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Modding EXALT


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#1
wghost81

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Made a little mod to turn off EXALT feature completely: http://xcom.nexusmods.com/mods/428

I simply substituted conditional jump (07) statement with unconditional jump (06) in XGStrategyAI.UpdateObjectives function. Seems, it works as intended.

I don't like EXALT. I think it's too weak and out of place. I don't know either I don't want them at all or I want to make them more of a threat than they are now, so for a time being I decided to switch them off.

Although I have several ideas on how to increase EXALT mission difficulty.

First, I want to disable communication relays effect of breaking down EXALT operatives weapon. In seems ridiculous and leaves them no chance to fight back. Second, I want them to enter the map and start shooting at the same turn, not sit and wait until XCOM soldiers pick them one-by-one.

Relays are my priority, but I have no idea where to search for them at this time.

BTW, disabling EXALT completely frees an entire big class with a LOT of features to use as improvement of main game feature: aliens and alien missions.

#2
Tycus

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<..>
First, I want to disable communication relays effect of breaking down EXALT operatives weapon. In seems ridiculous and leaves them no chance to fight back. Second, I want them to enter the map and start shooting at the same turn, not sit and wait until XCOM soldiers pick them one-by-one.

Totally agree with both statements. It seems that not just EXALT operatives are sort of weak (even their so called "Elites", which can hardly reach lieutenant rank level of your own troops), their missions were designed in such way to make EXALT even less of a threat to the player.

Onto EXALT relays: imho they should just disable reinforcements of EXALT troops for couple of turns (so player would still have some incentive to hack those arrays, and have time to deal with current situation or prepare for next wave; and hack effects would be not as debilitating for EXALT troops)

Second suggestion is spot on: it wiil allow them to take cover (they often enter map and stay in positions with no cover), and at least have chance to do something.

 

Also I will most definitely buff them in my mod (and I mean not just simple stat adjustments, but will grant them new set of abilities as well; I haven't checked their AI yet to see if they can use new active abilities). But I like to have them: they can be very distinct threat to player - squad-sight sniping or sudden rocket delivery is quite unique threat (and gives XCOM soldiers a bit of their own treatment, hehe)

 

As for strategic level it is nice to have secondary mechanism of delivering problems for player (be it panic increase, research sabotage or plain credit theft), it can help to add some pressure mid-to late game. Of course, current mechanic has to be rebalanced (but I need to do some research on this before posting suggestions).


Edited by Tycus, 24 November 2013 - 12:13 PM.


#3
wghost81

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They currently pose no threat on strategic level as well. :sad: By the month they showed up I had a plenty of recourses to intel-scan 2-3 times in a month, which is more than enough. So yes, this part definitely has to be balanced out.

#4
wghost81

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Still, I think they too much out of place for this game. There was a sound suggestion on 2K forums to combine EXALT with aliens, make them allies. This way they will be more fun and more of a threat.

Edited by wghost81, 24 November 2013 - 12:28 PM.


#5
Lad09

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...why are they out of place?

 

I mean, they're not exactly unbelievable. (Some people on this 7 billion+ pop planet are power greedy enough to try taking some power for themselves in the middle of an alien invasion? Sure, why not.)

I do believe they're certainly too weak, and could use some major tactical buffs (at the very least they could get gene mods that would go with the fact that the EXALT elites are starting to take on thin man-ish appearances, along with items to counteract XCOM's gene mods like mimetic skins. Could probably make it so it triggers earlier).

 

Aaand maybe some strategic buffs like getting rid of "Intel scan cost resets every month", I get that it's most likely meant to be anti-frustration feature for more average players, but since we're talking about a general purpose difficulty buff to EXALT in the first place presumably anybody who downloads this mod will be perfectly willing to deal with that.



#6
wghost81

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...why are they out of place?

Because for me XCOM is about fighting aliens, not some crazy guys in suits. And because it feels like totally different story, which distracts you from main goal (as Brad says after finishing them off: now we may return to our usual business). And it's annoying. And I like my game to be difficult, not annoying.

Anyway, if someone feels like me, they can now get rid of EXALT. :smile:

#7
Krazyguy75

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I totally agree on the subject of too weak, even if I don't want to get rid of them.

 

1. I'd make the comm arrays make them blind, if possible, so each unit is only aware of what it sees.

2. As previously stated, treat new exalt troopers as newly discovered pods, allowing them to take cover or enter overwatch.

3. Boost their gene mods. If possible, I'd give them some random alien abilities at late game, to show how far they are willing to go (10% chance of Thin Man plague, anyone?)

4. WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE PLASMA?!

5. Upgrade their armor late game.

6. Make the EXALT home base attack much, much harder (increase # of units per pod to 9, trigger every pod at start of the map. With above upgrades, should be hard)

7. Possibly give EXALT MECS (extremely rare chance)

8. Give their operatives shotguns.

8. Add Squad Sight to their elite snipers. (WARNING: WOULD CAUSE EVERY POD OF SNIPERS TO ACTIVATE SIMULTANEOUSLY)

9. Add Run & Gun to their elite operatives (no guarantee they'll use it, though)

10. Add Bullet Swarm to their elite heavies.

 

That'd make them a lot like facing an evil version of yourself.



#8
Anbar

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I upped their HP and modded the exalt weapons to be more powerful than normal/xcom weapons... worked fine for me... its also a nice way to give XCom a slightly better weapon prior to getting lasers



#9
wghost81

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trigger every pod at start of the map

AI behavior is really bad when aliens (EXALT in this case) loose sight of XCOM operatives, they usually tend to hide in corners or behind some hard cover which is often in flank to XCOM position. Obviously, AI wasn't programmed with "always active" idea in mind.

To be honest, I want to mod EXALT too, getting rid of them is just temporary measure while I'm trying to figure out some more interesting things (to me at least) as Meld. :smile:

Edited by wghost81, 24 November 2013 - 05:25 PM.


#10
Krazyguy75

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I'm aware. This results in EXALT being ready for you when you come in. You'll be riddled with overwatch the entire time you walk through the base (realistic when you realize are attacking a protomilitary organization's primary base of operation). I think they should be in high cover, hard to flank, and it should be a painful firefight.

 

I forgot my main strategy demand: I want EXALT's hacks to steal more each time, set back data further, and so on, all the while becoming more frequent. Also, they should only attack if they are stealing more than 100$ or setting research back at least 2 days. I've had them steal 12$ from me before. Maybe allow them to even increase research above the base time.

 

I want the base assault to be harder than any other mission in the game. I want it to be something that you do out of desperation, cause their attacks are robbing you of all your cash, and stopping research in its tracks.






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