Talk:Alien Life Forms (Long War)

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Seen on Elite Mutions: Bullet swarm, hyper-reactive pupils, adaptive bone marrow (~4hp/round). Seen on Etherials: Adaptive Bone Marrow (+10hp/round), Muscle Fiber density (apparently). Berserkers: Neural Dapaning, adaptive bone marrow. --Xuncu (talk) 07:19, 14 July 2014 (EDT)

Adaptive Bone Marrow or Repair Servos seems to be common to everything after a while, I'd just lump it in with HP increase if you want to document it. I've even seen Thin Men with it. Binkyuk (talk) 08:10, 14 July 2014 (EDT)
Sectoids, too. Complete with nightmare-fuel body warping to accommodate the animation.--Xuncu (talk) 14:25, 15 July 2014 (EDT)

Motherfucking Berserkers can jump now. --Xuncu (talk) 05:49, 8 December 2014 (EST)

Formatting for Stat Tables

I'm creating this in the interest of ideas on formatting the stat tables. Currently, they seem clear if you've looked through the ini files and know what the various stats and percentages mean and you know how to read this chart, but to the common user, it appears messy and disorganized. My roommate is an avid player of LW and I'm an avid peruser of ini files for LW. I showed him this page and the various stat tables and he says that he's unsure what a lot of the information means. What are the red highlighted areas? What about the yellow? He says that he dislikes having to open the information panels for the progression, as he's often looking at it quickly as a reference, and prefers the information to be there from the start, not hidden behind extra clicks. The collapsible menus certainly keep things cleaner, but they hide the information behind a low wall that we both feel is unneeded.

On that same vein, we see why it is in a collapsible menu and that brings us to our next point. We think there's too much information in the table. The old b13 tables were clean, concise, had everything organized, but were incomplete. We all here are completing them, but by doing so are losing some of that form. We both think it's a better idea to break the leader perks away from the progression table. Since Alien Leaders aren't directly tied to the progression, and theoretically any leader could be rolled at any time, we would think it would help with the information overload if we separated it back out, like the old format had. The Navigator information can stay as it is, since those are directly tied to research, it's useful to see what kind of stats the base form has at the time the Navigator appears, and as such, is good to have incorporated with the remaining progression.

In addition to all of this: I believe the base perks and abilities of an Alien is best suited tied to their Base Stats in some way, instead of being located in the Progression tab. This helps clean up the progression tab by removing some of the information from it, and also helps to convey that they're starting abilities, especially at a glance. I think the formatting with the Sectoid portion is on the right track, but I believe that it could use some reorganization; some regrouping if you will.

I welcome the thoughts of others on this, on their ideas of how it should be set up, and their feedback on the ideas I've proposed.

--IceMaverick (talk) 12:50, 24 March 2015 (EST)

Thanks for the feedback - just unfortunate that you happened to post it while I was in the process of updating the entire page. :P
The b13 tables were clean yes, but also were incredibly vague. It made no mention of what navigators even were, and it was extremely unclear when aliens would get said perks. Plus, it was not very "update friendly" - everything was manually entered rather than using the LW perk templates. Also, on the background colors - yes they were not explained when you posted this comment. I removed the "legend" table that went with it temporarily, but it's now at the top giving a brief explanation of navigator and leader upgrades. A more detailed explanation should probably be featured on a separate page.
With that in mind, the alien upgrades are just a ton of information - I just don't see a good way to make it anymore clean/concise without sacrificing information at the same time. Really, the only reason I made the stat/perk progression tables collapsible was so that scrolling the page wasn't a huge pain. Easiest example of this is probably the muton elite progression - they get a ton of upgrades. Alien leaders do have correlation to alien research, by the way, so any level leader can't be rolled at any time. Though sure, it probably could be separated without too much trouble.
Two problems with including the "base perks" of an alien with the base stats table are many perks have stat upgrades tied to them, and how to define a "base perk". Some of them are there from the start without any upgrades (mindfray and psi panic on the sectoid), while others are day 0/1 99% navigator upgrades. This may just make the "base" table more cluttered as well.
Those are my thoughts on some of your points. One option that I've considered is to make this page a "landing page" and split all of the sections for each alien into their own pages. In that case, I'd be absolutely fine with removing the collapsible property of the stat/perk progression tables. This doesn't help with the "extra clicks problem" though.
--Hawkeye2777 (talk) 18:48, 25 March 2015 (EDT)

Sorry about that, I've been trying to individually contact all of the various editors of the page so that we could all agree on a single template to use, and a single style of displaying the information, get it all organized correctly AND THEN export it to every other Alien type... And then I realized that this whole discussion page exists, and has been mostly unused. Seeing as this is one of the THE MOST information-rich pages in the Long War section, I figured some community discussion would be in order. By the time I figured it all out, I saw in the logs that you had updated everything already. Apologies for not striking sooner.
I think your idea of breaking it down into split sections for the various races is a good way to solve the clutter problem, but it does seem more of an inconvenience for the sake of some cleanliness. As such, I think keeping it in one section is probably still the better plan, at least at this point. I do see the merits of a base-offshoot system for the Aliens, as many players rarely look for more than 1 Alien Type at a time while playing, but unless we want to expand the stubs on the various Aliens to make them worthy of an entire page (via better descriptions, tactical advice, etc.) I think it would be better to leave it as is for the time being.
I personally knew what the colors had meant (my friend didn't as I was asking for his opinion on page layout and he didn't see earlier builds), because I've been watching this page closely, as I was one of the first b15 edits on here, but was unsure that the current tables under the Sectoid (Which was most detailed at the time) would transfer well to every other Alien, especially with missing columns and such. I saw others remedy this quickly by adding the respective columns, and the information that belongs to it, and trying to incorporate other, good ideas into the table designs. But as the table grew with all of the information available to us, it started feeling overwhelming. It felt like there was too much information to digest. Apparently others felt the same way because the single huge table started breaking down into a couple smaller tables.
In this I think lies the solution: Some of the relevant information can be separated into other, smaller tables to assist users in finding relevant information faster, without having to confront a wall of data. There's most definitely a limit to what we can pull out: The difficulty modifiers are already out of there and I think that limit is simply reached once we pull out Alien Leaders. They may have their own stat gains and their own ties to research, but for a large portion of those leaders, the information as to what research level the Aliens need to spawn those Leaders is simply missing for us (Unless you know of a way to source that information?). As such, I think it wouldn't be too egregious to give the Leaders their own table - Since their exact timing is unknown - while leaving the Navigators in the primary table, since we can readily predict their appearance.
This not only relieves a little of the information overload for the progression table, but it also lets users quickly find the relevant information on possible Leader Perks, and what to look out for, especially since Leaders are easily identifiable by their HP during play and those are often the Aliens players truly want to know more about, quickly.
On the note of base perks: As you said, many have stat upgrades tied to them, but they fall on Day 0/1 as gaining the upgrade. If the perk applies to ALL Aliens of that species, but simply doesn't come around until "Day 0", I think moving those abilities and perks to the base table wouldn't be too bad. The Stat gains can be simply reflected in the base-stats, considering that it's always present. It may require a little reworking of the base stats table to create a place to store all of the abilities/perks that doesn't conflict with the information already present (Perhaps simple a space at the bottom that just denotes their standard abilities?), but it shouldn't really affect the base stat tables needing extra columns or anything. If it's an upgrade that applies to all Navigators, as you said, then that can remain in there. It's much easier to read 2-3 moderately sized tables than to read 1 tiny table and 1 massive table. Distributing the information across our space would improve the readability in my opinion.
No matter what we do, I feel like the system in place is doing well enough to get us by: certainly having the information in the first place is better than not having it at all. I just think we should look for possible ways to streamline it and make it easier to digest. If you think creating individual Alien pages and using this as a staging point is the best course of action, I'd be happy to help make that transition and fluff it out a little, after a little discussion on what information to include and such for each page.
--IceMaverick (talk) 12:50, 24 March 2015 (EST)

Yeah, the discussion for this page actually started happening on the nexus forums. After making some changes, I waited about a week for feedback but didn't get any so I went ahead with updating the rest (except for EXALT - that page could still use a similar overhaul).
As far as I know, the 99% nav. upgrades are basically 100%; I haven't seen any reports of a sectoid not having gunslinger in normal circumstances, for example. I could probably find a way to include those into the "base" table - would just have to see which stats are tied to those upgrades to make any appropriate changes. I agree that it would probably be a bit cleaner that way.
Right now I'm about 80% certain about how leaders are tied to alien research; I'm just unsure of any possible edge cases right now when it comes to normal (<= Level 7) leaders. Even with the AR limitations, the spawning is still random, so yeah, they should probably be split. That also eliminates the accessibility concerns I had about the BG color usage in the first place (notably for those who are color-blind). Pulling out the leader table would also make it less complex, as leader upgrades have a more limited pool of stat gains. I would still probably make it collapsible though, so the muton elite table doesn't take up the entire page. :P
--Hawkeye2777 (talk) 19:23, 26 March 2015 (EDT)

Okay so we seem to be in agreement. The "99"% is indeed 100%. JohnnyLump confirmed that those upgrades are guaranteed since the percentage is a scale of 100 from 0-99 (as opposed to 1-100) simply by the limits of how the system reads in that variable. If any "base perks" affect stats, I think it'll be easier to simply reflect those changes in the starting stats. So if... Regeneration on Outsiders grants +10 Will, simply change their base stat to +10 whatever it is now, and denote that they start with Regeneration, as an example.
At this point, I feel that keeping the collapsible pages is really the only option we have for the large progression table... I was hoping that the Leader Table might be able to stay unpacked by default, since it's one that provides information that people are most curious about very often. But after looking at many of the Leader lists, especially the Muton Elite, I think we may have to keep those collapsible as well... I was really hoping we could keep that information readily available, as all of the other Alien Leaders have fairly small entries. But that Muton Elite list is massive. Either way, even if we can't present all of the information in a minimal number of clicks to find it, the new organization should allow people to at least find the correct sections faster, so I think it's an improvement. After moving the Base Perks out of the collapsible information, I think it will provide the most relevant information immediately. Much like a quick briefing on the Alien, then allowing those who need it to find even more detailed information.
Breaking the info down to two collapsible tables and one always open table is the best course of action in my opinion. If you are in agreement, then I think it is the best way to proceed.
--IceMaverick (talk) 03:27, 27 March 2015 (EST)

I agree with the propasal, as far as i understand it. There is a little thing though... You noted Bombard twice, on both Heavy Floaters and Muton Elites. Do you know if they get it from the start or from a upgrade? Either way, i would appreciate it if you clear that, because Bombard triggers "Heavy Floater Bomber" and "Muton Elite Grenadier." And if they have it from the start, i would have to somehow note it in the base briefing.
--GamerChris9 10:23, 27 March 2015 [EST]

Ok, sounds good. I changed the formatting per suggestion on the muton elite section, using them as an example of the proposal. Only thing I don't like is how the base perks are displayed in the table currently, but I think that's a problem with the templates themselves (e.g. they're not formatted properly). I kept the leader table the same width as the research progression table; it looked off next to the research table when I tried to resize it. I also gave level 8 and 9 leaders a BG color - indicating that they cannot spawn under normal circumstances (which we'd detail above). Any thoughts?
--Hawkeye2777 (talk) 06:16, 28 March 2015 (EDT)

The Muton Elite entry looks quite nice. Personally, I think it's a great change and it looks good as it is. The only suggestion would be making the Level 8/9 Leader BGs not yellow, so we can differentiate it in the color key above as being separate from the Navigators so we can minimize confusion. Other than that, I think the entry looks exemplary and I approve of it being passed on to the other Aliens. If you'd like to start the transfers, I'm all for it, though JL said 15c is coming out soon and some Aliens are changing various stats. If that doesn't concern you for now, then we can always update it once it's relevant.
If nobody else has further suggestions or complaints, I think we can safely move forward with this project.
On the note of Double Grenadier, JL stated in the b15c changelogs that he attempted to remove and re-add Grenadier to H. Floaters, Muton Elites, and Cyberdiscs to try and work in a nerf to that particular perk appearing on aliens, but it failed and left some strange artifacts in the DGC.ini. According to him, he's cleaned that up in b15c, so looking at that DGC.ini should clear up the issue with Grenadier.
--IceMaverick (talk) 02:39, 30 March 2015 (EST)

Cool; I'll just change the L8/L9 leader BGs to a lighter version of the red that was used before. I'm not too worried about any changes; a merge/diff program makes it fairly simple to see what changed and such. And yes, I brought up the bombard issue to JL in the bug report forum - probably best to just leave them as is until 15c. If anyone else would like to do the changes; feel free (use the muton elite section as a reference), otherwise I'll probably get to it later this week. --Hawkeye2777 (talk) 05:54, 1 April 2015 (EDT)

Should we maybe mark the Level 8 and 9 Leaders in purple or something similar, as those are templeship enemies and monsters?

--GamerChris9 18:12, 25 March 2015 (EST)

Marking the Temple Ship Aliens to denote that they don't spawn normally might be a good idea, but I don't think Monsters need the same denotation because there's a chance that they can spawn as leaders on any mission once the game gets late enough.

I still worry about the organization of the page as a whole.

Also I'm curious as to how you replied at 6:12PM EST today, considering it's only 3:30PM :P

--IceMaverick (talk) 15:34, 25 March 2015 (EST)

I might have noted the wrong time acccidentally ^^ It was 19:12 over here in germany, when i wrote that.
--GamerChris 10:16 (EST) [If i am calculating correctly] 27 March 2015
As an aside, 4 ~s will automatically sign your username and time. Binkyuk (talk) 18:22, 30 March 2015 (EDT)

Is there a reason why the base stats have a "Base" row, and then one row per difficulty? It simply means people have to add 2 numbers together. Sure, it may be easier to see what the differences are between different difficulty levels, but is that what people are looking for? Aren't they simply looking for the stats for their difficulty level? --Thels (talk) 13:03, 1 April 2015 (EDT)

Same thing for the progression. There's bonuses listed here and there, but what's the point of the bonuses? Does somebody really care that an alien just received a +5 bonus to aim? Or do they care about the alien's total aim instead? --Thels (talk) 13:03, 1 April 2015 (EDT)

And while we're at it, the aliens are currently sorted by research level, which is not even visible to the player. I don't want to be rude, but perhaps it's time to take a step back and consider "What information are we going to provide with thess tables?" Is there really a point in making all this information available in tiny detail, when that information hinges on a variable that is invisible to the player? --Thels (talk) 13:03, 1 April 2015 (EDT)

Perhaps it would be easier to list the base stats (and I still recommend just listing the stats per difficulty level, rather than one row of stats with modifiers per difficulty level), and how high the stats could grow during the course of the game. Perhaps take sample Research levels and post the total stats at those research levels. --Thels (talk) 13:03, 1 April 2015 (EDT)

Alternatively, the table could be sorted around a variable that is visible to the player, namely the health of the alien. Perhaps sorting the table to have one row per possible health level, and then list the range of stats the aliens can have at those health levels. --Thels (talk) 13:03, 1 April 2015 (EDT)

Alien research isn't really hidden. Sure, it's not displayed conveniently right in front of you, but it's extremely easy to guess where it might be (and the how-to is linked in that column header). Plus, there's even a mod to display it as well (along with other alien strategic stats), so one can easily predict when an alien will show up, when floaters can start having covering fire, etc. HP is way too variable to reliably predict stat upgrades.
The whole point of the bonuses being listed is because it's a progression table, not a range of stats. The former provides information on when upgrades happen; the latter just says their aim is somewhere in between 70 and 115. It also helps prevent information overflow of a sea of numbers; the bonuses also providing perspective on just how much their aim increased rather than having to calculate the difference.
From your feedback, it sounds like you want a page to dynamically update stats based on time, which this wiki can't really do. The best it can do is provide static information and organize it. A google sheet will handle the "dynamic updating" aspect much better, like this alien stat calculator, which I will probably end up linking at the bottom of this page in an external links section.
--Hawkeye2777 (talk) 02:46, 2 April 2015 (EDT)
Not specifically update dynamically, no. But I'm just not sure that the information provided currently is of any convenience. While you may be right in that it may be a lot of numbers if we fill in the total stats for each row (not to mention things being tricky for 4 different difficulty levels), right now, the table doesn't hold much convenience. So I know the aliens are at 600. If I want to calculate how much Will they have, I'd have to tally all the numbers in the will column together, but I gotta make sure to skip over the Navigator rows. Perhaps to prevent number blur, post the total bonus gained, but only on the rows where it has just increased. --Thels (talk) 06:14, 2 April 2015 (EDT)

Ah, I see what you mean; I formatted the progression tables the way that they are for a few reasons.
1.) Make it easier to initially populate all of the tables. All I had to do was select all of the research upgrades for a certain alien (from my alien stat calculator - that really helped me update this page), add a "+" in front of positive numbers, swap any instances of "0" for "-", and do some minor formatting swaps to make it "wiki-ready". Recalculating the total stats at each upgrade would make that process a lot harder and take a lot longer to get everything formatted and sorted correctly.
2.) Which difficulty do I use for base stats? How do I handle certain navigator upgrades, which are conditional and also affect stat progression? I didn't want to "force a choice" of difficulty so to speak, which further supported my plan for keeping it as a progression.
3.) I would have to recalculate the total stats gained for any update. For example, we list the total stat gains for sectoids, so that's 10, 20, 30, etc. In the next update, they get a new stat upgrade at 20 AR that grants them 5 will - now I have to change every single row that has a total will bonus listed. Compare that to just listing a +5 - I just insert one row in the appropriate place and leave it at that.
Anyway, right now I think the formatting that the muton elite section has will work fine for the time being; the one change I may make is bolding the alien research numbers so they stand out a little more. That change would make it easier for those who are more interested in seeing what perks an alien gets, and when they can get them. The stat boxes can show a range of stats without including navigator/leader bonuses, so if players want to quickly see what the possible stats are for a particular alien, that could be a quick reference. Hopefully that makes sense.
I will say - I am more open to using your base stats suggestion, if you think that it would be better for all users. Considering most of the differences are just in aim, I can just substitute "-" characters for any stats that are the same across all difficulties.
--Hawkeye2777 (talk) 02:02, 3 April 2015 (EDT)
If we keep the base stats and the four rows for difficulty modifiers, you could base it on the base stats, and people simply have to remind themselves to change the difficulty modifier. Though I honestly would rather see the base stats line go away and just include the values for each difficulty, perhaps use colspan if the values are the same for multiple difficulties. Though I do see how it's a lot of work to recalculate it by hand. Perhaps just keep it like this for now, and I'll see if I can have the google sheets produce something slightly nicer along the road.

Alien Research values in Leader Progression tables

As far as I can tell, the values in the Alien Research column in each Leader Progression table follows the format in DGC.ini, either nothing or a number. But this is very confusing. I realize that there are default thresholds of AR that trigger leader levels and the instances where there are values replace these defaults, but why not list the defaults? The 0s make it look like lots of leaders (e.g., every Sectoid leader) are possible from the start of the game.

Not sure how to edit Heavy Floater abilities

I'm trying to update some of this info for LW 1.0. One of the two H-Floaters I encountered in early October had Light em up, which is not listed. How do I find out the current Alien research level so that I can edit this correctly ?

iMobility=126 in Defaultgamecore.ini means Light em Up. It's not listed for Heavy Floaters. Probably you confused this ability with some other, such as Close Encounters?

Appears Month

See the deployment table and the disclaimer on this page. All "appears" fields are correct.