Enemy shooting on reveal

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WanWhiteWolf
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 10:09 pm

Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by WanWhiteWolf » Tue May 16, 2017 10:50 pm

Played XCOM 2 on release. Finished the impossible with basic weapons and gear only; then I switched to another games awaiting for XCOM 2 to become mature (as in LW2 to be released).

Started playing today and I see left-'n-right that enemies are shooting when they are revealed. It's basically an extreme version of "itchy tentacles". Now, I've been googling' to see what's up with this but I only found some isolated bug reports related to this.

Question 1: Is this a bug or game design decision?
Question 2.1: If it is a game design decision, how do I disable it?
Question 2.2: If it is a bug, does anyone know mods that can cause it? Have mostly cosmetic and QoL mods.

I don't see how this option fits into XCOM, as it can literally bring a squad-wipe randomly.

Thank you.

DaviBones
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by DaviBones » Wed May 17, 2017 12:33 am

Ok, let's see if I can get this right...

On Legend and Commander difficulties, each enemy gets a 33% chance to get a single action point if the pod activates during the alien turn (20% on Veteran, 0% on Rookie). Once an enemy has received an action point, all subsequent checks for action points are made at -5%. This is cumulative, so the second enemy gets 28%, third gets 23%, and so on. So it is literally impossible for there to be any more than 7 reactions in a turn, and the probability that every single enemy gets a reaction is incredibly low:
  • 9% for pod size 2
  • 2% for pod size 3
  • .4% for pod size 4
From this I hope you can see that a squad-wipe situation is pretty damn unlikely, even if you activate several pods in a turn and they are all flanking you.

Ok, next up is the differentiation between alert types. What kind of actions the enemies are allowed to make is entirely governed by how alerted the pod is. Enemies will always be in "Green-alert" unless one of the following is true:
  • The pod has seen a dead body
  • Any member of the pod was in range to hear a sound that indicates combat. Note that grenades and rockets emit sound from the point of detonation, and therefore are an excellent way to send lots of unactivated pods into high alert.
  • You are playing a special mission type where enemies all start alerted (such as a "defend the datatap" mission)
If any of the above is true, the pod is now in "yellow-alert." If they heard a sound, they will usually beeline towards the sound's origin. Yellow-alert is fairly obvious if you have eyes on them with a concealed soldier, as they will be sprinting around like madmen and taking cover and such, rather than walking around as though everything's fine as green-alert pods do.

Green-alert reactions are always defensive in nature, usually resulting in an overwatch, but never an actual shot. Yellow-alert actions include taking shots, but I don't think they can use AOE abilities or melee.

So, now that the mechanic is fully explained, I will try to answer the rest of your post. The devs included this mechanic I believe to both discourage overwatch camping and to create a tense feeling of being deep in enemy territory, where the enemy has an advantage, giving you a reason to do things like actually take cover when no enemies are active. It is considered balanced and fair because the player actually has an incredible amount of control over it: You can either activate enemies on your turn, eliminating the mechanic entirely, and/or you can be careful with how much noise you make when eliminating a pod (giving more utility to suppressors which reduce the radius of sounds).

Lastly, I believe you wanted to know how to turn it off. Sadly I don't know, but now that I've given you the terminology, you can probably figure it out with good ol' google, I'm sure someone has posted an explanation on these forums or reddit at some point.

chrisb
Terra Invicta Dev
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:43 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by chrisb » Wed May 17, 2017 12:36 am

It's a feature, called yellow alert. Aliens always start on green alert, but can be triggered into yellow alert by hearing fighting sounds, civilians yelling or upon gaining LOS with corpses. Each unit has a % chance to gain a green or yellow alert action that increases with difficulty. Infiltration above/blow 100% also increases/decreases the chance of enemies taking alert actions.

What difficulty are you playing on? New players are advised to play on Rookie or Veteran. On Rookie there is no alert actions at all, on Veteran it is 20% by default, going to 0% at 140% infiltration.

I have never had anything remotely close to a squadwipe from yellow alert, in fact I have never lost a soldier to yellow alert playing on Commander and Legend.

chrisb
Terra Invicta Dev
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:43 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by chrisb » Wed May 17, 2017 12:41 am

DaviBones wrote:So it is literally impossible for there to be any more than 7 reactions in a turn
This depends on infiltration. On legend you have a 138% starting chance on 0% missions. So the 8th enemy has a 103% meaning they all are guaranteed to take yellow alert actions. Also if you injure them before they reach cover with overwatch, they do not take yellow alert shots.

Lisranda
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by Lisranda » Wed May 17, 2017 12:42 am

The settings are in XComLW_Overhaul.ini -- which you can find in a number of places, I prefer to modify the one in steamapps\content\844674609\Config\ so that updates will overwrite my changes and I can remake them with a clean slate.

The settings are (0 them out, the numbers in square brackets represent your difficulty setting):

Code: Select all

; Controls how frequently a scampering alien will receive an extra action point when they activate on their own turn while in yellow alert. This uses the yellow action table.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[0]=0.0
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[1]=0.10
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[2]=0.33
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[3]=0.38

; Controls how frequently a scampering alien will receive an extra action point when they activate on their own turn while in green alert. This uses the green action table.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[0]=0
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[1]=0.10
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[2]=0.33
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[3]=0.50

; The amount the chance to take an action will drop after each success in a pod. The count is reset
; for each pod that activates within a single turn.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_REDUCTION=0.05

Dwarfling
Posts: 524
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:16 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by Dwarfling » Wed May 17, 2017 2:33 am

If you scout ahead you can know beforehand where the pods will be coming from and you can overwatch with adequate cover. Otherwise you can just activate on your turn foregoing the overwatch trap but nullifying the reactions shots.

bountygiver
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:33 am

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by bountygiver » Wed May 17, 2017 2:48 am

chrisb wrote:
DaviBones wrote:So it is literally impossible for there to be any more than 7 reactions in a turn
This depends on infiltration. On legend you have a 138% starting chance on 0% missions. So the 8th enemy has a 103% meaning they all are guaranteed to take yellow alert actions. Also if you injure them before they reach cover with overwatch, they do not take yellow alert shots.
the injure them before they reach cover is wrong, you have to injure them before they start scampering to stop the offensive action, as that's where the isinjured check occurs. You need http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =880363602 to make it actually stop offensive actions on scamper in addition to prevent offensive action if they see corpse on the same move that patrols into you/turn into yellow alert because right before they patrol they hear your overwatch fire on the same turn.

DaviBones
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by DaviBones » Wed May 17, 2017 3:01 am

What bountygiver said sounds correct.

That said though, in 1.3, a soldier with Covering Fire will add an aim debuff to anything he shoots at which should help a ton.

mattprice516
Long War 2 Crew
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:49 am

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by mattprice516 » Wed May 17, 2017 3:34 am

Davibones' explanation is correct.

Bountygiver, are you sure that's still the case in 1.3? I kinda thought we'd fixed that, but could be wrong.

Manifest
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by Manifest » Wed May 17, 2017 10:43 am

One element of gameplay that I'd say this improves is that you are much more encouraged to consider defensive options and perks than before now that it's guaranteed you'll be hit. I hate that defenses in this game are actually weaker than in Long War one though, with the nerfing of armor and making ablative HP both unaffected by armor and unhealable it's really overkill in nerfing xcoms defense compared to LW.

While I hate this feature more than any other, I do recognize its merit in a mod designed to make your experience more painful. If it was up to me I'd probably make the game too easy for it to be fun, so I stand by my suffering because I know it'd be boring without it.

LordYanaek
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:34 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by LordYanaek » Wed May 17, 2017 11:41 am

Something that haven't been said so far is that LW2 have changed a number of cheesy to outright cheating AI behavior in favor of more immersive but more favorable to XCOM actions.
  • Pods won't always patrol into you unless they hear you. In Vanilla XCOM2 it was impossible to avoid pods because they would always try to move between you and the objective so you always had to fight them all. Now they take real patrols and won't change all the time find you even when they don't know where you are, they will only try to find you if they know approximately where you are because they have heard shots, civilians screaming or shattered glass. It makes it possible to avoid some fights entirely.
  • Enemies won't have omniscience to know where your soldiers are in order to shoot rockets or spit poison through walls, roofs ... This was corrected for 1.3. You might still have LoS bugs causing some soldiers to be visible when they shouldn't but the AI no longer cheats to target you when they don't see you.
  • They no longer get guaranteed auto-shots when they discover a concealed soldier even thought they are supposed to be surprised.
However the new "reflex actions" system have been added so that pods can also surprise you rather than you always getting the upper hand. It makes missions slightly harder to compensate for those changes making them easier. Personally i prefer something that feels real to the old cheaty AI and sure enough a pod coming in my back after hearing firefights and immediately opening fire feels dangerously real :twisted:

As others said it encourages you to consider defensive positions more carefully. It also encourages careful scouting, makes overwatch camping less interesting while making overwatch while moving more important (to shut down yellow reaction) and overall, i think it makes the game more interesting.
As a result i suggest you try to play a few more missions while keeping the feature and try to learn how to handle it. LW2 is a very different game from XCOM2 so it needs some time re-learning the basics.

Good luck, Commander :)

brunodema
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:45 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by brunodema » Wed May 17, 2017 3:17 pm

This mechanic is one of the things I most appreciate in lw2, even though is hated in lw1 :lol:

Knowing that you can be punished for moving relentlessly on the battlefield is a good way to encourage planing and make your troops movement more realistic (just think about the no cover strats in EW/LW1, since you couldn't be shot by the aliens during their activation)

Severian
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by Severian » Wed May 17, 2017 4:06 pm

DaviBones wrote:Yellow-alert actions include taking shots, but I don't think they can use AOE abilities or melee.
Unless that has changed in 1.3, that is definitely not true. I recently had the Berserker King (Queen?) wander in on my flank from a previously unseen position. (S)He "scampered" (as much as something that size can be said to scamper) and one of my soldier's took an overwatch shot that hit. This enraged him, he runs quite a fair distance and them melee attacks my guy knocking him unconscious. This is all without me having any control or ability to respond.

Personally, I would like to see a distinction between yellow-alert pods that you activate on your turn, and ones that blunder into you on their turn. If you activate them on your turn, I think they should scamper and possibly get a shot (as is the case now). But if it is the enemy's turn and they walk into your (and their) vision range, I think they should carry on with their own moves just as you would - so no scamper and any shot they take comes out of their 2 move allowance. After all, if we blunder into them, we don't get to scamper.

LordYanaek
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:34 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by LordYanaek » Wed May 17, 2017 4:23 pm

Severian wrote: Personally, I would like to see a distinction between yellow-alert pods that you activate on your turn, and ones that blunder into you on their turn. If you activate them on your turn, I think they should scamper and possibly get a shot (as is the case now). But if it is the enemy's turn and they walk into your (and their) vision range, I think they should carry on with their own moves just as you would - so no scamper and any shot they take comes out of their 2 move allowance. After all, if we blunder into them, we don't get to scamper.
Wow, you would be a much more vicious developer than the guys at Pavonis :o

mattprice516
Long War 2 Crew
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:49 am

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by mattprice516 » Wed May 17, 2017 5:41 pm

There already is a distinction between yellow alert pods you activate on your turn and the ones who stumble into you on their turn. If you activate them on your turn they don't get to take any yellow alert actions.

User avatar
WanWhiteWolf
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 10:09 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by WanWhiteWolf » Thu May 18, 2017 2:18 am

DaviBones wrote:Ok, let's see if I can get this right...

On Legend and Commander difficulties, each enemy gets a 33% chance to get a single action point if the pod activates during the alien turn (20% on Veteran, 0% on Rookie). Once an enemy has received an action point, all subsequent checks for action points are made at -5%. This is cumulative, so the second enemy gets 28%, third gets 23%, and so on. So it is literally impossible for there to be any more than 7 reactions in a turn, and the probability that every single enemy gets a reaction is incredibly low:
  • 9% for pod size 2
  • 2% for pod size 3
  • .4% for pod size 4
From this I hope you can see that a squad-wipe situation is pretty damn unlikely, even if you activate several pods in a turn and they are all flanking you.

Ok, next up is the differentiation between alert types. What kind of actions the enemies are allowed to make is entirely governed by how alerted the pod is. Enemies will always be in "Green-alert" unless one of the following is true:
  • The pod has seen a dead body
  • Any member of the pod was in range to hear a sound that indicates combat. Note that grenades and rockets emit sound from the point of detonation, and therefore are an excellent way to send lots of unactivated pods into high alert.
  • You are playing a special mission type where enemies all start alerted (such as a "defend the datatap" mission)
If any of the above is true, the pod is now in "yellow-alert." If they heard a sound, they will usually beeline towards the sound's origin. Yellow-alert is fairly obvious if you have eyes on them with a concealed soldier, as they will be sprinting around like madmen and taking cover and such, rather than walking around as though everything's fine as green-alert pods do.

Green-alert reactions are always defensive in nature, usually resulting in an overwatch, but never an actual shot. Yellow-alert actions include taking shots, but I don't think they can use AOE abilities or melee.

So, now that the mechanic is fully explained, I will try to answer the rest of your post. The devs included this mechanic I believe to both discourage overwatch camping and to create a tense feeling of being deep in enemy territory, where the enemy has an advantage, giving you a reason to do things like actually take cover when no enemies are active. It is considered balanced and fair because the player actually has an incredible amount of control over it: You can either activate enemies on your turn, eliminating the mechanic entirely, and/or you can be careful with how much noise you make when eliminating a pod (giving more utility to suppressors which reduce the radius of sounds).

Lastly, I believe you wanted to know how to turn it off. Sadly I don't know, but now that I've given you the terminology, you can probably figure it out with good ol' google, I'm sure someone has posted an explanation on these forums or reddit at some point.
Thank you for the detailed info.

Well you cannot send 7 people in all missions. At least where I am, I can typically send 5 people without raising the difficulty of the mission.

Scenario: 1 guy is injured from the first fight. All good otherwise. 2 pods (1 sectoid each pod) runs into me. 1 advent shoots the injured guy under cover. He dies. 1 guy panics. 2 get mind controlled by each sectoid. So, at the beginning of my turn I have 1 guy standing. And this is a situation where nobody was in sight when I ended my turn. I can only imagine later in the game how a Sectopod out of nowhere 1 shoots my best soldier.

Also, the chance is higher than what you described. Because your probability assumes that a specific alien/order happening. For example, if you have a 3 pod, each enemy with 38% chance to hit (legend), then the chance that 1 enemy will shoot you is 1-(0.62*0.62*0.62). From the top of my head, it's something like:

0/3 shots ~ 23%
1/3 shots ~ 43%
2/3 shots ~ 27%
3/3 shots ~ 5.5%

For a 4 pod, things get even more interesting. You can safely assume that you will get 1 shoot per each encounter.

I associate this option the same as giving the enemy a low chance to insta-kill a ramdom soldier.Yes, there needs to be RNG in the game to keep its charm. But to much RNG and you might as well play poker.

Timers pretty much prevent you from OW scumming. I don't think you can afford more than 1 -max 2 turns to OW on a timed mission. I doubt you can take to many precautions on a 8 turn game. It's mostly dash hard and and cover fire while the tech completes the mission.
Lisranda wrote:The settings are in XComLW_Overhaul.ini -- which you can find in a number of places, I prefer to modify the one in steamapps\content\844674609\Config\ so that updates will overwrite my changes and I can remake them with a clean slate.

The settings are (0 them out, the numbers in square brackets represent your difficulty setting):

Code: Select all

; Controls how frequently a scampering alien will receive an extra action point when they activate on their own turn while in yellow alert. This uses the yellow action table.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[0]=0.0
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[1]=0.10
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[2]=0.33
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_YELLOW[3]=0.38

; Controls how frequently a scampering alien will receive an extra action point when they activate on their own turn while in green alert. This uses the green action table.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[0]=0
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[1]=0.10
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[2]=0.33
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_GREEN[3]=0.50

; The amount the chance to take an action will drop after each success in a pod. The count is reset
; for each pod that activates within a single turn.
REFLEX_ACTION_CHANCE_REDUCTION=0.05
Thank you.

DaviBones
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by DaviBones » Thu May 18, 2017 3:27 am

It can absolutely be frustrating. Trust me, I was also very frustrated by it during my first campaign, but I promise the player has way more control over it than it seems at first. Like all the RNG in XCOM, it is all about how you mitigate and control the RNG -- of course it takes a lot of practice to be able to do so, and until that point it can seem very unfair. Perhaps it would be a good idea to play on rookie, or simply turn it off for your chosen difficulty in the INI for your first campaign, but I highly recommend turning it back on if you want more tactical challenge.

EDIT: Also, thank you for being so polite in your posts :D most people that come to these forums not liking something about the mod are far less genial than you have been.

jacklldsy
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:08 am

Re: Enemy shooting on reveal

Post by jacklldsy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:46 am

Now that I've seen this post, I'll turn it off and I'll tell you why.

I have 2 main reasons why this is completely unfair:

1- In a mission, I had a soldier concealed to scout the map while other soldiers were fighting a pod.
While fighting, the scout saw a new pod nearby on the edge of his LoS. I had to make some risky moves to flank a muton in order to kill it, leaving my soldier exposed...to noone, because it was the last alien active. Once killed, the turn is over and this crap happens: The new pod recently spotted went all the way through of my scout's LoS, reaching my active soldiers. My soldiers were spotted, the aliens MOVED to cover and 2 of them (they were 5) ALSO SHOT my "exposed" soldier and killed him (bleeding out). Basically they sprinted, moved to cover and shoot, 4 ACTIONS IN TOTAL.

2-I was making count of the amount of shots that the aliens landed me and with perfect information I was able to see the porcentage of each shot, in the maximum difficulty. Either the aliens are in a lucky streak since the first mission of the campain, or the game made aliens in greater difficulties more "accurate". Out of 10 shots below 30% chance to hit, 6 of them landed. This was on 1 single mission.
This never happened to me playing on brutal even, watching aliens shooting with numbers under 20% I used to expect only 1 and a graze to land (which usually that was the case) but now I can surely expect that my soldier in high cover gets annihilated by a flashed viper.

What last triggered me was that both 1 and 2 happened in a single turn, time to say goodbye to this s#@t.

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