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Ninothree

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Ninothree last won the day on January 15

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About Ninothree

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  1. The game is not finished yet. It would be surprising if you found a bunch of things that you did like because there aren't really any new or exciting features. It is just the old xenonauts stripped down, smartened up with better graphics, and put out for bug testing. The Mona Lisa probably looked awful when it was half-finished too but I don't hear you criticising da Vinci
  2. Soldier with shields repeatedly seem to get stuck when killed. During the alien turn the camera doesn't seem to zoom to them when they're killed. As you can see from the screenshot, the soldier looks as though they occupy the tile but they're just a ghost.
  3. Gun was empty. I right-mouse-clicked on the sniper ammo in the belt to reload. Hello desktop. Worth noting, the soldier was also packing a shotgun and some shells. output.log_1.baeab034446c638efd3d9a398cd98d01
  4. Also fireworks and angry crocodiles. Closest thing to a plasma fight with a Sebillian.
  5. You can pull the extra fuel tank out and switch it for armour, and vice versa. This will alter the fighter's stats when it is out of the base. This meant I was flying with 0% fuel for a while (I had kinda hoped this would make the game crash, but no, it was fine with this)
  6. I had this a couple of times too. That loading bar gets to 98%, so tantalising.
  7. aaaaaaand everyone gets PTSD For realism: HP can be trained, if you think of it like toughness: the capacity to work through pain and loss of limbs. But bravery, maybe you can condition a soldier, though that might just make them a high-functioning lunatic. And strength, well, it doesn't matter what I bench, I'll always be scrawny. You can only change your build so much. I'm with @Dagar, that gameplay is the priority - but especially, that the player will cheese a stat gain where possible. The trigger for stat gains does need to have a logic behind it, but it should also flow into regular gameplay. Take reflexes: in X1 it was earned by reaction shots, logical, but hard to train. In Apocalypse (here we go again), it came from using quickfire weapon. Maybe it is a good thing to have esoteric stat gains. But given how much soldier progression accounts for enjoyment of the game, the route to training those soldiers shouldn't fall down to something in combat that is essentially just bizarre.
  8. The real time air combat was fun, but pretty limited. It is a minigame. Unless it gets fleshed out to be something impressive in its own right, it is just not that replayable. You end up needing the autoresolve because it is so repetitive - there are too few variables. Personally, I wouldn't mind more development going into air combat. If Goldhawk could somehow cut and paste FTL into Xenonauts that'd be grand. Maybe give it more scope so you can have a dozen craft in a single fray. Then add some VR support to it, with a personalised gaming chair that leans and tilts as you pilot the aircraft through barrel rolls...yeah, something along those lines.
  9. I'm imagining Earth's NPCs getting slowly eroded like the barriers in Space Invaders. Try as you might, they all get destroyed after enough time. All you can do is hide behind them for a while and try to hit that 500-pointer flying past. So dismal. I love it. In X1, the simulated alien invasion is essentially a clock. Just like in Space Invaders, it is a stream of random attacks that speed up over time. The player's strategy is to organise a defence that strengthens faster than the attack. There is not feeling to that. I mean, its fun, but it is empty. The key is to give it that living feeling. Maybe something like simulating a few big battles between the NPCs and the aliens. These battles would have an outcome without player intervention, but the player could get involved to swing it the other way. The point is for it to be a series of events that exists in their own right - like a film that you could just sit and watch. Or, you could get involved and feel as though you're making a difference.
  10. That would make for a better large-scale combat simulator, with the war progressing through phases. But such a thing is not what xcom/xenonauts games tend to be about, where the tactical layer is often referred to as the meat (and/or potatoes) of the game. The strategy layer has meaningful activities (i.e research), yet it is pretty much just for spawning ground combat missions. I mean, compare it to any other strategy game - it is very dilute. For instance, air combat is almost entirely about having the right tier of weapons at the right time. XCOM2 got rid of it entirely and it hardly changed the game. Having said that I reckon it is worth thinking about how it could be beefed up through mods or the like. Firstly, I'm a complete novice in the field of mods. I looked into some of what could be done in X1 but didn't get anywhere. As far as I'm aware, adding an NPC to the geoscape is beyond scope. Although maybe UFOs could be set to create a crash site sometimes instead of landing, i.e. imagining a battle with local forces. I think what you'd want is some indicators/symbols to appear around the globe to give the feel of activity. Maybe it wouldn't be too hard to have some UFOs actually be IFOs, with friendly blue coloured icons. Like I said, beyond me. *However, as for altering the paradigm of the war, I'm pretty sure that could be done. Firstly, early-game ground combat could be made impossible by setting conventional bullet weapons to air-soft damage. Then, neuter the loss condition so you can survive on a diet of air-strikes rather than successful missions (i.e. it is much harder to lose regions). Finally, set the cost of bases, hangars and radars to something negligible so you can build a giant airforce. That would force you to stick to the air game. Something creative would need to be done to make dog fights replayable and fun, e.g. tons more aerial ordnance. The key would be controlling progression to the phase when ground combat were possible. In xcom/xenonauts the leash is always determined by research. To move forward, the R&D of laser weapons would be the latchkey discovery. The simplest solution would be to have the laser research project require many months to complete, so you'd be well into your air war before ground combat is even approachable. Then, as @Edmon says, make soldiers and weapons cheap. A dime a dozen. You throw a dozen laser troopers at a crash site and you are finally able to hold your own, but only against Ceasan solders, or only against the lowest ranks (say if the Ceasan's health is x then other species' health is 100x). Thus, the objective is to loot the aliens, not push them back. Once you bring back enough artefacts from dead Ceasan's, you trigger plasma research. Maybe even have the construction of plasma weapons require an alien rifle (or five). Then, with plasma guns (100 times the damage), you can fight on equal terms with Sebillians... the idea is to make the stats of each alien/weapon tier an order of magnitude beyond the former. Effectively, this would all be to change the strategy from winning ground combat: The last addition I'd make would be to have enemies like Androns be immortal to all but the top tier weapons, and have those top tier weapons require some ludicrous condition for triggering the research. That way, only the most determined player could manage it. It would be a reward for pushing the envelope. I think that everything from the * above is feasible with the settings that could be manipulated in xenonauts 1. The crucial step would be in adding strategical challenges to the strategy layer, otherwise it'd all be for nothing!
  11. I like the numbers part of the argument, that is convincing. But it kinda sounds like the first phase of the game would be a tutorial, or at least something where you aren't punished for your actions. Maybe that isn't just a bad thing. Part of the joy of the original xcom was the insanely hard first mission - that gauntlet inspired Firaxis to make the tutorial mission in their original remake a disaster: only one soldier survives. I think games in the genre should stay faithful to that: you don't get time to take baby steps whilst you learn why to use cover. If the first few missions are geared so that you can't bring everyone home alive, then you'll learn to accept soldier losses as normal. The mechanics are already in effect to support it - simply make the weapon's stats more of a determinant of firepower than the grunt who wields it. Perhaps if the early game were intended to be a whitewash. So at the beginning, in every instance of ground/aerial combat you are expected to lose. The best you can do is score a few kills and hope to escape with some artefacts from the field. In Earth's desperation, funding is no constraint and you can replace all your stuff easily. Inevitably, the aliens march forward, humanity starts to capitulate, until you crack the science of laser weapons and bring the fight to them. The point would be that neither side would stick around for the battle royale, rather, they'd make a tactical retreat to preserve resources. When you start kicking back harder, then the aliens bring more force to bear. The effect of this would be that by playing better early on you'd save more of Earth from occupation - which would in turn mean that you have more territory to defend later in the game. Thus the 150% player would make a rather difficult bed to lie in. In both of the above paragraphs I'm trying to argue that things like casualties and retreat should be made more of an active part of the game. They're a real part of combat. The problem with going the 150% playthrough is that you become listless. None of the decision making is about acceptable loses. Whilst I'm sure that mechanics to force you to retreat could end up feeling heavy handed, I do think that they'd make the combat simulator more well-rounded. Also, as for the progression of soldiers vs squads, I think that officers should be the ones who get the stat boosts, so making the privates slightly more...expendable.
  12. Difficulty: You're right about the difficulty curve. I read a review by one of the first people to crack Firaxis xcom I/I with no solider deaths - basically, the biggest risks are in the first few missions when your soldiers are super green. Xenonauts kinda gets away from that because your soldiers' training only increases their stats, as opposed to getting abilities allowing more shots per turn. Nevertheless, with either Goldhawk or Firaxis, mission 1 is much more like the D-Day landing in Saving Private Ryan; and the final mission is little more than cake. It is the same with a lot of RPGs, levelling up too high feels like cheating. The Afterlight series based some of its mechanics around the fact that many players choose not continue after soldier death. People like to play the perfect game. I can never be bothered to spend hours retraining a bunch of rookies, for me at least that is a grind. Inevitably, playing like that means you reap too much reward without any costs, so the challenge loses its edge. Unfortunately, there is not much scope in the game for upping the ante halfway through; much of the game's timeline is dictated by research projects. It'd be nice if you had the option to piss the aliens off and cause retaliations. Kinda like inducing terror missions or battleships. So if you somehow research plasmas in week two, then there is still a bar to jump over. Don't you know there is a war going on: It'd be real nice if the geoscape had other stuff happening on it. Territories advancing and receding. Friendly scouts patrolling and getting ambushed. Not being Earth's only hope... I understand there is a lot of interest for multiple factions. It does feel quite silly having the aliens fought off by bus load of soldiers. Having said that, there is still a bunch of questions to resolve here. Are the rest of Earth's forces doing anything functional? Or are they just a barrier which slowly gets eroded? If you help the NPCs to survive for longer, wont that make the rest of the game easier? i.e the problem with the difficulty curve. It is quite an ambitious idea, and one I'd be interesting in thinking about; I'm always up for developing the strategy layer. But I feel that Xenonauts is more about the ground combat. And if you start trying to fix all the problems with the lore then you're opening a fair size can of worms anyway. From discussion elsewhere on the forum, I feel fairly convinced that any enemy force which can attack from space is not one that can be defeated, even you had riot shields and shotguns.
  13. Ninothree

    @Chris, Shooting range

    A simulator sounds fun, but I'm not sure it would play out well. I like the idea that the science reports give you technical data (projectile velocity etc) but a round in the training room gives you a different, more practical, set of info - or just some hands on experience without much risk. Although, I'm struggling to think what the simulator would feel like. If it is just target practice that is hardly any fun. In the Firaxis xcom, animations make it quite fun to blow up an alien, but xenonauts is less silly than that. The joy is in the strategy, so unless the shooting range could involve some kind of problem you'd need to solve with strategy, it would be like fish in a barrel. Not really that challenging, so not really that interesting.
  14. Ninothree

    Keeping alien weapons

    The Apoc weapon techs were interesting. Most aliens start with natural weapons (e.g. goo spitters) that you can't steal. Then they have light firearms. You steal those firearms, then the game introduces aliens with shields - these counter to your developing weapons tech. By the time you have the heavier 'plasma' guns, the aliens are using an entropy launcher, that has homing capabilities. Ultimately, you develop the toxigun. The top-tier tech is biological for both sides. But the neatness of it all is the way that alien techs come in phases so that once you get the advantage, you lose it soon after. If the aliens are dropping the game's best weapons from the get-go, then it messes all that up. Granted, you can play around with some argument of ergonomics, but it seems a little silly that a scientist can't rig up some human trigger on a plasma. So yeah, the alien-armour-resistance argument holds up better. That would then pave way for human armour to feel improved design features (plasma resistance), and human top-tier weapons to end up somewhere like kinetics. In terms of the original post, about using alien weapons, I like the idea that they have a niche use when scavenged e.g. blowing hole through a wall, but take too much TU to use in a regular fight. Behind that, there needs to be a solid explanation for why humans can't deploy them in the field, or make much use of them in the base.
  15. Ninothree

    Keeping alien weapons

    Trouble with loot is that it can mess up the game's economy. Each mission you can pick up around a dozen high-tech alien rifles, nearly enough to arm your whole squad. That makes it hard to include a cost value for upgrading your weaponry. I like the idea of scavenging something (grenades/ammo) or at least moving items around the map, but I dunno if using standard alien weapons would make the game better.
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