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About Ninothree

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  1. Intriguing. Billy-the-farmer never got much back story. Maybe it is time to see what lies behind the shotgun and blue checkered shirt I like the idea of a perspective rooted in paranoia, with a protagonist uncovering the xenonauts organisation bit by bit - but the reader having a clearer picture of how the pieces fit together from experience playing the games. Also, it would be good to capitalise on the dread and terror as witnessed by a mere civilian: them being poorly armed and neither able to understand the aliens nor to communicate with the Earth's forces. Not quite sure how to play it with the psychic element though. It is core to xcom but can feel a bit of an immersion-breaker; I definitely lean towards a grounding in scifi rather than swirly purple magic.
  2. Why kill them? Instead, capture them and fill 'em full of psychedelics so no one believes any of their rantings
  3. Knowing the hit chance is a crucial bit of info, it would be hard to plan any strategy without it. But I don't see why the player should be given much data on the penetration calculation. Shooting through objects shouldn't really be the mainstay of your planning and the random element obscuring its chance of success makes a lot of sense intuitively. I'd say that penetration as a game mechanic should be something you get a feel for rather than a properly informed calculation (whereas accuracy is the opposite, as line-of-sight can be irritatingly hard to guess from the top-down perspective). Moreover, giving certain enemies a different predisposition to penetration fire would mix up the strategies you use to fight them.
  4. In a similar vein to the Crimson Dagger novella, I was thinking of writing short story in a xenonauts/xcom universe. This is partially for myself; it is to get practice at writing fiction which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time. But it is also directed at all of you; this community is probably the only selection of individuals who will get the references, and indeed, possibly the only people who will ever read it at all. I'm posting this thread to ask for suggestions on narrative content / overall feel. From what I read in these forums, I think that a many people here have an affinity for the martial and strategic elements of xenonauts; there certainly is a fair ol' amount of discussion about the realism of guns and the nature of conducting ground combat. I'm never going to crack any combat-realism because I simply don't know it or read enough about it. However, I am interested in taking on the sci-fi elements of a xenonauts/xcom story. For example, addressing the rationale of alien invasion, the (psychic) tools they'd use and also creating a cyber/cipher-punk setting in which it can all take place. Intentionally, I want to make this xenonauts/xcom themed but not to encroach on the stories that're already out there. That would be both rude and boring. So, I'm not looking to borrow from the cold (secret) war setting, nor to have Sectoid abduction ships or Praetor bosses. Rather, I want to pull out some of the bits of this game genre that we all love and give them more exposure than they'd normally receive. Essentially, if there are bits of the game that you'd like to see in more depth, and specifically in the kind of depth that a story can explore better than a game, then I'd like to discuss those bits and weave them in with my own. Thanks.
  5. Shotgun at close range is, by the commonly accepted laws of gaming, always lethal. Even said shogun is wielded by tartan-wearing NPC farmer. But perhaps if vehicles are coming back in Xenonauts 2 the farmers should be given the option to use combine harvesters to mash aliens into cubes.
  6. Yeah friendly NPCs haven't really been used in other games in the genre, they're usually just civilians who wander round not doing much or getting in the way. Could be fun to see semi-hostile local forces, like gangs in cities or warlords out in the desert.
  7. I remember finding that Red Alert 2 had a text file you could use to mod the game; giving grenade infantry the 8 inch shells used by naval cruisers was pretty fun. I can appreciate the utility of the parameters being there for balancing but there's nothing wrong with a bit of playing around. A good touch from X-Com 2 was in the penultimate mission where you could spend the last of your intel gaining some potentially unbalanced bonuses. The perks could have been a bit much if included throughout the game but they functioned nicely as a treat near the end of the campaign. Although, I did take issue with X-Com 2 intel in that for most of the game it was essentially a resource for controlling how you expanded across the geoscape - obviously that mechanic is necessary but I feel that it underused intel as a concept.
  8. Having the option to go raid a human faction is always welcome, be that heroically invading a cult which is aligned to the aliens or just plain stealing from a terrestrial government who has lots of munitions. In xcom apoc that added in a bit of variation to the visuals as much as the gameplay, since you could choose to stun the defenders to avoid the political penalty. For similar against-human missions, I can imagine a rationale forcing you to only equip pistols or non-ballistic weapons. Most of the decision making in the inventory is about weight vs damage but if secrecy is to be a thing in Xenonauts 2 then it could come into the tactical game. A mission in the public eye would give motivation not to pack everyone with rocket launchers or plasma rounds as they would give the game away. Saying all that, it shouldn't be a small section of the game that is devoted to blasting exotic looking aliens with ridiculous beams of something or other. I can understand that the story line might preclude massive numbers of aliens being present throughout the campaign, but, there needs to be a good few missions (maybe splashed craft in the desert or hidden bases underground) where you and the aliens can both can go loud and tear things up a bit. Adding to @SteelGiant and @Shoes discussion: maybe having human enemies in a lot of missions but with the possibility that they are just misled grunts following orders or alien controlled androids in human skin. So whilst you're fighting them, you can't tell if you are attacking your own kind until that half corpse with red glowing eyes crawls its way towards you...
  9. Got to thinking last night about the soldier-scientist concept. Gordon Freeman sprang to mind - crowbar ninja with PhD. And Batman/Ironman too, both valiant geniuses. Hell, even Plato was know for being broad of shoulder and mind. So I'm sure it would be easy to accept for most players that you have a small group of all rounders. Plus, them not being pure super soldiers explains why they can't even shoot forwards in the early missions and why you only have a dozen units, not whole platoon or company Maybe people would be happier to go along with the change if the Scientific stat were replaced with something like Technical. Sounds a little more battlefield appropriate. Makes sense too, I wouldn't know for sure, but I'd hazard a guess that operating the higher tech in today's military is pretty damn complex and not that feasible for the stereotype of a jarhead. In the book of Starship Troopers, the protagonist explains that the training for using power armour is of the level of Master. Ok, so they don't all have doctorates and are still fairly gruntish troopers in that story, but their skill set is much wider than just combat capabilities. "Everybody works, everybody fights". As for the stat progression itself: we're never going to have everyone agree on this because there are loads of ways to do it. I reckon that the only way Goldhawk are going to please everyone is in the extent to which they can make the stat mechanics be approachable at more than one level. So if ideas get put forward, they don't need shooting down because that might not be something overly visible when you play. Take, for example, the air combat of X1. I really like that mini-game but it wasn't for everyone. Fortunately, the option to auto complete engagements meant you didn't need to. Similarly, if the surface of the stat progression can be made to feel something like the lowest common denominator of what everyone is saying in the forum then it wont put many people off - but if deeper and more subtle mechanics can exist which give more flexibility then it will make the game much more interesting. I'd say that having quite separate systems of mechanics for stats, perks, attributes, etc. could provide room for pleasing everyone e.g. have attributes fixed for each of the 40* characters but stats randomised each game, have perks chosen by the player based on xp but medals given out for set achievements. Also, making it so complex that it is difficult to understand is by no means a bad thing - it certainly keeps communities thriving if the forum is full of people discussing how to game the game to make the best sniper/medic/laser-wielding-quantum-physicist.
  10. Good to see an update, thanks. I'm really curious to see how the base-building mechanics go. I've always felt that these have been lacking that little something special in most of the xcom games - buildings rooms has tended to feel a lot like passing through a sequence of checkpoints rather than making a series of choices to customise a play-through to your own style. Given given that now you aren't meant to do each ground combat mission, I can see many more strategies opening up. Kinda like in the Civ games, that there is more than one path to victory and engaging in the military option consistently isn't the only one. Missions in the dark: very happy about this. The aesthetic is better, the lighting-visibility element is more interesting, especially if you are thinking about stealth I can appreciate a lot of the misgivings mentioned above about fighting human forces. Xcom2 did have a lot of this which ended up reducing the scifi feel of the game. I trust that this can be done better, maybe if the amount of aliens you encounter increases as you progress, or maybe having secret rooms within enemy facilities that look a lot less terrestrial. In any case, the drive to change the players' attitude by having some few much more fearsome enemies is worth it. I guess the challenge is to crank up the difficulty without the boss feeling OP, especially given the tendency of players to load upon soldier death - perhaps that links into the major injury/insta kill aspect.
  11. Makes sense that aliens would do something like that. An occupation would be fairly daft - another species wouldn't be adapted to our environment so why would they want out and out colonisation. Their motives could well be to do with control but it seems more feasible that this would be through manipulation rather than domination. It is interesting stuff, but of the strategies the Spanish employed against the Aztecs, I'm not sure how many could be translated into game elements, at least not in this game. There probably is something interesting there; it could make the geoscape side of the game a bit more complex.
  12. There are some pretty solid ideas that you're sounding, the original game had a lot of style and keeping to that is not bad idea. A lot of people have got some love for the newer xcom games that are coming out, they capitalised on the arcade/RPG style with a big graphics budget to boot. Xenonauts is truer in many senses to the originals and the lack of flashy graphics isn't a problem if the strategy is what you're after. Though that is exactly it, finding the strategy that is worth preserving and rebooting, whilst snipping out what doesn't add anything. You mention the micromanagement aspect of the game, there are cool parts of that, like scavenging and the satisfaction of resource planning. But it has been said a few times on the forum that it quickly becomes a tired mechanic and it is no fun if your play through is damaged because you forgot to build more ammo for a crucial mission. Having said that, firaxis xcom removed almost all the strategy and the game is near enough purely squad tactics. There is definitely some in-between, and unfortunately, that in-between is not recreating the bits over which you get nostalgic. I agree with some parts of the micromanagement. Xenonauts should be making a virtue of the inventory system that they've kept, so allowing ground combat use that mechanic a lot more - things like passing weapons between soldiers or picking up grenades off fallen enemies.
  13. Making Terror missions two-parters would up the difficulty. Those missions are supposed to be gruelling - having to push through with an injured squad / depleted grenades would add a twist that cranked up the hardness without being as mundane as "more numerous + more powerful enemies". Also, this could perhaps allow you to skip the second part if you weren't up for it: less risk, fewer rewards.
  14. I think what I'm trying to get at is that the balance can still be achieved if the cost of soldiers is set correctly. So, if you buy a major at the beginning of your playthrough, then you'll be set back so much that you wont be able to afford radars or new aircraft etc - though you still have that choice if it is what you want (it'll just mean easier ground combat and hard geoscape progression). The pricing shouldn't be static either: as countries' relations with you change over time, the costs of the soldiers they could go up or down. So, making replacements wouldn't be devastatingly expensive but you wouldn't rage quit if you lost some of your A-Team. Were it possible, I think that I'd choose to recruit at least a mid-level soldier or two early on so that in that first mission, at least one of your squad can hit something other than a tree.
  15. Why not allow this from the beginning? Make the soldier purchase options relative to experience. If you want to invest in soldiers early on then you have that freedom but you wont as easily be able to afford R&D, base expansion etc. A top tier soldier represents many missions worth of experience so should cost a fortune, the kind of price you can't fork out early on in the game. But as you have more resources later on, a high rank soldier can be replaced. Making the soldier cost relative is better than leaving it all up to the random numbers. Also, depending how affordable soldiers are, it might encourage the player to allow a little turnover in the roster rather than keeping the original set of troopers alive throughout.