Author Topic: The X-Com Files - 2.5: Silent Run  (Read 1237488 times)

Offline Ragshak

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #660 on: November 25, 2016, 04:55:56 pm »
Maybe you are using en_UK strings? As far as I know Sol writes this mod only for en_US.

Yes, I do. Will change it. Thank you.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #661 on: November 25, 2016, 07:27:28 pm »
Maybe you are using en_UK strings? As far as I know Sol writes this mod only for en_US.

Yeah, for now. I'd love to have more languages of course, but I can only maintain one at a time; besides, texts keep changing, so it's too early for translations.

About dogs. They are early game tool. They take away one party member slot (and early this is a huge handicap). Their survivability isnt great. They cant train at Gym neither at Animal Pen. Idea of using Morale as mana pool was geat but it bring issues with games core mechanic. It is your mod  and your design decision but for sake of game tests and balance you could just try to pump them a little bit for peroid of few next versions and see what feedback you will get. If 100 Bravery is too high lets try 50 +/-10.

OK, I'll think about it. Dogs are still kinda WIP - for example, no armours yet.

About "Axe"-like reaserch. As I mentioned - renaming at least those fast techs.

Meh, I just can't see it. An item is an item, going bananas with project names would just make things confusing.

When do you plan to realese next version or update? I am eager to restart and try again but would rather wait for new build/version.

I don't expect new early game changes soon, so fire away - it's very unlikely that saves may get unvalidated.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #662 on: November 25, 2016, 08:46:34 pm »
Meh, I just can't see it. An item is an item, going bananas with project names would just make things confusing.

I think it's telling that players keep commenting on this. I also agree with the others that it's all kinds of silly.

If an agent wants an axe because he's some kind of axe hero that fancies facing alien monsters with one or they want a katana or a machete... they can just go and buy one at a shop or online. You can put those things in checked luggage even as a civilian. And although you might get some weird looks, you can also walk around with one, especially if you put it in a shopping bag ("What? I just got this axe. I'm going to the cabin this weekend and I'll need to split wood for the campfire!"). Then when the monsters come out, or when you go in the middle of the woods to find them, who's going to argue that you shouldn't have saved that lady by hacking off the wendigo's arm with an axe?

The only point where it is a bit more iffy is when facing humans, since some could argue that as a legitimate organization, you shouldn't apprehend humans with axes and katanas. That's just not socially acceptable. So maybe those deployments prevent you from bringing those weapons because of ethical reasons (ex.: only proper, stunning melee weapons like stun batons and tonfas are authorized against humans?)? But having your team of researchers work for a few days on axes, then katanas, then whatever that other Japanese sword is, then machetes, etc. just is jarring. Either they're making a legal case for using lethal weapons in those operations, which should unlock all of them at once, or they're doing something that no 20th century researcher should have to do: Discover how an axe works.

I understand that firearms are controlled in certain countries and that you need to go through the various bureaucratic channels to enable your agents to use them. But the credibility of the story told in XComFiles would indeed benefit from some streamlining of modern stuff. Discovering axes is not exciting, which imo research results should be. Even in an alternate bureaucratic world, it makes no sense so it hurts the suspension of disbelief by breaking the in universe "logic". Despite UFOs and aliens being less believable for us, they are one the those "basis of the world" that you accept when starting the story, so the "There's aliens and what you find unbelievable is researching axes?!" line really doesn't work either. If you make part of the story that the world in XComFiles is one where all dangerous objects are banned by governments (how do people split wood? You need an axe permit like we need a gun permit?), maybe.. but that seems rather unnecessary.

I would also personally prefer if the kind of stuff you can find in a hardware store (axe, machete) or order online (combat knife, katana, tonfa, all kinds of swords) were all in the pedia and shop from the beginning, or all unlocked together with a "Ethics and legality of using unusual weapons" project. The current situation detracts from the quality of the experience by taking you out of the story, thinking: "What? you really needed 5 days to tell me an axe is choppy?".

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #663 on: November 25, 2016, 10:55:55 pm »
All right, but what's the alternative? Adding all sorts of junk to the shop, from axes, wrenches, saws, hammers and power drills to cups filled with hot coffee and rabid hamsters, just because some X-Com agent might want to use it to cause bodily harm? :)
Right now the rule is that the only such improvised/melee weapons you can use are ones that were used against you. I could remove this limit and just put it in the store, but then it would look pretty weird, filled from day 1 with all sorts of tools and junk that mostly aren't even very good as weapons. Would that be preferable?
I swear I just don't know anything any more.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #664 on: November 26, 2016, 12:24:38 am »
In my mind, yes, it'd be better to have random improvised weapons in the store from day 1 than the current "gotta research an axe to know what it does". Also they should be in the ufopaedia from day 1 too, of course.

XCom players research everything they get their hands on, because who know what the crazy modder decided to put the "axe" as a dependency for? So why risk it. For example:

There's a machete research project? I'm 99.9999999% sure my agents won't ever use a machete, but... I don't know if Solarius put the machete as a dependency for some kind of "uber machete to fight plant monsters" (along with say, a plant monster corpse?) research project, and I sure don't want to miss out on the potential "uber machete", so I research it. Of course, the immediate outcome is I get a ufopaedia article on machetes, they're crap, I roll my eyes at how silly it was to have to research it and I proceed to forget about machetes, safe in the knowledge that I researched it so if ever it was needed, it's done. Does it add anything to the game? no.. just some micro, the "Oooh research completed! Nice!", then "oh.. it's machetes, who cares?! I can't believe I had to waste research time on that..." which I'd say is actually detrimental to the experience as a whole (and probably why people comment on it).

I'd be very surprised if you ever had someone go "why do I know about axes at the beginning?! That makes no sense!".

About cluttering, that's a legitimate concern (and I remember complaints about that in Piratez). But the truth is, you've just delayed the cluttering but in a way that isn't making things much better, it's just cluttered later (once a player has researched all those cluttering items) instead of at the beginning since most player will research it all and researching doesn't feel good with the players. I can see three solutions for that:

1 - Remove the clutter from the mod altogether. But that's not great since it's good for enemies to have flavourful, and sometimes less powerful, items.
2 - Remove clutter by removing items that a player will never buy from the store. Have these items in the ufopaedia from the beginning so players know what the item does, and just add a mention that it is "unworthy of use by XCom" (but make sure that's true, unlike the hunting rifle that said it didn't measure up to other rifles even though when you get it, you have no other rifle).
3 - Gate the items behind some tech, so that the player isn't overwhelmed at the start. That can be "unorthodox fighting methods" as a day 1 research project and represents the agents pushing to get these items, or a "legal case for XCom excessive force in close quarters" which represents the staff fighting the bureaucracy so it accepts that agents will use axes/machetes/katanas in combat because we're fighting a threat that warrants it.

Given the bureaucracy angle you've got going already, I'd go for the legal case. Personally, I'd go for #2 but I know there will be players who want to fight zombies with axes and machetes, or want their Japanese agents to use katanas and then they'll go: "Why can't I buy machetes/axes/katanas?! Even a civilian can do that!!", So #3 seems like the better alternative. "Logistics" give you bigger teams in a van, "Personal protection" gives you kevlar vests and the "Unconventional Force" gives you weird items used as weapons. Now, not having immediate access to these makes sense within the story: You weren't allowed to by bureaucracy, which within the story world is established as heavy so it fits, but the staff pushed against the bureaucracy and now you can, much like every other project. Bonus: A starting player isn't overwhelmed by a million entries, they start with normal weapons and eventually get the unconventional one. They also don't get jarred by having to research modern terran tech.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #665 on: November 26, 2016, 01:39:57 am »
I like your approach, Arthanor. It solves the most important problems rather well. But I'm still wondering if all such items should be enabled straight away, or maybe there should be stages, like for example Improvised Weapons [Baseball Bat, Handle, Axe etc.], Advanced Improvised Weapons [Sledgehammer, Chainsaw etc.]. I'm just wondering if unlocking everything at once isn't too much.

Anyway, if we go down this path, should these weapons be in the Ufopaedia from day 1, or only after unlocking?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 03:48:15 am by Solarius Scorch »

Offline Drasnighta

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #666 on: November 26, 2016, 03:23:48 am »
I Vote Rabid Hamsters BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY since by definition, its an unnecessary means!

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #667 on: November 26, 2016, 07:32:59 am »
Good questions.. I initially conceived of the ufopaedia being unlocked when the project was researched, but there isn't really much of a rationale for that. But the most overwhelming is in the ufopaedia, not the shop.. and I believe in the two being related (no point in reading about something you can't acquire, especially within the first month). So yeah, I'd go for ufopaedia being unlocked after the project on the rationale that until you've got the permission to use them, you don't need to know about them.

As for tiers of projects, you could have tier 1 "Unconventional Force" and tier 2 "Martial Arts Weapons" where tier 1 unlocks all the stuff you can get from a hardware store (axe/machete/hammer/chainsaw) and tier 2 unlocks the (presumably better?) proper weapons (katanas, wakisa.. something, tonfa). This way you'd get some kind of progression.

Offline mrbiasha

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #668 on: November 26, 2016, 11:24:27 am »
Well, maybe from the logic point it is unreasonable to put many things to research list, but it still opens some development choices. One can lock those items behind one research project like suggested, or maybe lock other research projects behind them, add additional research options including those items or their research. The sheer scope of project Solarius has started just suggests that not a bit of content will be superfluous and I see no valid reason to cut anything out at this point.

Also, I just encountered Envoy UFO filled with you-know-who and I'm wandering if it is an storyline opening fot other stages of the game?

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #669 on: November 26, 2016, 12:11:19 pm »
Thanks guys. So, I think I'll do just that - group tools together and martial weapons together, and unlock their Ufopaedia articles as they become available.
I'm sure people will cry "I found an axe and am using it, how come I don't know the stats of a stupid axe?!", but we can't have everything.

Also, I just encountered Envoy UFO filled with you-know-who and I'm wandering if it is an storyline opening fot other stages of the game?

Not really, more like a special, optional mission for hardcore players.

Offline mrbiasha

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #670 on: November 26, 2016, 12:29:14 pm »

Not really, more like a special, optional mission for hardcore players.

Hardcore it is indeed, consequently it is enjoyable :)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #671 on: November 26, 2016, 01:49:39 pm »
Hardcore it is indeed, consequently it is enjoyable :)

How do you like the loot? :)

Offline Nord

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #672 on: November 26, 2016, 01:58:03 pm »
Autopsy, as promised. Beginning next one...

By the way, i noticed no specific loot after Envoy mission.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #673 on: November 26, 2016, 03:26:52 pm »
awesome job. I really dig your work... You're the first truly great graphic artist in the community since Robin!

Offline mrbiasha

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #674 on: November 26, 2016, 05:08:18 pm »
How do you like the loot? :)

Welp, I was not very surprised to encounter sonic weapon, but it turned so that every other alien had a unique weapon, so I used them for research and to really enjoy top-tier tech I will have to shoot down another envoy. And it will take some time prolly as it was only the second I've seen since the beginning of full scale invasion (the first was shot down over water).

Hm, I'm starting to have doubts about current weapon balance. Recently one of my bases was assaulted by ethereal battleship. I had some power armors and enough of personal armor suits for the rest of soldiers there, but no laser or plasma weapons. So a Blackops Minigun, Heavy Machine Gun, couple of Black Ops CAWSs, Arisaka 3000 were given out. Rest of the soliders got Groza assault rifles. And losing only one rookie the team literally tore the ethereal terror team apart including a cyberdisk.

I'm playing on normal difficulty, it's understandable that battles should be somewhat easier but I feel like I had more problems with cult bases than with alien squads.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 05:13:35 pm by mrbiasha »