aliens

Author Topic: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?  (Read 3818 times)

Offline Countdown

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This is a long post, feel free to only read/comment on one section. I'm interested to hear from others.

So I just finished my first campaign and beat the game. (It was on beginner, so you can hold your applause. ::)) Now that I'm done, I'm curious how my experience compares with others and what I might expect in my next one.

I wanted to make it a bit of a "trial by fire" so I purposely didn't look up too much info or tips on how to tackle the game. Consequently, I had a lot of dumb deaths (ie shooting a cyber disc standing a foot away from you and blowing yourself up) and it took me a long time to get going with the proper research chain (didn't hire a bunch of extra scientists at the start, didn't work my way up to flying suits/avenger until end of February 2000 I think).

Point is, I racked up 114 soldier deaths through the campaign which I beat in May 2000. That included like three full squad wipes on terror missions. Once I got power suits deaths dropped dramatically and once I got good at MC, deaths pretty much stopped all together. I probably could have launched to Cydonia in March and been fine, but I took my time at the end racking up soldier experience and expanding to 8 bases. So my questions are...

1) How long (game time) does it usually take you to beat the game and how many soldier deaths do you typically go through? Obviously this will vary a lot based on mods/play style, but assume vanilla and not doing save scumming or a bunch of reloading. It's hard to imagine losing 114 again next time since I improved so much by the end (even without MC), but maybe that will be negated by upping from beginner to veteran or superhuman as I plan to.

Spoiler:

2)
Does accuracy and other stat improvement work the same for shooting MCd aliens? Or do you not get improvement for killing them when they are under your control?
*RESOLVED
3) What are your thoughts on Cydonia? Playing normally with MC I beat it losing only 1 soldier and it was way too quick and easy. Very anti-climatic for this big blowout battle I was prepping for. Then I re-loaded a different Cydonia map and did it again, this time using no mind control (no blaster bombs either time) and I brought along some of my oldest soldiers who were very psi weak and/or cowardly. It was definitely more of a challenge this way and a lot more fun. Lost five soldiers, but was still less daunting than I imagined as I was never even close to losing. Felt like the map was too small and not enough enemies. But it's beginner so I know that's a big factor.

Are there any mods that make Cydonia more "interesting" or do you think when I up the difficulty setting that's going to be enough to make it more of a challenge.

Spoiler:
4) Are you supposed to be able to use a medi kit on an unconscious alien? I read you could do this in the original, but can you not in OXC or was I doing something wrong? *RESOLVED
5) Blaster launchers:
Spoiler:
Did I read correctly on here that there was some kind of issue on OXC 1.0 (and fixed later) and the aliens didn't use the waypoint system? I've seen them do that in youtube videos, but never had them do that once to me and only very occasionally did they use even the regular aimed shot with the blaster launcher. *RESOLVED
Even though I really only used it to blow holes in UFO hulls, if I wanted to exploit them fully they really are too powerful. I'm going to change the rulesets to balance them for my next run, but wanted to hear other's perspectives. Do you think it's better to:

a) Change it so the aliens can use the waypoint system, but XCOM can't. Obviously they still get the advantage. You get the huge explosion, but not the "cheap" endless waypoints.

b) Use this mod (https://www.openxcom.com/mod/customizable-psi-blaster-balance) to create a "heavy blaster launcher" which is way heavier and costs more TUs. You can still use the waypoints, but you'll need a very strong soldier who won't be able to carry anything else and won't be able to do it many times.

Option a) was my original plan, but then stumbled across that mod and thought it was an interesting idea.

Spoiler:
6) Do you get anything from doing random research like alien entertainment/surgery/food/corpses? Other than in the UFOpedia entry, does it help you in the game in any way or is it a waste of time? *RESOLVED
Spoiler:
7) I've noticed in YouTube videos of the original game, when it is your turn and you are killed by an alien reaction shot, the alien(s) you saw disappear from your view completely. Soldiers further back who can't see the alien will no longer be able to shoot at them because your spotter is dead. In OXC, even if your soldier dies, you can still "see" the alien and take shots at him. Was this a design choice in OXC or a bug in the original? Or is it a setting somewhere I haven't seen. Or am I completely wrong? I'm just curious about the difference I observed. *RESOLVED
Spoiler:
8 ) I assume it's normal not to get any more terror missions once you get many bases/near global coverage and are shooting down all the UFOs? *RESOLVED
Spoiler:
9) Recommendations on whether to move to veteran or superhuman? Will the jump to superhuman be too crazy or going to veteran too small a change? *hellrazor says superhuman so RESOLVED ... although maybe I should be questioning this coming from the guy who made something called "hardmode" expansion.  ;)
Spoiler:
10) Mind Control: ... Saving the MC discussion for another day.
*If relevant, I played on OXC 1.0, but am moving to the latest nightly or OXCE/OXCE+ for my next campaign (am torn between the extra stuff you can do in OXCE and the soldier diaries in the nightlies ... from what I've tested so far both versions are great).
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 01:13:25 pm by Countdown3 »

Offline hellrazor

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 08:42:22 am »
Congrats :)

The UI of the game itself is not very self explainable, so feel free to be honored.

I really really strongly recommend you install the newest nightly Version of OpenXcom. There have sooo many really really significant bugsfixes nad new features in the nightly, since openxcom 1.0 was released roughly 1,5 years ago. You are missing out a lot if your not doing it believe me.

Research is very important in this game, and getting important technology really saves lives.
I usually research Motions scanner, then Lasers first, then i am aiming for Medikits and Plasma weapons.
The technology difference in the groundbattles becomes very obvious, if you try fighting Muton with conventional weaponry.

Try Superhuman difficulty next.

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 10:44:13 am »
i'll skip over the subjective ones and go for the questions about mechanics.

2) yes.

4) this was possible in the original, but not in openxcom, you're supposed to kill the aliens, remember?

5) yes, there was an issue in 1.0 that was recently fixed, regarding blaster launchers in the alien hands.

6) you get a bunch of points at the end of the month.

7) you may be misinterpreting something, aliens, once spotted, stay "visible" until the end of the turn.

8 ) yup.

9) it'll be a huge difference, regardless, but superhuman will be that much worse.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 10:50:25 am by Warboy1982 »

Offline Countdown

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 05:07:36 pm »
4) this was possible in the original, but not in openxcom, you're supposed to kill the aliens, remember?
Ha, funnily enough I actually wanted to revive them to kill them. Leaving behind unconscious Chrysalids is like a ticking time bomb and I'm watching my back the rest of the mission. I read that in OXCE (maybe the latest nightly as well?) you can shoot unconscious bodies and kill them. So with that update there won't be any need to revive anyway.

7) you may be misinterpreting something, aliens, once spotted, stay "visible" until the end of the turn.

Maybe I am. I'll have to look again for the example where I thought I observed this on YouTube, but here is one I saw last night where the tank doesn't die, but just  moves away and the soldier cannot shoot the alien. Set to start at the 9:53 mark where it happens: https://youtu.be/Fjg_zY9wpm8?t=9m53s

Thanks for the responses!

EDIT: I was hoping I wasn't crazy. Here is where I first observed this, from the 6:30 mark of this video through 6:50. Pretty clear example of what I'm referring to. Maybe it was a bug with his version? https://youtu.be/wjASaeMGx9c?t=6m30s
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 11:03:51 pm by Countdown3 »

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 03:03:25 am »
in the cydonia video, the player spots the sectoid, then moves the tank away from the alien, shrouding him in complete darkness. it's still visible to the player, but it's being rendered black on a black background, and the player never actually moves the cursor over the correct tile.

in Kikoskia's video, notice how the cyberdisk stayed visible despite the only unit that was spotting it dying?

the sectoid was only illuminated for a split second, but after it took its shot, it was in complete darkness. it was still "visible" to the player, but Kikoskia didn't actually highlight the correct tile to make his cursor turn yellow.

if you look closely at the screenshots below, you might be able to see what i mean. the sectoid on mars is all but invisible, i can barely make out the slope of its shoulder against the crater, but look at the targetting cursor in the screen from kikoskia's one... you can actually see the sectoid's head obscuring the left side of the crosshair.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 03:20:59 am by Warboy1982 »

Offline Countdown

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2016, 07:10:30 am »
Oh wow, yeah I never would have realized that watching the videos, but yes I can just make out the shadows in the screenshots. Good tip to know for the future if this happens during one of my night missions. Apparently it would have helped Kikoskia and the other guy as well since they didn't seem to know this either.

Offline 7Saturn

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 05:14:28 pm »
There's also one additional way for this specific problem: Use the map! When pressing »m«, you will open the map. And regardless of the level of lighting, the enemies are always shown as blue dots. When clicking on them on the map, the map will center there, also on battlescape. The alien then is in the center of the screen, when closing the map window. Shouldn't be to hard to find it then, as the cursor changes color, when hovering over an enemy unit.

Offline Countdown

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Re: Just finished my first campaign and have some ?'s ... 1) How many deaths?
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 05:27:28 pm »
Thanks for the tip, I will use that. I literally never opened the map unless I clicked it by accident, but as I've watched more YouTube videos, I see others do and it can be a useful tool. This is even another way. Thanks again.