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Supply Missions?


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#1 Laitanyel

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 03:53 AM

I thought this was very v1+, but...Why do aliens bother doing supply missions? From gameplay point of view, it's completely pointless. I've never seen supply do anything x-cept give me another UFO to down.

I would be grateful if you in any version of Xenocide, either removed the supply mission completely, or better, gave it some meaning. Maybe weaken the aliens at that base if you stop the supplies, and if you do it long enough, they'll die by themselves. Just let it do SOMETHING!

#2 ShadowHawk00

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 04:22 AM

It would indeed be better if it had some effect. Maby they dont have enough resources to do things from that base. Less activity or more because they desperately need suppies.
Maby the supplies should dock at the base not just somewhere near so there are a lot more aliens and the base would be on the map also. Or at least a part of the base or some kind of pipe.

#3 Puasonen

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 06:32 AM

Great idea! Though for balance and gameplays sake it would be stupid because when you have played long enough, you have avengers and firestorms and stuff, you need some BETTER challenge instead of even weaker alien bases. Get my point?

In the beginning when you have soldiers in t-shirts and your most effective weapon is autocannon <_< you can't drop supply ships and those bases are well defended.

When you have superior soldiers and equipment, you can drop all supply ships easily and go for an alien base with 4 aliens in it.

Shouldn't it be the another way round? The game gets too easy with psi-amps and blaster launchers and it's dull/boring to play, do you really think we should make it even easier?? NO!

Good idea but it needs more thinking before it can be implemented I think..
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#4 Breunor

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:43 AM

For v1+, there have been ideas about how the AI would function for the aliens, where they can't build a base until 2-3 supply ships successfully land at the site they have in mind. So if you were to shoot down all supply ships, you'd never get an alien base. I remember testing this once, I used an editor and built all 8 bases in the typical spots, and had hyperwave decoders and plenty of interceptors at the end of month 1. I shot down every ufo, and no bases were ever made it seemed. In a regular game they would be able to infiltrate areas where you can't cover of course, so you'd have a few bases.

To make it harder, why not say a base will have X aliens plus 1 per month of operation when you attack it? So if it's been there for 2 years, you're looking at 29 aliens.

#5 stewart

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:44 AM

You're missing the point, supply missions are for X-Com so to speak :wink:

But I get your point, if we interupt supplies should there be an effect with the base?
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#6 mikker

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 09:49 AM

the only thing i can think of is slightly weaker and lesser armed aliens. Though this won't work for reapers, cryss', PSI, the 2 bloobs, Cyberdisk, and Sectopod.

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#7 stewart

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 09:55 AM

Hungrier Chryssalids!!!! :o

Maybe over time the base can get more developed. Early on theres lots of access tunnels with each supply their number drops.

Hey, I just got the answer!!!!!

The supply missions take supplies FROM the bases!!!

Thank yooou thank you thank you.

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#8 Laitanyel

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 12:35 AM

@Stewart:

Hehe, yeah well, that COULD be the answer...but...what are they producing at the bases that they can't do in Cydonia base?

@Y'all:
Anyways, not saying that we should make the game easier, but only give the supply routes a MEANING. Maybe make bases so hard you sh*t yourself trying to take them over. Weakening a base through supply distruption should be priority one in that case.

Anyways, just thought I should raise the question.

Edited by Laitanyel, 13 December 2003 - 12:36 AM.


#9 Puasonen

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 05:48 AM

@Y'all:
Anyways, not saying that we should make the game easier, but only give the supply routes a MEANING. Maybe make bases so hard you sh*t yourself trying to take them over. Weakening a base through supply distruption should be priority one in that case.

Anyways, just thought I should raise the question.

I was thinking the same thing.. Making those bases impossible to win if you don't denie their supply missions for few weeks or months first.. That would be almost ok idea but there's one problem. Most of x-com players are cheaters who load after every human death so with cheating it's easy to win those bases no matter how much people there is.. Unless we make it like 20 aliens with blasters waiting around skyranger and shooting immediatly when possible. :devillaugh: That way you really would HAVE to stop their supply before going to the base..
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#10 Laitanyel

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 06:31 AM

Most of x-com players are cheaters who load after every human death so with cheating it's easy to win those bases no matter how much people there is..


Well, we can't really take "cheaters" in consideration, as that isn't the way the game is supposed to be played. And AFAIK, Xenocide will have some form of HARDCORE mode, which will only allow a few saves per battlescape. That should solve that problem.

#11 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 09:47 AM

Yup.
Personally, I don't ofter Save and Reload, primarily because I forget to save! :D
Anyway, there was talk of making base attack missions two parters, like cydonia or TFTD. You land outside, then have to make your way inside. Double the number of aliens! Plus, they could have turrets! ;)
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#12 stewart

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 01:06 PM

I don't see it as a problem if people want to save/reload that's their business what should we care. It just takes more work to make the game less fun for those people.
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#13 Laitanyel

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 06:47 AM

I didn't say that the Hardcore mode was going to limit the game in any way. It's optional, just as it is optional to create a Hardcore character in Diablo 2. If someone wants to save every turn in order to keep losses at a minimum, let them do it. This is also why I put "cheaters" within citation marks, as I do not consider that to be cheating, just puny :D.

The game is to playable for everyone, which is why many options is necessary.

#14 Whitewashed

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 07:49 AM

Anyway, there was talk of making base attack missions two parters, like cydonia or TFTD. You land outside, then have to make your way inside. Double the number of aliens! Plus, they could have turrets! ;)

I'm definately all for this! I find it kind of stupid that you can penetrate the core of an alien base directly without facing any resistance before that. Every base should be 2 levels and Cydonia 3 levels!


About the base supplies. I think stopping the supplies shouldn't necessarily weaken the base defences but if you don't stop the supplies they will get more aggressive and start expanding. Like if you fail to stop a few supply ships to a base they will build more crafts and multiply there and send out crafts from the base to build more bases, infiltrate governments, terrorise cities and attack X-com bases.

Isn't the whole purpose of a base to gather forces and concentrate your operations from there? Now it seems they're just sitting there waiting to be attacked.

Edited by Whitewashed, 21 December 2003 - 07:55 AM.


#15 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 08:42 AM

Isn't the whole purpose of a base to gather forces and concentrate your operations from there?

They actually did, a little bit. Maybe its just a cooincedence, but countries near alien bases are usually the target for more infiltration missions, than other countries. The aliens also rack up points in areas and countries (about 500 over the month) as long as the base is there.

Hmm... what if supply ships didn't bring resources, as much as take them off the planet? The ship lands, drops off a few alien entertainment and troops, and fills up on crates of gooey biomass to take home. :o The X-COM research said that the aliens were "harvesting" the planet, I think the supply ship would bring the harvest home.
Well, what do you think? ^_^

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Edited by Robo Dojo 58, 11 February 2004 - 08:39 AM.

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#16 nixnihil

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 04:52 AM

I will say that supply missions DO matter. Although in game terms or objectives terms, it doesn't seem to do much, supply missions ARE important. They're the game giving you a little "bonus clue" that there are bases present, and take you right to them! I'm surprised nobody else bothered pointing that out. But yeah, the really don't mean a lot other than that.

#17 sir_schwick

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Posted 25 November 2004 - 07:43 PM

Supply ships bring replacement clips, elerium, entertainment, troops, and repair parts. They are loaded and take back troops, harvested bio-mass, and intelligence officers.

If a base does not get elerium it must conserve energy by shutting down certain base defences and non-essential facilities. As elerium is starved further everything but the most essential functions are shut down. Alien troops without entertainment and replacement will start to get disgruntled and might even desert.

Bases that do not get supply ships to load cannot provide information from research. They also cannot unload harvested material and it stockpiles in corridors and elsewhere for a while. After a time they would stop because of space and be less effective.

A missing supply ship or too will cause a demand for action from the base Commander. Expect aliens to respond aggressively to any more activity in the area.

Unless the defence system is shut down b/c of power concerns, you will have to fight through them to get on the ground. Then you have to fight through hundreds of feet of hangar shaft and access lift. There is a way around this however. Each incoming ship to a base has a IFF transponder unique for their particular sortie. If you can manage to shoot down the craft, recover the unit, and have the technical expertise to attach it to a X-COM craft, then you start at the bottom of the hangar with many surprised aliens. Alien costumes are clearly indicated.

#18 Snakeman

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 11:56 AM

I've always wanted to see both X-COM or alien bases in various states of disrepair (or awaiting some upgrade or something), where, without it, some of the facilities have no power. You could attribute what sort of base layout battlescape appears in both by how many supply ships get through on average.

In this respect, you can make supply ships, or the supply mission in general have a bit more meaning other than for you, being an easy source of fuel to attack the landed supply ship.

Another way to give it more purpose too would be if you could setup operations throughout the solar system or Mars where the constant flow of goods is really important. You can further strengthen this concept by making those off Earth operations require these so-called captured alien transponders for use in your craft and/or simply use a refurbished alien vessel with one (the ideal way to ensure most supplies make it - since the aliens pretty much control the skies if not space in the solar system and may spot hybrid vessles like the Avenger easier transponder or no).

Edited by Snakeman, 02 December 2004 - 11:59 AM.


#19 Snakeman

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 12:08 PM

Also, I think of this transponder or how it might be seen by the aliens, would be not unlike what our Hyperwave Decoders reveal to us...Species, Craft, Mission, Destination etc.

Perhaps what type of UFO we take out, what mission it had etc., would correlate to what's found in the control room. For instance, lets say you need to come up with more craft down the line (hybrid, or refurbished UFO) dedicated to supply runs. If you make it such that you need one transponder per craft and you needed X craft to be supply ships, you need to take out that many supply ships of the enemy with the control room intact to recover that item for those future ships of yours requireing that mission.

So in essence, transponders fall into whatever missions the aliens will do in the game, from Research (patrolling), Supply, Terror, Retaliation, Infiltration etc. To avoid raising too much suspicion with these on your ships however, maybe the transponder has to correlate too to the size of ship you have doing it. Or to simply give it a benign mission, such as Research (presuming here that the others have much more predifined destinations...if there's deviation from it, they will be suspicious, I know I would be :))

edit: Also on the equip screen for the ship, along with weapons and items aboard, you can view what transponder is currently on it so that you can prepare to have extra things aboard, like the appropriate alien costumes if its infiltration.

Edited by Snakeman, 03 December 2004 - 11:33 AM.


#20 JakeDrake

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 10:35 PM

Hey guys, I just noticed this thread.

I'm currently writing the AI Design Document and in order to simply get the AI to act the same way it did in UFO I am using the Supply Missions simply to create bases, so if you see a Supply ship you can be sure there is a base already existing or will be if its not shot down (P.S. I like Breunor's idea here).

This solution works fine in order to elicit a similar AI to UFO Defense, however for V1+ it might be interesting if Earth-bound bases had to be supplied periodically from Cydonia or else any production or other bonuses from them would be lost until their supplies are restored. However, for V1 I don't really see any point for this, it will just make it that much more complicated. Hope this clears something up!
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#21 Snakeman

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 10:04 AM

On the issue of overall balance though, I think much of this can be avoided by simply making it such that the aliens have more resources at their disposal from the beginning. UFO activity (mission frequency) can be regulated by difficulty of course, its just that later in the game, the player, without having done the final mission, wants to feel that in some way, they're making some progress at slowing down the menace, even if it seems miniscule in the greater context.

#22 JakeDrake

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 10:13 AM

You'll have to reexplain that, I don't see what you are saying about supply missions.
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#23 sir_schwick

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 09:20 PM

I thought the labs were for all V1+ topics?

#24 JakeDrake

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 09:45 PM

They are, but sometimes things are posted here that could happen in V1.
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#25 Snakeman

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:04 AM

Well, its just that with the context of the Supply Mission, I feel its possible to give the player a sense of achievement in the larger war if disrupting them actually had an influence on the aliens. I'm not simply talking about how shooting down several of their ships begins to generate Retaliation Missions, that's just one type of resulting action.

Supply missions are important because your talking the full gamut of what that is...and what it could mean for both sides if they get hampered in some way. Its not just delivering milk and the morning paper, they're carrying troops, construction gear, repair crews, specimens of all sorts, harvesting, cloning vats (or other miscellaneous stuff I can't think of heh).

To disrupt them in my view creates setbacks, and a few of those I can think of are the obvious ones such as the economical variety (money and/or resources/food shortages), logisitcal depressions (where they get taken out creates a broken link in a chain i.e. maybe there's no radar coverage in that area in the aftermath of dealing with one, which makes searches or setting up ambushes difficult for the opposition), and one other is territorial influences.

With the last one, I've wondered to myself what it could mean when a certain number of supply ships do not make it through to a base after X many attempts, and a couple conclusions I can come up with is that the base would either 1) Be forced to shut down (worse case) or 2) Be forced to continue to operate in whatever capacity it was last at. 2 in and of its self isn't bad, after all there's still chances to get stuff through though its a costly gamble without appropriate escorts.

Now Tie this into territorial influences a bit (how it might correlate to the countries behavior toward you) and I think you begin to give this mission the sort of meaning folks are talking about in terms of the logistics of war time.

#26 deanfrz

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 10:41 PM

on the "the missions remove suppiles note", maybe hitting the supply missions weakens Cydonia from "utterly impossible" to "maybe if your lucky" So you have to hit a bunch of supply drops for a coupla months before you go. That could give some purpose to the endgame as well.

#27 Snakeman

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 11:23 PM

Exactly, like another stepping stone in the larger struggle. Its why I also like the idea of not only fleshing out this mission type (but this time, for both sides, not just the aliens as in the original game) but perhaps introduce the territorial element as well.

For instance, another stepping stone to ending the war would be, instead of being able to directly assault Cydonia, you first must have at least one base set up there with an otherwise free flowing supply stream to it for a certain amount of time. In addition, perhaps you have to find it or interrogate a leader/commander but with the further requirement that they have to come from a separate base there (meaning you can't find that info from an interrogation of a leader from an Earth base).

Meanwhile up until you achieve this, you have some time to have some fights in that arena, take some more turf, maybe set up a few decoy bases to protect the one you want recieving all the supplies etc.

One last thought. Another suggestion that had been made by others here was the ability to capture and hold enemy bases. Now I don't know what kind of base cap Xenocide would have initially to flesh out the feasiblity of this, but if taking territory and holding it is being considered in subsequent versions, might have to reevaluate the base caps.

A suplementary suggestion to holding bases could be that, if some missions will be objective specific as opposed to being more free form (in terms of player execution of things), then perhaps holding bases needs to be a temporary affair.

To illustrate what I mean here, let's go back to the supply mission a moment. An alien base is seeing some regular supply traffic and so the base, in terms of potential wealth of information or other forms of wealth would naturally become appealing for the X-COM Commander to want to take a closer look. He'll have a couple of options, assault the base directly to try to capture it, or use infiltration attempts of his own in order to slip in more quietly. If he managed the quiet way (takes out the occupants without them sending a signal or otherwise disrupting it alerting their bosses), he has a shot at temporarily fooling the aliens that all is normal so that the supplies keep flowing for a while.

Perhaps this kind of scenario driven thing would be the Trojan Horse idea touched on before too, where you'd need a ship of theirs, first siezed on Earth, in order to infiltrate Mars in the first place to get your first outpost there (they could go to a connecting alien base on Mars as the destination & take that, or maybe they change course and set up shop elsewhere on the planet). Once you left the captured alien base on Earth (leaving something automated behind perhaps to continue to fool the aliens to buy you some time), you don't directly control that base any more in favor of the new one you hope to capture or build from scratch on Mars yourself.

Anyway, from that point on, and until you get the info for the last mission, you get ample time to fight in that arena just as freely as you would on Earth only now you have to regulate and protect your own supplies to the planet. I like the thought of still using captured alien ships for this as it makes it somewhat safer (hybrid craft would stick out) at first. Later when your kicking more donkey, and they know your nearby then it won't matter so much what ships you use. Besides, any offworld activities should cost you some money anyway, might as well invest it with R&D and later with supply runs to help offset your new expenses.

Aside from this angle, I was also thinking about the Cydonia mission and its use of stage play. I'm not sure I'd want too many missions to have this, but perhaps only these kind of "transitionary" missions...missions that open up other parts of the game you wouldn't be able to access until you did them.

Edited by Snakeman, 20 December 2004 - 11:36 PM.