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Messages - psavola

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361
Should there be some trigger which will turn off ghost events as you complete the arc? There doesn't appear to be and IMO there should be. Though I suppose some could use these for training purposes and not complete the arc on purpose if there was a way to do it.

If I recall correctly, SS already said this arc is kinda incomplete at the moment. And I think someone also said you can just skip everything by not researching cover: scientists (which also skips most of the zombie arc?) to better focus on the main game. And it's certainly debatable, as the loot from the arc (certain PSI weapons, mostly) are not so useful as to make it worth it.

For a simple solution - while waiting for a completion of the arc -, getting "Residual Psionic Artifacts", which you can get by getting the three items from ghost missions, could turn off the ghost missions. After that you could no longer get ectoplasm though. But I'm not sure if anyone would want to use equipment using it in the longer term anyway. Currently researching that subject is a dead-end.

I'll have to correct myself here. If you want to get Gillman Hero alive and recover its very useful power suit, based on the specs about the only way I could think of doing it reliably were the PSI weapons you can get from the ghost missions. I suppose they could be otherwise useful as well against the enemies that have too good armor to penetrate otherwise. So, not completely useless after all.

362
The X-Com Files / Re: Is it safe to update mid game?
« on: May 28, 2023, 05:11:19 am »
Speaking of which, is it intentional that you can't do anything with human sacrifices except sell them? They are not researchable like almost everything else is,  and they just clutter the prisons. Based on the sprites it's not even obvious if those are actually meant to be live humans intended to be sacrificed or already sacrificed corpses.

363
Released Mods / Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.56)
« on: May 27, 2023, 08:00:16 am »
Alien bombing runs start in June, if I recall correctly, so you should schedule your bases to have some torpedo defenses by then, and getting them built should be a priority for new bases as well, though not as important as in your primary bases *). Because the accuracy is quite low, for safety you should build preferably at least three. Being able to upgrade the defenses would be excellent.

*) For example, if your major base subpen gets destroyed when the craft is out on a mission, the craft and its crew are destroyed as well. I had this happen once in an SH/IM run..

So speed up the build-up, in new bases I think I have usually built an outpost and/or a corridor among the  first and then expand to the squares next to it. You can scrap the outpost after you have build proper stores and living quarters.

364
The X-Com Files / Re: [MOD] MedBay
« on: May 26, 2023, 03:42:59 pm »
Agreed. Some update on the sick bay and additional speed-up for sanity recovery would be much appreciated. I haven't checked if the enhancement is properly balanced, but that's up to SS in any case.

365
Monstrous Breed research gives access to both Monsters: Final Solution (essentially endng monsters events) and Monsters: The Aftermath. The latter description refers to dealing of remaining monsters that have avoided extermination by a special unit. It sounds as if the Aftermath research should actually by dependent on The Final Solution, not completeable before it, because the description makes little sense otherwise.

366
Aren't Betarians spawned through items in certain base missions?

Indeed, they are spawned (STR_SPAWN_BETARIAN_ENGINEER) in certain UBASE definions. The abovementioned parser seems to be able to deal with it; at https://xcf.trigramreactor.net/master/article/STR_BETARIAN_ENGINEER, the "Deployed in" includes about 15 various bases, most of which have STR_SPAWN_BETARIAN_ENGINEER as "Spawned items" and "Betarian Engineer" mentioned as Spawned unit, but not in alien loadouts. However, for whatever reason, the minibase assault description includes neither and according to that parser it shouldn't be spawning through the item on that mission. But as it does, I suppose the parser is buggy as this happened for me. The parser has been very reliable and useful so far in being able to determine what to expect in a first run.

367
Playing 3.0 snapshot, I stumbled upon a Betarian engineer in Chtonite Minibase Assault mission. At least according xcf.trigramreactor.net that is parsing the rulesets, that alien is not supposed to be here - not in the alien loadouts(?). I wonder how that has come to be. If this is intentional for whatever reason, I suppose the aforementioned parser is buggy.

368
OXCE Support / Re: Hunter-Killer Approaches Despite Being Slower
« on: May 22, 2023, 10:01:42 pm »
Good to know. I didn't even know you can adjust the air combat speed (under Geoscape in options). All my HK air combats have always gone so fast they are over in less than a second. You have to have had to have very good reflexes to do anything at all.

369
OXCE Support / Re: Hunter-Killer Approaches Despite Being Slower
« on: May 22, 2023, 01:59:02 pm »
But shouldn't there be a way to keep the UFO at a distance (assuming your weapon range is longer than the UFOs) if your craft is faster? Or does this happen by default (I don't recall if I have ever had a craft faster than HKs.)

370
Released Mods / Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.56)
« on: May 22, 2023, 06:01:01 am »
I've only played SH and also done ironman a number of times. MC has never been a special problem (as long as you exploit the AI by dropping weapons and having pre-primed dye grenades), except certain missions which you will have to use special tactics or wait getting MC-shieleded aqauanauts:
- alien barge with aquatoids or enhanced aquatoids; sometimes I have attempted this with 3 gauss cannon tanks but it is a gamble
- bio lab w/ enhanced aquatoids
- the dungeon (obviously you shouldn't go there until you have sonic and other good gear anyway)
- artifact sites where you'll want to use a camping strategy and place drones/tanks on the elevator tiles so your weak-minded aquanauts don't escape
- mind worms missions which you'll have to do with drones/tanks and/or abort) but this is just something you'll have to take into account and abort

The challenge is that especially barge and bio lab would provide resources that would be very useful to shield the aquanauts, so you may be sorely tempted to take up the gamble especially with the barge.I think currently the balance is reasonably good.

With SH/IM the most challenging aspect are the hunter-killers that go around other ships (the ones from bases you can learn to avoid).

371
The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 19, 2023, 10:36:32 am »
Mass drivers are poor-man (in black)'s gauss, lacking auto-fire and having less damage. They also weigh a little less. Yet, MD, gauss and lasers kinda all useful, all found relatively at the same time,  and I'm not sure one can't do other's jobs.

Still, lasers feel like universal cure so that's what I usually go with. They're lightweight, accurate, have decent damage, usually good against robots, and limited ammo is not really an issue if you ration it properly. Gauss cannon works wonders on crafts though.

Sonic weapons can be found earlier, around 98. No auto, meh accuracy, damage falloff with range, but GOOD damage, thus good in close combat. In particular, sonic shotgun is small (1x2 in size) and powerful - best breaching sidearm. Also, sonics are handy underwater.

Plasma is still plasma, but there are some endgame targets resistant to it, so it needs to be mixed with something like lasers.
TLDR, commonly you can get through the game with just common firearms and lasers, maybe sonics for underwater missions.In my experience, none whatsoever.

Thanks for this and other general tips. What you write about sonic shotgun is very interesting, especially now that I was just now offered a chance to either return the tech for 5M or develop it myself. I'd be tempted to take the money and put it into another good use, but I'm hesitant if it's also the best short range weapon [and can be worn as a sidearm to boot] - what would be the best alternatives if you decline the human-sonic path?

Early, you can just tail UFOs with your transport until they land, like good old times. But there are some hunter-killer UFOs that pretend being docile... Ravens\Thunderstorms (with Heavy Stingrays) are first adult interceptors, and should be used in squads of 2-3. Migs\Interceptors can be ignored.

Is the reason for using multiple interceptors at the same time to protect against hunter-killers (are some special missiles or weapons needed for this? *), to produce enough damage output (can you take down even smaller ones with just one) or something else? At least in the early game, both raven and thunderstorm incur about 1M monthly rent so I suppose you need to be careful how many you deploy until your economy has improved (as well as not having enough alloys to produce before taking down a couple of alien ships anyway).

*) For example, in TWoTS superhuman there is only one early-midgame weapon (out of a dozen) where the projectiles travel quick enough to kill a hunter-killer before it destroys you (and you need at least two of these at all times to stand a chance), and that one is almost useless otherwise. But in this mod at least thunderstorms are likely faster than the alien ships so the choice of weaponry might not necessarily be such an issue.

372
I found myself using (my own custom) statstrings vital to keep track of my best soldiers and rookies. I keep a special flag ("++") for soldiers that were "maximized", this is trained beyond a point that they could not gain any more stats. Those soldiers were given command duty on secondary bases (read not HQ base) until Cydonia or until needed to cover for heavy casualties (read wounded) after a major mission. I also keep another flag for soldiers who were done training at the gym but have yet to maximize ("+").

I remember before commendations and such, said max-out soldiers ("++") were sort of quick to attain. After commendations (and a new campaign) soldiers will be done with the gym ("+") but will take like forever to maximize ("++") making them rare and valuable.

I'd like for statstrings to react to also transformations present (or absent) and not just stat numbers.
(...)

Starving Poet's reverse statstrings (https://mod.io/g/openxcom/m/reversed-stat-strings-for-x-com-files) does much of this and it has been very useful in my early game at least. It hasn't been updated in a while so I suppose at least some later-game features are missing. In some cases it might be useful to track commendations also, but that would require some special encoding in the name.

373
The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 17, 2023, 07:36:54 pm »
I'd like to invite veterans to suggest a few general strategic tips on the following (early)mid-game topics (when the invasion is looming and soon to start).

There seem to be a number of tier-2 weapons, for example mass drivers, gauss, sonic, various kinds of laser, later plasma. It would be useful to hear thoughts on which ones are actually useful and which ones less so. There seem to be various tradeoffs -  for example,
- gauss looks promising but is so heavy that a normal agent can't really use it much
- most of the weapons require (at this point) rarish materials to manufacture them or the clips,
- even most lasers apparently now require batteries so they are not a free lunch either
- enhanced human-based kinetic weapons, especially the ones that include stat bonuses to power (e.g. snipers) may still be very viable.

As another point, in vanilla games, after getting PSI evaluation you would trash the agents which have low values. In some mods, transformations could be used for example, to proof the agents against PSI. There seem to be upcoming transformations which do some things. How much is alien PSI going to be an issue? Should low-PST agents be redirected to cannon fodder (and at least cease training them) or are there solutions looming? How much PST and PSK do you really need and which agents should you eventually transform to, for example, spartanism? In early-ish game agents already with less than 30 PST are not eligible for martial arts training, Will there be some other options to keep low-PST agents worth keeping and gaining more experience? The bottom line from early-midgame strategic point of view is: are low-PSI agents going to remain viable somehow  or should they be delegated to the most dangerous tasks to eventually get rid of them?

And finally, what are the key things you should have when the invasion begins (e.g. radars? interceptors, are the early missiles sufficient? etc.)


374
Irreplaceable agents: I am aware, but haven't come up with a satisfactory solution yet. (I don't want to allow for hiring veterans later on, because it's hard to tackle balance-wise, and also controversial from the setting point of view.) For now I just hope it's not too bad.

One option that would go a little bit in that direction would be to remove the commendations bonuses. In the long run they grant huge bonuses on top of what can be easily achieved by regular experience, making the veterans significantly better compared to vanilla or mods which don't have them. But I doubt that fits in your plans.

375
Should there be some trigger which will turn off ghost events as you complete the arc? There doesn't appear to be and IMO there should be. Though I suppose some could use these for training purposes and not complete the arc on purpose if there was a way to do it.

If I recall correctly, SS already said this arc is kinda incomplete at the moment. And I think someone also said you can just skip everything by not researching cover: scientists (which also skips most of the zombie arc?) to better focus on the main game. And it's certainly debatable, as the loot from the arc (certain PSI weapons, mostly) are not so useful as to make it worth it.

For a simple solution - while waiting for a completion of the arc -, getting "Residual Psionic Artifacts", which you can get by getting the three items from ghost missions, could turn off the ghost missions. After that you could no longer get ectoplasm though. But I'm not sure if anyone would want to use equipment using it in the longer term anyway. Currently researching that subject is a dead-end.

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