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Author Topic: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.61)  (Read 714808 times)

Offline Nord

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1920 on: September 28, 2022, 10:56:04 am »
It was mentioned before. I should really do something with it.

Offline Legacy

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1921 on: October 02, 2022, 04:48:56 pm »
Just came back to this mod after two years and am trying again to win in Ironman! Boy is it hard. I always lose around the time the shark guys show up. Im having a promising game
now where I’ve dropped the pretense of using the terrible starting equipment that I have to manufacture myself and am spamming grenades and explosives. Significantly lower death rate now, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Thank you for revitalizing TFTD! I write technical specs and manuals in English for a living so let me know if you ever need English writing like that and I can help.

Offline psavola

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1922 on: October 02, 2022, 06:47:43 pm »
I have also been playing with SH Ironman (though with backup copies now and then, and I have reloaded a couple of times in early-mid game, so not true ironman); now I'm at the stage where it's no longer possible to fail and I'm preparing going to T'Leth soon. For superhuman ironman at least, by far the most difficult and annoying random thing are hunter-killers. With bad luck, even two barracudas loaded with squall missiles might fail in protecting the transport if you get bad dogfight RNG. (And you might stumble on HKs even before you get barracudas if you're unlucky.) And if the HK is targeting the transport, I think they will always succeed in killing it until you get Manta due to their superior speed. Also, if you get a shielded HK, you are toast until you get Manta or PWT launcher (you get shielded HKs at least in month 10 with 10% odds, and they are the majority of base defenders in month 14, by which time you should be able to deal with them).

Otherwise, playing with IM is more enjoyable from most points of view, because you will need to deal with occasional losses and need to be more careful. On the other hand, it also results in more defensive and slower tactics. Personally, in X-COM I like the early/mid-game stages the most because they are more challenging and RNG affects the game the most (for example, do you get manageable medium and very large ufos, which terror/special missions you get - in TWoTS this affects the most  how early you'll get access to gauss, sonic and through bio-drones sonic manufacturing; the second tier of RNG is when you get armored gillman/lobster technician and heavy aquatoid or other high navigator).

I agree that sharkmen are rather tough in the phase they arrive. Especially the terror missions with bio-drones can be really terrifying - I may have aborted all of them as soon as I was able to obtain bio-drones for research purposes. Sharkmen also have excellent heat vision so you can't rely on dye grenades (which would have helped with vanilla TFTD and some other aliens). I dealt with them with GC-ZR and lots of grenades (using instant grenades makes the game run a bit smoother) and gauss sniper rifles (by shooting from far enough that they don't get vision on you). On the positive side, you don't usually have to worry about MC attacks (artifact sites do have an Oct, if I recall, though).

When playing ironman, IMHO in battlescape you can get screwed the worst by MC attacks. Especially in the stages where you are using gas cannons with explosive ammo. As soon as someone panics in the craft, (s)he is liable to shoot around and kill almost everyone and destroy your loot pile. So always when there is a danger of MC attacks you will need to have everyone drop their hand-held weapons at the end of every turn and pick them up the next turn. (Of course, there is also the same danger of someone panicking if your units die.). Luckily you'll learn rather quickly when you need to be really careful. (BTW, why gillman very large ufos have a MC-capable alien, probably the commander, not sure if that was the case in vanilla).

Some random notes on mod design, balancing etc.:
 - it's rather annoying that protection from acid is gated through polyph autopsy. You'd usually want to have the extinguisher in early/mid game when deep ones and calcinites are abundant, but at that time it is very challenging and time consuming to deal with a map full of polyphs. Not sure if it would make sense to change this somehow. If not by changing the research tree, another possibility might be to decrease the number of polyphs in those missions to make them more manageable.
 - shard guns are useless by the time you can learn how to use them (I didn't even bother researching them in this run). Also, not sure if humans/mutants using sonic weapons makes sense (how did they learn to do so, yet cannot tell you anything when interrogating them?).  But I won't repeat what I have said before on this topic.
 -  most of church missions cease when you research STR_CHURCH_DATA, but for example the church still keeps attacking military bases (but has abandoned attacking shipping lanes). I'm not sure if I get the logic of this (is Interpol so inefficient in stopping the church?). Of course, I like this church "terror" mission, extremely easy in mid/late game. But I wonder if it would make more sense to replace these with, for example, the more difficult aliens vs. military missions.
 - likewise, mind worm terror missions are very easy and somewhat boring when you have obtained MC protection, and they seem to be spawning rather often. I wonder if it would make sense to at least reduce the spawn rate after you have researched mind worms hatchery or some such or some other advanced tech (i.e. obtained everything you need from them).
 - the abyssians keep spawning missions (and you keep shooting them down) even well past after you have obtained the treaty? By all logic all of these should cease (or actually, you shouldn't see these missions, for example alien colony expansion, anymore).
 - MC-protected aquanauts appear to have bravery cap of 60, so in a few transformations a few 70 bravery aquanauts have been downgraded. I wonder if this restriction makes sense (but of course, it doesn't really matter either.)
 - MC armor and MC battlearmor have built-in modules. While this causes some interesting choices as a player (you'll need to decide which guys get MC armor and which MC battlearmor), I wonder if it makes sense that you cannot produce a handheld MC controller to be used independently, or with MC battlearmor.
 - there are loads of essentially useless research (but clutters up, for example, the research selection). I suppose nothing can be done about that, as removing this content is probably also not worth it. I suppose you should probably need to have 300-400 scientists if you wanted to go through all of it and not significantly delay finishing the game. (In all of my campaigns, I have had only 200-250 total, spread around 2-3 bases, but I think I should aim for a bit more than that once you get your sights on sonic and the research tree really opens up.)
- some nitpicks: the description of ION armor says sonar 10, but it's actually only 9. The description of Adv.Bionic Armor should probably also mention camo 6.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 09:30:52 pm by psavola »

Offline Legacy

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1923 on: October 03, 2022, 05:21:19 pm »
Hey I didn’t release the sharks could see through due grenades. They explains a lot. I’ll have to do a better job getting live aliens so I can get better weapons in time next run.

I agree that polyph missions are tiresome. Nowadays I will kill one that spawns next to the drop zone and take its corpse and abort for the research. They are way too dangerous for very little upside to take on when they first appear

Mind worms are a nightmare for me. I haven’t figured out how to make any decent progress in the MC tree yet. I got as far as MC READER last time but it stopped there

I’m onto the gas cannon phase myself now in this current run. Seems a shame that there is so much equipment available but barely any of it is really useful

Offline psavola

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1924 on: October 03, 2022, 06:42:25 pm »
Mind worms are a nightmare for me. I haven’t figured out how to make any decent progress in the MC tree yet. I got as far as MC READER last time but it stopped there

You'll need live mind worms or locusts for biological molecular control, but even if you get it, you won't progress much down the MC tree, because you need Alien implants which usually takes quite a bit longer (about june/july the earliest; the earliest you can have MC lab built is about August/September I think). So at some point you'll need to grab a live worm and/or locust. In the first spawned mission I have use a couple of aquanauts with a couple of preprimed stun grenades to throw the grenades out immediately toward a hopefully close by worms/locusts before they pass out,  and a couple of drones to pick up the stunned aliens, then exit. This strategy usually seems to work even before you can otherwise deal with them (usually getting squid drones from bio-drone corpses and arming them with laser rifles and grenades; by keeping them in the air you can avoid all the scare monsters that could actually hurt you).

Offline Legacy

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1925 on: October 04, 2022, 05:10:21 pm »
That’s smart, I had never thought to use the drones to move bodies. I think I will have to do that next.

In my current run I started on Veteran instead of SH or Genius because I figured I’m bad at the game, but in a weird way I am having an even harder time because there is a precipitous drop in missions and therefore I have much less loot from USOs to process and sell. Does the difficulty affect how many missions/USOs appear on the geoscape too, or am I just seeing different RNG results? I’ve hit July on Veteran with 1/10th the missions completed from my previous Genius run. I’ve gotten a lot farther with research but have much less to work with

As an aside, polyps are also disappointing because they go from extremely deadly and not worth fighting to target practice once you have gas cannons. Maybe they need a companion alien to spice them up or something

Offline psavola

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1926 on: October 04, 2022, 06:10:46 pm »
Does the difficulty affect how many missions/USOs appear on the geoscape too, or am I just seeing different RNG results? I’ve hit July on Veteran with 1/10th the missions completed from my previous Genius run. I’ve gotten a lot farther with research but have much less to work with

Based on ruleset documentation, the only feature that might affect this is the rate of alien retaliation, which goes up by 4 % per difficulty level (moddable, but TWoTS has not changed this). Veteran 12 % vs. superhuman 20 % chance of scouting retaliation appearing after each UFO shot down could result in a noticeable (but probably not a very substantial) difference.

Offline Nord

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1927 on: October 05, 2022, 10:59:05 am »
...they go from extremely deadly and not worth fighting to target practice ...
That was the point. :-)

Offline psavola

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1928 on: October 05, 2022, 07:42:39 pm »
Final nitpick now that I completed the campaign: is it intentional that really strong MC-capable aliens are able to panic (or even mind-control - not sure about that?) shielded aquanauts (that should have implants that protect from MC)? I have noticed this only with Freaks (and commanders in particular) in level 1 of T'Leth, but I suppose this could happen elsewhere or maybe with an Oct as well. Is this a problem of game mechanics that MC strength 100 is "not enough"?

Offline Nord

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1929 on: October 06, 2022, 08:01:41 am »
... is it intentional that really strong MC-capable aliens are able to panic (or even mind-control - not sure about that?) shielded aquanauts (that should have implants that protect from MC)?
"Protected" not equal to "immune". This is intended.

Offline Legacy

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1930 on: October 06, 2022, 07:58:31 pm »
That was the point. :-)
Working as designed then :p
I’ll just stop feeling cheap for throwing my rookies at them then. Thank you for all of your work!

Offline psavola

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1931 on: October 06, 2022, 11:05:54 pm »
Something new each time. This time for the first time I saw repeated alien bombing runs on my base, i.e. a small ufo on a retaliation mission destroying base facilities, because I didn't have sufficient missile defense and they don't attack the base. I suppose the reason why this hasn't come up before is probably that I had awful RNG and still in July didn't have barracuda to destroy these ufos. So you might actually need to deploy some temporary base defenses unless you have interceptors in the base.

The weird thing was that at one time, the missile strike destroyed my large living quarters, meaning that all the living space in the space was destroyed with 200+ people still living in the base. While this causes strange results, this seems to be working as intended based on the feature documentation.

I also posted on the feature thread a question whether three bombing runs in the same retaliation is working as designed or should the retaliation be more liable to cease if the aliens are successful (https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,6668.msg149667.html#msg149667).

Edit: I since discovered that TWoTS also has scripted "small retaliation missions" targeting the base, starting at month 6, and execution odds 30 %. This includes three waves of bombers but no dreadnought to attack the base. So you really need to have some way to shoot down very small/small ufos by June, or deploy some base defenses, or you are screwed if the odds are against you.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 02:59:15 pm by psavola »

Offline Legacy

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1932 on: October 08, 2022, 07:36:06 am »
Lost again in September on Veteran. I had finally gotten a Moray and enjoyed actually shooting down some of the USOs, but couldn’t keep my score positive.

Is there a way to see the tech tree? I have learned a lot of it but need to plan my research better for the next attempt. Debating trying SH again but since I get butt kicked on Veteran I don’t think it’ll go well  ;D

Play of the game goes to the able seaman who friendly fired the gas cannon into 3 friendlies which sent everyone into a panic loop and lost me a base. Maybe a little less explosives next time!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2022, 07:45:17 am by Legacy »

Offline psavola

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1933 on: October 08, 2022, 09:24:27 am »
Is there a way to see the tech tree? I have learned a lot of it but need to plan my research better for the next attempt. Debating trying SH again but since I get butt kicked on Veteran I don’t think it’ll go well  ;D

Press 'Q' in the globe view (or go through "Extended" menu on the right). In the research menu, you can also browse through the dependencies by mouse middle click if you have enabled OXCE extended features.

The early game is interesting as there are so many different things you'd like to do, but you are constrained on money, time and most importantly RNG. And I suppose there are varying strategies in which order you build your bases. I've recently usually gone up to 96 engineers quickly to keep the cash flowing (so that I'm not so vulnerable to RNG or waiting for council funding) and more on a secondary base (build-up starting in april-may). But you'll also need to keep research infrastructure in a good condition, and be ready to ramp it further as soon as you get gauss and further when getting sonic.

The one thing that is always the same is that you need to rush an alien autopsy to get alien containment as early as possible (this is where RNG is affects a lot: in the best case you get an early creeper mission; in the worst case, you get multiple out-of-range or polyph missions and you get significantly delayed and might only get the corpse at the scripted ufo mission). then rush church / SORESO missions and to clear the path to barracuda. It's also vital to figure out which live alien (officers) you'll need to capture to get past the crucial early/mid-game chokepoints (in particular, a medic [very easy to get from church temple mission], a navigator, armored gill man engineer/lobsterman technician, high navigator), and rushing the equipment to enable underwater capture mechanisms (for example, I'll usually manufacture rather early on harpoons with stun clips to be used to capture an aquatoid navigator if a medium ship shows up; later stun rods and tanglers to prepare for the lobster technician).

Quote
Play of the game goes to the able seaman who friendly fired the gas cannon into 3 friendlies which sent everyone into a panic loop and lost me a base. Maybe a little less explosives next time!

Indeed, HE weapons and explosives (also preprimed proxy/regular grenades) are a double-edged sword and you'll either take calculated(?) risks or have to be very careful (e.g. by dropping the weapons at the end of the turn). In base defense, gas cannons are unwieldy and liable to cause trouble, but you might get somewhat similar problems with, for example, preprimed proxy grenades when an aquanaut carrying them is stunned or dies.

Offline Legacy

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Re: [TFTD] [Expansion] TWoTS+ Release (v.2.51)
« Reply #1934 on: October 08, 2022, 05:24:22 pm »
Thank you for all the help! I haven’t really dived into OpenXCom before, I mostly played Xcom growing up. I’m similar in that I find the game must less interesting once you hit the point that nothing can really stop you winning. I don’t know if I’ve ever even finished one of the games, I’ll get bored of it being too easy before I get to the final mission. I think this mod’s difficulty has made the game a lot more interesting ;D

I’m in February Veteran on my new run and just started building the alien containment. This time I’ll be trying to capture a lot more aliens instead of blowing everything up. I’ll also try to lose less soldiers. I should’ve screencapped the summary from the last game but I spend wayyy too much on hiring aquanauts. So far my average mortality rate is much lower but we’ll see how that goes :p

I’m also trying to use hard suits again. I thought they were bad because I would have someone fly up and they’d just get sniped but I think that was my fault for using them wrong. I’d really like having someone on top of USOs for breaching and see if that might help lower my casualties there