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Aliens:250 Blog, Reports, And Discussion


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#1 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 12:56 AM

Aliens:250 is, really, a new game. It uses Apocutil to set the number of aliens in any given mission to 250% of what the game would otherwise use. Basically, it changes the hum-drum counter-insurgency into a pretty desperate campaign.

In this thread, I'd like to encourage people to report what's happening in the Aliens:250 games (or Aliens:###), and discuss how we handle the new challenges.

If you're thinking about trying it out, and you already feel confident in the game, I'd say go for it. The program takes about 10 seconds to use, and you only need to use it once to achieve 250% aliens from then on. You can look forward to the following things:

1. Tons of aliens in ground missions. Waves of arthropods and skeletoids will burst out of UFO doors and seriously rush your agents. They're heavily armed, and if you're playing superhuman, aggressive. In one mission, I counted 17 arthropods, 9 skeletoids, plus a horde of worms and brainsuckers, and a few spitters.

2. UFO drops are like plagues. If a single ship manages a drop, you'll be doing cleanup for the rest of the week. Glen and I have both seen that one drop, even if you clean it up, will spread to 7 or 8 buildings. The number may be higher: in my current game, one drop infected at least 11 buildings. Numbers in each building are quite large, sometimes just outrageous.

3. If you decide to play with regular amounts of ammo, you are going to run out fast. This will make the game very hard. You're going to have to be careful, smart, and a darned good manager. On the one hand, you're just going to HAVE to let loose with everything you have to beat back massive alien assaults. On the other hand, you'd better know when to hold back, or you'll be spitting at the aliens by the end of the week.

4. You're going to lose more agents than you're used to. The aliens are very numerous, meaning you're exposed to more enemy fire. When the entropy starts flying, you're going to PRAY for the end of the week to come.

5. With an easy 10 missions per day if you let the aliens make drops, your game days will feel like weeks. Weeks will feel like months. You will sit on the edge of your seat as you run the time down, praying, just praying you can get to the next week, so you can get more ammo.

6. You're going to need to make the most out of every type of weapon and ammo you can get. Do you neglect the mini-launcher, or the sniper rifle? You better learn to use 'em, and fast.

7. Your hospital will be busy. Very busy.

8. You will have FUN.

Edited by Aiki-Knight, 10 July 2007 - 12:59 AM.


#2 Nepereta

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 05:23 AM

how do I find apoc util? I tried looking but failed. I can beat superhuman pretty easily. I like the concept of mass leakage of the aliens. However I feel that ammo restrictions in the early game is too unplausible. If we where playing fallout or a post apocalyptic game I'd sympathise we are supposedly in a hi-tech consumer driven city. Supply shouldn't be a problem imo. So i'll also edit the market so I can buy more things.

#3 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:24 AM

how do I find apoc util? I tried looking but failed. I can beat superhuman pretty easily. I like the concept of mass leakage of the aliens. However I feel that ammo restrictions in the early game is too unplausible. If we where playing fallout or a post apocalyptic game I'd sympathise we are supposedly in a hi-tech consumer driven city. Supply shouldn't be a problem imo. So i'll also edit the market so I can buy more things.


I got it here:

http://members.aol.c...jones/xcomutil/

I see no problem with editing ammo. Actually, Apocutil has an "items" command that allows you to have the game make more ammo available, so it's no problem.

#4 NKF

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 06:24 AM

I'm sorely tempted, but I should relearn the game a bit before jumping head first. However I'm wondering, what are base defences like?

If normal missions are as hectic as you've described, then base defence in a base full of non-coms will be a bit of a slaughter. Never mind the defence guns being overpowered and using up 6 slots! The limited number of combat troops you'll have gives me the impression that a 250% alien game will almost demand that you must decentralise your operations in the event of a base attack.

But it would bring out a whole new way of thinking on how to manage your bases.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 11 July 2007 - 06:26 AM.

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#5 Steelion

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:51 AM

How does apocutil work? I double click on the exe, and it opens and shuts a window real fast.
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#6 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:17 PM

I'm sorely tempted, but I should relearn the game a bit before jumping head first. However I'm wondering, what are base defences like?

If normal missions are as hectic as you've described, then base defence in a base full of non-coms will be a bit of a slaughter. Never mind the defence guns being overpowered and using up 6 slots! The limited number of combat troops you'll have gives me the impression that a 250% alien game will almost demand that you must decentralise your operations in the event of a base attack.

But it would bring out a whole new way of thinking on how to manage your bases.

- NKF


Am I reading this right? Did the Great NKF claim a need to "re-learn the game"??? Good Lord, NKF, you wrote the BOOK on the game!

I haven't endured a base raid, but if the AI does what it does in my super-long game, I'm not looking forward to it!

I always decentralise my operations, as I never trust the aliens not to be tough. But for what it's worth, I think you could right jump right in. Granted, it's Week 4, I have no spare ammo and have started deploying pistol ammo instead, I can barely keep a 12-man team together out of 40+ agents, I have over 6,000 points for the week, and it's only Saturday morning. Did I mention that Diablo went under to the aliens, and three more are in the 30s and 40% range, with 7 more on the graph, and who knows how many more infiltrated to some extent? I'm going to guess it's going to require 15 missions to get through the next two days of game-time, at the very least.

The jury's out on whether I'll make it re-supply time.

#7 NKF

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 01:50 PM

I relearn the X-Com games all the time. That's why I'm still around and am able to give frequently give out advice . :D

Steelion: Apocutil is a command line utility. You'll need to run it through Start > Run... with all the necessary parameters, or run it through the command console.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 11 July 2007 - 01:56 PM.

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#8 Nepereta

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:06 PM

I got it here:

http://members.aol.c...jones/xcomutil/

I see no problem with editing ammo. Actually, Apocutil has an "items" command that allows you to have the game make more ammo available, so it's no problem.


Thanks I just started with this :


APOCUTIL ITEMS:1000 ALIENS:250 WRITE

no more ammo starvation! I will finally be doing some marsec machine gunning with extreme prejudice! More power swords on market in day 1 than owned by my troops in normal games by week 7.

NB vehicle ammo remains as is but those things have infinte lasers when all else runs out.

#9 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:10 PM

Me and Lion would probably both apreciate a changed file that has inside the changes needed to play this "Mod" ^^'...
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#10 Steelion

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 03:20 PM

OH WOULD I?!

I could probably set it up myself. Thanks NKF.

EDIT- I stand corrected.

Edited by Steelion, 11 July 2007 - 03:22 PM.

What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#11 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 05:50 AM

Is it also possible to change the number of UFOs that spawn and go through the gates?
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

FMIX-The General Stores

#12 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:54 PM

Is it also possible to change the number of UFOs that spawn and go through the gates?


The program, as far as I know, only claims to increase the numbers of aliens in ground missions; however, in week four, some 12 or so alien ships came through the gates, maybe more. It was every couple of days that 4 or 5 ships would come through and all "heck" would have to break loose. The program also has other functions, including altering the amount of damage done. I think you can increase or decrease how deadly the enemy's ammo is, although I'm not sure why you'd want to do so. When the aliens break out the devastators, you're already at serious risk of single-shot kills until your agents improve substantially and/or get much better armor.

I think the Aliens:250 game gets really, really hard if you don't increase the available items, don't use stun raids (which detracts from the intended dificulty of the game), and don't edit troops. I am indeed surviving, but it's tenuous, to be honest. The aliens broke out the entropy missiles in the middle of week 4 and it's made things SO much more complicated. It's very hard indeed to expand my troop base much, which I am doing, as I've got about 25 out of 44 troops in hospital.

#13 Steelion

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 09:47 AM

You've still got 19 left. How many do you send on a mission? And how many get hurt each time?
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#14 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:57 AM

You've still got 19 left. How many do you send on a mission? And how many get hurt each time?


I'm trying to keep 2 teams of 12 operational. With injuries almost every time, and 5 deaths so far, I figured it's a wise idea to have at least a second operational team at the ready. The infiltrations spread so rapidly that I need the extra help while agents are convalescing.

#15 Steelion

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:24 AM

So, any chance of a save game anytime soon? :sorry:
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
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--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
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I'm not dead! Really!

#16 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 04:50 PM

Guyyyysss My and Steel need an edited save :(
Id do it for you guys, like DAYUMS
We just need them for templates.
New game/save/edit/upload/download.
Simple process, few steps, sounds rather simple and quick.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#17 NKF

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 05:33 PM

Let's approach it from the other way. It might prove to be simpler and quicker. ;)

Why can't you get the program to run? Does it just conk out with an error or somesuch? Or are the changes just not happening?

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 14 July 2007 - 05:37 PM.

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#18 Steelion

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 05:55 PM

well, I'm still confused as to how to run it. I get the start->run bit but then what?
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#19 NKF

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 07:09 PM

Perhaps we should do it through the command line. It is a command line utility, after all!

Open up your command prompt. If you don't have an icon for this in your start bar, you can do it through start>run. In Windows 95/98, type in command. In Windows XP or NT, type in cmd then run it.

You should be presented with a black screen and a flashing cursor next to a prompt that displays your current drive and directory structure. This will vary, but looks like C:\_.

At this point we need to know where your savegames are stored. For example, let's say my copy is in c:\games\apoc\

If your game is stored in a different drive than c:, switch to it by typing in the name of the drive (i.e. d:, e:, f:, etc.) and hit enter.

I nomally type cd\ at this point to escape whatever directory windows threw you into when you opened up the command console. If you're in the root directory (i.e. you see a C:\_ ), then you're fine. From here, type

cd games\apoc

Of course, enter the directory structure that your game is using. If you've got spaces in between the directory names, surround it with quotation marks. For example, if my game was stored in games\the xcom games\apocalypse, I'd have to type cd "games\the xcom games\apocalypse" instead.

If all goes well, your command prompt should now look like:

C:\games\apoc_

CD means Change Directory. That's how we used to navigate to and out of the various folders in ye olde days, and still do when using the command console. If you want to check out what's in your directory, type DIR - of course it may scroll by too quickly if you've got lots of files. There are various parameters you can throw in to display the files easier or even pause the screen. But that's just for general info, not part of this explanation.

Now that you are in the game directory, assuming you unzipped apocutil into this directory, just type in: apocutil and hit enter. It'll list all the parameters you need to enter to get it to work. Using the example listed earlier in this thread, all you need to type in from here is:

apocutil aliens:250 write

Or if you wanted to increase the item count too:

apocutil items:1000 aliens:250 write

If all goes well, the changes should be made. To escape from the dos console window, type exit and you're all set to go.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 14 July 2007 - 07:14 PM.

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#20 Steelion

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 07:44 PM

NKF? You are pure awesome. Thanks a million.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#21 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 03:08 AM

Nkf, Like Ive said, it just crashes, no error message.

Im a person who is very used to running Dos programs in XP
My computer doesnt agree with Dosbox.

I have no idea why it crashes, but simply uploading a file would clear up any need for me to run Apocutil.
I would much rather have the end product than than the tools, since I only need one.

Edit: Well exactly what file does this program edit for these results? is it simply a save or is it an ini?

Edited by NRN_R_Sumo1, 15 July 2007 - 03:11 AM.

Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#22 NKF

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 04:43 AM

It edits the executables, I believe, since the command parameters don't indicate any particular savegame to modify.

I'm running XP as well, and have no trouble with old command line programs. But then again XP systems can be strange. My current setup refuses to acknowledge LAN connections when everything is set up right, whereas my laptop and older PC (Win 95 to boot!) network just fine. I hate these inconsistencies.

You mentioned dosbox - you aren't trying to run it under doxbox are you?

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 15 July 2007 - 04:44 AM.

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#23 Steelion

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:08 PM

It's weird seeing so much ammunition. Too much! No storage!

Bleh.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#24 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 06:06 PM

No Im not trying to run it under dosbox, Ive tried a couple times, but it doesnt work anyways >>..
this makes me grumpy not being able to get the 250% aliens D:..
Quite upsetting it is.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#25 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 11:22 PM

No Im not trying to run it under dosbox, Ive tried a couple times, but it doesnt work anyways >>..
this makes me grumpy not being able to get the 250% aliens D:..
Quite upsetting it is.


Would it be possible to copy the relevant executables and let them copy them into their own games?

#26 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 06:54 PM

Yes, and Legal also Im fairly sure.

You cant run an Exe without the appropriate files :)
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#27 glen_es

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:08 PM

Guyyyysss My and Steel need an edited save :(


Done - see the save game forum. Saved a game with level = hard.

What are the forum rules on this... I'd save a new game on superhuman, normal, too but don't know if that's a no-no here.

#28 glen_es

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:48 PM

Just finished a game on hard with aliens:250. I went with items:1000 which made the game quite a bit easier. Maybe too easy, I set a limit of 7 agents I could take on missions which made it tougher. I normally take 12+ agents on missions and smother the enemy with a wall of fire. 7 agents you've got to do some dipsy doodling to make it thru the missions, lost a few agents until I figured out to bunch all of them together rather than splitting up and it worked fairly well. Items:1000 gives you all the Marsec flying suits you ever need right away which for my style of play means I clobber the aliens a lot easier, fly high and rain down death.

Even still man that first week is a killer, gun fight after gunfight, agents getting hurt left and right really made things interesting. Lots and lots of blasting aliens.

AK - are you playing it with normal ammo? Wow. I had to give that up, couldn't continue without loads of Marsec raiding to get more ammo, all that raiding was getting old. But man you would have to make every shot count with normal ammo amounts and alien level ramped up.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you want Toxin-C, you have to turn the aliens back down to aliens:100 otherwise you will not see Megaspawns, Psimorphs, or Micronoids in ufos. I didn't see any in my games anyways, once those ships appeared with aliens:250 all you get are loads of skeletoids and anthropods but no big critters. So, once a battleship appears, turn the utility back to aliens:100. Then after you secure a live specimen of each of these 3 critters, you can turn aliens:250 back on (just takes a minute to do, no sweat).

I didn't get a single base attack by the aliens so can't answer the question if you get a huge swarm in a base attack.

This is the 2nd game I've went thru the alien dimension with aliens:250, I'm not sure there are more aliens in the AD with this utility set on, you get different big critters like I mentioned in another thread (e.g. 2 alien queens), but not sure if there are more skeletoids for example. There WERE tons of bad guys in the AD but there are tons in the AD at level hard anyways so am not sure if there are more overall. I used my 7 agent limit on most of the alien buildings and that made it quite a bit tougher. Had to scrounge for vortex mines for example. I had every agent carried in 3 disrupter shields (each guy carried 1 in their hand which they dropped at spawn point at start of mission to give me 7 extra shields to run back and use when someone got clobbered).

I had one agent with 170 kills which is the most I can remember having.


Some of those other settings in apocutil might be kind of fun, there's one where ammo is randomized in its effect on the aliens - I think I read some weapons have NO effect on some aliens which I assume would force you to take incendiary, explosive, plasma, I guess some of everything to kill them all.

#29 NKF

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:40 AM

Hmm, I see! X-Com Apocalypse has a limited unit table just as UFO and TFTD had. Only Apocalypse's unit table is much larger.

With 250% more aliens and thanks to the pecking order of alien generation (for example, Anthropods, Skeletoids, Worms.... so on and so forth .... Megaspawn), the larger units don't even get a chance to appear on the table because the aliens earlier up the list have used up all the space.

Hmm. That's a pity, but the hordes of Anthropods and other nasties are enough to keep things interesting.

I wonder what percentage would strike a good balance where the Megaspawn do get to appear while still providing hordes and hordes of basics?

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 18 July 2007 - 01:49 PM.

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#30 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 09:57 AM

Im thinking 200% would be a good trial for that, if not. then try 175%. =x

Also its been now proven that the Save isnt the one edited by the percentage.. XD
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#31 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:24 AM

Week 5 - Monday and it's already ugly

Ya - it's bad. Got through to resupply, and I'm getting barely enough to re-equip everyone and have a little something for resupply. At least I can pull all those lawpistol mags off those agents who didn't have M4000 ammo.

I thought I might get lucky and that Monday would be quiet. Then at 2200, 2 destroyers and 2 fast attack ships. I actually managed to shoot them all down, and I might even have nabbed them before they dropped troops. Ah, but the clean-up! Ay-yi-yi! Lost one of my best Judo buddies in that mission. His character was gettin' tough, but he was taken down by a single lucky devastator shot. That's a real waste. Japanese guy - has military service behind him, not to mention years of Karate and Judo. Not that it helped him in X3.

Taking down the first destroyer on the ground, my 12-agent team was met with a sizable horde of arthropods and skeletoids, nothin' else but a couple brainsuckers. The walkers were armed with shields, cloaks, vortex, and that darned entropy, which they used liberally. My team was dropped at the back of the ship, so there was no way I was going to try and get to the doors and walk right into a horde. I had them take positions along the sides, with cover. Had autocannons, heavy and mini-launchers, and lots of mines. I mined the double-axis of approach very well, but they fired over it, and smashed through the defensive position, killing my bud Takashi and hitting three more with entropy, one of whom managed to recover her gear. A bloomin' skel dropped down off the roof three spaces away from her just as she was about to grab her gear. Luckily, another awesome babe covering her with the mini-launcher distracted the skel and took it out. I had to fall that half of the team back past the centre and take up a desperate defensive position with the other team, with exit points at hand for a quick retreat.

Having taken out quite a number of walkers (arthropods and skels) in the previous battle, I sent out the team's Recon agent with his motion sensor to look for alien movement. There wasn't much. So we fought a clearing advance, FIBUA-style: autocannon HE fire clearing an area before moving the agents in. Repeating til we got near the door. Found an arthropod stuck in a huge hole created when some dying skels' vortex mines blew up (I'd had the rocket trooper hit their cluster with some heavy rockets).

Even from its hole, the thing was attacking. It lobbed up a boomeroid and started firing its devastator. So I had the agents lob a couple stun grenades into the hole. Took the arth out, and got ... SHIELDS!

But why am I not using more alien equipment, especially in a superhuman game? Well, to be honest, things have been so crazy in the battles that, when in doubt, I kept throwing everything at the huge armies. Previously stunned aliens and their gear were being annihilated. I also want to preserve a little desperate realism in the game, not using stun raids or crazy deployments of alien gear days after the war starts. But that's over now - I NEED shields, disruptor armor, vortex mines, the whole kit-n-kaboodle, and I need it now. I'm down four injured agents and one (sadly) dead agent.

Thank Goodness the aliens aren't like that Crypto character from Destroy All Humans.

#32 Steelion

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 01:48 AM

Epic. One word to sum up how this sounds.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
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I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
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I'm not dead! Really!

#33 Tkwiget

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:32 PM

Aiki, I don't think most of us could do any better. I think if I was personally handling that mission I would have lost an entire squad. Sometimes I can't even handle the regular amount of aliens during a mission. @_@

#34 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:23 AM

*pats Tk on the back* there there.. we all know I could do better ^^'.. Crazy kid.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#35 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:59 PM

Aiki, I don't think most of us could do any better. I think if I was personally handling that mission I would have lost an entire squad. Sometimes I can't even handle the regular amount of aliens during a mission. @_@


That's very kind and complimentary of you to say, but I don't know that I deserve it. Suffice it to say that, a lot of alien shots missed my agents, thankfully! I encourage everyone to give it a try, just to experience how "Starship Troopers" X3 can get on Aliens:250. Ok, not "Starship Troopers", but pretty crazy, all the same.

I think the next thing for me to do in Aliens:250 is to use the Midnight Editor to set the aliens as 100% hostile to civilians, as someone clever suggested (I can't remember - wasn't it j'ordos? Or was it Sorrow? My gratitude to whoever it was). Then, in alien-cleanout missions, like in schools and malls, the aliens will shoot at civilians, making a much more terrifying "terror" mission. My goal will be to save as many civilians as possible, while taking out aliens hordes, keeping XCOM agents alive, and uh, saving Earth in the process.

Imagine a double-drop in the big mall, and going to clean it out. Think of the mayhem. Civilians running, aliens trying to kill them (and XCOM agents), and XCOM agents trying to save civilians, kill all the aliens, and stay alive!

I'll report on it when I make it happen. I'm bogged down with thesis stuff right now. :-(

#36 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:15 PM

Im not sure if the civ's would spawn or not ..hmm..
Hey is there a way to increase the ammount of civ's spawned per mission? XD!
I would love that.. so much more than having more aliens
There simply arent enough Decoys to have fun with.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#37 Sorrow

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 05:48 AM

It would be cool to have civilians in raids. Gunning down them would be fun :D !

#38 Steelion

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:22 AM

I have no problem with civvies.

Except when they either
A) run through my field of fire, WHILE I'M SHOOTING, or
B ) decide to ask my prone agents to get up and move- as a popper rounds the corner.

Edited by Steelion, 29 July 2007 - 07:22 AM.

What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#39 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:19 PM

Prone isnt very useful when your on the ground I find.
However while on a Hill its wonderful! :D
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#40 Steelion

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 04:31 PM

Gives an accuracy bonus, and makes you harder to hit.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
What is a thought, compared to the mind?
--
I R A SILLY GOOSE, apparently. Go figure.
--

I'm not dead! Really!

#41 NKF

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 12:35 AM

Those bonuses are well worth it, and lower your profile. If you are able to find a wall low enough, you can even hide behind it. Like one of the interior office maps where you've got a small hall with a walkway surrounding it and there's this low brown railing. On those rare occasions it can be used to stealthily get closer to an alien that hasn't even seen you yet.

Out in the open though, on your own, against hordes of aliens firing potshots at you, it's not worth it. Get up and run for cover. For a rookie, dropping to the ground and getting into a battle of attrition is suicide. Moreso once HP starts to get chipped away and your accuracy is crippled. I'm relearning this bit the hard way. ;)

As for the civilians, as you don't lose points for letting them get killed(the company doesn't even care about them), it'll just give the aliens more targets to waste their devestators, rockets and poppers on. Of course, the damage done to the building while they're doing this will make up for it by ruining your public relations severely, so I guess the only real downside is having aliens with weaker batteries or a lower supply of entropy/dimension rockets when they encounter you.

Not that it wouldn't be an impressive looking battle, what with the explosions and what have you happening before you've even seen the enemy.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 30 July 2007 - 02:32 AM.

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#42 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:46 PM

I know what it does steel, I didnt ask what it does >>

But in all honesty the taking up 2 squares instead of 1 makes finding good cover for prone hard to find, Id much rather crouch. ^^'
Less time to get up and run while you timeset a grenade to deal with the rushing popper. =p!
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#43 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 08:35 PM

Gives an accuracy bonus, and makes you harder to hit.


I think the reality here is that lying prone is a staple military tactic. Even the M-16, as light as it compared to the old 7.62 weapons, is still much harder to be accurate with when you're standing or crouching. Prone's the way to go in long-range shooting, both for accuracy and for low profile. It does restrict mobility, though, and so soldiers and SWAT don't spend a lot of time lying prone when fighting in an urban setting (FIBUA). It would be nice if X3's maps were bigger, and long-range sight were improved, so that snipers and long-range firefights could play out more realistically.

In the game, I'll have an agent go prone if he/she is slugging it out at long-range while under fire. If things get iffy, I'll have the agent head for cover. In buildings, I don't have agents go prone ever, because mobility is essential in escaping the blast centre of vortex mines, evading poppers, falling back to cover, etc.

#44 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 10:44 AM

The gap between crouching and prone isnt realistic enough ^^'..
But then again, if its a soldier at long range that I dont plan on moving much, such as a camping sniper on a hill as I mentioned, then I will leave them there, unless there is a ledge beneath him, in which case Crouching is still the way to go :D

Also dont forget that using two guns hinders accuracy a fair ammount, but increases fire rate.
It really depends on your play style and what gun you are using. :3

Personally I find it useful to give my autocannons a lawpistol in the pocket with one or two extra clips in the shoulders to spray close ranged units due to the slower fire rate of the auto cannon, rather than having two in the hands which just eats the specialty ammo's like crackers :D
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#45 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:46 AM

Hiatus = BAD

Wow, coming back to play after a couple weeks' hiatus on account of work was harsh. One really has to stay in practice with Aliens:250. I assaulted two downed fast attack ships, and I'm telling ya' - the crews were deployed out the doors, in force, and ready to rock. The first mission, my teams were landed at the opposite end of the map from the doors, and is that ever a pain! Needless to say, the aliens were already assaulting my positions even as the teams were deploying from their landing points. Sheesh! I had to fall back, half the team got hit with entropy, more were wounded with devastator fire, and to be honest, as I was out of practice, I ...

EVACUATED!

I haven't done that in a long, long time. I had four fully operational agents left within about 20 seconds of game time, and I had to be honest and say that this mission could go all the way down the toilet. I evac'd everyone and nursed the substantial loss of dropped equipment.

Now, I know it's true that I don't have to take down every downed UFO. But I'm trying to make this realistic and hard: if this were real life, and those were real downed UFOs, it would be pretty well necessary to take down those aliens before they slip into the woods and into the city. I mean, if XCOM agents are having trouble with the aliens, what hope could police and civilians have? So I try to take down every UFO. But not this one!

The second one, I caught a break. All 12 agents in three teams were landed by the sides of the door, so it was literally a matter of two or three seconds for the teams to take the ridge on either side and prepare to slaughter the aliens at the chokepoint door. Ah, but not to be the case. Despite the auspicious landing, a whole team of arthropods was deployed in front of the door, and they (and I'm not exaggerating), rushed up the banks and engaged my agents at point-blank range as they took positions on the banks. All heck broke loose. It was a melee battle, every agent within three spaces of an alien (and usually less), between 4 arthropods and 8 XCOM agents. The arths started in with entropy and devastator fire, and oddly, a brainsucker jumped one of the agents from what appears to be from behind. The agent had time to grenade himself and shrug off the brainsucker, but it was weird and a bit demoralizing. Not just to the agents, but to me! I mean, where the heck did it even COME FROM? While we killed off this berzerking vanguard, I had two agents injured, and two more having shed equipment and heading for cover until I was sure it was safe for them to sneak out and re-arm.

And that's just the beginning.

Once we'd at least secured the door, for goodness's sake, I used the Recon agent to scan the ship. There was a hee-yuge "ball" of movement inside the door. I took my own character, with the auto-cannon, and lined (myself) up in line with the door, right beside the exit point. I hoped to lure something to open the door so I could start catching everything in the tunnel, and make the most of full-auto explosive ammo. Well, a spitter opened the UFO door to reveal - I really don't know - several spitters and arthropods, who just lashed out with a volley of spitter venom, devastator fire, and yes, entropy. (I) laid down all the auto-explosive ammo I could into the tunnel until an entropy missile started to take effect and I had (myself) dive through the exit point. I heard unseen arthropods giving their death cry and shuddered to wonder how many aliens I couldn't see.

Well, I went back to plan A: lay outside, wait for them to come out, and hit them with the classic sideline ambush. They came, and they rushed. They fired devastator cannons. They injured agents. They got off entropy. They died. That team won't be up to operational strength for several days. Sheee - eeeeesh.

Sadly, I think the AI in my game has preserved what it seems to have developed from my last super-long game, which went to some 180,000 points. When I take down alien ships in this Aliens:250 superhuman game, they're waiting outside, they're super aggressive, they're doing considerable damage, and they're hurting a lot of agents, and killing way more than in past games. I actually can't grow my organization because so many agents are getting hurt.

I'm going to try to ride this out until the ammo situation becomes unplayable. I suspect, before the end of the week, I'll have little armor left (from all the entropy, even with the drop-and-pick-up trick), and wholly inadequate ammo against shielded, vortex-mine wielding hordes. When that happens, maybe I'll edit items so I can fight again.

Is anyone else out there having overall success with Aliens:250 superhuman? What are your losses like?

#46 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 02:09 PM

If you think the losses are bad like this, Try a no armour campaign ^^'..
That stuff just gets insane for losses, even with just normal spawns.
The most deadliest thing Ive found in my no armour campaigns are the worms, By chance in 250 do the multiworms spew out double the worms? :O! That would be pretty hardcore.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#47 Andrej22

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:23 PM

did u people finish the game in superhuman difficulty?
i cant imagine how difficult it is on superhuman, and ur talking about no armour with this 250% mod.

#48 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 06:05 PM

I must admit, Finishing the game with no armour I havent done yet xD!
but as for completing it on superhuman, its quite easy.
Just as easy on Very Easy, but there are more missions, its the only real differance :x
You tend to get the alien tech faster on superhuman as well.

On my best no armor Ive had to cheat a little bit to get samples of aliens T-T..
I had to get some marsec vests and stun guns to get those damn multiworms..
Im currently researching alien gas :D
It still upsets me that I cant manage to get the 250% to work, and also that I had to cheat myself in getting that damn sample T-T
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#49 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:36 PM

If you think the losses are bad like this, Try a no armour campaign ^^'..
That stuff just gets insane for losses, even with just normal spawns.
The most deadliest thing Ive found in my no armour campaigns are the worms, By chance in 250 do the multiworms spew out double the worms? :O! That would be pretty hardcore.


You see, I don't think I myself would ever try a no-armor campaign, as I like to play the game with characters named after my real-life people. I wouldn't send them into battle without armor! I know that even NKF manages to survive with troops armed with pistols. For me, I like the idea of arming my agents to the teeth, and then facing massive hordes of evil aliens. Face huge odds, and overcome them through superior training, tactics, technology and equipment. I like to run my XCOM as if it were real: what would I do if the aliens were real, and my people were really the agents I'd recruited?

I'd rather play an Aliens:500 or more than play no-armor - it just wouldn't have the same effect for me. But while I'm tossing out that idea, can you imagine an Aliens:500? An Aliens:1000? (If the game could handle it). Then even late-game super-troopers would be up to their eyeballs in trouble. THEN we would have a game!

;-)

#50 NKF

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:36 PM

A no-armour compaign would be suicide in real-time, but it wouldn't be impossible in turn-based. That would make it more like the old UFO/TFTD days where the best armour wouldn't guarantee 100% survival against an attack.

But does the no-armour restriction extend to disrupter shields? Would be quite difficult in later stages if that too is restricted in a no-armour game.

A few times in the past I had a brief moment of madness where I sent my brand-new-off-the-street-hybrids into battle with no armour but a pair of shields. Armed to the teeth with everything else, of course. Strangely enough, it works very well and they can move about extremely fast. Everything goes kaput the moment the shields fizzle out, of course. :D Also learned a very useful tidbit at this time while falling out of a hole of a UFO's engine room - which I'd coincidentally caused moments earlier. Disrupter shields absorb fall damage.

As for aliens:500 or 1000 - the game engine cannot handle it. There's only a limited amount of space as it is, and that's why the Megaspawn aren't showing up with 250%. Not that it woudn't be an interesting notion!

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 05 August 2007 - 11:39 PM.

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