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Everything posted by Chris

  1. Chris

    Modular Armour System

    Yes, that's correct. Some items are shared and some are not, for instance the Battlesuit tier item doesn't allow you to equip a Rebreather because it already has a gas-immune enclosed helmet. But the Wolf and the Tactical armour would both share the Rebreather as soon as it is unlocked (and if it were a limited quantity item, they would pull from the same common Rebreather item). As you're delving into the details and probably trying to figure out where the system begins and ends, I'll outline the grey areas I see at the moment. There's two main complexities with the system that I forsee: 1) The same item might have different stats depending on what armour it is equipped on - e.g. the Tactical Visor gives -Armour, so it makes sense that sticking the Tactical Visor on a Battlesuit with high Armour would give a larger -Armour penalty than if you equipped it on the starting Tactical Armour that has a much lower base Armour rating. Problem is I suspect the implementation is going to get really complex if the Tactical Visor is a manufactured limited quantity item and you've effectively got different versions of it for each armour that pull from the same source item. Two solutions: If we can set the item stats on the Armour rather than the item itself, this problem would go away. But that's something I need to discuss with the programmers. It would also mean you couldn't easily view the stats of the item on (say) the Base Stores via a tooltip or in the Xenopedia, because the -Armour value depends on context (unless it was %-based, I guess). One alternative is to not set unique stats per armour, and just accept that putting a Tactical Visor on a Battlesuit gives you neglible disadvantages compared to early-game armour. The other alternative is just to have the modules unlimited in quantity, probably unlocked by a one-off Engineering project. But it'd be cooler to have to actually build those cool new jetpacks you researched one by one. 2) Because there's only one toggle button for each slot, upgrading items becomes difficult if they are limited quantity. Say you build six Tactical Visors and then you research the Sentinel Visor which is an upgraded version; if you don't upgrade all the Tactical Visors into Sentinel Visors you'll lose access to your six Tactical Visors because the toggle button now controls whether you're equipping Sentinel Visors and there's no way to equip the outdated Tactical Visors. The two solutions are: You get a one-off Engineering project that updates all your existing and future Tactical Visors into Sentinel Visors. You add a new button onto the UI that shares a the visor "slot", so you can only have one of the Tactical or Sentinel Visor active at once. This is probably more technically challenging to implement, and there's not much space on the UI so I think this would be a bad idea. I need to get an accurate picture of the implementation complexities from the coders but the simplest implementation is to make all the modules unlimited in quantity, and unlocked by one-off Engineering projects. Whether we go for the more complex implementation depends on how much harder it would be to implement, because this is one of the places where the complexity of the task may increase exponentially with each new gameplay feature we try to add in so what is ideal from a gameplay point of view might end up being so complicated to code and set up that it's just not worth it.
  2. I'll post a link to our plans for the Modular Armour here: https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/20813-modular-armour-system/ I think that is a change that sounds quite small when you just mention the name, but might have a rather large effect on gameplay. As I mentioned in an earlier post I feel like a lot of this discussion comes down to what you consider a "big" gameplay change and for a lot of people I think a few well chosen upgrades such as the Modular Armour in addition to a general refresh of the graphics will be plenty to justify the existence of X2 - but that's a question of individual taste, really.
  3. Indeed, but that's already supported. It's not possible to demolish a building that would leave another building disconnected from the Access Lift so that part of the code doesn't need to change. Also, I probably should rephrase the question - do you see any good gameplay reasons why it should not be allowed? It's definitely more convenient to allow building next to in-construction buildings, but it does mean you'll be able to throw an entire base together very quickly. Does anyone think that'll affect the game in a negative manner? The big complication is actually what happens with the Power system given you need to have the Power capacity required by a building up and running before you start cosntruction on it (which means finishing the Generator).
  4. It's not just the Access Lift itself, though - once it has finally finished you can then only build four buildings around it. This is particularly an issue if you want to build say three hangars next to each other rather than doing some weird arrangement around the starting lift. It was less of a problem in X1 because the starting building there is 2x2 instead, and has a larger surface area to build from.
  5. OK, with the release of V9.2 I'm going to lock this thread and direct everyone to the new thread here. My closing thoughts on a few of the points raised in this thread: I'm a little reluctant to make too many changes to the alien stats right now, I'll reserve judgement until I play a bit more. Potentially the Brutes could be made a bit meatier, I'll keep an eye out for them. The AI in general is very primitive still and I need to sit down and plan it out. The approach we're taking is for me to create a bunch of small maps with an alien in it, and a combat situation where there is a clear "best" move - and then I'll tell GJ what I expect the alien to do, and he can try to create and balance an AI model so it reacts appropriately in those situations. Hopefully this will ensure we get an appropriately deadly AI. Converted alien weapons are being disabled in the next build. I'm open to arguments for re-enabling them but I'm not convinced there's a valid reason to do so, as I feel like there's already a disproprotionate number of weapons in the game and I don't feel there's niches for all of them. But I'm willing to have my mind changed on that point. Comments noted on Lasers, but I'm going to hold off making any changes to them for now because I've not played a campaign far enough to use them properly myself. The dropship is going to switch back to a Chinook because the 1m raised floor of the new design makes movement annoyingly hard. This will have a bigger troop compartment, and we can freely change the number of soldiers as needed. I don't want to get into a long discussion about maps here, but yeah, they're not finished yet. However if you want a totally realistic-looking map that also works on a square tile grid and gives you a readable battlefield you're probably going to struggle no matter how many resources you throw at it, and where limitations are forced upon us by the medium I'm inclined to favour gameplay mechanics over realism. I'll have a think about the grenades / grenade launcher miss issues.
  6. This is the official thread to discuss the balance of the V9 builds and the overall gameplay experience. Now the air combat is complete we've finally reached the point where I'm going to be doing an extended gameplay test and balance session so please post up particular weapons / aliens / UFOs / etc that feel badly balanced. I'd also be interested to know about areas of the game that seem really unpolished in a way that spoils your gameplay experience, too - I know there are a lot of them but hearing other people's opinions will help me prioritise what I should be fixing up or what content I should be adding. I won't be able to act on everything but really the more feedback I have to consider the better. This could be game systems, it could be particular UI panels looking bad, it could be certain parts of the game being unintuitive or hard to use, etc. Just post it up here. I'm aware the game balance hasn't changed much since V8 so I'll be reading over the comments in the V8 balance thread too. The plan is that we'll be releasing an update in about a week which will include a number of UI improvements, balance improvements and generally just should address some of the issues I find in my gameplay testing.
  7. Oh, random straw poll - do people feel like they should be able to build new base buildings next to buildings that are under contruction? Classic X-Com handled it that way but my instinct is that you should be able to do so, as having to wait for the Access Lift to finish building and then gradually build out from that feels a bit limiting.
  8. No problem. As I said, it's useful to be reminded about it because not everyone plays the same - just keep it to once per thread in future.
  9. Yes, we're already aware grenades aren't pathing in a particularly sensible way yet. You've made three posts in this thread saying the exact same thing - it's helpful to keep reminding us that the problem needs to be fixed but once per thread is enough to make sure we don't forget about it. Unlike most things raised in this thread this problem isn't just a case of tweaking numbers, it'll take actual coder time to fix and therefore has to be planned in around other tasks.
  10. Today we're releasing a large hotfix for the Beta Build V9 that we released on the Experimental Branch last week. This is an unusual hotfix because it adds and changes some content as well as fixing bugs and usability issues - I sat down and spent a couple of hours playing the game over the weekend and I've made quite a few changes as a result (although these lean more towards usabiltiy changes and balance tweaks than adding new content). Much of the new content is still rather placeholder; I've been layout the skeleton of the early game research tree and in the next update I'll try to flesh it out a little more. General Fixes: I've updated the layout of the Load Game screen so there is now enough space to read the names of the available save games. The Bomber UFO no longer crashes the game on spawn. Building a Skylance missile in the workshop no longer crashes the game. Fixed an AI hang that was occurring on Terror missions where Androns were involved. Laser LMG construction now works again; the weapon is now called the "Laser LMG" rather than the "Scatter Laser" (which is a recently added aircraft weapon). The black pop-up messages now use the new font and are thus no longer always in ALL CAPS. Geoscape: You should now always get a pop-up after completing a research project that informs you about any new research projects unlocked as a result - previously this only appeared if a new project was unlocked (this matters because this pop-up contains the "Go To Research Screen" button that reminds you to set a new research target). The pop-ups for unlocked research and engineering projects were formerly linked together, but now they've been seperated out into different pop-ups that appear in sequence. You no longer recieve out-of-sequence popups if you recover an item that unlocks an instant completion research (e.g. an Autopsy) that itself unlocks new research projects. The Launch Interceptors panel now shows a preview of the aircraft you are launching. When viewing the info of a squadron in-flight, the aircraft images now correctly reflect the aircraft type. Fixed an issue where relocating an interceptor would not immediately update its position, causing it to launch from its old base on the next mission it flew. Crash sites now have an increasing number appended to their name (e.g. "Crashsite-3") The multi-selection pop-up on the Geoscape no longer appends the word "activity" to the Crashsite names. The air combat result text has changed from "UFO Shot Down" to "Interception Successful", and from "UFO Escaped" to "Interception Failed". Gun Drone / Cyberdrone now have autopsy projects. Reaper autopsy now autocompletes like all the others. Aircraft: This screen now shows explanatory text (and shows the plane faded out) if the plane is airborne, under construction, destroyed or relocating to another base. Fuel / HP statbars now work correctly, including when the aircraft is at 0% Fuel / HP. Main Base: Interceptors that are airborne, destroyed or under construction are now shown faded out. There is now a line that shows the Power consumption of the selected building in the construction list. Power Capacity statbar is now hooked up and functional. Hangar Capacity statbar has been added. Other statbars now work correctly when they are zeroed out. Clicking the name of the selected building in the construction list now correctly deselects it and cancels construction. Hangars now have the same construction label text as other buildings, rather than using the old red text style. Armory: The text label that shows the TU penalty suffered by any soldier carrying excess weight is now enabled again (it only appears if a soldier goes over their weight limit). The names of newly-created loadouts should now appear correctly in the bottom-left soldier browser. The screen should no longer break if you exit the soldier role selection menu by pressing Esc. Engineering: The preview image / information should no longer display the Plasma Rifle information if nothing is selected. Soldiers: If a soldier is wounded, their HP % is displayed after their name as "(X% HP)" rather than just "X%" as before. Expanded the width of the Name, Loadout and Status columns. Air Combat: Air combat now ends correctly when your interceptors retreat from battle. Weapon ammo levels are correctly being communicated back to the strategy layer (so your aircraft do not magically re-arm themselves between battles.) Additional interceptors (beyond the first interceptor) should now behave correctly when ordered to retreat from battle. Combatant move paths are MUCH smaller than before. Weapon slots on each interceptor now have optional lateral offsets, so shots can be spawned from under the wings instead of just from the middle of the aircraft. This means weapons firing at the same time will no longer stack on top of each other and look as if only a single weapon is present. The Missile Lock element is now hidden when the correponding missile has already been fired. Fixed the Foxhound interceptor not displaying its damaged images in the air combat UI. The source weapon images are now greyscale, which means the disabled red versions of those images display much brighter than before. Air Combat autoresolve formula now takes the time required to achieve Missile Lock into consideration when calculating damage, as well as the travel time of missiles. Ground Combat We've temporarily disabled the wall hiding on everything except the alien base until we can get it working better. Fixed the UFO exterior doors having black sections as a result of bad interactions with the fog of war system. Civilians are now called "Civilian" instead of "John Doe", and local forces are called "Local Soldier" instead of "John Smith" - so it will now be less confusing when you get a notification about them suffering a bleeding wound, etc. Balance Changes: There's been a significant (but still incomplete) rework of the starting tech tree. Base structure power generation / consumption rebalanced. Combat Armour is now a starting item, and the Rifleman and Assault classes use it as starting equipment. Alien Invasion project now takes about a day to complete rather than completing instantly after placing your first base. You now start with 4 Scientists and Engineers, and each Strategic Operation grants only 1 of either type when completed. Strategic Operations now give +$250K rather than +$500k if you choose the cash. Reduced Alloy gain from UFOs by roughly 50%. Soldiers gain Time Units in combat at twice the previous rate. Foxhound now only has two missile slots instead of four. Probe UFO is now a little slower in combat so your aircraft have a better chance of retreating, should they wish to do so. Please post up any bugs you encounter. We'll be releasing more patches for bugs and adding more content in the near future, although I'm not completely sure about the timescales quite yet.
  11. The Skyhawk is the new starting dropship that appears in Closed Beta V7 (currently on the Experimental branches). It is currently using placeholder assets as we'd like to discuss the layout and design with the community before we make the final assets; once we start getting the final 3d model done and get the 2D art painted up it's going to be hard to make any further changes to the layout! Key Points: The dropship troop capacity has been increased from 8 to 10 soldiers The dropship has solid walls rather than open sides It has a rear ramp and two side doors The tail section is now raised above the playable area The dropship internal space is still raised 1m off the ground, but it doesn't cost extra TU to run down the rear ramp (whereas jumping off the sides of the previous dropship did cost extra TU) In visual terms, we've smashed together the previous dropship (based off the V-280 Valor) with the design of the larger V-22 Osprey to create a hybrid that suits the intended gameplay a bit better. Your troops are better protected and the starting vision is more constricted than it was previously, and there's no tail section getting in the way of the gameplay either. The rear ramp means 2x2 vehicles might also be a possibility at some point in the future. The question is whether all of those things are improvements in the eyes of the community, and whether there are further things you'd like to see improved. Is there anything that the X1 Charlie did better you'd like to see incorporated into the Skyhawk? One of the things I'm debating is turning it from a tilt-rotor into a conventional helicopter, because the wings mean the dropship has a bigger footprint and it can make it harder to place into interesting places when designing maps. However, tiltrotors have an inherent cool factor and it'd be a shame to lose that! (BTW, note that we wouldn't be able to perfectly recreate the Charlie from X1 in X2 even if we wanted to, though - the dimensions of a tile have changed in X2 and are now 1.5 x 1.5 x 3m, whereas in X1 they were 1.2 x 1.2 x 2m. But don't let that stop you from making suggestions!)
  12. I'm not sure you've identified the correct solution, but you've identified a genuine problem there - I imagine in the final game the alien turn won't play out in realtime when there are units hidden by the fog of war. As you say it's currently too easy to identify information from the length of the turns and what you can hear.
  13. The air combat section of Xenonauts 2 has gone through a number of iterations over the past few years, and with the project approaching Early Access we've taken the decision to switch to (an upgraded version of) the realtime air combat mechanics from the first game rather than pursuing the alternative turn-based model I've been experimenting with. I'll explain the reasons for this change below, but let's start by discussing the realtime mechanics and the planned improvements. Realtime Mechanics: We're already working on implementing the realtime air combat mechanics from the first Xenonauts and we're hoping to have them in the next major release (V8). This will also include various supporting strategic systems such as the ability to manufacture advanced aircraft on the Engineering screen, many of which require some extra work now the "classic" base update changed the way Hangars worked. The goal for V8 is therefore to literally have the air combat from the first Xenonauts in the second game as a starting point to test our improvements. We'll probably chuck the same planes and weapons in the game with the same stats, and fit them into the tech tree in roughly the same place, and do the same for the UFO stats. This will make it easier for both us as the developers and you as the community to spot missing features or things that aren't working properly, and it also ensures that the strategy layer has reasonable balance / progression to allow us to test the new features we're planning to experiment with in future builds: Interceptor Components: on the Aircraft screen there are additional slots for new types of equipment that did not appear in the first Xenonauts (armour, engines). One of the main things I want to experiment with is to have fewer types of interceptor but more possible upgrades, making the tech tree more interesting ensuring each type of interceptor can potentially stay relevant for longer. As an aside, it might be interesting to give each aircraft type a Power stat and have the various weapons, engines and armour types draw a certain amount of power. So even basic aircraft can still use highly advanced equipment but can support less of it than the more advanced fighters. Also, if much of the cost of an aircraft comes from its components rather than the aircraft itself, we could re-implement permadeath for the aircraft itself but make most of the equipment recoverable when a plane is shot down. Clouds: these would provide cover on the battlefield and the amount and position of them would be randomised each battle. The idea is that combatants can move through clouds freely but they would block the fire arcs of weapons (and missiles wouldn't make course adjustments while flying through them). Hit / Evade Chances: this an experimental change we're going to try, where combatants have % Evade scores and weapons have % Accuracy scores and Evade modifiers. The Evade roll will no longer be manually triggered and will just play an evade animation (without moving the plane laterally) when an Evade occurs. We'll see if this improves the game and if not we'll return to the old system where weapons would always hit if in range. The % Accuracy on weapons is somewhat required if we're going to add Pilots to the game, as the obvious thing for pilots to do as they gain experience is provide an Accuracy bonus to their weapons and an Evade bonus to their interceptor. The same is true for upgrades like targeting computers or so forth; in the old X1 air combat there's just not many variables to play with and that limits the equipment and upgrade choices we can give the player. Relative Battlefields: in X1 the boundaries of the battlefield are set at the start of the combat, but in X2 the boundaries will always be a fixed distance from the main UFO. This will allow us to set some combats up as a chase where the UFO is trying to get far enough away from your planes to push them off the edge of the map, while peppering your pursuing interceptors with fire from a rotating turret weapon (or relying on their escorts to cover for them). It's not a huge thing but in X1 literally every UFO would just turn and fly towards your interceptors so it'd be nice if in X2 some UFOs tried something a little different. Special Equipment: we'll also likely be experimenting with some other types of equipment that weren't in X1, such as turret weapons that are capable of rotating their fire arcs, or shields. Not sure how many will provide practical but we've got a few ideas! The main intention of these changes is to add a bit more variety to the air combat. One of the problems in X1 was that a combat featuring a particular UFO versus a particular combination of interceptors would almost always play out the same way every time, and there's a few things we can do to mitigate this. The addition of clouds means that the battlefield itself may cause the tactics to be different in different battles, and making weapons use % hit rolls should also ensure a bit more variation (e.g. a combat may play out quite differently if a long range volley of missiles at the start of combat scores 4 hits compared to if it scores 2 hits). Depending on how the combat changes play out, I think the strategic side of the air combat may also become more complex and interesting. In X1 you were continually building steadily more advanced planes and getting rid of the older models once they became irrelevant, but if specific aircraft gain combat experience through a pilot system and are also more upgradeable than before then I can see more interesting choices becoming available to the player. Do you replace your experienced starting interceptors as soon as a better interceptor becomes available, or do you give them some upgrades and keep them around? Or just play aggressively with them until they get shot down, and then replace them? Etc. What happened to the turn-based air combat model? Up until V7 the game featured a turn-based air combat model. The plan was to add increasing complexity to this turn-based system until we got something that was complex enough to be fun, but was ideally a bit faster-paced than the X1 air combat and used a more similar skillset to the rest of the game. The tun-based air combat in the public builds never got to the stage where it became fun. After the last iteration it was obvious that air combat needed proper 2D unit movement (rather than just 1D moving forwards / backwards) if it was to be interesting enough to support the more complex strategy layer that Xenonauts has compared to XCOM or classic X-Com. With overly simple air combat not only are the interceptions more boring, there's also less scope for research and UFO behaviour on the rest of the strategy layer too. Unfortunately, when we set to work implementing this it became clear that trying to handle complex 2D movement in a fast-paced way was going to be impractical in a turn-based system. Obviously asking players to issue orders to all of their planes every few seconds wasn't an option as every combat would take hours, so we instead developed an "automated" move system based on auto-calculated moves towards your target enemy unit (or movement waypoint). We were hoping it would provide a realtime feel while retaining the turn-based system under the hood, but in practice it didn't work well - it was difficult for the user to understand what was going on and it didn't feel as natural or responsive as the X1 realtime system. This is a bit of a shame, as the turn-based system we had planned had been paper prototyped and worked rather well as a board game. But if the fundamental building blocks of the system don't translate well onto the screen, there's point pursuing it further - it seems like we've taken the turn-based model as far as it could go. The best thing to do would just be to pluck out some of the interesting systems and merge them into the X1 realtime system. I certainly think there's some scope to do this. Ideally, I want to try and minimise the amount of time players have to spend pausing / unpausing to try and pick the optimal split-second to do something (like rolling their planes to dodge incoming fire), so making Evasion auto-trigger on a % roll may help a lot here. Adding more variety to the air combat in general should also improve the experience and replayability for everyone, and new ideas such as clouds and the interceptor components actually work equally well under the old X1 realtime system as they do in the current X2 turn-based system. Conclusion: When development began I couldn't see many improvements that could be made to the X1 air combat, which was one of the reasons I was reluctant to use the same system - I felt like I'd be serving up exactly the same thing all over again. After all this experimentation I'm now pretty sure the air combat can be improved, and it's just a question of whether we can improve things a little (by adding clouds, relative battlefields etc) or if we can improve things a lot (by getting hit chances / components / pilots to work). Perhaps if I spent a few more months working on the turn-based system we'd make some kind of breakthrough ... but the game is now approaching Early Access and we need to make a final decision on what system we want to use because the uncertainty is holding back the strategy layer. It's a pretty simple decision; the X1 realtime system currently works better than the X2 turn-based system does, so we'll be going with the X1 system. Anyway, I'm sure some people are going to be very happy with this change and I'm sure some other people will be a bit disappointed. I can understand both viewpoints, but really the most important thing here is that a decision has been made and in the next build we should be able to start balancing and properly playing the strategy layer. Hopefully that at least is something everyone can get excited about!
  14. Thanks. The projectiles are being spawned from the craft like they were in X1, I suspect they're just being hidden by the needlessly huge aircraft pathing indicators (which will be fixed in the next build).
  15. Thanks for this. For point 1) I think the sensible thing to do would be to add a little image on the left of the element that shows the armour (like the Role box on the right has a little icon). I think that gives you the best of both worlds as it's clear then where the armour is changed, and it gives us the neater loadout with space below the dropdown for the modular armour buttons that we'll be needing once that system gets implemented. We need to make the tabs in 2) more graphical too, at least for the dropship. It'll be tough fitting something in a space that small but that's always been the plan so hopefully it works out! The wall hiding is intentional but the way it's behaving at the moment is not. It's meant to cut away the walls between your soldier / cursor and the camera, but right now it's hitting way more stuff than it should. I'll add this to my list of small polishing changes, hopefully we'll have time to give it a test before the game releases. Alright, I'll use that as a starting point in my balancing. Can always tweak it later if you're wrong
  16. Yeah, so this entire discussion needs to be carried out with it clear from the outset that the aliens currently in Xenonauts 2 hardly have any AI at the moment. They're capable of reacting to the situation in front of them in a basic manner but beyond that there's nothing; I suspect the game will feel quite different when we start giving them patrol behaviours. We're likely to use an AI system modelled on classic X-Com, at least with regards to movement around the map (once an alien sights one of your units it goes into "combat mode" and abandons its previous goals). But essentially waypoints are painted into the various parts of the map that indicate good positions (in terms of cover / sight lines) and aliens will move between these waypoints. Each alien does a random roll at the start of each turn to see if it moves or stands still in "sniper" mode and saves its TU for overwatch, or if it'll move to a waypoint a certain number of TU away and then look around for hostile targets. There's a little more to it than that, but the idea is pretty simple and you can see in X-Com that it works rather well. It means that aliens are almost always in a good position when they start a battle (in X-Com they're often stood looking out of windows and so forth, which almost never happens in X1), and that they tend to spread through a map in a sensible but unpredictable manner. Obviously defensive aliens will be limited to staying within the UFO, but particularly in the larger UFOs they'll still have waypoints to go to within the craft. The advantage to doing it this way rather than X1's heat-map approach is that you get more sensible patrolling behaviour. In X1 we gave units desires for certain things, like wanting to be in cover or open areas with good sight lines, and then let them go their own way and find those things within the map. But once they found a place they liked, they often wouldn't move - so there was relatively little chance that an alien would walk outside the UFO and check if anyone was standing there, or an alien would patrol through a house and look out of the windows as it went. Theoretically in X2 we'll just need to paint in the appropriate waypoint and aliens will do that sort of thing automatically. So yeah, I think in classic X-Com the AI was actually much better at not getting stuck in the edges and corners than our guys in X2 current are - it was just very good at picking good places to lurk in wait for your soldiers, because those places had been chosen in advance by the map designer.
  17. This actually isn't true in many respects - our 50x50 maps are the same size as the ones in X-Com, and I think the numbers of aliens is similar to the earliest X-Com missions. There's definitely more cover in our maps but I seem to remember the X-Com terror maps were way denser than our maps are; lots of small buildings to explore etc.
  18. Chris

    [V9.0 Geoscape] research - queue full

    So reading this bug report over the weekend did make me realise something in the game wasn't working properly that is responsible for at least some of these problem, which we will be fixing in the next update. The "new research available" pop-up that contains the "Go To Research Screen" button only pops up if the research project actually unlocks new tech in X2, whereas in X1 it would pop-up after every research report and just report that no new research was available if nothing was unlocked. We'll be adding the functionality that makes it appear after every research project, because then you'll get the reminder to go the research screen after every completed project. That makes not having a research queue much less problematic than it currently is.
  19. Thanks for the comments guys, I skimmed them just now and will re-read later in a day or two - my first extended playthrough at the weekend ended up mostly flagging up bugs and missing features more than it did bad game balance. I'm hoping I can focus on the gameplay more when I do another session tomorrow or the day after. A few thoughts that spring to mind, though: Dropship: Firstly, we're most likely changing the dropship design again, this time back to a Chinook. My gameplay session over the weekend convinced me that having a dropship with a 1m raised floor was too annoying when you were trying to maneuver troops because you can't click through the raised floor to hit the lower tile immediately behind it, which means moving soldiers around the far side of the dropship is a real pain unless you want to rotate the camera. With a flat floor movement isn't impeded in any way and the process is just much cleaner. Once you assume you want a ground-level floor then the shape of the Chinook works much better. This change means the return of the large 3x6 cargo hold of the Chinook, giving room to maneuver your troops around and arrange them in different parts of the dropship. It also means we can change the dropship troop capacity very easily. I think there's an argument for 10 starting soldiers (more on that below) but if we want to revert to 8 it's not a problem. Converted Alien Weapons: Secondly, I'm not quite sure what we're going to do with the converted alien weapons. The concept for them was that they gave you an easy path into energy weapons so you could tackle kinetic-resistant Androns more easily if you didn't go for early Laser Weapons ... but I don't really think they have an interesting niche. I'm also not sure it's viable to build much gameplay around needing to use certain weapons against certain alien races; I think it might just be better to dial back the alien resistances a bit (to maybe 30% rather than 50%) so fighting aliens with the "wrong" weapons is still possible, it's just a bit harder. In that situation there's not much point having converted alien weapons at all. Alloys: I think instead the early game could be made more interesting by drip-feeding items in the early game, so when you research new weapons or upgrades you don't simply go to your workshop and build 12 of them over three days so your team is fully kitted with them for the next battle but instead you gain the resources needed to do so over the course of two or three battles. This means you'd have to choose which soldiers get the best gear and you feel like there's progression after every battle rather than every few battles like in X1. I guess early on this probably means only getting a few Alloys each mission and giving the player lots of things that require Alloys - I don't really feel X1 did that particularly well. Lethality / 10 Soldiers: The logic behind having more soldiers and the higher damage on the ballistic weapons is that I wanted to recapture a bit more of the spirit of X-Com, where battles are often a total bloodbath in the early stages of the game, but the enemies often go down in just a few shots, but you get a LOT more soldiers on those missions. The increased lethality also makes overwatch more important; I remember someone pointing out that in X1 by the late game there wasn't much point using overwatch at all because there was effectively zero chance overwatch could kill an enemy in one shot, which means there's very little you can do to protect (for example) a doorway against an alien bursting through and shooting your guys ... the best you can realistically do is wound that alien before it shoots you. I think it's a fair point. So the idea is more soldiers and more deadly weapons, but also more weapons with similarly deadly weapons. I'm open to discussion on those points but that was the thinking behind it.
  20. Thanks. Yeah, this is hanging for me too - I'll ask our technical director to look at it when he's back in on Thursday.
  21. Ah yes, thanks for the report. They're sharing a name with one of the new aircraft weapons so you're probably being given aircraft lasers instead. I'll fix it.
  22. Chris

    [V9.0 Geoscape] research - queue full

    Testing this save and I'm not quite sure what's happened here, but the Workshop queue has got broken - deleting the Falcon doesn't work, but nor does anything else. If you (or anyone else) gets another instance of this bug please report it and let us know what you were doing beforehand.
  23. Chris

    [V9.0 Geoscape] research - queue full

    Do any X-Com games have a research queue? Research in this sub-genre is different to in a general 4X; it's far more narrative and is the main marker for how you advance forward in the game. There's something to be said for making your research choices a decision rather than having it playing out in the background.
  24. Chris

    [v9.1 Geoscape] no gun drone autopsy

    Yeah, looks like I never created one. I'll fix it up and also make sure the Reaper autopsy auto-completes like the other autopsies.
  25. It's planned for Thursday, or perhaps Friday if we have stability issues with it.