Author Topic: Comparision of mega mods  (Read 1059 times)

Offline tarsolyger

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Comparision of mega mods
« on: September 28, 2018, 02:31:02 pm »
Hi!

As some might know, I'm very much in love with the Area 51 mod, and recently I was browsing around the site, and figured, that there is a mod similar in what it seems to be, the Final Mod Pack. There is not much info though what exactly have been modified there, and there are also some other mods out there (UNEXCOM and Reaver's Faithful) that seem to be similar in concept.
What I reckon is that X-Piratez and the X-Com Files are changing the game in fundamental way, while the Area 51, FMP, UNEXCOM and Reaver's Faithful leave the general gameplay and feel of the game, and the modifications are generally subtle (more difficult and diverse research paths, etc.), and mostly add new things to the game to make it more diverse.

So to compare (for me and for other busy people who want to make a fast decision on which mod to try first), could we make a table, that shows which of these mods offer which of these features (my list is based on a not finished Area 51 playthrough, so add more options, if other mods offer something important I might have left out)?

* Expanded starting weapons for X-Com
* Expanded tech tree for research
* Expanded aircraft / HWP choices
* More base facilities
* More diverse terrain
* Modified Geoscape (more cities etc)
* New alien races
* Modified / new alien weapons
* More alien UFO layouts
* More alien UFO types
* More alien mission types
* Added story elements
* Added story driven missions

Thank you.

Offline efrenespartano

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2018, 04:47:56 pm »
Hi!

As some might know, I'm very much in love with the Area 51 mod, and recently I was browsing around the site, and figured, that there is a mod similar in what it seems to be, the Final Mod Pack. There is not much info though what exactly have been modified there, and there are also some other mods out there (UNEXCOM and Reaver's Faithful) that seem to be similar in concept.
What I reckon is that X-Piratez and the X-Com Files are changing the game in fundamental way, while the Area 51, FMP, UNEXCOM and Reaver's Faithful leave the general gameplay and feel of the game, and the modifications are generally subtle (more difficult and diverse research paths, etc.), and mostly add new things to the game to make it more diverse.

So to compare (for me and for other busy people who want to make a fast decision on which mod to try first), could we make a table, that shows which of these mods offer which of these features (my list is based on a not finished Area 51 playthrough, so add more options, if other mods offer something important I might have left out)?

* Expanded starting weapons for X-Com
* Expanded tech tree for research
* Expanded aircraft / HWP choices
* More base facilities
* More diverse terrain
* Modified Geoscape (more cities etc)
* New alien races
* Modified / new alien weapons
* More alien UFO layouts
* More alien UFO types
* More alien mission types
* Added story elements
* Added story driven missions

Thank you.

Hello there!

I can talk about Area 51, Reaver's Faithful and UNEXCOM. Two or them are of my favorite mods, the other one is my own mod. I have not played FMP for a long time, but if I do not remember, it's a mega compilation of mods, the old brother of The X-Com Files. Now, regarding Area 51, this includes an improved Geoscape with many new cities and many terrains for texture. A lot of missions and enemies. One of my favorite things of Area 51 is the awesome missions, it is special with the support of allied NPCs. It does not have many planes, but they are enough. It also has numerous HWP and weapons, some new aliens too. IIRC there are some new base facilities. It's main approach it's related to the Council of Funding Nations, now it feels more like they are our bosses, rather than some (easily betrayal) guys.

Now, about Reaver's Faithful. In my opinion, something like that would have been the original game. It has a large number of weapons (each has its own auto and semiautomatic variant), HWP and aircraft. Basically everything has two versions, one light / fast and the other slow / powerful. There is a variation of the HWP, some are excellent as a mobile barricade, others to attack. Oh, and modify the damage tables, now the AP damage serves more. It's changes are little, but necessary.

On UNEXCOM, this begins far earlier than the majority of the mods, in 1972. The initial tier of weapons, HWPs and planes is according to the time. Now the aircrafts are divided in classes, with its own purpose (light fighters, heavy bombers, transports and recon satellites). For example, you can shoot down UFOs with F-4 Phantoms and kill aliens with M16s. It has some new aliens and like Area 51, it uses the Terrain Pack, so both have the same Geoscape. The laser guns are cool too! Similar to Reaver's Faithful, you need to reverse engineer alien weapons to use them. Finally, the air combat is something different, the big ships are slow and resist a lot (something like Independence Day), so you need heavy missiles and many planes. In contrast, Scouts are slower and easier. And

Well, that's a quick hint about this 3 mods:)


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Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2018, 08:45:38 am »
It's nice hearing that people are liking my mod! Now I just need someone to do a Let's Play of it---hint hint.
- - - - -

The scope of each mod is wide, so listing the attributes it changes is going to make them all look alike. I think the best way is to point out just what makes each one stand out on its own. Now I don't have much experience with most mods other than my own--at least in terms of gameplay--but from what I've seen picking through them and hearing others say about them, here's how I feel they stand apart:

Final Mod Pack: enormous mod compilation, adds all of the old popular mods together with minimum changes to make them fit and balance together. Difficulty: I think it's harder? I don't know.

Area 51: focuses on adding a richer story to the X-Com canon, with more aliens and much more variety in activity. It also has human factions and starts much earlier in the project's history. Difficulty: A lot harder than the original, but not hard by veteran player standards.

The X-Com Files: heavily inspired by Area 51, it merges the popular points of Final Mod Pack and Area 51 into a rich and diverse total conversion which greatly fleshes out the story and lore, all in a canon-friendly format. Difficulty: I think similar to Area 51.

Reaver's Faithful: It's supposed to maintain the feel of the game, though it packs in so many balance changes that it really is a new experience. The general rule is that you are always presented with a choice, and everything you discover is valuable to you. Difficulty: wider variance depending on difficulty selection.

Hardmode Expansion: This mod adds a lot of new vanilla-style content such as new UFOs and weapons/equipment. It is not only much more difficult, but it gives you the tools you need to succeed, and it is up to you to figure out how to use them. The mod has been popular with players who grew tired of cheesing their way through the easily-exploitable vanilla game. Difficulty: much harder than original, hard even to veteran players.

- - - - -
I feel I should mention X-Pirates. It's not actually set in a different universe, but rather in a possible distant future, a post-apocalyptic world picking up its remains after losing a war with the aliens. It focuses on human-muton hybrid women who escape a scientific research facility to strike out on their own, and their struggle to build their home from the ground up despite being in a hostile world, scarce resources, and everyone distrusting mutants like them. The game has a very rich and intelligent lore, and is filled with self-awareness, genre-savvy, and meta humor. And lots of mutant porn. Difficulty: much harder than original.

Xeno-Operations also deserves a mention though I don't know anything about it's style. It has great graphics! Someone started a Xeno-Operations Let's Play recently so I suppose soon I will become more familiar with it.

Another mega-mod I don't hear mentioned much is Xtreme Measures. I played it briefly. What I noticed most immediately is that it offers lots of weapons and terrain, and it makes the tanks extremely powerful. I think it shares a variety of features from other mods. Difficulty: I didn't play enough to know, but it appears to be significantly easier than the original.

Everybody's favorite 1.0 megamod is AwesomeGuns. This mod is designed to be played on the ancient milestone. It not only adds lots of weapons and changes the existing weapons for an enhanced visual and sound experience, but it also changes a lot of the gameplay in other ways, as well as the enemies you fight. Some of the weapons are much stronger, but don't be fooled because you need them! Difficulty: significantly harder than the original.

From The Apocalypse is like X-Pirates in that it is highly different yet set in the same universe. In FTA's case, it is essentially X-Com Apocalypse in the style of UFO Defense, taking cues from Area-51 perhaps and showing how the various human organizations interact around the globe. Very interesting, very different from vanilla. Difficulty: in my limited playing, I felt it was similar to the original.

I think Tech-Comm might be the only megamod/total conversion I know of that's actually set in a different universe. (I don't know anything about it.)



I don't have any experience with UNEXCOM but I think I'll have to give it a look as it sounds pretty cool!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 09:00:20 am by The Reaver of Darkness »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2018, 04:25:58 pm »
The X-Com Files: heavily inspired by Area 51, it merges the popular points of Final Mod Pack and Area 51 into a rich and diverse total conversion which greatly fleshes out the story and lore, all in a canon-friendly format. Difficulty: I think similar to Area 51.

I have no doubts that Area 51 is a great mod. But I have never even watched an LP of it, much less play it... So how on Earth could FMP be inspired by Area 51? I think it's actually older than Area 51 (but younger than the Terrain Pack).

If I were to describe The X-Com Files myself, I would say that it is basically Final Mod Pack with a much earlier start and a number of other arcs which are as important as the Cydonia arc: cultists, monsters, other aliens, etc.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 04:28:04 pm by Solarius Scorch »

Offline efrenespartano

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2018, 05:14:41 pm »
I think Tech-Comm might be the only megamod/total conversion I know of that's actually set in a different universe. (I don't know anything about it.)

I can talk about it, i'm a collaborator!

Well, it's located in a very different world. Is set in the Terminator universe, so you are in charge of an elite joint strike team formed from Resistance fighters all around the globe. 'Tech-Comm' is called. The are no more Sectoids, instead Skynet, T-600s and Hunter Killers. I think is way harder than vanilla, since your initial weapons are almost useless against the tough Terminators. You really need to concentrate fire to kill one of them. Also, Skynet rules the sky. It's HKs are very dangerous and always will try to shoot your planes, so you need to asign escorts to every transport. Very fun. :)

Quote
I don't have any experience with UNEXCOM but I think I'll have to give it a look as it sounds pretty cool!

Thank you, Reaver! Hope you like it.  ;D

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2018, 01:17:18 pm »
I have no doubts that Area 51 is a great mod. But I have never even watched an LP of it, much less play it...
My mistake. Somehow I thought the two were closely related.

Offline tarsolyger

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 11:36:56 am »
I have an additional question:

What are the megamods, where the Heavy Plasma is not the (almost) only weapon one encounters after a few months on the parts of the aliens?

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 12:54:46 pm »
I have an additional question:

What are the megamods, where the Heavy Plasma is not the (almost) only weapon one encounters after a few months on the parts of the aliens?
I think most megamods change the tech level scaling to always keep the earlier weapons. Also, any mod that adds a lot of content involving aliens will likely include new alien weapons and thus more alien teching throughout the game. My Faithful mod keeps alien weaponry simple and merely ensures that plasma rifles and pistols are still around in the end game. My Rebalance mod also does this. But my upcoming mod (Harmony) will do more with aliens and their weaponry.

Offline tarsolyger

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 09:11:46 am »
I think most megamods change the tech level scaling to always keep the earlier weapons. Also, any mod that adds a lot of content involving aliens will likely include new alien weapons and thus more alien teching throughout the game. My Faithful mod keeps alien weaponry simple and merely ensures that plasma rifles and pistols are still around in the end game. My Rebalance mod also does this. But my upcoming mod (Harmony) will do more with aliens and their weaponry.
I see. I am currently (slowly) playing Area 51, and I love that mod to pieces, it is usually very limited what I encounter (if I exclude those new alien species that have a "built-in" weapon): it is usually heavy plasma and small launchers (with elerium bombs though).
It has been one of my problems with the original game, too, that heavy plasma is just the ultimate weapon in both my and the aliens' hands, so I would really appreciate a bigger diversity in that, too, like a heavy plasma that actually acts as a heavy weapon: clumsy, slow but high damage.

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2018, 03:32:52 am »
It has been one of my problems with the original game, too, that heavy plasma is just the ultimate weapon in both my and the aliens' hands, so I would really appreciate a bigger diversity in that, too, like a heavy plasma that actually acts as a heavy weapon: clumsy, slow but high damage.
My mods do exactly that. I balance all of the weapons so that everything has its purpose for existing, nothing is overpowered or underpowered, and everything is unique. It's the primary impetus for my mod work. The heavy plasma is one of my most important changes.

Here's the relevant attributes, taken from Reaver's Faithful:
Code: [Select]
  - type: STR_HEAVY_PLASMA
    weight: 14
    accuracyAuto: 0
    accuracySnap: 80
    accuracyAimed: 120
    tuAuto: 0
    tuSnap: 38
    tuAimed: 70
  - type: STR_HEAVY_PLASMA_CLIP
    weight: 4
    power: 130
    clipSize: 14

It's a damn good weapon, and one of my favorites. But it's not the monster it was in the original, and I still use other weapons.

In my experience, most mods focus on adding new content rather than adjusting existing attributes. They often either leave the original items unchanged, or remove them entirely. From what little I have seen, Area-51 may be one of the strongest examples of this--adding only, never changing originals. But a few mods specifically work on balance, such as Hardmode Expansion and AwesomeGuns. Final Mod Pack and UNEXCOM might have some changes as well, I haven't checked.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 03:35:30 am by The Reaver of Darkness »

Offline efrenespartano

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Re: Comparision of mega mods
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2018, 05:20:29 am »

 But a few mods specifically work on balance, such as Hardmode Expansion and AwesomeGuns. Final Mod Pack and UNEXCOM might have some changes as well, I haven't checked.

UNEXCOM changes it too and you need to apply some reverse-engineering to use them, similar to your mods. And you can remake them in Sniper rifles and LMGs too! :)


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