Author Topic: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?  (Read 18129 times)

Offline Countdown

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Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« on: February 03, 2016, 11:31:42 am »
I'm just over a year in game time, and the aliens have never attacked any one of my six bases. I've always shot down every UFO I could, gone on all the terror missions, and destroyed several of their bases, but have never had an attack on my bases.

It's in beginner mode and I have a lot of base defenses, so I started a superhuman campaign just as a test. I made three bases with no defense and shot down every UFO that I detected for 6-months, but still no base defense missions.

I only know they exist from reading about it online and how you "provoke" the aliens by shooting down UFOs/attacking their bases.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 12:00:19 pm »
Do you get retaliation missions at all? I mean, are the aliens even trying to find your base?

If they do and they can't, you might be in one of the "sweet spots" where bases are safe, because UFOs don't fly there.

Offline Meridian

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 12:03:43 pm »
I'm just over a year in game time, and the aliens have never attacked any one of my six bases. I've always shot down every UFO I could, gone on all the terror missions, and destroyed several of their bases, but have never had an attack on my bases.

It's in beginner mode and I have a lot of base defenses, so I started a superhuman campaign just as a test. I made three bases with no defense and shot down every UFO that I detected for 6-months, but still no base defense missions.

I only know they exist from reading about it online and how you "provoke" the aliens by shooting down UFOs/attacking their bases.

On beginner it could theoretically happen, chance to spawn when UFOs are shot down is small, and regular appearance is quite late.
On superhuman, they should already be annoying the hell out of you.

Can you post both your beginner and superhuman saves, so that we can have a look?

Offline Countdown

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 12:35:30 pm »
Do you get retaliation missions at all? I mean, are the aliens even trying to find your base?

If they do and they can't, you might be in one of the "sweet spots" where bases are safe, because UFOs don't fly there.
Yes, in the beginner save I have the hyper-wave decoder so I can see there are a fair number of UFOs with "alien retaliation" as their mission. I always shoot them down unless they're battleships which I can't shoot down with my current aircraft.

In the super human one I was just testing by shooting down UFOs (not actually doing missions) so I don't have the hyperwave decoder.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 12:52:00 pm by Countdown3 »

Offline Countdown

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 12:49:09 pm »
On beginner it could theoretically happen, chance to spawn when UFOs are shot down is small, and regular appearance is quite late.
On superhuman, they should already be annoying the hell out of you.

Can you post both your beginner and superhuman saves, so that we can have a look?
Sure, there are attached.

Just now as a test I sped up the time and let the game run in both without doing any missions or shooting down UFOs. In the SupuerHuman I just eventually lost the overall game with still no base attack on any of the three bases.

In the Beginner this actually did eventually generate a base attack in North America so it's good to know it can happen. I just quit the mission and kept letting time go. Even though there were tons and tons of "alien retaliation" missions in the zones of my other bases (including battleships) it never generated a base defense mission. When I would see a battleship with the "retaliation" mission I would assume it was going after my base, but it would just fly around and leave.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 03:30:17 pm »
In the Beginner this actually did eventually generate a base attack in North America so it's good to know it can happen. I just quit the mission and kept letting time go. Even though there were tons and tons of "alien retaliation" missions in the zones of my other bases (including battleships) it never generated a base defense mission. When I would see a battleship with the "retaliation" mission I would assume it was going after my base, but it would just fly around and leave.

If you're shooting down every UFO sent on Retaliation except the Battleships then it's not really surprising that you haven't got a base defense mission yet. This because the AI actually needs to detect a base through those scout UFOs, and to do so it a UFO needs to overfly your base or get close enough to your base, which gives a chance of detecting for each X minutes that the base is in range of the UFO.

If you want a better chance of Base Defense missions then you can set 'Aggressive Retaliation' on options. This makes all UFOs capable of detecting your bases, not just those on Retaliation missions.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 03:56:58 pm »
If you're shooting down every UFO sent on Retaliation except the Battleships then it's not really surprising that you haven't got a base defense mission yet. This because the AI actually needs to detect a base through those scout UFOs, and to do so it a UFO needs to overfly your base or get close enough to your base, which gives a chance of detecting for each X minutes that the base is in range of the UFO.

This is correct of course, but it should be noted that Battleships are also used for scouting, not just the assault itself.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 03:11:17 am »
This is correct of course, but it should be noted that Battleships are also used for scouting, not just the assault itself.

I It is quite possible for the UFO, even a Battleship, not to detect the base even by flying directly over it. The formula for detection is something similar to: "for every 30(?) min within range, there's an X chance of the UFO detecting an XCOM base", where X depends on the number of completed facilities at each base and can vary between 15-21%. So it can be easy for a Battleship not to detect a base, because it will depend on its trajectory (and a few map areas are actually outside their trajectories) and the RNG.

Offline Countdown

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 07:58:45 pm »
I understand that they won't detect the base every time they fly by on a retaliation mission, but it still seemed strange to me since I've read online people complaining about getting too many base defense missions or getting them too early. And even on the super human difficulty with multiple bases, I couldn't generate even just one even though I was trying (by shooting down some UFOs, but letting others get away).

I guess next campaign I'll turn on the aggressive retaliation and give that a try.

Offline Zyzyfer

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 04:03:46 am »


By the way you should have a choke point when designing bases, it will make base defense less of a nightmare. The above is my starting base in my current campaign.
Aliens need to turn blind corner from hanger, and xcom can have a missile/sniper team in the north end of the north general store under smoke cover just sniping away at any aliens turning corner and they will get a line of fire all the way down the corridor.
You can also hide tanks/scouts with motion detectors in the side rooms and they can just pop in/out for extra support (I recommend having some tanks lying around for base defense- I tend not to use tanks on missions as i prefer the exp but they are great for base defense and one doesn't necessarily have to use their gun).
For even easier defense you could remove the bottom living quarters (but this is not necessary), I find this is good set up without wasting too much space. General stores are also indestructible so when things like blaster launchers and/or cyberdiscs come to play you don't have to worry the module (and everything behind it- can lead to loss of most base), will get destroyed.

Also once you research hyper-wave decoders, small + large radars become obsolete so destroy them and build something in their place instead of wasting room. Also I tend to not bother with base defense structures as they waste room and also means your team wont be getting as much exp from base defense (but I guess whether you choose to use them is up to you/play style).


Offline Countdown

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 01:01:50 am »
Also once you research hyper-wave decoders, small + large radars become obsolete so destroy them and build something in their place instead of wasting room. Also I tend to not bother with base defense structures as they waste room and also means your team wont be getting as much exp from base defense (but I guess whether you choose to use them is up to you/play style).
Good to know, thanks. What do you mean though your team won't get as much experience points? Doesn't it work like an all-or-nothing situation? If a battleship is hit, but still makes it through, it doesn't have less aliens than if you had no defenses at all does it?

And as long as I'm posting n00b questions, what is the deal with zombies? I read about it on the ufopaedia, so I think I understand how they worked in the original game. But can they not be mind controlled at all in OpenXCom? I read about this "exploit" which sounds like it was a bug and not the original intention of the game where you can "recover" zombified agents: https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Exploiting_Mind_Control#Resurrect_Zombified_Agents

I reloaded a save just to try it out, but I probably tried 100 times and couldn't mind control the zombie. Meanwhile I've got lucky and mind controlled ethereals so it seemed like it just couldn't be done with zombies.

Offline Zyzyfer

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2016, 06:47:02 am »
1. I am pretty sure it works by play difficulty settings,  the alliens then suffer casualties based on defenses. From memory in original UFO defense  x4 FB launchers & x1 Grav shield was enough for any UFO to get completely obliterated.
But then in original the difficulty setting was bugged- you might need to add extra FB if playing on superhuman.
I personally like playing the base defense missions so I don't add any base defenses at all (at least to the bases I want the aliens to attack- otherwise stick a mind shield instu & the aliens will probably never locate the base).

2. To be honest i never tried mind controlling zombies (i usually disable psi as same makes game too easy/boring for me). Besides, OpenXcom is different game to original so might not work anymore (sorry cant help you on this one).
Albeit zombies make good reaction fire practice for scouts. On terror missions with Chrysalids allow them to impregnate civilians for the reaction fire practice on the zombies (as zombies are harmless until they turn).

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 08:26:03 pm »
nope, that bug never came into the picture, our handling of both zombification and mind control are completely different.

in vanilla, there was one byte allocated to "faction" which was either 0 (xcom), 1 (alien) or 2(civilian) and one bit allocated to "mind controlled"

at the end of the turn, if the "mind controlled" bit is set, it flips the faction between 0 and 1, treating any non-zero value as 1. this is how MCed civilians turn hostile.

because of the way the unitref/unitpos table worked in the original, units that were zombified overwrote the data of the unit they were replacing, this was due to the limit on the number of units that could exist on the battlescape. importantly, when they overwrote the data, they didn't overwrite ALL of it. this meant that the zombie would contain a reference to the geoscape soldier, as well as some other "vestigial" data.

if the zombie is then mind controlled and killed, the "mind controlled" bit would remain, but the faction would be overwritten, meaning at the end of the turn, it would switch back to the player's side (permanently)

at the end of the battle, when all the units were tallied, if it was alive, not mind controlled, of the player faction, and had a reference to a geoscape soldier, how could the code NOT think the soldier was alive and well?

comparitively, in openxcom:

we store a byte for "originalFaction" and another for "currentFaction", and treat any difference between the two as our "mind controlled" flag. this means that any unit mind controlled by anyone will always revert to its original faction, eliminating the hostile civilian issue.

we don't use the unitref/unitpos table concept at all. when a unit is zombified, we kill the old unit and create a new one from scratch. the original unit stays present and "complete" in the data, although it no longer has a physical presence on the battlefield.

at the end of the battle, when tallying units, the first thing we sort them by is the "originalFaction" and figure things out from there. all the units are still present in the save data, so everyone gets handled properly.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 11:56:14 am by Warboy1982 »

Offline Countdown

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 09:52:33 am »
Waterboy Warboy, thanks for the detailed explanation. That's interesting to know what in their code caused the original bug issues and how you guys fixed it. So that's good that the bug/exploit is gone, but where does that leave zombies with psi attacks? Can be mind controlled at all in OpenXCom or are they immune to it?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 10:42:35 am by Countdown3 »

Offline kkmic

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Re: Is it weird that I haven't had a base defense mission yet?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2016, 10:27:50 am »
Waterboy, thanks for the detailed explanation.

You have misread the name a bit, but thanks for the laugh :D

LE:  ;)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 10:30:47 am by kkmic »