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  1. 3 points
    Greetings all, A little preface here on relative skill level: The issues I want to talk about get more obvious and more of an issue the better a player is, hence this preface. This is sort of an inverse of "Get gud". However, it may appear I am asking to make the game easier in general, that is not the case. I would like the game to be harder if anything, but at the end where it makes sense for it to be hard and not at the beginning where it doesn't. More on that later... A note on my own skill level: I've completed pretty much every decent strategy game on the hardest possible difficulty, that includes games like: XCOM (The originals, terror from the deep excepted as I never got into it), XCOM (The Remakes), Jagged Alliance (even the awful reloaded one), Panzer General, Peoples General, etc. Also, some hard realtime stuff like EUIV (One-tagged the world), Shogun II total war (Impossible Ironmanned it), etc. I also have a youtube where I do hardest possible turn based Ironman campaigns, though that is mostly battletech. If your interested in that or simply want to verify, you can find it at www.youtube.com/TheEdmon and I hope you enjoy it :). My two key issues with XCOM type games are thus: 1) In the early game no-one seems to know there is a war on and it determines everything. 2) Win-More, Lose-More gameplay. The early game: Most of these turns based games are won in the first 6-10 hours and the rest of the game is just a walk to the victory screen, provided you don't make some critical mistake. But if you are winning hard enough, early enough, the odds of a critical mistake drops: 1) You win early missions with no losses and get more stuff. 2) So you have more money to expand, upgrade and research faster, with no losses to replace. 3) You are powering faster than the difficulty curve due to the above and can afford more coverage (when applicible). 4) You win more easily, due to your powering, which leads to less/no future losses and more money. 5) The cycle repeats, with your A-Team carrying you to the victory screen often without any losses at all. Dont you know there is a war on? The early XCOM game has this weird tone, situational as well as gameplay issue. You start off weak, barely any better or the same as a standard military of the time period. Then the game pretends like other militaries don't exist or are unable to mount even the slightest defence. So, where you are and what coverage you can get early is all that matters. This means that (often randomly), the game is determined by how much of the early hostiles appear near you (so you can deal with them) and is a race for you to power up as quickly as possible so you can protect the earth. The game balance revolves around this, making it so that you can get more ahead very quickly because you are 100% of the force being exerted against the aliens. That 100% can be vastly different between a good player and an excellent one, let alone a weaker casual player. You are totally and 100% critical in the early game, so balancing that early game becomes very difficult. I have always thought a good way to solve this problem would be to have the player be more like 10% of the force in the early game. NPC Military, coverage, airforces, etc. So what if we do this instead: 1) NPC's have military bases, airforces, coverage just like you do. 2) There is a lot more alien activity in the early game, but NPC militaries can barely handle it. The scramble interceptors, shoot down hostiles, airstrike, etc. 3) You can place your base to try and protect a country with a weak military, like africa, or place it where activity is high to protect a stronger NPC so they are useful for longer... The early game then consists of a world at war against the aliens and actually holding it's ground. You are there, to shoot down what appears in your general area, steal technology, go on missions, etc as usual. But you are not 100% of the fight, more like 10% of it. Of course, as the game goes on, your technology improves and so does the aliens. But your human allies do not. So in the mid game, they start to lose and some very badly: 1) You can see NPC bases and interceptons getting crushed. 2) Gaps appear in earths defence, relations sour. 3) It becomes clear that you must fill in the gaps, protect your allies, etc. You can afford to make the general alien presence that much more, when there is a lot of NPC defence around to handle it. Taking the pressure off the early game. In the late game: 1) NPC presence is all but gone, now it's all down to you. 2) Difficulty can be much higher 3) You've had time to put coverage in place, but the pressure you are under can also be higher than in a normal XCOM like difficulty curve. In conclusion: The early game matters too much, player skill level cannot effectively be balanced for, due to the snowballing effect that is caused by the player being 100% of the force against the aliens. The tone is also odd, where is everyone else, don't they know there is a war going on? My thought is to try and shift this to the mid game, while also fixing the weird lore and tonal issues. What do you guys think?
  2. 2 points
    Some further massage: "Commander, after that alien assault on our base we have frantically tried to analyse the event as well as collect any information we can on similar events happening to our sponsors. To start with the latter part, I've squeezed intel out of an old friend in the armed forces about a ground assault on a deep nuclear launch facility. A covert group of ETs was able to access the base despite most of it being half a mile underground, and beat the hell out of base security. It was only by deliberately collapsing the residential wing that the base commander saved anything. Unfortunately, secrecy has prevented us from getting to prepare for this threat, as it was only by mentioning our own experience we were able to take part of theirs. Although this information comes too late to serve as a warning to us, it strengthens our analysis of how the aliens behave: It's clear the aliens divided their efforts between destroying the base assets and trying to take over the base completely. The loss of a base will obviously mean the loss of all assets in it, and will leave the area it protected undefended until a new base can be built. Even if we drive them off, the ETs can cause lasting damage by wrecking hangars, destroying labs and demolishing workshops, and it's obviously in our interest to prevent that, so try to take the fight to them, Commander, and go and meet them in force! Without a way of intercepting and decoding alien communications, it will be hard to tell if a UFO is going to mount an attack on our base (and, if so, which base) or if they’re intending to attack a city. Look for escorted Massive class signals. They aren’t going to make it obvious that they’re going for us, but sooner or later they will have to head directly to our base. The bases most likely to be attacked will be the ones they have the most operational data on – i.e. typically the oldest ones, but don't rely on "most likely" overly much. It would probably be a good idea to station a garrison or erect defenses at the bases most at risk, and to ferry troops to bases suspected to be targeted. Also note that defensive base batteries won't do us any good if we can't see the enemy, so a base out of radar coverage (its own or that of another base) is a sitting duck. As for the base assault craft, we have made some interesting observations. After action analysis of surveillance of the craft indicates it had mounted populated drop pods even before we were able to observe them. This implies they prepared for the assault well in advance and intended to launch it as fast as (in)humanly possible to deny us the chance to deploy our troops closer to the breach points and to set up booby traps in our base. While interesting in itself that they consider our bases to be something of a threat, it also provides us with a tactical advantage: Damage sustained by UFOs rarely if ever kills any crew members: all casualties usually occur due to the impact of a crash. In this case, however, damage to the UFO is likely to also cause damage to the troops in the drop pods. Our best estimates are that we may be able to kill up to 50% of the crew if we damage the craft to 100% (at which point it will crash), with the casualty rate essentially increasing linearly with the damage inflicted (20% damage to the craft = approximately 10% of the crew killed). We also estimate that damage inflicted by base batteries has the same effect as damage cause by our airborne forces when it comes to killing ETs. Interestingly enough, the aliens don't seem to be nearly as interested in a rapid deployment on terror missions, where they mount, enter, and deploy the drop pods only at the last minute, which indicates they're not nearly as worried about local forces that they are about X-Divison ones, which we can take some meagre pride in. While the drop pod deployment strategy difference ought to allow us to determine if a mission is a terror or a base assault one, our current technology only allows us to determine that by examining surveillance images in detail back at the lab, which takes hours, at which time the attack has already taken place. I hope we'll be able to develop a technique to transfer photos over a radio connection and perform automatic analysis of them, or have the rather unlikely luck of acquiring the means to intercept and decode the aliens' communications. And, finally, let's go over our emergency protocol for in the event of a base loss: Our pilots have instructions to seek out free hangar space on other bases, and, if that's not possible, perform emergency landings wherever they can, preferably at some kind of airport. However, I'd expect the local authorities to be too greedy to let us have working aircraft back, although they'll likely let the pilots return. We can expect to lose all soldiers at the base, as they'll be tasked with protecting the civilian evacuation, which means they have to be at defensive positions as the evacuation craft takes off. Engineers and scientists will be evacuated in a flight to the base that can make the most of them, i.e. have available berths and free lab/workshop space, while the remainder will seek shelter among the local population, but we can't forward them to other bases even if there is free space in them. Our guess is that the lost base will be converted into an alien base rather quickly, but we hope that if we can retake it reasonably quickly we may be able to recover it to a larger or lesser extent, and that hope extends to stored equipment, as they have little use for our equipment. The only way to know for certain is to actually lose a base and then try to retake it, and that's a proof I'd rather not get."
  3. 1 point
    This is honestly the first time I've ever written a topic on this forum so forgive me for any inconvenience I might do. Idea: In the first Xenonauts game your interaction with your squadrons was merely maintenace and logistical services (such as re-arming or exchanging armament, decommissioning aircraft and obviously purchasing and researching new types of aircraft). What if you were able to interact with the pilots of the interceptors themselves, just like a regular soldier, each pilot belonging to the Xenonauts project would have their own feed and info such as names, nationalities, past military services and so on, but pilots could have their own set of skills and capabilities for the commander to take in consideration, some of these could be awareness, vitality (or endurance), survival and cunning. So, would pilots come as more of a challenge or benefit to the player? Well it would be a mix of both, having unique pilots with different pasts and personalities would challenge your capability of management and taking advantage of those same personalities during interceptions, a commander that is capable of selecting the correct individual for the specific task has an advantage over any other aircraft in the air, but it is this same individuality and instability that might pose as an obstacle for less "seasoned" commanders who were used to similar aircraft with exactly the same statistics. What would be the assessments and dangers of having fully interactive, individual pilots? Well to start off, there can be as many skilled pilots as there can be incapable individuals, it is up to the commander to see which skills are more important for his/hers fighting style, pilots would also occupy space in the barracks just as any other regular soldier; there would also be the "unfortunate" instance of brilliant pilots dying due to a streak of bad luck or just a mission that wasn't well planned, but sometimes pilots could survive a crash landing and this could bring a good opportunity for a new type of ground mission, search and rescue. To finish this off, I'd just like to thank all who took their precious time to read my suggestion and I'm sorry if I committed any mistakes regarding the template of the topic or the fact that I might've accidentally mentioned something that someone else already said. Addenum 1: Skills? Awareness: Situational awareness is actually a skill that should be practiced by the player him/herself, but again... Pilots would be required to be extremely perceptive of the environment surronding them and dictate the future of the decisions and options they might take while conducting a mission, pilots with high awareness would be able to dodge and take evasive maneuvers faster than other pilots. Vitality (or endurance): Pilots should take intensive training regularly, individuals unfit to the task wouldn't be able to resist as much shock and G force as trained pilots would. This skill dictates the pilot's chance of survival in case his aircraft is shot down. Survival: Survival training will guarantee the pilot's capability of self management and tending to personal needs in an hostile environment, not to mention that the pilot will most likely be hunted down by search parties conducted by the enemy, thus revealing a catastrophic scenario of capture or even death. A pilot's survival skill would determine the time he would be able to survive alone in an hostile environment until he is rescued. Cunning (optional): At last, a pilot should be an example of ingenuity and wisdom, either from tunning with his own aircraft to meet his needs and extend the efficiency of it's systems to the capability of saving fuel during flight. Addenum 2: Downed pilots? Yes, there would be a chance of survival of your pilot if his/her interceptor was shot down by alien craft, this would be determined by the vitality skill or just a random chance. After the pilot was downed, the player would have the option of risking his men to conduct a rescue operation on the pilot's known crash site, just like a regular mission the player's squad would spawn in a corner of the map and scout the crash site looking for the downed pilot, depending on how fast the player managed to conduct this operation would determine how many enemies are present on the map, the player's objective would be looking for the remainders of the downed aircraft expecting the pilot to be nearby, if the player managed to find the pilot there could be two situations: situation 1, the pilot would be in a good health condition and able to return back to the helicopter by himself or controlled by the player, the pilot would have a pistol for self defense and his/her skills in combat would be randomly generated (so pray for good AP). situation 2, the pilot would be in a critical state requiring the player to carry him/her back to the helicopter.
  4. 1 point
    Sarah James was occupied in strategic Op but it did not remove her from the skyranger slot. It was possible to start a ground mission in this state. During the mission she was killed. However after the mission she was displayed as alive + full some HP (probably max HP value at time of death) on debrief screen. I noticed that she was removed from the strategic op as result and all her equipment was removed (like it happens after death now). I thought the game would now glitch out completely or crash, but no, she could just be added back to the strategic op and reequipped in armory, like nothing happened. Edit: Actually, it does not seem to be the Strategic Op that did prevent the soldier from death. On next ground mission with soldiers assigned to strategic op, they died properly. So I can only assume that maybe the same reason that sometimes fails to trigger promotions (shuffling soldiers around) can cause fail to trigger death. However after that, I noticed another glitch. The time until mission end still was ticking down after all 3 soldiers assigned to one of the strategic ops died. So still, it seams not to be intended that both can be done at the same time. Before Ground combat: After Ground combat: After resending/reequipping
  5. 1 point
    Unfortunately Hotfix V3.1 did not address all of the critical issues in the game, so we're releasing another small hotfix to improve the player experience. Changelog: Fixed a second crash that would occur at the end of the first turn when you were fighting Sebillians due to some missing shield animations. We've done this by temporarily removing the shield-using Sebillians (they'll be back in V4). Fixed the floors of the alien base appearing bright pink / purple due to a missing texture shader. Possibly fixed the issue where some of the civilians were upside down. Incidentally, if you see objects in the ground combat colored bright pink / purple please screenshot them and post them up on the forums - this is our error color that indicates that there is a missing texture or missing shader on that object. It's usually very simple to fix these problems if we know where they are! This is probably going to be the last fix for the V3 builds, so now we've addressed what we think are the critical bugs we think it would be useful to start getting some feedback from you on where you think the game is and why. Please could you give the current game a rating out of 10 and a quick comment on the following areas: Stability - what bugs are most spoiling your enjoyment? Quality - what things could we do to improve your enjoyment of the game? List up to three, but please keep this short! For example: Stability: 5/10, I get a crash at least every hour on the ground combat (usually related to shooting) and I can't play the Alien Base missions because they always crash. Quality: 3/10, I would like to see the research art and text included, better alien AI in the ground combat and I feel the air combat is not very interesting.
  6. 1 point
    When firing up or down a vertically, walls no not behave as expected. Both aliens and xenonauts are sometimes able to fire between the bottom wall and a second-floor wall, and at least sometimes are able to fire downward through floors. The line of fire depicted goes between the wall; the alien shown fired out the wall to the street outside and later fired down into the office it is standing on. Later I was able to fire, but not see up from that office through the floor; are aliens able to fire at targets that they cannot see, or are floors sometimes permeable to sight in some directions?
  7. 1 point
    That's a rough cut in the red line. How about something along the lines of "Even though that info came late for us, it gives us enough data to be very sure about the tactics the ETs are employing:" "And finally, let's go over the emergency protocol for an attack on one of our bases:" while the remainder will seek shelter elsewhere. We can re-hire them later.
  8. 1 point
    I've taken a look at the Xenopedia entries available, and I think the least bad place to provide base assault casualty info is in the two Early Assault Operator Interrogation entries (so, two instances of the same info), according to the logic that these enemies are responsible for that kind of operations. After all, the info is not critical, so it's not a big problem if it takes some time to get it. Something along these lines: "We did extract some information that's potentially useful out if the interrogation of this enemy operator: In order to assault the target base as quickly as (in)humanly possible to deny us the chance to deploy our troops closer to the breach points and to set up booby traps for them in our base, the assault troops are stationed in drop pods along the hull of the UFO well before reaching our base. This means that damage sustained by the ship is also likely to result in casualties among the crew, as opposed to the standard situation when crew is killed on a crash only, while well protected inside it until that happens. Our estimates indicate up to half of the crew may be eliminated if a base assault UFO is shot down, compared to about 10% killed in a regular crash. Similarly, engaging a landing base assault UFO without succeeding in bringing it down ought to result in a casualty proportion that increases more or less linearly with the damage up to about 50%, and we think we reap about the same benefit regardless of whether the damage is caused by engagement by our airborne forces or by base defense batteries. Interestingly enough, the aliens aren't nearly as worried about regular ground forces as of the X-Divison ones, so terror missions are performed in the normal, more leisurely fashion, which means only an outright crash is likely to kill any troops. I guess we can take some meagre pride in being considered a harder nut to crack."
  9. 1 point
    Androns aren't EXACTLY reviving, but it has a similar effect in the end. You may or may not have encountered force fields yet. They act like shields with the extremely important difference that there's no way around them (no vulnerable backside, area effect do not bypassing them, nor do melee attacks [I think, I'm not sure I've tried]), so you have to deal damage to them until they're destroyed to get at the unit underneath, and it takes quite a lot to do that as they're generally stronger than current level shields (and you'd have to spend quite some time if you're using antimatter weapons, since they're dealing out comparatively little damage, and the ability to bypass armor that isn't present anyway doesn't provide any benefit). Once the force field is down you have to start to wear down the Andron itself (which isn't exactly weak either). Here antimatter works well (although the buggers still have a lot of HPs). Also note that you can't damage the Andron itself until the shield is completely gone, so an explosive of any kind will at best blow away the (remainder of the) force field, but won't hurt the unit underneath even if the shield had only a single HP remaining (A minigun can wear through both a force field and the unit underneath because each bullet is a separate attack [with the occasional odd situation where a unit reaction fires while being pelted with minigun bullets and then dies, potentially resulting in both units dying, but that's a side track]). There's also a mechanism with multiple "skins", with each skin having different protective properties, and each skin has to be destroyed separately (again, overshooting explosive damage is lost, with the next "skin" being in pristine condition). Thirdly, there's a protective "spore" mechanism that causes select units to form into a "spore/pupa" on the cusp of destruction, to eventually emerge as a new unit. When all mechanisms are present in the same unit the maximum times you may have to destroy an incarnation of it is 5 (I believe it's possible to extend this cycle further, for extra pain, but 5 is the maximum number in the current version of the mod). If I understand it correctly, robosadists have to have a stake through their hearts to stop them from rising again. The maximum number of incarnations you have to take down in that case is 4 (assuming you "place the stake" in a timely manner). I haven't checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if you had to deal 10000 HP of effective damage to get rid of a top tier robosadist. Concerning the comment about using weapons with large mags to work around enemy unit counts, the last Energy line of weapons has an incredibly poor mag size (and I'm still not sure they're actually better than the second last one. Rather different, yes, but better?), with the mags being filled with lead, judging by their weight. Lore: I'll try to find somewhere to explain away why downed assaults suffer heavier casualties than other downed craft. As dead units tend to litter the interior of downed craft, it ought to be possible to count the ones not killed by your team the next time such a mission is performed (assuming you're sufficiently interested).
  10. 1 point
    Technically Antimatter weapons are your go to andron killers. Not only do the weapons have generally better stats, the ammo also completely ignores any kind of armour. Which also makes them great against any other alien, except shields and reapers - YES, you are supposed to get access to antimatter weapons at one point in the campaign. Whether or not you make it there is up to your skill. 1) Instead of bigger ammo clips for weapons, you have antimatter weapons and 2) decreasing the andron count is exactly what i have in mind. I plan to especially reduce multi stage enemies, so instead of 8 Terror Androns you might only see 2, but the difference of 6 androns is getting put into regular, single stage ones.
  11. 1 point
    I don't really need to see a graphical representation of the missile damage. Adding a single line to the bottom of those anomaly messages with a bit of semi randomised text might be enough. Something like 'UFO spotted scouting power plant, local military inflict heavy damage', 'Military base bombed by UFO, local guerrillas retaliate for light damage', 'UFO reported mutilating livestock, local civilians attack for minimal damage'. The messages could be weighted to give a good idea of the state of the conflict. In my examples the local forces descriptive term changes depending on the strength tier of the region. Maybe military > militia > guerrillas > civilians or whatever terms seem appropriate. I would like a log to be available though so you could look back through the event reports. You might be able to use them to make a decision on where to place your next base. if one region is holding out well you could choose to go there if you are struggling to make your battle easier or go elsewhere if they need your support.
  12. 1 point
    The Andron raw number count does in no way reflect the pain of their terror missions. I just did a phase 4 terror craft mission (shot down, so some units should have "died" in the crash), and the after action report said 163 killed (the final one cut the mission short as the Robodog Ghost spawned, which is a know bug). - 8 Terror Elite, each of which had to be taken down 5 times. - 2 Robosadists, both of which had to be taken down 4 times (including the "corpse" destruction). - 4 Andron bosses morphing into Robodog Ghosts, which had to be taken down 3 times each (including the dog). - A bazillion Roboreapers, most of which had to be taken down 3 times (some where terror troops originally). A small number did not start with a force field. - 1 "Normal" Andron boss that only had to have its forcefield destroyed and then the unit itself. - The remainder were normal Androns, Robodogs of various kinds, and 9 or 11 Drones. Can you imagine any way in which you could even haul the amount of ammo required to take them down (I made a very heavy use of an exploit to even have a chance to make it, on top of save scumming to be able to take them out at the rate they surged forward)? Edit: Not only terror missions. As I'm no longer desperate for resources, I bomb downed Andron craft because of the pain to slog through all the terror units and the Roboreapers (plus optional sadist).
  13. 1 point
    Good News! Managed to reproduce it perfectly. The key idea was: If Im convinced that movement is not interrupted by alien sight, why not leave aliens out of it completely? No frame perfect inputs involved either, can do the click as slowly as I want. I only do not know where the randomness comes from if Shift+Click alien rather than Shift+Ctrl+click is used. One prerequisite is probably that the soldier needs to be able to fire at the target before moving, which is not always the case, maybe there are some others I am not aware of. These are the reproduction steps that make the game crash every time: Start a new game, place initial base fast forward until there appears a ground mission and start it - there will typically be no aliens in sight (if there are, you can start over, but it will still work most of the time) select any soldier prepare a movement command (just one step out of heli is enough) with one left click (screenshot 1) hold Ctrl+Shift on a forward tile that is already in sight (Screenshot 2) click left - soldier does the move (screenshot 3) let go Ctrl+Shift hold Ctrl left click Attached: output.zip The other crash error message with grenades can be reproduced the same way, slightly modified steps: Start a new game, place initial base fast forward until there appears a ground mission and start it - there will typically be no aliens in sight (if there are, you can start over, but it will still work most of the time) select any soldier left click grenade slot press and let go Ctrl, so you still have the grenade selected but are out of the forced throw mode prepare a movement command (just one step out of heli is enough) with one left click hold Ctrl+Shift on a forward tile that is already in sight click left - soldier does the move let go Ctrl+Shift hold Ctrl left Click Attached: output_nade.zip Screenshot 1: Screenshot 2: Screenshot 3:
  14. 1 point
    At least the Lotus and Archelon depend on technology acquired by researching specific terror wrecks (and the Archelon requires material as well). There are many technologies (weapons as well as aircraft) that require you to bring down a particular craft, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. The Contrail was uncovered quite late for me (I think it was a bit into phase 4), at which time the previous interceptor craft really wasn't up to the task. I take down craft escorted by alien interceptor craft by first taking out the escorts with a full wing of repurposed alien interceptor craft (of as late a type as I can muster) and then I send in bomber craft to wear the main craft down (for the cases where the escorts are major craft I use bombers throughout). The human interceptor craft are used exclusively to deal with wings of 3 alien interceptor craft, and I'm still not sure it wouldn't have been better to use repurposed alien craft for that task as well. It can be noted that I find escorts of the very last alien interceptor craft to be very hard to deal with: I haven't been able to take down any of them without losing at least one of my craft. The second last one was a lot easier to deal with, and Hunters should be up to the task [I'm using Short Circuits as their weapons, and used Focus Blast (if I remember the weapon development order correctly) prior to that]). I've never used Firebirds, Merlin, or Night Owl. I unlocked the Lotus early, but the resources to build it were scarce (only terror craft provided the Extreme critical component until phase 4), so my bombers were generally Drakes. It's possible to bring down all the major craft using Drakes, but you need an awful lot of them. About the only good thing about Drakes is that they can be rearmed in a sufficiently short time to make two sorties if attacking from a nearby base, but as many late craft have unavoidable attacks that wear away at craft you may or may not have them in a sufficient shape to actually be able to take off again (or survive the second sortie, for that matter). By the time I unlocked the other bombers I started getting the resources to build Lotus craft. Unfortunately, changing the loadout of craft takes too long to be useful, so you have to equip you craft according to what you think will be the most useful against what may come up in the next wave. This has resulted in me using mines exclusively, as that's the only weapon that can be used against all major craft, while missile usage is suicidal against many of them. Using proper deployment of mines it's possible to wear down all major craft and survive the encounter (although one craft require an annoying special tactic of exiting via a corner of the map or get shot down by an extremely long range missile: it took much frustration to figure out why retreating craft were killed after leaving most of the time and even longer to find a way to avoid it). Each major craft has its own properties, so you need to use different tactics when deploying mines against them. For one I had to make several (ideally 4, I think) close U shaped flybys (exiting the engagement and then return again) to deploy the mines so they'd hit, enabling dropping of mines only in a narrow stretch of the path. In other cases you'd get the craft to chase the bomber while its dropping mines, etc. Since I'm using mines exclusively, it's extremely important to have the latest mine technology. You also need to have a sufficient number of bombers to actually be able to deploy the mines (as well as being in range of the target). If I remember correctly it takes 13 Stealth Mine deployments to bring down a Mothership, so you can do it with 13 Drakes (they'd be in a very poor shape when leaving the engagement, but they'll be repaired by the next wave), or 7 sorties of a craft that's capable of deploying 2 mines at a time, or 5 Archelons (which probably won't happen). Note that bombers without countermeasures are next to useless late in the game, as there are few craft that don't sport missiles. I've got 6 "regular" bases that sport a full wing of interceptor craft (currently Contrail), a full wing of repurposed alien interceptors (currently Alien Interceptors with a small number of Heavy Alien Interceptors), and 3 bombers (Lotus, with some bases having an Archelon), plus a drop ship. In addition to that, I have 3 support bases that have a varying number of somewhat outdated Drake bombers that I don't plan to replace except with Lotus craft that occasionally are replaced by an Archelon on a "real" base. I'm sure there are other ways to deal with enemies, but I've found a way that works for me, and given that resources are scarce, I haven't been in a position to engage in experiments. In my thinking, the important thing for a bomber is the number of mines it can deploy while still being equipped with countermeasures. Sure, faster, nimbler, or more resilient is nice, but getting hit by major craft major weapons tends to be lethal regardless of resilience (there's one craft in particular that's fast enough that it's a bit of a struggle to get away from it once you've deployed the mines. but it's still possible even with a Drake). Edit: It should be made very clear that success for me is very dependent upon save scumming. There are probably people out there who can repeatedly follow a working pattern without making mistakes, but I'm not one of those. Also, it takes a fair number of attempts to figure out how to deal with a new craft (or recall how to deal with a known one at times). I'm playing at the NG level, but without the air game nerfing mod. I'm also not above letting the game auto resolve fights that should be won and save scum when that fails (but there are certain fights that the auto resolve claims have a 0% chance that aren't that hard to win with proper tactics, and, conversely, cases where auto resolve gives you 100% chance when it isn't possible to deal the required amount of damage manually).
  15. 1 point
    1. If you bring it down some of them are killed in the crash. I don't know if just damage affects terror mission, although base attack missions see an enemy casualty based on damage. Note that crashed terror mission attacks tend to be more dangerous, however, as there are few locals to soak up damage/delay the enemy, and there doesn't tend to be as much cover as in a terrorized city. 2. Carriers can be shot down. However, there are certain combinations that are not intended to be possible to shoot down because they are escorted by extremely dangerous craft. "When" is subjective. I think it's possible to do it with starting craft (assuming there are no murder escorts) if you're prepared to have a lot of them shot down, but I have never tried that myself. 3. A single remaining alien is capable of slaughtering any locals, so yes, pulling out of a terror mission is a failure. Pulling out of a UFO attack mission is a failure as well. In both cases you can salvage marginall amounts of gear by placing it in soldier inventories. Note that any dropped gear (including inside the drop ship) may get lost, so don't free up inventory space by dropping valuable weapons on the drop ship floor! 4. I use heavy save scumming at the "easiest" difficulty and terror missions are a pain (I don't get real terror missions any more as I shoot the craft down, but the downed craft I'm currently slogging through is plain silly (and I'm still not sure I'll make it). I'm just waiting for the final piece of the puzzle to be made available by the RNG to enter the end game, so that's at the very end of the campaign. I haven't failed any terror missions (or downed terror craft), though (save scumming and an exploit!). Note that every kinetic/energy hit wears down armor, so even if all the damage was resisted, the shot still removed a small amount of armor (15% of the nominal damage), so resisted hits still contribute towards the damage of following hits. Smoke is useful to block enemies from firing at you, forcing them to come closer before they fire. It may buy you time and can protect you from long range shots. I made a test of a Division Mk-3 rifle vs a normal Andron, and it took over 30 hits to kill it (save scumming to make sure every shot hit using aiming to increase the accuracy from abysmal to lousy. Two soldiers were participated in firing at a camping Andron, and no other enemies were active outside of the (non terror) craft at the time, so I had plenty of time). I believe the first damage was cause around hit 22. Thus, kinetic weapons contribute marginally against Androns, but it's better to aim them at softer targets (they're useful against small drones, for instance).
  16. 1 point
    I agree to some extent. I don't mind using multiple launchers. Steam really does need some proper competition as they've gotten really lazy over the years, it's why I've started buying some games on GOG, but for me personally, the Epic Game Store just isn't that. I'm completely opposed to Epic Games using money to force games onto their platform as a way to attract customers, the lack of features that Steam has over it, always online DRM, the fact developers can opt out of reviews, and their lack of security. Though it's nice that developers can get a bigger slice of the pie it comes at the determent to the consumers. I wouldn't be opposed to games being Epic Game Store exclusives if they were never advertised to ever be on Steam in the first place. But the fact that games like Phoenix Point, Outer Worlds, and Metro Exodus were all supposed to be on steam but abruptly dropped the platform for some extra money is just wrong. It sucks cause the Epic Games Store could have been a really good source for competition to steam, but now it's just another crummy game store like Origin or Uplay. It also doesn't help that when I went to make an Epic Games account when considering to buy Metro Exodus there was already an account linked to my email someone from Thailand had created. I know it's not that big of a deal but the fact some rando was able to use my email to create an account without any sort of confirmation sent to my email was really off-putting. I simply don't want to be forced to use a platform that's just in every way inferior to Steam or GOG. I'd like to hope that Epic Games will at some point try to do better than these shady buyouts but so far it's not looking like that's what'll happen...
  17. 1 point
    For me personally it would be really nice to see Earth's military forces put up the best fight they can on the screen, and then gradually see them ground down in their hopeless struggle against the alien invaders. I think it's a quite visceral experience to see one allied npc aircraft after another shot down, knowing that the nations cannot replace them at the rate they are losing them. It'd strongly reinforce both the direness of the situation and the importance of the fight I am in. I also see no reason not to integrate player options into this: the allied nations send up planes to shoot down UFOs, you can send additional planes to join into a squadron. The allied nations will, sooner or later, try and deal with a crash site themselves. You can either try to be there first so you get all the loot for yourself, wait until they are there and have some allied NPCs helping you, which will then also demand some of the spoils, or just decide that you don't have the time to deal with it and the crash site disappears eventually having been cleared by the nation it is in. As far as difficulty goes - i actually made a post quite a while ago, where i looked into possibilities of keeping the difficulty adapting to player skill and keep the game engaging and challenging throughout all phases. As far as i know part of the central idea - that the AI adapts to player behaviour - is going to be part of Xenonauts 2, albeit i have no information on how significant that will be.
  18. 1 point
    No doubt. And when I use my amateur choice of traffic checking tool, www.Alexa.com/siteinfo, to compare steam with epic, I found out that steampowered.com has a global rank of 163, and meanwhile the epicgames.com has only 1,298,680. The traffic ranking alexa provides won't be very precise, but my conjecture here is, alexa ain't joking around neither. humblebundle.com is not surprisingly having a score of 553, gog.com is at 1801 which is still pretty nice, ubi.com is better which has a globel rank of 1199. There are other traffic spying tool around but I didn't check them out because I'm lazy. You can give other tools a shot if you thing those ranking scores are ridiculous. Although I do believe epic store will grow as they start to have more games on it but not in near future, not when the player community still remembers what they did with Deep Silver. Steam is the realm of fairy tale for any developer who create decent game, unless Steam start to charge for the marketing service. And Steam is not like Youtube, the subscribers from Youtube pay nothing but their time.
  19. 1 point
    Thanks for the report. Yeah, the strategic operations are currently existing independently of the ground missions. It's not intended that you can send soldiers on both types of mission at the same time but we've not implemented a central soldier management system yet, so these bugs will continue for another build or two until we get around to it!
  20. 1 point
    Pilot's experience can be implanted as an auto-resolve modifier. If successfully shot down the alien aircraft in a manual fight could improve the result from auto-resolve, then the middle/late game would be smoother. It can be something like this: In manual: - Bind the pilot to the hanger to represent the pilot team and other crews who are responsible to a aircraft, so no more click is required. - Survived Pilots in a successful mission may gain exp. - The more disadvantage a pilot's aircraft has comparing to its foe, the more likely he/she would gain exp. - Disadvantage = (tier X foe's strength * number + tier X+1 foe's strength * number + ...) - (tier x friendly's str * number + tier x+1 friendly's str * number + ...) - Set thresholds for Disadvantage in order to define the exp gained ==> low=only healthy survivor from low rank(see below) will gain 1 exp; medium= every healthy survivor will gain 1 exp; high=everyone get 1 exp As the result, in Auto: - the exp a pilot has become a modifier in auto. - set ranks for exp level and then allow pilots gain bonus modifier accordingly in auto: rank\disadvantage low medium high low + n/a n/a medium ++ + n/a high ++ + + - high rank will lose 1 exp if survived with yellow condition and will lose 2 exp if red - medium rank will lose 1 exp only if survived in red - destroyed friendly aircraft will have a 80% chance to have its pilot killed(lose all its exp), if the pilot survive from crash, he/she will still lose 3 exp. Conclusion: I believe by introducing pilots like this will make auto-resolve become more dynamic and help out those players who love the ground mission more, meanwhile it's not complicating the development too much and still able to add some flavor to the game. If the development allows, generating random traits for the pilots when they rank up will add even more immersive experience: Lucky=the pilot has 50% chance instead of 20% to survive if the plane was destoryed. Resilient=if has 0hp after match, instead of been destoryed, the plane has a 10% chance to return to the base with only 1 point of health. Dogfighter=receive additional modifier in auto when fighing against the Fighter type of foe. Tactician=receive additional modifier in auto when on a mission with other pilots who has lower rank. Wingman=receive additional modifier in auto when on a mission with other pilot/s. Engineer=the repairing rate for his/her plane get improved. Trainer=20% chance to add 1 exp for a standby lower rank pilot after gaining exp from a mission. trumaed=after match, if the plane has only red health condition, the plane will still be destoryed. But if the pilot survive the crash, he/she only lose 1 exp, and will never lose more than this value from a mission. Death squad=receive additional modifier in auto if has medium Disadvantage in a mission, but has 60% chance to have its plane destoryed after winning the battle (imagine the kamikaze style) and 100% chance to be destroyed if the battle was lost Nothing=the pilots usually don't get any special traits when they rank up so that the special traits can stay special.
  21. 1 point
    I don't think we'd be given the chance to have that kind of deal, even if we wanted it - we're not as sexy a game as Phoenix Point, who have already signed a lot of deals with various parties for a lot more money than we have. So I doubt there's any risk of us ever becoming an Epic exclusive!
  22. 1 point
    This thread just reminded me of this so much:
  23. 1 point
    What about little animated mini events like this? (Shamelessly photoshopped by me using Advance wars assets :P)
  24. 1 point
    Yeah - although there's two separate issues there, the first being that randomness can theoretically screw the player over and the second being whether AI forces are worth adding to the Geoscape. It is indeed possible for every single UFO to spawn outside your base range in X1 for multiple waves at the start of the game. This causes Relations damage you can't avoid and also blocks you from making progress in the tech tree. The tech tree issue is fixed in X2 because alien raid ground missions also appear on the Geoscape from the very start of the game, so you'll always get some alien tech to research very early on. Fundamentally though, the only way to ensure the player isn't screwed by RNG on the UFOs is just to have "smarter" spawn logic on the UFOs - perhaps spreading the UFOs evenly between the different regions (in random order)? The local forces issue is a bigger discussion. I think I'd prefer a solution like the SAM missile sites Decius mentions; they could potentially inflict gradual damage on UFOs as they fly around the map. Shooting down a UFO when it first appears would stop it inflicting any Relations (or whatever) damage on the local region, but letting it fly around performing its mission for a bit would give your interceptors an easier fight. You can then slowly introduce alien missions that directly attack the air defences of the local region and reduce the damage future UFOs take when flying around in that region. Exactly what form this mechanic takes, I don't know - having actual units on the Geoscape that perform attacks against nearby UFOs would be cool but might clutter things up and have some weird edge cases. Having an abstract number for the Air Defence strength of a region might work better, as you can then just inflict a specific amount of damage per minute the UFO spends over the territory of a region. Or alternatively you could set it so a UFO takes X% damage every time it successfully spawns an event that damages a region, with the % damage falling as the Air Defence score of the region is reduced. This actually dovetails quite nicely with one of the other new mechanics we have, which is that a UFO will abandon its mission and disappear from the Geoscape (not creating a crash site) if it is reduced to 30% HP or less, but not shot down. In the early game this would naturally limit the amount of damage any given UFO can inflict on a region before it is forced to retreat, but if you let the aliens destroy the Air Defences in a region then it allows all the other UFO missions to operate for longer before they disappear (this matters less if you've got interceptor cover over the region that can shoot the UFOs down).
  25. 1 point
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