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Messages - Bananas_Akimbo

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16
The X-Com Files / Re: Soundtrack inspired by action movies of the past
« on: January 22, 2020, 11:35:24 am »
I don't know. It's just my personal opinion, but generally I don't like it when I recognize music (and other assets) from somewhere else. It just takes me out of the experience.

17
The X-Com Files / Re: Shogg Lantern vs Flashlight
« on: January 21, 2020, 04:59:57 pm »
Nah I only use flashlights in easy missions (like crop circles, cult apprehension, monsters without ranged attack), so I don't have to faff about with flares.
Flares are still pretty good, though, if you can deal with the extra hassle.

18
The X-Com Files / Re: Shogg Lantern vs Flashlight
« on: January 21, 2020, 01:44:29 pm »
You're wrong. Flashlights also don't turn off, when on the ground. Whether you drop or throw them.
Worst of all, unlike flares they are turned on by default and so they illuminate your landing zone, if you leave them in your stash. (Never bring more, than you intend to equip on your soldiers.)

The advantage of flashlights over normal flares is, that they illuminate a greater area. And you can use them as a weapon.
So trace flares make them obsolete, in my opinion, if you can ever make enough.

19
The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: January 19, 2020, 03:17:09 pm »
In my main base I can build the advanced intelligence center without first having built the normal one. I am only deducted the cost of the upgrade (money and time), not the cost of the base building + upgrade.
This isn't possible in any other bases. There I need to have built the base building first but I can still build the advanced intelligence center on a different square for merely the upgrade cost.
(GEO3.sav)

Edit:
Another, similar problem. I must be doing something wrong. Can't build virtualized HQ over normal HQ in my South American base. It says 'facility in use' even though there's enough space left in labs and stores.
(GEO4.sav)

20
The X-Com Files / Re: Readiness mechanics discussion
« on: January 19, 2020, 10:07:19 am »
I have ambivalent feelings about the readiness system so far.

I like how it forces you to rest your soldiers between missions and expand your roster as a result.

I am mostly indifferent about the in-mission effects. Mostly it feels like added complexity without an increase in gameplay value.
The stamina meter, though simplistic, always seemed adequate at simulating physical exertion in a long battle. Easy to understand, easy to manage, very punishing if you run out at the wrong time.

About the morale effect, I must confess I haven't even noticed that one until I read about it here. I guess I must have been lucky. Bughunting never took me long enough for my soldiers to freak out.
Still, I don't like the idea of punishing the player this way. Punishing campers I understand, but it isn't always up to the player how long a mission lasts. Searching for the last enemies after a successful fight can't be that stressful, at least not any more stressful than the preceding combat.
I also can't think of any scenario, where soldiers would be so mentally depleted after a long battle, that they start losing their minds and possibly shooting at their comrades. That's a bit extreme.
What would make sense, is if soldiers low on readiness took higher morale damage from the usual sources. That could also apply to stun.


The first item is to agree on what a game turn is. Based on numerous posts, it appears each turn is equivalent to 1 to 2 minutes of real life. This means a base defense or Cydonia, with 100 turns can be between around 1.5 to 3 hours of fight.

Strange, to me a turn seems very short. Based on the actions a soldier can perform with full TUs, like shooting a bunch of rounds on full-auto (+time for aiming) or running a short distance, I was thinking mere seconds. No more than 30 seconds. Very short turns would also explain rookies' inaccurate firing, since they don't really have much time to take aim in a frantic combat situation. It would also explain how they run out of stamina so fast.
All of this is assuming, that a lot of the actions, which happen within a turn, are happening at the same time or at least overlapping.

21
The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files online Wiki
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:42:59 pm »
Upper right corner. It's the same functionality as motion scanner.

Edit: Now with picture.


22
The X-Com Files / Re: Funding questions
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:05:55 pm »
Bug or not, there are more important facilities to build. :)

Agreed. You don't really need a high detection rate.

23
The X-Com Files / Re: Funding questions
« on: January 12, 2020, 12:48:46 pm »
Only ONE radar system works at the same time, so you no need to maintain more than ONE radar system on each base. The difference between them is about percentage of UFO detection.

But wasn't that a bug in vanilla, which is now fixed? So having both kinds of radar adds up, as well as having several of the same type.

24
The X-Com Files / Re: Funding questions
« on: January 12, 2020, 01:15:51 am »
Same thing here. I've had this in several campaigns so far.

It seems that countries, which start at very low funding, never increase their funding, ever. I don't think there are any external influences like alien bases at fault, but I can't be sure.
My theory is, that when current funding is below a certain threshold (maybe 10.000?), then any increase will be rounded down to zero.

So basically those countries are a lost cause from the beginning and there is nothing, that can be done about it.
Maybe.
Hopefully, I'm wrong.

Then again, you're not losing out on much money, anyway. Look at your other lowest funding countries. Even if they increase their contribution every month, it still never amounts to much. Typically, countries, that contribute big to your budget in the beginning, will do so throughout the game and vice versa. Unless you screw up big time, that will never change.

25
The X-Com Files / Re: Starter Tips section and how to make money
« on: January 02, 2020, 03:52:08 pm »
That is not what I meant. My question basically boils down to: Is it worth it to set up a manufacturing facility purely with the intention to make money?

1 workshop ($800k)+ 1 living quarters($400k) + 50 engineers ($2.5M) costs $3.7M

50 engineers producing and selling chemoguns all month long make a profit of $1.46M.
Deduct from this your 50 engineers' monthly salary of $1.25M.
That's not a lot of profit. You will not make back your initial investment of workshop, quarters and engineers in a long time.

My argument here is, it's not worth it to hire more engineers than you need at the moment. For example, if all you want or can build at the moment is jumpsuits and dart rifles, then you don't really need more than about 10-20 engineers to finish your building projects in a timely manner. Sure, idle engineers can build and sell chemoguns without money going to waste and eventually you will need a large workforce, anyway, so you don't really lose money. I just think, that your precious early game dollars are better spent elsewhere, like faster research for example.

Ideally, your engineers will only build things, that you actually intent to use, with as little downtime as possible. Only size up your workforce, when bigger projects become available.

26
The X-Com Files / Re: Starter Tips section and how to make money
« on: January 02, 2020, 04:05:14 am »
Oh, right. I forgot about the crates. Yeah, even a single engineer is enough to open crates. It will take several days to finish a batch but there's no rush.

How long until you earn back the initial investment of a fully staffed workshop, when making chemguns?
(I can't see it ingame myself, haven't researched chemgun yet. And I'm too lazy to look through the game's files right now.)

27
The X-Com Files / Re: Starter Tips section and how to make money
« on: January 01, 2020, 11:58:35 pm »
(What happened? I got in a fugue state and now there's this wall of text in front of me. Oh well... might as well post it. Maybe someone will slog throught it)


Financial advice first:
Manufacturing is not the moneymaker it used to be in vanilla. Look at this:
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,7599.0.html

Personally, I only keep as many engineers on staff as I need to build the equipment I want to use in a reasonable time. (For the first few months that means 0, by the way.)
Saving money is no sin in the early game. Be frugal. Keep an eye on maintenance costs. Don't expand too fast. Don't have too many soldiers. Dogs are cheap and useful (one per team works well in most missions). Rushing research can be good, if you already know what to focus on.

As mentioned before, the most profitable missions are cult safehouses, outposts and bases. They often contain money briefcases and bags and other goodies, which you can sell. Such high-value items don't always appear, however. Many hard-won victories will leave you almost empty-handed. Sucks, but nothing can be done about it.
Monster corpses can be sold for moderate cash. You don't need them before you research healing gel (which is awesome) and stockpiling them is unncecessary because you always receive plenty, as long as you do missions against monsters and animals. Living enemies are better than corpses (same for humans), if you can do it safely. Zombies are easy to capture as long as you don't face too many, since they are so slow and you can weaken them with normal weapons without them dying easily (they have high stun resist, only capture with electric damage). Most other critters also work well. Never attempt to capture chupacabras. Muckstars are also a bad idea. Living humans may be better for interrogation (research), than just selling them. Repeated interrogation is possible, and while you most likely won't receive any useful tech from that, those "worthless" research topics give good score and thus money at the end of the month. Low level cultists are fast to interrogate and secret files serve the same purpose. But always remember: Soldiers lives are more valuable than cash. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew.


General advice:
UI

Try right-click and middle mouse button on EVERYTHING. That's not important but you will appreciate it. You can discover many shortcuts in the UI this way. For example MMB clicking on an item in the purchase menu brings up the relevant ufopedia page. Right clicking on items in the purchase menu hides them, which will help you to avoid clutter. You can find these items again by setting the filter on 'hidden'. Also, use filters in item lists. Again, good against clutter but even better for finding out which items are allowed on what mission.


Research

This is how I do it.
'Logistics' gives you the van. Much slower than the car but double capacity.
'Personal Protection' gives you the leather coat, which is slightly better than your standard suit and has more carrying space. Best used on missions against animals and monsters. It further leads to the kevlar vest. Best used against enemies with firearms (i.e. humans).
Researching any monster corpse + captured cultist grants you access to 'Summary Report #1' and 'Promotion I'. You don't need that immediately but it really opens up the tech-tree.
'Basic Operations' leads to dogs and the intelligence center (more lab space). Also do the 'Cover: Workers/Sportsmen/Surfers' research at some point to receive special undercover missions.
'Medicine' > 'Advanced Medicine' leads to the Bio Lab (more lab space).

From then on it varies. The direction of your research does not only depend on personal taste and strategy but also on luck. What missions you receive and what technology and enemies you can capture has a large impact on what you can research.

Also, try middle mouse button-clicking on any research topic. This brings up the tech-tree viewer. Great for planning ahead your research unless you consider it cheaty.


Expansion
You won't be able to build radars or interceptors for a long time. Also, your early transports have global reach (except for the mudranger, which I don't recommend). This in effect means, that you don't really need additional bases for now.
Get more agents, but not too many. Buying lots of rookies and firing the weaklings is not such a good idea early on in this mod. It costs too much money for dubious gain. All stats except for bravery, reactions and psi can be trained outside of missions in the gym (up to a point - accuracy for example goes up to 60). Bravery can be trained way more easily in battle now (using healing items and through some commendations). Also, early game enemies don't use psi attacks. Reactions are still important, but early enemies also have low reactions.

Your early transports are really slow, so your soldiers will be spending a lot of time flying around, unable to respond to any further alerts. I recommend additionial transports immediately. How many, is up to you. With 3 transports, not many missions will slip through your fingers. I go with 2 vans and 1 car for easy missions or when I need the speed (like for catching UFOs).

Instead of having all three hangars in your starting base, you can also build them in new bases. While this obviously is more expensive and makes management more of a hassle, it has some benefits. 1) Spreading out your strike teams over the planet reduces flight times of your slow, slow vans. 2) Not all future transports will have global reach. Unless you get lucky and catch a UFO, your best craft before the invasion will be the Helicopter, Osprey and Dragonfly. Three well-placed bases will give you almost global coverage with these craft. Might as well get started building those bases a bit sooner.


Choosing missions
Just because you are capable of reaching every mission, doesn't mean you have to do them all. Generally speaking, you want to do as many as possible. For the score, the loot and the experience.
Through no fault of your own, you could come across a mission, which is way above your pay-grade at this point. Aborting a mission isn't dishonourable, even without firing a single shot. An overly difficult mission can occur, when you advance very far in one direction on the tech-tree, or just because the game wants to throw you a curve-ball (UFO, chupacabras). Even a normal mission can become a nightmare, if the generated map and enemy spawn locations are heavily to your disadvantage. Surrounded by evil dudes on turn 1 and no effective cover? Run away! Or try to be a badass. It's up to you. The rewards may be worth the risk. There's also the third option of trying to do as much damage as the situation allows, grabbing what you can and bugging out. Not every mission has to be "won" to be worthwhile. Sometimes all you want is a crucial piece of loot (like a special captive). But in general, I advise caution. Especially when you are facing unfamiliar enemies.
Some regular types of missions, you might decide to simply skip after a while. Perhaps there's no more research to be gained there and the score and loot values are too low for the effort spent. Or the danger to your agents doesn't justify the rewards. Or you decide to keep your soldiers in reserve for something more important. Or you're simply not in the mood. It's okay, usually. You are playing for fun, right?

Night missions can be to your advantage. Human enemies also have bad night-vision. And they don't have any flashlights or flares, unlike you. Learn how to illuminate the battlefield while staying in the shadows.


And some more
Flashbangs are really useful. They will reduce (halve?) the enemie's TUs on YOUR turn (thereby impeding reaction fire) and also on THEIR turn. They also deal a bit of stun damage. Very good for initiating captures or when you can't take down an enemy who will surely cause you pain once your turn is over.

Smoke isn't as useful anymore. Aliens (some?most?all? sectoids for sure) have thermal vision, which negates smoke. You don't. Most human enemies don't, either. Scout drones have good thermal vision, dogs to a lesser degree. Smoke is still worth it, but it isn't the lifesaver it used to be.

Lesson number one of night-fighting: Don't bring any more flashlights to a mission, than you intend to equip. They will sit in your stash and illuminate the landing zone. Flares can be turned off, flashlights can't. Brought too many flashlights on accident? Stuff the remaining ones in your soldiers' inventory to kill the light (meaning not in their hands). (Flashlights have an on/off button now. Yay!)

Here's a more advanced technique for good measure:
Dogs are fast scouts and killers but they can also protect you from melee attacks. Their bark causes small amounts of stun(removed in an update) and disrupts TUs like the flashbang (but only for one turn). Again, this can be used to prevent reaction fire. But even better, and uniquely, you can stop approaching enemies on their own turn and prevent their melee attacks. Position your dog in front of any endangered unit (best if you have a bottleneck). The enemy will hopefully approach directly and trigger the dog's reaction bark (2 squares range), thereby reducing his TUs and leaving him an easy target next turn. Works wonders against anything, that doesn't have insanely high TUs or reactions. Like chupacabras. Reaction barking is even more useful in tight corridors and small rooms. A dog placed around a corner can even stop ranged attackers this way.

28
The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 1.1: Big Rain
« on: December 28, 2019, 09:13:14 pm »
I have a question about Humvees vs Helicopters
Yes, if you have the money (and can deal with he hassle) to have several strike teams spread across bases around the globe, then the helicopter is clearly the better choice. That is also what I have done.
Another thing to note: The humvee is considered a military vessel and the chopper a civilian one. That gives the chopper another advantage: It can partake in covert missions like ski and beach resorts. However, for some reason, it cannot do all covert missions. For example, if I remember correctly, for Osrion Stakeout you still need to keep around a car or van (or land rover, once that becomes available).

29
The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 1.1: Big Rain
« on: December 21, 2019, 03:41:29 pm »
1) I just finished the new Red Dawn HQ (first HQ in this campaign). Here's my thoughts:
It still fits Red Dawn thematically, but it's not as pretty. Most importantly, it's much easier than the old one. Whether this is good, bad or neutral I can't say. One thing I do know: To me the old Red Dawn HQ was the most difficult HQ by far. This was due to having a hot LZ with no cover whatsoever, lots of enemies on the surface with sniper rifles and machine guns, entry points to the lower level being difficult to reach, enemies in the big trench throwing explosives at you without having to expose themselves. Doing it without either alloy vests or HWPs was inadvisable in my opinion.
The new HQ is the exact opposite. Zero enemies on the surface. That's the most important difference I think. Some cover around the LZ. Several entrypoints, but enemies can use only the main entry. If making the mission more difficult is desired, I suggest the following: Open the fence around the entry to the ventilation shafts. Put a couple enemies on the surface but don't go crazy.

2) I have had all the cult operations research done for several months now, but not a single base mission so far (the Red Dawn Coordinator I got in a different type of mission). I checked my savegame and one base (Black Lotus) is coming up this month. Still, this is a pittance compared to my last campaign, where several base missions would spawn each month. It's not a problem for me, just an annoyance. So I took a look at the mission scripts.
For example:
  - type: CultBaseEXALT2
    executionOdds: 4
Does that mean 4% chance of that mission appearing per month? There are eight CultBaseEXALT missions listed. So 32% chance total for an Exalt base in a month? Am I interpreting this correctly?

30
The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: December 17, 2019, 06:29:32 pm »
Not sure if intentional or an oversight, but the platforms in front of the Skyraider's side doors (both of them) do not act like floors. People just fall through, despite them looking solid. It should either be possible to walk on them or they should be deleted. I would prefer the former.

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