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Messages - psavola

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The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« on: October 08, 2023, 07:54:19 am »
Is using Helicopter or Dragonfly really that risky? I killed all cults by'98 using the helicopter, the only one that gave me issues iirc was either the Black Lotus or Red Dawn, the rest were pretty easy, using Blackops weapons and Liquidator Armour.

I suppose you have played with a lower difficulty. First two difficulties only have about 1/3 of the enemy numbers that superhuman has, for instance. Yet even with the lower difficulties I still suppose it is risky and may require save/reloads. With SH forward bases have about 60 enemies and HQs 100+ enemies.

With vanilla X-COM AI mechanics it would certainly be doable at least with a good spawn location. But X-Com Files has 'spotter' and 'sniper' mechanic, which will mean that dozens of enemies can come at you and shoot, throw grenades or use grenade launchers blindly at you if you hit one of the 'spotters' (most of them are, except with BL), even if you stay inside the smoke or the cover of darkness (so they can't see you). Grenades and launchers are usually the most destructive part.

The most effective way to counter this AI mechanic is to go there at night (and hope there are no enemies nearby spotting you), throw out flares and throw grenades for the first 5-10 turns or so, and not shoot at all. Throwing grenades does not trigger "sniper backfiring". But being able throw sufficient number of grenades requires a significant number of agents (you will also have to throw flares, many grenades will miss and many enemies require multiple grenades; nearby ones can be dealt with dynamites, which take more space and are heavier, so you'll need more agents for that reason as well).

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.0: Beyond Human
« on: October 07, 2023, 07:51:06 am »
They are not absolutely preventable. The RNG might still screw you. I had to wait for about 15 months for Cult Base mission to come up for two cults. I did everything the game provided and the manors still kept spawning. So I don't think it's fair to say that my anti-cult activities were insufficient.

I realize that I was having bad luck with RNG. But if this can happen for 15 months, it surely can also go on for 6 or 9 months. During which time many manors could spawn and the player can do nothing to prevent it.

To minimize this, I also suggested to significantly increase the chances of spawning Cult Forward Bases so that the mod would actually provide the player with sufficient chance of anti-cult activities to prevent manor spam.

In my next campaign, I had a similar delay issue with Cult Outposts. It took about 10 months (April 1998) to get the outpost of the final cult (BL). So before that you couldn't get all the cult operations research and you couldn't get OSPREY, so it would not make sense to research other cult operations either (going after Cult Forward Bases with helicopter or dragonfly is extremely risky).

If the RNG screws you in this manner, the alternative is to research and build a SKYRAIDER, which can transport 10 people quickly and also has a nice front exit, and does not have exterior lighting to spoil the night missions like dragonfly. With a crew of 10 you can take on some of the more difficult missions (just did a first tier manor, for example) though I'd still be cautious of going after the cult HQs.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: October 04, 2023, 06:30:51 pm »
Should EXALT Liquidation mission description include some warning that you cannot retreat from it? Most of these special missions do, but there are some exceptions or omissions. And sometimes you may be able to read this behind the lines if read it carefully.

The X-Com Files / Re: Scoped Rifle usability
« on: September 30, 2023, 07:25:57 am »
Hunting rifle is 125% accuracy, 70% TU with aimed shot, 72% and 33% with snap shot. Scoped has 125% accuracy, 72 % TU with aimed, 80% accuracy and 33% TU with snap shot. So scoped hunting rifle is actually even worse than the regular one with aimed shot (it's a bit slower), and the improvement of accuracy of snap shot does not really offset this. (Btw, both are classified as 'Rifles' instead of 'Sniper rifles'.)

For me the rifle/sniper path has been from hunting rifles to bolt action or mosin rifle as soon as possible (when you have promo I) and then BO sniper rifle .308 or some such (when you get promo II). I doubt you could get advanced optics researched before Promo II even if made sense to do so (it doesn't, because you want to prioritize Promo II and other more important things).

While Promo I Bolt action has 110 % aimed, 70 % TU, Mosin has 110 * 0.01*(FA^2 + 0.5*BRV), 80 % TU which means the Mosin is already excellent in the right hands with high FA (but at this point of the game, FA is not necessarily maxed yet). Promo II BO sniper rifle already has 150 % + 0.01*FA^2 accuracy.

For scoped hunting rifle to have any niche use at all, it should provide some benefits especially for those agents, who don't yet have high enough FA to use the actual sniper rifles that have 0.01*FA^2. And it should be significantly better than hunting rifle (currently only the snap shot is better). If the scoped hunting rifle had accuracy in 150 % range with aimed and 100 % with snap shot, it could possibly be a viable choice for some agents even late Promo I or early Promo II. Not sure if I'd still bother with it, because the research requirements are so expensive (especially bio-exo suit).

The X-Com Files / Re: Scoped Rifle usability
« on: September 29, 2023, 05:41:53 pm »
So having it be "baby's first sniper" doesn't seem too bad an idea.

By the time you could get scoped hunting rifle, it's already obsolete no matter if you add FA^2 or not. You have BO sniper file, .308 cal, etc., which are far superior, also damage-wise, and don't require similar research or manufacturing. It's a weird curiousity and I suppose it's in just because SS wanted to draw the sprite :-). Something else needs to change for it be of any use.

The X-Com Files / Re: Scoped Rifle usability
« on: September 26, 2023, 06:31:19 pm »
It can't be available earlier, because its entire point is to give the player a reward for researching Advanced Optics. Making it more valuable is possible, but right now I can't see any benefits it could logically have (it's still a hunting rifle, uses the same ammo).

Instead of scoped hunting rifle - or in addition to this - would it be feasible to have an advanced optic for the actual sniper rifles?

Depending on what's possible with OXCE, one could either go for
a) an additional advanced optic to be added to existing sniper rifles (improving the aim, for example) (not sure this is easily doable with OXCE), or
b) an advanced manufacturable sniper rifle with advanced optics, which would be an improvement over purchaseable sniper rifles; this or these could use the same vanilla clips as their purchaseable counterpart. (But not tactical sniper rifle, it sucks if you actually want to move as well and use a snap shot.)

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« on: September 23, 2023, 04:14:49 pm »
Anyone use a Position Marker?
I read the reviews on the forum and realized that few people use this equipment... If anyone is using it, please tell me how to do it most effectively?

Did you find these threads (top 3 answers when searching for 'position marker'), are those suggestions not sufficient? All of these seem to include some explicit suggestions how to use them.,11466.msg157415.html#msg157415,11156.msg153780.html#msg153780,10460.msg145096.html#msg145096

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« on: September 23, 2023, 06:55:09 am »
(In other words, does high psi skill agents take less damage from ghosts which do psi attacks)

PSK does not reduce amount of PSI damage you take from attacks.

2. How does carapace plate work? It seems be just an item but how do I get the benefits? It doesn't seem to count as an armor,  do I just have it in backpack?

It works like a grenade and it grows on you (I think to you backpack). I never bothered with it myself, the stats seemed unimpressive.

How is the advanced intelligene center actually improvemt over original besides more scientists? Is it's purpose simply to have a building thay can have 7 scientists?

Also, I am confused if I'm supposed to build an intel center, then an advanced one? Do I destroy the old one? Do I have both? Do I go straight to building one?

It simply states each base can "only have one intelligejve center or an advanced intelligrjve center" which I take to mean you cannot have both.

Advanced Intel Center provides space for two more scientists and a better global UFO detection rate. You can build it over the regular one (= upgrade) if you want.

I have never built it myself, in my opinion the high price tag is not worth it. At the stage it's relevant it's more important to build more bases and research capacity in other ways.

Essentially everything in X-COM mission/arc scripts is based on defining missions that happen on a monthly basis. This naturally leads to a ramp-up that's defined in the number of months since the start. While it would be technically possible to design a system where for example game difficulty or similar factors would affect the ramp-up speed, this would lead to a lot of duplicated rulesets which would be a maintenance nightmare.

I also doubt there is much demand for a general "scaling factor" as a new OXCE feature for many reasons; for mod authors it would be very difficult to test the balance of the mod with all the different combinations.

What would be technically feasible is making more missions dependent on the research and other progress (such as the existence of a particular base facility, as a measurement stick of your progress) instead of the progress of time. This would be exploitable by the users. And also appears to be the opposite what SS as the mod author wants. So I wouldn't hold your breath.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« on: September 22, 2023, 07:03:07 pm »
At least in the playthrough , that was back In 0.9 version.. the sectopods were vulnerable to the staff of heart grip, so it was very effective way to dispatch them from safe distance. Their highly trained+talented psi guys could kill a sectopod with 2 hits from the staff

Sectopods only take 10 % damage from BIO, so I doubt that's very useful for them. Even with max PSI skill and strength the actual damage would still be puny. I suppose something has changed (probably with various damage types) in the meanwhile.

I don't think you need to worry about ways of dealing with Sectopods in a good while.

I also saw the staff used a bit when watching some B&L walkthrough. I suppose a way to inflict damage, do panic or MC without LOS could be useful in some settings, but it drains sanity rather quickly. I've found conventional weapons to be sufficient in most contexts.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« on: September 22, 2023, 06:58:58 am »
does that mean, its only lookable by going to the wiki website, or by looking at files for the game? (that is to say, is it listed nowhere in-game)

The information is not available in-game.

Also, I researched the staff of heart grip and using staff of heart grip, but I can only throw it, is there a different button I am supposed to be using to use it?

Is it still really good against those one giant alien monsters with the huge armor?

'Using' article says: "By trial and (often painful) error, we finally managed to uncover the secret of how to operate the Staff of Heart Grip. To use it properly, one should not think of it as a weapon, but as a delicate instrument of dark mystic arts which requires attunement and dedication. It is therefore only suitable for trained psions.". Using it for anything other than throwing requires PSI skill, which you apparently don't have yet.

It ignores armor and causes BIO damage, so I guess in the right hands (good PSI strength and skill) it could be useful in some contexts. I've not found much use for it myself, though.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« on: September 22, 2023, 04:31:43 am »
Is there a way to know which aliens, or if hybrids, can see through smoke?

Look for "heatVision" (percentage) in the rulesets or the wiki. psiVision also indirectly leads to the same I think. You'll find all these definions in armors_XCOMFILES.rul.

Various aliens have some degree of either. Hybrids only have psiVision 3, i.e. not very much.

The X-Com Files / Re: Does anyone else love the early game ?
« on: September 19, 2023, 11:40:30 am »
I personally have always liked early and mid-game best. You usually have multiple paths to progress and you need to decide what you focus on with limited resources, and the randomness aspect might also affect your choices. Your soldiers are weak and are still developing, and its nice to train them and see their progress. You can still survive some casualties if you play ironman (like I usually do), but this has a much higher cost in later game.  I think this has been very well done in XCF, in contrast to vanilla UFO or TFTD, where the early-game period is very short. The mid-game part (until some point in late 1999 I suppose) is also in my opinion quite interesting.

Late game with maxed soldiers and equipment is usually more or less grinding most of the same missions over and over again (though as you don't care about points that much at that point, you could usually just shoot down UFOs and not recover them). I quite often get bored with the game at that point, but I doubt that's really easily fixable. My main suggestion here is, however, that this period of the game should not be excessively stretched out or be depedent on RNG. After you've obtained essentially everything, the campaign should be over soon.

Nearby spawns are one of the challenges of the game. You'll definitely want to go out on these missions at night, so that when you eliminate the nearby spawns, you don't get reaction fired by over a dozen other enemies. Then you progress gradually by throwing out flares. Using this tactic these missions have been very easy even with the maximum number of spawns (SH). The only thing you really need to watch out for is that some of those enemies have explosives that they can throw out at you. So you'll need to be careful not to let them get too close and/or see you.

The X-Com Files / Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« on: September 15, 2023, 05:50:09 am »

I have this "technology" but I don't remember seeing what it said. But I also can't seem to find it in my ufopedia

Is there a way to view it or what is it's purpose? Or where can i find it again

It has no entry and serves no purpose at all (except open up a locked extra staff message for interrogation).

Another question: in the Vincent Decker mission I managed to capture 2 MIB scientists and 1 MIB enforcer , but I took heavy losses

It is mid 1998, im wondering without spoiling too much, would it be a mistake to try to research MIB tree ans possibly hit "effects game progression" for some them? Or are these techs abd presumably missions it might unlock meant for more end game period  , with no real benefit to earlier game

In mid-1998, it should be OK to research the MIB tree. Personally I have always delayed it quite a bit, because interrogating MIBs is research-wise very expensive and I've wanted to get most of the topics from cheaper sources.

Some better MIBs are a good source for, for example, scavenging better armors that you would usually not have access to at that point. It helps to have ghost-arc tech to be able to stun them comfortably.

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