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Chris

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Chris last won the day on August 17

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About Chris

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  • Location
    London, UK
  • Occupation
    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. Chris

    V6.3 Balance Thread

    Just as a heads-up to everyone, V7 is scheduled to arrive in just over two weeks on 3rd September. We're largely finished with the base system overhaul now and we've implemented a lot of balance changes and shooting fixes already, but we're going to take a bit of time to try and add a few more features that have been requested recently too (for example allowing you to set Roles on soldiers directly). I know it's been a while since the last update, but it should be one worth waiting for
  2. Chris

    Xenonauts-2 August Update!

    The provisional date we're working towards for the Early Access launch is November 2019 so the final release date is likely to be after Jan 2020. But the game should properly avaiable for purchase this year and be far more of a game from start to finish than it is now. No, it's not feature complete by any means. The MARS is still on our to-do list so isn't in the game yet, but it is something we're aiming to have done before the Early Access launch.
  3. Don't worry, there is going to be an Early Access period - when I said "launch" there I was referring to the Early Access launch.
  4. Our Xsolla pre-orders are ending at the end of this month, on 29th August. Anyone who has purchased the game on Xsolla at that point will then be asked if they want a Steam or a GOG code and their chosen code will be out sent to them at the end of September. As to the actual Steam release date - we don't know yet. It shouldn't be too long but I'm hesitant to put a firm date on it; when we do announce it it'll probably only be 4 weeks before the launch.
  5. We're probably overdue another development update, so here's a quick post letting everyone know what we've been working on recently. Quite a bit to talk about actually! Firstly, a public service announcement - we're going to be ending the Xsolla pre-orders on our site on August 29th. Anyone who has an Xsolla pre-order at that point will then be sent an email asking their preference for a Steam key or a GOG key, which will be sent to them at the end of September (non-responders get a Steam key). We're doing this partially because Xsolla is proving a pain to maintain relative to Steam / GOG, and partially because we want to build up a backlog of interested customers prior to our Early Access launch. We're still not completely sure when Early Access is going to happen. The game is continuing to progress but I'm sure most of our beta testers would agree the game isn't ready for primetime yet; we're just going to keep adding things and fixing things until it is. The first thing we're working on right now is implementing the remaining missing or broken parts of the game - e.g. night missions, base defence missions, multiple dropship support, updgradeable dropships, further expansion of the air combat, etc. Switching back to the classic X1 base mechanics has been quite a bit of work but the job is largely done, we're now just at the stage where we're updating the other systems that have changed as a result of this - e.g. we've had to update the Aircraft systems now they are stationed in actual bases and need to appear in Hangar base buildings, and need to support construction to them and relocation between them. The second thing we're working on is overall usability and game balance. Over the past month or so we've been regularly talking about balance issues with the community and making adjustments, but we've also been fixing various gameplay bugs and design issues (such as suppression not functioning correctly, TU values being flat rather than %s, etc). We've nearly finished the tooltip system, too, which should make the game far easier to understand than it currently is ... right now there's not even a way to view the stats of a piece of equipment! Finally, we're also spending a bit of time looking at the visuals of the game. In the ground combat we've switched to genuine isometic / orthographic camera rather than a perspective one trying to mimic it, which makes the battlefield a bit easier to read. On the strategy layer I'm looking at doing a pass on the UI to clean it up a bit, removing a bit of the visual clutter and probably moving to a visually similar but more modern font that renders more cleanly (and supports lowercase letters and special characters). The visuals of the game are a lower priority right now than finishing off the game mechanics, but the issue is on our radar and we are slowly improving things. So, where does that leave us? I'm not exactly sure when Closed Beta V7 wil be due, as we first need to work through all the bugs / changes forced by the base update. I've also got another quite significant upgrade planned for the air combat that shifts the combat from a 1D grid to a 2D gride with "proper" movement. I'm guessing V7 is likely to arrive towards the end of this month, so we may release a (highly) experimental build in the interim that has a semi-broken strategy layer but will let us test some of the updated ground combat mechanics / balance changes. Anyway, thanks for reading - we'll keep you guys informed about our plans as they progress!
  6. How would that work? Perhaps via the checkbox for each soldier, where updating the loadout of a selected soldier would also update it for all other selected soldiers?
  7. Chris

    Next release?

    Not sure right now, it depends how quickly these changes to the new base system get finished and tested - we can't put out a build when that's still half-finished unfortunately.
  8. Chris

    V6.3 Balance Thread

    Had a quick look at the videos - a few thoughts: I think it's going to be difficult to judge weapon balance from the situation you recorded, mostly because you've got some soldiers with insanely high TU numbers there. When we switch back to % based TU fire costs in the next patch (the code has been implemented now but I've not updated the weapons yet) soldiers and those ballistic LMGs in particular aren't going to be able to put out anywhere near so much firepower. I wasn't even aware you could get your soldiers over 100 TU so the weapon balance is clearly a bit broken right now; expect a 30 TU fire mode cost to be about 55%-60% TU cost when converted over We can't implement right-click cancel for fire modes sadly (as it already cycles shot type), but you can just press Esc to deactive it. Seems like there's a couple of visual issues there with the laser beams not being orientated correctly when the laser rifle fires, and the Sebillian Elites not crouching when they're suppressed. I'll test and see if that's affecting the dev version of the game. One of the things I'm likely to implement is limiting soldiers to gaining 30 points over the starting value each attribute (starting values range from 40-60), as I want to make the starting stats of your soldiers more relevant and make soldiers with good starting stats more valuable. Right now even a soldier with terrible starting stats can still max out everything eventually, it just takes 5-10 more missions than a soldier with incredible starting stats ... which makes it a little meaningless. I don't think this is going to massively affect gameplay - the lowest possible cap in an attribute is 70, which is still pretty good - but it does mean you won't be seeing any soldiers with above 90 in an attribute any more (except possibly through equipment bonuses).
  9. Chris

    V6.3 Balance Thread

    Thanks guys, I'll give this stuff a watch in the next couple of days. By the way, if either of you want a quick explanation of how inheritance works in the game files (because you'll probably find a lot of "missing" data for certain items) then let me know, as it may make the modding process easier until we release our tools.
  10. Chris

    Mind war balance

    Yeah, Mind Shields currently don't provide any bonus against alien psionics - but that'll be fixed in the next few patches. Perhaps the alien psions are too strong at the moment, but it's not true that there's no defence against Mind War - it's a check versus the unit's Bravery vs. the alien Psionic Strength, with a random element added on. And the aliens have to succeed by more than 30 to Mind Control a unit rather than just panic it. Units also get a bonus to their Bravery equal to the % of TU that they have remaining, though, so if a unit has full TU at the end of your turn they have double bravery and have a much better chance of resisting it. And you should be taking low Bravery soldiers into battle against Psyons anyway, really. I appreciate none of that is explained in the game atm though so I can definitely see how Mind War is frustrating to play against; see if you find it any less frustrating now you know that. Potentially there's an argument to make the random element smaller as part of a balancing pass, but that also means low Bravery soldiers will have less chance to resist a psionic attack.
  11. Chris

    Question to Chris

    Wow, glad to hear you enjoyed Xenonauts 1 so much that you spent 1000 hours on it! Generally the reason why dev teams don't introduce two separate mechanics for the same thing is that it's difficult to balance the game for both mechanics - for example, the personnel capacity of a Living Quarters would probably be different if you were limited to a single base (so could only have a few Living Quarters) compared to if you could build multiple bases (so you could build as many Living Quarters as you like). So you then need to maintain and balance two different versions of the game, which ends up being twice as much work. The other problem is that one mechanic tends to be the "proper" way to play, and the other mechanic ends up being abused or breaks the game - for instance, I understand the realtime combat in X-Com Apocalypse is pretty abusable and makes difficult missions much easier. At that point you may as well just not include realtime and concentrate on making the turn-based mode even better.
  12. This post is timely because we're shortly planning to do another pass on the autosaves soon - in the next build we're enabling autosaves occurring at the end of every turn in the combat so it's nice and easy to get save games for the bug reports. I've been trying to figure out what the best approach is with the autosaves (because you don't want to have so many autosaves cluttering the load game list that you can't find your manual saves), and I'm thinking we might just create a folder for each campaign and then a sub-folder within each campaign for each of the battles. That way the game can autosave every turn in the ground combat and also save at every relevant point on the strategy layer and we don't have to worry about the autosaves cluttering up the load game list, or about which autosaves would overwrite each other (e.g. you probably don't want the GC autosaves overwriting the strategy ones). Pressing Continue on the main menu screen would still load up the most recent save, and manually loading an autosave just involves clicking through one or two folders.
  13. Chris

    V6.3 Balance Thread

    I don't exactly think reducing the clip size of a laser rifle would remove any choices. If you fire a burst you can't fire any more shots that turn, but burst fire is TU expensive so you probably weren't going to anyway. If you've got TU spare then you can move the soldier or fire a secondary weapon instead. Next turn you can still take a single aimed shot at high accuracy, which is a little constraining - but that's the price you pay for burning through all the ammo at once in the previous turn. You can always not fire bursts stick to single shots if you'd prefer to be able to fire multiple shots for multiple turns. If we're not going to constrain the ammo then we may as well set them just to have unlimited ammo. Being able to fire one shot per turn even when your battery is empty is not exactly much of a hardship imo.
  14. Discussion on the Gauss weapons and the Composite armour is probably best done in the balance thread, I think. They're both meant to be a fairly significant improvement over what has come before, and they are if not then we should probably discuss the numbers until they are. The energy blade is the secondary melee weapon carried by Wraith Officers (I think), but the AI doesn't know how to use it yet. If the Xenonaut combat knife makes it into the final game, the energy blade will be unlock an upgrade for it. Capturing live aliens - yeah, I hope there'll be a reason to do so. It's often a bit tricky to fit it into the tech tree though. If you see units move through walls, just grab a screenshot of the wall and post it up. It's a data entry problem, we just need to know which tiles we need to fix though.
  15. Chris

    V6.3 Balance Thread

    Yeah, the laser weapons can't be reloaded (as Max has noted). I might consider dropping their ammo capacity lower. Dropping it to 3 on the Rifle and having it recharge 1 per turn might make it more interesting, because then firing a single shot means firing a full burst is no longer possible. There's potentially also an argument to make burst fire on the Laser (and perhaps Plasma) weapons more accurate than it is on the Ballistic equivalents because of the lack of recoil - which then makes ammo management more interesting because bursts are more effective than normal but you're only able to fire a burst once every three turns. This dynamic is a little less interesting on the other weapons though. Snipers would probably have 1 ammo and recharge once per turn, shotguns probably 3 ammo but have short range, etc. But even that would make them act a bit more distinctly from the Ballistics compared to X1.
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