Greetings! I am Reaver and I would like to present to you my megamod which expands and overhauls the entire game, taking advantage of many new capabilities for mods, all while maintaining the original spirit of the game! My design philosophy is to always present the player with an array of choices, to give the player several tools which all serve a purpose and have plenty of ways to be used. My mod is quite difficult and challenging, but there is always a way to beat every challenge the game throws at you, and the five difficulty settings have been greatly expanded to help you select the right amount of challenge for you!
The following details are spoiler-free, and will serve as a guide and introduction, giving you important insight as to how the mod works.
Selecting a difficulty setting
The five difficulties in my mod have been expanded, such that there is a much greater difference from one to the next.
Beginner: This setting should be even easier than Beginner in vanilla x-com, especially with the expanded array of items you will have available. This difficulty setting has less enemies, enemies are weaker, UFOs deal less damage, enemy psionics are weaker, and your body armor and aircraft are stronger. The council will be extremely lenient with you when you have a negative score.
Experienced: This should be about the same as Experienced or Veteran difficulty in vanilla x-com. This difficulty setting has less enemies than Veteran, enemies are a bit weaker, you have stronger body armor but your aircraft are the same as in Veteran. The council will be very lenient with you over a negative score.
Veteran: This should be about as hard as Superhuman difficulty in vanilla x-com. This difficulty setting has a normal amount of enemies, normal enemy toughness and psionics, UFOs deal normal damage, and your aircraft and body armor are all normal. The council will be fairly lenient with you over a negative score compared to the original game.
Genius: This difficulty is much harder than the original game, being more like the difficulty of most of the popular megamods in the x-com community. This difficulty setting presents a normal amount of enemies but they are much stronger and have sturdier armor, and more potent psionics. Your body armor is normal. UFOs deal a bit more damage, and your aircraft will be significantly weaker. The council will not be very lenient with negative scores.
Superhuman: This is a very difficult setting, comparable to the most difficult mods in the community. This setting presents more enemies which are stronger, they have tough armor, potent psionics. Your body armor and aircraft are both weaker, and UFOs will deal a lot of damage. The council will not be any more lenient with your score than in the original game.
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Research Project Information
There is a new section in the UFOPedia which will often contain important info related to your research. Any time you have a research project that you'd like to know more about before you start it, check in the Research Project Information section and there will likely be an entry on it! These articles will help you decide if you want to spend time researching this topic, or choose something else.
Feel free to explore the UFOPedia, and potentially find other useful information! I have added many new UFOPedia entries, information collected by the X-Com Project's finest scientists and intelligence operatives, to ensure that you stay as informed and as up to date as possible!
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You Always Have Choices
I try to never lock the player into any one option. You won't often have an obvious right answer to any problem, and if you think you do, you're probably missing an alternative strategy somewhere. But you'll have plenty of tools to play with, and all of them will be useful in their own way, and none of them will be optimal all of the time.
It may seem overwhelming at first that you have so many options to choose from right at the start of the game. If you feel overwhelmed, try focusing on just a handful of things at first. Follow these steps for a decent starting strategy. It is by no means the best, but it will serve you well until you get the hang of everything.
1.) Stick with the initial base setup and don't bother building any new facilities yet. Don't bother buying any equipment for your soldiers, either, for now just stick with what you start with.
2.) Purchase 15 scientists. This will fill up your first laboratory and help you unlock science faster. Purchase a few soldiers with any living space you have left, as you will need replacements when they die. And don't get too attached to soldiers because they will die. A lot. (At first.) Get your scientists started researching one of the four options--use Research Project Information to help you decide.
3.) You don't need to buy engineers right now, but you can put the ones you have to work making incendiary grenades. If you hit the [ Sell ] button, the grenades will be sold as soon as they are made, and your engineers will earn you most of the money it costs to pay their wages. If you keep the grenades, you can load them onto your Mammoth later and use them in combat. Set the production number to infinite for now (right click the up arrow).
3.) Load your tank onto your Mammoth. Other than that you can stick with your starting craft loadouts.
4.) That's about it! Hit one of the time control buttons in the Geoscape to make time go by faster. Eventually you'll either finish research, or your radar will detect a UFO. Once you have your first UFO, check its size. If it is very small, chase it down with your Skyraider. If it is small, chase it down with your Interceptor. If it is medium or larger, ignore it for now.
5.) If it lands, or if you make it crash land, then send your Mammoth out to do ground combat! Once you have your first ground combat, you can arm your troops however you like or stick with the default armaments. Combat is tricky at first, but you will get the hang of it!
6.) Your first terror mission will be hell. You will probably perform horribly there. And that's okay!
Have fun and enjoy the mod!