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Ninothree last won the day on May 18

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About Ninothree

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  1. Ninothree

    Fire support from landed craft

    X1 had dropships with minor bonuses: more doors to exit, then a manual selection of drop points. Maybe a bonus could be something like smoke cover - but whatever it is, the bonus has to be modest and not really do too much. Whilst it would make a lot of sense, practically, to put a turret on the dropship, that would defeat the point of ground combat. If you are given an easily defensible spot of cover, with ordnance, then an easy tactic would be to sit and wait. Where is the fun/challenge in that. The point is to get your soldiers to do the fighting. Fighting from an entrenched position might make an interesting scenario but not for the bread and butter missions. It can be annoying to be pinned down from your first turn, but the dropship in the development build of X2 has wide doors so you can make every soldier engage immediately. There is no bottleneck. Essentially, this means that if you do get a alien or two in a very close welcoming party, you can near enough unleash the full firepower of your squad. So, there isn't much need for fire support from the landed craft. 8 troopers should be able to manage 2 aliens (if they can't, bring more rockets). I guess a good compromise would be that the dropship has doors which can be closed (somewhat mirroring the alien craft) so that you can really turtle the first couple of turns if you are stuck, but then have those doors susceptible to damage, so you can't hide behind them all day.
  2. Ninothree

    Xenonauts 2 Development Overview

    Overall, my issue with difficulty settings is that they can force you choose from a narrower and narrower set of strategies because eventually only the optimal method is enough to satisfy the challenge. I've been playing games for enough time now that I usually start on the harder settings (woo me) but because of this I know that there is content in games which I miss because the harder skill settings are just too unforgiving. Giving the player a system of parameters could work to promote the discovery of all the feasible strategies but there is a problem there. If you give the player control, people might tend towards less interesting games because they mess up the balance. As a slightly tangent example. one of the mods I tried for X1 introduced the ability to manufacture and sell items for a profit - fun but it allowed you to tap into exponential growth and break the money-resource system. Sure, it is great that the game has the potential for such mod but it definitely shouldn't be available in the vanilla setup. If it is an option anyone can access from the start, it has to be treated carefully.
  3. Ninothree

    Xenonauts 2 Development Overview

    @Bogus I can see the rationale for that reactivity; I can think of a couple of ways such a system could go. One, it could create the situations where the AI starts to slow its advance, thinking that you are playing a passive style, when really you just made some mistakes so the game might otherwise be punishing you and not holding your hand. Two, if you play really effectively or get very lucky early on, the AI would accelerate its attack, making rush tactics painful or otherwise making the play unpleasant when your luck runs out. Honestly, I think those consequences might actually be good yet it seems that they might make it difficult to lose the game. Whilst I would tend to load and old save rather than play a losing one, so never being in too much danger, I think that the impending sense of failure is quite important. Having said all that, I imagine that the Threat mechanic could very much be in line with what you are seeking: offering the player a route to victory that is a bit more chill than an aggressive campaign. People have asked for multiple victory conditions but thinking about it, I'd say a much deeper game might be be one which has the potential for multiple paths towards a single victory.
  4. Ninothree

    X-com: Apocalypse 2?

    Yeah, the main forum thread for the new Xenonauts, a game the Goldhawk team are surely working hard to create, is probably not the place to chat about how great some other game was. Buuut Apoc was pretty damn good. Aliens: Apoc had variety. From the a huge building-sized godzilla monster down to tiny eggs or green puddles of micro-organisms. The aliens made sense too, it was a society, with a caste structure and a life cycle to discover. I believe that came from them designing a sci-fi and mapping it on to a tactical game rather than the other way round. My vote here would be for aliens that fit into a bigger picture. There is scope to have some really wacky designs, like teleporting aliens made of light or fungal creatures that operate via spores - but it is crucial to have at least one species at the centre of it all that has hands and a brain. That is the 'housekeeper' species who builds all the ships and stuff. They can't just be slaves, they've got to feel intelligent, independent and a little bit normal. Game mechanics: I was definitely a fan of the living city. All the corporations had some interaction with each other and something they added to the city. The Solmine organisation imported Elerium from offworld - if the spaceport was damaged, the market supply of Elerium would dry up until the city sent repair vehicles out to repair the damage. The back story to these factions really tied everything together, it is an aspect of hard sci-fi where the imagined reality feels factual. Most RPGs are a world waiting for the player to drive things forward, the Apoc cityscape would tick along with or without you. I guess in terms of a perfect remake to the game, I'd be interested in seeing more interaction between the aliens and the human organisations - as it was, they just got infiltrated gradually. It would be cool if the Cult of Sirius was a bigger player economically. A more believable outreach program for alien takeover cooperation.
  5. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: Research Tree

    Is that necessarily such a bad thing? If lasers give an advantage and you only packed plasmas then you are at a disadvantage - but in such a case you should've diversified your loadout, your squad should be co-reliant. The point of restricting inventory is that soldiers can't be everything-class, e.g: carrying an energy beam sniper and a kinetic shotgun. There's nothing wrong with there being a time when the game makes you face the downside of the decisions you make. OK, yes, it would be irritating if the alien resistance to damage-type were leaning towards immunity, so not bringing along a laser would mean that the Sebillian boss just wont die. But then, maybe that could be fun, that you can't complete some missions unless you have the right intel (or use of a hyperwave decoder) on what gear to bring - like having a heads up to bring three lots of C4 to get past all the blast doors in a base assault. Or knowing to bring only plasmas because you'll only be fighting those enemy species who can't take the heat. From memory, fighting higher level Androns in X1 could be excruciating without EMP grenades. I really liked it that the game pushed you to research new technologies - and not in the sense of those techs merely giving +2 damage. In a basic sense, you need to ensure that as the game progresses your dmg output increases faster than the aliens level up and become stronger, but also, you had to win the information war versus the aliens. You had to learn their weaknesses. Find the comparative advantages or niche techs that would respond to the changing nature of the alien threat.
  6. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: ATLAS Base

    Yup. I think that the "23 day early rush" in XCOM was such a problem because getting satellites in the sky was the only thing you needed to do in the strategy layer for the first few months. The two numbers you paid attention to were panic and funding, satellites were the key to securing both. Notice that XCOM2 didn't carry that system forward. This is possibly why there has been so much hesitancy around the image in the top post: it brings back memories of a very uninspiring base building mini-game. Though, from what it says above, staffing as mechanic is going to take a bigger role and each decision you make there probably wont take 23 days to come to fruition. The idea about raiding another base to get components to expand your own actually ties into one of @RustyNayle's posts about claiming sites elsewhere. Instead of taking the whole site for yourself (which would be a tactically poor choice as the location is known and the owner of the territory might not be too happy) you just pilfer the stuff you want. It could be a fairly well-moderated system too based on the difficulty of the raid missions: if your squad ain't tough enough, you can't steal that new component for your ATLAS base.
  7. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: ATLAS Base

    @Shoes or, the story could be that the lower floors were irradiated when the core of a nuke spilled out. Not only do you need to Hack the Terminal, but you've got to do a clean up mission, both scrubbing the walls of fissile material and also fighting the subterranean zombie mutants of your previous playthrough... Ahem. Yes, I'm sure there is a less ridiculous way to rebrand it. Though it is not just the excavation-image that is in question. It's the process. It just isn't that fun because it feels tedious. Conversely, there are elements of games that do something similar (slowdown) but are much more interesting (satisfaction rather than frustration). For example, when you level up in most RPGs it feels really cool because you get to unlock stuff. It is exciting and things light up like a pinball machine. So, if base expansion amounted to earning more space rather than assigning engineers to it, it might tap into that part of the brain which enjoys grinding xp/resources or whatever. Having said all that, I do remember reading about the function of intentionally-irritating-frustration in games: it was an essential part of the old platformers. I've gone back to some of them with emulators, the ability to save frame (as opposed to going back to the beginning of the level) makes the game much less stressful but consequently less fun overall. I guess my point here is that base building might do better to derive the 'punishing bad bit' from the negative connotations of the choices you make rather than whether or not you can remember why you dug out that square 2 months ago.
  8. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: Air Combat

    Ok, in a simple sense, the geoscape is a system where you give orders to interact with UFOs that then spawns a ground combat mission i.e. track them on the radar, shoot them down, then send a Skyranger. All the activity there is very clustered: you get a period of inactivity, a wave launches, you do the geoscape thing, then the mission. Admittedly, in X1, you could send a Condor to hover above, say, Paris till its fuel ran out but that would hardly achieve anything unless a wave were to drop immediately in northern France. UFOs didn't promote an interaction, rather, just a response. What I'm imagining is that you give orders to your aircraft over a number of phases. At first, your actions are to identify and locate the alien activity - you could rush in asap or wait to get a picture of what they're doing. If you wait, there may be a better time to strike e.g. ambushing a transport, but that costs you time and readiness. Alternatively, you don't have to do anything, just leave the activity on the map and bear the associated cost until you are willing to risk the assault - at least you know what they're up to. But the main point is, the aliens are trying to do something in line with their overall game plan. If you shoot down a pesky scout ship, then they wont send their more valuable craft through that area - you just lost the opportunity to bag an FTL drive. If you keep shooting down and looting bombers - big lose for the aliens - they then start sending more interceptors or ground-infiltrators instead. Essentially, as a commander of the overall war, it shouldn't feel like swatting flies. Although yes, I concede that I've not got a concrete suggestion for how to implement this into the actual Xenonauts strategy layer, the game might just not even work that way.
  9. I think that this issue is to do with activating/deactivating the fog of war (the eye button). EDIT/ADDITION: Tracking of projectiles can sometimes be unhelpful. After you click to fire, the camera jumps back to your soldier, you watch the bullet travel through empty air across the screen, the camera then jumps to follow but if the projectile hits at that moment then you miss seeing it land / the damage that comes up. Grenades can only be deselected with esc, clicking the gun or switching units doesn't effect the selection. This means you don't get an overwatch shot and if you forget to switch back on the next turn, you'll lob a grenade rather than firing your gun. Also, the UI doesn't make it clear that you have selected the grenade at all - the ammo image disappears and the soldier switches the item in their hand but these are quite subtle changes, certainly to a newbie. With the stun baton: as Jean Luc said, the animation isn't very satisfying. The damage doesn't come up as the baton strokes either. Also, I used that for my final kill but the alien disappeared and the level didn't end (on the plus side, I explored right to the far end of the map).
  10. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: Soldiers

    Grenades in XCOM are used for guaranteed damage and cover busting. It is a mechanic that fits into the gameplay since each soldier usually gets no more than one grenade. From what I understand, a real world application of grenades is to attack an enemy in an entrenched, well-covered position. I'd say that this translates into xenonauts in that you get sufficient blast radius to hit an enemy you cant shoot.
  11. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: Soldiers

    One issue with the levelling/stats in X1 was that two fully trained soldiers would be indistinguishable. You might recruit a sharp shooter and a hulk but by the final mission they'd both have 100 of each stat (although I never managed to grind reactions to the max). Obviously it is nice to have some freedom in the development of your brave little dudes but that freedom doesn't need to extend to turning them all into the same super soldier. I guess that this is what Firaxis did, with each soldier class ending up having very different stats by the time they reach colonel. Here, I like the sound of proficiency and equipment giving large boosts to stats, so that you can potentially turn any soldier into a fit sniper, or at least, have them use that long range rifle to train their aim stat. Given this partial disconnect between combat experience and stats, I wonder if there is room to make rank a play a different role. I'm thinking here in terms of bravery and stress, that the presence of a respected officer is a buff to the squad. The player would choose to promote/demote soldiers and that choice would affect bravery both via the buff but also through the respect that officer commands. So, if you promote a soldier who hasn't earned enough kills, then the other soldiers don't get any benefit. If you promote too many soldiers, then they don't get a buff either. If you create a solid and justified command structure, then everyone wins.
  12. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: ATLAS Base

    To address the discussion about layout: I'm sure that if there are bunkers like this out there in the real world then they have a very 3D layout, expanding in all directions. They would probably take up more space horizontally as digging down is more difficult than digging across. However, there is no need to recreate that perfectly. A fully 3D base wouldn't add anything because you'd wouldn't be able to see rooms that are behind one another. Although saying that, it is not as if you actually need to see all the rooms at once anyway but having it laid out as pictured above would let you see where all the staff are assigned in one glance. Thinking about base construction, I did say before that the process of excavation is pretty uninspiring but I've been considering what would actually be interesting in this aspect of the game. Is it worth drawing upon other games which have a similar aspect nailed down pretty well? I'm thinking of games like Dungeon Keeper or Evil Genius where you engage in excavation with much more of a purpose to set the size and shape of rooms, and their position in relation to one another so that your minions can work more efficiently. In that sense, I'm imagining that scientist/engineering staff could have an output that is a function of how you arrange their living and working spaces. Beyond that, in those games I mentioned, excavating can actually be quite fun so I'm questioning what is it about the excavation in the XCOM base that makes it so much less enjoyable? I guess it is meant to be there as a limitation, inhibiting and frustrating the player. But then, if that is mostly what you're doing in that aspect of the game, being frustrated, then it is no wonder people dislike it. The bit in the OP that has got me thinking is that Chris uses the term "bustling". I can really see the appeal there, that you invest effort throughout the game until you have a base that is a powerful hive of activity. A complete base is supposed to be the reward for the frustration and effort that comes before. The thing is though, the metaphor for XCOM base aesthetic is ant hive - truly, that only applies to the way it looks. In XCOM, the base doesn't do anything, rooms just provide a resource or enable a tab. What I'm getting at is that it would be interesting if the base could operate like a growing, living machine: a sense of motion internally, with clear inputs and outputs, and where activities in different sections are interdependent.
  13. Ninothree

    Xenonauts 2 Development Overview

    @Dehumanization I'm sure you're already aware, but there is a project to reboot Apocalypse. Unfortunately, it moves a lot slower than Goldhawk because it is a hobby project rather than a business. Although I might've mentioned a few times on the forum that I'm a fan of Apoc. It would be great to play xenonauts with a living cityscape for the strategy layer.
  14. Ninothree

    Xenonauts-2: ATLAS Base

    Yeah I would second @Conductiv that excavation and power supply only seem to be in there to slow the player down. It is usually an obvious choice when it comes to devoting resources/engineers to expand or to consolidate: earlier expansion pays off in the long run. More to the point, if you allow the player fuller access to all spaces in the base from the outset, it would then encourage them to put more thinking into room positioning. Surely the potential for making decisions about layout is what should be maximised. If you have lots of space early on, there are still restrains to make you prioritise what to build first but you get a bit more freedom to plan in the advantage of adjacency bonuses. Those adjacency bonuses could then be developed into choices in and of themselves: for instance, two labs next to each other provide extra science but placing a lab next to a workshop reduces the materials cost in production. Likewise, the top layer adjoins the hangar so offers respective bonuses to the store room or barracks. If this is balanced correctly, then we wont end up all going for the same base layout as it could lend itself to different approaches.