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Sheepy

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Sheepy last won the day on February 2

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  1. I've no doubt that Chris's vision on the component drop is focused on the... fun aspect from the random mechanic, for lack of a better term. It's just that the suggested mechanics, and some of the suggested solutions, may have unintended side effects. A variation I can think of is make the total rare drop rate to be 100%, but the drop remains random. The ufo commander may drop a Nanothread that makes one lighter armour, an Organic Weave that makes one regenerative armour, a Particle Accelerator that makes one longer range weapon, or a set of Metamaterial Lens that makes an addon for bonus sight range. When drop rate is 100%, the power curve is stable and non-random, but players can and should slightly adjust loadout or tactic with the item acquired. It is lots of effort, of course. To keep it interesting, most players should not get most items on the first run, or even second run. That means many items with many skins. The 100% drop when stunned is another approach, that give a strong reason to take the risk to subdue the aliens. Some players will use this to their advantage, perhaps getting double or triple rare loot than designed, which limits the advantage (and some of the fun) they can give. (When 100% stunned = 1 loot, 10% stunned = 0.37 loot, 50% stunned = 0.65 loot at 30% baseline.) Finite armoury have been a part of every game that let players to manufacture or upgrade individual items. I see no way around it, but XCOM 2 lighten this burden by upgrading all baseline weapons, so that inventory management is focused on the variable (random) part. X1 also lightened it somewhat by automatically upgrading all explosives, which I appreciated. Regardless of the details, a 100% good thing that can be done is make it optional, like the various start options in xcom 2, if X2 doesn't already have them. Building an option screen and remembering the options takes some dev time, but they can be reused for other options, and can potentially be expanded by mods. It is relatively cheap to do during development, but near/after release the cost will escalate, and the chance of it ever happening diminish quickly.
  2. Wouldn't a fatigue system, coupled with UFOs appearing in a wave, naturally puts an upper cap on how many UFOs can be recovered per team? Resource conversion between tier? Now that really sounds like a mobile game that force you to grind and grind. Yeah, you get more resources with bigger UFO, but the difference is typically not as big as the difference between tiers. What I mean is maybe old tier can become a safety net for players who made a major stumble, like losing the main base along with the A-team, they can still quickly field newbies with second-tier items and recover quicker. To do that they don't need to be free, but they need to become half as cheap or more. Civ kind of do it the other way - it boosts your resources with tech, but the result is the same: lower-tier units are cheap enough to become the new basic. If a random can be mitigated by player skills, it is a challenge. That gives players satisfaction. If a random can be mitigated by grinding, well, it's grinding. Generally speaking, randomness works against players, and xcom already has lots of randoms. Also, many players won't remember when their luck evened out, and most players do not judge "evenness" as statistics. Player have a skewed perception of random's evenness. Lastly, numerically equal chances are not equal in game terms; bad rolls can destroy more than the gain from lucky rolls. (In this case, bad luck on loot hurts the campaign more than the boost from good loots, which means each campaign's difficulty curve is partly random. Can actually be good if there is a safety net to prevent it from ruining the game.) Lots of rolls can even out the chances, yes, but if something should even out then leaving it by chance may not be the best chocie. There are other ways of course. New XCOM and Battletech both implements a "miss chain breaker" to guarantee some hits. Not a complex system, but still adds to the complexity. A dynamic difficulty system that buff / nerf the opponents as you do well is a pretty common solution to the problem. The original xcom tried to do that, Apoc did that, phoenix point is doing that. In particular, in Phoenix Point the system works too well that save-scumming players soon find themselves facing bullet-sponge enemies that can one-shot half the team with one grenade. I think the top lesson from it is that, when a player scum saves, just let him/her be. It's obvious (s)he is not playing for a "fair" challenge. ("fair" as in most xcom game assumes you'll take at least light losses.) Second lesson, a modder will cap or disable the system for those who want the "raw time-based xcom experience". (Which is ironic since the very first xcom tried to implement dynamic difficulty but bugged, ended up forcing every campaign to have same difficulty.) Another system I've seen are events to help the underdogs, like when a player lost most soldiers, the veterans of a private military company come join xenonauts after their head is killed or controlled by the alien, and bring some alien loots with them. It's more common in games with fixed roasters, such as Sequence Palladium and UFO:Afterlight.
  3. If last-gen components will be more readily available, like Max Caine suggested, like if their cost decrease with tech, or drop rate increase with tech, I'd support it for the spice. Otherwise, I am biased towards Against, as it complicate things and has the potential to hangs the econ or even the campaing on some more random rolls. For reference, There is a 35% chance that recovering 10 plasma weapons yields no beam accelerator (90%^10), 12% chance after 20 (90%^20). Not a very nice chance. One in ten players won't even see plasma drop beam after, let's say three combats. Worse, if a plasma may drop three components, the chance of not recovering one of them increase to 72% @ 10 drops and 32% @ 20 drops. Too few components, and the system is not fun enough. Too many, some players are bound to need to spend extra resource to make up, and some players are bound to get too many! The hard part is, the line depends on player luck! Are there not enough variety with the addon system to keep inventory and production interesting? I think the trend (non-rogue-likes, non-micro-transactions), is to make common resources stable and reliable, while "consumables" are rare and powerful, like xcom 2's core or civ's hero. And not too heavily luck based - players feel better when skills play a factor. Whether 10% or 40%, drop chance is a term that better fit lootbox now.
  4. Sheepy

    Xenonauts-2 March Update

    Find a publisher. You'll need more than a few weeks. Also, Epic Game Store does not have reviews, so you may consider doing early access there. P.S. and Humble Store too. Humble also do publishing and is on more friendly term with Steam.
  5. Sheepy

    Xenonauts-2 January Update

    That sounds like what a real, present day battle droid would do. Can we keep that behaviour?
  6. Sheepy

    Maxim 56, please

    It is easy to say balance is easy. We've had similar discussions when vehicles were removed from X2. Some arguments can be reused. i.e. Anything that is powerful enough to flies over the map (and then some) in a turn will be way more powerful than any handheld weapons, so the damage they do are either impossible to balance or impossible to believe. Inaccuracy is not a very useful cost, because they quickly lost their practical meaning. If an instant death weapon has 25% chance to hit where you want it to, that does not average its damage to one-quarter health. Players will either rarely use this unreliable weapon (which begs the question of why put it in game), or save scum to make it 100% accurate. High cost is also pretty abstract. We have costs like production cost, weight cost, space cost, hand cost, action cost. Except for production cost, all the rest are tactical costs. Then there are risks which is an indirect cost: Getting close to enemies is a cost - it cost movements and is risky. Pin-pointing enemy location down to a single tile has a cost, too. It either means detection equipment or that the enemy can see and reaction shot at you. Any weapon that does not have these two limitations are already inherently low-cost. Think a long-range grenade launcher. Placing it outside the map - thus removing the chance to lost it - basically removes all tactical risk from it, and also removes the risk of losing the production cost, however high. There are a few more ways to balance it, like requiring heavy two hands radio with a full turn setup or more. Which, while adding back a little tactical costs (how much does dedicating a soldier cost? Not much at all in Xenonauts), it encourages the players to turtle. Which is not desirable on a higher game design level. You want tactical combat to be fluid, to be dynamic and engaging. A turn delay, like xcom 2 Archon, do exactly this when used against the players. (When used on aliens, well, if the AI moves them it always wastes your shots, so it's just a glorified flush.) You can also go the other way, granting easy access to artillery with limited shots, whether a soft cap because of cooldown or high per-use cost, or a hard cap, and field enough aliens to expend the shots to balance it out. Why, you are so clever! Actually many games do that! Action games. Strategy games, too, the old school ones with linear progression on fixed maps. Wait, does Xenonauts fit the description? There are good things for off-map artilleries. They are cool. They bridge strategy with tactical. They give more options. But these don't help balance them. Which makes them perfect for a mod, so you may want to learn Unity modding now. If you want to talk game balance, talk game balance. Empty words belongs to politicians.
  7. Sheepy

    Maxim 56, please

    Two bad implementations is a better argument against it (three if you count Syndicate: American Revolt), than supporting it without a good implementation to show. And I hope people can understand that Xenonauts 2 have tried and reverted enough mechanics and late enough in the development cycle that most new mechanics are out of question.
  8. Sheepy

    Phoenix Point - Gollop's new X-Com-like.

    Don't forget Sentinels and Worms. They play a part too. If you refrain from those OP skills, the game become much more tactical and you'll want to take mutations into account. Which is why I think the lack of optimised tactic is not in primary caused by a lack of enemy variations. You may also want to rethink cover; cover is not the wall or fence your soldier is leaning on. Cover is everything between you and the bullets. For example, when facing explosive chirons, you can stay in buildings, essentially using the roof as cover, or hide behind a high Lair/Citidal structure to give no line of fire. Taking cover two to three tiles behind a tree also works better than leaning on it, using the canopy to catch the shells. I am working hard on QoL mods, partly because I don't have enough free time to revamp the skills. After cfehunter left the scene I think I am the only coding modder left. We need more skilled hands to save the ship.
  9. I don't see an explanation of how to translate this ideal "Real Armour" into game. How is this "Straignt-damage Armour" different from "Ablative Armour"? From the description given, the real armour actually feels like D&D's Armour Class system to me.
  10. Sheepy

    Phoenix Point - Gollop's new X-Com-like.

    I think Phoenix Point's alien variations are much better than Firaxis XCOM and Xenonauts, if we consider only the base game. Worms and tanks, sentinels and big bad boss. The counters for goo Chiron, explode Chiron, and worm Chirons are pretty different. If that is not enough, you are practically required to fight human factions with very different team compositions. On the variation front I consider it on par with Apoc and UFO, if not better. Abilities are less varied/interesting/balanced as XCOM 2, which is sad. Like you said, either you abuse your abilities and cheeze your way through the missions, or be faced with impossible odds. Which something dent the variations - whatever it is, either stealth snipe or dash shotgun. Ironman is very difficult now with cascading kills common on both sides, and solders too hard to replace. Still, there is lots of content. There is a lack of information, lack of balance, lack of upgrade path, lack of research and event visibilities, lack of diplomacy options, lack of Phoenix Point identify... but they are not lack of content. We got a dynamic globe with faction relationships, raids, events, procedurally generated maps, vehicles and doggies, armour parts with modules and mutations, and plenty of weapons (with equal amount of damage types). Many weapons are suboptimal given the state of the game, yeah, but that is more a balance issue than a content issue. No, it is definitely not a game for the faint of heart in its current state. But for a base game it is very rich. I certainly didn't expect to see Mutogs and multiple endings. Looking forward to balance patches and DLCs.
  11. Well, you can also be sniped out of vision cone in Xeno, as long as and as soon as you are spotted by any enemy. Which doesn't always mean you can spot the spotter. Night mission, for example. Good luck, commander
  12. The multi-cone idea sounds like a good experiment. Will need some special handling when the soldier turns, to make sure the long cone covers the whole arc. As a side note, Phoenix Point has this perception - stealth system like UFO series, that does not have a fixed vision distance. You can see big enemies right across a mid sized open map, and they can snipe your vehicles too. It is also advised to assign each team a high perception scout. While realistic, apparently it is not intuitive to some players. Xenonaut's vision cone is certainly simple and clear.
  13. I remember how I needed the cheats when I considered 20 to be an old age. So I try to not judge. Not all players has or want the same experience. In fact, I'd assume most don't.
  14. Sheepy

    Phoenix Point - Gollop's new X-Com-like.

    Steam can use a competitor, and I don't mean Origin or Uplay. Thus I signed up to Epic just after a week or two. Now I have 47 games on my Epic library not counting DLCs, mostly given for free. As a bonus, epic store does not have mandatory DRM, and I heard that Phoenix Point does not come with one. It helps that Epic provided Snapshot the money it needed to improves phoenix to its current state, too. The game itself can use some bug fixes and rebalance, though, so waiting a bit won't hurt. XCOM 2 was nice (if you don't mind timed everything) but DLCs and mods make it better. That said, I think PP's base game is much more solid and interesting than XCOM (2). This is potential for a very complicated game lol.
  15. Sheepy

    Phoenix Point - Gollop's new X-Com-like.

    Ok, so I've spent a week of free time on Phoenix Point. Feels refreshing. The strategic layer is almost a realtime 4X. Actually keeps me busy. I find myself switching flight plan, production, and research frequently. The free aim systems work very well with body part damage. It makes facing important - without taking away all round vision. The simplified action point system is better than expected. All non-movement actions use either 25%, 50%, or 75% of all action points, weapons included. It allows me to think in big actions + fine movements, instead of calculating TUs. It speed up the combat without the limitations of Firaxis xcom. There are flaws, of course. Bugs aside, the lack of manual leaning is annoying, research and diplomacy is "pick one side to be friend with, and be hated by the rest". Despite the issues, and the fact that I don't personally like the post-apocalyptic feel, it may be the closet to my ideal xcom yet.
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