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Messages - psavola

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The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« on: June 30, 2023, 09:47:24 pm »
Oh, great! This mission was a hell earlier, considering how early it spawns, and now with unspecified amount of reinforcements...  :'(

It might depend on the advancement stage where you complete this mission (I researched MIB tech late, because it was so expensive relatively to the rest), but when playing 3.0-snap I found this mission to be relatively easy (AFAIR). Just keep your guys inside the house in specifically selected spots where they can't hit you from the outside at least on their turn, and you can snipe them out from the house. Making brief visits on the roof is also great for some sniping or throwing explosives. It gets a bit trickier if and when you want to catch some of the enemies alive.

Maybe I can use this thread for sharing some experiences. I haven't actually finished the mod, but have gotten moon flight, plasma, etc., and every mission is essentially either easy or very easy, so I'm getting a bit bored of the game and I wonder if I have the energy to finish the mod. Rather I'm more tempted to start over or try another mod for a while.

I haven't really played UFO that much, I'm much more a TFTD guy. Never played other UFO mods except hardmode expansion (up to halfway point). But I loved TFTD TWOTS mod, which I think was for me ideal for the depth an campaign length perspective; XCF seems like a little too long for me.

Exactly the opposite to OP, I liked the early and midgame best. It is a striking difference to "regular" UFO game and as such interesting, when you have to develop everything slowly and do missions deliberately (especially if playing ironman), instead of getting almost everything immediately. The slow ramp-up of X-Com facilities, enemies, challenges makes the first year or two very interesting.

The cult HQ/manor phase seemed to be the most difficult part of the game (when there are 50, 100 or even more enemies, sniper/spotter logics in outdoors, indoors in cramped corridors, not too many agents, more or less lousy weapons, not very effective armors, etc., tricky avatars to capture). However you could get by even in ironman with proper, usually cheesy tactics such as throwing huge amount of grenades, camping, etc. The bad thing is that the enemy AI seriously discourages you from using grenade or rocket launchers, mortars, etc. In contrast, for example, alien and hybrid embassies, even large ones, were exceptionally easy at the point that they appear; usually the mission is over in 5 or 10 turns (maybe my contrast is TFTD alien bases which are a complete nightmare and I never do them without psiVision/MC unless I absolutely have to). Especially the MIB, hybrid, and similar very refreshing and "something different". Also, the underwater plotline, when you get to the undersea city, was very profitable: you could get multiple power suits from the gillman hero by repeating the mission over and over again, and sell off all the aqua plastics you otherwise have no use for: very easy to get rid of mid-game money problems. Upon restart I would likely to try to rush into that part of the game.

The game started getting significantly easier when I obtained the first transformation (in 3.0-snap), the spartanism. With 100+ TU with huge stamina and other bonus stats, especially fixed TU battlescape actions would make them by far the the best there is for certain roles (superb, for example, for running around especially indoors and killing/stunning enemies with melee weapons). Also, they are ideal for carrying power suit, because its TU reduction does not hamper them at all compared to other soldier types. If you compare spartans to kyberos, you already get sufficiently high accuracy and other stats with the bonuses, but you get way more TUs and stamina, which increases the ability to move around quickly (or, for example, heal a hit of 7-8 fatal wounds in one turn with one agent).

What I found daunting and frustrating at times was the huge arsenal of different kinds of human weapons, where even half a dozen of them would do essentially the same thing as the next one, with very minor differences. It took quite a while to figure out which ones would be useful, and the vast majority would be essentially duplicates of a few major ones or trash (of course, many of them could be used in an emergency, but who cares to micromanage each weapon, required clips, soldier equipping, etc. for each of them?). And researching all of them is just a waste of time but obviously a thing for completionists. But it seems this is intentional and I suppose this adds to the realism aspect (different weapons filling the same niche employed in different parts of the world) and I don't think it's going to change but rather is likely to get worse for the first-timer perspective.

Except in the earlish game (with slow transports), I didn't really see a need for multiple strike bases, rather operating with Kitsune from just one, leading to quite a bit of simplicity and less micromanagement with agents, equipment and such. (And prior to kitsune, skyranger or prior to that osprey that could also first fly-transfer to another base -- all fast enough to outrun cult vehicles if stumbling upon early manors.) You could just shoot down most of the subs and if the aliens build a base, it's only a very quick mission to kill it (after you get bored with farming the supply ships).

Also the huge variety of various damage types and resistances (+ various armor ignoring properties) at least in principle seems to allow for variability in the game and this could be something one could try to explore in other campaigns. I didn't even really try to figure out if trying to leverage for example WARP or CHEM or similar weapons obtainable from technomads, hybrids, etc. earlier in the game would have made sense (it didn't seem sensible to spend so much researching them early on, as there were more pressing alternative).

I didn't even bother with alien laser weapons because they didn't seem very interesting, but rather sticked to BO auto-snipers and several other rather boring weapons (such as MAGMA rifle with chem clips) until I got turbolasers. I wonder if alien lasers are even really that useful. The maxed soldiers with sniper shots, ignoring some of the armor, (even without alloy ammo) are lethal against almost everything. I tried tactical sniper rifles, but found that the lack of reaction-firing snap shots, limited moveability and only a little improvement over BO auto-sniper didn't really call for using them all that much.

In early-mid game, the alien alloys and elerium is very scarce and you want to conserve every bit of it (for example for thunderstorms, armor manufacturing and improved/advanced lab, I didn't even dare to use it for almost any tritatanium ammo), but soon after bigger alien ships starts appearing it will be abundant. An interesting balance at least for the early game, though I doubt a bit who will bother and can use the precious alien alloys for tritanium clips or most of the other weapons goods - and when you have abundant supply of the components, you no longer really need it.

There appear to a be a very small chance of getting alenium shards, so getting new ones is very heavily based on RNG (I don't think I got any new ones in the game), which could be an issue if your AI unit gets completely destroyed in a battle. I wonder if they should be a bit more frequent in case you get screwed.

I would suggest lowering the cost of researching MIB agents. They appear early, but compared to  other early game topics, they seemed so expensive I skipped them completely for a year or two. I suppose it shouldn't be so discouraging to research them, given that quite a bit of research is required to obtain game progression (MIB activities). Compare, for example, to various alien hybrids and the network/operations topics you get from there.

It would be nice if the OXCE engine allowed to you to select which transformations/boosting you want to hide from the transformations overview screen. But as you can't, you should be better off not even researching the ones you will never want, to not bother you on the screen (that will go on for multiple screens when you have everything in any case).


By the way, I mentioned Starving Poet's reverse stat strings submod earlier in the thread. For anyone interested, I made some updates to it (added new transformations, decreased the threshold - in the original after obtaining 90% of the stat cap it would no longer report as trainable, I increased it to stat cap minus one), if anyone is interested. Highly recommended, I suppose I'll copy the idea for some other mods as well.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 30, 2023, 04:27:47 pm »
In 3.0-snap, you changed the articles to say the large living quarters host 250 (instead of previous 200) people. However, you changed the facility ruleset just up to 225. Which is it... (In addition, quite a few facilities - such as this one - provide some prison space for robots; that is probably intentionally undocumented as a minor detail.)

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 2.9: The Empire Strikes Back
« on: June 29, 2023, 06:33:06 pm »
I shifted from 2.9 to 3.0-snap when it branched, and have updated a number of times as new updates have been added. It has been working like a charm. If you're curious of the new shiny things, I can't think of any reason why one couldn't start a new campaign already.

Brutal AI / Re: [SOURCEMOD] Brutal-OXCE 6.4.1
« on: June 28, 2023, 01:34:50 pm »
I agree but in the sense that it would in principle be a good idea to allow the modder some tools to influence how he wants the AI to work when playing his mod. Of course this is at the moment and in the foreseeable future probably a moot point, as no mods depend on Brutal-AI and B-AI is is not expected to be mainstream. I guess an interesting data point would be when some mod would require or be specifically balanced (in addition to OXCE) also for B-AI. But I doubt any modder would want to balance the game for both, because doing so would affect so many choices (except possibly by stating "choose a different difficulty level for B-AI").

As such given that B-AI practically requires special player action (installing a custom engine, not just a mod or playing vanilla) it doesn't hurt to allow the player to have at least some of those options that in an ideal world would be provided to the modder. There are likely not too many other people to run B-AI with that particular mod in any case. But if B-AI were to start merging and approach the mainstream, at the latest then a lot of extra options should likely be removed.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 24, 2023, 08:09:37 pm »
I can't say much - this is how 2-staged missions work. Is the original Cydonia any different? I don't think so.

No, that is apparently only half the answer. If you neutralize all enemies in the first stage, you get your loot pile to pick from at stage 2. Here's video proof from X-Com Files: On the other hand, if you go on the designated area and abort, you don't get your loot pile, just the items you're carrying or are on the designated floor.

Given that you don't know about this, I suppose this is rather a bug in OXCE in how it handles surrendering enemies in multistage missions. IMO, surrendering enemies should be equivalent to killed or stunned enemies, and you should get the loot pile.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 23, 2023, 09:49:48 pm »
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.

The X-Com Files / Re: Helix knights
« on: June 23, 2023, 07:50:33 pm »
How do you figure that?

I think I read something like that in a thread and it sounded logical. This logic assumes that flat stat changes cannot exceed the stat cap but bonus stats can. But I must admit I have not tested this and I would like to get confirmation or get it debunked. So:

Martial arts training gives both flat stats change and a bonus, pilot training only flat stats change. TNI and Bio-enhancement give only bonus stats. As far as I have understood, you should do ones that do flat stats changes first (ie. combat pilot and martial arts training), otherwise you may end up in a situation where the bonus stats cause the stat to be already over the stat cap, and then flat stats changes do nothing (or give lesser change).

The X-Com Files / Re: Helix knights
« on: June 23, 2023, 05:36:30 pm »
So, what are the requirements to use the transformation?

I've been trying to figure out what combination of other transformations you need to do it but I don't know what else I need.

Bio-enhancement, Install TNI, Combat pilot training, and Martial arts training.

You'll get better stats if you do Install TNI last.

To fulfill the requirements for martial arts training, you'll likely need have particular focus in training melee accuracy. For example ghost missions are very good for this as there a number of relatively harmless enemies which you can try to train with.

And to a lesser extent helix Psion too, although I just got there and my hybrids are all noobs still, so it will take a while to train them up for upgrades

Sectoid legacy, Install TNI, Combat pilot training and Martial arts training.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files online Wiki
« on: June 21, 2023, 09:46:59 pm »
By the way, who is responsible for, how do you report bugs?

I have noticed some things that appear to be missing from there for no apparent reason. As a recent example, Alien Colony Assault (STR_ALIEN_BIG_BASE_ASSAULT) doesn't appear to be there, even tough the regular alien base assault is. I wonder if there is some more generic bug that makes some ruleset definions go missing.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 21, 2023, 08:57:01 pm »
Is it intentional that Advanced Scout Drone does not have the anticamo capabilities that the regular Scout Drone has? This seems like an oversight. (Of course, not sure if the anticamo is really that crucial later as it is in the early game with the BL assassins.) But it strikes to me as strange that the advanced version is in some respect worse than the original.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 21, 2023, 11:30:07 am »
This is normal for catacombs-like maps, but the terrain's resilience is weird. Hmm, can you drop the save?

You probably missed it, the save was attached to the previous post.

If there is supposed to be only certain very specific points where the terrain is destructible, it is difficult to know which points those would be here. (In contrast, for example in the cyberweb lairs you can easily deduce this if this version of a lair is generated.) There also seem to be huge areas (especially in the upper level) which are inaccessible, so the player cannot really know where and how you would go about proceeding destroying the terrain. As there is 3 sanity loss per turn, it seems unreasonable to also require huge amount of digging.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 20, 2023, 12:32:52 am »
In beyond the doom portal map, after doing it once, in the second run an enemy was generated in an area (near the cursor in the png) which doesn't appear to be accessible. I also tried a couple of hi-ex and digging with the pick-axe, I couldn't find a way to access it. I also tried to enable debug mode to verify the situation, but for some reason none of the OXC keywords appeared to work. I guess I'll have to edit the save to move the enemy to another position or something.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: June 16, 2023, 11:00:53 pm »
github 3.0 infernalism description includes: "Such an agent gains a boost to many combat abilities, as well as psionic and trauma resistance, at the cost of mental instability caused by occasional brushes with alien, malevolent entities. Mental care is the key to keep them functional."

This is confusing or misleading.

I suppose "gaining psionic resistance" refers to +20 sanity, but I think psionic resistance (PST and PSK) is orthogonal to Sanity (which you may lose even when there is nothing psionic about the mission). So this should likely be reworded slightly.

Second, "At the cost of mental instability"and ""Mental care is the key" is also misleading and worse. Infernals lose 30 bravery and "mental care" (for example the sensorium and other facilities) has zero impact on bravery. The description sounds much more as if the intent was to reduce sanity rather than bravery (but the transformation actually increases sanity), but even this is a far stretch. In that case the text about mental care would also make more sense.

I'd suggest rewording the description or what the infernal transformation is actually doing.

The description would make much more sense if it read, for example, "Such an agent gains a boost to many combat abilities, as well as mental and trauma resistance, at the cost of bravery when dealing with brushes with alien, malevolent entities. Mental care is the key to keep them functional."

In the beginning, you'll have to prioritize and research certain things. After you have dealt with cults (after the first year or so, hopefully) the pace can be slowed down at least a bit as far as I can see. So you'll still be able to research everything, even the nonessential topics, you'll just have to know when it's the right time to do it and keep progressing the most important topics at the same time. Unfortunately, you'll mostly need trial and error to figure out what are the most crucial things to focus on. (Otherwise, you'll have to use the tech tree viewer and a lot, and maybe read a lot of messages on this board and for example int the tips&tricks thread.)

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