1 pointI f-ing LOVED the lore and art and music of X1, I loved innovations in air combat, but the combat missions were sluggish and unengaging for me. I remember one of the mods improving on it, but nothing really came even close to the immersion of the combat of JA2 for me – everything about it was so thought through and balanced, it felt REALLY engaging. I would LOVE to see X2's combat resemble JA2 more. Granted JA2 combined real-time and turn-based and that had it's huge effect. I doubt smth like that will be implemented in X2, but still there are many other features and details that can be. So my question is for those who has played JA2, X1 and experienced the X2 beta – has combat become more dynamic, meaning more stuff happening in one turn, and does the battle map feel more alive now than before? The question is specifically about the pace of things, and about there being more available actions. (What I can think of in JA2 that made it's combat feel alive: standing/crouching/prone, stealth movement/fast movement, single/burst/auto firing and multitude of weapons, hearing enemies movements, hearing amplifier, idle animations, background sounds, movement/swimming sounds, it felt like shots echo across the map, wounded enemies leave blood trails, wounded enemies bleed out, enemies sneak/camp/react to what's happening – stupidly or intelligently according to their level, detection dependent on body position/lighting/camouflage/sunglasses/night-vision-goggles, time of day and appropriate lighting and sounds, weather like thunderstorms/sandstorms/etc with sounds, crows here and there that flied away, cool realistic death animations, shooting someone in a leg made them fall to the ground, aiming at different body parts legs/torso/head even in burst/auto mode, in burst/auto mode click and drag made shots spread, bullets flight felt fast realistic kinetic although visible, sounds of hits and enemies pain screams, all actions animated... I guess I could go on, but this is just what I could come up with off the top of my head. Also, and this one is HUGE – many actions could be performed in one turn, and time units were dependent on soldiers skill and state.) So I have this image in my head, as an example of how to make battlemaps more alive. For example in industrial style map I imagine theses huge animated cranes that keep loading/unloading cargo onto the ships, and maybe even crane operator civilians stop working and run if they hear shooting/combat; maybe even some forklifts on the ground doing something similar, moving cargo around; animated water would make it feel SO MUCH MORE alive. Or for countryside maps some cows grazing. And many more civilians running around in panic, this really makes the world feel more alive. In general more surroundings being animated with appropriate sounds would make the world feel more alive and immersive. JA2 did the animations only in real-time mode, but I feel that even in turn-based only mode of Xenonauts animations would feel appropriate, otherwise the world feels frozen and unimmersive. Maybe I am mistaken, who knows. Please share your points of view.
1 point@mclangSo I watched some X2 footage and it turns out some of the things I describe are already implemented, like some idle animations. But what I noticed immediately is the same square by square division of the map, which now feels like an apparent immersion-breaker – the structure of the map should be more realistic and natural, and it will HUGELY improve immersion. X-Com didn't have this separation into "sectors" by some unrealistic walls, it feels more like a battle simulator than a real battle. Death animations are kinda unimpressive, there is no weight to the falling body, it falls like a paper cutout. And it would be cool if effects were animated too, like suppression (cowering holdind one's head), being wounded (checking out the wound and being blooded), a shield breaking (soldier throwing the shield away and leaving it visible on the ground), etc. Also fog of war breaks immersion a lot in my view, both the black and the grey one – constantly seeing your blind spots takes away from the tension and suspense and not knowing the area does not make sense because you arrive seeing everything from bird's-eye view. Also there are no background noises, which makes the map silent like a sterile environment – animals, wind, water, etc., would make it feel so much more alive. I feel it's better to not show the area effect of grenades, it would feel much more realistic and unpredictable. And the smoke spreading slowly instead of instantly is more realistic and immersive too. This also applies to line of fire – it is better to not show it, it feels like actually aiming a weapon, the line breaks that immersion. This does not apply to movement, because it is more natural to plan the movement, but instead of a line it can be a "line" of some grey "footprints" which is more immersive. "Hidden movement" screen is also incredibly immersion breaking, it interrupts the flow of combat. Removing "Alien/Friendly activity" indicators also would make the combat flow so much better. Just everything happening with no "psychic" indications. That "beep" sound when an action can not be completed is better replaced by visual indications that it can not be done. Or some other more pleasant sound. Keep in mind that the footage I've seen is a few months old (it's of Closed Beta v17). And I would LOVE to see some indication that these suggestions are read by the developers, because I really want this game to be as good as it can get.
1 pointI had a thought after looking at some footage of X1 to remind myself what it looked like – even moving vehicles were not animated, and I forgot about that, that made it all look more like a board game. I hope it'll feel more alive in X2 through animating all of the movements/actions, sounds of those movements/actions, and appropriate immersive background noise. When birds are chirping in JA2 I feel like I am in that forest down there... IDK what is responsible for that feeling, and my guess is that it all comes down to animated actions/movements and immersive sounds. The smoother the animations – more alive it feels. Although without idle animations it's probably much more difficult to do... IDK how the original X-Com managed to create a better atmosphere of the ground combat..it does have a unique somber atmosphere. X1 in my view did not transfer it's atmosphere very well to ground combat. But it's 30 years past the original, and I hope it's possible to bring more life to ground battle maps. Maybe, as an example, if soldiers turned their heads a bit from time to time, or shouldered/unshouldered their weapons from time to time, stuff like that – it's not exactly idle animations, but it would bring more life to the map. The same goes to stuff moving around the map, like civilians manipulating machinery and animals running around on their turn, many more civilians – that would too breathe some life into the surroundings and made it more immersive. I doubt that these things are going to be hard to do. And I hope they are done by the devs, and not expected from modders after release.