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Bibidibop
01-07-2012, 06:19
When you change the difficulty level, the avatar's rank changes. I like this a lot, but how low the rank is really struck hard. In practical terms a Lieutenant and Captain is right for commanding 30-50 people, but we're talking about a completely new international military, with the potential to grow into multiple bases in a very short time, and even the starting base can grow very fast. Another issue is, if the top man is ranked so low, he won't be able to properly command respect with existing militaries, and politicians. Modern militaries have generals buying uniforms, the whole mindset is that your ability to think is proportional to your rank. As wrong as that might be.

If this were real, the goal would be to establish the officers with the expectation of expansion, and with parity of respect. That means the top officer needs to be at least a Brigadier General. It would result in a very officer heavy organization, but only at first.

If the organization were actually a subset of another military, then the lowest rank of the top officer could be Colonel.

Another aspect just occurred to me, the rank goes up with the difficulty, but shouldn't the rank go down with difficulty? It may seem a bit counter intuitive, but presumably in the harder difficulty, you have less of everything, an everything is harder. One way to spin that is, everything is harder because you, in-universe, has less experience, less political pull, less support in general. As an example, being higher ranked in lower difficulty could explain countries hanging with the Xenonauts longer, against poorly handled invasion activity.

Straker
01-07-2012, 07:05
The ranks by level appear to stop at Sargeant for some reason. I was under the impression it should continue up the X-Com chain. If so, then we are missing Lt, Capt, Col, and Commander.

In my typical X-Com game (EU, TFTD) I could have 80-100+ soldiers in the mid-to-late stages of the game.

Gorlom
01-07-2012, 08:08
Straker I think he is talking about selecting difficulty for the game, not what rank the soldiers you send on missions have?

Straker
01-07-2012, 09:58
Oh, on the main screen? I always thought the uniforms looked German.

anotherdevil
01-07-2012, 19:38
does it matter that much? It seems a lot of thought has gone into what is essentially just a pretty picture with some symbolism (more medals = harder)

Bibidibop
01-08-2012, 07:04
It's not important to gameplay, but since so much work is being done on prettying up the game, successfully, I felt it worthwhile commenting on the work. It's just a matter of consistency.

anotherdevil
01-08-2012, 11:31
fair enough

Chris
01-08-2012, 11:46
How do you know what signifies ranks in the Xenonauts? They may not follow the same rules as the rest of the world and, frankly, whoever it is that controls a paramilitary organisation with the most advanced technology on the planet will probably still get plenty of respect even if they were wearing a Private's uniform.

The design of the uniforms is more about making it look nice, and having enough detail on it that it can be split into 4 logical steps of difficulty (I think we've done that). It's possibly not completely accurate, but it gets the point across.

And it makes more sense to me that a harder game would have a higher rank. That's pretty much standard for games like this, no? It's meant to represent the level of ability you must have to complete the game, rather than the power you wield.

Sathra
01-08-2012, 13:54
In another way of speaking: Are you worthy of this bling?

Bibidibop
01-11-2012, 06:09
How do you know what signifies ranks in the Xenonauts? They may not follow the same rules as the rest of the world and, frankly, whoever it is that controls a paramilitary organisation with the most advanced technology on the planet will probably still get plenty of respect even if they were wearing a Private's uniform.
Anyone who uses that particular insignia is going to have a rank structure originating with the US, because the US is the only one to use that symbol. If they're actually generals, then they need something which fits the theme of generals around the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_%28OF-2%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_officer

If you're going to argue them having different rules, then they need to show different, but consistent use of rank insignia. One of the issues I have with the way the officers change is that the epaulets become inconsistent with the breast insignia. Even going from one, to two, to three, to four bars would be better, and does fit ranking trends. But, non-general staff will need different symbols or coloration of rank. It's also counterproductive to make a purposefully confusing rank system.

On the matter of respect, it is too ingrained in a hierarchical system to avoid it. The only way to make a low rank leader work would be to strip the top man of rank, and give him a civilian administrator title, and the right trappings of officer. Otherwise, the first reaction of generals is going to be, "Captain, show me to the base leader," and they won't be able to help themselves from giving orders on how to run the place, and ignoring what they're told, even if they're not in the chain of command.

On the matter of reverse order, I have seen it before. A similar style is used in some FPS games, where the player avatar becomes more beaten, thus weaker, the higher the difficulty becomes. Actually, regardless of rank order, if you gave the successively higher ranks puffy eyes, sallow cheeks, and messier uniform, it would be a fun indication of greater stress. Even that alone, with non-changing rank would work wonders.