aliens

Author Topic: Entere the alien embasy  (Read 3300 times)

Offline MoonKid

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Entere the alien embasy
« on: November 15, 2020, 03:04:07 pm »
What do I have to do to enter the alien embasy?

I know I need some codes. I still have a lot of alien storage cards.
But what do I need?

I am slowly out of money because losing countries.

Offline anothrgamer1234

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2020, 08:09:21 pm »
What do I have to do to enter the alien embasy?

I know I need some codes. I still have a lot of alien storage cards.
But what do I need?

I am slowly out of money because losing countries.
You need an alien key, which you can get from certain Ethereal ships.

Offline MoonKid

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2021, 10:26:37 pm »
One time I got a key and entered an embassy - great. ;)

But now I miss keys. Maybe I am to rude to UFOs. I use most powerfull weapons that blast away everything. ;)

What exactly do I need to get the keys?
Do I have to catch a living Etheral?
Which one? A simple soldier or does it need to be a commander or anything else?
What type fo ships?

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2021, 12:12:32 am »
Quote
1.8:
- Rebuilt alien embassies into alien colonies (easier to get in, but can't reclaim the country).

Alien embassies have been removed from the mod.

Offline akk1990

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 01:24:11 pm »
Alien embassies have been removed from the mod.

How do we stop countries falling to the Aliens?

It seems counterproductive to have countries fall to the aliens without being able to either stop it or reclaim them

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2021, 02:28:31 pm »
How do we stop countries falling to the Aliens?
You don't. According to the mod author this intended as despite X-Coms near limitless resources, achievements and use of what could be described as outright magic, aliens are just too good at bribing government officials.


It seems counterproductive to have countries fall to the aliens without being able to either stop it or reclaim them
And I concur that it is indeed a pretty stupid decision.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2021, 08:19:14 pm »
You don't. According to the mod author this intended as despite X-Coms near limitless resources, achievements and use of what could be described as outright magic, aliens are just too good at bribing government officials.

Yeah, because toppling governments by a bunch of gung-ho commandos is totally legit. Just like KGB can totally control the American government, right?

And I concur that it is indeed a pretty stupid decision.

Honestly, I thought you had a better grasp on reality. And manners.

Offline krautbernd

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2021, 09:31:21 pm »
Yeah, because toppling governments by a bunch of gung-ho commandos is totally legit. Just like KGB can totally control the American government, right?
Strawman argument to be honest. Calling X-Com "a bunch of of gung-ho commandos" is misleading at best, given the lore you have established so far. Looking at the exploits of the CIA in the middle-east and south america I'd call your line of reasoning into question regardles. This is hardly the first time this has come up. IIRC you have tried to chalk this (among other things) to X-Com not being allowed to "choose" who they ally with - when in fact they have done so on multiple occasions with other factions.

Honestly, I thought you had a better grasp on reality. And manners.
First off, I can, in fact, read Ufopedia entries, where it is explicitly stated that the aliens "offer superior technology" in exchange for unhindered access to said country. The country is not exempt from terror mission either as far as I can tell. The aliens bribe government officials, plain and simple.

Secondly, I am not calling you stupid, I am calling out bad design decisions. And I am tired of trying to sugarcoat something that is - for all intents and purposes - bad game design. This is comparable to random events that penalize players without having any way to avoid or mitigate those events. Tying events to reasearch and making the game more interactive is good - clicking ok to lose 200 points and being blamed for something the player had no option to avoid is frustrating and bad.

Infiltrations being unavoidable is conversly more believable in vanilla, where the lore is more limited. X-Com as presented in the mod being unable to even stop infiltrations from happening brakes my suspension of disbelieve, because they manage to pull off far more improbable things. And as far as I can tell I am by no means the only one who enjoyed having the option of winning countries back via special missions.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2021, 11:34:35 pm »
Sigh. But I've explained it so many times already, I really don't understand what else I can add to the subject.

The X-Com is just an agency. It has literally no feasible ways to control who is in power in any state. How would they even do that? A country's policy is not dictated by one alien spy, or even a whole cabal of them, but by a general paradigm in foreign politics. Any alien influence would go into shaping this paradigm, which takes a lot of time, and reversing this would also take a lot of time. And even if it was doable, it wouldn't be doable by some group like the X-Com, all its influence and means nonwithstanding.

I only added this because Finnik talked me into it, and we had fun making this feature. But eventually we both agreed that it didn't make much sense, and the idea was scrapped. Not to mention how many times Dioxine told me that I was being silly.

Offline Juku121

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2021, 11:56:57 am »
*De-lurks*

I'm a bit tired of Solarius's attitude of 'I know better, silly players', and haven't had a good rant lately, so...

But I've explained it so many times already...
Then maybe it's time to re-examine this? Because if you have to (unsuccessfully) defend a change several times, maybe it wasn't a good one, or possibly got botched in the execution. To wit:
  • This decision makes for poor gameplay. Alien infiltration is essentially a random 'fuck you' event, one where you have zero input to the result. The pop-up events hit you in the score or moneybags, both of which can be mitigated. No such thing here.
  • There are other 'xcomlikes' with a 'retake' feature (Phoenix Point, Xenonauts, UFO: ET, the Avatar project of XCOM 2 come to mind immediately), and players want something like that, because otherwise they have no agency. This is why there are features to mitigate this in OXCE, and the 'retake via base assault' version is mechanically the more interesting of the two.
  • You could, of course, make it a game that's on a timer and the goal is to win before everyone converts. That would mean there'd have to be more infiltrations as the game progresses, and a strong message to convey this change to the players. I doubt that's the intention here, though.
  • The exact magnitude of X-Com's... impotence :P is never properly conveyed in the mod. You have some sort of 'technical' vs 'political' blurb that maybe makes sense to you, but the anti-Alien gameplay is still quite similar to the original, where X-Com could essentially do as it wished and had the political backing of the Council. It's easy to get the impression that Promo 3 means the red tape is gone and the people/organisations who threw up all the roadblocks have been pushed back, cowed or shot in the face. :)

The X-Com is just an agency. It has literally no feasible ways to control who is in power in any state.
CIA is also 'just an agency', one with much stronger competition and less versatility overall. It's got the rest of the US backing it when it comes to regime change, sure, but iconic X-Com also has all the other countries still on the Council.

And the aliens have the exact same problems, only worse. What they can offer (tech, reprieve from terror, mind-control of select officials), a sufficiently advanced X-Com can as well. Except they're human, know how humans and their polities work, have established connections to said polities, have been working with them for years, and the writing is not on the wall that once everyone's been suborned, most people will become alien cattle. I once read some early X-Com fanfiction where the Commander outright threatened the Council with fusion warheads. Yes, X-Com becomes a nuclear power, one that lives in clandestine hardened bunkers to begin with and develops very fast, evasive and probably also stealthy (the basic Interceptor seems to be a version of the F-22) air-to-ground delivery systems, unlike current RL strategic nuclear bombers.

The mod doesn't have the 'shoot down/raid the UFO to stop infiltration' feature. Aliens spend a week on the mission, tops, and the UFOPedia entry says it's largely a diplomatic effort, not a long infiltration campaign culminating in rigged elections, forced regime change, mind-controlling top leadership or even jarhead takeover. The UFO is not even guaranteed to have psions on-board!

Not to mention how many times Dioxine told me that I was being silly.
I don't think Dioxine is a positive influence on the design of XCF. YMMV.

TLDR: Players want some way to mitigate their toys being randomly taken away, with no means to fight this short of reloading or save-editing. The mod could also use some effort dedicated to portraying - and not explaining, show and don't tell - exactly what X-Com can and cannot do, because ultimately, they seem to be able to do everything the original X-Com could. And more, cue running a global monster-extermination campaign/drug-running op that makes the WHO/WFP/cartels look like amateurs. :o

*Re-lurks*
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 12:02:18 pm by Juku121 »

Online Meridian

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2021, 12:49:52 pm »
I'm a bit tired of Solarius's attitude of 'I know better, silly players', and haven't had a good rant lately, so...

He is the only one, who knows what he wants in his mod.
By definition, nobody knows better than him.
If you don't like the mod, don't play it.

Then maybe it's time to re-examine this? Because if you have to (unsuccessfully) defend a change several times, maybe it wasn't a good one.

He has to defend only against people who don't like it.
What if majority likes it?
Is it time to re-examine it in that case too?

Do you think there is even a slightest chance of successfully defending vaccinations in front of antivaxxers?
(Spoiler: not in a million years... doesn't mean we should stop vaccinating, quite the opposite)

This decision makes for poor gameplay.

Yeah, that's why xcom is the best game of all times.
Because it's full of poor gameplay decisions like this.

Alien infiltration is essentially a random 'fuck you' event, one where you have zero input to the result.

As intended.
Even by designers like Julian Gollop.
I like it.
And I'm sure I'm not the only one.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 12:52:21 pm by Meridian »

Offline Juku121

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2021, 06:05:22 pm »
*De-lurks again*

Not sure it's a good idea to a respond to this, but, eh, since I already started ranting...

*Re-lurks, leaving some spoiler droppings behind*
Spoiler Don't read this unless you must:
He is the only one, who knows what he wants in his mod.
By definition, nobody knows better than him.
Sure. But if he publishes the mod, he presumably wants feedback and others to play it. I have my own mods, and the few that I've published come with explicit caveats "This is a mod for me, if you don't like it, tough. You might convince me otherwise." Not the case here, Solarius himself admits he plays the thing less than he should and dismisses half the criticism off-hand. Which is why I delurked and ranted. :-\ I don't like that style of development, at all. Either keep your feedback at an arm's length like most pros, or actually engage with it.

If you don't like the mod, don't play it.
I do like significant parts of it. But stripping out and changing what I find silly, imbalanced or just poor-quality is a major task, one I attempted once and occasionally still consider redoing. I have other projects at the moment. 

He has to defend only against people who don't like it.
What if majority likes it?
What if Gollop told me in a private and confidential e-mail in 1995 that he considers it a mistake? :P

That argument can be levied against most criticism and thus lacks merit unless you actually have data to prove it. And usually a feature lots of people like does not lack for defenders, ones with actual arguments instead of "take it or leave it". Plus, nobody I know likes 'fanbois' on AAA game forums/social media who tout this exact line you're pushing here.

In any case, I don't actually dislike the infiltration mechanic in general. As I wrote before, I could even see and like a (well-done) focused version of it. I dislike it being as it is in XCF because of (poorly explained) 'realism' and not much else that I can tell.

Do you think there is even a slightest chance of successfully defending vaccinations in front of antivaxxers?
Depends on their reasons, but generally yes for the non-hardcore ones. Those who are not into 'Bill Gates, Soros, 5G, Big Pharma, wake up!', but rather 'but I got really sick from the first jab', 'but my friend said...', 'I have condition X', 'I can't have days off', 'I only have at most a few years to live, anyway', etc. These are actually the majority, and that's why the governments, medics, WHO and the anti-antivax crowd are running their campaigns, with varying degrees of commitment and success.

Yeah, that's why xcom is the best game of all times.
Because it's full of poor gameplay decisions like this.
Vanilla X-Com has a number of poor design decisions, like being able to research plasma weapons from zero, heavy plasma proliferation, limitless mind control, plasma beams on interceptors, bughunts, just to mention a few. It's a terrific game despite these, not because of them.

Anyway, that sort of hyperbole is useless as an argument. A flaw does not cease being a problem because flaws are rare. More the converse, actually.

As intended.
Even by designers like Julian Gollop.
You have a quote from Gollop for this, I presume?

And I'm pretty sure if you take 20 random veteran game designers and ask them if a game should have periodic 'fuck you' events that are completely random and have zero input, at least 19 would say "Hell, no!".

And Gollop has pretty much conclusively demonstrated that he knows how to make a good tactical game, but not necessarily the strategic part. The original UFO was a perfect storm of founding the genre, being a refinement of Gollops' previous tactical games, executive meddling and things just coming together. Now that he's been given years of funding, including not having to worry about sales, a personal dev studio, and all the feedback in the world, Phoenix Point is still a flawed gem that lives and dies on the merits of its tactical part.

I like it.
And I'm sure I'm not the only one.
This line of thought is pretty much copied from those 'antivaxxers' you so disparage.

It also seems to be Solarius's default response to any criticism. :-\

TLDR: This exchange is basically 'Solarius can shoot himself in the balls if he wants to, and I like it' vs 'Yes, but why is he doing so in public and you're both insisting it's a good idea? :o

Online Meridian

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2021, 06:31:05 pm »
The only thing I can add is that you show even stronger "I know better, silly modders and silly devs" complex than what you're accusing Solarius of.

Your arguments for "insisting it's a bad idea" are at least as bad as our arguments for "insisting it's a good idea".

We are discussing these things in public, because we listen to the feedback... but we (or at least I) do not accept any requests, there are only suggestions.
Ultimately, I (and Yankes) make every single decision of what makes it into OXCE and what not... modders have zero say in that and players have also zero say in that.
Hope you're not too surprised.
I personally have added this feature into OpenXcom (in July 2018: https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,5932.msg100448.html#msg100448), in good faith that it will be used where appropriate.
I made the feature configurable, so that the modders can test it and decide whether it fits with their mod or not.
Solarius tried it and found out it doesn't fit... end of the story.

EDIT: Both Solarius and I have invested significant effort into this feature... I'd say even too much... nobody can say we didn't give it an honest try. What more do you expect?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 06:49:52 pm by Meridian »

Offline Juku121

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2021, 07:58:30 pm »
Spoiler Well, if you really must read it...:
The only thing I can add is that you show even stronger "I know better, silly modders and silly devs" complex than what you're accusing Solarius of.
I have told you why I think the way I do, and welcome actual criticism. You responded with suspect debating tactics and 'trust me, we tried'. I have strong opinions, yes. These can and frequently have been changed by reasoning, not appeals to authority.

I'm not even sure why you felt the need to post this. You were free to ignore me, I already know and even acknowledged the 'my work, my rules' arguments you've presented here (again), and the rest is essentially you patting yourself on the back.

Your arguments for "insisting it's a bad idea" are at least as bad as our arguments for "insisting it's a good idea".
Then demonstrate that, show my arguments are wrong, inapplicable or misguided. You have done exactly none of that, and based on your posting history, I don't see that changing.

We are discussing these things in public, because we listen to the feedback...
Sure. But if feedback goes into a black box of 'we listened to it, and liked/didn't like it', it's disincentivises giving more.

...but we (or at least I) do not accept any requests, there are only suggestions.
I'm not making either, and I'm definitely not making one for OXCE. I'm posting this in the (extremely faint) hope that Solarius recognises the problems with engaging only half-way, and completely removing features nobody complained about for essentially fluff reasons.

In short, I'm saying: "Solarius, you're not communicating your lore well, it has some sizeable holes in it, and you are then trying to use it to justify design decisions". IDK how you got a feature request out of that or why you feel the need to attack this via ad hominems and repeating "we don't need to listen to you". Just ignore me, if that's the beginning and end of it for you. Solarius can speak for himself.

Solarius tried it and found out it doesn't fit... end of the story.
That may or may not be true. The only criteria the feature has failed so far seem to be "It's silly (from Solarius' POV)" and "Meridian likes it the way it was in the OG". These are good reasons enough to include or exclude them from your work, of course, but not nearly sufficient as arguments in a design discussion, which you're determined to make them into.

That is, my point is not "we must have counter-infiltration!" It's that either it doesn't fit Solarius's vision of how X-Com works, in which case the rules the XCF version of the organisation works by need to be actually put into the game and not just an obscure corner of the UFOPedia, and other features that fail the same test (all the super-hacking that somehow just works, the global Psiclone drug run, instant dissemination of monster DDT, transhumans rioting in public prisons, being given strategic nuclear/fusion weapons with little oversight, etc) need a look, too. Which is a lot of work. Or it does fit, but not in the current form, and would need tweaking. I'm okay with Solarious saying "Yeah, okay, but it's a lot of work. Takes time. I've got more interesting stuff to do, besides". I did something similar myself not two hours ago. I'm not okay with both of you brushing it off as 'silly, obviously impossible to make not-silly' or 'Solarius can do as he wants, we don't have to speak with you, except to put you down'.

What more do you expect?
An actual reason why a game feature of completely random and irrecoverable losses makes the game/mod more fun? XCF already has a lot of randomness in it, some of it practically game-altering. Infiltrations as they are are not that, they're flavour that pushes many players' buttons the wrong way. What if poker had a rule that every round, everyone rolls a die and getting a one means another player can pick a card you have to discard? No redraws, either, you continue with an understrength hand. Might be interesting once or twice as a novelty, but not long-term.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Entere the alien embasy
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2021, 08:56:09 pm »
Thank you, MEridian, I really appreciate it.

Bottom line, anyone can make a submod. With country reclamation, blackjack, hookers, furries, gremlins, JoJo memes, Rick & Morty references, foie gras and Donald Trump quotes. I really won't mind.

To be clear: at this point I am not really satisfied with the mod. It is still WIP, and also I have some design regrets. But when I keep explaining with simple terms why something is bad, and I repeatedly hear the same weak arguments I've refuted many times before, then I am not even bother doing it again. Because it's madness, white noise, not "feedback".

Also, Juku, screw you and your crude metaphors. Go be an insufferable prick somewhere else.