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Topics - psavola

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When a craft is returning from a ground mission, it cannot be attacked by the alien craft. Thus there is never any need for escorts (but the escorts themselves may be in danger of hunter-killers and at any rate, it would make sense to get them back for refueling etc,). Because the escorts are usually much faster than the transports, they should always return home immediately after the craft which had a mission is on the return journey (unless the player wants to give them some other target).

Would it be feasible to make a small QOL improvement: the escorts would automatically be redirected to the base after the craft they're escorting is on its return journey (obviously, the player could redirect the escorts to do something else if needed). This would avoid all the clicking after each mission.

I'm assuring the game is aware that an escort is escorting a craft that is returning from a mission (_craft->getMissionComplete(), I suppose) and actually requires no escort.

If the final enemies surrender or get under MC in a former part of a multistage mission, the game proceeds to the next stage as if you aborted the mission on exit squares (= you don't get the equipment on your craft). This should be similar to 'pure' victory.

I noticed this with XCF here:

In UAC Aerospace Lab mission, the final enemy(ies) surrendered and I was moved to the underground phase. However, no equipment (either on the craft or from the enemies) transferred on that stage, so even though I got the chance re-equip the squad, the pool to choose from was empty. There was also no loot pile to equip from anywhere on the floor, as there always has been on multistage missions.

This is likely a bug, but it seems so strange that I have no idea where. Sorry, I didn't save before the first part ended.

When reposting, zRrr was kind enough to reproduce this and provide a save (see on the thread).

This is something for Meridian and Yankes, currently oxce only tests, if all remaining aliens are under mind control, else game treats it as if player moved soldiers on exit tile and aborted. MiB Lunar Base or any other multistage mission with surrendering enemies will have same issue. Probably should be reported under OXCE Bugs.

Anyway, here is save from quick battle. Hit the scientist to get your stuff, press "next turn" to not.

OXCE Suggestions NEW / more debug logging for mission scripts processing?
« on: October 22, 2023, 12:16:44 pm »
I've had several campaigns where mission scripts have had really strange RNG, like a mission with 0.33 probability not occurring for 12 months in a row even though the requirements are met (the mathematical probability for something like this being less than 1 %).

Would it be possible to include a debug log, for example before this check in GeoscapeState::determineAlienMissions()? If the debug log showed which potential missions proceeded to the RNG check, at least you might be able to rule out any bugs before that? (Looking at the RNG code it would be far more intrusive and spammy to add debugging there.)

                                // level three condition check: does random chance favour this command's execution?
                                if (triggerHappy && RNG::percent(eventScript->getExecutionOdds()))

The X-Com Files / Tamed Minotaur
« on: October 19, 2023, 09:40:55 pm »
Minotaur taming appears to be less useful than I had hoped. In base defense, they wake up from the corpses after turn 1. The "corpses" spawn in some random square with equipment. This is probably due to engine limitations on how it is achieved. This means that they have no useful equipment, and it is essentially impossible to find anything they could actually use (like an axe) from all the loot. Their weaponless attack is puny (about 50% chance). I suppose they could only work to some extent on bases which have very limited amount of loot or storage. Or for scouting. Or your agents will need to prepare by being equipped with a spare weapon that can be given to the minotaur(s) in later turns.

The X-Com Files / Weak UFOs
« on: October 19, 2023, 06:56:31 pm »
Now, in the work-in-progress 3.2 tree, hybrid convoys move. However, they do not appear to land, but rather just despawn eventually. And the convoys are so weak (e.g. medium convoy takes 50 damage) that almost any weapon one-shots and often destroys them utterly (for example, Kitsune with either a missile or gauss cannon).

Either the convoys should "land" and the mission could be undertaken that way and/or their damage capacity should be rebalanced. Or is it really intended that you preserve a really weak craft with puny weapons to deal with such things that start occurring only in the middle game?

Essentially the same thing, by the way, with syndicate retaliation missions. For example, medium 'Scarab' can apparently transport almost a dozen minotaurs and 40 human troops, yet only takes 80 damage and you one-shot destroy it with essentially any weapon except the puny useless early-game ones (e.g. regular craft cannon)..

The X-Com Files / Surrendering cultists
« on: October 14, 2023, 06:18:49 am »
Whether cult units are able to surrender appears to be somewhat inconsistent. Some of these might be intentional but I suspect for some units this might be an omission. Not taking into account various armored cars:

Every EXALT cult unit (including the Brainer) is able to surrender.

Every Red Dawn cult unit is able to surrender (including the hybrid envoys in the HQ).

Out of Black Lotus units, only the avatar and assassins cannot surrender.

Out of Dagon units, only the disciples can surrender. That is, priests, chosen and sorcerers cannot. Likewise, the alien units gilldogs, deep ones and gillmen cannot surrender.

As said, these might be intentional and there might be lore reasons why some units always fight or flee with zeal to the end. Unfortunately this quite often leads to annoying bug hunts, especially with the BL assassins. Also trying to find the last gillman terrorist(s) for example in the HQ mission, after everyone else has been killed off, often leads to casualties.

I'd suggest adding canSurrender:true to at least BL assassins, and also at least some Dagon human units. This would significantly increase the gameplay experience without detrimental effects (I don't think this would provide a too easy path to obtain a BL assassin for questioning in order to get the martial arts path; you could always capture one with tasers anyway).

The X-Com Files / Manor spawning scripts
« on: July 24, 2023, 06:21:40 am »
Starting month 20, there is 8*2 = 16 % chance per cult to spawn a Manor. The spawned manor has 80 % chance to be level 1, 15 % to be level 2 and 5 % to be level 3. AlienBaseUpgrades is defined so that after 5 months, the chance of getting bigger is 30 % and after 10 months it's 100 %.

The chances of even getting HQ Base missions and capturing a commander depend on RNG. In my current game, at month 22, I haven't had any exalt or dagon missions where I would have the chance to go for the HQ afterwards; I only got Black lotus shrine a month ago (all of these after some 9 months of waiting for them). It's really weid that I should have had 6*4 = 24 % chance at these missions per month.

Is it really fair that there is a chance (even a small one, ie. 0.8 % per cult per month) of spawning directly the greatest manor (with MIGs to guard it) even if the RNG has not even offered you a chance to take down the cult yet?

I'd suggest considering some alternatives, for example:
- greatest manors start spawning directly only after you have reseached the specific cult HQ,  but have chosen not to go for it to contain it.
- great and greater manors keep spawning, and they might upgrade a bit earlier to the greatest manor if you don't deal with it quick enough. (There is of course a slight problem of not noticing that a manor even exists somewhere on the globe, but often you get some missions that give you hints or fly by it at some point.)

I would also suggest increasing the chance for CultBase* missions slightly (for example, up from 4 % to 5, 6 or 8 % each) to make it more likely that you'll get the base mission soon after researching the cult operations. After all, if you don't like it, you can just skip it or go there and abort the mission, no harm done.

The X-Com Files / Month 0 mission scripts
« on: July 10, 2023, 07:14:02 am »
Reposting a link here. Month 0 (beginning of game at the end of December 1996) spawns a number of missions, which due to very small start delay and randomization crop up in January 1997. But that same month ("1") also spawns essentially a similar set of missions. Therefore you get double the number of missions in January 1997 compared to, for example, February 1997.

I can see no reason why January 1997 should have double the number of missions compared to, say, February 1997. Changing firstMonth: 0 to 1 should fix this bug. Also otherwise, IMHO it would also be nice to give a player a bit slower and easier start (for example, a bit more time to develop early research). If you get crazy RNG (as I had in the post), you could end up having 20+ missions in January 1997 which is physically impossible and you're guaranteed a bad month score.

More details based on geoscape debug log:,4595.msg156282.html#msg156282

BTW: Also 'Shotgun' ufopedia description goes on two pages (not sure if this was the exact same thing as reported before, because this is maybe due to many ammo types).

In multistage missions, if you kill or stun everyone, you get the chance to re-equip your team with all the loot you have on your craft as well as everything on the battlefield on the first (or second, in the case of T'Leth) stage. On the other hand, if you go to the designated area and abort to progress to the next stage, you only get to re-equip the team with the items you are carrying or what's on the designated area.

In playing XCF, I noticed that the first stage was ended by enemy surrender (,5047.msg156005.html) and I got the empty re-equip screen.

There seems to be a rather obvious bug - enemy surrender should be treated the same as all the enemies killed or stunned.

Looking at the code, in BattlescapeGenerator::nextStage() is the following check:

                                        // protocol 1: all defenders dead, recover all items.
                                        if (aliensAlive == 0 || autowin)

I suppose either this take into account surrendering enemies directly or they should be marked as dead for the purposes of this check. An alternate way would be "stun" surrendered enemies, so nextStage() logic would probably work as-is.

Open Feedback / TFTD cruise ship map bug
« on: January 14, 2023, 08:12:54 am »
I reported this in the context of TWoTS, but this problem originates from vanilla maps. Is there a way to fix the vanilla map bugs so that it's fixed both in vanilla as well as all the mods using vanilla maps, instead of in all the mods?

Another hole in the cruise ship terror mission floor plan. In the square, you get a sighting to the Deep One located one level upstairs from the red square. I recall having been killed before from the outside while in this elevator, but now I got my own sighting on this.

The interception pop-up window shows at most eight craft, for the rest you have to scroll them down. In usual campaigns you'll have more than that (I have never exceeded about 12-14, but I suppose that is possible as well). This is likely a result of 320x200 planescape, where you couldn't fit much more on the screen (maybe one could squeeze in a few more if you took all the screen). I suppose everyone currently plays with higher resolutions and scaling. I wonder if the size of the interception pop-up window could be scaled up so that it would show more craft at once? Or would that be technically unfeasible if you also have to provide compatibility for the 320x200 mode?

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