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Decius last won the day on November 30 2018

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About Decius

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  1. Decius

    Useful combat shields

    I wasn't aware that the CE made it 100% for the 1/8 that it provides protection for. Still, there needs to be a way to protect yourself from any two adjacent squares, and if you pick one of eight facings and get protection from a disjoint set of attackers for each facing, that can't happen.
  2. Decius

    Easier recovery from catastrophe

    On the 11 o'clock news: "The entire Xenonaut combat team was killed in action this morning, in what senior REMFs are calling 'a significant but not catastrophic setback'. This afternoon, they started recruiting for new combat troops, with the only major qualification listed being opaque to plasma. A source close to the recruitment process also indicated that people who were interested in a combat role but were transparent to plasma could also be accepted."
  3. Decius

    Useful combat shields

    You're free to disagree, but I find it odd that you pack enough ammo to suppress enemies before you can see them, or that if you can suppress the 3+ enemies before opening the door you'd use a shield at all, when shotguns are much better at close range than pistols. I found that a shield will handle 1 to 3 hits before catastrophic failure, and has about a 75% chance of intercepting an attack coming from the frontal arc, which is about 1/8 of a circle. Boosting that to take 3-5 hits before disintegrating and having a 100% chance of absorbing a hit from three octants would justify not packing a primary weapon or a 'secondary' weapon that is just as powerful. And fielding a shield wall should be a viable tactic for some situations; that's why they're part of SWAT team loadouts.
  4. Decius

    Keeping alien weapons

    On the subject of attack vectors that the alien armor doesn't cover, anyone remember that the endgame weapon in X-COM: Apocalypse is a glorified paintball, in part because it doesn't trigger the alien shields the way bullets or energy weapons or explosions do, and in part because it's a chemical weapon engineered to disrupt them specifically? Some kind of "It kills them much more than it kills us" gas, dust, smoke, or aerosol-based weapon makes sense at the point in the weapons tech above the equal-quality weapons, or even as a prerequisite for a mission to fill an alien base with the stuff. (Obviously it can't just finish all of the missions, because that would be boring).
  5. Decius

    Useful combat shields

    If the only useful role of the shield-bearer is to take reaction fire, at least make them exceptional at that- they should actually provide sufficient protection when used as intended (instead of having a chance of being bypassed completely and only absorbing 1-2 hits if it does work), and cover a 3/8 arc instead of a 1/8 arc (so that there's never a case where you can't prevent an alien from taking one step and being outside of your front arc and bypassing your shield).
  6. Decius

    Keeping alien weapons

    I always thought that the heavy plasma and blaster launcher were the intended endgame weaponry in UFO Defense. The lasers were strictly better in the field than the firearms, and more accurate than the plasma, even if they did less damage, so the damage on target was higher with lasers if you had moderate accuracy troops, and higher with plasma once you had good accuracy. Suggesting that alien weapons are optimized for alien ergonomics, and as such are awkward for humans to use (higher AP costs, lower accuracy) seems reasonable, especially as it justifies the synthesis technology where once you can build a plasma rifle, you can build a plasma rifle designed for humans to use that doesn't have those penalties.
  7. History If packing a shield replaces your primary weapon and doesn't make the wielder literally invincible, how can it be made useful? If the secondary weapons that can be used with a shield aren't up to par for putting aliens down, then it doesn't matter how many shots the shield soaks; the wielder is combat ineffective from the moment their equipment loadout is selected, barring the cheese case of using them as expendable spotters for a sniper or HMG, or the other cheese case of using an OP shield vs an AI incapable of ignoring a non-threat. One thought would be to allow SMGs with a shield, and make SMGs up to par as a close weapon. That puts the SMG in the same niche as the shotgun, as the close range finisher. Another thought would be to give the shields the best melee attack, which is reasonable given that riot shields are often used by police to pin targets; having a big rigid shield with a person on top of it is a tough grapple to break, and even if a target is able to push back against the shield they wouldn't also be able to fire a rifle at the same time. A third though is to give the shieldbearer a grenade-heavy loadout; depending on weight balance maybe that just works out fine. But I see the six-shot main weapon grenade launcher and wonder if a smaller, single shot grenade launcher firing one of the same projectiles makes sense as a secondary weapon for shield bearers. Something inspired by the M79 grenade launcher could reasonably be fired one-handed, and is no harder to reload one-handed than a pistol. If it fires the same projectiles as the larger main weapon GL does, then it won't alter the balance of non-shield users (since they could just as easily pack a full grenade launcher for the same effect). Anyone else have any other thoughts?
  8. Decius

    My thoughts on the closed beta

    Odd, the first time I fired the M9 from a crouch I barely managed to keep the weapon pointed downrange as I fell over backwards. Maybe there's a posture where you can use a knee as a platform and still get a sight picture, and maybe it gets taught to people with the center of gravity that allows them to fire a SAW from the shoulder while standing. In any case, changing to that posture would take more time than aiming a shot.
  9. The shield is tactically interesting, but does require some kind of plausible offensive option with it. A one-handed SMG is a plausible option, as is a heavy pistol: Either lots of lead with limited accuracy, or a small amount of moderate hit at short range. Melee attacks are also a possibility, but they would need to be credible in their own right. Would it make sense for the shield to have a melee attack superior to the melee secondary weapons, integrated into it? One of the current uses of riot shields is to charge a target and press them to the ground or wall with the shield itself, disabling them. Scale that idea up to a shield capable of deflecting or absorbing a couple of alien weapon hits on the approach and then hitting the enemy with the shield for a live capture seems like it would be interesting. If the only real role for shields is to protect spotters for snipers or HMGs, I think a possibility is going to waste.
  10. What's the line of logic behind the SMG being a secondary weapon, if all of the other ones are 1-handed? I think it might be better to rebalance it to fill a primary weapon role, maybe with a reaction fire bonus compared to the rifle but lower damage?
  11. Shields, when equipped, are held in the wrongest possible orientation: Horizontally, bisecting the soldier. When fired on by an alien in their front arc, they protect the solder from taking damage by crashing the game. output.log recording_4.rec
  12. Decius

    Xenonauts-2: ATLAS Base

    Right. You can't have an ICBM and just never use it at all. It's a rocket capable of low orbit and a nuke, and both of those are Plotlike things.
  13. The issue with incenting the multiple base as launch positions for soldiers is that, in order to involve interesting options, you would have to assign soldiers to bases in advance of the missions being known (otherwise just teleport the soldiers that you want to the base they launch from, do the mission, and then teleport/assign them back, and it's just adding steps to the same squad being everywhere). In order for the choice of which soldiers to station in which base to be a decision, rather than a random allocation, the player needs some amount of information relevant to the question of where they want their soldiers deployed. For that decision to be meaningful, the player needs to be able to know, at the time of the choice, what the benefits and downsides of each option are. And that requires a game design that can tell them that. Long War 2 makes players do meaningful decisions about squad makeup for each mission, but LWS did that without having multiple barracks, just by having lots of missions, not all of which are known and not all of which should be initiated. Doing that in a manner appropriate for a primary game mode is going to take more design than Firaxis was willing to do. Just saying.
  14. The logic of a good dynamic soundtrack requires integration between the person designing the soundtrack, the person programming the logic, and the people designing the gameplay. Figuring out which music to play when a mission is complete should depend on much more than whether the primary mission objective counts as "complete"; one soldier limping back saying "I'm all that's left on either side" deserves bittersweet, unless only one soldier set out... and that's just the mission end, not figuring out when the action started.
  15. Decius

    More vertical map design

    Apocalypse had a similar corner problem, but there was no reason to walk around the corner rather than open the wall. And their falling terrain system allowed a single sheet of drywall to hold up a building.