magic9mushroom

Member Since 24 Jun 2009
Offline Last Active Today, 09:20 AM

Topics I've Started

Challenge: TFTD, the Hard Way

23 February 2021 - 08:35 AM

Okay, so here's a set of fairly fluffy challenges that I think would make for a tough game when taken together, while still allowing you to have fun (4-mission TFTD is well into masocore territory).


0) TFTD on Superhuman difficulty.
1) Iron Man.
2) Council funding only (hacking PURCHASE.DAT to zero out the sale price of manufacturables and recoverables is enough; I'm not a monster).
3) No use of Control Implant. All other weapons and tactics (aside from exploits) are fine.
4) You can't run from Terror Sites (and Artefact Sites). You can ignore them entirely, you can win them, you can fight to the death and lose the sub, but you can't give up once you've landed. (If you get a stuck alien in a ship mission, you can kill it via save editing - again, not a monster.)
5) Destroy all the Alien Colonies before hitting T'Leth (this really isn't that hard compared to the others - but it's thematic).


I think the combination of #2 and #4 should keep the strategic game more of a nailbiter than it otherwise tends to become. I know when I was doing my run with #1 and #3, the tactical game remained crushingly hard while the strategic game was reduced to a farce after May or so (I eventually gave up on #3, but that was because the aliens were being very uncooperative with Calcinites and I got sick of just spinning the wheels). I think that in TFTD there are no infiltration-immune countries, so #2 puts you on a timer (though not an especially-strict one), and #4 makes actually losing from score at least kind of plausible (I ended up running from a Tasoth ship in April - if I hadn't, I'd have gotten a -300 that month either from ignoring it or getting wiped out).

So, anyone feel like trying this?

EDIT: Hacked PURCHASE.DAT attached (all manufacturables and recoverables have sale value $0). Unzip this into the folder containing the save you want to limit to Council Funding Only (not the main game folder - X-Com stores this data per save), overwriting the file already there. There's nothing in particular you need to do to undo this - clearing out the save or saving over the slot with an unaffected game (such as a new game) will both get rid of the alterations. This should work for both DOS and Collector's Edition, though I made it with DOS. Don't try to use this on a game of UFO: Enemy Unknown - it's not compatible.

Apoc's spawn limit/bug

29 June 2020 - 12:55 PM

This is in relation to the infamous "why don't the Psimorph in Battleships and the Micronoids in Battleships and Motherships spawn" issue.

I have some testing data, but while I can grasp the general shape of it ("aliens are in squads, some aliens can go together in squads while others can't, and there's a maximum of 6 squads and 6 aliens per squad"), the exact details don't make a lot of sense to me.

So, I figured I'd post some of the data I have and see if anyone else can make sense of this, because I sure can't.

If a line starts off with "+", then whatever's after the + is in addition to the previous line.

3 Multi 1 Anthro 1 Skele 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
+ 1 Egg = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
3 Multi 1 Anthro 1 Skele 6 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
   + 1 Spit = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
4 Multi 1 Anthro 1 Skele 6 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
   + 1 Spit = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
4 Multi 1 Anthro 1 Skele 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
3 Multi 6 Anthro 6 Skele 6 Pop 6 Mega 6 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorphs appear
3 Multi 7 Anthro 1 Skele 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 5 Spit 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 3 Spit 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 6 Spit 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 1 Spit 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 1 Spit 6 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
6 Anthro 1 Skele 1 Spit 6 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
5 Anthro 1 Skele 1 Spit 6 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
7 Anthro 1 Skele 1 Spit 4 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
6 Anthro 1 Skele 1 Spit 5 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro  = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
24 Anthro 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro   = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
20 Multi 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro    = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
21 Multi 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro    = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
22 Multi 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro    = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
24 Multi 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro    = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
25 Multi 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro    = no squads for Psimorph but Megaspawn appears
20 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
21 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears
24 Pop 1 Mega 1 Psi 1 Micro = no squads for Micronoid but Psimorph appears

The Apocalypse mission

27 June 2020 - 01:50 PM

After all these years, I finally know that it's real and I finally know why it's so elusive.

The Apocalypse mission, in which all UFOs swarm into Mega-Primus and start tearing down the city, is triggered when you destroy the Control Chamber and cut off the stream of UFOs. It's the aliens' last act of spite.

The reason it's elusive is because usually you've wiped out the UFO fleet by then, leaving the aliens nothing to execute it with. It'll only occur if you start doing the Alien Dimension missions while there are still UFOs flying around to fight you.

Fire rate

29 May 2020 - 10:45 AM

In TB mode, given that a turn lasts 11 seconds, the given rate of fire of a weapon is attained in Auto mode.

However, in RT mode, the given rate of fire of a weapon is attained in Snap mode i.e. all weapons fire twice as fast.

Anyone else noticed this? Am I going nuts? (OK, yes, I'm going nuts. But more specifically am I imagining this?)

Accuracy formula

14 May 2020 - 07:57 AM

Does someone happen to know how X-Com: Apocalypse calculates accuracy? The game is notoriously unhelpful about telling you this, and while RWong's guide covers it it's clearly incorrect.

I tried asking on the OpenApoc IRC, but nobody appears to be there.