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Thread: Hidden movement or boring me?

  1. #31
    Forum Moderator Max_Caine's Avatar
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    Well, if friendly forces and civvies did their own little thing in the player's turn, I can see some consequences of that.

    1) Even though civvies would be programmed to run away from aliens, they would still trigger reaction fire, and friendly forces are likely to be programmed to seek out alien forces, which would trigger reaction fire. A savvy player would sit still and let the ai "do his thing" before taking his own turn, to a) draw reaction fire to allow his own troops to move unmolested and b) prevent stray triggered reaction fire from harming his own troops.

    2) The same savvy player would also sit still and wait to prevent his own bullets from intersecting with the body of a fleeing civvie, or advancing friendly force.

    In both cases, the player is being made to wait for the ai to do his thing to prevent unfavourable outcomes from occuring. And even if the ai npcs went Benny Hill spastic at the start of the turn, that still wouldn't prevent 1) or 2) from occuring. The solution from my point of view is for Yakkety Sax to start playing the moment the Hidden Movement screen comes up, for all ai npcs to go into TURBO HYPER MODE and get their moves done as quickly as the engine will permit.

    EDIT: As an addenum to that, the only ai npcs that I would prefer move at "normal" speed when I see them would be the aliens. It may be a little jarring to see civvies run around like a butterfly on crack, but at least they'd be done quickly.
    Last edited by Max_Caine; 08-22-2012 at 16:41.

  2. #32
    Colonel Gazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Caine View Post
    1) Even though civvies would be programmed to run away from aliens, they would still trigger reaction fire, and friendly forces are likely to be programmed to seek out alien forces, which would trigger reaction fire. A savvy player would sit still and let the ai "do his thing" before taking his own turn
    Again - what's the difference?
    Whether a civilian soaks up an alien's reaction fire in his or your turn wouldn't matter.
    If it happens in your turn you have half a chance to do something about it... eventually improving your score by saving one more life.
    The player gets more control. Gameplay is all about choices. Without them you're better off watching a movie.

  3. #33
    Forum Moderator Max_Caine's Avatar
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    Gazz, if you make an assertion, you, y'know, have to actually back it up. Exactly what control does does the player have when the ai is controlling friendly npcs in the player's turn. Exactly what can the player do?

  4. #34
    ***** Based Madman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    Again - what's the difference?
    Whether a civilian soaks up an alien's reaction fire in his or your turn wouldn't matter.
    If it happens in your turn you have half a chance to do something about it... eventually improving your score by saving one more life.
    The player gets more control. Gameplay is all about choices. Without them you're better off watching a movie.
    If he soaks up to much he dies :-P
    No but in seriousness say the same alien that shot him was in your Los. You could've killed him and saved random civ #4561239
    Or you could've missed or a stray shot killed mr.4561239

  5. #35
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    What about making the civvies be allowed to use action points on the players turn after the player has used X points or Y% of the total points available to him? the action points the civvies and allied military would be allowed to use would be proportional to the action points used by the player (so there would be several points where the allies starts moving during the players turn)

    It would probably be complicated to code though, but it would technically solve the issue Gazz has and probably the issue Gauddlike has with Gazzs suggestion? (as the player gets to move his units first before the civvies trigger) And the player wouldn't be robbed of control during the allied movement. ie sitting around waiting for civvies to find ne and exciting ways to kill themselves)

    Reaction shots could technically become a little bit more annoying. But not so much as to become intolerable. The difference isn't that big between when reaction shots happen because of the players actions.
    Last edited by Gorlom; 08-23-2012 at 00:52.

  6. #36
    Colonel Gazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Caine View Post
    Gazz, if you make an assertion, you, y'know, have to actually back it up. Exactly what control does does the player have when the ai is controlling friendly npcs in the player's turn. Exactly what can the player do?
    I already did. If civs react to gunfire during "their" round which now coincides with "your" round, you have the option of firing somewhere you don't want them going.

  7. #37
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    Again - what's the difference?
    Whether a civilian soaks up an alien's reaction fire in his or your turn wouldn't matter.
    If it happens in your turn you have half a chance to do something about it... eventually improving your score by saving one more life.
    The player gets more control. Gameplay is all about choices. Without them you're better off watching a movie.
    If they move during your turn but you have no control over it then how is that any more choice or control then them having their own turn?
    The only difference that I can see is that you would have less opportunity to respond to their movements because you would not have your own turn to do it in.

    Reacting to fire could happen no matter which turn they moved in and is a separate idea as far as I can tell.

    As for the reaction fire difference I guess that comes down to the turn order.
    If the civvies move after you but before the aliens then they are safer because you will have soaked up some of the reaction fire.
    If they move after the aliens but before you then they are in more danger but your troops are potentially safer.

    I would prefer them to move in the neutral phase along with armed npcs.
    Probably after the Xenonaut turn.
    They have limited AI so might as well be given the extra protection of moving after your troops.
    There is no reason to show the movement of the neutrals though.
    If they are taking fire that should be shown of course, maybe if the armed ones decide to attack then that could also be shown.
    Otherwise it is unnecessary and just makes the turns longer.
    Devil's Advocate and forum moderator

  8. #38
    Forum Moderator Max_Caine's Avatar
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    Well Gazz, I'm afraid can't see what you can see for several reasons.

    For my first reason, consider the basic underlying structure of the game. Each unit takes a discrete turn to complete its set of actions, then once it has done all it can, it cannot take any more actions until the next turn (barring reaction fire which is a special case). The unit is therefore not an active threat before its turn starts, and after its turn is finished. Friendly a.i. can exploit this by being able to take actions that would be risky in a real-time environment that are not risky in a turn based environment. So an ai npc can run across a squaddie field of fire, because the squaddie is not shooting at that point in time. If npcs can take such actions, it fatally diminishes the importance of squaddie shooting as a means of being able to control a.i. npcs, regardless of the particular phase of the game turn.

    Secondly, take the following scenario. Let us assume that the ai npcs move simultaneously with the player. This presents the player with a problem. The computer can react and order npcs much, much faster than the human player can order his troops about, and the computer isn't going to hang about while the human player gets his bearings and figures out a strategy. There wouldn’t be any control in this scenario, whatsoever.

    Thirdly, consider the scenario where the human player takes turns with the a.i. npc in the xenonaut phase to move. This would be better from a control perspective. The human player can develop a better plan to a slowly evolving situation. However, the player is directly exposed to having to wait for each npc in turn to move, which makes for frustrating gameplay in the early part of a mission.

    Gazz, what you appear to suggest is that the npcs move in such a fashion that Xenonauts can intervene before aliens can shoot them up. Well, like Gauddlike says, it would be as efficient to have an npc phase, a xenonauts phase then an alien phase.

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