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Decius last won the day on April 12

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About Decius

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  1. For gameplay reasons, it should be harder to get a full squad kitted out with the best equipment than to complete the final mission with that squad.
  2. Decius

    reversible mind control

    Psi powers that grant full control are essentially one-hit kills, especially if other enemies attack the control victim. More interesting options for psi control might be more fun; what if a psi power caused a unit to fail to see a particular enemy (that isn't attacking it?) forget about the presence of a hazard, or to hallucinate a target where there was none? Or to be convinced that their magazine/charge cell was empty/depleted, and replace it? If the aliens have goals in a mission, could making one of them think that their goals had changed be effective? What about gaining the situational awareness of the target, such as where their allies are and what enemies of theirs they are aware of? Psi abilities that don't do direct damage can even be balanced with the attacker being safe from the defender, since the actual attacker needs to be there.
  3. Why, why in any possible world, would you want the program fine-tuned for a situation that isn't the actual final game? An algorithm that is good with units that aren't the ones it will be controlling, or good against units that aren't the ones it will be fighting, is unlikely to be good at its actual job. A fun system will end up accentuating the intended strengths of its units and not negate the intended weaknesses except in a way that is appropriate to the units being simulated. A reaper aware of an enemy far across an open field will run towards it, because that's what reapers do, even though a better tactic would be to hide in a blind corner until within or behind enemy lines and attack suppressed troops from behind. Six weeks straight of programming might not be the most efficient use of time/money. A few iterations of candidates sent to beta testers with the instruction "Find the cheap strategies that are way too effective", followed by algorithm or combat balance adjustments that make those strategies not excessively effective is probably the way to go.
  4. Decius

    Making C4 more unique.

    Next on the list: Claymores?
  5. Would it be possible to have "Movement" points and "Action" points, where every healthy soldier has 100 AP (that can be used for actions or movement), and rookies have a handful of MP (which can be used to move and turn, but not attack or open doors or juggle inventory), while experienced soldiers have more MP but the same amount of AP? The idea would be that with experience, soldiers can move around faster using less of their active attention, keeping their weapon ready to fire, while a less experienced soldier would have trouble firing on the move; and everyone can move further if they just carry their weapon rather than wield it. It is often frustrating that we can't walk towards someone while firing a shotgun (think Sean Connery in The Untouchables) without getting fewer shots.
  6. Decius

    X2 performance

    If you're doing hardcore optimization, tracking GPU and CPU core usage is insufficent. Properly profiling how much of each frame is spent waiting on memory, waiting on PCI bus, or waiting on things higher in the abstraction is complex. For example, if memory access latency is limiting, having a smaller memory space can help (since memory access time scales at least with the log of the size of the memory accessed.)
  7. Is there any reason the minitabs have to fit across in one horizontal row, or can they start another row above the first if there are too many soldiers for the horizontal space? Support for mods that allowed absurd/realistic numbers of soldiers on certain types of mission would be great.
  8. My less-than-professional understanding is that through homogeneous air of constant temperature the dispersion is the same as in vacuum, since the entire beam is refracted equally, and actual air is pretty close to that. But finding a place where you can draw a line hundreds of kM long through air and ending on something interesting is nontrivial anyway. Reflected energy wouldn't add any heat to the reflectors, and it takes very little energy to ionize air. A smoke, dust or aerosol designed to impede a particular type of laser could plausibly be exactly as effective as gameplay needs it to be. Likewise, an armor piece that was designed to protect against thermal lasers would be some combination of reflective, ablative, and dissapative, in proportions that depend on the details of the weapons they were designed to counter and properties of the sci-fi materials used- maybe a gallium-unobtanium alloy exists that has a huge specific heat capacity and latent heat of fusion, and melts well above normal human body temperature but below the point where burns are a huge danger. Hit an armor plate of that with sustained laser fire, and it becomes uncomfortably warm, then melts. Hit it with a piece of lead containing a similar amount of energy, and it might turn a trivial amount of that energy into plastic deformation.
  9. Decius

    Typical Xenonaut Mission

    It's really hard to have a believable implementation of close air support in a balanced squad tactics game, because close air support properly delivered trumps basically all the squad level tactical considerations. A plane two miles up and five miles away simply doesn't fit in the ontology that can care about how much time someone spends aiming a shotgun.
  10. Decius

    Xenonauts-2: Research Tree

    A laser rifle with an underslung shotgun is either genius or insane. There's added weight, both in the weapon and in needing to have shotgun ammo as well as laser ammo, it's not better at being a laser rifle, and it's not better at being a shotgun (and might be worse), but it's a really nice thing to have in your hands when you kick open a door to a warehouse. A system that allowed each weapon to have one or two rails, and attachments that can be applied and add an ability to the weapon: Underslung shotgun, grenade launcher, or directed sonic assault system that add a new attack; top rail mounted optics that allow more TUs and higher accuracy (but not affecting the damage drop, since sights don't make bullets go further), and the like.
  11. I don't have direct experience with getting shot at with lead, but there's a lot of ability to cause someone who has fair cover to refuse to stick their head out because they expect it to be hit, and there's some value to spending ammunition at an area to make the enemy not comfortable being in the open, even if it's not accurate enough to be directly dangerous. Flashbangs, Heavy MG fire or artillery seems much more like concussion damage than suppression.
  12. Suppression isn't the result of being scared of bullets. Suppression is the result of seeking cover (or minimizing your profile) against the incoming fire that you are actually taking. We don't see the effects properly because the abstractions pretend that everyone is standing still and waiting their turn while being attacked.
  13. There's several tabletop games a lot like that. There's also X-Com: Interceptor, but there's a reason nobody recommends it.
  14. Floored at 0%, or is AP going to be strictly better/strictly worse than HP in mid-range situations? For example, if a HP round does 12 damage 0 penetration, and an AP round does 10 damage 20% penetration, and there is no floor, the AP round will do 10*120%=12 damage against something with 0% armor, the same as the HP round. At 20% armor, the AP round would do 10 damage while the HP round did 9.6, outperforming until at 100% armor the AP round does 2 vs 0; with those numbers and no floor, AP ammo does strictly more damage if the enemy's armor is nonnegative. If we adjust HP ammo to do 15 damage instead, against 50% resistance the HP ammo does 7.5 damage while the AP does 7. (They break even at 60% resistance, doing 6 damage; AP ammo with those numbers is less ineffective than HP ammo only above that range) To find numbers where AP ammo is noticeably better against targets with armor in the 40-60% range, and HP ammo is noticeably more effective against unarmored targets, try giving AP ammo 60% penetration, give HP ammo 1.5 times the damage, and floor effective resistance at 0%. HP ammo is more effective down to 33% resistance, then AP ammo becomes radically more effective. Very heavily armored targets will still reduce the effectiveness of AP rounds, and there's even an option for base resistances above 100% (although effective resistance should probably be capped at 100%, to prevent a shot from healing a particularly well-armored target). Alternately, things like high-expansion rounds could instead apply a multiplier to the target's resistance: 15 damage with a 2x resistance multiplier against 30% resistance would double the resistance to 60% and deal a mere 6 damage, about the same as the 10 damage unmodified round. If the armor piercing value of ammunition isn't a big enough difference to be worth the tactical costs of picking which ammo type to run, the effort to implement the feature is wasted; there has to be a situation where using AP ammo is better and a different situation where it is worse, or it becomes a global upgrade.
  15. I wouldn't inflict morale damage for walking through terrain. Morale as a resource to be spent is incompatible with morale as one of the ways that the opponent can damage you. Having suppression fire do both suppression damage and morale damage would make it either OP or useless, rather than situationally useful (either they get suppressed AND panic, dying to shotguns next round, or neither). Frankly, there's already enough of a snowball effect; taking losses results in having fewer soldiers in the fight, which means expecting more losses. Having a strategic reason to evaluate the cost of casualties versus the benefits of accomplishing more mission objectives would be better.