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Author Topic: A bunch of questions from a newbie player  (Read 11965 times)

Offline HT

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A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« on: May 24, 2017, 04:45:10 pm »
There's a few questions I have about this excellent mod: Why do Dogs Agents sometimes randomly lose Morale with no apparent reason? It's not explained anywhere, but I believe it happens when they're away from your other units and the gunfire starts. Perhaps they're scared of loud noises?

Another one: How long does an unit take to gain significant improvements while being trained at the Gym? Assuming you have the "train anytime" game mode activated.

Lastly, how long in RL hours can the average playthrough take? So far it seems it might take at least a few dozens hours, seeing that the game is somewhat slow-moving (depending on your difficulty level and which in-game year it is).


I would like to post another topic with my impressions while playing this mod after I saw Slaughter's LP, but I'll hold on that for later, if that's okay to do.


Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 07:23:21 pm »
The second "weapon" that dogs have, the sniff out enemies/copy of the motion scanner costs 20 Morale to use.  Also, you can lose morale to other agents dying or being panic-attacked by psionic enemies.

Every night the gym makes a roll for each stat that is trained on each agent, with the probability of +1 to that stat being approximately 100 (or training cap, don't remember which) - current stat value.  I'd say a month in the gym makes a passable agent, it's worthwhile to build an extra gym and keep a roster of agents training so that you always have a few agents who have worthwhile accuracy and strength.

I don't have a great estimate for the length of the game, but I'd ballpark it at about 100 hours.

Offline HT

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 10:13:04 pm »
Thanks for the answers!

I have a few more though:

Does the Xcom Psyclone use the agent's psychic value score for its chance of success or failure, or is it something independent of a "true" psychic amplification device?

I'm not sure if that's the case as I haven't been able to research psionics yet, although I found Witches using these Flame Gloves artifacts.

Lastly, is it intentional that upon reaching Promotion 2, Black Ops' weaponry becomes the standard for all of your agents? Besides its high price, I don't see why would you keep using other guns when most of the Black Ops catalog are more often than not superior.

Offline Dr.Crowley

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 11:36:54 pm »
I'm not sure if that's the case as I haven't been able to research psionics yet, although I found Witches using these Flame Gloves artifacts.
You must research some aliens before you will get psyonics. Actually you won't need any psionic abilities until late game - I met my first psychic enemy not before early 1999 (yeah, that disastrous Ethereal Terror mission), not counting one UFO assault where one of my agent was almost mind-controlled.
Lastly, is it intentional that upon reaching Promotion 2, Black Ops' weaponry becomes the standard for all of your agents? Besides its high price, I don't see why would you keep using other guns when most of the Black Ops catalog are more often than not superior.
It was descussed before. Yes, I still miss that HKMP5 era  :'( BlackOps weapons, however, are the best you can get at this moment - almost 100% accurate and powerful guns. I wonder if UAC weapons will replace them eventually.

Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 12:26:08 am »
There are other guns worthwhile at that level, particularly for pistols and rifles; the FN FAL with high accuracy does more damage than the BlackOps Rifle with better snap accuracy, and the Arasaka 3000 or SWD are always better damage or range. I'd completely forgo the BlackOps snipers too if it weren't for the armor piercing plus a bit higher firing bonus.  The BlackOps Pistol is underwhelming compared to the Mauser or Mk23 SOCOM, though the Magnum does make most handguns obsolete.

I'd also consider the M.A.G.M.A shotgun options (Thrasher and Light Cannon/Buckshot) over practically any others.

Offline HT

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2017, 12:54:51 pm »
After having thoroughly checked, it seems most non-Black Ops guns are better except the Magnum, the Auto-Sniper Rifle and regular Sniper Rifle and the Assault LMG (because there's no "civilian" equivalent).

I'll provide a bit of feedback: I started playing this since the previous version using the "Veteran" difficulty level, then switched to "Experienced" for the newest version. It felt too easy, so I edited the save to swap back to the 3rd level. Well, the difficulty surely ramps up. Granted, now I finally have thanks to Promotion 2 actually powerful stuff, but the sheer numbers that most maps have is staggering. The Gang Wars! event by the Red Dawn are the worst, as they're so many dudes the game has trouble tracking them all, for not to mention said "gang wars" work... Strangely.

So far, I saw a bunch of Hooligans and Gangers shooting each other in farm grounds, but more often than not I find a forest map in which the gangers are attacking unarmed civilians and a few hunters. Are they fighting against the local hunter committee? To make it worse, since the civvies act last, it is guaranteed the enemy will kill a fuckton of friendlies before you can act. My only solution so far is to slaughter as many of these Soviets-freaks until they surrender, but the loot provided is not worth having a few agents wounded or even killed, for not to mention the inevitable score loss.

Meanwhile, Dagon Attacks! is slightly better. There are tons of enemies here too, but at least it makes sense thematically.

Moreover, I was mistaken with the X-Psiclone. It is not explained clearly, but it seems you're meant to build a Psi-Lab before you can tinker with these devices. It feels as if there was more research lines missing here. Otherwise, how can X-Com "know" they can repurpose these devices if they cannot even use them?

Lastly, budget is perhaps the most fearsome enemy so far, producing Motion Scanners is not as profitable as it used to be, but that was to be expected. I'll see if I can last another in-game month, but at this rate I'll jump back to Experienced to see if things get more stable. I'm at November 97 right now.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2017, 01:25:11 pm »
Yeah, the Gang War in forests was broken. Many thanks!

Offline HT

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2017, 05:51:24 pm »
That was fast. Thanks for the answer!

By the way, one recommendation for your mod, Solarius: Increasing your "Promotion level" should also increase the monthly salary a bit if it doesn't so already, it would be fitting and make sense IMO.



Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2017, 07:10:08 pm »
By the way, one recommendation for your mod, Solarius: Increasing your "Promotion level" should also increase the monthly salary a bit if it doesn't so already, it would be fitting and make sense IMO.

It does! :)

Offline HT

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2017, 02:19:55 pm »
Right, after playing a little more, I believe that HQ/Cult Base missions shouldn't be "random events" to prevent duplicates from appearing, but rather special missions you can choose to do at any time like the Cydonia one. Perhaps you can do this by locking these missions under the condition of getting the Dragonfly or a better transport, as it's unlikely you'll survive with anything less than that.

The M.A.G.M.A. Corporation is also a nice cameo, but I think it needs a bit more work, as so far I only got a nice Shotgun from them after the game mentions they'll show you their catalog, which translates into the ufopaedia updating with a bunch of weapons you can't even buy yet, likely locked behind Promotion 3 at least.

The UAC is also cool, but there are mentions of special weapons that you can't research until you find them (usually by being shot in the face by these), there should be another research event to let you get something from them, such as chainsaws (missed opportunity that there doesn't seem to be one yet, the Doomguy is disappoint). Something like a clerical error giving you access to buyable chainsaws, they don't have to be good weapons as it's the touch what counts.

I also found EXALT guys wielding chainguns that can't be researched, most likely hidden behind Promotion 3, yet oddly enough I was able to research an automatic shotgun wielded by one of those homicial soldiers just fine.

------------

More stuff to comment/ask:

I think EXALT Mansions are broken: They're about protecting citizens that start next to armed dudes and the mansion you're supposed to protect is already brimming with enemy forces. In fact, said Mansion is recycled for all Cult Base type missions regardless of the faction. I guess everyone likes a house in the middle of the woods.

Another thing I would like to know is this: Does investigating the same subject in different labs from separate Bases count for the total research time? I'm not sure if it does, as it seems that each lab starts over from the beginning, but it's not clear.

Lastly, is it normal that Manufacturing takes so long? Creating a bunch of Exo Suits takes several months if you want more of a dozen of them, even if there are 20+ dudes working on it.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 12:27:40 am »
Right, after playing a little more, I believe that HQ/Cult Base missions shouldn't be "random events" to prevent duplicates from appearing, but rather special missions you can choose to do at any time like the Cydonia one. Perhaps you can do this by locking these missions under the condition of getting the Dragonfly or a better transport, as it's unlikely you'll survive with anything less than that.

As far as I know, it's not possible. Or at least would be... hackish.

The M.A.G.M.A. Corporation is also a nice cameo, but I think it needs a bit more work, as so far I only got a nice Shotgun from them after the game mentions they'll show you their catalog, which translates into the ufopaedia updating with a bunch of weapons you can't even buy yet, likely locked behind Promotion 3 at least.

AFAIR, none of them are locked behind Promotion 3; do work for M.A.G.M.A. to get them.

The UAC is also cool, but there are mentions of special weapons that you can't research until you find them (usually by being shot in the face by these), there should be another research event to let you get something from them, such as chainsaws (missed opportunity that there doesn't seem to be one yet, the Doomguy is disappoint). Something like a clerical error giving you access to buyable chainsaws, they don't have to be good weapons as it's the touch what counts.

TBH I didn't understand this paragraph... What exactly is your idea about?

I also found EXALT guys wielding chainguns that can't be researched, most likely hidden behind Promotion 3, yet oddly enough I was able to research an automatic shotgun wielded by one of those homicial soldiers just fine.

EXALT and chainguns? Not sure what you mean... But yeah, HMGs and such are Promotion 3.
And what's so weird about heavy machine guns being less available than shotguns (even automatic)?

I think EXALT Mansions are broken: They're about protecting citizens that start next to armed dudes and the mansion you're supposed to protect is already brimming with enemy forces. In fact, said Mansion is recycled for all Cult Base type missions regardless of the faction. I guess everyone likes a house in the middle of the woods.

Unfortunately, there is no way to better distribute the units (civilians in the house, enemies outside). I would welcome any improvement here.

Another thing I would like to know is this: Does investigating the same subject in different labs from separate Bases count for the total research time? I'm not sure if it does, as it seems that each lab starts over from the beginning, but it's not clear.

Unfortunately, each lab works independently. Researching the same project in different bases always leads to waste.

Lastly, is it normal that Manufacturing takes so long? Creating a bunch of Exo Suits takes several months if you want more of a dozen of them, even if there are 20+ dudes working on it.

Yeah, they are fairly complex...

Offline LuigiWhatif

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 04:29:15 am »
TBH I didn't understand this paragraph... What exactly is your idea about?
If I remember right the other contacts either give you a few guns immediately, or at least unlock acquisition researches, while all the UAC weapons need to be found and researched before you can buy them.  The chainsaw comment seems to be part wanting a UAC unlock that doesn't need to be found in the field and part wanting chainsaws.

EXALT and chainguns? Not sure what you mean...

I've seen EXALT Liquidators using BlackOps Light miniguns.  They can't be researched but instead unlock automatically later on.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2017, 10:52:52 am »
Ah, okay... But what's wrong with UAC as it is? Although this subplot is almost non-existent now, so perhaps this issue should be postponed.

Good point on the BO miniguns, I will fix it.

Offline HT

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 04:46:10 pm »
AFAIR, none of them are locked behind Promotion 3; do work for M.A.G.M.A. to get them.
I see. Well, I meant that it was a bit odd that you were shown stuff you weren't immediately able to get, except a shotgun you have to research before being able to buy. I'll play further and see what happens.

TBH I didn't understand this paragraph... What exactly is your idea about?

Sorry, I guess I went a bit "stream of consciousness" here.

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.

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.

EXALT and chainguns? Not sure what you mean... But yeah, HMGs and such are Promotion 3.
And what's so weird about heavy machine guns being less available than shotguns (even automatic)?
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.

Unfortunately, there is no way to better distribute the units (civilians in the house, enemies outside). I would welcome any improvement here.

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.

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.

Having the enemy units start outside of the mansion except for two or three guys hiding inside a room would be better IMO.

Unfortunately, each lab works independently. Researching the same project in different bases always leads to waste.

Oh, what a shame. I was never able to confirm it until now. Thanks for the answer.

Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: A bunch of questions from a newbie player
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 06:20:58 pm »
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.

Having the enemy units start outside of the mansion except for two or three guys hiding inside a room would be better IMO.

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.  If you have no EXALT in the mansion, then you have no civilians inside the mansion.  There's not much that can be done since this is a data type issue, short of a massive workaround in the game engine + ruleset that I doubt anybody wants to code right now.