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New Alien Biology/weaponry


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#1 Emperor Clobbersaurus

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 08:06 AM

A few interesting ideas have come to mind in this regard. They are the following:

#1: Xenomatter. Inspired by Sid Meyer's Alpha Centauri Xenofungus and Starcraft Creep, Xenomatter acts as a living carpet of sentient alien biomatter, possessed of a primitive intelligence and sensory capabilities which enables it to detect nearby humans via their psionic emissions and body heat. The Xenomatter will rapidly propagate in the direction of any X-Com operative it detects. Any agent finding himself within the matter will find his movement severely restricted by a powerful natural adhesive matter, while equally potent digestive enzymes are discharged by the biomatrix; (think entropy cannon) organic chemicals able to easily penetrate and "digest" all armour and flesh. As I am currently posting this in school, and have run out of computer time more details/info/ideas will follow afterschool.

#2 mikker

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 08:26 AM

:wacko: .....can i have that again in english, please?

:D

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#3 c4t

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 09:02 AM

hehe, im in ms sotos computer clas :D , it sounds really coold
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#4 GreatGold

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 09:05 AM

Hey -

Definately a interesting idea. Who knows, maybe we'll eventually add new species...

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#5 Emperor Clobbersaurus

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 10:34 AM

Xenomatter cont...

Xenomatter spreads much like flames do in terms of game mechanics, though their rate and speed of growth is far greater, directed, and it does not dissipate unless destroyed by gunfire, explosives, plasma, etc... It tends to spread and reproduce faster over vegetation and other organics. Due to it's unspecialized composition (it does not have specific organs) armour piercing and laser based attacks do dramatically reduced damage (10 percent of base). Because of the absence of a centralized brain, psionic attacks are completely ineffectual. Explosive type weaponry has a relatively elevated effectiveness, able to efficently tear through it's tough surface (110 percent of base). Xenomatter appears to have flourished in hot temperatures, and as such possesses high resistances to incendiary and plasma based ammunition (50 percent of base). Xenomatter is also a spawning ground for several primitive but dangerous lifeforms listed below:

Sporeals:

The most basic lifeform generated by Xenomatter, emitted by small boils growing upon it's surface, Sporeals resemble small pulsating, floating orbs that use a ballast of highly toxic gases to remain afloat. Sporeals seek out, much like the Xenomatter, human beings, possessing similar sensory capabilities. Upon coming in close proximity to an agent, Sporeals will detonate, spreading Xenomatter over a wide area, with a complement of it's deadly ballast which conversely to the danger it poses to X-Com soldiers, act as nutrients for the new Xenomatter formation, allowing the affected matter to grow at approximately double it's regular rate.

Xenosite:

Parasites similarily emitted from Xenomatter boils, Xenosites have but one goal: Grafting onto and infesting human subjects. Again they possess the same heat and mental sensory abilities of most other Xenoforms. Xenosites travel quickly by means of leaps and bounds, and they must be adjacent to an agent in order to perform an infestation. Upon entering melee range, the Xenosite will burrow itself at a high velocity into the skin of it's victim, whereas it releases highly effective and efficent retroviruses that quickly transmutate the afflicted into a thing of ineffable horror. The cells of these transmuted unfortunates then begins to produce Xenomatter and Xenosites at a hyper-cancerous rate, eventually bursting into a new Xenomatter bloom within a few turns or upon death, littering the immediate vincinity with more Xenosites. In the meanwhile, these infested operatives will attempt to seek out formerly friendly units, launching armour piercing spines at those encountered, which in turn, contain a deadly Xenosite cargo, repeating this malicious birth cycle. Because the Chryssalid utilizes very similar retroviral agents, scientists have hypothesized a strong genetic relationship between it and the Xenomatter... (more to come on that)

#2: Xenomatter weaponry: Xenomatter Launchers (much like the brainsucker launchers in X-Com Apocalypse), and Xenomatter Grenades, both unusable by X-Com operatives, despite research.

#3: Detailed Chryssalid origins/profile. Coming soon... (I'm out of time again, sadly enough, on lunch at the moment).

#6 j'ordos

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 03:18 AM

That sounds pretty cool (and also pretty dangerous for your troops;)
Perhaps it could be implemented as a new alien mission type: Xenomatter Infestation or something like that. And if you let them complete that mission, very soon there will be a Xenomatter Infested Site on the GeoScape, which will spread out quite fast if left unattended, so your best bet is to take it out ASAP. Or it could be spread during a terror mission, so besides just aliens there's also this goo, or would it be the terror weapon of a new race?
And think of the new stuff that could be researched, like some sort of suit that provides little armor but lessens the chance Xenomatter will detect you (once detected you'd be dead much quicker though). Or, (why not) the Toxigun ^_^ , although you'd have to capture live specimen to be able to research that, which could prove quite problematic :devillaugh:
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#7 Deimos

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:49 PM

The only minor problem I see with that is in that it's very similar to what UFO:Aftermath are planning in their game. We don't want to be accused of copying their ideas :)

#8 Fred the Goat

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 12:28 AM

Huh...don't see anything like it on their site...but I didn't go into the forums, I just peeked around.

MY main objection would simply be that it strays too far from the original. Not in flava. Just in gameplay. I dunno. Sounds cool, though.

Ok, here's a question that may not be appropriate here, but what the heck. Aftermath is mixing up a pretty wicked batch of eye candy. Personally, I hope we're not planning on matching that, because I don't think we'd have it out by 2004, or 3004 for that matter. But then I'm A) a noob B) not a programmer, and C) a yellowbellied pansy with no grand vision or great motivational force. So I ask you: What, exactly, is the scale we're working for?

#9 warhamster

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:01 PM

hmmm... kewl. the alien version of the blob. how about getting a symbiotic alien that carries xenomatter in it's organ and injects it into a prey like venom.

the matter then digests the the victim from within eventually consuming the skin and coming out as fully independent 'matter. what a way to die, eh?
:puke:

#10 j'ordos

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 04:36 PM

Sounds pretty much like a Chryssalid to me :huh?:
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#11 warhamster

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 04:53 PM

well, then, I guess we have our non-copyright infringing version of the Chrysalid, right? :Blush:

#12 Emperor Clobbersaurus

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 10:55 PM

Yes I agree. Anything aside from battlescape localized Xenomatter would be far too similar. Aside from this, Xenomatter in itself, is not to act as an integral part of the storyline, acting mainly as a complimentary aspect of the whole. A new mission type may be possible, but a geoscape manifestation is out of the question. This was primarily intended to act as a powerful, original new offensive weapon for solely the aliens in order to help counterbalance the gargantuan surge of new features, technologies and abilities proposed for X-Com troops.

In regard to the promised information on the Chryssalid:

Following intensive examination and research into the genetic composition of the Xenocites and Chryssalids, we have come to validate a hypothesis popular amongst our scientists concerning the possibility of a close relationship between the two alien beings. It appears that they are, in reality, horrific macroviruses; contagions that far exceed the normal size parameters of terrestrial manifestations, while the similarity of their lifecycles bears little discrepancy in following all four stages of viral proliferation and the lytic cycle; attachment and injection of viral genetic information, DNA synthesis, assembly of viral copies utilizing the body's altered biological mechanisms and their eventual release/emergence. The DNA sequencing between the two lifeforms has proven so similar that the Chryssalid itself is almost certainly the product of intense, prolongued genome manipulations performed on the basic Xenocite, resulting in a being specifically designed for sowing terror and discord amongst human populations. The origin of the birthing Xenomatter itself remains unknown however, though we have deduced it is certainly an organism native to an alien world...

#13 mikker

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 10:00 AM

Xenomatter could, perhaps, be the thing that a cryssaloid injects?

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#14 Emperor Clobbersaurus

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 12:52 PM

No. The Chryssalid acts like a viral pathogen; it injects it's own genetic code, which synthesizes with our own genes, causing our own cells to transmutate and produce Chyrssalid ones at an alarming rate. The fact that Chryssalids are in actuality, macroviruses explains their ability to grow so quickly; the rate of cellular division and propagation was genetically designed to be explosive, and the rate of DNA modification even faster.

#15 hippyjon

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 08:09 PM

v cool idea. i think the fact its so different from the other enemies in xcom is a bonus.
itd need some kind of central hub which youd have to destroy to kill the whole erm organism otherwise youd be there all day picking away at it
...or something

#16 Emperor Clobbersaurus

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 11:38 PM

Explosives such as the Blaster Launcher and Alien Grenades will prove very effective in decimating scores of Xenomatter, and should be considered it's counter, or perhaps the development of toxic weaponry, ala X-Com Apocalypse, could be used to thwart it.

#17 Vindicator

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 12:02 PM

Which would be more effective against the xenomatter, would it be exposive ammo or incinerary ammo? I would lean more towards the incinderary because it's made to burn things, whereas explosive are just made to blow things up...Just a thought if this is actually put into the game. Great idea too! And yeah, my counter to crysylids was to fly at least two squares high so they couldn't get in melee range

#18 Emperor Clobbersaurus

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 01:42 PM

If you read my first post concerning the matter you will see that Xenomatter has a built in resistance to incendiary weaponry. This is because Xenomatter originated from an environment with harsh thermal conditions, although that's subject to change because I'd love to burninate this stuff in the game :devilburn: . In regards to explosive ammunition, Xenomatter possesses a slight weakness to it (takes 110 percent damage) as it's molecular composition is relatively easy to destroy with violent blasts.

Finally I believe Chryssalids should be able to leap extremely high in Xenocide, much like the Brainsuckers from X-Com Apocalypse, so that flying armour doesn't completely negate the effectiveness of this race in the late game. One cannot help but feel sorry for the critters as they uselessly brandish their pincers in your general direction. Besides, we sorely need more suggestions to better the alien forces in order to temper the overwhelming amounts of ideas geared to assist X-Com.

#19 Vindicator

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 04:00 PM

Hmm...I guess I should have read all the relative posts before I replied, I did however read all of them last week, hurray!
oooo, yes! Make them just very high! No sarcasm either :D

I believe that the crysylids (I think I spell it differently each time) are the most athletic of the aliens, as they have MASSIVE TU's and all, and I believe a lot of stamina as well (I haven't played UFO Defence in a long time, much less MC'd one of them in an even longer time :huh?: )

But anyhoo, I completely feel that they should jump to avoid certain cases as of those. Also, I think everything (except for non-organics and non-bipeds/quadrapeds) should be able to jump...just a different hieght or distance...

#20 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 05:21 PM

I'm really diggin' on this Xenomatter idea. Also the whole "Macro-virus" idea about the Chrysalid is really cool. To be honest, I think it out-does Microprose' slightly lame egg deal. Maybe the genetic code, when injected directly from a Chrysalid, also contains some kind of neurotoxin that makes the victim completely insane (Running around, shooting at things that aren't there, shooting at other soldiers, civvies... You know...) for a few turns before exploding to reveal a bran-spankin'-new Chrysalid. Also, maybe you might have to research some kind of chemical to counter-act the corrosive properties of Xenomatter before actually being able to deal with it in an effective manner. It might still keep it's adhesive properties... Game balancing, you know... Reduces it from "Immediate threat" to "severe annoyance" rather than removing it completely from the game. Also, maybe Chrysalids could have some sort of stealth property to them. Hard to detect at night, that sort of thing. Maybe they could have some kind of burrowing capability that would reduce their speed slightly but make them VERY hard to detect unless you're using portable sonar equipment or something along those lines. I don't know... Just thought I'd join in on this little think-fest.
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#21 sir_schwick

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 05:42 PM

I always got the feeling the aliens ran a very clean, goo free ship. They seemed to rely almost completely on technology for their advantage, including genetic engineering to create super soldiers. Xenomatter kinda gunks up all that polished metal in the bases and ships. Also, the <Ethereals> made sure they could psionically control all the species.

Here was how I imagined Chryssalid infection working in UFO DEFENCE. First they inject thousands of mini-eggs along with the neuro-toxin that puts the creature at crazy state. The eggs then rapidly eat out the internal portion of the target and start joining up. Within thirty seconds the eggs start joining together and probably a minute after infection it forms its exoskeleton from the skin that is eaten. If you shot up an infected host, the Chrysallid should have come out a little weaker and smaller. Of course new eggs would have been gestating while it was growing.

#22 Durandal

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 02:18 AM

Replace Xenomatter with Tiberium (from Command and Conquer) in your post and you almost have the manual entry on Tiberium from Command and Conquer. Still, it's a good idea. I disagree about incendiary weapons though. There has to be something to keep us using human weapons late in the game. Besides, napalm burns pretty hot :flamethrower:

#23 Adun_Toridas

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 07:47 AM

Ok, great specie but.... how do we kill them...., because, you know. No enemy has to be invincible...

#24 sir_schwick

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:54 AM

I still think this is a bit too APOCALYPSE-ish, where all the enemies were organic. It seemed the aliens were very much liked humans and relied on technology to give them an edge. Clean spaceships......

#25 Metalfrenchtoast

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 12:10 PM

Good point, schwick, but you know... Why not change the feel of the aliens a bit? I think it would be a good idea to excercise every last bit of creativity we can in this project. I mean... Come on! This is quite an amazing persuit of personal artistic freedom, here.
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#26 AlienInBlack

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 12:45 PM

While the aliens may like a clean ship.... what happens when they start losing later on in the game?

What I mean by this is even though aliens might like technology, and despite the ooze not having the whole clean feel, it doesn't seem like they would give up on such a powerful tool, especially towards the end of the game.

You don't have to like the ooze that might turn the war around.

Another option for this might be to to rewrite it a bit. It seems to me that xenomatter might even just be nanotechnology, and not necessarily organic. It still allows for that clean feel, and gives us this neat monster to play around with in our game. There really isn't all that much of a difference between certain types of biology and and nanotechnology, when you really get down to it.

Call it... Xenomercury, or something along those lines.

PS
Also really like the macrovirus thingy.

#27 Adun_Toridas

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 01:11 PM

Eh... what about the reaction to psi... to make them powerful (as mutons) but also psi weaklings...

#28 sir_schwick

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 06:00 PM

Nanofungus:

Nanofungus is the ultimate product of cyborg and miniaturization research by the aliens. These creatures propogate very quickly, form the nano-machines internally, and combine synapses to form a partially sentient interface.

They usually cover surfaces and adhere to them. Then the nanofungus can convert those surfaces into a variety of nasty substances. Some of them are extremely adhesive colloids. Others are highly corrossive or toxic gas. The beauty of nanofungus is how quickly it can propogate and then collapse back into a transportable form.

Area of affect weapons usually disrupt the network, although incendiary weapons are useless. Psionic attacks can be very effective, esepecially if the controller is dead.

X-CORP does not have the technology necessary to reproduce nanofungus, however the psionic control mechanisms are simple enough for experienced psi-troopers to manipulate. This means captured nanofungus capsules can be converted for X-COM use.

Nanofungus most often finds use in base defence, although prolonged operations where egress is not a desirable option is another common use. Usually nanofungus is not left to self propogate in an area without a controller.

#29 Maxwell Armada

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 06:15 PM

The Aliens certainly have a countermeasure to their own Xenomatter, or whatever it was called. They wouldn't let it loose on earth knowing how powerful it is, when they still might want to Colonate or use its resources. The xenomatter has a mind of its own!

They probably engineered the original xenomatter they found to have some failsafe in case they won the war, but needed to kill off the xenomatter. After raiding a certain base you may be able to get this technology/counter virus and greatly increase your chances against this radical new threat.

It may simply stop the xenomatter from reproducing for a few turns, lower its resistance to incendiary dramatically, or simply blow most of the xenomatter away.

Obviously, the idea needs tweaking. But I think it would be realistic to add because the aliens are -somewhat- intelligent :)

#30 Brick-To-Face

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:23 AM

The Aliens certainly have a countermeasure to their own Xenomatter, or whatever it was called.  They wouldn't let it loose on earth knowing how powerful it is, when they still might want to Colonate or use its resources.  The xenomatter has a mind of its own!

They probably engineered the original xenomatter they found to have some failsafe in case they won the war, but needed to kill off the xenomatter.  After raiding a certain base you may be able to get this technology/counter virus and greatly increase your chances against this radical new threat.

It may simply stop the xenomatter from reproducing for a few turns, lower its resistance to incendiary dramatically, or simply blow most of the xenomatter away.

Obviously, the idea needs tweaking.  But I think it would be realistic to add because the aliens are -somewhat- intelligent :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Definately. At first I had the impression that this would die to incendiary, but I guess not. So I like this Idea, a grenade that set the stuff on xenofire would be a good idea, though the fire would go out eventually, just like regular fire.

#31 Preda

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:43 AM

Xenomatter = Biomass (UFO Aftermath/Aftershock)

Do we want to go THAT far away from the original?

#32 Snakeman

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:08 AM

Maybe it could be a simpler matter of making the blood of some of the aliens toxic. Er uh, not to steal from Aliens or anything :)

But I was thinking that their blood/venom/whatever could be harmful initially before becoming inert after some amount of turns. That way you can still have risk of suffering from the contagion without the contagion its self going crazy on its own to where you'd need to research a cure or something.

Edited by Snakeman, 02 January 2006 - 04:09 AM.


#33 sir_schwick

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:33 AM

Obviously the only way the Aliens could really hope to control Xenomass would be to make it self-terminating. That means it will survive a few days(longer than the average battle), but would require frequent reseeding and such.

#34 Snakeman

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:51 PM

Actually, you know, that does make sense. I mean look at the life cycle of the Chrizzies. I don't think they live for very long in that final grasshopper form. Which is probably why they have a mean disposition, sharp fangs, crab pincers for hands, and that insatiable and oft scary need to breed before they croak.

Incidentally, I've wondered whatever kept the aliens safe from retaliation by their own terror weapon in the first place. Perhaps they're mind controlling it or through genetic experimentation from them abducting us so long kept their taste for humans at the top.

#35 T-1

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 09:53 AM

Replace Xenomatter with Tiberium (from Command and Conquer) in your post and you almost have the manual entry on Tiberium from Command and Conquer.  Still, it's a good idea.  I disagree about incendiary weapons though.  There has to be something to keep us using human weapons late in the game.  Besides, napalm burns pretty hot :flamethrower:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not really, it's a lot more similar to Zerg Creep and Xenowhatever from Alpha Centauri. Tiberium is this crystal plant-like thing that was sent in a meteorite by the Scrin to terraform the planet for their usage. It is designed to harvest valuable minerals from the ground so that humans don't instantly try to remove it, but rather they cultivate and try to make it spread because it is a way of making mining for metals (both precious metals like gold and those useful for engineering purposes) many times cheaper. Therefore, by the time enough people realized it's true purpose in the Tiberian Sun, the world was filled with the stuff. Oceans were basically clogged up by Tiberium growth, preventing usage of ships. People constantly exposed to the mutagenic and toxic effects began to mutate, and grow Tiberium crystals in their skin. Strange animals affected by the crystals began to appear, violent and aggressive. People unused to Tiberium and had grown up away from it, when exposed to large amounts of Tiberium, rather than mutating, they died horrible deaths.

#36 Sectopod

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:18 PM

Personally I think something like this is a good idea. It's like a terraforming tool. Different alien types from different movies and games use the same thing, in War of the Worlds, they had the Red Weed, in UFO: AS and AM they had the Reticulan Biomass, in C&C they had Tiberium (sent by Scrin), etc.

I don't think that "Xenomatter" should appear directly on the world just like that, I think that it should take time in the way it spreads, or due to some conditions. Like a country turning over the aliens could start it off (and be visible to the Geoscape). Countries could allow Xenomatter to grow off into other countries to try and turn them. Or, that might be a little too over the top. Another suggestion (and more logical) is that when the aliens place a base underground, overtime Xenomatter will begin to grow and consume from that point. You will lose a lot of points from the country on what it's growing on as X-Com isn't solving a way to get rid of the Xenomatter, the Alien Base, and the dozens of UFO's that will buzz by. Eventually when the Xenomatter reaches a populated area (assuming you haven't lost the country by now), they will cut off with X-Com and surrender to the aliens. Whatever happens to the Xenomatter now is beyond me..

Edited by Chmmr, 04 January 2006 - 12:20 PM.