XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Strategy Game - Developed by Firaxis

BlackSabre wrote:

Hmm, I shouldn't have read this thread. Now I want to start another play-through.

<----- This guy just fell victim to exactly that. I'm already a month into my fourth run into the game (not counting early endings/false starts, of course).

Yeah, I started a new one as well. Went Impossible, non-ironman, and turned almost every single 2nd wave option except Marathon, and the ones that deplete Elirium, funding, increase power costs, and satellite costs.

It's brutal. I'm in month 2, lost 3 countries in the first month, and about to lose 1 more at the end of month 2. Randomizing how much money countries give is messing with my brain. Also, Damage Roulette, wider range of damage, in impossible, only seems to skew towards always, ALWAYS dealing 1hp damage, even with Head Shot, aggression, critical hits, etc. It's completely bogus.

Red Fog really has made me think each move, as I don't want my soldiers to even get hit. Even losing just 1hp, lowers stats so much, the soldiers become completely useless.

Something is really screwy with the RNG in that game.

Malor wrote:

Something is really screwy with the RNG in that game.

I would love to see someone go through a playthrough recording every shot, and track whether or not the hit percentages are accurate. Every time I miss a point-blank 95% shot, it drives me crazy. I've gotten to the point where I'm completely paranoid about it - I take two snipers every mission whose sole job is to make the shot when it counts, because no one else can - 100% negates whatever it is that is wonky about the RNG.

I was doing some savescumming, using the supposed 'new random seed' thing, and I saw some seriously weird sh*t going on, like missing an 80% shot six or eight times in a row, in load after load after load.

I've played a lot of games with RNGs over the years, a lot of them, and none of them have struck me as untrustworthy as XCOM. Like, say, Dungeon Crawl? I'm pretty damn sure that if it says 80%, I really have an 80% chance. But with XCOM? If it says 80%, I believe I really have about 60%, possibly not even that high.

I think what they do is say you have 80% chance to hit. Then, they analyze secretly, what percentage chance of landing on the 20% they won't hit? 100%, f*ck the players. So we miss almost always!

A lot of games decide the random rolls on map load though. Fire Emblem does that. So if you take the first shot with the same guy every time, you will get the same result.

If you want to take a look at the actual (decompiled) code, see here.

Conclusion from that article:

The tactical portion of the game does what is expected, correctly. The method the game uses for seed generation is fine. The underlying PRNG is not great and could be replaced, but the deficiencies in the algorithm should have minimal impact on game play. When you miss 3 90% shots in a row, you just got unlucky, the game is not cheating you out of your kills.

Edit: More stuff here if you're interested.

Stele wrote:

A lot of games decide the random rolls on map load though. Fire Emblem does that. So if you take the first shot with the same guy every time, you will get the same result.

There's a Second Wave option to disable the saved seed.

A quick scan of his analysis (it's been a while since I read x86 "casually", eek) seems right to me, but I find myself still skeptical, especially at the outliers. I don't really find myself leaning on software intuitions often, but something feels severely screwy, still; the kind of "bad luck" this game generates tests the limits of one's acceptance of randomization.

I picked up Enemy Within and while I was completely in love with this game when it was released some of the UX wonkiness (I can't access menus in the middle of my enemy's turn or if a unit is performing an action, click on a tile? surprise your unit is going to travel someplace you did not intend, NO I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE SAME CANNED LINE OF DIALOGUE FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, and the blatant cheating on the AI's part on Classic for To Hit and Critical Chance...) is really starting to irritate me.

When you miss 3 90% shots in a row, you just got unlucky, the game is not cheating you out of your kills.

What I think might be going on is a little different, though: I think there may be hidden variables of some kind. That is, it says you have 80%, but you don't really.

Doing my savescumming awhile back pretty much convinced that something like that is going on. The number displayed is not always the true hit percentage. I don't know what the hidden variables are, but I'm pretty sure they're in there, and I think their magnitude is somewhere in the 20 to 25% range.

edit: it's possible that it might be some kind of enemy ability, like the Assault's ability to dodge, as well.

Might be, it sounds more like confirmation bias. A truly random sampling of 80% success rate will only approach 80 with very large samples - like thousands. Even then, a not-80 result is only unlikely, not impossible. That's the nature of probability.

I've made enough 20% shots consecutively to not really mind the odd 95% chance miss.

NO I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE SAME CANNED LINE OF DIALOGUE FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME

There is an option to turn that off in Enemy Within. I think it is in the advanced options before you start a new game.

Tkyl wrote:
NO I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE SAME CANNED LINE OF DIALOGUE FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME

There is an option to turn that off in Enemy Within. I think it is in the advanced options before you start a new game.

While true, there's still so much dialogue we can't skip even after turning that setting off. Especially on Exalt missions. Every single mission, the camera pans to the transmitter, tells me what to do, and I can't do anything.

Same with Base Defense, and Fishing Village.

kexx wrote:

While true, there's still so much dialogue we can't skip even after turning that setting off. Especially on Exalt missions. Every single mission, the camera pans to the transmitter, tells me what to do, and I can't do anything.

Honestly I would mind the dialog half so much if the game didn't lock my controls and yank my camera away from what I was doing, only to LEAVE the camera staring at some now unimportant spot on the map forcing me to pan the camera back to what I was doing.

At least they made the intro skippable, and got rid of that council mission with the fountain and the very very shrill woman. But some stuff never changed like the final mission dialog.

Tamren wrote:
kexx wrote:

While true, there's still so much dialogue we can't skip even after turning that setting off. Especially on Exalt missions. Every single mission, the camera pans to the transmitter, tells me what to do, and I can't do anything.

Honestly I would mind the dialog half so much if the game didn't lock my controls and yank my camera away from what I was doing, only to LEAVE the camera staring at some now unimportant spot on the map forcing me to pan the camera back to what I was doing.

At least they made the intro skippable, and got rid of that council mission with the fountain and the very very shrill woman. But some stuff never changed like the final mission dialog.

On the nose to the above.

Well yeah, if the controls and camera didn't lock, I wouldn't mind the dialogue at all, much like in the final mission. Wouldn't be too hard to implement, but my gut is telling me that these types of easy fixes aren't happening, because they're focusing on XCOM 2.

From everything they've learned, and the fantastic and deserved success, I'm pretty sure a 2nd one is in the works.

So, devs, if you're reading this, voice packs! I want a british saucy assault, and a southern heavy from texas!

EDIT: Know what else is annoying? Not being able to access the menu (and loading) during the enemy's turn. If the very first alien kills one of my soldiers, and I'm not in Ironman, I wanna reload. I don't want to see the other 4 aliens finish their turn, so I can finally access the menu.

It just adds fuel to the rage. Same applies with panics. Once it's my turn again, I gotta see my soldier whimper and the controls are locked.

kexx wrote:

So, devs, if you're reading this, voice packs! I want a british saucy assault, and a southern heavy from texas!

This feels to me like something that would be a really good fit for the Steam Workshop. It feels like a problem of install size and work-hours, neither of which is a problem there. I'd love to see them open up the inevitable X-Com 2 to the Workshop for customisation stuff like that, so we can download the voicepacks we desire, and avoid the rest. Although keep a few base ones, like the various different languages that are already in the game now.

Why would XCOM devs be reading this thread? Come now, lets be serious!

Spoiler:

;')

Redwing wrote:
kexx wrote:

So, devs, if you're reading this, voice packs! I want a british saucy assault, and a southern heavy from texas!

This feels to me like something that would be a really good fit for the Steam Workshop. It feels like a problem of install size and work-hours, neither of which is a problem there. I'd love to see them open up the inevitable X-Com 2 to the Workshop for customisation stuff like that, so we can download the voicepacks we desire, and avoid the rest. Although keep a few base ones, like the various different languages that are already in the game now.

Great idea. I can see so many good maps being created. Opening this stuff up for the community really opens up customization. Just gotta be a bit careful, or we can end up with another TF2 with hats. Not that that's a bad thing.

Just heard a voice pack from Worms on YouTube, man... I want a God-fearing, Southern, Gospel Sniper.

dissposablehero wrote:

Hi all, this might not be the correct thread for it but I have questions about the android version of the game:

1) Has anyone tried it on a rooted 2012 Nexus 7, if so what is it like frame rate and battery wise?

2) Is there any news of upcoming patches to the android version? It came on the play store on 23/04 and is still at v1.0.0

If this is in the wrong thread can some one point me in the right direction?

XCOM for Android is as I expected, playable but barely tolerable. It's amazing that the game can run on an Android phone, it just doesn't do it very well. The in game frame rate is in the 20 range to my eyes, and the textures are about as minimal as you can get.

The touch interface works for the most part with decent multi touch features one might expect. However, it can take a long time to give a command to your soldiers because the interface isn't very accurate, you have to try a few times to get the cursor in place for your desired movement, taking about twice the time to order a command than by using a proper controller.

There are a few bugs here and there as well. Want to setup your XCOM base in Africa? Nope, that option is covered by a new interface button. Want to idle your phone while in the middle of a game? Sure, you can do it, as long as you're ok with inexplicably abandoning the mission and losing all your soldiers when you come back to play later.

I'll be asking for a refund on this version of XCOM. While I could imagine myself playing it from time to time on a commute, it pales in comparison to the regular version to such a degree it's almost too difficult to play properly. Give the Android version as wide a berth as possible, get it on iPad or be happy with your regular copy.

mr_n00b wrote:
dissposablehero wrote:

Hi all, this might not be the correct thread for it but I have questions about the android version of the game:

1) Has anyone tried it on a rooted 2012 Nexus 7, if so what is it like frame rate and battery wise?

2) Is there any news of upcoming patches to the android version? It came on the play store on 23/04 and is still at v1.0.0

If this is in the wrong thread can some one point me in the right direction?

XCOM for Android is as I expected, playable but barely tolerable. It's amazing that the game can run on an Android phone, it just doesn't do it very well. The in game frame rate is in the 20 range to my eyes, and the textures are about as minimal as you can get.

The touch interface works for the most part with decent multi touch features one might expect. However, it can take a long time to give a command to your soldiers because the interface isn't very accurate, you have to try a few times to get the cursor in place for your desired movement, taking about twice the time to order a command than by using a proper controller.

There are a few bugs here and there as well. Want to setup your XCOM base in Africa? Nope, that option is covered by a new interface button. Want to idle your phone while in the middle of a game? Sure, you can do it, as long as you're ok with inexplicably abandoning the mission and losing all your soldiers when you come back to play later.

I'll be asking for a refund on this version of XCOM. While I could imagine myself playing it from time to time on a commute, it pales in comparison to the regular version to such a degree it's almost too difficult to play properly. Give the Android version as wide a berth as possible, get it on iPad or be happy with your regular copy.

Thanks for the honest opinion. I haven't yet bought it as it still isn't compatible with my nexus 7 and don't really want to play it on my phone. I'm a bit worried that it isn't even being supported by 2k. Its still at v1.0.0 on the play store and its been out since 24th April, with the bugs that have been reported and 2K saying they're looking at bringing it to more devices its a bit ostrange there hasn't been a single update. I think a refund is definitely in order, especially if its not working properly for you.

I know this is hardly news, but The Long War mod is really good!

Gave it a try after seeing the front page article about it. I'm not much of a mod person, especially ones that add content that could mess with the established lore, and I'm usually very leery of any sort of overhaul mods in particular. But this one is solid, all the new bits and pieces fit within the lore of the game very well, it's all very well balanced, it feels like a really ambitious expansion similar to Enemy Within. If you're on the fence about trying it like I was, and you're between XCOM games, give it a go.

One thing to note, the difficulty is higher, I'm playing on Normal Ironman, which actually feels like a nice balance between the slightly too easy Normal of vanilla, and the slightly too brutal Classic.

Sounds interesting.

LarryC wrote:

Sounds interesting.

I suspect you'd like it a lot Larry, based on the sort of preferences you've shown in the past.

A lot of what makes XCOM interesting is that it gives a set of rules for how you play the game, then it allows you to break those rules through upgraded troops and equipment. The Long War tweaks the underlying rules a little bit, but the real meat here is that it also gives you a lot more varied and interesting ways to break them as well, tweaked for a longer experience, so the choices you have to make are more nuanced and granular.

So... that whale mission.

I was *not* prepared for that.

Bruce wrote:

So... that whale mission.

I was *not* prepared for that.

I love, LOVE that mission. It felt completely different from the other types of missions. I hope they do more of this in the inevitable sequel.

kexx wrote:
Bruce wrote:

So... that whale mission.

I was *not* prepared for that.

I love, LOVE that mission. It felt completely different from the other types of missions. I hope they do more of this in the inevitable sequel.

Yeah, that mission tends be brutal the first time around. Still, missions like the fishing village, that have some kind of narrative and break up the usual pattern of generic missions are something I'd like to see more of.

kexx wrote:
Bruce wrote:

So... that whale mission.

I was *not* prepared for that.

I love, LOVE that mission. It felt completely different from the other types of missions. I hope they do more of this in the inevitable sequel.

Yup, I think the expansion pack in general did a really good job of adding some new variety to the game.

Crap. I feel like replaying this now. Why did I come into this thread?

I'm doing an impossible run right now, with tech roulette. Gotta say, once you try tech roulette out, you'll never go back to vanilla tech trees.

It's just that awesome. Seriously, I can't think of one single thing, narrative, cosmetic, interface, gameplay, anything, that I can criticize. Enemy Within is just too damn awesome.

Also, Tkyl, are you still at Firaxis? If so, are you free to speak about whether you guys have any future plans for XCOM, be it more dlc, more expansions, or a sequel?