Author Topic: Area 51 - General Feedback thread  (Read 128920 times)

Offline Shiroi Bara

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1380 on: March 01, 2019, 07:10:03 am »
About crash - it's not happened on this save file. So of course you can't reproduce it. Crash happened on my other game, but I lost that save forever :(. I posted  this save file just to show what I'm missing name of the  area. I have no idea why it missing for me only, may be this is new tricky bug like missing Elerium.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1381 on: March 01, 2019, 07:27:04 am »
About crash - it's not happened on this save file. So of course you can't reproduce it. Crash happened on my other game, but I lost that save forever :(. I posted  this save file just to show what I'm missing name of the  area. I have no idea why it missing for me only, may be this is new tricky bug like missing Elerium.

If you encounter those type of crashes again: can you please remember the geographical location of the site that caused the crash, and the names of any closest cities nearby? If you could do this I'll be able to determine exactly what is causing the crash since the locations of mission sites are chosen from a list.

I've rechecked the ruleset again and found no issues and since the mission generated with the proper name afterwards, it's likely that the problem is with the saved game file, but I have no idea about what exactly right now. I'll keep on it for the future, nothing more I can do at this point.

PS - I checked your mission tally on the saved game, how's difficulty so far?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 07:30:54 am by Hobbes »

Offline Shiroi Bara

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1382 on: March 01, 2019, 03:53:32 pm »
If you encounter those type of crashes again: can you please remember the geographical location of the site that caused the crash, and the names of any closest cities nearby? If you could do this I'll be able to determine exactly what is causing the crash since the locations of mission sites are chosen from a list.
Ok, I'll do, promise. I'll try screenshot it with pop upped window as well, plus will check latest save file. Usually I'm saving not too often now. But it might be good idea to save my game before going to any mission now. So  if game is crashes I'll have latest save file before it happens for further investigation of the reason.
About difficulty. Playing not Ironman Superhuman on classic Openxcom. For me it still very hard. Problem surviving two months before I research gause rifles. If I get defense site on military facility with  sectoids I'll 90% screwed due to psi attacks and crappy weapons what couldn't  deal with cyberdisks. I did few different strategies include ignoring all missions and getting good score just shooting down large terror ships under water to get I think around 1500+ score. But this require two interceptors with 2 avalanche launchers  each or one with 2 stormhawks. And you need a luck to detect those ships nearby too. Another problem - medium ships shows up rare and 2 side mission with pyramid is hard. Failed once on it with last  soldier. But I think it's absolutely fine, because hardest difficulty should be hard.
Some questions and suggestions about hunter killer appearance rate at OXCE - could be % of their presents adjusted according game difficulty? As far as I can understand in rule sets now it's fixed. It will be nice if on low game difficulties % will be lowered and on hardest increased. I may be wrong here, so feel free to correct me. And I'm not sure what OXCE mechanics allow change % in rule sets when difficulty changed.

Offline Shiroi Bara

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1383 on: March 16, 2019, 08:20:52 pm »
Ok, another crash with generating map fails.
Code: [Select]
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] A fatal error has occurred: Map failed to fully generate.
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x88dca0 OpenXcom::CrossPlatform::stackTrace(void*)
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x891330 OpenXcom::CrossPlatform::crashDump(void*, std::__cxx11::basic_string<char, std::char_traits<char>, std::allocator<char> > const&)
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x4015a0 exceptionLogger()
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0xc2bc18 MPEGaction::MPEGaction()
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x981f70 OpenXcom::BattlescapeGenerator::run()
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x495f50 OpenXcom::ConfirmLandingState::btnYesClick(OpenXcom::Action*)
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x8817a0 OpenXcom::InteractiveSurface::mouseClick(OpenXcom::Action*, OpenXcom::State*)
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x76548730 malloc
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x401810 SDL_main
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0xab0420 console_main
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] ??
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x77590160 BaseThreadInitThunk
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x77b06540 RtlGetAppContainerNamedObjectPath
[16-03-2019_21-03-58] [FATAL] 0x77b06540 RtlGetAppContainerNamedObjectPath
[16-03-2019_21-04-47] [FATAL] OpenXcom has crashed: Map failed to fully generate.
I got lucky, loaded autogeo save file and saved normal when mission pop ups. It's data recovery mission in Asia shore. Screenshot and save file to reproduce. Just resend Skyranger there (it's currently moving to Terror mission in south America, but it has enough fuel to turn back and go to the Data recovery bugged mission). If you confirm the crash and fix it, could you please attach fixed map file in reply post. If no crash for you tell me then what latest fixed full game version, because I have reinstalled game and you mod using new fresh OXCE. Thanks in advance.
Screen with mission:

And save file:

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1384 on: March 17, 2019, 05:16:40 am »
Nailed it! :D

It's a bug that only happens if the mapScript fails to place any additional 20x20 buildings other than the target building, which is uncommon - I couldn't reproduce it using your save because of RNG, but I was able to get a crash on New Battle after several attempts. If it happens (which has a low chance, thus this bug has been unnoticed by me so far) the script runs out of 10x10 buildings to place, leaving map areas empty and causing the crash.

The file below should fix it - just download it to \mods\Area51\Ruleset\ and replace the existing file.

Thank you very much for your patience and assistance - I'll update the download links later
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 05:22:11 am by Hobbes »

Offline Shiroi Bara

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1385 on: March 28, 2019, 07:38:13 pm »
Strange stairs here:


I climbed up, but can't go down now. Like one way only. Could you check it? It's terror mission in North Africa. Save file attached.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1386 on: March 28, 2019, 08:31:12 pm »
Strange stairs here:


I climbed up, but can't go down now. Like one way only. Could you check it? It's terror mission in North Africa. Save file attached.

Fixed, thanks. I've also fixed some additional bugs with this terrain lately.

Offline shaigan

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1387 on: March 29, 2019, 09:43:29 am »
This mod is fantastic. Once a few years I was coming back to the first X-Com to check how the 'mod technology' develops there and I was quite happy. This time when I found out OpenXcom... god, I didn't even dream about something like this! Anyway I played with a little amount of mods to keep the original feeling, but I knew the game too good to really enjoy it - I was just using some schemas. But then I tried Area 51... sweet jesus, it's even better than the vanilla game.
All of you guys who were participating in developing OpenXcom and Area 51 - you should be very proud of your job because it brings happiness to people ;-).
Also, to my mind it would be helpful and interesting to add some hints about killing specific species of aliens to their dead body examination research results. Also I think that the armors vary too little. I mean... i researched them and skipped production until I got personal armor because there is no big sense in producing the earlier ones. Or maybe that's just me.

Offline Yeoman

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1388 on: April 07, 2019, 05:06:59 am »
Not really feeling the addition of pilots. I don't enjoy the additional layer of management and clutter. When I'm at the soldier menu, I only want to manage soldiers, and I only want to bring people who I intend to use as soldiers. I don't enjoy being forced to bring additional people and try to find a way to make them useful when I already have a squad. And you can't really say that you can just use them like normal soldiers because they cost more to replace.

Also, I don't think it makes sense that firing accuracy correlates to accuracy in using a fighter craft's weapon systems. And I don't think it makes sense that pilots are required to fly the Skyranger but if the pilots are killed during the mission, you are still able to fly the Skyranger back to your base. It all feels very forced and hokey, it's easier to just imagine nameless pilots doing their work.

EDIT: Also, regarding morale, I had a poor experience with it. During one mission, I was killing aliens left and right and one of my soldiers panics out of the blue. It doesn't make sense because I just wiped out over 80% of the aliens and was just hunting the last remaining few, suffered no casualties, no wounded, it doesn't make sense for a soldier to suddenly lose morale. I assume this is due to the new system in 0.97 but I haven't tried prior versions of the mod.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 04:55:16 pm by Yeoman »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1389 on: April 08, 2019, 07:02:04 am »
Not really feeling the addition of pilots. I don't enjoy the additional layer of management and clutter. When I'm at the soldier menu, I only want to manage soldiers, and I only want to bring people who I intend to use as soldiers. I don't enjoy being forced to bring additional people and try to find a way to make them useful when I already have a squad. And you can't really say that you can just use them like normal soldiers because they cost more to replace.

Also, I don't think it makes sense that firing accuracy correlates to accuracy in using a fighter craft's weapon systems. And I don't think it makes sense that pilots are required to fly the Skyranger but if the pilots are killed during the mission, you are still able to fly the Skyranger back to your base. It all feels very forced and hokey, it's easier to just imagine nameless pilots doing their work.

This has made me consider a number of issues regarding pilots, thank you. An immediate fix would be to set their cost to be the same as soldiers, as you pointed out their differences in cost/salaries. And there are also other issues here, although I'll need to reflect a bit about this first but I'll get back later to you on this topic.

Meanwhile, there's an easy way to disable pilots, because I'd also agree that it would be an unwanted change in the middle of a game, if you're interested.

Quote
EDIT: Also, regarding morale, I had a poor experience with it. During one mission, I was killing aliens left and right and one of my soldiers panics out of the blue. It doesn't make sense because I just wiped out over 80% of the aliens and was just hunting the last remaining few, suffered no casualties, no wounded, it doesn't make sense for a soldier to suddenly lose morale. I assume this is due to the new system in 0.97 but I haven't tried prior versions of the mod.

Do you remember what was the mission or UFO type involved? Because the larger the UFO, the more xenophobia will your soldiers be likely to fell.

The system isn't designed for a sudden loss of morale as you described, because to me that would also make no sense as you said. Instead each soldier can suffer an average of 5-15 morale points each turn, and this should be increased/reduced by the bravery stat and other morale modifiers.

So, what usually happens is that one guy suffers UFO phobia for several turns, and also makes 0 kills while the rest of the squad is killing every alien on sight, so the poor bastard doesn't gain morale from those kills to offset the building xenophobia. Eventually the morale drop causes the soldier to panic, and it can look that he freaked out of the blue if this xenophobia build up hasn't been detected before by the player.

Panicking can have bad effects, specially if unexpected, but at the same time a soldier can only have a chance of increasing its bravery stat if its morale drops below 50 during a mission.

Offline Shiroi Bara

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1390 on: April 08, 2019, 10:57:00 am »
Not tried new version yet, just downloaded old save to see the changes. Hey Hobbes, you have removed alien base radars, but for my opinion, this is very useful feature. Now planing course is pain in the ass. I still know the average detection radius, but visual appearance was much better. How I can turn them back? What changes I need do in rule set files?
P.S.
Tried beginner difficulty. New morale lose system makes game too hard. All squad just panic and I can't do anything against it. Transport ships can fly with dead pilots... Something wrong with that. Hope you will change it and correct in future.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 12:38:04 pm by Shiroi Bara »

Offline Yeoman

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1391 on: April 08, 2019, 03:32:39 pm »
This has made me consider a number of issues regarding pilots, thank you. An immediate fix would be to set their cost to be the same as soldiers, as you pointed out their differences in cost/salaries. And there are also other issues here, although I'll need to reflect a bit about this first but I'll get back later to you on this topic.

Meanwhile, there's an easy way to disable pilots, because I'd also agree that it would be an unwanted change in the middle of a game, if you're interested.

I think simply making them cost the same as soldiers and have them treated as additional required soldiers is not the way to go. It just cheapens the whole premise and makes it a weak and superfluous addition to the game.

I would say that the only meaningful contribution of the pilot system is in the UFO dogfighting. And if that is the main point of having pilots, then they should not have to bleed into the Battlescape.

I suggest just making pilots have their own set of stats and have no other purpose than to fly. Maybe they grow stats based on each shot landed in interceptions (maybe a lesser percentage for cannon), each shot dodged, and each troop deployment/landing.

Quote
Do you remember what was the mission or UFO type involved? Because the larger the UFO, the more xenophobia will your soldiers be likely to fell.

...

So, what usually happens is that one guy suffers UFO phobia for several turns, and also makes 0 kills while the rest of the squad is killing every alien on sight, so the poor bastard doesn't gain morale from those kills to offset the building xenophobia. Eventually the morale drop causes the soldier to panic, and it can look that he freaked out of the blue if this xenophobia build up hasn't been detected before by the player.

One case was the abandoned factory mission which had 16 aliens, and another was a medium scout UFO land assault which had around 6 aliens. What you describe seems exactly right -- I have a bunch of guys killing aliens and one of my guys who's just hanging back gets panicked. One might justify it as abstraction of a soldier panicking because he's left on his own. But the problem is that this can also occur if he's tagging along other guys who are doing all the killing, in which case his morale should actually grow because he feels secure with his squadmates. Either way, the system seems to punish playstyles that are less than aggressive and also somewhat force players to be conservative in the number of guys they deploy.

---

Let me just add, my expectation of this mod is to increase the variety of the game in a way that stays consistent with the vanilla gameplay while also addressing some of its shortcomings, namely the lack of weapon choices and the quick beeline approach to researching plasma weapons. To be honest, I'd rather do without additional gameplay systems like pilots and xenophobia.

The new maps are gorgeous, but I'm not enthusiastic about the monthly/bi-monthly? mission maps. I've only played the factory mission and the military base and they seem to not have enough variation. That, combined with the fact that they seem mandatory for the first month, reduces the replayability of the mod, I think. The factory map is way too large and complex, and again, does not seem to have enough randomization. I have two concurrent playthroughs (one in my desktop, one in my phone) and going through the factory mission more than once feels exhausting.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1392 on: April 09, 2019, 02:56:02 am »
Not tried new version yet, just downloaded old save to see the changes. Hey Hobbes, you have removed alien base radars, but for my opinion, this is very useful feature. Now planing course is pain in the ass. I still know the average detection radius, but visual appearance was much better. How I can turn them back? What changes I need do in rule set files?
P.S.
Tried beginner difficulty. New morale lose system makes game too hard. All squad just panic and I can't do anything against it. Transport ships can fly with dead pilots... Something wrong with that. Hope you will change it and correct in future.

Alien base radars were never meant to be displayed but there was a recent update made to OXCE that made then visible with previous versions of Area 51, so in 0.97 I updated the mod to remove the radars again. The issue with displaying them is that it also reveals which UFOs are set to intercept craft since you can also see their radars, and I prefer those to be a surprise for the player.

I'm going to go into further detail about adjusting the morale system and pilots, since those are questions that I was already discussing with Yeoman, and those should address the feedback you just gave.

I think simply making them cost the same as soldiers and have them treated as additional required soldiers is not the way to go. It just cheapens the whole premise and makes it a weak and superfluous addition to the game.

I agree, already been thinking of how to change the system, more details will follow on this post.

Quote
I would say that the only meaningful contribution of the pilot system is in the UFO dogfighting. And if that is the main point of having pilots, then they should not have to bleed into the Battlescape.

I suggest just making pilots have their own set of stats and have no other purpose than to fly. Maybe they grow stats based on each shot landed in interceptions (maybe a lesser percentage for cannon), each shot dodged, and each troop deployment/landing

I came to this conclusion last night as well. Their biggest contribution is to UFO dogfighting, and while it will still be possible to bring them as soldiers to the battlefield (as a desperate measure though, in case you ran out of soldiers), transports shouldn't require pilots (only interceptors should).

The caveat with this system is that pilots appear to only be promoted during battlescape missions. But since the objective then is to dissuade players from using pilots in the battlefield, then I'll simply disable promotions for pilots since ranks only work for morale proposes in battlescape. Pilots will still be able to get stat increases from UFO interception, and any ground mission they participate.

Quote
One case was the abandoned factory mission which had 16 aliens, and another was a medium scout UFO land assault which had around 6 aliens. What you describe seems exactly right -- I have a bunch of guys killing aliens and one of my guys who's just hanging back gets panicked. One might justify it as abstraction of a soldier panicking because he's left on his own. But the problem is that this can also occur if he's tagging along other guys who are doing all the killing, in which case his morale should actually grow because he feels secure with his squadmates. Either way, the system seems to punish playstyles that are less than aggressive and also somewhat force players to be conservative in the number of guys they deploy.

I'll remove them from the vanilla missions (UFOs, Alien Base), but I'll definitely use them for a few special missions that I'm currently considering.

Quote
Let me just add, my expectation of this mod is to increase the variety of the game in a way that stays consistent with the vanilla gameplay while also addressing some of its shortcomings, namely the lack of weapon choices and the quick beeline approach to researching plasma weapons. To be honest, I'd rather do without additional gameplay systems like pilots and xenophobia.

Pilots and xenophobia are two novelties that were added because of the migration to OXCE from the nightlies, and if they prove to add little value to gameplay then they will simply be cut out.

Quote
The new maps are gorgeous, but I'm not enthusiastic about the monthly/bi-monthly? mission maps. I've only played the factory mission and the military base and they seem to not have enough variation. That, combined with the fact that they seem mandatory for the first month, reduces the replayability of the mod, I think. The factory map is way too large and complex, and again, does not seem to have enough randomization. I have two concurrent playthroughs (one in my desktop, one in my phone) and going through the factory mission more than once feels exhausting.

Factory is basically a huge 'UFO' whose internal layout never changes (it could but it would require a major redesign), Military base has always the same outer layout (fence and watchtowers), and the buildings present and the LZ are placed on the inside.

One thing you'll notice about the Council terrains is that maps are not all generated using the UFO method (full randomization) and also use procedural generation (where a specific layout is pre-determined, like Port in TFTD) or even unique buildings that never change (like the TFTD's ships). 

Factory is not mandatory since you don't lose points by skipping the mission, and if you choose to take and are successful and recover the data disk, the reward after you research it is a free random weapons or armor tech that you don't already possess. So, if the mouse solves the maze and avoids its traps it will get the cheese.

Military base is designed as an easier introduction to Council missions, and one of the changes I have planned is to make them always with Spacefarers, to introduce them but also since they are more easier for your allies to kill than Sectoids/Cyberdiscs. One of the upcoming changes will be that the allied soldiers who survive that mission will be recruited into XCom as free soldiers.

I'm currently redesigning the Council missions because of... lots of reasons, lol. So if you, or anyone else has any specific feedback regarding this issue, it would be most helpful at this stage.

Offline Yeoman

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1393 on: April 09, 2019, 05:52:16 am »
Just encountered this "Superman" during a terror mission, haven't checked yet what the whole thing is about but the unit sprite's face/hair is not consistent with the portrait

EDIT: I realize now that most civilian sprites are not exactly same as their paper dolls, but this one particular sprite looks really odd
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 01:41:15 pm by Yeoman »

Offline Shiroi Bara

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Re: Area 51 - General Feedback thread
« Reply #1394 on: April 09, 2019, 12:43:47 pm »
The issue with displaying them is that it also reveals which UFOs are set to intercept craft since you can also see their radars, and I prefer those to be a surprise for the player.
Can't agree with that because enemy Interceptor radars shows only if you have Hyper wave decoder on you base, and imo this is fair, because decoder show full 100% info about detected UFO include what they're aggressive.