Author Topic: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New  (Read 2063326 times)

Offline Barghum

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6000 on: April 08, 2024, 08:10:20 pm »
I have a solution. what if both existed?
by that I mean have two grenade types, one is a timer based design, the other is a normal pin based grenade.
and yes the timer design has isExplodingInHands: true.

all that is needed is roughly 12 new items, and 12-∞ new sprites (if timer numbers are shown).

...and a research project to unlock timer frags.
although Jaku121's submod idea may be better/easier I just had to give a convoluted solution. 

Offline rkagerer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6001 on: April 12, 2024, 05:27:10 am »
Loving this mod.

I notice these OXC options are disabled / purple:
  • Allow Psi-Strength Improvement
  • Instant Grenades
Could you expand a little on why they're unavailable?

It's kind of disappointing in my current playthrough - I rolled a lot of early soldiers with low PSI strength who have now been on 50+ missions and I'd love a path to salvage them so I don't need to sack half my crew.

As for grenades, I rarely use anything other than 0 and would love some way to automatically prime all equipped items with a single click.  But I feel like the right place for such an option would be here:



I tried turning on the "Save pre-primed grenades" option hoping that would at least keep some of the ones I previously primed active the next time the soldier goes into battle, but it didn't seem to do that.  Maybe I'm not clear what that setting is supposed to do.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6002 on: April 12, 2024, 07:03:42 am »
Did you try to save the equipment you want to have (including pre-primed grenades) to an equipment template and restoring that template in the next mission? I think it should work, but I'm not sure if I used it myself. Also, pre-priming might work with alternative apoc-style equipment option, but never used that much myself.

Offline rkagerer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6003 on: April 12, 2024, 07:41:28 am »
Thanks.  I didn't realize it worked like that - have not played with the template buttons on that screen.  I'm not clear on the difference between "Personal Equipment" and "Equipment Template".  Is one tied to the individual agent, and one to a set of templates you can define?

What's the Save vs Save+ button all about?

Is there a way you can load everyone's personal equipment template at once to gain the primed grenades you saved, without having to go through each agent individually?

Sorry for all the questions, new to those features and trying to figure it out.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6004 on: April 12, 2024, 08:55:19 am »
Personal template is soldier-specific, while the other one is general. Save+ stores (and restores) also the soldier armor, not just equipment.

If you want to use soldier-specific personal templates, you can store them with 'S' hotkey and restore with 'L'. So re-equipping the same stuff for the same soldiers would always work and be about 10-15 seconds of work if you just TAB through the soldiers and press L on each of them. If you prefer equipment templates, you can save them with CTRL-[1-9] and restore them with pressing 1-9. Likewise, you could restore everything in just a few seconds provided that you don't need to customize the equipment.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6005 on: April 12, 2024, 01:03:25 pm »
A simple solution would be to make an 'official' submod that either removes the timer or puts it back, depending on which population of mod players gets the upper hand. ;D

Feel free to make it, if you like. I would prefer to focus on other stuff myself, but I totally don't mind if someone else does it.

Moreover, I propose adding 'isExplodingInHands: true' to most if not all grenades, to discourage the excessive pre-priming mentioned by psavola in the thread the quoted post came from. As I recall, Solarius isn't a fan of pre-priming, either.

Good initiative. :>

I have a solution. what if both existed?
by that I mean have two grenade types, one is a timer based design, the other is a normal pin based grenade.

I'm against it; that would mean a lot more items just for one option. Substandard design, I'm afraid.

Loving this mod.

Thank you!

I notice these OXC options are disabled / purple:
  • Allow Psi-Strength Improvement
  • Instant Grenades
Could you expand a little on why they're unavailable?

The first is completely against the established x-Com canon (and would ruin the balance), and the other is a brutish cheat (which ruins the balance even more).

It's kind of disappointing in my current playthrough - I rolled a lot of early soldiers with low PSI strength who have now been on 50+ missions and I'd love a path to salvage them so I don't need to sack half my crew.

Frankly, I don't quite understand the logic behind sacking such soldiers. I've never done this, even in vanilla. Just don't take low psi agents on missions with psionic enemies, there aren't many of them. Also, this is exactly why Blood Boosting exists: to make use of agents who are naturally poor at psionics.
Psi Strength is an important factor which must remain outside of the player's direct control, else all agents will have the same optimal career path.

Also, I really recommend using the Apocalypse-style equipment assignment, it really saves time and helps keep things in order. But it's a matter of taste.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6006 on: April 12, 2024, 08:11:20 pm »
Feel free to make it, if you like. I would prefer to focus on other stuff myself, but I totally don't mind if someone else does it.
Would this be a 'revert to timer-grenades' submod, or a 'make 0-turn grenades' submod? Because the thing here is that so far, evidence suggests people very rarely use timers different from 0. So it would seem to make sense to make a submod for the minority, and have the parent mod cater to the majority.

Should we do a poll?

the other is a brutish cheat (which ruins the balance even more).
Eh, I beg to differ. The big cheat has always been that you can throw grenades across the map, and rookies do it with far, far better accuracy than they can shoot rifles with. This and 'non-instant' grenades have somehow become really ingrained among X-Com players, even to the point of dogma. And that's despite virtually every other squad-level game I've ever played having the equivalent of instant grenades (if it had grenades in the first place, of course). And I've played quite a few.

I rewatched a few episodes of Meridian playing TWoTS a few weeks ago, and it was quite funny to see how quickly he reverted to Magna-pack spam and how quick their reduced lethality was to disappoint him. :D

Instant grenades and unlimited range are somewhat cheaty, true. Instant grenades and limited range means you can no longer do the grenade relay trick and now all grenades work more like they do in IRL - as close-quarters AoE weapons.

The one grenade type where this can be argued is smoke - instant smoke cover is not too realistic nor does it make for better gameplay. Then again, you do have to shoot through your own smoke if it's instant, instead of shooting in the clear and then laughing as the smoke screen comes up on the enemy's turn.

Finally, we already have grenade launchers, which are basically instant grenades with a weight/inventory space tradeoff. So, in a sense, we already have instant grenades, and it's a bit schizophrenic to have to justify instant and non-instant versions at the same time.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 08:16:31 pm by Juku121 »

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6007 on: April 12, 2024, 08:22:17 pm »
I've personally used instant grenades in vanilla and also in the mods that provide it. I think they essentially just speed up the game - no need to wait for explosions or a turn for the smoke to settle. That's why all the speedrunners also use them. I suppose one of the benefits is also that you will immediately see the effects of the grenade so you don't need to spam extra grenades at the same target just to make sure the damage will be sufficient to knock the enemy out, not just harm it.

As for difficulty, I don't see why they would make the game much easier. Granted, if you kill the target it might not be able to reaction fire if it dies. But this is likely a relatively rare scenario.

As Juku said, instant grenades prevent you from using ridiculous grenade relaying techniques which I always disliked and have little basis in reality. However, you can still drop a grenade and the next guy can pick it up and throw it. But I suppose you'll just have to accept this in a turn-based game.

Instant grenades are actually more dangerous for your team, because if you misthrow it and it hits your own squad (or you your craft or whatever), it goes boom and your guys die. Which is realistic and can be nasty if you play ironman (as I always do), and with instant grenades you actually have to be much more careful with grenades.  So I'm not sure if I buy the argument that instant grenades are easier. They certainly make the gameplay faster, but not sure if it's easier or not.

Offline rkagerer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6008 on: April 13, 2024, 11:44:25 am »
Quote
If you want to use soldier-specific personal templates, you can store them with 'S' hotkey and restore with 'L'. So re-equipping the same stuff for the same soldiers would always work and be about 10-15 seconds of work if you just TAB through the soldiers and press L on each of them.

Thanks for the tip!  This sounds like it will work great on PC, but not on mobile.  Oddly enough I find myself playing this game more on mobile (odd because I'm not usually a fan of gaming on mobile and historically have preferred PC).
Quote
Just don't take low psi agents on missions with psionic enemies, there aren't many of them.

How do I know (or guess) which these are?

Also what is Apocalypse-style equipment assignment?  (Been a long time since I played Apocalypse, probably forgot...)

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6009 on: April 13, 2024, 12:46:57 pm »
How do I know (or guess) which these are?
As ever, you either screen them in the labs or conduct field testing. Might need a few extra body bags if you do the latter. ;)

If you're impatient, you look in the save instead.

Also what is Apocalypse-style equipment assignment?
Equipment is assigned to a soldier instead of craft and moves with them from craft to craft (and maybe even base to base?)

Since the game is still built on the assumption that items live in the store and not on a soldier, I gather it might be a little clunky in certain circumstances.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6010 on: April 13, 2024, 01:02:00 pm »
I think the question was how do you know to which missions you can take low-PST soldiers.

You learn by experience or you look at the rulesets, and take some chances (until you have obtained hyperwave decoder).

Low-PST soldiers are far more viable than in in vanilla as the proportion of missions which they can't take is much lower.

And the low-PST soldiers are bound to die off sooner than later anyway (unless you save scum) so eventually this problem goes away. When recruiting new agents you will in later game screen out at least the lowest ones.

Offline rkagerer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6011 on: April 14, 2024, 06:35:39 am »
Thanks for the clarification, appreciate it!

Also I didn't realize I could prime grenades on a soldier's inventory when they're stationed at a base.  I was always doing it upon landing at a site, immediately before the mission.  When done that way the prime isn't "saved" for the next mission, but when primed at the base the game remembers it for next time - which makes perfect sense (i.e. you set up your 'standard' loadout at base but might want to tailor it for a specific mission).  That's greatly alleviated the amount of priming I've have to do when starting missions (even when not using templates etc).

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6012 on: April 14, 2024, 11:08:38 am »
Would this be a 'revert to timer-grenades' submod, or a 'make 0-turn grenades' submod? Because the thing here is that so far, evidence suggests people very rarely use timers different from 0. So it would seem to make sense to make a submod for the minority, and have the parent mod cater to the majority.

Up to you. Why ask me? You know best what you want. :)

Eh, I beg to differ. The big cheat has always been that you can throw grenades across the map, and rookies do it with far, far better accuracy than they can shoot rifles with. This and 'non-instant' grenades have somehow become really ingrained among X-Com players, even to the point of dogma. And that's despite virtually every other squad-level game I've ever played having the equivalent of instant grenades (if it had grenades in the first place, of course). And I've played quite a few.

The cheat lies in that you immediately know if your grenade has eliminated the enemy or not, as opposed to having to wait until next turn. This largely eliminates the need to use shooting weapons (exxcept in buildings and forests), which invalidates the entire X-Com mechanic.

Finally, we already have grenade launchers, which are basically instant grenades with a weight/inventory space tradeoff. So, in a sense, we already have instant grenades, and it's a bit schizophrenic to have to justify instant and non-instant versions at the same time.
[/quote]

Yes, there are intended instant grenades, but they're balanced for this role. Normal grenades are not.

How do I know (or guess) which these are?

You obviously can't, if you don't know the faction/mission, but they are generally very rare (endgame excluded).

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6013 on: April 14, 2024, 12:13:10 pm »
Up to you. Why ask me?
Because right now, I can only do the 'make 0-turn grenades' submod. But there's the argument (supported by several people chiming in and a bunch of gameplay footage) that most players might want this as the default, necessitating changes in XCF itself, and then I'd make the other submod to let those people keep their cake.

If you have information to the contrary, or dislike 0-turn grenades and thus don't want them in the mod, do tell.


Spoiler" Warning, rant incoming!":
The cheat lies in that you immediately know if your grenade has eliminated the enemy or not, as opposed to having to wait until next turn.
Yes, and how is that a cheat? Virtually any grenade I've thrown in any game other than X-Com has behaved that way, and no-one has been up in arms about how 'cheaty' grenades are because of that.

The major thing that seems to make people call it a cheat is that it's different from base X-Com, which is assumed to be balanced. Which I very much question.

This largely eliminates the need to use shooting weapons (exxcept in buildings and forests), which invalidates the entire X-Com mechanic.
Grenades still invalidate the entire shooting mechanic anyway. Have you not seen what Superhuman players do to avoid getting spotted? Have people not been saying "forget rifles, use AC-HE and rockets and grenades and suicide rookies and HE packs and grenade relays if you want to be efficient" to newbies since forever?

There's bit of very recent testing in the BOXCE Realistic Accuracy thread, and jnarical was pretty explicit in saying the way grenade accuracy works is an immediate red flag for them. The streamer testing Xilmi's AI early on largely relied on grenades to break the game, and the AI evolved to play along. The result is an interesting game of mutual grenade tag, but it's not even remotely realistic.

Never mind that you can still be reasonably sure that an on-target grenade will kill an appropriate target. I've not really seen people double- or triple-tap enemies with 0-turn grenades except in cases where their effectiveness is in question - stun grenades, Mutons vs regular grenades, and the like. So in practice, this distinction of "does it kill or does it not" is not as relevant as you think. People tend to just live with the results, and these are close enough to instant grenades that they don't suffer overmuch from doing so.


The broken parts are still the excessive range and accuracy, not the immediate explosions.

Yes, there are intended instant grenades, but they're balanced for this role.
How? The only thing they don't have is the actual cheatyness of grenades as far as long-range accuracy goes. And weight. So you can't really have a grenadier-rifleman the same way you can with regular grenades. Otherwise, as far as I can tell their performance is on par or even better.

It's not just me either, others have proclaimed their like of grenade launchers, too. Well, those who don't play the "don't get spotted by abusing grenades" game. And even some of them - psavola just remarked how instant grenades don't seem to be much of a game-changer to them, either.



Edit: Overall, my point is that grenades are broken anyway, and I agree with psavola that instant grenades merely change the way they work and don't make them much more or less broken./edit



Now, I get that XCF isn't meant to be meticulously balanced or realistic, and people largely like it how it is. So feel free to ignore this, and instead make more of your interesting maps and factions and new items and other stuff which are the main draw of XCF. But I did get a bit triggered here. So, sorry for the rant. :-[
« Last Edit: April 14, 2024, 12:58:07 pm by Juku121 »

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin
« Reply #6014 on: April 14, 2024, 01:03:04 pm »
Never mind that you can still be reasonably sure that an on-target grenade will kill an appropriate target. I've not really seen people double- or triple-tap enemies with 0-turn grenades except in cases where their effectiveness is in question - stun grenades, Mutons vs regular grenades, and the like. So in practice, this distinction of "does it kill or does it not" is not as relevant as you think. People tend to just live with the results, and these are close enough to instant grenades that they don't suffer overmuch from doing so.

In the early game, higher-tier cultists quite often don't get killed by a single grenade. For example, priest and chosen of dagon take only 70 % from concussive, and even a well-placed dynamite might not kill them. Likewise for red dawn, pioneers and red-ops take 90 % damage but have high health. I don't even bother to kill them with just one grenade, at the very least you need two or a dynamite. This is why in my SH/IM games I always throw dynamites (or hi-ex) to those enemies that are close enough (the throw range) to try to ensure they actually get killed (even though even a dynamite does not guarantee a kill) and don't wander around to spot my agents.

So even in the early game, whether a grenade kills the enemy or not is IMHO very much a thing. But I agree with you that it doesn't necessarily make the game easier. Misthrown grenades exploding on your own agents would probably make the game more difficult, not less difficult. For example in the early game when you use helicopter, grenades occasionally appear to hit the rotors of the helicopter and drop down on the ground. With non-instant grenades this is no problem if you have TUs to move and/or someone to pick it up. With instant grenades this would be lethal.