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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-10-25 07:27pm
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Thin Man spit also lowers Will, I believe. I heard some of this and it squares with the fact that Thin Man poison makes people freak out to such a crazy degree that it seemed like bad design at first, but no, it is just entirely undocumented design. Nice?

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-10-26 02:16am
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Well, at lest it's not as immersion-breaking as "OH NO JOE GOT SHOT I WANNA GO HOME" coming from a carefully selected supercommando, since it's likely that none of them were ever spit on by a crazy mutant alien before.



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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-10-26 12:03pm
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Getting a face-full of toxic alien LSD is one thing I can see making my soldiers go bonkers. I'd like if, while affected by Psi Panic or Hallucinate (which is what the poison spit should inflict, not panic) the soldiers should see other soldiers as Sectoids. Would be a nice touch.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-10-27 08:02pm
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Well, in terms of stupid per megabyte, it's still better than Aftermath trilogy, where aliens came to turn earth into a huge biobrain.

I have trouble understanding what is wrong with the standard ending. It's like they deliberately invent funny things because the standard "they invaded us because our planet looked good from orbit and we drove them back" for some reason isn't good enough in a game about ALIEN INVASION.



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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-10-28 05:33am
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Remember how nerds always hyper analyse the 'plausibility' of an alien invasion setup, and will hate the entire work if it doesn't meet their retarded standards?

Yeah, well tht doesn't work if its the famous XCOM doing it. :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-10-28 11:53am
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X-COM's plot is as airtight as a whiffle-ball. Aliens from somewhere appear to do something involving alien experimentation upon us, and when their efforts to conduct infiltration and abduction missions are continually countered they retaliate with attacks on populations and reprisals against the organization stopping them. Somehow after losing several Earth-side base facilities they still leave themselves open for a covert strike team to then land on their structure on Mars, blow their way to the center, and nuke Mother Brain, which is a load-bearing Brain, and everything disintegrates.

Why did they come to Earth? They can't tolerate our atmosphere (this is true, and aliens die outside of alien containment). If they win they "poison the land and sky" apparently, which sounds like terraforming, and the survivors are mutated creatures herded into slave communities and the rest of the world is in ruins. We are part of some "unknown alien empire," but I can only assume that this alien empire is a really, really shitty one because without Mars they have no chance of conquering Earth, so it isn't as if they have 8 other planetary bases out there to come at us with. If we beat them we conquer Mars as well, so it sounds like whatever this alien Brain is, it has no understanding of logistics.

It also makes no sense. Are snakemen and cryssalids from Mars, or an entirely different world? I got the feeling they were not from the same world the Sectoids and Floaters were from, but there is never any sense that they have conquered those worlds unless during the conquering they also destroyed the world and made it useless to them. Earth is never conquered through force of arms, but plague and poison and forced compliance, so whatever they need it isn't atmospheric or really even in the bodies of the humans, since they are these supreme masters of cloning, right? They could just start populating colonies with mobs of Sectoids. Why not?

So no, X-COM is no sacred cow on this count, at least to me. Its plot was shitty but it covers it up by at least not explaining things so I can make my own assumptions, and the game ending was at least satisfying. For this game I could have squeezed satisfaction out of a nice long ending narration with some contextual cues from how I played the game, especially if the last fight wasn't a goddamned petting zoo, but they just fuuucked it up. This game's plot makes more sense, not hard to do, but still retarded. Ah well.

At least they didn't want our water.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-02 12:38am
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Covenant wrote:
Why did they come to Earth? They can't tolerate our atmosphere (this is true, and aliens die outside of alien containment).
I think I remember UFO Defense basically saying that without alien containment, they can't safely keep the aliens alive, so they kill them. While many aliens could just be crammed into a jail cell, the fact is alien containment is a jail cell.

Anyways, I'm late to the party because I was scared this game was going to be terrible, so I didn't feel like blowing full price on it. I instead picked it up on sale. At $33, I feel the game was a decent deal. I also have not read all 15 pages of this thread, only the first few and the last few, so I may be treading over known ground. There's more than a few issues with the game. With how little they spent on developing the plot, you'd think the game would be more complete in other areas and bug free. I've only just beaten it on Normal difficulty, but I find the game lacking. Also hilarious, I just beat it and the game errored out during the credits. Sometimes alien doorways get bugged out not letting units pass through them.

1. There's just not enough contacts throughout the game. Almost entire months can go buy, with full sat coverage, seeing nothing but one scout UFO. This is an invasion?
2. Research is slowed not by lack of scientists, but from the Weapon Fragments. Basically, the game is penalizing you for taking aliens alive.
3. On that note: why do you need weapon fragments to study alien weapons when you have dozens in stock?
4. You can't sell useless weapons, only waiting for some stupid council request to dump them off.
5. A lot of technology and research comes way to late to be of any real use.
6. The game is idiotically easy on normal mode. This wouldn't be a big deal except they have a bullshit easy mode already.
7. When you build the "Hyperdrive Motivator" and detect the big ass ship, but can't shoot it down because you don't have Firestorms, it counts against your Council Grade. You kidding me?

As for the ground combat, I like the 2 moves or 1 move plus action (barring perks) system. I do not however like the over reliance on the cover mechanic. Character customization is lacking, especially when you get "your team" together only to need role switching or also finding out none of them have "the gift." I found they really could have just updated the original game to 2006 graphics like they did, keep the movement system and made a damn good game. There seems to be way to many changes into areas that didn't really need it and cutting out a lot of content that made the original game great for it's time.

Also, mind control is fucking stupid. Since you have no direct aim power, you either have to wait out the mind control and hope he doesn't get a few good shots off, or use AOEs to down him. Why the fuck doesn't a mind controlled alien end the mission like in the first game? And why the fuck do Ethereals have 20 HP? There are many other little things they could have added and chose not to. I find it's a bunch of these little things that add up to make a decent game, rather than a great one. Oh well, time for impossible mode.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-02 08:55pm
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There's a lot of unanswered plot holes that bugged me, after I finished that I didn't get too irked about in game.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. What's the Deal with the Outsiders? Why don't they show up again? I figured it was just some sort of Hyperwave Being that was integral to the UFO's flight, like a navigator. Why aren't they mentioned again?

2. How did Bradford know the Sectoid Commander in the base was 'their leader'? Why was everyone celebrating when obviously the alien threat not only wasn't over, but didn't have it's tempo changed AT ALL?

3. When the Hyperwave Decoder goes active, okay, so what? We didn't learn anything except there was a stealth large scout floating around.

4. The Templeship's superweapon is being used why now? Do the Ethereals want to destroy the earth? Conquer it? Test the humans? None of it is ever mentioned!

5. Why is the Uberhat Ethereal load-bearing? If I kill him, why did everyone else vanish as well as why is the ship going to blow up?



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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-02 11:46pm
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Nephtys wrote:
There's a lot of unanswered plot holes that bugged me, after I finished that I didn't get too irked about in game.
As I go into in the spoiler wall, I'm about done expecting any kind of decent storyline. My beef is with plot holes that affect gameplay, and there are a few. The plot steps in this game were quite annoying though and the ending was trying an emotional hook that really failed. I didn't really feel the need for a "reach this level of progress > watch a cutscene" schtick they had going on.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Although the "volunteer" was my Brother-in-Law, so it sucked to be him. Thankfully, FeniX was not "gifted."
This babysitting shit is getting old though with the PRIORITY and Gears of War corridor cover shooter. On top of that, the game wastes my time with the "ALIENS THIS WAY" mind waves. It saved my ass when I got lazy and trying to speed my way through a ship assault and that shouldn't happen. I was able to set my Sniper up to rock a Cyberdisk that tried to flank me.

You know what was great in UFO? Getting ready to assault a ship only to find a basic Sectoid that you missed come up behind your Colonel and blow his brains out with a lucky shot. Queue your entire squad flipping it's shit.

As for your points:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. Why weren't they at least an enemy that showed up again? That's what got me, once you reach Ethers, you find them fucking everywhere, even on basic scout ships which is dumb considering their value. Where's the basic 4 man crewed scout UFO with 4 Sectoids? Those were great for training rookies in UFO.
2. Who knows? As for the celebration, I guess it was to make Sexy Scientist look smart again. And by "smart," I mean not a complete idiot.
3. Makes me wonder why you even need Satellites in this game. If you could get full coverage in UFO you were shooting down and leaving crashed ships because you didn't have time to assault them all unless you had another skyranger filled with rookies. IIRC downed ships didn't count against your grade. But you also got penalized for ships you couldn't detect which was a good idea.
4. The first game was big on fluff, but low on explanations about the overall design. If you lost, the aliens just raze the earth and use mutant humans for slaves. Why they didn't just start nuking large population centers from the start is never explained. I couldn't find a vid, so I failed out manually on my XCOM: EU game by just ignoring everything. The Bad End gives no information about the alien plans. Probably hiding behind a thick layer of DLC.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 04:36am
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TheFeniX wrote:
On top of that, the game wastes my time with the "ALIENS THIS WAY" mind waves.

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, that's sound waves. As in, you can hear aliens moving about, and that tells you which direction you can hear them from. And the purpose is specifically to avoid wasting your time by not making you dredge the entire map looking for one last alien you missed.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 04:41am
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I personally just assumed the Alien Arrow(tm) was just their version of the motion scanner nobody used in the classics. Had no problem with that to speed things up. After all, who liked the sectoids-in-a-closet?



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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 06:16am
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Umm, if you listened to Mr. Elder Ethereal's rambling in the final mission you'd know that the whole "invasion" business was done to groom humanity into a suitable war form (psychic prowess + physical toughness) for them to recruit into their army in order to be prepared for "something" that's coming. That's why they gradually step up the game the better the player does. Blame the game for whatever shortcomings you think it has, but not explaining what's going on is not one of them.

Compare that with the first game where the gradual increase in alien aggressiveness was purely for gameplay reasons and had no story justification whatsoever.



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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 12:08pm
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Grumman wrote:
If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, that's sound waves. As in, you can hear aliens moving about, and that tells you which direction you can hear them from. And the purpose is specifically to avoid wasting your time by not making you dredge the entire map looking for one last alien you missed.
The maps are so small and the aliens are so aggressive in this game, it doesn't matter anyway. 99% of the time that effect pops up, it's telling me there's alien in the one direction I can go on the map. It also doesn't make a lot of sense to be able to pinpoint sound while inside a space-ship. The "Sectoid in a closet" was a problem, but more an annoyance of a much better designed map and AI system.

Metahive wrote:
Umm, if you listened to Mr. Elder Ethereal's rambling in the final mission you'd know that the whole "invasion" business was done to groom humanity into a suitable war form (psychic prowess + physical toughness) for them to recruit into their army in order to be prepared for "something" that's coming. That's why they gradually step up the game the better the player does. Blame the game for whatever shortcomings you think it has, but not explaining what's going on is not one of them.
I couldn't understand a fucking word that thing was saying TBH and I wasn't really interested at that point because it would have been the only real plot explanation given throughout the entire game. I would have rather taken that fucker alive, interrogated the shit out of him, and tried to steal his ship. I should load up that save and see if it's even possible to taser his ass.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
And if he's grooming humanity for an ancient evil awakening, why the fuck would his death cause the ship to collapse into a black hole and destroy the entire planet. I assume it was all just the ramblings of an insane telepath. Further, the aliens have such a grasp of genetics and cybernetics, they could just grow super-human soldiers. No explanation would have been better than what we got.


Quote:
Compare that with the first game where the gradual increase in alien aggressiveness was purely for gameplay reasons and had no story justification whatsoever.
I always thought the aliens in UFO were trying to take earth with as little effort as possible and/or scouting it first to see if there was anything worth taking (and being woefully incompetent at it), thinking humans were barely smarter than apes and thus not capable of mounting any real resistance. By the time they realize we're reverse engineering their technology and using it to kick their ass, they really don't have time or just don't actually have enough of them to start cranking out the higher tier units with better arms.

That said, in X-COM EU if your only build-up to the great reveal is the great reveal, then it's more likely the build-up was also for "gameplay reasons." You can't have 99% of your game be a straight leveling grind, then have 4 lines of dialog claim it's for a good reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 03:18pm
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Nephtys wrote:
There's a lot of unanswered plot holes that bugged me, after I finished that I didn't get too irked about in game.

Some best effort explanations, as I understand them. Some of them are educated guesses, but ones that make sense within the "plot" so to speak.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. What's the Deal with the Outsiders? Why don't they show up again? I figured it was just some sort of Hyperwave Being that was integral to the UFO's flight, like a navigator. Why aren't they mentioned again?

BEST GUESS: I believe that the "Outsiders" were less of a race, and more of a projecting device that was controlled via the Hypwerave tranciever. Sectoid commanders would project themselves to these recieving devices to provide on site command and control on ships. That's why when you capture one "intact" you were able to trace the signal back to its source at the alien base. Apparently that device was unique, or not easily replaced because once the base and the hyperwave transmitter were captured, sectoid commanders had to take a more direct role

2. How did Bradford know the Sectoid Commander in the base was 'their leader'? Why was everyone celebrating when obviously the alien threat not only wasn't over, but didn't have it's tempo changed AT ALL?

Probably just a presumption on Bradford's part based on the fact that the sectoid commander seemed to be in the most protected part of the base and had unique powers that would make it superior to other encountered species. As for the celebration, I don't have a problem with that aspect since regardless of whether or not the threat was over it was still a great victory for X-com

3. When the Hyperwave Decoder goes active, okay, so what? We didn't learn anything except there was a stealth large scout floating around.

I believe that after you get it active you see more information on ecnountered UFOs, including type, mission, and crew makeup that you didn't have before.

4. The Templeship's superweapon is being used why now? Do the Ethereals want to destroy the earth? Conquer it? Test the humans? None of it is ever mentioned!

As someone else mentioned, this was more or less what they revealed during the Temple Ship mission. It seemed that the Ethereal's goal wasn't so much to destory or even conquer Earth specifically, rather it was to spur Human development as revealed in the end. That's why they gradually send stronger and stronger troops, but nothing so over-whelming as to be insurmountable. It is explicitly mentioned early on by one of the characters that if the Aliens wanted to make an all out invasion that there was nothing we could do to stop them.

5. Why is the Uberhat Ethereal load-bearing? If I kill him, why did everyone else vanish as well as why is the ship going to blow up?

BEST GUESS: It seems clear that the ship itself was also controlled via psionics, which is why the "volunteer" was able to fly it out into space. If you noticed throughout the game, anytime you killed an Ethereal there was a local "explosion" of psionic energy that would damage any nearby bystanders. I noticed that in this last scenario, if any of your team were mind controlled, then once you killed the ethereal controlling them it ALSO killed your team member. I did not see this anywhere else in the game, so I'm presuming it was to illustrate that the Uber Ethereals were particularly powerful. Its possible that the death of Uberhat Ethereal destabalized the control mechanisms on the ship, and thus the only option left to the volunteer was to fly the thing out into space as it began to tear itself apart.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 08:15pm
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TheFeniX wrote:
Metahive wrote:
Umm, if you listened to Mr. Elder Ethereal's rambling in the final mission you'd know that the whole "invasion" business was done to groom humanity into a suitable war form (psychic prowess + physical toughness) for them to recruit into their army in order to be prepared for "something" that's coming. That's why they gradually step up the game the better the player does. Blame the game for whatever shortcomings you think it has, but not explaining what's going on is not one of them.
I couldn't understand a fucking word that thing was saying TBH and I wasn't really interested at that point because it would have been the only real plot explanation given throughout the entire game. I would have rather taken that fucker alive, interrogated the shit out of him, and tried to steal his ship. I should load up that save and see if it's even possible to taser his ass.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
And if he's grooming humanity for an ancient evil awakening, why the fuck would his death cause the ship to collapse into a black hole and destroy the entire planet. I assume it was all just the ramblings of an insane telepath. Further, the aliens have such a grasp of genetics and cybernetics, they could just grow super-human soldiers. No explanation would have been better than what we got.


I'm tempted to say that this is because the ending mission was really rushed and poorly done. On some level it harkens back to the original X-com ending where the big alien computer brain is begging you not to kill it, but they tried to stretch it out over a whole mission and that made it jarring.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-03 09:08pm
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Metahive wrote:
Umm, if you listened to Mr. Elder Ethereal's rambling in the final mission you'd know that the whole "invasion" business was done to groom humanity into a suitable war form (psychic prowess + physical toughness) for them to recruit into their army in order to be prepared for "something" that's coming. That's why they gradually step up the game the better the player does. Blame the game for whatever shortcomings you think it has, but not explaining what's going on is not one of them.

Compare that with the first game where the gradual increase in alien aggressiveness was purely for gameplay reasons and had no story justification whatsoever.


There's a time and place for introductory exposition.

The final mission is neither.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-06 02:25am
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The aliens in the original game were trying to capture Earth with as little effort as possible, and they only ramp up to a war footing slowly as their civilization starts rebooting from the structures on Cydonia, which is all they have left of what was once an Empire of some sort.

The sectoids are sent to do research, investigate people, test lifeforms, etc, and attempt to make contact with the human civilizations. XCOM gets activated in an attempt to scuttle the alien's efforts, causing their diplomatic efforts to go haywire. They retaliate with terror missions and terror units, like the Floaters, which are less of a military force than a horrible mess intended to cause fear and so forth. This fails. Then they decide they need to get military on you and start deploying the Mutons, Battleships, and so forth. By this point X-COM is getting out of hand and the Etherals (if you're slowish) will show up and try to handle things by themselves.

While the advancement is arbitrary, the aliens are trying to avoid a full-on invasion of Earth because they do not have the resources to fight you head-on. They need to establish bases and are very happy to offer incredible technologies in exchange for them pulling their support from the program. The story given by the alien brain is absolute nonsense, their goals (when unchecked) are simple conquest. They will offer earth incredible technological leaps until they are heavily entrenched, then seize control, change the environment around us, and use the left-over mutant population as manual labor to harvest Earth's resources and restart their failed civilization.

I get the feeling that Cydonia is all that's left over from some moustache-twirling alien villain's evil empire, and they figured that humanity would be stupid enough to take over with the tiny amount of units they have on hand. But it is never asserted they have a large facility, they really don't. They've got cloning facilities, and most of their vessels are transports and scouts. Harvesters, Abductors and Terror Ships are all variations on transport craft themselves, so the only military craft they have are Battleships. Theoretically, you could even interpert battleships as large escort craft, a large craft like Ryleth would be more akin to a Star Destroyer and a UFO Battleship is not all that big. It is very fast, highly maneuverable, and it has moderate defenses: it would make perfect sense for it to be a mid-sized long range attack craft.

Anyway, some of this is spitballing. The new game's explanation for why the aliens are there does EXIST, it just seems idiotic and doesn't have the benefit of being a blatant nod towards classic UFO ALIEEEN INVAAASION movies. My biggest complaint is that if the Ethereals are looking for a prime specimen, why didn't they find one? What have they been doing this whole time? I got lucky--on Classic, three of my four original soldiers with Psionically Capable. Why were the Ethereals spending so much time turning humanity into alien food or messing around with us on surgical tables? Isn't the psionic part in the brain? Maybe they have no idea about anatomy and assume our brains are in our stomachs.

Why don't I face a human/alien hybrid at some point in the last mission? That would have made sense. The whole game is a rushed mess and it makes me mad. Once you beat the alien base the game is over. You can just wait until you're ready to go. So long as you don't research the Hyperwave Decoder until you have firestorms, and don't beat the base until your soldiers have strong willpower, the game will basically roll over and die after that.

Hell, just ignore the storyline missions entirely, get your satellites up, and then worry about the rest. With full sat coverage NOTHING EVER HAPPENS and you can just skip along until victory.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-16 08:21am
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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-17 04:17am
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That's exactly how my first playthrough ended. And everyone else's.



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Richard Gatling was a pioneer in US national healthcare. On discovering that most soldiers during the American Civil War were dying of disease rather than gunshots, he turned his mind to, rather than providing better sanitary conditions and medical care for troops, creating a machine to make sure they got shot faster.

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 Post subject: Re: Attn: XCOM shit in this thread. PostPosted: 2012-12-17 05:32am
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Hawkwings wrote:
That's exactly how my first playthrough ended. And everyone else's.


Oh good, I'm doing it right then.



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