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Everything posted by Charon

  1. HA. And with that fuel let me make a suggestion. This might cut deep, so bite your teeth. First, here are the basics. The X1 model, and the envisioned upgraded X2 model are called topdown shooters. They are a legitimate game genre, which can stand all on its own. There have been thousands of games like this ever since Space Invaders was released in 1978. From Space Invaders over Star Fox 64 to Nova Drift they are all topdown shooters. What they all have in common is that they reward dexterity based skills and fast decision making. The sum is hundreds of mini twitch decisions each of them are executed in a tiny time window. Strategic thinking on the other hand rewards time consuming decisions with great impact. The characteristic traits of those are unlimited amount of time to think, less strategic decisions, and greater impact for each individual decision. Its not hard to imagine that players who enjoy one of these genres dont enjoy the other. They are fundamental opposites in the smallest amount of measureable player interaction. There is only a tiny fraction of players who like both ( weirdos ), because those 2 fundamental skills talk to 2 very fundamental different destinations in the brain. Everybody here is discussing how to make the perfect medium burger, which doesnt piss of most people, while i see no reason why we cant have 2 perfect rare and well done burgers, instead of 2 medium ones. I find it much more important to discuss the Geoscape-Airgame effects. Like Do we want damageable parts of UFOs ? Do we want to have them have effects in Ground Combat ? What should the effects of escaping UFOs be ? What should the effects of shot down UFOs be ? Random interactions when <incident> happens ?
  2. I think that would be the worst of both worlds. I loathe systems that take away control of the player. If i want to watch a movie i go and watch a movie. If i play a game i want it to be playable. This proposal is the exemplary case of what people who secretly hate the airgame would come up with. Removes all elements they dont like and makes it enjoyable for them. This is why i advocated for a 2 way system from the beginning. Let the people who dont like it have a proper autoresolve system, and make the airgame for people who really like it. Instead of having to force a compromise which is to nobodys taste in the end. Asking people who dont like the airgame is like asking a person who doesnt like cheese to go on a cheese-eating-spree. Guess what they will tell you about it, "It tastes really good, except for the cheese."
  3. I want to point out what people havent pointed out yet. Some people call for the player to have more involvement in the minigame, some call for less. But the most important point is that the complexity of the airgame doesnt exceed the concentration level you need for the Ground Combat. The needed concentration level for the airgame is skilled based, and skill greatly varies from player to player. Skill is a pyramid, there are a lot of people with less skill, and few with great skill. In order to capture the most amount of people the minigame has to have the least skill requirements possible. The question after that is progression and accessibility of difficulty. The progression usually involves the player getting harder and harder challenges in order for them to increase their skill. But the accessbility of the skill level in an X-Com game is horrible. I can join a Starcraft 2 game and the matchmaking gives me an opponent around my own level, but if the skill requirements for the current UFOs is beyond my level i cant go back to easier ones. The result being that the player might loose a 6 hour campaign and has to restart the game, then invest another 5 hours just to get to the same point again. If i loose a Starcraft 2 match to a better player than i learned a lesson which is around my own skill level, my rating drops and next time i will get assigned a less skilled player. Lost time: zero. The minigame becomes the skill bottleneck for the whole game. If you make the game too hard you loose out on the base, and if you make it too easy you will get critique from veteran players. Putting 2 competing skill based games into 1 game is usually not good. One throttles down the other. The usual solution for that is autoresolve. Autoresolve removes the hurdle which keeps the player from getting to the content they actually like. A nice picturesque autoresolve feature ( better than X1 ) is your best bet to avoid people getting tired of the minigame they dont want to play. You can do a lot with autoresolve. Randomise damaged UFO parts, randomised damaged aircraft parts, result range, failure rate, etc ... . Autoresolve lets you focus on the parts you want to show off in your game, without having to worry about a second skill based game throttling down your playerbase.
  4. I can guarantee you that dealing with runners and campers is a very lame experience. Do you know why people in ego-shooters dont like campers ? Exactly. If you get a good position the defender has all the advantages, while the attacker takes all the risks. Thats even more true in a game like Xenonauts where moving up to a position will cost you TU, and in the moment of the encounter you only have 50% of options left. Think about it like a camper camping for 30 seconds, and the first opponent wandering into his zone will be frozen in place for 30 seconds. Thats what it would be. Camping good defensive position and retreating when you are discovered would be the best tactical approach for the aliens, and the worst gameplay experience for the player. If there is a pacing issue, the map is too big, or the aliens too few. In X-Division we solve that problem that we divide every map into 3 distinct phases: 1. Fight on the map 2. Fight to get inside the UFO 3. Fight for the command room That creates a very nice pacing, since the aliens are so aggressive they will sooner or later find you will mean: 1. All aliens on the map will make a fast or slow approach towards you. Which means a firefight until you killed the last alien. 2.Break and safety until you enter the perimeter of the UFO 3. Once you engage the UFO the aliens will defend the UFO while taking maximum advantage of their defensive position (doors, etc ... ) 4. Break until the command room and relative safety. 5. Firefight in (into) the command room. 6. End of mission This creates a nice pace of firefight - break timings, where players mostly know what to expect. One of the core principles in X-Division. This stands in opposition to Xenonauts, where aliens could literally be anywhere and strike anytime. Making the player always having to advance slowly and methodically, which leads to the pacing problem.
  5. I´d vote for local forces and civilians to be treated like any other alien race. That is that you can freely define their stats and create a new rank="localRussian" under race="locals". The map would pull the local numbers in the exact same way X1 did, locals_localrussian_defensive 5. 5 is the number of these kind of units put on the map and defensive is the ( optional ) scirpt. That wouldnt only liven up the modding scene, it would also make it baby easy for Chris to put in whatever unit on whatever special map he wants. In either case all you have to do is supply the model.
  6. I think its more accurate to say that XCE improves on the gameplay while trying to stay as close to the vision of Xenonauts in general. But its definitely a different experience.
  7. This is about the Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis emblem system for possible integration into X2 with @Coffee Potato. This is an open discussion. For the people who dont know what we are talking about: http://www.tacticsogre.com/emblems.htm I think the TO: Knight of Lodis system is a very interesting system to be integrated into a turn based tactical system, yet i have my problems with it. I would really like to have a system which makes soldiers more individual based on Combat occurences, but the TO system doesnt seem up to the task. (1) They are not random Every emblem (perk) has precise requirements to be fullfilled. These are not random, nor are they special in any other way. You can grind for them like any other stat point. Its not like you can fail to get them either, if the char dies you simply reload. (2) There is no choice One emblem more is better than one less. There is (mostly) no trade-off in any of the emblems, making them pure grinding goals instead of conscious choice between two more or less equal choices. And again, no failing since if you are loosing your favourite char you are more likely to reload than anything else. All in all the emblems are more accumulative, than making chars unique. Which is my goal. My suggestion is this: Occurence X in battlefield > After the mission the soldier needs to get operated > During the Operation the surgeons encounter complications and present you with 2 random choices > Each random choice is a buff and a debuff combination. You can choose between the course of operation. Occurences can be like [below 10% health], or [more than 40 points healed in combat] or any non-specific or specific conditions. De-/Buffs can be like +/-10 TU, +/-15 Accuracy, +/-5 health, +/-50% more resistant to psionics ( because surgeons had to cut out a part of the brain ), higher/lower proficiency with heavy weapons, mechanical hand for further throwing, etc ... . This avoids the grindiness of the TO system, because every occurence is random and risky, and you cant determine what kind of operation is going to follow it. It adds the choice of the player, and every soldier can have an never ending stack of buff and debuff combinations, and since they are relatively small, its unlikely that you will reload. And you will definitely grow attached more to that soldier that survived a muton shot and is now limping forever, but has been taught the importance of a pistol back-up. Seems to be the perfect crossover between JA2 and X1, where you dont have to simulate complex body parts, but can be easily added in as IF[soldier below 10%health(AND)alive;generate surgical event;nothing] and then just stack up all the buffs and debuffs in the equipment screen. Suggestions ?
  8. Woaw, what a change . And i thought the turn based combat was set in stone. @Coffee Potato @Dagar Where them gang at ? We gotta discuss this. Ok, this is going to be a long one, so sit down, sip your tea and relax. Clouds: Great Idea ! This reminds of the different clouds in Star Trek Armada 2. Metreon Nebula (red): Deals Damage as long as the unit is in it. Cerulean Nebula (blue). Deactivates Shields and saps power Metaphasic Nebula(green): Positive influence by hastening repair rate Radioactive Nebula (yellow): kills crew. Tachyon Nebula: no special effect. Modular Components: @Chris Let me be frank. Just copy Space Pirates and Zombies 1 down to the last byte. They are on top of their game. And here it is: Lets start from the top. Every ship has a hull, some can equipt armour, and all can equipt shields. Hull: Basic Ship hp. Armour: decreases damage by a flat amount. Heavier armour makes an aircraft slower. Shields: Every ship can have a shield. This ranges from junk, over standard, to either shields which quickly recharge with little protective power, to big slowly reloading shields. The offensive power is divided into: Cannons: Your usual "throw stuff into the face of your enemy" weapon. Good against armour. Missiles: Long range and autohoming. Good vs hull Torpedos: Good against everything it hits. Slow and low turn rate. Every Ship has support modules which can be differently outifitted. Every support modules boosts another thing in a different way. Engine: Boosts speed. Shield: Boosts max shield and recharge rate. Reactor: Increases max energy and recharge rate Cannon/Missile/Torpedo: Boost Damage/Range/Rate of Fire/Recharge Speed. All ship types have different amount of weapon and support slots, making them different and distinctive in their role. But you can also try to use something which it is absolutely not meant for. Pilots: There are fleet wide Commander/Pilot classes which give certain boni like higher Damage/Range/Recharge Rate/Speed/Turn Rate/Shield. I think a system where you put commanding officers in bases to give a bonus to the there stationed aircraft would be better than an individual pilot flying an individual plane. OR if you want people to grow attached to the pilots you can make them gain experience and gain random perks with each level up. What do we do about the people who arent on the reaction side of things ? I personally think that most of the stress people had in X1 was trying to control 3 (!) planes at once. Even for me its something which can be quite taxing, let alone those people who dont posses my level of concentration. I suggest that you could reduce the stress level by assisting the player with an AI for all aircraft which the player currently doesnt control ( Just like SPAZ 1 does it). It doesnt have to be super intelligent, just things like "Attack X" or "Hold position at Y". Making them automatically dodge incoming fire, or giving them the command to stay at a certain range, in a certain (dead) angle of the UFO. This could leave the player with a way more immersed feeling of not being the only intelligent being around, while not stressing out about having to make 3 different decisions for 3 diferent planes. Focusing on 1 thing takes the stress out of things. Summa Summarum Lets recap.
  9. @ChrisI basically said what @Solver said with more pictures . And the final chinook didnt have windows, just small sunshine holes above. Outside Inside
  10. @Chris Just throwing it out there that 3-tile-wide helicopters would be an improvement. Gameplay wise. But alas .. . Generally i think the chopper is overloaded. Currently the pic shows 10 empty tiles, filled with 10 soldiers. My comment was about the fact that if you would have 8 soldiers, you would gain 2 tiles to shuffle around your soldiers, not to make the heli 3 tiles wide. In X1, without a a vehicle, your Chinook had 10 empty tiles inside it, where you could shuffle around your soldier, or retreat them to safety. The current picture has none. Not an improvement. I was specifically talking about the angle of the .. "thing the heli stands on", eg. tires and the support structures, its legs so to speak. Its construction would hint to somebody immediatelly getting fired if such a vtol would actually be produced in reality. I dont want to go into the physical details of why that is, and i doubt anybody who isnt a military engineer or physicist would notice, i just want to bring this to your attention: Google "280 valor" and check the images for the legs. Anyway, minor detail. IF the gameplay stays around the X1 model, than more soldiers means more aliens. More soldiers + more aliens = longer Battles. If we get an upgrade system of 10-12-14 soldiers than that will turn into uneccesary longer battles. And if we get less than 3 upgrades i would feel like the upgrade incentive is missing. That depends entirely of the direction of the development though. If your soldiers become more throwaways than in X1, 10 it is. Im judging changes based on as if the final product is very close to X1. Just saying a little bit of space to reorganise soldiers in your dropship would be nice. Also, when can we expect our 1 tile R2D2 ?
  11. Bad. Good. But windows are not solid walls. If they are windows they should be smashable. Maybe make them extra hard military glass ones ? Good. Good. Good. Extra suggestions: Not having at least one empty row to move soldiers around is bad (inside). I think you can make the visual design a lot cooler than that. The placement of the tires and its mechanical design is far removed from realistic military reality. Remember, players will be staring at that model for a looooooooooooooooooooong time.
  12. @kabillIs it a CTD or an infinite alien turn crash ? You can distinguish infinite turns by activating your FPS on screen. If the FPS is 60, you got an infinite turn crash, if its around 5 the game works as normal. Also why do you think that the problem is with your mod ? Even XCE has unresolved psionic issues, especially regarding Mind Control. I think Solver fixed Mind Control issues more times than he has fingers on his hands, and people still kept rolling in with more and rarer bugs. Down below is an example. Phase 3 with Ceasan Leader Class units, with PsionicAttacks="Fear, Dread, Paralyse, MindControl" and <Rank type="PsionPsycho"> with PsionicAttacks="Fear, Dread, Paralyse". Edit: now that i think about it, i could propably remove dread from the leader, to eliminate possible sources of problems. Edit2: As far as i know there are specific infinte turn crashes which start to happen in Phase 3, so with the introduction of Caesan Leader Class units.
  13. Psionic attacks seem to have a 1 turn cooldown. So only every second turn. Dread only works for race="praetor" im also pretty sure an alien can only use 1 psionic ability per turn, then all psionic abilities go on cooldown. Eg. an alien unit cant use Fear and then Mind Control. This might be changeable in the behaviour.xml under the child <Psionic> X-Division has a lot of aliens with 3 or more abilities on the same alien without any issue. But without describing the problem there is no way to make a profile to see if it fits.
  14. Guys, guys. I think air support is a nice idea. 1. Close range calls only. So for instance a grenade ( optionally which marks affected tiles around it ) which gets thrown in an 8 to 10 tile radius. No laser pointer which can point at the other side of the map. 2. The air support takes a full turn, and gets executed at the beginning of your next turn. This means "in theory" no air support ability will ever hit anything, unless people dont move away. Its more of a zoning tool. 3. Air support for both sides. Aliens can also call in a limited number of air support abilities, which again take a full round to get executed. This means you have a full turn to withdraw soldiers in the effected area. Suppression and or panic together with air support makes for a more dynamic gameplay 4. Buildings can be affected, but bullets should be simulated "from above". 5. Obviously it needs to be balanced. Light MG Fire, area suppression, napalm, etc ... . 6. Aliens could have different air support abilities which they can only use a limited amount of times in battle. 7 Obviously high production cost. Maybe ... maybe ... you can even build your air/ground support and station them in your base like any other aircraft. Upside is that you can call in air support, the downside would be that you have to keep a hangar, a plane, and can only call in as much as you have. That would be a nice crossover between Ground Combat and the Geoscape. 8. Timers on air support grenades. So you could throw an air support grenade, which triggers in 2 turns, after which it needs a full round to execute. 9. Geoscape time cooldown. Which means you cant use them nonstop by going from one Crashsite to another. I think that is a very important point. Yes, this can already be modded in in X1, except for the GC - Geoscape connection.
  15. @TornadoADV 1. Open the relevant researches.xml 2. change the requirements of the final research to "Items.Alienalloys". Save. 3. Sell 1 alloy. Save the game. 4. Revert the research changes.
  16. This kinda contradicts why TU% were introduced in X1 in the first place. If Chris has doubts about TU% he could ask the community, but i think this should get fixed as soon as possible, since the feedback of the people build upon such basic things.
  17. No, i think the whole problem boils down to the fact that reasonable TU% havent been implemented yet. I dont think anybody would discuss a 63 TU% burst for rifles as reasonable, nor 30 TU% for a snap. I utterly agree.
  18. 1. You are highlighting the hp, not the TU. 2. 47 TU is VERY low TU. 3. You are running through gras. Now the visual of the grass isnt THAT impressive, but they are the equivalent of Vietnam Soldiers wading through gras. That slows down. 4. A maxed soldier can have 100 TU. Whether or not you find it believeable that a trained soldier can run more than twice as fast as a rookie is a different topic. That is how the terrain looks for the soldiers: This implies that the aliens get faster and shot more accurate too ... hm ... As a result you want an action paced game with effectively smaller maps, where the first to shoot wins, and missions are over faster ... hm ... I think this would move away from the simulation aspect, and more into the action genre. Edit: but 30/47= 63% for one burst seems a bit exorbitant. And that is a Rifle, not an HMG. Burst shots should be inbetween snap and steady shoots, so inbetween 14 to 20 TU. Maybe the problem lies in the Weapon modes ?
  19. Sure, my post undermined the immense difficulties of working in 3d, of which i know nothing about. You are completely right on that. Want me to make a proof of concept ?
  20. Im sorry but i have to speak up for the truth. It is not only possible to make make any part in the late X1 system destructible, but also easily so. Option 1. Make predefined holes. This is the easiest example and looks kinda like this: Option 2: You can cut unique UFO art into a per-tile basis. This would require a manual, human eye to define where the art overlaps with which tiles. Then you can piece the art together in the submap editor. In the end this means you can make and define each and every tile to have an undamaged, damaged with hole, or completely blasted away state. This is a very work intensive option, but still only a question of manhours. All of that is so easily achievable that i can already do that in the X1 editor. Give me 2 additional men and 50 manhours and i will make all vanilla UFOs with predefined breach points. Give me 3 men and 300 manhours and i will make every single tile of every vanilla UFO breachable. The only issue i see with this is that when you hover over a UFOhull part only single parts are getting transparent and/or highlighted. This would need some hardcoded support to define UFOhull(s) as one part with a IF(UFOhull part gets highlighted,highlight connected UFOhull part, Nothing), otherwise parts highlighted look a bit "blocky". Im not desputing that the UFO art in X2 is final, and i am fond of completely destructible environments. Just pointing out that a hybrid approach is totally feasible, if decided on early enough. I realise its too late in the development to make a hybrid approach, but if the X2 editor is as powerful as the X1 one, and publicly available, modders can just make unique UFOs themself. Keep it up Chris
  21. If you wouldnt have written that statement, i would have ><.
  22. (1) In X1 aliens cant see through walls. They can however "hear" you, up to 8 to 10 tiles. I think this function was too strong in X1, and should be reduced in its effects as well as "walls" dampening the range of it. If you want to put the human on equal footing maybe implement sound based on distance and action type ( similiar to the aliens ). (3) In X1 aliens cant fire at what they cant see. Remember they have squad sight though, just like you. One of the side effects of the more stronger coding in X1 let aliens throw grenades on bunched up soldiers - whether they had vision or not. This could be addressed so that that function needs the visual component first, in order to prevent "blind grenades". (2) All main races had equal sight range in the vanilla game, harridans and wraiths had one more, and reapers had two more tiles of sight range. Not really "the world".
  23. Edit: Looks like you fixed that in the latest version, everything appears as it should. Good job.
  24. Strings are still spaghetti: You could save 500 mb by making a soldier_spectre instead of shipping all the images. In fact, all the soldier_spectre are already in place, you just need to delete everything else but the spectre. armour.basic\weapon.forceshield.makarov doesnt have code. Once you have done that you can have a single 15 mb file for every setup.
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