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About Max_Caine

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    Hello and welcome to the Goldhawk forums. If you need help or information, please PM me and I'll do my best to help. If you're here the spam adverts, go elsewhere.
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  1. I think the New and Improved Sebillian regeneration could use some reworking. As presented, whenever a Sebillian goes prone its maximum HP is reduced by 25% and a Sebillian only dies when maximum HP is 0. If you reduce the maximum HP by a percentage rather than a fixed number then the number of times that a Sebillian has to go prone before max HP reaches 0 would be a lot, as you're reducing the max HP value by a quarter each time. It would probably be better to reduce the max HP by a fixed number. That way the rank and file get up fewer times than the leaders/minibosses will. Personally, I'd find watching Sebillians yo-yo between being killed and getting back up again before finally being put down annoying after the first few occasions. I suggest taking a leaf out of D&D 3.5 and use negative hit points. If you say that a Sebillian goes prone when it reaches 0 HP but only dies when it reaches X number of negative HP then the player is faced with a choice - keep shooting a downed Sebillian that isn't shooting back to make it dead, or focus their attention on other aliens instead and manage the HP of the downed Sebillian (this is where mixed races would be helpful).
  2. Concerning deploying soldiers in different teleport sites. If initial deployment were restricted to the edge of the map then map exploration and the shroud could be maintained. X-Com Apocalypse is a good proof of concept that edge-based deployment across multiple points of deployment works without detriment to the exploration/discovery experience (some good examples are here at 13:43 and here at 18:22). Concerning a tactical reserve. Gis-Jan said some interesting things things about the asymmetry of tactical information in X1. Because the AI units are sprinkled over the map the and each AI unit shares information with every other AI unit, all AI units have near perfect knowledge of the map at the start of the game and maintain much better information about the map and the location of its enemy (the player's units) than the player does through the lifetime of a mission. (This was how the AI could guess with uncanny accuracy where the player was legally). It looks like the same information asymmetry is going to be as true in X2 as it was in X1. A tactical reserve represents the only card the player has in this information war. The AI cannot know that the player has not committed all his soldiers, so each unit makes plans based upon the soldiers that it knows exists. When a soldier is committed from a tactical reserve, the AI is on the back foot, as it made plans based on what it knew. If it's possible to have multiple deployment points then the value of a tactical reserve is evident. The player can create flankers that the AI cannot prepare for, but once they become known, they loose the element of surprise and are factored into any further plans. So the player makes a genuine choice. By holding back one or more soldiers, they can be deployed later in the mission when the fight has started, but they must be deployed to maximum effect because they loose a lot of their value after they have taken their first turn.
  3. Regarding the translocator and the tactical map, would it be possible to not start with all the troopers on the map? To be able to hold back a percentage of troopers in reserve which you can teleport in at the start of a turn? If a tactical reserve were possible, then it would open up more options for players on the map and more strongly tie the utility of the translocator into fights.
  4. "What could psychic powers do that technology couldn't do and wouldn't be incredibly difficult to program?". Well, if you don't mind giving more work to Gis-Jan, you could have him model confusion, fear, panic, anger and other such negative emotions in AI and make psychic powers the only way to trigger those in aliens. Narratively, if we're going down the idea of a psychic human being the unholy fusion of alien and human, then said unholy fusion would permit a psychic human insight into aliens that ordinary humans simply would not have, and would let them nudge aliens minds with said alien insight. From a coding perspective, a negative emotion would be badly coded AI. Confusion would be movement routines derping about (like in XCOM LW2). Anger would be the target and cover routines up the wazoo. Perhaps Gis-Jan should save any bad AI routines he comes across so they can be repackaged as negative alien emotions? Maphacks could be done legitimately for psychic humans (remote viewing, psychic sensitivity). Not sure how much fun that would actually be, unless it was an AOE with relatively limited range (then why have it in the first place?) or the more you used it, the more chance there was of frying the human's mind. More esoterically, you might have alien equipment on UFOs or alien bases at least partially psychically controlled, so a psychic human might be able to do things on UFOs like open/close doors, or cause consoles or generators to overload and explode. Or perhaps alien equipment may have a psychic lockout so the top brass never have to fear an uprising, and a sufficiently trained psychic human might stop an alien gun from firing or a tech-based alien ability from working. Or a psychic human might be more in tune with alien tech (again, unholy fusion of alien and man) so when they use it they get specific psychic buffs that non-psychic humans can't have. But perhaps being in a UFO causes a morale drain each turn or wearing/using alien gear drains morale (slowly) as the more you use alien kit the more alien you start thinking. Perhaps?
  5. So, about the translocator and map discovery. Is map discovery still a thing in X2? I mean, if you can go anywhere then in theory it should be possible to place your troops anywhere on a map. I can foresee that being a PITA to code, but would it be possible to take a leaf from X:Com Apocalypse and allow multiple entry points on the edges of a map, as opposed to a single drop zone?
  6. Does anyone remember during the development of X1 the numerous threads complaining about the gameplay need to explore the map? "Why couldn't they look out of the window" was the most commonly used argument. If map discovery is still going to be part of the game, then I'm all for the translocator.
  7. The first idea presented in the OP seems to be the most practical. The only thing I might suggest is that if there's money in the kitty for texture swaps, it might be helpful to have the secondary race in any pairing to have an altered texture and mix up their abilities a bit so they're "secondary race with a side of primary race" to emphasize the primary race you're fighting.
  8. That's a good idea! Having various prerequisites to make it easier or more difficult to research a project would change how you approach fights. I do have a concern about being able to skip ahead discoveries. Isn't a lot of the enjoyment of X-style research based on it's mystery? Wouldn't being able to skip ahead ruin that?
  9. Concerning the idea of slots. I don't think presenting hard choices as slots is going to work. There's always going to be the cry "why can't I use slots in division X for division Y?!", just as there were cries of "why can't I build another Skyranger?!". If you want people to make hard choices, then it would probably be better to provide a blank floorplan of the base, say "that's all the room you get, DWI" and let people figure out from the floorplan where they want to put things. You still limit what people can do, but you give the impression that the player has more choice over what they can do. This could be taken a step further and an element of a puzzle game could be added to base building by allowing room structures different shapes so they fit together like a tetris puzzle, and allowing adjacency buffs/debuffs so different types of room both benefit or not from being placed to each other (e.g. put a rec room next to a lab would probably cause a massive debuff to the lab from all the noise in the rec room). Just doing those two things - different room shapes and adjacency buffs/debuffs would work to limit the number of types of rooms the players puts in as they would have to consider the dimensions of the rooms they want, as well as what rooms they would end up against.
  10. I think the relationship between the Psylon officer and the drones could stand to be a little more complex, more of a two-way street so there's a payoff for killing the officer instead of the drones. What if, say, killing the officer caused the drones to explode? In a psychic implosion kind of way? Or did some kind of an AOE debuff? A good reason for singling out the Psylon officer would help mix up the strategies. And perhaps, what if different grades of drone provided different buffs? So you might pick an order to kill drones in, rather than blaze away at the nearest, and you could keep drones interesting later on in the game.
  11. Considering equipment improvement. If you're interested in playing with the tradeoffs between improving a piece of equipment during research and getting the research out the door, what about assigning named engineers to a research project? Say, for each possible improvement you have to assign a named engineer with the appropriate specialty to it. That would have a twofold effect. Named engineers assigned to a research project can't make anything for the duration of the project, and there would only be so many engineers with a specialty that fits the needs of a project enhancement, so you'd have to juggle between projects crying out for skilled engineers, and the needs of the soldiers who need engineers making stuff. It also makes engineers a little more interesting than the factory-line workers they so normally are in games of this type.
  12. The personalisation of scientists is strongly reminiscent of the leader concept from Masters Of Orion 2, or the more recent Stellaris. Sounds like a good idea, but a brief search on Stellaris has confirmed my thought that once you start introducing traits, people immediately look for ways to min-max. There are a number of threads on Stellaris forums on how to generate scientists with the most desirable traits, so while I would say YES to personalising scientists, I'd equally try to make min-maxing scientist traits as difficult as possible. Min-Maxing tends to occur when certain traits are most desirable.For example, at the start of the game scientists with a strong grounding in materials science or biochemistry might be more desirable as the immediate needs are understanding alien physiology and a crude understanding of how alien weapons work so defenses can be constructed. Later, theoretical physics would become more important to understand the higher levels of alien tech, and biochem might become completely worked out once all aliens are studied. So, to make scientists more desirable as individuals themselves, rather than what they know, it might be an idea to take a leaf from role-playing games and assign merits and flaws to them. Prof. Clarke is a wiz materials science, specializing in Metallurgy which would give an engineering boost to any physical product he oversees, but his flaw is he's a known Glory Hound, eager to snatch the credit for himself so other scientists spend more time protecting their contribution than they do working on the project. Dr. Asimov, on the other hand, is a strong theoretical mathematician. He has Sparks of Genius where he may generate double or triple the research points for a day, but at the same time he has his Head in the Clouds, so on occasion when he gets caught up in a conundrum, he generates no research points until he comes back to earth. Provided the traits were not randomly assigned but matched to a specific scientist (otherwise that would promote even more min-maxing), it creates a more rounded figure which has to be considered in relation to the needs of both the moment and the future. It would also make personalising a scientist in the Kickstarter more desirable as anyone who wanted it as a reward could personalise their character one extra step.
  13. Could a bonus for point-blank shots be added? This was a bone of contention in X1 as it felt "unrealistic" for a soldier to be in either the adjacent tile or a few tiles away and have a low chance to hit.
  14. So, out of curiosity, I clicked on the Input tab in the launcher for the first time ever. Chris, I think you need to take a look at it, because there are keybinds for actions like "jump", "fire 1",, "fire 2", etc. etc. I'm going to try pressing some of these buttons in-game to see what happens, but those keybinds should be removed and replaced with Xenonaut specific keybindings. EDIT: Pressing the keybindings from the input tab didn't do anything so that's useful to know. Some comments on the animations re. the Psyon grunt (or minion or whatever - the lows rung in the totem pole, you know what I mean). the shoot animation does a double-take when processing - he lifts his arms, then it snaps down again and then lifts again. Could that be fixed up? Also the shoot animations for the alines in general seem fairly rough in comparison to X1. That is to say, they seem to be lifting their arm and the bullet comes out without the arm(s) seeming to aim, as if their weapon is misfiring in the process of being lifted.Also, could you reintroduce the point blank bonus to-hit that was in X1? It seems silly that both myself and an alien can stand right next to each other and miss! EDIT 2: Have now discovered the .json files and am pleased to report that itinerant modders fiddling with the stats doesn't cause any issues. Personally would have preferred a greater degree of separation of the data from the code, but you takes what you gets.
  15. Been a few builds since I last tried it,so some opinions. 1) Movement actions feel as if they should be faster than they are. The general poise and gait of both the Psyons and the humans suggest they are running from spot to spot, but the speed which they do that doesn't suggest a running pace, more a jogging pace 2) Dead aliens and humans can ragdoll a bit which makes death humorous, when the arm of a dead human spazzes out. Is it possible to make them slump without spazzing? I bet it isn't. 3) Human feel a little "floaty" when running, that is to say the impression is given that their feet don't seem to quite touch the ground. This is especially obvious when they are running in profile to the observer/player 4) It's hard to tell who still has AP and who doesn't without clicking through each solider, as this isn't updated on the UI on the left hand side. 5) Much easier by sight to work out where I can get a solider to stand. 6) No crashes throughout the run-through. Will try for a TPK and see if that causes any problems.