jimbobfury

Potential Geo-political Mod

44 posts in this topic

Hi everyone, this topic came up in another thread so I thought I should give it a thread of its own in the right place.

I'm hoping to add a research topic which basically represents making progress with thawing the Cold War tensions which grip the globe, even in the early stages of alien invasion. This will offer an alternative research tree, more focused on your financial stability and giving you other benefits, as opposed to straight up tech advantages.

The first step of researching this diplomatic route would open up the Soviet Weapons pack, representing a trade deal with the Soviet Union, or something along those lines. From there, assuming I can get it to work I intend to add more research topics which play to the same geo-political theme. As I said above, they'd run alongside the current alien based stuff, so you'd have a choice between where you wanted your focus to be; a unified Earth, battling the invasion together or going straight for the alien tech route, as in the current game.

Initial thoughts for the potential benefits/outcomes of pursuing these research subjects are (all dependent on what's possible of course)

- access to weapon variants from arms deals (eg; the Soviet Weapons pack when a deal is struck with them)

- Increased funding from various regions

- Cheaper recruitment costs

- Increased response times to alien threats, and maybe even a second chance at a terror site (delaying the current nuke strike via diplomatic means)

- Ability to build radar stations in regions, outside of your bases, which have a chance to intercept the 'alien events' such as "Tanker strafed, no survivors found", reducing the negative impact these events have on your performance.

- Higher number of friendly AI in regions with good relations

- Increased chance of soldiers surviving chopper crashes in friendly nations. (maybe even the chance that some soldiers could be recovered from a failed ground combat by a friendly nation's own forces?)

Obviously, they're all centered around how the different nations respond to you as an organisation, rather than how their relationships with each other change. If I can think of anyways to simulate nations putting aside their differences then I'd like to include that aspect too, but I think it may be that I just have to allude to that in the xenopedia outcomes of the research projects.

It will probably be that the Cold War nations put aside their differences to back the Xenonauts as a common ally, rather than them working directly together. But I think that will still achieve what I'd like to aim for.

I'd love to hear any thoughts people have, either on the idea in general (hopefully not "It's crap, Jim." ;) ) or on specific research ideas, features or thoughts.

Cheers all!

Edited by jimbobfury

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I don't think it's crap. The only part that I find unfortunate is that you have to research politics, though I understand why this must be so. It'll be a bit weird but I wouldn't mind trying it out. Also, you'll need good art on par with current Xenopedia stuff. :cool:

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I'd be interested in helping out - I have a comparative politics degree (I do web design/photography for a living, go figure) and made a few small JA2 weapon balance tweak mods back in the day... so contributing to testing the soviet weapons sounds fun.

I think the terror mission thing would be a monthly consumable option: e.g. 1 or 2 times a month you can get an extension.

I'm iffy about radar bases - part of the joy of finally expanding a new base is that radar coverage, and this would cheapen that late game feeling of really having things covered compared to before. Perhaps these could be unlocked with Chris's idea of having a few military radar/airfields that pitch in during the beginning before being overwhelmed a few months in?

I suppose a slight increase in funding from NATO/Warsaw regions, since that seems to be the overall focus on the game.

I don't think there would be more friendly AI, but they could perhaps do a little more damage (better weapons / research sharing).

Recruitment costs should remain the same (they aren't that expensive compared to loot) but one could perhaps get slightly better numbers in the soldier pool?

One possible snag is that this needs to be worth doing (long term) because the short term soviet weapons rewards will be shortlived (and should be - plasma > 30-40 year old soviet arms) but not so amazing that it feels you 'have' to do it. I assume research times will be lengthened in the original (I can research way too fast with 10 scientists) so it should be more of a genuine quandry of passing up cool alien tech to focus on the earth side of things. It'd be fun to have a few "earning trust" missions but that'd most likely be outside the scope of a mod.

It's also slightly odd that scientists would research diplomacy then it gets done, but that's XCOM for you. Adding in diplomats alongside soldiers/engineers doesn't seem like it'd really work (you'd either make too much money from them over time and/or they'd just be a set necessary amount).

Edited by erutan

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Thanks for the offer and the suggestions erutan! If I'm able to get this off the ground to any meaningful degree, I'll definitely take you up on the offer.

I definitely agree that these research points should be worth doing in terms of a long term benefit, while still being balanced. I just like the idea of a choice as to how you shape your game. If you're struggling with ground combat missions, for example, then you'd probably be best researching the current content, to get better weapons and ammo. But if you're a tactics expert but you're cash flow is always terrible and your organisation skills leave a lot to be desired, then it might be better to research the proposed topics, to gain some advantages in that area so as to cover your weaknesses a little. Having the Soviet weapons linked to this may seem to go against that, but I thought it was as good a way as any to get them in game, and to provide a quick incentive to people for exploring this alternate research path.

I also like the idea of building up a little bit more backstory regarding how the Cold War powers might pull together to face the invasion.

Anyway, I've had nowhere near as much time to get stuck into this as I'd have liked tonight, but just as a test I've got the first research step in game, which leads to the ability to make limitless supplies of AK47 instantly (seeing as they can't be purchased, sadly) I've not got a clue how to go about affecting elements of the geoscape via research, so hopefully at some point I'll be able to get a bit of guidance regarding what's possible in that respect.

Soviet Pact.jpg

Soviet Pact.jpg

577e7c915406c_SovietPact.jpg.3a618cbc18f

Edited by jimbobfury
Damn, no idea how to make that picture larger...

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I think adding the soviet weapons in is a good idea - there is no way they'd be more powerful than laser weapons but for people that like fun options they are there.

Having a more powerful/slower sniper rifle would be cool, and we could keep the current precision rifle as a souped up AR. The AK would be harder hitting but perhaps less accurate than a m16?

re: larger pictures, i ran into the same issue. :/ Maybe use a public folder on your dropbox account or something?

Or how about a github repo?

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Cool idea. I just added sounds to the Soviet Weapons Pack but I am not sure if I can upload them. Went looking for decent free sound clips and did not find them, then ended up 'borrowing' them from my install of JA2 1.13.

I am not sure what the license is on those files- whether they are part of the original game, etc.

Anyway it adds a little bit of flavor to the early game. I think I will look at tweaking the weapon stats to further distinguish them from the stock weapons in the near future.

One thing I am wondering about your mod, do you think it would be possible to make it affect soldiers also? For example, you don't start getting soldiers from Soviet-bloc countries until some diplomatic gains have been made? Right now I go through and equip all of my Soviet troops with the new weapons just to have some variety out in the field.

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With the RPG I think it would be nice to emphasize its real world protability by making it lighter than the current rocket launcher, but making it less accurate and limiting the type of rockets that it can fire to the frag and AP. It could fill a unique niche this way by being a weapon that a soldier could carry in addition to a rifle.

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I created an empty github repo at https://github.com/erutan/xeno-geopolitix

Maybe at first just have folders in it of different components - bringing in the soviet weapons pack would be great, another for geoscape / research stuff, etc - try and cobble together the pieces we know are easy to do or mockup before we try to do some more serious modding. Using git on OS X is simple, there's a nice official free github client where you can clone from the site into a folder and then commit/sync changes.

I'm not sure on the JA licensing stuff myself, but the game has been released as open source (if you bought the latest fan pack cash grab back when) so I imagine for a mod we're fine? I guess you can drop a line on the ja-galaxy forum.

@all if you want to just send me what you have, drop me a PM and you can send on mediafire or whatever and I can get it up on there initially. :)

Edited by erutan

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Hey all,

Great to see input from others relating to this. Thanks too to erutan for setting up the github. Have to be honest I've never used that but I'll definitely look into it when I have a bit more time this weekend.

Xenonut; I was thinking the same thing about influencing troop recruitment via certain research options. Rather than limiting recruitment, I thought more about getting a better grade of recruit once research had been completed maybe. This could represent establishing a programme with the US government to recruit Vietnam vets, for example. Or with the Soviets, in 1979 their army were just about to be sent into Afghanistan, so I thought a research programme could represent a deal being struck where the Xenonauts get to recruit the top 1% of active troopers who had been training for the upcoming deployment. In game terms this could lead to recruits being hired at corporal level, rather than as privates, maybe?

And Quartermaster, I 100% agree regarding the RPG being a more mobile but less accurate launcher. I like your idea of setting the weight so it could be used alongside another rifle type weapon too. I'll definitely try that out.

And thothkins, thanks for those links, definitely plenty to think about in there! I really hope it's possible to mod the game in the way that I'm hoping. I was actually wondering whether Chris might consider including some research options similar to the ones we're discussing as stretch goals for the kickstarter campaign, as he seemed to find the idea interesting too.

Edited by jimbobfury

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I wouldn't mind help designing something that ended up in game. :)

I'm less certain about better recruits, there already is the "plan ahead so you can train them" option to get corporal rank. It seems like if we could load an edited http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/1081-Xtended-Soldiers-Backgrounds and then after the research is complete replace it with another that has a wider range of countries (and if those troops could come equipped with soviet weapons by default that'd be great).

btw the github page also comes with a little wiki, anyone with a github account can edit it. so when it comes time to have more organized info vs. thread posts that is an option as well.

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Well, here's what I'm currently using: (I've not listed the Pistol, Machine Gun or Rocket Launcher as I've not made any meaningful changes to those)

<Weapon name="weapon.rifle"

range="18" hands="2" recoil="0" weight="5" clipSize="30" reloadAPCost="15" reactionModifier="1.0"/>

<Set1 ap="15" accuracy="75" />

<Set2 ap="20" accuracy="85" />

<Set3 ap="27" accuracy="110" />

<BurstFire ap="25" accuracy="85" shotCount="3" />

damage="25" mitigation="12">

<Weapon name="weapon.rifleakā€

range="18" hands="2" recoil="0" weight="5" clipSize="30" reloadAPCost="15" reactionModifier="1.0"/>

<Set1 ap="17" accuracy="70" />

<Set2 ap="20" accuracy="80" />

<Set3 ap="25" accuracy="95" />

</SingleShot>

<BurstFire ap="15" accuracy="70" shotCount="3" />

damage="35" mitigation="15">

<Weapon name="weapon.shotgun"

range="8" hands="2" recoil="0" weight="5" clipSize="8" reloadAPCost="15" reactionModifier="1.4"/>

<Set1 ap="16" accuracy="83" />

<Set2 ap="19" accuracy="90" />

damage="40" mitigation="20">

<Weapon name="weapon.sniper"

range="30" hands="2" recoil="0" weight="6.5" clipSize="5" reloadAPCost="15" reactionModifier="0.8">

<Set1 ap="35" accuracy="95" />

<Set2 ap="50" accuracy="130" />

damage="45" mitigation="25">

<Weapon name="weapon.rpg"

<props range="40" hands="2" recoil="65" weight="6" clipSize="1" reloadAPCost="99" reactionModifier="0.5"/>

<Set1 ap="24" accuracy="60" />

<Set2 ap="30" accuracy="75" />

damage="80" stunDamage="90" mitigation="0">

The main changes are the ammo count for the shotgun and the sniper rifle, and obviously the introduction of the AK47 and the RPG7. The tweaks to the main rifle have increased it's accuracy a little on all shot types, to give it the edge over the AK in that regard. The AK however has higher damage and armour mitigation and a lower AP cost on auto fire. So, if you like to gamble the AK has the highest damage potential, but you have to hit your target first.

The main things to notice about the RPG7 are the weight, which is half that of the rocket launcher, and the reload time, which is set to 99. Basically, I want the RPG to be a 1 shot, backup explosive weapon. It's outperformed across the board by the rocket launcher, but it can be carried in addition to wearing armour and carrying a rifle type weapon, as long as your soldier's fairly strong. It's pretty inaccurate, but it can provide explosive power in a pinch.

My next thoughts are about the difference between 'damage' and 'mitigation' and how I can use that to further define each weapon's role. This is going to depend largely on the balance of the aliens but to give an example in the current build; Sebillians are all about brute strength and being able to heal damage. So, I'm thinking of tweaking them so that they don't really have any armour to speak of, but they do have a high pool of HP.

On the other hand, the Caesans will rely more on armour for protection, but if you crack that, they're fairly fragile physically.

What this means is that I can set the shotgun to do a high amount of damage, but low armour mitigation, so it would be great for dealing with Sebillians, but not as effective against armoured targets. The AK, with it's close range burst fire can then have a higher mitigation stat, while not dealing as much physical damage, so that's your best bet for armoured enemies up close. This will hopefully provide different options even when weapons have similar roles, and will allow the player an extra level of planning.

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That is a cool idea, it'll encourage a balanced squad. Though I wonder how that will scale when all weapons have the same damage type (laser tier, plasma tier, etc). At that point it's more about heavy/strong/accurate vs light/fast than different penetration types. Unless say laser is more mitigation and plasma more direct damage, so in some situations laser might still edge out a higher tier.

Ooooooooo. Can we / could we set damage/mitigation by ammo type instead of weapon? Though I'm not sure where we'd put AP vs. hollowpoint etc, we'd need a little dropdown where the current ammo box is next to the weapon in the char equip screen. Actually come to think of it, if I was the UFO overlord dude I'd still put armor on the Sebillians even though they have tons of HP heh

Actually for the RPG, what if we just don't have any ammo for it? Then it comes with one in the pipe but you can't reload. :P Kind of like those LAW antitank missiles.

I haven't checked the numbers, but I liked belmakor's idea of making the m16 a lot faster but also weaker in theory. It makes it stand out as being useful in burst and also to kind of tap off targets that were hit by a more powerful weapon.

update: started populating the little wiki they have up there. I'm going with textile markup because I know and love it, but if people want something more popular like markdown or wikipedia or whatever speak soon. :P if you have an account on github you should be able to edit the wiki - all changes are saved so there's no massive harm anyone can do. https://github.com/erutan/xeno-geopolitix/wiki

Edited by erutan

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This sounds epic.

What are you going to do with the M1911? (I love that pistol). It's not a soviet weapon, but I'd love for it to be included. Maybe make it slightly higher damag, with slightly higher AP cost, and slightly lower 2nd shot acuracy.

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erutan - Yep, you seem to be thinking along very similar lines to me regarding the way you want the weapons to balance out across the game.

I know this won't be to everybody's taste but I personally dislike straight up upgrades that render other weapons obsolete. Of course you should be rewarded for sinking the research time into Plasma weapons, so all in all, they'll be superior to the previous weapons. But I think there's room for minor subtleties, where depending on your personal preference or the foes you're facing, taking a laser rather than a plasma could still be a viable option. I'm not sure if damage vs mitigation is the way to go with these though, I was thinking more towards having pros and cons between the two in areas such as alenium consumption, ammo capacity, range & weight.

So Plasma may have a lower range than lasers (as in the Xenopedia write up in mentions the plasma shot losing it's shape after a certain distance) and a lower shot capacity, but it does flat out more damage resulting in lasers being useful for sitting back and rattling off some fairly damaging shots if that's what the player prefers vs risking getting a bit closer to get a high chance to hit your target with a plasma shot that should drop all but the toughest aliens in a couple of shots. Bringing weight into the equation would also mean that if you research plasma first you'd maybe need to look at researching some strength enhancing armour to overcome the weight issue and use it to it's full potential.

You'll be pleased to hear that damage/mitigation is tied into the weapons ammunition by default, so I've got AP and Hollowpoint ammo written into my files. :) I'm just working on making a different icon for them, so they're easy to tell apart and then getting them into the loadout screen. I'm not sure how that might work though, I'm wondering if I'll be able to amend the 'rockets' section of the loadout screen to be called "ammuntion" instead, and they can go in there. But I'll have to see.

As for the RPG, I can't find a way to not make ammo available for it yet, so the unachievable reload time is the best I can do to simulate the fact that it's a one shot, disposable launcher.

Bobby - I'll have to have a think about the M1911, I don't know much about it so any info/thoughts you can give would be great. As for making the 2nd shot less accurate, is that what the recoil rating of each weapon does? I'd assumed that was related to burst fire, but if it affects your accuracy across multiple shots in the same turn then that's brilliant as that opens up more options for giving each gun a unique feel. (the M16 and the AK spring to mind...)

I know at the minute this chat is all about the weapons, sorry. It's just I sort of know what we can do with those and getting them in game would be pretty cool. I still need to get more info regarding what can and can't be done in terms of influencing the geoscape and other aspects of the game through research projects. In fact, as Chris is looking for stretch goals now that the kickstarter target's been hit, I might send him the link to this thread to see what he thinks. It could be something he'd consider including if much of the planning was already done!

Ah ha, figured out attachment sizes, so here's a very unexciting screenshot, just to show that this is ingame and working.

SovietPact-1.jpg

SovietPact-1.jpg

SovietPact-1.thumb.jpg.abbe77dc24e2f4d12

Edited by jimbobfury

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OK - can you write a list of what features you'd need and I can look at how much work it'd be to link them up to see what we can make possible?

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Excuse me, whats this talk of nuclear strikes on terror sites? I'm confused.

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Excuse me, whats this talk of nuclear strikes on terror sites? I'm confused.

SPOILER ALERT :P

Its a punishment for failing a terror site or not going to it in time

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SPOILER ALERT :P

Its a punishment for failing a terror site or not going to it in time

That doesn't make much sense...wouldn't that kill far more people than the aliens?

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The idea is that if you've sent your troops in and failed, then it's already too late to save the city and it's population. Better to nuke them and take the aliens out too, rather than spreading to another city. And another.

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Chris - I made a super quick not really thought out wiki page on this topic https://github.com/erutan/xeno-geopolitix/wiki/want gotta run now but I'll be back later in the day.

@jimbo get yerself a github account, even if you don't have time to learn how to actually use/commit with git I think we're better off putting this stuff in a wiki than scrambled through forum posts.

Edited by erutan
updated link

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HI,

I *am* looking but will have to trawl through a few things that are in the way first.

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