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Messages - psavola

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Released Mods / Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.56)
« on: May 15, 2023, 12:54:58 pm »
Yes, the underwater throwing range was reduced to 60%. IMO, this was a relatively good change as it better reflects physics and makes the battlescape tactic "throw out grenades everywhere" less viable but YMMV on whether it makes the game too difficult (I managed fine).

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 14, 2023, 11:17:27 pm »
Getting back experiences with spotter/sniper and additionally on dealing with manors. In my VET/IM game, I just killed off four manors that I had postponed dealing with in Sep 98. These went without any human casualties and were easier than I had anticipated; I think they were the middle sized ones. In all the missions, I was only thrown an incendiary grenade once (and that may have been due to being lax with smoke).

I dealt with those on daylight. Deploy lots of smoke at least 10 squares each direction around the landing area. The key tactic is, for the first 5-10 turns or so, not shooting anyone  who is a spotter so that you don't get shot back or grenaded by all the snipers. Instead, use dogs and preferably scout drones to figure out where the enemies are and then each turn throw a lot of grenades (a worse alternative is an agent with a motion scanner). You can also use sniper rifles (about 70-90% hit score w/ BO sniper, auto-sniper or tactical sniper rifle even if the agent can't see the target) against those enemies which are not spotters.

After most snipers are flushed out and/or panicking for some time, you may need to go into a sweep mode or find a better location from where to scout the enemies.

Two black lotus manors were actually the easiest, because you can shoot the BL followers, warriors and assassins. You'll just have to spot the assassins with preferably drones (2-3). BL also have fewer grenades or grenade launchers. One mission was already over in 10 turns or so. Exalt and Dagon both took a bit longer because almost all troops are spotters and therefore you have to play it safe. (You can always shoot the maids.)

TLDR: cheese the mod by attacking the spotters with grenades, not with guns.

BTW. I was a bit disappointed that the manors did not have loot to any significant degree.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: May 14, 2023, 10:09:23 am »
Is there a way (except looking at the save where you can find this information easily) to check which agents have undergone combat pilot training? It doesn't show up in '+' like other commendations and enhancements. I suppose this might be related to the fact that it does a "Flat Stats Change", not a bonus. I suppose this is intentional.

The X-Com Files / Re: Bugs, crashes, typos & bad taste
« on: May 13, 2023, 08:32:05 pm »
The ufopedia article of Interceptor says it equips LTMS. Actually it uses heavy missiles, so this should be HVMS. The cannon part is correct.

Brutal AI / Re: Inconsistency between tile- and unit-visibility
« on: May 12, 2023, 12:39:22 pm »
As Vakrug mentioned an XCF example of "half-height fence" (which I suppose you could kneel behind and be out of sight), I'm not sure how the modders have used tile visility. Are they using it to kind of mean "the view to the tile is at least partially obstructed". I suppose stop-LOS has not been used to mean that anything (regardless of height) is always invisible if it's on that tile. Also, if you changed this, would it apply both ways (you also can't see out from the tile) which would likely break some maps but not as badly as the visibility would be gone while the enemies on the tile could still shoot you.

btw, is there a quick way to check whether a base facility can be destroyed in a Base Defense?

This is how it goes (or is at least documented) with vanilla OXC: - some facilities are special.
The rulesets don't seem to include anything that relates to the destruction of facilities. Therefore I think how the tiles are marked in each base facility must be examined from the maps files. So I guess the answer to the "quick way" would be no.

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 07, 2023, 08:23:59 am »
I had Osiron Hacienda mission. All the Osiron guys are snipers but none of them are spotters. So their sniping skills and advanced weapons availed them naught. In a similar fashion, I did a Lotus Forward Base. A tricky spawn location where the Osprey ramp is next to the opening and you already see 10 enemies without moving, but darkness, smoke and running out with most of the crew to a safer spot helped a lot. I've adopted a practice to verify on most missions I'm not already familiar with (from ruleset or which enemies I'm going to face and which are spotters, which are snipers and which are both. In this mission you could shoot Warriors and Assassins, otherwise it'd be normal and incendiary grenades. Forward guys only got shot a couple of times and had one enemy failed attempt at throwing a grenade at me.

Now, another topic that might be relevant to this thread. Any more general strategies on which base facilities are most essential and in which bases?

I guess I could start with a tip that someone has mentioned in passing elsewhere I think. Currently (Jun 1998) I have four bases which provide roughly world-wide coverage so that I can fly-transfer Osprey there and do essentially any kind of mission from that other base and then transfer back. This strategy seems  superior (by reducing the salary and other expenses as well as micromanagement) to trying to build independent strong agent teams in each base (I do have some 5 or so agents and smaller transports on most other bases though). You'll just need enough storage space (roughly 100, allow for a decent weapons stockpile on Osprey) on each base. [By the way, it would be nice if OXCE provided a way to check how much storage a craft with all the equipment requires, I couldn't find a way to do it.]

There seem to be so many base facilities - and more coming up - that I doubt a typical strategy of main base being able to almost everything well would work, as I anticipate running out of space with three hangars. Now I'm wondering if I should focus on building for example Science Labs in 3rd and 4th bases (those don't even have intel/bio labs yet, but science lab is more cost-efficient) and ramp up the research even more (currently at 75 scientists) or whether I should build another workshop. If the workshop (still only 20 engineers but the space will be an issue shortly), how much manufacturing capacity will actually fit in the main base or should these be built elsewhere. It appears this mod is (after early game) manufacturing heavy and manufacturing takes a huge amount of time and resources, so to be able to manufacture anything in a sensible time you'll need at least two workshops. I suspect I'll need at least two workshops in the main base because otherwise constantly transferring components and manufactured items would likely drive anyone except a micromanagement geek insane.

And another general question would be what facilities could be skipped in the main and other bases. I'm considering that, if necessary, the prison(s) and animal pens (and thinking back, maybe also alien containment) could reside only on a secondary base and you could rely on post-mission Transfer to keep live captures, but this requires that you ensure there's always free capacity at the target base (though unsure if post-mission transfer would work if the aliens attacked the base). Already did that with ghost tank and skipped rat farm completely.

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 06, 2023, 03:15:19 pm »
Yes, this is exactly what happens all the time when I use smoke. When an enemy unit don't have a line of sight to shoot, it throws explosives which are mush more dangerous.

This mechanics is one of the most annoying things is game. Mostly because it is impossible to figure it out just by playing a game. You are lucky if you have read about this mechanics somewhere, otherwise the only conclusion can be made is that stealth is not working. Which is very sad thing if you consider how much stealth stuff is in many mods.

You misunderstood, I should have been clearer, I meant exactly the opposite. By "they" in this context I was referring to my agents. Those that just kept throwing grenades and deliberately not shooting anyone were not attacked at all, while in vanilla game and other mods I would have used those agents to shoot enemies with snipers (which results in gunfire and grenades back at you). There have been some instances of grenades thrown at me, but in those I have already been spotted or seen. And indeed, this (and the related thing: enemy grenade launchers) is what I'm the most afraid of when playing ironman.

Advanced Intelligence Center description includes: "An improvement of the standard Intelligence Center, this facility provides workspace for 2 more scientists and allows the base to conduct intelligence-related research (primarily interrogations) using advanced methods and improved equipment. Each Intelligence Center slightly increases global detection."

This is misleading or it's trying to mix the lore in the description and causes confusion. No interrogation seems to require of benefit of these "advanced methods and improved equipment", which the text seems to indicate. You have to pay 1.25M for two additional scientists and far more for upkeep. Its biggest selling point would be global 2% detection instead of 1 %, but I haven't played enough to know whether that's worth it (and you can already get it by having multiple regular intel labs across multiple places). Otherwise this would be a waste of money. I'd suggest removing the text which seems to suggest you would actually need this for some interrogations - or make certain interrogations actually require the advanced intel functionality.

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 05, 2023, 05:43:18 pm »
Just yesterday I played Red Dawn HQ and Dagon Forward Base with a tactic that (up to a certain point), I positioned about 8-10 agents separately in a good cover at the edge of the map close by and made damn sure they didn't try to shoot anyone and no one saw them. I even had to do Red Dawn HQ during day because it was located in the North Pole during a summer time, so no cover of darkness would be available. They just kept throwing regular and incendiary grenades for about 5-15 turns. I didn't notice a single time that the enemies would have tried to target them. The enemies did try to target my spotters - a few units, e.g. dogs, which went out to spot the enemy and fled back up the ramp of the Osprey or somewhere else (where someone usually tried to shoot them and eventually mostly killed them). Some of this might of course have been luck, but mostly reflects to to the most recent results here.

There are some cases in which the protection of smoke is inadequate. Juku already mentioned some, for example, enemies with heat vision. Another one might be that the explosion height is forced to 2 (instead of round shape at 3). In many missions there are buildings at least 3 levels high. I think in some cases (e.g. a building is close enough) enemies could see your guys over the smoke. I have certainly seen the partial ineffectiveness of smoke agaist flying enemies with forced explosion height with TWoTS as well as in TFTD city terror missions the enemies up in the level 4 usually killing the aquanauts regardless of smoke (until you set the height to 3). I doubt this affected Juku's tests, but could be one factor among many where the results could be unreliable.

Okay, so just recently, I started up a new game & have reached the point of recruiting the Envoys (specifically the Military one) and I required the research of all of the 'Cult Networks', I've done all of them except the Black Lotus, where I'm in need of a Footman, however, every Cult safehouse has been reserved for Exalt & Red Dawn, and any Black Lotus missions are now only coming up with the basic 'Arrest Suspects' that don't have them, Have I somewhat 'Softlocked' myself here?, or is there a way around it?

You have to have researched "Black Lotus" but not "Black Lotus Operations" in the previous month. The rest is just randomness: there are (in the early game) 8 triggers with each having  8 % chance of one of those missions spawning each month. This means that you have roughly 50 % chance that you don't get a specific cult mission at all per month.

Later, for cult outposts, the chance is 6 % which means about 40 % of chance not spawning at least one per month.

There are also other missions that may give you what you need (e.g. Industrial investigation).

Sometimes getting all may take a while. That's also why you may want to consider when is the best time to research all the networks and/or operations (for example, that you don't get too difficult missions too early and you don't terminate too early the easy experience and money-churning easy missions).

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 03, 2023, 03:39:45 pm »
Thanks for the further testing. I wonder what happens with various grenade launchers: with HE/napalm like grenades which could hit directly or miss and produce an AoE effect, or with blunt grenades which require a direct hit. I suppose that the code would not treat grenade launchers or arcing shots in general differently from direct gunfire shots. Though arguably grenade launchers are actually pretty close to turning on instant grenades option, so I would not be surprised if these were treated the same.

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 03, 2023, 02:36:40 pm »
The timed explosives are the results I'm least confident about, since they're pretty difficult to reliably test with this method, but everything else seems reproducible. The AoE spotting may be influenced by whether the enemy hit is within 1 tile of the explosion or further away, but I can't confirm. I hope this information is useful to someone.

Thanks. This is extremely useful to me. As you can confirm AoE effect with LC-HE (-> not spotted unless you actually hit the target squarely), it'd seem plausible that similar AoE would also apply to timed explosives. However, it could be conceivable that hitting 1 square off the target would be different to more squares off (because the differentiation is already done when applying the damage to under armor versus other armor), but I doubt it. Why it has appeared as if explosives don't affect spotting is likely due to the fact that you rather rarely precisely hit the target unit but rather land on some nearby square. And based on these findings, you might in some cases actually rather want to miss the target :o.

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 03, 2023, 12:50:58 pm »
I have disabled the 'throw grenades/flares all over the map' exploit/feature for myself, so that no longer works for me. But even without that, in my experience smoke allows you to control vision with more precision and less micro than flares. Snipers ignore both, anyway.

I certainly agree that the mod would be very different if the throwing ranges would be drastically reduced. I suppose that halving them would be at least in the early game (with strengths such as 50-60) significant enough to require a change in the battlescape tactics (and prevent a stray enemy grenade, even if not a grenade launcher as well). This would also make it more important to use grenade launchers which would not necessarily be impacted by the change (at least not to the same extent).

This would be similar to what a recent update of TWoTS did to underwater throwables (extendedUnderwaterThrowFactor: 60). One could define a fixed throwRange, but AFAICS not scale down the lengths except by increasing the weight of throwables (another mod chose this path by making grenades and such 5+ weight, I think).

How do you know that? Players have been notoriously unreliable about determining who and when spots them ever since 1994.

The only way to be sure is to examine the save every turn, have you done that?

No, I haven't. This is the first mod where I have encountered this mechanic so I'm trying to understand it. The best explanation of the logic is in the early thread detailing it (,5679.0.html), but that thread does not include anything on differences how you hit the spotter (gunfire, grenades, grenade launcher - and whether it's crucial whether it's a direct hit or an area effect - and whether killing the spotter in one shot prevents from relaying that information to the snipers) which at least seems to cause a different behavior and you seem to agree that this impacts the logic. Though I'm not sure if I can easily find this in the code, so it's not inconceivable that we'd all be wrong. I'd hope that someone else would already have done a reliable analysis.

The X-Com Files / Re: The OpenXcom Files: Tips and Tricks!
« on: May 03, 2023, 09:57:23 am »
Heresy! Who doesn't use smoke?! :o

In vanilla-like games and mods with shorter LOS I have certainly used it a lot. But here due to LOS being so huge, you'll either need lots of smoke, darkness and/or cover.

You don't really seem to benefit from it that much if you stay in the cover of darkness (and throw the flares out to expose the enemies), and it only hurts you outbound firing/grenade launcher accuracy.

Though it is a gambit in the sense that you don't know for certain whether an enemy unit is lurking close to you somewhere and you might become spotted more often if you don't use smoke as an additional safeguard. Nonetheless if you want to avoid getting spotted altogether you may want to deploy a disposable unit (e.g. a dog) that does more of scouting and tries to retreat to some cover if/when spotted.

Not unless they also saw the target with their own eyes.
It's more likely that you got spotted again during those 2-5 turns, by shooting another spotter if nothing else.

Not sure what you mean with the former, it seems to be in conflict with the last sentence? As far as I have been able to understand, spotters don't need to see you with their own eyes - it is enough that you shoot them. Are you saying that firing at the spotters far away that haven't seen you doesn't trigger the spotting/sniping mechanic? And actually, the enemy sniping/grenades that has affected me has always been caused by the spotters next to me (for example, during turn 1) and it has continued for a number of turns even though there hasn't been any new spottings?

Spotting duration depends on the spotter's, well, 'spotter' value. And that's at most 2 for the biggest baddest cultists, and no more than 4 for endgame enemies.

Quite right, I got mixed up with sniper's intelligence and spotter's spotting value. Both affect the sniper enemy units but for the purposes of firing or throwing grenades at the agents, without personal LOS, the spotter value seems to be relevant one.

No, the sanity loss is real. It's just that you're likely picking up commendations that raise your sanity max back up again. Go check your soldier stat boosts (the '+' in soldier info screen).

Yes, correct. In some cases, the combined effect of enhancement and commendations was net positive, in some cases slightly negative.

But I suppose the the original point remains: how much sanity do you actually need. If sanity damage is 1 per turn, I suppose the you could do with much less than 120. Unless there are some attacks or more serious effects on sanity.

Thanks for the summary of enhancements and transformations.

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