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Author Topic: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!  (Read 8166 times)

Offline Align

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It's probably safe to say that vanilla XCOM is a pretty great game. There's a lot to say about the concept, mechanics, atmosphere and so on that make it a game you want to come back to for more, whether you just finished losing a game or it being a few years since you last played it.

With experience however, it soon becomes clear that the aliens have other plans there are some things that just aren't worth using, and others that are too amazing to not go for right away. For this reason, I decided to start tweaking the original, to get the game that tiny bit closer to perfect that I can manage with OpenXCOM's ruleset functionality. It feels pretty modest compared to mods that add entire new races and even new factions altogether, but I hope it will be interesting enough for someone to warrant putting it up publicly.

So here it is!

Overview of changes, spoilered for easy navigation:

SpoilerManufacturing:
Motion scanners and medi kits are now bought instead of being researched and manufactured. Laser weapons require Elerium to produce. Plasma ditto.

As such, there are no longer any items that produce a net profit (unless you don't mind indirectly selling Elerium) until the very end game with fusion ball launchers. The ability to get exponentially more money from your workshops completely broke the game, so this had to go. Alloys are closest to breaking even, if your Engineers have nothing else to do.

Tanks and hovertanks can now be rebuilt if the wreck is recovered, for a fraction of the original cost. Makes them a reasonable option now that your budget is a concern.

SpoilerAir game:
All UFOs now have the same range. In vanilla, range was the most important stat as it allowed you to fight without any fear of taking damage. Now a higher range stat just means spending less time taking damage, just like with the other stats. Also makes interceptions more tense; even if you survive, each bit of damage suffered means more time in repairs...

Craft armaments are more expensive. Cannon rounds are cheap, and lasers still get infinite free ammo, but with all other weapons you have to take your budget into account when deciding if to use them. Including plasma, which now uses ammo: Plasma Beam Rounds(x10).

Lightning is now researched before Firestorm. The Lightning is still pretty lame - particularly the Battlescape aspect is unchanged, as I decided to leave that to other mods since it requires more extensive changes than just the rulesets. It's got a bit more fuel and a bit more speed, allowing it to catch up to any non-terror UFO. The Firestorm and Avenger swapped speeds, leaving the Firestorm a lategame role as the only craft capable of catching Battleships, while the Avenger is still overall best.

SpoilerWeapons:
I haven't touched auto shot, as the UfoExtender range-based accuracy option handles that well enough on its own.

Both cannons now have arcing shots, giving them a distinct role of indirect fire. It's weirdly satisfying to Heavy Cannon a Sectoid from the other side of a building, or spamming Auto Cannon shots to blanket an area in explosions, highly recommend it. Heavy is very slightly buffed (aimed shot especially), Auto very slightly nerfed; range-based accuracy probably makes or breaks this choice though.

Heavy Laser got an accuracy buff. Pretty good as a high-powered sniping weapon, though it's hard to compare to Laser Rifles getting 2 aimed shots a turn... Tank/Laser cannon got an even bigger buff, continuing the trend of later lasers being bigger, better, and more cumbersome.

Tank/Cannon ammo is now HE. Safer than the rocket tank, but useful without having to get direct hits (which is just as hard as in vanilla with the poor inbuilt accuracy of tanks).

Pistols no longer have auto shot, but the laser and plasma pistol got their TU usage reduced to that of the conventional pistol, making them still pretty spammable.

SpoilerResearch:
Research is now to a large extent gated behind interrogations. Soldiers unlock weapons for research, Engineers unlock UFO components, with Navigators being a second requirement for UFO Navigation and the three XCOM crafts. And Medics for Small Launchers. Later alien species' unlock higher tiers, so interrogating a Sectoid Engineer isn't as useful as interrogating a Muton ditto.

On top of this, some initial research - Alien Artifacts and Alien Biology - is required before you can even begin building a containment facility, and an autopsy must be done on a species before it can be interrogated. These two flavor-text-only research topics also serve to explain how the new research system works (for any player who didn't already read all this).

Engineers and Navigators now unlock research on UFOs and alien missions respectively instead of giving one random choice of those for free, as the functionality for that ("getOneFree") caused a bug where autopsies could be skipped. Medics also had to get that functionality removed, but sadly couldn't get a replacement in functionality. Terrorist aliens are still useless.

Elerium remains researchable on its own, being a simple element rather than a complex alloy or piece of equipment. Gives the player a second track of research, as it unlocks Alien Weapons, which is Laser Weapons renamed. It too gets some flavor text, explaining the elerium requirement and accuracy changes to new players.

Psi amps and blaster launchers were crazy OP and as such now require interrogating an Ethereal Commander. If you can manage that, the game might as well tell you to hurry up and go and fight the final boss already!

However, Psi labs are still researched as normal, so you can still winnow out your troops or decide on who to bring on Ethereal missions from relatively early in the game. Hyperwave Decoder also requires psi to be researched now.

Whew.

I'm still undecided on whether the aliens themselves should be changed - make sectoids smarter but weaker, bravery not always at 80 so psi panic isn't useless, that sort of thing. For now they're unchanged. If anyone has any criticism, I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 03:03:33 pm by Align »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 08:39:33 pm »
It's certainly well thought-out and inspirational. Respect.

Offline Gifty

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 09:19:11 pm »
I'm going to give this a go, a lot of these tweaks seem very smart and tasteful.

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 05:32:58 am »
I agree with Solarius.  Very nice work!

Offline hellrazor

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 05:09:36 pm »
You should bump up there Bravery because they panic way to fast from getting comrades killed.



Offline Align

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2015, 07:01:06 pm »
You sure? I didn't touch that, so it's already 80 for all aliens, which would be pretty amazing if your own troops got it. Although I guess that's why it is that high - aliens take more casualties than you do, so they'd panic way more if it weren't.

Offline Align

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 04:18:01 pm »
I figured I'd add comments, add a proper metadata.yml, fix the folder structure and put this mod up on GitHub, but I've noticed that downloading it from the mod portal page doesn't seem to work; I just get an error.

"THERE WAS AN ERROR
The page you requested was not found. Please try again.

[DISABLED: TEMPORARY PAGE]"

Any help? Downloading other mods seems to work fine.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 04:21:00 pm by Align »

Online Meridian

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 05:49:48 pm »
The mod portal is completely fucked up, beyond any help... for almost 2 years now.

Just use other means of distributing your mod.
A simple link from the mod portal to this forum, or to any file download service (e.g. google drive), is more than sufficient.
Everybody got used to it in the meantime.

Offline Align

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2017, 07:14:25 pm »
I'll do just that then. Thanks!

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 12:36:43 pm »
I've been working on a project similar to yours, though far more in-depth. Some of your ideas have inspired me, however! Most importantly, I like your work and I think you've got a good eye for balance. Maybe you could take a look at my mods and give some feedback?

Reaver's Armada
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4144.0.html

Reaver's Air Weapons
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4791.0.html

Reaver's Ground Weapons
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4196.0.html

Reaver's Tanks
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4121.0.html

Reaver's Soldier Classes
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4754.0.html

Super Rich for Reaver's X
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,5302.0.html

-----------------

Perhaps instead of changing aliens' bravery, you could make X-Com's panic attack stronger without influencing the aliens' panic attack?

Offline Countdown

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 09:02:07 pm »
Align, I'm glad you bumped this thread. There are some cool balancing ideas here I'd definitely like to try in the future.

Offline Align

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2017, 11:48:08 am »
Glad to hear it!

Online Meridian

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 10:23:02 am »
Engineers and Navigators now unlock research on UFOs and alien missions respectively instead of giving one random choice of those for free, as the functionality for that ("getOneFree") caused a bug where autopsies could be skipped. Medics also had to get that functionality removed, but sadly couldn't get a replacement in functionality. Terrorist aliens are still useless.

This limitation has been removed in the latest nightly.

Offline Align

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2017, 01:22:34 pm »
Nice. I doubt I'll change it - this way is more consistent - but it's good to have the option.

Offline SteamXCOM

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Re: Vanilla Rebalanced - nothing is added, but everything is different!
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 10:07:38 pm »
In  the manufacture section (vanilla rebalacned.rul for plasma beam ammo you have 

 - name: STR_PLASMA_BEAM_ROUNDS_X10
    category: STR_CRAFT_AMMUNITION
    space: 2
    time: 300
    cost: 80000
    requires:
      - STR_PLASMA_CANNON
    requiredItems:
      - STR_ELERIUM_115: 10 

if you wish for  10 ELERIUM to be used it needs to read:


 - name: STR_PLASMA_BEAM_ROUNDS_X10
    category: STR_CRAFT_AMMUNITION
    space: 2
    time: 300
    cost: 80000
    requires:
      - STR_PLASMA_CANNON
    requiredItems:
      STR_ELERIUM_115: 10  # remove hyphon

removed the hyphon in front of STR_ELERIUM_115

What a DEAL otherwise!!!