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Author Topic: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell  (Read 811455 times)

Offline Finnik

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4140 on: April 08, 2021, 03:58:51 pm »
I was trying hard about returning countries back in XCF, but I would say it won't be a thing in XCF because both lore and gameplay reasons. However, mechanics of infiltration was so much pain for me since age 8, so I am willing to make unofficial submod for XCF that could make it happen (if Scorch would not mind, ofc). This part of the game is not covered in FtA so I'm kinda unsatisfied about this story in the end, tho I have no direct plans to play/contribute XCF in near future  ;D

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4141 on: April 09, 2021, 01:17:48 am »
Lets not forget that those things take years to pull off even with "indirect" threat being present.
[...]Budget and the costs of items have that connection, or don't have, it all depends on what mod creator says. As we don't operate on abstract "credits", but on simple dollars, I don't see why they can't have.
You bring this up a couple of times as kind of an end-all argument for why this is should be "unrealistic" - because time, apparently.

It's interesting how time should be a factor preventing this because it is "unrealistic", yet X-Com can somehow churn out ground breaking scientific discoveries (i.e. reverse-engineer magic, practically), unmask massive cult structures and conspiracies and get "promoted" from a low-key "nut case" organiziation to having full operational control of fighter jets and what can only be described as weapons of mass destruction (of alien origin on top of that) in a time-span of what, twelve months? Eighteen months? Two years?

Why, exactely, should similar feats in regards to rogue states be unrealistic? X-Com can convince "the UN" to grant them total operational authority to act on an outside threat, but can't convince them to act similarily on a threat on the inside because it would take too long?

On that account, why is money being unrealistic only a factor if it supports your argument? Going back to your earlier statement, X-Com only has "a couple of millions", which according to you is not enough to bribe anyone "in reality". Also, "a couple of millions" is apparently enough to fund an international para-military organization, pay for hundreds of engineers, scientists and soldiers. Also, for bases and ground-breaking research, cars, planes, jets, helicopters, missiles, canons, miniature tanks...

Remind me, again, why X-Com shouldn't be able to bribe a government official with "a couple of millions". Or, for that matter, with any of the artifacts, technology etc. that the organization has recovered. Like I said earlier, money isn't even the only thing X-Com has to offer.

There is difference between certain kinds of "shady" activity. Handing over alien tech to MAGMA is just giving the toys that many other organisations already have in order to gain adventage against invaders. Blackmailing, assasinations, false flag operations, all of that to force sovereign nation to break the signed pact causing another countless number of dead in city purges isn't any better than what cults were doing[...]
Oh, like the "countless deaths" your shady deals with MAGMA result in? Elerium bombs in residential areas, assassinations, unstoppable raids, chemical contaminations - seems to me like X-Com is ethical flexible enough to turn a blind eye if the organization profits from it, seeing how it does not intervene.

Apparently making people even more addicted to alien drugs also isn't a problem, as long as it undermines cult (and alien) activity. Truly X-Com at it's finest, putting ethics and morality first. But preventing literal aliens from taking over a country and experiment/enslave/mind control it's population? Nope, might result in casualties.

[...]
It surerly isn't a scenario of "fight, or die".
It's not a pancake either, apparently, but that does not invalidate my statement since the argument was not about it being a pancake, nor was it about "fight or die". It was about X-Com being able to sway countries into taking action (or authorizing X-Com to take action etc.), based upon prior feats - something you called into question.

Surerly assasinating Council officials that decided to sign the pact with aliens would be rather stupid.
Did I state anywhere that X-Com should do that?
Oh, I did not? Would you mind taking that strawmen back home again? BTW, when did council members became their respective country's head of state, being able to sign pacts with aliens?

Quote
Saving humanity multiple times means nothing when there is still yet another threat that X-COM can't deal with[...]Its not like nation that resigned from the project had to be mind-controlled and would never do that if they wouldn't be.
That does not even make any sense. Containing the cults and X-Coms further efforts are the only reason X-the oranization is granted more authority. "Saving"/"Protecting" humanity accounts for everything, apparently. If other countries can be persuaded that a rogue state under the influence of an outside force poses a credible, immediate threat, why shouldn't they act?

And they don't just resign, they let an invading alien force operate unhindered on their own soil. Government officials who support something like that would - in reality - be comitting treason according to practical every constitution I can think of, as it subverts sovereignity of the state. Which is also why something like this poses a threat to humanity at large and would not be supported by a general population that is not drugged out of their mind, mind controlled or otherwise "preoccupied".

Which is the reason X-Com can and should act on this - either directly or indirectly.

What causes a nation to resign from the project? X-COM inability to deal with threats on their soil. So for a nation to drop the project it requires for them to completly lose the faith in X-COM. To drop the pact with aliens it requires for them to completly lose the faith in being spared by aliens.
That is plain out wrong and neither supported by lore nor by game mechanics. You can not prevent countries from being inflitrated, regardless of what you do. Neither does in-game lore state that the aliens "stop" their activities or "spare" people. They simply trade technology for unhindered access to the country in question.

@Solarius
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Yes, X-Com encounters and defeats many powerful institutions. Regardless, I would like you to think again about how these things work. I've always considered the previous situation to be quite far-fetched, and I also received complaints from people who understood it like I did. Disabliong this mechanic was a relief borne of the feeling of correcting an obvious mistake.
The only mistake I can see here is not including it, going by how you portray X-Com and it's achievements in the game in regards to all the threats you have thrown at humanity in the mod. Unless there is major content I am missing, so far X-Com has manged to contain, control or outright exterminate every single one, and you offer absolutely no reason why X-Com should be utterly powerless to prevent an alien force to control a whole country, let alone a few heads of state.

If they are (still) that easily swayed by some piece of alien technology I doubt X-Com couldn't come up with something better, to say the least.


Offline JustTheDude/CABSHEP

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4142 on: April 09, 2021, 12:19:21 pm »
You bring this up a couple of times as kind of an end-all argument for why this is should be "unrealistic" - because time, apparently.

It's interesting how time should be a factor preventing this because it is "unrealistic", yet X-Com can somehow churn out ground breaking scientific discoveries (i.e. reverse-engineer magic, practically), unmask massive cult structures and conspiracies and get "promoted" from a low-key "nut case" organiziation to having full operational control of fighter jets and what can only be described as weapons of mass destruction (of alien origin on top of that) in a time-span of what, twelve months? Eighteen months? Two years?

Why, exactely, should similar feats in regards to rogue states be unrealistic? X-Com can convince "the UN" to grant them total operational authority to act on an outside threat, but can't convince them to act similarily on a threat on the inside because it would take too long?

On that account, why is money being unrealistic only a factor if it supports your argument? Going back to your earlier statement, X-Com only has "a couple of millions", which according to you is not enough to bribe anyone "in reality". Also, "a couple of millions" is apparently enough to fund an international para-military organization, pay for hundreds of engineers, scientists and soldiers. Also, for bases and ground-breaking research, cars, planes, jets, helicopters, missiles, canons, miniature tanks...

Remind me, again, why X-Com shouldn't be able to bribe a government official with "a couple of millions". Or, for that matter, with any of the artifacts, technology etc. that the organization has recovered. Like I said earlier, money isn't even the only thing X-Com has to offer.
Oh, like the "countless deaths" your shady deals with MAGMA result in? Elerium bombs in residential areas, assassinations, unstoppable raids, chemical contaminations - seems to me like X-Com is ethical flexible enough to turn a blind eye if the organization profits from it, seeing how it does not intervene.


Yes, X-COM can do such things in short span of time, because its the convention of established world. X-COM and thus X-COM Files resides in an established world where people act like people, goverments generally act like governments (with conspiracy theories spice). While reverse-engineering magic only requires 100 scientists and few months doesn't suddently have to mean that they can stage a coup and create ressistance in a weekend.

Both our statements go with the "realistic" approach, you argue it is, I argue it isn't. But would it be realistic for literally 5 different invading forces to start their conquering in the same time, while each and every being weak enough to not be able to stage full-on invasion? Aliens who travelled atleast dozen of light years can't just straight up invade Earth. Aliens who sit on Earth underwater since dawn on dinosaurs can't just immediately overwhelm all Earth's forces despite having all of that time to prepare. Kinda-aliens who sit in the underground for Kane knows how much can't just invade Earth, while having even more time than T'leth aliens had. Interdimentional aliens who travel between dimentions can't just straight up beat pre-2000 Earth forces straight-on.

It's the established world to give humans the chance. It has to be this way in any game with aliens. There is no reason and 0 chance for
super-technologically advanced civilisation to lose with humanity in "realistic" scenario. That's why authors have to pull unrealistic stuff for the story to not end in quick and sweep "game over". War of the Worlds for example. What deals with super advanced Martians in their Tripods with pre WWII tech humanity? Bacteria and other microorganisms. Super advanced aliens don't have air filters.

So in the world of X-COM it is possible to reverse-engineer magic quickly, but other things are still take time. Especially something that deals with people and not futuristic "magical" technology. X-COM needs to research that for them to win, it is necessary. X-COM doesn't need to overthrow governments, its not necessary. So if something is unrealistic, but necessary - Have to be in the game. But if something is unrealistic and also unnecessary - doesn't have to be in the game.

"Why, exactely, should similar feats in regards to rogue states be unrealistic? X-Com can convince "the UN" to grant them total operational authority to act on an outside threat, but can't convince them to act similarily on a threat on the inside because it would take too long?"

Maybe they can, but it requires too much time, so they don't. Especially when they gain knowledge about Cydonia.

About money. Who says that X-COM doesn't get some things cheaper? Engineers and Scientists (and agents) might work for the pay in the early game, but as X-COM gets knowledge that the threat is serious (trough the same scientists) they might decide to work for the "cause" and their pay goes for the research instead and their bare minimum necessities. What is the use of cash during alien invasion? Cheaper fighter jets, cheaper missles, cheaper cannons, cheaper other stuff. The Red Tape doesn't work always against X-COM, a mere flashlight might cost 200$ because of it, but used Russian fighter jet might cost way less. Again, up to mod creator, he can make it work for your argument, or for mine.

Indeed, a couple of milions is nothing in my opinion when talking about officials who have that much power. You expect Council Member to go against his people's safety for couple hundreds thousands of dollars? Especially during such crisis?

"Remind me, again, why X-Com shouldn't be able to bribe a government official with "a couple of millions". Or, for that matter, with any of the artifacts, technology etc. that the organization has recovered. Like I said earlier, money isn't even the only thing X-Com has to offer."

Some people just don't take bribes. Some people might be under alien mind-control. Some people might take bigger bribes from other source. X-COM has alien artifacts, yes. You know who has MORE alien artifacts? Aliens. Who can throw more exotic tech at people, X-COM, or Aliens? Especially when Aliens plan to take it back right after invasion, probably.
Lets not act like X-COM is the only one who could give bribes. There is a lot more and bigger organisations that have more resources and more cash and that like aliens more than they do humans, even without mind-control. Men in Black for example.

Oh, like the "countless deaths" your shady deals with MAGMA result in? Elerium bombs in residential areas, assassinations, unstoppable raids, chemical contaminations - seems to me like X-Com is ethical flexible enough to turn a blind eye if the organization profits from it, seeing how it does not intervene.

Apparently making people even more addicted to alien drugs also isn't a problem, as long as it undermines cult (and alien) activity. Truly X-Com at it's finest, putting ethics and morality first. But preventing literal aliens from taking over a country and experiment/enslave/mind control it's population? Nope, might result in casualties.

Where it is written that MAGMA uses tech from X-COM for all that stuff you mention? I can't quite recall that from my memory.

Also I don't remember that X-COM psyclone makes people even more addicted, quite the opposite, X-COM psyclone is safer and also cuts cult and alien activity which is a win-win scenario for X-COM, Council and Humanity.

I don't know what you mean by that: "But preventing literal aliens from taking over a country and experiment/enslave/mind control it's population? Nope, might result in casualties."
Every single action you take against aliens does that. It prevents literal aliens to sign a pact with a nation. You (and I) don't argue about preventing aliens from taking over a country and experiment/enslave/mind control it's population. You (and I) argue about aliens already taking over the country (signing the pact) and then trying to reverse that. Prevention and Reversion are two different things. If X-COM is unable to stop infiltrations and/or generally sucks at dealing with threats on certain nation's soil, that nation signs a pact with aliens.
Do everything you can to prevent that, but if they signed, they signed. If they signed, work towards Cydonia, instead of political drama.

It's not a pancake either, apparently, but that does not invalidate my statement since the argument was not about it being a pancake, nor was it about "fight or die". It was about X-Com being able to sway countries into taking action (or authorizing X-Com to take action etc.), based upon prior feats - something you called into question.

What I meant by "its not fight, or die scenario" is that aliens winning doesn't necessarly means death for humanity.
In the conspiracy theory world of X-COM, Council of Nations members rule their nations, not their governments (in my opinion, can't remember, or find a lore that states otherwise). They created X-COM and Men in Black (among others, probably) to deal with the situation. X-COM is to fight aliens, Men in Black is to cooperate with them.
Council knows everything that X-COM does. Individual members of that Council know that X-COM is fighting a losing war.
So they have a choice. It would be better for them if X-COM wins, but for all they know, the chances are slim and before knowing about Cydonia, there is literally no sign of any chance of winning with Ethernals.
Those choices are:
a) Help X-COM as long as it possible, as long as they deal good enough with threats on their nation's soil, stay with them.
b) If they don't do that "good enough", sign pact with aliens who promise better treatment for cooperation.

From non-player perspective, the second option is reasonable in situation that Council is if X-COM does a poor job. It doesn't matter that X-COM saved the world 1000 times before, if they can't do it 1001, it means nothing.

Did I state anywhere that X-Com should do that?
Oh, I did not? Would you mind taking that strawmen back home again? BTW, when did council members became their respective country's head of state, being able to sign pacts with aliens?

You did stated "assasinations". And its not directly stated who signs the pact. I assume its the individual Council Members. Because how Council of Nation members were choosed? Its just some random people in the office in the time, assigned to random nations?
Of course not, those are each individual nation representatives, if not de facto rulers. It is conspiracy theory mod, after all. Each nation having one secretive ruler with democracy and such as a facade.
In both scenarios, being a representative, or secret ruler, they are the ones to sign a pact, because they are the people that matter. So who else to assasinate, bribe, or blackmail if not Council members?

Who signs those pacts? Also up to mod creator, I assume its Council members. Any proof that that they don't?

That does not even make any sense. Containing the cults and X-Coms further efforts are the only reason X-the oranization is granted more authority. "Saving"/"Protecting" humanity accounts for everything, apparently. If other countries can be persuaded that a rogue state under the influence of an outside force poses a credible, immediate threat, why shouldn't they act?

And they don't just resign, they let an invading alien force operate unhindered on their own soil. Government officials who support something like that would - in reality - be comitting treason according to practical every constitution I can think of, as it subverts sovereignity of the state. Which is also why something like this poses a threat to humanity at large and would not be supported by a general population that is not drugged out of their mind, mind controlled or otherwise "preoccupied".

Which is the reason X-Com can and should act on this - either directly or indirectly.

More authority =/= all authority.

And by those countries to "act" you mean all out war against nation that peacefully signed a pact? Or maybe perpetual assasinations, bribes and blackmails of every single official of that nation? While under direct protection of aliens? While under incoming invasion that aliens aren't quite strong enough? Time to fight with ourselfs and make humanity weaker.

"And they don't just resign, they let an invading alien force operate unhindered on their own soil. Government officials who support something like that would - in reality - be comitting treason according to practical every constitution I can think of, as it subverts sovereignity of the state. Which is also why something like this poses a threat to humanity at large and would not be supported by a general population that is not drugged out of their mind, mind controlled or otherwise "preoccupied"."

Where you get that idea? Its like with France surrendering to Germans during WWII. Goverment officials who supported something like that commited treason?
Imagine being a human in a X-COM FILES world. On the news you hear about city purges all over the world, your country included, your city included. You live in constant fear, chryssalids dropped here, reapers dropped there. Then your country decides to sign a pact with aliens and it all stops where you live. Surerly, a glimpse of safety is something that general population would never support. Surerly, general population never gave any of its rights in order for "feel" a bit safer. Impossible to think of that common bread-eater would have choosen short-sighted safety over humanity first and fight to the death. WWII for example, every single Polish citizen under German and Soviet Union occupation fought to the death, mothers with children, elderly, they all fought 24h/7 days a week, nobody just accepted what happened and lived the life of "general peace".

No country ever surrendered to any other country, right? Because it violates sovereignity and we all know how people put empty words over their well-being in the moment.

And X-COM does act on this. What is the purpose of taking those countries back from aliens, when you have no chance to beat them? As mentioned before, X-COM fights with that by working towards and finally going to Cydonia.

That is plain out wrong and neither supported by lore nor by game mechanics. You can not prevent countries from being inflitrated, regardless of what you do. Neither does in-game lore state that the aliens "stop" their activities or "spare" people. They simply trade technology for unhindered access to the country in question.

You can't? Then for what reason I shut down all of those aliens with infiltration missions? Why did I did all of those city purges missions? No way to prevent, or atleast delay countries being infiltrated? Then whats the point in doing anything?

Maybe there is no direct statement in lore that aliens cease their directly harmfull activities, but then whats the point of a country signing the pact? If nothing happens, if they still get demolished, then whats the point of that pact? That would be very stupid on alien's side to do such things. Why? Because if they treat nations that signed the pact better, other nations will be more willing to sign it, so it will allow them to win faster and with less casualities on their own, or humanity casualities. After all, they are here to expand their stellar empire, experiment on people and such, not to destroy the Earth.

Where is the lore that says that pacts with aliens just grants the nation with alien tech in exchange and nothing else? Thats quite stupid.
" - Oh, greetings mister Ethernal, oh yes, thank you, I will take this plasma rifle, million deaths a month is a small price to pay for such piece of technology".

" - Hey, see this other country?"
" - Yeah, what of it?"
" - They signed a pact with aliens."
" - They did? And what they got for it?"
" - Sweet, sweet alien tech and just couple of million people dead each month!"
" - Nice... Maybe we also should also sign the pact? That pesky X-COM keeps that tech for themselfs, gready bastards, they have no morals."

Average conversation of Council Members, goverment officials and generally everyone who contributes to signing a pact with aliens.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 12:23:53 pm by JustTheDude »

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4143 on: April 09, 2021, 03:50:19 pm »
Yes, X-COM can do such things in short span of time, because its the convention of established world. X-COM and thus X-COM Files resides in an established world where people act like people, goverments generally act like governments (with conspiracy theories spice). While reverse-engineering magic only requires 100 scientists and few months doesn't suddently have to mean that they can stage a coup and create ressistance in a weekend[...]

Sorry, but your line of reasoning is getting ridiculous. You are okay with all the other unrealistic set-pieces, but X-Com being powerless in that one particular area is necessary because it would make the whole setting "unrealistic"?

So in the world of X-COM it is possible to reverse-engineer magic quickly, but other things are still take time. Especially something that deals with people and not futuristic "magical" technology[...]

Okay, so things that deal with "people" (I take you mean the term in a broader sense) take time, but reasearching magical technology does not. Is that why a couple of scientists can interrogate an alien creature who's language they have just deciphered (in a couple of weeks, by themselves more or less) in - again - a couple weeks and get them to spill the beans on alien power structures, history etc.? This goes for practically any topic that deals with interrogations, alien or cult power structures etc.

If what you say was accurate there should be a disconnect here. "Technology" - regardless of how complex it is - should be easier to research than dealing with "social topics" (for lack of a better term, encompassing everything from interrogations to cult/alien history, power structures etc). This is obviously not the case. X-Com also seems to have no problem forging alliances left and right in a record amount of time with societies they are either outright hostile or have had no prior contact with.(e.g. Hybrids, Shogg).

About money. Who says that X-COM doesn't get some things cheaper? Engineers and Scientists (and agents) might work for the pay in the early game[...]

Apart from the fact that you have nothing to support your line of reasoning it also does not make much sense, seeing how x-com can somehow go bankrupt and get shut down because your agents, engineers and scientists demand their full pay - even when X-Com is financially tethering on the edge. You are also aware that higher ranked soldiers get paid more, aren't you? What, do their "bare minimum necessities" somehow double or tripple in cost just because they advanced two or three ranks?

And again, because you seem to have trouble grasping the concept:
a) people don't have to be bribed with money
b) nor do you bribe heads of state, council members etc.
c) you bribe people with influence
d) bribes are not the only friggin' option

Not being able to bribe some people does not mean people in general can not be bribed, nor does it mean that those people that can be bribed are unable to influence those that can not. As for "bUT you cAn't BRIbe minD-CONtrolLEd PEople". No, but X-Com can counter-act their mind control or conditioning. That would be totally in-line with in-game lore. Again, it does not have to be bribes and assassinations, why do you keep pretending it has to be?

Where it is written that MAGMA uses tech from X-COM for all that stuff you mention? I can't quite recall that from my memory[...]Also I don't remember that X-COM psyclone makes people even more addicted, quite the opposite, X-COM psyclone is safer and also cuts cult and alien activity which is a win-win scenario for X-COM[...]

Random events description, see en_us.yml->
Code: [Select]
STR_TRITANIUM_ASSASSIN_DESCRIPTION
STR_ELERIUM_BOMB_TERROR_DESCRIPTION
STR_ARMORED_ROBBERY_DESCRIPTION
STR_CHEMICAL_SPILL_DESCRIPTION

Code: [Select]
STR_DESTROY_EXALT_UFOPEDIA -> "Our operation is a success! With the right settings, we managed to make Psiclone addicts even more addicted so now they favor our stuff over alien stuff and refuse their orders[...]"
Addicts become more addicted, says so right there. Apparently not a problem, since - as you state yourself - it's a win for everyone. You know who else thinks getting people even more addicted to drugs is a good thing? Purdue Pharma. But hey, I guess it's alright for X-Com to become a major drug-cartel, I mean there really wasn't any other way, and it's for the good of everyone. Apart from the addicts of course.

I don't know what you mean by that: "But preventing literal aliens from taking over a country and experiment/enslave/mind control it's population? Nope, might result in casualties."Every single action you take against aliens does that. It prevents literal aliens to sign a pact with a nation.

...you might want to take a look at the underlaying game-mechanics, especially the ruleset reference and this clarification by Meridian.

Nothing you do (or fail to do) prevents alien infiltrations. You can - theoretically - "delay" the UFO-spawns for a limited time, but you can not prevent infltrations. It does not matter in the least how well (or terrible) you "defend" a country from the aliens for infiltrations to take place. Poor performance only reflects on funding changes. Countries don't "decide" to sign a pact with the aliens because of poor performance.

Quote
In the conspiracy theory world of X-COM, Council of Nations members rule their nations, not their governments (in my opinion, can't remember, or find a lore that states otherwise).

That might be just your head canon, nothing I can find in the lore supports that. This is also in outright contradiction to several lore entries that reference governments as signing pacts and cooperating with the aliens after being intimidated (e.g. alien infiltration entry, alien dominance).

And by those countries to "act" you mean all out war against nation that peacefully signed a pact[...]

Again, I think your strawmen would be better of on some field, not on these forums.

Where you get that idea? Its like with France surrendering to Germans during WWII. Goverment officials who supported something like that commited treason?

You might want to look up Vichy France and how "treason" is defined in various countries. Letting a foreign hostile force operate on native soil unhindered, cooperating with said force and/or undermining constitutional rights should be among most of them.

You can't? Then for what reason I shut down all of those aliens with infiltration missions? Why did I did all of those city purges missions? No way to prevent, or atleast delay countries being infiltrated? Then whats the point in doing anything?

Again, this would be the point where you might want to take a look at the underlaying game mechanics. No, you can not prevent alien infiltrations (right now), nor does anything you do have any influence in regards to countries signing pacts with aliens. It does not matter how many "city purges" you prevent (or ignore), how many UFOs you shoot down or assault or how many Zombies you exterminate. That only affects funding.

Which is way it is a stupid idea to "prevent" X-Com from reversing alien pacts. It made sense for the limited game mechanics of the base game. It does not make sense whatsoever for this mod.

Maybe there is no direct statement in lore that aliens cease their directly harmfull activities, but then whats the point of a country signing the pact?[...]Where is the lore that says that pacts with aliens just grants the nation with alien tech in exchange and nothing else? Thats quite stupid.

"Earth governments can be infiltrated by alien agents which are human in appearance. This can result in official contact between aliens and governments at the highest level. The climax of this activity is characterized by intense UFO activity in the vicinity of major cities. The aliens will attempt to sign a pact with an earth government by offering knowledge of their superior technology. In return the government will allow the aliens to conduct their activity unhindered. This alien mission represents the highest level threat to X-Com. If a government agrees to a pact then its funding will cease."

Taken straight from the game.

The point? Government officials (and other people, probably) getting their hands on blueprints for alien blasters, apparently. In return the aliens are allowed to operate unhindered on their territory. I guess that includes alien abduction, experimention etc.? But I guess that's okay if you provide your population with all the Kool-Aid. Your wife was abducted by aliens in gave birth to something that isn't human? Just drink the Kool-Aid. Alien hybdrids operating in broad daylight? Drink the Kool-Aid. Government not giving a crap? Just drink the Kool-Aid.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 03:57:26 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4144 on: April 09, 2021, 04:56:27 pm »
I see how getting a country back would work in an X-COM game.

It depends on whether the defection was caused by threats of mind control.
If it was threats, then it would be impossible to get them back.

If it was mind control, then it would be possible.

However, X-Com would not know which it is. So it would basicaly have to abduct the council member and hope it is mind control.
This would obviously upset the council, no matter if it was mind control or not. (A point penalty so large, that even in late game it would be difficult, but not impossible, to still be in positive that month).
Killing the council member would be much worse, obviously.

Once captured, you could research them and it would either turn out they were threatened by the aliens, just losing you more points, or they were MC'd, giving you the funding back (but no points).

You could only do this once per country, of course.


Since none of the alien missions explicitly state the possiblility of mind control, I guess they just threaten the councillor in XCF.

Even if X-Com knew all that, it is not within their power to do anything about it. Even if they assassinated everyone involved, what would come of it? You can't topple a modern state machine by offing a president, things haven't worked this way since antiquity.

The previous story was along similar lines, but it was stretched really thin, especially for something that's supposed to happen multiple times per campaign. For a single mission this might work using lots of plot, special circumstances, allies etc., but definitely not as a generic thing.

I was trying hard about returning countries back in XCF, but I would say it won't be a thing in XCF because both lore and gameplay reasons. However, mechanics of infiltration was so much pain for me since age 8, so I am willing to make unofficial submod for XCF that could make it happen (if Scorch would not mind, ofc). This part of the game is not covered in FtA so I'm kinda unsatisfied about this story in the end, tho I have no direct plans to play/contribute XCF in near future  ;D

Of course I don't mind, a submod can be anything :)




You bring this up a couple of times as kind of an end-all argument for why this is should be "unrealistic" - because time, apparently.

It's interesting how time should be a factor preventing this because it is "unrealistic", yet X-Com can somehow churn out ground breaking scientific discoveries (i.e. reverse-engineer magic, practically), unmask massive cult structures and conspiracies and get "promoted" from a low-key "nut case" organiziation to having full operational control of fighter jets and what can only be described as weapons of mass destruction (of alien origin on top of that) in a time-span of what, twelve months? Eighteen months? Two years?

Why, exactely, should similar feats in regards to rogue states be unrealistic? X-Com can convince "the UN" to grant them total operational authority to act on an outside threat, but can't convince them to act similarily on a threat on the inside because it would take too long?

Because accelerated research is a necessity to make the game work, while conquering countries is just, well... cringy.

(Also, the tech level is much blurred in XCF, considering that much of alien tech is already known to some groups on Earth... But I think using it as an fully sufficient explanation would feel like a cop-out.)

On that account, why is money being unrealistic only a factor if it supports your argument? Going back to your earlier statement, X-Com only has "a couple of millions", which according to you is not enough to bribe anyone "in reality". Also, "a couple of millions" is apparently enough to fund an international para-military organization, pay for hundreds of engineers, scientists and soldiers. Also, for bases and ground-breaking research, cars, planes, jets, helicopters, missiles, canons, miniature tanks...

I agree that using some kind of "Council credits" instead would be a good idea. I've never had the time to address it properly, because it's purely cosmetic and also nobody complains.

Remind me, again, why X-Com shouldn't be able to bribe a government official with "a couple of millions". Or, for that matter, with any of the artifacts, technology etc. that the organization has recovered. Like I said earlier, money isn't even the only thing X-Com has to offer.
Oh, like the "countless deaths" your shady deals with MAGMA result in? Elerium bombs in residential areas, assassinations, unstoppable raids, chemical contaminations - seems to me like X-Com is ethical flexible enough to turn a blind eye if the organization profits from it, seeing how it does not intervene.

Definitely so, though much depends on the player's decisions.

(I won't comment on the rest of the discussion now, because I think it's not exactly on this topic, but feel free to ask if I should clarify anything or if you're interested in my opinion.)

@SolariusThe only mistake I can see here is not including it, going by how you portray X-Com and it's achievements in the game in regards to all the threats you have thrown at humanity in the mod. Unless there is major content I am missing, so far X-Com has manged to contain, control or outright exterminate every single one, and you offer absolutely no reason why X-Com should be utterly powerless to prevent an alien force to control a whole country, let alone a few heads of state.

Because one is a shadow organization and the other is not.

From your post I infer that you portray this problem as a situation where some nefarious cabal takes over a government to do dirty deeds with the aliens. But typically this is not so; there is no need for a secret cult, all it takes is to convince a legitimate government to switch sides. This goes against the will of a majority of the Council of Earth, so normally it doesn't happen easily, but if the country is determined and/or sufficiently supported by pro-alien radicals on the Council (like those funding MiB), then a political switch is possible. You can't prevent such a policy change by charging the White House in a bison costume and beating up some officials; this requires foreign diplomacy, and that's way above your level.

If they are (still) that easily swayed by some piece of alien technology I doubt X-Com couldn't come up with something better, to say the least.

No, X-Com cannot promise participation in an ancient pangalactic federation. And the tech X-Com can provide isn't even that hard to get from other sources, primarily MiBs (although as long as the anti-alien coalition dominates, such acts are very unlikely to be allowed openly).


Offline RolandVasko

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4145 on: April 09, 2021, 05:36:50 pm »

Because accelerated research is a necessity to make the game work, while conquering countries is just, well... cringy.[/b]



ha! it brings a bit resemblance of HoI, grandstrategies Hearts of Iron serie !  :P :D  ( remind me HoI : Modern Days Warfare - Millenium Dawn

Offline JustTheDude/CABSHEP

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4146 on: April 09, 2021, 05:54:15 pm »
snip

Even if some points of I brought up were deconstructed, in the end it still its pretty much up to mod creator and how he feels about it. All of the fluff lore text can be changed in a flick of a finger to allow toppling goverments on the whim, or not.

My opinion still remains unchanged, at the point of X-COM being in power to even try to do such things, they should already fly to Cydonia, instead of playing ping-pong with Ethernals but instead of little empty white, or orange ball, its the countries who one day sign pact with aliens to then drop it next week, to sign pact again next month. As ridiculous as current "apocaliptic" event curfews :) .

Online Mathel

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4147 on: April 09, 2021, 06:35:38 pm »
Even if X-Com knew all that, it is not within their power to do anything about it. Even if they assassinated everyone involved, what would come of it? You can't topple a modern state machine by offing a president, things haven't worked this way since antiquity.

The previous story was along similar lines, but it was stretched really thin, especially for something that's supposed to happen multiple times per campaign. For a single mission this might work using lots of plot, special circumstances, allies etc., but definitely not as a generic thing.
I am not suggesting assassination, but removal of MC, if present.

In what I am proposing, killing the person responsible would just give a massive point penalty (let's say -500 000) and not return the country.

Abducting them would give (judging from how I get about 20 000 points per month) -30 000 points. They could then be interrogated and would give one of:
1. Mind control cleared off head of country A. Country A resumes funding.
2. Head of country A was not mind controlled. Country A does not resume funding and other council members are furious. -10 000 points.

Due to research involved, there would have to be a separate unit, mission, and research topics for each country and it would still only be performable once per country with success not guaranteed.

Edit: It is fine if there is now way to get countries back. I am just saying how it could work if there was a way. It would be costly and on failiure potentially devastating to X-Com, as they obviously can't go around killing or abducting world leaders.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 06:43:29 pm by Mathel »

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4148 on: April 09, 2021, 10:02:46 pm »
Even if some points of I brought up were deconstructed, in the end it still its pretty much up to mod creator and how he feels about it. All of the fluff lore text can be changed in a flick of a finger to allow toppling goverments on the whim, or not.

My opinion still remains unchanged, at the point of X-COM being in power to even try to do such things, they should already fly to Cydonia, instead of playing ping-pong with Ethernals but instead of little empty white, or orange ball, its the countries who one day sign pact with aliens to then drop it next week, to sign pact again next month. As ridiculous as current "apocaliptic" event curfews :) .

I see you are still straw-manning your way through this. Alright, have it your way, I think I see where you are coming from.

Any acknowledgement that not even the game-mechanics itself support your view? As in, countries get infiltrated regardless of X-Com "defending" or "abandoning" them?

BTW, who or what are these Ethernals you keep talking about?

Due to research involved, there would have to be a separate unit, mission, and research topics for each country and it would still only be performable once per country with success not guaranteed.
As far as I am aware that is not doable given current game mechanics. Research topics can not be country-dependent, let alone affect inifiltrated countries directly. The "massive" negative points-value is also quite meaningless unless you 'decolonize' countries in two consecutive months.

@Solarius
So X-Com can neither prevent countries being infiltrated, nor reverse infiltrations now? I could understand one or the other, but not both. The point of a game is usually enabling player interaction, not taking it away. What brought on this change of heart? I mean I have seen the roots for this with the non-avoidable random events (at least some of which depend on player interaction), but I didn't think you would actively limit player options this way.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 10:28:08 pm by krautbernd »

Offline JustTheDude/CABSHEP

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4149 on: April 09, 2021, 11:26:51 pm »
I see you are still straw-manning your way through this. Alright, have it your way, I think I see where you are coming from.

Any acknowledgement that not even the game-mechanics itself support your view? As in, countries get infiltrated regardless of X-Com "defending" or "abandoning" them?

BTW, who or what are these Ethernals you keep talking about?

Game-mechanics itself perfectly support my view as once a nation signs a pact, you can't do anything about it. :D
And you can delay infiltrations and thats what matters. And since lore-wise X-COM is fighting a losing war, its the only reasonable thing that no matter how hard you try, eventually you have to lose, or go to Cydonia, which perfectly sums up any attempts at trying to sway governments back on your side just for the sake of it as it is pointless in the long run.

Instead there should be something that would prevent game-over just because enough council nations resigned from the project, but having to rely purerly on cash gained from selling stuff. From small organisation to global agency to underground ressistance in a span of one game and few in-game years. Something like "X-COM independence project".

Apparently they are called "Ethereals", always called them "Ethernals", never noticing the difference. Makes sense, but either way, "ethernal" sounds cooler and more alien.


Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4150 on: April 10, 2021, 12:32:50 am »
Game-mechanics itself perfectly support my view as once a nation signs a pact, you can't do anything about it. :D
And you can delay infiltrations and thats what matters. And since lore-wise X-COM is fighting a losing war, its the only reasonable thing that no matter how hard you try, eventually you have to lose, or go to Cydonia, which perfectly sums up any attempts at trying to sway governments back on your side just for the sake of it as it is pointless in the long run.
So your whole schtick about countries signing pacts because "every single action [x-com does] counts" was just what - BS? Why? I don't get it.

How would X-Com even be able to retain any of the granted authority, let alone outside support (buying/selling/craft leases etc) if that is based on the council itself? Do the council salvage corps suddenly work for free? Do they subvert the all-knowing and controlling cabal on a whim to continue cleaning up after X-Com? Whom would X-Com even be selling stuff to?

Apparently they are called "Ethereals", always called them "Ethernals", never noticing the difference. Makes sense, but either way, "ethernal" sounds cooler and more alien.
I don't know, it sounds pretty trite and on the nose tbh. Ethereal=[ur=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_(classical_element)l]Ether[/url]=[ur=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_(mythology)l]Aether[/url]. But again, I think I see where you are coming from and why Ethernal would sound more appealing to certain demographics

Also...
Quote from: krautbernd
Lore aside, I find your decision a bit baffling to be honest, seeing how the feature was probably among the most requested ones for OXCE.
It was requested? Well not by me. I can't see how it would make any sense in a standard X-Com game, expanded or not.
Don't give me that Solarius, when you were the first one to cast the vote so it could get implemented. I get that you now - for whatever reason - abhore the feature for XCF, but the least you could do is acknowledge that you - at the time - were among the first people to voice support for its implementation.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 01:26:30 am by krautbernd »

Online Mathel

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4151 on: April 10, 2021, 08:00:31 am »
As far as I am aware that is not doable given current game mechanics. Research topics can not be country-dependent, let alone affect inifiltrated countries directly. The "massive" negative points-value is also quite meaningless unless you 'decolonize' countries in two consecutive months.
As for the penalty, the capture penalty would be the council being angry and to stop X-Com from doing this too often. The kill penalty could be replaced with whatever Dioxine did with Dr.X's invitation. Except you lose if you fail to capture the guy, not just if you die.

As for research depending and affecting a country, apparently not possible. To remove pact, destruction of a base is required. In which case, I agree that it should not be allowe.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4152 on: April 10, 2021, 11:05:50 pm »
As for the penalty, the capture penalty would be the council being angry and to stop X-Com from doing this too often. The kill penalty could be replaced with whatever Dioxine did with Dr.X's invitation. Except you lose if you fail to capture the guy, not just if you die.

As for research depending and affecting a country, apparently not possible. To remove pact, destruction of a base is required. In which case, I agree that it should not be allowe.
The problem with the points-penalty is that they don't roll over into the following month. You could theoretically pull this off without worrying about the penalty at all, provided you are at a point where you usually achieve a positive rating. Which is why a better way to implement this would be to make this a major investement by the player (not just monetary) and - if possible - have some kind of random factor (as in no guaranteed way to get whatever item/unit/etc. is required to achieve this). Again, killing/assassinating is not the only way to pull this off. This could involve destroying machinery, infiltrating and recovering an item etc. This could for example also take place in the dreamscape or something akin to inception (i.e. "planting" the idea inside a government officials head).

Offline misha_cilantro

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4153 on: April 20, 2021, 06:36:38 am »
Two off-topic questions...

1) What's the recommendation for updating mid-campaign? I've got a 1.7 going that's in the first year of the invasion. Do I stick to 1.7 or is updating to 1.8 recommended?
2) Googled but came up with nothing... what's up with the Skymarshall and tanks? I can't get it off that thing! Sure, it can't hit a damn thing, but... it's a tank! I want it!

Edit: huh. the issue with the Skymarshall and my tank seems to maybe be map specific.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 07:58:54 am by misha_cilantro »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell
« Reply #4154 on: April 20, 2021, 08:44:25 pm »
1) What's the recommendation for updating mid-campaign? I've got a 1.7 going that's in the first year of the invasion. Do I stick to 1.7 or is updating to 1.8 recommended?

You can go ahead and update to 1.8. Just make sure to get the latest OXCE.

2) Googled but came up with nothing... what's up with the Skymarshall and tanks? I can't get it off that thing! Sure, it can't hit a damn thing, but... it's a tank! I want it!

Edit: huh. the issue with the Skymarshall and my tank seems to maybe be map specific.

Probably something in the way. Nothing a small rocket wouldn't solve.