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Author Topic: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?  (Read 12845 times)

Offline aaronrolls

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Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« on: April 14, 2022, 12:53:59 pm »
So I I'm playing Xcom Files on beginner difficulty, Ironman.

The year is 1998, one year before the normal game would start.

The map is covered in UFO bases, at least 5 plus. I haven't discovered any but I can tell where all the UFOs land.

I can't complete any missions because almost everywhere UFOs spawn and take down my craft.

I'm now broke because I need to keep buying more craft. I can't outrun or avoid UFOs. It is normal for three UFOs to chase one of my craft.

What is going on? It's so early and on beginner difficulty. The run is lost, but how can I avoid this in the future?

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2022, 08:47:47 pm »
Frankly it sounds very weird.
Do they come in waves, and then disappear?
Were you shooting down alien craft en masse?

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2022, 09:28:48 pm »
This sounds like there's something wrong with your mod installation. UFOs shouldn't even spawn (outside of some early flyby or reasearch missions) during the first two years unless you somehow manage to shoot them down en masse liek Solarius mentioned.

Uploading a save file might help. How did you install the mod and from where did you download it? Same goes for OXCE.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2022, 09:31:18 pm by krautbernd »

Offline aaronrolls

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2022, 12:13:24 am »
Sometimes there would be waves and they would disappear. But most of the time they spawned from set points on the map when my craft flew past them. I assumed they were bases as the UFO's would fly back to where they spawned and disappear.

I never took down any UFO's. The only UFO that ever got downed was one shot down by Earths Military. I won that battle so I did get some UFO parts.

Unfortunately I don't remember where I got the Xcom Files installation from but I'll replace it with a new one. As for my save file, I did play it until I lost the game, is it still useful to post?

Offline Bonakva

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2022, 08:17:06 am »
As of recent versions, the cult bases have their own air vehicles. They are very easy to shoot down the initial ships (helicopter, dragonfly, osprey, etc.). Basically anything below 1000 speed is at risk. Spoiler, above 1000 is also not a panacea, over time the cults appear new ships that have speed above 1000. The most dangerous according to the documents Mig29 (1300), F4 Phantom (1200), Mirage (1150) and the "angel fighter" (2350!!!). The latter humiliated me more than once even as my planes appeared...
If the cult bases are not cleaned up in time, they can greatly affect the landing. Have to trick and send landing ships in manual mode that they were not intercepted. Kitsune is very helpful on the main base. Almost always gets to the point without interception, if it has time to gain speed...

Before enemy planes appear, enemy ships can be fought with the AH-6. But at some point only kitsune can fight. In my game for a very long time only kitsune could oppose enemy ships because I couldn't get into mig31 for a long time.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 08:25:36 am by Bonakva »

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2022, 10:01:08 am »
As for my save file, I did play it until I lost the game, is it still useful to post?

Yes. If it turns out it's actually cults and not aliens then Solarius might want to have a look at this, because I don't think this is working as intended. Cults should not be able to break progression like that, especially not on lower difficulties.

Offline Praevasc

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2022, 12:34:05 pm »
Are you sure they are real alien UFOs and not just some cultist vehicles? Research the Little Bird (one of the first craft you can equip with weapons) and engage them. You'll see they are mostly pickup trucks with machineguns, easily defeated by your own machinegun-equipped helicopters. Later they spawn their own helicopters which are a bit tougher, but you can still defeat them with a Little Bird equipped with four miniguns.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2022, 01:16:53 pm »
But at some point only kitsune can fight. In my game for a very long time only kitsune could oppose enemy ships because I couldn't get into mig31 for a long time.

@Solarius
Is this intended? The whole concept sounds kind of unbalanced tbh. How and why do cults even have access to fighter jets and airbases without the council/UN/whatever carpet bombing the crap out of them? The whole point of the early cults is to avoid too much scrutiny and stay undetected, isn't it? Why does X-Com even need to investigate them if their is straightup evidence that they are essentially engaging in unsanctioned military action on a sovereign nations territory?

Governments largely ignoring/being oblivious to the Russian Mafia or supernatural Yakuza as long as they stay mostly low key I can buy. Governments ignoring the Russian Mafia or supernatural Yakuza when they get their hands on fighter jets, establishing air bases and actually using said hardware to shoot down aircraft is another matter entirely. At that point they are directly challenging a nations sovereignity and air dominance on their own territory. They pose a clear and evident danger that X-Com doesn't need to "investigate" any further to warrant full military action by the host nation. And I don't think I need to point out how poor a single MIG or helicopter of any kind would fare against an actual nations military given what's currently happening in eastern Europe.

I can buy this with the MIB and other late-game organisations who have access to more outlandish technology and powerful sponsors. But the cults are (literally) goons. They have outposts that can be basically wiped out with a single shot because they store high-explosive munitions next to a window. They are not supposed to have the same privileges as late game enemies/organizations.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 01:31:50 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Robotjukebox

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2022, 04:05:10 pm »
Kinda having this issue right now in a playthough (Vet). early game cult helicopters would spawn in around bases but noting you could not avoid or deal with. But the cult interceptors are spawning ( Some from bases that i haven't delt with or a HQ Mission). the issue is i have no meaningful way of dealing with them or escorting them as i don't have the Kitsune or promotion III to get interceptors. so anytime i send out a ship i just have to hope i don't get caught as both the heli and dragon can't outrun them.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2022, 04:22:39 pm »
@Solarius
Is this intended? The whole concept sounds kind of unbalanced tbh. How and why do cults even have access to fighter jets and airbases without the council/UN/whatever carpet bombing the crap out of them? The whole point of the early cults is to avoid too much scrutiny and stay undetected, isn't it? Why does X-Com even need to investigate them if their is straightup evidence that they are essentially engaging in unsanctioned military action on a sovereign nations territory?

(...)

I totally get your point, and I'd probably put a similar argument as a player. But I have eventually reached a conclusion that this is acceptable, or in fact kinda necessary, to represent the globe slowly falling into cultists' grasp piece by piece if you are too idle. Yes, we have the "left the pact" feature, but it's binary, irreversible and large-scale. Cult manors and associated activity represent a smaller, local scale, a network of intrigue involving political and military structures being infiltrated by evil organisations and something to fight over. What they're doing is generally not approved by the government, but they have enough influence to get away with such actions under the cover of military exercises or such. It's not like X-Com can go complain to the police, and if they go to the Council, the Council will point out that this is exactly why they pay you.
If the game had an engine more fit for complicated political simulations, I'd use it; but with what we have, I think this model is good enough.
Also, this is part of the process to diminish the game's emphasis on the aliens and put more on human organisations. MiBs being the most important, but there needs to be something intermediary between them and gopniks with handguns.

I appreciate that these patrols are problematic; they are meant to be. I think they're still rather benign compared to ninja bases in Piratez. Still, this is a fairly new feature, so I am open to tweaks.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2022, 05:06:56 pm »
What they're doing is generally not approved by the government, but they have enough influence to get away with such actions under the cover of military exercises or such. It's not like X-Com can go complain to the police, and if they go to the Council, the Council will point out that this is exactly why they pay you.
Sorry, but that doesn't really make much sense unless the military of every country the cultists are active in is also infiltrated at the highest level, not even considering what the general public would think about "military excercises" (utilizing foreign aircraft no less) regularely shooting down other (civilian? How are X-Coms craft identified to the public?) aircraft in their own country. MIB at least have some outlandish designs that can be "explained away" as UFOs. Do you know how much of a fuss a MIG-31 shooting down a helicopter near a major US (or European) population center would cause? This is something you'd expect to see during an actual (civil) war.

To begin with, this would pretty much preclude any civilian air traffic. I'm not sure you actually realize how much of an issue this would be. A countries military straight up would not stand for this, nor would any civilian security forces and the administration, as it would outright invalidate any authority the government has. A government openly yielding sovereignity over their airspace to a foreign power (which cults are at that point) is not something that would feasibly happen, given that even your bizarro world still has sovereign states and national power structures which are represented in the council.

From a storytelling and narrative perspective starting players out with this dimishes the impact later discoveries about other organizations have. How are the MiB really that much of a threat, given that cults can accomplish pretty much the same thing? Turns out being a gopnik with a handgun is enough to bend entire countries (including their military and security aperatus) to your will. If they can do that, why don't they simply shut down X-COM? How did X-COM even get involved into any of this in the first place, given that even the lowly cults you fight in the beginning are that powerful and can get the government to explain away something that would essentially lead to civil war?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole appeal behind X-COM, X-Files and the other mythology you've chosen to borrow from for the mod ist that they have some kind of connection to the real world. They are, on some level, believable or feasible. Something like this breaks suspension of disbelief on a very basic level (at least for me) because of the implications it has in-universe. Yes, there are other things that do that to some extent as well, but they are not "MIG-31 shooting down my craft over the US" kind of obvious. If the entire civilian and military leadership of a country is on-board with that, and said military and government are also somehow part of the council, how does any of this make sense? How does the public accept this? How does the FAA/EASA/whatever equivalent accept this? Do they even exist? Is the entire world population outside of cults and shadowy organizations brainwashed to accept everything? Does X-COM "unbrainwash" their engineers/scientists/soldiers prior to hiring?

It's just that this is a bit hard to make sense of, even given the other outlandish things encountered in tha game? Interdimensional battleships, evil aliens in flying saucers and stargates? Sure, we don't acutally have those. They can have any rules they want. Cults using cold-war era airplanes operating openly from their own airbases to shoot down other aircarft near major population centers and nobody bets an eye? Bit of a hard sell for me, given that this still takes place on earth, humanity is involved and involves real life countries.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 05:37:27 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Fomka

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2022, 05:38:47 pm »
Machinegun fire from helicopters at civilian-looking vehicles doesn't suit the implied secrecy of the cults. It can't be explained as military training.

However, another tweak may be suitable. Limit the area of that weirdness to Africa and say that cults are pretending to be Private Military Companies.

I'm happy I've upgraded to 2.3 AFTER I destroyed all the cults :-)

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2022, 06:28:41 pm »
The whole concept simply doesn't fit secret occult societies. Who's even flying those planes? I'm just picturing one of those church of dagon guys sitting in a MIG cockpit wearing his silly hood. Can the higher ranks even fit inside a fighter jet cockpit or work the controls with their webbed fingers and other bodily abnormalities?

The concept itself might work for some of the cults, but it's just - we have these secret socities that have contact with actual otherworldy ancient entities (Back Lotus, Church of Dagon) which could easily end mankind all on their own, and they have PSI-powers and other artifacts in their posession that can't be explained by "regular" science. And now they need to have jet fighters to shoot down X-COM's crafts. It's just comical, and not in a good way.

How powerful can your alien entity really be when it's solution to "X-COM is destroying our base of operations" is "get some cold war era planes and shoot them down"?

What does God need with a star ship?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 06:36:46 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2022, 07:55:41 pm »
I have already addressed the issue in my previous post. I have the impression that it was not taken into consideration at all, instead I got patronised. I assure that I am 42 years old, with a Master degree in sociology and quite a bit of professional experience with modern history. I am not mentioning this as a substitute for arguments, I am simply under impression that I am not being taken seriously. Please do not take it as a sign of disrespect, this definitely isn't my intention, but please respect my mental capacity a well.

Now, let me rephrase and expand:
1) This is a mod. I am working with a given mechanics, with little power over the engine. Yet I must meet certain creative goals. This feature does this as well as we could manage (I'm saying "we", because this particular feature was heavily influenced by Dioxine, but the responsibility is fully mine). From the gameplay point of view, it works as intended, at least as far as I can say at this point.
2) As I mentioned before, this is a certain (gamey) simplification of very complex political/intelligence processes happening in the background. Due to the nature of Open X-Com, this cannot be simulated in more depth, and even if it was possible, I probably wouldn't want to delve too deep into this - it is a tactical pew pew game, not Phantom Doctrine (which is also better on paper than when actual played, at least to me). Whether this simplification is appropriate is a matter personal opinion; I feel satisfied with it.
3) You have a very firm opinion about how these things work in real life. I am not saying that you're wrong, but I do not share this certainty; even without delving into conspiracy theories (which this mod is all about), things like this can and do happen. Yes, it requires some involvement of high echelons in government and military circles, which is kind of the point. And it is definitely within the logic of this genre.
4) Finally, let's not blow this feature out of proportions. The enemy doesn't drown you in hundreds of fighters; most of the time it's cars and helis. Serious military equipment only appears if you really screw up in this area, and well... there must be a punishment for screwing up badly. This is a game after all.

Offline alexander steel wolf

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Re: Xcom Files: Why so many UFOs?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2022, 10:54:22 pm »
I finished x com files with version 2.2, so I can't comment on the current approach to the cult warfare in terms of gameplay, but I do think a bit more variety was needed in the early game.

That said, sometimes we forget that cinema/literature and video games are not the same thing. If a game doesn't entertain, it doesn't serve its purpose; On the other hand, a game can be very good even if it lacks a story. What's more: we tend to be more picky about everything, and we forget that those movies that we liked so much in the 80s (to cite an example) were enjoyed because we let ourselves go more (apart from being children, of course). What would become of a cult saga, like the toxic avenger, if we saw everything in this way?

Of course it's fine to be critical, but the mod is also not finished, and its final story is not yet known, so you also have to keep in mind that we are currently testing a "beta" (and I hope that there are many versions ahead).

Without giving it much thought, and being aware of the potential that this mod has, all this could be solved in two ways:

There is a struggle of deities (not gods), who are weakened and need human armies, or other races, to carry out their secret war. The population may be deceived by being poisoned with chemtrails (and that would justify why the cults do not intercept air flights) and there is also a zombie plague ravaging the planet (among other things) that has the army busy. Of course, it would be great if there were collaboration missions with the army fighting against the cults (as in the missions of UFOs shot down by the army).

And the other option could be that these deities have made a kind of "wager" to see which army wins its own war. Something like combat boredom (the Shinigami of Death note). That would explain why they allow x com to exist, despite everything being so controlled by them.

In any case, sometimes it is better to just enjoy yourself and not ask yourself so many questions, especially with the "miracle" that the existence of open x com has been.