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Messages - Juku121

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The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« on: February 27, 2021, 04:05:15 pm »
*De-lurks again*

I played a little bit of XCF lately, and watched a few streamers/Youtubers do the same. Then I dug around in the mod's guts a bit and these are my thoughts:
  • The mod has grown significantly since I last touched it, and there's a lot of cool and awesome stuff in it. :) Kudos to Solarius for sticking with it so long and all the neat map work!
  • The mod has been going away from its roots as a tactical game about an alien invasion into something best described as 'Piratez'. I.e., it is steadily going down the path of something along the lines of a cyberpunk adventure. Apparently, people like this well enough. I do not, especially since Piratez already exists and is much better at it. :(
  • The sniper-spotter mechanic, as implemented, is gamist insanity. Everybody and their dog is a spotter, and while I don't know the exact mechanics behind what the 'sniper' field does, I don't really think it's a chance of 'snipering' per turn. I had a whole EXALT base unload on me almost without anybody 'sniper' sitting out when the values were 50 and 75. Pulling them down to 10-20 actually made some of the cultists decide not to 'sniper'.

    And there are way too many snipers as well. I think ohartenstein said in the original thread that it's a good idea to have maybe 1-2 snipers on a mission as a general rule.

    On that topic, the current implementation of sniper/spotter is more along the lines of 'alien death sniper' rather than 'human marksman taking potshots'. Some of the blame lays with ohartenstein, who's stuck on this being the 'one true way' of AI sniping, so it's this or nothing. But I digress...

    So I can see why Solarius might have thought it to be a good idea to make lots of 'snipers', but it is neither fun nor immersive when the second you get smoke grenades they become half-obsolete, without even thermovision being a thing yet; and what feels like half the opposition unloading on any soldier unfortunate enough to be out of hard cover.
  • I won't touch the traditionalist 'grenades are better for killing enemies halfway across the map than rifles' too much, because this seems to have become a centerpiece of the X-COM experience somewhere along the way. :(
  • The same goes for the damage formula vs early-game armour. Say what you will about wound models, but I'll just point out that IRL, people who get shot in the chest with a handgun while wearing even soft body armour generally do not spend a week (or a month!) in the hospital afterwards. They might be sore for a while, but so will limp-wristed shooters.
  • The high values of LoS contribute nothing to the gameplay either, IMO. At least the pistols got nerfed, so no more 'sniping' enemies across two screens with a dinky handgun (I watched entirely too many episodes of an LP proceeding exactly in that manner :'( ).
  • X-COM seems to attract the most panicky individuals ever. Your guys are lucky to have 50 bravery; I just looked at my agents at random, and there were five guys with 10 bravery in a row. :o That is literally the same as a chicken! Yet random civilians have bravery 70-80, and many enemies as high as 90+, which means they are very near immune to routing. You have to go out of your way to panic them instead of just, you know, killing them. Except dogs. Even zombie dogs are chickens. ::)
  • The early weapons progression is set up so that the most natural path is from the magnum/MP5/Nitro Express tier straight to BlackOps. You might use some scavenged weaponry in-between, but as soon as Promotion II arrives, the vast majority of historical weaponry goes out of the window, without you ever getting to use them. Going for cult arms dealers looks like a waste of time, because you'll maybe get a marginal increase in lethality vs scavenged stuff, while the outposts/bases are significantly harder.
  • While not a personal complaint, there are way too many early missions where you're nose-to-nose with your opponents (who have full TU!). The OG at least gave you cover in three directions straight from the beginning, but I lost count how many times one streamer just took off after firing a few token shots. It might be 'realistic' in some sense, but it is not very fun.
I don't really expect much to change about these things, since Solarius has indicated that he has little interest in changing the balance back towards the 'tactical' side of things (see the weapon balance thread). And most players seem to be happy enough with the mod as it is. But I kinda felt the need to rant a little, since I've spent a few years now watching the mod go further and further away from both what I consider the 'X-COM' and 'Files' parts.

I'm not particularly interested in discussion, because from experience, it will most likely result in minor flaming (I'm not innocent of it myself :-[ ) and not much else. If someone feels the need to prove me wrong, try PM's first.


The X-Com Files / Re: [submod]X-com Files Alternative Art
« on: February 22, 2021, 01:32:29 pm »

Wow, that's some very impressive work right there!

Maybe not everything gels with the intended atmosphere of XCF, since you seem to favour a more 'hardcore military' style rather than... what the mod currently is. ::) But still, the amount of quality stuff here is astounding.

I just lost a few hours integrating the pictures into my personal XCF collection, so 'grats, mission accomplished. Pushes me towards continuing my onetime XCF fork, but when I look all at the work involved... :'(


Released Mods / Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« on: November 28, 2019, 07:34:05 pm »

I'm not going to try arguing, since everyone's entrenched by now. I will just point out four things:

  • A primary the source of this problem is a combination of poor communication and rudeness, most of which can be safely blamed on one specific user of Hobbes's work. But not all of it, unfortunately. Hobbes's reaction was and continues to be over the top and in poor form. And I don't really see anything changing if, hypothetically, the modder was polite, argued for donations being harmless or perhaps proposing to share them, etc. AFAICT Hobbes would still have gone into 'I'll take my toys and go home' mode. Given that he's a long-standing member of the community, a moderator and someone who occasionally tries to set standards, that's not a good precedent. SupSuper recently threatened to ban some users for relatively minor squabbling (aka the 'don't be a jerk' rule). What's going on here is full-blown drama initiated by a moderator. This is not good for the community as a whole.
  • 'Authorship' has two primary components: money and ego, to put it bluntly. Both of these are completely legitimate concerns of all authors, I'm not trying to downplay either. But Hobbes's whole point here is to avoid money changing hands, so his motivation must be non-economical, i.e. moral. Moral rights serve three primary purposes:
    • to change the behaviour of others (this has, obviously, failed or at least backfired to a significant degree),
    • to influence others' opinion of oneself (that's a net loss, if this thread is any indication),
    • to make yourself feel good about your work and its usage (TP is being stripped down and getting less used in the future, so ...).
    ... the only satisfaction here is denying the use of the Terrain Pack to those who'd build upon it (for good or ill). Well, that and setting some new 'standards' (more on that below). Was it really worth it? When it's the single most important purpose of building and sharing mods? I really hate to agree with the original jerk here, but I can only echo his sentiment that
    "I will also personally no longer consider you a honorable member of the modding scene."
  • What is the problem with donations, exactly? I'm also generally ill-disposed towards modders making money from their work, but for a completely practical reason: it encourages 'copyrighting' mods, hoarding and not sharing your work, cliques, drama and squabbling, all of which significantly damage any modding scene. Witness e.g. Bethesda's 'paid Skyrim mods' debacle. What was Hobbes's solution to donations? Diving head-first into the same kind of behaviour.
  • As Meridian pointed out, for all practical purposes the Terrain Pack is now a standalone mod. It's not going to be included in anything more than a light compilation unless the authors are willing to waste tremendeous amounts of time building some sort of scaffolding around the Terrain Pack. If they're even going to do that, because Hobbes might find a new pet cause two years down the road and forbid using his work to anyone using Wolfenstein sprites, or partial nudity, or wearing green socks.  :P And e.g. FMP would now be either dead or frozen if Solarius didn't have to perform the same kind of updating work for the XCF. This is sabotage, even if it's sabotage with some good intentions attached.

Are you saying that anyone has the right to do whatever they want with my work because I haven't specified its uses?

This is a basic principle behind all contracts:

Yes. We are not mind readers. This is precisely why licencing and revoking licences was invented. There is no contract until you specify one. Going back and saying 'but there was a contract, everyone knows you can't wear green socks' is very poor form at the very least. I just looked, and neither TP's readme nor the first post in its thread says anything about even 'non-commercial use', nevermind donations. There seem to have been no general restrictions at all, unless you negotiated those with every user of TP you became aware of on a case-by-case basis.

...modders realize their rights and also start demanding that they are respected, then I can assure you, from the private messages I've been receiving through this whole affair from other modders, that you're going to see a lot more 'Cease and desist' notices happening.

This is precisely what most of those who've argued against this feared, Yankes being the first to fully articulate it. Modding is inherently an activity that consists of taking someone else's work and building on it. Sharing yours and then going 'no, but you can't use it unless you jump through these hoops' basically amounts to violating what little there is that passes for modder ethos. The only truly positive effect of such 'enforcement' is preventing people from claiming someone else's work as their own. That was never the issue here.

TLDR: This is someone I used to respect going for a 'Paid Creations' environment with none of the upsides of actually getting paid. I'm saddened, puzzled and clinging to a small bit of hope it won't transform a significant chunk of the community into a series of walled-off gardens.


XPiratez / Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - 0.99H1 - 15 Sep - Under A Killing Moon
« on: October 25, 2017, 09:28:13 pm »
Come to think of it, one game that semi-recently seriously impressed me on both conceptual and technical levels was Witcher 3. Makes me wonder what they do in Poland to make their games come out right?  ???

@Dioxine: Can you say where GMGEO09 came from? It's a pretty cool track.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files: Idea Proving Grounds
« on: July 15, 2017, 04:36:33 pm »
Sorry, I haven't been here for a while and missed the question.

No, this version is seriously outdated, in all possible ways (re OXCE+, XCF proper and my personal intermediate versions).

Solarius has taken a few ideas from it, there are a number of others still elaborated in the readme files and I fully intend to update it to some "current" XCF version ... eventually. I hope that happens before we get to version 1.0. :o

I just hit a spot where modding was starting to resemble work too much and took a break. Right now, my free time's been taken by JA2, so it could take a while to get back to X-Com. ;)

In the meanwhile, at least you can pilfer some music from it, like Dr.Crowley did.  :D

The X-Com Files / Re: Early gun balance
« on: March 25, 2017, 01:23:10 pm »
It's about effective accuracy, i.e. the final numbers you see ingame (which aren't entirely... accurate ;) , but that's not the issue here).

To be clear, I'm not pushing for any concrete changes. I just find some of the current accuracy values rather baffling. But I've not played using them, so this is largely theorycrafting, anyway.

I think the other posters' issue is that pistols can provide almost machine-gun-level volume of fire at quite practical ranges, which are probably in the 20-40 range.

The X-Com Files / Re: Early gun balance
« on: March 24, 2017, 08:42:17 pm »
Most pistols have aimRange 20, good ones 25... Really, saying they are more accurate than machine guns is just making a fool of oneself, and not even worth discussing.

If I'm making such blatantly foolish claims, it's surely easy to refute them and tell me e.g. the exact range at which an LMG matches or exceeds the aimed fire from a M1911 in terms of accuracy. Come on, inquiring minds want to know!

AimRange is not the beginning and end of accuracy calculations.

Otherwise, I agree that pistols have their uses and pitfalls, and sometimes it's good to promote gameplay over excessive realism. Pistols in battlefield situations is certainly an iconic example and as long as they inflict less damage, they already have a handicap that's really easy to ignore in DPS calculations.

The X-Com Files / Re: Early gun balance
« on: March 24, 2017, 05:14:49 pm »
By the way we have Juku121's still unused thread for various ideas to test.

Well, if you want to see a first approximation of what an effort like that would look like, just download the now depreciated version and see. I am in the process of updating it to 0.6, but the essence is there. As far as gun balance goes, it's pretty complex and my unpublished WIP version is perhaps twice as complex now. I'll probably make a release at some point, but it's more so that Solarius and other modders can take my resources.

If I've learned anything, such rebalancing is largely an individual thing and your best bet is to make a minor 'rebalance' submod of the current XCF iteration and see if it generates any interest. But a dedicated thread for new game mechanics is a good idea. Maybe my thread is not necessarily the best place for that, but I'm not against it either.

...I would conclude that pistols are a bit too powerful.

Remember that pistols and other low-damage weapons also suffer the worst from armor, so it evens out somewhat.

Personally, I think you're right, but it's rather because of how long-ranged pistols are. I think aimed shots outrange machine gun fire (not 100% sure how this actually translates to gameplay, since I've never played a 'vanilla' game of XCF).

I was experimenting with giving pistols accuracy dropoff 3, but somehow it is not working. Crossbow has dropoff 3, which is working fine. Using the same line for a pistol changes nothing. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Are you sure you've also set all the relevant ranges (aimRange, snapRange, autoRange)?

XPiratez / Re: Welcome! Join the chat!
« on: March 08, 2017, 07:51:56 pm »
Cryptography amounts to not much if your software and hardware is full of backdoors...

Crypto keeps the playing field level. Unless you go full-blown conspiracy-theory-mode, most software suffers from unintended vulnerabilities rather than outright backdoors. These get patched, new ones are introduced/discovered and attack vectors need ro be reworked, while still bypassing as much crypto as possible. If you suddenly broke integer factorization, or some popular hash functions etc., this step goes away and you can dispense with hacking devices and just grab all the traffic/physical data from your target. Then privacy is truly gone and buried.

Hardware backdoors are still mostly a proof-of-concept thing, and largely restricted to operations involving nation-states when they’re not. Fiddling with physical objects is difficult and expensive, compared to software.

It doesn't take the resources of a nation-state to use these

But it does to develop them, or at least close enough. And I was more referring to the fact that a nation-state can supplement remote hacking with a lot more, in terms of techniques, tools, physical access and legal authority.

and software is easy to copy.

Yes, and that's the lesson from the crypto wars of the 90s the US government is hell-bent on unlearning.

Banks have always had a strangely relaxed stance regarding cybersecurity, for that matter.

However, not so long ago my friend's computer got hacked.

I'm curious, do you mean someone deliberately hijacked/infected his computer in particular?

This reminds me, does anyone have any experience about other incendiaries being used against them to relate? Judging from the ruleset and Quick Battles, they should do absolutely massive morale damage, to the point that psionics seem amateurs compared to a guy with a flamethrower. I'm not certsin this is wholly intended behaviour.  :o

XPiratez / Re: Welcome! Join the chat!
« on: March 08, 2017, 06:15:44 pm »
It's not quite as bad as that. It's been the guarded opinion of crypto experts for a while now that cryptography itself has not been broken. Most breaches come from unpatched vulnerabilities, malicious service providers (that includes Google!) and the stupid trend of exposing all your life to the internet.

It doesn't matter all that much, if one is to believe the latest WikiLeaks report.

Anonymity on internet is a myth.

I see no reason not to believe it, but how you arrive at that conclusion is really... backwards. The source says CIA and those who use their tools spy on you by hacking your device on the OS/hardware level, this by definition requires you not to be anonymous anymore. Even the NSA data centers can't hold the whole planet's phone calls yet.  8)

It's basically business as usual, except shady botnet types have been replaced by NSA/CIA/[your acronym of choice] and these people take the business of weaponizing SW/HW vulnetabilities a lot more seriously and professionally.

I'd say casual anonymity is a myth and maintaining it in the face of a resourceful opponent takes serious effort, but it's still quite possible. But indeed the best way to do it is to stay below the radar.

If someone wants to break it, they will.

Depends. If a nation-state wants to break it, they have good odds of succeeding. But if we take e.g. the FBiOS debacle at face value, even that may not be sufficient.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files: Idea Proving Grounds
« on: March 07, 2017, 11:28:10 pm »
I'd like to see full credits but it's not necessary because I want to know where GMTACTIC2 came from.

I think my main sources were various remastered music mods (including those for TFTD) available here,  and Xenonauts. GMTACTIC2 is the sixth daytime combat track from Gifty’s Music Addon for Xenonauts.

XPiratez / Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - 0.99F.1 - 13 Feb - Slave Wars
« on: March 05, 2017, 06:40:01 am »
Still, I consider Ghost in the Shell to be good sci-fi too, even though it assumes that digital memory control is possible - which is unscientific to my best knowledge.

I’m not a specialist, but there are apparently a number of scientists currently engaged in similar research (Blue Brain Project, for one). As a matter of fact, it has been less than a year since a group at the HRL Labs achieved some limited success with skill transfer. I’m not saying we’ll get mind uploads in a century, but it’s something that’s no longer restricted to just sci-fi, bad or good.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: February 28, 2017, 05:39:38 pm »
But they are ichtyoids as a whole, not part ichtyoids, part mammals. :) Maybe "ichthyic" sounds most cthulhish. :P

Well, they're ichtyoids with ichtyoid tendencies, if you want them to be.  ;D

A quick Google search shows 'ichtyoid' to be the prevalent adjective when talking about the Cthulhu mythos. I don't know how well that reflects non-Internet sources.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: February 28, 2017, 03:36:54 pm »
"combining mammalian intelligence with ichtyan tenacity" - can someone confirm if it's correct or not?

I'm no native speaker, but:

1) apparently "ichthyal", "ichthyic" or even "ichthyoid" are the correct forms;

2) that doesn't mean even an occasional book or scientific article hasn't slipped into "ichthyan";

3) "piscine" is rather... tame.

If there was voting on this, I'd pick "ichthyoid".  :P

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