Author Topic: [COMPILATION] Final Mod Pack (FMP)  (Read 524585 times)

Offline XCOMFan419

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #465 on: August 11, 2014, 12:29:58 am »
How does everyone get so much elerium?

I never once get any landed battleships. I shoot down every UFO and I rarely, if ever get a Power Source. It takes me a long ass time to get any kind of Elerium.

And for some reason, Alien Bases never appear for me. Probably because I shoot every UFO I see down and don't let them build them during the early game, but come on aliens. Throw me a bone here. You're giving everyone tonnes of elerium.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #466 on: August 11, 2014, 12:42:54 am »
I can't comment on the FMP specifically, but unless you changed something, 10 UFOs/month is more than I encounter in the first 6 months.

I think it's because I put a lot of emphasis on radar coverage. A base with a radar and one interceptor isn't expensive to maintain, but it really helps you get points.

When you have limited radar coverage, it is hard to get the ones far from your base(s).. In fact, in my latest game, I'm in March, having encountered 10 UFOs.. and I'm at 150 Elerium. Which I guess is enough to outfit the squad with elerium requiring lasers, but depending on when other things come (ex.: flying/power suits at 16 each), it will get short really fast. I know those probably come much later in the FMP, but still, I can't say I've ever had a game where Elerium wasn't in short supply. Your experience of having more than you know what to do with surprises me (and seems to point at something basic I do wrong, since Dioxine concurs).

Well, it's hard to compare FMP to the vanilla, because for example you can extract grav units from Floaters so you don't have to build them (less Elerium needed), but yes, I agree with your general reasoning.

The thing with FMP is, before you find any way to spend Elerium, you'll probably have a big stash of it. At least that's what my experience shows.

Making an eternally charged weapon for 1 elerium is fine, making laser clips require 1 each seems like a big expense in mid-game. Especially since, unlike plasmas, you can't scavenge those clips from aliens.

No, but you can scavenge them from the Men in Black. It's not quite the same, since you don't encounter this faction very often and you never have enough clips, but still - I don't really produce laser clips, because once I learn how to, I almost immediately get to endless lasers. However, this is not guaranteed for every game.

The XCom cannon issue is an entirely different thing too, but it seems to support no elerium (or only as a focusing element), instead of using it as an energy source.

Well, it's probably the harshest thing about Elerium usage in the entire FMP. :) I wanted to make it so that it's not the only choice, but then after some reports I decided it was too harsh, so I added the Stormlance.

I never once get any landed battleships. I shoot down every UFO and I rarely, if ever get a Power Source. It takes me a long ass time to get any kind of Elerium.

And for some reason, Alien Bases never appear for me. Probably because I shoot every UFO I see down and don't let them build them during the early game, but come on aliens. Throw me a bone here. You're giving everyone tonnes of elerium.

Well, perhaps you're just unlucky? This is a random game, every campaign is different has its own peculiar points. You probably just need to go by with gauss in this case. :)

Offline arrakis69ct

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #467 on: August 11, 2014, 12:57:59 am »
Easy. Put a skyranger in a ufo and wait. When land start the mission automatic

Offline gerv

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #468 on: August 11, 2014, 10:40:01 am »
As a compromise, why not implement the clip consolidation feature, where you don't use up every clip which has had one shot fired out of it, but instead can consolidate the remaining shots into clips so you only lose clips for as many shots as you fired?

That would mean you would have to make laser clips quite a bit less often.

But yes, to me it doesn't make game-world sense for lasers to require Elerium, or even to have clips. Laser is an existing earth technology, and only requires power.

Gerv

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #469 on: August 11, 2014, 04:50:22 pm »
I think clip consolidation is already implemented in OpenXCom, isn't it? (See here)
Quote from: UFOPaedia on OpenXCom features
At the end of the mission, ammo from clips is totalled, so you only lose enough clips to match the total ammo used (as opposed to losing any used clip).

I'm pretty sure the clips of all laser weapons represent a power pack, to provide the necessary power to fire. It's not ammunition, but more like a new battery to put in after the one you were using ran out. Many a setting with laser based weapons has power packs. It is a high energy weapon, changing the battery doesn't seem outlandish.

Regarding Elerium, maybe laser weapons are an Earth technology, but we can't find a power source to make it work until Elerium becomes available? Elerium is said to be a great source of energy, better than what we have on Earth. So either you need to have a truckload of batteries following every soldier, or you need Elerium in your clip. It can be rationalized if you want to, although maybe not while following established XCom cannon.

Offline arrakis69ct

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #470 on: August 11, 2014, 05:22:04 pm »
A idea. Put lasers clips but depending of materials. More power. For ex basic clip. Only money less damage. 2 clip with alien alloy. Medium damage or 3 clip with elerium. High damage.

May be change the clips for materials only and have 3 tipes of wepons withouths clips. Similar than vainilla laser. Only change the colour. Red normal. Blue alloy. And green elerium
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 05:24:43 pm by arrakis69ct »

Offline yrizoud

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #471 on: August 11, 2014, 07:45:18 pm »
Started a playthrough in Poland, missed the first day's interception (Australia is far!), succeeded the second but no elerium. Now it's 31st January and I get a night terror mission in Australia, with only the starting weapons  :'(
You probably just need to go by with gauss
If I read the ruleset correctly, Gauss tech requires an intact power source - which is the same requirement as Elerium.
It's a pity that there's so little choice in early game... 1 topic at the very beginning (motion scanner), 2 trees after the first crash recovery(alien bio & alloys).

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #472 on: August 11, 2014, 09:45:46 pm »
I think this is a great effort that is being made to get together all the mods but I'd also like to toss in something for your guys to reflect upon:

"The Danger of More
'Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.' -- Antoine de St. Exupery

Every new object has a cost, not just in what it takes to create, test and manage, but the player has to keep track of it as well. In general we should only add items because they offer a significant improvement to some aspect of the game, and not just to have more units, more resources, etc.
It sounds good to be able to offer a long list of new objects. That was much of the appeal of the very popular Civ3 Double your Pleasure (DyP) mod. But the success of DyP wasn’t because of all the new objects, but because each one had a distinct functional purpose. Adding buildings is easy, making them truly worthwhile is the hard part.
Is it needed? Would it be missed if it was taken out? Is it functionaly unique? If the answer to these is no, it should be considered for removal."

Here's the original Modders Guide from which the above citation was taken.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #473 on: August 11, 2014, 10:50:00 pm »
But yes, to me it doesn't make game-world sense for lasers to require Elerium, or even to have clips. Laser is an existing earth technology, and only requires power.

And where do you think this energy comes from? :P

The only problem with hand-held lasers is energy requirement. The only thing X-Com offers in this regard is Elerium, and that's exactly what was used.

A idea. Put lasers clips but depending of materials. More power. For ex basic clip. Only money less damage. 2 clip with alien alloy. Medium damage or 3 clip with elerium. High damage.

That could work, I'm not saying no. But those money-only clips would have to be really crappy to remain believable. :)

May be change the clips for materials only and have 3 tipes of wepons withouths clips. Similar than vainilla laser. Only change the colour. Red normal. Blue alloy. And green elerium

Alloy is not an energy source, which is the only issue. But we could have two tiers at least. The downside would be, the equipment lists are already quite long...

Started a playthrough in Poland, missed the first day's interception (Australia is far!), succeeded the second but no elerium. Now it's 31st January and I get a night terror mission in Australia, with only the starting weapons  :'(
It's a pity that there's so little choice in early game... 1 topic at the very beginning (motion scanner), 2 trees after the first crash recovery(alien bio & alloys).

Yeah, the choice isn't very big at the very beginning. Maybe it'll change at some point, if something comes up... But I personally don't think it's a big problem.

And your first terror will be with starting weapons almost always anyway.

And lasers/gauss are designed to be competitive against each other. I'd gladly make their prerequisites slightly different, but frankly I don't really know how to do it elegantly.

I think this is a great effort that is being made to get together all the mods but I'd also like to toss in something for your guys to reflect upon:

"The Danger of More
'Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.' -- Antoine de St. Exupery

Every new object has a cost, not just in what it takes to create, test and manage, but the player has to keep track of it as well. In general we should only add items because they offer a significant improvement to some aspect of the game, and not just to have more units, more resources, etc.
It sounds good to be able to offer a long list of new objects. That was much of the appeal of the very popular Civ3 Double your Pleasure (DyP) mod. But the success of DyP wasn’t because of all the new objects, but because each one had a distinct functional purpose. Adding buildings is easy, making them truly worthwhile is the hard part.
Is it needed? Would it be missed if it was taken out? Is it functionaly unique? If the answer to these is no, it should be considered for removal."

I very much agree with this point. And I believe I stuck with it throughout the process of creation, for better or worse. I also think that Human Ktulu feels similarly.

Yes, there are many new objects in this mod. However, there could easily be four times as much if we included everything we could find that looked fine. So I think I can say that I at least tried hard streamlining everything and giving every weapon etc. a unique purpose.

For example: in the last update, I finally included some Earth weapons like AK-47 or Uzi. However, these weapons are only used by alien supporters on Earth; you can sell them if you get them, you can even use them if you really want to, but you can't buy them, since it wouldn't make sense for X-Com to buy weapons that are 50 years outdated and with generally worse stats (they only use the best, most modern example of everything).

Having said that, it should be emphasised that FMP is not just about new equipment, but also new alien races, new terrain etc. Yet it's the equipment that remains in the spotlight - probably unsurprisingly, since it influences the tactics more than anything else.



Now, I would like to outline what comes next - partially to motivate myself, but of course for feedback too:

- New armours. The concepts were made months ago, but making new sprites is scary to me (by now I have only done the hybrids from scratch, and it wasn't completely from scratch) and it'll take time. Most of them will follow the "less armour than a standard suit from similar tech level, but with a stat bonus instead" pattern. Their objective is to 1) give the player more power over troop specialization (if they want something like this - not everyone does, but you can always stick to vanilla armours) and 2) to make alien autopsies give something useful as a nice bonus. And there will be one armour significantly tougher than Flying Suit (especially in the lower regions), but really unwieldy.

- Weapons rebalance. I want to add range dropoff stuff to make weapons more different from one another. I've already done it with shotguns - now they're more deadly than before in close quarters, but their accuracy drops really fast.

- More alien hybrid stuff. This is a bit of a pet project of mine, and the FMP is a nice environment to cultivate it, as long as you guys don't find it bothersome (just say so if you do). More stuff is required before I release it as a separate mod.

- Changing the Alloy Skyranger to a better model. Still haven't decided which one, honestly this is a bit of a headache, but I feel most people don't like the current one much and I'm not crazy about it either.

- Fixing bugs, naturally. In the next version I'll fix the Stormlance bug (making it non-buyable) and a bug with the hybrids being way too well-armoured for what they're wearing.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #474 on: August 11, 2014, 11:29:13 pm »
Just a few quick comments:

1- I greatly respect your endeavor of building such a complex mod. Juggling everything to make it into a sensible whole is quite a task and I very much appreciate that you make it available to everyone.

2- The manual that was linked also talks about the beauty of modular mods. How it allows everyone to play with their preferred combination. As shown by the laser issue, maybe you are reaching a point where a more modular approach would work well? Like a "basic" FMP, which contains everything that makes the soul of the FMP (new races, UFOs, MiB, Terrain, Research Tree, whatever you think it is), and a "FMP Options", which contains mods that are intended to work with the FMP but not necessary, like the AK-47 and laser clips, or maybe even some races/UFOs/Terrain that do come in standalone mods.

3-
Alloy is not an energy source, which is the only issue. But we could have two tiers at least. The downside would be, the equipment lists are already quite long...
Maybe you can make a really good battery out of alien alloys? Batteries use a combination of materials, maybe instead of the LI-ion/NiMH/Ni-Cad tech we use now, XCom can come up with a AlienAlloy-ion or NiAA combination that holds power better. It wasn't invented on Earth because we never knew of whatever alien alloys are, but that doesn't mean that it is not within Earth's possibility to supply power to laser rifles (as alloys can be manufactured on Earth).

Or approach it as alien alloys being the only material which may contain a miniature nuclear reaction that powers the rifle. Once the Hydrogen, Uranium or whatever inside is consumed (through fusion or fission), the pack is useless. The alloy is "only" the packaging/shielding, but without it the whole clip would be impossible.

Offline XCOMFan419

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #475 on: August 11, 2014, 11:56:13 pm »
Quote
- Weapons rebalance. I want to add range dropoff stuff to make weapons more different from one another. I've already done it with shotguns - now they're more deadly than before in close quarters, but their accuracy drops really fast.

Have you considered adding in some of the new tanks I added in myself from "Tanks, Drones, Sectopods? Oh my!" (E.g Hovertank/Scatterlaser, Tank/Artillery to name a few) and possibly some of the balances I made to make it slightly more realistic when compared to vehicles of X-Com's time? There will be a new update soon anyways.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #476 on: August 11, 2014, 11:59:34 pm »
Just a few quick comments:

1- I greatly respect your endeavor of building such a complex mod. Juggling everything to make it into a sensible whole is quite a task and I very much appreciate that you make it available to everyone.

Thank you! It's great fun for myself as well. :)

2- The manual that was linked also talks about the beauty of modular mods. How it allows everyone to play with their preferred combination. As shown by the laser issue, maybe you are reaching a point where a more modular approach would work well? Like a "basic" FMP, which contains everything that makes the soul of the FMP (new races, UFOs, MiB, Terrain, Research Tree, whatever you think it is), and a "FMP Options", which contains mods that are intended to work with the FMP but not necessary, like the AK-47 and laser clips, or maybe even some races/UFOs/Terrain that do come in standalone mods.

I fully understand the value of modular mods. Actually, this is what FMP was supposed to be. However, the various elements are so intertwined, so dependant on one another, that I would find it extremely hard to divide. If for example you make a module with Earth weapons (shotguns etc.) and not use it, what will happen to the alloy ammo for these weapons, because you used this? And if you include the alloy ammo with the weapons, what if you don't want this feature? Or what if you include new armours that depends on new alien autopsies, but not the aliens themselves? Or what about the (modified) MiB if you don't use gauss weapons - they'll need new loadouts? And so on.

Perhaps one day it'll be possible to quarter the FMP somehow, but I can't really see it happening now. I'm not nearly that badass of a modder. :P

3-Maybe you can make a really good battery out of alien alloys? Batteries use a combination of materials, maybe instead of the LI-ion/NiMH/Ni-Cad tech we use now, XCom can come up with a AlienAlloy-ion or NiAA combination that holds power better. It wasn't invented on Earth because we never knew of whatever alien alloys are, but that doesn't mean that it is not within Earth's possibility to supply power to laser rifles (as alloys can be manufactured on Earth).

Having thought about it, I think it would be possible to use alien alloys as an excuse for better batteries. However, I fear adding new items on a whim, since getting around the manufacturing menu is already too long for my tastes (though still nothing when compared to Piratez :P). But I promise to think about it more.

Have you considered adding in some of the new tanks I added in myself from "Tanks, Drones, Sectopods? Oh my!" (E.g Hovertank/Scatterlaser, Tank/Artillery to name a few) and possibly some of the balances I made to make it slightly more realistic when compared to vehicles of X-Com's time? There will be a new update soon anyways.

Of course! I just didn't get around to studying it yet. And considering I evolved my own balance philosophy here, it won't be so easy. But I plan to do it.

Offline yrizoud

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #477 on: August 12, 2014, 12:06:08 am »
Having said that, it should be emphasised that FMP is not just about new equipment, but also new alien races, new terrain etc. Yet it's the equipment that remains in the spotlight - probably unsurprisingly, since it influences the tactics more than anything else.
Indeed, my first battle was full of new and well-balanced stuff : A sectoid "+"-shaped ship with a very interesting design, and a single blast of plasma caster which hit several rookies and had me scrambling for medkits in turn 3 of the first battle.

Offline Harald_Gray

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #478 on: August 12, 2014, 12:40:55 am »
You complainin'? Well, I'm here to do likewise  :)

I've started myself a new game, using FMP and my own mods, set it to ironman superhuman. Now it is April, all I've got is alloy ammo and some armors (not even enough personal armors for the whole squad) and BLAM comes main base defense against sectoids and cyberdiscs. I've barely survived and reinforcements from my other bases are on their way and BLAM a second helping of the same. Two thirds of my men are dead, all the tanks are scrap metal and I still have no living leader or commander.

I've already had two missions against mutons, my first terror was sectoids and the second one too, the only time I saw a floater was my third terror and the only time I saw snakemen was a large scout in a new forrest terrain full of hills (it had caves too). The RNG must be out to get me.

So the line about tougher aliens appearing later in the game has me kind of wondering. Could we *please* have more floaters and snakemen during the early game? Sectoids are not exactly weak when you're miles away from psi-labs. My latest mission is another terror and it is gillmen chtonites and boy am I happy to see them...

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [COMPILATION][RESEARCH] FMP Core/Tech Tree part
« Reply #479 on: August 12, 2014, 12:44:05 am »
I'm glad you are rethinking the alloy battery pack :) I think it might be the best way to appease the crowds ;) As for adding items, you indeed do have to pick which ones, otherwise it is very easy to get too many.

I fully understand the value of modular mods. Actually, this is what FMP was supposed to be. However, the various elements are so intertwined, so dependant on one another, that I would find it extremely hard to divide. If for example you make a module with Earth weapons (shotguns etc.) and not use it, what will happen to the alloy ammo for these weapons, because you used this? And if you include the alloy ammo with the weapons, what if you don't want this feature? Or what if you include new armours that depends on new alien autopsies, but not the aliens themselves? Or what about the (modified) MiB if you don't use gauss weapons - they'll need new loadouts? And so on.

Perhaps one day it'll be possible to quarter the FMP somehow, but I can't really see it happening now. I'm not nearly that badass of a modder. :P

From my experience of adding something to a mod only to find out it was impossible to unlock because I had made a typo in the "requires" list, I think you can do it like this (as a pseudocode summary of a shotgun ruleset):

Spoiler:
items:
- Shotgun
- Shotgun Shell
- Shotgun Alloy Shell
  requires: Alloy Ammo
- Shotgun Elerium Shell
  requires: Elerium Ammo

No research entry

manufacture:
- Shotgun Alloy Shell
  uses: Alien Alloy
  requires: Alloy Ammo
- Shotgun Elerium Shell
  uses: Elerium
  requires: Elerium Ammo

ufopaedia
- Shotgun
- Shotgun Shell
- Shotgun Alloy Shell
  requires: Alloy Ammo
- Shotgun Elerium Shell
  requires: Elerium Ammo

extrasprites:
- Shotgun
- Shotgun Shell
- Shotgun Alloy Shell
- Shotgun Elerium Shell
What this does is provide all the information required to have the extra stuff, but nothing to unlock it. If another mod you have happens to contain an Alloy Ammo or Elerium Ammo research topic, *poof* the shotgun stuff will become available alongside the rest. To keep the illusion complete, use the proper list orders so the extra shotgun stuff fits right where it belongs on lists with the other mod.

You can also define prerequisite to things even though you are not using them, in your research tree. Let's say I come up with a new weapon type, Laser Blasters, as a powerful alternative to Plasma, but since I just want to win, I make it have no prerequisites. Nothing prevents you, in your mod, to list my opening tech: "Laser Blaster Weapons" and add a list with all kinds of prerequisites, so it fits in your universe. If someone plays your mod without Laser Blasters, they will never see it (no cost = not available for research; no ufopaedia = doesn't show anywhere). If someone adds that mod, suddenly it is not available from the start when used with the FMP, but instead unlocked when the requirements are met.

The trickier bit is when prerequisites are already listed, since they overwrite your list if loaded after your mod. The only possibility then is to delay those prerequisites or, more likely, agree with the modder to make a FMP compatible version.

In fact, I think it might be interesting if, as a community, we came up with a list of "anchor points" for mods. Techs like "Alloy Ammunition" or "High Energy Weaponry" for plasma level tech. If I make a new shotgun, I can just depend on the anchor of "Alloy Ammunition" to make my shotgun alloy ammo available. If I make a new Laser Blaster tech, I can just depend on the anchor of "High Energy Weaponry" to unlock it.

Different mods could then define what the pre-requisites of these anchors are, the FMP one way, while the XAE could define them differently, and a basic mod called "anchor points" could define what we agree should be the vanilla behavior where pre-requisites can only be vanilla research topics (ex.: Alien Alloy unlocks Alloy Ammo; Elerium + Alien Alloy + UFO Power Source unlocks High Energy Weaponry).