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Thread: Burst Fire Update

  1. #11
    Art Lover Max_Caine's Avatar
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    Would that then push the idea of circle-based targetting? If full-auto generates a lot of shots, if you have it cone-based then that means a lot of stray shots that will whistle by the target and hit anything else in the way. A circle-based system would ensure that the shots go in roughly the right area, adding a measure of control to where the burst of shots go.

    EDIT: I just rapidly prototyped fully automatic by fiddling the weapons_gc.xml file. The only way that I can describe a machinegun firing 25 shots off all at once is WAAAAAGH DAKKADAKKADAKKA.
    Last edited by Max_Caine; 08-23-2012 at 16:26.

  2. #12
    Chris, I think you're struggling with the concept of AREA Fire for suppression vs. aimed fire to kill a specific target. Area Fire is usually only conducted by entire military units and/or those armed with fully automatic weapons and plenty of ammo. In the Xenonauts world only vehicles with MG's and the M-60 soldier could/should attempt this. The assault rifle really isn't designed for this and it would require many men and a lot of ammo firing at the same building or whatever to do what a single M-60 or vehicle MG could do. Additionally, a lot of small arms are mechanically limited to short bursts because the military found that soldiers were wasting a lot of ammo. The main exception being sub-machineguns. My opinion is that in ground scale of Xenonauts and mission type I'm not sure this tactic would be used.

    If you really want to do this my suggestion is not to fire in a "circle", but instead to have a separate order for MG's to fire in either a vertical or horizontal line (in relation to the facing of the MG) of say 5 to 6 squares with maybe double or triple the normal number of rounds you are using now. Maybe use the center of the sweep as the aim point. All you need to do is randomly roll a chance to fire through/into any of squares in the sweep pattern maybe plus or minus a couple of additionally squares i.e. outside the intended pattern. That will scatter the shots nicely. It also mean some tiles will get "hit" multiple times while others won't get hit all. Again this is realistic. In essence you will randomly target the terrain tiles not the a unit. In any of the targeted squares if someone happens to be there then proceed with your hit calculations. Obviously, this will be VERY bad for civilians in the "beaten zone". That ought to be good enough to do what you want.
    Last edited by StellarRat; 08-23-2012 at 17:08.

  3. #13
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    It's what machine guns do. They really carve up the landscape.
    It can only work if reloading is a major factor and your ammo evaporates like whisky on St.Patrick's day.

    And at short range, where the range/damage reduction wouldn't count?
    "It" would need one helluvalot of armour to shrug off half a belt of 7.62mm ammo.
    Most things would turn into hamburger.
    But... then you might end up with an empty and slow to reload weapon quite close to the friends of the unlucky target.
    I guess I just don't see the possibility of having to reload as a massive drawback to firing that many MG rounds into a target in a single turn.
    Especially when most troops are lucky to get more than a couple of shots off in the same turn.

    Reloading time is a bit of a non issue in a turn based game for me.
    At worst it means you have to keep your head down for a turn.
    If that gives you two turns of obliterating everything in sight it seems like a small price to pay.
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  4. #14
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    OK, some useful suggestions. First thing to say is I don't want to disrupt the existing combat model too much. Therefore I don't want to change weapon ranges based on shot mode, nor do I want to add two burst fire modes (semi and full auto).

    To be honest, I would rather have a single shot mode and a full auto mode than a single shot mode and a burst fire mode. The reason is that burst fire is much like a single shot, whereas full auto has an entirely different role. Therefore when I refer to "burst fire" I actually mean "full auto".

    A template based system like suggested in my original post would be a pain in the ass to implement. Requires lots of extra graphics and the like, so I'd prefer to do something else if we can come up with a plausible alternative.

    I quite like the idea that burst fire has the same AP cost for the first bullet as an unaimed single shot, and then additional bullets have a fixed AP cost (which can vary per weapon) to fire. Burst fire would just consume APs until either the weapon runs out of bullets or the soldier runs out of APs. You don't have a lot of control over the length of the burst then, but implementing a control system for that would be a nightmare and would lean towards overcomplication.

    For accuracy, you could then use the JA2 system where the first shot is at normal (unaimed) accuracy and the following ones rapidly decline in accuracy (eventually reaching a minimum percentage). Again, I guess the accuracy drop off per shot and minimum percentage for accuracy could be set individually per weapon.

    For suppression, you can then have bullet-based suppression for burst fire. You'd just use the basic single-shot suppression value, but then each bullet fired might add a fixed number to that.

    I think that could work. In graphics terms, I think we'd have to get rid of the individual bullets and just show the impact points. Although quite how that would translate into lasers and plasmas, I don't really know..

    Naturally, we may have to increase reload costs if they're not enough of a barrier to repeated auto fire - although there's also the danger of running out of ammo too. But the beauty of the system is that later in the game when you have to manufacture your own ammo, auto fire would hurt you in the bank balance too
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
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  5. #15
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    I personally dislike the idea of using the JA2 accuracy system... but at least you aren't going to show every bullet while using that system which would be my biggest gripe.

  6. #16
    Captain Quartermaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    For accuracy, you could then use the JA2 system where the first shot is at normal (unaimed) accuracy and the following ones rapidly decline in accuracy (eventually reaching a minimum percentage). Again, I guess the accuracy drop off per shot and minimum percentage for accuracy could be set individually per weapon.
    My apologies that this will be a bit technical, but I wanted to simply make a recommendation regarding how to do this. Rather than having a fixed decrease in the accuracy with each shot I would recommend using a multiplier that uses values less than 1. This would require at least 1 additional parameter for each weapon (I think the existing parameter of recoil would be fine). Essentially the first shot in a burst would have the same value as whatever the normal accuracy would be for a single shot, the second shot's accuracy would be the first shot's accuracy times the multiplier, the third shot's accuracy would be the second shot's accuracy times the multiplier, etc. Algebraically this could be set up so that each shot will have the following accuracy:

    Base Accuracy * Recoil ^ (Shot# - 1),

    where Base Accuracy is the set accuracy of the burst, Recoil is the value of the recoil parameter, and Shot# is which shot in the burst it is.

    There are two good reasons for using this method. The first is that the drops in accuracy are not linear. What you will see if you plot the accuracy points, is that the first to second shot creates the largest drop in accuracy (which is true with burst fire). The rate in the decrease in accuracy becomes slower over time which could be thought of as the soldier compensating somewhat for the burst. Secondly, this method asymptotes at 0 which means that it will never become 0 no matter how many shots are fired which prevents a number of errors from occurring.

    There are 2 things I would think about adding to this simple method of burst fire accuracy. The first would be a additive modifier to the recoil parameter (that can max at 1) when the firing unit has a piece of cover that they could prop the weapon on when firing at the target. This could be a uniform addition across weapons or you could set it up as a parameter for individual weapons. You may want to do the latter so that propping up carbines is not as beneficial as it is for a rifle. The second thing I would think about adding would be a minimum burst accuracy value for each weapon so that the asymptote is higher. The easiest way of implementing this would be to have it check the accuracy of each shot and if it is below the minimum value, it is set equal to it. An alternative would be to change the earlier equation to:

    ((Base Accuracy - Min. Accuracy) * Recoil ^ (Shot# - 1)) + Min. Accuracy

    The downside to this method is that Min. Accuracy and Recoil do not function independently so the rate of accuracy decreasing per shot would be a little more difficult to look at.
    Last edited by Quartermaster; 08-24-2012 at 15:20. Reason: Rewording

  7. #17
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    To be honest, I would rather have a single shot mode and a full auto mode than a single shot mode and a burst fire mode. The reason is that burst fire is much like a single shot, whereas full auto has an entirely different role. Therefore when I refer to "burst fire" I actually mean "full auto".
    I was struggling to find a place for limited shot bursts to be honest, full auto alone seems like a better solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Burst fire would just consume APs until either the weapon runs out of bullets or the soldier runs out of APs. You don't have a lot of control over the length of the burst then, but implementing a control system for that would be a nightmare and would lean towards overcomplication.
    You can already do something to control the full auto burst length by using your reserve AP slider.
    Setting a higher AP reserve would allow a smaller burst.
    You could then drop the reserve down lower and have a bit of free AP to change position or get into cover.
    Alternatively you could set the AP reserve to the highest and move around freely until you hit that limit and then use what is left for a burst.

    Graphically speaking if you just turned the delay between shots right down you would just see a stream of bullets/laser beams that was a couple of seconds long wouldn't you?
    That doesn't seem too bad.
    Or are you concerned about the bullet tracking camera?
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  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Naturally, we may have to increase reload costs if they're not enough of a barrier to repeated auto fire - although there's also the danger of running out of ammo too. But the beauty of the system is that later in the game when you have to manufacture your own ammo, auto fire would hurt you in the bank balance too
    I don't think that is going to limit the M-60 much. It has 300 round belt (in game) if I remember right. The barrel would start to overheat before you ran out of ammo. Perhaps a better solution would be to make excessive use of long bursts damage, temporarily disable, or even destroy the weapon. I'm still not convinced that this whole "full auto" thing really adds much to the game though. Also, what about weapons that can only fire three round bursts by design? Like the M-16. It sounds like you are going to take away this option.
    Last edited by StellarRat; 08-24-2012 at 16:41.

  9. #19
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    The machine gun has a 50 round belt in game.
    The amount of turns that would last would be entirely dependant on the cost per additional round
    You might be firing 5 or 25 in a turn depending on how the numbers balance.

    What other weapons in the game can only fire three rounds by design?
    Personally I would swap the assault rifle model over to the AK to stop people worrying about M-16 fire modes.
    Don't know how obvious that would be regarding the ground combat models though, might not be workable.
    Quick solution would be to suggest in the Xenoapedia that the Xenonauts X-16 assault rifle is a modified M-16 with fully automatic capability.

    Actually adding an option to the weapons_gc to limit the maximum number of shots that could be fired on full auto would be nice.
    You could leave some weapons with burst fire then or modders could add some in later.
    You could use the existing shotcount with any number above 0 limiting the weapon to that many shots.
    Devil's Advocate and forum moderator

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike View Post
    The machine gun has a 50 round belt in game.
    The amount of turns that would last would be entirely dependant on the cost per additional round
    You might be firing 5 or 25 in a turn depending on how the numbers balance.

    What other weapons in the game can only fire three rounds by design?
    Personally I would swap the assault rifle model over to the AK to stop people worrying about M-16 fire modes.
    Don't know how obvious that would be regarding the ground combat models though, might not be workable.
    Quick solution would be to suggest in the Xenoapedia that the Xenonauts X-16 assault rifle is a modified M-16 with fully automatic capability.

    Actually adding an option to the weapons_gc to limit the maximum number of shots that could be fired on full auto would be nice.
    You could leave some weapons with burst fire then or modders could add some in later.
    You could use the existing shotcount with any number above 0 limiting the weapon to that many shots.
    Any of your solutions would work for me. The older M-16s did have full auto capability and, of course, the AK is not limited. I agree that being able to limit if you want is a good idea (specially since it's already in the game.) I could have sworn the clip for the M-60 said 300 rounds. Maybe I'm crazy.

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