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Ufo Eu And Tftd Balanced.


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#1 uncy

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 06:51 PM

Hi everyone!

I have been lurking around this forum for quite a long time (probably years), I also visit the SC forums as well.

I have been developing a tool which re-balances both UFO EU and TFTD, since they have way too many imbalances.

The main changes are listed below:
Weapons:
- Alien weapons are no longer "the best" at countering aliens. This is done by eliminating Auto fire in plasma guns (Aliens never use it) and reducing ammo capacity (also rarely used by aliens).
- Balance all other weapons TU's and Accuracy%. This gives one the chance to better use of Auto, Snap and Aimed shots.
- New prices for weapons and Laser/Gauss will now need Alien ingredients in order to be produced. These weapons can now have a use against Aliens, only they are hard to be made. Alien weapons cannot be produced!
- Looting is no longer going to make one rich! all the prices for Mag. Navigation, Mind proves, corpses, etc. are reduced to a 30% average.
- Aircraft weapons are also improved (to actually make use of cannon), and allowing Interceptors/Barracudas to take down only small-medium sized UFO's/USO's, and allowing 2 Interceptors to take down bigger UFO's. All UFO's can now be a threat when intercepting.

Aliens:
- Aliens Stats are balanced for a more fair game by reducing Alien Accuracy, Reaction, Energy, etc. points in higher difficulty levels. Psi skills are reduced also, since I think there should not be Mind Control performed by soldiers!
- All damage modifiers are updated to more "realistic" values. Lightly armored Aliens now take more damage from AP, well armoured units such as Cyberdiscs and Sectopods take little damage from AP but heavy damage from Laser.
- Plasma weapons should no longer inflict extra damage to Aliens!

Maps:
- All UFO's count with new entrances and map routes are updated so Aliens can actually get in and out without getting stucked.
- Terror mission maps and routes improved.

I am sorry The list is long but this is what I can come up with right now.

I love these games, and I enjoy getting new challenges from them.

Please help me with Ideas to improve even more these games.

Thanks!
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Uncy

#2 NKF

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 12:01 AM

Just thought I'd respond to a few of your changes there:

- Alien weapons are no longer "the best" at countering aliens. This is done by eliminating Auto fire in plasma guns (Aliens never use it) and reducing ammo capacity (also rarely used by aliens).


Aliens actually do use autofire during reaction attacks and during their turn. Autoshot-reactions are actually one of the alien's specialty moves, since player controlled units cannot do this. Or are you thinking of making them more like TFTD's sonic weapons, which were devastating even without autofire?

New prices for weapons and Laser/Gauss will now need Alien ingredients in order to be produced. These weapons can now have a use against Aliens, only they are hard to be made. Alien weapons cannot be produced!


XComutil does something similar, but I don't see it really being too much of a detriment. It'll be like the craft plasma cannons. Expensive to build, but real good value for money from then on due to their infinite ammo.

- Looting is no longer going to make one rich! all the prices for Mag. Navigation, Mind proves, corpses, etc. are reduced to a 30% average.


That's only going to delay the inevitable. ;) Particularly if you've got a supply ship or base-smash-and-grab operation on hand. Actually, this might just promote this more as you'll want to keep the funds up. Two minds about that one.

- Aircraft weapons are also improved (to actually make use of cannon), and allowing Interceptors/Barracudas to take down only small-medium sized UFO's/USO's, and allowing 2 Interceptors to take down bigger UFO's. All UFO's can now be a threat when intercepting.


I feel the cannon/g. cannon are fine as they are. It's the laser cannon and the hopelessly inefficient craft gauss cannon that need some rebalancing. A more moderate range attack (say Stingray/Ajax length) would be quite desireable.

- Aliens Stats are balanced for a more fair game by reducing Alien Accuracy, Reaction, Energy, etc. points in higher difficulty levels. Psi skills are reduced also, since I think there should not be Mind Control performed by soldiers!


That's the Ethereal's main gimmick. Without it, they make Mutons look tough. :D

I'm not too fussed with most of the stats. It gives some of the aliens character (say, Lobstermen). However, I do have issue with the 100+% accurate snapshots that the TFTD terror units end up with. (Biodrone and Triscene in particular). You can achieve these levels of accuracy too, but only after a lot of time and investment. The aliens get them by default.

- All damage modifiers are updated to more "realistic" values. Lightly armored Aliens now take more damage from AP, well armoured units such as Cyberdiscs and Sectopods take little damage from AP but heavy damage from Laser.


In a way, that's already implemented in the game by the damage levels of the weapon and the external armour of the units. Cyberdiscs and sectopods take practically no damage from AP but do get damaged easily with laser, while sectoids get mauled even with pistol shots. Also Mutons take 60% AP damage, and cyberdiscs take 80% AP damage. It's basically there.

- Plasma weapons should no longer inflict extra damage to Aliens!


They don't. Aliens all take normal damage from plasma (i.e. 100%). The sectopod takes 60% and the zombie only takes 70%. They're pretty good - it's the sheer amount of damage that the weapons deal that take them down quickly.

Note if you're referring to the Sectopod's self-killing themselves easily with their own cannons, this is due to a bit of a graphical illusion. Their attacks look like plasma beams, but deal laser damage.


I don't have too many thoughts for you to consider in terms of improvements. Not that I don't have any - I just don't think I'd end. :D

But there here's one that comes to mind:

TFTD: The blasta rifle needs to be rebalanced so that it's unique. As it is, it's just an average middling weapon with no better or worse traits than its extreme counterparts. It just doesn't stand out like the plasma rifle did.

I mean, with the plasma family, the weapon specialties went: light with fast autoshot (for a plasma weapon), insane snapshot accuracy then extremely powerful all-rounder that's meant to trump almost everything in your arsenal. The sonic family goes: Fast and moderately accurate with huge ammo clip, middle-of-the-road, then slow with low ammo but extremely powerful and accurate.

The Blasta Rifle is a good weapon, but again it doesn't stand out. One suggestion would be to inherit it's older counterpart's role of being the most accurate snapshot weapon in the game. Perhaps a complete duplicate of the snapshot accuracy of 86%. Something like that - but nothing that encroaches upon the sonic pistol or cannon's niche.

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 12 October 2007 - 12:15 AM.

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#3 uncy

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 10:49 AM

Thanks NFK!

I didn't know aliens use Autofire (!), that changes everything :D, but I still think Heavy Plasma should have less ammo and no AutoFire (It deals only 15 less average damage than Sonic Cannon).

My reason behind this change is to give other weapons the chance to be useful. Like you said, Blasta Rifle should have better accuracy and ammo (like a lesser Sniper Plasma Gun).

Everytime I start a new game I end up arming my whole team with heavy Plasma guns and Autofiring at anything that moves, sometimes even civilians :D (that gives Aliens no chance!).

I played already with Laser/Gauss production price/time/ingredients increased. It was very entertaining when I was starving for 12 Alien Allows when I had lots of money! and later I lost a mission (and equipment!), then I used all my money recovering and I couldn't afford a 28K laser rifle for all my soldiers, I was forced to use Pistols and Rifles again! (It was really exciting!) I felt like the game had changed completly now, I was looting little Scouts hoping they could land before so the loot would be better. I was taking a lot of care of Laser Guns, whenever a soldier got killed, I sent out a kid to pick up his stuff back in to the plane.

I don't mean to make Laser Guns so unpayable that they will inflict a major change in your economy, but they can push you down the pit when your economy is having trouble.

Looting is no longer convenient when Alien prices are lower, weapons are more expensive, and the risk is too high! I cried when a watched a Floater Supply Ship Land nearby my base, I couln't have a decent Team ready after my last Terror Mission (which hurt me!).

Laser/Gauss Cannon should have better range. Very much agreed. ;)

I think most UFO EU Alien Stats are fine. But is TFTD +100% accuracy AStats are just outrageous!

I found that the Tables in Ufopaedia don't match 100% the Records in the UFO and TFTD executables. Also in some cases, like Lobstermen, they can only take damage (50%) from Sonic Cannon and S.Rifle (oh yeah, and drill) leaving Gauss weapons obsolete.

oops! I wanted to say that Plasma Weapons should no longer be the only way to kill aliens in the future. ;)

Your last lines are exactly what I want for Plasma/Sonic Rifle :wub:

Thanks again NFK, I am very glad I got your reply!

Uncy
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#4 uncy

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 11:42 AM

Here is a Terror Mission, about 10 Armoured Soldiers all equiped with Heavy Plasmas and Alien Grenades versus Sectoids and 1 Cyberdisc.

Here you can see the hard time Sectoids (and most Alien races later on) have when fighting against Heavy Plasma Humans. I swap the game units so you are in control of Aliens.

I am sorry about the Cyberdisc, I couldn't give it any weapon this time ;) It would't change the odds anyway :P

This is no terror mission... Poor Sectoids...

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#5 stewart

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 05:04 PM

Honestly just making them smart enough to pick things up would go a long way
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#6 uncy

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:58 AM

Honestly just making them smart enough to pick things up would go a long way


I don't know if that is even possible... I always wondered if Hasbro could make UFO an open source, that would help :)

I think one way to bring entertaining difficulty to the game is by balancing some prices and stats. I have already played it like that, and trust me, it's fun again. But I need a general opinion on those changes before.

Uncy
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#7 stewart

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:06 PM

consider the freebies XCOM gets already with Missile and Fusion defense ammo, and after that the craft plasma cannon. We gotta give goodies to the bugs.
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#8 uncy

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:23 PM

consider the freebies XCOM gets already with Missile and Fusion defense ammo, and after that the craft plasma cannon. We gotta give goodies to the bugs.


Do you mean that UFO?s are underpowered? I guess Craft Fusion and Plasma cannons are way to powerful. It is not even necesarry to produce a FIRESTORM nor LIGHTNING, a simple Interceptor armed with 2 plama (infinite ammo) cannons can take everything down (except for the biggest UFO).

I believed that should also be changed. ;) any ideas?
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#9 Zombie

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:59 PM

Recall though that the Fusion Ball Launcher can only carry 2 shots. Even with a massive damage potential, that's hardly enough to make any kind of a dent in the most powerful UFO's. How about shortening the range of the Plasma Cannon so that it forces your ships to get closer? That, and possibly give the Firestorm and Avenger only one weapon hardpoint instead of two and giving the Lightning 2 hardpoints instead of one. That would even things out a bit by making the Lightning a research priority since it is the only advanced craft capable of mounting two weapons on it. The more advanced craft have speed but sacrifice a weapon hardpoint for it. How's that? :P

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

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


#10 NKF

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 10:45 PM

Stewart, did you mean free ammo for the base modules or for the HWPs during base defence?

For anyone wondering what I'm talking about: In a base attack, HWPs will first draw ammo from storage. If there isn't enough ammo, the remainder is granted for free so that your HWPs will always start with a full compliment of ammo. If you don't use up the free ammo, you'll get to keep it.

This makes the fusion hovertank an incredibly useful base defence unit. A great icebreaker.

- NKF
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#11 stewart

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 06:18 PM

First two for base, last for craft. Honestly if you had to make ammo for fusion defense . . . . . or even plasma cannons . . . .

Let's just say Im glad you dont have to.

< checks post >

crimony how much better could I have written it?
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#12 stewart

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 06:22 PM

Recall though that the Fusion Ball Launcher can only carry 2 shots. Even with a massive damage potential, that's hardly enough to make any kind of a dent in the most powerful UFO's. How about shortening the range of the Plasma Cannon so that it forces your ships to get closer? That, and possibly give the Firestorm and Avenger only one weapon hardpoint instead of two and giving the Lightning 2 hardpoints instead of one. That would even things out a bit by making the Lightning a research priority since it is the only advanced craft capable of mounting two weapons on it. The more advanced craft have speed but sacrifice a weapon hardpoint for it. How's that? :P

- Zombie


The purpose of fusion ball launcher is if you dont have your own UFOs yet, and along comes a Battleship that you MUST shoot down, then four interceptors with dual fusion ball launchers will smash a battleship, often you will lose one interceptor (if at the end of the month not much of a loss) rarely two, and sometimes none (I've done it; I felt like superman after that). I dont know how many times I've said this about fusion ball launchers but search the text "smash a battleship" should give a good indication.

edit: seems to be about a half-dozen times
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#13 Zombie

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 06:42 PM

This is probably due to my research priorities, but I rarely (if ever) have FBL researched before I have a higher level craft built. And even then, all craft get dual Plasma Beams as it offers more convenience because ammo is replenished for free and doesn't require manufacturing. Also, I have never met a Battleship which must be shot down. They either land or fly away harmlessly. Landed Battleships can be taken care of on a ground assault mission. As for the ones which get away, true, there may be some repercussions, but it's way too easy to negate the loss of points due to some alien action by visiting a couple larger ships or doing a smash 'n grab on an alien base. If a country signs a pact due to my inability to protect them from infiltration, so be it. I'll make up for the loss by selling some loot. A Battleship en route to directly attack my base is a different matter. You'll never be able to get your FBL-equipped Interceptors in range to take a shot anyway so it's best to just let them through. ;)

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

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


#14 NKF

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:11 PM

First two for base, last for craft. Honestly if you had to make ammo for fusion defense . . . . . or even plasma cannons . . . .

Let's just say Im glad you dont have to.


Oh indeed. It probably doesn't count, but to be fair, the aliens probably don't have any ammo problems with their own plasma cannons either!

You can just imagine how expensive the defence modules would be if each shot cost money or even resources. That would really deter you from makign a bank of 12 missiles defence modules and a grav shield just for a laugh... ;)

< checks post >

crimony how much better could I have written it?


Just to quibble about it, they could've easily been misinterpreted as standard missiles and fusion ball used for the defence of the base! Which could've been for the ship or handheld variety. I know what you meant from the context, but you never know when ambiguity may strike! :)

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 17 October 2007 - 11:16 PM.

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#15 Zombie

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:09 AM

You can just imagine how expensive the defence modules would be if each shot cost money or even resources. That would really deter you from making a bank of 12 missiles defence modules and a grav shield just for a laugh... ;)

You could still construct a missile defense module primarily for the choke point in a base defense mission but never give it any ammo. :)

I wonder how a Grav Shield would work in a version where the defense modules required ammo though. Give them all 2 missiles but only allow the second shot if you have the Grav Shield built? ^_^

- Zombie
The Mr. Grognard of X-COM

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


#16 stewart

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 05:33 PM

This is probably due to my research priorities, but I rarely (if ever) have FBL researched before I have a higher level craft built. And even then, all craft get dual Plasma Beams as it offers more convenience because ammo is replenished for free and doesn't require manufacturing. Also, I have never met a Battleship which must be shot down. They either land or fly away harmlessly. Landed Battleships can be taken care of on a ground assault mission. As for the ones which get away, true, there may be some repercussions, but it's way too easy to negate the loss of points due to some alien action by visiting a couple larger ships or doing a smash 'n grab on an alien base. If a country signs a pact due to my inability to protect them from infiltration, so be it. I'll make up for the loss by selling some loot. A Battleship en route to directly attack my base is a different matter. You'll never be able to get your FBL-equipped Interceptors in range to take a shot anyway so it's best to just let them through. ;)

- Zombie


Oh you'll get no arguement from me. Recall Im the guy who ignores terror missions. :blink:


First two for base, last for craft. Honestly if you had to make ammo for fusion defense . . . . . or even plasma cannons . . . .

Let's just say Im glad you dont have to.


Oh indeed. It probably doesn't count, but to be fair, the aliens probably don't have any ammo problems with their own plasma cannons either!

You can just imagine how expensive the defence modules would be if each shot cost money or even resources. That would really deter you from makign a bank of 12 missiles defence modules and a grav shield just for a laugh... ;)

< checks post >

crimony how much better could I have written it?


Just to quibble about it, they could've easily been misinterpreted as standard missiles and fusion ball used for the defence of the base! Which could've been for the ship or handheld variety. I know what you meant from the context, but you never know when ambiguity may strike! :)

- NKF


Yeah but the aliens have renewable Elerium though.

Oh I did mean missile defense and fusion defense, but I dont want to argue english parsing semantics.

You can just imagine how expensive the defence modules would be if each shot cost money or even resources. That would really deter you from making a bank of 12 missiles defence modules and a grav shield just for a laugh... ;)

You could still construct a missile defense module primarily for the choke point in a base defense mission but never give it any ammo. :)

I wonder how a Grav Shield would work in a version where the defense modules required ammo though. Give them all 2 missiles but only allow the second shot if you have the Grav Shield built? ^_^

- Zombie


<slaps Zombie>
<quickly closes can-of-worms>
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I'm starting to like the heavy cannon more and more.

#17 teukros

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 11:53 AM

I am pretty happy with the balance in Battlescape. It seems hard enough already, for a more challenging experience just play at a higher difficulty level!

The Geoscape is a whole different story.

I use XcomUtil 9.60 in the following way:

Improved Weapons*
New Laser Weapons
Research Help from Captured Aliens**
XcomUtil Messages after Combat
Stat Strings added to Names of Troops
Rank Indicators added to Names of Troops
EDIT: I forgot one: Automatic Re-equipping of Troops before combat (I use XcomEdit to keep everybody in order)

and "NO" to everything else


*I edited the Improved Weapons section so that the Heavy Laser does damage of 85 with Snap Accuracy of 63 (33% TUs) and Aimed Accuracy of 105 (60%TUs). High Explosive does 110 Damage. And the humble pistol's armour piercing rounds do 26 damage with Auto accuracy of 60 (54% TUs), Snap Accuracy of 60 (18% TUs), and Aimed Accuracy of 78 (30% TUs) (note that this is the XcomUtil "default" pistol and I still need to balance it, the Auto Accuracy is too high and the Snap and Aimed TUs are too few).

** I radically altered the research time "Multipliers" in the ResearchHelp section. I let Motion Scanners have a Multiplier of 50 so when you start the game, that breakthrough is imminent. All other Earth-based tech (laser stuff, Medi-kits, and Personal Armor), and also, all corpse autopsies, have Multipliers of 100. Everything else is 250. But here is the kicker. I figure that there are two kinds of research into Elerium-based energy sources: Large scale power generation (Plasma Beams, UFO Propulsion, etc) - and small scale energy cells for things like - Laser Rifles. Accordingly I have raised the BASE scientist-days for the original laser weapons breakthrough from 50 to 500. OMFG


Right now I am using the original (i.e. UFO 1.4) values for craft and weapons perfomances. I am thinking of making the following changes:

Swapping the Speed and Acceleration of the Avenger and the Firestorm (and adjusting Fuel Capacities accordingly so that ranges remain as close to default as possible).

Reducing the Armor of the Avenger from 1200 to 600 (I mean, really...)

Reducing the Fuel Capacity of the Skyranger from 1500 to 1000, and of the Interceptor from 1000 to 667 (or even 500).

Reducing the Damage of the Laser Cannon from 70 to 35, but increasing its Range to 40 (just inside the range of a Terror Ship).

Reducing the Range of a Plasma Beam from 52 to 33 (inside the range of a Large Scout!)


I feel that these changes will make the game more challenging and interesting, and will make it feel more realistic (in other words, the Aliens will win most of the time ;) )

Edited by teukros, 25 October 2007 - 02:51 PM.

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