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  1. Apologies for the delays to this update. Some big news this month - we're planning to launch the game into Early Access in February next year, and I've been underwater with preparations for that. We're also going to be putting out another tactical mission demo as part of a Steam event later this month, which is also eating into my time. I'll be writing a much longer post later this month explaining our plans for Early Access in detail, so I'll just focus this post on what work we did last month. Abduction Missions: The biggest feature we've been working on are Abduction Missions, which are a new type of tactical mission intended to provide a bit more variation to the ground combat. In these missions the aliens have captured a number of civilians and imprisoned them within teleporter pods, and you have a certain number of turns to free as many civilians as possible - once the timer runs out, all surviving aliens and any pods that have not been opened teleport away. You win the mission by rescuing at least 50% of the civilians, so these missions are no harder than a "normal" mission where you kill all the aliens. However, you receive a small amount of money resources for each opened pod and killed alien (as they do not teleport away) so the player can potentially obtain more rewards on these missions by playing more aggressively than normal. Personally I think this makes them an interesting change of pace from some of the other mission types. These were way more effort than I was expecting them to be, but they're basically done now (just ironing out a few bugs) and so should be included in V24. Grenades: We've now done the final part of the grenade implementation - setting them to use arcs, so they can be thrown over walls or intervening cover. This is surprisingly tricky from a design perspective (arcs and abstract 3d tile grids don't go together well) and even more of a pain to implement, but we know it's an important feature to a lot of players. We're just fixing up a few bugs and some issues with the visualisation, but this feature is also pretty much done and should be in V24. Achievements & Cloud Saves: Achivements are now complete, including artwork, and set up on Steam and GOG. You'll be able to earn them (well, most of them) starting in V24. I'll also shortly be turning on Steam cloud saves, but because our save games were previously absolutely enormous (up to 20mb for some tactical saves) we've spent some time optimising the files so they are much smaller. They should now only be about 20% of their previous size, so only a few mb each, and won't totally destroy anyone stiill on a metered connection. Terrain Tiles & Maps: Last month I spent a bunch time fixing all the problems with the UFOs in the game, using a new tool to find and fix all the line of sight "holes" which could cause the interior space to be revealed by soldiers who were still outside. I also fixed the non-walkable tiles that occasionally appeared inside the UFOs, and finished setting up the styling on the Harvester and Battleship UFO interior spaces. I've also added a LOT of new terrain tiles to the game. These will be most noticeable in the Xenonaut Base biome, which is now mostly complete and looks much more polished than it did in our last public release (there's just a few more rooms left to complete). This is also reflected in the Cleaner Base plot mission, which has been completely restyled and now looks much better than before. UI Updates: We're continuing to work towards having the strategy UI refresh complete for our Early Access launch in February. I've implemented the new visual style for the Main Base and Stores screens, and we're nearly done with designing the Soldiers screen. Once that is complete we only have the Research, Engineering, Aircraft and Soldier Equip screens to implement. Additionally, we're working on an updated visual style for the Geoscape map itself. This won't be dramatically different but we want a map that looks a bit more distinct from the one in the first Xenonauts, and is just a bit neater and less noisy. We're still at an early stage of this but I'm hoping it'll come out well! Campaign / Tech Tree: In preparation for V24 I'm doing another balancing pass on the campaign. One small thing we implemented here was the ability to randomise the spawn times of missions and UFO waves, which has helped make things less predictable, and in general I've just been working through the game and ensuring everything unlocks correctly so you can actually make it to the final mission. I'm looking to get the tech tree locked down for the Early Access release shortly, as there is still quite a bit of art and writing that needs to be added. However this month I did write all the research entries for the entire alien / Cleaner plot chain from the start of the game right up to Operation Endgame (this was about 15 entries in all). This means the hardest part of the writing is now done, as "normal" research entries are less narratively connected and much faster to write. I think that's everything. We are working on V24 still but I'm not going to give a firm date for when it'll be released as I'm conscious I've got the demo to sort out first. But hopefully in the next couple of weeks!
    5 points
  2. We're in the process of changing our marketing partner to ensure that our Early Access launch gets as much attention as possible (I found a company that really impressed me) so I'm not completely sure what the plans for the open beta are yet. In an ideal world I'd like to run some kind of beta to ensure the game is properly tested before it goes on sale but I'll see what our partners think about it, as if they've got data that suggests it's financial suicide then it'd be best not to. And it's also a bit dependent on the development timetable.
    3 points
  3. This demo is a vast improvement over the last one in every respect. I loved the improved visuals, better performance, more options for my soldiers to do on the battlefield, etc. I think this a good step forward for the game. I had a great time with it. Although I did find some trouble with the controls initially and some of the balance feels a little off imo. These are the critiques I have with it: -I remember that in the previous demo, you could click the icon of the weapon and go into free-fire mode that way. I tried doing that while playing this demo, and it didn't work. I was confused for a minute or two, but I eventually figured out that I could go into free-fire mode by pressing ctrl. The bottom left control icons don't actually tell you how to free fire until you actually hold your cursor over an enemy, which is probably why it took me awhile to figure it out. I think it should tell you the moment you select a soldier imo. I think that you should be able to to go into free-fire mode by pressing the weapon icon just like before. It is also a little annoying that free-fire mode turns off immediately after letting go of ctrl; it would feel more natural if this were toggleable instead of requiring to hold ctrl down imo. -It also wasn't entirely clear to me that you have to select a location for a soldier to move before ctrl + shift works. The control labels at the bottom left seemed to imply (at least to me) that you can activate ctrl + shift anytime after entering free-fire mode. Obviously, this isn't the case, and it instead showed (0 tus, 0%) instead. I thought that this was a bug for a minute, until I fiddled around a little more and figured it out eventually. (I have no screenshots for this one as windows won't let me take a screenshot while holding ctrl apparently) -I'm a little confused about the accuracy calculations. When it is just hit chance= (soldier accuracy x shot modifier) + range modifier, the math makes sense to me. As seen below: (60 x .38) +52= 22.8 + 52= 74.8% (approximately 75%). The system makes perfect sense to me when in this format. However, when accounting for stuff like smoke and cover, the math doesn't make much sense to me. See below: 45 x 1.2 x .7 x .6= 22.68%, not 15%. I'm wondering if there is some information that is being withheld here, or if the information presented is inaccurate in some way, or if the equation for calculating the accuracy is different than what the hit chance% formula suggests whenever smoke and/or cover is involved. -I'm also am a little confused about suppression in general. I understand generally how it works (thanks to the awesome toolkits that were implemented), but I don't really know how much suppression a single shot or burst does to an opponent (or a teammate for that matter). Suppression doesn't feel like something I have that much control over or can use strategically because I have no idea how much suppression each individual action does to anything. Perhaps a suppress% chance or an estimated/average suppression damage statistic that is located next to the hit chance% calculations would help to give more information about the relative suppression damage one would do to a target. -Some of the balance seemed a little weird to me The MARS's rocket launcher having a blast radius of 4 tiles seems like a little too powerful. A blast radius of 3 tiles seems like enough for it to be a strong weapon; 4 tiles just makes the blast area a little ridiculous imo. It surprised me to see so few aliens on the map with armor of any kind. With all of the frag grenades, demolition grenades, rockets, and armor piercing weapons, I would have expected a little more aliens to have some sort of armor stat (especially the cleaners that appears to be wearing armor of some kind). I would like to have seen maybe a greater mix of enemies that have a more even mix of no armor, light armor, and heavy armor that might give more importance and emphasis to the new armor mechanics. It feels very weird to have the shield not have a 100% chance of blocking attacks from the front, but still having some % chance of blocking attacks from the sides. I think I would personally prefer to have 100% chance of blocking from the front and a 0% chance of blocking from the sides, making the placement and turning angle of the soldier more important, but that might be just me. If I remember correctly, this is the second dropship of the game. In Xen 1, each of the dropships gives the player different options of how to take cover and enter the battlefield from the dropship. The Charlie allows you to exit form the back and both sides, the Shrike allows you to exit form the front and back, and the Valkyrie allows you to assemble your soldiers in any position you wish. However, with this dropship, it doesn't give you more/different options of taking cover or exiting the dropship than what the Charlie offers. I would like to see some small things that separates this dropship from the other dropships in the battle itself, be it alternative exits, more cover options, etc. These are the nitpicks I have right now; if I encounter some more, I'll make sure to post them here. Overall, solid demo!
    2 points
  4. Make the task sign on the strategic map change its color over time. Green color - the mission (task) is relevant. Yellow - the aliens have carried out part of their plans. Red color - you are late. (The aliens have done what they planned and are evacuating soon). Depending on the color of the tactical task icon, other bonuses and other trophies are awarded for completing a tactical task.
    2 points
  5. -So I did some more testing for the accuracy numbers, and I think I found what the route of my confusion is. See below: I tested the hit chance% without smoke but with an intervening object, and I got 60 x .38 x .7= 15.96%=16%. This also made sense, so intervening objects probably wasn't the issue. See below: I tested the original shot again just with the extra smoke and the x1.00 for smoke did not make sense. If the x1.00 was correct and taken literally, then the original hit chance% should not have changed whatsoever. This has to mean that either the multiplication symbol or the number in front of it is incorrect somehow. I think I got to a point where I know what the issue is now. I think that 1.00 - intervening smoke= hit chance multiplier. I tested here and 1.00 -1.00= x0, which will make the hit chance% 0%. I also tested it with my previous issue and I got good results. See below: 1.00 - .60= x.40 hit chance multiplier. 45 x 1.20 x .70 x .40= 15.12%=15%. The fix here should be the same as what you guys did with Intervening objects. It should be portrayed as: x.40 Intervening Smoke (60%). I also noticed that the Target Crouch Modifier and target defense seen in the June update was missing from this demo. I'm wondering if this is a bug or if those two were intentionally removed. I think that crouching should have some effect on hit chance%; it just makes logical sense and it feels unintuitive to think that it would not effect hit chance% in some way. I'll probably come with some more feedback soon. I didn't expect to lab hit chance% so much lol.
    1 point
  6. I'm not familiar with Steam Community though but I can see that through these years you're becoming more and more extreme towards critiques and that would be a really bad signal for the game community. The game had been delayed for multiple times and it's understandable that most people not from this forum being upset about it. We don't need the game forum becoming toxic based on personal vendetta.
    1 point
  7. Any word on the open beta? Is it still a thing? I'm glad we're finally looking the light at the end of the tunnel.
    1 point
  8. Figured it out. The accrual of panic points after the death of a civilian was really very high. Corrected by me in "moraleconfig_gc.xml (Much more than in the original game.)
    1 point
  9. I hope that this monthly update will bring better news than the previous one did. Fingers crossed for good v24 and open beta news.
    1 point
  10. work faster, U, scallywags
    1 point
  11. I think the sniper rifles need a MUCH longer range, especially since they only do a tiny bit more damage than rifles but cost way more TUs. And the suppression effects of the heavy machine guns needs a massive increase.
    1 point
  12. I've been playing Xenonauts game, "balanced by developers" for just a few hours. After that, I had to completely rewrite the balance of the game (and, in particular, double the range of all weapons and the radius of view). This is the real value of the effort that developers spend on balancing the game.
    1 point
  13. That topic has been debated to death over the course of human existence, so I won't be going into that here; but for me personally, the adversity that I have to go through against the aliens makes the strategies, the technology, and soldiers you employ more valuable and I have a better gameplay experience. If I was just granted all of that will little cost or challenge required to obtain it, than it makes those upgrades a whole lot less useful or interesting imo.
    1 point
  14. Aliens can come "out of the horizon" (out of the fog of war), calmly overcome 30 tiles and calmly bypass the sniper from all sides to inflict damage on the next move. 30 tiles is the distance of one throw, the distance of just one sniper shot. One shot is too little for a sniper rifle when the enemy comes "from behind the horizon" close.
    1 point
  15. In the original xcoms, they were pretty close to you usual base assault mission, but slightly longer. However, I think that this design is a little lame. The final mission should be a unique and challenging experience that separates it from the rest of the game. It should be a climactic sendoff for the playthrough, and where many ironman runs will either succeed or die. Making it too similar to other missions would be a shame imo.
    1 point
  16. As others have mentioned in others posts, base attacks really need to be reworked or changed. But i'm really of the opinion that it should be changed ASAP because right now it really sours my game experience. I love X2 and what they have done so far, but base attacks mechanics are irritably boring, unfair and poorly designed as it is. For having played a few, when a base attack come up i don't even bother anymore and just cheat the mission and win it instant. You have no idea how enraging it is when you have a so many things to do and get done, as well as manage your strike teams only to have a BS base attack come up from nowhere. They don't even make sense because if the aliens know your base locations, why would they even bother invading it at all and not just delete it with an orbital strike from outer space? They can already destroy huge population centers with it, certainly they can spare an orbital shot on what is arguably their greatest nuisance. The old system where it was a UFO that could be intercepted was perfectly fine and allowed players multiples layers of protection for their main base and to cover their secondary ones with air forces. I get it, you want players to explore the experience of base attacks, something some X1 players never experienced because they could always intercept the UFO's before they could get close. That doesn't mean you should force it upon players with an unavoidable, unskippable and nonsensical base attack mission that cannot in any way be intercepted or prevented in some manner before it happens. ------ Here are the main issues, and my suggestions: 1. Unavoidable. By far the biggest issue. Base attacks will happen no matter how good or how poor your performance was. You can't intercept the UFO's, the missions doesn't happen out of failure of achieving a requisite (Such as a specific mission type where aliens gather information in a military/government facility, which would compromise the location of your base) and there are no warnings beforehand (Such as an anonymous tip that someone fear your NA base will be attacked in 48 hours). Fixing this is relatively simple; revert to an X1 system where it was interceptable UFO's with base attacks missions. If you fail to intercept the UFO before it reaches your bases, then it's fair to have a base attack mission. If you want to force players to experience a base attack mission in their playthrough at least once, you could make a specific event tied to cleaners chain missions early game; for example, when you kill/capture the VIP cleaner in that ambush mission, Cleaners could stage up an assault in your base in an attempt to either free the VIP (If you captured him) or in retaliation to his death. It would make a lot more sense and serve to introduce new players to base attacks mechanics, and remind them of the dangers of having your bases attacked and place soldiers and equipment in order to defend your bases. It could also introduce the possibility of adding specific UFO's designed for base invasions, that could be stealthy and fast, in order to reduce your likelihood of interception. Or specific missions to protect your base location, etc... All kind of possibilities. 2. Lack of overwatch for the initial alien turn. You can already place your soldiers anywhere in your base (except where the rooms where aliens are), so that means that your soldiers are already in position and ready to fight. So there is no reasons none of them shoot the crap out of them when they come out of the doors during the initial alien turn. Having a perfect setup of machine guns and shotguns on standby by the door only for them to get blasted to hell because none have overwatched is really dumb. 3. This one is quite much more minor. Lack of base interactions for both aliens and player. It's your base, but you can't figure out where they are by using cameras, lock doors, place traps, etc... That would be way more interesting if you had more abilities like these. Perhaps it would be worth introducing a security room from where you need a xenonaut to be present in order to see the camera feeds, and the cameras could be shot down by aliens as well. Locked doors could be blown or shot open. Said security room could add bonuses such as the already mentioned cameras, free friendly security soldiers and pre-placed traps. Invasions could be then re-balanced with more powerful aliens forces, either by numbers or equipment, to keep it challenging. But i understand it would require quite an extensive amount of time and efforts to add those, so this one is merely an idea more than anything.
    1 point
  17. I testet it too in all existing big Base-Versions and some Upgrades (Fixes) from them after the Beta-Tests begunn several Years ago. In the Night Missions the big Range from the Sniper-Rifle don´t have an big effect about the reduced sight. There only helps the SHIV and / or other Troops which coordinate the Shoot / Shoots with the Sniper. In Day Missions the big Range from the Sniper-Rifle is much better, but mostly you fight too in Villages, Jungles or similar, where the longer Range can´t be outplayed. In both Cases it dosen´t matter if you set the Sniper on a Roof or the highest Point you can find. If the Aliens know the Sniper Position they go in Cover or sent the big Robots to eliminate your Sniper / Snipers. You have to change often Position with your Sniper (like in Real) to get her / him allive. Short said: It dosen´t make sense to upgrade the Range, but it make sense to give the Sniper different Ammunitions and better night Abilitys (Laserpointer, Infrared or something like that) to make her / him the Specialist an Sniper is.
    1 point
  18. I have to agree with the air combat system. The old one was in my opinion better. The new version of the combat system is a little bit like in the original x-com, but that doesn't mean it should be the first choice. I would prefere to use the Xenonauts 1 system, because the game felt much deeper. About the base system: It feels kind of weird to have only one Mainbase fore the hole planet earth. The smaler one only for the aicrafts feel like thats something is missing there. I would prefer to have the choice of building more bases, maybe one or two just for building Aircrafts there or for research/engineering. With one fixed base it feels kind of unnatural and heavily controlled and not as complex as the old one X1.
    1 point
  19. Don't worry, in a few more missions the aliens will upgrade from pistols to rifles and then you will have fewer injured soldiers left over after missions. Having to replace injured/dead soldiers is part of the game, that's why you can hire more.
    1 point
  20. Are there really many situations where you need longer range than you have? They've got a range of 30 tiles which is 50% more than any other type of weapon. I've always felt that's pretty solid.
    0 points
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