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Medi Kits: Worth It?


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#1 anaglyph

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:45 AM

Something's bothering me about med kits: at least half the time they don't work. Whether this is because your agents initially start off with such low health that they run out of it before the med kit has time to do its stuff, or because there's a bug, the effect is the same: they're often (over fifty percent of the time by my estimate) completely useless and you're either left with a dead agent or, if you give up on waiting for him to be healed and make him leave the area, an agent who has much worse injuries than they would otherwise have had.

So, I've taken to just sending them out of the area if, after a few seconds, the med kit hasn't done its job, as it either seems to work in those first few seconds or not at all.

Now I'm wondering if they're worth bothering with at all and I'm seriously considering just not using them. Pros: you save weight and equipment space; sending any critically wounded agent out of the area immediately means they'll spend less time out of action; your wounded agent isn't just sitting there fumbling around with his kit trying to remember what the instructor told him in training about field medicine while aliens are trying to shoot his teeth out; you save money not having to buy the things, although a small consideration. Cons: sometimes it does work, so you might miss out on having an extra agent (albeit a wounded and vulnerable one who you'll probably worry about protecting and won't use effectively anyway) in the battle.

Seems as if its best to forget about the damned things to me, but perhaps I'm missing something. Does my game need to be patched or something? Do they come into their own when your agents have been around a while and have higher health? Have I just been really unlucky?

#2 NKF

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:40 AM

Just how are you using them, if I might ask?

Medikits will only work properly if you stay still with feet firmly planted on the ground and not do anything while the medikit does its work. If you're hovering in the air, fire your weapon or you rush off to doing something else, then the medikit will be interrupted and will automatically switch off.

For a badly wounded soldier, I find it better to stop a wound (and restore a piddling amount of health) and have some chance of reaching an exit than to run to an exit and die from blood loss before reaching it. However, if the exit is right there, go for it by all means.

I let everyone carry a medikit at first (hey, you get more than enough 'free' medikits to last the whole game), but as the game progresses, I start sharing a medikit between several soldiers. Once teleporters are available, the numbers decrease even more. Two's a good minimum for real-time, as you can heal two critical wounds at the same time.

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Edited by NKF, 25 August 2006 - 02:41 AM.

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#3 anaglyph

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:02 AM

Just how are you using them, if I might ask?

Medikits will only work properly if you stay still with feet firmly planted on the ground and not do anything while the medikit does its work.


Yeah, I'm not moving them or having them shoot or anything. The soldier sits there with the healing icon and if it doesn't work within a few seconds it doesn't work at all.

I'm wondering if the various workarounds to get it running under XP have something to do with it, though it doesn't seem likely. And I seem to recall having this problem when I originally bought the game, but that was years ago so maybe my memory isn't reliable. Obviously you haven't encountered this problem. Odd. :/

Actually, a though just occured to me. You say "feet firmly planted on the ground". You don't mean that literally do you? I have my guys kneel a lot. Could it possibly be that they only heal when standing. Seems a bit daft, but if they can't hover and heal at the same time... then again, if the healing icon is showing that probably isn't it.

Edited by anaglyph, 25 August 2006 - 03:08 AM.


#4 NKF

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:10 AM

I just meant they had to be on the ground. Your stance shouldn't matter - though I've never for the life of me have ever attempted healing while prone. Must remember to try that some time.

Except on some occasions where the healing process just doesn't go fast enough, I've found them to be very satisfactory. I'm not sure why you're having trouble with them though.

When you say seconds, I take it you mean game seconds, right? Hmm. I wonder if healing time varies?

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Edited by NKF, 25 August 2006 - 03:15 AM.

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#5 anaglyph

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:27 AM

Except on some occasions where the healing process just doesn't go fast enough, I've found them to be very satisfactory. I'm not sure why you're having trouble with them though.

When you say seconds, I take it you mean game seconds, right? Hmm. I wonder if healing time varies?


Yeah, game seconds.

Perhaps I just get so many critically wounded it shows up more. I'm not too good at keeping my guys safe. heh

I might try running a few test; wait for the next critical wound and save it; see what happens with multiple attempts to heal. Perhaps being under fire slows down healing or something like that.

Edited by anaglyph, 25 August 2006 - 03:30 AM.


#6 Sharp

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:43 AM

Normally when a agent is under-fire they move out into cover (and then sometimes back out again) you need to tell your agent to go into cover and then heal, unless mabye if you have the setting on aggressive, I dont think they run for cover in aggressive, and if you have them on coward when injured and under fire then they will run away more often interuppting the healing process.

I dont know if the healing process gets interuppted that you have to start all over again but that might explain why the agent is not being healed if they keep moving every few seconds. I normally find med-kits quite effective especially in UFO crash sites where your agents are far away from exit points.

#7 xalien

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 07:31 AM

I have noticed that myself - my soldier is standing still (crouching, actually), the red cross is blinking which mean that healing is in progress, and blinking and blinking ...., soldier's health is dropping and dropping ..., then I say "f**k it, you got to get the heck outta here while you still can". The soldier is completely still (on aggressive) and is NOT being shot at which could cause more wounds.

Edited by xalien, 25 August 2006 - 07:32 AM.


#8 anaglyph

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 07:49 AM

Normally when a agent is under-fire they move out into cover (and then sometimes back out again) you need to tell your agent to go into cover and then heal, unless mabye if you have the setting on aggressive...


Nah, been using aggressive mode like xalien so they sit still apparently healing (blinking cross stays up), but not getting anywhere with it. Wonder if it's something to do with having them on aggressive.

#9 anaglyph

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 03:10 AM

Okay, I now strongly suspect that it is aggressive mode interfering with healing. I've since been doing all my healing on cautious and haven't had any problems. Not had enough critical wounds to be certain yet, but it seems a safe bet given the two people in the thread having trouble were using the aggressive mode.

#10 NKF

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 03:56 AM

You could have something there, but I've not had too many healing failures while set to agressive. In fact, most of the time I set my soldiers to agressive and leave it all the way through - only changing to normal on rare occasions where I want to use the auto-sidestep.

Try running a series of test and heal entirely in agressive mode for a while. Note how many times you fail. Then do the same with cautious.

I've been thinking, one possible spanner in the works would be whether you are within visual range of an alien while you're in the middle of healing. Your soldiers tend to automatically turn towards any enemies that are firing on them or are currently in that soldier's focus - even on agressive.

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Edited by NKF, 27 August 2006 - 03:59 AM.

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#11 Aiki-Knight

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 04:44 PM

I have never had a problem with Medi-kit healing, but it took some learning. Let me address some problems with healing:

1. More wounds than medi-kits
If an agent has two critical wounds, his/her health will continue to go down from one wound while the other is being healed. You can check for critical wounds in the agent's equipment screen: a little drop of blood will appear on a critically wounded limb, the torso, or head. If the agent's health is close to zero, the agent may die in spite of the kit, unless you can bring the agent a second kit and work on both wounds simultaneously. If not, heal one wound, then the other. In such a case, if there's an exit point nearby, by all means go for it.

2. Agent action in process
Your agent has to be standing or kneeling. Set the agent to aggressive so he/she stays put, preferably after having the agent take cover. Now, set the fire mode to "no fire". Even if the agent sees stuff, this usually prevents interruption of healing. And last but not least, have the agent look away from the action, so he/she isn't distracted.

Now about justifying medi-kits

I'm a big conserver of manpower in my games. Everyone carries medi-kits. It's true that, once you've got disruptor armor, double shields and teleporters, you don't need that many kits, and you could squeak by with a couple of "medics" in your platoon. But there are simply times when there's no chance to bring the "medic" across the field of battle in time to attend to an agent. Sometimes an agent needs a medi-kit NOW, and that's all there is to it. As I name all my agents after friends and family, I cannot take any unnecessary risks of losing them. It takes a longer game on account of the cost, but all my agents always, always have medi-kits. If you use them right, they can save pretty-well any injury. And when your agent is double-injured, bring him/her a second from his fire team, and 99 times out of 100, they work.

#12 komninosm

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:52 PM

Also medi-kit healing will affect the time it takes your agent to recover back in base. It heals a small amount of hitpoints. So going for an exit can mean more days in the med-bay.
In XCOM-1 it was even worse. If you had an agent exit a battle with a few lost hitpoints he would heal in a few days. But if he had any critical wounds he would always need an extra 30 days on top, or something like that.
Someone else can probably provide an exact formula for this.

#13 NKF

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 02:20 PM

In X-Com UFO and TFTD, the bed times were simply 50% to 150% of your lost health. The actual wounds didn't play much part in bed time except in what they've already done to your health. So if you lost 30 health, you can stay in the hospital anywhere between 15 and 45 days. Buffed soliders (i.e. illegally enhanced soldiers or soldiers in games without the stat caps) with 255 health who've lost 254 health will stay in bed between 127 to 381 days.

In Apocalypse, it wasn't counted as days. Rather, a certain amount of health is added to your remaining health every midnight, at the cost of not being able to train. Also, Apocalypse allowed you to send wounded soldiers back into battle anyway.

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Edited by NKF, 01 September 2006 - 02:20 PM.

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#14 komninosm

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 03:44 AM

Are you sure Xcom-1 didin't count critical wounds? Maybe it was just that statistically critically wounded soldiers had lost a lot of hitpoints compared to those just wounded, but I'm pretty sure I had a critically wounded agent get like 45 days of recovery while when I reloaded and healed him before ending the mission he got like a week or 10 days.
I think I saw somewhere around here how much medikits healed in each game but I can't find it. It can't have healed that much though...

#15 NKF

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 04:16 AM

I just ran a few quick tests, and the results I obtained suggest that there's no difference in bed-times with or without the critical wounds when the mission ends. It's all baaed on lost hit-points at the time the mission ends.

You can run a few tests of your own if you have the time. It's better to find out first hand than to rely on my results. Before ending the last turn (or dusting off with the test subject in ship), multiply your lost hit points by 0.5 and 1.5 to get the min and max possible days that you're expecting to be in bed. Save your game too if you want to repeat the tests. Check the bed times in the Geoscape , then repeat the test a few more times. Later, heal up the wounds, recalculate the expected range of days, save, then repeat the process.

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Edited by NKF, 03 September 2006 - 04:17 AM.

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#16 anaglyph

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 01:15 AM

Well, since I posted about this I haven't had any trouble healing, so... who knows? Should really run some tests, but it's hard to interrupt the game for such a tedious process. Guess I'm just too lazy.

I wonder if it's caused by saved games getting slightly corrupted, as I started a new game since posting this thread.

#17 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:15 PM

Wow, a year later almost and Im sitting here laughing, He clearly didnt click on the red spot in the healing area LOL!

Oh lord I love noobys <3

Although the body is gone, the spirit will always remain.
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?!

#18 Darkhomb

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:18 PM

yeah almost a year later... the point of bringing this and other old threads back was...?

#19 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:28 PM

Making fun of the poor sap <3. that was the point. :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?!

#20 NKF

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 11:58 PM

Please don't do that. We strive to be a helpful community, and if we must laugh, it's in good humour, not at them. Well, okay, if we must laugh at them, we do it privately. ;)

Truth be told, even I did similar mistakes when I first played the game. Like walking off before the medikit has had its time to do its work, and then getting frustrated that they just weren't working. Man was my face red once it was pointed out to me what was happening.

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#21 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 01:58 PM

Oh, I figured that one out the second time I lost an agent from it, but this guy seems to have been terribly confused by this.. :X

Ill keep the silly rudeness to a minimum from now on <3
..Actually thats a lie, I probably wont. Ill just try a little harder :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?!

#22 Ruanomar

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

Wow, a year later almost and Im sitting here laughing, He clearly didnt click on the red spot in the healing area LOL!

Correct me if I'm wrong but if you don't click on the red spot, the red cross won't appear and flash above the Agent at all. :professor: :laughsmiley:

#23 scorpy

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:12 AM

That's true. OP was clearly clicking on the red spot.

So i guess NRN_R_Sumo1 is a silly and rude n00b :)