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Messages - Bananas_Akimbo

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The X-Com Files / Re: The Second Base - when to build it?
« on: June 05, 2020, 06:34:53 pm »
With 3 hangars in my main base (southern Europe) I am usually able to reach most missions and have my cars/vans return, before more missions pop up. Still, I prefer the flexibility of having shorter travel distances i.e. several bases across the globe. Besides, I will need more space eventually and since it takes quite a while to build up bases, especially if you want to make them as defensible as possible, it is better to start sooner rather than later.

So I start my second base almost immediately. Both East Asia and North America are valuable areas to protect. I usually go for NA for my second base, because it is slightly farther away from my first.
It is possible to run out of money, before it becomes operational (hangar, living quarters, gym, storage, prison, animal pen). I also prefer to build an intelligence center and bio lab in here, rather than in my main base (or in both, if budget permits).

I aim to have 3 bases up and running by the time, that helicopters become available. That way I have almost global reach with helicopters and later with Dragonflies. Also, with these three bases in the locations I mentioned, you will be able to reach every cult HQ with an Osprey (I buy only one and transfer it around bases as needed).

In the end I want to have 5 bases, like in vanilla, to get global radar coverage (yes, AWACS exist, but I'm sure I'll need the space eventually, anyway).  I hope to have them fully decked out with radar, interceptors, troops and whatever else I need before 1999.

The X-Com Files / Re: Ski Resort Missions = Night Missions?
« on: May 22, 2020, 06:26:36 am »
It's doable (difficulty 2) but requires a bit of luck with map layout. As long as you spawn at the edge of the map, you usually have enough cover in and around your house. Too bad you can't abort the mission.

I don't bother with it anymore. The loot isn't worth the effort and danger to your agents. It's only worthwhile if you desperately need a capture from the faction there. But you never know beforehand which faction you will encounter.

The beach mission's difficulty is similar and you can't retreat from that one either, but at least you get an osiron crate and some good weapons out of it.

The X-Com Files / Re: Neutralization of enemies
« on: May 18, 2020, 04:21:08 am »
With humans and other weapon users, you can simply throw their guns on unreachable rooftops. Its what I do to prevent any problems.

Sounds like a good idea, but enemies can pick up other weapons on the ground, not just the ones, that they themselves have dropped. Do you discard every weapon in this way? Seems like a lot of work.

The X-Com Files / Re: Troop Deployment: Unfair?
« on: May 17, 2020, 02:39:50 am »
I do have a bit of an issue with missions, in which human enemies are scattered all over the map in a sort-of even distribution. Not a problem with beasts and zombies. It makes sense, that they would be spread across the landscape until you arrive. Also managable, difficulty-wise. Usually.

But with human(oid) enemies it often leads to situations, where casualties are nigh unavoidable, due to being surrounded on turn 1 with inadequate cover. More importantly to me, it often makes very little sense for all the baddies to just be randomly spread across the map. The worst offender for me so far has been the first Cult of Apocalypse mission. It would be far better, if the deployments would be more similar to what you normally find in a cult safehouse mission. That is, the bulk of the enemies, including all the priests, huddled around the altar and then dispersing upon your arrival. And only a couple of sentries dotted around the map, to keep you on your toes. It would be more realistic and play better. Instead you arrive in a wild mess of enemies, as if everyone was just wandering around aimlessly on their own.
This is made worse by the fact, that the number of enemies in that mission is enormous (for that map size). And I'm only playing on difficulty 2! So far, I was able to win this mission only once. My transport spawned at the edge of the map, with the open door pointed toward it. That way, I could exit the craft into smoke cover, without getting pummeled by rockets immediately and getting swarmed by cannon fodder from all directions. Every other time I had at least one rocket launcher pointing directly at me. Deploying smoke would cause reaction fire  into my transport. Besides, there's riff-raff all over, that can see into the smoke.
So I aborted the mission immediately each time.

Now, that is not a catastrophe, there's even a positive side to it. I kinda like, how I am sometimes forced into unwinnable situations. X-Com is just a small agency at first and ill-eqipped for its duty for much of the campaign. As it should be. You are way in over your head and your enemies don't play nice and wait for you to prepare and leave the hard missions for later. So every so often you get into a bad situation and you must accept taking casualties or play it safe and retreat. That is immersive. It also speeds up the game. I'm always tempted to play every mission I can, for the loot and experience. That can get monotonous. Unwinnable missions improve the flow of the campaign.

That being said, I have to repeat, that this approach to populating a map works with some missions, but not with others.
Zombies meandering through the desert without purpose. Sure, they're zombies, they don't organize.
Cultists loitering in the streets and squatting in random buildings. Fine.
Aliens spread throughout the city in a terror mission. Obviously. They are hunting civvies after all.

Red Dawn fighting a rival gang, but there is nothing like a battle line, just a tangled mess. How did that happen? The Osiron warehouse mission does it better.
Cultists stumbling around through bushes and inside caves, solitarily, all over. Why is there barely anyone inside the hideout?

Of course you can explain this sometimes, as the enemy having seen your craft approach and taking defensive positions before your landing. If only there wasn't so many of them without any cover even close to them.

It always looks worse, the more enemies there are and the more flat and open the map is. Throngs of baddies just standing out in the open, disorganized, gazing in random directions. It looks absurd

Eh. I am making this sound like a bigger problem, than it is. But it takes me out of the experience sometimes. And then the game feels like a complex, abstract puzzle, not like X-Com.

The X-Com Files / Re: Black Lotus' Freakin' Ninjas
« on: May 12, 2020, 12:31:30 am »
The main problem is that armor gives no cutting resistance, while it gives 70% kinetic damage modifier. You could bring an exosuit, which takes half damage from cutting. But probably mines/flame/drones are better as they said. Dogs could work too I suppose just due to speed and low value, but not ideal for HQ.

No matter what tactics you use, exosuit is the best armour against ninjas for a looong time. I would even say it is crucial. It usually means the difference between a one-hit kill and extended hospital time. You probably won't be able to outfit all your ground troops with it, before the first Black Lotus Hideouts show up. Exosuits are expensive and take long to build. Still absolutely worth it in my opinion. In very many early missions you face mostly cutting damage from critters, zombies and such. The other resistances are also pretty neat.

About Black Lotus HQ, don't worry. The terrain works in your favour. Narrow hallways, corners and lots of doors. Just use conventional tactics and mines. Camp close to doors and corners so as to nullify the ninjas' camo. Everything you can't cover enough gets mined. Most likely you will just stay in the elevators. Enemies will swarm you and you can mow them down by the dozens. After that it's just mopping up, which you should be able to do in a fairly controlled and safe manner.

The X-Com Files / Re: Black Lotus' Freakin' Ninjas
« on: May 07, 2020, 10:30:23 pm »
There has been a thread about this topic some time ago:,7603.0.html

Pretty much all of the advice in there should still apply.

The X-Com Files / Re: Logics, questions, suggestions.
« on: April 28, 2020, 10:59:42 pm »
Replacing music is very easy even for the average user. It requires no knowledge of modding at all. Music files are located in:
OpenXcom_XFiles1.3(or whatever version)>>user>>mods>>XComFiles>>SOUND
Just replace the ones you don't like.

The X-Com Files / Re: Suggestion: Council Trainings/Challenges
« on: April 17, 2020, 09:31:47 pm »
How about designating every single tile as a landing zone tile (or whatever they are called)? Is that possible? That way at least you couldn't lose any soldiers upon aborting the mission.

Anyway, I've had similar ideas for a hypothetical, never going to happen mod (cause I don't have even a single required skill).

One would be a shooting range mission, that can be spawned at the player's leisure (via workshop project or some other method). It's only purpose would be to test your weapons in a safe environment. The map would be filled with static targets (enemies with only 1 TU, that use the same graphic for every direction they face, stuff like dummies and decommissioned vehicles) and various bits of environment for demolition.
There's one major issue: Your soldiers gain experience against enemies, that can't fight back.
I can think of various ways to curtail this issue:
  • Limit the availability of the mission to just a certain number per month.
  • Limit the number of soldiers, that can partake.
  • Give the enemies ridiculously high melee dodge, so at least you can't train melee and reactions against them.
  • Have all targets be environmental objects instead of enemies. There would be one enemy present in the form of a safety instructor or something similar, whom you are not allowed to harm or you receive a hefty points penalty. So the mission isn't actually winnable, you would have to abort once you're done testing. Stick the instructor inside an inescapable booth or limit his TU to 1, so he doesn't get in the player's way.
  • Force all partaking soldiers to wear a special armour for the mission, which makes them unable to do anything, due to weight and all hands being occupied. Graphic could be something like a soldier sitting in a chair. The shooting would instead be done by a special unit, that is spawned for the player only for this mission (like in that one mission, where you have to defend a scientist against the MiB). This special unit could again be explained as being some sort of instructor.

Another one would be a base defense mission without active enemies. It would basically just be an opportunity for the player to inspect the base at will and without danger. Could perhaps be combined with the shooting range idea. The targets would be the same and it would actually make sense for them to be set up inside the hangar. Less so in the lift. Envrionmental bits wouldn't be possible, sadly.
If it's not possible for the player to generate base defenses,  then maybe there could be an easy base defense mission every once in a while, where some nosy civilians have somehow snuck into your base. Not as good, but still a nice way to get a glimpse into an X-COM base early on.

The X-Com Files / Re: Starter Tips section and how to make money
« on: April 15, 2020, 09:24:31 pm »
Just wanted to point out that this bit in particular no longer applies as of recent updates - flashlights can be turned on and off. They are off by default, so any flashlights you brought and don't equip will remain off on the ground. Yei!
Yes, I was very pleased about that addition. I guess I should edit that bit out of my post now.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 1.3: Sanity Check
« on: April 11, 2020, 08:35:36 am »
What does the Dog's bark attack in its current state do exactly? "20 Special damage" is not very clear.

Stun damage was removed in a recent update.
That means, that the bark only does TU damage now.

That's actually really useful. It works a lot like a budget flashbang, but unlike flashbang, TUs are deducted only during the current turn. Still very useful to take away the enemy's ability to reaction fire.
Also very useful to guard against melee enemies. Bark is a snap shot, so the dog can reaction bark during the enemy turn and drain their TUs, leaving them unable to get into attack range. Just place your dog in front of your formation with enough TUs to spare and hope, that the approaching enemy won't just walk around the dog.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: March 22, 2020, 02:46:29 am »
Stuff like that with all kinds of melee attacks has happened to me so often, that I've simply come to accept it instead of thinking to submit it as a bug. Reloading never helped with it either.

The X-Com Files / Re: Yet another question about guns and ammo
« on: March 13, 2020, 11:28:57 pm »
That doesn't make sense to me. Even if guns use the same ammunition, they still use different magazines (with some exceptions and those are represented in the game). Having ammo and magazines as seperate items would be a hassle to play and a hassle to code I imagine.
And what do you mean by:
This would add some life to older weapons which can accept large ammo types.
Do you mean put larger caliber ammunition into a gun, than it usually holds? That is physically impossible.

You get stronger ammunition for many old weapons later on, made out of alien alloys.

The X-Com Files / Re: First mission: panic?
« on: March 13, 2020, 08:54:05 pm »
Since we are again at the topic of changing the readiness system, I'll throw in my 2 cents.
My favourite thing about readiness is, how it forces you to rest your soldiers between missions, like in Long War. In vanilla X-Com it has always bothered me a bit, how you could just throw the same small group of people into battle non-stop, 7 days a week and more, with no regard for their well-being beyond getting wounded.
If it was up to me, this aspect could be even more pronounced.

Limiting readiness loss to missions with "supernatural" enemies would also affect the need to rest your troops, right? That would be bad.
And really, if you are being loose with the definition, most enemy groups could be called "supernatural". All of the wild creatures and zombies fit the bill, don't they? The various cults also do to some degree. I mean you are fighting creepy fish-people, russians on alien steroids, and freaking ninjas. They are all weirdos except for Exalt and Osiron.

I would like to propose, that readiness depletion simply be slowed (how much? dunno, half maybe?), to accomodate slower players and that readiness regeneration in the geoscape is then also slowed (by the same factor or even more).

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 1.2: Masters of the Universe
« on: March 13, 2020, 04:43:51 pm »

Indeed one of the first things I noticed when playing XCF for the first time after having tried Piratez before, was the incredible usefulness of pistols. Pistols and to a lesser degree shotguns rule the battlefield in the early game with its small maps and poorly equipped or melee enemies and they remain very useful long after that. The potential damage output is so much higher than rifles thanks to very low TU costs and good accuracy at short ranges. Add to that the ability to wield melee weapons/grenades/shields in your offhand. Pistols only become a liability on wide open maps with little cover or against well-armoured foes.
I still mostly use rifles for their versatility and for aesthetic reasons (pistols go well with agents in coats and kevlar vests but not so much with military gear). Recently, however, I have considered giving more of my soldiers pistols again, not just as sidearms for snipers. TU-intensive aimed shots from rifles draw a lot more enemy reaction fire than fast pistol shots, which is a big problem.
I'm still mostly fine with the balance between rifles and pistols, because they each excel in different areas.
I'm more concerned with SMGs. They are really just inferior pistols. The added auto-option never gives you as many hits per turn as snap shots from a pistol would, unless you are so close to the target, that you might as well switch to melee. This as bad, since pistols and SMGs mostly serve the same purpose, being small, lightweight, often concealable and fast-firing short range weapons. So far, I only found the BlackOps SMG and the P90 to be worthwhile.

The X-Com Files / Re: Readiness mechanics discussion
« on: March 01, 2020, 03:23:54 pm »
Hmm, it's not perfect, but I quite like the idea of making readiness depletion dependant on xp gain.

The only downside I can think of, is that it doesn't really account for failure.

Imagine a mission going pear-shaped. Your squad gets shot at a lot, panicked, maybe even mind-controlled. You decide it's not worth it and abort. Your squad gets out mostly unharmed. Because they didn't land a lot of hits, their readiness only drops a little. That doesn't make much sense to me. An unsuccessful mission, where your soldiers were in a lot of danger, should be at least as taxing as a long successful mission. Then again, most missions won't be like that, or else your campaign will be a short one.

Another example: Consider an unskilled soldier swinging wildly at an enemy, missing again and again. Another soldier comes along and knocks out the enemy in one swing. The first soldier loses no readiness in this case, even though he should be losing more than the second one.

In both cases I doubt the player would even notice, that readiness wasn't impacted as much as it should have been realistically.

I don't think it's possible to have a system, which is very close to realistic, without being overly complicated or unfun.
Tying readiness depletion to xp gain seems like an okay solution to me.

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