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Author Topic: The X-Com Files - 2.5: Silent Run  (Read 1274938 times)

Offline Ragshak

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #720 on: November 30, 2016, 01:07:45 am »
Arthanor: Wild Reaper gave me "Alien Orgins" and "Alien Lifeforms" techs.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 01:11:54 am by Ragshak »

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #721 on: November 30, 2016, 01:10:55 am »
Looking in the ruleset, it looks like it's been changed to not give Alien Origins anymore. At least not directly.

Offline Ragshak

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #722 on: November 30, 2016, 01:14:07 am »
Looking in the ruleset, it looks like it's been changed to not give Alien Origins anymore. At least not directly.

Tested on v0.4.2 few minutes ago got those two techs.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #723 on: November 30, 2016, 01:27:42 am »
Interesting. It must be the vestigial "unlocks: STR_ALIEN_ORIGINS" from the vanilla ruleset, since that wasn't replaced by Solar's definition of the reaper project. So the reaper unlocks it even though it doesn't appear in the list of the Alien Origins project's dependencies.

Not sure that's working as intended, but quick! Everyone capture a live reaper to get early promotions before Solar fixes it! :P
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 04:17:19 pm by Arthanor »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #724 on: November 30, 2016, 10:09:34 am »
Oh, you guys. :P

I'd better get to work...

Offline LuigiWhatif

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #725 on: December 01, 2016, 02:57:36 am »
I don't have an option to harvest synthmuscles despite researching mutons, muton corpses, and synthmuscles.  What else do I need?

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #726 on: December 01, 2016, 03:19:20 am »
I don't have an option to harvest synthmuscles despite researching mutons, muton corpses, and synthmuscles.  What else do I need?

You need a tech that doesn't exist in this version :P

For the extraction, you need STR_SYNTHETIC_MUSCLES and the actual tech that you get from research is STR_SYNTHMUSCLES. You can go change it in manufacture_XCOMFILES.rul if you want, or wait for Solar to release the next version.

hum.. reaper no longer an alien, but can harvest synthmuscle.. which is best..  ???

Offline Ragshak

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #727 on: December 01, 2016, 07:25:30 pm »
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.

On top of this there are Contracts techs and weapon knowledge giving cult followers. Dont like Contracts tech but really enjoy interrogation and suprices they give (Lotus follower giving Katana knowledge or Red Dawn follower - cure for cancer).
Durning one of my first missions one of  enemies dropped AK-47. All my action were focused to unlock it as fast as possible. Reasearch completed and what I see "Contract needed"... So I ended with wasted time on reasearch,no access to AK-47 other than few ammo clips form that specific mission and only WITH UFOpedia entry.
If you see some weapons too fancy shield them behind those nasty Contracts but unlock UFOpedia from the beginning to inform player that they are not so easy to get.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #728 on: December 01, 2016, 07:49:23 pm »
On top of this there are Contracts techs and weapon knowledge giving cult followers. Dont like Contracts tech but really enjoy interrogation and suprices they give (Lotus follower giving Katana knowledge or Red Dawn follower - cure for cancer).

Yes, I like them too! Most weapons are gated behind interrogations after all.

All my action were focused to unlock it as fast as possible. Reasearch completed and what I see "Contract needed"... So I ended with wasted time on reasearch,no access to AK-47 other than few ammo clips form that specific mission and only WITH UFOpedia entry.

You make it sound like it was some titanic endeavour, while in reality this is a 5 points research. I'm sorry you didn't get what you wanted, but it's not like the game was particularly mean here.

If you see some weapons too fancy shield them behind those nasty Contracts but unlock UFOpedia from the beginning to inform player that they are not so easy to get.

Well, you see, there are many different sources one can get the weapons from:

  • Interrogation (getOneFree).
  • Item (the weapon itself).
  • Item (the weapon itself) gated behind some research.
  • Milestone or some other research.
  • Other sources too.

Also, the weapon can be either usable or non-usable before it's researched. And also its Ufopaedia article may become accessible earlier/later or at the same time.

So, the problem is that there is no good solution:

  • Item (the weapon itself). Even if it's a silly assault rifle that is over 50 years old, of which dozens of millions exist. That's what people will point out, and they'll be right.
  • Item (the weapon itself) gated behind some research. Even if it's a silly assault rifle that is over 50 years old etc. In the meantime, you can't buy it.
  • Interrogation (getOneFree): That's fine, but if you don't get it, you don't get it. It's pretty much useless as the only source of knowledge, it only works as for researches based on items, and only if they're not gated behind other research (because getOneFree ignores prerequisites). In the meantime, you can't buy it.
  • Milestone or some other research. That's pretty arbitrary and won't allow you to buy normal weapons that should be easily accessible, like the over 50 years old rifle etc.
  • Possibly some other sources.

So, none of these are good solutions, especially in combination with the Ufopaedia and buying problems I mentioned before. I'm trying to patch these inconsistencies with wild uses of lookup flag, or requiresBuy, of making several goddamn research projects for the same goddamn rifle etc., but the truth is that the engine is doesn't have the capacity for this kind of shenanigans. For example, you can't block an element from a getOneFree list with research, you can't disable one reszearch with another (so that you wouldn't have to/be able to research the same weapon twice from different sources, etc.). To be honest I'm getting fed up with this issue, as it keep me busy with no good results and I'd like to get on with other stuff finally. But I know that if I simplify it, I'll immediately get a fuckton of complaints that something is "illogical".
I think I'll just take a break until I decide what to do, and do some more stuff for Piratez or something. :/

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #729 on: December 01, 2016, 08:57:39 pm »
Sorry this is proving to be such a pain, Solar. It's indeed a difficult thing to achieve in an elegant way that's also satisfactory to the players.

Well, once you switch to OXCE+ v3.5, you'll have access to the flag that lets you determine if items are destroyed when researched, no? That would enable:

- All "normal human tech" in ufopaedia at the beginning. Never need to be researched, can be used as soon as acquired. Buying weapon and ammo depends on contacts or promotions.
- All "advanced human tech" like light cannons, blackops stuff, etc. is hidden at the beginning. Can be researched but item is kept. Use requires research for computer assisted ones, not for simpler "press the trigger and it shoots" ones. Buying weapon and ammo depends on the weapon research + proper contact + proper promotion. So you need to know the weapon, where to buy it, and get the permission from your superiors to use them.
- Alien weapons need to be researched (maybe with previous projects gating that research since you can't understand plasma rifles before knowing what Elerium is, or maybe you don't care what the clip is made of and just want to shoot it, so it's fine if you know nothing about elerium). Research destroys the weapon but enables use. Later research (ex.: Plasma weapons assembly?) enable you to build them.

This way you never have the "lol why did I have to research AK-47 or axes?!" since they are never up for research. Contacts and promotions become immediately valuable because they make new weapons (and their ufopaedia) available. For advanced weapons it follows a sensible arc: Find fancy unknown rifle, look at it and discover the manufacturer, track the manufacturer (contact) to be able to buy it from them (and since they're shady exclusive people, you need to say: "I want a gun like this one that I know you make", not just "Yo man, I want some nifty shooty stuff" because then they'd just kick you out/hang up on you) and also you need to have clearance to use the weapon. Finally alien weapons you need to break apart and study to be able to reproduce them, and even then that first weapon you took apart remains in parts for reference during assembly of copies (hence the first research project destroys the item).

Although I very much value your contributions to Piratez because Piratez is an awesome mod. You created something new and awesome with this mod and I definitely encourage you to keep at it.

I haven't looked more into the dogs issue because.. well they work on my end and I gave you all I had so I don't understand that just reusing my stuff it doesn't work for you. So I don't know what to do to help you more with that. (and the rank/picture thing.. I think was/is an exe problem?)

I sort of abandoned the "advanced ammo" idea because, frankly, it made little difference to have a bit of stun damage. Either the lethal damage is enough, then the target dies any ways, or the combined damage isn't so the target is still standing up but the 2nd shot will likely kill them. I'd have to crank up the stun % higher than I feel comfortable with. But more importantly, I'm not sure people are even interested in that kind of behavior (it also makes normal things used for stunning less interesting except for VIP captures, which I like but others may not) and I don't want to spend too much time working on something that nobody is interested in except me. If I do that, I might as well work on the XAE.

All that to say, if you're interested, I don't really have a mod project at the moment, so I could make you a "how to handle guns in XCF" proposal that works along the lines of the above.

Offline Ragshak

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #730 on: December 01, 2016, 10:55:26 pm »
I think I'll just take a break until I decide what to do, and do some more stuff for Piratez or something. :/

Future generations will be gratful if you continue work on this project  ;) There are other thing you can implement so theres no harm if you leave weapon aspect for awhile.
I apologize If my feedback is too harsh. Just want to help you polish this awensome mod.

Last words about weapons...
There are so many of them that there is a slim chance that somebody will manage to reasearch them and use them before the Invasion. When Inasions starts many of them are quite useless and becomes dead game feature. So basicly player have only 2 in-game years to have some fun with ome weapons and still have to manage other important techs.

Question about Assasins - Is there any item which allows to see them? So far, trying to locate Assasin is a dead sentence for my party members.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #731 on: December 02, 2016, 12:13:46 am »
Assassins are... killers?

They're my #1 most challenging unit in the early game, by far. There's a few things you can do, like give your scouts the armour that reduces melee damage since if I remember well throwing knives and ninja stars are melee types. I also thing you can get motion scanners by the time you struggle with them? That will tell you from ~10 tiles away, which I think is far enough to avoid being shot by the hidden knives of death.

But as far as seeing, as in finding from further away, no, I don't think there is a way. Solar, any chance we can get some thermal vision goggles for the agents? That ought to work on them!

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #732 on: December 02, 2016, 12:14:58 am »
OK, thanks for the support, guys!

@Arthanor: Interesting. Just to complete your proposed model, when do we get to buy axes?

@Ragshak: There's no straightforward method for dealing with Assassins, it's the whole point of them. :) At least not in early game (yeah, thermal goggles will come later). If you suspect one's nearby, you should set a trap or something encircle him; at worst try to sacrifice only one person to draw them out. As Naruto taught us, ninja wars are brutal. :P

Offline Arthanor

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #733 on: December 02, 2016, 12:44:18 am »
OK, thanks for the support, guys!
You deserve it man, as I said, you've made something new and awesome and it's the unfortunate side-effect that it makes people care and comment, and it's more natural to say: "fix this" and it's also shorter otherwise "I like this, and that, and this too, oh, and that too! and..." just takes too long. It's odd, but I think as a creator you have to take pride in how much comment you get, regardless of what it is, because with the exception of "This sucks!" which is pretty rare, it all means that somebody cares about what you did.

Quote
@Arthanor: Interesting. Just to complete your proposed model, when do we get to buy axes?

When you've completed "Contacts: Hardware store", which is actually called "Improvised Weapons" in game because "Contacts: Hardware store" sounds stupid. That research could give the logistics officer talking about how she had to hire lawyers to make a case to the bureaucracy that using improvised weapons to kill monsters was ok and not animal cruelty, and similarly that axing a terrorist was no worse than shooting them. Now that it's gone through, the quartermaster can go to the hardware store or military surplus and buy axes/hammers/machetes/combat knives/etc. for the agents to bring on missions.

The above, plus interrogation of any Black Lotus cultist (or maybe not the kimono guys but only the ninja looking guys?), enables the "Contacts: Katana Ninjas", actually called "Historic Weapons" to sound more sensible, which unlocks katanas, tonfas, throwing knives, maybe a broadsword for the HEMA enthusiast, etc. This one could be a report from the quartermaster, saying that he had an argument with the logistics officer about how it was no worse to slash a monster with a Katana than axing one with an axe, after an agent questioned his selection of "weapons" and laughed at him for running a hardware store instead of a proper armory. Upon verification, the legal precedent should hold and he can now provide you with proper (old-style) weapons instead of having to use tools.

All these weapons would available from day 1 in the UFOPaedia and can be used when picked up, but require the above research to be bought because otherwise XCom can't sanction their acquisition. Any case of looting and using these weapons before is considered "personal initiative" and since the Commander (player) is a no non-sense guy, he supports his agents doing what they need to do (especially since it's him who tells them what to do any ways) so it's a rare case of "turning a blind eye" but there can be no trace of XCom buying the weapon.

If anyone says: "LOL Why can't I buy an axe from day 1?!?! This is stooopid1!1!", the reason is the bureaucracy, already established as major in the story (ie it's the same as not being able to rent a van for 4 agents from day 1, etc.).

I believe this should take care of a decent part of it?

@Ragshak: There's no straightforward method for dealing with Assassins, it's the whole point of them. :) At least not in early game (yeah, thermal goggles will come later). If you suspect one's nearby, you should set a trap or something encircle him; at worst try to sacrifice only one person to draw them out. As Naruto taught us, ninja wars are brutal. :P

It would be nice if units on fire stopped being camouflaged. Then throwing an incendiary bomb could reveal enemies. I mean, if you're burning alive in a puddle of napalm, you're not going to manage staying still and hidden, are you? But only for enemies that are on fire (ie burning and losing health), just stepping in fire shouldn't do it.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 12:50:39 am by Arthanor »

Offline Slaughter

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Re: The X-Com Files - 0.4.2 alpha: Going Postal
« Reply #734 on: December 02, 2016, 01:22:24 am »
Some 2 cents: One option for weapons would be that you CAN buy some stuff early on, but its Black Market stuff - same gun, but the price is a lot higher. Imagine paying 50k to smuggle in a AK47! Once you get the contacts, that buying option goes out and you can simply buy it normal for a sane price.

I think I once heard a assault rifle in the brazilian black market is like 10k reais, back then that was like 5k dollars.

It could even be said that you're not just buying the gun, but also smuggling it through airport customs or in the spot before a mission (when you get out of the plane and get on the car/van). Maybe it takes longer to arrive too, smuggling ain't easy, even if you have authorities on your side (assuming they're really on your side)

So, you can choose to pay through the noose, or you can wait and get it decently and cheaply later on.

Its a pity we don't have X-COM Apoc-style market with possibility of limited goods for sale.