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Increase In Ufos/terror Sites


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#1 Deimos

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 08:24 PM

We might need to reinforce that the SISS exsists in the gameworld so if the CTD team can come up with a plausable reason for having armed up with laser cannons.

Maybe it could be a by product of the cydonia or bust research item (notice the hubble like telescope on the model in the Earth mars anim thread?), just something that points to it so when we show the animation of the debris it'll reinforce that the player is fighting a losing battle and extreme measures must be taken to save Earth.

Why? Well I don't know about anyone else but I felt pretty secure in my position when I was ready for the Mars mission and I chose when I wanted to go. No rush on my part, no pressure.

With Drewid's storyboard I get the feel that he wants to introduce the feel that the rest of the world is suffering what is surely the beginning of a full on alien assault by that stage.

'Sure as a player you might be rich and comfortable but the rest of the world is suffering so get your butt to Mars and end this'.

Edited by Deimos, 12 March 2004 - 01:18 PM.


#2 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 07:37 AM

'Sure as a player you might be rich and comfortable but the rest of the world is suffering so get your butt to Mars and end this'.

Well, that'd be part of storytelling, wouldn't it?

If there was absolutely no rush to go to Mars, then the player could just sit around shooting UFOs for the next 40 years. That would be very boring. -_-

Part of the story is that the UFOs are overwhelming in number, and X-Corps will reach a point where it can't handle the situation any longer. (or is it?) Giving that feeling throughout the game will only make it that much more immersive.
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#3 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 08:41 AM

absolutly.
When you start that research we start throwing fluff at the player about how the aliens are putting the pressure on. They could start taking down satellites and strategic (fluff) points. (including the ISS)

#4 Deimos

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 03:27 AM

'Sure as a player you might be rich and comfortable but the rest of the world is suffering so get your butt to Mars and end this'.

Well, that'd be part of storytelling, wouldn't it?

If there was absolutely no rush to go to Mars, then the player could just sit around shooting UFOs for the next 40 years. That would be very boring. -_-

Part of the story is that the UFOs are overwhelming in number, and X-Corps will reach a point where it can't handle the situation any longer. (or is it?) Giving that feeling throughout the game will only make it that much more immersive.

Hmm, I get the general feeling from the xcom forums that the only suffering people have is that Elerium runs a bit short. Other than that (and i'm guessing here) I'd say a player could go on indefinitely shooting ufo's down. I know that I've never felt any real pressure to go to Cydonia. I've always gone out of wanting to finish the game and I've chosen when I want to go.

Maybe for xenocide we should have a trigger whereby terror missions go up and make it difficult for the player not to go to Cydonia. We have to make it so that the player feels that if they don't launch to Mars they're in danger of losing the game.

Not an overt go or get killed as I really don't like games that force those kind of descisions, just apply a higher percentage of pressure in the form of more alien bases, more ufo activity and more terror missions. Something that the player can cope with but only just.

I guess at this point we could also add in newspaper reports that ufo sightings are commonplace and an unkown group are responding to them. Maybe have those blurry out of focus shots newspapers are famous for of the 3rd tech level xcorp craft come in at the end of the month with all kinds of threats from the funding sources that if xcorps is discovered all funding will be cut.

Pressure from both sides will I corner the player into making the descision to go and do the end mission.

#5 Deimos

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 03:40 AM

There is a way we could include the ISS animations as I said above, but instead of Cydonia or bust have the anim play when the Final solution research item has been finished. Include some info about the research teams using a refitted [Avenger] as an armed transporter to ferrying goods to the ISS to aid in finding out what the heck is going on.

Once the research is completed, the aliens would indeed have good reason to destroy the Iss.

The animation could be included not as a part of the main game but as a part of optional media pack with lots of other animations and extra sounds and the like.

#6 Breunor

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 06:49 AM

I think a trigger for the cydonia or bust research is a good idea, once that happens the aliens realise their last chance might be coming, so they launch everything they've got to beat xcorps to the punch. I think the month end report would be nice to include reports of ufo increases and having some kind of time limit to launch the mission, maybe a couple months. It's possible a player with too much time on their hands could have 6 avengers fully loaded with psi-capable troops, and they could handle tons of terror sites without a problem. But the progress of time will slow way down as most of the game will be spent working through those missions. Having the hyperwave detector up and running lets you stop all the terror ships, so maybe the ufo "waves" get bigger, etc. But that's all under computer AI discussions and should be worked out there I guess. :)

#7 mikker

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 08:17 AM

yes. Cloaks could be linked to the reseach of a Squad leader... i mean...leader......stupid TFTD.....

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#8 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 09:55 AM

Rather than a defined time limit, I like the idea of just upping the scale. Even if you have Tachyon detectors, and a dozen firebases, there's still an upper limit on what you can handle. Just make it something like:

(# of  UFOs) = (# of x-corp combat craft) * (months after Cydonia research)

If you delay a year, you'd get thirty or forty potential terror missions showing up at once (maybe occuring every couple of days). Even assuming you can shoot down 75% of them, you'd be in BAD shape at the end of the month.

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Edited by Cpt. Boxershorts, 10 March 2004 - 09:56 AM.

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#9 Micah

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 06:25 PM

Rather than a defined time limit, I like the idea of just upping the scale.  Even if you have Tachyon detectors, and a dozen firebases, there's still an upper limit on what you can handle.  Just make it something like:

(# of  UFOs) = (# of x-corp combat craft) * (months after Cydonia research)

If you delay a year, you'd get thirty or forty potential terror missions showing up at once (maybe occuring every couple of days). Even assuming you can shoot down 75% of them, you'd be in BAD shape at the end of the month. 

-The Captain

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#10 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 06:31 PM

But...What is to prevent a player from intentionally not researching that elusive commander until he has a fully decked out squad? If Mars or bust is the trigger, then couldn't the player prolong the easy time by not researching the commander?
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#11 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 11:03 PM

Rather than one "oh my god!" trigger, you also increase the amount of activity by just time (it should happen anyways). I think the game should be effectivly unplayable after a couple years go by...example:
  • Year 1 (January - June)
    Alien activity = (Alien activity) + ( 5% per month)
  • Year 1 (July - December)
    Alien activity = (Alien activity) + ( 10% per month)
  • Year 2+
    Alien activity = (Alien activity) + ( 15% per month)
So, assuming a initial alien activity level of 1 in Jan 1, 1999

Feb 1999 = 1.05
Mar 1999 = 1.10
Apr 1999 = 1.15
...
Jul 1999 = 1.40
...
Dec 1999 = 2.26 (more than doubled in the first year)
...
Dec 2000 = 7.09 (almost quadrupled in 1 year)
...
Dec 2001 = 37.97 (Yipe!)
...
Dec 2002 = 203.09 (you're toast)



Now I just came up with off the top of my head...the actual algorithm would be much more complicated, and involve the number of successful alien missions, current x-corps technology, succesful x-corps missions, etc.

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#12 Otterboy

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 02:02 AM

Makes sense using a system like that, it imposes some sort of time limit on the game so you can sit back and build your super sqd but allows for a long time limit if the player is having difficulty, i.e by gauging how well they are doing with research, score, alien missions e.t.c

So a good player will have the minimum time limit before the aliens decide that it is time to really step up missions and overcome xcom, whilst bad players get extra time up to a point by adding delaying multipliers into the formula or something similar.

#13 Breunor

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 07:25 AM

I agree that there should some type of time limit set up, with alien activity increasing based on difficulty as well, effectively shortening the eventual overrun of aliens. They are invading earth, a sit back and relax policy doesn't make much sense. The research is the key, you want to find a solution ASAP to save earth.

#14 Deimos

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:50 AM

Maybe another way in addition to Cpt. B's idea is to add in more attacks for each research item completed, so it gets to the stage when Cydonia or bust comes up the player should be begging to end it just to get some respite from the ufos and alien attacks. The aliens will notice that xcorp are shooting down and taking the ufo's away for research.

Maybe having the increase so its not a direct result of completed research but on a variable rate of missions or time after the completion that way the player wouldn't pick up that the increase in terror attacks, ufo activity and so on is a direct result of completed research.

If they did, it would change the game play style so they'd find the shortest route to Cydonia or bust. We want it so the player does have advantages from the research as well as giving them a harder time :)

I'd like it to be possible to continue on after the increases, as it'd be good to step up to the challenge. You never know we could run competitions to see who can survive the longest after cydonia or bust. I don't think I'd like a set you must go to end game or die choice. After all that was a big draw of xcom for me, playing it how I want to. It'd be a big shame if we lost that.

Edited by Deimos, 11 March 2004 - 12:00 PM.


#15 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 02:01 PM

Some players enjoy prolonging the game. The game should never be unsurvivable, it should just get really hard after the trigger hits.
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#16 MagicAndy

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 10:22 PM

the problem then is thus:

if we make the research the trigger, then the player will know what research to avoid and will always have the advantage

if we make time the trigger, then we are effectviely telling the player that he must complete the game at a defined rate, not too fast (too easy) and not too slow (too hard)

Aftermath over came this a little by having the pressure of the biomass. How about a level of alien activity which is related to how well the player is doing in terms of losses, funding, craft etc. relevant to time.

Somthing Like:

(Terror Mission to UFO ratio) = K ( (Amount Important Research Done) x (#Craft) x (Average Mission Rating) x (Funding) x (Average Soldier Level) x (#Bases) x (Time played) ) + 30

Where Time played = 0, Ratio = 30:1


Edited by MagicAndy, 11 March 2004 - 10:24 PM.


#17 Breunor

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 09:19 AM

Split these posts into a different thread to keep them on-topic and in the right forum.

#18 chrisp_21

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 08:03 PM

I think we should grow the level of alien activity based on the number of missions/terror sites/bases that have gone either unnoticed or not acted upon. This would be something like:

alien ativity = ( 1.25(successful alien missions) + 1.1(ufo crash survivors) + 2(number of alien basese present) + 4(successful alien terror attacks) )

This forces the player to react upon bases and terror attacks, while providing a difficulty level that increases exponentially related to the players success in dealing with the aliens. No matter how good the player is, the activity will continue to grow because you simply won't be able to see all of the alien activity that's going on, and those bases will be hard to find.

I think it would be good to follow something like this until the 'trigger' occurs. I personally like the idea of having a research trigger for 'Cydonia or Bust.' Sure, a player could avoid this research, but to win the game you have to research it. Also, avoiding it doesn't necessarily make the end of game any easer because you only get to send a single ship to Mars. So those 50 Avengers won't do you any good anyway. I think the trigger should not only cause a massive increase in alien activity, but also cause a dramatic change in the aliens' strategy. The alien's virtualy forget about scout/abduction/infiltration missions and focus purely on direct confrontation against X-Corps, sending fleets of Battleships to take out bases. They now know that X-Corps isn't just a nuisance, but actually has the ability to destroy them. I think this requires a type of panic reaction to achieve realism. Essentially, this should be a losing battle for the player. The only way to survive at this point is to go to Mars. No matter how good you are, the aliens will eventually pound you to death. If you want to extend the game, don't research 'Cydonia or Bust.' There isn't anything wrong with the player knowing when he/she is entering the final phase of the game.

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#19 Puasonen

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 01:25 AM

You are missing the greatest idea here!
How would aliens know when you have researched cydonia or bust? This question brought me an idea.

Let's say for example Cloaks commander is the only alien that gives you "cydonia or bust" research. How about we make capturing cloaks commander the trigger? Aliens know you have a captured alien who knows their location. They know that alien can't keep his mouth shut so they start pressuring and the player must research him.

Then why wouldn't player avoid capturing Cloaks commander? Because of Cpt. Boxershorts algorythm. Player can't take the risk of not getting another chance for a long time because if you won't capture that alien when you have the chance, it's possible that you won't see another one for an year and aliens starts pressuring you and you lose..
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#20 Otterboy

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 02:48 AM

Making the final push trigger based on getting a cloaks commander makes sense, the only thing is as you say the rarity of them, if you just cant get one and the alien numbers keeps going up until they beat you then you would be really annoyed.

Perhaps a combination of a formula that keeps track of how well xcom is doing and raising the threat accordingly so that the player always has the sense that they are fighting a rapidly escalting battle that they are genaerally losing (xcom may be doing well but they dont intercept or even know about all alien missions)

And a double trigger mechanicsm for the final alien offensive that would make the player want to atack cydonia.
I say double trigger because if it is based on capturing a cloak commander alone you could do it as soon as they appear and so be forced into attacking cydonia before you have researched and prepared fully.

Maybe say making the trigger capturing a cloak leader and a certain high level technology that you would normally have before you go to cydonia. You could infact have this technology be one of several techs to prevent people easily working out the triggers and to stop them stalling a particular research.

Stalling 1 advanced research isnt too bad but stalling lots is quite a loss in technology and hence fighting ability.

#21 Otterboy

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 02:58 AM

Ohhh and it would make some sense as well, just because the aliens know we know where they are wouldnt make them scared.
Knowing where they are and having a easy way to get there armed with heavy plasma cannons and nice big armour suits is going to scare them into a full scale offensive :)

#22 chrisp_21

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 02:21 PM

I think keying it off of the captured commander would work well, and probably be more realistic. I agree that if we do it this way, we should factor in other research. Primarily, Avenger, Fusion Launcher, and Plasma Cannons. This would make it a little more realistic.

One idea that's a little off this topic is.. I think it would be good to research/build a single craft for the Mars attack. This craft would not be an interceptor like the Avenger, but would only be used once for the attack on Mars. There would only be one built. You could even say that it's only capable of getting to Mars and not returning.. leaving the surviving humans stranded. I think this makes more sense because I know I would send every Avenger I had in a real-life scenario. Just sending one doesn't make much sense.

-chrisp

#23 dipstick

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 02:41 PM

How about different scales for different races and UFO types?

At the beginning you only get annoyed by (literally) hundreds of scouts, which you can dispatch easily. Then abductors, which get you worried. Then supply ships to keep you happy, then finally (eventually) etherial b-ships and terror ships.

Maybe based solely off your score? Every 100 points above 1000 points does XYZ?
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#24 chrisp_21

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 05:01 PM

I don't really like the idea of making the game more difficult according to score because this tends to penalize a player for playing well. Under a model like that it would actually be better to make bad decisions.

It definitely makes more sense to progress to increasingly difficult aliens and UFOs as the game progresses. I think it would be good to make non-time related triggers for this as well. Maybe increase the dominance of more difficult aliens and UFOs as the level of alien activity increaes. So, as the alien activity continues to grow you encounter ever increasing numbers of Morlocks, Ethereal-equivelants and Battleships.

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#25 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 06:11 PM

I don't really like the idea of making the game more difficult according to score because this tends to penalize a player for playing well. Under a model like that it would actually be better to make bad decisions.

The way the system works, the difficulty would be sort of variable. If you do well, you get more challenge, and if you do poorly, the game eases off so you can catch up. Part of doing well means getting more tech and better soldiers, so having the aliens get tougher would level the playing field.
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

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#26 dipstick

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 06:22 PM

Maybe the reaction from your score is always a month behind or so, so if you do particularly well it takes the game a month to compensate. THis would not happen with bad performances.
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#27 Deimos

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 06:48 AM

Looking at it from the aliens side, Xcorps shoots down n number of ufo's a month. They know that humans are adaptable and will try to use the tech inside against their former masters. So they will up the ante and make things tougher for xcorps when they realise they've got some new equipment.

Im not just talking about the cydonia or bust research item but all the way through the game. I like Dipstick's month idea, that'd work really well.

My original thoughts were that its a variable rather than fixed as the player will figure out the pattern in a fixed system.

So for example xcorps shoots down 12 ufo's in one month (giving that a month is 28 days) we could work on a sliding scale whereby Xcorps gets one ufo, its 28 days later when the increase in ufo activity starts. Shoot down 28 or more and it starts next day.

There isn't much of a choice when it come to penalising the player Chrisp as the score goes up, its kind of expected to get tougher.
That way it shows the aliens are reacting to xcorps threats. It could be that if its a high number the number of battleships increases and come searching for xcorps bases.

Tieing all aspects into research items will be pretty obvious to any player so we should try to work out a better system.

#28 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 08:34 AM

That is all well and good when it comes to geoglobe strategy, but the Xcorps agents will still annhilate the aliens on the ground. What is the cure for that?
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#29 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 10:56 AM

That is all well and good when it comes to geoglobe strategy, but the Xcorps agents will still annhilate the aliens on the ground. What is the cure for that?

Improved Alien AI, and PSI will be made weaker. Your agents will get wounded and die, even late into the game.
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

FMIX-The General Stores

#30 Miklatov

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 08:18 AM

I started a thread not long ago in the alien labs about how it would be good if the aliens had their own research tree. It could apply here.

Example: You capture a cloack commander. They get worried but don't all out attack. they could instead do some reconaisance (sp!?) missions and try to capture one of your commanders.. This would open up a path on their research tree that let them know that we know about! They wouldn't just know about your plans. Like you, they would have to find them out through research etc.

If this was implemented, the triggers would not be so obvious as it would depend on the aliens success. if you prevented them from gaining the information required, eg, by stopping aliens stealing your commanders from bases (new mission type?), you could hold off the all out attacks. Obviously, the aliens would try harder and harder to get a commander so you as a player would have to work hard for them not to get one.

I suppose the problem would be that the trigger for the end game stages would still be getting a cloak commander. hmm. It would need work, but IMO, I think the aliens having a research tree would make triggers less obvious and the game ultimately more dynamic.

Anyway, just trying to link the ideas here in with my one! ^_^

It's all interesting reading, btw, people. good ideas!

#31 54x

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Posted 24 July 2004 - 08:08 AM

Why not have the pressure of increasing alien activity accelerate differently depending upon the difficulty level? That way, those who can complete the game really fast will be able to deal with the highest difficulties, and those who play slowly can play on beginner and harvest Xenium -_-

While I like the idea of time pressure, it should still be possible to play the game at a slow pace if you are thus inclined.

Also, I think upping alien activity based on research punishes the player twice- won't tactical alien intelligence and the level of alien weaponry and armour be increasing as the player's research does, too?

I'd suggest something like this:

Starting point:

Beginner - 1
Experienced - 1.1
Veteran - 1.2
Genius - 1.5
Superhuman - 2

+one month:

Beginner - 1.1
Experienced - 1.21
Veteran - 1.32
Genius - 1.65
Superhuman - 2.2

+two months:

Beginner - 1.2
Experienced - 1.32
Veteran - 1.44
Genius - 1.8
Superhuman - 2.4

Or something along those lines. If you want, it could be exponential instead of linear. I like the idea that it also STARTS at a different level at each difficulty though, as this also puts the pressure on as it makes it harder to please your funders when on superhuman you have twice as many UFOs zipping around and only your inferior human weapons to deal with them ^_^

Edited by 54x, 24 July 2004 - 08:09 AM.


#32 Paladin

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 09:05 AM

Of course the different Difficulty levels must start at higher levels of activity, but we don't want to make it too drastic of a change either... I know in some games I'm eagearly awaiting my next UFO, because it means about a million in profit (for a Medium scout, even crashed) for selling extra-weapons/corpses and stuff... ^_^

Maybe adjusting the severity of the ramp-up in difficulty is the key, and I like the ideas based on both, time and multiple indispensable research triggers, like the Avenger, plasma cannon, Fusion Launcher, Power armor... You know, stuff that you CAN'T ignore, as well as some that are purely intentionnal, such as Cydonia or Bust and Capturing a Cloak Commander... -_-

BTW, if we're to assume that only Cloak commanders are the key to mars, we gotta make sure there's one in every base, including bases with other races... (like in TFTD).
Otherwise it would be too frustrating to find an alien leader if we have'nt found the right alien base type... :hammer:

Oh and adding a lot more terror sites and base attacks would definitely make it worthwhile to finish at the earliest... Especially if the terror ship can land a lot faster so it is not shot down... :naughty:

:idea: While we're at it, why not attacking bases with TWO Battleships if we really piss them enough?? :devillaugh:
Most base defenses would not be able to handle two, unless extreme measures are taken... :hammer:

Edited by Paladin, 29 July 2004 - 09:14 AM.

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#33 Red Stone

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 01:56 PM

Just one thing about forcing the player to go to Cydonia: do you think it'll be possible to make this optional? I won't be surprised if there are quite a few of us out there that just play the game for the heck of levelling farmhouses, aliens and civilians with Blaster Bombs. XD

#34 T-1

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 02:38 PM

Red Stone has a point. Recently I played a terror mission in UFO with an avenger with 4 plasma hovertanks and all flying suit blasterbomb+plasma pistol troops with 4 blaster bombs each. I didn't even look for targets, I just spread destruction outward away from the avenger.

#35 Snakeman

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 04:30 PM

I'm not a huge fan of timed missions. Games like this do force you to plan ahead a little, that's the point, but I don't like to feel rushed. I like to savor something I'm into as long as possible. When boredom finally strikes, time to do the last mission.