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Topics - Countdown

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16
After beating the game on beginner I started playing on Superhuman and had my first run-in with Ethereals. Every alien race has been similarly easy to kill as beginner ... 1-3 hits with a heavy plasma does the trick.

But NOT SECTOPODS! They weren't that hard in beginner, but in superhuman they are impossible. Laser rifles, alien grenades, heavy plasmas, it didn't matter, these f'ers wouldn't go down. After 4 or 5 soldiers tag teamed one and couldn't kill it I resorted to blaster launchers. But I'm using a mod that makes you build your own no-waypoint launcher, so I only had 2 of them and could only use them so much with having to go back to the skyranger to reload every time.

In the end, I lost 6 troops, had 2 wounded (one out for 58 days!) and had to stun another who was under MC. I was extremely lucky to only lose 6 as there were many, many near misses by the aliens and lucky shots for me.

Besides the fun of a challenge (and it was fun, but stressful) is there any practical reason to bring a mission like this on yourself or is it better to shoot them down and just leave it? I didn't really analyze how much loot/money I got, but at this point I have more money than I need anyway.

I have near global radar coverage, so I don't expect to get any more terror missions as I always shoot down the terror ships, so I doubt I'll see sectopods outdoors. Tackling them in an alien base will be a whole different challenge since non-way point blaster launchers and indoors don't mix well.

17
Offtopic / How do you choose panic vs MC when controlling an alien?
« on: March 09, 2016, 06:42:35 am »
Maybe a dumb question, but when you are in control of an alien (either sectoid or ethereal) and are using their mind attacks (via the grey ish "psi" button in the top right), how do you designate whether you want to use their panic attack or mind control?

PS - Also is there a way to alter how much improvement you get from the psi lab each month? I know you can alter how many soldiers.

18
I'm altering the default deployment in the avenger. I made a separate ruleset and put it in the mod folder. The below code works fine:

Code: [Select]
crafts:
  - type: STR_AVENGER
    battlescapeTerrainData:
      name: AVENGER
      mapDataSets:
        - BLANKS
        - AVENGER
      mapBlocks:
        - name: AVENGER
          width: 10
          length: 20
    deployment:
      - [4, 9, 1, 0]
      - [5, 9, 1, 0]
      - [4, 10, 1, 0]
      - [5, 10, 1, 0]
      - [3, 10, 1, 0]
      - [6, 10, 1, 0]
      - [4, 11, 1, 0]
      - [5, 11, 1, 0]
      - [3, 11, 1, 0]
      - [6, 11, 1, 0]
      - [4, 12, 1, 0]
      - [5, 12, 1, 0]
      - [3, 12, 1, 0]
      - [6, 12, 1, 0]
      - [4, 13, 1, 0]
      - [5, 13, 1, 0]
      - [3, 13, 1, 0]
      - [6, 13, 1, 0]
      - [4, 14, 1, 0]
      - [5, 14, 1, 0]
      - [3, 14, 1, 0]
      - [6, 14, 1, 0]
      - [4, 15, 1, 0]
      - [5, 15, 1, 0]
      - [4, 16, 1, 0]
      - [5, 16, 1, 0]

Now this code below doesn't work. Why do you need the "battlescapeTerrainData" part in there if it's already defined in the standard crafts.rul ruleset? Deployment isn't a sub-set of battlescapeTerrainData and deployment is the only thing I've altered from the default ruleset. Like when I change one attribute of an item (let's say the TU cost of a weapon) I don't have to put all the weapon values in my mod; just the ones I'm changing. So why is this one giving me grief and requiring repeated info?

Code: [Select]
crafts:
  - type: STR_AVENGER
    deployment:
      - [4, 9, 1, 0]
      - [5, 9, 1, 0]
      - [4, 10, 1, 0]
      - [5, 10, 1, 0]
      - [3, 10, 1, 0]
      - [6, 10, 1, 0]
      - [4, 11, 1, 0]
      - [5, 11, 1, 0]
      - [3, 11, 1, 0]
      - [6, 11, 1, 0]
      - [4, 12, 1, 0]
      - [5, 12, 1, 0]
      - [3, 12, 1, 0]
      - [6, 12, 1, 0]
      - [4, 13, 1, 0]
      - [5, 13, 1, 0]
      - [3, 13, 1, 0]
      - [6, 13, 1, 0]
      - [4, 14, 1, 0]
      - [5, 14, 1, 0]
      - [3, 14, 1, 0]
      - [6, 14, 1, 0]
      - [4, 15, 1, 0]
      - [5, 15, 1, 0]
      - [4, 16, 1, 0]
      - [5, 16, 1, 0]

19
So it could be debatable whether these issues are "bugs" so I thought it best to start a discussion and ask first rather than putting in a "bug report". I've been testing soldier diaries in the latest nightly and have noticed some real inconsistencies and a possible bug when it comes to mind control.

- Death Counts: First, death counts are counted in three separate spots and each seems to be applied differently. If you kill an alien that is under XCOM mind control, it will count as a kill in the soldier's main profile screen (where it lists mission counts, TU, stamina, etc), his main "combat" diary screen (with all the tallies on the bottom) and on the mission report screen (when you click on the individual missions). However, if you MC an alien, and have that alien kill another alien, it will not count on the profile screen, but will count on the diary screen and the mission report screen. If you have an MCed alien kill another MCed alien, it will not count as a kill on the profile screen or diary screen, but will on the mission screen.

I think three different kill counts all following a different rule is confusing and illogical. Whether you count it as a kill or not is up for debate, but I think it should be applied consistently rather than counting some places, but not others. Even weirder, if you have an alien commit suicide with a grenade it will sometimes (but not consistently) count as a kill on the diary screen even though the alien was under your control when it died. (In contrast, shooting an alien under XCOM control doesn't add a kill to the diary screen.)

- "Neutralizations": Wasn't sure what was going on at first with this, but realized if you MC an alien, it counts as 1 "neutralization" whether or not that alien ever dies. Makes sense on one level, but if you MC 3 aliens and have them all kill themselves, should that really count as 6 "neutralizations"? There isn't a right or wrong answer, I'm just posing the question.

- Bug? This last part is the "bug". I can't figure out a pattern, but sometimes a different soldier randomly gets credit for another soldier's MC kill(s). In the save attached, if soldier #2 MCs the snakeman and has it kill itself with the grenade in its hand (just prime and drop from inventory screen), soldier #4 strangely will get the credit for the kill. If any other soldier does the same thing, they will get credit for the kill as they should.

I've tested this a bit and even had it happen where one soldier's MCed alien took out itself and two other MCed aliens with a single grenade, but a totally different soldier got credit for all three kills.

20
Offtopic / Advice Needed: Help Me Balance Psi For My Next Playthrough
« on: March 04, 2016, 11:46:43 pm »
(TLDR version in red.)

Most agree that vanilla psi is way unbalanced. I'm starting a new campaign on superhuman and am seeking input on the best way to adjust it. I know a lot of the big mods already handle it in their own way, but I'm not comfortable enough yet with the vanilla game to go to something with a lot of changes. My playthrough will be mostly vanilla game mechanics except for psi (and blaster launchers - no waypoints for humans). There are so many things you can change with psi, below are some possibilities. Just looking for input from people who know the game and how things will change better than me.

1) I wanted to limit # of psi amps you can bring and limit # of uses (like medi kits). I don't think this is a ruleset option (correct me if I'm wrong), but I might just make this a self-imposed restriction. What's a fair number? 1-3 psi amps with 1-2 uses each?

2) TU cost up to 45 TUs or 100% TUs.

3) Make Ethereals immune to psi. Is there a way to increase alien psi defense without increasing psi offense?

4) Set a max range ... what is a fair number? I have no clue.

5) Require a researched ethereal commander for psi amp. (got idea from vanilla re-balanced mod)

6) In OXCE you can have Psi attacks cost health, energy, stun and morale:

-At first I thought great, 50-99% health and you can only do one attack in a mission, but problem,they will be in the hospital for over a month when you get back so that seems like too steep a price to pay.

-Energy seems like a good option, maybe 80-100% energy cost, stun doesn't really do much does it? and I'm concerned even if I had it cost 100% morale couldn't that artificially increase my soldiers' bravery because eventually their morale would go up to 40ish and they wouldn't panic.?

7) LOS for psi amp only (aliens can do normal). What are people's experience with LOS? But then logically mind probe would also be LOS and a LOS mind probe would be almost useless wouldn't it? My commander would just twiddle his thumbs all day in the sky ranger.

8 ) Training ... most psi skill comes from the field training, but if you severely limit the use it'll take FOREVER to get decent psi skill. And training for the sake of training is BORING. So maybe increase starting psi skill to 30-40 instead? - Is there a way to have psi lab increase skill by more per month? After 50 going up only by 2 per month is just a waste of time.


Basically, I have less problem with the strength of psi and more with the frequency it can be used. Being tactical and using it once in mission in a "clutch" moment is fine for me and I want it to be successful, but using it every turn gets old. Thanks for any input.

21
This is a long post, feel free to only read/comment on one section. I'm interested to hear from others.

So I just finished my first campaign and beat the game. (It was on beginner, so you can hold your applause. ::)) Now that I'm done, I'm curious how my experience compares with others and what I might expect in my next one.

I wanted to make it a bit of a "trial by fire" so I purposely didn't look up too much info or tips on how to tackle the game. Consequently, I had a lot of dumb deaths (ie shooting a cyber disc standing a foot away from you and blowing yourself up) and it took me a long time to get going with the proper research chain (didn't hire a bunch of extra scientists at the start, didn't work my way up to flying suits/avenger until end of February 2000 I think).

Point is, I racked up 114 soldier deaths through the campaign which I beat in May 2000. That included like three full squad wipes on terror missions. Once I got power suits deaths dropped dramatically and once I got good at MC, deaths pretty much stopped all together. I probably could have launched to Cydonia in March and been fine, but I took my time at the end racking up soldier experience and expanding to 8 bases. So my questions are...

1) How long (game time) does it usually take you to beat the game and how many soldier deaths do you typically go through? Obviously this will vary a lot based on mods/play style, but assume vanilla and not doing save scumming or a bunch of reloading. It's hard to imagine losing 114 again next time since I improved so much by the end (even without MC), but maybe that will be negated by upping from beginner to veteran or superhuman as I plan to.

Spoiler:

2)
Does accuracy and other stat improvement work the same for shooting MCd aliens? Or do you not get improvement for killing them when they are under your control?
*RESOLVED
3) What are your thoughts on Cydonia? Playing normally with MC I beat it losing only 1 soldier and it was way too quick and easy. Very anti-climatic for this big blowout battle I was prepping for. Then I re-loaded a different Cydonia map and did it again, this time using no mind control (no blaster bombs either time) and I brought along some of my oldest soldiers who were very psi weak and/or cowardly. It was definitely more of a challenge this way and a lot more fun. Lost five soldiers, but was still less daunting than I imagined as I was never even close to losing. Felt like the map was too small and not enough enemies. But it's beginner so I know that's a big factor.

Are there any mods that make Cydonia more "interesting" or do you think when I up the difficulty setting that's going to be enough to make it more of a challenge.

Spoiler:
4) Are you supposed to be able to use a medi kit on an unconscious alien? I read you could do this in the original, but can you not in OXC or was I doing something wrong? *RESOLVED
5) Blaster launchers:
Spoiler:
Did I read correctly on here that there was some kind of issue on OXC 1.0 (and fixed later) and the aliens didn't use the waypoint system? I've seen them do that in youtube videos, but never had them do that once to me and only very occasionally did they use even the regular aimed shot with the blaster launcher. *RESOLVED
Even though I really only used it to blow holes in UFO hulls, if I wanted to exploit them fully they really are too powerful. I'm going to change the rulesets to balance them for my next run, but wanted to hear other's perspectives. Do you think it's better to:

a) Change it so the aliens can use the waypoint system, but XCOM can't. Obviously they still get the advantage. You get the huge explosion, but not the "cheap" endless waypoints.

b) Use this mod (https://www.openxcom.com/mod/customizable-psi-blaster-balance) to create a "heavy blaster launcher" which is way heavier and costs more TUs. You can still use the waypoints, but you'll need a very strong soldier who won't be able to carry anything else and won't be able to do it many times.

Option a) was my original plan, but then stumbled across that mod and thought it was an interesting idea.

Spoiler:
6) Do you get anything from doing random research like alien entertainment/surgery/food/corpses? Other than in the UFOpedia entry, does it help you in the game in any way or is it a waste of time? *RESOLVED
Spoiler:
7) I've noticed in YouTube videos of the original game, when it is your turn and you are killed by an alien reaction shot, the alien(s) you saw disappear from your view completely. Soldiers further back who can't see the alien will no longer be able to shoot at them because your spotter is dead. In OXC, even if your soldier dies, you can still "see" the alien and take shots at him. Was this a design choice in OXC or a bug in the original? Or is it a setting somewhere I haven't seen. Or am I completely wrong? I'm just curious about the difference I observed. *RESOLVED
Spoiler:
8 ) I assume it's normal not to get any more terror missions once you get many bases/near global coverage and are shooting down all the UFOs? *RESOLVED
Spoiler:
9) Recommendations on whether to move to veteran or superhuman? Will the jump to superhuman be too crazy or going to veteran too small a change? *hellrazor says superhuman so RESOLVED ... although maybe I should be questioning this coming from the guy who made something called "hardmode" expansion.  ;)
Spoiler:
10) Mind Control: ... Saving the MC discussion for another day.
*If relevant, I played on OXC 1.0, but am moving to the latest nightly or OXCE/OXCE+ for my next campaign (am torn between the extra stuff you can do in OXCE and the soldier diaries in the nightlies ... from what I've tested so far both versions are great).

22
Playthroughs / Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« on: February 03, 2016, 11:31:42 am »
I'm just over a year in game time, and the aliens have never attacked any one of my six bases. I've always shot down every UFO I could, gone on all the terror missions, and destroyed several of their bases, but have never had an attack on my bases.

It's in beginner mode and I have a lot of base defenses, so I started a superhuman campaign just as a test. I made three bases with no defense and shot down every UFO that I detected for 6-months, but still no base defense missions.

I only know they exist from reading about it online and how you "provoke" the aliens by shooting down UFOs/attacking their bases.

23
Playthroughs / Shooting UFOs down over water ... specifically Terror ship
« on: January 28, 2016, 11:26:57 am »
I searched online, but didn't really find any specific answers to my question. Basically, if you get the chance to shoot down a UFO over water should you? I know that means you don't get to do a recovery mission, which early game can be a problem if you don't have any money. But later in the game when you have plenty of money and good soldiers you don't want to risk, would it be advantageous to shoot it down over water and not have to do a recovery mission?

Are there any penalties or bonuses for shooting it down over water? Are there penalties for shooting it down on land, producing a crash site, but not recovering it? Obviously you don't get the points/money a recovery mission produces, but are you penalized for letting the crash site disappear?

I've done plenty of terror missions, but never a terror ship recovery. I imagine this one would be a lot riskier than standard UFO crash sites, so would that be a good one to shoot down over the water? Or is the payoff for this ship worth the risk to your highly trained soldiers? In my current saved game I have the opportunity to shoot it down in the ocean, or I can wait for it to get to land.


Thanks to anyone who can clarify this for me.

24
Not sure if this is a bug or not; it's happened to me several times. I save the game in battlescape and then immediately end my turn. A series of events happen on the alien's turn and then I immediately reload the game from the save point and end my turn again, but a different result happens than the initial time.

Now if I keep reloading, that saved game, the second event always happens, but it is different than what happened the first time before reloading. Why did the results change in the saved game?

As an example in a current game I have saved, an alien threw a grenade and killed one of my men. I reloaded the game because I wasn't paying attention talking to someone in the room and wanted to see where the grenade came from. Well upon reload, the grenade still got thrown, but my man didn't die. No matter how many times I reloaded, they kept living.


This is in the 1.0 version and the save scum option is turned off.

25
Hi all, so I'm pretty new to this game and this is my first post here. I'm wondering does this happen often and something I should be concerned about? A terror site mission ended in victory, and when I went to the "Not enough equipment to fully re-equip squad" screen I was missing a ton of stuff that I didn't even equip my soldiers with on this mission. It didn't make any sense, as it was a day mission (so no electro flares), I didn't use any grenades, didn't lose any soldiers or use any medi-kits, but I was missing over 100 pieces of equipment; even my spare mind probe.

At first I thought it was a game glitch or something, but going back to a couple points I saved at, I realized it disappeared during the mission. Turns out that when a cyberdisc got killed right near the skyhanger, it blew up all my equipment there.

I was pretty POd. I generally just leave a lot of my equipment in the skyhanger permanently (unless it's a mission I'm actually concerned I might not come back) and just equip my soldiers with what they need before starting. If I had ever considered that this stuff could be lost, I obviously wouldn't bother bringing a bunch of electro-flares to a day mission.

I thought about going into the save file and just editing it, but don't want to "cheat". I thought, "Well this is realistic, and if I bring stuff there is a chance I can lose it." I think I might only give myself back the things that I am just too lazy to re-load ever mission that I absolutely didn't need (like electro-flares), but take the hit on the stuff I bring "just in case", like the spare mind probe and amo.

What are the thoughts on this from the vets? Was this equipment loss a bit "unfair" (even coming from a game for a reputation for that)?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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