Author Topic: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos  (Read 4092 times)

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Offline NGTM-1R

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HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Ladies, gentlemen, and nongendered alien clones.

It is time.

It's been 20 years.


The aliens have cured all humanity's ills. Cancer. Aging. All other diseases. Their gene therapy centers work wonders.


All it cost us was our freedom. To do anything. To read, to speak, to assemble, to walk down the wrong street by mistake.


Obey the Elders in everything, and everything is open to you.


Natural this didn't go over well with everyone.


But the aliens crushed Earth's combined military and industrial might during the invasion; they reject that story, of course, but some of us still remember. There isn't much left to resist with by now.


That doesn't stop people trying.




We join Firebrand on final approach.



For this op, most of the team was pre-emplaced on the ground, and Firebrand has a limited capacity to evac, so only two people form our first sortie.


Oh look! A gene therapy building. Heavily guarded. We'll have to deal with that, but we need a distraction.


Thanks, old dude! Whoever you are!



And then it's time to start The Second Alien War. One hostile down!


Look! He's a fish! ADVENT Troopers use magnetic-based weaponry which leaves red trails in the atmosphere due to physicsbabble reasons I'm sure someone else is much more qualified to explain.


Sadly, Gatecrasher 2 gets killed because tutorial wishes to remind you that THIS IS ****ING XCOM AND WE DO THAT **** HERE.


Gatecrasher 2 is avenged, but that still leaves a bad guy about to attack Gatecrasher 1 when...



Oh hai...Bradford? Holy ****, since when were you a badass?



So let's take a look at the face of the enemy and they are...

...Sectoids? No, just human-alien hybrids, apparently raised from loyal humans. Great, I always knew we'd be our own worst enemy.


Oh hey it's a dropship! And it's full of bad guys! Meet the "Reinforcements" mechanic, which drops further hostiles on you in a lot of missions. You do get an idea where so you can set up an ambush if you're quick, and not currently hip-deep in their buddies. Just be glad they don't strafe you.


Like so.


Time to meet another mechanic! Your troops can hack things: doors, containers, and hostile robotic units. I really don't recommend the "run up to" method of hacking for robots though.


That looks shiny. Bradford wants to steal it. In fact, it's implied this is all so Bradford can steal it.


Well, I admit that's a nice suit, but...


Bradford! Why are we stealing the suit?



AND WHY IS IT KILLING EVERYONE TO DO IT!?


Welp, ADVENT blocking the front door, let's blow a hole in the back wall to get out.



Your red bullets have no power over meeeeeee!


Sure as hell have power over Bradford though. Are we going to kill Bradford in the first mission? I have to admit, that'd be pretty ironic.


Bradford calls for immediate evac. Okay, so you actually seem to be sane this time around. That's a plus.


GET TO DA CHOPPA.



I believe this is called...foreshadowing.




"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I'm gonna gamble that this will go on long enough to reach Psi and call dibs on being the first anime hair wizard
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline The E

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Just in case it's necessary, here's the HLPXCOM character archive I made: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8psxv2uu0yoang/HLPXCOM.bin?dl=0
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I'm gonna gamble that this will go on long enough to reach Psi and call dibs on being the first anime hair wizard

If you want to be the first :spoilers: then okay, that holds potential for great hilarity.

So we're getting back to our roots here; less narrative, more commentary, and more ill-advised decisions.

So, here are your customization guidelines:

If you want to just sign up and be a dude, we'll find somebody to make you.

If you want to say something about how your dude should look or what class they should be, I will do my best to accommodate that. But if you're a rookie and I have to deploy you then all bets are off.

If you want to make your own dude in the game and screenshot it, I will attempt to recreate you from that. If you use Sergeant options it might have to wait a bit. If you use DLC options I don't have it so you're kind of out of luck.

Just in case it's necessary, here's the HLPXCOM character archive I made: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8psxv2uu0yoang/HLPXCOM.bin?dl=0

I'm actually going to disallow the character pool option as then you guys are basically stuck waiting and hoping your dude comes up unless I mod the game a bit first and as a rule I don't do that.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline The E

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Okay, fair enough.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline Gortef

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Me Me Me! I'm in.

Give me the ski mask, and make it "HLP Red".
Otherwise I'll give you free hands to make my avatar look as hilarious (or cool, if it's possible with the ski mask) as you can.

I've been a sharpshooter in the other HLP-XComs, why break a good run choosing otherwise...
Habeeb it...

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Just in case it's necessary, here's the HLPXCOM character archive I made: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8psxv2uu0yoang/HLPXCOM.bin?dl=0

I'm actually going to disallow the character pool option as then you guys are basically stuck waiting and hoping your dude comes up unless I mod the game a bit first and as a rule I don't do that.

Can't you use the characters we send you to recreate them ingame?
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I volunteer to free our home from the foul xenos shackles, no pref on character.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Can't you use the characters we send you to recreate them ingame?

Not as easily as I could from a screenshot. I can't toggle between the pool and an active game easily while attempting to do so, basically it's "you take a screenshot, or I do".
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Reporting for duty!

Sharpshooter, or Psi Operative if you get that far before my character shows up.

Hopefully this shall be awesome.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Just in case it's necessary, here's the HLPXCOM character archive I made: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8psxv2uu0yoang/HLPXCOM.bin?dl=0

I'm actually going to disallow the character pool option as then you guys are basically stuck waiting and hoping your dude comes up unless I mod the game a bit first and as a rule I don't do that.
No modding required; they added an option for that:

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline CKid

Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Sign me up as a specialist please.
If I agreed with you, we would both be wrong

 

Offline Col. Fishguts

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Coun't me in as any dude you see fit.
"I don't think that people accept the fact that life doesn't make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable. It seems like religion and myth were invented against that, trying to make sense out of it." - D. Lynch

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Offline crizza

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Heavy...no Grenadier they're called nowadays, if you mind :D
Check out my blog:

http://geo.schulzbert.de/

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Scourge reporting, sir! I'll take any role you give me! Happy to soak magic red bullets for the cause (not too many though)!

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Rumour has it my old assault+shotfun standby now has an alternative intriguing melee-specialization?  Sign me up for either.
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Here we are in lovely...Arizona? Gah, we probably are racists. The thread title was a joke.


So let's see who the main characters are. This guy's got a labcoat, so I'm betting he's Science Dude.


She's...huh. I have no idea. Plucky sidekick?


And the dude in the suit is apparently important. Because there is in fact a dude in the suit.


Uh, what are you doing with that medical implem-


THE ****?


Oh hey it's you guys again I was getting...


...worried...






Thanks, I guess?


Oh. Huh.


As expected, this is Science Guy.


Also this is apparently not his first brain surgery. See those scars? He unchipped himself at some point. Jesus Christ.


Anyways, he'd like to check into this chip they pulled out of my head.


Okay! Now let's head up to the bridge. And trip the security, it seems.


Bradford transfers command, saying he'd prefer to have it be a little more ceremonious.


After a tutorial mission where I couldn't customize anyone so meh, we're headed down to the engineering section, to meet up with...oh hey it's plucky sidekick. Only she's not. She's our Wrench Monkey.


THIS is the plucky sidekick. Or one of them. Meet the Gremlin series of robots. If you were to imagine a mechanical dog that flies, hacks, and has a medikit or a stun gun, that would be the Gremlin. They're only available to one class, specialists.


Wrench Monkey's full name is Lily Shen, daughter of Raymond Shen from the first game.


And our ship, the Avenger, is Raymond's life's work. Judging from its size, though it's never stated anywhere, it seems likely that the Avenger is a refit of the battleship you swiped during Gangplank in the first game. And you thought that the Slingshot DLC wasn't important.


Shen is happy to see me. ROV-R, her Gremlin, seems a little less pleased and possibly eager to defend Lily's virtue. Look I admit she's cute, but I'm into blondes, okay?


Back to Science Guy. His name, since I didn't say (though he did), is Richard Tygan. He's reminiscing about the time he worked for ADVENT.


The chip in my head was running combat sims. Apparently I was literally playing XCOM for 20 years, multiple games at the same time.


The chip is similar to one Tygan was involved in designing for ADVENT officers, and he'd like to make a comparison. If we'd be so kind as to kill an officer.


It just so happens that we've got a mission planned!

I did mention the Avenger could fly, didn't I? (Apparently that place that looked like Arizona was actually in India. Huh.)


So, our mission site, and now, our mission crew. (Some of you are probably the wrong gender or nationality. If it bothers you, please speak up; I can fix that in this game.)



The Skyranger's slimmed down a fair bit, reducing its operational range. Now the Avenger has to move to the region and then deploy the Skyranger for the actual drop.


Still looks pretty close to the same inside, though.


Okay! Let's talk game mechanics. On most missions, your squad will start the mission "Concealed"; the aliens don't know you're there.  That blue thing around the view shows that we're concealed right now. You can move around and set up and ambush the bad guys and they don't know a thing. Certain actions, like getting too close, breaking a window, kicking in a door, or firing a weapon, alert the enemy and cost you concealment. The game recommends putting your squad all in overwatch and then shooting somebody to trigger ADVENT running around and getting gunned down, but personally I find this solution to be sub-optimal in most cases due to lack of fire direction. Also, despite the temptation to attempt a stealth run, don't; it doesn't work.


This is one of the most formidable enemies in the game.

No, I'm not joking. The ADVENT Lamppost can detect your troops in radius around it, but its real danger is that it can be hacked for various bonuses, some of them netting improved abilities for soldiers, restoring your guys to "not moved" status, caches of material, leads on alien targets, even permanent stat boosts. However, failing the hack will alert enemies to your presence and give them stat boosts or call in reinforcements. The temptation, in other words, is strong. In this case, we passed (it's a roll-over percentage system), and got a boost to the hacking soldier's vision radius.


Now, the Resistance set up a data tap, and ADVENT is here to kill it, so we're here to kill them and protect it. It's in this garage over here and already getting shot at. Fortunately, it's tough, because it'll take me a few turns to get over there.


Several turns later, the Data Tap is about halfway to dead and I'm finally getting everyone in place. Gortef gets the party started with a critical hit of an ADVENT Trooper who's just standing around with his thumbs up his butt. (Not literally.)


We immediately lose concealment and the ADVENT guys plus a lone Sectoid rush out to meet us. Sectoids have gotten taller, toothier, and meaner-looking. However, crizza is unimpressed and lobs a grenade. (Also pictured: my decision to risk a flank shot at crizza from the lone ADVENT Trooper not in the blast radius.)

He also sets off a propane tank, blasting a nice big hole in the building, killing a civilian who was standing around the combat zone for some reason (they're scattered around some missions and are nominally ADVENT-aligned; they'll expose your troops if you get close but otherwise can't be shot at save with explosives or the like), and injuring the Sectoid and ADVENT Officer pretty badly.

CKid finishes the Sectoid off with a rifle burst.


Meanwhile, StarSlayer demonstrates why Rangers are the CQC class: they have shotguns, yes, but they also have A SWORD with which he puts his kendo classes to good use and cuts this ADVENT Officer up.


crizza gets shot by the remaining ADVENT Trooper as I kind of expected he would. Despite the "CRIT" it's not for much; he'll probably still count as Gravely Wounded but he could absorb another hit if he had to.


He doesn't have to, because it's GRENADE TIME! The wall, and the Trooper are promptly blasted with another grenade from crizza's launcher. ALL HAIL THE LAUNCHER.


The mission outload screen gives you some stats, if you care about stats. They're neat but they don't necessarily measure much of interest.


Then we get back to the ship and yep, crizza's Gravely Wounded and collapses to the deck while I promote people for their successes.


Also, loot. You get some of it by recovering in-mission drops (PCS and Repeater, which dropped off the Officer; StarSlayer was close enough to pick them up at once), some of it from dead dudes. This is also where on a VIP recovery mission you'll see people you picked up appear. Not every mission gives you such loot; you can always recover drops if there are any, or people if there are any, but stuff like alien bodies only occurs on missions you don't evac from in the Skyranger.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Can I sign up? Or is it too late?

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Can I sign up? Or is it too late?

Nah, we've still got room for a bit yet.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline swashmebuckle

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I wish to resume my role of guy who can't aim for beans. I believe I was a medic.