Help me enjoy X-Com

Yonder wrote:

I'm up for an attempt to modernize the tactical battles a bit, synchronized turns would be pretty neat.

Yep. I'd like to see the destructible terrain work a little better - for example, when a building is missing two walls, some of the upper story should fall down. I'd also like to see some improvements in LoS and grenade throwing - the grenade model is very simple and sometimes prevents obvious throws.

I'd also like to see some better management tools for troops, scientists, engineers, and bases. If you're playing a hard game, you end up with quite a few bases and the management quickly becomes tedious due to the tools - like having to click once for every time transferred, things like that. This is what beat me on TFTD, along with the 3-hour cruise ship missions.

Aetius wrote:

I'd like to see the destructible terrain work a little better - for example, when a building is missing two walls, some of the upper story should fall down. :)

X-Com: Apocalypse did that, and did it brilliantly, IMHO. Fighting on the hydroponic farm map often meant the entire glass structure came crashing down.

Khoram wrote:

Any opinions on my other questions? If you were remaking X-Com*:

1. What would be the top 3 things you'd like to see improved or added?
2. What things would be a deal breaker if they were changed or weren't included?

* [size=8]I am not aware of anyone doing so (though I'm looking forward to Isochron on the iPad), just curious[/size]

I like the ideas given by others. Also, Xenonauts.

Khoram wrote:

Any opinions on my other questions? If you were remaking X-Com*:

1. What would be the top 3 things you'd like to see improved or added?

A lot has been mentioned already. These are my main points:

1. I like the semi-turn based movement of fallout tactics but I don't think it would work as well for XCOM. Instead what I would like to see is something like the current turn based system. Only with the ability to select multiple units and have them act at the same time. You could then select 2 guys and have them breach a UFO at the same time for instance. The tradeoff is that the enemy gains a bonus to reactions. So if you selected a group of 10 guys and had them run down the street, anyone who sees them is going to take a shot. At the same time, if you have 4 guys firing on a cyberdisk at once, you will have a better chance of destroying it before it returns fire.

In other words the game "clock" runs whenever something is happening. And the more time you "spend" the more time the aliens have to "react". The game would pause before any new actions are performed. So if you burst into a room and find 2 sectoids. Instead of getting immediately blasted the game would pause. And you would be able to notice that one of the sectoids is starting to raise his rifle to a shooting position. Telling your soldier to attack him would result in a contest to see who is quickest off the draw.

Hope that makes sense. This would leave the basic gameplay pretty much unchanged if you moved one guy at a time. But lets you "cut to the chase" when necessary.

2. In combination with the above, greatly increased entity agility in general. Soldiers should be able to vault over low obstacles. Dive through windows. Hug cover when under fire. Lay down prone, etc. This would apply equally to aliens and non XCOM humans. Grenades should be thrown or rolled and react accordingly, bouncing and rolling off suitable surfaces.

3. In combination with the previous two, more animations. DoW Sync-kill style animations for melee combat would be a start. But for instance if you have a soldier running across dark field and a plasma bolt streaks out of the darkness and hits him. Instead of stopping and then falling down on the spot he would crumple to the ground and roll to a stop, kind of like a ragdoll.

Deal breakers:

1. Useless equipment. TFTD would have been a lot more fun if land battles were fought with laser weaponry, but the harpoon/torpedo stuff sucked. And one of my biggest gripes about the series is that Gauss weapons required ammo. Equipment for soldiers and aircraft should follow a set pattern:

Basic earth gear = Cheap and readily available, but outclassed in every way by alien gear. (but still usable, compare the rifle to harpoon gun for instance)
XCOM produced gear = Effective and VERY reliable. (laser rifle anyone?)
Alien gear = Potent and rare.

2. Poor Alien AI. Self explanatory.

Alright. Here is how things stand. We have flying armour coming down the pipe. Until the workshops XCOM Foundry is up and running our manufacturing capability is somewhat limited. At the current rate the requisite 18 sets of flying armour will be ready in a month and a half. In the meantime I am focusing all of our efforts on aquiring as much alien materials as we can lay hands on. This means ignoring most wrecks and focusing on targets with guaranteed payouts.

After we shot down a supply ship over Canada a while back I started sweeping the area with patrols. Eventually we detected Alien Base 3, located in florida. We will have to deal with that later. On the 20th of June we detected a burst of alien activity over China. From the hyperwave transmissions we have determined that they are attempting to establish a new base. Our two interceptors have managed to shoot down a medium scout and 2 supply ships. The battleship accompanying them was far too tough to take out. So they tracked it until it landed.

I am sending in team meat grinder. No tank this time, we will be deploying with a full team of 14. Designations as follows:

- Squad Leader Tamren - Assault
- Falchion - Assault
- Vega - Assault
- Khoram - Heavy
- Feeank - Heavy
- Rat Boy - Comissar
- Quintin - Sniper

- Grubber - Assault
- Mudbunny - Assault
- Vector - Assault
- Kier- Heavy
- Pignoli - Heavy
- Judge II - Medic
- Tanglebones - Sniper

Mission begins. First off the ramp is Tamren. The alien battleship is directly to the northeast and- Snakeman! Tamren is hit! Power armour FTW he is unhurt. Returning fire Tamren downs the snakeman in a hail of lazer. LZ Seems secure... lets move out. Vega is next out, and advancing to the north he spots a snakeman and downs him with a single shot. We spread out a bit and wait..

New turn. Cryssalid! Its advancing on Vega! KILL IT. Vega opens fire! 5 direct hits! Holy crap its still up! Feeank takes over and downs the bug in a burst of heavy plasma! Phew... Mudbunny spots another snakeman coming out of the lift and shoots it dead. We all advance.

New turn. We are ready to breach! First in the door is Khoram and... oops. I forgot to give him his usual plasma and he currently packs a rocket launcher. 2 snakemen sighted, one above, another on the ground floor. Khoram blasts the second floor with a heavy rocket! Snakeman down! But it just reveals another one! Quintin lobs a grenade and we all dive out of the lift.

New turn. Kaboom! The grenade goes off to no effect, Khoram blasts the upper lobby again and the snakeman is down! We flood into the UFO, taking up positions on all levels.

New turn. On the top level Tamren pops out the lift door and spots a snakeman emerging from the UFO bridge. After a sun charge to the face the snakeman is down for the count! On the south side Quintin exits but spots nothing. On the east side Rat Boy exits and... gets shot in the leg! Luckily his armour takes the hit and Rat Boy returns fire! Pegging the snakeman in the face with his laser pistol! Turning around he spots another snakeman with a blaster launcher! His back is turned and our Commissar bags another one!.

New turn. Rat boy exits and spots another snakeman. He opens fire but his pistol doesn't have the accuracy. Quintin tries next, but misses too! Tamren tries to help but can't make the shot. This is getting sticky... On the second floor we spread out but find no aliens.

New turn. The snakeman shoots! Heavy plasma shrieks past Rat Boy and misses Quintin by inches. The snakeman retreats inside a room, and Rat Boy runs him down and backstabs the snake with lazery death. Tamren breaches the UFO bridge and finds nothing. Quinting breaches the other, and finds a snakeman inches away! His heavy laser drills a hole through the snakeman and the beast is down! UFO secure.

Nice work. We managed to salvage and entire battleship! 230 units of metal and 200 units of elerium! Flying armour for everyone! 13 aliens neutralized. We almost suffered terrible wounds but our armour performed great.

Cydonia is getting rather close...

New mission. Were going to tackle that base now. Tamren starts on the bottom floor with a floater staring him in the face! A stun ball solves that problem nicely. And our forces fan out.

New turn. We spread out rapidly through the base. Our power armour is quite tough, so we don't have to be as timid as last time. Tamren comes under fire from a floater, but no one else can reach him, so he takes cover. Falchion walks down a corridor and *BLAM* takes a heavy plasma shot to the face! But his armour (personal armour even!) takes the hit and he is unscathed! He retreats quickly.

New turn. Ack! Floaters everywhere! Multiple people come under fire, so many so fast I don't know who was who. Luckily the floaters all missed. Time to retaliate. Tamren rounds a corner and downs a floater with a shot to the back of the head. Further west Vector advances and opens fire on the floater who threatened him. 2 solid hits! But the floater is tough and shrugs em off. Pignoli moves in and rakes the area with shrapnel, downing the floater from around the corner. Rat boy rounds a corner and bags a floater of his own. To the east Mudbunny spots the floater that had been shooting at Tamren, but the room is filled with cages and other obstacles and he can't get a shot in. Khoram tries his luck and launches a heavy rocket. Kaboom! The rocket detonates and smashes up half of the room, and the floater with it.

New turn. Plasma fire hits the wall inches from Grubbers head! Good thing I had him crouched, again. Reapers appear! The first retreats but the second charges Judge! Judge unloads his laser rifle on the reaper at point blank range. It soaks up 4 hits! But the 5th is too much and the beast collapses. Grubber advances and downs the floater who shot at him. Quintin rounds a corner and blasts the second reaper in the face with a rocket! The reaper is obliterated. Down south Tamren Khoram and Kier advance on the command center. Kier blasts a hole in the wall, Tamren ducks inside and stuns another floater.

New turn. Judge enters the CC from the west and comes across a floater with a blaster launcher! Luckily the floater is facing the other way and Judge downs him with a burst of shots. At the other end Kier readies a grenade and Khorams moves to assist.

New turn. A lot of stuff happens at once. Tamren moves to join the other two but another floater appears around the corner! Tamren blasts him down. Khoram moves up and fires a rocket up into the CC. The bridge erupts as all of the consoles detonate. Kier charges up the lift to find a floater staring him down. So he blasts the floater with his heavy plasma.

New turn. The dust settles a bit. Suddenly a floater appears in the thick smoke and Kier downs him as well! Base Secure.

14 aliens down. No injuries, but a lot of close calls! The end of the month rolls around. Nothing much happened except that we managed to down a terror ship. Its crewed by snakemen however... Not gonna touch that one.

On the one hand our monthly rating was 5000. Which is fantastic by any measure. On the other hand Canada defected to the enemy... But since Canada only provided a measly 200k of funding that didn't hurt too much.

Our research is progressing well. We will soon have the technology and manufacturing capacity to create advanced space craft.

Hey, where did I go ? Am I currently training the snipers, or am I being employed to undertake sniper-rifle based 'diplomacy' missions ?

Fast forward a couple months. Our Avenger is in the hangar, prepped with fusion launchers and just awaiting a crew. I'm currently completing last minute preparations. Sparing no expense for the final mission.

Davet you were placed in reserve along with the other veterans.

Psi scores are in. lol poor Vega. I don't know whether we should fire him or bring him with us to Cydonia in a straightjacket to act as bait.


Damn. My eyebrows are going to take awhile to grow back from that.

Anyway, I'm glad to be alive and all, but really, Heavy plasma shot to the face in personal armor and I'm not dead? Not even a wound or bleed out? Either that's the luckiest X-Com trooper ever or we did get hit with the difficulty bug.

Yeah, There have been far too few deaths Tamren, you gotta start playing more suicidally (with everyone except me of course) to make up for the lack of difficulty

Also, I'll happily volunteer to carry a satchel of live grenades in and hug the big brain on Cydonia

There were some questions about the DOSBox config settings a few pages back, so it can't hurt to repost this link:

X-Com General FAQ - that has a lot of great advice for how to set up DOSBox for the smoothest and nicest experience.

Tamren wrote:

Psi scores are in. lol poor Vega.

Vega wrote:
Tamren wrote:

Psi scores are in. lol poor Vega.


Don't feel alone.. you may be as psychic as a turnip, but I'm not much better

Vega wrote:
Tamren wrote:

Psi scores are in. lol poor Vega.


Ah ha, that explains it.

Well Quintin's in my squad. One of us isn't coming back

I'm hoping I can get into the alien command center and put a couple rounds in the backs of the Ethereal leaders' heads before taking out the super computer thing.

It's a giant pulsating brain. Should be good for you commissar, no skull to impede the pistol.


I've been benched since I missed a barn with Edna II, she was holding me back. Eleanor is my new love.

misterglass wrote:

I haven't even tried XCOMUtil or anything, but I'd pay a hefty sum to not have to equip my guys every single mission.

Then you need to try XComUtil. It has an option that saves loadout and attempts to re-equip your soldiers with the same equipment each mission.

I retried the installation of XComUtil with Steam version and it was a success. What you have to do is download XComUtil, extract to your steamapps/common/XCom UFO Defense directory. If you run the xcomutil setup batch file, it will detect you have the steam version, and tell you to go into the xcomutil subdirectory and run a different batch file there for running with steam. However, and this is where I think I screwed up the first time, if you don't manually shut down the batch process running, it will go ahead and try to install xcomutil normally. This time I just killed the terminal, then went and executed the batch from the subdirectory, and it sets up Steam to run a specific setup when you next launch the game, which it will also do for you. Then you can select from all the different options XComUtil has to offer.

I use the following fixes/changes:
- difficulty bug fix
- stuck in walls and disjoint base bug fix
- add auto fire option to pistol and heavy laser
- auto sort soldiers on skyranger
- auto save equipment and re-equip soldiers before missions
- slightly buffed HWP (a little more TUs, armor, and reactions)
- defensive starting base (redoes the initial layout so the access lift is a choke point)
- quick start base (large vs small radar to begin, slightly more scientists)

There's a ton more options if you want to get crazy. I originally tried one where it randomized terrain for the missions, then I got a terror mission that used Cydonia topside terrain that was just totally insane and deadly. I got rid of that option real quick. There's also stuff to add strings to your soldier's names for # kills, rank, and high stats; pre-screen for psi strength; get rid of psi altogether (for humans and aliens); research takes longer but captured aliens will add to research progress (to make capturing aliens rather than killing them more important), all missions are daylight, all missions are nighttime, etc.

Glad to see I made the team, but I hope I get mind controlled again - that's just fun

All right, I am so awesome, I get put on both teams!!

(Also watch for me to end up mind-controlled. A Psi score of 14 makes me likely to take some of you out!!)

I got benched! After doing so good in that one mission too.

This has me wanting to play some bad.

Kier wrote:

I got benched! After doing so good in that one mission too.

It's because your country turned and you can't be trusted.

So I guess I'll just hang back here and wash the Interceptors.. again.

*kicks at the floor*

Still alive! Yeah!

mudbunny wrote:

All right, I am so awesome, I get put on both teams!!

Oops! Now who did I forget to copy and paste... Ah, it was Vector. Fixed the list. I don't have the time to run through the mission yet.

We are set to launch for Cydonia. The only task left remaining is to load our gear onto the Avenger. As much as I would like to take everyone with us we are limited in the number of items we can take. Specifically 60. So while the Avenger can transport 26 soldiers, we will be taking along both HWPs with us. MrDevil and Nihilo will be happy to hear that they both received a significant upgrade to hovertanks. Nihilo now commands a powerful plasma cannon and Devil gets to look down the sights of a miniature blaster launcher. Does that mean Devil is cheating on Edna II with her hotter sister?

Final squad allotments as follows. Each squad will be composed of 9 members.

- Squad Leader Tamren - Assault
- Mrtomatohead - Assault
- Mudbunny - Assault
- Nevin - Heavy
- Khoram - Heavy
- Tanglebones - Sniper
- Davet - Sniper
- Bighoppa Medic
- Rat Boy - Commissar

- Squad Leader Prozac - Sniper
- Grubber - Assault
- Falchion - Assault
- Vector - Assault
- Edosan - Heavy
- Pignoli - Heavy
- Feeank - Medic
- Milkman - Medic
- Quintin - Sniper

Were going in armed to the teeth and equipment will be salvaged off of enemies whenever possible. I don't care if it takes us 5 grenades to take out one alien, were going to be pouring the lead out at anything that moves. Loadouts as follows:

Assault: Heavy Plasma, Det Pack.
Heavy: 1 Autocannon, 1 Heavy Cannon, 2 Rocket Launchers w/ heavy rockets. Laser Pistol.
Medic: Laser Rifle, Medkit.
Sniper: 2 Heavy Lasers, 2 Blaster Launchers

Wait, you're still using Heavy Cannons, Auto Cannons, and Rocket Launchers at this point?

Shouldn't your heavies all have blaster launchers instead? Once I get Heavy Plasma I stop using a heavy build out until the blaster launcher.

Yonder wrote:

Wait, you're still using Heavy Cannons, Auto Cannons, and Rocket Launchers at this point?

That sounds like something an alien spy would ask. *turns lamp* Where were you on the night of the 8th?!

Heavy/Medic! I'm that versatile. Great write ups Tamren

Tamren wrote:

How rockets are better than blaster launchers and the usefulness of heavy cannons

Mind blown. Truthfully, I never gave any of them a chance, and in X-COM Apocalypse, where I did out of necesity of limited supplies, the explosive ammo would typically cause a lot of collateral damage due to the trigger happy auto-fire AI.