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  1. 2 points
    One of the changes we are planning to include in Xenonauts-2 is a "modular armour" system, which is intended to give the player much more flexibility in terms of how they equip their units - and if all goes well, it should also be visually more "cool" than the armour system in the first game! Problems with the Xenonauts 1 System: The first Xenonauts game had six suits of armour in it which could be simplified down into three tiers of technology that contained a "heavy" armour and a lighter and usually more mobile "light" variant: Basic Armour (starting) / Combat Armour Wolf Armour / Buzzard Armour Sentinel Battlesuit / Predator Battlesuit The light armour typically offered less protection but had a jetpack, and the two battlesuits also offered 360-degree vision or maximum Strength respectively. This sytem worked fairly well in general but there were a couple of instances where it ran into difficulties. The pace of the campaign and the sheer number of armour suits meant that you were constantly unlocking new armour, which meant you were often replacing your shiny new armour every two or three missions. Such a short lifespan rather detracts from the cool factor of getting new gear. There was no way to customise armour - e.g. a Buzzard jumpsuit would always have a jetpack, but on missions like Alien Base attack missions a jetpack was completely useless. There was no option to drop the jetpack and, say, use the reduced weight to bring along a few more grenades instead. The Xenonauts-2 system is designed to take everything good about the Xenonauts 1 armour system and fix the problems that it had. How the Xenonauts 2 Modular Armour System will work: In Xenonauts-2 those six armours would be collapsed down into three suits of armour that each have a number of "modules" that allow you to customise them. For the purposes of this thread I'll use similar names for the armour: Tactical Armour (starting) Wolf Armour Battlesuit Armour The modules currently planned for the Tactical and Wolf Armour are the following: Heavy Armour (+armour, +weight) Rebreather (gas immmunity, -acc) Tactical Visor (+acc, -armour) Jetpack (+weight, vertical movement) It is a little deceptive that there's now only three armours, as you can easily recreate the six armours from X1 - the Buzzard is just Wolf Armour with a jetpack, whereas removing the jetpack and equipping Heavy Armour gives you the equivalent of the X1 Wolf. It's better than that, though: there's no reason why a particularly strong soldier can't equip everything at once (although ideally the penalties on the items mean it'd be suboptimal to do so from a min-maxing point of view). The modules are controlled by a series of toggle buttons shown below the armour dropdown. You can see a simple (programmer art) concept for how it will look in the image below: Each of the buttons is toggled independently from the others, so each soldier can equip any combination of the modules for any given armour. They will also be compatible with the loadout system so you can say all your Assault troops have Heavy Armour and Rebreathers, while all your Snipers have Tactical Visors and Jetpacks (obviously you can also customise individual soldiers too). The art will also update to reflect the equipped modules, which I think is going to be one of those "cool" moments when people when people first see it happening and start to mix and match different components on their armour. Research, Progression and Armour Modules: Clearly, not all of the modules for the armour are available from the start of the game - the jetpack and tactical visor are unlocked via research and then can be shared across multiple types of armour. But the idea is that individual modules can also be upgraded. The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed the first image has three different armours in it, and this is because the first image represents the basic Tactical armour and the second image shows the Tactical armour with the Heavy Armour (Kevlar Vest) option enabled. The third armour shows the Warden Vest, which is an upgraded version of the Heavy Armour that is unlocked by early game research. Similarly, we could also put a SENTINEL Visor in the game that is an upgraded version of the Tactical Visor that also grants 360 degree vision. We need to spend some time working through the UI / UX of how this could work, particularly if the module items are limited quantity, but it the potential is definitely there for a cool system. Finally, I should say that it would definitely be possible to make a more complex system with loads of different modules for each armour if we wanted to, but I don't think it would be practical. The art requirements get really complex really fast (because each module needs to work with any other combination of modules), and the user interface would also start to fall apart. Having four or five modules per armour tier means we can have a UI button for each, which means changing modules is quick and easy for the player - anything more complex would need a seperate menu (which I think would be pretty laborious to use).
  2. 2 points
    As we get towards the middle of November I feel like we've been making good progress in recent weeks. Our latest release Closed Beta V9.2 went up on the Experimental branch yesterday and has a long changelog of gameplay fixes that smooth some of the rough edges off the gameplay. We've also made good progress on the big things we said we were targetting in our last update - mostly finishing off the Air Combat and fixing up the broken / missing parts of the new UI. Both had a lot of small updates and fixes that needed to be made but I feel like both have now reached the standard of the rest of the game (i.e. working, but need some more visual and usability polish before the game releases). Core Completion: From my point of view the biggest change in the last four weeks is that the completion of the Air Combat means all the "core" gameplay systems are functional, and the game is now playable. I've therefore been regularly sitting down and playing the game in short sessions to see what missing features, bad game balance, usability issues and bugs are affecting the gameplay. There is, of course, rather a lot of those things to fix up before the game can be considered finished. But these are generally fairly small issues when taken individually and the V9.2 shows that we can quite a few of them in a single update when we're not tied up working on "big" features, so I think you'll be seeing the gameplay improving quite rapidly from here on out. I know I've been promising this for a while but this time it's already happening - and I consider this quite a big milestone for the project! Modular Armour & Updated Artwork: Now we're starting to nail down the mechanics, we're also starting to work on some of the final artwork. The artwork above is a rough preview of the new soldier armour designs, which have come about as a result of the Modular Armour system we will be implementing in the near future. This system should make the choice of what armour to equip your soldiers with more flexible and interesting than it was in the first game; you can read all about it by clicking link! As you can see, we've also taken the opportunity to redesign the armour visually (the two figures on the left represent the starting Tactical and Combat armours respectively). We didn't get the look of the starting armour quite right when we did the previous version of it a few years back, so this time I wanted to give it a more military feel. The advanced armours have also had a bit of a redesign and are now looking much cooler than before - what was previously the Wolf Armour now looks particularly badass, and I'm looking forward to putting in the game in V10 or V11. We're also adding more artwork to the game for the aircraft and the base tiles. The first new aircraft design (the Phantom) is in the game, replacing the Corsair. I've got some plans to switch up its role from the dual-cannon bruiser that the Corsair was in X1 to something else once we get the upgradeable interceptor components worked into the research tree, but for now it's just a Corsair that looks different. We'll be adding updated artwork for the other interceptors in future updates too. The base tiles need more work; they're better than reusing the old X1 art but they're still not quite right. There's a fine line between having a base that looks grey and boring and a base that is way too visually noisy or garish in terms of colour, but I'm sure with a few more iterations we'll be able to find a happy middle ground where the base looks more detailed and "realistic" than before without looking dull. Early Access & Current Priorities: I don't yet have a firm date for you guys about the Early Access but we're currently eyeing January next year. This date would only be two months away (and people will be off for Christmas for some of it) so we're having to choose our planned work rather carefully. This is my thinking at the moment: General gameplay polishing and balancing Modular Armour system Adding item replacement functionality to the tech tree (so you can upgrade an item into something else) Some writing / artwork for the early game tech tree Getting all the Kickstarter backer soldiers into the game Getting the base structures, aircraft and UFO stats out of the code into editable JSON files The idea for Early Access is to have a rough but playable game and then spend the Early Access period polishing and adding new content to it, and I think these changes would get us quite some way towards that goal. Anyway, that's it for this month - comments and thoughts welcome, as always.
  3. 1 point
    might I suggest linking to them again if you ask people to respond to them, its faster and easier then digging through the thread to find someones suggestions.
  4. 1 point
    Today we're releasing a hotfix for the Beta Build V9 on our Experimental Branch, which fixes two crashes that were introduced in V9.2. Changelog: Farm maps should no longer crash when you try to load them. You can no longer dismiss the "choose which base to build the interceptor at" pop-up when building an aircraft in the workshop. Doing this would cause the interceptor project to be created but not have a target Hangar, which would break the engineering queue and then crash the game on completion. Please continue to report bugs in V9.2 if you encounter them.
  5. 1 point
    I may have been answering your question, but my reply wasn't actually aimed at you - I'm well aware that you're not going to agree with what I'm saying, as your stance has always essentially been that we should add as much realism and complexity as possible irrespective of the consequences. The reply was for other people who might have been wondering the same thing and might be less opinionated on the topic. It doesn't surprise me that you disagree that putting key information in a sub-menu rather than having it accessible on the main screen is in any way more complex or more cumbersome than having it accessible directly, but it's a well-established principle of UI and is the exact reason why things like desktop shortcuts were created 20 years ago. I obviously don't think any players would fail to understand how a dropdown worked but it would definitely make the screen harder to use. What you're therefore advocating is that we make gameplay worse for the 80% of players that don't play mods so that modders have the flexibility to add a more detailed system post-release. Any serious mod is probably going to be built on the foundations of X2:CE, which is an opt-in product, so I'll let them (or us in a DLC) worry about switching the display to a dropdown. Then hardcore players get to have the toys that they want without making life harder for everyone else who doesn't want that level of complexity, which I think is a happy middle ground for everyone.
  6. 1 point
    Id like to see the changing of each separate turn (Aliens Turn and Friendlies Turn) to just say AI Turn. Too much can be gleaned from separate turns in terms of duration of the turn (how many might be alive), sounds and shots etc. Just make it AI for both to increase the fog of war.
  7. 1 point
    In the original X-Com, with certain UFOs it was very cool to blow some holes in the roof and simultaneously assault from there and from the ground. If there are no technical hurdles, roofs should also be made destructible now.
  8. 1 point
    Why an extra UI? Why not simply have the button be a DROP DOWN MENU? Click on it and hold and 2 items appear - tactical and setinel visor. Pick one to equip. That takes no more space on the UI and allows dozens of items under one button. Heck, have one bottun for BACK slot (jetpack, ammo backpack for the big guns, etc..), one for CHEST (armor plating, refelctive coating, grenade harness, etc..), FACE (rebreather mask), EYES (visors...or you put both under HEAD)
  9. 1 point
    I like the system overall. While armour in X1 didn't seem to be a big problem to me, the modular system as proposed is a clear improvement. One minor point from a UI and modding perspective. Already in V9, the old armour dropdown is back. I think it's significantly worse UX, and also the icons for modules would potentially be difficult if (when) modders add many modules. How to display the icons then? Proposal: make armour its own equipment tab (again), where each of the three armour types is an item, and the modules are displayed next to each in a grid, similar to how ammo is displayed next to weapons.
  10. 1 point
    Talking from a players perspective, I think I'd prefer having to build each item individually, but upgrade items en-masse. Even with relatively small amounts of items - say 20 for an A and B team, it would be fiddly to have to upgrade all of each item in turn and I'd never be sure that I got everything. I'd likely instead sell off all the current item and build a batch of the new stuff.
  11. 1 point
    Making the research tree more complex and interesting seems like low hanging fruit. Easy implementation (compared to something like redoing air combat mini-game) but really powerful in terms of shaping up the campaign into something less linear and repetitive. For a wish list though? I'd be more ambitious than just adding new techs. I'd want to entirely overhaul the concept of 'research projects'. Currently they are checkpoints that require a certain amount of science points to pass. I'd want the research to be about pushing in certain theoretical directions, with testing rigs and equipment that you need to build in a lab. That theory, however well-formed you let it become, then gets passed to the engineers who try to build according to the specs you give them. Research trials and the capability of your engineers to churn out working prototypes wouldn't be a simple process of 'earn enough science points'. I think this would make the science/engineering dichotomy much more sensible (because at the moment it is a bit sucky). And there would be many more branches of science to pursue. Currently, you have a conventional physics which is boosted by alien physics with a bit of xenobiology nudging at the side. But there are loads of channels you could split research into so it would be a real tree with branches for: materials, energy, nanotechnology, cosmology, electronics/computers, AI, encryption, aerospace, genetics, alien physiology/psychology/sociology. A lot of these are already there, but the research projects are oriented around understanding individual objects you find in the UFOs. Once you study an engine, you know everything about propulsion forever. There is more scope than that!
  12. 1 point
    8-man team should be more friendly to a new comer. Less troops to manage, enough variety, and leaves more space for upgrade. Side door is very useful from my X1 experience. Glad to see it preserved. Tilt-rotor is cool. And offers an explanation of the continent-crossing speed. Just make sure it has three wheels instead of four. Both copter and fighters can be made flimsy or sturdy. Scout helicopter to Mi26, training plane to A-10. But on the map I think they are both thin walls, so that strikes me as more realistic. Personally I'd leave dynamic door for more advanced, ufo-tech-stealing crafts. Blame the slow hydraulic system of the low tech homo sapiens.
  13. 1 point
    Thanks for the comments guys, I skimmed them just now and will re-read later in a day or two - my first extended playthrough at the weekend ended up mostly flagging up bugs and missing features more than it did bad game balance. I'm hoping I can focus on the gameplay more when I do another session tomorrow or the day after. A few thoughts that spring to mind, though: Dropship: Firstly, we're most likely changing the dropship design again, this time back to a Chinook. My gameplay session over the weekend convinced me that having a dropship with a 1m raised floor was too annoying when you were trying to maneuver troops because you can't click through the raised floor to hit the lower tile immediately behind it, which means moving soldiers around the far side of the dropship is a real pain unless you want to rotate the camera. With a flat floor movement isn't impeded in any way and the process is just much cleaner. Once you assume you want a ground-level floor then the shape of the Chinook works much better. This change means the return of the large 3x6 cargo hold of the Chinook, giving room to maneuver your troops around and arrange them in different parts of the dropship. It also means we can change the dropship troop capacity very easily. I think there's an argument for 10 starting soldiers (more on that below) but if we want to revert to 8 it's not a problem. Converted Alien Weapons: Secondly, I'm not quite sure what we're going to do with the converted alien weapons. The concept for them was that they gave you an easy path into energy weapons so you could tackle kinetic-resistant Androns more easily if you didn't go for early Laser Weapons ... but I don't really think they have an interesting niche. I'm also not sure it's viable to build much gameplay around needing to use certain weapons against certain alien races; I think it might just be better to dial back the alien resistances a bit (to maybe 30% rather than 50%) so fighting aliens with the "wrong" weapons is still possible, it's just a bit harder. In that situation there's not much point having converted alien weapons at all. Alloys: I think instead the early game could be made more interesting by drip-feeding items in the early game, so when you research new weapons or upgrades you don't simply go to your workshop and build 12 of them over three days so your team is fully kitted with them for the next battle but instead you gain the resources needed to do so over the course of two or three battles. This means you'd have to choose which soldiers get the best gear and you feel like there's progression after every battle rather than every few battles like in X1. I guess early on this probably means only getting a few Alloys each mission and giving the player lots of things that require Alloys - I don't really feel X1 did that particularly well. Lethality / 10 Soldiers: The logic behind having more soldiers and the higher damage on the ballistic weapons is that I wanted to recapture a bit more of the spirit of X-Com, where battles are often a total bloodbath in the early stages of the game, but the enemies often go down in just a few shots, but you get a LOT more soldiers on those missions. The increased lethality also makes overwatch more important; I remember someone pointing out that in X1 by the late game there wasn't much point using overwatch at all because there was effectively zero chance overwatch could kill an enemy in one shot, which means there's very little you can do to protect (for example) a doorway against an alien bursting through and shooting your guys ... the best you can realistically do is wound that alien before it shoots you. I think it's a fair point. So the idea is more soldiers and more deadly weapons, but also more weapons with similarly deadly weapons. I'm open to discussion on those points but that was the thinking behind it.
  14. 1 point
    I agree that some aliens definitely seem to move a lot more, and Brutes seem to do this more than most. Not that I necessarily want them shooting more as they seem to be a good sight more accurate than my soldiers are, but they aren't really doing what you'd expect them to do. Of course, if they were to be a lot more RAWR and shoot a lot more, I'd want a smaller number on a mission until I get the chance to handle one. As it is, even with some converted alien weapons I often have to devote half my squad to one Brute simply because I cannot get enough hits to put it down. I'm not sure I agree. There is quite a bit of randomisation with damage which doesn't make it a sure kill. I've got hits with sniper rifles and done less than 20 damage, and then done 50 with a regular rifle. It's not until you get to laser weapons that you can generally one shot kill anything, and even then it's mostly just Psyons with the laser sniper. And given how much Sebillians can regenerate, I've seen Brutes come back over 100 hp in a turn, I don't want to become even more frustrated than I already am with taking one down with ballistic weapons. In my last alien raid mission in 9.0 I think it took me 4 turns to kill a Brute. Given the way they swarm your ship, which I really like as it's realistic, you'd get massacred every time if ballistic weapons were nerfed. I agree that I barely use them. The only advantage they have is as a backup weapon for the HEVY Launcher or LMG when you simply don't have enough TUs left to fire the other weapon - or you really don't want overwatch fire with the HEVY. I do also use them with the soldier carrying the shield, but by the time I get that I usually have the converted plasma pistol which I think makes a lot more sense. That said, at anything other than very short range they miss a lot, and do need something to make them more useful in the game.
  15. 1 point
    Sort out grenade launcher troops hitting their own troops when their right next to them!!!
  16. 0 points
    Prime example of this see photo. Grenade launcher in door way on left with clear sight to ufo, lands 2 squares away wounding own troops.