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Ruccus
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XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #1

Not to be confused with the XCOM first person shooter being developed by 2K Marin (the creators of Bioshock 2), Firaxis is developing an X-COM remake (or 'reimagining') titled XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a three part interview with the devs, an opinion piece on what the reviewer has seen about the remake, and a 5 minute trailer featuring in-game combat footage and base building.

So far the turn based strategy 'XCOM: Enemy Unknown' seems more interesting to me than the first person shooter 'XCOM'.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #2

It's looking pretty good to me. It still has some of the trademark visual things of a newer game (the glam cam), but they've talked a lot about how faithful to the source material, or respectful, they're trying to stay. Things like pretty deep control over your soldiers, their country flag emblazoned on their back, shows me they've got the right mindset.

Should be good times.



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Last edited by Nenjin; 03-06-12 at 08:04 PM.
Ponzi
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #3

The reasoning behind making a first person shooter out of xcom baffles me. The only people who would recognize the name are fans of the original, and fans of the original are going to be pretty unhappy with the genre change. At least here, they're doing a proper remake also. That trailer makes it look awesome. I've always been interested in XCOM, but the original feels quite clunky and I never felt interested in putting in the time to get used to it.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #4

Doing levels right in X-com is really time consuming. Trying to balance xp versus simply surviving the mission can be very tough, and even doing your best you might still take a casualty right at the end of the game. I avoided X-Com for a long time, but it was worth it when I finally got into it. I just couldn't spend 4 hours a level.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #5

I hated mid-game combat in the original game. Once the early tension has bled off and before the game-breaking superweapons are researched, it was just a terrible slog. Terror missions in particular, since there's almost no reward.

I was cautiously optimistic about the FPS version, anything to never have to comb another TftD cruise ship. This new one, I can't imagine I won't buy it. Even if the reviews are really terrible and I wait for a sale.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #6

An indie studio is doing this.

http://www.xenonauts.com/

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #7

Joystiq has posted an article which includes an hour long video of the devs playing a couple missions, if you'd like to check out how the game plays.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #8

Loved XCOM back then.. and the new one looks pretty interesting



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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #9

Generally pretty pleased. At first I was like "those aliens seem to be dying far too easily" but midway through the first mission things started to get intense and it started to see like the XCOM I remember, where over-extending left you with dead soldiers.

I'll be losing quite a bit of time to this when it comes out.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #10

Nenjin said:
Generally pretty pleased. At first I was like "those aliens seem to be dying far too easily" but midway through the first mission things started to get intense and it started to see like the XCOM I remember, where over-extending left you with dead soldiers.

I'll be losing quite a bit of time to this when it comes out.
One of the guys I work with worked on this up until we stole him. He says the tactical game is a ton of fun. Meanwhile, the Strategic Level is designed by a guy who used to work here who is 1) a fantastic systems designer and 2) an award wining Wargame designer.

I was extremely excited about this game before learning those things, and, now, I'm even more eager to play it.



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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #11

I have been waiting for this game SO long.

Please, bring back a good tactical turn based game. I've actually considered reloading the original X-com lately, because I can't find anything but twitch games.



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Ruccus
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #12

Nenjin said:
Generally pretty pleased. At first I was like "those aliens seem to be dying far too easily" but midway through the first mission things started to get intense and it started to see like the XCOM I remember, where over-extending left you with dead soldiers.

I'll be losing quite a bit of time to this when it comes out.
What I liked was both when the best squad member died in each mission (nobody's untouchable), and in the second mission one of the rookies panics while the other one 'steps up' with a big crit on a cyberdisc (47:00), rescues three civilians, and makes some good shots (hitting on a 55% and two 49% shots) while going solo flanking around the building.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #13

http://store.steampowered.com/news/8810/

Pre-Purchase XCOM: Enemy Unknown now and help unlock special rewards. Possible rewards include the Elite Soldier pack, 3 Exclusive XCOM TF2 items, and Civilization V. Check out the store page for more details.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown will place you in control of a secret paramilitary organization called XCOM. As the XCOM commander, you will defend against a terrifying global alien invasion by managing resources, advancing technologies, and overseeing combat strategies and individual unit tactics.

The original XCOM is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made and has now been re-imagined by the strategy experts at Firaxis Games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown will expand on that legacy with an entirely new invasion story, enemies and technologies to fight aliens and defend Earth.

You will control the fate of the human race through researching alien technologies, creating and managing a fully operational base, planning combat missions and controlling soldier movement in battle.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #14

Talk about pre-order shenanigans!


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #15

Yeah I noticed that. Look, I know we all love kickstarter tier'd push goals but maaaaybe this is starting to become just as silly as DLC craziness is with some publishers.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #16

Koru said:
Yeah I noticed that. Look, I know we all love kickstarter tier'd push goals but maaaaybe this is starting to become just as silly as DLC craziness is with some publishers.
The elite soldier pack is the pre-order stuff so I had little doubt it would pass that level and the TF2 stuff is just extra promo stuff for TF2, so it was really a slider that dings "We sold enough XCOM pre-orders that 2K is throwing in a free copy of Civ 5" without having just a single faraway goal.

I've been following the slider since it passed tier 2 (wasn't sure if each section goal was linear or if the second to third goal required more pre-orders) and it appears they'll make it to the final goal. In the beginning they needed over 4% per day to attain the goal and as it sits now they need under 3.6% per day (52% in 14.58 days) to attain the goal.

There's a demo download now available on Steam's XCOM page for those uncertain (or want their XCOM fix early) but it's a healthy 6GB download (and the connection is probably flakey at the moment - it just went up so lots of people are going to try to get it today) so I'll keep my present under the Christmas tree for another two weeks.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #17

The Civ 5 tier has officially been unlocked at Steam, and today over at Joystiq they posted an interactive video in which you choose how to go about fighting the aliens in a mission.

I found it to be an entertaining video, and went through it a few times to see how well and how poorly I could do (got an 11 kills with no casualties on one, and got the entire team wiped out during another).


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #18

Dammit, Steam, gimme my XCOM. How long can it take to download twelve gig?

grumble grumble


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #19

I've been having a lot of fun with XCOM; at normal difficulty I seem to be stemming the tide but still getting the feeling I'm not getting an upper hand on the aliens. My Memorial Wall is getting too big (ten soldiers after ten missions, with three of the soldiers being seven mission veterans) and I only have one soldier left from my original four (and she very nearly died on the last mission).

I'm not getting enough funding to do what I want (six days away from my third council report) and France is getting ready to leave the alliance, but I've got new fighter jets being researched and hopefully if I get my satellite uplink finished I can fire a satellite up into the air to appease the French.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #20

I'm partway through month two. Just got my first terror mission, which I'm going to have to do short-handed because everybody is wounded. I really should have paid more attention when the CO told me to hire more soldiers...

I definitely feel way more cash constrained in this one than in the original. I have laser rifles and the first tier armor researched, but can't actually afford to outfit the whole squad. I think getting new satellites up is the next priority, just for the increased funding.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #21

Yalum said:
I'm partway through month two. Just got my first terror mission, which I'm going to have to do short-handed because everybody is wounded. I really should have paid more attention when the CO told me to hire more soldiers...

I definitely feel way more cash constrained in this one than in the original. I have laser rifles and the first tier armor researched, but can't actually afford to outfit the whole squad. I think getting new satellites up is the next priority, just for the increased funding.
I had my first country drop out of the alliance (Brazil). It was a bit annoying in that it went to the fifth level a couple days before the council meeting, not giving me the opportunity to create a satellite to launch for air support. or a mission to renew their confidence.

I'm using my snipers to good effect; I try to find good fields of view and then I dash one guy (with run and gun) into cover to flush out where the enemies are, then pick them off with the snipers. I'm just researching the plasma sniper rifle now so hopefully it will add to their effectiveness. I've also got one SHIV made (robot that acts as a squad member) but haven't put it into the field yet.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #22

I'm a huge wuss and have been save scumming, just to see how far normal takes it.

Gentlemen, it is not pretty.

By the time chrysalides and mutons are on the scene, and you're getting large ships levels, you're basically hemorrhaging money trying to keep up.

Escalation seems to be independent of triggers just like the original, so you can't faff around researching small stuff I think. You gotta invest in your infrastructure, get armor, weapons and better interceptors asap. Then work on the stuff like the foundry projects.

One thing I've noticed reloading scenarios and events a lot is, there's always a good 10 to 20% chance of success even when the odds are stacked against you. That might not matter when you're shooting a healthy Chrysalid with a basic pistol...but I was able to bring down a large ship with just a basic interceptor and a couple buff items. I've also had guys who are dead to rights survive 1 out of 6 times at close range and no cover.

Even essentially cheating to get A monthly ratings and not paying for soldiers hardly at all, I feel strapped for cash. I try to keep $100 sitting around in a case I need something in an emergency, but that gets spent quickly, because there's an emergency every 5 days. It feels like I went from seeing easy and medium missions to seeing nothing but VERY DIFFICULT across the board in just a couple hours. Maybe that scales to your monthly Council Rating, and it thinks I'm awesome when I'm really just cheating my ass off. Whatever it is, there are few easy missions once you start running into floaters. There doesn't really feel like a mid-game in XCOM, there's the early game and then suddenly you're finding yourself in the mid-to-late game and you're behind by a lot.

I do think satellites are key. Do you even get any funding from a country you're not floating a satellite over? I think countries are like non-due paying members of the club, and you're in a race to convert them to paying members asap. I think that means you need to float at least 9? sattelites to sort of secure yourself? That's 2 sattelite nexus thingies and an uplink. (And 3 months worth of funding and half a year of work with about 15 engineers.....)

Not being able to sell weapons and manufactured stuff kind of sucks, it was a really nice way to make some quick cash. Selling the remains and alien artifacts just doesn't quite cut it, nor do the requests where, in the end, you're making about $100 and losing a lot of materials.

I don't really like the base. It kind of makes the limitations of the game standout, and all the visuals that went into it go ignored after not too long. You can't zoom up on the barracks or any of the rooms that aren't the "main" rooms, and all that detail kind of goes to waste. Once I found that out, I pretty much stopped looking at ant farm altogether. The bonuses do give you a reason to plan, but it's pretty thin. Decent idea, not really well executed, a lot of glitter and razzamatazz. I would have preferred something less fancy and an attempt at base defense.

The interceptions are pretty terrible too, IMO. It used to be 2 things: actually catching the craft, and then fighting it. Now it's just one thing, the whole act of catching and cutting off escape and being evaded...gone. Combat kind of leaves me a little annoyed too. You get no tactical control and you have to pay for buffs which affects 2 out of 10+ shots. Engagements are over pretty quickly. I almost had a basic Raven run down the timer on a large space ship, but I downed it in the last few seconds. I've never had an engagement where two ships left intact.

I like the game, it's got lots of appeal but it kind of makes me realize something about a lot of the remakes of classics like this. The originals were all very interested in simulating as much as possible about their games. The stats, the inventory, the bases, the interception...all of it was trying to simulate these systems in a way that was fun to observe and tinker with. They put a lot of work into them. XCOM is still simulating a lot of stuff (mostly combat), it's just a lot less robust of a sim. A lot of thorny elements or parts that really need their own stand alone simulations in the original were handwaved in XCOM It plays a lot smoother because of it (no micromanagement spiraling out of control, for example.)

Stuff is straightforward in XCOM where in X-COM there was a lot of **** you had to drill down into yourself and the more elaborate you got the longer it took to do anything. On the other hand, XCOM feels like something I don't have to sink 5 hours into, to get something done and that's kinda nice. Missions are quick, although the levels seem to be getting bigger as the game goes on.

I could see good things happen for the game through DLC, I'd definitely buy if it's not just skins and other silly crap. Hopefully the mod community is ready to go apeshit on this game. I'd really like some non-American voices in the mix, for starters.

I think in the end the missions and the combat are well done and engrossing. It's everything outside of the missions, your troops, and research that's kind of underwhelming. I imagine the lack of of random maps is going to wear on people quite a bit in their 2nd and 3rd playthrough. This actually kind of makes me want to go back to X-COM, so I get the simulation aspect of fighting the alien war that XCOM doesn't really pull off.

If it's one thing the game does do very well like the original, it's a game of attrition where you just try to do the best you can in the face of stacked odds and hateful RNG. Part of the reason to play it is to fail, because that makes the victories sweeter. Unlike the original though, the path to victory is much clearer in XCOM, and you can kinda feel rails underneath everything taking you quickly towards the end-game. It manages to be tougher by virtue of giving you fewer options to work with, while at the same time being a lot fairer by not, for example, killing 90% of your guys as they come down the ramp. Out of 25+ missions thereabouts, I don't once feel like the game ****ed me. Whereas I felt that way about 4 times a mission in X-COM. Which makes it a lot less stressful to play, even though it's still a stressful, angsty experience.



Last edited by Nenjin; 10-09-12 at 09:22 PM.
Yalum
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #23

Do satellites automatically reduce panic levels, or is that just about hoping for a mission in the target country? I've got four satellites coming on line at the very end of the current month, and three countries currently panicking....

I've been playing on Classic and so far the combat is pretty manageable, but there are plenty of headaches on the geoscape. Abductions wreck my panic levels even when I'm getting solid scores at the end of the month.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #24

I think you do get some automatic panic reduction right when the satellite deploys. But it's a one-time thing.

Also, I hate how panic is calculated. I had Canada at 1 (blue) panic, and had to ignore an EASY abduction mission in favor of something more critical. Once the mission was over, I'm informed that Canada is now panicking, covering everything in maple syrup and attacking each other with their ice skates.

I mean, what gives? Either something incrementally increases panic, or the indicators are all ****ing lying.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #25

Are you sure the mission was in Canada? Abductions increase panic across the continent, but the mission selector only shows you the particular country. It's easy to ignore a mission in a relatively calm United States, only to find out afterwards that Canada and Mexico are flipping out.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #26

Are you guys talking about the demo? Or is there a way to play early?


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #27

The game is out as of yesterday.

Playing normal and doing ok. No fatalities, but lost a country already, 3 months in. Now that I know ignoring ANYTHING sends panic through the roof, I will play again and not ignore stuff.



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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #28

Well f***them then!
What's the point of Steam/Digital Versions if they still stagger the release..?!

Available: 12 October 2012
This game will unlock in approximately 1 day and 8 hours


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #29

It's a historical thing. In the US games are released on Tuesday, in the EU it's Friday. Digital distribution of PC games isn't big enough to shove around the habits of brick and mortar console retailers.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #30

Are you sure the mission was in Canada? Abductions increase panic across the continent, but the mission selector only shows you the particular country. It's easy to ignore a mission in a relatively calm United States, only to find out afterwards that Canada and Mexico are flipping out.
Nah, the mission was in Canada and the panic level for the NA region was at 1. Like I said, by all rights a single abduction mission should not have driven Canada straight to panic. I've seen other countries suffer a lot worse. So, I dunno. Either it's buggy or there are a lot of hidden factors/RNG relating to raising the panic level.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #31

So I just put my first Firestorm in the air and shot down my first large UFO. Very satisfying, the last one I saw ambled through Europe just as I was starting to upgrade my interceptor fleet and cost me Germany. Turned a fantastic month into a D rating, my worst ever. This one though, it went down easy, easy. Saddle up, boys, go bring us back all that sweet loot, we still need more suits of powered armor!

(I'm not actually going to make them any more powered armor, the next five hundred credits are going to satellite coverage.)

It starts out as a standard bug hunt, punctuated by a floater throwing a grenade at a perfectly good nav computer and also two dudes crouched behind it. Then I take down the two sectoid commanders and the rest of the aliens decide it's time they come to me.

First on the scene is a cyberdisc and his support drone. Sweet, I just upgraded my arc throwers, I want that disc alive. I get everybody into position, behind a guard rail overlooking the room with the robots. We're awful close to it, we need to be to run in for the hack, so I cover us with a smoke grenade and end turn.

The cyberdisc doesn't shoot, it gets a heal from its drone then comes straight at us. Then it shoots. It does that unfolding thing, which is horrifying, and delivers a thirteen point crit point blank to Romeo. That's gonna leave a mark, but it's not fatal.

Then a second cyberdisc drops down on us from above. ****.

It doesn't have the action point to shoot, but I've got six guys standing in smoke cloud with two cyberdiscs. Primo smoke, too, minus 40% to hit. Even so close you can feel the breeze from their creepy robot tentacles, I'm not going to be able to shoot them down. Even if it were a good idea to shoot down two cyberdiscs floating right in the middle of your entire squad.

I check the arc throwers... 100% success rate, that's great. And discs can't be hacked, that is less great. Drone Hack only works on actual drones. Who knew?

New plan. Scatter in all four directions. Two heavies retreat back down the hallway and lay down suppressing fire on the discs. The two assaults with arc throwers sprint for the drones. The other two just get the hell away and go into overwatch.

Suppression is great, the cyberdiscs can't do jack. The drones are loose but they can't do enough damage to kill anybody. Umm, right? They both take shots at the assaults coming for them. Disco takes it like a champ, but Boomer panics. That is not good, he's all alone over there.

Then five chrysalids come around the corner. Because of course there were five chrysalids around the corner. Two scurry down the hallway towards us and get chewed up by reaction fire. Three head straight for poor panicking Boomer. Three completely healthy chrysalids. Thank God he's all alone over there.

My turn again. First things first, it's time for heavy explosives. Two rockets and a grenade take care of two cyberdiscs and a chrysalid. That turns a lot of expensive alien equipment into smoking debris, but fair trade. The drone hack goes off fantastic, the wounded chrysalid is dispatched. Nine aliens has become four. Progress.

Nothing I can do for poor Boomer, though. The remaining chrysalids do what chrysalids do. Thank you, Boomer, for your sacrifice. We will remember you for as long as it takes our therapists to work through the night terrors.

My turn again. I've lost visuals on all the aliens, but they could have gone far, and I've got one rocket left... Boom! And an achievement for blowing **** up! Yes, that deserved an achievement.

A little mop up and we're headed home. Three hundred credits worth of cash loot, tell you what, I think we can spring for one more suit of powered armor.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #32

http://techland.time.com/2012/10/12/...ay-on-ironman/

I like this. A lot.
It won't matter if you don't repeat the exact same movements etc.. but when you try to get it "perfect" by reloading for every action that's not optimal, you're screwed

Works for me!



Last edited by ShadowCross; 10-15-12 at 07:49 AM.
Nenjin
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #33

I believe that review is wrong on this count.

Yes, the random number seed is created at the start of the scenario so it gets reloaded on a save game load. But it doesn't mean the exact same result happens every time.

I had a floater at about 3 spaces away from a heavily wounded soldier. In 6 reloads, he shot and killed the soldier every single time with a crit.

On the 7th, he missed completely.

Having done a lot of save scumming, I've been looking for instances, in terms of teh RNG, a soldier is irrevocably screwed. So far, I haven't seen it. Your chances may be minimal but they're not set in stone.

Now, an alien killing a soldier with a grenade may well be an inescapable fate. But that's not based on the RNG.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #34

Okay, thanks for the info

I try not to save/load too much, I have only done it twice so far.
Second time was for my Alien Base Assault.. I had the base commander cornered and wanted him alive but only had a 34% of stunning him (2nd try, first had already failed). Worked on the 2nd time - after reloading I first fired another soldiers rocket to get the next RNG value, then the stun worked Cheating? Yeah, probably


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #35

ShadowCross said:
Okay, thanks for the info

I try not to save/load too much, I have only done it twice so far.
Second time was for my Alien Base Assault.. I had the base commander cornered and wanted him alive but only had a 34% of stunning him (2nd try, first had already failed). Worked on the 2nd time - after reloading I first fired another soldiers rocket to get the next RNG value, then the stun worked Cheating? Yeah, probably
This is why you carry un-upgraded pistols. One shot from a pistol softens up commanders for capture quite nicely!


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #36

uuuugghhhhh, you have got to be shitting me. I am getting the same audio crackling and FPS loss problem in this game that I am getting in BioShock Infinite, except in this game its starting almost instantly once I get into the first mission briefing even after all the tweaking Ive done to get it to take a while in BioShock. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the Unreal Engine 3 and why does it do this to my PC on some games, but not others? Arkham City and Borderlands 2 never did this.

Hell, it was starting to show signs of happening in Quantum Conundrum, had seven hours of time played in it before it started to show signs of doing this.



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ShadowCross
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #37

To be honest, seeing all those problems you have with games, keyboard etc.. I am starting to think the problem is your installation/hardware.. NOT the games or the unreal engine.. Maybe it's time to set up your system from scratch instead of trying to fix single issues that might just be symptoms created by problems you aren't even aware of (yet).


Toprem
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #38

ShadowCross said:
To be honest, seeing all those problems you have with games, keyboard etc.. I am starting to think the problem is your installation/hardware.. NOT the games or the unreal engine.. Maybe it's time to set up your system from scratch instead of trying to fix single issues that might just be symptoms created by problems you aren't even aware of (yet).
The keyboard is only something that has recently started happening, the problem with the games was something I noticed a few months ago when I tried Blacklight Retribution. At that time, it was the only game I had ever experienced something like that in, and up until now it was still the only game that it occurred in. The only common thread b/w the games that have this problem happening in it is the Unreal Engine 3, no games not using that enginer that I have played / am currently playing have this issue in them. I really don't want to have to reformat to possibly fix an issue that's only occurring in these games.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #39

Try updating the drivers for the audio on your motherboard (I assume you have RealTek onboard audio.)


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #40

To add to Nenjin's suggestion, there are quite often 2 different drivers you can get for your onboard Realtek audio.

You can get it from the mobo manufacturer site, or get the actual Realtek driver from Realtek. If one doesn't work, try the other. I've had best luck with actual Realtek driver from Realtek rather than the motherboard manufacturer version.


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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Reply With Quote   #41

Nenjin said:
Try updating the drivers for the audio on your motherboard (I assume you have RealTek onboard audio.)
I did, I updated several things about my MB since someone else on 2K's forums is trying to help me with the situation. I updated those, updated drivers for both my video card and my sound card, tried playing without the soundcard, etc. Gonna try more of his suggestions later tonight. Well, probably not going to get around to them tonight, since I need to take my sound card out again.




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