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Road Cars need to not fail

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by The Reaver of Darkness, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. JonnyH

    JonnyH Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator

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    From an in-world perspective, surely you can just commandeer a couple of trucks and ship everything back like that. It might be more difficult if you don't currently have air superiority, or /everyone/ shoots you on sight, but I sort of assumed this was what the player would assume to have happened.

    Similarly, as if a skyranger could drag a battleship back to base for disassembly :p

    If we implemented everyone's pet ideas / favourite 'cut' part of the original apoc plan, we'll be done some time around the heat death of the universe, and likely have an awful game.

    I'm purposefully trying to avoid looking further than 'vanilla' apoc at the minute, otherwise I'll go mad. I hope that I can look back at some interesting extensions some time in the future, but I don't know if I'll ever get there at this point....

    Jonny
     
  2. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Yeah. :p But we do have these cargo modules, and therefore uncomfortable questions have appeared. Honestly, I'd prefer them not being there at all, since they add nothing to the game as they are now, but that's my opinion.

    That's what I was getting at, too... Thanks for clarifying. :)
     
  3. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    But cargo modules DO add something, because they have to compete against other vital modules. For a warship you lose out on shields and other armaments. For a drop ship you lose out on crew count. These changes are HUGE for the starting Valkyrie, and are a big kick in the teeth for the Air Hawk.
    Early on a real cargo hold doesn't change many things, because loot hauls are pathetically small. Later on as loot hauls grow players will be forced to choose between losing crew modules or trusting some other method of getting their loot. The Biotrans becomes vastly more important late game thanks to its huge number of modules, while the valkyrie/airhawk become more obsolete as they can not carry enough crew or gear to get the job done. (Yes, a 500 size cargo module will basically work for the entire game without causing any real problems for the player.)

    It's important to point out that the current loot system keeps things very simple. How simple? It automatically works without thinking. In order to change it, MANY other things need to change or be seriously investigated. Not only are there serious questions about manual hauling, working with fleets or getting other corporations involved, but the quantity of loot changes throughout the game and the alien dimension has its own concerns to work with.
    I took the liberty of listing what those things may be, nothing more. It is no small pile of extra work! Just something to consider on the back burner, that's all.
     
  4. JonnyH

    JonnyH Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator

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    I love this sort discussion, and hope it continues, and would really love if I can look back on this later. It's just important to be realistic about plans etc.

    So, discuss away!
     
  5. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    Actually, that's not true. While the craft will display the total cargo while in flight, you won't get any of the excess once you return to base. I first started to realize this when I seemed to be getting a single brainsucker launcher per mission and nothing else, and it became blindingly obvious when the vast majority of the loot on an end-game mission never made it to base.

    I'd go with 500 space per module, and then increase the amount of space taken up by the vehicle equipment. A Biotrans filled with cargo modules should have no trouble taking home loads of fancy handheld equipment, but it might struggle a bit more if it's trying to cram in some ship weapons and equipment with it all.

    Another problem that was supposed to be addressed in the original game but never was is that you can only use one craft per mission. Originally they wanted players to be able to combine crew and cargo space from multiple craft to get the job done. If that were made possible, I can see it being a useful system even after you have a Biotrans. Sure, you might be able to carry all you need with 2 passenger modules and 6 cargo modules, but you can alternatively pack in a large shield unit on each of 2 Biotrans, then have them share the crew-cargo burden.
     
  6. ivandogovich

    ivandogovich Registered

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    Uh.... I'm sure I've used multiple craft on missions. At least on buildings, even in the alien dimension. Have them enter the facility. Use the building interface mechanism to select the squad members from the various craft, and begin the mission.
    I always brought 3 or 4 for cargo.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    It doesn't work for the cargo though. All of it goes on the first craft, and all that won't fit doesn't come home.
     
  8. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Uh. Yeah you do. You get ALL of it. I don't even know why you would think otherwise. The infinite cargo "feature" is glaringly obvious when you get 3 dozen grenades AND two dozen guns AND all the UFO equipment AND your stores goes up like 20% after running missions around the city. All you need is ONE module. It takes care of everything.

    What version of Apoc are you playing? The behavior may be inconsistent between versions or when fielding multiple ships or with single missions or some other obscure glitch is at play. But early on getting a single brainsucker launcher from a mission is NORMAL. Aliens have VERY LITTLE loot early game, and items CAN be destroyed during battle.

    Multiple ships can be used to bring crew to city and alien buildings. Only a single craft can attack a UFO, and the cargo module always brings everything home.
     
  9. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    No, I'm talking about on missions in which I am aware of much more loot remaining at the end; missions in which the craft shows a few hundred cargo used out of 50, but only 1 brainsucker launcher comes home.


    I play the original CD DOS version on DOSBOX from an ISO file mounted on Daemon Tools with simulated files=20/buffers=20 on Windows XP. I've never gotten it to work any other way on Windows XP, but on Windows 7 it ran differently in DOSBOX, didn't need the buffers but I don't remember what I did need.

    You can play the original X-Com: Apocalypse in most pre-XP Windows if you edit your autoexec.bat file to have 20 files and 20 buffers (as opposed to the default 40 files), but XP and up no longer even offer simulated buffers. I had to find a way to get DOSBOX to simulate the buffers.

    Anyway, I don't know of any other version of the game.
     
  10. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    You'll have to explain what you're doing to get these paltry mission payouts Reaver, because our experiences differ drastically on the matter. I have this readme on my CD:
    I don't know of any situation where XCOM doesn't get the full loot from their cargo module. But then again I pack everyone in a Valkyrie(or Airhawk or biotrans), and loop around the city doing a huge number of missions at a time. I tackle every downed UFO in one huge sortie so I'm getting huge hauls of 6K or more loot. I'm clearly getting the loot because I get near endgame with over 150 devastator cannons and other goodies.


    If you're getting 500 loot from a first week mission it is NOT alien tech. Something else is happening. There are many situations where XCOM gets unusual loot from a mission. For example UFO raids will give their equipment, but it doesn't show up as usable gear in the vehicle equipment screen until researched. Aliens will have Megapol Smoke Grenades for some reason. Dead agents will be looted just like anything else, and their stuff goes into the cargo module to be returned to base. Hostile people have terran gear. Also under certain circumstances the building itself will have terran tech that just gets looted because sticky fingers.
     
  11. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Yeah, one Cargo Module has always been able to store everything for me as well. And I've played on MS-DOS and Windows, and with various copies of the game.

    Reaver, I think you must've been using some sort of a modification, or maybe your game was corrupted in such a weird way.
     
  12. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I didn't mean to suggest it was a first week mission. I was bringing back one brainsucker launcher and nothing else on a lot of missions in which I brought only one cargo module. That was how I started to realize it, because I had earlier thought one module was all I needed. Then I finally decided (after much testing) that a single passenger module could carry more than a Biotrans full of cargo modules. On my latest game, I didn't even bother to manufacture a Biotrans and instead ran with an Explorer as my crew ship, given its improved defenses. I relied on looting as much equipment as possible during the mission.


    -

    I have generally always took my craft home before going out on the next mission. If I have ever taken it on a round trip it was probably for proof of concept, and then I just dropped the idea entirely. I don't think that would make a difference, but maybe it does.
     
  13. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Ooh, that could be a thing. I've always run around with passenger modules and I suspect most players did the same. If cargo space is working due to a bug with other modules, the system may have to be rethought a bit for Apoc.

    I guess it's time to try fixing Apoc for my computer again.
     
  14. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    It's not a bug with passenger modules. I meant that I was having the soldiers pick up loot. One soldier can carry 200+ space units of cargo.
     
  15. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Uhh, what? Yeah, agents do have a beefy inventory that can haul a LOT of stuff. Between shields, tazers, grenades and toxi ammo, I frequently run troops with 80% or more of their bags full.

    Manually hauled goods don't count as cargo module space. They're part of the agent's equipment. But I've never found any reason to worry about that, because cargo modules just seem to hold it all. The only time I've seen it not work is when you flee or fail the mission, and that's kinda obvious.
     
  16. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    Well in my version they don't take it back unless it fits so it's kind of important given how much space things take up. 200 space units isn't much, really. Brainsucker launcher is 45, disruptor gun is 30. Even grenades are 5. Just given that agents have 30 small squares in their inventory plus two 2x2 slots and 2 large slots, that right there is 150+45+45 plus 2x whatever space is taken up by a 2x2 object. That's 250+ space units.

    I usually have my soldiers' inventories pretty full, but I can either thin them out a bit for taking things home or I can bring extras along to grab stuff up. On early missions it's easy because most stuff fits into their off-hand.
     
  17. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    I've got to go back a bit on what I said earlier.

    Actually, the version in which I confirmed the failure to pick up cargo was on my old computer, which I no longer possess. I thought that I was using the same version now, but apparently am not, as the cargo is in fact getting returned to base even if it does not fit in the cargohold. This I just tested now.

    The good news is I can stop trying to pick everything up, but the bad news is I can't tell you where to find the version that does that.
     
  18. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Sadly I've only ever known the one version.

    Either way it's clear that given its stats, the vanilla cargo module is completely incapable of servicing XCOM's mission needs. There is simply no way that any single dedicated vessel can carry even a fraction of the cargo from the piles of loot you will find late game. Even if you could stack a dozen transports to avoid cargo loss from a city mission, there is no way have that AND keep UFO missions as is.

    Taking the glitched approach is probably the truest you will get to the vanilla experience. After all the vanilla stats are relevant for NPC cargo vessels as well. Going beyond that is a matter of how badly you want to modify the cargo experience. Options range from simple (buffing cargo module will probably work) to really advanced stuff (like getting corps involved). It's a question of how many tradeoffs, bribes, and obstacles you really want players to deal with to get their victory spoils.
     
  19. mrblackdx

    mrblackdx Registered

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    If the road/vehicle blowing up issue was resolved, there's other ways to balance ground vehicles to give the player the option of using them viably.

    What if ground vehicles didn't use elerium, but a more conventional, cheaper and readily available fuel source? And then elerium is a flight only resource which is less abundant. The only downside to this is players potentially having to grind elerium in late game before they can effectively raid the alien dimension.

    What if the statistics for vehicle combat are around an accuracy modifier and a dodge modifier, where air vehicles have high dodge and low accuracy, and ground vehicles have low dodge and high accuracy? A ground vehicle can have more toughness or hitpoints to offset the ability to avoid getting hit, but in turn more hitpoints equals longer repair times.

    (that last part about modifiers is pure speculation from not knowing apoc's current mechanics, so sorry if I'm talking out of my rear)
     
  20. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Never played Apoc before, huh? Elerium isn't very important in Apoc. It exists mostly for flavor, as it is only used in spacecraft (which you don't have) and with weapons (where it is generic ammo).

    Ground vehicles don't use elerium. No alien device in Apocalypse even touches Elerium. All conventional craft in Apoc use Fusion Powerfuel. XCOM starts with a thousand units of fuel, which is enough to last them about 10 games. Even if you ran your ships airborne 24/7 it is a real achievement to use it all up. Hybrid craft draw energy directly from the alien dimension and are thus free to fly (a glitch causes them to still run out of fuel if left outdoors for a week or so).

    Changing ship fuel won't accomplish anything of note and it does not make ground vehicles any more useful. So it's a dead end solution.

    Ground vehicles are unique in that they have weapon hardpoints which are compatible with the small or large disruptor beam. Apoc does not allow these weapons to be used because air and ground weapons are considered separate entities. But if they WERE allowed, there would be no chaos with vehicle equipment. Why? Apoc makes all ground vehicle guns short and fat, while flying guns are lean and tall. Weapons from one class simply can't slot into the other type of vehicle, no matter if you have the restriction or not. That's why it can be allowed, and that's why allowing it has a cool change of directly and uniquely buffing ground vehicles into the mid game.

    This already exists in Apoc through the real time movement of ships and bullets. There's a reason Hoverbikes are king, and it is because their extremely small size + fast speed let them dodge like 90% of weapon attacks.

    Ship weapon accuracy is basically a useless statistic because of how aim is calculated. Weapon attacks will always target... uh damn I forgot. It's some location where the ship IS (tile or exact?), and not where the ship is going to be. Perfect accuracy does not matter if the target ship moves out of the way. Shoot dead on, the ship moves, and it's a miss. That's why Hoverbikes can dodge ridiculous amounts of fire, missiles are king, while weapons like the tank Cannon end up absolutely worthless at their full range. Only slow ships tend to get hit most of the time, because they're frickin' bullet soak whales.

    But that is already true. Ground vehicles have LOTS of HP to play with. The problem is that they ACTUALLY have as much HP as the road they ride on. Apoc roads are fragile, and without the road the vehicle instantly dies. That's okay to some point, but it becomes a blatant design oversight with the Griffon AFV. You simply can not convince an average player that a tank on treads instantly blows up when it leaves the road. It's not like offroading doesn't exist in the game engine, either. The alien Overspawn can do it.
     

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