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  1. Not the naysayers, but those who missed the point of the thread.
  2. When I play shooters, I have to guess if wind and bullet falloff affect my accuracy. It takes some time with the game before I learn that. I would be surprised to find these things in a tactical game; instead, I would wonder why my long ranged shot are simply missing. Maybe my unit was facing the sun? What else is going on? I don't expect your position to be "pure sim > abstracted numbers", but instead that some abstractions can be done away with, or some information hidden. For example, XCOM2012 shows enemy health bars, Xcom 1994 and Xenonauts do not. I would want accuracy to remain visible - but would it be better to replace it with "very/likely/unlikely to hit"? The game Frozen Synapse went one step further, and removed all %s; instead, it was Time to Kill. It took a gunner 1.0s to kill a unit, but a shotgunner 0.5s to kill a unit who was in range. Battles were deterministic; the whole idea of the game was running simulations. The game wasn't any easier though, as it made unit placement and cover very important.
  3. @desertoth Great write up, I agree with a lot of your points. Especially that not all aliens would be equipped to the teeth in all missions; this could provide some of the early game ease and mid-game rookie training missions. It's reasonable for a scout to expect to outrun an interceptor. Maybe some of the bigger UFOs would carry more specialized equipment, like grenades or stun grenades. Your approach sounds very much real, and it makes me realize that mine very much treats this as a game, as if both the AI and the player are gearing up for a tactical fight, and they have to try and guess what the other is bringing. If all your suggestions would be realized, I think we would have a robust Planetary Defense game, but it might not resemble Xcom or Xenonauts very much! @Ninothree The idea of forcing the AI to deploy advanced weaponry in order to capture it crossed my mind too! I love the idea of an escalation happening, where the draw backs of "going in too deep" is that the weapons get so powerful that collateral damage is unavoidable. Alien armor being so thick that you have to level a city block to penetrate it, or switching to puny lasers and melting it. The game AI War: Fleet Command is said to have a pretty robust AI, but I haven't played it enough to see it shine.
  4. There has been quite a bit of discussion where ideas were brought forward with the intent of having the soldier take more than just "recently unlocked" tech onto the field. In Xcom 1994, once you has plasma weapons, you did not take lasers into the field. I thought this thread could bring forward ideas that would want to make the player take a variety of tech out into the field. My idea is tied around a game theory example of soccer player versus soccer goalie in a penalty shot. Does he shoot left, right or center? (see this article to get an idea of what I mean: So to take the late game as an example, the player could take Ballistics, Laser or Plasma into the field, and the aliens could use pro-Ballistic, pro-Laser or pro-Plasma armor into the field. The aliens would use game theory and probability to attempt to predict what tech you will field, based on your past choices, and use the appropriate armor; it's up to the commander to mix things up. So there would be diminishing returns in always running Plasma, as eventually the entire alien force would be running pro-Plasma armor. But maybe running all Plasma and then raiding a base with Laser weapons would catch the aliens entirely off guard. This would make unlocking some Tier 4 tech a trick up ones sleeve, as you could save it to raid a particularly difficult to beat target and be guaranteed not to run into any pro-Tier 4 armor, as the aliens would have never seen it coming. In the early game, this kind of weapon/armor rock-paper-scissors gives a different kind of power boost to the tech tree. Unlocking lasers isn't awesome because they "do more damage", but because the aliens aren't fielding pro-Laser armor. This way, all the weapons can be "even", but unlocking them gives you an extra dimension on the battlefield. They can each excel at something (lasers being more accurate is the common trope), but the commander will still need to run multiple techs to ensure balance. Unlocking lasers and then running them all the time also might not be an optimal strategy, because then you will run into pro-Laser armor more often. Maybe it will be best for your sharpshooter to run Laser in order to take down important targets, while the rest is running Ballistics. The aliens could run a 2:1 ration of pro-Ballistic:pro-Laser, but what does the officer wear? The implementation of this idea rests on a very robust game theory model for the aliens. Maybe such a model is impractically complicated and won't work, as there are too many variables at play here. The aliens would have to "learn" how you attack downed UFOs, landed UFOs, terror missions, base raids, base defenses and the ratios of weapons you use in order to make smart decisions, otherwise they will be to easily gamed. They will also have to "learn" who typically runs what tech; maybe your best men always run the "worse" tech, so then the aliens would have to equip their best men with the "worse" armor. Edit: A more scholarly document: ; they discuss the soccer example at page 53, which is page 63 of the pdf.
  5. Given that the game is in 3D now, what about some super sweet camera pans? I don't know what "super sweet" means here, but some cinematic panning showing the edge of the fog of war would be neat.
  6. Your logic is valid, but your premise is unsound. Your mistake is using what is known about X2, because the game is in the design stage and none of these things are concrete.
  7. Maybe it would be extra effective at night, giving another reason to actually do night missions
  8. The shadow war/open war fits well with the DEFCON idea. Sort of; there are a few too many variables at play.
  9. Terror missions might be mid to late game events that can really destabilize a campaign, given that even if people were convinced it was the other super power, it's a pretty big deal. Regarding crackpots sighting UFOs, they will still be regarded as crackpots. Just like today.
  10. Don't worry, if you want a game that has all the same elements as the classic XCOM games, go play the classic XCOM games using openxcom; it's a very well done remake.
  11. I agree that aliens won't be a hidden threat, but Xenonauts could be a hidden response. One distinction I would see for the DEFCON/Military counters could be that the Military counter would affect the DEFCON counter only if it were greater than the Alien Military Counter (not a thing, but you get the point). If a country is too capable in defending itself, then the opposing countries could get worried. This would play up the idea of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". While the superpowers both want to defeat the alien threat, each one wants to come out stronger than the other. I bet if someone wrote a fleshed out proposal, we could get some pretty good discussion out of it!
  12. You make some good points! Having secondary objectives in missions that influence the DEFCON or military counter is a great approach. In my version of things, the aliens would want the DEFCON counter to reach zero, so I don't think there would be missions that can be beneficially ignored, DEFCON-wise - but probably military wise. Instead, I would see the aliens wishing to destabilize the Cuba/US situation, and the Xenonauts have to intervene, lest the DEFCON counter drops. The psychic aspect I think is worth exploring.
  13. It seems like the biggest issue we're running into is the fact that the Xenonauts typically run one kind of mission: UFO Assaults. I like the idea of heavy military retaliation results in a DEFCON tick, but what else can the player do? Here's an idea. If the Xenonauts are supposed to be secret, you would expect them to conduct missions at night. In X-1, it was always a bad idea to do that, and players hardly played at night. In regards to the DEFCON counter, doing a mission during the day would be "bad" and would degrade the counter, but doing it at night would not. Something about the public outrage of a non-governmental entity conducting military operations in their country. If more options like this can be thought of, then maybe there would be enough substance to put it in the game. I liked my idea of the no-fly zone, and maybe that can be worked in here too: the Xenonauts could choose to attack UFOs using weaker airplanes that go undetected by countries, or by bigger warships that do go detected - it's a bit of a stretch... EDIT: Maybe the use of Nuclear warheads, which can be detected by other countries, could be the "big" military ticket, and using non-nuclear is the weaker, but safer option. In that sense, getting to Alenium would reduce the DEFCON while being as strong as nuclear. The game might have to be changed a fair amount in order to run this DEFCON idea, but at the same time this idea seems to make the most of the Cold War setting. How meta, to be faced with such an interesting decision.
  14. Also explains why we can't manufacture stuff for profit, lest we destabilize the super powers. My thoughts: DEFCON effects: if it's low, no-fly zones appear on the Geoscape, and NPCs have a chance of being hostile; crashed UFOs could also disappear more quickly. Military Counter effects: High military counter means better equipped NPCs on missions, and better chance of knocking UFOs out of the air; maybe better radar coverage. Alien Alert Counter effects: like you said, risks of a base assault. DEFCON interaction: Failing Terror missions lowers the DEFCON counter. Maybe there are special missions (akin to Council Missions from XCOM2012) that also lower the DEFCON counter. Military Counter interraction: allowing UFOs to fly around the globe uncontested would reduce the military counter. In order to increase the Military Counter, the Xenonauts can share their tech secrets with the world; doing so will jump the Alien Alert Counter. Alien Alert Counter interaction: What I just said, plus Alien Base Assault missions would also increase the counter. Maybe also a passive increase as time passes, or after each successful mission. None of this mentions faction alignment, but that might be okay. The Xenonauts wouldn't have the presence to shape the geopolitical landscape anyway, I don't think, so it's more like they're trying to undo the Alien's influence.
  15. Good summary Dagar. I am still not entirely on-board with the idea of the Xenonauts being a political force, but the way you structure it can make sense. How about this: instead of the aliens being a secret, what if the Xenonauts were a secret? After the first terror mission, the alignment argument would fall apart, but if it were the Xenonauts who were a shadowy illuminati force, then even when the aliens were in full invasion mode, it would make sense to run small covert missions to try and keep balance and win the war. I am reminded of both The Imitation Game, where the enigma codebreakers did not reveal they had broken the code in order to continue subverting the Germans, and X-Men First Class, where the mutants wanted to stop the Cold War without revealing themselves to public scrutiny.