X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:21 pm UTC

There are a few things I'm being good about not picking up until I finish my thesis. This KEEPS NAGGING ME FROM MY STEAM QUEUE
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby DaBigCheez » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:18 am UTC

In terms of gameplay, XCOM 2 seems to be either the same or improved from XCOM: EU in all the ways that really matter. There's a lot of nice little changes - the "this unit will be in line of sight if you move here" indicator, the concealment mechanic is a nice change, flying around to actively scan for sites and *do* things feels better than twiddling your thumbs waiting for a UFO to show up or research to finish even if it amounts to the exact same thing...overall, it doesn't feel like anything super innovative compared to the original, but it's a good refinement of the formula and the gameplay. (Would be nice if they could optimize the performance a bit more, though.) I will note that I haven't beaten the game, or even gotten very far because I am bad, so it's possible they start doing stuff that *is* genuinely innovative later.

That said, I have a few quibbles with the lore...technically spoilers even though it's all less than an hour in.
Spoiler:
Namely, it feels kinda jarring/grating how heavily they seem to be leaning on XCOM: EU during the tutorial and intro, to the extent it almost feels like they're afraid to let XCOM 2 stand on its own. Making Central into, as a friend put it, basically Jack Bauer for more gritty mass-market appeal is one of the main things that immediately springs to mind; there's a bunch of little things that make it feel like they're trying just a *little* too hard to say "hey remember how great XCOM: EU was, and how awesome you were in it" rather than introducing a *new* game...

...but the biggest thing, which I just can't ignore, which prompted this spoiler, is the treatment of the Commander in the intro. You're apparently treated as this magical McGuffin, this talisman of victory, that both sides just *have* to have. The aliens are routing their processing of all tactical battle scenarios through your mind because you're just such a tactical genius. Bradford is desperate to find you, and has been for the last twenty years, because you're such a tactical genius. Everything seems to revolve around you, at first, and how you're such a central linchpin to the war effort for both sides. They immediately turn over control of everything to you without so much as a second thought, despite the fact you've been under alien experimentation and possible mind-control for decades, because there's no sense worrying about it as without you they're screwed anyway.

This is all well and good - it's hardly as if XCOM 2 would be the first game to paint you as the Chosen One, the Only One Who Can Save Us, et cetera...except that in general, all the treatment seems appropriate for "the hero of humanity who led us to victory in the Old War."

Except the whole *premise* of XCOM 2 is that you *didn't*.

Checking the XCOM Archives, Bradford makes it pretty clear that in the Old War, humanity in general and XCOM in particular didn't just lose, they got *steamrolled*; he mentions that they were overrun in "a few weeks", or in other words, about when thin men were showing up. By the sound of it, humanity was able to mount approximately zero effective resistance, and after a long string of defeats the species crumbled in the face of the unstoppable aliens.

...so, in light of this...where, exactly, did your aura of invincibility come from? Why does everyone seem to regard you as possessed of such unstoppable brilliance? It's not like they were this hyped about you in EU - sure, you weren't some random schlub they picked off the streets, but they didn't seem to be all rah-rah, now that you're here we're sure to win, the aliens stand no chance now - it was just "welcome to the team, glad to have you". So it's not like you'd distinguished yourself so much *before* the Old War that it would be justified by that.

Presumably, the explanation is that you were responsible for whatever minor victories humanity *was* able to score against the aliens, so Bradford's basically just clutching to that straw because it's the only real hope he has left. But it just feels like they're way-too-aggressively trying to shoehorn in "remember how cool EU was, remember how awesome you were in EU" and generating plot holes where there's no real need for them to exist.

Oh, and I like how "we're not sure what the Avatar project is, but it'll probably mean game over, I mean it's not like the aliens would ever be working on multiple classified codenamed projects so this must be the one that's meant to kill us".

It eases off on this after the tutorial/intro, so maybe it's just meant to get people invested when they start playing for the first time after having played EU, but it just feels really heavy-handed and makes it borderline nonsensical if you *haven't* played EU, and I feel like it makes the game weaker for it. The mechanics are still improved from EU and rock-solid, but I had to get some gyrostabilizers for my eyes so they wouldn't roll right out of my head during the intro from the lore.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:19 pm UTC

I'm about 40 hours into the game. My first play through didn't go so well but I've restarted and now I'm very close to the end of the game (on Veteran).

Here's what I think.

There aren't a lot of huge changes between X2 and EU/EW, but it's impressive how much of an impact the many small changes have on the game. X2 successfully invalidates the extremely passive play style X1 fostered. If you crawl forward with overwatch 1 tile at a time, the game will shit on you with extreme prejudice in a number of ways, including turn timers expiring, and various unit abilities that very effectively tear apart an overwatch trap. This gives you an impetus to be more forward and aggressive, and find ways of doing that while staying relatively safe. It's a lot of fun if you embrace this fact.

I also like the armor mechanic. Makes some of the late game units really interesting to deal with. They have an absurd HP pool, 6 armor, and a basic attack that makes even your most well equipped guys go splat. You kinda only get one turn to take them down if you don't want to take insane amounts of damage. You have a decent amount of options for taking them down, including various attacks that ignore armor, attacks that shred armor, psi-attacks that stun the unit for a turn, etc. But it's a very precarious operation, especially if they spawn somewhere it's difficult to get into attack range (for you) but they can take potshots at your guys while you do. Nearly lost half my team to a gatekeeper spawned on top of a 2 story building. Only saved them because a panicked rookie got off a hail mary execution shot.

Speaking of which, the weapon mods are OP as fuck.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:14 pm UTC

We are 1 minute 40 seconds into the game because it refuses to load on any account except Dadministrator (which is mine, which the kids do not get to use). Some sort of Windows error (00xc0000022) referencing one DLL that the game can't access, and of course it won't tell us which one. I've been through a dozen threads online to try and fix this, and everything that's worked for everyone else has not worked for me. Does anyone know enough about Steam and/or Windows to help fix this?

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:28 pm UTC

Are the other accounts local admins? If not, what happens when you run Steam as an administrator from their accounts? I ask because it sounds like a freaky permissions error.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:36 pm UTC

I am thinking that I might have to make them admins, which is... going to require some very serious Talks About Using Dad's Computer.

Also it means I can't have parental controls active.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:35 am UTC

*golf clap*

So, in order to run the game so it can find that DLL, I have to run it as an administrator.

The game itself it set up so it cannot be run as administrator.

It literally cannot be run from a non-admin account.

...

Why?

And the confusing part is, I GOT IT TO RUN FROM HIS ACCOUNT. But only once. Doing it the same way twice resulted in an infinite loop and crashing.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:34 pm UTC

Have you tried giving their accounts full permissions for the folder containing the dll?
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 pm UTC

Or just copy the dll to the same directory as the game exe.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:18 pm UTC

Yup and yup (inasmuch as I can figure out which DLL it is). No luck.

It works just fine from MY account (Admin), but not from any other account (also Admin) so now he just gets to use my account to play X-COM for the forseeable future.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:48 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Yup and yup (inasmuch as I can figure out which DLL it is). No luck.

It works just fine from MY account (Admin), but not from any other account (also Admin) so now he just gets to use my account to play X-COM for the forseeable future.


Have you thought of making a new "game" account? Chances are, this sort of stuff will happen again in the future, and keeping the accounts separate ought to help with password issues and such.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:42 pm UTC

If an Admin account that's just games doesn't work, why would an Admin account that's just games work?

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:12 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Yup and yup (inasmuch as I can figure out which DLL it is). No luck.

It works just fine from MY account (Admin), but not from any other account (also Admin) so now he just gets to use my account to play X-COM for the forseeable future.


Get ProcMon (Process Monitor) Here, a link.

Run it, turn on ALL THE LOGGING, and run the game from a kid's account. Read the logs, filter out everything but Access Denied errors, and find out exactly what it's doing and where.

Also, when the game was initially installed, sometimes - I don't recall seeing it in Steam, but just saying here - sometimes programs ask "For just this profile or for everyone who would use the computer." - if you did the first option, that fucks with all kinds of things.

As for why it has to be an admin account - Windows Programmers are lazy motherfuckers. That's really what it boils down to. If you're programming in anything else, you have to pay the fuck attention to what you're doing as there's no such thing as an Always Admin All The Time user account. But Windows? Just assume the user's an admin and it's fine.

Even on Enterprise level software people do that shit. It's goddamn infuriating.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Zohar » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:40 pm UTC

X-Com 2 has been out for a while, there's a good deal for it right now for 45% off (around 32 dollars), so I grabbed a copy the other day. I haven't played much - the first tutorial mission and the next one after that. It definitely has a similar feel to the original, for now.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:01 am UTC

The gameplay is a refinement of the previous game rather than a revolution, but they've added more depth to the geoscape now - it's still focused on throwing a steady stream of things at you, but they do a slightly better job of fostering the illusion that the aliens have a plan that doesn't revolve around gradually increasing the level of their engagements with XCOM - the Avatar project gives you a ticking clock that forces you to take the fight to them from time to time rather than constantly reacting to their probes.

It's still not as much of a simulation as the original XCOM game(s) where the aliens were doing their own thing and only reacting to XCOM when you started getting in their way, but it's not as blatantly scripted as the 2008 game with its regularly occurring choice among 3 thing...

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:42 pm UTC

I just wish we could have XCom 3 (Apocalypse), but done right and without the horrible bugs.

Tanks that die when the road has a crack in it.
Ground vehicles being absolutely useless except the tank, which is useless when the road is destroyed.
Aliens that look like they belong in Special Needs classes.
Aircraft lasers that can't hit for crap.
Crippling shortage of missiles, forcing you to use the useless lasers.
That stupid gameplay design where certain UFO's stop appearing forever, even though you need to capture 1 of every UFO or you can't advance in the tech tree.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Zohar » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:04 am UTC

There is a lot going on in the map and I don't really know what to prioritize on...
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