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Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 11 Dec 2017, 22:23
by salsaSkaarj
Nested Interests on Hard took me 1h 49m, but on Unreal only 1h 43m. Easily explainable: no more searching for hidden passages, no more searching for secrets, and reasonably good idea of the layout, AND which way not to go without the right ammo. Even though I was well prepared, there were still a couple of surprises but on my previous playthrough I had found good use of a passage which offers refuge in the later stages. Without that safe place there is no way I could beat Nested with only 3 savepoints (again though, using those safe havens to avoid close encounters costs a lot of time). The number of Skaarj with the green glowing eyes seems to have increased and there were 2 instances (which I can't recall on difficulty Hard) when one of those b*stards appeared in front of me (for which I was prepared) and as I was retreating while firing, something hits me from the back: luckily the supershield absorbs a lot of damage before the health starts dwindling.
I also encountered 2 situations going up a lift and entering a room where 2 or 3 of those Skaarj are waiting. Basically a very unfair situation ... but ... in both cases there was a hint in the form of sound + those rooms wth the Skaarj had been seen before from somewhere else and it was possible to unleash some rockets, flak, biowaste or razors from the bottom level to weaken them a bit.
The last part, just before moving on to Critical Transfer caught me by surprise (not the turret) but a lucky shot gave me time to catch my breath and avoid loss of assets.
Still, the difficulty of this map on the whole (not individual situations) seems a lot higher than that of the preceding maps (I didn't have that impression on Hard) but again the secrets allow the player to finish the level with max health and armour (and I had left enough ammo to pick up before Critical).

Nested is quite a masterpiece but it's not one of my favourite maps in the campaign: this time I didn't lose my sense of direction but the 3 previous times I ended up running up and down the same corridors and entering the same rooms without making progress.

added later: 939 kills up to now. This time I'm sure to pass 1000 when finishing Xenome Part 2

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 12 Dec 2017, 19:55
by salsaSkaarj
OMG Critical Transfer proved to be a real beast on Unreal difficulty. Now the Skaarj even follow the player into the only safe haven (an area below a grid with 2 pupae (after the shieldbelt secret). Being a bit short on Flak and rockets I spammed the razorjack and only now I really understood what UB said that secondary fire mode can almost hold back the big greeneyed monsters.
The placement of the secrets is (perhaps again) absolutely perfect in this map. The first secret can be left till about halfway (to the point of no return, (a jump down)), and the next 2 secrets remain reachable after clearing out the rest of the map.

There is an area (just before entering the are with the shieldbelt secret guarded by 2 pupae) with a rocketwielding Skaarj who attacks the moment you jump down. At least, that was the case because now I've found a way to jump down hitting the ledge on the left, and landing without damage thanks to the friction of the slant - mind you, there's not much room for error.

Also a somewhat unfair situation where a Skaarj appears behind the player just as he enter a room with 4 Skaarj rushing the moment they see him. Luckily my 3rd savegame was not far before that and I could test various strategies without having to replay much. It turned out that the Skaarj appears as the player is about to open the door, in other words it was possible to force the appearance without altering the 4 other Skaarj. That gave just enough time to load some biowaste and clear the path to escape from the 4 Skaarj who are alerted by any noise. So in hindsight, that wasn't truly unfair (the Skaarj appearing in places which were cleaned out earlier, are a pain though, especially on first playthrough.
When the teleporter was up and working, spent another 15 minutes collecting the supershieldbelt and ammo leftovers.

989 kills (1000 is a certainty, even 1100) full health and armour again and moving on to Power Play (of which I can't remember much except that I have 2 bombs to open 2 doors out of 6 with goodies, support troops, health or shield (not sure), a turret and a Skaarj + one door I've never even opened yet, so I might risk that). I'll see how it goes and I wil probably then choose the Skaarj just for an extra kill.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 13 Dec 2017, 12:08
by salsaSkaarj
I still had some tension from Critical Transfer and had problems falling asleep so decided to give it another go.
PowerPlay started a bit different than on the lower difficulty settings. The moment one Skaarj (with ripper) saw me, the other Skaarj were alerted and I retreated back to the starting point, not a very good idea if you want to save ammo and armour. OK, I killed 4 Skaarj but the splash damage made me decide to start over. So snipered the ripperSkaarj before he could even see me, then snipered the Skaarj on the left, then another one on the right, and then cleaned out the room with the elevator: almost a piece of cake. The top area was a bit more difficult, the Skaarj you see walking away isn't a problem since there's distance between you and him, but the moment you fire a shot or step out into the open, there's a Skaarj immediately on the right who caught me by surprise - too much loss of armour and ammo so restarted again.
OK, this time no problem (didn't take the secret), went to the other areas to sanitise them, succesfully killed a ripperSkaarj in the room with some thighpads and then was attacked from behind by a Flak. Lots a lot of assets there. Then went on to the flatform to jump on the transporter but again, a sneak attack from the back leaving me with ±50 health and ±20 armour. Just for fun I decided to continue (took a savegame at that location just in case), took the transporter and on my third or fourth try managed to survive. Went to the next room and survived that also but was suddenly attacked again from behind and didn't survive. Then I remembered that this sneak attack was also present on Hard but the previous sneak attack wasn't. After finishing PowerPlay I suddenly remembered the previous impossibility to save (due to the tvcoop gametype) and I wonder how I beat that map without a save (thinking back about the really difficult parts - especially the Master Control room - I can't see myself surviving the whole map without a savegame).
Anyway, restarted and decided to forget about savegame limitations, so after each succesful defeat of backstabbing Skaarj I took a savegame and probably had about 10 savelocations in this map.
Not going to write a walkthrough for this map (that would take much too long) but I feel that this penultimate map (on Unreal) is the most difficult one to find the succesful strategies (many backstabbers, many snipers, the Master room with multiple attackers difficult to take out from a distance).
But ... the only area where you can't retreat and backtrack is right after the transporter, so in this respect I can't say that it's unfair. In fact once the shield to the exit is open the player can return to the starting area to retrieve all the leftover pickups - so I went back to get the supershieldbelt and then the 200 health keg in the room where you have to use the bombs to open the door. In that area I was low on ammo and decided to open the door with the ammo, not the one with Skaarj.
Anyway, back to 350 shield and 199 health to enter the last corridor to the exit area (with the laser beams) and lost a bit of shield there due to another backstabber.

I still feel Cobalt is the most intriguing map but PowerPlay is a very pleasing map thanks to the variety is fights (and the fact that quite few enemies in areas to be visited later, can be taken out long before (example = the Skaarj guarding the elevator down to the area where you have to close the lids - that one can be taken out almost immediately from way above after the transporter - strangely enough when I eventually reached that area there was a new Skaarj there guarding).

On to Core Issues finally and again with full health and almost max armour. BTW this aspect of the whole of Xenome part 2 suprises me. On first playthrough I had the impression that eventually I would be short on everything, but even on Unreal it's possible to exit a map fully equiped almost every time and up to now I have only 186 damage registered (compared to 1646 at this stage on Hard and 3373 on Medium for the whole of Part 2). This is thanks to playing a lot better than before but also thanks to the placement of the secrets and not taking them before they are needed. Taking into account that the supershield gives 200 value which assimilates the complete damage, this gives a serious buffer before real health loss occurs.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 14 Dec 2017, 01:38
by salsaSkaarj
Core Issue is giving me issues :/
Health and armour is not a problem. The armour lasts sufficiently long to minimise health loss (210 110 health left and after reaching the last secret, I'm back to 350 armour.
Ammo, that 's the problem. When I drop down into the ledges area (immediately after the supershieldbelt), I have 22 Flak, 31 Rockets, 41 biosludge, 15 shockrifle and luckily all the rest is full (so 75 razors).
Unfortunately, in front 3 large Skaarj and in the back 1 Flakgunner cost a lot of heavy ammo. I even gave up on trying to kill them and used the shockrifle to blow them of the ledges. But the next ledge brings another 3 large Skaarj, and the room with the superhealth is guarded and by the time I can go to the platform with the energybridge I have to take on a green eyed Skaarj and a brown Skaarj. Barely survived thanks to the 199 health keg (48 health left, no more armour). Went up the moving parts, almost reached the penultimate ledge and lost some health to a Skaarj on the uppermost platform. Down to 17 health. Finally reached the ammo and health and then help, more Green eyed Monsters *The End*

I'm going to try a couple of times more (not today) from my last savegame (supershieldbelt) and see if I can spare some ammo with quick saving after a succesful (perhaps lucky) kill. I'm not worried about the Warlord - I'll take him on with DP only if necessary - but those green glowing eyed Skaarj (2 of them + a brown one - I ghosted to check) require something a lot heavier (I'll have to save all my biosludge and at least 6 rockets and 6 Flak and hope they connect with their target).

If that doesn't work I'll have to restart Core Issue again and save all my Bio, Flak and Rockets.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 14 Dec 2017, 15:48
by salsaSkaarj
Seriously, I haven't played Xenome part 2 with a self-imposed limit on my savegames per map to give up right near the end because of being a bit wasteful and careless with ammo.
So I gathered all my courage and wits and came up with a carefully designed plan: kill them all!

Went up the ledge and aroused the 3 Skaarj and used the combi with Shockrifle to hold them back while I entered their starting area. That way the Skaarj with the Flak can't attack me from behind, and managed to kill all 4 and collect the Flak ammo. Then up the next ledge and moved slowly until 1 Skaarj came out, used 1 rifle shot to deal some initial damage and then the ripper secondary fire as he was nearing. By then the second Skaarj was aroused and I retreated down spamming the ripper until they didn't advance anymore and then spammed the DP distance mode.

The next part was more difficult since 2 very strong Skaarj attack simultaneously when I started up the ledge towards the bridge (not activated yet). Ripper as they open the door and the pulse gun until they get near - now time to load some biowaste and follow up with rockets. Since that wasn't enough, the Flakcannon had to be used in close quarters on that platform. That cut my health and armour in half.
Then the Skaarj in the bridge control room > turned out to be easy, 2 Flak in the right spot and that was the end of him.
Gathered my well deserved 200 health and inventorised my weaponry: down to some 20 rockets and around 15 Flak but still 30 biosludge. Enough to tackle the beasts on the uppermost area.
Since I knew about the lone Skaarj already on the loose up there, I could avoid his potshots and eventually took him down - What a nice and indispensable weapon the DP is!

Then went up to the final area: slowly and 1 green eyed Skaarj came out immediately but 4 rockets held him back as the next Skaarj came out while I was gathering ammo and armour, a couple of rockets and Flak kept him at bay and as the third Skaarj came out I jumped down the lift while loading rockets and immediately fired up to prevent him from following me. That worked and then I took some blind shots with Flak and Rockets until I heard that the Skaarj were damaged enough so that they wouldn't converge on me. Went back up, the last Skaarj was still in attack-mode but rockets and Flak made short work then. Finally managed to collect the thighpads and the rest of the ammo.

The bombers, snipers, ripperSkaarj and pulsegunners were all taken out using the rifle for aiming and the DP for exterminating (splash damage mode).

And then the Warlord: Took ages to kill: rockets are too easily avoided and I had to save the Flak and a couple of Rockets for close quarter fighting if it came to that. So I more or less emptied everything from a distance, preventing the Warlord from coming close, but eventually he did come too near and I had to jump down the elevator again. By that time I didn't have enough ammo to risk close quarters again and I had a serious problem since the Warlord stayed near the elevator but out of reach. Before trying something silly like going up the elevator which is probably suicide, I went outside to see if I could lure him out but that didn't work. However, I realised that if I were able to go back to the lower level (where I started this session), I could take on the Warlord in the open, with lots of space to move. I tried to go back down the way I came up but that's impossible ... and then I saw the slants left and right beneath the platform by the room where the Warlord is. It's possible to jump on to that and then to the lower (start) platform. OK, it takes some damage but I'll accept that as opposed to rotting up there.
From there on I went back high but it's still impossible to lure the Warlord out into the open so I have to use the movers to go back up, stayed a bit on the pipes leading to the side and managed to lure out the warlord from there (luckily I still had 3 rockets which managed to attract his attention). So as he was coming out, quickly went to the side and made my way to shelter and up the lift. My last rocket hit the Warlord and as he was nearing, full DP spammode again, and as I was thinking of switching to the last of my Flak to jump back down the lift ::: RIP Warlord \o/

Jeezes, that was a gruelling session. But I made it, even though I almost messed it up. Over 30 hours of playing pleasure, 1128 kills, all secrets collected (not the 1 illegal secret) and only 472 damage taken thanks to excellent placement of armour and secrets (and of course very intelligent use of those assets by yours truly :D ).

I think it's time for a playthrough on Unreal difficulty of Xenome Part 1 (patched version), but that will be for next year (and I won't be keeping a diary like I have been with this playthrough).

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 14 Dec 2017, 21:48
by editor Dave
Congratulations on beating "Unreal Xenome 2", I very much enjoyed reading your journals!

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 14 Dec 2017, 22:04
by [UDHQ]Jackrabbit
Yes, it is definitely an interesting read. After beating Interloper for a second time (first medium and now Unreal), I've been inspired to go ahead an beat the pack with No Saves from start to finish on Unreal difficulty. I'll provide screenshots for anyone interested. :tup:

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 14 Dec 2017, 23:08
by salsaSkaarj
[UDHQ]Jackrabbit wrote:Yes, it is definitely an interesting read. After beating Interloper for a second time (first medium and now Unreal), I've been inspired to go ahead an beat the pack with No Saves from start to finish on Unreal difficulty. I'll provide screenshots for anyone interested. :tup:

No saves??? Wow!! There are maps I would dare to try that (Ambush, even Cobalt), but there are maps I know are impossible for me without saves (the one with the wooden elevator area just before the mantas, and Core Issue- I can handle that one with max ammo, but the last part is a killer: one mistake and you're crucified).

I'm glad my "journals" have provided at least some reading fun. I tried to write immediately after finishing a map because memory starts to fail a day later. I've read through some of my posts just now and notice quite a few spelling mistakes (don't blame me, blame jazz :lol: ) but I also had fun writing it - I tried to express what I felt while playing, sometimes so sure of myself, sometimes dreading the next section, sometimes proud to have found something very unexpected (the supersecret in Thin Ice, also the way I found to lure the Warlord out of the top room).

Unreal is not my standard difficulty setting and I just wanted to experience the Unreal feeling. Contrary to Xidia where I gave up on Unreal difficulty, Xenome always gave me the impression that a solution to the problem is there (not the hit and save solution) : it just has to be found. The transition from Medium to Hard (+ weapon tips by UB in this topic) has changed my way of playing completely and I should really try some other older mappacks again to see whether I can use that new knowledge elsewhere also.

I hope jazz feels good about his maps being beaten - that's the point of the game: give the player a decent chance but make him work for it and hopefully the player enjoys the ride. I certainly have.

Of course screenshots of your playthrough would be interesting (I have _sshots of every map ending, but no in play _shots). And any thought about peculiar or special experience s would be fun to read.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 15 Dec 2017, 22:51
by [UDHQ]Jackrabbit
My adventure has un-officially started and so far so good:

I had to restart the map twice. Once because I forgot my crouch hotkey was set to 'N' on my keyboard and got hit with the 3rd dynamo. The second reset was due to the Ambush sequence where I failed to give my teammates the 'hold this position' order. More info in the spoiler sections on how to easily beat the Ambush section:

► Show Spoiler

On to Cobalt, my favorite map in Interloper (with some tough competition).

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 16 Dec 2017, 12:46
by salsaSkaarj
Interesting stategy for the Ambush (I'll try that one also) but you did seem to have inflicted 165 damage on your allies which means their positioning probably wasn't ideal yet.
Also, 0/3 secrets. I can't remember where all the secrets are, but I do remember 1 bodyarmour in the area where you go up an elevator and a Krall atacks from inside a tunnelpassage.
I think I could also beat Ambush without a save (but with collecting all secrets and avoiding the fight while the timer is running) but from here on, I'ld probably get clobbered and I think you're going to find it a lot more stressful without a save somewhere (and having to restart a long map is probably very frustrating).

I hope you continue to find new stategies for the situations, those are always fun to try.

edit: aah, the _sshot was made at the start of Cobalt and not at the end of Ambush (which is why is was so puzzled about 3 secrets in Ambush)

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 17 Dec 2017, 23:53
by salsaSkaarj
Restarted Core Issue from the savegame just before the supershield ( viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4195&p=75240#p75240) so 110 health and 350 armour. Used considerably less rockets and Flak (only just to make sure the Skaarj would enter into close quarters) but mostly ripper (secondary fire mode) and pulse. By the time I had activated the bridge I still had around 240 armour and no health loss. Messed up a bit with the first green eyed Skaarj on top (down to ±190 armour) but no more health and armour loss up to the Warlord and by the time he succumbed my armour was down to ±110 and health to ±160 with still the body armour and the thighpads available for picking up (+ all the healthpacks).

I had a lot of luck here, most of my secondary ripper shots on the lower ledges connected as headshots and I had enough biosludge for the 2nd and 3rd Skaarj on top. For the warlord outside is used rifle, ripper and shockfile, and revolvers and machinegun for instahitting. The moment the Warlord came near the entry, Flak and Rockets.

NOw I am definitely going to let Xenome (and myself) rest a bit.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 18 Dec 2017, 00:56
by [UDHQ]Jackrabbit
salsaSkaarj wrote:Interesting stategy for the Ambush (I'll try that one also) but you did seem to have inflicted 165 damage on your allies which means their positioning probably wasn't ideal yet.
I hope you continue to find new stategies for the situations, those are always fun to try.

Cobalt colony went smoothly, 0 restarts and I came out with a higher armor count than on my last run on Unreal because of better map knowledge (see spoilers for details on how to beat Cobalt easily).

Salsa, I wasn't trying to aim away from my teammates when shooting the Skaarj. I more than likely gunned one of my allies down in the heat of battle without thinking. What I was actually concerned with was that the second ally was still alive and at this point I sacrifice him to the skaarj while waiting and taking cover behind the structure.

► Show Spoiler

I'm excited to continue my journey on what may be my 2nd favorite map of Interloper, but it is an extremely close call compared to the last 4-5 maps of Xenome which are incredibly solid.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 18 Dec 2017, 18:27
by salsaSkaarj
[UDHQ]Jackrabbit wrote:...
Salsa, I wasn't trying to aim away from my teammates when shooting the Skaarj. I more than likely gunned one of my allies down in the heat of battle without thinking. What I was actually concerned with was that the second ally was still alive and at this point I sacrifice him to the skaarj while waiting and taking cover behind the structure.

I tried your strategy on the Ambush (yeah, I k now, I said I was going to let it rest for a while - I lied :B ) and it works quite well. I did take a savegame before the Ambush itself because I had a feeling the positioning of my helpers wasn't going to be good the first time). This strategy could reduce my time for this map by almost an hour (if I still wanted to go for all kills).
Thinking about The Dam now and I also see some possibilities to shorten (avoid) some fights.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 18 Dec 2017, 22:13
by jazz
Hi guys

I haven’t posted of late because of a posting in Germany for the last month.
First off I really appreciate the verbal walkthroughs by Salsa by finding secrets that even I had forgotten to put in the build. I knew it was doable on Unreal as I’d completed it myself with a lot of frustration on my part as I don’t really play on that difficulty.

In relation to Xezr’s post on 15th Nov I would say this:
In Xenome 1 you mentioned a few segments that looked very much like Opposing Force and RTCW, I know the parts you mean. Please don’t think I’m having a go but to answer your query and without going into too much of a detailed rant I would say the following:

Was I influenced by the Half-life games? = yes.
Was I influenced by RTCW? = yes
I was also influenced by the following in the same way.

Both Unreal 1 and 2
Doom 3
Red Faction
Not to mention the other classic mods we all know, Xidia, 7B etc.

Did I extract the original texture files from these games? = no.
These textures already existed as UTX via download over many years from various sites that hosted Unreal files.
Did I manipulate these files after I DL them for use in the mod? = yes.
Virtually all the textures had no Detail Textures or footstep sounds that were needed.

I contacted Valve and ID software a few times over 8 years ago (I can’t recall the exact date). I received nothing from ID software. I received a non-descript mail from Valve that was a general hello and they would get back to me (they never did). I can assume it was a computer generated reply. I’ve had three PC’s since then and multiple formats of the HD. If these two behemoths were really that concerned they would undoubtedly have contacted me by now, as it happens, I don’t think they give a shit!

Permission was also graciously given from the following individuals/organisations for the use of all relevant files in the Mod:

Lightning Hunter
Mr Prophet
Michael Neill
David Munnich
Liquid Element
The Skrilla

All of the above are in the end credits of the mod.
Lastly I want to mention the possibility of some leftover remnants from any copyrighted infringements that may linger from the retracted mod.
If there are any cubes, cylinders or cones (or combination thereof) that may appear that resemble or is a direct result of me not spotting them prior to Xenome 1 or 2s release then let me know over a PM and I’ll sort it out probably well before all three are released as one. You’ll have to forgive me as I’m only one guy with not much time on my hands at the moment.

Sort of completed a few few areas that are still subject to WIP:



Bit of a problem with the level. I want the player to die after a certain event has taken place but the CosoleCommand function (suicide) wont allow it like when you kill the Nali in Friendly Providence. :?
This is a shame as it really curtails what i want to achieve with this map. I came up with the old classic of a crush mover in its stead.
This is a problem as the mover has to enclose a large area to cover the players whereabouts.
I'm having to design the map with this in mind to minimize unintended kills that will effect the score.
I've also had to scrap the sketches I made where the player was to have a good vista of the Nali village from a distance!
Oh well.... Never mind! :|

I’ve got a few weeks off now so I’ll crack on with part 3.

Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Posted: 18 Dec 2017, 23:01
by Buff Skeleton
A simple trigger could handle that -- even TriggeredDeath or a SpecialEvent that causes a massive amount of damage, and with a damage type that doesn't gib you (like Drowned or Corroded). Worst case, a custom trigger could be scripted for it if you want to be absolutely sure it kills all players in coop mode too, though that is much easier dealt with in coop since you respawn, so that might require some more thought.