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  1. #21
    Activated Node Barberetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    With respect to the original, I know there's a serious difficulty bug of some stripe that one has to use a mod to get around. Are there any others?
    Just a few

    http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Known_Bugs

    :D

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barberetti View Post
    Right, so is there something that fixes those?

  3. #23
    Network Hub MadJax's Avatar
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    Usually stuff like XcomUtil, it's all on that UFOpeadia, if it isn't, then it's really not worth worrying about.

    The difficulty bug you refer to is the fact that despite what difficulty you select at the start, it makes NO Difference in the vanilla game, as it's all the same difficulty (This is about the worst bug that you're likely to encounter outside of larger agents getting stuck in small buildings.
    Yes, I update the below link frequently on a whisky fuelled rampage. I regret nothing.

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  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    Do people have serious issues with the X-COM interface beyond just the unlabeled buttons? I've seen a few people complaining about the X-COM UI recently and didn't really understand. If it's just that, yeah, it's easily learnable.
    True but it's still not a particularly good UI. The issues with ambiguous buttons was a limitation of the time period, so for then it was okay, but by modern standards it's unacceptable.

    A far greater sin was making it far too easy to screw up a movement by not requiring a second click in movement. As it stands it's easy to accidentally have the mouse snap to another grid square and have your guy go cheerfully walking away from cover and into the open. That was a genuinely bad piece of UI design, because the rigid grid makes it very easy to have accidents like that. It's exacerbated today with fast mouse movement unless you slow the game down in DOSBOX quite a bit.


    OP: Get the original. It's cheap, there's an abundance of information about it to get you started, and it's a classic. I wouldn't bother with Terror From the Deep, because it artificially ramped the difficulty right up by making everything take a thousand hits to kill and flooding the place with aliens.

    Xenonauts will be closer to the old XCOM than the new XCOM, but that means some arbitrary things like time units and soldier stat progression are done just because the old XCOM did that, not because there's any real justification for it. For a purist like me, that's cool, but if you don't like the original XCOM mechanics it's not worth getting.

    The new XCOM takes a different path, so the die-hard purists will bitch about changes like removing time units and stats progression and multiple bases (I wish we had multiple bases!) but by all accounts it keeps the asymmetrical warfare component and uphill struggle which is the hallmark of the series, as well as the tense battles. It just has different combat mechanics, and some changes help with the flow and might help prevent that endless hunt for the last alien hiding away that you spend the next 50 turns looking for.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    So here's my dilemma. I never really spent any time with the original X-Com games. That's a damned tragedy, as they're exactly my kind of games, but I flatly missed them in their era (didn't have a PC of my own at the time and was at the mercy of other people's game purchases as a result) and have subsequently always been put off by interface issues.

    The result is that, honestly, I haven't paid the new one much mind. My general sense has been that it's fundamentally a lesser game than the original, so if I haven't played that why play this?

    My question, I suppose, is where someone who loves the idea of X-Com but seems to have an underlying problem with both the old and the new version is better off trying to get a toe-hold on the series. Is there any real merit to the new one over the old ones? Are there mods for the old ones that smooth out the interface issues and fix the lingering bugs? What's an avid strategy gamer with a glaring hole in his gaming background to do?
    Seriously, just force yourself to play it. Don't worry about failure the first time. Don't even worry about missing entire features of the game such as research. Just learn bit by bit and when you lose the game just restart. This is how you get into any old strategy or RPG that you missed. You just need to dive in and play purely to learn the game, and then once you've gotten a grasp over all the features you restart for real.

    Also, read the manual.

  6. #26
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    OK, rambling.

    I just listened to the Three Moves Ahead podcast, and at one point the panelists hit on something that I think marks the key difference between the way the original plays and the way the remake will play, and it relates to decision making. In the original, one has a broad, fluid decision set. The game starts and you are shown the globe and asked to place your first base. It can go anywhere you like- literally any pixel of land can be selected. In combat, you have usually 10+ troops available, and without a cover system the range of places they might sensibly be moved to is very high, especially with the flexible time point system of action. Equipping involves selecting items to place in the hands, on the belt, on each leg. Soldiers have a dozen different stats which increase gradually with use. Your success in the game is the aggregate of many smaller decisions, over which you have a lot of control, although it can be tricky to parse out the effect of individual decisions precisely.

    The newer one makes decisions far more granular, with far more clearly defined consequences. You build your base by picking a country, each of which gives you a bonus. Combat has 4 to 6 units, who now need to be in cover all the time. Combined with soldier abilities this gives you a series of discrete choices as to which cover you move to, which action you take after your move. You equip your soldiers by picking a weapon, sidearm, armour and single piece of gear from a menu. You even get mutually exclusive missions presented, with rewards and consequences. You make your decisions from a smaller available set, with the effects being clear, but also hugely significant, and you should often find yourself going back and forth as to what to do with many of them.

    As an aside, I think the influence of Sid Meier is clear- he's the 'interesting decisions' guy. The lead designer, Jake Solomon, worked directly for Meier for most of a decade, and considers himself something of a disciple. We end up with a game that I think will derive much of its tension from having to make constant decisions with large consequences, and frequently having to work out the risk/reward from those decisions.

    No value judgments intended in the above . Both approaches are capable of producing very compelling games. I love the original and I'm very excited about the remake.

    Vinraith, I think Wizardry's advice is good. I think concerns about the clunkiness are perfectly valid, but often overstated. In particular, the strategic side has lots of well labelled menus leading to screens with obvious functions. You'll spend a little while poking around the base menus in particular, you'll build a few things, start some research, buy some stuff, and then you'll be off. In the tactical screen the issues come from having to learn the button icons and accidentally moving a soldier while trying to select another. Not quite knowing what to do or what to expect is in large part by design. We all fell in love with the game learning to play it.
    Last edited by arathain; 06-10-2012 at 02:27 AM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    So here's my dilemma. I never really spent any time with the original X-Com games. That's a damned tragedy, as they're exactly my kind of games, but I flatly missed them in their era (didn't have a PC of my own at the time and was at the mercy of other people's game purchases as a result) and have subsequently always been put off by interface issues.

    The result is that, honestly, I haven't paid the new one much mind. My general sense has been that it's fundamentally a lesser game than the original, so if I haven't played that why play this?

    My question, I suppose, is where someone who loves the idea of X-Com but seems to have an underlying problem with both the old and the new version is better off trying to get a toe-hold on the series. Is there any real merit to the new one over the old ones? Are there mods for the old ones that smooth out the interface issues and fix the lingering bugs? What's an avid strategy gamer with a glaring hole in his gaming background to do?
    Get the original (steam probably), use UFOextender (the latest version is April 2012 afaik). Get the higher quality music tracks (read .ini of UFOextender). Important things to turn on in the .ini (if they aren't already on): more smoke, auto sell (it'll make your life 1000 times easier). There are many more that you'll like to check once you've got the hang of the basics. Good alien hunting!

  8. #28
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Seriously, just force yourself to play it. Don't worry about failure the first time. Don't even worry about missing entire features of the game such as research. Just learn bit by bit and when you lose the game just restart. This is how you get into any old strategy or RPG that you missed. You just need to dive in and play purely to learn the game, and then once you've gotten a grasp over all the features you restart for real.

    Also, read the manual.
    Yes, this. Civ 5 doesnt lend it self to multiple games for me, but Ive failed so much in XCOM already, and restarted every time.

    Its awesome. Its a bit roguelike in that aspect, only with 10-20 hour sessions.
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  9. #29
    Network Hub AlonePlusEasyTarget's Avatar
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    You can only understand why it is so good in the first place by playing the original instead of trying the butchered remake. It changes too much that I fear the remake don't have that magic from the original like what happened to Deus Ex HR.

    XCOMUtil is essential as it fix a few UI issues (you can set double click for movement, auto sell etc) but other than that you're good to go
    Last edited by AlonePlusEasyTarget; 06-10-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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  10. #30
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlonePlusEasyTarget View Post
    You can only understand why it is so good in the first place by playing the original instead of trying the butchered remake. It changes too much that I fear the remake don't have that magic from the original like what happened to Deus Ex HR.

    XComUtil is essential as it fix a few UI issues (you can set double click for movement, auto sell etc) but other than that you're good to go
    .... Please stop the unreleased game bashing.
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  11. #31
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    I've been playing the old game for the last week on and off and had a great time. It approaches things in a way that just isn't seen very often these days. The UI isn't the best but nothing you can't overcome. The original is available for just $1.25 now in NA (not sure where the angry dome is).

    If you can get it for that, I'd humbly submit that you'd be as mad as a box of frogs to choose not to.

    http://www.gamefly.com/Download-X-Co...efense/150775/

    I think you might have to fight your way around their version of Steam if you get it there though.

  12. #32
    Network Hub AlonePlusEasyTarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    .... Please stop the unreleased game bashing.
    I just state my worries about the upcoming game based on the videos and the demo. I'd try it for sure when it reach bargain bin price but not at release, just like I did with Human Revolution. Hopefully by that time the community mod the game so it feels closer to the mechanics of the first game.

    All I did is just to avoid another buyer's remorse.
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  13. #33
    Lesser Hivemind Node DWZippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    The original xcom pretty much requires you to have the manual sitting in front of you, at least until you memorize everything.
    This is nonsense. I taught myself the game when I was 12. I still play it now, although I die much much less [I used to burn 5 soldiers a mission when I was 12. I was awful.] - and I've never touched the manual. There are some things that maybe don't make too much sense, but the in game UFOPedia clears up a lot of the fuss.

    If you've played other strategy games [JA2/Silent Storm/Swat 2] the game will make a lot of sense to you.
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  14. #34
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    Do people really find the original X-Com's UI that difficult? The Battlescape had a few un-named buttons for the reaction fire TU thingies and I recall grenades were a bit confusing ("Wait, I've primed it, but I have to throw it too? Oka... Oh, no TUs. Was nice knowing you, Rookie.") but I don't remember much else being terribad.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    Do people really find the original X-Com's UI that difficult? The Battlescape had a few un-named buttons for the reaction fire TU thingies and I recall grenades were a bit confusing ("Wait, I've primed it, but I have to throw it too? Oka... Oh, no TUs. Was nice knowing you, Rookie.") but I don't remember much else being terribad.
    Confusing buttons, no tooltips, easy to do stuff you don't intend to by accident, one-click move, easy to click on the wrong square, especially when at a different level, confusing line of sight, TU faff, setting up squads is quite annoying, limited info on equipment... it's rather poor, if it was released today it would be crucified, but it's far from unplayable.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  16. #36
    Lesser Hivemind Node DevinSmoth's Avatar
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    Another alternative is to try and play Terror From the Deep which, from what I've heard, takes the original and basically improves on it. ;P I have always been a fan of the original and still play that game quite a bit. In my opinion, the original is probably my favorite strategy game of all time. ;P

    I won't be buying the new one actually for a while, partially due to a really full backlog, but when I need a UFO fix, I can play the original again. ;P

  17. #37
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    You really have no excuse not to buy it now - 75p on GameFly:

    http://www.gamefly.co.uk/Download-X-.../#.UHAlgFEVhiQ
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  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    Vinraith - I would urge you not to dismiss the remake before it's even out. The RPS folks seem to have really liked it and felt it had retained it's tactical depth. Obviously you should not take that at face value and do your own research once people have been able to see the full game. I just feel that ruling out the remake completely could be a disservice to yourself. I'd definitely play the original though, whether you play the remake or not.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinSmoth View Post
    Another alternative is to try and play Terror From the Deep which, from what I've heard, takes the original and basically improves on it. ;P
    Nope, bad advice. TFTD ramps up the difficulty significantly, and doesn't really do anything different except add multi-part terror missions which drag on for ages and are incredibly unforgiving due to the tight cruise ship layouts with no room to move. Um, and part of it is underwater I guess?

    If you have trouble with the original, TFTD is worse. And the interface didn't get any boosts. Also by default it has a crippling research bug which makes it impossible to research armour unless you follow a very specific research pattern, though fan patches can fix that.

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    OK, say I've been convinced to just try the original. What mods/tools do I need? XComUtil? Extender? What settings should I use? Is there a consensus on this stuff among fans?

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