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  1. #361
    Warchief Ravenblade's Avatar
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    Actually they are looking into adding modding support and yes, it seemed like they got surprised. Which is funny because Firaxis should know by know that people like to mod their games even though Civ V modding is still very underwhelming compared to Civ IV. I have personally given up on it in sheer frustration about it. The most glaring deficit being singleplayer-only. With that in mind I would not expect any better for modding support in XCOM if it ever happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jigain View Post
    1) Multiplayer. Playing multiplayer with a modded game against people with unmodded files can be anything from unbalanced to buggy or downright game-crashing.
    It's actually not difficult to detect a modded game and prevent playing vs. players with unmodded games or different mods if you are making sure that CRCs are matching on both sides. Sins of a Solar Empire is one example where that works just fine. In Starcraft II they found an elegant solution as well for that. From a programmer standpoint I believe that would be the least of all worries.

    2) Things that modders have been able to do, particularly things like unlocking Second Wave, was intended to be unlocked as part of a DLC further down the line. Firaxis is big on the whole DLC idea, and I wouldn't put it past them to go "so we've got this feature done that could extend the replay value of the game significantly, let's not release it until sales start dropping".
    Actually these things were cut under time constraints. But it could have been part of a DLC, yes. It's however unlikely because it would be unusual to leave code fragments in.

    Although it is true that mods are user-generated content and may collide with DLC plan I believe that as a developer however you should strive for excellency in such cases rather than going the mediocre way and have ordinary hobby modders surpassing your DLCs in quality and features. I know Firaxis specifically did have a more relaxed stance though on that in Civ V seeing their map packs being ordinary maps created with the official map editor. The only exception were new factions and the latest DLC which in fact is not easily moddable via their own tools at all.
    So I do not believe they are truly afraid of being outpaced by modders, it's just limited resources because making a game fully moddable requires some sort of API and documentation, sometimes even an editor. Sometimes the limit is simply given by middleware license restrictions but I don't believe that to be the case here. They simply did not reserve a resources for modding at all - mostly because it's a multi-platform game and they are still a relatively small developer (120 employees) - and thus it's now a postponed thing again.
    Last edited by Ravenblade; 2012-10-26 at 11:00 PM.
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  2. #362
    Herald of the Titans Jigain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenblade View Post
    It's actually not difficult to detect a modded game and prevent playing vs. players with unmodded games or different mods if you are making sure that CRCs are matching on both sides. Sins of a Solar Empire is one example where that works just fine. In Starcraft II they found an elegant solution as well for that. From a programmer standpoint I believe that would be the least of all worries.
    I'm not arguing it's difficult to make it that way - but clearly Firaxis never meant for us to inject code into the executable file (come on, anyone actually believe that's intended?), so the real question is if that is actually in the game, or if it's not. I can't say either or, as I haven't even hovered over the multiplayer button, but I'm leaning towards not. Would love to see facts supporting the existence or non-existence of such detection - that is non-circumventable, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenblade View Post
    Actually these things were cut under time constraints. But it could have been part of a DLC, yes. It's however unlikely because it would be unusual to leave code fragments in.
    Two comments on this. Why is it that a development team didn't have the time to finish Second Wave, while a single modder was able to enable it four days after release, and manage to fix most of the non-hardcoded bugs and balance the gameplay only days later? I don't buy that it was "cut under time constraints" when a civilian without access to the source code was able to do that within a week. That's just my own critical thinking, though.

    Secondly, remember the first DLC? The one that gives you extra tints and decos? That was in the game - in fact you could unlock it for bloody free by changing two values in a .ini file from "false" to "true". Also, the next DLC - the one that gives you the asian Heavy who is statistically better than any random dude you can recruit - already has assets in the game files that, while not letting you use the content right now, will give you spoilers about what it's all about. So yeah, Firaxis does have code fragments, or possibly all of the code, for DLC in the game files.

  3. #363
    did know about this new dlc stuff, seems i have to play again, yay!

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  4. #364
    Pandaren Monk ZeroWashu's Avatar
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  5. #365
    The Lightbringer Howard Moon's Avatar
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    So Muton Berserker's Intimidate ability is just messed up.

    1) It causes severe framerate drops in my machine, whereas the game runs smooth as a baby's ass otherwise.
    2) It can proc an unlimited number of times per round?? Yeah.. OP.
    3) It sometimes causes my turn to end alltogether, even if a bunch of my soldiers still have time units. Like, all aliens get a free round, not just the intimidated Muton's move.

    hehe a bit of a rant, after I was getting eaten by Berserkers last night :P
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  6. #366
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroWashu View Post
    Yahtzee never fails to disappoint.

    I bought XCOM a few days ago. I never really played the original much; my friend had it and when I did get a go I tended to get bored just as I got my squad to the first UFO landing ramp that I had shot down. I have to say though that I am very impressed with the game and glad I bought it. I do remember air engagement portion of the original being slightly more interactive than activating boosts though?
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  7. #367
    The old Air engagement had 'stances' you could get aggressive and try close the distance and use short range weapons, or hang back using long range weapons, or break off. I think the boosts are good, because you can look at how the fight is going for you and decide whether to expend something or not.

  8. #368
    Warchief Ravenblade's Avatar
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    Sorry about my late response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jigain View Post
    I'm not arguing it's difficult to make it that way - but clearly Firaxis never meant for us to inject code into the executable file (come on, anyone actually believe that's intended?), so the real question is if that is actually in the game, or if it's not. I can't say either or, as I haven't even hovered over the multiplayer button, but I'm leaning towards not. Would love to see facts supporting the existence or non-existence of such detection - that is non-circumventable, of course.
    I know many companies being serious (read: keeping scores, using a ELO-based matchmaking system) about their multiplayer do have several ways to protect their code and content in general against tampering and alteration. Leaving in unencrypted resource data within your executables or DLLs is a very bad idea if you want to protect your game parameters from tampering!

    Even so citing Civ 5 as reference their protection seems to be a simple but effective. They just don't load user-generated custom files in multiplayer at all and they have no hardwired data within the code to alter while protecting their own data through checksum checks. It is likely they are making use of that again thus it does not need a protection yet because they simply don't support loading of non-sanctioned data when multiplayer mode is selected.

    Two comments on this. Why is it that a development team didn't have the time to finish Second Wave, while a single modder was able to enable it four days after release, and manage to fix most of the non-hardcoded bugs and balance the gameplay only days later? I don't buy that it was "cut under time constraints" when a civilian without access to the source code was able to do that within a week. That's just my own critical thinking, though.

    Secondly, remember the first DLC? The one that gives you extra tints and decos? That was in the game - in fact you could unlock it for bloody free by changing two values in a .ini file from "false" to "true". Also, the next DLC - the one that gives you the asian Heavy who is statistically better than any random dude you can recruit - already has assets in the game files that, while not letting you use the content right now, will give you spoilers about what it's all about. So yeah, Firaxis does have code fragments, or possibly all of the code, for DLC in the game files.
    1.) I can't exactly state their reasons but there are many possible explanations based on my experience. One being that they might have decided their current solution rather sucks and they would like to provide a better one at a later point of time. However if the current solution is too much intertwined already then taking it out completely while providing at least a minimal code fundament for a later time then taking it out was probably much less an option than leaving it in.

    But yes, they should have taken out all readable resource data or at least obfuscated their resource data in that case anyway. It's pretty much their own fault here that the whole modding debate unfolded like this. Besides programmers are civilians as well. Don't think for a second that modders cannot be programmers or even game developers themselves in real life! In this special case that means that once you know code and data resource structure of the quite popular Unreal engine then you could probably 'hack' every URE-based game but the URE has ways to protect your own data.

    2.) See 1.). By referring to code fragments I was actually referring to actual executable code with fixed code locations for non-resource data (which should be externalized as well btw) and not rcdata sections which contain readable unicode text data which can be extracted via simple tools. Which is a risk they took by leaving it in and lost. If they had deactivated all related code no amount of data alteration would have made a difference because the game simply would not have known about it. It's not uncommon to deliver the actual DLC ahead within the same game you already bought. It's just a matter of hiding these data and unlocking them once the license owner has paid up.

    PS: It took that guy changing a single line. That merely hints that the real feature was cut due to time constraint but deactivating the parameter call would not have taken much to take out. Which means either they were lazy or intentionally oblivious. In either case it's still unusual to do so.
    Last edited by Ravenblade; 2012-11-08 at 01:15 PM. Reason: reworked first paragraph :p
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  9. #369
    Pandaren Monk ZeroWashu's Avatar
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    I updated the original post to show a series of videos of Impossible Ironman, some language may be a bit for those faint of heart.

    Still it gives a good idea of the game and Beagles upcoming series promises to be even better.
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  10. #370
    Anyone else considering using one of the 'balance' mods available for the game on Classic Ironman/above? I'm just finding it impossible to finish the game on those modes, because it literally just decides to keep wiping my teams over and over at certain points, leaving me with a bunch of Rookies or Squaddies, vs Muton Elites/Heavy Floaters/Sectoid Commanders etc.

    Addendum: By 'balance mod' I mean the ones that retain the full AI activation, but take away the ridiculous automatic crits and near perfect across map accuracy even with basic alien units, which the game only activates in the hardest modes.

  11. #371
    Pandaren Monk ZeroWashu's Avatar
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    Well you can do your own modding with Resource Hacker (just google it) and referring to the work done at http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.ph...xcom-mod-talk/

    I have played around with some of the settings to have more fun with the game, always hated that arc thrower was not a pistol - hell it looks like one!
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  12. #372
    Moderator Northern Goblin's Avatar
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    I've forgotten what sleep is like.

    Seriously I play this till the sun rises and I go to work, come home, have tea and play some more.

  13. #373
    Due to BL2 taking up 170 hours over the last month and a bit, I've only just cleared the game last night. It's actually quite a short game. I wish there were more things to research or that it took longer to get everything, giving you more time to shoot down aliens.

    I was looking at "Second Wave" and wondering if anyone here has tried it? I would love to use that "Marathon" mode, but am curious as to what happens in it. Are abductions less frequent? Are UFO's more frequent? Do you get to assault more than one alien base? I think it would be great if you could keep going and going, I tried this before the final mission, but due to the mechanic of how often abductions happen, you will eventually be unable to outpace the rising panic. If you can destroy more than one alien base, you would lower overall panic, keep things in check etc

    I felt like I didn't manage to get everything done. I didn't get all the foundry upgrades completed, or get full satellite coverage, or use up all my building spots. I'm going to start another game and this time want to try get more things done, including using that SHIV. I hope it ends up as Badass as the alien robots or the tanks from the first game.

  14. #374
    Pandaren Monk ZeroWashu's Avatar
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  15. #375
    Immortal Dezerte's Avatar
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    So the Slinghtshot DLC is out, you can get it 30% off at GMG currently.
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  16. #376
    so you know how at the end of game, the psi-character stays back, and tells the others to 'go' and does somekind of a pushback?

    well that happens even if the rest of the party is dead.

  17. #377
    I am Murloc! SirRobin's Avatar
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    I was going to ignore the next XCOM game, The Bureau, when it was an fps. But now that they've put the tactical bits back in? I'm starting to get interested again.






  18. #378
    Shouldn't The Bureau get its own thread?

    And though I think the game is shaping up to be good, I just wish they didn't call it X-Com. Or XCOM.
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  19. #379
    Quote Originally Posted by unholytestament View Post
    Shouldn't The Bureau get its own thread?

    And though I think the game is shaping up to be good, I just wish they didn't call it X-Com. Or XCOM.
    How come? it's still based on the Xcom Franchise?

    I too have high hopes for this game, but I will read reviews from people who have played it first before I buy it.

  20. #380
    Pandaren Monk WarpedAcorn's Avatar
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    Yeah, but The Bureau is a totally different company making a totally different game. It would be like talking about Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance in a Baldur's Gate: Saga thread.

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