Some "short and simple" tips to start me off. .


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#21 Stun Grenade

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 01:10 AM

ok ok  ill tell you which ones... i dont know their names yet as I'm just slightly advancing through this game and I haven't researched them!!

they just seem to kill the civies so early, evan b4 I can leave the ship! I can tackle the snakemen easly but those flying guys with hoods? now they are trouble.... the cyberdisks annoy me too....

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#22 Ki-tat Chung

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 01:19 PM

flying guys with hoods=ethereals. they can psi/mind control and panic your units. they also hold a weapon. try to get them quick, or you'll have your own attacking you.
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#23 Zombie

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 09:35 PM

Isn't the whole purpose of a mission is to kill all the aliens? Anyhow, just saying kill all the aliens is not enough when they all take varying damage from the different weapons. I'll list them here:
----------
Sectoid: Takes normal damage from every weapon type.

Floater: Takes normal damage from every weapon type.

Celatid: Takes normal damage from every weapon type.

Snakeman: Takes normal damage from every weapon type except incendiary. Incendiary rounds do 70% of the listed damage.

Ethereal: Takes normal damage from every weapon type except incendiary and stun. Incendiary rounds do 70% damage while stun bombs do 80% damage.

Muton: Takes normal damage from every weapon type except armor piercing shells. Armor piercing ammo does 60% of the listed damage.

Silacoid: Incendiary shells do not harm the Silacoid. They are completely protected from fire and get 0% damage from them. Silacoids are 30% more susceptible to High-Explosives, so use anything that explodes on them.

Chryssalid: Incendiary rounds do 80% damage, while stun bombs do 90% of the listed value. Everything else does normal damage.

Reaper: Takes normal damage from every weapon type except incendiary shells which do 70% more damage than normal. Incendiary rockets and shells kill Reapers faster than any weapon type.

Sectopod: Takes 80% damage from BOTH High-Explosives and Plasma. On the flip side, they take 50% more damage from laser weapons. Everything else does normal damage.

Cyberdisc: Takes 80% damage from armor piercing shells and takes 60% damage from High-Explosives. Everything else does normal damage. Lasers and Plasmas are good for killing these.

Zombie: Takes 0% damage from stun, 60% from armor piercing, 70% from Laser and Plasma, and 80% from High-Explosives. The only other weapon type left is incendiary which does normal damage. Tough little critter!

----------

Any Ethereal ship/mission is tough because every rank can use Psi against your troops. The trick is to kill them FAST. The quicker you kill them, the slower their morale will recover. If the Ethereals are too busy panicking or going berserk from morale loss, that gives your soldiers more time to kill them off. Blaster Bombs are great for lowering morale and inducing a state of pandemonium and chaos!  :P

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#24 Strong Bob

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 01:17 AM

Quote

If the Ethereals are too busy panicking or going berserk from morale loss, that gives your soldiers more time to kill them off. Blaster Bombs are great for lowering morale and inducing a state of pandemonium and chaos!

Is morale affected by anything besides simply killing higher ranking aliens?
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#25 Stun Grenade

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 01:17 AM

Well I'm mega stuck.. what I thought these aliens were that were anoying me b4, only turned out to be floaters :P But now I have encountered the Ethereals! I cannot stop them! Soon as I end my first turn, BLAM! they got me. . . I'm just about to give up. . .
"The Stun Grenade can be used to stun targets within a small area for a brief time. Larger Aliens may need weakening before they can be stunned."

#26 Zombie

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 04:18 AM

Strong Bob:

Morale for the aliens is affected by 3 (and/or sometimes 4) things.
1) Kill any alien and the morale of the surviving aliens is reduced accordingly.
2) If an X-COM agent is killed, the morale of the aliens goes up (unless they are at 100% already).
3) I'm not sure, but I think killing a higher ranking alien reduces the morale of the surviving aliens more than just killing an alien soldier.
4) If you kill more than 1 alien in a round, the morale losses are added together and applied to whatever aliens are left.

Stun Grenade:

The only option here is try to kill every Ethereal that is visible. The lower you can get their morale, the better off your soldiers are. I hate to say it, but it might be helpful to buy a HWP rocket launcher and send it on the mission along with some soldiers. The HWP has a Bravery of 110 if I'm not mistaken. Ethereals are unable to panic or mind control the HWP so it might be the advantage you are looking for. Worst case scenario: Buy 3 HWP rocket tanks and just send them alone to the Ethereal mission. It may be possible to kill all the Ethereals with only tanks.

If killing a lot of them or the HWP idea does not work, you have a couple of options.

First one is to NOT go after Ethereal craft. You can still shoot down the craft, just do not go on the mission to kill them. If your soldiers are not ready, why send them to get slaughtered. Keep them safe instead.

Second is to reload the game from an earlier save, and hopefully the Ethereals will not show up. This may or may not always work.

In all probability, your mission could be won. All the years playing X-COM has taught me this: almost 90% of all missions can be won with some sort of strategy change. Do not give up. Say to yourself: "I am going to win this mission" and then believe in what you just said. For instance, if a certain soldier always goes under mind control and then he shoots your soldiers, take the weapons away from him. That may be all you need to win: one less soldier dead!  :P

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#27 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 02:50 AM

Zombie, on Sep 25 2004, 02:18 PM, said:

I hate to say it, but it might be helpful to buy a HWP rocket launcher and send it on the mission along with some soldiers.
Fwahaha!  :P

...

No, don't worry, I understand your logic.  :(

Just another note, you score points for shooting down UFOs. If need be, you can go a month with a near acceptable score without performing a single tactical mission.

The only problem is, at the start of the game, you don't know what's in a given UFO until you arrive at the crash site...

Perhaps you could bring a tank to every mission, but don't use it in the battle unless you need it (ie for slaughtering Etherals). Catch is it starts at the front of your craft, so you'd probably have to at least offload the thing so your troops could get out.

Whatever.
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#28 Zombie

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 05:14 AM

I thought you might like my response Bomb Bloke! I'm not really eating my own words though. Logic (I use the term loosely here) sometimes dictates what the best strategy is. If you are overwhelmed by psi attacks, it makes sense to bring along units that have a high bravery as well as psi strength. Tanks fit the bill perfectly: very high bravery (110) and very high psi strength (100). Next to impossible to panic a tank, never mind take control of it's actions through psi.

It sucks that tanks always are the first to leave the landing craft. Too bad the user couldn't specify where the tank is situated when the craft lands. I'd probably use tanks more often if this feature was available!  :P

Quote

Bomb Bloke Posted on Sep 26 2004, 09:50 PM
The only problem is, at the start of the game, you don't know what's in a given UFO until you arrive at the crash site...

True, very true. But how often do Ethereals show up within the first 6 months of a new game? Unless you are terribly good at seeking out and grounding/destroying UFO's, the game will not send Ethereals your way early on. Even if you successfully annoy the aliens, X-COM usually only air-mails you a smaller type ship with Ethereals on it. I think the game just likes throwing a curve ball every once and a while to see if you can handle it.  :(

Yep, you score points for grounding UFO's or destroying them. Here is the OSG's data on this:
UFO Type          UFO Destroyed          UFO Grounded
Small Scout            100                     50
Medium Scout           150                     75
Large Scout            250                    125
Harvester              500                    250
Abductor               500                    250
Supply Ship            800                    400
Terror Ship           1000                    500
Battleship            1400                    700
Sure, you can go a whole month just grounding UFO' s and never visiting the crash sites to mop up. All you need are a few Medium UFO's and a handful of the Smaller ones and you can get into the thousands.

The only problem is Terror Sites. If you neglect one, it's -1,000 points against your score. Let's say you had +3000 points before the aliens started the Terror Site. If you did nothing, your score is reduced to +2000. While this is still a good number, the country where the Terror Site originated in will most likely be unhappy and reduce funding. Unhappy countries are dangerous because they may decide to form a pact with the aliens which cuts off funds completely from that government.

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#29 NKF

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 05:24 AM

-1000 for a neglected terror site, eh? Anyone rememeber what an abandoned terror site costs you? Roughly, I mean.

When I say abandon, I mean you go there and dust off immediately (whether or not you end up soiling your pants).

I thought it was less than -1000. Not exactly a good score, but it's still mitigating your overall damage.

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#30 Zombie

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 05:37 AM

NKF:

The number of points that are deducted is determined by the number of civilians that are there. Remember that Terror Sites can have anywhere from 0 to 16 civilians there? Every civilian that is killed by the aliens is -30 points. That means you could see a score of 0 to -480 points.

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#31 Slotty

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 09:25 PM

yeah.. and you could get even worse if you actually played it and lost... as you lose points if you lose agents and/if you lose the ship  :P

#32 NKF

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 04:56 AM

I thought there was some other penalty... no I think I was thinking about TFTD's artefact sites. In those there's a -500 penalty for not destroying the mission target. Anyway, sounds about right.

So, just visiting the site and abandoning it does indeed mitigate your damage. Hurrah. No wonder I always always advised people to never abandon a terror site.... oh ages ago. Never did work out the exact amounts though.

I guess it doesn't look too good when your soldiers can't even be bothered getting out of bed. At least by visiting the site, they get to assess the situation, and decide upon a tactical retreat based on the overwhelming odds. :P

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#33 Zombie

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 07:02 AM

Yeah, it's a good idea to eradicate those Terror Sites. See, the average number of civilians at a Terror Site is 12. That comes to -360 pionts. On top of this, There is a 96% chance you will see anywhere from 8 to 16 civilians. That leaves only a 4% chance to see 0-7 civilians. If you already knew the number of civilians at the Terror Site, you could say, kill as many aliens as possible to offset the penalty, then dust-off if things became tough. Unfortunately, that's not how the game works.

The only problem with evacuating a Terror Mission is that if you do not kill all the aliens there, the -1000 point decuction will still get applied to your monthly score. Say there are 16 civilians there and you decide to cut your losses and run. That comes to -480 points for not saving the civilians, and -1000 points for not eradicating the Terror Site. So you would get a total of -1480 points added to your monthly score.

The -1000 points are transparent to the player, that is to say the user cannot directly view the adjustment at the missions end summary. You will be able to indirectly view the deduction in the GRAPHS>FINANCE>SCORE screen though.  :P

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#34 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 11:05 PM

Which means that if you see a terror site you think you can't handle, you should just ignore it, thus skipping the civilians score penalty.

...

Terror missions are annoying in that it is near impossible to save all civilians in any way short of cheating. Thus your score is always lower then it could be.
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#35 Zombie

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 04:19 AM

I would never, ever refrain from going to a Terror Site. My philosophy is: "Ready or not here I come". I would at least try to offset the potential -480 points by killing as many terrorists and aliens as possible. You'll never know how many civilians are at that particular Terror Site. If there were 8 cililians, your score penalty could be only -240 points.

Here are the number of points you can get by just killing or stunning all the aliens and terroists at a typical Sectoid Terror Site:
Minimum: +142 (killing), +244 (stunning)
Maximum: +246 (killing), +372 (stunning)
This number does not include points gained by recovering artifacts, weapons, equipment, bodies, corpses and ammo. If you take these numbers into considerstion, your score goes up more.

The main thing with terror sites is to refrain from accidentally killing civilians. See, if you kill a civilian it's -50 points, while if a alien kills a civilian it's only -30 points. If you were to (accidentally) kill all 16 civilians at a terror site you would be looking at a -800 point penalty. That's almost double if you let the aliens do it themselves! If you don't think you can keep civilian casualties to a minimum, you would be better off not going!  :P

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#36 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 02:46 AM

I like terror sites. With the exception of night time etheral maps, I find them quite fun.

Anyhoo, I think if you mind control civilians and then kill them when it wears off, you gain points rather then lose them. An interesting way to sway the balance, even if it is exploitation. Usually by the time I'm mind controlling I'm ready for Cydonia anyway, so it makes no difference.
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#37 Zombie

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 05:10 AM

I like Terror Sites also. I voiced my opinion way back in the Favourite Mission Type thread. If you know what you are doing, and focus on an offensive strategy to save the civilians, everything's good. But wait too long and assume a defensive posture and you will see those civilians mowed down like blades of grass!

You know, I am starting to have some doubts whether that -1000 point penalty gets added when you abort a terror mission. See, in the OSG it says that you get -1000 points if X-COM ignores a Terror Site. I checked in the SCORE menu under GRAPHS to see if my score went down by just -480, or -1480 or -1000. From what I could determine, if you were to visit a Terror Mission and abort, your score only goes down by what happened in the mission. I'll have to check this out a little more careful in the first month when your score is naturally lower! :P

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#38 NKF

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 06:55 AM

Pardon me gents, I'm going to sidetrack the discussion for a moment here:

As I'm on leave at the moment, I might be able to find some time in between replaying Fallout II and deliberating on whether or not to open that budget copy of Commands II I grabbed the other day to put together another experiment that I've been wanting to test. I have a few problems that I need to iron out first, but I thought I'd put the idea up first and see how it's received.

I want to find out for sure how the damage modifiers work. As much as I respect the information in the OSG (it was written by someone in-the-know), I think it would be best to have a bit of first hand knowledge.

That is, I want to make up a map filled with every type of alien creature imagineable (all disarmed, stripped of armour  and any psionic powers and 0 stamina recharge so that they can't move, and then have all their health set to 200) and a sample of weapons containing every damage damage type to test.

Then it would just be a tedious matter of shooting every one of these aliens once, recording how much damage is done over and over.

Would it be better to have a single map filled with lots of one type of alien, lots of soldiers with identical weapon sets and make a similar save for each species? Or just make a single map filled with a menagerie of aliens (maybe 3 a piece)? The last one would be fun, but it won't be much use for gathering of statistics.

At the moment, my main problems are:

1. Should I edit the weapons so that they all do the same level of damage (100) just to make it easier to compare the damage levels? This would mean an additional download (and would force you to temporarily backup your obdata.dat file - a good idea in any case).  

2. I need to find out whether I can change the species' damage modifiers with a simple sprite change. If not, I'm going to need some help locating savegames with these aliens present - I've only got floaters, sadly. :P

3. Stun damage is difficult to gauge as it's not got a numerical display.

4. Not really a problem: But I might make a separate save for the large units. They take up too much space. For them, I'll need to stop them from moving and then separate their last 3 quarters and put them elsewhere so that any area effect weapons tested on them will only damage the one part.

Assuming I don't forget or get distracted, I'd like to get this one done. Any thoughts?

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#39 Zombie

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 08:08 AM

NKF:

I was planning on doing something similar to what you describe in the very near future. The one problem I have with the scenario you describe is altering the aliens' stats. I'm not talking about TU, Stamina, Bravery, Reactions, TA, FA, Strength and Psi. What I am worried about is changing Health and Armor, the two things you are trying to study! If you change these numbers, you will never be able to accurately gauge your data against the OSG's damage modifiers.

Wouldn't it be better to modify the particular weapon damage up or down depending on the alien? At least the aliens Health and Armor would remain unaltered. Please tell me if I'm not understanding you correctly NKF!

I would suggest making one map filled with the same type of alien, and having the same number of soldiers with an identical weapon. Then just make different scenarios for the other aliens. Why? There are 12 aliens in X-COM. If you were to do 1000 hits for each alien, that would be 12,000 hits before you could report the results of any single alien. If you do each alien separately, you could compare and report your results for a single alien race with a finished analysis.

Stunning: Stun damage is indeed tough to quantify. You just have to guesstimate the number because one is not given. It is not too tough to get a ballpark number. The problem is time. How much do you want to spend guessing stun values.

Seriously, this is a HUGE undertaking on your part. If you need any help whatsoever let me know. I'm your man for reloads - I have enough of them under my belt. You can also trust me to get the job done right the first time, and on time. Again, I am more than willing to help you solve this problem for one and for all! :P

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#40 NKF

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 10:12 AM

Let me see if I can clarify what I'm trying to do here.

I want to know exactly how much damage a weapon of a certain type will do to a certain type of unit type. Say armour piercing damage against a muton.

I know the OSG gives info on the damage certain aliens can take from various damage types. I'd like to find out exactly what they are, without the unit's armour skewing the percentages. This is mainly because armour changes from difficulty level to difficulty level, so it's one thing on beginner, but it's a different matter entirely on superhuman.

The changing of the health of the alien test subjects and the weapon damage levels are inconsequential.

The increase in health is just so that the unit doesn't die outright from a test weapon that does double damage. It doesn't matter how much health the unit has. The increase is just to see how much health was lost after every given attack.

And the changing of the weapon damage levels, well it's just for the convenience of being able to see how much damage is done without having to go "Uh, alien has 62 health, now it's 28, um, subtract the two, divide by pi, pass the six, discard the one, um, oh right 34. " (I know, I know, it's a bit exagerrated)

Instead, You'd go "Right, was 200, now it's 158. Um, 100 minus 58. The answer's 42"

Well, that's how it would go in my head. It's really more of a ploy to preserve my sanity (and laziness). :P

Let's say an alien has 200 health, and I've got a laser that does 100 damage. If the unit only takes half damage from laser, you'd only see a loss of 50 points from the 200. If the unit took double damage, you'd lose up to 200 hitpoints (the unit would die in this case).

Oh, I suppose I don't need to do that. But you might end up with 26 AP, 46 laser, 80 plasma, 50 high explosive, 60 stun, etc. It would just make things easier if they were all the same number.


---

Just as a reminder: Weapon damage is calculated as follows:

Damage = (Weapon damage * damage modifier) - armour

I don't even remember how many tests I made until I realised how simple it was... ugh.

Weapon damage is a random number up to the damage levels listed in the ufopaedia. Armour is the level of damage reduction provided by the section that's being hit. The damage modifier is what we're looking at here. I generally just say they're 0.5 (half), 1.0 (normal) or 2.0 (double) - but that's just generalising a bit.

My overall goal now is to find out the exact (or at least approximate) levels provided by the 'damage modifier' bit to each aliens (and X-Com unit).

So, when all is said and done, we can confidently say to another player, "Yes, a Steam powered Sectopod takes 3.1214 damage the from all tank treads", or, well, something to that effect. :(

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.




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