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Latest revision as of 14:28, 8 June 2019
- 1 Title: Idea to spice up the alien dimension (for a mod)
- 2 The Reaver of Darkness - Oct 29, 2014 at 04:50
- 3 bobucles - Oct 29, 2014 at 14:01
- 4 The Reaver of Darkness - Oct 30, 2014 at 10:39
- 5 bobucles - Oct 30, 2014 at 15:28
- 6 The Reaver of Darkness - Oct 31, 2014 at 05:39
- 7 bobucles - Oct 31, 2014 at 13:26
- 8 The Reaver of Darkness - Nov 2, 2014 at 03:27
- 9 bobucles - Nov 2, 2014 at 17:13
- 10 The Reaver of Darkness - Nov 3, 2014 at 12:48
- 11 bobucles - Nov 3, 2014 at 16:00
- 12 borsek - Feb 22, 2016 at 10:28
- 13 jgatkinsn - Feb 26, 2016 at 01:23
- 14 ninothree - May 16, 2016 at 17:38
- 15 JonnyH - May 17, 2016 at 03:02
- 16 Huaptlo - May 18, 2016 at 12:35
- 17 ninothree - May 26, 2016 at 08:56
- 18 Voiddweller - May 27, 2016 at 12:34
- 19 ninothree - May 27, 2016 at 18:01
- 20 Voiddweller - May 27, 2016 at 20:27
- 21 Kammerer - May 28, 2016 at 05:53
- 22 Treonin - Jul 22, 2016 at 10:42
- 23 The Reaver of Darkness - Aug 7, 2016 at 00:17
- 24 Treonin - Aug 8, 2016 at 16:29
- 25 Solarius Scorch - Aug 9, 2016 at 14:16
- 26 Istrebitel - Aug 16, 2016 at 18:08
- 27 Solarius Scorch - Aug 17, 2016 at 10:24
- 28 FilmBoy84 - Nov 16, 2017 at 19:48
- 29 Voiddweller - Nov 19, 2017 at 00:20
- 30 Yataka Shimaoka - Nov 19, 2017 at 03:53
- 31 Voiddweller - Nov 19, 2017 at 09:35
- 32 FilmBoy84 - Nov 20, 2017 at 22:41
- 33 makus - Nov 21, 2017 at 13:07
- 34 FilmBoy84 - Nov 21, 2017 at 13:16
- 35 makus - Nov 21, 2017 at 13:45
- 36 FilmBoy84 - Nov 21, 2017 at 14:03
- 37 WarStalkeR - May 21, 2019 at 13:36
- 38 FilmBoy84 - Jun 8, 2019 at 10:45
Title: Idea to spice up the alien dimension (for a mod)
Title: Idea to spice up the alien dimension (for a mod) Number: 57 Date: Oct 29, 2014 at 04:50
The Reaver of Darkness - Oct 29, 2014 at 04:50
The Reaver of Darkness: The current alien dimension is a bit boring, as you go up against each building in a series circuit. There seem to be progressively negative effects against the aliens as you destroy their buildings, but that could be in my imagination.
I was thinking it would be neat if when you first enter the alien dimension, you find the buildings hooked up together by a network of tubes instead of a series. You would need to fly the dimension probe near each building for a few seconds to collect data on it, and then take the data back home for research. You could choose which buildings to research and assault first, and each building destroyed would have a negative impact on the aliens:
[u]Incubator:[/u] destroying this building will greatly reduce the number of available eggs and cause the aliens to deposit smaller numbers of eggs or multiworms in the city on incursions for the next several days until they recover their numbers somewhat.
[u]Spawning Chamber:[/u] destroying this building will prevent all future production of eggs and cause the aliens to subsist entirely on existing eggs until they eventually run out. If both this and the incubator are destroyed, the aliens will have only a small number of eggs, but will pool them together and make a massive last ditch assault on your city, dropping all of their remaining eggs into random nearby buildings and fleeing again to their dimension. After that, no eggs or multiworms will be seen for the rest of the game.
[u]Food Chamber:[/u] destroying this building will have no effect for at least a week, but eventually the aliens will become more sluggish and their strength and health values will gradually reduce. If the game drags on long enough, some species will begin to starve and die.
[u]Megapod Chamber:[/u] while this building is functional, the aliens will (once in a great while) produce a seed to replace a destroyed building, and this seed will grow for several days, eventually becoming a smaller, less effective replacement for the building. You can ignore it if you are assaulting rapidly, but might want to take it out early if your playstyle is slower.
[u]Sleeping Chamber:[/u] destroying this building will start to affect the aliens within days, reducing their time units and reactions, making them sluggish. The effect will stack on heavily for a while, with a diminishing return.
[u]Organic Factory:[/u] destroying this building will cause the aliens to be unable to generate new craft, though they will have some stored underground still. They will also be unable to generate new equipment. If you play long enough with this building taken down but with the Spawning Chamber intact, the aliens will run out of equipment as they lose it to your dimension and will eventually stop making anthropods and skeletoids altogether, as there will be nothing to equip them with. Alternatively, they may assault your dimension and attempt to steal supplies from an arms factory or other building that could carry equipment. If they are successful, you may see anthropods and skeletoids equipped with Earth-based equipment.
Soon after the destruction of this building, the aliens will mount a retaliatory assault on your dimension, pooling all of their remaining craft in one giant fleet which will fire at buildings randomly and attempt to raze the city to the ground. They will remain in the city until destroyed or until a large amount of damage has been inflicted. If they know where X-Com bases are, they will consider those prime targets for attack.
[u]Alien Farm:[/u] destroying this will have no impact on the game, but we can believe that over the next few years it would prevent any surviving aliens from re-colonizing their planet as its environment shifts toward something uninhabitable for them.
[u]Control Chamber:[/u] destroying this building will instantly cause all aliens other than psimorphs and micronoids to act feral and erratically. The aliens will be unable to coordinate attacks, and groups of them will spread out randomly. After this, the aliens may at times assault your base directly with psimorphs and micronoids, but these attacks will be few and far between as the aliens don't have many of these and do not wish to deplete their numbers.
[u]Maintenance Factory:[/u] destroying this building will cause all other buildings to have reduced functionality. New building seeds, in addition to having reduced functionality, will also be unable to grow any further. Destroying either the Megapod Chamber or the Maintenance Factory will prevent the aliens from being able to repair their city. Furthermore, once this building is destroyed, all of the connecting tubes around the alien city will fall down.
[u]Dimension Gate Generator:[/u] this is the final building and cannot be destroyed or assaulted until all other buildings are eradicated. If you try to attack it early, you'll be given a message that you have to make sure the aliens have no way to regroup for a future assault before you cut them (and you) off.
Another thing I Was thinking of is that you ought to be able to attack the buildings from the air. Ultimately, a ground assault should be required to finish them off, but an air assault can provide early damage both to reduce the building's functionality and to make a ground assault easier. Of course they are heavily armored, and only the most expensive weapons and ammunition can even scratch them. Combined with their mountain of HP, it might just be easier to demolish them from the ground, but that's up to the player to decide. Also, knocking it down from the air will reduce the number of aliens on site when you later perform a ground assault and will also reduce the number of items to bring home.
Overall, I just think it would be a lot more fun to pick and choose how you want to dismantle the alien city, and would help to add more variety to each replay.
bobucles - Oct 29, 2014 at 14:01
bobucles: Destroying the spawning chamber would pretty much end the game! Actually I think that's already the case. I do know that one of the buildings governs UFO production. It miiiight be the spawning chamber (I don't think it's the UFO factory, oddly enough). Anyway when the correct structure is destroyed aliens will stop making UFOs.
Aside from the mystery structure and the dimension gates, most of the other structures seem to be nothing but flavor.
The Reaver of Darkness - Oct 30, 2014 at 10:39
The Reaver of Darkness: It seemed like it was the factory in my last two games. I read the flavor text and thought 'oh so now they can't make ships?' and they didn't make any more.
bobucles - Oct 30, 2014 at 15:28
bobucles: I thought the same thing too, but I'm fairly sure you have to kill the queen, not the UFO factory.
Either way it's pretty simple to test. New UFOs are built at the end of the week, so just wait a week after smashing a structure. This is pretty much mandatory as the alien dimension is a weekly event(?) and you have to return every time to research the new building.
The Reaver of Darkness - Oct 31, 2014 at 05:39
The Reaver of Darkness: Perhaps I'll test it later. (I'm feeling lazy) :P
But speaking of having to return to research the next alien building:
I'm thinking in the above stated scenario, the Dimension Probe should be able to retrieve basic info on the whole city all at once so that you can select a destination from an array of options, but you should still have to go back and collect a full load of data on a structure and research that in order to gain entry. So when you first come back, you get all the names of the buildings. When you have scanned one building fully, the dimension probe's data banks fill up. You could scan more than one in a go by bringing more probes, or you can also come back to the alien dimension for more before the last research project is finished.
bobucles - Oct 31, 2014 at 13:26
bobucles: The endgame stretch of Apocalypse is pretty boring. At this point you've already established complete dominance over the aliens and are rushing to win. However, winning means waiting every week for the next dimension event so you can hit [i]one more[/i] building. Ugh.
I think the alien structures should multi part missions. Rather than having access to every individual building, you are stuck in a situation where agents have to plow through 2 or more alien buildings to reach the next exit port. For example the order of missions could be 1/2; 3/4; 5/6/7; 8/9/10. I think queenspawn is 7 so the final tech would be ready for endgame. This cuts the 10 week minimum of finishing the game down to 4.
Alien buildings are already shown to be connected to each other by "people tubes" so the possibility of a multi part mission isn't a huge stretch.
The important thing is that with batch missions, you get rid of that awkward final stretch where the aliens are totally dead and can't do anything anymore. Apoc gets to end on a high note. Less importantly, XCOM fans totally love multi part missions! Those last missions are stupid easy with teleporters and maximum toxigun, so maybe a multi part mission will make things a bit more interesting. You'll have to budget ammo/grenades more carefully, you may suffer more injuries (especially if armor damage remains), and capturing the queen after a 3-parter will be a much larger test of skill than before. I can definitely assure you that after finishing the final mission my A team was ready for one or two more.
The megapod chamber is the 9th building, right? The UFOpaedia entry states that aliens use this chamber to generate new alien structures. It says the aliens have a huge number of them already prepared, and implies they are meant to colonize earth. This establishes the possibility for "Alien bases" being established outside Megaprimus (or even worse, inside!). After killing the queenspawn, the aliens may have nothing left to do other than drop every last one of these pods on your precious home. Why fancy up the alien dimension, when you can bring it to earth!
In truth I don't really like the idea of making the aliens weaker as you destroy their buildings. By the time XCOM sends its first probe to the alien dimension you are already most of the way through the game. Players are already playing with their best agents, are starting to fit everyone with the ultimate gear, and are building XCOM craft to directly fight the alien fleet. Making the endgame even easier is the LAST thing you should be doing!
If anything, the aliens should be getting [i]more[/i] aggressive, [i]more[/i] reckless, and [i]more[/i] destructive as you near the game's completion. As the aliens get more desperate, players should be feeling extra pressure to finish the game as quickly as possible. For example if we were to use multi-part missions against the alien dimension (1/2; 3/4; 5/6/7; 8/9/10) :
- First probe: Alien Overspawn mission unlocked. UFOs will now [i]aggressively[/i] engage XCOM craft instead of patrolling the alien dimension. Aliens may now perform 2 missions at the same time (one low tech and one high tech). This helps give players UFO type 3 (transporter) if they don't have it already, and gives more chances to safely eliminate UFOs from the alien dimension.
- Building 2 destroyed: Aliens will frequently perform raids(I.E. terror missions) when landing, triggering an alert. They can target XCOM allies and will recklessly blow up everything they can. Failure to respond pisses off the company/senate for XCOM's failure. Alien UFOs will now patrol their weak points in the alien dimension. UFO production increased.
- Building 4 destroyed: UFOs are weapons free and will always attack XCOM buildings or its allies whenever they can. Dropships will target XCOM bases, its allies, and will always raid for maximum damage. Aliens will perform 2 or more missions at the same time. Heavy UFOs will now guard the dimensional gates. Alien UFO production dramatically increased.
- Building 7/queenie destroyed: UFOs are only manned by micronoids and dropships will now use micronoid rain 100% of the time (against XCOM bases this triggers a mass micronoid/brainsucker raid mission). At higher difficulties alien missions can include the most of the, if not the entire remaining alien armada. UFOs are enemies of [i]everyone[/i] and will continue to raze the city at every possible opportunity. Alien UFO production at maximum and the alien dimension will always have some kind of UFO garrison when you enter. Constant probe-tier raids against Megaprimus. Optional: Alien structure pods get dropped, representing a huge hazard to Megaprimus or Earth in general.
The idea with this progression is to put pressure on the most central points of XCOM. Aliens gain much more fleet power to match XCOM's huge fleet scaling late game. Aliens gain more ability to ruin whatever tense relations XCOM already has with Megaprimus, especially with causing large numbers of negative score events to ruin Senate funding **. Lastly, the final stretch of endless attacks, potential base building and micronoid rain practically sets a death timer to rush out the final mission. It's good to end things on a high note!
- (No, losing the Senate is NOT an instant game over! It's [i]okay[/i] to make the final weeks REALLY hard to keep the Senate. In truth the vanilla Senate [i]literally[/i] runs out of money to give XCOM, so if the aliens ruin your relations with them by the endgame it's not a big deal.)
The Reaver of Darkness - Nov 2, 2014 at 03:27
The Reaver of Darkness: I like that a lot. The aliens are fighting a war of attrition and are going to peter out eventually, but I like to imagine their underground stocks are larger, and that after their dimension gets attacked they would start getting more aggressive for a while. I think if they are held at bay for long enough, they should run out of supplies (the game could track specific numbers of storage and replenishment) both for realism and to benefit players whose playstyle is to outlast the opponent. But the aliens should really crank up the heat against X-Com before they wimp out.
I don't know which building is the Queen's. The online Apcalypse UFOPaedia simulator ([url=http://ufopedia.csignal.org/apocapedia/]http://ufopedia.csignal.org/apocapedia/[/url]) lists it as the second building. I listed the buildings in the order that site has them listed, and I don't remember if that's the order they appear but it sounds about right to me. I kind of remember discovering the Queenspawn appearing earlier than I had expected.
I think it would be neat if each building destroyed gives the aliens some kind of disadvantage, but also results in retaliatory action which depletes alien supplies faster but can also make life difficult for X-Com. The aliens should begin attempting to plant secret megapods in the city after enough time has passed (around the same time as you find vortex mines perhaps), and those megapods should have a tiny chance of being detected every so often, so eventually you'll probably discover one or more but probably not all of them. If you are zealous enough with shooting the craft down, you might prevent the megapods from coming in entirely. When discovered, they should recognize that they have been discovered, and go active regardless of their current level of growth. A young pod would not do much but an older pod might even erupt right through a building and transform the lot into an alien facility.
After you assault the megapod chamber, the aliens should launch three battleships from its remains which would make a beeline for the three dimensional portals, each picking a separate portal. If they make it into the city, they will travel around and drop up to ten megapods each into your city. Running the Megapod Chamber mission should also let you research a device to better detect megapods, which you could use by equipping it to a ship and having it patrol in various parts of the city. You can then try to hunt down all of the megapods around the city, but try not to let it distract you from the rest of your mission. If you hit them early on, they will be easy to take out. But wait too long and they will begin to sprout up through your buildings and transform the city into the new alien environment. It'd take several weeks for that to happen, but it also gives you something to do after closing the dimension gates.
bobucles - Nov 2, 2014 at 17:13
bobucles: [quote]I think it would be neat if each building destroyed gives the aliens some kind of disadvantage, [/quote]But WHY? Apoc has a really really easy endgame as it is. After XCOM fleets grow to full strength you can storm the Alien Dimension and smash the entire alien UFO fleet. Their missions end once and for all, and the aliens get nothing to compensate. After clearing house XCOM has to wait out 10 of the most boring weeks ever to do their one mission per week in the alienscape. Granted the time does pass very quickly, but the reason time passes so quickly is because [i]nothing happens[/i]. That's a bad thing and makes the endgame very disappointing.
All of my suggestions are about improving the alien fleet to stay on par with XCOM's late game fleet, and giving the aliens a final chance to win. Bigger UFO missions and smarter dimension defenses mean a tougher fleet to stand against your own. More destructive behavior lets the aliens hurt both XCOM and Megaprimus. Higher production protects the aliens from getting wiped out too early (you can never wipe out UFO production if it's part of the final mission chain). Micronoid rain is a super weapon that can instantly take over an organization, completely surpassing your ground troops and acting like a "Death clock". All these methods increase pressure at a time where XCOM is at its strongest, and hopefully force your hand to win the game.
Basically the angle I'm looking at, is to make the endgame feel more like the [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A57BS_Xjg5c]winning cinematic[/url] than the vanilla experience. Most of what I've suggested is simple adjustments that use existing vanilla mechanics (UFO production, simple AI, alien missions). More complex stuff like growing alien structures or modeling their supply chain simply isn't needed to accomplish this goal.
[quote]I kind of remember discovering the Queenspawn appearing earlier than I had expected.[/quote][url=http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Alien_Dimension_%28Apocalypse%29]The UFOpaedia[/url] lists Queenie as the [url=http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Spawning_Chamber]7th alien structure[/url]. You can also see that the aliens have some extremely pathetic UFO production for the late game. It definitely can not match XCOM in any way.
The Reaver of Darkness - Nov 3, 2014 at 12:48
The Reaver of Darkness: [quote="bobucles"] [quote]I think it would be neat if each building destroyed gives the aliens some kind of disadvantage, [/quote]But WHY? Apoc has a really really easy endgame as it is.[/quote] After making changes to spice up the end-game, those disadvantages don't have to be debilitating to the aliens. When they start pulling all the stops, they will seem stronger than before, not weaker. Those disadvantages could be strategic blows that could make the difference between a moderately difficult end-game and an extremely difficult one.
bobucles - Nov 3, 2014 at 16:00
bobucles: I am totally against the idea of modifying alien attributes, even if it could be justified in universe. An Arthropod should stay an Arthropod the entire game. There is no need to change their consistency if you aren't going to make it totally obvious or essential, and there is absolutely no reason to make them weaker. The endgame sports XCOM's strongest possible ground troops and missions drift towards a very low difficulty. It's not a good time to be making ground missions easier.
Most of my suggestions were related to the Alien's strategic stuff on the cityscape. But that's not a complete package. The aliens could be made more aggressive and have new options in the battlescape as well.
For example after smashing building 2 the aliens could get more aggressive loadouts such as more entropy launchers, grenades, shields, and missile launchers (they could also get a modest boost in troop drop composition). After building 4 an infiltration drop might include megaspawn and psimorphs to support their razing strategy (you never actually see these guys in the city!**). After killing the queen they may be stuck with only simple creatures, like masses of micronoids and brainsuckers with a low number of remaining troops(or brainsucked rentacops). Such a composition could be the most deadly of all because your best troops also have the weakest psi defense.
Most of these options are very simple to add. Defeating the alien dimension merely changes their equipment or how many aliens a UFO drops. AI can be modified to be more reckless and destructive towards everything. Nothing new is really being added. It's just vanilla tweaks to support a more dangerous endgame scenario.
- Megaspawn and psimorphs are 2x2x2 and they can't fit inside [i]every[/i] map type. Some research is required to see where they are appropriate. But it doesn't matter where megaspawn can fit if they blow everything up!
borsek - Feb 22, 2016 at 10:28
borsek: Reducing the amount of alien dimension missions, even if you only make it one mission, would be enough. Instead of the ever-boring 10 missions, which become ultra-trivial once you get teleporter tech, you could make it up to 4 missions (and even that is a bit much).
Honestly, whenever I played apoc, I just waited for my first two annihilators and their equipment to be built, waited until the next UFO incursion, killed the invaders, then invaded their dimension and wrecked all the UFOs in there, rinse and repeat every week while I finished all the research and slowly conquered buildings.
The endgame feels boring because it IS boring. It's too long, that's all. It would be much better if the fluff would simply state destroying the dimension gates blew up the entire alien planet, and you'd hop in, do that and win the game. No point in making a prolonged tortured death of the aliens.
On that note, it would make sense if you got access to various deadlier weapons like alien gas earlier in the game, about the time you get toxin b, or as a step between B and C. That way everything would escalate until you quickly finished it off, and the endgame would be weeks 5-6 instead of 5-15.
jgatkinsn - Feb 26, 2016 at 01:23
jgatkinsn: I like the idea of making the aliens tougher and ramp up near the end game. I had the idea of the aliens get smarter and more targeted in raiding your base to cut down your manufacturing supply chain. For instance, when they raid the base, they now focus on key areas to destroy first like workshops and stores and craft in repair bay/tubes (or wipe out other supply centers like Marsec or Megapol). They come in waves on the base raids, and maybe the waves grow in number the more buildings you take out. Maybe they arrive in a completely cloaked ship that can't be detected while flying, but you're only alert is the dimension gates cycling with nothing spotted.
ninothree - May 16, 2016 at 17:38
ninothree: Perhaps your task in the alien dimension shouldn't be so simple as "go to building, do mission, leave". Just as when the aliens visit Earth they have some ships fighting the defences, some causing damage and others dropping ground troops, maybe xcom's attack in the alien's dimension should be similar. You send a couple of bombers to smash the alien's airbase - so they can't launch more ships - or maybe a squadron of fighters to take out an anti-aircraft gun. Then you can send in your troop transport to carry out the building-mission. There could be several stages to each encounter in the alien dimension, mixing recon, dog fights, bombing runs, surveillance (with some kind of stealth mechanic), asset capture (e.g. steal some mineral from their mines). It'd make it all feel a little more like a strategic assault rather than a sequence of very similar building-missions.
JonnyH - May 17, 2016 at 03:02
JonnyH: I know what you mean - I found the 'endgame' to be a massive letdown - the 'peak' seems to be taking air superiority in the alien dimension and then assaulting the first building. Then it just becomes 'same again' as you coat the map with toxigun ammo.
Perhaps stage the alien dimension missions so you can realistically get your agents to the first few buildings without wiping out the 'larger' UFOs? Or some kind of limited range turrets or other static defence around later buildings that require something more than 'mopping up' the UFOs?
Perhaps even extend the alien dimension missions out into the midgame? Like they don't get the high-tier UFOs until you have started them (so you can't research the top-end craft either), and when they do they 'start' with a large population so you can't just rush the rest of the buildings?
Perhaps a non-linear building progression would be interesting too - each 'choice' having a specific benefit/downside - like the aliens get a bonus/better equipment/super units or something, so you have the choice of which 'benefit' you have to allow the aliens for future missions and which you want to block
Huaptlo - May 18, 2016 at 12:35
Huaptlo: Well, there is always the option that was originally planned for the game of having multiple alien dimensions. Maybe you have to take out certain building or several to get access to another dimension, or having to take out certain building in a another dimension to get access to the next building etc.
I have always been an advocate for choices for the player. Linear progression is usually boring.
ninothree - May 26, 2016 at 08:56
ninothree: There is a fairly standard pattern in xcom games, much like most RPGs, once you have high level gear then difficulty goes way down, i.e. rinsing with avengers and toxiguns. So, to follow on from the last 2 posts, maybe have the first alien dimension be just an outpost with weaker aliens using medium grade technology. But you can choose to jump to the alien's main base first as a kind of challenge that would up the difficulty, so you go into the final battle with your soldiers still a little green and not using top tier weapons.
I imagine that everyone is on board with the idea of multiple alien dimensions - obviously sequencing them linearly wouldn't be a real alteration to the game, it'd just be the backdrop changing every few missions. Maybe it'd be possible to have a complex interaction of the different dimensions. You have to go back and forth between them all and take buildings down in a particular sequence to achieve the right (or wrong) effects.
Voiddweller - May 27, 2016 at 12:34
Voiddweller: Anyone actually played beta version of apocalypse? There were ever-growing alien dimension, with multiple ship-growth structures. Every time you enter, you had to fight huge fleets, and blow up as many alien structures as you can, because if not, all will grow back and you'll have to start over.
It was nice to find some unorthodox tactics, like landing your craft near buildings, so aliens cannot attack and your ships can regain shields. I used transport armed with plasma point defense in manual fire mode, and retaliator for long range support. Building an overwhelming to fight several battleships with a lot escorts wasn't an option, so guerilla tactics was more effective.
To "spice up" alien dimension you just have to add some more goals than just destruction, like saving sectoid captives, or some other potential ally. Or set up observation outpost and do intel missions. Or lure alien empire from our dimension to fight against micronoid colective. There can be factions within collective itself!
Alien dimension can be potentially used to jump to a distant imperial, or other hostile/friendly alien holdings, to expand apocalypse to what it supposed to be.
Also there can be multiple end-game goals, and maybe one of them is about to ally with micronoids against the empire, or some other threat.
ninothree - May 27, 2016 at 18:01
ninothree: That beta version sounds interesting. As far as I can remember, whenever I went to the alien dimension I just ran straight for the appropriate building without even needing to engage the alien ships. Kinda boring.
I think the many goals thing is a good way to go. There are already loads of factions on the aliens side so there is something to work with there in breaking them apart. Though there are also a bunch of human organisations. Saving sectoids makes friends with the Mutant Alliance - maybe there are other opportunities: like getting alien weapons tech for Marsec, energy sources for Solmine or even drugs for the gangs (there wasn't mention of alien drugs in the UFOpaedia, I took liberties with that one). It could be fun to see more humans than just xcom on the other side. It'd make a lot of sense if the Cult tried to cross over.
Voiddweller - May 27, 2016 at 20:27
Voiddweller: [quote="ninothree"] That beta version sounds interesting. As far as I can remember, whenever I went to the alien dimension I just ran straight for the appropriate building without even needing to engage the alien ships. Kinda boring. [/quote] It can be hard to find it nowdays. There were also an "instant action" tactical mode, where you were able to play as aliens, but also a lot of bugs.
[quote="ninothree"] I think the many goals thing is a good way to go. There are already loads of factions on the aliens side so there is something to work with there in breaking them apart. Though there are also a bunch of human organisations. Saving sectoids makes friends with the Mutant Alliance - maybe there are other opportunities: like getting alien weapons tech for Marsec, energy sources for Solmine or even drugs for the gangs (there wasn't mention of alien drugs in the UFOpaedia, I took liberties with that one). It could be fun to see more humans than just xcom on the other side. It'd make a lot of sense if the Cult tried to cross over. [/quote] Exactly! Pirates, smugglers and mercenaries on space lines to Mars and beyond :) There is also a snakemen mercenaries, can be some alien remnants from second alien war, and much more.
Kammerer - May 28, 2016 at 05:53
Kammerer: Well, as it turned out it's not that difficult to find the beta :). I managed to do that but I think I can give the link only through the PM since its publication in the thread can be considered as piracy. If anyone's interested please send me a PM.
Treonin - Jul 22, 2016 at 10:42
Treonin: Well with the massive amount of gamebreaking bugs and freezes, I am barely able to advance the beta. (Can't reach alien dimension...)
Aside from that its very interesting to see some of the differences, like brainsuckers autojumping on your head in turn based when you walk near it, the different user interfaces and cult of serious calling xcom to kill one little worm in a toilet.
The Reaver of Darkness - Aug 7, 2016 at 00:17
The Reaver of Darkness: [quote="Treonin"] Aside from that its very interesting to see some of the differences, like brainsuckers autojumping on your head in turn based when you walk near it, [/quote] They did that in the full release. I've had that happen at least twice now.
Most people don't seem to realize that aliens can use melee attacks on reaction fire in all three games. A few times now I've seen a chryssalid attack a soldier who walked in front of them. These attacks don't happen very often because the soldier has to walk into just the right square for it to happen.
Treonin - Aug 8, 2016 at 16:29
Treonin: I have never seen this before, (probably because brainsuckers always use up 100% of their TUs even when they can't move) even though I have been using the stand in front of it and shoot them to death tactics for years.
Solarius Scorch - Aug 9, 2016 at 14:16
Solarius Scorch: [quote="Treonin"] and cult of serious calling xcom to kill one little worm in a toilet. [/quote]
Hey, I actually like this (except for the CoS part).
More low-level alerts would enable using smaller squads, maybe even bikers.
Istrebitel - Aug 16, 2016 at 18:08
Istrebitel: I think, the purpose must be considered first. Obviously, a mod must enhance a game. If we aim to change X-Com 3's endgame, it is obvious that we should make it so that ending is less anti-climatic and more of an actual challenge.
What should be done, IMHO: - difficulty level should gradually increase as we do more building missions - player should not be motivated to finish the game quicker (i don't think people would like to be forced to finish the game) - player, however, should face some form of challenge every time he progresses with the plot
1) Every building brought down should have a retaliation mission assigned to it. Research (UFOPaedia page) should indicate what it is.
Something like, if you destroy this building, they understand you're a real threat, and launch a full scale assault on your city, blowing buildings left and right, and your fleet wouldn't be back yet, so you should build a sizeable fleet before you proceed.
Or, if you destroy this, they get really pissed, and launch an assault on several of your bases at once, so you should have security personell stationed on every base and well prepared for a full scale assault.
Or, if you destroy this, they understand they can't beat you with force, so they'll launch a full scale "micronoid rain" operation, trying to control several organisations at once, meaning you have to prepare a fleet to deal with it (like, stasis missle-heavy fleet).
Therefore, you would be presented with a challenege every time you raid a building, something to do when your tech and main team are already maxed out.
2) Make objectives in some building missions respawn, so that you would require coordination of several teams to finish the mission (like, you need to kill 6 things around the map all within a timespan of a minute, so you need to station team near every single one of those).
Solarius Scorch - Aug 17, 2016 at 10:24
Solarius Scorch: I think the entire point 1) (about retaliations etc.) would only that you just need more soldiers and more craft, because you have to divide your forces. Therefore it is not exactly a challenge, it's just additional delay.
The need to destroy targets at the same time has some merit though. I kinda like it, if done reasonably well (and not overdone - one or two places would be enough).
FilmBoy84 - Nov 16, 2017 at 19:48
FilmBoy84: Back in early development versions, the Aliens had a PROCEDURALLY GENERATED set of dimensions after the "planets" idea was abandoned (something for another thread, the planet files still exist in game though).
The legacy of this is the building that "grows" new buildings still has the "mushrooms" growing outside of it in vanilla; though they never reach maturity sadly having been "disabled" in the final game.
The aliens, given enough time, would be able to regenerate their buildings and expand into other Dimension IDs (There are 7, one of which is Mega Primus)
It would be good to see the aliens regain the ability to spill into new dimensions and regrow their destroyed buildings over time. This would put pressure on X-COM to work quickly to destroy the alien dimension in days and not weeks after getting the dimension probe (at which point the aliens would double their expansion efforts) before the Aliens spread too widely to easily control.
Coupled with a procedural generation algorithm that linked the buildings with an umbilical in different orders across a varied generation of dimension this would make for an interesting "never the same twice" style of play.
Here's Beta Dimension Code 2 as a bit of eyecandy by the way ;) This Beta version had already abandoned procedural generation but had multiple copies of each building and NO umbilical. It did however REGROW buildings if you didnt destroy the appropriate "grow" building quickly after entering the dimension. [ATTACH=full]30[/ATTACH]
Voiddweller - Nov 19, 2017 at 00:20
Voiddweller: [QUOTE="FilmBoy84, post: 2095, member: 378"]Back in early development versions, the Aliens had a PROCEDURALLY GENERATED set of dimensions after the "planets" idea was abandoned (something for another thread, the planet files still exist in game though). [ATTACH=full]30[/ATTACH][/QUOTE] I'd say multidimensional world concept was largely "abandoned" as well. It doesn't really matter how to call different world maps, and how many warring factions, allied or enemy present there. But we need that code in openxcom.
Yataka Shimaoka - Nov 19, 2017 at 03:53
Yataka Shimaoka: OpenApoc, not OXC, they were in different engines
Voiddweller - Nov 19, 2017 at 09:35
Voiddweller: [QUOTE="Yataka Shimaoka, post: 2100, member: 261"]OpenApoc, not OXC, they were in different engines[/QUOTE] Yeah, my bad, Openapoc)) Was thinking about[I] [/I]xPiratez mod for openxcom engine and many good stuff i seen there, like different factions and their goals, even thjough openxcom code doesn't really support any "faction" mechanics)
FilmBoy84 - Nov 20, 2017 at 22:41
FilmBoy84: Oh, the multi-dimensional factions thing was another kettle of fish
I can remember speaking with the Gollop's by email way back in 1999 after I contacted Microprose (to no avail) and Mythos regarding the Beta release and arguing that the source code be released to the community now that the game was effectively abandoned for Interceptor, X-COM Genesis (How i wish this had been made; think a 3D engine apocalypse heading back to the UFO roots of the series) and Alliance (Itself abandoned for X-COM Enforcer) sequels.
When discussing concepts the Gollop's made mention that at one point in Apoc development there were plans for the Martian colonies, ruled over by Marsec, to have a very powerful paramilitary sectoid organisations that were vying for equal power-sharing of martian resources for both pure alien and hybrid alien interests. This was a key element of the Mars planet map when the aforementioned planet system was meant to be included. The idea was later scaled down to the Mutant Alliance faction and made less militant (The parallels with the IRA being too close to the cut at the time here in the UK)
After the planets system was abandoned and the dimension concept was created there was an idea passed around that one of those dimensions would be a dimension full of sectoid and aquatoid organisations kept as a "food production" colony for the trans-dimensional micronoid empire that was now invading earth.
Each dimension the aliens inhabited would be for a different purpose or requirement of the alien empire and each dimension would have it's own organisations and factions that X-COM could interact with to form alliances, rebellions or insurrections as well as trade with to aid their ultimate goal of overthrowing the micronoid empire.
Of course all of this was scaled down to a single city and a single dimension by the end with many of the faction controls, abilities and relationship management cut from the game in all but bribes and damage/raids.
It's a crying shame, but then again, Apocalypse would have been so vastly complex had they stuck to the original plan, it would have most likely never got to the point of release.
If the whole Apocalypse concept was combined and realised you would have the player fighting across the following number of fronts with different factions and organisations controlling or appearing in each:
1) Earth (Mega-Primus) 2) Mercury 3) Venus 4) Mars 5) Moons of Jupiter 6) Moons of Saturn 7) Moons of Neptune 8) Moons of Uranus 9) Pluto 10) Charon (Back then called something else, i cannot recall what but basically Pluto's Moon) 11) A secret "Planet-X"/"Niburu" map 12) Alien Dimension 1 (The micronoid home dimension destroyed by a supernova in vanilla but centre of an empire in original concept) 13) Alien Dimension 2 (Food/Prey Dimension) 14) Alien Dimension 3 (Resources Dimension) 15) Alien Dimension 4 (Alien "City" Dimension, equivalent to the Mega-Primus map, though wholly "Alien") 16) Alien Dimension 5 (Alien "Spawning" Dimension / Procreation) 17) Alien Dimension 6 (Alien Recreation and Sport Dimension) 18) Alien Dimension 7 (Alien Factory Dimension) 19) A Further 2 Alien Dimensions details of which are sketchy at best and were proposed as "Expansion Pack" content
All of the above and more were discussed, some even partially implemented, in early game concepts and versions, but non bar Mega-Primus and the 1st Alien Dimension, itself radically different from initial concept, ever made it into the final game, or even Beta1/Beta2. Most of the Alien Dimension ideas were scaled down to single buildings.
The Original Apocalypse concept would have made "Long War" for the modern X-COM games seem like a short-story and most likely would not be completable for most players. This is of course another reason, other than development time and cost, the game was cut drastically with all of the above to play through most gamers would have given up and moved on to something else before completing Apocalypse, it would be just too big to play and enjoy with the level of micromanagement required.
This is why the AI system mentioned in the Vanilla Manual (The part that mentioned about exchanging AI files between games that never actually existed in vanilla) was proposed as a solution, some parts of the players duties would be managed automatically as the player moved between both planets and dimensions, by beta it had been nerfed to a combat and cityscape AI and by release it had been stripped from the game entirely at the last minute, hence it's inclusion in the manual but not in the final game.
The Gollop's also complained about their relationship with Microprose and the pressures put on them for a sequel with a limited budget and time frame to do so leading to much of the game concepts and ideas being killed off.
Any Alien Dimension Mod would have to consider all of the above to avoid becoming stagnant or encompassing too much work for the mod developer. Regardless, I hope all of the info here helps in allowing someone to pick up the baton for OpenApoc mods ;)
makus - Nov 21, 2017 at 13:07
makus: we need just launch brainstorm on this=]
-regarding to planets of solar system on most of them can be only outposts and mining plants (that can be lost and then amount of minerals and elerium can be cutted) - so do not need so many details for this. So trully big cities except Primus will be mars colony and maybe colony on the earth moon (as biggest spaceport)
and about dimentions ... well its whole new talk =] ...
FilmBoy84 - Nov 21, 2017 at 13:16
FilmBoy84: Agreed, a Large expansion to Apocalypse would certainly encompass:
Mars, a Moon or two, the main alien dimension (but procedurally generated and building growth re-enabled) and maybe a second Dimension that the aliens are expanding into (or maybe retreat to after X-COM destroys the first - Remember the "One way to win" concept i listed in the BETA thread?).
That gives 4 different "cityscape" maps, maybe a 5th. Much more realistically achievable than the 20+ maps originally conceived as ideas for Apocalypse. It would also expand the game-play massively whilst not making it impossible to manage from a user-perspective.
But even just allowing the Alien Dimension to regrow buildings again or making it procedurally generate for each game would be a huge change to the base game.
The beauty of the OpenApoc and Original Apoc engines is that so much COULD be done with them, the issue, as always is time and knowledge to apply to such a project.
makus - Nov 21, 2017 at 13:45
makus: [QUOTE="FilmBoy84, post: 2106, member: 378"] The beauty of the OpenApoc and Original Apoc engines is that so much COULD be done with them, the issue, as always is time and knowledge to apply to such a project.[/QUOTE]
Be sure such bright minds can be found. We just need to give them a concept - a clear and attractive shape of the future mod So we can just start new topic right now and write there whole details of it) beacose this is discussion where all can speak but its many of text
FilmBoy84 - Nov 21, 2017 at 14:03
FilmBoy84: I've been thinking of a flow-order for procedural generation algorithms for the Alien Dimension. This is what I've got so far
[LIST=1] [*]Generate "flat" map [*]Generate Hills [*]Generate Buildings as follows: [LIST] [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Sleeping_Chamber']Sleeping Chamber[/URL] (Alien Building 1) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Food_Chamber']Food Chamber[/URL] (Alien Building 2) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Alien_Farm']Alien Farm[/URL] (Alien Building 3) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Maintenance_Factory']Maintenance Factory[/URL] (Alien Building 4) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Incubator_Chamber']Incubator Chamber[/URL] (Alien Building 5) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Control_Chamber']Control Chamber[/URL] (Alien Building 6) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Spawning_Chamber']Spawning Chamber[/URL] (Alien Building 7) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Organic_Factory']Organic Factory[/URL] (Alien Building 8) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Megapod_Chamber']Megapod Chamber[/URL] (Alien Building 9) [*][URL='http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Dimension_Gate_Generator']Dimension Gate Generator[/URL] (Alien Building 10) [*](ALIEN BUILDINGS CAN BE PLACED ON HILLS is re-enabled so things can appear on different levels [One of the vanilla MEGA-PRIMUS maps is raised up), if no room can be found, flatten tiles to allow placement of the building) [/LIST] [*]Generate Access Points for buildings within 5-tiles of parent building (Not immediately next to it like in vanilla)
[*]Generate Umbilical between buildings (If buildings are placed on hills new sprites would be needed for umbilical travelling up/down in all directions, this step could be skipped out if also bringing back the scan-and-plan approach to destroying the alien dimension which the probe was for before vanilla)
[*]Generate Lava pools [*]Generate Lava flows between levels ensuring pool above and below
[*]Generate Alien "Growth Pods" for Buildings around the MEGAPOD CHAMBER [*]Generate Alien "Ship Pods" for Alien Craft around the ORGANIC FACTORY according to the ships generated on week 1 (As per here: [URL]http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Alien_Dimension_(Apocalypse)#UFO_Growth[/URL] ) [*]Generate and Scatter other "Eye-Candy Tiles" [*]Generate Week 1 dimension gate locations and dimension gates above the DIMENSION GATE GENERATOR that tie to the gates in Mega Primus [*]Generate other dimension gates in Alien Dimension (Linking to other planets and/or dimensions) [*]Run Clean-up algorithm that corrects any errors in the above [/LIST] Would like to know the thoughts of others on this? Am i missing anything that would be needed for the alien dimension?
WarStalkeR - May 21, 2019 at 13:36
WarStalkeR: Hmm... Consequences after destroying alien buildings... I like it. They are perfectly described. Beside consequences I believe aliens should have capability to restore them, if you decided to take a "break" for long enough from attacking dimension (for at least year for example).
I also suggest to add logistic lines (i.e. kind of roads that connect all buildings into single network) that constantly used to transfer supplies via special alien cars. If you keep all logistic lines to the building destroyed for at least week, overall performance (of building itself and alien within it) should start decreasing over time (with minimum performance being 25%). Aliens will rebuild logistic lines quite fast (4 ~ 5 days, if you allow "builder" to reach their locations), thus you need to be active there.
And to make sure that you won't have easy time trashing alien logistic lines, a kind of (destructible) alien Anti-Air Systems should be implemented that will make lives of your crafts quite miserable if you decided to ignore them. Since these AA Systems are core systems, aliens will be able to rebuild them quite fast, i.e. (2 ~ 3 days, if you allow "builder" to reach their locations).
And the most important things that should be modded in, is parallel time flow in alien dimension and your megacity. I.e. there should be no instancing and you should be able to access both (or all) locations at any time and follow events there. Instead dimensional travel for your crafts should just take time (~30 days) before they will appear in alien dimension or back at your megacity. So if you will send all your crafts and at exactly same time alien fleet invades - you're screwed up. Serves you right for giving up on home defense :D
And of course, make Probe useful again. You will have to scan buildings with it, if you want to infiltrate or destroy them successfully. Multiple scans will allow to discover all map and POI (Points of Interest) as well find "holes" in the defense that will allow missiles from your crafts to damage it and even destroy.
FilmBoy84 - Jun 8, 2019 at 10:45
FilmBoy84: [QUOTE="WarStalkeR, post: 2388, member: 248"]  Consequences after destroying alien buildings... I like it. They are perfectly described. Beside consequences I believe aliens should have capability to restore them...
 I also suggest to add logistic lines (i.e. kind of roads that connect all buildings into single network) that constantly used to transfer supplies via special alien cars...
 Alien Anti-Air Systems should be implemented that will make lives of your crafts quite miserable if you decided to ignore them
 Parallel time flow in alien dimension and your megacity. I.e. there should be no instancing and you should be able to access both (or all) locations at any time and follow events there.
 Instead dimensional travel for your crafts should just take time (~30 days) before they will appear in alien dimension or back at your megacity.
 And of course, make Probe useful again. You will have to scan buildings with it, if you want to infiltrate or destroy them successfully. [/QUOTE]
Thanks for your response WarStalkeR, i'll try to respond in numerical order
 The aliens very much had/have the ability to restore buildings, this was via the MegaPod Chambers and was a key aspect of the "One Way to Win" research (Check out my notes here on the forums from observation of Alpha and Beta state Apocalypse
 The umbilical was going to achieve the purpose of "roads" and "disruption of supplies" but was changed to simply "people tube" in the last two weeks of development before final release. It would be a lot of work, but forcing the alien dimension to operate more similarly to Mega Primus is theoretically possible for terms of logistics and finite resource sharing
 Sadly it would not be easy, or likely even possible, to implement AA systems on buildings without a complete redesign of the tile specifications and mapping array. As well as tile armour values and problems presented by tiles beneath an AA turret. This was a problem that presented itself to the original development team and whilst the concept was thrown around time, money and resources meant that it was abandoned... After-all X-COM could achieve AA defence with the Griffon Tank (and now OpenApoc also supports the off-road function too for better placement). The aliens have Fast Attack (UFO 4) for AA defence. Adding AA for a static position that could be destroyed via a single hit to the tiles below would be a lot of effort for no gain. Unless someone wants to redesign everything as a mod it's not going to come to OpenApoc
 This feature was in early versions with the planet and dimension switching UI (never fully completed). Whilst some rearrangement to the appropriate mapping, time and resource code would be required, and this is no small task, it would be entirely possible to do this in OpenApoc
 Adding a delay would not fit in with the lore, nor would it work for resource and economy tracking. The cross-dimensional gates provide instantaneous transport as they are simply "tears" between dimensions, time does not exist between them and mechanically, tracking everything between dimensions with a delay would present all manner of calculation and tracking problems for the code as we are into offsetting and deferring values for items that may be changed on any number of dimensions/cities independent of the value at time of entering the dimension gate. It would bog down CPU cycles and cause a nightmare for whoever tries to code such a thing
 Please see my "One Way to Win" notes as well as the notes i have made on cut features and espionage. The Structure Probe was a device to be fitted to an X-COM probe for scanning buildings... It did not allow X-COM to achieve a "true, good, ending" and to fully complete the "One Way to Win" X-COM still needed boots on the ground. Additiionally, there was a "Vortex Analyser" device that could be researched if X-COM did enough ground work to realise there was more than one dimension and this could be fitted to the probe (or a second one) to scan for the dimension that contained both the Megapods and central Dimension Gate Generator (It was larger than the one currently featured, linking all dimensions to one place)
Thanks once again for your input, i hope the above helps explain a few things about implementation of your ideas