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Why Are X-com Landing In The Middle?


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#1 -Sky_Lord-

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 05:06 AM

Hey,
I just thought of something...
In about 30% of the mission, you can lose someone right away when he takes his first step out of the ship because it's surrounded by 1 or more aliens...
sometimes the only real fight you have in a mission is to fight your way out of your transport...

Then i thought how dumb it is, any real commander would land in a safe place, lets say half a mile from the scene and then the soliders would walk there...
There would never land in an "hot" zone.
and if they would, they would clear it from the air first!

So i thought the x-com transport should always be somewhere near the edge of the map and there wont be any aliens in a 10-20 square radius around it...

Or maybe just less chances of them being there, maybe from time to time one could pop up there.

What do u think?

#2 NKF

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 06:10 AM

Fighting your way out of the ship was fun .... well, once you've mastered it. But after the billionth time, it gets rather old. But then again, starting at the edge of the map and working your way all the way to mission objective isn't all that much fun either.

Actually, I think the reasoning behind landing the Skyranger in the originals right in the middle of the action (ignoring the more obvious reasons such as hardware/software constraints ) was because X-Com wanted to rapidly deal with any alien invaders, which means sending ships out, dropping down, clearing up the mess as quickly as possible before the aliens can take off again, repair their ship or dismantle their ship and scatter into the wilderness and cause alarm to the local populace while they make their way to the nearest alien supply depot (the alien bases on earth). Of course, I don't think X-Com expected the alien crews to go wandering off around the crash site like headless chicken either. You'd expect most of them to be trying to salvage what's left of the UFO. ;)

With a new game, there are many, many, many, possible ways of entering combat that are open to us. From airdropping (parachutes or power suit jumpjets or even jetpacks), to selecting several different landing sites (around any clear part of the map), to dropping a ship just beyond the battlefield and sending troops either on foot or on an APC/Jeep/Rocket Skates into the battle. And once you've reengineered alien tech - teleporting into the field (which can be denied for certain areas - like the inside of a UFO - with an anti-teleportation field).

Some of these options may not be viable depending on the situation, such as a UFO carrying volatile cargo that's on fire and will blow up after so many turns. You don't want to be wasting hours picking the safest landing spot or making a safe landing spot - you want to have soldiers charge into the ufo with a fire extinguisher. For a simple crash recovery, you can take your sweet time, land a few miles away and work your way through the dense jungle, wait till the first light of dawn, and pick off or round up any survivors at your leisure.

I like options.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 30 July 2005 - 06:13 AM.

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#3 GARAK

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 09:43 AM

I like options too. At the very least however, there should be windows and gun ports on the side of the landing craft so as to allow xcorp agents a safer landing zone. I think this has all been discussed in other threads but it's worth discussing.

#4 Blehm 98

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 09:53 AM

yes, it is discussed often

The problem is that Xcom did not know the precise location of the enemy UFO, and definately didn't have the locations of the the alien troops. So they land in the general area, which can be close(the map next to your ship's) or far(other side of the battlescape)
The farthest away you can get is i believe equivalent to about 200 yards by 200 yards. Also, soldiers in xcom have a lot of equipment, and need to kill off the aliens immediately, because if aliens have enough time to prepare, who knows, those plasma guns on a Large scout don't look so bad until you have one pointing at your face
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#5 -Sky_Lord-

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 10:08 AM

ok...
but about mastering it...

sure, fighting your way out of the ship is fun, but when your first solider gets shot by 2 different aliens after he move just one square (into the landing platform thingy) from both sides (meaning reaction doesn't help) is not fun... and there is no way to master it...
either you give up that solider (which is most likely an high ranking good solider and not a new rookie) or you load the game over and over again untill they miss (or just damage him, without killing)

#6 mikker

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 10:22 AM

Okay, just edit the alien AI, so that it won't look at the area where you unload. Simple as that.

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#7 Blehm 98

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 10:26 AM

Xcom is easy to leave the skyranger
It is just walking off the ramp, and i rarely have problem there, because my tank shields my troops
If you want to know when it is tough to leave the transport try TFTD, where alien reacts two or three times and it kills 3 men
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#8 NKF

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 05:35 PM

Leaving the Skyranger requires patience and perhaps a smoke grenade (two if you want to fly out and walk out). A tank, if you have one, always helps. Motion scanners and high explosives/large rockets are immensely useful for knocking out any would-be ambushes from behind the ramp. On night missions, incendiary rounds or electro flares should always be used to illuminate the landing zone.

In most scenarios, you should spend the first few turns inside the ship. Waiting a turn or two before moving out minimises the possible amount of reaction fire you'll receive, as after the first turn, most of the aliens wandering the wilderness won't have a 100% full TU bar, thus reducing their reaction score by a bit.

In TFTD, it's even more devious, as you can just open the door, shoot anything that you can see, and repeat over this as many turns as you want until you're absolutely sure it's safe to disembark. Works absolutely anywhere but isn't

---

Other options I've seen mentioned in various threads for clearing the landing zone were turrets on the ships, automatic deployment of smoke canisters, and specialised ships with compartments for mounting your mini-tanks on the outside (underbelly or top) - which would essentially be a detacheable turret with wheels(or whatever).

And yes, using the cameras, windows, and other detection equipment inside the craft would be immensely useful. It would be nice if the craft itself could play a bit more of a role than just being a structure for you to walk out of.

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#9 Blehm 98

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 07:00 PM

the craft give you almost indestructible cover!

Granted, a blaster bomb will blow a hole in a skyranger, but it is very tough to most fire
I think all the game needs is either nothing, or a chaingun that shells maybe 1/3 of the squares on the LZ and any aliens on it die, and any aliens that aren't hit don't die
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#10 Mustang

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:30 PM

Why have turrets, tanks, and cameras when you could just have another exit?


#11 Blehm 98

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:36 PM

well, another exit doesn't really solve the problem about aliens reacting you know
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#12 Mustang

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:43 PM

What's wrong with aliens reacting?


#13 Blehm 98

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:54 PM

Aliens will shoot and kill your men
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#14 Mustang

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 08:59 PM

Isn't that the point?


#15 AVE

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 01:55 AM

yes, it is discussed often

The problem is that Xcom did not know the precise location of the enemy UFO, and definately didn't have the locations of the the alien troops.  So they land in the general area, which can be close(the map next to your ship's) or far(other side of the battlescape)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, I have read several XCom fanfics, and almost all writes about a (mostly) impenetrable shield (half a sphere) that aliens set over a crash/landing site. It also completely obscures the landing site from satellite/aero photos.
It is set in the middle of the crash/landing, while in the air, and then UFO lands. So for XCom commanders it is impossible to say where UFO is and where to land.
It could be ever possible to land on UFO directly, crashing on the way (truly unlucky landing). :)
Also, only XCom craft is able to penetrate this shield. That's why there are no reaction from the army of the country, where UFO crash/lands. :)
EDIT: And it is one of the possible explanations of battlescape being limited in size - this is the size of the shield that aliens set, ie small/scout ufo power generator is weak - so the shield is small & the size of battlescape is small also.

Edited by AVE, 01 August 2005 - 02:01 AM.


#16 Rory_20_uk

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 05:37 PM

Starting off with the problem with "suicide rookie takes one for the team" on leaving the ship I go along with the smoke grenade / HE grenade plan.

But what do others feel about addons to ships that can automatically fire off such munitions either before turn 1 or as a command? The penalty of this could be an increase in hostility of the local hospital, as well as not being especially covert. And of course this could kill any nearby friendlies.

I think that aliens would react - after all a ship has just landed right next to their craft. This might make them take somewhat of an interest...

I like the idea that one could have different landings. I thought that these could range from the safe landing that might cause the aliens to either be ready or many to have gone, to a really ropy landing in the thick of it right on top of the aliens. Both could have pros and cons depending on what you wanted from the mission. Perhaps getting in close might maximise the objects captured.