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Messages - psavola

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Work In Progress / Re: [WIP][MOD] Scientific Endeavour
« on: July 12, 2024, 01:42:48 pm »
Particle weapons might look cooler if the blue shade was slightly different, for example a bit darker, so that the weapon would stand out better from the aqua-suits of the essentially same color (and also aqua-plastic armors).

(On Natasha Morozova mission spawning early. Theoretically you could get it already in Feb 1997...)

By your own example, it can be done. Sure, it will be much harder when done early, but I know some players who would get angry if I removed the option to do it.

In another test run the Morozova Dossier popped from the first Secret Files, in Jan 1997. Let's see when the mission spawns.

As you apparently don't want to change how the dossier can be obtained early from interrogation of second level cultists and mission spawning, at the very least, I'd suggest moving Morozova to "Top Secret Files". All the dossiers that result in mission spawns are at least in Top Secret Files (Wilheard is in Ultimate Secret Files). So that would be consistent with the rest of special dossiers.

It would be cool if OXCE kept track of how many hours you have used (wasted) on a particular campaign, like some of the newer games do.

This could at least be saved to the save file when the game is (auto)saved, but it could also be shown when loading the save in the new load screen, under "DETAILS" section at the bottom (i.e. when it now says, for example, "Geoscape [DATE], (IRONMAN)" one could add at the end ", XXX h". (Although I'm not sure how one currently shows the details when loading a battlescape save with a really long mission name; if this is a problem, it would be sufficient to show this only for geoscape saves, not battlescape saves.)

In my opinion optimally the timer should pause if you open the options screen (e.g. hit ESC on Geoscape), allowing you to pause without quitting. But I suppose opinions might differ on this.

Essentially this would only have information value to the player, but I suppose the players could also use it for various self-challenges (e.g. how quickly you can get to a particular point in a campaign) but not competitive speedrunning.

Apparently real time things are easily implementable ( so I suppose it's more a question if this is something deemed useful in OXCE or not.

What I want to criticize (and the mod says I'm to send criticisms here...) is the spawning. Specifically, where the dropship spawns (be it the public car or something better). It doesn't make any sense that these things are parking mere feet away from the enemy. This has always been an issue down the two years of playtime so far, where enemies are unreasonably close and can cause immense damage instantly, because this mod has greatly tuned up reaction fire and enemies start with ostensibly full time units on round one (giving them the opportunity for huge barrages of reactions against any small action by my guy, having just stepped out of the Dragonfly). This, respectfully, really sucks. Missions become slogs of finding out how to just survive round one to get into the proper gameplay. Repeating actions in sequence because I found the sequence that works (no save scumming) until the first round doesn't result in multiple deaths because a group of seven Reptoids spawn in ten tiles from the entrance of the ship with 12 shots each of reaction fire to whatever the first poor bastard off the ship does. And if that guy dies in one shot (normally does, only have armoured vests and they don't fare well), then the rest of the reaction shots are withheld for the next guy off. It's just straight up attrition, for no reason, and it makes me want to just not engage with a lot of missions. They become psychologically stressing and it doesn't make sense in-universe for it to be so. Surely the pilot (one of my soldiers) wouldn't park to be fed to the enemies immediately?

This spawning feature (and full TUs) certainly increases difficulty. You will need to adopt a playstyle where you can avoid these problems.

The earliest thing you can do is go on the missions (especially against humans with ranged weapons) in the dark. Then at least the number of enemy units that could see you and reaction fire is severely limited. (You cannot use Dragonfly for this, because it has bad exterior lighting.) Sometimes you may need to abort if the spawn is bad enough.

The second thing a little bit later you can do are smoke grenades and grenade launchers/milkors armed with smoke grenades to create instant smoke (without having to wait for end turn). With the increased density of smoke and darkness, with recent OXCE versions the enemies have very hard time finding if you use both smoke and darkness (they might not spot you even if they wander a couple of squares next to you).

Now and then you can get a really unlucky spawn which is not salvageable even with smoke and/or darkeness. For example, when going against a Cult Forward Base and an Osprey parked directly opposite the mansion. If the enemy units see you immediately when you land you may need to consider the situation and possibly abort (especially if those enemy units are 'spotters' and there are a lot of 'snipers' on the map). Later craft, especially Kitsune, provides excellent cover for turn 1 (just throw down a couple of smoke grenades down the ramp on turn 1 and end the turn).

Obviously smoke and darkness hampers your own vision too. This is why you will need to employ dogs, rats and bats, or use armors with better night vision or heat vision capabilities, to get over this and have an edge over the enemies.

I don't think the mod is going to change with this respect. So you can either use this opportunity to learn better and more advanced techniques (Stone Lake's SH/IM streams are a gold mine for this) or just forgo playing XCF.

In my recent game, mid-1998, MIBs retaliated and destroyed my secondary base (unfortunately, it was only protected by 10 dogs in training). I also shot down an alien scout ship, and apparently now Cerebreals are hunting for my another secondary base.

I'm curious as to how others have dealt with especially early retaliation (say, in 1998 or early 1999).

At this point in the game, you don't have enough alien alloys to build decent interceptors (raven/thunderstorm) that would provide air cover against enemies trying to find your bases (you're better off saving the alloys for improved labs). Essentially the only thing fast and useful enough is Kitsune, with relatively weak rockets and cannon, and when it gets damaged, repairing it takes forever (e.g. about 50 % damage = about 4 days).

I've always been a bit lazy in rotating people and equipment in and out of bases and I have wanted to avoid that. But it seems not doing can be risky.

Syndicate retaliation is an easy case, because their crafts are very slow and weak that it's easy to rely on shooting all of them down (but if you don't, a secondary base defense mission can be tricky).

I suppose the general advice would be NOT to shoot down ANY Alien UFOs (T'Leth subs are OK, because T'Leth does not retaliate) until later in 1999 when you have sufficient air-game to deal with it.

Whether to shoot down MIB craft is a trickier question. If you manage it and the retaliation missions properly, you get huge amounts of useful loot (also alien alloys). But this entails some risk and you may need to at least prepare your bases for their eventual retaliation missions.

Hardmode Expansion / Re: Is there an equivalency for TFTD?
« on: July 02, 2024, 07:58:43 pm »
The already mentioned TWoTS is an excellent, I'd say the best, TFTD mod. (I suggest you get it from the official sources if you want to try it.)

TWoTS is quite a bit longer than vanilla TFTD, but not as excessively long as some other megamods like XCF or XPZ.

It  is more difficult than vanilla TFTD, although the early game is quite a bit easier. It can still be completed with superhuman ironman if you know the mod well.

So while it's not really "hardmode" as such, I'm sure you'll find it enjoyable if you want a "TFTD+" experience.

Open Feedback / Re: Manufacturing Profitability of Mundane Items
« on: July 02, 2024, 07:50:15 pm »
And obviously I realise its different in OXC / OXCE especially with things like FMP or similar with expanded tech tree and research so takes slightly longer (but not much) to get to motion scanner, for example?

Mods very often change the various costs of items that were present in vanilla, engineer expenses, etc., so none of this information can be used with mods.

Open Feedback / Re: Manufacturing Profitability of Mundane Items
« on: July 02, 2024, 07:56:14 am »
Hi - another quick question - regarding Manufacturing Profitability of ordinary (non-Alien Tech) items. I know OXC & OXCE display the profitability in the manufacturing screen; and there is the original Manufacturing Profitability tables for the vanilla gear on UFOpaedia that was done by MikeTheRed for the developed (i.e. Alien Based) tech. But just curious if anyone ever did similar table for the mundane items, the stuff you can manufacture very early in the game or from the initial research not reliant on Alien Tech or Lasers or similar? I.e. are their things to manufacture for sale that are worth the effort to generate a useful income stream early on with only limited numbers of engineers before your research starts getting up to the higher value stuff like lasers, etc? Would be interesting to see such a comparison (for OXC or Vanilla)?

If you look at the table you possibly refer to ( closely, there are two entries which require minimal research (and not alien tech): medikit and motion scanner. Both provide positive money stream with minimal research, with the motion scanner being better. I've probably seen a table where this has been calculated for all the items, but what's the point - it is well known that in UFO these are the lowest hanging fruit for making money with manufacturing.

Open Feedback / Re: Firing & Throwing Arc Diagrams
« on: July 02, 2024, 07:47:30 am »
Thanks Juku121 - that sounds good - planning to move to OXCE after I complete my current game in OXC (incidentally can you migrate a game save from OXC to OXCE mid-game?).

Yes, you can switch the engine back and forth. (Obviously not with mods with require OXCE, of course.)

The X-Com Files / Re: Randomized starting item: Early Gauss rifle
« on: July 01, 2024, 12:27:41 pm »
It seems you need Science Lab (i.e. Promo II) to research Gauss Rifle, and you can't use it without researching it first. It can be useful to unlock Mass Driver Weapons, but that is only possible only after you've interrogated a non-underwater alien, so it's usually something to do for 1998. The biggest early/mid-game benefits of gauss weapons are Mass Driver/Gauss Cannon (a great craft weapon) and possibly the same for tanks. Later on gauss weapons can be useful for one-hit killing heavily armored enemies like heavy MIBs (if you don't have anything better) or sectopods, but this is really feasible only after you have obtained heavy armors.

Depending on the playstyle and RNG you could get those elsewhere as well. If you become tight on money, you could sell it, but at least now on, I'd try to keep it.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 30, 2024, 09:48:34 pm »
There appears to be a degree of randomness to it. Apparently, the maps generated from a specific terrain can also be very different (for example, some desert maps are desert while there also also more village blocks mixed in). I tried New Battle a dozen or more times got this situation at least once in Mountains and Desert 1 terrain. I didn't try all of these. Here's a save, if it's of any use in pinpointing the issue.

I now suspect this may have something to do with which mapblocks are used to randomize a map.

The same thing happened with Citizens v Monsters mission in a desert setting (with 40+ beetles). No citizens. I copied the save just in case it's needed, but I doubt there's much more that can already be seen (or not seen) in the new battle save.

The X-Com Files / Re: What definive choices do you make on XCF?
« on: June 30, 2024, 07:29:19 am »
As Juku121 said.

Cult arms dealers are essentially useless, because by the time you could get them, you already have superios Black Ops and other equipment.

Also, with Sonic tech I usually look at the monetary situation I'm at when I get it. If I need 5M really badly at that point, I'll return it. But otherwise I will keep it. Sonic (mini)shotgun is really useful, especially in underwater missions, because it will almost always guarantee a single hit kill and thus avoid reaction shots from aquatoids. The downside is the ammo consumes a significant portion of Zrbite. It can be useful overground as well, but as said, you may need to be careful about ammo consumption.

Wrt. MAGMA shares:
 - Alien gardens tech gives you very powerful chem clips for pulse weapons. Those can be really deadly especially against less armored foes. But by the point you get this, you are usually very deadly anyway. So it's a matter of taste whether you want chem clips or not.
 - Terramite and Elerium battery (you need to share both) give you power armor. It is great for underwater and useful on the ground as well. If you already have good armors, this is optional. You can also churn out undersea missions to get a number of armors off Gillman Hero. So while this is not mandatory, this can be rather useful especially for underwater missions if you get it early enough. (For ground missions, by the time you get to this point, you will likely have stolen off at least Power Suits from heavy MIBs so this is not essential, but Power Suits can no longer be used underwater, so..)
 - Elerium explosives gives you anti-E115 grenades for TAC launcher. I've never found this all that useful. I suppose this could mainly be used for chryssalid terror missions.
 - Tritanium ammo gives you access to a couple of useless guns and allows purchasing tritanium ammo for pulse weapons and heavy shotgun. I've never shared this myself, but if you are at a stage you find those useful, no problem I suppose.

By the point you'd share these, your monthly score would probably already be in the 5000+ range. So the point penalty is not really a big deal. If you share anything, you will also get "slander missions", which you cannot do (you'll always be late) and get additional hit. There are also other similar mission triggers, like sharing tritanium ammo leading to an osiron mission.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 29, 2024, 09:59:38 pm »
"Misleading information" assumes that the player is supposed to rely on the tech tree viewer, whereas it's never been intended. It's essentially a cheat. If you want to use it, no problem, but you worry about how to do it properly.

Besides, there are many such cases in the tech tree. They are there for a reason, not to produce garbage lines. ;)

I'm very skeptical that any significant number of people feel the same way about research.

If you feel that tech tree viewer is essentially a cheat, is middle mouse buttoning your research topics also essentially a cheat? If not, why not, because that also uses TTV and you can click forward or backward to topics you wouldn't have access to yet.

What you're advocating is that people are expected to fumble around, researching topics with the fanciest project names (the only information available to the user without tech tree viewer) and not even knowing how much effort they need to put into it (because even the relative size of the research project is gated through the tech tree viewer). This seems like a fallacy.

The X-Com Files / Re: Quick question on Bravery
« on: June 29, 2024, 09:40:06 pm »
It usually takes a while until you get pepper spray. Until you do (and even for some time afterwards), essentially during 1998, you can put two low bravery agents to pilot the LITTLE BIRD and have it attack tier 1 and tier 2 manors. (More advanced craft are needed if you have tier 3.)

Fly to the manor range and destroy the spawned hunter-killers. The manors recharge in roughly 7 days (10000 minutes), so you can do this 3-4 times a month per base. This will relatively quickly raise firing accuracy, reactions and bravery. It is advisable to have have reasonably good other stats (i.e. focus on training bravery, the others can easily be trained otherwise as well) so that you destroy the enemy crafts before they can damage you too much. With decent pilots, you can usually take down at least two tier-1 manors with one go if they are close by before having to go back to repair.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 29, 2024, 03:27:26 pm »
Can't reproduce, see attachment. Tried the other desert (Desert 1), too.

Although the spawn patterns do look strange. Perhaps there's a small subset of desert blocks that have spawn points, and if these aren't present, you can run out? Although 'difficultydemigod: true' is supposed to mitigate this, so it'd be quite curious even then. And if it doesn't, then we have the downside of no randomised enemy numbers without the upside of unlimited spawn points.

There appears to be a degree of randomness to it. Apparently, the maps generated from a specific terrain can also be very different (for example, some desert maps are desert while there also also more village blocks mixed in). I tried New Battle a dozen or more times got this situation at least once in Mountains and Desert 1 terrain. I didn't try all of these. Here's a save, if it's of any use in pinpointing the issue.

I now suspect this may have something to do with which mapblocks are used to randomize a map.

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