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Author Topic: Crypto's Vanilla MinMods - Slower Research, Battletanks, Cyberdiscs are Bull****  (Read 15104 times)

Offline CryptoCactus

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These mods were designed for use with a mostly-vanilla game.
They are simple ruleset changes - no sprites, sounds, graphics, etc.
No, they are not impressive, but I find them useful so I thought I'd share.
They should be compatible with anything that doesn't directly conflict, e.g. a mod that changes plasma weapon stats/sprites/etc should work with Slower Weapons Research, just as long as it doesn't touch the research portion (or change/remove the names of the items)


Slower Research

This kit is comprised of two rulesets: Slower Weapons Research and Slower Winning Research.

  Slower Weapons Research has the following effects:
  • can't research lasers until Elerium is discovered (not required for manufacture though - just assume we mimic some of the properties of Elerium to create hand-held lasers feasible)
  • can't research or use any alien weaponry (including grenades) until a live alien engineer is researched/interrogated
  • plasma weapons have a similar progression to laser weapons (pistol -> rifle -> heavy), BUT clips no longer have to be researched separately
  • blaster launchers can't be researched until all plasma weapons, plus the small launcher, have been researched. Blaster bombs and stun bombs DO have to be researched separately.

  Slower Winning Research simply slows down the "gamewinners" -- Alien Origins, The Martian Solution, and Cydonia or Bust -- by x3, x4, and x5 respectively. They will take a LONG time to research, comparatively.

Battle Tanks

  This module simple adds a new HWP (Tank/Battle) to the Buy screen.
  The Battle Tank is equipped with both a HWP Cannon and a HWP Rocket Launcher, and requires both types ammo.
  It is more expensive and less accurate than its lesser brethren... but it can do two things! Two!

Cyberdiscs Are Bull#@$%

  This module switches the terror units used by the Sectoids and the Ethereals.
  The Sectoids get a (nerfed) Sectopod, the Ethereals get a (massively buffed) Cyberdisc.
  Honestly these seem like more fitting matchups anyway. It never made sense to me that the first (usually) enemies you meet have the second-most-badass terror unit in the game, while the game-ending Ethereals had a crappy unit... seemingly named after the Sectoids... using inferior weapons tech.
  Also, the Sectopod uses a laser bulletsprite instead of a plasma one, per its description.

Misc

  Also included are two little modules not important enough for their own headings - Heavier Tank Armor, and Less Terrible Rifles.
  They do pretty much what they say on the tin:
  • Heavier Tank Armor applies the heavier tank armor from XcomUtil_Improved_Ground_Tanks.rul, without all the other buffs
  • Less Terrible Rifles slightly increases the starting AP rifle's power (still less than a laser pistol), and cuts aimed shot TUs down to 50% (from 80%)

  I only am including them because the early game can be really painful with the shoddy vanilla rifles, and the battle tank is a lot less impressive when a couple of lucky reaction shots from a plasma rifle make it explode on turn 1.

Offline ivandogovich

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Nicely designed mod and well put together.  I like what you have done here. :)
Cheers, Ivan :D

Offline Dioxine

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I can't see how Cyberdisc is more dangerous than a Sectopod - your observations are obviously skewed by the wide availability of hi-end weapons when you meet Sectopods first. Cyberdiscs are extremely vulnerable to any high-powered weapons, making them really dangerous in the early game but easy to destroy in the later game, while the Sectopod sports massive armor that allows it to survive for a few seconds even in the late game. Their weapon power is actually similar (Cyberdisc having 130 to Sectopods 120 afaik). Cyberdisc is able to fly which makes it more dangerous in early game (hard to kill with explosives, must engage with direct fire), while in late game, flying just makes it a pinata, ready to be smashed - while sectopods lurk in the alleys and hide behind terrain.

Offline CryptoCactus

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Just consider it a flavor change then. :)

Offline new_civilian

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Cyberdiscs Are Bull#@$%

  This module switches the terror units used by the Sectoids and the Ethereals.
  The Sectoids get a (nerfed) Sectopod, the Ethereals get a (massively buffed) Cyberdisc.
  Honestly these seem like more fitting matchups anyway. It never made sense to me that the first (usually) enemies you meet have the second-most-badass terror unit in the game, while the game-ending Ethereals had a crappy unit... seemingly named after the Sectoids... using inferior weapons tech.
  Also, the Sectopod uses a laser bulletsprite instead of a plasma one, per its description.

Misc


THIS, a thousand times. SECTO-pods going with SECTO-ids and the flying cyberdisc with the flying ethereals.

Offline Sturm

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I can't see how Cyberdisc is more dangerous than a Sectopod - your observations are obviously skewed by the wide availability of hi-end weapons when you meet Sectopods first. Cyberdiscs are extremely vulnerable to any high-powered weapons, making them really dangerous in the early game but easy to destroy in the later game, while the Sectopod sports massive armor that allows it to survive for a few seconds even in the late game. Their weapon power is actually similar (Cyberdisc having 130 to Sectopods 120 afaik). Cyberdisc is able to fly which makes it more dangerous in early game (hard to kill with explosives, must engage with direct fire), while in late game, flying just makes it a pinata, ready to be smashed - while sectopods lurk in the alleys and hide behind terrain.
Maybe they were switched for balance reasons? Or maybe sectopod and sectoid naming is just a coincidence or just the root secto- having some meaning that is generally significant to alien culture - maybe referring to psionic control? After all both ethereals and sectoids are psionic.

Offline NoelBuddy

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Sect- : Cut, segment, sector(pertaining to sci-fi regions of space are delineated by sector names)

-oid : like

so sectoid may be segment like? they don't look like they have segmented bodies/limbs but maybe this was originally going to be the name for the now Waspites and they kept it for the Sectoids because it sounds like a good alien name.  Or it may refer to sector in that they resemble aliens from a certain sector or don't resemble beings from this sector?

-pod : foot

Sectopod could refer to there cloven hooves(two-toes feet).  or if it refers to sector it could be related to sectoids.

Personally I agree with Dioxine, the Cyberdisc is the WWI era Zeppelin of Xcom, it dominates the battlescape pinning down your soldiers until you get weaponry that is effective against it and learn some good tactics after which they are much more minor a threat.  I also like that both forces have a mix of flying and pedestrian troops as they have intrinsically different AI behaviors because of the movement options.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 04:56:59 am by NoelBuddy »

Offline Sturm

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Sect- : Cut, segment, sector(pertaining to sci-fi regions of space are delineated by sector names)

-oid : like

so sectoid may be segment like? they don't look like they have segmented bodies/limbs but maybe this was originally going to be the name for the now Waspites and they kept it for the Sectoids because it sounds like a good alien name.  Or it may refer to sector in that they resemble aliens from a certain sector?
It's a quite interesting theory. Maybe initially the aliens were more fantastic. I checked Laser Squad and it looks like your theory is correct.

Here are the original Sectoids:


I used to think they are mouse-people but now I realised they probably represent insectoid aliens.

Offline new_civilian

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The reason why they did swap the units is simple: If the Sectoids do not have a flying unit they are easy prey for units with flying suit. Just take a look at the chryssalid: The most feared unit in XCom and they are completely helpless when faced with flying enemies.

So, I understand why they did it, BUT I do not like that solution, it feels amateurish... :)

Offline Arthanor

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But.. Sectoids have guns. It's a huge advantage over the Chryssalid when it comes to engaging flying units. You don't need to fly if you can just shoot things down.

How is it that having flying Cyberdiscs makes Sectoids better at engaging flying troops?

Maybe the solution is to give two different terror units to sectoids: Cyberdiscs (rarer) and Mechtoids, like in XCom 2012, which could be weaker versions of the Sectopod. This way, they are easier to engage in the early game (their support unit is walking, so it's easier to blow up), but you still retain the "Oh sh*t! A Cyberdisc!" effect. In late game, it might actually make Sectoids harder, since the Mechtoids will have more cover than the flying Cyberdiscs.

Offline CryptoCactus

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So, ahem... aside from the controversial Cyberdisc module, are the others working out okay? :)

The weapons research was really the main/original component.

Also I've realized I've mucked something up with the battletanks -- they're more accurate, not less, for some reason. Probably put it together wrong.


edit: And aside from the philosophy of Cyberdiscs, anyone tried playing against the Sectoid/Sectopods or Ethereal/Cyberdiscs?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 06:58:39 pm by CryptoCactus »

Offline NoelBuddy

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 :o

Sorry for participating in going wildly off-topic and taking the chance to discuss the strategic choices of the original game and origins of Sectoids...

The weapons research parts look good, it's always interesting to see different people's solutions to similar complaints.

Offline Sturm

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The reason why they did swap the units is simple: If the Sectoids do not have a flying unit they are easy prey for units with flying suit. Just take a look at the chryssalid: The most feared unit in XCom and they are completely helpless when faced with flying enemies.

So, I understand why they did it, BUT I do not like that solution, it feels amateurish... :)
The thing is that Sectoids aren't even sectoids. The aliens called sectoids in game are Greys.

These things:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/x-com-ufo-defense/cover-art/gameCoverId,221465/
are Sectoids.
And they look like flying units. Which means that they could have been original companions for Sectopods.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 09:28:34 pm by Sturm »

Offline yrizoud

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Or the cover artist was not given any concept or ingame art, and had to elaborate on the three sentences that describe the game, which included the word 'sectoid'.

Offline Sturm

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Or the cover artist was not given any concept or ingame art, and had to elaborate on the three sentences that describe the game, which included the word 'sectoid'.
Sectoids already existed in Laser Squad.