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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/24/2019 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    Hello everyone - hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year in whatever form you may celebrate it! Although progress on the project has been a little slower than we would have liked over the past month or so, things are still moving forward. The biggest roadblock for recent releases has been this bug on the Experimental branches where the game sometimes freezes up on the loading screen when you try to start a new game. This is obviously quite a serious bug but it has proved rather difficult to track down - and it's now looking like it may be an issue with Unity rather than Xenonauts 2 (it's an issue that occurs when we try to quickly load multiple Asset Bundles at the same time). We're still considering our next move; it's not an easy problem to solve. I've spent most of my time working on writing the research projects in the game, including the plot-related research that drive the game forward. Unfortunately this is something that requires a lot of focus; I can't write effectively if I'm being distracted every ten minutes (this is why I've not spent much time on the forums recently). I've come up with acceptable explanations for fundamental things like Alien Alloys and Alenium, and some of the key alien technologies - if all goes well the next build the early stages of the game will have the first draft of their research text in place rather than just blank space or bullet points! At the same time I've been doing basic testing of the tech tree with regards to the strategy layer. This involves playing the game but using the developer cheats to just auto-win every ground combat without playing it, so it primarily ensures that all the UFOs are spawning correctly and dropping the correct items that unlock the appropriate research which itself unlocks all the correct items and aircraft at the appropriate time. However as I am playing the strategy layer "properly" it has exposed quite a few issues on the Geoscape and in the Air Combat that I've now fixed, e.g. it was previously almost impossible to get beyond the point where Destroyers began appearing (they were just instakilling all your planes at great range), and there were still some missions floating about where powerful aliens were appearing far earlier than they should, etc. The rest of the team have been working on several features that are mostly complete but not yet functional, the biggest two being the Modular Armour system and the support for vehicles (the MARS / ARES one-tile vehicles). The coders responsible for these features are now off on their holidays but both features have already been fully implemented in terms of game logic, and we're now just at the stage where we're fixing bugs and usability problems with them. It's impossible to know how long this process will take with any given feature, so both systems might be in the game and ready to play with a couple of days after we return to work ... or we might still be battling through the bugs a couple of weeks later. Let's hope it's the former! The other thing we've mostly completed is setting up all the Kickstarter backer soldiers and portraits. This is a big task that involves a lot of data processing and quite a lot of code work to hook the properties of the custom soldiers up to the rest of the soldier systems that control "normal" soldiers, but it's mostly done - again we're just working through the bugs (like none of the custom soldiers having faces). I expect this feature will only take a few more hours of work to be completed. To conclude, I expect the early parts of January will mostly involve finishing off all these systems and hooking them up to the research tree while I try to fill in as much of the text as possible. That will form the basis of the next public build, at which point I will start working on testing the game as a whole ... which I suspect is going to involve a lot of map design work!
  2. 2 points
    Isn't that what we've got airstrikes for? The downsides of using artillery and using airstrikes is that explosives also destroy the alien gear with the aliens. Gear that you need unharmed, either so you can sell or study it. Also, why would you use artillery in the same area as your soldiers? Fights tend to happen in a small radius around the UFO, a radius that both the aliens and your men will be in. I'm fine with fire support coming from MGs, tanks, and rocket launchers. I think infantry rocket launchers are a lot more effective then artillery would be, because they're more manueverable/selective, less destructive to alien technology, and a lot faster to call in despite their low ammo capacity. I guess you could bombard the area around the UFO before sending your men in, but why wouldn't the aliens just hide in their UFO? Also there's the matter of property destruction and civilian casualties.
  3. 2 points
    Well what is a 2 game supposed to be? It is supposed to be similar to the first game. So of course Xenonauts 2 should be very similar to Xenonauts 1. It should have been a continuation of the story in Xenonauts 1 with new features and gameplay arising naturally from that continuation of the story. Instead the original plan for Xenonauts 2 looked like a really bad version of Xcom: EU. But people got behind Xenonauts 1 in the first place because it wasn't like Xcom: EU. So really the problem was that Xenonauts 2 wasn't originally a continuation of Xenonauts 1! From what I saw of the original changes it was Xcom: EU with worse graphics and worse gameplay. When they made Xcom: EU they decided to heavily focus on making the game a turn based squad game and so creating things like an action cam, soldier abilities, awesome graphics, etc. Xenonauts 2 however would have none of that. It would only have the superficial changes everyone hated about Xcom: EU. Specifically the change to a single base being constructed anthill style and air combat that boiled down to RNG. A good upgrade from Xenonauts that would make satellite bases useful is to allow satellite bases to hold troop units that be used to auto resolve ground combat and create heavier restrictions on the ability of Xenonaut crews to run back to back missions. This would require the player to maintain multiple units ideally in multiple locations to combat the multiple downed aircraft. And since most of the battles will be resolved via an automated system the player won't get bored and tired of resolving the multiple downed UFOs. Nor will they feel they are missing out if they auto resolve the UFOs and therefore feel like they have to play through every single one. This was a huge fault in Xenonauts 1.
  4. 2 points
    You're saying this as if an improved Xenonauts is a bad thing and it has to be something completely different.
  5. 2 points
    Mechanically, it was interesting, but LW2 also felt really soulless to me. Plus side, there's no need to choose, LWOTC is actually out. WOTC was made for Mass appeal, and it's board game setup of strategic layers wasn't meant for thinking too hard about the logistics, it's kind of like comparing a game show and an army base. But yeah, with the soulless problem fixed, and improved performance, LWOTC is a really interesting setup. That said, it only works in that setting. Seeing the infiltrator missions turn into a missions might be a neat way to implement this, but the Xenonauts are basically responding to things instantly, they don't have time for prep, that's what makes it work. (Then it brings the question of why more units aren't sent on either side, why they didn't bring heavier vehicles, why there's no air, and any of the other "why can't we have full military porn, I like guns a lot" greatest hits. ) XDiv seems to walk the line pretty well between the two. You get heavy armor and a free vehicle, your planes are constantly trying to keep some semblance of control above, and there is no point where you don't have a goal to go after. There's lots more locals, and the battles feel very believable. Random Takeaways: Keeping the tech tree crazy over stocked seems to handle keeping the rut away. More enemy types keeps larger battles from getting tedious. Reliable armor keeps RNGesus at Bay. Also feels really good when you break a unit's armor and shred them down. Basically mostly low health and high armor, except for the tanks. Weapons changing mechanics on an individual basis keeps things fresh, LW did this too. Having a free vehicle makes it feel like your people are always doing their best. More weapon types on planes, swapped every Phase, makes the air game feel like aliens are responding to your advances.
  6. 1 point
    Personally, already played beta more than I've played first game. Small little changes here and there made it more enjoyable. - Like ability to break UFO walls make ground mission feel much less grindy as exactly the same UFO can now be breached in a different way - New way of management of Scientist/Engineers feels more engaging, previous version was more of "how much money I spend on these guys" type of thing - I'm loving new sounds, weapons sound like they have a good punch behind them - reworked aliens and characters look pretty good in 3D and it's easier to read "specials" There are other things but this is just what jumped immediately to mind.
  7. 1 point
    It'd also take a few turns for the artillery to come in, turns that the aliens could use to either move away or shoot at you, when you could just fire a rocket at them from a tank or handheld launcher. Ammo capacity is a problem, but artillery in XCOM seems like it'd be too slow to come in during a very fast-paced firefight, run the risk of friendly fire, and destroy alien tech.
  8. 1 point
    Armor should be ablative AND reductive. Not one or the other. No more false dichotomies.
  9. 1 point
    From what I gather, there's been a lot of talk about how armour should be handled in the game. Whether it should be ablative (HP), whether it should work like a spring (% damage reduction), or whether it should work like armour. A scifi setting can justify ablative armour, or DUNE like armour that increases defence according to the level of the threat. But when you're talking about human armour, you're talking about level III kevlar vests using level IV ceramic inserts. It makes sense for human armour to be well within our understanding and seem plausible. Otherwise, what makes the alien scifi armour special, if you start with inertial dampeners or pseudo-magical armour? % Based Armour The issue with % based armours is they feel downright magical, and that any improvement in armour has massive effect, and yet is pretty darn pointless and useless at lower levels. If you have 100 HP and a 5% reduction to damage (we'll ignore types for now), there is very little it can do for you. Any hit above 105 damage will incapacitate you. If damage averages high relative to your health, those 5 points don't make a difference. And if damage averaged even as low as 1 HP of damage, it just means it will take 105 hits to kill you, instead of 100 hits. Meanwhile, if you make it 80%, boy does it look weird. A pistol that inflicts a maximum of 60 damage now only does 12, shaving off 38 points, but still taking off more than a tenth of your health. A .50 cal rifle of 500 max damage is reduced to 100, shaving off 400 points. So, with any damage variance, you can quite easily survive a shot from an anti material rifle, yet can be killed by 9 pistol shots. Balancing % based armour is also really annoying, and it's the same work as balancing straight-damage armour. Ablative Armour Chris covered one of the points against this in the past, HP-based armour. Skilled players make good use of cover, so rarely get shot. Ablative armour is also basically a free hit, which allows you to perform suicidal tactics. If you know you can take three hits before dying, then you might as well act like a maniac until you get hit at least once. You can then rotate other troops in with full armour, until everyone has had a turn playing Rambo. This might be interesting for an action game, but for a tactics game it's just a droll sort of meta game strategy which makes you feel totally secure while fighting 'horrifying' aliens. It also has the issue of turning everyone into MMORPG style bullet sponges, as the game progresses. If you have an armour upgrade, of course it will give you more HP. Whereas before gunfire might've been dangerous and intimidating, it becomes laughable. The suicidal tactics I mentioned become the obvious strategy, as there's no reason to fear Reaction Fire as you rush through the open. To get things back on track, you add in guns with massively more damage, fixing the armour and undoing what it did. Soon, you all wear increasingly bigger pauldrons and use sillier looking axes, until you look like this. The weapons at the start of the game become toys, and you enter an epic league beyond human interest. Balancing ablative armour isn't really hard, it is just pointless. It's great for padding out recent games by turning them into mind-numbingly boring RPGs, that sell XP boosters so you can get them over with faster. Real Armour Real armour has some of the qualities of the above. Like the Ablative, you can try to tank some hits, and play things more riskily. And it is risky, Since like % armour it is possible to be killed by enough pistol shots, so long as one of them goes through your visor. You can't ignore tactics, you still want to use cover and avoid fire, in case your armour fails you. Yet you still get that feeling of power, from wearing armour that lets you shrug off attacks that would surely kill your unarmoured allies. Still, you never shake the feeling of dread, of when an enemy sends a plasma bolt your way. There's not a lot to say about genuine armour... because there isn't anything wrong with it. Straight-damage armour serves its purpose, and it does it well; even if it does it without the fanfare and flashy numbers of modern games. Balancing this isn't as easy as Ablative armour, where you can just pick whatever numbers you feel like, but it is straight forward. Armour is built to withstand certain levels of gunfire, and weapons are designed to pierce that armour, each piece of equipment has its class and its uses in the tactical meta. Additional details: Below are some additional ideas and details for the handling of armour.
  10. 1 point
    Pretty sure it's a bug. You can see that visibility cone calculation is done sporadically during the game. It looked to me that if enemy starts a move outside of your vision then you get that "Hidden Movement" graphics and it doesn't go away till visibility cone is recalculated.
  11. 1 point
    Not to self plug, but this one's been pretty alright https://youtu.be/oVLQgbu0FNs
  12. 1 point
    It doesn't tend to eat it for long, though. In the early game, if you get far ahead enough, you can tank the early enemy shots. Ballistic is easy to resist, but lasers tend to get through. By the end of phase 2, you should still be ok for ballistic, but energy can still get through. By 3, you can take grazing shots, but there's a lot more danger flying your way, and you usually wind up suppressed. By phase 4, many of the weapons can just pierce right through. Lasers have a really good chance of that, most ballistic will shred your overall armor, and things like blood cannons can just be considered to ignore armor, seeing as even if they survive the first hit, the tile damage tick can hit for 50+. The armor is just there to save your units from the chaos that is shredding apart the entire map. In phase 4 you can walk into a hallway, and suddenly have the entire room bleeding out just from scratch damage.
  13. 1 point
    You could always throw in the Silent Storm system on top of a more basic system. All the benefits of a locational system without the technical fudgery. (There's an option in SA that turns on critical debuffs, which give all manner of different injuries, from busted limbs, to bleeding, blindness, unconsciousness, etc. You could have a unit in a mech suit suddenly get knocked out by a sniper shot getting through their armor. Felt really cool)
  14. 1 point
    Simplest answer I've seen would be the New Vegas system. Every armor has a value. The weapon either goes through or doesn't. If it doesn't, the damage is piddly. If it does, it's full. Armor deteriorates with every shot. Super amazingly perfect? No. Better than XDivision? No. Conveys the feeling or armor without layers of systems that all need calibrating? Yes. They got around the energy weapons difference by just having them get a crit modifier on their ammo depending on type, which basically have them random armor piercing. Felt pretty good.
  15. 1 point
    Artillery is a way to avoid having to go in and fight close-quarters combat. In real life, that's great, because when you're the soldier, you don't want to risk your life unnecessarily. It's not great for a game where the whole point is to fight close-quarters combat.
  16. 1 point
    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. You clearly haven't played PP. The enemy AI can run and hide from my Scarab (the starting vehicle you get that's equipped with a long-range indirect-fire weapon) but it's so easy to crack a building with it. In fact, PP is another example of just how unfair artillery is, and that's artillery that's on the map instead of off it.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    I would really love to see some elements of X-Com Apocalypse in *some game* out there. Xenonauts 2 seems like a good target. Specifically, I'm referring to a deep strategic simulation. For example: Aside from having multiple countries to satisfy, different companies could be located around the world, and so could different factions, which could have relationships with each other. The companies could be ones from which you buy your gear at affordable levels, and if their factories get destroyed, prices would go up. If you piss off certain companies, they won't sell to you at all. The companies could also be taken over by aliens. Basically, take what Apocalypse did with one city, and apply it to the globe to make a more interesting simulation. Since it seems like a lot of effort is going into just making the tactical combat good, it might even be worthwhile to make this into a DLC. But somebody needs to do this, and Phoenix Point doesn't quite cut it IMO.
  19. 1 point
    Your UI mockup looks very interesting - health bars near to the units and equipment displayed. If it really is too late in the development cycle to revamp now, your work might qualify as a cool Mod. I really like it.
  20. 1 point
    I personally don't like having super-accurate data. I'd rather have rough visual cues (bleeding, enemy damage model/decals or posture/animation change) or as Jagged Alliance 2 did it, general description (Healthy, Injured, Near Death, etc..)
  21. 1 point
    Also, given I perhaps went off a bit on a tangent there, it's worth mentioning a few specific points about the base mechanics and the air combat. Not sure if you read the associated threads but the base already supports individual scientist / engineer staff assignments to specific buildings, has a power system and we're going to be looking at adjacency bonuses for buildings in the future. In the air combat the interceptors have additional customisable components beyond just weapons and we're looking into adding cover to the battlefield in the form of clouds, adding several new weapons and AI behaviours, experimenting with hit and evade chances, having a "proper" autoresolve formula, etc. Whether you class that sort of stuff as sufficient improvement over X1 is up to you really; it's definitely evolutionary rather than revolutionary change and your mileage may vary. But as I've outlined in several recent posts on the topic it's necessary to first copy the X1 mechanics before you are able to start testing changes to them.
  22. 1 point
    I think it's a valid question to raise, and I'll probably write a longer post on the topic at some point because I imagine you're not the only person thinking this. I guess the question really boils down to what an individual considers sufficient innovation / gameplay change to be "different" to what came before. Over time the design Xenonauts 2 has drifted from being full of bold new ideas to something far more akin to the first game, which mostly happened as a result of those bold ideas colliding with reality and coming up short. The community has definitely played a role in our decision to move X2 closer to X1, but that could be interpreted either as hardcore fans hating change or just people flagging up new ideas that are outright worse than what they were replacing. Both of the changes you mention are in service of a deeper strategic layer than was originally planned in X2. I guess over time I've realised that that complexity in the tactical and strategic layers relative to other games in the genre pretty much IS Xenonauts; a lot of people liked Xenonauts 1 because the strategic layer was more freeform than the modern XCOM games and simplifying the strategy layer as we originally planned in X2 may not actually have been the adventurous choice given that is also what our main rivals have done. I've also found that the various mechanics in X-Com games are so heavily interconnected its difficult to change a major element without negatively affecting other parts of the game; having a simpler air combat model limits the Geoscape more than you might initially think. In general, I think within video games and the strategy genre in particular there's a proud tradition of sequels refining the original game without having to fundamentally change the mechanics. Civilisation II and Master of Orion II spring to mind, but something like Doom II also works for the comparison. If we deliver Xenonauts 1 with updated graphics, better stability and usability, address a number of the gameplay problems, add some new aliens / technology / other content and maybe a couple of well-chosen new gameplay systems to give players more options - is that not enough? Ultimately that's a question of personal taste, really. That said, I do feel bad for people who backed our Kickstarter or bought a pre-order on the basis of our bold promises about new features that have since changed; I think anyone in that situation has a legitimate case to argue they had been missold (which is why I'm happy to offer refunds to such people).
  23. 1 point
    This mod rebalances Reapers and their resulting zombies to fit more in line with the capabilities of their alien brethren. Reapers are now designated more as what they're described to be; used for terror missions. Something to quickly wipe out large civilian populations, but no longer something capable of decimating any organized military resistance they come across in the process... unless it's an Alpha. Expect tougher Alpha Reaper encounters, but easier Reaper encounters, and overall more intuitive gameplay. Reapers and Alpha Reapers now respect the rules of armor and damage, and no longer insta-kill. Reapers should reliably one-hit any civilian, but rarely will it one-hit one of your troops, especially if you're wearing armor. Reaper claws now follow the same rules as other melee weapons, and as such, should be able to miss/be dodged. This may result in some civilians pulling off some Neo shit, dodging Reaper swipes while you move in to save him. This is definitely a feature, not a bug. Alpha Reapers are now capable of attacking vehicles. In fact, they're quite dangerous to armored vehicles. Those claws are built like a Mantis Shrimp's claws, spearing straight through steel into vulnerable crew or electronics. All reapers HP increased by 20. That's 100HP for Reapers and 140HP for Alpha Reapers. Since you'll likely face far fewer of them. Reapers and zombies can attack multiple times per turn Reapers can attack twice and have leftover AP for movement, Alpha Reapers can attack three times. Zombies have just enough AP to attack twice if they don't move. Alpha Reapers have Jackal-level kinetic armor. This makes them harder to kill with conventional and MAG weaponry. Consider bringing a few laser weapons where you know you'll face them. All Zombies die when killed. (Imagine that) Note: This might mean zombies are now capture-able if stunned, but I don't know if the game will like that. Try at your own risk. Alpha Zombies will become reapers after 3 turns, but not if killed before then. Normal Zombies do not turn into Reapers anymore, but this is more or less an arbitrary choice. This may be subject to change in a future version. Reaper Changes (X:CE Default -> Reaper Rebalance) Resilience (HP): 80 -> 100 Accuracy: 200 -> 60 Attack accuracy: 1000 -> 80 (Identical to stun baton) Attack AP: 35 -> 25 Attack damage: 9001 -> 35 Attack Mitigation: 500 -> 0 Alpha Reaper Changes Resilience (HP): 120 -> 140 Accuracy: 200 -> 70 Attack accuracy: 1000 -> 80 Attack AP: 35 -> 25 Attack damage: 9001 -> 40 Attack Mitigation: 500 -> 25 Kinetic Armor: 0 -> 20 Added ability: MeleeVehicles Zombie Changes Accuracy: 200 -> 60 Action Points (AP): 36 -> 40 Attack accuracy: 100 -> 60 Attack AP: 35 -> 20 Attack Mitigation: 40 -> 0 Removed ability: SpawnReaper Alpha Zombie Changes Accuracy: 200 -> 60 Action Points (AP): 36 -> 50 Attack accuracy: 100 -> 60 Attack AP: 35 -> 20 Attack Mitigation: 40 -> 0 Tweaked ability: SpawnReaper,3 turns,Permadeath Note: This is my first officially released mod, so there may be mistakes or issues I hadn't foreseen. Not every feature has been tested, so let me know if something doesn't work. I have tried to keep this mod as balanced and non-cheaty as I could, but the reapers were a bit overpowered and ridiculous to begin with. Suggestions and feedback are welcome. X:CE is required, as that is what adds the framework that allows tampering with otherwise hard-coded reapers. Thanks to Charon and Myron on the Steam forums for helping me out with the coding. V1.0 - Original Release V1.1 - Removed redundant or incorrect stat changes, lowered attack AP for zombies, added Alpha Reaper armor, general clean-up Reaper_Rebalance_1.1.zip
  24. 1 point
    I guess it's time for me to spend 100 hours on a playthrough of X-Division then
  25. 0 points
    Personally, I've pretty much given up with this game now. It really is X1 in 3D. Lots of good suggestions along the way have been ignored or batted away by the devs. Such a shame, because it could have been a fab game. I wouldn't contribute to another kickstarter project based on this experience.