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About Akavit

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  1. Perhaps. Or it may have ended up looking like the new XCOM which looks a little too shiny. Sometimes I reduce the color saturation on the monitor to compensate for shiny games.
  2. I can't see hardware being an issue anymore. Computer performance advances seems to have slowed down somewhat a few years ago so it's no longer necessary to upgrade to a new PC to play most new games. My 6 year old system has handled everything up to Divinity: Original Sin with no issues. I prefer 3D games since the well-made ones invariably offer better gameplay. X-Com was great in it's day but Silent Storm completely blew it away in terms of destructible environment and tactics. It takes a 3D engine to pull that off because it's too hard to create complex environmental interaction in 2D. Shadowrun is a fun game but not a great turn-based combat game. Without the storyline and RPG elements, combat would have become repetitive very quickly. X-Com style games rely heavily upon a good ground combat system for their success.
  3. That would be good. I modded Xenonauts 1 to have increased LOS which helped a lot with this. Longer ranges meant fights started sooner and required more suppression fire to keep the enemy pinned so the squad could get new positions.
  4. 2D isn't going to save anyone time or money unless a lot of the animations are removed and those remaining are reverted to X-Com choppiness. Xenonauts 1 was handicapped by its 2D engine and the need to build endless sprites. In fact, I believe a lot of good content was cut out because every new weapon and armor added meant creating a huge number of sprites to support them. Smoothing out the animations would exponentially increase the number of sprites required and burden the development team with even more work. 3D models are much, much simpler to work with once they're created. Want to change the color of combat fatigues depending upon terrain? Just re-texture a single model with six new camo patterns and it's done. A good graphics artist could wrap it up in a day. Try doing that in sprites and you'll end up rendering tens of thousands of new 2D images then entering the data for each image into sprite sheets. Last thing I'd want to see is the staff occupied by the need to focus on labor-intensive sprites instead of working on new and improved gameplay features.
  5. The best part about X-Com was the destructible terrain and the only reason I purchased Xenonauts was to obtain a game with improved UI that offered similar tactical play and didn't require DosBox. For me to buy Xenonauts 2, it would have to substantially improve in this area. A proper physics engine (Silent Storm or Sui Genaris for example) would be a big plus. I did not buy the new XCom because it appeared to offer no improvements at all in the environmental portion of the game. Bullet holes, penetration, fires, flammable objects (not just explosive objects), impact, flying debris and other environmental effects would be fun. For its time, X-Com did an excellent job of making combat and the environment interact with each other. New games should be able to do a lot better. Divinity: Original Sin had some success in this area. The move to 3D would be a welcome one. People have compared early 3D games like Neverwinter Nights to late 2D games like Baldur's Gate II but that's an unfair comparison. It would be more fair to compare Neverwinter Nights to Wasteland 1. The difference between modern 3D games and Neverwinter Nights is as big as the difference between Baldur's Gate II and Wasteland 1. 2D games also lose the ability to take advantage of many dynamic features and rely upon clever scripting to mimic things like bullet collision and lighting effects. As for what annoyed me the most about Xenonauts? It was a toss-up between short LOS or the fact that the game barely managed to surpass X-Com's gameplay in the area of environmental impact. But the latter problem was likely the result of development being hog-tied by the 2D Diner Dash game engine. It's obvious that Goldhawk isn't going to make that mistake again.
  6. If the OP is still on the fence after a month, here's a reason to buy the game: Gog has it on sale for $17.50 right now. GoG's 30% sale on Xenonauts
  7. I don't know what the oldest strategy game is but I did play a turn-based western gunfight game on the Apple II a couple times. Must have been around 1989 and it was copyrighted in 85. Pretty advanced for the day. heh [video=youtube;MyBSH6aq17M] I had fun though I didn't get much chance to play it.
  8. Korean spam bot? As far as greatest turn-based games, I'd give second place to Silent Storm. It was a great game with many mechanics yet to be surpassed by new games but it did have a major few flaws (unpatched grenades anyone?). Alpha Centuri takes first place as the more I play it, the more I realize how carefully all the different elements of the game mesh together. It feels like it has a real ecosystem and economy for the game world where every action a player takes has a tiny effect across the whole planet. I also have Hammer and Sickle which uses the Silent Storm engine and that should be a great game with improvements over Silent Storm but the scenario designer was ignorant. Every mission starts out with your squad face-to-face at point blank range with the enemy. Stupid and boring and a good way to take the fun out of what should have been a highly enjoyable game.
  9. Mine just showed up yesterday as well so it must be normal for USA delivery. Unpacked it but haven't sat down to look at it yet. So now I've got 3 digital copies of the game and one DVD as a byproduct of participating in Kickstarter. Looks like some people might be getting Christmas gifts.
  10. I haven't played vanilla so I can't be certain it's not an XNT thing but all soldiers have a chance of being alive at the end of a mission if they are on the dropship. The ones that are knocked out with stun damage can be revived in battle with medkits and keep on fighting.
  11. It is definitely built around taking casualties. You can lose an entire squad and still come back for another fight. However, this doesn't mean that each squad member isn't important. They are - especially the experienced ones. Losing them is bad but not game over bad. Losing an entire squad and the dropship is even worse but that's still recoverable in many cases. I mostly avoid save-scumming except for those annoying friendly fire incidents where my men shoot each other in the back at point blank range while aiming for aliens far away so that means I have to take precautions to avoid excessive deaths. Almost everyone gets a med pack and I try to pull all downed soldiers back to the dropship to the point of taking small risks in the process. The team and mission however, are more important than any individual soldier. Sometimes one gets cornered by several aliens and gets left to die while the rest run to the chopper. Though I try to carry wounded back, sometimes it's just too dangerous and I'll abort the mission and leave them behind.
  12. First of all, though I'm playing the XNT mod, I'm pretty sure that losing 6 men in half a month is not close to game over even in vanilla. Seems pretty normal. If you can at least recover some tech and get back to the dropship you've gained something. One of my first tasks in a new game is to recruit an extra 6 or so soldiers. In the early game, go for pure over-kill and don't worry too much about collateral damage. See two reapers standing near a civilian? That's bait so toss C4 at the between yourselves and the bait then retreat fast and get ready to shoot. Chances are one reaper will die along with the zombie and the second will still be in the blast zone. Be ready to shoot though as they move fast and number two may have scooted past the C4 while his buddy snacked on Bob the builder. The hardest part is getting established in cover and keeping the early rushing aliens at bay without losing too many men. Med kits can really help keep the squad together here. C4, rockets and grenades are important in the early missions. You can throw over buildings by aiming "airbursts" at the second level instead of at the ground. Use rockets to deny aliens their cover and c4 to destroy nearby buildings if you suspect rushing aliens. Take advantage of the timers to time the explosions to happen when you're in cover and ready to return fire. Be selective about destroying cover. Leave some for your own advance and avoid opening too many lanes of fire for the aliens. You want to force them into a hole, then fire at them from multiple angles. If you bring enough ammo, keep the machine guns shooting suppressing fire towards possible ambush locations before you even see aliens. The goal is to minimize alien movement so you can reposition your squad with good firing angles. It's risky, but sometimes splitting the team in two portions can pay off. I prefer a strong team to attack down one side of the map and a weaker team to do defensive, delaying tactics. I like lots of explosives and a shotgun and sniper rifle for the defensive side. A shotgunner with plenty of grenades and some C4 can really hurt an alien assault. I've not played vanilla but based upon observations, XNT is harder so tactics that work in that mod should translate to vanilla. The goal of the first mission is to get material for the research labs so do everything possible to make some quick kills, secure the corpses then have some team members run the loot back to the chopper while everyone else fights a defensive battle. If the mission goes sour, try to grab all Xenonaut bodies then fall back and abort so you can at least capture loot with minimal losses. Recruit high strength soldiers and load them heavy with gear. It can always be dropped. The best guys get disposable, one-shot rocket launchers, C4, grenades and shotguns or higher tier rifles. Sometimes having a heavy weapon at hand for a couple shots will turn the tide. It's tossed when the ammo runs out and before the lack of TU's hurts you. This game can be sort of like chess or paintball. Angles are everything. You want to spread your soldiers as far apart as possible while still letting them support each other with over-lapping firing lanes. Basically, a piece of cover usually protects best from one angle. Hit it from two angles and the target becomes more vulnerable. The soldiers on the flanks need sniper rifles and rocket launchers if they are covering open ground or shotguns and explosives it the terrain is dense. Make sure they have a path of retreat and the ability to spot incoming danger in time to retreat. When you're spread out, you need to be able to quickly contract back into a tighter formation if the enemy presses hard on either flank. Don't fight the battle of attrition. If you have the position advantage, advance. If the aliens gain the advantage, fall back. If both sides are even and exchanging fire, have a couple men delay the aliens but avoid direct confrontation while the rest of the team repositions.
  13. That's one reason I never play games with enforced ironman mode turned on anymore. If I run into something I consider a bug or a flaw in the game I'll reload (and all games have some pretty bad flaws mixed in with the good). That tank thing sounds like an oversight to me since the devs did make the intentional decision to permit troopers to fire over each others' shoulders.
  14. I forget but think I did make minor adjustments. Perhaps I should just do a major nerf to the weapon stats and see if I can notice any effect at all. I might just be over-estimating the impact of smaller changes.
  15. Weaponized Nano-bots deployed by grenades or rocket launchers. These are engineered to target alien biology but are harmless against non-organics or humans. They have a cloud effect that slowly spreads for a few turns causing harm to all aliens in the area of effect until the bots run out of power and deactivate. Pros: Great for room-clearing - especially where there is danger of friendly fire. Good area of denial capabilities. Will continue to damage aliens infected by nano-bots until the bots run out of power. Cons: Useless against drones and androns. No instant kills so aliens have time to react. Wind disperses them more quickly so less effective outdoors. Instantly destroyed by heat and fire. Biological weapons deployed by dart launchers or explosive type weaponry. They can cause delirium and disorientation to organic aliens and can cause panic/berserk type effects and friendly fire in infected aliens and eventual death. Pros: Damages alien coordination and can cause havoc in their ranks. Viruses continue to linger on a map and can infect by contact. Cons: Results aren't predictable. Aliens might be immune, might not die and might not be affected before they return fire. Due to limited time available for weaponized anti-alien virus strains, indiscriminate deployment of these weapons can pose risk to humans that aren't wearing biological suits (weaker armor ratings). Humans can be infected by explosive type weaponry so using them can cause harm to operatives, lowers moral and harms relations with the rest of humanity. Using this type of weaponry requires building a decon lab at the dropship base.