Talk:Alien Submarines

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Survey Ship and Escort

From what I can tell, everything in the game, the UFOpaedia entries, the Transmission Resolver data, everything indicates that the one with the two IBAs and the two interior rooms IS the Survey Ship. That USO is more easily shot down/destroyed, comes with only one alien, and the UFOpaedia entry for the Survey Ship matches its design (the two windows being separated over a wider flat portion). The Escort is the one with only one IBA and no internal rooms. These aren't so easily destroyed, come with 4+ aliens and have the windows close together and sloping sides, like in the Escort UFOpaedia entry.

I intend to fix this in the wiki entries unless someone objects. Magic9mushroom 06:19, 20 August 2009 (EDT)

I object! :) This is believed to be a bug, the Escort and Survey Ship have been swapped around in the game. XcomUtil fixes this. The UFOPaedia entries are correct. Maybe make a note of the bug on both wiki pages? Spike 11:21, 20 August 2009 (EDT)
The UFOpaedia entry for Escort matches the picture seen in the interception window when intercepting an "Escort", which matches the smaller design (adjacent portholes, which is listed on here under Survey Ship). The UFOpaedia entry for Survey Ship matches the picture seen in the interception window when intercepting a "Survey Ship", which matches the larger design (separated portholes, which is listed on here under Escort). It's a huge stretch to call it a bug when absolutely everything agrees. The fact of the matter is, a "Survey Ship" within the (unmodified) game for all intents and purposes is the design with the separated portholes and the interior rooms. The entries in this wiki should reflect that. Xcomutil is a separate issue, and while that should be noted on the pages, and the oddity of the situation (Survey Ship bigger than Escort) should also be noted, it hardly makes sense to confuse people coming to the wiki for the first time based on us thinking that a particular feature of the game is unintended. Magic9mushroom 04:13, 21 August 2009 (EDT)
The interception screen pics might also be swapped. Inteck (from StrategyCore) caught one issue where the Fleet Supply Cruiser and the Battleship pics were swapped in the interception screen. But it should be noted that both interception screens have 2 portals while the real Escort ship map design doesn't even have a single one. Then again, the real Survey Ship's pic is indeed smaller than the real Escort.
Actually, you're wrong. The larger ship, which you term the "real" Escort, has 2 portals on the battlescape. They're on either side of the door. This pattern matches the UFOpaedia entry and interception pic for Survey Ship, both of which have two separated portals. The smaller ship, which you term the "real" Survey Ship, has 2 portals right next to each other, which matches the UFOpaedia entry and interception pic of the Escort.
I actually noticed the Fleet Supply Cruiser/Battleship issue myself. THAT should be noted as a swapping, because the interception and UFOpaedia pic do not match the Battlescape (which is obviously right, because it matches the UFOpaedia text). However, in this case, every in-game source agrees. Magic9mushroom 05:10, 22 August 2009 (EDT)

In my defense, the portals on the larger ship don't look anything like the portals on the smaller ship.--Zombie 11:34, 22 August 2009 (EDT)

You're right there. It's because of the different angle. I wasn't faulting you for it. :) Magic9mushroom 04:55, 23 August 2009 (EDT)

All information points to the fact that the two ship designs were accidentally swapped when they were added to the game. The real survey ship only has 3 spawn points whereas the Escort has 6, not to mention that the real survey ship doesn't have any internal doors while the Escort has 2. Is this intended? I highly doubt it. The designers/programmers had to whack this game out in a short amount of time and a lot of mistakes were made. They were trying to base the USOs off the UFOs from the first game but messed it up. --Zombie 09:04, 21 August 2009 (EDT)
This is possible. However, the fact that they're swapped everywhere you can possibly look in the (unmodified) game means that we really should discuss the larger, 3-room vessel as the Survey Ship and the smaller, 1-room vessel as the Escort, with probably a note on both pages saying that this is anomalous and could be unintended. Magic9mushroom 05:10, 22 August 2009 (EDT)
One theory which I came up with a while back is that the map programmers confused the two ships because they look so similar (well, small). It's not that big of a stretch to assume that the person who was responsible for designing the ship layout was not the same person who implemented them in-game, who confused and swapped the two maps, but correctly based the map in the Battlescape against the interception pic in the Geoscape/USOPedia.
However, just because somethings technically "agree" in-game, there are other glaring inconsistencies which don't agree. The spawn points is one of them and the sheer complexity of the real Escort craft forces a person to really sit down and think about it for a while. Also, look at what happens in the Geoscape: the smaller ship has the correct size class (very small) and the correct sonar blob (which is based off of the class I'd imagine), same goes for the larger ship. In fact, all the stats you would associate with each craft are correct in every respect (weapons, weapon range, speed, etc). But when you go on a mission, the map (and more importantly the size) doesn't reflect the stats in the Geoscape. That's the deciding factor.
I agree that it should be made more apparent on the two craft pages that there are major discrepancies, but wouldn't go so far as to swap the two articles here just to match some observances in-game. When you boil this all down, it is nothing more than an unfortunate mixup with the maps. It's pretty obvious to me, but I guess to those who do not study the game files or the executable, it's easier to accept the craft are that way intentionally. --Zombie 11:34, 22 August 2009 (EDT)
You have a point. But on the other hand...
No matter how unintentional it is, the map which comes up when you attack a Survey Ship has the bigger hull. Therefore, it is terribly misleading to put the smaller hull's floor plans in our page about the Survey Ship and the bigger hull's floor plans in our page on Escort. Same for the UFOpaedia/interception pic. Noting that it's screwed up is one thing, but listing things which are not true in-game in a wiki dedicated to it is extremely dodgy. Magic9mushroom 04:55, 23 August 2009 (EDT)

I also have a fix for this up in StrategyCore's files section. It includes a route fix as well. --Zombie 20:16, 20 August 2009 (EDT)


In-game, these are always referred to as "Alien Submarines" or "Alien Subs", not ever as USOs. We should correct this. Also, the in-game reference is called the UFOpedia, not the USOpaedia. Magic9mushroom 00:54, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

As I recall, the reason such nomenculture is used is that "USO" is very similar to "UFO", and a fair bit faster and easier to type out than "Alien subs". And while you are correct that the game lists it as a UFOpaedia, remember that TFTD is basically a commercial total-conversion mod of EU. USOpaedia is used to allow a reader to quickly establish that this article or portion thereof refers to TFTD, and NOT EU.
It also adjusts to established reading habits; an EU player who starts on TFTD will be easily able to read the TFTD pages without any difficulty due to the use of terms. You'd be surprised how much trouble some people have reinterpreting the same sentence written in a different way. So by using a clear and consistent set of terms, we can avoid those issues...even if it is very slightly inaccurate. Arrow Quivershaft 01:30, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
It's not official, but many adopted it simply as a spin off "UFO" for convenience. I believe there are also some terminologies we use a lot in UFO that don't necessarily appear in-game.
I don't mind either way as long as there is no confusion amongst the readers - the actual sub names are more probably important terminology to keep intact. Actually, that's reminded me of something. Microprose released a set of short stories as teasers for TFTD's release. Not sure if they will have any insight into any of this, but I think they need to be mentioned (or even added) to the Wiki at some stage.
To be pedantic, I thought I'd point out that TFTD Americanizes the Ufopaedia into Ufopedia. Most seem to prefer the ae. -NKF 01:58, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

- I can replace every single instance myself, and would be happy to, so the length is not an issue.

- I had noted that TFTD Americanised the spelling, that is why is it listed as such in my paragraph above.

- The term USO itself is confusing. It confused me. Magic9mushroom 02:47, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

Well volunteered M9M! I am surprised to discover that USO is not a canonical term. I don't think we should be inventing terms that don't appear in the game. Also, the term USO doesn't occur outside the game (apart from on this website). That is more likely to be confusing to any new people. And they are the ones we should worry about - anyone already reading the site knows what USO means but is not going to be confused by a more specific term like Alien Submarines. It looks like USO is a short-hand and I don't think we should be lazy. My vote is to replace both USO and USOPaedia/USOPedia throughout, as being non-canonical, unhelpful, and confusing to new readers. As an extra question, is SWP canonical or not? Spike 13:52, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
Just had a quick glance at where USO is used, like the navbar, and I don't see it causing any confusion - so go for it. A note on what it means for those who encounter it may be helpful though as it has been in use for so long that many long time players have adopted it even if it's not a canon term. SWP isn't in the game, but SWS is. That's actually encountered in the game text. -NKF 15:40, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

However, within this wiki SWS is used wrongly a lot of times. It's the equivalent to HWP, not to Tank. Coelacanth is the equivalent to Tank. Hence SWS/Displacer is tautological. Magic9mushroom 22:08, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

So shall I go ahead? Magic9mushroom 11:11, 19 September 2009 (EDT)

With over two years of lack of response, I decided to just go ahead and do it. The term USO has been excised from this wiki, replaced with Alien Sub. Magic9mushroom 01:31, 5 February 2012 (EST)

Alien Sub section TO-DO's

The sub pages are rich in information about the subs, but we're missing the crew equipment loadouts.

We've got the crews, just not the various possible equipment combinations. An executable dig might reveal this information - just have to recall where this is stored. -NKF 06:44, 25 February 2011 (EST)

Crashed/Destroyed Columns

These columns were very confusing to me at first, as I thought (due to their position and titles) that they were some measure of the amount of damage you had to inflict to either down or kill the sub. I did not figure it out until I went to UFOs and saw the different column names. I think the column names should be changed here, or have a clarifying comment below the table. --Jewcifer 15:40, 16 March 2012 (EDT)

Impossible crews

While editing the crew rank breakdowns for the various alien submarines, something occurred to me:

Lobster Men don't perform Alien Resource Raid missions, and Mixed Crew don't perform any missions other than Alien Surface Attacks and Floating Base Attack. This means that a Lobster-Man-crewed Hunter is impossible, and ditto for Mixed-crew Heavy Cruisers, Hunters, and Fleet Supply Cruisers, unless you hack the game.

Should this be noted on the pages? Should we remove those races' tables from the pages entirely? Not really sure what to do, so I figured I'd ask. Magic9mushroom (talk) 10:43, 30 August 2019 (CEST)

I would recommend leaving them in. One suggestion is to grey out the unused values and make a note explaining that while the values are present in the game, they are not used. NKF (talk) 09:34, 31 August 2019 (CEST)
The values aren't precisely present in the game and unused. There's no data specific to a Lobbie Hunter, after all, just the data for Hunter rank numbers and the data for Lobbie rank -> unit conversion, which are both used data - just not ever used together.
I guess a note it is. I don't know how to grey out text, though. Magic9mushroom (talk) 14:32, 31 August 2019 (CEST)