raziel1981

My suggestions list - Snipers, deployable weapons, hovercrafts, etc...

46 posts in this topic

Hey everyone, I get to do a lot of hours per week commuting via public transportation on and off work (almost 4 hours a day) which leaves me with plenty of time to think, and what's better to think of then suggestions for Xenonauts? ;)

So I started thinking on all the things that I felt being long absent in turn based tactical games (of course with the original x-com as the gold standard for this niche) and this is what I came up with (I'll do my best to categorize them into "types" of ideas):

(1) Snipers:

The sniper role has been done and redone hundreds of times in this kind of games with little consideration to how actual sniping team work in realistic combat scenarios and i don't necessarily mean ballistics as much as i mean tactics. For instance - real combat snipers often go in teams of 2 (at least I'm familiar with this feature from my own service in IDF) with one being the eyes and the other handling the rifle itself. This could generally enhance the sniper role in such a game if we supposedly manage to express this through a significant boost to the sniper accuracy if he's paired with a scout (not sure what's the exact term for it in English). This could lead to the aliens aspiring not just to hunt down your men but also attempt to protect tactical bottle necks such as stairways that lead to building roofs or other elevated positions as once your sniper team is properly positioned, you'd have a significant advantage over the aliens.

In terms of the actual weaponry in game - the current sniper rifle in the alpha build is nice and all, but their are guns and then their ARE guns. For instance - the Baret M82 .5 caliber anti-material rifle is fine example of true stopping power in a form of a rifle.Another great example is the PGM Hecate II (their are probably more modern weapons of this class but I'm not familiar with them). Although these shouldn't be anywhere close (for the sake of holding the sci-fi thrill of the game) to a rail-gun sniper rifle or anything of the sort. But I am aware of an encounter irl where such a rifle stopped an APC

dead in its tracks by a direct hit to its engine (through its armor).

This actually brings another point that i find curious in such games - I can't recall any sci-fi tactical turn-based game with alien snipers in it. The necessity of a sniper role seems obvious to me from a tactical point of view. They can manipulate DNA, they mastered interstellar travel and can control our minds but they can't use their own snipers?! I mean c'mon... I was thinking of some kind of critter with a harpoon gun like the predator, possibly capable of partial invisibility and actually jumping a whole floor/s upwards/downwards. Alternatively some kind of extremely evolved race that can eject some form of projectile. In either case, I'd see no point why they'd use a loud plasma rifle or anything of that sort when they could use a near-silent hyper fast crossbow/harpoon gun of some sort or another.

Regarding the camouflage idea - it could probably be countered with smoke grenades that would supposedly disrupt the optical illusion.

(2) E=MC^2 can kill you...

This is slightly inspired from mass effect but HEAVILY inspired from the actual Einstein equation - actual weaponry that could transmute mass into energy or energy into mass - using the environment to charge the weapon and then discharging it as a beam or a projectile at your forces. Perhaps directly using corpses of fallen civs/xenonauts/aliens...

This would probably work much better as a bio-mass weapon of some kind, however it would be novel as a sci-fi concept (I can't say I t remember anyone who used such an idea) and would resonate well with the cold war era.

Probably could also be used as a form of force field - use animate/inanimate objects around you to charge your forec field. I think this could be a technology tree of its own really...

(3) By 1979 the EMP blast phenomenon should be well understood by scientists and it could be a real treat if at some point throughout the middle/later stages of the game you could use this. It would demand some significant balancing but just think of the possibilities this would open up in tactical terms as well as strategic terms for both sides (anyone ordered an EMP base defense?)

(4) Mines - this is also a possibility that's been mostly ignored in X-COM and its clones. Specifically I'd love to see claymores, AP and AA mines, perhaps more guerrilla warfare oriented weapons (since this is basically an asymmetric war scenario), booby traps (trip wire set mines...)

(5) Deploayable equipment - in general, their are many forms of weapons that can be deployed in an actual combat scenario starting from automated grenade launchers such as the SB LAG 40 (a potentially incredibly useful tactic to clear a building through its windows), a heavy (truly HEAVY) machine gun, starting from the ol' Gatling to a full-scale gun boat minigun. This could be mobilized in teams of 2 or 3 soldiers that each has a "pack" that is part of the device/weapon. Perhaps a similar mechanic should be considered for a field EMP weapon?

Oh and there's of course the "Davy Crockett" (yeah i'm a Fallout fan as well). Be sure to wiki it ;)

(6) Alien artillery - generally I never seen in any of these games any kind of alien artillery. This seems ironic as it would be the first thing any invasion force of any kind would most likely deploy (well...at least after you finished with orbital bombardments). Suppose a terror site in the suburbs of a city - Xenonauts intelligence identified a construction/deployment site of an alien artillery platform of one kind or another. This must be stopped or else a capital city of one nation or another will be demolished which would probably be an immediate turning point for your relations with that country. Such a mission could also be rolled out in the form of an artillery site being built nearby one of your bases which you probably would want to stop...Kind of an alternative to the repetitive "attack on base" missions. Not every attack has to come as a direct grounded raid...

Pretty much that's it. I'll be glad to hear everyone's opinions on these ideas.

Cheers!

Edited by raziel1981

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Some thoughts on your list.

1.) While I do agree that someone carrying a Precision Rifle should get some sort of accuracy bonus if their target is being spotted, you have to be careful not to overpower this bonus. Precision Rifles are already pretty damn powerful with their high armor penetration ability. Perhaps a minor rework of the accuracy/damage formula could be done for the Precision Rifle where having a target "spotted" mitigates the damage and accuracy penalties from range. The risk of course is creating a touch of death unit, but again this can be prevented by having the spotting bonus only bring the shot back up to baseline, not exceeding it. For balance, you could have the spotter need to have binoculars equipped, limiting them to one hand weapons.

2.) X-Com has always worked well with the Ballistic/Laser/Plasma progression, so adding a human super tech tier seems out of place , largely on the level that humanity is kinda supposed to be completely screwed if left to it's own abilities. It's only by adapting the xeno tech that humanity gains a snowballs chance of survival, and even if the bio force gun or whatever would be converted xeno tech, it smacks a bit to strongly of the blaster launcher, which is being dropped entirely. Just get into the heavy laser/plasma weapons, then reach out an touch somebody (at 7000 degrees F).

That being said, it's been brought up a number of times that it would be cool to have technology trees that keep the Ballistic tier viable. The best suggestion I saw was rail guns or gyro jet weaponry, the idea being that Ballistic weapons are the armor piercers.

3.) EMP grenades maybe, but even then I question it. Effectively they'd be anti-andron weapons, who are currently balanced against being suppressed and having a ton of armor. It's an idea, but I'm not sure about it.

4.) Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but didn't X-Com have proximity grenades? I remember them existing, but I don't think I ever used them. The issue is that mines are a defensive weapon, and most combats are assaults. Even in the case of base defense, you are inside the base itself, so I wouldn't think that mines inside my secret underground fortress would be a good idea.

5.) Again, deployables are typically defensive weapons, so they would encounter the same issues as the mines. The extra firepower would be useful true, but having to break and redeploy every other round would probably make it not worth it.

6.) In battlescape I'm pretty sure it's already been said that artillery support wouldn't be feasible. Not to mention hinging an entire nations funding support on one mission is pretty game breaking for a game like X-Com/Xenonauts, where a mission can go straight to hell in one turn. On the base defense side, if Xenonauts keeps with the form then we will probably see base shielding that helps to protect the base initially, reducing strength of the assault force.

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The sniper thing is pretty much in already. The line of sight is limited, and a scout running up ahead can spot aliens, which the chap with the Precision Rifle can then take down. (which is an infinite boost in accuracy, since the sniper alone couldn't even see the alien).

I don't see mines working ~at all in a game like Xenonauts, or X-COM. X-COM did have Proximity Grenades, which could be thrown in to place, but actual mines that you'd have to set down.. There really aren't many (any?) scenarios outside of base defence where the aliens are hunting you. It's always you hunting the aliens. As such, mines of any kind, IMO, are bit useless. They are mainly a defensive weapon, not an offensive one.

Deployable weapons are pretty much.. vehicles. I can't see how a weapon that needs to be assembled and carried around by multiple soldiers is a good gameplay mechanic. The vehicles (I mean, they were named Heavy Weapons Platform in X-COM after all) fill that niche without being overtly complex about it.

Also Alien Artillery has been around... Blaster Launcher in X-COM. :P Other than that, the terror missions already serve as a larger relations hit, without a need for placing artillery pieces (plus, one'd imagine a larger UFO could do that just as well without bothering to set stuff up).

Edited by Kaguya

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Dudeman Jones -

1) regarding the sniper in generally I agree with most what you said. However, I think that people tend to miss out on the possibility of alien snipers as well as far as balancing goes.

2) I don't see why this has anything to do with the blaster technology, the idea I'm suggesting here is about basically using an inanimate/animate nearby object/alien/civ/etc as ammo for a weapon that then releases the absorbed "mass" into "energy". This doesn't have to end in a nuclear blast necessairly...I was more thinking of a high powered energy weapon.

3) EMP grenades would be the most intuitive weapon to deal with the Androns imo.

4) I guess that the mines idea is problematic to implement because of the nature of most of the missions in this kind of game.

5) With the suppression mechanism implemented into the game, I'd think deployables is a must. I mean that is the main purpose of such weapons in actual warfare. Even in an offensive mission , it could become a real challenge to successfully deploy such a device in the right place on a map to gain the upper hand in a battle (especially when dealing with bigger maps).

6) Like I said to Kaguya - I'm not meaning to use artilery in battle scape as a weapon but as a mission surrounding the neutralization of such a system. Its effects would be felt in geoscape or/and relations with other cities. I'm quite sure this could be a great new form of a terror site mission.

Kaguya - The scout is most likely cannon fodder, and doesn't play the practical role of spotter.

The idea of a deployable weapon is for it to be stationary without needing to use the extra space for a vehicle in the transport. Infantry is always better for the kind of missions we see in these games then vehicles.

The blaster launcher was basically a one man-handled cruise missile which (as much as i hate to admit) a game breaker. The idea is not for an artillery gun but a real structure/vehicle that is being deployed as a strategic threat which you need to stop. The main point of this is creating variety in a new form of terror mission and yes it is likely that a battleship could probably do this just as well, but the whole point is suggesting ways to enhance the experience and not just stick to what has already been done time and time again.

At least that's my take on such projects.

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EDIT: this is in response to the original post. It took me ages. and I was ninja'd!

1) As it has been explained to me, at each weapon "tier", there is the functional equivalent of a pistol, a close-range carbine-like weapon, a general-purpose assault rifle-like weapon, and a sniper-like weapon. Because the tiers are arranged so that the next tier up does everything better than the last tier (but is more expensive than the previous tier in terms of materials, money and manpower), there will be no gun porn. No superheavy ballistic weapons. There is no point in doing so, when the next tier up offers an advantage in every aspect. UFO Aftershock did exactly what you suggested, and the consequence of that was a muddled research tree in which you were better off with earlier weapons that had been modified, than later higher-tech weaponry.

As for the question of a spotter working in tandem with the sniper, the problem with that is the game style it encourages. If snipers were super accurate without having to invest considerable AP by parking someone next to them, then I could set up a killing zone and kite aliens into it. Boring. Or I would have my sniper and spotter toddle about, exploiting the accuracy boost I get from a spotter, edging in at maximum range and going pop, pop, pop. Also boring. How would you prevent players from exploiting a sniper/spotter combo?

As to the final point about alien snipers? Wait for the beta. :)

2) The weapon tiers have already been finalised. It is unlikely that Chris will include any new weapon tiers. He's already spent the money to have the artwork and the props done, and it has all been figured into the existing game. He'd need a really solid reason to include something new that would mean paying quite a few people to include it in the game.

3) I remember EM weapons from Afterlight. A fat lot of good they were in that game. EM is a concept that is very likely to be understood and protected from by a higher tech society.

4) There's a good reason you don't see mines in X-Com-a-likes - the play style doesn't permit it. Consider that in the current alpha, you have to go out and seek the enemy. They might spawn throughout the map, but they don't come after you - you come after them! Any defensive layer of mines you put down you'd most likely have to walk over to get to the next alien. Also consider that all the time you're faffing about putting down mines, the aliens are killing civillians, which will tank your score and make you look bad to your backers. Xenonauts encourages a blizkreig style of of warfare - in, out and shake it all about. The only time I've used mines were in base defences in X-Com, when the aliens were coming to me.

For 5) see 4) and 2). It's a good idea, but unless you can kite aliens into range/LOS, it's pointless. You have to consider the game not from an army point of view, but from a game point of view. Aliens spawn throughout the map. So, when you see an alien, do you unpack then? And spend a turn faffing about while the alien zaps away. Or unpack before you see an alien, and then have to repack because the aliens have moved away and are killing civvies while you muck about? Possibly if it helps, consider an alien crash site or terror site as an unscripted terrorist attack. The aim of the aliens is to kill everything that moves. They aren't interested in holding ground. They aren't interested in taking buildings. If things get too hot, they'll just move away and keep on killing. You can loose a crash site mission if you take too long and let the aliens either escape or kill to many civvies.

6) Another good idea - I thnk I've seen this one already when people were putting mission types and subtypes, but a good idea nonetheless. It would depend on how willing Chris would be to include new mission types and pay for the work to be done.

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1) Sniper combos could be countered by a variety of ways - teleportation, camoflouge, GITS-like invisibility, smoke screens (or any other gas that could disrupt Vis/IR optics)

I'll skip straight to 4) So what about aliens putting mines for you? that could definitely add some tension to each mission. But yeah you make some strong points that I didn't think over myself.

Basically to really enjoy the things I mentioned here there would have to be a "setup stage" to each mission but that would basically turn it into a whole other game. Still, one can always dream...

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The idea of a deployable weapon is for it to be stationary without needing to use the extra space for a vehicle in the transport. Infantry is always better for the kind of missions we see in these games then vehicles.

The gameplay is far too mobile for stationary weapons. The same thing as with mines, they'd only serve any real purpose in base defense. In normal crash site / terror mission gameplay, deployable weapons have little purpose. Besides, once the AI actually works, having 2-3 guys huddled over a single, stationary weapon isn't very smart... think alien grenades. And trying to protect it from being naded would require bunch of additional guys huddled around a stationary piece of equipment.

All the while aliens are shooting civvies.

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For point 2 I would wait and see what the final human tech tier is.

Chris hasn't announced it yet but it will be there, lurking beyond plasma weapons.

Going back to the first one, I really hope the enemy does have snipers that work well.

I reckon the main reason they don't appear in a lot of games is because of the balancing.

Not only could it be difficult to get the AI to work as a sniper, without exploiting the game too much, but it would be incredibly frustrating to the player if they were actually good at being snipers.

It is bad enough when you do something wrong and end up stood in front of an enemy on their turn but getting killed without even seeing them is worse.

Having smoke as the defence against snipers means you would always have to use smoke whether you are moving or holding position.

Otherwise you would only know the sniper was in the area after you had been hit in the head by something particularly dangerous, when it is probably too late.

Edited by Gauddlike

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The gameplay is far too mobile for stationary weapons. The same thing as with mines, they'd only serve any real purpose in base defense. In normal crash site / terror mission gameplay, deployable weapons have little purpose. Besides, once the AI actually works, having 2-3 guys huddled over a single, stationary weapon isn't very smart... think alien grenades. And trying to protect it from being naded would require bunch of additional guys huddled around a stationary piece of equipment.

All the while aliens are shooting civvies.

Agreed. The same goes for sniper teams who are just to unwieldy for the basic mission. If the OP is familiar with sniper teams as he claims he knows that usually a sniper fires once, then gets the hell out. He also is as far off as his weapon allows where Xenonauts missions are pretty much close quarter from one house to the next and keep pushing until the aliens are dead.

In terms of the actual weaponry in game - the current sniper rifle in the alpha build is nice and all, but their are guns and then their ARE guns. For instance - the Baret M82 .5 caliber anti-material rifle is fine example of true stopping power in a form of a rifle.

Well, you shot that argument down yourself. Pun intended.

The Barret is an anti material rifle. Much too large and cumbersome for Xenonaut mission. It's being used against mines and hazardous stuff that patiently waits for people to drag along the rifle and work it into firing position. Hardly the right tool for Xenonaut teams.

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I don't understand your second point raziel.:confused: You are talking about nuclear energies, fission (or fusion) from common stable inanimate objects. The energy needed to to start any such reaction in the first place makes it pointless to convert mass into energy. You could just use the manageable energy you have at hand (to start the reaction) to shoot at the enemy. You would probably get less out then you put into it anyway.:rolleyes:

Besides you'd most likely not get the kind of energy you could use efficiently anyway. Most of it would be heat energy radiating in all directions, wouldn't it? :(

I guess I could see a bomb launcher or something work on the E=MC2 principle but I'd think it would require fissionable material to be reasonable. Any stable material would just be excessive/redundant.:eek:

Most of your ideas seem to be inspired by real life. I personally don't see or can't imagine how they would work as game mechanics.:( It's good that you have ideas :)but these particular ones seems a bit over ambitious and would probably have a negative impact on the enjoyment of people that does not consider realism to be equal to (or a satisfactory substitute for) fun.

The threads on the soldier promotions/rank hierarchy are perfect examples of what I mean when you should consider realism vs fun. The people that have been in the military will most of the time want to have something that resembles how their military worked or at least how they experienced it, but for the rest of us (or some of us) it's an overly complicated system that makes no sense in the Xenonaut universe (considering no chain of command) and sucks all the fun out of it.

My signature has links to more reading on the subject ^^

Edited by Gorlom

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We have snipers in this game?

I'm pretty sure they're just dedicated marksmen (aka, a normal squaddie with a more accurate weapon) rather than a proper long range sniper.

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raziel1981, while several of us forumites have critiqued your ideas, please don't stop the ideas from flowing! Creativity isn't like a slot machine, you don't go broke pumping out thoughts. Come out with more ideas! That being said, the ideas I have seen Chris pay most attention to are UI or gameplay improvements and anything that is a simple but effective improvement on an Xcom mechanic.

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raziel1981, while several of us forumites have critiqued your ideas, please don't stop the ideas from flowing! Creativity isn't like a slot machine, you don't go broke pumping out thoughts. Come out with more ideas! That being said, the ideas I have seen Chris pay most attention to are UI or gameplay improvements and anything that is a simple but effective improvement on an Xcom mechanic.

What Max said. ^^

and a few smilies ;):P:):cool:

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We have snipers in this game?

I'm pretty sure they're just dedicated marksmen (aka, a normal squaddie with a more accurate weapon) rather than a proper long range sniper.

We have long ranges in this game? :P

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We have snipers in this game?

I'm pretty sure they're just dedicated marksmen (aka, a normal squaddie with a more accurate weapon) rather than a proper long range sniper.

Technically we have precision riflemen as that is the weapon type they use.

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1 Snipers

Having a spotter bonus seems fine, but so many battlescapes are quite small, the bonus would kick in a fair amount of the time during normal deployment, and not form a designated spotter.

Hopefully the alien AI will make the, smarter than the original game, so they can effectively use flanking and sniping etc when they need to.

There have been hints of alien abilities that will make them more effective too. Cloaking would be fun as per Apocalypse along with force fields 

I’m happy that each of the weapons has it’s own place in the world, and it’s a concern that your sniper rifle could take on aspects of other weapons. One plus to Xenonauts is that hopefully you’re not going to be left with cookie cutter soldiers in the end game, all using the same weapons.

(2) E=MC^2 can kill you...

I’m reminded of D2’s corpse explosion, expanded into destructible terrain. This is quite a step up form where things currently are. Is there a reason why the aliens couldn’t convert the nearest building into an energy burst in turn 1 killing all of your guys?

3 EMP…

The original had a defence that would double the chances of you hitting an incoming UFO. In addition there was also the Mind Shield type defence that would prove the bases chance of staying hidden. Both were useful additions to the standard base defences.

If the aliens had this technology, I’d expect them to use it from orbit, preventing interception launches… forcing shielding technology research on either side.

Used on a Battlescape, it’s a bit of a game changer as you suggest. Setting up EMPs would disable large amounts of equipment. Is it frustrating to have the aliens knock out all of your advanced equipment?

(4) Mines

Proximity grenades were in the original, and would be a good addition.

(5) Deploayable equipment

Using heavier weapons forces a balance issue, where the aliens then should get heavier weapons. Beofre you know it, everything around the Chinook is getting bombed in turn 1.

(6) Alien artillery

Having a mission to prevent the setup of some nefarious alien device/weapon would be fine. It’s a sort of terror mission though isn’t it, if the governments can use denial weapons in the event of any failure.

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Max - thanks for your support. I don't mind having my ideas being critiqued, I just wanted to share a few that I think could possibly enhance the game experience. I might be wrong or not, but we all really want the same thing - the best Xenonauts experience we can get.

thothkins -

(1) A spotter would have to equip its optical equipment as a weapon while using his skill to aid a sniper. What I'm suggesting isn't meant as an uber-game-killing bonus but more as a condition for long-range-sniping. How long-range are we talking about - say 1.0-1.5kms (needs to be translated into game tiles) and perhaps with the sci-fi weapons becoming available 2.0-2.5kms. I think that this is a plausible addition to game mechanics as far as sniping goes. As far as the spotter goes - you should keep in mind that you are basically stranding a second soldier to use binoculars or any other optical device instead of being available to open fire. I don't see this in any way becoming a game breaking skill, it can easily be tweaked as a limited bonus or used as a condition to sustain current chances to successfully hit a target at longer distances.

(2) It could be justified that they can't overload/etc their weapons so its limited to a certain amount of energy/mass. I have to emphasize here to all the responses that kicked off with this idea into nuclear weapons, E=Mc^2 doesn't necessarily mean that you're nuking the aliens. It says exactly what it is -> that Energy is Mass and vice versa. My idea is just to use energy/mass conversion as an alien technology. I just thought it would be nice as a new form of tech that no one tried so far in these kind of games and would be quite original. Didn't say it was a perfect idea...

(3) In the geoscape an EMP weapon could easily be used to soften up an alien base before attacking it or on the more massive alien ships. This could be tricky to implement, and i'd dare say that its far more obvious in battlescape when dealing with the Androns and/or any heavy platform that might be deployed against your team.

(4) I wholly agree on the prox. mines, I also think that AP mines could be a lot of fun (for aliens and humans). Perhaps using spider mines like in Crusader - No regret? Or a small swarm of mechanical spiders like in minority report that could hunt down a target in a building? Just think of this as an alien attack weapon - now there's true terror for you. ;)

(5) Sadly, this is true. There's a great deal of consideration to be put into here. This could be dealt with the actual deployment of the equipment taking a few turns to avoid exactly this kind of situation and forcing the player to move their forces as fast as possible away from the starting point.

I still think it could be used magnificently with the suppression mechanic. Just think of the challenge and tactical advantage that could be gained by deploying a heavy machinegun near a UFO's entrance. Of course the aliens wouldn't run into the fire after the first few that went out the UFO door.

(6) I still think this would be a GREAT terror mission.

Edited by raziel1981

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Sorry I'm still hung up on this one. :P

2) If it's not meant to be nuclear delivery then the "tech" is merely the energy storage right?:confused: Would the mass converted into energy be electrical, heat emission, laser, plasma, radiological or reality altering (believe the AL game had warp technology) when it is fired out of the gun?

Anyway the problem I have is that you want to use stable objects found on the battlefield for this mass conversion:

So the energy equivalent of one gram (1/1000 of a kilogram) of mass is equivalent to:

89.9 terajoules

25.0 million kilowatt-hours (≈25 GW·h)

21.5 billion kilocalories (≈21 Tcal) [17]

85.2 billion BTUs[17]

or to the energy released by combustion of the following:

21.5 kilotons of TNT-equivalent energy (≈21 kt) [17]

568,000 US gallons of automotive gasoline

What you're proposing is overkill.:eek: There is no point in taking matter from the surrounding area since a single gram is already so much ammunition, you could simply carry it with you. (Assuming total conversion, but since you said it would be possible from any stable matter instead of radioactive matter I see no reason why that shouldn't be possible)

The idea strikes me as an oversimplified concept of the mass-energy equivalence. and we already have energy sources in the form of allienium which I assume will be using some kind of mass to energy conversion to power the lasers and plasma weapons.

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Well it can always be curbed down to something milder...Its just a suggestion anyway, I didn't say it was a wholly thought out idea, but I'm fairly certain that with a bit of imagination it can be polished into a more feasible technology (at least as far as an alien invasion considered game goes).

I simply find the whole ballistic->laser->plasma tree quite repetitive and boring to be honest (since its been redone so many times by now).

Alenium will probably take the exact role of Elerium from XCOM which will be then used as a component for all alien-tech energy weapons so I don't consider the mass to energy conversion technology expressed through it. At least not in the way I picture it.

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I don't fully understand how you picture it though. That is my problem with the suggestion :P

There will be a fourth tier that Chris hasn't unveiled yet. ;) (he has revealed that there will be a fourth tier, just not what it is)

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Gorlom - I don't necessarily picture it as anything specific at the moment, its just an idea in general. I was just trying to get the ball rolling with the idea, with the hope that other forum members will try to shape it out with me...isn't that the whole point of sharing ideas here ?

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Some bio-creatures with the range and accuracy of a sniper? No way. That concept just sounds far too daft.

Direct conversion of matter to energy and back? Not something I want to see either. Cheap, opens too many scintific (and plot) holes.

With that said, a completley liner weapon/research progression is a horrible idea. It is in effect brainless and offesr no variety if the next weapon "tier" is better ine everything than the previous one.

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(1) As you say, someone would need to sit down and figure out what it would mean in actual combat - distances and tile sizes. Generally, I'm all for squad specialisations. Not to extent that I'm seeing with X-Com, but that when you get to the final third of the game, each of the weapon types are still viable. I do like the balance of adding a possibly small advantage to the sniper, against giving up a troop to do so if you want it. The guy could double up as a medic or some equivalent of motion detector/mind probe in the rounds he wasn't using the optical device.

(2) It's certainly something different and I mean that in a good way. Would it help if there was a time delay to the explosion? A sort of effect that shows that the structure is unstable before detonation. The reason being, that if XNauts have it, then the aliens get something similar. Getting a warning forces troops to flee, but gives them at least some chance to do so. This would lessen the frustration on the players part when the aliens use it.

(3) It's certainly a good device to use, not only against the Androns, but against the other mechanised foes in the game. However, initial success should be tampered by having the aliens develop shielded versions of these units. Again, I'd also expect to see the aliens launching an EMP attack against your landing chinook or your own base, if you get to use it against theirs.

(4) We had a thread on drones. As the tech tree for these developed it would possibly have got to the sort of bird/insect size that we see now. Little horror spiders aren't far away. Having them as a alien terror unit would be lots of fun. I still remember the brainsuckers form Apocalypse :)

(5) Would their use in base defences as an upgrade from proximity mines be a better idea. They are as much deterrents in the bases, forcing units into certain areas. Sort of like the sentry gun in aliens. Like you say, excellent for suppression

Advanced_sentry_gun.jpg

(6) I still think this would be a GREAT terror mission.

A larger battlescape... an alien doomsday device... artillery to be avoided through stealth and demolitions... There are also some repercussions on allowing a nation that has fallen into alien hands turning into a base of operations,using long range artillery against it's neighbours. One to add to the Geopolitical thread...

Advanced_sentry_gun.jpg

Advanced_sentry_gun.jpg.1cc542bc56e9218f

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I don't fully understand how you picture it though. That is my problem with the suggestion :P

There will be a fourth tier that Chris hasn't unveiled yet. ;) (he has revealed that there will be a fourth tier, just not what it is)

Off the top.. It turns out that the aliens get to here from their planet by warping spacetime, essentially connecting the two points a la so many New Scientist articles.

Our boffins, with the aid of some tortured alien captives, have come up with a proposal to use these principles in a battlescape delivery system.

Initially proposed as being a bomb, much like the high explosive of the original game, our boffins have managed to combine it with a (very) heavy weapons system. Mainly this was achieved by watching Vasquez and Drake from Aliens.

The effect is a localised warping of a target, the result being it's destruction and some considerable energy emission resulting from the rather excited mass.

Possible Downsides:-

- It's heavy

- It's so heavy that a second unit has to act as an ammo mule for it.

- It has a cool down period

- Possibly some range issues

- Possibly some damage inflicted on it's operator. Not life threatening, but you'd want to be careful using it in the middle of a firefight.

- I'm sure there was something else when I started typing, but I've now forgotten... bah!

- Units can see the effects of the warping, giving them a round or two to get into cover or run away really quickly. (I remembered!)

- you better make sure you don't leave any behind on the battlescape. Otherwise, the aliens will get into your base form pretty much anywhere.

Upsides:-

It's really handing for getting through obstacles.

It blows things up pretty well.

It would have a nice game effect

It would look cool in the hands of your troops.

It would have an impact throughout the game.

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ok, so it's a portal gun that destroys whatever you place the portal on... I just have on question, what is a "boffins"?

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