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About Ninothree

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  1. Sounds like sensible additions to make to the air combat game. There is a bit of debate around the forum on gameplay vs realism - but this adds to both. If there is a way to allow the player to make choices about what size to construct their wings and what tasks to give them then that should only add some interesting complexity to the geoscape, air combat is overly simple at the moment. Maybe the number of variables in play should be kept small: one task effects detection range and another response rate. That way you have a choice of finding more UFOs or forming a better attack on a bigger, nearer one. I know this is still a watered down version of what you're saying but it does need to be streamlined in some way to make it easy enough to be put in the game. As for the number of aircraft in wing, I think this is where the X theme pulls away from reality. If you're trying to shoot down huge UFOs (think Independence Day) the you're going to want a bigger bunch than the regular airforce would put out. Also I guess that the size 5 might stick just because it is a round(ish) number.
  2. Do you know if this is set that way so pilots are always in pairs? I can see this making sense from a tactical perspective but, as you mention, the missions given to xenonauts pilots are almost invariably of the same type. Effectively, xenonauts craft aren't doing the same thing as a regular air-force, it is a different kind of warfare after all. Saying that, I'd definitely second the suggestion that pilots should be doing more than just a scramble to shoot down UFOs as and when the waves come in. Certainly in XCOM I found that many interceptors hardly left the base the whole game. Xenonauts resolved that by having many UFOs come in simultaneously so you had a fully active air-force. However, that air-force is always gunning for the same goal, so there was relatively little choice except what planes you could afford and priority of which UFOs you targeted. So instead of having interceptors only wait around at the base, they could commit to scouting missions or patrols, so being always 'on' rather than inactive with consequences for leaving them in certain states - e.g. they improve their chances of spot UFOs but increase their response time in defending the base.
  3. There's probably a nice in-between: psychic powers being rudimentary in nature but becoming quite powerful in the lategame if used well. Even if you limit psi powers to a stat-buff this can, under the right conditions, really make an impact. Say you get a vanilla psi power early on in the game, all it does is allow you to increase and ally's aim slightly - this may hardly offer any net gains if it cost you time units to cast that buff: it could help to make a key shot but wouldn't necessarily increase overall firepower. However, if by the late game that stat buff had increased enough, it could make using auto fire at longer range feasible. Or allow you to bring rookie snipers into the field and actually hit something. Effectively, this buff may not even need to increase the damage you deal per turn, so it wouldn't be a game changer, but it could propose new strategies of squad positioning. Having said that, I think that XCOM:EU did well to include a power like rift but only in the final mission. It is fun to use (very satisfying to one-shot those sectopods) but it would break the balance of the bulk of the game were it introduced earlier. It is nice to see those non-rudimentary powers, but not to ever have them as go-to tactics for any mission.
  4. @TrashMan I think you may find it easier to construct ideas if you forget the preconceptions given by X1 and other xcom game. This forum is about discussing what rules could be in effect, rather than using rules already in effect to determine what can and can't happen. If you stick to the latter, we'll just end up with the same game instead of a sequel.
  5. I think that cloaking is just too good though. It is like mind control: very fun for a while, but quickly turns into an oh-so-easy mechanism to spam. If used right, you hardly need to put your troops into the line of fire - so if the game difficulty is geared to compensate, it is very difficult to play without it. Having said that, stealth is pretty cool so I wouldn't mind if there were some kind of option to use it if coupled with severe limitations - like that you can only ever have 1 stealth suit or that it drains the health of the user when they're invisible.
  6. + tactical retreat? Or snatch and grab style teleporting out of ground combat?
  7. Yeah I can see that all sides are interested in keeping it secret. Especially if the desired end game is control over a stable population. There has to be a reason that the aliens don't just bombard from orbit. And along the same lines, there has to be a reason that Earth's military forces aren't all mobilised. If either of those things happened, then people would go nuts and soon enough there wouldn't be much of a human race to save.
  8. So you wouldn't necessarily use psi troopers for active abilities like mind control but instead they could be a kind of key to unlocking the most dangerous rooms of a UFO. Say the top deck has that morale drain, then your regular soldiers can push forward a little but would panic before they breach the control room. However, if you have a psi trooper in the team then that soldier could buff all his/her comrades. But a consequence is that your squad integrity is sensitive to the psi trooper getting shot - moreover, the aliens can sense this trooper so they'll prioritise them as a target. Without the psi trooper as the key, you'd have to blow up the engines of the ship to neutralise the threat, meaning you go home pretty much empty handed.
  9. I like the twist on terror missions, though I'd suggest that they should be imprinted with the xcom difficulty curve: in the early game, the civilians get creamed. Terror missions are supposed to be tough and it is not a common outcome that you save everyone. So, at the beginning of the game when you are highly outgunned, a 'successful' terror mission would be one where you extract a few civilians then do a tactical retreat, leaving the aliens to their sabotage. Later on, that definition of success would be advanced as it becomes feasible to save the infrastructure too. Though as @tachikaze points out, the aliens' objective wouldn't merely be blowing stuff up, they could do that from orbit, so if they were to commit a well-armed strike team it'd be something more subtle. Effectively, this would be something to push the relations/threat counter in the early game so there is no chance of you getting a perfect play. Until the home team gets its act together the enemy will be winning battles and gaining a foothold. That difficulty would also make you use the retreat mechanic which is not something most players normally do (if you can't complete the mission, why try it?).
  10. Is quite hard to explain away attacks on major cities with so many witnesses. Even if it is put down to Soviet/American forces, that incursion would turn the cold war into a hot one. Maybe if those attacks took place in non-aligned countries (3rd world) then it would be easier for the mass media and general public of the East/West to ignore. As for sightings of UFOs in the sky, there are tinfoil-hat-wearing crackpots out there right now who claim to have seen them. Though I think if the aliens had the capability to brainwash humans to do their misinformation/infiltration then the story would hold together a lot tighter.
  11. hmmm, maybe that can fit into the idea at the start of the thread. Chris spoke about implementing some kind of finite level of ammo to induce a soft layer of resource management - but this needs to be done without tedium of producing individual clips. Maybe the resources you use could feed a generator which gives regular ammo an additional 'charge'. So whilst you have an infinite supply of laser clips, you can choose to spend x amount of resource to power up y laser clips, giving them an additional damage boost. You would never be unable to equip your soldiers for a mission but there would be a rarity of 'charged' ammo. Even from a lore perspective this isn't ridiculous. For lasers, ammo would be a battery pack, which when 'charged' would have a higher energy density, thus making shots fired more powerful. Bullets could be 'charged' to make them incandescent, so they'd act like tracer bullets giving an accuracy bonus (for burst fire). I'm not too familiar with plasma but perhaps something to do with purifying the fuel to boost the weapon's effective range.
  12. I guess an extension of this line of thinking could be that there are top level research projects in each field which aren't prerequisites to complete the game, but offer some kind of achievement for specialising in one particular research field. For example, if you consistently hire materials scientists throughout your whole playthrough and reach some excessive level of points in that field then you can access a godly armour - however, you'll likely be using substandard weapons so ground combat wouldn't be a cinch. Equivalently, you could do that to a lesser extend mid-game; rushing the medium armour at the expense of projects in other fields. In X1 you'd have been held back as the aliens might not have dropped the requisite salvage.
  13. I seem to remember that xcom:apoc had that kind of explanation. The disruptor technology was essentially a source of magic energy from another dimension. Not the kind of scifi that Arthur C Clarke might have outputted but very convenient from a lore perspective.
  14. Maybe something similar with androns - the leader is akin to a data/command hub so if you take them out first then the subordinates shutdown/reset/self destruct. Or with sebillians - an officer down causes the grunts to go berserk: a disregard for cover, increased rate of fire, lower accuracy and chance to fire on friendlies/go melee, then a turn of exhaustion after going nuts. Giving a unique effect for the kill-order would make the races feel quite different and give you a reason to mix up your tactics depending on the situation.
  15. I'd like to have the points system relate to scrap recovered from ground combat. So the more careful you are (not blowing stuff up) then the more it benefits your research. Additionally, capturing more live aliens after the first has a gain - further interrogation could give you more research points. I'm sure there are other side-quest type objectives you could design to feed into research too.