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Thread: How we could implement manual kneeling

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    How we could implement manual kneeling

    This forum has been moved wholesale from the old Xenonauts forum. Please enjoy and join in:

    Page one:


    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    I'm making a second thread for this because the original already performed its function and is devolving in to a circular logic "Why?-Why Not!" spiral that isn't accomplishing anything.

    The original question is as follows: "Why can't we have manual kneeling in the game?".
    The official answer from Chris is : "I'm not totally against manual kneeling but I'm not sure how to balance it with the cover system".

    I am trying to figure out how we could accomplish this balance. But I don't have access to the beta and probably won't for a very long time. (THANKS PAYPAL). So could someone please explain the details? All I know so far is that a soldier crouching is in a tile with possible cover. Crouching into cover is automatic and has no cost. And when he is USING that cover, the soldier stops crouching and leans against it in the direction of protection. Is that accurate? Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Hmm...Yep, sounds right. The leaning also shows that they are facing towards the cover object (a transformer box protects from 3 directions, NE/N/NW but they won't lean when facing NE or NW).

    How much protection a cover object gives depends on the direction a shot comes from. From the above example, the wall protects best from the North, and only slightly from the NE and NW. Its colour-coded, so green is best, then yellow, then grey.
    A transformer has green N, and grey NE and NW. If there is 2 side by side, the area they connect is green.

    I'm not perfectly sure, but I think if they don't lean, it also means they don't need to stand up to fire. It might have something to do with protective quality of the cover object? Or LOF or something. Either way, they don't shoot the objects they are crouching behind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    So to get full cover from a diagonal direction would you need two separate pieces of cover forming a V around the soldier? Or does the game track fence corners separately?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    I think if there's a cover object on either side, you get full (green level) cover. So either a 3 tiles long wall (green on NE/N/NW), or a N-S fence section (if the one you're using is E-W) connecting to the one you're using. Might depend on what the cover objects are though (as to how much protections they provide).
    Being in a corner made of cover walls/objects protects from more directions though. From above example, it would give cover from NE, N, NW, E, SE at varying levels of protection.

    I don't think fence corners are a separate object. Its more an L-shape anyways. Its can be a bit confusing, but if you think about it from a top-down perspective it makes sense.

    Oh, about the leaning (had to check). From one of Chris' comments, leaning actually means they are facing towards the cover object. If they're crouching, they are using whatever cover is available in that tile. There's no mechanical distinction between leaning or crouching in a cover-active tile, its a visual thing so it doesn't look weird (jamming a gun into a wall).
    Might be misreading the comment though. http://www.xenonauts.com/forum/topic?id p=4#p13671
    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Legion
    As far as to the utility of kneeling, maybe simple having the ability to fire over a unit, if in a space directly beside (front, back, sides, ect.) could be instated?

    Kneeling in cover seems fine and reasonable but I do miss the "regimental volley" tactics I used when I had a Skyranger full of red-shirts. This could mean that kneeling in an open area has a purpose, mainly allowing you to fire over units... which would be very useful given most situations in which you need to breach the door to the UFO.

    Of course with the implementation of the riot shield (and not using it) this stacking method could be a less safe than just a unit with a shield. Unless a riot shield effects are preserved on crouch, this could give a nice way to implement a mobile "tower and bastion" strategy. This would allow you to establish a "defensive" position on open terrain. This would only provide protection from the orientations a shield normally protects. The shield would absorb a few blasts and allow you to return in kind giving you some breathing room for the rest of your forces to consolidate and support the besieged pair. This stacking mechanic may provide some interesting mechanics or if used improperly gives you an excellent opportunity to experience the joys of hiring new soldiers which is appropriate to the experience of X-COM.

    -- A visual description of the stacking technique:
    [@@
    -- where a ' [ ' is the orientation of the riot shield/ analogue and the ' @ ' represents the soldier themselves.

    Kneeling would of course cost some TU's that seems reasonable but manual kneeling could simple allow you to fire over and beyond your own units. Just my two cents worth.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    You can already fire over and beyond your own units if they are in cover. If they are in cover they're kneeling down, and so anyone can shoot over them (even others in cover as they stand up to shoot).

    Tamren wrote:
    "Why?-Why Not!" spiral that isn't accomplishing anything.
    I know this is in the other topic, and I hope this doesn't derail this topic [read: if you have something to say about this, go to http://www.xenonauts.com/forum/topic?id=1131&], but the reason it's not accomplishing anything is because there are those who don't feel the need (or benefit) for manual kneeling. Just saying.

    In the mean time I am interested in seeing what you come up with in the way of implementing manual kneeling in a way that works WITH the current cover system
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    Back when I first stumbled onto this issue was the same time I learned about Xenonauts having the problem of soldiers hitting each other in the back. The ballistic mechanics are such that a projectile normally strikes the first thing it hits, and since crouching is not implemented soldiers could not shoot past each other. I kind of went "Gwuh?". I mean, its not rocket science, they managed to figure this out back in 1994.

    If only to allow soldiers to fire past each other we should allow this. When you think about it crouching also allows you to fit behind a riot shield, so it would be useful in that regard as well.

    Sathra wrote:
    I don't think fence corners are a separate object. Its more an L-shape anyways. Its can be a bit confusing, but if you think about it from a top-down perspective it makes sense.
    Hmm okay I sorta understand it now. It makes my really sad the engine isn't 3d, cause putting in custom poses would have been a snap. For instance if a soldier was leaning up against a wall you could have 3 different poses. Leaning back with gun straight up = facing the wall directly. Leaning to one side or the other with gun ready would be the diagonals. And simply crouching by the wall would mean looking left or right and hence not involve the wall.

    Anyhow since the system we have is sprite based we need to account for that.

    Crouching is currently the "in-cover" indicator. But what do you guys think about using something else like a small icon? This would free up the crouching animation and allow us to use it for other things, removing the conflict with the current system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    I really don't like having to rely on icons. It looks messy. Having them on the portraits isn't very intuitive, and having them on the tac-arena looks terrible. Glowy crap hanging around your troops all the time, no thanks.

    I'm not sure if the current cover direction indicators are meant to be always visible though. I don't think they are, since the only information they give that can't be seen without them is the cover-level in a particular direction, and since that's based on semi-intuition for value (basically: that thing looks like it should provide good cover, green it is) you can eyeball-guess it.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Yeah definately not a fan of floaty icons. Looks messy. I think it works fine for now anyway: you're in cover if you're kneeling by a wall. it's obvious what you're in cover with, it's the wall your kneeling against!

    I thought we were talking about how to implement kneeling... we already have a system for cover...
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    But if we implement kneeling, it would mean you could kneel everywhere. Including in cover. This interaction is what we need to figure out. Putting aside cover for a second. Kneeling needs to have some sort of advantage or no one would ever use it. Things like:

    - Kneeling reduces the height of the soldier. Enemy shots miss (slightly) more and friendly shots can pass over kneeling troops.
    - Riot shields provide total body coverage when kneeling. (but this reduces FOW because you are looking through the little window, not over the top)
    - Kneeling reduces AP cost for picking up objects off the ground.
    - Kneeling slightly increases the AP needed to reaction dodge.

    In the original XCOM, the most important part of kneeling was how it affected shooting accuracy. It provided a flat % bonus. In Xenonauts the system works a little differently, shots have a base cost and you can spend extra AP to improve accuracy.

    So instead of a flat bonus, why not have kneeling reduce the base number of AP needed to make a shot? If a shot costs less AP it leaves you with extra that you can spend to increase accuracy.* Kneeling provides stability so it would make an aimed shot quicker to line up. It would also make automatic weapons easier to control with burst fire. This would also apply to reaction fire.

    Make sense? It takes AP to kneel and stand, but you get a tangible benefit from it.

    I'll explain the interaction between cover and kneeling when I get back.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 2 part 1:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tweakd
    This all sounds too familiar! For what it's worth I agree with you on most points Tamren however I would advise going the opposite way with regards to giving a kneeling soldier too many benefits.

    Friendly shots pass over kneeling soldiers - Yes!
    Kneeling Riot shield soldier - I'm not sure they should be able to kneel at all. It really depends how the shield works we just don't know enough yet.
    Kneeling reduces AP cost for picking up objects off the ground - I guess that makes sense. It should only reduce it by the amount it costs to crouch then stand up however. So in effect it's no different from just picking it up.
    Kneeling slightly increases the AP needed to reaction dodge. - Yes.

    Tamren wrote:
    So instead of a flat bonus, why not have kneeling reduce the base number of AP needed to make a shot? If a shot costs less AP it leaves you with extra that you can spend to increase accuracy.
    I think this would be too much. I would be more in favour of a flat +~3% to accuracy. Otherwise kneeling might as well be free.

    At this point kneeling has so many advantages that it becomes the best option in most situations. If you wanted a system like this you would also need a tradeoff. My suggestion was resonable LOS penalties but no-one seems to like that. Even though I think it would play well and require you to really think about when and where to kneel.

    With regards to the current cover system I assume it's too much work to have a different animation for being in cover? The 8 directions become a problem of course.

    I think the biggest problem with merging the 2 systems is that with the introduction of manual kneeling autocover is not needed. But with autocover alone the system is (in my opinion) too simplistic and constricted. It could be possible to force both into the game but then you just overcomplicate things when manual kneeling alone can do both systems. My solution is to remove autocover entirely.* You could keep things like the UI display for cover strength and perhaps aliens could still use it to make firefights more interesting.

    And no we certainly don't need floaty icons although it did cross my mind too. Chris how much coding time would it take to temporarily disable autocover for the squadies and try out some basic values for crouching? So crouching costs 4 or 5 ap and when you crouch behind cover you are protected by it.* Then add a small acc increase and perhaps impede LOS over the obstacles.

    Well whatever you say about me I am consistant =P

    Oh I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas on merging the two systems Tamren.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Tamren wrote:
    - Kneeling reduces the height of the soldier. Enemy shots miss (slightly) more and friendly shots can pass over kneeling troops.
    - Riot shields provide total body coverage when kneeling. (but this reduces FOW because you are looking through the little window, not over the top)
    - Kneeling reduces AP cost for picking up objects off the ground.
    - Kneeling slightly increases the AP needed to reaction dodge.
    I agree with the first one, the other three are not necessary, that might help balance out by not giving kneeling too much of an advantage.

    Tamren wrote:
    So instead of a flat bonus, why not have kneeling reduce the base number of AP needed to make a shot? If a shot costs less AP it leaves you with extra that you can spend to increase accuracy.*
    The problem with this approach is that if you save too few AP it's not worth kneeling, and if you save too many then what's the point of not kneeling before shooting, again removing any real semblance of choice...

    Tamren wrote:
    Kneeling provides stability so it would make an aimed shot quicker to line up. It would also make automatic weapons easier to control with burst fire. This would also apply to reaction fire.
    Perhaps it would make an aimed shot quicker to line up, if they're not moving sideways faster than you can comfortably swivel while crouched. Also burst fire isn't used during reaction fire. I would however concede that burst fire might be slightly more accurate crouched.

    Tweakd wrote:
    With regards to the current cover system I assume it's too much work to have a different animation for being in cover? The 8 directions become a problem of course.
    What sort of animation would you have? Crouching behind the wall really is the only thing that springs to my mind... Im actually curious, not being a nay sayer, what other animation could there be?

    Tweakd wrote:
    My solution is to remove autocover entirely.
    that's not really a solution. In fact that's basically saying 'why don't we re-write the entire combat script because I want manual kneeling back in.' This thread is to implement kneeling WITH the cover system, not remove the cover system and replace it with manual kneeling...
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    anotherdevil wrote:
    This thread is to implement kneeling WITH the cover system, not remove the cover system and replace it with manual kneeling...
    Exactly. Try not to confuse it. The other thread is for that (and has devolved into a circular argument).

    With the current cover system, troops are partly treated as standing up (its meant to simulate them peeking over their cover I think). Its to cut out alot of busywork with doing 'squats' for viewing/firing. This, I have no problem with, since they're not robots.
    Balancing manual 'anytime' kneeling with the current cover system would necessarily require adding disadvantages to being in cover. Whether its LOS restrictions (not particularly useful, due to the already short sight range), or something as simple as increased turning costs. Hmm.
    ----
    So, just as a thought exercise, how do people feel about this:
    Keep the auto-cover system. Units in a cover tile have increased turning costs (2 instead of 1 AP per 45 degrees compared to base). They gain an minor accuracy bonus with heavy/cumbersome weapons (MG's, sniper rifles, RPG) and burst fire, due to bracing. It drops the effective range of weapons by, say, 10% (the range when Accuracy drops off sharply).
    Manual kneeling costs 4 AP (1 step). It adds a ~15% miss chance to being hit (I'm assuming that some system to fire past friendlies is added. Point blank miss chance based on distance of intervening unit compared to target tile maybe). It only adds an accuracy boost (larger than the cover bonus to burst fire?) to burst fire with non-heavy weapons (and flamethrowers). Costs 4AP to stand up.
    They both add an AP penalty to reaction dodging, but reduce the effect of AP use to reaction checks (every 2 AP used only counts as 1 maybe? Makes a trooper more likely to reaction fire than they would otherwise).
    ----
    End result, cover is always a good idea but its more defensive in scope. Its better to plan being in place before you fight. Its also cuts range, so its good for leap-frogging advancement. Cover doesn't add a miss chance btw, since that's abstracted as part of the cover save.
    Manual kneeling is for aggressive advancement. Add some smoke* or other LOS/LOF blockers and it becomes very, very good. Its much more risky though, and isn't that useful for support troops.
    Shotguns don't have burst fire though, so doesn't get any benefit from either mode. They do alot of damage per AP though, through armour, and get replaced by burst firing carbines anyways. They do fire cheaper than most weapons however, so the reaction boost would be very useful taking into account their short effective range.

    Thoughts?
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 2 part 2:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tweakd
    anotherdevil wrote:
    What sort of animation would you have? Crouching behind the wall really is the only thing that springs to my mind... Im actually curious, not being a nay sayer, what other animation could there be?
    If facing away from your cover then back against the cover with the gun and head and possibly torso pointed in the directions your "looking".
    Directly facing the cover then the current one can be used.
    If facing diagonally towards it then you need something else. Can't think of a goodd one but I'm almost there

    Alternatively and a much simpler solution would be to have 2 different crouch anaimations. One for open crouching and one for behind cover. In the open the gun could be pointed in the direction you face, arms outstreched as if ready to fire. If behind cover then the gun resting on the knees or on the ground or in one hand. Anything that would be a clear indication that it's a different situation.

    anotherdevil wrote:
    that's not really a solution. In fact that's basically saying 'why don't we re-write the entire combat script because I want manual kneeling back in.' This thread is to implement kneeling WITH the cover system, not remove the cover system and replace it with manual kneeling...
    I'm just speaking my mind. The thread title is "How we could implement manual kneeling" and I've stated that removing autocover is my favourite option. It would be cleaner than trying to implement both. I mean all you do is remove the "auto" part and add manual and your pretty much there.

    EDIT : Sathra with a quick skim over it looks quite good to me. I'll need to read it again more thoroughly when I have time but it looks like something i'd be happy with.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Sathra wrote:
    Units in a cover tile have increased turning costs (2 instead of 1 AP per 45 degrees compared to base).
    That sounds annoying but doable. I guess it represents things like shifting your weapon so it doesn't hit the wall while also remaining crouched etc.
    Sathra wrote:
    they gain an minor accuracy bonus with heavy/cumbersome weapons (MG's, sniper rifles, RPG) and burst fire, due to bracing. It drops the effective range of weapons by, say, 10% (the range when Accuracy drops off sharply).
    Just make sure burst fire and MG's don't get stacked bonuses, else it could be too powerful. Or it might just really pay to have your MG guys set up in cover!
    Sathra wrote:
    Manual kneeling costs 4 AP (1 step). It adds a ~15% miss chance to being hit (I'm assuming that some system to fire past friendlies is added. Point blank miss chance based on distance of intervening unit compared to target tile maybe).
    Sounds like a decent system for avoiding friendly fire. Alternately you could tell the computer to always miss a friendly troop in an adjacent square unless you aim directly at that square? I mean Xenonauts are supposed to be the best of the best, shooting their team mate at point blank range is not a good way to show this...
    Sathra wrote:
    It only adds an accuracy boost (larger than the cover bonus to burst fire?) to burst fire with non-heavy weapons (and flamethrowers).
    I don't think burst fire bonus out of cover would be better than in cover. After all in cover you have a wall to lean it on, outside of cover you only have your wobbly knee...
    Sathra wrote:
    cover is always a good idea but its more defensive in scope. Its better to plan being in place before you fight. Its also cuts range, so its good for leap-frogging advancement. Cover doesn't add a miss chance btw, since that's abstracted as part of the cover save.
    Manual kneeling is for aggressive advancement. Add some smoke* or other LOS/LOF blockers and it becomes very, very good. Its much more risky though, and isn't that useful for support troops.
    I like this but kind of don't. Don't forget there will be vaulting (over cover) and this phrase just seems to make it seem like cover is for when they're attacking you, kneeling is for when you're attacking them. Cover should, and obviously still does, allow you to attack them, though this quote makes me hesitate with that sentence...
    Tweakd wrote:
    'm just speaking my mind. The thread title is "How we could implement manual kneeling" and I've stated that removing autocover is my favourite option.
    The OP clearly forgot the end of that title "into Xenonauts," and Xenonauts being a game with a cover system and all, I thought it would be fairly obvious. If they had a Gears of War forum asking about how to implement kneeling in the open I don't think anyone would suggest removing the cover system...
    Tweakd wrote:
    If facing away from your cover then back against the cover with the gun and head and possibly torso pointed in the directions your "looking".
    Directly facing the cover then the current one can be used.
    Why would you be facing away from the wall you're taking cover against? In essence then you have no cover, and are just kneeling against a wall. The whole point of cover is to face it. Here is my suggestion:

    * * * * * *A1* * * * * * * *A2
    -----------------------------
    * * * * * *X
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * A3

    In this instance the Xenonaut (X) has 3 possible alien (A) positions to counter. For A1 and A2 he would e crouched in cover facing the wall (------), as is already implemented, as that is the object providing him cover. He will obviously get better protection from A1 than A2 because the wall protects him better from A1 (it's not leaving him partially exposed).

    When he shoots however, he stands up. He will then either fire at A1 or turn and fire at A2 (AP cost of turning should be factored into AP cost of shot), before crouching, or turning back and crouching into cover.

    If he was to turn to face A3 however he would no longer be using the wall for cover (other than as an object which can block shots) and so he would simply be kneeling facing the alien. Shooting could be done from this position.

    This method adds no new animations, and everyone gets it because you cannot be in cover if the alien is on the same side of the wall as you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Hmm. I'll try answer the points you brought up.

    Turning cost increase: Yeah, something like that. Moving around without showing too much of your body, etc.

    MG's: Heh, maybe! Depends on how big the accuracy boost really is. And their base accuracy. Hmm, I think the heavy weapons are the longest ranged weapons anyways, so maybe instead of a percentage drop in effective range, maybe a flat drop of 2-4 tiles? WHy is there a drop? Dunno, make up your own mind. Maybe they're really firing over the top of the wall (regardless of what the animation shows), so aren't sticking their head up that much.

    Friendly fire: Something anyways. Exactly how it works is up to the team.

    Burst fire: Its a more a bonus compared to firing while standing. More stable while firing while kneeling, and single shots have their own accuracy increasing system.

    Comparison thing: Its more defensive compared to manual kneeling. It works better defensively, or alternatively in support of an attack. Its emplacements basically. You're better able to spin around and fire in multiple directions if manual kneeling compared to auto-cover, but manual kneeling isn't as protective. Vaulting will probably be more expensive that normal walking anyways too.

    Overall, they're actually meant to work together. Units in cover watching over units manual kneeling while they move into cover. Or bum-rush a position. Or fight inside a building. Move up troops into cover, use them as the battle-line from which you send out a pack of assault troops with carbines and rifles spraying fire. While they also protect the guys with combat shields moving up to breach.
    Cover is still the best option most of the time though.
    ---------
    Edit: AD, the example you gave to counter Tweaked isn't exactly correct. The trooper is equally protected from A1 and A2 since there is a wall section in the way (green level cover).* He'd get better protection from A2 I think due to distance and its effects on accuracy. It would be correct that he'd get less protection from A2 if he was hiding behind a lone crate or something, since that would only partly interfere with fire from that direction.
    The leaning animation/pose is really that, a pose. He would still be 'in cover' from A1 and A2, the leaning pose is to show that he's facing the wall, not that he's using it as cover (that's what the crouching means).
    You are correct that he won't stand to fire shooting at A3 though. He's not properly 'covered' from that direction so has no need to stand up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    To clarify how cover and directions work (Assuming stone walls or something similarly protective):
    * *_
    * @
    Cover levels are, from left to right: Grey, green, grey. Better cover save from North than North-East and North-West, but none from any other direction.

    _ _ _
    * @
    Green, Green, Green. Equally protected from all cover directions.

    _
    @|
    N, NE and E are all green. NW and SW are grey, due to only partial shot interference. (bah, damn symbols. He's in an L shape of cover. A corner basically, made of 2 perpendicular walls.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    I leave for a night and the thread turns into Mt. Kilamanjaro. I'm starting to understand how Chris feels

    Catching up now.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 2 part 3 (damn 10000 word limit!):

    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Ha ha enjoy! =P And do tell me to shut up if I say anything too nasty, I can get into some moods sometimes, really sticking to an argument, so sorry about that if you feel I have
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    I also don't think that manual kneeling and auto cover kneeling will work together very well.
    My personal feeling would be that to fit manual kneeling you would have to remove auto cover or have kneeling at no cost.
    If kneeling is free you can make auto kneel/cover a toggle with no worries about wasting AP doing something you never intended.

    If kneeling is to be in then it needs to have a well balanced set of benefits and penalties over standing.
    Making it the most defensive stance (miss chance etc) while also giving it a bonus to offence (accuracy bonus etc) will make it the only viable option, the only troops who are standing are the ones who ran out of AP due to carelessness.
    As I suggested elsewhere I would make kneeling a defensive action and standing more offensive.

    I also suggested limiting the benefits of kneeling to the alien turn by giving bonuses to defence and reaction fire.
    This also allows kneeling to be kept free as you will gain no immediate benefit from either stance.
    You are less likely to get shot at in your own turn, unless it is by reaction fire, in which case you would probably be moving and not in cover anyway.
    Reaction fire would also be taking place in the alien turn so a bonus to reactions would not be something you could abuse by changing your stand/kneel stance constantly.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 3 part 1:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Oh and I also think there are a few things we could do with clearing up before we could make some of these suggestions work.
    - Is reaction dodging going to be implemented? Chris has mentioned it but could do with confirmation.
    - Does the engine allow for LOS to be altered when kneeling behind a WHW (waist high wall)? Is LOS drawn from the eye height of the trooper or is it drawn from his tile etc.

    There are probably others but those are the ones that spring straight to mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    What if we made crouching the same as being in cover, just minus the protection? When you crouch down you become a smaller target. And when kneeling it becomes easier to brace weapons against recoil. Both of these benefits apply if you kneel in the middle of a street or behind a stone wall.

    Like Sathra mentioned, kneeling in the open is the offensive version of taking cover. It what you do when you need to move out of cover and towards the enemy positions. It lacks the protection of hard cover, but it keeps you mobile and gives the same bonuses to accuracy.

    How does this sound:

    - Flat bonus to accuracy for snap shots and autofire. Smaller bonus to aimed shots.
    - Slightly reduces the AP cost of aimed shots and reaction fire.
    - Small % chance for enemy shots to miss
    - Kneeling activates cover and the above bonuses. Soldiers standing behind cover are still partially protected.
    - Getting into cover is FREE and automatic if your soldier ends his movement in cover. Otherwise kneeling into cover costs 2AP.
    - Leaving cover is FREE. Standing up out of cover without moving costs 4 AP.
    - Leap frogging over cover costs X AP. (fairly expensive) cheaper if done while standing.
    - Kneeling manually costs 2 AP and another 4 AP to stand up. If the soldier is overburdened, standing costs increase.

    - It is more expensive to turn while kneeling.
    - Reaction dodging costs more APs when kneeling
    - Kneeling has no effect on enemy reaction fire.

    - When soldiers are in cover, they either lean in the direction of protection or kneel with weapon lowered.
    - When soldiers are kneeling outside of cover. They crouch with weapon raised and ready to fire.

    The only downside I can see is that there would need to be separate shooting animations for crouched and standing soldiers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Huge amount of benefits and no real drawbacks.
    Why remain standing if it is less accurate, less defensive, and costs more AP to fire?
    More AP to turn while kneeling is not much of a drawback, only kneel before you shoot and you have no drawback at all.

    I would suggest that when looking at your ideas of cost and benefit for kneeling or standing you try and think of situations where you would use both.
    So far many of them break down to:
    Under attack: Kneel
    Alien may walk into view: Kneel
    Need to fire: Kneel
    Etc etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    I kind of liked Sathra's ideas on page 2, I thought that was a good balance between knelling and in cover. Not that I think kneeling should be implemented, but still.

    I don't know why standing needs to have any benefits really, if you remain standing it probably just costs you less to do things, but other than that if you end your turn out of cover... you should be kneeling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Hmm, been thinking of something to add to manual kneeling for my concept to as a disadvantage during the alien's turn.

    Could always add the effective range drop to manual kneeling too. So while it does make burst fire (and only burst fire) more accurate, the distance where the accuracy drops to 1% comes sooner as well.

    Edit: Gave some extra thought as to how the whole things works. Has a kind of...weird effect on reaction fire.
    You're more likely to fire at an alien while kneeling (cover or otherwise) but less accurately compared to standing up (due to the range reduction and how kneeling has no effect on single shots for most weapons).
    Has this odd combination of "you react more often, but not as well", including reaction dodging.
    Being in cover has this additional effect that its easier to get flanked as well (turning cost increase).

    Might need some refinement, but what are your thoughts on these interactions?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    Gauddlike wrote:
    Huge amount of benefits and no real drawbacks. Why remain standing if it is less accurate, less defensive, and costs more AP to fire?
    Because standing up will get you shot in the face? You are missing the point a little. 90% of the time you should be in cover at the end of each turn. Manual kneeling simply provides the same bonuses that cover does, without the cover.

    There are some situations where leaving cover is unavoidable. When on the attack the focus is all about flanking the enemy in HIS cover. To do this you need to remain mobile and kneeling detracts a lot of APs. You can't simply leapfrog from cover to cover in a frontal assault because this exposes you to reaction fire. Instead you must flank the enemy, crouch to gain the best accuracy and attack him from the side.

    anotherdevil wrote:
    I don't know why standing needs to have any benefits really, if you remain standing it probably just costs you less to do things, but other than that if you end your turn out of cover... you should be kneeling.
    Yeah precisely. You should always be ending a turn in cover, or crouching if cover is not available. The only times when you want to remain standing are when you troops must travel long distances and need to conserve AP. You would only want to do this if soldiers were crossing ground known to be free of aliens.

    Sathra wrote:
    Could always add the effective range drop to manual kneeling too. So while it does make burst fire (and only burst fire) more accurate, the distance where the accuracy drops to 1% comes sooner as well.
    I like this idea.* It fits with the "kneeling on offence" plan we have going here. When you are in cover you have a large solid object to brace your weapon against, so the same distance penalty would not apply in a defensive situation. On offence the range penalty limits its utility. You wouldn't want to kneel all the time, only when you are set up in a good flanking position and ready to gun down an alien with autofire.

    Sathra wrote:
    You're more likely to fire at an alien while kneeling (cover or otherwise) but less accurately compared to standing up (due to the range reduction and how kneeling has no effect on single shots for most weapons).
    Perhaps we could make it so that kneeling units are more likely to reaction fire, but in a more narrow cone of fire compared to standing soldiers. This fits with your next suggestion because...

    Sathra wrote:
    Being in cover has this additional effect that its easier to get flanked as well (turning cost increase).
    Increased turning cost is a HUGE penalty if you get flanked from behind and must turn a whole 180 degrees before you can take a shot. All those APs used can no longer contribute to accuracy.

    When you factor in the smaller cone of fire, and the slower turning it makes flanking people out of cover very important. This is exactly what we want out of a cover system.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 3 part 2:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Er, actually the effective range penalty originally only applied to firing from cover.* Although...having only manual kneeling give a distance penalty wouldn't be too bad. Wouldn't have the weird penalty + bonus effect on sniper rifles either (increased accuracy and reduced range).

    I liked it because it gave an odd reason to not kneel or be in cover: You can effectively out-range enemies if they aren't standing and you are. Its a tiny advantage, since they can still hit you, but its a little trick that could be very useful if you get good at recognising the alien weapons and their effective ranges. And of course the alien's could do it too, they just wouldn't plan to do it.

    Tamren wrote:
    Perhaps we could make it so that kneeling units are more likely to reaction fire, but in a more narrow cone of fire compared to standing soldiers.
    Narrower cone, shorter distance, either one. Depends on how the reaction system triggers work really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    I don't think I am missing the point at all.
    So far there is no reason not to end a turn kneeling.
    So basically we now have an auto cover and auto kneel system.
    Your 'kneel on offence plan' is also a kneel on defence plan, a kneel on the off chance of seeing an alien plan, a kneel if there is a y in the day plan.
    That is no different to the old system in that you have no real options.
    Kneel or accept massive penalties to offence and defence in this new system.
    Get in cover or suffer penalties to defence in the old system that people were complaining gave no choice.
    Tamren wrote:
    Manual kneeling simply provides the same bonuses that cover does, without the cover.
    I think that pretty much sums up my objections to how this system would reduce tactical choice to a button click that would be pretty much essential.
    In cover? Kneel down.
    Can't be bothered to get into cover? Kneel down anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Eh, there's kind of a reason not to kneel.
    The effective range reduction. For some weapons, it doesn't much matter (like sniper rifles and MG's). For stuff like pistols and shotguns, its more noticeable (this is with a flat reduction, not percentage).

    If you want, could always have kneeling and auto-covering penalise reaction priority a bit. But that's stupid. Manual kneeling maybe...but auto-cover? Giving a decrease in an already unreliable mechanic as part of using a major, advertised part of the ground combat. Mental.

    But it doesn't really bother me if manual kneeling isn't added though. I'm just bored of arguing against....
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Both of those weapons are short range and mainly seem to be useful for breaching or room clearing.
    A reduction to range in those situations would be pretty much insignificant compared to all of the bonuses.

    I don't see kneeling as an offensive option at all.
    It strikes me as defensive and the bonuses (and penalties) could reflect that.
    If you want to be offensive you stay on your feet and mobile, if you want to be defensive you duck and cover.
    Sathra wrote:
    If you want, could always have kneeling and auto-covering penalise reaction priority a bit.
    I suggested standing would give a bonus to reactions (as you aren't keeping your head down) rather than crouching having a penalty.
    Does depend how you look at it though, you can always see bonuses to one thing as a penalty to its opposite.

    I don't think anyone has argued against manual kneeling in here yet (that isn't the point of the thread) I just think adding it as the only choice would detract from the ground combat rather than adding anything.
    Giving a reason to CHOOSE to kneel would add a tactical option.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 4 part 1:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Yeah, I tend to go for minor nuances.
    Trying to give a reason to stand around in the open is difficult, due to how, even with the current system, you flat out aren't meant to do it.

    As for the range reduction, I decided to check what the ranges actually are.
    They're really long, really long. Most have effective ranges longer than soldiers can see. I'm guessing that effective range can be seen as the straight, un-obstructed distance that a shot's accuracy tooltip doesn't drop. For it to really be noticeable you'd have to drop them by about half. That drops a shotgun's effec-range to about 4 tiles, 5 for pistols and 9 for assault rifles. Any kind of obstacle drops accuracy too, depending on what it is.

    Having it drop by half has a massive effect, even for short range weapons. Its not as severe for good shooters though, since their base accuracy is higher. Maybe not half, say by 1/3 or so? Rounding down of course.
    Gives a damn good reason not to kneel all the time.

    Does bring up the question again, should auto-cover kneeling also have this penalty? I'd say no, since they do stand up to fire from cover. That and it has its own penalty, with the turning cost increase.

    But yeah, is that a good choice to add? It does make standing more offensively focussed, depending on how you view 'offence'.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Sathra wrote:
    s for the range reduction, I decided to check what the ranges actually are.
    They're really long, really long. Most have effective ranges longer than soldiers can see. I'm guessing that effective range can be seen as the straight, un-obstructed distance that a shot's accuracy tooltip doesn't drop. For it to really be noticeable you'd have to drop them by about half. That drops a shotgun's effec-range to about 4 tiles, 5 for pistols and 9 for assault rifles. Any kind of obstacle drops accuracy too, depending on what it is.
    That does seem like quite a bit, but:
    Sathra wrote:
    Maybe not half, say by 1/3 or so? Rounding down of course.
    Gives a damn good reason not to kneel all the time.
    It does give a good reason, especially seeing as kneeling would then add more obstacles (waist high walls) which I assume wouldn't affect the shot if you were standing up. So essentially you could (mostly?) leave the effecttive weapon range the same, but there is more possibility for obstacles to reduce it for you if you kneel down.

    Sathra wrote:
    Does bring up the question again, should auto-cover kneeling also have this penalty? I'd say no, since they do stand up to fire from cover. That and it has its own penalty, with the turning cost increase.
    Agree fully

    Thoughts on this? This should give standing that offensive boost Gauddlike, and it also makes positioning troops more important too, as you can set up a troop and kneel them in a place with very little cover between them and an aliens flank then that's good for you, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    anotherdevil wrote:
    especially seeing as kneeling would then add more obstacles (waist high walls) which I assume wouldn't affect the shot if you were standing up.
    Currently they affect the shot at any time. The only time an obstacle doesn't affect a shot is, I think, when you are using an object as cover. Basically, if an object could stop a shot, it reduces your accuracy.
    Unless you mean having cover objects (which are generally waist high) become more obstructive if kneeling. That might be going a bit far.

    Edit: Oh, forgot to mention. The whole "effec-range cut + burst fire accuracy boost". The speed at which accuracy drops beyond effective range would need to drop much faster for it to be noticeable. Like...10-15 percentage points per tile. Maybe scaling it, so it drops 5, then 10, then 15, then 30. Every 2-3 tiles beyond effective range.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Sathra wrote:
    Unless you mean having cover objects (which are generally waist high) become more obstructive if kneeling. That might be going a bit far.
    But it makes sense. If you have a wall in front of you (waist high) and you are kneeling near it but behind it, it's going to cut off a lot of your view of that alien twenty metres away. If you stand up however that obstruction is going to be a lot less.

    Perhaps something could be done with whether your character is standing or kneeling, the size of the objects between you and the alien, and the distance between your soldier and the objects that could obstruct the shot. Obviously it would also be nice if consecutive obstructions of the same size (like 2 waist high walls immediately after each other) shouldn't block the shot (the closer one would (?) obscure the further one (at least from some POV), and so shouldn't add further reductions to the shot...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Logic...my ancient enemy...

    I didn't want to add too much of a penalty to kneeling. Especially if the accuracy-drop-past-effective-range rate is made faster.
    As for the stuff about consecutive obstructions, I think it does that now
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Sathra wrote:
    I didn't want to add too much of a penalty to kneeling. Especially if the accuracy-drop-past-effective-range rate is made faster.
    But you see if we remove the drop off due to kneeling, and just change the system so waist high walls only count as obstacles if either they or you are kneeling, then it essentially does the same job, but also rewards positioning your troops better as well!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Or that yeah.

    Having effective range halved while kneeling doesn't actually make sense (since it doesn't apply to cover-kneeling), but it does give a very obvious, constant reason to not kneel all the damn time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    Gauddlike wrote:
    I don't think I am missing the point at all.
    So far there is no reason not to end a turn kneeling.
    As far as enemy fire is concerned the only difference between a kneeling target in the open and a standing target in the open is plus/minus 10-20%. The system is still heavily weighted towards using cover.

    I think we might be going in the wrong direction with the range restriction stuff. How about we focus on FOW instead? Let me run down the new system again. When I say "kneeling" just assume it means in cover and out.

    - Vision FOW angle/distance is not affected by kneeling. (except maybe on the Z-axis)
    - Soldier default FOW is 90 degrees. (see here: http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Line_of_sight)

    - Kneeling provides an accuracy boost. More for autofire, less for aimed and snap shots.
    - Kneeling accuracy boost only affects a FOW of 45 degrees. You must turn directly towards a target to benefit.
    - Kneeling soldiers are less likely to reaction fire a target not in the 45 degree FOW.
    - Turn costs while kneeling are doubled.

    So in essence, when you kneel down you are better able to steady your weapon for more accurate shooting. But when kneeling it becomes harder to twist and turn, so your "effective shooting angle" is reduced to half.* This is very important because it makes flanking targets in cover that much more effective. Attacking an enemy from the side means you are less likely to trigger reaction shots. As well if an enemy has to turn before shooting, it robs them of TUs and accuracy.

    This makes the benefits of kneeling vs standing pretty clear. Kneeling helps you shoot but standing keeps you more agile for movement and shooting.
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    What the *%$& is FOW? It's clearly not Field of View (or Vision), nor is it Line Of Sight. I am really confused when people use acronyms that no one else [read I]* seems to know what they mean...

    Tamren wrote:
    - Kneeling accuracy boost only affects a FOW of 45 degrees. You must turn directly towards a target to benefit.
    You must turn to face anyone you're shooting at anyway... Unless you're in cover, in which case you: stand, turn, shoot, turn back, and crouch (That's how I think it should be done anyway).

    Tamren wrote:
    So in essence, when you kneel down you are better able to steady your weapon for more accurate shooting. But when kneeling it becomes harder to twist and turn, so your "effective shooting angle" is reduced to half.* This is very important because it makes flanking targets in cover that much more effective. Attacking an enemy from the side means you are less likely to trigger reaction shots. As well if an enemy has to turn before shooting, it robs them of TUs and accuracy.
    This essentially means that kneeling in the open and crouching in cover are the same... You're much less restricted in sideways movement when kneeling down in the open that you are when kneeling behind a wall, but then the wall provides better cover for you...
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 4 part 2:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Yeah, always wondered what you actually meant by FOW. Its not Fog of War (is it?), since that updates at turn end. Do you mean Field of Fire/Angle of Fire?

    I think you'll probably turn, then stand up and fire, then crouch again when in cover (no returning to original facing). 2 ap-cost-things (one for turning, one for firing, which get combined into a single cost for firing).

    I had the auto-cover and manual kneeling have different (though similar) penalty/benefits so there'd some kind of reason to choose between them beyond mild protective differences.
    Manual kneeling = can't shoot as far accurately. Auto-cover = increased turning costs (which doesn't sound like much, but the number of times I've been 1 AP short of a shot...)
    They both increase burst fire accuracy, but auto-cover also increases accuracy for heavy weapons (or counter-acts and "moved" penalty for them). Downside of that is, well, you have to find a bit of cover to use.
    Both are protective, but auto-cover is more protective (I have no idea how protective cover is. Manual kneeling should be about as much, or slightly less than grey level cover...maybe yellow).
    Then there's some fuzzy stuff about reactions and either boosting or penalising when not standing.

    Shorter effective range distances are less annoying than restricted angle of fire I believe. Shorter distance just requires you to move up. Restricted angle means having to turn around, and possibly re-adjust position so you can get into the 'sweet spot' to use it.

    ...Wait, you meant only the boost gets affected by restricted angle. What the hell, that's not a downside, that's something you can ignore half the time.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 5:

    Quote Originally Posted by anotherdevil
    Sathra wrote:
    I think you'll probably turn, then stand up and fire, then crouch again when in cover (no returning to original facing). 2 ap-cost-things (one for turning, one for firing, which get combined into a single cost for firing).
    The thing is though that your soldier has to still be facing the wall (to lean against it) at the end of the firing sequence. Can't really lean against a straight wall comfortably at a diagonal, nor would the animation look pretty and clipping may ensue... This may also represent one of the negatives for being in cover, firing from it may stand you up for free (so better shots), but anything not directly in front of you costs you extra (hard to do that turning = costs more AP)

    Not entirely sure what else was suggested, I'm a bit lost at the moment... Will check back later!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Yeah, the standing-up-to-fire-over-cover part doesn't cost anything. Otherwise they just fire crouched.

    You could have my cover-gives-heavy-weapon-boost effect only occur when firing over cover (which is kind of logical) but...meh. Depends on how hard it is to code. Its no biggie really, they could be using the cover object to brace against recoil or whatever
    (logic! *shakes fist*)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    I'm a bit lost too! I suggest something and then the discussion spins off in all sorts of directions.

    Here are some things to clarify about my posts specifically:

    - Soldiers SHOOT WHILE CROUCHED, no standing up before firing unless you do it manually.
    - Soldiers have a horizontal FIELD OF VIEW of 90 degrees. They have vision over this area and can shoot at targets within this area without turning.
    - The accuracy bonus gained from kneeling only applies to a FOW of 45 degrees. If you attack targets at the edge of your vision, you don't get the bonus. This affects reaction fire as well.
    - Kneeling has the same effect whether or not soldiers are in cover.

    These changes are designed to give the player two options while kneeling. The defensive side of things is kneeling in cover to gain protection. The offensive side is moving to attack enemies and crouching before firing for better accuracy. The FOW reduction is to make kneeling aliens and players more vulnerable to flanking. This ensures that kneeling is not the "optimal" position to be in. There are situations where standing is better.

    Sathra wrote:
    You could have my cover-gives-heavy-weapon-boost effect only occur when firing over cover (which is kind of logical) but...meh. Depends on how hard it is to code. Its no biggie really, they could be using the cover object to brace against recoil or whatever
    (logic! *shakes fist*)
    My interpretation of this was that crouching provides an aiming boost to single shot modes and to automatic fire. The automatic fire bonus applies to any weapon with burst fire. This is to represent how it is easier to control recoil.

    The single shot bonus scales to how "heavy weapon" the item is. For instance, you would get much more of an aiming boost when you are using a precision rifle or a rocket launcher than you would for a pistol.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Tamren wrote:
    I'm a bit lost too! I suggest something and then the discussion spins off in all sorts of directions.
    Welcome to the forums!

    Also, what the heck does FOW stand for?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    Field Of View. As I explained in the fourth sentence which you apparently didn't read. *cocks an eyebrow*
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Then why is it FOW instead of FOV?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Oh, And now that I think about it, there is something odd about the example you gave. Soldiers already have a 45 degree Angle of Fire than they don't have to turn. They do have a 90 degree Field of View though.

    So having the accuracy bonus restricted as you suggest that would require changing how shooting works.

    Next concept! (said in the voice of the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    Sathra wrote:
    Then why is it FOW instead of FOV?
    Because W and V look the same when you post at midnight? Bleh, sorry about the mixup. I don't have time these days to check the forums except at the very end of the day.

    It would really help if I could actually play the game and test out the existing mechanics. But like I said at the beginning, THANKS PAYPAL!

    Anyhow, do you think we have enough ideas here to justify kneeling as a whole? I can see the reasons why it was left out, but an XCOM game without kneeling just doesn't make sense to me. You might as well try to take kneeling and prone out of JA2 and replace them with a cover system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Ohhh, well, that kinda makes sense.

    Tamren wrote:
    do you think we have enough ideas here to justify kneeling as a whole?
    Eh, maybe. Its all bit disjointed, and a bunch of them contradict or counteract eachother but its possible to make some kind of acceptable system.
    Is it worth the effort to do so? No idea. I've played the ground combat builds alot, and I don't mind the loss at all. It just takes a bit of getting used to, and they're still rough. I originally felt the same way you did, but was willing to give the benefit of the doubt and was quite happy with the result.
    A well-thought out (or at least mechanically sound) kneeling + cover + standing interaction system would add something, yeah. But making one that everyone can agree on...much more difficult.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Luckily we only have to make one Chris can agree on
    To recap these are the obstacles he would need any system to overcome.

    Chris wrote:
    If you want to have a cover system where units autokneel when in cover, then you can't attach an AP cost to kneeling as otherwise people are going to get annoyed when their soldiers kneel down accidentally and waste valuable APs. This is why there's currently no AP cost attached to kneeling.

    If we therefore add benefits to kneeling, such as a reduced chance to be hit and bonus accuracy, every player would kneel their soldiers before firing and at the end of every turn. They'd also stand them up whenever they wanted to look around, etc - essentially, with no cost for kneeling or unkneeling, you could just choose the ideal stance for each situation. This is just bad game design.

    If you have a cover system where a soldier does not automatically kneel, you could then have manual kneeling with an AP cost attached and you could choose whether to go into cover or not by kneeling when in the tile. You could also kneel at will out in the open, and get the associated accuracy and size reduction boost. However, that's a less intuitive way to use the cover system compared to how it currently works - this can be mitigated by having the UI button glow when in cover, but it's still not as good as having the system do it automatically.

    It also has the issue that it'd be difficult to tell whether a unit was in cover or not at a glance. Under the present system, kneeling = in cover. Much easier to read at a glance.
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Page 6 part 1:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    I guess the XCOM grognard part of me is bigger than I thought. I'm just worried that cover is going to become the be-all and end-all in combat. If cover is so important then it might end up everywhere, even in places where it wouldn't make any sense. A lot of games have overdone the system to the point where all levels have a specific geometry and it starts to break immersion. Hopefully that won't happen here
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    First point - this could be covered by saying that an AP cost for manual kneeling could actually be a penalty for being out of cover.
    Being in cover you use it for free, being out of cover you have to use AP to protect yourself.

    Second point - this was why I would prefer to either add a cost for manual kneeling or make the benefits of both be mainly applicable in the alien turn. (i.e. your reaction fire and cover from alien fire)

    Third point - I agree that automatic use of cover is a better system, can't really come up with a reason to stand and refuse to use the cover if it has no real drawbacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Tamren wrote:
    'm just worried that cover is going to become the be-all and end-all in combat.
    The be all and end all of x-com combat was kneeling.
    You use it for offensive fire or defence against alien fire.
    The only reason not to kneel was the very occasional situation where you needed to run a long way, even then I would usually save enough to kneel rather than to take a reaction shot.
    I think that is part of what Chris wants to avoid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Bah reposted an earlier post that vanished only to have it appear afterwards... I give up for now.


    Tamren wrote:
    A lot of games have overdone the system to the point where all levels have a specific geometry and it starts to break immersion. Hopefully that won't happen here
    I agree with you there.
    I think the important thing to remember though is that the levels here aren't scripted fps style corridors.
    The levels will be semi random layouts and the objectives will not be in the same place every time.
    There should be no need for huge amounts of random cover items dotted around for no reason.
    Even if you tried to do that you would be unlikely to get it right as the enemy would probably not be where you expected them to be when you designed your field of small walls.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamren
    Gauddlike wrote:
    To recap these are the obstacles he would need any system to overcome.
    Indeed, looking back through this thread and the other one too it seems that we have gone in all sorts of directions trying to solve the issues. The one I always came back to was this:

    Gauddlike wrote:
    If you have a cover system where a soldier does not automatically kneel, you could then have manual kneeling with an AP cost attached and you could choose whether to go into cover or not by kneeling when in the tile. You could also kneel at will out in the open, and get the associated accuracy and size reduction boost. However, that's a less intuitive way to use the cover system compared to how it currently works - this can be mitigated by having the UI button glow when in cover, but it's still not as good as having the system do it automatically.
    Would it really be that bad if this was how it worked? You can only have handholding up to a point before it starts to detract a little from the game. When I first played XCOM I didn't even HAVE a manual. All of the learning I did was sink or swim and a lot of casualties.

    The autokneel cover system does have its benefits. But when you think about it for a second.. If soldiers only kneel when they are in cover, you still need some way of determining which tiles have cover on them right? Otherwise the only way to find cover would be to walk a soldier onto each prospective square until he crouches. And if you DO have such a cover indicator, whats wrong with the manual system?*

    The box selector "cursor" in XCOM was always yellow. You could simply make the box selector turn green when it is over a cover tile.

    Gauddlike wrote:
    The only reason not to kneel was the very occasional situation where you needed to run a long way, even then I would usually save enough to kneel rather than to take a reaction shot. I think that is part of what Chris wants to avoid.
    Well this is an easy issue to fix. We have a cover system now remember? Just give the player every incentive to use the cover system. But leave the option of manual kneeling open where you really need it.

    The only reasons NOT to kneel in cover is if:
    a. You need to do something that cover would impede (like long distance movement)
    or
    b. There is no cover.

    Kneeling into cover is free. Kneeling outside of cover has a cost. Simple enough? If you combine that with my green selection box, all of the bases are covered. There shouldn't be any reason why this wouldn't work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike
    Tamren wrote:
    Otherwise the only way to find cover would be to walk a soldier onto each prospective square until he crouches.
    You could just look at the cover indicator.
    When you mouse over a square you get a set of boxes that show angles of cover from that point.
    For example:

    The grey shows poor, yellow intermediate and green the best cover.
    Where there is no bar (beside the yellow on the first pic) there is no cover from those angles.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathra
    Tamren wrote:
    Kneeling into cover is free. Kneeling outside of cover has a cost.
    If its free, might as well auto-kneel anyways.

    I don't think the cover indicator is permanent, its only on mouseover (its less...obstructive that way). I think Chris' concern with manual kneeling costing AP and auto-cover being free is that it doesn't quite make sense. Its confusing for new players (and looks like a bug).

    The final rough concept I came up with didn't actually fix that, and ended up with a bunch of strange less-than-logical effects for very stance. We'll say that stance-changing has no cost.
    Auto-cover = increased turning cost, but protective bonus and accuracy bonus for burst fire and heavy weapons.
    Manual kneeling = Reduced effective range, but* protective bonus and accuracy bonus for burst fire.
    Standing = Reaction bonus (or either type of kneeling giving a penalty). No protection bonus, but no penalties.

    They all have obvious uses and none of them are exactly ideal. (well, auto-cover is pretty good and standing is less than perfect, but...)
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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