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PALU

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PALU last won the day on March 28

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  1. The Enforcer armor was unlocked by modifying the research file as had been described (a long time ago now) to remove the requirement for a Robosadist "corpse", and the armor then became available when I finally fulfilled the (modified) conditions for it. That set of changes was probably the last one done, as all installations of the unofficial version saw the research file backed up before the installation and restored afterwards, to avoid research corruption (as per the installation instructions for an ongoing campaign). By the way, I finally finished the game last night (the month and a half waiting for the Operation Endgame research was rather tedious, but I sped it up by bombing all large craft, ignoring escorted craft, as well as ignoring one terror attack). The final mission took a rather long time to perform (two long days), not the least because the alien turns took many minutes to perform (the time got gradually shorter as the enemies were eliminated). I've attached the current version of xenopedia.xml, which I believe contains a correction of a couple of typing errors pointed out above, as well as a minor adjustment of the Operation Endgame entry. xenopedia.xml
  2. I certainly agree there's a rift between the "highly trained elite" soldier description and the inept noobs that you actually get. However, the gradual drug enhancement model doesn't really make much sense as the maximum stats are the same throughout the game. Augmenting armor can modify the soldier's current level, but that's a different thing that does evolve through the game and is technological in nature. Other similar games do have soldier augmentation, but this one does not, nor is there any progression in the quality of rookies, which you'd expect if you could actually boost them. It doesn't exactly help that the game explicitly describe the recruits as former members of various top level forces, some with prior combat experience, and some without. If dishonorable discharges made up the recruiting pool I'd expect some to be wrecks, but some to be formidable fighters with mental instabilities or perversions (not necessarily sexual, but such as killing for pleasure, enjoying torture [sorry, "enhanced interrogation" is the politically correct euphemism used] etc.), and some who were scapegoats for higher rankings people's mistakes and/or misdeeds, not a bunch of beginners who vary is capability from completely useless to definitely sub standard. If you look at the real world of doping, such as the bicycle doping competitions or professional drug "sports" such as baseball (or, for that matter, state sponsored doping for the glory of the nation), they're not holding back, and drug (ab)use seems to be rampant in some armies at war, but with rather limited improvements of their performance. I very much doubt there'd be any "easing in" on drugs if there would be an existential threat to humanity (on the other hand I don't think the fighting would be left to a more or less secret organization...), in particular if drugs would actually provide significantly improved performance. Thus, it's hard to explain away this design flaw (and it doesn't help that I consider the original X-COM games to be superior to the later takes on the same formula in having larger forces of human expendable soldiers taking on a small number of superior aliens. You needed multiple soldiers to take down each alien, and while losing troops was unfortunate, skill progression was fast enough that it wouldn't be catastrophic, and the rookies were actually useful from the start [they could e.g. be used as expendable scouts as they had enough movement to fulfill such a role, and if they survived they'd progress to the next level of usability]. This made ironman type play much more reasonable for normal players. Soldier equipment was more important than the soldiers themselves).
  3. If you fire a stun gas grenade or rocket (or a smoke grenade) inside a UFO interior doors may open if hit by the "blast", so in a Corvette, trying to stun a bunch of aliens in the middle section may result in the doors to the inner section, where the boss and a horde of his cronies tend to reside, opening the field up for attacks (including nasty grenades) from the innermost section. Similarly, the same kind of "blasts" tend to cause engines and power sources to explode. I don't know how many times I've had doors in carriers open like that when I breach from the side entrances and either try to obscure the line of sight from the aliens or take them out with stun gas. Also doors opened in that fashion tend not to close again, which means you're not only exposed during the aliens turn, but on all subsequent ones as well (until you progress past them). It's natural that using explosives can (and will) destroy interior walls and doors, but a puff of gas shouldn't really be sufficient to push doors open.
  4. @LagannPM Further comments: 1. Beware of the mission ending with one or more of your troops unconscious, as you'll lose whiffle sticks (a.k.a. stun batons) as a minimum. 2. It eventually becomes mandatory, and since changing the loadout takes a long time, you'll more or less have to have it. You can still use the old Foxtrot bomber after UFOs sporting homing missiles show up, but only against those that don't have those weapons. Thus, you may send the more modern craft after the fancier UFOs and the old ones after the ones they can take on (since upgrading takes a long time, so you'll constantly changing out older aircraft for newer ones). 3. I've use one wing of repurposed alien interceptors for smaller UFOs, one wing of human interceptors against alien interceptors, and 3 bombers (typically sent individually) on each base. However, by the time the Asierus becomes almost useless, and a replacement becomes available, the repurposed alien interceptors are probably superior to the human interceptor as it's capable of fulfilling two roles, so if I was to play a new campaign I would replace the Asierus with repurposed alien interceptors rather than the Contrail. 4. Gas works if you apply enough of it (which may be an enormous amount for some aliens). Improved whiffle sticks are fairly reliable against the smaller Xenomorphs, but as Svinedrengen said, priming aliens with damage may be required (in practice) for the tougher ones. I've use a missile as softening up tactics against the biggest Xeno... 7. The only doors I blast are the exterior doors of some UFOs, but for those I use vehicle machineguns early on (requires a fair number of blasts) and minigun blasts from my heavy soldier later, which is essentially what Svinedrengen said. Also note that a nasty side effect of stun grenades and rockets is that they somehow open ordinary doors, so the aliens get a free line of sight at your soldiers (they also trigger very delicate alien equipment to blow up). 10. The aliens that are straight replacements of earlier tier ones unlocks the interrogation research of the replaced unit as well, but that doesn't go for other operators, as mentioned, so you can miss out on some things, although it usually doesn't matter when you get better tech later on. Similarly, some UFOs unlock specific tech.
  5. I've recently performed a terror attack mission mounted from an Infiltrator, and there were oddities: - The craft was reported to carry ? Caeasans (number illegible due to overloaded text), 1 Praetor, 13 Wraiths, 22 Xenomorphs, and 5 Heavy Drones. However, only one Cyberdisc was present, and I killed only 4 Wraiths (the after action report said 3, which matches with me splatting one), while two additional ones were hosting Xenomorphs, but the remainder never showed up, and there was very little teleport sound. Something was off there. I did not attempt to keep any kind of track of the Ceasans, but they seemed to be somewhat fewer that I would have expected as well (seemed more like a dozen than a score). - Looking out from the embark zone, the number of enemies seen was a big surprise: only 3 (rather than previous experiences of half a dozen to a dozen) which included the Xenomorph hosting Wraiths (which can be recognized as they look different than normal and don't carry weapons), and one Caesan (plus a horde of human Xenomorph hosts, of course, but those can't be distinguished from normal humans except through vehicle movement interrupt [and AP loss if turning] sensing). - The mission was surprisingly easy (note that I save scum, etc.), as the number of non Xenomorph enemies showing up was just a trickle, but the missing units would probably make a fair bit of a difference. There were definitely fewer terror units than before the adjustment. - (The Big Boss was captured, by the way, as no other outcome would have been acceptable). - I find the smaller drones are more of a threat than the large ones, because the small ones can single handedly suppress half your soldiers, which can be lethal when under pressure of many units (such as a Xenomorph or Andron/Robodog/Roboreaper/Robosadist horde). The large ones are a threat only if they hit (and they've got a poor aim), that manages to hit from an angle not protected by a shield, although the targeted (single) unit tends to be suppressed. This is a general comment, rather than a terror specific one. - The Sonic cannon appears to be a monster of a weapon, and may well be overpowered, as I've splattered everything I've fired at (although that's only 3 units), including, in a previous mission, a single shot that missed the target Elite Wraith by two tiles but still splattered it through the area effect. I believe the target was unharmed (suppressed due to being somewhat near an Enforcer mech blast at a different unit, but not hit, what I saw). - I think the reduced weight of Sonic ammo has worked out well, but I'm obviously biased. The ammo anxiety is gone, and the freed up weight allows you to carry some grenades despite also having lots of ammo clips, which sums up to total minor improvement over the Pulse tech (it's still frustrating that firing the weapon is more miss than hit, though, and the APs required for firing is on the high side, so there's [too?] little room for movement combined with firing). Edit: No feedback on Ancient weapons wielded by enemies, as none have been fired. I've equipped soldiers with them in a throwaway loading of an embark save to fire them at the ground, and the effects look fairly nice (the minigun is a standard one), but I don't have any useful comments beyond that. I haven't looked at the latest version of the weapon details.
  6. The attached file is from just before the UFO attacks the base (it's moving directly towards it). I also ran loaded it and ran it again, with a similar result (about the same damage from batteries, and I think I've identified both Praetors among the dead during the deployment phase, which is where I exited the game). The soldier test I did with the Ancient weapons was using the new files. I haven't looked at the XML representations, though, just what it looked like with soldiers firing the weapons. So, the Reaper burst mode now costs a bit more, so unless the wielder is looking straight at the victim it can fire 3 bursts, which will just fail to eliminate an undamaged shield. There's no radius specified, so it ought not to be an area effect, but I don't know what ReaperExplosion does. If that is a single tile version of the cloud Roboreapers emit when a layer is peeled off it's a nasty effect, as a single tile is still an area. I don't know what would happen on a burst, getting hit by 3 of those, but I imagine it can be quite nasty (and annoying, due to the melee weapon loss bug for weapons on the ground. Bosses tend to be among the last ones eliminated, so any unconscious troops tend to still be unconscious [with their equipment spread on the ground] when the battle ends. Losing whiffle sticks is annoying, but katanas use scarce materials). 2.zip
  7. Base assault: Weird... The completely undamaged monster ship (I save scummed past the play where I damaged it, preferring not to lose two interceptors to the escorts and a bomber [due to sloppy handing during exit from the engagement]) somehow sustained 71% damage inflicted by a single battery on landing (about 19000 damage reported), killing 29 units, with a total kill count of 71 (you can count the corpses during the deployment phase). Both Praetors were, unfortunately DOA, so I didn't catch the elusive bugger (only got a corpse to research), nor encounter any Ancient weapon effects. The fight thus turned out to be quite an anticlimax. I did, however equip soldiers with each of the Ancient weapons in a throwaway engagement earlier (after searching and finding that "editor.exe" probably actually was "xenonauts_gc_editor.exe"), and while the effects look nice, I didn't find any of them spectacular (but I'm not a graphics whore, and so not the best person for looking at that kind of thing). I didn't find any jarring sound discrepancy between the single and burst modes for any of the weapons (that have both).
  8. Gah, I still managed to look at the wrong weapon... Unless I've missed something, the Reaper is more odd than interesting. A somewhat short range rifle with a bust fire that only costs marginally more than a snap shot, but still is more accurate. I'd say it would make more sense without any single shot modes. 5 bursts from that weapon is going to be very dangerous: it can compete with the Devourer. When it comes to the Devourer, using Shock against its wielder hinges on the player having made all the connections required to determine that there's going to be one when outfitting the troops, and that determination basically requires meta gaming to acquire. I currently use a Rail SMG against Sebillians and an Electron Gun against Caesans (and Androns) on my shield bearers. Also note that reducing the number of bursts from two to one isn't much help unless you can eliminate the threat very quickly. Getting two bursts over two turns has the same effect as two bursts in the same turn, and you need to get close to inflict a Shock effect (and the command center tends to be full of reaction firing buggers as well, so getting close is hard). I suspect this weapon would be even worse to face in the field, because it could spray half the battlefield from out of visible range, suppressing half the fighting force while it is being overwhelmed by attacking creatures (in particular Xenomorph hordes). There's a reason I try to take out Drones as quickly as possible... Base attacks: Well, I'm going to have to do another of those, as my game has been "blessed" with a new UFO I have no chance to take down (unless I somehow get 150 Bombers of Lotus class or better: after several attempts I managed to damage it to 2% with a wing consisting of one Archelon and 2 Lotus bombers. A check in the XML confirmed it's a Silly dialed up to 11), and the craft has two Praetors onboard, so I hope one is the special one (and that I can actually win the fight). What's the purpose of the set of files posted? Guessing from what's written it might be a tweaked version of the weapons for testing?
  9. An attempt to assess the modified Ancient weapons: Defender (Praetor/Energy): - Almost unlimited ammo if troops get their hands on one. - Heavy. Odd for something that fires like a pistol. - Two handed. Odd for alien weapons, as well as for a "pistol". - A shield will block a full turn of firing, but not a second one. - High stun damage and strips most APs. - Middling accuracy. - Would be very nasty if the AI had the smarts to use the AP draining to neutralize many soldiers. Looks like a fully manageable threat, possibly on the easy side without AI support. Devourer (Praetor/Kinetic): - 20 burst in the hand of a soldier. - Heavy (as it should be. Might even be heavier). - Two handed. Unusual for alien weapons, but logical for a minigun. - Two bursts per turn minigun. - Twin bursts plus strong area suppression is probably lethal on attack, but the reaction modifier seems to indicate you won't open a door and get the team blasted to smithereens by twin bursts. However, given the wielder will have a force field, the next turn after attacking it will be very dangerous. Maybe too dangerous. Scenario: Open doors on bridge. Fire at enemies (and probably get some nasty reaction fire). Withdraw from the door to seek cover. Enemy walks in and fires one burst at point blank, probably killing one soldier and suppressing everyone else, blocking them from retaliating with any kind of effect. Praetors are less prone to that tactic than Androns, though. Destroyer (Andron/Chemical): - Almost unlimited ammo. - Heavy. - Rifle with pistol AP firing cost. 3 bursts. - Very nasty for a soldier without a shield, but a limited threat to one with a shield. - Not nice to encounter, but the danger is situational. Probably not that bad when breaching a control center, but much worse on a terror site. Horror (Andron/Energy): - Almost unimited ammo. - Heavy. - Two handed. - Rifle with a 6 bullet burst and a somewhat short range. I'd probably lower the accuracy slightly due to the large burst (55 or 60). - Odd with laser single shot sound and pulse minigun burst sound. I'd probably use the same "base" for both and not a minigun sound for a burst. - Both bursts at close range will kill a soldier regardless of whether a shield is used. Summary: The Devourer is really nasty, with the only saving grace being that it's not wielded by an Andron. The Destroyer is probably fairly balanced for a randomized Andron weapon, while the Horror is a bigger threat, especially when first reaction firing and then attacking. If wandering up to soldiers it's a case of "eliminate immediately: I don't care if no spoils are gained". The Defender is the most interesting of the bunch, but probably a bit too easy without an AI supporting it, in which case it would immediately turn into something very dangerous. It would probably be nastier in the hands of an Andron.
  10. My personal choice would be to label each version with a distinct number (either increasing the lowest number or add an additional one after that) and provide both the official version and the latest "beta" version on the main page, possibly tucked away toward the bottom. However, I also realize people will disregard the beta warning and then get upset because something doesn't work properly, but that will happen regardless. I'll take a look at the Ancient weapons, probably tomorrow.
  11. Updated Xenopedia. The two Sonic tech entries have been updated to both stress the common ammo clip system (which ought to have been given more attention), as well as the clip weight reduction for Advanced/Mk-2. For Mk-3 that info had to be put into the weapon descriptions (it could have been placed into the Caesan Data Hack ones instead). xenopedia.xml
  12. I'd probably go along the more extreme route of 3-2-1. It's not as if that's going to give players an insane advantage, as the best result would be to free up some weight for another grenade. I'll adjust the entries, of course.
  13. Yes, I think decreasing the ammo clip weight might be a better option as it puts further emphasis on the thing that differentiates the Sonic tech from others. I guess it depends on how you use the soldier inventory, though. Given that the things I'd mainly use cannons against are immune to overdamage due to the cannon just stripping a layer off, it wouldn't matter much. Basically, the cannon would take the place of a rocket launcher's armor piercing role in my case (but wielded by my heavy as a complement to the antimatter miniigun [my current A team heavy uses a Rail minigun for shield whittling currently]).
  14. OK, I've attached the latest Xenopedia file, adapted to the latest Sonic changes. Note that I've only compared ammo clip size and the cannon bursts, as the comparison was manual (in Sublime) rather than using a diff tool, so it there were some other changes I missed them. I didn't see any changes to the Mk-1 line, for instance (which is fine, given that they're advertised as being a worse starting version than normal). While I welcome the changes to provide a more reasonable clip size, I'm not completely sure that may be the best way to address the ammo issue. A selling point of the Sonic tech is that reloading is very fast, while the problem (as I see it) is that the ammo is so heavy you can't carry a reasonable supply of it. I also note that the cannon change provides a massive increase in its potential damage (I've never used cannons. Originally because I didn't want to destroy alien gear, and later because I haven't had sufficient time/resources to experiment much, but I'm considering trying it out, unless the RNG provides me with the end game key, as it looks like a good force field buster and shield bearer eliminator). xenopedia.xml
  15. Since I've never accepted a base to be lost, I have no first hand experience, and so has tried to interpret what's been said here. If that interpretation is incorrect it ought to be adjusted (except for the first base assault, I've never stationed anyone inside the command center, trying to keep the troops to protect the room surrounding it [and clear out one breach at a time], and fortunately wraiths have never teleported into the center).
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