Author Topic: The X-Com Files - 1.8: The Shores of Hell  (Read 842875 times)

Offline HT

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4080 on: February 23, 2021, 07:49:31 pm »
Hey Scorch, how long until the next update? From what I gathered so far, it seems it will be a massive overhaul with tons of new stuff, but it seems nearly finished to me.

Offline Dr.Crowley

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4081 on: February 23, 2021, 07:56:08 pm »
Well well well, what do I see? X-Com Files already reached version 1.7. Whoa.
How long was that? I remember posting here back in 2017 - and it is still alive. Amazing. I will give it a try... yet again.

Offline the nomad

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4082 on: February 24, 2021, 07:54:24 pm »
The issue is Depthopocalypse, yes. I won, but only after the civvies all died and the city was leveled.

I saw their stat block, but do not know about any good choke weapons. I might try those Warp rifles I have in stores the next time the Deathopocalypse comes.

Edit: I suppose with Choke dealing 12x damage, bad choke weapons could be enough. I will also try peppering them and extinguishing them.

I knockout Lobstermen with a knockout grenade, 2 at most. They drop fairly easily.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4083 on: February 27, 2021, 04:05:15 pm »
*De-lurks again*

I played a little bit of XCF lately, and watched a few streamers/Youtubers do the same. Then I dug around in the mod's guts a bit and these are my thoughts:
  • The mod has grown significantly since I last touched it, and there's a lot of cool and awesome stuff in it. :) Kudos to Solarius for sticking with it so long and all the neat map work!
  • The mod has been going away from its roots as a tactical game about an alien invasion into something best described as 'Piratez'. I.e., it is steadily going down the path of something along the lines of a cyberpunk adventure. Apparently, people like this well enough. I do not, especially since Piratez already exists and is much better at it. :(
  • The sniper-spotter mechanic, as implemented, is gamist insanity. Everybody and their dog is a spotter, and while I don't know the exact mechanics behind what the 'sniper' field does, I don't really think it's a chance of 'snipering' per turn. I had a whole EXALT base unload on me almost without anybody 'sniper' sitting out when the values were 50 and 75. Pulling them down to 10-20 actually made some of the cultists decide not to 'sniper'.

    And there are way too many snipers as well. I think ohartenstein said in the original thread that it's a good idea to have maybe 1-2 snipers on a mission as a general rule.

    On that topic, the current implementation of sniper/spotter is more along the lines of 'alien death sniper' rather than 'human marksman taking potshots'. Some of the blame lays with ohartenstein, who's stuck on this being the 'one true way' of AI sniping, so it's this or nothing. But I digress...

    So I can see why Solarius might have thought it to be a good idea to make lots of 'snipers', but it is neither fun nor immersive when the second you get smoke grenades they become half-obsolete, without even thermovision being a thing yet; and what feels like half the opposition unloading on any soldier unfortunate enough to be out of hard cover.
  • I won't touch the traditionalist 'grenades are better for killing enemies halfway across the map than rifles' too much, because this seems to have become a centerpiece of the X-COM experience somewhere along the way. :(
  • The same goes for the damage formula vs early-game armour. Say what you will about wound models, but I'll just point out that IRL, people who get shot in the chest with a handgun while wearing even soft body armour generally do not spend a week (or a month!) in the hospital afterwards. They might be sore for a while, but so will limp-wristed shooters.
  • The high values of LoS contribute nothing to the gameplay either, IMO. At least the pistols got nerfed, so no more 'sniping' enemies across two screens with a dinky handgun (I watched entirely too many episodes of an LP proceeding exactly in that manner :'( ).
  • X-COM seems to attract the most panicky individuals ever. Your guys are lucky to have 50 bravery; I just looked at my agents at random, and there were five guys with 10 bravery in a row. :o That is literally the same as a chicken! Yet random civilians have bravery 70-80, and many enemies as high as 90+, which means they are very near immune to routing. You have to go out of your way to panic them instead of just, you know, killing them. Except dogs. Even zombie dogs are chickens. ::)
  • The early weapons progression is set up so that the most natural path is from the magnum/MP5/Nitro Express tier straight to BlackOps. You might use some scavenged weaponry in-between, but as soon as Promotion II arrives, the vast majority of historical weaponry goes out of the window, without you ever getting to use them. Going for cult arms dealers looks like a waste of time, because you'll maybe get a marginal increase in lethality vs scavenged stuff, while the outposts/bases are significantly harder.
  • While not a personal complaint, there are way too many early missions where you're nose-to-nose with your opponents (who have full TU!). The OG at least gave you cover in three directions straight from the beginning, but I lost count how many times one streamer just took off after firing a few token shots. It might be 'realistic' in some sense, but it is not very fun.
I don't really expect much to change about these things, since Solarius has indicated that he has little interest in changing the balance back towards the 'tactical' side of things (see the weapon balance thread). And most players seem to be happy enough with the mod as it is. But I kinda felt the need to rant a little, since I've spent a few years now watching the mod go further and further away from both what I consider the 'X-COM' and 'Files' parts.

I'm not particularly interested in discussion, because from experience, it will most likely result in minor flaming (I'm not innocent of it myself :-[ ) and not much else. If someone feels the need to prove me wrong, try PM's first.

*Re-lurks*
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 04:14:20 pm by Juku121 »

Offline Mitra Lightbringer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4084 on: February 27, 2021, 05:35:07 pm »
X-com is not a good tactical game, since mechanics are garbage (not being able to shoot through the windows or around the corner, but your enemy can shoot at you, enemies always ambushing LZ, while your 100 agents get out in Kongo line, grenades can kill entire squad with almost no influence from RNG, while the enemies can, and will use more than one per turn, even on turn one, when you can't even leave the craft, etc.), but, what X-Com Files did right is a good story game. I am always happy to learn new tid-bit of lore, defeat one of the hostile organizations, and move past my old tech (Tritanium vest and BlackOps for almost whole game), and I do like that side a lot.

Offline Mrvex

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4085 on: February 27, 2021, 07:37:40 pm »
XCOM is indeed a bad tactical game for a tons of reasons, most of them being problems of the old XCOM on its own rather than the mod.

Sniper and spotter mechanics is extremely situational, only on very open maps you can have a situation where one guy can see an enemy and his partner cannot. Usually, Humans will spot anyone at very long range unless they have stealth like Muton Shades or Ninja's. And most of the line of sight things boils down to stealth or if there is something in the way. Cultist mopping missions during day are giant battlefields the moment you step out of the craft as you snipe someone standing on the other side of the map because you have no problem seeing him in the first place.

But another mechanic kinda hurts it, in AI's favour during night missions, since even if one of your agents get spotted (And rest of your team wont) then everyone with a line of sight will take potshots at the poor dude, so like 12 enemies will pepper one guy and even if they are firing with a major aim penalty, does that matter if they fire 50 rounds and 4 of them hits ? Your guy is dead anyway unless he has really good armour.

Grenades will be good no matter what, three things benefit them.
A) They use bottom armour to calculate damage, the lowest one on armour so they will deal damage.
B) They have no accuracy range penalty, whenever you throw them at someone standing 5m or 15m, as long as its in the range it will land.
C) They can have nasty payload, Tritanium Grenade for example not only cuts, but also ignite.

Enemies do panic, but you need to really dominate them so panicking, so only when you are doing too well. But incendiary weapons can panic people anyway.

Early game weapons seem fine, although i would welcome if actually old weapons were accessible even before fighting against cults and maybe some early game grenades too like home made nailbombs or molotovs. And yes its true, there is a massive gear tech rush as you usually get to access Blackops weapons by that point and those weapons are almost always just plain out better with few exceptions here and there.

Alot of the early game armour arent even to stop wounds, just to lessen the impact. Kevlar vest is prime example, its better than nothing and it changes that your soldier can survive 4-5 hits instead of 2-3.
But the armour after that, the armoured vest pushes the "lessen the impact" to "If RNG god smiles upon thee, you shall not take any damage", the shielded armoured vest pushes it to "Small arms will almost always do no damage" and then the tactical suit which goes "Most firearms wont even dent you". And the Tritanium versions pushes it to the max for a long time.

Hell, the vanilla armour XCOM got turned in to impact softening armour against Plasma, it wont stop damage in the first place, but will stop a one shot from a plasma weapon.



Offline Mitra Lightbringer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4086 on: February 27, 2021, 10:08:23 pm »
XCOM is indeed a bad tactical game for a tons of reasons, most of them being problems of the old XCOM on its own rather than the mod.

Sniper and spotter mechanics is extremely situational, only on very open maps you can have a situation where one guy can see an enemy and his partner cannot. Usually, Humans will spot anyone at very long range unless they have stealth like Muton Shades or Ninja's. And most of the line of sight things boils down to stealth or if there is something in the way. Cultist mopping missions during day are giant battlefields the moment you step out of the craft as you snipe someone standing on the other side of the map because you have no problem seeing him in the first place.

But another mechanic kinda hurts it, in AI's favour during night missions, since even if one of your agents get spotted (And rest of your team wont) then everyone with a line of sight will take potshots at the poor dude, so like 12 enemies will pepper one guy and even if they are firing with a major aim penalty, does that matter if they fire 50 rounds and 4 of them hits ? Your guy is dead anyway unless he has really good armour.

Grenades will be good no matter what, three things benefit them.
A) They use bottom armour to calculate damage, the lowest one on armour so they will deal damage.
B) They have no accuracy range penalty, whenever you throw them at someone standing 5m or 15m, as long as its in the range it will land.
C) They can have nasty payload, Tritanium Grenade for example not only cuts, but also ignite.

Enemies do panic, but you need to really dominate them so panicking, so only when you are doing too well. But incendiary weapons can panic people anyway.

Early game weapons seem fine, although i would welcome if actually old weapons were accessible even before fighting against cults and maybe some early game grenades too like home made nailbombs or molotovs. And yes its true, there is a massive gear tech rush as you usually get to access Blackops weapons by that point and those weapons are almost always just plain out better with few exceptions here and there.

Alot of the early game armour arent even to stop wounds, just to lessen the impact. Kevlar vest is prime example, its better than nothing and it changes that your soldier can survive 4-5 hits instead of 2-3.
But the armour after that, the armoured vest pushes the "lessen the impact" to "If RNG god smiles upon thee, you shall not take any damage", the shielded armoured vest pushes it to "Small arms will almost always do no damage" and then the tactical suit which goes "Most firearms wont even dent you". And the Tritanium versions pushes it to the max for a long time.

Hell, the vanilla armour XCOM got turned in to impact softening armour against Plasma, it wont stop damage in the first place, but will stop a one shot from a plasma weapon.

I agree with everything except more grenades, but I have never tried Tactical armour. Penalties seemed scary.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4087 on: March 01, 2021, 05:39:37 pm »
Hey Scorch, how long until the next update? From what I gathered so far, it seems it will be a massive overhaul with tons of new stuff, but it seems nearly finished to me.

Sorry, am pretty busy and with a long backlog. I have one long mission to finish, working on it with Brain 322's help (new terrain pieces). After it's done, I hope to release immediately.

Well well well, what do I see? X-Com Files already reached version 1.7. Whoa.
How long was that? I remember posting here back in 2017 - and it is still alive. Amazing. I will give it a try... yet again.

Hey, welcome back!

Is it a new avatar? I nust get used to the change :)

*De-lurks again*

Waaah! D:

Don't do that bro, you'll give me a heart attack :q

The mod has grown significantly since I last touched it, and there's a lot of cool and awesome stuff in it. :) Kudos to Solarius for sticking with it so long and all the neat map work!

Thanks! Yep, still at it. And it's still a bit to go...

The mod has been going away from its roots as a tactical game about an alien invasion into something best described as 'Piratez'. I.e., it is steadily going down the path of something along the lines of a cyberpunk adventure. Apparently, people like this well enough. I do not, especially since Piratez already exists and is much better at it. :(

Wasn't really my intention, my inspirations for how arcs work came mostly from UFO: Aftershock, and their objective is to push the player into some specific, varied tactical challenges. If it is similar to Piratez, then it is for completely different reasons and I honestly can't see it. I guess you can't really do it in any different way when expanding an X-Com-like game to such proportions.

The sniper-spotter mechanic, as implemented, is gamist insanity. Everybody and their dog is a spotter, and while I don't know the exact mechanics behind what the 'sniper' field does, I don't really think it's a chance of 'snipering' per turn. I had a whole EXALT base unload on me almost without anybody 'sniper' sitting out when the values were 50 and 75. Pulling them down to 10-20 actually made some of the cultists decide not to 'sniper'.

And there are way too many snipers as well. I think ohartenstein said in the original thread that it's a good idea to have maybe 1-2 snipers on a mission as a general rule.


The only snipers in EXALT are Enforcers and Liquidators, literally. Whereas all X-Com agents are snipers... :P

On that topic, the current implementation of sniper/spotter is more along the lines of 'alien death sniper' rather than 'human marksman taking potshots'. Some of the blame lays with ohartenstein, who's stuck on this being the 'one true way' of AI sniping, so it's this or nothing. But I digress...

So I can see why Solarius might have thought it to be a good idea to make lots of 'snipers', but it is neither fun nor immersive when the second you get smoke grenades they become half-obsolete, without even thermovision being a thing yet; and what feels like half the opposition unloading on any soldier unfortunate enough to be out of hard cover.

Doesn't convince me. Never felt that way, and I don't really get such complaints to any notable degree.

I don't want to paternalize, but maybe just don't waltz around on the open ground?

Having said that, I actually recognize that the mod in general is a bit too anal as it is now. I am currently in the process of addressing it.

I won't touch the traditionalist 'grenades are better for killing enemies halfway across the map than rifles' too much, because this seems to have become a centerpiece of the X-COM experience somewhere along the way. :(

Always has been, since 1994. Can't really do much about it apart from decreasing grenades accuracy, which I've done.

Well, I could also limit throwing ranges, but not sure if I want to. It's a possibility.

The same goes for the damage formula vs early-game armour. Say what you will about wound models, but I'll just point out that IRL, people who get shot in the chest with a handgun while wearing even soft body armour generally do not spend a week (or a month!) in the hospital afterwards. They might be sore for a while, but so will limp-wristed shooters.

Yeah, or they're dead, because they got hit between the eyes. Or die from random shock. Or just plain ignore the bullet like nothing happened... While I am all for approaching rfealism when possible, this is still a game with a set of rules, and I can point to bigger flaws than unrealistic hospitalization.

The high values of LoS contribute nothing to the gameplay either, IMO. At least the pistols got nerfed, so no more 'sniping' enemies across two screens with a dinky handgun (I watched entirely too many episodes of an LP proceeding exactly in that manner :'( ).

Well, it was like the most important thing. Nobody used rifles back then, except for role-play purposes.

Also, 20 tile distance works in a 320x200 resolution, but feels silly on a modern screen. At least to me.

X-COM seems to attract the most panicky individuals ever. Your guys are lucky to have 50 bravery; I just looked at my agents at random, and there were five guys with 10 bravery in a row. :o That is literally the same as a chicken! Yet random civilians have bravery 70-80, and many enemies as high as 90+, which means they are very near immune to routing. You have to go out of your way to panic them instead of just, you know, killing them. Except dogs. Even zombie dogs are chickens. ::)

Regarding X-Com: so what's new? :D

Regarding enemies: well, they are mostly cultists and other maniacs, who actually prefer to get killed to being captured. Game-wise, I think they surrender at the right moment.

The early weapons progression is set up so that the most natural path is from the magnum/MP5/Nitro Express tier straight to BlackOps. You might use some scavenged weaponry in-between, but as soon as Promotion II arrives, the vast majority of historical weaponry goes out of the window, without you ever getting to use them. Going for cult arms dealers looks like a waste of time, because you'll maybe get a marginal increase in lethality vs scavenged stuff, while the outposts/bases are significantly harder.

This is a very divisive point, so I won't really comment on it. Just do what you feel suits your objectives.

While not a personal complaint, there are way too many early missions where you're nose-to-nose with your opponents (who have full TU!). The OG at least gave you cover in three directions straight from the beginning, but I lost count how many times one streamer just took off after firing a few token shots. It might be 'realistic' in some sense, but it is not very fun.

I get it, but there isn't much I can do about it... Cars are cars.

I don't really expect much to change about these things, since Solarius has indicated that he has little interest in changing the balance back towards the 'tactical' side of things (see the weapon balance thread). And most players seem to be happy enough with the mod as it is. But I kinda felt the need to rant a little, since I've spent a few years now watching the mod go further and further away from both what I consider the 'X-COM' and 'Files' parts.

You are welcome to rant, and I always read feedback seriously. If you got the impression that I'm ignoring feedback, then I don't think it's a fair assessment,  especially considering how many times I threw things out of the window due to feedback. The latest overhaul of cult weapons access tree being a case in point.

*Re-lurks*

Later!

@Mrvex, @Mitra Lightbringer: I think the X-Com mechanics is actually pretty damn ingenious, but it "suffers" from two factors:
1) Terrain and units have simplified shapes. If you're treating in-game graphics too literally, you'll get burned. Remember that it's all built from voxels, which are completely separate from the graphics and can only roughly follow them. Also, all units are cylinders.
2) The konga of death would be mitigated by much larger maps, like the Root of All Evil mission. But it would make the game pretty spread out, and I'd rather keep it packed. (Especially on urban maps...)

Offline Mitra Lightbringer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4088 on: March 01, 2021, 09:03:07 pm »
much larger maps
No, please, anything but that.

Offline Mrvex

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4089 on: March 01, 2021, 11:20:44 pm »
No, please, anything but that.
Larger maps should be done in moderation, they shouldnt be present in the daily bread and butter missions but be present where it makes sense and beyond the early game. Open maps are quite hard before you start getting really good armour and tons of long range weapons. Only when you start getting things like mortars, laser cutter (for wall breaching) and other tools the game really opens up on how you can aproach a large battle with large body count.



Offline Empiro

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4090 on: March 01, 2021, 11:32:44 pm »
The main issue that I have with the scout-sniper mechanic is that if any of your agents hit an enemy, then all enemies "see" that agent. So your agent can be way off in the corner of the map, at night, covered in smoke, but if they hit an enemy, then the AI snipers can all light him up. This aspect both feels extremely unfair and is really confusing to the player.

I was watching Yeti's old X-Com Files streams, and he keeps thinking that enemies have ridiculous night vision and thermal vision because of getting fired upon in those kinds of situations.

I think larger maps can work in certain situations -- the cult of apocalypse missions can have tons of enemies. Bigger maps could mean that you don't immediately get jumped by tons of enemies. I think in general, a bit more separation between your landing site and the main force of enemies could be nice. Still have some enemies next to the landing, but opening the door and immediately seeing 10+ enemies is off-putting.

Larger maps in urban settings would be super annoying though, unless the primary objective isn't to kill all enemies.

Quote
Alot of the early game armour arent even to stop wounds, just to lessen the impact. Kevlar vest is prime example, its better than nothing and it changes that your soldier can survive 4-5 hits instead of 2-3.
But the armour after that, the armoured vest pushes the "lessen the impact" to "If RNG god smiles upon thee, you shall not take any damage", the shielded armoured vest pushes it to "Small arms will almost always do no damage" and then the tactical suit which goes "Most firearms wont even dent you". And the Tritanium versions pushes it to the max for a long time.

The Kevlar Vest definitely lets you soak pistol shots quite often, though RNG is a huge part of it.

Armored Vests and Tritanium Vests work really well, but you can still be one-shot because even if you are shot directly from the front, the game can still roll a side hit quite often (feels like a bit too often IMO), and those armors comparatively weak side armor. The biggest reason to use the Suits is that their side armors are quite strong too.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2021, 11:43:56 pm by Empiro »

Offline Mitra Lightbringer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4091 on: March 01, 2021, 11:43:17 pm »
I think larger maps can work in certain situations -- the cult of apocalypse missions can have tons of enemies. Bigger maps could mean that you don't immediately get jumped by tons of enemies. I think in general, a bit more separation between your landing site and the main force of enemies could be nice. Still have some enemies next to the landing, but opening the door and immediately seeing 10+ enemies is off-putting.

Just make the missions have less enemies, problem solved. No need for bigger maps and larger transports for even more soldiers.

Offline Empiro

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4092 on: March 01, 2021, 11:46:23 pm »
Just make the missions have less enemies, problem solved. No need for bigger maps and larger transports for even more soldiers.

I do like the occasional mission with tons of enemies though (a high density of enemies to be more specific). Nothing like throwing down a high-explosive or rocket and getting 10+ kills. The main issue is having them right at the landing site so you have no real opportunities to make meaningful decisions before they all jump down on your throat.

Offline Xylon666Darkstar

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4093 on: March 02, 2021, 12:02:48 am »
The main issue that I have with the scout-sniper mechanic is that if any of your agents hit an enemy, then all enemies "see" that agent. So your agent can be way off in the corner of the map, at night, covered in smoke, but if they hit an enemy, then the AI snipers can all light him up. This aspect both feels extremely unfair and is really confusing to the player.

I was watching Yeti's old X-Com Files streams, and he keeps thinking that enemies have ridiculous night vision and thermal vision because of getting fired upon in those kinds of situations.

Most of the tier 2-3+ Cultist enemies (particular Exalt and RD) have greatly enhanced night vision by their design (lore reason: Bio-Enhancement/Alien tech/Equipment). That, and the aliens majority all have varying degrees of good-excellent night vision compared to yours.

Short of taking LOS cover after your shot, being counter-sniped is unavoidable since the enemy actively scout-sniper spots for each other. Dogs + my own snipers + run command helped a lot to deal with them.

Offline Empiro

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Re: The X-Com Files - 1.7: Market Corrections
« Reply #4094 on: March 02, 2021, 01:06:23 am »
Most higher tier cultists have a few extra squares of night vision but it's really something like 9 -> 11 or 9 -> 13 at most. That information is available in the Info tab, so it's not too big of an issue, especially since it's still way lower than Dogs' vision ranges.

It's really the automatic spotting when they're hit that's frustrating and confusing. You can test this yourself by shooting with your snipers from the back. Even if your snipers are far, far out of visual range, they'll still be fired upon if there is a clear line of fire.