Author Topic: A bunch of questions from a newbie player  (Read 5216 times)

Offline Stoddard

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2017, 07:52:46 pm »
Solarius' point here is that this is not possible to improve since it has to do with the game engine and the map data files; as far as I know, there's no byte in the map file to determine whether a spawn point is enemy or civilian, so the enemy spawn points are randomly used to place civilians.

Changing the map file format is out of question, true, but extending the map generation script to control faction deployment per map block is only hard, not impossible.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2017, 08:41:51 pm »
I was poking fun that the UAC is the company shown in the Doom games, so it would be amusing and fitting to get the chance to acquire chainsaws at some point for fun, regardless of their actual combat utility.

Ah, okay. Maybe I can add something like that... :)

As for the other weapons I mention, it's just that it was a bit odd that by checking the tree tech viewer, there are guns available but you don't seem to be able to buy them until you "recover" them from the field. But if it's an unfinished plotline I can understand why it seems a bit rough.

Yeah, sorry. I have... grand plans... :P

What Luigi said: I was able to research an advanced auto-shotgun even if it can't be bought yet, but the same can't be said about the bulky chainguns EXALT Liquidators use. Although they can be used just fine.

Yeah, as I wrote before, it was an omission and will be fixed.

Well, I know that the game's randomization may make modding a bit complex, but the idea would be that most enemies start outside of the mansion, not already inside distributed in multiple rooms and most likely spawning next to civilians to boot. There should be certain units that are almost always present, such as the Bodyguard npcs.

Agreed! :D

I experimented a bit with the mission generator and so far it seems your agents start looking towards what it seems a force of EXALT soldiers assaulting your position... But then you turn around and notice that there are several Liquidators already eager to spring an ambush against your poorly positioned soldiers.

I swear I did my best.

What could be done (in terms of new code) is to give the modder better control over what spawns in the UFO (the mansion is technically a UFO) and what spawns outside of it; basically an extended version of percentageOutsideUfo. I don't know how viable it is, though - any ideas, guys?

Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2017, 08:49:06 pm »
I think it would be possible to add some extra spawning information in the mapscript, such as defining a maximum number of enemies spawned per block or a priority system of what is spawned where, but I haven't looked so closely at the unit spawning functions.  Perhaps a simple measure would be giving each mapscript command an enemy and a civilian priority number as an increased or decreased likelihood of placing that kind of unit in the blocks placed by that command.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2017, 09:01:36 pm »
Would it be inappropriate if I asked you to add this feature to your list? ;)

Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2017, 09:08:57 pm »
You can certainly ask, and I might even put it on there. When, if ever, it'll get written, who knows? :)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2017, 09:16:20 pm »
You can certainly ask, and I might even put it on there. When, if ever, it'll get written, who knows? :)




Please, Master!

Offline HumanTraitor

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2017, 10:30:06 pm »

What could be done (in terms of new code) is to give the modder better control over what spawns in the UFO (the mansion is technically a UFO) and what spawns outside of it; basically an extended version of percentageOutsideUfo. I don't know how viable it is, though - any ideas, guys?

Having done a few more tests, it seems the map terrain also has something to do with it: A polar mansion (???) has less civilians running around like headless chickens. However, while the mission's briefing mentions there might be EXALT goons already inside the building, it makes little sense that there's at least always 3 guys behind your starting position. Amusingly enough, your units' starting position is fixed to the roof even if it's normally randomized between 2 or 3 choices. Perhaps changing where your Xcom units begin combat could be done as a work-around: Have some of them placed on the roof and others outside of the mansion, or all of them out of the mansion (likely next to the transport you used to get here).

That way you wouldn't start automatically surrounded by enemies from all sides.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2017, 11:45:52 pm »
Maybe so... But I'll wait on code improvement before making any changes. ;)

Offline HumanTraitor

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2017, 12:27:27 pm »
So, been playing a little more. After finding the MAGMA LAB mission to be a slog to go through, I changed the difficulty back to Experienced. It may make things a bit too easy, but I prefer it to having 50+ dudes running around like headless chickens forcing you to hunt down the majority.

Right now I managed to terminate most of the cults except the Black Lotus one, which is showing minimal activity (perhaps they went into hiding)? Amusingly enough, I got an EXALT outpost mission in spite of supposedly having sabotaged their Psyclone production, but it was a minor bug. Speaking of which, the Zombie catacombs mission is repeatable, not sure if it's intentional.

Nevertheless, the HQ battles were quite fun, even with the sheer number of enemies... Except for the EXALT one. In addition to the arbitrary limitations and the fact that some enemies walk around in heavy armor just fine, the building was seemingly built by a long relative of Escher, considering its labyrinthine form. Luckily enough, it seems I found another bug that turned out to be quite exploitable: for some reason, Ballistic Suits with Combat shield are available as part of the Civilian 'outfits'.

I'm sure this is not intentional. About that, I don't understand why Leather Armor is the only one normally allowed, when Kevlar Vests are perfectly capable of being worn under clothing (in most cases they're designed to do that).

In any case, right now I'm going against random encounters with angry monsters, starting to face Hybrids and so on. However, I'll stop playing for a while until the next version is out, as right now it is becoming increasingly obvious that some things are unfinished.

I'll also attach a pic of a funny bug I encountered during the Red Dawn HQ mission. No idea what happened here to have that poor Sailor stuck into a wall. Perhaps I went overboard with the explosions?

Anyway, I would also like to ask some questions if you people don't mind:

How does the flashlight work with units' standard night vision? Does it increase your sight radius in exchange of making enemies easier to spot your soldier, is it a cosmetic thing that enhances the wielder's "night vision radius"?

How does the Thermal Vision sight work for the Exo-Suit? I'm not sure if it's supposed to replace humans' standard night vision (10 tiles), or add to it (thus becoming the standard 20). Moreover, does this vision mode count as a special ability capable of letting see you through camouflaged units or see through specific walls?

Lastly, what's the vision radius for Dogs? I believe it is higher than humans' 10, most likely to represent their sharp senses and the like, but I would like to have a confirmation.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2017, 12:15:42 pm »
So, been playing a little more. After finding the MAGMA LAB mission to be a slog to go through, I changed the difficulty back to Experienced. It may make things a bit too easy, but I prefer it to having 50+ dudes running around like headless chickens forcing you to hunt down the majority.

Yeah, it's a bit ridiculous. :)

Right now I managed to terminate most of the cults except the Black Lotus one, which is showing minimal activity (perhaps they went into hiding)? Amusingly enough, I got an EXALT outpost mission in spite of supposedly having sabotaged their Psyclone production, but it was a minor bug.

Was the mission spawned a month after the termination?

Speaking of which, the Zombie catacombs mission is repeatable, not sure if it's intentional.

Yes, it is intentional. This mission also gets deactivated on paper, but right now it's not yet in the game.

Nevertheless, the HQ battles were quite fun, even with the sheer number of enemies... Except for the EXALT one. In addition to the arbitrary limitations and the fact that some enemies walk around in heavy armor just fine, the building was seemingly built by a long relative of Escher, considering its labyrinthine form.

It was Dioxine. :P

Luckily enough, it seems I found another bug that turned out to be quite exploitable: for some reason, Ballistic Suits with Combat shield are available as part of the Civilian 'outfits'.

Ouch. Fixed. ;)

I'm sure this is not intentional. About that, I don't understand why Leather Armor is the only one normally allowed, when Kevlar Vests are perfectly capable of being worn under clothing (in most cases they're designed to do that).

Well, they're still a bit too obvious... And I wanted to force some missions in nice suits.

In any case, right now I'm going against random encounters with angry monsters, starting to face Hybrids and so on. However, I'll stop playing for a while until the next version is out, as right now it is becoming increasingly obvious that some things are unfinished.

If you want, you can at least pursue the Syndicate arc, which is finished.

I'll also attach a pic of a funny bug I encountered during the Red Dawn HQ mission. No idea what happened here to have that poor Sailor stuck into a wall. Perhaps I went overboard with the explosions?

Maybe, if hw fell. :) I have never seen this.

How does the flashlight work with units' standard night vision? Does it increase your sight radius in exchange of making enemies easier to spot your soldier, is it a cosmetic thing that enhances the wielder's "night vision radius"?

It just provides artificial light, just like flares or streetlamps in cities. It has nothing to do with night vision as such - sufficient light simply dispels darkness.

How does the Thermal Vision sight work for the Exo-Suit? I'm not sure if it's supposed to replace humans' standard night vision (10 tiles)

9 tiles actually.

or add to it (thus becoming the standard 20). Moreover, does this vision mode count as a special ability capable of letting see you through camouflaged units or see through specific walls?

The night vision radius for Bio-Exo is 12, thanks to advanced electronics and such. It has no effects other than extending your night vision range.
It should be said however that stealthy units indeed are easier to spot at night, because you see further with night vision equipment, and their stealth usually works by limiting your sight range by a certain number of tiles.

Lastly, what's the vision radius for Dogs? I believe it is higher than humans' 10, most likely to represent their sharp senses and the like, but I would like to have a confirmation.

It's actually smaller during the day, but bigger at night.

Offline HumanTraitor

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2017, 04:42:05 pm »
Was the mission spawned a month after the termination?

Well, I went and quickly went through another in-game month to test this (cheating a bit with CTR+K though to speed up the test) and yeah, it happens during April a few times. I managed to finish the relevant "Terminate the 'X'" research topics during the last days of the previous month except for the Black Lotus, as they refuse to spawn a Cult Base mission. The EXALT had at least 2 Cult Outpost missions, plus one more during the first days of the following month, but I stopped testing at that point.

Too bad though, I believe I missed an unique pistol that sometimes EXALT Masters have during Cult Base missions and above nor I was able to fight (and research) that Armored Car they have, but nothing game-changing.

Also, Reapers, in spite of being obviously aliens, are treated as animals, letting me access "Alien Origins" and thus Promotion 3 early. Is that intentional? Just to know.

It was Dioxine. :P

I see, I suppose that explains it.  ;) Also, I saw that not-really-subtle cameo of Meridian. It was funny.

Ouch. Fixed. ;)

Note that I didn't try if Alloy vests with shields count, I guess they do. It would help if said missions explained what is considered "civilian" (the "NONE" and "LEATHER" outfits namely), as right now it merely says "unknown").

Well, they're still a bit too obvious... And I wanted to force some missions in nice suits.

I see. Still, I think something that could help a little the player are research-able bigger weapons that can be concealed. I mean, IRL there's stuff like sniper rifles inside totally non-suspicious bags. Or perhaps XCOM agents could carry around violin cases to hide Tommy Guns here.  :)


If you want, you can at least pursue the Syndicate arc, which is finished.

I don't know which one is this though, so far I finished the Hybrid Network research and thus they should start appearing, as well as the Osiron ones, but I haven't found anything about these yet. As for aliens, outside of the occasional UFO with Sectoids, little so far, to the point that I'm not sure if I should bother getting Interceptors when they're available until 1999 arrives.

Can you force a Base Attack mission if you somehow shoot down these minor UFOs?

Maybe, if hw fell. :) I have never seen this.

Thankfully the mission was able to be completed without issues, the few remaining survivors surrendered.

Funnily enough I found that the Cultists of Dagon tend to fight to the last man in several cases, but that's intentional I guess.

It just provides artificial light, just like flares or streetlamps in cities. It has nothing to do with night vision as such - sufficient light simply dispels darkness.

But does the unit carrying the flashlight a priority target for the enemy units? Or make he/she easier to see (and thus attack) by the enemy as well? That's what I wished to know.

It's actually smaller during the day, but bigger at night.

Figures, it's more or less what I had expected. Thanks for your answers!

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2017, 05:11:56 pm »
Well, I went and quickly went through another in-game month to test this (cheating a bit with CTR+K though to speed up the test) and yeah, it happens during April a few times. I managed to finish the relevant "Terminate the 'X'" research topics during the last days of the previous month except for the Black Lotus, as they refuse to spawn a Cult Base mission. The EXALT had at least 2 Cult Outpost missions, plus one more during the first days of the following month, but I stopped testing at that point.

Hmmm... I will examine this, thanks.

Too bad though, I believe I missed an unique pistol that sometimes EXALT Masters have during Cult Base missions and above nor I was able to fight (and research) that Armored Car they have, but nothing game-changing.

Oh well... There's always next game, and sometimes there are some ways to get outdated stuff.

Also, Reapers, in spite of being obviously aliens, are treated as animals, letting me access "Alien Origins" and thus Promotion 3 early. Is that intentional? Just to know.

Alien Origins? they don't... Unless there's a bug.

I see, I suppose that explains it.  ;) Also, I saw that not-really-subtle cameo of Meridian. It was funny.

And well-earned. ;)

Note that I didn't try if Alloy vests with shields count, I guess they do. It would help if said missions explained what is considered "civilian" (the "NONE" and "LEATHER" outfits namely), as right now it merely says "unknown").

WTF is "leather" outfit? :)

I see. Still, I think something that could help a little the player are research-able bigger weapons that can be concealed. I mean, IRL there's stuff like sniper rifles inside totally non-suspicious bags. Or perhaps XCOM agents could carry around violin cases to hide Tommy Guns here.  :)

There is such a sniper rifle too. :)

Can you force a Base Attack mission if you somehow shoot down these minor UFOs?

Yes! :)

Funnily enough I found that the Cultists of Dagon tend to fight to the last man in several cases, but that's intentional I guess.

It depends... They are rather tough, though.

But does the unit carrying the flashlight a priority target for the enemy units? Or make he/she easier to see (and thus attack) by the enemy as well? That's what I wished to know.

Yes, being in the centre of the light, they are extremely well-lit and visible. But it has nothing to do with night vision. ;)

Offline HumanTraitor

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2017, 08:19:59 pm »
Alien Origins? they don't... Unless there's a bug.

That's odd. I just checked the tech tree and it seems Reaper Terrorists are capable of giving you this research topic if you interrogate one alive. Sure, they should need an alien containment facility, but seeing they're pretty much oversized attack beasts, perhaps it can be assumed they can be treated as such. Moreover, they spawned for me once or twice every few months, including one of them during April, the month I currently stopped playing.

I also need to eliminate a cult to unlock the 3rd Summary research topic, which gets me Promotion 3, so I think I got all of the prerequisites.

More strange is a bug I forgot to comment: Gilldogs, creatures which are obviously way more alien and monstrous, they don't need an Alien Containment facility to survive (and thus be investigated).

WTF is "leather" outfit? :)

I meant a Leather Coat. The game tends to capitalize the armor equipment you use, so I thought that was enough reference. Sorry for any possible misunderstanding.

There is such a sniper rifle too. :)

I think I found which one: The Vitorez, a rare one from the Red Dawn. Unfortunately I believe I never found one in my play-trough and they have dealt with, so I'll have to skip this one. Nothing that enough grenades can't solve!  :)

Yes! :)

Interesting, that's a good reason to build intercepting aircraft early and hope that the Base Defenses have different aliens other than mere Sectoids, or at least better gear/higher ranked enemies.

Yes, being in the centre of the light, they are extremely well-lit and visible. But it has nothing to do with night vision. ;)

I see. That's all I wanted to know for now. Carry on with your job! I'm eager to see what will the future bring.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2017, 10:33:08 pm »
That's odd. I just checked the tech tree and it seems Reaper Terrorists are capable of giving you this research topic if you interrogate one alive.

Ah, I think I understand what's going on, now: vanilla elements leaking through my code. I have fixed this leak - hopefully.

More strange is a bug I forgot to comment: Gilldogs, creatures which are obviously way more alien and monstrous, they don't need an Alien Containment facility to survive (and thus be investigated).

Well, they are easy enough to handle. Not really harder than Fenrir Wolves.

I meant a Leather Coat. The game tends to capitalize the armor equipment you use, so I thought that was enough reference. Sorry for any possible misunderstanding.

Ah, I get it now. Sorry, I somehow didn't guess. :)