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  1. 2 points
    As Closed Beta V9 (which currently requires being on our Experimental branch) contains the first iteration of the realtime air combat model from X1, this thread is intended as a dumping ground for all those little gameplay issues that affect the air combat but aren't quite bugs - missing features, visual or sound problems, etc. Basically, if something is clearly breaking the game (e.g. a crash) then report is as a bug in the normal bug report forums. If something just isn't working properly (e.g. if the interceptors aren't pathing properly towards their targets, missiles aren't visually creating explosions, etc) then post it up here. For now let's avoid the meta discussion about whether the X1-style air combat is the right model for the game, or suggestions about where the air combat should develop from here. For the next week or two I'm mostly interested in making sure the air combat actually functions correctly before we start changing things up.
  2. 2 points
    That might actually be a more preferable scenario, since you would have troops on the ground ASAP, rather than having to send your troop transport. Basically, you'd have no friendly casualties or cargo losses at mission start, which you would/should have if you're scrambling to assist.
  3. 2 points
    How is that not a special base? It's only one that actually matters I never liked, nor ever will like that "all eggs into one basket" concept. It makes no sense and there's no real risk involved. Research should be globalized (all science labs can work on the same project, regardless of which base they are in. The magic of internet and data sharing.) Production should be localized, so you would have production bases, with a practical limit as to how many people can work on something (simply throwing more people on something only works up to a point, especially when working on smaller things, like a rifle) Resources should be shared between bases with the logistics abstracted. Could be as simple as a connection/line between bases that simulates supply lines. Aliens could attack those lines damaging your supply lines, which would impart temporary maluses to the base (increased production time, staff morale penalty). Would make SAM sites more valuable and give your interceptors more to do - like chasing off enemy craft. Could even generate convoy defense missions.
  4. 1 point
    This is the official thread to discuss the balance of the V9 builds and the overall gameplay experience. Now the air combat is complete we've finally reached the point where I'm going to be doing an extended gameplay test and balance session so please post up particular weapons / aliens / UFOs / etc that feel badly balanced. I'd also be interested to know about areas of the game that seem really unpolished in a way that spoils your gameplay experience, too - I know there are a lot of them but hearing other people's opinions will help me prioritise what I should be fixing up or what content I should be adding. I won't be able to act on everything but really the more feedback I have to consider the better. This could be game systems, it could be particular UI panels looking bad, it could be certain parts of the game being unintuitive or hard to use, etc. Just post it up here. I'm aware the game balance hasn't changed much since V8 so I'll be reading over the comments in the V8 balance thread too. The plan is that we'll be releasing an update in about a week which will include a number of UI improvements, balance improvements and generally just should address some of the issues I find in my gameplay testing.
  5. 1 point
    The air combat section of Xenonauts 2 has gone through a number of iterations over the past few years, and with the project approaching Early Access we've taken the decision to switch to (an upgraded version of) the realtime air combat mechanics from the first game rather than pursuing the alternative turn-based model I've been experimenting with. I'll explain the reasons for this change below, but let's start by discussing the realtime mechanics and the planned improvements. Realtime Mechanics: We're already working on implementing the realtime air combat mechanics from the first Xenonauts and we're hoping to have them in the next major release (V8). This will also include various supporting strategic systems such as the ability to manufacture advanced aircraft on the Engineering screen, many of which require some extra work now the "classic" base update changed the way Hangars worked. The goal for V8 is therefore to literally have the air combat from the first Xenonauts in the second game as a starting point to test our improvements. We'll probably chuck the same planes and weapons in the game with the same stats, and fit them into the tech tree in roughly the same place, and do the same for the UFO stats. This will make it easier for both us as the developers and you as the community to spot missing features or things that aren't working properly, and it also ensures that the strategy layer has reasonable balance / progression to allow us to test the new features we're planning to experiment with in future builds: Interceptor Components: on the Aircraft screen there are additional slots for new types of equipment that did not appear in the first Xenonauts (armour, engines). One of the main things I want to experiment with is to have fewer types of interceptor but more possible upgrades, making the tech tree more interesting ensuring each type of interceptor can potentially stay relevant for longer. As an aside, it might be interesting to give each aircraft type a Power stat and have the various weapons, engines and armour types draw a certain amount of power. So even basic aircraft can still use highly advanced equipment but can support less of it than the more advanced fighters. Also, if much of the cost of an aircraft comes from its components rather than the aircraft itself, we could re-implement permadeath for the aircraft itself but make most of the equipment recoverable when a plane is shot down. Clouds: these would provide cover on the battlefield and the amount and position of them would be randomised each battle. The idea is that combatants can move through clouds freely but they would block the fire arcs of weapons (and missiles wouldn't make course adjustments while flying through them). Hit / Evade Chances: this an experimental change we're going to try, where combatants have % Evade scores and weapons have % Accuracy scores and Evade modifiers. The Evade roll will no longer be manually triggered and will just play an evade animation (without moving the plane laterally) when an Evade occurs. We'll see if this improves the game and if not we'll return to the old system where weapons would always hit if in range. The % Accuracy on weapons is somewhat required if we're going to add Pilots to the game, as the obvious thing for pilots to do as they gain experience is provide an Accuracy bonus to their weapons and an Evade bonus to their interceptor. The same is true for upgrades like targeting computers or so forth; in the old X1 air combat there's just not many variables to play with and that limits the equipment and upgrade choices we can give the player. Relative Battlefields: in X1 the boundaries of the battlefield are set at the start of the combat, but in X2 the boundaries will always be a fixed distance from the main UFO. This will allow us to set some combats up as a chase where the UFO is trying to get far enough away from your planes to push them off the edge of the map, while peppering your pursuing interceptors with fire from a rotating turret weapon (or relying on their escorts to cover for them). It's not a huge thing but in X1 literally every UFO would just turn and fly towards your interceptors so it'd be nice if in X2 some UFOs tried something a little different. Special Equipment: we'll also likely be experimenting with some other types of equipment that weren't in X1, such as turret weapons that are capable of rotating their fire arcs, or shields. Not sure how many will provide practical but we've got a few ideas! The main intention of these changes is to add a bit more variety to the air combat. One of the problems in X1 was that a combat featuring a particular UFO versus a particular combination of interceptors would almost always play out the same way every time, and there's a few things we can do to mitigate this. The addition of clouds means that the battlefield itself may cause the tactics to be different in different battles, and making weapons use % hit rolls should also ensure a bit more variation (e.g. a combat may play out quite differently if a long range volley of missiles at the start of combat scores 4 hits compared to if it scores 2 hits). Depending on how the combat changes play out, I think the strategic side of the air combat may also become more complex and interesting. In X1 you were continually building steadily more advanced planes and getting rid of the older models once they became irrelevant, but if specific aircraft gain combat experience through a pilot system and are also more upgradeable than before then I can see more interesting choices becoming available to the player. Do you replace your experienced starting interceptors as soon as a better interceptor becomes available, or do you give them some upgrades and keep them around? Or just play aggressively with them until they get shot down, and then replace them? Etc. What happened to the turn-based air combat model? Up until V7 the game featured a turn-based air combat model. The plan was to add increasing complexity to this turn-based system until we got something that was complex enough to be fun, but was ideally a bit faster-paced than the X1 air combat and used a more similar skillset to the rest of the game. The tun-based air combat in the public builds never got to the stage where it became fun. After the last iteration it was obvious that air combat needed proper 2D unit movement (rather than just 1D moving forwards / backwards) if it was to be interesting enough to support the more complex strategy layer that Xenonauts has compared to XCOM or classic X-Com. With overly simple air combat not only are the interceptions more boring, there's also less scope for research and UFO behaviour on the rest of the strategy layer too. Unfortunately, when we set to work implementing this it became clear that trying to handle complex 2D movement in a fast-paced way was going to be impractical in a turn-based system. Obviously asking players to issue orders to all of their planes every few seconds wasn't an option as every combat would take hours, so we instead developed an "automated" move system based on auto-calculated moves towards your target enemy unit (or movement waypoint). We were hoping it would provide a realtime feel while retaining the turn-based system under the hood, but in practice it didn't work well - it was difficult for the user to understand what was going on and it didn't feel as natural or responsive as the X1 realtime system. This is a bit of a shame, as the turn-based system we had planned had been paper prototyped and worked rather well as a board game. But if the fundamental building blocks of the system don't translate well onto the screen, there's point pursuing it further - it seems like we've taken the turn-based model as far as it could go. The best thing to do would just be to pluck out some of the interesting systems and merge them into the X1 realtime system. I certainly think there's some scope to do this. Ideally, I want to try and minimise the amount of time players have to spend pausing / unpausing to try and pick the optimal split-second to do something (like rolling their planes to dodge incoming fire), so making Evasion auto-trigger on a % roll may help a lot here. Adding more variety to the air combat in general should also improve the experience and replayability for everyone, and new ideas such as clouds and the interceptor components actually work equally well under the old X1 realtime system as they do in the current X2 turn-based system. Conclusion: When development began I couldn't see many improvements that could be made to the X1 air combat, which was one of the reasons I was reluctant to use the same system - I felt like I'd be serving up exactly the same thing all over again. After all this experimentation I'm now pretty sure the air combat can be improved, and it's just a question of whether we can improve things a little (by adding clouds, relative battlefields etc) or if we can improve things a lot (by getting hit chances / components / pilots to work). Perhaps if I spent a few more months working on the turn-based system we'd make some kind of breakthrough ... but the game is now approaching Early Access and we need to make a final decision on what system we want to use because the uncertainty is holding back the strategy layer. It's a pretty simple decision; the X1 realtime system currently works better than the X2 turn-based system does, so we'll be going with the X1 system. Anyway, I'm sure some people are going to be very happy with this change and I'm sure some other people will be a bit disappointed. I can understand both viewpoints, but really the most important thing here is that a decision has been made and in the next build we should be able to start balancing and properly playing the strategy layer. Hopefully that at least is something everyone can get excited about!
  6. 1 point
    Sort out grenade launcher troops hitting their own troops when their right next to them!!!
  7. 1 point
    Yeah, I also have had some issues with this particular map, including the one you listed, as well as some additional ones. I think they are on it.
  8. 1 point
    Closed Beta Build V9 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). This build is also not being released on Xsolla - all Xsolla backers should now have a Steam or GOG key. If not, please let us know and we'll look into why. This build includes the updated air combat model and a refresh of the (non-Geoscape) strategic UI, along with a number of other features. Although the build is still rough in gameplay terms I'm planning to do a balance / gameplay pass on it as part of the hotfixes, so there'll be extra polish and potentially a bit of extra content arriving alongside the bugfixes in the next week or two. The biggest change is that you no longer have access to an air combat autoresolve function that will just autowin the battle; you now must either win the battles through the X1-style air combat system or use our improved autoresolve functionality that should give a much better approximation of the combat than it did in X1. Key Features: Strategic UI Update: the first part of the strategic UI refresh is now in place, covering the non-Geoscape management screens - Main Base, Research, Engineering, Base Stores, Personnel, Soldier Equip and Aircraft Equip. We've updated the layout and functionality on a few screens and reverted to a neater visual style more like X1; the final visual style of the UI may change in future but hopefully this is the final layout (subject to tweaks made due to community feedback and suggestions). Note that the art is not final; there's still areas we're using X1 placeholder stuff! Realtime Air Combat: the realtime air combat model from X1 has been implemented into X2. There's been a few tweaks to the setup that I will explain below but most will be familiar from X1 - please give it a test and let us know if anything is weird / broken. Once we've given it a proper test we'll start making changes to the balance, adding new aircraft / weapons and thinking about whether we can improve the visuals etc. Air Combat Autoresolve: we've implemented an entirely new air combat autoresolve formula that should give more accurate results than the X1 equivalent. In effect it simulates what happens if all the combatants fly directly towards each other at maximum speed, attacking as soon as their weapons come into firing range. If they reach one another, they stop dead and keep firing at point-blank range until one side is destroyed. It's a simplistic representation of air combat but one that should still avoid the somewhat nonsensical results that you could sometimes get from the X1 autoresolve! Air Combat: Weapons now have a hit %. This currently has no gameplay effect (all weapons are set to 100% Accuracy) but it's a variable we'll tweak in future updates. The manual Evade Roll no longer exists and has been replaced by an Evade % chance on all combatants, modified by the Evade modifier on each weapon (i.e. how easy is it to dodge this weapon). A successful evade roll will completely negate the damage from the incoming shot - so if you see missiles pass straight through a target, it's because they have evaded them. Your Falcon interceptors have a 25% Evade chance and your Foxtrots have a 0% Evade chance against alien fire. Your cannons ignore Evasion, but Sidewinders apply it normally and Avalanche missiles double the Evade chance of each UFO. We'll be discussing this mechanic with the community in the near future to see how well it works; we'll also be adding a visual indicator so you can see when it happens. The retreat area for the combat is now relative to the UFO and is currently just shaded green. If you touch the edge of this green area your interceptor will retreat. Gaemplay Updates: Soldier armour is now controlled by a dropdown like in X1, rather than having an inventory slot (this will make it easier to support modular armour). Aircraft now have pilot portraits. We'll be giving these guys pilot helmets and callsigns rather than names in an upcoming update. The wall-hiding system is now in the game, although my playtesting suggests that it's not working particularly well right now - we'll finesse that some more in the hotfixes. The arid (middle east) maps have had some updates to their ground textures to make them less visually noisy. Falcon interceptor and Skyhawk dropship are no longer purchased, but can be constructed in the workshop from the start of the game. They are also substantially cheaper than before, although not quite as cheap as they were in X1. Combat missions on the Geoscape no longer despawn if there is a dropship en-route to them. Anomalies (the little events spawned by UFOs on the Geoscape) no longer appear in the mutli-select popup list that occurs when you click on an area that contains multiple interactive objects, as they were just cluttering things up. Medals earned by your soldiers are now displayed on the mission-end debrief screen. Some basic art for the Skyhawk on the Aircraft screen. Sebillian autopsy and corpse art has been added. Semi-placeholder corpse art added for the Andron, Gundrone and Cyberdrone. Unassigned soldier tab on the Soldier Equip screen now displays the numbers of soldiers in that category. Units under mind control do not count for victory conditions; e.g. you won't lose if your last soldier is mind controlled and you can't win by mind-controlling the last alien. Bugfixes: Units should no longer be able to see up / down through solid floors and ceilings. You can now decommission a dropship without the game crashing. The equipment of the civilians and local forces is no longer being recovered after battle. Fixed some issues with loadouts for Unassigned soldiers. Fixed the Gun Drone and Cyberdrone not exploding and disappearing when killed. Please give the air combat a thorough test and let us know in this thread if you find anything that works differently from X1 or just feels worse for some reason. Feel free to report anything you notice, even if it is such a big issue it seems obvious or so small an issue you're not sure it matters - a LOT of work has gone into the air combat update and we're bound to have missed without realising.
  9. 1 point
    This looks to be the same terror site map where a problem was reported the other day by sinushawa. Per Chris, this is an outdated map that they'll correct in an upcoming release.
  10. 1 point
    It also might be a fun thing to assign rookies or some such to defend shipments, leading to a small fight if ambushed or something
  11. 1 point
    There's a feature that Silent Storm had that I always wanted to see in all XCOM-likes. Namely indicators for when units snuck just out of sight, but without exact locations. I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but I love to play this game on one screen while working on another, and sometimes this means I forget or miss when a unit is hanging out right on the periphery. I like that X2 has included the ability to keep all vision gained during your turn to this effect, but I was curious if it would be possible to see something like this for us multi tasking folks.
  12. 1 point
    The first Firaxis XCOM attempted to address this by having the directional sound which gave you some idea of where an alien might be located. They continued that in XCOM2 But Phoenix Point does this with basically a sort of "echo location" when your soldiers can "hear" a sound coming from a particular part of the map. So you cannot see the enemy, but you can hear approximately where they are. It's even possible to shoot at and hit them using the echo location as a target. It looks like this: With the rings continuously moving out from that centre point of light.
  13. 1 point
    I like any idea that makes the geoscape more interesting. Currently, the only spatial element of the geoscape is radar coverage and interceptor range. In terms of something that can make X2 stand out, from X1 and from XCOM, the geoscape has a lot of potential. At the moment the geoscape is a very un-stimulating environment. For a game that falls into the strategy genre, this feels like a bit of a waste.
  14. 1 point
    Today we're releasing a final hotfix for Beta Build V8 that is on our Experimental Branch. You'll need to switch to those branches if you want to get an update over Build V7; please follow the link above for instructions on how to change branches. Changelog: Terror maps should no longer begin with 2 soldiers stuck in the tail of the dropship. Dropships now have 20% more range so should be able to reach anywhere in the world. Converted Fusion Pistols / Rifles should now have ammo when built. Dead or critically wounded soldiers are now immediately removed from the dropship, meaning the game will not crash if you attempt a second mission with the same dropship after taking casualties. It is no longer possible to build aircraft in unfinished hangars at secondary bases, consuming the funds but not granting the aircraft. Fixed an issue where the soldier arrow scrolling on the Soldier Equip screen could start alternating between different soldier categories (different dropships / unassigned category). Fixed an issue with the Healthbar in the ground combat UI showing a bunch of decimal points after a soldier is healed. This is likely to be the last batch of fixes for V8 and if all goes well the build will be pushed out onto Stable soon. Let us know if you encounter any further bugs, though, as they may be relevant for V9 which will be arriving relatively soon!
  15. 1 point
    The way I'd implement it is that each base has it's own storage, but as long as supply lines are in tact, every base has access to materials from other bases - although there is a small fixed penalty when working on things were resources aren't local (like +5 hours to production time, to simulate shipping time). Supply lines would work sorta like the internet routing - as long as one base can trace a connection to another, it can get resources from it. Players would place supply lines between bases manually and each supply line would have to be maintained. There would be a cost associated with it, and the distance would also factor into the cost (so a 4000km long supply line might cost 4000$ monthly to maintain). What this means that you CAN connect every base to every other base, but it would cost you a lot, so it might not be the most optimal solution. The beauty of this system is that it's simple and intuitive without being clunky and requireing tons of micro-managment. With the added bonus of it tying into the goescape and battlescape, due to supply lines being interractable. In terms of generated missions, alien could attack in 2 ways: air strike or ground ambush. Ground ambush would generate open maps with roads or train tracks, where a train or military convoy would be on the defensive. AI controlled soliders, in the form of train/convoy defense, would be on the map. Possibly a crashed cargo plane map? Air strike would be geoscape only, with your interceptors scrambled to defend, with convoy escorts and local defenses buying time.
  16. 1 point
    X1 meeting halfway with X-Div in a new engine then, which I think a lot of folks would agree would be ideal.
  17. 1 point
    I really think you need to read Kickstarter small print and understand how it applies. Any project that is backed can be changed through development, and like a Goldhawk do when they listen to their backers changed through feedback. Backing a Kickstarter Project is a gamble, it’s your choice as the backer if you except the risks. Unlike many companies Goldhawk do listen to the majority and if able do change what they can. You may not be happy with the result, but in the end if you receive a usable product at the end of the process that’s what a Kickstarter is.
  18. 1 point
    Hey, congrats on your rapidly developing technical skills
  19. 1 point
    So with all this talk of what to keep or change about X1 for X2, I figured I'd run through the original to drop some thoughts on what exactly worked for someone from my perspective. For reference, I've always enjoyed the genre, but never could quite get into optimizing everything to perfection. It was the split second, jury-rigged nonsense that always drew me to these games. So, without anything else, some thoughts: 1. I love that the Condor can continue being viable all game if you can get stuff to run into it. It's just satisfying to see out of date things still putting up a fight. 2. While building out better stuff early is awesome, having such a wide range of available standard gear really feels good. grenades and such in particular. Maybe having a monthly cost, instead of per item would be a way to make that happen? Maybe you could pick and choose what you would like to maintain a supply of? 3. While the early game UFO variety is nice, once Corvettes hit, they become repetitive. Then when end game/financial stability hits, there's just little reason to ever go for more than one of each UFO type. I hope new mission variety with raids and such will help make that different. 4. The view cone in XDiv increased vision by about 1-2 tiles or so. This really fixed issues like when you lose 3 people to a reaper because it walked into one tile that you didn't turn around to look at (In this last campaign there was exactly one tile that my head colonel didn't look at. He then got eaten because one reaper made a massive circle around the entire map to hit that one tile next to him. While I respect the dedication of that little bastard, and we still took that lander, it just felt like a downer with no build up. 5. The Corsair was kinda pointless. As cool as the plane itself is, I'm not sure why it's there. The Marauder came slightly after in most runs, and had well over twice as much of everything. I ultimately kept a fleet of 2 Condors, 9 Foxtrots, and 5 Marauders. Maybe the next version will do better in terms of having a role. 6. The ultra end-game victory lap weapons and plane are cool, but there didn't seem to be motivation to actually go and grab a second core for the Fury, or the SC. Maybe it's a personal thing, but I kind of just wanted to launch the ending after the 50th wave of landers and battleships breaking up my research time. 7. It would be awesome to be able to automate the air game somehow. By the end, dealing with all the big ships just becomes more tedious than threatening. I just wished I could assign squads to just swat the flies out of the sky after a while. Maybe if they went for formations instead of swarming? What if they coordinated more? 8. The last mission is awesome. That awesome cathartic feeling of being on the defensive for so long, only to open a door and blow away 4 of their best with a tank is just too good. I did manage to screw up the thing this time, since I forgot that reapers start to spawn after a while. Whoops. Still was awesome though. 9. It would be cool to see a sort of outtro if your team makes it, something like the ending of the old Pokemon games comes to mind. Yes, it's a weird comparison, but it would be cool to see title cards of the survivors and their stats. 10. I wish I could give some custom medals, even if they give no stats. OK, that's enough jabbering out of me. Just wanted to share.
  20. 1 point
    This also happens to be why I'm highly skeptical of any X1-style approach. The Xcom genre is turn-based combat, with a smaller grand strategy part. Top-down arcade shooters are incompatible with the genre due to rewarding a very different set of skills and providing an experience that feels very different.
  21. 1 point
    HA. And with that fuel let me make a suggestion. This might cut deep, so bite your teeth. First, here are the basics. The X1 model, and the envisioned upgraded X2 model are called topdown shooters. They are a legitimate game genre, which can stand all on its own. There have been thousands of games like this ever since Space Invaders was released in 1978. From Space Invaders over Star Fox 64 to Nova Drift they are all topdown shooters. What they all have in common is that they reward dexterity based skills and fast decision making. The sum is hundreds of mini twitch decisions each of them are executed in a tiny time window. Strategic thinking on the other hand rewards time consuming decisions with great impact. The characteristic traits of those are unlimited amount of time to think, less strategic decisions, and greater impact for each individual decision. Its not hard to imagine that players who enjoy one of these genres dont enjoy the other. They are fundamental opposites in the smallest amount of measureable player interaction. There is only a tiny fraction of players who like both ( weirdos ), because those 2 fundamental skills talk to 2 very fundamental different destinations in the brain. Everybody here is discussing how to make the perfect medium burger, which doesnt piss of most people, while i see no reason why we cant have 2 perfect rare and well done burgers, instead of 2 medium ones. I find it much more important to discuss the Geoscape-Airgame effects. Like Do we want damageable parts of UFOs ? Do we want to have them have effects in Ground Combat ? What should the effects of escaping UFOs be ? What should the effects of shot down UFOs be ? Random interactions when <incident> happens ?
  22. 1 point
    I in fact wrote a longer post to my previous one which was saying more or less this. I do think there is some tactical thinking, but only in the sense of there being a bit of a puzzle to figuring out some UFOs which, once you have it, then just becomes routine. On reflection, where I was suggesting it be more challenging than X1, I think what I actually meant is that the difficulty should be more dynamic, rather than it should just be blanket harder. I.e. it should stretch your resources more, such that you need to make strategic level decisions about how much and what to invest in the air game, and make strategic decisions about what to commit to particular engagements. The skill required to do the air game is therefore somewhat up to the player: players who are good at it might be able to get away with less investment or take on more risky challenges. But I guess this is envisaging the air game as a "push-your-luck" system, which is pretty much what I envisaged the turn based version might be as well. I.e. it's less about making tactical decisions which make the difference between winning and losing (because I don't think either system can make that work very well, since the cost of losing is too high and the range and variation of situations too low for it not to become routine quickly) but it can allow tactical-come-strategic decisions about what you're willing to risk and what you're priorities are (e.g. do you take chances in an air combat to bring down a big UFO with lots of resources on it, or do you play it safe and just take a chance with some low-probability attacks in the hope of getting some lucky hits; which fits into a wider strategic-level game of how much you're investing in air superiority at all). A weird sort-of compromise here would be to have a system like the fleet battles in Endless Space 2 - i.e. you select an attack mode for each of your aircraft before engagement and then the whole thing plays out automatically without direct input from the player. Offers some strategic/tactical choice, makes engagements pretty quick, and takes away the reflex/twitch requirements. Could be augmented by having some some binary mode or one-use command which can be activated during the engagement for some direct player involvement?
  23. 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).
  24. 1 point
    As Solver points out, though, there are five tiers of weapons if you include the starting ballistic weapons and your troops only have tier 3. I'm not surprised you're struggling if you're still using mid-game tech like Plasmas on the final mission, as you're effectively bringing a knife to a gunfight. This isn't a complete clone of X-Com / XCOM; the tech tree doesn't stop with plasma weapons. Get MAG Weapons and the Hyperion Hovertank (with a MAG cannon) and you'll find the mission much easier, and get a few Singularity Cannons as well and you'll probably be able to do the mission with your eyes closed.
  25. 1 point
    Nah, I've always said that I was willing to change my mind on the turn-based system. I just said I wasn't willing to change my mind on it until I'd tested it as much as was feasible (which I now have). I do still think there are some fundamental flaws in the X1 system so I'm a bit frustrated that I wasn't able to come up with something better, but there's no point being stubborn about it or trying to force change for the sake of change. That said, the one design aim I want to make clear before this discussion gets going is that I don't want to do anything that makes the air combat much slower than it already is. Having the player spend a few extra minutes tinkering with the loadout of their planes to see if they can fit a laser cannon on their Falcon without having to take the shield generator off is something I'm happy with, but having the actual combat require more micromanagement or having to swap out the pilots / tactics of your aircraft before you launch each mission is not. The "skill" should ideally be in creating loadouts and giving your planes general orders, rather than specifically micromanaging the behaviour of each aircraft during combat. @Charon thanks for the thoughts. I'm not sure if you're advocating for special types of clouds there, but I think we'll probably just stick with the one type. I don't think the system is complex enough to support multiple types of cloud with different effects even if special magic clouds made logical sense. The SPAZ component system you linked uses the same fundamental ideas as what I have in mind, but it seems way too complicated - although what you posted in your images lower down is a bit closer to what I envisioned. Anyway the danger with adding too much content to the air war is that it completely overwhelms the rest of the game and that's definitely something I want to avoid (also the available weapon slots have to align with what can realistically be shown in the Air Combat UI for each plane), however the component / slot system is pretty modular and modders can make something crazy complex if they want. The only limitation right now is that all planes share the same selection of slots, but that may well change in the future. With regards to pilots I'm just thinking that each aircraft gains experience in combat and can level up perhaps three or five times, and gains +Accuracy on its weapons and +Evade on the plane. The pilot isn't seperable from the plane and the pilot is killed if the plane is shot down. It's a fairly simple system but anything more complex is going to add an extra layer of complexity to the UI, and there's already going to be a lot more to display with the component system. Yes, some randomisation in the equipment of UFOs is something we're considering. In terms of the UFO goals in combat, I think you're going to struggle to have something like "deliver a supply run" or "terrorise a city" happen within the air combat - those are things that happen on the Geoscape. For that sorta stuff to be interesting you'd probably need a fixed battlefield with multiple UFOs and NPC air forces and defence turrets and stuff, otherwise your "choice" is always going to be to fly towards the UFO as fast as possible and shoot it down just like it is in all of the other interception missions. And that's probably beyond scope for vanilla X2.