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kabill

[v1.5/X:CE] Dynamic UFO Spawns (v1.0)

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Ah, Skitso, you might also want to consider increasing the chance of Terror and Base Attack missions. I reduced the chance of these missions spawning since I'd removed/reduced the cooldowns on them; if you're not using the reduced cooldowns in gameconfig.xml then the end result will be even few terror and base attack missions than in vanilla (which I'm sure you will agree is a bad thing!).

Yeah, I've pretty much always used some form of reduced cooldowns for those missions so no problems there. I'm still tinkering around to get the balance perfect for my linking, but it's getting there.

Hmm, didn't think about this 'til now but even if you're only using the AM_ files you will need to include/mod your own ufocontents files so that UFOs have crew lists for missions they wouldn't normally do in vanilla (otherwise you'll have empty UFOs!).

I actually started to modify your ufo content files too (got MS office finally! ;)) to better match my preferences. I'm adding more drones here and there and also, as a fun new idea, I'm adding significant number of non-coms in later ufos to add some easy cannon fodder. The vanilla game often fails to give any satisfactory sense of progression as the enemies level up more or less the same pace with Xenonauts. Now, it's going to be fun to mow down dozen or so non-coms in a carrier map! :P

Edited by Skitso

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I actually started to modify your ufo content files too (got MS office finally! ;)) to better match my preferences. I'm adding more drones here and there and also, as a fun new idea, I'm adding significant number of non-coms in later ufos to add some easy cannon fodder. The vanilla game often fails to give any satisfactory sense of progression as the enemies level up more or less the same pace with Xenonauts. Now, it's going to be fun to mow down dozen or so non-coms in a carrier map! :P

This is something I actually wanted to do but shied away from in the end to avoid disrupting the game balance/difficulty too much. Also, I suspect it will work a lot better now with llunak's AI turn optimisations since large UFO missions used to be pretty painful. Might go back to it if/when I get round to building my super-mod though.

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Yes, I'm maintaining mods on both Steam and here. There's a few small changes to a few mods I need to do actually; might have to have a look at getting them sorted later.

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Hey kabill, I'm still balancing the game around this, and as I know your modding is always highly analytic and carefully thought, I have one more question about this: you've doubled the alien event probabilities AND alien event relation penalty. I'd love to hear your thought on these as it seems you've quadrupled the relation damage in this mod, am I correct? :)

EDIT: No, sorry. You've halved the event chance and doubled the effect. Why is that?

Edited by Skitso

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Hey kabill, I'm still balancing the game around this, and as I know your modding is always highly analytic and carefully thought, I have one more question about this: you've doubled the alien event probabilities AND alien event relation penalty. I'd love to hear your thought on these as it seems you've quadrupled the relation damage in this mod, am I correct? :)

EDIT: No, sorry. You've halved the event chance and doubled the effect. Why is that?

The values I've set are actually how the vanilla game used to be a while back. I reverted to those values basically because I don't like being message-spammed on the geoscape. But, in theory anyway, the actual gameplay effect should be minimal or non-existent.

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Ok, thanks. I've now played about 70 game days with this mod (without growing bases and slightly altered ufo contents and missions) and the sense of variety and unpredictability is greatly improved compared to the vanilla game.

I'd say this is one of the mandatory mods for this game. (Along with your improved crash sites!)

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I've possibly found the issue with Praetors not acting correctly during missions - they were being set to a special 'final boss' behaviour which I assume is why they weren't doing anything.

I've therefore implemented a change for XCE which should restrict this to only the Commander rank (i.e. the actual boss alien on the final mission). If it works, Praetors should act as normal during other missions so it will be possible to keep them in Terror and Base Attack missions in this mod. At least for XCE users. Might need to think about having a separate branch maybe for non-XCE users (didn't particularly want to do this, but I suspect it's going to get to the point sometime when refinements are only going to work in conjunction with XCE so it may be unavoidable).

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kabill.. i want to say that, if something will open our ways for modders, you should do it.. CE is not hard to get.. there are many games which uses branchs for special mods..

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I'm reluctant partly due to the effort of having to maintain multiple mods (although that shouldn't be much of a problem actually) and partly because it avoids confusion if there's just one version of any given mod. I'll probably still do it but I'd been hoping that it wouldn't be necessary.

Also, can anyone reading this indicate how Praetors usually behave in an alien base? I've just been fighting one after implementing my potential fix for their passivity and it seems to be working but I've never actually fought a Praetor in an alien base so I don't know whether they're usually ok in that environment. Basically, I want to know whether they actively move around and shoot things or whether they just stand in the same place.

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I don't think I've ever seen a Praetor move (which indeed matches the game code/data). On the other hand, they probably shouldn't, being these I'm-all-above-everything attitude beings. I think you should keep that to your mod somehow (or maybe they should do that just in terror sites, and even there they preferably shouldn't move just like a normal alien soldier).

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I always thought a good archetype for the Praetors was Darth Vader. Darth Vader never runs anywhere. With an imperious guesture he flourishes his hand and peons crumple before him. Perhaps model Praetor movement on the Imperial March?

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Easy enough to make it a toggle. A more complex solution probably isn't worth it since in the base game Praetors are restricted to command rooms anyway so don't really need to move about. In any case, thanks for confirming their (non-)movement patterns.

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I think a technically better solution might be adding another AI script (a'la Offensive, Passive, etc.) rather than a toggle. Or maybe just change the special Praetor handling so that it applies only to the final mission, and so on other missions they can be Commander for bases, and e.g. Aggressive for terrors (plus behaviour tweaks in aiprops.xml , etc.)

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Or maybe just change the special Praetor handling so that it applies only to the final mission

That's what I'd done as my test - I just added a check to see if the unit was specifically a Praetor Commander (i.e. the rank of the boss alien on the final mission) rather than just a Praetor.

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Is there a way to check if this mod is working in my game?

I am playing my first game, currently end of first month on Insane. So far I have seen alien craft appearance in 3 waves as Light Scouts -> Scouts ->Corvettes.

Reason for doubting is that I am seeing a direct linear progression of UFO size and difficulty, while from what I understand about this mod, with randomization there should be a very low chance of such progressions happening.

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This mod has now been re-uploaded to the forums and can be found through the Downloads tab

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