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Ninothree

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Ninothree last won the day on November 10

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About Ninothree

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  1. Ninothree

    Your Xenonauts 2 wishlist?

    Making the research tree more complex and interesting seems like low hanging fruit. Easy implementation (compared to something like redoing air combat mini-game) but really powerful in terms of shaping up the campaign into something less linear and repetitive. For a wish list though? I'd be more ambitious than just adding new techs. I'd want to entirely overhaul the concept of 'research projects'. Currently they are checkpoints that require a certain amount of science points to pass. I'd want the research to be about pushing in certain theoretical directions, with testing rigs and equipment that you need to build in a lab. That theory, however well-formed you let it become, then gets passed to the engineers who try to build according to the specs you give them. Research trials and the capability of your engineers to churn out working prototypes wouldn't be a simple process of 'earn enough science points'. I think this would make the science/engineering dichotomy much more sensible (because at the moment it is a bit sucky). And there would be many more branches of science to pursue. Currently, you have a conventional physics which is boosted by alien physics with a bit of xenobiology nudging at the side. But there are loads of channels you could split research into so it would be a real tree with branches for: materials, energy, nanotechnology, cosmology, electronics/computers, AI, encryption, aerospace, genetics, alien physiology/psychology/sociology. A lot of these are already there, but the research projects are oriented around understanding individual objects you find in the UFOs. Once you study an engine, you know everything about propulsion forever. There is more scope than that!
  2. I didn't know that about TftD. I got through a mission or two after playing the original and gave up because I thought it was just going to be a clone. Still, sounds like it was essentially the same game. Maybe this is something akin to Moore's law. A five-year gap between a game and its sequel back in the 90s would have seen far less of a step improvement than you'd get today. I am bit concerned that X2 will not make a big enough stride. I'm sure it'll be a great improvement, but personally, I'm a bit tired of the gameplay. I first played UFO defence 25 years ago, and I spent a little too much time on the Firaxis remakes. For me at least, another round in this genre needs to do something really interesting. A lot of the community's complaints have been to veto streamlining, but the changes I'm hoping for are more ambitious. e.g. XCOM2 having a stealth mechanic, or Apoc refocusing the strategy layer. Overall, I think X2 will service fans who are looking for something authentic or faithful.
  3. Yup, a new coat of paint is precisely what they did when they released Terror from the Deep back in '95. An hey, people loved that game. Although you know what was the best thing about TftD? It brought the xcom franchise one step closer to Apocalypse.
  4. Ninothree

    Humans vs Humans missions

    There was actually some backlash at XCOM2 for having too many human enemies. Can't please everyone.
  5. I like any idea that makes the geoscape more interesting. Currently, the only spatial element of the geoscape is radar coverage and interceptor range. In terms of something that can make X2 stand out, from X1 and from XCOM, the geoscape has a lot of potential. At the moment the geoscape is a very un-stimulating environment. For a game that falls into the strategy genre, this feels like a bit of a waste.
  6. Ninothree

    V8 Balance thread

    Does there have to be another reason? Well, in FPS games the melee is the finisher if you ever get up close. But I think it is a bit easier to spam it when playing turn based. It might work as a viable finisher if it were put to some skill check - like you can only successfully knife an enemy who has lower strength than you. So it can be cheesed early on (if you have enough TU to make it to point blank range), but you can't hack a sebillian until you get power armour.
  7. My point is that orders such as 'win at all costs' / 'protect the territory' are more meaningful that 'assault' / 'strike'. In your example you say "Good for fighters with a lot of missiles. Less useful for fighters who focus on short-range guns". So, why have that order if it is pretty much only in there to give to fighters with lots of missiles. Once you've armed your aircraft, there is automatically a good and bad choice between 'assault' / 'strike'. My suggestion was to have orders affect the outcome of the fight. So if you always pick 'win at all costs', you're very quickly going to run out of aircraft, pilots and money. So, you need to find the right balance between splashing enough UFOs and letting your pilots live long enough to become veterans. I'd agree with the orders you were suggesting if they weren't just determined by the conditions of the fight itself. i.e. you need something else in there to influence your choice (my examples were resources and other things in the strategy layer). The altitude and terrain stuff is good. Maybe clouds as a variable would work too. But my issue is still the same. If all the variables are based within the aircombat system (munitions, altitude, terrain, UFO-type), then there is a predetermined best-choice for what orders to give. Once you figure out the best choice, aircombat is a solved system and you will always use the same attack pattern (essentially just a grind, even if it is a bit rock-paper-scissors). For aircombat to stay interesting through the whole campaign, it needs to be really closely interrelated with other elements of the strategy layer.
  8. Ninothree

    Turn-based all the time - why?

    Yeah there can be slow moments. Like if you want the soldiers right at the front to have full time units on the turn you breach, but then you realised you need to move some items round in their bag or something, then you have to cycle through the turns again. I think a continuous player-turn would work in XCOM or something, that is based around activating pods of dormant enemies. Technically, this applies to enemies camped in the UFO, but the point is that often you don't know if all the enemies are in the craft, or if one is lurking elsewhere. The turn based system builds up tension around needing to tread carefully at every step, just in case you leave yourself open. The broader issue is that the build-up of tension doesn't really work all the time, like when you are 99.99% sure that you're safe. At those times, some streamlining would be appreciates. Or, some sneak attacks by the aliens...
  9. The crucial thing is to calibrate everything such that those orders are each useful in their own right. In my head, I can see myself always plumbing for 'assault' over 'evade' because the whole point is to win a fight, not dance around. Instead of having orders relating to how to win the fight, construct them to influence the outcome: Win at all costs: incur damage but splash the UFO (good for intervening in the alien's plans) Protect the territory: maybe lose the UFO but maintain relations (boosts income, no need for ground combat) Capture: down the UFO carefully, keeping alien artifacts intact but permitting loses elsewhere (good for your scientists, bad for your engineers and pilots)
  10. I think the last mission is hard the first time you play it. You are warned there is a time limit, and even if you bring some heavy weapons you don't know how much ammo to conserve. And the big boss is pretty bossy. Still, as far as final missions go, I wouldn't say it was too different than most.
  11. There seems to be agreement on the original idea of trimming down player input (down to zero for some). Fine grained micromanagement can be left to the tactical layer without upsetting anyone. So instead of clicking repeatedly where to move to avoid an attack, just have an 'evade' button. Thus, in place of a skill game (ala X1), the air combat becomes more tied in with the overall strategy layer (almost closer to XCOM). As a player, you don't take the role of the pilot, but the commander back at base making a choice about how the interception should go. That choice is driven by priority of your strategic needs (relations, loot, spawning tactical missions etc). But the options you have to chose from are determined by your politics/science/economy. e.g. you can't tail the UFO or fight at high altitudes unless you've researched alien propulsion; and you can't just torpedo every scout because eventually you'll run out of munitions. I have to say, I'm not sure about clouds. My feelings aren't strong either way, but I'm just saying in case anyone else thinks military radar can probably see through water vapour. In terms of aesthetics, I very much have in mind something like the X1/XCOM radar view. Maybe with some wire mesh ground topography flowing beneath what is still a 2D battlescape (which I assume is simplicity itself to code ).
  12. I had a little look at Birth of the Federation. It seems interesting. I like the idea of a turnbased/realtime meld. From what the top post says, Chris is looking for something that doesn't involve much micromanagement in the interception mini-game. It has got to be smooth. The idea being that you push all the management towards creating your aircrafts' loadouts in the base management screen. Essentially, the choice of loadouts are the key to this phase of the game, not your orchestration of the dogfight. In Xenonauts, tactics happen on the ground. Ultimately, when a wave of UFOs launches you want excitement (stuff is gonna happen), but you don't want tedium (fighting a long series of repetitive aerial battles). In my mind, it should be almost cinematic. Design-wise (IMO) there are aspects of a game which can be a grind (and some are rewardingly so), but shooting down UFOs isn't one of them. As we've experienced in X1, the minigame is fundamentally limited due to a lack of variables. As a minigame, it always will be limited (unless it gets enriched to the levels Charon suggests above). In its current place, the airgame phase shouldn't require a lot of clicks to get through. For what its worth, my vote would be to expand the airgame to something on par with ground combat. But as that isn't going to happen, I reckon it is most constructive to think about how to renovate the X1 system to make it as smooth as possible. Working from the assumption that you've got to issue your pilots some orders, I think the most unnecessary ones are actually to do with movement. If you can simplify the process of clicking where you want the plane to fly, the whole dogfight becomes much more streamlined. Keep the 2D field of combat, but strip out the aspect of clicking on the radar screen to direct the fighters. Reduce the player input to some basic orders like which enemy to engage, what formation to fly, and how much damage to take before breaking off. That way, the majority of success is leveraged with the decision of the loadouts, and the phase of the game where the action happens is still exciting, but ultimately not determined by the players reactions.
  13. This reminds me a bit of Spore. In the Cell stage you attach parts to your body as you evolve - the location/orientation of those parts then determines their use in battle. I can see that happening with weapon placements, that you can position their fire cones with a fair degree of freedom to then match your play style. e.g. dual cannons overlapping in front (aggressive, chasing), or side mounted (defensive, but maybe the weight affects your dodge %). Similarly, the location of shield generators / armour plating could be a thing. As well, if these things were mixed up on UFOs then no two dogfights need be the same. I definitely agree about keeping aircraft in use for longer. The idea of sunk costs that are going to be discarded always seems pain in strategy games.
  14. Ninothree

    Morale of Many

    Panic has not really had a decent implementation. Maybe if its effects were taken in a different direction, so rather than friendly fire, your green rookie refuses to break cover and only takes auto fire. That would make you rethink your strategy and allow you to keep going, rather than suffering a wipe. The threat would still remain, because if enough soldiers panic and refuse to move, they're much easier to flank. Equivalently, facing enemies who are falling into panic would be a different kind of challenge, as they rapidly run through their ammo, and are equally susceptible to a flanking manoeuvre.
  15. My biggest pain with voice acting is when you get that one soundbyte that keeps cropping up, driving you mad, so you have to sacrifice that soldier for the greater good. On the other hand, I do like the idea of crowd sourcing the voice acting, then selecting the best of what the community has to offer. I'm fairly sure that most of the community is from the Anglosphere but I bet there is a fair amount available from elsewhere. Also, more blood. Always more blood
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