139 posts in this topic

Well there are several sgt ranks. Staff Sgt, Master Sgt, 1st Sgt, etc. The Air Force even includes Tech Sgt (equivalent to Army's Staff Sgt).

And allow me to refer you to my earlier posts suggesting that we include the Army's (historically accurate) Specialist (spec 4-spec 9, I think) ranking structure. I know some people have said they don't like "specialist," but it's a once-popular, and still-used rank in the US Army.

"Leveling up" from 'spec 4' to 'spec 5' doesn't really have the same kick to it that leveling to a whole new "title". Same goes for all the sergeants, it's just derpy, not to mention you'd have to expand the amount of ranks to a goofy amount to cover all that for IMO very little effect.

The current system is simple and straightforward, I'd rather have that than any of this "veteran specialist 5"-junk in vanilla game, realism be damned (we are shooting aliens in tiny little saucers, anyways).

Besides, a lot of that stuff is really NATO centric anyways, not all armies have more than 1-2 ranks for basic soldiers, and everything above is officers of some sort.

Edited by Kaguya

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What seems to make this difficult is that we are trying to use rank for two purposes: documenting soldier progression and a mythical Chinook chain of command. Maybe it is necessary to have two sets of descriptions. The first would document the soldiers advancement in ability over time. Lets call it Experience and it would follow a structure like this: Rookie -> Squaddie -> Veteran -> Champion -> Hero. The second would document what the soldier's rank is on the Chinook which should be a competitive system with the most veteran/experienced troops serving as the higher ranking officers. On an 8 man Chinook there would be 2 Sergeants, 2 Corporals, and 4 Privates. On a 12 man Chinook there would be 1 Lieutenant, 2 Sergeants, 3 Corporals and 6 Privates. On larger craft you might add in a Captain rank. Although this is a little bit unrealistic in that soldiers don't have a rank when not on a craft these terms make the military ranks actually useful in combat because they indicate ability and would avoid the 10 Colonel problem.

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"Leveling up" from 'spec 4' to 'spec 5' doesn't really have the same kick to it that leveling to a whole new "title". Same goes for all the sergeants, it's just derpy, not to mention you'd have to expand the amount of ranks to a goofy amount to cover all that for IMO very little effect.

Well. It's how things work (or have worked) in real life. It's not that complicated.

The current system is simple and straightforward, I'd rather have that than any of this "veteran specialist 5"-junk in vanilla game, realism be damned (we are shooting aliens in tiny little saucers, anyways).

The current system is only "straightforward" within the context of X-Com. It doesn't make any kind of sense, outside of that context.

Besides, a lot of that stuff is really NATO centric anyways, not all armies have more than 1-2 ranks for basic soldiers, and everything above is officers of some sort.

Can you provide an example of an army that only has 1-2 ranks for "basic" (does that mean "enlisted?") soldiers? I've never heard of any such thing.

Generally armies will have 3 ranks of "private," and then 6 ranks of "sergeant" for enlisted ranks, and...other stuff for officers.

Is anybody bothering to look up ranking structures on Wikipedia? It's pretty simple stuff.

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Well. It's how things work (or have worked) in real life. It's not that complicated.

Just because it works that way in real life means it's the sensible thing for a video game.

The current system is only "straightforward" within the context of X-Com. It doesn't make any kind of sense, outside of that context.

Does it have to? Does it make sense that the aliens first come in a huge mothership kind of deal, are nuked, and then slowly trickle in using small scout craft instead of just invading en masse? Does it make sense to operate on a limited budget a project that is the only hope for the whole mankind? Does it make any sense that only the few scientists hired to this organization can research the alien artifacts? Does it make any sense that an elite, cross-nation military force hastily put together to fight the alien menace even has an extremely strict rank structure with kabillion basic grunt ranks?

If we are to have super realistic rank-porn in the game, why can't we put in super realistic weapon porn as well, or NPCs that react realistically and have voiced dialogue telling where they saw aliens. It's a game, things don't have to make sense, they don't have to translate to 100% realism in all aspects, especially in features that aren't in the core of the game Ranks aren't, and having superduper realistic ranks doesn't make the game any more better -- save for the <adjective describing size> group of people who are bothered by the current ranks, while another <adjective describing size> group of people are perfectly fine with the current system. And then there's the <adjective describing size> group of people violently opposed to changing the current system altogether. :P

I'm not guessing the sizes of each group involved, and my stance on the 'issue' is fairly obvious. Although, I'm not completely against changing the system, the ranks already are a bit different from X-COM, but none of the suggested "improvements" have really been improvements I'd want to see implemented in the base game.

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Well I'm happy without super-duper realistic ranks. (If we had those, we'd get a bunch of unqualified soldiers in leadership positions because they're good at making themselves look good while everyone else is too busy working to play at office politics.)

I'd settle for something that doesn't make my eyes bleed. With 15 minutes of research, such a thing could be implemented. Or, as some people have suggested, divorcing the ranking structure in this game from any sort of real-world equivalents would avoid the issue entirely.

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Hi,

I'd prefer something like the following:-

Issues

- Avoid disconnect of having too many high ranks on ground missions

- Avoid having all of your troops at high ranks

- Provide a method of showing experience for veteran troops

- Allow some player control over officers

- Avoid endless micro levels of advancement

Suggestions

- Reduce Rank levels into something a bit more in keeping with ground combat.

- Reduce the chances of having every soldier of a higher rank. This works out much like Apocalypse.

[table=width: 500]

[tr]

[td]Rank[/td]

[td]Promotion[/td]

[td]Level of command[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Private (Pvt)[/td]

[td]New recruit[/td]

[td]None[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Lance Corporal (LCpl)[/td]

[td]After X experience[/td]

[td]None[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Corporal (Cpl)[/td]

[td]For every 5 Pvt/LCpl[/td]

[td]Fire Team[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Sergeant (Sgt)[/td]

[td]For every 4 Cpl[/td]

[td]Squad Leader[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Master Sergeant (MSgt)[/td]

[td]Sgt with most experience[/td]

[td]Squad Leader[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

The current training of new recruits would see them exit as Lance Corporals, and not Corporals.

[table=width: 500]

[tr]

[td]Rank[/td]

[td]Promotion[/td]

[td]Level of command[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Lieutenant (Lt)[/td]

[td]For every 3 Sgt or MSgt[/td]

[td]Platoon[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Captain (Capt)[/td]

[td]For every 2 Lt[/td]

[td]Company[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Major (Maj)*[/td]

[td]1 per game (or perhaps 1 per base)[/td]

[td][/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

Beyond the rank of Sergeant/ Master Sergeant, the player gets to put the soldier through Officer Training, using the little used training option. This allows for player control over officer ranks. A 10 day course is used much like basic training.

*Possibly, even major is too high. A Staff Sergeant or a Sergeant Major could be used.

Combat Experience

In addition to the above, the soldier should also get a tag depending on the number of missions/ kills they have. This is pretty flexible, but some suggestions are:-

[table=width: 500]

[tr]

[td]Tag Name[/td]

[td]Requirements (Missions/ Kills)[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Rookie[/td]

[td]0/0[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Xenonaut[/td]

[td]5&1[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Veteran[/td]

[td]25&5[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Hardened[/td]

[td]50&10[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Elite[/td]

[td]75&20[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

Note – the requirements for the above are missions and kills. So you could have a soldier with 40 missions, but only 4 kills who would still be a “Xenonaut”

Medals are coming also (hopefully for for mission accomplishments)

Additionally, I'd still like to see the call sign expanded to enable you to put in a nickname for your soldier, without having to rewrite everything that's in the field.

Edited by thothkins

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The tag system to show the soldiers experience seems fine, but the rank system is soooo boring (and limiting).

There is no command structure so why am I limited in how many officers I can have?

Is there a problem with having a team full of the highest rank available other than that people can't reconcile with the idea of fielding 8-12 high ranking military officers (without any grunts)?

What If they aren't military officers? I want my best men on the field, and I want to know that they are my best men. If there's no difference between soldier A and soldier G why should/would soldier A 1-3 ranks above soldier G?

This isn't a government organ. This isn't an official military organization. It's a high tech militia that is backed/supported by several nations and international cooperation agreements. or whatever....

They can call their ranks whatever they want imo.

(Besides doesn't most countries have laws against impersonating military personal?)

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I don't really have any interest in redoing the rank system to be honest. The current one works and I can't see a different system being so definitely better that it's worth redoing everything for.

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The tag system to show the soldiers experience seems fine, but the rank system is soooo boring (and limiting).

There is no command structure so why am I limited in how many officers I can have?

I agree that, since you're doing all the point and clicking on the battlescape, the only one in command is technically you. As a player, sitting in a room playing a game.

Using a bit of immersion, none of your soldiers falls on their knees praying for the big pointer from the sky to guide them. So, keeping with that, it's safe to say that your soldiers don't know that you're leading them.

The suggestions above are looking at it from the perspective of a game world, not from the perspective of a real world where you are playing with their game world.

I look forward to your Xenonauts refusing to leave the base. A little dialogue box pops up saying “There is no invasion, there is no Earth to save. We choose to sit together in our base awaiting the almighty Exit Game.”

The suggestions also give you something you like; the tag system, and also things that others like; the rankings. So it’s a win/win where everyone gets what they want, and the two systems aren’t thrown together in confusion.

Which one actually determines the morale impacts is up for debate (if only so the devs can ignore it all completely, as is their prerogative).

The organisational model would suggest that it’s the ranking one. But on the battle scape the troops may prefer the hardened guy over the less experienced, but higher ranking Lt.

In practically any organisation, you don't have the people at the very top of the pyramid doing the same work as the people at the bottom of it. The above suggestions take into account that it's really you in command. So there are no Commanders, Generals etc.

It also presents a more likely set of ranks that could feasibly be seen on the Battescape, should a similar organisation be doing this in the real world (which as you rightly point out point out they aren't, but I'm trying to keep that immersion going)

Is there a problem with having a team full of the highest rank available other than that people can't reconcile with the idea of fielding 8-12 high ranking military officers (without any grunts)?

Having lowered the rank names of those in the game, so that there are more “grunts” I’m a bit happier, yes. Having everyone be a captain does jar a little bit, which is why there’s also the tag system to keep everyone happy (ish)

What If they aren't military officers? I want my best men on the field, and I want to know that they are my best men. If there's no difference between soldier A and soldier G why should/would soldier A 1-3 ranks above soldier G?

You can totally have your best men on the battlefield. You know who your best men are depending on what you think is best; that could be either a veteran or a captain. Both views are catered for.

This isn't a government organ.
Just split this quote for a “ooh errr” Moving on…
This isn't an official military organization. It's a high tech militia that is backed/supported by several nations and international cooperation agreements. or whatever....

They can call their ranks whatever they want imo.

Great! Then you won’t mind if we call them the ranks suggested above :)

(Besides doesn't most countries have laws against impersonating military personal?)

I’m sure I would have noticed the gaming industry being dragged into court all the time, so I’m not sure that’s so. Now if you were to take the idea that you commanded an elite, global military unit into the real world, shouting “Kneel before General Gorlom! None make move without the aid of my heavenly pointing device,” then reactions may differ, and there may be a few more “Oooh errrs” :)

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Using a bit of immersion, none of your soldiers falls on their knees praying for the big pointer from the sky to guide them. So, keeping with that, it's safe to say that your soldiers don't know that you're leading them.

They could have earpieces and be guided by the invisible pilots in the chinook? :)

I look forward to your Xenonauts refusing to leave the base. A little dialogue box pops up saying “There is no invasion, there is no Earth to save. We choose to sit together in our base awaiting the almighty Exit Game.”

That would be hilarious if it could be introduced as an easter-egg or cheat code "thereisnofourthwall".
In practically any organisation, you don't have the people at the very top of the pyramid doing the same work as the people at the bottom of it. The above suggestions take into account that it's really you in command. So there are no Commanders, Generals etc.
But it really does a halfassed job at it :( But as you point out in the paragraph below the one I quoted its all for the immersion.
Having lowered the rank names of those in the game, so that there are more “grunts” I’m a bit happier, yes. Having everyone be a captain does jar a little bit, which is why there’s also the tag system to keep everyone happy (ish)
Is there any other problem though?

You can totally have your best men on the battlefield. You know who your best men are depending on what you think is best; that could be either a veteran or a captain. Both views are catered for.

Well it really isn't if I'm on ly allowed one major is it?
Just split this quote for a “ooh errr” Moving on…
Should I take this as you having a particularly filthy mind? :P

Great! Then you won’t mind if we call them the ranks suggested above :)

Not at all, as long as I'm not stuck with that pyramid scam.. er, structure that I dislike so much. :) Edit: And I can mod my game to have GOOD ranks instead...
I’m sure I would have noticed the gaming industry being dragged into court all the time, so I’m not sure that’s so.
I meant that as an in the game world argument. They wouldn't be any official military so what right would they have to call themselves sergeants, lieutenants, captains etc... I don't think anyone in the gaming industry is "impersonating" any military per se. People cosplaying game characters aren't impersonating as it i widely understood they are not a real person but a civilian playing a role that is a made up character. same thing with actors in movies. But any xenonaut soldiers in the game world would be "pretending" to be military personnel of varying ranks. (Yes they are military personnel before coming to xenonauts, but they would be impersonating a different rank then the ones they have achieved in their nations military)

I know for a fact that impersonating a police officer is deemed illegal both in America and in Sweden. lets see what google finds on impersonating military: (seems to be known as "stolen valor act" in America)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/702

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/704

Not exactly what I was thinking of.. darn it.

Edited by Gorlom
Read a certin paragraph as "Great! Then you won’t mind if *I* call them the ranks suggested above :)" instead of "we"

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Two different views but the same basic outcome:

1, If there are eight game ranks just find eight real world military rank names that are 'easily recognised'.

The only limiting factor is that they should be below the level where the people holding those ranks would normally be more likely to be found behind a desk than in the field.

No limitations should be placed on who you can take on a dropship (unless promotion is manual) as that would arbitrarily remove control over the players squad simply because one of his troops had attained a certain in game rank name.

If you want to take all sergeants then that's what they are there for, unlike generals etc.

2, Change game ranks names to be codenames rather than real world ranks.

Greek letters (omega to alpha, with associated rank symbols), colours, numbers or whatever.

Both remove the objection about ranks that would never get their feet dirty making up your whole team.

They also avoid requests for added roles and abilities for command ranks as they are no longer represented.

Neither of them involves reworking the actual ranking system or adding anything complicated to the system.

Both of these should be possible as mods as long as all ranking info is accessible.

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2, Change game ranks names to be codenames rather than real world ranks.

Greek letters (omega to alpha, with associated rank symbols), colours, numbers or whatever.

Very elegant. N7, anyone? :) I would be a little sad to see the classic X-COM rookies and squaddies go, though.

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2, Change game ranks names to be codenames rather than real world ranks.

Greek letters (omega to alpha, with associated rank symbols), colours, numbers or whatever.

Very elegant. N7, anyone? :) I would be a little sad to see the classic X-COM rookies and squaddies go, though.

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Rookies and squaddies are hardly real world ranks though? Why would you need to toss them out? :confused:

Still Chris said he wouldn't change the rankings from their current implementation so all this is moot! :P

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Rookies and squaddies are hardly real world ranks though? Why would you need to toss them out? :confused:

Still Chris said he wouldn't change the rankings from their current implementation so all this is moot! :P

You wouldn't need to toss them out. It would only happen if Gauddlike's suggestions were to be implemented, where rookies would be Omegas. Or N1. Or "red". Or whatever :)

I would love to have a say in promotions, though. And battlefield commissions. All compatible with the current rank system, which I personally don't mind as I just can't wrap my head around real military structures (so Chris may well leave that the way it is in my opinion).

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As a military man my self I have to say that I don't like the look of having officers making up my squad.

I get that this is a game, but I would rather see there been a Sgt/Cpl and bunch of privates (Pte) but give the Pte a grading system to show there worth, stars or levels could be used to show there development.

Having a rank structure emplies surbonidates, having everyone the same rank does not do this.

But having more than one officer on the field feels bad to me. Officers are not the fittest, they are not the best shots, they are not the most experianced. They are the ones with a higher level of education and can plan a battle (in thoeiry) but they have never and will never be the power behind the punch. The infantry (read fighting force the world over) is the lowest ranks with the highest abilitys.

just my few cents.

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I like to think of the ranks as placeholders for their regular army rank. The national outfits are bound to value experience from Xenonauts rather highly. Surviving as a Xenonaut would therefor be a fast track to a high rank in the military back home.

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I like to think of the ranks as placeholders for their regular army rank. The national outfits are bound to value experience from Xenonauts rather highly. Surviving as a Xenonaut would therefor be a fast track to a high rank in the military back home.
But since officer ranks in xenonauts doesn't correspond to what officers in the regular military do, they wouldn't really be qualified for a normal officer rank would they? They have no experience with command position or planned tactics. And they have been doing grunt work instead of sitting behind a desk.

Or am I missing something?

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True, but I find this less odd than some of the other suggestions. Given the extraordinary circumstances I find it as likely to happen as todays military organizations giving posthumous ranks and rewards, which we all know is not very uncommon.

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I think this page is so funny. Our beloved leader said many things can be modded using a text editor.... Soooo you could change recruit to but face or sentinel or whatever as for bonuses I will leave that to Chris and the team Andor modders

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There will be no bonuses for ranks as they are purely to represent soldier progression, not to represent actual job roles.

The rank names can easily be changed, this discussion was about if that was a change that should be considered for the vanilla version to avoid confusion/annoyance for some sections of the player base.

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Yeah. It's easy enough looking to tweak so I'll be "grunting" the ranks on mine. Although "Sparkle Pony", as someone suggested has a nice ring to it :)

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by the response of Chris i guess i'll have to hope that the modders amongst us will make a mod to cap the amount of soldiers in each rank, i must admit that i'm disappointed that it seems to be a flat refusal to even consider it though.

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I don't really have any interest in redoing the rank system to be honest. The current one works and I can't see a different system being so definitely better that it's worth redoing everything for.
by the response of Chris i guess i'll have to hope that the modders amongst us will make a mod to cap the amount of soldiers in each rank, i must admit that i'm disappointed that it seems to be a flat refusal to even consider it though.

Yeap. It appears that the developers have a completely different idea about what works in contrast with the players. I wonder if

1) They have actually played and finished all 3 original games in the series and their attempted remakes

2) Give any of the feedback and opinions about specific aspects of the game(except for bug reports) any actual consideration

But, well, I guess it is just me...Being a hardcore, short-minded, loud person and all...

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That's exactly how I describe you Thunder:p

And the devs are working with a tight budget and I think they focus on improvements more than additions. The ranking system is fine but I like the idea of only one commander per base. That seems realistic and possibly more balanced?

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