Xarquid weapon strength mismatch, inventory


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#1 Tsathoggua

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:14 PM

Just took over a xarquid, with the intent of trying to recover it alive, and noticed a couple of things.

First-it seems only to be carrying a sonic pistol with regards to the capacity to order it to open fire, with very similarly low TU cost to fly, no automatic setting on its weapon. But a blast from a xarquid tends to make a hell of a mess of whatever it hits, way over and above the damage that a sonic pistol would likely do.

Second-unlike any other alien that I've ever MC'ed, when you take control of a xarquid, you can access the inventory through the inventory button, with it displaying 'xarquid' rather than 'xarquid terrorist' which appears in its stats. Does this mean that a xarquid, if  a scenario were to be set up to use the 'recover zombie'/pet tentaculat trick could be exploited in order to add a xarquid to the crew as a tank option? that would be a really neat trick.

And third-whats that weird arse icon that appears next to its name, in the inventory screen? the way its inventory is accessible when MC'ed, makes it seem like the behaviour is closer to that of a character NAMED 'xarquid' rather than an alien of  species 'xarquid'

One other question-being a 4 tile critter, being able to MC each tile separately allows for additional TU to be restored, does this  equate also to being able to repeatedly fire, deplete its TU, MC again and then serve up some more hurt on whatever happens to make itself available for target practice? And, when facing with the 'head' (I.e the calamari end, I know nautiluses (nautili? nautiluseseses? nautilises?:P swim 'baclwards' but here I'm counting the end that dishes out the damage.

And is it possible, to have a xarquid which has been MC'ed pick up and use grenades and other items? since it only mounts the weapon in one hand. Or to unload it? drop it?

And, after MCing it several times to bring it inside the triton for stunning in the hopes of being able to capture one alive,even after experimentally ditching the regular tank, MCing the xarquid again, wasn't able to bring it back alive, yet it counted as MIA. And for some reason on the approach to the triton, was only able to MC it once, not 4x sometimes, yet 4x some other times. What gives there? it would be neat to be able to capture one alive, and better yet, to be able to take it over and use it as a sonic pistol-level tank with great accuracy, since they do seem to have a lot better skills as snipers than the base weapon accuracy would suggest.

Lastly, what else can be done with these buggers?

#2 sp1ke

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:12 PM

OK iirc, in an unmodified game:

It is normal to be able to access inventory of an MCd alien

It is normal not to be able to access any built in weapons of an MCd alien

So the only new thing you may have found that's odd is that the Xarquid is carrying a pistol. My guess on that is that the pickup code is running (though I think that requires a patch to enable?) and the Xarquid picked up the sonic pistol from an alien or human casualty or morale failure. Not so much to use it as to deny it to you. However if you found every MCd Xarquid was carrying a single sonic pistol I would suspect some kind of hacky coding. Definitely the Xarquid is not properly implemented (coded) as its supposed to have multiple attacks including a Freeze attack (non lethal?).

Re the MC of multiple squares of a large terrorist, each square is numbered and I believe you have to take them over in numerical order for best effect?

All of this information is in the (online, not in-game)  UFOPaedia somewhere, so you could check in there.
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#3 sp1ke

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:18 PM

Also it is impossible to do a live capture of a 4 square terrorist even if you stun it and even if you physically drag it inside the Triton. And also any aliens still under MC at the end of the tactical mission will have weird effects: showing as MIA is the least of it.
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#4 sp1ke

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:24 PM

Which slot is the Sonic Pistol in btw? Normally (bipedal) aliens have all their inventory in the first slot, leading to the risk of game crashes when trying to manipulate their inventory.
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#5 Tsathoggua

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:24 PM

Right hand slot, and not CARRYING a sonic pistol. It was the weapon, sonic pistol cartridge.

No pickup code patch running, the critter wasn't carrying a weapon, it was the hard-wired turret mount sonic weapon the xarquid has.

And its the hallucinoid that has the bugged stun attack. The two terrorists with bugged attacks are the hallucinoid-melee only, and the biodrone which almost always misses with its close combat attack.

The xarquid weapon works though, unless two gill men suddenly dropped dead of fright after having a heart attack the moment they spotted the worlds ugliest calamari repeating on it. Just got back from a battlecruiser mission, spotted it parked, after tailing it with the triton, and the moment it set down, went and banged a few heads together, but left the ship unharmed bar a few DPL shells through walls and doors  in order to let the MC troops take over various gill men and xarquid.

And FINALLY, managed to recover magnetic navigation. 6 of them now just need to bag a lobsterman navigator.

#6 NKF

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:21 AM

A lot of this is just stuff the developers never meant the player to be able to access - but hey we can.

Large terror units with a built in weapon are implemented the same way as the tank and replace the right item slot with their turret. Items can theoretically be placed in the hand slot, but the turret controls will completely override it as well as disabling the other hand slot.

Alien large units don't usually have graphics to represent their turret weapons like the tanks so just use place holder items like the sonic pistol clip mentioned. Have a look at UFO's Sectopod. All graphical indications suggest it has a plasma weapon, right down to the bullet fired. However it does laser damage.

The 'terrorist' in the stats screen is the alien's rank/job.

The weird icon is just memory junk. The game is trying to display a graphic that isn't a graphic as the aliens don't have job icons.

As for mind control and large units, UFO and TFTD behave quite differently. Or rather, the TFTD developers tried to fix UFO's exploitable feature but ended up creating a fantastic new one.

You already know this, but for the sake of those that do not: UFO allowed you to independently mind control each segment, refilling TUs each time so that you can get the alien to act four times. The partial control also meant that it can use reaction fire against itself from time to time if it has a turret weapon.

In TFTD, they tried to fix this by automatically mind controlling the next three segments after the segment you mind controlled. Say all the section of a large unit is set up like so:

12
34

You mind control segment 1, segments 2 through 4 will also get controlled. This controls the entire unit at once. This is sensible, but there is one problem. You can still start the mind control from any of the segments and the game will still control the next 3 segments - even if there are no more segments to control. Instead it jumps across to the next large alien in the roster.

Say we have two large aliens in the alien roster. They will be set up like so:

12
34
12
34

Technically they're set up in a flat 12341234, but it's easier to visualize them as above.

When you mind control the first large alien from segment 4, only segment 4 will get controlled. The next alien will have segments 1 through 3 under control.

12
34
12
3
4

It doesn't matter if you've seen the second alien or not, - those segments will be under mind control.

After the MC wears off, you get another fun bug. Some of the segments will remain under your control.

If you want to test it out do a colony attack. Find a Hallucinoid and deliberately mind control it from segments 3 or 4. Assuming it's not the very last alien in the alien roster, you should find yourself in control of one or two partial hallucinoids.

And no, much fun though it would be to have a pet Hallucinoid join you to the second part, you can't keep it on account of the bits that are still under alien control.

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#7 Tsathoggua

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:26 PM

I'd wondered why partial hallucinoids had been turning up. Also something else funky seems to be happening with those aliens, sometimes MCing one seems to spawn more. In places already under view, one minute nothing there, the next, a hallucinoid half physically trapped in the nearest sub-surface building. Its annoying since they are hard to get rid of, and can't always easily be targeted. So the crews are sent packing a few disruptor pulse shells to root them out.

Usually it happens when trying to move the creature, it both stays where it is, and slithers over to where its sent, spawning a new one. Or if trapped in the walls, its impossible to move it, although the enemy can when it regains control. Otherwise, its a case of having to nuke the area and remove the walls (or the building)

The DOS version of TFTD seems like it doesn't have the MC bug fixed in that it doesn't always automatically MC the rest of the unit. Still possible to control the next segment, and so on and so forth, not always but half the time or more (running in dosbox)

#8 Zombie

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:28 AM

View PostNKF, on 04 May 2017 - 07:21 AM, said:

The 'terrorist' in the stats screen is the alien's rank/job.

Terrorists having the "terrorist" suffix are due to the game substituting them for a normal race+rank combo. Posted Image I don't think that the game displays "terrorist" in the stats screen unless the alien was a substitution. ;)

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#9 Tsathoggua

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 04:04 PM

I've always found it to be the other way around.

Can't access inventory (bar the weirdness with the xarquids, haven't yet tried it on the only other 4-tile alien with an inbuilt ranged weapon, since triscene are so damn rare. )Xarquid seem to turn up off and on this late in the game. Still need to nab a lobsterman navigator though to research the magnetic navigation. Odd that out of every UFO that has been raided, only two have turned up magnetic navigation at all though, one a parked battlecruiser/dreadnought and the other something quite a lot smaller that ought to have been smashed to pieces given it was hit by a full salvo of PWT warheads.

#10 NKF

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:25 AM

Damage done and what type of weapon used to shoot down an alien sub in the Geoscape never properly matches up to what you see in the battlescape. That's all up to the Cthulian elder entity known as RNG. Posted Image

Thinking back about what you mentioned about the Hallucinoid mysteriously multiplying, I think I know what might be happening there. Sometimes XComutil's map generator will stick a few units into the same spawn location. Usually happens when there aren't enough alien spawn nodes or if you're using XComutil's custom difficulty settings which may add more aliens than usual. Only one of the aliens will be drawn on screen, but they're really crammed into the one tile. You'll suddenly see other aliens start walking out of the visible alien. That's the most probable explanation behind that phenomena.

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#11 Tsathoggua

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 12:21 PM

That sounds about right. Visually it appears as though these 'extra' hallucinoids kind of reproduce by binary fission, like protozoa and slither right out of each other.

If before this happens, and a trooper essentially nukes the entire area with DPL rounds (or several soldiers do that and leave nothing standing whatsoever), critter(s?) splattered into meatpaste and distributed evenly around the worlds oceans in little tiny pieces, does one still get credited for multiple kills? if the hallucinoids have not yet moved 'out' of each other?

And have other players using xcomutil (I'd MUCH prefer to use openXcom, its just better all around but its so damn DIFFICULT to get things in the right directory if xcom itself isn't installed in the standard directory, managed to do it once with UFO but that was by sticking the bits of openxcom in every possible directory within xcom and couldn't get the damned thing figured out (albeit admittedly it was using linux, an OS of which my familiarity is about the same as your unicorn-riding ability) so I've used the best I've got, really), has anyone else managed to use the in-built weapons of *any* of the terrorists (xarquid especially, but including the rest, especially those with ranged weapons, although in particular the meat-tank that is the triscene)? I haven't had a chance to test it on the triscene since I haven't had a terror site or shipping lane mission in months, and I only ever see triscene on shipping lane missions. Got as many bases as the game permits, and bar the primary assault base with the troop transport (going to be buying/renting a second transport now I'm stinking rich (which leads to another question-I know there is an in-game limit on how much money one can accumulate before it overloads the buffers used to store the financial information and resets to zero, or at least, thats what I've been told, how much is that?, because there are a lot of battlecruisers and dreadnoughts turning up this late, and they are getting a pounding when they do, owing to several bases worth of barracuda craft all loaded with either dual PWT launchers or a combination of PWT and sonic oscillators, all craft in range converge on the very largest craft then suddenly go in with the most aggressive attack pattern available, generally sinking them within moments, sometimes losing one of my own, although the craft are replaceable easily enough, its more of a pain having to make the PWT launchers and ammo if any are left unfired when an Xcom craft is downed whilst outfitted with PWT launchers.

As far as damage goes, is there absolutely NO linkage between weapon type (E.g explosive vs sonic vs gauss vs gas cannon solid shells) and what you end up with on the bottom? I'd have expected explosive weapons such as torpedoes or PWT warheads to make a lot more of a mess than being peppered with gauss shells or craft gas cannon until the enemy just gives in and dies of boredom for example (not that I'd try sending a craft outfitted with gauss cannon against very large craft, or anything larger than a cruiser, and the craft gas cannon gets sold off as soon as anything, ANYTHING else is available, or kept back for emergencies until very early on in-game)

Would be definitely curious to know if anyone else has MC'ed xarquid and found it possible to use the 'tank' weapon.

#12 Tsathoggua

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 11:49 AM

It seems like the alien tanks are all bugged. At least those with ranged weapons. Its possible to access their inventory, and having just taken over all three, the biodrone and triscene are armed with turret mounts similar to a sonic displacer tank, and in the case of the biodrone it is lethally accurate, no surprise there, but quite how accurate..an aimed shot has an 100% hit probability whilst the triscene is less accurate but packs one hell of a punch,  the xarquid's weapon is considerably weaker but is capable of repeated fire.

With a flat map, more or less, due to xcomutil playing silly buggers with the maps, during a shipping lane mission, was able to clear the entire map in two or three turns using MC and the aquanauts themselves barely had to fire a shot. Two rounds from a sonic pistol plus one from a cannon in order to destroy a bio-drone was enough. Used the enemy as scouts, and snipers, the triscene is deadlier than any X-com tank, and is even effective against other triscene, a couple of shots from one downed the second in two hits, the first shot nearly killing it, and leaving it fatally wounded. Second shot killed it, no advantage from the weak under-armor, damn that thing is powerful, two hits to the front sufficient for a kill, and just one enough to almost take it out, leaving it with just 40 or so HP. Had an amusing situation due to the way 4-tile aliens are partially taken over, where a xarquid was being used to peek around, the triscene turned around and opened fire, causing a repeated exchange of fire between xarquid and triscenem unsurprisingly killing the xarquid first.

One interesting, although not of practical use observation, is that bio-drones do NOT leave a burned trail along their path  when moved under MC.

#13 Zombie

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 01:17 PM

View PostTsathoggua, on 09 May 2017 - 11:49 AM, said:

One interesting, although not of practical use observation, is that bio-drones do NOT leave a burned trail along their path  when moved under MC.

True, TFTD reuses UFO's code for the Silacoid. The subroutine for burning the ground only triggers during the aliens "round" for some reason. It's possible the programmers forgot (or didn't intend) to code the routine into the movement sequence during X-COM control, as MC is quite "unfinished". ;)

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#14 Tsathoggua

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:18 PM

It seems like the alien tanks are all bugged. At least those with ranged weapons. Its possible to access their inventory, and having just taken over all three, the biodrone and triscene are armed with turret mounts similar to a sonic displacer tank, and in the case of the biodrone it is lethally accurate, no surprise there, but quite how accurate..an aimed shot has an 100% hit probability whilst the triscene is less accurate but packs one hell of a punch,  the xarquid's weapon is considerably weaker but is capable of repeated fire.

With a flat map, more or less, due to xcomutil playing silly buggers with the maps, during a shipping lane mission, was able to clear the entire map in two or three turns using MC and the aquanauts themselves barely had to fire a shot. Two rounds from a sonic pistol plus one from a cannon in order to destroy a bio-drone was enough. Used the enemy as scouts, and snipers, the triscene is deadlier than any X-com tank, and is even effective against other triscene, a couple of shots from one downed the second in two hits, the first shot nearly killing it, and leaving it fatally wounded. Second shot killed it, no advantage from the weak under-armor, damn that thing is powerful, two hits to the front sufficient for a kill, and just one enough to almost take it out, leaving it with just 40 or so HP. Had an amusing situation due to the way 4-tile aliens are partially taken over, where a xarquid was being used to peek around, the triscene turned around and opened fire, causing a repeated exchange of fire between xarquid and triscenem unsurprisingly killing the xarquid first.

One interesting, although not of practical use observation, is that bio-drones do NOT leave a burned trail along their path  when moved under MC.




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