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Thread: V8 Balance Changes Required?

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  1. #1
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    V8 Balance Changes Required?

    OK, so I want to make V8 playable when it goes out as a press build. This thread is intended for people to provide suggestions on equipment that is over or under powered, or suggestions on what would make the game more balanced.

    This is assuming the bugs get fixed, of course - the Ferret won't have nil fire cost and so on. So what does everyone think? This applies across all parts of the game.
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
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  2. #2
    Captain Quartermaster's Avatar
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    These have been my thoughts regarding balancing ground combat:

    1. The shotgun's power needs upped so that it has a 50/50 chance of killing the guards. At this point the shotgun is worse at going into a building than the rifle, because the shotgun cannot fire a burst to kill the guard without the guard getting the chance to fire back when wounded.

    2. Explosives seem underpowered in general. When I fire a rocket at a building, it just doesn't feel right that it doesn't put a hole in it and the area of destruction seems about a tile in radius too small.

    3. The Ferret machinegun turret is amazing compared to the Ferret rocket launcher turret. This could probably be balanced by increasing the power of the rockets and adding two rockets to the clip.

    4. It might just be what we have available to fight at the beginning of the game, but the sniper rifle feels like it should do more damage.

    5. More randomness in general regarding damage. I remember instances in X-Com where a sectoid sometimes took 3 hits to drop and other where they only took 1.

    Air Combat:

    1. A pair of sidewinder missiles need to be capable of taking down a scout.

    2. Fuel usage seems too fast in air combat although it does tend to lead to some interesting combat scenarios.

  3. #3
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    As discussed here:
    http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/f...ther-balancing

    In the next build upfront purchase costs of interceptors will be doubled but maintenance costs halved.

    Thanks for your comments Quartermaster. Other people's opinions on similar issues would be valued too.
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
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  4. #4
    Moderator Sathra's Avatar
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    Big one from me is the reaction fire for the aliens. Its murderous, and especially jarring when I see one run from the edge of visual range to behind my troops perimeter around the Chinook, and still manage to reaction fire twice. That's happened 6 times now, and its often hard to avoid being shot by moving up from behind.
    That and they RF from turning, which as an X-com vet is disturbing, but that's not a major thing.

    Hmm, for the beta build? I'd up the Guard's armour 5-10 points. Makes a much tougher prospect, and gives Sniper rifles and shotguns a better show due to their armour mitigation.
    (Checked the files, is Wolf armour meant to have the same stats as Jackal?)

    Not sure what else I can think of. Minor balancing for weapons? Last time I did so it was mostly dropping the AP costs of everything a bit as well as the accuracy. Did seem to flow a bit better, might still have the edited file around somewhere if you want it.
    Common wisdom proposes that at minimum 60% of the field of engagement should be rubble and/or on fire. As such the munitions budget has been increased 50%. Operations debriefs have shown that 15% is insufficient for current combat requirements.
    Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

  5. #5
    I agree with Quartermaster that the shotgun and sniper rifle both seemed underpowered. Is there a critical hit system in place? That was what caused the 3 hits versus 1 hit feel in xcom. A head shoot to save your butt was always nice!

    Also agree on the underwhelming explosives. I have stopped using them in all forms. Once the ferret ap bug is fixed, that might change as a rocket will do more damage per ap than the machine-gun.

    Reaction fire seems to be a little overpowered currently especially while just turning. Maybe decrease the radius from behind that would trigger rf to about 2/3rds what it is now.

  6. #6
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    It's possible that a redution of AP cost to fire and accuracy across the board could be useful, as Sathra says. That would add a lot more utility to weapons like sniper rifles that could have much more accuracy added by the zoom levels than at present.
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
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    @GoldhawkInt

  7. #7
    Elected Chryssalid Hugger anotherdevil's Avatar
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    I agree with all of the above, especially the accuracy of the aliens and their ability reaction fire accurately when you are walking up behind them. Does anyone else think they have too large a sight radius over our soldiers? I kept advancing and, while saving for reaction shots, couldn't get close enough for 2 turns to see them, while they were quite happy peppering my troops. Though that might have had to do with the alien who was invisible and under the wing of the UFO...
    Last edited by anotherdevil; 12-19-2011 at 22:16. Reason: my fingers didn't type what my mind though
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

  8. #8
    Captain Quartermaster's Avatar
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    This is just my opinion, but I think the following approach might work well. There are two main things (and plenty of little things) that need done for the press build. They are getting the scout ufo crash working correctly and changing how reaction fire works for the aliens to be a bit more fair. While those are getting done we could have a separate thread where we tweak the values on the initial level of ballistic weaponry to find a nice balance. The value changes that we are discussing do not necessarily need to be done on Chris' end exclusively. Much like Sathra has done maybe we could share some weaponry files to test a variety of options.

    I propose the following methodology to get this to move swiftly. I say we start with Sathra's value set and get about 5 of us to test it for a few battles. After that we all come back, give feedback, and do another iteration. Once we have done this about 5 times we would probably have a pretty decent balance for the ballistic weaponry.

    Would this approach be useful for you Chris or are you mainly interested in getting a rough approximation at this point?

  9. #9
    Moderator Sathra's Avatar
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    Found the file. Its from V7.5 but should be easy enough to update. Guess I'll have to modify the laser weapons too, if anyone wants to try it out.
    Common wisdom proposes that at minimum 60% of the field of engagement should be rubble and/or on fire. As such the munitions budget has been increased 50%. Operations debriefs have shown that 15% is insufficient for current combat requirements.
    Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

  10. #10
    Not a matter of balance but I think it's an important issue to raise.

    Does the line of sight in ground combat affect the aliens the same way that it does our soldiers?

    What actually provokes a reaction?

    Just for kicks I have modified my squad of soldiers to have 99 on all their abilities.

    A soldier bearing an assault rifle was approaching an alien facing 180 degrees away from the line of approach.

    This was after the alien has moved during their turn.

    The approaching soldier has full 99 APs on a fresh turn.

    The alien still managed to turn and fire in reaction.

    So my question is, does the same mechanics work for the aliens or do they have something special?

    Better senses? Better detection gadgets?

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