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Author Topic: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?  (Read 6548 times)

Offline Countdown

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Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« on: February 21, 2017, 09:37:06 am »
Is the TFTD research tree the most convoluted thing ever? I finally finished researching Plastic Aqua Armor and expected to immediately move on to the next armor, but upon looking at the research tree, I see I need a live Deep One to move on any further in my research with armor or alien subs.

I cannot imagine the frustration people experienced playing this game before information was so readily available online. Even without the original game's bugs that OXC has fixed, the research tree is just crazy. How would you ever figure all this out on your own? What clues are there? To make such a crucial aspect of finishing the game dependent on capturing a live terror alien only readily available early in the campaign seems random and like a major design flaw.

If you didn't catch one early on, you may never get a chance again considering that later in the game you don't see Gillman terror missions often at all and you're not even getting terror missions if you have global coverage and are shooting down all the terror ships.

I'm in December in my campaign now and stuck. So I'm going to have to stop shooting down alien UFOs on terror missions (alien surface attacks in TFTD) and hope that I eventually get Gillmen again.

Okay that's the end of my rant/venting session. Does anyone want to defend the TFTD research tree? By all means, I'd like to feel better about it if someone has a good defense.

PS - I'm not even against a more complicated research tree than UFO; I like that researching alien corpses is actually important. However, they shouldn't have made such an important research topic associated with an alien that rarely shows up later in the game.

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 11:36:26 am »
Most of my TFTD playing has been before I had access to FAQs, and thus I systematically wrecked my long campaigns with the tasoth commander bug. There is only one time I managed to unlock the T'leth mission.
It was not infuriating because I had absolutely no idea what caused some items to become unlocked, and even the early game is very interesting / challenging. I easily start new campaigns, and stop as soon as I'm bored. This is why I don't mind the end-game being too easy (by the time you have 8 full bases, 100% detection, armor which cancels tactical errors, and trained MCers) : I already know what's the end, so I don't bother grind through it. By this point I play something else or start a new campaign.

Offline Boltgun

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 01:18:15 pm »
Yes, research is really silly. In a sense it prevent you from completing tech early, but providing absolutely no clue was ridiculous.

In my youtube campaign, I cannot use melee weapon because the calcinites never spawned. And while armor is not crucial (really, building ion armor is draining my resources to hell), this is ridiculous to expect players to capture a deep one.

Late in the campaign, you should get "mixed" alien crews and deep ones will spawn at wildly random so your campaign isn't stuck without armor but yeah, this is dumb.

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 06:13:36 pm »
You can save scum like crazy to overcome having no armors, but it still locks the technology of alien subs, and you need a Leviathan to enter the final mission.

Offline Boltgun

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 07:06:00 pm »
You can save scum like crazy to overcome having no armors, but it still locks the technology of alien subs, and you need a Leviathan to enter the final mission.

Yes this is dumb, I'm currently having a lot of problem as I am playing ironman and any misstep will have me going in circle.

Offline Scorrpio

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 01:16:07 am »
Well original XCOM made no mention of a Sectoid Leader either in order to get psi, and if you did not get one fairly early on, you would be totally hosed when Ethereals showed up.  But there were discussion boards back then already, and word would get around....

Offline Countdown

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 01:51:01 am »
Spoiler:
Yes, research is really silly. In a sense it prevent you from completing tech early, but providing absolutely no clue was ridiculous.

In my youtube campaign, I cannot use melee weapon because the calcinites never spawned. And while armor is not crucial (really, building ion armor is draining my resources to hell), this is ridiculous to expect players to capture a deep one.

Late in the campaign, you should get "mixed" alien crews and deep ones will spawn at wildly random so your campaign isn't stuck without armor but yeah, this is dumb.

Yes this is dumb, I'm currently having a lot of problem as I am playing ironman and any misstep will have me going in circle.
Boltgun, thanks for confirming I'm not crazy to be so frustrated about this. And yes, TFTD is definitely a lot less forgiving than UFO (which is saying something). With no armor, I go through at least 10 dye grenades a mission trying to keep my guys alive. At this point I just want to finish TFTD so I can move on with my life, haha.

PS - You say armor isn't "crucial," but I am finding it impossible to win an alien artifact mission without it (playing Superhuman). I've failed three of them now. :-[

Spoiler:
Most of my TFTD playing has been before I had access to FAQs, and thus I systematically wrecked my long campaigns with the tasoth commander bug. There is only one time I managed to unlock the T'leth mission.
It was not infuriating because I had absolutely no idea what caused some items to become unlocked, and even the early game is very interesting / challenging. I easily start new campaigns, and stop as soon as I'm bored. This is why I don't mind the end-game being too easy (by the time you have 8 full bases, 100% detection, armor which cancels tactical errors, and trained MCers) : I already know what's the end, so I don't bother grind through it. By this point I play something else or start a new campaign.

You can save scum like crazy to overcome having no armors, but it still locks the technology of alien subs, and you need a Leviathan to enter the final mission.
Ah, see I'm too OCD to give up on a campaign. I won't stop until either I win or the aliens win. Unfortunately I can't win until I finish the research. And I don't save scum so my death count is very very high at the moment ... almost through the first year and the memorial wall has around 250 names on it. :'(

Spoiler:
Well original XCOM made no mention of a Sectoid Leader either in order to get psi, and if you did not get one fairly early on, you would be totally hosed when Ethereals showed up.  But there were discussion boards back then already, and word would get around....
That's partially true, but there are several important differences:

1) You can capture a Sectoid Leader at any point in the game fairly easily so it's not like Deep Ones which essentially disappear from the game.

2) While psi technology is nice, you don't need it to beat the game so not researching a Sectoid Leader won't hold you back ... beating the original game without using psi isn't that hard once you know what you're doing.

3) You don't have to research a Sectoid Leader to get psi, you have to research "any live psionic alien" so you can capture any Ethereal and also get psi tech. Having to research a live psionic alien to get psi tech is also logical where as having to research a live Deep One to get advanced armors and ship building tech is random and makes no logical sense (at least to me).

4) The information you get from interrogations in UFO straight up tells you that you have to research an alien leader to progress in the game so at least there is a hint that researching alien leaders is important (although if you opted for a Floater or Snakeman you wouldn't get the psi).

Point is, the UFO research tree is more logical and non-game breaking than TFTD. You can stumble around with research not knowing what you're doing in UFO and you'll finish the game just fine where as in TFTD, the research tree can stop you all together.

Offline Boltgun

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 11:07:00 am »
Yes this make no sense, my theory is that the TFTD team did not get the game playtested properly. Because if you know everything from level layout to research beforehand you can win but for anyone else... good luck.

This is were Xenonauts win so far, you research the -GUNS- to discover armors.

Online Meridian

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 11:29:41 am »
Just to provide a different experience.
I started playing this game when I was 14 (in 1996) and I never had a problem with the research tree (and google wasn't even a thing back then).
As far as I am concerned, the research tree is perfectly fine.

Even more, I learned about the bugs (like Tasoth Commander bug) a lot later... and even these bugs didn't prevent me from completing the game each time.

I understand what you're saying... just wanted to add that not everyone feels like that.

Offline Countdown

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 09:20:00 pm »
Because if you know everything from level layout to research beforehand you can win but for anyone else... good luck.
That is key. If you know the research tree from the start it won't be too bad, but going in blind you can be out of luck like me. Although even if you know the tree, if you missed your chance to grab a live Deep One on an early terror mission (let's say you lost the missions or just couldn't stun one), then you can still be in a tough spot where the campaign just drags on forever as you can't do the right research.

Just to provide a different experience.
I started playing this game when I was 14 (in 1996) and I never had a problem with the research tree (and google wasn't even a thing back then).
As far as I am concerned, the research tree is perfectly fine.

Even more, I learned about the bugs (like Tasoth Commander bug) a lot later... and even these bugs didn't prevent me from completing the game each time.

I understand what you're saying... just wanted to add that not everyone feels like that.
Fair enough, good to hear another perspective. Obviously not running into the Tasoth Commander bug on the original game is good luck. And I probably wouldn't have had such a bad experience if I didn't lose my main base very early game when my second base was barely getting going (so I lost my Deep One corpses and live ones if I had any). I guess my main beef isn't necessarily the tree itself, it's that they didn't make Deep Ones more abundant (at least have them appear at alien bases or something) later in the first year, given their crucial role in the research tree.

Offline Dr.Crowley

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Re: Terror From The Deep Research ... WTF?!?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 05:24:27 pm »
Heh, when I introduced my friend to OXC and Ufopedia Wiki, he was really shocked by the numerous bugs of TFTD. And then he discovered "TFTD Bug Avoidance Guide" article and told me: "Damn, this whole TFTD wiki branch itself is a real bug avoidance guide!" :D
Thank god I couldn't get TFTD to work when I first discovered X-Com 13 years ago - I never felt this frustration like others.