Talk:Enemy Unknown (1994) Extended

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General Discussion

This is very useful, putting all these things together in one place with clear instructions. This could become the new "standard" version of the game. But I think it's only fair to explain that a lot of the choices you have made for the UFOExtender.ini file are personal choices - you should advise user to review your .ini file (and helpful explanatory comments) and see if they agree.

Spike 05:11, 17 August 2009 (EDT)

In general if we have a mix of features in the standard config, some of which give a minor advantage to XCom (Craft always ready, Elerium fuelled craft bug fix), some of which give a minor advantage to the aliens (Retaliate for Ground Assault), that should work out ok. Features that give a major advantage one way or the other should not be in standard config. Spike 07:56, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

UFO Extender Templates

I think your comments to the .ini file are very helpful. Here are some alternative opinions on some of the options:

  • Range Based Accuracy
  • [MC] Line of Fire Check

- These are to make the game harder, which can be a good thing as experienced players consider the game too easy for XCom.

  • Retaliate Against Ground Assault

- Yes it does change the game dynamic but not by much. It makes the game harder for X-Com which is a good thing, makes the aliens behave smarter and more logically.

  • No Blaster Bomb Drift

- Drift actually only affects aliens so again it's an option that rebalances the game in favour of the aliens and makes it more challenging.

- Maybe you could group the above options together as they all make the game more challenging, i.e. balance the game more in favour of the aliens, and explain that to the player - if you want to make the game more evenly balanced, select these options.

  • Tactical Scroll
  • Video Pitch
  • Music Change Freeze


- You were not experiencing these issues, but others do experience it, so this is an important thing to make clear to users. They should check themselves.

  • Elerium-fuelled Craft Bug

- While it may well be unintended, this removes a significant limitation on X-Com and therefore unbalances the game in X-Com's favour.

  • Funky Fire

- This is definitely a bug/exploit, but the bug fix also includes some changes to the way incendiary weapons work. I think Seb's approach is correct, as he makes fire behave logically but still do roughly the same damage as non-exploit non-fixed usage. But it might be worth flagging up to the player as this is a difficult judgement call.

  • Crafts Always Ready

- I disagree, though this seems realistic, it gives advantages to XCom. In particular it removes the imperative to maintain multiple craft, which is a major resource drain early in the game and in fact throughout the game. You can also argue that the un-modded game is very realistic as this is how real-world air forces operate. It is totally against procedure to re-launch aircraft without a full logistics refit. Anyway, the point is, this is a significant advantage to XCom. Maybe this option should be "balanced" by creating a risk that the aircraft just falls out of the sky - with a warning before launch "this aircraft has not been properly maintained".

  • Keep Base Navigation Modules

- Potentially unbalancing? I really don't think so. Succeeding in an Alien Base assault is much, much harder than a UFO Recovery mission or Ground Assault mission that is normally used to recover Navigation Modules. This option was included by Seb at my request to facilitate a "No Interception" scenario where shooting down UFOs is impossible. It's not unbalancing, it just gives alternative ways to play the game.

  • Base Building Stacking "too complex for benefit"

- Very much a personal opinion! Enabling it does no harm, as no one is obliged to use the feature if they find it too complex. For others, it is useful for simplifying construction management, especially when managing lots of bases. You make your growth plan once, "stack" the builds, and then you can forget about it until those facilities are complete.

  • Stun Fest "overpowered"

- I don't agree it's overpowered. Beating up aliens is hard work. The melee weapon values are all moderate - less effective than a Stun Rod in every case, so how can that unbalancing? To me, this just adds to the game "flavour", adds realism, and is clearly part of the designers' original intent.

  • Assign All Personnel

- This is a real time saver

  • Hacks

Most of them are deliberate cheats and not meant for normal play so you're right to say they are hugely unbalancing.

However Recover All Clips is a kind of bug fix. Though it does give advantage to XCom it also eliminates the irritating need to manage ammo logistics. With human ammo this is not unbalancing. With scarce alien ammo, it could be, fair enough. No Score Game Over is a way of continuing "hopeless" games. Both of these have precedents in XComUtil, which a lot of players use.

  • Initial Base

Again there is precedent for this in XComUtil which either gives an improved layout base (like this one) or by default a base with Large Radar and Alien Containment already completed - a big step forward. I don't think the sensible base layout is too unbalancing and it saves the tedious task of reorganising the starter base. It also gives new players a better hint about how they should design a base layout.

Lastly, but not least, as Seb76 did so much of the work on UFOExtender, maybe you should give him a credit on the page? And add his UFOExtender page to the See Also?

Cheers, Spike 05:11, 17 August 2009 (EDT)

Spike, thanks. Yes, the choices I made were personal ones informed mostly by my (poor) memories of 15 years ago just to get the ball rolling. This is exactly the discussion I want to have because I think it would be good to come up with a consensus config for a standard version of X-COM for people who just want to get right into the game. I will review your points in detail, rethink the ini config., and make it more clear that seb's UFO Extender is the centerpiece. By the way, this talk page is a hard place to have a discussion - are strategycore forums better? Xeucom 01:57, 20 August 2009 (EDT)

Hey, great to have you back after 15 years! Sure let's figure out a consensus. Actually I was thinking we might be able to make a few different .ini templates based on some themes, eg:
  • Bug fixes only
  • Convenience features
  • "What the designers intended"
  • Making the game harder
  • Alternate scenarios
...etc. At the moment I'm trying to recover my account on StrategyCore (I want to post to Zombie's thread on offsets/modding). So when I get my account back I'm happy to talk there. Cheers! Spike 14:12, 20 August 2009 (EDT)
Do you remember what your account name is or what email you used to register? If so, I can set you up in a hurry. Just send me an email. --Zombie 20:10, 20 August 2009 (EDT)
A menu of configs is a good idea. I'd still say we should sweep up a balanced Bug Fixes, Conveneince Features, and Designers Intent into a consensus standard config and establish that as our base line. This is all meant to lure people in/back with a quick and easy setup, get them some play time, then let them explore all the neat options UFO Extender allows. The base line also gives us a standard testing config that we can focus on making bug free (or documenting workarounds). --Xeucom 01:30, 22 August 2009 (EDT)
Ok that sounds like a plan!

Spike 05:25, 22 August 2009 (EDT)

Actually, using a rewritten Initial Base (with a real base) with the stock starting inventory will give you serious cashflow management problems. "Retaliate Against Ground Assault" fixes the cashflow problem, and I'm unclear whether it makes the game easier or harder for X-COM. (I generally have an easier time the first three months on Superhuman than on Beginner, as the extra cashflow from the increased Retalation Acts more than compensates for equally dumb AI with more accurate ranged attacks.) -- Zaimoni 04:42, 22 August 2009 (CDT)

Small Scout Map

Does the Combo Pack include Zombie's Small Scout Map fix? If not, maybe that should be included too. Spike 14:37, 20 August 2009 (EDT)

I don't have anything in the kit for the Small Scout because nothing is wrong with it. LOL I do, however, have a Small Scout Mod (found here) which reintroduces the old Small Scout lefover from the development days. --Zombie 20:10, 20 August 2009 (EDT)
I didn't include the Small Scout patch because it seemed too little gain for the additional step of installing it since people are installing it by manual steps. There is already a very small scout in the game (the one you can grav lift into one square with hole in top) The ideal would be if someone could cook up a little exe that downloaded all the mods and installed them (or we got permission from the authors to bake it into one download) so it was one download and double click. Then it would make sense to add in some more one-trick mods. --Xeucom 01:30, 22 August 2009 (EDT)

Standard Config Discussions

This section is for discussing what should go in the standard UFO Extender config that is recommended as the downloadable ini file. The concept of the standard config is a config that fixes bugs, introduces convenience features, and retains or improves game balance while keeping the original feel. It is intended for the new or returning player who can put up with a moderate level of difficulty, but is not an elite player (Spike, I will add more sections as I have time to address all the points you raised - these are the ones I had time to research and think about with your feedback).

Game Version

There could be a problem in that the publicly available version of the game is the DOS version released by Steam. The Windows CE version is arguably no longer in the public domain, since Steam now has made its version available. At this time, only one site I can find is still offering downloads of the Windows CE edition. It could be considered the Windows CE edition is no longer "abandonware", and this seems to be the view that the operators of download sites are taking. Therefore, if looking for a reference edition, maybe we should look to modding the Steam, DOS, edition. The problem is that Seb76's loader only works on the Windows CE edition.

I think we should go ahead and define the features of a "standard edition" anyway, but the problem of what version to use will still need to be solved. Basically either the fan community (us!) extends Seb's loader to also apply to the Steam DOS version, or we need to use another tool to patch the DOS version. In theory, XcomUtil could be used to patch the DOS version to introduce all of Seb's additional patches. It is arcane to use but it could be done. The key first step would be to establish a list of patches for the DOS version that are equivalent to Seb's patches to the Windows version.

Both the Steam and GamersGate (according to forums on the latter) downloads include the Windows version. Specifically, they have a "UFO Defense.exe". I have tested the described mod set with Steam. Steam launches the DosBox DOS version by default through the steam interface, but once you create the shortcut as described, you never use it again. Does that alleviate this concern? Xeucom 09:30 August 23, 2009.
You are right! I tested it and, to my surprise, it works. I guess the Steam version must be the Windows CE version, even though it launches it via DosBox. Cool, so there is no problem there - quite the contrary, if all these mods work on the Steam distribution that's excellent. And maybe we can persuade Steam to distribute the "standard extended" version some day. Perhaps not, as we are sort of bypassing their security. Normally when you try to start the executable it should chain back to all the Steam software. In this case, I think we get by that because Seb's loader treats the executable as sort of a data file, loading it rather than directly executing it from the O/S, and also the loader controls the entry points itself (guessing?). Anyway, I suspect Steam don't really care too much about software protection on the old XCom games. Spike 06:49, 24 August 2009 (EDT)

Categories

Group all fixes into categories:

Bug Fixes

General Bug Fixes

All undisputed bugs should be fixed here.

[Bug Fix]
Pay For Dirt=1
Phantom Radar=1
Base Disjoint=1
Radar Stacking=1
Base Facility Dismantle-Construction Crash=1
Collectors Edition Blaster Bomb Bug=1
Proximity Grenades=1
Proximity Grenades Experience=1
Door Jam=1
Personnel Overflow=1
Funky Fire=1
Displayed Base Maintenance Cost=1
[OBDATA.DAT]
Apply=1
;Make grenades indestructible to allow stacking several explosions
Grenade Resistance=255
Proximity Grenade Resistance=255
High Explosive Resistance=255


Technical

Audio/Video bugfixes or tweaks and other things that some experience, some do not, depending on their platform. Should all be optional and to be set up by the end user. (Possibly video pitch should default to 1, since if it's not enable it can be hard to recover from the screen crash? Which might put users off the "standard extended" package?)

[Bug Fix]
Video Pitch=?
Intro Sounds=?
Music Change Freeze=?
Tactical Scroll=?
[Mod]
HQ4x=?
D3D=?
Scale Mouse=?
[Music]
Apply=1
Source=MP3
;Source=PSX CD
CD Drive=F
MP3 Folder=mp3
Battlescape=*Battlescape*.mp3
Start Menu=*Final Briefing*.mp3
Bad Ending=*Final Briefing*.mp3
Good Ending=*Dogfight*.mp3
Geoscape=*Geoscape*.mp3
Dogfight=*Dogfight*.mp3
Mission Debriefing=*Debriefing*.mp3
UFO Assault=*Briefing1.mp3
Base Defense=*Briefing2.mp3
Base Attack=*Briefing1.mp3
Mars=*Debriefing*.mp3
Terror Mission=*Briefing2.mp3


Closed Exploits

We might want to make it optional to close exploits and make that separate from bug fixes. The difference being that bug fixes help the player or are neutral, whereas closing an Exploit by definition makes it relatively harder for the player. Personally I don't like to encourage the use of exploits, but it's an option.

(For now the exploit-closing features have been included in other sections)

My opinion is that all obvious (in the sense that it is clearly not balanced, not that it is easy to find) exploits should be closed in the standard config. If a player stumbles into an exploit, they can become frustrated because the supension of disbelief and challenge is lost. The game ends up simply looking inconsistent. - Xeucom 19:11 August 25, 2009.
I completely agree. You will get some people who routinely rely on certain Exploits, who might not agree. But then they can always change the config file. Probably the most frequently used Exploits are - Free Wages, Free Manufacturing, Funky Fire, Access Alien Inventory. The Robotic Manufacturing / Robotic Research exploits are infrequently used but are massive and should definitely be closed down. Access Alien Inventory is arguably not an exploit but merely enables "What The Designers Intended". After all, it seems logical that XCom Psi Troops should be able to access a victim's inventory, just as alien psi attackers can do. It's not in itself unbalancing (or, not any more than Psi itself is). In fact for aliens with only built in attacks it's kind of necessary to make Psi useful on those aliens. It only really becomes unbalancing through the use of Exponential Mind Control. Exponential Mind Control should probably be closed as an Exploit, but I'm not aware of any existing patch that closes it (other than by disabling Access Alien Inventory, which as I've said here is probably not justified). Permanent Mind Control and the Zombie Resurrection techniques should also be closed down. Spike 07:44, 26 August 2009 (EDT)
Elevator Shielding, which enables risk-free Alien Base Milking, should also be closed, but again I'm not aware of any fix. Grenade Relays, and all similar item relays - any tactic which allows one item/weapon to be used multiple times per turn by passing it through the hands of multiple soldiers and thereby applying more than 100% TUs to it - are minor and not really important to close down, even though they are a bit silly. Infinite Fuel is not so destabilizing as to need closing down as an Exploit, but it probably should be closed just as a bug. Spike 12:00, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

Convenience Features

These are logistic or interface enhancements that have a neutral impact on game balance. They should be included by default (unless there is controversy over a particular fix).

[Equipment Screen]
Show Stats=1
Weight=Weight>
Accuracy=Accur>
Reaction=React>
Psi Strength=P.Str>
Psi Skill=P.Skill>
Show Grenade State=1
Primed=primed
; Save Equipment is currently buggy but hopefully will be fixed soon
Save Equipment=0
Auto Flares=1
[Mod]
Save Reserve Mode=1
Rank In Inventory=1
Skip Intro=?
Base Building Stacking=1
Force Language=?
Reorder Soldiers In Crafts=1
De-equip Crafts=1
Assign All Personnel=1
Fast Base Defenses=1
[Battlescape Shortcuts]
[Geoscape Shortcuts]



Designer Intent

It's sometimes hard to agree designer's intent, but where we agree we should include these.


[Mod]
TFTD Doors=1
Stunned units KIA=1
More Smoke=1
; maybe reduce stun damage from Launchers but otherwise OK:
Stun Fest=1 


However if these mods also affect game balance we should think long and hard. Possibly add a subsection:


Designer Intent but changes game balance

[Bug Fix]
; This makes the game a fair bit easier for XCom, also makes the game less interesting by eliminating any need for regular craft
Elerium-fueled Craft Bug=0

Alternate Scenarios

Features to permit different ways of playing the game, but not necessarily making it harder.

; Makes recoveries much more fun. Although gives more
; information than you would normally get, it is a very 
; minor advantage and worth the compromise to original.
[Wreck Analysis]
Apply=?
Zone Discovered=Intel found out that the %s UFO was raiding %s
Mission Discovered=Inspection showed that the %s UFO was on an %s mission
Both Discovered=Ship investigation revealed that the %s UFO was on an %s mission in %s
; Makes it too easy to find scouts and crashing this often
; does not make sense given alien technology level.
[Roswell]
Apply=?
;Terrain names
Jungle=Jungle
Farm=Farm
Mountain=Mountain
Desert=Desert
Polar=Polar
;Dialog strings
Title=UFO Incident
Info=Crash reported
Location=LOCATION
Type=TYPE
Terrain=TERRAIN
; Needed to complete the game if not allowing any UFO detection
[Mod]
Keep Base Navigation Modules=?


; This makes the game easier but something similar is widely used by experienced players via XcomUtil
; Starting with such a badly designed base is frustrating and modifying the base every time gets boring.
; Starting with a well-designed base could be a good education for starting players.
[Initial Base]
Apply=1
row1=HangarTL      HangarTR       HangarTL   HangarTR   HangarTL HangarTR
row2=HangarBL      HangarBR       HangarBL   HangarBR   HangarBL HangarBR
row3=AccessLift    Empty          Empty      Empty      Empty    Empty
row4=GeneralStores LivingQuarters SmallRadar Laboratory Workshop Empty
row5=Empty         Empty          Empty      Empty      Empty    Empty
row6=Empty         Empty          Empty      Empty      Empty    Empty
; Another enhancement that is often used via XcomUtil, on the basis that HE Packs are "otherwise useless". 
; But many players think HE Packs do have a role. And being able to blow arbitrary holes in UFOs makes it much easier for XCom.
[OBDATA.DAT]
Apply=?
;Make HE packs capable of breaching UFO walls
High Explosive Damage=200
; For playing on even when the situation is hopeless
[Hack]
No Score Game Over=?
; This overpowered weapon makes the game easier but is loads of fun!
[Mod]
Heavy Laser=?
; For people who think a grenade has a fuse that you light with a match ;)
[Mod]
Hot Grenades=0
; Makes the game easier. This is not necessarily a bug, it could reasonably be understood as an intended feature. 
[Bug Fix]
Transfered Crafts Refueled=0
; Very convenient for XCom and unbalances the resource side of the game in XCom's favour. Arguably unrealistic.
[Mod]
Crafts Always Ready=0


Making The Game Harder

Features to increase the level of challenge. Actually this may often overlap with the previous category of Alternate Scenarios. The distinction would be that these features always make the game harder, whereas the previous category are to help the player when the player voluntarily plays in an alternative way (which, probably, is a way of playing that makes the game more challenging)

[Mod]
No Funkers=0
Bloodthirst=0
Limited Military=0
Funding Council Income Only=0
Surrender Defence Missions=0
Disable Base Defenses=0
Initial Alien Bases=0
Retaliate Against Ground Assault=0
No Blaster Bomb Drift=0
More Reaction Fire=0
Alien Inventory=0
[Range Based Accuracy]
Apply=0
Minimum Efficiency=50
Snap Penalty Distance=30
Auto Penalty Distance=14
Orange Cursor Threshold=95
Red Cursor Threshold=75
[Line Of Fire Check]
Mind Control=0
Panic=0
Mind Probe=0
[Caps]
Apply=0
Time Units=80
Health=60
Strength=70
Energy=100
Reactions=100
Firing Accuracy=120
Melee Accuracy=120
Throwing Accuracy=120
Psi Skill=100

Specific Feature Discussions

Range Based Accuracy

Spike - This makes the game harder, which can be a good thing as experienced players consider the game too easy for XCom.

Xeucom - If you accept that the role of the standard config as being for the standard player, increasing difficulty for the experienced player would not by itself merit inclusion in the standard config. Things we add to the config to make things more challenging for the elite players might belong in a special 'superhuman plus' config file. Also, the official strategy guide and information on this site suggests that range is already factored into weapon accuracy and fairly balanced. In play, the anecdotal feel is that range does matter.

Range does matter though only in so far as misses are less likely to accidentally hit at longer ranges. This fix actually reduces the chance of a purposeful hit at longer ranges and increasing the distance penalty for snap fire and even more so auto fire. It could perhaps be better explained! Spike 04:47, 23 August 2009 (EDT)
My vote is that this is a Making The Game Harder feature. Spike 07:34, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

Ranged Based Accuracy doesn't sound like something that directly increase X-Com's difficulty. Doesn't it affect aliens too? If it doesn't, it should. --SnowJob 22:07, 5 July 2010 (EDT)

Mind Control Requires Line Of Sight for X-COM Squad

Spike - This makes the game harder, which can be a good thing as experienced players consider the game too easy for XCom.

Xeucom - See standard config intent and superhuman plus alternative config concept above on difficulty argument. It doesn't seem like physical objects should block mind control in the fictional sense. Also, aliens are able to use it without line of sight (except for seeing the first X-COM soldier). I may be a bit confused here, though: Does the alien squad have to have line of sight on at least one X-COM soldier to be able to use mind control in turns after the aliens first spot an X-COM Soldier? Also, does enabling this make the X-COM soldier who is wielding the psi-amp have to have line of sight on the alien that soldier is going to target?

Yes the alien squad needs LoS on at least one soldier at some point in the turn. But the same restriction already applies to XCom. I agree this can be put in the superhuman plus category. Not sure of the details of how it works. Spike 04:47, 23 August 2009 (EDT)

Retaliate Against Ground Assault

Spike - Yes it does change the game dynamic but not by much. It makes the game harder for X-Com which is a good thing, makes the aliens behave smarter and more logically.

Xeucom - I agree with you. Aliens behaving smarter and more logically improves the gameplay experience even if it slightly increases difficulty. I think anything that improves the AI reasoning belongs in the standard config as long as the AI is adhering to fog of war principles. I will enable this in the next standard config ini.

Blaster Bomb Drift

Spike - Drift actually only affects aliens so again it's an option that rebalances the game in favour of the aliens and makes it more challenging.

Xeucom - Are you sure that drift only affects aliens? If so, is the blaster bomb overpowered without the drift? As far as I can tell, a direct or close hit from a blaster bomb is guaranteed death for a X-COM soldier, no matter the experience or suit. Would it be better to introduce blaster bomb drift to X-COM firings instead of removing it from the aliens? This seems like one of those random parts of the AI that makes them a little more unpredictable and therefore believable to me. I was reading a story on one of the missions-gone-wrong threads in the forums and an errant blaster bomb firing by the aliens really helped create a funny story.

Agreed let's confirm that drift only affects aliens. Maybe this could go in Making The Game Harder. Blaster Bombs are terribly lethal so the alien drift is often a lifesaver. Spike 04:47, 23 August 2009 (EDT)
It's pretty obvious (from StrategyCore old posts, not personally verified) that drift affects XCOM as well; it's why you have to be careful when using a blaster bomb launcher from the Skyranger/Avenger entrance. Zaimoni 10:21, 25 August 2009 (CDT)
OK but in practice this only affects the aliens, since the AI is too stupid to take precautions, whereas players quickly learn to allow some leeway. Spike 07:34, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

Stun Fest

Spike - I don't agree it's overpowered. Beating up aliens is hard work. The melee weapon values are all moderate - less effective than a Stun Rod in every case, so how can that unbalancing? To me, this just adds to the game "flavour", adds realism, and is clearly part of the designers' original intent.

Xeucom - Do you know that the original game manual has a screenshot with a 'Hit' option for a rifle? Therefore, I agree with you on intent of developers and that there should be a 'pistol whip' stun option for all/most weapons (or empty hand). However, the table at seb's page suggests that the weapon values are not less than the stun rod in every case. It seems out of whack (no pun intended) for the missile launcher to do more stun damage than the stun rod, or even more stun damage than a rifle. It would be so bulky it would be harder to beat an alien with that than a pistol or rifle. So my vote is yes for (non-ranged) stun damage for non stun rod weapons, but I think we need to figure out the right balance for stun damage before adding it to the standard config.

There are definitely some wacky hand to hand damage levels in the executable, normally unused, but I thought that Seb had overridden those values to more sensible levels. I'd better check. :) 04:47, Spike 04:49, 23 August 2009 (EDT)
I checked and I would still say "less effective than a Stun Rod in every case". Though the Launchers do get a higher base damage than the Stun Rod, they can only attack once per turn and will use HTH accuracy instead of an automatic hit. Bludgeoning an alien with a weapon is always an act of desperation and less effective than a Stun Rod. But loads of fun and very atmospheric!Spike 13:27, 24 August 2009 (EDT)
I see your point when you take into account the Time Units and the accuracy. You convinced me that it belongs in the standard config. Xeucom 18:30, 25 August 2009 (EDT)

Elerium Fueled Craft (Bug?)

Spike - While it may well be unintended, this removes a significant limitation on X-Com and therefore unbalances the game in X-Com's favour.

Xeucom - It just seems artificial to me that non-elerium craft return home when they are going to have to ditch if they don't, but the elerium craft turn around and head back at an arbitrary fuel level. What would the fictional explanation be? I understand your point about amping up difficulty, but for the standard config, I think consistency is more important. Inconsistency between craft behavior just looks buggy. There are other ways we could increase difficulty that would be much more impactful.

Spike - Agreed, it disturbs realism and consistency and jars the player experience. That's more important than a slight imbalance. I believe the conventional craft can still stay on station longer than Elerium craft, even with this bug fixed?

Craft Always Ready

Spike - I disagree, though this seems realistic, it gives advantages to XCom. In particular it removes the imperative to maintain multiple craft, which is a major resource drain early in the game and in fact throughout the game. You can also argue that the un-modded game is very realistic as this is how real-world air forces operate. It is totally against procedure to re-launch aircraft without a full logistics refit. Anyway, the point is, this is a significant advantage to XCom. Maybe this option should be "balanced" by creating a risk that the aircraft just falls out of the sky - with a warning before launch "this aircraft has not been properly maintained".

Xeucom - I have played with this on and think it is possible you may think that this does more than it does. The only thing that it allows you to do is to dispatch interceptors when they are rearming, refueling, and repairing. It doesn't put them back to 100% loadout, fuel, and integrity. So I think it is still balanced because you are limited to the full refits unless you want to scramble interceptors that only have a short range, or no arms, or are already damaged. I realize that normal rules of procedure would not be to relaunch until total refit is complete, but why not leave it up to the player/commander? In a desperate situation, I think any real-world air force would launch anything in whatever condition it is in and what can be more desperate than fighting aliens? :) Also, X-COM from a fictional perspective is a very odd entity. Some could view it as a professional military alliance of the other powers, but given how little you get and how poorly funded it is (and how you can be shut down by your creditors), it smacks more of a private mercenary corporation whose operational procedures may be largely ad hoc.

Spike - Agree most of those points. This is only slightly more powerful than just leaving the interceptor in the air on patrol after combat. (It's slightly more powerful because you do get to refuel/rearm while waiting for the next target.) The imbalance I'm talking about is that it makes it possible to maintain one interceptor per base instead of needing two. This has a biggish effect on your cost base early in the game. If there was a balancing "side effect" of launching with low fuel / weapons / repairs, I would be totally happy. As it is, I guess it's not too badly unbalancing.

Zaimoni - You still need two Interceptors per base to conveniently shoot down Terror Ships before Plasma Cannons, or to conveniently shoot down all non-Battleships in the acts with finales (Infiltration, Base) with Plasma Cannons.

Mannon - I've been experimenting with this and I think my opinion has flipped on it. I think craft that aren't fully refueled should be able to take off, but a craft with damage shouldn't. The reason is two-fold. Firstly it makes sense. While you can stop refueling an aircraft and launch it relatively quickly repairing an aircraft would be a whole other story. Except for very light damage you would have to dismantle parts of the aircraft and it simply would not be possible to fly it in such a state. Secondly, it removes all threat from shooting down battleships. Without this mod battleships are always a threat because even your best aircraft can get damaged and put out of service for quite some time. This leaves you having to decide whether it's worth the risk or if you should let it land or use secondary interceptors and cluster them in hopes of minimizing damage. But with this mod it completely alters this dynamic. You no longer have to worry about craft being taken out of service at all. You just launch away. As long as your Avenger's damage isn't too high they can take out a battleship single handedly with dual plama beams and probably have enough time to repair before the next one. In the meantime they can still kill all other UFO's with impunity even if they have 99% damage. I think it changes the game too much to keep it on as is.Mannon 23:47, 4 April 2011 (EDT)

Base Navigation Modules

Spike - Potentially unbalancing? I really don't think so. Succeeding in an Alien Base assault is much, much harder than a UFO Recovery mission or Ground Assault mission that is normally used to recover Navigation Modules. This option was included by Seb at my request to facilitate a "No Interception" scenario where shooting down UFOs is impossible. It's not unbalancing, it just gives alternative ways to play the game.

Xeucom - I agree with you and will also include this in the next standard config file. My only discomfort is the explanation of why there are navigation modules at a base, but let's rack that up to spares in hangars.

Actually in the unmodified game, the base control consoles (destroyed to win the base mission) are Navigation modules. The patch simple captures them intact, instead of destroying them. Equally, we could imagine there are some spares in the base stores. Spike 07:34, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

Modified Initial Base Layout

Spike - Again there is precedent for this in XComUtil which either gives an improved layout base (like this one) or by default a base with Large Radar and Alien Containment already completed - a big step forward. I don't think the sensible base layout is too unbalancing and it saves the tedious task of reorganising the starter base. It also gives new players a better hint about how they should design a base layout.

Xeucom - This makes sense to me, so I think this should go in the standard config as well. I think the key point you made is avoiding tedium for the player - features that do that without significantly unbalancing should probably go in standard config as matter of course.

Base Building Stacking

Spike - Very much a personal opinion! Enabling it does no harm, as no one is obliged to use the feature if they find it too complex. For others, it is useful for simplifying construction management, especially when managing lots of bases. You make your growth plan once, "stack" the builds, and then you can forget about it until those facilities are complete.

Xeucom - My only qualm here is that this seems like a complex feature from a programming perspective that could be risky. Have you played with it a lot and not noticed any increase in crashes or bugs with bases? It doesn't really add anything except being able to lay out the facilities in game sooner - you could still get the same facilities in the same amount of time just waiting for completion messages. The other thing I note with this is that if you turn it off on a game where you have laid out some to-build facilities, bases get funky in with 255 overlayed n the extended modules instead of "Queued". However, for the standard config, I think we should assume that the player will play through the entire game without changing the settings, because otherwise trying to figure out all the possible scenarios would become overwhelming. If you are satisfied that this does not introduced bugginess, I could go for it for the standard config.

Spike - Well that is a fair point. I have not used the feature enough to swear there are no bugs. Maybe it is safer to leave this as an optional thing that people can enable if they want to.

Mannon - I have to disagree on this one too. I don't see how this feature is too complex. It simply puts ques up the construction in areas you can't reach just yet. Construction begins as soon as an adjacent base facility is completed. This greatly simplifies base planning allowing you to lay out as much of your base as you can afford the construction costs on rather than having to make notes on what you intended to build and when. It's a huge improvement and I don't really see any drawbacks to including it.Mannon 23:53, 4 April 2011 (EDT)

Assign All Personnel

Spike - Highly useful.

Xeucom - I didn't add this to the initial standard config because I don't understand what it does. Can you explain? Also, is it helpful enough to merit the increased risk of negative side effects (crashed, other bugs) when its complexity is considered?

Spike Basically in various screens this lets you hit the down arrow when the counter is at zero, and the counter goes UP to the highest possible value. This saves you from having to scroll up from 0 to say 100 Scientists, 100 Engineers, etc, whenever starting a new research or manufacturing project. The scrolling speed can be very slow, depending on your machine. This is a very simple mod so I would expect it to be bulletproof from a bug point of view.

Xeucom - Let's call it in for the standard config, then.

Save Equipment

Xeucom - Spike, I saw that you mentioned in the settings above that you had Save Equpiment turned off because it was buggy. Could you explain? I have used it for some time in my current game and it seems to be working ok. There are some strange things where I am not able to extend the ground portion with the right button and sometimes when I assign a weapon to a soldier it doesn't appear in their hand until I click on one of the slots again. However, I have not verified if this happens with/without UFO Extender or the Save Equipment setting. Since the standard config should aim for bug free, if you think have observed bugs, we should probably leave it out until it is more stable.

Agreed. There are definitely known bugs with this feature and it is currently described as "Highly Experimental". But once it's working reliably this is a top candidate for inclusion in the standard configuration. Spike 19:32, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

Funky Fire

Spike - This is definitely a bug/exploit, but the bug fix also includes some changes to the way incendiary weapons work. I think Seb's approach is correct, as he makes fire behave logically but still do roughly the same damage as non-exploit non-fixed usage. But it might be worth flagging up to the player as this is a difficult judgement call.

Xeucom - The way I understand this it is that the smoke and explosive damage end of turn checks were probably getting applied every time an incendiary shell went off. I think seb76 simply stopped that from happening so that only the entities inside the incendiary shell blast radius took damage and then he increased maximum fire damage from 5 to 10 to compensate for a possible lower fire damage value the original developers put in to offset the bug. From my personal observations, it seems to me that smoke damage is too low and should probably be raised as well because units can spend a lot of time in it without passing out, but that's just an opinion. For the standard config, it sounds like we are in agreement to leave it in because it makes no sense for explosions in other areas of the map to affect other units.

Yes the illogical behavior is fixed & that's good enough reason to include this fix. My understanding of the fix is that smoke/fire effects only occur at end of turn. This reduced the power of Incendiary weapons a lot, even if not using the Exploit. To partly compensate, Seb has doubled the average damage from fire. There's no exact way to compensate but this is a reasonable approach IMO. Spike 19:25, 29 August 2009 (EDT)
Xeucom - With the fix enabled, if I hit a sectoid with three incendiary shells in one turn, will I do no damage to the sectoid until the turn ends? Or will the sectoid take hit damage (of incendiary type?) on each hit, but no general fire damage from being in a fire square until end of turn?
Fire damage will only be applied at the end of the turn. That's why I buffed fire damage up a bit. Seb76 13:52, 30 August 2009 (EDT)
In our investigations, we deduced that the so called "incendiary impact damage" is itself an aspect of the bug. And it makes sense that incendiary damage should not take effect as promptly as a bomb,a bullet or a plasma beam. But this does change the play of the game. I don't think it makes much difference apart from people who were exploiting the Funky Fire exploit. But if there was anyone out there who was consistently firing multiple IN rounds at single targets, one at a time, their game play experience will change with this fix. I think it's worth at least a note that this is not just a bug fix but also includes some unavoidable changes in game play. Spike 04:14, 31 August 2009 (EDT)
This would explain why once when I was facing off against sectoids I had a couple units with incendiaries (night mission, using them to light the place up) and unloaded on a sectoid. After the sixth shell on target, I was like, "Why won't you die!?" Now I understand. However, I think the behavior with Funky Fire makes the most sense because you don't get the random effects from other areas of the map and, really, if you pour a flammable over something and get it coated pretty well, adding more flammable isn't going to really do more damage, so stacking six incendiary shells in an area shouldn't necessarily do more damage to a unit there, just make the fire bigger, which happens naturally anyway because of the deviation in the squares hit. Not quite realistic, but seb76's uptick in fire damage is a fair compromise I think. Xeucom 11:47, 31 August 2009 (EDT)

What are the effects on Zombies? Magic9mushroom 09:55, 1 September 2009 (EDT)

Aliens Take Fatal Wounds Damage

Xeucom - Saw seb76 made a new release with some new options, so of course have to discuss them for the standard config. :) Starting with this one, this one is a tough call. It's more realistic that aliens could also have fatal wounds. On one hand it makes game easier because injured aliens will die even if they move out of sight and quicker in general if taking damage from fatal wounds. On the other hand, makes game harder because of difficulty capturing live aliens (stunned aliens with fatal wounds likely to die). Can aliens be healed of their fatal wounds with a med kit? If so, introduces entertaining mini-game when trying to capture an alien where you have to stabilize it if injured, perhaps in conjunction with stunning it. A perhaps significant balance problem that arises is X-COM team can have medics with med kits who will heal injured team mates. I suspect this change comes without changes to AI, meaning that aliens will not use med-kits to help each other out. Thoughts?

I would guess the small number of extra kills from wounds is well-balanced by the scenario you describe, the difficult scenario of trying to stabilise a wounded captive alien, or rush him to the transport before it dies. As this is a new fix we might want to be sure that the alien's death from wounds is handled normally - that correct points are awarded, the game ends properly, etc. Also what happens when a wounded being swaps sides during and after mind control. But (subject to that testing?) I think this one should be included. Spike 08:50, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
The question becomes how do you know you need to stabilise the alien? I can see two ways. First, the mind probe will show you that a standing alien has fatal wounds that you will need to heal once you stun him. Secondly, if medi-kit works on a stunned alien (that's a big if), the display would show you the area hurt (though this may not make sense since I don't think all the aliens are humanoid). I guess this could use some testing to see if the fatal wounds show on mind probe, if you can heal an alien with a med-kit, etc. I like that it opens a new storyline - having to rush the Snakeman Commander to the evac point before he dies, perhaps involving a medic meeting you half way. Xeucom 18:02, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
I tested most of the main considerations and they check out OK - see here. I wasn't able to test the Mind Probe, but you can use the Medkit itself to determine if an aline has any wounds that might need treating. But yes the Mind Probe would be better, since it gives the Health as well, so you can calculate if the alien will die before you can complete the mission. I really expect the Mind Probe will work, since it does normally show the Wound level of aliens - it's just usually always zero. Spike 20:36, 2 September 2009 (EDT)

Unarmed Aliens Pick Up Weapons

This now seems to be possible due to research by Volutar. See Talk:OBDATA.DAT#Field_0x2D. It would be a very helpful rebalancing of the game that eliminates one of the aliens' weak spots. Spike 14:44, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

probability of hit display

It would be great if next to the crosshair there would be a percentage indicating the probability of a good hit like in UFO Extraterrestrials.

May i remake the main page of this article

Sorry im new to here so i dont know if i should do it right away or asking someone is polite beforehead or it should be left as is and instead second artice should be added, but:

I have thoughts for current page "Enemy Unknown Extended" I am willing to write another article, correcting the following:

1) Recently, Xcomutils 6.7 have support for ufoextender. This means, among others, that we no longer need those patches since xcomutils applies them all! It even applies voices and old sounds (more than voices!) but you have to run setup again 2) The supplied INI is old and doenst have every key that new ufoextender uses. This should be avoided imho as the person who dl's it has often litte knowledge to find the hidden options (have to look at the page at this site) or add it (have to copypaste strings from original ini which isnt convinient) 3) For some people (inc me) mp3 solution wont work, for them an explanation how to use PSX Cd would be nice.

Therefore, i'd like to make theese changes:

1) Overview - add that recent 6.7 xcomutils beta build supports ufoextender and so we can use EU+Extender+Xcomutils for a very rich enchanced gameplay 2) Download - remove patches and ini, add xcomutil 3) Verify - accordingly to 2 4) Modify - change to "Patching process" or something as for me, modify isnt that obvious, and then, write here an exact series of steps needed to configue them to work 5) Make shortcut - change to use runxcom.bat


Then i'd like to add "If usage of mp3 causes game to crash" or something with explanation how to use psx cd for music instead Istrebitel

This is a Wiki so everyone can edit anything. But thanks for asking first, that is considered polite, especially before modifying an article page with something that might be seen as a matter of opinion. Could you maybe post your proposed new text here on the Talk page? Also, please sign your posts with 4 tilde characters (~). Spike 14:39, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

:I'm a little confused here. You say that XcomUtil 6.7 has UFOextender support, but the lastest version available on the XcomUtil Homepage is XcomUtil 9.60 and I can verify that it very much does not work with UFOextender without some modding to recombine geoscape.exe and tactical.exe back into a single executable since UFOextender crashes if you try to use it to load tactical.exe. Scott's homepage does mention handing over control, but it only gives an email address.Mannon 18:21, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

Another concern is XcomUtil by default makes several changes to the core game, in particular it alters the crafts, making them hold more soldiers. It goes so far as to change the craft's map files (I hate the Avenger, it no longer looks like the UFOpedia entry, but like a fat flying brick.) It even makes the interceptors capable of carrying soldiers. There is no option to turn this off without altering XCUSetup.bat or at least editing XcomUtil.cfg and doing something to fix the Avenger map. I'm not sure how to make those changes easy for someone short of supplying them with an alternate XCUSetup.bat and/or XcomUtil.cfg. Though there are definitely some nice benefits to having XcomUtil installed.Mannon 18:29, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
Oh NVM. I see that you meant 9.7. I found it and will have to give it a look.Mannon 18:43, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

Crashes

I've run into several problems since installing the patches - game crashing, mouse issues and the battlescape not displaying properly. What would be the best place to ask for help? Majick 11:17, 18 June 2011 (EDT)

Here is probably as good as anywhere; unfortunately it doesn't look like Seb will be working on this for some time, so it may be that there's no solutions to your specific problems.
More information will be required in order to help, though; details on your exact OS, when the game crashes and what error messages it produces, exactly when the mouse works and when it doesn't, and exactly what graphical errors you're seeing are all important.
You previously mentioned you're running the Steam release via Windows 7. Note that if you launch this through the Steam interface, it'll run the DOS release of the original game via DOSBox. UFO Extender uses the Collector's Edition version of the game instead (Steam provides both). You may need to use this patch to clear up some issues later versions of Windows have with the CE releases.
I assume you're not seeing these issues when you don't launch the game through the extender? You could also try asking here. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 20:59, 19 June 2011 (EDT)

XcomUtil + UFO Extender etc

Started a section. I'm a bit of a tech neanderthal, was hoping others could help out.

Q: Is there a way to get more map variety with TFTD maps in UFO? Oathbreaker 16:58, 7 February 2013 (EST)