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Mind Control Question


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#1 Scrogdog

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:47 PM

Hello all.

I am very happy that I recently found this game again and I have it working! It's awesome!

So, I am playing a beginner level game to get re-aquainted, and I saw something interesting last night.

While on a mission at a large ship, one of my men suffered 3 psi attacks in a row over the course of a couple of turns. Here's the thing; he was completely unaffected. No morale loss... nothing.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the attack was 100% resisted. So, I'm pretty sure my agent has a fairly high Psi strength. All well and good.

However, this got me to thinking, how does an alien select its target? Is it random? Or is it that the weakest Psi strength target is attacked?

The resist itself was not what was interesting, it is that it occured before I even have a Psi Lab so I have no idea what my agent's psi scores are like. This would seem to be a rare event in that most of the time my agent fails to resist an attack in the early days. That's from memory going WAY back though. :) I always believed, perhaps incorrectly, that the aliens knew who was weak in Psi strength and went for them.

If the target selection is random, well then, too bad. While the aliens may have gotten unlucky, this event would tell me nothing more than that particular soldier is Psi resistant.

If, however, the weakest target is selected, then holy crap! I have a sqaud of super soldiers less than two months in! What are the odds? :)

#2 Zombie

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:08 PM

Hello all.

I am very happy that I recently found this game again and I have it working! It's awesome!

So, I am playing a beginner level game to get re-aquainted, and I saw something interesting last night.

While on a mission at a large ship, one of my men suffered 3 psi attacks in a row over the course of a couple of turns. Here's the thing; he was completely unaffected. No morale loss... nothing.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the attack was 100% resisted. So, I'm pretty sure my agent has a fairly high Psi strength. All well and good.

However, this got me to thinking, how does an alien select its target? Is it random? Or is it that the weakest Psi strength target is attacked?

The resist itself was not what was interesting, it is that it occured before I even have a Psi Lab so I have no idea what my agent's psi scores are like. This would seem to be a rare event in that most of the time my agent fails to resist an attack in the early days. That's from memory going WAY back though. :) I always believed, perhaps incorrectly, that the aliens knew who was weak in Psi strength and went for them.

If the target selection is random, well then, too bad. While the aliens may have gotten unlucky, this event would tell me nothing more than that particular soldier is Psi resistant.

If, however, the weakest target is selected, then holy crap! I have a sqaud of super soldiers less than two months in! What are the odds? :)

Welcome. :)

The aliens focus their efforts on the weakest psionic link in your team first, then go up the line. (The aliens know the stats and locations of all your units right from the start of a mission). However, if all you have is rookies they will all start with 0 Psionic Skill making everyone a sitting duck (well, you may have a few high Psi Strength soldiers in the mix but the odds are against you having more than 1 or 2 in the 8 starters). So Psi Strength plays a little bit bigger role than skill. Still, just because a soldier resisted an attack it doesn't mean the rest of your squad is even better. See, distance plays a role between the attacker and recipient. The larger the distance, the lesser the chance the attack will succeed. Also, shrugging of an attack and not seeing a drop in morale doesn't mean much either. The aliens could have been trying a Mind Control attack instead of a Panic attack. You don't really know what the case is until you panic or fall under MC. ;)

- Zombie
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A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#3 Scrogdog

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 06:29 AM

Drat. :)

Yeah, further play has demonstrated what you said to be true. My agents were most certainly NOT Psi superheroes; even the guy who formerly resisted got owned.

Looks like we do it the hard way. B)

#4 stewart

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:02 AM

Welcome. :)

The aliens focus their efforts on the weakest psionic link in your team first, then go up the line.


Say WHAT! Those modse batards!

So they run up the moral stat or the psionic strength stat?
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#5 Zombie

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:49 AM

The aliens don't really care about your morale level it seems. The only thing which stands in the way of a successful Psi attack is Psionic Strength (and to a lesser extent Psi Skill and distance), so that's what they target first. Tanks are high in Psi Strength but low in skill. I once edited it to have 0 in both categories and cranked up the psi abilities of my soldiers. The result was that the aliens are completely oblivious to them. So bring a couple of these along on missions with Psi aliens. In case a few of your soldiers bug out from the attacks, you can still count on the tanks to remain under your control and not panic or go berserk. :D

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!


#6 NKF

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:47 PM

The aliens do seem to have this pattern of sapping your morale before going for the mind control attack. At least, this seems to be the case for soldiers with moderate to strong psi resistance. Really weak soldiers would get controlled right off the bat though.

Of course, the aliens may cheat a bit and have a combined MC/Panic attack that does both at the same time. Though that's rather unlikely all the tests that are going on lately studying the things that we can't see the aliens actually doing (and thus have a harder time gauging), they are actually sticking to a fair number of rules.

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Edited by NKF, 11 March 2009 - 11:54 PM.

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#7 stewart

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:02 PM

The aliens don't really care about your morale level it seems. The only thing which stands in the way of a successful Psi attack is Psionic Strength (and to a lesser extent Psi Skill and distance), so that's what they target first. Tanks are high in Psi Strength but low in skill. I once edited it to have 0 in both categories and cranked up the psi abilities of my soldiers. The result was that the aliens are completely oblivious to them. So bring a couple of these along on missions with Psi aliens. In case a few of your soldiers bug out from the attacks, you can still count on the tanks to remain under your control and not panic or go berserk. :D

- Zombie


Thanks, I thought tanks were just plain immune. The implication about running up the strength stat is that before you have Psi Labs you can, at least somewhat, gauge psionic strength.

How are psionic attacks determined to be successful, regardless of whether cast by a human or not?
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