Alien Infiltration......

#1xud9dab2Posted 4/30/2009 9:43:08 AM
How do I stop aliens from endlessly infiltrating and making nations sign pacts? I've already lost South Africa, they just took Australia and now they're aiming for either Canada or the USA. Shooting them down does nothing, I built a base in Australia to try and protect it, didn't work. A savegame editor doesn't work, the nation will never increase/decrease it's funding no matter how many point I get (though it will prevent getting a game over, I've noticed). I've even looked for a way to edit the MISSIONS.DAT file to remove said mission from the game completely, but I have no idea how to do that

Help?
#2NightdaggerPosted 4/30/2009 10:45:15 AM
You can pretty much count on progressively losing more and more nations to alien pacts as the game goes on, especially in the higher difficulty levels. The really sucky part is, you cannot prevent an alien infiltration mission from succeeding. From the moment you see a ship on an infiltration mission, you are going to lose that nation. The first wave of ships will consist of 4, starting with a large scout, then three progressively larger ships, the last being a battleship. If you shoot all four of these down immediately, you'll stall the aliens, but not prevent the inevitable. Very shortly after these four ships show up on the scene (or a week or two later if you immediately destroy all four), a second battleship will show up. Even shooting this one down won't prevent the infiltration...once that second battleship shows up on the planet, the country's lost. After the second battleship lands, an alien base will be built in the country, so you can save face a little bit by destroying the base (a good idea anyway, since active alien bases reduce your score bigtime...the real threat of the game), but they'll never come back once they've withdrawn.

However, by the time this starts happening regularly, you should be able to support yourself on both spoils of war and internal manufacturing of "for sale" products. Also, I'm not entirely sure you lose the game even if all countries withdraw from funding, so long as you can support yourself. I've never lost enough countries to make me worry about that happening, though.

In short, the aliens will pull nations away from you, it's only a matter of time and there's nothing you can do beyond stalling them once they've set their sights on one of Earth's countries. But even if the aliens do manage to take one away from you here or there, it's not the end of the world.

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#3xud9dab2(Topic Creator)Posted 4/30/2009 11:28:19 AM
Actually, it is the end of the world. Losing 3 nations playing on experienced will cause the Council of Funding Nations to disband X-COM, leaving every nation to deal with the alien menace in it's own way (more pacts FTL). At least that is how I got my first game over playing on experienced
#4SpaceAgeSamuraiPosted 4/30/2009 3:04:58 PM
I think you looked at your game and drew the wrong conclusion. Considering the fact that players have played the game for years (game time), to the point where only Russia was left as a funding nation. (For some reason or another--perhaps because they occupy two continents or perhaps it's another victory for General Winter--the aliens can't seem to infiltrate Russia.)

As far as I know, the loss conditions are being in debt two months in a row, a chronically low score (which might also need to be two months in a row), losing all of your bases, and losing the final mission ... that's it. If you weren't in debt (remember, this is after maintenance and personnel costs, so if you've expanded too quickly or your income from the funding nations has shrunk to the point where it can no longer sustain your operations, you can actually lose money at the start of the month, putting you in the red, if you weren't already ... which is enough to fail) and you still had at least one bases up and running, most likely you lost because your score was too low. More likely than not, the funding nations leaving were a symptom of your failure to do enough to curb alien activities. In other words, they were probably another casualty of the low score that caused you to lose your game, and not the direct cause.
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#5SpaceAgeSamuraiPosted 4/30/2009 3:15:59 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, there's another point for the "debt" argument.

Did you start the previous month in the hole, as well? If you did and your cash reserves at the end of the month weren' t that healthy to begin with, it's possible that the loss of the extra funding was enough to drive you into debt. (Remember: the game doesn't care what your bottom line looked like the rest of the month. It only cares about what your finances look like at the exact moment the meeting of the funding nations disbands each month -- i.e. midnight on the first of the month. Even if you managed to sell enough alien equipment to get yourself back into the black during the month, if you start a second, consecutive month in the red, due to losses from maintenance/personnel costs, that'd Game Over!)
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#6xud9dab2(Topic Creator)Posted 4/30/2009 3:50:29 PM
I did have a debt, only that was about 5 month ago and I never went in the negative again, never got the message that the council was mad about my financial position or anything since. Nor did I get a negative score.....just loaded that file, lost the nation, and I didn't get a game over....though I clearly remember getting a game over for whatever reason. I got over 65 million money, got a score of 4500+ points....I must have missed something. I'm guessing that I got the months wrong, it's my only game I've played on experienced so I don't think I'm confusing games

Now that this topic is here I might as well ask some thing without having to make a new one:

1) On my other save I got an Ethereal base close to mine, how do I kill them? I got some Psionic troops, but every time I try to take them on one of my team gets mind controlled and kills half my damn squad. It's the reason I don't even attempt to take on medium UFO's that have Sectoids or any Ethereal UFO, even if I need the Elerium

2) Any good way to train bravery? I have all 50/60 bravery soldiers, one having 70 yet MC/Panic owns my squad left right and centre (sp?)

3) I regularly mass-produce Medi-Kits to sell, because it's the fist thing I research (for that very reason). Is there anything that is more profitable?

4) My weapon of choice has always been rifle -> laser rifle -> heavy plasma. Is the heavy plasma always the best or do the sonic weapons have any purpose other then to sell?
#7NightdaggerPosted 4/30/2009 5:44:10 PM
I did have a debt, only that was about 5 month ago and I never went in the negative again, never got the message that the council was mad about my financial position or anything since. Nor did I get a negative score.....just loaded that file, lost the nation, and I didn't get a game over....though I clearly remember getting a game over for whatever reason. I got over 65 million money, got a score of 4500+ points....I must have missed something. I'm guessing that I got the months wrong, it's my only game I've played on experienced so I don't think I'm confusing games

In your initial post, you mentioned using an editor to increase the number of points you got at the end of the month. Perhaps the save file you loaded was post-score tinkering, and before you used the editor your score was low enough to prompt a game over? I'm guessing this is the case, since achieving a score of 4500+ without cheating would be phenomenal, probably requiring the destruction of multiple alien bases while not allowing the aliens to accomplish jack squat.

Losing nations will not cause a game over in and of itself. I've lost all but two nations in the course of a game before. The only victory conditions for the aliens that I'm aware of are 1) Player in debt more than 1 million dollars for two months...although there's a frustrating bug with this one which I'll explain if you're curious, 2) Two "bad" months in a row from a score perspective...-800 or lower on experienced counts as a "bad" month, 3) Losing all of your bases to alien assaults, and 4) Losing the final mission...there are no second chances.

Losing a country worsens condition 1 and 2 for you, but that itself will not cause a game over. You have to have massive debt or a crappy score already in order for a GO to result from losing a country.

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../|,-``\(o)_\,----,,,_ - Shadow Council server
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#8NightdaggerPosted 4/30/2009 6:06:50 PM
As for your other questions:


1) On my other save I got an Ethereal base close to mine, how do I kill them? I got some Psionic troops, but every time I try to take them on one of my team gets mind controlled and kills half my damn squad. It's the reason I don't even attempt to take on medium UFO's that have Sectoids or any Ethereal UFO, even if I need the Elerium

Psionic strength is crucial against Ethereals. Troops with weak psionic strength are a liability against any sort of MCing alien. Training psionic skill can help a little bit, but in the defense formula, one point of strength is as good as five points of skill, so a troop with 60 psionic strength and 30 psionic skill would defend against psionic attack just as effectively as a troop with 20 psionic strength and a whopping 230 psionic skill (if such a thing were possible). Even a troop with a perfect 100 strength/skill for psionics can be panicked by an ethereal commander on Superhuman if he's standing right next to him, but when it comes to protecting yourself from attack, skill is no substitute for natural strength...and psionic strength is the only stat that you cannot increase, it remains the same throughout the soldier's career (even if you can't see it).

The only really good answer here is that you need to separate the wheat from the chaff. You'll need to either completely disarm any troops vulnerable to MC attack and give them non-damaging equipment (medics and scouts with motion sensors), or better yet, train a psionic squad with high psionic strength to withstand their attacks. When I build an anti-ethereal squad, I hire a number of soldiers every month (as many as I can fit in my psi-labs), put them all through one month of training, and fire any with a psionic strength of less than 60.

2) Any good way to train bravery? I have all 50/60 bravery soldiers, one having 70 yet MC/Panic owns my squad left right and centre (sp?)

Unfortunately, the only way to train bravery is to have a unit's morale drop below the point that it could potentially panic/berserk but manage to hold it together. It's an extremely frustrating stat to train, since the only ways to drop a unit's morale to that point involve subjecting him to MC/Panic attacks or get a whole mess of people killed. You're much better off focusing on getting soldiers with high psionic strength.

3) I regularly mass-produce Medi-Kits to sell, because it's the fist thing I research (for that very reason). Is there anything that is more profitable?

Laser cannons. They're the most profitable thing you can manufacture that doesn't require special raw materials. There are other things that you can manufacture that're more profitable from a sheer cash standpoint, but they require alien alloys, elerium, or both.

4) My weapon of choice has always been rifle -> laser rifle -> heavy plasma. Is the heavy plasma always the best or do the sonic weapons have any purpose other then to sell?

Sonic weapons? They don't make an appearance in the game until the sequel. All of the weapons have their place and time, though...believe it or not, even the lowly pistol has it's uses (and in some situations is actually better than the rifle!). My end-game squad is usually outfitted with two people using laser rifles, two using heavy plasma, one with a stun launcher and laser pistol, and one with a blaster/laser pistol combo.

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../|,-``\(o)_\,----,,,_ - Shadow Council server
( `\(o),,_/` : o : : :o `- - - IGN: Sayje, Rellinath
#9NightdaggerPosted 4/30/2009 6:14:04 PM
Umm, one last thing, in regards to that bug I mentioned earlier...Sorry, SAS, but I gotta correct you on something:

Even if you managed to sell enough alien equipment to get yourself back into the black during the month, if you start a second, consecutive month in the red, due to losses from maintenance/personnel costs, that'd Game Over!)

It's not a consecutive month, it's ANY two months in which you're a million or more in debt. Not only that, but the bug I was referring to is that it's not per game, it's per ALL GAMES. If you get a debt warning in one game, a second debt warning in any game you play will cause an immediate game over, even if it's not the game game. Losing a game in this manner resets the warning, though, so you can get an actual warning again before the immediate game over. It's a crappy bug, but I know of it only from UFOPaedia, I've never been in debt enough to even see the warning.

Here's a link to the "losing conditions" section of UFOPaedia...which, if you haven't heard of it before, is an absolutely awesome resource for X-COM players:

http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Scoring#Losing_The_Game

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../|,-``\(o)_\,----,,,_ - Shadow Council server
( `\(o),,_/` : o : : :o `- - - IGN: Sayje, Rellinath
#10SpaceAgeSamuraiPosted 4/30/2009 9:39:10 PM
I'll take your word for it, since (as you can probably tell from the generalities I used, rather than specific figures) I was working from my own personal experience, rather than taking the time to look it all up. I thought it was 2 consecutive months (it's probably supposed to be, if the info on the bug is correct), but I could be wrong. I don't go into debt very often, either.

In fact the only time I can remember it happening was an unfortunate combination of me expanding faster than I ever have before, and losing the US to alien infiltration almost immediately. (After losing a couple million dollars each month, those maintenance/personnel costs killed me.) I had to get particularly ruthless when it came to selling off my alien tech (even selling off weapons I had planned on using) in order to avoid a second month in the red, but I did, and my bottom line only improved from there. (Even Canada's defection a couple months later--and yes, I had taken out the alien base after the US defection, so I have no idea what Canada's problem was--failed to sink my finances.)

The only other thing I want to add is that this game, for all its greatness, is buggy as all hell. On at least one occasion I reached the end of the month, having had no problems of any sort, received an excellent rating (without cheating) with funding increases across the board ... and as soon as I clicked OK to clear the window, the game promptly dumped me to the Game Over sequence. Knowing that something screwy was going on, I reloaded my save from the end of my last mission, and went through to the end of the month without any incidents. Apparently some utterly random circumstances had conspired to convince the game that I'd lost even though I hadn't actually met any of the failure conditions, and despite reloading several more times to see what would happen, I couldn't seem to duplicate the result (at least not with any consistency). Maybe one other reload resulted in a game over (I can't be certain, after all this time), but easily over 90% of them went through the monthly evaluation without a hitch, no question.

I still have no idea what happened. All I can say is, if you're 100% certain that you did absolutely NOTHING to warrant losing the game, did you try reloading and going through the monthly evaluation again?
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When all else fails, read the instructions.