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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/25/2020 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    UOO-1 Unknown orbital object one first showed up in the GRACE satellite network, originally designed to map the surface gravity of Earth, as a systemic error that was thought to be a simple bug in the analysis software. Since then, we have been able to infer the existence of a 200km spire-like object which actively avoids collisions with the rest of our satellite systems. Of major concern is that UOO-1 seems to pick orbital paths which maximize lines through major cities. Of minor concern is the fact that we've been unable to detect any further evidence of its existence through even our best EM listeners. It was unknown what would happen if we send a probe directly to UOO-1, but with no further investigative options, we decided on that course of action. Yu-Chang Wide Spectrum was launched 14 hours ago. It was the most expensive object we've ever put in LEO outside of the ISS itself and it flew a direct course to UOO-1. As expected, it changed orbit shortly before impact, Yu-Chang adjusted to match and UOO-1 made and impossible maneuver. We know of no material that could have survived such an acceleration, even solid steel would have rendered itself into molten slag subject to those forces. The moment Yu-Chang began its own course correction we lost contact. Six minutes later, we lost London as I'm sure you saw all over the news before boarding the Skyhawk. High-speed photography, as part of our nuclear war early warning systems, indicate the city was destroyed by a light-speed beam (most likely a laser) in the exa-watt range burrowing through the atmosphere, turning our own sky into super heated plasma and allowing it to detonate like an air-burst nuke. The resulting EMP should have only been powerful enough to knock out local electronics, not the worldwide shut down that's rendered most modern military technologies fried and useless. Why and how UOO-1 created this beam is unknown, but the immense heat has revealed some orbital anomalies in the IR-spectrum. We are currently investigating. Considering how quickly it went from a passive to an active agent, further London events are not out of the question and may happen again soon. The good news is that the nations of the world banded together over this event rather than starting World War 3. The bad news is that we are at war and know next to nothing about our enemy. This organization was created in 1957 shortly after the Iceland Incident (see attached briefing) and sadly has had very little funding since. Much of our equipment is obsolete by today's standards and while our budget has been massively increased as of this morning, we are no where near ready to take on the alien threat. You are in charge, commander. This is the only international cooperative and it may be humanity's final hope. What are your orders?
  2. 1 point
    Even in the original X-Com, building more bases always felt like it was just another place to store radars, hangers, and whatever you ran out of room for back home. I've been thinking back to other games let you build multiple bases around the world and fill them how you like and the one that I enjoyed the most came from Endgame: Singularity. While in that game you're an AI that goes from renting server time, to building warehouses, to labs, to camouflaged bases. Each with their own set of bonuses and debuffs, prereqs and research enablers. Translating that mechanic would look something like your typical starting military base. Perhaps even having it on the surface to start. Researching the alien engine from your first UFO would unlock a catapult for your airships. "We can't activate the reactionless fields outside of laboratory conditions, but we can convert our hangers to support those conditions. While the range is only line of sight outwards, it will give our fighters and dropships a boost on launch. Incidentally this also enables to launch any vessel we want without a runway, finally enabling us to run an entire war from underground. At the very least, a few feet of rock will completely protect us from the aerial attack runs we've been seeing." With the hyperwave decoder, you'd be able to shield a new, smaller base from detection and get a chance to evacuate a base before it comes under attack. "Until now, we were unable to determine what the aliens use for sensors. Certainly they don't use radar or range finders, I imagine we're at least smart enough to hear their pings if they're done in a more conventional medium. With the discovery of hyperwaves, however, we finally have a way to listen and they have much to say. All of it encrypted beyond belief. Thankfully, our own experiments have given us some insights into hyperwave pings and it should be easy enough to disguise a complex military base as nothing more than stone, assuming the base is small enough and built from the ground down in the required acoustic shape." By figuring out the shields of the later ships, you'd be able to build a larger base which can't be destroyed by the orbital laser and, importantly, gives you a ten day respite from city destruction the first time they try. "Right now, we're a hard target surrounded by easy prey. Though the aliens certainly won't give up their efforts to stop us, at the least, we've bought ourselves some time." Alien alloy reforging would let you build a base underwater, making it completely safe from outside attack. "Perhaps the most remarkable feature is that it self-seals under even the lightest pressures. The days of leaks and wall maintenance are over, so long as you don't mind the colour. Alien paint has yet to be discovered and I don't have the time to invent it, perhaps after the invasion I'll find a way to keep my lab white without worrying about repairs every time something explodes. Speculation aside, the applications of alloy reforge are uncountable and of special note to some of my MarineLab colleges, we'll be able to construct underwater labs (and bases) which not even UOO-1 can breech." Singularity fields (like the naked singularities from Xenonauts 1) would enable tiny labs with massively increased research speeds. "The equipment maintaining it would be too sensitive to allow anyone untrained inside, but with a space to work without fear of detection or oversight, we can perform the high energy research that we've been missing since the targeted destruction of all our particle accelerators." Plasma weapons research would unlock magma bases for cheaper, faster, and less resource intensive manufacturing and otherwise be a base with unlimited energy. "More an equation than a device, the aliens have been using the energy of the plasma itself to keep their rounds contained. Indeed, this equation applies to anything hot enough that with even the tiniest paramagnetic imprint and like all equations, it can be reversed. With just the right starting conditions, we can turn the mantel of the earth itself into a nearly endless battery. The heat of the magma would power the internal cooling and anything else we can bring along. Those engineers have been asking me to find a way to run an arc furnace full time and I can honestly say I've outdone their request." And finally, an end game base when you research the drives powering the largest UFOs. "They have their base in the skies. It's time to make ours."
  3. 1 point
    I don't have early access but have been waiting patiently for X2 for a while. Every few months I dip back into the forums to see how much progress has been made. I don't necessarily say this in a negative way, but it sounds like a large number of changes planned for X2 have been replaced by exactly the same mechanics in X1, often after (maybe not as a result of) complaining on these forums. Things that spring to mind are base mechanics and air combat. Whereas I hoped X2 would be able to evolve X1 in some positive ways, it seems that is not happening. Rather it's going to be the same thing with better graphics. That probably suits a lot of people here, but I can't help thinking it could have been more adventurous.
  4. 1 point
    The biggest stumbling block that I can see to archetypal bases is something that Alienkiller has brought up indirectly - cost. It's hella expensive to produce the assets for base assault missions but if you want to provide at least an X1 experience in X2 (which would be the baseline for X2), there's no choice in the matter - every building type in a base needs its own set of unique assets. The only way to minimise costs is to make base assets uniform, so what you see in one base you will see in every base, so as nice as it might be, unless some kind benefactor throws Goldhawk several million, I think costs will make it unfeasble.
  5. 1 point
    I regularly check these forums but rarely post; this thread’s title did make me take notice though, because I’ve been thinking along the same lines for a while. I bought into the earlier bold ideas for X2, and although they may have eventually proven to be unfeasible, I do feel a bit disappointed every time something is “rolled back”. Still, I’m sure Chris and co. will make something awesome. I suggested some ideas a while back for X1 that didn’t make the cut, but in the spirit of positive contribution, will throw them into the hat again My main idea is to have a new mission type where you’re exclusively controlling local forces. The situation could be something like an allied military bunker is under attack by aliens. There’s not enough time for the Xenonauts to get there, but there’s a radio link set up so you (the player) can command the local forces. Imagine controlling a large team troops armed with basic weapons (rifles, shotguns etc.) against a horde of Reapers. It could lead to great Aliens-esque missions. The odds of your team all getting wiped out are high, but in contrast to regular missions, it’s not a game over / rage quit situation if that happens. There are a lot of ways in which you could use this kind of a premise. Maybe if your troops hold the base’s hanger for x turns, then your main Xenonaut troops turn up as reinforcements and take the fight to the enemy. Or if the aliens take the radio room then you lose contact and it’s mission over. Basically, I think this could be a way of mixing up the gameplay as a sequel arguably should, and adding more variety in a way that hopefully isn’t a huge burden from the development side of things (i.e. it would use existing assets such as character models). Separate to this, secondary mission objectives that crop up unexpectedly (e.g. rescuing a civilian and carrying them back to the chopper) would add more variety to core missions too. I made a huge list of options in a forum thread what must have been literally years ago, but can’t find it now!
  6. 1 point
    To be honest, I suspect both I and a lot of people in the community would be disappointed if we don't deliver a game that improves on the gameplay of X1 as well as the graphics. We'll also be doing our best to include features that mean a lot to small groups of people - e.g. good mod tools for the modding community, large font mode for people with bad eyesight / small monitors, etc - but we're also going to be improving the core gameplay experience too. The majority of players just play the vanilla experience so we can't rely on tuning the more specialist things.