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Making Early Base Defense Facilities Useful


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#1 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 01:03 PM

How many of you ever actually used the missile defense facility? I know I usually get rid of it at the first opportunity. The only time you need defense that early in the game, you're playing on superhuman, and missile defenses won't even scratch the paint on a battle ship.

Essentially, my idea is this:

Even on the beginner level, have a likelihood of base attacks early on (first month or two). However, rather than the standard 'battleship with 30 heavily armed mutons' base attack, the Overmind just sends in a medium or large scout. X-com isn't a major threat to the aliens this early in the game, so why would they waste the resources on a huge attack? After all, those silly humans don't even have real guns yet. :D

This would make it worth while to keep (and even build) missile and laser defenses. You actually have a chance of shooting down a smaller vessel, and even if it does get through, the local troops should be able to handle it without too much trouble. :uzzi: :fang:

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#2 j'ordos

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 01:31 PM

I agree that some use should be found for those early defences, otherwise Vaaish has been working his a$$ off, and largely for naught :boohoo: . But I don't think a scout is enough threat to me to build a defence for it, should it want to attack. Maybe at least an abductor? And definitely make damaged assault ships have fewer troops to deal with during the actual assault, so you're not building those facilities for nothing.

Edited by j'ordos, 30 July 2003 - 01:31 PM.

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#3 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 04:23 PM

Heh...an abductor would be perfect. Why kill your opponents when you can take them home and vivisect them? :alienlol:

Also, depending on how your troops are doing, even a medium scout can be a hassle. Since the usual survival rate in the early months of X-Com is only about 60-75%, if you only have six functional guys against 5-6 aliens in a labyrinthian base, you're in trouble.

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#4 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 06:26 PM

Maby, the early defenses could have choke points whereas the more potent defenses lack these because the plasma/fusion blast is so large that there is no room left for choke points?

Or perhaps we could make the missile defenses have like a 95 chance of hit, lasers 85, plasma 50, and fusion missile defense 90.
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#5 tzuchan

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 07:40 PM

Maby, the early defenses could have choke points whereas the more potent defenses lack these because the plasma/fusion blast is so large that there is no room left for choke points?


Now this doesn't sound too likely, given that the models we already have for the base defenses are all pretty much similiar in design, differing only in the types of turrets they mount.

Or perhaps we could make the missile defenses have like a 95 chance of hit, lasers 85, plasma 50, and fusion missile defense 90.


This sounds more likely, but nevertheless, it doesn't really solve the problem of not having enough fire power to stop a battleship, nor the fact that latter defences outclass missle defences too much.

Me, I think the early invasions are a good idea too... Especially if the aliens manage to strike before any base defences are built. That'll definately give those people who've played xcom before one heck of a shock.
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#6 Vaaish

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 07:51 PM

make the earlier base defenses cheaper so say having 4 missile defenses gives you a 20% chance of destroying the UFO and a 45% chance of damaging enough to make a differance.

#7 Puasonen

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 12:08 AM

The best way to make them usefull is to reduce the amount of aliens with every hit of defense.. Then again, why build any plasma or fusion defense if you can drop aliens with missile defenses so that there will be only few aliens in the base attack to deal with. Maybe battleship should have a huge crew, like 40-50 aliens! That way if your missile defenses kill 20 of them, you still have something to play with in the base ^_^
Then again, who would go to landed very large after that :whatwhat:
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#8 j'ordos

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:24 AM

There's a new class of alien ship: the Super Dreadnought, used only for Xcom Base Attacks and nearly impossible to shoot down. Start cramming your base full of defences already :devillaugh:
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#9 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:40 AM

The best way to make them usefull is to reduce the amount of aliens with every hit of defense.. Then again, why build any plasma or fusion defense if you can drop aliens with missile defenses so that there will be only few aliens in the base attack to deal with. Maybe battleship should have a huge crew, like 40-50 aliens! That way if your missile defenses kill 20 of them, you still have something to play with in the base  ^_^
Then again, who would go to landed very large after that  :whatwhat:

Noo! I prefer having loads of aliens trying to attack my base, they always get slaughtered. It's my favourite part of the game coz it doesn't happen much, pretty much like the alien base but its on ur terms :D

#10 Fred the Goat

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 01:44 AM

I like the idea of cheap missile defenses, and damaged ships having fewer aliens. You kill half the aliens in a downed ship, right? And it should depend on armor. Keep crew compliments of battleships the same, but say that each missile hit kills fewer crew in a battleship than in a small scout.

#11 Puasonen

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:13 AM

I like the idea of cheap missile defenses, and damaged ships having fewer aliens.  You kill half the aliens in a downed ship, right?  And it should depend on armor.  Keep crew compliments of battleships the same, but say that each missile hit kills fewer crew in a battleship than in a small scout.

exactly! And I think stronger aliens like mutons would have better chance to survive from missiles than a weak sectoid. Btw, Why can't we see the alien ship in base attacks? It will be a rare mission anyway so we might as well make it a big mission.
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#12 miceless

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 06:26 AM

I think it is assumed that the troops are dropped off and then the ship flies off. Adding a surface UFO recovery after the base defense would be theoretically doable, but it would be no different than a normal one (except in terms of the number of aliens left in the ship). I think its probably not worth worrying about.
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#13 j'ordos

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 03:05 PM

Yeah, but it doesn't show up on radar afterwards, so you can't intercept it and shoot it down to avenge your base attack :(
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#14 dipstick

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 03:09 PM

Good point, that is extremely annoying....
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#15 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 03:23 PM

Are the base defense mission going to be two parters? I remember discussion about the alien base attacks being that way (similar to TftD). If so, you could put the ship in the first section (the outside part), available to recover if you win the first part. Otherwise, if you retreat to battle inside the base, and then win, the ship flies away. Ofcourse, if you lose inside the base, the ship is the least of your problems.

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#16 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 05:22 PM

Wait do you mean if you retreat/lose on the surface, you need to defend the base's interior? What if the aliens reach the access lift? (like you can on cydonia/tftd)

Also, are you talking about having the battleship on the same map as the base surface?

If so, that would be really cool.

Also, are we going to have manned defensive positions (fifty cal,rockets, lasers, later plasma?) on the surface?

Edited by Cpl. Facehugger, 03 August 2003 - 05:24 PM.

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#17 j'ordos

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 05:54 PM

Well, since it's supposed to be a top secret base I doubt there's anything to be seen on the earth's surface, as that would give it's postion away...
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#18 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 06:02 PM

I believe the idea was that you could split your forces, deciding who would handle the surface assault (no more than 50% of your total forces or something), and who would be the last line of defense within the base. The aliens would try to get to the lift (just like you do in a TftD assualt). If enough make it to the lift or hanger, the aliens can choose to proceed into the base. If your surface force is wiped out, all the raiders gain access. Of course, once they gain access and the battlescape switches to the base proper, your remaining surface forces are useless.

I don't know if was going to be v1.0 or not, though.

Also keep in mind with things like gun emplacements...if the humans have it, the aliens have better ones.

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#19 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 06:06 PM

Well, since it's supposed to be a top secret base I doubt there's anything to be seen on the earth's surface, as that would give it's postion away...

You would have to have an entrance above ground or else you couldn't get in! also the hangars would have to have exits too.

Take a look at "area 51" it still has some buildings above ground behind the chain-link fence. The U.S. government says it is a weather station or something.

Anyway, even though the base is secret, wouldn't you want to have ground defenses? Especially if youre fighting aliens.
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#20 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:42 AM

The defences are all underneath and come up thru floor to attack. It would probably be like an abandoned airfield, so it could explain all the air traffic around it.

Edit: The only thing u would c would be the access lift and possibly a plate that moves 4 the hanger and base defences.

Edited by Jim69, 04 August 2003 - 12:43 AM.


#21 miceless

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 01:33 AM

The only thing u would c would be the access lift and possibly a plate that moves 4 the hanger and base defences.

... and the missiles flying into the air, the laser blasts streaking through the sky, the alien ship trying to land, etc

:LOL:
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#22 j'ordos

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:01 AM

The defences are all underneath and come up thru floor to attack. It would probably be like an abandoned airfield, so it could explain all the air traffic around it.

Euuuhhhmm, correct me if I'm wrong here, but IMHO an abandoned airfield would not explain air traffic around it... :P
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#23 miceless

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:42 AM

Well, they would probably decide it wasnt abandoned any more. Not sure that would be much better though.

Maybe a big mansion, with a fake swimming pool that opens up. Then you could do the same with tennis courts and stuff for all the hangars/defenses you need.
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#24 j'ordos

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:56 AM

...and to keep the local peasants from wondering what all those explosions and lasers/missiles/plasma/... flashes are you make up some haunted house story to scare em away ^_^
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#25 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 05:33 AM

The defences are all underneath and come up thru floor to attack. It would probably be like an abandoned airfield, so it could explain all the air traffic around it.

Euuuhhhmm, correct me if I'm wrong here, but IMHO an abandoned airfield would not explain air traffic around it... :P

LOL! Completely spaced there, I meant a private small airfield.

#26 miceless

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 05:34 AM

...and to keep the local peasants from wondering what all those explosions and lasers/missiles/plasma/... flashes are you make up some haunted house story to scare em away ^_^

Nah, just say that its some eccentric rich old man who has a firework hobby.

Edited by miceless, 04 August 2003 - 05:41 AM.

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#27 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:13 AM

Nah, just say that its some eccentric rich old man who has a firework hobby.

What happens when the peasants start wondering what those creatures disembarking from that large disc shaped object are? I'm sure that would attract all of those ufo nuts. :wink:

Anway I was thinking that for alien base defense on the ground, they would have automated turrets similar to an immobile sectopod. With blasterbombs! :devillaugh:
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#28 miceless

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:20 AM

Nah, just say that its some eccentric rich old man who has a firework hobby.

What happens when the peasants start wondering what those creatures disembarking from that large disc shaped object are? I'm sure that would attract all of those ufo nuts.

Nah, you could say the eccentric guy has some very powerful friends with top secret equipment.

Anway I was thinking that for alien base defense on the ground, they would have automated turrets similar to an immobile sectopod.

That would attract no attention at all! However, im sure it would persuade the civilian to stop being so nosy after the first one gets mown down/blown up.

You could say the eccentric guy is very concerned about the security of his mansion. :D
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#29 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:28 AM

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear with that last post, but I meant that the alien bases would have turrets similar to immobile sectopods. Alien turrets would not need to be manned. Human turrets (.50 cal, rockets, laser, later plas) would need to be manned. Thus the alien turets are automatically better.

Also, the rich guy has powerful ALIEN friends with advanced equipment?
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#30 warhamster

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 03:48 PM

Here's a suggestion on how programming might be able to device this. disclaimer... This is on the programming side, so this means that the player is unaware of this system of determining base defense rolls. Also, I was too lazy to read all the entries in this thread. Sorry.

Instead of rating ships on how much damage they can take, we rate them on how many aliens there are inside. Defense rolls basically determines how many aliens we kill on board. Killing all aliens means the enemy craft is destroyed.

Missile Defense - 50% chance of killing aliens. Kills 1-2 aliens per successful roll.

Laser Defense - 75% chance of killing aliens. Kills 2-3 aliens per successful roll.

Plasma Defense - 75% chance of killing aliens. Kills 3-4 aliens per successful roll.

Fusion Defense - 90% chance of killing aliens. Kills 4-5 aliens per successful roll.

This would basically mean you'll need more defenses to insure that no one can raid you. I usually put 5 fusion d's and a grav shield on my outpost bases (bases that have interceptor, radar, h-wave decoder, but no soldiers).

I never put defenses on my bases because I love base defense. I wonder how the idea of base damage during defense will influence my fetish for this.

#31 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:14 PM

I like the logic of this. If damage was added on to this, I think it would work very well as an all around table. Since this sort of logic will have to be worked out for intercepting/downing UFOs (number of survivers, intact equipment, damage to ship, etc.) I suspect we'll end up just using the same code for both interceptions and base defense.

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#32 miceless

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 12:05 AM

Are we going to start going into stuff like:

"Where on the ship did that missile hit?"
"How many aliens were there in that section that just got blown away"
Did the power source get hit?


Or are we going to make it simple? I mean "Oh, a missile just hit this ship, so we have to kill two aliens that were on board".

Which aliens? Random?
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#33 warhamster

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 01:43 AM

I don't really think that figuring out where the missle hit is that important. We can put all sort of graphics and stuff to make this look spiffy, but the formula isn't for the players eyes. It's just a formula on how we're supposed to compute base defenses.

#34 Jesus Escariut

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 01:47 PM

Me, I think the early invasions are a good idea too... Especially if the aliens manage to strike before any base defences are built. That'll definately give those people who've played xcom before one heck of a shock.


i like the idea of this... shocking the old skool xcom'rs thats what is gonna make them say... wow... this isnt just another xcom mock-up, these guys really did do something besides a few pretty graphics, and thats what will make our game so great to them, blind siding them with stuff like this like the chrysallid thread running right now that talks about minor random events, these are things that will spice up the game but not take away from the feel of it.

and on topic..

the idea of there being a point to me building a missle defense is good, for this reason when i first played the game my base was never attacked until i was about to goto mars i figured i didnt need a defense cause i was never attacked before, so the alien came to my base and we had tea, then i killed them... but still for the newbs showing them that their base will be attacked is a good thing, that way when the big boys come to town, etherals and mutons, they will havea defence built, they may even be smart enough to change their base layout after a few bad skirmishes

#35 warhamster

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 02:10 PM

Good point. First time I played xcom... an alien ship raided my primary base while my sky ranger was out on patrol looking for an alien base. aliens raided with only a rocket tank and 3 backup greenies to defend. minced meat!

Edited by warhamster, 09 August 2003 - 02:13 PM.


#36 Ancalagon

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 05:54 PM

Why would one hit from a missile kill aliens on a ship? I suppose it would the first time cause the aliens would send an unarmored transport, but I think on later attacks the alliens should start bringing heavier and heavier armored ships, meaning at will take a few shots to peirce the armor and then start killing aliens. this will force people who wish to continue to use AA defenses in the late game to upgrade their defenses in order to do anything.

Also the whole secrecy thing can be dealt with by not putting an airbase in a city, any bases in or near cities would be strictly to deal with terrorist missions, when people don't care about all the crazy stuff that's happening, they just want to RUN :o

#37 j'ordos

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 05:58 PM

Well, sending in smaller ships at first has about the same effect, as they generally are weaker than the larger UFO's. Although it would be neat to have the aliens upgrade their things too, but that's likely a v1+ idea... maybe a very good idea for the multiplayer game though :idea:
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#38 Fred the Goat

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:27 AM

We could also change the number of aliens each weapon kills according to which ship it's fired at. Or maybe each weapon could have "damage", the ship has "armor", and damage-armor gives you damage done to random aliens in the ship, which is subtracted from their armor, and then kills some of them.

No turrets! Turrets are too much of a change. And too much of a pain in the arse when taking out alien bases.

Dividing up troops is easy. Just have aliens disappear when they get to the entrance on the first level, then when you're guys are done fighting, and X aliens have died and Y have made it into the base, you go to the second level, where if you don't have another crew waiting, that one sectoid that got through will personally tear down your base, so yeah, keep a few people back. What are the advantages of putting ANYONE on top in this - one is that on the first level, the aliens aren't as worried about killing you as they are about making it to your base entrance, so you can take pot shots at them, the second is that if you win, you get their ship.

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#39 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:43 AM

I think Fred's pretty much got it. Also, since base damage will have an effect outside the battlescape, the fewer bad guys get in, the better. I fyou just let them in (cede the outside to the aliens), you then have 10-15 well armed alein in the same hanger as your really expensive Avenger. How long would it take to reduce it to scrap metal? Couple of grenades in the engines and *poof*, you're out of commision until you build another.

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#40 Puasonen

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:43 AM

Dividing up troops is easy.  Just have aliens disappear when they get to the entrance on the first level, then when you're guys are done fighting, and X aliens have died and Y have made it into the base, you go to the second level, where if you don't have another crew waiting, that one sectoid that got through will personally tear down your base, so yeah, keep a few people back.  What are the advantages of putting ANYONE on top in this - one is that on the first level, the aliens aren't as worried about killing you as they are about making it to your base entrance, so you can take pot shots at them, the second is that if you win, you get their ship.

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Cool idea, that's something I thought about when I said I'd like those base defense missions to be larger.. Excellent! It also spices up strategys 'cause you need to think what weapons to give outside and what inside.. (outside 4 guys with blaster launchers and 2 guys with proximity mines all over the entrance..) Only problem is that anyone can't get through :D
Actually I'm starting to hate this base defense killing units with every hit thingy.. In multiplayer when you attack enemybase, your best soldier wich has stayed alive for 7 months in every mission, killed 100+ aliens, been wounded tons of times and kicked alien buttocks dies to some damn missile defense. :cussing:
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#41 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:56 AM

Well, Maby it would be cool to make the bugs upgrade their tech. I can see it now, Battleship mark II, twice the range,damage,and rof!

Also, why can't xcom fly captured ufos? I mean, if you captured a landed battleship for instance...

Lastly, maby we could include an option to land outside the base's weapons range. Then, none of your guys die when they can't fight, but they have to waste tus and energy (ammo too!) getting through the aliens to their base. Then having to fight your way to the lift!
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#42 Jesus Escariut

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 02:13 PM

Lastly, maby we could include an option to land outside the base's weapons range. Then, none of your guys die when they can't fight, but they have to waste tus and energy (ammo too!) getting through the aliens to their base. Then having to fight your way to the lift!


i love this idea, it gives you a choice so when it says "land near Alien Base 3" it would read "land near base, or attack base" you could then send a interceptor in to do an air strick on the defenses and then land you avenger... okay maybe no air strikes.. but the idea of landing near by and sneaking in just like cydonia.. I LOVE IT!


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#43 stewart

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 03:09 PM

How many of you ever actually used the missile defense facility?

Um, I do all the time! In fact all my bases contain at least one missile defense. There is no better choke point than the missile defense.
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#44 Ancalagon

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 03:33 PM

Dividing up troops is easy.  Just have aliens disappear when they get to the entrance on the first level, then when you're guys are done fighting, and X aliens have died and Y have made it into the base, you go to the second level, where if you don't have another crew waiting, that one sectoid that got through will personally tear down your base, so yeah, keep a few people back.  What are the advantages of putting ANYONE on top in this - one is that on the first level, the aliens aren't as worried about killing you as they are about making it to your base entrance, so you can take pot shots at them, the second is that if you win, you get their ship.

-Fred

Why don't we have the entire base be one big battlescape? So when the aliens got to the lift, they could go down and then you'd be fighting on both levels simultaniously, like in a UFO, where when you go up, you are fighting on both bottom and top.(unless you killed all the aliens on bottom already, which you probably did) I mean, I don't think we have to wory about memory limitations as much as the folks at microprose did.

#45 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 08:56 AM

Ahh, but you want people with older computers to be able to enjoy the game too!

Anyway, if you do the map as just a one part map, then it might get so big that it is unmanageable for the player. Of course I could be wrong...
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#46 Jesus Escariut

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 12:24 PM

Anyway, if you do the map as just a one part map, then it might get so big that it is unmanageable for the player. Of course I could be wrong...


very good point, nothing i hate more then wasting 40 turns to just run around a map looking for a an alien cause my guys only have 70 TUs...i rather play 3 small maps instead of 1 huge map

#47 miceless

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 12:37 PM

Indeed, i think they had the right idea when they implemented multi level terror missions in TftD (the ships).
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#48 Puasonen

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 01:06 PM

Indeed, i think they had the right idea when they implemented multi level terror missions in TftD (the ships).

I allways thought (and still think) that 2 stupidest idiotic missions in tftd were ship routes and alien activity. They were too long and those damn wc:s with hiding aliens were a little too much.
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#49 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 05:36 PM

wc:s whats that?

Anyway, the problem with ship missions was that they had far too many small rooms, and you couldn't blow down the walls for fear of civies.
The two part base attacks were truly inspired. (By Cydonia actually :D )
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#50 j'ordos

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 06:00 PM

WC's: water closet, or in plain english: toilets ^_^ , exactly those small rooms you were talking about, you could see in them it seemed, but you needed to pen the door to see if there really was an alien.
Personally, I didn't mind the alien activity that much, thought it was a welcome change, as it didn't really happen that much, like once or twice in a campaign. The ship terror missions were a pain in th a$$, taking forever to hunt all the bugs down :whatwhat:
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