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Author Topic: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.  (Read 2208 times)

Offline FiendishDrWu

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Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« on: May 01, 2018, 04:13:08 am »
Just completed my first play through of X-Piratez.  Overall, I had a blast!  Again and again I found myself amazed at the level of depth Dioxine has added to an almost 25 year old game.  I started last fall with 99H1 and upgraded to 99I2a to finish it, with a several month break in between.  I wanted to share some thoughts I had about it, in no particular order.  Warning, has some spoilers.

- I’d played a few missions in, and I had gotten the hang of the “raid the church” missions.  I’d learnt that killing people on those missions was generally punished, and that sometimes prisoners were nice to have for robbery.  So I set out with harpoon guns with stun bolts on what I thought was another routine temple raid. 
Spoiler:
  I was wrong!  Turns out it was full of zombies!  I hadn’t encountered them before, and found out the hard way - by losing a gal - that stunning was useless against them.
  Fortunately, out of sheer laziness, I had a number of other weapons that I’d left sitting in my airbus, so after racing the survivors back, tossing their weapons aside, and grabbing the various swords and bats I had, managed to defeat my foes.  Being thrown a curve like that really got me hooked.

- I appreciate that there’s a lot of written backstory as to what’s going on, even if I wasn’t always sure about how it all tied together.  With the limited tools available, Dioxine manages to use Bootypedia & workshop to give a strong sense of a living world, all the more impressive given the limited ways in which the game engine permits storytelling. 

- One small disappointment - the ending. 
Spoiler:
The ending is basically the ending of regular XCom, albeit with some text changes - I’m guessing this is an engine limitation?  But I would have like to have found out more about Jill, leader of the Naarlocks. I found myself wondering if the Knights of Cydonia had survived and would aid me in the final battle, or if they were themselves the final enemy.  I wondered about who was really behind the Pink Ships, Shadowtech, and the falling out between the Star Gods and the Reticulans.  One data disk alludes to there being a few hundred million humans & mutants on the surface, but 13 billion Gillmen or other undersea denizens, and their Elder Gods are never really explored.
The game never really answers these questions, but I gather that Dioxine is still working on the ending, so I should probably shut up and be patient.     ;D

- Like others, I found the endgame can drag a little.  With over a billion dolaros, via my
Spoiler:
currency forgery and battle tank sales
I found that Ivan Dogovitch’s QoL mods helped shave some time off the waiting game.  I had enough manufacturing capacity that I could basically ignore everything and still have a monthly score in the thousands, plus piles of cash coming in.  I took missions that seemed like they’d be fun, or good practice for the gals, and ignored things I thought might be dangerous or simply tedious. 

- Speaking of cash, I rarely have more than 2 or 3 bases in a regular game of X-Com - in my X-Pirates play-through, I ended up with the full 8 bases: My first science base, my first industrial printer/spa base, my factory base, my “build the conquerer” factory/printer/workshop base, and 4 interception bases.  The very different interception & manufacturing game in X-Pirates really drives you to expand your operations - there’s simply no way you can do all the things you’d want to do in one (or two, or three) bases. 

- One aspect of the game I never really explored much were alternate soldiers or tanks.  The Gals, particularly once trained at a spa, seemed to be pound-for-pound the best fighters I could get.  I guess I can see some value in tanks
Spoiler:
or synths
for fighting enemies with strong voodoo, but I’m not sure I get how slaves, Lokk’Naars, or the new peasants fit in.  Likewise, I never really experimented with hiring veterans, freaks, etc.  Am I missing something, or do other people not find them particularly compelling? 

- Another thing that bugged me - and this is probably more an engine limitation than something Dioxine can fix - was finding out where to source things.  I went with the grey codex, and could theoretically build sorceress suits, but I was never able to figure out how or where to source a Tome of Lightning.  Likewise, sythmetal mesh, magischen motors, force crystals, etc. always seemed to be in short supply, and it took a lot of digging to figure out how to get parts.  I see in the latest build that when you’re looking at the fence list you can see what uses a particular item has, which is nice - I suppose you could use that to work backward to see what you might disassemble to get parts, but not everything can be disassembled, and you have to have one of the items first.  Likewise, getting all the components in one place can be a hassle - the “all vaults” will show me all vaults, but it gives me no idea where those items are, which is kind of tedious when you have 8 bases!  Again, though, this is an engine limitation, and not Dioxine’s problem. 

- There are perhaps too many trappings, and I frequently found myself struggling to figure out exactly what to equip my gals with.  Part of that is probably bad inventory management on my part - toss the old crap out! - but I found myself having to constantly consult the Bootypedia to figure out what to have the gals wear. 

All things considered, though, X-Pirates is absolutely breathtaking in it’s ambition and depth.  If the new XCOM games are all about taking the old X-Com and purifying it to it’s simplest elements so everyone can enjoy it, X-Piratez goes in the opposite direction: adding complexity - and meaningful, game-affecting complexity! - to an old classic. 

Oh, and lots of cartoon boobs.   ;D

Definitely worth the donation!

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,4604.0.html


Offline legionof1

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 11:41:43 pm »
The ending and various other chunks here and there are far from finished. Defiantly worth sticking around to see how it all turns out.

Most of the auxiliary units are indeed inferior to a well trained gal when it comes to ground combat. Tanks being a 4 to 1 trade off generally make them a poor choice in everything but durability for large parts of a play-through.

Slaves are pretty useful for filling out the ranks of base security during the earlier stages of expansion since they wont cause rank inflation and the attendant salary bloat.

Lok'narrs serve pretty good as scouts, their max reactions is superior to the gals plus excellent camo ratings and inherent thermal vision. 

Warriors and Vets are basically just gals with better initial stat spreads. They are intended to fast track replacing deaths. Personally i dont find myself using the option much between the various sources of castaway gals and useing slaves/tanks for base security. But its nice to have if/when you screw up badly.

Freaks are RNG personified. There max stat caps are lower then normal gals in everything but there initial stats can be substantially better. If you get lucky you can get some pretty sweet super gals, but most will end up being slightly inferior.

Offline Zippicus

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 12:08:31 am »
I agree with everything Legionof1 said, just wanted to add that Synths are fantastic melee murder machines when you get them trained up.

Offline legionof1

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 12:24:52 am »
They are good but they are so rare to get a hold of. The average is about 0-1 per campaign. One individual gal being exceptional dosen't change the game much.

Offline BBHood217

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 02:48:13 am »
I see the currently incomplete ending as you not caring how you got to the top, just that you got to the top at all.  That stuff about the pink ships and the shadowtech and the ethereals fighting a greater enemy don't matter to your pirate life, all that matters is that you now own the entire Sol system and are ready to sail to the stars beyond.

Offline khade

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 01:06:43 am »
There's apparently supposed to be 6 or 7 endings eventually, I assume based on which factions, if any, you align yourself with.  At least based on the readme.

Offline bouchacha

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 06:19:17 am »
Which QOL mods are you referring to?

Offline FiendishDrWu

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Re: Just finished my first play-through. Some thoughts.
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 08:03:47 pm »