Capturing Mutons

#1 Posted by D_W (1162 posts) -

So I just encountered Mutons and and am attempting to capture one, but every time I've tried it has failed with an 80% hit rate. I'm wondering if you need something special to capture them other than the basic Arc Thrower or if I just had terrible luck.

#2 Posted by SethMode (41 posts) -

Nope. Nothing special needed, you're just encountering the first of many instances in which you could describe your outcome as being: boned.

#3 Posted by Anomareh (92 posts) -

Fuck Muton Elites. I failed 3 times with a 95% improved Arc Thrower.

#4 Posted by supamon (1333 posts) -

Nope you just had terrible luck. There will be stronger versions of Mutons that are even harder to cap later in the game.

#5 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I encountered a similar problem trying to live capture a Chrysalid. Had a save right before I move my guy into position, Chrysalid is at 2hp and not in cover. Arc thrower says 80% chance. I attempt and fail to capture five save/loads in a row. No dice. I haven't tried to capture one since due to the extreme danger of hanging around within a turn's distance of a Chrysalid.

Chrysalids can be captured... right?

edit--- according to the XCOM wiki, Chrysalids are immune to the arc thrower. Would have been nice if the game mentioned that somewhere. Like, maybe put 0% chance on the arc thrower after you're tried and failed once?

#6 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

You just got to get right in there, whip it out and give `im a good blast.

Heh.

@HerbieBug said:

edit--- according to the XCOM wiki, Chrysalids are immune to the arc thrower. Would have been nice if the game mentioned that somewhere. Like, maybe put 0% chance on the arc thrower after you're tried and failed once?

Doesn't that "you can zap them in this radius" ring pop up over enemies you can zap when you have your solider with the arc thrower selected and you mouse over them? The first time I did that and noticed I didn't get one for the Chrysalid, that told me what I needed to know. Weird that it popped a value for success at all, as my thrower won't even register a target.

#7 Edited by bushpusherr (782 posts) -

@HerbieBug said:

I encountered a similar problem trying to live capture a Chrysalid. Had a save right before I move my guy into position, Chrysalid is at 2hp and not in cover. Arc thrower says 80% chance. I attempt and fail to capture five save/loads in a row. No dice. I haven't tried to capture one since due to the extreme danger of hanging around within a turn's distance of a Chrysalid.

Chrysalids can be captured... right?

edit--- according to the XCOM wiki, Chrysalids are immune to the arc thrower. Would have been nice if the game mentioned that somewhere. Like, maybe put 0% chance on the arc thrower after you're tried and failed once?

It wouldn't have mattered anyway. The game doesn't calculate dice rolls for every action, a random seed is set at the beginning of the map that pretty much dictates when stuff will hit. When it says 85% to hit, you assume its going to roll the dice, and 85% of the time its going to be successful for you. This isn't the case.

You either have a 100% to hit, or a 0% chance to hit, depending on what value the random seed has picked ahead of time against the percentage your soldier has to hit. For example, no matter which soldier I choose to fire with next, the random value assigned at the beginning of the map for my next firing attempt is 80% (hypothetical). If I save the game, and then take a shot with my sniper that has a 75% chance to hit, it is going to miss every single time. No matter how many saves i reload. If its not above 80%, it will miss every load.

There are ways to mitigate this (if you are playing a save-heavy non-ironman run). If you have a another soldier within range of firing that has less of a chance to hit (say, a heavy with 35% hit chance from distance), firing with him will burn the high 80% random value, and your next shot will have a new one. Now firing with my sniper, the random value may be 40%, in which case my 75% sniper shot is now guaranteed to hit. You can literally save before a turn, move and fire with all 6 soldiers, load back to the start of the turn, and if do the exact same moves you will get the exact same results every time.

I've had situations where I tried to stun someone at 80%, only to reload the save and find out that a solider at 83% would hit every time. Playing this way totally flips the dynamic from "get out of here alive," to "get out of here without a single scratch on me the entire mission." Both are fun in their own ways :)

#8 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

It does, yes. It did in this scenario as well. Maybe I hit a bug? Next time I'm close to a Chrysalid I'll see if anything is different.

#9 Posted by StarvingGamer (8233 posts) -

@HerbieBug: That sounds like a really weird bug.

#10 Posted by D_W (1162 posts) -

@bushpusherr: Oh that's kind of a bull shit way to design a combat system. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I understand why they would do that (mitigates save scumming), but it makes the combat fatalistic in a way that that ruins immersion. I'll have to think about that particular design choice for a while before I have a full opinion on it, but as of right now I do not like it one bit. Why even display hit chances if they aren't taken into consideration? That's lying to the players for no reason. But yeah, not to over react.

Though I'm positive I've had moments where I've missed, reloaded a save, did the exact thing, but had the shot hit. So hrmmm. Do you have a link to something that confirms that's the way the game works?

#11 Posted by ElCapitan (402 posts) -

@bushpusherr: @D_W: It's not any less fatalistic than save scumming. In fact, it's a pretty damn fair way to construct a random system.

For that matter, it's not entirely fair to say that the percent doesn't matter, because it does. Depending on which way they use the numbers, the percent chance there is the check against the value the seeded dice rolls generated. If they implemented it that way, your 0.8 chance to stun is checked against the generated number, let's say 0.92 in this case. If your chance to hit < the generated number, you miss. Those percentages do matter (get that chance to hit to 95% by moving closer and you will hit). It's not like the seed rolls either 0 or 1 either time, it's just that you can't save/reload over and over again.

If you don't think that's actually random, well neither is reloading a save until you get the outcome you want. Actually neither is anything a computer ever generates, if we're gonna get anal about it.

#12 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

The option to try and stun one of those chryslids doesn't even pop up. Them and the Robots can not be stunned. And so far I've had no issues with stunning everything else. I think all I need now is a ethenal

#13 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man said:

The option to try and stun one of those chryslids doesn't even pop up. Them and the Robots can not be stunned. And so far I've had no issues with stunning everything else. I think all I need now is a ethenal

Yep, i tested this earlier today. Arc thrower option not given as intended. That was definitely a bug I encountered earlier. I think it might have had something to do with running to the very edge of my troop's 1/2 turn range in order to get him inside the shock radius. You can run slightly beyond the outline if your destination point is not in cover.

#14 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

Ran into my first mutons last night. Spotted a group of 3 of them, then 3 more came out. Then a cyberdisc showed up. Then 3 more mutons and 3 sectoid commanders crashed the party. Then my sniper panicked and headshotted my other 2 guys.

Fuck this game.

#15 Edited by Lanechanger (476 posts) -

@bushpusherr: Wow nice breakdown of the system, there were a few things that I never got and that was one of them, thanks! Another one was cover, I didn't understand why a dude in full cover would get shot but my other dude in partial cover was avoiding every shot, cover seems to just subtract the "to hit" % from the shooter I believe, so does defense I think as some of the armor said "provides defense equivalent to partial cover"...

#16 Posted by mason (260 posts) -

@Enigma777: I could just be paranoid, but mutons seem to alert other nearby mutons when revealed. It almost always happens, unless I scout very carefully.

I'd say the same is true for floaters. Reveal one group of 3, and suddenly 6 more show up.

#17 Posted by yinstarrunner (1198 posts) -

@Lanechanger: Yeah if you look at your soldier's stats in the middle of battle you can actually see how much defense they have at any point, I believe.

Same goes for enemies when you're targeting them.

#18 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@mason said:

@Enigma777: I could just be paranoid, but mutons seem to alert other nearby mutons when revealed. It almost always happens, unless I scout very carefully.

I'd say the same is true for floaters. Reveal one group of 3, and suddenly 6 more show up.

That might be due to Muton AI. They are particularly prone to change position a lot. If they fallback a little and enter the area of another group waiting, that'll trigger those ones. You can usually avoid that by refusing to chase them. They will come to you.

#19 Posted by ElCapitan (402 posts) -

@Lanechanger: Other people have said this, but F1 or clicking the left stick will show you the breakdown of why your shot percentage is what it is. Enemies operate under similar rules, but have different buffs to hit/crit/armor (like blood pact, for example...hate that goddamn move) that will affect their hit/crit%

#20 Posted by mason (260 posts) -

@HerbieBug: That's true, though I don't always know Mutons are around until I stumble upon them. Then it's ON.

I guess at the start of the level, I should just overwatch and pay attention to the alien sounds. If it sounds like Muton, just keep waiting.

Then again...terror missions. Waiting not always an option.

#21 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@HerbieBug

@mason said:

@Enigma777: I could just be paranoid, but mutons seem to alert other nearby mutons when revealed. It almost always happens, unless I scout very carefully.

I'd say the same is true for floaters. Reveal one group of 3, and suddenly 6 more show up.

That might be due to Muton AI. They are particularly prone to change position a lot. If they fallback a little and enter the area of another group waiting, that'll trigger those ones. You can usually avoid that by refusing to chase them. They will come to you.

Had an abduction mission last night starting in the parking lot of a pub.

Grapple to the roof with my sniper and then move up my support to the nearest cover (like 3 squares) and immediately reveal 3 Mutons in the building.

Over the next 3 turns I have a total of 15 Mutons (including my first Berserker) coming at me without me advancing an inch. Thank god for judicious rocket and sniper use (still lost 2 guys)

Fuck Mutons
#22 Posted by bushpusherr (782 posts) -

@D_W said:

@bushpusherr: Oh that's kind of a bull shit way to design a combat system. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I understand why they would do that (mitigates save scumming), but it makes the combat fatalistic in a way that that ruins immersion. I'll have to think about that particular design choice for a while before I have a full opinion on it, but as of right now I do not like it one bit. Why even display hit chances if they aren't taken into consideration? That's lying to the players for no reason. But yeah, not to over react.

Though I'm positive I've had moments where I've missed, reloaded a save, did the exact thing, but had the shot hit. So hrmmm. Do you have a link to something that confirms that's the way the game works?

If you did the same moves but in a different order, it effects it. Like, I can shoot the same 4 enemies with the same four soldiers, but if I switch the order than they are all now using a random value that one of the other soldiers was using the last time.

#23 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Just captured 4 elite mutons in one mission. Was kinda amusing how they tried their petty tatics. But Hardcore rushed em and zapped them all. 

#24 Posted by GenghisJohn (256 posts) -

Yeah I captured a muton with the regular arc thrower. It had I think 2 health at the time

#25 Posted by beeftothetaco (423 posts) -

@bushpusherr: That's such a fucked way of doing things. Why wouldn't they just stick to a simple dice roll system?

#26 Posted by bushpusherr (782 posts) -

@beeftothetaco said:

@bushpusherr: That's such a fucked way of doing things. Why wouldn't they just stick to a simple dice roll system?

I assume so that people couldn't totally cheese the game with saving and loading even more than they already can.

#27 Posted by DFuze (10 posts) -

I remember when I first tried to capture a berserker, bad times for that rookie.

#28 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

@HerbieBug

@mason said:

@Enigma777: I could just be paranoid, but mutons seem to alert other nearby mutons when revealed. It almost always happens, unless I scout very carefully.

I'd say the same is true for floaters. Reveal one group of 3, and suddenly 6 more show up.

That might be due to Muton AI. They are particularly prone to change position a lot. If they fallback a little and enter the area of another group waiting, that'll trigger those ones. You can usually avoid that by refusing to chase them. They will come to you.

Had an abduction mission last night starting in the parking lot of a pub. Grapple to the roof with my sniper and then move up my support to the nearest cover (like 3 squares) and immediately reveal 3 Mutons in the building. Over the next 3 turns I have a total of 15 Mutons (including my first Berserker) coming at me without me advancing an inch. Thank god for judicious rocket and sniper use (still lost 2 guys) Fuck Mutons

o____o

I think 12 is the highest number of that unit (4 sets of 3) I have encountered outside of a base invasion.

#29 Posted by seannao (226 posts) -

I have been on UFO missions later in the game that had 23 enemy crew (includes drones, which aren't a threat) but it's only on normal. Classic and Impossible add to the average size of the enemies you fight in a given mission as well.

As for capturing enemies, you absolutely have to plan on it failing by suppressing/panicking the target or making sure it's the last one of an enemy group and, as best you can, trying to get on top of it from covered position or doing risky stuff like popping smoke on the person who's going to approach it.

#30 Edited by ElCapitan (402 posts) -

@beeftothetaco: Here's the thing: This is the way that all RNGs and dice roll systems work in pretty much every game. The only difference is whether or not they save the seed and when/where they generate the seed.

An MMO, for example, has a global seed that's constant across the entire server, but you can't reload there so it doesn't matter.

Many other games might use the current time as their random seed, which will generate a different number depending on when you're completing the action.

XCOM generates a seed at the start of the mission and then uses that across the rest of the mission. It is just as random as any other system, but you cannot get a new result by save/reloading.

Save reloading is actually the least random thing you can do. It's changing the game until you get what you want.

At this point, with all the complaints, I wish Firaxis had included a "Lock Seed" toggle like they normally do with the rest of their games so people would stop thinking it's not random.

#31 Edited by BonOrbitz (2193 posts) -

@seannao said:

As for capturing enemies, you absolutely have to plan on it failing by suppressing/panicking the target or making sure it's the last one of an enemy group and, as best you can, trying to get on top of it from covered position or doing risky stuff like popping smoke on the person who's going to approach it.

A good tactic I like to use is the sniper's "Disabling Shot" ability against the target (if they are carrying a weapon), then bum-rush them with the squad member who's carrying the arc thrower.

I haven't had any success with stunning mutons with 3 health or under with the regular thrower. Once I got the improved thrower I caught a muton and an elite muton on the same mission. Overall, Mutons are getting easier as I grow the number of my squad member slots and implement plasma weapons.

#32 Posted by The_Ruiner (1052 posts) -

dice rolls man...

Online
#33 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@Enigma777 said:

Ran into my first mutons last night. Spotted a group of 3 of them, then 3 more came out. Then a cyberdisc showed up. Then 3 more mutons and 3 sectoid commanders crashed the party. Then my sniper panicked and headshotted my other 2 guys.

Fuck this game.

Wait, your first encounter with Mutons had a Cyberdisc and Sectoid Commanders? To me that sounds like you are either playing on Impossible or you took way too long building stuff up. On my Classic Ironman game I beat a bit ago I killed pretty much every kind of alien except Ethereals before I fought a Sectoid Commander. Sucks to be you though, thems the breaks.

#34 Posted by beeftothetaco (423 posts) -

@ElCapitan: Does it not randomly generate a seed for each chance driven action? For example, in a recent battle, my Assaulter missed an 85% chance attack but my sniper made a 35% shot immediately after. How does that work?

#35 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

@beeftothetaco said:

@ElCapitan: Does it not randomly generate a seed for each chance driven action? For example, in a recent battle, my Assaulter missed an 85% chance attack but my sniper made a 35% shot immediately after. How does that work?

Think of it like this, there are 2 numbers that are involved before you even get to your shot percentage. The first is the seed, the seed is the original number that is created once per level. This number is the only that is manipulated 100s and 100s of times to get a 'random' number (because a computer cannot actually create a random number, but it can manipulate a number so often that is is practically random). This manipulated number is the one that your shot percentage is checked against. It is why doing the same action 1000 times will always net the same result (as the manipulated number has been selected but not used yet, so it will stay until it is used).

I know it seems like a strange way of doing it, but this is how random numbers are done in programming. The only real differences are how the random see is generated (some simple programs choose it based on how many milliseconds have passed since midnight) and how often a new seed is generated. Unfortunately for Firaxis there are not enough layers of abstraction between the random number system and player choices, so it hurts the games ability to convince you the percentages matter (which they actually do).

#36 Posted by ElCapitan (402 posts) -

@beeftothetaco: There's a little confusion here as to what a seed is versus what a seed is used for and I admit that it's because I'm playing loose with the word. Computers generate pseudorandom numbers using formulas that are so complex that they can create seemingly random strings of numbers. The only problem is, the same input always yields the same bajillion random numbers in the exact same order.

For argument's sake: f(x) is the function that generates a series of random numbers where x is the seed fed into the random number generator. A given seed might yield 0.25, 0.17, 0.86, 0.99, 0.16...while another would yield an entirely different set of numbers (I'm too lazy to come up with another set).

Like said, a game where saving/reloading will work means that the seed they use is constantly changing. It does not save state. What Firaxis is doing here (and they do in Civ games as well) is save the original seed when it's generated along with the save file. You cannot generate a new seed which means you cannot get a new set of outcomes. When people walk around for a turn to get new outcomes they are not getting a new seed, they're just advancing further down a list similar to the one I made before.

It really only breaks down as a system, perceptually, when the player tries to game it, which also partially stems from the average person's inability to properly perceive or understand probability. Remember that a 90% event fails 1 in 10 times and you're easily inputting more than 10 actions on a given map (not that it couldn't happen where you never miss a 90% over a map, but over the long run it should even out).

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