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Author Topic: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.  (Read 3925 times)

Offline Indiewolf

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Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« on: August 29, 2022, 09:23:19 am »
I've been trying to get further in an xPiratez playthrough and keep running into walls I don't know how to pass. John Silver difficulty.

I'll be doing pretty well and then around 6 months in my score will just omega tank due to the Sky Pirates (guessing). I'd go from 1438 Thug one month to a -3489 score the next.

Now, the score situation is pretty scary but there is stuff I can do to try to fix it, like unlocking more missions, and really going heavy on the research. Doing that helped the early months but I still start tanking hard 6 months in and I believe it's because of all of the explosion of air activity I can't do anything about.

The biiiig issue I'm running into now is sending my Airbus to far off missions and it just getting shot out of the air, losing my main craft, and a whole crew of my best people, effectively ending my run randomly just out of the blue.

I have been looking up guides and scouring the forums but I just don't get it. I feel like I need a walkthrough to play this game, but I love it so much, I'm so torn.

I tried to research aircraft but the game just gave me some shitty helicopters that can't even reach the areas my shuttles get shot down at.

It's so brutal constantly restarting, so I made this thread. Any tips or help would be greatly appreciated.


Offline Indiewolf

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2022, 04:09:05 pm »
I think my problem might be fixed by hurrying up and building the TINY DRILL, but it'll be tough to make score this month waiting on it to be built.

Offline Interdictor

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2022, 06:36:17 pm »
I see negative score issue mentioned so link to dedicated topic could be helpful, please check below.

Help! I am losing games because of score! [Guide]
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,10299.0.html

Offline Gremlion

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2022, 01:27:07 am »
It would've been helpful if you posted a save, then it would've been possible to say what you did wrong or what you missed.
my basics for a successful first year:

Research-wise:
You can mouse wheel click on a research to go into a tech tree.
priority 0 - rush for hellerium extraction (makes runts profitable) -> switch to grog in the second month-> chatou if you get apples.
priority 1 - rush for tunnel hunt -> do it-> chitin -> scale mail. 30 all around armor on it makes you pretty much immune against petty human enemies.
priority 2 - shadowmasters. This tech unlocks codex crafts. From top of my head the easiest way to get them was to bruteforce research hoes, you get 5 from the red lantern villa and you would need like 3-4 missions to completely exhaust them. You might get lucky (*cough* savescum) on many other enemies like drifter, but hoe has the shortest research list while being very numerous.
priority 3 - bounty hunt. many profitable missions.
priority 4 - ship weaponry. I prefer Rogue field warlords one, but there are bounty hunt rewards and crazy hanna contact too.

Buildings:
Many players miss an ability to build over other buildings. When you do this, you save time on building time of a new building, plus you can expand faster overall.
Example:
stage 1 burrow.
stage 2 burrow - burrow
stage 3 burrow - burrow - burrow
stage 4 (farm-farm) - burrow - burrow
stage 5 (farm - farm) - (farm - farm) - (farm - farm)
You can completely fill your base with farms in two months.
Compared to 3-4 months to make base online with
stage 1 (farm - farm)
month later
stage 2 (farm - farm) (farm farm)
month later
stage 3 (farm - farm) - (farm - farm) - (farm - farm)

Building wise you want to rush a second prison (to keep 20 hoes for shadowmasters),mess hall and multiple extractors - to do the drill project asap without going for the workshop.
Since extractors unlock more runt jobs and you want to expand your retinue on top, you want to spam burrows to speed up building time later and have free housing.

Ship wise:
Expedition is invisible to interceptors. If you get unlucky with the enemy base spawn on top of you, switch to them. If you want to attack an enemy base without having an airgame, use it.
Use shadowtech crafts in the first year.
By the end of the first year you want to have proper interceptor built to remove disrupting transmissions.

Recruitment-wise
Max the runt amount to make money (hellerium->grog)
Max the brainer amount to make score/research.
Expand your hunt parties. There are missions with lokknar only, human only, freshness prevents you using the same guys every time, so you want to have multiple teams of different types.

Offline Indiewolf

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2022, 11:33:50 am »
I've advanced a bit further but I'm still kind of in the same predicament. No airforce. One of the bootypedia listings told me expeditions were trash so I wrote them off. In retrospect that may be one of the several red herring bad advice posts that I'm starting to see more of. I didn't know it'd be so far off getting the airforce. I tried middle clicking the research trees and it helped a little but I still couldn't really suss out a long term strategy. I didn't see anything about 20 hoes.

I will continue to play this fun game though and try to impliment some of your tips. I have apples and know what Chateu is but don't know how to build it. I think I may be missing something pretty important. Maybe I need to really map out DEEP into the research tree before I do anything else. If it can give me a clue as to how to proceed.

Pretty much just researching as hard as I can to keep my score up and trying to S rank all the missions I get but I feel really lost about what to do after popping the drill and getting the sleek hull. I thought some new manufacturing or research would open up but I can't see it. All of the research still on the table seems not related to general progress, just interrogations and shitty weapons for the most part that I already have better versions of from looting and gambling.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2022, 11:48:05 am by Indiewolf »

Offline Indiewolf

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2022, 11:46:20 am »
I attached the save if you wanted to take a look. The advice is appreciated.

Offline magitsu

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2022, 09:00:59 pm »
You are missing only Apple research for Chateau.
But only 7 brainers in May 24th... not good (still learning ofc). For example you could've had 4 already on day one by selling the corridors.
You could've sold captured soldiers and other stuff early to get 200k occasionally for extra brainers (at the start of each month), since you can't really research more than 3-5 in reasonable time anyway. Currently you have 1.4 million worth of gold bars, which should've been invested a long time ago for brainers and another base (aka more plantations). Hellerium, Plastasteel and Superconductives for 600k more since you've already built Personal Labs (don't need more SC wire soon after that).

Go to the Fence or Research screen and middle mouse click the items to see their research tree.
For example take a look at the Highwayman. Researching it is currently gating two mission types: !Highway House! and !Bandit Business!. You want to prioritize more mission types so you can get them starting next month instead of just looking at flying ufos you can't catch. Very fast Fugitive and Hideout Search order researches are on the other hand gating Doctor X storyline missions.
Gymnastics, Church Neophyte and Church Priest are gating Neophyte Bootcamp...

Just take a look at everything's tech trees. Doing so you should come to the realization why it's not the best use of your time to devote 2/7 of your researchers to Manstopper and Holdout pistol at this point. They don't gate anything, so you are only wasting your time getting similar items. Your Airbus is loaded to the brim. Too much variety and excess amounts like 40 vodka.
You also have ton of items there which haven't been researched, so you have to keep an eye on whether they are needed for research instead of being used. Surplus amounts can be used in a pinch even if you aren't able to replace them.

If you want to see where your radar can't, take a look at the charts. Shipping activity in regions shows that there's been 2-3k worth of activity in Central Asia last month. So if you want to be surprised, fly your Airbus to western China (but keep a save first). If you anchor there for a few hours, you might be surprised by what's between Forbidden Caves and Gardens of Delight.

Here's an example video which seems to have 8 brainers by Feb 15th.
https://youtu.be/hlg4AYfubDw?t=7548
« Last Edit: September 01, 2022, 12:33:12 am by magitsu »

Offline Indiewolf

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2022, 01:09:10 am »
Thank you~ I'm going to liquidate the gold, check out my fence screen research, research apples, and buy more brainers. And get my non-researched and shuttled inventory sorted out.

I'm guessing making a second plantation base will pay for itself pretty quickly so I won't worry about invasions too much. I guess I should still load it up with people and bombs and such to defend it though yeah? I'll probably be pretty flush on money after this, on this difficulty.


Offline Gremlion

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2022, 06:11:55 am »
So, checking your save...
1. You kill too much. Stunned enemies are much more valuable than corpses - they have knowledge, sometimes you can strip an alive enemy from his full armor, which you will not get from a corpse...
2. Not enough researchers. You want to have amount of brainers maxed to go through ~3k researches in this game. Researchers are close to break even on their maintenance with the infamy money research gives.
3. Not investing in general. your 35 runts make half a million per month with grog. you can double it easily, you have 40 space in the workshop.
4. Plantation in your main base is bad. it takes too much space for very little gain. Look at 35 runts doing 4 times more than plantation only using 2 cells of space (barracks + extractor).
Runts are moneymakers, you want to make a second base ASAP and start expanding production. Plantation becomes good later, when you will need sectoweed and boom fruits in industrial amounts. Until then it's better to spend money on runts. (They are also good in the sense that you can expand tertiary + bases while you have very little money, you can build over them)

Research-wise you only need "personal database" to get access to "car thieves" which will sell you your first interceptors (as in you will be able to down civilians). With car thieves + codex + shadowmasters you will be able to buy shadowtech crafts, which will be your bread and butter for an year. If you had double amount of brainers, you could've had this month or two ago.

To not drown in the research ocean I do a strategy of:
-last day of month I add all white researches to the research queue.
-Then I mark all researches as seen with "x" in the new project screen
And during the next month I complete researches from queue (unless I get some priority one, obv), and if queue ends I add white researches back (interrogations, books...)
This way I save a brainpower on not evaluating dildo vs mutant meat and I'm sure that I will not miss some obscure prerequisite tech (like you are missing apples right now for the best moneymaking tech)

Usually I have like 1/3 of brainers doing interrogations only.

Offline magitsu

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2022, 10:19:45 am »
I agree that Plantation in the first base is a waste of space, since it breaks even in 3 months from placing. You should have better use for that space during that time (1->3 extractors and soon 1 workshop and the crew quarters for them). In every other base initially they can be useful.

For example plantation to every side of the newly placed lift and burrow in one direction, then radar next to the burrow if you want eyes. More plantations everywhere else. It will take several months for you to afford to transition plant tile to a hangar or factory, so they are guaranteed to be profitable. Though you can do runts too, with a little more initial work.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2022, 10:24:05 am by magitsu »

Offline howareyou32ny

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2022, 05:59:40 pm »
It would've been helpful if you posted a save, then it would've been possible to say what you did wrong or what you missed.
my basics for a successful first year:

Research-wise:
You can mouse wheel click on a research to go into a tech tree.
priority 0 - rush for hellerium extraction (makes runts profitable) -> switch to grog in the second month-> chatou if you get apples.
priority 1 - rush for tunnel hunt -> do it-> chitin -> scale mail. 30 all around armor on it makes you pretty much immune against petty human enemies.
priority 2 - shadowmasters. This tech unlocks codex crafts. From top of my head the easiest way to get them was to bruteforce research hoes, you get 5 from the red lantern villa and you would need like 3-4 missions to completely exhaust them. You might get lucky (*cough* savescum) on many other enemies like drifter, but hoe has the shortest research list while being very numerous.
priority 3 - bounty hunt. many profitable missions.
priority 4 - ship weaponry. I prefer Rogue field warlords one, but there are bounty hunt rewards and crazy hanna contact too.

Buildings:
Many players miss an ability to build over other buildings. When you do this, you save time on building time of a new building, plus you can expand faster overall.
Example:
stage 1 burrow.
stage 2 burrow - burrow
stage 3 burrow - burrow - burrow
stage 4 (farm-farm) - burrow - burrow
stage 5 (farm - farm) - (farm - farm) - (farm - farm)
You can completely fill your base with farms in two months.
Compared to 3-4 months to make base online with
stage 1 (farm - farm)
month later
stage 2 (farm - farm) (farm farm)
month later
stage 3 (farm - farm) - (farm - farm) - (farm - farm)

Building wise you want to rush a second prison (to keep 20 hoes for shadowmasters),mess hall and multiple extractors - to do the drill project asap without going for the workshop.
Since extractors unlock more runt jobs and you want to expand your retinue on top, you want to spam burrows to speed up building time later and have free housing.

Ship wise:
Expedition is invisible to interceptors. If you get unlucky with the enemy base spawn on top of you, switch to them. If you want to attack an enemy base without having an airgame, use it.
Use shadowtech crafts in the first year.
By the end of the first year you want to have proper interceptor built to remove disrupting transmissions.

Recruitment-wise
Max the runt amount to make money (hellerium->grog)
Max the brainer amount to make score/research.
Expand your hunt parties. There are missions with lokknar only, human only, freshness prevents you using the same guys every time, so you want to have multiple teams of different types.
Good plan. I am in a mess now. But joy and pain in the same time lol.

Offline BlorkTheOrk

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2022, 08:11:26 pm »

Expedition is invisible to interceptors.


I believe the big expedition is visible at the current patch. The small one needed. HUNT PARTY - this one.

Check out "ANAL" button at ingame bootypedia while chicking your available crafts - you need "undetectable = true" transports to deliever your gals around.


I have been looking up guides and scouring the forums but I just don't get it. I feel like I need a walkthrough to play this game, but I love it so much, I'm so torn.


A year ago the mod have changed, so you probably receive too much "build up industry and chill" advices. Cool kids (which are alive kids) do streamline research and extensive kidnapping now.


And the last one: this mod gone from "Build up industry, have all time and fun in the world" to "Right order research or infancy death" this year. So, maybe you want a version of a year or two ago before ninja bases appeared in the mod. This will be the difficulty decrease. And maybe it is a more immersive way to experience XPiratez first time (rather than rush first year).

Offline Indiewolf

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2022, 08:38:41 pm »
Yeah the game seems to have changed a lot since the last time I played it. This thread has been a major help though. I'm still not 100% on how things are going to go, but I was totally lost before now I've been doing some of the changes mentioned here and things feel like they're going pretty good. I was tempted to restart, but I have a bad habit of never making progress in games if I get stuck on having a perfect start, and I'll no doubt fumble something major soon and be forced to anyway.

Offline balam

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Re: Struggling in a few areas. Research, Air, Score.
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2022, 09:54:36 pm »
I've been trying to get further in an xPiratez playthrough and keep running into walls I don't know how to pass. John Silver difficulty.

I'll be doing pretty well and then around 6 months in my score will just omega tank due to the Sky Pirates (guessing). I'd go from 1438 Thug one month to a -3489 score the next.

Now, the score situation is pretty scary but there is stuff I can do to try to fix it, like unlocking more missions, and really going heavy on the research. Doing that helped the early months but I still start tanking hard 6 months in and I believe it's because of all of the explosion of air activity I can't do anything about.

The biiiig issue I'm running into now is sending my Airbus to far off missions and it just getting shot out of the air, losing my main craft, and a whole crew of my best people, effectively ending my run randomly just out of the blue.

I have been looking up guides and scouring the forums but I just don't get it. I feel like I need a walkthrough to play this game, but I love it so much, I'm so torn.

I tried to research aircraft but the game just gave me some shitty helicopters that can't even reach the areas my shuttles get shot down at.

It's so brutal constantly restarting, so I made this thread. Any tips or help would be greatly appreciated.

This game has a lot of moving parts and trying to figure out what works is half the fun... that being said here are the basics. I play on Jack Sparrow so your mileage may vary.

1. First things firsts, the start location: Theban is the best by far. The clones are downright broken  early game and will make a huge difference in the battlescape. With clones you can easily capture everything in Academy Outpost/Temple Run which will give you a lot of money. Money... you will need a lot of it. If an enemy is worth more than 10k alive you should try your best to take it alive. Clones have a lot of TU/Stamina from the get go which make capturing with melee easy. With clones you can also delay recruitment techs.

2. Regarding research, you will want to have max number of brainers always - that's your number one priority. I always try to get as many as possible at the start of the month. For the research path, I like to have bounty hunts and mess hall researched and built in the first month. Bounty Hunts are very easy in general and give a huge score. My goal for the second month is to research recruit brainer: castaway gal. You can have enough castaway gals + money to have 13 brainers in march. Another key tech is chateau de la morte which I get in march.

3. Codex choice also plays a huge role in your early game. Building an extractor asap (february) so you can use a codex by feb/march. If you go for red codex for example, you can ignore armor research early on.

4. For the air game you basically need a new ship and weapons. The early ships you can build like the little bird are indeed underwhelming. You can research contacts: car thieves very early on but you probably won't have weapons/ammo. To really get the air game going, you need shadowmasters tech, which you can get from interrogations and weapons that don't require ammo (rng/codex) or a supply of ammunition. Eventually you will be able to buy spike rockets (mutant alliance prize), 25mm rounds and 50mm shells (contacts: krazy hanna). One thing to keep in mind is that rockets are very expensive and might not be worth using on anything but the juicer targets. Sonic Oscillator is another craft weapon that you can get early that requires no ammunition - you can get the parts from USOs wrecks (undersea missions). Good thing you got the clones, cuz they make early undersea missions pretty trivial.

5. Contacts: Krazy Hanna. This is another key tech that you must get asap! It's rng gated though (homefront rifle and light machinegun) but usually you will have those by the time you run through all the other prerequisite techs. Besides allowing you to buy tac vests, mortar, rpgs, etc which will make the battlescape a breeze, it will allow you to buy ammo for 25 and 50 cannon (your bread and butter early on), unless you luck out and get something like lasers or plasma from landed/crashed ships.

6. Check the graphs in april for a huge spike: that's the continent with a ninja base that will shot your craft down if you are careless. Waypoint your way around that area on the way for missions until you get faster/better crafts. You don't have to worry on the way back cuz your ship is immune to interceptions when returning from missions.

7. Even without airgame, the score is really low for may/june. In the example you gave (1438  one month to a -3489 score the next): it's not like the lack of airgame is fucking you up and more like your score is too low to begin with. You should focus on raising your score so you can take the hit from all the air activity and still have a positive score. By june you can easily have 10k+ score WITHOUT airgame. Higher score also means more money which means more bases, more brainers, more everything. The more brainers you have, higher will your score be. Also, unlock new missions asap. With clones you can easily tackle stuff like underwater missions and organ grinders (this last one can give you almost 1k score).