Talk:Fusion Ball Launcher

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I built a secondary base just for manufacturing, and tried to make some fusion ball launchers in there. The prodcution halted because of "not enough special materials" in that base. Anyone have any idea what it might be? Late 11:18, 12 July 2009 (EDT)

You need alien alloys to produce Fusion Ball Launchers. See Manufacturing_Profitability#Laser_Cannons_vs._Fusion_Ball_Launchers and PRODUCT.DAT. So technically, even though the manufacturing screen doesn't say you need AA for production (and in fact you don't for the first FBL as outlined in the links above) you'll still need Alien Alloys in your stores if you manufacture more than one launcher at a time. --Zombie 12:28, 12 July 2009 (EDT)

XComUtil FBL Issues

Manufacturing Profitability

With XComUtil Alternate Laser (and Plasma) Tech impact on manufacturing profitability, was it really intended not to have nerfed the Profitability of the Fusion Ball Launcher along with everything else? More generally, the profit nerfing could be revised to be more orderly and more systematic.

I dont really know what Scott intended as for the profiteering off of the changed items. If you want to suggest alternative values I'm open to discussion. --BladeFireLight 22:34, 7 February 2010 (EST)
A preliminary suggestion would be to make the Fusion Ball Launcher similarly difficult to manufacture as the Plasma Beam, so about ten times harder vs the unmodified game. E.g. Workshop space 6 -> 60, 400 -> 4000 Engineer hours. And perhaps require 4 Elerium and 20 Alloys, placing it midway between Laser Cannon and Plasma Beams. These changes (even without the materials) make the FBL unprofitable, like the (modified) Plasma Beam. I'm sure part of Scott's intent was to prevent "Laser Cannon Factories", but "FBL Factories" are 75% as profitable [i.e. still very profitable]
General reform of the profitability of manufacturing would require a lot of thought. Suffice to say I don't think any thought went into this for the original game. In reforming the economics of XCom, a basic problem is that realism is at odds with game balance. Realistically, governments would pay handsomely for almost anything XCom can produce. What would be reasonable is to get a moderate rate of return, rising more or less linear with investment (research effort), for all items. For game balance, this could be tweaked down for items that are useful in the game, or have research predecessors / successors that are useful in the game. A simpler case is to say that no item has negative profit, you can at least get 'cost price' back for it. Aircraft should arguably be in this category (since they would sell for 100s of millions which would be totally unbalancing). A rationalisation for nerfing any prices is that the money received by XCom is not the whole sale amount, but just a small commission paid by the Council of Funding Nations, which actually controls the sales and takes (in exchange for its funding) most of the profits. Spike 19:40, 8 February 2010 (EST)


FBLs are already pretty useless, and you want to nerf these further? I'd rather think of a way to make them more useful in-game, otherwise the profit should be kept (Note how it's the mostly useless craft weapons which are profitable - I suspect there was some thought into this..). In comparison, the Laser Cannon profit does get nerfed with XcomUtil, but we get a useful weapon instead. I'd suggest a modified FBL will have a very high elerium requirement, and the power of the weapon should be raised a bit to compensate. Cesium 20:04, 8 February 2010 (EST)

For example: Raise power to 240, and add another charge (almost enough to sink a battleship if a craft has two FBLs loaded), but make it cost 100 elerium to make launcher. Raise hours for Balls by factor of 10. Cesium 20:16, 8 February 2010 (EST)
Actually you're right, it makes more sense to make FBLs viable, instead of (just) nerfing the profits. Obviously high Elerium requirements will make them non-profitable. But of the 2 problems - making things useful and preventing 'factory farming' - I think making things useful is more important. I didn't realise FBLs were not tactically useful. I've never built them, only Plasma Beams. 3 ammo is reasonable, it means that 2 FBL armed aircraft have a good chance to take down a Battleship, if they can fire 9-10 out of 12 fusion balls before they are both killed. But 100 Elerium is way too much for an improved FBL that's only slightly more powerful. I think my suggestion (4 Elerium, 20 Alloys, 10x hours, 10x space) fits with the requirements of other XComUtil-modified weapons. Combined with your suggestion of 3 ammo and 240 damage, I think it would make FBLs useful again, which is one of the original goals of XComUtil.
Of course, it's possible that Scott was cleverly making FBLs useful, by making them so much cheaper (net) to manufacture than Plasma Beams. In an XComUtil modified game, you might well deploy FBLs first, and only work your way up to Plasma Beams later, because of the huge manufacturing costs of Plasma Beams. But personally I think it was an oversight. Spike 17:21, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I've never played with XcomUtil modified lasers, so if you say this fits in better that's fine with me. It's unfortunate it involves increasing space: inventory management is one of the things I hate about the first two X-Coms. I was hired to be a commander, not a supply clerk! A mod which made general stores have 10000 space (like Apoc) would be nice.. Cesium 21:39, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Actually the Alternate Laser mod means they uses more workshop space to build but not more inventory space to store.
However "An army marches on its stomach ", Napoleon said, by which he meant that wars are won or lost on logistics. Other famous commanders have said similar things. So a general should pay attention to logistics. One of the great things about XCOM is it's not just a tactical game, it's a combined political - strategic - operational - tactical game. Spike 04:37, 14 February 2010 (EST)

Actually it can be argued (Fusion Balls better than Plasma Beams?) that FBLs are already more effective than Plasma Beams in certain restricted situations, namely that they limit XCom damage/losses received when fighting Battleships or other tough opponents. It's debatable whether these advantages outweigh the drawbacks in other areas, given the difficulty in switching from one craft weapon to another during game time (and the costs and overheads of maintaining more than one weapon system to use on aircraft). Spike 08:34, 14 March 2010 (EDT)