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anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:09
This forum has been moved wholesale from the old Xenonauts forum. Please enjoy and join in:

Page one:




I'm making a second thread for this because the original already performed its function and is devolving in to a circular logic "Why?-Why Not!" spiral that isn't accomplishing anything.

The original question is as follows: "Why can't we have manual kneeling in the game?".
The official answer from Chris is : "I'm not totally against manual kneeling but I'm not sure how to balance it with the cover system".

I am trying to figure out how we could accomplish this balance. But I don't have access to the beta and probably won't for a very long time. (THANKS PAYPAL). So could someone please explain the details? All I know so far is that a soldier crouching is in a tile with possible cover. Crouching into cover is automatic and has no cost. And when he is USING that cover, the soldier stops crouching and leans against it in the direction of protection. Is that accurate? Correct me if I'm wrong.


Hmm...Yep, sounds right. The leaning also shows that they are facing towards the cover object (a transformer box protects from 3 directions, NE/N/NW but they won't lean when facing NE or NW).

How much protection a cover object gives depends on the direction a shot comes from. From the above example, the wall protects best from the North, and only slightly from the NE and NW. Its colour-coded, so green is best, then yellow, then grey.
A transformer has green N, and grey NE and NW. If there is 2 side by side, the area they connect is green.

I'm not perfectly sure, but I think if they don't lean, it also means they don't need to stand up to fire. It might have something to do with protective quality of the cover object? Or LOF or something. Either way, they don't shoot the objects they are crouching behind.


So to get full cover from a diagonal direction would you need two separate pieces of cover forming a V around the soldier? Or does the game track fence corners separately?


I think if there's a cover object on either side, you get full (green level) cover. So either a 3 tiles long wall (green on NE/N/NW), or a N-S fence section (if the one you're using is E-W) connecting to the one you're using. Might depend on what the cover objects are though (as to how much protections they provide).
Being in a corner made of cover walls/objects protects from more directions though. From above example, it would give cover from NE, N, NW, E, SE at varying levels of protection.

I don't think fence corners are a separate object. Its more an L-shape anyways. Its can be a bit confusing, but if you think about it from a top-down perspective it makes sense.

Oh, about the leaning (had to check). From one of Chris' comments, leaning actually means they are facing towards the cover object. If they're crouching, they are using whatever cover is available in that tile. There's no mechanical distinction between leaning or crouching in a cover-active tile, its a visual thing so it doesn't look weird (jamming a gun into a wall).
Might be misreading the comment though. http://www.xenonauts.com/forum/topic?id p=4#p13671


As far as to the utility of kneeling, maybe simple having the ability to fire over a unit, if in a space directly beside (front, back, sides, ect.) could be instated?

Kneeling in cover seems fine and reasonable but I do miss the "regimental volley" tactics I used when I had a Skyranger full of red-shirts. This could mean that kneeling in an open area has a purpose, mainly allowing you to fire over units... which would be very useful given most situations in which you need to breach the door to the UFO.

Of course with the implementation of the riot shield (and not using it) this stacking method could be a less safe than just a unit with a shield. Unless a riot shield effects are preserved on crouch, this could give a nice way to implement a mobile "tower and bastion" strategy. This would allow you to establish a "defensive" position on open terrain. This would only provide protection from the orientations a shield normally protects. The shield would absorb a few blasts and allow you to return in kind giving you some breathing room for the rest of your forces to consolidate and support the besieged pair. This stacking mechanic may provide some interesting mechanics or if used improperly gives you an excellent opportunity to experience the joys of hiring new soldiers which is appropriate to the experience of X-COM.

-- A visual description of the stacking technique:
[@@
-- where a ' [ ' is the orientation of the riot shield/ analogue and the ' @ ' represents the soldier themselves.

Kneeling would of course cost some TU's that seems reasonable but manual kneeling could simple allow you to fire over and beyond your own units. Just my two cents worth.


You can already fire over and beyond your own units if they are in cover. If they are in cover they're kneeling down, and so anyone can shoot over them (even others in cover as they stand up to shoot).

Tamren wrote:
"Why?-Why Not!" spiral that isn't accomplishing anything.
I know this is in the other topic, and I hope this doesn't derail this topic [read: if you have something to say about this, go to http://www.xenonauts.com/forum/topic?id=1131&], but the reason it's not accomplishing anything is because there are those who don't feel the need (or benefit) for manual kneeling. Just saying.

In the mean time I am interested in seeing what you come up with in the way of implementing manual kneeling in a way that works WITH the current cover system


Back when I first stumbled onto this issue was the same time I learned about Xenonauts having the problem of soldiers hitting each other in the back. The ballistic mechanics are such that a projectile normally strikes the first thing it hits, and since crouching is not implemented soldiers could not shoot past each other. I kind of went "Gwuh?". I mean, its not rocket science, they managed to figure this out back in 1994.

If only to allow soldiers to fire past each other we should allow this. When you think about it crouching also allows you to fit behind a riot shield, so it would be useful in that regard as well.

Sathra wrote:
I don't think fence corners are a separate object. Its more an L-shape anyways. Its can be a bit confusing, but if you think about it from a top-down perspective it makes sense.
Hmm okay I sorta understand it now. It makes my really sad the engine isn't 3d, cause putting in custom poses would have been a snap. For instance if a soldier was leaning up against a wall you could have 3 different poses. Leaning back with gun straight up = facing the wall directly. Leaning to one side or the other with gun ready would be the diagonals. And simply crouching by the wall would mean looking left or right and hence not involve the wall.

Anyhow since the system we have is sprite based we need to account for that.

Crouching is currently the "in-cover" indicator. But what do you guys think about using something else like a small icon? This would free up the crouching animation and allow us to use it for other things, removing the conflict with the current system.


I really don't like having to rely on icons. It looks messy. Having them on the portraits isn't very intuitive, and having them on the tac-arena looks terrible. Glowy crap hanging around your troops all the time, no thanks.

I'm not sure if the current cover direction indicators are meant to be always visible though. I don't think they are, since the only information they give that can't be seen without them is the cover-level in a particular direction, and since that's based on semi-intuition for value (basically: that thing looks like it should provide good cover, green it is) you can eyeball-guess it.


Yeah definately not a fan of floaty icons. Looks messy. I think it works fine for now anyway: you're in cover if you're kneeling by a wall. it's obvious what you're in cover with, it's the wall your kneeling against!

I thought we were talking about how to implement kneeling... we already have a system for cover...


But if we implement kneeling, it would mean you could kneel everywhere. Including in cover. This interaction is what we need to figure out. Putting aside cover for a second. Kneeling needs to have some sort of advantage or no one would ever use it. Things like:

- Kneeling reduces the height of the soldier. Enemy shots miss (slightly) more and friendly shots can pass over kneeling troops.
- Riot shields provide total body coverage when kneeling. (but this reduces FOW because you are looking through the little window, not over the top)
- Kneeling reduces AP cost for picking up objects off the ground.
- Kneeling slightly increases the AP needed to reaction dodge.

In the original XCOM, the most important part of kneeling was how it affected shooting accuracy. It provided a flat % bonus. In Xenonauts the system works a little differently, shots have a base cost and you can spend extra AP to improve accuracy.

So instead of a flat bonus, why not have kneeling reduce the base number of AP needed to make a shot? If a shot costs less AP it leaves you with extra that you can spend to increase accuracy.* Kneeling provides stability so it would make an aimed shot quicker to line up. It would also make automatic weapons easier to control with burst fire. This would also apply to reaction fire.

Make sense? It takes AP to kneel and stand, but you get a tangible benefit from it.

I'll explain the interaction between cover and kneeling when I get back.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:13
Page 2 part 1:


This all sounds too familiar! For what it's worth I agree with you on most points Tamren however I would advise going the opposite way with regards to giving a kneeling soldier too many benefits.

Friendly shots pass over kneeling soldiers - Yes!
Kneeling Riot shield soldier - I'm not sure they should be able to kneel at all. It really depends how the shield works we just don't know enough yet.
Kneeling reduces AP cost for picking up objects off the ground - I guess that makes sense. It should only reduce it by the amount it costs to crouch then stand up however. So in effect it's no different from just picking it up.
Kneeling slightly increases the AP needed to reaction dodge. - Yes.

Tamren wrote:
So instead of a flat bonus, why not have kneeling reduce the base number of AP needed to make a shot? If a shot costs less AP it leaves you with extra that you can spend to increase accuracy.
I think this would be too much. I would be more in favour of a flat +~3% to accuracy. Otherwise kneeling might as well be free.

At this point kneeling has so many advantages that it becomes the best option in most situations. If you wanted a system like this you would also need a tradeoff. My suggestion was resonable LOS penalties but no-one seems to like that. Even though I think it would play well and require you to really think about when and where to kneel.

With regards to the current cover system I assume it's too much work to have a different animation for being in cover? The 8 directions become a problem of course.

I think the biggest problem with merging the 2 systems is that with the introduction of manual kneeling autocover is not needed. But with autocover alone the system is (in my opinion) too simplistic and constricted. It could be possible to force both into the game but then you just overcomplicate things when manual kneeling alone can do both systems. My solution is to remove autocover entirely.* You could keep things like the UI display for cover strength and perhaps aliens could still use it to make firefights more interesting.

And no we certainly don't need floaty icons although it did cross my mind too. Chris how much coding time would it take to temporarily disable autocover for the squadies and try out some basic values for crouching? So crouching costs 4 or 5 ap and when you crouch behind cover you are protected by it.* Then add a small acc increase and perhaps impede LOS over the obstacles.

Well whatever you say about me I am consistant =P

Oh I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas on merging the two systems Tamren.

Tamren wrote:
- Kneeling reduces the height of the soldier. Enemy shots miss (slightly) more and friendly shots can pass over kneeling troops.
- Riot shields provide total body coverage when kneeling. (but this reduces FOW because you are looking through the little window, not over the top)
- Kneeling reduces AP cost for picking up objects off the ground.
- Kneeling slightly increases the AP needed to reaction dodge.
I agree with the first one, the other three are not necessary, that might help balance out by not giving kneeling too much of an advantage.

Tamren wrote:
So instead of a flat bonus, why not have kneeling reduce the base number of AP needed to make a shot? If a shot costs less AP it leaves you with extra that you can spend to increase accuracy.*
The problem with this approach is that if you save too few AP it's not worth kneeling, and if you save too many then what's the point of not kneeling before shooting, again removing any real semblance of choice...

Tamren wrote:
Kneeling provides stability so it would make an aimed shot quicker to line up. It would also make automatic weapons easier to control with burst fire. This would also apply to reaction fire.
Perhaps it would make an aimed shot quicker to line up, if they're not moving sideways faster than you can comfortably swivel while crouched. Also burst fire isn't used during reaction fire. I would however concede that burst fire might be slightly more accurate crouched.

Tweakd wrote:
With regards to the current cover system I assume it's too much work to have a different animation for being in cover? The 8 directions become a problem of course.
What sort of animation would you have? Crouching behind the wall really is the only thing that springs to my mind... Im actually curious, not being a nay sayer, what other animation could there be?

Tweakd wrote:
My solution is to remove autocover entirely.
that's not really a solution. In fact that's basically saying 'why don't we re-write the entire combat script because I want manual kneeling back in.' This thread is to implement kneeling WITH the cover system, not remove the cover system and replace it with manual kneeling...

anotherdevil wrote:
This thread is to implement kneeling WITH the cover system, not remove the cover system and replace it with manual kneeling...
Exactly. Try not to confuse it. The other thread is for that (and has devolved into a circular argument).

With the current cover system, troops are partly treated as standing up (its meant to simulate them peeking over their cover I think). Its to cut out alot of busywork with doing 'squats' for viewing/firing. This, I have no problem with, since they're not robots.
Balancing manual 'anytime' kneeling with the current cover system would necessarily require adding disadvantages to being in cover. Whether its LOS restrictions (not particularly useful, due to the already short sight range), or something as simple as increased turning costs. Hmm.
----
So, just as a thought exercise, how do people feel about this:
Keep the auto-cover system. Units in a cover tile have increased turning costs (2 instead of 1 AP per 45 degrees compared to base). They gain an minor accuracy bonus with heavy/cumbersome weapons (MG's, sniper rifles, RPG) and burst fire, due to bracing. It drops the effective range of weapons by, say, 10% (the range when Accuracy drops off sharply).
Manual kneeling costs 4 AP (1 step). It adds a ~15% miss chance to being hit (I'm assuming that some system to fire past friendlies is added. Point blank miss chance based on distance of intervening unit compared to target tile maybe). It only adds an accuracy boost (larger than the cover bonus to burst fire?) to burst fire with non-heavy weapons (and flamethrowers). Costs 4AP to stand up.
They both add an AP penalty to reaction dodging, but reduce the effect of AP use to reaction checks (every 2 AP used only counts as 1 maybe? Makes a trooper more likely to reaction fire than they would otherwise).
----
End result, cover is always a good idea but its more defensive in scope. Its better to plan being in place before you fight. Its also cuts range, so its good for leap-frogging advancement. Cover doesn't add a miss chance btw, since that's abstracted as part of the cover save.
Manual kneeling is for aggressive advancement. Add some smoke* or other LOS/LOF blockers and it becomes very, very good. Its much more risky though, and isn't that useful for support troops.
Shotguns don't have burst fire though, so doesn't get any benefit from either mode. They do alot of damage per AP though, through armour, and get replaced by burst firing carbines anyways. They do fire cheaper than most weapons however, so the reaction boost would be very useful taking into account their short effective range.

Thoughts?

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:14
Page 2 part 2:

anotherdevil wrote:
What sort of animation would you have? Crouching behind the wall really is the only thing that springs to my mind... Im actually curious, not being a nay sayer, what other animation could there be?
If facing away from your cover then back against the cover with the gun and head and possibly torso pointed in the directions your "looking".
Directly facing the cover then the current one can be used.
If facing diagonally towards it then you need something else. Can't think of a goodd one but I'm almost there

Alternatively and a much simpler solution would be to have 2 different crouch anaimations. One for open crouching and one for behind cover. In the open the gun could be pointed in the direction you face, arms outstreched as if ready to fire. If behind cover then the gun resting on the knees or on the ground or in one hand. Anything that would be a clear indication that it's a different situation.

anotherdevil wrote:
that's not really a solution. In fact that's basically saying 'why don't we re-write the entire combat script because I want manual kneeling back in.' This thread is to implement kneeling WITH the cover system, not remove the cover system and replace it with manual kneeling...
I'm just speaking my mind. The thread title is "How we could implement manual kneeling" and I've stated that removing autocover is my favourite option. It would be cleaner than trying to implement both. I mean all you do is remove the "auto" part and add manual and your pretty much there.

EDIT : Sathra with a quick skim over it looks quite good to me. I'll need to read it again more thoroughly when I have time but it looks like something i'd be happy with.

Sathra wrote:
Units in a cover tile have increased turning costs (2 instead of 1 AP per 45 degrees compared to base).
That sounds annoying but doable. I guess it represents things like shifting your weapon so it doesn't hit the wall while also remaining crouched etc.
Sathra wrote:
they gain an minor accuracy bonus with heavy/cumbersome weapons (MG's, sniper rifles, RPG) and burst fire, due to bracing. It drops the effective range of weapons by, say, 10% (the range when Accuracy drops off sharply).
Just make sure burst fire and MG's don't get stacked bonuses, else it could be too powerful. Or it might just really pay to have your MG guys set up in cover!
Sathra wrote:
Manual kneeling costs 4 AP (1 step). It adds a ~15% miss chance to being hit (I'm assuming that some system to fire past friendlies is added. Point blank miss chance based on distance of intervening unit compared to target tile maybe).
Sounds like a decent system for avoiding friendly fire. Alternately you could tell the computer to always miss a friendly troop in an adjacent square unless you aim directly at that square? I mean Xenonauts are supposed to be the best of the best, shooting their team mate at point blank range is not a good way to show this...
Sathra wrote:
It only adds an accuracy boost (larger than the cover bonus to burst fire?) to burst fire with non-heavy weapons (and flamethrowers).
I don't think burst fire bonus out of cover would be better than in cover. After all in cover you have a wall to lean it on, outside of cover you only have your wobbly knee...
Sathra wrote:
cover is always a good idea but its more defensive in scope. Its better to plan being in place before you fight. Its also cuts range, so its good for leap-frogging advancement. Cover doesn't add a miss chance btw, since that's abstracted as part of the cover save.
Manual kneeling is for aggressive advancement. Add some smoke* or other LOS/LOF blockers and it becomes very, very good. Its much more risky though, and isn't that useful for support troops.
I like this but kind of don't. Don't forget there will be vaulting (over cover) and this phrase just seems to make it seem like cover is for when they're attacking you, kneeling is for when you're attacking them. Cover should, and obviously still does, allow you to attack them, though this quote makes me hesitate with that sentence...
Tweakd wrote:
'm just speaking my mind. The thread title is "How we could implement manual kneeling" and I've stated that removing autocover is my favourite option.
The OP clearly forgot the end of that title "into Xenonauts," and Xenonauts being a game with a cover system and all, I thought it would be fairly obvious. If they had a Gears of War forum asking about how to implement kneeling in the open I don't think anyone would suggest removing the cover system...
Tweakd wrote:
If facing away from your cover then back against the cover with the gun and head and possibly torso pointed in the directions your "looking".
Directly facing the cover then the current one can be used.
Why would you be facing away from the wall you're taking cover against? In essence then you have no cover, and are just kneeling against a wall. The whole point of cover is to face it. Here is my suggestion:

* * * * * *A1* * * * * * * *A2
-----------------------------
* * * * * *X
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * A3

In this instance the Xenonaut (X) has 3 possible alien (A) positions to counter. For A1 and A2 he would e crouched in cover facing the wall (------), as is already implemented, as that is the object providing him cover. He will obviously get better protection from A1 than A2 because the wall protects him better from A1 (it's not leaving him partially exposed).

When he shoots however, he stands up. He will then either fire at A1 or turn and fire at A2 (AP cost of turning should be factored into AP cost of shot), before crouching, or turning back and crouching into cover.

If he was to turn to face A3 however he would no longer be using the wall for cover (other than as an object which can block shots) and so he would simply be kneeling facing the alien. Shooting could be done from this position.

This method adds no new animations, and everyone gets it because you cannot be in cover if the alien is on the same side of the wall as you.

Hmm. I'll try answer the points you brought up.

Turning cost increase: Yeah, something like that. Moving around without showing too much of your body, etc.

MG's: Heh, maybe! Depends on how big the accuracy boost really is. And their base accuracy. Hmm, I think the heavy weapons are the longest ranged weapons anyways, so maybe instead of a percentage drop in effective range, maybe a flat drop of 2-4 tiles? WHy is there a drop? Dunno, make up your own mind. Maybe they're really firing over the top of the wall (regardless of what the animation shows), so aren't sticking their head up that much.

Friendly fire: Something anyways. Exactly how it works is up to the team.

Burst fire: Its a more a bonus compared to firing while standing. More stable while firing while kneeling, and single shots have their own accuracy increasing system.

Comparison thing: Its more defensive compared to manual kneeling. It works better defensively, or alternatively in support of an attack. Its emplacements basically. You're better able to spin around and fire in multiple directions if manual kneeling compared to auto-cover, but manual kneeling isn't as protective. Vaulting will probably be more expensive that normal walking anyways too.

Overall, they're actually meant to work together. Units in cover watching over units manual kneeling while they move into cover. Or bum-rush a position. Or fight inside a building. Move up troops into cover, use them as the battle-line from which you send out a pack of assault troops with carbines and rifles spraying fire. While they also protect the guys with combat shields moving up to breach.
Cover is still the best option most of the time though.
---------
Edit: AD, the example you gave to counter Tweaked isn't exactly correct. The trooper is equally protected from A1 and A2 since there is a wall section in the way (green level cover).* He'd get better protection from A2 I think due to distance and its effects on accuracy. It would be correct that he'd get less protection from A2 if he was hiding behind a lone crate or something, since that would only partly interfere with fire from that direction.
The leaning animation/pose is really that, a pose. He would still be 'in cover' from A1 and A2, the leaning pose is to show that he's facing the wall, not that he's using it as cover (that's what the crouching means).
You are correct that he won't stand to fire shooting at A3 though. He's not properly 'covered' from that direction so has no need to stand up.

To clarify how cover and directions work (Assuming stone walls or something similarly protective):
* *_
* @
Cover levels are, from left to right: Grey, green, grey. Better cover save from North than North-East and North-West, but none from any other direction.

_ _ _
* @
Green, Green, Green. Equally protected from all cover directions.

_
@|
N, NE and E are all green. NW and SW are grey, due to only partial shot interference. (bah, damn symbols. He's in an L shape of cover. A corner basically, made of 2 perpendicular walls.)

I leave for a night and the thread turns into Mt. Kilamanjaro. I'm starting to understand how Chris feels

Catching up now.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:14
Page 2 part 3 (damn 10000 word limit!):


Ha ha enjoy! =P And do tell me to shut up if I say anything too nasty, I can get into some moods sometimes, really sticking to an argument, so sorry about that if you feel I have

I also don't think that manual kneeling and auto cover kneeling will work together very well.
My personal feeling would be that to fit manual kneeling you would have to remove auto cover or have kneeling at no cost.
If kneeling is free you can make auto kneel/cover a toggle with no worries about wasting AP doing something you never intended.

If kneeling is to be in then it needs to have a well balanced set of benefits and penalties over standing.
Making it the most defensive stance (miss chance etc) while also giving it a bonus to offence (accuracy bonus etc) will make it the only viable option, the only troops who are standing are the ones who ran out of AP due to carelessness.
As I suggested elsewhere I would make kneeling a defensive action and standing more offensive.

I also suggested limiting the benefits of kneeling to the alien turn by giving bonuses to defence and reaction fire.
This also allows kneeling to be kept free as you will gain no immediate benefit from either stance.
You are less likely to get shot at in your own turn, unless it is by reaction fire, in which case you would probably be moving and not in cover anyway.
Reaction fire would also be taking place in the alien turn so a bonus to reactions would not be something you could abuse by changing your stand/kneel stance constantly.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:17
Page 3 part 1:


Oh and I also think there are a few things we could do with clearing up before we could make some of these suggestions work.
- Is reaction dodging going to be implemented? Chris has mentioned it but could do with confirmation.
- Does the engine allow for LOS to be altered when kneeling behind a WHW (waist high wall)? Is LOS drawn from the eye height of the trooper or is it drawn from his tile etc.

There are probably others but those are the ones that spring straight to mind.

What if we made crouching the same as being in cover, just minus the protection? When you crouch down you become a smaller target. And when kneeling it becomes easier to brace weapons against recoil. Both of these benefits apply if you kneel in the middle of a street or behind a stone wall.

Like Sathra mentioned, kneeling in the open is the offensive version of taking cover. It what you do when you need to move out of cover and towards the enemy positions. It lacks the protection of hard cover, but it keeps you mobile and gives the same bonuses to accuracy.

How does this sound:

- Flat bonus to accuracy for snap shots and autofire. Smaller bonus to aimed shots.
- Slightly reduces the AP cost of aimed shots and reaction fire.
- Small % chance for enemy shots to miss
- Kneeling activates cover and the above bonuses. Soldiers standing behind cover are still partially protected.
- Getting into cover is FREE and automatic if your soldier ends his movement in cover. Otherwise kneeling into cover costs 2AP.
- Leaving cover is FREE. Standing up out of cover without moving costs 4 AP.
- Leap frogging over cover costs X AP. (fairly expensive) cheaper if done while standing.
- Kneeling manually costs 2 AP and another 4 AP to stand up. If the soldier is overburdened, standing costs increase.

- It is more expensive to turn while kneeling.
- Reaction dodging costs more APs when kneeling
- Kneeling has no effect on enemy reaction fire.

- When soldiers are in cover, they either lean in the direction of protection or kneel with weapon lowered.
- When soldiers are kneeling outside of cover. They crouch with weapon raised and ready to fire.

The only downside I can see is that there would need to be separate shooting animations for crouched and standing soldiers.

Huge amount of benefits and no real drawbacks.
Why remain standing if it is less accurate, less defensive, and costs more AP to fire?
More AP to turn while kneeling is not much of a drawback, only kneel before you shoot and you have no drawback at all.

I would suggest that when looking at your ideas of cost and benefit for kneeling or standing you try and think of situations where you would use both.
So far many of them break down to:
Under attack: Kneel
Alien may walk into view: Kneel
Need to fire: Kneel
Etc etc.

I kind of liked Sathra's ideas on page 2, I thought that was a good balance between knelling and in cover. Not that I think kneeling should be implemented, but still.

I don't know why standing needs to have any benefits really, if you remain standing it probably just costs you less to do things, but other than that if you end your turn out of cover... you should be kneeling.

Hmm, been thinking of something to add to manual kneeling for my concept to as a disadvantage during the alien's turn.

Could always add the effective range drop to manual kneeling too. So while it does make burst fire (and only burst fire) more accurate, the distance where the accuracy drops to 1% comes sooner as well.

Edit: Gave some extra thought as to how the whole things works. Has a kind of...weird effect on reaction fire.
You're more likely to fire at an alien while kneeling (cover or otherwise) but less accurately compared to standing up (due to the range reduction and how kneeling has no effect on single shots for most weapons).
Has this odd combination of "you react more often, but not as well", including reaction dodging.
Being in cover has this additional effect that its easier to get flanked as well (turning cost increase).

Might need some refinement, but what are your thoughts on these interactions?

Gauddlike wrote:
Huge amount of benefits and no real drawbacks. Why remain standing if it is less accurate, less defensive, and costs more AP to fire?
Because standing up will get you shot in the face? You are missing the point a little. 90% of the time you should be in cover at the end of each turn. Manual kneeling simply provides the same bonuses that cover does, without the cover.

There are some situations where leaving cover is unavoidable. When on the attack the focus is all about flanking the enemy in HIS cover. To do this you need to remain mobile and kneeling detracts a lot of APs. You can't simply leapfrog from cover to cover in a frontal assault because this exposes you to reaction fire. Instead you must flank the enemy, crouch to gain the best accuracy and attack him from the side.

anotherdevil wrote:
I don't know why standing needs to have any benefits really, if you remain standing it probably just costs you less to do things, but other than that if you end your turn out of cover... you should be kneeling.
Yeah precisely. You should always be ending a turn in cover, or crouching if cover is not available. The only times when you want to remain standing are when you troops must travel long distances and need to conserve AP. You would only want to do this if soldiers were crossing ground known to be free of aliens.

Sathra wrote:
Could always add the effective range drop to manual kneeling too. So while it does make burst fire (and only burst fire) more accurate, the distance where the accuracy drops to 1% comes sooner as well.
I like this idea.* It fits with the "kneeling on offence" plan we have going here. When you are in cover you have a large solid object to brace your weapon against, so the same distance penalty would not apply in a defensive situation. On offence the range penalty limits its utility. You wouldn't want to kneel all the time, only when you are set up in a good flanking position and ready to gun down an alien with autofire.

Sathra wrote:
You're more likely to fire at an alien while kneeling (cover or otherwise) but less accurately compared to standing up (due to the range reduction and how kneeling has no effect on single shots for most weapons).
Perhaps we could make it so that kneeling units are more likely to reaction fire, but in a more narrow cone of fire compared to standing soldiers. This fits with your next suggestion because...

Sathra wrote:
Being in cover has this additional effect that its easier to get flanked as well (turning cost increase).
Increased turning cost is a HUGE penalty if you get flanked from behind and must turn a whole 180 degrees before you can take a shot. All those APs used can no longer contribute to accuracy.

When you factor in the smaller cone of fire, and the slower turning it makes flanking people out of cover very important. This is exactly what we want out of a cover system.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:17
Page 3 part 2:

Er, actually the effective range penalty originally only applied to firing from cover.* Although...having only manual kneeling give a distance penalty wouldn't be too bad. Wouldn't have the weird penalty + bonus effect on sniper rifles either (increased accuracy and reduced range).

I liked it because it gave an odd reason to not kneel or be in cover: You can effectively out-range enemies if they aren't standing and you are. Its a tiny advantage, since they can still hit you, but its a little trick that could be very useful if you get good at recognising the alien weapons and their effective ranges. And of course the alien's could do it too, they just wouldn't plan to do it.

Tamren wrote:
Perhaps we could make it so that kneeling units are more likely to reaction fire, but in a more narrow cone of fire compared to standing soldiers.
Narrower cone, shorter distance, either one. Depends on how the reaction system triggers work really.

I don't think I am missing the point at all.
So far there is no reason not to end a turn kneeling.
So basically we now have an auto cover and auto kneel system.
Your 'kneel on offence plan' is also a kneel on defence plan, a kneel on the off chance of seeing an alien plan, a kneel if there is a y in the day plan.
That is no different to the old system in that you have no real options.
Kneel or accept massive penalties to offence and defence in this new system.
Get in cover or suffer penalties to defence in the old system that people were complaining gave no choice.
Tamren wrote:
Manual kneeling simply provides the same bonuses that cover does, without the cover.
I think that pretty much sums up my objections to how this system would reduce tactical choice to a button click that would be pretty much essential.
In cover? Kneel down.
Can't be bothered to get into cover? Kneel down anyway.

Eh, there's kind of a reason not to kneel.
The effective range reduction. For some weapons, it doesn't much matter (like sniper rifles and MG's). For stuff like pistols and shotguns, its more noticeable (this is with a flat reduction, not percentage).

If you want, could always have kneeling and auto-covering penalise reaction priority a bit. But that's stupid. Manual kneeling maybe...but auto-cover? Giving a decrease in an already unreliable mechanic as part of using a major, advertised part of the ground combat. Mental.

But it doesn't really bother me if manual kneeling isn't added though. I'm just bored of arguing against....

Both of those weapons are short range and mainly seem to be useful for breaching or room clearing.
A reduction to range in those situations would be pretty much insignificant compared to all of the bonuses.

I don't see kneeling as an offensive option at all.
It strikes me as defensive and the bonuses (and penalties) could reflect that.
If you want to be offensive you stay on your feet and mobile, if you want to be defensive you duck and cover.
Sathra wrote:
If you want, could always have kneeling and auto-covering penalise reaction priority a bit.
I suggested standing would give a bonus to reactions (as you aren't keeping your head down) rather than crouching having a penalty.
Does depend how you look at it though, you can always see bonuses to one thing as a penalty to its opposite.

I don't think anyone has argued against manual kneeling in here yet (that isn't the point of the thread) I just think adding it as the only choice would detract from the ground combat rather than adding anything.
Giving a reason to CHOOSE to kneel would add a tactical option.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:19
Page 4 part 1:


Yeah, I tend to go for minor nuances.
Trying to give a reason to stand around in the open is difficult, due to how, even with the current system, you flat out aren't meant to do it.

As for the range reduction, I decided to check what the ranges actually are.
They're really long, really long. Most have effective ranges longer than soldiers can see. I'm guessing that effective range can be seen as the straight, un-obstructed distance that a shot's accuracy tooltip doesn't drop. For it to really be noticeable you'd have to drop them by about half. That drops a shotgun's effec-range to about 4 tiles, 5 for pistols and 9 for assault rifles. Any kind of obstacle drops accuracy too, depending on what it is.

Having it drop by half has a massive effect, even for short range weapons. Its not as severe for good shooters though, since their base accuracy is higher. Maybe not half, say by 1/3 or so? Rounding down of course.
Gives a damn good reason not to kneel all the time.

Does bring up the question again, should auto-cover kneeling also have this penalty? I'd say no, since they do stand up to fire from cover. That and it has its own penalty, with the turning cost increase.

But yeah, is that a good choice to add? It does make standing more offensively focussed, depending on how you view 'offence'.

Sathra wrote:
s for the range reduction, I decided to check what the ranges actually are.
They're really long, really long. Most have effective ranges longer than soldiers can see. I'm guessing that effective range can be seen as the straight, un-obstructed distance that a shot's accuracy tooltip doesn't drop. For it to really be noticeable you'd have to drop them by about half. That drops a shotgun's effec-range to about 4 tiles, 5 for pistols and 9 for assault rifles. Any kind of obstacle drops accuracy too, depending on what it is.
That does seem like quite a bit, but:
Sathra wrote:
Maybe not half, say by 1/3 or so? Rounding down of course.
Gives a damn good reason not to kneel all the time.
It does give a good reason, especially seeing as kneeling would then add more obstacles (waist high walls) which I assume wouldn't affect the shot if you were standing up. So essentially you could (mostly?) leave the effecttive weapon range the same, but there is more possibility for obstacles to reduce it for you if you kneel down.

Sathra wrote:
Does bring up the question again, should auto-cover kneeling also have this penalty? I'd say no, since they do stand up to fire from cover. That and it has its own penalty, with the turning cost increase.
Agree fully

Thoughts on this? This should give standing that offensive boost Gauddlike, and it also makes positioning troops more important too, as you can set up a troop and kneel them in a place with very little cover between them and an aliens flank then that's good for you, etc.

anotherdevil wrote:
especially seeing as kneeling would then add more obstacles (waist high walls) which I assume wouldn't affect the shot if you were standing up.
Currently they affect the shot at any time. The only time an obstacle doesn't affect a shot is, I think, when you are using an object as cover. Basically, if an object could stop a shot, it reduces your accuracy.
Unless you mean having cover objects (which are generally waist high) become more obstructive if kneeling. That might be going a bit far.

Edit: Oh, forgot to mention. The whole "effec-range cut + burst fire accuracy boost". The speed at which accuracy drops beyond effective range would need to drop much faster for it to be noticeable. Like...10-15 percentage points per tile. Maybe scaling it, so it drops 5, then 10, then 15, then 30. Every 2-3 tiles beyond effective range.

Sathra wrote:
Unless you mean having cover objects (which are generally waist high) become more obstructive if kneeling. That might be going a bit far.
But it makes sense. If you have a wall in front of you (waist high) and you are kneeling near it but behind it, it's going to cut off a lot of your view of that alien twenty metres away. If you stand up however that obstruction is going to be a lot less.

Perhaps something could be done with whether your character is standing or kneeling, the size of the objects between you and the alien, and the distance between your soldier and the objects that could obstruct the shot. Obviously it would also be nice if consecutive obstructions of the same size (like 2 waist high walls immediately after each other) shouldn't block the shot (the closer one would (?) obscure the further one (at least from some POV), and so shouldn't add further reductions to the shot...)

Logic...my ancient enemy...

I didn't want to add too much of a penalty to kneeling. Especially if the accuracy-drop-past-effective-range rate is made faster.
As for the stuff about consecutive obstructions, I think it does that now

Sathra wrote:
I didn't want to add too much of a penalty to kneeling. Especially if the accuracy-drop-past-effective-range rate is made faster.
But you see if we remove the drop off due to kneeling, and just change the system so waist high walls only count as obstacles if either they or you are kneeling, then it essentially does the same job, but also rewards positioning your troops better as well!

Or that yeah.

Having effective range halved while kneeling doesn't actually make sense (since it doesn't apply to cover-kneeling), but it does give a very obvious, constant reason to not kneel all the damn time.

Gauddlike wrote:
I don't think I am missing the point at all.
So far there is no reason not to end a turn kneeling.
As far as enemy fire is concerned the only difference between a kneeling target in the open and a standing target in the open is plus/minus 10-20%. The system is still heavily weighted towards using cover.

I think we might be going in the wrong direction with the range restriction stuff. How about we focus on FOW instead? Let me run down the new system again. When I say "kneeling" just assume it means in cover and out.

- Vision FOW angle/distance is not affected by kneeling. (except maybe on the Z-axis)
- Soldier default FOW is 90 degrees. (see here: http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Line_of_sight)

- Kneeling provides an accuracy boost. More for autofire, less for aimed and snap shots.
- Kneeling accuracy boost only affects a FOW of 45 degrees. You must turn directly towards a target to benefit.
- Kneeling soldiers are less likely to reaction fire a target not in the 45 degree FOW.
- Turn costs while kneeling are doubled.

So in essence, when you kneel down you are better able to steady your weapon for more accurate shooting. But when kneeling it becomes harder to twist and turn, so your "effective shooting angle" is reduced to half.* This is very important because it makes flanking targets in cover that much more effective. Attacking an enemy from the side means you are less likely to trigger reaction shots. As well if an enemy has to turn before shooting, it robs them of TUs and accuracy.

This makes the benefits of kneeling vs standing pretty clear. Kneeling helps you shoot but standing keeps you more agile for movement and shooting.

What the *%$& is FOW? It's clearly not Field of View (or Vision), nor is it Line Of Sight. I am really confused when people use acronyms that no one else [read I]* seems to know what they mean...

Tamren wrote:
- Kneeling accuracy boost only affects a FOW of 45 degrees. You must turn directly towards a target to benefit.
You must turn to face anyone you're shooting at anyway... Unless you're in cover, in which case you: stand, turn, shoot, turn back, and crouch (That's how I think it should be done anyway).

Tamren wrote:
So in essence, when you kneel down you are better able to steady your weapon for more accurate shooting. But when kneeling it becomes harder to twist and turn, so your "effective shooting angle" is reduced to half.* This is very important because it makes flanking targets in cover that much more effective. Attacking an enemy from the side means you are less likely to trigger reaction shots. As well if an enemy has to turn before shooting, it robs them of TUs and accuracy.
This essentially means that kneeling in the open and crouching in cover are the same... You're much less restricted in sideways movement when kneeling down in the open that you are when kneeling behind a wall, but then the wall provides better cover for you...

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:20
Page 4 part 2:

Yeah, always wondered what you actually meant by FOW. Its not Fog of War (is it?), since that updates at turn end. Do you mean Field of Fire/Angle of Fire?

I think you'll probably turn, then stand up and fire, then crouch again when in cover (no returning to original facing). 2 ap-cost-things (one for turning, one for firing, which get combined into a single cost for firing).

I had the auto-cover and manual kneeling have different (though similar) penalty/benefits so there'd some kind of reason to choose between them beyond mild protective differences.
Manual kneeling = can't shoot as far accurately. Auto-cover = increased turning costs (which doesn't sound like much, but the number of times I've been 1 AP short of a shot...)
They both increase burst fire accuracy, but auto-cover also increases accuracy for heavy weapons (or counter-acts and "moved" penalty for them). Downside of that is, well, you have to find a bit of cover to use.
Both are protective, but auto-cover is more protective (I have no idea how protective cover is. Manual kneeling should be about as much, or slightly less than grey level cover...maybe yellow).
Then there's some fuzzy stuff about reactions and either boosting or penalising when not standing.

Shorter effective range distances are less annoying than restricted angle of fire I believe. Shorter distance just requires you to move up. Restricted angle means having to turn around, and possibly re-adjust position so you can get into the 'sweet spot' to use it.

...Wait, you meant only the boost gets affected by restricted angle. What the hell, that's not a downside, that's something you can ignore half the time.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:22
Page 5:


Sathra wrote:
I think you'll probably turn, then stand up and fire, then crouch again when in cover (no returning to original facing). 2 ap-cost-things (one for turning, one for firing, which get combined into a single cost for firing).
The thing is though that your soldier has to still be facing the wall (to lean against it) at the end of the firing sequence. Can't really lean against a straight wall comfortably at a diagonal, nor would the animation look pretty and clipping may ensue... This may also represent one of the negatives for being in cover, firing from it may stand you up for free (so better shots), but anything not directly in front of you costs you extra (hard to do that turning = costs more AP)

Not entirely sure what else was suggested, I'm a bit lost at the moment... Will check back later!

Yeah, the standing-up-to-fire-over-cover part doesn't cost anything. Otherwise they just fire crouched.

You could have my cover-gives-heavy-weapon-boost effect only occur when firing over cover (which is kind of logical) but...meh. Depends on how hard it is to code. Its no biggie really, they could be using the cover object to brace against recoil or whatever
(logic! *shakes fist*)

I'm a bit lost too! I suggest something and then the discussion spins off in all sorts of directions.

Here are some things to clarify about my posts specifically:

- Soldiers SHOOT WHILE CROUCHED, no standing up before firing unless you do it manually.
- Soldiers have a horizontal FIELD OF VIEW of 90 degrees. They have vision over this area and can shoot at targets within this area without turning.
- The accuracy bonus gained from kneeling only applies to a FOW of 45 degrees. If you attack targets at the edge of your vision, you don't get the bonus. This affects reaction fire as well.
- Kneeling has the same effect whether or not soldiers are in cover.

These changes are designed to give the player two options while kneeling. The defensive side of things is kneeling in cover to gain protection. The offensive side is moving to attack enemies and crouching before firing for better accuracy. The FOW reduction is to make kneeling aliens and players more vulnerable to flanking. This ensures that kneeling is not the "optimal" position to be in. There are situations where standing is better.

Sathra wrote:
You could have my cover-gives-heavy-weapon-boost effect only occur when firing over cover (which is kind of logical) but...meh. Depends on how hard it is to code. Its no biggie really, they could be using the cover object to brace against recoil or whatever
(logic! *shakes fist*)
My interpretation of this was that crouching provides an aiming boost to single shot modes and to automatic fire. The automatic fire bonus applies to any weapon with burst fire. This is to represent how it is easier to control recoil.

The single shot bonus scales to how "heavy weapon" the item is. For instance, you would get much more of an aiming boost when you are using a precision rifle or a rocket launcher than you would for a pistol.

Tamren wrote:
I'm a bit lost too! I suggest something and then the discussion spins off in all sorts of directions.
Welcome to the forums!

Also, what the heck does FOW stand for?

Field Of View. As I explained in the fourth sentence which you apparently didn't read. *cocks an eyebrow*

Then why is it FOW instead of FOV?

Oh, And now that I think about it, there is something odd about the example you gave. Soldiers already have a 45 degree Angle of Fire than they don't have to turn. They do have a 90 degree Field of View though.

So having the accuracy bonus restricted as you suggest that would require changing how shooting works.

Next concept! (said in the voice of the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland)

Sathra wrote:
Then why is it FOW instead of FOV?
Because W and V look the same when you post at midnight? Bleh, sorry about the mixup. I don't have time these days to check the forums except at the very end of the day.

It would really help if I could actually play the game and test out the existing mechanics. But like I said at the beginning, THANKS PAYPAL!

Anyhow, do you think we have enough ideas here to justify kneeling as a whole? I can see the reasons why it was left out, but an XCOM game without kneeling just doesn't make sense to me. You might as well try to take kneeling and prone out of JA2 and replace them with a cover system.

Ohhh, well, that kinda makes sense.

Tamren wrote:
do you think we have enough ideas here to justify kneeling as a whole?
Eh, maybe. Its all bit disjointed, and a bunch of them contradict or counteract eachother but its possible to make some kind of acceptable system.
Is it worth the effort to do so? No idea. I've played the ground combat builds alot, and I don't mind the loss at all. It just takes a bit of getting used to, and they're still rough. I originally felt the same way you did, but was willing to give the benefit of the doubt and was quite happy with the result.
A well-thought out (or at least mechanically sound) kneeling + cover + standing interaction system would add something, yeah. But making one that everyone can agree on...much more difficult.

Luckily we only have to make one Chris can agree on :p
To recap these are the obstacles he would need any system to overcome.

Chris wrote:
If you want to have a cover system where units autokneel when in cover, then you can't attach an AP cost to kneeling as otherwise people are going to get annoyed when their soldiers kneel down accidentally and waste valuable APs. This is why there's currently no AP cost attached to kneeling.

If we therefore add benefits to kneeling, such as a reduced chance to be hit and bonus accuracy, every player would kneel their soldiers before firing and at the end of every turn. They'd also stand them up whenever they wanted to look around, etc - essentially, with no cost for kneeling or unkneeling, you could just choose the ideal stance for each situation. This is just bad game design.

If you have a cover system where a soldier does not automatically kneel, you could then have manual kneeling with an AP cost attached and you could choose whether to go into cover or not by kneeling when in the tile. You could also kneel at will out in the open, and get the associated accuracy and size reduction boost. However, that's a less intuitive way to use the cover system compared to how it currently works - this can be mitigated by having the UI button glow when in cover, but it's still not as good as having the system do it automatically.

It also has the issue that it'd be difficult to tell whether a unit was in cover or not at a glance. Under the present system, kneeling = in cover. Much easier to read at a glance.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:24
Page 6 part 1:

I guess the XCOM grognard part of me is bigger than I thought. I'm just worried that cover is going to become the be-all and end-all in combat. If cover is so important then it might end up everywhere, even in places where it wouldn't make any sense. A lot of games have overdone the system to the point where all levels have a specific geometry and it starts to break immersion. Hopefully that won't happen here

First point - this could be covered by saying that an AP cost for manual kneeling could actually be a penalty for being out of cover.
Being in cover you use it for free, being out of cover you have to use AP to protect yourself.

Second point - this was why I would prefer to either add a cost for manual kneeling or make the benefits of both be mainly applicable in the alien turn. (i.e. your reaction fire and cover from alien fire)

Third point - I agree that automatic use of cover is a better system, can't really come up with a reason to stand and refuse to use the cover if it has no real drawbacks.

Tamren wrote:
'm just worried that cover is going to become the be-all and end-all in combat.
The be all and end all of x-com combat was kneeling.
You use it for offensive fire or defence against alien fire.
The only reason not to kneel was the very occasional situation where you needed to run a long way, even then I would usually save enough to kneel rather than to take a reaction shot.
I think that is part of what Chris wants to avoid.

Bah reposted an earlier post that vanished only to have it appear afterwards... I give up for now.


Tamren wrote:
A lot of games have overdone the system to the point where all levels have a specific geometry and it starts to break immersion. Hopefully that won't happen here
I agree with you there.
I think the important thing to remember though is that the levels here aren't scripted fps style corridors.
The levels will be semi random layouts and the objectives will not be in the same place every time.
There should be no need for huge amounts of random cover items dotted around for no reason.
Even if you tried to do that you would be unlikely to get it right as the enemy would probably not be where you expected them to be when you designed your field of small walls.

Gauddlike wrote:
To recap these are the obstacles he would need any system to overcome.
Indeed, looking back through this thread and the other one too it seems that we have gone in all sorts of directions trying to solve the issues. The one I always came back to was this:

Gauddlike wrote:
If you have a cover system where a soldier does not automatically kneel, you could then have manual kneeling with an AP cost attached and you could choose whether to go into cover or not by kneeling when in the tile. You could also kneel at will out in the open, and get the associated accuracy and size reduction boost. However, that's a less intuitive way to use the cover system compared to how it currently works - this can be mitigated by having the UI button glow when in cover, but it's still not as good as having the system do it automatically.
Would it really be that bad if this was how it worked? You can only have handholding up to a point before it starts to detract a little from the game. When I first played XCOM I didn't even HAVE a manual. All of the learning I did was sink or swim and a lot of casualties.

The autokneel cover system does have its benefits. But when you think about it for a second.. If soldiers only kneel when they are in cover, you still need some way of determining which tiles have cover on them right? Otherwise the only way to find cover would be to walk a soldier onto each prospective square until he crouches. And if you DO have such a cover indicator, whats wrong with the manual system?*

The box selector "cursor" in XCOM was always yellow. You could simply make the box selector turn green when it is over a cover tile.

Gauddlike wrote:
The only reason not to kneel was the very occasional situation where you needed to run a long way, even then I would usually save enough to kneel rather than to take a reaction shot. I think that is part of what Chris wants to avoid.
Well this is an easy issue to fix. We have a cover system now remember? Just give the player every incentive to use the cover system. But leave the option of manual kneeling open where you really need it.

The only reasons NOT to kneel in cover is if:
a. You need to do something that cover would impede (like long distance movement)
or
b. There is no cover.

Kneeling into cover is free. Kneeling outside of cover has a cost. Simple enough? If you combine that with my green selection box, all of the bases are covered. There shouldn't be any reason why this wouldn't work.

Tamren wrote:
Otherwise the only way to find cover would be to walk a soldier onto each prospective square until he crouches.
You could just look at the cover indicator.
When you mouse over a square you get a set of boxes that show angles of cover from that point.
For example:

The grey shows poor, yellow intermediate and green the best cover.
Where there is no bar (beside the yellow on the first pic) there is no cover from those angles.

Tamren wrote:
Kneeling into cover is free. Kneeling outside of cover has a cost.
If its free, might as well auto-kneel anyways.

I don't think the cover indicator is permanent, its only on mouseover (its less...obstructive that way). I think Chris' concern with manual kneeling costing AP and auto-cover being free is that it doesn't quite make sense. Its confusing for new players (and looks like a bug).

The final rough concept I came up with didn't actually fix that, and ended up with a bunch of strange less-than-logical effects for very stance. We'll say that stance-changing has no cost.
Auto-cover = increased turning cost, but protective bonus and accuracy bonus for burst fire and heavy weapons.
Manual kneeling = Reduced effective range, but* protective bonus and accuracy bonus for burst fire.
Standing = Reaction bonus (or either type of kneeling giving a penalty). No protection bonus, but no penalties.

They all have obvious uses and none of them are exactly ideal. (well, auto-cover is pretty good and standing is less than perfect, but...)

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:24
Page 6 part 2:

Wow gone two days and this happens! Well I'm not going to reply to every post. There were some I agree with and some I don't but it would be a waste of time for me to bring it all up again.

Gauddlike wrote:
If you have a cover system where a soldier does not automatically kneel, you could then have manual kneeling with an AP cost attached and you could choose whether to go into cover or not by kneeling when in the tile. You could also kneel at will out in the open, and get the associated accuracy and size reduction boost. However, that's a less intuitive way to use the cover system compared to how it currently works - this can be mitigated by having the UI button glow when in cover, but it's still not as good as having the system do it automatically.

It also has the issue that it'd be difficult to tell whether a unit was in cover or not at a glance. Under the present system, kneeling = in cover. Much easier to read at a glance.
I would argue that it's intuitive at all. Like I said the first time I played Xeno i was right clicking on cover because I thought that was how I activated the cover system. I would argue that having a system that proves some cover when standing behind an object, and more cover when crouched is much more intuitive and is actually far more fun.

After all these pages i just don't see the advantage of having an autocover system. The only purpose is because it's "intuitive", and at best it means you don't really need to think. At it's worse it removes choice and the feeling that you actually control your men.

Some alternatives I liked as far as manual kneeling go:

Upped turning cost whilst kneeling.
A small accuracy boost. 3% ?
A small size reduction in target.

Objects blocking LOS whilst kneeling.

Or instead of LOS reductions.

While you are crouched any fire would cost more AP. Instead of 18 for a snap shot perhaps its 23. This would be on top of the cost to kneel in the first place and would be offset by the added protection and small accuracy boost. Basically the idea is to keep standing squaddies mobile and slow kneeled soldiers down. So a kneeled soldier is better protected but will only get one or two more accurate shots. The man still standing can take three or four.

It's going back to the standing = offensive and kneeling = defensive argument. I think this is the correct stance to take. I won't stand for an autocover system! Hah ok I'll leave now.

Sathra wrote:
Manual kneeling = Reduced effective range
I don't understand this one, I may have missed the explanation somewhere along the way though.
Why does kneeling make you more accurate but only against things that are stood next to you?

I also think that the animations are pretty self explanatory as it is.
Standing up - you are stood up.
Kneeling - you are ducked down to avoid fire.
Leaning against a wall - you are taking advantage of the cover from that side, not just ducking shots.

The down side to my idea of standing for offence and kneeling for defence is that the current animations actually work the other way.
While standing the trooper is pointing his weapon at the ground and while kneeling he is taking aim.

I did...vaguely explain it thusly:
Sathra wrote:
Logic...my ancient enemy...
Having effective range halved while kneeling doesn't actually make sense (since it doesn't apply to cover-kneeling), but it does give a very obvious, constant reason to not kneel all the damn time.
It only makes burst fire more accurate (not single shots). This is an important point, since it differs from all the other suggested concepts in this.

Actual explanation...Hmm, I guess it could be general unsteadiness + less open field of view. Crouching helps you brace against the extra recoil from a burst, but not being able to see the target as clearly results in being less sure of a shot (so shortened range).
Depending on how heavy the range reduction actually is (half, 1/3, 25% etc) I guess you could apply it to auto-cover kneeling as well. Then there's a reason not to go for cover or kneel, but as a result, you'd need to make going into cover optional, so would need to have it possible to stand while in cover. I didn't bother with that, since half the time soldiers stand up as part of their firing animation while in cover anyways.
Although, it still would make sense, since as part of the standing up to fire, their aim wouldn't be a sure as if they were standing the whole time. Then the question becomes, why does being in cover increase heavy weapon accuracy if the reasoning behind the boost is bracing the weapon against a stationary object.

So there you go, a rambling train-of-thought explanation(ish) of why crouching reduces effective range.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:27
Page 7 part 1:


Oh and I should really repeat this to make it clear:
There is no difference (besides looks) between crouching in a cover tile and leaning against a cover object.

Its just to make the soldier look better (and so their weapon doesn't clip through the cover object).

Obviously, this is a problem if manual kneeling and auto-cover-kneeling are treated differently mechanics-wise.
While it is kind of obvious what the difference is (the tile has cover objects around it i.e. stuff that isn't man-sized), then he's treated as being in cover. Otherwise, he's not. The confusion is when he's in a spot where he's got cover from a diagonal (such as in the first part of Gauddlike's image from this post: http://www.xenonauts.com/forum/topic?id p=6#p14064). Its not as obvious then without some kind of indicator that's constantly floating around a soldier.

Yeah I should have said when I posted about the different animations that they were how the different stances COULD be differentiated using current animations.
As you say though, leaning doesn't happen on diagonal cover, maybe it should though and the sprites just haven't been included?

I have no idea. The sprites are there, they just aren't used very much (at least, not that I've noticed). They would look strange when leaning diagonally against a straight wall though.

And then there's the question of firing or looking away from a piece of cover (say, facing and firing south while in a tile with a North-ern cover object).
Currently, they just crouch, and fire while crouched.

Sathra wrote:
And then there's the question of firing or looking away from a piece of cover
In that case they wouldn't be taking advantage of the cover and should just be kneeling I guess.
They would still have the benefit of something solid behind them though.

Indeed. I'm still a bit confused whether or not cover adds an additional protection bonus above the 'obstacle-effect' though.

Whether there is or not, it shouldn't affect too much though.
It makes cover a bit less effective (since then you have to be facing it for it to actually work) if there is a cover-protection-bonus-thing. Would that be a good thing? Would that result in messy coding?

Very much need Chris' input. On this whole thread really, but I would really like this particular point cleared up.

Wow I don't log on for one night, and 2 more pages spring up! Ok got some thoughts to share. This quote keeps popping up:
Gauddlike wrote:

If you have a cover system where a soldier does not automatically kneel, you could then have manual kneeling with an AP cost attached and you could choose whether to go into cover or not by kneeling when in the tile. You could also kneel at will out in the open, and get the associated accuracy and size reduction boost. However, that's a less intuitive way to use the cover system compared to how it currently works - this can be mitigated by having the UI button glow when in cover, but it's still not as good as having the system do it automatically.

It also has the issue that it'd be difficult to tell whether a unit was in cover or not at a glance. Under the present system, kneeling = in cover. Much easier to read at a glance.
Combine it with this one:
Tweakd wrote:
I would argue that having a system that proves some cover when standing behind an object, and more cover when crouched is much more intuitive and is actually far more fun.
These points I have to disagree with. How is it more fun to constantly have to click crouched every time you go into cover. If you put your soldier next to cover, surely the more obvious (intuitive some might say) thing to do is get into cover. Even if you're not shooting over it, it still provides extra protection from that side! Some form of protection is provided if you stand near a waist high wall (what with the extra obstacle in the way), but actually ducking behind it provides MUCH more, and it shouldn't have to be a chore to egt into cover...

Sathra wrote:
I don't think the cover indicator is permanent, its only on mouseover (its less...obstructive that way). I think Chris' concern with manual kneeling costing AP and auto-cover being free is that it doesn't quite make sense. Its confusing for new players (and looks like a bug).
This I see is the major problem. I'm going to throw a couple of ideas out there and let me know what you think.

First up this is how I think the system should work (irrespective of cost for a minute)
Cover: You get much better protection from the direction you are covered in, but it costs a lot more to turn due to the wall being in the way (so penalty for being flanked). Also shooting costs a little more because you need to stand each time, but shots are generally more accurate because you have something to lean on (whether this is for all shots or just burst... not decided). Also waist high walls are not obstacles, unless the enemy is crouched behind one (more of this in a sec).
Kneeling: Slightly better protection, slightly more accurate, and no further AP cost to turning (nothing is restricting movement). However, because you are kneeling, any additional waist high walls between you and your target now count as obstacles that your shot has to pass and so it's harder to hit enemies.
Standing: No extra protection, no extra accuracy, no additional AP cost to turn. However, as you are standing, the only obstacles that will make shots harder are full height ones, or any cover the enemy is crouched behind.

Now it is these obstacles that are the important one. As Sathra explained it (and I may have interpreted it wrong), every obstacle between you and the target makes the shot harder to make, due to a chance that the shot will hit that obstacle instead. I like this idea, it makes sense.

Now by kneeling, you get an accuracy boost BUT it also adds all waist high walls etc. as obstacles, because your soldier is lower to the ground. How much more accurate your soldier is and how much of an influence these obstacles are obviously would need to be balanced.

This also rewards tactics, because if you can position your soldiers well then they can hopefully not have that many obstacles in the way. Reaction fire should also be better here because you can turn easier without that wall in the way.

Now standing and being in cover don't have this problem because you are standing whenever you shoot, and so you shoot over them (unless the enemy is behind a wall etc. in which case that one should still count). However standing provides no other bonuses or penalties. Reaction fire should also be better here because you can turn easier, though you're more likely to be hit as you're not crouched.

Cover is obviously the best option, as it should be. However, there are major penalties to being flanked (which makes sense), and shots cost a bit more because you are getting the standing benefit to shooting, and the crouching and wall benefit for protection. Though you are more accurate due to the cover object being there to lean on.

Now in my opinion these all make sense (and I hope they do to you as well), and the reasoning behind everything makes sense too. There should be no confusion, and no one should think it is a bug.

Now to the cost of kneeling vs cover. I think that it doesn't really matter with this system either way, as everything has up sides and down sides, so there is no one position that is best all the time. It depends on how much cover you want for your soldier, and how the enemy are protecting themselves really, and can easily and fluidly change as any skirmish takes place... If I had to choose, I would say have a small (2AP) cost for kneeling, and have it automatically apply when moving next to an object that applies cover. So long as the amount of AP that will be used up is displayed prior to the player agreeing to move into cover, they cannot really moan about not having enough AP left...

Sounds usable to me.

For the waist-high walls accuracy thing, I think what would work is something like doubling the CTH (Chance to Hit) penalty that they give. I don't think any of them have CTH penalty above 8% (besides man-high objects which drop CTH to 0).

Since the only things you can actually shoot over are 'waist-high' anyways, making a distinction between their heights isn't that useful (also the viewpoint makes it kind of hard to tell). Might as well make them more obstructive instead.

I'd still rather than accuracy bonuses not apply to single shots though. That's what the JA2-style boosting is for. Would need a bunch of testing to make sure the additional shot cost for being in cover doesn't outweigh the protective bonus while still being noticeable either.
I'm pretty sure there is a 'moved' penalty with heavy weapons, so cover could negate that. Makes bouncing around from cover to cover an efficient way to use HW troopers.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:29
Page 7 part 2:

Not much more I can say without input from Chris. We have a lot of possible systems here but I'm not sure what would fit with the game and the design vision.

Sathra wrote:
Since the only things you can actually shoot over are 'waist-high' anyways, making a distinction between their heights isn't that useful (also the viewpoint makes it kind of hard to tell). Might as well make them more obstructive instead.
Do full height walls at the edge of the preferred shot trajectory count as obstructions? If so then that also counts against the shot hitting the target. If not then your idea sounds like a good idea.
Sathra wrote:
I'm pretty sure there is a 'moved' penalty with heavy weapons, so cover could negate that. Makes bouncing around from cover to cover an efficient way to use HW troopers.
I agree fully, allowing heavy weapons (I think things with tripods only, missile launchers don't really make sense to me) to 'set up' better sounds like it just makes sense =]

anotherdevil wrote:
Do full height walls at the edge of the preferred shot trajectory count as obstructions?
Buh? I'm talking about the accuracy tooltip. Anything in the straight-line path effects the accuracy% and if there's a full-wall it just drops right to 0%. What do you mean "at the edge"?

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:30
Page 8 part 1:


Like passing through a doorway one tile wide to hit an alien two tiles wide... Isn't there a chance you could hit the door either side?

Hmm, depends on how the game death with large units.

Wild guess (actually, X-com style method), there wouldn't be any difference in the tooltip (and effective accuracy). You're still aiming at a part of the alien, through the door. The chance to hit either side would be part of the base miss chance.
Depends how doors work though and if there's an obstacle penalty for shooting through a doorway.

Shooting down a narrow, clear corridor would be pretty similar. Aim either side, and the walls would block the shot (actually, aim behind the walls would, but you get the idea). Aim down the corridor, and the tooltip wouldn't change beyond normal distance drop-off.

If firing towards large enemies always directs towards the centre, well, you're just boned. Probably would/should be a hefty accuracy drop to clear the doorframe and stuff like that.
But I don't think Xenonauts would use that. Its kind of weird.

anotherdevil wrote:
If I had to choose, I would say have a small (2AP) cost for kneeling, and have it automatically apply when moving next to an object that applies cover. So long as the amount of AP that will be used up is displayed prior to the player agreeing to move into cover, they cannot really moan about not having enough AP left...
If I may chime in with an idea, I'd like to be able to override automatic kneeling by issuing the movement command by Shift-left-clicking, or something to that effect.

Other than that, I'm content with what you guys have thought up.

iamkyon wrote:
I'd like to be able to override automatic kneeling
But why? You could just stand one tile behind the cover and apart from the extra distance it'll do the same?


anotherdevil wrote:
These points I have to disagree with. How is it more fun to constantly have to click crouched every time you go into cover. If you put your soldier next to cover, surely the more obvious (intuitive some might say) thing to do is get into cover.
Because this is a game. We just look at this in different ways so we will never agree. My viewpoint is that I'm controlling my men. I might not want them to crouch behind the wall while im sprinting between walls and other objects. If im running along a wall and want to peek over for a look then I might not want the animation to show me stop, crouch, and then move up to the wall before I continue running. On top of those aesthetics having a choice of how to use cover, either standing or kneeling behind it which has different advantages and disadvantages appeals to me more than always kneeling. If you don't agree with me then you just have a different outlook on the way you want to play. Which of course is fine. But I know I'm not alone.

As there is so much division here at a fundamental level would it be plausible (depending on the system used) to have a tickbox in the menu? "Autocrouch into cover?" Perhaps this would please both of us.

anotherdevil wrote:
If I had to choose, I would say have a small (2AP) cost for kneeling, and have it automatically apply when moving next to an object that applies cover. So long as the amount of AP that will be used up is displayed prior to the player agreeing to move into cover, they cannot really moan about not having enough AP left...
While I want a cost for kneeling I would strongly recommend against it automatically taking 2 points from you while moving into cover. In my above example if im running along a low wall then decide to stop to reload before continuing I don't want to be penalised ~2AP for using cover I dont need. Regardless of wether I'm told about it before hand. Why cant I just remain standing and save 2AP? Basically I'm saying that I know better when my men should duck for cover than the game ever can.

anotherdevil wrote:
Kneeling: Slightly better protection, slightly more accurate, and no further AP cost to turning (nothing is restricting movement). However, because you are kneeling, any additional waist high walls between you and your target now count as obstacles that your shot has to pass and so it's harder to hit enemies.
Well this very similar to my first suggestion in the other thread. The difference being I used LOS to limit what you can see AND what you can fire at. To me that makes more sense than being able to see someone 15 tiles away when im crouched behind a wall. To recap.

"If im crouched directly behind a wall then I can only see 2 tiles past it.
If the wall is 2 tiles away then I can see 4 tiles past it.
3 tiles then I can see 6 tiles past the obstacle.
And this would work for all directions up t the maximum LOS of a crouched soldier.

The cost is 2~3 AP, the benefit is more protection from certain directions, the drawback is severely limited LOS. If you want to shoot at something on the other side of the cover (or just look properly) then you need to spend that AP again to stand."

Those figures were just an example. I think d^2+3 would work better where d is the distance from the wall to where you are kneeling. So right next to the wall would end up as 4 tiles visibility. A tile between you and the wall would be 7 tiles visibility etc. Up until your normal limit kicks in. That simply and effectively simulates the angle you can see over obstacles. If you shoot at an enemy on the other side of the wall the chances are you will hit the wall first.

I would prefer this system over all other as means you have to really think about positioning as well as creating tense moments where you just can't be sure what over the wall. Maybe it would be best just to throw a grenade to make sure

Now going from what you guys have been talking about with regards to shots having a chance to hit obstacles. I actually thought the game already simulated this? Ala X-Com. In the original games if a shot wasnt accurate it could hit any obstacle on the map. Does Xenonauts not calculate trajectory of shots in this manner? I will do some testing if no-one knows offhand. OR perhaps I'm just wrong about how shots were calculated in x-com.

Also no-one commented on another suggestion. Might as well add it here. Basically kneeling costs 2-3AP and that gives you better cover. But firing from a kneeled position also costs a few more AP for a few more points of accuracy. It simply means you pay for your accuracy boost. So less shots that are more accurate.

Sorry for another wall of text. Am I right in saying though that you guys are starting to entertain the possibility that it could do with a change? I think the length of this and the other thread provides weight to the argument that not all parties are happy.

Actually the other thread is mainly you while this thread is purely hypothetical

Rather than increased accuracy to weapons I would prefer to see the AP cost to aim reduced.
Think of it as less time to steady the weapon rather than just higher accuracy.
You pay less AP for the same shot you would otherwise make.
That may give you the chance to get off a second accurate shot when you would normally only have time to fire off a few snap shots.
You could throw the bonus accuracy to burst fire or heavy weapons in as well if you really wanted to.

The problem is still the same with your LOS idea.
Having any other unit close enough to see the target would make it visible to you.
If you still stand up to fire from cover automatically then you have removed the LOS penalty by simply having someone else nearby.
If you can't stand to fire then you have given manual kneeling a huge advantage over cover as kneeling gets an accuracy bonus that you can't use from cover (as you have to stand up to fire), partial defensive bonus, as well as no LOS penalty.
That is not even taking into account an AP cost for standing etc.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:32
Page 8 part 2:

Tweakd wrote:
Basically I'm saying that I know better when my men should duck for cover than the game ever can.
This made me laugh. Human error is always the biggest problem... Why not just not run your men up to the wall directly, rather than forcing EVERY other player to have to methodically press a button several times per turn just to end their units in cover. And plus now you want us to have to press stand to shoot too? The team have done a great job of animating these sprites, which if you've read any of the threads mentioning animation you will realise is a B*%$H of a job, and you want to add tedious mediocrity as a replacement? Sorry that may be harsh, but really?

Tweakd wrote:
Sorry for another wall of text. Am I right in saying though that you guys are starting to entertain the possibility that it could do with a change?
Nope. This thread was for a way to implement kneeling. Still don't think we need it...

Tweakd wrote:
Well this very similar to my first suggestion in the other thread. The difference being I used LOS to limit what you can see AND what you can fire at. To me that makes more sense than being able to see someone 15 tiles away when im crouched behind a wall. To recap.
Problems with these are:
Gauddlike wrote:
The problem is still the same with your LOS idea.
Having any other unit close enough to see the target would make it visible to you.
If you still stand up to fire from cover automatically then you have removed the LOS penalty by simply having someone else nearby.
If you can't stand to fire then you have given manual kneeling a huge advantage over cover as kneeling gets an accuracy bonus that you can't use from cover (as you have to stand up to fire), partial defensive bonus, as well as no LOS penalty.
That is not even taking into account an AP cost for standing etc.
And the fact that it is hard to tell what's going on in game turns. If it is like X-Com where once you see something it's visible for that turn then what's the point? And if your LOS is significantly reduced then I think everyone will wonder where the 'lift my head up a little and look over the cover I'm against button' is...

Gauddlike wrote:
Actually the other thread is mainly you while this thread is purely hypothetical wink
Slander! I wont take the bait though. Although I was close to counting my posts

Gauddlike wrote:
Rather than increased accuracy to weapons I would prefer to see the AP cost to aim reduced.
Think of it as less time to steady the weapon rather than just higher accuracy.
You pay less AP for the same shot you would otherwise make.
That may give you the chance to get off a second accurate shot when you would normally only have time to fire off a few snap shots.
You could throw the bonus accuracy to burst fire or heavy weapons in as well if you really wanted to.
I do actually really like this idea. If kneeling means I can make one or two aimed shots rather than a few snap shots or bursts then it sounds ideal to me. +1 for this.

Gauddlike wrote:
If you can't stand to fire then you have given manual kneeling a huge advantage over cover as kneeling gets an accuracy bonus that you can't use from cover (as you have to stand up to fire), partial defensive bonus, as well as no LOS penalty.
That is not even taking into account an AP cost for standing etc.
Ah...

You're right. It's a shame though. Would have been fun in a lot of situations but it does indeed imbalance kneeling behind cover and kneeling in the open. I may as well explain why I was thinking along those lines though.

For me kneeling should be a primarily defensive action. Wether it be behind a wall for the obvious benefits of cover, or in the open to try and reduce your profile slightly. This would ideally come at a small cost. It doesn't necessarily have to give you any other advantages even though some do make sense. Like your aimed shot suggestion for example. However that is an offensive bonus.

So how about this.

Kneeling in the open costs 4 AP for example. It slightly reduces your size making you a little harder to hit. It costs 4 AP to stand up. Thats it.
Kneeling behind cover costs 4 AP. Giving you the obvious protection from fire. But allows your reduced AP to aimed shots. Because you lean on the wall to steady the weapon. There are no additional costs to standing up or moving out of cover.

Simple. Effective?

EDIT: And yes I am actually talking about leaving in the auotstand feature when firing over walls. But the original cost to kneel into cover would still apply.

Then to top it off just have an option in the menu to turn autokneeling on/off when next to cover. Done!!!!!!

anotherdevil wrote:
But why? You could just stand one tile behind the cover and apart from the extra distance it'll do the same?
Call me a control freak, but I wouldn't want to waste APs on crouching and standing up when, for instance, I'm having soldiers double-time along a waist-high hedge or navigate through the pipe maze at the gasworks.

Tweakd wrote:
Kneeling in the open costs 4 AP for example. It slightly reduces your size making you a little harder to hit. Thats it.
Kneeling behind cover costs 4 AP. Giving you the obvious protection from fire. But allows your reduced AP to aimed shots. Because you lean on the wall to steady the weapon.
Ah but if cover was truly defensive then you wouldn't really be able to fire aimed shots.
You would get reduced AP cost per shot but be unable to focus your aim.
That would be to represent pointing the gun over the top of the wall and blasting away without looking properly.

I forgot to mention that it would be cheap to stand up but cost more AP to kneel.
That makes you think before using it rather than having the AP penalty only really apply after the situation has been resolved and you are less likely to need to worry about using AP's to change stance.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:32
Page 9 part 1:


Gauddlike wrote:
Ah but if cover was truly defensive then you wouldn't really be able to fire aimed shots.
You would get reduced AP cost per shot but be unable to focus your aim.
That would be to represent pointing the gun over the top of the wall and blasting away without looking properly.

I forgot to mention that it would be cheap to stand up but cost more AP to kneel.
That makes you think before using it rather than having the AP penalty only really apply after the situation has been resolved and you are less likely to need to worry about using AP's to change stance.
Yup after posting I thought a little more and agree. Say 6 to kneel and 3 to stand? Meaning you have to think if kneeling is worth it before commiting.

Cover needs to be defensive but it also has to be a much better option than kneeling in the open. If an AP reduction to aimed shots is too much combined with cover then just reduce the AP to aim by 6 APs. Then you can make an aimed shot in cover with no extra cost. Or remove it entirely. You spend 6 AP to use the cover. I'll go with that for further simplicity. I'm noticing the more complicated I make my suggestions the more difficult it becomes to implement the manual kneeling.

So to summarise my current viewpoint. The AP examples are just that. Examples.

Kneeling in the open costs 6 AP and standing costs 3 AP. You get a lower profile so become marginally harder to hit.
It may be a little more difficult to fire over low obstacles.
Going into cover costs 6AP and gives you the benefit of greater protection.
You stand to fire automatically but it costs 3 AP extra per shot. That accomodates the adjustments needed in your position to fire over or around the obstacle.

Now kneeling in the open is slightly defensive but is expensive/time consuming and may obstruct fire.
Kneeling in cover is much more protected but is more expensive to fire from.
Standing in the open is the cheapest of the three options but leaves you completely exposed.

And I still would prefer a simple option in the menu. However for the sake of argument and sticking with the OP for once, this would actually work to allow manual kneeling and autocover at the same time. Thoughts guys?

I reckon my suggestion would now be something more like:.
Standing - no defence bonus - reaction bonus (on your feet and ready to respond)
Cover - reduced size (50%) - unable to focus fire - cheaper base shot (ducked behind a wall, spray and pray firing)
Kneeling - reduced size (75%) - cheaper base shot but same step increase, so 20, 26, 32 AP instead of 25, 31, 37 for example (crouched so smaller with steadier base for aiming)
You would only be counted as in cover when facing directions the cover system designates yellow or green.
Same for firing in those directions.
Any other direction would treat you as kneeling, for both firing and defence.
This would actually also give a bonus to burst fire and heavy weapons in cover.
They would normally have high base costs and at most one step of aiming.
Not so much a direct bonus, more of a comparative bonus against aimed type weapons.

That does give each stance a bonus in different situations.
An AP cost may not be needed as the only reason to switch stances would be to hope for a better reaction shot at the risk of getting shot yourself.
That isn't really a situation I can see being abused.
You would still autocover when walking up to cover, you could choose to stand up at the end of your turn though if you were hoping for the lucky shot.

Interesting although a little more complicated than I expected.

"Standing - no defence bonus - reaction bonus (on your feet and ready to respond) "

I like this and would add it to my own suggestion. Wether it be a bonus applied whilst standing or a penalty whilst kneeling or in cover.

"You would only be counted as in cover when facing directions the cover system designates yellow or green. Same for firing in those directions. Any other direction would treat you as kneeling, for both firing and defence.* "

This is also what I had in mind.

"Kneeling - reduced size (75%) - cheaper base shot but same step increase, so 20, 26, 32 AP instead of 25, 31, 37 for example (crouched so smaller with steadier base for aiming) "

This I'm unsure of. So if I understand kneeling makes every shot cheaper and gives you a lower profile. It certainly makes sense but now isn't kneeling the best option for everything except reaction fire?

"Cover - reduced size (50%) - unable to focus fire - cheaper base shot (ducked behind a wall, spray and pray firing)"

The thing is current animation doesn't represent spray and pray firing to me. Regardless I don't think its necessary to make differences in firing costs between all three stances. I still think cover should cost more to fire rather than less. No accuracy change on all three stances to keep things simple.

"An AP cost may not be needed as the only reason to switch stances would be to hope for a better reaction shot at the risk of getting shot yourself. "

This wouldn't work. If for whatever reason im out of AP and in the open I would always crouch because its free and offers protection. In this instance I wouldn't care that i recieve a penalty for reaction fire.

In fact lets just come to an agreement on a VERY simple system to at least try and get it in the game. Then once we enter the balance phase we can suggest tweaking values to better balance the combat side of things. Right now I feel like we are wasting time and would rather see a simple kneel functionality than none at all. Then at least we can all give better feedback after playtesting it.

The simplest I can think of that I would actually want to use is this.

Kneeling costs 6 AP in the open : This makes you 75 or 80% your original size.
Autocover costs nothing : This makes you 75 or 80% your original size like kneeling. Firing from cover costs 3AP extra per shot.
Standing is free.

Hmm, so if I'm understanding correctly, part of the concern with auto-kneeling is the animation time? If it costs nothing and has no effect on LOS or shooting, you still would like to not have it simply because of the time it takes for the animation to complete?

If that's directed at me then partially yes. However I'm trying to work around it now. The real reason is I want a cost applied to autocover but this can be accomplished by putting the cost on the shots rather than moving into cover itself. For the sake of progress I will put up with the animation not doing exactly what i had in mind. At least it wont cost me AP unless I decide to fire.

I would still say without autocover you have more options available as far as game design goes. But I'm completely willing to see how it plays out if we can get a system as I stated above.

I want to kneel in the open if I choose. It should cost me for a small defensive benefit. In autocover I want to spend a little more AP for the benefits of using the cover. But not get charged if I just happen to stop to reload or something. In it's simplest form that's what i want to try. No need to mess with accuracy/LOS/turning costs at this stage.

iamkyon wrote:
Call me a control freak, but I wouldn't want to waste APs on crouching and standing up when, for instance, I'm having soldiers double-time along a waist-high hedge or navigate through the pipe maze at the gasworks.
I'm pretty sure the game only crouches you when you STOP next to the cover. There is no crouch walking animation that I've seen... So walking/running through tiles that could provide cover doesn't cost you any more!

Tweakd wrote:
In fact lets just come to an agreement on a VERY simple system to at least try and get it in the game. Then once we enter the balance phase we can suggest tweaking values to better balance the combat side of things.
Um, you're forgetting last page where several people said they still didn't actually think a kneeling system was necessary... And why start with a simple system which then takes ages to balance, because you want to add so much more? Why not flesh out a system as much as possible so that only minor things have to be fixed, and then it's more likely to actually get in, rather than seen as a waste of time?

Sathra wrote:
Hmm, so if I'm understanding correctly, part of the concern with auto-kneeling is the animation time? If it costs nothing and has no effect on LOS or shooting, you still would like to not have it simply because of the time it takes for the animation to complete?
I think it is more the form of the animation, that it doesn't display what they think the cover or whatever should allow the soldier to do (ie. blindfiring over the wall). I could be wrong though, it has been known to happen...

I've just PMed Chris to get his attention to this thread. Hopefully he'll have some constructive feedback for us soon! =]

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:33
Page 9 part 2:

Tweakd wrote:
this can be accomplished by putting the cost on the shots rather than moving into cover itself.
But why should you get all these defensive bonuses at no cost? That makes no sense. The additional aiming accuracy/decrease in AP to shoot is a minor thing, the main thing about being in cover is the 'COVER' aspect, isn't it?

Tweakd wrote:
So if I understand kneeling makes every shot cheaper and gives you a lower profile. It certainly makes sense but now isn't kneeling the best option for everything except reaction fire?
Tweakd wrote:
Kneeling costs 6 AP in the open : This makes you 75 or 80% your original size.
Kneeling would be your best bet in the open here also.
The cost is one or maybe two tiles of movement so hardly a reason to stand if you wouldn't make cover in that distance.
Standing is always going to be something you avoid if possible when you add in any bonuses to kneeling.
When breaching you may want your troopers at the front to kneel with some standing further out in the hope of providing a layered defence.
The ones near the front can soak up a few shots while the ones further back can try and protect them with reaction fire.
Tweakd wrote:
The thing is current animation doesn't represent spray and pray firing to me.
Jumping up out of cover to fire off a shot then dropping back down is close enough.
That gives you no time to aim.

Basically your new suggestion is very similar to one I made ages ago.
Standing gives a reaction bonus, kneeling a defensive bonus while cover is the most defensive.
No one seemed to agree with it back then though as kneeling was thought to be more offensive :p

anotherdevil wrote:
Um, you're forgetting last page where several people said they still didn't actually think a kneeling system was necessary...
Oh come on. Read the thread title.

anotherdevil wrote:
And why start with a simple system which then takes ages to balance, because you want to add so much more?
Because I don't think it will takes ages to balance out. It's not an incredibly complex mechanic or anything. There are just a lot of ways of achieving similar results. It won't take long to find the best balance between the three stances once they are actually usable. It would certainly have a much better chance than this back and forth discussion.

anotherdevil wrote:
I've just PMed Chris to get his attention to this thread. Hopefully he'll have some constructive feedback for us soon! =]
Good I certainly hope so.

anotherdevil wrote:
But why should you get all these defensive bonuses at no cost? That makes no sense. The additional aiming accuracy/decrease in AP to shoot is a minor thing, the main thing about being in cover is the 'COVER' aspect, isn't it?
You mean like it is now? The way you are happy with? Seriously it feels like you're just argueing for the sake of it.

It works to get both manual kneeling and autocover in the game with very little change to the way autocover currently works. I thought that you would prefer this over a complete overhaul? Besides I already explained why I would recommend putting the cost onto the shots rather than the ducking into cover. And why would you say that extra AP to shoot is a minor thing? Don't you normally fire from cover given the chance? So if you want a cost to getting into cover how would you manage someone stopping to reload next to a wall? You will be charged each time. Or how about stopping to survey your surroundings? If we are using autocover then it cant charge you for using it when you dont want to! So either remove autocover or do something like I suggested.

Gauddlike wrote:
Kneeling would be your best bet in the open here also.
I should have said again that AP costs were just examples. Would 8AP be enough to warrant 80% reduction in size? Or do you think that a flat AP cost is just not going to work?

Gauddlike wrote:
Basically your new suggestion is very similar to one I made ages ago.
Standing gives a reaction bonus, kneeling a defensive bonus while cover is the most defensive.
No one seemed to agree with it back then though as kneeling was thought to be more offensive :p
I agreed with you. It's just a case of finding a simple system to make it work. Of which I think there have been a few good suggestions. There's just a lot of noise in here so I don't think the point is getting across at all.

To me if your standing it means your mobile and on the offensive. If your crouched you're effectively digging in and not moving. Thats the way I see it and in theory it won't be difficult to balance. As long as being in cover is the best defensive option but more time consuming. And kneeling is marginally better than standing but again more time consuming. And standing allows more movement and probably the best reaction fire. Where can that go wrong?

I can't read all these posts, I have too much to do right now . What I'll do is set up some wiki pages for you guys explaining in full detail exactly how the shooting and cover mechanics work in the game right now. That should clear up a bunch of your questions, judging from the 3-4 pages I've read so far.

After that, I'll participate in the discussion on the new forums and answer the questions more directly.

anotherdevil
10-19-2011, 19:35
Page 10:

Tweakd wrote:
anotherdevil wrote:
But why should you get all these defensive bonuses at no cost? That makes no sense. The additional aiming accuracy/decrease in AP to shoot is a minor thing, the main thing about being in cover is the 'COVER' aspect, isn't it?
You mean like it is now? The way you are happy with? Seriously it feels like you're just argueing for the sake of it.
I'm fine with it now because there is no kneeling. Adding kneeling in changes that though doesn't it? That's the whole point of this thread in fact

Tweakd wrote:
And why would you say that extra AP to shoot is a minor thing? Don't you normally fire from cover given the chance?
Sure. But the main point of cover is getting the protection. If I had to choose over defensive bonus or offensive bonus, then cover would be defensive. Why? Because it makes sense that when you're behind a wall you get more defence, than you do aiming assistance. And by putting such an emphasis on the aiming, you make cover ANOTHER way to be offensive...

Tweakd wrote:
So if you want a cost to getting into cover how would you manage someone stopping to reload next to a wall? You will be charged each time. Or how about stopping to survey your surroundings? If we are using autocover then it cant charge you for using it when you dont want to! So either remove autocover or do something like I suggested.
I would suggest that if they don't want to get the AP cost of having to reload next to a wall (waist high wall only), they don't stop next to a wall perhaps? If you don't want to go into autocover, then dont!

Also you'll see my original post on the matter actually stated that I thought my idea could work with either 0 cost, or a cost. So I don't know why you keep picking on one side of my post. Why did I say this? Because I thought that each of the three stances had enough of a difference that it didn't matter which one you chose, no single one was the best for any situation, but were in fact flexible depending on how the player wanted to play.

I also tried to think it through so that a relatively complex system (but still intuitive) could go into the game (not that I think it needs to), and the numbers just need to be balanced

Tweakd wrote:
Oh come on. Read the thread title.
seriously? I did, it has this word 'could' in it, not 'will.' That makes it a hypothetical

Tweakd wrote:
Would 8AP be enough to warrant 80% reduction in size?
80% REDUCTION? Are you serious? You don't go to 20% of your body size when you crouch! They're soldiers, not midget contortionists!

Chris says he'll answer these posts in the new forum

Thanks Chris. Appreciate the effort. Clarification on the current system will help us see the lay of the land.

And sorry for my sharp edge in the previous post anotherdevil. It's been a hard day.

And there are all the posts! Now bring on the new discussion!

Chris
10-19-2011, 19:47
This thread is too long to resume discussion in it. We'll just lock it and use it as a library to browse, and start a new thread.