Author Topic: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.2: The Colors of Sin  (Read 1878216 times)

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5715 on: October 22, 2023, 12:40:00 pm »
It's possible to have a zero casualty playthrough, with very conservative reloading policy.  I tend to play very aggressively in the first turns, in order to create a suitable beachead.  It works much better than defense.

Doesn't track with psavola's "'nade them in the dark" experience, or mine. I've found moving aggressively, with little hard cover or smoke leads to more reloading, even if it gives me better firing angles.

It's rather easy to play very aggressively if you "just try it" to find where the enemy units are and once you get decimated, you reload and try to play accordingly. I suppose this is what you're doing (if something really bad happens on turn 1). Because I can't figure out how a very aggressive playstyle would be workable if you limit or eliminate the chance to reload.

I play with SH ironman (though sometimes I "cheat" by restarting the game, i.e. essentially reset to turn 1, 5, ... - so even this is not a real ironman) so you have to be more careful. Defensive style is not necessarily easier, but if you don't know the terrain and enemy placement with "reload (or restart) tricks", you can't take the chances (unless you always bring along a couple of disposable units such as untrained dogs or bats to scout the terrain and enemy positions and die in the process).

And as a clarification to Juku121's point about my "throw grenades in the dark tactic". That's something that works reliably even with SH ironman. But it is most applicable to the early or early-mid game: you only have very limited number of units (say, 2-6) and you have to take down 20, 30 or 40 enemy units, all of them sniper/spotters, your armors are so weak, etc. The approach is not so necessary at later stages (for example, 10 or 15 agents taking down a small UFO).

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5716 on: October 22, 2023, 01:50:03 pm »
Because I can't figure out how a very aggressive playstyle would be workable if you limit or eliminate the chance to reload.
My point exactly. I'm a filthy savescummer, of course :-[, but I occasionally do no-save missions as well. And I can't see how aggressive movement could be done without casualties, unless the RNG gods favour you, the AI grabs the idiot ball with both hands, or you're just clowning on some scorpions or cultists who can't hurt you through all that armour.

Offline zee_ra

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5717 on: October 23, 2023, 08:19:44 am »
My point exactly. I'm a filthy savescummer, of course :-[, but I occasionally do no-save missions as well. And I can't see how aggressive movement could be done without casualties, unless the RNG gods favour you, the AI grabs the idiot ball with both hands, or you're just clowning on some scorpions or cultists who can't hurt you through all that armour.

A fair approach would be to setup autosave to a value between 1 and 10, and to rollback strictly to autosaved points.  Essentially, this reflects the play performed by an oracle of various strengths.  By taking this approach, a player may focus on tactics proper, the strategy of decision-making, instead of minutiae.

Offline Psyentific

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5718 on: October 23, 2023, 04:28:43 pm »
My point exactly. I'm a filthy savescummer, of course :-[, but I occasionally do no-save missions as well. And I can't see how aggressive movement could be done without casualties, unless the RNG gods favour you, the AI grabs the idiot ball with both hands, or you're just clowning on some scorpions or cultists who can't hurt you through all that armour.
you have to embrace the idea of acceptable losses; a certain number of agents are going to get shot every mission. you need to lean into training and augmentations to bring up the average quality of your units so that you can quickly slot in replacements when your away team takes casualties. it's okay to lose 6 agents a month if you can generate 10 more replacements in that time. ultimately almost every unit is replaceable, albeit some more difficult than others (ex. high base reactions/psi).

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5719 on: October 23, 2023, 06:04:05 pm »
First, I don't wanna. :P

Second, while growing stats on rookies is somewhat doable, commendations absolutely don't grow on trees, and transformations are also not terribly rookie-friendly. So a constant rollover means I'm stuck with mediocre John Troopers and there's no John Wick (or he got shot and buried :D ).

Finally, the point here was not savescumming, it was how to play [edit: aggressively /edit] so savescumming is less or not at all necessary. I don't know how to do that with an aggressive turn 1 (or vs Blasters three screens away, or random grenade-throwers), and would like to learn how to if it's indeed possible. Short of endgame armours and just glassing the whole battlefield, of course.



Edit2:
...I've been in a traffic accident. Long story, but ultimately I'm fine.
Scary.

More importantly, is there now going to be an easter egg mission about Hybrid convoys and road safety? :P
« Last Edit: October 23, 2023, 07:34:31 pm by Juku121 »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5720 on: October 25, 2023, 02:00:03 pm »
Early small retaliations are very manageable with rockets and miniguns.  There's no practical need to eliminate them.  My suggestion would be to perhaps disable them on easier levels (like the 1st and 2nd), and to keep on anything above 3rd.

This sounds rather subjective. I'm not sure if it would be the general consensus.

There was some discussion about alien retaliation missions before the invasion. The above comment was in the context of aggressive retaliation having been enabled. But this happens with vanilla options as well.

To prove the point, In Oct 1998, I have not shot down any UFOs and I just had "recurringRetaliation" (which, with 75 % probability, was STR_SENTRY_RETALIATION). Looking at the rulesets, recurringRetaliation has 20 % chance of happening starting from month 22. Oct 1998 is month 22 so I got it in the earliest possible mission spawn. It was Chasers, so not too bad, if you just have defenders in the base. (I've often been lazy assigning defenders on various secondary bases, but I suppose I need to step up due to these random retaliations.)

So what's the point? Non-retaliation UFOs detecting your bases and triggering retaliations without the "aggressive retaliation" option on? Or not?

Note to @Solarius Scorch.  If there's no hybrid attack missions currently encoded, please consider adding those into the mod.

Like Psavola said, there are, but they're rare, as they can only trigger when you shoot down hybrid craft.

Note to @Solarius Scorch.  If there's a way to inform player which race had destroyed the base, please consider adding this functionality into the mod.

How would I do this with a mod?

More importantly, is there now going to be an easter egg mission about Hybrid convoys and road safety? :P

Nah, I don't want to be accused of ageism :D

But thanks, I'm doing okay, I think. Still need a week or two to get back to my usual peak 30%... :D

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5721 on: October 25, 2023, 04:59:49 pm »
So what's the point? Non-retaliation UFOs detecting your bases and triggering retaliations without the "aggressive retaliation" option on? Or not?

As far as I understand it, previously the complaint was alien retaliation missions that occur before the invasion has even started. You pointed out that the user was using aggressive retaliation option, so the retaliation could have been triggered by some random scout (and implying that it would not with normal XCF options). I was pointing out that vanilla XCF includes scripted alien retaliation missions that start in October 1998, i.e., before the invasion has started. So you can get retaliation with vanilla XCF even if you haven't done anything to trigger the aliens.

Whether this is reasonable or not is another question. These may be a bit unexpected, but not too difficult to handle (especially after the alien races were downgraded a bit in the last update).


Offline Empiro

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5722 on: October 27, 2023, 10:04:48 pm »
you have to embrace the idea of acceptable losses; a certain number of agents are going to get shot every mission. you need to lean into training and augmentations to bring up the average quality of your units so that you can quickly slot in replacements when your away team takes casualties. it's okay to lose 6 agents a month if you can generate 10 more replacements in that time. ultimately almost every unit is replaceable, albeit some more difficult than others (ex. high base reactions/psi).

Without saving/reloading, it's probably not possible to suffer no deaths. There's just too much random chance involved -- things dynamite being thrown from outside visual range, grenade launchers, random shots from across the map (because you hit someone so they can "see" you) that strikes your side armor even if you're facing them, etc.

In X-Com Files, it's not too hard to max out reactions at least -- you can rack them up on easy strange creature and zombie missions. Keeping high PSI agents in the back is usually good enough to keep them alive.

One thing I would definitely like to see fixed though, is the implementation of the scout-sniper. I know it will require engine changes, but it's aggravating how hitting any enemy automatically makes you visible, and on Red Dawn missions causes you to get lit the f- up even if your sniper is half way across the map in the dark. To compensate, it would be nice if enemies were a bit smarter -- i.e. they would throw a flare in your direction if they got shot from the dark. I think overall it would increase the challenge without making things feel cheesy or unfair.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5723 on: October 27, 2023, 10:40:17 pm »
One thing I would definitely like to see fixed though, is the implementation of the scout-sniper.
...
To compensate, it would be nice if enemies were a bit smarter...
Given how many times this issue has been raised with no change (never mind the one guy who made and shared a fork resolving this exact problem; outdated now, I believe), and the general idea of OXCE not messing with AI (to any significant degree, at least), the first is rather unlikely and the second is almost certainly not going to happen.

On the other hand, there's Brutal AI now.

Although using BAI to make scout-sniper less of a pain is sort of like 'fixing' a broken toe by chopping off the entire leg and installing a bionic one. :D

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5724 on: November 01, 2023, 06:26:08 pm »
As should already be obvious, the RNG aspect of mission scripts leads to very different approaches in the mid-game. But I'll just write this as an observation to highlight the potential differences depending on the RNG you get.

In my current game, the aliens have been very lazy with the invasion that was supposed to begin on Jan 1, 1999 midnight. It's May already, and I've only seen two very small UFOs. That's it. Luckily, the military shot down a couple of UFOs in 1998, and there have been at least three Chtonite Minibase assaults. So there have been plenty of access to engineers, navigators, leaders or medics to progress the research tree otherwise as well.

On the other hand, I got lucky to get MIB cover-up missions (2*5 % monthly chance) . Shooting down their transporters will eventually lead to retaliation missions and MIB Stealth Bombers, which each have a number of MIB troopers equipped with power suits and shock armors. Which you can grab if you stun them with Katapeltes Spiritus (the other means of capturing them alive and actually getting a usable armor are essentially useless). Dealing all of these MIBs gives you rather easy access to about a dozen powerful armors you would not have a chance of getting any time soon otherwise.

In my previous game, about this time I don't recall getting more than one good MIB mission so the access to good armors was very different.

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5725 on: November 01, 2023, 07:13:30 pm »

In my previous game, about this time I don't recall getting more than one good MIB mission so the access to good armors was very different.

I actually found my first ever MIB base after like 5 play throughs.
It was similar to the MIB lunar mission only a much smaller scale.

On a different note, I curious if X com Base location has anything to do with base attacks. this past play through I just completed, I didn't have one base attack. Normally I am bombarded with them. I'm curious if location takes you out of the path/lanes of ships looking for your base ?

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5726 on: November 01, 2023, 08:44:56 pm »
On a different note, I curious if X com Base location has anything to do with base attacks. this past play through I just completed, I didn't have one base attack. Normally I am bombarded with them. I'm curious if location takes you out of the path/lanes of ships looking for your base ?

It could be. I've read that you can put a base in a mission zone where the aliens won't go (I suppose they could still detect the base if they get close enough). I think this was a vanilla "cheat" but I suppose it could work with mods as well.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5727 on: November 09, 2023, 06:32:00 pm »
As should already be obvious, the RNG aspect of mission scripts leads to very different approaches in the mid-game. But I'll just write this as an observation to highlight the potential differences depending on the RNG you get.

In my current game, the aliens have been very lazy with the invasion that was supposed to begin on Jan 1, 1999 midnight. It's May already, and I've only seen two very small UFOs. That's it. Luckily, the military shot down a couple of UFOs in 1998, and there have been at least three Chtonite Minibase assaults. So there have been plenty of access to engineers, navigators, leaders or medics to progress the research tree otherwise as well.

On the other hand, I got lucky to get MIB cover-up missions (2*5 % monthly chance) . Shooting down their transporters will eventually lead to retaliation missions and MIB Stealth Bombers, which each have a number of MIB troopers equipped with power suits and shock armors. Which you can grab if you stun them with Katapeltes Spiritus (the other means of capturing them alive and actually getting a usable armor are essentially useless). Dealing all of these MIBs gives you rather easy access to about a dozen powerful armors you would not have a chance of getting any time soon otherwise.

In my previous game, about this time I don't recall getting more than one good MIB mission so the access to good armors was very different.

Looking at my 1999-09-01 save, finally those lazy-ass sectoids are going to start the invasion on September 1999. And floaters their research missions. And chasers their invasion missions. And snakemen their retaliation missions. Funnily enough, Ethereals will also be starting their retaliation missions due to me having researched the MIB commander. This kinda shows that all those small percentage events can make the campaign very funky and unexpected. If you wanted all of this to make even a little sense, the probability of the first invasion missions should be much higher than the current 17 % + 13 %. Finally those 352 scientists will have some alien interrogation to do (the current research list is empty).

And still no mysterious parcel from the syndicate, even though I destroyed them 6 months ago and decrypted the testament. Therefore no access to Spartanism transformation yet. Really annoying that the probability of getting the parcel is only 25 %, instead of other "rewards" for completing arcs which you always get immediately. But I suppose you can argue this to be balanced because the spartanism seems to be by far the best transformation. I'd still suggest increasing the probability a lot.

Offline Chuckebaby

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5728 on: November 10, 2023, 03:18:12 pm »


And still no mysterious parcel from the syndicate, even though I destroyed them 6 months ago and decrypted the testament.

This has happened to me before as well. But I believe it was because I failed to research the Schutzstaffeln Ring.

Offline Sneak Dog

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.1: Lights in The Sky
« Reply #5729 on: November 12, 2023, 03:09:21 pm »
First off, great mod.

It's possible to miss the zombie trooper implant entirely by being too live capture happy like this mod has been teaching me to be. The live zombie troopers don't grant the zombie trooper implant pre-requisite, only the corpses do.

Edit: I should probably mention why. As far as I know they're only fielded in a magma lab mission that, once completed, doesn't show up again.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2023, 03:49:20 pm by Sneak Dog »