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Messages - TBeholder

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Artwork / Re: A question about MDX files
« on: September 17, 2017, 03:07:26 pm »
It just recalculates it on every load by the O(n^2) algo with quite a big multiplier.
In this case, why not to remove them, but when the game pre-calculates all this data (both indices and those vectors, which will bloat it) once, dump to cache directory (defaulting to "~/.cache/ufoai" for linux, etc)?
And add settings for handling it. Then cache can be pre-made for every model for speed, or nuked to free space, no great loss.

Windows / Re: Game crashes on capture missions
« on: September 05, 2017, 02:33:43 pm »
Well, that didn't work too well, but I did find a workaround.  An answer to an earlier post directed me to the folder "C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\UFOAI\2.5\base" for adding scripts and modifying video displays.

After a few rusty gears in my head started turning, I had an idea.  I extracted the maps folder from C:\Program Files (x86)\UFOAI-2.5\base\0maps  into C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\UFOAI\2.5\base and voila.  Happy program.

For whatever weird reason, it seems like Windows 10 likes working with the AppData folder more than the Program Files folders, so this worked for me.  Everyone else's mileage may vary, but here's another option.
Maybe a symlink could help. Unless 10 does something weird to those, too.

Windows / Re: download "blocked"
« on: September 05, 2017, 02:30:35 pm »
Try sourceforge? and up the tree.

Feature Requests / Re: Aircraft to be able to follow
« on: August 08, 2017, 11:18:28 am »
Sounds like a good idea.

1) You want to follow an UFO until it's above a landmass, and said UFO has an erratic flying path (no interception location can by easily scheduled);
That can be done via smoothing rather than instant extrapolation.

Even if this feature is not implemented, perhaps the Alien AI should detect that an aircraft is "following" its own ship, and decide whether the mission can go on or must be aborted. For instance, what should be a Supply ship's behaviour approaching its base on Earth when it's closely tailed? Decision could be distance-related.
Maybe just up to whether UFO successfully tracks it?

Discussion / Re: Alien Panic?
« on: June 01, 2017, 06:08:14 am »
In a battlescape (playing 2,5), I sometimes get a message like "Xarg whatever has panicked" - I assume this is an alien.

This seems to have no effect on what is going on.
An aliens occasionally drops its weapon, runs into corner and cowers there. Possibly while bleeding.

Feature Requests / Re: Smooth encumbrance system
« on: April 25, 2017, 09:03:26 am »
Yes, this would be good.
Maybe with some adjustments for how items are carried. And slow down Strength growth.
The way encumbrance works now, sidearms cannot be used most of the time (at least until all the soldiers beef up) and if the effect was significantly weakened, it's back to walking arsenal.

A closely related problem is encumbrance being also tied to movement, and running vs. walking distinction requires overhaul of reaction fire to work properly.

What is the best build/research/buy/equip order starting off in the beginning of the game?
 I have found more general for newbs in these forums but I'm looking for what to build, buy and equip and do right out of the gate.  What buildings do I build first? Another lab? Another interceptor bay? What do I do with production and research teams?
Early on, you need better toys ASAP, and there's much R&D to do, so +1 lab is reasonable.
Your own production can't make money, so the only advantage of running it early on is that you're not dependent on the amount of items on market - but this varies in different versions. If there's few of something you want (esp. expendables), just make more.
What attributes do I pick for my starting attack group, and how do I equip them?
YMMV, get a "feel" of it in Skirmish. Also, see "My tactics" topic. But generally, consider that you'll probably have 2 fire teams.
You need:
  • Sniper for long range (which helps to save civilians in the first turns)
  • Shotgun for short range/guarding (flamethrower arguably is better, but it's tricky and heavy)
  • LMG for more reliable kills and long-range reaction fire. AR needs less TU for RF, and is more accurate for the same damage per bullet, but practically single shot is too weak, and burst x3 isn't quite as good as burst x5 (which also compensates lesser accuracy simply by firing more bullets).
  • Grenade launcher for indirect attacks. Because hand grenades don't have "Impact" mode.
Smoke grenades are "must have" - both to cover bad position and to save civilians. Flashbang and frag grenades if the soldier can haul all that.
Armor is necessary, Goggles - depends on conditions, but unless you really need that .2 kg, take them.
Missiles hit hard, but only 1 shot, and useless indoors, so not worth it IMO. GL allows 2 indirect shots + move.
Sidearms: drawing them takes TU and provokes RF, thus you'll very rarely actually get to use them unless you give it to a soldier with ML or sniper rifle and switch while not in the open for more RF shots. If you got strength... Machinepistol fits in 3 squares (in an angle) on the belt, while others are 2x2 (even 7.62 pistol for some reason) - but it's weak, and burst is 9 TU. 7.62 is 4 TU (the fastest, like knife and laser), lighter and hits harder, if you don't mind 2x2. But if you don't mind 2x3, take micro shotgun - it's dead killy at short range (at least vs. meat, spiders are tougher) and only 0.1 kg heavier than MP.
Once you research Plasma Pistol, maybe that - it's 2x2 too, light, has decent range, stronger that most sidearms (weaker than flechettes against meat, but medium armor changes this). Laser Pistol is as fast as 7.62 and only slightly heavier, but weaker.
When you don't care about RF (because this soldier walks behind 3 others), usually it's better to take a few grenades and have an extra smoke or flashbang when you're in a trouble.

Extra ammunition: you don't really need any in the usual missions, except ML and sometimes GL, but you may want choice (slug/flechette, different grenades).
Medkit needs to be moved to Holster slot - it's TU-hungry, and moving even just a few steps more may help; this way you often can take it, use, put back and move a little on the same round. May make exception for soldiers with Plasma Pistol as sidearm.

  How should I equip my first interceptor and transport?
Consider that medium/large UFOs are dead killy until you get some tough stuff of your own, and replacing interceptors is expensive and slow (repair takes time, too).
Saracen: it costs more, and can't take much of a beating. Since it's fast, it can nicely take scouts, but you'll need to identify those first. Then again, if you are careful, it can also run away from an armed UFO easier and lead them by the nose longer. YMMV, probably isn't worth taking until 2nd-3rd developed base.
Having both armor and ECM gives a good chance vs. small UFO or decent chance vs. medium UFO dragged through SAM sites. Targeting Computer, because your accuracy isn't great. Anything else is wishful thinking - very far away from the base you'd have neither SAM sites for fire support nor radar coverage to detect and track UFO in the first place, and long chase isn't much of an issue, since an UFO will either run away before you'll need a fuel pod, or itself will chase your interceptor.
You need to upgrade, but without alien samples can only develop Laser Cannon - approaching in cannon range should be avoided anyway, but you'll have to, and hey, this one is significantly better than what you get at the start.

Oh, and yes, build outside installations - try UFO Yard (right away, because it takes much time) + 2 SAM sites; place SAM sites on the edges of radar coverage, so that you can lure aggressive UFO into their fire zones. Consider building "skeleton" bases - without radar or weapons, the risk of a raid is minimal, but each Command Center raises cap on installations by 3, so Storage (in case of a raid when you develop them, you don't want anything fragile near the lift) - Living Quarters (maybe) - Command Center / Lab (Maybe) - Power Plant.

EDIT: clarity

Design / Re: A better reaction fire system
« on: January 19, 2017, 09:37:40 am »
And the main drawback is called turn-based-ness. When one player is active the other is waiting for his turn. [...] To partially compensate for this effect was developed the so called reaction fire. [...] Also, reaction fire often used action points reserved from the active turn, so if someone was moving at his maximum speed, he couldn't react at all, which's ridiculous too.
It's a less-crude model of simultaneous actions. I.e. an actor who has no TU left at the end of turn already moved by, and will have time to "react" on that team's next turn. Someone with TU left waits in ambush, etc.

  • when several the soldiers of the active player player line up before this "window" that the defender has covered (is aiming at) and all at once rush past it, no time should be accumulated, while in your system it is.
  • [...]
    The devil dwells in details.
Generally if you need to track enemies separately, i.e. for the reacting side to "know" the individual enemies, something in the approach is already wrong.
But let's consider two situations that need to be fixed:
  • An enemy moves behind a thin column, then continues to move. The moment enemy was out of sight, the counter was reset, so moving past anything thicker than a lamp post makes the defender "forget" about the almost-shot-at enemy. Derp.
  • An enemy walks past a window, then another, then they go back, but the defender fails to do anything, because each individual enemy appears only for a moment. Derp.
How  to resolve these situations without tracking too many parameters?
Easy: do not just use a whole load of TU counters, aim - as an extension of half turn toward the target.
The result is that spent TU indeed add up:
A defending soldier sees an enemy moving, starts aiming there; when the enemy walks behind a single crate, stops aiming (or continues to "last seen", this could be variable too). The enemy walks from behind the crate in either direction - the defending soldier starts from where he stopped, not from the very start.
Obviously, not foolproof, but better.
But then you could cover specific areas and have variable reaction times:
A defending soldier already aims at the specific window where an enemy is expected to appear: reaction time is minimal, one step to walk in, another step- BANG, won't walk away. The same soldier covers the whole field of vision: reaction time is large, crossing a window or even a double doorway without being shot is quite possible.
This means breaking the shot TUs to components: weapon manoeuvrability rate * angle + minimum shot time + recovery / reload (i.e. a pump shotgun can be shot once fast, but the second shot isn't so fast).
A first approximation for this usually could be derived by conversion fromSnap shot time and  differences with Burst and Aim, if a weapon has all 3, and indeed may replace them as basic weapon properties (so that TU values as seen in the game are derived from them).

Discussion / Re: Predefined equipment sets
« on: November 12, 2016, 11:50:48 am »
And if there's one default template, why not several extra pre-sets? Normally 3-5 loadouts are all you need for a while.
Maybe automatically fit matching weapon skill and TU and order of appearance, but even if not.
Yeah. That's a Feature Request, however.

Tactics / Re: In pertinence to stunning aliens...
« on: August 12, 2016, 02:23:23 am »
The most likely reason is that the last alien failed morale check - in which case it dropped weapon, ran away, hid in some corner and cowered in fear there.
Did you see any dropped weapons not accompanied by an alien corpse?

Tactics / Re: Long range firefight or close combat?
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:38:50 am »
It is not true that civilians will be killed if you don't approach quickly. You rather have to kill aliens quickly so you have to have good riflemen at long range. Of course,you can't fire when an alien stays out of your sight, but if it is far and out of sight civilians will be killed anyway, no matter how fast you move
Farthest one perhaps, but for those in the middle run-and-smoke extends the survivable area.
I still use one soldier with a shotgun and if he dies I can replace him with a soldier who has even very low close combat skills, but in battle I can use him as good as the previous one.  This shows me that close combat does not require much skill and this is true not only in this game for me.
At point-blank range, accuracy changes little, of course. But at the limit of slug range it's not quite so easy, yet it's still close enough for plasma pistols and grenades, thus missing is very likely to get the scout killed either in RF or aliens' next turn. Not that hitting is guaranteed to help if the alien has armor, of course.
But the way RF works, the best solution is still to bomb the enemies into whom the scout ran with indirect attack from someone else - no line of sight, no reaction. I have one AR soldier following the scout and lobbing grenades as needed, and since GL has a decent range, especially with bounce mode, it often can help even if it's in the other team (on the closest flank).

For saving civilians, other than disabling aliens quickly, soldiers need to be visible so aliens choose to shoot at them instead of civilians. This of course conflicts with the need to keep soldiers to be able to attack.
That's where snipers help - they have to lag behind to save TU for shooting anyway and early on, the range gives them a good chance even against plasma rifles, once scouts and GL pick off the nearest aliens.
Always make sure uncovered soldiers crouch, there's a good chance shots will miss; better than for civilians posing in the open like shit.
Yup. Much like back in DOS game.

Tactics / Re: Long range firefight or close combat?
« on: February 22, 2016, 04:47:29 am »
I use 2 teams, each with MG and sniper. There are long streets, tunnels and whatnot. Against plasma pistols and melee/grenade loadouts reaction fire works nicely, against rifles it's playing whack-a-mole as a mole no matter what weapons you use - but with long-ranged ones you just don't need to cross open spaces that much.
Practically, you can't just sit it out and crawl on - civilians will be massacred if you don't get into smoke grenade range fast.
So there's also at least 1 shotgun/flamethrower plus flashbangs to advance and at least 1 GL to pick off an odd enemy on the roof or other cover, of course.
2 others end up with assault rifles and grenades. I don't like it, but they need something useful at long range without being too slow or relying on a single scout plus support to move on.

Feature Requests / Re: Tazer Pistol
« on: February 12, 2016, 03:57:18 pm »
You do realize that you aren't supposed to be shooting innocent bystanders, right?
Heh, yeah, that too. Preventing civilians from running into incendiary puddles or needlegun arcs of fire.
Maybe there should be a minor penalty for this, why not (stunned < injured < dead).

Feature Requests / Re: Tazer Pistol
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:03:21 am »
Sure, dubious penetration and less damage than from Stun Rod is a reasonable trade-off for ability to make a short-ranged attack rather than just melee. I won't try it with an armored alien who is likely to stay up and retaliate, but it adds options like shooting through windows.
Also, there was some sort of shotgun tazer "bullet"... also why not - less precise than a normal slug and a little slower to fire (cycling the shotgun manually).

Discussion / Re: Proximity Mines
« on: November 25, 2015, 08:59:50 am »
I don't know, I'd figured that by 2080 something like the Ottawa Treaty would be enforced worldwide,
It will hold exactly as long as the movers and shakers are those who expect to invade other, rather than be invaded, and not a day longer, quite obviously. Realpolitik.
but if someone can come with a reasonable explanation of why UN sponsored PHALANX would be allowed to deploy anti-personnel mines
Some beasts are more equal..? ;)
  — within urban areas no less! — something like that could be implemented, assuming of course any technical issues can be solved...
Once it can be made to specifically affect aliens, why not.
There are lots of non-urban areas.
Also, this raises the question of remote-controlled devices - as previously discussed, even unarmed remote camera would be much more useful than a blind mine. Reasonable middle ground between mines and HWPs could be worth deploying.

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