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  1. November is nearly over so it's once again time for our monthly dev update. We've had a productive month here overall, making numerous improvements to the game and adding in several new features too. Public Releases: We continued patching V24 this month, eventually releasing V24.7b onto the standard Steam / GOG branches. We got a lot of useful feedback on balancing from the community and I'm actively playtesting V25 at the moment with the intention of releasing it either later this week or some time next week. V25 is going to be our first open beta build, although it'll spend a few days with our existing community beforehand so we can find any critical bugs in it before we begin the open beta. The first (small) wave of invites will probably therefore be going out in mid-December. Alien Abilities: The biggest new feature we implemented this month were the remaining alien racial abilities. These are a bit more "active" compared to the alien powers in the first Xenonauts, with the idea being to pose interesting tactical challenges for the player. I'll give a couple of examples to show you what I mean. The first is the Wraith, which in Xenonauts 1 could teleport around the map (not particularly funny when you were trying to find the last alien in an alien base, etc). Now they instead have an ability called Cloaking Field, which reduces Accuracy by -2 for each tile of distance when shooting at a Wraith. However, Cloaking Field is disabled for the remainder of the turn when the Wraith takes damage from any source. The second is the Cyberdrone, which is a late-game alien unit which has heavy frontal armour and rotates in the direction of any sound - gunshots, footsteps, explosions, etc. Using multiple soldiers (or just throwing grenades behind it) allow you to expose the weaker rear armour and can make it easier to kill. Hopefully this illustrates what we're trying to achieve - basically to make the player think more closely about where to position their soldiers and what attacks or equipment to use. While these abilities still require quite a lot more testing and polishing, once we have them working properly the gameplay will hopefully be richer and the aliens more memorable. Soldier Equipment: In V24 soldiers have an equipment slot called the "special" slot (also known as the "undersuit" slot). This is basically an additional item slot where you can carry one item that gives the soldier a particular bonus - e.g. extra armour plates to boost survivability, a tactical visor to boost Accuracy, a mind shield to boost defence against psionics, etc. As this system hasn't added as many interesting choices to the game as I'd have liked, I've spent this month updating the soldier inventory. Soldiers now have a Primary weapon, a Secondary weapon, and a single 5x5 "vest" grid which contains all the additional items they want to carry into battle (ammo, grenades, extra weapons, etc). Importantly, all the items that previously went in the special slot are now 2x2 items that fit into the vest grid like any other item. I've been playtesting this over the past few days and I think it's a really fun change. The backpack wasn't really being used that much before, but now vest space (and the carrying capacity of the soldier) are much more important, even at the start of the game. Is it worth giving up that spare ammo magazine and two grenades for +5 Accuracy? It all depends on how you want to set up your soldiers, and it's a system I'm looking forward to discussing and balancing further during the open beta. General Development Progress: Other than my work on the two systems mentioned above, most of my time this month has been spent discussing the gameplay experience with our community and ironing out various smaller gameplay / usability pain points in the campaign. General feedback on V24 was pretty good but there's clearly quite a few aspects of the game that are interfering with people's enjoyment of it; many of these should be improved in V25. There's been several content updates to the game, too - the Engineering screen has now been re-skinned into our new UI style, the updated Arid biome is now present (with eight entirely new maps), and the dropships have been retextured in the tatical combat. We've also been busy planning out the tutorial and creating the map required for it, and we'll start work implementing that in December. Finally, we've been working on the load times for the game, and have hopefully now fixed the issue where Windows would think the game had frozen and invite you to terminate the process if you had alt+tabbed out while the game was loading. So overall a rather productive month. I'll wrap up this update there, and hopefully we'll be seeing some of you in the open beta during December! If you want to sign up for the open beta, please post in the previous update thread. I'll be DMing people Steam keys via these forums when the open beta starts.
    6 points
  2. Hello everyone - time for our monthly update. This month we've been working hard on the tactical demo we put out for Steam's Tacticon event earlier this month (still available on our Steam page for anyone that wants to play it), and we're now concentrating on finally getting Build V24 out. If all goes to plan that will be arriving towards the end of next week. A lot of this month has been spent on testing, bugfixing and polishing, so most of the progress this month is on improvements that were already underway. Grenades in particular have continued to sap a lot of our time as we keep encountering all sorts of weird edge cases with them where the arcs go wrong or don't make sense (somewhat to be expected when you try and put a curved arc onto an abstract tile grid) but I think we're nearly there now. The main changes are: The Soldiers screen on the strategy layer has now been reskinned in the final UI screen. The Research screen comes next. We've finished the tiles for the Xenonaut Base biome, and these now need to have their destruction effects added. We're finishing up a few loose ends on the Jungle, Farm and Dockyard biomes at the moment and then we'll move onto the last two biomes that need work, the Arid and the Soviet Town. I've written another 10 or so research reports. Lots of small improvements to the ground combat that aren't technically bugfixes - for example, we've updated the fire paths so miss shots fly off up into the sky much less often, which makes grenade launchers and the MARS rocket launcher much more useful. As for our Early Access plans, they're still unchanged. We're planning for a EA release in the first quarter of 2023 with February roughly pencilled in as the date. Our goal is to have the entire basic campaign playable from start to finish by this date, although there is likely to still be a few rough edges (some research projects not having artwork, perhaps difficulty settings not enabled, etc) in the game at this point. Anway, I'm in the process of playtesting V24 now and it seems like we're on track for a release next week. There's not really much more to say beyond that; it's been almost five months since our last public release so hopefully everyone will see a big improvement!
    5 points
  3. Apologies for the delays to this update. Some big news this month - we're planning to launch the game into Early Access in February next year, and I've been underwater with preparations for that. We're also going to be putting out another tactical mission demo as part of a Steam event later this month, which is also eating into my time. I'll be writing a much longer post later this month explaining our plans for Early Access in detail, so I'll just focus this post on what work we did last month. Abduction Missions: The biggest feature we've been working on are Abduction Missions, which are a new type of tactical mission intended to provide a bit more variation to the ground combat. In these missions the aliens have captured a number of civilians and imprisoned them within teleporter pods, and you have a certain number of turns to free as many civilians as possible - once the timer runs out, all surviving aliens and any pods that have not been opened teleport away. You win the mission by rescuing at least 50% of the civilians, so these missions are no harder than a "normal" mission where you kill all the aliens. However, you receive a small amount of money resources for each opened pod and killed alien (as they do not teleport away) so the player can potentially obtain more rewards on these missions by playing more aggressively than normal. Personally I think this makes them an interesting change of pace from some of the other mission types. These were way more effort than I was expecting them to be, but they're basically done now (just ironing out a few bugs) and so should be included in V24. Grenades: We've now done the final part of the grenade implementation - setting them to use arcs, so they can be thrown over walls or intervening cover. This is surprisingly tricky from a design perspective (arcs and abstract 3d tile grids don't go together well) and even more of a pain to implement, but we know it's an important feature to a lot of players. We're just fixing up a few bugs and some issues with the visualisation, but this feature is also pretty much done and should be in V24. Achievements & Cloud Saves: Achivements are now complete, including artwork, and set up on Steam and GOG. You'll be able to earn them (well, most of them) starting in V24. I'll also shortly be turning on Steam cloud saves, but because our save games were previously absolutely enormous (up to 20mb for some tactical saves) we've spent some time optimising the files so they are much smaller. They should now only be about 20% of their previous size, so only a few mb each, and won't totally destroy anyone stiill on a metered connection. Terrain Tiles & Maps: Last month I spent a bunch time fixing all the problems with the UFOs in the game, using a new tool to find and fix all the line of sight "holes" which could cause the interior space to be revealed by soldiers who were still outside. I also fixed the non-walkable tiles that occasionally appeared inside the UFOs, and finished setting up the styling on the Harvester and Battleship UFO interior spaces. I've also added a LOT of new terrain tiles to the game. These will be most noticeable in the Xenonaut Base biome, which is now mostly complete and looks much more polished than it did in our last public release (there's just a few more rooms left to complete). This is also reflected in the Cleaner Base plot mission, which has been completely restyled and now looks much better than before. UI Updates: We're continuing to work towards having the strategy UI refresh complete for our Early Access launch in February. I've implemented the new visual style for the Main Base and Stores screens, and we're nearly done with designing the Soldiers screen. Once that is complete we only have the Research, Engineering, Aircraft and Soldier Equip screens to implement. Additionally, we're working on an updated visual style for the Geoscape map itself. This won't be dramatically different but we want a map that looks a bit more distinct from the one in the first Xenonauts, and is just a bit neater and less noisy. We're still at an early stage of this but I'm hoping it'll come out well! Campaign / Tech Tree: In preparation for V24 I'm doing another balancing pass on the campaign. One small thing we implemented here was the ability to randomise the spawn times of missions and UFO waves, which has helped make things less predictable, and in general I've just been working through the game and ensuring everything unlocks correctly so you can actually make it to the final mission. I'm looking to get the tech tree locked down for the Early Access release shortly, as there is still quite a bit of art and writing that needs to be added. However this month I did write all the research entries for the entire alien / Cleaner plot chain from the start of the game right up to Operation Endgame (this was about 15 entries in all). This means the hardest part of the writing is now done, as "normal" research entries are less narratively connected and much faster to write. I think that's everything. We are working on V24 still but I'm not going to give a firm date for when it'll be released as I'm conscious I've got the demo to sort out first. But hopefully in the next couple of weeks!
    5 points
  4. With June complete it is once again time for our monthly update. There’s three main things to talk about: accessibility, the end of the game, and the release of V24. Accessibility: We recently noticed that a lot of players were misunderstanding game mechanics, and given the people currently playing the game are Kickstarter backers who usually know the first game well this set some alarm bells ringing at our end. As a result we've added a lot more information to the game this month, which should help experienced players easily understand how the different mechanics are interacting and should (hopefully) make the game much less intimidating for new players. The first element of this is a "hit calculation" panel in the tactical combat, which explains exactly how the hit chance of a shot is calculated (see above). This is a relatively simple change that makes it much easier to understand the ground combat, as it previously wasn't always obvious what you could do to improve the hit chance of a shot. The second improvement is to the Xenopedia (research) reports, which now show the stats of the corresponding alien / UFO / aircraft / piece of equipment / etc. To make things even clearer, we've also added in a section for "abilities" that allows us to explain any unique properties - e.g. the basic Sebillian aliens have the "Regeneration: 20" and "Scaled Hide: 5" abilities and hovering over either of these displays a tooltip that explains exactly what those abilities do and how they work. The result is a clear summary of what each thing in the game does. Importantly, this does not require the player to read the wall of text that comes with each research report - although lots of players like reading the lore, I suspect there's also a lot who would rather not have to! As a final improvement here, we're also working on making the Xenopedia accessible in the tactical combat via the Esc menu! Next, we’ve added mission briefings at the start of tactical missions that make it clear what the objectives and any special rules / alternate win conditions are. Previously this wasn't required because almost every mission boiled down to "kill all the aliens" but now we've started adding more mission variety via more complex objectives it is definitely needed - we were finding a lot of people were getting confused on the non-standard missions. Lastly, we’ve re-enabled the loading screen tips and added quite a few new tips. These are surprisingly useful to communicate minor gameplay or usability features that even some experienced players are not aware of. What comes next on usability? The two main things we're currently planning out are the tutorial and little pop-up notifications that explain mechanics to players as they play (e.g. you can right-click on a door from an adjacent tile to open it, etc). I'm hopeful the game will be fairly easy to learn and play once those systems are done, given our tooltips are already in a reasonably good state! Operation Endgame: We've been working on the final mission of the game for a while now. Last month I blocked out the maps and we did the fundamental code required to support two missions back-to-back. This month I was doing proper gameplay testing on the mission which has led to a lot of bugs being fixed and quite a few amendments to the levels and the balancing. Anyway, it's now possible to unlock the final mission and win it. However, we want to make the experience of winning a game slightly more rewarding than it was in the first Xenonauts, where the game just flashed up a couple of lines of congratulatory text and then booted you back to the menu screen. We've been implementing a campaign stats panel to show the player (e.g. "Total Aliens Killed", "Total Soldiers Lost", etc) and I'm also planning a more substantial epilogue to the game too. Build V24 / Public Release: We're hoping to release our next closed beta version towards the end of this month, likely some point during the week commencing 18th July. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that the things we're working on at the moment are some of the biggest things blocking an open beta / Early Access release (people need to be able to understand the game and win the campaign), and this is not entirely a coincidence. I'm not going to publicly announce any plans yet but we're making a concerted effort to get the game ready for sale soon. Perhaps we'll have some dates to announce next month. Thanks for reading!
    5 points
  5. Hello everyone - apologies for this update being a little late, I had a couple of things I wanted to finish up before I started telling everyone about them. The first thing to discuss is public builds, and the fact we haven't released one recently. We've been working on a couple of big systems that required a significant campaign rebalance once implemented, some systems that required UI updates, and we've also been working on the Cleaner missions that happen right at the start of the game. Anything we put out before that work was finished would have been almost unplayable. Hopefully the next public build will be coming in about two weeks - but with all these changes, I'm expecting it to need several iterations on the Experimental branch before it becomes a better gameplay experience than the most recent V22 build! The first big change we've been working on is the Armour system. For simplicity, we've now unified the armour system in the tactical combat and the air combat so Armour is a flat reduction on incoming damage (e.g. 30 damage hitting a target with 10 Armour does 20 damage). However, there's a wider variety of armour penetration and armour destruction on the various weapons in the tactical combat compared to the first Xenonauts, so the player is now presented with more decisions about the best order to use their attacks. We've added a new grenade that inflicts limited damage on units but is excellent at removing terrain and shredding armour, and we'll be experimenting with armour-piercing ammo for ballistic / Gauss weapons this month too. These armour mechanics have also been applied to the Air Combat, along with quite a few other changes. I've done another balancing pass on the air combat because Xenonauts 2 has added a new type of weapon to the air combat - the energy lance (alongside cannons, missiles and torpedoes). Previously this weapon type lacked any real individual identity and part of the rationale for the armour changes was to give all four types of weapon their own niche: Cannons are short-range, high DPS (damage per second) weapons with 40 ammo. They do low damage per shot so armour reduces their damage significantly, but they also shred armour relatively quickly. Cannons will kill most things but require you to get in close and stay there, which can be very dangerous against UFOs with powerful weapons. Missiles are long range and high damage weapons, but only have 4 ammo. They do excellent burst damage so are great at destroying unarmoured UFOs (e.g. Fighter UFOs) before they can attack you, and can also quickly kill other types of UFO if another weapon is used to strip the armour off them first. Torpedoes are long range weapons with excellent armour destruction, but only have 2 ammo and are slow and easily avoided by agile UFOs. Hitting an armoured UFO with torpedos will quickly strip away its armour and leave it vulnerable to other types of weapon. Energy lances are medium range weapons with medium DPS and good armour destruction, and 15 shots. They act somewhat like torpedoes, but trade a shorter range and a slower rate of fire for more ammunition, more versatility, and the ability to hit agile UFOs. In addition to this, there's been two other major changes to the air combat. Firstly, there is now a "deployment phase" at the start of the air combat where you can set your interceptors up anywhere around the edge of the map, allowing you to group them together or split them and approach the UFO from multiple sides. The type of tactics you want to use are likely to vary based on the type of UFO and the fire arcs of its weapons (and whether it has weapons capable of attacking multiple interceptors at once). You don't get to deploy freely if UFOs on an air superiority mission attack you, however! Secondly, I've reverted the change where interceptors are always built in squadrons of three. We're back to the original system where aircraft are built individually, and our new approach to balancing the air combat is that UFOs gain some additional HP and Armour for each additional interceptor taking part in the battle. It's still advantageous to send more interceptors into battle against a UFO, but this just gives the player more flexibility in their approach - a single well-equipped advanced interceptor can often now be just as effective as a full squadron of three more primitive interceptors (the latter was almost always better in X1). The convenient lore explanation for this is larger squadrons are more easily detected as they approach the UFO, giving it more time to power up its emergency shielding and prepare for combat. I'm aware this doesn't 100% make sense, but I think the gameplay benefits are worth it. The other significant new mechanic has been the introduction of the morale system in the tactical combat. This a similar system to the first Xenonauts but has a few improvements to make it easier to understand and interact with, and hopefully to make the alien psionic abilities feel less random. There's also now a "Focus Mind" button that allows a soldier to spend TU in order to boost their morale, which gives the player a way to defend themselves against potential morale events or psionic attacks if they want. The problem here is that our current tactical UI design has been straining under the weight of all the new mechanics and UI elements we've added since we implemented it 2-3 years ago, and having to add Armour / Morale bars and this new Focus Mind button has been the final straw. We've therefore been working on the final tactical combat UI design that brings the visuals up to final quality and properly integrates all the new stuff. This is a massive job because it's one of the most important and complex UI elements in the game, but I think we've found a layout that works well - it displays more information than the current UI does and uses less space to do it! This post is getting really long now, so I'll just mention a few more things in passing - the Cleaner missions at the start of the game are now a pre-set sequence of four missions with some unique mission objectives to mix things up a bit (as opposed to randomly generated missions that filled a meter that eventually revealed the Cleaner base) a few more screens have had a UI facelift, a few more 3d civilian models and alien armour models have been created and are waiting to be rigged, and we've created some stone ruins to add a bit of variety to our jungle maps - and I'll just leave all the smaller things out entirely. So we've been busy, and we're working on a lot of big things. Apologies for the lack of public builds but when the next one eventually arrives, I think you'll all be impressed by the progress!
    5 points
  6. Surprisingly, I have to agree with Solver on this one. Nothing is more fun killing than knowing exactly what the map is going to be like, and with that you dont really need to pay attention anymore, and that lessens the fun. During the development process of X-Division we took on what needed work the most, and for maps it was the terror missions. Because we added so much aliens the relatively small terror maps felt more cramped than usual. One of the things the team did was create different leveled versions of the same building. Eg: Additionally we simply alternated the vanilla layout. That was a very easy copy and paste job, as we simply copied one level as textdata and pasted it one level higher. Given that terror missions are quite hard, the added variety felt like a good reward for taking on a difficult mission. Keep in mind though that we also forbid the aliens from starting inside of a building, vanilla does not contain any spawn points on higher levels, and the more aggressive AI meant that the player never really had to search for the aliens (thus we also removed the reveal after 20 turns mechanic, and later added it with 40 turns back in again). However we could do better. All of this is based on illunaks contribution of allowing submaps to load other submaps. This technical aspect alone makes a lot possible. Want to make an asset which contains all other boxes ? We can do that. Want to make another asset that loads said box mix with 20% possibility ? Just put and add 2 of the box mix as a file, and 8 empty ones. I am familiar with all the map packs and how they work (mostly) and its not an understatement to say that without the lovely added chaotic and unpredictable maps X-Division would have never come to be. Before people would add additional unit content if no map variety would have been present the gameplay loop would have quickly burned out. Nothings more fun killing than "Been there, done that, seen everything". Imagine playing 200 hours of X-Division on the vanilla maps only, and you will see how much core the mapping scene is to the modding community. Unfortunately, Illunaks contributions came way too late. By the time the functionality was added, all the other maps had already been written, and no map content which utilises this system has been published today. The mapmakers moved on, and thats just that. It came around that that somebody actually implemented this system, and improved on other aspects of vanilla maps too, focusing on the battleship map. Here is showcase of how that could look like: More images of actual implemented variations can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bY-FRNoOYGcEpiQ4ILPaWGlFoagedOtU/view?usp=share_link Here i talk roughly 2 hours about proper game design and explain the ins and outs of the system specifically for maps. And the presented idea visualised in a CAD: This was all done with the functionality that XCE and Illunak provided and is already possible in X1. Now this shouldnt be an argument because it is possible in X1 it should be possible in X2, just showing that the concept removed from the implementation works. Put to the test the procedural generation of battleship maps increased the loading time by 50%. That sounds long, but if you realise you will play at least an hour on such a map its usually worth it. However as Solver once noted, the increased loading time fundamentally shows that something wrong happens in that system, and it should really not take more than 300 ms between a procedurally and non procedurally map generated. Performance is still a factor, and the faster a map loads the happier the players are, as you break immersion less with lower loading times. However, the system will have to be build with procedurally generated content in mind, otherwise you will just end up with scaling issues like in X1. I strongly advise follwoing points: Hire somebody that actually cares about procedurally generated maps. Whether you like it or not, randomised maps are THE factor for the longevity of a game, and a healthy modding scene. Just take a look at Wacraft 3, the public map editor kept the game alive until the game company literally killed its own modding scene, and spawned entirely new genres, like DOTA. Some programmers just really dont like to do procedurally generated maps, others do. If you cant do it yourself, hire somebody who cares for randomised maps. You will have the highest return on gains on this. Make a public map editor available on day 1. Before anything else can happen for a game, there need to be maps. That means before any other modding can happen, you need the possibility to increase the map variety by the community. Just like Illunaks technical achievements were unmatched, as unmatched was the lack of actual modders who used it. By September 2015 the community scene mostly moved on to other things. So that people feel attracted to the vanilla game, and the modding scene, you need a public map editor. The more map variety there is on day 1, and/or the possibility to make their own, the longer you will attract players. The longer you attract players, the higher the chance for them to buy the next game, the higher the chance they really like your content, and the higher the chance they will start to add to the modding community. Because people WILL move on, the question of it is just "when". Providing a bigger variety increases the time window people spend on your creative content, and therefore increase the time window you can paint yourself in a positive light. All of this is a statement about the biggest bang for the buck that the IP can get, not necessarily how possible it is to achieve it. I have not been filled in about the details of the legal issues for a public map editor, or the situation GI is in. But again i have to stress that the least amount of effort is required to implement the system I presented. The modularity of the system is fully accessible, how much effort the map creator spends on any particular asset is a free choice, assets can be reused on other maps ( additional to the "one map, different biomes" idea), and the gain of the system is exponential. By creating only 36 small submaps you can create 5 figure variations of meaningful and good looking maps. Sincerely, Charon PS: I had to chuckle at @Komandos post again, he put it, as other people would say "most expertly", in very few words. PPS: I do love handcrafted maps, but as Solver said, simply turning an asset in all 4 directions can provide immense value, with little to no effort. As a matter of fact most 4x variations i produced are the same asset rotated in 4 directions.
    4 points
  7. This is a personal design choice of course but I really disagree with this one. Map variety (the lack thereof) was one of the biggest issues in X1 as originally released. It's a major issue in X2 now, even though more maps will surely come. But even now in X2 (and I haven't played that much), I know what the entire map is like on turn 1. Oh, terror mission and I walk out in front of a gas station? Okay, that's the one with a restaurant on the next block and the roof of the grocery store that offers great firing lines. Woods map with one car in front and a workshop to the right of the dropship? That's the lumber yard map, trains up in the corner provide good cover and another workshop building on the opposite end is tricky to clear. X1 was the same initially, I knew the farm and industrial maps like the back of my hand. The problem with hand-crafted maps is that they take a lot of time to create and you need many to get the replay value up. Xcom-style games are very replayable but that replayability requires map variety. And it's not easily addressed by adding another two maps per biome, you need an extra dozen maps per biome to make any difference. To me, the possibility of "every building is an office" sounds great! Why couldn't I have one fight in a dense office tower district? I would consider the solution that X:CE adopted. In X:CE, there are the base game maps, the wonderful community-created static maps, but also random (actually procedural) maps. The key being, random maps are only picked when there are no other maps to choose from, there's also a repeat-tracking system (it's actually a bit probabilistic IIRC but that's details). With that, map repetition is not a thing in X:CE, you're very unlikely to encounter any repeats within a single campaign. Procedural forest/desert/arctic maps work wonderfully. Yes, the procedural maps can suffer from illogical placement in urban areas and it's visible with examples like a gas station with no entrance as you mention. But I find that to be a far, far lesser violation of my immersion than heading to the third terror mission in the same city block, where I blow up the same gas station again before turning to aliens in the same diner as last time. By the way, Firaxis learned this as well. Their first Xcom had static maps, which may have had a minimal degree of randomization with how cover was placed. That was consistently pointed out as one of the game's main weaknesses. Their Xcom 2 went for procedural generation, and that was very well received despite the occasional weird placement of stuff.
    4 points
  8. Hello everyone - time for our development update for March. Apologies for this being a few days late, the intention was to time the update to coincide with the release of V23 but we've found a couple of crashes that need fixing that have pushed release back. For those interested, we'll be releasing V23 on our Experimental branches at some point this week. The main thing I've been working on this month is the campaign balancing, which is always a significant undertaking given a full campaign playthrough is probably 15-20 hours long (i.e. at least two full working days). Each attempted playthough results in a number of balance changes that need to be made, bugs that need to be fixed, usability changes to be made, gameplay mechanics that need to be checked out because they may not be working properly, etc. We therefore don't have many "big" features to talk about in this update but there have been a lot of smaller ones. Strategic Pressure / Orbital Bombardment: The main new change on the strategy layer is an attempt to introduce more strategic pressure. The Orbital Bomardment mechanic has made a return in a somewhat altered form, and it's now effectively a monthly performance target communicated in a slightly more thematic way. I know people have been a bit concerned about it in the past but I don't think there's much to worry about in its new form! At the start of the month Orbital Bombardment increases Panic in all regions by a certain amount (e.g. +25 Panic) that increases as the game progresses. If any region has over 100 Panic at the end of the month is surrenders and is lost to the aliens, so the player must try to generate enough Panic reduction during the month to cancel out the Panic gain. Monthly funding from a region is tied to its Panic, so success means funding goes up and failure means funding goes down. Panic reduction is achieved by defeating the alien invasion - shooting down UFOs and completing ground missions like Terror sites. These generate a local Panic reduction, but also a global reduction. The regions you are protecting best will have the lowest Panic but even undefended regions will have lower Panic if it looks like humanity is winning the war against the aliens. The gameplay effect of this is much like the monthly funding evaluations that appear in every X-Com game, but it serves to reduce the amount of damage that can be caused if UFOs spawn repeatedly in undefended regions due to simple randomness, and it also ensures that the game ends more quickly if the player was underperforming (it was always a bit silly that it took 3-4 months to lose the game in Xenonauts even if you never shoot down a single UFO or win a tactical mission). Base Defence Missions: We've spent quite a bit of time this month fixing gameplay issues to do with the Xenonaut Base Defence missions, as we've introduced a base attack on your main facility by the Cleaners to increase early-game mission variety. While this biome still looks a bit ugly (it hasn't had the visual pass yet) the gameplay is more solid. The first thing was to get the Sentry Guns set up. These are the cheap and durable vehicles are only used in base defence missions, and they had some display issues that have now been corrected and their LMGs should now be upgraded appropriately as the player progresses down the tech tree. The second thing was the spawning / deployment phase of the mission, which had apparently got broken at some point in development. The player can now deploy anywhere in their base at the start of the mission except in the rooms that the aliens have spawned into, and the alien crews are now correctly splitting into assault teams and choosing the correct type of room to spawn in. Most types of aliens spawn into Hangars as normal, but certain other types of alien (e.g. Reapers) are able to spawn in random rooms due to their ability to climb through vents or teleport. Other features: We also spent more time this month on updating various strategic UI elements to our new style, and I've got the updated graphics for the tactical combat UI sitting in front of me too so there's a chance that might make it into V23 too. The Air Combat has also had a few more updates to ensure the new formation / deployment system works properly, and we've also set up the autoresolve up to allow the player to manually fight the air battle if they don't like the result the autoresolve gives them. The protects players from the situation where the autoresolve unexpectedly destroys all your planes (usually due to low fuel). The balance here has changed a bit too. There's now four classes of weapons that have different roles - cannons, missiles, torpedoes and energy lances. These have varying ranges, ammo capacities, and damage profiles vs armour and HP. The ability of an interceptor to perform the evasive roll maneuver is now also tied to the weapons they have equipped, so while energy lances are relatively powerful weapons they also make the interceptor carrying them more vulnerable to certain enemy attacks. Finally, we've been working on the blockouts for the final mission this month too. I won't give too much away but there's a few unique rules on this mission that have required a bit of code work too. Hopefully the final mission will be playable in V24 even if the final art pass on the map probably won't happen until closer to release. This has turned into quite a long post so I'll leave it there as I need to get back to working on V23. Thanks for reading!
    4 points
  9. Heh, I guess this is karma for the sort of posts I used to make back when I was a modder What you say is true to some extent. Development on X2 has been harder and taken way longer than I expected. There’s quite a few things I’d do different if I went back in time - maybe I’d even do something else entirely with my time and money. Nonetheless, your post seems written from the perspective of a modder - someone who comes in when the game is complete. You’re working with mature tools, a mature set of game mechanics and a complete set of game assets provided by the game developer. That’s the sort of work that gets done in the final 5-10% of development, and without wanting to diminish the good work modders do, it’s a lot easier than the stuff that gets done earlier in development. You’re not dealing with any moving parts. It’s not possible to write a list of features that will be in the final game early in development, nor do the same for the final assets. Game dev is an iterative process, and the more complex and interconnected the project the harder it is to identify exactly how well any part works until you can test it. And you can’t *properly* test anything until you’ve implemented the whole game and connected all the different pieces to one another. That’s why so much gameplay iteration is happening now. Minimal code changes are required to change the armour model, and I can play and test the mechanics in a proper campaign in a way I couldn’t a year or two ago, let alone near the start of development when the game was just a few boxes on a grid. We’re doing the final civilian assets now because we know the final technical requirements for them, because we know the final lighting setup we’re using in map, which itself is tied to many things including the final method of how we handle terrain destruction, etc. Doing them earlier risks throwing away 30+ models. I don’t agree there’s been no visual improvement over X1 either. Maybe you disagree, but playing a mission on one of our finished biomes I’m personally struck by how much better it looks than the first game. Anyway, I wish the game was finished as much as anyone. I know it sucks it has taken this long. But there’s no point us coming this far and releasing something bad, and I’m sure most people will forgive us the delays if we release something good.
    4 points
  10. Hi everyone - time for the monthly progress update. The big news this month has been the release of V24, which is now coming to the end of its testing period and should be released onto the default Steam branches in the next week or two (rather than being on the Experimental branches). General Progress: V24 seems to have been received well by our community. It's the first time the community has seen large chunks of our new UI and some of our improved combat environments, and the game has generally been tightened up in a lot of ways. It's now feeling increasingly solid - although there's still a lot of balancing and polishing left to do to make it a genuinely good strategy game that really rewards the time you put into it! However, as the first public release we've put out in about five months, V24 had some stability issues and we've spent much of the month fixing them up. Although this is obviously very important work, it means we've not really been working on big new features on the coding side of things. However here's some of the things we managed to get in anyway: The Research screen has now been skinned in the final UI style. The Engineering screen is next and I've spent quite a bit of time this month with our UI artist trying to finalise the design for that screen. We're pretty close to that being done. Most of the tiles for the Arid biome for the tactical combat are now largely done, so the only remaining work on the environment art is the remainder of the Soviet Town biome and then a final visual pass on the dropships and UFOs. I'm working on the level design for the Arid biome at the moment so hopefully it'll be in V25. I've written another ~8 research projects or so. We've added a system so that the sell value of items can gradually decline as you sell more and more of them. I'm going to be using this as soft pressure to discourage players from grinding too many crash sites (doing so makes the game very repetitive), as the returns will eventually fall below the Airstrike / Bounty value of the crashsite. We're working on smoothing the loading process so the game doesn't keep throwing the annoying "This game isn't responding" messages in Windows if you are playing in a window. We're planning to start work on V25 relatively soon after V24 is released onto the standard Steam branches. The main feature I'm hoping to include will be the racial abilities for the various types of alien in the tactical combat, but beyond that we'll just be focusing on content and general balancing / polish. Playtest / Open Beta: As we want to expand the number of people playing the game and giving feedback / reporting bugs in preparation for our Early Access launch next year, we're going to be launching our Playtest branches when we release V25. These Playtest branches will be using the Steam Playtest function, which allows us to give users access to a free temporary version of Xenonauts 2 that will be deleted once the game enters Early Access. This isn't going to be a proper open beta, as we'll only be inviting a few hundred people to join the Playtest with each update. We want a mix of fresh players and experienced players giving feedback on each update (as they tend to look for different things), and we know a lot of players will only want to play once and give some quick impressions / feedback and then come back and play properly when the game is done. Unfortunately this means it's unlikely everyone who applies will get into the Playtest, as we've had quite a lot of signups already. However the picking is done randomly by Steam so if you're signed up you've got as much chance as anyone else - and if you're not signed up already, I've reenabled the signup button for the next two weeks. Just click the green button on the Xenonauts 2 Steam store page! (I will however be making special exceptions for forum regulars. If you're someone who posts here semi-often and you'd like access to the Playtest, just post in this thread and I'll send you a Steam key when we do the first batch.) That's everything from me until next month - thanks for reading! Just to be clear - if you want to get into the playtest, please just post something here saying that you're interested. Please don't post any of your personal details up, as I'll be DMing you a Steam key here on the forums when the time comes!
    3 points
  11. Current maps feel quite flat. I'd like to see more two or even three story buildings for more verticality and sense of exploration. Certain enemies should prefer higher grounds (roofs, upper floor windows and balconies). Higher ground should also provide bonuses for accuracy(does it already?) Needing to carefully clear upper floors from ambushing snipers would definitely give more flair and suspension to the missions. Especially more important missions like cleaner building where Xenonauts need to retrieve intel would feel a lot more intresting if you'd need to infiltrate higher floors for the intel. Urban area terror missions would cerainly also feel more dangerous when multi store buildings could be full of aliens shooting from second and third story windows... etc.
    3 points
  12. The map variation is something we'll be looking at in Early Access, the goal for the Early Access launch is simply to have enough maps that people can do one or two playthroughs of the campaign without encountering many map repeats. I think we're on track for that (at least if we can get the script that handles it working properly). As to what the solution is to support hardcore players who want to be able to play the game over and over again, I'm not sure. There's several avenues we can explore: Continuing to expand the existing selection of maps and add more variation to the existing areas of randomness within those maps. Giving the map editor to community mappers, assuming we're able to overcome the licensing issues we have with various Unity plugins and suitably seperate it out from the rest of the game. Unfortunately at the moment any mapper would need our entire codebase and a bunch of dev knowledge to use the map editor. Implementing some kind of fallback randomised map, while being aware that the final result is going to look worse than a normal map. The map editor is much more flexible in X2 with regards to data; for instance it already has (and uses) the ability Charon outlined where sub-maps can contain other submaps and so on. Ultimately the results are just a factor of how much time people are willing to put into asset creation and how much you're willing to compromise the end product to generate randomness. Sure, XCOM2 has randomly generated maps but there's a reason their maps are all either wilderness maps or unfamiliar sci-fi cities where the player has far less feeling for what looks and feels "right". And while you can rotate maps and so forth to add more variation, all our maps are designed to have clear routes which ensure your sight lines are blocked and means you have to split up your team as you come out of the dropship (e.g. a block of trees or a building placed in front of the dropship ramp, etc). A rotated map wouldn't necessarily have this, so might be less interesting to play if you could just keep all your soldiers bunched or clear large areas of the map just by looking in that direction straight out of the dropship. Anyway, yeah, I suspect we'll end up introducing more randomisation in Early Access - but I do think you'll end up with worse maps as a result, so I'll be wanting to keep them seperated from the normal maps so that only the heavy users end up seeing them.
    3 points
  13. On the menu below, it would be useful to have the state of rearming and what ordnance they have because otherwise you have to tediously go through the aircraft menu to find out how many weapons have been replenished and what they are carrying.
    3 points
  14. Hi there, I was a backer of Xenonauts and have not been gaming for many years. I used to be very active on the forums before the launch of Xenonauts. Life took other turns and i quit gaming for a while. I have just started gaming again a few months back. I recently restarded a Xenonauts campaign on insane mode and have actually kept my backer portrain personality alive for 7(!) missions without savescumming. I anticipate a deadly reaper attack very soon. I have been following the development of Xenonatus 2 only sporadicly. But it seem it is well on its way to become a solid improvement over Xenonauts. Now i have read on some of the improvements coming to AI, that will make the Aliens move around more(roam) around the map. This is good. One thing i find is a weakness of Xenonauts is a fairly predictable AI and alos a quite passive AI. I have recently been playing a game called Ultimate general Civil war. Best way to describe it is realtime combat on a painted 2D map. It's fairly simple but the AI is one of the best i have ever encountred in a tactical game. One of the things that make the AI feel different from time to time is that the behaviour of the AI is semi determined by traits of the Units. If enemy brigades have certain traits that will decide wether they will hunker down, come at you in mass, charge often or try to owerwhelm you with firepower. This way the same battle many times take on entirly differant pace or character, even if enemy units reinforce or start at the same place every time. Becuase thier behaviour is semi randomized. One thing i felt would have made Xenonauts better is if different crews of UFOs had different overall tactic. It could be explained by some alien officers being different as humans are different. Even if you down a corvette with Ceasans (psyons) like you did last time. This officer this time is very aggresive and will take all his soldiers directly to you grabbing you by the belt as soon as you come off the landing ship. Next officer is a sneaky one and has his shooters on the rooftops, with units waiting in abushes on the bottomfloor. And the third one hunkers down with almost the entire crew in anticipation of your breachparty. This way the player can only semi predict what he will face. He maybe( by resarch) will know the race, but not this certain crew personality. And of course a aggressive sebilian will be very much more scary than a Sebillian chosing to snipe at you, since sebillian aren't snipers. This way you could also explit the enemy using 'wrong' tactics. I feel it is an oppurtunity to make the AI change and not always behave the same, and also let the player feel that he really need to determine what he is up to. Nice to be back. I am in anticipation for Xenonatus 2. Very thankful towards Chris and the team for keepin my childhood game favourite Microprose Xcom alive, improved and reskinned in a fantastic reimagination of this gem. Cheers folks
    3 points
  15. v 0.98 as part of my [B4X2] mod collection works in Community Edition (0.35) and in Vanilla too in mod launcher: DEACTIVATE other mods that alter soldier or armour graphics! ~ 50 MB per file download, was unable to upload to Steam Workshop, because of "file too big Error" although older versions are there and the split into separate smaller files, I gave up on modding Xenonauts after hours of trying to update the file there Important: Download & unpack all 3 files & order in mod launcher needs to be: part 3 above part 2 above part 1 This mod changes: Bigger pool makes soldier spawns much less repetitive, and makes the game a more global effort in defending earth gives soldier portraits a Xenonaut 2 look Goldhawk´s Potrait Editor used as well as adapting open source photos in Photoshop - it took weeks more than double as many new nations to recruit from (was 21 is 57, work on name lists shared with Steelgonad) many more soldier portraits (was 167 is 611) 8 ethnicities (was 4 is 8) adds new cities in Asia tweaked basic (& basic female), jackal, wolf, buzzard armour graphics [B4X2]bigger_pool_I.zip [B4X2]bigger_pool_II.zip [B4X2]bigger_pool_III.zip
    3 points
  16. We're in the process of changing our marketing partner to ensure that our Early Access launch gets as much attention as possible (I found a company that really impressed me) so I'm not completely sure what the plans for the open beta are yet. In an ideal world I'd like to run some kind of beta to ensure the game is properly tested before it goes on sale but I'll see what our partners think about it, as if they've got data that suggests it's financial suicide then it'd be best not to. And it's also a bit dependent on the development timetable.
    3 points
  17. May is over and so it's once again time for our monthly update. Today I released V22 onto our standard Steam / GOG branches for everyone to play, as it's in decent shape after the seven (!) hotfixes we have released for it over the last five or six weeks. Obviously all those fixes and releases took up quite a bit of developer time, but there was also a lot of other progress on the project to report. The biggest new feature we've been working on this month is the updated tactical interface, which is a fairly complex beast given the depth of the tactical combat. The UI now looks better, is much less cluttered and (hopefully) easier to use and understand - but more importantly it properly integrates the relevant information for the Morale and Armour systems which were added earlier this year. Additionally, we started working with a couple of new illustrators at the start of the month to start to finish off the remaining research art. Three new autopsy paintings have been added this month and the final dropship has also been done (we also amended the in-mission tiles for this dropship to improve its interior layout and fix some visual issues). Several more enemy units have had their corpse artwork painted too, and that job is now nearly complete. On the 3D front we've now managed to finish and rig all the female civilian models (meaning all the human models are now complete and set up in-game) and several alien armour variants from previous months were also rigged and added. In terms of environment we're still working on the Xenonaut base biome because there's just so many different base rooms that need to be created, but progress is pretty good and the new assets are definitely looking like an improvement! Beyond the tactical UI and bugfixes, the coders also found time to implement a proper re-arming system for interceptor weapons (previously the planes would instantly rearm when returning to base) and then do some work to support the final mission. In classic X-Com style we have decided to make this a two-part mission so we needed to do a bit of work to support this, but it all seems to be working. Both maps need further playtesting and visual improvements but in theory it should now be possible to properly win the campaign when we release the next build. Therefore overall I feel like we've made good progress this month. We'll start to think about putting out the first iterations of V24 towards the end of next month to let you guys play with the final tactical UI and hopefully several more significant improvements too. Take care everyone!
    3 points
  18. By the way, I skimmed back through your post history recently while I waited for some code to compile and I'll admit I was a bit unfair in my initial post. 95% of your posts are bug reports which are obviously a very useful contribution to the project, and there is indeed not much criticism there. You made on the v20 builds about 18 months ago where you said you were angry at the direction the game was going because it was just turning into X1, and since I've not seen you post anything about the project since then I guess that's stuck in my head as what your feelings are about the project. But obviously that was a long time ago now so that was an unfair assumption on my part; it's not unreasonable for you to have a grumble every couple of years. As you've been repeatedly asking about prone for a very long time and I've probably never responded to you about it, I'll give you a quick explanation as to why it's not in the game. Note I'm not ignoring you specifically on this topic either, it's just something that has been suggested repeatedly by fans of JA2 ever since Xenonauts 1 was announced and I'm kinda bored of writing out the same response so I tend to just skim over it whenever anyone mentions it. Basically while I enjoy JA2 very much I think there's a trend to assume the mechanics in that game would transplant over into an X-Com game and work equally well, but that's not really the case - while their genesis is the same, JA2 is a more detailed combat simulator than X-Com ever was and the emphasis in X-Com is on larger squads and arguably on the equipment rather than the soldiers themselves (i.e. building a strategic war machine to defeat the aliens despite regular casualties). JA2 is the reverse, where the main attraction is the mercs and the really detailed tactical combat, and the equipment used and the strategic layer while important are secondary to that. Adding prone to the game is just going to slow the tactical combat down imo, and I don't think it'd actually improve the gameplay, because it implies making the tactical combat even more simulationy than it already is - and I think Xenonauts is already quite possibly the most complex turn-based tactical simulation game in the last decade, and is already at the boundaries of what the average strategy gamer can comprehend. It's also an enormous amount of work - far more than you might think. The art requirements alone are enormous, as we need a new set of prone / prone move / transition animations for every unit and weapon combination in the game. The code requirements are also enormous. It obviously has huge implications for the line of sight system (as presumably it'd need to affect sight lines) and the shooting system and the AI etc, but also loads of systems you wouldn't think of. For example, a prone unit won't fit in a single tile so we'd need to implement support for non-square (rectangular) multitile combatants - but also for units changing their footprint dynamically during a mission rather than it being set at the start of combat, which is a whole other can of worms. I'm not exaggerating when I say the changes required are fundamental enough it'd be months of work to implement, and I'd need to be really confident that the feature was going to improve things if we were going to start work on that - and I'm just not convinced prone would actually improve the game.
    3 points
  19. Closed Beta Build V23 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). It has been roughly five months since we released our last public build, which is a really long time in development terms (even if that period did include Christmas etc). It's therefore not worth trying to write a comprehensive changelog for this update as there's far too much to cover. Instead, I've just written up a quick list of the key changes - although even then there's probably more stuff I've forgotten about. We will be releasing another update for V23 next week as there are more things we wanted to add to the build, but I just couldn't justify holding up this release any longer. Most of this relates to displaying information on Geoscape relations / panic, as it's currently not always 100% clear what the effects of a particular action might be. We'll address this shortly, along with any critical bugs people encounter in the build. Strategy: Campaign Rebalance: a lot about the game balance has changed on the strategy layer - way too much to list out here! Monthly Panic Generation: Panic is similar to Relations from the first Xenonauts. A Geoscape region grants more funding if it has low Panic, and it is lost entirely if it has over 100 Panic at the end of the month. The game now generates an increasing amount of Panic in all regions at the start of each month through Cleaner Operations or Orbital Bombardment, and this becomes the performance benchmark for the player to aim for - if the player shoots down enough UFOs and wins their tactical missions, they will be able to reduce Panic by more than the increase (resulting in extra funding). The amount of Panic generated each month is something that will change based on difficulty setting in the final game. Cleaner Missions: the Cleaner sub-plot is now a fixed sequence of four missions triggered by three research projects (completing the mission sequence grants extra funding and reduces the global Panic gain that occurs at the start of each month). Two of the missions have unique victory conditions - one is a "capture resources" missions where you have to capture as many resources as possible from an enemy-held building, and the other is an ambush / eliminate VIP mission. Item Disassembly Projects: quite a lot of the Alloys and Alenium you recover is now contained either within alien weapons or sections of the UFO hull. These items can either be sold for additional cash, or can be disassembled in the workshop by your engineers to grant the alloys / alenium (assuming you have enough of them). Alien Base Supply: alien bases now gain the "supplied" status for 10 days when built and after being visited by a Resupply mission. Bases that are resupplied contain more enemies, so if you spot an alien base it may be worth starving it of supplies before you attack it. UI Visual / Usability Updates: we've updated various Geoscape pop-ups to use the new visual style, and made a number of small usability changes to various parts of the strategy UI. There's still plenty to do on this point but things are certainly better than they were in V22. Tactical Combat: Enemy HP / Armour display: because of the changes to Armour listed below, enemies now display their HP / Armour values above their heads - it's important to know how much Armour an enemy has in order to make decisions about armour shred. The downside of this is that it makes the game a bit easier, so we're likely to disable this feature on the higher difficulty settings in future when all the final alien models are in place and it is possible to see which enemies are wearing heavy armour or not. New Armour System: the armour system in the tactical combat and air combat has now been unified. The system works as outlined below, and armoured aliens have been added into the game throughout the campaign. These aren't ridiculously durable, but it's generally more efficient to destroy their armour before attacking unless you are using armour penetrating weapons. Armour reduces weapon damage by a flat amount: 10 damage going into 3 Armour becomes 7 damage. Armour is not automatically destroyed by absorbing damage, but each weapon has an Armour Destruction value which indicates how much damage is removed on hit (usually 1 or 2). Certain Weapons have Penetration values that ignore the equivalent amount of Armour on the target, but certain Armour types also have Hardness values that will negate the equivalent amount of Penetration on a weapon. A few other points relevant to the armour system: A new grenade called the Demolition Grenade has been added. This is excellent at destroying terrain and shredding Armour, but doesn't actually do that much damage to enemies. The standard Frag Grenade is now much less effective at destroying terrain. The HP stat of a soldier is a lot more relevant now, because alien weapons no longer scale quite so high in terms of damage. Combat Shields now provide extra Armour rather than a pool of extra HP, which means they are much less all-or-nothing. Powerful alien weapons will punch straight through a shield but the shield will still reduce the incoming damage by an appreciable amount. Resistances to certain damage types still exist, as these are independent from Armour - e.g. a unit being 100% Resistant to gas damage, or an Andron being 30% Resistant to kinetic damage, etc. Morale System: units on the battlefield now have Morale, and are capable of panicking, berserking and fleeing if this falls low enough. All units start on 100 Morale and may suffer a morale break if they are below 50 Morale (with a 100% chance of doing so at 0 Morale), and they suffer morale loss when negative things affect them on the battlefield. The Bravery of a soldier is used to modify the incoming Morale damage, and there is a further bonus granted based on the rank of the highest ranking living Xenonaut on the mission. There is a new button called Focus Mind in the tactical UI. This refills a significant amount of Morale but costs a large amount of TU to use. Xenonaut Base Defence Updates: visually these missions are still rather lacking, but we've fixed a lot of issues with them recently related to how and where the aliens would spawn. There's also been some further work on the Sentry Guns to ensure they are more functional and more useful than before. Terrain Updates: some of the biomes have had quite a bit of polish added and are now approaching being finished. The Polar biome is a good example of this (the first Cleaner mission illustrates this) and in general I think some of the maps are now looking rather nice! Air Combat: Autoresolve Result Preview: in order to prevent situations where the air combat autoresolve spits out a result that seems unfair, the autoresolve now shows the predicted result and then gives the player the choice to accept the result or to fight the battle manually. Again, this does make the game easier so we'll likely be removing the ability to autoresolve combat at all on the highest difficulty setting. Armour / Weapons Rebalance: to make things easier to understand, the same Armour system is now used for both aircraft and soldiers. We've therefore rebalanced the UFO stats a bit, and we've taken the opportunity to set up four categories of weapons: cannons, missiles, torpedoes, lances. Each of these have different ranges, ammo capacities and damage profiles vs. armour and vs. HP. The ability for an interceptor to Evasive Roll is now tied to the weapons it is carrying, which means certain weapons will inflict more damage but also leave your interceptors more vulnerable to certain types of UFOs. UFO Bonus HP: for balance reasons, UFOs now gain additional HP / Armour for each extra interceptor the player brings into battle (although it's still almost always beneficial to bring the extra fighter along). I think this rule vastly improves the game balance and there will be somewhat of a lore justification for it, but I also know some players are going to hate it despite that so we will be adding an option to turn it off in a future build. Deployment Phase / Formations: you can now choose where you wish to place your interceptors before an air combat battle begins, and there are a number of pre-set formations you can use to save time. When fighting battles that contain multiple UFOs you will now see their starting formation has a degree of randomisation too. Hit Detection: this is a relatively small line of text for what was a big task, but the air combat has now been rewritten so the hit detection cannot fail. Previously it was sometimes possible for missiles or projectiles to pass straight through a unit without hitting them, which could ruin an air combat entirely if it was a powerful attack that failed to register, so we just had to bite the bullet and get this fixed. As always, please let us know if you encounter any bugs by posting them up on the Bug Reporting subforums, as we'll be releasing hotfixes to correct any major issues you encounter.
    3 points
  20. - Incoming Transmission - Hello humans, it is I, Paul. I have been privy to the knowledge that you seem to be scrapping down Imperial weapons to construct variants of your own, I am more than impressed with your efforts thus far, but what if I could offer you a simple yet elegant solution for your surplus advanced technology? Hmm? New schematics, exotic alien tech? No, of course not, I'm talking about simply shooting them with their own weapons. With some alterations I can make in a few Earth minutes, the weapons should be more than capable of being used by our forces when needed. - End Transmission - If it wasn't apparent, this mod allows you to use alien weapons obtained from missions, once they have been researched, of course, you may then equip them to your soldiers in the armory for use in future missions. Alien weapons damage has been increased to put them roughly on par with human Mk.II weapons since their damage in vanilla were rather low, generally, human weapons will outdo them in most regards and there isn't always an alien analog for weapons such as miniguns. Human Armor values have been altered to accommodate this change. Alien Weapons are now two-handed where appropriate. Alien weapons have received statistics screens in the armory like other weapons so you can see their capabilities. This addon requires X-Division 1.00.11c https://www.mediafire.com/file/3jn4kzfqtn0lvu2/X-Division_The_Devil%27s_Toys.rar/file Installation: You must start a new game or else the mod will only work on newly researched items. 1. Download the file (of course). 2. Move the "X-Division The Devil's Toys" folder in the downloaded .zip file to (Xenonauts folder where X-Division is installed)/Assets/Mods. 3. Enable the mod in the XCE mod manager and place it above X-Division in the load order. 4. Play the addon, I hope. Known Issues: The Advanced Alien Explosive Grenades and the Alien Heavy Explosive Grenades do not have an armory statistics menu detailing their capabilities, I have not been able to get the strings for these grenades working despite all of the others working just fine. This will be rectified in the future if I can determine the cause. Alien ammo for some late-game weapons sometimes just does not recover properly from the battlefield, sometimes it recovers just fine. It is unknown to me why this happens (98% of the time it works just fine though). Not really an issue, but to keep the Ceasans able to wield their shields and make their weapons two-handed for humans, an unconventional workaround had to be done. Don't equip a second weapon in your other hand when wielding Ceasan weapons or the weapon will disappear. Author Notes: This mod allows the use of alien weapons upon research and barring some exceptions where a specialist is required to unlock them, this allows the use of certain alien weapons immediately. There is no way to mince words, this does make the mod somewhat easier. (Play on a higher difficulty than you normally would if you think it necessary). I want to establish that I had no part in creating any of the weapons in X-Division, that accolade belongs to the X-Division mod team, I simply made an addon for their spectacular mod that allows the usage of alien weapons since the base game did not for its own reasons.
    3 points
  21. So I have been quietly following along here for the past four months. Riding the center of the fence and waiting for the time I felt driven enough to air my thoughts. Well here goes. I have around 150 hours of playtesting X 2 . So I have given plenty of time to form an opinion on and about this game. From what I was able to play I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Finding ways around the bugs and crashes seemed almost normal. Restarting from scratch with very release and Hotfix all in the name of keeping earth alien free. If it sounds like I'm complaining I'm not. That's what you should expect if one is willing to put time in as a play tester. I have been on board with this from way back in 2016 ( six years ago) when it was a single combat mission. Six years is a long time. Up to four and a half months ago I checked for a new release or hotfix daily ( if not more ). Now I maybe check once a week. There has not been anything ( new version or hotfix ) from the Devs since mid November. I find that very odd . We get an occasional " here's what we have been working on" . But otherwise not much else, unless you read what a certain play tester says the dev's are doing. Must have a hotline to the game studio. What I really want to say is simply my drive for this game is dwindling. I'm sure I am not the only one who is scratching their head wondering what is going on. A little (official) information please, to keep the juices flowing. I don't claim to know every exact thought (as some do ) of what the Devs have in mind. What I do know is that this will be a great game if enough people stay interested.
    3 points
  22. Support for runtime code-centric mods has been built in from the start. The game has been programmed from a "hook" perspective and I will make sure we release documentation on how this works once we fully release. I've also already looked into Harmony / other runtime patchers in the past to check compatibility and we're explicitly keeping things in C# (as opposed to IL2CPP) to provide mod support for this. My plan is to release a public example project that shows how to use it.
    3 points
  23. Hello everyone - it's time for the February update! With this update being a bit early and the last one being a little late, we've only had three weeks since the last update - but a lot has been done in that time. Releasing a new public build is our main priority right now and so we're actively working on Build V23 at the moment. We've mostly been working on polishing the experience and improving the game balance, and I've spent a lot of time playing the game this month to help facilitate that. We've done a lot of work on the Air Combat this month as we've been adding various new features to it recently (such as the pre-battle deployment phase and the different formations that UFOs can spawn in) and we've also had to make some quite fundamental changes to the code in order to fix a persistent bug where missile hits would not always be detected correctly. Although it's frustrating this sapped away quite a bit of time, having missiles occasionally pass straight through their target without exploding is clearly not acceptable in a game where it can mean the difference between victory and defeat! There's already been a LOT of tweaks to the game balance and I'll continue with these as we work on V23. The early-game Cleaner missions are now a research chain that give you a series of standalone missions that occur alongside the alien invasion (rather than before it), and I've done a pass on all the UFO / tactical mission crews to ensure the right aliens are spawning in roughly the right numbers at the right time. There's been a load of updates to the tech tree, sometimes to fix things not unlocking correctly but mostly to ensure a relatively steady flow of research and upgrade projects throughout the game. The tech tree is more extensive than in X1 and this can be a problem in some cases - if the player is doing too many research projects between ground missions then it can get a bit overwhelming. We've also fixed a lot of bugs / issues we've enountered while playing the game, and updated various game systems that weren't working quite right (e.g. the Sentry Guns). I've updated some more of the strategic UI to use the new visual style, and we've added various new terrain tiles to the game and produced the final destruction states on more terrain objects. Windows have continued to be a pain to get working correctly, but when you play a tactical mission on a finished biome like the Polar biome I personally think the game looks and feels pretty good nowadays. It'll be nice when we have all the biomes up to that standard, but it's taking a while to churn through all the assets. We're recruiting a rigger to get our new civilian 3d models into the game, and if all goes well we'll have those in V23 too. There's not really that much more to say, as it's been one of those months where we've fixed far too many things to mention individually but relatively few of them are big headline features you can write about in updates like this. Once V23 is out we're planning to focus on a few more mechanics that set the game apart from the first Xenonauts, as we're in quite a nice place with development now where the campaign is largely functional and all the remaining work is adding in new assets, polishing what we have, and adding things to make the game more distinct from its predecessor. The biggest thing I want to test is various more significant alien abilities that will hopefully make each alien race feel more distinctive. For instance, we're going to test whether it makes combat more interesting if the regenerating Sebillian aliens enter a "downed" state when killed, and have to be finished off within a couple of turns else they'll get back up again. Or whether Wraiths are more interesting if they can enter a "ghost" state after taking damage and take reduced damage until end of turn (although perhaps only from kinetic damage). Basically what we're looking for is abilities that cause the player to think about how they sequence their actions or encourage them to use a wider selection of equipment than otherwise. That's it for me - we're hoping to put out the first incarnation of V23 at some point during the week after next (w/c 7th March)!
    3 points
  24. I played V24 to V24.6. Wasn't able to get to the time limit but after day 200 I was definitely playing on the same map, like the lumber yard, for the third time in the campaign. The maps are great. But I'm pretty sure I've seen all of them, at least on some biomes, there are a few maps I am very familiar with by now and I haven't even been able to get to the endgame yet.
    2 points
  25. You can't laugh endlessly at the same joke. A silly, but new joke is more interesting to listeners than a good, but old joke (a joke heard many times). It's the same with maps. In old and repetitive maps, there is nothing new and unexpected for the player (there is no intrigue).
    2 points
  26. Hi Guys, this is an Gameplay-Feedback from an Main-Betatester, which begunn Beta-Testing the Game from the first playable Beta-Version on with many other Main-Betatesters. The Beta-Version 24.7b is actually the first fully playable one, with many cool Features integrated. The Game is running fine so far (it still have some Issues left, but the CTD´s get reduced drastically). There are still some CTD´s left (like throwing Grenades in some Maps [Terror], wrong arming with Equipment [Beginn from equiping Advanced Medikits on Hurt Soldiers in Main-Base]). In the Experimental-Version you have sometimes Laggs in the Geoscape, Airbattles and Missions, but they don´t destroy the Gamefun. Good, let´s get startet: In the first 100 Days [Day 1 to 100] you have to build up your first Secondary Base, Upgrade your Soldiers and Aircraft with upgraded Weapons [Accelerated Weapons and Standard-Rockets] as well as make Basic-Research / Interrogations. In that Time you can build up in 3 Steps an Secondary Base (better called small Outpost) with 1 Access Lift, 3 Hangars, 1 Generator, 1 Radar, 1 Living Space and 2 Labs or 2 Workshops. I decided for the Workshop about the Upgrades for the Planes and Buildup for internal Base-Defenses later. The modernised Standard-Weapons (Accelerate Upgrades), which are an Equivalent from the Alien Magnetic Weapons are the first light Step forward for our Specialists and Interceptors. They will be in the next Gameversion unlimited after 1 of each is produced [hopfully if the UFO-Pedia-Entry is correct]. Some Specialits should have Stun Weapons too (Stun Gun / Stun Baton) to get the first normal Aliens alive for important Interregation. Normaly you don´t need in the first 100 Days modernised Missles / Torpedos. The Standard-Missels (Sidewinder) and Standard-Torpedos (Avalanche) are more then perfect. The modernised Defender-Body-Armour should be refited with an Warden Combat Armour (an Upgrade with Alien Alloys) as an first light Step forward for our Specialists. There the Assaults, Riflemens and Heavys will get this Armour-Upgrade. All others remain unchanged with the normal Suit with light Armour Plate or Aim-Helping-Vest (Snipers, Grenadiers and Shield). The same Modernisation you make with the Ablative-Plating / Steel-Plating for Vehicles and Interceptors (Alloy Plating Upgrade) to Alloy Plating. The new and modern X-3 "Dragonfly"-Transport is a must have too. It has a little better Transport Capacity and is an Hybrid from Human and Alien-Tech. And it have a little Surprise too against it´s Predecessor X-2 "Skyhawk". The next 100 Days (Day 101 to 200) you need an Advancement in the Storyline and Equip your Soldiers (which have the Warden Armour) with an little better Armour (Guradian Armour). The Grenadiers, Shield and Snipers have the normal Suit with an light Armour-Plate / Aim-Helping-Vest (unchanged). That have an Reason, which will be shown later. Only the Riflemens, Shotgunners and Heavys have the best Special-Armors for that Time then. You still make Basic-Research / Interrogations with some advanced Basic-Research-Projects too. One of that Researches will give you the Guradian Armour. In that Time you should have changed from the Accelerated Weapons to Laser Weapons for your Soldiers / MARS-Vehicles. Esp. the Pistols, Shotguns, Rifles and the Mars-Cannon / Rocket-Launcher should have Changed to the new Weaponary. The MARS-Cannon-Variant have a Cannon and Rangefinder, the MARS-Rocket-Variant have an Rocket-Launcher and Automatic-Rifle. After the Upgrade to Laser-Cannons all MARS-Support-Vehicles have the Rangefinder. In that Time you should have upgraded your Grenades to Alenium-Grenades as well as the Medikit to advanced Medikits. If not already done, upgrade the Fighter-Amour from Ablative Plating and the Vehicle-Armour from Steel Plating to Alloy-Plating. In that Time modernise the Standard-Missles / Torpedos to Alenium-Missles / Torpedos (Alenium Upgrade), which are the first big Step forward to Upgrade our Interceptors. As well as the first Explosive Modernisation for our Specialist Hand-Grenades (Alenium Upgrade). In that Time you should Upgrade the first Secondary-Base (where your 3 upgraded X-25 "Angels" should stationed) with 1 Rocket-Defense, which get an Second Rocket Defense later on. Better link it to have an Advantage against bigger attacking Enemys. I made in that Case the Mistake to seperate the Defense-Buildings. As well as Upgrade your Main-Base with 2 linked Rocket-Defenses, 2 Workshops, 2 Labs, 1 Hospital, 1 Training Center, 2 Generators and 2 more Living Quarters too from Day 1 on. You will need them. The Main-Base should now get 2 of new and modern Interceptors X-55 "Phantom" for Testing, which are like the X-3 "Dragonfly"-Transport an Hybrid from Human and Alien-Tech. They are a little bit better then the X-25 "Angels" in Range, Speed, HPs, Armour etc., therefore it costs 150.000 to 200.000 Credits more then the older X-25 "Angel". But it have 1 little Disadvantage, which I won´t tell here. Therefore it´s an Prototype-Fighter which assists the X-25 "Angels" in more Secondary Bases (Outposts). The next 100 Days (Day 201 to 300) you will get Access to new medium Tech. There you will get very nice Secrets, which in the Beta-Tests therefore couldn´t testet or only very litte. That´s an Surprisse for us Testers too. There you get Plasma-Explosives, advanced Stun Weapons, an new Suit for your other Soldiers (Snipers, Grenadiers and Shield) and many more new cool Stuff wich upgrades older Vest-Equipment / Armour-Equipment for your Soldiers, Vehicles and Interceptors and much more. You will get more Storyline-Parts now. In that Time the last Accelerated Weapons have to be changed to Laser Weapons for your Soldiers (Laser-LMG and Sniper Rifles) as well as for your Interceptors (Laser Cannon). Now you should have 2 new X-55 "Phantom" Interceptors in the Main-Base and 3 older upgraded X-25 "Angels" in the first Secondary-Base to make your Airforce more effective. All should have Laser Cannons. 3 Fighters should have Alenium Missles (2 X-55 Phantoms and 1 X-25 Angel) as well as Alenium Torpedos (2 X-25 Angels). The Armour should be Minimum Alloy-Plating, if you have the more advanced Alloy Plating you are on the save Side for the 3 X-25 "Angels". (Alloy Platings are enough for the Phantoms / advanced Alloy Plating for the Angels) Now it´s time to Modernise the Rocket-Defenses to Laser-Defenses. The Laser-Defenses are more powerfull then the Rocket-Defenses, but have a lesser Accuracy, which means they should be linked together to improve the Accuracy. That I have overseen in my Base-Buildup for the first Secondary Base in the Defense-Buildup and see my Mistake, because the Main-Base shoot down all enemy attacking UFOs with the Base-Defenses and the Secondary Base not or with difficulty. In that Time you will get new Suits, which get to the remaining Soldiers (Snipers, Grenadiers, Shield) as well as new Explosives (Plasma), which you realy need as an big Step forward for your Explosive-Soldier-Equipment (Plasma-Grenade-Upgrade) and Airforce-Equipment (Plasma Rocket / Torpedo-Upgrade) and Soldier-Safety for Soldiers without Special Armour (the 3 Armour Types you have are Heavy). Eventually you can construct an another Secondary Base (Outpost) to make your Airforce much more effective. It will have the same Buildup as the first Secondary Base (Outpost) [1 Access Lift, 3 Hangars, 1 Generator, 1 Radar, 1 Living Space and 3 Labs or 3 Workshops as well as 2 Laser Defenses]. That Goal I haven´t reached yet. 2 Bases are at the Moment the Maximum (Main-Base with Advancements and the first Secondary Base (Outpost). I upgrade the second Secondary Base (Outpost) with an 3rd Workshop / Lab to use my Living Quarter and the Base to 100%. Sadly you can´t test out everything in that Gameversion [V.24.7B] about the Limitation to 320 Days. Hope that Limitation get canceld for the following Gameversions [V.25+] to test everything out. Thats all so far Folkes from the first fully playable Beta-Version. I will go deeper hopfully the next time and find some more cool Stuff I haven´t seen so far when the more advanced Beta-Version V.25 will come up.
    2 points
  27. I would actually like the air game to become closer to x-div, It had lots of really good ideas, and we could learn from it (with some restraint of course) For example, it solved the torpedo question by: making their total damage ridiculous gave them super high lock-on time ((IIRC like 10 seconds?), lowered rate of fire while also needing to fire like 8 times total to get the full damage. made foxtrots lot more sluggish, with UFO's being a lot more agile. That effectively turned them into "bombers", weak in a straight up dogfight and needing escorts (via planes with either mausers or anti-projectile shields) due to a very long time required to stay on target and low manouverability, but invaluable against Heavier UFO's. It made it much more interesting than what we have at least. I think there needs to be more fighters in general, currently aliens don't even try for air superiority. Torpedoes being better than cannons for slow UFO's makes sense but if that's all you fight then they're just better overall. I'm not sure how I feel about armor becoming a global upgrade, i kinda liked that you had to consider the defensive aspect of planes as well, and you do get a lot less interceptors now so it's not like it's that much micro-management. As for randomness and variety, how about giving each UFO some random modifiers? Like them randomly getting a back-facing cannon, or a anti-projectile shield, or deployment of anti-air mines, EMP's that make aircraft unable to roll etc. Of course, it's not a short term proposal and something more for the early-access overhaul, but i think it'll be interesting.
    2 points
  28. This will be my final feedback for now since my playthrough has come to an end. This is all my own opinion of course. What I like, someone else might dislike, and so on. Anyway, here we go. I'm 100% sure I'm going to miss stuff, but let's start with the good stuff: New 3D engine (just wish the terrain wasn't that flat) New animations Awesome new music The combat in general is enjoyable. Much like Xenonauts 1 I like that UFOs are slower on the geoscape. Feels more realistic I like that the planes now track UFOs correctly I love that you have to equip planes now which makes them more individualized More to build with the engineers, which leads to more customization overall Combine different armor parts Armor will protect your men The new vehicle (MARS) is cool. And I like it's cheaper to repair when destroyed, instead of having to build a new one The economics of the game are much more brutal. I love it It seems you have to sell stuff to survive. This I like The aliens look cool, I like the brutes Reaper zombifying looks way cooler UI improvements when recruiting, now you see their face even The grenade arc looks better, and it looks like you are throwing something in a 3D world Xenopedia UI, like the extra info tabs you get in the top right corner when looking at a subject The alien base looks cool. I like the small flanking corridors General writing (Xenopedia stuff) Now to some negative stuff: Reaction fire galore, which slows down the game. Will expand on this below Alien base central command (second floor). It's way too open, and suicidal (frustrating) to attack Baseball grenade (throwing grenades in a straight line) No increased accuracy when crouching (In general, removing complexity is bad) Can't close base (alien) doors. I understand why this was changed from a gameplay/balance viewpoint, but it makes little sense otherwise. The door only got an open button? While the game is 3D, shooting seems to be "hitscan". The animation for the bullet feels fake, it's just there for effect. I have seen bullets pass through objects, units, and other things, that should have blocked the shot if it was a true 3D-rendered object in the world. Think Silent Storm game No date (months, years) on the geoscape. Feels very nondescript just having day XXX The setting. I like it, but I prefer the cool 80s NATO vs. Russia in Xenonauts 1 Why do we have pilots, when the pilot gets deleted with the plane if you decommission it? It seems like a pointless addition if that is that they are going to be Less detail in the environments, especially when looking at the human base tiles Beyond what is said here, and what has been said in this thread earlier, my main issue with the game is that it seems the best way to play is to play defensively/passively on the battlefield. And that seems to apply to the aliens as well. With that I mean - hunker down and wait for the aliens to come, and unleash hell on them with reaction fire. The aliens use these exact tactics as well, except for the suicidal half-blind Sebellians. One of the cool aspects of OG X-com, Terror from the Deep, Apocalypse, and Xenonauts is that there is a lot more movement involved, especially in TFTD. You move around on the map in these games, which leads to cool stuff, like actually having to explore which gets you to see different kinds of buildings/terrain. And it forces you out of your comfort zone. Phoenix Point and Battle Brothers (even if it works differently) have the same problem as Xenonauts 2. Phoenix Point has very small maps, and often more than half the map is already revealed when you load in. Often you spot enemies at the first turn too. There is no exploration, no tension, you go from geoscape to action immediately - and the best decision is just to hunker down and wait for the aliens. Now Battle Brothers are designed around this concept, but on some missions, you have to move around, and I always found these parts very enjoyable. Walking through a forest, looking for bandits, or some other horrible beast. After a while, the passive nature of Battle Brothers gets to me. It feels more like chess at times than an immersive game set in a harsh medieval fantasy world. Anyway, I find exploration and the tension that comes with that is currently missing in Xenonauts 2 (not entirely), much thanks to the incredibly punishing reaction fire (and small maps). This works both ways - the best option is to let the aliens make the mistake of moving, instead of you. That is all. I'm looking forward to future releases!
    2 points
  29. I find accelerated weapons definitively not worth the cost. They were barely worth it when you got an infinite amount of them for a single cost, now it actively feels like a trap. Now that we have to manufacture aircraft equipment individually not only do I have less money and resources to spend on luxuries like accelerated weapons but more importantly I don't have time in my manufacturing schedule for them. I found myself constantly reevaluating my manufacturing priorities based on what new research I built and what new fresh hell I found myself against in either the ground or air combat. I found I could make it to laser weaponry from basic ballistics without too much problem with heavy use of snipers, demo charges, and shotguns for UFO assaults.
    2 points
  30. Meh. I'm no tactical genius, and I don't really blame the game. It's just not fun gameplay. So, how would you tackle the turrets? You can't close the doors. You can't move away from the door after opening them. You can't shoot them, you can't grenade them. Everything triggers reaction fire. It's either smoke, but that cripples your own aim. Shield? I don't get the shield in Xeno 2. It does not absorb damage the same way as in Xeno 1.
    2 points
  31. I find the cleaner base in particular to be a gear check, much like the gargoyles in the original dark souls. If you don't have warden armor and laser weapons/alenium grenades then you are almost guaranteed to lose and it is almost solely down to those damn turrets in those small rooms/hallways. It is essentially impossible to shoot at them without them shooting back and they are much more lethal then you are. I have found success throwing alenium grenades around corners from positions outside of their line of sight but that doesn't feel satisfying or fun. My strategy for breaching the alien base control room is sending in with good armor, high health, and immediately throwing a smoke grenade at your feet. If you are lucky the accuracy modifier from the smoke will help cancel out the insane close range bonus they get when you teleport right into their nose hairs and you have a decent chance of that soldier only being out for 20+ days. If you are really unlucky not only will they die from the reaction fire but your other soldiers outside the room will get suppressed. I really like the idea of reaction fire in the beginning of the game when everyone's aim is shit and weapons aren't as lethal but alien numbers and damage scale pretty quickly but the maps don't scale at all so you often feel like you are playing minesweeper every time you move a soldier. Late game terror missions are a great example of this as the maps are already small so you have to spend the first half a dozen turns at least sitting in the dropship waiting for the seemingly infinite amount of aliens to fall to your own reaction fire to the point where they are reasonably thinned out and you can actually move around the map.
    2 points
  32. This save perfectly encapsulates my issue with alien bases. Not only are there 5 aliens covering roughly 3 sides (so the only direction I won't get fired on is from behind) but even with smoke I am guaranteed to get suppressed and quite likely killed. Shields would only help against a single side and even then they would have to be something that made it through the rest of the combat in the alien base intact. Also my soldiers outside the teleporter room can get suppressed by shots aimed at my soldiers inside the teleporter room which would be hilarious if it wasn't so frustrating to deal with. I am hoping this is a bug as otherwise I will need to keep my soldiers even farther away from the teleporter which leaves me with less TUs tp deal with the aliens. I haven't yet taken down battleships so maybe this will change but this is the only situation where I am expected to kill/incapacitate 5 aliens in a single turn and this is on top of running the gauntlet of their full TUs of reaction fire. Let me throw a grenade through the teleporter or send a scarecrow with armor in to absorb some of their reaction fire. There is definitely a bug with air targeting, using short range weapons like laser cannons makes it easy to spot. Basically one or more ships will refuse to fire on their target within their weapons range even though the weapon has ammo and is set for firing. The ship will still follow the enemy so I know it is still targeting it but there is no firing of the weapon. I can tell it is going to happen as the fighter that the bug affects always moves much faster in air combat then the other fighters in the wing. It doesn't seem to happen consistently but I am trying to get a save that it happens more often then not. auto_groundcombat_turn_30_start-301.json
    2 points
  33. My ambition to play a campaign all the way through the end has probably been thwarted by the aliens deploying savegame-corrupting technology, but I do have a few more comments on gameplay. The late game needs an upgrade to medical centers that increases healing speed further. As your soldiers level up, they get more HP so there's a scaling effect to their wounds and, correspondingly, recovery times. Late-game soldiers routinely require over a month to recover after a hit, which is a bit too long. Air combat balance is essentially broken. The only right choice is to equip all planes with the best torpedoes you can build. They have a long range and hit hard, so the strategy is to hit UFOs with torpedoes and take them down in one go, while staying out of their weapons range. With the long rearm/refuel times, you may not have the time for a second sortie so that makes torpedoes even more important. A couple cannons are useful to keep around in case of Fighters but even that's optional. And they cost too much anyway, a Laser Cannon for a plane is 250k. The MARS laser cannon (or whatever it's called) was a letdown. I've come to really like the MARS after recent bug fixes, it's a nice mobile unit that I can use to scout ahead, draw reaction fire and do some damage. The rocket launcher is nice, I can blow an entire area up to remove cover and expose enemies while damaging them (the rocket is super-powerful in base defence missions, I fire a 3-rocket salvo at a cluster of 5-6 sebillians in a hangar and it was glorious). But the laser upgrade was, contrary to expectation, not explosive. It just fires a single high-damage bolt, much like a sniper rifle, leaving the MARS without its terrain-destroying ability. It felt like a downgrade. Speaking of destruction, is the building collapse mechanism not implemented yet? I've shot a couple buildings up very badly but they did not collapse. The morale system is currently irrelevant. I think I had one instance of a wounder soldier panicking and skipping the next turn. There's never any need to look at morale bars and I mostly forget the system exists. I'm not really sure what its goal is anyway, morale provides a good way for things to spiral out of control if you take too many casualties, but is that the only purpose of the system? Related to morale (probably) is Mind War. I have no idea what it does once again. On some later missions vs psionic aliens, the only effect I noticed was having endless messages every turn, "X is under mind war" or "X resisted mind war". In some ancient build a couple years ago Mind War had a tooltip, now it doesn't, and I failed to notice any effect whatsoever. Not sure if it's bugged, not implemented or not balanced. Very strangely, Mantids and Reapers were absent from my game except for a base attack at one point where a Reaper paid me a visit with a few Mantids. Other than that, I saw neither Reapers nor Mantids in any crash sites, landing sites or terror missions. Could be a coincidence but I played enough missions that it seems statistically unlikely. There's a silly exploit with base defences and power. You don't need enough generators to power your defence batteries, you can just power something else down and power the batteries once you see a UFO heading for the base.
    2 points
  34. That's the point, AK. It currently takes many hours to refuel and rearm. In fact, refuelling seems to take the longest by far. However, it only takes 10 mins to refuel a fighter jet IRL, and 30 mins to rearm most ground-based fighter/interceptors. So, in-game it should take no more than 1-2 hours IN TOTAL.
    2 points
  35. I'm aware that pilots will be added to X2, with various stats and permadeath. Would it be possible to have these pilots actually in the front of the dropship at mission start— possibly used to scout out the ground in front? Perhaps they could even hunker down/take fire?
    2 points
  36. This hotfix addresses another batch of issues discovered within V24. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Sadly our hopes to have fixed most of the issues in V24 were quickly dashed, so here's another batch of fixes. Hopefully these ones will be the last for a while! Fixes / Improvements: Fixed the Wraith abduction site that appears about day 46 to display a sensible name and description text, and not to break progression on the Cleaner mission chain if completed before the Cleaner Intel Site mission. Fixed the game crashing when you try to load the Cleaner HQ mission (really fixed it this time). Fixed C4 not detonating when you clicked on the detonator. Grenade throwing arcs are now limited to going a maximum of two height levels above the thrower. Research text added for Alien Plasma Weapons and Guardian Armour. Added new artwork for the Lab / Advanced Lab / Advanced Workshop base structures. Added engineering project preview image for MARS / ARES / Sentry Gun. Stores screen should no longer appear empty when first loaded up, even if you have items at the base. Shots that miss the target should now not fly off up into the air. UFOs should now correctly delete terrain objects that they've spawned on top of, meaning they should no longer appear inside the UFO. Fixed some of the Dockyard warehouse walls not properly supporting destruction. The game now ends with alien victory if you haven't won by day 320. MARS Cannons, Rangefinder and extra armour module have now all been re-enabled. The overall armour of the MARS has been decreased. Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game.
    2 points
  37. I'd wait for the next hotfix to come out before you start playing. Looks like there were a few more bugs floating around than we thought.
    2 points
  38. Tangentially related to suppression, can we have the return of the X1 feature where aliens started with half their TUs on the first turn of a combat mission? In X2 especially, aliens are often within sight of the dropship and it is IMO annoying to shoot at them and be immediately hit with reaction fire. Later on reaction fire is perfectly fine but feels more frustrating than challenging on the first turn of some missions.
    2 points
  39. I testet it too in all existing big Base-Versions and some Upgrades (Fixes) from them after the Beta-Tests begunn several Years ago. In the Night Missions the big Range from the Sniper-Rifle don´t have an big effect about the reduced sight. There only helps the SHIV and / or other Troops which coordinate the Shoot / Shoots with the Sniper. In Day Missions the big Range from the Sniper-Rifle is much better, but mostly you fight too in Villages, Jungles or similar, where the longer Range can´t be outplayed. In both Cases it dosen´t matter if you set the Sniper on a Roof or the highest Point you can find. If the Aliens know the Sniper Position they go in Cover or sent the big Robots to eliminate your Sniper / Snipers. You have to change often Position with your Sniper (like in Real) to get her / him allive. Short said: It dosen´t make sense to upgrade the Range, but it make sense to give the Sniper different Ammunitions and better night Abilitys (Laserpointer, Infrared or something like that) to make her / him the Specialist an Sniper is.
    2 points
  40. This is the seventh and hopefully final hotfix for V23. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you want to continue playing your V23.6 campaign (as this update breaks save games) then please switch to the Experimental Legacy Branch instead. Fixed a crash if a zombie was killed by overwatch fire and spawned a Reaper. Fixed a crash that could occur if you right-clicked on an alien weapon on the ground. Fixed the post-mission debrief screen not showing the soldier roles correctly. Fixed an issue where pressing Escape when assigning a soldier on the Soldier Equip screen would temporarily break the screen. Laser LMGs now have the same fire modes as other LMGs do, and LMGs can no longer use the equivalent rifle ammo. Balance: UFOs on base attack missions now once again spawn some distance from your base, allowing you to shoot them down with aircraft. Balance: Warden now has weight 12 rather than weight 20. Balance: Demolition grenades have a reduced blast radius. Balance: increased the proximity accuracy bonus on Shotguns and LMGs. I'm really hoping that this is the last release we have to do for V23 - but as always if you encounter further crashes then please post them on our bug reporting forums and we'll do our best to fix them!
    2 points
  41. April saw the release of Closed Beta V23 and a series of hotfixes on our Experimental Branch. This has been quite a bit of work since we previously hadn't released a new public build since November, but we are continuing to release hotfixes to fix the bugs found by the community and expect to be able to release it to the standard branches in the next week or two. There's been a lot of improvements to the gameplay in V23 but many of them have been covered in previous updates. One nice thing we got in relatively recently was the final 3D art assets in place for the enemy Cleaners and male civilians, with the female civilians and some additional armour variants for the aliens due to arrive this month. Given there's multiple civilian outfits for the eight biomes we have in the game, that's a lot of new models - and I'm glad it's now done, because getting them all set up has been rather painstaking work! I've also gone through the research tree and added a few more research entries and some artwork to research projects that were previously lacking it. We've been stuck for a while with the artwork for our alien autopsies / interrogations, as we lost the artist who painted our existing autopsy art due to personal reasons and we'd been hoping he would be able to come back (because he was great) - and while that did not happen, we thankfully have managed to find someone that looks like they are capable of matching his art style. We'll therefore be adding more new research artwork to the game shortly. Work has also continued on the environments. Recently we started work on the biome that is currently in the worst state, the Xenonaut Base biome. This is seen more frequently now because the Cleaners now attack your base in the opening months, and the Cleaner Headquarters mission also uses the same set of tiles, and it's currently a mish-mash of half-finished assets and different styles we were experimenting with. The new tiles are starting to take shape nicely and hopefully we'll be able to show some of them off in V24. Among the various bugfixes and usability updates, there's also been various small features added to the game. The autoresolve for the air combat is being upgraded to better reflect what is happening in the air combat, so it doesn't throw out weird results (and if it does you can ignore the result and fight the battle manually). Aircraft weapons now also take time to rearm when the aircraft returns to base, etc. The biggest new feature that we have added this month is something I want to test out for potential inclusion in V24, which is an updated power system for your bases. This will allow you to improve the functioning of a building by feeding it more power - e.g. increase the range on the Radar, the research speed on your Laboratory, etc. As you can unlock better power generation buildings as you advance down the tech tree (as well as more advanced buildings that consume more power) this will hopefully create some interesting choices for the player. However, we just won't know how good the system is until we test it, so I can't make any promises about it being in the final game. I think that's enough for now. Not the most exciting update, but there's only so much you can write when most of the month is spent on bugfixes! Thanks for reading anyway, and we'll have another update for you all at the end of May.
    2 points
  42. This hotfix addresses a number of further issues with V23. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you want to continue playing your V23.3 campaign (as this update breaks save games) then please switch to the Experimental Legacy Branch instead. Disabled the Arid missions until we have a chance to rework those maps, as that biome is a total mess visually. Fixed various crashes / issues related to having melee weapons in your inventory. Hopefully fixed the issue where loading an end-of-turn save game would play out differently to how it played out originally. If successful, this will make it much easier to reproduce bugs from save games. Fixed a AI hang that could occur when an enemy unit suffered a morale break and fled. Fixed a crash when a Reaper was spawned due to overwatch fire. Fixed an issue where the objective items on the Cleaner Intel mission would flicker purple. Fixed an issue where the shuttered windows on the Polar biome would continue to block shots even after being destroyed. Fixed an issue where certain soldier armour / gender combinations would have the combat shield incorrectly rotated. Fixed an issue with weapon ammo tooltips that could cause flickering red error messages to appear on the Soldier Equip screen. Fixed an issue where the air combat deployment zones were not disappearing in the Release / Stable builds. Hay is no longer invisible on the Farm maps. Fixed a minor issue with the T-shirt civilians where parts of their arms were transparent. Fixed some issues with the civilians wearing overalls (misaligned bodies, oversatured textures, etc). Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game. We're not planning on releasing any further content updates for V23 so we'll only be releasing further hotfixes if there are gameplay bugs or stability issues that need fixing.
    2 points
  43. This hotfix addresses a number of issues with V23, and also adds a fair bit of additional content. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you want to continue playing your V23.1 campaign (as this update breaks save games) then please switch to the Experimental Legacy Branch instead. Content - we've added almost all the final male civilian models to the game, along with the various new Cleaner models (which look much better). The updated female models will be coming in the next month or so. Content - I've added research text for the Alien Hyperdrive, Sentry Gun and Aerial Warfare research projects. A number of research projects that were previously missing art have had them added. Content - the first Cleaner mission now has three possible maps, not just one. Fix - fixed an AI hang that could occur in the alien base. Fix - fixed a hang that could occur as part of the alien psionic power process. Fix - fixed a crash that could occur if you extracted some soldiers from the Cleaner Intel Mission before finishing the mission. Fix - fixed manufactured undersuit / special items disappearing after completing the Cleaner Intel Mission. Strategy - the Servosuit and other items that increase Strength now correctly also increase Carrying Capacity. Strategy - the Alenium Grenade project now correctly upgrades your grenades and HEVY ammo. Strategy - the tooltip detection for Hangars is now constrained to the hangar itself. Tactical - combatant HP / Armour values are now visible on 4k screens. Tactical - damage numbers spawned above the heads of units are no longer unusually small on screen resolutions about 1080p. Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game. We're not planning on releasing any further content updates for V23 so we'll only be releasing further hotfixes if there are gameplay bugs or stability issues that need fixing.
    2 points
  44. This hotfix addresses a number of issues that we discovered within V23. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Strategy - the Panic gain / reduction on various UFOs and ground missions is now more obvious Strategy - the info pop-up for tactical missions on the Geoscape now has a line for the duration of the mission, which tells you how long until it despawns. Strategy - the monthly Panic increase caused by Cleaner activity (until you destroy their base) is now explained via a popup at the start of the month Strategy - added roughly 10 new tooltips, most covering topics related to the Morale system. Strategy - added some new complete / in construction hangar artwork for the most advanced interceptor, the Gemini. Strategy - added preview art for many of the engineering projects. Strategy - added a couple more pieces of research text related to the Cleaner projects. Strategy - the Cleaner base attack mission that appears in the early game no longer states it was carried out by a Destroyer UFO. Strategy - fixed the player being unable to build the Plasma Pistol, Gauss Sniper Rifle or aircraft Fusion Lance. Tactical - the Focus Mind button in the GC UI now no longer looks like a second Crouch button, and it has been repositioned slightly (along with the Morale numbers). This is just placeholder styling before the new Tactical UI arrives in the next major build. Tactical - in order to fix some issues with the Cleaner Intel Office mission, interacting with the target desk items now places a USB stick item in the inventory of that soldier. This needs to be carried to the dropship to be extracted in order to win the mission (if the soldier carrying it is killed, you will need to loot it off their corpse). Tactical - all desks on the Cleaner Intel Office missions are now interactive, so there are 25 possible items to recover instead of 6. You now need to recover a minimum of 10 instead of 3. Each additional item captured is now worth $25k cash instead of $100k cash. Tactical - tixed various parts of the game (e.g. officer leadership bonus, morale system) that were not correctly recognising the Sergeant Major rank. Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game.
    2 points
  45. If you feel like that, it's probably best if you just come back to X2 when the game is done. There's more of a chance you'll like the final incarnation of the game that way. What you're currently posting isn't constructive criticism that will help us improve things - even if you're right with your criticisms of the design choices, your posts are just rants with very little in the way of explanation. Doesn't seem like you're getting anything out of this and I'm certainly not, so it seems like a negative experience for everyone that is best avoided. Thanks for your help with bug reports and the like over the past few years. Yeah, we're likely to change the amount of damage inflicted by the bombardment based on difficulty settings - it's a good way of controlling how hard the strategy layer is. I'm not sure removing it entirely at lower difficulty settings is a good idea though, because then there's very little threat on the Geoscape.
    2 points
  46. I'm all for the latest version hitting the circuit. I look forward to where the game is heading. I think you missed the whole point of my last post. I simply tried to say that every playtester has a right to their opinion, good or bad about the game. I believe that this forum should be used to reach out to THE DEVELOPEMENT TEAM . As I said food for thought.
    2 points
  47. See, you're treating people with some disrespect. Or right away as idiots, because you brush off very obvious thoughts with just a lot of words, which are repetitive. Everybody here is either a backer or somehow a hardened fan. Thats why everybody invested time and money, and a lots of patience as well. Critical question being asked after 4 years is a very natural thing to do, it is rational and logical. Explaining how wrong all the rational and logical thoughts of some very patient adtult people are neither makes the obvious problems disappear, nor does it help the community or the patience shown by those very people. The critique here is: Why aren't there no information to the very backers of the game, which made it possible and are the (only) fanbase left? Why arn't there any satisfactory explanations for the delay in years? Why does the game feel so very much like Xenonauts 1? I am waiting and testing the game ever since, I am leading a couple of different organizations and a software company. So I do know - as many others here too - how difficult development is, how sticky things can become.Peope are not stupid. They know how things feel. They know if stuff motivates them to dig in or if stuff bores them. They know, if they feel and experience something new; or they have a déjà vu. Round about two years ago I wrote down my impressions. Your only reaction was to tell me, how wrong my feelings and impressions are. Now we have more years of development, and still I don't see or feel the difference to X1. But the feeling of a game is my motivation to play that game. And the feeling of a difference ist the motivation to fare for a successor. And right now I almost don't care any more, as my children have grown over the same time as well as my company rolled out three major products. So you or the devs or whoever is invested should do some motivational work = explanation *and* take the feedback seriously. Otherwise X2 is doomed fade away as most of the other xcom-clones. As long we're critical, we still are invested. Though the clock is ticking, as you can read in the reactions above.
    2 points
  48. Fanboy vs Reality
    2 points
  49. There was another crash bug in V22.5 plus several other smaller issues that were relatively easily fixed, so we're releasing another hotfix. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you had a playthrough of the previous hotfix underway then you can continue playing V22.5 on the Legacy Branch if you wish. If all goes well this will be the final version of V22 before we make V22 Stable for the standard Steam branches. Strategy - fixed a crash that could occur when you tried to decommission a squadron of your interceptors. Strategy - fixed a bug where aircraft in a squadron could sometimes not be selected together. Strategy - fixed some issues to do with soldier loadout / role equipment profiles potentially getting corrupted. Strategy - fixed an issue where the flight path line for a squadron on the Geoscape could display incorrectly on some resolutions. Tactical combat - aliens firing at your troops from higher terrain levels will be visible when they take their shot. Tactical combat - the Colossus armour now displays its animations correctly. Tactical combat - when heavy units crush walls, this now happens as they pass through the wall rather than when they arrive at the tile beyond. Tactical combat - fixed all units having a slight "shudder" where their idle animations weren't looping perfectly. Let us know if you continue to experience any other bugs!
    2 points
  50. Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year! Goldhawk are back to work tomorrow so just a quick update from me about what we got up to in December. This is just a brief one because I'm technically still on holiday but I want to get this out of the way now so I can focus on development tomorrow. The main thing we worked on was the soldier Morale system - the system that causes your soldiers to panic when things go horribly wrong on a mission. We actually planned not to include this in Xenonauts 2 for quite a while, but ultimately I felt the game would be weaker without it and not having it gives me fewer tools when it comes to designing the alien abilities (particularly psionic ones). Anyway, this system is mostly implemented but there's still quite a few bugs and edge cases we're working through. We've made a few improvements relative to the first Xenonauts. The first is that Morale always starts at 100 for every soldier, and the Bravery of a soldier (boosted by the squad commander bonus) reduces the amount of Morale damage taken when something bad happens (a soldier with 0 Bravery takes about 3x the morale damage that soldier with 100 Bravery does). There's now a button that allows you to spend TU in order to gain Morale, and the morale system is a bit more sensible in general. Units are generally only vulnerable to panic if Xenonaut soldiers are dying around them (particularly high-ranking ones) or the unit itself has been wounded, or if there are psionic aliens messing with their heads. Balancing is still required but overall it should be a little smoother and easier to understand than it was in Xenonauts 1. Work on the updated UI designs and final art assets also continues. I've done an updated layout for the tactical combat UI because we've added several new features since our current design was done, including the morale system which now needs to be displayed somewhere. Our UI artist is working on styling that at the moment, and in the meantime we've finished styling several more of the strategy panels. Work on the 3d models for the human civilians and alien armour variants also continues, etc. That's it. A number of the team had a lot of holiday left over from the year so it was a relatively short month. Hopefully we can put out another public build towards the end of this month and show off some of the new things!
    2 points
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