Author Topic: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos  (Read 4074 times)

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
If there is some more space for cannon fodder I'll sign up for any role needed.
Here goes scripting and copy paste coding
Freespace RTS Mod
Checkpoint/Shipsaveload script

 
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.

Okie Dokie. Then I'd like to be a Ranger.

 

Offline IronBeer

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
And don't forget about me. I've died for earth plenty of times, why stop now?

Class is flexible, and I can pass along appearance info when/if I enter service.
"I have approximate knowledge of many things."

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
So a brief update, staged from pre-positioned pictures.

We get a call from a familiar face.


The Council has disbanded. Most of them faithfully serve the ADVENT Administration. Except one. Our good buddy the Spokesman.


In addition to having helped keep the resistance alive and having tipped off Bradford to where to find me, he's been collecting disturbing reports that ADVENT is disappearing people, to a specific location referred to as "the black site". You know, I somehow knew the CIA would survive the apocalypse.


He lays out the plot of the game to start: we need to save the world, again. Starting by rallying the resistance and shutting down the black site. If it turns out to be in Cuba I am so going to start laughing.


Some basic research. It's more Shen than Tygan; he's a bio and math guy, and doesn't have a staff the same way Vahlen did. This game's actually pretty good about acknowledging Tygan's limitations like that.


Speaking of Vahlen, what happened to her?


Oh. What about Shen?


This is our base. Note the shipness of it. The Skyranger launches via a flight deck aft. Command is obvious; other rooms worth noting at this time are the living quarters and the bar. Most of it is full of alien junk or machinery that's left over from when it was an alien ship. Something kind of cool is that your people move around the ship every time you check, and they're recognizable so you can actually tell it's your dudes. You can spot your guys in the ops room standing a shift, or down in the bar, the living quarters, working in various areas if they're engineers or doing training, even build a sickbay and the injured guys are in the beds. It's a neat touch, though with everyone just wearing the jumpsuits rather than their various hats and other stuff they can be hard to recognize immediately. 


Here, Gortef is the only recognizable person in the living quarters, hanging out with various so-far unnamed rookies. (Gortef's on the right side, closest to the camera. Nice dreads, man.)


Meanwhile StarSlayer and Ckid are in the back of the bar. Sometimes you'll see Bradford tending bar when it's crowded, but today it's somebody nameless.


I'll try and catalogue who's where between missions. If I remember.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Shotty and saber, perfect for my near nearsightedness  :yes:
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Dibs on Firebrand.

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
i want to point out that the avenger is a converted supply barge, not a battleship
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 crizza

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Crizzas Log:

Operation Northern Corps...
Quite some fun, gravely wounded, but damn, I think I'm in love with my grenade launcher, I'll call it Sally, after a girl I once met which could ruin your day.
This Avenger ship is neat... after you get used to it I mean.
First flight, emptied my stomach all over the place.
Now I have enough time to chill, gravely wounded, but I paid them back.

PS: Need to visit a barber, these hair cut sucks and I need to look for some cool sunglasses, something to smoke would be great too.
Check out my blog:

http://geo.schulzbert.de/

 

Online Mongoose

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I've been watching and enjoying Scott Manley's LP, but I need me some of this perspective too.  Throw me in as a sniper guy of dubious origins if you're desperate for warm bodies!

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
The Resistance has asked us to secure a VIP from one of the ADVENT cities. Rookie Fishguts joins us for this mission, despite having apparently been the protagonist of Metro 2033 before I renamed him.

Quote
Operation Dripping Smoke
Beijing, ADVENT Municipal Zone, 8:30 local time
Present: Fishguts, StarSlayer, Gortef, Ckid


Once again we start concealed, but this time, we're also on the clock. We are in ADVENT's backyard, here. Firebrand/Scotty has a limited window to extract us from the area before enemy interceptors blanket the area and he's likely to get shot down. So we have twelve turns to reach our target, who's being transported by ADVENT via truck, free them, and extract. Enemy kills are welcomed but not strictly necessary.


In other news: StarSlayer, crizza, Ckid: Smile. You're ADVENT-famous for being malcontents and disruptive influences! Yes, this is a thing that you'll see, with your troopers turning up in wanted posters in-mission.


Two turns in, we're in position and the only enemy sighted is an ADVENT Lamppost.


Ckid hacks the door to the truck, but doesn't reach the alloy cache threshold. Still, it doesn't alert the enemy.


Which is good, because apparently they were lurking on top of the building we started next to this whole time!


Fishguts crits his first shot, but NuSectoids have 7HP, so he falls just short of killing it.


Speaking of NuSectoids: Here's what they look like. Also, ADVENT Trooper.


Gortef whips out his pistol and once again somebody falls just 1HP short of killing a hostile.


StarSlayer's shotgun blast, however, finishes off the Sectoid.


Little bit worried about the ADVENT Trooper, he has elevated position and could easily flank Gortef or Fishguts. Naturally, he doesn't. He runs inside the building and flanks StarSlayer...and misses entirely.


If you think the Sharpshooter revolver is chambered in .600 Nitro Express or something, you're probably right.


Then Ckid fails a 50% hack and boosts all the remaining enemies on the map. Whoops! Fortunately we're not in direct contact with them. (Note from the future: this was dumb.)


Fishguts recovers the VIP and we start moving for the dustoff zone. Only as he goes around the truck he actually runs BETWEEN a pair of ADVENT Troopers who were on that side that hadn't been triggered yet. (You'd think they would react to the gunfire.) Oh ****.


StarSlayer moves up and takes an under-50% shot to try and save Fishguts.


It...works. Crits even.


The other ADVENT Trooper moves again to flank Fishguts from the opposite side  they were originally, presumably because they're very indecisive, and takes aim. (Check out StarSlayer on the wanted poster.)


I told you before: Your red bullets have no power over meeeee! (Holy **** how are they missing these flank shots!?)


Fishguts misses too, on a 65% chance. I'm blaming Ckid for this.


Especially because Ckid hits a 50% shot for it and sends the dude's body flying through poor Fishguts. PHYSICS IS A LIE


Gortef loots some stuff a dead ADVENT Trooper.


Unexpectedly an ADVENT transport roars in and dumps these guys. (Check out the Officer, who is from his red armor and jaunty scarf apparently A CHAR.)



They've dropped in to the north, covering the extraction point. I basically have to kill them to extract safely. Great.


The ADVENT Officer uses their "Mark Target" ability on Gortef, which increases the aim and critical hit chance of other people firing at Gortef. However, the other two just overwatch.


Gortef blows a shot at one of the ADVENT Troopers.


Fishguts, determined to actually kill something, skips unreliable "guns" and goes straight for the Boom. BOOM FOR THE BOOM GOD.


StarSlayer moves up, dodging overwatch fire, and guns down the other ADVENT Trooper.



The Officer bravely advances, right into a thrown grenade from Gortef.


Fishguts runs up and puts a burst into the Officer to finish them. (See the "Jazz hands!"?)


And from there, extraction goes without a hitch give the utter lack of opposition.




Remember what I said about missions you extract from? Here's our loot screen this time. (In other news, Gortef and StarSlayer both made Corporal, and Fishguts is now our second Specialist.) We literally got the guy we picked up and the stuff Gortef looted, that's it. No bodies or the like.


Bar's pretty crowded this time. Bradford and Fishguts are talking about something at the Bar, while Gortef and crizza talk behind them. I think that's also Ckid in the background.


StarSlayer on the bridge contemplates the hologlobe while nameless people do random stuff in the background.


(The Living Quarters are empty of anyone we'd recognize this time.)
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Col. Fishguts

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Nice report, I didn't think I would survive my first sortie ;)
"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 NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
Hey folks. Updates resume Monday; the rain here has exposed several urgent home maintenance issues.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
So I'm late. No surprise there.

First, Tygan does some of his magic. Resistance comms are hidden among alien comms using their network. At least one the reasons why this works hasn't yet been encountered, but I'll point it out when it comes.


The ADVENT Officer informs you to pucker up.


Huh. We appear to have jacked into his brain. That's not disturbing in the least.


So he had an implant too.


Wait, wait. I'm the asshole? Although those HLPX-COM playthroughs I did the first time were just helping the aliens against Earth's militaries and the Resistance? Awwww, man....


Well, at least they don't have access to my tactical genius anymore.


I have one word for you, just one word HLPer! PSIONICS!




But how to get in? Well, uh...hack a live ADVENT Officer. That doesn't sound possibly suicidal at all.


You get a little cutscene every time you make contact with a new region's resistance. Here, the Skyranger arrives in Northern Russia.


Rather than delivering a strike squad, though, it's bringing this one guy as an envoy. Whoever this guy is, he's going to have an amazing book to write when this is all over, because he's the one guy, alone, who somehow successfully negotiates with every resistance group on the planet to sign on with XCOM. You could make an argument that this dude is one the real heroes of the game.


Intense negotiations ensue. Or something. But once we have deployed this guy, the local Resistance will join us. He's unstoppable. I like to think of this as penance for Enemy Unknown and TFTD's unstoppable Alien Infiltrations.


The month ticks over. I have a weird sensation that XCOM 2 months aren't the right length, they seem to average only 20-some days.


Now, let's talk about game mechanics again. This tells us what the Aliens are up to lately in a strategic sense You get a certain number of these per month, it goes up, and you can only counter one per month; though I have noticed you don't necessarily get hit with all the others. They take some time to complete.

These two are self-explanatory. However, I'll give you a complete list along with my assessment of how much each actually matters. All of them last for one month.

Quote
ADVENT Alloy Padding - Adds Health, or Armor, to ADVENT units. Unwelcome, but manageable.
ADVENT Midnight Raids - Resistance recruits cost you twice as much. Could be nothing if you're getting people in via missions. Could be crippling if you need to recruit people through the Resistance.
Hunt XCOM - UFO is added to the world map that looks for the Avenger. If you stay on the ground while it's in the area it usually won't find you right away. That said they seem to proc on percentage chance to find a grounded Avenger; if this goes on long enough it will suddenly zip in from other side of the world. Then you fight a mission about it. How problematic this is depends on your skill at that mission.
Resistance Informant - Reduces the Retaliation Counter by 2 weeks. Could be bad or even actually good, depending on how skilled you are at Retaliation missions. Personally I think it's free money.
Rapid Response - At least one Reinforcements spawn on all Guerilla Ops that month. Could be annoying, but mostly doesn't matter.
Alien Infiltrator - SPOILERS! Expect to get ambushed. We'll talk about this later!
ADVENT Rural Checkpoints - Supply drops, your monthly income, are reduced by 50%. On scale of 1-10 for how bad things are, this one is at Prepare Your Anus. Most damaging event by far.
Alien Cyphers - Intel costs for actions that require it (revealing hidden Dark Events, contacting regions, buying from the Black Market) are doubled. A pain, but usually one that can be survived.
Avatar Project Minor Breakthrough - Increment the Doom Tracker by 1. Worth disrupting unless you've got a pressing reason for another.
Avatar Project Major Breakthrough - Increment the Doom Tracker by 2. Always worth disrupting. Pretty much only Rural Checkpoints is worse.
Infestation: SPOILERS! They came through the walls! They came through the goddamn walls!
Viper Rounds: Alien units get poisoned shots. Could be meh. Could be really bad. Depends on your skill at missions.
Construction: Completion of an Alien Facility. Could be bad; could help you reduce the Doom Counter.
Vigilance: Increases the detection radius of enemy units. Who gives a crap?
Show of Force: ADVENT tries to show they're a force by force, adding more enemies to missions. Again, depends on chance and your skill at the tactical game.

And now, MORE GAME MECHANICS. Retaliation replaces the old Terror missions; ADVENT mounts a direct attack on the Resistance in one of its hidden havens. You must stop them and rescue people. Succeed, and you will actually be rewarded with improved income. Fail, and you lose income.


Quote
Operation Precious Omen
6:30 Local Time
Present: StarSlayer, Gortef, Fishguts, Ckid

On Retaliation Missions, concealment is not a factor. Everyone came in loud. Sort of. Due to the Corporal-level skill StarSlayer has, he gets to be concealed even when the rest of the squad isn't, though the usual rules to what breaks it apply.


Meet the ADVENT Stun Lancer. They carry a rifle, like other ADVENT soldiers, but rarely use it. Their primary weapon is a stunstick that can knock your units unconscious (pain in the rear) or disorient them. (Sounds like X-COM 1 and 2, yes?) ADVENT originally used them for non-lethal crowd control, back when civil disobedience was more common than armed resistance. Now though they just stick you with 10000 volts because they like to watch you jerk.


Ckid and Gortef both fire overwatch against its companion Sectoid, but only Gortef hits with a pistol shot.



Then the Sectoid mind-controls Ckid.


The Stun Lancer takes a swing at Fishguts, but misses.


Gortef misses the Sectoid. It was a low-probability shot at 39% but it would have helped a lot if he'd hit.


Fishguts blows the hell out of the Stun Lancer and receives goodies for his work.



StarSlayer, who was forward scouting runs back to meet up with the rest of the squad but doesn't have a good shot at anything except Ckid, and I'm not eager to blow the hell out of Ckid. Unfortunately, Ckid is quite eager to blow the hell out of Fishguts. Fortunately, Ckid misses.


Still mind-controlling Ckid, the Sectoid also psy-reanimates the corpse of the Stun Lancer. BRAAAAAINNNS.


Gortef ain't playing in no zombie movie. The corpse becomes a corpse again.


StarSlayer informs the Sectoid to let go of Ckid's brain.


We push up a bit rescuing civilians, and then A CHAR


Fishguts throws a grenade at the Officer, but his cover remains marginally intact.


Ckid blasts the Stun Lancer with a critical hit.


Gortef, you are the worst sniper ever. (Again, low probability shot.) We need to get you some upgrades.


Fishguts runs up to flank the Officer and kills it. Hurray! We win!


Or...not.





Remember that "Infiltration" Dark Event? This is the infiltrator. The Faceless are melee-only, large gelatinous creatures that can pose as civilians. They are revealed when no enemies remain on the map besides Faceless, or when you move near them. There are also tools and skills that can do so, but we don't have any.

Ckid hurts it, but it's too tough, or its biology just too bizarre, to be stopped with a rifle burst alone.


StarSlayer lays it out with a shotgun blast right after, though. Ugly fella, ain't he?


Mission success. MVP: StarSlayer, again.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I personally rate Vigilance higher than most of the other ticks.  The way you can game the clock means that a pip or two are inconvenient, but little more than that.  But when detection range becomes 3/4 of visual range instead of 1/2, you either have to slow down enormously on your approach (which has certain risks associated with it) or prepare to be spotted when you're still in the middle of your turn and haven't set an ambush (which has a lot more risks associated with it).

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
vigilance suffers greatly from quadratic scaling
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 NGTM-1R

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I actively avoid the suggested ambush thing because I feel that it's inferior to being able to properly direct fire and use abilities, even if it allows most of the aliens to get to cover.

This puts a premium on explosive and heavy weapons to remove cover, but it's worked okay for me so far.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
A proper ambush isn't one that catches everything in the open, a proper ambush is one where all of your troops are in good, covered firing positions and grenade range.  Vigilance makes that significantly more difficult.

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
A proper ambush is one where the enemy discovers your squad on their turn and you get two rounds of free shots on them.
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 Scotty

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Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
That now requires a squad member to be in the open, and patrolling enemies will shoot at the flanked and exposed squad member.  I consider that an unacceptable risk when the objective is to not get my squad killed.

 
Re: HLPX-COM 4: Remove Xenos
I personally rate Vigilance higher than most of the other ticks.  The way you can game the clock means that a pip or two are inconvenient, but little more than that.  But when detection range becomes 3/4 of visual range instead of 1/2, you either have to slow down enormously on your approach (which has certain risks associated with it) or prepare to be spotted when you're still in the middle of your turn and haven't set an ambush (which has a lot more risks associated with it).
+1 to this. I gleefully let it proc on my first playthrough thinking it couldn't possibly be a problem, but it was extremely annoying.
And I agree concealment is useless for overwatch ambushes, and relying on overwatch in general sucks even if it's a lot better than in the first game, but having phantoms scout for your snipers is priceless. For example aggroing a pod with one sniper, and having the other in killzone overwatch can solve the entire cover problem by not letting them get to it. And if they do, you still have a heavy, ranger, specialist and a psionic free, all of which have a reliable method of ignoring cover altogether.

Anyway I mostly lurk here, but I enjoyed reading the previous HLPX-COMs, glad you're doing one for the sequel.
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.