Oathbreaker

Ultimate immersion mode

27 posts in this topic

Ok, this will never happen, so no worries. But maybe someone will read it and be inspired.

No more numbers describing a soldier's attributes. Just their scores on the most recent shooting qualification, their 1.5mi run time and qualifications (medic, sniper school, years of experience, etc).

No more "45% health left" - just a trail of blood and a guy screaming for help. Shots can insta-kill in certain parts of the body, and people that get hit are generally, but not always, out of the fight.

Number of APs left replaced by "cautious", "assault" and "patrol" movement - with a hidden percentage chance of the unit getting off a reaction shot based on all relevant factors.

No more getting rid of base modules for cash - it'll cost you money to demolish, and all you get is small change for surplus sales or junk metal.

No % chance to hit, just a "Low", "Medium" or "High" chance to hit. Add "Very Low" for when you want to shoot a pistol across the map.

No "health" % on aircraft, just a real chance to sustain somewhat plausible and halfway-realistic damage that either results in a barely functional, limping aircraft, or a shoot-down with a pilot that needs to be picked up or has a chance of being rescued by locals.

Each location on the map named via Google Earth, and announced as such: "Air Combat over Juneau, Alaska". "Your base is located in Kuala Mandigo, Malaysia. Would you like to name it after the location?"

But that's just my idea of most immersive possible gameplay. No doubt most people will prefer Xenonauts in its current form. Still a darn good game, and I look forward to playing it some more once we get tactical combat in the Mac version or I get around to having the cash to build a Windows PC.

Cheers for the hard work developing this.

Edited by Oathbreaker

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good post this, prompting a few thoughts...

No more numbers describing a soldier's attributes. Just their scores on the most recent shooting qualification, their 1.5mi run time and qualifications (medic, sniper school, years of experience, etc).

This would work best if there was more to the training facilities and if the game had any kind of skills. Neither of which are terribly likely, although the training is there to be expanded on. But certainly see that the points scoring could be removed to something you would normally expect. Of course, it does take away that little thrill every time you see one of your troop's attributes go up in the mission victory screen. Not to be underestimated that...

No more "45% health left" - just a trail of blood and a guy screaming for help. Shots can insta-kill in certain parts of the body, and people that get hit are generally, but not always, out of the fight.

Some sort of indication of the severity would be good. It would be hard to tell for you as a player, but his fellow troops would be able to see if it was minor, severe etc. In a game with more advanced tech, you could argue that the information would be available through diagnostic equipment (actually you could make that argument about the first point too). Not sure if a hit affects anything other than APs. Does it affect marksmanship at all?

Number of APs left replaced by "cautious", "assault" and "patrol" movement - with a hidden percentage chance of the unit getting off a reaction shot based on all relevant factors.

XCom EU will be good to see how they've replaced the APs with this sort of thing. I like knowing if the trooper will make that corner. But in reality, sometimes you think you can but can't and vice versa...

No "health" % on aircraft, just a real chance to sustain somewhat plausible and halfway-realistic damage that either results in a barely functional, limping aircraft, or a shoot-down with a pilot that needs to be picked up or has a chance of being rescued by locals.

Again, this could be argued to be diagnostics available to the pilot, but wouldn't argue if you were told which part of the craft had been hit instead with a not on how it has affected your performance (something that I don;t think happens now). The thing is that the % system allows for your craft to be hit a number of times by alien plasma weapons. More detail may be a bad thing. How many times can you be told your right wing had just been hit, before you wonder what's holding everything together. I've seen a pilot rescue thread before. There's a Xenonaut survival chance from a crashed Chinook. However, having a pilot survive or not makes no difference as you have to buy a new craft anyway. The new craft comes with a new pilot as there's no pilot experience or skills in the game. Not that this makes the above a bad idea.

Each location on the map named via Google Earth, and announced as such: "Air Combat over Juneau, Alaska". "Your base is located in Kuala Mandigo, Malaysia. Would you like to name it after the location?"

Icevamp kindly has provided a number of new map locations, and there's definitely a city mention for the terror missions. The events also generally have a location where it's relevant too.

Having played a number of pen & paper games over the years, there's been a gradual move away from hideously complex systems as sometimes better systems enabled you to hide some of the detail. Computer games let you hide pretty much all of the figures that you'd need to run a p&p game without tons of calculations, so there's no reason why it can't be set up as you suggested.

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To make this absolutely clear, again, and once and for all - this is just me irrationally dreaming and maybe possibly getting some people talking. The game is great as is, there's no real need to change it in the direction that I'm talking about - if anything that would possibly LOSE you paying customers, which we don't want.

That said - Pilot names. Pilot nicknames. Pilot pictures of them standing next to their plane, with one of 50-100 easily done and researched nicknames written under the cockpit like so:

100520-N-6509M-462.jpg

Add pilot experience (just one single stat) for some truly nerve-wracking losses when you lose your "ace" pilot. No need to go hog wild on this as a feature, though.

Edited by Oathbreaker

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Cool ideas!

I don't know if there are any legal implications with using Google Earth, but there is the open source OpenStreetMap.

Good solution. Add easily researchable names of major bodies of water like this one: http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/lista.htm

Only half of the ones on that list would really matter, as rivers don't need to be included - just major parts of oceans (South Pacific, Western Pacific, South Atlantic, Sea of Okhotsk and the like).

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To make this absolutely clear, again, and once and for all - this is just me irrationally dreaming and maybe possibly getting some people talking. The game is great as is, there's no real need to change it in the direction that I'm talking about - if anything that would possibly LOSE you paying customers, which we don't want.

That said - Pilot names. Pilot nicknames. Pilot pictures of them standing next to their plane, with one of 50-100 easily done and researched nicknames written under the cockpit like so:

100520-N-6509M-462.jpg

Add pilot experience (just one single stat) for some truly nerve-wracking losses when you lose your "ace" pilot. No need to go hog wild on this as a feature, though.

Maybe even just a simple 'killcount' displayed per plane (therefore per pilot for this game approximation (before one of 'reality' guys here points out that pilots don't always fly the same plane......)). Each kill increases their 'to-hit' and 'evasion' stats by 0.5% or something.

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Maybe even just a simple 'killcount' displayed per plane (therefore per pilot for this game approximation (before one of 'reality' guys here points out that pilots don't always fly the same plane......)). Each kill increases their 'to-hit' and 'evasion' stats by 0.5% or something.

AFAIK there is no to hit stats for planes. If the bullet, missile or torpedo intersects the plane or UFO it hits.

Even if there was a to hit stat it would be bad to have anything give bonuses to it no matter how small.

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Oathbreaker, your idea was actually done - partially - in the UFO: AfterX series. The problem was that people wanted the numbers behind the names! As it is, people like numbers. As Yahtzee Crosshaw says:

It's about the numbers. You want the items with the best numbers. So you can use your numbers to decrease the enemy numbers 'till your numbers are the best in the land and all the other guilds flock to regard your numbers with jealous awe.

But anyway. There's also a good playability reason why numbers are preferred to words. When I'm playing a game, if the computer tells me that I have a 30% chance of hitting a bad guy three tiles away instead of a "low" chance of hitting, I'm less likely to look up where the developer is on foursquare, hunt him down and make him eat my shattered keyboard letter by letter because I better understand the absolute figures involved. I may not like those figures and call shennanigans on those figures on a forum somewhere, but I better understand the situation.

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Medkits should not heal health. They should only prevent a mortally wounded character from dying.

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There are 2 kinds of damage, black and grey damage. Healthkits heal grey damage but not black damage... is that what you had in mind TheUbiqitous?

Or how would you like to represent that bit?

And why is it you posted that suggestion in this thread?

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Oathbreaker, your idea was actually done - partially - in the UFO: AfterX series. The problem was that people wanted the numbers behind the names! As it is, people like numbers. As Yahtzee Crosshaw says:

But anyway. There's also a good playability reason why numbers are preferred to words. When I'm playing a game, if the computer tells me that I have a 30% chance of hitting a bad guy three tiles away instead of a "low" chance of hitting, I'm less likely to look up where the developer is on foursquare, hunt him down and make him eat my shattered keyboard letter by letter because I better understand the absolute figures involved. I may not like those figures and call shennanigans on those figures on a forum somewhere, but I better understand the situation.

As described earlier - this isn't something that the average gamer will want. I have approximately 12-13 years of military/LEO/bodyguard experience - none of the shots I have ever taken were with the knowledge that I had 63.5% chance to hit - it was always "good shot" or "yeah I can hit that in a few shots".

Immersion is not for everyone. Some people just like the old RPG standby of having numbers represent everything, and the player having full control and knowledge of who is "5 points better" at this, that or the other thing/skill/magic/axe-wielding than the other guy under your control.

Immersion for me = being put in the position of the commander having to make decisions. You'd have hit ratios and combat obstacle/range shooting scores to look at, and that's that. Some people get through years of combat training, then get to combat and aren't worth a shit - they just freeze up or can't deal. Others aren't so hot in training but turns out to be THE GUY YOU WANT right next to you when the shit really goes up in flames. It might be the racist, the fuckup, the loser or the stinky guy - but he turns out to be the one you want next to you in the firefight when it happens.

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It might be the racist, the fuckup, the loser or the stinky guy - but he turns out to be the one you want next to you in the firefight when it happens.

or on a really bad job, you get the stinky, racist, loser f!ckup :)

And why is it you posted that suggestion in this thread?

I imagine that TheUbiquitous felt that it was in keeping with the idea of immersion, but I'm speaking for him/her/alien infiltrator there. The idea of stabilisation is more realistic than some sort of health booster. "Put away that First Aid kit! I've Red Bull! cures wounds and it's wings give me a tactical advantage on the Battlescape."

Quite like the immersion ideas, which shows that I've moved a little in that over the years. It gets rid of a lot of min/maxing as well.

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Seemed like a more "ultimate immersion" sort of mod. Spamming stimpacks should not make a quadrapelegic into full health in the course of any sortie.

I wasn't sure about how the health packs worked --- honestly, I still don't know --- so maybe my suggestion is redundant.

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Seemed like a more "ultimate immersion" sort of mod. Spamming stimpacks should not make a quadrapelegic into full health in the course of any sortie.

Cpl Hawking informs me that he's perfectly happy thank you.

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Basic med kit - able to somewhat stop bleeding, generally speaking, at least for (5-10 turns, randomly generated number, not told to player) - player is notified when the wounded guy starts bleeding out again, if there's another soldier within 2 squares' distance when he starts bleeding again.

Combat trauma kit - requires a "18D SpecOps Corpsman" [which incidentally is a real world qual that I'd love to have but don't], and can stop people from dying fairly reliably assuming it's not a wound he'd have died from anyway.

...So, that would require you to send people to school. Or hire someone already qualified. The "Basic Training" feature is already on the chopping block, and rightfully so. But you could spend $20 000 to send someone to 18D school for 2 months.

Other schools:

Heavy weapons (1-2 weeks).

Alien weaponry school (1-2 weeks, gives some small positive modifier to hit with them, and give a stealth nerf to everyone else's chance to hit with them if you decide to implement this).

Basic Leadership school (gives +5 morale to everyone on that mission)

18D Medic - also has small positive impact on how long people take to recover from wounds received in a mission that includes a surviving medic, since they can stabilize wounds prior to RTB.

Completely separate issue:

The Chinook should be able to be damaged in tactical scenarios, with small chances of the following:

* Craft damaged, takes a few days to repair and get back to base, combat personnel have to hitch rides on local friendly armed forces craft, arrive separately.

* Craft damaged and (very small chance) crashes on RTB, 60% chance of survivors.

* Craft FUBAR, combat squad stranded, either send another Chinook to pick them up or they'll have to hitch a ride with local friendly forces/fly commercial back. Chance of lost gear/luggage (lol) if flying commercial.

*Helicopter crew hire/fire - track number of missions, maybe have a really experienced crew give a small chance to know approximately how many enemies you'll face. Or be able to drop you off and move away to a safe location/fly around with no chance to get damaged.

Again, this is just me dreaming. Don't worry about this, just keep making a great game. Right now I'm more concerned with the civilians moving very jerkily around on the screen during the non-player movement phase, it just looks bad and I assume it's on the list of things to fix before release. Not that I have ever played a Tactical Mission (can't get tactical combat mode to work on v13.02 on my iMac 10.6.8), it's just from watching Youtube.

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Does the thing that makes the UFOs pretty much invulnerable apply to the Chinook as well? I forget.

I've yet to have an alien go anywhere near the Chinook, let alone take a shot at it. However, improved AI and swarms of them does force an interesting tactical choice. How many troops of your limited squad do you leave to defend your craft. Smart aliens may know they are doomed, but may try and take out your craft first. Clever aliens would hot wire the thing and fly out of there.

While you may think that your ship is defended as you progress, flying, teleporting, crashing through walls, cloaking or what ever special abilities make it into the game could change that in short order, again forcing you to defend something on the Geoscape. Again forcing a different approach to clearing the Geoscape (assuming you don't just pelt it to the ship)

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The tiles representing the Chinook can't be destroyed.

Now if it was stolen that would be a different matter entirely :P

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That would make a nice end of mission artwork. Instead of the retrieval, there's a group of Xenonauts explaining to some police about the theft of their Chinook, and the policeman taking the details down in a notebook.

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Or several well armed and armoured Xenonauts troopers hiding behind a bush while a female trooper tries to flag them down a lift.

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...and after all of the issues we had over getting female Xenonauts into the game, and then you just throw it all away. I hope you are ashamed of yourself Gauddlike.*

*This sentence replaces thothkins previously very un-PC remark, removed courtesy of the Diversity Awareness Alliance.

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Ashamed?

Nope not really, valid hitch hiking technique!

Although the other eleven power armoured soldiers carrying an array of futuristic weaponry and a selection of dead aliens would be a bit of a shock when you did stop.

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I just wish that you'd thought of using a female soldier before we asked Cpl Hicks to shave his legs.

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actually if you are the commander of a global military force pretty much every decision laid before you will have numbers attached up the wazoo. sitting in the command center with a report saying that if you give the go ahead on the shot that it will have a ~65% chance to connect will be very realistic. what is unrealistic about the numbers presented is that it doesn't give numbers on what will happen when you connect with the shot, especially on that completely unknown alien that no one knows anything about.

really exact numbers aren't really necessary in games like this, jagged alliance did away with the numbers. the problem is what people consider to be 'low' 'moderate' 'likely' and 'certain.' which is why numbers are generally preferred. Alien Invasion went ahead and used the engine they were using to allow a first person perspective on characters so they could judge a shot before it was made. one could even autocalc the battle, as far as immersion goes that is pretty realistic for the 70's, as satellite coverage is supposed to be nonexistent, and real time battlefield command and control didn't exist.

as for medkits, the original xcom didn't have the medkits do any healing at all. they stabilized a region on the body, and countered to a limited degree the degradation the injury had on performance. a lot of people didn't bother with medkits, since they didn't do much, and generally speaking if you were hit hard enough to get through your armor then it was probably enough to kill. only in cases were the armor and weapon strength were fairly balanced did the medkit come into play (assuming you didn't chuck it for extra ammo).

if i were to make a dream remake of xcom, i would have the chopper flying around with troops in it at the start of a mission, and i would have to deploy them either by rope or by landing, while having a door gunner and what ever other choppers i brought to support the mission. all the while having to worry about the aliens and their unknown anti air capability, do i drop my troops right on top of the ufo, or start them half a mile or so back? on the geoscape i would have to decide if i wanted to paradrop them or allow more time to pass in order to get a chopper out to the site. do i do scorched earth around the ufo in order to keep the aliens penned into their ufo, or do i try and keep the infrastructure intact? do i arm a nation in hopes of them helping against the aliens, or do i keep control in order to ensure that they don't start a war with their enemies? do i give away artifacts to various scientists around the world in hopes of making my own weapons, or do i focus on adapting them in order to equip my soldiers with them? do i start building super bunkers in order to concentrate the my defenses later on, or spend the money on better coverage? do i focus on being able to deploy hundreds of troops per ufo, or just an elite handful?

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The ideas would fit nicely into a game where you took command of the defences of a country instead of an external organisation.

Give plenty of options for starting countries and over the course of the game you could join up with neighbouring countries and add their resources to yours.

I just wish that you'd thought of using a female soldier before we asked Cpl Hicks to shave his legs.

To be fair we didn't have to ask, he just jumped right in and did it anyway.

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"do i arm a nation in hopes of them helping against the aliens, or do i keep control in order to ensure that they don't start a war with their enemies? do i give away artifacts to various scientists around the world in hopes of making my own weapons, or do i focus on adapting them in order to equip my soldiers with them? do i start building super bunkers in order to concentrate the my defenses later on, or spend the money on better coverage? do i focus on being able to deploy hundreds of troops per ufo, or just an elite handful?"

I agree some sort off balance or impact for the technological advancements researched by an organisation funded by nations with their own concerns is a bit of X-Com that should be balanced. See the oft-shamelessly plugged Geopolitical Mod thread for more of the same than you can stand.

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