piratez, 0 for light, 2 for missiles) and changing them to "[0, 1]" so they can use light weapons as well.

Having seen that, I'm now considering making new weapon types for buff items so I can define where they can go on different crafts. Then interceptors can be made able to use targetters + missiles (target painting for missile using Hyperwaves) and heavy only crafts could get some buff items.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« on: November 30, 2016, 01:27:42 am »
Interesting. It must be the vestigial "unlocks: STR_ALIEN_ORIGINS" from the vanilla ruleset, since that wasn't replaced by Solar's definition of the reaper project. So the reaper unlocks it even though it doesn't appear in the list of the Alien Origins project's dependencies.

Not sure that's working as intended, but quick! Everyone capture a live reaper to get early promotions before Solar fixes it! :P

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