Author Topic: Alien data slate - 'revision'  (Read 171 times)

Offline krautbernd

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Alien data slate - 'revision'
« on: September 03, 2019, 09:18:05 pm »
Right now the alien data slate is kind of pointless, given how some of the reasearch topics you can obtain from it are also needed to decrypt it, and the random nature of unlocked topics (through the slate, as well as through interrogations). As far as I can tell, part of this is due to how alien vocabulary is unlocked - which itself requires 'advanced' topics, but doesn't unlock any new interrogation topics, despite the flavour text. It's also kind of strange that we need to research the vocabulary on top of alien language and alien codes.

This isn't a full revision, but more something i came up while looking through the research tree, taking into account what vocabulary is supposed to do (unlock advanced intierrogations) and how the slate&encryption ties into this.

My suggestion would be to tie alien vocabulary not to any advanced topics, but to interrogation of different alien ranks themselves - alien vocabulary unlocks once you have interrogated all of the alien ranks (maybe sans commander), and unlocks advanced topics that can be gained during interrogation.

Make the alien data / encryption researchable without alien vocabulary, but make it take a lot more time. As OXCE allows us to disable/hide research&manufacturing options, disable those options once alien vocabulary is unlocked and instead unlock an 'alternative' decrypt option that takes less time. That way players aren't potentially locked out of acquiring said research until they have unlocked a 'random' interrogation topic.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Alien data slate - 'revision'
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 10:25:49 am »
Thanks, I'll see about it when I'm back from the holidays.

My suggestion would be to tie alien vocabulary not to any advanced topics, but to interrogation of different alien ranks themselves - alien vocabulary unlocks once you have interrogated all of the alien ranks (maybe sans commander), and unlocks advanced topics that can be gained during interrogation.

Can you please elaborate why exactly you'd need all the ranks to get the alien vocabulary research?

Make the alien data / encryption researchable without alien vocabulary, but make it take a lot more time. As OXCE allows us to disable/hide research&manufacturing options, disable those options once alien vocabulary is unlocked and instead unlock an 'alternative' decrypt option that takes less time. That way players aren't potentially locked out of acquiring said research until they have unlocked a 'random' interrogation topic.

I'm not sure what you mean by "alternative" option - can you provide a clarification on how it's supposed to work (in terms of game mechanics)?

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Alien data slate - 'revision'
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 08:33:31 pm »
Sorry for the late reply, was kind of busy the last few days.

As for vocabulary reasearch, my rationale for requiring 'all' ranks (except possibly commanders) instead would be that right now x-com would have to have knowledge of advanced alien terms/technologies (via alien codes&language) and the topics required to unlock it aren't necessarily all that more complex than what vocabulary itself unlocks. To me it seems that x-com at that point should have no problems with the actual vocabulary - even if they don't know all of the terms the aliens might use, they have a general understanding of the technology and concepts.

X-COM has to practically work out from scratch how to communicate with extraterrestial beings, and the fluff articles imply that different ranks have quite different knowledge of the overall organization and technologies used by the aliens. To get a grasp on the overall knowledge and topics available to alien ranks you need to actually interrogate them - in order to build up an actual vocabulary you can work with in further interrogations.

In terms of game-mechanics, interrogating alien ranks is a lot less random then getting certain topics from those interrrogations, which also means you would actually be able to benefit from vocabulary research (data slate etc.) and not potentionally locked out from research that should be available but isn't because you got a bad roll on that last engineer you interrogated. There are simply a lot more topics that can be gotten from interrogations and getting the right ones for progression can be extremely random.

The 'alternative' decryption method could be tied to either to the manufacturing or the research project (unless I'm misremembering things, which is entirely possible). Make either the manufacturing (i.e. decryption) or the research of the decrypted slate take longer than usual. Create a new research/manufacturing topic that is identical (so it unlocks/produces the same stuff), but which takes less time, which is unlocked upon researching alien vocabulary but which also locks/disable the original research/manufacturing topic (since it wouldn't make much sense for x-com to waste time when they don't have to).
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 08:40:29 pm by krautbernd »