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  1. 2 points
    In a lot of strategy game in order to maintain balance between the two opposing (sometimes even human) players there's a fog of war across all of the map. While a fog of war is a good idea I do think that coming by the air to a crashed (or non crashed) landing on your own planet is a missed opportunity to try and change or spice things up. How do you think a battle or your behavior would change if you had at least a basic layout of the map? You'll still have fog of war but you'll know where buildings, walls etc are. Theoretically you'll also have intel from surveillance (via airplanes or satellites) on the amount of enemy troops (even a rough estimate by words like: a few, several, multitude, swarm etc would be enough) I don't know how exactly this would effect gameplay but taking examples from a competitor, they had a stage before they figured out what mechanics to implement exactly where the game just kept changing to check different play or mechanics (like one time line of sight was laser pointers from soldier to enemies and other soldier and the whole battlefield was just laser lines) while not having access to the game myself I think it would make for an interesting test, and since the game hasn't been released as a "beta" to the public I might not be too late to examine new ideas... what are your thoughts on the subject?
  2. 2 points
    With only a few more working days in January remaining it's time for another update on our progress - and it's been a productive month here at Goldhawk. The project seems to be gathering momentum and I feel like our community are becoming increasingly enthusiastic about the game with each new month. New Content & Polish: We released Closed Beta V17 on the Experimental branches last week and patched a number of bugs yesterday. We'll leave it a few more days and see how many more bugs are reported by the community after the latest patch, and if no further hotfixes are required we'll probably push V17 out to the default stable Steam / GOG branches. The main new feature is an adjacency system for the base structures on the strategy layer. This system makes buildings more effective if they are built next to other buildings of the same type; for example Living Quarters grant additional living space if constructed next to other Living Quarters. Although the system is quite simple in prinicple it makes planning your bases far more interesting than before and I think it'll be one of the first new features in X2 that returning players will notice, because it adds a wholly new dimension to a familiar system. We've also been doing further work on the visuals. The MARS vehicles now update their art on the strategy layer and model in the tactical combat when you change their weapons. We've started working with a new particle artist, which has allowed us to replace the truly awful fire animation we were previously using and we'll be updating the smoke / explosions / etc over the coming months so they look a bit more polished. There's been a few new pieces of research art added, and we're designing the first new dropship for the game and working on the inventory art for the various vehicle weapons. We're hopefully going to start work with a new UI artist shortly too, so there's plenty going on. However we've prioritised improving the stability and usability of the game above everything else. We've fixed upwards of a hundred bugs or small stability issues every month since about August and we're starting to see the results. You still shoudn't expect Xenonauts 2 to feel like a finished game when you play it (it's still a much worse experience than Xenonauts 1) but it certainly seems possible to play it for a time and enjoy it - which is good news, because we've still got lots of polish and improvements planned! Upcoming Work: It's hard to plan too far ahead when so much of our work is responding to issues experienced by the community, but there's a few things we have our eye on. The first thing is to get the final two UFOs that create crash sites into the game. We've finalised the 2D art for these UFOs and we've got the basic model in place, but doing the final texture work and setting up the tiles in the tactical combat is rather time-consuming for UFOs this big (plus we'll have to create maps for them for all the different biomes). However having all the UFOs done will be a nice mini-milestone for the project and will allow us to test the tech tree all the way through to the very end of the game. We're also going to be looking into some optimisations. This month we removed quite a chunk of unused old assets from the game directories, which reduced install size by 20% and sped up load times a little. We've also been working on improving the performance of the Geoscape by optimising the prerequisite system, as this controls everything from what time UFOs spawn and when research projects unlock to whether base structures are being constructed in a valid location or whether a specific unit can equip a specific item. Hopefully this will speed things up noticeably on low-end systems. Other things we're hoping to be able to spend some time on are AI improvements, putting in a penalty for going over your Stores Capacity, and making further improvements to the Stress system so that the stress accumulated by soldiers is tied more closely to what actually happens to them on the battlefield. Early Access: Our current plan is to launch into Early Access towards the end of next month, but we'll be evaluating the game in a week or two and making a final decision on whether to postpone the launch or not. If you've been eagerly awaiting the Early Access launch so you can finally get your hands on the game, fear not - we've been working on alternate arrangements to allow new people into the Closed Beta even if the Early Access launch does get delayed! More details on all that once we've made the decision to postpone or not.
  3. 2 points
    Thanks for the feedback @Skitso, nice to see you back and I'm glad you like the direction the game is going. This is useful stuff to read and hopefully most of the gameplay kinks highlighted will be ironed out over the next 6 months or so. There's a million little things to do but we're working on it. We will be updating the inventory to open by pressing "i" in the next build or two (thanks @odizzido) and we may well also rearrange the tactical combat UI as well. We're doing some fairly urgent work on the controls because we saw a lot of people bouncing off the demo due to the controls being fiddly, and we might do another pass on the tactical UI layout when that's done. I wouldn't be surprised if we did move the TU / HP centrally when we do that, like you've suggested. And yeah, I'll probably still drop you a message when the map editor and mod tools finally become available (annoyingly it's way more complex than it was in X1 to make it available, and there's also issues where we're using licensed plugins to make things easier within Unity but we're not allowed to distribute them without permission).
  4. 2 points
    Experienced soldiers should not miss large aliens standing near them (1 cell distance). Especially if they have a shotgun.
  5. 2 points
    As Ruthless Reuban said, Video uses NG difficulty where the UFO health is lower and is also using the submod called easy airgame which means even lower UFO health and faster airplanes for the player. Here is how I do it. Difficulty NG +2. Small showcase : Bigger showcase : Now go and shoot down those bad boys, there is a nice reward if you do.
  6. 2 points
    Yeah, to be honest you're not really meant to be playing that far into the tech tree. We'll hopefully be replacing the X1 Shrike with an entirely new design for the Pegasus, and I'm still not sure exactly what we'll do with the Valkyrie. You're still right that the Pegasus having 16 soldier carrying capacity is incorrect, though - it should be 12 like you say. I'll change that in the hotfix. Thanks.
  7. 2 points
    If wanna Scroll down in the Storage, you can´t reach the bottom. You have to sell all things above to get to the Things which you can´t reach. user_durch_bug_mein_fehlendes_geld_ercheaten-27.json
  8. 2 points
    Hi, so I know that y'all closed purchases because you'd be launching into early access in the "next few months". But it's been more than a few since then and I think we're still more than a few away from EA at the moment? I don't really mind because we all know game dev is a finnicky thing. Plus COVID is a pain. I just wish I could purchase the beta so I can help test the game. Would it be possible for me to give you my money?! Anyway, keep up the good work.
  9. 2 points
    The good news for anyone concerned about X2 being a high-definition remaster of X1 is that we're approaching the point now where all the core mechanics are working properly, and we can actually start testing the planned changes to the game mechanics rather than just talking about them. I know a number of backers have been a bit frustrated that the last few builds have mostly been about adding features that were in the original Xenonauts, but (as I mention at every opportunity) that was always our plan. We need a fully functioning version of the game before we can properly evaluate new features, and if we randomly left features that were in X1 out of X2 (e.g. night missions, base defence missions, etc) then a lot of fans would say: "Hey, we liked that feature, why did you remove it?" At this stage I can't make any promises about what new features will make it into the final game, but we've got a couple of ideas for new systems that will have quite a major effect on gameplay and there's a number of important parts of the game we think we can expand by adding smaller new features to. Someone up above mentioned the XCOM2 expansion pack War of the Chosen, which took a game I thought was pretty average and made it into something great by adding a couple of major new mechanics and some carefully chosen additional content. I think that's a good example of how well an approach like this can work and it's the sort of gameplay effect we're hoping to achieve (plus a bunch of visual improvements, obviously!)
  10. 2 points
    Yup, this is a good point. The terrain already supports destruction but in many cases it's either extremely tough or specific assets aren't set up with a destroyed state so just won't get removed from the battlefield no matter how much damage you do to them. This is something I've been actively working on in the current build we're putting together at the moment, because I agree it's kinda lame not to have destructible terrain. In a lot of cases the terrain will just vanish when destroyed in the new build (because we've not properly set up the visual effects of destruction on every single asset) but everything should be destructible again. So just hold tight for that build
  11. 2 points
    Chris, I appreciate your explanation of the update, but a couple of us see things l like "The September Update" - and I under stand this is not a code release - but it gives a lot of people that impression. My buds sees this and ask me what's new, and all I can say is nothing, I am still on the June build. So let me ask, when will be see a substantive update? From our perspective, it has been 3 months now. Kind Regards, Kef
  12. 2 points
    Sorry - not reading through the trhead chain just posting to the title: I hope it is Xenonauts with a new coat of paint and extended/improved mechanics I enjoyed Xenonauts 1 quite bit but it had some rough edges (inconsistent art) and a simplification I didnt like (ammo) so my etalon is still the original XCOM The games that were trying to capitalize on the original all concentrated on MGMT of a small squad instead of MGMT of an actual army on a strategic layer which I could never get behind. Though I enjoyed the Firaxis remakes, they are far too simnplified and streamlines for console for me to have replay value Maybe I am in a minority but I really didnt care abouth reanming and pampering solderis in the original and was usualyl sending 4 fireteams to missions with around 50% accepted casualty rate. This gave the game a much more interesting strategic feel as I was not managing soldiers but an army with resources and equipemnt and funds was more important then who gets shot - no save scumming needed for this which is also a plus When I read abouth Xenonauts 2 and the concepts going in the direction of the Firaxis remakes I lost interest of the project: for me the first game was interesting as it kept the strategic mechanics of the original and extended upon them especially in air combat. When I was thinking of Xenonauts 2 the improvements that could be made seemed obvious: 0. Better coat of paint 1. More mechanics involving countries and/or regions - diplomacy, resource production (oli, metals, rare metals, food, supplies) or even supporting locla forces so they can defend, fight back and assist during missions in their own region 2. More base MGMT options with various types of defenses, base types, building upgrade options and having to repair them after invasion causes damage during bombardment or in the tactical mission 3. Pilots gain EXP, pilot suit upgrades to increase reaction time, precision or simply enable them to survive when plane is shot from under them 4. More beefy research enabling building of drones, droids, weapon/ammo upgrades etc... 5. Damaged UFOs and destructable hull 6. More mission types: defend diplomats, scientists, kill enemy commander (there are some ideas that can be picked and refined from the remakes: see behemoth idea from Poenix Point) Now having stumbled upon the recent pictures posted on Steam I am very much interested in Xenonauts 2 again: both the new armor and airplane model look more consistent and the mars pattern tank concept sounds interesting Despite what some were saying when the Firaxis remakes came out, I dont think they streamlined the original: they created a new game that has totaly different approach to how it is played. Those games are abouth super-heroes killing of hordes of aliens and looking cool doing so. For me the original was a gritty attribtion war agaisnt a superior enemy force and a race against time to reach their level of tech to be able to stop them - I thin that this game was only realyl remade by Xenonauts 1 so far and as of late by Phoenix Project which I will try I as soon as it leaves Epic. But will also be very much interested in Xenonauts 2 if it is realyl "just" a new coat of paint and more in depth mechanics from the first game
  13. 2 points
    I'm not speaking for Chris, Goldhawk or X2 here - I'm just spitballing about this since it came up a few times and I've worked on a few adaptive music projects. From an asset standpoint, it's fairly easy to do. The tricky part with these systems is defining the playback logic and implementing it so it works properly (which includes addressing a lot of weird edge cases you may not expect). Even with a relatively easy system that is driven by a single emotion (let's say 'tension'), it can get squirrely: How many levels of tension should you have? Are they structured linearly, logarithmically or something else? What logic escalates or deescalates the player through those levels? Proximity to the downed UFO? Enemy count? Enemy rank? Overall health of the player team vs enemy team? Time of day? You'd probably want a system that measures and balances a lot of these together as trying to use a single variable creates obvious problems. For example, in the early game, enemy count might be the best way to measure tension but I'd argue that by late-game, it would be more about enemy rank. Trying to stun a single Praetor guarded by two elites feels more tense to me than having to mop up the last 4 guards on a terror map. There's loads of other problems I can think of with that example. Proximity to downed UFO kinda makes sense if there's a cluster of aliens inside, but if they're scattered all over the map it's actually misinforming the player. So, working out the logic itself is no small feat, especially if you're trying to work with multiple emotional states. Then, you still have to translate that into code and map it to different musical elements. Do you bring in the hi-hats and pads when going from level 1 to level 2? Do you only bring in the pads at level 1, then both at level 2? How long are the crossfades? What about volume adjustments? These questions compound upon themselves and it takes a lot of playtesting to get it feeling 'right'. I can completely understand why so many non-AAA devs opt for the much simpler solution of playing single tracks in the background or whatever. Anyway, like I said -- this isn't about X2 at all. I just do this for a living and I'm excited about this project, so it's fun for me to come on here and yak about it.
  14. 2 points
    @Comte Pseudonyme I like your idea of making the alien behavior more distinct. I also think there’s another way to create new aliens while still technically still the same species of aliens, that is having alien ranks being not only a separation of gear and weapons but also genetic implants: For instance, a generic Sebilian is just another combat platform to the Praetors, and as the creatures rise in rank, they will be given different genetic manipulation to make them more and more varied based on different species of reptiles: >lieutenants can spit poison like cobras and have more snake-like, more slender body with head flare and fangs >captains can have shell plates that act like riot shield with a stockier body, with beaked head like a turtle >commanders having an extra melee attack with a jaw like a crocodile and tipped with alien alloy augmented teeth as well as all other abilities of their lower rank counterparts While the Caesans can be manipulated for their role as fodders, pilots and low level psy troopers: > Caesan pilots due to the need of controlling motherships during long space transits have completely degenerated legs with their fingers sub dividing into arms. Being able to wield heavy weapons like rocket launchers on their anti-grav supports >Caesan Hivers have themselves fully made for being thrown into the meat grinder of war. They have their psy ability modified to have multiple bodies sharing the same mind. Which means they’re a hive mind squad that acts like the soldiers in FEAR. >Caesan psyker have their bulbous head crackling with a power field that weaken enemies around them and suck away morale every turn. They’re protected by a layer of power armor. Things like this will show the alien being nothing other than tools for the alien overlords and a grim glimpse of humanity’s fate if we bow down to the praetor. Even a more upgraded Reaper is possible. Where their head and brain is completely replaced by a scouting drone, giving them the ability to wield multiple weapons at the same time, something like Endless Space 2’s Cravers. When the body is too heavily damaged, the scouting drone can detach from the body and attack as the creature’s second phase. More aliens would be really nice, but I think we could top other games in the same genre by having more non-humanoid aliens. Something sorely lacking in these kinds of games. But if Goldhawk is lacking in time this is the next best bet.
  15. 2 points
    We seriously need a way to roll the grenade when used indoor. That way not only would the the game not needed to caculate throwing arc but it would also prevent hilarious bugs where the grenade just drop on your soldiers feet and explode.
  16. 2 points
    This is a really good point. I think the strategic layer of the first game had its faults in that it offered to little options in playing and because of that railroad many players who are not really fond of the dogfights into a dead end. I think their could be some good foundation for fixes already established in X2. For instance the ability to build non base structures. This can offer huge possibilities for players that hates the air combat by simply replcace air coverage with static missile bases that can be upgraded with more advanced weapons and defenses as time go on and relations with the regional faction improves (ie having soviet or Nato troops garrisoning or energy shiels to negate bombardment entirely). The biggest difference will be that the placement of these structures will not change at all and is bought from a friendly region. The air defense with static structures will then force the aliens to concentrate on attacking to missile platforms by landing troops and capture them which in turn will make the game more focused on ground combat. If you dislike such a thing then the structures can serve as debuffing for the alien vessel fighting above their zone of influence while buffing your own aircraft by showing the UFOs stats and health. Even the secret agent mechanics at first teased by early versions of X2 can be further expanded as a gate way for special factional missions (assassination, protection, kidnaping VIPs; foiling alien deals; wiping out gangs smuggling of alien tech; sabotaging Nato/Soviet efforts to gain relations with their opponent or increase your control in the two factions,...). Or something as simple as adding another level of complexity in interogating alien prisoners which always disapointed me in the first game where redundant captured aliens were just unceremoniously put to death rather than used as moles, snitches,... Ah but this is on the context of the setting comes in to play. The aliens pretty much have full space superiority and has used it to wipe out most of the two main super power's military with their orbital bombarments and any further mobilization is still crippled due to power play and paranoia of the cold war. Xenonauts was stuck in the middle of this and only proved their effectiveness at the first stage of the invasion but still looked at with suspicion by the two major benefactors. The aliens clearly don't want complete annihilation of Earth because they would have done so from the start, so maybe they only want to colonize Earth and subjugate the native populance the same way major British corporations started the colonization of India. Which mean the actual funding of Xenonauts is kept secret from the rest of world and the invaders. Which means any actions of the Xenonauts is disavowed by both powers. That's my take on the event anyway.
  17. 2 points
    It would be a really good potential to further dig into the Cold War(or New Cold War) settings of Xenonauts, made me think about the insider-smuggler lore in the community mod. I guess one of the point you've mentioned that would be really helpful is to add espionage elements in game (and similar to what Phantom Doctrine refer to this). Complexity aside, I really like the idea that there would also be an intelligence war between the Aliens, the Xenonauts and even the regular intelligence agencies. It might be even more exciting if the main obstacles of your intelligence operations are not only the alien "generals", but even infiltrators into your base, not only an alien clone in your squad or research team, but even an undercover from the human intelligence agencies who has been spying on xenonauts from the very beginning, and you need to utilize differnt means to reveal those two. It would be more complicated for development, but really a good idea for concept.
  18. 2 points
    I prefer to custom-design each base according to my playstyle and needs. Travel time alone should be a big factor in why multiple bases are needed. You're defending the entire planet. Having ONE team in one base is beyond retarded, even conceptually. If anything, I think you should START with 2-3 bases, tough minimally equipped (as in, mostly unbuilt).
  19. 1 point
    V 16.2b The early downed (small) saucer battlefields are a 99% improvement on previous iterations. More interesting attack approaches and ambush sites to defend against, more structures to worry about (although so far not much use of inside ambushes by aliens to guard against), less single aliens charging into open areas as a way to attack (although they still run into smoke rather than waiting at times--maybe those are the rookies?). Anyway, huge improvements to my gameplay. Thanks!
  20. 1 point
    Sorry, I've been off the forums a while making all the maps needed to actually put out the new release you're referring to, so this reply is a couple of weeks late. The next Experimental build should be arriving either this week or next week!
  21. 1 point
    I think it’s just an early build where the map was still tailored to a “30 minutes into the future modern world” rather than the alternate history scenario Chris presented in the recent thread made regarding revisions in the lore. I suspect the geoscape will change a lot in the upcoming builds. On the difficulty in making the geoscape less complicated, we can fully utilize the alternate history to our advantage. Let’s just say that after the Icelandic Incident, both sides of the Cold War made multiple gains in technology that is crucial for continuing the conflict into modern times. The Soviets implementing a version of cybernetic planning with OGAS, preventing them from stagnation like in OTL. Without the stagnation, India got closer to the Warsaw Pact and officially joined in the 90s, never actually privatized their economy. Yugoslavia and Greece also fell right after Tito died. They won the Afghan War. While on the same page, all of mainland South East Asian countries also falling into the Soviet Camp. On the opposite end, the US now have an even bigger control on Latin America than in our world, to the point of making Puerto Rico their 51th state. All of Central and South America except for Cuba became NATO aligned (there will be an event to change Cuba if the player choose to do it). All of the Middle East also got friendly with the US, Theocratic Iran got overthrown. Australia and Indonesia formed a western ally block in the Pacific. Both sides also continued the space race. The moon having multiple mining operations for Helium-3 to fuel huge fusion reactors on Earth. Mars also having a small base built with cooperation of the US and the Soviet Union. The invasion starts when suddenly all of these bases stopped their communication and the International Space Station disappeared out of the sky (presumably abducted by the aliens).
  22. 1 point
    Enemies don't need to be deadly gun toting soldiers to put the player on their toes and steal all their attention. The poisoned headcrab from Half-Life 2 can never kill you on its own, but temporarily putting you down to one health makes them scary enough that everyone drops everything to kill them first. An alien who covers the field in gas that can't kill you, but does make you a one-hitpoint wonder until a medpack comes along would do the trick. It would even make the rebreathers more useful. I don't think we really have any enemy that poisons you, come to think of it.. In Subnautica, the mezmer can technically never hurt a player who knows what they're doing, but they'll get everyone the first time with a pretty light show and some hallucinations. An alien that makes ghosts of itself where the ghosts never do real damage, go down in one shot, but essentially act as a demoralizing force that's surrounded your soldiers would be cool. At the start, you'd be wasting your shots, but accuracy boosting weapon's attachments could see right through the ghosts telling you which of that enemy you actually have to worry about seems like it'd be fun. They could even count as light sources in dark missions, giving some interesting interplay between keeping them around or not. Many horror games make use of the zombie who's actually two zombies. This one fits in well with the proposed damage location system, though might be harder to code. First two limbs to get shot off become their own enemy, though this might be a bit too close to the reapers/crysalids. Either that, or I'm just rehashing the best new enemy from XCOM2, the andromedon. Still, this is something that explosive kills would be great for. You'd always want to carry around a grenade because an explosive death means you don't have to deal with the enemy that just keeps being more enemies. The faceless were a good idea with a not very good execution. I've never really felt like civilians have had a proper place in these games since the original X-Com, where the lighting system and alien turns meant that seeing a shadow run past a window for two frames made you question if you just saw a human or needed to point your rocket launcher at a house. Even just having turned human agents with their own guns would be interesting, though perhaps this would make more sense in a mind control mission. "Australian soldier is under alien control!" A mindshield style armor accessory could double as a double-agent finder here. The tiny drone from Xenonauts 1 was super fun for me. They did chip damage, but sprayed out so many shots that it was a hilarious worry the first time around and fodder to be destroyed so you wouldn't get your poorly grouped up soldiers all suppressed. I wouldn't be surprised if there was already a plan to bring them back, but suppression is just a neat mechanic and there isn't really any other enemy designed to make use of it. People with plated vests don't get suppressed, but plain clothed rookies so want to get down. Specters were great enemies in XCOM2. They let you have all the fun fighting one of your own without having to worry about losing someone on your team. A enemy that waits for you to get close and uses its turn to copy someone on your team and run away for a future ambush. You have the opportunity to kill them first and, if not, you get the fun of seeing how good your armor and weapons really are. Ultimately, my favorite enemies in XCOM games have always been ones that pull out surprises. Everyone remembers their first cyberdisc explosion, that sectopod just keeps pulling abilities out of its hat, that zombie just turned into another crysalid. When there's something to learn about each alien, something that helps you beat them, it's just that much cooler.
  23. 1 point
    I mean having an actual black market for factional dealings and morally ambiguous organizations should be more thematically fitting for an event-based economy. As it also implies that you can not only trade resources for money but for other things like personnel, research boosts, and relations with certain factions. Because if it’s always depends upon the price, it would push for hoarding strategies from the players to just make a gigantic storage base (because we now have storage capacity now based on the last update by Chris), wait until certain events or just save scumming and then sell it for massive profits. The other thing is that, an active open economy for selling alien material and parts would be bound for the massive corporations of the NATO side to dominate it. Also it would conceptually make it look like the main focus of Xenonauts is to work more as alien poachers who mine their ships for profit rather than the only edge for humanity in the war against their invasion. Events should pop up similar to games like the Hoi series where certain faction offer to trade some of your alien weapons for different bonuses in funding or others but they also have another effect of worsening your relations with their competitor while making the faction you help have a boost in tech sharing. This could lead to hilarious pop ups in late game that shows the results of your choice. Maybe you only funded a certain side so that leads to things like another Cuban missile crisis where the Soviets use alien augmented ships to deter the US response, or the Berlin Wall fell due to US funded contras with alien weapons breaching it. Maybe you only choose things that further cement the power of the Xenonauts in where you openly coup the government of the two sides of the Cold War and take over the world in the name of planetary security. This could be a cool DLC idea later down the line or a mod to expand the game.
  24. 1 point
    Quirks and flaws of equipment families notwithstanding, Xenonauts 2 follows a linear research progression path. That is to say, the further down the tech tree you advance the objectively better equipment families become. Furthermore, the game follows a linear difficulty progression path. UFOs become larger and more difficult to fight, aliens become harder to kill, and better equipped to kill squaddies equipped with current-gen technology (e.g. aliens have three generations of weapon technology in X2). The X-Division mod for X1 formally recognised this and subdivided the game into specific Phases. As equipment families progress and alien equipment also progresses the pressure is on the player to be ahead of the technology curve. As aliens improve of the course of the game it is generally better to research and manufacture current-gen to match the threat presented by aliens at that point in the game rather than stick last-gen, which matched the threat presented by aliens at the point where last-gen was current gen. This is most prominent with the armour equipment families – it is noticeably better to have wolf armour than it is to stay with basic armour and have the heavy armour upgrade. However, in X1 it is a valid strategy to not invest in current-gen and rely on last-gen technology (the “rush plasma strategy”). The aim of this strategy is to wait for a future generation of equipment family which is significantly better than current-gen, is achievable in a timescale that does not create undue pressure for the player and can be manufactured in large numbers reasonably quickly. While waiting, resources are either horded or spent on current-gen technology in another part of the game, e.g. forgoing Ground Combat lasers to purchase more armour, a key plank of the rush plasma strategy. So, into this, we introduce components. Components as presented in the OP create economic scarcity for current-gen equipment families. If you don’t have the component, you have to pay a stiff penalty to replace the component required, so balancing resources between various current-gen equipment families becomes more pronounced and the desire to obtain components becomes sharp. Penalties for last-gen technology are apparently less than the penalties for current-gen technology. As a consequence there is a strong economic incentive to focus more on last-gen technology than current-gen as resources can be used more effciently. If a player comfortably feels that s/he can survive on upgraded last-gen as opposed to current-gen then we are already in the scenario identified by Chris without any further incentivisation required. Items drops don’t need to be made more common, because economically you can make up for the penalties more efficiently than current-gen. In this proposed scenario, making last-gen drops more common encourages investment in current-gen by the expedient of flooding the market. If components for last-gen become more common this frees up resources to invest in current-gen that would otherwise have been invested in the technologically inferior but economically superior last-gen. It would, however, from a gameplay perspective be better to make the player feel pressured that they need to invest in current-gen technology over last-gen. A considerable percentage of the playerbase for X-Division enjoy the mod because of that pressure to keep up with current alien opponents.
  25. 1 point
    I think it's a valid question to raise, and I'll probably write a longer post on the topic at some point because I imagine you're not the only person thinking this. I guess the question really boils down to what an individual considers sufficient innovation / gameplay change to be "different" to what came before. Over time the design Xenonauts 2 has drifted from being full of bold new ideas to something far more akin to the first game, which mostly happened as a result of those bold ideas colliding with reality and coming up short. The community has definitely played a role in our decision to move X2 closer to X1, but that could be interpreted either as hardcore fans hating change or just people flagging up new ideas that are outright worse than what they were replacing. Both of the changes you mention are in service of a deeper strategic layer than was originally planned in X2. I guess over time I've realised that that complexity in the tactical and strategic layers relative to other games in the genre pretty much IS Xenonauts; a lot of people liked Xenonauts 1 because the strategic layer was more freeform than the modern XCOM games and simplifying the strategy layer as we originally planned in X2 may not actually have been the adventurous choice given that is also what our main rivals have done. I've also found that the various mechanics in X-Com games are so heavily interconnected its difficult to change a major element without negatively affecting other parts of the game; having a simpler air combat model limits the Geoscape more than you might initially think. In general, I think within video games and the strategy genre in particular there's a proud tradition of sequels refining the original game without having to fundamentally change the mechanics. Civilisation II and Master of Orion II spring to mind, but something like Doom II also works for the comparison. If we deliver Xenonauts 1 with updated graphics, better stability and usability, address a number of the gameplay problems, add some new aliens / technology / other content and maybe a couple of well-chosen new gameplay systems to give players more options - is that not enough? Ultimately that's a question of personal taste, really. That said, I do feel bad for people who backed our Kickstarter or bought a pre-order on the basis of our bold promises about new features that have since changed; I think anyone in that situation has a legitimate case to argue they had been missold (which is why I'm happy to offer refunds to such people).
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