How do you make it early in the game


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#81 NKF

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:36 AM

View PostCapnKill, on 21st July 2010, 5:36am, said:

Now if I can just keep from walking over my own proximity grenades I'd be in much better shape ;)

Beyond taking care where you tread, there's not much advice I can give you if the mine is on another equipment pile or a corpse. But otherwise occasional glances at the overhead map are a great way to watch where you are going. It's also a good way to see if the elerium pod on the UFO power units are intact.

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#82 CapnKill

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:40 PM

View PostSpace Voyager, on 22nd July 2010, 7:22am, said:

That is true. Also some prefer always keeping one soldier in Skyranger just in case, at least you don't loose the plane.

Ok so if you dust off with no one in the ranger then it is lost?  Interesting...  I guess I've never done that I usually just beat the mission or die trying ;)

View PostNKF, on 22nd July 2010, 8:36am, said:

Beyond taking care where you tread, there's not much advice I can give you if the mine is on another equipment pile or a corpse. But otherwise occasional glances at the overhead map are a great way to watch where you are going. It's also a good way to see if the elerium pod on the UFO power units are intact.

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Actually that's a great tip, I always forget about the overhead map.

Now there's no need for me to take any action when it comes to the Elirium since it will be automatically collected from crash sites or landing sites when I kill all the bad guys right?

I do understand that I need t grab it from an alien base if I don't kill everyone there...

#83 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 12:33 AM

When looking at a UFO power source, you should see a purple ball shape near the base. That's actually the Elerium object. Compare this image from Daishiva's mapviewer (without objects) with this image from in-game (with objects).

You automatically capture all Elerium (and anything else sitting around the map) if you eliminate all aliens. If you abort the mission, then you only get what your soldiers are carrying (and I guess anything sitting in your dropship's "equipment pile" tile, not really sure on the specifics of items on the floor of your ship).

If you wanted to pick Elerium up "manually", you'd need to shoot the power source it's sitting on (with something non-explosive), then walk onto that tile and pick it up. There's no point in doing this if you're intending to kill all the aliens, because it means you can only recover the Elerium (and not the power source).

View PostCapnKill, on 22nd July 2010, 10:45am, said:

Oh and is there any way to see the portraits of the soldiers before I arm them for a mission?
Not sure what you mean by this; the inventory screens - visible while equipping soldiers, but not at any other time - are the only place you can see soldier portraits.  ;)
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#84 Sunflash

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 01:53 AM

There's still a bug in XCOMUtil though where Elerium in a crashed ufo map will be at randomp laces on the map instead of actually in the power source...

#85 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:47 AM

I got the impression Blade's versions fix that?

(Someone complained that they made the Elerium appear over the PSUs (which is what is supposed to happen), unlike in previous versions of XCU...)
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#86 CapnKill

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 04:53 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 23rd July 2010, 12:33am, said:

Not sure what you mean by this; the inventory screens - visible while equipping soldiers, but not at any other time - are the only place you can see soldier portraits.  ;)

Lets say I start a brand new game and I want to name my people.  Is there a way to know if the person is white, black, male or female without actually performing a mission?

#87 chiasaur11

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:05 PM

View PostCapnKill, on 23rd July 2010, 9:53am, said:

Lets say I start a brand new game and I want to name my people.  Is there a way to know if the person is white, black, male or female without actually performing a mission?

Male or female, yeah.

Look at their old names.

Racial features, no way of knowing before deployment.

#88 Sunflash

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:09 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 22nd July 2010, 10:47pm, said:

I got the impression Blade's versions fix that?

(Someone complained that they made the Elerium appear over the PSUs (which is what is supposed to happen), unlike in previous versions of XCU...)


If it was supposed to, I think I need to make a bug report then; I keep finding random purple-ish orbs on the ground in my recent game. Stand over 'em and check inventory screen, and they show up as Elerium...

#89 NKF

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:10 PM

The last official version of XComutil compiled by Scott Jones still did that. Bladefirelight's new beta editions should fix it.

What's happening is that XComutil is not messing with the original placement of the elerium pods after it does changes to the map, which is why you find them out in the field. Very noticeable when randomizing the map layout or when using the custom UFO floorpans.

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#90 CapnKill

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 10:46 PM

How do Aliens decide which base to attack?

I now have my main base, and two other up and coming bases.  Have Aliens ever attacked a base that hasn't even had a chance to build it's living quarters yet?  

Or do they only go after bases that are in the area where a lot of their UFOs have been shot down?

#91 Jman4117

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:28 AM

View PostCapnKill, on 23rd July 2010, 12:53pm, said:

Lets say I start a brand new game and I want to name my people.  Is there a way to know if the person is white, black, male or female without actually performing a mission?
I've seen it in one of the save game editors. I think it was CWE. It would show you all the stats of the soldiers, and allow them all to be changed.

View PostCapnKill, on 23rd July 2010, 6:46pm, said:

How do Aliens decide which base to attack?

I now have my main base, and two other up and coming bases.  Have Aliens ever attacked a base that hasn't even had a chance to build it's living quarters yet?  

Or do they only go after bases that are in the area where a lot of their UFOs have been shot down?
Pretty sure it's wherever they send a retaliation mission and happen to find your base. I have started a base in southern Africa as a radar picket and had it attacked before I could staff it, because I'd chased a base or infiltration mission down there and killed everything.
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#92 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 02:07 AM

Indeed, if you down UFOs in a certain area, they'll send scouts to try and find your bases. Note that you can do the same thing to the aliens by having your ships patrol where you think their bases are.

Once aliens find a base, they keep attacking it until you defeat them in tactical combat there, at which point they need to "find" it again.

One thing I've noticed is that the race attacking your base does not appear to be random. For example, if Mutons attack once (and your base defenses shoot them down, hence no tactical mission), Mutons will probably be the ones knocking on your door for the next attempt... and the next... etc.

I'm not sure of how the game keeps track of all this. It could be that it records when a certain alien race finds a base, or it could be that it records if a certain alien base finds you. There are five different "primary" alien races, and you can have up to eight bases... So either there would be a (minimum) of five bytes reserved for this in BASE.DAT/LOC.DAT for each of your bases (if the "per alien race" basis is true), or one byte reserved for this in LOC.DAT for each of the alien bases (if the "per alien base" basis is true).

XBASES.DAT is also related, but I don't think it's used for tracking who knows what bases are where.
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#93 Sgt. Strike

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:00 PM

The X-com hack here can help a little to determine who is what. You can write down who is who, and what is from there, and then you can change names in game.

I believe this is why I try to avoid downing to many ships near my bases until I have at least plasma defenses and grav shields. The best defenses, though, are the fusion defenses. This will even down a battleship. I've actually seen it happen.

All my bases are at least dual role ones. I use something that helps me a lot in designing them. I put all my hangers to the north, or top of the screen. This is to place them near the hanger. I have my Access Point to the south of, or just below, the middle hanger. It's a choke point. Below that, I have my living quarters. I have to say at this point that depending on the mission of the base, whether it's for research, manufacturing, or even radar/HWD and interceptor. I believe, personally, that all my bases should be able to defend itself to some degree or another. Ok, getting back on track, if it's a research base, to the left, or west of the initial living quarters, there are either three or four more, depending on if it's research or manufacturing. To the right or east, is the labs or workshops. At the extreme end of the base, on both sides, is my general stores. Two for the research, three for manufacturing. On the south, or bottom, of the screen is my defense weapons, radar or HWD, and grav shield. Oh, I almost forgot my alien containment, which is right north of the eastern most south point of the base. Not the bottom right corner, but the space just above it. As to the psi lab, well, that is almost a last moment thought. I usually put that right on the bottom line somewhere to train up my soldiers in being able to use the psi abilities.
Ok, to dispel some things here, what I do is sell off anything useless, such as corpses, extraneous weapons, ammo, parts of bases and ships that I don't need to research/build my own stuff. Once I have laser rifles for my soldiers, as well as the stun rods, the stun launcher, and blaster launcher, I get rid of all the other weapons and ammo. I do keep alien grenades, though. I do not use plasma weapons at all, so they get sold after I've researched them. (To me they are not as good as my laser rifles.) As soon as I have plasma beams for my aircraft, the avalanche missiles, launchers, and laser cannons go as well. My own personal stores are taken up, aside from my research and manufacturing bases, by tanks, elerium, extra grenades, stun ammo, blaster bombs. And also any carryover for my manufacturing base. Unless of course I think I have too much of one thing, then I sell some of that too.
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#94 NKF

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 07:31 AM

I would be very careful about the use of the (aggressive) defense systems. They're only there to delay a base attack, not stop it. Be absolutely sure not to make them too powerful as to make the base impregnable. See, once a base has been targeted for attack, they'll not stop sending battleships until one lands.

What's happening is that the mission isn't getting cleared, but reset. This creates an infinite loop of retaliation battleships. It's only cleared when the battleship lands. They also don't do anything to the number of aliens that you end up facing. It's sad, but this effectively renders the defense modules useless except as stalling devices or for layout purposes (missile defense).

The mind shield on the other hand is worth every penny.

Speaking of base design - it's a down right dirty strategy to use but great if defending your listening/intercept outposts become too tedious - consider Zombie's Instant-Win base:

It's an exploit whereby you build a base with such a minimal number of necessary modules and then over-populate it with soldiers that they are forced to take every spawn point available, including the aliens. If done right, and there are no spots left for the aliens, you win the battle by default. The aliens don't show up, but their weapons do. You get to keep them too.

I think it just involved a hangar, one radar of some sort, living quarters and up to 40 soldiers. Yep, no stores. The Interceptor transferred in should be equipped with plasma beams too so that it's fully self sufficient.

View PostCapnKill, on 24th July 2010, 10:46am, said:

How do Aliens decide which base to attack?

I now have my main base, and two other up and coming bases.  Have Aliens ever attacked a base that hasn't even had a chance to build it's living quarters yet?  

Or do they only go after bases that are in the area where a lot of their UFOs have been shot down?

From the bit of research I did a few months back relating to a similar line of discussion with Alexchamp, I understand that there are two ways that the aliens use to to determine which base to attack.

The first is as you would assume is to send out scouts to an area (or rather, region, not necessarily country) where a UFO was shot down and scout for a base. Chances are it may find one, or it may not. They could basically select any of the bases in the region to attack, even if they are still being built and could not possibly have sent out an interceptors. In this case, throwing a few decoy bases (use some unused base slots) around an important base may just work. Wasting half a million on average to avoid a fight may be a worthy investment.

The other is that they get a 2% chance to instantly send a retaliator battleship after any UFO is shot down. This directly targets the interceptor's base of origin, so decoys won't work for this one. This one's awful as that 2% chance sound small but it crops up more often than not. At least if you're aggressive in shooting down UFOs.

Funnily enough, shooting down retaliation scouts does put a crimp in their efforts to find the base, but it's also a double edged blade thanks to that 2% chance. They don't make things easy, do they? ;)

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#95 CapnKill

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:26 PM

Good info ;)  I don't think I'll be doing the instant win base thing, that's a little to easy...

I never bother with base defenses, especially considering that if I do use enough modules to stop them they'll just keep coming back over and over...

Plus I like base defense missions, they're fun :P

I have 3 bases up now, Europe, Asia and US, got my first Excellent monthly report so that was exciting.  I've lost a lot of good men, but my casualties are starting to get a little bit more manageable now... I haven't been attacked yet, but I expect it will come sooner than later, so hopefully I don't get caught with my pants down.

I also encountered a bug that I didn't know about.  I transferred 10 plasma rifles and 20 clips to my second base, and when the transfer was complete it showed that I now have 20 plasma rifles with 40 clips...  

I'm trying to make this iron man run on superhuman with no exploits what so ever, so I won't be selling off Laser Cannons for profit, I also won't even use psionics at all, so I was a bit dissapointed to find myself with 10 free plasma rifles in the stores ;)

#96 NKF

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:58 AM

Can you remember what you did to do that? We already have a free manufacture bug, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's a means of duplicating items as well.

One quicky way to solve your item duplication problem is to load the extra items onto your Skyranger, haul them to the next mission, move them somewhere out of the way and drop a grenade on them. ;)
  
edit:

One other thing before I forget, someone mentioned about what part of the Skyranger counts when recovering items. Basically any part of the interior floor of the Skyranger is counted as the exit zone, so any items on the floor in it are recovered. Except for mind controlled aliens - though oddly enough you do keep the equipment they were carrying.

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#97 CapnKill

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 04:48 PM

As far as I recall it was just a simple transfer, but I'll try to reproduce to see.




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