Author Topic: The X-Com Files - 1.3: Sanity Check  (Read 504395 times)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2925 on: October 14, 2019, 11:29:05 am »
OK, Land Rover it is! :)

I intended to give this a timeley follow-up, but I haven't been active on the forums the last few days.

No worries, my records are pretty bad here as well. :)

Point taken, though the same could be said about the geoscape palette

It isn't really comparable. The Geoscape palette is just one thing, unrelated to any other element of the mod, and so it can be swapped with no consequences, like an app skin. Besides, it is purely aesthetic and doesn't impact the gameplay at all.

and I only asked you if you would consider it.

Yes, and I answered, with justification.

Would you instead consider putting the whole commendation-stuff in a separate rul-file or at least add comment lines so it's easy to find? Because this is going to be a pain to sort out otherwise.

Excuse me? Pain to sort out? For whom? I suffer no discomfort from the current setup... But thanks for the consideration, I guess.

(...) Telling the player that he lost x points due to a totally random event that he has absolutely no influence on is a bad design choice and is in and of itself not a meaningful gameplay element.

Gee, those people at Microprose really have no idea what they were doing. Games like Master of Orion or Master of Magic or Sim City (okay, that's Maxis) had random disasters which the player couldn't prevent, exactly like the new OXCE feature. Moreover, modern companies like Paradox are repeating these mistakes. What a bunch of idiots! Bad design!
Well, seriously speaking, I disagree. These elements were fun, and a big reason why these games were so fulfilling. They help create a bigger world beyond the player's data and actions.

You might as well make the notification read "you lost x points because the developer hates your guts". Unless you give the player a reason why they should care that they just lost points the notification/random event is just a distraction from actual gameplay (aka "press okay to continue the game").

Oh, but you can prevent most of these, as they're tied to activity of various organizations. Destroy the organization and the associated events will cease.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but right now every interruption on the geoscape that pop ups is connected to player interaction, direct or indirect: finished research/production, detected UFOs, completed item transfers, training etc.

Sorry, but at this point you're just ranting against the very existence of pop-up events. And in a very biased way, constantly implying that every event is punishing the player, which is a blatantly untrue.

Random events that do nothing but "punish" the player without a prior action or a way to avoid that negative outcome lack any connection to player interactivety and (as pointed out above and in my prior post) don't add meaningful gameplay.

More ranting against the feature itself. I have nothing new to say either.

You'll notice that this isn't what I said. The point is that you're confronting the player with a meaningless box which that they have to close to continue playing. It doesn't matter if it's 50 points, 150 points or no points - if the player has no influence at all concerning this event you're interrupting gameplay for no good reason. Compare this to how the game doesn't inform you every time you lose points due to alien actions either - just a the end of the month. And those events are actually preventable.

Again, I'm not stating that introducing random events is bad. I'm telling you to refrain from introducing meaningless interruptions to the game, judging by what you've posted in this thread concerning upcoming gameplay elements. I'd be more than happy to be wrong on this one.


Meaningless? MEANINGLESS?
Who the hell do you think I am, some rookie?

Anyway, I am not interested in responding to "critique" based on irrational fear of pop-ups. If you have arachnophobia, don't play games with spiders in them.

This is a fun feature, it stays and will get bigger over time. I know Piratez is going down exactly the same path.

Offline X-Man

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2926 on: October 14, 2019, 12:18:43 pm »
Ye, random events are need in every global strategy to make feel that you are not the navel of the earth ;) That is more realistic and rises replayability.

Offline Thunderwing280

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2927 on: October 14, 2019, 08:42:16 pm »
Random events are fun if they are done correctly, you just have to make sure that some are preventable and the penalties are not too extreme.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2928 on: October 15, 2019, 12:50:19 pm »
Solarius, I get the feeling that you're right now existing in some kind of bizarro world where sentences take on some whole new kind of alternative meaning. Why are you trying to imply things I never said?

At no point did I state that I am against random events. Nor did I say that random events having negative consequences is a bad idea. Nor did I say - or even imply that

[...]every event is punishing the player, which is a blatantly untrue[...]

Yes, that is indeed blatantly untrue, since it's not what I said or wanted to imply.

Let me paraphrase what I said:

That random events whose only outcome is punishing the player by substracting points and which can not be avoided, mitigated and have no further consequences (i.e. they are independant of player action regarding their cause and outcome) are a bad idea.

I am not ranting about random events in general. If anything I am ranting against a very specific design of random events. At this point I might as well be ranting about you being a blockhead, because you are trying to rationalize design choices by citing games that aren't even in the same genre and whose implementation of random events underscores what I am trying to tell you. This is on top of those games not even having a direct analogue to the points system X-COM uses (namely a score system that can lead to a gameover).

Games like Master of Orion or Master of Magic or Sim City[...]

I happen to have played both Master of Orion II (please correct if any of the following doesn't apply to the first part) and Sim City (yeah I know, surprising). To preface this - random events were optional in both games. They were not inherently forced upon the player (disclaimer: this is not meant to imply that random events are bad. 'Forced' in this context implies that the player has no choice whether or not they want to include a game mechanic in their playthrough).

As far as I am aware random events in MoOII never simply substracted points from your score (as far as points/score analogy is even applicable here, see above). They were independant of the actual game state or story progression (as far as games in MoOII can be said to have an overaching storyline anyway). They could, however, be influenced, mitigated or outright avoided by player interaction: Increase science or industrial output or station military to prevent a bad outcome (plague, pirates, supernova etc.), pay off or fight a space dragon, avoid/refrain from hyperspace travel (monster in hyperspace, hyperspace flux) - in short, they forced interaction (even if that interaction happened to be 'fire planetside stellar converter at an invading space amoeba').

In SimCity the outcome of 'random' disasters (if enabled / or activated directly from the menu) is directly related to player interaction (or lack thereof) and your progression in the game - i.e. how many police/fire stations you have to contain events (for events that can be contained), the layout of your city (in 2000 certain disaster can only occur if you have the necessary buildings, e.g. NPP, Microwave powerplant etc.).

In both games random events generally forced interaction or were dependant on player action. They were not a simple "click X to continue playing" affair.

Sorry, but at this point you're just ranting against the very existence of pop-up events.

I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to adress this. It's evidently not true (seeing how I cited actual in-game pop-up events that are meaningful) and I have stated multiple times that random events are a good additon if they are done the right way. Pointless generalizations are one thing, but you're basically covering your ears and state that I'm implying things I am not. The problem with that approach is that you're failing to hear what I'm actually saying.

If you include random events whose only consequence is a score substraction and nothing else you might as well have players look at the score graph instead, because you intentionally designed those events to be meaningless. I don't see why that statement comes as a surprise to you or why you'd take offense in me pointing that out.


« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 10:52:41 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Ridаn

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2929 on: October 15, 2019, 04:46:51 pm »
In my opinion random events are a staple for a reason. They help to spice up the otherwise monotonous experience and dynamically create situtions you wouldnt experience otherwise. Even if, while isolated and by themselves, those appear as simple as loss/gain of research, money, score or whatever the game has.

In addition, since it is a new system tacked onto a functional game, bad events are there to counterbalance good events - to make sure the progression and balance stay somewhat the same.

"Bad" simple events, such as gain/loss of 50 points and some fluff, can be used to enhance the atmosphere, and help with worldbuilding. And "cheaply" bloat event list of course. They are not bad per se.
"Good" complex events or event chains, with dependencies on missions that spawn randomly, can be completely missed (or messed up) by players, despite increased workload required to integrate and maintain them.

Offline Precentor Apollyon

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2930 on: October 15, 2019, 04:58:13 pm »
“Solarius, I get the feeling that you're right now existing in some kind of bizarro world where sentences take on some whole new kind of alternative meaning. Why are you trying to imply things I never said?]”

First this guy made some less than stellar remarks on Solarius’s random events, now he’s adding fuel to the fire. Just unbelievable.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 05:00:13 pm by Precentor Apollyon »

Online HumanTraitor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2931 on: October 15, 2019, 05:02:11 pm »
Tthere ARE good random events to counter the bad ones, such as getting free gear, money, and so on. What you get is random, of course. Random events are not here to get your life and ruin everything, unlike say Paradox's games.

Offline TheCurse

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2932 on: October 15, 2019, 05:49:52 pm »
ufo just shot down a van. a fucking van.
not even a chance to redirect that slow thing.
**** covert missions, once and for all. there´s just nothing good coming from that.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2933 on: October 15, 2019, 06:03:12 pm »
[snip]
I'm pretty sure Solarius can tell me himself if he thinks I'm being disrespectful and whether or not he's bothered by what I'm saying.

BTW, didn't you just state
Again, I don't care for the noise you make.
Must be one hell of noise I'm making then if you need to point it out to others.

ufo just shot down a van. a fucking van.
not even a chance to redirect that slow thing.
**** covert missions, once and for all. there´s just nothing good coming from that.
Yeah, that happens. I'm not sure the hunter/killer mechanic meshes well with 'land-bound' transports. It would be nice if those interceptions could be made trigger some kind of survive/escape mission instead so the agents stand at least a chance to survive.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 06:06:25 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Mathel

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2934 on: October 15, 2019, 06:29:32 pm »
Yeah, that happens. I'm not sure the hunter/killer mechanic meshes well with 'land-bound' transports. It would be nice if those interceptions could be made trigger some kind of survive/escape mission instead so the agents stand at least a chance to survive.
Isn't there already a mechanic, where most of the soldiers (~90%) in the "shot down" transport survive and return some time later?
There is also a mechanic where you can target your own "plane" to escort it and should it get attacked, the escort is also drawn into combat.

It would, however make sense, if landbound transports were not able to be targetted by Hunter/Killers and if soldiers kept their pre-equipped gear. (Losing any gear just lying around in the transport.)

Offline krautbernd

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2935 on: October 15, 2019, 06:50:02 pm »
Isn't there already a mechanic, where most of the soldiers (~90%) in the "shot down" transport survive and return some time later?
There is also a mechanic where you can target your own "plane" to escort it and should it get attacked, the escort is also drawn into combat.
There are two variables, (pilotsEmergencyEvacuationSurvivalChance / crewEmergencyEvacuationSurvivalChanceone) - for the crew and for the pilot, but they are global. The crew one also isn't enabled by default in XCF iirc.
I'd consider escorts more of a workaround for vans/cars. For one thing you're binding up an interceptor for longer time than when both crafts are 'airborne' and if worst comes to worst it's a trade-in (you lose the interceptor but might save the van). You can also lose both craft if you get a 'murder' (what is the right word for a group of battleships?) of UFOs. I've had multiple hunter/killer Battelships spawn on me at various points in the game.

Apart from that it's also kind of strange to have a covert OPs team in a van escorted by one or multiple interceptors because they are at risk of being attacked by UFOs. If the risk of the team getting killed is that high why do they need to travel the whole way in a van?

Offline TheCurse

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2936 on: October 15, 2019, 08:50:10 pm »
lol i was suggesting something like that a while ago.
ye imo it´d be better if destroying a transport would trigger a mission, either base defense style immediate, or just like ufo recovery, except its your craft burning and in pieces...
(i think the 2nd would be better)
there´s gonna be heavy damage (and some crew dead) guaranteed, but at least you get a chance to get some back.
then again, if there´s an ufo shooting a van, won't leave much to recover.

but apart from game mechanics, this is seriously pissing me off...
like you gotta do a covert mission. but instead of going there as usual and doing the last km of travel undercover, no you stay about a week in some slow ass van around half the world, because someone might see you on arrival. but the aliens figure it out anyway and shoot your ******* van. the skyranger could fit at least 2 vans inside...

imo would be better if aliens dont intercept street vehicles. there´s like a billion around, how do they know anyway... >_>

Offline LytaRyta

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Re: Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2937 on: October 15, 2019, 09:47:12 pm »
...( @krautberg: )  .. -and even more, well, - in Master of Orion (a.k.a. "Civilizations in Galaxy" - instead of the city,cities, /areas yu got a whole planets, /star systems ) the "random events approach" is in form of such "galactic tv news", and as also such.. - ..just give you more "background story-arc, plot-arc, add more infos, and generally feeling of the MoO strategy..
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 10:18:03 pm by LytaRyta »

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2938 on: October 15, 2019, 10:16:02 pm »
...( @krautberg: )  .. -and even more, well, - in Master of Orion (a.k.a. "Civilizations in Galaxy" - instead of the city,cities, /areas yu got a whole planets, /star systems ) the random events approach are in form of such "galactic tv news", and as also such.. - ..just give you more "background story-arc, plot-arc, add more infos, and generally feeling of the MoO strategy..
GNN simply 'reported' on random events as well the states of the different empires (colonized planets, treasury, fleet strength etc.). Unless I'm toatally misremembering things MoO/MoO 2 had no actual background story or plot arcs that were explored during gameplay, beside from the orion special event in MoO2. I would have loved that game to actually have more lore or actual story arcs. The hero/leader system would probably have offered enough options to do so.

Offline Precentor Apollyon

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.9.9e2: Summertime Lovin'
« Reply #2939 on: October 15, 2019, 10:22:59 pm »
I'm pretty sure Solarius can tell me himself if he thinks I'm being disrespectful and whether or not he's bothered by what I'm saying.


Sorry, but at this point you're just ranting against the very existence of pop-up events. And in a very biased way, constantly implying that every event is punishing the player, which is a blatantly untrue.

More ranting against the feature itself. I have nothing new to say either.

Meaningless? MEANINGLESS?
Who the hell do you think I am, some rookie?

Anyway, I am not interested in responding to "critique" based on irrational fear of pop-ups. If you have arachnophobia, don't play games with spiders in them.

This is a fun feature, it stays and will get bigger over time. I know Piratez is going down exactly the same path.

Solarius did. However, how could one enjoy practising English.. oh sorry! ranting! With absolutely poor situational awareness, would have understood of the situation?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 10:56:51 pm by Precentor Apollyon »