enemy intellect?

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#1 Tsathoggua


    So twisted, my laevo is on the right hand side

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 09:47 PM

Am I right in the assumption that different alien species seem to have quite significantly differing intelligence?

For example, aquatoids seem quite bright, tasoth-medium, xarquid are sneaky as they come, whilst biodrones are just...nasty little sods, although stupid enough to close at point blank range; I've only JUST had a trooper drop one, he was too far away to kill it, and it was just on the other side of the door, so I had my soldier move to one side of the door, and had him whip it out (his tazer, now now, lets keep this polite:D), just in case he got a chance. Backup was nearby and closing, both men equipped with sonic rifles. NOT a good idea of course to blast away at a biodrone at close range, not with the wallop they tend to go off with if not airborne. The soldier close to it, armed with the stunner got very, very lucky indeed, in that the drone in question had obviously been fitted with a brain harvested from someone with three teeth and named 'cleetus' with a 'thing' for farm animals and possibly, just possibly, machinery too. Biodrone closed to close combat range and started trying and failing repeatedly to use that bugged attack and thump the soldier with the shocker. Allowing him, for three turns, maybe four to zap, zap zap away until the thing was down. Sending in the one remaining, living heavy weapons guy now with a gas cannon since there are no grenades left to go blow the unconscious drone to hell where it should have stayed to begin with.

Its one thing trying to  use a bugged attack and not realize it, but staying there repeatedly trying, toe to toe and getting belted repeatedly with the tazer, one would think it would simply move a tile away and use its sonic cannon, which considering we have no armor as of yet, would have wiped the soldier out completely. And the place is infested with triscene. Way too inconvenient placement to try and take one alive, up stairs, so strategy has been simply to draw fire with the (oops) torpedo tank,  use it as a shield, crouch down behind it and wait for the inevitable burst of heavy sonics fire then when its TU are out, pop up and hit it with everything to hand. Which at the moment means sonic rifles and a pair of tazers. Plus a strangely placed dye grenade, which appeared to have come out of a triscene's backside, of all the odd places one might keep a grenade. Killed the thing, hadn't used any dye grenades, certainly not right up its....

And they seem as thick as they are vicious. There is one right up at the top of some steps right now (this would be either no.3 or no.4, this mission is infested with them. Like buses with psychotic drivers that like to run over kiddies on the school run, you don't see one for ages then they come in swarms. Seriously, haven't seen a triscene in many games, yet this time, there are at LEAST three of them on a ship rescue mission (anyone ever see them on any other mission, bar game errors?

Triscene strike me as sort of a non-aquatic counterpart of xarquid, tough as tanks, and vicious as the day is long. Only where xarquid seem to retain intelligence appropriate to their cephalopod ancestry, triscene are as thick as two short planks, and planks made of something really really dense, mahogany planks maybe. This living one is right at the top of a short length of stairs, a double-wide one, that the coelacanth is capable of traversing up and down, or would be if there wasn't an overgrown dirty great lizard-thing packing what look like a pair of craft sonic cannons. Its bad tempered as bad tempered gets, and can loose off a LOT of shots, a burst of three certainly, if it didn't move, are they capable of four? thing is, when its had full TU, and the tank can see it without it being able to fire on the tank but presumably can see it too, the thing hasn't even moved a step. I WANT it to come chase after the coelacanth so that snipers can engage it from beyond visual (even for an alien) range and take it out. Only explosives left are about  6 gas cannon shells, another two IF I can find the poor bugger who got killed trying to use hers. Crew is mixed aquatoid (a few) and tasoth (mostly). Pets seen let off the leash and crapping in my park, have been two biodrones and a LOT of triscene. More than I've seen on this one mission than there have been in every game I have played in several YEARS.

I know the terrorist and general unit number itself changes with difficulty setting, (this is on veteran, damn fed raided my place and took my computer damn them to hell may they rot there suffering. Not to mention breaking some of my lab equipment (just had to spend over half a grand on equipment to get together a slightly decent set, not that I didn't have such, its just that the things that were damaged left me with a mismatch in sizes, since I use everything from the tiniest little 5 and 10ml flasks and 1/4 liter seperatory funnels right up to multiple liters. Hell I want myself one I've had my eye on so large that I'd have to build my own heating mantle from scratch (IIRC its 30-40 liter capacity RBF, want one for plant extractions using a soxhlet extractor for continual recirculation of the same portion of solvent, thus saving a bit short of a grand now-tsathoggua the poorer. Need big'uns for that kind of thing, thick walled too so, and being borosilicate glass can withstand a lot of heat before succumbing to thermal shock (I've had boro glass stuff inadvertently reach a bit over 400 'C before without getting anything other than a bit mucky from the heating bath fluid charring (eeeh-gad does diethylene glycol have a horrible smell when it gets torched like that due to a hotplate failure...)

lol IT failed before the flask did!. Had the nastiest, although not strong exactly, just...faintly everywhere and with a sickly-bitter nauseating sweetish stench that pervaded all around it, like the ghost of a diabetic skunk that just committed suicide by means of several dozen tins of mouldy gone-off golden syrup...everywhere...took me all night to get the stench good and thoroughly cleansed from the place, plus finishing my project without a smoking phosphorus inferno being allowed to continue:D:P THAT wasn't fun at all trying to put out, get a stopper in to the smaller flask it was in (250ml) whilst a mixture of red and white phosphorus were busily just beginning to ignite..

..just try getting a tiddly little stopper down the long, thin neck of a small FBF whilst its hissing and spitting and plumes of corrosive, choking smoke mixed with the stench of pyrolyzed solvents and volatile reactants begin to rocket up that neck like a soyuz taking off, only in reverse....whilst wearing thick gloves, covered by water-soaked oven-mitts, all the while the little sample of hellfire in an erlenmeyer began to spew off highly acidic (phosphorus pentoxide, its the anhydride of phosphoric acid, and both an intensely powerful dehydrating agent, one of the best, or worst, that there IS) and vaporising fumes of volatile and even stronger acids. Stuff that a few drops hit the clamp stand I was using, more or less just a solid block of cast iron or steel with a couple of holes drilled into it using the bench press and a couple of holes carefully tapped in with the lathe so I can screw in my metal rods with matching threads tapped on the end...in the process of trying to unscrew a monumental screwup, after a few drops of water got where no H2O should have gotten anywhere near, let alone IN, in the particular case of what was being done the acid mixture in question seared pits and craters into the flat part of the weight block itself wherever it touched, as if it were 98% sulfuric [it wasn't, it was nothing so kindly nor so gentle] being poured over a few ply-es of loo roll. Even less fun when its at about 440-460-degrees C)

(forgive me my tangential grizzling there, its the privilege of an old man, right? granted I'm only 30, but still, I consider myself to have a few decades cut off until I can claim my engrizzlement rights...like a pension only where you clobber folk with a zimmer frame and use phrases such as 'back in MY day, we didn't/did.....insert thing of choice here -X-) and whilst of course I'd not take it out on my fellow commanders here, but you can bet that having to mcguyver fittings for hours on end only to know you'll get one use before the metal disintegrates) But NOW I have to pay blasted import duty and taxes for replacing something broken by the thuggish arm of the govt themselves, essentially. Not to mention all the blasted £££ spent on replacing reagents, and re-doing air sensitive projects in flasks filled with argon or nitrogen, which the untrained, stupid fools actually started opening bottles and flasks. Damn lucky, after certain things (E.g sodium, potassium,  luckily in smallish pieces) right next to bottles of THF, ether and such with no cap put back on. And leaving the 'sample' vials they sampled things from my reagent stocks still on the lab bench! took bits out, bottled them, sealed them, labelled etc. then left them there on my lab bench, befouling it with the disgusting bacon-grease left behind on my beloved lab surfaces by the touch of noxious trotters.

Anyhow. Triscene. Intellect. Other bugs, intellect.

Seems like the xarquid I faced and after way too long trying and eventually succeeding to stun it, the damn two-parter mission didn't bring it home with me after, despite saving right before the last alien kill/attempted retreat, anything to bring squiddy back alive. Didn'ae come back at all.

THIS time, hopefully murphy will stay out of the picture, having killed at least one triscene topside, and now searching through the cargo holds, terminating tasoth, and having extirpated three, perhaps even four triscene here.

Problem is, they seem as stupid as the xarquid is cunning and I just cannot, CANNOT lure the thing down those steps. Thing is, I don't expect a capture, not unless its by accident, but at least its being dead would be nice. And its damn difficult to fire up at the creature, only by allowing it to take out its rage, and its TU on the tank then moving agents in from the side to hit it with a couple of bolts from their sonic rifles per trooper, moving them back out of sight again whilst parking the tank in direct LOS, to take up its TU and allow the men to move in and ideally, kill it before the tank ends up going to the nearest scrap yard (wonder if the scrap merchants nearby have a special deal with X-com, seeing as how many big pieces of army surplus scrap metal they must have brought to them (and besides who wouldn't say no to the pieces of a submarine with nuclear warheads still in the torpedo tubes:D)

Got one, maybe two dye grenades, 6 HE gas cannon shells, possibly another 2 and an incendiary round if the bodies of the former owners can be located, plus two tazers, a torpedo tank that cannot fire and sonic blasta rifles for every man bar one, who is wielding the gas cannon, the last of three users.

CAN that triscene possibly be lured? I've only seen it take a step in one direction on its floor then take a step back to where it started. Or are aliens like daleks, and have some serious stair-traversal issues? I've only ever SEEN the bugs use grav lifts, other than flying aliens, basically meaning bio-drones and those horrid tentaculat buggers.  Do they (those species which cannot float/fly that is) possess the capability coded for them to walk up and down stairs?

Had a 'toid early on, in the first section of the cargo hold, where the start point is for half no.2 of the mission, that was on the upper floor, could have crossed over down the stairs (and gotten its head shot off by a sniper mind you) but all it did was walk out of the door, pace around a few tiles then pop its fat head back behind the door from whence it came?

And ARE some aliens more intelligent than others? because it certainly seems so. Aggression is one thing, any caveman or cave-alien with a big stick can grunt 'me bug, bug smaaasshhhh!' but it takes more than that to flank, to try and flush aquanauts out with explosives or to sneak round and backstab.

One other question-these big terrorists, hallucinoids, triscene and xarquid, they are in effect, the alien equivalent to X-com tanks, are they not? big, slower than most other smaller units, ignoring the biodrone, which X-com has nothing alike unto, but generally, hard cases, big and ugly as an ugly tree smacked with a bat carved from ugly tree wood. If taken over with MC, or if just left to their own devices, imagining a unit in heavy cover, taking fire and it missing every time, or hitting the cover, dissipating the shot, either way, do such nasties as bio-drones, triscene and xarquid have a limited ammo capacity like the gauss  tank, sonic hovertank etc. have?  If one were that is, to present an indestructible target at which to cut loose, and that they would fire at, and no limit placed on TU or on turns, would they continue to fire infinitely or eventually run dry? and lastly, the attacks on biodrone are bugged, and as is the hallucinoid, rendered pretty much a meat puppet without its icy freezing thing that its meant to have, is the biodrone attack bugged if MC'ed, and are hallucinoids capable of firing if controlled? also with the biodrone, does it have the choice of attack? and can an MC'ed deep one finally give an electroshock weapon to X-com? because those things are absolutely lethal. Piss poor range and worse accuracy but unique mode of arcing fire and IF it hits something, armor or no armor it makes a hell of a mess.

#2 magic9mushroom



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Posted 19 November 2016 - 01:38 AM

There are two basic forms of "intelligence" - there's the actual AI code, and there's the "Intelligence" stat.

The "intelligence" stat is how many turns an alien "remembers" a unit's position.

The AI code is kinda weird. Especially because the TFTD team had no fucking clue what they were doing (the TFTD designers were given the binaries of UFO but not the source code). Xarquid do tend to camp, and often other aliens end up doing it as well. I suspect this is due to bad pathing algorithms rather than intentional; the alien literally can't figure out how to get from A to B, so it stays at A.

Regarding the Bio-Drone... you seem to be forgetting that these are AIs that are a few lines of code. The code says "if melee range then use melee attack". So the Bio-Drone does that. The code doesn't account for the Bio-Drone having an accuracy of 0 because the code wasn't written with that in mind. So it keeps using the melee attack. This is normal behaviour for a simple AI put in a situation it's not designed for.

I skimmed your post because it's a 2,400-word incoherent stream of consciousness, so I probably missed something. Try rereading and trimming your posts before submitting them if you want me to pay more attention.

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