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Topics - Sarin

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Discussion / My 2.5 feedback
« on: June 19, 2014, 11:52:09 pm »
So, I've finished my 2.5 campaign on standard, and there are issues that need feedback.

The stat progression is now fast, but quite uneven. In the campaign, I had some ~60 missions, all done by one team, the second one was just getting ready when I hit the endgame tech. The assault skill is definitely fastest progressing, and I hit a few superhuman level assault troops, mostly thanks to machinegun. Strength was, on the other hand, biggest blunder, both as starting stat and in progression. On the beginning, only few soldiers are able to utilize combat armor without going over 50% weight, if I want to keep my options open by giving them at least medikit, few grenades and one reload (that's pretty much what I consider bare minimum once you get few months within game). Those few early recruits can get decent strength before armor, decent complement of grenades and medikits become necessity, but integrating new troops into team becomes horribly frustrating. Basically you end up with few supersoldiers that make up a core of unit, and high turnover fodder. And my attempts to give the soldiers "realistic" loadouts with sidearm, knife and spare reload for both needed exceptional and experienced soldiers.

Weapons and weapon stats. Well...assault skill seems to be the most important one. It's good to have a sniper or two around, but I found these to be mostly pulled into "throughwall" niche by late game. A big one, mind you, I was clearing corrupters by pinning down enterance with long range RF, and used snipers+IR spotters to shoot out aliens through the floor. Close skill is next to useless. Few weapons use it, and with exception of sidearms (that I almost never pulled out) they are quickly replaced around midgame at latest. Explosive skill is another niche, although a good rocketeer is useful from time to time. Grenade launcher is, with the omission of burst fire, useless as in most cases old good frag grenades or standard firearm do the job as well. This skill is mostly about grenades.
There is a lot of useless weapons. From starting human tech, I found little use for shotgun, GL, flamer and micro shotgun. Sidearms generally were pulled out only couple of times. As the game progressed....I tried to use plasma blaster, but its niche-8 TU ball shot-is simply too small to justify using it. Heavy laser was also of little use. By the time the extra punch per shot gets more useful than better TU/damage, clip size and versatility of laser rifle, I had better weapons already and soldiers that could effectively use them and didn't need laser's precision. Needlers are downright useless against anything with armor, and that is everything by the time they get deployed. PB are rare, powerful but they're, IMO, overshadowed by EP guns.

In the end, the weapon balance seems off toward humans. Early on, you are facing just sidearms, so your tech is better. Briefly, aliens have superior firepower with plasma rifle, but soon after that humans get the lasers, and balance is shifted toward them again. Then, as aliens get needlers, humans can effectively deploy EP weapons. Then, at endgame, it becomes a matter of who hits first. A full auto from EP AR kills any alien just as well as burst from PB rifle or cannon tears up a human. Frankly, it feels like aliens are trying to catch up with humans all the time, instead of the other way around. Like I said, only in one, quite brief, period I felt outgunned on the ground, and managed to quickly turn that around. Aliens beat humans on the armor though. But the endgame, armor stops only glancing shots. When someone, alien or human, takes it fully, it's adios.

Campaign pacing. Campaign is divided into few discreet epochs. I felt there's too few of them, and not well spaced out. The campaign went in a rush toward harvesters-both scout and fighter phases were too quick. Then, the game stopped for a few months. I was fighting the same battles, had time to research everything and upgun. After that, a brief phase with supply ships ensued, and next month I had a face full of corrupters. Before I had time to research most of the tech, I had a visit from bomber. Endgame. I didn't even get to deploy power armors and face gunships, the first UFO from this wave was a bomber right away. I know that alien progression speed is inversely proportional to your performance, the more you let them complete their objectives the faster they progress. I didn't miss much I think, because after first month my relations went just up, and I didn't lose any ground mission. Something probably slipped through my lacking radar coverage, but that was inevitable. By the time of endgame, I had only most of Americas, Europe, Africa, and bits of Asia covered, and was building another base that was to cover most of the rest of Asia and Australia.

So...I think this is needed at least: Aliens should get a new weapon-light plasma rifle-right away It should be more powerful, slower and longer ranged than pistol, while being weaker but more accurate than normal rifle, acting as light sniper support. Needlers should lead not to coilgun-leave that to heavy needler-but to advanced combat armor, something lighter and stronger than normal combat armor, but not as protective as nanocomposite armor, to help fielding new recruits. EP ammo should also wait until heavy needler or perhaps even medium alien armor.
For the alien waves. I think the early skirmishes should last a bit longer. Needlers should come a bit sooner, perhaps before supply ships. A bit longer time between supply ships and corrupters, and separate heavy needlers+medium armor+gunships to come before, not with, bombers and PB weapons.

Well, that's all for now, might have more to add later.

Windows / Memory leak, or just my ancient laptop acting up...
« on: June 19, 2014, 02:17:05 pm »
It was a long session, during which I have a nasty habit of alttabing...during last mission, there as a sudden FPS drop, game went very choppy, virtually unplayable. Some numbers and names weren't showing, apparently on random. This went on for ~30 secs, then game went back to normal, only to return to same thing a minute or two later. This cycle went on and on, until I finished the mission, then I saved, quit the game and now posting the bug...

I thought it might be just a problem with my computer, but this seemed to affect only UFOAI program. I have winamp playing on background, and it went smoothly all the time. I didn't try to alttab.

Anyway...the map was office complex, UFO...don't know how it's called yet, it looks like a bus, flies 1440 km/h and kicks like a mule. Couldn't bring it down using 5xSAM, two laser turrets, Saracen with 2x PB, Stiletto with alien launcher (AM missiles), PB and laser cannon. Attaching log and dxdiag.

Edit: it's 2.5-win32, April 14th release.

Windows / Missing resolution?
« on: June 16, 2014, 12:10:33 pm »
So, I dropped in once again to check how's the game I installed 2.5 latest, and found an odd thing. In resolution selection, my screen's 1366x768, quite a common resolution for laptops, is missing. Is this an oversight, bug in installation or intentional?

Bugs in stable version (2.5) / Few bugs
« on: January 13, 2013, 08:38:39 pm »
build: January 9th 2013 32bit, system:win7/64bit

First. I had my pilot survive his craft being shot down. This bugged out the interception menu somehow, doubleclicking UFOs didn't do anything. Also in pilot assignment menu his checkbox was greyed out. Unfortunately I accidentally overwrote the save.

Encased plasma ammo has odd production prices. Sniper rifle ammo and machine gun ammo have same cost as normal ones, while assault rifle ammo has cost 1500/piece. Helova expensive fun....

And last, full Herakles vs. crashed harvester on office complex map, always crashes to geoscape on starting. Save included.

Feature Requests / Separate quicksave and autosave
« on: November 08, 2012, 10:49:16 am »
Pretty much self explanatory. Right now quicksave and autosave are the same slot, so when entering tactical combat your quicksave is overwritten. Could they be separated?

Downloaded latest build about 14 hours ago, I get CTD everytime someone is about to die from bleeding in my troops' LoS.

FAQ / Save compatibility?
« on: October 17, 2011, 08:59:14 pm »
So...I've come back after a long time, and I am wondering...would save files from earlier 2.4 dev (1301086950) version be compatible with newest versions?

Design / UFOpaedia errors, etc...
« on: May 12, 2011, 06:42:51 pm »
I've been reading it a lot, and noticed some errors and logical or reality problems.

1. Our old good sniper rifle. 20mm caliber, that is totally weird. 20mm antimateriel rifles exists, but only few, and firing one from standing or crouching position is downright impossible. Judging by performance in game, I'd say its caliber is probably .338 Lapua, it isn't powerful enough to be .50 BMG.

2. I know it's probably too late to change, but operation of M/AM engines as described in game is unworkable. Rocket/jet engines operate on classical action-reaction basis-high velocity mass goes one way, plane goes the other way. But M/AM anhillation produces no mattter, just energy. There is almost nothing to push the craft. The best solution for this would probably be mentioning that there is additional fuel, some dense gas, and antiprotons are injected into the stream of this, creating a high temperature plasma stream capable of propelling the craft. If you just use some common gas, all that would be needed is to change some entries and it's fixed.

3. Why does frag grenade description states it has smooth surface and model looks like pineapple type?

4. Another caliber rant, 25mm grenades for GL? Oh come on, even underbarrel launchers today use 40mm. 25 mm grenades are kind of "hybrids" between normal ammunition and grenades, sacrificing power for range...and ingame GL is nowhere near long range.

5. UFOpaedia clearly overestimates the weight of plasma blaster. If it is supposed to be a weapon useable by, although only some, human soldiers, it can't weigh more than average human can take on a cart.....

Well. I might add more as I notice them....

Feature Requests / Couple ideas
« on: May 11, 2011, 03:29:14 pm »
Couple new aircraft, possibly when the bases are expanded so there can be more hangars...

1. AWACS. Large radar, large fuel supply, no weaponry.
2. Fuel tanker. Capable of mid-air refuelling or your aircraft, possibly not for antimatter (no idea how could AM be transferred in the air).
3. Gunship. Loads of weapons, but slow, capable of dropping 6-8 soldiers and troop support-you can designate an area on tactical map and it will be sprayed with heavy machinegun and rocket fire...just watch out for civilians in target area. Also capable of totally demolishing a crashed UFO in case you don't want to bother with mission.

Associated with this, patrol routes, aircraft grouping.

Particle beam defenses, both base and offbase.

More late game explosive weaponry. I miss capability of long range indirect fire, and RL just don't cut it against armored aliens. Either give me plasma warheads, or some totally new freakish weapon.

Bugs prior to release 2.4 / Tactical-Soldier gear mixup
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:33:06 am »
At first it was happening once every dozen or so tactical missions, but as my game progressed, it became more frequent...

At start of tac missions, some soldiers have apparently randomly switched gear with another soldier. So stats, name, appearance is of one soldier, and gear and sometimes camouflage is from other soldier. I've had a look at console when it happens, didn't find anything unusual apart from one thing...when such soldier does a kill, it is credited to the owner of the gear.

Playing latest Muton's build.

Save-quit-load before mission when it happened sometimes helped, sometimes didn't. It mixes up again when restarting missions...

Feature Requests / I am probably getting annoying by now..
« on: March 10, 2010, 10:29:04 pm »
..but I have a few more suggestions.

First, injuries handling. In most cases, I manage to heal my injured soldiers back to full health within max three rounds, even when they have just 1 hitpoint left (that really happened to me once), and it's even possible to treat wounds from previous engagements this way, making field medicine more effective than hospital. Probably best think to implement would be injury handling like in UFO:EU, or Vietcong, and more...every injury takes also a chunk out of max health, and this has to be healed back at base.

Well, that was probably discussed before...but another think wasn't. I noticed that SAM/laser batteries are less effective while running geoscape on high speed. Of course, this happens when every "tick", when game updates positions etc..., is longer than battery's reload. So, the suggestion is to give player option to limit game speed when an UFO approaches batteries' range.

Feature Requests / A few more suggestions from me...
« on: March 07, 2010, 11:55:06 am »
If you send an interceptor on UFO and the UFO flies out of radar range, the interceptor automatically turns back to base. I'd like a possibility to proceed to predicted intercept point instead, UFOs rarely change course so it's quite likely to catch it. Also, possibility of escort missions, in case the dropship goes into a "hot zone".

In tactical, clicking an alien could highlight soldiers that have line of sight to the alien. I could use that sometimes, especially on start of some missions when I am surrounded.

Feature Requests / Nations taking more active role based on happiness
« on: March 02, 2010, 03:59:51 am »
It would be interesting if nations would have a few (like 1-3 per nation) military bases of their own, and based on happiness, you could use some of their services. Like...your craft could refuel at their bases, giving them higher effective range (as long as you don't use antimatter engines and happiness is kept over certain level). They would also slowly upgrade their bases to match aliens a bit, like using better radars (probably even less range than offbase radar instalation), SAMs (and very later, if researched, laser batteries), and even an interceptor or two. Based on their happiness, they would relay radar data to you, or even take more active role. Like, nation with 100% happiness would detect an ufo, give you its position and attempt to shoot it down. When ufo is downed on their territory, they will even send their own military to support you in combat. If nation is NOT happy tho, they will not tell you about UFO, try to shoot it down and recover for themselves, thus effectively creating an opposition to you.

I dunno if something similar was proposed already, I tried some searching and found nothing.

Feature Requests / Weapon ideas
« on: September 10, 2008, 07:14:00 pm »
If there was similar thread, I apologize-I browsed through section a bit but found nothing...

Basically, it seems to me kinda unrealistic to have laser and bolter weapons research at start. In research proposal, there's said they "have some ideas." Going from ideas to perfectly working weaponry in a month, that's strange. The greatest problem with these weapons is energy requirements, and that's not a thing to be solved so quickly...I believe these weapons should unlock after player researches first plasma weapon, since it might provide solution to this. But, what should player start with? There are some weapons projects banned, but since humanity is now facing enemy that isn't bound by human moral standards...

Another possible thing is "hybrid" weaponry, modifying plasma weapons to fit human ergonomics, and possibly enhancing them with some human features like laser sights etc...and applying plasma technology, who wants plasma based flamethrower? ;D

Linux / 2.3 graphical problems
« on: September 07, 2008, 04:51:03 pm »
Hi...I just installed UFO:AI 2.3 on Ubuntu 8.04, and when I run the game the screen (or window when windowed mode) keeps randomly "blinking" (not sure if it is the right word, my english isn't perfect) it just goes black for a moment, but it makes it impossible to play because I just can't look at that...I suppose that's cause of my videocard (ATI Radeon 9600, ATI X.Org drivers). I played 2.2 on same PC when I had Windows, and it was okay. I'm still kinda new to Linux (I had to use it after my winXP CD gone wrong), so please, no complicated solutions unless nescessary :)

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