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Xenome Patch

For discussion and promotion of Unreal Engine single-player campaigns, mapping projects and total conversions.

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UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012, 17:55

salsaSkaarj wrote:This discussion now forces me to play that section on Unreal difficulty (this evening). Perhaps your experience isn't the Unreal expercience as it was meant to be implemented because you use the Limbo mutator +115% speed (in which case perhaps the extra weapon + ammo are perfectly justified).


Perhaps.

Game Speed doesn't really change something, Limbo makes enemies with higher health and all the Krall a pain in the ass (not to mention, it really shows how much most of the UT weapons are lackluster in SP). Skaarj Lords take almost 12 RL grenades, while Skaarj Officers with Rippers can kill you in three hits and never want to die. Pulse Beams could kill me in seconds. Most of the time I was close to running out of ammo so of course I used the DP against dumb opponents like Brutes, Pupae, Skaarj Scouts and Skaarj Gunners who are unable to use the Rocket Launcher. I have died dozen of times in the first battle of Map 8 because there were two Skaarj Officers, a Skaarj Gunner and a Skaarj Infantry, plus goo zones. UT Flak Cannon was right here though.

Although even without Limbo you still have to fight huge waves of enemies on Unreal difficulty, especially in the later maps.
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012, 22:26

Boy oh boy, where there was little difference between Hard and Unreal in Xenome (unpatched), the difference now is ... serious.
The encounter after the Power Cell is suddenly very dangerous, in fact I got killed the first time. The change made in that section is good because most players will find death there and will look for another solution (similar to the one at easier difficulty levels but there's a twist).
I'ld say on Unreal this should be left as it is (because the situation is such that there's no walkover at all and after 3 unsuccessfull efforts the player will probably try a different strategy). Fact is that on all difficulty levels this fight should be hard to pass so that the alternative route becomes a necessity unless you're really go(o)d.

Next - the area past the gate : UB you said 8? I think I counted 10 (it certainly felt like 10). Yes, I passed but needed quite a bit of ammo even though I dp-ed a lot and managed to take them on 1 or 2 at a time (or 3) while luring them through the gate (without that bottleneck I'm not sure if I can win that fight).
I tried the map again on Hard but with 115% speed and got whopped. I guess with some practice I could handle 115% Hard, but 115% Unreal +Limbo... don't even want to think about it.
15% extra gamespeed increases gamespeed but not player reaction time and speed unfortunately :/ .

Conclusions:
  1. The difference between Hard and Unreal is enormous, but as far as I can judge (up to Opressive Metal), it seems to be acceptable to have such a difference. But it should be obvious that Unreal is not for starters.
  2. UB is playing on Unreal (+ mutator + extra speed). That setting should not be used to decide on whether the inventory is fine for "Plain Unreal difficulty" : increasing speed from 100% to 115% already increases difficulty and most enemies were already faster than the player.
  3. If you cannot beat the game Unreal on Unreal difficulty, don't even think about trying this on Unreal difficulty, Hard will test your limits sufficiently

UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012, 22:48

salsaSkaarj wrote:I tried the map again on Hard but with 115% speed and got whopped. I guess with some practice I could handle 115% Hard, but 115% Unreal +Limbo... don't even want to think about it.
15% extra gamespeed increases gamespeed but not player reaction time and speed unfortunately :/ .

  • If you cannot beat the game Unreal on Unreal difficulty, don't even think about trying this on Unreal difficulty, Hard will test your limits sufficiently


looool now you understand the pain and suffering I went through! 115% speed is now standard for me (including EXU2), if I play at a lower speed it feels like slomo now, lol; it makes you more tired though, so watch out. I'm pretty sure unpatched Xenome was the first mappack I played on 115% speed. You may want to practice on Hard first with an easier mappack (something short like Shrakith'a or StrangeWorld, not sure what kind of maps you play outside of the large campaigns). If you master the higher speed, you'll be almost a dodge machine on 100% speed.

For Limbo... it depends what properties you change. I used the default/recommended ones, and anything higher than those would be pretty dumb. The mutator is for masochists or people who think Unreal difficulty is simply not enough anymore no matter what you play.

And for Point 3, the original Unreal game does not come close to Xenome in difficulty at all. DV2.0 would be a more fair comparison. Known stuff that are straight out or potentially harder than current Xenome would be, IMO, 7Bullets, ShamuQuest1, Zero Black, Zephon, Unforchers, Ortican and Unreality.
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012, 23:34

UBerserker wrote:You may want to practice on Hard first with an easier mappack (something short like Shrakith'a or StrangeWorld, not sure what kind of maps you play outside of the large campaigns). If you master the higher speed, you'll be almost a dodge machine on 100% speed.

I guess I will try 115% speed (or maybe start with 110% to get the feel of it). But when "playtesting" I'll stick to the standard difficulty settings. As to the maps I play: just about anything I can lay my hands on, time permitting of course. Surely you've read that I even play Monsterhunt maps with 0 bots (and basically no saving since I use only 1 life) (and usually no allammo).

UBerserker wrote:And for Point 3, the original Unreal game does not come close to Xenome in difficulty at all. DV2.0 would be a more fair comparison. Known stuff that are straight out or potentially harder than current Xenome would be, IMO, 7Bullets, ShamuQuest1, Zero Black, Zephon, Unforchers, Ortican and Unreality.

I've played DV 2.0 (certainly on Hard, on Unreal I'm not sure of), but AFAIR it seemed easier than Xenome.
7B had some difficult parts but was generally easier (although I think I haven't played that on Unreal yet), more lighter enemies and less big ones, alhough TSO was serious opposition :)
Xidia was more difficult (it's been a long time but IIRC Medium was ok, Hard was too much).
Shamuquest1 I found easier (but IIRC that was on Medium).
Zephon (patched) I only played the first 3 or 4 maps, had no time, but found it acceptable (less difficult than Xenome).
Ortican I wrote a long "playthrough" (didn't like the balance at all, at some points really unfair, funfactor was deleted when compiling).
Unreality is only good for ghosting through for the visuals.
Zero Black I can't remember enough of it.
Unforchers doesn't ring a bell, I don't think I have that.

Anyway, back to Xenome. jazz mentioned that Easy and Medium have hardly been changed. Seeing that Hard is going to take a lot longer than I originally thought (my guess was 3 days), I'll stick to Hard which is probably the setting for the run of the mill players here and would be the setting which should be tested thoroughly.

edit:
Wait, I played Zephon up to the Tanks and considered that doable and fair (lots of room to move). So yes Xenome seems more difficult

UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012, 00:03

DV2.0 has Map 15 but overall is easier.
7B has bots.
Xidia is easier, Skaarj never come in groups. And you have the Stinger which is MORE powerful than the Pulse Gun.
ShamuQuest1 Map 2 is a complete pain in the ass on Unreal difficulty with Snipers roaming around and traps of all kinds.
Zephon gets extremely hardcore in the last batch of maps. With Limbo it's the hardest mappack.
Ortican is almost devoid of items. Won't be fun with Limbo.
Unreality.
Zero Black starts with Skaarj Infantries of all sorts and there are underwater areas with 6 Slith in the darkness. Yeah.
Unforchers is extremely complex to explain, feels like an adventure.
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012, 22:22

Finished Sour Water.
Up to now I think the changes (from unpatched) are acceptable, some excellent, some a bit drastic, forcing me to save a couple of times too many. Overall health and inventory are OK but I still make full use of the DP (for the first hits from distance and usually to finish off an enemy). Having some experience now I'm fairly certain I won't be able to handle Unreal difficulty (but with the unpatched version I also thought that when playing on Medium).
The thing is that I know Xenome fairly well so I know when most of the dangerous sections are nearing and know when and where to expect an enemy (granted, there are changes which caught me by surprise - which is good) but somebody who plays this for the first time (on Hard or higher) will be high on adrenaline the whole time. There's hardly any rest. UB, I suspect you're a bot which doesn't suffer from fatigue, excitation or pure fright (when you enter a seemingly empty room and suddenly some doors open and 4 Lords are rushing at you (read: the sound of death nearing 8) ).

jazz, it's a good thing you didn't beef up Easy and Medium but (not having played Medium it's just a guess) the difference between Medium and Hard must be massive now.

Anyway, something strange happened. I have 2 savegames, one just before ending Sour Water, and the other about 5 minutes after starting Processing. The Sour Water save is normal, the Processing save doesn't let me pick up any health (I just walk over it, I've tried ghosting and then walking again but it doesn't change) and there are green arrows instead of Pulse or Schock ammo, oh and when I scroll the weapons, on 1 I get a bunch of useless candles which are then blocked, I can't change weapon again. These things are from the Chaos UT mutator (I have both , the GOTY and version 2), but currently I have no mutators selected. Anyone have an idea what could cause this?

I have to let Xenome rest for a while now, no time for the next 10 days :/ :shake:

UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 14 Sep 2012, 00:20

Sour Water is pretty hot on Unreal difficulty. I'm pretty sure there are almost 15 Skaarj of different type in total in the whole outside section, with 5 more in the previous area. When Skaarj groups are coming, you may want to use Rockets (not Grenades) sometimes; even if they deal less damage, the momentum is way higher and can throw enemies away.

Fatigue depends on your age, usually, and probably on what kind of games you play. Most of the games I play are fast-paced and relentless, with high reaction times being necessary (properly hard music games do indeed help a lot, at least in my case). In the case of Unreal I guess EXU2 helped (processing many creatures on screen).

Not sure about the bug, the save system likes to shit itself for unexplainable reasons.
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User avatar jazz
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 14 Sep 2012, 01:12

Just up to 'subtle planning' on unreal difficulty for the first time without god mode... Christ!... Had my arse handed back to me multiple times! I must admit the hardest part for me was in 'Processing'. I must have gone at it twenty times already. I cant remember putting that many Skaarj in the map, i realised then that filtering is against me on that one. 'Sour Water' had me on the run also, especially the ones that drop from the roof (forgot about them), although I found it acceptable after I used the available space outside. I'm thinking map 8 is gonna be a bitch. Flak is my friend there i think!
To be fair I found the DP more useful than I thought it would be on this difficulty.

I found no bug that you mentioned Salsa. Probably something on your end.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 14 Sep 2012, 08:08

jazz wrote:to be fair I found the DP more useful than I thought it would be on this difficulty.

DP is an underestimated weapon generally frowned upon but a lifesaver in many cases :)

jazz wrote:I found no bug that you mentioned Salsa. Probably something on your end.

The save bug is definitely not Xenome related, it's Chaos UT related. But what puzzles me is how come a game runs normal, I can save and continue playing normally, but reloading that savegame gives me some of ChaosUT's pickups.
I think it's time to reinstall UT.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 20 Sep 2012, 16:34

Tried to continue but suddenly the working savegame also showed ChaosUT pickups and I couldn't pick up the normal health packages. Believe it or not but Xenome is damn well impossible like that.
Strange thing is that it happens on just about every map (not only Xenome).

So next week I'll reinstall UT, and use a seperate installation without CHaosUT. I hope my savegames can be reused.

User avatar Semfry
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 01 Oct 2012, 19:32

jazz, do your comments in this thread mean you're considering another patch? I'm wondering if I should check out the new version or wait for the (probably final) patch.
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 01 Oct 2012, 19:59

Mman wrote:jazz, do your comments in this thread mean you're considering another patch? I'm wondering if I should check out the new version or wait for the (probably final) patch.


Same thought here, I didn't install quite yet.
Just ban everyone

User avatar jazz
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 01 Oct 2012, 22:37

Mman wrote:jazz, do your comments in this thread mean you're considering another patch? I'm wondering if I should check out the new version or wait for the (probably final) patch.


Good question. Although i've sorted the small points UB pointed out, i was hoping for a little more feedback from people who have played both versions so i can make a final decision.
From both UB and Salsa, i think i may have the difficulties sorted, however, due to the lack of feedback on this i've had to play on all four levels, which is sort of like pluging my own stuff which is what i wanted to avoid.

I think some people are waiting for all three to be merged into one, which is understandable. The episode format was so i could get feedback on an ad-hoc basis to be implemented for the full mod.

I suppose It all depends if your thinking of doing a possible second review. If not then i'll just keep going until all three are completed.

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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 01 Oct 2012, 23:14

Funny, Sour Water was my first motw and instantly I thought I'd love it cause of the word "water" and I love water (to swim in).

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Xenome Patch

Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012, 23:30

Unfortunately I haven't had time yet to reinstall UT so there's no prgress (or remarks) about the patch.

Seeing the general lack of feedback, I would suggest that jazz leaves the current patch as it is and concentrates on day 2 (and 3 8) ). As I mentioned before Unreal difficulty should be truly Unreal difficulty meaning however hard it is now, it's probably still what most seasoned players want (and if it's slightly too hard, so what). From what I experienced Hard was a bit too much for Hard, to me it seemed a lot more difficult than the unpatched version on Unreal which (to me) means that the jump from Medium to Hard is way too large. However ... something is wrong in my installation so I can't really confirm that the difficulty which I encountered on Hard is the expected difficulty.

Another 4 weeks before I'll be able to restart (from zero). :x

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