Author Topic: Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New  (Read 2212415 times)

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6120 on: July 10, 2024, 07:24:00 pm »
@delamer: If I understand your proposal correctly, that'd be an OXCE engine feature request.

@Bambu: This has come up before, and is considered a sort of feature. But you're far from the only one who's had a problem with where your pilots park their vehicles.

If you won't read all the pages, at least read this. A partial answer to your problem is in the QoL section, one that can be tweaked to take away all enemy TU, even.

Offline delamer

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6121 on: July 10, 2024, 07:53:23 pm »
@delamer: If I understand your proposal correctly, that'd be an OXCE engine feature request.
Got it. Thank you.

Offline psavola

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6122 on: July 10, 2024, 08:17:03 pm »
What I want to criticize (and the mod says I'm to send criticisms here...) is the spawning. Specifically, where the dropship spawns (be it the public car or something better). It doesn't make any sense that these things are parking mere feet away from the enemy. This has always been an issue down the two years of playtime so far, where enemies are unreasonably close and can cause immense damage instantly, because this mod has greatly tuned up reaction fire and enemies start with ostensibly full time units on round one (giving them the opportunity for huge barrages of reactions against any small action by my guy, having just stepped out of the Dragonfly). This, respectfully, really sucks. Missions become slogs of finding out how to just survive round one to get into the proper gameplay. Repeating actions in sequence because I found the sequence that works (no save scumming) until the first round doesn't result in multiple deaths because a group of seven Reptoids spawn in ten tiles from the entrance of the ship with 12 shots each of reaction fire to whatever the first poor bastard off the ship does. And if that guy dies in one shot (normally does, only have armoured vests and they don't fare well), then the rest of the reaction shots are withheld for the next guy off. It's just straight up attrition, for no reason, and it makes me want to just not engage with a lot of missions. They become psychologically stressing and it doesn't make sense in-universe for it to be so. Surely the pilot (one of my soldiers) wouldn't park to be fed to the enemies immediately?

This spawning feature (and full TUs) certainly increases difficulty. You will need to adopt a playstyle where you can avoid these problems.

The earliest thing you can do is go on the missions (especially against humans with ranged weapons) in the dark. Then at least the number of enemy units that could see you and reaction fire is severely limited. (You cannot use Dragonfly for this, because it has bad exterior lighting.) Sometimes you may need to abort if the spawn is bad enough.

The second thing a little bit later you can do are smoke grenades and grenade launchers/milkors armed with smoke grenades to create instant smoke (without having to wait for end turn). With the increased density of smoke and darkness, with recent OXCE versions the enemies have very hard time finding if you use both smoke and darkness (they might not spot you even if they wander a couple of squares next to you).

Now and then you can get a really unlucky spawn which is not salvageable even with smoke and/or darkeness. For example, when going against a Cult Forward Base and an Osprey parked directly opposite the mansion. If the enemy units see you immediately when you land you may need to consider the situation and possibly abort (especially if those enemy units are 'spotters' and there are a lot of 'snipers' on the map). Later craft, especially Kitsune, provides excellent cover for turn 1 (just throw down a couple of smoke grenades down the ramp on turn 1 and end the turn).

Obviously smoke and darkness hampers your own vision too. This is why you will need to employ dogs, rats and bats, or use armors with better night vision or heat vision capabilities, to get over this and have an edge over the enemies.

I don't think the mod is going to change with this respect. So you can either use this opportunity to learn better and more advanced techniques (Stone Lake's SH/IM streams are a gold mine for this) or just forgo playing XCF.


Offline Bambu

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6123 on: July 10, 2024, 11:44:08 pm »
@delamer: If I understand your proposal correctly, that'd be an OXCE engine feature request.

@Bambu: This has come up before, and is considered a sort of feature. But you're far from the only one who's had a problem with where your pilots park their vehicles.

If you won't read all the pages, at least read this. A partial answer to your problem is in the QoL section, one that can be tweaked to take away all enemy TU, even.

Super chill of you, thanks much. I may look into it if there's no plans to change the base game in this regard. Like I said, I am having a great deal of fun, it's just some of the features (as I'm told this is one) are so frustratingly unreasonable that it becomes hard to mentally justify it.

I've changed a great deal from my usual approaches to this game because of this mod. Fighting 60+ enemies with a squad of 4-6 sort of demands that. But I hope I'm forgiven for whinging on this specific facet of it, because most of the other stuff makes sense in context (even moreso than the base game, even), whereas this bit just... doesn't.

Anyways. Thanks for the intel, I'll look through the above post later on, weigh whether I want it in, etc. Cheers all.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6124 on: July 11, 2024, 12:09:58 am »
To prevent your car from spawning near the objective, I would have to make some very crude moves, like force the cult house to always spawn on the northern side and the car in the south, and so on. It wouldn't be very good; it would severely limit the map randomness, and also the entire thing would become absurdly bloated. I'd rather accept unfortunate spawns as "just a feature" and try to build the mod around this fact.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6125 on: July 11, 2024, 06:41:24 am »
You could put more 'empty' space around craft, so there's some guaranteed distance between the drop point and everything else. Like 30x30 instead of the usual 10x10. Possibly also for enemy UFOs and 'UFO's.

Not sure how well this would actually address the issue, since everything else remain as random as ever and you could still be staring at the UFO from turn 1, just from a distance of 30 tiles now. 



I do have fond memories of Xenonauts UFO assaults that did something like that. These guys camped the **** out of their UFO, which was usually at the other end of the map. Although said maps weren't fully random.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6126 on: July 11, 2024, 10:24:56 am »
You could put more 'empty' space around craft, so there's some guaranteed distance between the drop point and everything else. Like 30x30 instead of the usual 10x10. Possibly also for enemy UFOs and 'UFO's.

Well, how would I do that?

And even if I could do that, it would just surround the craft with empty landing zones. Not very fun.

And even if we ignore that, I would have to make most maps much bigger to accommodate the now enormous footprint of X-Com craft.

Sorry, but that's not how X-Com operates. Let's just accept that parking is random and move on.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6127 on: July 11, 2024, 12:02:38 pm »
How: enlarge the craft map, paste the current one in the middle.

I remember trying that with one of the subs back when the 'all Aquatoids are inside the USO' thing first came around. It worked well enough for the relatively featureless undersea maps.


The non-empty landing zones are exactly what are currently being decried as unfun to the point of someone writing a massive wall-of-text elaborating that single point alone. And this is not the first, second or third time it's come up.


You don't need to make most maps bigger, barring those that don't have a 30x30 area free. There are like a dozen of those. But fitting a 30x30 landing area might indeed make things a bit awkward in some maps. I don't think you need to make the map sizes massively bigger, but there might indeed be quite a bit of tweaking involved.


X-Com operating this way is not an obvious and natural outcome - as evidenced by this topic coming up again and again and again. It's a relic of the design (limitations) of the original.


Now, what really kinda sinks this idea IMO, is none of the above but rather the fact that vision range is 40. So even if there was a cordon of 15, 20 or even 30 tiles around the craft where no enemies could spawn, they'd still be able to do all the reaction fire that's killing the soldiers here. They'd probably crowd the edges somewhat more, too. I don't really see a way around that.

Offline sirmik

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6128 on: July 11, 2024, 12:28:17 pm »
Nooooo! Don't change that, it's the whole charm of the game and... realism. Just think for a moment - in movies alone, how many times are there ambushes on agents, cops rushing to the scene? Besides, you guys are like cultists, seeing that flying in with a roar (big propellers, lots of dust) is the big Xcom vehicle that previously killed so many of your buddies, what do you do? You pull out your guns and wait for those bastards to come out so you can shoot them, once they step out of that metal bird;) Realism!"







Offline Stone Lake

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6129 on: July 11, 2024, 01:07:34 pm »
It's somewhat real issue and it does plague early game. But early game doesn't matter much and you can definitely play around it via tactical escapes and night ops. And it CAN be more fun instantly engaging enemy and skewering them from shotguns, instead of searching for them for ten turns. I'd say don't bother.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2024, 01:11:09 pm by Stone Lake »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6130 on: July 11, 2024, 01:43:08 pm »
How: enlarge the craft map, paste the current one in the middle.

I remember trying that with one of the subs back when the 'all Aquatoids are inside the USO' thing first came around. It worked well enough for the relatively featureless undersea maps.


The non-empty landing zones are exactly what are currently being decried as unfun to the point of someone writing a massive wall-of-text elaborating that single point alone. And this is not the first, second or third time it's come up.

Somehow I never felt this way in my 25 years of playing, including hundreds of XCF missions. It's not an argument, it's an opinion. Still, I'm not going to mutilate the mod to fix something I don't care about. If it was neutral to the gameplay, sure why not; but it's not, it would ruin things I mentioned before.

You don't need to make most maps bigger, barring those that don't have a 30x30 area free. There are like a dozen of those. But fitting a 30x30 landing area might indeed make things a bit awkward in some maps. I don't think you need to make the map sizes massively bigger, but there might indeed be quite a bit of tweaking involved.

I think you're underestimating the impact. If a map is 50x50, and your craft is generated right in the centre, then you only get 10 tiles on each side - sufficient only for the smallest of UFOs/buildings. And most of your map will be flat and featureless. This is bad practice in a tactical game.

X-Com operating this way is not an obvious and natural outcome - as evidenced by this topic coming up again and again and again. It's a relic of the design (limitations) of the original.

But how is this my problem? This is literally a "if you don't like it, go play something else" case. Because in my opinion it cannot be fixed without harming the gameplay.

If someone thinks they can achieve this without harming the gameplay, please make a submod to prove me wrong.

Now, what really kinda sinks this idea IMO, is none of the above but rather the fact that vision range is 40. So even if there was a cordon of 15, 20 or even 30 tiles around the craft where no enemies could spawn, they'd still be able to do all the reaction fire that's killing the soldiers here. They'd probably crowd the edges somewhat more, too. I don't really see a way around that.

That's true for many cases, yes. However as a devil's advocate, I would raise the issue that it's not a problem in a night fight (I always fight human enemies in darkness when I can), whereas enemy units spawning right next to your landing are a big problem.

It's somewhat real issue and it does plague early game. But early game doesn't matter much and you can definitely play around it via tactical escapes and night ops. And it CAN be more fun instantly engaging enemy and skewering them from shotguns, instead of searching for them for ten turns. I'd say don't bother.

Indeed I am not going to bother with this. I gave my reasons to not appear boorish, but I do not believe this can be fixed elegantly (unless someone shows me a real proof), and also I personally don't give a damn as a player. This is X-Com.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6131 on: July 11, 2024, 02:21:09 pm »
Well, you don't feel that way, others do feel that way, yet others feel like you. It's all opinion. I myself am sorta neutral, since there are plenty of ways to mitigate this to some degree or another, both in and out of the game. And there's no real way to eliminate it completely, nor should it be done away with even if there was, IMO.

This doesn't mean the current situation is ideal, however.



For UFO maps and similar large structures you'd indeed need more space. Still, adding 20 to both map dimensions should solve most of such issues. Probably while creating some new ones, though.

How will the map be featureless? As I understand, if there's nothing on a part of the craft map, all the underlying terrain will remain intact. It will be enemy-less. And I guess also civilian-less, which is a bummer. But nothing like this flat desert you're describing.


For the last point, let me just say that I don't consider platitudes ('This is X-Com', 'X-Com operates' this way) any kind of argument.



Night fighting is another reason on top of smoke and 40-tile vision for why the current situation isn't going to change all that much even with an extra spawn-point-free cordon around X-Com craft.



I suppose a better way to do this would be to ask for a variant of the reinforcement-spawning command for map scripts that makes them only spawn some modder-defined distance away from X-Com soldiers. I imagine backporting that shouldn't be too hard. I'd still rather get the custom hangar code.

Come to think of it, you could actually make most enemies into 'turn 0' reinforcements and use that command to do a limited version of this change already. Hmmm...

But that would jettison so many actual map-building mechanics tied to regular spawning that trying to recreate the current situation this way is probably going to be madness.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2024, 02:23:44 pm by Juku121 »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6132 on: July 11, 2024, 03:32:15 pm »
For UFO maps and similar large structures you'd indeed need more space. Still, adding 20 to both map dimensions should solve most of such issues. Probably while creating some new ones, though.

Yeah, the biggest one being the map getting bloat. There's a reason in vanilla for small UFOs having smaller maps than big UFOs, and I am fairly certain it's not just about performance; a map that is too big for a given challenge makes the game dull. If it's a desert map, it's not too bad (although it is still bad); but urban maps would be a nightmare.

How will the map be featureless? As I understand, if there's nothing on a part of the craft map, all the underlying terrain will remain intact. It will be enemy-less. And I guess also civilian-less, which is a bummer. But nothing like this flat desert you're describing.

The game will place landing map blocks not only under the craft, but also around it; and landing blocks are generally devoid of any terrain features (or when it's not, you get accidents with them blocking the exit or otherwise interfering with the craft).

For the last point, let me just say that I don't consider platitudes ('This is X-Com', 'X-Com operates' this way) any kind of argument.

And you are correct, it's not an argument but a fact. :)

I'm not saying "I won't change this because that's X-Com"; I'm saying "I won't change this because I don't have the tools to do it well".

I suppose a better way to do this would be to ask for a variant of the reinforcement-spawning command for map scripts that makes them only spawn some modder-defined distance away from X-Com soldiers. I imagine backporting that shouldn't be too hard. I'd still rather get the custom hangar code.

Yeah, that would be posible, but the alleged problem is with the craft spawning too close to the building/UFO, not random enemies spawning too close to the craft.

Offline Juku121

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6133 on: July 11, 2024, 03:42:12 pm »
Yeah, the map bloat occurred to me as well. That's a pretty big downside.

Hmm, yeah, I didn't recall that landing areas are somewhat special. :-[ While this could be solved to some degree, it's another nail in the coffin.


I suppose one could also or primarily ask for a minimum craft-UFO distance. The algorithm shouldn't be too hard to adapt. But not everything is a UFO.

Still, removing spawn points close to the craft should solve most of these situations. Although now we run into the problem of clearing away spawn points from a too close UFO...


All in all, it sounds like the Xenonauts solution of putting the landing craft in one corner and the UFO into the other is the best compromise. Which unfortunately doesn't fit well into the expanded mission roster in XCF. Perhaps some subset of the missions could be made to work that way. I imagine if the occurrence of this issue was reduced by an order of magnitude, the occasional FU mission wouldn't be too bad.


But all in all, even if one could cobble together something, there seems to be no silver bullet and I'd rather have new content for XCF and long-awaited features for OXCE than this.


Online CrazedHarpooner

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Re: The X-Com Files - 3.3: Mysteries Ancient And New
« Reply #6134 on: July 11, 2024, 06:59:49 pm »
I have been working on something of the sorts in a custom made submod, but not for XCF. The scripts I use place the landing craft in one of the 4 corners (at random) and the UFO or any special objective zone in an area covering the other 3 corners and zones inbetween. The scripting can get quite convoluted since it has to take into account differently sized maps for the same terrain and, as far as I've looked up, the mapscripting can't determine directly the size of the map it's been given, at most it can resize it. There's a way to determine the size, but it's also convoluted as it requires "testing" possible placements using labels and conditionals, checking if they were succesful or not. Considering that this mod has sizes that go from 50x50 up to 100x100 tiles as well as uneven maps sizes and some smaller ones, not forgetting the not so small number of deployments, the mapscripting would be possible, but a very time consuming endeavor.