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Messages - homunculus

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Discussion / Re: anyone else playing a 2.3 development build?
« on: February 10, 2009, 05:10:30 am »
[...] You should not have locked me out of my own post. That's just being a bully.
well, i guess it is your personal opinion, not the general truth.

btw, if mods were perfect they would most probably not be mods but would be doing something else.
what would you be doing if you were perfect? posting in this forum? even reading it?

Translating / Re: Searching translators
« on: February 07, 2009, 07:00:20 am »
[...]if anyone knows how to translate quench gun then let me know  :)
quenching is loss of superconductivity in a superconducting magnet (the current disappears and the coil might overheat and melt).
if you can find someone who is doing nuclear magnetic resonance analysis or magnetic resonance imaging, you can ask if there is an estonian word for that.
can't help more atm.

« on: January 17, 2009, 09:20:05 am »
Sounds good to me too, but for story and realism purposes, limit the telephatic link by distance. That would also explain why the attack on Earth is initially slow and weak - the smaller the numbers, the lesser the inteligence and effort, and the main forces of the aliens are far away, so a telephatic links in not possible.
distance dependency of telepathic link is already in the story, afaik.
there is some text about you needing a certain number of aliens in your containment facility to study the alien intelligence.
also, there is statement that if the alien population would split itself in two there would be two separate hive minds with their individual interests, with the awkward statement that those hive minds would rather fight than join together again.

if the virus is not intelligent by itself, or at least does not contribute to the collective intelligence if the host is dead, then the more aliens you kill in a mission, the less intelligent the remaining aliens should become.

also, to those who say that the aliens should be swarming and not taking cover:
when you play the human team, you are the hive mind of the humans, and you still order your soldiers to take cover.

Design / Re: Managing Mundane vs. Cutting Edge Gear and Equipment
« on: December 29, 2008, 06:58:18 pm »
more than once i have felt that the game should not be set in 2084 but in 1950.

i see the 2084 is probably from x-com apocalypse, but there seems to be little reason to stick to that date.
is that date meant to make the game more believable?
many games use past dates as the starting point, and they don't suffer from the believability issues at all.

if the game was set in 1950 (or maybe 1961 would be a nice symbolic date), the stereotypical weapons that we would like to use, would not feel so awkwardly out of date.

Translating / Re: Searching translators
« on: December 16, 2008, 02:32:29 pm »
[...]I had a look on Estonian translation, current version is translated by quite unliterate person. Its full of obvious errors and also childish examples. I have made some work on this translation, but my time is also quite limited and I don't know how to submit changes.
: )
well, the translators might have been young or something.

i had some fun with the game, at least before it degraded into a grenade launcher game for me, and i have also thought of helping a little bit with the estonian translation, maybe we can split it up between us and discuss the points we are doubtful about?

although the whole estonian translation thing sounds bit hilarious imho, because estonians mostly become irritated at estonian translations of gui-s, because estonians are used to computer terminology in english, because translations weren't available for a long time.

btw, does it matter if we use the latest stable release or the dev version?

« on: December 04, 2008, 02:14:21 am »
1) i think the versions that seem most believable in this thread are the ones that claim that the virus is not intelligent by itself, but joins the host's brain into the common consciousness by enabling a telepathic link.

the intelligence of such a psionic society would be immense, wouldn't it?
it's like the brains of all the population of several inhabited worlds joined together in a cluster.
i would guess there would be more than a few humans who would voluntarily like to be part of such system.
bio weapon thing wouldn't even be necessary imho, the aliens might just have created the virus or something else with similar effect to enhance their own race by linking their minds together.

2) there is something about the x-com:eu story that makes it so great.
this is the modern form of mythology, the ufo mythology, brought to life in the game.
especially the greatness of x-com:eu story in my eyes is in that the ufo mythology is not made subject to any quality control by rational thinking and common sense, and totally preserves the ego-stroking grotesqueness of the myth (i hope this phrase is understandable?).

this is why the brain harvesting is imho brilliant, because the brains are what humans are so proud of.
what i don't like so much about the virus idea (i can anticipate i might need a disclaimer: i can live with it, of course, lol) is that in the original story the aliens are the victimized victims of the evil bio weapon developers that also became victims themselves in the end. and the bio weapon itself is a victim of its own immense size. this gets so emo.

i would rather see aliens gathering human brains (preferably without body) to work for their research cluster while they amuse themselves with souvenirs from the primitive planet the same way we amuse ourselves with folk art.
or use human brains for thinking their simple thoughts (like a brain extension) and thus freeing their own brain resources to deal with the higher arts and sciences.
they could even be making a good business from selling the brains back to their home world, somewhat analogously to europeans conquering the americas.

3) on the other hand, i suddenly remembered it would be nice to try to contribute something to the thread.

if people are looking for an explanation why the aliens are coming in small groups, i think it is apparent in the original story about the conquering of the races and the search for new races in the galaxy.
all that is needed is to remove the initial attack on mumbai.
and the explanation is as follows:

the first ufo-s contain only tamans because the scouting ships that arrive first where sent when the ortnok were not conquered yet.
and then they contain ortnoks and tamans but no shevaar, because the shevaar were not conquered when the next scouts were sent, and also the particle beam was not invented before.

and they are abducting humans rather than just waiting for the ark to arrive, because they first need to build a gateway or wormhole creation device of some sort.
the abducted humans are taken to some close planet or moon or orbiting ufo to work as slaves to build the giant gateway device that is needed for the ark to arrive.
i hope this could be made to sound as much like the babel tower myth as possible.

all this is possible if people are willing to let go of the initial mass slaughter attack on mumbai, of course.
as already said in this thread several times, the initial mumbai thing makes some of the storyline look awkward and, sorry, i am also totally out of ideas about how to fix it, except claiming that the aliens lost too many of their scouting force to build the gateway themselves and now resorted to plan B which is abducting.

to find out (without attracting too much attention in the process) why aliens are abducting humans, and to stop it if possible, would be enough to call phalanx into existence imho, but with the attack on mumbai it would already be all out war from the start, and phalanx would not need to be so secret.

4) oh, actually there's one more possible reason for the aliens to come to earth: the aliens are just gathering specimens for their galactic zoology museums.
but the universe is big and they have many museums and every museum wants a specimen, and therefore the human race is bound to be exterminated in the process.
this would also explain the combat AI shortcomings which are almost unavoidable from the development point of view, because the aliens that would come to earth would be not fighters but museum agents and other random geeks.
they only hire ortnoks as bodyguards when things turn out dangerous, but the menacing looking ortnoks are also not extremely bright in the brains department.
the phalanx would be interested in presenting their research results in as horrifying form as possible to get more finances, until at some point the real truth unfolds.

ok, whatever, 1 and 2 were my opinions (which is a matter of taste), 3 was a suggestion, and you can figure out what 4 was, i guess.

Design / Re: Medikits
« on: December 02, 2008, 04:12:01 pm »
well, i think it would be nice if players would be motivated to avoid any kind of damage in a soft cap way instead of letting the soldier drop to 1 health point and be totally cheerful about it, or else reloading because the soldier died.
loosing consciousness and bleeding before death is also one of my favorites, because it make the wounded soldier a low priority target and will create a high priority surprise objective to save your bleeding soldier.

you are certainly right about the complexity thing, saying that

"stimulants reduce stun by 50% and temporarily increase stats by 10%"

is vastly more easy to understand and manage than

"the effects of stimulants is an emergent property of the stun and blood pressure system, and the exact result depends on the condition of the soldier"

Design / Re: Medikits
« on: December 01, 2008, 10:44:48 pm »

the intended purpose was to try to put as much gameplay and realism into as simple health bars as i could.
what you call conversation and what you call action is for me to figure out yet, i guess?

Design / Re: Medikits
« on: December 01, 2008, 08:37:26 pm »
imho the main point against the traditional health point system from the 1980-s would be that it is not a boxing match where you can try to score points and the referees are going to decide who wins.
if the damage does not stun or is not crippling or does not cause bleeding, then i think it should be a morale loss at best, am i missing something?

therefore, at a lesser level of abstraction, i would suggest that a non-missed shot would cause a random amount of crippling, bleeding and stun, based on its damage types.
the randomness would come from the chance that the bullet hole in your body not only makes you look ugly but actually damages something vital.

we could say that a shot from a gun  that causes crippling usually also causes bleeding, and with that assumption all the effects could be incorporated into just those two bars we already have.
the blood pressure would go into stun bar, and wounds would go into crippling (health points) bar.

so, in the health points bar we would have undamaged health points, bandaged wounds and bleeding wounds, the total would be the max health points stat of the soldier.
  • damage would turn undamaged health points and bandaged wounds into bleeding wounds.
  • bandages, naturally, would turn bleeding wounds into bandaged wounds, but this would take a significant amount of time units per wound point.
  • the general effectiveness of your stats would depend on undamaged health points, so bandaged wounds would still count as crippling.
  • bleeding wounds would reduce blood pressure over time, and some extra when the soldier is not crouching and some more extra when the soldier is using time units.

in the consciousness bar we would have blood pressure and stun, and those would be overlapping.
  • when blood pressure drops to 0 the soldier is permanently dead. afaik clinical death has something to do with brain getting blood and oxygen.
  • when blood pressure drops below stun, the soldier becomes unconscious. the consciousness value is the positive difference from stun level to blood pressure level.
  • reaction time and movement speed stats effectiveness would depend on consciousness.
  • strength would depend on blood pressure.
  • stun would start at 30% (to produce unconsciousness before death but also to motivate the use of stimulants), and would slowly regenerate to 30% over time (from either direction). using stimulants would reduce stun by, say, 50%, but would turn a small amount of undamaged health points into bandaged health points to produce the cool after-effect when the stun regenerates back to the normal 30%.

Feature Requests / Re: Some proposals for this already great game
« on: December 01, 2008, 12:19:10 am »
lol, and i thought creating a good team was what i liked in games.
never imagined you could take it to that extent  ;D

Design / Re: Hiring of Scientists/Workers and Workshop-Managment
« on: November 30, 2008, 11:24:55 pm »
[...]I would also appreciate if the menus to produce items would be modelled more akin to the research menu, meaning that you can select how many workers you want to work on one queue the way it was in the old Ufo games. Because if i see it right at the moment you can only produce only one item at a time, even with multiple workshops, and i really do not want to have to choose between better weapons and armor.

Is that possible?
hmm.. so you would get both your weapons and armor later?

i am all for this system, though, i would want, say, 2 workers to produce PB ammo for grenade launcher and 2 workers to produce D-F cartridges and continue doing so for ever, so that i would never have to micromanage production of consumables again.

but actually it would be nice to have much more than that, and i am afraid it's going to be a longish post.
maybe you are going to like some ideas here, or whatever.

1) what i would really like to do with those PB ammo and cartridges is to set an amount of those items that i want to have in my base at all times.
and when there is less than, say, 30 PB ammo, workers would be assigned to try to maintain the preferred amount of ammo in storage.

this would, of course be a convenience aimed at a very specific (limited) micromanagement issue.

or maybe your base manager would come to you with a list which says:
- there is less than 20 PB ammo in storage <produce until 30>
- there is less than 4 interceptors in hangars <produce interceptors until 4>

a related system would be warehouse management in FreeCol where you can set minimum and maximum desired amounts of items in warehouse, and when the amount exceeds or drops below those amounts you get a message in your turn report.

the interceptors thing would be a problem, though, because usually i have a special base for interceptor production, and a "produce interceptor" button might sound quite stupid, instead it should say "transport interceptors from base X".
and also, the amount of ammo that i would like to have in my warehouse is really not just a number but the amount of ammo assigned to my soldiers, including the ammo in weapon, plus some extra.

2) if roleplay was a priority, why not adapt a standard internet shop gui for shopping? would make things even less comfortable, i guess, but would certainly be good for rp.
(and then you could hire a base manager npc that would do the shopping for you, based on some general guidelines of yours, and the result would be a gui something similar to what it is atm.)

but a preview of what you are purchasing, with a conformation button, would do no harm.
and maybe also a base building preview, both for the layout of base facilities and for the radar coverage on the geoscape.

3) sorry if i have not figured out yet why it would be efficient to research multiple items at the same time rather than one at a time to start getting benefit sooner.

maybe there could be various intermediate results from researching a particular alien artifact that would speed up research of another alien artifact.
by intermediate i mean that you would get those results half-way during the course of the research before the research is completed.
like if the trigger system of alien weapons was not mechanical but psionic (and you would need to replace the psionic part with a mechanical trigger system in your workshop to use them), then your level of understanding of "alien communication" would speed up alien weapons research.

or else part of the research could be modeled as individual scientists getting ideas about the alien artifact, and those ideas may be redundant (more than one scientist might get the same idea), so you would get diminishing returns for assigning more scientists.
i mean, the experiments take some constant time, but the thinking process efficiency would increase less than linearly.
in that case it would be more efficient to research multiple topics at the same time, and to prioritize the topics and assign different numbers of scientists correspondingly.

there's more to generating ideas, like collaboration of scientists that should actually increase efficiency if more scientists were involved.
but if we are just talking about the reasons why the gui should enable assigning scientists to multiple research topics at the same time in the same base, then diminishing returns could do the trick and also create some gameplay decisions.

i feel bit stupid if this has already been done, but it's alright.

why you cannot research the same topic in multiple bases at the same time while the research results are distributed instantly over all bases, remains a mystery.

4) lastly, about base management in general :P, i would suggest to forget about the whole x-com style base management gui principle which has always amazed me with the extraordinarily tedious navigation.
i often think that there could be an editable tree (like the little mutable trees that i do sometimes myself in java), especially in the sense that you could create and name some additional folders.
the objects in the tree would, say, enable you to recruit a specific soldier or buy a specific weapon.

i mean, like in the "soldier candidates" folder you could create subfolders like
"unused soldiers from previous months"
"soldiers that i don't ever want to see in the candidates list again because they have speed 15"
and each month when you got new soldier candidates you could drag them in the appropriate folder and keep your lists clean of trash.

and also, there are those long lists when you want to buy, say, some gun or ammo, most of which you will never use because it doesn't suit your personal preferences (playing style).
there could be folders "approved weapons" and "weapon proposals", the latter would contain, in my case with the present item stats, the knives, pistols, rocket launchers, and some others. if you wanted to buy something you would go to "approved weapons" folder and do your purchases in the much shorter lists there.
and when you, say, wanted to stop using SMG because, say, particle beam rifle has become available, you could drag the SMG from "approved weapons" folder to "weapon proposals" folder.

and you can imagine rearranging soldiers between 2 dropships, maybe even if the dropships are in different bases. you open the appropriate base folders, aircraft subfolders, look at the soldier files and drag and drop them to arrange well rounded teams in the two dropsips.
if soldier is being reassigned to a dropship in a different base and if transport between bases should take time, then after confirmation the state of the soldier node should be something like "on the way to base X".

this is, of course, a very much half-baked vision, and i think it is appropriately so, considering how unlikely this kind gui change would be to happen.
i guess there should still be an employees view and an aircraft view, but maybe those could consist of trees (maybe with nice icons, objects would need little tree icons then) where you could arrange the functional objects (like a recruitable soldier) as nodes in a standard tree gui.

Discussion / Re: Latest real-world weaponry
« on: November 30, 2008, 08:15:04 pm »
[...]we'd rather not rewrite articles unless absolutely necessary.[...]
yeah, so the "deuterium poisoning" :o is there to stay, i guess.
or maybe it was an attempt to add some humor to the game.

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