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Cult of Sirius

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by mrblackdx, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. mrblackdx

    mrblackdx Registered

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    Hi, I really love that you are remaking this excellent game from my past, thank you!

    I know it's just another jump on the fanboy request train, but I wanted to open up the discussion about changes to the Cult of Sirius and the function it serves in X-Com Apoc

    In the current game, Cult of Sirius is effectively a non-threat, and more of an easy opportunity for X-Com to gain money from raids.

    Maybe the Cult in your remake should function more realistically like a cult/terrorist faction.

    The three high level points I want to make are;
    a) They function early game as a not openly aggressive cult, they have no actual understanding of the alien threat, so their initial actions are around subversively damaging X-Com because X-Com holds an opposing position.
    b) They function early/mid game as openly aggressive terrorists, but get to this point depending on X-Com aggressions.
    c) Mid-late game they become targeted by the aliens as a vessel for invasion.

    Expanding point a) above, the cults actions should be around damaging X-Com's monetary and political position. This means less trust/support from government, police, corporate and the technocrat/extropians.

    This shows in all company's being quicker to anger. The government supplying less funding, and police and corporate company's raising their prices for sales, and buying goods at lower prices.

    I'm not sure of how X-Com can deal with this in any other way than open aggression (any other way possible lets discuss it), except for maybe monetary appeasement to the cult.

    Expanding point b) you could start getting direct terrorist actions from the cult. They start to lose any real political status, and police starts targeting them, but they start trying to openly make X-Com's life more difficult. Maybe they set up bombs in a building or hold a buildings inhabitants hostage? X-Com can intervene and use the opportunity to gain faction appeasement, or ignore and result in loss of appeasement or funding. They also start more technical sabotage of X-Com, a bit like EXALT in Xcom: Enemy Unknown.

    Expanding point c) Once the make or break point of the game is done, the moment where the player feels the game is now determined as always winnable, the game shifts and the aliens start to subvert the Cult of Sirius (if they haven't already). Where you have previously been attempting to neutralise alien subversion of organisations as it slowly happens, this becomes a 100% unavoidable occurrence where the cult become vessels for the aliens.
    The aliens now continue terrorist actions and small-team subversion throughout the city, turning the threat from being external to both external and internal. They have cult sleeper agents who implant eggs or mind control devices in important organisation buildings.

    The last thing to emphasise is that the cult should always be a low-tech, small army, indirect tactic organisation. Which is a juxtaposition from the direct tactics from the alien threat.

    Obviously these are just ideas, and I don't know the scope of the project, but would be interesting to see what people think :)
     
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  2. DoctorMuerte

    DoctorMuerte Registered

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    That is a great idea. But I think that (if possible) it should be optional. Like a mod or option you can activate when begging new game.

    I have no idea if it is easy/difficult to implement, but that would be great.
     
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  3. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    A very ambitious project. Cool, but difficult to balance.

    Certainly worth discussing at the very least.
     
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  4. mrblackdx

    mrblackdx Registered

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    Sorry I've read through most of the posts on the forum now, so have a better understanding of the project scope, which looks like a basic remake of the game without overly ambitious enhancement or overhaul.

    So I appreciate now that these thoughts come in at the maybe a Future release or mod level

    Balance is a good point to discuss. Basically the current vanilla game suffers from early financial balance issues. Which can be easily alleviated by invading the Cult of Sirius multiple times.

    It also suffers from (as most Xcoms do, especially the newer Firaxis games) reaching a point of inevitable player victory. Someones already posted about changing the dynamic of the alien realm to make the late late game challenging.

    I think it would be interesting if the Cult of Sirius presented early-mid game Risk/Reward opportunities. The player can choose to attack them openly or ignore them, and each road has its own inherent risks and own rewards.

    That plays to the idea of a concept which could be balanced. Of course, it also opens up that one road could be much more preferable or even game breaking.

    Likewise having the cult of sirius be super aggressive AND partisan at the mid-late game could present different challenges. But you don't want them to be a player annoyance, like every day you have to send out agents to some building and do a trivial mission with an ill-equipped enemy (like Council Missions with Thin Men in XCOM:EU late game).

    But more like one aspect of a last ditch attempt by the Aliens to turn the tide back to them. So the player then has to split resources between fighting and investigating the late game UFOs, and neutralising the Cult of Sirius through both their partisan efforts (responding to few but extreme terrorist attacks and sending out agents to investigate organisations), and then maybe finish it with a direct assault on their headquarters with it culminating in the total and irreversible demolition of their buildings.

    Balancing that so that it doesn't make the game harder should be fairly straight forward. I would think balancing it so that its not annoying would be the challenge.
     
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  5. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    +1. :)
     
  6. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Balancing anything so it doesn't alter difficulty is a very easy task. You simply make the change have no impact on the game. ;)

    I don't like the idea of altering the Cult on its own. Apocalypse was never a fully finished game, and changing Cult behavior opens a much larger Pandora's box of corporations in general. Many of Apoc's cut features are about giving life to the city and the businesses that rule it. If you want to change the behavior of one, you really want to be looking into how ALL the businesses in Megaprimus work or fight amongst each other, and how each of them can work for or against XCOM. That's a BIG project, and it's almost as involved as making a full game expansion. It's well beyond the scope of anything on the table right now.

    In the interest of keeping things simple, you can make Cult raids more punishing by giving them more corporate allies. For example if they were buds with the Extropians, you would also risk relations with Extropian allies- Marsec and Solmine. You don't want to risk relations with Marsec and Solmine.

    Yeah, that was me. I posted a whole lot of ways to make the alien dimension more challenging. I also posted about how the aliens can be made more desperate and dangerous to Megaprimus with their impending doom. Changing their infiltration goal to instead destroy Megaprimus (so that no one wins) would fit the game's end and help push XCOM's resources to their limit.
     
  7. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I feel that Cult of Sirius shouldn't be changed much. They are pathetically weak compared to their numbers and financial power, yet still driven to sacrifice their lives for what they believe. This is just like any human sacrifice cult. Their ability to influence other corporations is dependent upon others being willing to believe anything they say. I like to think that X-Com: Apocalypse presents a Huxley-esque vision of the future in which people are much better educated about current events and unlikely to fall for low-budget terrorist schemes when it is clear that the aliens are a threat.

    In truth, terrorist organizations only hold power because of their ability to cause fear and belief that their power is far greater than it really is. I just like to think that in the X-Com: Apocalypse timeline terrorism is a thing of the past because there aren't enough susceptible people in positions of power.
     
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  8. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    The Cult as described in the UFOpaedia:
    Don't forget that the Cult already has the best cult conversion tool of all- Brainsuckers! The aliens don't even have to try. They'll be taken into the cult by storm and converting the rest of the city is a simple matter of helping the aliens along. In game this could be represented through spreading alien influence, spreading dissent to damage XCOM relations, suppressing alien alerts, or lowering the infiltration resistance of targeted corporations (such as through raids).

    One of the flavor bits states that the Senate is trying to sweep aliens under the rug before the next election. Since the cult is rising quickly in popularity, attacking them directly would damage relations with the hypothetical public. Damaging relations with the public is bad news for the Senate. Bad news for the Senate is bad news for XCOM. This feeds back into a fairly consistent message from the game. The more damage you do to fight against the aliens, the harder the city fights back.

    Unfortunately none of this is modeled in Vanilla. The cult just kinda gets infiltrated sometimes and might raid you or an enemy if they feel like it. They have a surprisingly high resistance to getting infiltrated, and they do nothing to either bring aliens to themselves nor to spread infiltration across the city. Like I said. Changing that sort of stuff to complete the cityscape is a BIG project.
     
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  9. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    Should be nice if Cult of Sirius send their craft to aid the Aliens in a UFO attack ::)
     
  10. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    That would be quite deadly to X-Com. But would be fun, too.
     
  11. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    I'm not talking of hawks, I was thinking more in ground craft and hovercars
     
  12. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Even so, they would at least provide efficient distraction, allowing the UFOs to do what they want.

    Unless you attack Cult's buildings first. :)
     

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