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Author Topic: 1.8 Feedback  (Read 12858 times)

Offline justaround

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2021, 04:32:21 pm »
Played for a few more days, got further so there should be a bit more feedback past initial few organizations. A few things that seem outright janky I reported in the relevant thread.

Answering last replies before moving on:

I realize it's the mod's biggest point, and perhaps it shouldn't even include real aliens... But it's too late to change that. I can only keep improving the current model.

But I do like aliens as well! While aesthetics of many XCOM ones, without severe changes don't really give into the whole mysterious, otherworldly conspiracy theme, better these than none. The major issue with them seems elsewhere, which I'll address in another point.

Adding friendly police forces would be better in this regard, but I fear it would just promote doing nothing.

Quite the contrary! The very idea is that should XCOM not be efficient, there will be a risk of mission ending succesfully, sure, but with severe point decrease due to killed cops and with reduction in live captures as cops tend to outright attempt to murder the enemies. Could possibly also help with the annoying "it's a simple early game round, but it's also turn 40 cause some gangbanger hid in a closet in a top-floor apartment of a building on the edge of the map".

Well, Sectoids have 20 basic Strength. Their Melee is a whopping 12. Their only advantage in close combat is good Reactions of 63.

If that's too strong for your agents, then maybe it's gym time? :D

Had another such situation again, this time I tracked stats more closely:
Two troopers, 52 and 63 strength respectively. A single sectoid next to them fired 4 or 5 shots, none of them succesfully interrupted, both of them accurate, killing both soldiers. At this point no gym will help further, bio-enhancement also won't, I consider just organising X-COM wide program to have my agents snort so much Storm that they won't need any camo when fighting in snowy environment.

More seriously, yeah, just some issues with that. I do understand though that it's very RNG-based and that there's whole discussion about problems with this mechanics you're already aware of so I'm just bringing it up for reference/perspective.

Yeah, I agre, but for aliens it doesn't seem as fitting - they are varied, but all are reasonably strong and sturdy.

In all honesty, it may be that you found the the core of the issue. Aliens, in any amounts and with equipment beyond what smallest recon UFOs provide, usually are a considerable difficulty bump compared to even "second tier" (better equipped, higher stats, not available initially) human organisations. There's no weak alien parties, strong alien parties, alien parties some particular tactics is very useful against - from the most expandable goon to the most treasured commanding officers everyone is an accomplished sharpshooter and martial artist, resistant (though not evenly so) to small arms fire, often equipped in paranormal powers, fought in environment passively messing up troops (which still needs some adjustments IMHO, a thing I'll address later on) with equipment superior to XCOMs.

It makes meh stats of particular units in alien roster mean less when there's several of them pouring still very accurate and very powerful fire (even trained, tritanium-armored operatives still can get one-shot by a sectoid with a plasma pistol), from darkness and distance my operatives cannot even see at despite super sci-fi suits (more on that later) and taking usually several shots to kill by the strongest human non-sci-fi guns available (talking about anti-materiel stuff like barrets and blackops sniper rifles still often needing a couple of shots to take said basic sectoids out). It's not a big deal in every case but when every enemy at that point is treating this level of power as a baseline and only gets stronger from there, the progression is a bit out of whack and again - a lot of it becomes just a slugging match, since there's no tactics, no non-situational weaknesses to exploit, only grabbing the biggest guns, putting on the sturdiest armor and hoping you decrease enemies' health faster than they do so with your agents (which they usually do till you get through that slog and have your own even greater sci-fi stuff to balance it out).

But they aren't that good. Yes, they have good Reactions, but nothing "godly"; they are merely compentent.

That may be aforementioned baseline power issue. Even the weakest, most frail, mass-produced invader, with qualities as listed above is overall at least as "merely competent" as a veteran XCOM operative and still available in infinite quantities (while veteran agents are often hard-won and when lost making XCOM even weaker for future fights). That's, again, is not horrible (minus the "shooting outside of range your agents can even see at in broad daylight", which is just both unfair and  unfun), but with addition of environmental benefits (constant sanity drain) and numbers of enemies, becomes kinda meh, at least at difficulties higher than the lowest ones (which also gets the player penalized as less enemies = less loot, points and stat increase).

Alright, enough about this, I bet you get my point. Time to move to other feedback.

Spoiler Personal lights:
Perhaps personal armor luminescence could be upped? It's kinda weird that no matter if one just wears a suit or supertech sci-fi armor, an agent still has to depend on flashlights and flare-derivatives to see things some distance away. I can understand, for the sake of balance, the agents not getting head-mounted lights at the beginning of the game but once one runs with literal sci-fi gear, a person would assume neither an armor-mounted light nor a quality night-vision equipment would be out of reach.

Spoiler Shots out of bounds:
Aforementioned range. Even in broad daylight, enemy units, at least at Veteran difficulty simply shoot from a range on flat terrain that's so great my agents, despite their fancy armors cannot even see (it's still in the black/fog of war) terrain that is there, yet alone enemies on it. Be it aliens or humans, augmented or not - if they can shoot me from a certain range, they will, often even without spotters that could explain their great sniping skills available. Adding on top of that the fact that apparently most enemies have at least some low-level cloaking (as they're not automatically seen even when the terrain itself is unless one gets closer) it makes it kinda annoying at times.

Spoiler Non-lethal bio takedowns:
Seems like quite some things are resistant to bio damage or there's something else afoot - despite seemingly better stats of a dart rifle, I had far many more one-shot takedowns with a puny taser. The rifle has better range, is much more expensive to acquire and generally more advanced weapon but all-in-all seems less effective, at least against basic cult/gang/organisation members, sometimes not even penetrating the "armor" of half-naked cult of apocalypse folks or random farmers as reliably as taser seems to do. Talking about toxin A, B seems considerably more effective, at least against regular humans (still takes a bit to take down anything else, but at least it's not worse than tasers).

Spoiler More item size issues:
As I play further I notice many more seemingly direct upgrades to early-game items are not really practical on actual battlefield due to issue I've mentioned last time - their graphic/size is great enough that they have to be put in a backpack, making things like drawing out melee weapons very hard. Even adding one more slot to "quick draw" inventory and having some items more "vertical" (various long knives like wakizashi would take those 3 slots rather than 6) would let it work like a scabbard. At the point when I run around with pew pew laser guns, I am still forced to use start-game electric batons, simply because I can actually pull one out from QD and still have TU to swing it - by comparison all the other rods, stun spears etc are useless in this regard unless one just began their turn next to the enemy (which is usually dangerous and a situation to avoid). Equipping troopers with one-hand firearm and such bigger melee weapons is overall a bad idea - even if the melee weapon doesn't require both hands, so equipped troopers are usually underpowered.

Spoiler Some item weight issues:
Also, weight similarly seems to be kinda out of whack. Losing troops is to be expected, but the problem is many new ones simply aren't strong enough to really carry late-game weapons, wear armor and still be combat-effective enough to even have a chance of improving for the future and fill in for the loses. And the further in game one gets, rather than be more ergonomic, the weapons become more clunky, with stuff like BlackOps one-handed weapons having the weight of an RPG launcher. And it gets even worse from there. At some point I've noticed that magnetic pistols and rifles are heavier than anti-tank weapons and they're nowhere close the weight of early-game weapons of similar size/designation, but again, I have to underline, it's an issue every better weapon tier keeps getting the further one gets in game, making increase in strength not an actual increase, just requirement so the trooper can keep using new counterparts to their old weapons of the current tier of them.

Spoiler Armored metamorphs:
A minor thing, but, well, noticeable: metamorphs rather than having a lot of health seem to be very sturdy (anti-materiel sniper rifles had to work on some of them for a bit just to start dealing damage) armor - kind of opposite of The Thing.

I've mentioned sanity still having some issues. Ran some missions and parts of them repeatedly to test its effects and drain:

Spoiler Sanity woes analysis:
The good:

There seemed to have been some improvement in regards to sanity since I've last played. At the very least, it's less likely for agents in regular missions to freak out without something really dreadful that would hurt their morale happening first, which is as it should be. At least when it comes to missions that aren't long and with severe ambient sanity loss. Generally, an interesting feature slowly starts shaping up. However:

The bad:

It still requires a lot of work. In those of the missions that last long with ambient sanity decrease it still depletes too fast for what the mission requires. Initially over 70 sanity (as checked at mission start), first troopers started panicking around turn 20 when assaulting a big UFO, despite nothing in particular happening. Many, likely most enemies were dead, the casualties were noticeable but neither crippling nor fatal and all those agents took part in assaulting other UFOs before - there shouldn't be anything even very scary, yet alone nightmare'ish (which was how the ambient was described). None of the enemies were of the psychic variety, either. Even the environment the mission was happening in was picturesque in its daylight. The battle seemed almost won and yet in the end drugs had to be taken just to be able to leave it all and get to evacuation area without people freaking out.

Most UFO missions, if the UFO is of bigger size, lead to some, even quite high-level troopers freaking out at nothing, simply because any sort of battleplan that's not dependant on heavy save-scumming or running in guns blazing (which is only possible if you, again, save-scum, smash everything with high-caliber weapon/explosives and/or have already equipment superior to that of aliens) takes too many turns. Actual tactical, logical maneuver of moving the troopers as they cover each other, scout terrain ahead, setting up firing lines etc is just far too slow, and any attempt at setting up ambush points is outright useless.

Alien bases/bigger maps are even worse because how easy it is for some enemy to just get stuck somewhere off the way  - I had a situation where most aliens around 40th turn (which, unless I am just bad at it, isn't a long time for alien bases, especially with those enemies getting stuck and if agents aren't suicidally sprinting everywhere) were dead but the mission was unfinishable, as all my troopers and whatever was left of aliens were just panicking and shooting corridors. I watched that for everal turns unable to do anything but trying to make some agents pick up their weapons before considering either just canceling the mission (which would mean big chunk of all my in-game forces and equipment getting lost) or just debugging (cheating in something to counter) it. I won't lie, it's kinda hilarious imagining both a group of mutons and my troopers screaming their heads off, ignoring each other to just run through corridors flailing arms or peeing themselves in fetal positions on the floor - but it does take away both from experience of epic base invasion and from actual ability to progress as everyone turning into a deranged, uncontrollable lunatic, even on drugs, makes sacrifice of time, effort and troopers in the fight so great it's often leading to overall loss one is unable to pick themselves up from (can't even evacuate because uncontrollable troopers won't run to evac zone).

In the end, far too often sanity doesn't increase the game complexity as much as works as a very strict timer or a gate preventing less-experienced agents to be used in the mission at all since they seem to freak out so much sooner and is even more difficult to deal with than aliens themselves (as drugs can take one only so far before they render the trooper useless). Sure, sometimes ones gets lucky, all enemies are quickly found and dispatched (assuming they weren't found because they were surrounding my agents and shooting them up) and at some point one can get powerful and equipped enough to not worry about sanity in most missions and finish them quicker, but then the whole mechanics doesn't cause issues only because it doesn't matter as much anymore.

I'd gladly sacrifice all those supposed fancy-shmancy atlantean magic-tech bio-enhancements for an ability to send veteran operatives to a therapist so they won't freak out in UFOs when they already have the upper hand and plenty of experience with prebvious won battles. Yes, it's that bothersome at times.

Spoiler Vehicles and their weapons:
I like how humvee's can mount some anti-air weapon. Sadly, they seem unable to fight even the weakest of aggressors, which is understandable as jeeps probably aren't meant to take down sci-fi alien craft. Still, a slight upping of the basic cannon strength against the weakest of drones would be nice, though I also don't mind it being mostly for flavor. I do however recognize that while I run around with laser and mag-rifles and have access to various flying transporters, I get no interceptors among them and that no other vehicle can mount even that symbolic, weak weapon. Even something like a Dragonfly or Mudranger should be perfectly capable of sporting a weapon mount, if only to look cool. Maybe other, non-UFO weak vehicles that such cannons could fight - very, very slow moving terran ones of various factions which leave some small mission when destroyed, equipped with weapons or not, for example. Certainly it'd be an ideal thing for all those convoy missions which currently are just a mission popping up and not moving, but various human factions in general could move around from time to time.

Speaking of cannons - given its UAC, the weapon seems very weak. Weapon at this level that should be probably available the moment one gets a license to use machineguns as it appears to be kinda that - a craft-mounted heavy machinegun, not much unlike what those poor combatants in third-world countries mount on their pickups. Alternatively, even better, adding simple machinegun and pushing UAC cannons till promotion III with increased stats would make for much more smooth and reasonable progression - currently one goes from a very long time of no (yet alone useful) anti-aerial defences to sci-fi anti-UFO weapons. Something between these two points, both in terms of interceptors and their armaments is sorely missed, especially when the invasion starts, UFOs are flying around but unless one was looking up tech leads and going straight for it there's nothing to take them down with yet (there was IIRC a special craft that could be acquired but it was not guaranteed at all).

Feel free to drop any ideas! I like events, and they're easy to add.
A few examples in the next post.

Bonus

Since I felt like it after all this bothersome sanity mechanics testing gameplay, here's an artistic rendition of the epic base assault added as an attachment. I know, gorillion hours in Paint spent. Much time, very effort, such fanart. Hoping to provide some good-hearted laugh at the sillyness I had to deal with.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 09:28:17 pm by justaround »

Offline justaround

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2021, 04:39:54 pm »
Feel free to drop any ideas! I like events, and they're easy to add.

A few considerations:

I've tried to make sure that they're not more profitable or damaging than ones already in game. Some offer interesting rewards but also penalties, others may be positive but have negative counterparts, some offer rewards that may seem of some value, but aren't really that useful at the point of the game where they appear.

The idea is to to even out number of positive and negative events without affecting the balance as the latter seem much more common somehow.

Most of them probably shouldn't kick in more than once and I checked them with character counter to make sure they're not too big for the game's window, albeit they still require formatting.

I want to fill out the early game first since there's a lot of content still barely scratched (various subcultures, for example, often seem to jump at a player out of nowhere all at once) and then go further from there - should these be acceptable, let me know, I'll make more and with time move to other parts of the game (already have some ideas for invasion, hybrid and cyberweb events).

Some very cursory proofreading was done but since it was, well, cursory, some little grammar or whatever mistakes may still lurk. If so, then I apologize.

Spoiler Rise of the Old Guard:
Normally they would be quite valuable but at this point of the game most players have whole squads of scientists and engineers and may not even need more for quite a few months. Still, a nice gesture from the old, yet spry veterans.

Prerequisites: X-Com History: Kiryu-Kai, X-Com History: Xenonauts, X-Com History: UNIT

"During our investigations of XCOM predecessors, we've learned about and contacted (with the Council's permission) many of their former employees. While most couldn't due to age, state of health or other obligations, a few brilliant minds left their retirement and decided to volunteer for service should we need them (+2 scientists, +3 engineers)"

I've mentioned there being little impact in the world for how ground-breaking and seemingly commonspread psionics or effective occult arts are. Thought I'd try to help it a bit, also trying to refer to some tropes you've mentioned enjoying and ufopedia entries, taking it all into account so it all works well together:

Spoiler Holy protection:
Prerequisites: Parapsychology

"While understanding the necessity of this knowledge and its potential benefits to our cause, certain Council members expressed worries about our forays into what they consider "occultism". They won't interfere but we were informed to exercise extra caution. One provided us with a personal item supposed to help us. (+1 rosary)"

Spoiler Watching you:
Tried to make this event in a way that it'd hint that psionics indeed is known to others, not merely Council and there are groups out there which may see and practice it differently, possibly developing it in ways so far only mentioned in some dossiers/ufopedia entries of individuals able to invoke powers XCOM cannot. Could be also related to various very powerful, old factions from Ancient Aliens entry. Chosen Flame Glove as the gift as it's one of the first combat-effective psi artifacts a player can get.

Prerequisites: Metapsychology, Using Flame Glove

"A package was left at the edge of our perimeter. After security checks, we opened it to find a small bundle and a letter. Apparently occult practitioners unknown to us keep track of our study of psionics. While they consider our understanding of its mechanisms and our dependency on psi-devices laughable, they provided us with one such device to help. However, the Council is very upset that a third party managed to gain some intel on us. (-160 Council standing, +1 Flame Glove)"

Also, because salvage corps get no love despite all this thankless job of reliably transporting all those alien guts strewn around battlefield

Spoiler Homegrown wizardry:
Prerequisites: Psiclone

"An unit of council's salvage corps was sent to investigate a site of supernatural sightings. While they found no opposition, they did uncover a small workshop of an occultist of sorts. The Council denied us most of its content, claiming we don't need the books many of which are available publicly in less valuable editions, but we did acquire some other items found at the site. (+1 knife, +1 psiclone, +1 bone)"

Spoiler New Age:
Prerequisites: Parapsychology

"With the raise of supernatural sightings and reports of paranormal events all over the world, global interest in strange and mystical seems to increase together with number of uncovered, questionable occult practices. The Council reluctantly made an additional contribution to our funds expecting us to be ready to combat future new enemies both mundane and otherworldly. (+$100,000)"

Some early game events, so the organisations and subcultures seem to have slightly larger presence in the world

Spoiler Stormy Smash!:
Prerequisites: Subculture: Stormies

"The Council is alerted by the recent rise in acts of violence seemingly involving bio-enhanced perpetrators. It was linked to the circulation of the Storm serum and we are the ones somehow blamed for not stopping it yet. (-20 Council standing)"

Spoiler Winners don't use drugs:
I wonder if this one wouldn't be better with some dossier.

Prerequisites: Subculture: Stormies

"A prominous MMA fighting star was recently arrested for using performance enhancing drugs. Council's investigators who already kept tabs on the celebrity due to his sudden raise in popularity found certain quantities of Storm among various substances confiscated by the police. It was sent to us to do with as we see fit. (+1 Storm)"

Spoiler A carrot and a stick:
Prerequisites: Subculture: Pinky Devils

"During investigation of one of the new subcultures, our researchers found information about a club where various prominent figures were sighted enjoying company of Pinky Devils hostesses. Soon after, a group of rather nervous Council members approached our representative to offer a donation, but they also forbid us from looking further into events at this establishment. (-15 Council standing, +$120,000)

Spoiler Tempted:
Prerequisites: Subculture: Pinky Devils

"One of our civilian employees was found relaying clssified information to his lover who was found to belong to Pinky Devils subculture. While the employee in question was of low rank and didn't know nor could share anything really important before he was taken into custody, the report on the event made us look bad in front of the Council. (-80 Council standing)"

Spoiler Black Lotus Assassin:
Prerequisites: Black Lotus

"A minor politician allied with the Council was assassinated recently by, according to evidence, a Black Lotus agent. The Council expects us to prevent similar events. We were given the recovered murder weapon as a reminder of the threat Black Lotus poses. (-50 Council standing, +1 wakizashi)"

Spoiler Altar of Dagon:
Prerequisites: Cult of Dagon

"Following a string of reports of paranormal activity in the area of a small, secluded village, the Council's agents found the place deserted, with various markings pertraining to the Cult of Dagon smeared on the buildings and a crude stone altar in the center of the local market. We are urged to double our efforts against the cult. (-50 Council standing)"

Spoiler Crowd-sourced:
Prerequisites: Red Dawn

"The Council's intelligence recently found and shut down a group of freshly created websites and social media accounts belonging to Red Dawn which used them to recruit naive, ideologically aligned youth and acquire financial aid. We were allowed to seize the funds raised so far but also warned to destroy Red Dawn as it no doubt has other, more inconspicuous ways of increasing influence. (-15 Council standing, +$5356)"

Spoiler Busted:
Prerequisites: EXALT

"During a drug raid against one of the South American cartels, police unconvered evidence of EXALT involvement on a massive scale. While not surprised, the Council is also not amused by the organisation's growth and expects us to do something about it (-10 Council standing)"

Since we rarely get any corpses or creatures in events, I thought it'd be kinda nifty and also show that they are out there in the world outside of XCOM's missions.

Spoiler Patient zero:
Prerequisites: Zombie Autopsy

"Our intelligence managed to intercept a police report mentioning a heavily ill, aggressive individual attacking citizens of a small town. Upon further investigation we identified the person as a victim of a zombie parasite. The Council's executives convinced local authorities to hand over the infected. (+1 zombie)"

Spoiler Pests be gone:
Prerequisites: Giant Rat Autopsy

"During renovation of a minor metro station in one of the European cities, what appeared to be a small nest of giant rats was uncovered. Its inhabitants were killed by the workers in self-defense, although with a few of them sustaining injuries of various severity. As we're certain these animals are similar to what our agents found in the field, we took possession of the cadavers. (+3 giant rat corpses)"

Spoiler Big bugs:
Prerequisities: Giant Spider Autopsy

"A report on a new, dangerous species of arachnids was released by a prominent biologist. Upon investigation, it was found that the researcher was studying corpses of creatures our agents fought before in the field and which were delivered to him by parties unknown even to him. We convinced him to part with the remaining samples. (+2 Giant Spider corpses, +4 Giant Beetle corpses)"

Spoiler Invasion:
Intentionally made without references to Xenonaut entry hint on the off-chance it wasn't researched yet (which bodes ill for the player but it's not event's role to judge it). No rewards/penalties for this one, as I want it to be more of a flavor exposition.

Prerequisites: Year 1999

"An unprecedented increase in UFO sightings all over the globe throws some of the Council's business in disarray. As current methods of information control and obfuscation start to fail and intelligence reports various countries making contact with extraterrestrials outside of Council's supervision, we are urged to quickly get to managing it."
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 01:59:12 pm by Solarius Scorch »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2021, 12:51:00 pm »
Unfortunately I don't have time these days to answer in details, so let me quickly summarize:

1. Civilian support is fun, but must be done carefully. Apprehensions aren't suitable, because if the police is already on their tracks, why would X-Com even be involved? Also any feature promoting camping is best avoided.

2. I'm not too concerned about Sectoids' CQC abilities. I ewant to make aliens more alien, almost Lovecraftian, so a Sectoid shouldn't be seen in the same terms as a skinny gopnik on speed.

3. There should be less anti-alien opertation in the future, or at least they'll be more structured. We'll talk later about balance. Also, aliens only see for 20 tiles at night, so let's not get dramatic.

4. You want shiny armours? So you could be sniped by 40 enemies from the entire map? Would make sense if you could turn them on and off... (You can, but for all units at once, and you start with light on.)

5. Your dudes have sight range of 40 at day. AFAIR nothing in the game has more.

6. No, I'm not allowing rifles on QD, lol. :P

7. Yes, mass driver/Gauss weapons are heavy. Otherwise, not really. But having to buff your troops to let them use these guns is part of the plan.

8. Metamorphs have almost no armour, so eeeeh?

9. Sanity is a controversial issue. I'lll keep testing, but for now it stays.

10. The cannon slot on the humvee is useless, yes... It's mostly there for future possibilities, maybe I'll add weaker UFOs or something.



And now for the fun part. First of all, lovely fan art! I will treasure it forever.

And secondly, great work on the events! Let me list them here with some remarks.

Rise of the Old Guard: "During our investigations of XCOM predecessors, we've learned about and contacted (with the Council's permission) many of their former employees. While most couldn't due to age, state of health or other obligations, a few brilliant minds left their retirement and decided to volunteer for service should we need them (+2 scientists, +3 engineers)"
It's a fun, if relatively meaningless idea. I am not against it, but I'm not sure if it can be done.

Holy protection: Prerequisites: Parapsychology; "While understanding the necessity of this knowledge and its potential benefits to our cause, certain Council members expressed worries about our forays into what they consider "occultism". They won't interfere but we were informed to exercise extra caution. One provided us with a personal item supposed to help us. (+1 rosary)"
Yeah, it's kinda funny :)

Homegrown wizardry: Prerequisites: Psiclone: "An unit of council's salvage corps was sent to investigate a site of supernatural sightings. While they found no opposition, they did uncover a small workshop of an occultist of sorts. The Council denied us most of its content, claiming we don't need the books many of which are available publicly in less valuable editions, but we did acquire some other items found at the site. (+1 knife, +1 psiclone, +1 bone)"
We already have similar ones, so why not. But I'd rather randomize the loot to make it less repetitive. Any ideas for extending the list?

New Age: Prerequisites: Parapsychology: "With the raise of supernatural sightings and reports of paranormal events all over the world, global interest in strange and mystical seems to increase together with number of uncovered, questionable occult practices. The Council reluctantly made an additional contribution to our funds expecting us to be ready to combat future new enemies both mundane and otherworldly. (+$100,000)"
Why not.

Smash!: "Prerequisites: Subculture: Stormies: "The Council is alerted by the recent rise in acts of violence seemingly involving bio-enhanced perpetrators. It was linked to the circulation of the Storm serum and we are the ones somehow blamed for not stopping it yet. (-20 Council standing)"
+1

Winners don't use drugs: Prerequisites: Subculture: Stormies: "A prominous MMA fighting star was recently arrested for using performance enhancing drugs. Council's investigators who already kept tabs on the celebrity due to his sudden raise in popularity found certain quantities of Storm among various substances confiscated by the police. It was sent to us to do with as we see fit. (+1 Storm)"
I think it's more of an event than a dossier. Okay.

A carrot and a stick: Prerequisites: Subculture: Pinky Devils: "During investigation of one of the new subcultures, our researchers found information about a club where various prominent figures were sighted enjoying company of Pinky Devils hostesses. Soon after, a group of rather nervous Council members approached our representative to offer a donation, but they also forbid us from looking further into events at this establishment. (-15 Council standing, +$120,000)
I don't think it's what Pinkies would want to do, they're not really personal service types... A more appropriate candidate would be the Black Lotus.

Tempted: Prerequisites: Subculture: Pinky Devils: "One of our civilian employees was found relaying clssified information to his lover who was found to belong to Pinky Devils subculture. While the employee in question was of low rank and didn't know nor could share anything really important before he was taken into custody, the report on the event made us look bad in front of the Council. (-80 Council standing)"
Yeah, that's a bit more within PD's sphere of influence, but you know who would be even more appropriate? Goddamn hybrids! :) (Or even any of the 4 starting cults.)

Black Lotus Assassin: Prerequisites: Black Lotus: "A minor politician allied with the Council was assassinated recently by, according to evidence, a Black Lotus agent. The Council expects us to prevent similar events. We were given the recovered murder weapon as a reminder of the threat Black Lotus poses. (-50 Council standing, +1 wakizashi)"
Very nice and straightforward.

Altar of Dagon: Prerequisites: Cult of Dagon: "Following a string of reports of paranormal activity in the area of a small, secluded village, the Council's agents found the place deserted, with various markings pertraining to the Cult of Dagon smeared on the buildings and a crude stone altar in the center of the local market. We are urged to double our efforts against the cult. (-50 Council standing)"
Sure, very vanilla. (The players will curse us for all these negative events!)

Crowd-sourced: Prerequisites: Red Dawn

"The Council's intelligence recently found and shut down a group of freshly created websites and social media accounts belonging to Red Dawn which used them to recruit naive, ideologically aligned youth and acquire financial aid. We were allowed to seize the funds raised so far but also warned to destroy Red Dawn as it no doubt has other, more inconspicuous ways of increasing influence. (-15 Council standing, +$5356)"
I'm not even sure if such things were a thing back in the 90's, but I suppose yes... Would need some rephrasing though, I don't think "social media" was a coined term then (I probably heard of it before 2005 or so).

Busted: Prerequisites: EXALT: "During a drug raid against one of the South American cartels, police unconvered evidence of EXALT involvement on a massive scale. While not surprised, the Council is also not amused by the organisation's growth and expects us to do something about it (-10 Council standing)"
Cool.

Patient zero: Prerequisites: Zombie Autopsy: "Our intelligence managed to intercept a police report mentioning a heavily ill, aggressive individual attacking citizens of a small town. Upon further investigation we identified the person as a victim of a zombie parasite. The Council's executives convinced local authorities to hand over the infected. (+1 zombie)"
Why not.

Pests be gone: Prerequisites: Giant Rat Autopsy: "During renovation of a minor metro station in one of the European cities, what appeared to be a small nest of giant rats was uncovered. Its inhabitants were killed by the workers in self-defense, although with a few of them sustaining injuries of various severity. As we're certain these animals are similar to what our agents found in the field, we took possession of the cadavers. (+3 giant rat corpses)"
Also cool.

Big bugs: Prerequisities: Giant Spider Autopsy: "A report on a new, dangerous species of arachnids was released by a prominent biologist. Upon investigation, it was found that the researcher was studying corpses of creatures our agents fought before in the field and which were delivered to him by parties unknown even to him. We convinced him to part with the remaining samples. (+2 Giant Spider corpses, +4 Giant Beetle corpses)"
Cool, but it should be enabled also by beetles. (Which means I'll have to add a separate research... :-\ )

Invasion: Prerequisites: Year 1999: "An unprecedented increase in UFO sightings all over the globe throws some of the Council's business in disarray. As current methods of information control and obfuscation start to fail and intelligence reports various countries making contact with extraterrestrials outside of Council's supervision, we are urged to quickly get to managing it."
Very good.




EDIT: I took a criminally long lunch break and implemented the following events (with minor changes, like adding a city or tweaking point values): Smash!, Winners Don't Use Drugs, Pests Be Gone, Busted, Altar of Dagon, Black Lotus Assassin (with random weapon instead of just a wakizashi), Patient Zero, Invasion (renamed to "Prelude to Invasion"), Holy Protection, New Age. Other events are to be decided, as per my remarks above.
Thanks, man!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 01:59:22 pm by Solarius Scorch »

Offline krautbernd

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2021, 03:36:38 pm »
Are these events bound to appropriate research triggers (i.e. appear only if cults have been research and disappear after cults have been destroyed)? I really don't like the idea of non-interactive player punishment systems.

I think the term "social media" was coined in the early 2000's, something more appropriate would probably be a BBS or something similar. Same goes for crowdsourcing - early 2000's as well.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 03:39:55 pm by krautbernd »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2021, 04:32:34 pm »
Are these events bound to appropriate research triggers (i.e. appear only if cults have been research and disappear after cults have been destroyed)? I really don't like the idea of non-interactive player punishment systems.

Of course, like the ones already existing.

I think the term "social media" was coined in the early 2000's, something more appropriate would probably be a BBS or something similar. Same goes for crowdsourcing - early 2000's as well.

Yes, of course I remember the BBS :) Www existed as well, but nobody called it "social media".

I think "crowdfunding" is excusable, even if not 100% historically accurate. It's an article's title, so doesn't have to be perfectly fitting in-universe (as it's not an a document or quote which exists in the setting). So it's okay for, say, some humour value or other artistic expression.

Offline MemoryTAS

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2021, 05:22:37 pm »
I haven't gotten super deep into this mod yet, but I feel the issue with melee isn't necessarily just the size of melee weapons because X-Piratez has similar melee weapons, yet they're much more viable. In that mod you have some units with far more TUs and the ability to sprint to spend less TUs at the cost of additional stamina. I don't necessarily think that you should necessarily change the mod to be more like X-Piratez in this regard, you're not exactly running around with genetically engineered mutants here. However, it also feels that a lot of missions just take place in wide-open fields with basically 0 cover, especially with the four initial cults. This admittedly has getting a bit better later in when I'm not dealing with as many outposts but it's still crippling. Smoke cover isn't even as good as you'd hope, given how many enemies can either see through smoke or have sniper behavior. I don't really get why x-com's research team would bother investing in such large melee weapons at all. Guns have ruled combat for many years at this point, and for good reason. Even in the original x-com I never really bothered with stun rods that much, I mostly just waited for stun bombs. TFTD was a tad better in that regard: Captures are much more important, Lobstermen are weak to melee, and there's just more line of sight breakers in TFTD maps.

Offline Mrvex

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2021, 08:55:20 am »
I haven't gotten super deep into this mod yet
As more advanced player, i can explain abit

Melee weapons have a certain purpose and they do the job well. They are not a primary tool of killing on a modern battlefield.

To make it short, melee weapons are hard hitting ambush weapons, high risk high reward weapons requiring experienced commander AND soldier.
They should only be used in closed up maps like caves or maps with tons of cover, or as a secondary weapon for heavy weapons soldiers during UFO breaches since you can park them next to a door and they will shank anything that tries to enter the room.

Melee weapons dont wear out or require ammo. They also have a variation of damage types for multitude of targets, lethal or non lethal.
And its damage output usually scales with strenght and melee accuracy, so they get stronger and stronger by the user.

And really, the damage output should not be underestimated, a tritanium sword can pretty much kill most non-massive targets in one or two hits. A noose can kill a lobsterman five times over in one swing (12x damage multiplier towards choking)
And it works on enemies too, Deep One's can destroy a tank with their spear, Werewolves too, Vampire Knight can destroy a sectopod in one or two swings.

Most melee weapons are either cutting or concussive in damage, cutting is generally considered "Armour piercing" since most armours get full damage from it. There are also energy based weapons like Plasma Swords however they are actually crappier than its Tritanium counterparts because :
1) Requires high tech
2) They do more damage, but its plasma now (So more armours will reduce its damage) and the boost is actually rather negligible in grand scheme of things.
3) For some unknown reason plasma sword requires 2 hands to use and costs more TU to swing than its Tritanium counterpart.

So the MvP's of melee weapons are Tritanium swords and knives once you can make them for ease of manufacture, damage output and TU management.

Edit: The most critical feature you need to use for melee to be usable is the Sprint ability, make sure you enable "advanced movement types" in advanced settings which lets your soldiers sprint(costs more energy but less TU) and also you can strafe with soldiers (more TU economic sidestepping from cover). And your tanks will gain the ability to swing their turrets around, independent on the chasis rotation (another TU saving tool, also for looking around for enemies).


« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 09:05:58 am by Mrvex »

Offline MemoryTAS

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2021, 01:41:10 pm »
Oh sprint is a setting in this mod? Well I'm somewhat surprised it isn't on by default but that's good to know.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2021, 11:08:06 am »
Oh sprint is a setting in this mod? Well I'm somewhat surprised it isn't on by default but that's good to know.

I can't see how it's more required than in vanilla, so no, I haven't enforced it. Why would I?

Offline MemoryTAS

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2021, 06:07:27 pm »
I wouldn't say it's required but it's an excellent option once you know about it. In vanilla ufo defense melee was pretty awful, I almost never used stun rods, maybe just to get a navigator for hyperwave decoder but that's it. In TFTD, they're more useful but it's mainly because Lobstermen are so tanky against most damage types. Having the additional time units allows for melee to be much better. Additionally I feel your units start out crappier than in vanilla and having the extra burst of speed can help reach cover. And as somebody who has played a lot more xpiratez than this, I'm kinda used to sprint being an important mechanic (whether or not one can sprint is armor dependent in that mod). I just wish I knew sooner it was an option that xpiratez just has enforced because I just love playing with it.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2021, 07:44:20 pm »
Well, I tend to not force people to anything unless really necessary, but I can add this within a minute if you guys want me to :-*

Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2021, 07:47:45 pm »
Well, I tend to not force people to anything unless really necessary, but I can add this within a minute if you guys want me to :-*

Don't forget recommendedUserOptions are also a thing.

Offline Mrvex

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2021, 07:51:56 pm »
Well, I tend to not force people to anything unless really necessary, but I can add this within a minute if you guys want me to :-*

Given how much it changes the gameplay for better, makes melee more of a thing i would suggest turning it on by default for everyone. Its not like they will be forced to use it, they need to actually discover that they can even sprint, i havent discovered it till like 15 hours of X-Files played and it changed alot.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2021, 08:18:11 pm »
Don't forget recommendedUserOptions are also a thing.

Forget? More like, every day you learn something new... :3 Thanks man.

Offline justaround

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Re: 1.8 Feedback
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2021, 01:51:09 pm »
Here we go again. As always, please keep in mind that while it may seem mostly like finding issues, I still enjoy the game quite much, simply concentrating on pointing out things that are really janky, going out ot their way to grab my attention or disrupt things - and usually it's just negative things that do so. As before, what seemed to be outright bugs rather than design or balancing issue was posted in a relevant thread.

First, let me address previous answer

1. Civilian support is fun, but must be done carefully. Apprehensions aren't suitable, because if the police is already on their tracks, why would X-Com even be involved? Also any feature promoting camping is best avoided.
Then it shouldn't be a problem. X-Com would be involved because local authorities are one thing, but if X-Com wants to apprehend and fly out enemies for enhanced interrogation and disposal, pulling them out of police custody is not a great thing. As for camping, again it shouldn't be an issue with proper balancing of number of police vs enemies. Two policemen, for example, are unlikely to turn the losing battle, but they may kill some enemies denying the captures or be killed, lowering points. At least they could help one look for enemies in those pesky multi-store-buildings maps. But sure, I understand your concern.

I'm not too concerned about Sectoids' CQC abilities. I ewant to make aliens more alien, almost Lovecraftian, so a Sectoid shouldn't be seen in the same terms as a skinny gopnik on speed.
If we talk ufopedia entries and what one can learn about sectoids, their mentality etc, stereotypical skinny gopniks on speed are already much more alien and Lovercraftian.  ;D
Anyway, I understand the intent. But if the enemy is portrayed and described in a certain way, ignoring those to raise their stats appears to me as very artificial ramping of difficulty for difficulty sake and not adding to the impression of fighting some eldritch opponents at all, at least to me.

3. There should be less anti-alien opertation in the future, or at least they'll be more structured. We'll talk later about balance. Also, aliens only see for 20 tiles at night, so let's not get dramatic.
5. Your dudes have sight range of 40 at day. AFAIR nothing in the game has more.
Then there's some bug, because it's not that hard to find oneself in a situation where enemies, not only alien but human as well shoot from beyond the range of what X-Com operatives see, no matter during the day or night. Again, I am talking (flat) terrain still not uncovered (black), many tiles away, on the other end of the midsize map as if AI would use a spotter mechanic X-Com can use (shoot at a target the sniper himself doesn't see, with a penalty) but sometimes without actual spotters being visible either.

4. You want shiny armours? So you could be sniped by 40 enemies from the entire map? Would make sense if you could turn them on and off... (You can, but for all units at once, and you start with light on.)
As long as those can be turned on and off without penalty and whether the troopers are seen or see the enemy depends on whether they have light on at that very moment - it could work fine. Still not ideal and a bit rough, but hey, at least you don't have to carry a start-game flashlight into the endgame!

6. No, I'm not allowing rifles on QD, lol. :P
You're right, that is a problem. Is it possible to make QD slot allow only items with certain tags? That'd solve it. If it's not possible, I guess making at least some of those weapons have smaller graphics - wakizashi, stun rods etc - would make sense.

7. Yes, mass driver/Gauss weapons are heavy. Otherwise, not really. But having to buff your troops to let them use these guns is part of the plan.
Problem with that weight requirement is that rookies are often unable to fight at all as they're unable to wield equipment that would let them do things in mission and get better. It's the problem some other people had with when there's no strange creatures missions anymore - at some point there's no way to effectively bring rookies up to speed in general, while veterans still keep being killed later in the game with no even half as effective replacements despite full gym course done.

8. Metamorphs have almost no armour, so eeeeh?
Must have been very weird rolls or visual glitch as they still withstood shots from M83 Barret and either .308 cal Sniper Rifle or BlackOps Sniper Rifle (don't remember which anymore) without flashing red as it happens when the bullet hits and penetrates unit's armor. Small-caliber pistols (Glocks 18 or BlackOps ones my snipers tended to use as default sidearms at the time) were completely useless.

9. Sanity is a controversial issue. I'lll keep testing, but for now it stays.
Understandable. I, myself really want to like the feature, it sounds nice on paper, it's just I worry it won't work well in the game in the current form, not without being situational and dependant on many changing factors during the mission. And I bring another example of woes I had with it:

Finishing up Black Lotus. Seems like some single ninja survived and his morale is rock solid, despite his glowy idol and all his compatriots strewn all around the place dead. Was looking for him for about 10 - 20 turns on top of about 30 - 40 of the battle itself. Since it's not a tiny map and there's trees, rocks, nooks and crannies everywhere it's practically impossible to find him, especially with panicking troopers. I've set some explosives around hoping he'll off himself but apparently he's never nearby to trigger them. Possibly he's just stuck somewhere and/or goes back and forth as less aggressive enemies sometimes tend to do. Seems like unfinishable mission despite every other enemy dead now unless debugging is done. Now that my troopers are all around the map and I cannot even bring them back to evac zone due to aforementioned insanity panic, it's the alien base raid all over again. I'll spare you crappy self-therapy fanart for it this time.

It seems that the problem is most noticeable whenever it's not a quick mission or one where the enemies gun for one's troopers soon. I probably would leave weakened ambient sanity effect only on the most bizarre, paranormal missions (rituals, hauntings, underground tombs or whatever missions only if they don't require too much navigation of tiny nooks before finding enemies) and make the rest of it additional, long-term damage from morale-decreasing situations or being hit by psionic attacks (to be honest, the stronger of those attacks probably could be buffed vs sanity, rather than morale and lead to a nice trade-off of long-term recuperation vs "mind control is the best ever, in every situation"). A change like that could cancel most of its danger out, but it will also solve the severe problem where both troopers (and the player in front of the screen) go crazy because they have to play hide & seek with some enemy or because the battle itself is just long, even if seemingly few steps from being victorious.

And secondly, great work on the events! Let me list them here with some remarks.
Glad you like them! Of course, if you feel some other faction than the one presented would befit an event more, feel free to make any necessary adjustments, I have no problem with that whatsoever. Also, do tell what's the issue with the events that you didn't mention, I don't mind adjusting them. I also repeat my offer of making events for various parts of the game that you'd want to prioritize, just tell me what would you like to see, about what and/or where.

As for future events, I really liked UAC letter thing that is more than one screen of text. To be honest, as with randomized loot I wasn't aware was possible, I'd like to know what's the limitations of event system so I could make more events and more advanced ones. Also, what are the character/paragraph/line length limits for various messages? I offer to preformat them for the future.

We already have similar ones, so why not. But I'd rather randomize the loot to make it less repetitive. Any ideas for extending the list?
I tried to make it limited to stuff one could expect during some gorey ritual, so probably remains one can sometimes find in the caves could also work. A few suggestions:
Those-remains/piles-of-meat-I-cannot-remember-the-item-name-of. Mysterious skull. Regular skull. Ancient Tablet. Strange Aluminum Tablet. Rusty blade (the one ghouls wield). Dulled Prometheum Crystal.
Outside of cave stuff:
Ectoplasm (especially useful since it's hard to stumble upon it outside of two non-repeatable missions for now), rosary.

The main problem is just the lack of occult items, be they just lore stuff, scientific research items (would help with the fact that one can go usually straight from parapsychology to metapsychology despite how supposedly researchers have plenty of things to investigate in that new field and that there's almost no lore or investigation on dreaming or Children of Aether) or weaker-tier psi-weapons (some charms, ritual dagger with some bonus damage from Psi strength and skill). I had some hard time finding the gift for "package from unknown occultists" event I've made earlier because it's either useless stuff they wouldn't care to send X-Com or either powerful or at least expensive psi weapons with nothing in-between.

I think it's more of an event than a dossier. Okay.
Yes, it is. What I mean is whether it wouldn't be better for there to be a dossier entry on the celebrity that'd allow the event once researched, for example.

Sure, very vanilla. (The players will curse us for all these negative events!)
Hm, you say? I'll try to add a few more positive ones for the future.

Cool, but it should be enabled also by beetles. (Which means I'll have to add a separate research... :-\ )
True. As mentioned I don't know what are the limitations of the events (what triggers them, what they can activate in turn) so I work kinda blind, using the events I've already seen as the basis. Apologies.

(renamed to "Prelude to Invasion"), Holy Protection, New Age. Other events are to be decided, as per my remarks above.
Sure. Though if the event is to be prelude, it probably should be triggered a bit before invasion itself, just when first scout UFOs are being seen (which is usually, IIRC, third quarter of 1998?)

I wait for the remarks for some of the other events I've made and you didn't seem to comment on yet so I can adjust them as well the stuff you've mentioned. A few new ones I'll probably include with the next feedback.

Thanks, man!
Hey, thanks to you. I just do a bit to flesh out what I can.

Now, onto weird stuff I found so far:

- Knockout grenades give "correctional officer", likely due to their stunning nature but almost never "grenadier". In general grenadier progresses very slow because compared to number of times an agent shoots a gun per mission, grenades aren't used as often even if from player's perspective every mission finds some use of them.

- Currently one either has to force agents to use thrown weapons like throwing knives or shurikens or they'll have a very hard time improving throwing accuracy with stuff like grenades as well.

- You can get laser weapons technology lead by researching alien laser rifle, but you cannot do the same with human laser tech (used by MiB), laser pistols, hydra laser and similar if you find them first - they don't lead to the laser tech at all and/or cannot be researched till later in the tech tree than alien laser rifle tends to be.

- Lost CQC struggle with a spider. While using pretty strong character. Spiders and other smaller creatures shouldn't even attempt such thing, not knowing what a gun is. I can understand them generally flailing at whatever is pointed at them and can also imagine CQC involving them jumping at an agent, but they still should have considerable disadvantage.

- Exalt HQ raid is a battle mostly inside a modern, furnished building. It should get many more artificial lights, if only for the sake of defenders protecting it at night.

- One can fly fighter jets (Arrow), make and fly Shyhawk and Skyrider before researching advanced flight training. An early game anti-UFO ship that's dependant on regular flight training would be good, possibly with Arrow pushed a bit further back and slightly upgraded into an actual tech (maybe even making it a choice - one either can unpack mothballed Arrow to get a single fully functional aircraft or research it to design something that will cost time and money themselves). At the same time Helix transformation tech depending on some advanced aircraft flying skill seems kinda weird.

- Many "normal" (as in not energy-blade ones, but tritanium and below, including regular combat ones) knives still unavailable for covert labor missions.

- Muton corpses allow one to extract synthmuscles but mutons captured alive who then turn useless (no new research topics to investigate) can only be sold. An analogy to bioextraction option for zombies, that allows processing of both corpses and alive subjects would be welcome.

- Gillman attack is very strong, while accurately employed as a mortar attack outside of whatever gillman sees. Stuff like cyber armor seems to not really protect against it despite resistances, allowing it to instakill troopers that can tank high-caliber sniper rounds and rarely even energy weapon like laser or plasma (one-shot kills against experienced, 60+ health agents in cyber armor are hardly rare). The ufopedia entry is suspicious in that it's supposed to be 90% accuracy aimed attack but there seems to be no accuracy penalty with distance, allowing gillman that accuracy even when shooting from 20 - 25 tiles away at a trooper hiding in a narrow alley between two buildings. The enemy's pretty alright but if their attack is more powerful than what majority of their compatriots can throw at the player - be they Dagon cultists or Deep Ones - shouldn't they attack in boundaries of what they see or be moved to more strategically important missions like outpost defense (especially since their ufopedia entry claims they're mostly employed for guard duty but I see them in every deep ones raid)?

- Also, I assume it's a matter of redesign and assets, but ufopedia portrays Gillmen as using guns.

Once again, thanks for your time.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 09:28:28 pm by justaround »