Author Topic: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep  (Read 4543 times)

Offline NastyKhan

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[TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« on: July 15, 2021, 08:27:03 pm »


Main goal:
Make TFTD less annoying and more fun.

Sub-goals:
1. Rebalance (reduce) difficulty.
2. Make tech tree more intuitive.
3. Expand X-COM2 lore with X-COM1 content
4. Expand lore with external content, including Lovecraftian mythos
5. Add more cool stuff

Changes made so far:
Ad.1:
• I reduced the overall difficulty level and brought it closer to the first game.
• I slowed down the monthly technological advancement of aliens.
• I decreased the accuracy and reflexes of the first aliens encountered: Aquatoid Soldier and Gillman Soldier
• I slightly reduced the damage of personal sonic weapons.
• I slighlty increased damage of X-COM explosives. Magna-Pack has now enough punch to break through USO's hull but radius reduced to minimum. It's like C4 safe-cracker.
• I reduced the value of civilians by 1/3, so their deaths generate lower penalties.
• I made alien Psi attacks to use percentage TU (25% exactly) and require LOS.
• I made Tentaculat's attack to use percentage TU (50% exactly) and reduced accuracy to 50%. It means it can still zombify humans in one turn, but only in approx. 1/2 of cases.
• I increased the armor values for the default diving suit and aqua-plastic armor, and actually lowered the armor values a little for the ion ones.
• I gave civilian 80% resistance for all types of attack. They will still die easily but at least not all in first turn.
• I completely zeroed aliens damage resistances. It's only armor now, no more cheating.
• I zeroed Tentaculat's armor and gave it double damage from fire.
• I slighlty increased recruits starting stats.
• I greatly increased soldiers' stat caps.
• I reduced Zrbite weight to 1/4.
• I reduced penalties for ignoring terror missions from 1000 to 320. That's the equivalent of 16 civilians killed.
• I made gauss weapons a little stronger plus they don't need ammo anymore.
• I shortened cruise ship terror mission to first stage only, and separated cargo ship mission into two separate missions. That's three single-stage terror missions possible instead of two two-stage. To make it more interesting lower decks of cargo ship are fought in semi-darkness due to "power cut off".
• I changed layout and inventory of starting base.
• I slighlty changes several maps. General idea was to add more passages and open space and reduce amount of "monsters in the lockers".

Ad.2:
• I removed dependencies for aqua-plastics research.
• I made Ion Armor require Ion Accelerators and Plastic Armor. Accelerators requires Zrbite though.
• I made Magnetic Armor require Ion Armor and magnetic navigation. Navigation requires interrogation of living Navigator though.
• I removed dependencies for vibro weapons, but they still need to be research one after another.
• I removed requirement of Magnetic Armor to research new sub. You still need alien sub, zrbite, accelerators, navigation and aqua-plastics though.
• I added requirement to research all alien base technologies before being able to research alien city.

Ad.3:
• I added 2040s laser weapons available to purchase. They behave similar to 1999 ones, but have different sprites and uses ammo.
• I made Medi-kits and motion sensors available to purchase.
• I replaced default diving suit with Diving Armor based on First War alien alloys.
• I wrote few extra ufopedia articles about fate of laser weapons, plasma weapons, elerium, alien alloys, power suits and first war in general.

Ad.4:
• I described four mythical/legendary sea creatures as failed alien experiments. Those entries can be found by interrogating Aquatoid Medic.
• I added coastal town of Innsmouth to global map.

Ad.5:
• I slowed down Calcinite, but gave it more aggression and health. It also take double damage from fire. I wanted it to be as terrifying as Kirov's Airships from Red Alert or synths from Alien universe.
• I slightly rebalanced Ajax torpedoes, DUP torpedoes and Gas Cannon. Ajax has bigger clip and larger range. DUP is shorter and has only 2 shots instead of 3, and cannon has increased range and accuracy.
• I drew custom sprites for Lobsterman's claw and Calcynite's claw attacks.
• I slightly changed Alien colony map. Now there is a small landing pod with escort ships on it.

Is it stable?
I tested each change separately for many hours. In addition, I tested the whole thing many times for at least a few in-game months. So I can say with all responsibility - yes, it works. Of course, there are still plenty of room for improvement and development, so I'll be grateful for any feedback, especially the critical one.

Is it done Yuri?
No comrade Premier, it has only begun. I still have plenty of ideas and at this point I feel limited only by my lack of knowledge and patience. That's why I'll be grateful for any feedback. If you encounter anything else that annoys you in my mod or TFTD in general - please let me know. If you find bugs or grammar errors - please let me know. If you know any interesting sea monsters or legendary/fictional/creepy human sea town - please let me know. Any feedback will be more than appreciated.

Link:
https://openxcom.mod.io/return-to-the-deep

Requirements:
Tested on OXCE 7.0 2021-03-13.

Credits:
Me.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 08:36:44 pm by NastyKhan »

Offline efrenespartano

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 10:47:47 pm »
I'm not a big fan of TFTD, but you had me with your Red Alert 2 joke! I'll give it a good try, sounds like a reasonable and well planned mod!

I like the concept of having First Alien War tech, I'll bug you with issue feedback if i find any.
Congrats on your new mod, btw! Looking forward to seeing additional progress on your project.

Offline BeOS_Refugee

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2021, 08:59:33 pm »
Very cool.

This is most of what I wanted to see out of a TFTD revamp using the original engine, and more. Will download and try it out later today (possibly on Twitch stream), but I'm already impressed by your list of changes.

Offline MpfiveDeacon

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2022, 09:33:10 pm »
Thank you for doing this, I've been wanting to do something like this for a few years now just never had the time with school and other things. I'm very happy to see LOF because that was the worst when it came to MC, some missions were nearly impossible just because of that and how the AI always knows where your soldiers are if they see them once. I can't wait to try this out once my hard drive comes in. Something you may want to look at adding is more common calcinites simply because drills are nice to have. Now I don't know if it is something you would be able to fix but as we all know some of the alien subs can be peeked through, but I have found this issue in very specific parts of the alien bases were a corner can not only be seen through but attacked through. I do have a recording and screenshot of this happing. If I can find it, I have some list of errors that you may find helpful if it isn't already on your list.

Offline NastyKhan

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2022, 11:43:53 pm »
I'm very happy to see LOF because that was the worst when it came to MC, some missions were nearly impossible just because of that and how the AI always knows where your soldiers are if they see them once.

Thanks. I found out that after using my mod, MC attacks are super rarely actually, and that's NOT what I wanted. At this moment you can storm enemy Battleship or base and you will hardly encounter any Psi attack. Maybe because AI prefer to shoot, when they actually ses you? Maybe I shall remove need of LOS again, and instead add ammo? So there would be only limited amount of attack that can happen? I don't know yet.

Something you may want to look at adding is more common calcinites simply because drills are nice to have.

I think you can still find drills on regular sub-downed-missions and as far as I remember, you can research them the very moment you find them. I think I removed any prerequisites (see Ad.2).

Now I don't know if it is something you would be able to fix but as we all know some of the alien subs (...) can not only be seen through but attacked through.

I know. But that's probably related to game core. Out of my reach.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2022, 06:00:08 am »
But that's probably related to game core. Out of my reach.

That's just bugged maps/tilesets, can be fixed quite easily. Well bugged, or made this way on purpose by the TFTD crew, hard to say...

Offline wsmithjr

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2022, 05:20:05 am »
Thanks for the mod.  Very interested in checking it out.  Always loved TFTD in spite it being a pain in the butt. :)

Any estimate or thoughts on changing the Psi?  Don't want to make it too easy. :)

Offline NastyKhan

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2022, 09:50:32 am »
Well, there are two factors to consider:

1. LOS

No LOS requirement means aliens will eventually psi-spam you each turn, even if your dudes (and dudettes) are still sitting on the sub.
LOS requirement means, that theoretically aliens will be able to psi-attack you only, when they see you, but practically... it seems - when they do, they just prefer to shoot and throw grenades. I don't blame them.

2. Numbers

I can leave default no-LOS-requirement and instead do some more experiments with TU required to psi-attack, chance of success or even add ammo. That won't stop them from attacking from wherever they want, but at least will make it less annoying.
That's what I did with Tentaculat, remember? It can still zombify in one hit, but now has only 50% chance to hit and need 50% of TU.

What do you think?

Offline wsmithjr

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2022, 09:22:50 am »
Hmm ....

I'd love to help, but I think a lot of it for me is how it feels, which is hard to say without having experienced it yet.  I guess I just reacted to the fact that the large ship missions would be "easier" because you didn't have to deal with Psi attacks much.  I've played a few months game time but haven't gotten to anything big enough to experience how it currently is.  Just did a cargo ship terror mission with Tasoth and didn't experience any psi attacks at all.

I'm definitely of the opinion that XCom shouldn't be able to do Psi attacks without LOS.  So, maybe it's fine the way it is.  But, I also don't want to completely nerf that element of the game, because I recall alien psi attacks that could hit you anywhere be very tense and unnerving.  Fair?  Probably not, but ...  :D

Perhaps playing with some numbers would be helpful?  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the aliens could still do the original types of attacks but maybe not quite so annoying.  In that case, would it be possible to turn on LOS requirements for just XCom?  Probably not, but seems like a good solution to me.  I think the problem is, in the vanilla game, while the alien psi attacks were a pain, in the hands of XCom, it would just completely break the game.  Sure, I don't have to do that, but .... the spirit is sometimes weak. :)

Sorry, don't have any definite concrete suggestions.  I'll keep playing and post any further thoughts I might have.  I'm not sure I understand having psi "ammo" would work.

On another topic ...

While I'm thinking about it, what are the chances of getting better USOpedia entries for the laser weapons?  It is SO NICE to have those for the land battles (frankly, they're probably the only reason I survived that first cargo ship terror mission), but now that I've started getting Gauss and Sonic weapons, I find I have no way to compare which weapons are more effective other than observing the TU costs.  I've only got Gauss/sonic pistols at the moment, and I can see how the sonic hits harder but are not as fast.  How does the laser pistol compare?  I can't tell ingame.  Just a thought.

Really enjoying the mod so far.  I'm only on Experienced and that may be slightly easy for me, but I enjoy not getting crushed constantly.

Thanks for sharing.

Offline NastyKhan

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Re: [TFTD][MAJOR] Return to The Deep
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2022, 10:03:44 am »
Hey,

Thank you for first actual review :)

And yes - there is a... problem with the laser thing you described, and I'm fully aware of it. The thing is, where you add USOpedia article, you have to select one from few available templates. There is different for armor, different for weapons, tanks, ships etc. My laser weapons are using kind of "default curiosity" instead of "weapon", and because of that it doesn't show weapon stats.

Now you may ask: then change it to "weapon", and everything will work, right? Stats will be visible and everything.

Yeah. Everything. Including secret, that "laser" weapons don't actually shoot laser, which kind of break immersion. You see, part of "weapon" template is info of damage type. And there is no "laser" type in TFTD. There isn't even "fire". I had to use "gauss", "plasma" or "phosphor". Revealing that felt anti-climatic and was annoying me, so I choose lesser evil to not show anything at all.

You can kind of override it by manually changing damage type ID to any word you want. That will make template to display that word as a damage type. However since such random word wouldn't be correct ID, no bonuses/penalties by game mechanics will be applied. In other words: when game asks you what type of damage you want to use: gauss, plasma, explosion etc, you can say "potatosaurus". The game will be like: "bruh, there is no such damage on the database. There is no mechanics for that, no numbers", and you can say: "i no care. I want to see potatosaurus as damage type."

Once you have that, you create second set of weapons. This time - functional ones. You give functional ones to player, but hide them in 'pedia, and you show broken ones there instead.

My gosh. So much writing. It's almost 9AM, I should be working.
Anyway - I did the same with armor. Default armor you can see in USOpedia is not the one you can use. Both have the same stats, but they have different names. In this case, that's because you can't change name of "NONE" armor. I would display as "NONE" in USOpedia. So I create second type of armor, specially for 'pedia, just so it can have a name.

Modern problems require modern solutions.

Hope that makes sense :)
Best regards