Author Topic: X-Com Files feedback  (Read 15378 times)

Offline Delkatar

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X-Com Files feedback
« on: October 08, 2018, 07:41:01 pm »
Some thoughts after my second X-Com files campaign. The first was to get a feel for the mod and see what might work or not. The second - I hoped to finish it up, a Veteran game with some liberal saving and loading to explore the mod.

First the good impressions.

The atmosphere is simply awesome. The mod does give a sense of starting as a bunch of more or less civilian investigators stumbling in the dark and the suspense and feeling of exploration is great. A lot of the new equipment is neat, though I in my two games I found myself simply not using a great deal of it. I'm not sure if it was because of luck or not, however my agents were simply useless when I tried to field test most of it. That said, it's nice that usually the gear you get in this mod lasts for more than a few weeks without being made obsolete.

Now for some so-so items.

Weapon balance. Pistols rule early game and rifles, baring sniper ones... I'm not sure if it was the ranges I ended up fighting at during most of my missions however up until the first couple of months of the alien invasion I found myself carrying pistols, shotguns and snipers/hunting rifles. Sniper/regular rifles and that include the Black Ops ones simply didn't perform as expected. Damage wise, shots per turn and hit chance - almost always it was better to carry either magnum, shotguns/CAWS or sniper rifles. The same goes for SMGs - the way I see them the only time they would be useful would be in basically point blank range when auto fire could actually hit something multiple times, however at that range shotguns are better and with AP ammo they were more effective in medium to even longer range.

I've noticed that the enemy, especially Red Dawn suffered less from such issues, however that once again might have been luck and the volume of auto-fire sent my way.

Level design next. I do like the new levels, however... I found myself avoiding a lot of the maps once I've explored them once. Simply put, I found that sticking my agents in most built up map/jungle maps was a recipe for losing people for no good enough gain. They simply aren't places that I would willingly do missions without power armour and weapons that could one-shot most of the opposition. On the other hand, a few of the missions I tried in such maps were tense, with me feeling how my agents were being hunted all over the places. A notable memory is the first time I encountered those green dogs employed by the Cult of Dagon. I spent close to thirty turns crawling all over the map hoping that when one of those show my people would be able to take them out with reaction fire before the beastie could close and eat their faces. So very much mixed feelings.

Now, for what ended my campaign - the alien invasion came and I was ready - I got interceptors ready, managed to shoot down a few UFOs, got lucky in my first small lander and got live captures of soldiers, engineers and a navigator. Come next month, and cue a base attack on my primary base. Even save-scumming like a champion the best outcome I got was push the aliens to the hangars. I was hoping that I had it into the bag, when I actually found what was waiting for me in the first one - two cyberdiscs and five or six sectoids. Two turns in and my few remaining soldiers got shredded.

That's another thing range related - as it turned out when I completed the research that showed psi strength of my people, all but a handful got scores from zero to thirty something. That in turn forced me to face the base defense while bringing only a handful of heavy weapons because otherwise by people gleefully blew themselves and any friendlies around when they either panicked or got mind controlled.

And here comes another issue I'm torn on. The X-Com Files is a great long mod... and after investing a lot of my spare time over the last couple of weeks in in, I find myself unwiling to grind through it again. By the time this campaign ended - I had close to two hundred completed missions and a significant part of those were frankly tedious zombie and other alien lifeforms hunts that I used to train rookies. Even if I won that base defense, after loosing so many people I simply wouldn't have been willing to subject myself to the grind necessary to rebuild my troop roster if the enemy actually let me do it.

Is there any chance that we would get an option to recruit better soldiers after gaining each promotion for example? More expensive of course. That's something I liked about Firexis Enemy Unknown/Within - even if you fucked up late game, thanks to certain missions you could rebuilt your roster in a reasonable time.

By the way, how many soldiers do you expect someone to have by the time the second year is over? How many bases? Speaking about that - something else that comes to mind - mission distribution. A great deal of missions in my two games were centered in Eurasia with Africa coming close third. The Americas had a relative dry spell with the odd Exalt/alien lifeforms/Dagon Attack. I simply had no incentives of building more than couple of bases over the first two years - one in Europe and another in the US. Once I got the Dragonfly transport, the range and time to get to a target became non-issues with only two, perhaps three missions I couldn't reach from my starting bases; no incentive at all to built a third at that time. That's an issue for me because it was roughly at the second half of year two that I began to regularly hit HQ and high level cult compounds and ofter I lost a few people on those missions. Training replacements was simply more and more tedious even if I had a more or less solid roster of thirty plus people by that point.

How do you see losing and training people when the alien invasion approaches? Especially when just the bloody sectoids regularly one-shot people with allien alloy vest and shields.

Speaking about missions... I found myself basically ignoring the cover operations after experiencing one of each type. Once again I found them too dangerous for my agents for no real gain. As far as money was concerned, fighting cults, selling corpses, etc and building what I can for profit was more than enough to keep me in the green. While thinking about building things, did I miss something or is the durathreed not really useful beyond a moneymaker if you don't have anything better? I found the X-Com jumpsuits underwhelming and kept using the armours offering the best protection even if that meant my agents were overweight.

Now, Cults. I've seen around this forum claims that you should strive to remove at least one, possibly two before the first year... How the hell? I found the two HQ missions I did a pain in the ass with eight people delivered by Dragonfly - and thinking about it that would have been an incentive of building a logistics base with a hagar, living quarters and storage to base an Osprey in range of where certain HQs appears. That in fact was the reason why I had to skip the first two times the Red Dawn one popped up - my Osprey couldn't get to it, and it was a suicide trying it with five people. However, I did get the Dragonfly researched and available before I could get the money for a third base so it became a moot point.




Offline Niewiem

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 10:20:42 pm »
Hi!

I can help you with some things as I am also playing similary to you :)
Quote
Now, Cults. I've seen around this forum claims that you should strive to remove at least one, possibly two before the first year... How the hell? I found the two HQ missions I did a pain in the ass with eight people delivered by Dragonfly - and thinking about it that would have been an incentive of building a logistics base with a hagar, living quarters and storage to base an Osprey in range of where certain HQs appears. That in fact was the reason why I had to skip the first two times the Red Dawn one popped up - my Osprey couldn't get to it, and it was a suicide trying it with five people. However, I did get the Dragonfly researched and available before I could get the money for a third base so it became a moot point.

Those were people who built base near spawn of HQ and sent mudranger with crew as far as i remember :) Dont try that at home ;)
I removed 3 of 4 basic cults by the end of second year(none at the end of first) and 4th was still there only because HQ did not want to spawn.

The basic merit of more bases is more scientists which provides you with better equipment when alliens appear(also more soldiers and better ranks - I think at the end of second year I had 4 bases with 16 soldiers in each). From what I remember all my troops used Cyber Armour when aliens struck - also I think I had skyraiders/skyrangers/skymarshals then. The best one of those three do not remember which one is that right now ;)

As for how you should replace your dead soldiers or lose less important ones for that matter use HWP and dogs - they are godsend as you can just produce/buy more! But basically as soon as you get sensible HWP you should send as many as you can in your ships. They make excellent scouts!

As for weapons - every single person that plays this mod has it`s favourites and say that rest is useless :P but it seems that every one says that about different weapons.
Miniguns are great for removing bigger number of enemies(great for those cult of apocalypse missions where there are millions of targets) :D
Sniper rifles dmg depends on accuracy of your guy so they are great in capable hands
And so on - I would suggest looking at Starving Poet Lets Play as he is literally testing every weapon he finds so you can learn a thing or two.

Hope this helps :)
But you were very unlucky to get sectoid base attack - anything nonpsionic would be easier - I only got a lot of Syndicate attacks, floaters and mutons to attack me so it was much easier...

Offline Delkatar

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 11:36:12 pm »
It might have been a good idea to have another base or two, for more soldiers if nothing else, however the roughly thirty people I had, they were simply sufficient to get the job done, especially considering that most missions I got were close to my base in Europe. Before I got the Dragnofly, I usually had a pair of rookies with three more experienced people in a humvee - bringing more green guys was a recipe to get everyone killed if something went wrong or there were more enemies spawned close to the vehicle.

Research - more scientists might have been usefull... if not for the fact that before Promotion II and III respectively I had everything useful available already researched and simply getting weapons I had no real intention of using because I already had better alternatives. In part that's because of the luck with mission spawining - it was about a shortly before the alien invasion began when I finally managed to capture a leader of the Ninja Cult and I had just gotten the first few of the cyber missions and researching stuff from there. Exalt - due to low number of missions and unlucky spawning of enemies, I think i was still on the second tier of safe houses with them and had no luck of getting close to the officers I needed to capture.

So the need of more than two bases fully decked with scientists - bio lab, intelligence center, science lab and the HQ in my starting one, those were more than enough to be be on the ball with what I actually had to reseach. Now that I know what to concentrate on, with similar setup I would get better results.

As far as armour goes, I had to initially face the aliens with armoured vests and just got enough alloy ones for two teams before the last few missions leading to the base assault that ended the campaing. I'll might load one of the saves I have from before the invasion began and after raiding a landed UFO or two to get a few captives and for interrogation and research, ignore them and keep my planes only as escorts for the transports until I got better gear.

As far as HWPs go - it was a trade off between bringing more people to a mission to gain experience and risking their lives so basically I ignored them. The first I really got was a scout one an it valiantly opened an elevator door so I could RPG a cyberdisc.

The same goes for the dogs. Ironically, I remember using them a lot in when I played the mod pack that this is built upon, however then you started with the Skyranger and I could afford to bring expendable units that didn't earn experience. With a Degonfly - a handful of veterans to do the killing, some rookies with P-90 to train and there simply wasn't enough space for drones.

What do I need for cyberarmour? More missions and salvage for the cyber ark I presume? By the time the invasion happened, I only had two, perhaps three of them and the first was before I had alien containment built so capturing the scientist got me a body for my troubles - three veterans in the hospital.

Offline Niewiem

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 11:44:20 pm »
For cyber armour you need:
Tactical Neural Impant for this you need cyberweb and magma missions
Personal Armour - dont remember what you need for this one :(
Durathread (this one you have)

Offline Delkatar

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 11:46:48 pm »
I do have durathreed, I think I had the implant researched, however personal armour - I presume you don't mean the green armoured vest/shield combo?

EDIT: Yeah, I do have the implant, no idea what I need to capture for a personal armour. I did reload a save a few months back and by basically letting the aliens do what they want avoided a base assault The downside is that it was before I got the mission that finally allowed me to capture that floating officer of the Ninja Cult and that particular mission didn't spawn this time. Instead I got an Exalt one that started with my transport surrounded and had to abort or get everyone grenaded to death on turn two.

On the bright side I just got an improved skyranger build with another on the way along with a few dogs and scout drones. TWPs however - I manufactured two, have over fifty shells however I don't get the option to load them on transport - neither dragonfly nor improved skyranger that should be able to hold at least three according to the description. What am I missing?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 03:28:08 pm by Delkatar »

Offline Niewiem

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 03:34:16 pm »
They are usable as armors for basic AI unit

Offline tkzv

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 04:03:17 pm »
I've noticed that the enemy, especially Red Dawn suffered less from such issues, however that once again might have been luck and the volume of auto-fire sent my way.
I tried Nitro Express and it felt useless. Too slow rate of fire, can't use shield. Then I faced Red Dawn Coordinators, who one-shot me through shields :) Guess, some weapons work best when you outnumber the enemy.

A notable memory is the first time I encountered those green dogs employed by the Cult of Dagon. I spent close to thirty turns crawling all over the map hoping that when one of those show my people would be able to take them out with reaction fire before the beastie could close and eat their faces.
What weapon did you have? I normally have Desert Eagles or Magnums at this point and gill dogs are bearable.

That's another thing range related - as it turned out when I completed the research that showed psi strength of my people, all but a handful got scores from zero to thirty something. That in turn forced me to face the base defense while bringing only a handful of heavy weapons because otherwise by people gleefully blew themselves and any friendlies around when they either panicked or got mind controlled.
It feels sad every time I fire them, but low psionic agents are best sacked as early as possible.  Gives you more time to train replacement. In some earlier versions there was a period when every Sectoid  UFO had psionic enemies (or it was just luck). It's not hard to get psionic screening by early 1998, if you have enough researchers.

And here comes another issue I'm torn on. The X-Com Files is a great long mod... and after investing a lot of my spare time over the last couple of weeks in in, I find myself unwiling to grind through it again. By the time this campaign ended - I had close to two hundred completed missions and a significant part of those were frankly tedious zombie and other alien lifeforms hunts that I used to train rookies. Even if I won that base defense, after loosing so many people I simply wouldn't have been willing to subject myself to the grind necessary to rebuild my troop roster if the enemy actually let me do it.
The thing I loved about this mod is the gym. While some missions do allow to raise a stat by 4-6, about half of growth is given by the gym. Maxing stats only takes several months.


By the way, how many soldiers do you expect someone to have by the time the second year is over? How many bases?
I try to get 6 bases with at least radars. With the limits on the number of labs -- 1 of each kind per base -- you'll need many bases to research fast. Up to 6 Skymarshals and Thunderstorms -- or as many as I can afford. Many missions can still be done with weaker craft, thus I don't bother with intermediate models unless absolutely necessary. I never filled Skymarshalls -- that many agents make a good target and take a few turns to disperse. So, it's usually something like 3 developed bases in the North hemisphere -- 2-3 hangars, stores, living quarters, gym, pens-prison-containment, intelligence center, biolab, laboratory, workshop, radar, 10-15 agents -- and 3 underdeveloped ones with a subset of the former list.

Speaking about missions... I found myself basically ignoring the cover operations after experiencing one of each type. Once again I found them too dangerous for my agents for no real gain. As far as money was concerned, fighting cults, selling corpses, etc and building what I can for profit was more than enough to keep me in the green.
I liked Black Lotus Party. Assassins' camouflage doesn't work in close quarters. The only mission where capturing them is reasonably easy.

While thinking about building things, did I miss something or is the durathreed not really useful beyond a moneymaker if you don't have anything better? I found the X-Com jumpsuits underwhelming and kept using the armours offering the best protection even if that meant my agents were overweight.
You need durathread manufacturing to unlock alien alloy research and cyberweb.

Now, Cults. I've seen around this forum claims that you should strive to remove at least one, possibly two before the first year... How the hell? I found the two HQ missions I did a pain in the ass with eight people delivered by Dragonfly - and thinking about it that would have been an incentive of building a logistics base with a hagar, living quarters and storage to base an Osprey in range of where certain HQs appears. That in fact was the reason why I had to skip the first two times the Red Dawn one popped up - my Osprey couldn't get to it, and it was a suicide trying it with five people. However, I did get the Dragonfly researched and available before I could get the money for a third base so it became a moot point.
I did all 4 with a van on beginner level :) With a lot of reloading.

Dagon and EXALT HQs give a lot of places to hide, making them easiest. Stay out of sight and shoot everybody, who can reveal you to psionics. Black Lotus has long wide corridors, open halls and invisible ninjas. It's enough to just grab the statue and run. Red Dawn is similar, but you start as sitting ducks on an open plain. Smoke grenades and fire extinguishers can help. Again, you only need one card.

I do have durathreed, I think I had the implant researched, however personal armour - I presume you don't mean the green armoured vest/shield combo?
"Personal armour" is the 1st armour out of alien alloys in the original game. Alien alloy research is split into several stages here and personal armour is unlocked fairly late. If you can make Skyranger and better, you can research personal armour. But if I remember corectly, cyber armour is better, if more expensive.

Offline Delkatar

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 06:10:11 pm »
So not the tritinium vest or however it's spelled? I do have the implant and I'm building  more of those to outfit everyone.

Good to know about the HWP's being armours for the basic AI units. I'll give them a test run tonight.

I haven't really tested the Nitro Express. By the time I got it I had better options.

For that mission with the Dagon dogs - I had Black Ops shotguns, magnums, I'm not sure if I had CAWS already or not. It was a Dagon attack mission on a very built up map little in the way of clear lines of fire and a great amount of places where the dogs could jump around the corner or out of a building and eat a few people before they could react. If hit, they usually did get down in couple of shots from my veterans. Either that or someone missed and got their faces eaten.

To do that I would have to practically fire all by two or thee people senior agent and above which will cripple my roster.

I'm keeping apace with reasearch by only using two bases decked with everything science related I have so far. That might be due to the range again - Exalt and the Lotus cult I have the damnest time getting missions to spawn in the first place. It's rarer that I don't have to abort due to enemies surrounding my transport or having to kill the officers I need to capture or lose experienced people. I'm currently building up a third base, however at this rate I'll be turning it into manufacturing hub... and that was by concentrating all scientists on a single project until last night when I read that it would be better if I spread them out and it seems to be working. If I had done that earlier I would have run out of things to research a few times already.

The gym does help... if the rookies live long enough to get trained. Between injuries and missions, I still have a few people who I got at the start of the game who haven't completed their training yet. I did run dual gyms in my two bases for a time while until I got ten people trained apiece and then scrapped one. However between mission stat increase its hard to judge how much that training helped. The people who completed it all have between thirty to sixty kills and a lot of missions under their belts already.

I've been running between thirty to forty agents until the allien invasion began and those have been more than adequate to go to all missions I could want to. It wasn't so in the early game but by the time I had my second base operational and few humvees and vans it was a done deal. The moment I got a Dragonfly operational I simply didn't need any other transports in range, especially considering that I'm not touching undercover missions with a ten foot pole. Without armour my agents have the distressing tendency to be one-shotted in those. Simply not enough gain for the risk.

At this rate I would probably have power armour and plasma weapons or at least lasers for everyone by the time I'm able to capture who I need to get the Exalt and Lotus HQ's.

As far as the other two missions went, I didn't know you only needed to retreive the objective and then could abort and ended up fighting until almost all enemies were dead and the rest surrendered. Snipers MLG shined in the two HQ missions I got to do.

Ironically, the durathread factory I did early with only five people - good placing of the enemies, magnums and snipers saw me through until the officers were dead an the rest surrendered. I did a second one too, which went to mixed results even if I dropped a Dragonfly with a crack veteran unit on their heads.

Where the enemy starts positioned can make or break a mission no matter what equipment and people I bring.



Offline tkzv

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 09:31:43 pm »
So not the tritinium vest or however it's spelled?
The shiny vest comes a bit earlier. Checked the armors*.rul file -- the vest has better front protection, especially with the shield. Xenonauts' vest is:
    frontArmor: 28
    sideArmor: 12
    rearArmor: 16/
    underArmor: 12
Alloy vest is:
    frontArmor: 44
    sideArmor: 20
    rearArmor: 26
    underArmor: 15
Alloy vest with shield is:
    frontArmor: 54
    sideArmor: 20
    rearArmor: 26
    underArmor: 15
Personal armour:
    frontArmor: 32
    sideArmor: 28
    rearArmor: 24
    underArmor: 24
Cyber armour:
    frontArmor: 48
    sideArmor: 42
    rearArmor: 36
    underArmor: 36
I haven't really tested the Nitro Express. By the time I got it I had better options.
I gave it as an example that some weapons may require change of tactics. Which may not be worth it.

It was a Dagon attack mission on a very built up map
Ouch. The first time I got it, no civilians survived.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 10:16:58 pm »
When comparing armours, do not forget to also check the resistances. ;)

Offline tkzv

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 11:27:41 pm »
When comparing armours, do not forget to also check the resistances. ;)
My bad :) I'm so disinclined to enter this maze, I keep forgetting it exists. In the same order:
Code: [Select]
0 None                 1.0   1.0   1.0   1.0    1.0
 1 Kinetic              0.7   0.8   0.8   1.0    1.0
 2 Inc                  1.2   1.0   1.0   0.8    0.8
 3 HE                   1.0   1.0   1.0   0.85   0.85
 4 Laser                1.0   0.8   0.8   0.8    0.7
 5 Plasma               1.0   1.0   1.0   0.65   0.8
 6 Stun                 0.9   0.9   0.9   0.9    0.9
 7 Melee                1.0   1.0   1.0   0.7    0.7
 8 Chemical             1.0   1.0   1.0   1.0    1.0
 9 Smoke                1.0   1.0   1.0   1.0    1.0
10 EMP                  0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0    0.3
11 Electric             1.0   0.8   0.8   0.6    0.6
12 Psi                  1.0   1.0   1.0   1.0    1.0
13 Warp                 1.0   1.0   1.0   1.0    1.0
14 E-115                0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0    0.0
------------------------------------------------------
melee dodge reactions   0.15  0.2   0.25  0.3    0.1
tu                     -5    -5    -5     0      0
stamina                -5    -5   -10     0      0
reactions              -5    -5    -5     0    +10
Did I get the order right? What's the difference between "EMP" and "EMP Weapons"? "Electro-Shock Weapons" and "Electric"? Are there any warp weapons in this mod? — No, corrected with the list from next post.

Cyber Armour makes agents vulnerable to EMP. Personal Armour offers best protection against chemicals, including acid. Which is odd, since Cyber covers more body against plasma. Compared to alloy vest, Personal better resists electroshock, psi, acid, cutting incendiary, explosive, plasma, melee and electric. Extra melee resistance doesn't beat the shield, but it'll help for strikes from rear or sides.

Also, Personal doesn't hamper stats, unlike vests, and has highest dodge bonus. Cyber is still better for reaction shots.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 01:12:42 am by tkzv »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2018, 12:16:14 am »
To be honest I don't understand your list, it's positively alien to me... Let me list the resistances in order:

Code: [Select]
0 None
1 Kinetic
2 Inc
3 HE
4 Laser
5 Plasma
6 Stun
7 Melee
8 Chemical
9 Smoke
10 EMP
11 Electric
12 Psi
13 Warp
14 E-115

There is no difference between "EMP" and "EMP Weapons", as well as between "Electric" and "Electro-Shock Weapons" - the first refers to damage type, and the second to item category (based on damage type).

You are correct in that the Cyber Armour is somewhat vulnerable to EMP damage, as the very point of EMP is to damage electronics (so it's harmless against non-electronic targets). But the Personal Armour is not as good against Chemicals as the Cyber Armour, since they have the same resistance (100%) but the Cyber Armour has greater basic armour values.

And yes, the stat bonuses, dodge, weight, night vision and other such properties are also very important.

Offline Barth Gimble

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2018, 12:23:41 pm »
Reading your impressions is interesting, as I'm probably in a similar category of player. I discovered the X-Com Files a few months ago, and have been playing heavily since. I've been playing on "Experienced" difficulty, and am on my third try after abandoning my first two plays due to various deficiencies in approach as I was learning the ropes. I feel my current game is going quite well, so maybe I've figured a few things out finally.

I mostly agree with your impressions of weapon usefulness. My agents usually stick with magnum pistols, shotguns, and stun rods, at least until aliens start their invasion proper. Some of the rifles then become more useful, such as laser and chemical/toxic varieties. Tritanium ammo in smart magnums keeps pistols highly useful and relevant quite far into game, and agents with high marksmanship can use them at pretty good ranges. I don't think I've even used ten percent of all the varieties of weapons found in the game. Most of them don't seem useful to me, and most of them are virtually indistinguishable.

Looking over your comments as a whole, my general deduction and friendly advice is that you need to do a lot more missions-- and on those missions, you need to capture more enemies alive. Missions generate research topics, and apart from developing some combat tactics that work for you research is the most fundamentally important part of this game. Your comments that you feel you're caught up on research tell me you probably aren't really aware of the vast scope of things to be investigated. This is why I say you need to do a lot more missions-- if you've succeeded in researching all the topics available to you, then the problem is that you're missing all kinds of stuff. For example, you should have had cyber armor in ample quantities (it takes a long time to produce) before the aliens started arriving en masse.

I've made research my top priority in my current game, which as I said is going fairly well. My game is currently in August of 1999, I have 130 scientists on the payroll, and I'm not at all nor have I at any point been in a position I'd describe as "caught up" on research. There are hundreds and hundreds of topics to research, all of which contribute directly to your warfighting capability. Also, a lot of interesting topics only become available by researching multiple instances of particular enemies.

I'm not in a position to say whether the way I'm playing is a good way to play, I can only say it seems to be working well for me. I've got seven bases, with over 100 agents in the field doing every mission which comes up and which I can get to in time. Two of these bases are mostly air bases, housing multiple fighter craft for shooting down ufos. Two others are mostly logistical or storage centers: one a warehouse for alien tech, the other a warehouse for everything of earthly origin.

This means I have 3 bases from which almost all operations are launched. The first base houses all the rookies. These folks only go on missions related to monsters, because most monsters don't shoot back. Rookies stay in this base, going on missions and training in the gym, until they get a "training complete" sign-off meaning they've maxed their stats as much as possible through training in the gym. About half my roster is in this base right now. After the 100th time hunting down beetles or rats or zombies, these missions frankly grow kind of tedious-- but it's vital to keep on doing them, as often as possible, because this is where the agent development occurs that allows you to face the bigger challenges of the game.

The second mission-responding base I call the Criminal Investigative Division. Agents at this base only fight cults, gangs, or terrestial paramilitary groups. During this process, they continue to gain competence with combat-gained stat increases. I still have these people using Tritanium vests, and they're getting along just fine against the kinds of enemies they routinely face.

Only once agents are at or near the actual stat caps ("super agents" as some might call them) do they move on to postings at the other five bases. This could be guard duty or fighter pilot duty at the airbases or logistical centers. Or, they could get stationed at what I'm calling the Alien Research Division-- in other words, the soldiers who fight aliens or Dimension X foes. That is the sole purpose of the third "fighting" base I have.

The point is, this is a logical way to organize soldier development. At each stage, agents are only fighting enemies whom they are capable of overcoming at that time. Only the toughest and most capable are fighting aliens, and this system seems to work well in producing a steady flow of such soldiers. Also, agents stationed at any base except for the rookie base are all in psionic training.

Furthermore, this system has the virtue of simplicity from a player's perspective. If a certain kind of mission appears, any soldier at the base responsible for handling those kinds of missions can respond. There's no need to spend time considering who is assigned to various crafts operating out of that base.

At the present time in my current game (August 1999), I'm mainly fighting aliens and the Syndicate. It's been quite some time ago that I finished off the main cults (not counting Cult of Apocalypse) and got rid of most of the monsters (not counting high-level zombie bosses, who continue to generate missions).

About the catastrophic loss of your base during alien retaliation, some would surely disagree but I would say in a case like this, just use debug mode and give yourself a win in that battle. It's not a competitive game-- the only objectives are to have fun, and hone your skills. X-Com Files is a very big game, and one shouldn't feel any scruples over occasionally giving onself a helping hand to continue getting a return (in fun) on all the time invested in playing.

Also as tkzv noted, though it's sometimes painful or sad, get rid of those low psi-resistant people as soon as you find out about them. They're a menace to themselves and the rest of your people, so they just have to go back to catching bank robbers or whatever else they were doing before.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 12:42:45 pm by Barth Gimble »

Offline Delkatar

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 03:45:37 pm »
I've tried interrogating types of enemies multiple times and the only thing I got of that was amusing but ultimately useless trivia so I gave up and have been selling the once researched types for the longest time. As I mentioned, mission wise I've been able to respond at almost everything I'm actually willing to stick my people at for a long time now. And going to more missions - that's a bloody issue because after two hundred of them I find myself as a player ready to start ignoring a lot of the tedious ones. If that's what it takes to keep progressing, especially with the less experienced people I might simply drop the mod and finally try piratez and concentrate on the WH40K one more.

This is a game after all and it's an issue when a significant chunk of the missions are simply not fun to play you know. Hell, that includes the various terror variants. In any build up map I find it prudent to bunker down at the transport, ignore dying civilians, kill every enemy that approaches and only go hunt down the rest when there're couple left. That's the one way to reliably keep my people alive in the build up maps, it works but its not fun to actually do.

It's regrettable that otherwise such a fun and innovative mod has a lot of its missions turn into a tedious chore.

On a related note, so far I've found the various assaults on cult compounds the most fun and dynamic to play at least as long as I don't have to abort in the first couple of turns due to starting surrounded and in an ideal position to get the whole unit either shot to pieces or grenaded to death.

As far as having a whole rookie base for alien life-forms/earlier zombie missions, I did try that with my second base and soon found out that if I didn't have at least half the team made of veterans I often had to either abort or lose people when more than a handful of enemies spawned near the transport. In my experience, it best worked when I had three veterans/two rookies in a humvee, doing my best to feed shots to the latter or four/four split in the Dragonfly. Needless to say, while it works, especially if there are a lot of zombies on such a mission, it's so bloody tedious that I simply began ignoring such missions for a few months on at least two occassions because I was bloody sick of them.

That at least in my mind is a balance issue. Fun and time you spend grinding should be addressed I recon. That's why I asked if there eventually might be an option to outright buy better soldiers after each promotion. For an example - you get the standard ones at the begining of the game with better and better ones after each time X-COM gets promoted to reflect that you receive access to better recruiting pool of people.

After loading a save from a few months back and avoiding that base defense I could say for sure that I won't be willing to invest time grinding through the first two years from scratch. There are simply too many tedious missions required and my free time would be better spent doing something actually enjoyable which is a pity because otherwise the mod is awesome.

Offline Niewiem

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Re: X-Com Files feedback
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 03:56:08 pm »
There was an idea on discord to maybe be able to recruit something similar to syndicate super soldiers - maybe that could be way to do it?
Or make a switch that after some research/event range of values for soldier abilities are different (but I do not know if it is possible in engine)