Author Topic: Early game research  (Read 1985 times)

Offline Rbrx

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Early game research
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:19:19 am »
So I just restarted my first campaign, and while I enjoyed what the mod is trying to do, I wasn't able to figure out how to expand my research. In fact, the tech tree is probably my biggest criticism of the mod, it seems impenetrable without sacrificing a campaign or two just to figure out basic things, like why researching logistics doesn't unlock the Humvee. While I understand now how the mod handles multiple requirements, it was pretty frustrating until it clicked.

My continued source of frustration is how to get my research off the ground. Normally in an EU campaign, you'd just buy a bunch of scientists and laboratories and off you go. It's neat how in Xcom Files you start of small, but again, I can't figure out how you're supposed to progress. The only structure available that allows more scientists is the headquarters, but research options say they require facilities like the Bio lab or Intel lab. I assume that these two facilities are the intended way of assigning more scientists than the Xcom headquarters gives you, but as far as I could tell there's no way of unlocking the bio lab, and you need to research all of the cults to unlock the Intel lab. The problem is this would take several months if I did nothing but focus on it, which led me to conclude that there's something I'm missing. I assume it's not intended to build multiple X-com Headquarters in order to increase research speed, due to high cost as well as the weird logic of having multiple hq's in a base.

As far as I could find, there's no online knowledge resource for this mod, leading me to post this here.

Offline Niewiem

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 09:43:14 am »
Hi

I am in 1999 and I have 4 types of research facilities right now:
- Intelligence Center (5 scientists)
- Bio Lab (5 scientists)
- Science Laboratory (25 scientists)
- Improved laboratory (25 scientists)

You can try searching in tech tree for what you need for those. From what I remember first one I got was Bio Lab and then Intelligence Center. Also when I had Bio Lab i had at least 3 bases that I built it in  :)

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 09:55:12 am »
On lower difficulty levels, it should not be easy to lose a campaign even going in blind, though some a lot of stalling is to be expected.
The tech tree viewer is already a huge spoiler bonus, I don't want to make the game even more exposed than that... After all it's a conspiracy mod. :)

Offline Rbrx

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 04:48:37 pm »
I wasn’t saying you should make things easier, sorry if that wasn’t clear.  This was more of a request for information/perspective of someone’s first time going in blind.

It just seems like I’m missing something. For example, to research a giant beetle, it says a bio lab is required. I can still research it without the bio lab, but I assume it’s taking longer than normal, not to mention the fact that I’m only working 5 scientists.

On lower difficulty levels, it should not be easy to lose a campaign even going in blind, though some a lot of stalling is to be expected.
Perhaps I’ve just been playing too much Long War, I might be stressing out over nothing.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 05:03:19 pm by Rbrx »

Offline Starving Poet

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 06:03:12 pm »
One of the key non-spoiler hints in the early game is to research *anything* that even sounds vaguely bureaucratic.

And don't be afraid of slow progress - I did a deliberately unfocused research path on superhuman on my first playthrough and I came out fine.  A little behind the tech-curve, but nothing I would consider game ending.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 06:12:24 pm »
I wasn’t saying you should make things easier, sorry if that wasn’t clear.  This was more of a request for information/perspective of someone’s first time going in blind.

Sure, I understand, and thanks for the feedback. I'm just giving my perspective as well - not necessarily the most correct one.

It just seems like I’m missing something. For example, to research a giant beetle, it says a bio lab is required. I can still research it without the bio lab, but I assume it’s taking longer than normal, not to mention the fact that I’m only working 5 scientists.

I think there is confusion between the Bio Lab building and the "BIOLAB" building function. Yes, the Bio Lab building has the BIOLAB function (meaning that it can do biological research, like autopsies), but the HQ has a small lab which also has the BIOLAB function, thus enabling you to research biology stuff.
So in a way you are correct, since having the Bio Lab will indeed speed up the research... Because you'll have more scientists. :)

Perhaps I’ve just been playing too much Long War, I might be stressing out over nothing.

Admittedly, the Long War would never do this. ;D

Offline Barth Gimble

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 08:29:39 pm »
I've been playing XCOM Files recently after not having played any kind of XCOM game in many years. I abandoned my first attempt because of probably similar feelings that I was doing really badly on research, but I feel my current (second) playthrough is going pretty well. What I've done differently is to devote lots of resources to advancing research, but at the same time not really be too concerned about the results.

This mod is a lot different from XCOM (as I remember it) in the research aspect. There are an almost overwhelming number of research topics, and even with dozens of scientists it will be years of in-game time before you can catch up. But I think the important thing about research is just the cumulative advancement. Most of the research topics don't directly help your cause much, but added together they allow you to make modest improvements over time. In other words, it's not like XCOM, where you're researching to quickly get some flying armor, a supergun, and an awesome attack ship. It's a long process in this mod, so be patient. And the mod allows you to be patient, since no particular research is critical.

What I've found so far is that the key to advancing research doesn't have anything to do with research. Do as many missions as you can, month after month, and keep bringing in the  money. This allows you to build more bases, with more labs and more scientists. As you do that, research progress develops naturally.

Get your research started by looking into medical-related topics. This allows you to get the Bio-Lab, and put more scientists to work.

I'd also recommend not focusing too much on researching every gang or cult related topic right away. You'll just be overwhelmed, without making much overall progress. Instead, focus on taking down one organization at a time. This gives you a better feeling for each story arc, like your agents are conducting a real investigation in each case, gathering evidence and making arrests that matter.

Overall, I suggest an early game research strategy focused on getting better labs and getting faster/larger vehicles. The latter allows you to respond to more alerts, and get more money which you can use to  hire more scientists. You're not going to get any weapons or armor breakthroughs for a long time, but the good news is you don't really need them for a long time, either. A magnum revolver, a stun rod, and a kevlar vest is all your agents will need for the first few years of in-game time.

Offline Nephron

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2019, 06:38:14 am »
In march, and it feels like I've had the sectoid autopsy research project going for about a month now.  Even the simple stuff like van upgrades felt like they took a long time.

Games like these seem to work best when there is a good mix of long term and short term payoffs that create a sequence of payoffs.

My workshops are fallow and have literally nothing to build.  I have no buildings worth building.  A second base is too expensive.  The research projects are taking huge amounts of time.  So instead of getting a good mix of varied payoffs, instead I feel like I'm getting spammed by missions that I'm sick of doing because it is like 15-30 missions between any other interaction with the game.  There should be a steady drip of new equipment, to make me want to do missions so I can field test the new equipment to keep me engaged.

Since the research time is so vague, I've no idea how long until a payoff either.

I'm really not understanding how an X-com game with so many projects and features can feel like nothing is going on to a painful extent.

Offline LytaRyta

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 11:20:15 am »
Long War ?  :p   how that?, wghere

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early game research
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 04:03:43 pm »
Sectoid autopsy is a later game thing, so it's more expensive. Still, perhaps these requirements for autopsies are too high. I will consider making them cheaper.