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Messages - Arthanor

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Work In Progress / Re: Equal Terms Mod Discussion.
« on: July 25, 2014, 02:49:52 am »
No worries! I'm just trying to save you some work in the plasma department by mentioning the other mod. It has 3 new plasma weapons, but no tech tree restriction, like the original plasma.

Either way, it is certainly a mod worth checking out, as the new UFOs add some complexity to the game. (especially those fighters blowing up all my interceptors before they can disengage!)

Work In Progress / Re: [Crafts][Weapons] XCom Armoury Expanded
« on: July 25, 2014, 02:44:26 am »
Ha! That monster of a mod isn't big enough yet? :P

You may plunder this one happily once it is done! It's made to be used (and abused?)!

Work In Progress / Re: Raven or Retailator?
« on: July 25, 2014, 02:42:52 am »
Very interesting discussion! I agree with most of it and, indeed, have a mod in the works to make all crafts relevant (and make the game more challenging through some additional research!).

I invite you all to check out the XCom Expanded Armoury, the craft part of which will feature all the crafts currently under discussion (along with two new transports, the faster alloy Skyranger and the bigger Skywarden), rebalanced so that they make sense (ex.: no more crazy strong sentinel at the start, but it appears much later as a slow heavy interceptor).

It's not ready yet (It will be my first real mod and it uses many people's mods so it takes time to grasp everything), but I am making good progress!

Work In Progress / Re: Equal Terms Mod Discussion.
« on: July 24, 2014, 08:36:09 pm »
That sounds like a good plan. Described like that, all the steps look quite interesting.

I am just about to get to work on a XCom version of the Alien Armoury Expanded (freshly posted it), to expand the craft selection of XCom, and provide conventional and laser equivalent to the new weapons in the Alien Armoury.

It looks like what you propose to do could cover the need for conventional and laser weapons. How do you think your "level 2" pack would interact with the Alien Armoury Expanded? I guess one could just disable the AAE weapons pack and only keep the UFOs, but that would also take away the work done to keep different weapons "active"..

Work In Progress / [Crafts][Weapons] XCom Armoury Expanded - v1.03
« on: July 24, 2014, 08:23:34 pm »
Version 1.03 is there!

This mod was created with the aim of diversifying the game play and equipment used while going through the game. It is intended to be used whole, but it comes in many parts that all should (..!) work by themselves. This allows YOU to pick and chose which mod to use (even only one!) and design the experience YOU want. If you think something is missing, let me know!

Together, the mods combine to create a longer game in which your squads are outfitted with successive tiers of equipment, always improving. This adds more demand from your materials (ever ran out of Alien Alloys? You might!), workshops (producing the latest armour/weapon/craft) and lab (there is a LOT more to research), making the game longer and more strategically challenging.

I have found the extension of the game time to work well, smoothing the progression instead of having a series of underpowered to OP quick transitions (getting laser rifles, power/flight suits, heavy plasma, psi).

This mod is intended to be used along with the Alien Armoury Expanded.

I strongly recommend using the additional races (gazer, waspite/cover, anthropod, mechtoid), Terrain Pack, Mission Pack and YetMoreUFOs as well, since they add a lot of variety in engagements.

Although not integrated in the XCom Armoury Expanded, the following mods are fully compatible and I have enjoyed using them in my campaigns:
- GravArmors
- GuidedMissiles
- MoriartyPlasmaCannon
- Stun Grenade

This mod is build in a modular way, with a selection of rules files that build upon each others while still being mostly independent (ie rarely do you need one mod to make another one work and they will never break each other). All weapons and crafts are balanced together to ensure they are all relevant at some point in the game. The modules are:

Basic Modules:
- XCom Armoury Expanded: Adds shotgun and sniper rifle equivalents for ballistic and laser weapons, along with a reskin of laser weapons to make them all follow the same aesthetic (from the original laser rifle). Credits: Warboy for the shotgun and sniper rifle, Chiko and Aldorn for the laser weapon reskin.

- XCom Armoury Expanded Crafts: The XCom answer to new UFOs, along with a craft weapon re-balance to make air combat more challenging (Credit: Istrebitel). This adds:
+ Obstructor: An Interceptor with Alien Alloy hull, making it lighter (a bit faster) and more resistant to damage.
+ Retaliator: An further improved Interceptor using Alien Alloy and UFO Navigation. Credits: Shadow
+ Thunderstorm: A fast, one weapon “interdictor” to quickly respond to small threats. Credits: Tyran_nick
+ Raven: The first XCom craft designed using UFO Construction, from an industry prototype (which would have become what is in XCom2012, but the aliens showed up in 1999!). It outclasses the Interceptor family, requires Elerium to build but not to fly. Credits: MickTheMage
+ Sentinel: A tough, lumbering behemoth of the sky who can take damage like few others. The counterpart to the Firestorm speed. Credits: Warboy.
+ Skywarden: A Skyranger with Alien Alloy hull, making it tougher and able to sport two side doors for rapid deployment without compromising a safe landing in alien controlled space.
+ Skyguardian: The pinnacle of the Sky-transport family, responsive enough to intercept crafts with its one weapon, able to carry 16 soldiers and deploy them through two side doors and a back ramp.

Expansion Modules:
- XAE Research and Manufacture: My take on what research should be like in XCom. No more quick plasma access, or even lasers. Everything takes work. Recommended to use with other Expansion Modules to widen your weapon options, since there is no early laser rifles and heavy plasmas anymore. Credits: NeoWorm for laser and TurkishSwede for plasma research.
- XAE Alloy Ammo: Adds new ammunition for all ballistic weapons, increasing the AP damage capabilities. Credits: moriarty
- XAE Utility: Adds utility weapons (Combat Knife, Taser, Grenade Launcher, Single Shot Rocket Launcher, Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher) to widen the selection available at the beginning of the game. A complement to the XAE Alloy Ammo, to help you survive the early game while going through the longer research tree. Credits: Ryskeliini
- XAE Gauss: Adds Gauss weapons as a complement to Laser weapons. High precision, low rate of fire, to contrast with the rapid-fire lasers.
- XAE Gauss DE Ammo: A new ammunition for Gauss weapons, made of Depleted Elerium.
- XAE Elerium Lasers: Laser weapons using an elerium lens to better focus their beams (see XCom-Interceptor), an improvement on the regular laser, on par with Gauss weapons with DE Ammo.
- XAE Advanced Weapons: Adds a Laser Blaster and Gauss Launcher to XCom's weapons, which take over the AutoCannon and Heavy Cannon roles, respectively, with tiers to follow the Laser and Gauss progression.
- XAE Elerium Missiles: A new missile type for XCom crafts, requires Elerium Bombs from the Alien Armoury Expanded.
- XAE Small Bombs: Two new bombs for the small launcher, available as soon as it is researched. An explosive bomb (damage a little higher than a grenade) and a smoke bomb. Allows the Small Launcher to replace the Grenade Launcher in mid/late-game. Still compatible with Elerium Bombs (but has to be loaded AFTER the Alien Armoury Expanded, otherwise the new bombs won't work).
- XAE Imp MediKit: An Improved MediKit which heals more hp per fatal wounds, leading to healthier operatives on the field and shorter recovery times. Requires Alien Tech research.
- XAE MagArmor: A personal armour variant surrounding the operative with a strong magnetic field to deflect incoming plasma. Also uses the MindLink Interface to boost firing accuracy and reactions.
- XAE Scout Armour: A lighter, faster personal armour variant, perfect for scouting duties.
- XAE Power Suits and Armours: Moves Power and Flying Suits to a mid-tier armour instead of the early access, almost impervious armour it is normally. A new series of Power Armour and Flying Armour is introduced, which takes over the endgame armour role.
- XAE Tanks:
+ An all new tier of tanks with alloy hulls. (Currently.. overpowered? They have the same armor as hovertanks which might be too much.. Let me know!)
+ A complete rework of tanks to be modular: Hull and Weapon are separate. You can now replace the obsolete cannon turret with a shiny new laser cannon, or put a rocket launcher on your hovertanks! (For those who want "regular tanks", an alternate ruleset will be coming soon)
+ Destroyed tank hulls are repairable, to work along the new armours and the changes made by the GravArmors mod (Strongly recommended, to be incorporated eventually) which allow infantry armour to be repaired. Tank weapons are destroyed, however, as the aliens always make sure to take them out.
- Tanks Simple: An alternate Tanks Expansion module which enables "vanilla" build and field behavior for tanks. It is simpler but does not offer the same opportunity as the XAE Tanks mod.
- Elerium Explosives: Proxy grenades, High explosives, Rocket, AutoCannon and Heavy Cannon explosive ammo using Elerium for more damage. A ressource intensive way to get more damage on those pesky cyberdiscs.
- Attack Dogs: Dioxine's original Attack Dog, now with an improved Armoured Attack Dog variant, with more transport capability. Currently, both "hands" of the dogs are taken, preventing it from using weapons (in Nightly version). Once I figure out how to make it work, this mod will include the "Dog Warning System" (ie a motion scanner for dogs).

====Original First Post====
I just recently joined the community and it is very cool to see so much work going into this old gem of a game!

Although my first reaction upon seeing mods was: "Pff, the original was fine", I am quickly realizing the value of all the tweaks and improvements that are coming from the community. One thing that I still have issues with, however, is the variety and overlap between certain mods.

Many new weapons, many new crafts, all sort of addressing similar issues in different ways. Inspired by the Alien Armoury Expanded, I think a "XCom Armoury Expanded" would be a great addition, to pull together some of the great work that has been done here. Very much like the AAE, this mod will try to keep its content streamlined to things that are in direct continuation of the original. No fancy new weapons class as I think that deserves its own mod. Just a (fair) few new crafts, and some additional variety for wargear.

I first intend to work on the crafts, to create
- XCom_Armory_Expanded_Crafts:
  - Alloy Crafts (both Interceptors and Skyrangers)
  - SkyTransit
  - Retaliator
  - Thunderstorm
  - Raven
  - Sentinel
  - A stat rebalance to keep everything relevant (inspired by the "air combat rebalanced" mod)
  - Updated Tech Tree

The second part will be the XCom_Armory_Expanded itself, to add:
- laser sniper rifle and scatter laser (as counterparts of the new plasma weapons in the AAE)
- regular sniper rifle and shotgun (as above)
- A light stat rebalance
- Updated Tech Tree including making plasma more difficult to use.

The aim is to combine with the Alien version and provide an expanded game experience that is still very close to the original game. Other mods can then be grafted on, for example more realistic starting weapons, altogether new weapons/armors, new aliens, etc. to create a different experience.

As it is, I have a draft for the craft stat changes, as well as an idea of the new craft tech tree. Stats will be tweaked in order to obtain a progression in both fighters and transporters and to try to maintain relevance of a variety of crafts later in game. As such, it will look like:

Interceptor -> Alloy Interceptor -> Retaliator
Skyranger -> Alloy Skyranger -> Skywarden
With diminishing rent as more alien components replace earth ones, but still keeping some to represent fuel use.

As a supplement to the Retaliator, the Thunderstorm will be a fast and still rather resilient craft aimed at taking out small and deadly UFOs (ex.: the fighter from AAE) but with only one weapon hard point preventing it from taking on larger targets unless in swarms.

The Raven is included as the first human craft using entirely alien components, unlocked after UFO construction. Slower and weaker than the firestorm, it uses a "slow burning Elerium Reactor" which requires elerium and power source at construction but not later.

The Firestorm is improved by making it faster to repair because of the modular structure of saucer crafts and making it more fuel efficient.

The Sentinel changes in role to a heavy support craft, its resilience allowing it to accompany Avengers in taking out the largest UFOs.

The lightning gains the same engine as the raven and faster repairs being a saucer craft. It is aimed at intercepting small UFOs independently and delivering a small, relatively adept crew to recover the UFO. No need to send a fighter and your full skyranger crew to take down escort UFOs, so save on hangar/maintenance/rent/fuel.

The Avenger is unchanged, remaining the king of the skies. And the tech tree is attached. The hybrid crafts are their own branch, that will be relatively quick to research since they are based on well known Earth designs. The craft themselves will also be quick to manufacture, to represent the delivery of ready made earth parts to the workshop, XCom only having to work on the alien components. Conversely, the late-game 100% UFO based crafts will take much longer to research and manufacture.

Current: Version 1.03 of the mod is now available! Armoured Attack Dogs!

I've had issues with the Colored Armors mod as well, because of case sensitive file names. A few renames and it runs in the game fine though. Now I just have to research the proper things to unlock the armor and try it on!

Work In Progress / Re: Raven or Retailator?
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:41:58 pm »
You mean quality over quantity? Why not both?

Having only two realistic end game crafts is rather boring. The firestorm is your answer to everything except if it is too big, then it's the avenger. It is not that long to access them either, although getting enough Elerium to operate can be an issue.

I like games where the progression is smooth with small improvements that make me feel like I have accomplished something and give me something new to entertain myself with until the next new development. If this process has too few steps, what usually happens is:

State 1 (say interceptor as your fighter craft):
1.1 - Easy
1.2 - Challenging and fun (UFOs are bigger, you get damaged, you have to think)
1.3 - Too hard (UFOs got too large quickly, interception is useless as you just get blown up)
State 2 (Firestorm comes in!)
2.1 - Game is easy (the firestorm is much better than an interceptor and you probably are getting plasma beams soon)
2.2 - Challenging (UFOs get bigger or more of them appear)
2.3 - Hard (You need swarms of Firestorms, lose some any ways)
State 3 (Avenger!!)
3.1 - Game is easy: Avenger rules the sky
... Depending on difficulty, you might reach 3.2 or 3.3 too.

I'd rather the game be challenging and fun the whole time. Setting up bases around the world means I tend to keep at least 6 fighters for interceptions (NAmerica, SAmerica, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia). With a continuous stream of upgraded fighters, my workshop can be building the latest craft I discovered, while the continent I care about the least is still using crafts from a few generations back, so I get to use everything for a while any ways.

Furthermore, having various crafts doesn't mean that they necessarily all become obsolete. Having different crafts to intercept different UFOs (super fast one to intercept small UFOs, slow and resilient one for the big ones) gives options. What you are saying is a bit like: "I don't need lasers in the game, they get overshadowed by plasma too quickly". My reaction is: "How can I make both relevant, at different stages of the game (laser should come first) but together as well (it should never be irrelevant)".

Well well.. I was just coming here to make the exact same suggestion..!

I have taken an interest in craft combat recently and one thing that struck me is the passivity of UFOS in the normal game. You can follow a large UFO around the globe with your tiny interceptor to see what it's up to and nothing bad happens.. That UFO is faster, tougher and has much more firepower, so it should just turn around, blow the interceptor out of the sky and then keep going.

It would also allow the transports' damage capacity to be a useful stat if they can be intercepted by UFOs (ex.: shot down by UFO fighters on their way to an alien base). That would be a further way to make the lightning relevant. It is much faster and much more resilient than a sky ranger, and can sort of defend itself with its one weapon.

A few mods already have the foundation for this with their fighters and it would be nice to build upon it with a new AI. The Interception screen would not even need to be changed that much. Once you are intercepted, you can still pick which stance you want to take, etc. The only difference should be that the UFO can move forward and back of its own accord. Forward to prevent you from running away or to bring shorter range weapons to bear. Back to keep you at bay and stay out of range of some weapons.

It would be particularly cool to give the UFO technology crafts the ability to back up from an aggressive UFO, trying to keep it at range, since saucers can fly in any direction, whereas the basic planes have to disengage and reengage if the UFO gets too close.

On a sort of related note: Is it possible to come up with a way to make access to the UFO stats sheets easier? It would be especially useful with mods adding new UFOs. Maybe something like: Every interception and recovery missions gives you a "Report: UFO X" item. Once you have a certain number of them, you can set your scientists to analyze the reports and the result is the stat sheet.

Suggestions / Re: [SUGGESTION] PsyAmp direct line of sight setting
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:52:09 am »
The cool thing would be:
- Psy-panic any soldier you are aware of (within LoS of any squad member)
- Mind Control soldiers in personal LoS only.

I don't mind getting panicked by aliens I can't see so much and I very much like being able to support isolated agents by panicking the aliens they are facing. Being mind controlled with nothing in sight is no fun and mind controlling anything you are aware of means never needing to leave the craft and makes the game too easy.

Great looking designs! I really like the armors!

My only critic would be the unarmored model (Lenie Bos), where the cloth shows wrinkles/structures, but the details don't at all. To our left/character's right, the vertical line is totally straight, and the three buttons/gray squares are all the same size and equally spaced. It makes it look like they are just displayed above the character instead of being part of the uniform.

Work In Progress / Re: Equal Terms Mod Discussion.
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:41:32 am »
Yours is a very interesting mod. The starting weapons of the vanilla game are so disappointing, it is nice to see someone working on improving them. Great work!

I had a look at your plans for version 2.0 and it looks very promising but.. Isn't that too much for a single mod? I can list:

- Alloy Ammo (Already done, but would need to be redone for your mod)
- New alloy armor
- Explosive tweaks
- Laser weapons tweaks
- Plasma weapons tweaks
- Alloy interceptor

Those are 6 different and unrelated topics, except maybe in the overall game balance that you achieve through using all of them. Maybe it would be better to keep Equal Terms as the "starting human weapons" mod, and work on further individual mods that are intended to be used together?

I find reading large rules files for ambitious mods to be difficult. More importantly, it also makes it particularly difficult to use the "compilation" mod with other mods, whereas one could much more easily pick and chose some of yours and others' mods to create the experience they want.

Kind of like how it is better to build many small functions and larger functions that calls upon them, within a larger program. If you build many small mods, you can make a larger mod that is based on the small one while still allowing someone to build something different based on your work.

And it is much easier to share work on multiple mods between multiple contributors than trying to coordinate everything within a single mod ;)

Work In Progress / Re: Raven or Retailator?
« on: July 24, 2014, 05:43:50 am »
It's a bit of a weird situation right now, with many crafts built to address relatively similar issues. We have the retaliator, alloy interceptor, thunderstorm and sentinel all not using elerium much and quick to access.

I am hoping to get a mod together that will include air combat tweaks (similar to "Air Combat Rebalanced") but with multiple additional crafts for XCom, to go along with the "Expanded Alien Armoury".

As it is, there is indeed no "better" mod, just a variety of ways to address the same problem of there being a rather large gap between the interceptor and the firestorm. For now, take your pick, it doesn't really matter.

Suggestions / Re: Civilians in transport should count as saved
« on: July 24, 2014, 05:30:31 am »
I dearly wish there was some option to help control civilians. Seeing them running towards the alien instead of within the perimeter established by my agents is just painful. Some amount of "civilian stupidity" could work, like a chance to run towards another recently shot civilian ("Jenny!! NOOoooo!!!! *too late*) but their totally random behavior is annoying.

I never thought of stunning civilians to bring them to safety, but It could somewhat work if they woke up behind XCom lines where their life isn't at risk. Some kind of improvement could be made, even though it is well beyond my abilities...

Released Mods / Re: [RESEARCH/PROGRESSION] Plasma Needs Elerium-115
« on: July 24, 2014, 12:07:33 am »
Warning: This is the first time that I attempt to modify OpenXCOM code/data, so I am still a bit uncertain.

I have attached a rule file that replaces the "Plasma Needs Elerium" mod for use with the "Expanded Alien Armoury" mod. Basically, it adds the research restrictions to the new EAA weapons as defined in the alien armory. I created the dependencies depending on the weapon type:

Plasma pistol -> Plasma Caster
Plasma rifle -> Plasma Sniper Rifle
Heavy Plasma -> Plasma Blaster

Also keeping the progression already present in the PNE mod:
Plasma pistol -> Plasma rifle -> Heavy Plasma

and the clips requiring both the gun research and the previous clip (except for the pistol clip which only requires the pistol by current PNE mod).

A quick test using one of my saved games shows that it works well, but this is my first try at a mod, so it might well not work exactly as intended. I removed all the "unlocks" statements from the rulefile as well. I originally kept them, but found out that they seem to forcefully unlock research topic, even though some other requirements are not met. Specifically, having the guns unlock their clips bypasses the need for the previous clip to be researched. You could, for example, research:

Elerium -> Plasma Pistol -> Plasma Rifle -> Heavy plasma -> Heavy Plasma Clip

and bypass the pistol and rifle clips. With the "unlocks" statements gone, you need to research all the dependencies and will get the "new research topic" message at the right time: When you have researched all the prerequisites. I am not sure what the "unlocks" statements are supposed to be for, to be honest...

I kept everything out of the EAA mod, as that is already quite a large mod with lots of information and a clear aim: Give more weapons to aliens. And it does that it very well. Conversely, it fits the aim of the PNE mod rather well to be adapted to new plasma weaponry, so now there is an "Expanded Plasma Needs Elerium" mod.

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