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About Ninothree

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  1. I've been wondering that for ages - fun as squad tactics is, it does feel a bit empty at times. "Why are we at war with the aliens" "Because we've always been at war with the aliens" It'd be interesting at some point to see some tweak of the game into something with more depth. Kinda like the difference between the first Alien film and its sequels. The original has character, development and tension, the rest have action. So in terms of altering the base game, the main effect would be that missions are not just "search and destroy". The fighting would be more about defence and rescue with other primary objectives laid on top. I don't know how easy it would be to implement puzzles in the traditional engine for xcom games - I guess you'd need to have some interaction with the map or map objects to make the puzzles interesting. The strategic layer of the game could emphasised with mechanics of base expansion (forming a settlement) and geoscape exploration (rather than just progressive coverage with radars). The scenario of defending Earth feels really quite tired. I like the idea of trying to gain a foothold in some place distant and unknown - so you are uncovering the mysteries of the land whilst fighting off the attack from above (this could also neatly explain many of the plot holes in the traditional gameplay e.g. why the aliens are bothering, why they don't just nuke Earth from orbit or why the rest of humanity isn't doing much).
  2. In terms of relationships between soldiers, I'd imagine that their rank could play a part. So the officers who never fire their weapons or even go on missions are less well-respected and provide little morale boost, whereas the sergeant types who are always in the fray are liked by the grunts and make the whole team work better.
  3. Reminds me a bit of the way that DOOM looks. If there isn't much adventure it might still be interesting visually - I think that is something which surprisingly few games focus on, at least not from an artistic side. Plenty of games keep up with modern graphics but there is nothing special in the level design or aesthetic. Quite a few RPGs do a good job, but not FPSs.
  4. sigh, now I may as well get back to work. I did have fun brewing some ideas up with people but without anything particularly tangible or playable related to them I can see that they were always quite likely to lose traction. Still, it was nice to feel that this side of the xcom game niche has a community that can influence structural changes to the game - obviously we can't all get the ideas we want in the final game but I still appreciate the space in which to float those ideas.
  5. I guess that a remote or proximity trigger on the C4 is out of the question. Would make it a little too easy to lure aliens into a trap/fight them from out of the line of fire. Whilst I can see it being fun to blow up aliens with demo-charges, I'm definitely more interested in it functioning as a tool for changing the structure of the environment - breaching, bringing down buildings, removing cover. This would put a bit of impetus design of levels so that the player could get creative. Possibly even forming part of a mission spec, e.g. blow the dam to cause a flood, destroy the base to remove evidence, sabotage the ship without apparently causing damage etc
  6. Surrounded by reapers? Self destruct mode initiated
  7. I think that data on the battle is an intrinsic part of the gameplay. There is a space for games without those interfaces (Black and White is a prime example) but the feel they give is far less about strategy which is at the core of xcom. As the commander, you can't guess that much based upon what a shot looks like from a top down view, or really know what cover elements are in the way - those are just graphical representations (which are less likely an issue for the AI). You need some kind of crutch to know what your decisions relate to in the game world. Obviously, more realistic cover seems better but I think an understandable set of game mechanics is more important in order for you to make well thought out decisions as opposed to going with gut instinct - the latter making for a decent enough combat simulator but not a strategy game.
  8. I like the idea of the aliens reacting. As far as I'm aware, that kind of game-theory isn't used in many games. Enemies are usually pretty flat, at most, levelling up as you progress to crank up the difficulty - though that levelling up is usually fairly linear too e.g. +5 to all stats. If they built up a resistance to individual weapon techs then it would also encourage you to move along with your research: either to reach a less resisted tech or to prevent the over-resistance of an earlier one. In xcom apoc it felt as though there were some form of reaction in the aliens' tech progression, in that each new item they brought to the field was usually pretty good at countering the last item you'd researched. Indeed, I'd be just as interested in seeing this kind of resistance. So if you employ a lot of one tech then the aliens develop the alloys in their armour to resist that particular type of damage. This could go as far as you intentionally pushing one tech type to the ultimate resistance level, at which point the aliens bring something really exciting to the field that is both a hard-counter but also a valuable research item for the xenonauts. Thus, resistance would be a dangerous road with a reward at the end; whereas playing it safe with a mix of techs would not offer the same achievement.
  9. @TrashMan I think you may find it easier to construct ideas if you forget the preconceptions given by X1 and other xcom game. This forum is about discussing what rules could be in effect, rather than using rules already in effect to determine what can and can't happen. If you stick to the latter, we'll just end up with the same game instead of a sequel.
  10. I think that cloaking is just too good though. It is like mind control: very fun for a while, but quickly turns into an oh-so-easy mechanism to spam. If used right, you hardly need to put your troops into the line of fire - so if the game difficulty is geared to compensate, it is very difficult to play without it. Having said that, stealth is pretty cool so I wouldn't mind if there were some kind of option to use it if coupled with severe limitations - like that you can only ever have 1 stealth suit or that it drains the health of the user when they're invisible.
  11. Yeah I can see that all sides are interested in keeping it secret. Especially if the desired end game is control over a stable population. There has to be a reason that the aliens don't just bombard from orbit. And along the same lines, there has to be a reason that Earth's military forces aren't all mobilised. If either of those things happened, then people would go nuts and soon enough there wouldn't be much of a human race to save.
  12. I like the twist on terror missions, though I'd suggest that they should be imprinted with the xcom difficulty curve: in the early game, the civilians get creamed. Terror missions are supposed to be tough and it is not a common outcome that you save everyone. So, at the beginning of the game when you are highly outgunned, a 'successful' terror mission would be one where you extract a few civilians then do a tactical retreat, leaving the aliens to their sabotage. Later on, that definition of success would be advanced as it becomes feasible to save the infrastructure too. Though as @tachikaze points out, the aliens' objective wouldn't merely be blowing stuff up, they could do that from orbit, so if they were to commit a well-armed strike team it'd be something more subtle. Effectively, this would be something to push the relations/threat counter in the early game so there is no chance of you getting a perfect play. Until the home team gets its act together the enemy will be winning battles and gaining a foothold. That difficulty would also make you use the retreat mechanic which is not something most players normally do (if you can't complete the mission, why try it?).
  13. Is quite hard to explain away attacks on major cities with so many witnesses. Even if it is put down to Soviet/American forces, that incursion would turn the cold war into a hot one. Maybe if those attacks took place in non-aligned countries (3rd world) then it would be easier for the mass media and general public of the East/West to ignore. As for sightings of UFOs in the sky, there are tinfoil-hat-wearing crackpots out there right now who claim to have seen them. Though I think if the aliens had the capability to brainwash humans to do their misinformation/infiltration then the story would hold together a lot tighter.
  14. I like this idea, but instead of having the aliens appear after a timer, maybe have a visible skirmish between them and the local forces on the other side of the map. The local forces are a distraction that leave the UFO less well-guarded - whilst you go in and do your business. This wouldn't be a couple of farmers with shotguns but a serious force that could hold its own, fighting defensively from cover. If you can get out quickly you signal the locals to pull back - earning you a relation bonus. If you take too long, the aliens beat off the local force and come back to the ship, meaning you have to fight your way out. This would involve specifying that the local forces fight very defensively and that the aliens continue engaging them. But as far as I'm aware, that isn't a million miles away from the current AI. Might be quite fun to watch the battle progress, especially if you can have a hand in equipping the locals with better weapons as the game progresses.