Author Topic: Improving on aliens?  (Read 9422 times)

Offline kharille

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Improving on aliens?
« on: April 13, 2014, 07:23:01 am »
Can't remember if I made a similar topic before but I do feel that with all these improvements for humans maybe someone should be fighting for the alien side.  I don't mean a 'god' difficulty where every last alien has a blaster launcher, but maybe there are subtle ways to make things harder.

Maybe hordes of chryssalids?

Offline Ran

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 09:54:05 pm »
Look here, I haven't tried it but I guess you can define several alien waves with different equipment.
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=1732.msg16510#msg16510

Also I suggest opening a savegame with notepad++ and editing difficulty to something beyond superhuman, values above 8 gave me quite hilarious results! ;D

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 11:57:59 pm »
UFO: Extraterrestrials works a bit like this: if you manage to get plasma weapons from the aliens (which is hard, as it requires capturing a live Commander), they switch to ion weapons. When you get ion weapons, they get the next tier etc. It's an arms race you can never win, unless they run out of tiers.

This model has some good points, as it always makes you discover new stuff, but it's also very crude. Besides, if provokes metagaming: why research stuff if it's not really improving your situation?

If anything, aliens should only get stronger over time, or if the invasion simply is going well (for example, depending on how many countries they have on their side). It'd be harsh, but interesting. I wonder what exactly they could get, though; I'm not in favour of new better weapon tiers, and simply increasing their numbers would be... stretching it.

Offline shinr

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 08:56:13 am »
How about simplifying the above: The Aliens have their own exclusive weapon tier you cannot use, only research the protection from it.

Another method is a little bit of gameplay asymmetry, with our soldiers behaving normally in the usual X-COM\Jagged Alliance pseudo-realistic way, while the Aliens get "gamey/tabletop" special abilities similar to those of their 2012 counterparts. X-COM soldiers may get perks to balance things out, but they are limited to making better rolls for certain situations (+6 to the To-Hit rolls, re-roll missed shot etc.).
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:59:24 am by shinr »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 02:25:52 pm »
How about simplifying the above: The Aliens have their own exclusive weapon tier you cannot use, only research the protection from it.

Hmmmm... But why? If a weapon has a trigger, it should work in anyone's hands. It may require some adjustment in the workshop, if it was made for a non-humanoid, but that's it.
Of course, this doesn't apply to purely biological abilities, like zombification or acid spit. But I don't think more terror units is the solution.

Another method is a little bit of gameplay asymmetry, with our soldiers behaving normally in the usual X-COM\Jagged Alliance pseudo-realistic way, while the Aliens get "gamey/tabletop" special abilities similar to those of their 2012 counterparts. X-COM soldiers may get perks to balance things out, but they are limited to making better rolls for certain situations (+6 to the To-Hit rolls, re-roll missed shot etc.).

I believe such matters pertain to the game difficulty level.
Anyway, I want my games to be fair for both sides. For example, I don't want to-hit calculations to be different for both sides; this kills the immersion. We have stats for this.

Sorry about shooting down ideas, but we're brainstorming here and that's how it always looks like :)

Offline kharille

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 04:44:10 pm »
Beyond superhuman?  That means many more aliens right?  That might be a short term solution. I can imagine the alien turn having plasma fire saturating the area.  Imagine the end level turn when my guys have power armour, and the aliens go nuts.

Hm, what file do you change to go beyond superhuman?

Yeah, maybe armour for aliens would be good...  Maybe aliens should be deploying proximity mines....

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 04:56:55 pm »
Beyond superhuman?  That means many more aliens right?  That might be a short term solution. I can imagine the alien turn having plasma fire saturating the area.  Imagine the end level turn when my guys have power armour, and the aliens go nuts.

Hmm, we could have an (optional) function that gradually increases difficulty level as the game progresses. Actually it seems to be implemented already somewhat, since from my observations aliens do get progressively tougher (at first a Floater has little to no chance of survival if hit with a plasma rifle, but a couple months later they tend to soak up such damage. And don't tell me about how damage randomization works, I know it's 0-200% - but I'm talking about consistent changes that I can observe).

Hm, what file do you change to go beyond superhuman?

It's easy: open your save game and change the difficulty: variable to something higher. Should be fun for you :)

Yeah, maybe armour for aliens would be good...  Maybe aliens should be deploying proximity mines....

Hey, cool idea.

Offline Ran

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 09:46:52 pm »
It's not just more aliens - just try to shoot down a small UFO with your Interceptor at difficulty 10 ;D

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 11:14:24 pm »
It's not just more aliens - just try to shoot down a small UFO with your Interceptor at difficulty 10 ;D

Realism, b*tch! :D

Offline Mr. Quiet

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 12:23:19 am »
I propose Warboy to add this to the Alien A.I.:

When an alien sees an operative peek and then backs off, that alien will NOT mindlessly roam somewhere else, but it will begin to auto-fire blindly in the direction it saw the operative, even if it doesn't see anything, since the operative hid behind a wall or something. This might mean less reaction shots or less movement from the Aliens, but well see what you guys think.
I really think this would change the game. I want lasers and plasma hitting everything where they thought they saw a soldier. I always do this when I think an alien is behind something. I'll unload on that wall hoping the alien will pop up to let my sniper take the shot.

Offline moriarty

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 10:36:58 am »
I don't know how the AI works, but perhaps it would be possible to include some kind of "memory"? maybe some kind of temporary flag for areas where an enemy (=xcom soldier) has been spotted before, which allows the aliens to either attack the general area or try to avoid that area or sneak around it?

in my mind, it would make sense for the aliens to not only react to units, but also to "zones". each time an enemy unit is spotted, an area around the unit is marked as a "hot zone". this zone is semi-persistent... it fades over time. depending on an alien unit's aggressiveness, it will either move towards "hot zones" (terror units) or try to avoid them (weak aliens) or perhaps try to get "behind" the zone (clever aliens), that is: move to a position lateral of the "hot zone" when seen from the original spotter's point of view.

does that make sense? is it possible? or is it perhaps already implemented?

Offline kharille

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 03:39:08 pm »
Ah yes, the AI...  yeah, putting human style input into the AI.  I know they did something with Panzer General forever...  Maybe a spotter sniper combination and teamwork would be nice.  Imagine if aliens breached walls and stormed positions....  Maybe some kind of special team based tactics when two of them are together....

Offline b

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2014, 06:17:13 am »
Can we have alien kneeling?   It thought I saw that in some old X-com mod.

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2014, 10:26:20 am »
they lack leg sprites to support that

Offline Danny

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Re: Improving on aliens?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 12:58:32 pm »
they lack leg sprites to support that

Those can be made... ;)