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The Alien Perspective


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#1 GreatGold

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 10:06 PM

Hey -

I was talking to one of my friends today, and he brought up some very good points. Eventually we plan on multiplayer where one side is Human and the other Alien. However, we will also need an Alien single player mode, which I assume would be completed prior to the MP code.

So, is this being figured in, if so, only for MP? Or also as a SP mode? I think it would make a lot more sense to include a SP mode, or at least a SP Training mode. However, with that inclusion of Alien SP, then we need to figure out a while new campaing system. Has anythought been put into this? Would it be wise, at this VERY early stage, to have people start drawing up plans? Basically, I think it would be like including a whole new second game.

For example, instead of just reactionary missions, not the player would need to pick Terror Missions, and need reasons to go on other missions as well. For a quick example, how oftne could terror missions be made, and for what purpose? How often could regular missions be launched? Say you need human parts to genetically engineer some more Floaters... send out an Abductor UFO to harvest some humans. Having trouble with X-Corp interference in India, send a Very Small Scout to turn the government to your cause. Where are your bases, and could you call for support from mars...

The point is, all this would need to be worked out in great detail, and that is half the battle. I mean, a lot of the graphical stuff will be done, same with the conceptual stuff. I'm guess ing the coding would be a lot of cut and paste. So planning seems to be the hardest step for this addition to Xenocide. And I assume everyone wants this...

If we at least just START preparing, then I think things would go a lot more smoothly. I mean, it can't hurt to at least start to seriously discuss it. We all know we talk about enough other stuff here that we can spare a few posts :P . But, if I'm just hyper-excited, and you all think its ridiculous to even start speculating, I'll understand and just....try....really....try..... to let it go... :D .

But, if you agree, in our spare time and people who arent working on anything at the moment, maybe we could have some fun with this?

Ok, you can bash me now,
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#2 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 10:37 PM

he he he he!

I was actually thinking along those lines about a week ago, and started writing ideas down. It's not complete by any stretch of the imagination...

here ya go!

Alien Motivations
This is a list of potential motivations for the various missions, and how they affect game play.
  • Alien Research
    A successful research mission can lead to improvements in alien unit creation, or simply further a current research project. Research mission could also be made equivalent to TFTD’s Alien Artifact missions, where lost alien tech is recovered.
  • Alien Harvest
    Foodstuffs to allow for alien unit creation (something about Snakemen requiring vast amounts of protein to be fertile, etc). Maybe trace minerals needed to create cyberdisks/sectopods/silicoids. Also could allow new research projects.
  • Alien Abduction
    Foodstuffs (again), Chrysillid hosts, fodder for making controlled humans, test subjects for infiltration and replacement. Host mothers for growing ethereals.
  • Alien Colony (formerly Alien Base)
    Any ship launched from Mars with less than three power units (anything smaller than a supply ship) has a very small chance of returning unless there’s a base it can refuel at. Including skilled units aboard the ship lowers the risk. If base is present on Earth with sufficient hanger space, return is guaranteed.
    Sample table (chance of returning)	Vessel  Base %  with Engineer  with NavigatorSmall Scout	0% 	 10% 	 25%Med Scout	10% 	 15% 	 35%Lg Scout	15% 	 20% 	 45%Harvester	20% 	 30% 	 55%Abductor	25% 	 35% 	 65%
  • Alien Supply
    Colonies must obtain sufficient components from cydonia before certain facilities can be built. Fuel (elerium) must also be shipped from the Martian mines.
Alien Facilities
Many of these are x-corps equivalents.
  • Command Center (taken from thoughts on new x-corps facilities)
    This is the heart of the x-corps base. Analogous to the alien command center, if this room is destroyed, the base is rendered useless. This room is placed at the same time as the access lift, and connected to it by a single corridor. The path the corridor takes can follow any pattern, but is limited in length to a maximum of 50 meters. Further facilities can be built over or adjoining the corridor as needed. The Command center provides quarters equivalent to 10% of Living Facilites.
  • Unit Creation facility
    Actual facility varies by species (Sectoid Cloning Facility, Snakeman Egg Pit, Muton Decanting and Surgery, Cyberdisc Maintenance Bay, etc). This is where you get new units from. Each species takes a specific length of time to create 1 new unit. Each new unit is the lowest rank possible (Soldier/Terrorist). Possibly certain terrestrial materials are needed to build this facilty (links to alien research).
  • Hanger
    Alien hangers need to be more flexible than their terran counterparts. Volume should be the decifng factor. SO a hanger could contain 20-30 small counts, 10-15 med scouts, 5-8 large scouts, 2-3 harvester/abductors, and only one larger craft
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#3 miceless

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 04:24 AM

I wont point out the spelling mistakes, unless you want me to...

Command Center
This is the heart of the x-corps base.

I thought this was an alien base? Im confused. :huh?:

Command Center
Analogous to the alien command center, if this room is destroyed, the base is rendered useless.

Your reffering to the XCOM1 Command Center in alien bases, right?

Hanger
... a hanger could contain 20-30 small counts, 10-15 med scouts, 5-8 large scouts, 2-3 harvester/abductors, and only one larger craft

I think your numbers are unrealistic.
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#4 dipstick

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:10 AM

This is great - I would love to be the aliens....
*right, the USA has been a bit of a pain, lets terrorise New York* :D
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#5 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:55 AM

Aren't the odds stacked in the aliens favour tho? Ho would it work playing the other side? I thought the aliens were supposed 2 have a BIG advantage over the humans and it relied on tactics. Then again if the alien forces decrease after only a certain amount of "alien food" is left, and prehaps the alien abductions are 2 run the elerium mines ( supposed they are gonna be on mars ). Maybe explain the aliens haven't got the time/resources to mine it themselves so they kidnap ppl and make them mine. The ones who aren't very good at it are sent back to earth with a blank mind.

#6 Nickisimo

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 06:37 AM

I thought about this too for SP, but honestly...The humans would have to be so incredibly boosted to even have a chance at beating the aliens...think about it, you could raid only at night, t-site at will(and with whatever units you want), have access to plasma and blaster bombs long before the humans... :unsure:

MP would be great though. Sorta like AvP. Or AvA? "Mangy curs...can't even take down a bunch of humans in white jumpsuits. Kill them! I never did like that batch of mutons anyway..." :devillaugh:

Edited by Nickisimo, 23 July 2003 - 06:37 AM.


#7 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 09:20 AM

I thought this was an alien base? Im confused.
...
Your reffering to the XCOM1 Command Center in alien bases, right?



It is...I just took the text from my write-up of the x-corp version. To even things out, both x-corps and the alien would need to have reasonable parallel base structures and weaknesses. If the humans can stage a quick raid, and wipe out your base with one blaster bomb, you should be able to do the same.

Of course, if the aliens actually can't lose while they still have cydonia, maybe that's balance enough.

I think your numbers are unrealistic.


This is just thrown together, although if you look at Viaash's hanger, I think quite a few 3m small scouts could be fit into it.


I would think that aggressive missions by the aliens would have to be severly curtailed. The easiest way to do it is to make the appropriate ships (terror ships & battleships) really expensive/long to build. If it takes you a month to build a terror ship (to the exclusion of all other ships), making a terror attck is major risk. The aliens would basically have wasted a month's production if they lose the terror mission.

As for technology, I think that the aliens would have to be limited early in the game. Either researching new tech as x-crops does, or (like I mentioned above) having to find alien caches on earth (where x-corps can show up and steal all your new toys). Also, how elerium is aquired has to be thought out.

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#8 GreatGold

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 09:43 AM

The humans would have to be so incredibly boosted to even have a chance at beating the aliens...think about it, you could raid only at night, t-site at will(and with whatever units you want), have access to plasma and blaster bombs long before the humans...

Thats why we need to SERSIOUSLY plan this. There would obviously need to be a regulator on Terror Missions, and also on regular missions. You would need incentive to both as well, and the outcome would need to determine the course for the game for you. For instance, perhaps you only recieve a certain amount of Elerium from your solor system each month. Use it up to fast, and you just out of luck.

Basically, though, we need to start at a very basic level for the planning. I suggest with Mission Types, and the reason why you would need to go on them. That should get us thinking.

Otherthings that will need to be adddressed are:
Tech Tree (and its gonna be way different then X-Corps Tech Tree)
Game Concepts
- this includes: how many bases, on earth, on mars? what facilities? what will they do (such as build aliens, would you need a different facility for each species you want to breed?)

Anyhow, as you see, there is a whole lot to think about. I suggest we keep with the missions for now, as they relate most closely with Xenocide.

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#9 Rwn

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 09:49 AM

From the human point of view, yes, aliens seem nearly invincible, because they imagine that aliens just could send a battleship full of Etherals with blaster launchers and all is over. But what if it wasn't so simple? Let's look at what the aliens do in a normal game:

- First, they mostly send a lot of scouts, then they start to send abductors, harvesters, infiltration and terror, and finally base, retaliation and supply.
- The races generally appear in this order: sectoid and floaters, then mutons and snakemen, finally etherals
- They rarely use blaster launcher right at the beginning, and floaters seem to be the only ones using stun bombs

If the player had similar restrictions, the game would not be so easy, so here are few reflexions.

Why can't aliens send battleships and the like right at the beginning? There are two possibilities: either they take a very long time to build (but then why don't they start to invade Earth a year later?), either they don't have the required technology to build them (again, why don't they just wait a little bit more?).

In the first case, we must assume that something is hurrying them up, but we know there is no precise limit in time: do they need something they can find only on Earth to survive? In the second case, either they just have to hurry for the same reason, but maybe the required technology could only be found on Earth? (all the stuff with aliens fertilizing Earth then leaving could help there)

Why can't aliens send etherals in the first scout then? Again, several things can explain this. They may "need" some very expensive materials to build (human bodies? lost earth technology?), or you may have only a few of them, and don't want to waste them on your first missions.

So, given these first ideas, let's try a (first) plot:

You are the mother brain, on Cydonia. You have been sent there by some overmind (yeah, starcraft, can't find a better name for now) in order to invade Earth. Each month, you have to send (with psi) a report to the overmind, which in exchange supplies you with a given number of aliens (sectoids and/or floaters, or even "neutral" aliens you yan then transform in one of these two races). This is the equivalent for the human international fund supply, and gives a purpose to your score. You gain score when you succesfully finish missions, but not by mining elerium, or other things you can do on Mars: you must do something on Earth. Of course, if you don't go to Earth, humans will develop technologies and score a few points, which would give you a negative score and thus end you game quickly.

So, once you have aliens, you must specialize them into one of these functions: miner (for elerium), engeener (for all your stuff, from plasma cannons to UFOs, required in some missions), soldier (obvious), navigator (a certain number is rquired to drive any UFO), doctor (for alien creation, required for some missions, like harvesting or abduction), leader (you can't send a ship with more than, say, 10 aliens in it if there's no leader) and commander (required to build a base and to send an UFO with more than, say, 20 aliens - battleships, in short). Terrorist aliens (when available, see below) do not need specialization. Specializing takes time according to the function (basically, soldier < miner < navigator < engeener < doctor < leader < commander), in order to make it much more easy to send a pack of soldiers than a pack of leaders.

Which missions do you need to undertake? First, all missions except scouting (and supply) require you to explore the area with scouts. Every time you suceed in a scouting mission, you score a certain amount of "scout points" for this place (few for a small scout, more for larger scouts), and it's only when you have enough scout points that you are allowed to send a more important mission. Missions do always have a chance to fail (even when X-COM is not involved), but increasing the crew (especially with engeeners/doctors according to the mission and navigators), having an earth base and doing missions in allied countries decrease this chance.

What's the utility of the different missions?
- Alien research: requires a large (?) UFO scout, with engeeners/doctors?. Sometimes, when you have scouted an area, you can find some ancient aliens ruins. Sucessfully sending an alien research at this place allows you to get the knowledge of some technologies, which for example will allow you later to build mutons, snakemen, etherals and their associated terrorists. Alternatively, this can increase the chances of success of some missions requiring good knowledge of human stuff, like infiltration (and terrorism?).
- Alien harvest: requires an harvester UFO, with doctors?. In order to maintain your troops, you need food, and this is the way to acquire it. Alternatively, this can provide you some of the raw materials required to create aliens (but this is less efficient than abduction)
- Alien abduction: requires an abdution UFO, with doctors?. Provides you raw materials (bodies, DNA...) to create aliens. In order to "build" aliens, you need to bring enough of "raw materials" from Earth to Cydonia; all species do not require the same amount of "raw materials": floaters and sectoid must be cheaper.
- Alien infiltration: requires a scout (?) UFO. These missions have little chance of success, but are very rewarding because it's a big threat to X-COM. Once you've signed a pact, you are allowed to build a base in this country, and all other missions in this country have an increased chance of success.
- Alien terrorism: requires a terrorism UFO, with terrorists and at least as many of the non-terrorist associated race soldiers to "control" them (snakemen would be completely useless instead...). This mission, is successful, increases the chance of infiltration in that country (and probably in the others), and gives you "raw materials" (and, of course, a big score bonus) but will undoubtly attract X-COM.
- Alien base: requires a supply (?) UFO, with soldiers, doctors, engeeners, and commander (optionnally terrorists). Once you've built a base, the probability of success of other missions on Earth increases a lot, and most missions take far less time (you don't have to go back to Mars), which means that you can undertake more missions every month.
- Alien supply: requires a supply UFO, with doctors and engeeners. This bring elerium and other stuff (food?) to and from your bases.
- Alien retaliation: requires a battleship UFO, with engeeners, commander, and optionnally terrorists (same restriction as terror ships). To attack X-COM bases, once you've found them with scouts.

In order to win, you need to destroy all X-COM bases, or to inflict them a huge score penalty (this is to avoid annoying searching for the last deserted base when X-COM is virtually dead).

Of course, you have to be extremely careful in the choice of your equipment: remember that any object X-COM finds will be replicated later on. This is why bringing blaster launchers right at eh beginning is not necessarly a good idea, because you may want to keep them for later to fight highly-armoured soldiers.

(phew, that's the end of this long post...)

#10 Nickisimo

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 10:31 AM

Okay...yeah, that was long. Some good thoughts though. Since this has piqued my curiousity(is that a good thing?), let me add my thoughts:

Why can't aliens send battleships and the like right at the beginning? There are two possibilities: either they take a very long time to build (but then why don't they start to invade Earth a year later?), either they don't have the required technology to build them (again, why don't they just wait a little bit more?).


I've been base-raided in the first month, and seen b-ships very early in the game. It's rare, but no so much on Genius or Superhuman. Some limits are obviously imposed on the game though to keep things reasonable. Maybe the aliens didn't know exactly what they needed up until the first bit of fighting, and then went into mass production of bigger ships. We could handle that.

Why can't aliens send etherals in the first scout then?

From everything I've read about the species, the ethereals are too few and too important to send in the beginning. You have to remember that detectors only pick up 5% or 10% of all UFO movement within that small radius, so there are theoretically tons of UFOs heading out with sectiods, then floaters and so on as you said. Good stuff.

Every time you suceed in a scouting mission, you score a certain amount of "scout points" for this place (few for a small scout, more for larger scouts), and it's only when you have enough scout points that you are allowed to send a more important mission.


I like this idea. We'll have to assume that the humans don't get scores(or else they would probably lose very quickly). I'm not sure about the end goal...I don't know if any of you guys have played the PS1 version and lost...but there was a really sweet little movie showing the aliens basically signing a peace treaty at the UN building, and then mutons kick the door down and kill the humans. Maybe the final mission would be to raid the UN complex? And you'd have to capture a human commander or something to research, "UN or Bust" :LOL: Anyway, that'd be neat. Plus, how cool would it be to wipe out the UN? :D

Edited by Nickisimo, 23 July 2003 - 10:33 AM.


#11 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 10:32 AM

I don't agree with the point system. You should only lose if the humans get to Cydonia and kill u, if a bad score was a way to lose as the aliens then the human campaign would be VERY boring ;) ( and easy )

I do like the idea of having more troops sent 2 u depending on how well u r doing. But then, what is the alien cloning thing 4? Maybe a better idea would be if the alien currency was elerium, and the better u do then the more elerium u will get 2 fly down 2 earth. Alloy's can be made on Cydonia provided as a harvester mission comes up with Human Raw Materials ( eg. metal, new item unavailable 2 humans as they don't need it ).

That way, if u do REALLY badly then u get no elerium. U can't fly 2 Earth. Say, if the overlord stops funding u Elerium and u have no supplies then a flash forward with cut scenes showing the humans killing u on Cydonia, maybe just 2 the Cydonia mission.

The aliens mission? Complete destruction of X-Corps OR signing pacts with every country in the world ( same thing really I guess, just like a diplomatic type victory.)

#12 Kexpakki

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:07 AM

How about if you the General who controles the Earth Invation Force? and every month you get suplyes from the Alien colonies all around the universe? they could be like goverments for humans and they wouldent want to give a compleat retard who couldent invade his pants all there battleships now would they?
*edit* Oh and they could have divited what colonie gets what part of earth so they will be happy if your active in there area. and when you have done enough they will send colonizers to build a base

Edited by Kexpakki, 23 July 2003 - 11:09 AM.


#13 Breunor

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:11 AM

Very good ideas. I think having several requirements for the aliens keeps things balanced. Limited elerium flow at first that research can increase; food supplies based off of human abduction and cow mutilation ^_^ ; scouting missions that reduce the chance of being intercepted by humans; terror missions that are paired with spy infiltration, requiring genetic research earlier; taking control of at least one country before you can build a base, which allows you make more efficient raids.

The original game had little flukes like b-ship attacks early on, because I guess there was that .01% chance for it. Making an alien version will require reworking lots of areas for balance, so you're not stuck following what the original did to the letter. I think it's fair to assume you start with plasma tech and stun launcher.alien grenades, but I think the rest either requires research or special supplies to make. If Celatids are making your alien alloy supplies, then maybe cow parts are what they eat, so you have to keep them supplied for example. I think genetic mutation is what gives you mutons/snakemen (or their equivalents) later in the game, maybe you only start with sectoids and have to research/evolve all the rest. There would be several things you have to build up to advance to the next level, but once you get things going and get better stuff, the humans get better interceptors and the like. If you're shot down, you have to survive a skyranger attack to get your guys out, etc.

#14 Rwn

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:40 AM

I've been base-raided in the first month, and seen b-ships very early in the game. It's rare, but no so much on Genius or Superhuman. Some limits are obviously imposed on the game though to keep things reasonable. Maybe the aliens didn't know exactly what they needed up until the first bit of fighting, and then went into mass production of bigger ships. We could handle that.


Yeah, I've been base-raided in the first month too (in beginner mode!). But it can make sense if aliens were lucky enough to find the base with their first scout... OK, this should be impossible if you're alien, so let's say humans have at least 2 or 3 nice bases to start with... I know this is not fully compatible with what you see in a human game, but fun and challenge must prime over realism. Same for battleship: we can only assume that the computer is not as good as an human player, and thus he must cheat to have a chance to win in harder difficulties ^_^ Like for humans, there could be some research to do before being able to build the bigger UFOs (abduction - to force the player to rely on harvester first -, battleship and supply).

We'll have to assume that the humans don't get scores(or else they would probably lose very quickly)


Well, with the actual scoring system, yes, but when you play alien they could gain much more points than what you would normally get in a human game, and even gain points just with time. It's something hidden in the game, so we can do anything with it...

I'm not sure about the end goal...


Hm, yes, just wiping out every X-COM base would lack the "final mission" feeling. Maybe we can imagine a secret X-COM headquarter you can't discover until you capture enough X-COM bases, and you'd need to destroy to win the game?

I don't agree with the point system. You should only lose if the humans get to Cydonia and kill u, if a bad score was a way to lose as the aliens then the human campaign would be VERY boring  ( and easy )


Why? When you sucessfully capture an UFO with X-COM, remember that at the same time aliens may have completed 10 missions you haven't discovered. Of course, the alien scoring need to be adjusted, but if there's no score for alien, why would you need to go on Earth? If you don't give any UFO to the humans, they can't discover the Avenger, and thus never go to Cydonia, you can't lose... There must be a pressure on you (like the aliens growing stronger when you play humans) otherwise you just have to recruit a bunch of soldiers, build UFOs and mine elerium for 4 years, then launch 100 scouts followed by as many battleships to win.

I do like the idea of having more troops sent 2 u depending on how well u r doing. But then, what is the alien cloning thing 4? Maybe a better idea would be if the alien currency was elerium, and the better u do then the more elerium u will get 2 fly down 2 earth. Alloy's can be made on Cydonia provided as a harvester mission comes up with Human Raw Materials ( eg. metal, new item unavailable 2 humans as they don't need it ).


The problem is that there's supposed to be plenty of elerium available on Mars, so you're not dependent on anybody else to get it. But I like the idea of requiring earth metals to build UFOs. The fact that aliens know how to clone doesn't mean that they can replicate themselves at will: this is why I imagined that they would need human (or cows, but it's less efficient) bodies or DNA to "build" clones.

That way, if u do REALLY badly then u get no elerium. U can't fly 2 Earth. Say, if the overlord stops funding u Elerium and u have no supplies then a flash forward with cut scenes showing the humans killing u on Cydonia, maybe just 2 the Cydonia mission.


But if you don't have elerium, neither will humans! You're the only supplier of elerium, so if the overmind stops fundings right at the beginning and you're not able to go on earth more than a few times, humans will never acquire enough elerium to go on Mars.

This reminds me, something has to be done to prevent you to destroy every UFO engines when you start a mission, otherwise humans will never acquire any elerium...

#15 mikker

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:42 AM

I dissagree on the winning conditions. How many bases do the human have? 3-4? 10-20?......Humans should have bases, but if you destroy all of them, they would just build some new ones, after a little time of building.

To win, you most sign pacts with all cuntrys, either one by one, or all in one pact (if you do it good enouth, and the X-corps are almost always loosing). To make stuff harder, X-corps can reclaim cuntrys (counter-infiltration mission, with would be a battle with human agents with plasma weaponry), if you have no bases in that cuntry.

To lose, humans most, after researching the avenger, go into your base on mars. To make it harder, humans can have op to 3 avengers with them at all times! So it would be good to have atleast something.

If you launch a mission, and is either shot down, or assaulted at landing site, you will have to battle soldiers acording to the UFO size you are flying.

Human will research at a certain rate. They should have alien alloys to start with.

You will have to research earth stuff. Your alloy ration will be very limited, unless you research stuff like plants, plastics, and titanium. (as little as you can do it without the United Founding Nation).

The Overmind will also send you replacement units (maybe you can specify your needs, like the buying as human? Maybe he will give you stuff to a certain point, depending on your peformance?).


I dissagree on the unit evolution. All units should start as "slave" (not a few that you have from the start), unless specefied to the overmind, that you need navigators, etc.
You can automaticly evolve slaves to soldiers.

All units should go slave-soldier-engineer-doctor-navigator-(Psi specialists)-leader-commander, but some are better to stuff then others.

this lists shows who are best to what:

sectoid: slave-soldier-navigator-psi specialist-leader-commander
flooter: slave-soldier-doctor-
mutton: slave-soldier-engineer-leader
snakeman: slave-solder-engineer-leader
ethernal: soldier*-navigator-psi specialist-leader-commander

(*: cannot use psi)

Like this, only flooters can be doctors, but they cannot be anything else. Flooters are great doctors.

Slaves can be used for verius porpuses, like building (not as good as engineering)

Mining at mars can't give you elerium, but it can give you raw material for alien alloys. This alone cannot give you alloys (you also need stuff to the other layers), but this cannot be harvested on earth.

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#16 GreatGold

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 11:58 AM

Hey -

It would defeat the purrpose of a campaign if the Humans and Aliens did not start off on the same foot. So, I don't think Humans should have Alien Alloy until they capture, research, and then decide how to use it.

I mean, its the same game, you would just be picking the side you want to play on. So if you have played Humans, you know what the Aliens have to start. If you play Aliens, you know what the humans have to start. Because both sides start equal.

In regard to different Alien Types, I was thinking the following:

You start off with N number of Sectoids on Mars. In order to create new alien species, you need a single facility for each. That facility can only produce X amount of Aliens per month, and only assuming you have sent the orginal Sectiods on various missions to gather supplies. Each new facility is already researched, being that all the Alien types already exist, but each new species (depending on skill) costs more and requires more supplies. You could build more than one facility of each type, but then you need that much more supplies and time. As a note, I think the accompanying terror species would also be produced in the same facility.

In regard to having them as a special class, other than soldier, they would need to be trained in a new facilty as well. Medics in some Medical Facilty, Navigators in a Navigator facilty, Engineers in a Engineering School (all just examples of names, LOL). Leaders be promoted from Soldiers who have done well. There would be no limit of them. Commanders would be promoted by Leaders that did well. I think it would be 1 per base and per Battleship. So if later on you have 3 BattleShips and 2 Bases, you could have 5 Commanders total.

Navigators in a mission would increase the ability of the craft to not be intercepted. Medics would make capturing humans easier. Engineers would prevent the craft from being shotdown as easily (as in, the Scout gets hit by cannon fire, if there is an engineer aboard there is less of a chance of the craft going down). Stats for all of these would increas the same as X-Corps operatives, with a new category added for their speciality.

New topic. I think we need to start putting ALL these ideas in a document. Then people can modify to their hearts desire, add it to the document, and everyone can see it. I will put together an Outline over the course of the following weeks. Of course, feel free to work on your own document, and we can just combine all of them at some point. Once this is done it will be easier to keep track of ideas, and figure out the concepts and game-design.

I'm looking at this as a fun excersize, as we are waaaay ahead of ourselves. I don't imagine any actual work would start on this until well after the Xenocide Beta is released, or even the final product is. But, its enjoyable, so lets start planning.

Gold

Edited by GreatGold, 23 July 2003 - 12:00 PM.

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#17 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 12:01 PM

I like the alien slave/soldier/engineer... progression idea. Maybe you need an 'Implant Programming Center' or something to upgrade a unit. Since (almost)every race has brain implants, that's how they train...just download it. Of course, the complicated a job is, the longer it takes to download...

Another idea I had is to make the elerium supply one of the major limits on the aliens. Have there a be total amount of elerium available for the WHOLE GAME. Maybe something like 5000-6000 or so, with the ability to mine 400-500 each month. THat puts limits on how many big ships you can build ( a battleship with four power sources would cost about a month worth of elerium to build).

There's your alien incentive...they have to conquer the earth before they run out of elerium (maybe the need earth to build a Giant Space Communicator ™ to get back in contact with the overmind.

I prefer to keep it limited to the solar system, rather than having the aliens gettign help from 'outside'.

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#18 Aosar

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 12:13 PM

To make stuff harder, X-corps can reclaim cuntrys (counter-infiltration mission, with would be a battle with human agents with plasma weaponry), if you have no bases in that cuntry.


Like I have said, this should be also available for humans, but it should be hard! I mean in the human SP...

sectoid: slave-soldier-navigator-psi specialist-leader-commander
flooter: slave-soldier-doctor-
mutton: slave-soldier-engineer-leader
snakeman: slave-solder-engineer-leader
ethernal: soldier*-navigator-psi specialist-leader-commander


Hmm, that isn't the way to go IMO... For instance, you have a functional squad with few soldiers, an engineer, leader and a doctor, then your doctor gets a promotion. Suddenly you have nobody to fix up your troops! I'm not saying having different kinds of 'personnel' is bad, I'm saying you should be able to affect along what path they proceed;

............Doctor........-> Psi specialist(?)
........./...............\
......./...............Medic
...../.................../
Slave....->.....Soldier -> leader -> Commander
.....\
Engineer -> Navigator

Or something along those lines... (Imagine the dot's are space's...)

Edited by Aosar, 23 July 2003 - 12:15 PM.

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#19 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 01:18 PM

We'll have to assume that the humans don't get scores(or else they would probably lose very quickly)


Well, with the actual scoring system, yes, but when you play alien they could gain much more points than what you would normally get in a human game, and even gain points just with time. It's something hidden in the game, so we can do anything with it...


The thing with this is that in MP, how is it gonna work? There needs 2 be a consistant score counting from SP 2 MP, or its gonna be unbalanced in MP. I don't know how tho, I just know it does or it won't work.

I don't agree with the point system. You should only lose if the humans get to Cydonia and kill u, if a bad score was a way to lose as the aliens then the human campaign would be VERY boring  ( and easy )


Why? When you sucessfully capture an UFO with X-COM, remember that at the same time aliens may have completed 10 missions you haven't discovered. Of course, the alien scoring need to be adjusted, but if there's no score for alien, why would you need to go on Earth? If you don't give any UFO to the humans, they can't discover the Avenger, and thus never go to Cydonia, you can't lose... There must be a pressure on you (like the aliens growing stronger when you play humans) otherwise you just have to recruit a bunch of soldiers, build UFOs and mine elerium for 4 years, then launch 100 scouts followed by as many battleships to win.


Well, things like food 4 instance. Troops can't live without it. I propose a system differing from most RTS's, in that u need a constant supply of food each month. Don't land on earth and u don't get it. Stop em from shooting down craft by tryin to find base with scouts, lose some, need some more supplies to build more ships and clone more soldiers. Other things would branch out from this.

The problem is that there's supposed to be plenty of elerium available on Mars, so you're not dependent on anybody else to get it.


I could be wrong, but in the UFOpaedia doesn't it say that Elerium comes from outside our solar system?

That way, if u do REALLY badly then u get no elerium. U can't fly 2 Earth. Say, if the overlord stops funding u Elerium and u have no supplies then a flash forward with cut scenes showing the humans killing u on Cydonia, maybe just 2 the Cydonia mission.


But if you don't have elerium, neither will humans! You're the only supplier of elerium, so if the overmind stops fundings right at the beginning and you're not able to go on earth more than a few times, humans will never acquire enough elerium to go on Mars.


Well, since all the aliens troops would die of starvation the threat will be over ne way, prehaps a diff ending if that happens. Humans DO know how to get 2 mars u know. It's been done with probes, we've been into space since the '60's. Things like wars tend 2 advance things sufficiently, the only reason the americans got into space was coz of the space race with the russians. Notice now that the soviet union has disbanded space travel has pratically ground to a halt ( I know international space station, but it's basically just a science lab ).

Edit: Read mikkers post, sorry 4 the double post bout elerium :hammer:

Edited by Jim69, 23 July 2003 - 01:34 PM.


#20 mikker

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 01:31 PM

yes, elerium are way beyond our solar system, as said in moi last post.

I like the branch evolution of the troops. You could even select to demote a unit to engineer from navigator, if you have a lack of engineers (same with soldiers and leaders.).

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#21 Breunor

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 01:42 PM

I also like the alien alloys requiring minerals on earth, I think current creative text describes it as layers of alloys and organic materials, created by the celatids. So you need to either harvest stuff from earth and make it, or you can use minerals on mars too. Alloy production is limited to how many celatids(and muton controllers?) you have and raw materials/production facilities, so that would function similar to workshops/engineers/living quarters.

Perhaps the original crew of aliens sent is very limited, and you have to clone them to make enough aliens to attack earth. You have just a couple of each to start. Humans can research lasers right away, so you make the alien research start with cloning for example. Then you can clone each alien, after making cloning chambers. You can have basic and advanced versions, allowing normal/advanced clones. Reapers could take longer, chryssallid longer still, and ethereals the longest. That's why it takes longer for aliens to appear, you don't have facilities until later to produce enough to be useful. Same with ufos, instead of hangars you make shipyards. Basic yard can produce all scouts, advanced produces larger ship hulls. You also research other techs that allow you to use various weapons on the craft.

#22 Rwn

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 02:32 PM

The thing with this is that in MP, how is it gonna work? There needs 2 be a consistant score counting from SP 2 MP, or its gonna be unbalanced in MP. I don't know how tho, I just know it does or it won't work.


There are two solutions: make a different scoring system in MP (to give equal chances to both players), and keep a "harder" scoring system for SP (to keep a challenge), or improve the computer's AI. In the original UFO aliens did not have a "coherent" strategy, I mean, behaving like a normal human player would. If the rules change (and the aliens have to research some technologies, have a limited number of battleships at once, etc.), then the scoring system should change accordingly.

I could be wrong, but in the UFOpaedia doesn't it say that Elerium comes from outside our solar system?


Woops, this must be Apoc's influence... Well, if it not produced on Mars, we have to find where it does come from. Maybe another UFO type, "miner", which is send outside the solar system, and brings back elerium at given intervals?

On other topics, I really like the complexity that starts to emerge (celatids for alien alloys, controlled by mutons, which are dependent on etherals, doctors available only to floaters and maybe etherals, etc.). This mean that you should be able to make any alien right at the beginning, but some would take more time/resources to create and eventually to breed, providing strategical decisions close to the human's one (do I use my money for recruiting soldier? HWP? Scientists?...).

Several people suggested that navigators should increase the chance not to be intercepted, engineers should prevent UFOs from crashing, etc. I think they should not only do this, but be essential to complete some missions (navigators for larger UFOs' control, doctors for abduction...): this would make another element you have to take in account and add to the strategical aspect of the game (what if the humans suddenly attack 3 or 4 harvesters/abductors, thus killing all your doctors and preventing you from launching any of these missions for a long time?).

#23 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 06:12 PM

what if the humans suddenly attack 3 or 4 harvesters/abductors, thus killing all your doctors and preventing you from launching any of these missions for a long time?).

Well, If that happened, its most likely game over.

Hmm, maby on the easier difficulties if a situation like the above occurs the overmind will send One harvester with a medic? I mean, the new players will probably fuss if the game ends so abruptly, so you should have an ability to attack earth even if you are without harvesters. Its just that your ability to attack earth would be greatly diminished without supplies.

For example: Normally you can have say, 10 missions of any type going at once. If you lose your supplies then that number drops to 1-2 low-level missions, like scout, and harvest.
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#24 Rwn

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 07:11 PM

No, I don't think it would mean game over (well, it depends on what's the purpose of harvesting missions...) if you planned carefully your strategy, but of course it would be a pain. I assume it would be close to losing your skyranger in a mission in human mode.

#25 hippyjon

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 07:49 PM

um, i think im gonna leave you guys to this, far too much for me to read at this time. but i really hope we're going to have a quick and easy MP similar to ufo2000 as well as this full game MP as a lot of people wont be bothered to play a full campaign that often (not to mention that this will take like a year to balance)
...or something

#26 GreatGold

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 10:21 PM

Hey -

Without doubt there wil be a simple Scenerio Generator, as well as Scenerio Editor I would assume. So that you could create BattleScape MP missions to a very specific degree.

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#27 mikker

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 01:33 AM

If you lose all your doctors, then its shouldn't be game over. You just kindly ask the overmind to send some more doctors. Unless he gets very mad for loosing 4 abducters/harvesters, then a single doctor would proberly be in order to ship to you.

Same with elerium. The overmind will always send you a certain ammount of elerium depending on your performence, so a really good player can get the really good ships, and a player with bad luck can only get scouts and a few abducters and harvesters.

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#28 Breunor

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 07:06 AM

I think that if you had to clone each alien you use, and were not allowed to use the originals you start with, then losing a particular alien or class would just slow you down while you cloned a couple more. If floater doctors were required for abduction missions, it could get nasty if you ran out of "dna goo" that you get from abductions, and had to use a less efficient system to get just enough to clone new floaters. Then you could send out an abductor for a larger haul. I think you should be able to send out scouts for small raids that are relatively safe, and abductions which are riskier but get you more gooies.

The reason for terror raids could go like this: the human defense/xcom has a rating with each country. Your terror raids are the main way to drop that score in the affected country. Once it reaches a certain level, you can send infiltrators in to try and take over the country. Once you've done that, you can start building a base in that country. Having a base on earth is required for winning. Once you have that, you can continue reducing scores in other countries, and eventually you could do something international in nature, like take out the UN.

#29 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 08:00 AM

I was thinking that if you lost all of your harvesters/abductors/whatevers that you would have a seriously hampered time winning.

I think that large scouts should be able to do low-level mini harvests, so that if all of your harvesters get blown up that you can still survive. A mini harvest mission would give only a fraction of the resources of a mission undertaken with a harvester.
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#30 mikker

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 01:07 PM

i think all ships can go harvest: supply and harvesters are the best, next comes battleship and abductors, and last in the line are scouts.

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#31 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 07:06 AM

Thats even better! Good idea!

Anyway, how about as a solution to the problem of early battleships, you could say that the overmind doesn't send out battleship schematics to just anybody, you have to prove to it that you are responsible enough to command battleships. Basically, after a certain amount of time if your score is enough, the overmind will send over the plans, so you can build the bships.
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#32 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 07:11 AM

Or maybe the engineers aren't skilled enough yet, u need 2 build some smaller ships 2 get some experience, so they get 2 a certain level prehaps with stats, and then they can build something more advanced like Battleships.

#33 dipstick

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 08:18 AM

Thats a good idea about bships.

Also, what about timing? If you land a large scout and it stays there for 1 hour - it gets X stuff. If it stays there for 2 hrs it gets 2X stuff etc etc. That way, if you need more stuff you give a chance for XCOM to land with a transport. Just put a couple of mutons or something in it to defend it - maybe a limit on personnel??

Also, maybe you need a navigator to fly - no bonuses are given, but no nav, no ship. Same with engineer on bship or something?
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#34 Nickisimo

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 09:17 AM

Ooh...I'm starting to see some feasible ideas here...

There could be a bunch of different things to keep track of your progress as an alien commander...

One could just be a straight-up score, where the higher it is, the more you can build(or something like you're giving a certain number of pts monthly to spend on soldiers, ships, research, etc).

Or, you could have a reputation based system(like your standing within the alien CEOs), where you are given monthly objectives, and depending on how many primary and secondary objectives you complete for the month, they give you pts.

Example, January 1999: Based on current research and your current resources, the Overmind feels that you need to do the following:
(*'s are secondary objectives)

- Conduct mining operations to attain 10,000 alien alloys from Mars
* Construct an additional mining facility
- Raise and train 200 soldiers
* Train 10 leaders
- Terrorize one human city(terror ship will be provided, but only authorized for this mission)
* Conduct mission with success, eliminate all civilians, and human military operatives if necessary
- Conduct 50 successful scouting missions
* Locate possible site for future harvesting and abduction missions

What do you think? :huh?:

Edited by Nickisimo, 25 July 2003 - 09:17 AM.


#35 Breunor

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 09:47 AM

I think you solve the early battleship issue the same way as the avenger. You need to research various technologies, as well as put lots of materials and time into building it. Say you have to harvest food supplies from your raids, so the more aliens you clone the more food you need. So you have to build your infastructure up to support all the aliens, which you need to run battleships and the like. Say your mars base can support minimal aliens, enough to get you started. You can also build small scouts to begin, and with those you start looking for abductees, earth minerals, base sites, and food. You start building your resources, increasing your mars base just like humans do, and once you have the tech and materials you can search out a site and build an earth base. Perhaps you're using elerium to fly from mars, but can use scouts without elerium from earth bases.

#36 mikker

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 09:52 AM

but can use scouts without elerium from earth bases.

Scouts dosn't use elerium???????? :huh?:

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#37 Nickisimo

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 11:51 AM

All use 50 elerium, although you don't get squat for recovering a small scout(how does it move?). That poor lonely little sectiod...

#38 Breunor

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 02:06 PM

I meant that you could research something that would allow the smallest ufos to be retrofitted with non-elerium engines. If you're running low on it, you could fall back on small, slower ufos to help you get by tight spots, but they could only fly from earth bases, not from mars. I don't know if that would work in a multiplayer setup though.

If you're not able to recover elerium from a small scout, then you could argue that they don't use it I guess.

#39 j'ordos

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 03:33 PM

They could be using it, but for game purposes, it can be said they use negligible quantities.
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#40 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 11:31 AM

I always thought it was a bug that small scouts lacked elerium. Perhaps, due to the ss's size, it can't have a centralized power source, so maby it has a small amount of elerium (20?) distributed throughout its hull. Or perhaps small scouts don't have a power source at all. What im thinking is a large battery, long enough to last a day, that is charged from an alien base's power supply.
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#41 Aosar

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 12:18 PM

Yeah, unless ofcourse if the small ufo is propelled by pedalling... :LOL:

Bad humor... Anyways, like in another threath(sp?) suggested, we could make the alien SP campaing take place after the fall of Cydonia, in a warcraft/starcraft style of way, first you finish the Human campaing and then you start the alien campaing...
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#42 KallDrexx

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 12:42 PM

Also another thing to note. If you look at the UFOPedia all it says about elerium is that it isn't created in this solar system... if thats so then where exactly do the aliens get the elerium from? Might help when designing the alien side.

#43 Fred the Goat

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 01:43 PM

Holy crap. I trust your collective judgements. Good ideas going around. Just because I don't respond doesn't mean I'm not paying attention. Or at least skimming. Yeah, ok, I'm skimming.

#44 hArk

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 06:55 AM

Elerium = money is a good idea they ship it in once a month and after all it is a very valuable limited rare resource since all their Tech is based on it

An idea is to start the story as you take over from an alien commander execution and you get promoted in his place to try and gain back the advantage over the humans. So you now got an excuse why the humans Tech are more advanced than usual at the start

#45 mikker

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 08:17 AM

Also another thing to note.  If you look at the UFOPedia all it says about elerium is that it isn't created in this solar system... if thats so then where exactly do the aliens get the elerium from?  Might help when designing the alien side.

I think your boss sends it to you.

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#46 Fred the Goat

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 11:12 PM

Maybe elerium is tied to psychic powers. It could only be stable for more than a month or two when held in a psychic field or something. And your boss could therefore "pay" you with a portion of its psychic power, rather than shooting elerium to you across the galaxy, which, realistically (although they are aliens, so it doesn't really matter) would take more than a day. Or maybe your boss just pays you in psychic power, and elerium is assumed - it's something you have in abundance and never even worry about. Power could be used to "buy" units and weapons, in that those things are all psychically linked, and therefore psychically controlled. You run out of power, and you can't clone any more mutons, because you can't control them.

#47 miceless

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 11:24 PM

I thought Elerium was going to be mined on mars? Not sure whether that was just a suggestion or not, but isnt that a fact in XCOM: Apoc?
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#48 mikker

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 03:55 AM

I thought Elerium was going to be mined on mars? Not sure whether that was just a suggestion or not, but isnt that a fact in XCOM: Apoc?

its says that it is "mined from distend planetary systems", aka, not mars.

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#49 miceless

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 04:16 AM

Oh ok, I dont have Apoc at work so i was unable to check.
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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:03 AM

Ain't u gotta defend the mines in deep space in Interceptor? I think I remember seeing something like this someplace