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Author Topic: Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool  (Read 1204542 times)

Offline Ashert

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7515 on: January 22, 2020, 12:46:04 pm »
In Russia, this situation is resolved simply: a user who has submitted his work to the community for free and suddenly starts shouting about copyright is sent to fuck off.

This also exists in America, called 'Fair Use' for all things that are not explicitly licensed. The self-conception of it e.g. also for all abandonware games, was however also damaged by the emergence of free licenses.

Example: Someone finds the last living dinosaur and photographs it for his blog. But one day later the dino is dead. Is the picture fair use for everyone and the schools or just the million dollar picture of the photographer?

The OpenXcom Forum itself, should make it clear that all content here for today and in the future is interpreted for fair use!

If every author here can come up with his own license and there are a hell of a lot of them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:File_copyright_tags/All), it paralyzes every development.

Offline Zharkov

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7516 on: January 27, 2020, 11:48:41 pm »
In Russia, this situation is resolved simply: a user who has submitted his work to the community for free and suddenly starts shouting about copyright is sent to fuck off.

In Soviet Russia content steals you!

Offline SymbolicFrank

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7517 on: January 28, 2020, 03:04:21 am »
X-Piratez...

The games I have played most often are Deus-Ex, Morrowind and Fallout:Tactics. The best game not on that list is Planescape: Torment.

UFO is strangely missing from that list, because it took decades before I could get it to run. I got the floppy version right at the start, but no massaging of the DOS system files made it work. And by the time I did get it to work, I was spoiled by Fallout: Tactics. Meh. Right?

So, second to F:T. Or, actually, not. Because it's Brutal. It requires a totally different way of playing. Those aliens are going to kill all of us! We have to stop them! A million dead soldiers would be a cheap price for the survival of humanity! And those aliens are really dangerous. They melt your soldiers from the far side of the map. You cannot even see them, let alone hit them. And if you do, it causes puny damage.

Wow. There is no other game like it. And all the sequels (except TFTD, but that's too hardcore) did this wrong.

Ok, X-Piratez. The first few times I played it, I was quite irritated by the prehistoric starting conditions and the demand for melee combat. Bah. It seemed a quite stupid and immature mod. In less than an hour, I uninstalled it. Low-res tits, but no gameplay.

But still, many people (like on rpgcodex.net) think this is the best mod ever. And the last time I tried, I was determined to play it for at least a few days. Which totally changed my view. It took a long time, but it turned out to be a Magnus Opus. Pixelated: yes, bad animations: yes, very restricted strategic user interface (either research or manufacture): yes. But it keeps going. There is so much stuff, so many things to do. And you always think: "That would improve my options/fire power quite a bit! Just a few more turns."

It's really, Really good.

Then again, it's also boring. I cannot stomach it for more than about four hours in a row. While I love the strategic part, the tactical part is just too repetitive. Yes, it improves after you played that same mission 25 times. Because you sometimes get a new mission. And everything is extremely balanced. In a single-player game. After playing it for a few hundred hours, I can state that the two things that kept it interesting, were the Reticulan plasma gun and the Chainmail armor. I cheated as well: I gave myself 25 million at the start, and as much Reticulan plasma clips as needed.

The interesting things about single-player games are the story (the first time) and what tactics and items give you an advantage. Min-maxing. Finding faster routes to get that game changing item or ability sooner. And, yes, you can do that in X-Piratez, but it requires a huge amount of meta. Spend as much time researching the game online as playing it. It takes a very large amount of time, and the advantage isn't that large. Unless you play at the higher difficulty levels, where doing that for all things is required. Otherwise, you simply lose. Back to researching the meta. Not playing the game, but finding out how the game works and what it wants you to do.

While I do love a seriously challenging fight occasionally, which takes hours and has me at the edge of my seat, I would want an "auto battle" button for all the trash fights in between. Or, if all fights are like that, I would lose interest soon, because I like advancing through the strategic layer. Getting better. Building bases, researching and producing better stuff. Give me my overpowered stuff. Let me fight or work hard for it, but don't make it disposable or require unobtainable ammo. It's fine if it has disadvantages as well, as long as those don't limit the usability too much.

TL;DR: It's really great, but much too balanced and repetitive. After a while it takes a long time of doing the same things again and again before you get the next toy.

Make it batshit crazy and really excessive.


Recommendations:

- Huge suicide charges / nukes with a range that is too short to survive firing them.
- Armors that give lots of speed and/or stealth but have no hand slots.
- Reactive/mirroring armor that does lots of stun damage to the user.
- Very expensive one-time use tools that destroy ship hulls.
- Low-level things like musical instruments that do massive morale damage to enemies.
- "Teleporters" that give you a random chance each turn to exchange places with any enemy.
- Small, autonomous drones that roam around and/or attack independently, bonus if there is a small chance for them to attack you.
- Base building that attracts enemies to invade.
- Illnesses that infect both your gals and enemies, unless vaccinated, with a small chance to mutate.
- Parachute-dropped armaments (like cluster bombs): destroy them before they rain down death and destruction.
- Hormones that have the local wildlife fight each other.
- Missions that pacify regions.
- Spy missions.
- Diplomacy: give them money and gifts, but allies might request attacks.

Online Greep

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7518 on: January 28, 2020, 11:15:57 am »
Pretty much all of those recommendations are in the game xD

Offline Jimboman

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7519 on: January 28, 2020, 01:48:18 pm »
SymbolicFrank:  Didn't want to quote all your post  ;)

Those ideas you recommend would put me (and probably other players) off the game.  Ok, I agree it's a grind a lot of the time, but those missions get your new gals (and guys) experience for the real tough battles ahead.   Also, if the RNG is kind you can get very good weapons early in the game.

Personaly I prefer the 'grind' of Piratez over a FPS anytime, where everything is just run, point and shoot.  Now that is boring!

Offline Dakkdakk

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7520 on: January 29, 2020, 04:29:57 pm »
It seems like SymbolicFrank's complaints are meant to be directed more at xcom than xpiratez itself. One thing you need to understand is that, even though Piratez is such an expansive spaghetti monster of a mod, its still just a mod running on an extended version of the original openxcom, and so it cannot stray too far from the core UFO:EU gameplay. You can certainly bend it in some ways and create interesting things, like turrets, units that occupy 4 tiles and units that spawn other units, but only because there was a possibility for those things in the original game engine, IE you're still bound to the original framework provided by openxcom.

This means many (but not all) of your suggestions aren't stuff thats easily implemented or even possible to implement within the current limitations of the engine. Yes, it would be great if dio had a team of developers, the money and the skill to fully realize every crazy idea that we think would make piratez incredible, but this is a one man(woman? Mutant? Mutant with tits?) project mostly supported by Dioxine's own drive that sometimes gets aided by some donations, and thats also limited by the confines of fan created software put on top of a decades-old game.

Now, if its mission variety you're looking for, it increases greatly as you advance into the game, specially with as the different tiers of bounty hunting, undersea, underground and space missions show up. Yes, piratez has a slow start, but its absolutely worth it if you have the patience break the workshop and bounty hunting badge barriers.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 05:12:38 pm by Dakkdakk »

Offline SymbolicFrank

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7521 on: January 29, 2020, 11:17:49 pm »
I installed K2 just when it was released, with the intention to give it at least a few days. I start a new game, at the middle difficulty. And, almost immediately I got my first mission: "Save a sister". The airbus had landed a few tiles behind the fence at the back of the main building, and there were four enemies in sight. I couldn't exit the craft or take potshots at the enemy, without getting shredded by reaction fire. And while I couldn't hit them, they could hit my gals easily through the windows. Still, I managed to take those initial enemies down, but my last, very wounded gal succumbed to the Highwayman from the cellar.

Whelp! That didn't go very well!. It sure is X-COM, though. Part of the game. I'll just hire some new gals and buy a new ship, and I'm ready to go. Oh, wait, I can't...

It took me almost two months of researching the wrong things before I could hire peasants and buy a usable ship, by selling everything else. And those peasants had stats that were less than a sixth of the Lunatics. They couldn't hit the side of a barn, or walk 10 steps. Needless to say, that after about half a year, I was so far behind on the tech curve that I was happy if I had to abort less than half the missions. And no money whatsoever.

After almost a year, the situation was clearly unsalvageable, so I started a new game on easy, which I'm still playing. And I gave myself 25 Mil so I could buy a few brainers and a second base, just in case. It's still hard, but manageable. Gals are still hard to replace, so it's not really like X-COM. Although half the enemies are quite lethal, so that is rather like X-COM.

But it takes a long time playing the same missions over and over again, researching an endless amount of things that are mostly useless, or 1% better than my current equipment, in between the very few events and items that do make things better. Mostly Chainmail and salvaged Reticulan Plasma guns, and Church lasers. Which you can use once before you run out of ammo. So I gave myself a few hundred clips, to keep interest going.

This week, I started modding a few things, because even with about a hundred hours played and more than 25% researched, the main things that keep my gals alive are lots of experience and the stuff mentioned above. And I started to use debug mode to skip the easy and boring missions, like a ship with only a few civilians, or a Temple of Sirius, after taking out the priests.

Although I do have some nice ships. Two Predators, with a Nightmare being build. It's fun coordinating attacks on large ships.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 11:27:02 pm by SymbolicFrank »

Offline SymbolicFrank

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7522 on: January 29, 2020, 11:57:42 pm »
Btw:

One thing you need to understand is that, even though Piratez is such an expansive spaghetti monster of a mod, its still just a mod running on an extended version of the original openxcom, and so it cannot stray too far from the core UFO:EU gameplay. You can certainly bend it in some ways and create interesting things, like turrets, units that occupy 4 tiles and units that spawn other units, but only because there was a possibility for those things in the original game engine, IE you're still bound to the original framework provided by openxcom.

I'm a programmer. Half the idea was to see if it would be fun to add to OXCE. Like, a really good AI that doesn't cheat. A better UI. 3D scaling and mixing resolutions. Or random terrain. Or lots of other things. But all of those would go against rule #1: it has to play the base game unchanged. So I'm not sure there would be much enthusiasm for all that.

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7523 on: January 30, 2020, 01:35:41 pm »
Really agree with Dakkdakk, a good improvement may be an AI not cheating, for the rest the game is highly moddable - though i barely can turn on a PC (!!!)

@SymbolicFrank: if you lookin for another type of game openxcom might be not your choice, but i can absolutely say for sure your help  contribuiting to the port will be enormously appreciated :)

Offline SymbolicFrank

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7524 on: January 30, 2020, 09:11:37 pm »
AI: Most AIs treat all NPCs as puppets. NPCs should take individual decisions and communicate. Some could carry radios, others would have to shout. If they're cowardly, they try to stick together. And they hide behind terrain, peek around to scan or shoot. The commander should set the battle plan according to his stats. But all of it just simple, individual actions. That would make it very dynamic and quite a bit harder. 

Graphics: As it is, it's low-res 2D. And on the battlefield it is painted cell by cell: first the background, then the floor, the the items and lastly the object on top. The simplest way to make it more dynamic is to use OpenGL, and to paint each object, sprite or alphanumeric as a texture on a billboard (a rectangle facing the viewer). Just put them all next to and very close behind one another. That way it becomes resolution independent: the window/screen size as well as the resolution of the graphics. They all get automatically scaled. And a fixed viewing angle and no perspective prevents most artifacts. Although it might look weird if you put high-res next to low-res.

The whole battle field can be set up in one go, the shader(s) can figure out which sprite frame to use by themselves. And FreeType can render Unicode glyphs (chars) to bitmaps, for nice text dialogs in any language.

Dynamic maps: I don't know how it works at the moment, but in 3D modelling you have objects (often consisting of rectangles) and materials (a list of surfaces/textures you put on top). And that is basically how a battlefield looks like. Chop the whole viewing space into big voxels (boxes). Give each of them their own billboard. Take or generate a height map and background material (like, grass). And then you put objects, like ships or buildings on top of that, wherever there is space. That would also make it easy to build a graphical terrain/object editor. And simplify rendering, as you just have a single billboard with a material for each cell, instead of lots of both.


All of that is not very hard to do, but still, quite a lot of work.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 07:42:19 pm by SymbolicFrank »

Online Greep

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7525 on: January 30, 2020, 10:19:06 pm »
Oof.  Getting used to the new ranking system.  Is there a bug or something?  I've got less than 40 gals and I've already got a pirate queen and two princesses.  I know other races have their own ranks, but are the peasants really increasing the ranks of my pirates?  It seems like they're all basically worthless except for gals then.  Or is the threshold for gal ranks just lower now?

The prepper camps also feel a little hardcore.  I've had easier times with some pogroms, and these appear in february and these are just a normal mission with what I think are normal rewards.

Edit: yeah out of curiousity, trying a peasant expedition/biking gang my maintenance shot up to ~420k in january because I got princess from just my starting ubers.  Firing all my ubers brought it down to a somewhat more manageable 162k.  Seems like you have to choose between peasants or ubers if you want to have peasants beyond just the initial week.

Actually nevermind, one battle later and my peasants are at 400,000 maintenance.  They're pretty much unusable sadly.  Mildly cheating: you can simply fire all the leaders at the end of the month which lowers it to 100;, which I think is the best workaround for the moment for anyone want to try mass peasants.  But that only works if you play without any ubers whatsoever.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 09:30:19 pm by Greep »

Offline greattuna

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7526 on: January 31, 2020, 02:35:50 pm »
The ranking is based on total of all people in the roster, no matter the type, so if you have 6 gals and 30 peasants, they'd  rank as if you have 36 people in your roster (because you do). They also have same salaries for equivalent ranks.

And peasants are very much usable, but you probably don't want to hire so many in the first month. I did well with only hiring 10.

Online Greep

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7527 on: January 31, 2020, 08:54:20 pm »
Ah yeah, that was for testing.  I couldn't see any documentation anywhere so I just tried a peasant game.  Although in the current system:

1) expeditions of peasants are currently useless:  They're built on the concept of peasant armies.  They're so slow that you need a garrison of about 2x expeditions + replacements, so 70 peasants for the equivalent maybe 10 gals for an airbus.  And this just tanks your maintenance to like a million or multi-million if you have any gals.

2) The "normal" use of peasants is worthless in the long term:  long term maintenance wins out over hiring cost as salaries rise.  So in the current system, one peasant ~= one hand.  If you're just using peasant for early bus filler and base defense, like I think most people, you should fire all peasants and never hire after march.  If you want mass defense, just use hands + dogs.

3) honestly they kinda suck even in bikes, they're really meant for expeditions.  So you'd need to mix some ubers in there, and that runs into the issue ubers getting promoted because of peasants.  If you want even a reasonable 30 peasants + 6 ubers for 2 bikes w/ a bit of casualty backup, you're going to get an unreasonable maintenance.

Anyways, I normally only use them as a stepping stone to recruitment, I'm just disappointed that the alternative uses got shafted, and I think it's weird that it's best to fire all of your peasants after about march. 

-Any system which promotes uber ranks because of peasants is going to mean firing all peasants or firing all ubers. 
-For mass peasant balance, they need to take into account that peasant "vehicles" are bigger and slower, so a roster for 50 ubers should cost around the roster of about 250 peasants, which is currently not at all true.

Really just exempting peasants from the ranking system and doubling their base maintenance to 5k sounds like a sensible way to allow for peasant armies.  They simply aren't in the league of ubers/lochnars/etc so they just cannot exist in a system where they influence others' ranks.  Putting them in their own alternate ranking system, which doesn't affect other races, would also work, but I don't know how much work that is and you'd still have to lower pay if peasant expeditions are to be considered useable.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 09:47:39 pm by Greep »

Offline Dakkdakk

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7528 on: January 31, 2020, 10:08:59 pm »
Honestly going for peasants or slave soldiers atm is something you do to get access to different armors and... Flavor, I guess. I agree that including them in the ranking system pretty much removed the main advantage you got for using them, which is lowered maintenance costs. Sure, the freshness system added a different variable, but its still a minor thing.

Maybe just remove peasants from the ranking system? The stat difference between them and slave soldiers is enough to justify slave soldiers having ranks and counting towards gal ranks, IMO.

Online Greep

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Re: [MAIN] XPiratez - K2 - 2 Nov - Ice Ice Cool
« Reply #7529 on: February 01, 2020, 12:16:04 am »
Playing with these numbers a bit further, seems like there's a giant spike in maintenance at 32.  So if you want to play biker gangs (without firing high rankers) you can actually kinda manage it if you stay at 31 or under.  That still doesn't change that you need to replace all of those peasants with hands and you can't really max out an expedition, but I guess that's just the new meta.  It also seems like you kinda need to go Airbus + bikes, since 2 bikes gets you a bit too close to that maintenance explosion to handle injuries.

In any case, expeditions are currently just a newbie trap, so hopefully something changes.

Edit: Regarding super slaves.  TBH Their stats aren't really that different from peasants.  Like I get some that are worse than peasants.  So I don't really get this whole ranking system as a whole.  If the issue was expeditions are too powerful when stuffed to the max, then maybe they should have just had a lowered maximum crew.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 09:37:58 am by Greep »